The Storms of Life

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by BJ Robinson

Psalms 91:4

He will cover you with his feathers, 

and under his wings you will find refuge;

Luke 21:11

There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Matthew 24:7-8

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 

There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Hurricane Irma raged through Florida. When storms roar in life, weather or otherwise, ask God for help. A group of prayer warriors prayed that the hurricane would decrease in category and speed before it hit, and it did. If you put your faith and trust in Him, He will carry you through the storms with peace.

Hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires engulf us more than normal. Is God talking to us and telling us to be prepared by being ready? These events are birth pains, so as when a woman goes into labor, it isn’t long until the baby is born. Jesus is knocking at our doors. Invite Him into your hearts and homes and be prepared. Be ready.

In my new bayou series, my work-in-progress, airboat swamp tour guide Josette (Jo) Breaux has some storms in her life. As you know Louisiana, Texas, and now Florida have problems with floods from all the rainfall from hurricanes. The last novel in the series ends on this note and how people in the affected areas come together to help each other during a crisis. Love weaves through the bayou in unexpected ways despite life’s obstacles and a golden retriever named Honi has a few surprises of her own when things get as hot as Cayenne pepper in Gumbo, Louisiana. 

Blurb: 

 Cypress Hideaway

Airboat swamp tour guide Josette (Jo) Breaux’s storms in life include a series of accidents that threaten to destroy her livelihood and a choice between two men: Bernard Bergeron,  her best friend’s brother. They’ve been pals since she was knee-high to a crawfish. Jo is comfortable around Bernard and can be herself. She loves his shining brown eyes, brown hair, handsome build, and his voice. He is hardworking, an animal lover, and would give anyone the shirt off his back. Bernard has a heart full of love to offer, and he’s deeply in love with her, but all he can offer is an old rundown camp on the bayou given to him by his parents, Cypress Hideaway.

Victor can offer a mansion when he inherits Sugarcane Plantation, but he is controlling just like his father. He has deep blue eyes and dark black hair and could have any girl he wanted, but he wants the one he can’t have, Jo. He expects her to dress befitting his lifestyle. That isn’t Jo. She’s just a tee shirt and jeans kind of gal.

Meanwhile, something is not right in Gumbo, Louisiana. Bayou country never has much crime, maybe a stolen boat motor or fishing boat, but never murder. Jo calls the Chief of Police and Sheriff, Uncle Adam Landry, when an airboat ride turns deadly. The town’s only road in and out becomes a crime scene. Deaths and so-called accidents happen faster than a water spot blows. How many more accidents can Jo stomach? Is there a bayou serial killer? Surely, all these deaths can’t be accidents. They say the bayou will heal you if it doesn’t kill you first. Will it heal Jo? Will Bernard’s shining brown eyes full of love and the love of a golden retriever be enough with Cypress Hideaway, or will Jo choose Victor? Will the bayou killer strike again and take away the choice of a lifetime?

I pray for all those who have endured hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires. Remember to praise God and ask for His help. Ride out the storms in your life with Him. Keep the faith. Prayer works.

About the Author:

B. J. RobinsonB.J. Robinson writes sweet romance, historical romance, short stories, and contemporary romance for the Amazon Kindle in various genres to provide reader choice. A mother of five and grandmother of thirteen, she loves animals and flowers and is also a fur-baby mom to a golden cocker spaniel named Sunflower, a golden retriever named Honi, and a husky named Cherokee. She is hard at work on the new bayou series, writing from Hurricane-Irma-wrecked Florida. If you would like to check out the selection of her work, please check her Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458731934&sr=1-2-ent 

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Stop Playing Church

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by Suzanne D. Williams

I wrote a scene the other day and heard the voices protesting it with every letter that I typed.

Don’t say that.
Don’t go there.

And it hit me afterward. So much of Christian writing has become about coddling Christians. It’s there to keep us in our glorified bubbles, untouched by the world. Chaste. Innocent.

Gullible.

If I’m being totally honest (the only way I know how to be), the negative comments I’ve received were all from Christians. Picking the pole out of my eye, they fail to see the beam in their own. (Mt 7:3)

Yet it comes down to this:  in order to be light in the darkness, I need to portray the darkness as well. I can’t avoid it or I fail as an author. I fail in the job God has set me to do.

Life’s a bed of roses. No, it isn’t. Stop playing church. 

Jesus came to save those who were lost, and He wasn’t afraid to turn over a few tables, raise a few eyebrows to do it. He made waves. Drew a figurative line in the sand more than once and said, “Go ahead. Cross it.” (Mt 18:11;Mt 21:12;Mk 11:15;Lk 19:10;Jn 8:7)

But not as “make my day. Instead, “Let me make yours.”

Jesus identified with our struggles. (Heb 4:15) He carried ALL our sin, the big ones and the little ones, and that is the essence of my writing. Not to make my bed on a cloud somewhere, untouched by the world. But to write life exactly as it is, sin-laden, and bring those characters back to a realization that despite all they’ve done, God still loves them.

Now Available!

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She Loves Me in the Fall

About The Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter @SDWAuthor.

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 13:3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; a quick retort can ruin everything.

The tongue can be a very nasty member of the body. Everyone of us have been victim and victimizers of others with the tongue. We say things that we often regret. We hurt those we love and care about with the words we speak. We say things that sometimes are simply not true because we don’t have our facts straight and sometimes we fail to take the time to consider how we will affect others by what we say. We speak often from our emotions instead of our heads. Sometimes we may even wish that we could cut our tongue out so we don’t hurt anyone anymore.

Scripture makes it clear that what we speak comes from the heart. Therefore, we must take a serious look at our hearts. We must regularly ask ourselves, “Is my heart right with God?” Do we take the time we need in God’s Word to have our souls exposed before God? You cannot spend time in the Word on a consistent basis without seeing yourself as falling short of God’s standards of holiness. God’s Word is clear; we all fall short of God’s glory. No one is so righteous that he does not sin. Biting and hurtful words come from a heart that is not right with God.

If you need to gain better control of your tongue, take your need for the Lord to have control of you more seriously. Self-control is one of the evidences that you are under the control of the Spirit of Christ. You will never perfectly control your tongue, but you can do better than you now do. The issue is, “Will you let the Lord have His way with you?”

Don’t ruin everything. Take the time to be holy in your heart so that your tongue won’t betray you.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Reflections of Our Heritage & New Book Release Geneva

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by Lisa M. Prysock

I’m so thankful for the Christian heritage the Lord has given me. So many seeds of love and truth were planted in my life through those God placed in my life. Perhaps you are also thankful for someone in your life who shared the Word with you.

My grandparents didn’t have a lot of money, but they were rich in Christ and full of joy. They forsook what the world offered and gave their lives to build the Kingdom of God and go where the Lord called them. Grandpa served our nation in the Navy during World War 2 and found himself preaching on orange crates in the Philippine Islands. After the war, he went to Bible College in the Bible belt. He met my grandmother there. They married and had five children. He became a carpenter and a humble preacher.

They were dirt poor. Their first home was about as large as my writing office. People from the church sometimes gave tithes in the form of chickens. They took on a pastoral role at a variety of churches. One of the churches had a cement floor and my mother grew up roller skating on that floor. Can you imagine that? It’s funny stories like these I remember hearing as I grew up. When I reflect on this, my thought is there is no better place to be than in the house of the Lord. My mom and her brothers also made rafts and learned to swim in the Mississippi River.

These things seem to pass along in each generation. I can remember playing hide and seek under the church pews with my sisters and playing in the baptismal tank. I also remember hearing stories about my great grandmother. She was a school teacher in Minnesota. On Sundays, she piled all the neighborhood kids in the car and took them to church. One time, she had so many kids in the car that a boy named Timmy fell out. She had to stop and go back to get him. I love these stories about the lengths of suffering and effort those in my family went through to share the gospel. It inspires me to do more and to do as much as I possibly can. They were unafraid of the repercussions of whatever society thought; or if they were afraid, they didn’t remember it or speak of it much. They just kept serving the Lord and filling up each day with joy in the doing. They didn’t have fancy cars and clothes, but they had the Lord and the joy of serving Him.

I’m so thankful for all that I learned from them. I am reminded of these verses:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9, NIV

And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 6:5-7, NLT

We will not keep them from our children; we will tell the next generation about the Lord ‘s power and his great deeds and the wonderful things he has done. Psalms 78:4, GNB

A good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children’s children. Proverbs 13:22, AMP

Speaking of heritage, I am excited to share my new release with you: Geneva! The heroine of the story, Geneva, has a Godly, Welsh heritage. She is a vicar’s daughter from Cardiff, Wales who moves to America during the Antebellum Era to teach at a plantation mission school for orphans. I hope you will enjoy reading the story as much as I did writing it. I learned so much about the Welsh in my research, not to mention so much of the history about the tensions leading up to the Civil War, or the Great War, as Abraham Lincoln called it. A cameo spotlight on Charles Spurgeon is included in the novel.

You may click on the title to check out this Amazon exclusive or click the following link to Geneva: https://www.amazon.com/Geneva-Garden-Brides-Grace-Hill-ebook/dp/B075P61X98

Geneva

Author Bio:

Lisa M. PrysockLisa M. Prysock lives in the countryside of beautiful, rolling Kentucky just outside of the greater Louisville area near horse farms and four board fences with her husband of 19 years.  She homeschools the two youngest of their five children (three grown).  She and her husband live in an average, two story, Colonial style home they are continually updating– with a funny looking Heinz 57 dog; an adorably dainty lady cat; two teenagers; a vegetable garden; numerous flower beds; and a tree house undergoing a remodel.  When not in teaching or writing mode, she is teaching herself to play the piano and violin.  In regards to that, she laughs:  “It’s a pretty painful process, but I’m truly enjoying it!”

Lisa loves all things old-fashioned and has adopted a slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl.”  A few of her interests and passions include doll houses, long dresses and hats, gardening, reading the Classics, butterflies, swimming, walking, working out, cooking, sewing, crochet, cross stitching, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, decorating, and drawing.  Recently, her husband remodeled a room in their home with a picture window overlooking a valley which contains a creek and wooded area, transforming the space into a serene and sublime writing office/sewing room.  “It’s a great source of peace and inspiration for me… and pure joy not to be writing from the busy kitchen amidst the household chaos on a laptop.  Growing teenagers eating every five minutes makes for a constant stream of happenings!”

Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of To Find a Duchess, an Inspirational Regency Romance; a Victorian Christian Romance Series which includes Hannah’s Garden:  a Turn of the Century Love Story and Abigail’s Melody; and ‘The Lydia Collection,’ which includes The Redemption of Lady Georgiana (a Ruth love story of modern day Regency proportions), Protecting Miss Jenna (an Antebellum Era Christian Romance Adventure), and Persecution & Providence (a ‘Jane Austen-ish’ mail order bride story from the Pioneer Era).  She is also the author of a devotional/Bible Study, Arise Princess Warrior and recently released The Shoemaker, an Old-Fashioned Regency Christmas Romance.  Lisa writes clean and wholesome literature that shares her faith in Jesus Christ.  She is a member of ACFW and Louisville Christian Writers.  You can find out more about Lisa at:   www.LisaPrysock.com

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMPrysock

https://twitter.com/LPrysock

www.LisaPrysock.com

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J6MBC64

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-m-prysock

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Context Is So Important

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by Sherry Chamblee

The “rules” at school say zero tolerance for guns. So a kindergartner gets suspended because he bit his pop-tart into the shape of a gun? Lack of context.

Rules can only address specific situations. That’s why God gave us a discerning mind, the ability to see beyond just the rules and into the context.

Back when Jesus was on earth, He and His disciples walked through a cornfield and plucked some corn to eat. The Pharisees condemned them for doing this because they’d decided that picking an ear of corn on the Sabbath was “work”, and God said not to work on the Sabbath.  

These men had no context.  

God never intended the Sabbath to be a burden, but for it to be a time of peace, rest, relaxation. A time to reflect on God and to worship Him. But not a time to be so burdened and worried over breaking a man-made definition of “work” that there would be no rest at all.

When I was about 12 years old, I once had the father of a good friend of mine call me a rebel, and he stopped letting his daughter hang out with me because of it. His proof I was a rebel was that I wore pants. That’s it. This man had no insight into my walk with God. He had no idea what I was like, because he barely knew me. He’d just picked an issue and decided that if I didn’t line up with him, then I must be rebellious. 

I honestly was not a rebel at that point in my life. In fact, I was more on the side of being an obnoxious rule-follower. 

He didn’t take time to see the truth. He used one arbitrary measurement, and decided that I didn’t fit his view of “proper”, and so I was a rebel in his eyes.

Funny thing is, as an adult I now only wear dresses. And guess what? People are still judging me. I’ve had some people think I was a Pharisee simply because of what they see me wear all the time. There have been some who judge me for this, assuming that I judge them for what they’re wearing.  They consider me to be a Pharisee, a legalistic standards-worshipper who judges harshly anyone who disagrees with me.  

I strive not to be that. I’ve found that with God’s help, I can maintain my own standard without judging yours.

But I share all that to point out that no matter which side of the “standards aisle” I was on, people took me out of context.

And we do that a whole lot nowadays.  

We need to stop and see the people around us. See them for who they are. See the hurts they have in their life. See them as the ones who Jesus came to earth to save. See them as people who need to hear the Gospel first, not as people who need to be “fixed” first. See each other as people who have flaws, and fail, and are no worse off than we are ourselves.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

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The Destiny Trilogy

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by Cris Pasqueralle

The Destiny Trilogy

by Cris Pasqueralle

The Destiny Trilogy

From Book 1: On the day of their thirteenth birthdays, twins Jack and Maddie Austin receive a special gift from their wizard relative Uncle Benny: two necklaces, along with a note shrouded in secrecy. The celebration is interrupted by three intruders, led by the evil being Tardon, who kidnaps the twin’s parents. Uncle Benny manages to escape with the twins and later, reveals the truth behind both their gifts and identities: that Jack and Maddie are powerful wizards from the magical realm. Now, faced with the decision of a lifetime, they must return to that realm, rescue their parents and save all the realms from imminent doom.

From Book 2: The follow-up Sequel to the Bestselling Destiny Revealed!
Wizard twins Jack and Maddie Austin have been separated, finding their own paths while discovering their powers. In this continuation of Destiny Revealed, Jack wants nothing more than to defeat the evil Tardon, a constant threat to his family’s lives, but Maddie has been given a different perspective. Only when the two are reunited can the truth be exposed. As new friends and enemies join the adventure, only one thing is certain: the twins are stronger when they’re together, and together, they can defeat evil once and for all.

From Book 3: True Destiny Is Finally Revealed!
Jack and Maddie have finally accepted their roles in the course of history that will change both their’s and the magical realms forever. Spurred on by the urging of their families, they have purged their fears and adopted the practice of hero-ship, embracing the future as something they can manipulate as easily as magic itself. The ultimate reality stands before them: Tardon must be stopped! As it will not be an easy feat, Jack and Maddie must ban together with friends and family to wage a fantastic magical war never seen or experienced before, as they stand at the precipices of both of their world colliding. But as their powers continue to evolve and new evils emerge, with death looming around every corner, one final question remains: will the twins accept their fate as heroes, or will they be converted to the darkness in their quest for destiny?

Get it on Amazon

About the Author:

I am a retired NYC police officer who has always loved reading. Sharing in the Harry Potter adventures with my two daughters lead me to an interest in middle grade/young adult fantasy fiction and my writing of Destiny Revealed, book one in the destiny trilogy. I currently live in Levittown long island with my wife and two children and look forward to sharing the adventures of Jack and Maddie Austin with all of you.

Cris Pasqueralle

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 12:26 The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.

How do you determine whether or not someone is a true friend? Consider the kind of advice they give you. A good friend will not encourage you to do or say anything that will lead you away from God. Period. A good friend will not encourage you to feast your mind on unholy things. A good friend will support and encourage you in your journey of faith to God. A good friend is a godly friend.

It is so important that you choose your friends wisely. Be sure that you connect deeply only with those who will help you to be and do good. The ungodly will lead you astray. It is okay to have friends who are not godly people, but don’t let them into your inner circle of friends, friends that you rely on for the maturing of your faith.

We must never forget, the wicked do what comes naturally for them to do. They gravitate to that which is unholy. They seek satisfaction and pleasure in the things of the world. Their perspective is grounded on earth. They cannot see in the light because they live in the dark. Be very careful when the wicked seek to advise you on what you need to do.

We must be careful of our own souls so that when others turn to us for advice that we are prepared to give them godly advice. If we are not grounded well in the Word and are not in close fellowship with the Lord, we can very easily lead others astray. Good advice comes from those who maintain a good relationship with God. The godly do not give good advice by accident. It takes consistently working hard on our salvation.

Don’t be a tool in Satan’s hand when advising others. Keep your soul in tip top shape so that what comes out of your mouth may be good and used of God to help lead others to Him.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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An Excerpt from “A Time to Love”

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by Staci Stallings

Sunday slipped by into memories all too quickly, and when evening came, it found Scott and Jenna once again by the pool. She was going to miss this space. 

“I know this is kind of quick,” Scott said, “but have you thought about a date?” 

“A date?” she asked and then realized what he meant. “Oh. For the wedding?” 

Holding her hand, he nodded. “I mean I’m not trying to rush you or anything.” 

“No. No,” she said, not wanting to ruin the moment. “Yeah. We need… we should talk about it.” 

“Good. I’m glad you think so too. I was looking at a calendar earlier, and I really think, you know, I mean, what’s the use of waiting? I hate the thought of you being all the way in Texas for too long.” 

Her world rocked just a bit. Leave Texas? He was assuming she would be the one to move. Somehow, she hadn’t thought about that until now. Now, she couldn’t help but think that made the most sense. He had his practice. What did she have? A house with old memories, and a mother who barely tolerated her? Still, it took a hard swallow to nod. 

“So I was looking, and I was kind of thinking around the end of March looks doable. Unless, like you’re thinking about having a big church wedding or something. I’m not sure how long those take…” 

The air thinned around her, and she pulled in a short gasp. “March…?” 

“Unless that’s too soon,” he said, jumping on the concern in her voice. “Yeah. Yeah. You’re probably right. That’s too soon. So, like April then… or May? We could do a spring wedding. It’s not like it has to be fancy. Just us and the preacher is fine by me.” He looked at her. “Unless you want the big, fancy wedding thing…” 

“No.” The word was soft, barely there as it jerked her heart painfully. She’d had the big, fancy wedding—complete with a cathedral train and a veil to match. Her heart lurched at the thought of that day. How happy she’d been, giddy even. Marrying the man of her dreams. Jeff Davis. He was everything she’d ever dreamed of, and they would be married and build a life together and have a whole bunch of kids… 

“What do you think?” Scott asked, and Jenna snapped back to reality and realized she had no idea what he had just asked. 

“Uh? Think?” 

“About where it should be. I mean, I’m not really very connected up in New Jersey. I don’t even really have friends there, just colleagues and acquaintances. It’s just mostly where I landed after college and stuff. We could probably go out to Idaho. Mom and Dad’s church is nice enough, and there’s all of their friends out there. Or we could do it in Texas if you’d rather do that. I really don’t care, long as you’re there and I’m there, and we’ve got a certificate and someone to sign the papers, and I’m good to go.” With a grin, he leaned over and kissed her. “I can’t wait.” 

Janna closed her eyes to absorb the courage of the kiss into her. She needed something to keep her from crying.  

“But we don’t have to decide now either,” he said as he straightened and continued. “You can talk with your mom. Once I get back in the swing of things in New Jersey, we can talk and get things settled.” 

Smiling, Jenna nodded. Settled. It was a nice idea… 

Can Jenna learn to open her heart to love again?

Or will her second chance at love be doomed before it even gets started?

Find out in

A TIME TO LOVE

Now available for preorder… 

A Time to Love

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Pummeled by The Storms

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by Mary L. Hamilton

As I write this, Irma is pummeling Florida. I try to imagine what personal friends and writing friends and Facebook friends are experiencing. But I fail miserably, the same way I failed to imagine the devastation to my friends and former neighbors in the Houston area only two weeks ago. I see pictures from the western part of our country—of smoke-filled air that reduces colorful mountains to shades of brown and gray, and turns clean fresh air into hazardous material. 

Someone posted a note on Facebook to the effect that God made us to be in community, and when we pull too far apart, He sends a disaster to bring us back together. 

I don’t know if that’s theologically correct, but these days, it appears to have some degree of truth. The news is no longer filled with protesters battering each other and racial or political disagreements or divisions. People are watching and praying for each other, meeting needs, and focusing on what really matters. 

A woman who served on the mission field for several years commented that here in the U.S., we’re surrounded by Stuff, and it entices our attention away from the Lord. She said on the mission field, you have no Stuff. You only have the Lord, so it’s easier to stay focused on what He’s telling you to do. It makes me wonder if God is using these natural disasters to take away our Stuff, prying our fingers off the things that distract us from His calling on our lives. 

At the same time, I see posts meant to encourage and remind us that God can move mountains, that He commands the winds and the waves and walks on water. But what does that mean to the person huddled in a cramped closet as one after another tornado siren is going off? How does faith survive when the waves are up to the roof, and you’ve waited hours in the rain for a boat to come and take you to dry land? For that matter, how does one believe in Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, when the doctor says he’s done all he can? Scriptures are filled with miracles that seem to mock our present circumstances. 

I’m certain that’s how Peter felt when he took his eyes off Jesus to look at the wind and the waves around him. The wind tore at him, pushing him off course. The waves rose up to swallow him. It’s scary in the midst of the storm. Terrifying. Moments seem like hours, hours stretch like days or weeks or years.  

Jesus faced the most terrifying of all circumstances. He knew the physical torture that awaited him, but the battle was spiritual as well as physical. He knew the fear, the desire to be anywhere else but in the storm. And yet, He focused on the one true and trustworthy point in all creation. The Father. It always comes back to where our focus lies. 

It’s difficult in the midst of a raging storm, in the middle of blinding pain and desperate circumstances to continue trusting until we come out on the other end. It seems impossible to focus on the Lord and not on the wind and waves and fires and disease. But what other choice do we have? No one but the Lord can command wind and waves, to raise the dead, to walk through the fire with us. May we say with Job, “I know that you can do all things… My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” 

Blessed be the Lord.

Speak No Evil

About the Author:

Mary L. HamiltonAward-winning author Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. Currently, she’s working on a cozy suspense novel. Besides writing, she enjoys a little amateur photography, knitting, reading and being outdoors. Connect with her at www.maryhamiltonbooks.com 

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Getting to Know Ruth O’Neil

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by Ruth O’Neil

  1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have been a freelance writer for more than 20 years, publishing hundreds of articles in dozens of publications as well as a few books. I enjoy helping others of all ages make their publishing dreams come true. I was born and raised in upstate New York and attended Houghton College. When I’m not writing or homeschooling, I spend my spare time quilting, reading, scrapbooking, camping and hiking with the family.  

  1. When you were a child did you have a favorite book?

I loved reading, even as a child. I would often spend my summer days lounging at the pool, after a stop at our local library so I would have something to read. The Little House and Trixie Belden series of books were some of my favorites.

3. Do you have a favorite genre to both read and right write? 

Definitely fiction. When I read, I like to escape to another world. When I write, I like to touch reader’s emotions. I love to make readers laugh and cry.

4. Did you have favorite authors growing up who have influenced you? 

I don’t know if I had any particular authors that influenced me. I was a voracious reader and read everything I could get my hands on. My influence was probably a conglomerate of authors.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author? 

I was 9 years old when I wrote my first story. My mom liked to write and would tell me about writing stories with her cousin when they were young. I wanted to be just like my mom – like most little girls.

6. How did you go about becoming an author? 

My mom was a HUGE influence on me. She would encourage me, give me constructive criticism, and take me to writer’s conferences where I gained valuable information at a young age.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be? 

I would probably do something crafty. I enjoy sewing quilts on the side to relax and think when I have a writing project going on in my head.

8. Outside of reading and writing what do you like to do? 

Quilting (when I’m thinking about writing), camping (where I enjoy writing in the peace and quiet), hiking with my family (where I get inspired with new writing ideas), and reading (where I enjoy other people’s writing).

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit? 

I really enjoy the beach or pretty much anything outside. I often work outside simply because I can since I work at home. 

  1. Where can we find you?

You can find all of my books on my website – http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/ 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writerrutho 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RuthONeilAuthor 

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