Life 5/28/2024

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by Suzanne D. Williams

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence – Kayla

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May 28th is an important day. My rents, My husband’s rents, and my rents’ rents all have their wedding anniversary. How’d this happen? Well, I dunno. I met him, he met me, and here we are. The rest figures into it in an amazing way because without their history, I wouldn’t have mine. Unless my dad and my mom had married on May 28th, and my inlaws had married on May 28th, and going back, my grandparents, now in Glory, had married on May 28th, then there’d be no me and him, no us. 

May 27th was an important day. Unless men and women had done what they’ve done and given what they’ve given, there’d be no us either. We owe our freedom to those who laid down their life. I hate war. I hate death. I despise hatred and enmity and strife. But I honor sacrifice, for it is in the heart of men and women to give what they have for others. 

It’s in our DNA, so to speak. God made us this way. He who planned to give His all created us to give ours, and don’t think He doesn’t see sacrifice and reward it. He understands it. For at that moment when His Son breathed out His last, He felt both the pain of the loss and the rejoicing of the victory. And such is marriage, such is parenthood, such is sacrifice. 

A mother carries a child, her body stretching beyond belief, in order to hold that little one which they have created. For the laughter, which comes later, she puts up with the pain of today. For the father-daughter dance, he endures long hours and late nights. For the father-son fishing trip, he spends his earnings on education, on housing, on food. 

And someone stands wrapped in red, white, and blue so that that banner can wave over those who will follow. In fighting, they leave a legacy. In giving, they leave an imprint. One life for another, the future written in the blood of the past. A sunset the guarantee of a sunrise.

About the Author:

Suzanne WilliamsSuzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books.

www.feelgoodromance.com

www.suzannedwilliams.com

Facebook – suzannedwilliamsauthor

Twitter – @SDWAuthor.

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 5/27/2024

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Cross

by Jim Hughes

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence, – Andrew,

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CrossPs. 119:28 I weep with grief, encourage me by your word.

I believe it’s pretty safe to say that you know what it is like to weep with grief. It is a human experience we all go through. It might be the loss of a loved one due to death, a broken relationship, watching someone you care deeply about self-destruct because of sinful choices, overwhelming circumstances that control you and you can’t regain control over them, the loss of something valuable to you that you can’t prevent from happening, or something else going on in your life. Whatever the situation may be, it is common for us to suffer grief. We sense the hopeless and helplessness of our situation and there is nothing we can do but weep over it. It is life.

When times of grief come, there is only one lasting way to deal with it. We must go to the Word of God and let the Comforter minister to our hurting soul. In the Word we discover there is a way out of our grief. We discover there is One who can help us. We discover that we are not alone in our sufferings, that there is nothing we go through that has not been gone through before and that we can make it through because others have. We discover that as we meditate on the Word and draw near to the Lord of the Word, He draws near to us. We discover that we can do all things through Christ who is able to deliver us.

When grief floods your soul, don’t wallow in its misery. Flee to the Word of God and let the Spirit guide you into its truths. Let God remind you that He is your Immanuel and that because He is with you, everything is going to be alright. The Lord will encourage you by His Word if you but let Him. Spending quality and quantity time in the Word opens up heaven’s doors and the Lord of heaven floods our souls. Let the Lord soothe your grieving heart as you meditate upon His wondrous promises.

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.

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Behind the Story of Christian Romance Best Seller, Coming Undone 5/24/2024

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by Staci Stallings

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence – Kayla

Click Above to Read/Listen to the Devotikonal

Coming Undone was a “lightning strike.” Some books are a slow slog through molasses; others seem to have a speed of their own–instantaneous.  Coming Undone was one of those.  I can tell you that the two actors who showed up at my doorstep demanding to be put in a book were Patrick Dempsey and Kathryn Heigl–and oddly enough that was before they were paired on Grey’s Anatomy.  I must have a sixth sense or something!

However, the thing I remember most about this particular book was that the end had me twisted into knots.  We were doing great until Kathryn walked away from Ben in that graveyard, and then… Well, I wasn’t at all sure what happened next.  I mean, once the reason for being thrown together is over, what next?

Worse, they both seemed determined to go on with their lives (I hate it when characters have a mind of their own!  Didn’t someone clue them in that I’M the author, so they are supposed to do what I say?).  So, here they are, both going on with their lives denying what was so patently obvious to everyone else, and I was struggling.

Even worse than that, Ben decided to go back to his old ways–you know, drinking and the fast life he had been so enamored with in the first place.  There are times as an author/counselor to these people, I just want to take them and shake them!  “Hello!  Life changing experiences just happened to you.  What are you thinking trying to go back to who you were?”  It really is funny how often and strenuously I have to have these conversations with these people I was supposed to be controlling.

In the middle of all of this, I was serving on a church team of women, and I really was struggling to make all the pieces of this thing fit.  That’s funny now, but at the time, I really didn’t see how I could get it all tied up in a neat little bow that made sense and left the reader with peace about the story.  And neither of my characters was cooperating.

During the team formation, one of the things we had to do was get a prayer partner each week.  Then you tell your partner one thing you would like them to pray for.  That week I got this sweet little old lady with flaming red hair.  She was as fun as her hair suggests.  All I could think of to ask for was help with the ending of this book.  I told her about how I was having so much trouble with it and how I’d really like to get it finished so I could move on to something else.

Honestly, she probably thought I was weird, but I’m pretty used to people thinking that by now.  So I headed into the week, figuring by the end of it I’d be no closer to finished than I was when I started.  Then, lo and behold, from out of nowhere the end hit me.  I started writing, and literally in one day it was finished–like 45 pages!  And it was perfect!

So I emailed my prayer partner to thank her.  When she emailed back, she said, “Oh, I didn’t do anything. I just said a few prayers.”  That still kind of makes me sad when I think about it.  How often do we shush up our prayer life, put it in a box, and think it can’t really make much of a difference?  Not being the shy-type about such things, I took her aside at the next meeting, gave her a big hug, and thanked her again–profusely for her prayers.

I told that her prayers were what helped me finish that book and to never again question if they made a real difference.  So never underestimate the power of your prayer or people praying you through tight scenes and frustrating sequences.  It sure came through for me in a big way on Coming Undone!

*~*

“I felt all of Ben emotions when he was dealing with the tragic situation that was going on in his life and how Kathryn always seem to know the right thing to say to comfort him, but of course that was due to her relationship with the Lord. I thought it was beautiful how Kathryn would pray for spouse even when she did not know who he was. Prayer is so amazing.”

Coming Undone

About the Author: 

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe with her various Internet and writing endeavors.

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CrossReads Book Spotligh: My Mama’s Mama Book 4 5/23/2024

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

My Mama’s Mama Book 4:

They Settled in Sitka: Finding a Person, Finding a Place

by Cheryle Coapstick

My Mama's Mama Book 4

Alaska—FAR AND AWAY

With a frozen tundra in the north, rainforest in the southeast, barren volcanic islands in the southwest, and lakes and streams in the interior, it is a land that draws those with a pioneer spirit. A land that welcomes both scoundrels and saints. Alaska—the Last Frontier.

Sitka, Alaska, USA—previously, New Archangel, Russian America—to the Tlingits, Shee. Sitka’s relationship with its various peoples and cultures is multi-faceted, emotional, and almost mystical. Who are the people who settled the wooded mountains and pristine shorelines of Sitka?

• Agrefena clings to her ten-thousand-year-old Tlingit heritage and fights against the segregation of Sitka
when she enters adulthood in the 1920s.

• Ade Bunderson travels the Midwest and South with his father until fear and courage propel him to Alaska.

• Stormy Durand runs from everything he lost in WWI and finds solace in Alaska’s wilderness.

• Father Alexi flees the Russian Revolution with his family and attempts to cross the waters to Alaska.

• Ollyanna Oskolkoff journeys from the Kenai Peninsula to Sitka to rescue her sister.

Each one’s life connects with Miss Ruth and finds through her love for this land the comfort and guidance they need while settling in Sitka.

They’ve come home!

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CrossReads Short Takes: Rebirth & The Woodbender 5/22/2024

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CrossReads Short Takes

Rebirth: The Time Guardian Series

by Q.B. Finn

Rebirth

A scientist developed a time machine to undo an abuse he experienced in his youth. Before he could accomplish this personal mission, the FBI commissioned him and his team to prevent a terrorist act in the past. Unfortunately, these two missions took a back seat to their accidental entrance into different historical events. How can they stop their time hopping, restore history to its correct setting, and return home safely? Not only are they traveling through time, but they are racing against time.

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The Woodbender

(War of the Nephilim Book 1)

by Tripp Berry

The Woodbender
Top 100 Best Seller!

What would you do if evil men came out of the dark to take the one you love?

In a time gone by, the Earth grew green, lush, and was full of violence. People competed with other people, dangerous animals, and wild dinosaurs to survive. But not Kenan Blacktree. He survived just fine as a peaceful woodbender out on the canopy edge of the great trees of Edeer.

Until the White Spiders attacked. They came for slaves and found many, including Anna. Recently betrothed to Kenan, she finds herself in the fight of her life.

Will the young people of this backwater village be able to stop the White Spiders and rescue those who were kidnapped? Will Kenan understand the reality of God Almighty? And will God help Kenan overcome overwhelming odds in battle?

Praise for The Woodbender

“This is an excellent book and HIGHLY recommended to any fantasy and SCI-FI fan. This is just a great adventure story and will leave you wanting more.” Chip, Amazon Customer

“The Woodbender far exceeded my expectations. The book is phenomenal and very difficult to put down. Plot twists throughout, exciting moments, heart wrenching moments, plenty of action, and lots of comical scenes too. It really is one of the best books I’ve read in a while.” Kendall, Amazon Customer

“The best way to describe this book is Game of Thrones meets Apocalypto. It’s a world where humans and dinosaurs co-exist, the children of angels rule over the world, and Adam and Eve are not-so-distant relatives. There is plenty of action and the story is fast-paced, making the book hard to put down.” Travis, Amazon Customer

About The Woodbender

This is book 1 in the War of the Nephilim series. This action-adventure story with biblical themes is set in ancient earth with science fantasy vibes. The series has no described sex or modern vulgarity, though uses violence in action scenes. These books are suitable for high-schoolers and older. The author recommends reading the books in order, including side adventures.

Books of the War of the Nephilim Series

  • Book 1: The Woodbender – the White Spiders attack the villages of Edeer. AVAILABLE NOW.
  • Book 2: The Storming of Blackstone Castle – Kenan, Lidai, and Wren counterattack the White Spiders. AVAILABLE NOW.
  • Book 2.5: Crimson River Yard – a side story of survival in the fighting yards of Midreer. AVAILABLE NOW.
  • Book 3: Windward on the Sea of Fire – Kenan and his friends sail the ocean to escape the Midreerian’s nets. COMING SUMMER 2024!
  • Book 3.5 Hero of Ulneer – Finally, Tadd gets his own story! COMING CHRISTMAS 2024!
  • Book 4, 5, and side adventures coming in the future!

There are three kinds of dinosaurs: those that eat plants, those that eat meat, and those that men ride to war!

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Gems From Pastor Jim 5/21/2024

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Cross

by Jim Hughes

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence – Andrew,

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CrossPs. 119:9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.

How can anyone stay pure? Note first of all that the question is not, “How can a young person become pure?” nor is it, “Can a young person even be pure?”. We are made pure before God the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. Jesus forgives all of our sins and makes us pure before God. In Christ the old nature that causes us to sin is changed into the new nature that causes us to want to not sin. We desire to please God and live under His guidance and influence.

We stay pure by obeying God’s Word and following its rules. Our unwillingness to do it hinders our growth and discolors our souls. Every time we disobey God we put a chink in our armor of purity. Disobedience darkens our soul. It impacts our relationship with God. It pulls us away from God and the farther we get from God, the less pure we become. In fact, if we are not trying to live by God’s Word, we do not have pure hearts before God; we are not His children.

In order for us to remain pure we must obey God’s Word. We must purposely strive to know God’s Word and obey it. We can’t put into practice what we don’t know. So, we must constantly stay connected with the Word. We must read it, meditate upon it, and ask the Lord to help us live it out. We won’t be able to perfectly do it, but we will be able to do it more than we won’t. Our ability to live in obedience is directly connected to the effort and time we put into studying the Word. There is no sugarcoating it. In order to stay pure before God, we must invest our lives in His Word. We must strive daily to put into practice what we know and seek to learn more.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, both now and in eternity.

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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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Faith’s Checkbook: We Dare Not Doubt 5/20/2024

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cross2

by C. H. Spurgeon

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence, Andrew

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I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. (Isaiah 45:2)

This was for Cyrus; but it is evermore the heritage of all the Lord’s own spiritual servants. Only let us go forward by faith, and our way will be cleared for us. Crooks and turns of human craft and satanic subtlety shall be straightened for us; we shall not need to track their devious windings. The gates of brass shall be broken, and the iron bars which fastened them shall be cut asunder. We shall not need the battering ram nor the crowbar: the Lord Himself will do the impossible for us, and the unexpected shall be a fact.

Let us not sit down in coward fear. Let us press onward in the path of duty, for the Lord hath said it: “I will go before thee.” Ours not to reason why; ours but to dare and dash forward. It is the Lord’s work, and He will enable us to do it: all impediments must yield before Him. Hath He not said, “I will break in pieces the gates of brass”! What can hinder His purpose or balk His decrees? Those who serve God have infinite resources. The way is clear to faith though barred to human strength. When Jehovah says, “I will,” as He does twice in this promise, we dare not doubt.

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God Works in Mysterious Ways 5/17/2024

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by Staci Stallings,

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence, Kayla,

Click Above to Read/Listen to the Devotional,

When I say that God directs my writing, I mean just that.  He decides what I write when I write it and how I write it.  Sometimes that’s very comforting, and sometimes it makes an author just a little…

Well, here’s the story.  You tell me what it would make you!

It all started when I got a fabulous idea for a book.  We’ll call this one “Original Story.”  Now, when I write, I try to immerse myself in the characters–what they are like, how they look, what they love, the kind of music they listen to.  In doing so, I download pictures off the Internet and make a soundtrack for the book.

I had started all of that, and “Original Story” was going quite well.  I had a great soundtrack because the hero was actually a member of a boy band at the time.  Pictures were going quite well also because there were lots of them available.  I had started writing and even had a couple of chapters finished.

The glitch I didn’t see coming (but I know God orchestrated) came in the form of the young lady who was my newest and most fascinated fan at the time.  She was the babysitter for my kids, and she had recently read several of my books.  So when “Original Story” started being written, she was interested.  I mean, coming in here to see the pictures, how many pages had I written, how was it going, when would it be finished interested.

Then a funny thing happened.  As she looked at the pictures, she started “falling for” one of the other guys in the band.  She kept asking me, “Yes, but what is this guy’s story?”  I gently told her that it didn’t work that way, and that I was working on “Original Story” and didn’t have time for anything else.

Well, she kept it up until just to shut her up, one day, I said, “Okay, God, if I was to write this other guy’s story, what would it be?”  Now, I had assumed God would be quiet on the matter so I could work on the story I was already working on.  I assumed wrong!

 

Upon asking the question, “To Protect & Serve” the story dropped into my lap–nearly fully formed.  I was not the picture of happiness at that moment. Now what? I was already writing a story, and it was a really good one.  But, I’ve learned, when God shows up, you don’t argue.

So within a few days I was standing in our local fire department that’s only a couple miles from my house—about as far out of my comfort zone as I could get, learning all kinds of new things like the best way to cut roof-vents on houses that are burning down under you and where the pickax is stored on the truck, how turnout gear is laid out so you can get into it quickly and the importance of a little thing called a PASS.

That story, “To Protect & Serve” became the first of the three stories in The Courage Series (followed by “White Knight” and then “For Real.”)

I’m hoping someday I will finish “Original Story.”  It’s now been 11 years, and I’m still working on it.  Don’t ask me.  I’m just along for the ride!

To Protect and to Serve

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe with her various Internet and writing endeavors.

 

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: FILLED WITH ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD 5/16/2024

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

FILLED WITH ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD

The Realm of Limitless Miracles

by Michael Yeager

FILLED WITH ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD

In “Filled with All the Fulness of God: The Realm of Limitless Miracles,” readers are invited on a transformative journey into the depths of what it truly means to be inhabited by THE FULNESS OF GOD. The promises of the Bible transcend the confines of human comprehension, none more profound than the declaration by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians that God yearns for believers to be filled with His very fullness. Paul assures us that through God’s exceedingly great power, this isn’t merely an aspirational goal but it can be a tangible reality in Jesus Christ.

This book is not a mere theoretical exploration; it is a road map built on the bedrock of the author’s personal experiences. Dr. Michael H. Yeager delves into the practicalities of how believers can achieve this divine fullness, sharing experiences and lessons learned from his own spiritual journey. Each page is infused with wisdom on how to tap into this limitless realm—a place where miracles aren’t sporadic occurrences but everyday happenings.

By embracing the teachings and insights presented in this powerful book, you are not just reading about miracles—you are preparing your life to be a conduit for the extraordinary. Step into the realm where the boundaries of God’s capacity meet human faith, and discover how to live your life filled with the fullness of God.

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CrossReads Short Takes: JESUS IS BETTER THAN PORN & Desire of the Heart 5/15/2024

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CrossReads Short Takes

JESUS IS BETTER THAN PORN

How I Confessed my Addiction to My Wife and Found a New Life

by Hugh Houston

JESUS IS BETTER THAN PORN

 

You can break free from porn and find a new life. Apply practical strategies and escape the hamster wheel of compulsive pornography use.
Get the inspiration, motivation and information you have been looking for as you begin your journey to the LIGHT. Honest, hard-hitting, helpful and hopeful! This story of one man’s courageous battle against lust and pornography shows how a Christian (even a pastor) can be trapped in the darkness, feeling isolated and afraid to ask for help. Yet Hugh’s story of heartbreak, humility and trusting in Christ shows how God offers new life.

When Hugh finally confessed his secret double life to his wife of 30 years, it almost destroyed her. Yet out of this terrible pain, the Lord brought forgiveness and healing. Their marriage today is stronger than ever! This can be your story too! There is HOPE for anyone enslaved by sin, because Jesus came to set the captives free.

  • Learn how to fight lies with the truth.
  • See how you can take control of your thoughts and your mind.
  • Begin using your own personal “Battle Plan” today.
  • Practice intentional living. Your life can be different.
  • God has already provided you with everything you need for your new life.
  • Use the discussion questions at the end of each chapter with your group.

A Certified Partner Coach wrote: “During the past 17 years, I’ve read countless books on the topic of secretive sexual behaviors. Few offer as much humble-yet-helpful wisdom as this book by lifelong missionary, Hugh Houston.”

Get your copy today by clicking on the BUY NOW button at the top of this page.

Jesus is so much better than porn!

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Desire of the Heart

(Yellowstone Series Book 1)

by Anne Perreault

Desire of the Heart

It all started with a hike…

Cady Jackson’s vacation plans were simple. Go to Yellowstone National Park, enjoy the scenery, take lots of pictures. She and her cousin, Ashley, have grown up in a strict, conservative Christian family in upstate New York. Cady has never been encouraged to spread her wings. This trip is an opportunity to do so. Only, she doesn’t know how much her life is about to change when she has an unfortunate encounter in the middle of nowhere. Why would God take a personal interest in someone like her?

Grant McClintoch generally loves his job as a ranger in the oldest national park in the country. That it includes rescuing stranded visitors to the park is unfortunate. He has been trying to rebuild his life after it had nearly been destroyed. Grant doesn’t realize that God isn’t done with him yet when he stumbles onto an injured hiker. But can he place his past in God’s capable hands where it belongs?

© Anne Perreault 2020, All Rights Reserved

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