Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Defined by the Fruit

When I spoke at camp, I asked the daughters and moms to give examples of
how we incorporate the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. 
One young girl reminded all of us 
how important it is, whether anyone is watching or not, to be kind.

Character, for believers, is defined by the Fruit of the Spirit.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Suspense Review: Fatal Forensic Investigation by Darlene L. Turner

Book Description:
Remembering a serial killer’s face…could be deadly

While interviewing the Coastline Strangler’s only surviving victim, forensic artist Scarlet Wells is attacked and left with amnesia. Now she’s his next mark and has no choice but to work with constable Jace Allen to unlock the criminal’s true identity trapped in her mind. Will they be able to recover the hidden memory and hunt down the killer before he strikes again?

My Thoughts:
If you enjoy fast paced, sit on the edge of your seat stories, you'll want to read Fatal Forensic Investigation. Yes, there is a serial killer and he's after the woman who he thinks can identify him, but she can't. She has lost her memory, including the memories she has from college of constable Jace Allen. As the two take on this madman, they find themselves attracted to each other, but more important, they discover a faith they thought they had lost. Turner weaves a wonderful spiritual thread through the story as these characters face insurmountable situations.  I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Fruit not Fruits

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The fruit of the Spirit isn’t fruits.

By the time you read this, I will have talked to a group of moms and daughters at Woodland Lakes Christian Camp. A while back, Amy, the director of Mother/Daughter camp asked me if I would put together a devotion to share about the fruit of the Spirit.

As I’ve searched for the words and examples to share, I remembered my realization that the “fruit” is not “fruits.” As a child I thought the word was plural, like there were nine different fruits standing on their own. As an adult, I realized I was wrong.

Now I see the fruit of the Spirit like an apple. When I purchase an apple at the grocery store or orchard, I have one whole piece of fruit in my hand. I bring it home and cut it into pieces. Is the apple multiple fruits now? No it’s still one apple, just with several slices.

The fruit of the Spirit is like the apple, one fruit with many pieces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all part of the same fruit. As a follower of Jesus, I need to nurture all aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. If I seek peace and joy, without kindness, my fruit spoils. If I try to be good and faithful, but lose my self-control, my fruit rots. God has given his children this amazing gift through the Holy Spirit, and I long to embrace all the fruit and make them a constant in my life.

God calls His children to live with all nine segments of fruit. He knows the world needs all of these and as Christians we are the ones to inject love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control into all aspects of our lives.

Take the challenge to actively live by the fruit of the Spirit and share God’s gift with the world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Timing of Our Lives

I love watching my flowers bloom throughout the spring and summer.
The perennials sprout and bud every year.
My first cone flower opened right on schedule.

God knows when each petal will unfold.
If He knows this about the flowers, how much more can we trust Him to know 
the timing for our lives?


 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Faith in the Fire

Daniel 3:16-18
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

The thermometer in the car screamed 102 degrees. 

In southwest Ohio, the temperatures are registering in the high nineties. We’ve had storms and electric out. My daughter’s family had no electric for almost twenty-four hours. So what did we do? We gathered at the pool and stayed cool. I am thankful we live in a place where I have the opportunity to swim with my kids and grands. When we left, Sara’s car registered 102.

In all of my almost 65 years, I’ve only had central air since we moved into the condo almost eight years ago. Up to then, I dealt with the heat in whatever way I could. Let’s just say, I’m not a summer person, especially in this heat. But I know as the seasons do, this will pass and before long cooler weather will grace Ohio.

During this oppressive heat, I’ve been reading the book of Daniel, and you can imagine my thoughts on the fiery furnace. Without reservation those brave young men, Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego, did not fear the heat. They put their lives and hearts in God’s hands. That’s called faith.

We have a lot of negatives going on in our country and in the world. I can imagine the Christians in Ukraine are holding on to their faith for dear life. I love this line in Daniel: “the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know...  we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” These men believed God would deliver them, but even if He didn’t, they continued to have faith in the God they served even if He didn’t save them. They trusted God with their lives and knew He held their future in His hands.

I wonder if I have the faith they did. Can I keep the faith regardless of my circumstances? I pray the answer is yes. I want faith like the men in Daniel. A faith without doubt. I pray God strengthens my faith as I continue on my life’s path.

Have faith, God will see you through.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Do I Show Others Grace and Love?

I've mentioned one of my favorite quotes before:
"You are your words."
What comes out of my mouth should be glorifying God.
Does it always? 
Nope, because I'm human, and I don't always think before I speak.
Then I seek forgiveness and try harder.

As much as my words might influence people 
my actions speak so much louder.
How do I behave when I think no one is watching? 
(Oh, that's right, God is watching)
And so are my family, friends, and anyone else I might be around.

I pray my life shows others God's grace and love, every day.



 

Monday, June 13, 2022

New Fiona Books

Fiona is back with two delightful stories for beginning readers. On the train, the animals get to travel through the zoo on their way to meet the baby red panda. In school, the animals get to teach each other about something important to them. With humor and comradery Cowdrey and Wu have created books kids will enjoy. The illustrations are colorful and appealing. 

 

Fiona's Train Ride by Richard Cowdrey with Donald Wu

Fiona wants to visit the new baby red panda, but it is so far! What better way to get around the zoo than the fun and fast zoo train. Young readers will enjoy learning more about Fiona and her friends in this Level One I Can Read about the little hippo that has captured hearts around the world with her inspiring story and plucky personality. 

Fiona Goes to School by Richard Cowdrey with Donald Wu

Fiona and a few of her animal friends attend zoo school for the very first time and find out just how fun it is to learn new things in the classroom. Young readers will enjoy learning more about Fiona and her friends in this Level One I Can Read about the little hippo that has captured hearts around the world with her inspiring story and plucky personality. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Are you Available?

3 John 1:2-4
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

"God does not depend on our abilitiesHe depends on our availability." -Jay Henry

As a camper at Butler Springs Christian Assembly in the 1970s, I heard many missionaries speak. Then in some of the churches I attended, the same servants of God came to share their story. One I remember well, Jay Henry, has moved full circle through many years of service. On Sunday, our minister invited Jay to the stage. This wonderful, faithful servant shared that he had stepped down and turned the mission work over to his son and grandson, even though he will still be a part of it. He's blessed many lives in India for Jesus as he has shown up and done the work. The quote I posted above, that Jay shared, spoke to me.

Yes, God gifts each of us with abilities, but rather than depend on the ability itself, God depends on His people to be available. I find this in my writing. God may have blessed me with a gift for writing, but without showing up and putting in the work, where would the writing be? If I don't put my fingers on the keyboard and use the talent God gives me, the talent will die and the audience He gave me won't be blessed.

The apostle John wrote a letter to one of his friends in his third book. He thanked his friend, Gaius, for being faithful and sharing his walk with other believers. A couple of things I love about this passageJohn tells Gaius he hopes his health is good, including his spiritual well-being. Faithfulness to God results in a healthy soul because that faithfulness includes walking in the truth, the second idea I love.

As I do my best to walk in God's truth and show up as a faithful servant, I pray God blesses my availability with ability. Whatever ability God has given, whether speaking, encouraging, hospitality, or many others, show up and He'll provide.

Seek God first and be faithful.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Because God Is

The discipline of thanking God for His blessings ignites joy!
-Didi Bacon

I like the meme going around social media that
talks about instead of dreading chores be thankful:
I have to clean-that means I have a home
I have dishes to do-that means I have food
I have work to do-that means I have a job.
You get the picture.

It's all a matter of an attitude of gratitude
that creates a joy filled heart.

Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!
Philippians 4:4


 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Suspense Book Review: Among the Innocent by Mary Alford

Book Description:
When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths.

As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can't help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah--and Dalton--when the full truth comes to light?

USA Today bestselling author Mary Alford keeps you guessing as two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future--together.

My Thoughts:
If you like the television show, Criminal Minds, you would enjoy Among the Innocent. From my viewpoint, the book has too much graphic violence, and I struggled with being in the protagonist's point of view because he is so deranged, however, the story line is interesting and compelling, and the faith thread is strong. I finished reading the story because I wanted to know what happened to Leah and Dalton. The emotion Alford writes into her characters goes deep and the story line intense. If you enjoy feverishly suspenseful stories with romance, this may be the book for you. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

The Best News

Romans 8:37-39
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I can't even comprehend how much God loves me.

If you've ever had a pet who is part of your family, you know how much you love them. Our Rosie May is a family dog, not just for Tim and me, but also for our children and grandchildren to enjoy and learn from. When we drove her home from my niece's house, we circled around to let her meet our grandchildren. Of course she was a wee pup then. Now she's almost full grown as a seven-month-old and has integrated into our lives as if she's always been here.

In those few months she's lived with us, she's shown her loyalty, but she's also chewed on a book, shredded papers, and had accidents in the house (thankfully just a few.) Yes, I get frustrated, but no matter what, I love our beautiful, kind-hearted, caring pup. She's part of our family, and I know she loves us.

Everyone wants to be loved, and I have good news, great news really. In Romans, the writer shares the amazing promise of God's continuous love. Once I chose to follow Jesus and believe His truth, God has poured out his love on me. Yes, I make mistakes, I sin, and at times I've doubted, but His love draws me back in. Nothing will separate believers, from the love of their Father, God. Nothing. I stand amazed at the love the Father pours over His family.

He calls every person to Him. He wants everyone to acknowledge Him as God. God loves and wants everyone to love Him back.

Seek Him and discover the most incredible love you'll ever experience.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Next Chapter

As a writer, I consider what goes into each chapter of a book.
As I edit and make the words work, 
the characters develop and lead the way through their story.

As a Christian, God knows what my next chapter is,
but because He allows me to have free will, 
He knows I'll make mistakes, even when I try my best.

In my desire to seek God's will, I trust Him
because He knows my future, and 
He gives me courage, grace, strength, and wisdom
each time I turn the page.


 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Part of the Freedom

Romans 5:3-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 

I fell down, but I got back up.

No, I didn't actually fall to the ground, but so many times I've fallen in my walk with Jesus.

One of the last days of school this year, I helped in my daughter's first grade class. We stood in the hallway waiting for the children to finish their bathroom break, and one of the little ones had done something they shouldn't. I witnessed the most wonderful conversation. The child's sorrowful face dripped a few tears and my daughter leaned near and asked, "I appreciate that you are sorry for what happened, but what did you learn? We all make mistakes, but most important is to learn from them and do better next time. Don't let one mistake ruin your day."

I'd actually been thinking about this topic recently in reference to my writing. I can sit and cringe over the mistakes I make, or I can learn from them, and move forward. One of my book signings didn't go exactly the way I had hoped, but now I know what to do to make the experience better next time. I could have stewed about it, but I chose to see the whole picture, and know this is a lesson learned.

Confession time, I sin and make mistakes even though I'm a Christian. I'm not perfect, but thank goodness Jesus is. If I stew in past mistakes instead of looking at myself as a forgiven soul, my spiritual life will wither and die. Instead, I have to let go, seek forgiveness, re-evaluate, apply what I learned, forgive myself, and keep moving forward as God intends.

Romans reminds me to persevere, finish my work, and move toward maturity in Christ. I want to take those teachable moments like my daughter did and apply them to my life, so I grow in my walk with Jesus and not sit in my own mess. God is the God of second chances, He calls his followers to seek forgiveness and try again. That's part of the freedom I have in being a disciple of Jesus.

Seek the lesson to be learned and keep moving forward.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Butterfly

One thing the children in my daughter's class love to watch 
is a caterpillar's process of spinning a chrysalis, 
sleeping for a time, and emerging a butterfly.

God created those lumpy, bumpy caterpillars 
to go through a metamorphic change
and come out graceful and colorful creatures.

As I've gotten older and hopefully wiser, 
I realize that the dark times I've gone through
have helped me learn to rely on God more 
and be a kinder, more loving person in the end.

I may not be a graceful butterfly, 
but I am a child of God covered by His grace.



 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

So Did I

Ephesians 2:8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

My columbine cross-pollinated.

When I first planted columbine in my flower garden, I started with one or two plants. I had grown the old-fashioned ones for years, but when I moved, I failed to take them with me. Eventually, I gathered starts of white and purple from my siblings and added a pretty blue one. With their pops of color and lacey leaves, they add bursts of joy to my plot. As the spring flowers bloom, I'm reminded once again of God's handiwork.

Last year as I perused the early blossoms, I noticed a change in one of the columbine plants. The white ones generally have a multi-petaled bloom, while the purple and blue produce more of a bell shape with tiny curls on the edges. When I focused the camera on one of the white blossoms, I noticed it had a bell shape, too. The white had cross-pollinated with one of the other plants and created a delicate white bell with curls.

I'm fascinated by the work of God in nature. Of course this discovery got me thinking. When I as a human "cross-pollinate" with the grace God offers, I become a different person. I'm no longer relying on myself. Instead, I'm a child of God who relies on my heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Through Him my soul reaches a level of beauty I could not imagine possible.

Just as the white columbine changed and blossomed, so did I when I surrendered my life to Jesus. He has a good work for me to do and when I mesh the abilities and desires God has given me with his grace and forgiveness, I'm a new creation who by what I do, brings glory to my Father. I thank God for His grace and mercy and for the chance to make a difference.

Praise God for Jesus and for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Work of Heart

I enjoy growing herbs and flowers in my tiny garden.
One of my favorite flowers that greets me each spring is the columbine.
I planted purple, white, and blue, and I plan to add pink.
They're all unique, and each one adds beauty to my little plot.

Each person is a work of heart, like the flowers.
God creates us in the womb and breathes life into us.
Each person is unique and has the potential to add beauty to the world.


 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Enter to Win!!!



I am excited to announce my book, Home Where She Belongs, is part of the Basketful of Books Giveaway. This giveaway runs 5/16 through 5/21, and the prize consists of twelve Christian books. The 1st place winner will receive all twelve books (authors' choice of format) and the 2nd place winner will receive three books (authors' choice of format) of their choosing. A variety of genres, from fantasy to historical romance to suspense and more, are featured.

You can enter to win here:

#basketfulofbooks #christianbookgiveaway #readingcommunity #freebooks


 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Find the Tunnel

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.

Can you hold your breath through a tunnel?

On vacation or road trips, I remember a game where we tried to hold our breath while we crossed a bridge or drove through a tunnel. I think that was our parents' way of getting us quiet for a few minutes. Oh, wait, I was the parent, and yes, it was the perfect game for a moment of peace.

In my travels, I've never been a fan of crossing bridges, especially long ones. I remember on one trip we drove across a long curving bridge over water, and my stomach turned into ball of nerves. On other trips, we've traveled through tunnels, and I loved them. When Hannah lived in the Carolina's we drove through a couple of long tunnels that snaked under mountains, and I was always excited to see the light at the other end. There's something about the anticipation of seeing daylight shine on the way out.

While riding through a tunnel in a car with headlights can be fun, navigating life in the dark isn't. Depression, illness, sorrow, pain, and sin can all cause darkness to swallow the light. But I have good news. Jesus' light outshines all the darkness in the world.

For many years, I struggled with anxiety and some depression, but Jesus didn't leave me there. He guided me to find a doctor who could help, he answered prayers, and gave me hope. But in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I first had to find the tunnel. God's word, His voice of truth, lit my way through the place I needed to walk. On the other end, I found joy and hope.

Maybe you know the way to the tunnel that provides light, but haven't driven there yet. Maybe you're in the tunnel and well on your way to the light. Maybe you've missed the tunnel altogether. No matter what, keep moving toward Jesus and seek His light. He loves every one of us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Hope of Spring!

One of my favorite signs of spring blooms in early May.

The dogwood offers her showy blossoms in white and pink. 
If you know me, you know I love pink.

God has given us so many beautiful plants, 
and they bring joy to my heart and hope to my soul.

As the creator of all things, He gave us beauty to encourage and lift our hearts.

When you see the glory of spring, have hope!


 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Fiction Review: When the Meadow Blooms by Ann H. Gabhart

Book Description:
If any place on God's earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law's Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past--the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls' experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, hope blooms as their past troubles become rich soil in which their faith can grow.

Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother's widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again. But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.

My Thoughts:
I so connected with Rose's daughter Sienna. What a delightful child! I loved how she saw the wonder in everything. Calla, too. She was so conscientious and caring. As I read along and found out more about Meadowland, I wanted to live there. Gabhart took the heartbreak and suffering of Rose and Dirk and created a beautiful story of healing and hope, spun with a bit of mystery. If you enjoy a good story driven by strong characters with an amazing setting and a satisfying ending, you'll want to read Where the Meadow Blooms. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

See the Need

Philippians 2:1-4
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

I love the song by For King and Country called Relate. They asked the question of how we relate to a variety of people, and that we all experience heartache and joy even if it is in different ways.

When I worked at the college library, I met a lot of people who were different than me. Yet we all had many things in common. We all experienced heartache, joy, anxiety, stress, love, hope, and the list could go on. Our lives were varied, yet we could relate to one another in some way.

I remember a student who visited the library daily. He saw the world through a different lens than most of us. He didn't like his routine to be interrupted, and he wanted to sit at the same computer and stay on the track he created for himself. Fortunately for me, I got to know him and found he cared about life as much as I did. He may not have functioned the same as me, but he had similar feelings, dreams, and experiences.

In Philippians, Paul has written a letter to the church in Philippi. He is simply asking them to see each other through God's eyes as valuable contributors to the Kingdom of God. As a believer, I know God has called me to love others, to see souls, and to encourage where I can no matter who God places in my path. He asks me to be humble and place others burdens before mine. In our busy world, it's not easy to stay focused on the needs of others, but God wants me to cherish others and seek to help in any way I can.

Look beyond the outside of people, see them with God's eyes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

See the Soul

Last week I posted a photo of the lily-of-the-valley,
still green, without full blooms.
A few days later, I caught this picture of the beautiful white bells.

What if I'd only noticed this sweet plant in all its glory, 
with bells on and beautiful.
I would have missed the wonderment of the stages of growth.

I love the words "If only we saw souls." 
I would see the heart of the person,
the stages of growth, or the need for encouragement.
I'd see the worth and the beauty of a soul struggling to make it through the day,
or the soul who reaches out and lifts others up.

Seek to look at the soul and see the true beauty.


 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Ode to Olive

Losing a pet is hard. 
This little lady came to live with us when she was about six or seven years old.
By then she'd had several litters of puppies 
and been abandoned with her last litter of eight.

She was a survivor, determined to be a good mom, 
as she journeyed to a neighbor's farm
and ate cat food, then she would return to her pups and nurse them.
The farmer with the cat food followed her one day 
and found she'd been left behind, to fend for herself.
His sister took Olive to a dog rescue. 
After needed surgeries, Olive went up for adoption. 
By the time we met her at Petsmart, all her puppies 
but one were adopted. 
We fell in love with this cranky little dog 
and shared a home with her for more than eight years. 
We'll miss the clip-clop of her toes on the floor and her funny bark. 

Olive taught us to be patient and to share.
She loved eating toast with me :)

Is having a pet worth the grief you feel when they pass on? 
Yes, it is. 
RIP Miss Olive.


 

Contemporary Romance Review: What Remains True by Nancy Naigle

Book Description:
Working at a little shop on Main Street in a small town is exactly the break that executive Merry Anna Foster needs following her divorce. She’s made a bet with her ex-husband that she can live on the amount of money she’s giving him in alimony. If she can do it, then Kevin will have to stop complaining and leave her alone. But after three months of this new life, will she even want to leave Antler Creek? 

Adam Lockwood, bull rider and owner of the local feedstore, is having the best year of his rodeo career. He’s also a bit distracted by the pretty new neighbor living in his old bunkhouse. But Adam has no time for matters of the heart. He’s got his future all mapped out, and that future doesn’t involve a woman just yet. It doesn’t involve parenting a little girl either. However, Carly Fowler still suddenly leaves five-year-old Zan—the daughter Adam didn’t know he had—in his care. 

Is it possible that the future holds a life even better than what Merry Anna and Adam had each dreamed of? One that includes both tenderness and even love—not just for each other but for Zan too.

My Thoughts:
A story of second chances, folks who take care of each other, and small-town charm are at the heart of What Remains True. Merry Anna (I love her name) sets out to figure out her life after she steps away from the family business and the man who broke her heart. She lands in a charming town with people who want the best for her. Adam is dead set on making his mark on the rodeo circuit, but when he finds out he may have a daughter, his life is turned upside down. I love that Merry Anna's determination to try new things gives her courage as she learns to stand up for herself, and the way Zan wraps Adam around her heart. If you enjoy a sweet romance set in a small town, this one is for you. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Called Into Light

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 

When I was a child, I was afraid of the dark.

My neighbors, cousins, and I played outside and caught fireflies. We played hide and seek while the adults chatted in their lawn chairs, and the light shined from the porch. I felt safe as long as a glow shined over the yard, and the sound of grown-up voices echoed through the air.

When the cousins, aunts, uncles, and neighbors left for home, the dark overwhelmed me. The porch light clicked off, and I made a bee line for the house. Even as a young adult, I didn't like being outside by myself in the dark cover of night.

As I've grown older, I've learned to appreciate the light of night, the stars overhead, and the moon, for those lights shine through the darkness.

As a believer and follower of Jesus, I'm called to God's light. He doesn't want me to be afraid of the dark or stay in the shadows. The King of Kings has called me to step out of the gloom and doom of the world and step into the beautiful, wonderful light of grace. God calls his children his special possession, a people he encourages, and loves. He guards our hearts and radiates His light as a guide away from the dark corners of the world.

My family experienced a great amount of loss the first three months of the year. Times were dark and sad. We clung to each other and to God, and His light and love have carried us through. Some days will still be rough, but peace comes from knowing the One who created the sun and moon and calls us to His light.

Seek God's light as He calls your name.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Book Launch Party with Prizes!

I hope you'll join me on Friday evening! 
I'll be giving away a signed copy of 
Home Where She Belongs, a fun book tote, 
and my publisher is giving away a $25 gift card.

Click the Zoom Link to join.


 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Peace in Difficulties

Life is hard sometimes. 
Being a believer in God, a follower of Jesus, and receiver of the Holy Spirit
equips me with the tools I need to navigate this crazy life.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
 James 1:2-3

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11


 

Monday, April 25, 2022

Book Review: Once Upon A Wardrobe by Patti Callahan

Book Description:
Megs Devonshire sets out to fulfill her younger brother George's last wish by uncovering the truth behind his favorite story. The answer provides hope and healing and a magical journey for anyone whose life has ever been changed by a book.

1950: Margaret Devonshire (Megs) is a seventeen-year-old student of

mathematics and physics at Oxford University. When her beloved eight-year-old brother asks Megs if Narnia is real, logical Megs tells him it’s just a book for children, and certainly not true. Homebound due to his illness, and remaining fixated on his favorite books, George presses her to ask the author of the recently released novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a question: “Where did Narnia come from?”

Despite her fear about approaching the famous author, who is a professor at her school, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with C.S. Lewis and his own brother Warnie, begging them for answers.

Rather than directly telling her where Narnia came from, Lewis encourages Megs to form her own conclusion as he slowly tells her the little-known stories from his own life that led to his inspiration. As she takes these stories home to George, the little boy travels farther in his imagination than he ever could in real life.

Lewis’s answers will reveal to Megs and her family many truths that science and math cannot, and the gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope.

My Thoughts:
Once Upon a Wardrobe took me on the most amazing journey along with Megs and her endearing brother George. What a wonderful visit with C.S. Lewis and his brother Warnie. It's 1950 and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has just been published and eight-year-old George requires answers to the questions he has about Narnia and Aslam, and Megs is determined to find them. Patti Callahan has penned a beautiful work of art with her storytelling, characters, and adaptation of C.S. Lewis world in Oxford. If you are a fan of Lewis, Narnia, or excellent literature, you'll love this story. I plan to read it again and to read Callahan's Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I highly recommend this lovely story. 5+ stars. I purchased my copy.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

One More Week!

Oh Wow! It's only one week until release day!
If you have preordered, your book should arrive on May 1 or soon after.

Deborah Raney was kind enough to read
Home Where She Belongs and share an endorsement.
If you haven't read her books, check out her stories. They are wonderful!



 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

A Season of Singing

 Song of Solomon 2:11-12

See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.

Raindrops glistened on tulips.

There is something about a flower garden just after the rain that brings joy to my soul. Whether the fresh smell of earth, or the magnification of the colors against the muted sky, the beauty of God's creation fills me with gratitude. I love the way the tulip blossoms cup above the stem. Each petal appears satiny soft. Beyond the simplicity of the outside, God created an incredible system inside the plant that assists in growth so the flowers return year after year.

Some of my friends are still experiencing snow where they live, and I'm sure they look forward to the rains and flowers. Even in southwest Ohio in mid-April, cold air lingers and weather folks speak of the threat of snowflakes. Yet, as the weather changes the flowers remain. They huddle to fight off the cold and stand against the storm until the time of singing returns. Much like believers. We need to stand together and show the world the love of our Lord and King.

I rejoice and glorify Him as color returns and fragrance bursts from flowers. In my tiny garden the daffodils nod their heads and the tulips stand tall. When I see the beauty of the spring flowers, I'm reminded of what is to come. Solomon calls the time after winter a season of singing. Birds chirp and tweet; just today I heard a robin's song.

As lovely as the spring blooms are, imagine the glorious beauty that awaits us in heaven. There will surely be a season of singing when the heavens open and time on this old earth is finished.

Take time to enjoy spring and sing praises to the King!