Friday, May 24, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: A story about a mother's prayer and a miracle!


A Mother’s Prayer

A devotional by Heather Martin

“And this is the confidence we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” –1 John 5:14 (NIV)

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”
 –Psalm 34:7 (NIV)

Seems like I have heard this story my entire life, on several occasions, but somehow, I never get tired of hearing her tell it, so I’ll share it with you.

It was 1960. She was 18 years old and newly married. She didn’t belong to any church and wasn’t super religious, but she knew how to pray.

She gave birth to her first child, a son, and she fell in love with this chubby little boy instantly. With a fat face, red cheeks, and sandy hair, he was perfect!

At around six months old, she noticed he wasn’t feeling very well. He had a fever. After doing all she could to help him get better, she decided it was best to take him to the hospital.

When she arrived at the hospital, they ran tests and decided to rush him to an isolation unit because he was contagious with something called spinal meningitis. Spinal meningitis is an infection of the fluid and membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Once infection starts it can spread rapidly throughout the body. If untreated, it can cause brain damage in a matter of hours and can be fatal within 24 hours.

Although she didn’t understand it all fully and had never heard of this disease, she felt in her heart that he would get better. However, as the weeks in the hospital passed, she began to lose hope. Would he ever get well? She was exhausted, barely sleeping, and never wanting to leave her baby at the hospital alone.

One day a nurse convinced her that everything would be okay and to just go home to take a shower. So she did, and no sooner than she stepped out of the tub, the phone was ringing. It was the doctor on the other line telling her that if she wanted to say goodbye to her baby, she’d better hurry back to the hospital.

Her in-laws drove her to the hospital, and when they arrived the doctors began to ask if there was a family plot and where her baby would be buried. He was hardly breathing, couldn’t move, couldn’t cry, so sick and he seemed as if he was about to take his last breath.

They removed all the IVs and his little body looked so limp and lifeless. They rolled his bed out into the hallway and she followed, leaving the doctors and her in-laws in the room to talk about the funeral.

While in the hallway, the only prayer she remember saying was “Lord don’t let my baby die.” Before she finished this prayer, she says it was like something out of the movies, a cloud of white smoke appeared and the hospital hallway doors swung open. A man she’d never seen came through doors and touched her baby then disappeared.

Her baby began to cry and scream and look up at her! He was full of life in seconds! The doctors came running out of the room to see what had happened. She was in a daze because she herself was stunned at what just happened. God had sent an angel to touch her baby and heal him.

The doctors were in disbelief, so they ran tests and told her that she could probably expect him to be mentally delayed and not live a productive life. Well, 59 years later, and my Mother still reminds my only brother George to live the right life because when she prayed, God saved him by the touch of an angel.

Maybe you’ve been praying for something to happen and given up hope today. Maybe you’ve never prayed or not sure if you believe in prayer. Maybe you pray, but you don’t really believe that anything will happen.

Whatever the circumstance, I hope this story inspires you to pray and watch God give you a testimony to tell for years to come.

~*~
Author Bio:
Heather Martin was born the last of six siblings in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was raised by an amazing single mother (Rebecca Trotter) and was taught at an early age to love God and how to sing! 

She graduated from Oakwood University with a Bachelors Degree in Language Arts Education and later received a Master’s Degree in Education from Kaplan University.

Shortly after graduating she followed God’s call to minister. She joined the Stellar, Dove, and Grammy-nominated gospel group Virtue, which was founded by her two older sisters Ebony Holland and Karima Kibble several years prior. Virtue has used their talents to spread the love of God across the world! They have recorded 7 studio albums and have been the recipients of numerous awards.

God has not only blessed Heather professionally, but personally. She met her husband, Dr. Colin Martin, and they have been married for 14 years. They have four children: Colin Jr. 11, Harper 10, Clark, 7, and Charleston 5. In 2016 Heather started an online blog and vegan and allergen-friendly cooking channel called “Chef Mommy.” Heather (Chef Mommy) has cooked with numerous celebrities and top chefs to spread the news of healthy cooking and lifestyle.

In addition to this busy schedule, Heather enjoys, running, reading, writing and spending time with her family.

~*~
Connect with Heather:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherTMartin
Instagram for Heather: https://www.instagram.com/thechefmommy/
Instagram for Virtue (Heather’s singing group): https://www.instagram.com/virtuegirls
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chefmommyhm

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thankful Thursdays: My Birthday!


It’s Thursday and I’m thankful that today (May 23) is my birthday!

I am grateful that God allowed me to see another year of life.

Life is filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, joys and tragedies but one thing remains: God is Good and His Love for us remains forever true and unconditional throughout eternity!

Looking back over my life thus far, I wouldn’t change anything because all of these moments – good and bad – led me to the life I have today. Nothing is always perfect here on Earth but there’s so much to be thankful for and I praise God for ALL He’s done and continues to do for me and all of the wonderful people that He’s placed in my life.

Earlier this week, my Mom celebrated my birthday with me by treating me to a peppermint pedicure and manicure at our favorite day spa then she paid for an early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants where she tipped the waiters that it was my birthday celebration, so they sung the “Happy Birthday” song to me. Yesterday, my Dad treated me to a brunch at a local old-fashioned diner. I enjoyed my favorite breakfast meal there – Banana Stuffed French Toast and scrambled eggs. The diner does the whole “farm to table” approach to dining so the food there always tastes so fresh and delicious.

Earlier today, I received a birthday card from my brother and sister-in-law with really sweet wording and a gift certificate to my favorite day spa.

All throughout this day, my family and friends who are on Facebook have posted all sorts of sweet and fun "Happy Birthday" notes on my wall. Loved ones have sent text messages to my personal phone to wish me a “Happy Birthday” too! It’s been a full day filled with showers of blessings from God and the people who care about me.

I truly feel blessed to have the people who are in my life as part of my story.

I hope and pray that you will spend time thinking about what you’re thankful for then share in the comments below.

May the good Lord our God bless you and keep you!

Love,

Alexis A. Goring
Founder of “God is Love” blog

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: How to tell the gospel story of Jesus Christ


Tell the Story

A devotional by Carrie Del Pizzo


“As for us, we can’t stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
~Acts 4:20 (CEB)

The Apostles amaze me. In Acts chapter 4, Peter and John were telling folks about Jesus when they were picked up by the temple guard. The high priest and the Pharisees thought they had solved that Jesus problem when they had him killed, but He was like a bad penny. He always turned up.

So they started arresting people who followed Him. Peter and John were brought before the temple leaders and told very clearly to stop it. Stop telling people about Jesus.

Peter and John’s response is just as clear. Can’t do it. Actually, in the previous verse, they tell the Pharisees, “We’ll let you figure out if we should obey God or you.” Ouch. And then they continue on to say that they can’t stop speaking.

Sometimes I read this and wonder what I’m supposed to do. Should I tell my neighbor about Jesus? What about the cashier at the grocery store? Am I supposed to stop all those cars driving by?

Yes, we should be sharing Jesus with those around us, but I don’t think we need to endanger ourselves. (Especially since the road by my house is a highway.) But I did see someone who “can’t stop speaking” and I think he makes a pretty good modern-day example.

My family recently watched The Greatest Showman (movie) about the life of P.T. Barnum. If you like music, even a little bit, this is a very entertaining movie. I also came across an interview with Hugh Jackman, the star of the film, and Michael Gracey, the director. They tell the story of trying to get the green light to make the movie.

After eight months of work, they got all the studios executives, money people, and decision makers in one room so they could read and sing through the entire script. But the day before, Mr. Jackman had a spot of skin cancer removed from his nose. Because of his eighty stitches, the doctor said, “No singing.”

So, he had to let someone else do his singing for him. He read his lines, acted and gestured, but no singing. Until the song “From Now On.” It was the big number near the end. Like every good story, the main character, P.T. Barnum, stumbled and struggled. But in this scene, he learns from his mistakes and decides to make a change.

The song is very encouraging and moving. So moving, in fact, that Mr. Jackman can’t stop singing. Oh, he tried. Hands on hips, lips pursed, he shakes his head as though telling himself not to do it. But he just can’t hold it in. When he finally opens his mouth, he sings with unbridled passion, the rest of the cast cheers him on, and the room fires up with energy.

Yes, Hugh Jackman is a professional who is well paid for his moving performances. But in that critical workshop, when the entire movie was on the line, this man believed so much in the story they were telling that he could not stop himself from laying it all out there.

At the end of the clip, Mr. Jackman discovers blood trickling down his nose, and the next day he was back in his doctor’s office to get the popped stitches repaired. But from the smile on his face, I’m guessing he didn’t regret his decision for a minute.

And that’s how we need to be about Jesus. We don’t need to stop traffic or strike up conversation with total strangers. But when you’re with someone who is searching for the truth and wondering who this Jesus is, don’t even try to stop yourself from sharing His amazing story.

~*~
Author Bio:

In this world of texts, memes, and emojis, slowing down to truly communicate can feel like straining a muscle you haven’t exercised in far too long.

Seventeen years of business experience across a variety of industries has taught Carrie Del Pizzo the fine art of professional communications. Partnering with corporate executives and entry-level employees alike, she has written and edited major project proposals, direct marketing pieces, sensitive client communications, employee handbooks, and user manuals.

Carrie’s love of literature and story has led her to develop and exercise her fiction writing skills as well. Aside from her personal creative efforts, she also edits for self- and traditionally-published authors and enjoys writing short dramas for church presentation.

Carrie is a wife, mom of three Americans and host-mom to numerous exchange students. Italian-by-marriage means she loves to cook and eat. She lives in Spokane, WA, with her hilarious family, who keeps her in stitches and provides piles of material for great stories.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Author Interview with Candee Fick and a NEW book giveaway contest!


Today, you're in for a special treat! Candee Fick has written a new novel and she's giving away one e-book copy for the Kindle of the book giveaway contest winner!

But first, she's here to talk about her new novel, Sing a New Song.

Enjoy her author interview and remember to enter the contest via the Rafflecopter widget that you'll find toward the end of this blog post.

God bless you!

~*~
Interview with Candee Fick about her book, Sing a New Song:

Alexis: Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration for this story?

Candee: I started planning this book while writing the first in the series, Dance Over Me. In the first draft of that story, I had created a very unlikeable antagonist but she came across like a cardboard, two-dimensional prop. During the revision stage, I worked to give her a few positive traits as well as a solid motivation for why she acted the way she did. In other words, I asked myself what it would take for her to change, planned a rough outline of this current book, and then circled back to weave hints into the first two books of the series to set up her personal journey. Overall, the series drew inspiration from Zephaniah 3:17 and I knew that once Gloria also discovered the amazing depths of God’s love, her life would never be the same.

Alexis:
Why is Gloria Houghton, your story’s heroine, known as a “pampered diva” and what kind of man would be her match?

Candee: Gloria is a talented actress who is used to occupying center stage as the star and therefore, she’s accustomed to the star treatment. The accolades. The attention. They boost to her self-esteem as a result of the applause and positive press.

On a personal note, she’s also the only daughter of a very rich businessman and—as we quickly learn in Sing a New Song—has been living off her allowance from a trust fund and therefore hasn’t had to work to support her lifestyle. A fancy car, sparkling jewelry, and the latest fashions are all a part of her world. Therefore, on the surface, she’s always looked for a man to spoil her, lavish her with attention, and keep her on that pedestal. But what she wants isn’t exactly what she needs. She needs someone to look beneath the façade and love her for who she truly is.

Alexis: Has Gloria always had a passion for singing? What does she love about it?

Candee: Gloria’s passion was the stage and whichever skills got her the most attention were the ones she cultivated. Musical theater productions allowed her to showcase both her voice and dancing skills with acting to tie it all together. But after injuring her knee and losing the spotlight, she finally focuses on the one thing she does the best. Sing. She’d probably tell you that what she loves most about singing is that the soaring notes and powerful lyrics cause an audience to feel a broad range of emotions and therefore, they remember the one who sang them.

Alexis: Let’s talk about the hero of your story, Nick Sherwood. What does he look like? How does he talk (tone, pace, with or without an accent)? What are his greatest strengths and worst weaknesses?

Candee: Nick is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome with a beard and a slight Southern accent. Ha. Except when he first steps onto the page, he’s wearing coveralls and a tool belt, has greasy hands, and is mopping the floor. Not exactly the best first impression. But readers (and Gloria) will soon discover his ability to shoulder lots of responsibility, his servant nature, and his faithfulness to God, his family, and his friends. As for weaknesses, he holds people to a high standard (which can come across as judgmental), wars with jealousy when compared to others in his family, and hides his greatest talents.

Alexis: What is it about Nick that makes him a Jack-of-all-trades? What is his passion career-wise? Does he desire a singular career? Why or why not?

Candee: Nick’s current job title over Human Resources puts him in charge of the personnel at the Sherwood Hotel and Sherwood Theater. However, he’s such a servant that he often pitches in wherever help is needed. Whether it’s fixing the stage lights, moving set pieces for shows, mopping floors, repairing toilets, cleaning hotel rooms, or fixing car engines for family members, Nick knows how to do it all. Plus he enjoys the variety of work that keeps his job interesting. However, he’s also finishing up an online business degree so he’ll have more skills with which to support his family’s businesses. Does he want to do something else? Not that he’d admit.

Alexis: Why does Nick avoid the spotlight and despise fame?

Candee:
Let’s just say that Nick is part of a large family that includes the headline musical act at the theater. He’s spent hours around those singers and has seen what fame can do to a person’s heart, especially when one ends up on the losing side of the comparison game. So, rather than open himself up to rejection and bitterness, he’s chosen to simply stay in the background.

Alexis: What is it about Gloria that fascinates—and irritates—him to no end?

Candee: He pegs her as a pampered Princess on the first day and expects her to act a certain way. But when she doesn’t always act according to his preconceived notions, he can’t help but take a closer look. Sometimes she’s inept. Other times she shows true grit. Who is the real woman? And yet, he’s been around the stage long enough to know how performers can get consumed with their image to exclusion of others. If he gets too close, his heart will get broken when she moves on to another stage and yet he can’t help but get drawn in. And that’s irritating!

Alexis: Is there a special meaning for your book’s title “Sing a New Song?” If so, what can you tell us about it without giving away the story?

Candee: There’s a familiar cliché about someone who “changed their tune” and it is used as a way to describe a person who used to be one way and then changed. Since Gloria is a singer and she certainly needs an attitude adjustment (per everyone who has read the first two books in the series), I felt this title fit her story of transformation perfectly. Not to mention, there’s a verse in Psalm 96 that says to “Sing to the Lord a new song.” Gloria has been singing her own praises for years, but once her heart begins to change, she might finally be able to sing a new song to God too.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about your book?

Candee: I want readers to remember (and embrace) the unfailing love of God the Father. The Audience of One who puts a new song in our hearts. The One who rejoices over us with singing. The One who is always there even when people aren’t.

Alexis:
Thanks for the interview, Candee! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Candee: I’ve mentioned that Sing a New Song is part of a series. While each title can be read as a standalone book, I’d encourage readers to also pick up Dance Over Me and Focus On Love (with the follow-up novella A Picture Perfect Christmas) to unpack similar lessons about God’s love as found in Zephaniah 3:17. Oh, and I’m currently working on another Christmas novella that will feature one of the singing Sherwoods.

~*~
Author Bio:

Candee Fick is a multipublished, award-winning author. 

She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome.

When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

~*~
Book Blurb for Sing a New Song:

The pampered diva is about to meet her match.

Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she?

Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated--and irritated--by the newest addition to the staff.

After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song.

If you like strong families, country music, and redeemed villains, then you’ll love this next chapter in The Wardrobe series by Candee Fick.

~*~
Buy Candee’s book on Amazon and learn more about the complete Wardrobe Dinner Theater series here.

~*~
Connect with Candee:
Website: https://candeefick.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CandeeFick
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/candee-fick
Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Candee-Fick/e/B0056B94VE/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/702901.Candee_Fick
Email list sign up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/a5p3s2

~*~
Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 20, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: A Symbol of Jesus Christ's Promise to Return


The Folded Napkin

A devotional by Nanci Rubin

“And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” – John 20:7 (KJV)

A few weeks ago, the Christian Church formally and personally celebrated Easter. The resurrection of our Lord is a time of joy, re-birth and appreciation. Within theology and Christology, there is definitely a place for the historical Jesus and the cultural context within which he lived, alongside the divine person of Christ Jesus who gifts us with salvation and eternal life and lives within us through His Spirit.

Many years ago, my pastor at the time preached a sermon on the folded napkin, it so impressed me, that I never forgot. We have to consider that Jesus was a reflection in many ways of the culture within which he was born and lived.

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after his resurrection? The gospel of John 20:7 tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the other grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. I can only imagine her fright and shock as she ran to find Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have laid him!” 
– John 20:2 (KJV) 

Peter and the other disciple took off running to the tomb so they could see for themselves. The other disciple being faster outran Peter and got there first. Cautiously he stooped and peered in. He saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived, breathless and without hesitation, went inside the tomb. He was stunned to see the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, we need to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the master and servant and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating.

The servant would dare not touch the table until the master was finished. Now if the master was finished eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers and mouth, clean his beard, and wad up the napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, “I’m finished.”

But if the master got up from the table, folded his napkin and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the folded napkin meant, “I’m coming back!”

Let us not only remember Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, but the fact that he did leave a folded napkin to symbolize that He is not finished and He is coming back for His faithful servants within His Church.

And Jesus commissioned His disciples after His resurrection and said to them, “I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” –Matthew 28:20 (KJV)

I am mindful when I eat out about the napkin. If I’ve enjoyed the meal and the service has been excellent, I always fold the napkin and place it by my plate. The establishment may not understand the significance of the folded napkin, but it is my way of saying, “I’m coming back.”

We not only have a hope, but a promise, because Jesus said He’s coming back.

My Prayer: Father (God), thank you for the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus, for all of humanity. Teach us, O Lord, to be kind and to love as Jesus taught. We will be your hands and feet on the earth and share the Good News of Jesus and the promise of the folded napkin. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:
Nanci is a poet and short story writer published in Cypress News, Family Times E-Zine, Free Verse and the Commonwealth of Poetry

She belongs to RWA, ACFW, and Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild where she’s enrolled in his novel writing program.

Nanci lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and cats, Romeo and Juliette, along with their newest member of the family, Roni who is a seven-month-old Goldendoodle.

Recently, Nanci completed her debut novel, A Betrayal in Cross Keys. It is an Amish romance and has placed it in her agent's capable hands. The rest is up to God.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: New Faith


In The Beginning
A devotional by Victoria Bylin


“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” –1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

May is a big month for my family. We celebrate Mother’s Day, three family birthdays, plus my husband and I mark our wedding anniversary. That day always takes me back to the beginning of our faith walk, especially to a particular night at my parents’ front door.

Mike and I weren’t Christians when we started going out, though people were praying for us. We were just friends, and my then-boyfriend was out of the country. Mike, figuring I was bored, graciously (ha-ha!) asked if I wanted to see the new Star Trek movie. I said, “Sure. Why Not?”

Before we knew it, we were enjoying each other’s company far more than we expected. We went to more movies, grabbed a few dinners, and then that night happened. Mike knocked on my parents’ front door and said, “Vicki, I have to tell you something.”

“I have to tell you something too.” 


In unison we said, “I’ve been reading the Bible.”

Mike would tell you he experienced utter joy the moment he accepted Christ. The sun literally burst through gray clouds. Me? Not so much. Becoming a Christian wasn’t all sweetness and light. In fact, it was a tough, bitter decision, because I knew my life would change. But my parents were praying for me, and I finally cracked. “Okay, God,” I said in the dark. “If you’re real, I want to know You.”

In the Bible, the Greek word “dunamis” means power, strength, or ability. It’s used about 120 times in the New Testament and is the root for our word “dynamite.” With that prayer to know if God was real, I lit the fuse and—just like I thought—everything in my life changed, or more accurately, it exploded.

The decision to pray that first prayer took me down a road every bit as intellectually challenging as my time at UC Berkeley. The Bible came alive for me in a personal way, but faith needs to be grounded on more than emotion. One more question demanded an answer: Did Jesus Christ really rise from the dead?

The pastor of our church at the time approached the question as a skeptic determined to disprove the resurrection. During a series on Easter, he went down the list of possible explanations. Not one of them held up under logical scrutiny. The last theory—that the disciples stole Christ’s body to protect their lies—didn’t work any better than the others. The apostles all martyred, except John who was exiled, and they died horrible deaths. Who would do that for a lie, especially a lie that wouldn't pay off?

The argument that the resurrection didn't happen, because it couldn't happen, is circular reasoning. If we take a step back and ask, "What if it’s true?” all sorts of possibilities open up—but we're not done yet. I'm not advocating blind acceptance. We need historical verification and archaeological evidence—and it's there. How many times have you heard a news story about a fresh discovery that confirms Biblical history? The more we dig in the ground, the more truth we unearth.

Many years have passed since that night at my parents’ front door. Mike and I have lived in three states, owned or rented nine homes, and raised a family that’s grown into the next generation. We’ve had careers that have astounded us, survived heartache, and rejoiced at the small pleasure of birds nesting in our backyard.

We’ve lived through a lot of change, but one thing is certain: Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is on solid ground.

~*~
Author Bio:
Victoria Bylin is the author of 18 traditionally published romances. Known for tackling difficult subjects with great compassion, she delights in stories that shine the spotlight of God’s love on ordinary men and women facing realistic challenges.

Writing has always been a part of Victoria’s life. As a child, she wrote hundreds of letters and scribbled in journals. As an adult, she worked as a freelance journalist and editor before taking on the challenge of fiction.

She had one goal when she started her first novel: to finish a book-length manuscript, good or bad. That first effort will never see the light of day, but it led to a second manuscript and a sale to Harlequin Historical. Since then, she has written westerns and contemporary romances for both mainstream and Christian publishers, with Together With You winning the 2016 Inspirational Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary.

Writing is a joy and a challenge for Victoria, but faith, friends and family matter to her far more. She’s a wife, mom, proud grandmother, and a dog-mom to a wacky Jack Russell Terrier. Originally from California, she and her husband currently make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. 

When she’s not writing, Victoria enjoys long walks, travel, and dark chocolate.

~*~
Connect with Victoria:
Website: https://www.victoriabylin.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Victoria.Bylin.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VictoriaBylin
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/victoria-bylin
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/568102.Victoria_Bylin

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thankful Thursdays: My thoughts on the power of prayer

It's Thursday and I'm thankful for the power of prayer!

Earlier today, I prayed for a woman in the parking lot of the grocery store. She asked me for money and shared her story of hardship. I told her that I didn't have money to give but I could pray for her. So then and there, I placed a hand on her shoulder, we both bowed our heads and I prayed. I asked God to send her people who could help her and to help her and her family through this tough time.

Hours later, I've already forgotten her name but I know that God knows her name and He heard my prayers for her and He'll answer those prayers according to His will because God loves ALL of His children so I am certain He will send help.

This Thursday, I'm doing something different with my routine "Thankful Thursdays" post. I'm going to share a video of a sermon by Dr. Tony Evans. The sermon is titled, "Prayer That Works." After you watch his message, I ask that you please pray for him and his wife Lois. She is battling a rare form of cancer. You can learn more about her situation by reading this article (click here).

I believe in the power of prayer and I believe that God always answers every prayer that we pray to Him. God's Word (The Holy Bible) advises us in Hebrews 4:16 (KJV), "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

Read more Bible verses about the power of prayer by clicking here.

As promised, you can watch the sermon by Dr. Tony Evans by pressing the play button on the video below. 


Be encouraged, friends! God loves you!

Love,

Alexis A. Goring
Founder of "God is Love" blog

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: A word for those who are struggling in their faith


Lost and Wandering

A devotional by Christa MacDonald

“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” 
– James 5:19-20 (NIV)

“Don’t you know by now why the chosen are few? It’s harder to believe than not to.” This line from a Steve Taylor song resonated heavily with me when in college I began to question everything. I was trying to discover who I wanted to be and what I wanted out of life.

What I thought would be a philosophical exercise ended up a multi-year fight for my soul. Not everyone who enters adulthood asks deep questions that end up unraveling them, but all children of believers do face a similar challenge, taking the faith of their parents and culture and turning it into a real, saving faith of their own. It’s in that struggle that many end up lost.

Suffering is another test that separates churchgoers from believers with a saving faith. There are folks who show up every Sunday, go to all the meetings, sing all the hymns, do all the right things, but their hearts are still untouched. Then a loss, a sickness, a hit of some kind blows their life up. If they never truly repented and put their faith and trust in Jesus, then their faith can’t sustain them and they lose their way. They think God has abandoned them when they never really let Him in to begin with.

It’s not always a dramatic event either. Sometimes it is years of doubts that have been left to ruminate. It becomes easier to think of church as a building where you go if you’re a good person and not, instead, a group of people united by faith that should feed your soul or hold you accountable. People let church become a social club, a place to belong to, and over time, it becomes less important, less vital until it’s virtually meaningless.

It’s up to us to spot folks in our midst who are struggling or those who seem to be wandering. In our church families, we need to hold each other accountable, to check in with each other. We need to be real with those around us and not content to assume that just because someone is in a pew on Sunday morning that what they truly believe constitutes a saving faith. And for those that we can see wandering, we must be brave and seek them out. Have those tough conversations because it’s life and death. 


Grace truly does cover a multitude of sins and no one is beyond the mercy of God, but we’ve got to tell them that. People can hear a sermon in church every weekend and still not understand the Gospel.

God has placed us on earth to reach out to the lost and wandering and share with them the life-changing, earth-shattering truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Be bold, friends.

~*~
Author Bio:
Christa MacDonald is a 2017 ACFW Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction.

A native New Englander, she was inspired by her travels through the north woods of Maine to write The Broken Trail, which would become the first in the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

Christa's writing focuses on the real-life challenges of the modern world, love’s sometimes crooked path, and the redemptive power of Grace.

When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty.

She and her husband live with their three kids, two cats, and one dog along the coast of New England. Connect with Christa at www.christamacdonald.com.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Read with Audra: Blog tour stop for "She Dreams" by Tiffany Bluhm


Welcome to my blog's stop on the "She Dreams: Live the Life You Were Created for" book tour coordinated by Audra Jennings PR!

Today, we're featuring my review of this book by Tiffany Bluhm and other fun features related to her book like a special giveaway contest!

Enjoy!

~*~
My Review: 


This book, She Dreams: Live the Life You Were Created for, is a true gem! I read the entire book in one sitting and found so many shiny treasures within, from the author’s voice to the life lessons imparted and the beautiful inspiration of the content that shines forth on every page.

Tiffany Bluhm, the author, has a unique storytelling voice that really shines through in this book. The first example shone within the first few pages when the author said, “So if you are a painter, bust out the brushes. If you are a writer, sharpen that pencil or get out that computer. If you are a runner, grab those nifty running shoes. If you are a singer, then saaang, girrrl.” (She Dreams, page 8).

I love that the book editor didn’t require that the author spell the word “saaang” correctly as “sang” and didn’t require that she change “girrrl” to “girl” because it stayed true to the author’s unique voice. When I read that line, it made me think of my own friends who talk like that and it also sounded like I could actually hear the author speaking to me in the relaxed, flavorful manner in which a friend would speak to a friend. It warmed my heart and made me laugh because I could hear her humor in the way that she said those words. Her writing style makes you feel like she’s talking to you about life in person, as a she would with a good friend, while you each enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

The author continues to drive her point home in the following sentences on page eight of her book. She wrote, “If you are a helper, start helping. If you are a giver, give generously. If you are a peacemaker, build bridges toward peace. Do what makes you uniquely you! You do you, friend. No one else can. You’ll never regret doing what you love—unless it’s illegal or harmful. That would be bad. Go ahead and regret that—or better yet, don’t do it. But if something sparks joy in you and blesses others, then go ahead and get at it! Because you, my darling, were created to pursue the dreams of your heart.”

Throughout this book, the author maintained an encouraging tone of voice and captivating storytelling style. She wasn’t afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve by sharing a few personal stories from her own life experience in dealing with everything from racism to heartbreak and she didn’t hold back in sharing valuable life lessons that she picked up along the way.

This is a book written by a woman for the hearts of women. The author, though only in her early thirties, has been seasoned by life in ways that sometimes take a lifetime for others to experience.

The author is a dreamer and throughout her book, she encourages her target audience to dream not only for the sake of whimsical wonders but for the fact that God placed a dream in their heart and it is their duty to fulfill it.

She Dreams is written in a way that helps women push for courage, grace and grit—all factors that are necessary to making their God-sized dreams come true.

I love how the author brought God into the picture in almost every chapter, showing the reader that faith in God plays a major role in making the dreams that He’s given you come true. In the summary of her book, the author writes, “God in His goodness breathes new dreams within our hearts and revives the dreams that have died, inviting us to trust Him as we dream impossible dreams that only He can bring to pass—because God not only gives dreams; He fulfills them.” And to that, I as the reader, said “Hallelujah, Amen!”

The messages in this book are adequately supported with Bible-based examples as the author dares the reader to “dream the impossible dreams the Lord is stirring in your heart, reclaim any broken dreams, and trust God for the victory.” She touches on how to pray to God about your dreams, how to obey God as you pursue what He has in store for you, reasons why your God-given dreams are not just for you but are to bless others, and she talks about how your failures can be the catalyst to helping your dreams come true. Most of all, she directs her readers to God as the wise Dream Giver.

I believe that the author achieved her goal of helping her readership discover their dreams and walk into their destiny as they trust God to help them achieve the impossible. I’d recommend this book to every woman with a God-given dream on her heart.

*I (Alexis A. Goring) received a complimentary copy of She Dreams: Live the Life You Were Created for from Audra Jennings PR. My opinions in this honest review are my own.

  
~*~
About the book:

Say yes to the dreams God has planted in your heart.


Every woman was born to dream—to live a life of beauty, passion, adventure, and purpose. No matter how big or how small they are, our dreams push us to become women of courage, grace, and grit. God in His goodness breathes new dreams within our hearts and revives the dreams that have died, inviting us to trust Him as we dream impossible dreams that only He can bring to pass—because God not only gives dreams; He fulfills them.

In this six-week study we will look at Moses’ journey to live out the God-sized dream given to him, exposing the ancient wisdom and truth God offers for every woman with a dream beating in her heart. With timely truth and encouraging accounts of God’s heart and hand in the life of Moses as well as in the lives of ordinary women, author Tiffany Bluhm will dare you to dream the impossible dreams the Lord is stirring in your heart, reclaim any broken dreams, and trust God for the victory. Throughout the study you will identify:

- The role of prayer as you grow into your dreams.
- The importance of obedience as you pursue what God has for you.
- Why your dreams are a blessing not only to you but also to others.
- How your failures can be a gift that help your dreams become a reality.
- The life-changing love, power, and wisdom of the Dream Giver.

Get ready to discover the role you are designed and destined to play as you partner with God for the impossible!

In addition to the book, there is a Bible study guide with leader helps and DVD available.




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About the author:

Tiffany Bluhm, author of the She Dreams trade book and Bible study, is a speaker and writer who is passionate about helping women come to know their value and purpose because of a loving, redeeming God.



In a style that speaks to women right where they are, she shares insights from a life spent chasing after Jesus while walking alongside women from suburbia to the inner city, jails and brothels, and the slums of Kolkata.

Tiffany speaks regularly at conferences and events, and writes for a number of websites, print publications, and popular blogs, including the YouVersion Bible app, Deeply Rooted Magazine, and ScaryMommy.com.

She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and two sons, and blogs at TiffanyBluhm.com.

Learn more at www.SheDreamsBook.com.


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Connect with Tiffany:
Website - www.tiffanybluhm.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TiffanyABluhm/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/TiffanyBluhm

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A Video about the book:



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Enter the Giveaway Contest:



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Monday, May 13, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Fenced In


Don’t Fence Me In
A devotional by Amanda Wen

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” –Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

When I was about eight years old, my family adopted a chinchilla named Herbie. Chinchillas, if you’re not familiar, are some of the most adorable little creatures you’ll ever meet. Usually a silvery gray, they have the body of a small rabbit, the ears and tail of a squirrel, and the thickest, softest fur imaginable.

Chinchillas are known for their active and inquisitive nature. Although they spend most of the time in large cages, these adorable little fluffballs do best when allowed some free roaming time to investigate and explore. However, being rodents, chinchillas also chew. On everything. All the time.

In an effort to both keep Herbie safe from chewing on something she shouldn’t, and to keep at least some of our stuff free from chinchilla-tooth autographs, my dad constructed a wooden barrier to keep her hemmed in during her explorations. My dad is quite the handyman, and this was a serious, well-crafted fence, complete with hinges, finished edges, and protective varnish.

However, we had woefully underestimated our new pet’s jumping capabilities. The first time we tried it, Herbie bounced straight for it, effortlessly leaped on top of it, and gave us a twinkly-eyed chinchilla-grin before hopping down to the outside of the barrier, free to roam to her little heart’s content.

Oops.

I laugh at this story, but I also find it convicting, because I know I tend to do that with God sometimes. “Okay, God,” I tell Him. “Here are the parts of my life I’m willing to give You. Here are my plans, my goals, my dreams, and my schedule, all within this nice little fence I’ve constructed for You. As long as You stay within that, all is well.”

But an infinite God cannot be contained by my pathetic attempts to box Him in. His ways are higher, and His plans are greater. He who created the universe from nothing, who causes the sun to rise and set, who has numbered the days of our lives and the hairs on our head, He who sent His very own Son to redeem us all…Do I really think I know better than He does when it comes to what my life should look like? Do I really think, even with my active imagination, that the plans I come up with are better than His?

As a certified, card-carrying control freak, letting God have control of my life scares me. I don’t like not knowing what’s ahead. I don’t enjoy the feeling of not being in charge. But looking back on my life and remembering all the times He’s been faithful, all the times I can agree with Him that His plans were indeed better, even though at the time I would’ve chosen mine, helps keep me secure in the knowledge that His plans are indeed best.

Fellow believers, we have a choice. We can try to contain God, to erect silly boundaries that He is more than capable of leaping over…or we can allow our Loving Father to have free reign in our lives, knowing that everything He does is for our ultimate good—though not always our temporary good—because He is good.

I pray we will always choose the latter.

~*~
Author Bio:
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of contemporary inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. 

A first place winner in the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, she also placed first in the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, the 2017 Great Expectations Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest.

Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship team at recent ACFW conferences. Amanda is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

In addition to her writing, Amanda maintains an active and rewarding career as a freelance cellist, frequently performing with symphony orchestras, string quartets, and her church’s worship team. She lives in the Midwest with her amazing husband and their three adorable and hilarious Wenlets.

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Connect with Amanda:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authoramandawen
Twitter: www.twitter.com/authoramandawen
Instagram: www.instagram.com/authoramandawen
Website: www.amandawen.com

Friday, May 10, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Vanity


Vanity Plates: Inspiration or Indictment?
A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson

One of the most thrilling experiences of my life was catalyzed by a bumper sticker. It asked a simple question, “What ever happened to the dreams of your youth?”

I passed the car and began cataloguing some of my youthful dreams that I had allowed to slip into the recesses of my mind. By the time I arrived at home, I had chosen one to fulfill. Skydiving. I did it.

Recently, I was similarly riveted by a vanity license plate, on a car. It simply read “NMYHRT!” I don’t know what the driver had in mind when she chose that tag. My mind immediately began searching for cognates in my memory. Songs from youth began to resonate in my mind. There’s within my heart a melody…”, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart…”, But the song that goes, “Lord, I want to be a Christian, in my heart…” resonated in my being. My car became a sanctuary as I rehearsed those songs in my mind.

Later in the day, I thought about the biblical line in Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) that says, “For as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” Building upon that refrain, I remembered a paragraph that I had memorized from the book by James Allen “As a Man Thinketh.” The quote was, “The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state…Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”

Flowing from that stream of consciousness, I then reflected on another biblical line from the Gospel of Matthew 12:34 (KJV). It says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” It means that what ever thoughts reside in the recesses or forefront of your consciousness, will eventually be manifest in your speech, deeds and maybe even subconscious/reflex actions.

I then remembered a line that my father reiterated in my youth when he exhorted me to clean up my room. He would say, “People can tell a lot about your character by looking at your horizontal spaces and your closet.” My suits, sport coats, pants, shirts and ties are hung in an orderly manner. The suits and shirts hang from light to dark, left to right and my shirts similarly. Old clothes in good shape are donated.

Recently, I found a suit and a few shirts that had small holes in them. Moths? I discarded them. My desk, well, I know where everything is, most of the time. Regularly, I must clear my desk, file what is important and discard what is not.

All of this ruminating was prompted by those 7 characters on the rear bumper of a car. Now I think, was it inspirational or indicting? I think both because it forced me to think about my thought life and how badly I need to attend that closet. What is on the horizontal spaces of my consciousness? What is on yours?

If what is in my heart is reflected by who I am, what I have and if what I am experiencing is the product of my thoughts, I have some work to do. We all do.

Join me in a new quest! Let’s examine and if necessary, reorder the closet and horizontal spaces of our interiors. Discarding old, tattered or destructive mindsets may give us more spiritual and emotional energy.

Embracing and exploring some of the ideas and dreams that lie as eggs in the ovaries of our souls, may restore fertility, verve and productivity in our lives.

Enthusiasm is catalyzed in the uncluttered soul. What’s in your heart?

~*~
Author Bio:

Chaplain Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps.


Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Columbia Union College (WAU) in Takoma Park, Maryland. He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees–a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Thankful Thursdays: Perfect Timing

It’s Thursday and I’m thankful for God’s perfect timing!

There are many ways that God’s timing is perfect.


Today, I want to talk about situations where God prompts you to do something for someone and that someone says that your timing was perfect because you sent exactly what he or she needed, exactly when they needed it.

Such a situation happened to me earlier this week. While spending “quiet time” with God through prayer and studying The Holy Bible, I read a side note in my True Identity Bible that talked about how God is deep. Here is what the side note said…

He is Deep: The psalmist was in deep despair as his enemies mocked, “Where is your God?” Though in a time of depression, he wisely reminded himself that God isn’t only in the heights; he is also in the depths. “Deep calls to deep…” Perhaps you, like the psalmist, have felt waves of despair sweeping over you, threatening to take you under. Perhaps you feel so down you can’t look up. Learn from the psalmist to remember God and share your feelings with him. When your thoughts take you to deep, dark places, let God take you deep into himself.

Inspired by this message, I typed it into my phone and sent it as a text message to several friends and family who were on my heart. One of my friends wrote a reply to me saying, “Alexis your timing is perfect. Needed this. Thank you! Deep calls to deep.”

As believers in God, both my friend and I know that it wasn’t my timing that was perfect—it was God’s perfect timing!

This is not the first time that God has impressed me to send a message, song, quote or note to someone and they responded saying that the timing of that content was “perfect.” Each time that happens, I thank God for using me to help that person and I remind that person to give glory to God because it was Him who prompted me to send that content in perfect timing.

I’ve also been reminded of the importance of diving into God’s Word (The Holy Bible) on a daily basis because each time I study His Word, He either has a message for me or someone else (or both) and when I share it with the people He’s placed on my heart they often said that the timing was perfect.

I don’t ever want to miss an opportunity to share a message that God’s given me with someone who needs it. I am grateful for God’s perfect timing.

Aren’t you?

Share your stories about situations in your life when God’s timing was perfect. Your testimony will encourage others!

God bless you, dear friends.

Love,

Alexis A. Goring
Founder of “God is Love” blog

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: A Life Lesson Learned from Cultivating Soil


Cultivated Soil
A devotional by Sharon Musgrove

“He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.” ~Proverbs 12:11 (KJV)

It’s growing season where I come from. Life is springing up everywhere. I’m behind in my gardening, barely having touched my vegetable beds. Just because I haven't worked my soil does not, however, mean that nothing is growing in my garden. Weeds and snails are already thriving and reproducing at a rapid rate. Without me working to cultivate and keep the garden fruitful, all sorts of invasive species take hold.

Life is complicated that way. Not just in the backyard garden, but in our spiritual gardens, our hearts, as well. Scripture in both the Old and New Testament give us warning after warning, encouragement after encouragement in the cultivation of our hearts.

Because I want a fruitful harvest, I began clearing my garden this week. In fact, I was preparing a new bed that hadn’t previously been part of the garden. As I removed the weeds and sifted out the rocks, I was reminded of the Parable of the Sower found in Matthew 13. In this parable, a farmer scatters seeds over his fields and they fall on four types of soil…a hard footpath, shallow soil with underlying rock, soil containing weeds, and deep fertile soil. Only the deep fertile soil produces an abundant harvest. In teaching, I’ve used this parable for many years. It’s easy to understand and provides a good visual.

As I worked, God planted a new seed for thought. I ran my hand through the newly tilled soil and heard, “You know the soil is ready for seed when it moves easily in the hand of the gardener.” I had just taken ground that was bound by root balls and littered with stones and was now running my hand through it with ease. Yes, I knew exactly what He was saying. This soil moved with direction, was soft and warm to the touch. This is how I know my heart is ready for new planting from God. My heart is soft, warm and moves with ease. It feels like love.

When I hear from God in the physical things I do, I pick up my Bible and read His words. It helps me affirm and retain what He is saying. Surprisingly, it was the garden story in Genesis that stood out, not the Parable of the Sower!

Genesis 2:5 (KJV) speaks of the creation story and of a state without vegetation in part because “there was not a man to till the ground.” In verse 15, the Lord put man into the garden of Eden “to dress it and keep it,” as well as Genesis 3:23 (KJV) stating, “…the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”

We may think the Parable of the Sower is a clever story to help us understand that we have hard hearts or have thorns growing within us, but Genesis reveals that part of our purpose is to cultivate! God put Adam in a place of responsibility to continue what He started…to maintain and increase the fruitfulness of the garden…of humanity! If we do not continue to work our ground and “keep it,” then we don’t get to keep it! We lose ground.

This is evident in the consequence of Adam’s sin in both the exile from Eden and the cursing of the ground. What began for Adam as a life enjoying the fruitful trees God planted transitioned to laboring against thorns and thistles. To ignore our responsibility in maintaining loving hearts is a symptom of believing the lies that began in Eden. Proverbs 12:11 (KJV) states, “following a vain person.”

The wisdom in Proverbs foretells all! “He that tills the soil of his heart will be satisfied with bread.” While Genesis talks of the physical, “by the sweat of your face you will eat bread,” the Good News from Jesus is, “I am the bread of life: He that cometh to me shall never hunger…” (John 6:35 KJV). 
 It’s all the motivation I need to keep cultivating my soil! 

~*~
Author Bio:
Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior. 

She has a diverse background in business, fitness and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both recovery programs served women primarily from the homeless community.

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She's been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Easily identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she's served, Sharon now sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel, and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is writing her first Christian historical fiction novel utilizing her study, experience, and understanding of self-destructive behaviors.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Read with Audra: Blog tour stop for "Dear Daughters" by Susie Davis


Welcome to my blog's stop on the "Dear Daughters" book tour coordinated by Audra Jennings PR!

Today, we're featuring my review of Dear Daughters by Susie Davis and other fun features related to her book like a special giveaway contest!

Enjoy!

~*~
My Review:

The book Dear Daughters by Susie Davis is a sweet read written from the heart of a mother who loves to encourage her children or in this case, her readers!

Affectionately known as "Mama Suz" by the friends of her real-life daughters, Susie takes her mission of encouraging the hearts of young women seriously.

Her book is filled with kind words of wisdom to help guide the younger generations through the obstacle course of life. She writes in a warm tone and doesn't shy away from wearing her heart on her sleeve. The author's transparency and heart for women shines through every page of this book.

Susie writes with a desire to help her readers figure out everything from what they should do with their life to how they can trust that God is in control and seek Him even when they feel alone and confused. The author proves that her readers can trust God's plan for their life and encourages them to find peace and contentment in their journey.

This book is a wonderful, inspirational work of nonfiction that will help and encourage the hearts of young women everywhere!

*I (Alexis A. Goring) received a complimentary copy of "Dear Daughters" from Audra Jennings PR. My opinions in this honest review are my own.


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About the book:

Do you sometimes wonder what you’re supposed to be doing with your life? Do you wish you could find someone a little older who is walking just a few steps ahead who would give you some wisdom and remind you that God is still in control and that everything is going to be okay? Would you like a mentor in your life?

Susie Davis understands the importance of having and being a mentor. In Dear Daughters: Love Letters to the Next Generation, she will help you:

  • Understand God’s will for your life
  • Listen to God’s voice through your daily circumstances
  • Find contentment and peace right where you are
  • Foster friendship and deep connection with other women

No matter your season of life, Susie invites you to join her in pondering things that matter most. And she gently reassures you that you are not alone and that God is still in control.


Links to purchase

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About the author:

Susie Davis is an author, speaker and co-founder of Austin Christian Fellowship. 

She is married to her high school sweetheart, Will Davis, Jr., and they have three delightful young adult children (Will III, Emily, and Sara) who are all married and living their own beautiful life.


Susie’s podcast, Dear Daughters, is full of wisdom and joy, offering women young and old the kind of comfort and companionship they crave.

Aside from family and ministry, Susie is hopelessly addicted to horseback riding, McDonald’s coffee and pink geraniums. She loves bird watching, creek walking and connecting the dots between God and nature. Her favorites include cooking, gathering people at her big French farm table and asking deep questions.

Visit her website: www.susiedavis.org.



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A Word from the Author: 
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