Monday, November 19, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: God Cares


God Cares
A devotional by Nanci Rubin

“Does God Care?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked that question. 
But I can unequivocally say, “Yes, He does!"

When you’re hurting and you can’t see beyond your pain, His Word brings hope. But the times when our pain is constant and unrelenting, then the assembling of ourselves with one another becomes a healing balm. When our church family is interceding on our behalf, healing can begin. There is no family like the family of God. We need one another.

“Not forsaking the assembling of yourself together, as the manner some is; but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” 
~Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)

I have so many friends who have been wounded and silently sit on the sidelines no longer willing to enter a church. Their reasons are their own. I have survived two church splits in my lifetime, neither was pretty and they left wounds that lasted a long time. Healing comes but as with all things, it came in God’s time.

I’m grateful that I didn’t become bitter. I have a couple of friends who never entered a church again. They have chosen to embrace their pain, to nurse it and rehearse it. The past holds them frozen in time. They no longer trust any ministry. It saddens me to see the wounded remain victims. God created a family and we complete each other. I pray my friends will trust again and allow God to bring them to an area in which they are willing to be healed. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Men will fail, He never will.

I was reading a book recently that was conveying how many born-again Christians who are the children of God but have never become acquainted with our Father. An interesting topic and one I have never considered.

I think a lot of us don’t realize how interested He is in each of us individually (not just as a group, or a body, or a church). He is interested in each of His children, and He loves every single one with the same love. I’ve also read that often our relationship with our earthly fathers creates an atmosphere of how we perceive our Heavenly Father. It is difficult for those of us who have had absentee fathers, abusive fathers, or harsh and cold fathers to see our Heavenly Father as the loving, caring Father He is.

In the Old Testament, after the tabernacle was built first and the temple second, they didn’t know Him as Father God. They knew Him as Elohim, or Jehovah. They did not know Him personally.

The enemy doesn’t want you to know God’s love. He wants to beat you down and tell you, your sin is too great and you can’t be forgiven. He calls to remembrance the ugliness of our sinful past before coming to Jesus.

God is not mad at you, He is mad about you! 
His love for you is so great there is nothing on earth to compare it to. God is love. When we’ve committed sins and remain in isolation from our guilt will eventually cause us to feel He’s not here or He doesn’t care. 

The ruse of the enemy is to alienate us from our Father, but all we have to do is repent, confess we’ve missed the mark, ask for forgiveness and move on. We’re all sinners saved by grace. 

God is not holding a big stick to wield across your back. Jesus made a way for us to cross the chasm of sin and come back to fellowship with our Heavenly Father. We must learn to see ourselves as God does. He sees us as the finished product of love, complete and whole. 

Don’t be down on yourself, God loves you just the way you are. He’ll hide you under the shadow of His wings when you need healing, He’ll carry you when you can’t walk, He’ll fight your battles for you, and He’ll never leave nor forsake you.

It is a privilege to be in service to the King. Blessings to you all.

~*~
Author Bio:
Nanci writes Inspy Amish romance. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two fur kids, Romeo and Juliet, rescue cats. She is working on her debut novel, Plain Justice.

She retired earlier than planned from nursing to care for her mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her mom passed last year at the age of ninety-nine and Nanci has delved more into her writing.

She is active in an intercessory prayer ministry in her church, belongs to The Woman’s Club, a service-oriented volunteer organization dedicated to the welfare and enrichment of the community and volunteers two days a week at the Mary Washington Museum.

Currently, she's enrolled in Rhema Bible College’s correspondence Bible studies. She belongs to ACFW and RWA. When she’s not working, reading or writing she’s hiking with her husband at Shenandoah National Park.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Falling for Books: Mary's book


Story Excerpt from A Pocketful of Wishes by Mary Manners:

SUNLIGHT FILTERED THROUGH THE WILLOWY branches of elm trees that lined the road, warming Jenna as Carter loaded her suitcase into the trunk of the car. The street was quiet, almost as if it had gone down for a nap, with the exception of Old Man Corker’s Bassett Hound who yowled in protest of his confinement to the yard three houses down.

Jenna felt like yowling, too. Maybe she’d trod over to Old Man Corker’s yard, throw herself into the grass beside Buster, and sob until no more tears came.

Sadness squeezed her heart. She could barely breathe.

Life as she knew it was going to end right here in the driveway of the modest ranch home she’d lived in since the day she was born. Literally, her mom had given birth to her right there in the living room, when Jenna decided to come into the world too quickly for her mom and dad to make it to the hospital. She’d heard the story so many times she knew it by heart, and her parents joked that she still had only one speed—fast.

Everything she’d ever known in her whole life was in this house, yet her parents were still bent on taking her from it. The moving truck that had left before the sun winked over the horizon was proof. And the jam-packed car didn’t help matters, either. There was hardly room in the backseat for her to squeeze in when the time came.

Which would be soon…way too soon. She winced at the pinch of disappointment.

Maybe she could stay behind. She was thirteen now—almost fourteen—and old enough to take care of herself, right? She’d stay in the house, make her own meals and get herself to school when summer came to an end. Maybe she couldn’t drive herself yet, but she had her bike and the bus also stopped by every morning, in case of rain. She could make it work, couldn’t she?

Except for the fact that the house had already sold. She and her parents had to be out today, because the closing was over and the new people planned to move in that evening. By nightfall Jenna would no longer be in Tennessee. She wouldn’t live right next door to Carter anymore, either.

Did that mean they couldn’t still be best friends?

Her breath hitched once more. Jenna couldn’t imagine ever laughing again as she romped along the water’s edge to find the best swimming hole in Maple Ridge or raced through a field of tall grass with the wind at her back and a kiss of sunlight tickling her cheeks. Not without Carter at her side to share in her adventures. Not while he remained here in Maple Ridge while her family relocated clear across the country to Leavenworth, Washington—exactly two thousand, four hundred and eighty-one miles away. She’d studied the map Dad had given her, and had memorized every nuance of the route. So she knew. And it was awful.

Leavenworth.

It sounded like one of the bad words Mom and Dad forbade her to use. How ironic that this new town her parents were determined to drag her to shared the same name as a prison. Because Jenna might as well be going to prison. Her parents were ruining her life.

Especially her dad, with his new job. That’s all he’d talked about for weeks now. He didn’t even have time to talk about school anymore, or come to her softball games.

When she was still playing softball. Which she couldn’t do anymore, because they were moving to Leavenworth.

Just for spite she rolled the word around on her tongue and muttered.

Leavenworth…Leavenworth…


Tears welled in her eyes as she lifted her gaze to find Carter. Dark, shaggy hair spilled over his forehead, highlighting the dusky pallor of his cheeks. In another month his skin would glow bronze from hours spent in the sun while he helped his dad with their lawn care business. He’d worked beside his father since the summer he’d turned nine. He was fourteen now—nearly four months older than Jenna.

Carter swiped the tumble of hair away, revealing eyes the color of rain-slicked river rock—gray with specks of russet along the edges. She’d always loved his eyes. They were one-of-a-kind.

Carter closed the trunk and turned to face her.

~*~
Author Bio:

Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. 

She loves swimming, running, flavored coffee and Smoky Mountain sunsets.

Mary believes everyone has a story to tell, and she loves to share hers. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.

Learn more about Mary Manners at her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com.

~*~
Book Blurb for A Pocketful of Wishes:

When a job transfer causes Jenna Palmer’s family to relocate across the country, Jenna moves away from her best friend and first love Carter Stevens. 

She promises to find him again. But as the years slip away and she dives into a career in pediatric trauma surgery, all that is left of her one time love are the memories—and a wish on the lucky penny Carter gave her.

Carter Stevens never forgot his first love. On their final morning together he gave her a special token along with his promise to love her forever. 

Though years have passed as he’s climbed the ranks of the Maple Ridge Police Department, he still longs for another glimpse of the smiling, green-eyed beauty who stole his heart and shared his love of adventure.

When an accident brings the pair together once again, memories and reality collide. Will their promise stand, or will time crush their promise…and their love?

~*~
Buy Mary's book on Amazon

~*~
Connect with Mary:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MarysReaderPage/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/marymanners1/


~*~
Review by Amy Strickland (friend of Mary):

A Pocketful of Wishes is a very good book. I enjoyed reading it. 

It was interesting to see the friendship Jenna and Carter shared from a very young age turn into love even after years apart. 

The story begins when Jenna's father has a new job and they are moving away. Jenna is very sad because she is leaving her best friend Carter. Carter gives her his favorite penny and promises they will keep in touch. But as life goes on and they get older they grow apart. 

Jenna is busy with her life as a pediatric surgeon and so is Carter. When she’s offered a residency, Jenna moves back to the hometown that she has always missed. There, she runs into Carter, who is now a police officer, when he stops her for speeding. Soon, their friendship is rekindled. 

What a super story of teenage friendship being separated by moving and what happens years later. Very well written and I was engaged from the beginning. I really liked this story and would highly recommend it.

~*~
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:

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Letting Go and Letting God guide your life


Letting Go and Letting God
A devotional by Susan Lindstrom

God’s not finished with me, and for that I am thankful.

I suppose it’s a life-long process, but honestly, since He started 38 years ago I kind of thought we’d be done by now. Isn’t all the stubborn out of me yet?

I wasn’t raised believing in God, but I was raised with a great big ‘you can do it’ attitude. So, when I met Jesus I was already 26 years into ‘I’ve got this,’ I had a ‘pay my own way, get out of my way and don’t treat me that way’ kind of life going on.

You can imagine it took a few years of being around His Amazing Grace before I let my guard down to trust Him, but time and again He showed me and devouring His Word He told me. Yet, it was difficult to give up control of all things me.

I still struggle with it. Why is a situation that’s totally out of my control, like a tornado, easier to trust Him to handle than a seemingly ordinary day?

He tells us to look to Him to direct all our steps. King David knew this, as He wrote in Psalm 32:8 (NLT): The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

Psalm 32:9 (NLT) brings more clarity: “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

I talk big about trusting Him, and then a day like today rolls around when my insides get all twisted and I feel like a senseless horse. Or is that a stubborn mule? Why is it so hard for me to trust Him all the time? Is it because I’m a planner and take comfort in plan B?

You know, when things go other than planned, I’ve got it covered.

James 4:13-15 (MSG) tells me that planning my day, my business, my anything is against what the Lord wants for me. How full of myself I am with self-important evilness! Yikes! Instead, I should make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and I’m still alive, then I will do it.”

So even though over the years it became easier to pray, listen and discern His will for my life, here I am today, sitting alone writing this, on the vacation my husband and I were supposed to have together and the feelings of trust slip a little.

I don’t like admitting that I probably need to take a good long look inside and ask if I’m holding on too tight to my will. I planned this trip for some much-needed down time for us. But apparently, God has other plans as it turns out my husband can’t join me after all. Can I truly believe my loving Heavenly Father, my Abba, has our best interest in His control?

Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT) tells me, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trusts in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.”

I fix my thoughts on Him and my spirit sings, yes! Being in His will is the best place on earth to be!

Since this vacation didn’t turn out like I planned, I asked God for His plan B. He showed me that it is now a perfect writing retreat with lots of free time to dream up the next story in the Emmie Jane series, and it was affirmed when reading today’s devotional, which included this scripture:


“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.” 
~Psalm 143:8 NKJV

Perfect. 

~*~
Author Bio:
Susan Lindstrom is NOT an award-winning writer yet unless you count that ‘best story’ award in third grade but stay tuned to see what God has planned!

Writing has always been a passion but raising a family, running her sewing and design business, involvement in Women’s Ministry and teaching Sunday School kept her plenty busy.

Now a retired empty-nester, she trusts in God’s amazing timing and has jumped in to embrace this new adventure of writing.

Her first book, Emmie Jane and the Yellow Fuzz, is for children and is now available for purchase on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. It's the first in a series of real-life adventures focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit.

Susan grew up on both the East and West coasts and now calls the beautiful state of Wisconsin home. She is a wife, mom, and grandma to 10 children.

She enjoys a wide variety of music, loves live performance and believes that laughter is the best medicine. When she is not indoors writing, reading or pretending to clean the house, she’s outdoors enjoying the beauty of God’s Creation.

Susan is a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

~*~
Connect with Susan:
Website - www.susanlindstrombooks.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/susanlindstrombooks/

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: A reminder that YOU are NOT Alone


Note to self: You are not alone
A devotional by Melissa Henderson

“Look to the Lord and His strength: seek His face always.”
 ~1 Chronicles 16:11 (NIV)

Sunny days bring sounds of laughter and play outside. Rainy days bring peaceful sounds of raindrops tapping on the roof. Cloudy days often bring sounds of gentle breezes blowing through the trees beckoning times of rest. On any of these days, someone may feel alone. A person can feel alone even while surrounded by a crowd of family or friends or strangers.

As we experience the moments of our lives, we often get caught up in day-to-day activities. Work, house cleaning, laundry to wash, meals to prepare, bills to pay, errands to run and so much more: Meetings, church events, afterschool activities, letters and/or emails to read and a seemingly unending list of “to do’s”.

Being busy does not make us fulfilled. There may be a person you know who shows a big smile and a sweet attitude. They appear to have life in order and all seems to be wonderful. But, do we pause and truly visit with that person? Do we pause and share a smile with a stranger?

Do we assume everyone is “okay” because they don’t share their sadness with others? If everything looks fine on the outside, do we just move on with our lives? Are our days filled with rushing here and there, to fulfill the daily task list?

With many questions to ponder, there are many ways to seek the Lord and His strength. Seek Him always. In the rush of life, seek Him. In the quiet of life, seek Him. When you see a friend or a stranger, offer a smile. Look the person in the eyes and smile. Say hello.

Each one of us has felt alone at times. We are blessed to know we are never truly alone. God is always with us.

During my times of loneliness, depression and anxiety have tried to creep in my thoughts. I am thankful God has given me doctors to help. I am thankful for family, friends and even strangers who share a smile and a “Hello.”

Reading God’s Word (The Holy Bible), sharing time with God and sharing thoughts with others are reminders I am not alone.

Peace and comfort come over me whenever I seek the Lord. The peace and comfort only He can provide. Trying to solve loneliness or sadness on my own doesn’t work for me. Only when I seek Him, the powerful reminder of 1 Chronicles 16:11 shows me that I am never alone.

So even on those days when life is full of activities and time flies by, I will remind myself of His love and comfort. As the title of my devotional today says, “Note to self: You are not alone.”


Amen.

Blessings,

Melissa Henderson

~*~
Author Bio:

Melissa Henderson and her husband Alan live in South Carolina.

Married for over 38 years, they have one son (Mike) who is married to daughter-in-love (Christine) and now are blessed by a precious grandson (Rowan).

Melissa was taught the love of reading and writing at an early age from her parents. She is now working on her first inspirational fiction novel.

Her passions are volunteering, Bible Studies, reading and writing. Connect with Melissa online, https://mimionlife.wordpress.com
.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Bravery


Will I Stand for God?
A devotional by Tammy Karasek

“Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were filled with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted and mistreated…” 
~Hebrews 11:36-37 (ESV)

The sufferings at the hands of others spoken of in the above verse are rough words to read. Though the forms of death mentioned above may not be methods of persecution we hear about much today, they are still used. Many Christians through the ages were “killed with the sword” for expressing their faith in God or for refusing to denounce Christ.

One example in scripture is Zechariah who was stoned to death for his faith. In 2 Chronicles 24:20-22, Zechariah was chosen by God to replace his father as priest under King Joash. He stood firm in his faith and held his position as priest seriously. The people of his town didn’t want to hear about his God and conspired to stone him to death. But Zechariah wasn’t worried or ashamed of his faith and stayed true to the God who was always there for him. Zechariah stood for God, risking being stoned, and spoke truth for his love for God.

There are Christians in the Middle East currently that have been “killed with the sword” for their faith in Jesus and their refusal to say they don’t follow Him. Unfortunately, some of these events are recorded and shown on the television throughout the world of these Christians being killed. Far too many nights, the evening news speaks of these persecutions.

While we think these may not affect us here on American soil, let us not forget the senseless killings that are happening to people standing up for their faith. The one that comes to mind is the story of the 17-year-old girl from Columbine High School in Colorado—Rachel Scott. The events of April 20, 1999 are still hard to read almost twenty years later. Rachel was the first student to be shot and killed that day. The boy sitting next to her on the lawn lived, though paralyzed from the gunshots he received, and was able to share what the gunmen said to her. These fellow students and gunmen mocked her for her belief in God. The shooters said, “You still believe in God now?” and more. They ended their rant with, “Go be with him!” and shot her in the temple.

Oddly, one of the bullets actually went through a journal she had. In the journal was a prayer for one of the boys who killed her. Rachel had a mission to reach out to the unreached at Columbine. She had another journal in her backpack with a powerful drawing she’d drawn, which seemed to be prophetic. The picture was drawn less than an hour before she was killed. The drawing is a rose and 13 teardrops—there were 13 victims that day. She drew it in class then showed it to her teacher. The last thing that she said to the teacher was “People are going to know who I am someday.”

For more information on Rachel’s legacy and ministry see racheljoyscott.com.

The people above are what we describe as martyrs. Dictionary.com defines a martyr as: “A person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion. A person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle or cause.”

While I may not encounter this in my life, I do believe I need to assess my heart. If I were face to face with someone demanding me to denounce Christ to save my life, what would my answer be? I want to say I know I would stand firm for my faith. But would I? It sounds easy sitting here in my warm home typing on my keyboard, yet in a moment, something could change and I could be looking down the barrel of a gun with my opportunity to stand boldly for God.

Though I can’t guarantee what I’d say, I’m so encouraged by the following scriptures:


“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” ~Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)

“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 (NIV)

Have you thought about this or even been in this situation? 


What are your thoughts about standing up for your faith?

What will it be—when faced with the decision of possible persecution, will we stand up for Christ and trust in Him?

I pray that I say YES! And you?

~*~
Author Bio:
You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile.

She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina.

She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and member of My Book Therapy/Novel Academy.

She’s the Blog Coordinator/Editor for Florida Christian Writers Conference, a contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments, a monthly contributor for HeartWingsblog.com and God is Love (capturingtheidea.blogspot.com).

~*~
Connect with Tammy:
Blog: http://www.tammykarasek.com
Email: tickledpinktammy@gmail.com

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Falling for Books: Sara's book


Interview with Sara L. Foust about her book, Camp Hope: Journey to Hope (Love, Hope, and Faith Series Book 2):

Alexis: What inspired you to write this book?

Sara: The idea first came to me from a nightmare I had about our own foster daughter being kidnapped. I woke up and thought, “That was horrible! But it would make a good story.” 


Alexis: What is the significance of your book title, Camp Hope: Journey to Hope?

Sara: Amy shut hope out of her heart a long time ago. After an abusive childhood, she is afraid of men and believes God abandoned her. Camp Hope is her journey to rediscover the hope that lives in God’s love.

Alexis: Let’s talk about your story’s heroine Amy Dawson. Describe her looks, personality, hopes, and dreams. What does she do for a career?

Sara: Amy is a dark-haired beauty who doesn’t even think for a minute she is beautiful. She is self-sufficient and independent. A horse-woman and a business owner. But she is also fragile and scarred. More than anything, she needs healing from her childhood and the courage to accept that God loves broken people.

Alexis: How did you determine the setting for your book? Is it fictional or real? Describe it.

Sara: The setting is the mountain chain of Royal Blue, Tennessee. It is a real Wildlife Management Area complete with unpopulated, dense forest. It is home to elk, black bear, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, wild hogs, and more. It is a favorite place for locals to hunt and 4-wheel. And it is gorgeous! I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many parks, mountains, and forests.

Alexis: 
What—or who—led Amy to becoming a foster mom? Does she enjoy it?

Sara: Her own experience as a foster child primed her to want to help others. She also runs a camp for foster children. Once she realized she couldn’t ever (she thought) love a man but she wanted to be a mother, she decided to become a foster mom and help a young girl in need of a loving and safe home.

Alexis: What is the name of Amy’s four-year-old daughter? What role does she play in this story?

Sara: Her name is Mattie. Mattie’s kidnapping is the catalyst that gets this story moving. It is what drives Amy out of her comfort zone and into the wilderness.

Alexis: Let’s talk about your story’s hero, Jack Evans. What is he like? Describe his looks, personality, and heart.

Sara: Jack is handsome but he is scarred too. His scars are emotional and physical, though. He has a large, actual scar running down his cheek from a teenage beating he received. But, unlike Amy, he has found God and discovered the peace of His redeeming love. Jack is quiet, sells himself short, and loyal. More than anything, he longs to help Amy find God.

Alexis: What special connection does Jack share with Amy and how does their relationship affect this story?

Sara: Jack was a camper at Camp Hope when he and Amy were teenagers. They had one summer together before he was whisked away. He has always loved her. She has always loved him, but she has decidedly repressed her feelings. Their relationship has a major impact on the story. Jack helps Amy on her quest to find Mattie, providing moral support, another set of eyes, and, eventually, witnessing to Amy.

Alexis: Why does Amy turn to Jack for help when her daughter goes missing?

Sara: She doesn’t, really. He takes it on himself. But, once she gets used to the idea, she is glad he is there. He is the only man on the face of the planet she kind of, sort of trusts.

Alexis: Share one of Amy and Jack’s most romantic memories together. Why didn’t they last?

Sara: They fell in love as teenagers and romance wasn’t easy for either of them because of their past traumas. Their first kiss in the barn was sweet, respectful, and stuck with them both. Jack’s uncle petitioned for custody of him and he was moved to Ohio at the end of the summer.

Alexis: What is Jack’s most difficult struggle in this story? Explain.

Sara: He struggles with recognizing his self-worth. As a child, he was made to feel he was worthless and useless and those impressions have nagged him ever since. As an adult, he has been a wanderer and never been able to find people who believed in him. Though he is a Christian and he believes God’s love for him, he has to find out for himself that he isn’t inherently broken or defective.

Alexis: What role does Amy faith in God play in helping her survive traumatic memories and go bravely into the wilderness to search for her daughter?

Sara: Amy isn’t a believer in the beginning of the book. Her own willpower and stubbornness drive her into the wilderness, frantically trying to prevent the same traumas she experienced from happening to Mattie. When her memories creep in, she desperately tries to shut them out. It isn’t until later in the story she is able to begin to heal.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about this story? 

Sara: There is always hope for healing in God. No matter what has happened to us, no matter what decisions we have made, God wants a relationship with us. Only in Him is there peace of mind and healing of heart.

Alexis:
Thank so much for the interview, Sara! Would you like to share closing thoughts? 

Sara: Thank you for having me today, Alexis! I love meeting and interacting with readers. If any of you have any questions or prayer requests, please feel free to contact me.

~*~
Author Bio: 

Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author who writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. 

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

Her debut novel Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. 

To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com.

~*~
Book Blurb for Camp Hope:

Amy Dawson directs a summer camp for foster children near Briceville, Tennessee. A foster mom for the first time, her responsibilities as mother to a traumatized child bring a whole new set of challenges and joys.

But when Amy’s four-year-old foster daughter is dragged into the mountains of Royal Blue by a former employee, parenting challenges are overshadowed by a new nightmare. The Sheriff's department fails to procure viable leads, and Amy can’t sit idle. Her childhood friend and first love, Jack Evans, returns to lend his skills as tracker. Problem is, he also stirs up romantic memories Amy would rather leave buried.

Jack struggles to let go of his past failures and prove his reliability by bringing Mattie home, but fears when he left camp nineteen years ago and failed to keep a promise to Amy he permanently lost her confidence.

As Amy plunges into the wilderness on horseback to search for Mattie, she must decide who she trusts, let go of her childhood traumas, and learn to rely on hope in God. Facing dehydration, starvation, and a convoluted kidnapper, will she succeed in recovering her precious foster daughter or get lost in the vast wilderness forever?

~*~
Buy Camp Hope on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books-A-Million

~*~
Connect with Sara:
Website: www.saralfoust.com
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/cfqP5H
Email: sfoust25@hotmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaraLFoust/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sfoust25
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sfoust25/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SaraFoustSaraLFoust
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Friday, November 9, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Sara's story


He is There
A devotional by Sara L. Foust

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)

My faith is thin. I am not gonna lie. I am physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. It has been that kind of year. You know, where you have wave after wave slam into you and by the eleventh month, your snorkel is the only thing above water. And that, just barely.

I am not the kind of person who has usually done a “word for the year” challenge. But this year, without even really thinking about it, the word “Courage” came to me very early on. I knew I would need immense amounts of courage to go on my mission trip. I thought that would be the biggest obstacle I would face. I was wrong.

My son has been diagnosed with autism.

My daughter has begun mental health therapy.

My marriage has come to the beginning of the end.

My TMJ needed joint surgery with a disc removal and skin graft.

My church isn’t my church anymore.

And the year hasn’t come to a close yet. What I’ve learned is this: Through it all, God loves me. No matter what decisions I make. No matter what mental state I am in. He loves me. Unconditionally. Unendingly. Unblamingly. Just love, like pure spring water. Clear, unaltered, unhindered love. And it is the only saving grace I have, the only beacon of light when things look dark. It is real. It is honest. It is time-tested and true.

So, rather than the above list in the cons column, here’s what I’m choosing to focus on:

My son spoke to his Pre-K teacher for the first time a few weeks ago. And he’s learned a ton of new words that he uses freely at home.

My daughter is sleeping through the night, most of the time in her own room, and she is confident and happy and growing.

My marriage produced three beautiful children and I learned immense amounts about myself.

I only have two TMJ joints, so, even if the other one goes caput, I’m halfway through surgeries.

My church family, though I am not able to be present with them, loves me still, and God will bring me to another church home.

God is never going to leave me. He is never going to leave you. And more than anything in this world, He wants us to cry out to him in the middle of that black ocean called worry, fear, dread, sickness, divorce, temptation . . . whatever your ocean is called, He is there. He is always there.

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Author Bio:
Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. 

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Tennessee Mountain Writers.

Her debut novel, Callum's Compass, won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature.

When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com.