Wednesday, August 12, 2020

My Blog's 10th Year Birthday Bash: Deborah Raney's book giveaway

Welcome to the 12th day of my blog's birthday bash!

Please welcome my author friend Deborah Raney.

She's here to give away one of her books!

Enter the book giveaway contest via the Rafflecopter widget the end of this blog post. Only residents of the USA are eligible to receive a signed paperback copy of this author's books. International residents will only receive ebook copies due to costs of mailing books outside of the USA.

Let's learn a little bit more about Deborah and her book ...

Author Bio:

Deborah Raney's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched Deb’s writing career. Twenty-five years and thirty-five books later, she's still creating stories that touch hearts and lives. 

Her novels have won RWA's RITA Award, the ACFW Carol Award, the National Readers Choice Award, and the HOLT Medallion. She is also a three-time Christy Award finalist. 

Deb is a recent transplant to Missouri, having moved with her husband, Ken Raney, from their native Kansas to be closer to kids and grandkids. They love road trips, Friday garage sale dates, and breakfast on the screened porch overlooking their wooded backyard.

Visit Deb on the Web at

Back Cover Blurb for Deborah's book:

Phylicia thought life was passing her by, but maybe this was love’s plan all along ...

At twenty-nine, Phylicia Chandler put her life on hold to care for her dying mother with her sisters, Joanna and Britt. Now Mom is gone and their father stuns them all by running off with a woman young enough to be their sister. 

Life is moving forward all around her, but Phylicia feels stuck—until her father’s protégé, Quinn Mitchell, presents the sisters with an intriguing business opportunity to purchase a trio of cottages just outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Joanna and Britt are convinced the three of them should launch a vacation rental venture, but Phylicia remains skeptical.

To complicate matters, Quinn soon finds himself falling hard for Phylicia. But how can he pursue this beautiful, talented woman twelve years his junior when she’s still reeling over her father’s hasty engagement to a younger woman? 

Quinn is determined to give Phylicia her happily-ever-after. But first, he must help her come to terms with her discovery of long-held family secrets and persuade her that true love can transcend their differences.

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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Devotionals for the Heart: Superhero

Finding our Superhero
A devotional by Sharon Musgrove

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” 
–Romans 8:37 (ESV)

When I was a little girl, my Dad was my superhero. He was the kind of individual who held the attention of a crowded room with his storytelling and boisterous laugh. He was big in stature with a deep, radio-worthy voice.

When we had company over, I would watch our guests, who, like me, were captivated by him. At the dinner table, I would sit in awe, feeling a sense of pride that this man was my dad. If I was the daughter of a superhero, then somehow, I was a superhero too.

As years passed, my big blue eyes saw more of the true picture of my father’s lifestyle. It began with separation. His job took him away from home for long periods of time. When he was home, he was too tired to engage. His income did not stretch far enough to cover the bills, and he was stressed. The booming voice, too often, thundered at mom, my sisters or me.

I have vivid memories of trying to engage my Hercules in play. I’d run grab the props he’d used previously to illustrate the stories of the golden days, only to be a distraction against the winning streak of the San Francisco 49ers.

As I grew, my hero withered, and along with him, my confidence in family, authority figures and, ultimately my self-worth. I was not the daughter of a superhero. Therefore, neither was I to be super.

My story is a common one. Your story might be a lot like mine. The more I talk about my childhood disappointments, the more I realize how many of us have experienced parallel events and feel a similar sadness. Self-esteem has been hard to come by for those of us who believed in the myths of our making.

But there is another story at play, a true chronicle, in which there is a superhero!

Romans 8:37 uses a term that is found only once in the entire Bible. According to Strong’s Concordance, this Greek word is hupernikaó. It’s prefix “huper” is translated “hyper” or “exceedingly,” while the root, “nikaó” means “conquer.” Many versions of the Bible, like the English Standard Version, translate hupernikaó as the phrase “more than conquerors.” But I think it’s no stretch to say this verse could be written: No, in all these things we are super-conquerors through Him who loved us.

Does this excite you like it excites me? My child’s heart reawakens to the dreams I once had! That little girl, sitting at the table, looking doe-eyed at daddy, thought she might just be super too.

This verse says it is we who are the super-conquerors through Him who loved us! Not we alone, but through Him ... or because of Him, who loved us first. God gave us a way, via Jesus Christ, to be His partner in victory.

All I wanted, as a kid, was to be my Daddy’s sidekick. I wanted him to be Superman so that I could be his Supergirl. Together we would fight against the foes of tribulation and distress, or mortgages and medical bills, or hunger and homelessness.

God wants to show me the Superhero He can’t help but be, and He wants me to be His partner. It begins with unity.

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV) goes on to say, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Our Heavenly Father has been reassuring us that He’s not leaving, He’s not too tired, and we’ve won the war! It’s no myth, I am super ... dear sibling in Christ, we are super ... because the Greatest Power made us to work alongside Him. Unified, we are marvels moving mountains in God’s Kingdom!

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, August 11, 2020

My Blog's 10th Year Birthday Bash: Dawn Kinzer's book giveaway

Welcome to the 11th day of my blog's birthday bash!

Please welcome my author friend Dawn Kinzer.

She's here to give away one of her books!

Enter the book giveaway contest via the Rafflecopter widget the end of this blog post. Only residents of the USA are eligible to receive a signed paperback copy of this author's books. International residents will only receive ebook copies due to costs of mailing books outside of the USA.

Let's learn a little bit more about Dawn and her book ...

Author Bio:

Dawn Kinzer is a freelance editor, and her own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. She co-hosts and writes for the Seriously Write blog.

Sarah’s Smile is the first book in her historical romance series, The Daughters of Riverton.

Hope’s Design is the second, and Rebecca’s Song completes the trilogy. Her first contemporary romance, By All Appearances, is set in the Seattle area.

A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, good wine, strong coffee, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.

Connect and learn more about Dawn by visiting these online sites: Author Website, Faithfully Write Editing, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Amazon Author Page, BookBub, and Goodreads.


Back Cover Blurb for By All Appearances:

An attractive special events planner is determined to keep her distance.

A disfigured musician struggles to guard his heart.

By all appearances, both are destined to fail.

Liana Tate, a special events planner grew up in a high-profile family. No matter what she does, Liana feels she never measures up.

Bryan Langley, a talented musician, was close to signing a recording contract when a barn fire left part of his face severely burned. He survived, but his career did not.

When Liana’s father hires Bryan as a caretaker on the family estate outside of Seattle, Liana’s and Bryan’s lives become entangled. He risks public humiliation for Liana’s success, and she encourages him to use his musical gifts, despite his reluctance. 

Thrown together, will they achieve their elusive dreams? And will the two find the love and acceptance they yearn for, or will their actions only drive each other away?

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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Romantic Reads: Audra, Dying for Life

Welcome Carol J. Nelson to the blog!

She's here to talk about her book, Audra: Dying for Life.
Enjoy her interview!

Interview with Carol J. Nelson about Audra: Dying for Life

Alexis: Why did you write this book?

Carol: It started with a dream of a teacher in her classroom. When I awoke, I realized it was the plot for a novel. I hadn’t written anything in years, but since my husband was busy constructing a website for our church, I decided to fill some empty time with writing.

I wrote the novel, but it was long and ponderous. I did nothing with it. When my husband died in 2016, the Lord gently spoke to my heart that it was time to embrace my writing, but I knew I had to surrender it to Him and write to His glory. So, I rewrote the book motivated by a new perspective.

As I wrote, and later with the help of my editor, the themes of forgiveness, being restored to God, and seeking His will were developed more fully. I wrote this book, first of all, out of obedience to what I knew God wanted me to do. Secondly, I wrote the book with the hope that women, especially, would find a deeper walk with the Lord through Audra’s struggles and the changes God wrought in her life.

What makes Chandler’s Grove special to your characters?

Carol: For Audra, it’s her hometown. The most special thing for her is Chandler’s Grove Academy and her sixth grade English class. Her mother taught second grade there. Audra attended the school for eight years and returned to work there after college. Her second most special thing is the autumn colors of the cottonwoods in the fall.

For Dann Day, Chandler’s Grove is a haven. Still hurting from a failed first marriage, he’s recently fled Chicago to escape the clutches of another designing woman bent on rearranging his life. Chandler’s Grove becomes a place of healing for him.

The only special thing Heather finds in Chandler’s Grove is Dann. She dislikes almost everything else. She’s determined Dann will become her special man.

Alexis: Let’s talk about your story’s heroine Audra Knight. What does she look like? Sound like? Act like? Describe her personality and share the dreams of her heart.

I’ll let Dann describe her looks in a sentence. (He was) enjoying her long-lashed brown eyes as they held his, her pink lips as they curved, and her brunette hair as the ends curled and brushed her shoulders. She’s outgoing and comfortable with her best friend, Tamina York, and can share anything with her—well, almost anything. She has few close friends, but she’s well-liked by students and teachers.

She put men on the back burner of her life, partly because she didn’t want a husband like her father and partly because what her sister experienced scared her off. She has old-fashioned morals with a strong sense of right and wrong. She never considered the anger she’s stuffed for so many years to be a problem until anxiety over her health, old wounds stirred up, and antagonism from Heather all conspire to bring the hidden anger right out into plain view.

As for dreams, they all seem impossible. She’d held onto the hope of someday having a baby, but the visit to the gynecologist might bring that dream crashing down around her. Also, she allowed her father to talk her out of the deepest desire of her heart—becoming a full-time piano teacher. She regrets that. But her life is set and settled now. She’d never earn enough to pay living expenses with a handful of piano students. That dream will just have to remain a dream hidden in her heart.

Let’s talk about your story’s hero, Dann Day. What does he look like? What are his life goals? What are his character flaws? What are his strengths?

Dann has light-brown hair neatly groomed in a conservative side-part cut. He has straight eyebrows over gray eyes that sparkle when he’s happy or excited. Audra calls his handsome face even-featured. His life goals are simple. He wants a family, and he wants a room to set up his model trains.

As far as teaching goes, he feels called to be a mid-school band and orchestra director and has no desire to move up. He likes nothing better than to take a group of fifth grade students and turn them into accomplished musicians by the time they are ready to leave him for the larger world of high school music.

He’s such a nice guy, but he hates confrontations and he’d rather run away than tell a woman the relationship is over and make it stick. He’s hard-working and willing to accept a challenge. But according to Audra’s thoughts: Dann’s different from any man I’ve ever known—unlike any of the men in Chandler’s Grove, for certain. He’s the most honest, forthright man I’ve ever met. He’s divorced—so? 

That hadn’t changed her perception of him as a kind, sensitive, nice guy. 

Alexis: How does a visit to her gynecologist change Audra’s life?

Carol: From the moment Dr. Rhonda says she needs to do a biopsy, Audra’s aware that her life is changed forever. Fear, worry, and anxiety become her constant companion. Even when Tamina vows to stand by her, come what may, Audra can’t make the thoughts go away. It’s exhausting.

Couple that with mounting anger at Heather’s adversarial attitude and the growing suspicion she’s behind a dirty trick played on her, Audra’s frustration finally drives her to seek counseling from the pastor at the church Tamina’s started going to. It’s when the Lord enters the situation that real and permanent changes in Audra’s life take place.

Alexis: Why does Audra have unresolved anger issues?

Carol: They remained unresolved because instead of dealing with feelings of rejection and anger, she stuffed them. For years. Most of the issues centered around her father and not understanding the depth of his grief and descent into bitterness after her mother died. Then he unexpectedly died of a heart attack. It was too late to resolve their differences, and anger was left to fester. Audra laments to Tamina, “My anger has burst out of some secret closet, and I can’t get it back in because it’s grown fat and ugly and it won’t fit anymore. Oh, girl, I’m miserable.”

Alexis: What caused Audra to stray from God?

It wasn’t rebellion or chasing worldly enticements. She’d faithfully gone to church and Sunday school until her mother died when she was twelve. After the funeral, when she asked her father if she could go back to Sunday school, he said no, they didn’t need God in their lives.

What can a twelve-year-old child do in that situation? She couldn’t drive herself to church, so not going to church became the new norm. Slowly but surely, her knowledge of the Bible lagged, became neglected, and left her depending on the few scraps she remembered. It wasn’t that she no longer believed in God, but she had lost her trust. Little did she know that God never left her.

Alexis: What is it about Dann that interests Audra (beside his handsome looks)?

Carol: At first meeting, it’s his friendliness. Never having had much experience with men, she is surprised how comfortable and at ease she feels talking with him. However, with her newly discovered health problem, she absolutely will not allow any further attraction. Except there’s this mutual love of music that stirs her heart, and her own musical ability is probably the one area in her life where she’s genuinely self-confident. Then there’s his honesty, integrity, and love for his family. She feels totally safe with him. Oh, how long can she deny she’s attracted to him?

Alexis: What is it about Audra that makes Dann want to know her better?

Carol: Maybe it’s that refreshing girl-next-door innocence he senses. At least she doesn’t seem the type to dump her husband and run off to chase a career in modeling. Or the designing woman who wants to remake him in her own image or push herself on him like that Heather who’s been on the make from their first day at work. He’s new in town, and he needs a friend. Audra makes him smile.

Alexis: Who is Heather Easton and what role does she play in this story?

Carol: Heather arrives in Chandler’s Grove the same way and time Dann does. She’s been hired to teach sixth-grade math at the academy. She left Minnesota to escape her controlling mother whom she blames for ruining every relationship she’s ever had with a man. Out from under her mother’s thumb, there’s Dann as big as life. He seems to have eyes only for Audra, but she’ll get what she wants.

Alexis: What role does faith in God play in this story?

Carol: One can believe in God and know the blood of Jesus forgives their sin, and we say they have faith. But faith also involves trust. Trusting that God cares for us 24/7. Trusting that God knows what’s best for us and will lead us on the path He wants for us. Trusting that when the Bible says not to lean on our own understanding, that God wants us to depend on him for everything, all the time. Trusting that when God says forgive others, that He will empower us to do it. Audra, Dann, and Tamina all have to learn these lessons.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about Audra: Dying for Life?

No matter why or how long ago we strayed from God, he always wants us back. God gives us life. He wants us to live it with joy and to the fullest. Seeking God’s will always bring peace. And in the words of 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV): “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”

Alexis: Complete this sentence: If I were not an author, I’d want to _______________ because ________________________________.

Carol: If I were not an author, I’d want to become one because at 81 years old, there’s nothing I’d rather do, and I can’t not write.

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

Carol: Thank you, Alexis, for interviewing me. I think I know Audra better now than when I wrote her story! God bless you in all your endeavors.

Author Bio:

Carol J. Nelson lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she spends most days writing Christian women's fiction. 

Although she started writing in childhood, it took a lifetime to know what her heart truly desired and needed to write—stories that touch the fabric of women's lives with hope, grace, and faith, combined with the little spice of clean romance women enjoy. 

She has three daughters, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She served as an aid in a nursing home, worked in the purchasing department of a large corporation, spent time as the head cook at an all-you-can-eat buffet, and went full circle to become a care-giver before settling in to her first love, writing. 

When she's not at the computer, church, gardening, cooking, and playing cards and games keep her busy.

Back Cover Blurb for Audra: Dying for Life 

When Audra Knight's gynecologist says, "I need to do a biopsy," it numbs her to the core of her being. She's young, single, and suddenly a potential cancer victim. 

It's really not the time to notice Dann Day, the handsome new band-orchestra teacher at Chandler's Grove Academy...and Audra's new co-worker. And why should he want anything to do with her? 

With her unresolved anger issues, the way she's strayed from God, and the fact that Heather Easton already seems to have claimed him for her own, getting involved would be stupid. Even if he was able to see past all of that, it could too easily end in heartbreak if she does end up having cancer. She doesn't want to put a man through that. 

But when Dann asks Audra's help on a school project, Heather's jealousy flares. It's the catalyst that amplifies Audra's anger, sending her back to God and church to find peace and the courage to truly live. However, there's on thing that can't be stopped...Audra's growing feelings for Dann. 

But how can she tell a man who wants a family that he might not be able to have one with her? As the pressure mounts, it becomes clear that the only one who can answer the question is God.

Buy Carol's book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

United States of America residents ONLY may 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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Monday, August 10, 2020

My Blog's 10th Year Birthday Bash: Davalynn Spencer's book giveaway

Welcome to the 10th day of my blog's birthday bash!

Please welcome my author friend Davalynn Spencer.

She's here to giveaway two of her books!

Enter the book giveaway contest via the Rafflecopter widget the end of this blog post. Only residents of the USA are eligible to receive a signed paperback copy of this author's books. International residents will only receive ebook copies due to costs of mailing books outside of the USA.

Let's learn a little bit more about Davalynn and her books ...

Author Bio:

As the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, Davalynn Spencer has enjoyed a front-row seat on cowboys and their lifestyle. 

She writes Christian romance with a Western flair, both contemporary and historical, winning the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction, and seeing two of her historical novellas on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists. 

Her countless nonfiction pieces have appeared in Prorodeo Sports News, American Cowboy, Western Horseman, The Upper Room, Power for Living, The Quiet Hour, The Christian Standard, and other periodicals. 

She’s also fairly certain her previous career as a rodeo journalist and award-winning crime-beat reporter prepared her for her life #lovingthecowboy in Colorado. 

When she’s not writing, teaching writing workshops, or playing the keyboard on her church worship team, she’s wrangling Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley. 

Connect with Davalynn at

Back Cover Blurb for An Impossible Price:

Christian Historical Western Romance 

He has to choose – keep his secrets or the woman he loves. He can’t have both.

With no husband of her own, midwife Sophie Price lives to keep others calm in their hour of need. But when a handsome horse handler steps off the train with a fiery stallion, he brings anything but calm as he looks her dead in the eye and clear through to her soul.

Clay Ferguson returns to the place he once called home, hunting a fresh start and the one woman who could draw him back. If he can hide his battered heart and the brutality of his past, maybe she’ll take another look and give him a second chance.

Both bear scars from their fathers. Both fight for life. Together, they may learn that love is worth its impossible price.

Back Cover Blurb for Just in Time for Christmas:

She’s seventeen with a ranch to run, a fear of heights, and a cowboy intent on stealing her heart. 

Abigale Millerton leaves a Denver girl’s school and returns to her grandparents’ high-country ranch to find the boy she’d grown up with not a boy any longer—and butting in on her challenge with local timber thieves. If he’d stop telling her what to do, they might get along.

Seth Holt has loved Abigale since before he knew better. And now that she’s back in the high country, she’s still as bull-headed as ever. But Seth can match her, and he’s determined to keep her out of harm’s way and in his line of sight. Trouble is, he’d rather keep her in his arms.

Connect with Davalynn:
Quarterly Newsletter sign-up and free e-book:
Amazon Author:
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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Devotionals for the Heart: Quarantine

Quarantine doesn't mean separation
A devotional by Wade Webster

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” –Romans 8:35 (NIV)

Quarantine is a word we seldom used before 2020. There was never a situation in our personal lives that demanded such drastic measures. But that pesky little COVID-19 virus changed all that.

I came across the word when I drove for Conway Freight. We transferred freight of various sizes around the world for several companies. In the wintertime, a blizzard or ice storm would make driving in a particular region unsafe and/or impossible. A hurricane would cause the same scenario during the summer months. The company would call a quarantine for that area. No freight was allowed to go there until the situation improved.

To slow the spread of this Coronavirus, we've been asked to quarantine our bodies at home until further notice, especially for those at high risk of infection. Technology makes it possible to remain in touch with loved ones but that has its limits. Seeing a face and hearing a voice is nice but there's nothing like a human touch to build a bond.

Introverts handle such isolation better than extroverts do. Extroverts thrive on human interaction. They need it to recharge. Introverts prefer to be alone to get back in touch with themselves.

So, we isolate ourselves to protect us and to keep from adding to the statistics. Then the loneliness settles in ... even for introverts. God told us in the opening chapters of the Bible that it's not good for people to be alone. When that forbidden fruit was eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, a separation occurred. That perfect, face-t0-face relationship Adam and Eve experienced with God, died. They were quarantined out of the Garden of Eden for the rest of human history on Earth.

The following chapters of the Bible are filled with failed attempts at restoring that broken relationship with God. Sin was the virus that kept the statistics high. It took God's Son (Jesus Christ) becoming a man and sacrificing His life, to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Sin still tries to step between us and forever quarantine us away from God.

While it feels at times like we will be forever separated from God, we can rest assured that’s not possible because of what God says in His Word (The Holy Bible). Let’s read His Words in Romans 8:38-40 (NIV). The Apostle Paul, who wrote this book of Romans, underscores this point in the very last verse of that magnificent chapter. He said: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

That's quite an exhaustive list. We can add any virus, pandemic, or personal quarantine as well. Sin still taints our relationship with God as long as we walk this earth. But because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, we have hope of experiencing a time that will never end. A time when we'll know God as He is and fully realize face-to-face with Him that we are His precious child. God will be that perfect Daddy who we've always longed for.

Hold on, my friend. Quarantines will be lifted. Hugs will be all the sweeter when they come ... especially that hug we receive from Jesus Christ when we see Him face to face.

Author Bio:

Wade Webster is a farm boy turned city slicker, heathen turned born-again Christian, truck driver turned writer doing his best to point folks to his best friend, Jesus Christ. 

He currently lives in Plano, Texas.

Wade is the author of 100 Prayers of a Writer, a book that didn't begin as a book, just weekly prayers to a group of writer friends.

He enjoys spending time in nature, running for exercise and dark chocolate, though not necessarily in that order. Apart from driving 18-wheelers for a living he has a part-time job painting houses on the side...and the front and back and inside.

As a teenager, he told his friends he never wanted to be considered normal. So far he's done a pretty good job of living up to that aspiration.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Celebrate Lit blog tour stop, featuring Tim Witte's book "Back to God"

Welcome to my blog's stop on Tim Witte (author of Back to God: The Journey of Hope Through a Broken World)'s book tour! I enjoyed reading this book by Witte. I hope that you will enjoying reading this details about his book and reading my review too! 

About the Book
Book title = Back to God: The Journey of Hope Through a Broken World
Author: Tim Witte
Genre:  Nonfiction
Release Date: January 27, 2020

Back to God: The Journey of Hope through a Broken World is a timeless, grace-filled message from the Bible to bring us back to God. 

Sometimes we long not for escape but to find our way in the midst of the questions burning in our minds. Who can I trust? Do I have meaning? What hope do I have?

In a society where nothing is permanent, technological advances increase our sense of vulnerability, and relationships come and go, we long for one unchanging element in which we can trust and rest in wholeheartedly without fear. We long for hope. 

Author Tim Witte conveys just that with Back to God, offering foundational principles from the timeless truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ: the message of unfailing hope that meets us in our broken world, a promise from the only one who cannot lie and who will not fail, and a powerful word from God to bring us back to God.

Back to God is neither academic nor profoundly apologetic but is a truthful, down-to-earth dialogue filled with illustrations that will resonate with readers who long for true answers from the Bible for life’s biggest problems.

My Review:

Tim Witte, author of Back to God: The Journey of Hope through a Broken World, is a talented author! I am grateful that I had the opportunity to read and review this book for Celebrate Lit.

Witte’s storytelling skills are so smooth and completely captivating that I thought I was reading the first chapter of this book when I was only reading the Preface! I realized that after I turned the first few pages and saw the Acknowledgments section.

He takes stories from real life like the Columbine High School massacre that happened in Colorado in April 1999, and the fatal Space Shuttle Columbia disaster that occurred in February 2003, and makes them more compelling with a strong human-interest hook. Witte retells each story in a way that tugs at the readers’ heartstrings. His storytelling creates a deeper sense of empathy for the people who lost their lives during those tragic times in American history.

The author proves his point and presents his case for why humankind needs to return “back to God” throughout this book! He supports every claim with verses from The Holy Bible. Perhaps the verse on which this book was founded is Psalm 14:1-3 (ESV):

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;

there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,

to see if there are any who understand,

who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;

there is none who does good,

not even one.

The author presents his case early on in this book. It is a case for acknowledgment of and healing from what he calls “spiritual brokenness and pollution.” His findings are well backed by facts, statistics, and of course, the stories that fill the pages of this nonfiction book.

As a reader, I appreciated how the sentences flowed seamlessly into paragraphs and how the perfectly formatted paragraphs neatly filled each page. But it was the author’s fluid storytelling style that kept me turning the pages of this well-written book!

The author addresses deep questions that most people have in common because they are all a natural-occurring part of the human experience: “Who can I trust? Do I have meaning? What hope do I have?”

Witte effectively conveys in his book that we do have hope in Jesus Christ! Nothing that we face in life is utterly hopeless because God promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and His Son Jesus Christ walks with us through the mountains and valleys of life here on Earth (Psalm 139:8). Jesus will be here for us until the end of human history (Matthew 28:20)!

This is one the most truth-filled, down-to-earth books filled with messages of faith and hope, that I have ever read! I truly enjoyed this read and finished the book with a feeling of encouragement.

*Celebrate Lit provided me (Alexis A. Goring) with a complimentary copy of this book, Back to God: The Journey of Hope through a Broken World by Tim Witte. My opinions in this book review are my own.

About the Author

Writer and veteran Bible teacher Tim Witte holds a bachelor’s in Bible and Greek from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, and studied computer science at Austin Peay State University.

He lives in northern Indiana with his wife of thirty years. They have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandsons.

Tim enjoys teaching Bible classes at his church, woodworking, barbecuing, and spending time with family.

Words from the author (Tim Witte):

If I Should Die Before I Wake
Next to a chainsaw, the most dangerous tool you could find in my hand is a rhyming dictionary. The good news is I have not touched a chainsaw for months. The bad news is I recently dusted off New Rhyming Dictionary and Poetry Handbook. My subject is prayer so maybe, with much prayer, I can do more good than harm.

A Child’s Prayer

Writing Back To God made me reflect on the people and events God used in preserving my life and leading me to faith in Christ. Though I did not have a clear understanding of the gospel as a child, my parents laid a good foundation with biblical truths about God and myself. One of my earliest memories is of my Mom stooping beside my bed and having me repeat this prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep;

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

That nightly routine and the words of that little prayer helped establish a Godward orientation to my life. Not every child receives that. I learned some vital truths at a very young age:
  • I learned I could pray to God. What a concept! Many PhDs have not figured that out.
  •  I learned I was not ready to go to sleep until I had said my prayers. I don’t speak of praying in that way now; it sounds more ritualistic than personal. Yet, it conveyed the priority of praying to God.
  • I learned that God could protect me, but I should not presume upon that protection. I should ask for it.
  • The third line presents the possibility of death. It would have been bizarre and borderline cruel if, night after night, my mother had said, “Now remember Timmy, you might die in your sleep. Good night!” However, prayer is serious business, and I can talk to God about the scariest stuff.

Additionally, I learned my eternal destiny was not to be taken for granted; it was to be a matter of prayer. Ultimately, God would decide where I ended up.

As one would expect, my prayers became more varied and improvised as I matured. For most of my adolescence, I continued a somewhat sporadic pattern of prayer at night.

Gospel-ignited Prayer

However, the time came while in the Army when I ceased to pray. I recount some of this in Back to God. My life was a sinful mess. The last thing I wanted to think about was what happens “if I should die before I wake.” For prayer to be possible one has to have hope, but I was hopeless. Prayer would only be reawakened in me when another soldier brought me God’s message of hope.
Interestingly, my evangelist started the conversation by asking, “Tim, do you know where you would go if you died tonight?” From there, he proceeded to share the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That prompted me to read the Bible, and particularly the book of Romans. I was overwhelmed by the astonishing message of God’s grace. Then the flame of prayer was reignited when I read, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'” (Rom. 10:13). God heard my cry that day, and now I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and teaching me to cry, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:15).
So recited prayers can be powerful tools for instructing small children about themselves and God. Such prayers may help them form a daily habit of praying. However, only the gospel has power to kindle the eternal flame of prayer in our hearts.

A Responsive Prayer

You may want to take cover now as I am about to wax poetic. Understanding the role that prayers can have in teaching important theological truths and the necessity of the gospel to ignite prayer in the heart, I recently composed a responsive bedtime prayer for my daughter and son-in-law to use with their young sons. I patterned it after the prayer my mother taught me, but I filled it with gospel hope.
As I lay me down, I pray,
Thank you Jesus for this day.
By your grace forgive my sin, 
Make me true and clean within. 

Holy Jesus guard your sheep,
For you died our souls to keep.
Keep us trusting in your grace, 
Till we see you face to face.

                        Blog Stops
Artistic Nobody, July 29 (Author Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, August 1 (Author Interview)
My Devotional Thoughts, August 3 (Author Interview)
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 6 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, August 8
Blossoms and Blessings, August 9 (Author Interview)
God is Love, August 9

To celebrate his tour, Tim is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 
Click the link below to enter: