Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: When God has more in store for you

What if God Wants More for You?
A devotional by Temeka Borden

“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)

A few days ago, I recorded a video for a select group of individuals. During that video I spoke about Peter and John healing a man who was lame, and I referenced Acts 3:1-10 (NLT).

In this Scripture, you can read how this man was “lame from birth.” People carried him and “put him beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple” (Acts 3:2 NLT).

When this man who was lame saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter then told the man, “Look at us!” The man looked at them expecting to receive some money. But instead, Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

Let’s read what happens next in Acts 3:7-8a (NLT): “Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk!”

The man stood up and walked into the temple with Peter and John, while praising God. In Acts 3:10, it is stated that the people were filled with wonder and amazement because of what happened.

When God Wants More for You

When I read and reflect on this story, I always ask myself, “What if God wants more?”

The man who was lame asked Peter and John for alms, not realizing he was about to receive something a million times better–a complete healing, an ability to do something he had never done before. Think about this! We go to God in prayer, and at times, we ask Him for things, according to what we (the flesh) want or think we should have. Some of us may even take those steps of trying to make some things happen without consulting God. Quite often, we don’t realize that God’s plans and blessings for us are greater than we imagine.

Don’t Withhold Praise from God

I just cannot skip the following very important part of the story. Note that in Acts 3:8 (NKJV), it is stated that the man who was once lame praised God! “So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.” He was not ashamed. He was not shy about it. He was overjoyed and He praised the Lord for this miraculous act that was done. We should not withhold our praise from the Lord. When God does something for us, we should not be shy about praising Him.

The Way God Blesses You Will Amaze People

In Acts 3:10, it is stated that the people were “filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him”. This man who was lame from birth, can now walk? But not only is he walking, he is leaping! The Lord made it obvious what He can do by healing the man who was once lame. What has God done in your life that has amazed people?

Just think about those times when people counted you out, those times people underestimated you, those times people assumed you would never be healed and be whole again, those times when people saw the predicament you were in and assumed you would never make it … But God worked a miracle in your life and it amazed people! Those same individuals who doubted what God could do for you were astounded. Now, think about the numerous things God will do in your life. I don’t know about you, but I get excited every time I think about it!

Expect More

When we pray, let’s ask God’s will to be done, and let us not be limited in our thinking. God has plans to do extraordinary things through us. What He has in mind may be different from what your mind initially conceived. Although God’s goals for you may be different, what He has planned for you is better. It is more.

In closing, please remember: Your plans for yourself cannot compete with God’s plans for you.

Author Bio:

Temeka Borden, better known by her pen name “Positivity Inspires,” is an author, speaker, minister, PharmD, multi-state licensed pharmacist, founder and owner of Positivity Inspires, LLC, and most importantly, a servant of the Lord. 

She was introduced to Christ at a very early age and was raised in the church. Her ministry focuses on encouraging Christians to love God first, to love all people, to continually strengthen their bond with Christ, and to study His Word, and live His Word daily.

Dr. Borden has been blessed with a variety of gifts, and she has gained much professional experience in a variety of settings. She also has served in administrative roles in the professional and church settings. In addition to obtaining her PharmD, she also obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology (minor in English), and she is working on her third degree. What’s more, as stated in her words, “I completed a specialty pharmacy residency that prepared me for the workforce and made me a force to be reckoned with.”

Temeka is a long-distance runner, a drummer, a singer, and she has a strong “fashion sense.” She also can read and type at almost supersonic speed in some instances.

Dr. Borden loves to learn and is constantly looking for new ways to challenge herself.

She loves God and she loves people. She is “crazy about her family,” and she adores her friends. She strongly encourages others to show kindness, respect, and love to everyone.

Temeka loves and welcomes diversity and flourishes in culturally diverse environments.

Dr. Borden loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh. She also is passionate about giving back to the community. Her favorite sayings are “Speak Up!” and “Watch God Work!”

Connect with Temeka:
Facebook -
Instagram -
Twitter -

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Romantic Reads: Permelia Cottage

Interview with Carole Lehr Johnson about her novel, Permelia Cottage:

Alexis: What is the significance of the title of your story?

Carole: Permelia is the name of one of my ancestors, and since it’s such a unique name, I thought I’d use it for my cottage.

Alexis: How did you research this story? Did you visit an old cottage in England?

Carole: In 2013, my writing partner and I stayed in Blue Cottage in Wiltshire, England. It was built in the sixteenth-century. I’d already formulated the story, and this cottage fit. Although I did alter the floor plan, etc.

Alexis: Why are the themes of faith and healing central to this story?

Carole: That God works behind the scenes, guiding circumstances to bring about His will, which is always for our good.

Alexis: Tell me about your story’s heroine, Susannah. What is special about her? Describe her looks, personality, and heart. What is her greatest strength?

Carole: Her fortitude. She’s been through a lot in her life but has held onto her faith in God. She’s medium height, dark blonde hair, even-tempered. She has compassion for others. Her greatest strength is staying the course with God.

Alexis: Why did Susannah leave her country? Where does she go?

Carole: She is estranged from her son and has always longed to live in the UK. A small village in the north of England.

Alexis: Why does Susannah’s son not want to be around her? Explain the reason for the adversity.

Carole: Ryan holds her responsible for his father’s abandonment when he was a child. I’d rather not include any spoilers and ruin the story for those who have not read it.

Alexis: How did Susannah first discover Permelia Cottage? Why is it her dream to own it?

Carole: She’d done an online search before her trip to the UK, and this cottage was on the list. Her English ancestry was very close to her heart, and she had fallen in love with this particular area of England from her past travels there and wanted to revisit it.

Alexis: Describe the village of Neville. Why is it special to the people who live there?

Carole: Neville is a picturesque English village with many charming historic buildings, houses, and cottages and a family-like community of closeness.

Alexis: Tell me about your story’s hero Colin Heard. What makes him a remarkable man? Describe his looks, personality, and goals. What is his greatest weakness?

Carole: Colin is tall and lean, has dark-wavy hair, and holds great respect in the community. He is a man of principle. His company is very successful, and he uses his wealth to help others, but he does sometimes overstep his boundaries to help someone.

Alexis: How did Colin and Susannah meet? Why was their attraction so instant and mutual? Explain what drew them together like a magnet and share what threatens to tear them apart.

Carole: The story of Colin and Susannah’s meeting is near to my heart, and I’d rather the reader discover this on their own. I will say that Susannah’s insecurities cause some turmoil between them, along with misunderstandings and issues from Colin’s past.

Alexis: Tell me about Susannah’s son Ryan. What is it about the past that he longs to forget? Why does he believe that he needs to have a structured life in New York City. What is his motivation? Describe the deeper meaning to all of this without giving away the story.

Carole: Ryan is an up-and-coming marketing executive in New York City. He longs for the success and prestige of moving up the corporate ladder, but he also is haunted by the hurts of his childhood and confusion in his teenage years. He is struggling with a lot but burying it deeply until a special encounter in England starts him to question many aspects of his life.

Alexis: Who is April Conyers and why is her role in this story of great significance?

Carole: April is a young woman from the village of Neville, who owns a bookshop in a nearby village. She becomes intertwined in the story when she meets Ryan in England and realizes her connection to his mother. She is also grappling with a painful past.

Alexis: What is it about April that makes Ryan feel drawn to her and want to know her more?

Carole: April is friendly and straightforward. She also seems to see more into his past than he wants anyone to do.

Alexis: What is April’s first impression of Ryan? Is it a lasting impression? Why or why not?

Carole: Her first impression is that he seems a bit too focused on his career and a bit uptight, and that he is uncomfortable speaking about his mother.

Alexis: Why did you as the author put Ryan on a path to redemption? How will this help him?

Carole: When the story starts, Ryan thinks he has his life figured out and has just what he wants out of that life. But he needs to grapple with the past, and he does not want to do so.

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

Carole: That God is a God of second chances and redemption and no matter how far we run from the truth He will reveal it to us if we will seek Him.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Carole! Would you like to share closing comments?

Carole: Thank you for having me as your guest, Alexis. I have enjoyed our chat about my debut novel. I want to mention that my next novel, A Place in Time, is set to release on May 26, 2021. It is a bit of a departure from Permelia Cottage as it involves time travel to the 17th century, but it is still set within the heart of England at a manor house. If anyone would like more information, please visit my website,

Author Bio:

Carole Lehr Johnson is a veteran travel consultant of more than 30 years and has served as head of genealogy at her local library.

Her love of tea and scones, castles and cottages, and all things British have led her to immerse her writing in the United Kingdom, whether in the genre of historical or contemporary fiction.

She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of her local chapter. She and her husband live in Louisiana with their goofy cats. Permelia Cottage is her first novel.

For more information, visit

Back cover copy for Carole’s book, Permelia Cottage:

Can an old English cottage bring renewed faith and healing to several broken hearts?


Susannah Wilkinson leaves her country, and the son she no longer believes wants nor needs her, and flees to England to fulfill her lifelong dream of owning a centuries-old cottage.

Life in the quiet village of Neville is everything she dreamed of, though an interest in the charming Colin Heard was never on the agenda. Their mutual attraction comes to an abrupt end when Susannah finds herself in an unexpected life-altering situation.

Two years later, Ryan Wilkinson travels to Neville to settle his mother's affairs. He longs to forget the past and return to his structured life in New York City. During his days in the village, he meets local bookstore owner April Conyers. He unexpectedly feels drawn to her as they work together for her to purchase his mother's beloved cottage. 

Ryan returns to the U.S. after his interactions with April have shaken him to his core and pulled down walls between him and the painful past. Although, there may be a path to redemption if he is willing to step out in faith.

Buy Permelia Cottage (book) on Amazon or Indie Bound

Connect with Carole:

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, March 29, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Love

Life Lessons in God's Love 
A devotional by Gena Anderson

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” 
–Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

Three days ago, as I write this, I snuggled under a blanket watching TV after a steak dinner, in cozy oblivion to the degree of comfort I was experiencing. Looking back, I’d define my state at that time as being spoiled: a lack of awareness of the luxuries one possesses that others lack.

Today I sit in my bed in a new and uncomfortable situation, as we are starting day three without electricity and hour 15 without running water, in the midst of a winter storm. Temperatures have been as low as seven degrees, we have gotten five inches of snow, and last night brought a fresh layer of icy rain. It’s now 23 degrees, a step up from yesterday. Everyone is dressed in layers so we don’t freeze, which is good because no one has bathed in three days.

I’d like to convey what this has been like. The first 24 hours of the blackout, my husband was at work. He prepared firewood before leaving, and I used it to keep a fire going as our only source of heat. I cooked on our gas grill in frigid temperatures and made ice packs by filling baggies with snow to keep the food in the fridge cold. Everything in our area was without power, so getting food anywhere else wasn’t likely. When my husband came home from his 24-hour shift at the fire department he was exhausted, but managed to bring home wood pallets and cut them up since we were running low on wood. After I cooked dinner in our fireplace when the grill ran out of propane, my husband woke up from a much needed nap and suddenly remembered our camper had propane tanks. He went to storage to retrieve those so we could cook again, and have a heat source to melt snow to use to flush our toilets.

Our entire focus has been on sustenance and warmth, something we’ve never before lacked. Thankfully this is not our normal routine, and I’ve gained new empathy for those who cannot say that.

This whole experience has been trying, cold, and hard. Today, I can say with confidence my heart is full and I’m grateful, even at this time. Like the fresh snow outside my window that is covering everything in sight, I feel a new coating of grace that’s bubbled up out of fresh repentance. I recognize now how dependent I had become on life’s comforts, and I see clearly the things that obstructed my view of God. Knowing God is the only true comfort for our souls, and the realization of how beautifully he provides exactly what we need has humbled me. I have been reminded of God’s love.

Externally I may have appeared positive to my kids, but internally I’ve lamented my fair share these past days. In this book of sorrow and sadness over the destruction of Jerusalem, the author of Lamentations reminds us in the passage above God’s goodness is not measured by life’s difficulties, and his love is constant. This thing we are enduring will not consume us.

God’s love is evident in … the kindness of neighbors as we have helped each other … the beauty of creation, which I now see since I have no electronics to focus on … using what I’ve already been given to provide in abundance for my family and friends … continuing to guide, comfort, provide for, and forgive me while I continue to struggle with the temptations of this life … the gift of family games around a fire when there is literally nothing else to do.

God’s love is here, always has been, always will be. I hope, when the lights come back on and this life of luxury resumes, I don’t allow its constant covering to become unappreciated, and live a life dripping with remembrance of the love of God.

Let’s Pray: God, you are good and loving, and I praise you for being exactly the kind of Father we need. Forgive me for not always acknowledging and appreciating your love, and allowing life’s luxuries to become my comfort and idol. Help me to be a humble receiver and generous giver of the love you so lavishly pour out. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Gena Anderson is a Jesus-lover, writer, nurse practitioner, and blogger who loves to share wellness information and inspiration with the world around her.

She is the author of The Well Woman: A Journey to Wellness Through Loving Jesus, which is available on

Gena proudly holds the title of wife, mom, and the world’s most average CrossFitter. She loves writing, reading, traveling, and brownies. She's working on that last one.

Gena lives in Hutto, Texas with her husband and two children.

Connect with Gena:

Friday, March 26, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Light

The Light of the World
A devotional by Karen Marstaller

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”—John 8:12 (ESV)

In the beginning of the Bible, the first spoken words out of God’s mouth are, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3 NIV). God’s first words spoke His own nature into the world He would go on to create. Is it any wonder that we can’t see much in the darkness, but give us daylight and we are good to go? The Creator of the universe planned it that way.

The New Testament was written a long time after the creation, but Jesus Christ’s message is still clear—He is the Light of the World. The One who called light into existence so long ago is one with God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit brought us into the world, and when we ask Jesus to save us, the Light of God’s presence starts to illuminate our lives. All we can say is, “Wow! Look at what God is doing!”

How does God make such a thing happen? Jesus clearly shows the way in John 3:16. He reminds us of our sinful nature and calls us to be born again because Jesus came to die once and for all so that we could enter His eternal home all clean and pure, covered in His righteousness instead of our own filthy rags. When we believe Jesus and ask Him to save us from our sins, He does exactly that. Because Jesus completed the plan for salvation when He died on the Cross of Calvary, we can have salvation when we give our hearts to Him and call on His Name. The Bible says in Romans 10:9 (NIV), “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

This is good news because sin separates us from God. Without God’s forgiveness we will never become one of His children, and we will ultimately face eternal separation from God, the Creator of our souls, and the Lover of our hearts. But thanks to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, we can be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18), and if we choose to follow Jesus, we can have the hope of eternal life in Heaven (John 14:6).

However though this plan of salvation has been completed and is a free gift to all, we still have to choose to receive this gift and accept Jesus into our hearts. God will not force us to choose Him because He created us with a free will. We can choose to follow Him, or to reject Him. To follow Jesus is to “walk in the light, as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7 NIV) and the blessing is that we come into fellowship with Jesus who will make us ready for eternity with God.

As God purifies us, He also recognizes that we are fallen and broken. We wake up in the morning, and as much as we don’t want to mess up, we do. Sometimes I won’t even get out of bed before some awful thought crosses my mind, and there it is—my first sin of the day. With the successive events that transpire, my sin pile grows, and by nightfall, if I haven’t taken my sins to the Father and asked for forgiveness, I toss and turn all night.

However, Jesus made a way for us to repent of all the horrid things we’ve thought and said and done—He shines His light in all the deepest corners of our hearts, roots out all the strongholds where we fall captive, and creates a clean heart in us. Forgiving us is His way to let us see how desperately we need Him. With it, we can keep going. We can draw close to His loving Father’s heart and rest in His unquenchable light.

What a glorious gift! What unstoppable love!

Even though we are sinful creatures, we don’t have to walk in eternal darkness. Christ’s light is enough. If we will follow His light, and accept the enormous gift of His salvation then we are made new. Forgiven. Blessed. God’s precious children. Eternally secure in the Father’s hand.

Bright spotlights, fame, thousands of social media followers, fat bank accounts, and exotic vacation spots are all temporary fixes for our deepest needs. We desire true relationship, real love, and freedom from the guilt we all carry. The only answer is Jesus. His death in our place brings new life to the world—to every person who craves the only things that matter.

In Revelation (the very last book of the Bible), Jesus told the apostle John to write down God’s truths about heaven. John writes, “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.” (Revelation 21:22-24 NIV)

Only Jesus makes that possible—Jesus, the Light of the World.

*Note from Alexis: This message from Karen today reminds me of this song, “Light of the World” by Lauren Daigle. Listen to it here.

Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Father of Lights, there is no shadow in You. Thank You for Your glorious light in our lives and help us to run to You for forgiveness when we mess up. Please draw us closer to You each day. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

During this time of quarantine, Karen enjoys reading, writing, and connecting with friends and family via phone calls, texts, emails, blogs, live-streams, and video conferencing.

She is grateful that the Lord has provided so many ways for humankind to stay in community, even when we are all hunkering down in our homes.

Karen says, “In this unprecedented time, we know that He has prepared us for such a time as this! To God be all the glory!”

You can reach Karen by emailing her at this address:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Comparison

The Comparison Rabbit Hole
A devotional by Heidy De La Cruz

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

The beautiful young poet, Amanda Gorman, performed for the United States Presidential Inauguration in January. As a poet myself, I fell in love with her words immediately. 

Toward the end of the night, she had an interview. After the interview, my husband turned to me and told me, “That could be you one day.” He meant that I could be asked to perform a poem for an inauguration.

I dismissed that thought and responded, “Who? Me? No, I’m not as good as her.” But what made me not as good as her? Or her better than me? Are we not both poets? Do we not both share the love of words? Why do we ultimately end up comparing ourselves to others? I am by no means dismissing her amazing talent. Amanda Gorman has a beautiful way with words. But instead of thinking, “If she can do it, so can I”, I thought, “I’m not good enough to do it.”

I love that my husband believes in me but why can’t I believe in myself just the same? We must remember that God made us all unique, with talents and gifts. We shouldn’t compare our talents with others because, although they may fall within the same field—in this case, writing—it doesn’t mean that all writers are the same. There are different styles and variations of writing. And this will attract different readers, which is okay. There is room for all of us.

Today it’s easier than ever to fall into the comparison rabbit hole with social media. We may think along these lines: This person has this many followers … this person posts this every so many days … Oh, this person is doing that and this person this … etc.

But these kind of thoughts are so toxic and so unhealthy for us. Unfortunately, many of us fall into that rabbit hole more than we’d like to admit, which is why I have a love/hate relationship with social media.

There is a beautiful reminder in the Bible found in Psalm 139:14 (NIV) and it happens to be one of my favorite verses. This scripture reads, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” This verse serves as my personal reminder that God made me the way I am for a reason. God shows me through this verse that I shouldn’t doubt my work, my gifts, or talents, because they were given to me for a purpose.

God also uses this verse to help me realize that I shouldn’t compare my work, my gifts, or talent, with anyone else’s because God has other purposes for them. God will provide opportunities just for me, at the right time.

Let’s Pray: Lord, thank You for our gifts and talents! I pray that whenever we fall into the habit of comparing ourselves to others, that we are reminded that You provide our gifts for a reason. I pray that we are always reminded that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that You (God) make no mistakes. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Hello, my name is Heidy (Reynoso) De La Cruz.

I am Dominican-American and I’m passionate about writing! I write poetry, encouraging blog posts about personal experiences and any message that God has stored in my heart. I am working on publishing my first poetry book.

First and foremost, I am a daughter of Jesus Christ. I am also a wife and a mother. I have my master’s degree in Healthcare Administration through Belhaven University’s online course. I have my bachelor’s degree in Science with the concentration of Psychology and Healthcare Administration.

I currently work in the medical field as a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist, and I’ve been in the medical field for the last six years. I love my career!

My hobbies include writing, reading, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, traveling, and spending time with my family.

Connect with Heidy:
Read my poetry on Instagram:

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Romantic Reads: Volcano

The Story Behind the Story Volcano by JoAnna White

Volcano is a story about a reckless famous YouTuber named Liam. He lives on the edge of life, putting himself in as much danger as possible. His best friend, Julia, opposes that and is often his voice of reason (which he doesn’t listen to). The inspiration behind the story of Volcano is a bit of an amusing one, so here goes …

I’ve been writing ever since I was 10 years old. I wrote my first story back then and ever since, wrote random stories for fun. A lot of the times, my friends came up with these crazy ideas and we’d plan the book together, base characters off of us, and then I’d write them and find ways to include God in each one of them. The characters would go through a hardship that God would help them overcome. Eventually, I wanted to try to write a book about a natural disaster, and that is when I wrote Earthquake. My laptop crashed and back then, I didn’t save my stories or back them up very often, so I lost Earthquake. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what the book was about or who the characters were, other than an earthquake was the main storyline.

As I became an author and turned writing into a career, I delved more into fantasy, but still wanted to return to my contemporary roots. So, I decided to rewrite Earthquake, but with a romantic twist. Then, the idea hit me: a series of Christian romances, where each one ends in a natural disaster, with the book titles to be named after the disaster.

Then, I worked with my fan group on Facebook, called JW Warriors, to plan Volcano. My first thing I needed was the main couple. I asked myself these questions: “Okay, what kind of guy character or girl character haven’t I done before?” … “What things do I need them to overcome, to learn about God?”

My cousin loved the idea of a famous YouTuber and I thought the idea of getting caught up in fame would work. But I really wanted to go much deeper than that. It wasn’t just about the fame. I actually took a part of myself that I used to struggle with, just in a different way than YouTube.

When I was still learning about how to turn writing into a career, I got on a website called Wattpad, where you can write and read stories for free. Every time someone read my book, it counted as a read, and eventually, I became obsessed with how many reads and comments each of my stories got. I realized eventually that I had made my value in my reads and comments, but I had to learn that my value came from God. So, I took that same lesson and concept and applied it to Liam—where, he became obsessed with his views and subscribers. Like me, he believes in God, but was searching for his value in the wrong things.

However, I didn’t want to use a musical YouTuber; the idea seemed cliché in my head, so I decided to do a thrill-seeker. Then, I gave him an injury. Because the thought of making a stupid mistake, getting yourself hurt, and not being able to do what you loved, would put him in a position where his views and subscriptions were dropping. It would force him to learn to rely on God, just like I had to do when I left Wattpad. Sometimes, God holds off on our dreams and lets us go through dry periods, to force us to turn to Him. It’s only when we learn to lean on and rely on Him that we find true happiness and fulfillment.

So, through the romance and the adventure, and all the intense natural-disaster action, I hope readers can take that single, important lesson from the story.

Author Bio:

Joanna White is a Christian author and fangirl.

Hunter and Shifter are the first two books in her debut series, called the Valiant Series, published by Christian publisher Ambassador International and there are more to come. 

In December 2019, one of her short stories was featured in Once Upon A Yuletide (a Christmas fairy tale anthology by Divination Publishing). Dark Magi, Book One of the Republic Chronicles came out in November 2019. Glimpses of Time and Magic, a historical fantasy anthology, also featured one of her stories. The Crystal Heist was her most recent release, in August 2020.

She graduated from Full Sail University with a BFA in Creative Writing For Entertainment. Ever since she was ten years old, she's been writing stories and has a deep passion for writing and creating stories, worlds, characters, and plots that readers can immerse themselves in.

In 2020, she reached her personal goal of writing a million words in a year. Most of all, Joanna loves God, her family, staying at home, and being a total nerd.

To stay updated and find out more about her novels, where her inspiration comes from, games, giveaways, and more, visit her website at:

Book Blurb for Volcano:

Liam is as famous and reckless as they come. 

His fame and fortune have come from his wild adventures all around the world, which he films for his YouTube channel. Never before has his life ever been in danger, or has he ever gotten hurt. 

Until now.

His best friend, Julia, wants to be there for him, but sitting on the sidelines isn’t what Liam does best. Especially with his numbers and subscribers dropping since he can’t do much. 

To help him, Julia takes Liam and a bunch of their friends on a vacation to Hawaii, but all that does is make Liam’s inner adrenaline junkie want more.

The last thing either of them expect is a volcanic eruption to happen—let alone the worst one in Hawaii’s history. 

But after a massive earthquake split California, the surface of the earth is on the move, and Liam and Julia are standing right in the path of destruction.

Especially when Liam and his friends decide to climb the Volcano to have a look—right before it blows.

Buy Volcano on Amazon or the author’s website

Connect with JoAnna:
Join JoAnna’s fan group on Facebook (to be Christian nerds together and be involved in planning my books and behind the scenes stuff):

Monday, March 22, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Our Mission

Purpose and Productivity
A devotional by Glynis Becker

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” 
–Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)

Have I somehow made “being productive” and “finding purpose” an idol in my life? I am aware, as most of us are, that God’s version of things like love, peace, happiness, and success are often very different from what the world expects. So my fear is that along the way, I have turned God’s calling and purpose for my life into an end goal it was never supposed to be.

I grew up in the church. I never felt a call to be a missionary or a pastor, but I always thought that somehow, with whatever talent I possessed, I would someday do “big things” for God. Yet here I am, in middle-age, feeling let down and afraid that I might have missed that one thing God had for me to do.

As I was pondering that rather depressing thought, a realization hit me that I know could only have come from God: He doesn’t need me to worry about doing big things or small things or even anything at all. He just needs my willingness and obedience for those moments when He does ask me to do something.

I only have so many days, so many years, and only this one life and I don’t want to waste it. But I have spent a lot of energy trying to figure out my purpose. What if what God really needs from me is to be still, listen to His voice, love Him and the people around me? What if I miss that because I’m looking to do something bigger? What if there really is no “one purpose”, but just day-to-day trust and obedience?

My father-in-law remarked once that when his kids were little, he’d gotten a video camera. He spent so much time trying to capture memories of school concerts and vacations, that he ended up only really experiencing them through the lens, feeling like he’d missed the event itself. I don’t want to be looking so hard for something that I miss the things around me.

Not all of us will have a platform for evangelism like Billy Graham, or have the resume of a Moses or King David. But we all have people in our lives who need to hear the Truth. We have children to raise to know Jesus. We have jobs to do with integrity so that people know we are people of good character. We have small kindnesses to do in our corner of the world. We can support others doing work in places around the world we will never see.

Worrying takes away a lot of joy. And if we are spending time with God, He is not going to let us miss out on what He has for us. He doesn’t need me to find my own version of purpose or productivity. He just needs me to listen and act.

“The Mission” song by Steve Green sums up my points today. Listen to it here.

Let’s Pray: Father God, You know everything about me, the world, and my place in it. Please help me to see where You want me to be, what You want me to do, and who You want me to share You with, however that looks. I know You have things set aside for me to do, but help me not be so focused on “doing”, that I forget how to just “be”. I love You. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume. 

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming. 

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two teenage children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting.

You can find her at

Friday, March 19, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Why we need to spur each other on in love

Spurring Each Other On in Love
A devotional by Jessica Collazo

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” 
– Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

Have you ever had a series of events happen within a short time frame, where you know that God was trying to get your attention? I have plenty of times, but this time, it’s a bit different. It’s a bit more urgent.

First, it started as a conversation, then I listened to a few podcasts, and then I watched a conference online (all within this week) and in all three instances the main topic revolved around life as we know it at the moment and how things need to change. What does that mean exactly? There is a lot that needs to change! We can absolutely describe this world as chaotic, uneasy, depressed, angry, and the list goes on … But as believers, the question is, “What do we need to do in the midst of all of this?”

I believe that the answer is simple. We need to do what Paul tells in Hebrews 10:24-25; We need to spur each other on! We need to encourage each other and hold each other accountable because people’s lives depend on it. We have been forced to stay home this past year and isolate from others around us, but all that has done is create more distance in a world that is already so cold and self-absorbed. 

As believers, we need to understand that meeting together is ultimately for the benefit of those around us. Meeting together helps us learn and lean in, and then we can go and pour out what we have learned into the lives of the broken and lost. Not because we are perfect and have it all together, but because we have experienced healing and wholeness in Christ Jesus. We have experienced hope. However, the HOPE we have in Jesus is not meant to be kept as a little-known secret among believers, it’s meant to be shared with everyone to the ends of the earth.

The reason I believe the Lord has stirred this up in me recently is because there is an urgency to address all the hurt and pain this world is experiencing. If we take inventory of our lives, we must ask ourselves, “Why aren’t we sharing Jesus with the people who are hurting the most?” “Why have we made Jesus more of a commodity that we have access to, and why don’t we live as though the King of Kings is on His throne and can handle all that is going on in this world?”

Our mission is simple:
Love God and Love People.

Loving God means living in and for Him. Loving people means spending time with them and sharing Jesus with them.

We achieve that by continuing to meet with each other, encourage each other, and then spur each other on to go out into the world and share who Jesus is and what He can be in their lives.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we ask You to open our hearts and our eyes to see if we have stopped going to You first. If we are not meeting with other believers, show us who to reach out to and teach us how to be creative in what meeting looks like as we continue to navigate the difficulties of the times we are living in. Do not allow us to be discouraged. Help us to remember that you, Jesus, are our living Hope! In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Jessica Collazo is a Chicago native with a heart that beats for Jesus. Her passion is to challenge women to think differently, gain a new perspective and live confidently. Because she knows, it’s possible.

Using God’s Word, a little bit of humor, strategic way of thinking and personal stories, Jessica offers a fresh take on where to go when women feel stuck, overlooked or overwhelmed.

Jessica’s greatest passion is to help women take off the identities they have been given by the world and realize who they are in Christ: known, dearly loved, set apart, and chosen.

Jessica is the senior manager of operations at Proverbs 31 Ministries who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Jerry, two sons and dog, Sawyer. Prior to working at Proverbs 31 Ministries, Jessica has over 10 years of experience working in women’s ministry, marriage ministry and outreach.

Connect with Jessica:

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: A life lesson about loving our neighbors

Loving Our Neighbors
A devotional by Christa MacDonald

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV) 

I am currently employed at a community newspaper group and one of my responsibilities involves cataloging the obituaries per publication. Mostly, it’s a straightforward data project, opening files and saving them into a specific folder to be exported later. I love these projects. I put on a playlist of classical tunes and get my work done while my brain takes a rest.

There’s no angst involved, no customer interaction, just data. As straightforward as it is, I also find it moving. I open each file and read the name of the person who passed, maybe catch a few details of their life, and see their picture. Some of these stop me in my tracks, leading me to read the notice in full.

Managing the obituary department, I see a lot of faces of the departed. The pictures that I find the most compelling are the candid ones—people caught in their everyday existence, their expressions a window into both the moment being captured and their lives. Grandfathers with hokey hats and crooked smiles, moms with corsages beaming with pride from weddings past, uncles in sunglasses holding up huge fish, aunts laughing with friends just out of frame, a son posing with a football, a daughter with a wide smile clutching a teddy bear in a hospital gown.

Each one of them Imago Dei, which means they were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26).

In the verse above, Jesus tells us that after loving God, loving our neighbors is next in importance. So much so that all the law and prophets (a euphemism for all of scripture) hang in the balance. Seems simple, and it’s easy to love someone when they’re loveable or similar to us. The challenge comes in loving those who differ from us, those we don’t agree with on some level. In our deeply divided country, we’ve made it easier to hate than to love. Our rhetoric can easily become extreme. Disagreements become pitched battles. Some form camps, raise flags, and list offenses, knowing that they’re right and the other guys are wrong. And they aren’t simply wrong, they’re evil, monstrous. It’s hard to love a neighbor who you’ve demonized.

Media pitches battles for us daily, presenting things for us to get upset about, throwing headlines to inflame our passions about things that simply do not matter on an eternal scale. We declare war on those we should be loving for trivial, worldly stuff, corporations changing their brands, toys changing their names, and a million other petty distractions. We engage in culture wars when we should be sharing the Gospel and serving our communities.

Loving our neighbor means looking past that person’s external details and seeing the image of God imprinted upon them. We need to see through political affiliations, socio-economic status, lifestyle choices and instead see that person as God’s creation.

We need to see the people around us as God does. We are all sinners. Some of us have been saved by Grace. We need to have that eternal perspective in mind whenever we interact with the world God loved so much that he sent his Son to die so that we might have everlasting life.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, please help us to see our neighbors as you do and to love them as you commanded. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Christa MacDonald is a 2017 Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction. 

She began her writing career at the age of eleven, filling a sketchbook with poems and short stories. After publishing a few short pieces in her college’s literary magazine she took a long hiatus during which she embarked on a few different careers, got married, had three kids, and renovated an old barn masquerading as a house.

Her most recent work, The Redemption Road, finished the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty. She and her family live along the coast of New England.

Connect with Christa:

Christa's book publisher:

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Romantic Reads: Secondhand Sunsets

Story behind the story, Secondhand Sunsets, by Gail Kittleson

We humans sometimes experience such devastating blows that haunt us. This proved true for my heroine, Abigail Ferguson, a young woman in the Civil War.

The novel’s cover paints a vivid depiction of her story. No matter how gray our lives may seem—how filled with grief, mistakes, and shame, beauty may still arises. In the very worst of times, hope can still rise from the ashes of our lives. Our Creator’s love accompanies us to the ends of the earth.

My latest release begins in southern Missouri and ends in the wilds of Arizona Territory. I began working on this story twelve years ago—it simply wouldn’t go away. Abby is fictional, yes, but she stands for many pioneer women who paid an enormous price to make it in a hostile environment. Of the individuals who set out on the Oregon Trail, for example, one in ten were buried in a shallow grave along the way, and many of these were women.

At sixteen, Abigail’s life in Poplar Bluff, Missouri flooded with expectation. With her beloved Elwood, she cherished plans for a bright future out West. This era’s go-to destination burgeoned with opportunities for stouthearted souls willing to face its challenges.

Reared as the only child of parents who married later in life, Abby enjoyed a sheltered childhood. Her father’s general store attracted all sorts of wayfarers, and as a young woman looking to marry soon, she engaged in the excitement of the times.

And then, at the Battle of Madrid, the Civil War caught up with her community. There, Elwood perished. This loss shattered Abby’s world—the black crepe sewn on her dresses reminded her how dull her prospects seemed.

Two of her friends also lost young men they were set to marry. But then, further tragedy struck. Unbelievably, a fire at the store took Abby’s parents’ lives in one swoop. Devastated, Abby borrowed her Aunt Susan’s faith during this unthinkable bereavement, but nothing could assuage her terrible loss.

Bitterness swept in as even more sorrow arrived—Aunt Susan died in a buggy accident. The pastor’s words and the sympathies of the townsfolk only angered Abby. A future and a hope? For a woman thrice cursed?

Longing to flee from the scene of so much anguish, Abby grasped opportunity when it came. But not every change enhances our lives. Abby’s eyes open gradually as she heads West with a man her mother never trusted, and her years in isolated hardscrabble country remind her of her folly.

Under the Mogollon Rim, a land mass that blots out even the sunsets, she performs monotonous labor with no reward. How could she have been so dim-witted to give herself to someone set only on amassing his fortune? In this utter isolation, what of beauty remains? And love . . . does this word still hold any meaning?

Like Job, Abby clings to the shreds of her childhood faith, and meeting a man and woman who live relatively close sparks hope. At the same time, a U.S. Cavalry officer and his sergeant search this desolate country for someone stealing government cattle. These two pursue a man devoid of conscience . . . and discover a vital clue right under Abby’s nose.

For anyone bemoaning their “lost years,” her story offers a ray of light.

Author Bio:

Writing has always been Gail’s passion, but building her self-confidence took decades, so she’s a late bloomer.

Her addiction to the World War II era guides her plot choices, and her Women of the Heartland is all about honoring the make-do Greatest Generation who sacrificed so much for the cause of freedom.

Gail and her husband live in northern Iowa and enjoy Arizona’s Mogollon Rim Country in the winter. They also enjoy grandchildren and gardening. It’s no secret why Gail calls her website Dare to Bloom, and she loves to encourage other writers through facilitating workshops.

Blurb for Secondhand Sunsets (book):


Heading west.

Put the past behind you.

Start over.

In nose-biting pre-dawn cold, Ray’s rap sounded. Out front waited a new wagon. Abby buttoned her wool coat and bonnet, doubled Papa’s traveling blanket over her arm with her parasol, and crossed the threshold for the last time. Ray hoisted her trunk as she clambered into the buckboard.

He was no gentleman—no surprise to that. Through hushed streets, past Annabelle’s house, the silent empty clapboard church, and beyond the new train depot, memories flitted one by one. With each, her heaviness lifted, and out in the countryside west of town, each squeaky turn of the wheels breathed hope.

In rhythm with the creaking wheels, words circled through her mind like poetry—Now we are longer alone...heading west. A fog immersed her. Not an endearing word from him, nor even a kindly touch of his hand. Her husband.

Buy Secondhand Sunsets on Amazon

Monday, March 15, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Push

Keep Pushing
A devotional by Angela Anderson

“Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
 –Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

I looked at the calendar in utter disbelief. It was already March, the last month of the first quarter of 2021. I remembered the holiday season of last year like it was just the other day, and I recalled the excitement as I welcomed in a new year.

I had a list of exciting goals with all of the right steps to attain them. I had high hopes and lofty dreams of achievement. When January 2021 rolled around, I was pumped and ready to go. It was like starting a long distance race in a full-blown sprint. The problem with that is if you do not pace yourself, you will run out of steam pretty quickly. That is exactly what happened to me. It was March 1, 2021 and I was tired. All of that energy that I owned in January had somehow dissipated. All of the fervor and devotion I once had for my goals were replaced by lethargy and inactivity. How could I let this happen? It was so gradual that I barely noticed when my feelings started to change, but here I was grasping at straws, trying to get back to how I used to be.

In Galatians 6:9 (KJV), there is instruction for us to “not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” What I appreciate the most about this verse is the promise that is attached to it. If we do not get tired of pursuing our goal, if we do not start a task and then then drop off for some reason, if we just hang in there for the long haul without quitting then we will reap the benefits of our labor and all of our hard work will not be in vain. Our responsibility is to “faint not.” The outcome seems easy enough, but the toughest part is that “if.”

I truly believe that the enemy uses this part against us. Have you ever felt so tired and discouraged that you just stopped in your tracks? Maybe things were not working out the way you imagined or your goals were not coming together as you planned. All of a sudden, you just got weary or even lazy. You convinced yourself that there is no use in continuing this way. Since you cannot see any results, there probably will never be any results. This is the enemy at work.

The enemy understands that there is a blessing at the end of your hard work. He fully understands that when you plant seeds, growth will follow. You reap what you sow. The enemy will work overtime to make sure you do not make it to the end to receive your blessing. He will attack you with weariness, laziness, and anything else to discourage you.

Be encouraged! If you do not give up, you will receive the blessing. You have to keep pushing. That job that you have always wanted…that promotion that you are waiting for…the relationship that you’ve dreamed of…the wayward child who you are praying for…the business that you started…all of these things will come to fruition at the appointed time.

Until then, you must keep doing your part, put in the hard work, stay faithful and watch God come through with His blessing for you!

Let’s Pray: Dear God, Thank you for Your promises. We believe, help our unbelief. Give us the strength to keep pushing even when things are difficult and we cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel. May we never grow tired in doing what is right and may we never give up. We look forward to reaping a harvest and we thank you for your faithfulness. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised in a Christian home in New Jersey. Angela dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at the age of 12.

As a child in elementary school, she developed a penchant for writing book reports and entering writing contests. By high school, she was taking advanced placement courses in English and Speech & Creative Writing. Angela’s love for journaling also had its beginnings in high school and it evolved into prayers journals and detailed notes for prospective book ideas. As a result, Angela is the author of a published 40-day devotional book titled Just When I Thought I Knew God. She also wrote a children’s book that is not yet published.

Although Angela wanted to somehow incorporate writing in her life, she is currently a Certified Human Resources Professional. Angela graduated from Rutgers University in NJ with a double bachelor’s degree in Labor/Employment Relations & Sociology. She also has an MBA from Strayer University.

Angela founded a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization called Head to the Sky, Inc. It was formed in order to assist those in prison with their transition into society and to reduce the rate of recidivism in the community. During this venture, Angela received a certification in grant writing from The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College. Angela was very passionate about teaching, training, and sharing the love of Christ in this ministry; but she had to refocus her passion when she and her husband decided to start their family.

Angela has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson for 16 years. Together they have two sons: Thomas (age 8) and Ryan (age 3). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling and she also enjoys spending quality time with her family. Her personal mission is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams.

Connect with Angela:
Facebook fan page for her devotional book, Just When I Thought I Knew God:

Friday, March 12, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Reset

Global Reset
A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” 
–Genesis 6:8 (NKJV)

Recently in my devotional moments, I was led to remember a global reset of biblical proportions.

You may be familiar with the story of Noah. It is found in Genesis chapters 6-8. An apocalyptic flood covered the earth and decimated the population. Noah and his family were quarantined within a floating ark of safety for one year and ten days. How did they survive? How did they prepare? How did they recover?

I have extracted six points of resiliency from this story that can be instructive to us as we weather the pandemic experiences of 2020 and beyond.

They are:

1. Proactive Spirituality

2. Prescriptive Preparation

3. Providential Provision

4. Perseverance

5. Buoyant Faith

6. Pioneering Resilience

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This means that Noah was known by God and Noah knew God. They had a conversational relationship. His relationship with the greatest of godly men, his father, grandfather and great grandfather would almost surely have brought him into the very real presence of God and an awareness of the character and desire of divinity.

When God chose him for the mission of global reset, Noah was 500 years old. He worked with proactive spirituality for 100 years to build a family and to complete construction of a vessel that had never existed for a contingency that had never happened. Yet, he persisted.

Proactive spirituality is what drives some to write books, start businesses, practice fidelity when distracting opportunities abound, even stay with seemingly errant spouses, believing that faithfulness matters and that a breakthrough is imminent.

Noah saw deeper and believed more fervently in the character of God than did those who for a time worked with him. He worked according to a supernatural pattern with craftsmen and suppliers who benefitted from the work as well as their exposure to Noah’s faith. Noah’s prescriptive preparation saved his family and could have saved many more, if only they had kept the faith.

For 100 years Noah lived and worked confidently under the providential provisions of God. They labored to harvest and store up food and materiel for the global reset that they expected. The biggest revelation of providential provision was when the animals came. Faith invested is always met with miraculous dividends. In this case, it was the arrival of unclean animals two by two and clean animals by seven.

Once Noah and family were secured in the ark they endured the 40 day storm. Then they drifted for 310 days. Even after they knew that they had been securely grounded, they had to wait another month or two before the land was dry enough to allow them to safely disembark.

Through it all, Noah and his family never lost their faith in God because they had evidence of His presence with them. Not idols, but memories. I also believe that there may have been some epiphanies during their cruise. Their faith did not languish nor expire. God was with them! That knowledge and confidence kept the ship afloat. Through it all, their faith and personalities remained buoyant.

The last element of their resiliency was the forward orientation. Many of us who are in quarantine, long for life as it was. Noah and his family came forth and created a new normal. Their reality was clear. Recovering the past was impossible. Forward was their only gear. So, they went and created a bold, new world.

In this new world, they initially carried forth the six points of resiliency. You can too. Our pandemic is far from over. The reset is still developing. Trust that God is with us in the midst of this upheaval. Make the best preparation that you can for yourself and family members. Expect and look for supernatural guidance and provision, even and especially during crisis moments.

Stay the course and don’t jettison your faith in God or jump overboard. Faith is your ark of safety. Persevere! As you do, your loads will feel lighter. Waves may crash into your world, but you will always spring back to the surface.

Do not try to bounce back. Rebound with a mission forward orientation. God will guide your feet and light your path. Be a pioneer and go boldly where no one before you has gone, or, follow the path of the faithful who have gone before you.

Wherever you go, know that God will never leave you nor forsake you. His grace will see you through whatever He has brought you to. If and when death assaults us, we believers will still be secure because not even death can separate us from the love of God.

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 Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.

He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in 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.

You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address,

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Finding sacredness in the ordinary

Sacredness in the Ordinary
A devotional by Kay Pflueger

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
– Mark 8:36 (ESV)

When you think of the word ‘ordinary’, what comes to mind?

Dull? Unpolished? Rough-hewn? The Dictionary by Merriam-Webster defines “ordinary” as “of common quality, rank, or ability.” Using that definition, it seems odd to think of finding something sacred in what is seen as ordinary. After all, if something is sacred, it is regarded with great respect and reverence and is often set apart.

How can something be sacred and ordinary at the same time? The terms seem to be incongruous. We can look at Jesus for an answer to this question. He was an ordinary man, born to humble human people but, yet He was God incarnate. He came to Earth in human form but was still God. Ordinary but sacred.

I live what I consider an ordinary life because I do not have a fancy car or live in a mansion. As I write this, I am sitting at a desk that I have had since my high school days. It has its share of dings and chipped paint but when I think of all the journal entries or school papers I have written and the Bible studies I have done while sitting here, I find a sacredness in its shape and form. A simple rocking chair that has been in my husband’s family for generations sits in the corner of my living room. I wonder how many babies have been rocked to sleep in that chair. How many lullabies have been sung or prayers whispered while sitting in that humble space?

Something as simple as the common table prayer “Come Lord Jesus” is made sacred when we truly invite Him to join us as a guest for the meal. As we ask Him to bless our time together, we bring an air of reverence to that time of fellowship. Brother Lawrence—a 17th century monk—wrote the following in a book titled, The Practice of the Presence of God: “Our sanctification does not depend on changing our works but in doing that for God’s sake that which we commonly do for our own.”

By inviting Jesus Christ to be a part of our ordinary lives, what we are doing changes from what is mundane to that which is beautiful … from that which is ordinary to the extraordinary, and it even moves it from the temporal to the sacred. It creates harmony between what may seem dull and unpolished with what is seen as sacred and revered. I believe when we view something as being sacred, we are creating a bond with the Lord and are inviting Him into that space.

We have heard it said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Where do you find beauty? Do you find it in the compilation of things and wealth—or are you able to find sacredness in the ordinary? What seemingly simple things can you view as precious? Is it possibly a cool breeze wafting in through an open window which makes us think of the breath of God? The aroma of a freshly baked loaf of bread which reminds of God’s daily provision? Or maybe it is in the beauty of a song of praise to God the Father?

The verse in Mark reminds us that by putting our hope in temporal things, we risk losing our soul. What is to be gained by the accumulation of possessions? Worshiping wealth and prestige places a label on those things as sacred when in reality they are fleeting. Money and power can be lost in an instant but a relationship with the Lord is eternal.

I encourage you today to look around you for sacredness in the ordinary.

You may just find beauty and sacredness in what someone else may see as normal. The holiness of God can be found even in the most humble of things.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, Open our eyes to the wonder of Your holiness. Just as Your words in Psalm 37:4 remind us to take delight in you, help us to find delight in the sacredness of the ordinary. Let us feel your presence in the routines of our day-to-day lives. Encourage us to find beauty in the humble. In your son Jesus Christ's holy and precious name, we lift this prayer to you. Amen. 

Author Bio:

Learning to read as a young child opened a world of adventure for Kay Pflueger. She came to realize that words can have a unique power and beauty.

Choosing to share those words in her devotional writings has become a joyful and rewarding experience for her. As a widow, she feels a special affinity towards those who are grieving or experiencing loss.

When she is not spending time with her married son and three grandchildren, she is either reading, cooking, writing, or working on pursuing her Copyediting Certification.

Kay is an avid baseball fan who looks forward every summer to following her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.

Kay is an active member of Victory Lutheran Church in her hometown of San Diego California.

She enjoys writing devotions to be shared on her church’s website and personal social media.

Connect with Kay: