What I'm up to these days.

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Monday, July 07, 2014

DON'T BE AFRAID TO PRAY SPECIFIC PRAYERS---by Guest Author Vickie McDonough



Have you ever noticed how God is in the details? Just look at a beautiful flower like a hibiscus, and imagine God forming each minute detail with His finger. Or what about a butterfly’s wing, with its lovely colors and symmetrical spots? Even a simple leaf illustrates in its veins and lines how detail-oriented God is.

I recently saw God moving in our lives in a special way. A few weeks ago, my husband and I went with our son to a college town an hour and a half from ours to help him find an apartment to live in this next year while he’s attending grad school. We had the names of several complexes that people had recommended, but each of those was already full with a waiting list. The more the day progressed, the more disappointed we became.

We stopped for a late lunch and prayed that God would lead us to a place for Sean. That afternoon, we found an apartment that was newly remodeled, with all new furniture. The complex had a pool and gym and security systems on each apartment, and even a shuttle he could ride to the campus—and the cost was less than anything we’d looked at all day.

Sean really liked it and signed a lease agreement. We drove home happy and relieved, and Sean was able to see God answered our prayers very quickly. I love it when God shows our children how He’s at work in their lives.

You are so much more important to God than a leaf or a flower. Have you seen His hand at work your life? Sometimes He’s working but we don’t even realize it. I want to encourage you to trust God with the difficult things you’re going through. He loves you so much and cares about each small detail of your life.

A common theme in my writing is that God dreams bigger dreams for us than we can dream for ourselves. So step back from the craziness in your life and pray. Get quiet and seek Him. Ask God to help, and don’t be afraid to pray very specific prayers. God cares, and you can trust Him with the smallest details of your life all the way to the massive issues. Lean on Him and find peace.

Butterfly/flower photo credit: Benson Kua from Toronto, Canada

ABOUT VICKIE McDONOUGH:

Bestselling author, Vickie McDonough, grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who’s scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams in her fictional stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen and others living in the West during the 1800s. Vickie is the award-winning author of over 30 published books and novellas. Her books include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and End of the Trail, from the Texas Trails series, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel winner. Whispers on the Prairie, Pioneer Promises book 1 was a Romantic Times Recommended Inspirational Book for July, 2013. Buckskin Bride, from the Pioneer Christmas Collection is a finalist in the 2014 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards.


SONG OF THE PRAIRIE  by Vickie McDonough  

Janie Dunn’s dream of being an opera singer suddenly fades when, at her dying cousin’s request, she flees Boston with her cousin’s newborn son to protect him from his abusive father. She moves to Kansas to live with her brother, but life takes another dire change when he is suddenly killed. Is a marriage of convenience the answer to her problems? Is Kansas far enough away from Boston that they are safe from the baby’s vengeful father?

Song of the Prairie releases in August but you can pre-order it now:
WHERE YOU CAN PURCHASE Song of the Prairie

CONNECT WITH VICKIE McDONOUGH

History lovers: check out the daily historical posts at: http://christianfictionhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 03, 2014

WAITING TO ADOPT by Guest Elizabeth Maddrey



Waiting on God's Timing to Adopt


He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)

I’m a planner by nature. From the time I was in high school, I had the majority of my life fairly well mapped out. I’d graduate, go to college, and meet the man I was going to marry. We’d get married after graduation, work for a few years, and then start our family of no fewer than four children, all spaced two years apart. I had a little wiggle room built in—I hadn’t declared the gender of the kids, nor did I mind if they were two-and-a-half years apart. But the rest? Well, that’s just the way it was going to go.

For a while, things seemed to be going just as I imagined. I met a wonderful man in college; we married after graduation, and started on our careers. And, after being married for three years, we decided to get working on those kids, because we had no desire to be older parents. Then the waiting began. What followed were thirteen years of some of the worst spiritual pain I’ve ever imagined as we tried and failed to start a family. But God was doing a work in my heart that has changed the way I live. He was driving home the message that He, and He alone, is sovereign. And that it isn’t my time—or my plan—that matters, but His.

My husband and I have since adopted two amazing children. We’re older parents, but in many ways I’m a better mom now than I think I would have been. And I have seen firsthand how God makes everything beautiful in His time.



HOPE DEFERRED BY ELIZABETH MADDREY


Can pursuit of a blessing become a curse?

June and July and their husbands have spent the last year trying to start a family and now they're desperate for answers. As one couple works with specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, the other must fight to save their marriage.

Will their deferred hope leave them heart sick, or start them on the path to the fulfillment of their dreams?

  

ABOUT ELIZABETH MADDREY:


Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.

Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. 

She invites you to interact with her at her website 
or on Facebook

HOW TO CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH MADDREY:




WHERE TO PURCHASE HOPE DEFERRED 



Thursday, June 26, 2014

HOW TO CONVERT KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION -- by Guest Jessican Everingham



Today I got angry about cheese.

Yes, cheese. Let me explain. 

This week I need to make a decision about my job. The problem is, I need another one. I’ve got a few options and I need to decide which will be best. It’s not an easy decision…and I hate making these decisions. Fear that I’ll make the wrong choice is paralyzing. But that’s okay, because I know I can trust God…right?

The cheese incident would say otherwise.

Maybe I’m not as good at trusting as I thought. It surprises me all the time how I can know things, but not really know them. You know?

There’s plenty of things I know about God in my head, thanks to my Christian upbringing. I know that God is faithful, I know I should forgive, I know it’s wrong to lust.

Does knowing mean I always do the right thing?

Well, if knowing was the same as doing, I’d also eat green vegetables, wash my car (15 months without a wash and counting!) and have regular dental check-ups. So, the short answer is, no.

The thing is, I also knew that head knowledge was different to heart knowledge. But it’s not till I’ve started experiencing it as an adult (I’m 22) that I’m realizing just how far apart they really are.

I’m also comprehending why regular time with God and other Christians is so important. I can know this stuff about God back to front and upside down, but when a crisis hits and I go into a tail spin, I need someone to throw a bucket of cold water on me and remind me of God’s truth.

So the morale of my cheese story? (To be honest, we even had other types of cheese in the fridge. It’s just that the one I bought was all eaten. *Feeling embarrassed. )

Well, number one, don’t let a cheese preference affect your emotions.

Number two, excessive feelings about cheese may indicate a deeper problem.

Number three, recognize that knowing things about God is easy. Living them is hard. Don’t be surprised when life experience starts to bite.

Number four, to help pry the teeth of life experience off your forearm, try jamming a Bible in its mouth. If that doesn’t work, open the up the Bible and read it. Then ring a mate to come help. It really makes a difference.
*
Jessica Everingham is an Australian journalist, boarding school mistress, blogger and aspiring author. When she’s not wrangling teenagers or chilling with her housemates, she’s usually bashing away at the keyboard of her computer. Join her in her journey with God at the blog Jessica Everingham Writing. 

Blog



Thursday, June 19, 2014

I WANT tO GO & I NEED a SONG---by Guest, Caryl McAdoo

God gives me songs; lyrics and melody at the same time. I never know how they’ll sound. Mostly praise and worship, but fun family ones, too. Each grandsugar (have fourteen) has their own song, and three mid-grade River Bottom Ranch Stories co-authored with my husband have several songs I sing when we go to visit elementary schools. An orphan colt, a rooster, the guardian Pyrenees, and a little raccoon who talks to trees, all have songs.
 
Fast forward to ACFW Conference 2013; between registration (alone, staggering) and Indianapolis airfare and motel, attendance seemed impossible. My Howard editors I’d not met emailed a Saturday dinner invitation, and my agent was taking her authors out Friday night. I wanted to go so bad. I talked to my husband about driving (from Texas) and staying at a Motel 6 just to meet everyone.
 
Guess what arrived! An advance on VOW UNBROKEN! After praying, Ron said I should go. Miracle number one! I paid registration and made reservations and signed up to pitch a completed dystopia, STARFISH PRIME, to Kim Childress at Zonderkidz. I wanted a new song, but what for an end-of-the-age story for mid-graders?
 
On the flight, God gave me a chorus, but once we arrived, the excitement began. Frankly, I didn’t think of it again. Kim’s appointment came Saturday afternoon. In a workshop—just THIRTY MINUTES before—the Lord finished the song! Miracle number two! I ran out and sang it into my phone so I wouldn’t forget, then sang it for Kim. God always amazes me.
 
Lyrics: 
“Angels unaware,
you may never know that they are there,
but they come to help you on the path
 that you should go.
And I know.
God sends His angels unaware.
 
Chorus He can count the stars! He hung Jupiter and Mars!
He made every bird and butterfly – as different – as you and I!’
 
2nd verse When you feel afraid,
 remember that God’s love will never fade.
He will never leave you or forsake you.
This is true.
And I do.
Believe in angels unaware.
 
3rd verse You are His desire.
He longs for you to set your heart on fire
so that you can live your life in peace and
 joy and love.
From above.
God sends His angels unaware.    

Christine here: Thank you, Caryl, for being my guest on my blog today. Your wonderful effervescent faith shines through your words.
 
 
ABOUT CARYL McADOO:
   
With nine titles released by four publishers, Caryl McAdoo now enjoys a thirty-year, overnight success with her historical Christian romance VOW UNBROKEN set in 1832 Texas from Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books. The novelist also edits, paints, and writes new songs. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the Dallas / Ft. Worth Metroplex to the woods of Red River County. For more than ten years, four grandsons have lived with Grami—as Caryl is also known—and O’Pa. The couple counts four children and fourteen grandchildren life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. She hopes that her books will minister His love, mercy, and grace to all their readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.
 
Susannah Baylor reluctantly hires Henry Buckmeyer to help her along the Jefferson Trace, the hard stretch of land between her Texas farm and the cotton market, where she's determined to get a fair price for her crop. It's been a long, rough ten years and the widow's in danger of losing the land her husband and his brother left to her and the children, but she needs help to get both her wagons safely to Jefferson. 
 
She knows Henry's reputation as a lay-about and is prepared for his insolence, but she never expects his good looks or irresistible, gentle manner. Soon they are entwined in a romantic relationship that only gets more complicated because Henry doesn't know God the way she does. 
 
Dangers arise on the trace--but none as difficult as the trial her heart is going through. Will Susannah and Henry's love overcome their differences? And will she get her crop to market and sale it for enough to save her farm? In this heartening and adventurous tale, a young woman's fortitude, faith, and heart are put to the ultimate test. 
 
WHERE YOU CAN BUY VOW UNBROKEN:
 
 
 
WHERE YOU CAN CONNECT WITH CARYL McADOO
 
 
 
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