Monday, February 29, 2016

ONLY GOD by Guest Brenda Wood as told by Ronald Wood

My guest today is Brenda J. Wood, author and motivational speaker.

 Lamentations- 3:22-23- The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness (RSV).

I wasnt surprised when the boss told me that wed be going to a four- day work week. Business was poor and an even slower winter season lay ahead. I sure was scared. I was 55; the economy was in a slump.  Everyone wanted to tell me about older men who were losing their jobs. I went home and told my wife. I reminded her that God was faithful and that He has never let us down. I think I convinced her but I was having a hard time convincing myself! I was praying, but I feared what lay in store. Monday provided less work than Friday. My day off was supposed to be on Wednesday but I left by noon. I always find it harder to pretend to be busy than to actually be busy. I faced a future of three days pay for the week. It would never cover our living expenses.
  
On the way home, I stopped to buy gas for the truck. I had a lawn mower in the back that Id been trying to sell for at least three months. The stranger at the next gas pump bought it off the back of my truck! As I drove on, a company name came to me. I had never tried there for a job, but I knew they might have jobs for truck drivers. I had my AZ (tractor-trailer permit) license and even though Id rather do mechanical work, I felt I could go back to the trucks. The manager told me to come right over. AZ licenses are big stuff!

I made up a resume and decided to visit a friend who lived in the area. His road was closed off and I had to drive past another repair shop, so I stopped in and asked about a job. They needed a man one day a week! By the time I got home, the first company had called and wanted me to start, not as a truck driver, but as the plant manager! God had more in mind that just a job. After only a few weeks, psoriasis, (caused by grease cleansers) disappeared from my hands.  Blood clots in my feet (from constant standing on cement floors) disappeared, because now I walk all day.  And every time I tell this story, both my listeners, and I, get a fresh glimpse of Gods great faithfulness.

Having financial difficulties? No matter the problem, God has always been faithful and He will be so again today.

(from Heartfelt, 366 devotions for common sense living, used by permission)


Brenda J Wood, author and motivational speaker


Click here Heart Felt Devotions to find out where you can purchase. (hard cover 10.00 plus shipping
Click here for the electronic version $4.83)

Monday, February 22, 2016

WALKING IN FAITH by Guest Author Leann Harris

Guest author Leann Harris is giving away TWO books, A Rancher for their Mom, and Last Truth. To enter the draw, leave a blog comment below with your email address spelled out, and I will pull 2 names out of the hat on the Sunday following this post. 

WALKING BY FAITH by Leann Harris
We’ve all heard the verse about walking through the valley of the shadow of death in the 23rd Psalm. Well, I’ve lived it. I’m a cancer survivor, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which caused a brain tumor, which meant I had to have part of my skull rebuilt. I was racing along in life, my writing career flourishing, then wham, everything came to a screeching halt. 

Everything changed in an instant. TWEETABLE

I will fear no evil, for you are with me … Psalm 23:4b 

When God holds you in the palm on His hand, you’re sheltered. That’s where I was in the midst of that cancer storm. I had peace and a knowledge I wasn’t alone.

The chemo turned my brain to mush and the radiation on my skull changed how I write, but with each step, God’s peace never left. I was in his hands. I finished two books during that time. I have a book for LI coming out in July ’16, The Cowboy Meets His Match, and the final book in a trilogy of Indie books, Stolen Secrets should be out before Easter.

The final verse of the 23rd Psalm--Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.(NIV)  What a wonderful promise. I’d encourage you no matter where you find yourself and no matter what situation you face, God is there, just seek him.

For me, I’m looking forward to this next spring. I’m a gardener and I haven’t been able to bend over and work in my garden for two years, but this spring I plan to rejoice in the midst of my flowers. 

There among the blooms, I’ll get to thank the Lord for his goodness.



ABOUT AUTHOR LEANN HARRIS


Leann has always had stories running around her head, and started writing when her youngest child started school. Her first book was published in 1993. She’s a teacher of the deaf and written all her adult life. She’s been contracted with Harlequin through her eighteenth book. She’s written romantic suspense, inspirational romantic suspense, futuristic and inspirational romance. She has also ventured into Indie books. In the series of Legacy of Lies, Book1-The Last Lie, 06/14, Book 2-The Last Truth, 11/14 are out. Book 3-Stolen Secrets should be out at beginning of 2016. Her last LI book, A Rancher for Their Mom, was a June 2015 release. Book 3 of Rodeo Heroes Series, The Cowboy Meets His Match will be out in June 2016

And the second book in this Giveaway Draw 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

An Unexpected Oasis by guest author Elaine Stock

 
His sore knee was giving him grief. Bills gushed in faster than the money to pay them. Sure, the physical therapy helped and seemed to stave off surgery, yet hobbling around and trying to get work accomplished wasn’t happening. And then, he and I spoke. Our words heated. Perspectives were lost. Tempers exploded.

And I hit the road. Not, as in leaving my husband, but rather in searching for a job. We’d worked together in his piano restoration business at that point for thirteen years, but his recent injury, coupled with tightening economical changes nation wide, constricted us both as if we wore chock collars around our necks, rubbing sore at whatever harmony we’d shared.

Desperate, I drove off and willed the tears to stay away. The last I knew it wasn’t really a good idea to seek employment with red-stained eyes. Since it was a Sunday afternoon and last minute, the pickings were indeed slim. I applied to a little privately owned deli whose owner seemed more interested in talking me out of taking the job. Fortuitously—or not, I now wonder—that was a good thing. Not only did the business fold, but also the drive up and down those back hills would have proved awful in the winter.

The second place was a national chain restaurant. Years ago I’d worked in the food “industry” and told myself never-again, but as I said, I was desperate. The next day they called me back for an interview. Here I am, ten years later.

This company goes by the motto that it’s an everyday oasis, for both its patrons and workers. Indeed, it was. I worked myself up in position with decent pay increments considering the type of work, and brought home needed benefits that my self-employed husband no longer had to struggle paying from his pocket.

Looking back, I clearly see that this wasn’t a mere coincidence. I don’t believe for a minute that God purposely injured my husband, nor created a bad economy (shortly after I was hired the US saw a major economic crisis; many people lost jobs and were job searching right after I secured mine). People have commented to me that they’ve seen positive changes in me through these past ten years: I’ve come out of my shy shell some, I’m holding up my head higher in self-respect, I’ve gained more respect from my husband, and have added a more positive and kind atmosphere to the café’s overall image.

Will I stay at this place forever and ever? Do I dare chance dicing up life by looking elsewhere or making a major change in my life, especially with a debut novel freshly out?

Change is scary; the unknown lurks like a monster at times. Yet. Oh, the wonderful surprises God has time and time again blessed me with.

While I can count on life circumstances to perpetually change, for people to come and go in my life, for the given of uncertainty to rule, making me at times hold my breath in wonder, I know one conviction that I can count on.

God will lead me to the place where He wants me to be and when He wants me to be there, and that’s because He loves me.

And don’t forget for a second that He loves you.

~*~

Christine here: My guest today is a personal friend of mine that I met at an ACFW conference way back in 2009 I think. Elaine and I have encouraged each other over the years to not give up on our dream of writing. It's such a joy for me to share with you Elaine Stock's debut novel Always With You. 




ABOUT ELAINE STOCK:

A former Brooklyn gal, Elaine Stock lives in the Northeast with her husband where she enjoys spring, summer, autumn,
and puts up with the winter. A member of several writing associations, she also is a contributing author to the international “Happy Sis Magazine.” In addition to Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, she hangs out on her active blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope.


Everyone’s Story blog: www.elainestock.com/blog
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1PfRyXX

Monday, February 15, 2016

STRONGER THAN A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE--by guest author Karen Whiting

The news announced a massive hurricane heading our way. 


Naturally, my husband Jim was away on military orders. My five children, including two-year-old Daniel, followed my orders to prepare. The news also told people in our area code to remain home to allow others road access to move out of danger. 

Alas, the storm turned and headed directly toward us. I gathered my children in my over-sized closet on mattresses on the floor. We read from the Bible and prayed throughout the night. Around 5 am I read about Jesus calming the storm and prayed. All the crashing and other noises stopped. 

Silence reigned, until my oldest son Michael piped up, “Mom, you should have read that one first.” 

We laughed and then got into action. I took my two teens to check the house. We discovered quite a mess. The doors had blown open and water filled the sunken living room, wind shoved furniture into piles, and broken glass floated in the water. 

I look back and realize that God used that time to strengthen my children. I needed to depend on them in the days Jim could not get a flight home. We worked from morning until night and then gathered in my bedroom as we laughed about silly things like the one tiny picture that remained on the wall and the socks in a drawer coloring all Darlene’s underwear from the water that seeped in. 

We studied Nehemiah as a family in the months following the storm. I watched their confidence and compassion grow. They reached out and all but my toddler helped with people displaced to tent cities. Michael led a group of scouts to restore a park damaged by the hurricane. Rebecca stayed with a friend to allow a family to stay in her room while my other children doubled up since the storm had destroyed two bedrooms.

They became strong adults who can face adversity and trust God to be their strength.
The Whiting Home after repairs from the hurricane. 

ABOUT KAREN WHITING

Author Karen Whiting  is an international speaker, former television host, and award-winning author of eighteen books for children, women, and families and more than six hundred articles for more than sixty publications. She loves to let creativity splash over the pages she writes. Karen writes for Leading Hearts and Molly Green Magazines. (www.karenwhiting.com) 


 WHERE TO FIND KAREN'S BOOKS: 

 CONNECT WITH KAREN WHITING

Friday, February 12, 2016

Where They Want To Be -- By Guest Author Alan Anderson

Alan Anderson and his wife and grandson.
The themes of love, romance and passion embrace Valentine’s Day!  This little story is meant to recognize the love witnessed between couples in my work and ministry over the years.  Often times the stories have included perspectives on hope in the midst of suffering.  Perhaps this story will give readers yet another reason to embrace and thank God for those you love!

Where They Want to Be
They were crazy in love with each other.  She giggled a lot at how goofy he could be when he was with her.  With most people he spoke only when he had something to say.  She, on the other hand, was more outgoing and spoke her mind.  They soon began their family.  She would say things like "it seems I just have to look at him and I get pregnant!"  That would cause him to blush and grin sheepishly at the same time.  When she noticed his blush she would gently squeeze his hand and kiss him on the cheek.

There love continued to hold them together as the years went by and when her illness weakened her.  The illness seemed to be determined to carry her away from him but he held on to her.  He would sit by her bedside and gently assure her she would not be alone.  Even their children marveled at his inner strength. He would say sweet things to her like, "If you go before me my darling I won't be far behind you."  She in turn would assure him he would be okay and the family would care for him.

He felt her time to leave was near and asked the nurse to please call the family. It was a beautiful and gentle family gathering at the time she quietly slipped away.  He was holding her hand and leaned over to kiss her.  "Sleep well my darling. When you wake up you will look into the face of Jesus."  The family sat with him as they tried to come to grips with what life might be without her.  Her hospital room was quiet and peaceful.  At least for now it had become a sacred place.

When their children finally took him home they sat up with each other for a while.  The old man stayed with one of his children now.  He was also experiencing what a broken heart feels like.  When it was time for bed he said he just wanted to sit by himself for a bit.  Just before he fell asleep in his old but comfortable easy chair he quietly said, "See you soon dear!"

In the morning as the sun brightly shone through the living room window the family had decided to have breakfast together.  Upon entering the living room he still sat in his chair looking so peaceful and happy.  They noticed that he had gone to be with his wife.  He was where he wanted to be.  With her!  Together again just where they want to be!

ABOUT AUTHOR ALAN ANDERSON:

He is a husband, a father, a grandfather, a brother, a friend. He was born in Dundee, Scotland but has lived in British Columbia most of my life, and ministered as a bi-vocational pastor for a number of years. Currently Alan is employed as a Spiritual Care professional in a couple of long-term care facilities. Such work/ministry has allowed him to come alongside many people over the years and listened to their grief stories. Especially in our adversities we are each other's teachers and companions. God shows up in amazing of often surprising ways even in the presence complex of healthcare needs.  

Monday, February 08, 2016

I WISH I'D BEEN A PROSTITUTE by Guest Author Sara Davison

My guest today is Sara Davison and she is doing a giveaway of her novel The End Begins in Ebook format. To enter the draw, leave a comment at the end of this blog with your email address spelled out.

I was born into a family with Christian parents and grandparents on both sides. My parents taught me about God and prayed with me every day. My grandmother was my Sunday school teacher, and playtime at her house consisted of hours of using her flannel board and cut-outs to depict Bible stories. Although I now understand what an incredible blessing all of that is, when I was growing up, I took my spiritual heritage for granted most of the time.

When I started going to youth group, I was in awe of speakers at conferences and events who shared their personal testimonies. My jaw would drop as I listened to their stories of life transformation – from drug dealer to street preacher or from criminal to ministry worker to convicts. I would be deeply moved by how God had
rescued those people from the depths of depravity and changed their hearts so radically. How much must God love them, to reach down and pull them out of the mire and make them a shining example of His goodness and mercy, using their stories to draw others to Himself.

I would think about my own life, and slump down in my seat a little, hoping no one would ask me about my testimony. I had no testimony to share. My life had been pretty boring, to date. I never went through a rebellious streak, never got into any real trouble. 

TWEET THIS I often thought that if I ever wrote my life story, I would call it, I Wish I’d Been a Prostitute, because, if I had been, I’d have a really great story to share with anyone who asked.

Even as an adult, thoughts like these continued to flit through my mind. And then one day I
read a verse in the Bible that I’d read a thousand times. This time, however, the words hit me like they never had before. The verse was Romans 3:10, which says, “As it is written: 

‘There is no one righteous, not even one…’” 

In that moment, I was struck by four powerful truths: I had been born with a heart as sinful and depraved as any prostitute or drug dealer or murderer; I was as much in need of God’s
mercy and grace as any human being who had ever walked the face of the earth; God loved me as much as he loved every other person he had created; and God wanted to use my life to draw others to Himself. TWEET THIS

Those truths washed over me that day like I’d stepped under a cool waterfall after days of wandering in the desert. Now, if I ever find myself starting to feel that I don’t have anything worth sharing, I remind myself of this: God is the author of my story, which means that my life is a testimony of redemption at the hands of a mighty, powerful, and holy God. And there is nothing boring about that. 


ABOUT SARA DAVISON 


Purchase links for The End Begins 

Amazon and Barnes and Noble



Leave a comment below with your email address spelled out to enter your name in the Giveaway Draw for this book.