Monday, July 29, 2013


I've needed the Lord at different times in my life, but last December, He was what held me together when my husband nearly died right before Christmas. He was taken by ambulance the same day his dad died thirty-four years before. That was always in the back of my mind.

When the ER doctor told me what was wrong with my husband and he would be admitted to the ICU, I was shocked at what was wrong--dangerously low sodium level in his body. I always thought of sodium as a problem when a person had too much. Since that time, I realize how important sodium is to our health (of course, as with other things, in moderation). Low sodium affects our mental abilities.

In the next twenty-four hours, I discovered it was critical that his level be raised and that the first day could mean the difference between life and death. He also had fluid on his lungs, but that had to be put on hold until the sodium was brought up at least twenty points because the treatment for the low sodium was the opposite from removing the fluid from his lungs.

When fear began to take hold of me, I felt God's arm around my shoulder. He was right there beside me. A calm fell over me, and I knew that my husband wouldn't die. This helped me to support my son and my mother-in-law.

What have I learned? I've learned how God can support you through the bad and good times.  I've learned the Lord can take a bad situation and use it for His good. And lastly, I need to put my faith in Him. He is in control and has my best interest at heart. It reminds me of the verse in Matthew 28:20: I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. You can't ask for anything more than that.

Healing Hearts by Margaret Daley:

Love's Healing Power  

After surviving a tragic accident, little Madison Winters is in desperate need of comfort. And social worker Abbey Harris has the perfect solution. With the help of her cherished therapy dogs, Gabe and Cottonball, Abbey soon coaxes a smile from Madi-and her workaholic guardian. Dominic Winters is heartbreakingly handsome and is hurting just as much as Madi. But it might take more than wagging tails to get the brooding businessman to open his heart. With the help of a matchmaking little girl and two sweet dogs, Abbey and Dominic may get a second chance at love. 

Caring Canines: Loving and loyal, these dogs mend hearts.

Amazon link to buy Healing Hearts: Buy Healing Hearts

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

NEW BEGINNINGS DO HAPPEN---by Rebecca Carey Lyles

Rebecca Carey Lyles shares her friend's release from co-dependency today. Both Becky and I pray that the sharing of this story encourages you or someone you love who's life has fallen apart due to poor choices. New beginnings do happen. 
Author Rebecca Carey Lyles
My Friend, Maika by Becky Lyles

My friend Maika says she was a believer in Jesus Christ before she landed in jail, but she’d never surrendered to God. She doesn’t hesitate to say it took “extreme deception” and a “huge mistake” to wake her up to face the truth “that surrender is the only way He can use me and mold me into His vessel of honor.”

Following a difficult divorce, she not only broke a custody order involving her seven-year-old son, she left the country with him, crossing several borders illegally, and was charged with parental kidnapping. When Interpol found her over a year later, she turned herself in at the American embassy and was extradited back to her home town in the States. After many long months behind bars, she was released to a faith-based transitional home/program for women.

Maika says the program “provided a tremendous base of support in my journey to reestablish my relationship with God, to receive inner healing, and to work toward seeing my son again. Fear and codependency caused me to make some very poor choices. Fear completely controlled my behavior. I put rational thinking to the side and acted irrationally.

“If you don’t balance intellect and fear, you get into trouble. Fear takes over and supersedes your intellect, mind and rational thinking, and you can’t make good decisions. Intellect, emotion, spirit and body – we need the whole package for important decisions.”

Today, with God’s help, Maika’s life is being restored. “I have a job that I love and a home of my own. I have a strong support system through my church and the people I met in the transitional program. Although I’m still on parole, I’m working with the court system to reunite with my son, and soon I will be starting a business. I give God all the glory, and I thank him for a ministry that helps women change their lives.”

Becky Lyle is the author of the following novels.

How you can contact Becky Lyles

Facebook: Becky Lyles or Rebecca Carey Lyles

Twitter: @BeckyLyles

LinkedIn: Becky Lyles

[Winds of Freedom will hopefully release soon.]

Monday, July 22, 2013

HOW TO PRAY WITH POWER---by Rebecca Carey Lyles

My guest today is Author Becky Lyle. Welcome Becky, I am so looking forward to your encouraging words.
Author Rebecca Carey Lyles

My family went through a difficult situation a while back. I learned a lot about myself during that time, like how I want problems fixed according to my schedule (NOW!), how I think I know better than God how to fix things, how I can pray one minute and worry the next, and how easy it is for me to blame others when life doesn’t go as I think it should.

I also relearned and experienced some of God’s wonderful attributes. He loves me, and he loves my loved ones even more than I love them. He can be trusted to take care of those I care about. He keeps his word. He provides peace in the midst of the storm. His timing is not only perfect, it’s astounding. His answers come in amazing ways I could never imagine. And he’s always at work, even when circumstances suggest he doesn’t care or act.

I learned much more, but one of the best aspects of my learning curve was experiencing the power of praying scripture. Every day, Bible verses came alive to me and spoke directly to our situation. Sometimes they were words of comfort, sometimes wisdom, sometimes peace. Always, God’s Word brought hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Here are some of the prayers God continues to answer (from the NIV and NLT versions of the Bible).

- Psalm 138:8 "The Lord will work out his plans for my life [Please work out your plans for my loved ones] --for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don't abandon me/us, for you made me/us."

- Psalm 144:1-2 "Bless the Lord, who is my/our rock. He gives me [Give us] strength for war and skill for battle. He is my [Be our] loving ally and my/our fortress, my/our tower of safety, my/our deliver. He stands before me [Stand before us] as a shield, and I [we will] take refuge in him/You. He subdues the nations [Subdue the enemy of our souls] under me/us."

- I Thessalonians 3:12 "May the Lord make your [Make our] love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love overflows toward you. As a result Christ will make your [Make our] hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you/we stand before God our Father on that day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him."

- I Thessalonians 5:5: May we be children of the light and of the day, not of darkness and night.

-  Isaiah 8:11-14: "Do [May we] not think like everyone else does. Do [May we] not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you/us. Do [May we] not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you/we fear him, you/we need fear nothing else. He will keep you/us safe."

- Isaiah 22:22: "He will open doors [Open doors, Lord!], and no one will be able to shut them; he will close doors [Close doors, Lord!], and no one will be able to open them."

God opened and closed doors for our family and continues to do so, responding to the prayers of many. I thank God for the dear saints who prayed for us and with us, even when they didn’t know details of our heartache. God is good, and so are his people!

How you can contact Becky Lyle

Facebook: Becky Lyles or Rebecca Carey Lyles

Twitter: @BeckyLyles

LinkedIn: Becky Lyles

[Winds of Freedom will hopefully release soon.]

Friday, July 19, 2013

A SERENDIPITOUS ADOPTION STORY---Shared by Rebecca Carey Lyles

Today, Author Rebecca Carey Lyles shares one of the most interesting and unusual adoption stories I have ever heard. I hope you enjoy this serendipitous true-life experience. Real life always is more coincidental than fiction. 

Author Becky Lyles

My friend Bruce was born to parents who divorced when he was less than two-years old. After the divorce, his birth dad, Bob Briggs, made no attempt to see him, and his mother never spoke of her former husband. Bruce soon forgot his father.

A couple years later, his mom married a man named Loren Anderson and, within a year or so, became pregnant with a second son. With the addition of another child to their family, Bruce’s mom and stepdad decided they wanted their sons to share the same last name. Plus, they thought life would be easier for Bruce if he had the same surname as the rest of the family. So Loren Anderson adopted him when he was almost five-years old and gave him the Anderson name.

One of Bruce’s earliest and best memories is that of his step-grandmother’s reaction to his adoption. She babysat him and his brother while their parents went to the courthouse to finalize the adoption. When they returned and announced the good news, Bruce’s new grandma hugged him and said, “I am sure glad to have you as part of the Anderson family!”

Bruce’s biological father was never mentioned by his parents, and he never asked about him. After all, he had no memory of the man. But a halftime encounter at a football game when he was a senior in high school brought his heritage to life again. He and the rest of the team had just come off the field and were heading into the locker room, when a man stopped him. “You’re Bruce Anderson, right?”

Although Bruce didn’t recognize him, he nodded. “Yes, I am.”

“I’m Bob Briggs,” the man said. “I’m your father, and I’d like to talk with you after the game.” Bob, who lived in the area, knew who Bruce was because his name was in the program and his number was on his shirt. After the game, they met and talked for a few minutes, but that was the extent of their communication.

Fast forward 22 years to the death of Bruce’s adoptive father and Bruce’s concern about his mom, who wasn’t doing well on her own. He began praying for a solution to her living situation. And that’s when Bob Briggs, whose wife had died two years earlier, read about Loren Anderson’s death in a college alumni publication.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Bob contacted his former wife. When he later asked her out, she called Bruce to find out how he felt about her dating his birth dad. Bruce says the idea of his mother dating a man he’d only met once, but who was his father, “was kind of hard to get used to.” Yet, Bob was the answer to her loneliness and to Bruce’s prayers, and the couple eventually remarried.

Shortly before the wedding, Bruce’s dad told him, “It was in your best interest that I stayed away. I know how it is with split families, how one side oftentimes works against the other. You were better off without me in the picture.”

Bruce accepted his explanation, and he and Bob Briggs became good friends who enjoy each other’s company. Today, as his parents age and experience health challenges, he is more and more involved with their caretaking.

An interesting aspect of Bruce’s adoption history is the fact that he has two birth certifications, one dated the day of his birth, and the other dated five years later when his “closed” (confidential or secret) adoption occurred. Bruce’s parents didn’t keep the truth from him, and Bob Briggs knew the details of his son’s adoption. Even so, obtaining a passport proved to be quite a challenge for a man with two birth certificates.

Becky Lyles is the author of the two following books: 


How you can contact Becky Lyles

Facebook: Becky Lyles or Rebecca Carey Lyles

Twitter: @BeckyLyles

LinkedIn: Becky Lyles

[Winds of Freedom will hopefully release soon.]

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


It's been a number of weeks since I posted some of my brother's recovery journal from alcohol addiction. Both Steve and I pray that his sharing of his story will encourage you or someone you care about who also struggles with addiction. Stay tuned for more of his journal in the weeks to come.

I am adjusting slowly to my new life. Each day it feels a little more comfortable. I have a routine now. Up early, read my Big Book and Bible, say my daily prayers, go to my AA meeting, then doctors' appointments and take care of responsiblities.

I’m making new friends, trying to get connect and grounded. It’s important that I “hook” in as they say—surround myself with good people of like mind who are working the program. I joined a Bible study group. It’s a big step for me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, or if it was something I needed, but a gentle shove from my sister got me going. It’s a group of older gentlemen at church, and they have accepted me in to their group. They are becoming great mentors for me. Plus it’s a good way for me to continue to develop my spiritual condition. 

Alisha, my oldest daughter, has been very supportive. We are connecting in a way we never could before. It helps that I have a clear mind and I’m awake. We are spending time together as much as possible, hanging out talking, enjoying each other’s company. I’m teaching her how to drive. What a treat that is. Never could have had done that in addiction. 

Kristen, my younger daughter, still isn’t talking to me or responding to me. It breaks my heart, but all I can do is live my amends. Saying sorry or that I have changed won’t mean a thing. Only action and time with God’s help will turn Kristen’s heart towards me again. It’s taking all my self-control and patience, but I have faith that in the end it will all be worth it.

I think the more Alisha spends time with me and sees the change in me, my dedication to sobriety, and my program, she will pass thoughts along to Kristen and she will see a pattern of change and growth.
Alisha comes to church with me, so it’s nice that I can be a positive influence for her. I can’t force God or religion on her, but I can expose her to both, show how He is working in my life, and hope she makes her own choice. She has come with me to a couple of meetings, and seems genuinely proud of me, and my success. And I’m proud to have her with me, and show her my new life. It means so much to me.

I’m not dwelling on the past any more, longing for what could have been, and should have been. I’m now focused on today, this future, what can be! Life is far more positive now. I’m not sure what my future holds, but I don’t have to run from it.

I’m staying in contact with my Recovery House and the guys. It’s a little harder than I thought it would be to do to the distance. I have a small group I’m closer to, and working hard to grow those friendships. I want us all to succeed even though reality says some of us will not.

I try to go in to the Monday night meetings were all the guys from both recovery houses get together. It’s the best way to stay connect with as many guys as possible, and it’s a good way to give back, and help the new guys coming in. I won’t always have the time to do all this, so I have to make the most of my recovery time now.

So far, life is improving. It’s got a long way to go. I need to be content with where I am today. That’s all I have control over, and that’s not even guaranteed. Things will get better as long as I continue to do the work. If I want it badly enough, and with God’s grace I can and will be happy and content. One day at a time.   

Sunday, July 14, 2013


PATIENT PRAYING (exerpt from the book…I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children)

I whooped and hollered with more enthusiasm than a teen at a rock concert. For among all the parents present at that basic training graduation, I was among the most grateful.

For many young people, the first few months out of college can be a difficult transition. Some are fortunate to know they will attend graduate school or find employment in their field of education. Jim was one of the uncertain multitudes. When he announced his decision to enter the Army, mouths went agape.

Jim was the author of The Art of Passive Resistance for Children. Like the mountain, he would not be moved. He was God’s answer to a prayer for patience. With more skill than a video Samurai, he wielded his defiant sword against every known discipline technique I tried.

My first mistake was to own blame—to convince myself that Jim’s non-compliant nature was my fault. Because I believed I was the cause, I took every right turn available. One does not make forward progress by taking so many detours. Against all my Herculean efforts, Jim’s passivity deepened with each passing year.

Like fighting fire with fire, every parental “trick” was out maneuvered. I took away his allowance—he managed with less. I took away his television—he read comics. Warnings railed into purposefully deafened ears. All our exaggerated attempts only served to feed his amusement. Had I lost the war?
God jolted my memory: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). In desperation, I finally turned to God, pleading for His wisdom instead of relying on my own inadequate strength.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6 – 7 NIV).

Then the epiphany came.

God had designed Jim, doggedness included. Someday that hard-core resistance would become steadfastness. Annoying stubbornness would move him to conviction and that constant rebelliousness would evolve into courage—according to God’s timetable, not mine. From then on, I sought to nurture his independence proactively instead of waging war against it. We both survived his growing up, and he emerged a man of honor.

I watched my stubborn soldier move methodically through his drills, secretly beaming with pride, and assured that God

Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight,  LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.\

Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold. 

These books are also available in ebook format along with her other ebooks by Helping Hands Press: I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses. Songs in the Valley is scheduled for release this fall by Helping Hands Press. 

Readers may visit her web site at or email her at  or find her on Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, and Goodreads.  

Want to purchase I Prayed for Patience by Linda Rondeau