Wednesday, January 29, 2014

FIRST FRUITS OF TIME---by Guest Rachel Phifer

My guest today is my dear, friend and writing critique partner, the Award-winning Author, Rachel Phifer. The Lord sure blessed me when He sent this forever-friend into my life. 

First Fruits of Time by Rachel Phifer

MORE TIME has been the cry of my adult life. My days are a mad rush through work, dinner, chores, raising my kids and writing. I search out empty spaces around those things to meet with God. Sure, I have faith, but too often, it’s a limping, scrawny faith.

A while back I began to take a closer look at the Christian biographies on my shelf. These people who made an impact for Christ didn’t fit God into their day. They gave him the first-fruits of their day, and their to-do list fit around that. 

Martin Luther said the busier his day the more time he needed to spend in prayer. Mother Teresa required her nuns to spend a solitary hour in prayer and another hour together in prayer before heading out to the streets of Calcutta. 

George Müller, the man who provided for 10,000 orphans without ever asking for a shilling spent at least an hour in prayer, and David Wilkerson gave up his news hour to pray shortly before heading to New York to work with gang members. The Ten Booms, who sheltered Jews during WWII had morning and evening prayer as a family. Every Christian I read about mentioned spending hours each day in prayer. Hours. 

No limping, scrawny faith for them.

I looked around for people I knew in real life and noticed an older couple at my church. They prayed together for an hour in the morning before going to work and for an hour together after dinner. The man prayed during his lunch hour too. My first thought was: what do they pray about for so long? And day after day? But my second thought was I want what they have. Because love and peace shone out of their faces.

What’s the point of short prayers and small faith? It’s mundane and totally uninspiring. I want God to fill my life to bursting with whatever He wants to fill it with. I want Him to fill my day with Himself most of all.

As a new year rolls in, I’ve decided to give prayer as the first fruit of my day. If that means hour-long prayers at 4 a.m., good. If that means the have-to list takes a backseat, excellent. Because I want a large, God-here-and-present-life. I want a life-lit-by-the-flames-of-His-Spirit-life.

About Rachel's Award-Winning Novel inspired by her search for the spirit-filled life.

The Language of Sparrows:

Brilliant and fluent in too many languages to count, 15-year-old Sierra Wright can't seem to communicate what is important to her in any language. Though April Wright stubbornly keeps an upbeat attitude about her daughter's future, she has let her own dreams slip away. Just across the bridge lives old Luca, scarred from his time in a Romanian gulag years before. Though he has seemingly given up on people, Sierra is drawn to him despite his prickly edges.

No one else is comfortable with the unpredictable old man spending time alone with Sierra, not even Luca's son. Yet it is this unconventional relationship that will bring two families together to form friendships and unearth their family stories, stories that just might give them all the courage to soar on wings toward a new future.


As the daughter of missionaries, Rachel Phifer grew up in Malawi, South Africa and Kenya, and managed to attend eleven schools by the time she graduated from high school. Books, empty notebooks and cool pens were her most reliable friends as she moved from one place to another. She holds a B.A. in English and psychology, and lives in Houston with her family.


Monday, January 27, 2014


My guest is my dear friend and writing peer, June Foster. Today June will encourage you. In addition to that, I've been waiting with bated breath for the release of June's novel Ryan's Father. This is a book for our age. (See below) Thank you, dear June, for being my guest today. 

God has blessed us with a wonderful church since we moved to Alabama. The cohesive manner in which people work together and serve God is impressive. The minute we set foot into the church, we were right at home.

We recently signed up to be on the prayer chain. I have to admit, I've struggled with this. There are a lot of godly saints at this church who are nearing the end of their lives. Since the church is large and we receive the prayer list Monday through Friday, I see many, many prayer request concerning serious medical problems.

Let's be honest. All of us are living in dying bodies. Whether we're sixteen or sixty. God will call us from this life one day. We have no choice in the matter. Another reason to make sure we're ready for eternity.

But how do I pray for these precious saints who are nearer death than they were before? Lately I came across some scriptures that helped. I'd like to share the hope they provide with readers.

1John 5:4 "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith."

John 16: 33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

1Corinthians 15: 55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
1Timothy 1:10 "But if has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."

Hebrews 2: 14 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil."

When we don't know how to pray, these scriptures will help.

And now, June's latest release, Ryan's Father.

A young man at war with himself

The rippling influence of Ryan Reid's less than moral mother and absent father left a mark on his soul. Yet everything changed when the young teacher gave his life to the Lord...almost everything. 

An earthquake hurls the beautiful Sandy Arrington into his life, tossing his world upside down. But when God calls him to build an annex for needy teens at his church, he finds himself battling an attraction toward his male partner in the project. His own struggles and Sandy's growing feelings for him force Ryan to face the issue he's long buried. 

Can he dig his way out from under his secret to find Sandy's love?

Amazon purchase link for Ryan's Father 

About the Author, June Foster

June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in Education and an MA in counseling. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Hometown Fourth of July. 

June's book Ryan's Father will be available from WhiteFire Publishing January 2014. For All Eternity, Red and the Wolf, and Misty Hollow, God-willing, will be published in the near future. 

June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives.