Monday, May 26, 2014

CHOOSE A WORD FOR YOUR YEAR-- by Guest Liz Johnson


             It’s become common for many Christians to start the year by seeking a word or phrase that will define their year, an intentional area of growth or focus. Peace. Letting go. Nourish. I have friends who have actively prayed for a revelation of these intentional words. 

            I, on the other hand, have actively avoided defining the year by one word. Much like New Year’s resolutions and weekend diet promises, I figured that this goal of living out one word all year would quickly be lost amid my hectic schedule and scattered brain. It seemed like just one more way I could fail. And who among us needs a reminder of our shortcomings? So I was intentional about not selecting a word for 2014.

            But God had other plans. It started back in October when one of my short stories was included in a collection with the subtitle Tales of Joy and Wonder for the Holidays, and I had to ask myself where my wonder had gone.

            At Thanksgiving I got away to a cabin by a lake near my home in Middle Tennessee. Every morning there I delighted in the crunching leaves and crisp breeze during my walk. Every night I sat on the porch in absolute awe of the sunsets. Christmas brought time with my sweet family and a reminder of the joy in the hearts of children as I spent the week with my precious nieces and nephews.

            Shortly after the New Year, I went to dinner with my best friend, who shared her word of intention for the year with me and asked if I had one. I opened my mouth to tell her no but stopped short. Over the previous three months, God had been highlighting—in little ways—one word. Wonder.





            This year I’ve intentionally looked for sweet reminders of who God is.

            In the laughter of a child. In the sublime colors painting an evening sky. In the whisper of fall leaves. In deep breaths. In unexpected gifts. In kept promises. In God’s Word.

            They’re not always adorned in bright lights, but they remind me that God deserves my wonder, that I should stand in awe of Him.

            And the funny thing is, the more I set my heart on just how incredible God is, the less I focus on my own shortcomings. I don’t know if I’ll have another intentional word for next year, but I think I could spend the rest of my life marveling at who He is.



Attacked and left for dead, "Julie Thomas" has amnesia, and doesn't know why anyone would want to hurt her. But when surveillance video of that night shows Julie holding a baby—a baby nowhere to be found—she panics. Is the child hers? Where is she now? With no answers and no place to go, Julie accepts Detective Zach Jones's offer to help her solve both mysteries. The handsome, loyal cop makes her feel safe. But someone is trying very hard to make sure her memories stay buried forever.


By day Liz Johnson is a nonfiction marketing manager for a Christian publisher. She finds time to write fiction late at night and is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring local music, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nieces and nephews. She loves stories of true love with happy endings.



Thursday, May 22, 2014


Celebrate Christmas

Yes, it's May, summer is here, but we can still celebrate Christmas.
The values should be kept all year long.

The paperback version of Twelve Days of Christmas compiled by Kathi Macias, and including Kathi Macias and eleven other authors has just been released. 

Or take a look at the Blog Tour sites below and leave comments for a chance to win a free paperback copy.

I began thinking of my own contribution to this series of Christmas stories in July.  My husband and I were traveling through the Rockies on our holidays. At the summit of Roger's Pass, we passed a military artillery rifle. My husband explained that the rifle was used to shoot into the snow fields and create an intentional avalanche. 

The characters came soon after. I thought of my own life, and my desire to spend more time with my husband doing fun things, instead of always working.

That's where the characters of Heavenly Haven came from. A young couple who've been married for ten years and unexpectedly heartache arrives...suddenly like an avalanche. 

I wrote Heavenly Haven Day for the ninth day of Christmas to show that romance can still happen---even if you've been married for a while, and have little ones.

HEAVENLY HAVEN by Christine Lindsay

Avalanches happen to other people, not us. Marital problems happen to other people, not us, especially nine days before Christmas. At least that’s what Jack and Shaina Burke thought. 

Married for ten years, avalanche control expert Jack, and ski pro Avery, only wanted to celebrate their December anniversary in a romantic way, until the shifting snows on the mountain bring havoc tumbling down upon them. Can they find renewed love in a heavenly haven of snow?


May 19 - Ruth L. Snyder at
May 20 - Anne Baxter Campbell at
May 21 - Marcia Lee Laycock at
May 22 - Mishael Witty at
May 23 - Christine Lindsay at
May 24 - Sheila Lagrand at
May 26 - Jessica Ferguson at
May 28 - Peg Phifer at
May 29 - Jeanette Hanscome at

And on this blog tour for Twelve Days of Christmas, I am giving away on free paper-back copy of this book to those who comment below and leave their email address spelled out.

Twelve Days of Christmas is a series of individual Christmas stories that cover a 12-day period—to be celebrated all year long! That’s the heart of this unique Christmas collection, compiled by best-selling author Kathi Macias and including historical, contemporary, romantic, mysterious, and even Amish tales that will warm your heart, whether sipping hot cocoa while sitting in front of the fireplace in winter or under a shade tree in the summer, nursing a frosty glass of iced tea or lemonade. 

Beginning with a scene set 12 days before Christmas, these stories move readers, one day at a time, toward that spiritual hush of Christmas Eve, where anything is possible. 

Authors from various geographical locations and walks of life have spun tales that will enchant readers, even as they are drawn closer to the greatest Gift ever given. And each story, though vastly different from the others, makes the same offer: Will you make room in your heart for the Christ-child as He shows up in your life and beckons you to join Him?






Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson

Philippians 4:11b (ESV) “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”


Whatever situation????

When I decided to become a librarian after years of teaching middle school, I was told to take an elementary school position to gain some experience. So, I did.

And while I loved the kids and my co-workers, it was the worst job/boss I’ve ever had. I don’t want to give specifics online, but it was an emotionally abusive place.

Every morning, I prayed to get through the day with a smile and a positive attitude. Throughout the day, I would turn to Him for strength and courage.

And most days, I can honestly say I was happy and upbeat through Christ and His joy.

But, I often wondered how long I would be there—what lesson did I need to learn and could I learn it quickly? And then God opened doors, and I moved to a new school in a new district. It was heaven. A great school, the best boss/principal I could imagine, great kids, involved parents, and close to home.

What more could I want?

Yet, I found myself unhappy the last few months.

How could I be unhappy at a place so wonderful when I managed to be upbeat and happy at the worst job environment I could imagine? How could I be content in a hard place and restless in a good place?

Because once I moved to a pleasant place, I wasn’t seeking Him for my joy. Instead, I got it from work. I didn’t turn to Him throughout the day to sustain me. Instead, I enjoyed my “easy” situation.

And while the ease of life was nice for a while, it didn’t last. Nothing does outside of God. Ignoring my constant need for Him left me empty even in a great situation.

I’ve been repenting for that. Asking God for to forgive me for not remembering that I need Him in every situation. When things are going well, we often forget our desperate need for a relationship with Jesus.

Rich or poor, I need Him.

Lonely or surrounded by love, I want Him.

Happy or Sad, I love Him.

He’s the one constant and the only one in whom we can be content, no matter the situation.


Laura Jackson loves books---reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master's degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.

   Worth the Wait:

Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn't get it. She always does the right thing - doesn't God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.



Sunday, May 18, 2014


No Wrong Turn

Cooking turkey, roasting gammon, decorating the table, entertaining—this has been our Christmas Eve tradition forever and given us many special memories. So when our youngest son challenged us to give Christmas away, it was hard to wrap my head around this foreign notion.

“Let’s do Christmas the way it should be done,” Kyle urged.

After the Christmas morning service, we made up twenty-three meals with sodas and notes, and set out in search of homeless people. We hadn’t gone far when the car came to a standstill. No gas.

My husband called our older son to bring some fuel while Kyle went in search of a gas station. Twenty minutes later, he returned

“There’s a station not far away. I met the coolest old man there. We greeted in passing, and something nagged me to ask if he knew where we could find homeless people.” Kyle wiped the sweat from his brow. “He was excited when I told him what we were doing, and he told me where we should go.”

At least there seemed to be a purpose for our empty car.

While my hubby filled the vehicle, I sat reading an advertising billboard. There’s no such thing as a wrong turn. Intriguing.

With the car refueled, we set off. We were to drive across the intersection at the traffic lights. Somehow, we landed in the turning lane, heading in the opposite direction. The detour, however, was a blessing.

“Look, there’s a bunch of homeless guys,” Kyle squealed as we spotted five men on the street corner beside a white Christmas tree they’d erected. They were in a festive mood. We handed out meals, sodas, and prayed. Before we drove away, one ran over, clutching a large white teddy he’d retrieved from beneath the tree. Not wanting to offend, we accepted the gift, unsure what we’d do with it.

We didn’t find our way back to where the old man told us to go, but we did find more people to bless with meals.

As the light faded, we finally found those we’d been searching for—eight homeless people huddled beneath cardboard blankets. We had eight meals left. Amongst them was little boy of a four. Colton. The moment I saw him, I knew who the teddy was for and how our wrong turn was actually the right one.

That day we truly experienced the gift of Christmas.

 You can watch a video of this on:

 Below is Marion Ueckermann's Novel Releasing August 22, 2014 by Pelican Book Group
HELSINKI SUNRISE by Marion Ueckermann
Three weeks alone at a friend’s summer cottage on a Finnish lake to fast and pray. That was Adam Carter's plan. But sometimes plans go awry.

On an impromptu trip to her family's secluded summer cottage, the last thing Eveliina Mikkola expected to find was a missionary from the other side of the world—in her sauna.

Determined to stay, Eveliina will do whatever it takes—from shortcrust pastry to shorts—to send the man of God packing. This island’s too small for them both.

Adam Carter, however, is not about to leave. Will he be able to resist her temptations? Can she withstand his prayers?

Click here to view the fun, short Book Trailer to Passport to Romance  


Will be available on Amazon and Pelican Book Group but don’t have links yet. Here’s links to PBG and Passport to Romance page.


Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter (Tyndale House Publishers) and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven. Her debut novelette, Helsinki Sunrise, releases 22 August 2014 by Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing) – Passport to Romance series. Marion blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers and Beauty for Ashes. She belongs to Christian Writers of South Africa and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.
Connect with Marion Ueckermann on her:

Marion Ueckermann's Blogs:

If you get this email and can do anything internet related, would you be able to change this wording on the blog:

Below is Marion Ueckermann's Novel just released by Pelican Book Group

to this:

Below is Marion Ueckermann's Novel releasing 22 August by Pelican Book Group

Also I send an email regarding the Passport to Romance link if you could fix that it would be great (sorry, I've no idea how I gave the incorrect link).