Monday, September 28, 2015


It’s been a year of changes. Most of them are very positive. We moved, joined a new church, and have met many new people. The changes have made me stop and think: what does God want me to learn here? Where should I be helping?

One of the things we did in joining our new church was take a couple tests meant to teach us more about our spiritual gifts. In talking about our gifts, one thing our pastor said really resonated with me, even though I’ve heard it many times. It’s this: God made us all unique. We’re each built a certain way.

The “gifts test” we took was meant to help us connect in a way that makes us happy and gets us closer to each other and God. Plus, there are some things we are all good at, whether it’s making people feel welcome, writing, being great listeners, or organizing an event.

I’ve done tests like this before, but this time it resonated with me in a different way. We are all unique. Those words hit home in a new way for me. Not, you’re not like this and so you’re wrong… but you’re this way and that’s the way God made you.

I guess the reason I think on this one so much is because for so long I tried to be something I’m not. I enjoy solitude and need quiet time to really feel close to God. It took me years to finally embrace the fact that I’m like this, and to not be ashamed of the fact that I need alone time to recharge. I used to get teased a lot for this and was told how “weird” I was.  Now I see how all of those unique parts of us are to be celebrated. It makes this verse stand out even more for me:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
~ Ephesians 2:10

About...100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends by Cherie Brubach

The more friends you have, the more you’ll have the right people in your life to give you the support and connection you desire. Having more friends means you’ll consistently connect with new people and also keep the good friends you already have. If your friendships don’t seem to stick, you’ll be making friends and losing them quickly.
The key to having more friends is increasing the number of people you meet on a regular basis and holding on to the great pals you already have. This book contains one hundred suggestions on how to make new friends and also strengthen the friendships you already have. The tips are varied, with suggestions on how to meet new people interspersed with ideas for nurturing your new and existing friendships.

Cherie Burbach is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and relationships. She's written for, NBC/Universal,, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: 100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends

Visit her website for more info,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

FIRST RULE OF FLYING by guest author Sara Goff

Book Giveaway—Todays' guest Sara Goff is offering a printed copy of I ALWAYS CRY AT WEDDINGS to one randomly chosen commenter, worldwide. The winner will be announced Sunday Sept. 27 To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment. Also see below for an excerpt from Sara's debut novel I ALWAYS CRY AT WEDDINGS.

FIRST RULE OF FLYING by author Sara Goff

The airlines got it right when they decided parents should put on their own air mask before administering to their children. If you’re suffocating, you’re pretty useless.

Growing up, I was taught to be good to myself, from the food I put into my body (organic veggies, good fats, no processed sugar) to daily exercise (a lot of karate.) Television was downplayed in my family, while every wall of our small house was lined with books, the classics, from floor to ceiling. I grew up listening to my grandmother sing about God's perfect love, a nonjudgmental love that would never fail me. Through my parents and grandparents' example, I learned to love myself, which meant meeting my physical, mental, and spiritual needs, before trying to please anyone else.

By my mid-twenties, I had lost contact with God, food was secondary to being out in the nightlife, and I was exercising to stay thin, not strong. What happened? Looking back, it's clear, and surprisingly simple. I stopped loving myself. I put my boyfriend at the time first. I put trying to be perfect first. I put society first. When you stop loving yourself, it’s very difficult to love God and others. The creative force running through your blood clogs, or worse turns angry, dark. Every aspect of your life is affected when you don't have self-love and can’t find it within yourself to forgive your mistakes.

I knew my life was spiraling out of control when on the weekends, out with friends, I’d drink to the point of blacking out. My father had just passed away from pancreatic cancer, and losing him felt like being hit by a massive crater. A wet, trembling, scary spiritual meltdown was inevitable, but thank God it happened. I finally felt helpless enough to start praying . . . and then He answered.

New friends appeared in my life, literally walked up and introduced themselves. I recognized God at work and made myself available to the possibilities. Soon, I had hope and the strength I needed to walk away from the boyfriend, the job, the things that weren’t meeting my needs. I learned to love myself again, and my creative passions felt unbound, setting me on a career path I used to dream about living. Now (with my air mask in place) I’m able to help others. Through my charity Lift the Lid, I encourage underprivileged students to express themselves through writing. For some it is their way back to self-love, the love we knew so well as infants.

If your creative flow is backed up, or perhaps the characters in your novel aren’t evolving the way you had hoped, give yourself a big hug and start over from a place of love. God knows you deserve it.

See Below to read a Free Excerpt of  I ALWAYS CRY AT WEDDINGS. 


SARA GOFF recently moved to Connecticut with her husband of 14 years and their two sons after living in Sweden and then London for nearly seven years. I ALWAYS CRY AT WEDDINGS, her debut novel about figuring out life and finding love in New York City, was recently released by WhiteFire Publishing. A part of the proceeds from the book will go towards her educational charity Lift the Lid, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Visit for more information on the charity. 

~ Connect with Sara ~

Excerpt of Sara Goff's I ALWAYS CRY AT WEDDINGS.

Ava gave a hopeful smile and exchanged a glance with Josh, her fiancĂ©. The last couple they expected to go simple and cheap was Courtney and Brad. They had the money to throw a knockout wedding, like theirs would be. Plus they had a vow of chastity to wrap up. Wouldn’t that be all the more reason to go big? In a church, or under a chuppah? What about God’s blessing? Instead, they opted for a public building with fluorescent lighting and stale air. A room where couples and their witnesses waited in long, grim lines to get their licenses signed, stamped or whatever. How unromantic. How could they?

Ava looked down at her skirt and blouse, her long legs in red opaque tights, and then to Courtney, who had on a pair of low-cut jeans and a pink T-shirt, both on the clingy side. Brad wasn’t dressed any better in grass-stained khakis and an old yellow polo shirt. Here they lost her completely. A bride wore a white dress of some kind. White wasn’t just tradition. It symbolized the innocence of a new beginning and the purity of commitment. Without white, it wasn’t a wedding.

“I guess we overdressed.” Ava blushed as it became obvious that she was staring.

“You guys have seen these outfits before.” Courtney winked. “The Bridgehampton Polo Club, a year ago today…”

“When Josh and I introduced you, of course!” They had gone divot stomping at halftime, Courtney and Brad competing and hitting it off at once. 

“That’s so cute you’re wearing the same clothes. Wow, our first date was so long ago…” She turned to Josh. “Remember? I wore a vintage bubblegum-colored dress with pleats down the front. Ugh! I was going through a ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ phase, on a budget.” She pictured the elegant French restaurant, Daniel, and her meal of goat cheese stuffed escargot and peppered filet mignon…warm and buttery madeleines…a taste of champagne.

“I remember you got a little tipsy.” Josh smirked.

She laughed, as if it were a silly mistake. After dinner, she had naively gone back to his apartment. In a dream-like moment, which she could barely recall, she had given up her virginity. Gone. She felt the sting of regret now, thinking that their first time could’ve meant something if they had waited until marriage, until they knew and loved each other, like Courtney and Brad.

“You look beautiful,” Ava said, softly, almost to herself. Courtney didn’t need the white dress, the veil. She still had that special glow.

Monday, September 21, 2015

MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT by Guest Marsha Hubler

When my elderly parents moved in with my husband and me twenty years ago, I had been writing for publication for about five years. Knowing Mom’s and Dad’s needs were great and would require much of my attention, I resigned from my part-time teaching position and concentrated on taking care of my parents and publication.  At times I became very discouraged, not only because of the time I spent away from the computer but also because of the lack of publishing contracts. (A few had come my way for short stories and articles, but now I was concentrating on book manuscripts.) Then after meeting an editor from Zonderkidz at a writers’ conference in 2001, I was granted a four-book contract for a tween novel series, the Keystone Stables (which eventually expanded to eight books).

But my frustration only increased as I had writing deadlines to meet while my parents’ doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping trips, and lunches at McDonalds mushroomed. On top of that, the noise in my house became a constant irritant of pots and pans banging in the kitchen, loud TV, and visits to my desk to see how I was doing or to solve a major crisis like finding a missing set of keys.

“Lord, how can I do this? It’s impossible,” I prayed dozens of times each day while trying to write. Then the Lord, in his still small voice would whisper, “This too shall pass. You CAN do this; you will do this.” Relying on God’s grace and strength, I plugged on with my responsibilities and writing, taking a short respite every Tuesday afternoon with one or two writer friends by hanging out at a local cafĂ©, having a quick lunch, and working on our laptops for a few hours. 

Today Mom and Dad have been in heaven for five years and 17 years respectively. I have 20 books published, most of them written when my parents lived at my house and demanded more from me than I thought I could ever give. But now as I reflect on that time of caregiving, which was so very difficult, I thank God for the privilege of taking care of my parents and relying totally on Jesus for the grace and strength to meet the challenges I faced. Today, the Keystone Stables Series is a best-seller and is still in print.

For those who are taking care of elderly parents or even grandchildren and find themselves frustrated to tears, take heart. “This too shall pass,” and you’ll also find that our God truly is a faithful, loving, caring God, who will see you through.


Marsha Hubler lives in central PA, with her husband and two dogs. She has a master’s degree in education. Her latest release is SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS, a novel for tween horse lovers. She's the director of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference and a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences.

For more about author Marsha Hubler, you can find her at the following:

C.A.N. Author Page: author page:





Monday, September 14, 2015


Today my guest is Becky Lapoint, writer, speaker, and owner of her own music studio. Beckie lives with her new husband and five kids in Abbotsford BC. 
I carried a secret. I was married to a gay man. I knew he wanted to leave and that terrified me. We had four kids and a mortgage. We built a life together. I wanted it to be a real life. I feared all I had was a charade.

I prayed and I prayed. I memorized Stormie Omartian’s book The Power of a Praying Wife. I walked through healing ministry. I got a job in the church. I claimed every possible promise of God that pertained to my marriage. I insisted we name our youngest daughter Faith because I wanted Jesus to know I had faith our marriage would “make it”. I had hope that my valiant attempt at influence counted for something.

Intimacy was a thing of the past and I told myself it was okay if I was never touched, or hugged, or had sex again. Providing a stable home for my kids was all that mattered. I begged. I manipulated. I cried an ocean of tears.

And still he left.

People often say the worst rarely happens, but in many ways, “the worst” did happen to me. My kid’s dad and I had the most awful of awful conversations with our wee ones to tell them Dad was leaving. He eventually told the kids he was gay when I was in Mexico on a Missions trip. His doing so meant I wasn’t there to help them process (talk about feeling out of control!) Professionally, I lived out my divorce while I was a Women’s Pastor. All the church members watched. Thankfully, for the most part, they were caring and compassionate.

There was further insult to injury. I lost the majority of my inheritance we used as our house’s down payment. Although I didn’t go bankrupt, I almost did.

I wish I could tell you Jesus magically swooped down and took the hard away, but that would be a lie. I can tell you in the middle of those agonizing times, I learned some wonderful things, some “treasures of darkness*”:

            • I can hear God’s voice – he lovingly directs my steps.
            • I can trust God’s voice – his words are truth.
            • I can bless my children in the middle of their turmoil.

The affect on my kids was my biggest fear. But God shows up in their lives and ministers to them like he ministers to me. Jesus loves my kids more than I ever could, and he cares for them better than I can. My oldest daughter was baptized in June and during her testimony she told the church although her family looks different “it doesn’t mean it can’t be good.”

I’ve learned that God still delights in surprising me with good things. There are lots of stories there for another day. And although I’m through this hard experience, I’m not done with difficulties. God doesn’t promise me smooth sailing: he promises to be with me in the storm.

My biggest learning is considerable: one moment at a time. Not one day at a time—that’s too much. One moment at a time.

Author & Speaker Becky Lapointe

And to that, I hear a resounding, “Me too.”

* see Isaiah 45:3

Beckie Evans is an aspiring writer, speaker, and owner of her own music studio. Her undergraduate degree is in music and presently she is working on her Masters of Divinity with a Gender Studies focus at ACTS Seminary in Langley. She and her dear friend Rebecca Schroeder RCC are writing ReVision: When Gender Issues change Partner Relationshipsand hope to have it completed by Fall 2016.
Beckie lives with her new husband and five kids in Abbotsford, BC.

For more about Author and Speaker Becky Lapoint check out her blog site.

Friday, September 04, 2015

WARNING to Writers. WARNING...WARNING!! By Christine Lindsay

If you want to write fiction you have to adjust to the fact that all fiction is autobiographical…to a point. You’re going to bleed emotionally on the pages. You will need plenty of hankies near your computer.  

When I first started writing 15 years ago, I understood any non-fiction I hoped to write, especially the book on my birth-mother experience, would be autobiographical. But later when it seemed that particular true-life account might never be published, I felt the Lord urge me to put the spiritual and emotional truths I’d learned into Christian Fiction.

Whew! I thought. This means I don’t have to bare my soul. I can hide behind my “untrue” historical epics with plenty of action and romance that God-willing might help readers think about the Lord while they’re being entertained.

Here’s the true scoop.

When I wrote Shadowed in Silk I don’t think readers had a clue that I was plastering my heart and soul into my heroine Abby Fraser, into my bad-guy Russian spy, and especially into Abby’s enemy the Muslim woman Tikah who kidnaps Abby’s child.

The title Shadowed in Silk shows all characters feel invisible for their own reasons. The two women feel no one sees their heartaches or hears their cries in the night. As a woman who was hurting over the relinquishment of my firstborn to adoption, I felt like invisible Abby. I also felt like my Russian spy who chooses to be invisible on purpose. But I also felt like Tikah who steals Abby’s little boy, because part of my heart longed to turn the clock back so that I’d never relinquished my child in the first place. I took the bare truth of my soul and painted that longing into my character Tikah as she does the reprehensible.    

Shocking, I know. I’m not saying my emotions were right or honorable. Emotions are emotions, but that’s what books are, a baring of the soul. Of course I didn’t take back my true-life child, and the Lord helped me through my heartache.

Thankfully, God didn’t leave me in my spiritual immaturity, and my second book Captured by Moonlight shows some of that spiritual growth.  

One of my heroines, the beautiful Indian woman Eshana is living her Christian life, energized as she does the work she believes God has laid out for her. But then, her fanatical Hindu uncle pops out of the past and kidnaps her. He imprisons her in a ruined jungle palace, has her head shaved, her lovely saris taken away, and dressed in course white cotton like that of a Hindu widow. Though Eshana has been abandoned, the work she loves seemingly taken from her, she says the following, straight from my heart from my true life, “I will sing your praises, Lord. Though you have dressed me in funeral clothes, I will sing your praises with joy.”  

I could go on and on—how Veiled at Midnight shows what I learned the 2 years my brother lived with my husband and me, as my brother went through rehab for his alcoholism. This book breathes the message that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God.

The message of Londonderry Dreaming is to speak the truth in love, no matter how hard it hurts. And in the soon-to-be-released Sofi’s Bridge is about being true to the gifts God has placed in our souls. All deep spiritual and emotional lessons that I have learned in my true life. 

God has done some amazing things for me.  Sure, I’ve suffered, who doesn’t, but I’ve experienced that scintillating feeling when 

God makes everything new. That’s why I always write happy endings.

That’s also why 15 years since I first starting writing, I’m seeing my original dream come to pass. Remember that non-fiction book on my birth-mother experience that started it all? Well, it too is soon-to-be-released. But in all honesty, there is just as much of me in my fictional novels as there is in this account.

Hold tight to God, and believe in the ultimate happy ending for you through Jesus Christ.