Sunday, June 28, 2015

Do you like a good cowboy romance?

Misty Beller has a winner in The Rancher Takes a Cook. You'll fall in love with her characters immediately and pull for them to make it through tough times as well as for the romance to triumph. Beller's well-written plot will keep you turning pages. Those familiar with my tastes know that I simply adore a romance involving a cowboy and his ranch. The Rancher Takes a Cook is a must for your summer reading list. 

When their South Carolina home burns to the ground, Anna Stewart’s only choice is to move with her younger brother to the wilds of a Texas ranch.
Their prospects are beginning to look better, until the rancher’s son, Jacob O’Brien, shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well-controlled plans. 

When danger escalates in the form of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release control to God’s capable hands…and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen her heart?

Misty M. Beller was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and two daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
You can find her on her website, reader blog, marketing blog for authors, Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Or check out her latest book, The Rancher Takes a Cook, released June 26, 2015, from Prism Book Group.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Not Safe in School or Church Anymore?

Some fellow Christians and I were discussing the past. We could all remember when school and church were the two safest places. But, after the shootings in both institutions, we tend to not feel safe anywhere.

What is a Christian to do? We want to lock ourselves away and play to our fears. But, God doesn't want us to give up like this. In fact, we forget about some of our greatest assets as a child of God.

1. Our God is greater than the enemy. In fact, God actually gave us the first big spoiler. In Revelation, He tells us that we win. We already know the ending and the enemy is defeated.

2. Our God is with us through whatever we go through. He promises to be with us and had it written in His Word for our constant reminder.

3. We can receive peace to endure any hardship or suffering. God's Word echoes to us to not fear 366 times. I think He meant it.

4. God's Word encourages us to stick together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our Father understands that we sometimes need someone in bodily form beside us.

5. Even if suffering ends in death and grief, God encourages us by letting us know that we don't have to grieve like those outside the family of God. We may mourn losses but not like those who have no hope.

6. When we suffer, we're in good company with our Savior.

7. We have the assurance that to be absent from our body means to be present with our Lord.

8. We can also have confidence in the fact that we don't have to be strong enough to face situations. The Spirit inside of us isn't called the Comforter for nothing. And, in our weakness, we are made strong through Him.

9. We have the awesome opportunity of communication with the Lord through prayer. When we just don't know what to do or say, the Spirit is there for us, interpreting.

10. We are His witnesses. The way we react or act in a situation might just speak volumes to those watching us. His children are still God's plan for reaching a dying world.

Those are just a few that came to my mind as I've been contemplating all the evil I see happen all around us. Yes, I've wanted to crawl in bed and put the covers over my head and hope it all goes away. But, God's Word warns about these last days we are living in. My dear brother and sister in Christ, it's not going to get any easier.

In light of that fact, let me as your sister in Christ spur you on through Christ Jesus our Lord. Don't throw in the towel! We have the victory!

What other assets can you think of that we have as children of God? You would be amazed at how boosted you can feel from considering these blessings.

Monday, June 8, 2015

What's new from author, Kimberly Rose Johnson?

Welcome, Kimberly. 

Tell us about the inspiration for your book, Island Refuge.

I first came up with the idea for Island Refuge while on a research trip to Leavenworth, WA. My mom and I took the train there and part of the route runs along the Puget Sound. While we were in Leavenworth we visited a bed and breakfast. Before I realized it, my brain was tinkering around with a story idea for a B and B on an island in the Puget Sound. I was in the middle of writing another series for Love Inspired Heartsong Presents when this story came to me. I couldn't get it out of my head! I let the story percolate in my mind for a few months then decided I had to write it. I set aside my other series and knocked this one out. 

My main characters both had hurts from their past and Zoe in particular had a lot of baggage she was carrying around with her. My hope is that readers will see that the Lord wants to take our baggage and carry it for us. Forgiveness is key in this story. Forgiveness of ourselves and others.

Island Refuge, Book #1 of the Wildflower Bed and Breakfast series, is another beautiful story by Kimberly Rose Johnson. She never disappoints. The story and the characters drew me in. I did not want to lay it down.
I loved the Bed & Breakfast setting! And what could be even more romantic than a B&B located on an island? Picture ferry rides across the waterway, beautiful wildflowers, adirondack chairs overlooking the water—ahhh, just the kind of place that beckons to me.
Off to a difficult start in their employer/employee relationship, Nick and Zoe soon start to see the softer side of each other. Pain and unforgiveness stand in the way of them learning to let go of the past and move into a relationship though. What will it take for them to move beyond their past? This romance is coupled with a bit of mystery that compliments the story well. Who is this person staying at the B&B, and why is she here? She obviously isn’t your usual overnight guest.
Ms Johnson writes on some tender issues such as the loss of a spouse, broken relationships, foster parenting, lost confidence, and learning to trust again beyond the pain—trusting both your heart, and the Lord to help you work through your future. Her use of both prayer and scripture reinforce the theme of the book.
A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. I was not asked to give a positive review.

This book sounds like a definite addition to our summer reading list!

Thanks for sharing about Island Refuge, Kimberly!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Do you like small towns?

Check out this new book from Sharon McGregor.

Fiona's Knight of Dreams

Inspiration for the story:
I grew up in a small prairie town and although I've strayed geographically, there are parts of that upbringing that will always be with me. Small town North America may be a little humdrum, as Fiona feels, but there is a sense of family and commitment to others that I've never been able to duplicate since. That's what I was trying to express when I began Fiona's Knight of Dreams-the sense of belonging. Decades later, I can walk into my hometown and feel a blanket of comfort and peace settle over me. It's Home. As Robert Frost said 'Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.’

 The good ladies of 1947 Timber are ready to find a wife for their new single minister.  Charles has ideas of his own when he meets Fiona, the lovely accident-prone and outspoken part-time librarian. Fiona, on the other hand, is holding out for a knight on a white charger to carry her away from her humdrum small town life. Fiona and Charles are thrown together as they begin to solve an old mystery which has turned up in a library book. Will Fiona's white knight ever show up to sweep her away? Will Charles ever run out of invitations for cream cakes and lemon slice? Fiona might just discover the sound of hoof-beats when she least expects it.

Bio- Sharon McGregor is a prairie girl who has been working her way west to escape the cold. She now lives on beautiful Vancouver Island. She hasn't escaped her roots, though, as her romances are set in small town North America. When not writing or reading, she operates a shave ice concession with her daughter and follows her grandchildren's athletic endeavours. She has a constant battle with her cat Zoey for control of her computer keyboard. Sharon loves to write romance, mystery and humor, if possible all three at the same time.


Web page-   
Twitter-                  @sharonmcgr
Amazon author-

Thursday, May 28, 2015

We're on the same team, right?

Isn't it interesting what the Spirit will point out when you are reading God's Word?

In First Samuel chapter thirty we see a story of David and his men returning from a fight to find their families taken captive. There were some of the men who were too weary to go after the culprits so they stayed behind with the supplies. David and the others ride off and save the women and children as well as all the plunder, bringing them back.

"Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left at the Besor valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. But all the evil men and troublemakers among David's followers said, 'Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.' David replied, 'No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.' David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this." 1 Samuel 30: 21-25

I love the thought David upholds - we're on the same team here.

This kind of "we did it" attitude often crops up in churches and among churches.

I have heard pastors and church members want to make sure other churches and pastors know what they have accomplished. They can even get selfish when it comes to serving certain groups of people outside of the church.

Within the church, I've seen small groups and even individuals claim victory for themselves, excluding the whole body of Christ.

When this happens, we should remember this instance from the life of David.

We are given different roles as church members and even as churches in an area. But, we are on the same team and should have the same goal. Aren't we all winning people to Christ and encouraging our fellow believers?

All of us Christians make up the body of Christ and when there's a victory, we should share in the reward.

With our world in such a downward spiral away from God and His ways, we shouldn't bicker over who gets the credit and who should be left out because we feel they made a lesser contribution. It isn't our place to judge the role each person plays. There's no time for that. We have a lost world that needs winning to Christ.

Share equally in the reward and remember, all the glory goes to the Lord anyway.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spiritual Warfare - Really?

Do you believe in spiritual warfare?

I can give you a hearty yes for my answer.

My husband is a pastor, so we know about this opposition. He must deal daily with satan's push against revealing the truth from God.

Personally, I have looked forward to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for many months. I was eager to return and teach the classes God had led me to create just for this year's attendees. I had especially prayed for my devotional class and that God would encourage exactly the people He wanted in this class. We would be creating a devotional book for Christian writers, in hopes of encouraging them in their calling to write Christian literature.

The week before the conference I felt under attack. Many of the faculty at this conference have voiced similar experiences each year before the conference.

At first I let all of the attacks pull me down, strip my confidence, and rob my joy. Should I even attend the conference in light of the circumstances around me? When this thought ran through my mind, I became a little miffed at myself.

What was I doing? I was allowing my enemy to defeat me without a fight. And, what was it about me going to this conference that had riled satan enough to try to thwart my efforts?

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:10-12

The verse above doesn't say, be strong. Rather, it states to be strong in the Lord. We put on His armor.

I was trying to combat this enemy with my own strength. Can I tell you, friends? We will lose every time. But, now with God's strength, we can't lose.

This life is a battle and we're sure to come out with some scrapes and bruises. But, we can take our stand against every campaign of the devil through our Lord.

So, this is a happily ever after - I prayed and went on to the conference. I now know why satan didn't want me to go. I experienced such "holy encounters" through my class attendees as well as the music and speakers. The spirit of darkness wanted to rob me of the light and truth and sweet worship and fellowship.

Have you had to battle the enemy lately? Were you armed with God's strength?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Were You Skipped When God Gave Spiritual Gifts?

Recently I've been going through Beth Moore's lecture study on the Spirit called Breath. Something really resounded with me in the latest lecture.

Do you feel like you were skipped when God passed out spiritual gifts? Let me tell you right now that if you are a child of God, meaning you have been saved through Jesus Christ, you have been given at least one spiritual gift.

How do I know this to be true? When you were saved, God put a deposit of Himself in you called the Holy Spirit. And, we are each given a manifestation of this Spirit in us.

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Notice it says that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one. Manifest means to make evident or embodiment. There has been some sort of gift given to you to make the Spirit in you evident.

Often we might deny we have a Spiritual gift because we don't like the one we were given. Or, maybe we haven't actively discovered the gift within us.

Beth Moore says this about spiritual gifts: "Your spiritual gift was given to you but it is not for you."

This is supported in the First Corinthians scripture above. Notice it says that the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. Is this your common good? Nope. Our spiritual gifts are to be used in the Body of Christ, the church.

Starting in verse 12 of the same chapter of First Corinthians as is quoted above is the discussion of the Body of Christ. The body analogy is used to show that if one part is lacking then the whole body suffers. Thus, we are not supporting the common good of our fellow Christians.

So, I will conclude by telling you that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you weren't skipped over when God gave spiritual gifts. You and I are responsible for using our gifts for the good of our other brothers and sisters in Christ and they are equally responsible to us.

Do we dare ask the Spirit to fill us with the power we need to use our gifts? What could God do with a Christian who is yielded to the Spirit and using the gifts to glorify God?

I do believe that Acts 2 finds a rag-tag group of people being filled with the Spirit who went on to turn the world upside down.