Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where are you in the journey?




My journey with the Lord began when I was eight years old. My journey into writing started around the same time. That festering desire to put pen to page bubbled throughout the years with a stab at poetry, essays, scripts, newsletters, articles, and books. My journey into novel-writing started in 2005 with my first title, Journey to Judah. Since then, I've published four novels with another contracted through OakTara Publishers.

God's journey for me involves sharing His love and forgiveness through the written and spoken word.

What about you? Have you discovered God's unique journey for you?

Share a bit about your journey and enter to win a copy of CHOSEN ONES, book three in the Born for India trilogy. 

Blurb:

A couple in crisis
A child taken captive

Life in Chennai, India, is complicated. While Maggie and Gavin Munsfield adjust to a new baby, missionary friends, Dan and Yvonne Pratt, experience the heart break of infertility and miscarriage. When their lives intersect with a young girl caught up in the horrors of sex trafficking, each of them will receive a precious gift. But will they find it in their hearts to accept an outcome so different from what they expected and hoped for? 

Here's what others are saying about Chosen Ones: 

Highlights what may be the worst human rights violation in the 21st century--human trafficking. -Barbara Everett, Director, Destiny Rescue USA, Inc.

A shocking portrait of a tragic, real-life crime in order to bring hope and healing to those who suffer from sexual abuse. -Dr. Tim Clinton, President of the nearly 50,000 member American Association of Christian Counselors

Captures the flavor of India and 'speaks up for those who cannot speak for themselves.' -Betty Anne Bantz, author, Secrets of the Heart series 

Another gripping story by Eileen Rife, which kept me engrossed by her vivid word pictures and skillful dealing of difficult issues--barrenness, miscarriage, and human trafficking. I am forever changed by this emotionally tragic story of sexual slavery. The discussion questions at the end of the book make it an excellent choice for group study. -Betty Robertson, author, Changing Places: A Christian's Guide to Caring for Aging Parents

Eileen Rife has placed human faces, good and evil, on one of the world's great social tragedies--huamn slavery. Her 'can't put it down' informative story brings tears of defeat and vistory. May the heightened awareness she brings stimulate action. -Dr. David Peterson, Founder, Total Life Counseling, Inc. and author, Strength from Psalm 23
 

Contest dates: June 28 - July 28. 

Thanks for stopping by to encourage my readers with your journey story!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Welcome, Paula Mowery, author of The Blessing Seer!


Paula Mowery is a pastor’s wife and a homeschool mom. She has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction. She began writing in the area of nonfiction creating three Bible studies which were self-published. However, she crafted fiction stories which she shared with friends and family. When one of her readers encouraged her to pursue publication, she joined American Christian Fiction Writers, learning more about the world of fiction. Her debut work of fiction is a novella published by Harbourlight, a division of Pelican Book Group – THE BLESSING SEER.

Learn more about Paula at her blog – paulamowery.blogspot.com. Read more of her writing in her monthly columns on ChristianMagazine.org.  

Great to have you today, Paula! What inspired you to write The Blessing Seer?

 I was thinking on an illustration I hear pastor's use sometimes. A man went to Heaven and was touring with one of the angels. They arrived at a warehouse filled with beautifully wrapped gifts. The man asked what they were and the angel said: "These are all of the blessings God wants to grant but haven't been asked for." I was thinking about that one night when I went to bed. Not to sound mystical or anything, but God suddenly "downloaded" the whole outline for THE BLESSING SEER into my mind. I had to get up and write it down. Throughout the writing God has taught me what it means to leave my comfort zone and do something significant for Him. I don't ever want to miss out on the blessings God has in store because I didn't ask or didn't obey His directives. The book releases on July 6th and is available from the publisher - www.pelicanbookgroup.com as well as other ebook distributors.



What a gorgeous, eye-catching cover, Paula! Tell us a little bit about THE BLESSING SEER.

When God sends Addy a special messenger who challenges her to step from her comfort zone, she isn’t sure she’s up to the job. She feels inadequate to take on the task of encouraging others, and when she starts seeing visions, she worries she’s losing her mind. Yet, Addy wants only to be used by God, even if that means seeing visions and risking relationship with family and friends. By stepping out on a limb, can Addy really accomplish something significant for God? What effect will her surrender to His will have on those around her? And, what effect will it have on her own life?

Sounds like an interesting read, Paula! Praying that THE BLESSING SEER will touch many hearts, challenging readers to step out of their comfort zones and allow God to use them.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lovely Afternoon with a Lovely Lady!


What a lovely afternoon with a lovely lady!

 Judi Ehresman, fellow OakTara author of The Hand of God series, shared peach tea, wild berry muffins, and a fruit cup of mango, kiwi, apple, and almonds slices drizzled with honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon with me during a visit in my home today. Our conversation was even more delightful than the food, covering a variety of topics from shop talk to grandparenting to gardening and baking bread. Before we knew it, three hours had passed and it was time to part ways, but not hearts. We closed our day with prayer for one another.

Thanks again, Judi, for a rich and meaningful afternoon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jesus Feels With Us



Our granddaughter, Kylie, stepped into our living room this morning holding Grandma's old Bible. "Can I sit with you guys for your date with Jesus?"

Grandpa sat in one wing-back chair beside the piano, and I sat in the other. "Sure," Grandpa said.

Kylie proceeded to wiggle into the tiny rocker across from us with the brown Bible in her lap.

Gazing out the window, I drank in the sight of dogwoods, the azure sky, and sunlight dancing on the hedges. Inspired by the glorious visual, I shared a few verses in Psalms about the Lord creating the heaven and the earth. That this same God watches over us and cares for us.

Grandpa picked up his Bible and turned to Philippians 2:5 -11. He read the verses while Kylie ran her finger along the page of her Bible, not reading quite yet, but trying her best.

Then Grandpa shared how he'd been thinking all week about how Jesus is the Life-Giver, placing the Holy Spirit inside of those who trust Him as their Savior. He then posed the question that our Sunday School teacher, Chris Cox, asked us to dwell on this week: If God the Son came to earth as a man, how would that work? 

Kylie perked up and her eyes grew wide. "God came as a baby." She touched the wooden manger beside her rocker, the one she and Daddy crafted a few years ago, and the one we use to "act out" the Christmas story. Which at our house happens throughout the year at the prompting of our grandchildren.

We talked more about what it might have been like for Jesus to be a little child. Did He fall down and scrape His knee? Did He cry? We all agreed He probably did. Did He ever whine and want His own way? Probably tempted to, but "He never did," Kylie insisted.

"Jesus, the Truth, shared honestly in love," Grandpa shared. "Perhaps, He said something like, 'I feel frustrated right now. Would you help me tie my shoes (or fasten my saddles :)?' Or 'I feel angry when you grab the toy I was playing with. Could you ask me nicely for a turn?' Or maybe when He felt frustrated, He stopped right then and talked to His heavenly Father, asking for strength to do the right thing."

"Did He ever feel like disobeying His mommy and daddy?" I added. Yep, probably, we all agreed. "But did He?" No.

"Jesus was perfect," Kylie maintained, nodding her head.

We considered other scenarios: Did He always tell the truth? Yes. Because He IS truth. So, did He tattle on his disobedient brothers and sisters when he caught them doing something wrong? Probably not. Most likely, He let the situation play out. But if He was asked point-blank, He'd tell the truth.

"Wow, Jesus' brothers and sisters probably got really mad at Him sometimes, since He was the perfect child," I said.

"Like Joseph. His brothers threw him in the pit." Kylie illustrated with her hands. "Yeah, Joseph and Jesus were kinda alike." She pursed her lips and nodded, freckles dotting her cheekbones.

"Yes, in some ways they were." Grandpa smoothed a hand over his Bible. "Jesus' brothers and sisters may have even run off and played without Him. Hmm . . . I wonder if He ever felt lonely?" We all agreed He did. He felt lonely and rejected at times even before He grew up and died on the Cross.

"God wearing our flesh felt lonely," I said, and we all grew quiet for a few moments, pondering it seemed, each in our own way, the amazing paradox of a God who created the heavens and the earth and all they contain, feeling alone.

As we finished our date with Jesus, we considered the enormous and comforting truth that Jesus knows what it's like to feel angry, frustrated, lonely, and tempted. Yet Truth in human form remained loyal to His divine nature, because as God, He could do no other.

When He lives within us, we have His power available 24/7 to please the Father just like He pleased the Father while He lived on earth. The relational God dwelt among us. And now, lives within us. He not only understands how we feel, He feels along with us, and then gives us power to honor Him in the midst of all our messy emotions.