Followers

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pressing in to the New Year in Christ!

Forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus
(Philippians 3:13-14, NKJV).

I can scarcely believe that this is our last weekly devotional and prayer/praise list of 2010. I know: Time flies when you’re having fun—and, at my age, even when you aren’t! But that’s all right. We’ve read the end of the Book and we know how it all turns out. What we don’t know is what lies ahead for us between this moment in time and the twinkling of an eye when we step into eternity to be with our Lord and Savior.
With economic downturns, personal health and relational issues, rising unemployment numbers, and various other challenges of living in this broken world, that not knowing can leave us more than slightly apprehensive at times, can’t it? I’m a German-raised, firstborn Type-A personality who likes my ducks in order before sticking my toe in the water. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
Facing a new year can evoke a lot of emotions: excitement, joy, anticipation—or fear, dread, depression. Much of where we land in that mix depends on whether or not we’ve made peace with the past by asking for and receiving God’s forgiveness for our sins and failures so we can effectively forget “those things which are behind” and, by faith in the One who bought our forgiveness and promises a glorious, never-ending future with Him, “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Regardless of whether this past year brought good times or bad (or more than likely, a combination of the two), God’s purpose for us is to reach ever higher, to aspire to a nobler, more honorable life this year than last. And we can do that only by resting in His promises to live in us as we rest in Him.
Leave the past—the good, the bad, and the ugly—under the Blood where it belongs, and anticipate the future with joy, for that same Blood that forgives and covers yesterday will be there for us tomorrow. Happy New Year, beloved ones!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas from Mom and Me!



So many of you have been praying about the situation with my mom, and I thought you might like to see a picture of the two of us, taken on Christmas. Blessings and many thanks to you all!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

People of the Book...coming in April!




Read what Tyndale author Jeanette Windle says about my next release, People of the Book, the fourth and final offering in the Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers and now available at Amazon, CBD, and Barnes and Noble for pre-order:

Young women developing a friendship through an on-line chat room shouldn't be trouble—unless one or more of them is from Saudi Arabia and the topic of discussion is Isa Masih--Jesus Christ. People of the Book is a tale of searching and finding, of love, courage, and sacrifice. And if the inevitable clash of a young girl's faith and Muslim family honor is painted with deadly and heart-wrenching realism, interwoven throughout is the comforting reminder that cradling the smallest falling sparrow are the everlasting arms of a loving heavenly Father. A story that will challenge hearts and minds.--Jeanette Windle, author Veiled Freedom, Freedom's Stand

Friday, December 24, 2010

On the Road to Bethlehem...

The wind was stronger this afternoon, Mary thought. Colder, too. Though wrapped tightly in her own cloak and Joseph’s as well, the young woman shivered, as much from the implications of what lay ahead as from the weather itself.
It had been the most amazing year of her brief life, and yet she sensed it would quickly pale in comparison to what was to come. Shifting her weight as much as possible on the back of the little donkey that transported her down the bumpy road, she thought back over the previous months, even as she fixed her eyes on the broad shoulders and strong back of Joseph, who faithfully led the way. How she had grown to love this good and gentle man since first they had pledged themselves to be married! And how she had once trembled at the thought of telling him of the baby who grew inside her….
It had all started with the angel, of course, who had come to her on an otherwise ordinary day, as she went about her common tasks. The appearance of the angel had so frightened her that she had scarcely been able to breathe…and yet a peace from above had accompanied the epiphany, assuring her that God had ordained it so. As a result, she had listened…and believed.
She believed when the angel told her that she was blessed among women and had found favor with God.
She believed that she would conceive and bring forth a Son, who would be called Jesus.
She believed that Jesus would be great and would be called the Son of the Most High.
She believed that the Lord God would give Jesus the throne of his father David.
She believed He would reign over the house of Jacob forever and there would be no end to His Kingdom.
And she believed all this despite the fact that she didn’t understand it.
“How can this be,” she had asked the angel, “since I do not know a man?”
In other words, she was a virgin and would remain so until her marriage to Joseph, so how could she conceive a child? She didn’t doubt the angel’s proclamation; she simply wanted to know how it would happen.
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
Even now, as the long and difficult journey continued, Mary practiced what she so often did with the words and memories hidden in her heart: she treasured and pondered them, considering in awe how some of the prophesy had already come true, and wondering how the rest would yet unfold. For here she was, some nine months after the angel’s appearance, nearly ready to deliver the baby so miraculously conceived and about whom were written so many promises. And perhaps for the thousandth time she wondered, Why me, Lord?
The question brought another, more recent memory to mind, and Mary blushed at the reminder. When she’d heard that she and Joseph, along with everyone else “of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:1) would have to make the trip to Bethlehem to accommodate the decree of Caesar Augustus that “all the world should be registered,” Mary found herself asking, “Why now, Lord?” Though Mary was a godly, devout woman, she was also young and inexperienced…and understandably frightened at the prospect of giving birth under less-than-desirable circumstances. How much better to be at home with family and friends when the time came! Instead, here she was, jostling along behind Joseph as he trudged toward Bethlehem.
Despite her discomfort and apprehensions, Mary smiled as she continued to hold tight to the donkey with one hand and laid the other across her swollen abdomen. The baby wasn’t kicking tonight, as He usually did. The realization brought an initial stab of fear, followed quickly by the thought that perhaps the Holy Child was preparing for His entrance into the world. Mary’s mother had told her that babies sometimes rested just before beginning the birthing process.
Oh, no, not here, she begged silently. Please, Lord, not on the road! At least let us arrive safely in Bethlehem first. Surely someone there will take pity on us and grant us a safe, warm place to sleep, or… She pressed her eyes shut, breathing deeply to summon the courage to complete the thought. Or to bear this Child.
And then the angel’s final words from that life-changing encounter floated to her on the wind: “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). The heaviness and concern in Mary’s heart lifted, and she smiled again, repeating aloud the words she had spoken before the angel left her: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
The donkey stopped in its tracks, and Mary opened her eyes to find Joseph gazing back at her, a look of love and wonder on his face. “Yes,” he agreed, nodding. “Let it be to us according to His word.”
Mary answered him only with a smile, and her beloved Joseph turned his eyes back to Bethlehem and resumed the journey. For a long distance, neither of them spoke…not even when Mary felt the first twinges of pain dart across the front of her stomach and into her back. Her eyes widened and she caught her breath each time they occurred, but she continued to focus on the angel’s promise: “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Somehow she sensed, even as the sun began its descent and the air cooled with the coming night shadows, that they would make it to Bethlehem in time. What would happen then, or even in the years to come, she had no idea. But she was at peace now, as the knowledge that the God of the impossible was leading them, going ahead of them, providing for them…and, indeed, ordering their steps to accomplish His purpose.
“Thank You,” Mary whispered, even as the pains increased in intensity and frequency and Joseph finally announced that he could see Bethlehem in the distance. “Thank You, Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, for the blessing of this Life within me, ready to be born and bless the world…according to Your word.”

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Learning from the Children...

“Unless you are converted and become as little children,
you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven”
(Matthew 18:3, NKJV).

My husband and I broke away for a quick trip to the mall a few days ago, and it was every bit as crowded and hectic as we’d expected. We were cruising the second floor when we spotted an empty bench and decided to rest for a few minutes.
No sooner had we settled ourselves in than we glanced down from our lofty perch and realized we were positioned just above the Santa line. Children and parents waited expectantly (some patiently, most not so much) for their chance to talk with the jolly old man. Though I prefer to use this season to focus on the celebration of Christ’s birth, rather than the giving and receiving of material gifts, I learned a lot during our observation of this event.
Babies were predictable. Anxious parents would lovingly place their little ones in Santa’s arms and then hope and pray for a decent photo while the baby screamed for rescue. The older children seemed reluctant or even embarrassed at visiting Santa and posing for a picture, but they made sure to present their wish list and take advantage of the bowl of candy canes on the nearby table. But it was the little ones who were old enough not to be frightened by the white-bearded stranger yet still young enough to believe what they’d heard about this benevolent gift-giver that touched us the most.
One little girl, who couldn’t have been more than three or four, approached Santa’s “throne” in seeming awe, her eyes wide as he pulled her up on his lap. We couldn’t hear what was said, but we assumed he asked her what she wanted for Christmas. Rather than answer, she impulsively threw her arms around his neck and clung to him. Santa appeared pleasantly surprised. When she finally drew back, he spoke to her again, and again she responded with a hug. When he put her down and she started to walk away so the next child could have a chance, she suddenly stopped and turned back, then ran to him and threw her arms around him one more time. Santa’s “ho ho ho” was the most joyous I’ve ever heard!
I couldn’t help but compare what I saw to our own approach to God. Before we have personal knowledge of who He is, we are terrified of His presence and want to escape, just as those babies did with Santa. When we’re older and have known him for some time, to the point that coming into His presence no longer strikes awe into our hearts, we are in danger of approaching Him only to present Him with our wish list, as if He Himself were our own personal Santa. How I pray that as we use this Christmas season to reflect on the greatest Gift ever given we will be like that little girl, coming into God’s presence, humbly and wide-eyed, wanting nothing more than to sit on His lap and throw our arms around Him in love and gratitude.
Shalom and Merry Christmas, dear ones!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Free Kindle download of Valeria's Cross!



Looking for the perfect FREE Christmas gift? My publisher has just put the Kindle version of Valeria's Cross up for free on Amazon for one week. You don't even need a Kindle to get it! Just get the free Kindle for your PC and download the book. Check it out ASAP! http://www.amazon.com/Valerias-Cross-ebook/dp/B0043VEGPM/ref=sr_1_6_title_1_ke?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1292944389&sr=1-6

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kindle prize awarded--just in time for Christmas!


Congratulations to Shirley Cochran Strait for winning the Kindle in our most recent Red Ink promotional contest. Merry Christmas, Shirley!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who is the strength of your heart?

My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).

The older I get, the more I become aware of my own frailties. When we’re young, particularly if we’ve been blessed with good health and strength, we fall into the trap of thinking we’re invincible: someone else may step into the street and get mowed down by a truck; someone else might get cancer and die before their thirtieth birthday; someone else may drop dead of a heart attack in the middle of shooting hoops with friends. But not us.
If the One who numbers our days also grants us a long life on earth, all that faulty thinking and phony bravado will change. At some stage in our aging process, we come face to face with the fact that we most definitely are not invincible after all. The Scriptures make that perfectly clear in Hebrews 9:27, declaring that each of us has an appointment with death—and after that, the judgment. Of course, for those of us who have received Jesus as Savior, we don’t have to fear that judgment because Jesus has already paid the price for our sins and washed away our much deserved guilty verdict. As a result, when the appointed time comes that our flesh and heart fail, we need not fear, for “God is the strength of [our] heart and [our] portion forever.” What an encouraging and eternal promise!
A bonus to that promise is that we don’t have to wait until the moment of our death to rely on God’s strength; it is ours for the taking now, today, moment by moment, as we continue our homeward pilgrimage on earth. When we are physically weak or sick, we can depend on God to hold us in the palm of His nail-scarred hand as we rest in Him. When we are challenged beyond our physical or mental or emotional endurance, He stands ready to step in the moment we call on His Name.
Whether you’re facing challenges in your finances, your relationships, your health, or anything else, let the promise that “God is the strength of [your] heart” carry you through today…and always…until at last we pass from this life into His glorious, sweet presence.

Friday, December 10, 2010

From Dust and Ashes...



People often ask me, as an author, what I'm reading. Here's my answer.

I just finished reading From Dust and Ashes by Tricia Goyer (one of my favorite authors, I might add), and it was even better than I'd expected. If you don't already own this book, you need to treat yourself to one. If you already have it, get one for someone else for Christmas. They'll thank you for it. Here's a teaser about the book, plus ordering info at the bottom:

St. Georgen had a secret...

In a small village in northern Austria, white flakes fell from the sky. The month was July. It wasn't snow that tumbled down, but ash.

For those familiar with World War II history, concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen are well discussed. But there are also many lesser-known camps. One of them is Gusen.

Gusen was a sub-camp of the larger Mauthausen complex. The average survival period of inmates was several weeks. In some cases, it was only a few days.

As early as 1940, prisoners started arriving at the small train station in the town center. A full two years before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the citizens of St. Georgen were already experiencing the horrors of war. And by January 1941, the Mauthausen-Gusen camps became the only 'Category I' camps in Third Reich history, meaning "camp of no return."

The camps expanded and by February 1945, 25,000 people were incarcerated inside Gusen. It was then that Himmler and Pohl decided the horror could not be discovered. Their plan was to blow up Gusen's armament tunnels (Bergkristall) with the inmates and the local population of St. Georgen inside. The Nazis' goal was to destroy potential witnesses.

Hearing this, Mr. Louis Haefliger (delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross) risked his life on May 5, 1945 to lead in US troops to St. Gerogen, preventing this final catastrophe. The first US GIs at the camp were the 41st Recon Squadron, 11th Armored Division, Patton's 3rd Army.

Order From Dust and Ashes at http://www.triciagoyer.com/dustandashes/getthebook.html

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Choosing Our Words...

“For by your words you will be justified,
and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).

Okay, let me preface this by reminding you that I didn’t say this, Jesus did. And that puts the statement in serious perspective, doesn’t it?
When we were kids we often heard/proclaimed the singsong taunt, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But it wasn’t true, was it? Our words do hurt. They sting, they wound, they injure. And Jesus said we would be held accountable for them.
“I just tell it like it is” is a common excuse for blasting someone with both barrels, but would we be so quick to fire away if we first remembered that those very words would be brought into account when we stand before God one day? And why bring this subject up at Christmas, anyway?
For the very reason that it is Christmas, that’s why. The One who spoke those words while He walked this earth first came as a Baby, humble yet royal, to show us how to live—and then to die in our place. Though the majority of people will ultimately reject that priceless gift, those of us who accept it have no excuse for cutting people down with our words. Ephesians 4:15 admonishes us to speak the truth “in love” so that we “may grow up in all things into Him.” Mature believers seek God’s help to restrain their lips from speaking hurt and injury to others just to satisfy their own selfishness, and instead to speak truth in love, with the purpose being to bring life and healing and reconciliation.
As we go about our many busy activities this Christmas season, may we remember the words of the One whose birthday we celebrate and weigh our words before we speak them. There is enough negativity being proclaimed by those who don’t know Christ; let’s counter that by speaking love and life and joy to ears and hearts that so desperately need to hear them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Valeria's Cross Featured in Romantic Times



Please check out this "behind the scenes" feature on Valeria's Cross in Romantic Times!

http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/take-look-behind-scenes-valerias-cross

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Chance to Support Red Ink!



If you are an ACFW Book Club member and enjoyed reading Red Ink, please go to the following link and vote for it for the April 2011 contemporary choice of the month: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/acfwbookclub/surveys?id=2337861

Thank you all so much!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Where is your heart?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”
(Matthew 6:21, NKJV).

Jesus’ words about treasure ring especially true and relevant in this pre-Christmas season, don’t they? It is a time when we who claim to worship and follow the King of Kings, whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas Day, are often put to the test during these weeks of frenzied shopping and spending. That test is summed up in this question: Where is our treasure? As Jesus said, the answer to that question reveals where our heart is.
I once attended a church service where the pastor was teaching on this verse, and early on in his sermon he asked a lady in the front row if he could borrow her purse. She hesitated a moment before agreeing. The pastor then set her purse on the pulpit and proceeded with his teaching. Throughout the remainder of the service, we in the congregation couldn’t help but notice that the woman’s eyes never left the pulpit, even when the pastor walked around the stage as he spoke. It was a powerful illustration of his message.
And not one that didn’t speak loudly and clearly to my heart, I might add. I certainly couldn’t think ill of the woman for wanting to keep her purse in sight, as we women don’t like being separated from our purses, do we? We keep not only our checkbooks, cash, and credit cards in there, but so much else that seemingly identifies us, such as family pictures and other mementoes. But ultimately, what does that say about our hearts? Is it possible that as believers we still have a lot of growing and maturing to do when it comes to understanding our true treasures?
In the two verses preceding Jesus’ statement that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” He cautioned us against focusing on amassing temporal treasures here on earth rather than eternal ones in heaven. Then, in verse 33, He summed it up like this: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Jesus wanted us to understand that the Father knows our needs, and we can trust Him to meet them. What the Father desires from us is a heart that truly seeks Him, first and always. May we actively do so today, throughout the Christmas season, and all year long, as we add to our treasures in heaven and experience the joys of a caring and faithful Father who faithfully meets all our needs “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another Red Ink Blog Tour!



The third and final Red Ink blog tour launches on Monday, December 6, just in time for Christmas gift-giving. Be sure to watch for posts here and on Facebook/Twitter about tour stops, as there will be lots of chances to win free books.

Breaking Chains Ministry responds to Red Ink




Breaking Chains Ministry exists to rescue children from sex-trafficking and prostitution in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. Here is what their prayer coordinator, Christine Nicolayeff, has to say about Red Ink:

"Red Ink is the story of Yang Zhen-Li, a young Chinese woman imprisoned and persecuted for her Christian faith. It is a work of fiction, but could as well be nonfiction, for similar stories are lived out every day in China and elsewhere. As the persecution intensifies, two women far across the world are moved to pray for an unknown individual. As they follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, God strengthens and encourages Yang Zhen Li. The results of her faithful perserverance are life-transforming for her and for others. Another story within the story concerns a young girl who is nearly sold to traffickers and of how God uses prayer as a channel for His mercy. I recommend this book. It is well-written and deeply moved my heart."

Please consider learning more about this wonderful ministry, will you? Here is their contact information:

Breaking Chains Ministry: (619) 752-6325
http://breakingchains.org.
PO Box 27524
San Diego, Ca 92198

Writers Conference in Beautiful San Diego!

It's time to plan NOW to attend the National Christian Writers' Conference at the convention center in San Diego on Saturday, March 26. In addition to an array of professional speakers and tons of prizes, there will be one grand prize awarded consisting of a complete publishing and marketing package, so check it out at http://www.ncwcfr.com/. Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Do You Live What You Claim to Believe?



There's an old saying that goes something like this: If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? In other words, does your life prove out your claims of faith?

Author Laura Ross Greiner has tackled this question in TruthDare: Dare to Live the Truth You Believe. It is a book that will challenge you at the very core of your faith--and encourage you to walk in that faith on a daily basis. Here is a description of this excellent book, as well as some information about the author:

Life is full of dares—challenges that require sufficient courage, bold behaviors, and an adventurous spirit. Yet, when it comes to faith, people lack the same courage, choosing instead to stand idly by and wait for permission to live what they say they believe. It’s time to wake up, says author Laura Ross Greiner.

It’s time to fully embrace the dares God has given us: Dare to say yes. Dare to have faith. Dare to trust. And more. With inspiring, captivating, and sometimes heart-wrenching stories of people who dared to believe in the face of great pain, Greiner challenges Christian women to stand up, live big, and embrace the truths of the gospel no matter what. The story of a three-year-old stricken with cancer dares women to see proof that God exists even in hard times. The struggles that a single mom has with depression teach readers to trust that God can change us, if we dare to let Him. The plight of a woman whose husband is having an affair dares us to wait for God’s direction.

While most Christian-living authors promise peace, few stare Truth in the face as boldly as Laura Ross Greiner. The provocative challenges of TruthDare will bring readers on a fulfilling—albeit uncomfortable—trek to a fuller, deeper life spent in God’s grace.

About the Author: Laura Ross Greiner (MA, University of Colorado; PhD, University of Denver) is an author, women’s event speaker, and professor. She is coauthor of Where Women Walked, Refresh, and Rendezvous and the author of Through Fire and Water. Her books have been nominated for several awards, including the 2004 Gold Medallion Award, the ECPA Bible Study Award, and Outreach Magazine’s Resource of the Year Award. Laura and her husband, Bruce, have three children and live in Boulder, Colorado.

Get to know more about Laura and find out how to order this remarkable book at www.lauragreiner.com.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Christmas Book Signing Bash has officially begun!



The Christmas Book Signing Bash at Christian Review of Books has officially begun! Whether you're looking for my books or books from other Christian authors, you don't want to miss stopping by this site to browse and purchase your Christmas gifts (for yourself and others!). Here's the link:

http://christianreviewofbooks.com/index.php?page=view/article/756/Kathi-Macias

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Everlasting Love

“I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3, NKJV).

Human nature doesn’t change much, does it? Down through the ages and across all national and cultural borders and boundaries, we all long for the same thing: to be loved and accepted by someone who will not betray or abandon us.
God knows that longing in us, better than we know it ourselves. We can’t always identify it, but to one degree or another, that longing drives us—often to foolish choices. We put our hope and faith and dreams in the hands of other fallible humans (much like ourselves), and then wonder why we are disappointed, rejected, or heartbroken.
That longing was never meant to be met by another person (or a profession or success or drugs/alcohol or limitless possessions), but by the One who never changes and never fails us. There is only one place to turn when that longing for unfailing love drives us onward, and that’s to the very God of the universe Himself—who stands waiting with outstretched arms and nail-scarred hands.
With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, I’ve chosen to focus this devotional thought on the most basic of all human needs…and the One who longs to meet that need. If you haven’t already run into the Father’s arms and received that everlasting love, I encourage you to do so today. If you have, then pray for someone else who also needs to experience that love.
We are entering the busiest season of the year. Stop often and listen. I guarantee you will hear His voice whispering to your heart: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Let Him wrap you in that love, where all the storms of earth and even the great divide between this world and eternity cannot separate you from that everlasting love and security. May God increase our longing to climb up into His lap, nestle against His chest, and listen to His great heart….

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are You Chosen?

November 11, 2010

“I have chosen you,” says the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:23, NKJV).

Remember standing in line on the playground while the team leaders chose their groups? Remember being the one not chosen? Remember the humiliation of hearing the leaders argue over who “has” to include you on their team? Maybe that wasn’t you. Maybe you were one of the first ones chosen, and you remember the joy and exhilaration of hearing your name called early on. Or maybe you were somewhere in between, in which case you may remember hoping to be called as soon as possible so you wouldn’t end up too close to the end.
Whatever the case, we all experienced some of the effects of being “chosen”—or not. If we weren’t, perhaps we pretended as if it didn’t matter, but it did, didn’t it? No one wants to be rejected. We all want to be chosen. And God knows that better than we ever could…because He designed us that way. He wants to choose us, and He wants us to respond accordingly. It is His heart’s desire that we willingly choose to belong to Him. But inherent in that choice is a willingness to respond to His call as well as His choice.
What is that call? It’s a call to serve on His team, shoulder to shoulder with the others He has called and chosen. Just as the leader or captain of a sports team chooses team members so they can participate in the game, God chooses us so we can participate in the work of His Kingdom. We aren’t chosen simply so we can know where we will end up when we breathe our last here on earth. We are chosen to serve our team Captain in the fulfilling of the ministry of reconciliation, which Jesus began and has now committed to us.
If you haven’t already responded to God’s call and joined His team, don’t wonder whether or not He’s calling you; He is. Now you need to respond. And then you need to listen and find out what He has purposed for you to do once you’ve joined the team.
We are called, we are chosen…and we are on the only winning team. But no one is called or chosen to sit on the sidelines. God has a purpose for you. Find out what it is…and then dedicate the rest of your life to fulfilling it. I promise you, there is no greater joy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Titus 2 Women--and Free Books!


Hop on over to: http://www.thetitus2women.com and leave a comment, then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did so (along with clear contact info). The first three to do that will win their choice of one of my new novels.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas Book-Signing Bash!



Now here's something you REALLY do NOT want to miss! 75 of your favorite Christian authors (including yours truly!) will be signing/selling/sending copies of their books in time for Christmas gift-giving. Pass the word!










Check it out at www.ChristianReviewofBooks.com or www.CrossPurposesBooks.com!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Win a Copy of Transformed by Desire by Patty Mason
























What are the desires of your heart?

Transformed by Desire: A Journey of Awakening to Life and Love invites the reader to answer this question and more. It encourages her to search her soul, to dig deep, and to discover her heart’s truest desires, as she allows Christ to share with her the desires of His heart. Desire is the first step in embracing all of who she is meant to be in Christ. This book will stir her heart and invite her to recognize the desires that will capture her soul, and thrust her life into new levels of meaning and purpose.

Both books are similar in text and content, however, the book version lays everything out for the reader. Scripture verses are all written out, the sections are shorter for easy reading, and include journal prompts at the end of each section. The Bible study, on the other hand, challenges the reader to go deeper, inspiring her to dig in the Word. The Bible study also comes with an 11-week video series and a free-downloadable Leader’s Guide for group facilitators.)

What People are Saying:

"My heart is bursting; God used this book to transform my life." —Jessica Dotta

“Transformed by Desire put my life as a believer in Jesus Christ on a completely new level. I never realized it was possible to have such an intimate, personal relationship with God.”—Vivian Good

“I knew, in the first week, that Transformed by Desire Bible Study was different. It focused completely on building the most intimate relationship with Christ, so that you know and feel His love on a personal level. This book took me deeper than I ever imagined. It's a must read!”—Lisa Greer

"Transformed by Desire challenged me more than I bargained for. --Aileen Burke

"Transformed by Desire Bible Study is a wonderful expression of intimacy with God. The biblical teaching is right on. If you are looking for more of Him, you have found an invaluable resource." --Rev. David Noel

Link to book page and video trailer:

http://libertyinchrist.net/books.aspx

Link to Website:

http://libertyinchrist.net/default.aspx

To order go to:

www.libertyinchrist.net or

Book:

http://www.amazon.com/Transformed-Desire-Journey-Awakening-Life/dp/098297180X/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288803013&sr=1-6

Bible study:

http://www.amazon.com/Transformed-Desire-Bible-Study-Awakening/dp/0982971818/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288803132&sr=1-1


***Don't forget to leave a comment (and clear contact information) for a chance to win a copy of this excellent book!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Results of Kindle Contest



Bethany LeBedz is the winner of the FIRST Kindle contest, but we had such a great response that I'm going to offer a second Kindle. Again, all you need to do to enter is to read/review Red Ink and post your review on your blog and/or at Amazon, CBD, etc. You must also be a follower of this blog and alert me to your entry by emailing me at ezyrtr@ca.rr.com. So keep those reviews and entries coming for a chance to win a Kindle in December--right in time for Christmas!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feel like "Damaged Goods"? Learn to Dream Again!




In this follow-up to “DAMAGED GOODS: An Autobiography", the author brings new light on the true story in which she received a desperate call from a stranger from her past beckoning her to his side in the wake of a car accident. This journey unravels the untold stories, details, struggles, secrets, pictures, updates and path of learning how to dream again in the midst of losing everything that were never included in the first book.

Based on Charlotte Hunt's miraculous journey in learning to hope, “DAMAGED GOODS: Learning To Dream Again" is an amazingly uplifting, funny, transforming and life-changing story of an invitation to recall her fight in learning how to dream and hope again. Concluding with a cliff-hanger ending, “DAMAGED GOODS: Learning To Dream Again" takes the reader on a whirlwind of tragedy, hopelessness, and a mother’s curse to a landing of success, inspiration, and a legacy of hope. Experience a journey to begin to dream again.

This amazing author is offering a free copy of her brand new book to someone who leaves a comment on this blog, so be sure to do so--along with CLEAR contact information. This book is available in all the usual online/store venues, but the best price is found at the author's website: www.charlottehunt.com

BIO:

Charlotte D. Hunt is a national speaker, teacher, author, radio personality, encouragement expert, founder of Dream Madly Ministries, and favorite lecturer for the First Lady of Tennessee, district attorney offices, corporate leadership and sales programs, treatment providers, Christian leadership, educators, non-profits, and women’s conferences. For over 23 years, she has been dedicated to releasing and exhorting lives to “Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, and Trust Completely!”

After studying music education, psychology, and vocal jazz studies in Akron, OH, Charlotte went on to teach at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music and had a successful career as a music director, background vocalist, studio musician and jazz artist working and touring with world-renown performers in the music industry. Charlotte continued her career as a voice-over artist, stage and reparatory actor in off Broadway touring companies with performance in national television documentaries and commercials, radio programs, PBS specials, jingles, and internationally as a runway model.

Although successful in her career, she lived with dark secrets from her past. For years she struggled with addictions, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and the overwhelming belief that she could never be used to impact lives because of the mistakes and tragedy of her past. Her story is featured in the national documentaries, “A View from the Shadows” Part 1 and Part 2 and “Out of the Shadows”.
Charlotte has triumphed over a tragic and abusive past to become a dynamic author, teacher, speaker, encourager and impacting leader of changed lives throughout diverse audiences around the country. Her success has been rooted in her “ability to stretch people to start believing that it is possible to dream again!”

Above all things, Charlotte’s mission is to motivate, impact, and exhort lives to walk unencumbered from their past, exploring possibilities in the present, while renewing lost dreams and visions for their future.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kindle Drawing Coming Soon!



It's not too late to get in on the FIRST Kindle drawing--or to work at getting in to the second one. All you have to do is get a copy of Red Ink (my latest release) and write a review. Post it on your own blog (if you have one) and/or on Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, etc. Then email me at ezyrtr@ca.rr.com and let me know you've done that. The final requirement is that you be a follower of this blog. The first drawing is next week, with another one coming in December, just in time for Christmas! So get busy! I love my Kindle, and you will too!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ChristianBooks.com posted an interview with me today




I was so pleased when a Google Alert popped up in my inbox to let me know that ChristianBooks.com has posted an interview with me today. I'd love it if you stopped by to read it and then come here and leave a comment about it. I'll send a free copy of Valeria's Cross to one of you! Thanks so much.

Christian Alternative to Halloween...and Valeria's Cross!




Not having grown up in a Christian home, I always celebrated Halloween just like all my other friends—dressing up in funny or scary costumes, going to Halloween parties to bob for apples, and running door-to-door to collect as much candy as possible. Of course, our neighborhoods were more “kid-friendly” in those days, meaning that in all my growing-up years I don’t remember ever hearing about a child who had any sort of problem or ran into any type of danger while out trick-or-treating. But I must admit, though my children are all grown and married with families of their own, if I had little ones again now, I’d be hesitant—even if I weren’t a Christian—to send them out on their own at night to collect candy from the neighbors. And I know I’m not alone. Nowadays I seldom see children trick-or-treating without an adult accompanying them, which is obviously a wise choice.
As Christians, however, Halloween always brings up some of the same questions I faced when I first became a believer in 1974. At the time I had two young children, and my third child was born the following year. Nearly all of our neighbors and our children’s friends at school celebrated the holiday, but I no longer felt comfortable doing so. In fact, in response to many of the warnings and cautions I received from more seasoned believers, I decided we shouldn’t celebrate the event at all, since it seemed to glorify death and everything dark and demonic.
When our church (and many others) began offering Harvest party celebrations as an alternative, I still wondered at the wisdom of it since it seemed we were simply caving in to the season by even acknowledging the holiday. Still, Harvest parties gave our children a viable alternative and made it easier not to argue with them each year about why they couldn’t go out and have fun like most of their non-Christian friends and acquaintances.
Years later, when my children were all grown and it was no longer a personal issue for me, I found myself dumped back into the middle of it when I served on staff at a large Southern California church. Sure enough, the approaching month of October brought with it the same Halloween celebration questions I’d been dealing with for a couple of decades. The staff unanimously opted for an annual Harvest party extravaganza (including each of us staff members having to take our turn in the dunk tank, much to our chagrin and the children’s delight!), and the turnout was always excellent. In fact, it was one of our better outreaches to children, rivaling our summertime vacation Bible school in attendance. Each year we had a few unbelieving families who brought their children to our festivals simply because it was safer than having them go door-to-door for candy; occasionally those children (and even the entire families) became regular attendees of our church, making the event well worthwhile.
Yet despite the positive aspects of the Harvest festival, I still found myself bothered by the fact that we Christians felt it necessary to provide an alternative to what was so obviously an anti-Christian holiday. Now I’d certainly heard of the celebration of All Saints’ Day, and I was well aware that Catholics celebrated it each year, but I wasn’t clear on its meaning or purpose. Then, a couple of years ago, something happened that sparked my interest in finding out.
A dear friend and I decided to meet for lunch one day. We hadn’t known one another long, but we had connected quickly and at a deep level because of our commonalities: We were both committed Christians, both published authors, and both dedicated to the idea of writing top quality stories to educate, entertain, and enlighten our readers. So we got together to brainstorm, to toss ideas back and forth, hoping we would hit on one that struck us both as something we’d like to pursue together.
It worked. Before the day was over, we had decided to collaborate on a fictionalized account of a story that would take place in the third century, during the time of terrible persecutions of Christians, particularly under the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. It is believed by many that Diocletian’s wife, Prisca, and daughter, Valeria, became devout Christians during that time. It is also believed (and even memorialized in a monument in France) that an entire legion (6600 men) of Roman soldiers from Thebes, who were also committed Christians, gave their lives in martyrdom rather than yield to the Emperor Diocletian’s command to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods.
And so we wondered, what if Diocletian’s daughter and the head of the Theban Legion had met and fallen in love? What a story that would make! Soon we had a proposal put together, and then a contract, and before we knew it, we were hard at work developing this fictionalized account of combined historical events. Valeria’s Cross recently became a reality, released by Abingdon Press, who caught the vision for this amazing story. In the process of this idea becoming a book, I learned more than I’d ever realized about some of the early “saints” of the Church, many of whom gave their lives rather than compromise their faith. It was a real eye-opener to me, and suddenly I wasn’t quite so willing to toss out the entire idea of celebrating an “All Saints Day.”
According to Wikipedia, All Saints Day is a “solemnity celebrated on November 1 in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity in honour of all the saints, known and unknown.” In honor of all the saints, known and unknown… I like that thought, don’t you? And though I may not think of saints in the same way as meant by Catholics in reference to All Saints Day, I have begun to see the celebration of this holiday in a different way. Though as I said, I no longer have young children of my own at home, I do have grandchildren and a grandniece, plus one great grandson, all of whom would certainly benefit from learning about those “saints, known and unknown.”
Why not consider incorporating a lesson about one of the early saints or martyrs, or one of the Church fathers, into the candy-and-games celebration of the Harvest festival that has become so popular and widespread among Christians today? As I learned in my studies and research for Valeria’s Cross, there are many positive and edifying aspects to honoring the saints…known and unknown. Perhaps you’ll discover some you’ve never even heard of before, and then you and your children can learn about them together.
Meanwhile, happy All Saints Day to all of you, however you choose to celebrate it!

Final day of first of three Red Ink blog tours!



Today is the final day of the first (two more to follow!) Red Ink blog tour, so be sure to stop by these last two spots and find out about how to win a free copy. Thanks for joining us on this tour!

At the Water Cooler
http://atwc1.com
Literary Gumbo
http://literarygumbo.com

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Red Ink on tour!





Today's stops with chances to win:

Allergy Kid Mom
http://AllergyKidMom.blogspot.com/

http://deeswhite.com/blog

http://whatmakesyoustronger.atwc1.com

http://wp.me/p17yoq-2K

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Check out a Great Readers'/Writers' Blog!

"Authors for Christ" blog looks like a great place for both readers and writers of Christian material to congregate. If you don't already follow it, please check it out and help pass the word, will you?

http://authorsforchrist.blogspot.com

Red Ink blog tour continues!




Today's stops include:





Naked and Unashamed
http://deeswhite.com/blog
Good Reads
http://goodreads.com/deeswhite

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sneak Preview of April 2011 Release!




Interested in what I've got scheduled for April 1, 2011 release? Get a sneak preview at International Christian Fiction Writers: http://internationalchristianfiction.pbworks.com/w/page/People-of-the-Book

Interview with Author Cathy Bryant--and Book Giveaway!



Check out this great video trailer at the link below, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of her book, and then read on to find out about this great lady:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VXblI4HgCg

Cathy, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m first and foremost a Christ-follower, but the different hats I wear are minister’s wife, mom to two grown sons and a lovely daughter-in-love, Nana to my one-year-old grandson, church accompanist, private music instructor, and writer. I’ve lived in Texas my entire life, and currently live in a century-old charmer (lots of character and precious little space) with my husband and a phobia-ridden cat.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love being outdoors. When the weather permits, I take at least one walk a day (usually two). I also enjoy riding my bicycle (though riding a motorcycle sounds like great fun). I swim in the summer months, hike when I can, and go canoeing once a year. I also enjoy gardening, reading, home improvement projects, movies, and reality television.

Tell us about your latest book.

Here’s the book blurb for A Path Less Traveled (Book 2 in the Miller’s Creek novels):

Trish James is tired of being rescued. When a spooked horse claims her husband's life, she’s determined to blaze a path for herself and her traumatized son without outside help. But will that mean leaving the place etched on her heart?

Andy Tyler has had to struggle for everything, and starting a new law practice in Miller's Creek, Texas is no different. Though prepared for business challenges, he's not prepared for falling in love--especially with yet another woman who will probably abandon him for her career.

Will Andy and Trish be able to see past their limited human understanding to take a path less traveled?

Where did you get the idea for this story?

All my stories begin with a spiritual theme, usually arising from my personal pilgrimage. The message of A Path Less Traveled (Book 2 in the Miller’ Creek novels) is about trusting God to direct our paths even when we can’t understand why He’s leading in a certain direction.

This theme came from several times in my life when I’ve had to step out in faith when the move made no sense—to me or anyone else. (We see this all throughout the Bible—the Hebrew people moving toward the Red Sea at God’s direction, when there was a much shorter and easier route; Ananias making contact with Paul, one of the biggest persecutor’s of the early church; Joseph taking Mary as his wife when it appeared to everyone around that she’d been unchaste—the list could go on forever.)

I also wanted to continue the setting in Miller’s Creek, so readers could catch up with the characters in Texas Roads (Book 1 in the series). Stories have a way of unfolding in my brain. It’s not really a process I can fully explain. To illustrate, the third book of the series began with this snippet of dialogue that popped into my brain while I was on a walk: “Tyler, Dent and Snodgrass. Hold please.” Those six words introduced me to the heroine of The Way of Grace, a story which explores the contrast between law and grace.

What do you hope readers take away from your books?

Part of my personal mission statement is to know God and make Him known, so I hope readers glean God’s grace and goodness from every page. He loves us more than we can possibly imagine or understand.

I also want to encourage other Christians through my stories. We all struggle with the difficulties of this world. It’s not easy for any of us. If readers can make a point of connection with the characters in the story and come away encouraged, then I’m delighted.

Then, of course, I hope those who don’t know Christ as their Lord and Savior will see faith lived out in the pages of the book and make the decision to follow Him.

Where can your books be purchased?

Online purchases of the books can be made at Amazon.com and other leading retailers. For those who prefer electronic reading, both books are available in several electronic formats (for Kindle, iPad, Sony Reader, the Nook, etc.) at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CathyBryant (scroll down to find the books). The books can also be ordered through local bookstores, or if you’d like an autographed copy, you can e-mail me at catbry1 (at) yahoo (dot) com for more information. (Please put “Miller’s Creek book order” in the subject line, so the message won’t end up in the spam folder or trash.)

How can readers connect with you?

I’m on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/cathy.england.bryant) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/CathyBryant) with the rest of the world. Readers can also contact me through my blog WordVessel, (http://WordVessel.blogspot.com) or through the guestbook on my website (www.CatBryant.com).

Tour continues!



The Red Ink blog tour continues, with stops today (and chances for free books!) at the following:

Divine Perspective
http://dvyneperspectiv.blogspot.com
I am a Reader, Not a Writer
http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Red Ink tour continues!



Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Red Ink:

A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews
http://acozyreaderscorner.blogspot.com
BookZone
http://bookzone.atwc1.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

Red Ink blog tour continues!





Don't miss your chance to participate in the first of three Red Ink blog tours! Here are today's offerings, plus what you can look forward to tomorrow. Leave comments for a chance to win!

Day #2 – Friday, October 22, 2010
A Cozy Reader’s Corner
http://acozyreaderscorner.blogspot.com
D.S. White’s Gather Page
http://dswhite.gather.com

Day #3 – Saturday, October 23, 2010
A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews
http://acozyreaderscorner.blogspot.com
BookZone
http://bookzone.atwc1.com

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simple Elegance Progressive Party October 24



Now here's a party you don't want to miss if you live ANYWHERE near Hershey or Lancaster, PA--OR if you're on Facebook! Not only will you have fun at the party and have a chance to meet author Angela Breidenbach (former Mrs. Montana!), but you'll get a free Kathi Macias book with every purchase of Angie's book. How cool is that??? Here's the info:

Simple Elegance Progressive Party Oct. 24th at the Book Cellar of Hershey from Noon-2p.m. Eastern. Then the party progresses to the Book Cellar of Lancaster 3-5p.m. Eastern and online at this link:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=165202506824485 Online Noon-5p.m. Eastern.

Come and learn a great Sage Turkey recipe for Thanksgiving and the most simple and elegant ways to serve your guests!

It's a progressive party with even more prizes at each stop! Author/Speaker Angela Breidenbach will share ideas about simple, elegant, and joyful holiday preparations, hear yours, and give away prizes throughout the Simple Elegance party. Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance will also be available for signing, purchase, and ideas.

Chocolate spoons for attendees and how to make them as well as simple Gems of Wisdom chocolates with your personalized gem of wisdom.

Oct 24th, Noon - 5 p.m. Eastern, on the Facebook event page and on Twitter if you can't be in Hershey and Lancaster, PA in person you can play online with us :-) Special guest, Kathi Macias, will TRY to pop into the online party (if she finishes her own book-signing in Nuevo, CA on time!) to talk about one of her books, My Son John. Don't miss it!

Pre-orders for Gems of Wisdom: A Treasure-Filled Life will also be available as well as monthly contests leading up to the March 2011 release.

About Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance:
Creative, gorgeous, elegant recipes to make inexpensive meals by a Weight Watcher Leader/Ambassador. Includes notations for Celiac, IBD (Colitis, Crohn's, IBD), and Weight Loss. Full color photos for each dish including some step-by-step photos. Luscious uses for left overs, special Christmas treats, international flavors mixed with great American style made with easily found ingredients. Food that tastes like it's been handed down for generations (well, some recipes have.) Try Swedish Pancakes, Quick & Easy Eggdrop Soup, Bruchetta Ensalada, Sweet Potato & Apple Streusel, Mexican Lasagna, Blooming Chicken Savories, and Grandma Bigelow's Orange Rolls. Just don't forget to make the Caramel Corn for your Christmas gifts, if you can get it out of the house!

Mini blog tour for Red Ink starts today!



Starting today, you can follow the first official Red Ink blog tour--and maybe win a free book! Today's posts can be found at

A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews
http://acozyreaderscorner.blogspot.com

At the Water Cooler
http://atwc1.com

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next two posts, which will be at

A Cozy Reader’s Corner
http://acozyreaderscorner.blogspot.com

Gather
http://dswhite.gather.com

Thanks so much, dear readers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Free books and Kindles--don't miss it!



Red Ink is featured today at this site, with a chance to win a free copy, so be sure to stop by and leave a comment! http://networkedblogs.com/9nFh2

Also, scroll down to the next picture of Red Ink and find out how to win a free Kindle!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rapid-Fire Fiction Makes My Top Picks for Good Reads!



There's a reason author Ronie Kendig's novels are called "rapid-fire fiction"--and that's because they are! Dead Reckoning grabbed me by the throat on the first page and didn't let me go till the last. Even then, I wanted it to continue! (Which means, of course, I'll be standing in line to get the next rapid-fire fiction offering from Ronie!) Seriously, if you like action, intrigue, romance, heart-pounding suspense, this is the book for you! Set primarily in Mumbai amidst the teeming masses and curry-scented shopping markets, with terrorists and danger lurking around every corner, Dead Reckoning will keep you up long into the night. Don't miss it! Learn more about Ronie and her writing at www.roniekendig.com.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Free Kindle Offer!



Wish you had a Kindle? Maybe you already have one and would like to give one to someone else...? Well, here's your chance. Help me get the word out about book three of the Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers--RED INK--and you just might win one! I need reviews of Red Ink on Amazon and CBD (and anywhere else you'd like to post it, including your own blog if you have one), so post one and you've taken the first step toward being entered to win. Then, if you aren't already a follower of this blog, click on "follow" so you will be. Finally, email me at ezyrtr@ca.rr.com to let me know you've entered and how to reach you if you're the winner. This contest will continue throughout the month of October, with a drawing for the winner in early November (in plenty of time for Christmas!), so get busy with the most important step in becoming a winner: get a copy of RED INK and read it! I would really appreciate it, gang!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Call to Live with Purpose...and Mission!



Laura Krokos has put together a powerful study for those who are serious about finding their purpose--their "mission statement" in life. Does that apply to you...or maybe to someone you know or love? If so, you really need a copy (or two or three!) of this wonderful new book, designed to ignite your passion of purpose and light the path toward fulfillment of your mission. Perfect for individual or group study and available in hard copy and Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Laura+Krokos&x=16&y=21

What Is Your Custom?

[Daniel] knelt down on his knees three times that day,
and prayed and gave thanks before his God,
as was his custom since early days (Daniel 6:10).


My most recent releases all have to do with people who pay a price for their faith. Much of the feedback I get from many readers is that the stories inspire them but also cause them to examine their own faith and question if they too would be as faithful under pressure. It’s a question worth examining.
As the writer of those stories, I can tell you I questioned myself and my own walk with God many times in the process of creating and completing those novels. What would I do under similar circumstances? Of course I would have to depend completely on God’s strength and not my own, but would I know how to do that? The answer comes not so much in what we do when already in those situations, but rather what we do before we end up there.
Daniel’s example is the perfect one. When he heard the decree that anyone who worshiped any god or person other than King Darius would be cast into the lions’ den, the Scriptures tell us that Daniel immediately “knelt down on his knees…and prayed and gave thanks before his God.” Daniel didn’t hesitate to worship God, despite the very real possibility that he would be thrown to the lions—which, of course, he was. How was he so unshakeable in his faith that he didn’t even consider other options? The answer is in the last part of that verse: “…as was his custom since early days.” Daniel didn’t wait until the threat arrived on his doorstep to seek God; he was already in the habit of doing so. He regularly worshiped God and presented his petitions to Him, and he had no intention of changing that custom because of changing circumstances.
We live in a time when our own circumstances are changing and may very well continue to do so to the point that we too will have to make a decision about continuing to worship God, regardless of consequences. The only way we will remain faithful then is if we have already developed the habit or custom of seeking God regularly. If we haven’t done so, now is the time to cultivate that practice. At the end of my life, I want to be found faithful…don’t you?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Win a Kindle...for Yourself or Someone Else!



Wish you had a Kindle? Maybe you already have one and would like to give one to someone else...? Well, here's your chance. Help me get the word out about book three of the Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers--RED INK--and you just might win one! I need reviews of Red Ink on Amazon and CBD (and anywhere else you'd like to post it, including your own blog if you have one), so post one and you've taken the first step toward being entered to win. Then, if you aren't already a follower of this blog, click on "follow" so you will be. Finally, email me at ezyrtr@ca.rr.com to let me know you've entered and how to reach you if you're the winner. This contest will continue throughout the month of October, with a drawing for the winner in early November (in plenty of time for Christmas!), so get busy with the most important step in becoming a winner: get a copy of RED INK and read it! I would really appreciate it, gang!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lifting Our Eyes to Heaven...

“At the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven,
and my understanding returned to me” (Daniel 4:34, NKJV).


Nebuchadnezzar was a great king, but like so many of us, he thought it was all about him. As a result, God humbled him in an amazing way—driving him from the palace to live with the beasts for seven years until, at last, he “lifted [his] eyes to heaven, and [his] understanding returned to [him].”
I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to understand things from God’s point of view without first having to endure such a drastic experience. And yet, when we fail to lift our eyes to heaven and look to God for wisdom and understanding and direction, we truly are no more than beasts who go about our lives with nothing more than the desire to fill our stomachs and meet our other physical needs so we might continue to exist from one day to the next until our time on earth is done. How pitiful and purposeless an existence!
And that, of course, is exactly what God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to see. Whether a king or a pauper (or anything in between), when we fail to look to the heavens for our strength and understanding, we elevate ourselves to the position of god, and we fail every time, at everything we do.
The psalmist understood this. In Psalm 8:4-5 he wrote, “What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.” He humbly recognized the frailty and futility of humanity apart from God, and marveled at the fact that the very Creator of the universe had elevated human beings above the rest of His creation, only slightly lower than the angels themselves. He ended that Psalm by proclaiming, “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (verse 9), confirming his assertion that man was honored only because the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God had made him so.
May we be like the psalmist who readily recognized our need to lift our eyes to heaven if ever we are to understand our purpose on earth, rather than the haughty king who had to endure seven years with the beasts of the field before finally acknowledging that great truth!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Win a Kindle...or Give One as a Gift!



Wish you had a Kindle? Maybe you already have one and would like to give one to someone else...? Well, here's your chance. Help me get the word out about book three of the Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers--RED INK--and you just might win one! I need reviews of Red Ink on Amazon and CBD (and anywhere else you'd like to post it, including your own blog if you have one), so post one and you've taken the first step toward being entered to win. Then, if you aren't already a follower of this blog, click on "follow" so you will be. Finally, email me at ezyrtr@ca.rr.com to let me know you've entered and how to reach you if you're the winner. This contest will continue throughout the month of October, with a drawing for the winner in early November (in plenty of time for Christmas!), so get busy with the most important step in becoming a winner: get a copy of RED INK and read it! I would really appreciate it, gang!!!

She Had No Name--a Guest Post from Kay Marshall Strom



The Price of a Slave

Enormous eyes in a bony-thin face, and a baggy green dress that dragged the ground. Because of all the cast-off children at the village school in India, this raggedy girl stood closest to our translator, he gently asked her, “What is your name?”
The girl stared.
“Your name. What is it?” the translator asked again.
The girl whispered, “I have no name.”
A child with no name. A little girl abandoned so young she could not even remember what her parents had called her. She grew up begging at the train platform, snatching up the scraps harried passengers dropped, watching other children picked off by traffickers. Now that she was seven or eight—perhaps even a scrawny nine—the traffickers had come for her. But the girl screamed and kicked and clawed so ferociously that someone called the police. Someone with clout, evidently, because the police came and pulled her away from the traffickers. Somebody in the crowd shouted out a suggestion that instead of putting the child in jail, the police might take her to the village school, which is what they did. They dropped her at the door and hurried on their way.
Human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, is rampant around the world. We think of it as an eastern European problem, or Indian or Nepalese or Thai. It is that. But it’s also a Western problem. The U.S. State Department estimates between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the Untied States each year, although it concedes that the real number surely is far higher. According to the U.S. Justice Department’s head of the new human trafficking unit, there is now at least one case of trafficking in every state.
The little girl with no name was fortune that someone responded to her screaming pleas. What would you do if you heard a child shriek for help? Of course, if she were a trafficking victim in this country, she wouldn’t be likely to scream or kick. She would probably shrink away in terror, or act submissively. You might see wounds—cuts, bruises, burns. Perhaps what would catch your attention would be the constant work: babysitting, cooking, washing dishes, scrubbing floors—never just being a child. Or maybe you couldn’t say exactly what was wrong—only that something about the child’s situation made you profoundly uneasy.
Please, please, if you suspect a person is being trafficked, call 911 and report it. Yes, it is okay. Yes, even it you are mistaken. In fact, eighteen states require citizens to report possible child abuse or neglect of any kind.
In the 1700s, Quakers led the fight against the African slave trade. In 1885, the Salvation Army took up the abolition banner, and since then it has led the fight against a different kind of slavery. More and more, 21st century abolitionists are followers of Christ determined to see slavery of all kinds ended in our day.
Oh yes… Before I left the school in India, I asked if we might give the little girl a name.
She is now called Grace.


Kay Marshall Strom
The Voyage of Promise, book 2 of the Grace in Africa trilogy
www.kaystrom.com
www.graceinafrica.com
www.KayStrom.wordpress.com

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Win a Kindle!



Wish you had a Kindle? Maybe you already have one and would like to give one to someone else...? Well, here's your chance. Help me get the word out about book three of the Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers--RED INK--and you just might win one! I need reviews of Red Ink on Amazon and CBD (and anywhere else you'd like to post it, including your own blog if you have one), so post one and you've taken the first step toward being entered to win. Then, if you aren't already a follower of this blog, click on "follow" so you will be. Finally, email me at ezyrtr@ca.rr.com to let me know you've entered and how to reach you if you're the winner. This contest will continue throughout the month of October, with a drawing for the winner in early November (in plenty of time for Christmas!), so get busy with the most important step in becoming a winner: get a copy of RED INK and read it! I would really appreciate it, gang!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Drawing Closer to God



Dianne Neal Matthews has done it again! This amazing lady, with a flair for applying scripture to everyday events, has put together another excellent resource for those who want daily meditations to deepen their relationship with God. Drawing Closer to God: 365 Daily Meditations on Questions from Scripture is "a fascinating devotional journey through a year of questions." This is an idea daily study for individuals, couples, families, or groups, so check it out at Dianne's website, along with her other excellent books: www.diannenealmatthews.com

Responding to Instruction/Correction

Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you;
rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a just man, and he will increase in learning (Proverbs 9:8-9).


If you want to see inside someone’s heart and know who they REALLY are, watch how they react to correction or instruction. Do they bristle and become defensive or resentful, or maybe imply that they already know more than the one doing the instructing? Pray for them; they obviously have a lot of growing up to do. But if they humbly consider the advice and seek God about how best to implement it, you may very well be dealing with a wise and mature person, the type of person you might want to consider for a friend and role model.
We all need to hang around people like that, people who have truly figured out that it’s not about them. How else will we grow and become wise and humble? Choosing our companions and mentors is crucial to healthy development because we will eventually become like them.
That, of course, is why it is vital that we spend as much time as possible sitting at the feet of the Father, leaning up against Jesus and listening to His heartbeat like the Apostle John did at the Last Supper, communing with the One who spoke the world into existence and who holds our very life in His nail-scarred hands.
Life is busy and getting busier by the day. How easy it is to neglect that personal time with the Master! But when we do, we quickly find ourselves reacting in the exact opposite way that Jesus did when He walked the earth. Who was wiser or more humble than the Savior Himself, the very One who already possesses all wisdom and had no need to be humble in the presence of His creation? Yet He was our model of how to deal with life and relate to others in humility and wisdom.
May our lives be filled with time in His presence…and subsequently characterized by the wisdom and humility that can be found nowhere else. As a result, when someone reproves or instructs us, may we receive it with that same humility and apply it with wisdom that we might become more like Him.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Press Release from New Hope Publishers



New Hope Publishers Releases Book 3 in “Extreme Devotion” Series



By Ashley Stephens



(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.)—September 29, 2010—Kathi Macias releases third book in “Extreme Devotion” series, Red Ink (978-1-59669-279-4, $14.99, N114127). The story of Chinese woman Yang Zhen-Li tells the desperate tale of her incarceration and separation from her family, as she continues to minister to other prisoners, and even to her guards.



An only child, Zhen-Li was raised by party-faithful parents who were devastated when she became a Christian and married a poor Christian farmer. When she becomes pregnant for a second time and refuses to follow the one-child-per-family mandate of the State, Zhen-Li’s parents have her kidnapped and the baby forcibly aborted. Their actions only serve to reinforce Zhen-Li’s determination to spread the good news of Yesu (Jesus), and she is soon arrested for evangelizing children. Given a ten-year sentence, Zhen-Li’s faith is tested beyond anything she could have imagined. And yet, in the midst of the darkest circumstances, the light of the gospel continues to shine victoriously. Zhen-Li, of course, has no idea that in addition to her own prayers, a former missionary to China, now living on the other side of the world, is praying for her diligently—even as she prays for an acquaintance’s granddaughter who is in danger of being caught up in human trafficking. Through it all and binding them all together is the thread of a distant memory of the song “Silent Night,” wooing the most unlikely with the promise of Christmas.



About the Author

Award-winning author Kathi Macias has written more than 30 books, including the award-winning devotional A Moment a Day and the popular “Matthews” mystery novels. Kathi has won many awards, including the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, 2008 Member of the Year from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association), and the grand prize in an international writing contest. With women’s ministry as her primary interest, Kathi is a popular speaker for women’s retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home.



About New Hope Publishers

Representing more than 50 authors and more than 100 individual works, the mission of New Hope Publishers is to provide books that challenge readers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God. New Hope Publishers is the general trade publishing imprint for WMU, a missions auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. New Hope Publishers is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).



For more information about Kathi Macias or New Hope Publishers, visit www.newhopepublishers.com. Copies of books may be purchased online or by calling 1-800-968-7301.

Valeria's Cross Earns 4-1/2 Stars from Romantic Times



My co-author, Susan Wales, and I just learned that Romantic Times has rated Valeria's Cross a 4-1/2 star read, which I understand is as good as it gets. I've pasted the review in below. If you like an action-packed historical novel with lots of romance thrown in, you probably need to get a copy of this book!


RT Rating
Macias and Wales will win readers’ hearts as they reveal the lives of early Christians. The stories of an esteemed emperor, his family and the soldiers that follow him into battle make for quick reading. The authors give enough supporting historical evidence to bring the characters’ viewpoints to life; we willingly empathize with their circumstances.

***

In the third century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. He and his entire legion are killed for their faith by the evil Galerius. Then Valeria is forced to become Galerius’ wife. She despises her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority of her own. She knows that she must remain committed to him, but at the same time she knows she will never find the love she knew with Mauritius again. (ABINGDON, Sep., 383 pp., $14.99)

Reviewed By: Lindy J. Swanson

Friday, September 24, 2010

Someone to Blame



As an author of over thirty books, many of them novels, I sometimes struggle when I read novels by other writers because I find myself second-guessing plots and even critiquing the writing. That didn't happen with Someone to Blame by C.S. Lakin. It is so well written and the plot so crisp and poignant that I forgot I was an author and just enjoyed the book as a reader--and a fan! Yes, I will definitely look for more books by this author. I hope you will too! Check her out at www.cslakin.com.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little Shepherd for Christmas!



I am so honored to have been quoted on the back cover of this wonderful new book for Children, Little Shepherd by Cheryl Malandrinos. This is a lovely and unique approach to the Christmas story and will make a perfect gift for children of all ages. I encourage you to order copies for all the youngsters in your life. This grandma is surely going to! Join me at Amazon by clicking on (or pasting into your browser) this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Shepherd-Cheryl-C-Malandrinos/dp/1616330856/

Are you wise...or foolish?

But they, measuring themselves by themselves,
and comparing themselves among themselves,
are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).


If there is any one criterion that distinguishes us as either wise or foolish, it’s the measuring stick by which judge ourselves. When we want to excuse our own words or actions, we can always find someone else to use as a comparison: “I may do this, but so-and-so does that, which is so much worse!” And that may very well be true. But what do the Scriptures have to say about offering such excuses for our own behavior?
Second Corinthians declares that those who measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves among themselves “are not wise.” God’s wisdom is quite different—and superior—to man’s wisdom. Romans 1:22 says, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” Though God’s Word clearly states that wisdom is not found in comparing ourselves to other flawed human beings, we often do that, don’t we? In the process, we become fools. And what is a fool, according to Psalm 14:1, but someone who says in his heart, “There is no God; [I will set my own standards].”
God’s criterion for distinguishing between the wise and foolish is how we compare ourselves and judge our own behavior. If our measuring stick is other people, we will always find someone who, in our eyes at least, is worse than we are. But if we adopt God’s standards, the only One against whom we can judge ourselves is Jesus—and He is perfect.
That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? There really are only two ways to get to heaven (yes, I said TWO!): We can be perfect from the moment we’re born until the moment we breathe our last on earth (I don’t see anyone standing in that line, do you?), or we can repent of our pride and failures as we see them so clearly in our comparison to Christ, and then allow the perfection and righteousness of God’s Son to seal us to the Father’s heart and assure our place with Him for eternity.
When I step from this earth into the presence of a holy and righteous and perfect God, I want to do so not as a fool who lived my life according to the standards of others, but rather as one who is wise and depended solely on the standards of the Savior. There is great peace in that choice, my friends—and great promise for eternity.