Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Calling All Hearts--You're Gonna Love This One!

My friend and co-author Laurie Alice Eakes has written a book that will snag your heartstrings and NOT let go--and it officially releases tomorrow, Wednesday, February 1. You do NOT want to miss this one! Here's the info:

Heart’s Safe Passage

A Novel

Laurie Alice Eakes


One woman takes the treacherous journey toward redemption . . . and love.

All Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. But when Phoebe is pressed by her pregnant sister-in-law to help save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe finds that she cannot refuse. The two women, one frightened and lonely, the other determined and steadfast, end up aboard a British privateer headed across the Atlantic.

Captain Rafe Docherty’s ship is no place for women, especially a woman in such a delicate condition. But his quest requires the information they hold if he is to exact revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Still, he can’t help but wonder if he made the right choice.

When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? And can love overcome vengeance?

“In her delightful and descriptive style, author Laurie Alice Eakes has once again crafted a story that will capture readers’ hearts from the first page.”—Kathi Macias, author of Deliver Me from Evil

“Laurie Alice Eakes’s turn of phrase and twist of a plot had me smiling long after the last page was turned. A don’t-miss story.”—Kathleen Y’Barbo, author of The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

“Make room for this one on your ‘keepers’ shelf!”—Loree Lough, author of From Ashes to Honor

Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, A Necessary Deception, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Order now at

Friday, January 27, 2012

Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day

My dear friend and fellow author/speaker Grace Fox has released a wonderful new book to help us busy women keep our priorities in order and our lives tranquil as we focus on the One who is Peace Himself. Don't miss this excellent resource!

Quiet Time with God: 8 Ways to Keep Your Devotions Vibrant

by Grace Fox

Every morning before my household wakes, I tiptoe downstairs, pour a cup of coffee, and settle into my leather loveseat for quiet time with God. Bible and journal in hand, I spend an hour delving into the Scriptures where—without fail—I discover nuggets of life-changing truth.

I regard this “sacred habit” not as a duty, but as a delight. It’s a discipline I guard selfishly. The benefits of maintaining it far outweigh the effort.

Spending time with God in this way helps me get to know Him better. I learn more about His thoughts regarding marriage, purity, communication skills, priorities, money, and other matters relevant to my every day life. I learn to view life and people through His eyes, and my perspective matures as I allow His thoughts pervade mine.

For instance, if unforeseen circumstances complicate my schedule, I’m now able to rest in knowing that God is in control rather than fussing and fuming about the unexpected changes. If someone behaves unkindly toward me, I resist the urge to do likewise and, instead, pray that God will meet that person at her deepest point of need. I now understand His compassion for the poor, the widow, and the orphan, and I share His desire to, in as much as is possible, live at peace with all men.

Spending time with God and thereby becoming more and more familiar with His promises also changes the way I view myself. The knowledge of His forgiveness and restoration washes away discouragement due to failure. His guarantee to equip me to do His work calms my fears of inadequacy. His assurance of divine strength carries me when I feel weak.

Establishing a daily quiet time with God transforms me, and it will do the same for all who pursue this discipline of delight. Here are a few suggestions to get started and to keep your time with Him vibrant:

· Decide what time of day works best for you. Early morning suits me now, but that wasn’t always the case. When my kids were toddlers, I snatched a few minutes when they napped. Some women use their lunch breaks. Some prefer to spend a few minutes with God at bedtime. Circumstances and life seasons change, so be flexible.

· Create your own “sacred space.” Find a place that’s welcoming and make it your own. Ensure good lighting. Keep a basket nearby to hold your Bible, journal, and study resources so you don’t waste time hunting for these things.

· Choose a Bible version that’s easy to understand. I’ve used the New International Version and New American Standard Version in the past. Currently I use the New Living Translation. You might prefer a different version. That’s okay—each to his own.

· Set realistic goals. I read only one or two verses per day when my kids were young and my time with God was limited. Now I read through the Bible in a year using the New Living Translation’s One Year Bible. It’s better to do what works than to set unrealistic goals and then quit because they’re unattainable.

· Keep a journal. Some people write their insights in great depth. Others write only a single thought or a short prayer. Do what suits your nature knowing that journaling serves a dual purpose: Writing the insights you glean helps you process and remember them, and it enables you to see how you’ve grown spiritually over time.

· Add variety. Over the years, I’ve supplemented (not replaced) my Bible reading with a good devotional book or a women’s Bible study. Occasionally I’ll play quiet worship music, close my eyes, and meditate on the lyrics. Sometimes I read the Psalms aloud to the Lord. Often I read the Word and then go for a walk, praying aloud as I go.

· Regard it as a special time to build your friendship with God. Several years ago, I thought I’d multi-task by using my quiet time to prepare a women’s Sunday school class I taught. I soon realized that I was cheating myself and God. As author Bruce Wilkinson writes, I’d become an expert at serving God and a novice at being His friend. Ouch! Ensure that your goal is to become an expert at being His friend.

· Ask God to speak to you. When we meet with a good friend, we enjoy a two-way conversation. The same is true when we spend time with God. He invites us to tell Him our needs and concerns, but He desires to communicate His heart with us, too. So, go ahead—share your thoughts with Him but be still and listen for His voice, too. Write down what He says.

· Avoid compartmentalizing your quiet time with God. What new insights did you learn about God’s character? What instructions did He give? What promises did He offer? Now take these thoughts gleaned in your “sacred space” and apply them as you go throughout your day. That’s when change truly occurs.

My prayer for you is that your quiet time with God will be a duty of sheer delight. “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘LORD, I am coming’” (Psalm 27:8).

Grace Fox is a missionary, an international speaker at women’s events, and the author of five books. Her newest release, Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women (Harvest House) is filled with spiritual aha moments guaranteed to draw readers into a more intimate walk with God. It also includes more than 100 Scripture-based praise and intercessory prayers. The book is available online, at bookstores nationwide, and on her website:

Book Grace for your next retreat or conference: or 604-755-8285.

© Grace Fox 2012

If you use Facebook or Twitter, you can use these links when you refer to the book.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Obedience and Miracles

“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice”

(1 Samuel 15:22, NKJV).

Obedience. It’s a word I’ve struggled with since I was a toddler. No one knew that better than my parents. I flopped my toe across every line they drew in front of me—and I nearly always paid a price for my disobedience. But at 26 I became a Christian. Surely disobedience wouldn’t be a problem any longer…right?

Wrong. I still struggle with it to this day, though I know I’ve made a lot of progress—not because I’m faithful but because God is. I’ve learned this “obedience thing” is a lifelong process, and God is committed to teaching us how to walk in it.

There are reasons for that, one of them being that when we walk in obedience, God does amazing things through us. I used to think it was some sort of magical formula: I’d obey God, and He’d reward me with something wonderful. Wrong again. (I suppose I’ve been slow in understanding this concept because, somehow, I still think it’s all about me. I’m the only one who’s ever thought that, right?)

And then a couple of days ago I came across the journal my mom was using just before she died. She filled scores of them through the years, but this one is especially meaningful, as it gives me a glimpse into her thoughts and prayers, her communication with God in her last days on earth. The final entry, in her shaky handwriting, reads, “Obedience is the key word of miracles. Sometimes we feel prompted by God to do something that makes no sense, but if we do it, it becomes a miracle.”

Wow. Mom was 90 years old when she penned those words, and she had no idea how they would bless me after she was gone. I now have them in the top drawer of my desk, where I can pull them out and read them often—each time I’m tempted to flop my toe across God’s line. Do I need a miracle in my life, either for myself or someone else? Most of the time, I do. And now I know the key to seeing that miracle come to pass: be obedient to that still, small voice inside that prompts us to obey God, whether it makes sense at the moment or not. God, in His faithfulness, will accomplish the rest.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Excellent Discipleship Resource

If there's one thing I'm passionate about it's getting believers into serious Bible study. There simply is no other way to grow as a Christian and become a true disciple. Author Keri Wyatt Kent understands this great truth and has written several books to help in this pursuit. Deeper into the Word: Old Testament is one of them (Deeper into the Word: New Testament is also available, and they would make a great set!). Here's a little bit about this excellent resource:

Translators have done their best to render the words of the Bible into English, but capturing the nuances of the ancient languages is an inexact science. Kent gives readers an opportunity to investigate the roots and biblical context of the words within the Word.

Deeper into the Word: Old Testament is a fascinating devotional, but it can also be used as an accessible reference tool, as it explores one hundred of the most important words of the Old Testament. Kent unpacks each word's Hebrew origins, shows how it is used in the Bible, and offers insights into its significance in our lives.

Consider getting a copy of this book (and its companion book on the New Testament) for yourself and also for someone else you'd like to see grow in the Word. It's perhaps one of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone. Here's the link to order:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Living Free...

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,

who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit

(Romans 8:1, NKJV).

One of the very first Bible verses I learned as a new believer (decades ago!) was Romans 8:1. I read and heard many others, of course, but that one truly jumped out at me, I suppose because as a brand new born-again Christian, I was so freshly aware of all that God had done for me. That He had not only forgiven me but personally paid an unimaginable price to do so still left me in awe—which, of course, is a good thing. We should never cease to be amazed that God willingly gave everything for those of us who deserved nothing.

And yet, to keep that in perspective, I still have to remind myself that His forgiveness is so much greater than any of my sins, failures, or poor choices that required that forgiveness. Somehow I have little problem resolving the fact that His once-for-all sacrifice covers my “B.C.” (before Christ) sins, but I struggle more with my “after Christ” failures. I’m a believer now; I have the Spirit of God living inside me, and I should know better…right?

Right. Yes, I should. And deep down, I do. Still, I must remind myself daily that I am one of God’s “WIPs,”—a Work in Progress—and He’s far from through with me. (Are you as glad about that as I am???) Though I love the familiar (and true) statement that God loves me just the way I am, I also know He loves me too much to leave me that way.

Though I cling to the truth of Romans 8:1, meaning there is NOW no condemnation toward me regardless of my sins and failures, I also need to beware of using that promise as an excuse to stop growing in Christ. Our goal and purpose as believers is to continually draw closer to the Father and become more like Jesus, and we do that through an ongoing yielding of our will to the nudging of the Holy Spirit within us—“not walk[ing] according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” When we do that, the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are indeed His children and are no longer under condemnation.

If you’re struggling with that today—and we all do at times—ask God’s Spirit to search your heart and show you anything that needs to be confessed or relinquished to God—and then do it. The result will be a heart that KNOWS it is free of condemnation. And, beloved, what could be better than that?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Can't Fill God's Why Do I Keep Trying?

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me (Psalm 23:4, NKJV).

I’m one of those overly responsible people who takes on WAY too much and then feels guilty when I can’t do it all and/or things don’t turn out as expected. (Can anyone out there relate?) And nothing brought that truth closer to home than when my mom passed away a few months ago.

When my dad died twelve years earlier, I promised him on his deathbed that I would take care of Mom. To the best of my ability, I fulfilled that promise. However, after she died I found myself second-guessing every decision I made during her last months/weeks/days—even hours—of life. Could I have done more to make her more comfortable, prolong her life, ease her concerns, meet her needs?

The answer is that I might have—or not. I never came to a clear answer on those questions, I’m afraid, though I have been assured by many that I cared for her well and honored her end-of-life wishes, which she had clearly stated in writing. Still, my mind drifts back to those last minutes when I knew she was slipping away, and I think things like: Why didn’t I pray with her more, read her more scriptures, sing her favorite hymns, whisper more words of reassurance?

As I wrestled with those questions one day, the Lord took me straight to Psalm 23 and pointed out to me that I was trying to usurp His place. I’m the One who walks with my children through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, carrying them if need be. It isn’t your job. Leave it alone.

Since then I have come to realize how often I overstep my bounds and try to do for others what only God can do. Meeting our responsibilities is a good thing; going beyond that is a step of arrogance that says I can step into God’s shoes and do His job.

Whoa! That realization continues to stop me short when I find myself trying to “fix” people or situations. We may excuse that behavior and even consider ourselves extraordinary people for trying to achieve such results. But the bottom line is, God is the only One who saves and keeps us, who heals and carries us—even through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. May we learn to walk in humility before Him and do only what He has called and equipped us to do…in His Name.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Deer Run Fiction Series

So pleased to tell you about my friend Elaine Cooper's excellent series.

Summary of The Road to Deer Run by Elaine Marie Cooper

During the American Revolution, British soldier Daniel Lowe has been captured after being wounded at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. He escapes from his captors and hides in the woods to die, only to be rescued by Mary Thomsen, an American farmwoman. As Daniel’s festering wound heals, his gratitude to the woman who saved him transforms into love. But as an enemy soldier, his presence is endangering Mary, as well as her widowed mother and little sister. As he desperately tries to hide his identity, not only is he faced with exposure by the local Patriots, but must deal with his worst nemesis: an American soldier who also loves Mary and figures out who Daniel really is.

The Road to Deer Run is a novel about healing, forgiveness and redemption, set in the rugged landscape of Western Massachusetts.

“With subplots as appealing as the main story, the book is well researched, well written, and well worth the purchase price. Ready for the sequel.”

Kirkus Discoveries Reviews

Summary of The Promise of Deer Run

by Elaine Marie Cooper

America’s war for freedom from England has been over for seven years, but the wounds of that conflict still plague the minds and hearts of the residents of Deer Run.

Young American veteran Nathaniel Stearns, suffering from the memories of war that haunt him in the night, has withdrawn to a life of isolation. He still awaits his father who never returned from the war—a mystery that haunts him as well.

He is brought out of his self-imposed exile by a near-tragedy in the woods that brings him face-to-face with nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen. This chance encounter opens a crack into the door of his heart as mutual affection quickly blooms.

But slander and lies soon mar the budding romance, rendering both Sarah and Nathaniel wounded and untrusting as their faith in both their God and each other is shattered. Set in 1790 and filled with rich detail of the era, The Promise of Deer Run continues the story of the Thomsen family as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of the war that birthed the United States.

“Cooper doesn’t romanticize American history. Readers of historical romance who don’t believe graphic love scenes are essential to a good story will adore Cooper’s work.

A joy to read.” — Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio:

Elaine Marie Cooper lives in the Midwest but grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for her novels. Long enamored of Early American history, Cooper is currently working on Book Three of her Deer Run Saga. Her first novel in the series (The Road to Deer Run) was a Finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received honorable mention at the 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival.

Cooper has been a magazine freelance writer for many years and is also a contributor to the devotional called Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson.

She is married, has two grown sons, and is grammie to triplets who are almost two.

To order one or both of these great books, go to:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and New Hope Publishers is onboard!

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.)—January 9, 2011— January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day and New Hope Publishers offers many valuable resources that shed light and give actionable steps to help end modern slavery.

As seen on Fox news, Not in My Town: Exposing and Ending Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery (978-1-59669-301-2, $19.99) answers questions and promotes discussion about the slavery system that crisscrosses Atlanta, Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, California, Texas, North Carolina, Haiti, Amsterdam, India, Cambodia, and beyond. The authors’ gripping journey shocks but also motivates and provides resources to equip new generations of abolitionists from all corners of society and diverse worldviews who share the common call to stop injustice. DVD included with book.

New Hope Publishers also offers the “Freedom” fiction series by award-winning author Kathi Macias. Deliver Me From Evil (978-1-59669-306-7, $14.99) is the first release in the series and Special Delivery (978-1-59669-307-4, $14.99) will be available this March.

The New Hope Publishers Web site,, offers several podcasts, articles, columns, and videos on the topic as well.

About New Hope Publishers

Representing more than 80 authors and more than 130 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 New Hope Publishers, visit

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finding Joy and New Beginnings

My friend, colleague, and talented poet Doris Washington has written a book that will take you on a journey of faith and joy to new beginnings. This is a book you'll want for yourself, plus some to give to friends and family. You will not be the same after reading it.

Book Description:
The Joy In The Morning and a New Day Begins is all about healing, positive thinking, joy, encouragement, inspiration, the awareness of autism, peace, faith, hope and love. Every chapter of poems enlightens the reader to be inspired to hold on to that joy in the morning, a positive approach to living life, no matter what each new day may bring in the course of our daily lives. May all who read this collection may it give you that joy in the morning we all long for, to have every moment of each day and every day.

Author Bio:
Doris Washington is a spiritual writer, poet, entrepreneur of DORIS' POEMS, disability advocate and author of three books of poems. She has done over 300 book signings across the country. And she has received a letter of acknowledgement from President Barack Obama for her poem This Day, A Promise, A Dream Fulfilled in honor of him. She has received a letter of acknowledgement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York for her poem The Sun Still Shines In The Morning in honor of September 2001, and this poem is in the 911 Memorial Museum that was submitted in September 2011, shortly after its opening. Her poems of inspiration has received wonderful appraise by many as truly inspirational. Her desire hopes is that her poems will be an inspiration to many all over the world.

A Soldier For Peace

(In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

Excerpt from Faith, Hope & Love Poems of Inspiration by Doris Washington

A Soldier for peace stands mighty and strong.

He stands against racial injustice,

With the love of God-

He Marches On!

A Soldier for peace fights for the civil rights

Of an oppressed people,

For justice and “sweet liberty.”

A Soldier fights for their dignity,

For their place,

For equal opportunity.

He leads hundreds on sit-ins,


Demonstrations for peace,

Fighting for their freedom,

Yours, and mine.

A Soldier for peace stands tall,

As he fights to end racial discrimination for all time.

A Soldier for peace was shot down.

But his fight for freedom and justice for all-

Remains Strong!

This Soldier For Peace-

A Mighty Warrior!

Brother Martin!

Your Memory Lives On!

Soldiers for peace light the candle of hope to burn brightly in the hearts of all.

***A Soldier For Peace copyright c Doris Washington, April 2008. All rights reserved.

To find out more about Doris, to read her 9/11 poem (or others), or to order the book, go to:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shining Our Light in the Darkness

And God saw the light, that it was good;

and God divided the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4, NKJV).

With the dawn of another new year, I found myself back in Genesis, once again reading the glorious creation account. What a story! Unequaled in splendor or drama, we see our amazing God speak all of creation into existence—including light and darkness. And immediately after creating light, the Scriptures tell us that God “saw the light, that it was good,” and then He “divided the light from the darkness.”

Perhaps that statement could simply stand on its own—meaning that God provided for both day and night—but several other verses of Scripture (2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11; 1 John 1:5-6) declare that God is Light, that there is no darkness in Him at all, and that we, as His children, should also walk in the light and have no darkness within ourselves.

Now we know that we can’t avoid those who belong to the kingdom of darkness, nor should we, as we are called to shine the light on them and to help them find their way out of that darkness and back to God. But shining our light to dispel darkness is a far cry from stepping into and fellowshipping with that darkness. It is a distinction we dare not ignore as we move into a new year of serving God and living for Him.

I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, as they usually fall by the wayside somewhere around mid-February. But this year I am determined to spend more time in the presence of the One who is Light and in whom there is absolutely no darkness at all. As a result, I believe His light will shine more brightly in me and will more effectively draw those who are lost in darkness. The worst thing I could do is to become enmeshed in even the slightest bit of that darkness myself and therefore prevent others from seeing it.

That is my determination for 2012, and I pray you will join me. Jesus said He was the Light of the world, but once He ascended into heaven He left the shining of that light to us. Will you join me in this determination to let our light shine in the darkness? I will pray for you to do so; will you also pray for me? For when God saw the light, He immediately declared that it was good.