Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where Is Your Dwelling Place?

How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty (Psalm 84:1)!

I’m in a season of traveling right now, flying in and out of national and international airports, speaking here and teaching there, promoting and signing books, staying in hotels or with friends, and often eating on the run. Each time I complete a trip and the plane’s wheels touch down on the runway, I think, “There’s no place like home!”

It’s true, isn’t it? Even if you enjoy traveling (it has long since lost its glamour for me!), it’s still a good feeling to come home at last. I enjoy being reunited with my loved ones, experiencing the familiar, settling back into my own personal “nest.” Yet I know that this is truly not my home—at least, not for much longer. One day, very possibly sooner than we would imagine, we will each breathe our last on this earth and, assuming we have received Jesus as our personal Savior, be transported into His presence. Then we can truly say we are home at last. The best part isn’t so much that our home is some glorious place where sin and sickness and death no longer exist, but that our eternal home is with God—in His very presence. For that is what makes it heaven.

Through the millennia those who dismiss and reject God spend their earthly lives trying to create their own version of heaven, yet all fail miserably. Even an island paradise on earth would be hell without the presence and love of God. But with Him? Ah, there’s the difference. Even when I’m landing in another city or country where I’ve never been before, where I may not know the geography or customs or even the language, focusing on the fact that God is with me wherever I go reminds me that I truly haven’t left home at all.

There is an old saying that “home is where the heart is.” If my heart is full of love for Christ and I know His Spirit dwells within me, then I never really leave home at all—no matter where my body goes. And that puts an entirely different perspective on it all, doesn’t it?

The Lord’s dwelling place is indeed lovely, and I for one plan to spend every moment there, both now and for all eternity.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First Book in an Exciting New Series!

R. J. Larson (aka Kacy Barnett-Gramckow, author of the popular Genesis Trilogy) has just released Prophet, book one in her much-anticipated first-ever fantasy series. Popular fantasy author Donita K. Paul says this about Prophet: "This tale captured me and held me hostage to the very last page. Breathlessly waiting for the next book." Here's a brief description of this excellent book, followed by a direct order link:

Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she's much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne's elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young. Yet she can't imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite's voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite's word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

His Amazing Love by Doris Washington

As I leave to go out of town for a few days, I'd like to leave you with this incredibly inspiring post from my friend and esteemed poet Doris Washington. Feel free to share it with others, so long as proper credit is given:

His Amazing Love

By Doris Washington

My Lord!-

You’re my strength- my song.

You’re the joy in the morning –

My healer of all my hurts- my pains-

You’re my salvation.

For no matter what I go through.

For no matter what each day may bring-

You keep blessing me through it all.

My Lord!

You not only heal-

You’re merciful-

And Yes!-

You’re a fixer too!

For to trust in You I must.

With all my heart and soul-

I surrender it all.

My Lord!-

You’re my strength- my song.

You’re the joy in the morning-

My healer of all my hurts- my pains-

You‘re My Salvation!

You keep blessing me through it all.

Oh! Your Amazing Love!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How a Lifetime of Faith Can Lead to a Lifetime of Heroism

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise,

and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame

the things which are mighty (1 Corinthians 1:27, NKJV).

After writing a four-book fiction series based on people in various countries who are persecuted for their faith, followed by a three-book series based on human trafficking victims, I am now in the midst of writing a novel built around the life of Harriet Tubman. Researching and writing these books have challenged my faith beyond measure, as well as helping me to re-prioritize my life and my goals.

Harriet Tubman was indeed one of the most amazing women who ever lived. Yet she was penniless and uneducated, a slave with a dozen siblings, none of whom ever had enough to eat or even any say in whether they lived or died. Harriet was beaten more times than she could remember and sustained an injury at the hand of one of her masters that left her with a permanent dent in her forehead, as well as headaches and a strange sleeping sickness that lasted her entire life.

But none of that stopped her. This young slave girl acquired a strong personal relationship with God from her earliest years, cultivating it daily and practicing it under the cruelest of conditions. As a result, she became one of the most courageous and admired women who ever lived.

Harriet Tubman, known as the “Moses of her people,” escaped to freedom as a young adult and then went back into slave territory, where there was a sizeable bounty on her head, nineteen times, successfully rescuing some 300 slaves, including many of her own family members. God used this uneducated woman, who remained penniless most of her life, to do incredible feats that affected countless lives—and He wants to do the same with us.

Does that intimidate you as much as it does me? How can we possibly live a life as powerful and meaningful as this amazing woman? Here is the secret: Harriet Tubman was able to lead a lifetime of great heroism because she cultivated a lifetime of great faith.

Don’t let the enemy intimidate you or tell you you’re ill-equipped to lead a noble, courageous life, inspiring others by your great faith. Remember, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Another great novel to fight human trafficking

I'm always pleased to connect with another author who is using her time and talent to help fight human trafficking. Thank you, Precarious Yates, for doing so! Readers, check out this book:

Only just in time and at the end of the age...
Modern slavery encounters the new breed of liberators: the elite of the weak. Weak because their hearts are broken for the oppressed. Elite because they keep the code.
Seventeen year old Hadassah wants to enroll with the covert Christian organization, Revelation Special Ops, a group of people who will stop at nothing to free kids caught in the web of human trafficking. Despite the frequent and strange earthquakes, lack of government support and emotional turmoil of having a family member abducted, she’ll need to maneuver her way through dangerous missions. Are Hadassah’s convictions strong enough to help her keep the code? She’ll need all the help she can get from her friends, the elite of the weak.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Book from One of My Favorite Author-Friends

I'm always happy to alert others to one of Tricia Goyer's new books, and By the Light of the Silvery Moon is no exception. It has officially released, so read about it below--and then order it and help pass the word. You won't regret it!

Amelia Gladstone's hopes are tied up in the Titanic--hopes for a reunion with her sister and an introduction to an admirer. But when she offers a spare ticket to a down-and-out young man, her fate is about to change. Quentin Walpole us stunned when a sweet lady secures his passage to America--and even more surprised to find his wealthy father and older brother on board the ship. Suddenly Amelia finds herself caught between the attentions of two men, but who should she entrust her heart to? As the fateful night arrives, will Amelia lose everything to the icy waters?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

NY Times Bestseller Into the Free

Check out this New York Times bestseller. If you haven't already read it, you need to! Excellent book.

Millie Reynolds knows firsthand the shame of family secrets. With an abusive father and a “nothing mama,” she craves a place of true belonging. Over time, the gypsies that travel through town each spring offer acceptance. Then tragedy strikes and Millie leaves her world of poverty to join a prominent family on the other side of town. There, with the help of unlikely sources, Millie uncovers painful truths about her family’s past as she struggles to face a God she believes has abandoned her. When unconditional love is offered, Millie learns the power of forgiveness and finally discovers where she belongs.

To order go to:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Remembering God's Faithfulness

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought,

so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand”

(Isaiah 14:24, NKJV).

The Old Testament is full of instances where God instructed people to set up some sort of altar to commemorate something wonderful the Lord had done. God knew it was important for frail human beings to be reminded of His faithfulness. Think about it. How many times has God come through for us, causing us to rejoice and thank Him and believe—at that moment—that we will never doubt Him again? And then another trial comes along, and…sure enough, there we go again, wondering if God will do as He promised or abandon us to our own devices.

That’s one of the reasons I love Isaiah 14:24 and quote it often. The verse isn’t just a promise to us that God will be faithful; it is God Himself swearing to us that just as He has been faithful in the past, He will continue to be faithful in the future. If God has purposed something, it will happen. Nothing you or I or the devil himself can do will ever negate or thwart God’s purpose or plan.

Now let’s take that to the next step, remembering that we are an integral part of God’s plan and purpose. God has also promised in Jeremiah 29:11 that His plans for His people are good plans, to give us “a future and a hope.” If that is true—and we know it is because it is written in His Word—and if it is also true that as God has fulfilled His purposes in the past He will do the same in the future, then regardless of the circumstances or situations that threaten and swirl around us, we can rest in the peace and promise of God’s faithfulness.

If you don’t have a memorial of some sort to remind you of that great truth, I encourage you to establish one soon—a piece of paper with the above scripture written out where you can see it, a rock with the chapter and verse painted on it, anything that will serve as a reminder that God’s faithfulness is greater than anything that comes against you today—or ever. Remembering God’s promises has brought me great peace through the years, and it will do the same for you.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Excellent Children's Book on Creation

I don't often have the opportunity to post a children's book on my blog, but author Janice Green has graciously sent me a copy of her recent release, The Creation. It's beautiful! If you have a little one (or two or three) in your life, you need this book.

In The Creation, children's author and illustrator Janice Green presents the day-by-day Genesis account with delightful word pictures and colorful hand-appliqued quilt illustrations. Questions included on each page encourage dialog between children and their caregivers. Through one-on-one snuggle time, children gain interest in the Bible, as caregivers embrace the opportunity to share their faith. You can order it at most online venues, including the following:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another Caring Book from Cec Murphey

Beloved curmudgeon, accomplished author/speaker, and dear friend Cec Murphey has released ANOTHER book to bless and encourage us. This time our mutual friend Twila Belk is co-author, so I'm twice as excited! If you or anyone you know is now, has ever been, or may ever be a caregiver, you need this book! Here's what the publisher has to say:

Beloved authors Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk know that caring for an ill or elderly loved one can be very difficult—and yet inspires a deep sense of love and peace of mind. Beautifully written and laced with stunning photos by nature photographer Betty Fletcher, this book is full of gentle wisdom and personal stories that help the caregiver with such matters as
feeling guilty for doing too much, too little, or nothing at all
answering other people’s well-meaning but insensitive questions
watching a dearly loved one suffer through difficult days
Because You Care is a breath of fresh air for those who are in a long-term care arrangement. Here they find practical help, sweet encouragement, and holy inspiration.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Let God Part the Waters

The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent (Exodus 14:14, NASB).

Is there any better example anywhere of God fighting for His people than in Exodus, where He used Moses to lead the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt? The story of God’s deliverance involves plagues, death of firstborns, and the parting of a great body of water. God’s people escaped on dry land, while others drowned when the waters of the Red Sea returned to their original place. Quite a dramatic and epic event!

I suppose the one thing that stands out to me most in this story is the statement above, that the Lord will fight for his people when they keep silent. Anyone else find that the toughest thing to do at times? Seriously, once we’ve sought (and received) God’s clear direction on something, why do we find it so difficult to keep silent as we watch His plan unfold? Is it because He most often chooses to do things differently than we think He should? Do we feel compelled to question Him, and even try to correct Him, when we grow uncomfortable with the way things are going?

I can only imagine how the Israelites felt when they realized they were trapped between the fire-breathing Egyptians and a huge body of water. Now what? Where do we go now? Did You really mean to bring us here, Lord? Couldn’t You at least provide a few boats so we can get across to the other side before our former captives annihilate us?

God calls us to prayer and obedience, not whining and second-guessing. I know that, but I confess on many occasions to giving in to the latter rather than sticking with the former. And then I wonder why God doesn’t step in and work things out as I think He should.

Is it possible He’s simply waiting for me to “keep silent” before Him, to trust that He will fulfill His purposes—in His way and in His time, for His glory? If you, like me, struggle with trusting God, particularly in the face of fears and uncertainties, perhaps it’s time we all practiced keeping silent a bit more—and watching to see how God will part the waters in front of us.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Does the Bible Say about Walking in His Steps?

Everyone thought someone else was doing what needed to be done to help the poor and needy, but people were slipping through the cracks. A mother and her children are overlooked, and the children pay the price.

Ten years in the making and reflective of much of the author's 17 years as a Southern Baptist Pastor, In His Very Steps is the story of Reverend Jim Harter and his congregation who totally blow it! Humbled and repentant, the pastor leads his church to confess their sins and return to the Bible for forgiveness and guidance. A few follow and promise to take no action or make any decision without first answering the question, “What does the Bible say?” Others, however, oppose the pastor and the promise-keepers -- viciously.

"What Does the Bible Say?" is the first in a new, seven-part Christian fiction series emphasizing the disciples cross and its seven spiritual disciplines. Book one focus is on obedience. Other books in the series will focus on witnessing, prayer, worship, fellowship, ministry service, and discipleship.

Dr. Williams applies his knowledge of conservative theology and his years of ministry service to address topics including evolution, professional ethics, pre-marital sex, contemporary theology, Christian division, and more.

The stunning ending of the book will leave readers considering how the world could change for the better if people lived by Christian faith and obedience. Living in the very steps of Jesus is not only possible but it is a promised, future reality (Rev 21).

To contact the author email

To order this book go to,

Powerful Endorsement from Human-Trafficking Survivor

I am so pleased to post this amazing endorsement of my current Freedom series (on the topic of human trafficking) from a courageous survivor of human trafficking, a woman who now works to help rescue others from this horrific life and to see them redeemed and restored in Jesus Christ. What an honor to partner with such people in this much-needed ministry! Following is her endorsement of book one in the series, Deliver Me From Evil.

Deliver Me From Evil

by Kathi Macias

A Survivor’s Review

of Book #1 the Freedom Series

I’ll admit, at first I was skeptical;

I mean how could she possibly know . . .

Imagine my delightful surprise when midnight struck that first night

and I, a grace-card-carrying survivor, was unable to put the book down.

Kathi Macias has the unique ability to weave a hometown issue into the

once-impermeable universal tapestry of human trafficking.

Deliver Me From Evil follows the stories of several different characters in the U.S. and abroad. The author’s riveting separation of characters is mind-boggling. Through each one God’s plan is revealed; raw courage emerges and hope springs up so powerful, it can surpass physical borders and rip apart the ignorant lie that until recently kept us all silent.

Although fiction, Macias’ superb introduction to the tragedy of modern-day slavery is surprisingly accurate. She’s a true pioneer in the abolition of sexual slavery.

After reading Deliver Me From Evil, you will no longer be able to close your eyes and say, “This kind of thing doesn’t happen in America.”

She features a realistic approach to everyone’s biggest question regarding human trafficking.

What can I do?

The Freedom Series can be used as an appropriate ministry tool to inspire teens, parents and individuals who simply want to understand the issues or feel led to become part of the solution.

I’m left with only question:

How soon can readers get their hands on Book #2 of the Freedom Series?

***Stacey Rudge

Grace-Card Carrying Survivor of Human Trafficking

Stacey, I'm happy to announce--to your and everyone else--that book two in the series, Special Delivery, has officially released. You can buy it at many stores across the country, and also at nearly any online venue. Remember, together we can make a difference. Abolition!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Free Kindle and Nook Download--but Hurry!

Wow, another great prayer resource--and FREE if you hurry!

Download your FREE copy of Linda Evans Shepherd's When You Can't Find God, How to Ignite the Power of His Presence, an inspiring book that will help you pray through any difficulty:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Excellent Prayer Resource

Looking for a great prayer resource? Here's one of the best I've come across in awhile.

A collection of classic and contemporary prayers, some derived from Scripture and others from the writings of Christian leaders throughout the centuries, this beautiful volume invites readers into a daily experience of closer intimacy with God. Each day's entry focuses on one of ten traditional types of prayer: * Prayers of Thanksgiving* Prayers of Confession* Prayers of Affirmation* Prayers of Petition* Prayers of Renewal* Prayers of Praise and Adoration* Prayers to Have Christ-like Character* Prayers for Wisdom and Guidance* Prayers of Intercession* Prayers of Surrender. With 260 entries -- enough for every weekday of an entire year -- Prayers for Today guides readers through a unique kind of spiritual pilgrimage, a pilgrimage toward the very throne room of God. For any reader who's ever wanted more out of prayer or who's ever hungered for a greater sense of God's presence, Prayers for Today promises deepened communion with the One who treasures the words and longings of His people.