Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oasis or Rush Hour?

And Moses was content to dwell with the man; and he gave Moses, Zipporah his daughter. Ex. 2:21

Now, Moses kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the backside of the desert ... Ex. 3:1

Born in subjection to the pharaoh of Egypt, Moses became a prince and a son to the ruler. Life filled with games and responsibilities. His anger over injustice drove him to kill a man and flee to the desert where no one could find him. After the burden of ruling and the fear of being caught, Jethro's home must have seemed like an oasis. Moses cared for sheep and provided for a wife and children. No one required anything else from him. Here he found rest.

Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. Ex. 3:10

For forty years, Moses had lived in anonymity. His days plodded along with only sheep and his family knowing where he was or who he was. Now, God gave Moses a cause, a job, a ministry. For Moses, now was rush hour in Los Angeles, California. No longer should he linger in the background. Now was the time to act.


This summer, my husband and I traveled to Yellowstone with our travel trailer and went through phases in our trip. While we were in the park, each day overflowed with activity. Tired from traveling  to the park and then all the activities while we were there, we left the park early without a reservation for our next stop.

KOA is built on a creek coming from Bear Lake
Montpelier had walking trails










What an oasis Montpelier, Idaho represented to us when we pulled through that entrance to a newly-renovated KOA campground and found a beautiful spot to camp and recuperate
I rested and put Charles to cooking
This campground sat in the valley surrounded by beautiful mountains. We enjoyed the rest time, but then was eager to continue our trip.

Just like trips, life is a roller coaster with ups and downs. Peaks and valleys.. Oasis and rush hours.

What phase are you in now? Just wait, and it will change.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Beauty for Ashes by Lillian Duncan

I enjoy reading Lillian Duncan's two blogs. I find her writing Christ-like and strong. Online friends like her are a treasure to a writer. I asked her to post one of her wonderful devotional thoughts on my blog. I also wanted to introduce you to her and her new book. First, the devotion.
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BEAUTY FOR ASHES

Isaiah 61: 3

…and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Beauty for ashes! 

This phrase comes up several times in my soon-to be released book, BETRAYED. In fact, I would even go out on a limb and say it’s one of the themes of the story. It’s not a secret so I can tell you, my main characters—Maria and her daughter—are in the witness protection program because Maria was betrayed by her husband in the most horrible of ways. (you’ll have to read the story to find out the details!)

Betrayals hurt! I know—I’ve lived through a few. They were ugly and painful and nothing I would ever want to live through again. Unfortunately, even years later a word, a picture, a smell, or a song can trigger the memory and for a moment the pain still crashes in on me.

That’s when I remind myself of this verse.  Beauty for ashes.  

In fact, if you choose to let them, betrayals can ruin your life.  If you choose to let them, but you don’t have to make that choice. You can choose to understand when someone betrays you that is about their character, not you and your worthiness as a person.

Or you can get stuck in the past!  Stay angry and bitter and pitiful!  Not a fun place to visit, let alone live there!  Go ahead, feel the pain and the anger and all those other powerful negative emotions, but then let God heal you.

He will!

In my own life, God definitely kept his promise of beauty for ashes. He has given me the desires of my heart. I now have a godly, loving husband and I’m a published writer. God restored my life and gave me beauty for ashes.

 He will do the same for you.

That's one of my favorite Scripture verses. Thanks for bringing that thought to life in your book.

 Tell us more about your new book BETRAYED.


Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules--every rule. She's given up everything--her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future.

Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.

When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she's wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one...and that's her first mistake.

Purchase the book on Amazon, at Christian Books, or  PelicanBookGroup.com

Now, let me tell you something about Lillian Duncan.
 
Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net.  She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com


To celebrate the release of BETRAYED, I’m giving away a virtual gift basket at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. The virtual gift basket includes a copy of my books, SERENITY SPRINGS, OHIO; DARK ALLEYS; and GEESE MATE FOR LIFE.  Along with the books, a $25 Amazon gift card is included plus a few books from some writer friends. To enter the contest, simply hop on over to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com , leave a comment on the post titled CELEBRATION! Winner will be chosen and announced on February 14.

Can't beat that. Go over to Lillian Duncan's site now and enter the contest. I know I'm sure doing that. I've ordered my copy of Betrayed and can't wait to read it.

Thank you, Lillian, for being my guest today.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

CYCLES

I use every wonder cream modern technology devises. Maintaining my weight loss makes me appear younger than I looked twenty years ago. Despite my efforts, my age races ahead and catches me. Every day, I awake with a new pain, a new wrinkle, and less energy.

Life runs through cycles. Each time we transition, we face challenges.

 My childhood friend and I spent many happy days. Since she lived down the street from me, we were together all the time. I could never have imagined life without Janis. Then, we entered junior high. She gained bad habits that my parents didn't like, and I was no longer allowed to associate with her.  My heart broke. Our ways parted. I pushed aside my timidity and made new friends, even a boyfriend, so thus, I moved into the teen years. God went with me.

My fiancĂ© returned from a navy tour in Japan, and we married. He moved me several states away from family and friends. My sweetheart went on with his work leaving me alone and unhappy. Fights erupted between us. Money was scarce. With the birth of our first child, my overeating compulsion that I thought I left behind back in college, returned with new struggles to face. Still, God blessed us.

My husband's career blossomed. I fluctuated between mom of three daughters with all the PTA, softball games, and girl's church groups. When our finances tightened, I got an extra job for awhile. I attended parties and banquets with my husband as he became more and more well known and successful. During this cycle, my life revolved around my family, my church, and my community. Then, while I was in my late thirties, we moved to another town where I knew no one. God moved with us.

Through my forties and into my fifties, my compulsive overeating devastated me. I reached out for help to psychologists and tried every diet plan or medicine I hadn't tried in my thirties. I worked in the medical field and took part in church projects. God never forsook me, keeping me from the pits of suicide and hell. My health deteriorated. I started a Weight Controllers class at church. God began an emotional healing in me, and I started to lose weight.

The time of retirement brought the next change in the cycle. I searched for God's will for my life. He hadn't intended to heal me without using me, and so my writing career began. Within seven years, My debut novel released. A few months later, my devotion book about healing from compulsive overeating, came out. My life-long dream became reality. God used my weakness to magnify His strength.
Booksigning at Wichita Falls, TX library

Now, a new transition looms. My husband has semi-retired. We long to spend more time in our travel trailer, visiting with our family, and taking life easy. As I told my oldest daughter, I'd like to start acting more retired.

At the same time, my writing is my dream come true.. Each new book especially in a different genre brings more and more speaking engagements, booksignings, and online promotion. This is part of the dream. The challenge to this transition is find a balance. I want to continue to succeed with my writing career at the same time I want to start acting more retired while I still have energy enough to enjoy traveling and hiking.

I don't know yet how this will look, but from the cycles I've already weathered, I know this one thing.

God will go through it with me.

But He knows the way that I take (He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it). When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold (pure and luminous). Job 25:10 TAB

What cycle in life are you in?
What challenges and struggles is it bringing?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cover Reveal for Beverly Stowe McClure's new book

I'm excited to be one of several this week to show off Beverly Stowe McClure's new cover art. I'm loving it. I've read McClure's young adult Life on Hold and recommend it. In that book, she speaks with a teen voice. I'm thinking this new middle grade book will be more of the same excellent writing. McClure knows how to tell a story meant for young people.
 
A girl.
A dream.
An accident.
A dream shattered.
 
Ten-year-old Kate Taylor dreams of being the star of her basketball team, Angels. When Kate’s tooth is knocked out at one of the games, and her mother, who is also her coach, says she can’t play until the tooth the dentist replants heals, Kate’s dreams are in jeopardy. Add Emily, the new girl at school who claims she’s the best, and Kate faces a challenge to prove that she is the star.
 
Will Kate succeed? Or will Emily ruin Kate’s plans?
 
 And now, to reveal the gorgeous cover.
 
 
Isn't that an exciting cover, so inviting to a reader.
Congratulations, Beverly Stowe McClure
 
Ten-year-old Kate Taylor wants to be the star of her basketball team, Angels, but when her tooth is knocked out at one of the games, her goal is in jeopardy. Even though the dentist replants the tooth, her mother, who is also her coach, refuses to let Kate play unless she can come up with a way to protect the tooth.
 
 With the encouragement of her friends and teammates, Kate tries everything. She asks her sister, Zoe, how her boyfriend, Ray, protects his teeth when playing football. Zoe is clueless. Kate wears her friend Simon’s catcher’s mask to practice, but it’s too big and blocks her view of the goal. Kate stuffs cotton balls in her mouth and thinks she’s swallowed one. Nothing works.
 
 To add to Kate’s problems, Emily, the new girl at River Bend Elementary, is great at basketball. Kate worries Emily will be the star of the team. On top of that, Simon, the school brain, as well as klutz, says he plans to join the Angels, even though boys are not allowed.
 
 In the final game of the season, Kate faces a decision that will not only decide who wins the game, but whether she’s star of the team or not.
 
Publisher: 4RV Publishing
 
 
 
Beverly Stowe McClure is the author of picture books, early readers, middle grade and teen novels. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, both national and North Texas. A fourth generation Texan, she lives in the country with two cats, and a variety of wild critters.
 
 
 
 
Thanks, Beverly, for sharing a peak at the new cover with the followers of this blog. I wish you much success and many blessings from God.