Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cover Reveal for Angie Brashear

Online friend meets real-life person. Today, I have a rare treat. My decision to ask Angie Brashear to allow me to reveal the cover of her new book began with her as an online friend. While we conversed back and forth by e-mail, we discovered a new facet to our relationship. Angie and my daughter, Christie, are friends. Their husbands, coaching for competing high schools, met each other on the field a few years ago.

Angie's debut novel will release in June. I'm so proud for her and excited to be one of the first to reveal the cover of her book. Angie, it sounds exciting. Thanks for letting us preview this exciting venture.


Angie writes Christian fantasy. Some of my Christian friends don't correlate those two things. Today, we talk with Angie about her thoughts on Christian fantasy. She calls it a life-saving genre. Tell us your feelings, Angie.

 
Definitions of literary genres can be…well, complex. Even tricky. Attempts to define Christian fantasy vary, though I’ve spent little time fretting over an official definition. I mean, Christian fiction typically illustrates a Christian world view within its plot, characters, or both. And the fantasy genre commonly uses myths and legends as a primary plot element, theme, or setting. So, in my opinion, Christian fantasy embodies fantastical elements in an internally consistent setting all the while reflecting aspects of the Christian world view.

But the debate (at least for some) surrounds who writes Christian fantasy. Writers who are Christians, writers who claim to be Christians, or writers who believe Christianity is a fantasy to begin with? It’s not a debate I choose to enter, for the truth lies outside the discussion: the genre influences nonbelievers. My path to salvation began with a classic fantasy, told to me in the midst of my secular world.

When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis aloud to my class. In doing so, she opened my eyes to adventure and possibilities, all the while helping me escape a world of darkness for a short time. At its conclusion, I wondered, Is God real? He couldn’t be, right? For if He existed, innocent young girls wouldn’t suffer the wrath of drunken addicts, or the torment of abandonment.

I continued to speculate. Each time God placed believers in my path—a high school teacher, a college friend, and a college coach—my fascination with the possibility grew stronger until the truth stunned me like a slap to the face. God indeed lives in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He rescues. He saves. And He waited for me. Then He embraced me. It all started with a little seed, planted in the empty heart of the girl I once was. A love for reading expanded to a love for writing. A desire to know God became a desire to serve Him, to reach nonbelievers.

And Never Let Go was born.

In all things, I’m grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for embracing a lost, lonely girl. That He died for me…there is no greater gift. My prayer is that I’ll never let go of His truth.

 
I love your perspective. I write Christian paranormal YA and have been criticized for it because Christians shouldn't believe in ghosts. God specializes in supernatural. Who better than God to use the unexpected, the unusual, the impossible to touch our lives? Thank you so much for a lovely testimony of how God "slapped you in the face."

Now, tell us a bit about your new book, Never Let Go.


Captured by the Rendow Clan, who seek to slaughter those with faith in the Maker, Laila Pennedy awaits death. Moments before her execution, she is rescued from the gallows by Lars Landre and his dragon. Marked as The Chosen by his blue eyes, Lars is destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution.

Lars guides Laila on a harrowing race across The Woodlands to Tuveil, where the Faithful are preparing to fight a rebellion. But the secret location of the village is betrayed and the Rendow Clan’s army will soon be at the gates. Faced with this impeding peril, Laila trains for battle, but the struggles in her mind and heart may be as overwhelming as the war to come. Will she prove herself an asset or is she condemned to forever be a burden to those she loves?

 

Pre-order Never Let Go here:
 
And now the cover reveal. Ta-da!
 

That is beautiful, Angie.
.
Okay, now tell us a little about yourself and where we can contact you.
When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s an avid reader and runner, both of which perplex her husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at http://facebook.com/AngieBrashearAuthor, https://twitter.com/AngieBrashear, and http://angiebrashear.com.

Thanks for being my guest today, Angie. I can't wait to read the book

Saturday, February 15, 2014

6 Pointers for Change in 2014

Change the way you look?

Change the way you feel?

Add more zest to your life?

Draw closer to God?

Heal?

We're all looking for help to change our lives. Twenty years ago, I began to change, to heal emotionally, to lose weight. . Here's my tried and true pointers.



This is my before picture with my newborn granddaughter.

Today, she is 22 years old.


1. Read your Bible daily.
 
   Hearing the Word read on the TV or in church service isn't enough. Read it for yourself. Think about the words. Apply it to weight loss or whatever your habit or temptation might be.
 
   I read Proverbs 9:17. Stolen waters are sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
 
   Secret stashes of food hidden around the house put weight on my body and pain in my soul.
 
   What Scripture ministers to you today?

2.Pray daily.
 
   Ask from the fount of God's wisdom what you should eat, how you should live, to whom should you minister.
 
   We are our worst enemy. Our wisdom is as weak as we are sick.
 
   Keep the relationship open with God on the throne and you, his willing servant.

3. Read Divine Dining devotion book or other inspiring literature without fail each day.
 
   Compliment your Bible reading with things that pertain to your particular problem. What you put in your mind shows forth through you life.

4.Come to meeting every week.
 
   If you're fortunate to have a support group for your addiction or habit, attend with regularity. If not, find an online support group. Chat with others who have similar struggles Encourage and hold up each other.
 
   For those who live in or near Wichita Falls, TX, our Divine Dining group meets every Tuesday evening at 7 at Heritage Church. We weigh, we study God's word, we delve into subjects to improve the physical, mental, and spiritual side of weight loss. Then, we pray.

5. Keep healthy foods available.
 
   For those of us who struggle with weight, it's important to be prepared. Keep cupboards as clear as possible of tempting junk food. Buy and have ready healthy snacks.
 
   Tailor this advice to your particular problem.

6. Visualize God working in your compulsion.
 
          Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a "real" experience. In either case, it reacts automatically to information which you give to it from your forebrain.
         Your nervous system reacts appropriately to what "you" think or imagine to be true.
                                                                                   
                                         This is a quote from Psycho-Cybernetics by
                                                                                  Maxwell Maltz, MD

                  If I go to a party expecting to get a dessert, eat half, and then cover it with a napkin to be thrown away, that's what I will do.

       If I see myself as thinner and eating less, I will.

  
 
 
The above picture was taken at Eureka Springs, Ark, the fall of 2013. I maintain the 95 lb loss using the 6 pointers above.
 
 
I welcome any other suggestions or comments.
 
 
Also remember the drawing for a free book and a $10 gift certificate to Amazon. The last day for the drawing is February 18. All you must do is comment and enter your e-mail on the left side to subscribe to my blog.
       

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Uneven Path

After surgery two weeks ago, my time of recovery and recuperation began. The first week I was down for the count with very little moving around, mostly sleeping in my bed or sitting in my recliner dozing.

Then came my first day 8 days later when I woke up. My pain was manageable. The nausea had left. A slight burst of energy sparked my mind. I got breakfast on the table and ate there with my husband. I spent time writing at my computer. I even folded clean towels. By the end of the day, a shot of adrenaline made me forget the cramps starting to strike.

Sunday came and with it, disappointment. While entering the dining room, my legs buckled. My stomach churned. An acrid taste made me sick. Cramps doubled me with pain. I made my way to my recliner and my heating pad where I remained most all day. Monday morning was a repeat of Sunday, but after a morning nap, the afternoon improved, but I feared a repeat of Sunday and stayed at rest.

Tuesday dawned. I edged toward the kitchen. I held my breath afraid to voice what I now realized. I didn't hurt. I wasn't nauseas. If I spoke it, would my health dissolve? No, Tuesday was a good, productive day (for a sick person) all day. Now, surely, I was on the path to full restoration.

Then, came Wednesday. Did I pay for doing too much Tuesday, or was it just another dip in my uneven path?

Through each phase, God walked beside me and held my hand.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
                                                                                            Psalm 37:23, 24

Much Scripture compares life to a path. I propose to you that our faith walk may be an uneven path just like the one for rehabilitation.


First, we're in our sin. We're asleep (or dead) to God. We don't question what we should be doing for Christ because we do nothing.

Then, salvation sends the fire of excitement. We want to do more and more for Christ in appreciation for what He's done for us. We expect everyone to see our viewpoint.

Trials strike. Others don't get it. Our energy drains and pools on the floor.

We pray. We revive. We move ahead with renewed vigor and understanding.

Then, we trip. We falter. Are we saved anymore? How could we speak such angry words, or tell that awful story after Christ died for us?

God's strong arm lifts us, forgives, us, and like a Mama Eagle teaching her young to fly, the Lord nudges us out of the nest.

This then is the uneven path of faith.

Through this path, also, God is there through good and through bad.

For those who struggle with an overeating compulsion like me, our walk to healthier eating also follows an uneven path.

What about you?
Can you identify with the faith walk? Or maybe the health recovery?

For everyone who leaves a comment here on my blog and signs in as a follower of this blog, I will put in a drawing for a copy of Victoria and the Ghost, and a $10 Amazon gift certificate.  The drawing will come on Tuesday, February 18 and I'll post the winner here.

Remember you must do both: leave a comment here
                                                    sign in as a follower to my blog -
                                             Just put your e-mail in the slot on the left
Good luck!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Set Goals and Dreams for 2014

Have you set new goals for 2014, yet? Today is February 1. It's past time.

My devotion book, Divine Dining, offers these suggestions in the devotion for December 31.

 
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yeat the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10

      Tomorrow we begin a new year. New Years Resolutions may not work, but setting well-thought-out, written, and prayed-over goals do. It’s time to evaluate the illness that tied us in knots. Has God brought an emotional healing during this year? Has He started a new work? Have you hit bottom where you’re ready to begin?

     Wherever you are on the path, it’s time to focus on where you want to go. In the new year, will it be God’s Way, or My way for you?
    
     Go through these steps.

 

     Decide if you’re ready to submit to God

     Read this daily devotion book in the new year and

          everything else that will help, especially the Bible

     Energize through leaving off sugars and fats that drain

          your vitality.

     Admit your powerlessness and Ask God to take over your

          life.

     Mentor others as you receive your day-by-day healing.

 

 Here's another example of how to DREAM. 

 

    Discern God’s will daily.

    Record your progress and reaffirm God’s leading.

    Eat the Word. Make it part of you.

    Associate with friends that pray and encourage.

    Maintain contact with God regardless of what’s going on in

           world.


Prayer: I can’t. God can. Lead me in the coming year.
 
Check out also the post under, Dream on, Writers, published on another page on this site. This article has appeared in several magazines and newsletters and aims the goal setting more for writers. As you can tell, I love acrostics.

 
Many of you already own Divine Dining. If you don't, go to the link above now to purchase it, or find it also on Amazon in print or kindle version.