Monday, June 22, 2015


Thank you, Patti Shene, for helping me announce two free days to get Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Don't miss this:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sit! Listen! Decide!

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gatherest her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
                             Matthew 23: 37

I love the way Jesus taught with metaphors and stories that give us visuals. I can just see a mother hen opening her wings. Without question, the little chicks huddle under the protection she offers. Why don't we do that?

God wants to guide our steps. He wants to comfort us and give us peace. He longs to hold us in His arms and take the load off our shoulders.


But sometimes, we won’t allow Him to.



God gave humans free will, and He will not cross that barrier. Everything that God does for us comes first with a decision from us. A few years ago, I worked at a busy doctor's office. My stress level and long hours often left depleted and in despair. I needed quiet time, just the Lord and me, but wasn't able to fit it into my busy schedule. When I got home, I was hungry, tired, and cranky but still needed to get dinner on the table. When the days' chores were done and I dropped into my recliner, I fell asleep.

One day, I made a decision to use my alarm clock and have quiet time before breakfast. At first, I had a hard time forcing myself to get out of bed, but I had made a decision. I stuck to it until it became habit, one that brought joyful rewards.

A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.
                      Proverbs 16:9 The Amplified Bible


1. We make a decision to do something for God.

2. He shows us the strategy to fulfill the decision.

3.  When we flounder, as we often do, we reinforce our decision.

4. God provides the strength to keep going.

"Don't just do something. Sit there.
"Sometimes sitting with our problems is the best thing we can do. Quick fixes can make things worse. Sometimes, the long way around a problem is the only way around it."
             The Spiritual Path to Weight Loss by
                         Gregory L. Jantz, PhD

Do you need some sitting time? Some quiet time? Some listening to God time?

You know prayer isn't about talking all the time. When does God get a chance?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Are you in a safe place?

On June 15, I began this post right after reading the devotion in Divine Dining for that day.

Forgive me for sending it on. Those who own the book may have just read it, but today, it's on my heart.

Safe From Winds.



“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6


     Memorial Day, 2011, my husband and I camped in our travel trailer. The winds were horrendous, the heat oppressive, in North Texas. Fires ravaged acres of land taking homes, barns, cattle, even some people in their path.


     Through the air sailed tumbleweeds and small limbs. On the west side of our trailer, I watched a small oak. The owners of the RV Park planted it for extra shade. When a gust of wind blasted from the south, a big cottonwood tree bowed over our patio and dropped cotton balls on our picnic table.


     The oak, not more than four feet tall, braved the monster wind with strength and determination. The spindly branches folded but remained tight against the strength of a two-inch diameter trunk.


     Though wind (or trials) buffeted that small tree, the branches remained in the trunk (or vine) and stayed firm, unmovable. God didn’t promise I’d have no trials, no temptations, but He advised me to stay in Him to be able to withstand.


     Foregoing daily quiet time with the Lord isn’t an option for a compulsive person to prepare for the wind.



Prayer: I abide in You, today. It’s the only way I stay safe when the winds blow.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

How does symbolism affect our lives?

When I was in college, I loved English except for when the professor asked us to look for the symbolism in the stories we read. The stories she choose didn't make sense to me. Though I did well at every part of English except that, I often failed the symbolism tests.

Several years ago I took a fiction mentoring class for three days with award-winning Christian author, DiAnn Mills. One lesson focused on symbols. I explained I hated that. She tirelessly tried to convince me of its importance. The next year I took a class from DiAnn at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writing Conference, and I finally got it. Sorry, I was such a hardhead, DiAnn.

In my latest release, Worth Her Weight, food symbolized freedom to my main character. Of course, she learned that freedom only exists through Christ.

Tomorrow is Flag Day in America which gets me to thinking about how symbolism affects our lives. Men and women have died protecting the flag. Because we love America, we handle the flag with care by keeping it off the ground and folding it a certain way. Tomorrow, as flags unfurl across our cities, our minds will think of the United State of America. The flag doesn't become the land mass from "sea to shining sea," nor the great people that live within its boundaries, but we do fly it as a symbol of those things.
Other than God, the most important thing in my life is my marriage. The love that Charles and I share warms my heart. He's my friend, my lover, and my biggest fan. When we married, he slipped a wedding ring on my finger, and I've kept it there for 53 years. He's offered to buy me a new one, but this one means more to me than anything I might purchase today. The ring on this old, wrinkled hand of mine symbolizes the day I said "I do" commit to Charles.
Think about what symbols we use.
A cross represents our Christian faith because of Jesus' death on a cross.
A red rose stands for romantic love. (Take note of that, guys.)
For a fiftieth wedding anniversary, we give gold to indicate the golden years. (I wish.)
After 9/11, the workers looked at a metal beam that looked like a cross as a symbol that we would overcome.
Like my character, Lacey, in Worth Her WeightI used food as my God, but food, drugs, alcohol, or even sports, shopping, or fishing can't replace God.
I open my Bible. I don't see it in the same way as the decorative cross. The Bible doesn't symbolize God's Word, it IS God's Word.
How does symbolism affect your life?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Have you ever clasped a cup of hot chocolate between your hands when it's cold outside? If you need a definition for encouragement, that would be mine.

At Windy Saddle Cafe
During our recent visit with our daughter and son-in-law in Colorado, we took a tour of the historic town of Golden. Storms threatened all day, but we were lucky that the rain stayed away from where we walked. The overcast day chilled us, so that by the time we had walked one side of town and came back up the other, hot chocolate for me and my daughter and coffee for my hubby sounded like a stupendous idea. 

Archway on downtown Golden street
 We stopped at Windy Saddle CafĂ©. When I picked up that cup, my first words were "I'd pay them just to hold this cup." I spoke the truth. It uplifted and warmed me.

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
                                                   Mark 9:41

Giving thousands of dollars or heading up a drive for a charity may attract lots of attention and do good. Big things do help. But, small things done on a daily basis can affect as many lives.

How about ...

Giving a smile to everyone you meet.

Buying a cup of hot chocolate for someone who is cold but can't afford one.

Taking a meal or flowers to a sick person.

Spending valued time visiting an older person who can rarely get out among people.

Sending an apple to your child's teacher, or your Bible teacher.

The Bible tells us to think of others more highly than ourselves. In other words, we must be willing to put ourselves out to help someone else.

Need help yourself?
Focus on others, and God will handle your problems.

One of my favorite New Testament heroes was Barnabas. He never got the glory given to the apostle Paul, but without him, Paul's message could've been stopped. Barnabas was always the encourager, the helper, the peacemaker.

God, help me be more like Barnabas. Show me something I can do to encourage others.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Biblical Fiction with Caryl McAdoo and a Giveaway

In April, I met a phenomenal Christian lady and author, Caryl McAdoo. She blessed me with her attitude and her songs. I bought one of her books and read her work for the first time. I asked her to be my guest today. Not only did she accept, but she offered to give a book away free. Scroll to the end to find out how to enter the contest.

P. S. Find my impartial book review after I introduce Writing With God's Hope blog followers to Caryl.

Hello, Janet! Thank you for having me at your blog! It was a blessing to meet you face to face at the North Texas Book Festival.

I longed to interview you so others could get to know you as I did, so here goes:

Did you ever feel like giving up on your writing?  And how did you press through this?

Oh no…l’ve had times when I couldn’t write as much as I liked. My husband and I took in four little grandsons, ages 6, 4, 3, and newborn after one year of an empty nest. The baby is twelve now, and the oldest graduated and off to college. But when we were fifty-two, corralling four little wild men turned out to be very time consuming. I pressed through living one day at a time. After we got them in school, I had more time—but it was never that I didn’t want to. I just had to put the boys first as they were obviously God’s plan for me and my dear husband.


What gave you the idea for this book?

Then the Deluge Comes is volume 2 of The Generations Biblical fiction series. I actually started it many years ago, and in a way it was taken from my very first full-length manuscript. I’d read books in that genre and really loved the way the well-known Biblical characters came to life. But I always strongly dislike it when authors or movie makers and storytellers—anyone—changes the living Word. As far as I’m concerned, it is written in stone. The Biblical part must remain it tact and not be altered one jot or tittle. The fiction is where I make them come alive and real to my readers. I do my best to put them there, in the Garden of Eden in A Little Lower Than The Angels, volume 1, and with Noah and his family in Then The Deluge Comes. Basically, to answer your question, I wanted to start at the beginning. The idea for the story was really not mine, but the Lord’s.   


How do you feel this book will encourage readers, or did you have something in mind like this when you wrote it?

One issue that I hope to bring out is that the Bible folks weren’t saints, just people like us. I hope to offer a bit of an untraditional perspective for each one, too, then in the ‘Search the Scriptures’ section in the back of each volume, let the reader know how I came to my conclusions. I challenge them to find anything in the new telling of the age old story that does not line up with the Word. I had one reviewer say I didn’t go far enough, that I didn’t put in how all the people mocked Noah and how he preached to the hordes of lost souls. But she did not read and ‘know’ that from reading  Scripture, she got it from a movie that did not line up with the Living Word of God. That’s one reason I so dislike any media that puts out Biblical fiction but strays from the Bible telling of God’s story!


How did you find your publisher?

I am blessed to say that I am my publisher. After Simon and Schuster released the first in my historical series, Vow Unbroken, and in taking eighteen months added to another six after its release (two years)—during which time I could not contractually sell another title—I was blessed to publish Indie (or independently). God provided the exquisite cover-art through an artist I met online, Judy Downs Levine in Arizona. She’s creating original paintings for each cover in the series. In this way, I have complete control over the title to have sales or give the books away as I wish (offer them free for a special time). I’ve donated many copies to church libraries all over the country. I love being a hybrid—traditionally and Indie published—author.


If you were a song, what would it be?

Oh, Janet, what a wonderful question! No one has ever asked me this. My name Caryl means ‘joyful song,’ and I adore music. Maybe more than any other creation God made for us to enjoy. I love that it carries me to His presence. What song would I be…? I love Michael W. Smith’s This Is the Air I Breathe with phrases like ‘I’m desperate for You’ and ‘I’m lost without You’, and Kari Jobe’s rendition of the Revelation Song takes me to His Throne Room when I sing with all creation ‘Praise to the King of Kings, You are my everything.’
    But the song I have to choose to be is Andrae Crouch’s To God be the Glory. It embodies what I try to make my whole life about: thanking Him for everything He’s done for me that I did not deserve, but He gave them to me only to show his love for me. As an author, I’ve adopted the life premise: Praying my story gives God glory!


As I said before, I love your attitude and your songs. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

First, be with Ron – eating, going to movies, traveling—even to Dallas and back—conversing. Past God, Ron McAdoo has been my everything for forty nine years, and God’s seen us as one forty-seven this month! On the twenty-second! But I love singing new songs the Lord gives me and painting or crafting. Just have so little time these days since I’m committed—God willing—to releasing ten titles this year, maybe eleven!

Oh, wow, congratulastion ahead of time, Caryl and Ron.

Series: The Generations series brings to life the famous men of God’s Word beginning with the first Adam an ending before the birth of the second.

Evil overtakes earth, but Noah walks in obedience and builds the ark. His story comes to life from a new perspective including glimpses into the Heavenly realm.

Excerpt : [The flesh of earth’s first man has just died after nine hundred thirty years of living. His soul and spirit descend now to Paradise.]
Downward, Adam floated. Eve’s arms wrapped tight around him and seemed so much stronger. He held her firmly. Winged men surrounded him slowing his decent, and his wife snuggled in closer, covering her scar in his side like she had so many times in the past. Blue sky, greenery, and flowers…just as he’d seen in the vision.
Then it all vanished, and he found himself back in Eden. The Great I Am Himself, bent down on one knee and scooped a handful of clay.
The Father’s heart swelled with love as he fashioned his man. Tears welled as Adam witnessed his own creation and knew Abba’s overwhelming, everlasting love. What a wonderful gift, being allowed to see such a marvel. Then the first time he successfully climbed onto Lion’s back and raced through the garden with his hands flung high into the air. He laughed aloud. What fun!
How he had missed his old friend, yet so many years passed without thinking of him in the valley. Hadn’t realized how lonely he was without his Lion and all the rest to run and romp with. And now, he’d see Him again and be able to thank Him for His great sacrifice, repent for his sin that had separated him from the best friend he’d ever known.

This is my unsolicited, unbiased review of the above book. What is Biblical fiction anyway?

I love reading the Bible. It's God's guidebook--the Word from God's mouth. This book is many things; poetry, history, memoir, letters, and law, but one thing it is not is fiction.

Because its pages fill with examples of real people, we're given knowledge of how others dealt with similar problems as we do. This scroll could not hold everyone's story in detail, so we only read brief excerpts or scenes of the lives of its heroes, heroines, or villains.

Have you ever wondered about the rest of the story, the part not told? What was it like to be a brother or sister growing up with Jesus? How did Bathsheba adjust to Solomon? Did she love him, hate, or resent him? What was it like to live in the early years after the creation of man when there was no one to marry except your brother or nephew?

That's where Biblical fiction comes in play. A wonderful author, like Caryl McAdoo, reads the Bible story and thinks "what if."

I read her book Then The Deluge Comes. This story traces humankind from the sixth generation through Enoch, Methuselah, and on to the time of Noah and the flood. The book is the sequel to her first one, A Little Lower Than the Angels. Not only does, McAdoo address the idea of marrying your sister, but about what happened to Cain after he killed his brother.

The characters are true-to-life with layers, complications, likes and dislikes as we do today. They coped with the trials and dangers of that time period. They quarreled and loved and hated just like us.

The book gave me new insights into the Old Testament time of Genesis and how then, as well as now, we choose individually whether we will follow God's laws or rebel. I liked the romance between Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and the women Lamech found at God's direction. I loved seeing through Shem's wife, Jemri's eyes the building of the huge boat.

Another interesting factor about this book envisions a parallel universe between mankind and the angels in heaven.

I loved reading Then The Deluge Comes and highly recommend it. Be sure to leave a comment below along with your contact information for a chance to win a free copy of Then The Deluge Comes or the first in the series A Little Lower Than The Angels, your choice if you're the winner.

Christian, Simon & Schuster, hybrid author Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series, all from a perspective of faith: her historical Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying each story gives God glory, she hopes it will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

Where to find Caryl and her books: 

All Books   -

Then the Deluge Comes

Deluge Puzzle -

Website       -    

                                     (All First Chapters are offered here)

                                     (Get FREE books for subscribing!)

Reviewer?   -

                                     (Join Caryl’s Street Team!)

Facebook    -

Blog            -

GoodReads -

Google+       -

Twitter        -

Pinterest     -

Thank you so much for having me Janet, and giving me the opportunity to share THEN THE DELUGE COMES! May God bless you with all His love and favor!

And, thank you, Caryl, for being my guest. I'm honored.

Don't forget to write a comment below along with contact information for a chance to win one of Caryl's Biblical fiction books. I'll draw names on June 14. Don't delay.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Face to Face with Yourself

In Overeaters Anonymous I was told, "let us love you until you learn to love yourself."

In Christian Weight Controllers, I was told, "understand that God loves you even when you don't love yourself."

God helped me lose 95 pounds and keep it off for 18 years. Praise His name.

God controls the whole earth. He made humans in "His image." He wanted us to give love to Him of our own free will. He desires we follow Him willingly.

    Don't fight the facts of nature. Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
    Enjoy prosperity whenever you can, and when hard times strike, realize that God gives one as well as the other--so that everyone will realize that nothing is certain in this life. 
    Ecclesiastes 7: 13-14 from Live Recovery Bible

Does that speak to you? Any message in that?

There are things in life that will never make sense to us. I don't understand how a young man can be taken, and an older man with Alzheimer's can be left. I don't understand why God doesn't strike down the child abuser.

Neither do I understand how my husband can eat one bite of candy each day, or forget about it and leave it in his drawer for weeks, while it burns in my brain until I finish the whole package.

God is sovereign. When we accept that, we're ready to come face-to-face with ourselves and learn how to retain permanent control of our weight.

****"It's not the flavor, it's the fix."
      You didn't fail at diets. Diets failed you.
                       How to Make Almost Any Diet Work
                           by Anne Katherine
Katherine gives lots of charts, lots of trial and error steps in her book. The point is there’s not a one-size fits all abstinence.

I don’t like the word diet. I use the word abstinence for when I follow the plan that works best for me, that God and I have chosen together for me to follow. Then, I’m being abstinent.


The book recommends learning how your body reacts to certain ways of eating.

Many years ago, when I joined Christian Weight Controllers and started my path of losing and maintaining weight God's way, I faced my own habits, desires, and lifestyle.
Here's what I discovered about myself:
I must have protein at breakfast or I feel weak all morning & tend to overeat at lunch.
I need to eat my last meal early in the evening, or it interferes with my sleep at night. Also I lose or maintain better if I do that.
I was a terrible snacker, so limiting in-between eating eases my compulsive nature. I strive for 3 meals with a small snack about 7 at night.

Time to come face-to-face with yourself? Are you at the point where you and the Lord are determining what plan of abstinence works for you?

Do you skip breakfast and become ravenous by ten in the morning?


Do big lunches help you through a sluggish afternoon or does it make it worse?


Can you safely go a couple hours after your usual eating time without any adverse affects, or do you feel faint and weak, then unable to stay abstinent when you do eat?


Do you get hungry in the middle of the night, the middle of the afternoon, or not at all?



Try different ways & figure out what works for you.

“We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God."
                   The Circlemaker
                        by Mark Batterson
Remember, almost any diet will work. Ask God to show you a healthy eating style that works for you. God provides the strength. You are only responsible for keeping open the communication line to the Lord.
What is He telling you to do today?