Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Two Tips for Beginning Weight Loss

Ready to begin a weight loss journey?

You don't need a new diet.
You don't need a new exercise.
You don't even need a support group, though they do help a lot.

Two things are imperative.

1. Clean out your kitchen of trigger foods and restock with healthy options.

Add fruits, veggies, low fat dairy, and lean protein.


Clean out trigger foods. This was mine. Twenty-three years ago, I would pick up a dozen cream-filled donuts and eat them all by myself.

I lost 100 pounds and have kept it off for twenty years. I haven't bought a donut in probably sixteen years.

 
 
2. Clean out your mind of defeatist self-talk and fill it with God's presence.
 
Led by God
 
 
 
Rid yourself of negative thinking and talking.
Learn a new habit.
Form a new pattern.
Understand you're a child of God.
 
I used to say I'm fat and will never lose weight. With talk like that, I didn't.
 
 
 
Then, don't just clean out the bad stuff, but fill your mind and heart with good stuff. The more we struggle, the more we should read God's Word, pray, and meditate to listen to God's guidance.
 

That's my two tips for beginning weight loss. What's yours?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Devotion and a Birthday Giveaway

Monday, July 18, is my birthday, but I plan to give the gift, a $10 Amazon gift card. Scroll to the bottom to see how to win.

First, to celebrate my birthday week, here is today's devotion from my best-selling devotion book; Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.


July 16

 

197. Watch the Stripes

 

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8

 

     In my haste to be all things to all people, my life often veers too far to one side or the other. Highway departments paint a center stripe on narrow roads and several stripes on freeways. Without these, one car would swerve into another. Center stripes stop head-on collisions. The darker the night, the more we need stripes with reflective paint or pegs. Have you ever thought about who decided to paint stripes on highways? When did that become necessary?

 

     In the early 1900s, our roads consisted mostly of dirt or sand. Traffic meant horses or carriages. Interestingly enough, bicyclers first brought attention to the need for better roads in 1897. With the invention of the Model T, the US government realized a need for standardization of the road system. A simple idea like stripes on the highways eliminates collisions and gives guidance on your travels.

 

     God’s word and instruction in prayer is a Christian’s stripe on their pathway of life. We tend to get too far in one direction, compensate, and then go too far in the other. Twelve-step programs use the mantra, “First Things First” to remind us to take care of our recovery first, then all things will fall in place. God tells us to “Seek first the kingdom of God.”

 

     Focus on God (the stripe). He will tell you when your compass is off base. Then, you can adjust and stay on the right road. Your spiritual recovery must always be your first focus.

 


Prayer: Help me keep first things first today.
 
I hope that devotion ministers to you today.


Now, for my chance to give one of you a birthday gift for MY birthday. God said it was more blessed to give than receive.


Leave me a happy birthday message along with your e-mail address. On the morning of July 25, I will draw from the names of all that left a comment before midnight July 24. If you left me an e-mail, I will send you a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Of course, I would love for you to use it for one of my books. (Just a hint) preorders on my new women's fiction due to release Sept 1 will be available the middle of August) Nevertheless, the gift certificate will be yours to use as you wish, with my thanks for the birthday wishes.

Click on post a comment. Log in with your Google account or even anonymous. When you write your comment, don't forget to leave your e-mail unless you know that I already have it.


God bless you today and thanks ahead of time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Debut Author Jean Ann Williams Shares Her Story

For years, Jean Ann Williams has blogged and wrote a message of hope. She stopped by this blog once before to tell us about her battle with grief. Now, I'm excited to introduce her first novel, her debut release. Congratulations, Jean Ann. Tell us what it's about.


One mother damaged. One family tested. One daughter determined to find her place.

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.

With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

Downloads available at Amazon: http://ow.ly/XmCJ5







Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanAnnWilliams


Jean Ann Williams has published over one hundred articles and short stories for children and adults. JUST CLAIRE is her first book.


The book sounds so good, Jean Ann. It's on my soon-to-read list. Thank you for visiting this Writing with God's Hope blog today. Any questions or comments for Jean Ann?

 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Praise!



The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
                                                                
Psalm 27:1



This morning I woke up with this verse on my mind.  This week has filled with anxiety over my granddaughter's health, my middle daughter's stressful move, and the million and one things I need to do. With this writing stuff, God pushes me so far out of my comfort zone that I can't even view it from here. Can I hear an "Amen!"

The verse continues to float through my mind with everything I do. Isn't that just like the Lord?


Growth in depth and strength and consistency and fruitfulness and ultimately in Christlikeness is truly possible when the winds of life are contrary to a person 's comfort.
                                                              Anne Graham Lotz


Here's a verse I memorized awhile back and quote often.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you
                                                                                   Isaiah 54:10

Praise Be to the Lord!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Christian Writer's Goal

 We will accomplish little unless we set goals. At the beginning of the year, the beginning of a month, the beginning of a week, all are great goal setting times. Today, we will focus on goals for writing, but the same criteria works whatever you do.

 
Success requires goal setting
A shot will be way off target unless we know where to aim. If a sailor shoots a torpedo at the enemy but doesn’t set coordinates, the weapon might return to start. We can’t measure our progress if we don’t know which way we’re to travel.


A goal motivates us,
guides us,
and inspires accomplishment.

 
What is the criteria for a God-ordained goal?

Isn't that what Christian writers should be aiming for? 

 

 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.

                               Psalm 127:2

 

 

After the Israelis return from captivity in Babylon, Nehemiah set out to build a wall around Jerusalem. Enemies jeered and vandalized. Nehemiah set guards over the work even while they built. Working to follow God’s instructions, the Israelis built the wall to God’s glory despite all opposition.
 
 
A wide receiver is the goal of the quaterback

 

 
Writers face rejection, loneliness, deadlines, and balancing family, promotion, and writing. No one said it would be easy. We need a goal. But, if we're Christians, not just any goal; a God-ordained goal.

 

 

To please God with our writing, we should ask these questions.

 

Is what I write pleasing to God?

Do I spend enough time or too much time on writing?

Do my written or spoken words lift others up?

Do I do or say anything that offends?

 

 

Apply these same principles to any activity or career? Remember, if God doesn’t build the house, we labor in vain. If we work just for money or fame, without bringing glory for the Lord, it won’t last.

 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Introducing Author Bruce Judisch

Here's the questions I had for author Bruce Judisch. He's new to me and perhaps to you, also, but I think you'll find him fascinating.
 
 
Where did you get the idea for your book?
 
A friend of mine shared a newspaper from 1896 she found in the attic of her aunt’s house. Here is the unabridged article that was nestled in the bottom corner of an interior page.
 
Rangeley Lakes, Volume 2. Rangeley, Maine. Thursday, August 20, 1896. Number 13.
The center of attraction Thursday was at the railroad station after the arrival of the 1 o’clock train. There came on that train a “bridal trunk,” anyway, one of the cards attached said: “I’m a bride;” another announced, “We are married.” There was a drawing of a loving couple with wedding bells and a cupid. But the happy couple didn’t come. There was a crowd awaiting the train at night, and again they were doomed to disappointment, but they have the pleasure of looking over the trunk just the same.
 
I ask you, how can a fiction writer see something like this and not write a mystery? J
 
 How exciting! How did you find your publisher?
 
Quimby Pond was my first novel to go indie. I’ve been with a small publisher for a number of years, but I felt it was time to expand the horizons and seek independent editing and cover design—and try my hand at promoting my own work.
 
Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?
 
Absolutely! J  I’m working on the sequel to Quimby Pond, a teaser to which I included as an addendum to the book. I’m also completing a trilogy, “A Prophet’s Tale,” which is a novelization of the life of the Old Testament prophet Jonah. The first two books (The Journey Begun and The Word Fulfilled) are currently available via Amazon, but I’m revising them and will complete the series with Part 3, The Promise Fulfilled. When will they be ready? Well, I’m not quite sure just yet—however, I’ll be quite pleased to let you know when, I am sure. J
 
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
 
All kinds. In the fiction arena, my penchant for historicals currently immerses me in Justina Prima’s The Pawnbroker’s Ring.  In non-fiction, I’m getting a lot out of Dale Patrick’s The Rhetoric of Revelation in the Hebrew Bible. My reading preferences are really quite broad.
 
What has your writing journey been like so far?
 
I’ve made just about all the mistakes one can make entering the industry (too many to name), wasted countless hours and almost as much money, and still don’t have the marketing thing down. But that’s okay. The love of spinning out a story is what drew me in, and it’s what keeps me going—despite the associated logistics of getting a book on the street and trying to keep it there. If you measure success by the joy of sharing a tale, I’m unsurpassed. If you measure it by the royalty payments, well …
 
Where is your favorite place to vacation?
 
I don’t know yet. I’ll get back to you when I cross the last item off my bucket list.  J
 
Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
 
I should let my wife Jeannie answer that one—wait. On second thought …
Okay, here’s one. I’ve often wondered if I was born a generation late. I love the Greatest Generation. As horrific as WWII was, the era still intrigues me—the music, the hope coming out of the Great Depression, so much of it. I guess I should have been my dad … or something like that.  J
 
If you could be a song, what would it be?
 
Gosh, too many angles on this question. What song do I identify with? Which is the most inspiring? Do I pick a pun on a title? I love music, and different genres appeal to me in different ways. I think, though, if I had to pick one out of the many, it would be When I Fall in Love. The message is so tragically—and inspiringly—true.
 
Where can we find you online?
 
I have a poorly kept-up blog (told you I was a horrible marketer). I do keep up with my writing (and have some fun facts about Quimby Pond) on my Facebook author page. You can find my books here.
                                                                                         
 
Tell us about Quimby Pond.
 
August 20, 1896, Marble Falls, Maine. A festively-adorned bridal trunk arrives on the one o’clock train, but no newlyweds debark to claim it. Curious townspeople gather for the evening train, but again no one shows up. Where was the happy couple? Why was the trunk on that train? And what if it wasn’t a bridal trunk at all…?

Present Day: Gwen Kelly comes to Marble Falls to escape a broken past, a past that revisits her when she begins to restore an antique trunk. A mysterious assailant targets her and her friends, one by one. Gwen is thrust into an awkward relationship with Officer Brent Newcomb as they race to stop the intruder from striking again. Could the trunk hold the key to this cloud of violence spreading over the peaceful Marble Lakes? If so, will they discover its secret in time? If not, what have they stumbled into?
 
 
 
Bruce Judisch has been writing fiction for many years.  His first work, “A Prophet’s Tale,” is a two-part novelization of the story of the Old Testament prophet, Jonah ben Amittai, comprising The Journey Begun and The Word Fulfilled. A third part, The Promised Kept, is under construction. More recently, he wrote Katia and its sequel For Maria, both with contemporary and 20th-century historical storylines.
Bruce lives in Texas with his wife and high school sweetheart, Jeannie, and their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Charlie and Raleigh.  Bruce and Jeannie are the proud parents of three and grandparents of fourteen.



I so enjoyed "meeting" you, Bruce. God bless your writing.

Do any of you have questions or comments for Bruce?