Monthly Archives: January 2014

To Serve a Trivial God

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To Serve a Trivial God by guest blogger Delia Latham

II Peter 2:19 (NIV)—They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

This scripture always gives me an unpleasant, scary little chill—right up my spine and into my soul. While rejoicing in the “perfect law of liberty,” it’s so easy to become enslaved…and not even realize it until the shackles are so tight there’s no hope of freedom.

Have I allowed something other than God the role of “master” in my life? What am I “addicted” to—so caught up in that I can’t imagine giving it up? How many of us are enslaved by things so trivial it’s laughable to think of them as “master” of anyone?

But they are.

Think about these things:

  • Refusing to attend any kind of function on certain nights of the week—even a church service—because it would mean missing a particular television program. (Has television in general, or even a specific program, become the master you serve?)
  • Hesitating to testify to or in front of others because they might think you fanatical or just weird. (Has pride become your god?)
  • Refusing to be anywhere longer than a certain length of time because it’s too long to survive without coffee/soda/cigarettes/food. (Are you a slave to the demands of your body?)
  • Missing out on time with family and friends because you can’t pull yourself away from a computer game. (Ruled by a cyber-master? This one can be true even if what you’re doing on the computer is job-related…or simple social networking that becomes all-consuming.)

I could keep listing things, but…if you’ve given something in your life “god status,” you’ve already bulleted it in. What it boils down to is this: Allowing ourselves to become dominated by anything in this life, other than God Himself, puts us in the position of making that all-important thing our Master—and our god. When that happens, we’ve thrown away our liberty in Christ, picked up a pair of shackles and closed them around our own wrists—becoming bound to trivialities. A slave to whatever has mastered us.

How wonderful to know that we don’t have to be a slave to anything! If we truly dwell in the perfect liberty Christ purchased on Calvary and keep God at the top of our priority list, trivialities can never enslave us.

Heavenly Father, You are the only Master I want to serve. Please keep me reminded of the danger of imprisoning myself again, pulling a cell door closed behind me…by allowing trivial things to take over my life. Help me to keep You always first, at the top of my priority list. You are my Master…my Savior…my God, and I want to serve only You. I ask for Your guidance in every area of my existence, and for Your wisdom to know when I’m in danger of losing the freedom for which You paid the ultimate price to anything that—in comparison to my soul—is nothing more than a triviality. Help me to keep You, and You alone, the Lord of my life. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Note from the author:  I’m so excited about my new blog for writers! “Write Right!” posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with writing tips and tricks, encouragement, how-to articles, writing techniques and mechanics…just lots of help for writers. Of course, it’s focused specifically on Christian writers, but I’m sure any writer will find helpful hints at Write Right! If you’re a writer, and would like to submit writing tips for the Thursday guest author spot, please contact me.

DELIA LATHAM is a born-and-bred California gal, raised in a place called Weedpatch and currently living in the lovely mountain town of Tehachapi with her husband and a spoiled Pomeranian. She enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She has a “thing” for Dr. Pepper, and loves to hear from her readers. Contact her through her website or send an e-mail to delia@delialatham.net. Find her also at the following online locations:

Living the Write Life (blog)

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Broken Wings

Broken Wings COVER front

He lives to fly—until a piece of flack changes his life forever.


A tragic childhood has turned American Air Forces Colonel Rob Savage into an outwardly indifferent loner who is afraid to give his heart to anyone. RAF nurse Maggie McGrath has always dreamed of falling in love and settling down in a thatched cottage to raise a croftful of bairns, but the war has taken her far from Innisbraw, her tiny Scot’s island home.

Hitler’s bloody quest to conquer Europe seems far away when Rob and Maggie are sent to an infirmary on Innisbraw to begin his rehabilitation from disabling injuries. Yet they find themselves caught in a battle between Rob’s past, God’s plan, and the evil some islanders harbor in their souls. Which will triumph?
E-versions/Print books are available at:
Ashberry Lane Store
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADianne Price fell in love with writing at the age of five. Her father was a barnstorming pilot with a bi-plane and she was bitten early by the dreaded “flying bug.” She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and met and married the man God had prepared for her—an aeronautical engineer. After their five children were in school, she burned the midnight oil and wrote three novels, all published by Zebra Press. When her husband died only three years after he retired, she visited the Outer Hebrides Isles of Scotland, where her husband’s clan (MacDonalds) and her own clan (Galbraiths) originated. Many yearly trips, gallons of tea, too little sleep, and a burst of insight birthed her Thistle Series.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Dianne, born in August 1933, lived joyfully despite dealing with terminal cancer and died in August 2013, a mere week before the release date for the first book of this series, Broken Wings. Everyone involved with the production of this book and the next five has been blessed beyond measure to have known Dianne and be a part of giving readers a chance to meet Rob and Maggie and visit the beautiful, fictional isle of Innisbraw.

Dianne’s publisher will send one E-book to a lucky commentor. Please leave a comment for a chance to win. There must be at least 10 comments for the drawing to take place. The Drawing closes at midnight 2-2-2014 Eastern time. The winner will be notified the following day.

Chosen? Me? Really? I Don’t Think So.

IMG_0236Guest, Miralee Ferrell, shares with us today.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?  Esther 4: 14

Surely God didn’t put that scripture in the Bible because He thought it related to me. I’m sure we’ve all been hit with thoughts like this in the past.

How do you think Esther must have felt when her cousin Mordecai spoke those prophetic words to her? As the queen of Persia she might have been immune to the coming disaster being plotted by Haman, the enemy of the Jews living in that land. God gave her a challenge spoken by her closest kinsman—go before the king on behalf of her people, or refuse and die along with them.

As busy women being pulled a dozen different directions each day it’s probably hard for most of us to imagine God might choose us for anything important. After all, we’re not queens or even princesses, and we certainly aren’t in a position to save a kingdom or a race of people. No, but let’s ask ourselves, what or who is our kingdom, or our people? I think most of us would agree it’s our family. We, as moms and wives, have an amazing amount of influence. We can set the emotional tone for the day by how we choose to respond in everything we say and do from the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning until we fall asleep at night. We truly are called ‘for such a time as this’ within our own sphere and have a great responsibility before God to make wise choices.

Esther made the correct choice. She stepped out in faith trusting that God would go before her when she approached her husband, the king. She didn’t demand her own way, but rather used tact and wisdom, enabling the king to see the imminent danger to her people. As women, we can learn from Esther and the position she found herself in—we too can find favor in the eyes of those around us, if we choose to trust in God to lead us each step of the way. And we too can say with confidence that we’ve come to our royal position in God’s family for such a time as this.

Father God, strengthen our faith as we walk in Your ways. Help us to see that you’ve created us for such a time as this. We thank you for leading us each step of the way on this journey called life.

MiraleeColorMiralee Ferrell is a speaker, accredited counselor, and former ACFW chapter president who has published multiple contemporary and historical romance novels since starting to write in 2005. She enjoys horseback riding, gardening, and family gatherings around their eleven-acre property in Washington State’s beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Miralee has had eight books release, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical fiction, with another 5 under contract. She’s an award-winning author of Western fiction, and her newest novel, Wishing on Buttercups releases February 1, and is the second in a series set in Baker City, Oregon, 1880s.

Interact with Miralee: Website:  www.miraleeferrell.com Facebook Author page:  www.facebook.com/miraleeferrell

Coming Feb. 1st, Wishing on Buttercups

Can Love Survive When Secrets Collide?

She’d kept her secrets safely hidden—those from her past, and those in the present. Some things, Beth Roberts knows, a lady simply doesn’t share, even in the 1880’s West. The townspeople would never understand. No one ever has.

Jeffery Tucker, a handsome young writer, has kept his own secrets. He doesn’t have a right to pry into Beth’s affairs but finds himself strangely drawn to her and intrigued by the whiff of mystery surrounding her.

Beth knows that one day someone will unravel the threads of her past. And when two men from her past arrive, the truth might just hurt . . . Beth’s future and her heart.

As shadowy memories surface, Beth sketches the scenes she sees and is shocked by what—and who—her illustrations reveal. Dare she risk her heart again?

Homefront Dreams

homefront dreams  Welcome, Darlene! Please tell us about Homefront Dreams.

CLARINDA FINCH HATES CHANGEAs the newly elected mayor of Maple Notch, the war widow must lead her town through the dark days of World War II. But where she finds comfort in tradition, the town council insists on trying new ways of handling the homefront challenges. Her most untraditional opponent? Councilman Ralph Quincy.High school principal Ralph never expected to become a friend to Clarinda and her family. But as she spars with him over the war effort, the smart, spirited mayor is the most compelling woman he’s ever known. Can they put aside their differences and fight for both their town and a future together?

Is this the final book in the series or is there more to come?
Homefront Dreams is the last book in my Maple Notch Dreams series, and it’s also book #6 of nine books in all about the fictional town of Maple Notch, Vermont.
Maple Notch Brides took the Tuttles from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. Maple Notch Dreams picks up with their descendants, three siblings. Wallace finds love with a flapper, Winnie seeks gold at the 1932 Olympics, and widowed Clarinda finds love with her opponent in the mayoral race.
Maple Notch Days has three contemporary stories about three sisters, granddaughters of Clarinda.
Saving Felicity will come out in August, and Runaway Love and Homecoming next year.
How wonderful that you were able to follow this family for so long and for more than one series! What is next for you?
I am working on the Maple Notch Days series. I’m also working on marketing a completed mss and brainstorming other ideas.
How long have you been writing professionally?
I began writing 22 years ago. My first book came out in 2005, and I’ve been writing full time for the past four years.
Besides writing what do you enjoy doing?
Reading, of course. Have you ever met a writer who didn’t love to read? My latest passion is genealogy. I’ve been researching my ancestors. On my mother’s side, I’ve hit a roadblock with her greatgrandparents (they came from Europe in the late 19th century).  But on my father’s side, I can trace my ancestry all the way back to the Mayflower. If I’m reading it correctly.  Right now I’m pushing back as far as I can in time. Later I will branch out, and see if I can connect with my grandmother’s side of the family.
LOL I don’t think I have met a writer who doesn’t enjoy reading, but many say they are too busy writing to read. I’m glad you find the time to read. 🙂 I hope you are successful in your genealogy search.
Darlene has offered to give a book away to one lucky commenter. To be entered you must answer the following question.
What do you most admire about the “Greatest Generation,” the men and woman who sacrificed during World War II?
Rules: Drawing is open to U.S.A. addresses only. There must be at least ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Void where prohibited by law. Drawing ends Midnight Eastern time January 26th 2014. The winner will be notified by email 1-27-14 and will have until 2-9-14 to respond or forfeit the book.
df jpeg To find out more about Darlene and her books check out her sites at

Thanks for joining us this week, Darlene!

Where Does Your Strength Come From?

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Philippians 4:13 HCSB

When I put devotionals together for this blog I always begin with the scripture, then I try to find an appropriate photo from my collection. When I saw this I knew it was the one. Do you see how the sun’s rays reach down to the earth? I’ll skip the science lesson, but without the sun there wouldn’t be life as we know it. The sun gives us warmth and important nutrients essential for a healthy life.

In the same way, Jesus, the son of God, gives us the strength we need each day. I don’t know what you’re facing today or perhaps in the  near future, but know that the Lord is strong, and He is there for us. He loves us and wants to be the light in our lives. All we need to do is ask and trust. Remember last weeks devotion about faith the size of a mustard seed?

I pray today that the Lord will give us all the strength we need.

Betrayed

Betrayed_h11347_300 Welcome back, Lillian.

BACK COVER:

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.

Please tell us about Betrayed.

BETRAYED is the second book in my Sisters By Choice series and will be released in January 2014. In DECEPTION (the first in the series), there is a terrorist. I kept wondering what kind of woman could be married to a terrorist and not know it.

BETRAYED is the answer to that question. It is Maria’s story and her struggle to get past the betrayal of her husband and create a new life for her daughter.

What’s the setting for BETRAYED?

Most of the story takes place in or around a small fictional town in Ohio called Sunberry. Coincidentally, we have a small town in Ohio called Sunbury that is very similar to the fictional setting!

Neat!

How did you come up with the title for BETRAYED?

It was an obvious choice since Maria was betrayed by her husband so horribly. But as the story continues, Maria begins to believe she’s been betrayed yet again. But by whom?

Titles are so hard for me. How wonderful that yours came easy. 🙂

Why did you write BETRAYED?

I had actually written much of Maria’s story in DECEPTION, but it was taken out of that book. Maria wasn’t happy about that and begged me to write her story, so I did.

What do you want readers to take away from BETRAYED?

Bad things happen to all of us. How we react to those things will determine the quality of our future. We can make the choice to stay in the past and be angry and bitter, but a much better choice would be to forgive and move on with our own life.

So true and an excellent take-away. Does BETRAYED have a theme?

Beauty for ashes is a phrase that comes up several times throughout the book and I consider it the theme. It comes from Isaiah 61: 3. A second theme is about honoring God with our choices and our actions even in the midst of a crisis.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Lillian. Lillian is doing something a bit different to help get the word out about her book. Read below to find out how you can enter to win a gift basket.

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.

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

How Big is Your Faith?

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Matthew 17:20

A mustard seed is very small, yet Jesus tells His disciples they could move a mountain with faith that small. I once heard a story about a child who needed a literal mountain, or perhaps it was a large hill, to move–I don’t recall the reason. She prayed and went to school. Upon her return, the mountain/hill had moved.

From what I can remember of this story there was a major wind storm that day that picked up the dirt from that mountain and repositioned it into a different location. I wish I could remember all the details of this story, but a missionary shared it with me and a group of children about 33 years ago and the details have faded.

Can you imagine the impact that child’s faith had on me as a child? I will tell you it was great, especially since 33 years later, I’m still impacted. I’ve never forgotten the lesson.

Think about it, faith as small as a mustard seed can impact the world!