Please Join Us Weekly For Writing Inspiration. . . "Words To Write By" from your favorite Christian authors. . . .

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

A Minute With Charles Spurgeon

Morning   

"Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory."
Psalm 73:24



The Psalmist felt his need of divine guidance. He had just been discovering the foolishness of his own heart, and lest he should be constantly led astray by it, he resolved that God's counsel should henceforth guide him. A sense of our own folly is a great step towards being wise, when it leads us to rely on the wisdom of the Lord. The blind man leans on his friend's arm and reaches home in safety, and so would we give ourselves up implicitly to divine guidance, nothing doubting; assured that though we cannot see, it is always safe to trust the all-seeing God. "Thou shalt," is a blessed expression of confidence. He was sure that the Lord would not decline the condescending task. There is a word for thee, O believer; rest thou in it. Be assured that thy God will be thy counsellor and friend; he shall guide thee; he will direct all thy ways. In his written Word thou hast this assurance in part fulfilled, for holy Scripture is his counsel to thee. Happy are we to have God's Word always to guide us! What were the mariner without his compass? And what were the Christian without the Bible? This is the unerring chart, the map in which every shoal is described, and all the channels from the quicksands of destruction to the haven of salvation mapped and marked by one who knows all the way. Blessed be thou, O God, that we may trust thee to guide us now, and guide us even to the end! After this guidance through life, the Psalmist anticipates a divine reception at last--"and afterward receive me to glory." What a thought for thee, believer! God himself will receive thee to glory--thee! Wandering, erring, straying, yet he will bring thee safe at last to glory! This is thy portion; live on it this day, and if perplexities should surround thee, go in the strength of this text straight to the throne.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Guest Author: Hope Toler Dougherty

Ireland--land of lilting voices, lush green scenery, and cups of strong, hot tea. Perhaps it's also the land of romantic adventure for Ellen Shepherd.




After almost three years of living under a fog of grief, Ellen Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in her life, perhaps an adventure during a visit to Galway. Her idea of excitement consists of exploring Ireland for yarn to feature in her shop back home, but the adventure awaiting her includes an edgy stranger who disrupts her tea time, challenges her belief system, and stirs up feelings she thought she'd buried with her husband.

After years of ignoring God, nursing anger, and stifling his grief, Payne Anderson isn't ready for the feelings a chance encounter with an enchanting stranger evokes. Though avoiding women and small talk has been his pattern, something about Ellen makes him want to seek her--and God again.

Can Ellen accept a new life different than the one she planned? Can Payne release his guilt and accept the peace he's longed for? Can they surrender their past pain and embrace healing together or will fear and doubt ruin this second chance at happiness?



Excerpt:

Payne and Ellen lingered over their food. He explained he was working in Africa and admitted he’d just arrived in Ireland when they met. “I’d been traveling for about two days with hardly any sleep, but it’s better to stay awake a while before crashing. I adjust to a new time zone faster…with less jet lag, too.”

“So those were safari clothes you wore yesterday, and you tried to stay awake by picking a fight with a stranger in a cafĂ©.” She smiled at him as though she’d just given the correct answer in a board game.

He shook his head. “Huh uh. I stayed awake by talking with a beautiful woman.” He leaned his forearms against the table.

She blinked twice. Was he flirting with her? She wasn’t sure. A warm tingle rose from the bottom of her stomach, grabbing the breath from her lungs and stealing her smile. She searched for something to say. “Ah. Now I find out you’re a flatterer, too.”

“Wrong. I don’t flatter. I say what I mean. Always.”




Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master's degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for Almost an Author. Before writing novels, she published non-fiction articles on topics ranging from gardening with children to writing apprehension. She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and chat with their two daughters and twin sons through ooVoo. Her second novel, Mars...With Venus Rising, releases with Pelican Book Group August 28th.

Visit Hope's website:
 
Connect with Hope:


Friday, August 14, 2015




http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_gnr_aps?rh=i:aps,k:THE+CASTLE+LORILYN+ROBERTS&keywords=THE+CASTLE+LORILYN+ROBERTS&ie=UTF8&qid=1437771169
            The Seventh Dimension Award-Winning Series continues in "The Castle"

Haunted by a recurring dream of his missing father in a mysterious castle, 17-year-old Daniel is captured by the Romans and finds asylum in the Temple. There he discovers a scroll that reveals his future concerning a wager between good and evil. 

But the stakes are raised when he witnesses the trial and crucifixion of Yeshua. The convergence of time with supernatural events creates a suspenseful ending and leads to the fourth and final book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The City.


Excerpt from Seventh Dimension – The Castle, Book 3, A Young Adult Fantasy


  I turned my attention to a group of men further away, where angry voices disturbed the temple ambience. Their attire meant they were priests and members of the council. I drew closer to listen.
“We must find a way to trap him.”
“Trap him with his own words? Annas, forget it. We’ve tried that.”
“We need to arrest him and bring him in for questioning, but it has to be when his followers aren’t around.”
“He needs to be put to death,” Annas insisted. “He’s a threat to our power. The masses hang on every word he says.”
“Where does he go at night?” another asked.
The priests gazed at one another. No one had an answer.
“If we could find out, put a spy on Yeshua and bring him in when the people are still asleep—”
“We need a volunteer.”
The eyes of the holy men searched the cloister.
“We don’t have much time,” another said. “This has to be done before the start of Pesach.”
“That’s impossible.”
A priest threw up his hands. “What do you suggest?”
Two men had separated themselves from the rest towards the back of the cloister. I slipped closer to listen.
The men were elderly members of the council, but they weren’t dressed in priestly robes. They were probably Pharisees.
One of them ran his hand through his beard. “Once I asked the sage how I could be born again.”
“What did he say to you, Nicodemus?
“Joseph, I’ve never shared this with another member of the council.
“You have my confidence.”
Nicodemus touched his beard again. “He said that until a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Joseph palmed up his hands. “We need the kingdom of God now. How can we see it?”
Nicodemus glanced at the temple. “Ask God to reveal to us the truth.”
Joseph raised his eyebrow. “I know the truth.”
“How can you be sure what truth is?” Nicodemus asked.
“I’ve known Yeshua since he was young. He’s the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies.”
Nicodemus snatched Joseph’s hands. “Why don’t you tell the high priest?”
Joseph shook his head. “I keep praying God will open his eyes, as he has opened yours and mine.”
Nicodemus warned, “If they capture him, they’ll kill him. We can’t let that happen.”

I dropped my head and turned away. If two members of the council couldn’t change events, who could? Messiah or not, did he have to die? If time was an illusion, how many different pasts could exist? The futility of being stuck in the first century grieved me if I couldn’t change it. What was God’s purpose bringing me here? Surely, this wasn’t God’s appointed time—that couldn’t be changed—unless Yeshua was who he claimed to be.




Lorilyn Roberts is an award-winning Christian author who writes for the young and the young at heart.


Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in 1991. Her studies included spending two weeks in Israel at the start of the Gulf War and touring England, Australia, New Zealand, and several countries in Europe. She later attended the Institute of Children's Literature and earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College.

To learn more about Lorilyn, you can visit her website and her blog.
Be sure to follower her on twitter and visit her on facebook.
If you would like to contact Lorilyn personally, you may reach her at AuthorLorilynRoberts@gmail.com




Monday, August 10, 2015

Grin With Grace...

Awesome new Bible study!!!




It Might be Time to Grin with Grace!

Have you ever felt the need to bite your tongue or grit your teeth? With humor and candor, popular women’s speaker Kathy Carlton Willis explores ways to smile in the face of adversity and challenging circumstances. Her go-to phrase Grin with Grace is the title of her latest book. She explores the word “grace” in Scripture, revealing how God’s grace blesses us and how it impacts our relationship with Him and with others.

Grin with Grace is part of the Grin With…Bible Study Series. This line of books is designed to help women on the run focus on a central theme. The “study, story and steps” formula helps readers assimilate new traits in small sections, all the while anticipating the next insight.

“You can never have too much of God’s grace,” says Kathy. “While writing this series, I dealt with multiple health issues, surgeries, cancer, and hospitalizations. At the same time, I moved to a different town, diving in to a new church ministry with my husband. Very little in life seemed familiar or comfortable. But God infused grace into each challenge and turned them into opportunities.” Kathy learned anew what the Bible means when it says:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

Quote from Chapter 7, Grin with Grace:
God’s grace strengthens us to live the lives He directs us to live. When we’re weak, grace makes us strong through Christ. His grace is not frail; it’s power-packed.
– Kathy Carlton Willis

There’s an important element about grace. It’s not meant to be hoarded, regardless of its wonderful value. Once God blesses us with grace, we are then recruited to His team to be instruments of His grace to others. Grin with Grace tells stories of real-life grace and gives suggestions for creating new grace moments for others. Every Bible passage is contained in the text, accommodating ease of reading anytime, anywhere. Read it straight through as a book, use it as a personal study, or join with a group to discuss the material together. The chapters are short enough to combine—resulting in a seven-week group study.

More about Grin with Grace

Each chapter features five sections:
  • Grin with Grace contains real-life stories and observations. You’ll laugh at the humorous confessions and wacky insights, and relate to Kathy’s transparent honesty. Be inspired to see grace in your everyday life.
  • Grow with Grace features a grace word study. Kathy examines Bible verses and personalizes the meaning to your situation. Workbook prompts allows you to write down your thoughts as you read along.
  • Go with Grace offers life application. Pick one action step and make it work for you, or pick all of them—but do something to live out your grace-walk.
  • Give with Grace advances life application further, equipping you to become an instrument of God’s grace to others. You’ll be inspired to take what you’ve learned and give it away to others. This is when faith becomes ministry—when your focus expands to see the needs of others.
  • Your Grin with Grace Challenge describes a grace-challenging scenario to give you an opportunity to exercise your newfound grace. It allows for speculation and judgment calls, to prepare you for the what-ifs that happen in life.






Release Date: May 1, 2015
Retail: $14.99
Publisher: AMG
ISBN-10: 0899574785
ISBN-13: 978-0899574783

Praise for the Book:
Grin with Grace is perfect for women on the run, since there is no set daily reading schedule. The blend of humor, transparency, biblical concepts, word studies and opportunities to plug what I learned into my life gave me a fresh approach to doing my devotions or reading a Bible study.
Dr. Thelma Wells (Mama T)
President of A Woman of God Ministries
CEO, That A Girl & Friends Speakers Agency Speaker, Author






Kathy Carlton Willis writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. Not many funny girls also have Bible degrees! Kathy’s a pastor’s wife, which gives her plenty of opportunities to grin with grace. She shines the light on issues that hold women back and inspires their own lightbulb moments. Almost a thousand of Kathy’s articles have been published in books, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Kathy’s tagline describes her best: Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Kathy lives with her pastor/husband, Russ, in Rockdale, Texas.

WEBSITE: www.kathycarltonwillis.com
TWITTER: @KCWComm




This is a humorous, thoughtful and helpful Bible study. Readers will relate to the many personal stories shared throughout. Very modern and very Christian. I received a copy of this book for review. But really, I would have bought it myself. It's that good.----Robin's review

Monday, August 03, 2015

Clare Revell's New Young Adult Release

                 November Charlie. If the tsunami doesn't kill them, the sharks just might.



When Jim and Staci Kirk's parents go missing, he decides to search for them himself. Unbeknownst to him, his sister and their best friend Lou, stow away to join him.

It seems so simple on paper, sail from England to the Philippines and find the Kirks. But a hurricane named Erika and a relentless shark conspire against them to make the voyage one of the most perilous trips the teenagers have ever lived.

Can they endure the danger? Will they find the Kirks alive or does God have another idea in mind?




Excerpt:

Lou heard a siren and turned to look behind them. A flashing light identified the fast approaching boat as police. Four armed officers stood on deck and the loud hailer instructed them to pull over.
"Jim? What are you going to do?"
"Do what they want."
"You can’t."
"I have to." Jim began to slow the boat and moved it to rest at the side of the waterway.
The police boat shot past and one of the officers waved his thanks.
Lou released a sigh of relief. "For a moment I thought..."
"We all did," Jim said. He pulled out into the main waterway again and followed in the wake of the police boat.
"Wonder where they’re going?" Staci said.
"Somewhere in a hurry. Maybe they’re late for lunch," Lou said.
"With guns?"
"Maybe they’ve had lunch, and they’re off to kill the cook," Jim said grinning.
"There it is," Staci pointed. "It’s slowing down."
Suddenly an almighty explosion fragmented the police boat into a mass of flames and smoke. Shattered timbers and twisted metal flew everywhere.

Now Available from Amazon!

Or direct from the publisher...



Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fan fiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, sewing or keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make.
The first draft of every novel is hand written.

She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars. Visit her here.



Thursday, July 30, 2015

New From Cindy K Green!

Ella Valentine doubts she’ll ever recover when her twin brother passes away in college. Four years later, living in a new city and working for a large corporation, she gets caught in a lie and saddled with a new boss who she suspects might be losing his mind. Now he has her enacting insane acts of espionage while trying to catch the culprit who has embezzled money from their company. If it wasn’t for his deep brown eyes and lazy smile she just might quit. Is this God’s plan for her life? She isn’t even sure who she is anymore without her twin and the way things are going she just might end up in the loony bin. 
Charles “Charlie” Murray II may be the heir presumptive to his father’s industrial dynasty, but all he really wants is to create—be it drawings or a marketing campaign. When he’s summoned to the home office to take over the position of CFO, he discovers his new assistant is the same woman who passed him a phony phone number in a diner the previous weekend. If he can figure out who’s been stealing from the company, he just might attain the position of his dreams or will he sacrifice it all to be with Ella.  



--- Cindy K Green, author of Humorous, Heartfelt, Spirit-Filled Fiction   


Visit Cindy here!

Order your copy here!


Excerpt:

Ella punched the button for the lobby and waited. Oh, why had she waited? Why hadn’t she taken the stairs? Behind her, she heard rapid steps thumping down the hallway. She peeked back to see Charlie Murray rushing toward her. He didn’t appear calm and mellow, like at the restaurant—not even charming and confident, as he’d been in the office. No, he was angry. Why on earth should he be angry? She’s the one who just lost her job.

Oh, dear Lord! I lost my job! No, I just quit my job. She held up the photograph. “George, I am a colossal idiot.”

What had she done? Obviously, she needed more prayer than she thought. And now what was Charlie planning to do to her? She decided not to stick around and find out. In a flash, she took off down the side hall toward the stairs. She pulled open the heavy steel door and glanced over to see Charlie still coming right for her, and this time he was jogging. After running through the doorway, she took the cement steps to the floor below as quickly as she could.

“Ella, stop!”

She paused on a step for just a second to peer up at Charlie staring down at her, a deep frown marring his handsome face.

“Stop following me. I quit, remember?”

“I remember. Now hold on. We need to discuss this.” He started down the stairs.

Her heart raced with panic. With his much longer legs, he was bound to catch up with her in no time. She launched herself down the next set of stairs. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

“Yes, there is,” he shouted back. “Now stand still, because I’m bringing you back to the office with me one way or another.”

She stopped and his footsteps ceased, as well. Would he actually force her back to the office? She could almost imagine him picking her up and tossing her over his shoulder fireman-style to carry her back to the office.

Carefully, she peeked up the stairwell. Shimmering brown eyes filled with determination met hers. Her breathing from all the running remained elevated.

“Ella…what are you running off…like that…for?”

Charlie stood right in front of her now, a little short of breath and patience, too. He couldn’t hide the flash of annoyance ruminating in his dark eyes, as he stared her down.

Like he had any right to be mad at her! What had she done? Not a thing. Except quit. And she had every right to do that. The longer she looked at him and ignored the cute dimple in his cheek, the angrier she got.

“Now, just take a step back, mister.” She held her palm out to him. “I quit, and you have no right to force me to come back.” With her wool coat in place, she felt incredibly warm. Why had she put it on when she was still inside the building? A trickle of perspiration formed at the back of her neck.
“You’re right.” The way he smiled just then made it absolutely impossible to ignore the dimple a second longer and her anger began to wane.

But then she remembered why she could never see this man again, never be in his presence, and most definitely never work for him. That Saturday night. The flirting. The fake number.

“Y…you should have told me,” she blurted out, “who you really are.” His eyes opened wider, as if confused. “At the diner. ‘Just Charlie.’” She firmed her mouth and tilted her head slightly.

In response, he gave her a relaxed smile. He leaned into the wall of the stairwell and placed his hands into his pockets. “I like just being Charlie. It fits me a whole lot better than Charles Murray II.”

His sincerity at that moment moved something deep inside her chest. It must have been her heartstrings. It had been a long time since someone had yanked on them. She’d done her very best to keep them hidden away. Away from the players, the liars and the commitment-a-phobes. Away from anyone looking one iota like Mr. Charles Murray II.

And yet she couldn’t help but think that Charlie wasn’t like many of the men she’d dated. He had eyes that seemed too direct and too earnest to ever intentionally hurt someone. And it seemed as if the boss’s son carried a burden of his own. You probably needed big shoulders to carry the Murray name around. Although, in point of fact, Charlie had mighty broad shoulders, now that she came to think of it.

Oh, she couldn’t think. Her emotions were a blur racing through her system. Pondering the width of Charlie’s shoulders was not helping. She lowered her eyes and leaned against the door to the third floor. If she looked into his eyes one more second, he could probably get her to do whatever he wanted. She glanced at the photograph and focused on George’s face. If only her brother were here now. He’d get her out of this mess.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Encouragement From Bible Gateway

How to Finally Stop Procrastinating

GLYNNIS WHITWER

"The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied." Proverbs 13:4 (NRSV)

My husband and I used to laugh and say if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done. Then we’d stay up all night to finish a project due the next day, or make the whole family stressed because of our stress. It wasn’t funny.

I laughed it off at the time because I didn’t really think it was a problem. Everyone procrastinates on something, I reasoned. Plus, what more could I do? The problem certainly wasn’t with me.

On the surface, there were always reasons why I couldn’t get everything done. Good, solid reasons. Like I’d taken on too much work. Or my family needs were too demanding. And the technology which should have made my life easier, actually made it harder sometimes. Who couldn’t understand that? I reassured myself.

Then faced with a deadline, I snapped at everyone, stayed up late and rushed to finish what needed to be done. Consequently, everything suffered. My family was shortchanged, my work was sub-par and I became a person I didn’t like very much.

Those issues affecting me were all legitimate. But there was still another issue afoot. One that took some soul searching to identify. And that was an internal desire for ease rather than challenge.
This truth about myself hit hard when I read Proverbs 13:4, today’s key verse: "The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied."

At first, I didn’t think this verse applied to me. How could I be lazy when I’m always busy?

In fact, I didn’t know any woman around me who was lazy. So why did we all tend to complain about not being able to get important things done?

But then it hit me, faced with a choice between two tasks, my tendency is to choose whichever seems easier. I tend to put off what’s difficult until I "feel more like it." But that day never comes because I never feel like organizing my tax information or tackling projects that highlight my weak areas.
So my days were filled, but filled with less challenging work.

And my to-do list got longer, overflowing with tasks and projects I’d much rather avoid. The crazy thing is I will even avoid good things if I think it will make me address an issue I’d rather not face … like clothes shopping and having to admit my size isn’t what it once was.

Eventually I got around to doing my work, but usually with a wrong heart, with a shadow of the quality I could produce or with so much frustration that it affected everything else. Some fabulous opportunities I just abandoned, because how could I follow a dream if I couldn’t even keep my kitchen counters clear?

I even realized I was disobedient to God in some areas. Of course, they were the hard things God asked me to do. I’d much rather obey God in the easy areas … but step out and take a risk? I’ll do that another day, thank you very much.

Sometimes an "aha" moment is exactly what we need to change. When I realized my tendency to avoid discomfort, to choose ease over challenge, I felt like I could finally address my procrastination.

Read the rest here.