Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Do You Want?

It's an age old question, isn't it? What do you want? Sometimes, my boys will come into my room at night, and my husband and I will ask, "What do you want, son?"
So, here's my question to you: What do you want?
What do you want out of life? Do you want to be famous? Popular? Make a million dollars? Do you want to go on a mission's trip or two? Do you want to raise God-fearing children? What do you want?
How about peace on earth? Live debt-free? Live guilt free?
What do you want? Do you want to live for Jesus, to bring Him glory in all you do? Do you want retire at an early age? Do you want to live in a nice house with a white picket fence with 2.5 children?
I can answer a few of these questions. Actually, I think one answer will cover them all. Ready? Here is goes. I want to only live for Jesus and shine so bright that others are drawn to Him.
What do I want out of life? To live for Jesus.
Do I want to be famous? Only for Jesus.
Do I want to be popular? Only for Jesus.
Do I want to make a million dollars? Only for Jesus.
Do I want peace on earth? Only for Jesus.
Live debt-free? Only for Jesus.
Live guilt free? Only for Jesus.
Do I want to bring Him glory? By living for Jesus, I will.
Do I want to retire at an early age? I want to draw others to Jesus, no matter what my job is.
Do i want to live in a nice house with a white picket fence with 2.5 children? Only if Jesus will draw others to Him in that neighborhood.
Do I want to raise God-fearing children? Well, if I live for Jesus, I hope that will be the case.

Do you see a pattern? I sure do! I want to live for Jesus, no matter what I do.
And that's why I write. I write to draw others to Christ, to hopefully deepen their walks with Him. Truthfully? I don't write for non-Christians. I don't. That's  not my calling. If a non-believer picks up my books and likes them and follows Jesus because of it, awesome! But they aren't my target. My target is believers. I want people to ask themselves the hard questions and come up with answers that will challenge them, strengthen them, and push them forward in following the Lord.

So, what do I want? To follow Jesus and draw others to Him.
What do you want?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sheriff Bride Rob's Story

I guess it's my turn today! Here's a little more about Sheriff Bride Rob's Story:

How did you know you wanted to become a writer?
Since I was little, I've loved writing. I wrote short stories mostly, but had the wonderful opportunity to begin my writing career in 2008.

Please tell us a little about this book.
Rob's story is pretty much about Rob. She's now the only sheriff, since all of her sisters are married. Her brothers-in-law, and town banker, informs her she needs a deputy. She reluctantly agrees, only to find out the person they hired isn't who she thought it would be.

Are you anything like the main character?
Nothing at all like Rob! She's the youngest, I'm the middle. She's a great shooter, and I don't know how to shoot a gun. We don't even look alike.

Are you currently working on writing something else? If so, can you tell us about it?
Indeed I am! I'm working on getting my newest novel, Letters of Love, published, followed by the third book in my Hope series, Hope from the Past. I'm in the process of writing Sunshine in Spring. Since writing Christmas Rayne, I've had a few people ask me to follow up with Camden's story. I guess he was quite likeable!

What was the most difficult thing about writing this novella?
I'm not a western writer. It was a struggle for me to get into that part, but I really enjoyed it!

What is your favorite season of the year?
Winter. When Jack Frost nips at my nose, I'm in heaven! Snow calms my soul.

If you could go anywhere, where would it be and why?

Probably to England. I'll be writing a novel in the next few months about a woman who travels to England and finds the love of her life.

What is something quirky your readers would like to know about you that they don't already?
I can flare my nostrils even after going to the dentist and being numb, plus I had two thumbs on one hand.

Who is your biggest support and why?
My husband, Chris. He made sure I took the steps to making this dream of writing come true. Also, my sister, Steffanne and her hubby, Russell. They told me it was time to write.

Where can fans find you on the web?
Here on this blog. Also on facebook and twitter. Not to mention Goodreads and Novelcrossing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sheriff Bride Dan's Story

Unfortunately, Cheryl Williford was unable to do an interview for me. She has a lot of things on her plate right now, so if you wouldn't mind, say a prayer for her. But, I thought I'd give you a rundown of Sheriff Bride Dan's Story.

Sheriff Bride Dan’s Story Being one of four sister sheriffs in the small town of Waterhole, Texas is very satisfying until Pastor Joshua Plain, the local traveling preacher, comes to town, Bible in hand, and God on his mind. Not even looking for a husband, Dan is surprised to find herself drawn to the sandy-haired, blue eyed man of God. As Joshua works his way into her heart, Dan finds herself thinking about marriage. Can a relationship form between them, or will their diferent views on a woman working as a sheriff and owner of a cafe stand in the way of love? Does God have other plans as they begin the dance of courtship.

Don't forget! If you leave a comment on any of the blogs from Monday through Thursday, you'll be entered to win an ebook of Sam's Story.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sheriff Bride Jo's Story

Today, I have Brooke Cox. She wrote the second novella of Sheriff Bride Jo's Story.

How did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I started “making up stories” before I learned how to write. So, writing has always been something I’ve done. I think what got me started “making up stories” was Snoopy’s adventures on his Sopwith Camel. My mom read to me out of my Peanuts books every night before I went to bed.

Please tell us a little about this book.
  Jo and her three sisters share the position of Sheriff in the small town of Waterhole.
Their father raised them as he would boys and not as young ladies, so they learned early in their
lives to be tough. He was supposed to be the new sheriff of Waterhole, but he died before he
could accept the new job. So Jo and her sisters became “the sheriff.”
While being a sheriff in Waterhole, Jo falls in love with Tom, who owns the local trading posts. Tom loves her as well, but he is still hurting over his ex-fiancĂ©’ refusing to come
to live at Waterhole with him. He thinks no decent woman should have to live there, so he decides that he will always be alone.
As Jo and Tom find their way to each other, they have to deal with Tom’s wayward brother
Henry and his Indian servant Morning Glory, rowdy cowboys, a fund-raising fair, hurt animals, stinky half-blind train robbing brothers, and their own stubbornness.

Are you anything like the main character?
Oh yeah. I’m a lot like Jo. I am an old tomboy myself. I grew up around boys, so I too learned to be tough at an early age. I also learned how to be a little on the “fearless’ side.

Are you currently working on writing something else? If so, can you tell us about it?
I’ve got a few ideas on my plate, but right now I’m working on my first murder mystery and I love it. My main character is like me in that she is unique and different from the rest of
her family. And she uses that uniqueness to solve a family mystery that leads to a couple of deaths in the family.

What was the most difficult thing about writing this novella?
Honestly, nothing. I thoroughly enjoyed writing Jo’s Story! I thought I would have
a difficult time since I never read any western stories. But once I started writing and doing            some research, my outlook changed and I really “got into” the story. I even had some fun
writing about the stinky and half-blind train robbers.

What is your favorite season of the year?
Fall. I love everything about the fall: the colors, the smell, and the feel in the air. In fact,my wedding anniversary is in October.

If you could go anywhere, where would it be and why?
On Earth? If that’s the case, then I would go the Smithsonian in Washington DC. It
has so many wondrous things from dinosaurs, space and air, history, old TV shows, archeology,
and so much more. I got could get lost in that place and not care if I ever came out.

What is something quirky your readers would like to know about you that they don't already?
I am big geek at heart. My favorite show is the Big Bang Theory. Also, I love science fiction, especially Star Trek. I was fortunate to be able go to a Space Shuttle launch a few years ago. That was the coolest thing ever!

Who is your biggest support and why?
  That would be a tie between my husband Tim and my daughter Sara. They both have
always been there for me. May I do an honorable mention? I also have some wonderful friends
who have been there for me as well: my parents, Lynda, Paula, Susan, Pamela, Kathy, and Tessa.
So I have been very blessed.

Where can fans find you on the web?
I have a blog: Please feel free to stop by and visit sometime. I also write a monthly article for The Christian On-Line I usually write with a science and God theme. Remember, I’m a geek.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us!
It was my honor sharing with you all and I had fun!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sheriff Bride Sam's Story

I had the honor of working with some neat women to bring about the Sheriff Bride series. Today, I'm interviewing the Teresa Lily, who wrote the first novella in this series. To anyone who leaves a comment over the next week in regards to this series, you'll win an e-book.

How did you know you wanted to become a writer?
One day in first grade I wrote a poem. I ran home and read it to my mother. She said, “Great job maybe someday you will be a writer.” It was my dream ever since.

Please tell us a little about this book.
This story starts out about 4 girls who go to Waterhole Texas to fill the position of town sheriff that their father was offered. But he died before he could go. The owner of the bank in town is sure that girls should not be a sheriff, but once they all show themselves to be capable of handling even the worse man in town…he changes his mind…and his heart as he gets to know the oldest girl “Sam”

Are you anything like the main character?
Brown hair and brown eyes, and I assume had I lived back then I would have been a gun toting sheriff too.

Are you currently working on writing something else? If so, can you tell us about it?
I am writing a new book called Orphan Train Bride. About a woman who goes west on an orphan train and fills the position for a local farmer as a mail order bride. The story is in it’s final re-write

What was the most difficult thing about writing this novella?
Avoiding too much back information. Also, wanting to write the other three sisters stories but having no time to do it.

What is your favorite season of the year?
Spring of course, when love is in the air.

If you could go anywhere, where would it be and why?
Paris, but I don’t like to fly.

What is something quirky your readers would like to know about you that they don't already?
I do all my writing between 9 p.m and midnight every night because I am too busy the rest oft he day running my children’s resale shop.

Who is your biggest support and why?
My daughter Shelby. She reads all my stories first and edits them for the first run. She totally thinks I am wonderful and that my writing is great.

Where can fans find you on the web? Amazon Barnes and Nobles and Smashwords.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Green Series by Judy Christie

I love books. Not only do I enjoy writing them, I've always enjoyed reading them. I can sit with a good book, read it in about a day and a half, and then think about it for weeks. That's one of the reasons I absolutely adore having a kindle. I get free books so many times, plus I buy inexpensive books. Well, I was thrilled to get all of the Green series by Judy Christie.
Let me say off the bat, I typically don't like books in the first person. I think that's because I like to know what other characters are thinking. So, when I'd get a book at the library and it would be first person, more often than not, I wouldn't read it. Then, I started getting kindle books that are not what I'd normally read. Now, I don't mind first person.
As a matter of fact, I'd say the Green series is one of the best I've read in first person. I've read all five of these books, and highly recommend them. Lois is a great character! I enjoyed seeing life through her eyes, feeling her struggles and joys, and walking with her as her relationship deepened with Jesus. In regards to the romance between her and Chris, I would've liked to see that develop more, but that's my only critique.
I enjoyed the characters in these books. My heart broke when someone special died, more than one person, actually. The grief was real and quite sad in both cases. Katy, Molly, Eva, Dub, and many more people in the town were real. Loved Tammy.
I don't want to give too much away. Okay, to be honest, I don't want to give away anything in hopes that you'll read these books. But I will say this: I thoroughly enjoyed how Ms. Christie wrapped up certain parts of the story, yet left so much open. I'm believing she's writing a sixth book in this series, otherwise, I'm going to be a little, um, well, bummed.
So, if you haven't read any of the Green books, might I suggest you do so? You won't regret it. They've got mystery, humor, romance, and good ole' downhome fun. You won't want to miss them!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Darling

It's appropriate that I would post Letters of Love cover on facebook today. Because you see, that's how it started with my husband and I. All through a letter, or a card, rather. It started with an early birthday card and hasn't ended. This journey we've been on has had its ups and downs, twists and turns, bumps and smooth places. I wouldn't trade a single moment because it led us to where we are now.
So, I'm going to steal my love's idea and tell you what I love about him.
Chris is godly. He isn't afraid to speak up about his beliefs. He takes a stand against wrong and evil. He shows our boys what it means to be a man and follow Jesus. Extremely attractive!
He is an excellent husband. He encourages me in my dreams, tells me when I'm wrong, and is incredibly patient. He's lifted me up in some very dark times in my life. He is my biggest supporter when it comes to my writing.
My man is a fabulous father. The boys learn so much from this man. He laughs with them, plays and wrestles with them, watches the shows they want and introduces them to new ones (sometimes much to my changrin). He does projects with my kiddos. And he spends time with them, doing what they want to do.
Chris is sexy. Especially when he makes the face in the photo. It's true. No sarcasm there at all. He is the most attractive man I have ever seen! And in the entire world.
He is talented. Chris can play any musical instrument and sing. I love that about him!
And my love is artistic. Give him a picture and he can draw it just by looking at it.
When the Bible talks about putting other's needs before our own, Chris does it. He serves me and my boys and after a hard day at work, will come home and work some more just because he feels I shouldn't have to.
I love this guy.
Chris, even though we don't celebrate the traditional way, Happy Valentine's Day. Thank you for showing me unconditional love year round!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wonderful Wednesdays-A Blog Hop

I've had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a blog hop. Today, I am going to promote my newest book coming out in March, Letters of Love.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?
Letters of Love.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
My grandmother, a few years ago, gave me the letters my grandfather wrote to her while he was stationed in China during WWII.

What genre does your book fall under?
Historical fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That's a tough question. Sandra Bullock for Sophia's character. Ryan Reynolds as Tucker. Ben Affleck as Tozier. Julia Roberts as Lucia. Dick Van Dyke for Papa's character. Betty White for Nana's character.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When tragedy strikes in Sophia Philips life, will she find hope and healing through old letters from her grandfather to her grandmother?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published. This will be a first for me, so we will see how it goes.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About six months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Wedding dress and Love finds you in Glacier Bay. Not that I am saying my novel is as great as these two, but it would be the same idea/genre.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My grandparents. When my Nana told me about the letters and gave them to me as my inheritance, I knew immediately I was going to write a fictional story based off of them. It amazed me that after seventy years, she still had them!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This isn't only a story about letters, but about tragedy, pain, loss, healing, hope, and love. Come journey with me as we walk in Sophia and Lucia's shoes. Weep with them, find joy with them, and find healing.
Thank you for joining me today! I encourage you to go to these lovely ladies' blogs on February 20!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Want To Do It My Own Way by Staci Stallings

Staci Stallings guest blogs today! Welcome, Staci!

For those who don’t know, I teach Sunday school to fourth graders.  We have a very eclectic system at our church though it’s probably not designed to be that way.  Because of transient kids (with mom one week, with dad the next) and overall apathy (have kids that just don’t want to come and parents that don’t make them), we end up with classes that are hit-or-miss at best.  In any given week I have about 1/3 of the class that’s been there nearly every week, 1/3 that comes every other week, and 1/3 that just switch out depending on how they feel that morning; and about five that never show up.  This year I have done better.  In fact, we’ve gained several students over the year as new people moved in.
Because of this crazy patchwork of attendance, I feel an even greater responsibility to make class fun and interesting so the kids will want to come.  Yes, I still teach… A LOT.  But we don’t just read out of the book or do questions.  You lose them incredibly fast like that.  So that you start with 30 kids and end up with 5 by May.  This year, I still have about 20-24 in class every week, so I must be doing something right.
One of the things I do “right” is something I learned from a good friend of mine who teaches this age group in school.  When she taught Sunday school, she made it a point to have some activity every week.  I adopted this strategy, and it seems to have worked very well.
We do puzzles to explain how the Holy Spirit helps each person put their life together and then fits them all together into a bigger puzzle.  We do drinking glasses of water filled with dirt to understand sin.  We do a lot of plays and making decisions, mazes and even faith football.

A couple weeks ago, we did one of my daughter (my assistant)’s favorite lessons.  It’s the Jesus lesson.  My daughter gets to be Jesus.  She puts out three colors of cards in a row and then another row and then another row, all the way around the room.  Then we have a child come up.

They are told that they have to make the right “choice” of color on each row all the way around the room to get a prize.  “Ready.  Go.”
Jesus” stands in the corner and “judges” them after 10 steps.  If they didn’t get all 10 right, they have to sit down.

This year all the students wanted a chance at going around, so we let them.  One by one they were told by Jesus that they didn’t do it right, they missed the prize.  We’d gotten all the way down to two students left when I decided to give them a hint. A little girl came up.  Now this little girl was new by two weeks to the class.  She is very quiet, so I thought she would be a really good one to “help.”
I said to her, “Now there is someone here who knows the pattern and can get you all the way around to your prize.  Who is that?”

She thought for a minute and then said, “Jesus.”

I nodded, happy she understood the point of the lesson.  “See, all you have to do is ask Jesus for help.”

Then she did something truly remarkable, something I never in a million years expected.  She looked right at me and said, “But I want to do it on my own.”

Some Holy Spirit lessons hit you right between the eyes. That one sure did.

I said, “But Jesus will help you.  All you have to do is ask.”

But she shook her head, “But I want to do it on my own.”

Well… what do you say to that?  What does God say to us when we say that?

So I let her.  The Holy Spirit had this one planned out because other than Him, I still don’t know why I left that last little boy until the very last.  Common sense said to call everyone except the very last person.  Knowing I still had one person left, I said, “Okay, try it on your own.”

She got three steps before she messed up and had to go sit down.  (How far have you gotten?)

The little boy was about to jump out of his skin.  “I’ll ask Jesus!  I’ll ask Jesus!”

So I told him to come up, which he did, running and nearly knocking things down.  And he asked Jesus.  “Jesus, will you help me?”  Of course, Jesus smiled and said, “Of course.”

The little boy even understood not to tell Jesus to walk with him, but to LEAD him around the room to each correct choice.  Then all he had to do was watch where Jesus stepped and step there.  Of course he was the only one who got the prize.

However, I still get hung up on that little girl.  She knew the answer.  All she had to do was ask.  Yet she chose to try to do it herself knowing she wouldn’t make it.  Why?

And my other question:  How many of us do exactly the same thing in life?  We know the right answer is to ask God for help, but we’re too stubborn, too blind, or too prideful to ask Him.  I want to

do it on my own.
How many times have I said that?  How many times have you?

  Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a #1 Best Selling author and the co-founder a new website that gives Christian readers and authors a place to meet and fellowship. With a newsletter, a blog, a forum, and other exciting, inspiring areas to visit, CrossReads visitors can find fabulous Christian books they never knew existed. Come over on Feb. 12-14, and enter to win one of 169 virtual baskets of ebooks, gift cards, and other prizes!

Click here to enter the CrossReads Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love, Love, Love

Valentine's Week. A day people set aside to shower one another with gifts, flowers, and candy. Not my family, though. We wait until the day after, where everything is 50% off or more. My hubby and I started doing that shortly after we were married. One year, before our tradition began, he bought me a single red rose for over $25! I appreciated the thought, but that's just ridiculous! And so, our yearly tradition began.
Valentine's Day symbols the kind of love we ought to be sharing year round. Lately, Chris and I have been saying this to our boys, "Are you loving your neighbor as yourself?" If you think about it, we love ourselves quite a lot. Are we showing that kind of love to others? What about putting people's needs before our own? As a mom, we do this a lot. But, I can tell you, I don't do it with a loving attitude. I do it out of necessity. After all, if I decided when my boys were young that I was going to feed myself before I nursed them and made them suffer, that would seem cruel. So, I would take care of their needs and let my food get cold. Most mothers can attest to doing this. But how's my attitude? When I do things that are loving for my family or others, am I grumbling and complaining? That sort of takes away the action, doesn't it?
I can be honest and say it's hard to love others. It doesn't come naturally for most of us, yet we are called to do it. Truthfully, we are more than called, we're commanded. "Love as I have loved you." Hm. I do not exhibit Christ's love very much. An area I need to work on.
So this Valentine's Day and week, remember not to only love those when it is easy. But love others as we love ourselves, as Jesus loves us.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Go and Be

I was walking on my treadmill the other day, listening to my IPOD. Audio Adrenaline's "Go and Be" song came on. I love listening to the music I grew up on, and sometimes, I really pay attention to the words. This day, this song hit me pretty hard.
It's pretty much about being who God created you to be. Nothing less. Nothing more. Just be who God designed you to be. And that got me thinking...
I compare myself to other people all of the time. It's the plain and simple truth. And when I do that, I fall short, so short.
I have gorgeous sisters. If you were to see them, you'd agree. Three of my sisters are 5'10, long legged, skinny, and beautiful. My other sister is 5'6, got great curves, and a huge smile. My sister-in-law is equally as lovely! She's got great skin, is skinny, too, and I love her face. When I compare myself to these amazing creatures, I fall least in my opinion.
I'm an author. I've read outstanding works of fiction. I've read about how some writers make a lot of money, have a huge fan base, and are receiving awards left and right. My first novel sometimes makes me cringe. My second novel is a little better, but I flinch when I reread it because it could have, and should have, been so much better.
I'm a mom and a wife. I often read posts from facebook friends and see how much love and adoration they have for their kiddos. And I wonder, "Am I doing something wrong?" Why don't I always feel that way with my children?
So you see, I compare all the time. It's a struggle for me not to, yet one I am battling to overcome. I don't want to compare myself with other people. I really don't measure up when I do that.
But God has a different point of view. He doesn't want me to do this unhealthy act. The Bible tells me He knew me before I was created. He formed me into the person He desires me to be. God made me with my personality, with my talents, and with my looks. Granted, I've changed some of that with how much I weigh, but God knew I would always struggle with my weight. I just need to be carefule with what I put into my mouth, and make sure I exercise.
God sees me and loves me just as I am. He wants me to do what Audio A suggests, "Go and Be." Be who He created me to be. Be the woman who loves to write novels and novellas and learn from other authors (that's why I read a ton of learn). God doesn't want me to compare myself to other authors, He wants me to bring Him glory in the things I write. He wants me to be the mom who sees herself in her kiddos, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and love them as He loves me. He wants me to be the wife who my husband needs me to be, not who I think I should be.
So, while I may struggle with comparing myself to others, God draws me back to Him and His word. He has a plan and a purpose for me, for you. They are probably going to be very different, but that doesn't mean one is greater than the other. Today, I just wanted to encourage you to "Go and Be" who God designed you to be.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Amazing People I've Met Via The Internet

I've met some amazing people via facebook and being a guest on author blogs. Today, I thought I'd give a whopping Thank You! to these dear people!
Susan Fryman has been one of the biggest encouragers I've never had the opportunity to meet face to face. She's been a huge support in recommending my blog, lifting me up in prayer, and being excited to read my book. She's suggested I friend people on facebook to not only get to know them but to help promote me as an author. Truly a blessing!
Bonnie Blythe is another I've met via the web. She's not only an amazing author, but a wonderful mentor! Bonnie's guided me in regards to writing, and I am so thankful she is in my life! Any question I've had, I can immediately go to her, and she'll answer me pretty quickly. By the way, today is her birthday!
JoAnn Durgin is a fellow author, as well. I met her through Susan, and I'm blessed because of her! She's encouraged me when I've been frustrated, whether it be in my writing career or personal life. JoAnn's wonderful, and if you haven't read her books, I suggest you do, and get to know her!
Jason and Kristy Huddle are two more people I've never met in person, but have made a huge impact on my life. They gave me my first opportunity to get published. And my second. And my third. I don't know why, but they believed in me from the very beginning, publishing my first book I've ever written. They, too, answer any questions I have about publishing and that crazy world. They encourage me when I'm down and often lift me up when I am frustrated.
My critique partners are the best, as well! I met them through ACFW and without them, I wouldn't have grown so much as an author. Now, I have a huge ways to go with my writing, but these lovely ladies have challenged me, pushed me, and pretty told me in a gentle way my writing needed to improve. So thankful they work with me!
There are so many others I'm truly grateful for! I'm especially thankful for my readers, who, without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.
God bless each of you! I love you all so very much and am truly blessed by the Good Lord by you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

God and The Hobbit

What a great day my family and I had today. I love Sundays, especially when I don't have to work. Today, we treated my boys to a movie, The Hobbit. While I know there were several things in the movie that were not in the book, I really liked this movie. It was truly amazing! Let me tell you why.
The moment in the movie when Bilbo and the dwarves are tied up by the trolls and slowly being cooked, then are saved by blinding light and Gandalf really had me thinking. While Bilbo stalls the trolls to gain some time for the sun to rise, Gandalf comes to the rescue at what appears to be the very last moment.
But, oh, that's not all! No sir! Once again, the dwarves find themselves in a precarious position. They're in the cave of the goblins, Bilbo is MIA, and Gandalf is on the way to the dwarves, but they have no idea if or when he'll reach them. Just when the moment looks helpless, Gandalf shows up, causes light to break forth, and he shouts, "Take up your arms and fight!"
These two scenarios reminded me so much of Jesus. How many times have you been in the trenches, fighting your "trolls" with no way out, and God comes to the rescue? How about when you're in the darkest of caves, with no light shining? It seems so dark and hopeless that you just don't know if or when you will ever get out. Your enemy is surrounding you from every side, and truly, you feel like you're done for. But then, BAM! God shows up, shines His light in the eyes of your enemies, with enough of it to guide your way, and yells, "Take up your arms and fight! Don't give up or give in to despair!"
I love that about God, I really do! When I'm down and out, struggling to see the light, God shows up in His time and fights not only with me, but for me. He doesn't leave me alone, ever. And He doesn't do things in my time, ever. I can tell God what I want and when I want it, but that doesn't mean that's His plan. He sees the big picture while I only see a snippet of the snapshot.
Isn't it amazing? Now tell me, how has God rescued you? Not only by sending Jesus, but what else? When things were dark for you and you felt like your world was closing in, what did Jesus do to step in? I'm excited to find out!
Oh, and if you haven't seen The Hobbit, please do! I loved it! Can't wait for the next two!

Friday, February 1, 2013

So Many Winners!

What a fabulous time I've had hosting these wonderful authors! I've learned quite a bit about them, as I'm sure you have, too!
Thank you to all who left comments. It was great reading what you had to say. And now, here are the winners:

Starbuck's Gift Card-Celeste

Anita Higman's Book, Texas Wildflowers-Susan Fryman and Maggie Hotz

Jeanette Windle's Book Congo Dawn-Kim Broadwell

Darlene Franklin's Book, A Bride's Rogue in Roma, Texas-Paula Moldenhauer

K. Dawn Byrd Book, Something Beautiful-Davalyn Spencer

A.B. Brownell's Book, Joe the Dreamer-Kim Broadwell

Deana Klingel's book, Cracks in the Ice-Amanda Martinez

Daydreams by JoAnn Durgin-Diana

Silent Danger by Tiffany Colter -Jan Vincent

Unconditional by Tanya Eavenson-Susan Fryman

Please contact me at booksbyjoiatcopelandclandotcom so I can give these ladies either your address or email. I look forward to hearing from you!