Thursday, August 22, 2013

For Those Who'd Rather Stay in Bed - Book Review by Lorilyn Roberts of Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache, by Alice J. Wisler

Book Review by Lorilyn Roberts
 
For those who'd rather stay in bed, put this book on your nightstand and read it. As a Christian sojourner, I have walked my own Via Dolorosa. I couldn't imagine during my lowest moments that anyone would understand my pain or sorrow. I would cry myself to bed at night pouring over the Psalms, the only book of the Bible that I had the strength to read.

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache will help anyone who loves deeply and grieves deeply. If your pain is so overwhelming that you are having difficulty coping, get this book. God won't abandon you, but having resources to help you through your sorrow can be healing and comforting. I wish I'd had this book to read. I found myself remembering - memories I had actually forgotten, which is a good thing, but without God's healing on my heart, I could have been stuck without experiencing God's power to overcome that pain.

Getting out of Bed in the Morning will help anyone who is struggling to get beyond the pain - anyone who wants to give up, or sees no reason to go on living. There can be nothing more painful than losing a child, and while I haven't experienced that, I have come close, walking a road where I wasn't sure of the outcome, and I have lost others in my life through death and divorce. Grief has no preferences for status, race, or gender - it visits all of us at some point. Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache will help you to transform your hopeless grief into a grief that will bring healing.

I highly recommend Getting out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache to anyone who is suffering now, to anyone who might suffer in the future, or to anyone who has suffered in the past. Wherever you are on your own Via Dolorosa, you can be encouraged and reminded by Alice J. Wisler's Reflections of Comfort in Heartache that God is faithful, no matter what. Hearing it from someone who has walked that difficult road and loves God even more is a gift worth reading. 

Get your copy of Getting out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache here from Amazon: http://bit.ly/get_out_of_bed 


From Alice J. Wisler:

"For over twenty years, I've written for magazines and devotionals. Writing is what I love to do.

I also travel the country and teach Writing the Heartache Workshops at seminars and conferences. I'm a big advocate for writing through sorrow. I founded Daniel's House Publications after the death of my four-year-old son Daniel in 1997. Helping others cope with grief is important to me.

My days are spent writing novels, blogging (I have three blogs), reviewing books, writing for a variety of magazines and websites, crafting my two newsletters, and teaching grief-writing courses both online and at conferences.

My five published novels are: RAIN SONG, HOW SWEET IT IS, HATTERAS GIRL and A WEDDING INVITATION (all by Bethany House) and STILL LIFE IN SHADOWS (River North).

My devotional, GETTING OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache(Leafwood Publishers), is my tribute to my son Daniel and in praise of a God who sustains us on our journey.

In addition, I've taught English as a Second Language in my birthplace of Japan, worked as a social worker, a cake decorator, and taught English in a refugee camp in the Philippines. I was an office manager at a non-profit for education and worked at a portrait studio.

Specialties: I can sing Go Hiromi's "Otoko to onnanoko" at any Karaoke event. I enjoy creating Asian dishes in my kitchen. Most of all, I enjoy conversations over cups of hot Earl Grey."


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How Do You Combine Tim Tebow and Crockpot Chili or Pigs in a Blanket and JRR Tolkien?


EXCERPT FROM FOOD FOR THOUGHT: QUICK AND EASY RECIPES FOR HOMESCHOOLING FAMILIES
 
 


QUICK AND EASY DINNERS
 
FOOD FOR THOUGHT




 

 
 
 
Want to combine homeschooling and feed rice to the hungry? Visit http://freerice.com/user/login. After creating an account, your son (or daughter) can enjoy playing word games. Each time a child answers a question correctly, donations from generous website sponsors purchase ten grains of rice. This is a great way to end world hunger, improve your child’s vocabulary, and increase your child’s awareness and sensitivity to those who face starvation.

 


 

SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE 
6 SERVINGS
 
1 large onion
1 green pepper – chopped
1 cup frozen Italian meatballs, sliced
1 three-ounce package pepperoni – chopped
1 32-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1 2 3/4-ounce  jar  mushrooms
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 12-ounce box Spaghetti noodles
 
Defrost meatballs, slice, and add onions, peppers, pepperoni, sauce and mushrooms. Simmer about 20 minutes. Cook noodles. Spray casserole pan with Pam. Layer spaghetti noodles first. Top with meat. Finish with cheese on top of meat. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 20 minutes.
 
 
 
 
 
SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE 
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
 
“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” 
Psalm 34:8
 

 

I need some reviews on Amazon. If you would like a free Kindle book or print copy, I will send you a free book in exchange for an honest review on Amazon. Just leave a comment and let me know. I am hoping for ten reviewers in the next couple of weeks! To order the book yourself, here are the links. Kindle version is on the left for 99 cents, for a limited time. Print version is on the right.




Monday, August 19, 2013

Found Adrift By Pauline Creeden, Guest Post

TITLE: CrossReads Book Blast: Found Adrift by Pauline Creeden
Found Adrift By Pauline Creeden

About the Book

Welcome fellow drifter. I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted. If God set me in a rowboat on the water and told me to pay attention and not let myself drift too far from the shoreline, I’m sure I’d be in the middle of the lake before I realized I’d drifted from the shore. Then sitting in the middle of that lake, I’d realize I didn’t have a paddle. And sometimes I feel so far away that no one on the shore could possibly hear me. Have you ever been there? If you have ever been distracted by your daily life and suddenly looked up and found yourself far behind where you should be in your walk with God, then you are a drifter like me. This devotional is your paddle.
About Pauline Creeden
Pauline Creeden picIn simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.
Follow Pauline Creeden

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Does God Allow Others to Take Away Our Dreams

Excerpt from Children of Dreams by Lorilyn Roberts



…the children of the promise
Romans 9:8

“I took away her dreams,” my husband told the judge on September 4, 1986. Humanly speaking, he might have thought so. In John 8:44, Satan is described as the “Father of lies.” Satan’s desire was to destroy me, to make me doubt God’s love and goodness. In my pain, I believed a lie, much like the children believed Aslan was dead in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

But there is a higher law, a law that governs the universe, that supersedes every human sin and evil that attempts to corrupt God’s perfection. Our heavenly Father, who is full of grace and mercy, works out His purposes despite the evil one that lurks in the shadows. No human being has the power to thwart God’s ultimate plan. He works in spite of the prince of this world and uses everything for His glory. Nothing is ever wasted, whether it is disease, affliction, corruption, greed, lies, or betrayal. Jesus is our ultimate example of being perfect and commanded us in Matthew 5:48 to “Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father in heaven is perfect.”


God’s incredible love for us is even more astounding when one considers He was under no obligation to adopt us. He could have treated us as angels, making us spiritually alive through regeneration, and justifying us under the law through His death and resurrection. (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich, 1994, 738-739) But to adopt us and call us His children, to call Himself our Father, displays an intimacy in our relationship that defies, in my limited understanding, all logic. Why would the Creator of the universe want to be our Father? Even Albert Einstein, for all his genius, could not understand God as a personal God. (Hugh Ross, Ph.D., The Creator and the Cosmos, Colorado Springs, Col: Navpress, 2001, 75.)

Just as I signed a contract and made a down payment to adopt my children before I left for Nepal and Vietnam, God has given us “His Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:22).

On July 26, 2000, we made a memorable trip to the Alachua County Courthouse to finalize Joy’s adoption. A few years earlier, I had taken Manisha to the same place to finalize hers. Both of my children’s adoption decrees are now sealed and kept safe, just as my adoption paper is sealed in heaven, waiting for Jesus to open and reveal my inheritance.


I renamed my children Hope and Joy, and God promises to give us a new name, “known only to him who receives it” (Rev 2:17). The adoption of my children represents a foreshadowing of what God has in store for all of us.

Much of the meaning of being a child of God has yet to be revealed because it’s in the future. It is hard to comprehend the King giving me heavenly possessions that will never break, become outdated, cost too much, get lost, or that I don’t have to return because they are defective. In my limited understanding, I have tried to imagine a world where there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev 21:4); where the dwelling of God will be among us and He will wipe away every tear (Rev 21:4); where every kind of precious stone forms the foundation of the heavenly city which is paved in gold (Rev 21:19).

How can we envision perfection when all we have known is imperfection? God longs to be our Father, to share His inheritance with us, just as I longed to be an orphan’s mother. God planned us to be part of His family from the foundations of the world. He made us for His glory and “set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecc 3:11). He will give us new bodies that will never grow old or die, but will be raised imperishable (I Cor 15:42).

I am sure if I told my children, “You can go back to Vietnam or Nepal and live your former way of life before I adopted you,” they would turn it down. Why would they want to go back to depravity and worms and hunger? In our heavenly home, the old order of things will have passed away (Rev 21:4) and the former things will not be remembered (Isaiah 65:17).

Before I adopted my two beautiful daughters, it was hard to imagine what it would like to be a mother. I dreamed about little girls and birthday parties, Christmas trees and toys, bear hugs and butterfly kisses, and my name transformed into the magical word “Mommy.” Through prayer and God’s faithfulness, what seemed impossible became real. And so it will be someday with us and our heavenly Father.
 



 
Hebrews 11:1 says that “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” God knows how we are formed and remembers we are dust (Psalm 103:14). Jesus said when we pray, to call God “Our Father.” The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). God compares Himself to a father having compassion on his children. (Psalms 103:13). Our heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave us His only begotten Son (John 3:16), and He has made us heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Even creation itself will be liberated when we are brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (Romans 8:21). Through adoption, God gave me my “Children of Dreams” and quenched the desires of my heart (Psalms 37:4). With God, our heavenly Father, before the foundations of the world, He made us His “Children of Promise.” (Romans 9:8 and Galatians 4:28)

Revelation 5: 9-10

Here is the new song they sang.
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and break open its seals.
 
 
 
You are worthy because you were put to death.
With your blood you bought people for God.
They come from every tribe, language, people and nation.
10 You have made them members of a royal family.
You have made them priests to serve our God.
They will rule on the earth.”
 
 
___________
 
 



Children of Dreams is being showcased by the John 3:16 Marketing Network as part of their August Book Launch Event. Be sure to visit http://bit.ly/Christian_Books for a chance to win a Kindle, a $25 gift card and a $10 Starbucks card, as well as purchase Children of Dreams.
 
 
Lorilyn's two daughters on Broadway with movie star Zachary Levi, "First Date"
 

Lorilyn Roberts is a Christian author who writes children's picture books, adult nonfiction, memoirs, and a young adult Christian fantasy series, Seventh Dimension.

Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama, which included international study in Israel and England. She received her Masters in Creative Writing from Perelandra College and is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature.

Lorilyn is the founder of the John 316 Marketing Network, a network of Christian authors who are passionate about promoting books with a Christian worldview.

To learn more about Lorilyn, please visit her website at http://lorilynroberts.com or blog at http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com. You can follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/lorilynroberts

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

...Ask the Animals, and They Will Teach You - Job 12:7

Children of Dreams
Excerpt
By Lorilyn Roberts


 ...ask the animals, and they will teach you - Job 12:7


My mind flashed back to when I was young. I was awakened by a big white dog licking me in my face and jumping all over my bed. As I tried to open my eyes from what I thought was a dream, my mother said, “This is Gypsy. We are going to keep her.”

Gypsy was the friend I longed for but didn’t have. When I came home from school, she would greet me at the door with her tail wagging. I walked her, fed her, and played with her. After we returned from each walk, I would announce how many times she had used the bathroom, both number one and number two, as if to validate I was the best dog walker in the world. I even cleaned up after her when she threw up so nobody would know.

Gypsy was a stray. The night before she jumped on me in bed she had snuck into the house with my dad. She was God’s gift to me. We were inseparable.

One afternoon I arrived home from school and knew something was wrong. She didn’t greet me at the door like she usually did and I ran through the house frantically looking for her.
“She’s gone,” my mother and father told me. “She won’t be back. The manager of the apartment came and took her away.”

“Where did they take her?” I cried.

“The manager said they would dump her off on the road somewhere far from here. You know the apartment complex doesn’t allow dogs.”

I ran out of the room and up the stairs to my bedroom. My mind was flooded with memories of the most important thing in my little world. My heart was broken, confused, and hurting. Gypsy was gone.

That night bolts of thunder crashed outside my bedroom. Lightning pierced through the window shades. I imagined Gypsy in the darkness. I could feel her white warm fur against my skin and see her dark, brown eyes pleading for me to come get her. I cried into my pillow as peels of thunder bounced off the walls. If Gypsy ever found her way back, I vowed to run away with her. I would never let anybody take her from me again.

But the next day came and went and she didn’t return. I went to school each day hoping for the impossible, that somehow she could find her way back from wherever they dumped her.

It was Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. We were packing things up to go visit my new father’s family in North Carolina. My mother had recently remarried. I kept looking up the hill in front of the apartment, imagining that she would come running down the street any minute. I knew it would be impossible, but still I hoped. I made one last trip to my bedroom. The car was loaded and we were ready to leave. I picked up my pillow and thought of the first morning she licked me on the face in bed.

“Please, Gypsy, come back to me. You need a home and someone to love you. I need you.”
I walked out the door of our apartment to get into the car. I glanced one last time up the hill. Out of nowhere, suddenly, there was something white. Was it, could it be—I dropped my pillow and started running up the hill. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, my mind racing to think what seemed like the impossible. It couldn’t be—but it was.

Gypsy ran frantically toward me, tattered, dirty, and exhausted. Somehow she had miraculously found her way home through the raging storm. After being lost for days in the cold November nights, miles from our home, Gypsy had done the impossible. She had found her way back to me.

“Gypsy!” I cried. I crouched down to grab her as she jumped into my arms, holding her tightly around the neck, crying and rejoicing all at the same time. My dog was lost, but now she was found.

“I will never let go of you,” I promised. She squealed with delight and licked my face. For the first time in my young life, I knew there had to be a God.

**



Children of Dreams is being showcased by the John 3:16 Marketing Network as part of their August Book Launch Event. Be sure to visit http://bit.ly/Christian_Books for a chance to win a Kindle, a $25 gift card and a $10 Starbucks card, as well as to purchase Children of Dreams.

**

Lorilyn Roberts is a Christian author who writes children's picture books, adult nonfiction, memoirs, and a young adult Christian fantasy series, Seventh Dimension.

Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama, which included international study in Israel and England. She received her Masters in Creative Writing from Perelandra College and is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature.

Lorilyn is the founder of the John 316 Marketing Network, a network of Christian authors who are passionate about promoting books with a Christian worldview.


To learn more about Lorilyn, please visit her website at http://lorilynroberts.com or blog at http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com. You can follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/lorilynroberts

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Excerpt from Keeper of Reign, Book 1, by Emma Right, Guest Post


Excerpt from Keeper of Reign Book 1

 

A Young Adult/ Middle Grade Adventure Fantasy

 

Guest Post by Emma Right

 
 

 

Jules said, “We need a plan. Let’s check what’s missing.” He rushed to the hearth and pried the loose brick to the side. He reached his arm deep and thought he felt the soft nap of the pouch but then he jerked his hand back out and sucked on his finger.” Ouch!” 

Ralston said, “We can’t afford to lose your pouch—maybe the only way to buy things if we have to look for Mom or Dad.” 

Jules glared at him. 

Ralston said, “What’s wrong?” 

Jules reached back into the hole, this time less enthusiastically. “Something sharp.” When he pulled it out he stared at the shard of glass in his hand. “Hold this, Rals.” 

Ralston held the sharp edge gingerly. “Is it yours?” 

“Would I put something sharp like that to cut myself up?” Jules then brought out his pouch, and sighed. He gave its contents a quick peek and slipped the soft pouch into his cloak pocket. 

“It’s a good thing the burglars missed that,” Ralston said. “Should we toss this?” He passed the shard to Jules who turned it over. 

“Some words here.” He read, “‘—ook within.’ What’s that mean?”

 

 

Keeper of Reign Book 1 trailer http://bit.ly/Keeper_of_Reign_Book_Trailer

What reviewers are saying:  Overall, I definitely enjoyed the book and would recommend it to fantasy lovers. Fallen Angel  |  22 reviewers made a similar statement

Emma Right did an excellent job with the character development. Larry B. Gray  |  19 reviewers made a similar statement

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, and I look forward to any sequels. Morgan Chase  |  10 reviewers made a similar statement

 


Emma Right is a happy wife and Christian homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and His Word deeply, and when she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.  

Emma worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and is the recipient of several awards.

 
Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win prizes as part of the August John 3:16 Marketing Network book launch.


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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Brother Half Angel - the Persecuted Christian - Guest Post by Martin Roth


Guest Post by Martin Roth
 
 
 
"Brother Half Angel" – Fighting for Persecuted Christians

What does a writer do when current events overtake the novel he is writing? In my case I just kept on writing, guessing (correctly) that eventually the status quo would be restored.

It happened a couple of years ago, while I was writing “Festival in the Desert,” the fourth in my "Brother Half Angel" series of international thrillers.

"Brother Half Angel" is a rough-diamond military commando who was once a leader of the Korean equivalent of the SEALS, but was forced to quit after an operation went tragically wrong, cutting off his forearm (and slicing in half his angel tattoo).

He is also a Christian with a passion for justice, and is now the leader of a clandestine group dedicated to helping the persecuted church.

I personally believe that the growing levels of persecution of Christians in the world today – particularly in Muslim countries – is one of the big issues facing the church today. I am continually shocked and disturbed that so few Christians really seem to know much about the continuing – and intensifying – threats against our brothers and sisters in so many parts of the world. I write my novels at least in part to educate my fellow Christians about these matters.

“Festival in the Desert” is set at a fictional mission hospital on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Mali, West Africa. It is under attack from Islamist extremists.

How many Christians know that Mali and surrounding countries constitute one of the key battlegrounds for Al Qaeda and related Islamist groups? Boko Haram, responsible for killing thousands in Nigeria, is just one of those groups.

This is why, according to a recent report in the Baptist Press, fully 70 per cent of the Christians killed worldwide in 2012 were Nigerians, making that country the most lethal place for Christians by a huge margin.

Here is an excerpt from “Festival in the Desert” –

“Drugs is just one of the problems,” said Dr Becker. “And it is getting worse, according to the embassy briefing I’ve received. We all know that the Sahara has become the transit point for shipments from South America, heading for Europe. That’s not new. But the big problem, the main problem now, is Al Qaeda. They are increasingly active. They are targeting this whole region. The whole of West Africa. All these traditionally moderate Muslim countries. They view them as a place for expansion. They are trying to radicalize the people. That’s why we see them in the markets more and more. Talking to local people.”

“It’s also all these new Saudi-sponsored mosques in town,” said Dr Steyn. “There’s more than a dozen of them. All recent. They send their imams from Saudi Arabia. Telling the women they have to wear veils and the men that they have to stop drinking alcohol and stop talking to people of other religions.”

“Yes, that’s exactly right. And according to the briefing I received, both Al Qaeda and the new mosques are recruiting young men, sending them off for training at madrassas in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. These men come back home with radically new beliefs. They’re not tolerant any more. They hate the West, hate America, hate Christians.”

Dr Becker paused and glanced around. He looked a forlorn figure, with his white hair and lined face and wire-rimmed spectacles that sat at the end of his nose. “And then there are the Tuaregs. Thousands of them were forced to escape from Libya after the fall of Gaddafi, and now they’re back home, heavily armed and stirring up trouble. They’ve renewed their war of liberation against the government.”

 “Are they a threat to us?”

“They’re a threat to everyone. They say they want self-rule. But a lot of criminal elements are involved as well. They’re involved in kidnap. Extortion. Whatever. Westerners will always be a target. And they are all mixed up together.”

“Who are?”

“Al Qaeda. The Tuaregs. The drug dealers. Sometimes they’re enemies, fighting each other. But sometimes they’re friends, when it suits them. This whole region is becoming a lawless Wild West.” He looked at Bobby, the only American in the room, as if he were somehow responsible for all lawless Wild Wests around the world.

“So what does all this mean?” asked Dr Ryu.

“It means our hospital is a target.”
******
 
 

It was as I was completing the book that news came through that Tuaregs – the traditional desert nomads of the Sahara – had rebelled against the Malian government and captured about half the country, including the region where my fictional mission hospital was located. They were supported by elements of Al Qaeda, who quickly moved against all churches and Christians in the region. They certainly would have closed down my hospital.

My book was nearly done. I decided not to try to accommodate the new realities. I could not believe that Western powers would allow Al Qaeda to take over half a country. I was right. Eventually the French government sent in soldiers, who appear to have recaptured most of the region.

But the persecution of Christians continues. Just this month Islamists massacred several dozen teachers and students at a school in northern Nigeria. Sadly, Brother Half Angel is not ready to retire.
 
 
Martin Roth is a veteran journalist and foreign correspondent whose reports from Asia have appeared in leading publications around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and The Guardian. He is the author of many books.

His "Brother Half Angel" international thrillers focus on the persecuted church. They feature Brother Half Angel, an abrasive former military man who heads a clandestine new military order that is dedicated to fighting for the rights of persecuted Christians around the world.

The five books in the series are "The Coptic Martyr of Cairo," "Brother Half Angel," "The Maria Kannon," "Military Orders" and "Festival in the Desert."

He is also the author of the Johnny Ravine private eye series, with "Prophets and Loss," "Hot Rock Dreaming" (Australian Christian Book of the Year finalist) and "Burning at the Boss," and the Feisty Ferreira series of financial thrillers - "Tokyo Bossa Nova" and "The Kalgoorlie Skimpy."

He lives in Australia with his Korean wife and three sons.

You can find out more about Martin at www.authormartinroth.com.

 
***
 
As part of the John 3:16 Marketing Network August Book Launch Event, be sure to visit http://bit.ly/Christian_Books for a chance to win a Kindle, a $25 gift card and a $10 Starbucks card. Learn more about our featured books also and free books offered from time to time.