Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Things, Things, and More Things

It's been a little while since I last posted. 
All thanks to my computer, sadly. I'm trying out the mobile app... Ladies and gents, don't take your computer for granted. Mobile devices are mini computers, which means 1/8 of what a real computer can do. Ha ha. 
Due to the current circumstances, links will be posted in full HTML, but I will try to keep them minimal. Once I get computer access again I will go back and fix all links! Until then, look out for these "*" beside titles. That means there is a link at the bottom of the post. 

So here is an update on what I've been doing. One of which I am most excited about! 

Reading "The Butterfly and the Violin" by Kristy Cambron. I cannot wait to tell you about this book! I'm afraid if I say anything more right now I will spill the whole beans for my review! So for now I will just say... Wonderful. 

*clears throat*

Even more exciting news. I am co-authoring a novel! That's right. It's a new adventure and I've been overwhelmingly blessed with a spectacular partner. Would you like to know who it is? 

Bri of Bri's Literary Giants* blog 

Though we are just in the beginning stages of our novel, I grow excited about it every day! I can't wait for you all to see what we have in store. I can't say anymore about it at this time. Except... it will be Epic! 

Of course, we will keep you posted as things progress. Keep your eyes out for updates!

Until next time everyone! God bless!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin


Cover Description

Finding each other was only the beginning . . . 

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.

It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to get involved with one of the locals.

Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow--no dating for a year--but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he's met Kate Darby. . . .

My Review

This book looked really good when I read the description you see up above, but I wasn't expecting it to become one of my favorites! 

One of the first things I loved about this book was the involvement of Leona, Kates grandmother. Usually such characters get left in the background throughout the story but not this one. From the very beginning you meet Leona in her log cabin, talking to God about and wishing she could help her sweet granddaughter find and accept him into her heart as she had many years ago. That's when everything changes, Leona is in the hospital from a stroke, Kate holding on to the edge of a cliff for dear life, rescued by this handsome of a stranger named Nick. But through the rest of the book you get to hear Leona's thoughts and read the journal she is writing for Kate of her experiences with the Condors and how she came to trust in God with her life. 

Kate Darby was an inspirational character, especially for those who still have doubts or cling to our so called securities: job, finances, home, etc,. When in reality it's fear of change and trust that keeps us at arms length. It's funny, you can't really talk about this book as just one persons journey, it's really about three. Leona, Kate, and Nick. 

Nick was one of my favorite of all characters. I even loved his brother, Sam. Before Nick accepted Christ into his life he lived the life the world calls us to live but when something happens he sees differently and calls on God to change his life the way He wants him to live. He doesn't call it easy, he doesn't glam it up, but in Kate's eyes she seems him as a hero on a pedestal that can do no wrong. But he knows he is no hero and that she needs Jesus in her life before he jumps into it. He could never take the place of Jesus and he continues to see that hero gleam in Kate's eyes and that worry's him. His faith is tested as well when he has to hand Kate over to God's care when he so desperately wants to be there for Kate in a time when only God can take care of her.

Through the rest of the book you see both Kate and Nick struggle with trust, which I think is one of the main focal points in this book. Trusting God when we don't know what's going to happen or where our life is headed or with the things that are just simply out of our control. God has it under control. Until I Found You is a beautiful, heartfelt, true love story with believable characters and in-depth meaning on what it means when we choose to follow Christ. 

I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of their Blogging For Books program.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Altar-Cation: A Call to Prayer

I'm sure many of you have heard of the Ebola breakout in Africa on the news. I'm sure you've also heard of the the medical missionaries who have been stricken by this awful virus. I first heard about Dr. Kent Brantly when KLove Radio announced that he had the chance of getting ill but then the next morning I hear on the news that he had indeed become infected. I quickly prayed for him and his family.

I caught a cold the other day and as I was jokingly whining to my sisters about how much I hate being sick, God whispered, "at least that is all you have." He was right. I felt humbled and began praying immediately again for Dr. Brantly and his family, as well as the people who are now infected and dying from something much more serious than my little summer cold. 

Something really hit me last night though. As I was scrolling through Facebook I saw friends posting links from ABCNews and other news links about Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly who are ill with the virus and how they are coming home to America. I'm sure these people's families are glad to have their loved ones home even if they aren't quite together yet. At least they aren't thousands and thousands of miles away. However, it wasn't the news of the virus coming to America coming here that drew my attention and concern. Comments from people about the news is what took me by surprise.

"Greaaaattt." and "Pull out the masks, Atlanians."

Echoes of "We don't want you here" resounded in my subconscious. The same way people might have said or thought about Leapers in Jesus's day. Those are the mildest of comments on this matter but I didn't dare look through the rest. It would've broken my heart. I'm sure some people don't think there words will ever  really be seen or heard by anyone, but they are wrong. People hear, people see, and people follow. I'm all for not getting sick. Believe me, I hate it just as much as the next folk. But what has happened to us, as Christians? That all we think about is ourselves, our comfort, our own well being above that of our brothers and sisters? 

I ask: Would you really condemn them for doing what God called them, as missionaries, to do because it makes you uncomfortable when calamity happens? Of course, this virus is nothing to sneeze at.  I believe in taking precautions and it should be taken seriously... then why aren't we standing together as the Christian soldiers we claim to be and turning to God with all this? Why aren't we praying, asking him to heal those who are sick and protect those who aren't? Why are we closing our arms when we should be spreading them wide open? So, as long as they aren't right next door it's okay to send our prayers out to them without restraints, with full compassion and understanding? Instead, groans fill the air and people draw back into their shells. Taking all our support and prayers with them. Why are we so quick to give our opinions and decisions but forget to put our trust in God?

Jesus hung around sick people ALL THE TIME! People with illness's just as serious back then or more than what we face today. Back then there were no vaccine's to help, no comfortable beds to lie your head on as you rested and became well again. No, instead, you would be cast out, ostracized, cut off from the community, your family and friends. Have we put all our faith within human limits, which we know fails, and lost all faith in The Almighty who never fails?

I spent many hours writing this because I truly felt God calling me to share these words. This is not a rant. This is not a blame game. These fingers are not pointing at you, these hands are crying out, "Lift up! Lift them up to the sky!" Rather than moaning and casting stones, praise God for not being ill stricken like these people in Africa. Praise God that you are not suffering through a loved one who has fallen ill like these families are experiencing right now. Praise God that he is with us ALWAYS! 

God says, "giver your worries to me for I care for you." He is not just saying, "I care about you and you're well being." He is saying, "I will take care of you".

Those are action words. 

We need to act as well. Don't just say, "I am praying for [insert your prayers]" but truly do it as often in your day as you can, and then some. Do it when your washing the dishes, driving to work, playing with your family. Steal as many moments of prayer as you can. No one needs to know how much your praying either. Just talk to God as if you were talking to your brother or sister, husband and wife, friends. 
"But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you." ~Matthew 6:6 (NLT)

We are followers of Christ. Let's gather together and not let the devil get a foothold in our hearts and our country. Let's take up our cross and instead of groaning and constantly worrying, pray for God's healing and protection and then believe he will do it!

Honestly, all these dystopian movies Hollywood is producing and these books being published, it's setting a fear in peoples hearts that wasn't meant to be there. Will the world end one day, yes! Read Revelations to find the truth, because all those movies and books are nothing but man-made fiction intended to scare you. 

See this diagram below? The top example shows the switch; it looks like a door to me. What if that is the door we are allowing the Devil to put his foot through? If you know anything about electricity and circuitry I applaud you When its open it stops the flow of positive energy and it can't reach the light bulb.

However, when that switch is closed the light bulb comes to life. Much is the same for our way of faith. If we let the devil get a foothold into our life and into our hearts the positive energy gets disrupted and it can't reach its destination. It can't light up the darkness.
"Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous." ~Psalms 112:14 (NLT)
"No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house." ~Matthew 5:15 (NLT)
Let's close the door on Satan and let God's current of life, love, flow through us and shine his wondrous light in this world blinded by fear. Let's bring our worries and cares before the altar of The Lamb. Let's encourage those around us not to be afraid and rest in the assurance of Christ. Because I believe even the least negativity is still negative.

Lets pray over the souls we have yet to meet but who need healing, physically and spiritually. Because if they believe and have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior then even if their, or your, bodies, perish here on earth their spirits move on to be with God forever in Heaven. Let's not forget who we are. We are children of God, his warriors, his cherished and beloved ones. He loves us and we need constant communication with Him if we hope to see change in the world. If we truly believe in God and his love than what do we really have to be afraid of? 

Prayer Starter: Dear Jesus, we ask you to be with Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol. They were out there helping those less than they and were attacked with this awful virus. Heal them of this sickness, fully and completely. We know they are coming home and people are worried they might get sick as well. Keep them safe from harm Lord and put their minds at ease because I know you are with us. Change the hearts of those who are worried and help them welcome these missionaries home. 
Have compassion on the people in Africa and have mercy on them. Show them your loving kindness through the midst of this tragedy and pain. Help us to not act out wrongly in fear and to trust you more with our lives. In Jesus name we pray, Amen. 

Authors Note: I got the idea for the title of this post as I was thinking about bringing our worries before the Lord. How we bring our burdens to the altar and the word Altercation came up. Altercation means to have a loud disagreement. So I played on the words. I looked up "Cation" and it is the positive ION charge in things like batteries. I think you can piece together the rest from how the post went. God didn't just have me write this post but had me praying the entire time. For the peopling coming to the US, their families, and for all of you out there reading and not reading this. I don't think I've ever felt quite that way before. Have a wonderful day!