Monthly Archives: December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Our family: standing – Gary, Me with Gracie, Lindsay and Chloe, Josh Valerio, sitting Kamie Tierce, and Evan

 

Peace out. See you in 2013!

 

 

Looking for a Hero?

Today my guest is Naty Matos with her Christmas novella.

In life we all are in need of a hero. As we face the difficulties we look for a way out. We want a path that will set our journey in a better direction. So we look around for someone to guide that journey. We don’t want empty words of someone who has not been in our situations. We don’t want the counsel of those who speak out of their minds and not their experiences. We want someone who has been in our shoes and has been able to overcome.
But one thing I’ve noticed is that most of our heroes fail. They overcome dire situations and we think we can look up to them. All of the sudden something happens where they do something that we didn’t expect and they disappoint us. The word of God alert us of placing our faith in humans that will fail us in Psalm 146:3 when he tells us “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.”

In the direst moment of my life I found a hero. A hero who could I relate to. Who was able to show me a new way of life. See, when I heard about salvation I used to ask, why do I need a savior? What do I need to be saved from? I discovered that I had to be saved from a life of sin, from living life the wrong way. I needed to learn to live the right way to stop the pain that I thought it was normal to live. And sometimes I needed to be saved from myself.

After years of banging my head against the wall without results and decided that maybe I should try something else, something different. I found a hero that had lived the things I had lived. He was lied to, mistreated and abused. He was rejected and taken advantage of. The difference between him and I was that I had brought some of those things upon myself. He had done nothing to deserve that treatment. He was sinless as it states in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” He even loved me to the point of teaching me how to lead a different path in life. Now that’s a hero, I can believe in and follow.

By now you probably have figured out that Jesus is my hero. Since I’ve followed his path he’s never let me down. He has made my life worth living and given me a better quality one. So, have you been struggling? Have you been trying all sorts of things and nothing seems to work? Then maybe is time to try one last time. Try the one who loves you no matter what you’ve done. The one who will satisfy your life. Remember that it’s worth making this decision. The bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” How great it is that he is able to do for us way more than we can imagine, way more than we deserve.

It’s time to try the way of Jesus Christ!

Check out my new novella “Season’s Greetings from Amelia” available now on Kindle, Smashwords and Nook. This great novella brings mystery, suspense and the best stocking stuffer for your favorite e-reader. You can get your copy for just 0.99 cents only during the month of December.

Book Description
Daisy has the perfect life, beautiful children and a wonderful husband. And Christmas is right around the corner. Tis the season to be jolly… Or is it?
Daisy’s life is flipped upside down by strange letters that are sent to her by her best friend, Amelia. And as her life continues to quickly spiral out of control, she realizes that something BIG is about to happen. Can she put aside her confusion, hurt, and anger in order to solve a mystery that may have a horrific ending????
Can Daisy’s life ever return to normal regardless to whether she does or doesn’t?

Author Bio
Naty Matos was born in the city of New York. She grew up in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.
Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics atwww.therisingmuse.com

Copyright © The Rising Muse 2012

Free Book for the broken-hearted, “Trusting God When Bad Things Happen”

 

From Bev: Today I’m hosting my friend, Shelley Hitz, who is offering her short book of comfort for free. We pray you are blessed, and find encouragement by her words. Here’s Shelley.

When bad things happen, what is your reaction? Do you trust God even when you don’t understand?

There was a dark season in my life when it literally felt like an earthquake had occurred. Everything in my life seemed to be falling apart…my family, my finances, our church. And I asked God the simple question, “Why?” This book is the result of my own search for answers. In the end, God gave me illustrations that I will share with you and brought healing to my heart and my distorted view of Him. I was able to trust Him again, even though my circumstances had not changed.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world!” – John 16:33 

One Reader’s Response:

This book has Biblical answers to the ‘Why?’ we are hearing so much today after the shooting tragedy in Connecticut. Thank you, Shelley, for the timeliness and wisdom.” ~Barbara

 Download This Book for Free

For anyone interested, you can download the book “Trusting God When Bad Things Happen” FREE this month.

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263666

100% Off Coupon Code: HB95F

Expires: January 1, 2013

 

This book is also available for $0.99 on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ALLQW5A

 

Please feel free to share this book and coupon code with anyone you think could benefit from the topic.

Christmas Bells, free on Kindle!

Christmas Bells will be free on Kindle from December 13-15th!

A Christmas Eve blizzard strands dozens of tourists like a bad episode of Survivor:Cherryvale on Grace’s wedding anniversary no less. Instead of directing the Christmas pageant, and hibernating to spend an evening alone with her husband, Grace must scramble to feed and house the multitudes. When she challenges a troubled young soldier fleeing mistakes she’s made with her own family, Grace is reminded of the real meaning of Christmas.
What are reviewers saying?
From Amazon:
  • “I can not tell you enough that you MUST read this story! It is just the thing to bring you up if you’re down, to warm your heart in a cold world, and to brighten your Christmas!”
  • “I loved the Cherryvale characters and holiday moments!”
  • “I loved how the book ended…literally gave me chills. A heart warming and inspirational read. Recommended!”
From Goodreads:
  • “Some quirky, but realistic characters, and some heartfelt issues make this a sweet book in a Christmas themed spirit!”
Merry Christmas!
Main Street Cherryvale – before its blanket of snow

 

An unplanned pregnancy?

Today I’m honored to host Deborah Heal with a poignant, thought-provoking story that will touch your heart.

*****

Writing Real Good

by Deborah Heal

Christian fiction writers sometimes think their stories are less important than the sermons, essays, and treatises of the “serious” non-fiction writer. But imaginative writing has tremendous power to teach deep truths. For example, many, many people have come to know God through C. S. Lewis’ Narnia stories.

Storytelling is even an effective tool for fund raising. One Christmas, when it was time to send out the monthly newsletter for our crisis pregnancy center, I decided to use a story to help readers understand the problems families faced. Here is the letter I sent out:

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.” Luke 2:7

Every parent wants the best for their precious little ones. But for some couples like, Carl and Brenda…

June, 1955. Carl was just out of the service and couldn’t find a job. And he had a wife and two kids—Brenda, three-year-old Stevie, and two-month-old Patty. So Carl packed up the family and moved, but with the recession there were no jobs. For a while Brenda worked at the dime store, and Carl stayed home to watch the kids. With no gas for the car, he walked across town when he heard the Shell station was hiring. Sure enough, the sign in the window said, HELP WANTED, but the man inside told him the job had just been filled. It was a long walk back home. “The Air Force will take me back,” he told Brenda. But the Air Force was not taking men with two children.

The approaching Christmas season just highlighted their misery. “Well,” Brenda said, “at least Patty is too little to know about Christmas presents.” Or maybe she did and that’s why she cried so much. She seemed hungry all the time, no matter how often she nursed, and Brenda began to wonder if she had enough milk.

Brenda cried in the doctor’s office when he explained that, “yes, you can get pregnant even while you’re nursing.” And when baby Mikey came, he slept in a dresser drawer because Patty still needed the crib.

This Christmas season I am asking you to consider a very special gift so that we can continue to help families like Carl and Brenda’s resist the pressure to abort their baby “Mikey’s.” Your gift will allow us to help with baby supplies—like a crib for the baby to sleep in.

Apparently, my little story helped to put a face on the problems associated with unplanned pregnancies, because donations poured into the center. 

Does the story seem too overly sentimental? The “Patty” in the story is me. I’m grateful to be able to use my family’s ordeal to write “real good.”

 

Deborah Heal is the author of the young adult novels Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy She lives in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about southern Illinois history. She is married and has three grown children, three grandchildren, and a canine buddy named Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). Currently, she is working on book three in the Time and Again trilogy.

Visit Deborah at her website: http://www.deborahheal.com/, her  Facebook Fan Page, and Goodreads. Her books may be purchased on Amazon.com

Blessings are a GOOD Thing

Please welcome today’s guest poster, Staci Stallings, and stay tuned for her special offer!

About Staci: A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

Here’s Staci!

Okay.  This may seem obvious to you, but stay with me.  Blessings are a GOOD thing.

When God puts something good in your life, it is a good thing.

Now you may be saying, “Duh, Staci.  That’s pretty obvious.  You’re saying that like it’s profound or something.”

Well, you would think so, but look a little deeper and maybe you won’t be so quick to say that.

The other day I had a friend over and we got to talking about something that is very good in her life.  It is something she enjoys a lot, something that she gets to spread the message of how much God has loved her and healed her and helped her so that others can find that same love, healing, and help.

So what’s the problem you ask?

In short, she feels guilty.

That’s right.  She feels guilty for having the opportunity to spread the Word of God.  Now you may be saying, “Well, that’s just silly.  What does she have to feel guilty about?”

But before you judge my friend, I want you to think about your own life.  Do you ever feel guilty about your blessings?  Do you ever look around and think, “Why me?  What have I ever done to be so blessed?”  Do you ever hide your blessings so others won’t feel intimidated or jealous (raising hand over here on that one!)?  Do you ever think you really don’t deserve the blessings God has put into your life and if He knew you a little better, He wouldn’t?

See, blessings are weird things in a way because we pray for them, wish for them, hope for them, and then when they come our direction, we feel guilty for getting them.  It’s a nice Satan Cycle if you want to know the real truth.  He cons us into thinking that we are less-than without the blessing and that life would be SO much better with it, and then when we get it, he goes around pointing out to us how we don’t deserve it and look over there, they have less than because we have more…

What a lie!

He takes what God meant for good and uses it for evil.  So while we’re over here feeling guilty about the blessings God has given us, we are thus made less powerful by narrowing our access to God’s power out of guilt!

It’s like I told my friend, “God doesn’t give you blessings for YOU.  God gives you blessings because He knows you will pass them ON.”

The point of a blessing is not to horde it for yourself.  The point is to either pass it on or to be so grateful that you pass your joy of the Lord onto others.

Guilt denies you that ability.  It keeps you small.  It keeps you focused on yourself.

Realize your blessings.  Celebrate them.  They are from God.  And as others see you basking in the joy of the Lord, they might just wonder what you have (not just the blessing) and come over and ask.

Learn to accept your blessings with overwhelming gratefulness and to then turn around and pour blessings into the lives of others.  It’s the way God would have us live.

Staci Stallings


Connect with Staci on
 Facebook
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Spirit Light Blog
Ebook Romance Stories
Stories of God’s Hope and Love Signifying… Everything!

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a #1 Best Selling Contemporary Christian Romance author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Staci has a special surprise for you!

Available Dec 4 & 5 as a free download from Amazon

FREE ON KINDLE TWO DAYS ONLY!

Cowboy

Timothy Ashton Raines is at the top of his game and the end of his rope until one night, he walks away from everything…

 

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2010