My eBooks are FREE Saturday! By: Julie Arduini

My eBooks are FREE  Saturday!

There are writing moments I ask why.

  • Why am I writing when life is pulling me so many directions?
  • Why write if the words are hard to come by?
  • Why write when it is so lonely?
  • Why write if it feels like no one knows or seems to care?

Well, I write because I was created to write stories that show readers there is freedom through surrender. I’m so passionate about the message that I often do the opposite of what markets advise.

Like I enjoy offering eBooks for free.

And that’s just what I’m doing.

On Friday, September 23 (check price first, the sale tends to start after 3am Eastern,) and Saturday, September 24 (again, check price first,) ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED will be FREE eBooks.

I want these books to reach as many readers as possible.

Not only do I want readers to experience the freedom through surrender by reading my fiction, I also am starting a book club on my Facebook Author Page in October. I’d love readers to join me as I discuss assigned chapters. I’ll also be sharing the writing process AND secrets behind the chapters. I love doing events like this, and again, the best way to get started is to offer you these eBooks for free so you can join me.

My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

Spread the word, won’t you?

Like my Author Page and in October, we’ll have the Book Club there—http://facebook.com/JulieArduiniAuthor

Grab ENTRUSTED as a FREE eBook Friday 9/23 and Saturday 9/24 (check price first)https://www.amazon.com/Entrusted-Surrendering-Present-Time/dp/B01FGC1Z8W/

Grab ENTANGLED as a FREE eBook Friday, 9/23 and Saturday, 9/24 (check price first)

https://www.amazon.com/Entangled-Surrendering-Past-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B01FG7JALG/

Both eBooks are also FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

I’ll be offering this same eBook sale October 7-9.

The private feedback and the Amazon reviews are confirming that these books have purpose. Readers are finding friends in the characters and they are finding the courage to surrender fear, loss, change, and regret.

Join me on the journey, won’t you?

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It’s Graduation Day…to all the grandparents out there

The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy. ~Sam Levenson

I remember when I was a child thinking that people who were in their thirties were old. If you were fifty, you were positively ancient. Beyond that, well…you get the picture.

Most all of us have thought the same thing when we were young. I always found it amusing that my parents got smarter as I got older.

It’s amazing how grandparents seem so young once you become one. ~Author Unknown

Now, at the ripe old age of 57, its funny how my prospective on things have changed. 57 doesn’t seem nearly as old as it did when I was a kid.

A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown

I married a man with two boys and I became an instant stepmom. It was a wonderful experience. They are my boys although they are now grown.

My grandchild has taught me what true love means. It means watching Scooby-Doo cartoons while the basketball game is on another channel. ~Gene Perret

As parents, we all know the pressure there is to make sure our kids turn into responsible adults. It’s hard every day of the week. If you’re lucky, you don’t kill them and they become adults, get married, and have children of their own.

They say genes skip generations. Maybe that’s why grandparents find their grandchildren so likeable. ~Joan McIntosh

And then for you it’s graduation day!

I don’t remember my dad’s parents. They were gone before I was born. Same of my mom’s mother. But I do remember my grandpa. Even today I can still picture him, larger than life, yet kind and gentle. I still miss him.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how special being a grandparent would be. My husband and I have three granddaughters and let me tell you, they are my heart.

Grandparents are there to help the child get into mischief they haven’t thought of yet. ~Gene Perret

We have a saying in our house and I’m sure it’s the same at all grandparents’ home. What happens at grandma and paw paw’s, stays at grandma and paw paw’s. And let me tell you, that’s true. Being a grandparent is truly a gift from God.

So if you’re a grandparent are about to become one, congratulations. You’ve just received one of the highest of honors of all times. Its graduation day and you’ve just become a grandparent. Enjoy the fun.

Only the best parents graduate to become grandparents.

 

All the best…

 

Mary Alford

http://www.maryalford.net

 

 

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Flirting with My Ex by Julie Arduini

You know authors can be a tad dramatic, right?

Such is the case with yours truly.

The post title isn’t as scandalous as it sounds, but it was an awesome lesson I needed.

This is our son’s first semester of college and he is a commuter student. We thought perhaps he’d go on a M-W-F and an online class or two. Turns out he goes every day and has an online class. It’s a 50 minute commute one way and that’s a lot on his car.

We decided since we both work from home most of the time, we’d take turns taking him a couple days a week to ease the wear and tear on his vehicle.

We decided this before my husband’s schedule changed and he’s traveling or needed for conference calls with reliable WiFi. Those driving days are now all me.

My car is one that was completely re designed for 2013. It was a brand my dad was fond of and one of my first cars. But as an adult, I’d bought Subarus to handle the Upstate NY winters. I vowed at the time I’d never leave Subaru.

Until I saw that re- designed other brand.

It has all the bells and whistles. A car that talks to you. Navigation. Sirius. Although most might have that now, even a few years ago that wasn’t the case.

I fell hard.

I broke my Subaru vow and went with the other brand.

The new car had a fire recall not once, but twice within months. The water pump had to be replaced, and that fell under an extended warranty due to re design issues. I started having the engine light come on and it would stop accelerating on the highway. When I looked it up, turned out that’s “a thing” with the re designed model. Although the manufacturer isn’t too interested in hearing about it, drivers noted if you pull over and turn the car off and back on, it goes away. And so it does.

But it has been somewhat of a headache for a mom that does a lot of driving. I often go back to Upstate NY and try to even head to the mountains for story research. I never had to worry about recalls or engine lights before.

And when the engine light came on this week, I went online and started fantasizing.

We can’t afford a different car right now, but my heart wanted to just see how the Subaru is doing. Do they have a moon roof? How about the technology?

Yes. All of that, plus what I gave up when I left them, plus one type has a heated steering wheel.

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A. heated. steering wheel.

Like a cartoon, my mind had me driving down the highway with my former brand, moon roof and music going strong.

And a little nudge that I attribute to the Holy Spirit stopped me cold.

“I want you to stop flirting with your ex.”

What?

“You are bad mouthing a car I provided for you. This is a good vehicle, and you’re talking negative about it. You’re talking bad about a gift I gave you.”

I thought about it. All the times I’ve run my current car down, although the recalls were mostly in the early days. The rare times the engine light comes on, I perform the trick and it goes away. Not everyone has it that good. And here I’ve been, talking trash and looking up how to get my old brand back.

I share this because I think I’m supposed to. Maybe your issue isn’t a car, but I have a feeling someone out there has been talking negative, and it grieves God. He is our Jehovah Jireh, the Lord, Our Provider. And I’ve been taking that provision and cursing it. Not thanking God for the blessing.

Now, when it is time to have a different vehicle, if it is God’s will, I will most likely be back in a Subaru. But now isn’t that time. So I will be thankful for what I have.

I hope you can be, too!

***

Save the Date!

newsletter

Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24 BOTH ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED will be FREE eBooks on Amazon. I plan on starting an online book club and I’d love to get the books into as many hands as I can. The sale typically starts after 3am Eastern, so check the price first.

Please share this with the readers you know. 

Julie Arduini Amazon Page

Thanks!

 

 

 

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Rediscovering Faith by Tara Randel

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

How many times have you recited this scripture? Perhaps studied the concept of faith? If you’ve spent any amount of time in church, you’re sure to have heard a sermon on the topic. But when it comes to the most trying circumstances in life, do you believe?

Before my daughter became sick and subsequently passed away, I thought I understood what faith was all about. After, I wasn’t so sure. Not that I ever stopped believing God is who He says He is. I never thought He let our family down. Never considered walking away from my relationship with Him. No, it was more of, did I not have enough faith? Could I have prayed more? Harder?

I’ve since come to peace with my questions, because of the many conversations I’ve had with the Father. I did all I could. Things happen in life. People get sick. Some are healed here on earth, others go home to heaven to complete their healing. But still, every time I heard someone talk about faith, doubt kicked in.

So when I found out a faith study course was being offered on a Wednesday night at church, I realized I needed be there. Obviously I still needed reassurance.

The first class was iffy as folks talked about being healed. I’m always thrilled to hear these testimonies, but I have to admit, it still hurts. I thought, was I crazy to take this class? What is it going to prove?

Last week I got my answer. NOW faith…

I hear people quote the scripture, but leave off the NOW. And that’s an important part. I have to believe NOW, before my faith request is seen. Faith is action. I turn my faith loose when I speak what I believe. Here’s the part I’d forgotten about, speaking in the present tense. Faith is NOW, not in the past or in the future.

Now maybe you’re thinking, yeah, I know all this. And I’m so glad you do. To me, it was a reminder of what I had believed before losing my daughter. How powerful my God is NOW. I’ll never go into another situation the same way as I did in the past, because I’ve been reminded of the NOW.

If you’ve been questioning your faith, or hadn’t really thought about it lately, I encourage you to keep this scripture verse in your mind. Faith is an important part of our everyday life. To be honest, I’d been afraid to exercise my faith. Afraid things wouldn’t turn out like I asked. But you know what, it’s not about me or what I want. It’s about God’s word and what He says He will do. And when I had the ah ha moment I’d been lacking these past few years, I realized I’d been missing out on a huge part of my spiritual life. I won’t ever do that again.

 Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA TODAY bestselling author of twelve novels. She is currently working on new stories for Harlequin Heartwarming, The Business of Weddings series, as well as books in a new series, Amish Inn Mysteries. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at Tara Randel Books

 

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A check on our shrinking attention spans

It’s occurred to me more than once as I scan historical references, novels, even old movies, that the attention span of the average entertainment consumer has shifted quite a bit. Perhaps the most noticeable changes began as far back as after television becoming more prevalent. But the biggest changes I’ve seen have been since the introduction of the Internet. Already-short emails with plenty of white space became tightened to text or Twitter length. Combined with abbreviations and emoticons that help express emotion with a single image, we rarely have to pay attention to anything for very long.

As I write this, I’m reminded of my childhood when the “old folks” used to talk about how things aren’t like they used to be—with a tone indicating things have hardly gotten better. I guess mine isn’t the first generation to pass judgement on those silly young’uns who don’t know what they’re missing.

Remember when books could have the characters revealing themselves to the readers for a hundred pages or more before anything “happened”? Or when “action” movies didn’t start with an explosion? Suspense didn’t start with a death?

A young adult book I’m reading right now brought all of this to my mind. It’s called Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. It brings to light a little-known episode of Second World War history when thousands of German refugees fled a Russian onslaught, hoping to escape by ships at the German coast that promised safety. I won’t reveal more of the story than that—it’s a fascinating event I wasn’t familiar with.

I’d rather talk about the structure of this novel. It’s told from the viewpoint of four different characters. At first I had the typical confusion with more than one or two characters, trying to keep straight whose point of view I was in. It helped that each chapter was clearly marked with the character’s name. The hindrance to me was that the chapters were so brief I had trouble learning enough about each character to grab hold of something to tie me to each voice.

I haven’t read a YA novel in a while, but this one left me wondering if the one- and two-page chapters are catering to the short attention spans being cultivated in this upcoming generation. Thus renewed my worries over our shrinking attention spans.

Thankfully, I have just enough contact with younger generations to know there are still brilliant minds out there, waiting to take the place of the older folks. I’m not worried. But I can’t help thinking this is something they’ll have to accommodate! Who knows, maybe all this juggling is an asset.

I’d better sign off for today. I have a feeling my age is showing!

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One Room at a Time by Hannah Alexander

2012-08-17-15-57-27

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the clutter in your life that you can’t face the thought of attacking it and whittling it down? It could be clutter in your home, clutter in your social life, or clutter in your thoughts. Even too much of a good thing can crowd out the best things and distract us from our purposes.

Mel have recently discovered that our model airplane collection has to go. Our basement is filled with them, and we’re moving very soon to a place far away. The new home has no room for the airplanes. We will likely lose half the money invested in these things, but we have no choice. We can’t move them with us.

Have you ever wondered what you would take with you and what you would leave if you had to move from your home? Maybe you’ve already moved recently and faced that monster of clutter. Maybe you’ve moved often and you know how to keep the clutter to a minimum. Good for you! I think the rest of us could really use your skill set.

We discovered the necessity of paring down our 22 year collection of memorabilia, gifts, whimsical decisions, and gadgets crammed into an overly large house when we hired a moving service, and the truck that came was too small. It was too late to turn them away and ask for a larger truck, so we were only able to fit half the furniture, boxes, and necessities onto the truck. We’re being forced to leave half our household goods behind for auction.

What’s left behind will have to be catalogued for sale with an auctioneer, and the house is still full of STUFF!

What do you do when you have to choose only a few items from your belongings? What treasures do you take and what do you leave behind?

I’ve found that pictures of family long gone, letters of buried loved ones, gifts from parents who are no longer with us–those are precious to us. Gifts from friends I’m leaving behind are also on the to-take list.

If you haven’t done so in a while, walk through your home and do yourself a favor–do a little decluttering. Even if you don’t plan to move for the rest of your life, have compassion on those children or loved ones who will be left behind, and declutter for them.

Our lives are usually too full of too much. The wealth in this country can choke us if we let it. Give yourself some breathing room and clear out the extraneous. You’ll be glad you did.

 

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Deepening Your Prayer Life

sleep-122925_1920There are times when shout out prayers are all one can manage. Like when you’re raising infants … on -3 hours of sleep. When, upon learning your now adult daughter wants to go into international missions, and she begins to talk about visiting India’s slums. Or communist countries.

Or one’s stuck in Atlanta with no money, no credit cards, no ID, and no hope of ever (insert large doses of melodrama) returning home.

Shout out prayers, those, “Oh, Lord help me,” cries uttered countless times throughout the day, are great. Necessary. And at times, a woman’s only hold on her sanity. But if one’s prayer life continually resembles an elevator pitch, before long, one’s spiritual life will suffer.

Divine intimacy, the kind that resembles the deep, abiding, sigh-worthy love between a divineintimacypichusband and spouse, requires regular, unhurried communication.

This is what I long for. What I hope for, and at times, what I intentionally move toward. But then life gets busy, I get distracted, and suddenly I’m back to shout out prayers once again.

If I want to grow as a believer; as a wife, mother, ministry leader, and friend; if I want to experience the deep joy and peace Christ promised His believers, I’ll make my prayer time one of my top priorities.

johnstudy1For those participating in my interactive, online Bible study, or those wanting to, you can join our previous discussion, titled Obedience in the Mundane, HERE. You can learn about the study HERE, and you can join our Facebook community HERE.

I’ll make it a habit; a regular part of my daily routine, as guaranteed as brushing my teeth, drinking copious amounts of heavily flavored coffee, eating tootsie rolls throughout the day.

This behavior–the habitual, prioritized prayer time, not the tootsie roll eating–of an entire community, struck me, and convicted me, as I was reading in Luke 1 one morning.

Here’s the background. Luke, the historian recording the events that make up the Bible book named after him, is telling a man named Theophilus, about the events leading up to the birth of John the Baptist. He begins by describing John’s parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, and as we discussed on my personal blog last Thursday, they were known for their faithful obedience. (Luke 1:6) That was their main defining factor.

Then, Luke goes on to describe a glorious event in Zechariah’s life–he was chosen by lot to “enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense” (Luke 1:9).

(You can read more about incense in Old Testament worship Exodus 30.)

This incense burning was a sacred, intimate time, one where Zechariah was likely overwhelmed by God’s presence.

But catch this, while he was inside the temple burning incense, a great crowd stood outside, praying.

Prayer had become a way of life for these people, a habit that had been established over a thousand years previously when a man named Moses was alive. Ever since the time of Aaron, the first Jewish priest, the priests burned incense twice each day, and when the people smelled its holy aroma and saw it rising heavenward, they prayed.

For over fourteen hundred years.

When I have trouble staying consistent for seven days. (sigh.)

There’s numerous reasons for this. I get busy. (To busy to take time to connect with my Creator? My Savior? The One who knows everything I’ll face in the days and years ahead and the best decision for every choice? Um …)

I get distracted, which is what cell phone timers are for.😉

Sometimes I get discouraged, especially if it feels like God hasn’t been answering, but catch this–by the time Elizabeth and Zechariah come on the scene, God has been silent for 400 years. (You can read more about that HERE.)

And I thought waiting a year or so for an answer to prayer was unbearable.

But maybe that’s because I’m approaching prayer wrong. I’m approaching it for what I can get, rather than Who I can come to know.

That  needs to change. Because, yes, God is amazing, faithful, generous, and attentive. And yes, He does answer prayer and loves to give good gifts to His children, but the best gift we’ve ever been given is that of Immanuel, Christ with us. Let’s not get so caught up in what we don’t have or maybe don’t know that we miss out on the beautiful gift of divine presence God has made available to us today.

What are some ways you refocus yourself on Christ? How have you made prayer time a priority? For those of you who watched “War Room,” did the movie inspire you, and if so, how? Share your thoughts and examples with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from each other!

 

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From Dream to Reality

 

I want to share with you a book that was released by Lighthouse of the Carolinas Publishing Company. I loved receiving and compiling Writing Right to Success. The contributors graciously shared their writing journeys and craft articles that will appeal to readers and writers alike.

These are stories of those who followed their dream! Most for a very long time.

Anybody can write. Right?

But how do you write “right?” That is… how do you write in such a way that you find success as a writer? Doesn’t this apply to others in any profession?

The purpose of this book is to answer those questions, and many more. Some of the most well-known, best-selling, award-winning authors share their journeys from taking the first step to achieving success. Too, they offer valuable insights into mastering the craft of writing.

Whether you like to read about how others strive, overcome, work at their profession or are already a writer or aspire to be, this book is for you. So open the pages, settle in, and allow the authors to motivate, encourage, and inspire you to follow your dream!

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Contributors:

Michelle Medlock Adams                   Gail Gaymer Martin

James Scott Bell                                 Dianne Neal Matthews

Brian Bird                                            Edie Melson

Jenny Cote                                           DiAnn Mills

Lynette Eason                                     Tom Morrisey

Eva Marie Everson                              Cecil Murphey

Kathleen Fuller                                   Ramona Richards

Dennis E. Hensley, PhD                       Gayle Roper

Eddie Jones                                         Ann Tatlock

Tosca Lee                                            Donn Taylor

Yvonne Lehman                                  Susan May Warren

Richard L. Mabry, MD                         James Watkins

Lori Marett

 

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Just God

by Elizabeth Goddard

As Christians we each believe ourselves to be followers of Christ. We say Jesus is Lord and Savior. Some say one or the other, but that’s a different discussion. We call out to God, ask Him for His will to be done, pray a thousand prayers for a thousand different wants and needs. We wax and wane, if we’re honest, in our relationship with Him.

Some know about Him, which isn’t to say they know him personally and intimately.

I’ve been going through some significant struggles lately. Well, actually this whole year has been tough. I know of others who have suffered more, sure. But my struggles are the kind that no amount of control and manipulation on my part can change anything. And it almost feels like no amount of prayer can change it either.

I keep imagining myself dropping to my knees. And yes, I do this too. . .but the struggles have that image pressing into my mind all day, where on my knees, I don’t actually pray. I just say one word.

“God. . .”

Just God.

There’s so much on my heart I don’t know where to begin.

But I had an epiphany, one of those personal revelations. You know the ones. They stay with you for a while and then eventually, weeks or months down the road, they drift off and you’ve lost that illuminating aspect of the thing. Or at least that’s what happens to me.

When we finally get to the place—maybe it takes years or many trials—that we realize we have no ability to control our lives or change anything at all on our own power, and life isn’t what we hoped it would be, then we can finally realize there is nothing else, and THAT’s when we can fully realize, accept AND appreciate that God is our everything.

Just God.

Falling to our knees is entirely appropriate.

There are innumerous Bible verses on trials and tribulations, longsuffering, patience, and on and on. I read through them to find the right one that speaks to me in this situation. In how I see things with this revelation and confirms it—an epiphany which seems so obvious but not when it hits you in the heart and you get it.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

To all those who are suffering too, this is good news!

He is our everything.

Many blessings!

Elizabeth Goddard

 

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Lesson in Rejection from Julie Arduini

Although I love writing fiction, I also love teaching Bible studies. So far I don’t feel the call to write them, a la Beth Moore or Lysa TerKeurst, I’d rather purchase their materials and teach on them all day long.

Case in point: Lysa TerKeurst’s latest, UNINVITED.

I am passionate about seeing women living free through surrender. As I mentor and encourage women of all ages it is clear rejection is a place we’ve all lived. I believe God’s ready to show us some change of address cards.

Last week I started the series with my home church Sunday School class and with a friend in a one-on-one setting. I also plan to go online with a closed Facebook group and chat about the book, too. As I shared with the Sunday School class, a memory dropped that I believe was heaven sent.

It drove the point home that Lysa shares that we’re doing to “deal with our rejection, but not dwell on them. We are going to dwell on the declarations of God’s love for us. We’re going to live loved.” But how many times have you been offended and you stayed up all night thinking about what you were going to say to that person in the morning?

I have.

And that’s dwelling.

The memory was from sixteen years ago or so. My son was a toddler at the top of the play place at a local McDonald’s. I heard a cry and knew it was him. All the kids scattered. I climbed up and asked what was wrong.

“He called me a name.” The tears kept falling.

I tried to find out who, and what was said, my own experiences giving me plenty of words to wonder. Later that day he told me.

The Rejection Lesson by Julie Arduini. Image from Pixabay and not Julie's kid.

The Rejection Lesson by Julie Arduini. Image from Pixabay and not Julie’s kid.

“He called me coconut head.”

I kid you not, my son stayed offended for two years. When I’d walk in to check on him in his room, he had action figures, Legos, whatever, and he was rehearsing what he’d say to that kid if he had the chance. One reply I remember was he was going to counter coconut head with “lemon head.” And “stupid head,” a word he knew we weren’t saying in our house without consequences.

But that’s what we do when wounded. We rehearse the hurt. We dwell on it. And that memory was so vivid and such a good example of what we do that I thought I’d share it.

It’s time to deal with the rejections from childhood. School. Work. Family. Marriage. Friends. Enemies. Ministry. Anything else. Stop rehearsing it. Stop dwelling on it.

Instead, let the Bible do the talking. Do you know God is talking to YOU there? He has some very romantic and beautiful things to say. Try out Zephaniah 3, for example. The Psalms. Song of Solomon, weird as it is, is a love letter to the bride of Christ. His church. You. Me.

No more coconut head come backs. It’s time to find healing from rejection.

To purchase Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited, click here.

To learn more about my Praise and Coffee Online Fall 2016 Uninvited Study, click here.

 

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Against Fear and Worry by Kristen Heitzmann

 

How easy is it to be overwhelmed by the challenges we face, to have our hopes unmet and our fears realized? We all have things we feel called to, yet not all bear the fruit we expected and desired. Sometimes we follow the call and reap sorrow and hardship and ridicule.

No life is without turmoil, no season without change. This vineyard in which we labor is beset with choking vines of doubt and deception, poisonous plants of greed and impurity, of lies and ignorance. I stare in trembling awe at the blind fervor of incomprehension so dense that people are led like zombie armies into insignificant causes when around us the real war rages against forces of evil and destruction.

In this political time, I look around and think “Have we come to this?” And answer myself, “Don’t we deserve it?” Every choice against life, against holiness, against wisdom are steps on the path of destruction.

Morally ambiguous movies and books feed minds hungry for loopholes. No life isn’t black and white, and the gray should be explored and wrestled with. But the gray must be searching for the light or hope is lost. Ugliness that once signaled the horror of evil, is craved and touted by youthful and adult minds given no compass or skills or desire to resist. Embracing evil is called compassion. This is the foe we face.

And yet, take heart.

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!” (Psalm 46:1-3 NLT).

 

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things” (1 Chronicles 29:11).

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Are you running on empty?

 

Out Of Gas, Empty

Out of gas empty on car or vehicle dash board

 

For most of us, life is extremely busy. Our days fly by with things we must do. Make the kids breakfast. Get them off to school. Work, run errands, carpool, chauffeur the kids to practice…and the list goes on. It never seems to end.

With such hectic schedules, we try to pack what must be done into a day. By the end of the week, it’s easy to feel as if you are running on empty with nothing left to give.

Telephone operator

Out of gas empty on car or vehicle dash board

 

So how do you recharge your body?

Well, let’s start with simply slowing life down a bit. To do so, here are some great ideas for you:

Talk a long walk and leave your phone behind. We forget that there’s a whole world out there that isn’t speeding through life. Have you ever taken a moment to watch a bird? They certainly don’t rush through their days.

Slow down and simply breathe. You’ll be surprised how relaxing just taking a moment can be.

Take a long relaxing bath and let the troubles of the world just wash away.

Plan some play time. Do something you haven’t done in a long time. Play in the dirt!

Go to bed early. It worked for you as a child. Try it as an adult.

These are all great ways to refresh your body, but how do you replenish your soul?

Bird made of fire comes from a burning matchstick

Bird made of fire comes from a burning matchstick

Pray. Get up early and start your day off right by thanking God for all He has done for you. You’re probably heard if you count your blessings, before you know it you’ll forget all about your troubles. There’s no better way to enjoy your morning coffee than to have a little talk to your Heavenly Father.

Read God’s word. There are so many scriptures that lift the soul. The psalms are a great place to start.

Turn on some praise music while you’re on your way to work. Whether you like the old gospel songs from days gone by or the new contemporary Christian music, listening to praise songs can lift your spirit.

Remember that no matter what you’re going through or how hectic your life is, God is always there with you. And His peace that is like no other, is only a prayer away.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:26

 

All the best…

Mary Alford

http://www.maryalford.net

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The Holiday Season by Tara Randel

For those of you still weathering the high temperatures of summer, here’s a treat. Something to get you excited about the upcoming holidays.

AHeartwarmingHoliday_seal

This holiday season, warm your heart with 15 connected sweet, clean, wholesome holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 15 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

There are five connected books in A Heartwarming Holiday. That means each set of three novellas shares characters and storylines! This collection of holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, Maine, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release, Christmas, Actually.

A Heartwarming Holiday will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters.

Book 1: Once Upon a Holiday: Three former college roommates start a business to bring the magic of the holidays to everyone in Christmas Town.

Book 2: Holiday Heroes: Three former Navy SEALs come together to restore an outdated resort.

Book 3: 24 North Pole Lane: Romance is being delivered to 24 North Pole Lane this holiday season.

Book 4: Magic Moments: Three different times, three different stories. They all bring magic to Christmas Town.

Book 5: Nutcracker Sweethearts: As the stage production of the Nutcracker unfolds in Christmas Town, three couples find love with the help of a little holiday magic!

If this boxed set appeals to you, look for our previous holiday anthology: A Heartwarming Christmas.

Pre-order Now

Publisher https://www.indiewrites.com/

Amazon http://ow.ly/nXVO302pwTe

Kobo http://ow.ly/5S0Y302pwOE

Google http://ow.ly/Ki7b302pwJH

iTunes http://ow.ly/sajU302pwWP

 

Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA TODAY bestselling author of twelve novels. She is currently working on new stories for Harlequin Heartwarming, The Business of Weddings series, as well as books in a new series, Amish Inn Mysteries. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at Tara Randel Books

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How We Spend Our “Spare” Time by Vicki Hinze

Hannah Alexander is unable to post today. She’s without Internet service, so I’m filling in for her. We’re expecting a hurricane by Friday, so I’m a wee bit busy, but I thought I’d share the following video I created answering your question about writers who write articles and such for writers and if it helps sell that author’s novels.  I hope you find it useful–the underlying truth in it can be applied to you in whatever you’re doing in your spare time that relates to your work.

Here is the video:

 

For writers, it’s all fodder. Every observation, everything you see, hear, read, experience. Related or seemingly unrelated, it does all relate. So even if your spare time activities don’t seem to be relevant, understand that in some way they are–or will be.

My best advice:  Do what you do because you love it. Because it matters to you. If it is also helpful to others–even in some small way–so much the better!

 

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The Secret to Coping with Old Tapes by Vicki Hinze

Old Tapes. We’ve all got them. Those bits of conversations and things we’ve been told that, true or not, we believed and took in deep. You’re ugly, you’re fat, you’re stupid. We heard those things from people in authority over us, people whose opinion mattered, and we figured what they were saying must be true because, well, they would know.

But did they? That’s the part, our part, that wasn’t assessed. Perhaps because of our youth. Perhaps, in part, because of the role those people played in our lives. Or perhaps because we esteemed those people and respected their opinion–at times, more than our own.

There are many reasons we develop old tapes. And coping with them creates all kinds of conflict in us and for us. But how we address them, and whether or not we permit these old tapes to control our thinking is up to us. We can embrace or shun them at any time.

I’ve created a video on coping with old tapes I hope will be helpful to you. Watch it. Share it. Because it isn’t until we deal with these old tapes that we can relegate them into history where old tapes belong.

 

Vicki Hinze–My Kitchen Table: The Secret to Coping with Old Tapes from Vicki Hinze on Vimeo.

 

Here’s a copy of the Personal Power Card referenced in the video:

 

Personal Power Card, Vicki Hinze

 

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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze, The Marked Star PreviewAward-winning bestselling author of thirty novels in a variety of genres: suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is The Marked Star. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. www.vickihinze.com Facebook  Books  Twitter   Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!

 

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