Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday, Halloween and the day before Challenge

Happy Wednesday.

Just a retreat update! Went fabo. God is so good to us. He really blessed the leadership transition and we could feel the blessing of all the leaders and youth who'd gone before.

Today is Halloween. We don't celebrate, but church is having a havest fest type thing at the Mall. Should be fun. If not very sweet. (Lots-o-candy.)

Tomorrow begins the Favorite One challenge. All you have to do is wake up in the morning, and say, "Lord, here I am, Your favorite one." Say it throughout the day.

Now, if that language doesn't work for you, how about. "Here I am, one that You favor."

Or, "Here I am, one that You love."

Two people challenged me to back up the idea of being His favorite one, and/or asking Him to tell us what is on His heart, with Scripture.

So, I did.

The songwriter of Favorite One is using poetic language to describe her whole hearted devotion to Jesus. It's not possible in a song to add all the theologicial annotations, so she wrote what she studied of the Lord into this song.

Also, to be transparent here, I wouldn't sing the song if I wasn't sure of it's theology. Or, if I doubted the sincerety of the song's author.

Anyway, since I offered the Favorite One challenge, I felt it wise to back it up with scripture. The prayer retreat was a perfect place.

To be honest, I found so many verses, so many concepts of God's favor and love toward us it would be impossible to put them all in the blog. I consulted others versed in the Word, too. My hubby, and friend Stuart Greaves who teaches Bible course at the International House of Prayer. Thanks guys.

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice." John 10:27. Isn't one way of hearing his voice by asking and then, waiting and listening.

"Can any two walk together unless they've agreed?" Amos 3:3. We have to know God to walk with Him. He reveals Himself to us primarily through His Word, but also through intimate whispers on our heart.

"Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7. Who are those prophets today? You and me.

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was given to a select few - kings and prophets.
In the New Testament, He's given to every believer! How amazing.

Mary worshipping at Jesus feat with extravagant love. She was confident of His love for her she braved breaking tradition. John 12.

John, the one Jesus loved.
He leaned against Jesus during the last supper, imploring Him to share who was going to betray Him. The other disciples were not confident enough to ask. But John was. He loved Jesus. Even more, he knew Jesus loved him.

Paul prayes that we may know love that surpasses knowledge, that God would do exceeding, abundantly beyond all we could ask or think in Ephesian 3:14- 21.

Daniel is touted as favored one or highly esteemed in Daniel 10:10, 19.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. James 5:17. A picture of the confidence when can have IF our hearts are right before the Lord.

The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. Romans 8:11.

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to meditate (inquire) in His temple. Psalm 27:4

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness. Psalm 147:11

The Favorite One challenge isn't about shoving our fist in God's face and demand answers! No!! It's about being confident in love.

In John 17 Jesus prays to the Father that we would be ONE with Him as He and the Father were one. I'd say that's a pretty close relationship.

The truth is, we are always asking God what's on His heart. I pray things like, "What is Your will for me?" "Tell me what to do." In essence, asking Him to serve me.

This challenge is about focusing on serving Him with confidence. "Lord, how can I serve You today?"

Confidence and humility woven together.

Philippians 3:10 says, "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.."

The word know in this passage is the same know as in Adam "knew" his wife. It references intimacy. Closeness. Oneness. Paul is asking to know Jesus with every fiber of His being.

For me, that's what I want. To be wholehearted and consumed by Him. But for that to be real in my heart, for me to trust Him at the deepest level of my being, I have to know that I know He loves and favors me.

So, take the favorite one challenge this month. I think we'll have some great testimonies.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Prayer Retreat

Tonight we're going up to Teen Missions for the prayer retreat, a youth event Tony and I launched in '92.

While we're not leading it this year, the new generation of youth leaders Matt, Jodi and Josh from Freedom are in charge, we're going along to recount the history and raise expectations.

These kids have a great foundation of youth who've gone before, seeking God. They are walking on ground others have plowed for them. They can access the blessing while breaking up fallow ground for the ones to follow.

It's an honor to be around and able to instill in the new leaders and youth our history. Think of Adam and Eve. They lived 800 or 900 years. Think of all the generations they saw. Grandkids upon grandkids.

Can you imagine being able to walk up to your Great, great (times 10) Grandpa Adam and ask him about walking in the garden with God? Incredible.

Or, what if we could talk to our Great Uncle Benjamin Franklin about the foundations of our country. It'd be wonderful to be able to talk to our founding fathers right now.

Go back 800 years an it's the 1200s. It's incredible to think we could talk to Sancho IV (Sancho the Brave) (b. 1257, Toledo, d. 1295, Toledo, Castile), king of Castile and Leon from 1284 to 1295, about keeping Spain free from another Muslim invasion from Morocco.

History is important, though not foretelling. We need to know where we came from to know where we are going, learn from our forefathers and mothers mistakes and triumphs. Yet, not lock ourselves into the notion if it happened to my "Dad" it'll happen to me.

Spiritually speaking, learning family history can help us clean house, break curses and step away from darkness while clinging to the new life we have in Jesus. In my case, where my parents created a good spiritual heritage, I take what they did and run with it, hoping to forge ahead for my nieces and nephews to gain new ground in Christ, pressing on to the upward calling of God.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My friend Deb Raney has a new release out this month Within This Circle. And, she's a new grandma! Congratulations Deb.

Here's a little about Deb and the book: Deborah Raney is at work on her seventeenth novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award and the Silver Angel from Excellence in Media, and Playing by Heart was a Christy Award finalist.

Deborah's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her new Clayburn Novels series from Howard/Simon & Schuster kicked off with Remember to Forget.

Leaving November will be out in March 2008 and Yesterday's Embers early in 2009. Deb serves on the advisory board of American Christian Fiction Writers and loves teaching at writers conferences.
She and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They have four children and two little grandsons who live much too far away.

Visit Deb's website at

The brand new sequel to A Vow to Cherish, will release this week from Steeple Hill in mass market format. Within This Circle continues the story of John Brighton and Julia Sinclair.

After a tumultuous courtship, John and Julia Brighton have a second chance at happiness, a fresh marriage and, now that their children are grown, a new era in their lives to revel in the promise of the future.

Only such a promise is never guaranteed. And life can change in a heartbeat. The Brightons' life is turned upside down when John's daughter, Jana, abandons her husband Mark and three-year-old daughter.

As Jana struggles through delayed grief over her mother's death, her actions put her marriage and her own daughter in danger.

John and Julia reach out to little Ellie, to give the young couple time to heal, but the little girl is confused and longing for her mother. How much sorrow and stress can both fledgling marriages endure?

Two very different couples - each with only their love and faith to guide them - can only pray it will be enough.
A Vow to Cherish released in mass market format last month. This beautiful book duo would make a wonderful Christmas gift for your favorite reader.

Order Within This Circle and Deborah's other books here:
Listen to a
n audio interview with Deb at

Monday, October 22, 2007

What's up this week

Lots of fun stuff up this week. Writing. Writing. Writing.

Love Begins with Elle is coming together very nicely and I'm going over Sweet Caroline galleys and finding is quit enchanting.

What else? Couple of meetings. Prayer retreat this weekend. Its for the youth, but Tony and I are going.

Better get to work.


Friday, October 19, 2007

The Meaning of Purity

Recently my hubby read an article to me off the Internet about a Victoria Secret model who is proudly and vocally a virgin and plans to remain so until marriage.

For the sake of this blog, I didn't look up her name or any more details because my goal is not to impugn her, but take this concept of virginity and purity deeper.

One the one hand, I commend this model for her boldness and desire to live purely. On the other hand, the irony is a blaring neon sign. Contradiction!

While she promises no man will touch her goods until she's married, she parades around half naked before millions of men.

Men are visual. Men struggle with lust. And while this Vic Secret model has refrained from physical sex, she's mostly likely stirred mental sex with millions of men.

Jesus said if a man looks lustfully on a woman, he's committed adultery.

Just because we don't do the deed doesn't mean we are pure. I always had a beef with the wording of the True Love Waits pledge: "I'll remain pure until marriage."

Like after marriage you can be impure? Purity is a life long virtue. One that has to be maintained with vigilance - before and after marriage.

To this fancy underwear model, I'd ask, "So, it's okay to cause the husbands, fathers, brothers, boyfriends, cousins, uncles, and friends of the world's women to lust in their hearts, even for a second, because of the way you display yourself?"

No, it's not. Raise the bar, ladies. This model might feel protected and untouchable at her high level, unaware of what actions she causes. It's the chain reaction, the trickle down lust effect.

She feels safe and secure in her purity stand, but down at the common every day level, some man in a bathroom with his wife's/mother's/sister's Vic Secret catalog is... well... not keeping it so pure. (Catalog sales were 400 million at one time.)

Men I know desiring to walk in purity refuse to have a Vic Secret catalog in their homes.

It's not one or the other, ladies. How we behave, dress, flirt is also part of purity. Not just keeping a man out of our drawers. Men, how you act and behave impacts your purity.

If Jesus words are true, and they always are, millions of men have committed adultery with Vic Secret models.

If this one really wants to be an example for young women, she might consider not walking around in her underwear. The other trickle-down effect is millions of young women wanting to be like Vic Secret models and buy these soft, sexy underthings for showing off to... um... who? Boyfriends?

Let's be honest,
we live in a world where a school board voted in birth control for 11 and 12 year old girls. The fight against purity and virginity is raging. It can't be maintained without constant vigilance.

You can't walk around showing the goods and expect young women to be pure. Shopping for
sexy underwear only makes a woman want to show them off. Sooner or later, some dude's going to see them, sooner or later, he'll coax them off.

The title of the blog is to get us thinking. Jesus said if our eyes causes us to stumble, take it out. If we steal, cut off our hand. If we hate, we've murdered. His point?

We're all guilty! We've all fallen short of God's glory. Sin is serious business. I've got to up my level of holiness! How about you?

After all, we are His favorite ones. I want to love Him like I am favored.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ten, Twenty, Thirty Years Ago

I've been tagged by Crystal Miller and Rose McCauley to "remember when."

Ten years ago: Ten years ago Tony and I lived in our first house, but I was working part time at Harris Publishing Systems (software, not books) to save money for a new house. The money was great and the co-workers hilarious. Some of the people I'd started the job with in '86 were still there and we had a close, family work environment.

I'd quit writing for awhile since my WWII epic was well rejected. Didn't the editors see my magic? That summer I attended Write-to-Publish in Chicago where I met the lovely and gracious, about-to-be-published DiAnn Mills. Also, my first meeting with Davis Bunn who I now call a friend.

We also took the youth band on an experimental trip to The River Church in Poughkeepsie, NY. The pastor didn't know us, but felt he should take a chance by letting us host a youth rally. The Holy Spirit blew the lid off hte week. We had a blast, sleeping on the floor of this 105 year old church, showering at the Y, cooking in a hot kitchen. One night I looked over at Tony and said, "I've said awesome before, but this week redefines the term. It's been truly awesome."

The River Church grew about 120 members after that event and we still have a great relationship with them.

God was really moving in the youth church that season. The kids were so on fire, so dedicated, wanting Jesus to be their everything. We still have relationships with some of them ten years later.

Twenty years ago: First, I have to do the math... twenty years ago, '87. Okay, got it. I have no idea what I was doing. Wow. Let's see.

I was into my first year at Harris Publishing Systems in Melbourne, Florida, an '80s yuppy, traveling around the country and the world training news room staff or advertising staff how to lay out the paper on a computer. This is pre PCs, pre DVDs, pre laptops, pre cell phones, pre mall-like airports. Ah, the dark ages.

I think I'd made the jump to the Classified Adertising System and was finally getting my footing and expertise in this foreign technological world. Too many engineers around.

Also, I'd had some experiences with panic and unfounded fear. Made flying really tough. But prayer and the Word got me through! I had not yet found a church home. One Sunday I was driving home from another church service and drove past New Covenant Fellowship (now Church On The Rock.) Something drew me. I went back the next time I was in town and have been there ever since.

That August I met Tony for the first time, but it was months before we talked. He called me when I signed up for singles.

I was in transition from college and sorority life, trying to be in touch with my friends from a life that was quickly fading. At the same time, I longed, longed, longed to be lost in Jesus. I knew deep down my life would never be right, I'd never be happy if I wasn't doing what He wanted.

Thirty years ago: I have diaries from the '70s. Well the 80's too. The spring of '77, the man I pined for since the summer of '76, (mind you I'm 16 in '77) finally asked me out. Peter Rameriz. We went out almost every Saturday night and he rarely called me during the week.

I met him at Publix and would hoped daily he'd stop by the story during my shift. I was crazy about him.

But, the family moved from Homestead to Tallahassee in July of '77 and my hot flame quickly cooled. In hindsight, a good thing.

My best friend was Lorena and we laughed. A. Lot. My parents gave me a lot of liberty so Lorena and I were together most weekends. She was my ride every where. I'm happy to say we still keep in touch from time to time.

My family was fun, healthy and happy.

I tag my sister, Beka, my Mom (you have to blog now, Mom) Christine Lynxwiler, Tracey Bateman, and Susan Warren.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Take the "Favorite One" Challenge

Misty Edwards, a full time worship leader at the International House of Prayer-KC, wrote a song called, "Favorite One."

Jesus, here I am your favorite one, what are You thinking, what are You feeling, I have to know. For I am after Your heart, I'm after You, and I'll crown You with my love.

It's a lovely worship song depicting the confidence of a loved believer. One who is confident in God's love for the individual as well as the corporate Church, the Bride of Christ.

This song caused some controversy at the ACFW conference the last two years. It was not my intent to cause a stir, I just want us to see ourselves as loved and FAVORED.

We are highly favored. Why? Because Jesus is highly favored and we are hidden in Him. When God the Father looks at me, He first sees the blood and cleansing of His Son, Jesus. I'm redeemed.

He wants us to see ourselves as sinners redeemed. The Beloved. The Favored Ones. Imagine your kids coming to you every day saying, "Dad, Mom, I know I'm a bad kid and I think wrong things and I can't keep my room clean, I'm so unworthy of your love, food, clothing and home."

How would that make you feel as a parent? How can your child not see and understand and delight in your love? Sure he makes mistakes and requires discipline. Sure he needs to repent and make things right, but he should never consider himself unworthy of your love and provision.

We are the Bride of Christ, not the Concubine of Christ. He wants to dialog with us, share His heart, partner with us to accomplish His kingdom purposes on earth. Concubines have NO voice or authority, no rights. A bride or a wife has rights and priviledge.

Yet, when we see how loved and favored we are, the desire to empty ourselves and live for Him alone overwhelmes us. What does it matter what I want? What do you want? I love you, Jesus!

What is prayer after all? Asking God to go to work for us! He becomes the Servant God. So why then can we not be His favorite one?

We can give Him a laundry list, but not engage Him in confidence and favor? Doesn't jive.

So, here's the Favorite One Challenge. For the month of November, wake up saying, "Jesus, here I am Your favorite one." Add to it, "God likes me and I look good to Him."

Repeat it throughout the day, six, seven, eight times. Take a moment to meditate on what you are saying. Hear Him respond!

Do a scripture search on "delight," "love," or "beloved." Study the Psalms or Song of Solomon as God's message of love to the individual believer.

See what God won't do to your emotional chemistry after proclaiming and believing His immense love and favor toward you.

Are you brave enough to take the Favorite One Challenge?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fear of The Lord

Thinking about the fear of the Lord. It is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111:10.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.

If you're struggling, maybe it's time to fear (revere) the Lord. We tend to boil Him down to our own understanding and theologies.

God delivered the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and half way home to the Promise Land, Moses heads off to talk to God, THE God, and the Israelites convince Aaron to make a golden cafe for them to worship.

A couple of things here. First of all, they called the cafe God. Not any of the gods they knew in Egypt, but THE God. Yet, He was confined to something they could see and control. God was subject to their own hands, so they thought, in that golden cafe. Man, how often do we do that? How many golden cafe's do we have in our lives. Come on, think about it.

We make graven images all the time in the form of rituals, traditions, jewelry, tee-shirts, etc., (re: Jesus junk) even philosophies and mind-sets.

Second, they gave up so easily. Moses wasn't gone all that long before they twisted Aaron's arm. Don't get me started on how easily Aaron caved. It's challenging to me. Will I cave when the pressure comes. Lord, let it not be.

Rachel, you might be thinking, aren't you the one who sang "Favorite One" at the ACFW conference? Yes! But being God's favorite and fearing Him are not mutually exclusive.

Because I fear Him, I know Him. Therefore I'm confident in His love for me and can come boldly before His throne, favored. Now, it doesn't mean I run around doing my own thing, chucking God in the ribs saying, "How's it going big guy?"

No! It means I understand completely who His is and am awed that He loves me.

Jesus found delight in fearing the Lord. Isaiah 11:3!

We can be like Him. Delight in fearing the Lord. Think on it for awhile. I know I will.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Lowcountry

Tony and I are just back from a few days in the South Carolina lowcountry.

Back to Beaufort. We had a lovely, though short, trip.
I wanted to see the city again with experienced eyes, and check out the local art scene with my new character, Elle Garvey, in mind.

I had lunch with friend Connie Hipp who helped me so much while writing Sweet Caroline.

I also stopped in to see her daughter, Catherine, who works for the Chamber of Commerce. Catherine and the Chamber were also very kind to me during my first visit.

I met my resident lawywer-turned-bookstore owner, Lisa Estes. She answered my legal questions for Sweet Caroline and interestingly enough, bought the down town book store, Bay Street Trader.

My local artist expert, Deanne Bowdish walked me through her gallery, The Gallery, talking art and what it takes to run a gallery. Deanna was a great help and inspiration.

I actually had a unique experience while viewing art in her gallery. While studying the abstract pieces, I noticed I didn't feel "comfortable." They challenged me, sort of.

The colors, the structure, the lines of the paintings.
But, when I got to the landscape scenes, I felt comforted. Why? Those are more like me. Yet, being challenged was good. We all need to be challenged.

Same with worship music, I'm discovering. But that's for another blog. We are home.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Life Unscripted

Welcome my friend and author Tricia Goyer!

If you have teen girls in your life, this book is a must!

My Life, Unscripted empowers teen girls to write their own script and direct their own life by using God's Script as a guide. Drawing on Biblical principles, this exciting new release guides girls through the tumultuous teen years by teaching them to have a plan of attack before temptation or hardship come.

Check out Tricia Goyer's My Life, Unscripted!

Note from Trisha:

Looking back at my drama-filled teen years I now wonder ... What was I thinking?

The truth? I wasn't. I lived from day to day on every wave of emotion. Some days excitement and passion partnered up, pattering wildly within my heart.

Other days, depression and anxiety were my silent friends. I lived each day as it came, with no plan for my future, for my relationships, or for my heart.

I lived my life completely unscripted ... and, well, it didn't go well for me. Teen pregnancy and a broken heart were only two consequences. Yet my prayer is that when teen girls are asked Who's Writing Your Life? their answer will be ME ... with the guidance of God, My Director.

An interview with Tricia:

Q: Tell me about My Life, Unscripted

Sure! With real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, My Life, Unscripted helps teen girls explore their own inner struggles and outward relationships. It's my hope they'll learn the importance of "scripting" their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise.

By contrasting real-life with TV/movies, it's my hope that teen girls will understand they don't have to get caught up in the drama. They don't have to face situations as they arise, but rather they can think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before they hit the big screen of their lives.

Q: Is it true that much of YOUR story shows up in these pages?

Gulp. Yes, I'm afraid so. In fact, I shared parts of my story that I SWORE I'd never tell a soul.

My teenage script (portrayed in the book as Trish Valley) wasn't one I'd suggest my daughter, nor my readers to copy.

Q: Tell me about these scripts.

The introductory script of Trish Valley shows a scene where Trish urges her mom to follow Trish's boyfriend into the McDonald's parking lot so she can "spill her news." The other girl in the car and her boyfriend's response to Trish's pregnancy are unfortunately not fiction. I wrote out the scenes as they would appear in an actual script. I even use all the correct terms and layout.

Q: In addition to teen pregnancy, what are some of the other "scripts"?

Do I have to tell? Well, I guess it's in print now! Let me see: fists fights with a rival, sneaking out of my parents' house, getting caught by my boyfriend kissing his best friend--does that give you an idea? Do I have to go on?

Q: No, you can stop there. But WHY? Why did you decide to share these stories?

First, because I want girls to understand the heartache of unwise decisions. I want to them to be able to relate to me, rather than feeling preached at. Also, I wanted to share my stories because many young women have faced the same type of situations, or they know friends who have. And finally because they are great object lessons for the importance of following biblical truth. That is something I did learn!

Q: What does your teenage daughter think about this book?

Leslie thinks it's great I'm able to connect with other teens. She's heard these stories for a while! She was 11-years-old when we first started volunteering together at a support group for teenage mothers together. As I taught the young moms things like nutrition and potty training, Leslie assisted adults in babysitting the toddlers. And while we loved giving and serving, it was the ride home that soon became the most meaningful part. As Leslie sat in the passenger's seat, I could see her mind considering my life as a teen mom, and she started asking questions.

Although it was hard to talk about my past mistakes, I knew this was an ideal opportunity to share real-life truths with my daughter. Each person walking this earth has regrets. Our talks showed me that instead of hiding my past troubles (and hoping my kids didn't find out) sharing my mistakes could actually give my daughter a better understanding to why values and wise decision-making skills are important.

Q: So now you're "having a heart-to-heart" with other teens through this book?

I sure hope that's how they see it! Those first talks with my daughter brought us closer, but I knew not every girl has had someone to offer advice such as: "build a supporting cast of people you can trust" or "consider the character qualities you'd like for a leading man."

Q: Okay, so your book is for teens, but what about the moms out there who feel they have past mistakes they don't want to share?

Well, they could each write a book about their teen years! Ha- just kidding!

But for those moms out there, maybe your teen years were not as drama-filled as mine. Or, if they were, maybe you are fearful of sharing them with your teen. The truth is, teens learn best not with information and knowledge, but rather by hearing life examples and understanding how decisions can affect all parts of our lives. So, time to get brave, Mom. Open your heart and share what worked and what didn't. It just might help your daughter write a better script for herself.

Oh, yes, and consider buying your daughter My Life, Unscripted! Hopefully every teen girl can get some take-away to scripting a bright future!

Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing: From Dust and Ashes (2003); Night Song (2004), Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005); Arms of Deliverance (2006); A Valley of Betrayal (2007); A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007); and A Whisper of Freedom (Spring 2008).

Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category.

Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).

Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.

Tricia has three books that will be out soon ...

A Shadow of Treason (Moody Publishing), Fall 2007

Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah), January 2008

3:16 Teen Edition (Thomas Nelson), February 2008

Visit Trisha's web site. It's a lot of fun!

You didn't "do" email?

Chatting briefly on line with a friend the other day, she asked me about a certain blog schedule.

I said, "Yeah, you were supposed to blog."

She: "Really? Oh, rats. I didn't do email yesterday."

Me: "All day?"

She: "All day."

Me: "H-h-how-w-who-w-w-when? Is that even possible?"

I admired her bravery, disciple and skill. My daily pray goes something like, "Deliver me from email. Give me my daily word count."

But, I'm on a discpline course, yes siree Bob. Three years and a few months until 50, and I'm going to achieve a few things. Pesonal things. Discipline.

I can do it. Now, all I need is a plan. Wonder what they got for sale over on Ebay?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Winners for book drawings!!

Check for you name and please email ( me your address (snail mail!)

Congrats to the winners!

For Lisa Tawn Bergren's books:

Kathy S. for "The Betrayed."

And Nancy from over at Shoutlife for "The Begotten."

For Sandra Byrd's book, "Let Them Eat Cake" the winners are:

Christy Jan and Kathy S.

Please send my your snail mail's now. I'll get them to you as soon as you do!


Oh, also, my Mom wins a copy of Christine Lynxwiler's book "Forever Christmas." Sorry, she's my mom.

But, if you'd like a to win a copy of Chris's book, leave a comment and I'll draw for a name.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Forever Christmas

Welcome my good friend and writing co-hort, Christine Lynxwiler and her fabulous Christmas release, Forever Christmas. I've read this book and it's a must for your Christmas Season!


After two broken engagements, so-called runaway bride Kristianna Harrington is content to run her shop, Forever Christmas, in her little hometown of Jingle Bells, Arkansas, and forget about romance.

She reluctantly agrees to be the maid of honor at her best friend's wedding, but making it down the aisle becomes the least of her worries when a handsome newcomer threatens her precious town.

Kristianna vows to stop the striking lawyer hired to change the town name and turns to her childhood friends for help. But Ami is busy with wedding plans, and Garrett seems more interested in bowling than politics.

Will Kristianna get the help she needs before both her town and her Christmas spirit are extinguished?

* * * * *
Forever Christmas Reviews:

". . .a delightful romance with a few twists I didn't see coming. A romantic tale, it's perfect for Christmas gift-giving. It's well written and the plot makes it a fun read. It held my interest from beginning to end. . . A great read with a warm and satisfying end."
~ Reviewed by Ane Mulligan for Novel Reviews

". . .a wonderful book for those who enjoy holiday sentiments, a touch of mystery and a delightful romantic story. Once you visit Jingle Bells, Arkansas through the pages of this book you will see Christmas in a different light. Kristianna's desire for God's will for her life reigns true and love comes in the most unexpected places. Come dashing through the snow and be warmed with the love of Forever Christmas."
~ Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views

About Chris:
Award-winning novelist Christine Lynxwiler lives with her husband and daughters in a small town nestled in the north Arkansas Ozarks. Her other books include Promise Me Always and Arkansas.

When writing Forever Christmas, Christine used her own love for both the hometown of her childhood and her current hometown as a pattern for Kristianna's passion for Jingle Bells. However, regardless of local rumors, the quirky townspeople are strictly figments of her imagination.

When she's not working on her next deadline, you might find Christine kayaking on the nearby river with her family, poking around auctions and estate sales with friends, or curled up alone in a quiet corner with a great book. Please visit her at and sign the guestbook to let her know you stopped by!

Click HERE to buy Forever Christmas now!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ministers of Fire

I love this idea! Ministers of fire. Flaming ones.

Psalm 104 says, "God makes His ministers flames of fire."

Okay, really, what does that mean? To me, passion? Fiery ones, burned by His seal, imprinted with His love.

Living sacrifices. Right? Paul tells us via his letter to the Romans to present our bodies as a living sacrifice.

We've lost a lot of the idea of self sacrifice or living for others in our current culture, but in a way, the wave of terrorism by radical Islamist reminds us.

There is something GREATER than me to live for! How incredible. But I can be a living sacrifice without killing myself or others in Jesus's world.

Ways to sacrifice? Well, food. Fasting. Big fav of mine. (Not, but I'm working on it.) Giving of our money. This I love to do. But I know it's hard for others. It takes faith - living sacrifice.

Watching my tongue. Putting God first. Seeking His counsel before man's. Reading His Word, believing it and doing it. Putting others before myself.

There are so many ways. I can't do them all at once, though I can try, and keep them in mind as opportunity presents.

Oh, Lord, make me one of Your ministers of fire.

See this great YouTube video. Love this song!