Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang

Please welcome my friend Maureen Lang. I'm excited about this book! It sounds so good.

Whisper on the Wind

She risked everything to rescue him. But what if he doesn’t want to be saved?

Belgium, 1916 The German Imperial Army may have conquered Belgium on its march through Europe, but the small country refuses to be defeated.

An underground newspaper surfaces to keep patriotism alive and bring hope and real news of the war to the occupied country.

It may be a whisper amongst the shouts of the German army, but it’s a thorn in their side nonetheless—and Edward Kirkland will do anything to keep it in print . . . even risk his life.

Isa Lassone is a Belgium socialite whose family fled Europe at the first rumblings of war.

Now, two years later, she sneaks back across enemy lines, determined to rescue Edward--the man she has loved from afar since she was a child. But will he ever see her as more than the wealthy, silly girl his mother once cared for as a daughter?

When Edward refuses to leave, so does Isa, and soon she is drawn into his dangerous double life. But the Germans are closing in on the paper, and Edward had never planned to put any one else at risk . . . especially the beautiful, smart, yet obstinate young woman who has inconveniently managed to work her way into his life—and into his heart.

"Whisper on the Wind brings to life a time and place too often forgotten in historical fiction. The suspenseful climax kept me on the edge of my seat!"
--Lynn Austin, best-selling author of Though Waters Roar

"A suspense-filled romance, an exciting page-turner, one that will have readers racing to reach the end so they can discover how it will turn out. I highly recommend Whisper on the Wind."
Robin Lee Hatcher, best-selling author of A Vote of Confidence

A note from Maureen
Whisper on the Wind holds a special place in my heart, because I conceived the idea during a time in my life when I wasn't actively writing. I knew "someday" when I could devote myself to writing again, this would be the book I'd write.

And here it is, years later--a book inspired by the true events surrounding a Belgian newspaper, La Libre Belgique. During the German occupation of Belgium in the First World War, the Germans ordered every legitimate Belgian newspaper to submit to censorship--and so sprang up La Libre Belgique, one of the few voices of opposition to the propaganda the Germans circulated.

Their goal was to bring hope to a suppressed nation, and many people lost everything from their freedom to their fortunes, some even their lives to see this paper circulated. With so much material, it was easy to create a romantic tale of adventure and intrigue, so I hope you’ll enjoy the story--knowing the story-behind-the story is full of factual history.

A little about Maureen
Maureen Lang is the author of several novels, including Pieces of Silver (a Christy finalist), The Oak Leaves (Holt Medallion Award of Merit, finalist in ACFW’s Book of the Year and Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contests) and Look to the East (Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest winner and Carol Award finalist).

She is also the recipient of RWA’s Golden Heart and ACFW’s Noble Theme Award (now the Genesis). Maureen lives in the Midwest with her family and their much-loved dog, Susie.

Visit Maureen Here:

Whisper on the Wind is available at any bookstore, from Tyndale House Publishers or online at: Amazon and other retailers.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Give your husband lots of brownie points

Hubby and I were sitting at lunch with the senior pastor and his wife today, talking about marriage and a video on marriage they were watching.

We laughed about how wives give husbands brownie points for doing the things we ask them to do. Or for surprising us with little things or doing an unasked household chore. And they are doled out one at a time. "Thank you for giving the kids a bath, honey. You earned a brownie point."

Husbands don't generally give wives brownie points. Back to the truth that they are simple and uncomplicated. They love all the things we love, they are just less intricate about it.

Dinner? We want a nice sit down meal with the food in bowls in the table. They want something hot and a paper plate that won't collapse when they load it up.

Back to brownie points. When a husband does something undesirable, or forgets an important date or event, he loses those precious brownie points in droves! "Didn't you remember to pick up the clothes from the dry cleaner. Minus a bazillion brownie points."

He's in the hole for eternity now. Why bother with the favorable acts only get one point at a time.

As we laughed about this, trying to understand why wives give points at all, I said, "I don't remember how many brownie points Hubby has, but one time he did something nice for me and I gave him 1500 points on the spot. When he did something "bad" he only lost one."

Pastor was impressed. I said, "Well, Jesus finds all kinds of ways to give us credit where we don't deserve it. I figure I can do no less."

Jesus said if you give someone a cup of cold water you won't lose your reward. How generous is He? As if the Cross alone doesn't tell me.

How can I be stingy with honoring and esteeming others? And honestly, I'd like the same treatment shown to me. Mercy! Generosity. Honor!

What about you? Do you honor? Are you generous with giving brownie points and stingy when taking them away. Or generous with deleting them from your spouses account and stingy when rewarding?

Let's not be like that beloved! Give. Rejoice. Honor. God will make sure you do not lose out. It's not in His nature to be stingy and if we are in His image, it should not be in ours.

Give some brownie points today!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Flip Flops the shoe of the south

The bottom of my closet is covered with shoes. The wall rack is laden with sneakers, sandals and Mary Janes.

Shoes I've forgotten, shoes I never wear, shoes that I wonder why I bought in the first place.

But I hate tossing out shoes. Cause sooner or later, I'll need them. It always happens.

But my commitment to flip-flops is hard core. My other shoes live a lonely existence on my closet floor.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Really, is it about Jesus? Or me?

Years ago I had a dream. I was in my physical house and the Lord hovered over me. I saw my curling iron plugged into the kitchen outlet. The blender was plugged into the bathroom outlet.

The Lord said, "You can't exchange your experience for truth, or you feelings for faith."

Experience and feelings are valid, but they must be viewed through the light of the Word and the faith that comes from Jesus, and the Spirit that dwells within us.

Our struggles and successes should always, always, always point to Jesus and that He has set us free. How He is the way, the truth, the light. The magnificent healer and deliver.

If we're living in the past, we reflect nothing of His divine nature.

Beloved, look up! Look to Jesus. Tell the world how He's set you free. If you can't, are you really free? Is your Christianity based more on your experienced and feelings than the truth of Him?

I struggle daily with this! Despite my desires for success, I must want, I must crave Jesus to shine more from me... than me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall

The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall
Coming Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Headstrong schoolteacher Lena Kauffman finds herself at the center of controversy in her Amish community when a young man in her classroom refuses to submit to her authority.

As her friends and family rally around her, especially longtime friend Grey Graber, things go from bad to worse when Grey’s wife, Elsie, becomes an accidental target in trouble meant for Lena. As the present unravels around them, each must find their own way through their private pain in order to find peace and a brighter future.

The Bridge of Peace is the second novel in the Ada’s House series and it returns to Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and the beloved characters from The Hope of Refuge—Christy finalist, Inspirational Readers Choice Contest finalist, and a Carol Award finalist.

To read the first chapter of The Bridge of Peace or see a list of places to order it online, go here.

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

She’s coauthor of an upcoming spring release, Plain Wisdom, which is a nonfiction book of touching and humorous life events written with an Old Order Amish friend.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nutrisystem for my soul

My weight started creeping up in the past few years. I was okay with a ten extra pounds, frowned at fifteen, gasped when I jumped -- over night, seriously, I'm not kidding -- to twenty.

Then twenty-five... What is going on? I exercise. I watch emotional eating. But some days the struggle of writing drives me to the fridge.

Sandwiches and chips are my favorite meal. Finally, when I hit the "What?! No way!" weight, I decided to do something about it.

I lost weight on Weight Watchers before, but counting points wasn't working for me this time. I'd do fine for breakfast, falter through lunch and by dinner I gave up, unsure of how many points I'd eaten.

This summer I started the P90x workout. It was such a hard routine I thought, "If I'm going to work myself this hard, I'd best change my eating."

So, it's been a summer of changing up routines. I loved the quiet of shutting down blogging and social media. It's still hard to get back into it. While I love the cyber conversations, I discovered I loved treasuring myself. Social media can be a rude friend. We put ourselves out there -- "Guess what I'm doing?" and the world doesn't answer. "What am I, wood?"

So yeah...

Last night hubby and I talked with a friend about our country's current political, social, and spiritual climate. Less you deceive yourself that these are three separate entities, let me encourage you otherwise. They are very much related. There is no such thing as separation of church and state. They influence each other.

As we talked, this phrase came out as part of the conversation: "Get your soul in to subjection."

It pinned me to my chair. While not directed at me, I heard what the Spirit was saying.

"Rachel, you have a fat soul."

I've spent some of summer improving my physical condition. Some of the summer improving my spiritual condition. But if they were to be weighed and balanced, the physical would out weight the spiritual.

My heart sank. I've committed the grievous sins of the Pharisees. Caring more about the outside than the inside.

I saw my soul expand beyond my physical borders. I thought I was submitted and committed to the narrow walk with Jesus. But in that moment, I knew I was way more committed to my own wants, desires, comfort, needs and satisfaction than His will.

My soul was far from true subjection. I tell myself if God wants to take it all away, I'm fine with His choice. I want to live submitted to His Lordship. But last night, I knew I wasn't fine. Especially when it comes to the larger picture of my nation and my very way of life.

Hubby was so stirred, he had to escape to pray for a while.

We, as weak humans, are so navel gazing. So worried about our own souls we lose sight of the Main Thing. This is Jesus's world, and He's coming again to rule and reign. He is king! The Father's plan for Jesus will be accomplished and He'll do whatever He needs so the world comes to the knowledge of the truth.

If it comes down to Rachel Hauck living in peace and safety verses the reality of the Kingdom coming on earth like it is in heaven, the latter wins.

It's not that I think God chooses bad for me. No, not at all. He loves me! But He chooses to position me so that NOTHING has first affection and first place in my heart but the return and glorification of His son.

Jesus's return to take His rightful place is preeminent in the Father's heart. Jesus's obedience supersedes any thing I've every done. His return is the plan of heaven since the foundations of the earth.

Take that soul.

Remember when Jesus told His disciples He was going to be killed. Peter said, "No Lord, may it never be." Jesus rebuked him. Call him Satan. Why? Because Peter's mind was on his own heart, not the will of the Father.

Jesus death and resurrection defeated death and hell. One evil night for a glorious reward.

I am Peter in some ways. "No Lord." But my rebuke is the same as Peter's. "Your mind is not on the will of the Father."

And He's be right.

What can I do? What's the Nutrisystem for my fat soul? David wrote, "I humbled my soul with fasting." Paul admonished us to forget what lies behind and press forward to what lies ahead.

Time to fix my heart's gaze on Him. "Not to us, O Lord, but to YOUR name give glory."

Not to us... not to us.