Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday Book Giveaway & Guest blogger, Caryl McAdoo

I love Wednesdays! It's my book giveaway day and the day I set aside for guest bloggers. Today please welcome the prolific and delightful author Caryl McAdoo.

Simon & Schuster, Christian hybrid author, Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series: her historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; the contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; and ‘The Generations’, her Biblical fiction.

Caryl loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband
Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County.

Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers.

Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county
seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

Caryl is available across the internet. You can find her and her books at these links:
Sing A New Song
Website  -
   (All First Chapters are offered here)
Newsletter -
  (Get FREE books for subscribing!)
Reviewer? -
 (Join Caryl’s Street Team!)
Facebook -
Puzzle -
Blog  -
GoodReads -
Google+  -
Twitter -
Pinterest -

Wow! Caryl, you are a busy woman.


Many years ago—I’m unsure exactly when—someone I came upon asked innocently as we all do at one time or another, “How you doing?” It’s a casual question, and you’d probably agree

ninety-eight percent of the time, the most often response is ‘good’ or ‘fine.’ But I wasn’t, my heart hurt over something that happened earlier. But what did I answer? “I’m fine, just fine.”

Now I profess to be a guardian of the Truth, have for decades. I hate lies. Holy Spirit said to nmy heart, YOU JUST TOLD A LIE. I couldn’t argue. I had, an out and out, bold faced lie. I repented and from that day forward, made a conscientious effort never to do that again. 

I prayed and the Spirit and I came up with blessed and highly favored. That is always the Truth. No matter the circumstances, I am always blessed and highly favored. If we belong to Christ, then we all are, no matter what happens.

Highly favored I am among women to be the wife of my wonderful wise and Godly husband; I’m mama to four healthy children; and fourteen grandsugars call me Grami. Forget new cars and houses and food and electric bills. Forget the opened doors and His favor that goes ahead of me. Just to be His, just to be called according to His purpose, I am so blessed.

I’ve made it a habit, for nigh on to thirty years now, ninety-eight percent of the time, I answer I am blessed and highly favored. This response offers many advantages in glorifying God, which is my goal in life—to bring glory to His name. Answering “I’m blessed and highly favored!” brings a myriad of reactions.

Christians will say, “Well, Praise the Lord, I am, too! I like that answer, we are blessed!”

So it gives them the opportunity to speak up and praise the Lord. Others might give a weak smile and say, “Uh, that’s good.” So I give them the short version of my testimony how that’s ALWAYS true where saying good or fine is often a lie. How I’m a guardian of the truth. Some think about it and say, “You know, that’s right!” Others repeat, “Uh, that’s good.”

Another benefit of this positive confession is that Almighty God creates the fruit of my lips (Isaiah 57:19). Think about it. He spoke everything into existence—light, the world, all the fish in the seas, the birds in the air, and all the animals; everything that creeps and crawls, too. All except man who formed and fashioned in His own image, made us to be like Him.

Why wouldn’t we expect the things we say to come into being?

I am here to testify. For all these years, I’ve confessed I am blessed and highly favored—thousands of times, maybe tens of thousands. God Himself has created my words and I AM. BLESSED. And HIGHLY FAVORED.  

You can be, too. Get into the habit. May be hard at first, but try it, you’ll like it!

Let me give a few recent examples.

In 2012, a brand new house – we got to choose the floor plan and paint color and most every detail down to the sinks and light fixtures, but didn’t have to pay one invoice. Our house, The

Peaceable, sits back in the woods on 34 acres a few miles south of Clarksville, Texas.

Also that year in April, I met Mary Sue Seymour, a New York agent who liked my writing and told me if I’d write a historical Christian romance, she’d sell it. I wrote VOW UNBROKEN

in nine weeks, sent it to her, and she sold it to Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books in barely five months after we met.

We moved into The Peaceable in July 2013. VOW UNBROKEN debuted in March 2014 to wonderful reviews that continue to make me cry. Publishers Weekly favorably reviewed it. God opened the doors—and gave me the strength—to twenty-six events, parties and in store book signings in twenty-two cities, over thirty blog interviews and articles, and five magazines, two of which had me on the cover.

Just before that busy month, my car’s transmission died, and I didn’t know how in the world I would make all those events, but I knew God did. My sister let me borrow her car the first week

while she was in Colorado. That next Tuesday I was told to find what kind of car I wanted. I visited different dealerships all over the DFW Metroplex and chose a Green Toyota Corolla.

Then I was told to find the particular Toyota dealer with the best out the door price. When I had, and called God’s chosen servant, she came and wrote a check for the brand new vehicle – paid in

full – and put it in mine and Ron’s name. Isn’t He amazing?

And I already could share awesome 2015 examples, but this is probably too long already! Just anyone try and convince me that I am not blessed and highly favored!

Oh let me tell you, the devil and his minions hate it and try over and again to steal my peace and my joy, try to make me believe I am not blessed and highly favored. People listening to him plot and scheme to bring me down. But when God is for me, who can stand against me? In the midst of their lies and unfounded meanness, I can still say, “I am blessed and highly favored.”

And it is true! It is always true!

Try it. I encourage you to take up answering that you are blessed and highly favored. It takes some getting used to but soon enough, it’s so much fun, and it becomes your normal response.

It’s a testament to our God just to tell others that you are blessed and highly favored. It pleases Him. I think He smiles every time I say it.

So how about it? Are you blessed and highly favored?

Then start telling everyone who asks!

Thank you, Caryl. I'm going to give this a try and so I begin now - I am blessed and highly favored.

Now Available! 

The untimely death of her father shatters Mary Esther Robbins’ heart and separates her from her grade school best friend, Samuel Levi Baylor. During their twenty years apart, she fulfills her life’s dream of penning new songs and singing God’s praise with a Christian band, while he tends his growing cattle herd and shares the Good News at every opportunity.

The Lord brings her home then throws them back together when Samuel agrees to help Mary Esther move and remodel her childhood home. The two decades lost vanish, and their time together convinces both the other is the true soul mate. But misunderstanding and fear keeps them from expressing their true love. Though jealousy rears its ugly head, can love and commitment hold the two together? And while they’re both committed to ministering the Gospel together, can they do it as husband and wife?

Caryl will be giving away a FREE copy of her book. To have a chance to win just leave a comment and make sure to include your email address so she can contact you.

We have a winner from last week. Congratulations to Janelle. You have won a copy of Cynthia Hickey's The Ranchers Dilemma! Way to go!

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wednesday Book Giveaway - Guest Blogger, Cynthia Hickey

Happy Wednesday! And welcome to Cynthia Hickey my blogging guest this week. 

Multi-published author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries published through Barbour Publishing, with a novella releasing in March 2013. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013 and 2014 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.

Visit her website at
  Make sure to sign up for her newsletter.
On Twitter at @cynthiahickey
Facebook at


I’ve been making up stories since I was little. Almost since the time I learned to read. Interestingly enough, I wanted to be a teacher. Being an author didn’t occur to me in any shape or form, although I always wrote my stories down. No, I was pretty emphatic about being a teacher.

Funny how God often has other plans. I didn’t go to college (kind of need to in order to be a teacher). I got married right out of high school when my boyfriend joined the Air Force. It wasn’t until my second marriage and almost twenty years later that I became a teacher of sorts. First, girl scouts, then Sunday school for ten years, then foster care for nine more years, then I worked in an Elementary School as a Detention Monitor. Maybe not a teacher in the normal sense, but still a teacher all the same.

And, I kept on writing my stories down. While working at the Elementary School, I had opportunities to write while supervising students. As time went by, I wrote more and dealt less with children. My dream was changing.

Or…was teaching ever what I was meant to do in the first place? Was I stepping outside of God’s will for me? Sure, I was ministering, in a way, to His flock, but did God want me to take all those story ideas He gave me and put them in the pages of a book?

I entered a time of introspection. 

Now, with one teenager still at home, God has given me the gift of full-time writing. Isn’t it funny how He can change your dream? Or did He?

Cynthia, thank you so much for sharing your story. God knows all of our days ... we get to live them out and discover what he had in store all the time.

Cynthia's new book.
FREE copy to one of you!

On May 12, 1924, a park forest ranger notices rocks out of place near the mouth of the Kilauea Volcano. On Sunday, May 18, the ground splits open, rocks, fire, and ash fill the sky, and those who chose not to evacuate are in a fight for their lives.

LUCY DILLOW, daughter of the local pastor enjoys her days of ministering to Hawaii's friendly people and teaching their young in a simple one-room schoolhouse. When the order arrives to evacuate because of the uncertainty of the volcano, she decides to stay behind with her family in case they are needed, and to keep a journal of the volcano's activity. She doesn't expect to butt heads with a handsome rancher over the danger involved.

JACK GARRISON is ranching land passed down from generation to generation. When the volcano threatens to blow, he refuses to leave his cattle to perish. Instead, he works to save them, herding them as far away from the volcano as possible. Once his livelihood is safe, he turns to helping those who need him; namely the beautiful daughter of a missionary who challenges everything he believes in.

This unlikely couple join forces as part of a team to warn the villagers of impending danger, and find themselves falling in love despite the odds against them. Can they survive nature's fury and each other's differences in order to forge a future together?

This sounds like a good read. I love the butting of heads in a romance. And an exotic location doesn't hurt either.

If you'd like a chance to win a FREE copy make sure to leave a comment and don't forget to include your email address so Cynthia can contact you.

We have a winner from last week.  Maxie, Congratulations!

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, April 13, 2015

Sharing The Burden

How would you feel if you were given the following list of no-no's? And the list applied for the remainder of your life?

Read on and then we'll talk.
  • NO neck stressing activities, such as roller-coasters, 4-wheeler, skateboards, horseback riding, motorcycles, wave pools, backpacking, falling asleep in chairs, extended reading with head bent etc.. Anything that “jars” your head and/or spine is a definite no-no. 
  • NO neck stressing sports, such as water skiing, snow skiing, snowboarding, sky diving, bungee jumping, diving, playing tennis, basketball, soccer, football etc. (Just trying to cover all the basics – you get the idea.)
  • NO contact sports.
  • NO Chiropractor! - Especially at the neck for Chiarian’s and for those with a Syrinx, no deep tissue in the area of your Syrinx. (The chiropractor should be well versed on Both CM/SM)
  • NO straining which includes straining to reach something, or even straining during a bowel movement. Take a fiber supplement every day if you tend to get blocked up. 
  • NO moving furniture or heavy objects around by pushing, pulling, lifting, or any other way. Pick up nothing heavier than a gallon of milk. I know – that sounds impossible, but keep that gallon of milk in the back of your mind.
  • NO moving around in the dark!
  • NO putting yourself into stressful situations or relationships. Try to relax, avoid noise and keep your neck muscles relaxed.
  • NO twisting your spine – try to keep a good posture with your spine lined up and straight.
  • NO bending over. Lower yourself to the floor by bending your knees – not your back.
  • NO sudden spinal/neck movements.
  • NO using the hair wash sink at the hair salon. Instead ask for the special tray that most hair salons have that are designed to accommodate people who are unable to bend their head/necks backward.
  • NO Lifting more than 15 lbs. when strength training or backpacking. Heavy lifting is generally not recommended especially if you have a Syrinx.
  • AVOID sleeping in a head down position.
  • AVOID cervical traction.
  • AVOID lumbar punctures, spinal taps or epidurals, unless it is a well-informed Chiari doctor....if a LP is drawn too quick it can cause the tonsils(these are not the tonsils in your throat) to herniate even further. Done incorrectly, this can be very dangerous for a Chiarian.
  • AVOID doing any kind of activity that causes you to bend your head backwards, such as: bending back to gargle, washing hair in the shower etc.
  • AVOID food with too much salt. Especially for woman during their premenstrual period.
  • DON'T participate in any physical activity that puts you in jeopardy of falling and or creating trauma of any kind.
  • DON’T try to keep commitments when you’re feeling badly. Listen to your body.

Now, pretend that this is your list. Close your eyes and see the activities you love and then realize you can never do those things again.

This is a real list that is given to people who live with Syringomyelia and another condition called Chiari. This is my daughter's list. And it doesn't even include all the scary "do's" and the big questions about what is coming.

There are a lot of other illnesses in this world that limit people's lives. It's not fun. It's not fair. But it is life.

When we look around at the people in the grocery store aisle, at the bus stop, or our work places, and even in our churches we don't know what they live with every day. We don't know their list or their challenges and heartaches.

All we do know is that many of them are suffering. So, in that case maybe we should give each other a break - stop judging, stop assuming, and instead love and pray for one another. Be kind to one another. And patient with one another.

Sadly, our world lacks these qualities that the Bible calls the fruit of the spirit. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Humanity carries enough burdens in this life without our adding to a person's load. Yet we do it, and in fact, we are encouraged to do so by what we see on television, hear in our music, and see on the big screen.

Perhaps it would be better to help unload another person's burden or help carry it. God asks us to share our burdens. He wants to help us carry them. Simply because He loves us ... unconditionally

Grace and peace to you from God,


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Love Keeps Growing

Today I had the heart wrenching task of telling my ninety year old mother that her baby brother had died. Even at ninety saying farewell to a sibling is excruciating. It broke my heart to see her grief.

This is a photo of Mom and Donny taken many 
years ago on Alexander Creek, Alaska, where the family has a homestead.

Mom talked about the early days and how much she loves her six brothers and one sister. She and one brother, Harold, are the only two left now. They had a grand childhood in Alaska. They were poor and native and life wasn't easy but they had love and each other and, in the end, that's all that matters.

God sure is smart. When he created mankind he also created families. He knew we needed each other. Families are like the legs of a chair - it can't stand without them. 

I grew up with two older brothers and two younger sisters. There are four of us still on this planet. Our youngest sister went to heaven many years ago. I still miss her. 

Here we are when I was only ten. 

The bottom line is we have a history together and when the chips are down we can count on each other. I have no doubt that they would be here for me if I needed them. I'm thankful for the love we share. 

The time will come when we will have to say farewell, one by one. It's not going to be easy, but the Lord gave us a beautiful gift - heaven. When we say good-bye it is only for a while because one day we will be reunited.

I envision our mother (unless she outlives us) gathering all of us up, like a mother hen does her chicks. And in that place there will be no more tears, only joy and lots of love.

Do you have a brother or sister or mom or dad or special aunt or uncle or cousin or best friend that you'd like to tell how much they mean to you? Well, this is the place. All those who leave a comment will be included in this week's drawing for a FREE book. I'll be giving away a copy of Where Eagles Soar. Make sure to include you email address so I can contact you. 

I haven't forgotten that we have a book winner from last week. The winner is Ann Ellison! Congratulations! 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Steadfast - Guest Blogger, Eleanor Gustafson

It's Wednesday! That means I have a guest blogger and a book to give away. I'm thrilled to welcome the indomitable Eleanor Gustafson.

Why am I suited to write a story about extraordinary horses and an extraordinary God? I grew up loving horses, and God drew me to himself early on. I graduated Wheaton College and have been involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. A major writing goal has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant through the power of story.

My previous title with Whitaker House is The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David.

Writing From This Side of Heaven

I have been working on a novel for several years, its working title An Unpresentable Glory. I passed it by three pre-readers, all of whom had serious problems with it. I addressed these issues, rewrote major portions, and put it in the hands of yet another. Took him a long time—not a good sign—but when I offered an easy out, he convincingly wanted to finish—a good sign. One of my earlier readers had serious negatives, but he believed the novel needed to be published, if only for the last chapter. A very good sign.

The book’s diverse threads—gardening, American Indians, and politics—are complex. The characters are strong, the threads hold considerable interest, but the book is challenging to write and to read.

Another obstacle is the potential market for Glory. I write literary fiction, which sort of says it all. Who, these days, is into literary fiction? Easy reads and big-name authors have a ready audience. Lacking those advantages, I aim for page-turners, and those who manage to get past the hurdle of Ellie WHO usually like what they read.

The biggest challenge, though, is not the book itself, but bottom-line realities. I’m getting long in the tooth (aka old) and am nose-to-nose with the Big Question: Will I live long enough to finish this thing and actually get it published? I don’t write fast (The Stones set a record at 15+ years), so the odds are against me. Will my publisher be willing to pick up yet another of my risky novels? Will I be able to negotiate publicity and marketing challenges and actually get readers to buy my book?

I base my writing on a Christian worldview, and that means more than just choosing appropriate Bible verses to inject into my fiction. The Kingdom of God—the base of my operations—has many dimensions. We are familiar with our basic three (length, height, depth), but had we proper glasses, we’d probably see far more. Wild, indescribable colors; precious jewels and metals; creatures with eyes, wings, wheels; deep, untiring worship; love such as we’ve never experienced. But how do we live on this side of heaven, and how does one write from that perspective? Not easily, and certainly very carefully.

And then the matter of time. As I said, I write slowly. But everyday life doesn’t allow time for even minimal creative stuff. I write a lot, but mostly having to do with church (missions and other responsibilities), book-marketing tasks (blog, interviews, asking for reviews), and caring about countless people (church folk, missionaries, via email and phone calls). Love requires time and energy, but that’s what we’re called to do in this complex Kingdom of God.

Be steadfast. Walk in faith. I just read an article* that speaks of faith layers.

1. In basic, easy faith, you ask God to supply a need. He hears, he answers, and you rejoice.
2. You ask, he doesn’t seem to hear but then answers, and you rejoice even more.
3. Then those tough verses in Hebrews 11:35-40: There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

The latter is genuine, raw faith—believing without seeing. Our eyes must not be on what we get here on earth, but fixed on our Lord who promises “something better for us”—himself and his love.

May God give me that kind of steadfast love and faith for whatever amount of time he has allotted me. Finishing An Unpresentable Glory is truly a matter of faith—and in the Long Run is not even all that important.

* “Faith is the thing”—AndrĂ©e Seu Peterson (World Magazine, February 21, 2015)

Available April 2

Jeth Cavanaugh is searching for a new life along one of Pennsylvania's mountain ridges when he stumbles upon a stable of show jumpers owned by Rob and Katie Chilton. Throw in a volatile gaited stallion named Dynamo, and Jeth will do anything to work there. He earns his living by training and showing Rob's jumpers, but Dynamo is his primary passion.

Everything changes when God enters his life—in the unconventional form of a hard slap by an old girlfriend—and ignites a new, greater passion within him. But along with fervor comes fear at the undeniable evidence of God's hand on his life. Inexplicable events, both good and bad, make him moan plaintively, "Why does God do this to me? I get the feeling I'm being set up for something."

He is, indeed. Jeth's life is anything but predictable, much like the God he serves. The real Dynamo and his ultimate trainer emerge out of an excruciating mix of disaster and brokenness, which are never beyond the reach of redemption.
This story is God in your face: Who is He, really? What does He ask of us?


  Jeth rejoiced when Rob stayed home and only Cecil came with him to shows. In the midst of the tension he and Rob were living under, the boy was a calming presence. He even breathed peace on the horses. He talked to each one, nose-to-nose, and fussed over them. Jeth watched. I used to do that.   What happened? He locked his arm around Cecil’s neck. “Hey, lug—you’re good for me.”
  “Ow! Lug yourself! Lemme go!” Cecil laughed and clawed at Jeth’s arm.
  “I won’t let you go till you bless me. No, that won’t work. You bless me every day. What else can I get out of you?”
  “I’ll sic my mama on you!”
  “Oh, no!” Jeth tossed Cecil onto a pile of sawdust and rubbed a handful over the boy’s head. After a brief dust war, they both lay back and laughed joy into the core of their being.

Wow! This is special. I'm getting myself a copy today. And one of you can win a FREE copy. Just leave a comment along with your email address and you'll be included in next week's drawing.

Last week's winner is Deanna Stevens. Congratulations!

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, March 30, 2015

New Life & Dreams - Farewell Deb

Reluctantly I woke up at 7:30 this morning. I was having a lovely dream. My friend Debbie Note had come for a visit, and I didn't want to wake up. 

Deb has been sick for a long while and in the last weeks we all knew she would be stepping into eternity soon. I went to bed last night and my last thought was of her and her family. So, I don't think it's peculiar that I dreamed about Debbie this morning, except I've never had a dream about her before.

In the dream, Debbie came to my house for a visit. That is unusual. In all the years we've known each other she's never been here. We've attended writing conferences together (I love her writing) and I've stayed at her home in Eagle River several times, but in recent years Deb didn't like to wander far from home. So, this dream visit was special.

In the dream she was sick, but beautiful and full of peace and a quiet joy. She was tired so she took a nap. Someone came into the house and was speaking loudly. I asked them to speak quietly because Deb was sleeping. When she woke up we decided to go sight-seeing. It's beautiful here this time of year. 

We traveled about the countryside and came upon a ranch. We didn't know the people who lived there, but we wandered in anyway. There was a family there, but we didn't talk to them. We just peeked in - saw a couple of children and two men - cowboys. At one time in her life, Debbie was all about horses and horseback outings, so this isn't unusual.

When we started to leave, Deb stopped. She had a small paint brush in her hand and on the wall there were two red smears that I thought were blood. One was pale and lifeless, but the other one was a deeper red. She put the paintbrush to it and blended it with whatever was on the brush. It turned a deep, rich crimson and she said, "This is the blood of the man who eats pure and natural beef." And then we left. As we drove down the road we saw some riders who were herding cattle through a draw that had a creek running through it. It was a beautiful sight, golden and warmed by the sun. We stopped for a moment, then drove on, filled with joy and peace.

I'm not an interpreter of dreams, but I was deeply moved by this encounter with my friend. And I wondered if Debbie had passed on. 

I contemplated the dream and this is what I feel was being spoken to my spirit.  

All through the dream I felt a need for quietness, along with Deb's peace and powerful faith. Through the years, I've seen it many times - her passion for the Lord and His Word. Sometimes, it would just flow out of her, quietly and in Deb's special way. I am comforted to know that on this last day of her life, her heart was at peace. 

The blood on the wall? And beef? Well, our minds are funny sometimes, but I think this is all about how rich our lives can be if we will only feast on the Word of God and not let troubles and fears tread upon our Lord's beautiful provision and love. If we will only place our life completely in His hands it will be beautiful, no matter what tribulation comes our way.

And I'd like to think that the cowboys were all about Deb's ride into the light. She's in the presence of the King now where there is no more suffering and no more tears.

Farewell, Deb. I love you.

Here's Deb and some of the Yadas - Lori Benton, 
Bonnie Leon, Karen Ball, Ann Shorey and of course Deb.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Steadfast - Guest Blogger, Teresa Pollard

Another Wednesday and another guest. It is my pleasure to welcome, Teresa Pollard.

Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age.  She has a Masters degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years.

Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia.  Her website is

The Breaks

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.  Isaiah 40:31

“Give me a break.”  People have been using that expression all my life (long before they made Kit Kat bars).  But what does it mean? “Have mercy?” Or, “Forgive me?” Or, maybe  ... On the other hand, I’ve also heard all my life, “That’s the breaks,” meaning “Tough luck, you fool.”  

So which is it?  What is a “break”?

I suppose it’s both.  It’s a fork in the road where we have to make a choice.  Do we keep going along the same path we have been traveling or do we turn in a different direction?  Maybe the “big break” is straight ahead, waiting just around the bend where it can’t be seen yet.  But maybe it’s in that turn if we take the risk of making it.  

Sometimes we make the right choice. We find the “big break.”  Or maybe, what we found wasn’t what we were looking for at all, but for us, it’s even better.  

But what if we made the wrong choice?  What if we were supposed to make that turn a few miles back, and we missed it entirely. Are we just supposed to keep trudging on, putting one foot if front of the other? 

I don’t think so.  I think that’s exactly when we’re supposed to cry out to our Heavenly Father, “Abba, Daddy, please give me a break. I’ve lost my way, and I can’t find the path. 

Getting lost is always easy.  Until recently, I thought I was the most directionally challenged person on Earth.  Now I know better.  That “honor” belongs to my roommate!  Finding our way back to the right road is usually much more difficult. But God is good.  He’s merciful, and He has given us His Holy Spirit to help, comfort, and guide us.  

The only problem is we don’t always listen. It’s like we’re little children who babble, “I can do it myself” when we know, deep down, that we really can’t.  

But, maybe sometimes, the problem is that we aren’t lost at all. We’re actually right where He wants us to be, but we’re in a holding pattern (yes, I know I’m mixing my metaphors!) and 

we’re getting frustrated at the wait. We don’t know what lies ahead, and the temptation is to settle for something less than God’s best.  

My prayer is, “Lord, please help me to never again settle for less than Your best.”  

Not Guilty

It's 1974 and Carrie Shepherd, daughter of the minister at Windspree Community Church, is a college senior with plans to be a missionary in Africa. Raped by a masked assailant, Carrie is so traumatized she tells no one until she realizes  she's pregnant. Refusing to have an abortion, she must find the courage to face her family, her fiance, her friends, and a gossiping, angry congregation which m may include her attacker.

This book sounds great and Teresa is offering a free copy of Not Guilty or a copy of her soon to release, Not Ashamed. All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment. Make sure to include your email address so Teresa can contact you.

Grace and peace to you from God,