A Son’s Vow

February 2nd, 2016

A Son’s Vow

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By Shelley Shepard Gray

Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family.

Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

Shelley Shepard Gray’s first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.

ISLAND BREEZES

Violence and abuse are not usually something we connect with Amish communities, but Amish have human frailties just as the rest of us do.

A factory fire three months prior has many in the small town of Charm upset and not necessarily acting as the previously did. The town has turned against Darla and her family.Her brother, Aaron is allowing his anger to overflow into physical abuse.

Lukas, Darla’s friend since childhood, seems to have abandoned her. When he does finally reach out to her, the tension present between them makes it seem as if the friendship can’t be repaired. Because Lukas and Darla both have angry family members it won’t be easy to mend the wounds, but the two of them are determined to try.

Thank you, Ms Shepherd Gray for another good read. This book digs farther into interactions within the Amish community, and shows us that the simple life isn’t always so simple. I’m looking forward to your next book in The Charmed Amish Life series.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Connect with Shelley here at her website.

Happy Groundhog’s Day

February 2nd, 2016

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It Ended Before It Began

January 28th, 2016

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Above you are the crew members of the Challenger whose flight was very short lived thirty years ago today. This tragedy preempted the state of the union speech of President Reagan.

 

‘Beyond the Silence’ by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse (Plus a Giveaway and Facebook Party)

January 27th, 2016

Lillian Porter takes a chance on a new job and a new future . . . but rumors surrounding her job make Lillian begin to wonder if she made the right choice in Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse’s Beyond the Silence. There are rumors in town that her new employer, Woodward Colton, caused the death of his wife. This accusation doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know . . . but soon the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. Will Mrs. Goodman and Jimmy be able to speak what they know in time to save Lillian from tragedy?

Tracie and Kimberley are celebrating the launch of Beyond the Silence with a Loaded Fire Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on February 11!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • One copy of Beyond the Silence
  • A Kindle Fire 7
  • A $50 Amazon gift card to load your Fire with books

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/11. The winner will be announced at the Beyond the Silence Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie, Kimberley, and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!0

Beyond the Silence

January 26th, 2016

Beyond the Silence

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By Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

The shadows over this olive grove hide more than just the truth. . . .
Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.
Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love—or will it endanger her even more?

ISLAND BREEZES

Lillian strikes out for the west coast and a nanny position. By so doing, she became estranged from her grandfather. She can’t listen to the gossip about her new employer, because she no longer has anywhere else to go.

The longer she works for Woodward Colton, the more false the rumors seem. But why doesn’t Jimmy speak? He’s been mute for nearly a year no and Lillian is trying so hard to help him.

It seems that his problem is tied to his mother’s death, but no one but Jimmy knows why he no longer speaks. Will it take another tragedy before he speaks again?

Thank you so much Ms Peterson and Ms Woodhouse. You two ladies work well together. I hope you plan to team up again for future books.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Tracie Peterson is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books. Having given her heart to Jesus at the young age of six, Tracie has always felt called to some form of ministry, and writing fulfills that mission field.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family—especially her three grandchildren—Rainy, Fox, and Max.

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Kim Woodhouse is a devoted wife and mother, and a third generation Liszt student. She has passed down her love of the arts to hundreds of students throughout the years, recorded three albums, and appeared at more than 700 venues.

Her quick wit, enthusiasm, and positive outlook through difficult circumstances have gained her audiences at conferences, retreats, churches, military functions, and seminars all over the country.

The Woodhouse family’s story has been on the front page of newspapers, in magazines, articles, medical journals, and most recently featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They were also asked to share their story on The Montel Williams Show and Discovery Health Channel’s Mystery ER.

Kim has been writing seriously for fifteen years. Songs, plays, short stories, novels, picture books, articles, newsletters—you name it—she’s written it. It wasn’t until a dear friend challenged her to “do something with it,” that she pursued publication. She now has multiple books to her credit, with more on the way.

Kim lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband and their two children in a truly “Extreme” home.

In Honor of MLK, Jr

January 18th, 2016

The Maccabeats and Naturally 7, two a cappella groups, sing “Shed a Little Light” in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

Why Cruz?

January 15th, 2016

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Just wondering why everyone is in such an uproar over Cruz being born in Canada with only one American parent when nothing at all is being said about Rubio. Rubio might have been born in the United States, but he had no American parents. Both his parents were Cuban who didn’t choose to become U.S. citizens until Rubio was four years old.

People have difficulty figuring out what a natural born citizen is. It seems as if the framers of our constitution did not want to take a chance on someone being elected to serve in the leadership of this country who might have divided loyalties. Thus the need for two American parents with the birth on American soil.

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Don’t even go there about Barry Soetoro. Have you ever seen anything that said he renounced his Indonesian citizenship? Neither have I.

What Pro-Life Really Means | Evangelicals for Life

January 6th, 2016
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Even if you’re not heading to Washington, D.C., January 21–22 for the March for Life event, block out some time those two days because you’ll be able to attend some of the events in the comfort of your own home. Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.
Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.



What Pro-Life Really Means

By Daniel Darling

It was a flippant comment by the spokesmen for a presidential candidate: “It doesn’t matter. They’re just Muslims.” But it made shudder.

This is how societies begin to dehumanize a people group, and every generation of Christians is responsible to face this thinking and fight it. This is what it means to be a pro-life champion.

We are pro-life because we are pro-human dignity. It is the uniquely Christian message that sees in every soul a person created in the image of God.

When Planned Parenthood and their allies say, “That’s just a fetus,” we say, “No, that’s a baby, a human life, that deserves dignity and respect.”

When corrupt profiteers look at vulnerable young girls and boys and say, “They are just a commodity to be trafficked for money,” we say, “No, they are boys and girls created in the image of God and deserving of dignity and respect.”

When eugenicists look at the elderly and say, “They are just burdens to be managed,” we say, “No, human dignity is not defined by utility, but is a unique gift given by God.”

When politicians look at immigrants and say, “They are a drain on society,” we say, “No, they are created in the image of God and worthy of kindness, welcoming, and respect.”

When ISIS brutally dehumanizes its victims—Christians, Muslims, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their ideology—and they say, “They are just infidels,” we say, by our acts of justice, “No, they are people created in the image of God and worthy of life and respect.”

When the disabled are marginalized, we say, “No, each was created in the image of God and is worthy of our full love and acceptance.”

Even in our discourse, even when we look across the aisle, across the screen, across the table at someone who doesn’t share our beliefs, we say to ourselves, “This person is worthy of respect and dignity because they too were created in the image of God.”

Human dignity, the intrinsic worth of every human soul, is not just a once-every-four-years mantra for voter guides and political scorecards. We live out the imago de as a way of life, and we seek justice wherever human dignity is compromised.

This is why ERLC and Focus on the Family join hands to help raise up a new generation of evangelicals who are passionate about the sanctity of human life. This why you should come to Washington, D.C., this January to the Evangelicals for Life event or participate via the free simulcast at your church or on your computer.

You should join Evangelicals for Life, not simply to make a powerful stand in the nation’s capital. You should come, not simply to be stirred by the gifted speakers. You should come, not only to fellowship and strategize with other champions for life.

You should be a part of of Evangelicals for Life because God is calling you, in this time and in your sphere of influence, to be a voice for human dignity.

Answer for yourself what it means to have a pro-life, whole-life vision. Discover where your gifts and talents best serve the kingdom of God in this way, and send a message to the world that your Christianity compels you to look every human being in the eye and not see what everyone sees. You see in them the image of their Creator.

Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), the co-sponsor of the Evangelicals for Life conference. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College and has studied at  Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Angela have four children and reside in the Nashville area. They attend Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where Dan serves as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

Another Year

January 1st, 2016

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I pray that you all will be blessed in 2016

At Love’s Bidding

December 31st, 2015

At Love’s Bidding

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By Regina Jennings

She sells priceless antiques. He sells livestock by the pound. Is he really the man to make a bid for her heart?

After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she’s accidentally sold a powerful family’s prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the people who could ruin them forever, they track it to the Missouri Ozarks and make an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house and all its holdings before the painting can move again.

Upon crossing the country, however, Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn’t deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt Ballentine, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don’t know a thing about the business he’s single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count—but no mysterious painting—Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

 

ISLAND BREEZES

Talk about a culture clash! The difference between antique auctions and cattle auctions is huge. So is the lifestyle each represents.

Coming from Boston and being confronted by the rustic west was a shock to Miranda and her grandfather. They struggled to adapt as they searched for a valuable painting that had gone astray.

It appears that both the recovery of the painting and a blooming relationship are doomed. Miranda and her grandfather return back home empty handed. Can they possibly turn things around?

Thank you, Ms Jennings, for this book with such a delightful twist.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children. You can visit her website here.