Thursday, March 5, 2015
This action-filled story of a young woman involved in intrigue in war-torn Richmond, Virginia, is the fourth in the Heroines Behind the Lines series. It seems like each one is a little more tense than the one before!
The young woman in question is Sophie Kent. Despite the fact that she was born and raised in the south, she hates slavery. It had been her plan to free Daphne--her mother's will gave her the slave--but before her mother's death, Sophie's father, now a prisoner of the Yankees, had had the will changed. Daphne and the others were hers, all right, but the new codicil in the will says she can't free them.
If the north won the war, though, all the slaves would be free. Meanwhile, what could she do? Why, she could serve the needy in that prison with all the Union soldiers. She and Daphne could take food over for the white and black prisoners. Except that starts the rumors running about her being a northern sympathiser--not a healthy position in the South's capital.
Fortunately (?), Lawrence Russel, a captain in the Southern army takes an interest in her. He helps her arrange to hold soirees in her mansion, inviting several of the officers and citizens of the town. But not before someone nails a warning on her house about what will happen to Yankee lovers.
Captain Russel would like to be much more than a decoy for her. He's just a little too friendly for a young lady who's remembering a certain Yankee reporter. But what can she do? He's the source of information she feeds to the Yankee troops, and the only reason she hasn't been hung as a traitor. She also lives in fear that someone will discover the hideaway in back of the wall in one of the upstairs bedrooms where the underground railroad takes people to freedom behind the enemy lines.
How long can she keep up this masquerade?
You might want to pick up a copy. I certainly hope so. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors, Deeper Shopping, Family Christian Stores, Booksamillion, and Fiction Finder.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
I love Sue Badeau's writing, don't you? This lady knows how to put a story together. Never mind my name at the top of the cover--I may have edited what little was needed, but Sue put this delightful short story together.
Remember Celia and Homer Evers and their family from Sue's last Sweetland story, Umoja? Well, just in case you didn't read it, Celia is a social worker at the DSS and Homer is the cook at Deanie's Diner and Bakery in Sweetland. They have six kids, all of them adopted.
In this story, the year is drawing close to Easter, a holiday that's always been a big deal in the Evers family. This year the oldest daughter, Jackie, is in college and on the track team. The team has been asked to stay close to the Bethel-Morgan College campus so that they can practice and have their first meet--so Jackie won't be home for Easter.
Then the second child, Billy, has the opportunity with some others to attend a leadership conference in Washington, DC, and Homer volunteers to help chaperone. They're leaving before Easter and won't be back until after.
And the youngest, Sammy, who has never been in good health, has seizures at school and is taken to the hospital, and Celia is spending every minute she can with the poor little guy.
Is anyone in the Evers family going to be able to go to the Sunrise Services at the city park?
What else can go wrong? You might want to grab this story so that you can find out the end. Set Free is only 99 cents and available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo Books.
Monday, March 2, 2015
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22, NKJV
And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God...." Luke 4:3a, NKJV
A lot of folks read the Bible or hear a preacher quote the Bible, and their conclusion is that Jesus's first temptation was to turn stones into bread. It seems to me it might be something even more important. It hadn't been that long since Jesus heard the Father say, "You are My beloved Son." And here in the Wilderness, Satan tests him: "IF you are the Son of God...."
Jesus was tempted in every way we are, so the Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:15. In other words, he was tempted beyond just in those forty days.
Been tempted to commit adultry? He was too at some point. (No, I don't know when.)
Gossiping? If anyone could have told stories on folks, He could have.
Lying? He could have saved His own skin if He had lied about Who He was or Who sent Him.
Vanity? More than one person tried to tell Him how great He was. When His own disciple did (Simon Peter), Jesus told Satan to get behind Him.
Theft? He didn't even steal from the government--the Romans, no less! He told people to pay their taxes. (Luke 22:20)
In other words, He resisted the urges that did not give God the Father reason to not be proud of Him. He will also help us do the same thing, if we will let Him.
Some folks think "sin" is the original four-letter word. Sin is missing the mark in one way or the other--sometimes by what we do and sometimes by what we don't do. It doesn't have to be what the world considers huge crimes. None of us are perfect and never will be, but each small victory over the temptations we are faced with makes God smile.
Father, I want to make You proud of me. I know I fall short way too often. Help me. I don't have the energy or ability to help everyone, but show me where I can. I love You, Lord, and I want to do things that please You over the things that please myself, but I can't do it without Your help. Thank You, Lord, for showing the way. Amen.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.
If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear! Mark 7:14-16, NKJV
As a piece of background here, Jesus was talking to His listeners about ritual washing. There was a certain way each cup and dish had to be washed, a specific cleansing for hands before eating. Now, washing the dishes before eating from them and washing your hands before meals is a good idea, and that wasn't what Jesus was railing to them about. They were more concerned about the rituals and not careful at all about what spewed from their mouths.
I need a show of hands out there: Have any of you ever let something slip out of your mouth that you wish you hadn't? A hasty, unthinking word? Cussing? Cruelty? Yes, my hand is up as high as any of yours.
It's difficult to put a leash on the tongue, isn't it? We justify ourselves by calling it "plain speaking," or "saying what we think," or "this is the way I am. Take me or leave me."
Which is a lousy excuse for cutting people down in one way or another--or, worse by far, disrespecting God. Did you ever think about swearing in that way? Did you ever think that by cutting one of God's creations (another human being) "down to size" you were hurting Him too?
On our way to Golgotha with Jesus, let's lay aside the words that dishonor God.
Father, forgive us when we forget to bridle the most damaging part of our anatomy. Help us to make our words ones that heal instead of injure, uplift rather than drag down, and praises rather than curses. It can be a hard habit to break, Lord. We will need Your help on our way to Your way. Thank You, Lord.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
One thing I really hate about Roseanna White's books, especially the Biblical fictions. Coming to the end, that's what I hate. I want them to go on and on. So get writing, Writing Roseanna! I want the sequel to the sequel!
This book is a sequel to A Stray Drop of Blood, where we were introduced to some the heroes of A Soft Breath of Wind--Samuel, Benjamin, Abigail, and Titus. Two other essential characters emerge in Soft Breath--Dara, a selfish, conniving, evil young woman under the spell of an even more evil villain, and sweet Zipporah, a young woman with an extraordinary and miraculous gift of discernment.
At the age of thirteen, Zipporah (slave of Benjamin) is given this gift of the Spirit, and her eyes are opened to see the huge angels that guard her owner's walled villa outside of Rome, Tutelos. And hear the beautiful music that seemed to accompany them. But she can also see the demons that surrounding Tutelos, fighting heaven's angels for admittance. She can warn the other believers in this vast villa when to increase their prayers.
She's also in love with Benjamin, with all the extreme devotion someone so young can have. A devotion he shuns. In fact, he chooses Dara. The residents of Tutelos and Zipporah have prayed constantly to keep the demons at bay, and Benjamin brings this young woman into the compound, a young woman possessed by a demon bent on destruction of Tutelos and the families there.
Oh, my, how this Roseanna White can weave words! I would give this book ten stars if I could. You have got to, got to get this book. Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1, NKJV
Right after Jesus was baptized, the Bible says the Spirit led Him into the wilderness, probably the Wilderness of Judea to the south of Jerusalem. It extended from the Dead Sea to the Hill Country of Judea. Probably more commonly called En-gedi, nowadays.
Not a really hospitable country. Dry, arid. While he was there he fasted both food and liquid. While a healthy adult human can go forty days without food, three days without water is pretty much the limit. Only one Man could go forty days without water: Jesus.
The period of time between Ash Wednesday (which occurred this year on February 18) and Easter (this year on April 5) is called Lent and is actually forty-six days long--allowing days off for Sundays to accomplish the specified forty days.
A lot of Christians celebrate it by fasting, but not always food. They choose something that they like and choose not to eat (or drink) any of that particular item. Or they might not watch television. Sometimes, they do something extra--like weeding the flowerbeds at church. It's a way of identifying with what Jesus went through for those forty days in the wilderness, of drawing closer to Him.
I love anything that will draw me closer to Him, don't you? So, Lord, why is it sometimes it does nothing BUT deprive me of something I like. The whole purpose of fasting is, I believe, to get closer to God. So if I'm just not eating anything with sugar in it (or whatever) and not spending more time with Jesus, what's the point? I need to do a little refocusing, mayhap.
Lord, please do draw me closer to You. I want to, but I guess I need a reminder to spend a little more time in prayer and reading the Bible. Bless me, Lord, with a little more of You. Remind me to spend a few more minutes of my precious time with my precious Lord of Lords. Tap me on the shoulder when I get distracted. I need more of You. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
This short story is mine and the first in a series (Sweetland Sonrise) written by several other authors. The characters in Sweetland have captured our imaginations and come to life--at least on paper--uh, electronically speaking.
In this volume Will Smith again speaks and acts without thinking through the potential repercussions. For instance, he takes Carlie Parsons out for Valentine's Day to the nicest restaurant around, the Valley Inn an hour down the road in New Beckton. He asks her to marry him and she accepts.
Within minutes, he also picks a fight with her. Not on purpose, of course. It's just that his overactive mouth and brutal honesty have gotten him into trouble--again. Their romantic date turns antagonistic, and the engagement is off.
There's a double problem with this. Carlie is practically a member of Will's family--BFFs with his younger sister and all but raised by his parents. Because they don't want to run into each other, both Will and Carlie avoid the family. Somehow, this situation has to be resolved before the big family Easter dinner.
It could take an act of God to remedy this situation.
Available from Amazon and Helping Hands Press for only 99 cents. Plus--it's soon to be out in audio book form!