I’m fascinated with names. Maybe all of us writers are.

I like creative names and creative spellings. I’m intrigued with old-fashioned names that come back in style, and I like unique names I’ve never heard of.

I’ve chuckled at names, like one of my college friends, whose first name was “Holly” and she married a gentleman with the surname “Wood.” She said she had trouble cashing checks with the signature “Holly Wood,” so she eventually stuck her maiden-name initial between the two words.

My brother had a friend named William Williams, but at least he went by the name “Bill.”

A convenient store in my hometown was owned by Billy Joe Deal who married a woman named Billie Jo.

When I became pregnant with our first child, David and I decided we liked the name “Jeremy.” I told my husband I thought it would be fun to give him a “J” name for me and a “D” name for him, so child number one became “Jeremy David.”

We stuck with the plan for child number two, and she became “Jenifer DeeAnn.” Yes, only one “n,” because my husband likes creative spellings, too.

Child number three answers to the name “Jeb Daniel.”

And then when God said there would be four, my husband and I pondered briefly abandoning our nomenclature method for fear of giggles from our new west coast friends.

“Julie, we’re not in Georgia anymore,” fretted my Navy officer husband, who was serving a billet in California.

“Well, everyone out here thinks we’re tacky rednecks, so let’s do it anyway,” I joked. And our dear, California friends welcomed “Jessica Danae” to the mix, shortened to “Jessi” on occasion.

What my husband and I hadn’t thought about was that all of our kids would have the exact same initials, so their water bottles or snacks or other belongings were often labeled J1, J2, J3, and J4. We feared they’d grow up to tell a therapist: “We were just a number in my house.”

My favorite thoughts about a given name, however, come from Acts 4:12 (ESV) and says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

I am so thankful for that Name.

Lavender FieldOh, and I did forget to mention – my parents named me Julie Anita Bland when I was born. So, when I married, my name changed from Julie Bland to Julie Lavender. My husband loves it when I say, “I went from dull to colorful when I got married.”

 

365 Ways to Love

BIO: Julie’s favorite color as a child was purple, so she loved adding “Lavender” to her name when she married. Julie Lavender’s newest book, 365Ways To Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories (Revell), releases this month. It’s on sale right now, 40% discount, at Baker Book House with no shipping cost and is also offered as a giveaway at Goodreads.com.

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Kimberly Rose Johnson, Author
Kimberly Rose Johnson, Author

Kimberly Rose Johnson, Author

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing Kimberly Rose Johnson, a multi-published novelist whose stories have won the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award and been a finalist for the Selah Award!

Please tell us about your book Certain Threat.

The co-owner of Protection Inc. has one thing on his mind for the week of Christmas—rest and relaxation, but when his favorite neighbor needs his help, he calls in his team. Unable to turn their backs on someone Frank clearly has feelings for, the co-owners agree to help out Katrina. Read More →

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On the first day of a class I was teaching on how gender is expressed in the home, church, and society, I thought through the material I planned to cover. And honestly, I feared that some of what I’d prepared was too elementary for seminary students. Did they really need to hear again that both male and female were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27)?

Yet despite my doubts, I determined to cover even the basics. So, as I taught, I repeated what I assumed they all knew. But sure enough, a woman sitting on the front row sat stunned.

“Are you saying I myself am made in the image of God—without having to be married?” she asked.

I’m not saying that. Genesis says so.”

She turned to face all her classmates. “Did you know that?” she exclaimed.

They all nodded.

She looked back at me and burst into the tears of joy. She did not have to marry to fully image God. Nor did she have to bear children to ultimately image Him.

In the days that followed, this student changed her focus from seeking a husband to equipping herself for ministry.   

 At the time of our creation in the Garden, humans bore God’s image perfectly—simply by being. Today that image is marred but not erased (see James 3:9). We bear God’s image by virtue of being His creations. But we are also called and predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. And what is that image like? It’s embodying love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).

Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World, by Sandra Glahn & Gary Barnes

Sanctified Sexuality

Dr. Sandra Glahn is professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. Her most recent book is a collaboration with 25 experts on marriage, divorce, same-sex attraction, gender dysphoria, and more, titled Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World. Excerpt adapted from Sanctified Sexuality.

 

 

 

 

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Miss Tavistock's Mistake, by Linore Rose Burkard

Miss Tavistock’s Mistake

Looking for a sweet and clean Regency romance?

Wit and humor abound in Miss Tavistock’s Mistake as a young woman in Regency England engages in a subterfuge while trying to assess the character of the man she’s betrothed to by arrangement.  As she falls in love, her troubles increase until she sees no way out of the lie.

How could such an honorable man ever forgive her deceit?

 

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And here’s a great review reprinted by permission from The BookLife Prize:

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10

Originality: 9 out of 10

Prose: 9 out of 10

Character/Execution: 8 out of 10

Overall: 8.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: In this light, witty regency romance, Burkard engages readers with emotional highs and lows, an uproarious case of mistaken identity, and enough uncertainty to keep readers guessing.

Prose: Prose is lyrical, polished, and fitting for the genre. The author effectively captures the historical setting, while providing abundant humor and endearing characterization throughout.

Originality: Burkard provides a stellar concept that pivots on an arranged marriage, an amusing misunderstanding, and a bad match that might not be so bad after all.

Character/Execution: Readers will care for and gleefully follow the titular heroine as her hilarious subterfuge gets her in deepening trouble all the while she finds herself unexpectedly falling in love.

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Linore Rose Burkard, Author

Linore Rose Burkard, Author

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award-winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, she also writes contemporary romance and suspense.  has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.

 

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Sandra Glahn
Sarah Sundin headshot

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the honor of interviewing Sandra Glahn, an acclaimed speaker and author—of both nonfiction and fiction. Today, Sandra’s sharing with us about her new book, which covers topics of vital interest in our society.

Sandra, please tell us about your book, Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World.

Sandra Glahn

Sandra Glahn

Bringing together twenty-five experts, co-editors Sandra Glahn and Gary Barnes address issues of sexuality Christians face, such as the theology of the body; male and female in God’s design; abortion; celibacy; marital intimacy; contraception; infertility; cohabitation; divorce; same-sex attraction; and gender dysphoria. A handbook for pastors, counselors, instructors, and students.

What inspired you to write this book?

As I watched the battle over the Supreme Court decision about same-sex marriage, I paid attention to how Christians argued their cases. And I observed that we have a long way to go in how we handle Scripture and hermeneutics, how we draw conclusions, what sources we leave out, how much we need to look at the good world God made for some evidence, and how we talk and listen—or fail to listen well. Read More →

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