I once had a conversation with a friend who was dealing with the death of a loved one. At the same time her career was shooting off into a new and exciting direction. God opened doors she never imagined.

She went on to tell me that her brother was experiencing a similar situation with his career. It was all very exciting, but it was in the midst of their mourning. She told me how her brother couldn’t understand why God always ruined the good stuff with bad stuff and went on to say that it seemed like whenever something good happened, something bad would happen too.

Have you ever experienced this?

I suggested to my friend that God gives us the good stuff to help us through the difficult times.

She was blown away by the thought and excited. To her way of thinking, the bad stuff was there to temper the good.

The Lord knows what we face and how it will affect us. He also knows what gives us joy. I liken it to being a parent or best friend. We see our kids or best friend going through a rough patch and we want to help. We know what will make them happy and try to help them through it with some positive encouragement.

Our Lord loves us more than we are capable of grasping. He wants the best for us. He’s not out to destroy or make us fearful of what will happen next. Yes, bad stuff happens every day. People die, jobs are lost, illness happens, but He wants to help us through those times. He wants to be included in every aspect of our lives.

I encourage you today to remember you are loved by your creator. He wants the best for you.

Kimberly Rose Johnson, Author

Kimberly Rose Johnson, Author

Kimberly Rose Johnson, an award-winning author married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul. Learn more at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/.

 

 

 

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This Memorial Day feels different than those in recent memory. I’m sure its sense of untimeliness is related to the COVID-19 issues swirling around us. We need community – as believers and as humans – and that sense of community has been threatened.

Today is a perfect day to remember those who have fallen while fighting for our communities.

Those warriors cannot hear our thanks, but their families and descendants can. May we acknowledge their sacrifices by remembering that nothing we possess or enjoy has been gained or achieved on our own.

Others have contributed.

The Psalmist wrote:

“It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them” (Psalm 44:3).

Notice the progression in this verse – from God’s hand to His arm to His face. As though the reader is drawing closer and closer to Him, recognizing that our great and loving God is the one who gives us victory.

Let us remember the men and women who sacrificed their present and their futures so others yet to come could enjoy the very same in peaceful community.

Davalynn Spencer, bestselling author and winner of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction, can’t stop #lovingthecowboy. When she’s not writing Western romance, she teaches writing workshops and wrangles Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley.

 

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Are you searching for just the right gift for a graduate in your life? Consider giving high-school or college grads something they will cherish for years to come—a “YOU Gift.” It’s free and it will make this season special. Here are five suggestions:

  • Express value. Graduates are under a lot of pressure. They’re adults now but they may not have every detail of their future in place. (We don’t either, right?) One way to encourage them is to tell them the positive qualities and skills you see in them. Resist offering advice but instead, affirm them. You just might guide them into the right path for study and career.
  • Ask them for advice. This is a very creative generation! They are thinkers and they are passionate and compassionate. They see life differently from older adults and have creative ways of solving problems.
  • Get healthy together. Take a walk or go to the gym together. Chat about healthy foods over dinner. If they get on a good health track now, chances are they’ll make good choices when they’re on their own.
  • Listen to them. They want to be heard. Ask for their opinions without interjecting your own. And you will learn too!
  • Pray for them. Studies show young adults believe in God, believe in heaven, and believe in prayer. Ask them how you can pray for them. And definitely pray they make good choices and follow God with their lives.
Janet McHenry

Janet McHenry

50 Life Lessons For Grads

Janet McHenry is the author of 24 books, including the bookstore bestselling 50 Life Lessons for Grads. A mom of four college grads and a former high school English teacher and academic advisor, she still keeps score at the home basketball games and loves hanging out with young people. More about her writing and speaking can be found at https://www.janetmchenry.com.

 

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By Donna Schlachter

Several years ago, hubby and I visited a museum that offered a virtual Covered Wagon ride. We sat inside a wagon bed and looked ahead of us where the driver and oxen or horses would normally reside.

Then a short film played about the wagon going down over the river bank and across a fat-flowing river. The wagon bed we sat in rocked and rolled according to the view on the video, and about the only thing missing was we didn’t get dunked.

That was a lot of fun, and the experience gave me a whole new insight into the struggles and hardships faced by westward emigrants. Sometimes the stories we read tend to gloss over the deprivations we now take for granted: a hole in the ground for a privy; food cooked over a fire; little privacy; dust, dirt, smoke, and sweat everywhere; lack of medical care; close quarters for months on end.

But if you can’t go to a museum to experience the realities of life on the trail, you can get the next-best thing: read a book. Allow your imagination to run wild—or not, if you prefer a touch more civilization—as you travel alongside the half million or so folks of all ages, classes, and colors who headed westward.

My new release, Kate (“Prairie Rose Collection”), is based on a real-life stagecoach robbery in Deadwood, South Dakota Territory. The hero is one of the bandits, forced into a life of thievery to save his brother’s life. The heroine is running from the brothel where she was raised to avoid being made into a saloon girl following her mother’s death. Leave a comment to enter drawing for a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

Donna Schlachter:aka Leeann Betts

Donna Schlachter:aka Leeann Betts

Donna Schlachter lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes historical suspense under her own name and contemporary suspense under her alter ego, Leeann Betts. She’s been published more than thirty times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, Pikes Peak Writers, and Christian Authors Network. She facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes, ghostwrites, edits, and judges writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com; www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor ; www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter.

 

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I must admit. I am a prideful person. While I want to emulate a humble spirit, I know within my own reasoning I’m chasing an elusive butterfly. Trying to be humble is not humility at all.

Because I want to appear humble when I’m really very prideful, I struggle with advertising my achievements. Oh, I’d like to brag about this new book or a contract I’ve recently signed. But the Christian in me smacks me silly. “Bragging is not Christ-like.”

What’s a writer to do?

According to my publishing contracts, I’m required to promote my books. It’s hard to reconcile the call to humility and the responsibility that comes with the privilege of publication. Especially when one struggles with humility on other fronts. (Just ask my husband how quick I am to brag when I get Final Jeopardy and he doesn’t.)

Maybe the inability to reconcile this inner conflict is because I tend to think of being humble as something to be achieved when, in truth, humility is rooted in thought.

I wonder. Perhaps true humility in Christ does not require us to squelch sharing what God has done for us. I realize one of God’s many blessings to me is the privilege of writing for the Lord.

Humility is found in the realization of the worth Almighty God has placed on the soul. That one who gave up his high place to become low in order to raise me up boggles the mind. Why should he love us so?

I cannot be silent for his love. This includes sharing the joy I feel with privilege of my service.

Pride comes when I let myself believe the achievement was a result of my own cleverness.

What do you think? How would describe Christian humility?

Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8 NIV).

Linda Wood Rondeau

Linda Wood Rondeau

Linda Wood Rondeau, a veteran social worker, is also a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is no stranger to family bedlam. Her stories of encouragement and hope come from the heart. She resides in Hagerstown, Maryland with her husband of over forty years. She enjoys golf and theater and is actively involved with her local church. Find more encouraging words in her blog, Snark and Sensibility, on her website www.lindarondeau.com and sign up for her newsletter. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest: https://www.facebook.com/lindawoodrondeau/

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