Categories
Devotional

Joy is Strength

In writing our first in the series of Discovering the Bible: Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience, we dug into the familiar passage of Psalm 1. Immediately, my heart began a consistent prayer, Lord, make me a strong Psalm 1 tree! The first time I read that psalm, evn as a child, I knew I wanted to be one of those trees that no storm, no wind, no natural disaster could topple– but reflecting on the Psalm now, more than 50 years later, I see through life experience, just HOW MUCH we need God to help us become that strong, stable, Psalm 1 tree– and live a life He can bless!

 

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers (Psalm 1:1-3 NIV) 

So when writing Discovering Joy in Philippians, God reminded me that joy in HIM is the pathway to strength in life. My assignment was to help others, as they studied Philippians, to connect to God in a personal and powerful way, so that through God’s Word, their lives could also be fortified by the Almighty.

In Nehemiah 8:10, we see a straightforward statement:

The JOY of the Lord is your strength (Neh 8:10)

Elliot’s commentary shares, “This beautiful sentence is, literally, delight in Jehovah is a strong refuge.”

In my personal study notes, after looking up key words, I have:

The JOY (gladness and rejoicing) of the Lord (Yahweh) is your strength (place of safety, protection, defense, a fortress, refuge and stronghold)

The Israelites in this story, were being led by Nehemiah and the priest Ezra, to rebuild the wall to protect the temple after being in exile (for their disobedience). Nehemiah give them meaningful work that honored God, Ezr gave them meaningful worship and call ed them to stand and listen to the Word of God.

The people realized they had drifted from God, and so were in grief and mourning. But their wise leaders knew that after repentance, staying in a state of shame, guilt and despair would be counter productive to finishing the wall and to their future calling to walk out being God’s chosen, anointed, people. So Ezra commanded them to stop grieving and celebrate!

In celebration and worship of God, we too can find strength!

 

Today, follow the footsteps of strength, do one or more of the following:

  • Repent of your disobedience, drifting, or defiance of God or God’s Word
  • Listen to the Word (on audio, on You Tube, in church, on radio or podcast. )
  • Worship God through song and celebration. 

In doing these, you will discover a strength building in your life too.

I would like the honor of helping build strength into your life through an online study of Discovering Joy in Philippians (Sept 18-Dec 4)

Register for the FREE study today. 

Pam Farrel is Co-Director of Love-Wise, with her husband, Bill, who she has been JOYously married to for 40 years. She is also author of 48 books, and an international speaker. She enjoys time with her far-flung family, and kayaking to get her mail from her live aboard boat in Southern Ca.

 

 

Categories
Devotional

Joy is Relationship

On my birthday, as my newest book, Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience released, I pondered “What is joy, really?”  As I look back, seems God had me on a learning trajectory to find then live out joy.

As a child, first born daughter of an alcoholic dad, I was naturally joyful but our home situation was chaotic and unpredictable so when things got volatile due to my dad’s anger or his own depression, I retreated and became a sullen, sometimes, pouty and often emotionally teary-eyed little girl. But God had something greater, something better for me and He also has something better for you, too!: JOY!

Recently, I gave a speech for my Joy Jubilee birthday bash, and I shared a few things I have learned about joy—for the next few weeks, I will share them with you too—in bite-sized nuggets.

Joy is Relationship

The book of Philippians is often tagged the book of JOY, and the first chapter of Philippians is all about RELATIONSHIP:

I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, . . . 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart (Phil 1:3-7)

This thread of relationship continues through out the book, like in this verse from Phil 4:1 where Paul calls the believers at Philippi his JOY!:

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! (Phil 4:1)

Today, apply these relationship verses by:

Thanking God and praying for those you love—those who bring you joy.

Tell those you love HOW they bring you JOY and thank them.

I want to personally invite you to be a part of my FREE online bible study on Discovering Joy in Philippians:A Creative Bible Study Experience  Using Facebook Live I will teach and you can share and comment on our JOURNEY of JOY. It begins Sept 18 and runs 12 weeks. Register today.

 

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 48 books, and her newest, Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience is co authored with Bible teacher, JeanE Jones and artist, Karla Dornacher, is available in most Christian bookstores and online stores. (Harvest House) For many “extras”: audios, blogs, video tutorials, a leader’s guide, go to https://www.discoveringthebibleseries.com/the-books/discovering-joy-in-philippians/

Speaking of relationships: More than 30 influential Christian leaders have endorsed Discovering Joy!

There is no joy without Jesus! Only happiness that depends on happenings. Knowing Christ brings Joy. This is what our distraught world needs. Read Discovering Joy in Philippians, a new creative Bible study experience.

Jill Briscoe, author and international speaker
Categories
Book reviews

Reviews of Jeanette Levellie’s, “Hello Beautiful! Finally Love Yourself the Way You Are”

A book review of Hello, Beautiful

“Reading Hello, Beautiful!: Finally Love Yourself The Way You Are, is like taking a breath of fresh air in a world that imposes ever increasing, unobtainable standards of beauty. Veteran author, Jeanette Levellie and her co-author, take a tag team approach with their starkly, personal true stories, that astutely correspond with lessons in inner beauty. Their writing voices complement each other seamlessly, like a musical duet, but each stands out in their own way, so even though the stories are not consecutive,  you get an intuitive feel for which author you are reading.

This book has all the bells and whistles including candid stories, famous quotations, Bible verses, places to journal your own responses to prompts and even COLORING PAGES! It doesn’t skimp on content either with forty chapters plus a bonus section.
Hello, Beautiful imprints on the reader how to love themselves and see themselves the way God does. It teaches beauty backwards, opposite of the world, from the inside out. Inner beauty may seem like a cliche but interestingly, as confidence grows, it shows. This. Actually. Works. The best way I can describe this experience is, internalizing the messages of the love, grace and forgiveness that is every woman’s birthright, is like sunshine for the soul. More precisely, this book does for people what sunshine does for stained glass windows.” –Jessica Reed, Guideposts author
“As an advocate for women who have experience with domestic abuse, I find this book fits a need many victims and survivors face. We doubt ourselves, question our worth, give more love and grace to our friends than to our own selves. This devotional journal is sweet and warm guidance for those who want to spend a little time reassessing self-esteem, opening to self-love, and believing in the power of God’s affection.” –Janna Leadbetter, advocate for abused women
“This delightful book skillfully reminds us that while true beauty radiates from a woman’s inner spirit, most of us have struggled with feelings of inadequacy, failure, and condemnation that cloud our radiance. Using poignant humor, personal stories, powerful Scriptures, and practical tips, the authors highlight eternal truths that can set women free from emotional bondage. Don’t miss this enjoyable read and its uplifting takeaway value.” –Diana Savage, author, editor, speaker
Categories
Devotional New Releases

New Release: Stop-and-Go Devotional: 52 Devotions for Busy Families by Diane Stortz

Stop-and-Go Devotional by Diane Stortz
Stop-and-Go Devotional by Diane Stortz
Stop-and-Go Devotional: 52 Devotions for Busy Families
by Diane Stortz 
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Release Date: February 12, 2019
ISBN#: 978-1-4003-1758-5
 

About the book:
Stop-and-Go Devotional provides short, active devotions based on Bible stories, designed for busy families with preschoolers and primary-grade children. Each short devotion consists of an action-filled Bible story (Stop and Read), an age-appropriate devotional thought with questions and a brief prayer (Think and Talk), plus an easy and fun follow-up activity, a thought to remember, and a supporting Bible verse (Green Means Go!).

 

Diane Stortz
Diane Stortz

About the author: 

Diane Stortz writes best-selling books for children and adults. Her goal: making God’s wonders known to the next generation. She and her husband, Ed, have two married daughters and five young grandchildren—all boys! Visit her website at DianeStortz.com.

Categories
New Releases

New Release: The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

The Sky Above Us
The Sky Above Us

The Sky Above Us

by Sarah Sundin

Release date: February 5th, 2019

Publisher: Revell

ISBN#: 978-0800727987

About the book:

Burdened by his past, fighter pilot Lt. Adler Paxton battles the Luftwaffe over Nazi-occupied Europe as the Allies struggle for control of the air before D-day. Deprived of her missionary dreams, Violet Lindstrom serves in the Red Cross, where she arranges activities at Adler’s air base in England. Drawn to the mysterious pilot, she enlists his help with her programs for local children. Adler finds his defenses crumbling. But D-day draws near. And secrets can’t stay buried forever.

 

About the author:

Sarah Sundin
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is a bestselling author of historical novels, including The Sea Before Us and The Sky Above Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California. www.sarahsundin.com.

 

Categories
Encouragement Inspiration for Writers

The Gift of “Newness”

Who was Harry S. Truman to Israel? Find out more in I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck.
Who was Harry S. Truman to Israel? Find out more in I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck.

 Someone once said there are regulators on our lives that help control and shape our destinies. These regulators include things we often take for granted like energy, sleep, food, money, and time. Wise management of these regulators can mean the difference between an average and an abundant life.

Another important regulator is what I call “newness.” Every 24 hours we are greeted by a new day at Midnight. Sunday morning brings a new week. On our birthday, we celebrate another new year of life.

One way we human beings tend to “clean the slate” is by leaving behind the old year and forging ahead with hope and expectation in the New Year.

C.S. Lewis writes: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” I would add this.

You are also never too young to dream your dreams.

Whatever you are facing today, know that God has built “newness” into your life to give you hope and strength to press on. He has also given you talents that are available to open the door to future success.

Your role is to engage your circumstances with those talents – trusting God for His grace, favor, and strength – and then be persistent in pursuing your dream. Vern McLellan declares: “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.”

The future is yours to write. The New Year provides you with a book full of 365 blank pages. So get out your pen, roll up your sleeves, and chase that dream!

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. … The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ― Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Craig von Buseck
Craig von Buseck
I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck
I Am Cyrus by Dr. Craig von Buseck

Dr. Craig von Buseck is the editor of Digital Content for Inspiration.org. His new book I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel will be available from Lighthouse Publishing on April 22. Learn more at vonbuseck.com.

 

Categories
New Releases

New Release: Christmas Charity by Susan G Mathis

Christmas Charity
Christmas Charity

Christmas Charity

Susan G Mathis

November 2018

ISBN-13: 978-0578207797

About the book: 
Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill find that an arranged marriage is harder than they think, especially when they immigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, NY,  just a week after they marry—with his 11-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow. Can 23-year-old Susan Hawkins learn to love her 49-year-old husband and treat her angry stepdaughter with charity? With Christmas coming, she hopes so.

 

 

About the author:

Susan G Mathis is a multi-published author of stories set in her childhood stomping ground, the beautiful Thousand Islands in upstate NY. Her first novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, her Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, and her novellas take readers to a time and place few have gone. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, seven stories in compilation books, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to see or Skype with her four granddaughters. Find out more at www.SusanGMathis.com.

Categories
New Releases

Saturday’s Scoop!

Check out these speaking opportunities and new releases from your CAN authors!


Lena Nelson Dooley will be the speaker for the June meeting of the ACFW DFW local chapter. She was asked to speak on “Agents and Editors.” The author will have books and DVDs for sale. Meetings are at 10:30 am, on the second Saturday of the month at the Arlington Community Church, 1715 W. Randol Mill Road, Arlington, Texas. Everyone is invited to go out to eat with the chapter members, Dutch Treat, after the meeting.

Lena Nelson Dooley
Lena Nelson Dooley

Kathy Ide will be teaching at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 22-27. Her sessions include Working with a Freelance Editor, Ten Myths of Becoming a Published Author, and How to Become a Freelance Editor. She will also be hosting a “PUGS Party” game where teams will compete for valuable prizes based on their knowledge of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.

Kathy Ide, Topics: Proofread Professionally * Working with Editors * Successful Freelance Editing *
Kathy Ide

The award winning series from Julie B. Cosgrove, Bunco Biddies Mysteries, book #4  Til Dice Do Us Part  releases June 15, 2018. Available now for preorder on Amazon!

As the Bunco Biddies decorate for a wedding shower, Ethel falls from a ladder, is rushed to the ER, and from beyond the curtained divider, overhears a hushed conversation about a crime. When the Bunco Biddies get the antsy groom involved in their sleuthing, his chances of making it to the church dwindle, and that’s when the way to the altar gets dicey. 

Julie Cosgrove

 

Falling Stars by Tanya Stowe released Friday  May 18, 2018

One of the youngest female producers in the industry, Sunny Bates has every intention of going to the top to create her own Christian-based films. She feels called to be a light in the darkness for people like her father who died of a drug overdose when Sunny was young. Her path is full of difficulties, but her greatest challenge is staying faithful in an environment saturated with temptation.

All Jackson Maise ever wanted was to play his music and raise horses on his family’s thoroughbred ranch. Sunny Bates is everything he never wanted in a life partner—a city girl and a serious career woman who wears the trappings of Hollywood as comfortably as she wears a glove. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t see Sunny on his Tennessee ranch. But tell that to his heart.

http://www.tanyastowe.com

 

Categories
New Releases

CAN Author Happenings!

Conference opportunity and a new release are headed your way!


Kathy Ide will be teaching at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 22-27. Her sessions include Working with a Freelance Editor, Ten Myths of Becoming a Published Author, and How to Become a Freelance Editor. She will also be hosting a “PUGS Party” game where teams will compete for valuable prizes based on their knowledge of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.

Kathy Ide, Topics: Proofread Professionally * Working with Editors * Successful Freelance Editing *
Kathy Ide

Falling Stars by Tanya Stowe
Releases Friday  May 18, 2018

One of the youngest female producers in the industry, Sunny Bates has every intention of going to the top to create her own Christian-based films. She feels called to be a light in the darkness for people like her father who died of a drug overdose when Sunny was young. Her path is full of difficulties, but her greatest challenge is staying faithful in an environment saturated with temptation.

All Jackson Maise ever wanted was to play his music and raise horses on his family’s thoroughbred ranch. Sunny Bates is everything he never wanted in a life partner—a city girl and a serious career woman who wears the trappings of Hollywood as comfortably as she wears a glove. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t see Sunny on his Tennessee ranch. But tell that to his heart.

http://www.tanyastowe.com

Tanya Stowe
Author Tanya Stowe

 

Categories
New Releases

CAN Authors Have Much to Offer!

Your CAN authors are award winning, prolific, and sharing what’s on their hearts! Check out this weeks’ round up of good news and happenings in our writing community.

Davalynn Spencer’s 2017 Western romance, An Improper Proposal, won the
2018 Christian Indie Award for Romance. An Improper Proposal is Book 1
in the Front Range Brides series. Book 2, An Unexpected Redemption,
released April 26.

An Improper Proposal by Davalynn Spencer
An Improper Proposal by Davalynn Spencer

***

New Release: No Safe Place by H. L. Wegley Releases May 21
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Trinity Press International
ISBN-13:   978-0-9964937-6-5
About the book: A young man returning from the far country trying to regain his honor, and a young woman with a heart broken by her parents’ rejection because of her faith, each have what the other needs. But will the assassin who put them on his hit list give them enough time to discover what they have in each other?
No Safe Place, modern-day, prodigal story that races from the scenic beaches of the Olympic National Park to the beauty of Lake Chelan in Central Washington State, a story of courage, honor, faith, forgiveness, and love.
Preorder: https://amzn.to/2vchkea

About the Author:
H. L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a research scientist, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for twenty years before he and his wife retired near Seattle. He is an award-winning author of inspirational thrillers and high-action romantic-suspense novels.

H.L. Wegley
             H.L. Wegley

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Cindi McMenamin will be the keynote speaker for the South Mountain Community Church (Draper, UT) women’s retreat May 4-6, 2018, speaking on her newest release Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You (Harvest House Publishers).

           Cindi McMenamin