Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Pam Farrel

Pam Farrel
Pam Farrel

Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing multi-published author and popular speaker Pam Farrel! With fifty-five books under her belt, Pam has lots of interesting stories to share with us today—and a fascinating new book.

Welcome Pam! Please tell us about your book, Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament: A Creative Bible Study Experience.

Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament by Pam Farrel
Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament by Pam Farrel

Take a journey to discover all God has planned since before the foundation of the earth. You’ll never grow tired of studying Scripture with this innovative and immersive Bible study experience. Through compelling instruction, creative activities and motivational devotions, it reveals God’s redemptive plan from the beginning of creation into life today.

What a great concept! What inspired you to write this book?

Discovering Jesus in the Old Testamentwas birthed from the desire of all three of us co-authors, editors and the Harvest House team, to create a book to really help readers gain a solid theological foundation, a renewed relationship with Jesus and an appreciation of the Old Testament and its power and ability to speak practical wisdom and insight into our lives today. All the Discovering the Bible series have a goal to equip readers to read, study, understand, and apply God’s truths to their own lives. We also added in creative and devotional elements so readers look forward to time spent with God by engaging with the Word and with God in a personal and profound way.

That sound like a wonderful combination. What was it like to write this book? Any surprises?

This is our third Bible study in the series, and three of us team to create it: Jean E. Jones does the deep dive into the scripture; Karla Dornacher is the artist and she teaches readers to express their own creativity, and I add in the devotional and practical, “apply-this-to-your-life-TODAY” element and I also serve as the marketing director. Being a team project, I am continually delighted by how God uses project after project to deepen each of our own walks—and also our friendships. We each have very unique gifts and personalities, and because we completely trust each other and appreciate each of our unique distinctives, talents and strengths, we are becoming a well-oiled machine. Harvest House has also given us a fabulous editor in Hope Lyda, who is also a best-selling author in her own right.

The other surprise is how Jean took a full wall of color-coded sticky notes and turned it into a story board that tracks all the main eras of the Bible: Genesis, Moses, Abraham, David, Major Prophets, and Christ. The sheer volume of material would have overwhelmed most authors but Jean has an AMAZING mind when it comes to the Bible! And Karla continues to create one amazing illustration after another for every chapter we tackle. It is a delight to be surprised in delightful ways by your talented co-authors.

It sounds like an amazing team. Has God used the message of your book in your own life?

One of my devotionals highlights Jesus as our Emmanual, “God with us” and I draw from the names of the Messiah shared in Isaiah 9:6: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. The study was released just before Covid, so in preparation for teaching the study, I always DO the study complete with all the coloring pages and Creative Bible Art. Like many authors and speakers at the onset of the pandemic, in two days, two years of my speaking was cancelled or postponed yet I didn’t panic because I have a history with Christ and His miraculous provision, but also this study was like a personal Divine hand of comfort on my shoulder as we navigated the challenges and created a “pandemic pivot” in our life, marriage and ministry.

I love that! What would be your ideal writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?

This is a very fun question to answer because what I THINK should be the best or favorite place to write and what is REALLY where I produce the most writing are very different. When I first began my book writing life, I pictured traveling to beautiful and exotic places and being inspired by scenic vistas and comfortable lodging.

In reality, most of my books have been written from 9 pm-midnight while my children slept and my busy husband (who most of our marriage was also a pastor) was either writing too or shepherding his flock. For many years, I had an office in the garage! As the children launched, we did move to a larger home and for several years, I had a beautiful and large office with an expansive desk, but we were so busy traveling to speak during those years that some of my best writing was done from an airplane seat!

Then we downsized and sold our home and moved on to a live-aboard boat where the views were grand, but the vessel was always moving and swaying with the lapping of the water. In the pandemic, Bill’s 90-year-old parents needed safe and reliable care, so we moved inland to help them and we currently live in a 300 square foot RV so we can be near to help them!

In my book Get It Done, Girl: Maximize Your Moments Action Planner, I encourage people to do a self-study on what boosts their productivity. I write best if it is 66-70 degrees in temperature, and I have plenty of protein and caffeine in me, with instrumental praise music playing in the background, and with my feet higher than my waist! My sweet husband bought a recliner off Craig’s List (one for the boat and he picked up a free one for the RV), so in my tiny house, I write with my feet up. We also set up an outside office under the shade of a tree and I enjoy writing from nature!

A true love of writing must drive you, right? So why do you love writing?

I am addicted to changed lives!

Books have encouraged, equipped, educated and inspired me—and I love to see how God can use the words He gives through my mind and fingers to positively impact and influence others.

When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?

I come from a dysfunctional home where domestic violence was common due to my father’s drinking. The library was a place of peace and solace. In addition, I would check out the maximum number of books, then one at a time, I would take a book up a tree to spend the afternoon reading, or I would spread out a blanket in a pasture on my family farm and spend the days writing. By grade two, I had penned my first picture book, The Tale of Princess Pam.

In high school and college, I served on my school’s newspaper staff and I discovered I loved telling other people’s stories, especially stories of overcoming obstacles and true tales of God-inspired and empowered victories over hardships.

During college, I rededicated my life to Christ and felt a call into full-time ministry. I first thought that it might include a career as a TV journalist, but I had a very bad case of acne. (I joke that I have the perfect face for radio). God used what could be seen as a failing or weakness to direct my path to the written word. Eventually, God healed my skin and He also moved me into speaking and media opportunities—but from a strong and powerful foundation in the Word of God and writing skills to share His message of hope, help and healing.

I love how God works! Now, what is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?

It might interest readers to know that God can empower ANYONE to write. I am ADD/ADHD so writing to me is a miracle of God each time I sit down. For me, writing is a bit like strapping myself into a jet pilot’s seat and HE makes the words fly! I have written 55 books, so each is a sacrifice of love on my part and a miracle on God’s part!

Tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.

One fun experience that repeats over and over is we get baby pictures and thank you notes from the readers of our book, Red Hot Monogamy!(Reproduction of children is a great outcome from that book about God’s view on intimacy!)

Your writing is definitely leaving a . . . legacy! With all you’ve done, do you have an unfulfilled dream?

Yes, before I enter heaven, I want to write an epic children’s picture book with an “I love you” or “bedtime” theme. I started by writing for children and I may end my career in the future writing for children.

What ministries are you involved in, and why?

During the years that our three sons were in high school and college, my plate was very full: pastor’s wife, women’s ministry director, community leader, mom of three multi-sport athletes, and I wrote two to three books a year (or co-authored them). I spent way too much time in the seated position so I put on extra weight and in my early 40s discovered I had health issues I needed to address. I joined First Place 4 Health ministry and over the course of a year, I lost 50 pounds! God has helped me go on to lose a total of 70 pounds and I have kept it off for more than a decade. (I like to say I lost the equivalent of a fourth-grader!) First Place 4 Health is a Biblical wellness program and the leaders have reached out to many authors and speakers and have kept many alive to write more books! I am so grateful that I have been a virtual leader of a First Place 4 Health wellness small group for almost a decade now.

What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?

I am an active woman. I bike, hike, dance, swim, paddle board, kayak, do HIIT workouts and enjoy stretching at sunset on the bow of my boat.

And still you make time to write! So what’s next for you? Please tell us about your next project.

I always have many plates spinning! I am working on a children’s book inspired by my granddaughter, a marriage book co-authored with my husband, Bill, and our next in the creative Discovering the Bible series: Discovering Good News in John is due to release in 2022.

Sarah Sundin
Sarah Sundin

That all sounds fantastic! Thank you for sharing with us, Pam!

To learn more about Pam and her books, please visit Pam’s website and Pam’s blog.

Writing for Him,

Sarah Sundin

Sarah’s website

Categories
New Releases

2021 Spring New Releases

2021 Spring New Releases

My Arms Will Hold You Tight board book

Author: Crystal Bowman
Title: My Arms Will Hold You Tight
Publisher: Tyndale
Release: January 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1496446220
Genre: Board Book
Link to Book: https://www.tyndale.com/p/my-arms-will-hold-you-tight/9781496446220

Dreams of Savannah

Author: Roseanna M. White
Title: Dreams of Savannah
Publisher: Bethany House
Release: January 5, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-0764237478
Genre: Historical Romance
Link to Book: https://www.roseannamwhite.com/books/stand-alone-novels/dreams-of-savannah

How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk by Becky Harling

Author: Becky Harling
Title: How to Listen so Your Kids Will Talk
Publisher: Bethany House
Release: January 5, 2021
ISBN: 978-0764237218
Genre: NF/Parenting
Link to Book: http://beckyharling.com/store

Duplicity At the Lowell House

Author: Caryl McAdoo
Title: Duplicity at the Lowell House
Publisher: Peaceable Publishing
Release: January 11, 2021
ISBN-13: 979-8569032020
Genre: Mystery, Historical
Link to Book: Amazon Only

Maryann's Hope

Author: Molly Jebber
Title: Maryann’s Hope
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Group
Release: January 26, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1420150674
Genre: Historical Fiction/Amish
Link to Book: https://www.mollyjebber.com/maryannshope.html

Author: Grace Fox
Title: Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions to Calm the Chaos
Publisher: Rose Publishing
Release: February 1, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1628629927
Genre: NF/Devotional
Link to Book: https://www.gracefox.com/books/finding-hope-in-crisis-devotions-for-calm-in-chaos

Author: Sarah Sundin
Title: When Twilight Breaks
Publisher: Revell
Release: February 2, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-0800736361
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to Book: https://www.sarahsundin.com/books/when-twilight-breaks

A Change of Scenery

Author: Davalynn Spencer
Title: A Change of Scenery
Publisher: Wilson Creek Publisher
Release: February 4, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1735074115
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to Book: https://davalynnspencer.com/books/a-change-of-scenery

Wild at Heart

Author: Vickie McDonough
Title: Wild at Heart
Romance in the Badlands 1
Publisher: Mountain Brook Inc.
Release: February 15, 2021
ASIN: BO8SLHRVJR
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Link to Book: https://mountainbrookink.com/mbi-books/historical-romance/romance-in-the-badlands/#wild

Author: Diane Stortz
Title: Say & Pray Bible Wipe Clean: First Words, Stories, and Prayers
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Release: February 16, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1400229826
Genre: Children Bible stories activity book
Link to Book: https://www.dianestortz.com/books/say-pray-bible

Growing a Mother's Heart

Author: Karen Whiting
Title: Growing a Mother’s Heart:
Devotions of Faith, Hope, and Love
from Mothers Past, Present, and Future
Publisher: AMG Publishers
Release: February 23, 2021
ISBN 978-1617155604
Genre: NF/Parenting
Link to Book: https://karenwhiting.com/viewproduct/27

Praying Through Every Emotion

Author: Linda Evans Shepherd
Title: Praying Through Your Every Emotion
Publisher: Revell
Release: February 2021
ISBN-13: tbd
Genre: NF/Christian Living
Link to Book: https://www.gottopray.com/linda-s-prayer-books

Shadows of the White City

Author: Jocelyn Green
Title: Shadows of the White City
Book 2 in The Windy City Saga
Publisher: Bethany House
Release: February 2021
ISBN-13: 978-0764233319
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to Book: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/shadows-of-the-white-city/396160

Texas Trails

Author: Caryl McAdoo
Title: Texas Trails
Publisher: Peaceable Publishing
Release: March 6, 2021
ISBN-13: 979-8587396340
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to Book: Amazon Only

Deep End of the Lake

Author: Carol Grace Stratton
Title: Deep End of the Lake
Publisher: Iron Stream Media/LPC
Release: March 9, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1645262770
Genre: Women’s Contemporary Inspirational
Link to Book: https://www.carolgstratton.com

Outlaw Heart

Author: Vickie McDonough
Title: Outlaw Heart
Romance in the Badlands 2
Publisher: Mountain Brook Inc.
Release: March 15, 2021
ISBN-13: tbd
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Link to Book: https://mountainbrookink.com/mbi-books/historical-romance/romance-in-the-badlands/#wildOutl

Night Fall

Author: Nancy Mehl
Title: Night Fall
Book 1 in The Quantico Files series
Publisher: Bethany House
Release: March 30, 2021
ISBN-13: tbd
Genre: Suspense
Link to Book: http://nancymehl.com

Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S Grant by Dr. Craig von Buseck

Author: Dr. Craig von Buseck
Title: Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant’s final battlefor his family and for freedom
Publisher: Iron Stream
Release: April 4, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1645263159
Genre: NF Biography/History
Link to Book: https://www.vonbuseck.com/victor-ulysses-s-grant

Spring Betrayal

Author: Sally Jo Pitts
Title: Spring Betrayal
Publisher: Winged Publications
Release: April 6, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1952661761G
Genre: Mystery/Detective
Link to Book: http://wingedpublications.com/authors/sally-jo-pitts/

Bent Tree Bride

Author: Denise Weimer
Title: Bent Tree Bride
Publisher: Iron Stream Media/Smitten Historical Romance
Release: April 13, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1645262954
Genre: Historical Romance
Link to Book: https://shoplpc.com/bent-tree-bride

Miss Wetherham's Wedding

Author: Linore Rose Burkard
Title: Miss Wetherham’s Wedding
The Brides of Mayfair, Book Three
Publisher: Lilliput Press
Release: April 29, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1733311199
Genre: Historical Romance
Link to Book:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57408732-miss-wetherham-s-wedding?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=y9Wmrn5sRV&rank=1Miss

Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt?

Author: Linda Wood Rondeau
Title: Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
Release: April 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1649490186
Genre: NF/Devotions
Link to Book: https://elklakepublishinginc.com/linda-wood-rondeau

90 Devotions for Women on the Go

Author: Pam Farrel
Title: 90 Devotions for Women on the Go
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Release: April 20, 2021
ISBN-13: tbd
Genre: NF/Devotions
Link to Book: https://www.tyndale.com/p/90-devotions-for-women-on-the-go/9781496450753

Paying the Piper

Author: Sandra Orchard
Title: Paying the Piper
#16 in Scottish Bakehouse Mysteries
Publisher: Annie’s Fiction
Release: April 2021
Genre: cozy mystery
Link to Book: https://www.anniesfiction.com/products/annies-sweet-intrigue

Dangerous at Heart

Author: Sandra Orchard
Title: Dangerous at Heart
Publisher: Annie’s Fiction
Release: April 16 2021
Genre: romantic suspense
Link to Book: https://www.anniesfiction.com/products/annies-sweet-intrigue

Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author PeggySue Wells

PeggySue Wells
PeggySue Wells

Greetings from Marti Pieper in Seneca, South Carolina, where we’re enjoying the gorgeous colors of fall. And I know you’ll enjoy today’s interview with author PeggySue Wells, who has an intriguing new book I’ve already heard a lot about. I haven’t yet met her in person, but her co-author, Pam Farrel (also a CAN member!), is a dear friend to both of us, so I’m counting PeggySue as a new friend, too!

Welcome to the CAN blog, PeggySue. Would you please tell us about your book?

No matter how you became a single mom, you can parent with courage, confidence, clarity. With humor and sage advice, Pam Farrel (child of a single mother) and PeggySue Wells (single parent of seven) show you how to:

—be decisive
—create a nurturing home
—embrace your happily-ever-after

What inspired you to write this book?

The 10 Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make by PeggySue Wells and Pam Farrel
The 10 Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make by PeggySue Wells and Pam Farrel

One in four homes is single-parent led. Pam Farrel and I come alongside these solo parents and their families to remind these precious ones they are not alone, and they are valued and beloved by God. We assure them they can be successful.

And how has God used the message of your book in your own life?

I fought doing this project because I don’t want single mom to be my identity. Several people reminded me that being a solo parent for twenty years gave me a lot of experience that could prove useful to others beginning the journey. The process of writing The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make showed me that single is a relationship status, and that can change. Mom is a season of life, yet that connection with our children is sacred.

Writing with Pam Farrel was an unparalleled privilege. As a co-author, Pam is highly experienced, loves the Lord, and is the epitome of a cheerleader. For our readers, Pam and Bill Farrel are hope personified, because they have nurtured a bonded marriage and strong family. Pam’s mom was a single parent, and Pam’s life shines as an example that single mom is an experience and a building block, not an address.

I love the way you describe both aspects: relationship statues and season (and of course I agree about Pam). What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?

Hope and love are the themes I return to again and again. My faith impacts my writing; I could not separate the two. Through the craft of writing, I explore the tenets of belief and discover more about God.

Amen! Now, what would be your ideal writing place? And … what’s your actual writing place like?

When the children were young, after homeschooling, I wrote in the middle of the busiest area of the house surrounded by the comforting sounds of family and life fully lived. I took my laptop (MacBeth) to the stands at horseshows, the sidelines during soccer practice, while sitting through orchestra practice. Once, I took a college writing course, and the question on a test was, “What is the one thing every writer must have for success?”

I quickly wrote, “Passion.”

The question came back marked wrong. After class I asked the professor about the correct answer.

“Solitude,” he replied. “Every writer must have solitude.”

I snorted. As the mom of seven children on a small ranch in the country, if I waited for solitude, I’d never write. My kids gave me a keyboard protector because I have the most dust-covered computer on the planet—have laptop, will travel and write anywhere. Now that the children are grown, occasionally I take MacBeth to busy hubs like noisy restaurants and write amidst the beautiful noise.

Currently, I rise early, journal, read Scripture, pray, read for 30 minutes and write for 90 minutes. Next, I work on business items, then write and work until dinner. Exercise in the evening and write before going to sleep.

I was a homeschooling mom for 21 years (although of only five children) and the “solitude” thing makes me laugh as well. So why do you love writing?

I love writing because I can’t do math. Writing is the one thing I want to do all the time. It is what I do for work and for fun. I’m thankful for the friendships I have with people I admire. Teaching others to write, bringing someone’s message to the world, and creating works that will outlive me are great joys. What freedom to be able to write/work anywhere and that all experiences, observations, and travel are material for my writing. My heart is full to see two of my children thriving as professional writers. Though my adult children live in different states, they started a book club where we read books together and talk about what we read over a soul-nourishing Zoom call.

I love it (and I also hate math). And when did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?

In college, I blew out my knees as a dancer and shifted to the other subject that made my eyes light up—journalism. After being the editor of the college newspaper and magazine, I went to work as a news reporter and magazine editor. While raising my children, I wrote freelance, and my first book was published in 1995. Presently I have 29 published titles, and many books I ghosted. Most of those are traditionally published.

What an interesting career! And why do you write Christian living books?

I’m a generalist, which means I’m not niche enough to be well known, but I can write pretty much anything. I won’t write horror because it’s too scary for me, or erotica because I won’t write something I would be embarrassed to have my kids or grands read. Writing permits me to possibly be the wind under the wings of another who is weary, disheartened, and disillusioned. I enjoy both the challenges and victories of the craft because it satisfies my spirit. I write because writing is an essential. Through writing I give voice to others, champion integrity, bring humor, entertain, and share stories. For the one in four homes currently single-parent led, my hope is that The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make will serve as tangible tips and practical hope to help their families succeed.

That sounds like a great prayer as well. So what is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?

Excellent authors make writing look easy. Non-writers are surprised to learn that this is a craft to continually practice and become better. Also, that the industry has trends just like fashion and that authors must keep up to date on what is in and what is not.

So true! Tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.

The first day of a writers conference, two of my daughters and I crowded onto the elevator with several other conferees making their way to the morning session. Fifteen-year-old Holly and seventeen-year-old Leilani were the only teen attendees that year.

“I just love to see expiring new writers,” spoke up an elderly lady. She nodded and smiled at my daughters. Of course she meant to say aspiring. Not expiring.

Holly smiled back, and without missing a beat, quickly replied, “You must mean my mom.”

Do you have an unfulfilled dream?

I would write the novels that have been in my brain for thirty years immediately, rather than putting them off while chasing projects that “paid.” Imagine where I’d be now as an author if I’d not been hesitant or afraid?!

Now, as they say, you’ve quit preaching and gone to meddling! What do you read for pleasure? And what are you reading right now?

I just finished Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. My all-time favorite authors include John Erickson (Hank the Cowdog is brilliant), Clive Cussler, Jan Karon, and Richard Paul Evans who just released his 41st New York Times bestseller and kindly endorsed my three most recent titles, Homeless for the Holidays, Chasing Sunrise, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make.

Impressive! Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?

Because I have kids, I’ve had pets including Nubian goats, pigs, and a pet goose stolen from the zoo. (That’s a great story.) Presently, Classie and Carly are our paint horses. My daughter rodeos, so I’ve regularly trailered horses across the nation including yearly to the World Barrel Racing Competition. Whiskey is our golden retriever, whose name is fodder for misunderstanding. Twix is our calico cat because cats have valuable skills for those living in the country. If your dog or horse doesn’t like someone, pay attention. Dogs and horses don’t lie.

What ministry are you involved with?

I’m launching a resource-rich website community titled Single Mom Circle as a companion to The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make.

Sounds great! What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?

A history buff, I want to know what people did and why. I explore tropical islands, parasail, skydive, snorkel, scuba, garden around my heavily wooded property and have taken but not passed pilot training (because of the math). Every place I explore, experience I have, fascinating facts I learn make my writing richer and multi-dimensional. Israel became a major part of The Patent and several other titles after I traveled there. St. Croix with its mile-deep underwater wall, poisonous manchineel trees, and Mocko Jumbies is the setting for Chasing Sunrise. Learning that human trafficking enslaves more people today than when slavery was legal in the United States was a sad shock when I wrote The Slave Across the Street and Slavery in the Land of the Free.

You’re an amazing woman. Now, please tell us about your next project.

In The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make, I wrote about improving any relationship immediately by avoiding the 5 Rs. This chapter, possibly more than any other, resonates with everyone who hears the concept. Those steps for improving relationships are worth the price of the book. I’m writing a book expanding on avoiding the 5 Rs: rejection, resentment, resistance, revenge, repeat. Additionally, I’m halfway through the sequel to The Patent, titled The Embolus, and nearly complete with a deep and funny novel about a single mom tentatively titled Choice. Look for The Patent and Choice as serial reads on the website, Single Mom Circle.

Marti Pieper
Marti Pieper

Thanks so much, PeggySue, for sharing your passion for words and especially for single moms. Blessings as you pursue God’s next steps!

To learn more about PeggySue Wells, connect with her on PeggySue’s website.

For His Glory,

Marti Pieper

Marti’s website

Categories
Devotional

Joyful Thinking

What we live is first what we think.  So what does God want us to think about that will elevate our mind, soul, spirit and life?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4:8)

In Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience, we dig a little deeper to see what each word means…

Noble: Honorable, reverent, dignified, gravitas

Discovering Joy in Philippians
Discovering Joy In Philippians

Right: Correct, just in the eyes of God, judicially approved

Pure: Holy, sacred, chaste, prepared for worship

Lovely: Pleasing, agreeable, worthy of affection

Admirable: Good reputation, well report

Excellent: Moral goodness, virtue, upright

Praiseworthy: Commendation, approved, recognized, fitting acknowledgment

What needs to change in your thinking? How can you weave good thinking habits and patterns into your life daily?

 

 

Author Pam Farrel sharing her book, Discovering Joy in Philippians
Author Pam Farrel sharing her book, Discovering Joy in Philippians

Pam Farrel is the author of 50+ books including co-authoring Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience. www.Love-Wise.com

 

Categories
Devotional

Power for Tough Times

that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Phil 3:10

 

This verse has special meaning to me. I met a curly -haired,  tan, fit college student leader  at Campus Crusade for Christ headquarters in the late summer of 1978. His Bible was so used and worn he had to have it rebound in rough tan leather and burned into the front cover was “That I may know Him” I fell in love with Bill Farrel not just for his good looks, but rather, for his God-chasing heart.  Any guy who wants to identify with Christ, not just for His majesty and power but also for his sufferings, is a deep man of faith.

Cultivating habits that allow God’s resurrection power to flow into your life is imperative so that you can stay strong, even in times of suffering . Here are three ways that have helped me find and experience resurrection power:

Partner for Power

Since the day I met that gorgeous guy, I have watched him graciously handle suffering and hardship with a 5-fold P.O.W.E.R process that has become our “Go to” when times get tough:

Pray: God will get us thru this. Let’s pray.

Open up: Let’s both share our needs with each other

Wisdom seek: Let’s find some scripture to hang our heart on to keep our hope, joy and peace.

Endure: Let’s just keep doing the next right thing. Let’s be true to God and God will be true to us.

Reach out: Let’s gather our trusted faith community to pray and believe with us and for us.

Which would help you most right now?

Pam Farrel and her husband, Bill, are relationship specialists, authors of 50+ books, international speakers, and Co-Directors of  Love-Wise.com. They live on a boat docked in Southern California.

 

Categories
Devotional

Where Does Stability Reside?

Discovering Joy in Philippians

In Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience, we look at verses that show the path to true joy. Having a stable life with a sure foundation does make life more joyful. Let’s take a quick glance at Psalms 15 to see the stepping stones to stability (note the bold faced italicized words):

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain? 

The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.

Which one of the boldfaced stepping stones will bring more stability, thus more serenity to your life in the coming year? Reread Psalms 15 and ask, “Lord, what do I need to change so that I can dwell on Your Holy Hill and not be shaken?” 

Pam Farrel is a author of 50+ books, including the new Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience (co-authored with Jean E Jones and Karla Dornacher) . www.Love-Wise.com

 

 

Categories
Devotional

Walk With Me

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me (Luke 9:23)

Some might not connect this verse with joy, but it is actually the path to true joy.  In Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience, we look at a key verse that connects denying our selves, picking up the cross and joy.

If you look at some of the key words in Greek, you gain the HOW of walking toward Jess and toward joy.

Deny means to say “No” or repudiate — so to deny yourself could be applied to ask, “Is anything competing for my love for Jesus?” Sometimes our self wants to prioritize belongings, indulgences, hobbies, work or even relationships as more important than Jesus.

Pick up is to raise or lift. This reminds me of our call to lift Christ higher:

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,... (Gal 6:14)

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev 5:3)

Follow mean to accompany Jesus. At the root of this compound word is a picture of walking alongside, as along the road or to join as a disciple. One example is :

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matt 4:18-20 emphasis added)  

As you look at the year ahead, ask yourself:

How can I say “Yes” to Jesus and prioritize him as number 1?

How can I elevate and lift of Christ and the cross?

How can I follow Jesus closer, as a committed disciple?

 

Pam Farrel is author of 52 books including being co-author of Discovering Joy in Philippians, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, and Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament (co-authored with Jean E Jones and artist, Karla Dornacher, from Harvest House Publishers). www.Love-Wise.com 

 

 

 

Categories
Encouragement

Joy is Transformation

Picture the contrast between a funeral and a wedding.

A funeral is somber, reflective, full of sadness, grief, perhaps even remorse.

A wedding, especially one between two godly believers, is full of gladness, delight, gless, bliss,  rejoicing and packed with hope on the horizon.

The wonderful majesty of God is that He has the ability and desire to turn our mourning into a wedding dance!

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have  taken away my clothes of   mourning   and clothed me with   joy…(Psalm 30:11)

I like to jump into the original language to dig into word meanings, With the descriptive synonyms, this sentence could be amplified to mean:

My WAILING and LAMENT  You have OVERTURNED into MERRY DANCING (with Timbrel and joyous instruments). You have LOOSED and FREED me from my SACKCLOTH FUNERAL clothes of grief and mourning and GIRDED and EQUIPPED me with DELIGHT, HAPPINESS, EXTREME REJOICING, PLEASURE, EXCEEDING JOY AND MIRTH like a FESTIVAL! 

Only God can transform your grief, wailing, mourning and lament into a Festival of Exceedingly EXTREME JOY!

What do you need God to transform in your life that would free you to live a life of joy in Jesus?

Trade in your funeral attire for a party dress! 

Let God transform your life as you unpack the delightful new Discovering Joy in Philippians: Creative Bible Study Experience. 

Come join me for a festival of joy– bring me to speak to your church group or join me online for the Discovering Joy in Philippians FREE Bible Study. Register Today.

  

Categories
Devotional

Joy is a verb!

One of the benefits of writing about joy, like Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience,  is that you learn many unique facts that can in turn help you and those in your ministry.

In the New Testament, a common word is JOY! χαρὰ  (chara) from chairó is in N. T. 74 times! When God repeats Himself– that is a sign of importance or priority– so obviously His ability to help us walk in joy is on His heart!

To great someone and wish them JOY, was a a common greeting and farewell salutation. (Wouldn’t the world be a better place today if we exchanged our casual, “What’s up , dude?” For “May you be joyous and thrive!”

Some of the meanings for this word, Joy, are:

To rejoice ; Be glad: cheerful

  Rejoice exceedingly

  To be well/ thrive

  To lean in; favorable disposed to   happiness 

and our ability, the power to actually walk in joy is because this word, joy, is often  connected to God’s grace & redemption. Yes, life transformation and a welcome entrance to heaven is plenty cause to rejoice!

But by far, my favorite descriptive meaning of JOY! (χαρὰ ) is that Joy is CALM DELIGHT! This is my favorite definition because it gives me something to DO when depression, stress, discouragement comes rolling my way.

For example, if I get bad news, instead of giving into discouragement, anger, frustration or any of many negative, non-productive emotions, I can push pause, stop, and pray, Lord, right now show me what I can do, think, say that will calm me (or calm the situation). Or Lord, what can I I do, think, say, experience that would be a healthy delight?  

To prepare for success, today, make a list of things you can do, say, think that seem to calm you.

Then make a list of healthy, positive delightful distractive, experiences, thoughts, actions you can do when negative circumstances or emotions come your way.

Join me for some CALM DELIGHT, and be a part of my FREE online Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience.

Click to learn more or register.   

Pam Farrel
Pam Farrel

Pam Farrel is one of the three authors of Discovering Joy in Philippians (coauthored with Jean E Jones and Karla Dornacher)  When Pam is not writing, she enjoys calm delights like drinking cold iced tea while resting on the deck of her live aboard boat, kayaking or paddle boarding near her “home” on the ocean or walking the beach hand in hand with her husband, Bill. Together they co-direct Love-Wise.

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