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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Miracle of Hope (The Amish Wonders #1) by Ruth Reid



How far can God's mercy reach?

Lindie Wyse is pregnant out of wedlock and thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve her future. Josiah Plank is certain he'll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined.

Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes Hannah's special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building. Will their growing love survive despite their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?



About The Author





Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She's a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life.











My Review:

This book reminds me of a mail order bride story, only with an Amish twist. I can't even imagine, being a mail order wife, but having my brother arrange my future, and away from everyone. This is what happened to Lindie Wyse, she has no choice, she is expecting another man's baby.
Josiah had moved to Michigan and was working in his father-in-laws mill. His wife was killed a few years ago, and he is now alone with his eight year old daughter. He has had a hard time raising her, and working. His daughter, Hannah, is deaf, and a hand full.
I enjoyed the interaction that goes on in this very small community. Most seem to welcome Lindie with open arms, although she is, unknown to them, a wife in name only. Yes, Josiah still is in love with his deceased wife, and knows he can never love another??
There are some hard times coming for these young people. Can they over come their differences, and become a whole family?
This is a very heartwarming story, and among tragedy, there is some wonderful happenings.

I received this book through Net Galley, and was not required to give a positive review.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Pump Up Your Book Presents Retirement Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!







Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce Christopher Borman’s how-to guide, Retirement: A New Adventure Book Blast December 19 – January 2! Christopher  will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck! All participating bloggers willing to host are eligible to win.

ABOUT RETIREMENT: A NEW ADVENTURE



Book Cover Title:
 Retirement: A New Adventure
Genre: How-to Guide
Author: Christopher Borman
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 108
Language: English
ISBN – 978-1-44016-804-8

Research indicates that there is a definite connection between life style and longevity. Personal characteristics that support longevity are optimism, adaptability, resilience, healthy self-esteem, a sense of humor, and the ability to reach out to others. Read what others have learned and experienced about retirement.
Just as students need a plan for starting a career, everyone needs a plan for retirement. After a lifetime of work, it is fitting that your later years will be fulfilling and enjoyable. Even if you are already retired, you can still develop a plan. As you read the book, you will find information about how others went from careers to retirement to positive adventures.
A portion of the book relates the author’s experiences as he planned for retirement; in addition to the experiences of eighteen retirees who completed a questionnaire about their retirement experiences. Also, in-depth case studies of four retirees are included in the book to illustrate how each person approached their own retirement. Hopefully, as you read through the case studies, you will find a similarity to your own career and life situation. You will see how others have made decisions and plans that may be beneficial to you in making your retirement plans.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER BORMAN

Christopher Borman lives in Houston with his wife, Ruth. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Chris was also on the faculty in Counseling Psychology at Texas A&M University (College Station) for twenty-one years. He enjoys spending time with his three daughters and their families including three granddaughters and one grandson.

Pump Up Your Book and Christopher Borman are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pump Up Your Book Presents Vengeance is Mine Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce Elizabeth Barrody’s suspense fiction novel, Vengeance Is Mine Book Blast December 19 – January 2! Elizabeth will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck! All participating bloggers willing to host are eligible to win.




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Title: Vengeance is Mine
Genre: Suspense
Author: Elizabeth Baroody
Publisher: Trafford
Pages: 336
Language: English
ISBN – 978-1-46692-914-2

Nora Costain, a widow, half owner of a successful real estate company, is on vacation on a small island off the North Carolina coast, where she meets two elderly neighbors and finds a sawdust hill infested with rattlesnakes. She also finds that she likes to be around the captain of the mail boat that takes passengers to the different islands out in the bay. While she is away, her thirteen-year-old granddaughter, Holly, is caught and raped by two high school boys after a school dance. These two boys are from another nearby school. Holly refuses to allow her mother to go to the authorities about the rape, and two months later, she unexpectedly dies of an ectopic pregnancy. Nora is finally told of the rape and realizes that at this late date, nothing can be done to the unknown perpetrators. Nora comes across Holly’s diary after the funeral and reads about the rape. Holly names the boys Guy and Bill, and from the details in the diary, Nora is able to identify them. She tries to blow them up in their car, but no one is injured. Guy and Bill find out who blew up their car and decide to kidnap Nora’s grandson, Todd, to get even. The plan is thwarted by the school Todd attends, and Nora, afraid for Todd, decides to take him to the island to get him far away from the area. Guy and Bill learn of her plans, follow them to the island, and that night, attempt to dispose of them. As it happens, Nora and Todd were not in the cottage and ran to one of the neighbor’s house. For protection, the neighbor lets his wild boar loose, and the next morning, one of the boys is found gored to death by the boar. Nora manages to contact the captain and notifies the authorities. Although a search is made, the other boy could not be found.

Purchase your copy:

Trafford Publishing




9781466929142_C_QA.inddABOUT ELIZABETH BAROODY

Elizabeth was an independent photojournalist from 1970 to her death and has written, sold, and has had published approximately 115 articles, short stories, and a book. The following publications have used her work; Early American Life, Writer’s Digest, The Antique Trader, Numismatic Scrapbook, Marriage and Family, Horse Illustrated, Spinning Wheel, Country Magazine, Hobbies, Antique Week, Post Card Collector, Cricket Magazine. Under the name of Christy Demaine, she wrote one book, A Matter of Revenge, published by Playboy Press in 1978. Following is a list of books previously published and available now. Nicole Laurent That Summer at Windermere The Search for Sheherazade (e-book only) A Matter of Revenge (softcover only) Available in hard and soft cover and as e-books.



Pump Up Your Book and Elizabeth Baroody are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pump Up Your Book Presents Faces Behind the Dust Book Blast- Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!



Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce Cora L. Hairston’s general fiction novel, Faces Behind the Dust Book Blast December 19 – January 2! Cora will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck! All participating bloggers willing to host are eligible to win.





Book Cover copyTitle: Faces Behind the Dust
Genre: General
Author: Cora L. Hairston
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 212
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47595-829-4
This book begins about a precocious, nosey little girl, who has eavesdropping down to a science. The stories surrounding this coal mining community are about family, neighbors and friends. ClaraBy loves her Daddy. The drama of this book will have you laughing and crying, as she grows into womanhood along this journey.
She is struck with sorrow at the loss of her best friend, and worries about her father and brothers when tragedy struck. Also sees her father growing weary over the years as his health deteriorates. Her sister is a fast “breeder”, who seems to be caught by the “BIG BIRD” every year or so with cute little gremlins. There are racial issues that took place in the early 1950’s and 60’s during the period of integration. ClaraBy begins to grow into a lovely young lady who is trying hard not to let her hormones get the best of her. This book is the beginning of her life and she has a lot of living to do. “HELLO WORLD!!” HER COMES CLARABY ROSE!! (book 2).

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse


ABOUT CORA L. HAIRSTON

CORA HAIRSTON is retired from Logan General Hospital, as the radiology co-coordinator after 30 years of service. She has written numerous poems and 20 or more gospel songs. Her love is singing, playing the piano, going to church, and preaching life lessons to her grandchildren. Leading up to her retirement so that she would have something to occupy her mind outside of home, she was encouraged by her daughter Amanda, to return to school to become a “nail technician,” which she did. This led her to be owner/operator of her own salon and eventually a “ladies boutique.” Cora and her husband, Fred, are the proud parents of four children, seven grandchildren, (one deceased) and four great-grandchildren. They reside in Omar, West Virginia.



Pump Up Your Book and Cora L. Hairston are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pump Up Your Book Presents The Key Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce Peter Cassels-Brown’s inspirational book, The Key Book Blast December 11 – December 25! Peter will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck! All participating bloggers willing to host are eligible to win.

ABOUT THE KEY


ResizeImageHandler.ashxTitle: The Key
Genre: Inspirational
Author: Peter Cassels-Brown
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 80
Language: English
ISBN – 978-1-47593-797-8

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key” -Eagles
THE KEY is about finding that key, and freeing youself of your chains. It is about the alchemy of changing tension, anxiety, and stress into happiness, health, and prosperity. It is a compact manual for the human spirit, containing wisdom to help you realize your dreams. To discover one’s own true nature as a creator is to know the joy of an expanding universe in one’s heart.
THE KEY is a compilation of nearly a half century of reading, thinking, conversations, reflections and experience, boiled down into a book that is eloquent in it’s simplicity, clarity, directness, and honesty. It contains essential wisdom that was at times hard won, but in the end, helps one to move toward a happier, healthier, richer life.
We need a critical mass of people to reach this place of creativity and positive responsibility if we are to live in a world where creativity is the name of the game, and we are working together on a global scale instead of against each other.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse


ABOUT PETER CASSELS-BROWN

Peter Cassels-Brown is currently owner of Mountain Woodworks/Green Mountain Renewable Energy, A custom design building renewable energy company in Bristol, Vermont. He studied solar design at the University of Vermont and went to Woodbury College for graduate studies in mediation. He currently lives in Bristol with his two children.

Pump Up Your Book and Peter Cassels-Brown are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, December 26, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

12 Pearls of Christmas | A Teenage Pregnancy by Robin Jones Gunn

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
 
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
 
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
***

A Teenage Pregnancy by Robin Jones Gunn

It was early, early morning, that delicate time of day just before sunrise when it seems as if all of creation is still asleep.

In the cold, gray light she gazed at the infant in her arms. He was less than an hour old and so, so small. Instinct prompted her to draw her newborn close that he might feel the rhythm of her heart. He curled his tiny hand around her finger and she smiled. His eyes closed, and with feathered breath he gave way to the blessed sleep that follows such a long journey.

In weary awe she studied his face, his ears, his nose. He was here. He had come at last.

A single tear fell from her eye and rolled across his cheek. She kissed the tear away but could not kiss away the memories that came with the tears; memories of the day she found out she was pregnant. How exhilarated she felt and yet how terrified. She was young, and there was much she didn’t understand.

Trying to justify her condition to her parents proved more difficult than she’d hoped. But the most excruciating memory was the moment she stood guileless before the man she hoped to one day marry. She had no words to make him understand the awful truth—the child she carried was not his.

Leaving seemed to be her only option. A gracious aunt took her in and welcomed her with open arms. From the moment she arrived she was showered with motherly words of hope and sisterly touches of love. Week by week, month by month, the child inside her grew.

Was it a miracle when she returned home, her belly round, her face flushed, and found him there?

What prompted this man to take her back and make her his bride? Did he now believe what she had tried to explain all along, that none of this was her own doing?

When the time was right they left their small town together, as husband and wife, with her due date rapidly approaching. The labor began—tightening her abdomen with a force she had never before imagined. Perspiration streamed from her forehead. The contractions multiplied with a frenzied urgency until the need to push overwhelmed her young body, and the baby was born.

Nothing of the past mattered anymore. He was here. Naked, perfect, quivering in her arms. With a thrill of hope, she believed that her life, her world, would never be the same.

Now as the first silver streaks of dawn pierced through the cracks in the stable, she tenderly wrapped her sleeping babe in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger.

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***
Robin Promo Photo Close Up 2013Robin Jones Gunn, bestselling author of the much-loved Christy Miller Series and the award-winning Sisterchicks® series, has had more than 4.5 million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her frequent speaking engagements have taken her around the globe. Robin and her husband live in Hawaii and have a grown son and daughter. You can learn more at Robin's website. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 23, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas | Do You Hear What I Hear? by Cynthia Ruchti

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
 
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
 
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
***

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Cynthia Ruchti

To shepherds? Really, God? You crafted a birth announcement that was delivered first to shepherds? The story’s become so familiar to us, so easy for us to visualize because of all the Christmas pageants we’ve witnessed over the years—all the fourth-grade boys in plaid robes with a homemade shepherd staff, carrying a cloth lamb from the toy department that plays “Jesus Loves Me” if you pull the ring where an umbilical cord should be.

Theologians speculate the reason for shepherds as the audience for the holy pronouncement could be as intricate as a genetic retracing of the Baby’s heritage back through history to King David, who started his career as a shepherd.

Or it could have been simpler than that. Maybe shepherds were the only ones listening that night.

“Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night,” Luke 2:8, CEB. The biblical story tells us that the shepherds weren’t sleeping but were on guard, watching, when the news about Jesus came to them.

Distractions were few. Hills, sheep, other shepherds, a low fire, and a wide expanse of sky overhead—a dark sky that held the same stars night after night, until this one.

I wonder if any of the shepherds brought their families to the fields. I wonder if in the tent was a hardworking woman nearing the end of an exhausting day. She’d barely gotten the evening meal cleaned up when she had to start thinking about what her family and the other shepherds would need for breakfast. Soak the grains. Check the progress on the sheep’s milk cheese. And try to get those kids to settle down.

“Stop annoying your brother. Caleb! Last warning. Josh, get your fingers out of your sister’s ears. Turn down that video game. You can’t listen to the radio and watch TV at the same time. Turn one of them off. Better yet, both of them! Who’s singing? What’s that sound? Do you hear what I hear?”

What noise do I need to turn off in my life in order to hear the first notes of the angel’s song?

Another noisy Christmas party. Another trip to the department store for stocking stuffers. Another round of Christmas CDs. Another Christmas special on TV. Another Facebook post to share—the true meaning of Christmas. A text about the practice time for the Christmas program at church. Another phone call about travel plans. Brain waves clanking into each other, making a cacophony of noise.

Shutting down one layer at a time. Unplugging. Keeping even "Silent Night" low so I can silence my night and hear the downbeat of “Glory to God in the highest.”

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***

Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, devotions, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. Of seven books on the shelves currently, her latest releases are the novel When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction), the nonfiction Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press Christian Living), and several dozen of the devotions in Mornings With Jesus 2014 (Guideposts). Spring of 2014 will see the release of another novel—All My Belongings, also from Abingdon Press Fiction. You can connect with her at www.cynthiaruchti.com or on Facebook. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pump Up Your Book Presents Becoming Josephine Book Blast and a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce Heather Webb’s Becoming Josephine  Book Blast December 16 – January 3! Heather will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck! All participating bloggers willing to host are eligible to win.

ABOUT BECOMING JOSEPHINE


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Title
: Becoming Josephine
Author: Heather Webb
Publisher: Plume
Pages: 320
Language: English
Genre: Historical Fiction


Readers are fascinated with the wives of famous men. In Becoming Josephine, debut novelist Heather Webb follows Rose Tascher as she sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris, eager to enjoy an elegant life at the royal court. Once there, however, Rose’s aristocratic soldier-husband dashes her dreams by abandoning her amid the tumult of the French Revolution. After narrowly escaping death, Rose reinvents herself as Josephine, a beautiful socialite wooed by an awkward suitor—Napoleon Bonaparte.
A debut as bewitching as its protagonist.” —Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl and Call Me Zelda
Vivid and passionate.” —Susan Spann, author of The Shinobi Mysteries
Rose Tascher sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris to trade her Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. She arrives exultant to follow her dreams of attending Court with Alexandre, her elegant aristocrat and soldier husband. But Alexandre dashes her hopes and abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution.
Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll.
After narrowly escaping death in the blood-drenched cells of Les Carmes prison, she reinvents herself as Josephine, a socialite of status and power. Yet her youth is fading, and Josephine must choose between a precarious independence and the love of an awkward suitor. Little does she know, he would become the most powerful man of his century- Napoleon Bonaparte.
BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a novel of one woman’s journey to find eternal love and stability, and ultimately to find herself.
“Webb adds new frisson to the often fictionalized travails of an unlikely empress…Although the book covers the same ground as many other treatments of Josephine’s life and times, Webb’s portrayal of the range of Josephine’s experience—narrow escapes from bloodshed and disease, dinner-table diplomacy, and her helpless love for Napoleon, her children and a small dog—is exceptionally concise and colorful. A worthy fictional primer on Empress Josephine.”–Kirkus Reviews

Purchase your copy:

amazon2


ABOUT HEATHER WEBB

heatherwebbauthorphoto
As a former military brat and traveling addict, it was tricky choosing a landing pad. At last, I settled in a rural town in New England. For a decade I put my degrees in French and Cultural Geography to good use teaching and coaching high school students.
Currently, I am a historical novelist and work as a freelance editor (For rates, check my EDITING page.) You may find me lurking at the popular RomanceUniversity.org where I contribute to their blog with editing advice, and at the award-winning site, WriterUnboxed.com, where I pose as Twitter Mistress (@WriterUnboxed). I also kick around a local college teaching classes called “Write to Publish” and “Crafting Your Novel”.
When I’m cross-eyed from too much screen time, I flex my foodie skills or geek out on history and pop culture. My debut historical novel BECOMING JOSEPHINE will be published by Plume/Penguin on December 31, 2013. (See my BOOKS page for more details.) I am represented by agent Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management. – See more at: http://www.heatherwebbauthor.com/author/#sthash.r3MSVxon.dpuf 

Connect & Socialize with Heather!


Pump Up Your Book and Heather Webb are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins December 16 and ends January 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 4, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pump Up Your Book Presents Dear Friend Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce Cheri DeGroot’s non-fiction humanities book, Dear Friend Book Blast December 11 – December 25! Cheri will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck! All participating bloggers willing to host are eligible to win.

ABOUT DEAR FRIEND



ResizeImageHandler.ashxTitle: Dear Friend
Genre: Non-fiction humanities
Author: Cheri DeGroot
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 60
Language: English
ISBN – 978-1-44016-146-9

Are you looking for a way to meet new people from all over the world, make new friends, and help others? The solution is simple and affordable—become a pen pal. In Dear Friend, author Cheri DeGroot shares the joys and rewards of becoming a pen pal and provides tips on sharing friendships through handwritten letters.
Based on fifty-three years of personal experience as a pen pal, DeGroot details how her lifelong passion for pen palling began and how her friendships with people from all over the United States have helped her through life’s good and bad times. This guide demonstrates the positive aspects of pen palling—from sharing news of family, hobbies and emotions to expanding their knowledge by learning about different cultures and different people.
Stressing the importance of communication, Dear Friend reveals how becoming a pen pal can help those who are lonely to find friendship, love, and happiness through the power of the written word.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse


ABOUT CHERI DEGROOT

Cheri DeGroot loves writing letters and journals of her life. Pen palling helps her make new friendships by reaching out through written letters and by computer. DeGroot has initiated several pen pal clubs. She has three grown children and seven grandchildren and lives in Milverton, Ontario, with her husband, Joe.

Pump Up Your Book and Cheri DeGroot are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, December 26, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

 

Pump Up Your Book Presents The Disappearance of Jessie Hunter Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce Richard Williams mystery/suspense novel , The Disappearance of Jessie Hunter Book Blast December 19 – January 2! Richard will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck! All participating bloggers willing to host are eligible to win.

ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JESSIE HUNTER




9781475999365_COVER_FQA.inddTitle: The Disappearance of Jessie Hunter
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Author: Richard Williams
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 174
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47599-936-5
Jessie Hunter is spoiled and always has been. He is in college when his father unexpectedly dies, and he must return home to sort out the family funds. Jessie expects to become lord of the manor, taking over his father’s business and land and becoming the high-powered man his father always wanted him to be. But nothing is as it appears to be.
Jessie soon comes to suspect that his father was murdered and that whoever killed his father now wants Jessie dead as well. He can’t be sure why, but he knows he’s being hunted and must go on the run. Jessie must place his trust in an estranged uncle he never knew in order to stay alive.
Now in hiding, Jessie leans on others to find safety and answers. But how will this spoiled, sheltered young man be able to solve the mystery of his father’s death? In order to get his life back, Jessie must be strong or end up dead at the hands of his father’s assassin.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse



ABOUT RICHARD WILLIAMS

Richard Williams is also the author of the Guardians series. He and his wife, Janice, have two children and two grandchildren. They currently live in Mississippi with their two shelties.

Pump Up Your Book and Richard Williams are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 22, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas | Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required by Jodi Murphy

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
 
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
 
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
***

Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required by Jodi Murphy

For more than a decade I worked in the luxury design field, and every year around Christmas time there were holiday show houses and charity events where the designers would hold nothing back to create the most beautiful displays for the Christmas season—trees with baubles and sparkles, swags of fresh greenery festooned with handmade bows, every room dressed to the nines, dining and breakfast tables set for imaginary entertaining, and hundreds of perfectly wrapped packages that would make Santa’s elves go green with envy.

The sights, sounds and smells were magical! And though I enjoyed the "eye candy" and appreciated all of the creativity, I often left these events on a "sugar high" of the season’s pufferies and feeling disconnected to the spiritual significance of Christmas.

As we begin to count down the days toward December 25th, I will do my share of simplified decorating as a way to mark such an important day, and I will be celebrating Christ’s birth with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the gifts God has given to me . . .

My Parents
I was blessed with parents who loved and respected me. I was always important, seen and heard. They gave me the confidence and strength to go out into the world because I knew they were standing right behind me in case I stumbled. They modeled generosity, loyalty and commitment.

My Sister
Tenacious, strong-willed, and determined balanced by a friendly, supportive, “I’m there for you” spirit—that’s my amazing younger sister. She’ll step out on the front line to stand up and defend you or throw on some work clothes and volunteer to help with whatever dirty work needs to be done. No questions asked . . . you need her, she’s there.

My Husband
My husband is so comfortable in his own skin. He doesn’t compare himself to others or secretly long for what they have. He doesn’t get embroiled in other’s gossip or petty arguments. His loving influence has made me happier and more at peace. Every day I wake up to the joyful realization that I am his friend, wife, and life partner.

My Son
My firstborn. My son with Aspergers Syndrome. Raising him is the most extraordinary journey. He has made me more accepting, patient, and understanding. He has helped me find my passion to support and advocate for him and those just like him. He doesn’t filter or concern himself with being anything but who he is. I admire his strength to put himself out into a world he doesn’t fully understand.

My Daughter
She was born with grace and an "old" soul. From a very young age, she had an understanding and compassion for others well beyond her years. And when she was excluded for not following the crowd, she never compromised her values in order to fit in. She personifies all that is good and right in our world.

So I’m taking a pause from the hustle and bustle of the designers’ holiday season. This Christmas, and every Christmas henceforth, you’ll find me singing praises of “Gloria!” to God for the walking, breathing beautiful gifts of my family.

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jodi_murphy-Headshot 1Jodi Murphy has been a freelance marketing specialist for the last 25+ years working for clients in a variety of industries, a journalist in the design/luxury lifestyle industry, and co-founder of Nesting Newbies, one of the first independent lifestyle digital magazines. But her most important role and her life’s passion is being a mom! She founded Geek Club Books to share her son’s life on the spectrum in a positive and entertaining way. Her focus is on building a community of spectrum and neurotypicals who are engaged with and inspired by the Geek Club Books’ message of self-acceptance—“I’m unique. I’m a geek.” Jodi writes original content on the blog, and, with the help of her talented kids and top-notch creative team, she produces audio stories, e-books, and interactive storybook APPs.
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas My Gift for the King by Sheryl Giesbrecht

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
***

My Gift to the King by Sheryl Giesbrecht

It was a week before Christmas; a woman in the rush of her last-minute shopping bought a box of fifty identical greeting cards. Without bothering to read what the card said, she quickly signed and addressed all but one of them. A few days after they had been mailed she came across the one card that hadn’t been sent. She was horrified to read, “This card is just to say, a little gift is on the way!”

Gift-giving is just one of our many Christmas traditions. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Truly Jesus is the best gift we would ever want to receive.

One year a friend gave me a Christmas devotional book that turned my holiday traditions upside down. Anne Graham Lotz shared her custom of asking King Jesus what gift he would like for his birthday. God wants us to give freely out of our love for him as an act of worship. This process of intentionally and sacrificially giving a "love gift to my King" is something I have added to my personal Christmas traditions. I wonder, have you ever thought about giving Jesus a gift? Maybe this year you might ask Him what He would like you to give Him.

Each year, as the Christmas holidays approach, I ask the King what he would like for his birthday. I remember Anne Graham Lotz’s criteria: “Something I would not do except the King requested it. And it is something I could not do except the King enabled me,” (Christmas Memories by Terri Meeusen pg. 159).

One year the King began asking me for His gift in September when a local high school contacted me to develop a truant program. I didn’t feel qualified. Lotz’ words rang in my mind: “Something I would not do except the king requested it. And it is something I could not do except the king enabled me.” “God, not me," I argued. I remembered what God brought me out of; I was a rebellious and promiscuous teenager, chain-smoker, alcoholic, drug addict, and drug dealer who cut class all but five days my junior year of high school. At age seventeen, I went to work at a Christian camp and there I was shown the love of God through the experience of working transformed believers. I was shown God’s love could cover a multitude of sins. Now He asked me to share this same love with those who are looking for love in all the wrong places. I committed to doing the King’s bidding.

What gift will you give your King this year? Maybe God is asking you to serve in your child’s classroom at school or teach a Sunday school class. Or maybe God is calling you to prayer or to spend more time with Him? Maybe Your King is asking you to give Him control over a situation?

"Something I would not do except the King requested it. And it is something I could not do except the King enabled me." Ask the King for His gift suggestion. When He impresses on your heart the gift He desires, offer it to Him as your gift of thanks for His indescribable gift, His Son, Jesus.

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (I Cor 9:15)

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"Exchanging hurt for hope" is Sheryl Giesbrecht's focus. She loves to share how God rearranges loss, bitterness, and mistakes, and turns them into something remarkably beautiful. Learn more about Sheryl and her book, Get Back Up, at her website.
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop - Win an Amazon Gift Card!! Open Internationally

2013 Midwinter's Eve Hop 


Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Bookhounds
December 21st to 31st


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! The lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!





 Please fill out the Rafflecopter to win!!
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Pump Up Your Book Presents The Absorption of Christ Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Pump Up Your Book is proud to announce Dr. Patricia Sadler Moore’s personal memoir, The Absorption of the Christ Book Blast December 19 – January 2! Dr. Patricia will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below or on participating blogs throughout the blast and good luck!



ABOUT THE ABSORPTION OF THE CHRIST




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Title: The Absorption of the Christ
Genre: Personal Memoir
Author: Dr. Patricia Sadler Moore
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 212
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47594-763-2
The Absorption of the Christ is an autobiographical sketch of a narcoleptic in search of her true identity via the process of metaphysical and supernatural experiences which she submits to through mind control and the interpretation of her numerous dreams and narcoleptic journeys. These journeys lead to her discovering that the spiritual and the physical are one united process that she labels the seat of God in expression. Utilizing the power of what she believes to be her holy mind, she finds herself adrift and absorbed in the Christ consciousness which is not estranged or separated from God but is God, the Truth of life itself, the Truth of her personal being . This nonfictional account of her life from early childhood to the present also depicts many scenarios in her life which serve as a backdrop for many of her experiences.

Purchase your copy:

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ABOUT DR. PATRICIA SADLER MOORE

Dr. Patricia Sadler Moore was born in and educated in the public school system in Natchez, Mississippi. She received the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees from several universities in NE and N Florida. In addition, she studied French at the University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France. The majority of her career was spent as a teacher of French and English and as an administrative assistant in Miami- Dade County, Florida public schools from which she recently retired . She spends her leisure studying the influence of the metaphysical and supernatural on her personal life.


Pump Up Your Book and Dr. Patricia Sadler Moore are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



12 Pearls of Christmas Perfectionism by Steven Estes

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
***

Perfectionism by Steven Estes

(Excerpt from A Better December***) 
When my wife was little, her family was Amish. Barn raisings, buggies, high-stepping horses, shoofly pies—the whole postcard. Later, they left that life and became mainstream farmers. The suspenders and bonnets were gone, but they remained hard-working, no-nonsense, sweep-the-porch folks. As good-natured a family as homemade jam and bread.

I grew up taking in the city. Mom and I would hop the streetcar into downtown Baltimore. Lights, crowds, noise, action—the busier, the better. Birthdays were a big thing, Christmas, bigger yet. Whoop it up. Break some eggs, make an omelet.

My wife and I met in college. I first saw Verna from across the cafeteria. Popular as a lemonade stand in summer. Prettier than an evening meadow blinking with fireflies. I was hooked. Proposed on the beach. We walked the aisle, started life together.

Verna kept everything worthwhile from her childhood and folded the rest into a drawer. Worked circles around any woman you’d know. Line dried the wash, taught the kids, pinched the pennies. Joined me in whatever hoopla I wanted, but—in her mother’s meat-and-potatoes tradition—NEVER got exotic in the kitchen . . .

. . . until one December.

Wishing to please—wanting some memories for the kids—she found a recipe book. Brimming with color photos. Promises of the perfect Christmas. The kind, no doubt, her husband recalled from urban days of yore.

Sugar plums in her head, practical impulses stuffed away in an apron pocket, she purchased the ingredients to yuletide bliss. A concoction to bless the family forever.

The evening has arrived. The fortunate are assembled about the table. There is to be a holiday surprise:

“Festive Yule Log.”

Candles aglow, faces upturned. The platter of glory is borne to the table. Mother seated. Nod given.

Trembling forks sink into the first sampling mouthful. Eyes closed for concentration. The pregnant pause. . . . A searching for words. The furtive glances. The first stifled chortle. Then,

Oh, the hooting and howling.
The slappings on the table.
The witticisms.
The criticisms.

Centered on the table, the Yule Log sulks—rolled in a fine gravel posing as crushed nuts. A taste akin to cream cheese blended with toothpaste—perhaps Crest, no, Colgate. As if sautéed in soy sauce, glued into shape by an application of Crisco. The look of a food item suspected of disease, held in quarantine at Customs.

Verna smiles weakly. Rises. Whisks the mistake into exile. All the while carols from the record player begin straying off-key . . . and Misters Currier & Ives are ushered to the backyard, blindfolded, and shot.

Solomon foresaw that many designs for Christmas Eve would go awry. Why else would he write:

“Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know
what a day may bring forth”?
Proverbs 27:1

Or . . .

“You can make many plans,
but the Lord’s purpose
will prevail”?
Proverbs 19:21 NLT

God has bigger plans for you than the perfect dinner. That’s why he lets things go wrong. He’s saving your appetite for the perfect eternity. He notices you smitten with this short life,

feeling it slip through your fingers,
trying to shake a snow-globe Christmas
out of every December.

The true holiday magic is reserved for heaven. Every delight down here is a mere taste and teaser.

Knowing that, doesn’t it ease the pressure just a bit as you flip through recipes on the 24th—biting your lip . . . pondering a go at that Festive Yule Log?

(By the way, Verna recovered nicely.)
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**This excerpt is reproduced from A Better December Copyright © 2013 by Steven Estes. Used by permission of New Growth Press and may not be downloaded, reproduced, and/or distributed without prior written permission of New Growth Press.
***

Steven Estes is a pastor who has known “better Decembers with my family than either Currier or Ives,” but also understands a gray Christmas. A Better December draws on Estes’ twenty-three years of counseling church members through the holiday season as well his other writings on the topic of human suffering. He teaches a preaching class at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) where he completed his M.Div and Th.M. degrees. Estes is a conference speaker and on the board of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). Estes is the author of Called to Die (the story of slain missionary Chet Bitterman), and co- author (with friend Joni Eareckson Tada) of When God Weeps and A Step Further. He and his wife, Verna, have eight children. Learn more about Estes and his books at www.steveestes.net.
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Pump Up Your Book Presents: Thy Will Be Done Virtual Book Publicity Tour: First Chapter Reveal

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Join Ronald Kirk, author of the Christian living book, Thy Will Be Done as he tours the blogosphere December 2 – 27, 2013 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!


ABOUT THY WILL BE DONE

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Title: Thy Will Be Done
Genre: Christian living
Author: Ronald Kirk
Publisher: Nordskog Publishing
Pages: 256
Language: English
ISBN – 978-0988297654
The world cries out for an imaginative but realistic Biblical guide to the life foreshadowed in Christ’s model prayer. No foolish utopia, here is a powerful, comprehensive portrait of a sinful world redeemed and transformed by Christ—including the tools needed to hasten the day.
The author weaves a tapestry of possibility–Christ’s people growing as salt and light, putting flesh on the Bible’s vision of blessing in every aspect of human life and endeavor, bringing joy to all peoples and glory to the One who came to save the world.
“Ron Kirk comprehensively applies the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life” (Peter Hammond, The Reformation Society, South Africa).

Purchase your copy:

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Nordskog Publishing

 

 

ABOUT RONALD KIRK

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Jesus Christ confronted Ron Kirk with His salvation late in his college career at the University of California, Berkeley. Graduating in 1974, he became a professional landscape architect. In entering his first church ministry, a lack of a Biblical material on education led him to the Christian History Movement and the works of R.J. Rushdoony. Since 1980, Ron has studied and taught the Biblically and historically identified applied-faith theology and philosophy outlined in this book. Its principles have now long proven themselves in the curriculum and methods of pioneering day and home schools founded and administered by Ron. His work has been published internationally and translated into Spanish.  According to Jay and Vickie Dangers of New Hope Uganda Ministries, “Through what you have imparted to us, your lives have touched thousands of people on at least four continents, probably five, and the ripple effect is continuing.”[1] Gloriously married since 1971, Ron and Christina have five beautiful children, five more beautiful sons- and daughters-in-law, and twelve beautiful grandchildren, all walking with Christ.  American Heritage Christian Church ordained Ron as a minister of the Gospel in 1984. Ron has recently joined the foreign missionary staff of New Hope Uganda to assist in establishing a teachers college to supply the nation’s schools with a rigorously Biblical philosophy and practice of education.
Visit Ron online at www.getwisdom.us or like his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GetWisdomMakingChristianHeroesOfOrdinaryPeople 


First Chapter Reveal:



Chapter 1
The Premise Jesus taught us to pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10, kjv). This petition by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords was certainly no idle religious mumble. Moreover, in Jesus’ last earthly call to men—the Great Commission—He declared that all power and authority in heaven and Earth are His. He delegates power to His church. He commands the church to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). He empowers us to do so. We must seek men and teach them all of Christ’s ways, to educate and train them. This is not merely to see them saved, but to help them to become living, breathing children of the living God, priests, and ambassadors to His Kingdom upon the whole counsel of the Word of God.
Jesus rules and reigns at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55), and will continue so until His makes His enemies His footstool in completed reality. He governs in the middle of His enemies, through His volunteers—the church (Psalm 110:1-3). He will so rule until the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord (Habakkuk 2:14), and the mountain made without hands, Christ’s rulership, displaces the Kingdoms of the world and fills the whole earth (Daniel 2:35). In quoting Psalm 110 (Matthew 22:44), as done often throughout the New Testament, Christ clearly emphasizes its importance. Jesus remains in heaven to rule, including through His church, until the fulfillment of all things. He intends that we must be about the business of advancing the Kingdom of Christ everywhere, in all manners of life.
Pietism
Long ago, a movement in the church known as Pietism encouraged Christians to withdraw from society in favor of a merely personal religion based in private worship and a few limited expressions such as church worship, missions, evangelism, or, for some, ecstatic personal experiences. This movement grew out of a decline in the power and purity of the Puritan movement. Zealous Pietism rapidly grew in reaction to an increasing and disappointing abandonment by the Puritans of their former quickened, Scripture-commanded life. The Unitarian church and the primary contemporary liberal Congregational denominations are the legates of debased Puritanism. Unfortunately, little positive good has come from the Evangelical church’s relative abandonment of society for the past two hundred years. Rather, Christians today have increasingly withdrawn from society. We have allowed the soil of our neighbors’ hearts to grow hardened, sterile, shallow, and choked with weeds (Matthew 13:3-9). This is the opposite of godly love toward them.
Successful evangelism depends on good soil to receive the Good Seed of salvation. The Good Seed must fall into the good soil of a ready heart. In the fallen world, good soil exists only under cultivation. Christians should exercise godliness in such a way that we benignly work the soil of our neighbors’ hearts through godly influence, accomplished according to our spiritual gifts. Thus inspired, we will do all we do, self-consciously, to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28.
The church today commonly underestimates the Biblical term righteousness, limiting it to what is now often termed Christian values. Appropriately, these values do include pro-life, family, and sexual morality issues. Yet the Bible requires much, much more. We must love our neighbors as ourselves. The prophet Isaiah, for example, devotes great attention to righteousness in the form of civil justice (Isaiah 1:21). Christians should be civil leaders, the judges of society (Isaiah 1:26-27; 33:1). True faith requires active good on behalf of the oppressed and the poor (Isaiah 58:6-7). Of course, none of this obviates Christ, nor do we recommend a social gospel. Rather, righteousness is the fruit of the Spirit, the effective work of Christ in us (Ephesians 5:9). He requires an active faith of His people—vital and involved in every sphere of life.



 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas: My Gift to Him by Cara Putman

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
 
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
 
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
***

My Gift to Him by: Cara Putman

As Christmas nears, I’m staggering under a year that’s been too full. A fall that’s been too busy. A season of good, but overwhelming days.

Does anyone else feel the same?

There’s nothing bad—life is just full. Too full.

And I feel emptied. So empty.

It would be easy to enter this season with a sense of exhaustion, feeling like I just want to get through and on to January.

Instead, I want to offer my life again. May my gift be my life. My dreams. My talents. My all. May I be available to Him to transform from the inside out. I want my life to be lived for His glory.

Yet I fail. And on the days that I am most tired and overwhelmed I seem to fail more. It is then that I take comfort in the reality that He is the King born in a manager. A King who gave up heaven in order to save me. You. All of us. He has good plans for my life. Plans that exceed my wildest dreams. Plans fit for the daughter of the Most High.

He has plans like that for you, too. Plans that may be different from your plans, but plans that are wonderful and good.

So in this season of busyness, a season when it is easy to focus on things, duties, parties, family and friends, will you join me? I’m offering myself as a gift to Him. Will you?

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Cara Putman is the award-winning author of sixteen novels. You can learn more about her and her books at www.caraputman.com. You can read the first chapters of all her books there including her new novel, Shadowed by Grace, which releases on January 1st just in time for Christmas gift cards. You can connect with Cara on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads
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