Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Putting It All Out There. SCARY!!!

Today my manuscript will go to four readers who will - hopefully - mark in red everything they both love and hate about it. It's amazing how quickly my emotions have changed with this project. Last Saturday I finished my last full self edit. I've taken it as far as it can go by myself. It was quite an accomplishment and I felt like I'd taken a giant step toward publication. It was a good story and I'd done well. 

Fast forward to today...

Now I'm wondering if I should just keep it a while longer and play with it a little before anyone reads it. It's probably not ready to be seen by any one yet. I feel a little sick. 

All part of the process, or so I've been reading. Putting a manuscript out there for anyone to read feels a little like shucking off your clothes and walking naked down main street. I've never actually done that - I'm just sayin'...

I think a huge part of this writing journey for me will be trying to remain teachable and humble and open to the suggestions of others who know so much more than I do. 

I want their honest feedback. 

Yes I do. Wait. Maybe not. No, I really do. I think. Yes. Pretty sure, I mean, definitely positive that I might be almost ready. 

Get the picture? Have you ever felt that way about a new venture? There's something about pushing yourself to leave your comfort zone that is both exhilarating and terrifying. 

Will I survive? Of course. 

Will I be changed by the experience? I hope so. You see, for me this is the next step in the fulfillment of a dream, one that I believe God has placed in my heart. How can anyone chase a dream and not be changed by it? 

God uses the people around us to sharpen us, encourage and teach us. Those people come in all shapes and sizes. For me right now, those people are my BETA readers and I'm hoping that I will learn much from them. 

I pray that God will use them to refine me and the story he has put on my heart. 

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone lately? 

I'm praying for you. 


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scripture With a Promise - A Puzzle Really


Does it


I read this scripture this morning:

"Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body,
and nourishment to you bones." 
Proverbs 3:7-8

...a directive and a promise, and I wondered - 

how does that work?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Why We Remember

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. When the Lord God brings you into the land he swore to you your fathers...houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide , wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant -  then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."   Deuteronomy 6:6-12 (emphasis mine) 

How many times in the Old Testament do we read about God's children getting themselves into deep, deep trouble, crying out to Him and being rescued and delivered, only to turn their backs on him when things got better? Over and over again. They were a forgetful lot, weren't they? 

This scripture passage illustrates that. God was going to deliver on His promise to them to enter the promised land and they would benefit not only from the work that had been done there - wells, vineyards, buildings  - but from the sacrifices of those who had fought and died to secure the land - people who had live and died a generation before them. People who would never reap the benefits and rewards of their own sacrifice. 

Why was remembering so important? Now as then we remember because we owe so much - to God and to those who put on a uniform every day and stand in the gap to obtain and secure the very freedoms we take for granted every day. 

By remembering we are also teaching another generation about what has gone before and why we live as we do. 

I'll bet you remember exactly where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001. 

Do you have children who don't remember that day? Children born close to or after that day will live their entire lives in a world that didn't exist prior to that day. Do they need to know why their country has been at war for their entire lives? Absolutely!

Do we as individuals and as a country need to remember the horror of that day - the sick numbness we all felt as we watched the towers get hit and fall over and over again. The anger. The fear. The uncertainty of what would come next. The waiting - what would the next target be? 

Churches all across the nation opened their doors to accept the flood of shell-shocked mourners desperate to find a center again, desperate to find God again after such a monstrous reminder of how little we actually control.

How quickly those churches emptied. How quickly we lost the urgency of the moment and returned to life as it was. How quickly we forgot.

People haven't changed that much since the Old Testament. We are quick to call on God, or the military, or law enforcement when our lives or property or even our tranquility is threatened. We demand that they do something to fix our little corner of the world again - whatever the cost to them, and when the crisis is over we dismiss them, not wanting to see them again until the next crisis. 

How arrogant. How selfish. How thoughtless. How ungrateful.

How sinful. 

As we remember and honor those who have died and those who still serve, let's take something from their example. 

Let's remember that taking a stand for what we believe in every day is important: at work, at home, at school, in politics, in church. 

It matters that we stand in the gap, holding ourselves and others accountable, speaking out against what is wrong, and for right. It matters. 

We owe so much to the men and women in uniform. They fight for us and for others. Let's honor them today and every day by following their brave example. Take a stand. Today. Right where you are. 

Where has God placed you? Are you willing to take a stand for Him? Will you risk ridicule or condemnation? What about outright hostility? 

Will you remember what happens when we decide to forget? 

" careful that you do not forget..." 

To all those who serve: 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Letting Go" with Staci Stallings, Part 2

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Check out Staci's brand new release...

To read part one of Staci's article click here.

To some extent there might not be a way around this feeling totally; however, I don’t think it is completely inevitable. You see, I have found a way (not foolproof but pretty close) to weather this storm and let the manuscript grow as God intended it to. It’s called, “Let Go.”
That’s the short version of having a “Leave Everything To God Opportunity.” These types of opportunities are all around us. They are in the panic of a mother when her child is sick. They are in the stress of a business owner who just placed a major bid and then realizes or suspects he missed something. They are in the quiet reaches of our own souls every time we feel that maybe we haven’t quite done enough in a given situation.
Here is what I told my author friend, and here is my advice to you. When you have a “Leave Everything To God Opportunity,” realize that if you could do it alone, God wouldn’t have made everyone else. Each of us has our own, unique experience that we bring to a situation. In short, each of us has a piece of the puzzle to fill in. As writers, we must realize that just because we couldn’t see the piece that someone else lays before us that doesn’t mean we don’t have skill, talent or desire, it just means that they have a different perspective, a different piece to fit into the mosaic of the work.
Instead of abhorring the pieces that someone else fills in, bless them. They just made your puzzle make more sense than it ever could have without that piece. Then thank God for bringing that piece into your life. When you begin to do that, you can then begin to slowly let go earlier and earlier in the process, and the puzzle can come together while you are building it rather than you having to knock it all apart and rebuild it later.
It’s not easy for any of us to do, but when you think in terms of “Leave Everything To God Opportunities,” the storms of life begin to look less frightening and more manageable than ever before. So try it today. Let Go, and see if He doesn’t hand you a piece that on your own you couldn’t have known or found but one that makes the whole puzzle fit in a way that it never could have without it. Then celebrate because you have now found the key to how God intended all of us to live, and that key will unlock doors you never imagined could open to you.
Let Go. Let God, and enjoy every “Leave Everything To God Opportunity” that comes your way.

Well, writers can relate, but this lesson is for all of us. God made us to need one another, but mostly to need him. How can you relate Staci's lessons to your own life?  Thank you, Staci, for sharing your heart and God's with us. May he bless your writing and use it to bless others. 

Here's some more about Staci's latest...

Houston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman's fireman. No situation is too dangerous to keep him sidelined if lives are on the line. However, when control freak Lisa Matheson falls for him, she quickly realizes she can't control Jeff or the death wish he seems to have...

To Protect & Serve
The Courage Series, Book 1

              To save other's lives, they will risk their own?

Buy it on Barnes & Noble Nook:

"To Protect and Serve will hold you prisoner to its pages until the final one is turned. Prepare to cry, laugh, wish, love and maybe even cry again as you become enveloped in the hopes and feelings of Lisa and Jeff."
-Cindy Reiger

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Whatever You Do...In the Name of the Lord

I hope you enjoyed Staci's post (part 1) yesterday and will come back tomorrow for part two. 

It may seem like a funny thing to host a guest post about someone's book and their journey as an author on a blog dedicated to Christian service but it's really not. It's about supporting others on their journey and recognizing that God calls us into all kinds of service. 

Our job is not to make others fit into the perfect mold we've created in our minds. God certainly does not operate inside a little box. 

God made the box!

 He's also more creative than we could ever hope to be! Don't believe it? Just watch a documentary about the oceans and all the amazing creatures found miles below the surface. God created those beautiful creatures with skill and imagination and a playfulness that we don't often recognize. He knew it would be ages before anyone would know they were there, or care, much less have a way to get down there to see them. 

So why go to the trouble? 

Because when God does something He does it with greatness and with excellence and out of the sheer joy of creating something beautiful. 

Nothing we ever do with match the splendor of His creation but He promises to place us with purpose, put a dream in our hearts, and bless it for His glory. 

What has God called you to do? Write, teach, raise children, heal, make cars, sell clothes...what is your place of service? 

Whatever it is, your story is welcome on this blog. We are called to support one another and spur one another on to good deeds. 

So, come back tomorrow to hear more of Staci's story of her journey. I'd love to hear your story as well. Would you like to share it? Email Sherri Stone with your story. It's a great way to encourage one another. 

I am praying for you. 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Letting Go" with Staci Stallings - Part 1

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Check out Staci's brand new release...

Although there are a lot of careers in this life that could teach someone to let go, I think that writing has to be near the top of that list. Maybe that’s because I write, or maybe that’s because it really is. Whatever the case, this understanding was made clear recently when a writer friend of mine asked the question, “How could I not see the holes in my manuscript that my critique partners caught and pointed out? They were so glaring.”
As a writer, I completely understand the frustration in this statement. If you are a high school writer only, you may not. While teaching I saw plenty of high school writers. They wait until the last conceivable moment to start, write down everything they can think of on the topic at hand in no particular order, then race to the teacher’s desk to fling the paper at her, hoping it’s good enough for passing. These people are not the writers of which I speak.
I’m speaking about the writers who think all the way through every word they put down, who cross out, delete, rewrite, re-think, edit, re-edit, and hone every inch of a manuscript before they let anyone else so much as hear the idea presented in it. These are the writers who research until their eyes bleed, think until their brain hurts, and generally torture themselves over every single word because it doesn’t just need to be “good,” it needs to be “perfect.”
Then after they can see no other place in the entire work of oh, say 80,000 words, they heave a sigh of relief and acquiescence and place it into the hands of someone else to read. In high school, these are the kids who have been finished with the first draft of their 250-word essay 40 minutes before the bell rings, but who are still crossing things out and rewriting them even as they slide toward the teacher who’s saying, “That’s it. Turn in your papers.”
It’s painful for them to turn their work over to someone else. It’s like a mother leaving her first baby with a sitter for the very first time. They hope and pray the reader will be gentle. They hope that when the paper is returned, there are very few red marks if any at all. And above all, they hope they haven’t made any grievous errors that will make the reader think they are a complete imbecile who should never have been given a pen and paper in the first place.
This is the kind of writer my friend was and then came the shocker. She had missed something, and not just something but a huge gaping hole in the story and how she told it. When that happens to a writer of this ilk, devastation sets in like a hurricane across a soul. Even the mildest criticism is like a knife to the gut. Immediately after the devastation blows through, the rains of doubt begin to pour. “Maybe I’m not supposed to be a writer. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes to do this.”

Haven't we all felt that way? Like we don't have what it takes to do what God is calling us to do? What happens next...come back Thursday to find out. In the meantime, check out Staci's book...

Houston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman's fireman. No situation is too dangerous to keep him sidelined if lives are on the line. However, when control freak Lisa Matheson falls for him, she quickly realizes she can't control Jeff or the death wish he seems to have...

To Protect & Serve
The Courage Series, Book 1:   To save other's lives, they will risk their own

Buy it on Barnes & Noble Nook:

"To Protect and Serve will hold you prisoner to its pages until the final one is turned. Prepare to cry, laugh, wish, love and maybe even cry again as you become enveloped in the hopes and feelings of Lisa and Jeff."
-Cindy Reiger

Staci we're looking forward to part 2. Thanks for visiting with us today. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Still Battles to be Fought...

"See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession
you gave us as an inheritance. O our God, will you not judge them?
For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not
know what to do, but our eyes are upon you. All the men of Judah, with their wives
and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord." 
2 Chronicles 20:11-12

Sometimes things happen that seem so bad  we lose our focus on God as we wallow in feelings of helplessness and anger. We feel small and powerless and so we just shrug our shoulders and walk away in frustration...
  • as if that must be the end
  • as if God doesn't care
  • as if God was caught off guard and couldn't stop it
  • as if our powerlessness somehow became God's
There is just such a situation in my hometown right now. I will write more about that in future blogs, but for now I want to point out several things that God is making me see.

I was surprised - God was not. I already know this. I just needed to remember it. 

I focused on a person - this is spiritual warfare. We are wrong and we will lose the battle if we ever see it as anything other than a spiritual one. 

Anger and blustery words and accusations will not remedy this situation. We are called to respond in love. That does not mean wimpy! We can be firm, decisive AND loving. We are to reflect God and his love for the world as we deal with the world. 

It begins with me. The first thing I must do is ask forgiveness for being complacent. I have not been vigilant. I have lots of company but that's hardly an excuse! I have no right to address any spiritual problem without first allowing God to address mine. He is doing that and it's not at all comfortable!

Any response must be grounded in prayer. We say it, give lip service to it, but if you're like me, you want to respond in some kind of emotion-fueled frenzy, thinking that you don't have time to stop and pray. Funny, but I seem to have had lots of time to NOT pray...

In God's hands, this situation could be a catalyst for Christians to wake up and renew their commitment to God and serving him in the community. Have we become so used to the political rhetoric and legal decrees that we throw our hands up and say "what can we do - that's the law?" 

Fear rules. For all of our beliefs that God is with us and will be victorious in the end, we - I - am reluctant to step out, step up, STAND UP, and speak God's truth. I hate fear. I hate being afraid and wimpy - and I am, all the time. 

It can change today. God is ready and waiting. Am I? Yes. Am I scared of what this might mean? Yep. Will I ask God to help me overcome my fear? Yes. Does that scare me? Oh yeah! 

The scripture I chose for today is one that I love. The picture of a strong king standing before the Lord and leading all of his people to do the same is breath taking. They were under the threat of an advancing army and they STOOD STILL AND WAITED for the Lord. They did not know what to do, so they waited before the Lord. 

That is what I'm going to do now. There are several scenarios running around in my head, but I haven't stood before the Lord for his direction. I will be doing that in the days and weeks to come, and sharing with you as I take this journey. I want this to be God's agenda, not mine. 

Do you have a situation that requires you to wait for God because you don't know what to do? Let's pray for one another. That's where it all starts and where the victory is won. 

I have prayed for you today. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

God's Plan - God's Grace - God's Amazing Love

Today I'm going to redirect you from this blog to a post that I read yesterday that still has my mouth hanging open. 

It has to do with the story of Moses on the mountain while Aaron was down with the people of Israel, timing, and the capacity of God to forgive and have a monumental plan for us from the beginning. 

Does God know when we will fail and how? 

Please take a moment to read this blog post by Robin Patchen. It will leave you with a deeper sense of gratitude and a story to tell to unbelievers about God's plan and His perfect, unconditional love. 

Let me know what you think...

Praying for you...


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


...because HE cares for you!

I read a blog post today about a woman who prayed about many aspects of her writing career with one exception...

She didn't pray about promotion and marketing. 

Could it be that there are some things that we should NOT ask God's guidance for? 

As an aspiring writer, and one who will hopefully someday be promoting my own book, I had to stop and think about this for a minute. 

Is marketing just too unseemly to take before God for His blessing? 

Is self promotion sinful? 

They are certainly things that make us uncomfortable, aren't they? It's like praying for God to make you successful in your work. What if your work is making money and investing for others? Is it wrong to pray for that kind of success? 

I don't think so. I think that these things have such a stigma because we know people who famously focus on them in ways that reek of greed, pride and a complete lack of ethics. 

Can you think of any situations that more desperately need the cover of prayer? 

When scripture tells us to pray about everything there is a reason. There is not a situation, hope, dream, problem, obstacle, fear or ambition that does not need to be bathed in prayer and dedicated to the Lord. 

For writers, marketing and promotion are now as big a part of the process as writing the book. Are there ways to do that that will honor God and bring glory to Him? Absolutely! That's why we must never think that God is not interested in any aspect of our lives.

What is it in your life that you have deemed unholy or unspiritual enough that it should not be brought before the throne? 

Begin today to rethink that. Begin talking to God about it.



It's so simple and yet we make it so hard! Talk to Him. Tell him what is on your mind. Ask Him what He thinks you need to do and take time to listen. Let Him guide your heart. Let Him guard your heart.

What dreams do you hold in your heart? Have you prayed about every aspect of them? Every one? 

If you truly seek His will you cannot withhold any aspect from Him. Try it. Try Him. You will always find Him faithful.

What is something that you think God could not possibly be interested in?

I'm praying for you today.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Hair in a Hailstorm

Funny isn't it how one thought can lead to another and then another...

My husband's mind works in strange and weird ways, segueing from the topic at hand to a seemingly random, totally unrelated thought. When I ask where that thought came from he has never failed to take me on a journey through the bizarre and fascinating world of Jeff, and without fail he leads me  - point by point - from one place to another. 

I can never remember if he's the one from Venus or Mars, but I am sure that I will never fully understand the intricate workings of his brain. I begin to fear, however, that he's rubbing off on me a little. I took a trip like this all by myself today, hence this blog post...

The weather has been bad here for the past thirty-six or so hours with rain, winds, some hail nearby, and a tornado or two. I was coming out of the drug store headed to my car when I saw a woman standing by her car brushing her hair. It was gorgeous. Long, wavy, thick, red - absolutely stunning. It was also whipping around like a rag doll on the end of a fire hose. The wind was blowing from several directions all at once, and there she stood trying her best to brush her hair into some kind of orderly do. 

That sight triggered a thought about people who are extremely intelligent but don't have the sense to come in out of the rain which triggered another thought... 

How many times do we as Christians try to stand in the storms of our lives and tame everything around us all by ourselves? We keep thrashing around, pushing harder and harder, trying to work faster, be better, holier, more worthy, anything to make the storm stop. We wear ourselves out trying to set our best spiritual knowledge and skills to the task of fixing the storm raging in our lives.

We have memorized scripture which we quote passionately and loudly.

We have prayers for every possible situation we might face. 

We go to church every time the doors are open.

We give to the church and to the community.

We are very sophisticated Christians...

We just don't have the sense to come in out of the rain.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God in whom I trust." 
Psalm 91:1-2

Life is full of storms, big and little. We can't avoid them; we can't stop them or even slow them down. Sometimes all we can do is hang on until they blow themselves out. 

One thing we can do, however, is take a moment as the storm rages to shift our focus from the storm itself to the One who has calmed the sea with His hand. Peter walked on the water - as long as his focus was on Jesus. When he started watching the waves he began to sink. 

Whatever storm rages in your life right now: a sick child, money problems, a bad marriage, loss of a job, trauma, whatever it is, take some time to shift your focus from your storm to your Savior. 

Psalm 91 is a great place to start. Let the words and the promise of God tame the fear in your heart and replace it with the assurance that nothing you suffer will be in vain, and that you will never walk through the storm alone. 

There is a time to stand in the storm and struggle, and then there is a time to come in to the shelter for a little while. Do you need to come in for a while and rest? There's no time like the present. 

Slip into the shelter. Dwell there for a while. Rest in the shadow where it is cool and quiet. Be reminded that your heart can trust in the God who is your refuge. 

Do it right now. 

I am praying for you. 


Friday, May 11, 2012

Committing All of You

I'm spending a lot of time thinking about my dream of writing and praying about it. I find myself recommitting my writing to God and praying that He will use it to minister to others and to bring glory to Himself. 

I'm very sincere about that and I believe that God knows my heart, but lately as I pray God has been talking to me about other areas. He knows that this dream has been totally given over to Him, but He also knows that there are other things that have not. 

In short, God demands a one hundred percent commitment from me. Offering the gift of my writing is not pleasing to Him if I hold back the rest of me. 

Do I have a sense of entitlement? Do I act and live as though favor in one area of my life allows me to slack on others? I don't want to think so, but I need to take a long, hard look - through the eyes of Jesus - at my heart. My whole heart. 

Can you relate? Have you handed over every area of your life except that one that you just can't seem to release? 

This is  significant because it is a matter of obedience and relationship. Do I get in God's face - figuratively speaking - and tell Him to be grateful for what He has, or do I make it a priority, every day, to nurture my relationship with Him and allow Him to grow and nourish my dream out of that wellspring of living water? 

Whatever your dream - and I hope that it is God-sized - be sure that it is committed to God, but be sure everything else is as well. Ask God to help you see whatever you may be holding back, and to give you the courage and desire to leave it in His hands. 

God promises to direct our paths when we commit our plans to Him. He also tells us that He doesn't look at the outward trappings of the human standards of success. He looks at our hearts. He knows us better than we could ever know ourselves, and His plans are best. 

I am praying for you. 


Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's Your Dream?

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

I love this verse. In fact, it's my life verse, you know, the one you go back to when you need to center yourself and remember who you are and what your place is in this world. 

This blog is about living a Christian life of service. Somehow I've forgotten that part of that is living the dreams that God has put in my heart. So I'm trying to remember and focus on that dream, and look for ways to make it happen. Here's how I think I can do that (you can too):

  1. Declare it out loud.  My dream is to be a writer. There, I said it - wrote it, actually, but it's out there now. That makes it real. It also lets people know about it. These are the people who will encourage you, pray for you, and support you in your quest for your dream
  2. Commit it to it's Creator. You can be sure that if God has placed a dream in your heart that He has a purpose for it. It is His intention to somehow use it for His glory. Every step in the achievement of this dream should be dedicated to Him. We can never forget who gives and fulfills our dreams. 
  3. Expect God to use it in ways you have not considered. God's fulfillment of your dream may look vastly different from you idea of success. For example, my dream is to be able to write for a living. I would like to be successful enough that I could strongly support some ministries and be more involved with some service organizations. Nothing wrong with that vision, unless, of course, it's not synced up with God's vision. His plan may be for me to write but never be published. I have to trust that He will use the gift He's given me in the best possible way. He knows best. 
  4. Work hard, learn and practice. What do you need to do to achieve this dream? Do you need to learn a skill, start something new... One of the things writers must do is build a platform. Part of that is this blog. It takes time, thought, perseverance, and at times a little bit of courage. Step out and do it. Make a list, get someone to hold you accountable and set some goals for yourself. Never stop learning.
  5. Chase it.  In September I'm going to a writer's conference where I will have 2 meetings with agents, one of whom may actually choose to take me on as a client. In addition to that I'll meet many of the people I've been on line with for over a year: writers, editors, agents, publishers, people I would not normally meet. I'll be in conferences and workshops with them, attending panel sessions and worship services. I have lots to do to get ready. I'm excited. I'm also scared to death. That is soooo out of my comfort zone! But then, this dream is outside of my comfort zone too. Which brings me to the next point...
  6. Any dream God gives you can only be accomplished by His power. Is your dream God-sized? It's not if you think you can do it all by yourself. If it doesn't take faith and trust in His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 then you're not chasing a God-sized dream. 
I'll be sharing more of my dream with you as time goes on, because I would appreciate your prayers and because it is part of my spiritual journey. One other point...

    7. Thank God in advance - right now - for the fulfillment of His dream. God never starts anything that He doesn't intend to finish. I have that promise and that assurance that the work He begins in me will be completed. I don't know when or how right now, but that doesn't matter. I will thank Him for the dream and for the realization of that dream right now, and for the privilege of begin His vessel in this great plan. 

What is your dream? Will you declare it here? Leave a comment and share with us. 

I'm praying for you.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Time to say thanks...

We are created for community. We need each other. 

Over the years I have learned this in various aspects of my life: school, work, family... 

Now, as I have spent the past 18 months getting deeper into the world of writing and publishing I am learning it over and over again. Last year I joined a group called ACFW - American Christian Fiction Writers - and have fallen in love with a group of people I have yet to meet. 

One of the amazing things about this group is that it is comprised of people at all levels of the writing experience: from the newest of the new (babies - that's me!) to multi-published, multi- award-winning authors who write stories that are made into movies. Yes, I hob-nob on line with these people and you know what? The second amazing thing about this group is this:

they LOVE to share. They've learned some things the hard way and they are anxious to share their journey and tips and tricks. They offer suggestions, share examples, proof read, share resources, offer encouragement...

The list goes on and on. They also offer all of this with enthusiasm and a complete lack of judgment. 

This weekend I had a little issue with the blog and panicked. Not outwardly, of course, that wouldn't be cool. But inside I was having visions of never getting it back to normal and having to start all over again...

I sent out an S.O.S. on line, told them what the problem was and asked for suggestions. Anything! And I got...

The exact answer that I needed and a lot of understanding. I'm not the only one who's had this issue, AND, I've had some great conversations with people who offered help. Problem solved, and message received. God provides people who need us and whom we need, and in the course giving and receiving help, we also receive blessings abundant and amazing. 


What do you need help with right now? 

Who has God placed in your life to help you?

Who has God place in your life that needs your help?

We are made for community. We are provided with the privilege and blessing of helping one another. 

Do we rise to the occasion or do we miss opportunities because we are too busy being self-sufficient? 

Just a little something to think about today. 

I experienced a deep feeling of gratitude today and wanted to share. Hope you will too. 

Thank you ACFW!

When was the last time you accepted or offered help? Tell us about it. 

I'm praying for you today. 


Monday, May 7, 2012

And the winner is...

The winner of a free e-copy of WHEN SHADOWS FALL, by Tina Pinson is: Carolyn Boyles Congratulations Carolyn! Thank you and everyone who visited for the sneak peek. We had some storm related electrical issues this weekend so I was off line for a while. Carolyn as soon as I hear from Tina I will forward instructions to you about downloading your copy of the book. Thank you to everyone, and especially to Tina for visiting with us this weekend. We have enjoyed reading the excerpt and I know I'm not the only one who wants to read the whole story now. Have a great day everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Sherri

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sneak Peek of WHEN SHADOWS FALL, by Tina Pinson

If you love historical romance and the Civil War you need to check out this excerpt of Tina Pinson's  When Shadows Fall, out in May 2012. It will leave you wanting more! Leave a comment to enter a drawing for a free e-copy of this book. Contest is open today and tomorrow, and a winner will be announced on this blog Monday, May 7. 

Find out more about Tina at the end of this post, including how to contact her for more information about her wonderful books. Right now, though, sit back with your tea or coffee and enjoy this peek into Tina Pinson's Civil War world...

Rebekah followed the attendant to a horse drawn, covered wagon in the alley. "You must have pull, ma'am. Lincoln himself says you're to keep this." She watched in stunned silence as he settled Robert on a pallet of blankets. He turned to her. "Well, that'll do ya. I best get back. And, ma'am, don't be staying any longer in these parts then need be. Ya hear?"

"Thank you," Rebekah called after him.

She unloaded her things from the hackney and paid the driver. After settling Andrew, she climbed on the buckboard, took a deep breath, and snapped the reins, heading the horse out of the city. She would wait till they were over the Long Bridge and traveled for a time, before she gave Robert a thorough once over. If she did it now, she may not have the courage to leave.

It was nearing three when she stopped behind a mound of hay to check on her husband and sleeping child. Robert's condition shocked her senses. He was nowhere near the man she remembered. A year in a Yankee prison had left him pale. His once muscular body, resembled a barely-breathing skeleton -- dark shadows of the man she remembered.

His lips thin, his eyes lit with recognition. She saw a remnant of the man she loved and knew. He remained hidden deep behind the cover of sickness. She removed her costume hairpiece so he could see her hair. He smiled.

"Rebekah, love. It is you," his whisper was hoarse, weak. He could barely move. Following her movements with his hollow eyes only seemed to tax his strength, so he closed them. She wiped his fevered brow, allowed herself to cry, then laid beside him to rest. His breathing was labored, bones showed through his skin, but he was alive and she would do all she could to keep him that way.

"I love you," she whispered, and closed her swollen eyes to sleep.

Andrew woke, saw the man and practically planted himself in Rebekah. He stayed there shivering with fear until he realized who it was. "It's Daddy. Mommy."

Rebekah folded her arms around him. "Yes, darling, it's Daddy. And Daddy is very sick so we have to be very quiet. All right?"

Andrew nodded and took a closer look at Robert. Night had blanketed his wounds in the shadows. The light of day painted Robert's emaciation in full, horrific color. The look of him would unsettle anyone, especially a boy. Black rings encircled Robert's eyes. His skin was a pasty gray color that looked as flimsy as parchment. He was beyond sick. Rebekah wondered about the wounds that lay beneath the surface. She would concentrate on his physical healing and deal with the rest when the time arose.

Tina Pinson resides in Mesa, Arizona with her husband of thirty plus years, Danny. They are blessed to have three sons, and five grandchildren with one on the way.Tina started her first novel in elementary school. Her love of writing has caused her to seek creative outlets be it writing poetry, songs, or stories. In the Manor of the Ghost and Touched By Mercy were published through Desert Breeze Publishers.When Shadows Fall, Shadowed Dreams, and To Catch a Shadow the first three installments of the Shadow Series about the civil war and the Oregon Trail, will be available through Desert Breeze May2012, November 2012 and June 2012 respectively.
Check out Tina's website or follow her on Twitter at @Tina_Pinson
or FacebookHer books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Books Distributors, and the Desert Breeze Bookstore. 

Have you found a new author to add to your must-read list? I have. Thanks for visiting today. Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing for Tina's book.