Sabbath Sunday: Swampy Yard

April2015rain2

There are times I think my life looks just like this.

Rain day after day after day after day.

Swampy yard.

Wormy smells.

Does it ever end?

It does.

Remember Job?

He lost everything to the point that his wife begged him to curse God.

Noah?

His entire view was a swamp. As in all of Earth.

But one day the dove was able to land.

On those days where nothing goes right, all hope seems lost, remember it has purpose. It’s a growing season.

And soon, like my yard, you’ll be in bloom.

Saturday Confession: I’m Just Going to Shake…

It’s a line, or close to it, to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.”  I’m not a big fan of hers but I have to say, this one got me. No matter what role I play—mom, ministry worker, author…I get stuff like everyone else. It’s easy to get bogged down with it all.

Enough that we could choose the following when we hear “I’m just going to shake…”

  • Someone’s neck
  • Shake, Shake it off.

download

I’d love to tell you that every time it’s natural for me to choose to let it go (Hey, another song!) or shake it off.  It’s not. There are times I want to shake necks. Shake my fist and cry. Shake from anger and go with it.

How do I choose not to? Without prayer, I can’t. I’m too much of a justice girl to let stuff roll off me without supernatural help. I’m in constant communication with Jesus. Always talking or thinking about Him. And I’m honest. Boy, I’m honest.

Usually as marriage goes, my husband is in an opposite place as me so he can be a voice of reason as I fight temptation. Well, we’re both weary and ready to shake heads, shoulders, knees and toes (Hey, another song!!) It means I’m running to Jesus. We don’t need to encourage each other to act in the flesh against others, and we definitely don’t want to react that way toward each other.

This isn’t a deep post or one filled with answers and wisdom. It’s a confession. I struggle. I like the Taylor Swift song. I’m a work in progress, especially with the haters.

How about you?

Odyssey Adventure Club: Buck Oliver is Back!

OAC May

Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you’ll hear for the next few months is, “I’m bored!”? Keep reading because we have a deal for you-one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up before May 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only.

Members receive:
-24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
-A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
-A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.
-A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month’s episode.
-On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
-Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.

Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.
Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things:

  • Learn 5 memory verses
  • Get active with 5 family activities together
  • Share God’s love and your faith in 5 different ways

When you commit to the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge, you’ll receive:

  • A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
  • Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
  • “Strange Journey Back” book excerpt
  • “Jones and Parker Mysteries” book excerpt

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 Don’t Forget!! 

 

And if you loved these books be sure to put your reviews on:

 

Amazon

CBD

Barnes and Noble

Deeper Shopping

GoodReads

Novel Crossing

Library Thing

Net Galley (if reviewed via ebook)

 

When you post your reviews on these external sites, it really helps out the author!

Book Review: Bachelor to the Rescue by Lorraine Beatty

23522234Book Description:

Building a Romance 

Young widow Lainie Hollings will do anything to protect her daughters—even if it means accepting help from Shaw McKinney. Though she blames Shaw for her husband’s death, he’s the only one she can turn to when a robbery forces her to take shelter in his home. Soon she’s surprised by the handsome contractor. He’s kind, charming and determined to protect her and her girls. Being with Lainie makes Shaw want to give up his bachelor life and become a family man. But he’ll need to win over the pretty librarian and prove to her he’s the right man for her future.

This is one of six books sent to me from the Love Inspired Line as part of their Mother’s Day promotion. The books are on sale from April 21-May 28.

BONUS:

I really enjoyed this book because it took an interesting plot and ran with it. Lainie is a widow with two young daughters trying to make a fresh start. She’s barely made it to the town line before trouble starts and it doesn’t let up. Everything that can come against her does. The hardest thing? The man Lainie feels is responsible for her husband’s death is the only one available to help her. That sets up immediate conflict and I loved that.

I also loved the conflict. As an author I’ve learned our job is to give each scene, each chapter an action and reaction. Keep the conflict. Raise the stakes.

By the end of the book I felt like I knew Lainie, Shaw, the girls and the townspeople. It was a fast read and a very satisfying one. Bachelor to the Rescue belongs in your beach bag for your summer reading.

To purchase Bachelor to the Rescue, click here.

I received Bachelor to the Rescue from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

COTT: The Living Water Biblical Fiction Series by Stephanie Landsem

This week Clash of the Titles is proud to feature Stephanie Landsem,
author of The Living Water biblical fiction series. She will carry you back
into the times of Jesus and explore beautiful truths that resonate deeply
with readers.

Let’s hear from Stephanie about her books and how she handles the
interesting challenge of writing about Jesus.

 

1.) What was your favorite part of writing The Living Water series?

Research is the part of writing I love best. I usually spend about a month
just doing research before I start plotting a book. I find some of my best
plot twists, characters and settings right in the pages of history. Maps
and pictures of archeological finds really help me get the feel for the
setting. As I craft the story, this research comes out and helps the reader
become fully immersed in the story.

2) How do you balance the real person of Jesus with the other characters
in your story?

I like to think of every encounter with Jesus recorded in the Bible as a
stone thrown in a pond. We know the initial splash — the cure of the man
born blind, or the raising of Lazarus — but I want to write about the
ripples. I love to imagine how these personal encounters with Jesus moved
outward in ever-widening circles to touch more people than we can even
imagine. So I start with the event described in the Bible and move outward
into imagination, always keeping in mind that Jesus knew exactly what
ripple-effect his actions would have and they would always be for his
father’s glory.

3.) What are the binding themes throughout the Well, The Thief and the
Tomb and what do hope to bring to your readers in this series?

I love the gospel of John and how it shows the very personal way in which
Jesus connected with the people of his time. Each of the stories in The
Living Water Series begin with an encounter with Jesus from John—the
Samaritan woman, the man born blind, and Jesus’ relationship with Martha.
Each of these encounters were intensely personal and led to deep
conversion. I hope that in reading about these one-to-one meetings with
Jesus, readers can imagine themselves face to face with our Lord and come
to know him more deeply.

 

 

The Living Water Series are a set
of intersecting stories based on personal encounters with Jesus in the
gospel of John. The first book, The Well, is the story of the Samaritan
woman at the well told from the point of view of her daughter, Mara. Mara,
a desperate Samaritan girl, must make a dangerous journey across Galilee to
find Jesus and save her dying mother. The second book focuses on Jesus
ministry in Jerusalem, starting with the healing of the man born blind and
continuing on to Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion and resurrection. It is told
from the perspective of a poor Jewish girl and a Roman centurion – both of
whom don’t know what to think of the so-called Messiah. The Tomb, A Novel
of Martha, is—of course—about the family of Lazarus in Bethany. It focuses
on Martha, her doubts and anxieties, and finally the desperate decision she
must make to save her brother’s life.

 

~ * ~

 

Stephanie Landsem, author of The
Living Water Series, writes historical fiction because she loves adventure
in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins,
medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is
equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and
three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde,
avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in
person or on the page.

 

Connect with her online:

stephanielandsem.com


https://www.facebook.com/stephanielandsem


https://twitter.com/#!/stephlandsem

http://pinterest.com/slandsem/

Sabbath Sunday: Swampy Yard

April2015rain2

There are times I think my life looks just like this.

Rain day after day after day after day.

Swampy yard.

Wormy smells.

Does it ever end?

It does.

Remember Job?

He lost everything to the point that his wife begged him to curse God.

Noah?

His entire view was a swamp. As in all of Earth.

But one day the dove was able to land.

On those days where nothing goes right, all hope seems lost, remember it has purpose. It’s a growing season.

And soon, like my yard, you’ll be in bloom.

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