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COTT: Baxter Road Miracle by Carlene Havel

Posted by Julie on March 16, 2015 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |
I read [Baxter Road Miracle] in one day, simply because I really
didn’t want to stop until I got to the end. Bet you will as well. Kudos to
Carlene Havel for sharing this story with the world.
–Amazon Reviewer
Baxter Road
Miracle
by Carlene Havel

About the book:

Can faith move mountains? The Youngbloods are about to find out.

Henry Youngblood is determined to plant a new church in Buffalo Creek,
despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Meanwhile, his pregnant wife
worries about paying the bills. One daughter dreams of a college education
she cannot afford, and the other wants nothing more than popularity. It
will take a miracle for the Youngblood family’s dreams to come true.

PURCHASE
What COTT voters had to say:

–I love covers with churches on them.

–Thank you for well written words that speak truth.

–Keep writing those good books!

–I’m reading it now and can’t put it down!

–Excellent book.. wonderful author!

–You are an awesome woman of God. You are an inspiration and a great
author.

Q&A with Carlene:

Q: The book is categorized as ‘historical.’ When does it take place?

A: The setting is during the early 1960s, when good girls didn’t kiss on
the first date. When smoking a cigarette in the high school bathroom was a
huge scandal. When parents disapproved of bleached hair, eye shadow, and
short skirts. When an idealistic preacher decided to take on the world to
fulfill his calling.

Q: Do you have another book on the horizon?

A: Of course – how nice of you to ask! Joan Alley at Prism Book Group
came up with the idea of a series based on the characteristics of love.
Each author selected a phrase from the First Corinthians description of
love as the theme for a short novel. Mine is entitled “Evidence Not Seen,”
based on love keeping no record of wrongs. It’s the story of an attorney
whose father is returning home after completing a long prison sentence. If
the relationships among the father, mother, and son are to survive, each
one must let go of old hurts.

 

About Carlene:

Carlene Havel is an award-winning writer of Christian-themed fiction. She
has lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and numerous US States.
After a career in human resources and software development, she began
writing in 2005. The Havels live in Texas, surrounded by their extended
family. 

Find more great new releases all year at Clash of the Titles!

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Thankful: Jill Fortriede’s Road to Salvation

Thankful_editedI’m thankful that 6 years ago, I gave birth to the beautiful baby boy who change my life. You see, if it weren’t for him, my husband and I would have never come to Christ. We found out in September of 2008 our baby was going to be born with multiple birth defects. Looking for answers, we walked into the church behind our house. And even though we have switched which church we attend, we have never turned away from our faith we gained during the 10 months of our son’s life. As hard as it was, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

 

 

Jill Fortriede
I live in central Indiana with my husband and the two beautiful daughters God has blessed me with. I’m fortunate to be a stay at home mom and will be homeschooling my daughters, when they get old enough.

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Guest Blogger Paul Robinson: Waving the White Flag at P*rn Addiction

Posted by Julie on January 16, 2014 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Julie’s Note:

I became acquainted with blogger Paul Robinson through Jon Acuff’s “30 Days of Hustle” Facebook group. Paul was looking for guest blogger experience and when he shared his bio, I encouraged him to write here on this topic. If you or someone you know is struggling with p*rn addiction, I encourage you to check out xxxchurch.com, and of course, seek pastoral counsel from a Bible believing church.

xxxchurch_logo

Waving the White flag at P*rn.

 

Surrendering is generally a negative term. No one likes to surrender. Surrendering means defeat, it means we can’t deal with something, it means we are weak.

 

Or does it?

 

Surrendering is all to do with perspective. Depending on which angle you look at it; to surrender can be something that we are trapped in or something that sets us free.

 

Addiction is a great place to see how this works out. Addiction can cause us to surrender so much of our life to activities and thoughts that kills us. Ironically though, addiction can only be defeated if we take this idea of surrendering and turn it on it’s head.

 

In the church today we are addicted to so much. Money, food, power. And p*rn. The latest stats regarding the use of p*rn by Christians makes for some pretty interesting reading.

 

In this post I want to look at both sides of surrendering and how we as individuals and as a community of the Church can beat our addictions.

 

First, a look at some of the ways that addiction can cause us to surrender ourselves.

 

Surrendering your self esteem

 

If you are addicted to anything and you want to give it up but you can’t, then your self esteem is one of the first things that takes a beating. One of the most used phrases an addict ever uses is “I swear that was the last time”. When the church stays silent on something or when it does speak only using shame and guilt, then it becomes even more difficult. The misconception that no one else struggles with this, or that if I was a decent Christian then I wouldn’t be doing these things will break down your self esteem bit by bit. Which in turn means we turn for comfort to the thing that is destroying our sense of self.

 

Surrendering your dreams

 

Everyone has dreams. I truly believe that. Sometimes though the things that control us can dull those or even hide them entirely. Once you were passionate about music, then p*rn came along, and slowly our motivation dwindles. Or you used to love to help people think through their own issues but p*rn took over your life and now your own issues are allowing self doubt to creep in.

 

Surrendering your community

 

When you look at p*rn and you don’t tell anyone, eventually the shame takes over and pulls you down deeper and deeper. Which increases shame. The thing about shame is this; when you feel it you don’t want to face anyone. You’ll stop responding to invites and you’ll just want to hide. You’ll isolate yourself from the very people who love you.

 

Surrendering P*rn

 

Here’s the good news. Surrendering doesn’t have to be all about porn controlling our lives so the good things we are given are destroyed. Surrendering is actually all about strength and character. The first thing that anyone who wants to heal from porn or any other addiction needs to do is to realise that they aren’t in control. To surrender the idea that they need to look good. When this happens the addict can begin their healing by letting others in.

 

Allowing others in may be difficult, but it is the only way we can truly allow ourselves to be loved as we are, no matter what we do. Our common idea of surrendering being negative usually stops us from letting go of our addictions, but when we see surrendering in a new positive light, it can be where the real us and our real strength will become real.

 

Recovery is possible but it only happens when we surrender the ‘control’ p*rn has over us.

 

It only happens when we surrender the idea that we need to be perfect.

 

And it only happens when we ask others for help.

 

Then you can start turning surrendering into conquering.

pr

Paul Robinson is a blogger and an x3group leader for xxxchurch.com. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Paul now lives in Detroit with his wife, Brittany. So far he has managed to successfully switch from driving on the left hand side of the road to the right, but draws the line at calling ‘football’, ‘soccer.’ You can read more by writing paul (at)paulrobinsonwrites (dot)com and can follow him at @paulrobinson on twitter.

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Book Review: Wounded by God’s People by Anne Graham Lotz

Posted by Julie on October 31, 2013 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I owe Anne Graham Lotz an apology. Everytime I mention why I enjoy speaking and writing to encourage women to find freedom through surrender in Christ, I let them know I’m not Anne. I’m not a forever Christian with an evangelist background. I’m not classy, eloquent, or refined. And more than anything, I’m not perfect.

And I learned by reading Anne’s latest, Wounded by God’s People: Discovering How God’s Love Heals Our Hearts, neither is she. In fact, Anne is candid sharing that not only has she been deeply wounded by other Christians, she’s also been a wounder.

If Christ is your Savior, or if you’re holding back on seeking a relationship with Jesus because of the hypocrisy you see, Wounded by God’s People is for you. Simply, everyone should have this book.

Like I said, Anne is transparent, raw, and open sharing her heart and the very real and not even close to perfect things that happened to her. How she reacted to them. Why she did what she did. And as you read the very end, you learn she held back. There were even deeper wounds she couldn’t even write about.

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But this isn’t a let’s read about Anne’s life, it’s about how you can see that she’s been wounded, probably is still walking forgiveness out, and she’s still living for Jesus. Her book includes great Scriptures and advice. I could have underlined at least one thing each paragraph. It’s rich with quotes that are deep, challenging, inspiring, and yes, infuriating. Because doing nothing would be easier. But it’s not Christ’s way.

I’ve been a wounder and I’ve been wounded, and the latter was fairly recent. I know people who have been so wounded they’d rather call themselves atheists. I also know people who are walking around imprisoned with woundedness with a key in their hands. Healing is their’s for the asking, but it’s not there. Anne’s a straight shooter and said something to the effect that if you aren’t choosing to walk out in forgiveness, hell is applauding. So true, but I know I didn’t always consider that when allowing my hurts to fester.

Simply put, this book is a must have, and a must read. As many times as it takes.

You’re worth it.

To purchase Wounded by God’s People, click here.

 

I reviewed this because I wanted to. I was not offered anything.

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Free Kindle Book September 12-14: Amazing Love by K. Dawn Byrd

Posted by Julie on September 12, 2013 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

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There are a couple things I absolutely love. A free Kindle read, and a story based on one from the Bible. From September 12-14, K. Dawn Byrd is giving both.

Gabe Knight, a pastor in a small coastal town, finds his life is turned upside down when Dee Dillow arrives and hires him to remodel an estate she’s inherited from her aunt. Dee dashes his plans for wedded bless when on a drunken binge, she divulges that she’s the highest paid call girl in Nevada and part-owner of the ritziest brothel in the state.

Gabe falls in love with her, but can’t believe he’s hearing the voice of God when a still, small voice tells him to marry her. After much questioning, they marry and he is deliriously happy. Until, Dee betrays him. 

Gabe soon discovers just how hard it is to have the unconditional love God calls him to have for his wife, the kind of love God has for his children. When faced with losing her, Gabe realizes what true love is, how much it hurts, and just how much God loves and is willing to sacrifice for his children.

Amazing Love is a contemporary version of the Hosea and Gomer story from the Bible.

Hosea and Gomer’s story is God’s love letter to His church, His daughters and sons. You and me. The humans who come to Him a mess, no matter how hard we try. We wound Him day after day, yet His love remains. I can’t wait to see what K. Dawn Byrd does with this contemporary version.

To purchase, click here.

I received this Kindle freebie information from the author via ACFW. Please double check the price before ordering. Details subject to change.

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Acrostic Poem by Penny McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for:

Treasured time with my husband.

Houseful of children—now grown.

Amazing grace—Jesus love.

Nature

Knowledge and wisdom.

Family— immediate, extended, church, work, friends.

Unconditional love from my dogs.

Lovable grandchildren.

Colossians 2:6-8
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

 

And I thankful for Julie’s editorial eye :~)

 

Penny McGinnis

http://www.pennyfrostmcginnis.com/

http://encouragementjourney.blogspot.com/

Writing to encourage and entertain~

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