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Guilt to Love by Sara L. Foust

Posted by Julie on October 18, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Guilt to Love

Sara L. Foust

The main theme I hope readers will gather from Callum’s Compass is that God loves us no matter what we do or have done. My two main characters both have a past that haunts them. When Kat was a child her brother died in a gruesome accident and Kat believes it was her fault. To this day, she carries her brother’s compass in her pocket to remind her of him and, subconsciously, to remind herself of what she did. These constant reminders are her penance for what she views as her greatest sin.

Ryan’s fiancée was murdered because of his link to a drug crime and he blames himself for her death. If only he had not left her alone, she could’ve been saved. Now, years later, he still carries that guilt and finds that a monster of a temper dwells within him. It lashes out at times, hurting the ones around him and keeping him tethered to his guilt.

Both of these characters are fictional, but they have something in common with us. We have all done things we aren’t proud of and feel guilty for. I know I certainly have. Kat and Ryan both learn some important lessons through the adventure they end up sharing. The main one, though: God’s love is perfect. Once they realize His love still abounds for them, their transformations are beautiful.

God forgave me of my sins when I was 19 and committed my life to Him. He forgave you of yours too. If you have never asked Him to, He will when you surrender to Him. When the past threatens to catch up with me, I remember Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgression from us.”

If you read Callum’s Compass and it touches you in some way (which is my hope), please let me know. I’d love to hear your stories! It is now available for preorder on Amazon at a discounted rate until November 7th when it officially releases.

About Callum’s Compass:

KAT WILLIAMS’S brother died in a gruesome accident in the mountains of East Tennessee. She blames herself.

RYAN JENKINS’S fiancée was murdered. He couldn’t protect her.

With the death of her brother, Kat believes she is unworthy of love from anyone—even God. When a good friend elicits a promise that she will stop living in the past and then leaves her clues to a real-life treasure hunt, Kat embarks on an adventure chock-full of danger. To find the treasure, Kat will have to survive wild animals—and even wilder men. Can she rely on Ryan, the handsome wildlife officer assigned to protect her . . . without falling in love?

Ryan swore off love when his fiancée was murdered, but feelings long-buried rise to the surface around Kat. He volunteers to help with her treasure hunt, vowing to keep her safe. Together they venture deep into caves and tunnels . . . and even deeper into the depths of their unplumbed hearts.

Buy Links:

eBook Available for preorder now for only $2.99! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076B9PBZL

Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and is a member of ACFW and Tennessee Mountain Writers. Callum’s Compass won second place in Deep River Books’ 2017 Writer’s Contest.  Sara also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” that will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Gain access to a FREE digital scrapbook detailing some real-life places from Callum’s Compass by signing up for her newsletter: www.saralfoust.com

How to reach me:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/saralfoust

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From Aurora: So You STILL Think God is a Merciful God? An Eyewitness Blogs Her Thoughts

Posted by Julie on July 21, 2012 in God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Probably like you, I woke up and turned on the news, shocked to learn of the unfolding devastation out of Aurora. Throughout the day I listened to K-Love. Scott and Kelli had been in Denver all week and somehow over radio waves, knowing they were in the area broadcasting was a comforting thought. I saw the Tweets sharing Ann Curry was there, and would be reporting on the tragedy. I learned on Facebook a member of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) family had a daughter that was wounded and required surgery. The people, families, law enforcement, and medical teams were on my mind and in my thoughts all day.

How do you process such grief and explain it? What words do you have for your children? What answers are there when people have questions, and they are legitimate ones that should receive a quality answer?

I don’t know. That’s probably why I paid attention to the radio, social media, and Ann Curry.

And from Facebook came an answer you may or may not agree with.

But I hope you read it and take her situation into consideration.

Because out of all of the outlets telling the story, she has the right to tell it.

So You STILL Think God is a Merciful God? by Marie from a Miniature Clay Pot

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Recommending—Glass House Ministries: Freedom to Live, Nothing to Hide

Posted by Julie on July 13, 2012 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

This is long overdue. Back in May I found a site I liked a site so much I wanted to do something more than follow it. I decided to feature it on my sidebar that month, and write a post about them.

May’s choice was Chick Lit Girls.

I decided to break my wrist and fall behind schedule in June.

And, I’m late for July.

My goal is to find a blog, website, organization, or ministry that does something positive and offers different ways to engage with them. It might be subscribing to their blog, joining them with their cause, following on Twitter, who knows. I’m kind of making this up as I go along.

By the way, if you would like to be considered, I can’t promise anything, but you can let me know at juliearduini@juliearduini.com. When you do, tell me what site/blog/organization/ministry you are nominating, why, and appropriate links. If I choose your recommendation I’ll place the badge/button on my sidebar for at least a month and write a post about it.

This month I’m choosing Glass House Ministries. I first met Cheri through our affiliation with FaithWriters. She reached out and mentored me both with writing and life as a then mother of a preschooler. I got to know her and her testimony. What I learned about her and her husband, Wayne, was that having a testimony wasn’t all God purposed them for. He also called them to minister to families who need love, encouragement, and hope only Christ can give.

From their website, here is a bit about Glass House Ministries:

The heart of Glass House Ministries was born during a painful season in our family, when both our sons succumbed to the temptation to use drugs and consequently battled with the force of addiction in their lives. As Christians, Wayne and I raised our four children to honor and respect the Lord, doing our best to train and disciple them to live a lifestyle of integrity. The problems we faced with our boys left us wrestling with anger, hurt, and confusion, as we tried to figure out where we’d gone wrong as parents.

We experienced two types of attitudes within the Christian community as we trod this desert. Some came alongside with words of comfort and support, joining us in prayer, as we trudged through the fear and the darkness. Others were less gracious; they prayed for our family, but their looks alone made it clear that they suspected what we feared: that we were failures. We knew we weren’t perfect parents, and the sting of judgment reinforced the shame we already carried.

For a short time we pretended everything was fine, but we soon grew to hate the charade. We decided instead to just be real about our lives and to deal with the problems head-on. As we submitted our hearts to the Spirit’s tender care, we began to see healing and restoration take place in our family. One day we found ourselves coming alongside another family in distress, just as they’d come alongside us during our trial, and soon thereafter Glass House Ministries became more than just a dream in our heart.

For our family it happened to be drug abuse. We could just as easily have been the victims of unwed pregnancy . . . abortion . . . divorce . . . alcoholism . . . pornography . . . eating disorders . . . sexual abuse or addictions . . . depression . . . or a host of other harmful realities we see prevalent in today’s society. The truth is that people make choices that are less than healthy because they are driven by needs they do not know how to satisfy . . . the need for approval, the need for love, the need for acceptance, the need for respect, the need for security, the need for purpose . . . the list goes on.

In our modern-day world, broken homes and blended families are the norm. As many as one in four people will deal with cancer in their lifetime. People live under the constant threat of terrorism. Everyone wants to feel safe, wants to be able to trust in someone or something. But people will let us down, things will not fulfill as we expect, and when our confidence is violated, we easily grow bitter and unforgiving, angry and crippled in our ability to love and relate well. We demand perfection from ourselves and others, so that we do not have to deal with disappointment ever again, and life becomes impossible.

Is your life impossible? Have you finally come to understand that neither you nor anyone else can be perfect? Are you ready to be real? That’s where we found ourselves not so long ago, and we know we aren’t alone. We all live in glass houses. Throwing stones of bitterness and judgment at one another will only result in shattered houses and shattered lives. Misunderstandings, shame, fear, guilt, confusion . . . all these work to keep those hurt by life’s disappointments trapped and silent, isolated and alone; but it doesn’t have to be that way. Real people have real problems and they need a place to go, so we founded Glass House Ministries, a safe place to be real.

Through Glass House Ministries, Wayne and I pray God will use us as a source of comfort, encouragement, prayer, and support, to come alongside others in whatever challenge they face, just as God used fellow-Christians to minister to us in our time of need. We want Glass House Ministries to be a safe haven, a place to freely share and find hope. And no, your life doesn’t have to be in a shambles to participate here. If you are an encourager, and you have a heart to pray for people, you are welcome here. Basically, if you want to be here, you are welcome here!

Wayne and I are not counselors, therapists, or attorneys. We do not claim to have “all the answers.” We do care. We can listen. We will pray. And we will share our own story. Ultimately, it is God Who has all the answers . . . to every imaginable situation we can encounter in this world. We will point people to Him without apology, for it is only through His mercy and grace that our family was made whole again, and it is our heart to see the same thing happen to the people who come to Glass House Ministries.

In addition, Cheri wrote a book to encourage others who are going through a storm. Worth Every Tear is for any parent who is anguished by their child’s choices when as the parent, they strived to do all the right things.

Together Glass House Ministries and Worth Every Tear offer hope to hurting families.

I recommend you buy the book, and follow their blog.



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