Friday, May 31, 2019

What We've Been Reading - May 2019


Roseanna's Reads

Audio 

I've had this one sitting in my Audible library for a while but hadn't yet gotten to it. Last summer I read and loved Bob Goff's two books, Love Does and Everybody Always. When I saw that his wife, Maria, had published a book as well, I knew I wanted her perspective on their crazy, love-filled ministry of a life. 

In Love Lives Here, we get Maria's perspective on what it means to live a life ruled not by fear or regrets or minutia, but by love. While Bob is jetting off to Uganda, changing the world, she's usually at home, building their world and maintaining it. I loved getting her POV on what it really means to make a home for a family to always want to come home to, and how important it is to love the people right in front of you, all the time. I'm much more like Maria than Bob, so I found this book so edifying!


For My Bookclub

This month's book club pick is A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris


I have somehow not ready any Lisa Harris before! Which I had to remedy. =) I really enjoyed this story and had no desire to put it down once I'd started it. It was fast-paced and jam-packed full of action, with some unexpected twists and surprises. I admit there are times when I read romantic suspense and feel like the romance part is just tacked on and/or weird, but that wasn't the case with this one at all. The characters had known each other in college, so there was already that "remember when?" aspect to their relationship, which I always love. And the suspense! Oh my gracious. This book has me seriously contemplating building a bunker and becoming a prepper. 😉 (I'm only kinda kidding.) I love it when a story is that real!!

For the Interview

I've discovered it's oh-so-much nicer to interview someone when I've read the book(s) we'll be talking about, LOL. So before my interview with Johnnie Alexander this month, I spent the weekend with two of her novellas. They were very different, but I enjoyed both of them so much! 
First was her selection in The Erie Canal Brides Collection. I absolutely loved the concept of a postmistress for a character, and the fact that the climax tied back in with that theme--so brilliant! To top it off, her heroine brought to mind my Culper Ring Series (she hadn't read these or anything, but it was a super fun coincidence for me!), almost combining Winter from Ring of Secrets with Julienne in the free novella A Hero's Promise. It was so much fun to revisit themes from the abolitionist movement, but in a setting I'd never explored!

Match You Like Crazy is, by contrast, a contemporary romance set on a tropical island. A perfect beach/vacation read! It was super fun, cute, and unique. Had me wanting to dive beneath some turquoise waters and dig my toes into the sand for sure!


With the Kids


Several years ago, we read The Candymakers by Wendy Mass as part of our homeschool--it was the fun Friday read. Well, when we heard there was going to be a sequel, we were SUPER excited and promptly pre-ordered it. This was one of the only books my son was eagerly awaiting the arrival of, LOL. But for some reason or another, we never actually got around to reading it together. So we decided to remedy that! 

In this book and the first one, we follow 4 very unlikely friends through some outlandish adventures that involve mysteries, spies, special talents and abilities...and lots and lots of candy. ;-) So. Much. Fun! (And for fans of Wendy Mass's other books, some beloved characters make cameos as these 4 go on their road trip!)


Rachel's Reads

Hi folks! I am super excited to share my current reads with you. You may know me as Bookworm Mama as well as being Roseanna's Assistant! I LOVE books and sharing my love of books with others! Here is what I've been reading this month...

Audio


I love listening to Rachel Hauck's books on audio. Her narrator, Lisa Larsen, captures the story with feeling and emotion. I'm only about halfway through at the moment and it is so good!!!

With a beautiful Victorian house at the center of this story, this split-time romance, filled with secrets and trauma and pain...Will be sure to wrap its arms around you. I love the way that Rachel Hauck weaves the past and the present together in a meaningful and memorable way.

For Fun/Review


FINALLY finished the completed version of The Number of Love. WOW...y'all...And I'm not just saying that because I'm writing this ON Roseanna's blog...but this is seriously her BEST! I'll be reviewing this on my blog soon. You can pre-order your copy today!

If you don't know what this book is about...Margot DeWilde is a codebreaker in Room 40 during The Great War. She thinks in numbers. She is an unusual heroine, but the way that Roseanna wrote her, I could FEEL her. Seriously...just go order it, you won't regret it!



Folks...I made a grave mistake the other night. I started reading a Jody Hedlund book...at 11pm...Oh boy. I got VERY little sleep that night, let me tell you. And unfortunately, I've been pretty busy during the day, so, I've been up late EVERY NIGHT trying to finish it. I'm almost done. But you should be very proud of me that I actually took the time and did DISHES and LAUNDRY this week...Typically, when I crack the pages of a Jody Hedlund book...all school and housework goes out the window!

With the Kids


Are you ready for a terrible truth? I have never read this book...Well, not that I remember anyway. And I decided to start this with the kiddos and so far they like it! Of course, we are only about 1 chapter in so far lol!

For the summer, we are going to use THIS cleverly constructed reading calendar for the kiddos. I am so excited to spend time reading with them this summer. My oldest, just finishing 1st grade, has gotten a really good grip on reading and LOVES discovering new books.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thoughtful About . . . Community


Last week I talked a bit about how God often speaks to me through what I call "themes"--ideas that keep coming at me over and over, from different directions. The one I focused on last week was "Being Complete." But another topic has been popping up all around me too.

Community


It's a word that can reach near or far, mean "close to home" or extend all around the world, right? Maybe we mean our physical neighbors--the community in which we live. But we could also mean like-minded people, wherever they are. 

There are certainly plenty of negatives with technology and media--but one thing I love about it is that it allows us to build communities with people we might never meet in person. For me, that means other writers, readers, knitters, and Christ-followers. Maybe for you, it's gardeners, or genealogists, or tea-lovers.

Regardless of the "what", these things we love are part of us. They're part of who we are and what makes us tick, what drives us through each day. They're part of our identity. And when we connect with other people who share that love, that can be powerful stuff. 

We build friendships.
We learn.
We share.
We invest part of ourselves.
We grow.
We edify others.

And sometimes this takes on a life of its own, doesn't it? I'm occasionally shocked at the tight-knit communities that spring up around something like a TV show or comic book. These are people who are truly passionate about it--who go to conventions, buy or create costumes, post on forums, speculate, argue, cry and laugh over the latest installment. Why? Because it matters to them. And because they love communicating with other people who feel the same way.

As my husband and I work on all our different endeavors--writing and publishing, editing and designing, blogging and filming and building our companies--we realized that what we want to do isn't just to find an audience. We want to build a community. A group of people who all partake of that common thing they love (where the word comes from). A group of people who believe in standing up and doing. Who know that stories change the world. Who want to be--and are--the hands and feet of Christ. Who want to build something for Him.

But how do we do that? Sometimes it's pretty simple--you walk across the street with a plate of cookies or you join a group on Facebook. But sometimes it's hard--because it doesn't just mean speaking up, it means reaching out. A community isn't just a bunch of people all shouting their opinions, right? It's a group of people doing something together.

As an introvert, it's hard for me to get outside myself sometimes. Hard for me to really feel like I'm a part of things. So these thoughts of community can be stretching. And yet, once I am a part of something, I will cling to it with loyalty and love, fighting to preserve it and build it up. Which is, I think, what the members of a community should do.

But sometimes we also have to pause and ask ourselves: which communities deserve our time? Our energy? Our money? Our attention?

I'm truly blessed to be part of some amazing communities. Readers. Writers. Believers. And I pray that, even though we're a community spread all around the world, we can be one that builds each other up. That edifies. That teaches. That shares. That serves. Each other, but also the world around each of us.

What communities are you part of? And how do they shape your days?

EBook Sales

You can find these deals at your favorite eBook retailer.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Word of the Week - Truffle


Okay, when I say truffle, I mean the chocolate. Period. At least in terms of things I'd like to put into my mouth. 😉 But I am, of course, also aware of the fungus sold for ridiculous amounts of money that answers to the same name. And I've wondered why these two very different foods share a name.

Truffle, the fungus, most certainly came first. It dates as an English word from the 1500s, taken from French, which is in turn from a Latin word meaning "edible root." Truffles have long been considered a delicacy in Europe, and both dogs and pigs have been trained to hunt them (as seen in The Lost Heiress--the one time I used the word truffle and didn't mean chocolate, LOL.)

So where did the confection version come from? Apparently, these delightful chocolates were invented in the 1920s and given the name truffle because they resembled the fungus and were a special treat.

Hmm. Not sure I approve of the connection, LOL. But I definitely do approve of the confection!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thoughtful About . . . Being Complete


God speaks to us in a lot of ways. For me, He often speaks in what I call themes. Ideas that keep popping up over and over, in a variety of places, coming from all sorts of people. When I notice these recurring themes, I know it's time to pay attention--and to dig a little deeper.

One of the themes that has come at me from all side lately is completeness.

It started with studying Philippians in our Bible study. In Phil 1:6 we see this:

"...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;"

I've read this verse countless times. But I think I'd always read it as "will complete it in the day of Christ." As in, when we're finally with Him, we'll finally be complete. Perfect. Whole.

But that's not what it says. It says until that day. Until that day, He will complete the work in us. Why? Because the work, the completeness, the fullness, the perfection is in regards to doing His work here on earth. It's not about achieving heavenly perfection someday. It's about going out EVERY day and serving in His name. This is completeness in Him. This is wholeness. This is perfection--another translation of the Greek telos used in this verse.

It's a concept we have a hard time wrapping our hearts around, because we are always keenly aware of what we're lacking. We're not smart enough or strong enough or energetic enough or nice enough or wise enough or...

But He is. All we have to be is willing enough. Willing enough to step outside ourselves, outside our comfort zones, and say, "Change me, O Lord. And use me to change the world for You."

As we were discussing this verse in Philippians, I was reminded of Paul's benediction to the Corinthian church in his second letter to them (II Cor 13:11):

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Become complete. The more literal translation would be, be restored or be made whole. Paul's prayer that he leaves people with often has something like this in it--he bids them all to be WHOLE in Christ. Individually...and as a community, as a church. This wholeness, this restoration is tied to unity and living in peace with one another. What more pointed call could we receive to #BeBetter and treat each other with the same love He extends?

I'd already been pondering these things, pondering community and self and Church and the work of God in all of these, when a friend read this verse over me and my husband, from Hebrews 13:20-21 (another benediction):

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

These verses sum up all I'd been piecing together. And here's the really goose-bumpy part. As I was listening to her message, as soon as she said, "I have a verse for you guys," I got that feeling. You know the one--that one that says, "Pay attention." And I thought, "This is going to have something to do with completeness." Then she read those words, and I just got a chill all over me.

Because YES. This is exactly what I'd been thinking. This completeness, this wholeness, this perfection isn't MY completeness, wholeness, or perfection. It is God working IN ME so that I can work FOR HIM. 

He will equip us. He will enable us. He will fill in all our gaps and holes, polish out all our flaws. Not to make us prettier or even sturdier--to make us able to do what He needs us to do.

And He will do this NOW, and every day, until we're with Him. Toss aside that old saying "God isn't finished with me yet" and replace it with a new saying: 

"God completes me each day."

Monday, May 20, 2019

Word of the Week - Ostracize


No one wants to be ostracized, right? It's a banishment, or a more metaphorical exclusion. Either way, not good.

But it has a looooong history.

Ostracize actually comes from the Greek word ostrakon--a piece of broken pottery. See, back in the day in Athens, someone who was deemed dangerous to society but who hadn't committed a crime could be officially banished. The votes were cast on these pieces of broken pottery, and if there were enough gathered, then the person was ostracized--cut off and cast out. Interestingly, this could only be done to men...because women weren't citizens.

The word has been retained pretty much unchanged all this time, entering into English in the late 1500/early 1600s.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thoughtful About . . . The Truth


I have always believed in the Truth--the kind with a capital T. I reject the idea that it's relative, that there is no Right and Wrong, just "right for me" and "right for you."

I believe that this ultimate Truth is part of God. He's the one who determines it, who created it, who presents it to us. What God says is Truth. More, what God IS is Truth.

Which is where the difficulty comes in sometimes, right? Because God is so much bigger than us, so hard for us to comprehend. And Truth is too. We get bits and pieces of it. We have vague understandings. He's given us guidelines to help us reach for it. But that doesn't mean it's always easy.

The ancient Greek philosophers talk a lot about the form of a thing. An example they gave was something silly, like a table. There are a lot of tables in the world--and they all have imperfections. But we can still recognize them as a table because they partake of the TRUE table, the "eidos" or form of a perfect table. They use that simple example so we have a solid example to refer to when we're talking about harder things, like virtue and justice and truth and the good. They claim that we can recognize the imperfect versions of these on earth because they partake of--imitate--a heavenly or divine version of the same.

There's a reason we still read these philosophers--Plato and Aristotle. It's because the early church preserved their writings because of how well they get at Christian understanding too. Those very philosophies strove to understand the Truth, even while recognizing that their understanding was imperfect. We on earth are never going to fully understand God and all He is--but we can recognize His fingerprints around us, right? We can see the shadows of His divine touch. We can understand truth--with a lower case T--in our lives because we recognize that it's got something in common with His Truth.

But because it's just an imitation, ultimately, we always run into problems. Because your interpretation of it might not agree with mine. Maybe you focus on this detail--the legs of the table, perhaps--while I'm focusing on this other one--the kind of wood used, maybe. If someone were to ask each of us about what a table is, you would wax poetic about how it needs four legs of the exact same height, and I'd be very specific about what it should be made of to achieve x, y, or z. We're both trying to get at the Truth. But we're telling different stories to get there.

As a storyteller, this is something I'm always very aware of, and something we authors talk about and think about a lot. We write fiction--it's not, by definition, true. But it can still be True. Why? Because we choose stories that set out to show that "eidos." That form. To reveal something we've learned about God or faith or family or healing or grief or laughter or love through the feeble words we have at our disposal.

But in order to share that Truth, we have to make choices. Sometimes it means leaving things out. Sometimes it means adding things. Sometimes it means changing a fact that distracts from the focus. This can seem dishonest--after all, if we're changing a fact, then we're wrong, and we're not truthful. Right? Certainly, when we're teaching our kids to tell the truth, we emphasize that it means "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Important in a court of law. But not always so important in a story. Because in reality, we can only view the world through our own eyes. And sometimes we don't see things clearly. The same is true in fiction--we're looking at a story through a limited lens. So we have to focus it only on the things that are relevant.

Another great example is in visual art and photography. Have you ever taken a picture of yourself and looked at it and wrinkled your nose and thought, "Do I really look like that?" And has someone else ever said, "No, you don't."? Well, on the one hand, that doesn't make sense, right? Because obviously, the camera caught the truth. And yet, it doesn't, always. It captures one very isolated moment when the light was just so and you were standing at a particular angle and the background was in a certain perspective.

But in life, we're not still. We're always moving, as is the world around us. No one ever gets just a single, split-second view of you. They get a dynamic one. For instance, when my husband smiles, you know what we all notice first? His dimples. But in a photo I took of him, the way the light hit his face, you know what I saw first? The shape of his eye tooth. That's where the photo drew the eye--but it's not where your eye would ever go in person. So I changed the shape of the tooth in the photo. It's now not an exact replica of him...but yet it gives a truer picture because now it directs your eye to where it would really go.

This is the dilemma artists of all kinds have faced since the beginning of time--we can tell the "true" story, sticking only to exact facts, or we can tell the True story, that directs the attention where it needs to go to get to the heart of the matter. We delete the distractions. We focus on the main parts.

There are those who disapprove of fiction for this very reason. But me? I say that's pretty silly--because it isn't something only fiction does. We all do it, in every part of our lives. We pick, we choose, we decide what to remember and what to forget. What's worth telling and what would just clutter up the story. But I think maybe we'd understand those tendencies a little better if we pause to realize that it isn't just about the little details on which we focus--those little truths that populate our days. 

It's about the ultimate Truth. And how we can best tell the stories that help us understand it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Ladies of the Manor Sale!

Get the whole series on SALE!


Spring has sprung and so have the Ebook deals! This series and these ladies of their manors are so very precious. If you haven't met them yet, now is your chance! Most retailers will have these sales running through 5/31! Snag your copy now! Please double check the prices before you purchase!

The Lost Heiress
Christian Book ($0.79)

The Reluctant Duchess
Christian Book ($5.59)

A Lady Unrivaled
Christian Book ($5.59)



Monday, May 13, 2019

Word of the Week - Miniature


This ranks as another of those words that surprised me!

I've long known that people used to call small portraits miniatures--but what I didn't realize was that the "small" part wasn't the root of the word.

In fact, the word miniature comes from the Latin miniare, which means "to paint red." (Red being one of the primary colors used in illumination [illustration] of manuscripts.) Who knew?! So back in the day, when people were making books by hand, they would put small pictures onto the page and color them in, which they, therefore, called "miniatures." So naturally, it was only a matter of time before it came to mean any "small picture." And from there, it shifted to mean anything small!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Thoughtful About . . . Tearing Down


I'm never sure how to explain how thoughts coalesce in my brain. Usually, it's topics that keep coming at me from different angles. In this case, those angles are various discussions we've had lately at church, with fellow authors about topics in books, and also about some reactions and "demands" authors have been getting about their books.

I've written plenty on here in the last year about the "outrage" culture, and this is part of that. But where it concerns me most is where it's found a home within the church--and not just in recent years. This aspect has, I think, been a part of us for a long, long time. That when we latch on to a belief or a point of view, so often we feel that in order to uphold that, we must tear down the other

An example from history (into the present) is the ongoing tension between Catholic and Protestant. These groups have found ways to disdain, persecute, vilify, and tear each other down for centuries. And it never ceases to sadden me. There are things on which the two sides don't agree, yes. Sometimes those are big things. But what is achieved by arguing about it, pointing fingers, and accusing each other of not being Christian because we don't agree?

Another example is that there's a movement I just became aware of that is claiming (not for the first time in history) that the church and certain ministers and authors have been trying to keep them down. They're getting in touch with authors and ministers and demanding apologies for the work that "hurt" them. They're mounting smear and bad-review campaigns. They're spending hours, days, months of their lives actively trying to tear down people that they've decided are their enemies. Within the Christian community. Why?

See, here's the thing. Christianity is revolutionary. It always was. It always will be. It challenges us to leave behind the old, the assumptions, the religion-for-the-sake-of-it and embrace a Christ who says, "No, look deeper. Action isn't enough--motivation matters too." It is always new, always fresh, for each generation. But when each generation realizes that, they all to often assume they're the first to do so. We forget sometimes that the insights we've come to were already realized before--countless times. We don't understand that our mothers, our grandmothers, our great-grandmothers had quietly (or not so quietly) come to realizations of their own. We only see ours. And so we think it's necessary to push this "new" thing out into the world so it can find its place.

But the world is already crowded with ideas, right? How do you find a place for yours? Well, if it's a really good one, I think it will just find its home alongside other truths. But all too often, people decide they have to push it...which means pushing out something else. They have to tear down that other thing in order to build theirs. Progress, right?

When I hear of these sorts of movements, I'm always part angry and mostly sad. Because they don't seem to realize that they're tearing down their own foundations. You don't have to agree with every teaching you've ever heard from someone or some group or some denomination. I know I don't. But I'm also definitely not willing to say God wasn't with them. That they didn't believe. That they weren't really of the faith. I'm not willing to say, "The work you spent a lifetime achieving is awful and deserves to be torn down." I'm not willing to say God wasn't in it.

Because if God was in it, even a little, even in just some of the details...who am I to tear it down? Do I honestly believe I have every detail right?

I know a lot of protestants who refuse to read the early church fathers' writings because they deem them "Catholic." Even though they were written a thousand years before there was a divide--in a time when "Catholic" literally just meant "the Church." Though they've never read them, they usually have a lot to say about them, and about why they won't read them. Things that tear down. Things that try to paint anything Catholic as bad, unchristian, misguided, weird, or downright evil.

But those are the very foundations of our church, the Protestant church, too. If you tear it down...where does that leave you? When you dig out the bedrock on which you're built, how long can the house stay square?

The same is true of all these modern movements, both inside and outside of the church. How can we blissfully dig away at everything we disagree with, without thought to the consequences? When you tear at the fiber of something--churches, families, religions, politics, communities, cultures, countries--you know what you end up with? A lot of holes. A weakened fabric. Something ready to fall apart.

We're never all going to agree. But you know what? Unity isn't about agreeing on every detail. It's about agreeing on what's most important and deciding to value the stance of your neighbor in everything else. It's about saying, "I want you to grow and be strong," rather than, "I think you're wrong." And this goes not just for your neighbor in today's world, but for your neighbor in history too. Those theologians we enjoy debating about--they were people who dedicated a lifetime to working for God too. When we tear apart their writings, what if we're tearing apart something God inspired?

We're all wrong about things. We're all right about other things. Most of us are a pretty good mix of listening to God and listening to our own wants. But you know what I don't ever want? For the Lord to say to me, "Why did you tear down the work I was doing with them over there? Don't you think I'm big enough to work there with them and here with you?"

He's so big, my friends. So big that He can't be confined to one denomination or movement or culture or time period. He's so big that He can work in different ways and show people different parts of His truth. We're not that big--we can't focus on it all. But that's okay. You work where you're called. I'll work where I am. Each of us only needs to seek after Him. And when our paths cross and even clash, let's not think we're in competition for the Lord's favor and we need to push each other aside to gain the prize. Let's instead come alongside each other and cheer each other on.

Because never once did God tell us to tear each other down--certainly not fellow Christ-followers, but not even our enemies. He tells us to build each other up. To pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. And maybe it's because of this:

If we spend all our time in demolition, we never actually build anything for Him. And so, at the end of our lives, what do we have to show for all our efforts but a pile of rubble?

Let's build something together, friends. Let's #BeBetter. Let's focus less on where we disagree and more on the God who calls us all to Him.


Monday, May 6, 2019

Word of the Week - Boycott


No, I'm not advocating one of anything. ;-) I just read the history of the word in my son's vocab book and thought I'd share.

Do you already know the history of this one? I think I've probably heard it before, and I had a vague recollection that it was a name, but the facts certainly hadn't stuck in my brain.

So, in the 1880s, Captain Charles Boycott was in charge the of the Irish estates of the Earl of Erne. I'm sure everyone remembers that this was not exactly an affluent time for the Irish. With potato famines and some absolutely awful laws that forbade the import of cheap foods to the island, people were quite literally starving to death. Well, Boycott refused to lower the rents for people on the estates, and he would evict anyone who couldn't pay.

The people of County Mayo had had enough. They banded together and agreed that no one would have any dealings with this man until he relented. They wouldn't work in his house. Shopkeepers refused to sell him anything. Basically, anything that required a local was refused to him and his household.

I daresay many of us have a longing--secret or not-so--to be a household name. Well, Boycott soon was...though probably not like he'd ever wanted. Very soon after this, boycott came to mean joining together to refuse to have dealings with someone or something. And it didn't stop with entering the English language as such, either--the word has also been adopted by French, German, Dutch, and Russian.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Thoughtful About . . . The Wind

The sunrise down my driveway

We live in the mountains. Specifically, the Appalachians in West Virginia. Our home is nestled up against the side of one of these mountains, in a little bit of a valley. It's wooded--the sort of area where it's more remarkable to see open fields along this road than trees.

Ever since moving out here eight years ago, I've noticed the wind. Windy days (and nights) are nothing new. But only here have I ever had this particular experience--one I noticed again just last week.

When I'm outside on a windy day, I become keenly aware of the nature of those really big wind gusts. Because I can hear them coming. I'm talking 30 seconds before it arrives, I can hear this mighty whoosh from the north. I can hear those mighty blasts of air traveling over the mountains, down the valleys. Shaking the trees, stirring the leaves.

A force of nature. Giving me warning.

This isn't something I can hear from inside--safe in the comfort of my kitchen, I never know the gust are coming until I see them hit--see the limbs of the trees bending, the garden ornaments toppling, the tarps go flying.

But outside. When I'm there in it, I have time to react. Generally, there isn't much I choose to do, other than turn my face to the north and wait for it to hit, so I can marvel at the power of it. But sometimes I'll run to secure the laundry or to put down the sun umbrella, or I'll just zip up my sweatshirt.

Wind is one of those invisible forces often used as an example of spiritual things, isn't it? Something we can't see but still experience--like God. And the Spirit is likened to a rushing wind, right?

But as I pondered this anticipation of wind, I realized something else about our Father. Something pretty amazing.

He doesn't move without warning.

There's a verse in the Old Testament about God never acting without first telling one of His prophets. But even the New Testament church, even today, I think the same thing is often the case. When God moves, it's with preparation. He stirs His people first. He prepares them for what's coming. He moves hearts and minds so that they're ready.

Ready for when the gusts of His Spirit come. Ready for when mountains shake. Ready for when anything not tethered down goes flying.

But we don't always hear His warnings, do we? When we're safe inside our comfort zones, perhaps, we don't even listen for them. We're content to just sit there, right where we are, and watch Him move out there.

Lord, I don't want to be sitting here inside my bubble when You move. I don't want to be "safe" from the power of Your Spirit. I don't want to just watch You stir others.

I want to be out there. In it. Turning my face to the north and waiting.

Waiting to experience Your power.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sneak Peek Reminder


Just a quick reminder that in order to receive the sneak peek, you will need to be a newsletter subscriber. You can sign up HERE.

I can't wait for you to meet Margot! In case you missed what the story is about...


Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.