November 24, 2014

Torn Asunder - A Giveaway!!

Alana Terry's new novel, Torn Asunder, comes out in December and you have a chance to win a free e-book here!

I'm so looking forward to reading it. Her first novel, The Beloved Daughter, was amazing and moving. One of my favorite reads from 2013.

This one sounds like a moving story as well.

Free Ebook Giveaway!

Torn Asunder is the upcoming release from award-winning Christian suspense novelist Alana Terry. 

You can pre-order Torn Asunder on amazon now for only 99 cents and have it delivered right to you when it's released in December. 

As an added bonus, Alana, along with recording artist Cherie Norquay, is offering free downloads of one of the songs featured in Torn Asunder.

"After graduating from the Secret Seminary, Hannah and Simon are ready to return to their homeland. Their training has equipped them to carry the gospel to a country ravaged by darkness and despair. If necessary, they’re even prepared to face the North Korean labor camps, but the hardest part of their mission isn’t the hunger, cold, and incessant danger. The hardest part is cutting off contact with one another.

In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, staying together might not just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives."

A Christian romantic suspense from the author of The Beloved Daughter, which won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, Readers' Favorite, The Book Club Network, and more.

Pre-order Torn Asunder for only 99 cents or enter the giveaway below! 

You can also sign up to get a free mp3 song download from Cherie Norquay, whose work is put out by Grammy-award-winning producer, Phil Naish, and whose lyrics helped inspire certain scenes in Torn Asunder. 

Click below or get her free song downloads here. (Several of her song lyrics also appear in the novel itself.)

You can also sign up below to help spread the word about Alana's fundraiser to help rescue North Korean refugees on a modern-day underground railroad.

November 21, 2014

Trust and Obey

Friday's Thought:

I've been thinking a lot lately of a song I loved as a little girl. It was called 'Trust and Obey.'

There was a freedom in those words.

No striving to be good enough, no doing it all yourself, but simply surrendering and trusting the Lord and obeying His Word with His help.

That's what being a born again Christian really is, surrendering all in trust and obedience to the One who has your back. The One who has removed your sin as far as the east is from the west, the One who will never leave you or forsake you, the One whose love is like no other.

"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You."    Psalm 5:11

"As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us."    Psalm 103:12
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”    Heb. 13:5

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."    1 John 4:10

Here's Big Daddy Weave's version of the song:

Trust and Obey

When we walk with the Lord
  In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
  While we do His good will,
  He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

 Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
  But to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise,
  Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
  Not a doubt or a fear,
  Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
  Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
  Not a grief or a loss,
  Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
  The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
  For the favor He shows,
  And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
  We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
  What He says we will do;
  Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.

John H. Sammis (1846-1919)

A Little History:

In 1887, just following an evangelistic meeting held by Dwight L. Moody, a young man stood to share his story in an after-service testimony meeting. As he was speaking, it became clear to many that he knew little about the Bible or acceptable Christian doctrine. His closing lines, however, spoke volumes to seasoned and new believers alike: "I'm not quite sure. But I'm going to trust, and I'm going to obey."

Daniel Towner was so struck by the power of those simple words that he quickly jotted them down, then delivered them to John Sammis, who developed the lyrics to Trust and Obey. Towner composed the music and the song quickly became a favorite. It remains popular with hymn singers today. 

*Note: This history was shared from the Share Faith website.

November 17, 2014

The Hiding Place

Why did I wait so long to read this!

What an amazing story!

I have to say I've read a lot of great books over the years, but this one was extraordinary.

Corrie, her sister Betsie, and the rest of their family are such an inspiration.

I often cried reading their story and long to know God more after reading it.

He is so good.

Corrie uses the first few chapters to share her family life in Holland. A little background of a normal everyday life. Then the war came, they hid Jews in their home, were later caught, sent to prison, then to a horrific concentration camp.

One thing that stood out to me in this book was that it wasn't just their story, as much as it was about the Lord and how good and faithful He is. How His plans are not ours, and how He teaches and grows us through adversaries. All of these people are now with Him, experiencing the fullness of joy from the Lord.

Betsie Ten Boom
I loved Corrie's sister Betsie in this true life story.

Betsie understood God.

She knew Him well and praised Him in all things. She gave me a better understanding of who God is, His greatness, His holiness, His faithfulness and His love for us.

It was beyond encouraging.

Here Betsie encourages Corrie after Corrie finds shrapnel on her pillow during a bombing:

"'Betsie, if I hadn't heard you in the kitchen...'

But Betsie put a finger on my mouth. 'Don't say it, Corrie! There are no 'ifs' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety - Oh Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!"

Corrie Ten Boom
God used Betsie to encourage Corrie and then He took her home.

Corrie then went on to accomplish only what God could accomplish. And she gave Him all the glory for the many lives He touched through her.

I'll leave you with a conversation between Betsie and Corrie when they are both overwhelmed by the hatred and brutality within the concentration camp.

Women being forced to parade around in the cold, naked., humiliated. Their dignity stripped from them.

Corrie writes here:

" was one of these mornings while we were waiting, shivering, in the corridor, that yet another page in the Bible leapt into life for me.

He hung naked on the cross.

I had not known - I had not thought...The paintings, the carved crucifixes showed at the least a scrap of cloth. But this, I suddenly knew, was the respect and reverence of the artist. But oh - at the time itself, on that other Friday morning - there had been no reverence. No more than I saw in the faces around us now.

I leaned toward Betsie, ahead of me in line. Her shoulder blades stood out sharp and thin beneath her blue-mottled skin.

'Betsie, they took His clothes, too.'

Ahead of me I heard a little gasp. 'Oh Corrie. And I never thanked Him..."

Buy it HERE on Amazon

November 7, 2014

You Are Loved

Friday's Thought:

"The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves or rather in spite of ourselves."
                                                                Victor Hugo

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love." 

                                                               Jesus (John 15:9)

November 4, 2014

Jesus > Religion

I can't believe the author of this book was only 23 when he wrote it. It is filled with such wisdom and grace.

This book will convict you, while simultaneously encouraging you to live life for Jesus, rather than religion. It will make you think about who you are in Christ and what changes you may need to make.

Here's an example of his straightforward writing about Jesus and us:

"We've lost the real Jesus - or at least exchanged him for a newer, safer, sanitized, ineffectual one...

...In our subculture Jesus would have never been crucified - he's too nice...

...Most of the time we're persecuted not because we love Jesus, but because we're prideful, arrogant jerks who don't love the real Jesus. We're often judgmental, hypocritical, and legalistic while claiming to follow a Jesus who is forgiving, authentic, and loving."


But so true.

Who are we in Christ? Judgmental, hypocritical, and legalistic or loving, kind and full of grace like Jesus? How did we get to this point? Why do we care more about being right than loving others? And are we right if we aren't loving others with grace and compassion, like Jesus does?

I loved the chapter headings in this book. As each chapter actually spoke about what it was titled. And with great Biblical truths that cut to the heart of the matter.

Here they are:

1. Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

2. Why I Still Think Jesus Hates Religion (and You Should Too)

3. Fundies, Fakes, and Other So-Called Christians

4. Religion Makes Enemies/Jesus Makes Friends

5. With Religion, There Are Good and Bad People/With Jesus, There Are Only Bad People in Need of Grace

6. Religion Is the Means to Get Things from God/If we Seek Jesus, We Get God

7. With Religion, If You Are Suffering, God is Punishing You/God already Punished Jesus on Your Behalf, So Suffering is His Mercy

8. Religion Says, "God Will Love You If..."/Jesus Says, "God So Loved..."

9. Religion Points to a Dim Future/Jesus Points to a Bright Future

10. Why Jesus Loves the Church (and You Should Too)

This is one of those books you really need to read with yourself in mind. Our relationship with Christ is between us and Him and we were never meant to be judgmental of other believers in their walk with the Lord, but rather encouraging and full of grace. (read Romans chapter 14)

This book is a 'look in the mirror' kind of book.  As well as a 'look to Jesus' kind of book. : )

Here are a few great quotes from it:

"The problem we have with Jesus isn't that he gives life and grace freely, but that we have to admit our need for it."

"I realized that fighting to prove I was good enough was actually the one thing keeping me out of heaven. A grace economy is backward to most of us - those who think they qualify, don't; and those who admit they don't qualify, do."

"The paradox of the Scripture is that it calls us way more sinful than we think we are, and it calls us way more loved than we think we are."

"Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy. He owes us nothing, but he gives us everything."

"Jesus knows what life is like. He doesn't hang out in heaven and tell us to be good and moral without reaching down to us. Jesus doesn't make us come to him; he comes to us."

I wanted to share so much more from this book but I felt it's one of those books you really need to read in context.

So... I highly recommended you read it!

Buy it HERE on Amazon