Category Archives: Writing Happenings
2015 has been quite a different year. Different is usually associated with a negative connotation, but different is not always bad. God has taken me into a journey that I never imagined.
In 2009, when I started this blog and had just finished the first draft of my first novel (The Road Home) I thought I had finally found my purpose. I’m not implying that I will no longer write, I actually miss it a lot. But I’ve been placed on hold to pursue other things for the Kingdom of God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord in Isaiah 55:8 I have to admit that I still can’t get that through my head. After a life of fighting for everything, I stop the fight and have left the Lord be the pilot of this life that belongs to him anyway. My small mind thinks that with every step that’s as far as I’m going to go, yet the Lord surprises me again.
When I started writing, I never thought I would get a book to see the light of day. Now I have 4 books published: The Road Home, Growth Lessons, Season’s Greetings from Amelia and A Brothers Vow. I also have 2 other novels waiting to be edit for release: Saving Paola and Breaking Free.
In 2010 I started attending a ministry program called Celebrate Recovery to deal with the domestic violence in my marriage and eventual divorce. Today I’m the Ministry Leader of the only Spanish Celebrate Recovery in GA and a State Representative for Celebrate Recovery in GA. These are not my accomplishments, but places where God has brought me to that I never imagined. The State Rep happened this summer.
It’s been kind of a quiet year. I’ve been a little reclusive doing a lot of introspection. It has been a year to connect with God at a different level. It’s been a year of growth.
I also moved to a new apartment in the summer. A smaller but way better apartment. My dog is happy as the complex has 2 dog parks, and she gets to drag me there to play.
For the first time in my life I have a television over 24 inches, not an accomplishment but something that happened. It looks really good and weird to see the clarity of some shows like if you were sitting right next to the characters or walking with them through hallways and streets.
It’s been a peaceful year. I’m really enjoying being quiet for long periods of time. I’m enjoying silence, which is a different pace for me. I don’t want to get too comfortable ad stop chasing dreams, but for now being able to breath is a good place to be.
Happy New Year 2016!
A passage of scripture stood out to me recently. 11Corinthians 4:18. “So we fix out eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” It made me think.
In the passage, Paul is talking about our future hope when we die. In this life, we are wasting away, our bodies are getting old and feeble, but these troubles are light and momentary. Someday we’ll experience an eternal glory that is so much better that we can’t even imagine it. He encourages us to think about the Eternal when we will see the Lord face to face, even as He now sees and knows us.
So what do I normally “fix my eyes on?” The TV screen, the computer, my kindle, my clothes closet, the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets—just to name a few things. But as the apostle says, I will experience these things for a short time. More importantly, we should focus on the next life. That’s Heaven for the Christian.
So here’s a short list of the “temporary” things we witness daily.
1.All the items I mentioned above, 2.house and place of work, 3.pets, 4.our car, 5.i-phones, 6.friends, 7.bar-b-que grill, 8.cosmetic products, 9.movies, 10.books.
Sure this stuff concerns us and occupies our minds, but how often do we center on the “eternal?”
- God’s word, 2.our lives in Heaven, 3.the Lord, 4. Jesus’ sacrifice for us, 5. speaking to God in prayer, 6.Praising God, 7.Singing to the Lord, 8.Spiritual gifts, 9. the Holy Spirit, 10.Sin.
We live in this world and must focus on daily chores and responsibilities. But maybe we should set aside more time to “fix our eyes” on what is unseen. You can’t go wrong, and I believe it would lift our perspective on this life and the next.
Christian marriages aren’t immune to the world’s problems. It’s through the grace of God and the couple relying on Him that makes it possible to thrive in a marriage. When couples aren’t thriving, they’re only surviving and someone usually is getting hurt in the process.
Amongst the Flames is an inspirational tale of two Biblical born-again Christians who are having difficulties in their marriage. Cole is blindsided that there was even an issue going on in their marriage. He thought everything was fine, while his wife had been struggling for quite some time. How much damage and hurt is too much for a marriage handle? Can Cole and Megan figure it out and mend the brokenness? You’ll have to pick up a free copy of the book to find out.
Christians have an amazingly powerful tool that unbelievers do not, and that’s the relationship they have with the Lord. The Creator of the universe is readily available whenever we are in need. Sometimes we think we just showed up on earth without an instruction manual for life, but that’s not true. We have the Bible. Our Bibles only being opened on Sunday morning won’t ever bring an enriched and vibrant walk with the Lord. It’s only when we truly rely on Him day in and day out that we can have a deep relationship with our Creator. When we have that closeness with the Lord, we are able to see our spouse in a new light and many of the problems we once had fall away.
The Scriptures clearly outline the importance of staying in the Word. Here’s one of the passages that come from Matthew 4:4.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
It’s only when we have an authentic and close relationship with Christ will we be able to truly have marriages the way they were designed to be. Our closeness with the Lord cultivates a life in us that is by design. God has wonderful plans for each of us, but he’s a perfect gentleman. He will never force us into His will for our lives. He has to be allowed in to do his work.
Amongst the Flames will be sure to stir a newfound hope and love inside of you that you won’t soon forget. It’s the first book in the Ashes & Embers series and has been a top rated book on Amazon throughout its duration on the charts. Be sure to snag a copy today and take home this free inspirational Christian romance read.
Amongst the Flames – FREE at all major retailers
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0140IE1J8/
AMONGST THE FLAMES is book one of the Contemporary Christian Romance Series, EMBERS & ASHES. Follow the lives of the men of Fire station #9 as they face the fires on and off the job. Inspirational romance stories full of faith, hope and love that will leave you feeling inspired.
“A burning building doesn’t scare me at all compared to the thought of losing you.”
Firefighter Cole Taylor is the man everyone looks up to at Firehouse 9 in downtown Spokane. He’s been at the department for ten years and has no fear when it comes to dangerous situations.
Megan Taylor, Cole’s wife, is a stay-at-home mother of their two boys. She was everything Cole ever wanted in a woman and the perfect wife any man could ask for until one day when she decides to leave Cole.
Cole has fought hundreds of fires in his lifetime, but he had never tasted fear until he came to fighting a fire in his own home. Amongst The Flames is a Christian firefighter romance that tackles real-life situations and problems that exist in Christian marriages today. It brings with it passion, love and spiritual depth that will leave you feeling inspired.
About T.K. Chapin
T.K. CHAPIN writes Contemporary Christian Romance books designed to inspire and tug on your heart strings. He believes that telling Contemporary Christian Romance stories of faith, love and family help build the faith of Christians and help non-believers see how God can work in the life of believers. He gives all credit for his writing and storytelling ability to God. The majority of the Contemporary Christian Romance novels take place in and around Spokane Washington, his hometown. Chapin makes his home in the beautiful state of Idaho and has the pleasure of raising his step-daughter Emma and two nephews Isaac and Landon with his beautiful wife Crystal. To find out more about T.K. Chapin or his books, visit his website at http://www.tkchapin.com.
The reality is that I’ve been so busy and this date snuck up on me. I can’t believe that I started this journey 5 years ago. I have been writing since I was 14 years old, but on a day like this day I decided that it was time to share what God had given me.
Today is not a day to congratulate me, as all I did was share. Today is a day of gratitude for all of you who have come to shared with me your own experiences, my good and growth opportunity moment. I’m grateful for all of you who have supported this dream and have allowed me to meet so many wonderful people.
Today I celebrate YOU!
As a token of my appreciation to all my readers, my latest book “A Brother’s Vow” will be #99cents from today until through Sunday. It’s yours to enjoy!
By Holly Michael
Landing in South India, ten days after the 2004 tsunami, my husband said to our contact there, “Send us to the worst affected area, where no agency or person has yet provided help.”
Already weary from nearly thirty hours of travel, I mentally geared up for mission work. My husband, a pastor and native of Tamil Nadu, South India had lived and worked in the affected region for more than twenty years and was aware of the living conditions of the fisher folks in the remote seaside villages. He was certain we’d find decimation and desperation.
Back home in Arkansas, we had raised a large sum of money during a week-long, major fund-raising event. As a freelancer for a Guideposts magazine, I planned to cover the story of a teenage survivor. My husband’s predictions rang true and I had no idea how difficult, yet fulfilling, this experience would be.
Ten years later, we are now preparing to head to South India for a follow-up visit. I plan to write a “then and now” book and release it on the anniversary of the tsunami: December 26th, 2014.
Ten years ago, we provided immediate assistance for the villages and people also helped many tsunami orphans. We arranged for the village headman to bring the children to the local bank where we identified them and put funds in CD’s to be collected ten years later (2014). This would give them money to begin their lives as adults. We also provided help to other small villages by purchasing boats for them.
I’m excited to return and see how the children—now adults—are doing and discover their future plans. I’m also curious to see how the once decimated villages have recovered.
On the ten-year anniversary, December 26th, 2014, I’ll publish, “Tsunami 2004: Then and Now. Devastation from the Sea. Help from Beyond. (Working Title).
It’s said that you should write what you know. This is true. Traveling to India several times since 2004, I have enjoyed and absorbed the cultural experiences and have since used them in my writing.
This past July, I released Crooked Lines, my debut novel, inspired by stories told by my husband and his friends who left their villages in India as teenagers to join a religious order. Crooked Lines threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. They struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth. I’m so pleased that Crooked Lines had reached #1 in Inspirational Fiction Category on Amazon.com.
Here’s my back cover blurb: On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers. Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed.
Without giving a spoiler, some scenes from the novel were taken from my own experiences in South India after the tsunami. I’m also working on my sequel to Crooked Lines that I hope to release in February.
Maybe your travels won’t take you to far-away places, but we all travel along many emotional pathways and carry unique experiences in our hearts. As writers we should go back to the places of decimation, see how far we’ve come, and use this in our writing to help others. No matter what our background or culture—like in Crooked Lines—we all share similar emotional experiences. Matters of the heart are universal and worth writing about.
TWO CONTINENTS. TWO CULTURES. TWO SOULS
…SEEK HOPE & A FUTURE
On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over
her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers.
Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed. Crooked Lines, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and
deceptions in search of truth.
How do you define wisdom? For some it’s measured by a person’s level of knowledge and learning or by one’s level of education. Dictionaries define wisdom as philosophic and scientific learning. Other definitions of wisdom include sound judgment, good insight, or common sense. Native Americans believe wisdom is earned only after living a long life that brings learning and experience.
These definitions have merit, but they fall short of a biblical definition of wisdom. Biblical wisdom can be defined as the ability to see things from God’s point of view. As Christians, our wisdom grows when we understand and accept God’s point of view. The same is true of nations; they show wisdom when they align their policies with God’s view.
Without wisdom people can find themselves in trouble and countries risk disaster. The further a nation strays from God’s point of view, the closer it comes to being a nation under judgment.
We live in a nation that prides itself on being “one nation under God.” We ask for God’s blessing in songs like “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin. Our Supreme Court opens every session with “God save the United States and this Honorable Court.” The president and other politicians pandering for our votes give speeches that end with “God bless America.”
But what does it mean to be “one nation under God?” Have the words become merely a patriotic slogan? Do they have value only in times of national crises, when we feel threatened? Are we a nation asking for God’s protection and blessings while turning away from His point of view?
As a nation “under God” do we see things from God’s point of view when shaping national policies? Or have we lost our wisdom as a nation? When we create polices on hunger, homelessness, poverty, protecting the environment and marriage, are we following God’s point of view – or a political agenda? What does it say about our values when one of every fifty children lacks sufficient food, in a nation that wastes 40 percent of its food? These are important questions that must be asked if we value being a nation “under God” because the answers may point to a nation moving away from God’s point of view and losing its wisdom.
Christians cannot escape our responsibility to hold those we elect to public office accountable for crafting polices that reflect God’s point of view. If our nation is losing its wisdom – its ability to see things from God’s point of view – we have a responsibility to advocate for change and to elect leaders who believe that “one nation under God” is not merely a political slogan but a call to action that will bring our policies into line with God’s point of view.
Our Founding Fathers knew that we could not indefinitely exist apart from God’s point of view. George Mason warned that providence would punish national sins with national calamities. Thomas Jefferson said “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that his justice cannot sleep forever.” These great men understood that our nation’s future rests on its commitment to live by the words “one nation under God” and that we must create national polices that reflect His point of view rather than policies that conform to a political agenda.
Have we lost our wisdom as a nation – our ability to see things from God’s point of view? Ultimately the answer to that question will determine if we are headed toward being a nation under judgment. Read more about a biblical definition of wisdom in A Nation Under Judgment. The book is available on Amazon and at http://www.anationunderjudgment.com
John 2:1-11 is the narrative recounting the first recorded miracle of Jesus at the wedding in Galilee.
“Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.”
John 2:7 (NIV)
Everyone has a designated time and place when they are to connect with their God-given purpose and the plan God has for them. There are times when we try to advance too soon and other times, we sit back waiting and possibly missing the proper time. Based upon the scripture, someone miscalculated and the wine supply ran short, to which, Mary, the mother of Jesus looked to her son for a solution. He replied to her, “My time has not yet come.”
Mary, didn’t let that stop her, she issued a directive to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” What was he to do, his mother had now placed him on front street, guess what, whether he wanted to believe it or not, it was show time, his time had arrived.
During these days, weddings were carried out over a week-long period and conducted as festivals with everyone around being invited. So, running out of anything during these times of elaborate celebrations would be considered, highly embarrassing and violated the laws of hospitality.
Mary saw a potential heartfelt problem for the hosts and looked to her heart, her son, who she knew was more than a mere human man to find a resolve. Jesus’ mission is/was to save mankind by entering into a personal relationship, so by stepping up outside of his perceived time indicated how he would go about in his assignment – helping others, speaking with true authority, and being relational with those around him.
As servants of Christ, we should follow the command given in John 2:7, to fill the jars with water and fill them to the brim. It should be our goal to be obedient to Christ as we do our part to the best of our abilities, while trusting and believing in Him, to reveal His glory through our obedience.
We should believe He can do more with what we offer to Him than what we ourselves can. When He does it, He produces the best, choice miracles that defy the odds. What He produced was fresh and new, it had never been done before. It was impressive and abundant for all to enjoy.
At that wedding, He launched His miraculous ministry his time of preparation time was over.
What He did that day confirmed the belief in the hearts of His disciples and it should confirm in yours. I want to encourage you today to fill your pots and fill them to the brim and then take an evaluation of those things God has placed within your heart and pray about the timing of His plan for your life.
I admonish you to align yourselves with Him and follow His commands and don’t wait until you’re close to running out or being on empty or even saving the best for last. Do what He says now, trust and believe Him, and watch what will happen next…it will be nothing short of a miracle!
“ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM WHO BELIEVES”
She is the founder of Believer’s Choice Media, an inspirational content company dedicated to encouraging believers to live the life they were created to live on earth and beyond.
She has recently launched her debut novel, “High Noon Justice,” a series based upon Psalms 37 to a loving and accepting audience. These days, Shakira now believes she is living her life according to Ephesians 2:10:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (KJV)
With a renewed sense of purpose, Shakira is ready and prepared to not only find the plan of God for her life but also fulfill it. Shakira is a proud Alumni of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida where she holds a B.S in Business Administration as well as an M.B.A. with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.
Join me celebrate with my author friend Renea Winchester in her launch of her new book Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches by Mercer University Press.
If you are in the Atlanta area on September 6th, please come to the book launch (See attached invitation). Bring the family, bring your friends. If you are out of town on that date, the City of Roswell is hosting an event September 13th from 1-3 pm.
Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches is filled with stories about neighbors, friends, and visitors from as far away as Puerto Rico, Farming captures the small-town community feel that was once prevalent and is rapidly vanishing. Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches is chocked full of easy-to-follow recipes and tips that will benefit both the inexperienced and veteran gardener. In short, it is a love letter, a Southern-Style “Thank You” to the people who make the South one of the best places in the world to call home.
About the Author Renea Winchester is the daughter of Appalachia who is passionate about literacy and growing heritage flowers and vegetables. She rescues flowers from development and distributes them throughout the community. She grows her great-grandfather’s heritage corn and personally grinds it into cornmeal. Recently she raised money to help preserve the historic Monteith Farmhouse in Dillsboro NC. Her writing has won many awards including the Wilma Dykeman Appalachian Heritage, and the Denny Plattner award. Her first book, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes earned a nomination for the prestigious Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance Award. Contact her for an interview at firstname.lastname@example.org Where to Buy?: Purchase Copies at Amazon, B&N, or have your local Independent Bookseller reserve a copy for you. All Bookstores can order copies for you. Mercer University Press offers a 20% Discount and FREE shipping when you ask for the Facebook discount. Their number is 866-895-1742. E-copies will release late fall. If you haven’t read my first book about Billy, download it here
“Promises of the heart” is the first book of author’s Scarlett Rains Sister’s of the Heart Series. The book setting is in London England and it’s a historical fiction. I’m not a fan of historical fiction, but this book was able to capture my attention. To me it was ironic to have the main character to be a sweet precocious child, when in my own books I chose that name for an adult serial killer. So the first thing was that I was interested in seeing how this Amelia would react to her surroundings.
Amelia’s behaviors are way advanced for her age and the time in which she was living, which got her in trouble with the adults in charge of her. The loss of her parents creates a grand distress in her life as she now is not sure of who would take care of her. She ends up being assigned Rachel as a governess. As she grows she starts receiving unwanted attention from the opposite sex, which confuses her. She wonders about the real intentions of her cousins and her own feelings for them.
I don’t want to reveal more, but the end leaves you looking for the second book immediately. It’s a nice read cuddled up in the sofa in front of the fireplace.