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Gratitude in My Heart

As most of my readers know I am in the middle of NaNoWriMo. This is my 5th year in this challenge and probably the most challenging of all the ones I’ve done so far. When I did my first NaNo in 2009, I had never written a novel, I didn’t have a blog. I didn’t have a twitter account or a Facebook author page. I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I was doing except for the fact that God was burning things inside of me to write.

Since then I’ve met lots of wonderful people, some authors, and some readers. I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much and at the time I’m writing this post I’ve been blessed with the fact of publishing 4 books. To me that’s amazing and the Glory is all to and for The Lord who has seen me through this journey.

I’m also very grateful for each of you that have joined me in this adventure and I give you my word that the best is yet to come.

Having said all that, I’ve been thinking on how I could thank all my readers for all their support. I’ve decided to place ALL MY BOOKS on sale during the month of November. This will give you the opportunity to get any of them that you have not obtained already or to gift it to someone that you wish had read it.  Here’s the breakdown in the order they were published

October 2011 Growth Lessons (From 2.99) $1.99  Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.pngThis was my first book. This one is my only non-fiction so far. I call it a devotional because you don’t it just includes life lessons that The Lord showed me during my first year of coming back to him and my first year into taking the plunge of writing seriously.  This is what some of the reviews have said

I enjoyed the book and could recommend it wholeheartedly with that one proviso. ”

June 2013 The Road Home (From 4.99) $2.99 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.pngI have to admit that I have a special attachment to this book.  There are some parts of this book that come from my life experiences, but it was also my first work of fiction and also my first NaNoWriMo project. I learned a lot about myself writing this book. This is what the reviewers have said.

 

November 2012 Season’s Greetings from Amelia (From 2.99) $1.50 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

clip_image002.jpgThis was a very fun novella to write. I love crime shows and was fascinated with serial killer stories so I wanted to create my own, but with a twist.  This is was reviewers have said.

 

 

 

October 2013 A Brother’s Vow (From $7.99) $3.50 Amazon, Nook and Smashwords

A Brother's Vow (Final)This is the last book I published. This book has a complicated plot. This was the first time I had challenged myself to have a book with these many characters where they all shine on their own. This one too started as a NaNo project. It’s a story that I personally enjoy reading beyond the fact that I wrote it.  This is what the reviewers are saying.

“This is a story about interconnected lives and the consequences of the actions of everybody in the family. It’s not just about one black sheep and his struggle to change. The spiritual lessons you can learn from each member of the Benson family surprise you as you make your way through this complex story and navigate their successes and failures. This isn’t women’s fiction. It’s complex adult fiction with a message for everyone who has promises to keep” Mary Findley

Think about it for just $10 you can get all four :) So now that the holidays are here and you get some down time, stock up on good reading materials or stuff those e-readers that you are giving out as Christmas presents.

As always, Thanks You for your support. Until next time… be blessed.

Missing you hurts

Missing your love hurts

Your love hurts

Hurts so deep inside

Every day that you’re not with me

Its like the world stops spinning

This pain is so real

This pain is so true

Missing you is killing

Every part of my soul

I pray to God for healing

I pray for his comfort

But not having you near me

Is taking me to a new low

I love you

God knows that’s true

And for every minute you’re away

My heart just keeps spitting out blood

This poem, although not included in the book, was  written by one of the main characters in my new novel, “A Brother’s Vow”. Join me in this journey through the deepest of pains, hitting rock bottom and healing. Once you’ve read the book, come back and tell us who do you think wrote it? If you guess right, you will get a free copy of my very first book, “Growth Lessons”.

A Brother's Vow (Final)A crazy promise made during a night out with his twin brother will change Randall’s life forever. Will he be able to keep the promise he made or will his past cause him to go against everything he’s worked hard to achieve?

“Randall Benson and his twin brother Brian think nothing will change in their happy, close-knit family. Their parents worked hard to establish a business and a heritage of godliness for their five sons. Randall does his part for the business, but doesn’t buy into that heritage thing. He just wants to have fun, until a series of events convinces him he has to change for the sake of the people he loves. His mother’s selfless love isn’t enough to change him. The protection and example of his brothers isn’t enough. The promises he’s desperate to keep aren’t enough. Are there really forces at work that Randall can’t control on his own?

This is a story about interconnected lives and the consequences of the actions of everybody in the family. It’s not just about one black sheep and his struggle to change. The spiritual lessons you can learn from each member of the Benson family surprise you as you make your way through this complex story and navigate their successes and failures. This isn’t women’s fiction. It’s complex adult fiction with a message for everyone who has promises to keep. By Mary C. Findley

Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles and Smashwords.

The Unknown

In a conversation the other day someone said that they got irritated when they didn’t know something. It reminded me of who I was before I actually surrendered my life to Christ and how I can be when I forget who master’s my life. I have a theory, that the unknown affects us due to our need for control. We want to know everything that’s going on around us just to make sure that we will know how to handle it. In that we forget a few things.

· Luke 12:25-26 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

· Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

· Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

The other part of the unknown is lack of trust. It’s that feeling that tells you that you need to know exactly everything around you, because if you lack information you will be caught with your pants down and end up in trouble. But actually my life experiences have taught me that sometimes ignorance is bliss and I do not need to know everything. There is a reason why God doesn’t reveal everything to us in our time but in his time.

Think about it, as parents, do you tell your kids everything or do you shelter them from certain information until you know that they are prepared to handle it? Our heavenly father does the same with us. But as the bratty children that we can be, we too think we know better than God about what we can or cannot handle.

I’m not a parent, but my 9-5 requires me to manage people. As a manager there are details of the operations that my staff doesn’t need to know. There’s no point in burdening them with certain situations that are for me to deal with, situations that are out of their control and that I will resolve before it affects them. That’s imperfect, knuckleheaded me. Don’t you think that our God, first of all, doesn’t need our help and then that there are things that we don’t need to worry about because it is something that HE will work out. The question is do we really trust Him to come through? With our mouths we usually say yes, but do our actions reflect that level of trust? Just food for thought.

My challenge today is that we really surrender. That we allow God to decide what information we should be privy off and for him to tell us how to handle it. I challenge us to release our need of control, because at the end of the day we truly have none.

Until next time, be blessed.

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In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham

Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames

Book Review:Unseen

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical as I started reading this book. I had read John Michael Hileman’s book “Messages” some time ago and somehow at the beginning it seemed to follow the same pattern. So I told myself to just keep reading since I had already started. I’m so glad I did.

The book is very different than “Messages” and their only similarity is that it’s a book you will not be able to put down.

Trying as always not to spoil the book for you, I will try to describe the context. This is the story of a man whose nephew has been abducted by a serial killer. All of the sudden the man starts seeing what he thinks are ghosts of children. At the beginning he thought these ghosts were there to give him clues to find his nephew, but that was far from the truth.

Now to those who have read the book I do have a question. Was the flower to be kept a life Aiyana or the neighbor’s baby?

If you want to know what I’m talking about, get this wonderful book.

UNSEEN

Life for Jake Paris is stable and ordinary–until a mysterious old woman pays him a visit and he begins to have encounters with unruly children everywhere he goes-children only he can see. When Jake’s estranged sister, Holly, finds herself the target of a national serial killer who has chosen her son as his next victim, Jake begins to wonder if there is a connection. Could these children be the ghosts of the killer’s victims? As the kidnapper’s plan unfolds, Jake uncovers a startling secret about the unseen children that will change his life forever–and Holly discovers just how far she is willing to go to save her son. A riveting story of rescue, restoration, and romance that will leave you thinking long after the last page has been turned.

WF: Move

I don’t know about you, but this has been one hectic week. I’m not sure if the moon is in the wrong spot but the experience has been   in the category from one of my favorite comedians Bill Engvall, “ Here’s your sign”.

Just to give you some of the highlights

  • I have a new neighbor. I believe it’s just a lady as I haven’t seen any males going into the apartment. I was awakened by  bear sounding noises. Someone snores and it’s quite loud.
  • I was to produce pictures of an event that had not happened.
  • I was questioned about why I had not called someone who had not given me their number.
  • I had an appointment that was cancelled after I had arrived and waited for 30 minutes.
  • *Drumroll* The one that takes the cake. My mother was prescribed a medication that clearly states in the instructions for it not to be prescribed to a person with a condition that she has. (No worries, she’s fine. We will not be going back to that doctor anytime soon)

To all of this, all I have to say is Thank God it’s Friday. In terms of this song, I love the energy it brings and it talks about how to keep moving in this crazy world. So join me in a dance of Praise and Worship for the one who gets us through our brightest days and the dealings of not so bright situations.

Philippians 4:12-13

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Happy Friday

WF: Worship Friday

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In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham

Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames

The Little Things

In a busy life, we hope for big changes, but they are not always possible. We want to run away, have a vacation for a month, a massage, a lump sum of money that will clear our debt. We can continue to dream about those things that we would think that will solve every problem of our lives. As we sit by the side of the road waiting for that chance, we see our lives go by without relief

Take a minute every day to enjoy the little things God gives you. At the end of each day you will realize that you have way more than what you ever wished for. A rainy day can just turn into a day of much needed rest. Solitude is not loneliness, but much needed peace that provides time for contemplation. Sometimes I even smile at the innocence of my dog sleeping by my feet while I’m working. Those of you with children could experience the same type of feeling.

What are the little things that fill our life today? A coworker’s comment that makes you laugh in the middle of a crazy working day. The forgotten dollar you find at the end of your pocket.

I think back to how I spent a weekend where finances were tight. I couldn’t go anywhere because I just had enough gas in the tank to get me through the work week. I found that lost dollar in my pocket. My dog was a puppy so I remember going to the kid’s playground and sitting on the swings for quite some time while my dog ran around. With that dollar we walked to a nearby gas station and bought a frozen popsicle. Until this day I smile when I remember how good I felt that weekend.

Let’s be grateful for the little treasures that we have. Let’s pray to God to open our eyes to see those treasures that we take for granted that are more accessible than we care to admit.

Matthew 6:31-33 (MSG)If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Until next time, be blessed

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In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham

Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames

Come Forth!

I was thinking about how we get complacent in our walk with Christ. It is very easy to live in the routine of Christian Living. You get up, if you are well disciplined you do your prayers and start your daily routine.

Once the day ends once again you do your daily prayers and you go to bed. Some come home tired and stay like zombies watching television for hours until they pass out or they drag themselves to bed and don’t even remember to reflect on the challenges and blessings of the day.

Once a week you go to church, and you pray that the preacher is not too inspired otherwise it’s going to take more time than usual. God forbid there’s a guest speaker, they usually talk even longer.

Have you lost your passion? Have you moved away from your first love, from Jesus?

Why do we lose that passion? We can blame it on many things; the routine, the extra work that your boss has put on your plate, the unruly children, that person at the church who annoys the ever living out of you. If you take a step back, aren’t those just excuses?

God woke you up today and gave you 24 hours out of love. What are you going to do with that time? Wasn’t the whole point of being “saved” and born again to get rid of religion and have a relationship with God?  What areas of your life are dead?

As I was thinking about this, I remember the scriptures regarding Lazarus’s resurrection.

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.[a] And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth! (John 11:40-43)

Who or what is your Lazarus? What is keeping you from being once again on fire for the love of Christ? It’s time to remove the stone, believe in the One that God sent and come forth!

Until then, be blessed

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In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham

Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames

Striving for Excellence

Many times in my life I’ve been told that I like things done right and that my expectations are quite high. I have to admit that to be true. I’m not perfect. I can’t give out perfection therefore I do not expect perfection, but I do expect to give and to be given the best possible. That may be a high call. But guess what? That’s what we are called to do.

The reality is that we do expect Excellence from everyone around us, including God. When God doesn’t answer our prayers, or if the answer is not what we wanted it to be, we feel some kind of way about it. When we call a customer service line and the answer is not what we feel it should be we are less than pleased. However when someone asks us to step up to the plate and follow our own high  standards and we don’t, then the line of excuses begin. The first thing we say is that we are not perfect. We excuse ourselves saying that the expectations are too high.

Titus 3:8 this is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

We want quality, but we have a sense of entitlement where we “deserve” to be given what we have not worked for.

Be honest with yourself today, are you giving your best in every area? I know I’m not. Are you even attempting to do your best or are you coasting through life? Sometimes I do.

Do you expect what you don’t give? Sometimes I do.

Today I invite you to search your heart and see where your expectations are. Are they realistic? What are you willing to do or stop doing to strive for excellent for the kingdom?

1 Corinthians 12:30-31 (NIV) do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

Thank you God for giving us your best every day. Even when we don’t deserve it and when we don’t give even a portion of our best to you who are deserving of it all.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Until next time, be blessed…

clip_image002

In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham

Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames

WF: What if

On my post on Wednesday titled Back to the Future, I talked about living in the land of what if. But the Land of What if is more than holding on to the past or to negativity.

We all have had a crisis of faith, when we don’t know what to believe. Why does God allow certain things to happen?  What if God is not listening to me? What if my sin is unforgivable? What if it’s not God telling me to do this? What if God is not even there?

Even Jesus had a moment where he felt that God was not there.

Matthew 27:45-46 From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

And there was also a time when Jesus wanted to see if there was another way around God’s plan.

Matthew26:42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done

But see that at the end he still obeyed and allowed God’s will to be done. Although I’m sure it was not easy for him to die on that cross being that he was  innocent, he not only got through it but achieved Victory!

Join me in worshipping the Lord and may he help you with any struggles of your heart.

WF: Worship Friday

Until then, be blessed

clip_image002

In Growth Lessons, I was reminded of this beautiful truth: Our walk with the Lord is a process of growing up into the image of Christ. P. Yates

I would recommend this book for anyone who would like some common sense and light added to their life. C. Cunningham

Great for meditations and daily devotions. N. Thames

Home for Easter

As you have probably noticed, although some of the great authors from Grace and Faith Connection have done appearances at The Rising Muse, you have not heard much from me. I wish I could tell you that I was finishing my next book for your reading. Yes, I did some of that and the book is not yet ready. That has not been the reason for my absence. Life just got complicated. You can blame my 9-5, you can blame some health issues, but the reality is that at some point I had to be back.

I was born to write, and in these weeks when I was away, rather than resting I was wilting. It is this space that allows me to connect with you, to tell you how God is working in my life. More than my books, this is the place when I can share with you the message of hope. So I saw very fitting to resuscitate this blog on the most important day of our faith, Resurrection Day!

With that I know that life still happens and it’s always complicated, but one thing I’ve learned in my walk with Jesus is that you don’t need a lot of time, you just have to be intentional.

May the Lord Bless you this day and always. May his blessings be upon you. May the light and hope of his resurrection reaches your heart today.

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY!

THE ROAD HOME $1.99 Only through Easter!

A powerful story of redemption…

clip_image002[1] This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina

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