Book: Surrender

By  Chris Baumball

Surrender” is a mesmerizing religious fairy-tale about an unyielding spirit determined to achieve three important things: faith, family and love.

Surrender can mean many things to many people, even animals. In this fictional story, a religious fairy-tale satire about a Sasquatch named PoBo, we learn what it can mean on many different levels. On one level, PoBo is displaced from his family at an early age amid a war initiated by humans. But with an unyielding spirit to be reunited with his kin—and with music being his best motivator, at least at first—the hairy bachelor decides to set off on a dangerous quest to find them.

PoBo knows the journey will be fraught with danger because he knows he and his family are on the endangered list—a constant struggle to survive. But like an adage he once read in a book, “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” he is steadfast to not give up on his goal. Fortunately, and unexpectedly, he gets some assistance from two animals, one of whom is far bigger in his faith than his physical size. PoBo encounters many obstacles along the way, and his own faith is tested repeatedly as time runs out to fulfill his quest.

When we’re broken and realize we’re not in complete control, it’s time to surrender.

About the Author:

I am proud to admit that I’m a constant reader and writer because books don’t havechris redundant commercials. I was born on Independence Day, live in Ohio (US), and graduated from Kent State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. I am happily married to my best literary critic, Melannie. We have two sons, Michael and Alexander, both of whom continue to keep us active and young at heart. I draw a lot of my inspiration from some of the creative things I overhear my kids say throughout the day.

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Book: A Well Memoir

By Anita Wilson

WellbyAliasInTownDepression and addiction are often taboo topics in the church. However, Christians are just as susceptible to depression and addiction as any other social group. Christians who suffer from these afflictions often don’t seek help because of shame and fear of alienation. For a depressed Christian or a Christ follower with an addiction, seeking help feels like shining a spotlight into their spiritual life and highlighting a failure as a Christian.

There are many hurting Christians in desperate need of help, and it is common to feel like you have nowhere to turn. I am very passionate about this topic because I am one of those Christians. I live with depression, and I’m in recovery for addiction and attempted suicide. I also have a chronic illness, and made incredibly bad decisions in coping with her illness, desperately seeking relief.

Alias In Town’s memoir, Well, chronicles my journey toward healing in a unique way. When I came home from treatment, I started pouring over old journals and found entries where I sought forgiveness, healing and deliverance. I gathered them up into a scrapbook. I also added original artwork telling my story through the end of a paintbrush. I dug through my blog, and gathered essays into the scrapbook too. I realized this scrapbook had become something. It had become a vulnerable and raw memoir telling a story of hope.

http://www.aliasintown.com

About the Author:

Alias In Town is an anagram of the author’s name. In every town there are alias people anitaliving with chronic illness, chronic pain, addiction and depression. Alias In Town is one of those people. Learning to live well while ill is a necessary and difficult endeavor. She learned multiple coping and life strategies to be Well.

“I am more than my body. I am body, mind and spirit. My body is simply the weakest unit of the triad. Though chronic illness affects the entire triad, I have made considerable effort to strengthen my mind and spirit to find the balance of ‘Well’. – book excerpt

Her style of writing is to combine multi-media formats into stories. She utilizes short essays to tell her story in words. She creates original artwork to tell her story through the end of a brush. She includes personal journal and diary entries to remain open, honest and raw in her writing.

One of the most anxiety releasing activities she utilizes is art. She explores art through several mediums and included them in the book “Well.” She does not claim to be a proficient artist but utilizing art is cathartic to her. She has an art website https://anitamariewilson.wixsite.com/atw-art

She has been married for 35 years with 6 children and 7 grandchildren and lives in central Ohio. Her website is http://www.aliasintown.com

Questions to Ask God

By Chaz Douglas

God has given us different gifts and we must go to him so we will know how to use what he has given us.  God only gave Manoah and his wife the gift of Samson so they will have specific questions for God based on the awesome gift they had been given. We have gifts, abilities, and talents that God has given us that we must ask specific questions to God on how he wants us to use them.

 

Here are some tips of what we should do with our gifts:

  1. God wants us to come to him to learn how he wants us to use the gifts that he has given us.  There are specific places, times, and groups of people that God wants us to minister to with our gifts.  We have to come to him s
  2. “So Manoah asked him, `When your words come true, what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work” (Judges 13:12 NLT)?
  3. As we live our lives for Christ there are specific questions we should ask God that are designed and tailor made for us.  There will be questions that only you can ask God because he has only given you the particular gifts and abilities.
  4. Manoah didn’t see or speak to the angel but he prayed that the angel be sent again to teach him and his wife how to bring up their son.  
  5. o we can be where he wants us to be, when he wants us to be there, and to help who he wants us to help.
  6. We should ask God questions to understand specifically what he wants us to do with our gifts.  God has made us to have completely different bodies, personalities, education, abilities, and resources.  It would behoove us to ask God specifically how he wants us to use our gifts with our unique bodies, education, personalities, abilities, and resources. Remember God gave Manoah the unique son of Samson so he had specific questions based on what God gave him.

 

What has God given you that only you can ask God about?

About Chaz Douglas:

book

Chaz Douglas is an educator and member of the United States Air Force Reserve.  He has a Bachelors in Education from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University.

Douglas began teaching Bible Study for the Youth Ministry at his church from the ages 6-1

7.  He would later be asked to teach the Youth Ministry’s teachers learning strategies and biblical principles to assist them with the children that they would instruct.

He is currently taking a course by Tom Corson-Knowles an Amazon bestselling author. Douglas believes the course is preparing him to become an author who is produces what readers want.

The reason for writing this series was the experience Douglas had being deployed in the ChazAir Force.  He was deployed for six months and used his time at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait to increase his relationship with God.  As he prayed, read, and mediated on the Word of God the Holy Spirit increased his wisdom to be able to write biblical lessons that that men and women can apply in their lives.  The Holy Spirit led him to write this series to help all people have a better relationship with the Lord.

My Birthday Gift

It’s noon and I’m just getting around to breakfast today. I had a day planned out,  but plans laptopchange, that’s why I rarely make them. I’m at Starbucks enjoying my free birthday coffee. Of all the freebies I can get today, this is my most important, don’t ask me why.

As I was rolling in my bed deciding if I wanted to get up yet, I remembered two things: Usually I update my readers twice a year of what’s going on in my life and that I haven’t blogged in a while.

If you follow my blog, you know that most of my posts are inspirations of my walk with Christ and ideas that I think I can share with my readers. I’ve had plenty of those, but none of them positive and that’s why I haven’t been writing. I’ve been very sad.

I’ve been very sad about how the world around me has changed; what it seems to be overnight. I see believers fighting one another, families torn up apart because of belief systems and opinions, this has really grieved my heart.

It has taken a lot of strength to not just yell, STOP IT! You were the closest just 2 yrs ago, how can you let ANYTHING separate you from the people you love? But it’s happening. The hardest part for me has been watching this cultish mentality. This philosophy of “My side is right even if they’re wrong because if I accept that my side has even made one mistake then I’m giving into the other side.” Insanity!

When did we pick sides? I thought we were all #TeamJesus.

We’re called to be salt and light of the earth and right now we’re being sheep following wolves. We’re all going to think different, God made us that way for a reason. God protect this world if everyone all of the sudden starts thinking like me, because sometimes my brain gives me some crazy doozies. We need to get back to respecting each other and loving each other.

Have we forgotten our second commandment to love our brother as ourselves?

So if you’re interested in giving me a birthday present today, the best gift you can give me is to be kind to others; especially those with whom you disagree. In fact, if you consider them your enemies, then not only be kind to them, but love them, the bible tells us so.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you Matthew 5:44

Happy Birthday to me!

anniversary birthday blue bow
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Blessings,

Naty

GL

Book: The Humble Life Journal

The Humble Life Journal cover large subtitle

Here’s the new book of my friend Cara Iris Miller. I hope you enjoy it! If you have already read it, please leave us some comments at the bottom or go the whole way and leave her a review on Amazon. To purchase the book, just click here.

Book Blurb:

Are you overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities? Have you ever yearned for a more purposeful, yet simplified life? Are you uncertain of where to begin? Author Cara Iris Miller has spent the past few years doing just what you may be contemplating at this moment. With her faith as a cornerstone, she has learned and fashioned a rhythm of living that is more simplified than complicated, as she and her family thrive in their yurt (small round home), as sustainably and simply as life will allow. Now, in her book, The Humble Life Journal: Reflections on Simplicity and Stewardship, she shows how you can achieve the same desire for a more peace filled life, with logic, and faith based guidance on: – Simple health – Money-saving tips – Simple marriage – Stewardship of the home – Simple parenting – And lots more… Living a simple life doesn’t necessarily mean going without, but tends to focus more on being a good steward with what you do have. Complete with Bible verses and journal sections at the end of each chapter, you have plenty of space for your personal thoughts, prayers, and ideas. Incorporate each chapter’s insights into your life as you feel inspired! So, if you’ve been searching for a more grounded, yet abundant life, perhaps you’ve been looking in all the wrong places. It is time to reassess your priorities, refresh your world, and revive your faith in God!

trainer353A Little Bit about the Author:

I am a Writer (and chronic list maker).
I am a Natural Health Consultant.
I am a Therapeutic Body Worker.
I am a Certified Fitness Trainer, Yoga Instructor, and Sport’s Injury Therapist.
I am passionate about wellness and writing! It is wellness (and all its fascinating facets) mixed with a longing to evolve in my faith that drives me to write. I am moved and molded by…the Word, good stewardship, life long learning & gleaning from my elders, healing of the human body & soul, our home of an humble yurt & our land, abiding peace, the strong love of my husband, my precious sister, God sent friendships (you know who you are), a glass of deep red wine by an evening fire, dark organic coffee in the morning, hiking and exploring God’s glorious nature with my man, journaling, and serving others!

Blessings!!

 

 

 

Change was the name of the game (2017)

As the hours of the clock wind down towards the end of this year and the beginning of 2018, I like to reflect on 2017.

change

This was a busy and challenging year for me. Change and I are not friends, not even cordial acquaintances. I know it’s there and never going away like taxes and my birthmark, but it doesn’t mean that we have a good relationship. I also know that change is one of God’s favorite tools to grow us. Workouts are great for the body but not any less painful.

 

This has been the scripture of this year for me. Learning and re-learning that God is in control and not me

plans

The first six to seven months of the year, I spent back and forth from the hospital with my mom. Balancing work, ministry, life and her needs was quite challenging. Looking back, I don’t remember much, it’s all like a blur, but I know it happened. That was the beginning of some of the big changes, although she’s a lot better from what kept taking her to the hospital, her needs have changed, therefore my focus has changed.

work stressMy 9-6 had three reorganizations in 2017. This brought the anxiety of not knowing what that meant in terms of employment. It helped me exercise my faith in God’s provision regardless of the outcome. I’m very grateful that I’m still employed and basically within the same functions. Each reorganization brought a new leader, which meant an adjustment of expectations and leadership styles. I know that at the end my attitude was not of expectation but more of surrender. At the same time, I have to admit it has taken an emotional toll.

I’ve spent a lot of time alone this year, but it has been necessary time. I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of introspection. I’ve been able to process some life events that were still lingering in my soul. I’ve been able to find more acceptance of myself, which is not easy as I’m my most fearless judge.

I also lost a young man that meant a lot in my life. He’s the son of a friend. He came to my life when he was seven years old. He had a lot of challenges in life but he had a faith that was worth modeling. He was the smartest person I knew. Who else would call you in the middle of the day with a history trivia? Ivan would. He was the only child whose punishment was to take a way a book from him. He was about to finish his associate degree, but his health didn’t allow for that. God has now given him rest and for that I’m grateful.

As of November I’ve returned to writing. I had taken a two year hiatus to devote my time to “Celebrate Recovery” a wonderful ministry that gave me a lot and allowed me to serve. That season has now ended and I’m back to what I love to do: writing.

My jumpstart was the same as my first main start, NaNoWriMo and I finished it.

changes 2

Right after NaNo, I started a creative writing class. I’m currently studying short stories. I’m having a lot of fun with that.

Last night I had a dream, and woke up with a story inside. I propped my laptop on my bed and as I write this I’ve already written 1,500 words of that new story. I’m not sure what’s going to be :short story, novel or novella. I’ll let you know in due time.

I’m looking forward to 2018. 2017 was filled with challenges and changes. I’m sure the new year is going to bring it’s own, but I’m not the same person that ended 2016 and I like this one a little bit more.

Many blessings in 2018!

Naty

2018

Prompt: Stage Fright

As I relayed to you guys a few weeks ago, one of the exciting things going into 2018 is that I’m taking a creative writing course. From time to time I will share some of my exercises. Now, remember that’s all they are, writing exercises and not a finish product.

So here is my first one. The prompt was stage fright. To my fellow writers out there, you can use this to create your own writing exercise and I would love it if you would share them with us.

write

Glen was ready for the performance of his lifetime. He had rehearsed endlessly for months to get to the theaters and finally present his monologue, “Glen: A Life Story” The day was finally here. The butterflies in his stomach were strong. He didn’t know if he was just nervous or about to get sick.

He was sitting on his dressing room reading the script one more time. He started feeling a cold shill down his spine and sweaty hands. He was no doubt suffering from an attack of stage fright. He started pacing in the dressing room. How could it be that he was so nervous? He had acted on stage before. That was true, but this was the first time that his own material would be portrayed.

There were so many questions on his mind: Will the audience like it? Will my friends be there? Will I’ll be laughed off the stage? Finally, will it really feel satisfying to fulfill my lifelong dream?

Someone knocked on the door, but Glen was so immersed in his thoughts that he didn’t hear it. Kathy, his producer opened the door and approached him. He was with his back towards her and she just wrapped her arms around him without saying a word. Finally, Glen stopped pacing and allowed himself to breath and released his soul into that warm embrace. He felt safe. He knew Kathy was a very particular producer and she wouldn’t have accepted to do his monologue if she didn’t think it was good.

The sound of clapping hands interrupted their embrace. It was the final call to the theater. The curtain was about to be lifted. It was time for Glen to walk out. He took a deep breath and walked behind the curtain. He knelt with his back to the audience as he had practice so many times. The applause became deafening. The lights went out, the curtains up and there was Glen.

I’m having so much fun with this I had to share.

Until next time

Naty