Ending 2013

In the years prior I measured my success by the blogs I was able to write, the books I was able to publish and the personal goals I was able to meet. 2013 was a year rich in life lessons that could not be accounted in numbers.

This year I was a lazy blogger. I was being pulled in so many directions in my life that I couldn’t concentrate enough to write myABV blogs. I participated in a few marketing campaigns for my books but nothing major. I was able to publish one book out of pure perseverance and I know I have not done anywhere near anything to market it, so I’m not disappointed with the results because I can’t have any expectations for the work I have not done.

I have not even been consistent working out, so I have some ground to recover once the year comes back. So what are the highlights of this year?

Well, although my goal was to read twelve books, I read eight. Yes, the goal was not met but it was six books more than I read the year before.

I started working with a new ministry at my church in Spanish. Aside from writing, I’ve found another place where I know God has called me to be.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, something I had not done in over five years and I’m pretty proud of myself.

But to be honest the highlight of this year was a card that someone I had not talked to in a while gave me. The card said how much I

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had inspired her. I’m not boasting on that fact, I’m just happy that in spite of all my shortcomings and inabilities the Lord still used me to inspire someone. The Glory is for HIM, I’m just glad my imperfect self is still usable for him and that makes up for 365 rough days of 2013.

I’m looking forward to 2014. 2014 is a New Year with new possibilities, new opportunities, new mercies but the same awesome God.

Happy New Year 2014!

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Book Blast: The 21 Day Challenge!

Take the 21 Day Challenge!

Get 5 FREE eBooks – 2 Days Only

10/17/13 and 10/18/13

PLUS enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Why 21 Days?

It’s a commonly known fact that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. You may spend 21 days trying to form a good exercise routine or kick a bad habit, but what about taking 21 days to form a new spiritual habit? .

That’s the reason for the 21 days series – to provide you with 21 days worth of biblical devotions to help you form new habits that draw you closer to Christ. And for two days only (October 17th-18th, 2013) we’re giving all 5 books away for free. After that, they will be available for only 99 cents each.

So what do you say? Will you join us in strengthening your walk with God? If so, download one or all of the books below at no cost to you during our free promotion – and scroll down to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card as our gift to you!

Be Inspired…Join the 21 Day Challenge!

Download 5 Free eBooks for 2 Days Only

Book #1:
21 Days of Generosity

generosity challenge

Living a Life of Generosity: 21 Days of Generosity Challenge

  • Do you want to live a life of generosity?
  • Do you want your life to be a blessing to others?
  • Do you want to have a giving spirit that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God as provider?

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Generosity through this short but powerful eBook.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #2:
21 Days of Faith

faith challenge

Living a Life of Faith: 21 Days of Faith Challenge

  • Do you want to live a life of faith?
  • Do you want your faith to be more than simply saying “I believe in God”?
  • Do you want to have a genuine faith that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God in every area of your life?

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Faith Challenge through this short but powerful eBook.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #3:
21 Days of Gratitude

gratitude challenge

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. And I sensed Him leading me to do this 21 days of gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I have been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day.

And now I want to share what I learned with you in the short, but powerful book.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #4:
21 Teen Devotionals… for Girls!

teen devotionals for girls

Our lives are ruled by habits. We are defined by them. How our days play out, how we act and react, and even how we eat, sleep and talk are all affected by our habits – for better or for worse. It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one, so why not spend the next 21 days forming a habit of spending time with God? If you’ve got 21 days, we’ve got 21 devotions specifically written for today’s teen girls.

Are you up for forming a habit of spending time with your Creator? If so, download this book and get started on these devotionals!

Book #5:
21 Teen Devotionals… for Guys!

teen devotionals for guys

Teen Devotionals… for Guys!, brought to you by FindYourTrueStrength.com, are written for teen guys who want to find their true strength in Christ, these devotions designed to be read, pondered on and applied to daily life.

We want you to know that the Bible isn’t just a book that’s over 2000 years old. It’s completely applicable to our lives today – even as teenagers. We know that girls and guys don’t face the same issues in high school – not even close. So these devotions were written with today’s teen guys in mind.

Go ahead. Dig in. Find your true strength in Christ.

Download on Kindle Here

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Back to the Future

Do you remember the series of Movies “Back to the future” with Michael J. Fox? Maybe I’m revealing my age here. LOL! For those who have not seen this movie, it was the story of a crazy scientist and a teenager. They had created a time machine. Marty (the name of Michael J. Fox’s character) is the teenager. He’s living an unhappy life at home. He goes back in time to his parent’s senior year of high school, witnesses the time where they met and understands the reason why things came out to be the way they were in the present.

He interferes with the past, but when he comes back to the future realizes that his interference has affected the outcome to the point where he now doesn’t even exist. He now has to go back to the past to fix what he has done, but still had to interfere because he wasn’t able to go back to the exact same moment in the past.

There are many times when we wish we had a time machine. We live in the land of if’s. If I had not done this, I had not said that, I had not met this person, the list can be endless. I admit sometimes I can actually pinpoint the exact moment when my decisions led me through the wrong path and I wish I could take them back.

But recently I have changed that perspective. I’ve learned that even the worst events in my life and the worst decisions I have made has taught me lessons that has made my life better. How is that possible? Well , that’s just a fulfillment of a promise from God.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Are you not wiser, more mature for those life challenges that we’ve had? Let’s stop living in the past and the Land of If’s. Let’s use the present with is all we have.

When you feel like the burden of this day is taking a toll on you, stand on these scriptures:

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

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“This book is in a class by itself, you will not be able to put it down! The characters pull you in and you begin to feel their emotions. Excellently written. The title fooled me, the saying goes” never judge a book by the cover “and this is one of those books.” By Duezette

WF: All things are possible

As part of returning to blog, we are also back with our Worship Fridays. Like I said at the beginning of this week, sometimes life gets in our way. We can find ourselves in a place where we feel limited to what we are able to do. Let’s not forget that those can be distractions from our purpose. As humans we can allow ourselves to stumble but let’s not allow ourselves to fall .

Let’s live by the words we read in Matthew 19:26

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

WF: Worship Friday

 

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“This book is in a class by itself, you will not be able to put it down! The characters pull you in and you begin to feel their emotions. Excellently written. The title fooled me, the saying goes” never judge a book by the cover “and this is one of those books.” By Duezette

Drowning Lessons

Any lifeguard will tell you the worst thing someone that the lifeguard is trying to save can do is to “help.” A drowning person in a panicked attempt to “save” themselves by thrashing about can end up taking the lifeguard down with them. It’s a lesson all of us need to learn no matter how good we are at swimming in spiritual waters.

Many people ask: “What is my purpose here on earth?” They go through various exercises and workshops to find out what their purpose is. I will save you some time and money if you, too, are asking this age-old question.

You have one purpose here on earth, and it can be summed up in two words: to learn.

You were sent here to learn—to learn about yourself—your capabilities, your liabilities, your strengths, your weaknesses, your abilities, and your limitations. You were also sent here to learn about and how to deal with others—those who are easy to love and those for whom God’s mercy will have to be super-abundant for their forgiveness to be obtained.

Nonetheless, you were mostly sent here to learn about God and His unending, unfathomable, unstoppable, overwhelming, unbelievable love for you.

One of the biggest lessons and one of the hardest to take and accept is what has been called a disruptive moment. These are the times in your life when you have been easily walking next to the water when suddenly something pushes you in to the deep end.

This something might be someone. It might be an event or an illness or death or a sudden change that blows gaping holes in your belief that all is right with your world.

Suddenly you are buffeted—slapped on every side with wave after wave of despair, doubt, anger, hopelessness, helplessness, grief, anxiety, and fear so strong it pulls you under like a rip tide.

I believe what we are sent here to learn is that it is precisely in these times of trial and fear that we learn the real depth of God. It is in these moments that the Almighty Lifeguard takes hold of us, rather than us holding onto Him.

The problem here is that many of us continue to struggle. We continue to try to save ourselves even as the waves wash over us time and again. What God says to us at these moments is exactly what the lifeguard would say to the drowning person. “Relax. Let Me do it. Do not rely on your strength, trust in Mine.”

Your purpose here is primarily to learn that one lesson as deeply as possible. When the storms blow, quit struggling. Trust the Lifeguard.

He has the strength you need. Relax, and let Him work in your life, and you will surely see wonders come from the moments you thought you were destined to drown. By your own effort, you would have. In His strength, however, you will be brought out of the waters of chaos and confusion into a new life you can only know when you have felt both the rip tide and His marvelous, sustaining strength.

In your weakness, His strength can be made manifest. Trust it for it will save you—especially when you feel you are drowning.

Copyright Staci Stallings 2006

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a #1 Best Selling author and the co-founder CrossReads.com a new website that gives Christian readers and authors a place to meet and fellowship. With a newsletter, a blog, a forum, and other exciting, inspiring areas to visit, CrossReads visitors can find fabulous Christian books they never knew existed.

Come over on Feb. 12-14, and enter to win one of 169 virtual baskets of ebooks, gift cards, and other prizes!

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WF: Where I belong

In the past couple of weeks I’ve had some life changes, not necessarily negative ones, but changes nonetheless. I was feeling the stress on the change in routine. For the past couple of months I’ve been so focused on my writing and these changes have rearranged my schedule, and I was getting anxious on how things were going to get done now that I had more on my plate.

I’ve been reading the book of Isaiah and reading this particular verse resounded with my spirit, ”No, we’re going to study the Scriptures” People who try the other ways get nowhere, a dead end!” Isaiah 8:21 I felt God was trying to tell me that the reason why I was feeling overwhelmed was because once again I had forgotten to give it up and I was trying to do things on my own, instead of trying it his way.

Then the next morning the Lord woke me up with this song stuck in my head. Living for God is not only amazing, but when we recognize that no challenge in this world compares to his greatness and to eternity, our perspective gains focus.

Let’s worship together.

PS: If you tried to tune in yesterday for my interview with “Friends and Neighbors” my apologies. The show producers decided to record and my interview will be aired on October 16th at 4:30pm. Thanks for your support.

Happy Friday!

WF: Worship Friday

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clip_image002Aimee is a constant positive influence in Desiree’s life, gently demonstrating God’s love and mercy. Mary Anne Benedetto

Very well written. Emme

I would recommend The Road Home to any romantic, any lover of books, anyone struggling with forgiveness, anyone. Cynthia

Don’t wait too long

I have the pleasure to share with you a new Christian Author friend Joana James. I hope you enjoy this!

The other day I wrote an article on Waiting on the Lord, but as it was pointed out to me today, there are two sides to every coin. It’s very important to wait for God’s timing before we move. It could be the difference between failure and success or life and death. But what happens when we wait too long? What happens when God says to go and we hold back?

There are several reasons why we may not move when God says to. One of them is fear. God may be moving us in a direction that we are afraid of. He may be calling us to a particular ministry that we feel ill-equipped for, so we say “Lord, I’ll do it later.”

Or we may have our own agendas, so we say, “God, as soon as I send all my children off to university, I’ll become a missionary for you.”

Or the devil may be planting seeds of doubt in our mind, “Is it really God talking? Maybe you should wait, if that house is yours, it will come back to you.”

I remember as a teen, I came across a poster and it has stuck with me since and I think it will stick with me for the rest of my life. It was the image of a woman’s skeleton sitting on a park bench. She was dressed in a bridal gown and veil and she appeared to be waiting for something. The caption above her head said “Waiting for the PERFECT man.” She’d waited so long that she missed her opportunity. She was dead, and she could no longer marry.

Some of us wait so long to move forward that we lose our opportunity for great things. We procrastinate and complain at everything God places before us. If we don’t think it’s good enough, or we don’t feel ready but whatever it is, we don’t move when God says we should. So we abort our destiny.

It’s so sad to see lives wasted because of procrastination. To see time, treasure and talent unused must certainly hurt God. My encouragement today is to move in the timing of God. Don’t run ahead of him, however don’t waste time either. By the time you are ready to move, you may just miss your destiny.

Joana James – Author of Nightmare at Emerald High & Alana and Alyssa’s Secret

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Joana James Joana James is a young Christian author from the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. She is an I.T. professional by day but in her free time she escapes from the logical world of technology into the artistic world. She is an avid reader and her kindle is her favourite piece of technology. Music is her best friend and that manifests itself through her love for dance and singing.

Joana writes stories that portray the reality of her world. Her first book, a two-part short story series called Rise from the Ashes featured the lives of two young girls struggling in dire circumstances.

Her latest book, Nightmare at Emerald High, brings to the fore a world that everybody knows exists but no one talks about.

Follow Joana’s blog for frequent devotionals and for a list of some of the best and most affordable Christian Books available for Kindle. http://joanajames.blogspot.com