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Friday, October 31, 2008

A Blog From Kim Vogel Sawyer

Risking my "comfort zone"

My friend and fellow author (only she's award winning AND a best seller!) posted a very thought provoking blog yesterday. Feel free to leave a comment here, or pop over to Kim's blog to leave a comment as well, and let her know you noticed it here.

Writes of Passage....Kim Vogel Sawyer

Warning: I am about to wax political, something I’ve never before done in a public forum. I am not a confrontational person, and I’m well aware that “talking politics” is a good way to stir things up. But I’ve been so burdened recently, and I just want to share my thoughts with you.

The presidential election is just around the corner. Like many of you, I’ve listened to the debates, read the newspaper, and fielded “forwards” (some accurate, some not) in email messages. For the first time in my adult life, I researched the voting records to see where each candidate stood on the issues that are most important to me. All of the information gathered has made me concerned for the kind of change that could come into America if Obama attains the highest level of leadership in our country. Although there are several things that bother me, two take precedence for me personally.

If elected, Obama has vowed to approve the Freedom of Choice Act , which includes making partial-birth abortion legal again and nullifying virtually every state and federal law that limits abortion in any way, including parental notification. America was founded on freedom for all, but--as I used to teach my fifth graders--with “rights” comes “responsibility.” I believe a leader has a responsibility to protect those individuals who are under his leadership. Obama’s past voting record and his support of this Act tell me he will not protect the most vulnerable among us: the unborn. The sanctity of life--of all life--is very important to me. Obama and I do not see eye-to-eye on this issue.

I’ve heard the argument that women should have the choice whether or not to reproduce. I agree, but I think the choice should come prior to pregnancy. After a soul has been conceived, the only moral and biblical choice is to allow the child to develop and come into this world.

On the left is a little boy named Jacob. He is bright-eyed and ornery and has a belly laugh that dares you not to join in. He was conceived out-of-wedlock by two kids who had no intention of becoming parents--in other words, he was a "mistake." But his mama decided two wrongs couldn't make a right (meaning she'd already erred in having premarital sex; terminating the pregnancy wouldn't erase that wrong and would only add to her regrets), so she saw the pregnancy to completion. Would her life be less complicated and with fewer responsibilities if she'd chosen abortion? Maybe. But I can tell you whole-heartedly that this little boy has brought her tremendous joy. She told me recently, "I can't imagine my life without him." And neither can I. You see, this little guy calls me Gramma, and I can't wait to see what he grows up to be.

I believe God has a purpose and plan for every life. When we snuff out a life before he or she is even born, what kind of blessing are we denying that child…as well as ourselves? The Bible is quite clear on God’s opinion of taking a life--He says don’t do it. I can’t waver on this issue.

Secondly, at the presidential debate at the college campus, an observer posed a question concerning whether or not the candidate, if elected, would approve the nation going to the defense of Israel were that country attacked. McCain stated that he would unquestionably defend Israel; Obama skirted the issue. That gave me chills. If America turns its back on Israel, God’s chosen people, then heaven help us. I believe part of the reason America has become such a mighty nation is because of our allegiance to Israel.

While standing in the grocery store line a few days ago, I listened to a conversation between two men who were discussing the candidates. Finally one of the men laughed and said, “Well, since I don’t really want either one of them, I’m just gonna do a write-in for Captain Kangaroo and leave it at that.” I had to bite my tongue not to give him a lecture on civic responsibility. This isn’t a laughing matter. Too much is on the line. Our next leader will most likely place several Supreme Court justices into power. Those individuals will make decisions that will impact us and our children for years to come. We must make informed, responsible decisions.

Psalm 111:10 tells us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” I believe every Christian should be standing right now in fear and reverence before God, seeking wisdom, and following His precepts. Sometimes we get swept away by one thought (this election’s premise seems to be “change”) and we neglect seeing the big picture. Of course there are things in America that need to change, but I sincerely hope in our quest to see something different we don’t sacrifice something precious, like our Christian convictions.

You don’t have to agree or disagree with me. I just felt the need to unburden my heart and to encourage each of you to be in prayer for our nation, for our next leader, for our next generations. Please exercise your right to vote, and vote responsibly. The choices we make today will impact us for a thousand tomorrows. Thanks for listening to my heart.

(BTW, I haven’t forgotten last week’s contest in honor of reconnecting with my “little sis” Lisbeth. Hubby drew a name from the hat, and the winner for a Kim Vogel Sawyer book is LASHAUNDA! Please contact me--kim at kimvogelsawyer.com--so we can arrange shipment of your book of choice. Thank you!)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Results On My Neck Surgery--God is GOOD!

I'm thrilled to be able to share that the surgeon looked at the MRI results and decided I'm not a candidate for immediate surgery on my neck. Wahoo!!! No pain, no big cost to cover the insurance deductible, no down time. God is Indeed GOOD!

My pain level from the bulging disks is very low and he said that unless it gets worse, there's no reason to do invasive surgery. There's no danger of permanent nerve damage, which was my biggest concern. I just need to be aware of things that can trigger a flare up of pain, and avoid those as much as possible.

Thank you to those who prayed for me and encouraged me while I waited on my appt with the surgeon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rachel Hauck’s, Love Starts With Elle!


Love Starts With Elle! By Rachel Hauck

First the fun news! You can win a copy of Rachel's new book by posting a comment here:
http://www.rachelhauck.com/2008/10/love-starts-with-elle-blog-tour.html


I'm reading this second book in Rachel's series right now and LOVING IT! I thoroughly enjoyed her first book, Sweet Caroline, but I think this one is going to top it. Here's some info about the story line and the balance of the book tour, as well as a picture of Rachel.

About Rachel: Rachel Hauck is the author of ten, going on eleven novels, and has recently become an "acclaimed" author. (Yeah, funny how that happened. Some dude found her lottery stub stuck to the bottom of his shoe and tried to "acclaim" her. But her husband refused to pay out.)

Since then, she's gone on to become a best selling author of Sweet Caroline.

Living in central Florida with her husband of sixteen and a half years, one sweet little dog and one ornery cat, Rachel is a graduate of Ohio State University and a huge Buckeye football fan. One day she hopes to stand on the sidelines next to Coach Tressel as a famed, acclaimed best selling OSU alumni, beloved for her work in literature and letters. (She's written at least a couple hundred letters in her life time.)

Her current release, Love Starts With Elle (July 2008, Thomas Nelson) is set in the South Carolina lowcountry, and earned 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic Times Book Club.

Look for her next release next spring, The Sweet By and By, the first book in the Born To Fly series with award winning country artist, Sara Evans.

Of the writing journey, Rachel says, "I'm humbled by the amazing things God is doing in my life. I love what I do, and am so privileged to work with Thomas Nelson fiction and am excited to see what God has in store for all of His authors and writers. Just keep praying and writing!"

Visit her blog and website at http://www.rachelhauck.com

About the book:

Elle's living the dream-but is it her dream or his?

Elle loves life in Beaufort, South Carolina-lazy summer days on the sand bar, coastal bonfires, and dinners with friends sharing a lifetime of memories. And she's found her niche as the owner of a successful art gallery too. Life is good.

Then the dynamic pastor of her small town church sweeps her off her feet. She's never known a man like Jeremiah-one who breathes in confidence and exhales all doubt. When he proposes in the setting sunlight, Elle hands him her heart on a silver platter.

But Jeremiah's just accepted a large pastorate in a different state. If she's serious about their relationship, Elle will take "the call," too, leaving behind the people and place she loves so dearly. Elle's friendship with her new tenant, widower Heath McCord, and his young daughter make things even more complicated.

Is love transferrable across the miles? And can you take it with you when you go?

Buy the book Link: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Starts-Elle-Rachel-Hauck/dp/1595543384?&camp=212361&creative=383841&linkCode=wss&tag=sprightly-20

Blog Tour Post and Schedule link: http://www.rachelhauck.com/2008/10/love-starts-with-elle-blog-tour.html (Please include this link on your post, so that your readers can follow the tour!)

10/10

Martha at Our Family's Adventures

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Martha/

Robin at Writing Between Sundays

http://wwwwritingbetweensundays.blogspot.com

Trish at Books for Moms

http://www.booksformoms.blogspot.com/

Sunny at Life in the Estrogen Ocean

http://estrogen-ocean.blogspot.com/

10/11

Deborah at A Cup of Joy

http://acupofjoy.wordpress.com/

Amy at Amy’s Random Thoughts

http://www.amychristopher.blogspot.com

Amy at The 160 Acre Woods

http://the160acrewoods.wordpress.com/

Mindy at Ponderings of the Heart

http://philippians4verse8.blogspot.com:80/

10/13

Melody at Kids, Cakes, Dishes, Laundry…In That Order

http://www.kidscakesdisheslaundry.blogspot.com

Pam at Without Fear

http://withoutfear08.blogspot.com/

Tasra at Real Women Scrap

http://realwomenscrap.blogspot.com

Margaret at The Cappuccino Life

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/cappuccinosmom/profile/

10/14

Sarah at Real Life

http://www.reallifeblog.net

Jamie at Surviving the Chaos

http://www.survivingthechaos.blogspot.com

Miralee at Coming Home

http://www.miraleesdesk.blogspot.com

DeeDee at Fiddle DeeDee

http://fiddledeedee.net

10/15

Tricia at It's Real Life

http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com

Christina at …And Everything Else

http://christina-everythingelse.blogspot.com/

Jill at Christian Work At Home Moms

http://blog.cwahm.com

Laura at LightHouse Academy

http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/

10/16

Michelle at Edgy Inspirational Author

http://www.edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com

Melissa at Breath of Life

http://breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com/

Amy at Sprightly

http://sprightly-amyanne.blogspot.com

Kate at A Simple Walk

http://asimplewalk.blogspot.com/

10/17

Joy at Five J's

http://fivejs.wordpress.com

Kathie at Strolling

http://takingastroll.blogspot.com

Julie at Booking Mama

http://bookingmama.blogspot.com/

Karen at Sky High View

http://www.sky-highview.blogspot.com

10/18

Karla at Looking Towards Heaven

http://karlascrazylife.blogspot.com

Patty at Fresh Brewed Writer

http://freshbrewedwriter.blogspot.com/

Teresa at Joy in the Journey

http://www.teresaslack.blogspot.com

Virginia at Book Reviews

http://www.virginiasmith.typepad.com/bookreviews/

10/20

Revka at Our Family Porch

http://ourfamilyporch.blogspot.com

Lauren at Baseballs and Bows

http://baseballsandbows.blogspot.com/

Camy at Camy's Loft

http://camys-loft.blogspot.com/

Beth at The Witing Road

http://thewritingroad.blogspot.com/

10/21

Kristy at Southeast Country Wife

http://southeastcountrywife.blogspot.com/

Susan at Scribbles

http://susanmaywarren.typepad.com/scribbles/

Patty at Girlfriends in God

http://patty-girlfriendsingod.blogspot.com



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An Awesome Read by Leanna Ellis


Lookin' Back Texas
By
Leanna Ellis

Women's fiction with a touch of humor....and a lot of depth.

No, not the type of depth that you have force yourself to read, I'm talking things that, while touching, funny, and faced paced reading, still make you think. This was one of the best books I've read this year. Here's the write up from Leanna.

Betty Lynne Davidson is planning her husband’s funeral while overlooking one thing: he’s not dead.

When Suzanne Mullins, forty-two, gets the call from her father to come back home to Texas because her mother has gone off the deep end, she knows it will mean having to look at the faulty foundations of their marriage as well as her own. Betty Lynne has always upheld a perfect facade of home and family, and Suzanne has followed suit. But her life with husband Mike and son Oliver is cracking under the pressure of its own unspoken history.

Looking her past in the eye once and for all, Suzanne hopes that trusting in God’s love and mercy will set all of this craziness straight—even if it does mean having to watch her father give the eulogy at his own funeral.


Here's the link at Amazon where you can purchase your own copy of this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Lookin-Back-Texas-Leanna-Ellis/dp/0805446974/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223405995&sr=1-2


And Here's Leanna's Web Site addy where you can find out about more of her books.

http://www.leannaellis.com


A few endorsements by authors you might recognize.

"What a hoot! Leanna Ellis has a gift for storytelling and for quirky, fun, eccentric characters entirely true to the human experience."
Arlene James Author of His Small-Town Girl

“In a smooth pairing of wit and grit, Leanna Ellis weaves a tale of flawed relationships and crippling regrets with wonderfully timed comedic threads. A fresh, clever look at the audacity of love that forgives.”
Susan Meissner, Author of Blue Heart Blessed

“An entertaining tale, full of rich characters and a deep lesson about healing the past. Leanna Ellis is on my reading list from here on out.”
Rachel Hauck, Author of Sweet Caroline and Diva NashVegas

“A wacky, off-the-wall read that’s spiritually right on target!”
Cathy Marie Hake, Author of Forevermore and Fancy Pants

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Devotion by Max Lucado


“the One who came still comes and the One who spoke still speaks”


October 6


Reasons for Joy

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)


“How’s life?” someone asks.


And we who’ve been resurrected from the dead say, “Well, things could be better.” Or “Couldn’t get a parking place.”


Or “My parents won’t let me move to Hawaii,” Or “People won’t leave me alone so I can finish my sermon on selfishness.”…


Are you so focused on what you don’t have that you are blind to what you do?


You have a ticket to heaven no thief can take,

an eternal home no divorce can break.

Every sin of your life has been cast to the sea.

Every mistake you’ve made is nailed to the tree.

You’re blood-bought and heaven-made.

A child of God—forever saved.

So be grateful, joyful—for isn’t it true? What you don’t have is much less that what you do.


From: A Love Worth Giving

Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2002)
Max Lucado

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Families in Crisis

Can Fiction Impact a Marriage or Family?

Why would anyone want to read Christian fiction? What purpose could it serve other than entertainment? Is it a waste of time for those of us who look for help and answers for our marriages, families and daily lives?

I've heard those questions asked by people who typically only read self help books, or Christian living. Here are just a few comments from reader's that have contacted me after reading my first book, The Other Daughter. I'm keeping their identities private, but their comments speak to a deep need in their lives and the impact fiction had on that need.

"The message of turning your life over to God and trusting Him has always been difficult for me and it was nice to hear that Susanne had the same problem. I often turn problems over and then take them back with fear and worry. Thanks for reinforcing the message of what God can do when you turn everything over to Him."

Thanks for this book. There are references in it that have helped me get through something difficilt in my life. The pastors reference to letting go and moving on was just what I needed.....It's funny to think the God made me pick up this book to read at just the right time.

I can relate to the theme of this book about turning your life over to something or someone higher than you! The characters and storyline seemed very realistic to me and I wondered if you based this book on a personal experience. Either way it was very real and touched my heart.

I loved it! It is a wonderful story of David and Susanne's struggle along the way..... I know how hard it is when the other spouse is not a Christian, nor has any desire for God. But when God closes a door, He opens another, it may not be what we want, but is what He wants for us.

ALL the books I write, whether women's fiction, historical romance, or contemporary romance, are designed with the needs of the reader in mind. Yes, they are partially written to entertain, but lifting up the name of Jesus is my primary goal. A strong spiritual thread is always present and hopefully the message contained within will touch hearts and impact lives. Christian fiction CAN make a difference, and I hope you'll be willing to try one of mine in the future.



The Other Daughter released last winter and is available in bookstores or on Amazon, CBD, or Barnes and Noble...all online.


My second book, Love Finds You In Last Chance, California, releases in February of 2009. It's available for pre-order on Amazon now, and your credit card won't be charged until it ships.
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