Friends in the Rain

friends-wall-hangingBy Angela D. Meyer

It was really simple what these three friends did for me during the roughest time during my marriage. Yet it meant the world.

A few years ago, God allowed me to uncover my husband’s sexual addiction. Long story short, he was willing to change, we found a counselor and God restored what the enemy wanted to take from us. There was and still is a whole lot more work to it than one sentence can tell. But today, I want to tell you about three ladies who made a huge difference in my life during that season of grief and healing.

When sin creeps into your marriage, it can be a lonely place. It is tempting to isolate and not seek help. There were no support groups that I knew of for wives going through this and even though we were going to a counselor, I still longed for more supportive connections. God provided what I needed.

When I first discovered my husband’s choices, I went to my small group leader. She held me and let me cry. Then she pointed me to wise counsel. Throughout the process, she was there to encourage me, cry with me and hold me accountable to walking this through to forgiveness and healing.

Another friend, also offered a shoulder to cry on. Many times I poured my heart out to her over the consequences of my husband’s actions. One night, when I was overwhelmed with grief over my situation, she drove me around the city for an hour or more, just letting me cry until I was ready to go home.

And still another friend who I was already meeting with every month for coffee and fellowship, listened patiently, allowing me to process the pain and praying with me. She rejoiced with me as my husband and I began to heal.

It’s important as we walk through our struggles that we have friends to lean on, and these three friends gave me the support I needed. Their actions may seem small, but their kindness was immeasurable.


head-shotAngela D. Meyer, author of The Applewood Hill Series, lives in NE with her husband of 25 years and their high school daughter. Their son serves our country in the Marines. Angela enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, connecting with friends and encouraging women to grow in their faith. One of her dream spots to vacation is next to the ocean and someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon.

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Where Healing Starts

Joanna, full of bitterness over the past, can no longer ignore healing-starts-coverthe growing storm inside her and is bent on self-destruction as she seeks to ease her pain. But the refuge she seeks is always out of her reach.

Her brother Blake must choose between what has always been safe and what he has always wanted. One mistake after another leads him down a dangerous path.

The one for all, all for one sibling bond can’t help them now. They are both determined to hang onto their anger, never forgetting. Never forgiving. They see no reason to trust God.

After so many years of turmoil, will the Hannigan siblings find refuge in the God who loves them? Or will they get lost along the way?

~ ~ ~

Buy link:

Pre-buy your copy of Where Healing Starts now and receive a link to download the Kindle version of Where Hope Starts for free! Click here .

 

 

Unexpected Sources of Calm

By Ellen Andersen

I was on my way to a meeting shortly before 2:00 p.m. and was getting on the freeway at a very short on-ramp. When I merged with traffic, I heard a crunch. I’d hit someone in a smart car.  She lost control of her car and I did too.  I found myself headed backwards. I turned around and pulled off the road as fast as I could. A second later, I saw a car flip twice and land in the ditch upside down next to the freeway.  It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.  Strangers pulled off the road to help and people were on their cell phones calling 9-1-1.

People ran to the car in the ditch and a few came to check on me. One was a nurse named Sharon who asked if I was all right and offered to stay and help.  Another man came said, “Do you go to Fellowship Greenville?”  I nodded, wondering how he knew that. He said he’d seen the church window sticker.  He asked if I was ok and said he was praying for me.  I figured it was just a nice thing for him to say.  He told me a little later that he was a pastor at a local church and that he knew my pastor well and was good friends with another couple in our church.

upside-down-car

photo courtesy of pixabay

 

 

The man asked if he could call anyone for me. I handed him my cell phone and asked him to call my folks to let them know what had happened. After he gave them the details, he came back to the car and prayed with and for me that God would make me calm and give me peace. He prayed for the other person in the wreck too.

A police officer came over and asked if I was ok and I told him I didn’t know what to do. He had me sit in the car and turn the air conditioner on full blast so I wouldn’t be so hot.  When I asked, he said his name was Steven.  He stayed with me and held my hand for a long time.  I really needed that.

Nothing made the nurse come back, the pastor stop and call my parents and then pray with me. The police officer didn’t have to help me back into my car on a swelteringly hot day to help me cool off and calm down. But they did.  It made a difference in an awful time.

Small Acts of Kindness: Dedicated to Kay

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERABy Lisa Lickel

Kay and I met when she moved her family to a neighboring town and joined the church we attended. She came to ladies Bible study and fellowship, and hosted meetings at her house too. We bonded, though we are as different as night and day. After one particularly snowy evening, I bounced into our study group a little late, mentioning that I had been shoveling snow until I saw stars. I had other errands to do, and when I arrived home, you guessed it, she had come out to finish clearing my driveway. I was struggling with some minor health issues at the time, so her thoughtfulness was an extra blessing.

We’ve had many years of championing each other. My latest novel, Innocents Pray, was a topic of conversation during one of our annual mom’s camping getaway. She asked pertinent questions which helped formulate the ending. Throughout this manuscript’s rough journey to publication, my twenty-first, I am finally honored to dedicate this one to her. Thank you, Kay, for your constant love and support even during the hardest times.


lisaLisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and sometimes magazine editor. Visit http://www.LisaLickel.com.


Innocents Pray

Justice, mercy, and humbleness collide when four people pray ip-epub-cover-mediumfor different answers to the same situation. How will God answer all of them?

 What is wrong with trying to cure cancer? Brother Able, hospice chaplain, asks himself that question every day. His boss, Dr. Rich Bernard, performs closet genetic experiments at Paradise House. He blackmails Able into keeping his secret. When a grieving husband asks Able to pray for his dying wife, Able finally breaks his silence.

Libby Davis might be prepared to accept death, to sacrifice herself for Rich’s greater cause but fails to comprehend the love of a husband who cannot let her go and the son who’s a whisper from the edge of reason. Brother Able wades into battle for those innocents in her life. If he wins, it won’t be only Libby’s family he saves.

Buy on:

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/innocentspray

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2bMI9Zx

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bNnCTO

 

Outrageously Fruitful: A Free Online Bible Study

By Maria I. Morgan

Are you a project person? Projects can be fb_1200x1200_fruitful_joinstudyintimidating; especially ones that take five years. If I had known at the onset of writing, Outrageously Fruitful, a fruit of the Spirit Bible study, it wouldn’t be complete for 1825 days, I highly doubt I would have begun.

I prefer the bite-size writing projects that can be turned around quickly – the 500 word articles, blog posts, and short children’s books.  That’s my comfort zone. But crafting entries for a 10-week Bible study drew me beyond what was comfortable to what was necessary. Isn’t that just like our God?

A fruitful life

The more time I spent reading God’s Word and studying each characteristic of this spiritual fruit, the more I realized I couldn’t produce it. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance – an impressive list. Qualities that can only be reflected in my life as I yield to the Heavenly Father’s will.

Each lesson was intensely personal as I realized my need for the Holy Spirit’s help to live a fruitful life. Living the Christian life requires complete dependence on God.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, put it this way: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6; KJV).

The big picture

Solomon wrote about his need to consult God for direction in every situation. I need to take a lesson from Solomon. The life I’ve been given is about something far bigger than me – it’s about making much of Christ and pointing others to Him. In short, it’s all about Him, it’s not about me.

It was tough coming face to face with the pride in my life. I saw it in my desire for control. Even after completing the study, another scenario reminded me that the Christian life is a journey.

A misunderstanding

I had set my phone on silent. I missed my husband’s calls and the multiple texts he sent. As I cruised south on the highway I noticed a car that looked like ours parked on the side of the road. The longer I stared, the more familiar it looked. Yes, it was ours.

Slowing down, I put my blinker on and navigated to the shoulder. I pulled out my phone and noticed the missed messages. My husband’s car had run out of gas.

Maybe I’d misunderstood, but I thought he said he was going to fuel up before our lunch meeting. He wasn’t happy when I picked him up. He wondered why I hadn’t turned my phone on following the church service.

Harsh words

I got defensive and my words lashed out.

The ironic part? We were on our way to meet our pastor and his wife to discuss my book, Outrageously Fruitful –the fruit of the Spirit Bible study. Something I clearly wasn’t demonstrating.

A reminder

I can laugh at the scenario now, and it’s a fantastic reminder that I need to yield to God’s will instead of demanding my rights, in order to live a fruitful life – one that honors Him.

The apostle John put it perfectly: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5; KJV)

The Lord used a five-year project to help me remember an important truth; I need to stay connected to Christ, knowing His Spirit will produce a harvest of eternal fruit.

Are you yielded to the Lord so the Holy Spirit can produce His fruit in your life? What step will you take today to stay connected to Christ?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for who You are. Life is about You. Help me yield to You so Your Spirit can produce the right fruit in my life. Let it draw others to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You’re invited

If you’re like me, you want your life to count. Are you ready to take an honest look at your current behavior and re-focus on the Lord, so you can be outrageously fruitful for Him?

If your answer to the question above was ‘Yes!’, I’d love for you to join me each week as I teach through my Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful, on Facebook Live beginning Wednesday, September 7th at 12:00 noon (EST).

For all the details and to register click here!


042_mariamorgan__pcp5463Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She is the award-winning author of Louie’s BIG day! Regardless of the age of her audience, her goal is the same: to share God’s truth and make an eternal difference. Join her every week to navigate life’s journey together. http://www.mariaimorgan.com

 

Small Acts of Kindness: Dan

Coffee Kitchen (1)By Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Early last year, all of our warranties ended at the same time. We’d had to buy a new washer and refrigerator while the car was in the shop. When my husband became a full-time pastor, he lost about twelve hundred dollars a month. I’m not a big name Christian author and Heartsong Presents had just ended leaving four contracted books in limbo, which meant I didn’t get paid. Our resources were stretched thin.

This is when our Keurig coffee maker, a gift from a family member, decided to quit too. My husband and I are coffee drinkers. We love it so much that our kitchen is decorated in a coffee theme. We usually each drink two or three cups a day. It’s like dessert to us. Our favorite time to share a cup is in the evening when we wind down. We’re immune to the caffeine effects and are able to go right to bed afterward.

When the Keurig died, I did what people do these days—grieved it’s demise on Facebook. Dan, a wonderful church member, commented, What kind do you want? Knowing him, I didn’t want him buying us a hundred dollar gift, so I said we’d just get something cheap because the pods were too expensive anyway. Which was true.

The next day, Dan stopped by the church with a Bunn.

It makes the best coffee ever. And it’s fast. From that day on, when we share our evening coffee together, we say, “Thanks Dan.” We told him that once and he said his wife, Sandy gave him the money. So then we started thanking her too while savoring our evening cup.

A year ago yesterday, we lost Dan to cancer. We miss him. A lot.

Not to take away from his awesome wife Sandy, but when we have our evening coffee, we say. “Thanks Dan.”


The Cowboy Next Door 

A charming cowboy moving in next door shouldn’t be bad Reuniting with the Cowboy covernews. But veterinarian Ally Curtis knows Cody Warren—she’d never forget the boy who left her when she needed him most. Cody is doing everything he can to show his beautiful neighbor he’s not the wild bull rider he once was, from helping her find homes for her beloved strays, to protecting her when her business is threatened. But Cody has a secret that keeps him from fully reaching out. Yet as they continue to work together to promote her shelter, he can’t keep himself from hoping that Ally might have a home for him…in her heart.

Get your copy now:

Amazon            Christianbook          BarnesandNoble


 

Giveaway details: Comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Reuniting with the Cowboy. Ten copies will be split among names drawn during the blog tour from Sept 1 – 27. One winner will receive a Noah’s Ark themed memory board personally crafted by the author. Winners will be revealed on the author’s blog on Oct 8th.

Follow the tour: Sept 1: http://rosemccauley.com/

Sept 3 & 7: https://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com/

Sept 5: http://jenniferhallmark.com/blog/

Sept 5 –http://www.gailkittleson.com/blog/

Sept 12 & 15 – http://www.shannonvannatter.com/blog

Sept 13:  https://jenpheobus.com/

Sept 16: http://www.jamesrcallan.com/blog/

Sept 21: http://www.faithfriendschocolate.com/

Sept 27th: http://brendaandersonbooks.com/blog/


Me with my cupAward winning, central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She once climbed a mountain wearing gold wedge-heeled sandals which became known as her hiking boots.

 She has twelve published titles and is contracted for three more. Her books are available at christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, harlequin.com, and barbourbooks.com. Learn more about Shannon and her books at http://shannonvannatter.com and check out her real life romance blog at http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/ with weekly book giveaways.

Connect with her: Shannon’s Facebook, Shannon’s Goodreads, Shannon’s Pinterest, Shannon’s Twitter, and  Shannon’s Amazon Author Page.