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Tuesday, September 25, 2007


If you take Godiva chocolate, a perfect day at the beach and time with your favorite people then mix it all together, that's what the ACFW conference in Dallas, Texas was this year.

I laughed until I cried, prayed and cried, and stood in awe of what God did over and over. In little things and big things, God showed up and opened my eyes once more to the fact that He sees me and He knows the plans He has for me. I don't. ;-) But I can rest in the fact that He does and those plans are good.

One person God used to reveal such healing truth and laughter like I haven't enjoyed in years was my roomie Sharon Hinck. She is truly a gift from The One and a lady I'm honored to call a friend.

If you are blessed to meet my buddy Sharon, be sure to ask her what she knows about the people in Europe who are uncomfortable. There's a tale of mammoth laughter behind that question.

Another one of my favorite people is Beth White. Beth is the first author I worked up the courage to email and she's been a friend and joy to know ever since. At her suggestion, I joined ACFW and that's been one of the most valuable pieces of advice I've followed on my writing journey.

One of the fun highlights of ACFW was getting to sit with some amazing authors for the award banquet Saturday evening. The beautiful lady in white here is Deeanne Gist. Not only can she write awesome fiction, but she can keep a table in stitches and make everyone feel valuable with her smile and kind words.

On Saturday afternoon, seventy-one ACFW authors had an incredible book signing event where I had the honor of meeting these two Shoutlife friends, Miralee Ferrell and Roseanna White.

These last two pictures show me with Kristian Tolle and Dineen Miller. I'm so honored to call these ladies friends and to have spent time together praying and laughing and being reminded that...

God hears us

God sees us

God loves us

And God never ever gives up on us.

He is good all the time and all the time, He is good.

Thank you so much for your prayers! God heard and answered abundantly.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Take a minute and smile

Hope you all enjoy this adorable video! Please pray for me as I'm in Dallas at a writer's conference. See you next week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The need to read

I have two fantastic books to give away for those of you who understand the need to read! All you have to do to be entered to win is check out the descriptions below and leave a comment.

When the Morning Comes by Cindy Woodsmall
Sisters of the Quilt Book Two

Her relationship with fiancé Paul Waddell in tatters, Hannah Lapp has fled her secluded Old Order Amish community in hopes of finding a new home in Ohio with her shunned aunt. Hampered by limited education and hiding her true identity, Hannah struggles to navigate the confusing world of the Englischers.

Back in Owl’s Perch, Pennsylvania, Paul is wracked with regret over his treatment of Hannah. Fearing for her safety, he tries to convince Hannah’s remaining allies–brother Luke, best friend Mary, and loyal Matthew Esh–to help search for his love. Hannah’s father, however, remains steadfastly convinced of her sinful behavior. His blindness to his family’s pain extends to her sister, Sarah, who shows signs of increasing instability.

Convinced her former life is irreparably destroyed, Hannah finds purpose and solace in life with her aunt and in a growing friendship with Englischer Martin Palmer. Will the countless opportunities in her new life persuade Hannah that her place is amongst the Englischers — or will she give in to her heart’s call to return home and face her past?

False Witness by Randy Singer

An Explosive Secret.

An Invaluable Code.

An Unreliable Witness.

Three ambitious law students at a local legal aid clinic watch as their routine case representing a man named David Hoffman ignites an incendiary trail of deception and betrayal. A member of the witness protection program, Hoffman has defrauded the government and eluded the Mob’s pursuit of his stunning secret: a coded algorithm capable of crippling the Internet and disarming national security.

Because of the intense threat posed by such a code, federal agents want Hoffman dead or alive. But the Mob wants him alive, more than willing to obtain the algorithm by whatever means necessary. And the would-be lawyers–caught in the middle of this deadly triangle–must overcome their differences and work together if they’re to survive long enough to graduate.

Bestselling author Randy Singer offers up his most dynamic legal thriller yet in a story based on his own real-life experience as an attorney assisting the U.S. Witness Protection Program. With page-turning suspense and heart-stopping twists, False Witness delivers on every level.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Nice Award

My friend Sharon Hinck recently tagged me with this "nice" award.

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

I'm pretty excited to be given this award from a dear friend. And now I get to pay it forward and pass along some encouragement to others...

First to my best friend, Jen, who inspires, challenges and loves me anyway.

To Heather who is by far one of the most inspiring people I know with her honesty, faith, and giving heart. She embodies the essence of heart chocolate perfectly.

Sally is another dear friend and blogger who prays for me, loves me, and makes me laugh. She's definitely a total heart chocolate friend too.

My Aussie friend, Rel, is another lady I'm honored to know. Her emails touch my heart and her blogs give me tons of great ideas for good books.

Christy is another dear friend whose blogs I enjoy, but even more our in real life friendship.

Another truly nice, wonderful and inspiring person is my blog friend, Dineen, who I'll get to see in less than two weeks~ yeah!

My dear friend, Laurie, is another inspiring woman I'm privileged to know.

My public thanks to these great folks for making the blog world a fun and encouraging place to hang out.

Anyone you'd like to say thanks to and share some words of encouragement? There's no time like the present to pass along the love.

Friday, September 07, 2007

FAITH today

Want a sneak peek into Healing Promises and some answers to never before asked questions about me?

Then come check out the F.A.I.T.H. blog today where Christy Smith and I are talking about the first two Defenders of Hope books, writing conference preparation, fun plans for my homeschool year, fave books past and present, music and more!

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hearing the Lord

There are days I wonder if my prayers are more than words trailing on the wind. My middle daughter struggles with this too, often puzzled when it seems like God doesn't answer her prayers.

We've had plenty of deep conversations on this issue. And many times I have to admit I don't understand or have the answers. But I do know that God is good and He promises to answer our prayers the absolute best way and in the best time.

It was hard to believe that when I prayed for a friend's healing for three long years and my friend still died.

It was hard to believe that when I prayed for years for my parent's not to divorce and they still did.

So I didn't share with my little girl what I believe about God answering prayer lightly.

But the truth is the truth whether I understand and like the answers, or not.

Today’s experience highlighted this and reminded me that God knows exactly what our hearts need. This morning, I had a radio interview with a Canadian station and my family told me they'd be praying for me as I went down to my office to prepare.

Little did any of us know that God had far more in mind than notes reviewed in preparation.

But my family prayed.

And God answered.

He stopped my plans and invited me to deal with some issues I'd been trying to sweep under the rug for days now. Relationship issues that I didn't want to talk to Him about.

But He's not dissuaded by my avoidance.

And He knew I needed to talk to Him and hear the truth or I’d never be able to share my heart and His words honestly in this interview.

After many prayers and tears later, the interview went amazingly well. So when I came upstairs to let them know, I wasn't surprised at my girls dancing around and being happy for me. What struck me was my middle daughter's song.

"God answered my prayers. God answered my prayers. He heard me!"

Wow. If I hadn't listened and obeyed the Lord’s invitation to deal with things, my little one would have missed an incredible experience of knowing God heard and answered her prayers.

I've been thinking about that throughout the day in terms of my writing too. Most of you know it's not been a walk in the park experience. Often, I've prayed for the people who would read the Defenders of Hope books and wondered if God heard. I've also wondered if I’d heard Him as I wrote and if He would really use these books to touch hearts.

Last night and today I received that answer loud and clear. A dear friend had posted a blog so honest and so poignant that it pierced me. She talked about how God used Ransomed Dreams to show her that "feeling not good enough, abandoned, and helpless are normal emotions...but they're lies."

Her blog post is beautiful in its openness and truth. And God did something huge in my heart through it.

He showed me that He'd listened. He'd heard my heart's cry. He knew my desire to see people drawn closer to Him through the books I'd written. In answer, He worked something beautiful another person's life and allowed me the privilege of seeing it.

Inside, I danced around like my middle daughter and tearfully sang, "He heard me! He really heard me and answered my prayer!"

God hears. What an amazing, simple, powerful truth.

And He answers.

Sometimes not in the way or time we'd like. But other times... wow. Other times He opens our ears and allows us to experience a concert of grace.

Today, I heard the beautiful song of a little child worshipping because she saw firsthand that God hears. And then God allowed me a turn in her shoes.

Thanks for listening to me share some happy notes of my lifesong. I pray you'll join in with your own notes of praise. No matter what sounds are swirling around you, there is always a concert of grace.

God hears you.

And He will answer.

Come join the dance.
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