Sunday, April 5, 2020

Waiting and Learning by Heidi Dru Kortman



Text: Romans 8:18-19, 23-25

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. …we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

            I have a long way to go to match the Apostle Paul’s level of maturity. He had his physical sufferings, and admitted them. I have mine, and whine. Paul refused to compare his circumstances with anything. I regularly compare my limitations with other physical talents. Paul looked forward to glory then as I do now, but I sometimes find it hard to believe that any glory hides behind my body or inner being.
            
Creation waits to see the identities of the sons of God. I often wonder if the Holy Spirit is producing any fruit in me. I am eager for the redemption of my body. I often joke with my friends that in heaven I will be a gymnast, dancer, or skater—anything graceful. Of course, Paul means that after the resurrection or Christ’s return, we will receive bodies like our Savior’s, to match the changed hearts and attitudes the Holy Spirit gives.
          
  This is almost more a matter of curiosity for me than hope. I am not sure how to hope for such a mystery. Waiting I can understand. I do it every minute of every day; so do you. Patience is something I’m still working on. My inner self is more likely to jump up and down in a temper tantrum and scream “I want it now!” Of course, God doesn’t see it that way, and if I really tried jumping in rage, I’d more than likely wind up prone on the floor.

            How can I move beyond such infantile behavior and make the best possible use of this waiting time? One of the best ways is through prayer. Not for myself, but for others. Paul often mentioned the time he spent praying about others’ needs. Ephesians 3:14-21 is an excellent passage, full of specific requests and praise for God’s character. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (vs. 20-21).

            Prayer:

            Lord, you alone truly know Your intent for us. Give us glimpses now and then, that our patience and endurance may grow strong, until the moment that we join You, or You return to us again. Jesus, we pray for the glory of Your kingdom. Amen.





Heidi Dru Kortman DTM
God's gifts and call are irrevocable.

Heidi Dru Kortman, a CWG Apprentice graduate, ACFW member since 2004, and Word Weaver member has published devotionals in various newsletters, and a collected volume of devotionals. Her poetry, flash fiction, and short stories have appeared in small magazines, and a website. She is applying herself to the task of writing smoothly polished fiction.






Saturday, April 4, 2020

Forever Hidden (The Treasures of Nome)

Forever Hidden 

(The Treasures of Nome #1)




Friday, April 3, 2020

Four Ways to Build Your Marriage During Social Distancing by Rob Flood


This is such a unique time in which we are living. No one could have foreseen this global COVID-19 pandemic, nor the ripple effect on economies and the daily life of people across the globe. The spread of the coronavirus and all of the related shutdowns have brought us to a stark dichotomy. While we are separating from the rest of the world through social distancing, we are spending constant time with our immediate families. In real time, many are experiencing the opposing truths of two well-known cultural proverbs, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and “Familiarity breeds contempt.”
But for the Christian marriage, for the marriage that seeks to bring God great honor and reflect Christ’s relationship with the church, we have the opportunity to throw those cultural proverbs into a blender. Christian marriages can create a new proverb: “Familiarity makes the heart grow fonder.”
As God ordained our marriages, he created one flesh out of two people. And, in times like this, we have the golden opportunity to live daily as one flesh in increased ways. This begs a very important question—what can we do to build into our marriages during this time of social distancing and isolation?
Here are four ways you can build your marriage during social distancing.
1.     Create Memories. A lack of time together often keeps us from making great memories. Work schedules, long commutes, soccer practice, dance lessons, and social obligations often limit our time with our spouses. For many of us, this pandemic has drastically changed our schedules and has opened up an unlimited amount of togetherness. Take advantage of that opportunity by packing a picnic lunch and throwing a blanket on your lawn. Make your own movie theater popcorn and watch a new movie. Share your favorite memes with one another and enjoy the gift of laughter. Take a virtual tour of a museum together.
2.     Catch Up on Conversations. If your marriage is anything like mine, there are important topics that can get bumped down the to-do list. This is a perfect time to catch up. Create a list of all of the things you need to discuss, both important and mundane, heavy and light, as well as personal and family-related business. Then pick a time of the day or a day of the week and gradually work through the list. If you don’t complete a conversation, that’s okay. You have tomorrow or next week to continue. You’ll be amazed at the growth God creates in your marriage when you discuss the things you’ve put off for weeks, months, or years. As both husband and wife earnestly desire to please God in these conversations, you’ll find more than sufficient grace from above to be make these times constructive.
For this idea in particular, you’ll find helpful tips in my book, With These Words: Five Communication Tools for Marriage and Life. It will provide help and guidance as you catch up on conversations.
3.     Learn Together. Find some common areas of interest and learn something new. Read a book together on the topic or watch a related YouTube video or listen to a podcast. Also consider areas of your walk with Christ where you can learn together. Maybe you’ve heard your pastor share a number of quotes from an author you found helpful. This is a great time to get one of his or her books and read it. Perhaps you want to grow as a couple in a specific spiritual discipline, or joy, or contentment, or evangelism. Get recommendations for a resource from your pastor or a trusted friend and get busy learning side-by-side.
4.     Develop Routine.  Most of us are finding our daily routines entirely disrupted. Employees are working from home. Homemakers now have a spouse in the house all of the time. The kids are not going out of the home for school and they're always underfoot. This can all result in a lack of order that can quickly generate anxiety and conflict. To combat this tendency, create a routine. Create a daily or weekly schedule for your new reality. Set aside specific time for your kids and specific time for your spouse. Keep a normal wake time and normal bedtime. Each of these practical rhythms can serve to establish a sense of normalcy and healthy relational habits.

Think Creatively
Some of these ideas will be more useful to you than others, depending on your individual situation. Use these suggestions to spur on your own creative thinking. We know that God desires us to cherish our spouse in all seasons and to grow together in Christlikeness. Hidden within this global pandemic are boundless occasions to do just that. Don’t miss them. Seize the opportunities of this unique season and come out of this crisis stronger and healthier as a married couple.
With These Words: Five Communication Tools for Marriage and Life
by
 Rob Flood is available at NewGrowthPress.com.
About the author
Rob Flood serves as a Community and Care Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, PA where his responsibilities include Marriage Ministry and Counseling. The Floods have six children who provide an array of excitement to the home by bringing their varied giftings and personalities. Together, Rob and Gina enjoy caring for marriages of all ages, opening the Word of God, and spending time with family and friends. With These Words is his first book.

Follow Rob Flood’s blog at robfloodauthor.home.blog/.
He can also be found on Facebook (@RobFloodAuthor)Twitter (@RobFloodAuthor) and Instagram (@RobFloodAuthor).

 





Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Heartbreaker (Amish Country Brides)

The Heartbreaker 

(Amish Country Brides #2) 

Paperback – ebook

March 16, 2020



  • Paperback: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Blessed Publishing
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940492513

To Miriam Yoder, Michael Eicher is everything she doesn’t want. Prideful, cocky, arrogant. A defector of the Amish life. Why would a gut Amish woman like Miriam even consider being his friend again? Especially after what he’d put her through—professing his affection then skipping town. She didn’t have the heart to go through that again. It was easier to keep her heart sealed up and hidden away, than to chance vulnerability. And she’d be fool to ever trust Michael again.

Michael has lived most of his youth as an irresponsible worldly young man. But when he’s forced to return home, his eyes are opened to the community he’s neglected. He’s only genuinely cared for one woman, Miriam Yoder. Will he be able to convince Miri to give him a second chance? Can this self-centered man who’d only lived for himself find something—or Someone—greater to live for?

A faith-filled story of second chances and learning what true love is, that’s sure to pull on your heartstrings.
Marilyn's Thoughts:  The characters in this book are relatable to individuals you might know. Michael lived for himself until he was faced with difficulties. Miriam was a caring individual but had been hurt. With unexpected twists and turns reality had to be faced. I enjoyed Sam, Michael’s grandfather, in the story. His faith and love would encourage individuals to listen to his wisdom.

Fans of Amish fiction will not want to miss this latest book by Jennifer Spredemann. Her stories are uplifting as she interweaves scripture and the unconditional love of God for her characters. .

I received a complimentary ARC of this book from the author and was under no obligation to write a positive review. I have shared my own opinion.





Wednesday, April 1, 2020

When God Says Go: A Devotional Thought Journal

When God Says Go: A Devotional Thought Journal 

Hardcover – 

April 1, 2020



Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Brink of Danger


Brink of Danger 

(Fog Lake Suspense Book 3) 

Kindle Edition - Paperback

by Christy Barritt  (Author)

  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 170368088X
  • Publisher: River Heights 
  • Publication Date: October 18, 2019
  • ASIN: B07Z9TRZ82

Ansley Wilder has always lived life on the wild side, using thrills to numb the pain from her past and escape her mistakes. But a near-death experience two years ago changed everything. When another incident nearly claims her life, she turns her thrill-seeking ways into a fight for survival.

My thoughts (LVH):  Fog Lake has to be one of the creepiest towns in the Great Smokies--especially if you are one of the four Wilder siblings. Ansley Wilder is a reformed wild child, one who still lived for the thrill of the moment. Now it seems someone wants to eliminate Ansley by using her "highs" to lure her to her death.

Ryan is an upright guy, the fire chief, whose job--for now--is getting Ansley out of trouble. IF he can. But as they work to find out who-dun-it, the attacks seem more vicious.

If you like creepy romantic suspense, grab one of the Fog LaKe series, such as BRINK OF DANGER. The books are all stand-alone.

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 



  • Book 1   Edge of Peril 
  • Book 2   Margin of Error
  • Book 3   Brink of Danger 
  • Book 4   Line of Duty






















  • Monday, March 30, 2020

    The House at the End of the Moor

    The House at the End of the Moor 

    Paperback – ebook

    April 1, 2020

    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press 
    • ISBN-13: 978-1643523422

    What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common?
     
    Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.
     

    Marilyn's thoughts:  A captivating read like all the other books I’ve read by Michelle Griep. This historical Christian story has dimensional strong characters, historical appeal, and spiritual tones that kept the pages turning. Maggie Lee caring for convict Oliver Ward brought twists and turns with heart pounding scenes where I was rooting for them to overcome each obstacle. I felt and was in the moment with emotions throughout all the dramatic scenes and thoughts the characters had, as the story was told from different ones. The mystery to a stolen ruby necklace gave way to the underlying themes of justice in society and forgiveness.

    Fans of historical Christian fiction with suspense, romance and adventure will not want to miss this latest book by Griep.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. I have shared my own sincere thoughts.







    Waiting and Learning by Heidi Dru Kortman

    Text: Romans 8:18-19, 23-25 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in ...