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.

    Sunday, March 29, 2020

    Prayer Puts Things Into Perspective By Timothy Z. Witmer

    “No Worries?” We lob the phrase at others, but lie awake at night ourselves. COVID-19, the economy, our kids, our parents, our future. We struggle to pull our thoughts away from our worries, fears, and frustrations.
    When we get stuck, it’s not exactly easy to fixate on “whatever is true, noble, right and pure.” We are profoundly aware that our worries have negative consequences for our bodies, minds, and relationships. But like most real people with real problems, our thoughts keep swirling around the same issues.
    Sometimes all you can do is pray.
    Below is an excerpt from Mindscape: What to Think About Instead of Worrying. Author Tim Witmer draws from thirty years of experience in helping worried people apply Scripture to their lives to present a clear, biblical, and deeply pastoral guide to replacing worry with a new way of thinking.
    Prayer Puts Things Into Perspective
    By Timothy Z. Witmer

    On a recent trip Barb and I visited a beautiful property. One of the features on the grounds was a huge hedge maze consisting of lots of misleading turns and dead ends. It would really be easy to get lost in there. At the maze we visited, as at most similar mazes elsewhere, there was a tall platform overlooking the hedges. From this platform, an overseer could see the whereabouts of anyone in the maze. I’m sure it is there to give direction to someone who might panic as they are trying to find their way out.

    “Sometimes we too feel like we’re in a maze and don’t know which way to turn. We fear that if we take a wrong turn, it will lead to a dead end from which we might not be able to escape. When we’re feeling lost and frustrated, the Lord knows our circumstances and is eager to direct us if we’ll just ask him. Prayer puts us in touch with the One who sees the beginning from the end. The One who can give us his perspective on our worries and fears. The One who promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). The One on whom we can cast all of our cares because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

    Our verses from Philippians 4 also give us direction about the characteristics of prayer that smothers worry and how we can implement them:

    Pray specifically. Paul uses different words for “prayer” in verse 6. The first is a general word for prayer, but the second word, “supplication,” refers to an urgent specific plea. This is reinforced when he adds, “let your requests be made known to God.” I’ve heard some folks say that when they pray they don’t ask for anything for themselves. This might sound very selfless and holy, but it is wrong! The prayer Jesus taught his own disciples includes specific personal requests. It begins with praise to our Father in heaven and ends with his kingdom and power and glory; but in the middle supplications Jesus teaches us to ask God to meet our important personal needs. “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:11–13). Requests for daily provision, forgiveness, and protection are quite personal, and we are urged to bring them before the Lord regularly. This includes things we are prone to worry about. Do not be reluctant to cry out to the Lord about anything and everything.

    Pray remembering God’s goodness. You’ll also notice that Paul tells us to pray “with thanksgiving.” Praying with thanksgiving requires us to remember all of the good things the Lord has done for us and is doing for us now. After all, there are more things in your mindscape than just worry weeds. Worries might be in the foreground at the moment, but there are many other things to which you should draw your attention and for which you should be thankful. This isn’t easy because our natural tendency is to focus on our worries rather than to give thanks. When you are worried, bring your cares to the Lord, but also remember his kindness and goodness to you right now and in the past.

    Pray expecting an answer. Another reason we can pray with thanksgiving is that we can expect an answer. Sometimes the answer might not be what we expect, but the Lord has promised to answer. As many have observed, the answers the Lord gives can be “yes,” “no,” or “not yet.” We might always like a “yes” but the Lord our heavenly Father knows what is best and he will not give us something that isn’t good for us. When I was in college I thought the Lord’s plan for me was to become a famous tuba performer. Yes, that’s right—I said, a tuba performer! He had given me lots of success up to that point and I was a performance major in my college. I decided that I would audition for the United States Marine Band (The President’s Own) in Washington, DC, and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. I didn’t make either one. It was “no” and “no” from the Lord. I was disappointed, but in closing those two doors the Lord was directing me elsewhere—toward the ministry.

    Pray expecting that God will want your response, too. As we pray, the Lord might make it clear that there is something that we need to do. For example, if you’re worried about a relationship, God might lead you to have a conversation with the individual with whom you’ve had difficulties. He will certainly impress upon you the need to look for and apply for jobs if you have lost your job. New health challenges will require a change in diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Be ready to be directed toward things you might need to do regarding your situation. This leading will always be according to and consistent with his Word. If you feel that God is calling you to do something that is beyond you—pray about that as well. If he is calling you to do something, he will also give you his Spirit to do it. Pray for the Spirit to help you and direct you so that you can follow Jesus wherever he calls you to go. Fundamentally, Paul reminds us that the Lord will answer, and that we should be prepared for where that answer may lead or what that answer may call us to do.

    Prayer leads to peace. Paul tells us that the result of our prayer is that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Notice that this doesn’t promise that the problems will go away, but that even in the midst of our problems, anxiety can be replaced by peace.

    Excerpted adapted from Mindscape: What to Think About Instead of Worrying by Timothy Z. Witmer. ©2014 by New Growth Press.

    Timothy Z. Witmer, MDiv, DMin is Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has also served for more than thirty-five years in pastoral ministry, currently as the pastor of St. Stephen Reformed Church. Tim is the author of Mindscape: What to Think about Instead of WorryingThe Shepherd Leader, and The Shepherd Leader at Home.

    Want to read more? You can get a copy of Mindscape on the New Growth Press website. They are still on a regular shipping schedule. It is available in print and eBook formats.

    Visit https://newgrowthpress.com/resources-for-anxiety/
    for more resources on anxiety, worry and fear

    Saturday, March 28, 2020

    Part 1 of an interview with Paul Tautges, Author of A Small Book for the Hurting Heart

    Loss comes in many forms: the death of a loved one, unemployment due to downsizing, a relationship ripped apart by conflict or divorce, even the loss of a dream. The list goes on and on. Although the specific circumstances of each grief are as unique as the person grieving, what remains the same is the inner pain being experienced and the need to apply God’s gracious promises to each one of them.

    Grief may threaten to overtake us or destroy our joy. In A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing by Paul Tautges, men and women will see Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, who is well-acquainted with grief and sadness. Tautges walks with readers through their grief to see the one who nourishes their faith and heals their soul.

    Q: Can you tell us about the format of A Small Book for the Hurting Heart and how it is intended to be used? Who will benefit most from your devotional?

    A Small Book for the Hurting Heart is a collection of 50 brief meditations drawn from small portions of Scripture which apply God’s hope and healing to our hearts and minds in the midst of life’s losses. Second Corinthians 1:3–4 says that God comforts us, not only to meet our deepest needs by applying his healing balm to our hurts, but in order that we may be equipped to be a conduit of grace to others. Ultimately, I wrote this book to come alongside hurting people and direct them heavenward.

    The pain that accompanies loss does not subside quickly or easily. Therefore, the book is intended to be read slowly, one meditation a day, with thoughtfulness and a prayerful spirit. Each meditation ends with a suggested way to apply scriptural truth. Some readers may want to keep a journal for the purpose of interacting with these truths and responding to the applications. Most likely it will primarily be used personally, individually, but I would also love to see it read with a friend, or in a larger setting, perhaps a grief support group. This book is for anyone who is experiencing the grief that accompanies any kind of loss.

    Q: When we think about grief, we first think about the loss of a loved one? What other types of grief and loss do you speak to in the book?

    Mankind’s original sin in the garden impacted every area of human life. Therefore, nothing and no one remains untouched by our fallenness. When Adam and Eve chose to go their own way—away from the goodness of God’s design and the peacefulness of walking in his presence—the door was opened to an untold number of traumatic experiences and griefs. As a result, our losses come in many, many forms.

    Of course, there’s loss through the death of a spouse, child, or other loved one. But there’s also the loss of relationships through conflict, betrayal, estrangement, divorce, or a move across the country; loss of financial security due to business failure, foreclosure, or long-term unemploy­ment; loss of innocence and dignity through abuse, loss of health or personal dreams because of disability or terminal illness. And the list goes on and on. Though the specific circumstances of our griefs are as unique as each of us, what remains the same is the inner pain we experience and the need to apply God’s gracious promises to each one of them.

    Q: You’ve served not only as a pastor and counselor, but as a hospice chaplain. Does the weight of the grief of those around you ever become overwhelming?

    Yes, bringing God’s comfort to those who are hurting can become overwhelming. So, personally, I have to consciously remind myself that, though I am one of the means that God uses to spread comfort to others, I’m not the ultimate comforter. God is our tender and faithful Father, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and the Holy Spirit is the comforter whom Jesus sent. The Spirit is also the divine author of Scripture, which indicates one of the chief ways that the comfort of God is brought to our hearts; that is, through Scripture.

    God’s Word has the power to heal. It applies grace to our deepest hurts, since it is the voice of the one who created us and redeems us through Christ. This is key to not becoming swallowed up by grief—my own or that of others. Our role as comforters is to faithfully come alongside others in order to walk through their valley of loss with them, but God is ultimately the healer of their hurts.

    Q: Grief has struck your own family in a deep way recently. Would you mind sharing about your own grief journey?

    Only God knew that between the time that I first submitted the manuscript for this book and today, our family would experience significant loss. Two losses we felt most acutely were the deaths of a loving, godly father, and our infant granddaughter who lived for only 45 minutes outside of her mother’s womb. Both of those losses took the wind out of our sails for a time. But in the valley of sorrow, we anchored our faith to three stabilizing truths drawn from three portions of Scripture.

    First, God ordains the length of each person’s life, even before they are born (Psalm 139:16). Second, death is a defeated enemy (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). Third, grief hurts, but God’s comfort is real. Indeed, he is the God of all comfort who comforts us in any affliction (2 Corinthians 1:3–4). Knowing and embracing these truths does not eliminate all of the pain but applies God’s healing grace while reminding us to look forward to the day when God will wipe away every tear and make all things new (Revelation 21:4–5).

    Q: Grief can tempt us to want immediate answers to our pain which may result in thinking that God has forgotten us or is far away. What biblical truths can we choose to focus on during the times we have unanswered questions?

    It’s helpful for us to remember that God’s ways are impossible for our finite minds to fully comprehend, but he is always wise and good. In Deuteronomy, Moses writes, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV). We cannot know all that he is doing in and through our suffering. But we can know the truths revealed in his Word, one of which is that God is “good and [does] good” (Psalm 119:68). The hand of Providence is mysterious, but there is no reason to ever doubt his love for us (Romans 8:31–37). Loss gives us the opportunity to embrace this truth and rest in the Lord.

    We can also choose to remember that, though God’s purposes may be unknown to us, he is the rock in whom we can always trust. Like King David, we can em­brace this truth: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2). In addition to being our refuge and strength, the Lord is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He is always present with us. We can al­ways run to him in our time of need.

    Q: What are some things you can do to minister to someone who is hurting?

    Move in closer. Be present. Listen much and speak little. And when you do speak, try to simply acknowledge their pain, and assure them of your love. Say something simple, but genuine, like, “I’m sorry. This must hurt really badly.” Give them the freedom to grieve in their own way and according to their own timetable. Grief is common to us all, yet it is unique. Whatever you do, avoid doing nothing! Don’t avoid the grieving person because of your own fears and insecurities. Acknowledge their loss. Try to feel their pain.

    Sometimes, we as Christians think we always have to say something profound or super spiritual. We mean well, but that may not be what a grieving person needs the most. Instead, they just need to believe that you truly care. They need you to overcome your fear of not knowing what to say, which pushes you away from them and validates the sense of isolation they already feel. When the time is appropriate, then ask the Lord to help you graciously speak healing words of truth with care.

    Q: If you could share just one piece of encouragement about grief to those you counsel or to readers, what would it be?

    Whatever your grief, whatever your pain, whatever your loss, there is comfort available. This comfort is rooted in the character and work of the Trinity. God the Father is attentive to your every loss, and he loves and cares for you. Jesus Christ the Son of God is the com­passionate and understanding Savior who ex­perienced grief in every way imaginable. And the Holy Spirit is the heaven-sent comforter who brings you into the body of Christ, and skillfully applies the words of Scripture to your heart for the sake of inner healing.

    Don’t allow the enemy to take advantage of your grief and hurt, and push or pull you away. Lean into the Lord. He will meet your needs. He will fill your heart and mind with His enduring hope and peace. One of the primary ways the Holy Spirit will do this is through daily meditation on Scripture. As you regularly spend time in the Word of God, you will gradually experience its healing, hope-filled balm. Then, as you are comforted from the promises of Scripture, look for ways to pass on the help you receive to others who are hurting.
    A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing
    By Paul Tautges
    March 9, 2020 / Retail Price: $17.99
    Print ISBN: 978-1-64507-060-3
    RELIGION/Christian Life/Spiritual Growth
    About the author
    Paul Tautges, DMin, is pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. He is also a recognized leader in biblical counseling and has authored many books on topics related to pastoral ministry, counseling, and parenting.

    He is an adjunct college professor and ACBC fellow. In addition to writing regularly on his blog, Counseling One Author, Tautges has written for Crosswalk and Biblical Counseling Coalition.

    Tautges has been married to Karen for thirty-two years. Together they cherish their ten children and growing tribe of grandchildren.

    Learn more at www.counselingoneanother.com. Tautges can also be found on Twitter (@PaulTautges).

    Friday, March 27, 2020

    Part 2 of an interview with Robert J. Nash, Author of Last Words

    In Last Words, a powerful, moving book by author Robert J. Nash explores a fresh perspective on a familiar event, guiding readers into the forgiveness, hope, comfort, and compassion of Christ's words in his final moments on earth.

    While pivoting history, Jesus graciously offers encouragement for Christians today and hope for seekers looking for significance in his death. In this glimpse into the heart of Jesus, Nash helps men and women find historical truths about Jesus's love for the church in his death and resurrection.

    (Read the full interview here.)

    Q: Jesus knew what was going to happen and why it needed to happen. Why did he ask, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    First of all, Jesus’s word about forsaking was a quote from Psalm 22. I think Jesus was quoting the whole Psalm in his head. We think more than we speak. Psalm 22 was messianic from beginning to the end. It predicted so much of what was happening to Christ in those moments. Verse 8 described Jesus’s persecutors mocking him. Verse 15 described his dry mouth—verse 16 talked about them piercing him. Verse 18 says they gambled for his clothes. The end of the Psalm is victorious, looking forward to his resurrection. It even describes rescue, and the earth and future generations acknowledging and worshiping. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” is the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface was a heart that genuinely was wrestling with this work. We get Jesus’s battle the day before in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus prayed there for God to remove this cup. The cup is God’s wrath.

    Some of what happens at the moment Jesus asked why God had forsaken him was a mystery. How was the one God three? How did the Father forsake the Son? What was happening? We know that those who sin die. The scriptures say, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23). We know God took on his own wrath in this one death for all who would believe. In this forsaking, Jesus took on something far worse than nerve endings exploding in pain and choking. The spiritual suffering must have been unimaginable.

    We come away from this even more comforted that Jesus did what we will never have to do. He bore God’s just fury for our redemption. We will never be forsaken. We will never face God’s wrath. God will never punish us for something Jesus has paid.

    Q: How did saying, “I thirst,” express Jesus’s humanity?

    Remember, the last time we know Jesus had a drink was the night before. It was a Passover meal. He had sweet wine. He must have been thirsty. As humans, 60% of our bodies are made of water. Without water, we die. Jesus knew this need. His thirst flowed from what we know about Jesus from other passages: he was fully human.

    He was one of us. He relates. Another thing to remember in Jesus’s thirst is its prophetic connection. The Messiah needed to be fully human to take our place and pay the price for our sins. The exchange rate was a human for a human. Jesus redeemed us by taking our place.

    When it comes to connecting with Christ, we all have longings. We crave, desire, wish for things. Jesus thirsted for water. His thirst gives us not only a theological reality to ponder but a connection with him as savior.

    Q: What exactly was finished at the cross?

    When I originally wrote this, I found some thirty different implications of the cross. They can overlap, so I boiled them down to seven: Jesus taking our sin, forgiving us, redeeming us, cleansing us, bringing us near, delivering us, and giving us a mission.

    I found it so worshipful to read through scripture and see what Jesus accomplished at the cross. I sifted through scriptural descriptions of what Jesus did and mulled that over and over in my head. God has a “crazy love,” as Francis Chan has said.

    We live such transactional lives. God offered a radically different love with the cross. At the cross, he took our sin. It is gone. He paid the consequence for our sins. It is paid for. He owns us. We are his. We have become sons and daughters of the King of Kings. With that change in status, we have an inheritance and present power.

    Q: What were Christ’s very last words on the cross?

    Jesus says a prayer to God his Father, “Into your hands, I commit my spirit.” So, Jesus begins how he ends. He talks to God as the Father. He no longer is calling him God, who forsook him. Those words are intimate. He goes back to God.

    I took this chapter to explore what the rest of the Bible talks about the Fatherhood of God. Jesus has a closeness to the Father that we dare not have. He is looking forward to meeting God. He calls him “Abba.” We, too, can be close to God because of what Jesus did there at the cross.

    Not everyone is close to their biological dad. Some don’t have a living dad, and some don’t have a loving dad. God is eternal and loving. That is encouraging no matter who your father was or is.

    Q: In the final pages of Last Words, you challenge your readers by asking them, “How do you sum up Jesus’s last words on the cross?” How do you answer that question?

    The last words are about the gospel. In the end, I summarize it poetically with eight syllables and couplets rhyming without repeating a rhyme. It was enjoyable and worshipful.

    I think you can summarize the event of that Friday with many mediums—music, art, or my daughter likes to dance. You could dance it out. (You don’t want me to do that. I dance like Will Ferrell. That wouldn’t be pretty or reverent.) Find a way to express your thoughts that works for you. In this chapter, I challenge the reader to take time to follow suit.

    Learn more at robertjnash.com. He can also be found on Facebook (Robert J. Nash) and Twitter (@RobertJNash1)
    Last Words: Seven Sayings from the Heart of Christ on the Cross
    By Robert J. Nash
    January 27, 2020 / Retail Price: $13.99
    Print ISBN: 978-1-64507-040-5
    RELIGION/Christian Life/Spiritual Growth
    About the author
    Robert J. Nash grew up in a family of doctors in Rochester, Minnesota, and thought his life would follow the same path. He went to Wheaton College planning to pursue medicine but left with a heart for pastoral ministry.

    Following college, he worked in youth ministry and pursued a Master’s of Divinity degree from Bethel Seminary. While working on his degree, he served as a chaplain at Bethesda Hospital and met his wife, Katie. Since that time, the Nashes helped plant a church in Minnesota before moving to Michigan to pursue full-time ministry.

    Nash currently serves as a pastor at Sawyer Highlands Church in Southwest Michigan. He has a heart for missions and has traveled to several countries for short-term mission trips.

    Rob and Katie have six kids that he enjoys coaching in baseball and soccer.  He also loves teaching, reading, running, and traveling with his family.

    Learn more at robertjnash.com. He can also be found on Facebook (Robert J. Nash) and Twitter (@RobertJNash1)

    Thursday, March 26, 2020

    A People Chosen Kick-Off Package and #giveaway!!!

    About the Book

    Book:  A People Chosen
    Author: Karen Engle
    Genre:  Non – Fiction / Christian / Bible Study
    Release Date: March, 2017
    Is God finished with the Jewish people? Understanding Israel according to the Bible and not the media, political views, or personal opinion sheds incredible light on why Israel and the Jewish people exist today. God is not finished with the tiny nation and has a great purpose and plan for Israel that will impact the world. A People Chosen: God’s Purpose and Plan for Israel and the Nations is a self-guided eight-lesson Bible study. You will learn about the creation of Israel in Genesis, God’s promises to Israel and the nations, Israel’s scattering and current regathering to Israel, the return of King Jesus to rule and reign from Jerusalem, and why Israel is pivotal in God’s plan of redemption. It is a love story of faithfulness, mercy, and justice. It is the story of a people chosen by God to be a conduit for God’s blessings to all mankind. It is a weighty call, and it has not come without a price.
     Marilyn's review: This is a masterful and winsome in depth Bible study of God’s chosen people. I’ve read and listened to ministers teach about events concerning Israel and God’s chosen people, but this study and the magnitude of research, scriptural references, historical happenings enlighten further why Israel plays a part in the end times as written in God’s Word .  God’s people will arise despite all that has happened by trying to silence and destroy them, but His Word will be fulfilled for Israel and His people.

    The lessons are divided into specific topics with reading, scriptural references, questions and insight for how God’s people and the Gentiles are all a part of God’s plan. The puzzle will be completed as God designed from the beginning and as foretold in prophecy throughout the Old and New Testament.

    I received a complimentary copy of this Bible study from Celebrate Lit and was under no obligation to write a positive review. I have expressed my own opinion. I highly recommend this study for those who want to understand the role Israel and God’s Chosen People has regarding end-time events.

    Click here to get your copy!

    About the Author

    Karen earned a master’s in biblical studies from Western Seminary. She is an adjunct writing instructor with Moody Bible Institute, a copy editor for Faithlife Corporation, and owner of East Gate Editing. Her passion is taking study groups to the land of Israel, which she says brings the Bible from “black and white to technicolor.”

    More from Karen

    There is something peculiar about the Jews. They are one of the few ancient people groups that has endured into modern times, and their religion—Judaism—is one of the world’s oldest.

    The Jewish people have been miraculously regathered together into a thriving nation after being scattered throughout the earth. Hebrew, Israel’s official language, was once a dead speech but has been revived and is now an active, living language with more than five million native speakers.

    They have been the most persecuted people in history and as such their existence baffles historians and theologians alike. There is no logical rationale for the Jews’ existence. Considering the Holocaust alone, the Jewish people should not have survived. And yet, they do.
    In fact, they have flourished and been a blessing to the world.

    The narrative of the Bible is centered on this unique nation of individuals established by God thousands of years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. From Abraham to King David to Jesus, the story of the Bible is knit together with a common thread: the Jewish people. It is a love story of faithfulness, mercy, and justice. It is the story of a people chosen by God to be a conduit for God’s blessings to humanity. It is a weighty call, and it has not come without a price.

    Yet, many people, even Christians, don’t give this a second thought.

    About twelve years ago, God stirred my heart toward this tiny nation, and I subsequently spent years studying the history of the Jewish people and God’s purpose and plan for them according to Scripture. And it rocked my theological world. I was in the middle of seminary, and no one (outside of one professor, who is still my favorite) talked about Israel. And though there were books on the topic, I could not find one Bible study.

    When I talk to people about Israel and its importance in Scripture and thus modern-day world events, there seems to be a disconnect—a lack of understanding as to why anyone would bring up the topic. Why should anyone care? What is so significant about Israel?
    I wrote this Bible study to answer these questions. It’s a cross between a book and a Bible study and is designed to take participants by the hand and help them understand why God cares so deeply about this peculiar nation. It’s a culmination of many trips to the land and years of personal study—and I’m still learning. Heavy on Scripture, full of beautiful images from around Israel, and focused on Christ, the study will turn the black and white pages of your Bible to technicolor.

    I hope that those who do the study will begin to see Israel as a beautiful example of God’s faithfulness to his Word.

    Blog Stops

    Blossoms and Blessings, March 29 (Author Interview)
    Genesis 5020, April 1
    For the Love of Literature, April 4 (Author Interview)
    Mary Hake, April 4
    Artistic Nobody, April 7 (Author Interview)
    SPLASHES of Joy, April 8


    To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away the grand prize package of an Israel-themed basket: 6 copies of my book/Bible study A People Chosen, the movie The Hope on the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the book Your People Will Be My People, and a $25 gift card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    A Joyful Break (Dreams of Plain Daughters, Book One)

    A Joyful Break 

    (Dreams of Plain Daughters, Book One) 

    Paperback – ebook

    October 2, 2012

    This was a direct purchase from Amazon for the kindle version. A review was not required but I have expressed my own thoughts.

    An Interview with Curtis Solomon, Author of I Have PTSD

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