Sunday, August 27, 2023

People of Pure Delight By Sharon Musgrove #Devotional #SundayThoughts

 

People of Pure Delight

By Sharon Musgrove

 

“Look ahead with joy.  Anticipate what I’m creating:

I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight.

I’ll take delight in my people:

No more sounds of weeping in the city, no cries of anguish.”

Isaiah 65:18-19 MSG

 

 

When you think of heaven, what do you imagine?  Do you envision a city of pure gold?  Or maybe you wonder who’s going to be there?

 

Heaven is commonly described by the portrait painted in Revelation 21; a city built with gleaming gemstones and streets of gold.  Less often do we depict the New Jerusalem by the characteristics of the people there.  While we may be anxious about who gets to pass through those pearly gates, let us not overlook that God is not just renewing places, but is polishing His people into “pure delights” for that reunion.

 

In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesies over the new heaven and earth.  And unlike the Apostle John’s vision recorded in the book of Revelation, Isaiah’s account speaks more about the inhabitants of paradise than the habitat.  God’s words tell us how He is renewing His children. 

 

“All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten.”

Isaiah 65:17 MSG

 

Reading the book of Isaiah points out that God’s children can be a source of pure pain.  Pain to God and to the rest of humanity.  Mankind’s bad behavior brings about trouble and chaos.  And we continue this malicious conduct generation after generation.

 

But Christ.

 

God announced, generations in advance, that Jesus would come and save us from our wickedness.  And not only did Jesus pay the price of our sin with his life on the cross, not only did Christ open the gate for us to enter God’s Kingdom, but he taught how we can be practicing the characteristics of the new life now. 

 

“Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:10

 

The Lord’s prayer is that we participate today in the reality of tomorrow.  And we can cooperate with becoming people of pure delight by ingesting and enacting the teachings of Christ, beginning that transformation from the inside out. 

 

“Look ahead with joy.  Anticipate what I’m creating....”  Isaiah 65:18 MSG

 

Do you look ahead with joy?  Are you anticipating that new life while feeling the challenges of change now?  The job of a prophet like Isaiah is to get us to focus on the future.  And the feeling of the future is delight!

 

We can be certain that the attributes of the new heaven and earth will indeed be awesome, but, as always, the true delight of God’s kingdom will be people who are finally unified with both the Creator and to one another. 

 

“I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight.”

 


Author Bio:

 


Sharon has been writing and teaching biblically based curriculum, Bible studies, and devotionals since 2007.    

 

She has had the unique position of writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.

 

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to speak in Leadership camps intended on encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young women.

 

Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

 

Sharon and her husband, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children. 

 

Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is working towards a degree in Ministry. 

 

~*~

Connect with Sharon:

Website: Sharonmusgrove.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sharon-Musgrove-Untethered-102208978041060

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sharonmusgrove_untethered/

 

 


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Moving Forward (A Woodland Park Firefighters Romance)


Moving Forward

(A Woodland Park Firefighters Romance)

Monday, August 21, 2023

An Amish Cinderella (The Amish of Apple Creek) #preorder #Amish


An Amish Cinderella 

(The Amish of Apple Creek) 

September 26, 2023

by Shelley Shepard Gray (Author) 



New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray—one of the most beloved voices in inspirational romance—welcomes readers back to Apple Creek, Ohio, a bright and bustling Amish community where a woman with her hands full keeping home for her widowed father and his new blacksmith apprentice forge an unexpected path to love.


Perfect for fans of Beverly Lewis, Suzanne Woods Fisher, and Charlotte Hubbard, this third installment in The Amish of Apple Creek is sure to enchant readers looking for a sweet twist on the classic Cinderella story!


Now that her friends are all marrying or moving away, Heart Beachy has started feeling lonely. Worse, everyone keeps asking when she’s going to find a man of her own. Don’t they realize Heart has her hands full at home with her widowed dad, too many chores, and a menagerie of needy, small animals? Besides, she doesn’t understand the fuss about marriage. It’s enough to make her consider finally becoming a pet-sitter, or moving to an 
English community, where she won’t be an oddity . . .

Newcomer Clayton Glick is utterly charmed by Heart—and completely confounded. He can’t figure out why this beautiful woman is as awkward as a teenager whenever he’s around, which is often now that he’s an apprentice to her blacksmith father. So Clayton starts assisting with Heart’s never-ending tasks, even helping her corral her unruly pets. How else can he court an adorably flustered woman who doesn’t know the first thing about courtship? Because courting is exactly what he intends . . .

Heart doesn’t know why her pulse hammers every time she sees Clayton. She only knows yielding to such emotions will mean trouble. . . But maybe with a little faith—and the loss of a shoe—Clayton can convince her to join him on the road to happily ever after.

My thoughts:   AN AMISH CINDERELLA is a very sweet two romances the same book story. There is no faith message, and there is nothing even remotely steamy, so if you like sweet romances with a touch of humor you will absolutely love  this stand-alone story about AN AMISH CINDERELLA even though it is book 3 in the series.  I laughed at some of the antics, and fell in love with both heroes and heroines.  I was given a copy free and all opinions are my own.



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Sunday, August 20, 2023

A Gift of Love by Becky Van Vleet

A Gift of Love

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Carpal Tunnel hand surgery. Easy-peasy. Only local anesthesia, out-patient, I can drive myself to and from the hospital. Only takes about ten minutes to do after the prep. Maybe three stitches. I was prepared for this “little” procedure, no biggie.

When I arrived home, swelling, soreness, and stiff fingers dictated some rest and certainly curtailed what I had planned to do for the rest of the day. When the numbing effect wore off, the pain set in.

Four days later, the wrapping came off. I could see the nasty incision in the lower part of my left palm, waiting to bleed again if I wasn’t careful with my hand.

On the fifth day, as I changed my bandage, I took another look at my boo-boo. And then it hit me. Is this what Christ’s palm looked like when the nails pierced His hands? My incision was in the spot where Christ probably took those gargantuan spikes. The room spun a little, and I sat down to process this thought.

So many differences in our holes, mine and Christ’s.

Only one palm for me. Two for Jesus, plus His feet.

My “hole” did not go all the way through. Jesus’s holes gaped wide open on both sides.

I was asked to remove my wedding band. Jesus was ordered to strip.

Soft music in the background of the surgical room soothed me. Jesus heard nothing but jeers.

My procedure was performed in a sterile hospital environment with friendly attendants. Jesus had to deal with flies and gnats while mockers hurled insults.

I rested upon a clean white sheet fitted to a comfortable surgical mattress. Jesus’s body hung on a wooden cross, laced with splinters.

I wore comfortable clothes. Did Jesus get to wear any?

I had Tylenol on hand to take. None for Jesus.

I came home to a loving husband who was very willing to assist me as needed. Jesus was alone, separated from His Heavenly Father until He breathed His last.

My out-patient procedure was done to relieve tingling due to nerve damage in my hand. Christ’s “procedure” was to take on the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future.

Before placing another fresh bandage on my healing wound, I thought about how the author of life was murdered by evil men. Jesus was innocent, yet he died the death of a criminal. The depths of God’s love for His people undergirded Jesus’s crucifixion. Because of Jesus’s death on the cross, my life will never be the same. Jesus gave me a gift of love which can never be taken away.

A little time has passed and my hand is healing. I have a small scar. But that little blemish will always remind me of Christ’s wounds in both hands and His gift of love for all of mankind for an eternity.

Becky Van Vleet




Becky Van Vleet is a retired teacher and principal and award-winning multi-genre author. She has been published in Guideposts, The Country Register, and Christian Devotions Ministry. Her children’s picture books are the recipients of the 2020 Excellence in Editing award as well as the Purple Dragonfly award in 2020 and 2021. She and her husband make their home close to Colorado Springs where she enjoys gardening, hiking, oil painting, power walking, and spending time with her family, especially reading books to her grandchildren.

Becky is the author of Unintended Hero, a true story about her father’s battles, experiences, and adventures in WWII aboard the USS Denver. She is passionate about sharing the values from the Greatest Generation and enjoys speaking to high school classes about patriotism.

A member of ACFW, Allauthor, and Pikes Peak Writers, Becky has devoted her website to creating and preserving family memories and sharing family stories for the next generations through her monthly blogs. You can find her at: https://beckyvanvleet.com. She would love to hear from you, especially if you have a family story to share!

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbeckyvanvleet/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-van-vleet-ms-806055181/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/becky_van_vleet_author/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/beckyvanvleet/ 

Amazon Central Author Page: https://amzn.to/3INHIPB 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/125841473-becky-van-vleet

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@beckyvanvleet9907

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/becky-van-vleet

 

 



Saturday, August 19, 2023

Letters of Comfort (Friendship Letters, 2)

 


Letters of Comfort 

(Friendship Letters, 2) 

August 1, 2023

 

Letters of Comfort is an emotional and heartfelt story. Wanda Brunstetter’s Friendship Letters series are dealing with some tough situations for characters. This book focus on depression that the heroine struggles with after losing her beloved.

 

Wanda Brunstetter created a story that was captivating with all that was happening among the characters. I love the aspect of letters to uplift Doretta from her dear friend we met in book one. The ups and downs, family and community being present for those hurting and letting God heal to bring new hope, peace and love is beautifully portrayed throughout the story.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing without any obligation to write a positive review. I have shared my own thoughts.




Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Expired Vows: A Last Chance County Novel (Last Chance Fire and Rescue Book 4) #preorder #romanticsuspense

 


Expired Vows: A Last Chance County Novel

(Last Chance Fire and Rescue Book 4)


Sunday, August 13, 2023

If Only . . . by BJ Bassett #Devotional

 

If Only . . .

He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9 MSG

When we are burdened by guilt, many of us go through “If only . . .”

If only I had been nicer to her. If only I hadn’t said those mean things. If only I hadn’t driven drunk. If only I hadn’t aborted my baby all those years ago. If only I could tell someone my secret. If only . . .

After a loved one is gone, there isn’t much we can do to change the situation. That’s why having good relationships before our loved ones pass away is so important. After they’re gone, it’s too late.

If you feel guilty and are sorry for your sins, go to the only perfect Judge. Confess your sins, and seek and receive His forgiveness. He wipes the slate clean by what He did on the cross so that we can be forgiven for past, present, and future sins. Our guilt is washed away.

My sins are washed away. Thank You, Lord, for the huge price You paid for me in sacrificing Your only Son. In the name of Jesus. Amen.




B. J. Bassett encourages others as an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include a contemporary novel, Gillian’s Heart; a historical novel Lily; Sweet Charity; A Touch of Grace—The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story; and coauthor of a children’s devotional My Time with God, Focus on the Family, Heritage Builders, with over 55,000 copies sold.

 

As a contributing writer, publications consist of Writer’s Handbook 2000, The Writer, and The Focus on the Family Guide to Growing a Healthy Home, Wolgemuth& Hyatt, Publishers, Inc.—consistently on Bookstore Journal’s Best-selling Christian Books List from November 1990 - February 1991, and voted the 10 Best Books for 1990 by Today’s Christian Woman.

 

Magazines, devotional booklets, curriculum and newspaper publishers include Focus on the Family, Woman’s World, The Quiet Hour, Pathways to God, Devotions, Harcourt Brace, WordAction, Gospel Publishing and Times Standard (newspaper).

 

She teaches writing workshops at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, OR and at writer’s conferences. As a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she tells her story of rejection and acceptance, not only in life, but as a writer as well. She also offers book talks, including discussion questions and shares the journey -- from the seed of an idea to a published book.

 

Memberships: ACFW and Oregon Christian Writers (OCW).

 

She enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, munching warm scones oozing with butter and strawberry jam and sipping earl grey tea.

 

 


 

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Under the Blue Skies: A heartwarming romance about a surprise family for the Amish Bachelor! (Big Sky Amish)


Under the Blue Skies: A heartwarming romance about a surprise family for the Amish Bachelor!

(Big Sky Amish)

August 7, 2023

by Tricia Goyer (Author), Elly Gilbert (Author) 



Finding Home. Finding Faith.

A matchmaker for an instant father. Secrets. And friends who just might find a happy ending if his past doesn't destroy everything.


He just wants a fresh start…

Thomas Smucker moved to West Kootenai to escape his past. But when tragedy happens, he suddenly inherits a five year old niece…now what?

She’s always wanted a family...

Scarred by a childhood accident, Lovina Graber believes she’ll be single forever, despite her deep longing for a husband and family. And then she meets Thomas, an instant father, who needs a wife.

Lovina to the rescue...she'll find him the perfect Amish woman. Even if she has to ignore the spark between them…

But her secrets could cost him everything

Thomas wants a wife...but he can't ignore his feelings for Lovina. 
But when her secret comes out, he'll have to choose between his niece and the woman he suddenly can't live without.

Instant father. Matchmaker. A found family…and unexpected love. But will her secrets--and his past-- destroy everything?


A heartwarming book three in the Big Sky Amish Collection.

Big Sky Amish Collection
Beyond the Gray Mountains
On the Golden Cliffs
Under the Blue Skies

Big Sky Series by Tricia Goyer
Beside Still Waters
Along the Wooded Paths
Beyond Hope's Valley



My thoughts:    UNDER THE BLUE SKIES  is a sweet romance set in Montana.  The hero is a grumpy sort, and loses his temper quite rapidly and the heroine is sweet one who mothers everyone.  The little girl is a nice wrench to the story and works to throw the pair together (one of the rules of romance).  Some of the authors uses of verbs bothered me (he wheezed with laughter--to mention one) but otherwise it was good.  The author did a good job of making an unlikely romance and combined family work so it was believable. If you like Amish fiction you will likely love UNDER THE BLUE SKIES. I was given a copy free and all opinions are my own.




Friday, August 11, 2023

Welcome to the Healing the Mountain Man's Heart Celebration Tour! #Historical #Giveaway

 



About the Book

Book: Healing the Mountain Man’s Heart

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: August 15, 2023

In the wild mountains of the Montana Territory, the Coulter ranch is a place of family, loyalty…and a hidden fortune.

Jericho Coulter, the eldest of six fiercely devoted brothers, is entrusted with safeguarding his family and the secret that binds them together: the Sapphire mine. To keep tragedy from striking again, he allows no outsiders on their land. When two women stumble upon their ranch, claiming Jericho himself sent for one of them as a mail-order bride, he aims to send them straight back where they came from.
Dinah Wyatt, a talented and determined doctor, wasn’t about to let her twin sister travel to Montana alone and marry a stranger. Dinah’s skills are immediately put to the test when one of the younger Coulter brothers is gravely injured, forcing the family to trust his life to her.As Dinah and her sister become entwined in the Coulter family’s life, sparks fly between the enigmatic Jericho and the captivating doctor. In a world where trust is hard to come by and secrets hold the power to change lives, Jericho and Dinah must learn that sometimes, the most precious secrets are those buried within our own hearts.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes a mountain family saga filled with a mail-order bride, hidden treasure, and love that heals wounded hearts.

 Marilyn's thoughts:    

Healing the Mountain Man’s Heart captured me from the descriptive visual of Montana the heroine was seeing at the start. This tale is filled with everything I appreciate in a Christian historical fiction. The adventures of sisters, an older brother striving to protect his family, the challenges, struggles, hurtful past and coming to learn God was faithful. Beller has a way to draw her readers into her stories from the descriptive scenes, dialogue, characters with positive and negative traits and a gentle weaving of Biblical truths.

 

This book was a magnificent start to Brothers of Sapphire Ranch series. I’ll be abiding my time until the next book is released in this series.

 

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Celebrate Lit and the publisher without any obligation to write a positive review. I have expressed my own thoughts.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

 

More from Misty

Sapphires in Montana? Are you sure?

 

When I was brainstorming ideas for my new series, I knew I wanted the stories to be set on a ranch amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Montana mountains. But I wanted something a little more unusual than that. I know, what could be more special than a ranch in the Rockies?

 

So I brought the conundrum to some writer friends and asked for help brainstorming. There’s nothing quite so fascinating as a group of writers in full brainstorming mode. Since the series is set during the mining boom in Montana, we discussed the idea of some kind of mine on the ranch, but not gold or silver. Or even copper. The remarkable Sarah Erredge (who writes as S.E. Warren) suggested Sapphires.

 

That thought immediately grabbed hold of me (especially since the Sapphire is the birthstone for my month of September). But I’d never heard of Sapphires being discovered in Montana. That seemed impossible… Right?

 

Until some quick research showed there are three well-known pockets of Sapphires in the state! Rock Creek is one of those locations, and is positioned perfectly for where I wanted to set my story—west of Helena and about a half day’s ride from the Mullan Road.

 

The timing of Sapphire discoveries in the state is perfect for my series as well. Early prospectors searching for gold in the gravel of the Missouri River repeatedly discarded the annoying blue pebbles that continually clogged their sluices without much thought to what they may be. It wasn’t discovered that these “pebbles” were Sapphires until 1895 when a man named Ed Coulter forwarded samples of these stones to Tiffany & Co. When Tiffany purchased the lot for $3,750 (approximately $110,300 as of 2018) and declared that the stones were “sapphires of unusual quality,” a small-scale sapphire rush began.

 

This rush is exactly what the Coulter brothers in the Brothers of Sapphire Ranch series are trying to avoid. That’s why they keep the Sapphire mine on their property secret during this first book in the series, Healing the Mountain Man’s Heart.

 

I pray you love book 1 in this new series and fall as deeply in love with this ranch in the Rockies as I have, especially with the Brothers of Sapphire Ranch. 

 

Blessings!

Misty

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, August 8

Alena Mentink, August 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 9

Texas Book-aholic, August 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 10

Books You Can Feel Good About, August 10

Lighthouse Academy Blog, August 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 12

The Book Club Network, August 13

Blossoms and Blessings, August 13

Betti Mace, August 14

Connie’s History Classroom, August 15

Life on Chickadee Lane, August 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 16

Holly’s Book Corner, August 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 17

Splashes of Joy, August 18

Mary Hake, August 18

annette_reads_daily, August 19

Cover Lover Book Review, August 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 20 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, August 21

Pause for Tales, August 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/272f6/healing-the-mountain-man-s-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway





While the City Sleeps (Women of Midtown)

  While the City Sleeps  (Women of Midtown)  February 13, 2024 by  Elizabeth Camden   (Author) Amid the hushed city, two hearts must navigat...