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Showing posts from January, 2013

CFBA: Ashton Park by Murray Pura

My review is after the CFBA post.
This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingAshton Park Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2013) byMurray Pura


Murray Pura was born and raised in Manitoba, just north of Minnesota and the Dakotas. He has published several novels and short story collections in Canada, and has been short-listed for a number of awards. His first books to be published in the United States are the inspirational works Rooted and Streams (both by Zondervan in 2010). His first novel to debut in the USA is A Bride’s Flight from Virginia City, Montana (Barbour), which was released January 2012. The second, The Wings of Morning, will be published by Harvest House on February 1. Both of these novels center around the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


For fans of the hugely popular Downton Abbey series, comes this equally enthralling story of the Danforth family of Ashton Park. Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, on…

5 Minute Friday

Five minute freewrite on a Friday...join in! Click on the link below the graphic and read others' writings. Five minutes, timer set, let's go!
The word for today is . . . AGAIN
I'm not sure what to write about the word "again." It implies repetition, having been here before, feeling or acting the same. Not necessarily stuck, but perhaps not breaking out either.
I would like to try to turn it around, and say: "When adversity strikes, as I know it will, I will act in faith again," rather than, "Oh wow, I messed up again."
Those of us who have lived a life of faith for years sometimes get stuck. Like any relationship involving the human condition, we get tired, we are selfish, we get in a rut. So it's not the Lord's fault if things feel stale. He has not changed; we have. The onus is on ME to change, to break out, to seek His face anew each morning and afternoon and evening and when I feel tired or sore or bored or overwhelmed again.
My pr…

Wife 2 Wife

Being a more practical girl in most ways, I haven't been as thrilled with this year's theme choice as I have been before. It's tough to place a goal on a dream. Any achievable steps in dreaming? Not really possible.
But it's my word, without a doubt. Here's the story:
I entered 2013 without a theme word.

Last summer, I went to a jewelry party, and I bought these bracelets for my girls. Somehow, though, I decided I needed one too, so I ordered three. The girls loved their little bracelets with the purple cords, lightweight and pretty.

Then I found mine, hidden in a drawer. And I knew. And I denied it.

But I knew.

I was afraid. Still am. Even now as I write this, knowing I need to share it for the handful of people who read this little blog in the corner of the blogosphere.

I had debated between "dream" and "prayer," because I will be writing a series of very basic, simple, hopefully inspired Bible studies at Wives of Faith on prayer this year. It sounds…

I hate to ask for help.

It's true. I hate it. In fact, I hate this post right now. And I hate my 2013 word for the year too.

{I'm sure it's a pride issue; I need to work on it.} 

But mostly, I hate asking for help. Or support. Because I'm the supporter, the encourager, the good friend. I'm the one people turn to in times of crisis. And while some of the people might tell me "you rock" or "you're awesome," the little voice in the back of my head translates all that to "damning with faint praise." Like they feel they have to say that, to pay me back for listening to them in crisis, or to appease their conscience for some reason. I do not, in any way, rock and I'm not awesome.

Mainly, I'm tired and afraid.

Today on her blog, Holley the Dream Team Guru asked everyone to find a dream-team buddy. To find a friend or a few to support and encourage.

I clicked on my friend Teri Lynne's blog post for the Dream Team, and was just floored by how many supporter…

W2W Wednesday

What will I do differently this year than last?
I am working on trying to be braver and less inhibited in some areas of my life. This is not always easy, because over the years I've allowed circumstances and people to put me into a box, to keep me in the mold they have for me. I'd like to think I can change, and grow, and continue learning and becoming more than I already am. Becoming more who God wants me to be.

5 Minute Friday: Dive

Five minute freewrite on a Friday...join in! Click on the link below the graphic and read others' writings. Five minutes, timer set, let's go!
The word for today is . . . DIVE sink or swim....I'm divin' in......{whoa, oh, oh oh oh oh ohhhhh!}

Anyone who's ever heard Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Dive" will recognize that line. As soon as I saw the topic, in fact, that song started playing in my head, like a jukebox I can't turn off. 
Don't get me wrong, after nearly a year of moderate {major to me!} hearing loss, music is finally easier for me as my brain adjusts to renewed hearing and my body rebalances itself, hinging on a 4 milimeter piece of titanium in my ear.
But diving? Well, I can't.
I will learn more as I go, but for now, swimming is out for me. So would diving be, and any other water sports. Today, "diving" will be figurative, rather than literal diving in water.
I have been immersing myself in many things since t…


My other word for 2013 was given to me by my friend and Wives of Faith president: Prayer.

I am writing a Bible study on Prayer this year for Wives of Faith, and while it's beginning with some basic concepts, I think it will offer much to both new Christians as well as those who have been Christians a long time.


Prayer. What is prayer? In its simplest form, prayer is talking to God and allowing Him to respond back to you.

Prayer has been around since the Garden of Eden, although you won’t find Adam and Eve “in prayer” then. They simply talked to God in the garden. (Genesis 3:8-9 and following.) Later in Genesis 4:26, we find an interesting sentence after the part of the geneaology where Adam and Eve become grandparents. The Bible states: ”At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord” (NIV).
(Didn’t take long, did it?)

I think the people called on the name of the Lord because they missed Him. They were far from Eden, and they realized they needed Him, and they misse…

New Year, New Theme

Happy New Year! I found my theme, my One Word, for 2013.

I'll be blogging at my writing blog about it for the most part, but I wanted to link there from here.

My One Word for 2013: Dream


OK, so this is a tough one for me. Because I'm not a dreamer.

Oh sure, when I was a teen, I dreamed of being a backup singer for Kathy Troccoli (I wanted her inimitable sense of style--plus her songs weren't too high), and I dreamed of writing a series of books like Little House on the Prairie or Anne of Green Gables.

Then I learned to make my dreams much, much smaller. Teacher, wife, mom of 2 girls.

Done, done, and done.

Not easily, and not always easily and with a bit of heartache, but . . . accomplished.

What's a reformed dreamer to do when her husband's next career takes her away from some of those accomplished dreams?

Well, she pouts, apparently. And she lets writing rejections and discouraging people get her down. She closes her eyes and heart to the people who are not discouraging, and she stops dreaming.

She heals. And the part of her she thought was dead is alive again, teaching again, healing.

But she's still afraid of rejection--the rejection of &…

First Five Minute Friday of 2013

Today's Topic: OPPORTUNITY


"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." ~Winston Churchill


Quotations like these are difficult for me to contemplate. You see, while I try very hard to be optimistic, there's a part of my nature, my very human nature, that is pessimistic.

When I am faced with an opportunity, sometimes all I see is all the work involved. How much will be required of me in terms of time and energy and thought. "Is it worth it?" I ask myself. Generally the answer is no.

Sometimes, I allow opportunities to slip away because I'm not an optimist. I don't see the opportunity in the difficulty of the work, energy, time, and thought involved.

The true tragedy is that I don't allow the opportunity for GOD to shine through me in the difficult situation.

I hope I can remember to think in a more positive manner and allow God to shine through, even when things are difficul…

In 2013

I aspire to do these things in 2013:

Read the Bible (I'm using the One-Year Bible, English Standard Version)Study about PrayerPray moreRead 100 booksWrite something every day