Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Your Lightning lights up the world!

The clouds poured out water;
The skies sent out a sound;
Your arrows also flashed about.
The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook.
 Your way was in the sea,
Your path in the great waters,
And Your footsteps were not known.


Psalm 77:17-19

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Illusion of Success

Most of us look at successful people and think "Ah, surely these are people who have it altogether."   They are smart, hard working, talented, beautiful, wealthy, whatever their gifts are... Whether they are a famous movie star, CEO of a company, sports figure or an author like me, most people believe that with success comes some sort of  uniqueness or power. I'm always amazed when I meet people who know me only by my writing. They often tell me that they were intimidated to meet me, that they thought I must be some kind of spiritual giant  because of my blog posts and the strong Biblical themes in my books.  It makes me laugh.  Truth is, I'm just as messed up and inadequate as anyone else.

God doles out talent to everyone. Whether we choose to use what He has given us is up to us. In fact, I have come to believe that God tends to use the most messed up people to do His most important tasks. There is example after example all through the Bible. 

Moses stuttered and didn't want to lead God's people out of Egypt
Gideon was the least of all the men in his tribe and from the least tribe in Israel yet God used him to defeat an army.
Ruth was an impoverished foreigner 
David was the family runt.
Do I need to go through Jesus's disciples? Talk about a bunch of weak, power-hungry, doubters.
The Apostle Paul murdered Christians for a living

You may be surprised to discover that I NEVER feel confident when I'm writing my books. I always feel inadequate. I always wonder what the heck am I doing? How can I write a novel and expect people to buy it and enjoy it?  Who do I think I am?  So often I still feel like that shy, insecure little girl who grew up without a Father's love and who all her life wondered if she was worth anything. I'm being completely honest with you. I feel that way most of the time!

But here's the thing. God always steps in when we come to the end of ourselves. In fact, He loves to do that. He loves for us to come to Him and say., "Father, I'm out of my league. You've asked me to do this thing and I'm terrified. I don't know what I"m doing. I don't have the talent, the money, the skill to do it."  God loves that. Why? Because He can show up HUGE and in the process of our leaning on Him, not only is the task accomplished far better than if we had done it alone, but our relationship with Him grows to greater depths than we could have imagined.  

Which brings me to 2 points.

If you're feeling inadequate. If you feel insecure, terrified, like you're out of the boat in a storm. If you feel like you just can't do what God is asking you to do. GREAT!  You're in the perfect place for a miracle!  Just lean on Him

Success without God is empty.  Atheists can still use their God-given talents and achieve great success in this life. But the end result is nothing but emptiness and pain, because once you reach the top, where else is there to go? What else is there to do? What happens when you get sick or get old? What does your success do for you then?

So many of those we idolize as important successful people are living tragic lives of depression, anxiety, divorce, substance abuse, and intense insecurities. If only they knew that they could bring all their inadequacies to God and allow Him to give them purpose, life, love, and hope.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Tears of the Sea Cover Reveal!!

Doomed by the evil warlock Forwin to wander the ancient seas as a mermaid for all eternity, Perdita longs for the release death would bring. Every ten years she has a chance to break the curse when she emerges from the sea fully human for one month. The catch? She must find a man willing to die for her. After 300 years, her failures have left her heartbroken and alone.

Savion Ryne wants nothing to do with beautiful women. It was one such woman whose betrayal sent him far away to battle Natas’ rebellion. He longs to return to his father’s kingdom in Nevaeh but must first complete an unknown mission. 

After Savion falls off his ship during a storm, he wakes on the shores of an island with visions of a dark haired mermaid tending his wounds. When a woman similar in appearance begs for his protection, he is suspicious.

Perdita has never met anyone as honorable as Savion. Even though he shuns her every advance, she falls for him. But as the end of her time on land approaches, she faces the hardest decision of all, save Savion and remain cursed for all eternity or break the curse and watch the man she loves die.

This book will be available for Pre-order in October and will be released in December or January!

Sooooo... what do you think?? 

(Looking for a great cover designer? This cover was designed by Ravven )


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Matthew 11:28


Monday, August 11, 2014

God will fight your battles!

We are at war. Some of us are on the wrong side. Some are sitting on the sidelines.  Others are at the
back of the advancing troops, while some of us are on the front lines, engaging the enemy. If you're a follower of Jesus and you don't believe or see the battle raging around you, then might I suggest you are either sitting on the sidelines or cowering in the back?.  In which case, satan has won a victory in your life by blinding you and making you no threat to him.

Can I share something personal? Recently, I've entered a time of heavy fighting in my life. A situation has arisen in which I find myself on the front lines. Yikes! It's a situation involving a person who is very very dear to me, and the battle is for his soul. I have a chance to influence this person like I've never had before and time is ticking away.  So, what do I do? I gird up my loins (Not even sure what that means but it sounds good!),  I dive into the Scriptures, I pray, fast, and look for any opportunities!

Now, these are all well and good, but where I get into trouble is where I always get into trouble. I try to control things. When the battle doesn't seem to be going the way I think it should, my faith in my Commander starts to waver, my trust diminishes and I grab my sword and charge ahead without orders.  I mean, doesn't the Commander see what's happening? Surely, He needs my help!!  But what ends up happening is I get anxious, fearful, stressing over every thought, action, and deed.  I lose my peace. (Which is a good sign that I've pulled rank)

All last week, I oscillated between peace and trust and stress and worry. Did I say the right thing? Did I do the right thing? Should I be saying or doing something else? A person could go mad!!  In the middle of it all, my time with the Father has been so sweet. He's so gracious to me and so understanding. Amazing. 

One day I was reading Psalm 18 and here are clips of what it said.
The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer, my God, my strength in whom I will trust. My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is to be praised and so shall I be saved from my enemies

It goes on to describe how God comes down from Heaven and the earth quaked and rocked and smoke came out of His nostrils and lightning from His mouth.. how He bowed the heavens and rode on the wings of the wind... how He sends out His arrows and scattered the enemy.. how He flashes forth lightnings and put them to rout..

He reached from on high.... He delivered me from my strong enemy... For by God I can run through a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall!! 

It goes on. I encourage you to read it for yourself.  Of all the times for me to read this psalm, God led me to it now when I'm engaged in battle! He's telling me that HE will defeat my enemies and that if He wants my help, He will enable me to do battle and win! 

I searched other Scriptures that say the same thing.. that it is God who fights for us and not us

The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf  Deuteronomy 1:30
Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you. Deuteronomy  3:22
One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you. Joshua 23:10
With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles. 2 Chronicles 32:8
Our God will fight for us! Nehemiah 4:20

Then at church Sunday, guess what the very first worship song was about??  You got it, God fighting our battles for us.  Think the Father is trying to tell me something??

If you're going through some troublesome times, if you feel attacked on all sides.. maybe it's health issues, maybe money, maybe job, maybe relationship... maybe like me you have loved ones who don't know God, or maybe the enemy is burdening you with depression or loneliness, first recognize you are in a battle, next get close to your Commander (pray and read His Battle manual!) next  follow His orders, and finally rest, be at peace, trust and believe that HE is fighting the battle for you and because of that, victory is assured!


Friday, August 8, 2014

If you can't go to the Ocean, bring the Ocean to you!

You may wonder what I've been up to besides writing my next novel, being a housewife and mother, and taking care of my granddaughter?  Well, I've started a REEF tank.  What is a REEF tank?  Picture taking a small piece of the Great Barrier Reef, putting it in a glass Aquarium and keeping it in your house. There you can enjoy all the colorful corals and rocks, tiny creatures like crabs and snails and shrimp and clams, anemones and clown fish. In fact, there's all sorts of gorgeous creatures you can add.  Trouble is, it's not easy to start one or maintain it and there's so much to learn.  But so far so good. 

Without boring you too much with the technical details, the first thing you do is cycle the tank. You fill it with water, add special salt until it's the right salinity, add filters and pumps and a protein skimmer. Buy a good LED light that mimics the sun and then add live sand and live rock. The tank must then sit for at least a month, usually two while it goes through it's cycle of getting rid of toxic chemicals like Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrites. As the good kind of bacteria rise to eat the bad kind, these poisons are eliminated and then you can add some initial creatures.

For me it took six weeks before my tank cycled. You may wonder what Live rock is.  Live rock is harvested from the sea and is encrusted with coralline algae and inhabited by a multitude of marine organisms. The many forms of micro and macroscopic marine life that live on and inside of the rock, which acts as an ideal habitat, give it the name "live rock".  It acts like a biological filter for the reef system and can greatly benefit any tank. ALSO.. as the tank matures, the little creatures that live in the rock start to come out.  For example, just a few weeks ago, I spotted this baby starfish clinging to the side of my tank. He is no bigger than the tip of a needle. Cute huh?

Since then, Ive added three soft corals, one anenome, one shrimp, several crabs and snails, and two clown fish

Soft Coral


Another soft coral
Another soft coral

One of my crabs!

My shrimp and anemone

For some reason, my anemone is all closed up today. He's either sick or tired or just moody. The white tentacles are from Jacques, my shrimp who is trying to take over Mr. Anemone's cave.

A close up of my shrimp, Jacques!
Here's the entire tank!

Cool, huh?  I'll post periodically on my progress. It's an exciting hobby. Plus, since I can't live right next to the ocean like I'd like to, this is the next best thing.  Now, If I can only find a real mermaid to put in there. That would definitely be inspiration for my next book!  

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Safely Ashore!

He led them safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea engulfed their enemies. Psalm 78:53