We have real hope we’re called to share. But how we share it makes a difference.
Christians today face a dilemma: in a world that seems to reject everything we believe, how do we walk closely with God without caving to pressure or alienating those we hope to reach?
In this eye-opening new book, Chris Hodges provides a solution by examining the life of the prophet Daniel, who persevered in a corrupt culture that closely resembles our own—and emerged as an influential force in God’s redemptive plan. Full of scripture and seasoned with Hodges’ candid personal insights, The Daniel Dilemma shows us that we can hold firmly to biblical beliefs without becoming obnoxious, insulting, or mad. We can stand strong while loving others well. Because standing for truth isn’t about winning the argument; it’s about winning hearts. And when we learn the secret of connecting before correcting, we discover that we can respond to today’s hard questions without compromising grace or truth.
With fresh insights and practical ideas, Hodges encourages Christians struggling with our cultural reality to hold God’s standards high and his grace deep—just as Jesus did, and just as his followers today are called to do.
LOVE this book. So much good stuff in here. Chris gets to the core of things and gives simple, yet effective ways to stand strong in a world of compromise.
How do we stand for our Christian beliefs yet love others? I’m not an expert but I know I have somehow manged to do it in my classroom. One of my students who is very open about his lifestyle tells me my class is his happy, safe place. I didn’t create that by preaching at him I created that by being kind and listening to him. He knows what I believe yet he sees that I care about him. I will never condone his lifestyle but I will love him.
Chris gives practical advice how we all can do that.
I have highlighted so much from this book I can’t share it all but here are a views quotes:
“Truth without grace is mean. Grace without truth is meaningless. Truth and grace together are good medicine.”
“Worship is not about responsive readings or singing hymns. Worship is surrendering yourself to the power, majesty, and goodness of your Creator, letting God be God — even when you don’t understand what he’s doing or when you disagree.”
Love this one: “We should really consider whether we’re willing to give praise to a team of athletes who don’t even know us but stay silent before the God who created us. It all comes down to worship.”
There’s so much more but I just suggest you pick up the book and give it a read for yourself. I really enjoyed this.
What if Jesus were in high school today? Who would he hang out with? What would he say? What would he do?
In Book one of this novella series, the stage is set and introductions are made by none other than Satan himself…as he tries to destroy Eli’s mission before it ever begins.
This is a very short book, it can be read in an hour, it should be easy to get your teen to read it. It starts with a power-packed sentence, “I hate God.” Whoa. It’s one thing to know that about our enemy it’s another thing to read it.
I will say this book is definitely PG-13. But let’s be real, our kids are exposed to so much we don’t know about I am sure this book is tame compared to that. It brings to light the way the enemy works in our lives and the tricks that he is up to. I am hoping I can get my daughter to read this.
After inheriting a gift shop in Love, Alaska, single mom Maggie Richards is ready for a new beginning—while her little boy is ready for a new daddy! But Maggie has no time for love—she wants to open the shop in time for Christmas, something she’ll do with help from childhood friend Finn O’Rourke. Finn’s on board to help Maggie—but not with the romance rumors that swirl around them like snow. Like Maggie, he’s hiding too many secrets to ever wed. So why do Maggie and her little boy make him dream of finding an unusual gift under the tree—a ready-made family?
If you love Hallmark movies you will fall in love with this charming book. This book very much reminded me of many of the Christmas Hallmark movies I have been watching lately.
I wondered how Maggie and Finn (love his Irish name) would get around their strongly held beliefs that romance was out of the question. Of course you throw a cute kid in there and your heart is bound to melt.
If you want one last Christmas read before the season if over this one will be a good one to pick up.
Now that I have been doing Faithful Workouts for about 23 weeks (I have lost track) I thought I would give you an update.
I am at a point where I am maintaining my weight, which is where I want to be. I don’t think I really need to lose anymore. I have lost between 20-25 pounds, depending on the day 🙂
I will be honest. I only use the Faithful Workouts website for the videos now. I am not overly impressed with the menu anymore. But it was a great place to start and got me pointed in the right direction so I know what I should be eating. Now I find most of my recipes on Pinterest, and I have found some great ones (and not so great). But without Faithful Workouts I wouldn’t know how to pick the meals and snacks I eat now.
My sister gave it a try. She has been working out regularly for years and she didn’t find the workouts very challenging. So I would say if you aren’t someone who workouts (that was me) this is a good place to start, it obviously worked for me. And this is a great place to maintain your weight. But you are someone who already works out then these exercises might not be for you. I still enjoy them and they are enough of a challenge for me.
After doing Faithful Workouts for 23 weeks would I pay for a year subscription? For me, no, I now do what I need to do and enjoy seeking out new and healthy recipes. But if you are someone who needs the structure of a menu and you know you won’t seek out healthy options on your own, then this is perfect for you. You know your habits. I am a pretty driven person and once I put my mind to something I won’t stop. If you know you lack follow through and motivation (be honest) the menus will be great for you. It’s a one stop shop!
The Christmas season is often one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year, and it’s easy to lose sight of what makes it special. Helping us refocus on what’s truly important, well-known pastor and author John Piper leads readers through twenty-five short meditations on Advent. The devotionals—drawn from Piper’s extensive preaching and teaching ministry—lead readers to ponder afresh the birth of Jesus, Israel’s long-awaited Messiah and the Savior of the world. Reflecting on several Scriptural texts, this accessible volume aims to direct individuals, families, and churches to the most glorious dawning of indestructible joy the world has ever seen: the incarnation of the Son of God.
I needed a reset on my Christmas spirit this year so when I saw this book up for review I knew I wanted to read it. I have highlighted so much.
I have shared before that I have been struggling with joy recently so the title of this book alone was enough to draw me in. I know God’s joy is indestructible but I needed to really get it. Reading this small chapters everyday this month has helped.
John talks about when Peter writes to be awakened or stirred up: “is to feel some measure of the joy God intends for Christmas to bring. “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10). Not small joy. Not modest joy. But “great joy.” If we don’t feel this when we ponder the incarnation of the Son of God, we need awakening.” We need to be “stirred up.””
And those words are only the beginning. There is so much more good stuff in this book. I know it’s a little late to dive into this book now but you could always grab it for next year and get stirred up. Or honestly, why not read it anytime of year, we always need to be reminded of the greatest gift of all, don’t we?
Marah’s life has been difficult. Orphaned and left in the care of a cold step-father, she thought she found escape in marriage…but when tragedy leaves her alone again, with a house full of children to tend, harsh reality sets in. Will Marah ever know joy, or is she destined to live up to her name and be bitter forever?
Then one day a stranger visits the well and asks her for a drink of water, a stranger who knows everything she has ever done. And suddenly Marah is given a taste of everything she ever thirsted for.
I wasn’t sure how Golden would play this out but it is nicely done. You actually start with Marah’s encounter with Jesus and that story is slow revealed as we read about Marah’s backstory.
This was a fully engaging story and a quick read as well. Of course this is Golden’s idea of what could have happened and how Marah could have ended up with five husbands but it is definitely an interesting perspective.
If you enjoy Biblical fiction I’m sure you would like this one.
Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.
Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?
This was a very interesting book. I loved getting a look at aviation in the beginning. We take it for granted now but it wasn’t always a common thing.
I adored Bella’s spunk and drive to break the mold of what woman should do and be.
James was a strong character too with this drive to be the first to cross the English Channel. He found himself attracted to Bella but the reality of their stations in life held him back. There was also the mystery surrounding his birth and how his parents were.
In her long-awaited new book, Sheila Walsh equips women with a practical method for connecting with God’s strength in the midst of struggle. From daily frustrations that can feel like overwhelming obstacles to hard challenges that turn into rock-bottom crises, women will find the means to equip themselves for standing strong with God. Using the spiritual applications of confession, prayer, and meditation on Scripture to form a daily connection to Jesus, women will learn how to experience new joy as a child of God who is fully known, fully loved, and fully accepted.
In In the Middle of the Mess, Walsh reveals the hardened defenses that kept her from allowing God into her deepest hurts and shares how entering into a safe place with God and practicing this daily connection with him have saved her from the devil’s prowling attacks. Though we will never be completely “fixed” on earth, we are continually held by Jesus, whatever our circumstances.
Wow. I needed to read this book. This is probably the best non-fiction book I read in 2017. I have never read anything by Sheila before but I have heard her speak a few times in Women of Faith conferences and I always enjoyed her.
This book is raw and messy. Sheila gets real with her emotions. I was worried at times that it might become depressing but it really didn’t. She talks about how we need to keep going to Jesus with our stuff, keep confessing. It isn’t one time fix all. It can be, of course. But more often than not we need to keep going to Jesus. He loves that! He wants us to come to him with our junk.
She also talks about the importance of sharing your junk with others (I couldn’t agree more) and having a community of people who you can go to when you are feeling weak.
There is a reflection at the end of each chapter that takes you deeper in your own journey. I can’t recommend this one enough.
When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.
“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”
Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.
As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living?
“Amber Schamel’s engaging prose weaves together not one, but two edge-of-your-seat threads in this historical mystery. With the hero racing against time to solve the two cases readers will be kept guessing as they attempt to crack the case. “ ~ Laura V. Hilton author of Christmas Admirer (Whitaker House)
About the Author
Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year Award in Historical Fiction. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Thank you so much for joining us on the Celebrate Lit blog tour for Solve by Christmas!! I am so excited you’re here. For this special event, I wanted to share the inside scoop behind the story.
Solve by Christmas is a historical Mystery set in Denver during the great blizzard of 1913. It has a unique storyline, so people often wonder where the idea came from. Honestly, it was one of those ideas that just popped into my head, then took on a life of its own and evolved over several weeks.
I wanted to give my readers a new story before the year was out, but I didn’t have a specific plot in mind. I did know I wanted to write a Christmas story. So, I had that much. Then I decided I wanted something with a firm deadline.” If this doesn’t happen by this date, everyone dies” sort of thing. Then “By Christmas” popped into my head and flicked on a light. What if Christmas was the deadline?
I’ve always loved detectives and mystery stories, and they go perfectly with deadlines. So, then I thought, what if a detective must solve the case by Christmas or death wins?
Sometimes, as an author, there are ideas and thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Almost like God dropping a card into your mental mailbox. The next point of Solve by Christmas was that way. What if a detective was assigned a case that he had to solve by Christmas, but it wasn’t a real case –at least not the type of case he wanted—but something completely different? From there, the story began to really take shape.
The next step, of course, is to come up with a character to be the detective. I wanted the story to have a Sherlock Holmes feel, so I started by studying his character a bit. But my story also has a less serious side since it isn’t a murder mystery and takes place at a sugar factory. I wondered…what would happen if you took Sherlock Holmes and meshed him with Barney Fife?
Now THAT would be hard to pull off. But I was determined to try. So, I made a list of Sherlock Holmes traits, and one of Barney Fife’s traits. I began to see that they actually DO have several similarities. They’re both a bit socially awkward. They both have a very similar flavor of pride. And they both have this air of authority…although Sherlock can back his up while Barney struggles in that area. Then I began to pick and choose between the traits that were left, this Barney trait, this Sherlock trait, and pretty soon I had Detective Jasper Hollock forming on the page. Whether you will get a Barney Fife and Sherlock feel when you read Solve by Christmas, I can’t say. But I do believe I was successful in creating a unique, quirky character that will bring this Christmas mystery to life.
There you have it. The scoop behind Solve by Christmas. I hope you enjoy the story, and best wishes in the giveaway! I will be stopping by along with Jasper and Denny (the two main characters) to answer any questions you may have about the story or the characters, so please do leave us a comment.
To celebrate her tour, Amber is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas themed basket which will include a paperback copy of Solve by Christmas and The Swaddling Clothes (my two Christmas books) as well as a Christmas terrarium jar, and a Solve by Christmas notepad!!
This was a really good read. I enjoyed it and the spirit of Christmas and reconciliation in the book.
Jasper is a quirky character, I can relate:) He has some oddities and I appreciate that about him. He is determined to do his job and do it well. He is a busy man with all that is going on in this book.
Denny sure endeared himself to me as well, Jasper’s little unwanted sidekick.
Obviously, this book deals with a pretty heavy issue but it is written in such away that it didn’t bring the story down and you have this sense of hope throughout. I found this book to be a charming and engaging read.
Author: Jodie Wolfe, Terri Wangard, Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre: Historical Christmas
Release Date: November 24, 2017
Picking a Bride for Paul
When Teddy Love’s neighbor and best friend breaks his leg, she pitches in to do whatever she can to help him on his farm. But when he enlists her aid in finding a wife, she comes to realize she has feelings for him.
Paul Baker follows his heart mother’s wishes by looking for a bride from the East who is refined and gentile, two qualities Teddy isn’t. When his potential bride arrives, he finds himself comparing her to Teddy. How can he go back and change things before he makes the biggest mistake of his life?
A destroyer escort is among the smallest of warships, but the USS Tabberer has the heart of a giant. A typhoon threatens the US Fleet in the Pacific during World War II, days before Christmas. The men of the Tabberer stand tall as they rush to the aid of their fellow sailors. For Seaman Jerry Collier, the typhoon prompts a greater awareness of what he wants in life. First, though, they have to survive.
A Dr. in the House
Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?
Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?
Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at http://www.jodiewolfe.com.
Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Classic BoatingMagazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.
Linda Shenton Matchettis a journalist, blogger, author, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life-from Edison, New Jersey (named for the famed inventor of the light bulb) and Washington, DC to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (reputed to be the oldest summer resort in America). She volunteers at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a trustee for her local public library.