Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Weaving Stories on Woven Wednesdays with Ruth Logan Herne

"Jesus was not a theologian. He was God, who told stories." Madeleine L'Engle


Some folks call prostitution "the oldest profession".

They're wrong, of course.

The oldest profession is story telling. From the beginnings of time, folks have told stories. Shared stories. Imagined stories. 





They made things up. They re-told history, recording it by voice and ear.

Villages, tribes and communities assigned a listener, or a story keeper, or a "teller". And so it began, a time when stories, both fact and fiction, began their patterns long before cotton or linen or flax weaving existed. When early man-- and woman-- drew charcoal patterns within caves. When rudimentary counting by slashes of burned stick... or four-legged figures depicted fierce predators. A time of few words, but still stories.

I love being a teller of stories. I love taking Biblical precepts and bringing them to life in contemporary works. I love seeing that while time marches on, people are still people. They're good, they're bad, they're strong and weak, they're tempted... oh, so tempted! 



"Yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward." Job 5:7, KJV

Modern times swim with temptation. It surrounds us. It's there on the street, in the subways, in the signage, in the music, on the television, in the arts, and in our homes. We are like those of old, picking our way through the difficulties, except we're so much better off than our forebears. 

We have medical help, schooling, clothing, food, and shelter. We have programs that help so many... so very many.

But with all of this, all the good fortune or plain and simple fortune, or even simply getting by, we give in to temptations all the time. Because without God... without faith... without that light of Jesus guiding our hearts and lighting up our souls... nothing is enough.



In the 17th century, Blase Pascal described a phenomena we still hear today. He described a vacancy within the human spirit, a vacancy so special, a hole so gaping inside us, that only God could fill it, although man tries valiantly to fill it every other possible way. 

But it's a God-shaped hole, and try as we might, it's meant for him. For that faith, that inner strength, the beauty of believing in times of trouble and moments of joy.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son..."

And there it is.

The Master Storyteller.

The Eternal Weaver.

The One, The Only, The Alpha and the Omega.

As we weave our way through this beautiful Wednesday, as we celebrate the joy and satisfaction of successful work by wonderful women, as we bond together in prayer and peace, let's thank God the Father Almighty for the gift of story telling, the beauty of faith and fiction, the delicacy of woven words.



For this gift, freely given, should always be appreciated. As we sculpt our stories, as we pare our words, as we bless others tales of happiness and woe, let us share the joys and pangs within us, as Christ did in his life... and on that cross.

"For greater love hath no man..."  

We search for joy and satisfaction in the physical world, when the truest faith, hope and love surrounds us in the spiritual realm. The wonderfulness that fills that God-shaped hole to bursting.

Happy birthday, lovely ladies! We share a birthday this week... your blog is young.

I am not.

But I'm not old, either, and I'll blast anyone who dares say otherwise! 

Let's have cake and coffee (or sweet tea!), and share our stories. And for this month, let's remember each and every one of those blessings, not by what others have that we covet... but by what we hold in our hearts, every single day.

And to make our hearts beat a little faster, Ruthy is offering a copy of her newest book (and FIRST MYSTERY!)  "A Light in the Darkness", the delightful first book of the Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard series, published through Guideposts. Leave a comment and Ruthy will put your name in her prettiest chipped candy dish! :) 



And here's the brochure (and the link) for this wonderful series... 
LINK TO "A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS"





Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne has well over a million books in print, a fact that still amazes her. She writes in the middle of the night, when there is NO ONE around to pester her, and by day she helps care for cute kids and a busy farm, all of which appear in her delightful, award-winning romances. She writes for the heart, from the soul and loves to chat with people! You can friend her on facebook, find her on Twitter @RuthLoganHerne and see her in Seekerville (www.seekerville.blogspot.com), Petticoats & Pistols.com  , the Yankee Belle Cafe  or swing by her website to see what's up, ruthloganherne.com 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ransom in Rio by guest Theresa Lynn Hall

Rio de Janeiro
One of the perks of being a fiction writer is that you can visit places in your mind without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. The downside to that is you can only learn so much
though pictures and articles. Luckily, my husband travels a lot for business. I’m not able to go with him since I’m a teacher, but he does take pictures for me and he loves to tell me about his trips when he returns. In 2013, he was in Rio de Janeiro for two weeks. It just so happened to fall during the Easter holiday. On Easter Sunday, he took a trip to see Christ the Redeemer. He took some amazing pictures, which he says do not do it justice. The trip alone
was exhausting, since he had to climb many flights of stairs to get to the top.

While in Brazil he also stayed in Sao Paolo for a little over a week, riding to his job site with a native Brazilian. He was scared for his life every time he got into the car. Apparently, the infrastructure is lacking monitored highways and the speed limit is just however fast you can go that day.

The language spoken in Rio is Portuguese, which might sound a little like Spanish, but it’s definitely not the same. Most of the time, the hotel desk clerks do not speak English. Just trying to get in touch with him at the hotel was a fiasco for me. During his stay there, one of the things he noticed was how dramatically different the economy changed from one section of the cities to the next. The countryside was dotted with small wooden houses, the pristine beaches were lined with hotels and condos, but just minutes from the bustling tourist attractions were rows and rows of shanty towns, or favelas, that seemed stacked into the hillsides. The natives told him not to venture too far from the city because of the crime in those poverty- stricken areas.
Right after my husband returned from his trip, Pelican Book Group opened a new series called Passport to Romance. One of the cities listed was Rio. The ideas began to churn and Ransom in Rio was born. Lexi’s family business began in Rio with her grandfather before moving it to the United States. At her father’s wishes, she travels back to Rio where she discovers family secrets she never knew existed.  In Ransom in Rio, I wanted to show the diversity of the Brazilian economy, and the familial ties of the people and their culture. I hope you enjoy the trip to Rio with Lexi and Brayden as much as I did.

Buy Links:

Personal Links:
Blurb:
Private Investigator, Braden McCoy wants nothing more than to finish out the week doing a little fishing from his boat.  The ex-special ops vet enjoys his peaceful life and loves his new career.  He’s learned to put his past behind him and enjoy his blessings.  Until a mourning redhead walks into his office and changes his plans.
Lexi Ramos always knew her family was dysfunctional.  Until the sudden death of her brother, she never knew exactly how much.  Consumed with questions surrounding his accident, she seeks the help of a private investigator.  What starts out as a murder investigation in Cozumel, quickly crosses borders and escalates into a race against time to save them both from Brazilian kidnappers, who somehow know more about her family secrets than she does.  Lexi soon realizes that life comes with a price.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Affliction

In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. Psalm 102:25-27 



I feel afflicted and weak from time to time, in body, but also in my spirit and soul. What struggles frighten you and make you feel inadequate? We tend to act the way we feel, and allowing inadequacy and fear to take hold makes us weak.

A weekend trip to Colorado reminded me of just how small and insignificant I am. The mountains stand strong, robed in majesty, as they have for centuries, a testament to the power of the God who “laid the foundations of the earth.” God is so much greater than I am.

 Recently, I experienced a setback in my plans, a rejection of years of work. I felt weak, insignificant, inadequate, doubtful, and uncertain of the future. It reminded me of how small I am and how many people are better and more capable than I am. Surrounded by successful, confidant people who won awards for their work, the rejection of my own efforts was even harder.

The part of Psalm 102 that struck me almost as much as the word of the psalmist himself was the note my NIV Bible placed at the beginning. “A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord.” I was allowing myself to feel afflicted when, in spite of rejection, I received another opportunity and an unexpected blessing. God never leaves us at a dead end. He always has something else waiting up ahead.



Just as those mountains showed me how small I am in the scheme of things, they reminded me of how great my God is all of the time. The mountains will not stand forever. An earthquake could destroy them in seconds and God will someday bring them crashing down to be replaced with something better. However, the psalmist goes on to say that God remains the same forever, no matter what happens to His creation.

If you struggle against fear, inadequacies, and insignificance, look to your Creator. He has a plan for you, and He will see it carried through to completion. All that is required from us is to take the opportunities offered and do our best, seeking God’s help. He will never let us down when we are trusting in Him. He will offer another path. Look for it and go forward in His strength. I may feel afflicted, but God never fails.


© Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, June 23, 2017

Don't forget every comment this month gets your name in the drawing for our Grand Birthday Prize and our Runner-Up Prizes giveaways!




About the author:
Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, winner of the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 41 years. They have two adult children. If you’re interested in connecting with me, I invite you to follow my blog, join me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon