15Oct

Thriving Thursday 10/16

Big news! If you love to read (like I do!), you do not want to miss this giveaway, with over $150+ of Christian books, both fiction and nonfiction. You can also see a recap of my trip to the ACFW conference also.

Book lover's giveaway at Serving Joyfully  13 great inspirational books, #fiction #nonfiction #ChristianBooks #acfw

 

Also, don’t forget about the free printable pack that I am offering for my “birthday month”

Printable Store free gift

Don’t miss my great list of nearly 40 free books for kindle that you can get right now…all from the best publishers and authors in Christian fiction, so definitely check that out.

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.

14Oct

ACFW (And an awesome giveaway!)

Book lover's giveaway at Serving Joyfully  13 great inspirational books, #fiction #nonfiction #ChristianBooks #acfw

So, I’ve been a bit of a flaky blogger for the last couple of weeks. Mono has hit our house, and it hasn’t been pretty! That in addition to the recovery time that always seems to come with being gone from the internet and the house for nearly a week, and I have been in survival mode. I’m still not 100%, so please forgive me for any rambling or errors this post may contain :)

However, I want to share a little about the ACFW conference before I’m too far removed from it.

First of all, we had car trouble the entire time! But, the Lord provided just what we needed, even providing me with a couple ladies who would be within 30 minutes of where my hubby was, since we couldn’t drive our van. Originally, hubby was staying with his parents 2 hours outside of St. Louis, and he and the boys were going to pick me up for a fun day there. We missed out on that, but I was able to get a ride, for which I was very grateful.

A great roommate

I roomed with a fellow-Kentuckian, who I had never met, and the Lord blessed me because Shelia Stovall is just amazing! She spoke truth to me, and prayed for me during our time together. She was such a great encouragement and blessing.

Here we are with a couple other lovely ladies from Kentucky. Shelia and I are the pair on the right.

ACFW

So many great people!

I have attended a Christian conference in the past that felt very clique-y. So, I was worried about this one, especially since many of the attendees are award-winning, multi-published authors!

However, I have to say that I was so very blessed by the people I met there! They were just amazing, down-to-earth, kind, and encouraging. As you might imagine, it was very overwhelming for a major introvert like myself, but it was such a blessing to spend the weekend with other writers who love the Lord.

I even got to meet a blogging friend, Meghan Carver! I have “known” her for the past couple of years, and it was so neat to meet her in person.

I also met a girl named Jaime Wright in the prayer room, who came over and prayed with me and was just so sweet and so full of God’s grace and love, that it was flowing out of her. I love encounters like that! There were many more, but I couldn’t possibly list everyone!

I didn’t take many photos (bad blogger!), but I did manage to get a few. Here I am with Karen Witemeyer. I have read and loved every one of her books!

acfw 5

And, here with Kathleen Y’Barbo, who wrote a book that really touched me–so much that I read it twice, which I almost never do. It was a much heavier topic than I generally prefer, but it was so good.

acfw 4

And, here with the awesome Erica Vetsch, who wrote a book with one of my favorite heroes ever. (the link goes to a 2-book collection, which includes hers and another good one and costs less than buying separately)

Erica Vetsch ACFW

A little story about Erica. I met her in this never-ending line where we were all hoping to pick up a bonus appointment that someone else had canceled (with editors or agents). I had hoped to make it through that line before my already-scheduled appointment, but I never did. Erica laughed that she’d probably still be there at the end of my 15 minute appointment and would save my spot.

I left the line and headed off to my first (and WORST) appointment. The agent I met with was very critical of my story and manuscript and did not request anything from me. I was ready to call it quits, go back to my room and cry. Between the discouraging experience and being overwhelmed by the conference in general, I was done.

Until I remembered Erica’s offer. And knowing she was waiting for me to return was just the accountability I needed to go back and get in that line.

The meeting I got from that line was with an agent who said to me, emphatically, “You have a great story.” and requested my full manuscript. Now, she may not represent me after reading the manuscript. But I am so glad that I was able to push through that first disappointment and not let it ruin the rest of the conference for me, and Erica was a big part in that happening.

And, just for fun I met an author who I dubbed the funnest person there. Caryl McAdoo is from Texas and is a southern girl, and it was so refreshing to meet someone so down-to-earth. I am looking forward to reading her books.

acfw 3

Learning the craft of writing

I learned so much about the craft of writing through classes and conversations. More importantly, I was inspired anew to take initiative myself to learn more about it. I have found some great sites, books, and planning worksheets.  I am working toward being more disciplined with studying my craft. A part of this is signing back up for critique group, where I have already received some great feedback about my story.

Nothing solid to report right now, but I will keep you posted!

*whew* I didn’t intend this to be so long, but I’m going to go ahead and make it a little bit longer by adding my giveaway!

My awesome ACFW-Inspired giveaway.

So, I am very excited about this, and I hope you are too! ACFW is all about fiction (American Christian Fiction Writers), but this giveaway includes some great non-fiction as well.

There are 13 books included in this giveaway, valued at over $150! Click the covers below to see more info about each book (affiliate links)

PS–If you like books, be sure to check out my post of 40 free Christian books for your kindle!

Giveaway A Bride in Store Giveaway A Stitch in Time giveaway beloved giveaway daughter of jerusalem Giveaway Everything a Season giveaway josephine cain giveaway lost and found giveaway quilted heart Giveaway Sacred Year giveaway the hardest peace giveaway the moses quilt giveaway the shepherds songgiveaway the pursuit of tamsen little john

So, how do you enter?

Just use the rafflecopter below. Be sure to come back each day and get your free entry! I have lots of easy entries for you as well, so be sure to get those :)  Good luck!

Would you do me a big favor and share about the giveaway by sharing this post on facebook?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

08Oct

Thriving Thursday 10/9

Don’t miss my great list of nearly 40 free books for kindle that you can get right now…all from the best publishers and authors in Christian fiction, so definitely check that out.

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.

06Oct

Happy Birthday for me = A FREE Gift for YOU!

Printable Store free gift

Quick Note: If you like freebies and bargains, be sure to check out this post with 40 FREE Christian books for your kindle, and this post with lots of free books for your kindle, and several others for $.99 and $1.99

So, it’s not my birthday yet, but October is my “birthday month” so I am giving you all, my beloved readers, a gift. A couple, actually.

First of all, I get tons of emails weekly inquiring about my previous freebies (the ones that are now for sale in my shop). You all know how this works…I create a new printable and it is available for FREE exclusively for my subscribers for about a month (so, subscribe now to be sure that you’ll get those!) I also share it with facebook likers (so “like” me on facebook to get them first). Then, after that period, they go on sale in my shop.

Special #1: Any one Printable Pack FREE

But some of you discovered my blog after some had been released, and have sent me messages wishing you could get a past one for free. So, Now is your chance to get your choice of ANY one of my printable packs for FREE!

Choose here and checkout with the code birthdayfree to get any one of my printable packs for free, up to $3.99.

Special #2: 50% off your ENTIRE order in my shop!

If you would like to purchase more than the one free pack, I have a great deal for you…use code birthdaysale to get 50% off your ENTIRE purchase in my shop. And, the best thing is that you can combine these codes! So, you can get the free pack, and then get 50% off the rest of your order as well!

Bonus: Get my e-book for just $2.49!

Intentional Marriage 3d Cover

My ebook, Intentional Marriage, is regularly priced at $4.99, but for the entire month of October you can get it for just $2.49 using the 50% off coupon above.

Important Note: I will be going to kindle select very soon with this book. What that means is that it will only be available in kindle format. Now is the last chance to get the PDF before that happens.

 

 

 

02Oct

All Christians Should Be Missionaries

Missionary man holds his bible with interlocked fingers to pray.

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting every Christian should move to Africa, or some other far away place. Sometimes, we make things too complicated.

We see missionaries who are sent out into the far reaches of the world, those who are risking their lives, and even those who are reaching thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of people both in our nation and abroad.

Missionaries must be great. And we don’t feel great

I recently had a conversation with my 5 year-old about this. We were discussing how daddy missed the Independence Day celebration with us last year because he was on a mission trip.

My 5 year old said, “Only missionaries can go on a mission trip.”

Sometimes, in their innocence, little kids just get so real. Because I think that’s what a lot of Christians think. That only “special people” can go on mission trips or serve.

  1. That only those called to the mission field or ministry have the ability to spread the gospel message; and
  2. That only those called to the ministry or to be missionaries have the responsibility to spread the gospel message.

The truth is that we all have both the ability, and the responsibility to spread the good news of Christ.

At dictionary.com, a missionary is defined as:

1. a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work.
2. a person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others.

3. a person who is sent on a mission.

The first part of that definition is the one that typically comes to mind when we think of a missionary. However, the second and third parts are equally valid and important. As Christians, we have the most important information ever in the world, and it needs to be shared.

More importantly, we have all been sent on a vital mission. Jesus said,  

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
-Matthew 28:19-20

We may not all be called to foreign missions or to full time ministry, but we are called and equipped to spread the good news of ChristWe owe it to people around us to share the hope that we have. (1 Peter 3:15)

In that conversation with my son I mentioned earlier, a few minutes later he said that there was a little boy he spoke with one day who said that God isn’t powerful.

I asked him, “Did you tell him that God is powerful?”
He replied, “Yes, but he didn’t believe me.”
I said, “See, Logan, you were kind of being a missionary right then–you were telling somebody the truth about God.
He shook his head, “But that was before I even knew about missionaries.”

Again, the child gets to the heart of it. It was before he even knew about missionaries. Sometimes we Christians can get bogged down with Christianese. We have a special vocabulary for everything. And if we don’t know the right terms it must not count.

If I’m talking to God, I must not be doing it right, unless I call it prayer.

If I’m praying for others, I must not really be doing it if I don’t know about “intercessory prayer.”

And if I’m witnessing, it must not really matter unless I know about missionaries and ministry terms.

But the truth is, a lot of our Christianese doesn’t come from the Bible at all, they are just man-made terms to describe and define things we do.

So, I want to say…whether you know about missionaries or not, whether you are called to go to Africa, or into the ministry…or not, we all have a responsibility to our neighbors to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them.

Please know that I am not in any way trying to undermine the amazing efforts of those who we typically think of as missionaries. Those extraordinary people who are dying to self daily, and who are risking their lives to share truth with a dying world. I am not trying to undervalue their efforts. Maybe they deserve to have a special title that is all their own.

But maybe, sometimes we use that special title as an excuse to sit in our comfy homes and leave the serving and witnessing to others. Because “it’s their calling and not ours.” But that’s where we are wrong. The fact is that we are all called to die to self, follow Him and serve others. We all have a responsibility to share the friend and savior we have with a world that is dying without Him. Every single one of us.

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