Posted in Books

The Pressures of a College Graduate During COVID-19

The Pressures of a College Graduate During COVID-19

By Shelby Abbott
You had it all planned out. You were doing your research and fine-tuning your resumé. You were preparing for the future: graduation in May, summer internship that would go through August, saying “yes” to the dream job where you knew you could make the most impact, earn some money, get married, buy a dog, raise a family, change the world, die peacefully in your late 90s while holding hands with your great-grandchildren.

You know, normal life planning stuff. But then…

Then, this virus came along and changed everything. Classes got moved online. They closed campus. The interview you had set up got cancelled. Instead of moving at the end of the semester to a new town, you had to move back home with your parents. Maybe you got to stay in your apartment, but the whole area around campus is like a ghost town. The job you had waiting tables that was helping to pay the bills got nixed because the restaurant has been shut down indefinitely.

Nothing about your life is going according to plan right now. It’s not fair. What is God doing? What’s going to happen during this prolonged season of quarantine? How will you recover from all this once the world starts spinning again?

These are totally justifiable questions and concerns to have during a time as unpredictable as this. The unexpected stresses you’re currently experiencing as a graduating college student are normal and undoubtedly plentiful amongst you and your peers.

The great unknown you were prepping for has suddenly morphed into a much larger great unknown because nobody has walked this path before. It’s kind of hard to get wisdom about how to proceed when the entire world seems to be shrugging their shoulders concerning questions about COVID-19.

But where humans fall short, God is always there with wisdom from his Word. Yes, the pressure points in this season seem more intense because of our current circumstances, but I’ve found that adulthood in general is in the regular habit of throwing us curveballs. The unpredictable will always be a part of your life.

Knowing that, here are three specific pressures you might be experiencing in present day, and how to use them to construct a deeper sense of maturity and godly character for the future.

1. Wondering what God’s will is for your life in all of this. Finding out what God wants us to do in life has to begin with asking the right question, and What is God’s will for my life? is simply the wrong question to ask.

There’s an assumption within the question itself that we want God to bless us with what will make us most happy because it’s all about me. The question is asked through western cultural values that place control, comfort, prosperity, individualism, and safety above all else (many of which are being stripped from us by the pandemic).

Truthfully, the more appropriate question should be, During this unique season, how does my life fit into God’s will? This is how to ask the question correctly because it’s taking into account the bigger picture of how God is working in the world. It assumes the plot of the story isn’t about you, but about him. He is the main character. He is doing something amazing in the hearts of people, and we should want to know how we can be a part of what is already happening as he is moving.

Let me give you an example. I believe that now, more than ever, people will be more naturally inclined to talk about God and spiritual subjects. No doubt, your fellow students are bored on their devices because of school closures, so why not invest this time well instead of just spending it?

You can record yourself talking about what God has done in your life, how Christ has changed you, or what you’ve been learning lately. Encourage people to DM you, respond with a comment, or post a question in relation to what you’ve shared. This time can open relational doors unlike any time before because there’s a more captive audience.

People are scrolling, so what would it look like for God to use you and bring the light of the good news into your friend’s lives? Now, perhaps more than ever, is a great time to talk with someone about God’s love for them in Jesus Christ. This is just one extraordinary way you can proactively use your life to fit into God’s will.

2. Wondering what to do with all of this “slow time.” The coronavirus has forced all of us to stop our regular daily routine and slow our lives down. Many people welcome this, and yet for some it’s excruciating to operate at what seems like a snail’s pace.

I’m reminded of Psalm 62 that says, “For God alone my soul waits in silence,” (62:1 ESV) and then followed closely by, “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence” (62:5). Verse 1 seems to be stating a fact, and verse 5 seems to be a personal pep talk from King David to himself, reminding him to absorb the truth that he just stated in verse 1.

I love this because it’s so easy to relate to. In times like these, our minds have the tendency to ping-pong back and forth between hope and despair, peace and anxiety, godly comfort and fear. Apparently, we’re in good company with David. But the subject matter of Psalm 62 is even more compelling—wait for God in silence.

As an American college student who’s graduating and getting ready to go out into the world, I’m guessing you struggle just a smidge with waiting in silence. Honestly, I do too.

Slow time can be soothing to our often-agitated hearts and minds. And since the virus is forcing us to slow down, let’s not get more agitated. Let’s practice proactive waiting in silence for God.

That can look like a number of different things during this time of quarantine. You can hand-write out a journal to capture your specific thoughts and prayers. You can download a prayer app to your phone (I use PrayerMate) and routinely pray for your friends, family, school, future, country, and planet. You can pick a Scripture and meditate on it for an extended period of time…time where you don’t speak or let your mind wander, but instead listen to God through his word. And I’m sure there are many other ways to wait in silence on God. It’s a great time to be doing so.

3. Wondering how you’re going to take care of yourself, both now and after this is over. One of the obvious benefits from COVID-19 for me has been that the pandemic itself opposes the illusion of human self-sufficiency and autonomy.

Paul David Tripp once wrote, “The development of spiritual maturity is a move from independence to great dependence on God. Exposing our delusion of self-sufficiency is a painful thing, but a good thing.” I love this because it’s so obviously true, but also completely counterintuitive to all my humanly instincts.

As people, we like to believe that we are so sophisticated and competent. Yet all evidence is to the contrary right now—it only takes one microscopic virus to stop the entire world in its tracks. You should let this be a reminder that you cannot take care of yourself now or after the dust settles from this event. You were created to live in great dependence on the Creator.

* * *

It’s in these moments that we must point out to ourselves that the Lord is upright and there is no unrighteousness in him (Psalm 92:15). He is good and sovereign over all things (Ephesians 1:11). He can do all things, and no purpose of his can be thwarted (Job 42:2).

Learning to lean on these truths now as a young college graduate during a worldwide pandemic will begin to mold and shape you into the man or woman God wants you to be. Don’t waste your pain in this time. Use these unique pressures in such a time as this (Esther 4:14) as a means for God to show you how much potential exists in you when you submit to his skillful, loving work in the world.

About the author
Shelby Abbott is an author, campus minister, and conference speaker on staff with the ministry of Cru. His passion for university students has led him to speak at college campuses all over the United States.

Abbott is the author of Jacked and I Am a Tool (To Help with Your Dating Life). His latest release is Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress. He and his wife, Rachael, have two daughters and live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Readers can find Abbott online at www.shelbyabbott.com, on Facebook (shelby.abbott.98), Twitter (@shelbyabbott) and Instagram (@shelbyabbott).

Featured resource: Pressure Points
This humorous, poignant, and conversational guide invites young men and women to practically apply gospel solutions to all of life’s pressures, big or small. From navigating failure, roadblocks, and spiritual warfare to tackling relevant, hard-hitting topics such as drinking, sex, dating, pornography, and the fear of missing out, Pressure Points by Shelby Abbott encourages college students to consider Jesus in the midst of everyday struggles.

With twenty years of experience in college ministry, Shelby Abbott is keenly aware of the pressures young men and women face. Used for biblical reflection, group discussion, devotional reading, or large group Bible study discussion, Pressure Points is full of rich gospel hope for all readers. This flexible resource points to Scripture and Abbott’s funny, easily digestible reflections to help modern-day college students maneuver their early years toward the gospel, challenging young adults to see their struggles through a biblical lens.

By addressing relevant challenges and practical hardships with gospel advice, Pressure Points guides readers to see and lean on the person of Jesus, reflecting on important issues in light of the gospel. From waiting on the Lord with patience, learning to fellowship with him in his sufferings, to wrestling with purpose, relationships, and the growing challenges of today’s culture, Pressure Points is a timely and refreshing voice for young people pointing to a bottomless pit of grace.

Pressure Points is available in paperback and eBookformats. 

Posted in Books

Excerpt from Edward Welch’s “A Small Book for the Anxious Heart”

These are anxious times. The unknown is scary whether anxiety is something you struggle with on a daily basis or only on occasions that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable for everyone.

Most of us have at least a little anxiety right now thanks to COVID-19. But, God’s word has a lot to say about feeling fearful and anxious. The following is an excerpt from A Small Book for the Anxious Heart by Edward T. Welch, a small but powerful devotional book to remind us of the encouraging, beautiful words in Scripture to anxious people.
Don’t Be Anxious… Pray
By Ed Welch
This sounds too simple.

Do not be anxious about anything, but   in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

Don’t be anxious . . . pray.

But don’t brush this off as trite and simplistic. Every other way of dealing with fears and anxieties relies on some technology, medicine, and/or self-talk. But we all know—even children know—that our anxieties need the right person,
and you know that person.

Have you tried this when you are anxious? Have you ever answered your anxious thoughts with Scripture-led prayer? It turns out that this seemingly simple and available-to-all teaching is one of the hidden and underused treasures of Scripture. It only sounds trite if you haven’t practiced it.

It is simple, but, like the simple instruction to “love one another,” it takes a lifetime to master.

  • We learn to speak honestly to the Lord about our fears and anxieties.
  • We grow in making simple requests, such as “help.”
  • We talk to God using his words in the Bible—merging our requests with what he says is true and what we know the Lord delights in giving us.
  • We learn to wrap all this together with thanksgiving, remembering what Jesus has done, what he is doing now, and what he will do when we see him face-to-face.

Those who consistently respond to anxiety with prayer are the sages in our midst. Too often we brush off this passage and look for something more complicated. Meanwhile, this wonderfully compact teaching stands waiting for us.

The last thirty years of my life have been spent shortening the time lag between the appearance of anxiety and the onset of prayer. That gap has gone from two days down to one, and then down to an hour. Occasionally, prayer comes even before my anxiety is full-blown. When that happens, I marvel at the power of God that equips me to do what is counterintuitive. Left to myself I spin out doomsday scenarios, hoping that my frenetic mind will stumble into some answers. But when I go to my heavenly Father and tell him my worries, when I remember his words to me (an ever-present help in trouble), and when I thank him for his care, the peace of Christ does begin to rule my heart and mind. It’s a miracle that still takes me by surprise.

For this passage to come alive to you, you have to know that God is near. Paul mentions that right before he tells the Philippians to replace anxiety with prayer (Philippians 4:5). Do you have an image for that yet? For the ancient
Israelites, God was just on the other side of a curtain, residing in his Holy of Holies. Now, Immanuel—God-with-us—is in us and we are in him.

Are you persuaded that he wants you to talk to him? This is what happens in the best of relationships. We speak of what is heavy on our hearts, and the other person never minimizes our struggle. Although the Lord knows your thoughts and feelings before you do, he values you actually putting those thoughts and feelings into words and into prayer.

Welcome to the deep wisdom of God that is available to us through Jesus.


Excerpted from A Small Book for the Anxious Heart by Ed Welch. © 2019 by New Growth Press.

Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at CCEF. He has been counseling for more than thirty-five years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions.


Want to read more? You can get a copy of A Small Book for the Anxious Heart on the New Growth Press website. They are still on a regular shipping schedule. It is available in print and eBook formats.

Visit https://newgrowthpress.com/resources-for-anxiety/
for more resources on anxiety, worry and fear.

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Library and Educational Services LLC

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One of our goals, when we started homeschooling, was to build a library and with Library and Educational Services LLC we can add beautiful Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction books. They also carry paperbacks like the Who Was . . . series with titles like Who Was Leonarado da Vinci?  In addition to books Library and Educational Services, LLC also carries CDs such as the Lifehouse Theater Pride & Prejudice CD.  If your family is in the market for wholesale books, you should definitely check out this company for yourself.

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In the past when our children were younger, we owned several of the “Who Was…” books.  So I basically knew what to expect.  I was interested in receiving the book on Leonardo da Vinci since I found myself desiring to explore art, artists, and artistic pursuits this year.  One of my favorite parts of these books is the illustrations that can be found throughout the book.  I appreciated how this book addressed how Leonardo was an artist, but also a scientist, an athlete, and a musician.  This series is recommended for ages 8 to 12, and my children have found the books in this collection interesting to read. The books talk about the individual when they were a child to when they died.

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I love having audio dramas to listen to either at home or for when we are traveling.  Because our local homeschool dram group performed a version of Jane Eyre two years ago, I thought Pride and Prejudice would be a great audio drama to add to our collection.  I have to say this drama did not disappoint our family.  The sound quality, voice actors and actresses along with the background music made it worth listening to for our family.  The entire audio took about 70 minutes to listen to and I found it kept true to the story.  It was entirely appropriate for younger listeners as well as older listeners.  I can say our family will definitely be investing in more audio dramas from Library and Educational Services LLC in the future.

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I freely admit I am a bookaholic, So any company that I get incredible books from pleases me.  More importantly, for my husband to enjoy and actually read the books brings me joy.  For our selection of Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction books, I elected for our family to receive, the Signature Lives Set 2.  This collection includes 13 individuals including Booker T. Washington, Clara Barton, Benedict Arnold, Abigail Adams, Thomas Edison, Thurgood Marshall, William Penn and more. Recommended for ages 9 to 16, these stories help students discover the significance of these individuals.  The books feature illustrations, maps, sidebars, actual first-person accounts, quotes, historical photographs and more.

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I love how these books look on our bookshelf.  More importantly, I love how my husband could not put these books down. I was excited when my husband began reading the books the first night.  Normally, I talk about my children’s interactions with the products we review, but for these books, I desire to concentrate on my husband.  My husband is not necessarily what I would call an avid reader.  However, he actually read at least 2 or 3 books a night and enjoyed them.  So while these books may be recommended for ages 9 to 16, adults will definitely enjoy them as well. He found the books to be interesting and worth reading.

Here is a picture of him reading and then some collages of pages from the books he read.

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Social Media Links:

You can find Library and Educational Services LLC on Social Media on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

In addition to selling books, they also offer a Book Fair/Fundraising opportunity, which could be extremely beneficial if you are part of a homeschool group or co-op.  You get to choose the books you want to offer, knowing the books will uphold Biblical and family values while encouraging your children to read and encouraging parental involvement while raising money.

The company also offers Christian Fiction, Bibles, gifts, crafts and more.  So check out Library and Educational Services LLC for yourself.

So if your family is in the market for books and you want to buy wholesale books, check out Library and Educational Services LLC for yourself.  From the Who Was . . . series with titles like Who Was Leonardo da Vinci?  to CDs such as the Lifehouse Theater Pride & Prejudice, there is bound to be something your family wants.

If you want to read reviews of this company by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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#hsreviews #homeschoolwholesale #homeschool #homeschoolsupplies #libraryandeducationalservices #libraryandeducationalservices #libraryanded #whowasbooks #whowasbookseries

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for “The Cabin”

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About the Book

Book: The Cabin

Author: Erin Unger

Genre: Romantic suspense

Release date: June 14, 2019

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Leah Kettridge’s writing career is over before the first book lands on the shelf, when a famous author has claimed she’s stolen his work. If it wasn’t for a story brainstorming luncheon with her sister, he’d have never overheard her conversation about the novel she was writing. Who will she ever trust again if not her most favorite writer? And what about the one fabulous date they had before she knew what a traitor he was?

Keenan Brinner has it all. He’s a best-selling author who’s only headed toward more greatness. And he must be the most gorgeous guy Leah’s ever seen. But he’s also a liar and a cheat.

When they end up at the same cabin to write, emotions explode. But an unexpected snowstorm traps them deep in the mountains. Is he bent on destroying her in more ways than one? How will love find them amidst all their anger and distrust?

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

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Imagine writing your first novel and getting a book deal only to have it snatched away because a famous author writes the same story.  Then imagine the results of such actions, people in the publishing world treat you as though you have the plague.  Leah Kettridge experiences this exact thing.  So she decides to flee to a mountain cabin where she can get away and write, even if it is wintertime.

Only she then has the horrible experience of finding the famous author, who she believes stole her story that God gave to her, at the cabin.  Sparks of anger and distrust fly from the start.  But a blizzard, downed trees and more force them to get along and help one another.

In the course of events, the author does a remarkable job of developing the storyline and characters.  Because I initially found myself rooting for Leah, I hated when I began to like Keenan Brinner.  The two make an incredible team when they are working together instead of fighting each other.

By the end of the story, the two have forged a truce and Keenan even suggests the two of them write a book together.  Truly the characters and storyline in this book make it one that is worth reading.

So check it out for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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Erin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids. Her next novel, Fateful Fall, releases August 9, 2019.

 

More from Erin

Ering Unger

Glittery snow. The perfect cabin in the mountains. And sworn enemies trapped together. How could anything go wrong?

Welcome to the cabin where writers like to go to get away from the noise and bother of life to write. I hope you don’t mind the two guests already here. They’re stuck together after one stole the other’s novel. But the famous one has firsts rights to the work. Who’d dare believe he’d be the perpetrator of the crime? Or is it the newbie writer who longed to be known for more than her graphic designs who plagiarized?

Stay and enjoy a mug of instant coffee and some potted meat. And make sure to bring in your warmest blanket, since this eclectic home has lost power in the storm.

You’ll also find a complementary cordless phone with no connection for your accommodations.

Enjoy your stay! And take a moment to check out our amenities folder laden with an expert below.

 

Read an excerpt from The Cabin

Betrayal is such a benign looking word on paper. In real life it could kill a person. Like me. I was dying on the inside as I flipped from one page to the next of the bestselling novel in my hands. And all because of Keenan Brennan—the hottest bestselling author I knew and dated some time ago. Yet some part of me kept praying it wasn’t true as I pressed into the sofa cushion and continued to read.

It just couldn’t be.

But the book with the startlingly dark cover said it all.

“No, no, no.”

Hot tears stung my cheeks as I ripped the well-designed cover off the book and then launched it across the living room. It smashed against the refurbished brick wall and landed with its pages bent. Good. It deserved a worse fate than just bent pages.

How? When had he stolen my book idea?

I face-planted my palm against my forehead. “At the restaurant.”

Why didn’t I keep my big fat mouth shut and tell my sister Aeris the storyline in the privacy of my home? Tears stung my eyes. Who’d have guessed my lowdown almost boyfriend would stoop so low. He didn’t need my work.

I stared across the room, not focusing on the heap of a good—terrible—book. Well it was on the NYT bestselling list. Not bad for a nobody writer like myself. And since it was my story—not his—then I allowed myself a moment of self-satisfaction.

My gaze dropped to the torn book. I had to take another look. Couldn’t it be a coincidence? Maybe the rest of it was different. In a scramble, I grabbed it up and found the page I last read.

By chapter forty there was no doubt.

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 27

Blogging With Carol, June 28

For Him and My Family, June 28

Ashley’s Bookshelf , June 29

Carpe Diem, June 29

Texas Book-aholic, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 30

Inspired by fiction, July 1

Godly Book Reviews, July 1

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 2

Daysong Reflections, July 2

janicesbookreviews, July 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, July 3

Inklings and notions, July 4

A Reader’s Brain, July 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 6

Real World Bible Study, July 7

Remembrancy, July 7

Through the Fire Blogs, July 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 8

Maureen’s Musings, July 9

Pause for Tales, July 9

Moments, July 10

Melissa Henderson, July 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away a themed basket that includes a copy of The Cabin!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e50d/the-cabin-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fiction

Review and Giveaway for Restored by Tanya Eavenson

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About the Book

Book: Restored

Author: Tanya Eavenson

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: February 10, 2016

RestoredSometimes love arrives when you least expect it.

Dr. Steven Moore is known nationally for saving lives. If only he could save his own. Unable to deal with his prognosis, he retreats to a happier time in his past—to the woman who once stole his heart.

Four years after the death of her beloved husband, bookstore owner Elizabeth Roberts still struggles to sustain her faith and joy in the Lord as she raises her two sons. She strives to find a way through her family’s grief, never suspecting a man from her past might offer hope for her future.

But how can there be a future when he’s only come to kiss her and say good-bye?

 

Click here to buy a copy of the book.

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Restored is a touching and compelling look at love lost, lives lost, and then finding a future.  Steven Moore and Elizabeth Rogers once were in love and planning on getting married.  But then their circumstances changed and they went their own ways.  Years later after the death of Elizabeth’s husband Chris and a diagnosis of cancer for Steven, the two meet again.

Steven has given up on living and is preparing to die.  But God has a funny way of interfering with what man plans.  Years earlier, Chris had asked Steven to be his “kinsman redeemer” like Boaz was for Ruth in the Bible.  If anything happened to Chris, he wanted Steven to marry Elizabeth and take care of her and their children.

But Elizabeth and Steven had a rocky path to taking a chance on love and making a future together.  The realism of the storylines and character, especially Elizabeth’s children Luke and Chris lend authenticity to this book that many other books miss.

So if you want to read a book that may make you laugh, cry, and more, check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Tanya EavensonTanya Eavenson is an international bestselling and award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. You can find her at her website http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/ on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.

 

More from Tanya

RESTORED is the second book in the Unending Love series. It’s a story I wanted to write, one I knew I could write, but still, it took six years to write. Not that it was difficult, but something was missing.

A friend and I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and during the conference, we discussed RESTORED. We came up with different plots, but nothing felt right.

I decided then to take a hiatus from contemporary romance and to begin writing another genre I’ve always loved, historical romance. While doing research and working on my historical romance novel, doctors discovered I had cancer.

There are many times in a person’s life where he or she may reach an obstacle. It may be an illness, an accident, a difficult decision that must be made, or any number of other things. I’d reached that point in my life. It was a defining moment, not only dealing with my cancer prognosis, but asking the Lord if He truly called me to write as I thought, or was I mistaken. I stuffed my historical romance novel away and almost gave up on God’s call to write.

But through the fears and searching for God’s direction, I learned He did indeed place this desire to write on my heart and no matter what I was facing in my life, it didn’t diminish His call. I’m inspired by the Lord to write inspirational Christian fiction so people may know the love of Christ. To know the depth He will go to have a relationship with us. And though we struggle, He uses us—ordinary people like me—to do out of the ordinary things. Unexpected things—like writing. This propelled me to write RESTORED.

I began pouring into RESTORED the knowledge I’d gained through my own experiences and that of my stepfather and father-in-law, who were both diagnosed with melanoma. I know now that if I had written this story any earlier in my career, I wouldn’t be on such a personal level with my characters nor could I have written it from the heart.

I love this story. I love my characters, Steven and Elizabeth. RESTORED is about lost love being given a second chance when you least expect it. A story of how nothing is impossible with God.

 

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 6

Through the Fire Blogs, June 7

Simple Harvest Reads, June 8

Remembrancy, June 9

Godly Book Reviews, June 10

For Him and My Family, June 11

Spoken from the Heart, June 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 13

Texas Book-aholic, June 14

janicesbookreviews, June 15

A Reader’s Brain, June 16

Inklings and notions, June 17

Artistic Nobody, June 18 (Spotlight)

Just the Write Escape, June 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tanya is giving away a grand prize of a $5 Amazon gift card and a pillow cover from RedBubble!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f5/restored-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fiction

Review and Giveaway for A Marvelous Redeemer

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About the Book

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She knew the decision would change her life. But she didn’t know she’d have to fight to survive. When Amira put her faith in Christ, she knew life wouldn’t be easy. But hiding her conversion from her Muslim family soon becomes the least of her worries. Forced to leave the only home she’s ever known, she travels to the island of Gabeburough, trying her best to make a fresh start. Two escaped convicts and a treasure map. A leafy paradise that becomes her home. Amira begins to wonder, where is her Redeemer when she needs Him the most? Caleb Haddington is prince of Carpathia. Life should be perfect, but he can’t get a certain dark-haired girl out of his mind. Amira was his best friend when he lived in France, but her letters to him have suddenly stopped. Her last letter is filled with terror that her faith will soon be discovered. Only a single hope keeps him alive; when the time is right, he’s going after her. He’ll bring her back and prove to the kingdom that he’s a man. But the journey proves to be more perilous than he’d ever imagined. Ridicule, comfortless days and the threat of a hurricane are just the start of his problems. Lying becomes easy for Caleb until his own life crumbles before him. Brought to his knees under the pressure of his actions, he comes to realize the sweetness of his Savior. Forgiveness, grace, and mercy are granted fully to those who ask. Caleb and Amira soon discover that they don’t just serve a gracious Savior, but a wonderful, magnificent, marvelous Redeemer.

Click here to purchase your copy.

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A Marvelous Redeemer is the third and final book in the Light for Christ trilogy.  Having read the first two books, I was looking forward to reading this third book, and it did not disappoint.  The story picks up the tales of Anna, William, Caleb, Charlotte, and the rest of the characters I had come to know in the previous books.

This book focuses primarily on Caleb and his friend Amira (a Muslim girl turned Christian).  Caleb feels like he is being treated as a boy when he feels he has become a man.  But as the story unfolds, he will come to realize he is not quite ready to be on his own yet.  Amira is forced to leave her family’s home because she has become a Christian.  She faces many obstacles and difficulties as a 14-year-old on her own.  The worst of these is when two men who have escaped from prison take her hostage.

In the background of the story of Caleb and Amira, Anna, Charlotte (Anna’s sister-in-law) and their family and friends try to keep life as normal as possible when Anna is queen and her husband William is king.

My favorite part of this book is the ending which demonstrates that Caleb has grown up and become a man.  So if you like Christian fiction full of danger, adventure, family,  and friendship, check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

aleigha israel

ALEIGHA C. ISRAEL writer of inspirational fiction and poetry is an author of multiple books and enjoys sharing God’s love through the powerful art of storytelling.

Aleigha loves being a Community Assistant at the Young Writers Workshop and teaching writing classes to her talented students.

When she’s not daydreaming about a new story idea or playing with her sidekick “Marley” (a Pomeranian mix) she can usually be seen traveling with her family’s gospel bluegrass band, “Fret Not” or making personalized author swag for her business Literary Treasures.

She doesn’t have to search very hard for inspiration.

Living in the Israel household, it’s guaranteed there’s an adventure waiting around every corner!

More from Aleigha

I’m beyond excited to finally share Caleb’s Song with you all!!

Something I love doing with my stories, is writing songs that become the character’s life songs.

I’ve done it for most of my books.

In A Marvelous Redeemer, Caleb suffers his way through learning several valuable lessons. But His Redeemer never left his side for a single moment.

We don’t have to try and make it through this world alone, because Jesus walks beside us all the way.

Through Jesus, we can find freedom, victory, peace, love and forgiveness. We can find ultimate joy in the sweet presence of our gracious, Marvelous Redeemer.

I hope you enjoy Caleb’s Song!

You can also check out his song on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXykDvOTGVc

And read an exclusive interview with Caleb Haddington and more of the royal family on my blog: https://thepenofthewriter.weebly.com/character-fun.html

(And even have the chance to ask Caleb a few questions of your own!!)

Caleb’s Song:

“A speck on the horizon, nothing big, nothing tall.
Just an ant on this earth,

trying to break down this wall.
A trembling wind, a small ship on the sea,
Understanding this world is not all about me.

Trying to fix all my problems, trying to right all my wrongs.
I just need someone stronger to carry me along.

I can build up walls, and hide within,
but the pain is still there, with no way to win.

I need love,
I need a Savior,
I need the Prince who was born in a manger.
I need strength, in all my weakness.
I need a light to chase all my darkness.
I need Jesus, I need Jesus.

My well is so empty, my spirit is dry.
No relief from this pain, though I try and I try.
I can’t do this anymore, my life is a mess,
I just want to win this battle, nothing more, nothing less.

This world offers answers that only appease for a day.
But I’ve finally found my life source, the only One, the only Way.
My burden’s now been lifted, I’ve found a life boat on the sea.
My walls are broken down, I’ve found victory!

In His love, in my Savior, in my Prince
who was born in a manger.
He is strength, in all my weakness.
He is the light to chase all my darkness.
I’ve found Jesus, I’ve found Jesus.

Blog Stops

Real World Bible Study, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Bigreadersite, May 31

janicesbookreviews, May 31

Carpe Diem, June 1

Girls Living For God’s Glory, June 2

Through the Fire Blogs, June 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, June 4

Mary Hake, June 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 5

Inspired by Fiction, June 6

For the Love of Literature, June 7

Pause for Tales, June 8

For The Love of Books, June 9

A Reader’s Brain, June 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 10

Aryn the Libraryan, June 11

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, June 12

Inklings and notions, June 12

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Aleigha is giving away a grand prize package that includes “My Foolish Heart” by Susan May Warren, “The Blessing” by Wanda E. Brunstetter, “Hidden Treasures” by Aleigha C. Israel, Song of the Mountains candle by @BookBurnCandles, a $10 Amazon gift card, and chocolate!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e2a7/a-marvelous-redeemer-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fiction

Review and Giveaway for Just a Train Ride

Just a Train Ride FB banner

About the Book

Book: Just a Train Ride

Author: Elizabeth Wehman

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: September 1, 2017

She was born during the Great Depression, dated a soldier shipped across the world into the upheavals of war. Despite the haunting scars of battle, she married that soldier when he returned. After the loss of her husband of sixty years, an annual trip to visit her grandson in Chicago always helped ease her loneliness. Yet in the face of ailing health, Callie had boarded a train and now needed to make her way back home to Michigan. She’d made the same trip many times before, yet this time it was clear to Callie it would be her last. That’s when she met Blaine. The young, agitated woman appeared to be seeking an escape which inspired Callie to remember her own struggles in life and love. Had their lives merged for a reason? They had a train ride from Chicago to Lapeer to find out.

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY THOUGHTS (1)

Just a Train Ride is one of those books that captured my attention from the beginning.  Callie’s story intertwines with Blaine’s in a way I did not necessarily expect to happen.  As Callie told Blaine about meeting her husband for the first time, the details of how their relationship developed captured my imagination.

The characters were well-developed and interesting to read about as the story progressed.  Because Callie was telling her story to Blaine, the changes from present to past and back again were clear and easy to follow.

The details of living and loving during the time of World War II truly were interesting to read about. The relationships between Callie, her parents, and her sisters during their initial meeting and courtship were incredible in depth and breadth.

The descriptions of the train station created stunning pictures in my mind. I could picture the details in my mind. I also have to say I loved how the majority of the story took place during the train ride Blaine and Callie took together. I wanted Blaine to come to the realization of who God is and why He matters. I also wanted Blaine to realize how important is to find the right person to share the rest of her life with since it is supposed to be forever.

So check this book out for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Elizabeth Wehmand

Raised in Michigan, Author Elizabeth Wehman loves to incorporate cities in the state for her inspirational fiction. Famous Michigan flowers adorn the back covers of her books from peonies to lilacs and apple blossoms. Her first novel, “Under the Windowsill,” reflects the tranquility and hidden treasures of Mackinac Island for a much-needed hideaway for Kenna, a young girl raised in Iowa. This coming-of-age story uses the growing pains of a quiet, country girl to reflect the dangers and unknowns of breaking away from family and security. From the frustrations of trying to make it alone, Kenna’s experience cements a permanent trust of the goodness of her past and a true hope for the future. Elizabeth’s second novel reflects the tumultuous relationship between sisters in “Promise at Daybreak.” Two elderly sisters are forced together by illness which leads them to fulfill a pact they made at their mother’s grave. The story reflects the storms of dealing with dementia and the results of fulfilling a promise, despite its drawbacks. The setting for this novel is Elizabeth’s hometown, Durand complete with its historic depot and the thunderous noises of a train town. Both novel settings share historical and distinctive aspects of both Michigan cities. Elizabeth’s third novel, released the summer of 2017, and will be entitled, “Just a Train Ride.” All of her novels are clean reads, with a clear inspirational message for her readers. Elizabeth’s home is in Owosso. You can find more about Elizabeth at www.elizabethwehman.com or on her Facebook page – Elizabeth Wehman/Author.

 

More from Elizabeth

Just a Train Ride is a fictional version of my parent’s love story from the 1940’s. My father fought in WWII and he returned from his fighting experience after having a nervous breakdown. He suffered repercussions of that throughout his entire life. My mother sent off a different man than the one who returned home to her, but she was faithful to her promise to marry him. Their story and his experiences were a private matter, so I waited until after his death to write their story. Some of it is based on facts, other parts are just my imagination…filling in the details. I included the train ride as a major part, due to the fact that my mother had gone on a train to see my father just before he shipped off to war. My main purpose in writing JATR was to show how you can be faithful in marriage, despite the setbacks, sorrow, and fateful events that can ravage even the best of marriages. This is my third inspirational novel.

 

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, May 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 26

Just the Write Escape, May 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 27

Retrospective Spines, May 28

janicesbookreviews, May 28

Stephanie’s LIfe of Determination, May 29

Mary Hake, May 29

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 31

Bigreadersite, June 1

A Reader’s Brain, June 1

For Him and My Family, June 2

Inklings and notions, June 2

Pause for Tales, June 3

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6

Texas Book-aholic, June 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elizabeth is giving away a grand prize of a Michigan-themed basket!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e1c2/just-a-train-ride-celebration-tour-giveaway