His Way Is Perfect

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. Psalms 18:30-33

Whether in pain, suffering, or heartache, we are not alone. He is our healer, comfort, and our peace. His way is perfect.

 

Focus

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34 KJV

dictionary-1149723_1280In today’s world, we can easily become distracted. However, when our hearts are out of focus, we often miss the opportunity to fulfill our purpose.

In the above scripture, Jesus recognized the spiritual need and moved with purpose. He saw the people as sheep needing a shepherd. They needed guidance, protection, and sustenance.

The disciples, on the other hand, focused on the people temporal needs and their own inabilities.

And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. Mark 6:35-36

Isn’t it remarkable how we state the obvious when focused on the wrong thing? The disciples focused on place and time and shared their insights with the very One who had created both!

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:3 KJV

Lord, I’m not in a good place. This land is so dry! This isn’t a good time! How can I minister to others when I’m in need myself?

Have you ever been there?

When Jesus asked Philip where they could buy bread, Philip fixated on the disciple’s insufficient funds.

“Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” John 6:7 KJV

Am I guilty of such observations? Yes. Yes. And yes, again. Over and over I state the obvious while the spiritual purpose of my present circumstances stares at me.

Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t leave me in my bleary-eyed state but commands me to take inventory of what I have, what I know, and what I can do. Then I am to place it all in His hands and allow him to bless and multiply it.

He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. Mark 6:38 KJV

And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. Mark 6:41 KJV

I’m learning that faith isn’t ignoring the circumstances around me. Faith is seeing every difficulty but remaining focused on the One standing in the midst Who is Faithful to supply every need.

And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men. Mark 6:42-44

Where is your focus?

 

 

Knight in Shining Apron ~ Carole Brown

I am pleased to have Carole Brown visiting today. Carole has a new book, Knight in Shining Apron, and it’s available on Amazon. To help us get to know her better, I asked Carole to share a short bio with you.

Besides being an active participant of many writing groups, Carole enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense, tough topics, romance and whimsy into her books, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Thank you, Carole. What a lovely bio. It is obvious you love helping others. Tell us why you became a writer?

I’ve always loved reading, imagining stories and writing, so it was a natural thing to progress into becoming an author. I suppose it began way back when my mama read to us. We loved it so much, and I still love hearing my husband read aloud to me or to our grandsons.

I’ve always felt like a writer, as if it were a part of me like an arm or leg, eye or ear. It’s who I am, and I can’t imagine not writing.

You have a new book! Yay! Tell us about Knight in Shining Apron.

Here’s the blurb:

Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia.  Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing.

Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, a top-notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play?

And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?

I love reading stories with a second chance thread. We don’t always get one in this life, but when we do, it makes a happy ending. How does your faith affect your writing?

In real life, many people don’t have the opportunity of a second chance. But when a person is offered that, I think they need to grab hold and go with courage embracing the opportunity as a special blessing from God.

I don’t like in-your-face, pushy types of witnessing, but I’m also not ashamed to let others know I love God. In my writings, sometimes the “word” is stronger than in others, but there’s always a thread of the possibility of a “better life (with God).” It can be in the redemption a character needs and ends of realizing that, or it might be in my characters sharing their love by helping others or encouraging them to do their best. Sometimes it’s as simple as an apology or a dinner blessing. However the story progresses, I always want to share a positive outlook, an encouragement for those who need help to look to God for whatever their need might be.

Why did you choose to write about spousal abuse?

Abuse is prevalent in our world. It’s something that touches and angers me to the core of my being. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I was led to write about it in my debut novel, and now this one. If one of my novels can encourage an abused person to make the right choices or share light to others to help stop it, then it’s well worth the time it took to write the book.

I agree, Carole. Let’s talk about music. I love the musical element in your book. Do you play?

Smile. I play, but not at the level of Starli Cameron’s talent. She’s a professional, and I’m a down home, lightly trained pianist.

I love perusing the Pinterest boards with yummy recipes. I’m not an expert, but I do love to try new recipes. Your plot revolves around a restaurant. Do you like to cook?

Yes, I do, most times. I don’t always enjoy the day-to-day task of cooking, but I love creating menus for dinners, family celebrations and fun times. Some of my specialties include:

  • Homemade lasagna, bread, and cheesecake
  • Homemade chicken and noodles (and mashed potatoes, of course!)
  • Fun party foods
  • I enjoy trying new soups and experiencing my own personal touches to them to make them mine.

When researching a story, I often discover truth I needed for myself. I am always curious to know if while researching the spiritual thread, did the author come across something that made an impact on her?

Yes. When I first wrote the book, trust wasn’t as much of a detailed trait, but once I changed it from a romance to a romantic mystery, I realized it was one of the things that brought depth to the story line.

I know the past year, God has brought ME through some deep waters in facing five deaths in about that many months and the depression that went along with it. I’ve had to learn to trust him more fully.  He was faithful to encourage and strengthen me, and His word is always a powerful antidote against the enemy.

Any advice for newbies?

Never, never, never give up! Find the writing journey that is for you and stay with it, regardless of the directions your friends might have. We all have our own personal journey and must be true to that.

Carole BrownThank you, Carole, for sharing. Where can folks find out more about you and your books?

I LOVE connecting with new friends and fans of my books! Please do join me at one or more of these sites:

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/carole-brown-79b6951a?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

Word Sharpeners: https://wordsharpeners.wordpress.com/

Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/

 

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The Best Yes – Lysa TerKeurst

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

Book blurb

Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul?

Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:

  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today

My Thoughts

Have you ever had problems with saying no?  I have. Do you often find yourself grumpy and stretched thin after saying yes? Yep, me too. Do you say yes knowing you don’t have the time or the energy to give the project 100%? I’m guilty.

And a stressed yes is like snow on a tree that refuses to release its leaves. It causes cracks and breaks at our core. – Lysa TerKeurst

In this world, we are often a blur of action until we drop in exhaustion.  But thankfully, there is a better way. In her book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst tells her readers how to decide when to say yes, how to implement the soft no, and when and how to give an answer.

I know the weight of carrying more than I should. And usually it’s because I’ve refused to release something before taking on something else. – Lysa TerKeurst

Using Biblical insights and personal stories, TerKeurst helps the reader to understand there are times when a no answer is better for everyone involved. She explains not making a decision is actually a decision and releasing the “good” things allow us to commit to our “best” things.

I can’t expect to have room for my Best Yes opportunities if I refuse to release the clutter. – Lysa TerKeurst

The Best Yes will give you an idea how to organize your time, evaluate your situation, and implement your God-given gifts in a way that pleases God, protects your relationships, and stops the insanity of chaotic decision making.

I thought The Best Yes to be informative and filled with practical advice. If you struggle with saying no, I recommend reading The Best Yes, Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.

I own a copy of this book. The opinions expressed are my own.

Letters From Home

 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Psalms 25:25

Rather than waste time talking about food on the phone when we could be talking about your day, I thought I would send you this via the website, instead.

Monkey Bread

Levi’s Monkey Bread

I’m glad to hear you conquered the Monkey bread recipe. The picture looked good enough to eat. I’m still waiting for my piece to arrive in the mail. You are aware eating the whole thing in two days is not good for you, right?

 And now, you tell me you have a hankering for Chicken and Spaghetti?

Unfortunately, we have a problem. Unlike the Magic Cookie Bars, I can’t mail the chicken. So, I’m sending you the list of ingredients and the instructions. Send me a picture.

You will need:

  • 1 whole boneless chicken breast
  • ½ cup Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 jar Paul Newman’s Marinara Sauce minus ¼ cup
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ to ¾ cup oil (Crisco or olive) Use just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Salt
  • Sargento’s Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Sargento’s sliced Provolone Cheese
  • Spaghetti

Directions:

Add two quarts of water to a 4-quart pot. Bring to boil. Add enough spaghetti for two servings.

Slice chicken breast horizontally as evenly as possible. (Four thin slices)

Salt

*(For you) Eliminate the egg and milk wash for obvious reasons and coat lightly with Olive oil or Crisco

Dredge in bread crumbs

Heat oil on medium-high heat

Fry chicken 3-4 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, drain pasta.

Remove two chicken slices for tomorrow.

Add marinara to the remaining slices and let simmer until bubbling.

Add shredded mozzarella to the marinara and a slice of provolone atop the chicken. Turn off heat. Cover. When the cheese has melted, serve over pasta. Plate the other for your lunch.

 Next day:

  • 2 buns or 4 slices of bread
  • Butter
  • ¼ cup marinara
  • Sargento’s Provolone cheese
  • Leftover chicken breast
  • Mezzetta pepperoncini

 Warm one slice of chicken in oven or microwave. It’s your choice.

Spread butter on your favorite Italian bread, Hamburger bun, Kaiser Roll, etc. Place under the broiler. Remove when toasted. Spread marinara sauce over warm bread. Add provolone, chicken, and pepperoncini.

Bag the second sandwich for lunch.

I hope you enjoy it. I miss you bunches. But I’m excited about this new adventure. Remember every promise God has given will come to pass. Until then, be content with what He has done thus far, knowing He is faithful to perform His Word. Talk with you this afternoon.

Hugs and kisses,

Mama

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