Share the Love ~ July

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Good morning! Can you believe this is the last week in July? Where has the summer gone? Have you finished your summer projects? Taken a vacation? Are looking forward to the school year? 🙂 If you’ve been too busy to enjoy the heat, I’ve tucked a few ideas amid the links for the remaining days of summer.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s theme. Remember every small act of kindness builds a better world for tomorrow!

Please enjoy this month’s Share the Love!

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You still have time for a good read!

Reading

Looking for that late summer read? I found new authors! For myself, anyway.

Angel Song by Mary Manners – captivedreamswindow
The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson – asimplyenchantedlife
A Christmas Hope by Stacy Henri – booksandbaubles
Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette – lindayezak

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Take a moment, relax, and clear your mind.

Writing

As you can tell by the titles, there are a few interesting and informative articles in this list. 🙂

Your Dead Ancestors Can Help You Write That Book- writersinthestorm
The Importance of Categories and Keywords for Your Books on KDP-indiesunlimited
Hallee Bridgeman Indie Author Extraordinaire-writingpromptsthoughtsandideas
Create Awesome Marketing Plan-novelrocket

 

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Take time to enjoy the gifts of our Creator

 

Inspirational

Learning to Count My Days-emilyconradauthor
How to Get Rid of Stains-karenjurgens
Sonrise-5wise

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Grab a pole and get your feet wet!

Photography

I love to capture a moment in time.

Encountering the Ark-theartisticchristian
Art and Photography-2-blueheroncove

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How about a fruit smoothie?

Foodie

Walnut Tea Scones, Homemade Freezer Jam and Devonshire Cream-kardeesangelpublishing
Strawberry Heirloom Tomato Salad-cookingwithawallflower
Chocolate Orange Brownies-eatcakefordinner
Springtime Pasta Salad-thefedupfoodie

What are your plans for the remaining days of summer?

Click to Tweet: Every small act of kindness builds a better world for tomorrow.

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Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Vikki Kestell

Good morning, friends! Glad you’ve joined us for another edition of Women of Faith and Fiction. This morning we welcome Vikki Kestell.

Vikki’s latest series is a sci-fi/fantasy thriller! So without further ado, please give her a warm welcome.

Thank you for joining us here at CHW, Vikki!  Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you for having me today! Well, I wrote my first book in 1988 during a very difficult period in my life. Nothing came of that book, but I have a stack of lovely rejection letters in my files. Then, in 1991, I left my husband of twenty years and moved from Montana to New Mexico to be close to family.

I had to figure out how to support my three children, so I went to work, but I also went back to school. Over the next twelve years, I worked and earned a B.A. in English, professional writing, an M.A. in communication, then a Ph.D. In 2012, almost 25 years later, I published that first book, “A Rose Blooms Twice,” on Kindle. Since then, I’ve added seven books to the series and have written two other series. Isn’t God’s timing amazing? After all that education, I’m now back to doing what I started in 1988: writing full time.

I agree, Vikki. God’s timing is amazing! This month’s theme is Kindness. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Hmm. I’ve come to think that kindness is more an approach to life than merely an attribute. How we make decisions on a daily (even momentary basis) can include or exclude the needs and feelings of others. Kindness is an ongoing awareness of others and their needs. Kindness is related to humility: I am not better (or less) than anyone else, and my needs are not more important than the needs of others. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit is essential to living a kind life.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all followed that line of thought? Now, Vikki, life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have kindness toward another? How did you overcome?

Since I am naturally more task-oriented than people-oriented, I can tell you that kindness is hard for me. Being aware of and sensitive to the feelings of others is a battle I’ve fought for decades. But God is good! Spending more time with Jesus—finding and abiding in his heart and his word—is what has changed me.

My life verse is found in 1 Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” It has taught me that humility is the hallmark of a follower of Jesus, that only when my desires are submitted to him will I be lifted up.

For the record, I think you’re a nice person! 🙂 In what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I love a good story, regardless of genre. In the same way that I’m not a one-genre reader, I’m not a one-genre writer. In fact, you could say I’m all over the map!

I have an eight-book historical series (A Prairie Heritage), a follow-on historical series (Girls from the Mountain), a three-book sci-fi/fantasy thriller (Nanostealth), a short story called “The Christian and the Vampire,” and six Bible studies on Christian maturity. See? LOL. I told you I was all over the map!

What will you find in my series, A Prairie Heritage? You will find dauntless, faith-filled immigrants forging new lives on America’s unforgiving plains—and their children challenging the savagery of human trafficking in Denver, circa 1910. Once you arrive at Joy on This Mountain, Book 3 in the series, I promise you will be hooked. I seek to write good, meaty, reads of about 110k words or more. For your readers who are interested in exploring this series, Book 1, A Rose Blooms Twice is free on four major eBook retailers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.

My publishing house is “Faith-Filled Fiction.” What all my novels have in common is that they are redemptive in nature—not merely “clean” fiction or “romance” with a little church or Jesus thrown in. My books focus on the realities of life and how Jesus comes into those realities and transforms my characters. Everything about Jesus brings the dead to life—and that’s what I seek to portray in my writing.

“Everything about Jesus brings the dead to life.” I like that statement! Vikki, thank you for sharing your heart and your writing with us.

Click to Tweet: “Everything about Jesus brings the dead to life.” ~ Vikki Kestell

Want to know more about Vikki? Visit:

Website
FB Page
BookBub author profile
Twitter
Pinterest

Practicing Kindness

Good morning! I hope you enjoyed your holiday.

This month we’re talking about kindness. Do you find it hard to be kind to others?

You know, the person who cut you off when driving to work. The waitress who brought you the wrong order. The lady in the checkout with 100 coupons! The friend who uses and abuses your friendship. That child who can’t seem to get it right. The spouse who continually makes bad choices. I could go on and on. Just add your pet peeve to the list.

Now before you think I’m suggesting that we never defend ourselves or our beliefs, let me clarify. I’m talking about common courtesy that we were taught as children. The kindness we learned about while sitting on a pew or at a school desk.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. 1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV

Love is longsuffering. Love doesn’t fly off the handle.

Love is kind, filled with compassion.

Love doesn’t envy another.

Love doesn’t boast. Love is humble.

Love is not proud or self-centered.

Kindness is…

Webster defines kindness as being kind.

Synonyms for kind include compassionate, considerate, courteous, and friendly.

I don’t know about you, but I think the world could use a lot more kindness. And a lot less speaking every thought that pops into our heads. Imagine what the world would be like if, when we did speak, our words were laced with compassion and humility and a little less pride. When we treat others as we like to be treated every moment of the day, kindness becomes a lifestyle and not just a random act.

 

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This is Rambo. He belongs to my niece. He is a barrel racer. I love taking pictures of him.

Seneca’s statement suggests it would be better if we were unable to speak rather than say the things we often say.

It has been stated that we can say the right thing the wrong way and still be wrong. Hmm… Yes, in the span of our lives we will have to say hard things, but the spirit in which the message is delivered will speak louder and remain longer than the words spoken.

I don’t know about you, but I have room for improvement. The good news is our Father, through the Son’s work at Calvary and the gift of His Spirit, has given us power to overcome. We don’t have to remain the same. We can change. Isn’t that marvelous?

May we all become kinder in our relationship with others.

Click to Tweet: When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people. Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Reflection

Have you ever wished you’d remained silent in certain situations?