As a child growing up in a pastor’s home, Church, God and The Bible were always topics of conversations and a way of life. I can remember, maybe being 13 years old, and one summer a project our church undertook was creating & giving Christmas gifts to missionaries who served in various occupations & locations globally. This was a fun time for all of us and it got us all thinking about people around the world who may celebrate Christmas at different times than we would in America. What a great teaching lesson.
As a believer in Christ, I am aware that Christmas is more than just a day on the calendar. Christmas is more than gifts under a tree decorated with lights & colored ornaments. Christmas, to me, is not just a day full of partying or feasting. Christmas is about a God who loved His people on earth so much, He gave us His son Jesus. Christmas IS Jesus and He is the GIFT of Christmas. With this gift of the birth of Jesus, there comes a bright hope for living today and tomorrow; if we choose to believe in who Jesus claims to be.
So, for me, Christmas in July is a great reminder that Gods’ promises, in His Word The Bible, is true. God’s character can be seen in one of the many names that define Him for us ; Emmanuel, God with us. What does Christmas in July mean to you? Is there any hope or joy in the meaning of this to you? For more answers read, John 3:16, The Holy Bible.
Anita M. Heath is a new author for me and I truly enjoyed her tale of Ivory, Ben, and Gerrit. These lovely characters have such an amazing story of survival and of what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself” amidst a town full of some pretty suspicious and prejudice people. What I admire most about this novel is that this is historical fiction with stories of librarians on horseback during the 1930’s. These brave ladies who loved books and education more than themselves, brought such understanding to those they served. As one who is a book worm and loves words, it was no problem to stay up and read this book until I got to the last page! I found myself wanting to ride along with the lady librarians as they delivered books to locals who lived in those tough times of the depression in the 1930’s. I wanted to cheer for Ivory as she struggled to make friends with the towns people; they were so superstitious of her. What challenges she faced in just coming to their town. If you are looking for a story to refresh your soul and one that may make you laugh and even sniffle some then, this book might be for you!
This is a stand alone novel that is in a series of others books that include stories of librarians on horseback. I received an ARC from the author to help provide an honest opinion about her narrative. My thoughts, as typed here, are my own.
One of the best things about my summer was having time to read a few new books. I am happy to say, I was glad to be a part of Teresa Tysinger’s street team for her upcoming book, Suddenly Forever. It is funny though, because I normally don’t choose clean romances to be a part of my TBA pile (To be Read). But, when it comes to Teresa’s books, I really can’t help myself in reading them!
Teresa’s book deals with hope in the midst of dark grief and pain among the lives of the characters who reside in Laurel Cove, N.C. It is a beautiful place to come home to, even if you are just reading about this peaceful place. The three characters, who are neighbors in Laurel Cove, make unlikely friends as they each harbor secret suffering that only by living on the lake will they find the inner peace they all three so long for.
The novel offers readers three individuals; a best selling author, a widow, and a Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist, whose stories are about to collide in ways that you will find out when you read the book!
Suddenly Forever is due out October 6th but, you can pre order the book at the link provided here. Don’t miss this compelling story.
Almost twenty years have passed and I can still recall where I was when my small part of the world saw the terrifying events take place in New York that fateful September day. I was in seminary (Campbell Divinity School, NC) and sitting in a class with Dr. Pam Durso. She was professor in Church History.
Sitting with classmates, we were all shocked when another professor stepped into our room and told us what was happening with the terrorists as they flew planes into The World Trade Center. Still in shock at what was happening, my classmates and I began to form small prayer groups as we watched the events still unfolding on TV.
Many of my friends were mission minded and we all wanted to board a bus or a plane and help those in NY who were running down the street or, we wanted to help the fire fighters carry victims up and down those many flights of stairs. We wanted to do something but, helplessly we could only watch. We could also pray.
So, my classmates and I did. We prayed for the terrorists. We prayed for the President. We prayed for the world. We prayed for those running down the street from the ash falling form the sky. We prayed and we prayed. What else could we do? We were so helpless to do anything tangible yet, we could do the next most powerful thing; we could pray. The biblical book of James tells us, “the prayers of the righteous avail much.”
Only God know what those prayers did that day. What about you? Do you still find yourself praying, even these many years later, at times when you feel helpless?
Another lesson I learned during that time was from my friend, Roxann. She taught me not to live in fear. After those attacks in NY and in other places around America, more security in public places was becoming the norm. That fall and winter, our local airports were filled with military personnel to ensure safety. Even locally, security and safety were a number one issue for all of us.
My two friends, “R” and “G”, invited me to spend Christmas in Arizona with them; that meant, travelling by plane. Fear began to rise within my thoughts and wondered if I could really take the risk. But, having two great friends (who held my best interest at heart), their words and pleas were convicting and I agreed to go.
What an amazing adventure my friends and I had that Christmas! Such a treasured memory shared with two spiritual sister type ladies, I would have missed such a blessing If I had given into the fear.
How about you? What fears do you need to let go of so you can enjoy God’s gifts of adventure, friendships, and experiences? I pray that both you and I, dear reader, will continue to live in the help, hope, and joy of God’s Word and of His spirit. Living any other way is just not living!
What lessons has 9/11/01 taught you? What do you need that event to teach you? Where were you on 9/11/2001?
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