Antoine de St. Exupery is purported to have said, “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them task and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
That quote draws me in, puts images in my mind of the vastness of the ocean, the vastness of our world and universe, the infinite vastness of God Himself. This I believe is what we aim for as writers of faith, to delve into that longing in our own being and to express it in ways that will draw others with us.
Think of a book you read that did that for you. It will live in your heart and mind for a very long time because it goes to the root of your being, your longing to be ever in the presence of God, your longing for truth.
The genius and the gift of art is that it can take us there. I remember feeling it in an art history class many years ago as I stared at the slides our instructor flashed on a large screen. "Just take these in," he said. I did and was never the same. That art changed me, made me more aware, more ready to receive, even though, at that stage in my life, I had no idea what I wanted or needed. Viewing those representations of artwork wrought centuries before took me a step closer to searching for God.
The frustration of every artist is the limitation of his/her own self that blocks the genius, prevents us from reaching into that longing and embracing it. But there is hope. There is Christ, who always beckons, always encourages, always leads us to Truth because He is Truth. Though we are flawed and incapable, He is able to reach through our words and draw the hearts to Him.
I love the quote from Exupery because I imagine the people, my audience - people whose minds and hearts and souls have been touched by art in a way that makes them want to build and launch their own ships, to begin the journey to God that will take them deep into His presence. And I love the journey of my writing craft, because it takes me there too.
“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.” Psalm 43:3
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. The sequel to One Smooth Stone, A Tumbled Stone, was recently short-listed for an award at Write!Canada. A collection of devotionals for writers, Abundant Rain, is now available on Amazon.
Her new Christmas book is now available on Amazon!
Thanksgiving is coming up this Thursday! It's one of my favorite days of the year because it is a day when we can all actually stop and devote a whole day to thanking our Creator for the many blessings that He has given us.
Here's a few interesting facts on the holiday to remember as you feast, pray, fellowship and give thanks.
The Mayflower anchored in the New World on November 11, 1620 after 66 days at sea.
That first winter of 1620 was terribly difficult. They lived out of the ship until houses could be built, but having arrived just as winter was setting in left them with precious little food, and no time to establish themselves. The pilgrims began to ration what food they did have, and at one point each person was only allowed 5 kernels of corn per day. Half the group perished that first winter.
Spring brought help for the pilgrims. The Lord granted the pilgrims favor in the sight of the native tribes and they signed a peace treaty. The natives also helped them learn to plant foods that would grow in the American climate.
Fall of 1621 brought a good harvest, and the pilgrims were very grateful to the Lord for blessing them with their native American friends and a good crop. To celebrate, they held a three day feast with the Wampanoag people. This is what is traditionally called "The First Thanksgiving."
What are you grateful for this year?
If you agree to accept this mission...
It will cost You everything, including Your life. Streets of gold will be replaced with dusty roads. The adoration of angels there, but muffled by the hecklers in the crowd and those seeking to entrap You with words. Heaven's perfection a distant memory, while human suffering surrounds You.
You must succeed where Adam failed. Fulfill the law as a Spirit-filled man, my Son. Walk in harmony with Me. You'll be born free of the curse Adam brought upon the human race because I'll be Your Father, untainted by sin.
The reward will be great. After they torture and hang You on a cross, in three days I'll raise You from the dead. Mission accomplished.
Will You rescue them? Will You take on the challenge?
From the halls of heaven, His answer rang. "I will accept this mission."
Praise God, oh thank God, He did!
A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.
Susan J. Reinhardt's publishing credits include her debut novel, The Moses Conspiracy, as well as devotionals, short articles, and contributions to anthologies. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is represented by Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency.
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Today I am honored to have Kathleen L. Maher as my special guest. She and I share a love of the Civil War era and the southern cause. Today she shares with us how she, as a New Yorker, came to love the South.
The Civil War is still alive—at least in this girl’s heart. I grew up in the rolling farmland of upstate New York, far from the sultry southern battlefields and legendary haunts of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. And yet, places like the Shenandoah Valley, Charleston, and Natchez beckon to me. Spanish Moss swinging from the spreading branches of live oaks, camellias growing off the veranda of a plantation, and the triple beat of a Confederate cavalier’s charge, all stirs my heart.
How did this come to be, so far removed as I am from all of that romance and history? Well, I have a little secret. It is buried here. Quite literally. Elmira, New York, where I live, is the resting place of over 2000 Confederate Prisoners of War. They came here on prisoner transports via the Baltimore, Williamsport and Elmira Railroad, and died in Camp Chemung, which boasted the worst conditions on either side of the war. Some say Elmira was a purposeful political retaliation for the notorious Southern prison, Andersonville. Some say it was ill-equipped to handle the sheer numbers of POW’s after Lincoln’s Secretary of War Cameron put an end to prison exchange. But the fact remains that a full 24% of the ten thousand Southerners imprisoned here perished—of disease, starvation, freezing temperatures, and putrid wells.
I’m not one to believe in ghosts. But there is something about the cry of injustice, rather like a curse, that swells up from history like this. It cries for retelling. It cries for the redemption only God—who is not bound by space or time—can bring. So I tell the stories of the men and women who lived, bled, fought and died in the war. The starry-eyed lovers, the brave soldiers, the stoic nurses, the idealistic crusaders. They take shape in my imagination, and I pay homage to those who lie beneath Elmira’s cold turf at Woodlawn National Cemetery. And I bid their final resting place be a peaceful one.
Kathleen L. Maher is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary. She blogs about Upstate NY history at http://kathleenlmaher.blogspot.com/ and incorporates her love for all things antique and romantic in her stories. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers since 2008, Kathleen won their Genesis contest in 2012. Her Civil War novella Bachelor Buttons released in May 2013 and is available on Amazon, B&N and Kobo.
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Book Feature: Homeschool Co-ops 101
Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:
~~~Barnes and Noble~~~
~~~Kobo~~~About the Author Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens. You can connect with Karen at herBlog, on Twitter, and Facebook. Blog Tour Schedule November 4 ~Ruth Schiffman, http://
November 6 ~Gena Mayo, ichoosejoy.org ~Marja Meijers, http://sacredsabbath.blogspot.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Giveaway Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered: a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Special Offer from Helping Hands Press
My publisher, Helping Hands Press, is offering a special on their best selling series!
A WORD FROM HELPING HANDS PRESS, THE PUBLISHERS OF Amazon Top 100 AUTHORS SARAH PRICE AND WHOOPIE PIE PAM JARRELL’S #1 BEST-SELLING STORY- “The Divine Sisterhood of the Whoopie Pie Sisters Trilogy”.
We would like to thank all of the wonderful readers that have purchased, read and reviewed Book I and Book II of the #1 Best–Selling Trilogy “The Divine Sisterhood of The Whoopee Pie Sisters” by Amazon Top 100 authors Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell.
Good news about the Trilogy!
The price of Book II was originally $1.99 but has just been lowered to $.99.
Here is the Amazon Kindle link:
Anyone that has purchased Book II at the $1.99 price is welcome to come to the Helping Hands Press Facebook page, message us there, and we will be happy to send you some amazing stories to compensate you for the price reduction.
The Helping Hands Press Facebook Page link is : https://www.facebook.com/HelpingHandsPress
Remember: there is only one dynamic author duo named Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell and there is only one original series named “The Divine Sisterhood of The Whoopie Pie Sisters”. Except no imitations!
Sing in Germany!
Growing up in a household of twelve children has been a very interesting experience. I've decided to start sharing some of these experiences on my blog with a post dedicated to this once a month. Let me know what you think. :)
I was cleaning the kitchen one afternoon, singing as I worked, (as opposed to whistling while I work, since I'm not a dwarf, though my brothers would argue that point.) when my little sister Grace came in. Grace looked at me and said "Amber, sing in Germany."
"Sing in Germany? But, I'm not in Germany." Was my puzzled reply.
Putting her hand on her hip she gave me that exasperated sigh that little girls are so well known for. "No, sing in Germany."
"Buy me a ticket and I'd be happy to go sing in Germany."
"Grace, I don't get it. I don't even speak German."
By this time my then eight-year-old sister was getting frustrated with me. "No, Amber. Sing like you do with Melody, when you sing different. Sing in Germany."
My brain searched every plausible possibility of what she was trying to say, then it finally dawned on me. Harmony. She wanted me to sing harmony.
"Oh! You want me to sing the harmony part?"
"That's harmony, not Germany, Grace. Germany is a country where Hitler was."
The homeschool teacher part of me came out as I tried to teach her history, geography and vocabulary all at once, to which she replied, "Ya, whatever. Close enough."
Only 49 days until Christmas! Sometime soon (even sooner than Christmas) my very first Christmas story will be released! I will keep you updated with dates for the cover reveal and E-Book/paperback releases. Here's what's coming!
Through the ages, many stories have been told about Mary, Joseph and the birth of the Messiah. Stories of shepherds and sheep, kings, angels, and stables. But there is one story that has never been told. One story that has remained hidden in the fabric of time. The story of The Swaddling Clothes.
Mentioned not once, but several times in the Scriptural text, what is the significance of these special cloths? And how did they make their way into a stable in Bethlehem? From the author that brought you the Days of Messiah series comes a whole new adventure critics are calling "intriguing...thought provoking... a fresh twist on an age old story."
"I get tired of Bible stories sometimes, but The Swaddling Clothes brings the story to life."
"Heartwarming...truly inspired. A story you will want to read again and again. Rich details and a suspenseful plot will keep you reading while giving you a glimpse of God's wonderful power and His amazing love."
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Amber Schamel was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of 11 children, home-schooled through education and currently works with their 10 family businesses. Amber is a multi-published author and currently lives with her family outside of Colorado Springs, CO..
(c) 2013 Amber Schamel