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Monday, November 30, 2015

My Favorite Things Featuring Susan Elliott

(c) Susan Elliott
So, while I'm waiting for other authors favorite thing articles to pour in, I thought I'd share some of my favorite holiday things.

Blu-Rays with Digital Copies for VUDU. Okay. If you know me, you know I'm a complete cinephile. I love movies, and my favorite genre is science-fiction and fantasy. SO, some of my favorite gifts are movies. Unfortunately, because I am a cinephile I already have most of the movies I want, so if you're planning to fill my stocking with a blu-ray this season, you better check with me to see if I have it. With that said, I would love a copy of the series Downton Abbey which is neither science-fiction or fantasy! :)

Seattle's Best Coffee. I am a coffee drinker, and my absolute favorite coffee is Seattle's Best. (I'm writing this at their competitor's establishment -- lol.) I remember going out on a date with my hubby several years ago, and stopping at the Books-A-Million that was in Rogers, AR. Upstairs they had a Seattle's Best Coffee Cafe. That was my first experience with the coffee. I ordered a Valentine's Chocolate Cherry Mocha with real chocolate and cherries. It was wonderful. Ever since, I've brewed Seattle's best at my house, and I drink it most of the day when I'm writing.

Scarves. I adore scarves of all kind. I can usually be seen wearing a scarf, and checking out the scarf section at our local Goodwill. I also like to make fun scarves. Last year everyone on my Christmas list got a homemade scarf.

Art & Craft Supplies. When I'm not writing, I am often making jewelry, painting or creating some kind of art project. I couldn't do a favorite things article without saying how much I love art. Of course, if you've listened to my author interview about my book More Than a Passing Glance: Early Christian Art, you already know it. If you haven't heard it click here: Author Interview More Than a Passing Glance.

I hope you have a Happy Holiday!

--Susan







My Favorite Things Featuring Monica Mynk


What are a writer's favorite things? For me, very few of them are tangible. While I do appreciate nice pens (love the Paper Mate Flair felt-tip pens in all the colors) and pretty journals, what I value most are things like peaceful silence and blocks of time where I can be alone with my thoughts.

Readers are lovely, and definitely favorite things. And prayer. Lots and lots of prayer! :)

And of course, the one gift every writer wants... Honest reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. If you love an author's book, the best gift you can give them is a little positive encouragement and feedback. A shout-out on Twitter, a four or five-star review, a share of a Facebook post--all these things mean more than the encourager will ever know.

--Monica

For more information about why you should always rate books, check out the article Rating Books to Help Struggling Author Succeed.

Don't miss Monica's author interview on YouTube: Author Interview with Monica Mynk.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My Favorite Things Featuring Dorothy Drulman

I have to admit that I felt very close to Dorothy when I read her favorite things article. I too, love the thing she enjoys and for the exact same reason.
-Susan

My Favorite Things
by Dorothy Drulman

One of my favorite coffee mugs! (Susan)
I just love coffee mugs. I like for them to say the city they came from. When I have coffee in the morning with San Francisco on the cup, for instance, I spend some time there again with my coffee and some very special moments. One was a chance meeting with a recent widow, as was I.  So it was not the Sequoia, but our tears together that were special.  I have a mug that says, "Watch the Gap."  It is from the London Airport, and I can't look at that cup without  watching the gap again as I had gotten on the subway and had wondered if I would ever be found again. I have a coffee mug with the pink twisted ribbon for cancer survivors, and I know very well the person gave it to me because of my own cancer but hers as well.  You want to make my day? Select a cup for me like you would a greeting card. You will be always on my mind.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Guest Post by Monica Mynk: Hold Your Peace! The Lord Will Fight For You

Public Domain
It must annoy God, how we insist on continually carrying the weight of His world on our shoulders when He’s got things under control. Our worry surely grows tiresome, and our need for endless compassion and mercy must surely be a heavy demand. How grateful should we be that His grace endures?

Exodus 14:13-14 gives the words of Moses to his people:

Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

I never noticed the following verses in context before, when the Lord asks Moses, “Why do you cry to me?” It’s almost like God says to stop whining. Trust me. I’ve got this.

I can think of numerous instances in Scripture where someone is given a message of “I’ve got this” from God. Consider stories like Jesus calming the storm, Peter walking on water, Zechariah laughing when he finds out he’s going to be a father. Every time someone’s worry or skepticism takes over, they get a gentle reminder that God is in control.

We always talk in church about how God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present. Why, then, is it such a stretch to believe in our hearts that He’s really in charge?

The problem arises when we try to choose the outcome. We don’t trust God to deliver the answer we want. But, we have to remember we belong to Him. He loves us, and we are His children. He knows what’s best for us, which may or may not be the outcome we desire. And He will fight for us. In fact, He’s already fought and won in His resurrection.

Consider I Peter 5:6-7:

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.…

In a world full of evil deeds and bad news, we should pray for patience and humility, so we can wait for Him to exalt us such that it glorifies Him. We should humble ourselves under his mighty hand, rather than striking out rashly in fear over the acts of men. How often we forget that the battle belongs to the Lord.

Instead, we walk around trigger-happy, both with our words and retaliation. So strive then, when the enemy rises up against you, to hold your peace.

Blessings!

Monica

You can read more from Monica at Musings From a Mynk and don't forget to check out her latest book Cavernous!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Favorite Things Featuring Sarah Floyd

By: Susan Elliott

Have you ever wondered what your favorite authors enjoy reading or have on their wishlist when it comes to getting gifts? Maybe you're just curious about what kind of things they like to surround themselves with when they are being creative or what they might have on their desk. When it comes to author Sarah Floyd, author of Finding Joy, you don't have to wonder anymore.

When I asked Sarah what some of her favorite things were she had this to say, "The things I would appreciate as gifts aren't very brand-specific," and that is probably true for many writers (unless it comes to their favorite coffee or tea.) Even so, Sarah has some pretty cool things on her favorite things list! Hopefully these ideas will help you find something great for the writer in your life as well.

Sarah Floyd Speaks About Her Favorite Things

The things I would appreciate as gifts are...nice pens and pencils (but not super crazy nice in case they get eaten by the dog or flushed by the baby); spiral notebooks and composition books (college-ruled!!!); home-cooked meals, for those days when you're on a roll with writing but everyone still expects to eat for some reason; in-home child care (so my baby is nearby if he needs me, but out of my hair so I can write or just do the dishes in peace); CDs in a language other than English (the words are stimulating to my brain, but I can ignore them enough to write my own words); water bottles with straws that fit in car cup holders; camera memory cards; gift cards to Hobby Lobby, Barnes and Noble, etc.; anything related to covered bridges, especially Vermont ones; foreign language Bible; books!!! I will always, always appreciate clean fiction books, but I don't enjoy science fiction or fantasy.

I think many of us share an appreciation for the things Sarah enjoys. I suspect we writers also understand Sarah's need for child care and home-cooked meals. One of the things a writer needs most is time to themselves to write, so if you're looking for something special for that writer in your life, consider giving them the gift of time.

What are some of your favorite things?


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Peaceful Religion? Thoughts on Islam by Naomi Elliott

I woke up this morning, and found an article waiting for me. It was written by my 17 year old daughter. She asked if I would share it, and I thought that now is a good time to share an article about Islam.


Make Sure to Check out the Following for more information:

Video: The Dangers of Radical Islam


Posts: 

The Dangers of Radical Islam Part One
The Dangers of Radical Islam Part Two
The Dangers of Radical Islam Part Three

Book: Christianity or Islam the Contrasts


A Peaceful Religion? Thoughts on Islam 
by Naomi Elliott


For the last four hours I have been studying the Koran -- also known as the Holy Koran unto Muslims everywhere. I have also been studying their creeds in the last few hours. If people who say that Islam is a PEACEFUL religion read the Koran they would see this is simply not so.

There are 1.57 billion Muslims in the world with an average of 13-25 percent considered radical -- 1.57 billion is a huge number and over 14% of our world population. The radical Muslims make up .04% of our world’s population.

The thing most do not realize is that these radical Muslims are following their creed word for word. Muslims who are not following word for word, according to their own book, are as bad as the unbelievers.

While I was reading the Koran, I realized that what I was reading sounded more and more like the regimes of Hitler and of the Kim leaders in North Korea.

One important thing you need to understand. Islam is NOT a race. It IS a religious cult that we must not be ignorant about. I will say this right now I love Muslims.

THE GOD, THE ONE TRUE GOD TOLD US TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES. ( Matt 5:43-48) 

But, we must remember just because we love our enemies does not mean we let ourselves be unprotected. What I am saying is that we need to pray for those who seek to hurt us. Luke 6:28 and Matt 5:44 reminds us of this.

While I was writing this reports of more guns and bombs going off in Paris came in. I hope everyone keeps the world in their prayers tonight [and always].

Excerpt from THE KORAN- AL-FATH (The victory)

Verse 48.16
Say unto those of the wandering Arabs who were left behind: Ye will be called against a folk of mighty prowess, to fight them until they surrender; and if ye obey, Allah will give you a fair reward; but if ye turn away as ye did turn away before, He will punish you with a painful doom.

Verse 48.17
There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom.

Verse 48.18
Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance unto thee beneath the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down peace of reassurance on them, and hath rewarded them with a near victory;

Verse 48.19
And much booty that they will capture. Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.

Verse 48.20
Allah promiseth you much booty that ye will capture, and hath given you this in advance, and hath withheld men's hands from you, that it may be a token for the believers, and that He may guide you on a right path.

Verse 48.21
And other (gain), which ye have not been able to achieve, Allah will compass it, Allah is Able to do all things.

Verse 48.22
And if those who disbelieve join battle with you they will take to flight, and afterward they will find no protecting friend nor helper.

Verse 48.23
It is the law of Allah which hath taken course aforetime. Thou wilt not find for the law of Allah aught of power to change.

Verse 48.24
And He it is Who hath withheld men's hands from you, and hath withheld your hands from them, in the valley of Mecca, after He had made you victors over them. Allah is Seer of what ye do.

Verse 48.25
These it was who disbelieved and debarred you from the Inviolable Place of Worship, and debarred the offering from reaching its goal. And if it had not been for believing men and believing women, whom ye know not - lest ye should tread them underfoot and thus incur guilt for them unknowingly; that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He will - If (the believers and the disbelievers) had been clearly separated We verily had punished those of them who disbelieved with painful punishment.

Verse 48.26
When those who disbelieve had set up in their hearts zealotry, the zealotry of the Age of Ignorance, then Allah sent down His peace of reassurance upon His messenger and upon the believers and imposed on them the word of self-restraint, for they were worthy of it and meet for it. And Allah is Aware of all things.

Verse 48.27
Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, (having your hair) shaven and cut, not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand.

Verse 48.28
He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion. And Allah sufficeth as a Witness.

Verse 48.29
Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Thou (O Muhammad) seest them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel - like as sown corn that sendeth forth its shoot and strengtheneth it and riseth firm upon its stalk, delighting the sowers - that He may enrage the disbelievers with (the sight of) them. Allah hath promised, unto such of them as believe and do good works, forgiveness and immense reward. "

-Naomi Elliott, frankly A 17 Year Old Who Studies What Most Adults Won't

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Finally on The Mend

Public Domain
By Susan Elliott

Well, it has been a long hard road but I think I am finally on the mend. I started getting sick in October, and now it's the middle of November. WOW!

I just want to thank everyone for the prayers and the well wishes. I still have a bit going on in my chest, and the early morning and early evening hours are hard on my breathing, but today I realize I have not had one coughing fit, and I could not be more thankful.

Because of the illness I've been suffering (bacterial lung infection), I've gotten way behind on my book of the month club posts, so please bear with me and I will get to them as soon as possible. (I have to catch up on my reading, too.) I also pray that my voice is good enough to start recording again this week, so be on the look out for new devos and author interviews on YouTube.

I wanted to mention that I have a huge announcement that I plan to make in the next couple of weeks, and I hope you're going to be as excited about it as I am. (Let's just say, brush off your short stories and poetry!)

Anyway, thanks for reading and sharing your books with me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Susan

Walk With Me by Susan Elliott

Public Domain
I’ve never seen your face before,
but I know you just the same.
You long to know our Father.
You long to lose your pain.

I once was just like you–
traveling a dusty road,
but, my weighty heart was lightened.
Now my Savior bares the load.

He longs to be your Savior
to walk with you, hand in hand,
to follow Him to glory
to enter His Promised Land.

My life is such a blessing,
because I’m walking with the Son.
And your life can be blessed, too,
once your walk with Him’s begun.

© Susan Elliott

Who his ownself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins,should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. I Peter 2: 24

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Meet the Author Kristy Huntsman

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Well, to be honest, it's not something I ever imagined I would do. I saw a need for deep, textual study material for women. I started writing to meet that need. It still feels odd to call myself an author.

How long does it take you to write a book? 
Well, I usually spend 3-6 months studying and researching before even attempting to put anything on paper. Since we run the Finer Grounds lessons through www.comefillyourcup.com as a live study before they go into book form I get to write them one chapter per week. So it usually takes about 3 months for the writing process.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I homeschool my girls, so I have to keep a pretty strict school/study/writing schedule. I usually spend at least an hour a day studying and then if I'm writing something I try to do a few minutes each day...but, a lot of the time, I end up procrastinating on the writing part and doing it the night before it's due.

Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
I am addicted to office supplies:) My favorite season is back-to-school sale season at Staples. I stock up on fun pens, notebooks and whatever else I can find!

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I LOVE to study scripture! Since my books are Bible study books they come straight from God's word.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love sewing and quilting, though I don't have much time for it in this season of my life. We live on a little homestead so another of my favorite past times is just to be outside working in the garden or pruning our little orchard.

What would you tell other Christian women who want to write?
Use your gift to further the kingdom of God! It continues to astonish me how far reaching the influence of the written word can be, especially in this age of technology. Keep writing, you may never know the full impact you will have on God's kingdom until we get to heaven!

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have 2 books currently published, Sanctified: Set Apart for a Purpose (A Study of 1st and 2nd Peter) and Redeemed: Bought Back No Matter The Cost: A Study of Hosea. Right now I would probably say that Redeemed is my favorite, simply because the message of the book of Hosea has been so incredibly impacting. Studying Hosea was a real eye-opener as far as the true depth of God's love for His imperfect people.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
This is a hard one because I still don't consider myself to be a fantastic writer. I would say that the biggest thing that has helped me is focus, continually asking myself what my purpose is and constantly reminding myself that I am doing this in service to God. This helps me always want to put forth my best effort.

What do you like to read? 
I love a good mystery or any of the classics. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite (other than the Bible obviously), mostly because I am married to Mr. Darcy:) I don't have much time for casual reading anymore though, if I pick up a book it is usually either a homeschool book or a Greek Lexicon.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Well, when I was in second grade I desperately wanted to be an entomologist (scientist who studies bugs). My father informed me that this wasn't a very practical career choice...so I became a musician instead.

Fun fact.
I have two music degrees: a Bachelor's in oboe performance and a Master's in conducting. Before I had children I was a professor at a small college in Pennsylvania. This is the first time since I was 16 that I haven't been teaching music in some capacity, which is really strange. I still try to use my musical talents to serve in the Kingdom when I can.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Exclusive Finer Grounds Sale from Kaio Publications


I just got this message from Kaio Publications on the Church of Christ Women Authors Page on Facebook. It looked pretty cool, so I thought I would share it. (THIS OFFER IS ONLY GOOD FOR A LIMITED TIME. Special ends Sunday, November 8th!)

Follow the link to the Church of Christ Women Authors Page (Click: here.) and follow the promo directions from Kaio Publications. If you haven't liked the Church of Christ Women Authors Page, make sure to do that while you're there!

--Susan

(Oh and make sure you check out the blog post about Sanctified: Set Apart for a Purpose! A Study of 1 &2 Peter by Kristy Huntsman.)

From Kaio:

WHO DOESN'T LOVE A GREAT DEAL?!? This week Kaio Publications is offering a FALL SPECIAL you can't pass up! By simply following the FALL SPECIAL rules (below), you will receive a discount on any item in the FINER GROUNDS ladies Bible study series!!! (This includes the books Sanctified, Redeemed, Perfected)

Here is how it works:

FALL SPECIAL

1) Like & Share this link AND...
2) Tag your friends on this link AND...

*FOR EVERY 5+ PEOPLE YOU TAG, YOU WILL A RECEIVE 5% DISCOUNT OFF YOUR TOTAL ORDER!

**FOR EVERY 10+ PEOPLE YOU TAG, YOU WILL A RECEIVE 10% OFF DISCOUNT YOUR TOTAL ORDER!!

***FOR EVERY 15 PEOPLE YOU TAG, YOU WILL RECEIVE A 15% DISCOUNT OFF YOUR TOTAL ORDER!!!

(The maximum discount per order is 15% total)

NOW IS THE TIME TO GET YOUR BULK ORDER!

You can visit www.kaiopublications.org for product information, but in order to receive the discount, you must email joe@kaiopublications.org with order details.

Special ends Sunday, November 8th!

PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!

Sanctified: Set Apart for a Purpose -- A Study of 1 & 2 Peter by Kristy Huntsman

For more info click on the image.

About: Sanctified: Set Apart for a Purpose -- A Study of 1 & 2 Peter

This book is available on Amazon, and through Kaio Publications. It is a part of the Finer Grounds Study Series.

"Just who was the man who was so passionate about his Lord and Savior that he walked on water to meet Him and leapt into swordplay to defend Him, and yet anxiously denied knowing Him at the most crucial point of Christ’s ministry?

From his own matured perspective later in life as he penned two epistles, Peter shares his wisdom gained from being a close friend and witness of the Son of God. Even his own hard road of mistakes and rebukes molded him into the loving and caring church leader that he became.

Before his death, Peter needed to ensure his Christian brethren would find their appropriate place in an upside-down world, stand boldly for the truth, and develop the kinds of relationships in the home, the church and the community that would nourish and build up the Kingdom of God as Christ intended.

Join Kristy as she guides you through the works of Peter to gently and lovingly spur you to grasp what he deemed most important. Your role, as a Christian woman in a mixed-up-world, is to be Sanctified, Set Apart for a Purpose!" (Amazon)

Check out the cool book trailer for Sanctified: Set Apart for a Purpose -- A Study of 1 & 2 Peter at YouTube:






Sunday, November 1, 2015

Purer in Heart by Heather Pryor November BOM Reading Schedule


I hope you're gearing up for our newest study! This month we are studying Purer in Heart by Heather Pryor.

"What does it take to be purer in heart? This 13 lesson study for teen-aged girls and women explores possessing purity in every area of our lives so that we may stand before the Lord with "clean hands and a pure heart". (Psalm 24:3-4) Each lesson includes discussion questions, a personal challenge, prayer requests, and a scripture to commit to memory. Chapter topics include: Purity in our speech, Purity in our thoughts, Purity in our motives, Purity in our religion, and more. The book is designed to be used for either personal or group Bible study. Grab a Bible and prepare your heart to delve into the Scriptures to search for the answers to growing purer in heart." (Amazon)

November Reading Schedule:

Week One: Lessons 1-4
Lesson One: The Purpose of Purity
Lesson Two: A Special Treasure
Lesson Three: Purity in  Our Speech
Lesson Four: Purity in Our Thoughts

Week Two: Lessons 5-7
Lesson Five: Purity in Our Motives
Lesson Six: Purity in Our Attitudes
Lesson Seven: Purity in Our Dress

Week Three: Lessons 8-10
Lesson Eight: Purity in Our Bodies
Lesson Nine: Purity in Our Religion
Lesson Ten: Purity in Our Lives

Week Four: Lessons 11-13
Lesson Eleven: Purity -- Outward vs. Inward
Lesson Twelve: Godly Examples of Purity
Lesson Thirteen: Maintaining Purity