Week in Review

So much is happening lately, I’ve decided to use Saturdays for a “Week in Review”.

Book highlights:

ACFW Professional Relations Liason, Cynthia Ruchti, is a double finalist in Christian Retailing’s Best Awards–When the Morning Glory Blooms in General Fiction, and Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices in Nonfiction:Women. Read more here: Christian Retailing’s Best 

BeyondIDocoverMy debut novel, Beyond I Do, is now available for pre-order! At a discounted price, even!

Many said they wanted to learn more about this book, so here goes:

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadow’s encounter with a woman, her child, and their abuser sparks a passion that threatens her engagement. Will seeing beyond the present unite her and her fiance or tear them apart?

Raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignites a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Another highlight–I’m becoming more tech savvy by the day! I learned how to put the cover image in the sidebar of this site. (See right) I also started an author page on Amazon, and with help, I learned how to feed my blog into it. Hooray! (Check it out here.)

Libby Final front coverFay Lamb, a friend I lovingly call the Loop-lady, just saw the release of her latest novel, Libby:

Libby Overstreet can’t see herself as anything but shy and socially awkward. She’s nearing thirty, and she’s never even been on a date. Then she meets the man of her dreams, but Libby knows he would never be interested in a wallflower like her. All she wants to do is to buy that garden nursery on the outskirts of town and settle down with the life she has always dreamed about.

Evan Carter has been watching the sweet woman in the coffee shop for weeks when his friend tells him that the object of his affection plans to buy a garden nursery and needs Evan’s expertise as an architect/contractor. When they meet, Libby is more enamored of Evan and even more convinced that he would never look at her as anything but a friend. However, that’s far from the truth. Evan would love to get to know the innocent beauty God has placed in this path. Trouble is, he fears that a lovely flower like Libby will wilt under the sins of his past, and he’ll do everything in his power to keep that from happening.

Updated Wit & Wisdom cover 2014My sweet friend, Eileen Rife’s, kid quip book, Wit & Wisdom from the Wee Ones, releases in May:

Kids can take us right to the heart of God, one way or another. When they provoke frustration, we breathe a silent prayer for grace. When they incite giggles, we hear God’s laughter as well. When they stimulate an endearing moment, we sense God’s touch. When they utter a profound statement, we step back in wonder. What is this phenomenon a little one evokes? Bubbly ripples of laughter that transport us to another realm. Unabashed honesty that cuts to the chase. Joy splashing around our ankles, light spilling into shadow, awakening us to a childlike appreciation for the world around us.

If we take the time, if we listen, if we stoop to their level, we can go where kids go—straight to the heart of God. Wit & Wisdom from the Wee Ones is a collection of cute quips and quotes inspired by Eileen’s grandchildren. Along with other contributors, Eileen cracks the door to the whimsical, yet often wise world of the child. Lean in close . . . you may just hear God’s heartbeat.

On the web:

In the Christian living world, I’ve had two articles go live, one on Divine Silence and the other where I share one of my least glamorous yet most memorable moments in an article titled The Dangers of Negativity.

My sweet friend, Jennifer Hallmark, visited Seriously Write to discuss the pros and cons of joining a compilation project. Having compiled Sweet Freedom, and working on another compilation with my church, I found this post interesting. 🙂 You can read about this here.

Reality Church News:

The Art of Neighboring!

Following an excellent series on the “E” word, hubby and I are going to a seminar titled “The Art of Neighboring.” We’re hugely excited about this, because this is an area we really need to grow in! Plus, I’ll be sharing a neighboring story that really touched (touches) my heart.

mini big live logoThe Mini Big Live!

You may remember our massive tri-city serving event titled the Big Live. Well, we’re at it again, but on a slightly smaller scale. May 2-4, RC members will partner with 10 Omaha Metro ministries to bring God’s love and truth to a hurting world. We’ll serve the homeless, clean a park, organize and facilitate a fun run to benefit the local foodbank, will plant flowers at the Hope Center and will make beds for children who have none… among other things!

The highlight: My railroader hubby is leading a flashmob dance of Papillion Manor residents and RCers. To say this shoved him out of his comfort zone would be an understatement. ha! But I know he’ll rock it! Figuratively and literally. (We hope to have Youtube footage of the event. Of course I’ll share it with y’all!)

Saving Grace booklet!

I’m helping our Groups Pastor, Roger Graber, compile a booklet on Saving Grace. This will be used for discussion groups and will be distributed to everyone who attends our Easter service. It’ll also be available in PDF form, which means I’ll be able to share it with you!

 

If God Loves Me, Then Why Does He Wait?

As our daughter nears fifteen, she’s beginning to dream about driving and college and all those rights of passage that signify adulthood. (She’s already planned the furnishings for her college dorm room … and her future house, career, basically, the next twenty years of her life.)

She thinks she’s so ready, but often, my husband and I must hold her back. Not because we don’t love her, but instead, because we do. We know the vital steps that must occur, the growth that needs to take place, the dangers that await if we allow too many privileges and responsibilities before the proper time. We know there’s imperative character traits, like perseverance, inner grit, determination, that must be developed.

I believe God is the same way. He has an omniscient view of our lives. He sees our past, present, and future. He knows every obstacle we’ll face, every blessing that’ll come our way. Most importantly, He sees us not as we are, but as He plans to make us–a beautiful masterpiece ready to do His will.

Today, Fay Lamb, author of Because of Me, looks at disappointments through God’s sovereignty and loving Father’s heart. She reminds us, no matter what comes our way, God wants us to trust and obey. Trust His love, His goodness, His tender care.

God Loves Me More Than That by Fay Lamb

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD,

thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

Life verses—they abound, and Jeremiah 29:11 is among the most quoted. As an author who feels that God has called me to write, I cling to verses such as this. For me, they prove that God’s love is a blanket of warmth against the coldness of a sometimes harsh reality.

The writer’s life is like a rollercoaster with moments of high exhilaration and days of deep despair. Times when all is right with the world, and then there are those occasions when a writer wants to crawl into a cave and hide from the very world where before all was bright and sunny.

God says in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the thoughts He has toward me. He declares those thoughts are kind and not evil, and He wants to give me a future of hope. When I meditate on this verse, I imagine this is God’s way of saying, “Daughter, I have a plan for you. Trust and obey.”

Often I hold my hand out to God, asking Him to lead me toward a writing contract, an encounter with someone, even an idea to build a story. Like a child, I want my prayers answered easily and immediately.

But God loves me more than that.

I do not like rejection, but is it truly rejection when God has designed the plan and I am walking in obedience to Him? No, it’s a step. I must trust God and move forward even when the path is rough and harrowing.

I do not like to be unsettled in my spirit, yet criticism has a way of doing that. Truth given in love, however, is one of a writer’s most valuable assets. The sting at first may leave me uncomfortable, but when I come to terms with it and take the suggested steps to improve my writing, my spirit is filled with the peace that God promises.

When I start out on a trip, I am the one who likes to know every stop along the way. Trust and obey means that I trust God when he doesn’t tell me each leg of my journey. My life as an author may take unexpected turns.

I have purposed in my heart to remain content with any direction God purposes in my writing career. In fact, I’ll be satisfied on whatever road He places me. My future hopes rest in Him and not in my desires, and God has promised a future better than any I can dream.

BIO

Fay Lamb works as an acquisition/copyeditor for Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books), offers her services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel will be released on February 3, 2012, by Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing.

Fay has a passion for working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010.

In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

Because of Me:

Issie Putnam’s life took a detour the night she was raped at gunpoint in front of her fiancé, Michael Hayes. Instead of marrying Michael, a promising young investigative reporter, Michael, along with the man who attacked her, and the man who held the gun on Michael, are imprisoned for conspiracy to assassinate the local district attorney—a crime Michael was trying to expose but had no intention of committing. Issie’s name is ruined, she lost her perfectly-planned future, but she gained Cole, her son—born of that rape.

On the eve of her attacker’s parole, Michael, already released from prison, follows through on his plan to return to the small town of Amazing Grace and protect Issie from the madman who promised to seek revenge. There, he meets Issie’s seven-year-old son for the first time.

Can Michael learn to love the child Issie holds so close to her heart? Will Michael be able to protect the woman he loves from the man who will stop at nothing to destroy them all?

Purchase the book at Amazon.

Let’s talk about this!

Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about our disappointments, hopes, and dreams and try to view them through our Father’s eyes. How does trusting in God’s love for you, His plan for you, His continual care, help you persevere? If you’re a parent, how has your experience as a parent changed your understanding of God? Has there been a time when you’ve been able to look back on a delay or detour that, although painful at the time, turned out to be a blessing?