Friday, February 24, 2017

Let them see your flaws.

The past few days, I've been listing to pastor Chuck Swindoll's messages that play on the radio in the evening. Normally I turn them down and let it play in the background while I cook supper. But when I turned on the radio on Tuesday, the subject he was talking about really caught my attention.



His message was on Being Vulnerable.  As I listened, it hit me hard. I only heard half of the message, but it's been on my mind all week.
As Christians, we often times feel like we have to have our act together. We have the answer to our problems, so this means we should have the answers to everything. Right?
But . . .Should we really?

Perhaps one of the best ways we can be a witness to others is by showing them our cracks. We have the light of Christ inside of us, but unless we become vulnerable, unless we allow others to see our brokenness, the light inside cannot shine through.

So many times it is in our humanity, in showing unbelievers that even as Christians we're not prefect that we are the best witness for Christ. We don't have all the answers. The difference is . . . we know and trust someone who does. And when people see that we trust in something greater than ourselves to answer the questions we have, they want that. Because the human heart cries out for meaning, to know the One who knows all things.

It's okay to say "I don't know" when someone asks you a question about Christianity.

Why do we go through such trials in this life?
Why does someone we know suddenly get diagnosed with cancer?
How can a loving God let the wickedness in the world go on?

Friends, we don't know the answers to these questions. And we never will until our pilgrimage on this earth has ended and we walk through the pearly gates.

But we serve a God who does know. We serve a God who is in control of everything. And one day we'll see how all the events of this life were woven into a tapestry by our God.

Moving onto a something that is perhaps more relatable . . . are you knowledgeable on a certain subject, such as technology, literature, cooking, baking, etc?
For me, it's medicine. No, I'm not in the medical field yet, but I LOVE studying medicine. This means that a lot of the time, because of that,  I get asked questions about it. And you know, so often it feels like I have to have the answer. But I've realized that we're human. We're not going to have the answer all the time. And that is perfectly okay.

Because we're not perfect. We're flawed.

It's our brokenness that brings us to Christ, and so often it's in our flaws that others are drawn to what we have. Why? Because admitting we don't know that answer shows something that is rare.

It shows humility.

It's good to have answers, but even better is knowing the One who knows the answers we don't have.

So let people see your flaws. Don't try and be perfect, or put on a perfect front. Because no one is perfect, and when people see you working so hard to try and be flawless, they are often pushed away.

Let's be real. And though it can be so hard, let's be vulnerable.  Let's show others our weaknesses, and in doing so, draw them to the Healer.

Everyone is weak, and only in Christ can we truly be strong. Let's show others that He is our strength.

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.


Isaiah 40: 28-31 
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

2/23/1945 - 2/23/2017

One of the most iconic photos of WWII was taken during a battle that happened today. It was something that would be remembered . . . forever. A part of the war that became immortalized in the flash of a camera.


Today, seventy-two years ago, a bloody battle raged in the pacific. The day had grown long, and the troops were tired, though over half of the battle was still ahead of them.
But they had grained ground. Fighting every step of the way for traction against the slippery slopes, the men fought for every bit of soil their foot touched. You never knew if you would live to walk the next step, or if you would fall and be forgotten. But it didn't matter. Your life was small in the larger picture of what was taking place today.
And then, it happened. With a cry uttered in pain, yet mingled with triumph, American troops crossed the crest. They were now off the dangerous beaches below.
Out of the gray ash and sounds of canon fire that had fallen over everything in the near vicinity, something red fluttered in the slight breeze. Suddenly, a cheer went up from the men as they saw what was happening.
Five Marines and a Navy man had fought their way to the front of the crest, and bullets, cannon fire, mud, nor even hell itself was going to stop them.
And in that moment, the flag was raised at Iwo Jima.
A sign to the world that we were not going to surrender. We were not going to back down. We were not going to accept defeat.
No, we were going to fight to win the war. And God help us, we were going to keep peace, even if it had to come through one of the deadliest wars in human history.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Editing

Hello all! I hope your week has been smashing! (Not literally. xD) Mine has been good! A bit busy, but that's nothing new. I was able to get the ARCs for "A Question of Honor" sent out yesterday, so that was awesome. 
This is a post I wrote a little while ago, and decided to go ahead and post today. Because . . . I'm about ready to tackle editing, so I needed a reminder. ;) 

Editing.

It’s something that I know most of us writers do not enjoy. It’s so much easier to write a scene and to be in the story with our character than it is to edit all those words we’ve somehow strung together on a page.
I’m one of these writers who likes to edit as I write. I just can’t stand to look back at what I’ve written and have it filled with mistakes that would only take a second to fix.
That being said, I’ve also written a novel during NaNo, where it was near impossible to edit as you write. I mean, you can fix a spelling real quick, but your novel is going to need tons of editing when you’re done. It’s kinda an inevitable hidden downfall of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. ;)

So I thought I’d share some tips that I’ve found useful for editing the first draft of your novel. Hopefully they can encourage you no matter where you may be in your editing!


(1.) Break it up into sections.

Looking at a whole novel that is riddled with mistakes and plot holes can be so intimidating. Trust me; I’ve been there, and I know! Breaking it up into manageable sections, 1-2 chapters a day, can really be helpful. And if you don’t divide into chapters when you write, then make a goal to work on two or three pages each day. It may seem like a small amount when you could be doing more, but it gives you manageable portions to work on.
Make a second document (word doc, Google doc, whatever you use) and copy and paste those three pages into it. You’ll have a clean sheet in front of you, and only a limited amount of words to work with. Instead of scrolling down and seeing all those mistakes, each day you’ll be filling more pages with edited words. And I know for me that’s a huge thing. And it makes me feel so much better about my story, and it’s so much easier to make the time to edit!

(2.) Get motivated

This can be hard. I am probably one of the least motivated people ever when it comes to editing. (You know that machine that you can stick your papers into and have them come out a perfect edited manuscript? Yeah, I’m going to invent it someday.) But, until then, it can be hard to keep with your project instead of starting a new story. Because, yeah, new stories are just so much easier and so much more fun to do!
Accountability plays a huge role in motivation! Having a writing friend who will commit to check up on you if a huge way to keep motivated.
Another way that works for me, but I’ll admit is kinda weird, is giving in and getting a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I’ll set it in front of me on the desk I normally use for writing, and I don’t
let myself read it till I’ve finished editing my manuscript, or edited half or it, or some such thing. It may seem silly, but it works for me!
Timers also work great. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes to start, and then work on nothing but editing for that time. Not only will you get your work done, putting on that timer helps rule out procrastination devices, such as pinterest. ;)

(3.) Pray

Yes, this probably should have been the first on the list. I know many times I tend to look at my writing as something that is separate from the rest of my life, and it can be something that I don’t pray about near as much as I should.
But as Christian writers, our faith needs to shine through in our writing. Writing is such a huge part of our life, and we need God’s guidance in this area as well as any other area in our lives.
Before you sit to edit, pray. Pray that God would show you what He wants to shine forth through your writing. And trust me, when you pray and ask God’s guidance, editing becomes a whole lot easier. Because now you’re excited to see what God will do and where He’ll take your story.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sweet Remembrance Release

In the despair of the Warsaw Ghetto, a young Jewish woman fights the Nazis with the only thing she has left—her memories.  

A little while ago I had the privilege to read a collection of fairy-tale retelling. And within that collection, there were two stories that I wished would be published on their own. 


Well, guess what?! One of them is being released as a stand-alone e-book today! I was so excited when I saw the announcement on Emily Putzke's blog, and was thrilled to be able to take part!  You can read my review of it here. 


Also, there is a beautiful cover for it . . . it's amazing. It fits the story so well. So why are you still here? Scroll down to see it! xD








Add on Goodreads
Purchase the eBook

About the Author:

Emily Ann Putzke is a young novelist, historical reenactor, and history lover. She's the author of It Took a War,ResistSweet Remembrance, and co-author of Ain't We Got Fun. You can learn more about Emily and her books atwww.authoremilyannputzke.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Historical Valentines day cards . . . err, puns.

So, today is the day after valentines day. Personally, I think February 15th should be known as National "authors-stock-up-on-chocolate" day. But that's just my opinion. ;) I hope you all had a good valentines day! I did. My siblings got me chocolate, and I went out for coffee with a friend. And then had a late-night conversation with another dear friend. It was awesome! :) 

Okay, well, since I was a part of Rebekah's cover reveal yesterday, I decided I'd do my Valentine's post today. (Shh, it still totally counts!)

Since Valentines day is about love, and I don't "have" anyone who I'm with . .  I decided for a more humorous take on  this lovely holiday. Most of you are aware of my infatuation with history. And I also dearly love to laugh. So what can be better than Valentines from history that are actually puns? Nothing, in my opinion. Get ready to laugh, 'cause here are seven, historical, valentines day puns. 












And then, we have my personal favorite. Because it just fits so well with history. Though in all truth, not sure anyone took over his heart . . . 


There you have it. My favorite Valentines day cards. xD I'd actually be really happy if anyone gave me any of these on a Valentines day. Well, any except the sixth one. I'd . . . be a bit worried with that. ;P 

*grins* I sent this to some friends yesterday and told them I had found the right person. ;) 

Well, I think that about wraps up this post. If you'd like to read a more serious Valentines day post, you can read the one I did last year here

I hope y'all are having a wonderful week, and I'll see you back here on Friday! Also, blog tour sign-ups are only open till Sunday, so if you haven't yet signed up . . . you can do so here. :) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Princess and I Cover Reveal

Hey all! Today I'm participating in the cover reveal for my dear friend, Rebekah Eddy's, new book!

 And yep, I'm inserting this random pic just so you have to click on the post to see the cover. xD



Synopsis:
Coming March 3rd, 2017
Megan is content with her life, despite her parents' death and her brother Malcolm's job that keeps him busy at the King's castle. But when she is offered the position as Princess Christine's lady-in-waiting, Megan is glad of the change in scenery and accepts it with the hope that she can spend more time with her brother. The promise from Malcolm of lessons in swordsmanship only adds to her enthusiasm.

However, helping keep an eye on the emotional and excitable young lady proves to be much harder than becoming her friend. As rumors of war circulate the castle, Megan strives to encourage her new friend even as she tries to settle the doubts and fears in her own heart when her responsibility in protecting the Princess is put to the test. Follow the unwanted adventure which serves to teach her that loyal friendship, true love, and God's amazing grace will always triumph over revenge, greed, and hate.



And now . . .the cover!! :D  



Eeeeppppp!! Isn't it beautiful?!? :D :D 



About the Author: 



 Rebekah grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated and read good literature. First, she fell in love with the stories her parents read aloud to her from the Bible and books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Hobbit, and Anne of Green Gables. After learning to read on her own, she discovered other fantastic books which helped to build her ever growing imagination.

She completed her first written work at the tender age of eight and now uses it to humble herself whenever the need arises. The story did serve to show her that God had given her a desire to write, however, and from that moment on Rebekah has never looked back or regretted picking up her pencil and becoming an author.

This eighteen-year-old homeschool graduate lives in rainy Western Washington and is currently working on receiving her BA in English in order to further her passion for creating worlds on paper.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Question of Honor Blog Tour sign-ups!

Yeessssss, you read that correctly!! :D A Question of Honor releases in just under three weeks! So now I need your help, my readers! Would you like a chance to read the book before it's published? Or maybe you beta-read it, and you'd be willing to tell the world about it? *wink*

Anyway, the time has come for blog-tour signups! *squeals* I'm so excited for this! The blog tour runs the 1st of March through the 4th, and for those of you who sign up to review, I will do my best to get an ARC copy to you by next Friday(17th).

Are you excited?! I know I am! ^_^