Waiting is one of the most difficult of all the spiritual disciplines.

In our hurried, driven, fast-paced culture we have lost the art of waiting well. If there’s a long line at the grocery store or coffee shop, we sigh and wonder if it’s worth it. We use microwaves and Instant Pots. God, however, is in the waiting. He uses delay in our lives to sharpen us and set the stage for His future plans. We see this in the Psalmist David’s life.

David was well-acquainted with waiting. Many Bible scholars feel he waited at least seventeen years before the fulfillment of God’s promise to him that He would be King. We feel the struggle with David when he cries, out, “How long, Lord, Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” (Psalm 13:1-2).

How did David make peace with God and settle His soul? We find the answer at the end of Psalm 13 where David writes, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:5-6).

I find tucked away in these verses three choices that David made as he waited:

  • He chose to trust.
  • He chose to rejoice in what God had promised.
  • He chose to praise.

Friend, waiting is a part of our spiritual journey. But as you choose to trust, rejoice and praise God, He will use the season of waiting in your life to bring about His perfect plan.

Becky Harling

Becky Harling

Becky Harling and her husband, Steve, are veteran church ministry leaders. Both certified by the John Maxwell team, the Harlings have a heart to see pastors and other ministry leaders grow their influence through incarnational listening.

 

I’ve never been a police chief—but I spent many years of my career in public education serving as a high school superintendent. The day I realized the overlap between those two positions was the day Jo Oliver was born.

In the early years, I interviewed women and men (mostly men) police officers and had the privilege of participating in a few ride-alongs. As a member of the International Thriller Writers Association, I enthusiastically joined in on the FBI workshops hosted by the Manhattan FBI during our annual summer conference. It wasn’t until I heard a dear friend and local police chief describe his day-to-day activities as being mainly concerned with politics and personnel that I realized I could write from that seat authentically.

School superintendents also spend a good deal of their time addressing politics and personnel—sans badge and gun. Layering on the details of a series of crimes fell into place once I knew how my police chief would spend her time on the job when not chasing bad guys/girls. In addition to trying out cool new technologies in their efforts to protect and serve, my characters spend much of their waking time at work. Understanding that leadership in the police arena is not all that different from leadership in other arenas added confidence and an air of authority to my writing.

In crafting my current novel, I am drawing on my world of education to form the background of my protagonist. Grounding her in a world I know so well frees me up to create bridges into the bold new future world we are creating and sharing on the page together. Weaving in the ancient truths of human development, character, and consequences of our choices laid out in the Bible adds the final layer of intrigue and fuel for reflection I strive to include in my work.

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates opportunities to contribute to the wellbeing of others as a coach, writer, and friend. She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends. www.catherinefinger.com

 

 

 

A week ago at sunset there was a wall of flames approaching our little town here in the Sierra Valley: #LoyaltonFire.

More than 700 firefighters had battled it for three days before it headed down the mountain toward spent and dry meadows that bordered our town of 860. The same angry beast had jumped two state highways in other directions the day before—one of those eight lanes wide. Now it was headed our way.

Because I have prayer walked my town for the last twenty-two years, I have seen the hand of God answer one prayer after another for my friends and neighbors. I knew God would work through the firefighters who were taking a stand at the highway. However, because I also formerly worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper, I wanted to see for myself what was going on. So, well after dark I walked to the other end of town to see the firefight for myself.

Like a child who is exhausted but still resisting going to bed, the fire was still arguing but waning—no larger than three side-by-side homecoming bonfires. All would be well.

Later I learned of miracles: a ranch with a historic barn surrounded by flames…saved, and an entire hillside burned but friends’ barn, home, and 100 sheep…untouched.

Two days later I read, “For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 52:12 ESV). God may intervene directly in our lives, but sometimes He uses dozer operators, firefighters, and even writers to effect His sovereign plan. In any case we can always know He does indeed doze a path for us. He’s always got your back.

Prayer Walk

Janet McHenry is a speaker and the author of twenty-four books—six of those on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She and her rancher-husband Craig have raised four children in their little town in the Sierras, where she formerly taught English to every single high school junior and senior.

 

 

 

Peru. Its people call me back.

Which is why I set Carly’s finale book in Peru. As a tribute to her, because she kept calling me back, to write yet another story about her. The first time I visited Peru, I learned about hidden temples and jungle monsters. I thought, “Carly could have a mystery here.”

Peru was the perfect backdrop to Carly’s finale book as she made decisions about her future. Forced by health issues to slow down, pushed into a corner until she made a choice about the direction and the content of her faith life, Carly is like many of us: she’s been given a chance to choose something she didn’t want and make it her new norm.

So while Carly doesn’t actually go to Peru, the country comes to her. And she learns more about herself as a result.

And while this is the last book in the “By the Numbers” series, she will join her granddaughter in a segue novella, coming out in September, bridging the gap between readers saying goodbye and those finding the new series.

 

Risk Management CoverAbout Risk Management:

Carly Turnquist, Forensic Accountant, can never ignore a good mystery. Or in this case, three. When her sometime friend tells her a mystery is afoot, with links to a Quechuan temple, a Peruvian jungle monster, and murder, Carly is hooked. But when her investigations come close to home, she must decide whether to step back or continue, because now her family—and her own life—are at stake. Never one to give up without a good fight, Carly finds herself under attack from a third direction—her body is failing her. Will she continue? Or will she retire gracefully? Perhaps she can do both.

 

 

 

About Leeann:

Leeann Betts

Leeann Betts

Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. Together she and Donna have published more than 30 devotionals, novellas, and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Christian Authors Network, Pikes Peak Writers, and Sisters in Crime. Leeann travels extensively to research her stories, and are proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary LLC.

 

Website: www.LeeannBetts.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Bonanza Books-in-a-Flash: order autographed print copies of books that are shipped directly from the author.

Books: Amazon http://amzn.to/2dHfgCE  and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2z5ecP8

 

Cindy Sproles
Sarah Sundin headshot

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in smoking-hot California! Today I have the joy of interviewing a fellow historical novelist with Revell Books, Cindy K. Sproles. Cindy has put her Appalachian background to good use, creating a backdrop for her newest story—a story with an unexpected timeliness for today!

Cindy, please tell us about your book, What Momma Left Behind.

Cindy Sproles

Cindy Sproles

Taking place in the Appalachian Mountains during the late 1800s, mountain folks face a pandemic leaving hundreds of children parentless and needing to be taken in. Worie Dressar sees fit to make caring for the children, her mission.

Pan-de-mic…that word sounds familiar. Obviously, this novel was written long before COVID-19, so what inspired this story?

The inspiration behind this book is the need for families reaching out to adopt children – especially older children and to adopt them here, in our own country. A child adopted, regardless of what country they are from, is a win, but our own country faces hundreds of thousands of older children needing love, guidance, and someone to care.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote the book to honor those who step out in faith to adopt older children. Those who see the good in every child and want to make a difference.

What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?

What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles

What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles

I suppose what surprised me most was . . .

1) that when the book was written 22 months ago, there was no clue of COVID. As I researched this book, I found just how many children were left parentless in the backwoods of the mountains because their parents had died from the flu. Influenza passed through the mountains killing more adults than children, and since records were rarely kept, there are only theories as to why more children did not die.

2) I learned about the orphan train. I’d never heard of that, and when my research took me there, I was floored that children as young as four were placed on a train and shipped out west, stopping along the way for farm families to pick and choose cheap farm labor.

History is endlessly fascinating! What was the hardest scene to write?

The hardest scene to write was the first scene of the book when Worie finds her mother has killed herself. She is forced to bury her mother and try to get past the attempt she had made to save her mother. It had to be emotional and it had to be hard. Life in the mountains during the late 1800s was treacherous. It wasn’t a walk in the park. Being able to help Worie convey the mixed emotions of hurt, guilt, determination, and anger at her situation and her mother.

That would be a very difficult scene to write, but those are usually the most touching. Cindy, how do you share Christ in your writing?

I don’t believe in preaching to the choir. My books are geared to non-believers. I want them to see that faithful people suffer hardship, yet the difference between them and the average person, is they understand grace and mercy, as well as how to repent. There is always an underlying thread of faith, but my characters make serious mistakes. They battle with the issues of the world and the emotion that follows, yet by the end of the story they have been gently and subtly introduced to a loving God. It is not overt. Though in historical Appalachia religion was very much a part of the culture, so I can get away with showing God’s love without repercussion.

What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?

Hope. Gratefulness. Victory in the eventual overcoming of a situation.

Why do you love writing?

Writing is who I am. I prayed (and still do) that God will allow me to be a writer. All the work is returned to Him for His glory. Writing is just who I am.

When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?

As a child. My brother is 12 years older than me. I basically grew up as an only child. My favorite playmate was the God I learned about in Sunday school, so I imagined stories all the time with my friend, God. I knew from childhood I wanted to tell stories, and I prayed as an adult for the opportunity to “just be a writer.”

I love it! What ministries are you involved in, and why?

I serve as a lead editor for LPC Books/Iron Stream Media. This is a ministry in and of itself and an opportunity to give back to new writers. I am the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries and the executive editor of www.christiandevotions.us. Again, the call came, and my ministry partner, CAN member Eddie Jones, and I answered. I also serve as part of our church food ministry.

Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?

Sometimes it’s tough to manage time. I recently retired (end of July) and within two days, others were filling my days for me. So, I have set morning work hours three days a week, and afternoon work days two days a week. Weekends are there to write when I want.

What’s your favorite bookstore—and why?

My favorite bookstore is my local mom and pop store, I Love Books Bookstore. The owner, Mr. Moody has become my number one sales guy. In all he’s sold over 3000 copies of my book. He is a wonderful man and a jewel to work with.

What a blessing to have such a supportive store in town! Thank you for sharing with us today, Cindy!

To learn more about Cindy and her books, please visit Cindy’s website and Cindy’s blog.

Writing for Him,

Sarah Sundin

Sarah’s website