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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Garden of Eden Restored

Garden of Eden Restored
Genesis chapter two tells the story of how God planted a garden in the “east” for the first people to ever live on earth, Adam and Eve. God named it the Garden of Eden. I would imagine it was a lush paradise that supplied the inhabitants’ every need. The Bible tells us God placed all kinds of trees in the garden, trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.
One tree in particular, He called The Tree of Life. Another was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned Adam and Eve they could eat of any except that one. Unfortunately, Eve disobeyed God and tasted a piece of fruit, giving some to her husband, Adam. Because Eve defied God, the first two people were cast out of their perfect world. Now, every human born is plagued with the sinful nature they inherited from Adam and Eve. We no longer live in a paradise, but a sin ridden world where murder, lies, and selfishness reign. That sounds pretty dismal.
But wait. I have good news. Though we die externally, those who trust Jesus as Savior can dwell with Him eternally in the next life.
And there’s more good news. In Revelations 21, the Bible tells us God will create a new Heaven and earth, one where there is no more death, mourning, crying or pain. Revelation 22:1-5 gives us a glimpse of the glorious days in store for Christians. The passages promise that there will come a time when man will no longer live under the curse we inherited from our ancestors, Adam and Eve. We will have the distinct privilege of serving the Lord forever and will proudly display His name on our foreheads. Basking in the perpetual light of God’s face, we won’t suffer from pain or disease or shed any more tears.
But the last part of verse 2 stood out. “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.” Could that be the same tree of life as God originally created in the Garden of Eden? Whether it’s the exact same tree or one patterned after the original, the mention of the tree leads me to believe that God is restoring all that we lost in Eden.

When Adam and Eve first sinned, Satan appeared to have won the battle. But not so. God will make everything new someday. The devil didn’t win!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Author Spotlight is Shining on Darlene Franklin

Bio: 
Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over thirty books and has written more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont






Blurbs:
Homestead Brides:
9 Pioneering Couples Risk All for Love and Land: Promises of free land lured thousands to stake their claim to the vast American plains. They built make-do homes and put all they had into improving the land. Readers will enjoy nine adventures as God helps homesteaders find someone with whom to share the dream—the work—and the love. 
http://www.amazon.com/Homestead-Brides-Collection-Pioneering-Couples-ebook/dp/B00RPVRWEY
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-homestead-brides-collection-mary-connealy/
http://www.christianbook.com/the-homestead-brides-collection/mary-connealy/9781630586867/


Find Darlene online at 
www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Feature with Marian Merritt

THE VIGIL

Cheryl Broussard made two vows: She'd never fall for an abusive man, and she'd never return to her Louisiana hometown. But she's learned all too well the lesson of never-say-never. Now, back in Bijou Bayou after fleeing from an abusive boyfriend, Cheryl finds work as a Hospice nurse. While reading a dying patient's Korean War love letters, family secrets shatter Cheryl's beliefs about her family and herself and shed light on the reason she fled her hometown. When the Broussard family secrets are revealed, can Cheryl deal with the truth and accept the blessing of a second chance for relationships with her family, old friends, and with the God she never really knew?

Buy from Pelican Book Group



Marian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. Her tagline, Where the Bayous Meets the Mountains, grew from both loves. She is the author of, Deep Freeze Christmas, A Cajun Christmas Miracle, and Southern Fried Christmas.
Marian is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women's Fiction Writers Association.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle. Connect with her through Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

God Has All the Answers

God Has All the Answers
I love the Bible because I can find rich treasures in the form of answers I need for just about every issue in my life. One of them is how to deal with difficult people. Sometimes certain individuals seem to toss stumbling blocks my way at every turn, testing every ounce of patience I have.
Ephesians 4:31-32 says: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Uh, oh. God forgave me for a lot of stuff when I asked Him to be my Savior and still does on a daily basis. Doesn’t that problem-person deserve the same? The Lord doesn’t favor anyone over another. He expects us to treat others like we want to be treated.
Okay, so I chose to avoid anger or unkind words toward that other person. I forgave just as Jesus forgave me. But something was wrong. The Holy Spirit looked down into my soul, probing deeply. I discovered I’d exchanged unforgiveness for complacency and distance. Though I no longer held malice against that person, I merely ignored them.
1 Corinthians 13 is the love chapter. Verse 13 says “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Guess what! I’d forgiven but hadn’t chosen to love. That was a lot harder than forgiving.

God was able to reveal the true motives of my heart. How was I to love that difficult person? I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Soon, that person I thought I couldn’t abide became a friend. Thank you, Lord, for Your Word and the power to live according to Your will.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Author Spotlight Shines on James Callan

James R. Callan
Join us today as we welcome Author James Callan. He is sharing his inspiration behind the Father Frank Mysteries. Cleansed by Fire, and Over My Dead Body, coming in May of this year. 

Where Cleansed by Fire Came From

Several years ago, a number of churches were burned in east Texas. Some were burned to the ground and others so badly damaged the congregation had to look for another place to hold its services. It was a terrible time. The churches seemed to be picked at random. But eventually, the police caught two young men and were able to prove they were responsible for the arsons.
The only motive that ever came out was, “Could we get away with it?”

I found this disturbing and began to wonder what a possible motive could be for torching a number of churches. Slowly, a plot began to form in my mind (with no basis in the actual events) and another year later, the mystery Cleansed by Fire emerged.

Father Frank, the protagonist, was pulled into the search for answers on the arsons. He didn’t want to participate, but felt he couldn’t sit on the sidelines and not help. In the end, he uncovered the person responsible, helped capture him, and start him on the road to redemption.

In the course of writing it, I slowly came to know Father Frank. He became a friend. And when the book was over, I missed my time with him. The book drew praise and people began asking for the next Father Frank mystery. That led to the second Father Frank mystery, Over My Dead Body, which is due out around May 1, 2015.

Once again, this pastor in a small east Texas town finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery. Actually, the police believe it’s suicide. But the priest and a member of the parish are convinced it was murder and set about to get the police to reopen the case.

As in the first book, Over My Dead Body also features Georgia Peitz, a young widow who has now become romantically involved with a detective. When he is made the lead detective on the case and insists it is suicide, sparks fly between the two. Georgia is a delight to work with and I always end up smiling when I am writing a scene with Georgia in it. She is feisty and straight talking and you almost always know where she is coming from, what she thinks about a situation.

Over my Dead Body will be released about May 1 in paperback and Kindle editions. It is the second Father Frank mystery. With the priest so involved with the members of his parish, there is certainly enough material for another book. In fact, I’ve already got the third in the series started. I will hope for a 2016 release.

Cleansed by Fire is now in audio. If you have someone whose eyesight prevents them from reading much, you can now get Cleansed by Fire in audio, narrated by five-time Emmy Award winner Jonathan Mumm.

Cleansed by Fire on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1fqgWee
Cleansed by Fire in Audio: http://amzn.to/1oHrO6E

Website: jamesrcallan.com


Back Cover Blurb for Over My Dead Body

A large corporation is taking land by eminent domain. Syd Cranzler stands in its way, threatening a court battle. After a heated meeting with the corporation representative, Syd is found dead from an overdose of heart medication. The police call it suicide. Case closed.

But Father Frank, Syd’s pastor, and Georgia Peitz, another member of the church, don’t believe Syd committed suicide and begin to look for clues of what really happened. Will this affect Georgia’s romantic interest in the lead detective?

When the priest is almost poisoned, they convince the police to investigate further. Immediately, Father Frank becomes the target of rumors and speculation he might have had something to do with Syd’s death.


The more clues Father Frank and Georgia uncover, the more danger they find themselves in. Can they find the real killer before they become victims?  

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