31 March 2015

Teresa Mathews Reviews Lori Benton's THE WOOD'S EDGE



The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton
Waterbrook Press


Have you ever picked up a book and before you know what has happened you find yourself so enthralled that you don't want to put it down? This magnificent tale by Lori Benton is one of those stories.

Ms. Benton takes us back in time to the 1757 New York frontier, where life at the British Fort "William Henry" is about to come to an abrupt end by the hands of blood-thirsty, marauding Indians.  What takes place during this horrific time will forever change the lives of two families.  

Amidst the fighting Major Reginald Aubrey watched his fragile wife give birth to a son, then moments later while she slept, he realizes the boy has died. Deciding to take him away for burial before Heledd awakens, Reginald heads outside. On the way he sees a young woman that was taken from the Oneida Indians who has given birth to twins, one as fair as she is and the other as dark as his Indian father. Barely thinking twice, the grieving father makes a decision that will haunt him for years to come; he switches the babies.

Barely escaping with their lives, Reginald with Heledd and baby William head for safety, on the way they come upon a family that was all slaughtered by the Indians, except for a little girl, who appears less than a year old. Knowing he cannot leave her, Anna becomes a part of their family.

Years later Heledd takes William to Wales where he furthers his education, leaving behind Reginald and a heart broken Anna. Mourning for her brother, Anna visits their favorite childhood spot near the edge of the woods and there she meets a young Indian brave by the name of Two Hawks, who oddly reminds her of William. They form a fast bond and what develops after that encounter will bring about the healing of two families.

Lori Benton is an absolute master storyteller; with her descriptive wording she paints a picture that you will forever want to hold in your heart. This story takes you to the deepest depths of despair and then to the highest heights of redemption and forgiveness. The storyline is both captivating and emotional; there are scenes that were so moving I was brought to tears. The ending was different than what I thought it would be but it was both rewarding and satisfying and I can barely wait to see where this story leads as it will be continued in the next book in this series.

*Thanks to Waterbrook Press for supplying a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.* 

You may pre-order this and other books by Lori at AmazonCBDBAM and Barnes and Noble

GIVEAWAY: Two copies of The Wood's Edge will be given away to two blessed commenters on any of the posts this week! E-book only to International winner!


29 March 2015

"STEPS TO HEARING GOD'S VOICE"


By Bonnie Roof

God wants to fellowship and communicate with us, however, it must be a 2-way communication: He talks, we listen - we talk, He listens. How do we get to know a person?? By communicating with them, talking and listening: John 10:27. God sent Jesus to take our place and die for us- because He loves us that much and wanted us to have fellowship with Him again.

There are other voices whispering in our ears as well - the voice of satan, and the voice of our own fleshly desires. However, in John 10:4b, 5, we are told: "and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice. They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call", (Amplified).It takes time to learn to discern God's voice, it also takes a humble heart: Jeremiah 29:12-13. Hebrews 5:14 tells us we can train our ear, by practicing, to recognize the voice of God above the other voices. We can have confidence that we will hear His voice through His Spirit: Romans 8:14, and we can hear His voice, but we must be careful - especially when a young Christian - that we confirm we're following the Holy Spirit, and not another voice. Satan is the great deceiver, and our own flesh can mislead (especially when we are under pressure or want something badly).

Life is full of choices, how do we know we are making the right decisions?? Proverbs 16:3 describes the way our intentions and thoughts lineup with God's will when we submit ourselves fully to the Lord. How can we know whether we're hearing the voice of God?? As we humbly seek Him, He leads us: Proverbs 3:5-6. The Bible gives 7 points on which each possible leading should be based - we are to examine the thoughts and intentions of our hearts, and the words of godly people who influence us by their words and actions; through the use of these 7 points:
(1) The Holy Spirit speaking to our heart: Hebrews 8:10-11
(2) Godly counsel: Proverbs 11:14
(3) Circumstances/Timing: Acts 18:1-3
(4) Confirmation: Matthew 18:16
(5) Scripture: 11 Timothy 3:16-17
(6) The Peace of God: Colossians 3:15
(7) The Prophetic (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, personal prophecy): 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Many times, the Lord will confirm His direction to us through more than one of these points, especially when we are in the process of making important, life-changing decisions. As we humble ourselves before God, seek His guidance, He will be faithful to lead us, "in paths of righteousness for His name's sake", Psalm 23:3.

Please share your testimony of how you have grown to know the voice of God, or leave another comment - for your opportunity to win this week's giveaway!! 



26 March 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews THE TROUBLE WITH PATIENCE by Maggie Brendan

The Trouble with Patience (Virtues and Vices of the Old West, Book 1)
Revell (February 17, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

The cocky, rough and tough sheriff Jedediah Jones can capture the lawless but can he capture the heart of a godly woman who loves to write devotionals?

Western justice and vigilantes once ruled the dusty main street and rugged territory of Montana. The most famous of them all, Vigilante X, now resides in the small frontier town of Nevada City as Sheriff Jedediah. Weighed down with guilt about his past, Jedediah aims to stay true to his badge and handle things the lawful way. However, his memories refuse to stay buried, and now it seems they just might just catch up in his life as well.

Patience Cavanaugh runs the neglected boarding-house ‘Creekside Inn’ that was inherited from her grandmother. She agrees to a mutually benefiting deal with the arrogant, albeit tall and rather ruggedly handsome sheriff, that has him promising to improve her run-down accommodation. When a mysterious man arrives in town and stays at the boarding-house, he begins helping Patience with the repairs himself, which doesn't impress Jedediah one bit. Who is this stranger and can he be trusted?

When cattle disappear, jewelry vanishes, and a rancher is murdered, Jedediah needs to figure out who are his friends and who are his enemies, while dealing with a past that’s returned and a woman that drives him to distraction!

This is a sweet western romance with wagon loads of charm, mystery, and smiles. Historical detail is dispersed throughout, and there is wonderful inspiration in the themes of our self worth, faith, forgiveness, and trust in God. Get comfortable in your saddle or wagon because you won’t be wanting to pull up until you reach the end of the trail, er rather, book! 

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* Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

This novel may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, BAM, and Book Depository!

GIVEAWAY: Maggie Brendan is generously offering a paperback copy of 'The Trouble With Patience' to one blessed commenter! US entrants only on this particular giveaway.






24 March 2015

Diana Reviews THE TROUBLE WITH PATIENCE By Maggie Brendan

 
Revell, 2015
 
Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars*****
(No Spoilers!) 
 
Patience Is A Virtue! 
 
In The Trouble with Patience, author Maggie Brendan sweeps the reader away to a Montana gold rush boomtown; where cattle ranches, thieving rustlers, and handsome cowboys abound...and succulent fried chicken and biscuits are served up daily!
 
 
Patience Cavanaugh has lost her fiancé to death and her dreams along with him. Only desiring solitude and time away from her domineering, cold mother, she decides to restore a dilapidated boardinghouse. Thinking herself overweight and unattractive, she resigns herself to remaining single and supporting herself with the money she makes from boarders. Her plans, however, go somewhat awry as two eye-catching men begin to vie for her hand; Cody, a charming ranch hand, and the local marshal, Jedediah, who is too handsome for his own good! However, both men are shrouded in deadly secrets from the past and present, which could destroy their tenuous, budding relationships with Patience forever.
 
 
Maggie Brendan has written an engaging, heartwarming story with a little bit of something for everyone! Romance (including one involving an older couple -- which was delightful!), suspense, betrayal, and handsome cowpokes...all gathered together underneath a beautiful Montana sky! Patience was the epitome of graciousness and beauty, but went through a struggle many of us ladies wrestle with quite often. She compared herself with other women, and in spite of her many talents and inward beauty, her self image always came up lacking. I'm especially glad the author delved into this issue which is so prevalent in our society today. The romantic tension was so palatable one could cut it with a knife and the plot totally enthralling! I love historical fiction, but am not a great fan of westerns; however this one kept me coming back for more! Great job, Maggie Brendan!
 
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 Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
 
 This novel may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, and your local bookstores.
 
GIVEAWAY: Maggie Brendan is generously offering a paperback copy of The Trouble With Patience to one blessed commenter! US entrants only in this particular giveaway.




19 March 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews ANNA'S CROSSING by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Anna's Crossing

Anna’s Crossing: An Amish Beginnings Novel
Revell (March 3, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow

5 Stars *****

A beautiful story on moving forward.. 

Setting sail from Germany to the New World, a close-knit Amish community crosses wild and unpredictable oceans in their quest for freedom from oppression. The faith and character of these early Amish is profoundly tested as they confront the most deplorable living conditions, ferocious seas, and a variety of unscrupulous men. I felt privileged to accompany Anna König and the other believers on this fascinating historical journey, especially in being able to observe their responses to a harsh confinement upon a ship with ‘outsiders.’

Aboard ‘The Charming Nancy,’ a hardy, albeit old and creaky ship, the lovely Anna serves as the translator for her group. Bairn, the crew’s tall, commanding, top boatswain, is reluctantly but helplessly drawn to Anna. Mutual admiration soon blossoms into forbidden, if not impossible, love. Bairn’s grand ambitions of wealth, his lack of faith, and haunted past conflicts with the thoughtful and serene Anna’s deep, abiding faith, causing an insurmountable chasm between them. When Anna’s convictions threaten her very life, will it be enough to soften Bairn’s hardened sailor’s heart and can it be possible for their two vastly different worlds to collide?

Whether you typically read Amish or not, you will love this engaging story and find it impossible to put down! The exceptionally descriptive imagery ignites all the senses and will have you living inside the pages. The characters are brilliantly crafted, their personalities unfolding in depth and layers. Aside from the charismatic heroes of the story, the young, red-haired Amish boy, Felix, completely captured my heart with his inquisitive and mischievous, yet charming nature. Each page throughout this intriguing voyage is a treat with surprising revelations, suspense, and romance. And the takeaway theme of trusting in God no matter the circumstances creates an altogether ‘not-to-be-missed’ read! Highly recommended!!  

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This book may be purchased from Amazon; CBD; Barnes & Noble; and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: A copy of 'Anna's Crossing' - your choice of format, to one blessed commenter! (International winners - ebook only)



18 March 2015

Diana Reviews ANNA'S CROSSING By Suzanne Woods Fisher


Revell, 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 Stars*****
Absolutely Riveting!
 
Suzanne Woods Fisher has penned a powerfully moving, emotive tale -- that takes the reader from the peaceful, sheep grazing hills and valleys of Germany, to a dank, foul-smelling merchant ship traversing the Atlantic Ocean.
 
It is the year 1737 and lovely Anna Konig reluctantly sets sail on the Charming Nancy with her fellow Amish believers to the New World. Nothing could prepare her for the hardships she and the others have to endure during the long, arduous journey. Overcrowded, malodorous quarters, illness, and lack of good food and water test Anna's faith to the limit. Only the ship's carpenter, Bairn, makes the journey bearable for Anna, in spite of the fact that Bairn disdains her God and her people's way of life. Bairn is drawn to Anna's pure beauty, gentleness, and wisdom beyond her years, but knows he can never have her for his own. Will Bairn's shocking, secret discovery change everything...even the course of his well mapped out life? 
 
Suzanne Woods Fisher has truly established herself as an award winning author with this new fiction-based-on-fact release! I am amazed at the amount of historical research that went into writing this book...and how well the author transferred that research into a fiction story that will leave readers mesmerized! The addition of a tender, slowly simmering romance, and an ornery, mischievous secondary character, prevents the story from becoming too dark and depressing. Not only is this little guy a charmer, but he's bound to elicit a chuckle or two from you as well, I promise! Anna's Crossing is an awesome story of faith, hope, and redemption. Be sure to order your copy today!
 
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This book may be purchased through CBD, Amazon, and your local book stores.
 
 GIVEAWAY: A copy of Anna's Crossing (choice of format) to one blessed commenter! (International winners ebook only.)

17 March 2015

COVER REVEAL!!! The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Cover by Cynthia Hickey

The Lumberjacks' Ball Cover Reveal!!!
This is my brand new cover designed by Cynthia Hickey!!! And that's Rebecca Jane Daggenhart, the daughter of Lower Michigan store proprietors. Called "Janie" as a child, she was a pretty little blonde whose parents dressed her to the "T" to show off children's goods to their customers. But after surviving a brutal attack, Janie determines to avoid having attention called to herself. You'll notice there's no fancy gown for Rebecca Jane in this picture. She calls herself Rebecca Hart and has just begun running her own mercantile in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

It's 1891 in St. Ignace, Michigan, which is becoming a popular tourist destination and also has plenty of business to keep residents occupied. But will it also draw the wrong sort of clientele?


The Lumberjacks’ Ball Blurb
A decade after surviving a brutal attack, a mercantile owner’s daughter seeks to begin her life anew in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A gifted craftsman wishes to leave his lumberjack life and seeks employment at her new store. When his presence dredges up memories she sought to suppress, she must learn to overcome her demons. Can affection grow between the cabinetmaker and the proprietress of St. Ignace’s newest business? And will they survive to attend The Lumberjacks’ Ball? 

Blog Hop & Giveaways!!!

Stop by the SEVEN blogs and leave a comment for a chance to win the grand prize of a basket of surprise goodies!!! Giveaways of Carrie’s books at every blog stop, so leave a comment on each one!!!

Nancee Marchinowski  - Perspectives by Nancee  

Anne Payne - Stuff & Nonsense  

Britney Adams - Buzzing About Books


Kathleen E. Belongia - Lane Hill House  

Debbie Lynne Costello - Sword and Spirit


GIVEAWAY: One copy, winner's choice, to a commenter here to be chosen at random one week from today's posting. CHOOSE from:

1) The Fruitcake Challenge, released September, 2014. This story is Book #1 in The Christy Lumber Camp Series and will soon be having a new cover. It is also part of the Christmas Traditions Series. Endorsements from Serena Miller, Lisa Norato, MaryLu Tyndall, Julie Lessman, and a new one from Jen Turano! On the long list for Book of the Year at Family Fiction! Hit the #1 Spot in Christian Historical Romance in December on Amazon.

2) The Lumberjacks' Ball, pictured above, releasing April, 2015. Book #2 in The Christy Lumber Camp Series.
Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance

3) Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance 

God's Provision in Tough Times

4)God’s Provision in Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy, chapter contributed by Carrie. 

5) Watch for an upcoming Cover reveal for my upcoming release Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter from White Rose/Pelican (2015)!

Ebook or paperback copy choice for books 1-5.


6) A Cup of Christmas Cheer from Guidepost Books, hardcover only



Or 

7) Family Fiction Anthology of The Story 2014 which includes my award-winning short story “The Quilt Contest”, paperback only.  

International Winners - ebook only of one of books 1-5.

Leave a comment on EACH blog to win a giveaway on that blog. ONE Grand Prize winner will receive a basket of goodies from Carrie. That person needs to leave a comment on EACH one of the Blog Hop stops!!!


Bio 
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is an award-winning Amazon bestselling author of Christian historical romance. She served as a psychologist for twenty-five years. Carrie lives in the Tidewater Virginia area with her family. When not writing, researching, blogging and enjoying tea, Carrie beads and reads—not necessarily in that order! And she's the administrator of Colonial Quills and Overcoming with God blogs.





15 March 2015

FIVE Blessings of a Spirit of Gratitude - By Bonnie Roof


Last week, Bonnie posted on gratitude and how to seek a proper attitude - ever notice grateful attitude and gratitude go together? This week, Bonnie shares about the blessings of maintaining this attitude!

What are the blessings of a spirit of gratitude?

(1) It brings us closer to God. Psalm 22:3 tells us God inhabits the praises of His people. 
(2) It helps us realize how He's working in our lives, our attitude is improved, our mind renewed, and we are filled with joy. 
(3) It shows God how grateful we are for Who He is - it says we love and worship Him and need His help. 
(4) It helps us be able to see a negative thing in a positive way and determine that we can't be defeated because God is on our side. As humans, we drift toward the negative if not controlled by the Holy Spirit - we don't have to "try" to complain, but effort and faith are needed to maintain a thankful attitude. We need to learn to thank God in everything because complaining opens a door for satan. It's not easy to do, easy to forget how blessed we are, and easier to feel sorry for ourselves when things happen that don't seem fair. It's necessary to keep reminding ourselves to trust God and believe He will work it out for our good. He has promised this if we love Him, pray, and want His will (Romans 8:28). Fix your mind on things worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8) - remember and talk about them. Having a good attitude is what glorifies God, maintaining gratefulness is something we need to do on purpose. 
(5) Victory comes by being thankful in every situation and believing God is working everything out for our good. 

Here are a few of the Bible verses about gratitude - if you need help giving thanks to God. It doesn't come naturally to everyone. 
(1) Colossians 3:17 
(2) Colossians 3:15 
(3) Ephesians 5:20 
(4) Ephesians 1:16 
(5) Psalms 135:1 
(6) Psalms 107:1 
(7) Psalms 118:24 

I Thessalonians 5:18 - In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 


Please leave a comment for an entry in this week's GIVEAWAY!! We're giving away two copies of Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest novel, a colonial Amish story.

13 March 2015

Jen Turano's After a Fashion - Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

After a Fashion by Jen Turano
After a Fashion
A Class of Their Own Book 1
By Jen Turano
Bethany House Publishers

My friend, Lisa Norato, asked me to take a look at then-new author Jen Turano's books a few years back but I didn't at first, because I was swamped with my own writing. Then the reviewers on  the Overcoming with God blog raved about her stories. So I started reading them once I had the opportunity. Now I'm hooked!

So I waited with bated breath for this novel to release on NetGalley so I could read it! (Thank you NetGalley for making the story available and thank you to Bethany House for doing so!) I am under no compulsion to post a positive review.

A wonderful author, with her zingy stories and characters, Jen is my go-to author for spunky and unusual heroines. Strong spiritual threads and her heroes are all different, which I like--there is no cookie-cutter hero in her writing.

Isn't this a DREAMY cover?! I received a paperback copy from the publisher and the embossed raised elements on the cover and spine really make it even more appealing than you can tell from the lovely photograph!

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

You may purchase this and Jen's other books at AmazonCBD, and Barnes and Noble.

GIVEAWAY: We have THREE copies to give away this week! Leave a comment on ANY of the posts or ALL this week for a chance to win a copy, including Bonnie's lovely post on gratitude! (International winners, ebook or paperbook through Book Depository.)

11 March 2015

Noela Nancarrow reviews AFTER A FASHION by Jen Turano

After A Fashion

After A Fashion (A Class of Their Own – Book #1)
Bethany House Publishers (February 24, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****


If you enjoy being entertained by what you read, I’d look no further! Replete with uproariously funny scenes, sparkling dialogue embracing brilliant wit and rich sarcasm, and delightfully quirky characters--- this energized and fast-paced novel with its animated mayhem will have you racing through the pages to the surprising but perfect ending!

It all began when hat-maker Harriet Peabody was sent by her employer to deliver some hats to an unpredictable and might I say, somewhat maniacal society woman. After subsequently losing her job, Harriet realizes her dreams of opening her own store selling refashioned gowns to working-class women, are pushed further away than ever. Unless, she accepts the daunting job that the ridiculously wealthy Mr. Oliver Addleshaw has offered her.

When Oliver meets the fetching Harriet, he is impressed with her self-sufficiency and unflappable nature and deems her the perfect woman to have at his side when entertaining the Duke while negotiating an important business deal. Relieved that Harriet won’t press him into marriage like most society ladies would, it was the perfect solution. Thinking a bit of training in the rules of society would suffice; Oliver had no idea how much this charming woman would be like a fish out water! Nor was he prepared for this stubborn and intriguing woman to get under his skin so much. Or to have chased her around the streets so many times! But this is only a business arrangement and they are worlds apart... or are they?

I was enamored with the burgeoning romance that the characters tried to ignore, the well-executed plot climaxing with a deadly threat from Harriet’s past, along with more pandemonium of course, and the laughs that never stopped coming!! Complementing that were the unique and colorful characters which included the irrational Miss Birmingham, the dictionary-challenged friend, the slobbering Buford, and the kindly reverend. With a feel of the movie Pretty Woman about it, this spectacular tale is not only incredibly entertaining but spiritually uplifting as it perfectly portrays the value in us all.



**Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.**

* * * * * * * * 
You can find this and Jen Turano's other outstanding books at Amazon, CBD, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million!

GIVEAWAY: We are giving away THREE copies of this amazing book this week!!! Leave a comment on any of the reviews this week of After A Fashion and/or on Bonnie's post on gratitude, to be entered! Winner's choice of paperback or ebook. (International - ebook or paperback through Book Depository.)


10 March 2015

Teresa S. Mathews Reviews Jen Turano's After a Fashion

After a Fashion
A Class of Their Own Book 1
By Jen Turano
Bethany House Publishers
5 Stars*****

Once again Jen Turano has created a tale that promises to satisfy your yearning for an exciting, engaging read. You might even be like me and find yourself laughing aloud at her dear characters antics. I promise even if you do not possess a sense of humor you will find this book quite delightful! 

For the past six years Miss Harriet Peabody, an industrious hat clerk has asked God to send her something wonderful for her birthday. Most of those years she was granted her request; now if only the one from last year would show up. Is it too much for a lady to ask for a kind gentleman to call her own?

Oliver Addleshaw is quite the eligible bachelor; handsome, smart, extremely rich and ever seeking a way to be more successful. When he learns his latest business venture would go more smoothly if he has a lovely young lady at his side, Oliver sets out to find one. When his first choice for one turns out to be a spoiled, raving lunatic, Oliver has to move fast to find another. This is where the fun begins!

When Harriet’s boss asks her to deliver some hats to a Miss Birmingham, Oliver Addleshaw’s supposed fiancé; she reluctantly obeys, never knowing the calamity she is headed straight into! When arriving at the impressive mansion, Harriet is met with a very angry young lady, who is parading around the grounds, screaming and waving an umbrella. It seems Miss Birmingham and Mr. Addleshaw have had a grave misunderstanding; she believes he is on the verge of proposing marriage, he is very sure he is not!

When Oliver witnesses the bravery with which the hat clerk confronts the outraged Miss Birmingham, he is intrigued with her. Then an idea forms; perhaps she is the one that could help him pull off this mock engagement. He would be willing to pay her well for her time. Could this be the answer to Harriet‘s birthday prayer? 

To say that I enjoyed this book would be a huge understatement. Ms. Turano’s writing is so refreshing and uplifting that her vibrant characters seem to come to life right before your eyes! I have read all of her books and I have yet to be disappointed with any of them. This one was especially exciting to me, as there was an additional plot twist that I did not see coming; absolutely ingenious!!


***Thanks to Bethany House and Net Galley for providing me a copy of this fabulous book in exchange for my honest opinion, which I was overjoyed to give!***

You can find this and Ms. Turano's other outstanding books at AmazonCBD and Barnes and Noble

GIVEAWAY: We are giving away a copy of this amazing book to one commenter, (international e-book only)




08 March 2015

Six Ways to Seek a Spirit of Gratitude - By Bonnie Roof


What does it mean to be grateful?? Webster's dictionary defines the word "gratitude" as: the state of being grateful, thankfulness. Sounds simple, right?? But do we fully appreciate the extent of gratefulness when it comes to God's gifts to us??

Most of us would agree that we have a lot to be thankful for. Many of us live a lifestyle full of conveniences- we wear nice clothes, have no shortage of clean water or healthy food, live in comfortable homes, have reliable transportation, access to quality healthcare and education, and basically live a good life with security, safety and a lot of freedom. It's easy to take these blessings for granted and even get into the bad habit of focusing on what we "don't" have - while millions of people around the world live without the necessities of life. A homeowner may complain about cleaning her home while those without a place to live would love to have a house to clean. Someone who owns a car may complain about the cost of regular maintenance and unexpected repairs while a person without transportation dreams of having a car to drive.

You've probably read or heard the story of the lady who, one day, asked God why He let so much happen to her that day - she woke up late, her car took forever to start, at lunch - her sandwich was made wrong and she had to wait, on the way home - her phone went dead just as a call came through, when she got home - she just wanted to soak her feet in her new foot massager and it wouldn't work. God responds by commenting: the death angel was at her bed that morning and He had to send one of His Angels to battle him for her life - He let her sleep through that, He didn't let her car start because there was a drunk driver on her route that would have hit her if she was on the road, the first person who made her sandwich that day was sick and He didn't want her to catch the illness as He knew she couldn't afford to miss work, her phone went bad because the person calling was going to give false witness about what she would say during that call, and that foot massager had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in her house. Probably just a story - yet our God intercedes on behalf of His children so often, similar situations of which they are often never aware. These are simple inconveniences but isn't it often the little inconveniences that frustrate us and tend to set our mood for the day?

How do we obtain a spirit of gratitude?? Some suggestions:
(1) Say to yourself, several times a day: God loves me.
(2) Keep a Gratefulness Journal and record answered prayers, things received, and favor shown, etc..
(3) Learn to enjoy seemingly insignificant blessings we often overlook: going to the grocery, getting dressed, sending e-mails, driving to work, and hundreds of other routine activities. So much of our time is spent in these activities - why not learn to enjoy and appreciate them??
(4) Realize that each moment we're given is a gift from God - He owns us, everything we own, and everything created.
(5) Praise God throughout the day - while we work. No matter what we're doing, we can praise God.
(6) Appreciate our trials because they're what make us grow, mature in godly character, experience more of His power and learn more about Him. 


Please leave a comment for an entry in this week's GIVEAWAY!! We are giving away two copies of Jen Turano's new novel. 


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