Monday, December 30, 2013

Before The Beginning: And God is...? Part 1 of Knowing Him

Before The Beginning: And God is...? Part 1 of Knowing Him: Who do you say that I Am? In the bible study that inspired this book, Before The Beginning, we had to “selah” the relationship betwee...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our eBooks 99 cents thru 12/28

99 Cents/CrossReads Sale and Giveaway!

99 Cents! CrossReads Christmas Sale and Giveaway (see sidebar)!

New inspirational quotes for tweets and Pinterest pins!

This beautifully written and illustrated devotional features thought-provoking quotes and inspirational passages about God, life and culture. The word "selah" means: to pause and think about. Many quotes are short enough to share in social media. Longer passages facilitate times of prayer and personal reflection. This is a refreshing read for the person who likes to contemplate life through the lens of the Bible. It is a great topic starter for personal or group bible study.
In eternity, the eons are endless and creativity continuous. The species of Homo sapiens created in Eden was unique….but not totally original. Heavenly beings resembling modern man had been created long before Adam, and some of them once lived on Earth. 

Existence on earth is utopia until Helel Ben Shachar, beautiful and loved, becomes a rebel and a liability to Earth's mission. A contagion strikes those who agree to worship Helel. Fear and violence destroy angelic beings who had only ever known peace and love. Helel names High Governess Atara the Queen of Heaven. Abba, the Creator, grieves. His eternal heart aches, then becomes angry. Anything that opposes His essence is named His enemy. Justice is created and a Holy censuring begins. High Governors Michael and Adi grieve the demise of their banished friends and their cherished Earth. 

Review: "I was very much impressed with this debut novella and the story that flowed like a swiftly rushing river. On an intellectual level, I was impressed with the skillful execution of pacing and story telling. On an emotional level, I loved the vivid images Webb's words evoked in my mind. On a spiritual level, I was impressed with the realities of Abba's love, a love that always hopes, always trusts, always preserves, and always protects."

Tina's Amazon Author Page:

Many Christians will say that “God is good all the time”. In the same breath they will say that God is the One who causes many tragedies. Doug Webb takes a look at these allegations to see if they are accurate. He gives alternative reasons for why tragedies and hardships occur.

Reviews:  "What a great read! It grabs your attention with thought provoking questions and does not let go! Even at the end you want it to continue. Unlike some books with lots of scripture references, it does not become boring, it just continues to draw you in."

"I've always wanted to read a book like this one, and this one hit right on the mark. There were so many necessary truths about God that had been buried in my heart under a mountain of pain and disappointment, and this book reminded me of those truths. I encourage you to put on your detective cap and journey through some questions you may have asked in the secret place of your heart."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Excerpts: December 22 - 25, from my newest release. Merry Christmas!


Long ago, a young girl sang a song of praise and dependence to her God whom she carried in her womb. (Luke 1:46-56)

We await with baited breath the celebration of the entrance of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords into the earth. The demonic realm did not know. The rulers of the earth did not know. Only a chosen few knew that momentarily, the earth would experience a God invasion. (Matthew 2)

Imagine one night about two thousand years ago. The Creator of all things, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Alpha and Omega, the Living Word, the Unconquerable, Almighty, Majesty and All-powerful God was about to be born wearing the flesh of His own creation. (Colossians 2:9)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (John 1:11-18)

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Tear-stained Shoulder

Check out my guest post on this website:

Here is an excerpt:
Not long ago I sat on her couch, my arm around her shoulder, as she wept. The longing for marriage never left her. It only succumbed to temporary band-aids of divine longsuffering. My shoulder had been drenched with her tears many, many times. This time was no different. I sat and comforted her with my presence, my arm and my silence.
My best friend had no family on this side of the country. My family had become her family, despite that the color of our skin did not match. But God puts the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6) and soon after meeting her, Jesus bent down and opened our arms wide to match His. I learned in the second year of our friendship that the typical Christian catch phrases and scriptures did not really minister to the heart of a young woman who had waited, and waited, and waited. She loved God. She knew the scriptures. She knew God was love. But that ever-present question would dislodge from the depth of her soul and come out of her aching heart, “What am I doing wrong?”

Read the rest here:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Reverie

I don't know about you, but this time of year I often begin to reflect on the amazing event of Christ's birth. As we contemplate this moment in His-story, we cannot help but to embrace a posture of worship. Such love. Such desire to restore a lost creation.That is magnificent love.

Long ago,
the night sky that stares at me
was a canopy of glory.

As I look at the twinkling stars;
cock my head towards the bark of a neighboring dog;
pull my scarf closer to my neck,
I imagine
an onager--pereh bleating
as a star shines upon a woman placing her scarf
around her newborn son.

The same stars I see
are the same stars that saw
their Maker burst from the womb of Man.

O heroic maiden
that declared and confirmed
the mercy of God to all generations.

O blessed Baby--the long awaited King,
who humbled Himself to save lost humanity.

And here I stand, more than two thousand years later,
same night sky, same sparkling stars,
caught up in reverie at the birth of my King.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Welcome Joan Hutter

When you walk into Joan's home for 2+ hours of prayer and worship, you embrace a cloud of God's love and peace. Joan loves Jesus. Her demeanor preaches His grace. Her words are laced with His fragrance. This faithful daughter of God leads Women Abide, a gathering of women who intercede, worship and glorify the Lord. The Women Abide conferences are held in Charlottesville, Virginia. With pleasure, I introduce to you my friend, Joan.

One Thing by Joan Hutter

One thing I ask of the Lord. This will I seek: That I would dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His presence. Psalm 27:4

One thing.  Just one.  To see beauty.

Not man-made, nor even His created beauty.  But to see Him.  To behold Him.  Our man in glory seated on the throne.  Our man in joy resurrected, made known.

David, the man after God’s own heart—the shepherd-boy-harpist-praying-Psalmist, anointed as king—desired only one thing.  He longed to remain in the presence of God, abiding in the shadow of His wings … that He would behold the beauty of the Lord.

He didn’t want to miss God.  He wanted to see, to delight Himself in the Lord, to contemplate His glory, majesty, wisdom, holiness, mercy. He couldn’t get enough of beholding. Seeing with the eyes of His heart.

Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God. Matthew 5:8

When we behold Him … allowing Him to fill our entire being … we become like Him. We become the ones we were made to be.  When we see the beauty of God, desire for every other thing fades. He is altogether lovely. One taste and we see and know He is good. There is no one like Him in mercy, love, kindness, holiness and truth. He is delightful and when we delight in Him we are satisfied to the depths. He satisfies every desire. When we behold the beauty of the Lord Jesus we’re undone.

We lay everything aside. Remove all hindrances, all distractions. Fix our eyes on Jesus. Behold the Lamb on the throne. The King who is and was and is to come.

We want more of Him.  We consider His open heart, open door, living way by His blood. We marvel at His desire for us and respond with deeper pursuit, willing surrender. As a deer pants, our hearts beat for Him. We long for Him in a dry and weary land and when we behold Him there is no settling for another thing, vision, person, purpose, love.

He is all-consuming. He is all-encompassing.  He is all in all.

Pleasing is the fragrance of Your perfume, Lord Jesus. Your name is like fine oil poured forth. No wonder we love you. Song 1:3

I want to behold the beauty of the Lord, to abide in His presence all the days of my life, to gaze upon His eyes so pure, to breathe in the fragrance of His life, to know His love immeasurable, joy unspeakable, peace beyond understanding.

To gaze upon Him. To behold.

We all seek beauty. We build our lives and days after the pursuit of beauty. We were made for beauty.
But we settle for less. We are too easily satisfied.

God made us to behold Him. He created our hearts to gaze upon His glory… with our whole being.
More beautiful than glowing dawn after bitter darkness, more peaceful than quiet waters reflecting aspens and daffodils. More vibrant than flames dancing on wood, the crackle of evergreen branches folding into another manger season.

To behold life … and the flames of fire in the eyes of the son of man … to encounter meekness and a life surrendered for love … to gaze upon a heart abandoned in love and overflowing with joy … to know light upon light as he draws us near … to sense the gentle breezes of His presence walking in the garden of our hearts.

Beauty He is.

Full of grace and truth. Filling us as we behold. There is no one like Him.  And no place else I want to be.

May He fill your vision with Himself. May He fill your heart and satisfy every desire.  And may you be consumed with the pursuit of beauty. Desiring Him alone.

He first desires us. Pursues us with relentless love – unending, unfailing, undeterred, uninhibited, undaunted, undistracted … love.  Here we find our meaning. We were made to behold Beauty.

He is our One Thing.

You can read about the ministry God gave Joan here:

To read about how the love of God was demonstrated at the 2013 Women Abide conference, click here:

(I was was totally amazing! - Tina)

Welcome Ada Brownell

It is my pleasure to introduce Ada Brownell to you.. At one time or another we all experience pain and loss. The story she shares below with touch your heart strings. I pray that we all draw close to Jesus during times of pain, as Ada did.

 Peace I  Couldn't Understand
By Ada Brownell
"The Lord is near."
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:5—7).

 I thought I couldn't endure the loss of a child. Yet, I heard the words every parent fears: "She's gone."
Only two months after the diagnosis of Burkitt's lymphoma, our beautiful 31-year-old daughter, Carolyn, who put up a valiant fight against the disease, slipped into the arms of Jesus.
An aching pain shot through my spirit as I accepted the loss. It's been 20 years, and I still miss her, and sometimes weep.
It's not that I weep as those who have no hope (I Thessalonians 4:13). She lived with faith, and went on her journey in faith.
Yet, while she was dying and sometimes in the early weeks afterward I wondered, "Do I believe what I always thought I believed?
I feared the night, especially. I've had trouble sleeping much of my life.
I remembered a friend who said even before she became a Christian when her father died, she went to sleep whispering the name of Jesus prayerfully. The first night and many nights after Carolyn went to be with Jesus, probably for about a year, I whispered His name and quoted the scripture at the beginning of this piece when I went to bed.
I slept.
While reading the verses, I noticed the passage begins in the New International Version with "The Lord is near," and that added more comfort.
He came near to me. I experienced peace.
Fear told me I could not endure such a loss. But I became grounded in the truth. Death is why Jesus came. He conquered it and gives eternal life to those who seek Him!
When I worried about tomorrow, I had no peace about my fears. I could not borrow peace in advance. Yet, when I needed Him, Jesus was there and peace remains.
God is faithful and true to His promises, and I am so grateful.

Ada Brownell is the author of Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, written after the loss of her daughter. A former medical reporter, the author combines the spiritual and medical aspects of death and resurrection.

Amazon Ada Brownell author page:
Blog: Stick to Your Soul Encouragement

Welcome Loraine Kemp

I'm so thankful that Loraine Kemp volunteered to share her story for my Book Launch. I'm taken aback by her testimony of God's mercy and steady guidance despite her diagnosis with cancer and the despair and anger that come from losing her brother to cancer. After you read her article, go to her artist Facebook page and be blessed by her beautiful illustrations. - Tina

Don’t Look Down!
by Loraine Kemp

            Plumes of black and gray smoke choked the hills surrounding our town. The firestorm of 2003 incinerated much of our forests and over 250 homes that lay in its path. Afterward, I suffered from severe chronic asthma. I was infuriated with God. Why had this happened?

            But God was hatching a wonderful plan for me, even though at the time it seemed like a disaster.

Finally, after seven long years when my health returned, I was able to slowly wean myself off the inhalers. However, that’s when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was devastated.

            I had no fight left, which was why my husband declined an invitation to attend a men’s golf weekend. I insisted that he go, but he insisted back that if he went, I had to go too. I surprised both of us when I reluctantly agreed.

            So there I was, a preoccupied and depressed bartender and caddie for five guys on a gorgeous golf course. At the signature golf hole, a canyon with a tiny green on the other side, I sat watching and wishing I could play. After many balls had careened into the gulley, the guys took pity on me and allowed me to hit.

            My legs shook as I stared down at my ball, thinking of the deep gorge ahead. What was I doing? Did I really need more stress? But God’s soft voice broke through my agitation.

            “Loraine, as in your cancer diagnosis, you can think of all the things that could go wrong, or you could look for me. Don’t look down! I’m waiting for you across the gorge.”

            An enormous shift in my faith had just happened¾calmness flooded my being. With a loud ‘crack’ I hit the ball. Much to the guys’ chagrin, my ball sailed over the gorge and landed mere feet from the flag.

            From that moment on, I knew God was in charge. Through all my cancer treatments, I was completely calm.

            A few years later, my brother was diagnosed with a much more serious cancer. Our family was crushed to learn he only had about a month to live. During that time I told him my golf experience and reminded him during every visit, don’t look down! He embraced his faith so much that at a family gathering, the day before he died, he shared our faith story and told everyone he was at peace. There wasn’t a dry eye.

            I was so touched and inspired, I wrote a short story. It was called, of course, ‘Don’t Look Down’ and was entered into a conference contest, Write Canada! 2013. I was shocked and humbled when it won.

            My God experience was not meant for me only. That was obvious. Thousands have since read the story. Of course, God wasn’t finished there.

The journey from anger and despair to my present wonder in God’s loyalty was the seed for my novel Orion’s Sword. It too was entered into a conference contest, American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2013 in Indianapolis. My novel is aimed at mid-grade readers, but there was no children’s category. So I entered into the YA category, only desiring the judges’ comments. However, I was amazed to make it to the semi-finals, then to the finals. While at the conference, I was stunned when my name was called out as the winner in front of 650 people at the awards Gala! I was the breathless winner of the Genesis 2013 contest! 

            Out of the ashes of the fire and the turmoil of breast cancer, I’ve emerged, scarred and battered, but stronger in my faith than ever. The gifts I’ve gained, God expects me to use “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4: 12.

            Are you also going through turmoil? Hold on. God never wastes a hurt!

#2013 Genesis winner

Monday, December 2, 2013

Calie Garrett "My Inspiration: My Creator"

Calie Garrett is the Worship Pastor of City Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. A prolific songwriter, her song "Holy, You Are Holy" won the 2013 Christ For The Nations Songwriter's contest and was recorded on their annual CD which is now available on Itunes. I've been so blessed by her worship leadership and her musical creativity as a songwriter. You can hear another of Calie's songs, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" on the sidebar and a song from City Church Worship's upcoming CD in the video following her guest post. Enjoy!

creative (adj.):  having the quality or power of creating; resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative; originative; productive.

To be creative means to imagine life, breath, and hope where perhaps there is none.  But not only to imagine it—to actually bring it to life.

Considering that we were brought to life by the Ultimate Creative Creator, I believe that He has instilled in us a deep desire to create beauty, to dream in color, to imagine far more than we could ever think possible… and then, to give those ideas flesh and bone.


I am a songwriter, and not just a writer of ordinary songs, but one who writes songs of worship to the Maker of heaven and earth. 

Tina asked me to share how God inspires my creativity.  I would simply say that He IS my creativity.  He IS my originality of thought and expression, and His breathed-Word is the basis for the articulation of that expression.  Many of my songs come from a place of spontaneous worship, later taken home and refined, and in those spontaneous moments, it is the Holy Spirit who inspires, moves, speaks, and breathes healing life.  And when songwriting or refining becomes a laborious effort, one where I’m relying on my strength, talent, or intellect to make the pieces fit together, I step away from the piano and only return when the Lord brings new inspiration to my heart and mind.

So what is it that the Lord uses to inspire creativity in me?  Considering that the very word “inspire” is rooted in the idea of inhaling or breathing-in, it is anything that the Lord uses to breathe life and meaning into my mind and heart. Sometimes it’s remembering His faithfulness in a certain season of my life.  Sometimes it’s gazing up into an endless starry night.  Sometimes it’s a tragedy that moves me to tears.  Many times, it’s a scripture that catches my attention.  And then, I take those moments of revelation and the feelings that accompany them and use music, melody, and words to help articulate exactly what I believe should be communicated for that specific moment in time.

For me, though, writing songs and leading congregations in worship are not just about the moments of worship or the completion of songs.  It’s far more than that.  I long to see the nations of this world transformed by the presence of the One, True, Living Lamb of God.  I long to see them carrying His presence with them everywhere they go, shining the light of Christ into the darkest places on this earth.  So the Lord inspires me not only to create music, to lead people to His presence through worship, but also to be an active participant in His Kingdom coming to earth, right here, right now.  He inspires me to do this by things as small as offering a smile to someone passing by, or providing dinner to a homeless friend walking the streets, and things as big as completely reorienting our family’s finances so that we can be more generous in every season.

Do you dream of healing?  Of life?  Of reconciliation?  Of justice?  Part of the inspiration of creativity is being willing to do what it takes to bring those dreams to life.  It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. 

Let’s dream, imagine, create, and be part of the process of bringing heaven to earth here.  Now.  Together.

City Church Worship is gearing up for their next CD. If you would like more information about the recording or how you can be a blessing, you can click the kickstarter link below the video. Enjoy this promo video from members of this talented team!

Worship Team Promo from City Church on Vimeo.

Support their fundraising effort here:

Photos taken by Calie Garrett and Bethany Snyder.

Welcome Maria Webb

It's my great pleasure to introduce my third child, Maria to you. She is a wonderful seventeen year old high school senior who loves music, reading, political discussions, bible study and her family. Her talents are many: below she discusses her interest in graphics and photography which she has explored during this last year of home schooling. Her photos introduce each month in the devotional: Selah: Daily Quotes for Daily Meditation. -Tina

Truthfully, photography is one of the hardest hobbies I have ever started. I began pursuing photography when I was around thirteen years old. I started off photographing basketball games, parties, and family outings. At the time photography was just a necessity. However, as time when on, I realized my greatest challenge: taking a single shot that captured the essence of an object or or a visual concept in my imagination. When I loaded pictures onto my computer one day, all of my frustration vanished and was replaced by nervous anticipation; all because of the edit button. “I can make these photos look any way I want!” It is the art of transforming a bland 2D picture into a digital moment that conjures a feeling or mood that excites me. God’s creation is so beautiful and unique. With every picture I attempt to amplify that beauty and capture the spirit of every object.  Even more so, I desire to reflect a little bit of the glory and awesomeness of God.

Like any Christian, my relationship with God has not been a walk in the park. However, it could have been a lot easier for one reason: if I had known how much He loves me.

I was home-schooled and grew up in the church. My dad was an associate pastor and my mom was a worship leader: the perfect beginning for a perfect Christian life. Unfortunately, I did not use the resources at my disposal and I subconsciously created my own idea of Christianity. As an eight year old this was my idea of Christianity: “God loves me and saved me. BUT, if I do one thing wrong I have to start all over again”. As a result, every night for about three years I re-accepted Christ as my Savior. However, I think the key problem was simply that I had never accepted God as my Father versus as my Master. I had the incorrect perception that God the Father was constantly trying to kick me out and Jesus His Son was the mediator constantly having to accept me over and over again. 

What finally helped me understand how salvation works was the reality that I could do nothing to earn it. Salvation is a gift and I accept it; that’s it! The next things I learned were 1) God is the One who sent Jesus to die on the cross to save me, and 2) that His love is unconditional. 

Ever since I realized those truths, my life has changed immensely. I used to suffer from feelings of depression, however, once I knew that the GOD of the universe LOVED ME unconditionally, that killed any feeling of depression that I had. I used to believe that God was pretty much in control of who lived, who died, who He accepted, and who rejected Him. However, finally using the resources I had, my parents showed me that everything wrong with this world came from Satan, and although he is defeated, humans are still able to give power over to him; unfortunately, giving him the right to hurt whoever he wants emotionally or physically. Ultimately, it is the Christian’s responsibility to take back what Satan has stolen, give life to what he has killed, and restore what he has destroyed. God gives us the power to do all of this through the Holy Spirit  who lives in us.

Next time something bad or negative happens to you or someone else, know that God has the BEST in mind for you and the world.

I am in constant of awe of His grace and love. Not only that, but in His unwavering love for ME! He calls me His daughter and rejoices over Me! No matter how many times I roll this over in my mind, I never really get over the thrill that comes to me. Every moment that I lost in past believing that His love is conditional and limited, is a moment compared to the rest of eternity I get to spend with getting to know Him more and more. I could probably go on for all eternity, but I digress and leave you to discover or rediscover the immense love that God has for YOU!

Welcome co-author Sena Woodall

I met Sena more than eight years ago--she was a twenty-six year old Southwestern girl that God sent to Virginia to discover her destiny in Him. I'm grateful that I've been a part of that destiny. Not only do I treasure her friendship, but I value her relationship with Jesus Christ. Sena is a devoted seeker of God. The language of her love affair with Jesus is real and raw and rugged--she doesn't mind sharing the ebbs and flows of her journey. With great pleasure, I introduce you to my best friend and co-author: Sena Woodall R.N.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am currently a Registered Nurse at a local hospital. I love my job and the doors it’s already opened for me to see God move. I love being active and enjoy being outdoors when I can. I graduated in 2001 from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s in Visual Communications. I made the journey across the country years ago in hopes of finding the grace of God. This leap of faith has allowed me to change my career and my life. After working in the advertising business for years I decided that it wasn’t for me. I had the privilege of working for someone who allowed me to serve God at work and through my work. There,  I grew closer to God and waited to see what was next. In 2009 my life took a complete turn and  the birth of my best friend’s third son, reignited  my desire to become a nurse. I graduated last May after three long years. To say God is good is an understatement. God is indescribable and His love is the most powerful thing imaginable. I am a product of His love, grace and mercy. 

The main theme in your passages is the love and beauty of God. Why?

My view of who God is has changed over the years as I have followed Him. When I first met Him, I was taught that He was only interested in controlling my life. I felt that I needed to prove to Him that I was worth His sacrifice. One day Jesus began to show me who He really was and showed me in the Bible that He not only loves me, but He is in fact Love itself. He took me on a journey through the Song of Solomon and showed me what His view of me was. This picture of God’s love has become a main theme in my life and has affected how I view Him, not just my perception of how He views me.

What is your favorite scripture and why?

My favorite scripture is Song of Solomon 4:9 “You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride;
You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, With a single strand of your necklace.” This speaks to the very heart of God. All it takes is a glance from us to move His heart. To know that I have that ability to overwhelm God with my glance- that changes everything. I love that it isn’t our work, our life or our attempt at pleasing Him, but a simple glance of our eyes-a look from us to Him that causes Him to be overcome with love for us.

What is your favorite Christian quote and why?

A. W. Tozer said “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I discovered this quote years ago and it had always challenged me to question what I thought about God. How we see God can dictate how we respond to Him. If we think He is far away and only concerned about our actions then we spend our lives trying to please a God who is distant. If we see God the way He is: a loving Father and King who gives everything away and is intimately involved in our welfare, then we live our lives full of life. Our lives become marked by praise for the One who gave us His life.

How has using a devotional helped you in your faith walk?

I like using devotional as scaffolding to the Bible. Each one I’ve used has guided me into more truth about God and challenged me to look deeper into the scripture on the page. I believe devotionals are helpful for pointing you to a truth of the Bible, but it requires you to seek the truth and let God speak to you as you meditate in His word. 

Why do you write?

I like to write as a way of expressing the deep things in my heart. Over the years it has been a place where I can express my emotions and feelings, and at the same time God speaks to me. I love writing because it helps me process what I am going through, and it gives me a record of where I’ve come from. It helps me to look towards the future. Writing is the place where it can be just me and God. What comes forth can be shared with the world or kept as a secret.

Do you have future plans to write another book?

I do have plans to write another book in the future. As I have walked with God for the past 17 years, I have learned so much about Him. I would like to write a book about the mercy of God in the midst of waiting for a promise to come true. There are things about God that we never get to experience until we are in great need. These times of waiting and patience can produce one of two responses. One is that we think we know better than God and therefore we try to gain the promise without Him. The other response is where we learn how to lean on God and trust in Him more than our circumstances would want us to. Usually we experience both and then the questions comes to us: are we willing to believe beyond the waiting. That will be the topic of my next book.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Welcome Deborah Heal!

I am so pleased to welcome Deborah Heal as a guest to my author blog. The testimony below is a message of personal reformation--it brought me to tears. Testimonies like this have the power to shift mindsets that lean towards racial prejudice and discrimination. I know you will be blessed. - Tina

My Continuing Education Program
by Deborah Heal

When asked to choose a favorite famous quote, I selected this one from Dr. Martin Luther King:

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have chosen anything Dr. King had to say, even though it came originally from the Holy Bible itself. This is not because I was a racist, at least not an overt one, but because in ignorance I had bought into the lies told about him.

I heard the lies but I hadn’t heard anything about King’s dream. As a matter of fact, I managed to make it through elementary school and high school in my little lily-white town without ever once hearing anything about Jim Crow, disenfranchisement, “separate, but equal,” or any of the other abominations the black community suffered through.

It wasn’t until I went to college that my ignorance began to be chipped away by the power of the written word. I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of using primary sources when I read King’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail.” With no trumped up rumors and slanted newscasts between the writer and the reader, the truth came shining through on the page. I was astounded by his logic and moved to tears by his eloquence and gentleness. I decided that if he was a Communist, then I was an astronaut.

Later, I read the biographies of Frederick Douglas, George Washington Carver, and Booker T. Washington. Other books in the curriculum for this white woman’s continuing education were To Kill a Mockingbird and Black Like Me and Growing up Black and The Emancipation of Robert Sadler and Dick Gregory’s autobiography Nigger and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

The written word had made a powerful impact on my thinking, and I took that lesson into the classroom when I became an English teacher at other small rural, lily-white schools. You can read more about my experiences with racism HERE.

Today, like King, I long for the day when all God’s children will be freed from the bondage of ignorance and sin. On that day, we’ll be past all the striving and--with equal access—turn our attention to where it should have been all along, on God’s glory.

I consider the third book in my trilogy Every Hill and Mountain an assignment I turned in for my continuing education program. You can read about Every Hill and Mountain’s racial theme HERE.

Deborah Heal is the author of the Time and Again virtual time travel mystery series, which has been described as “Back to the Future meets virtual reality with a dash of Seventh Heaven thrown in.” She was born not far from the setting of her book Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy. Today she lives with her husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, three grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout. She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her Website , Twitter, and Facebook.

Her books may be purchased at AMAZON.COM.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holiday Book Deals!

Take time to curl up with a good book! 

Take advantage of Amazon BOGO through Kindle Matchbook.
(Buy paperback and get the ebook free!)

Our books are on sale through Dec. 7

SELAH: Daily Quotes for Daily Meditation, New devotional with thought-provoking quotes and passages. A great gift for the person who likes to contemplate life through the lens of the Bible. 


Through Kindle Matchbook, if you buy the paperback you'll get the ebook free!                                                                                             Keep one and give one as a gift.

Full of suspense and action, my fantasy fiction novella tells the story before Adam.     Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars!

Review snippets:  "A spiritual thriller!", "wonderful and fast paced novella", "skillful execution of pacing and story telling." "descriptive, active, and thought provoking"

The species of Homo sapiens created in Eden was unique….but not totally original. Heavenly beings resembling modern man had been created long before Adam, and some of them once lived on Earth. 

 Fear and violence destroy angelic beings who had only ever known peace and love. Helel names High Governess Atara the Queen of Heaven. Abba, the Creator, grieves. His eternal heart aches, then becomes angry. Anything that opposes His essence is named His enemy.  

Through Kindle Matchbook, if you buy the paperback you'll get the ebook free!  Keep one and give one as a gift.                                                   

 "I Was Framed!" Signed, God has received nothing but 5 star reviews. Read what some reviewers wrote:

"This sort of book is an important corrective to misuses of some cliches -- "God has His reasons" or "Everything happens for a reason" -- while digging into what's going on in these situations."

"What a great read! It grabs your attention with thought provoking questions and does not let go! Even at the end you want it to continue. Unlike some books with lots of scripture references, it does not become boring, it just continues to draw you in."

"I've always wanted to read a book like this one, and this one hit right on the mark. There were so many necessary truths about God that had been buried in my heart under a mountain of pain and disappointment, and this book reminded me of those truths. I encourage you to put on your detective cap and journey through some questions you may have asked in the secret place of your heart."