Monday, September 30, 2013

Verse of the Day

"Blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit." (Jeremiah 17:7–8 NLT)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Verse of the Day

I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you. . . . For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and [self-]discipline [a sound mind kjv]. (2 Timothy 1:6–7)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Verse of the Day

Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35–36 NLT)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Verse of the Day

You will not go out in haste, nor will you go as fugitives; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 52:12)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Verse of the Day

As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God's many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. (1 Peter 4:10 AMP)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Verse of the Day

Both passages below have appeared at various times over the weekend. It occurred to me that one leads to the other and back again. "Endurance" (perseverance in some translations) is my word for this year, from the Hebrews passage. Last year it was "focus," also implied in Hebrews 12:2. (Do you sense a pattern here?)

Consider it all joy . . . when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2–4)

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2) 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Verse of the Day

Get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. (Ephesians 4:1–3 msg)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Verse of the Day

"O our God, . . . we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." . . . "Listen, . . . thus says the LORD to you, `Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's. . . . You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf.' Do not fear or be dismayed; . . . for the LORD is with you." (2 Chronicles 20:12, 15–17)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Verse of the Day

Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:4–5)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Verse of the Day

"Remember this, and be assured; recall it to mind. . . . Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, `My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'" (Isaiah 46:8–10)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Verse of the Day

Stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. 1 Corinthians 15:58 msg

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sword Study Series, 2 Timothy

If you have tried to study the Bible together as a family, you are painfully aware that it has been impossible to find a study that suits every age level in your family . . . until now. The Sword Study series from the Shelby Kennedy Foundation is now available to help you and your family become students of the Word together. The Sword Study series includes materials for everyone from ages 4 to 104.

Organized into different levels according to age, each study provides in-depth material from the same book of the Bible. Each study book is synchronized to cover the same truths at the same time but with graphics and learning tools appropriate for the age group.

  • Level 1, for ages 4-7, is an activity book with coloring, drawing, matching and other fun learning tools.
  • Level 2, for ages 7-10, contains light reading, fill-in-the-blank, and application sections.
  • Level 3, for ages 11-14, involves more investigation and questions for the student to answer.
  • Level 4, for teens and adults, steps up the reading and the depth of study including the definition of several Greek or Hebrew terms.
  • Level 5 is for the parent or study leader with guidance and background to lead a group of all ages.
The Sword Study series, originally created for competitors in The Shelby Kennedy Foundation's National Bible Bee, is now available to everyone for the first time. Families no longer have to compete in the Bible Bee to establish family discipleship in the home with this one-of-a-kind study.  The Sword Study available now is II Timothy. I John is also available to the public and I Peter is scheduled for release in the fall of 2013. A new study is scheduled to be released each year. For more information visit    

About the Shelby Kennedy Foundation
The Shelby Kennedy Foundation exists to help families strengthen their personal relationship with the Lord.  They do this by coming along side parents as they disciple their children through in-depth study of the Word of God, Scripture memory and prayer. For more information visit   

Margie's Comments: I received all five books (levels of study) in the 2 Timothy study from Glass Road Public Relations in exchange for a review. (This posting was supposed to have happened September 9, but my Internet went down on the 6th and it has just been restored.) I'm very glad I signed up to be part of the blog tour/publicity for this great family oriented Bible study. I wish something like this would have been available when my children were growing up. I love how each age group is involved in active study of the Word of God, complete with age-appropriate worksheets, readings, and memorization. The 5th level I found most helpful for my own study of the Word and for preparing to lead a study with several age groups involved. I will definitely be keeping this in mind for possible use at our small church and for recommending to families who want a Bible study that will engage all age levels.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Verse of the Day

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Verse of the Day

"Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted."  (Isaiah 7:4)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

ACFW September 2013 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Contemporary Romance:
Plantation Christmas Weddings by Lorraine Beatty, Sylvia Barnes, Cynthia Leavelle, and Virginia Vaughan — Will a reserved widow, a successful novelist, a divorced couple, and a jilted wedding planner find their hearts rekindled with love just in time for Christmas? (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing)
A Little Bit of Charm by Mary Ellis — Rachel King wants nothing more than to work with horses, but when her handsome boss sweeps her off her feet, she starts to doubt everything in life, including her faith. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House)
Awakened Love by Laura V. Hilton — When her Englisch sister’s health worsens, Katie must find a way to balance her heart, her job, and her faith while risking her own life for the sister she never knew. (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)
Love Still Stands (The New Hope Amish) by Kelly Irvin — A group of dedicated families leaves Bliss Creek to establish a new community in Missouri. Among them is Bethel Graber, a beautiful young woman with a passion for teaching. But after being disabled in a terrible accident, overseeing a classroom is out of the question…and romance seems a long-lost dream. Bethel begins physical therapy, determined to make a fresh start. But that won’t be easy in the town of New Hope, where the locals seem anything but eager to welcome their new Amish neighbors. Amid growing intimidation from the community, Bethel must find the strength to face her many challenges and the faith to believe that God still has a plan–and a love–for her life. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House)
Serenity to Accept by Elizabeth Maddrey — Is there an exception to every rule? Karin Reid has never had much use for God. There’s been too much pain in her life. Until she meets Jason Garcia. After his own mistakes of the past, Jason is committed to dating only Christians. He decides to bend his rule for Karin, as long as she comes to church with him. As their friendship grows, both will have to decide if they’ll accept the path God has for them, even if it means losing each other. (Contemporary Romance from HopeSprings Books)
The Doctor’s Family Reunion by Mindy Obenhaus — Family means everything to Dr. Trent Lockridge. Growing up without a father, he always yearned for a family of his own. One long-ago summer in Ouray, Colorado, he thought he might build a future with beautiful Blakely Daniels. But when he abruptly fled town, he broke her heart and left behind more than memories. Years later, Trent is shocked-and overjoyed-to learn he’s a father. He’d like to earn back Blakely’s love and trust- but it won’t be easy. And the clock is ticking. He’s got only a few weeks to prove that, this time, he’s here to stay…forever. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired)
Made to Last by Melissa Tagg — Homebuilding TV show host Miranda Woodruff is out to save her career while juggling a fake husband, former fiance and nosy reporter…all under the roof of the one house she can’t bring herself to finish building. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
Arkansas Weddings (Romancing America) by Shannon Taylor Vannatter — Pastor Grayson Sterling still loves his wife two years after the accident that claimed her life. Then florist Adrea Welch begins to plant new love in his grieving heart. Laken Kroft left home years ago and never looked back. Who knew when she applied for the promotion to postmaster that she’d end up in Romance, Arkansas, and much too close to her past–and Hayden Winters? Shell doesn’t have a good reputation. But no matter what everyone in Rose Bud, Arkansas thinks of her, she’s back in town with a job to do. Ryler also has reasons for being in Rose Bud, and they don’t include Shell. But love can soften the hardest heart and overcome the darkest past. These hearts may not know it, but they’re about to change. (Contemporary Romance from Heartsong Presents)
For Every Season by Cindy Woodsmall — Working hard to develop a new Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is fully committed to rehabilitating an orchard with business partner Samuel King. But an impulsive decision has created an unexpected strain in her relationship with her beau, Samuel’s brother, Jacob, threatening plans for the orchard. Amidst mounting tension in matters of the heart and business, Rhoda finds that this fledging settlement feels like the home she has always longed for, and she begins to embrace the God-given, heightened intuition that has always felt like a burden to her. She longs for Jacob to fully be free of his past, so they can work towards the future together. (Contemporary Romance from Waterbrook Multnomah [Random House])
The Nurse’s Secret Suitor by Cheryl Wyatt — Trauma nurse Kate Dalton can handle any challenge-except love. The combat veteran dreams of settling down, but heartbreak is one risk she won’t take. Then a chance encounter opens her heart to a masked stranger…who might not be a stranger after all! Caleb Landis, the army medic behind the disguise, has always admired Kate, even though she only saw him as her best friend’s brother. What will it take for Kate to discard her fears and discover the man she’s always hoped to unmask? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired)
Mistletoe Memories by Jennifer AlLeeCarla Olson GadeLisa Karon Richardson and Gina Welborn — One of America’s earliest summer resorts began atop the majestically wooded Schooley’s Mountain where the mecca of chalybeate springs (or “magic water”) drew visitors from near and far. Eventually the magic water disappeared, but the memories remained. Folks who live there tell the stories they heard from their grandparents who heard them from their grandparents. The four stories in MISTLETOE MEMORIES cover the almost 200 years after the house was built and center around a house that became a refuge that became an orphanage that became a home. (Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Contemporary Women’s Fiction:
Tickled Pink: Class Reunion Series, Book 3 by Debby Mayne — Priscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they’re handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can’t ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can’t get out of town fast enough. Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they’re not getting any younger-as if she has to be reminded. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Abingdon Press)
The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate — A young woman, an old woman, the story of a lifetime. A young woman hired to clean out an old house on Hatteras Island discovers a life-changing story in eighty-one prayer boxes kept by the former owner. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Tyndale House)
Cozy Mystery:
A Plain Disappearance: An Appleseed Creek Mystery by Amanda Flower — It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date. Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence. (Cozy Mystery from B&H Publishing)
General Contemporary:
The Inheritance by Jo-Anne Berthelsen — Michael Trevelyan is determined to claim his inheritance at all costs. Bitterness consumes him and he refuses to forgive those who have betrayed him. Yet, when he meets Alexandra Hope, things begin to change. She challenges his views but also listens while he shares his pain. Can Michael move on from the past and learn to forgive? Can Alexandra hold onto her faith in God as she deals with their deepening relationship? (General Contemporary from Even Before Publishing [Wombat])
Jasmine by April McGowan — She survived her past but how can she face it? Jasmine is a survivor. She’s lived through the abuse of her father, running away at age fourteen, living on the streets, and now she counsels at risk young women giving them a second chance at life. But when her mother dies, can she go home again and face the past she’s forced herself to forget for the last twenty years? Or will the past she’s now forgotten take over her present once again? (General Contemporary from Whitefire Publishing)
General Historical:
A Home For My Heart by Anne Mateer — Sadie Sillsby works as the assistant to the matron at the Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless Children and dreams of the day she’ll marry her beau, Blaine. But when the matron surprises everyone by announcing her own engagement, Sadie is suddenly next in line for the job. For a young woman who was once an orphan herself, a shot at such an esteemed position is a wish come true. But the matron of the Home cannot be married. Is Sadie willing to give up her dreams of a life with Blaine and a family of her own? When it’s revealed that the Home is spending a lot more money than it’s taking in, can Sadie turn things around before the place is forced to close forever? (General Historical from Bethany House [Baker])
All God’s Children by Anna Schmidt — Quaker Beth Bridgewater came to Munich to live with her aunt and uncle and care for their daughter. But after eight years Beth longs for her home in Wisconsin. Josef Buch, son of a Gestapo agent, moves in with the family while he completes his medical studies. When Josef helps Beth rescue a young Jewish family, she realizes that he does not share his father’s politics. Soon they are both drawn into the work of the White Rose-a German resistance movement intent on overthrowing Hitler. As their feelings for each other deepen, Josef and Beth risk everything for peace-and for love. (General Historical from Barbour Publishing)
Historical Romance:
A Pioneer Christmas Collection by Margaret BrownleyKathleen FullerMarcia GruverCynthia HickeyVickie McDonoughShannon McNear, Lauraine Snelling, Michelle Ule and Anna Carrie Urquhart — Journey along with American settlers who learn that despite where the trail takes them or how primitive their lodgings may be Christmas is all about the heart. Determined to honor Christ’s birth, these pioneers find a way to make Christmas happen in places like a cave, a tipi, and a dugout. Modern readers will enjoy a peek into life before commercialism took over the sacred day, distracting us from the true blessings of faith, hope, and love. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
A Log Cabin Christmas by Margaret BrownleyWanda E. BrunstetterJane Kirkpatrick, Kelly Eileen Hake, Liz JohnsonLiz TolsmaMichelle UleDebra UllrickErica Vetsch — Experience Christmas through the eyes of adventuresome settlers who relied on log cabins built from trees on their own land to see them through the cruel forces of winter. Discover how rough-hewed shelters become a home in which faith, hope, and love can flourish. Marvel in the blessings of Christmas celebrations without the trappings of modern commercialism where the true meaning of the day shines through. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson — An unlikely spy discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution. (Historical Romance from Summerside Press [Guideposts])
Golden State Brides by Keli Gwyn and Erica Vetsch — Sunny California is the place for two historical romances. Elenora Watkins, willful widow and single mother, is determined to best merchant Miles Rutledge in business-and love. Harvey Girl Meghan Thorson discovers the truth about horseman Caleb McBride-whom the townsfolk have branded a coward-and true love. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
The Invention of Sarah Cummings by Olivia Newport– Sarah Cummings has one goal in life–to break into Chicago’s high society. Desperate to stop serving dinner and to start eating at society tables, Sarah alters cast-off gowns from the wealthy Banning women to create lustrous, flattering dresses of her own. On a whim at a chance meeting, she presents herself as Serena Cuthbert, weaving a fictitious past to go with her fictitious name. But as she gets closer to Simon Tewell, the director of St. Andrew’s Orphanage, Sarah finds that she must choose between the life she has and the life she dreams of. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])
Beyond These Hills (Smoky Mountain Dreams) by Sandra Robbins — It’s 1935, and Laurel Jackson fears the life she’s always known is about to become a memory. The government is purchasing property to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and nearly all the families in Cades Cove have decided to sell. Laurel is determined to save the land her family has lived on for a hundred years. Andrew Brady, the son of a wealthy Virginia congressman, arrives in the Cove to convince the remaining landowners to sell. Sparks fly when he meets Laurel, the outspoken young woman who is determined to thwart his every effort. Will they ever be able to put aside their differences and accept what their hearts already know? (Historical Romance from Harvest House)
Romantic Suspense:
Stranded (Alaskan Courage) by Dani Pettrey — When her friend vanishes from a cruise ship, reporter Darcy St. James isn’t satisfied with their explanation that she simply left her job of her own accord. Within days, Darcy learns her friend wasn’t the only person to disappear mysteriously. Last summer, a woman vanished under almost identical circumstances. Gage McKenna has taken a summer-long stint leading adventure excursions for the passengers of various cruise lines that dock for a few days of sightseeing. He’s surprised to find Darcy working aboard one of the ships, investigating a troubling report. Something sinister is going on and the deeper they dig the more Gage fears they’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])
Fatal Transaction by W. Richard Lawrence — Sara, a computer programmer, is forced by the evil Ulrich Levy to develop a scheme to steal millions of dollars from credit card companies. But when she decides to take the money for herself, she begins down a road of distrust, deceit, murder, treachery, faith, love and the ultimate sacrifice. (Suspense Thriller from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Verse of the Day

"Cease striving and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)