Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. Psalm 23:1 NLT

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. . . . The hired hand runs away because he is merely hired and has no real concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:11–15 NLT

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine, Thou dost befriend us, be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessèd Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Verse of the Day

But the LORD still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help them. . . . You will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will respond instantly to the sound of your cries. Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and affliction for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes, and you will hear a voice say, "This is the way; turn around and walk here." (Isaiah 30:18–21 NLT)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Verse of the Day

He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait [hope] for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:29–31 nasb

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga

This week, the

is introducing

Abingdon Press (April 15, 2014)



I’m Emily, and I’m honored and humbled to meet you, friend.

We’re all stumbling along on this journey and you can approach me about anything okay? I’m an open book, with dog-eared pages and a worn cover.

I’m mama to two boys, ages two and four, and married to a farm-boy-turned-math-teacher. We live in a small Dutch hamlet with three churches, one Co-Op and no stop lights. There are a lot of fields out here, there’s a lot of space and sky for breathing and running and writing.

We foster two boys in addition to our own two, and before I had kids, I took care of my Mum who had brain cancer. She fought back and has recovered, all glory to God, and my pastor-father still holds her hand while they go for daily walks.

I battled anorexia nervosa as a child, and then again as a newly married woman, and I write a lot about body image now and have a passion for women to learn to love themselves.

My husband and I have battled infertility and are currently trying to adopt our third child through the local Alberta government.

I hurt for the church, and believe in it, and pray for it, as I’ve grown up inside its walls and have heard its groanings.

I have a heart for Africa, particularly Uganda, and went there in January on a bloggers’ trip with World Help.

My favorite things to do are read literary novels, play guitar, snowboard, paint with oil and acrylics and hug my babies.

I am the author of two books on eating disorders, a novel releasing this spring, and a memoir coming out this summer.

I hope you’ll connect with me on FB:, or if you prefer, Twitter: @emily_wierenga. I’d love to have a virtual glass of wine, or cup of coffee, with you.

Peace to you friends,


After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.

Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.

Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever
happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Promise in Pieces, go HERE.

Margie's comments: I'm enjoying A Promise in Pieces very much. The author has given us a main character who is very well rounded and real. I'm living her World War II experience as she tells her story and the sacrifices she made to be an army nurse. I've not read enough of the story to give a full review, but this is another book I'm finding hard to put down. (Unfortunate because I am entering the busiest months of the year for me—conferences and editing, on top of having to make an unexpected house move complete with packing, unpacking, settling into a new house).

Verse of the Day

I love you, LORD; you are my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1–3 NLT)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Verse of the Day

Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. (Psalm 37:3–5 NLT)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Verse of the Day

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:16–17)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lip Reading by Harry Kraus

This week, the

is introducing

David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)



A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Lip Reading, go HERE.

Margie's Comments: I loved this book. Harry Kraus knows how to tell a great story, from plotting to characters to spiritual thread. Even though I've cut back on book reviewing this year, the Becca Jackson's occupation as a medical researcher, caught my attention. My brother is in this field, and it fascinates me. Of course adding the ticking clock heightens the suspense of the story, making it all come together in a most satisfying read. It has been very hard to put this book down in order to get other work done! I highly recommend Lip Reading by Harry Kraus.

Verse of the Day

Good Friday prophesied: 

My servant grew up in the LORD's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins – that he was suffering their punishment? He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave. But it was the LORD's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's plan will prosper in his hands. (Isaiah 53:2–10 NLT)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Christy Finalists Announced

2014 Finalists Announced
The 15th annual Christy Awards for excellence in Christian fiction will be presented June, 23 2014 in Atlanta.

The Christy Advisory Board is pleased to announce finalists for the 2014 Christy Awards honoring Christian fiction.

Every Waking Moment
by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)

The Prayer Box
by Lisa Wingate (Tyndale House Publishers)

Stones for Bread
by Christa Parrish (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

Contemporary Romance/Suspense/
Dangerous Passage
by Lisa Harris (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Once Upon a Prince
by Rachel Hauck (Zondervan, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

Rosemary Cottage
by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

by Irene Hannon (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
*This category includes four nominees due to a tie in scoring.

Contemporary Series/
Firefly Island
by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel
by Melody Carlson (B&H Publishing Group)

Take a Chance on Me
by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)

First Novel/
Burning Sky
by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

A Cast of Stones
by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Dear Mr. Knightley
by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)

All for a Story
by Allison Pittman (Tyndale House Publishers)

Burning Sky
by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Sweet Mercy
by Ann Tatlock (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Historical Romance/
Harvest of Gold
by Tessa Afshar (River North, from Moody Publishing)

Stealing the Preacher
by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Under a Blackberry Moon
by Serena B. Miller (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Dark Justice
by Brandilyn Collins (B&H Publishing Group)

by Ted Dekker (FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group)

by Steven James (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Cast of Stones
by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

by John W. Otte (Marcher Lord Press)

Verse of the Day

We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  (John 3:16)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Verse of the Day

But the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11–12 HCSB)

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Enter to win a Kindle HDX from @TLHigley in THE QUEEN’S HANDMAID giveaway!

Tracy L. Higley is celebrating the release of The Queen's Handmaid with a fun giveaway.

Retailers + Resources gave it this glowing review: "Rich in historic detail, Higley’s vivid writing brings to life the plots and intrigues that swirled through the ancient world as alliances were built and broken on the calculated schemes of power-mad monarchs." 


  • A Kindle Fire HDX

  • The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced April 21st on Tracy's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Tracy's blog on April 21st to see if you won.

The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

 About the book: From the servant halls of Cleopatra's Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.

Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm's length. She's been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she's had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Trapped among the scheming women of Herod's political family---his sister, his wife, and their mothers---and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored many novels, including Garden of Madness and So Shines the Night. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. 

See Tracy's travel journals and more at:

Margie's Comments: The Queen's Handmaid is the latest in author Tracy L. Higley's ancient historical fiction books. As always, this newest book reflects the author's meticulous research that brings the story world alive, peopled with authentic, if fictional, characters. Lydia's courage to do what is right and speak her mind is evident right from the start. In spite of her ignorance of her past and origins, she is loyal to her mentor in Alexandria, and she strives to fulfill his dying request even in the turmoil and intrigues of Herod the Great's court. I love how the themes of God's faithfulness and love are portrayed throughout the book, as His hand is seen in the orchestration of His plan to keep hope alive in the face of insurmountable obstacles, from human and the spiritual forces of wickedness. As Lydia learns of her heritage she gains even more inner courage and strength to carry out the purposes for which God has created her. As I read, I was reminded that God never wastes anything in the lives of His children, and He will preserve those who follow Him. Another excellent read from this author, one I can highly recommend, especially those who enjoy historical mystery and intrigue.

The Turning by Davis Bunn

About The Turning
ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-0802411686
304 pages
April 1, 2014 from River North, a division of Moody Publishers

Video Trailer
Video trailer for THE TURNING, by best-selling author, Davis Bunn.
Davis Bunn talks about his upcoming novel, THE TURNING.

Read Chapters 1-3 of The Turning for free
Read chapters 1-3 of “The Turning” by Davis Bunn for free: (Like his Facebook page to start reading.)

About Davis Bunn

Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Defined by readers and reviewers as a "wise teacher," "gentleman adventurer," "consummate writer," and "Renaissance man," his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.
Visit Davis at or
Twitter: @davisbunn

Plot Synopsis
The message was unexpected but instantly recognizable. 

A voice resonated from a distance and somehow from within. Against all earthly logic, it carried a divine command. And five very different people knew they were summoned to obey.

Their actions were demanding, but not particularly grand. Only later would they see a pattern emerge — one that links their tasks together and comes to challenge the cultural direction of the nation. They realize that one small personal response unveiled a new realm of moral responsibility. And this affirmation of everyday hope captures the attention of millions.

But power and money are at stake. Malicious elements soon align themselves to counter the trend.  To succeed they must also undermine its source. Can we really believe that God speaks to people today? Surely this must be dismissed as superstition or delusion. These well-intentioned but misguided individuals should not be allowed to cast our society back into the Dark Ages.

The public debate and media frenzy place an unprecedented spotlight on knowing and doing God's will. The five encounter threats, but try to remain steadfast in their faith. Had God indeed imparted wisdom on selected individuals? Is this sweep of events part of his divine purpose? 

The movement may herald a profound renewal — one that some are calling The Turning...

Margie's Comments: 
The Turning, Davis Bunn's newest release, is another excellent, thought-provoking read, even with his trademark suspense. The characters are well developed and endearing. Even the "villain" of the story is likable in spite of the fact I wanted his scheme to fail. As I read The Turning, I was impressed by the similarity to some of my own faith-challenging experiences the last several years. God's faithfulness to uphold truth above the lies of the enemy and of this world is clearly depicted in the events. I highly recommend this book, especially to those who truly desire to live out a real faith in God and His Word. Also, let me challenge you to do the forty day devotional found at

I received a complimentary copy of The Turning from River North Fiction in exchange for my honest review.