Faith as a Mustard Seed

by Carole Brownmustard-seeds free

How big is a mustard seed?

How big is your faith?

My aunt and cousin had died, and we didn’t find out about it until several weeks later. It was such a horrific and sad situation that I felt absolutely pounded by the event. Depression set in, and the enemy of my soul delighted in taking advantage of my mental and spiritual doubts. On top of that, I was struggling with misunderstandings from dear people I loved. Needless to say, my faith wavered.

  • Yes, I knew God was real.Bible free
  • Yes, I knew he answered prayer
  • Yes, I knew he loved me.

I knew these things, but I didn’t feel them. I cried and prayed. I read scripture and clasped hold on them. I sought council and encouragement from both my hubby and oldest son. I wept with discouragement over not being able to overcome the feelings that kept swarming over me.

But I held on. And on. And on. Gradually, as months passed, I felt the load easing. Healing and spiritual growth came from those extreme feelings of doubt and mstard field freehurt. God patiently and gently loved me into a height of faith I’d never experienced before. I knew that–though I never would claim to be an amazon warrior–I could be a simple and faith-filled soldier for God–if only I would keep my hand in his and hold on tight. Whatever happened in my life, God would see me through. My mustard seed faith had sprouted!

At church recently, the song leader felt led to lead us in some old fashion songs. The words spoke to my heart:person rejoicing free

  • God will Take Care of You
  • Trust and Obey
  • I Need Thee Every Hour

Oh, how true. God will take care of me if I only trust and obey…because I certainly do need him every hour of every day. 

Have you ever felt your faith wavering? How did you overcome those feelings?

Hang on, even if your faith is only mustard seed size!

Book News…The Newest from Sharon A. Lavy

by Carole Brown

No one begins life as a teenager.

So why can’t Pete Neper remember his childhood?

Conflict of Interest

Book Blurb
His family attended St. Anthony’s church in Florida. So why is the Old German Baptist meeting house—in Ohio, where his high school friend attended—the only one he can remember? Is he crazy like his father–the man who killed his mother years ago and recently killed his best friend?

While Pete hunts for his elusive memories, Danni Wagoner, his best friend’s widow still seeks for closure a year after she buried her husband.

Much as he wants to comfort this widow and her child—unless Pete can forgive his father, he will not be free to love or protect either of them properly.

Book Three in the “Sometimes We’re Asked to Forgive the Unforgiveable” series. 

The captivating continuation of the story of two women, raised differently and dressed differently, but close friends nevertheless, and the men in their lives. Filled with anguish and joy, sweet scenes and suspenseful ones, each character stands out in a unique and interesting way that will compel the reader to keep reading well past their bedtime. It’s a once-in-a-reader’s-life book series that hooks one to follow the episodes and exciting experiences these women are living. I recommend this book to all those who love Amish–er, German Baptist books, women’s fiction and suspenseful writing. Don’t miss out! 

Buy this book here:  

https://www.amazon.com/Conflict-Interest-Sometimes-forgive-unforgivable-ebook/dp/B06XQ9SLBF/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498135044&sr=1-1&keywords=Conflict+of+Interest+by+Sharon+A.+Lavy

 

ABOUT Sharon:

Sharon A. Lavy was born into an Old German Baptist family. This Anabaptist group are often mistaken for Amish.

While Sharon was growing up her father went to medical school at George Washington University. He interned and took his residency at a hospital in Sacramento, California.
She inherited her love of books from her father and when she wasn’t exploring the hospital where he worked, Sharon spent many hours pouring over his medical books.

When she married, Sharon moved with her husband to a farm in Southwest Ohio where they reared five children.

While she loves to read many genre, her own writing tends to feature medical drama among the Old German Baptist community.

Connect with her here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharon.a.lavy

Getting Ready for Summer

by Carole Brown

There’s busy and then there’s busy.

If you’re anything like us, you already have your summer pretty well booked. but with a little planning, you can it a little less harassing and a lot more fun and relaxing. Here are a few tips I’ve learned through the years:

  • Plan ahead… 

for the trips and vacations you want to take. Decide on how muccheck-list freeh you will spend and set aside extra for emergencies or special things that crop up. Write down everything that needs to be done and cross these items off as you finish them. (Book flights, list items needed to be taken, schedule activities you want to do and buy tickets ahead of time, buy snacks and drinks when appropriate.) 

Have appropriate clothes planned and ready. Repairs needed? Don’t wait until the last minute, but have it done early. Shoes need to be purchased? Toiletries running low? Get these things off your list.  

 

  • Plan activities suitable for you, your family, your friends.

Needless to say, you should take into consideration what interests you’re planning for. Children who are totally into sports or activities may find it boring to go to five different museums. Save that trip for when you and your husband or friends can enjoy it. 

parachute free

  • Prepare yourself and your family/friends physically. 

If you’re headed to the beach, condition your skin to the sun; don’t wait till you arrive and end up with damaged skin. If  you’re headed to the mountains to scale the heights, begin early strengthening your body by running/walking. Higher altitudes can cause some problems for certain people so make sure you have a doctor checkup before leaving. You want to be ready for whatever you plan and not be caught unaware and in serious physical condition because you didn’t know.

physical bike free

 

  • Don’t be too stringent on keeping to the “rules.” 

Allow for unplanned things. See a spot that would be perfect for a picnic, and your child is begging to stretch her legs? Do it, and eat at that fancy restaurant another time. Don’t think you have to be on the move constantly. Take time to read a book, sit on a porch and watch the birds. Stroll, take a walk, talk, don’t talk, cook out, walk barefoot in the sand early in the morning, or stroll the beach at midnight with your friends or companion while the kids (who are old enough) are sleeping. Allow time for side trips. Do something unexpected. Suggest the children (with guidance) plan a day of fun. 

sand feet

 

  • Be safe. 

Take precautions. Make sure shots are up-to-date, medicines are ready to go, and medical kits are stocked. Don’t be paranoid, but be cautious. Keep your eyes on children. Be friendly but careful around those you don’t know well. Watch for unexpected problems on side trips: slippery, downhill paths, stinging insects, broken items that can cut, unfriendly animals who are doing what they’re wired to do. In traveling, stay alert. Get plenty of rest and never push yourself beyond limits. 

warning free

 

  • Stay relaxed, have fun, and come home rested. 

Sometimes this is hard to do. I know. But if you can carry through on the above suggestions, you’ll find that it’s much easier to control this last one. If you can pull it off, you’ll find yourself returning home, eager to plan another getaway.

reclining free

It’s time for vacation. Are you ready?

My Ten Favorite Things About Late Spring

by Carole Brown

Although I still love Autumn, Spring has made hardy leaps and bounds pushing to be my favorite season. This year has been particularly pleasant. Here are a fegrass n dew freew of my thoughts about the season:

  1. Warmer weather. What can I say? Although I use to love winter activities, I’ve moved on and prefer warmer weather ones. The cold is definitely at the bottom of my list!
  2. The joy I feel. Yes, that’s right. The winter is past, and a new beginning is taking place. I enjoy that feeling of renewal starting right around Easter and progressing till the middle of June. Time to let go of the hardship of winter (trials, discouragements, etc.) and move on. Take a brighter look around.
  3. The letree freeafing of trees. Believe it or not, I kept an eye on the trees and watched as they regained life. Leafy trees are a reminder of childhood times spent climbing them and playing imaginary games. Leafy trees remind me of the summers reclining beneath them as a teenager and dreaming teen dreams. 
  4. Release from the indoors. Of course, I go outdoors during winter, but now–during spring–doors and windows are open. The outdoors and indoors meet in a joined effort to give me a enduring satisfaction that life is good.
  5. Gardening! Not that I love the work so much, but I love to see the completed jobs, love the few veggies we grow, love seeing hubby and grandson Jonathan picking the produce, and love the sense of doing a good work. 
  6. little-boy-in-dandelions freeIt’s the time of Picking-the-wildflowers. Is there anything sweeter than seeing a grandson running up to you with a bouquet of dandelions (stems almost too short to stick in a vase or other container)? Or to accept a bouquet of pink apple blossoms or black-eyed Susans from hubby? I think not!
  7. The scents and sights. Is there any better sensation than the sweet, pleasant scent of a rose? The strong, heady scent of lilacs, hyacinths, or lilies? Is there anything lovelier than seeing the lilies of the Valley blooming beneath a pink dogwood tree or the shy purple violets peeking from beneath bolder foliage? What could be cuter than those precious pansy faces?
  8. Repurposing, planning, and projects. It’s the time to change things around. Take that old wood table you don’t want anymore and redo it to make a perfect garden work table to repot flowers, etc. Plan a new garden. Begin new projects you’ve dreamed of all winter. Now’s the time! grill free
  9. The-Firing-of-the-Grill time! Isn’t the first time you do this fantastically fun? All winter the grill has stayed covered or spent its days in a secluded area. Now it’s time for it to shine, to do what it was created for! Look out corn on the cob! Drooling for those chicken breasts, steaks and, the all time favorites: burgers and hotdogs! Yay!
  10. desert island sunset freeFinally, it’s time for vacations. Plan, if you haven’t already. Begin the buying for the necessities, prep the vehicle or buy your tickets. Summer prospects are ahead, and the spring anticipation is as much a part of the fun as experiencing it!

 

There you have it. Ten of my favorite items. I could add holiday celebrations (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day) with family and friends, old-fashion ministry experiences like camp meetings or church camps or mission trips, camping, shared sporting activities: boating, fishing, water skiing, etc., but these are all a given. 

Whatever your favorites are for this season, stay relaxed, keep the peace within yourself, and enjoy. Thank God for Spring for God gives us all of the seasons to enjoy, and I really don’t think he minds which one is our favorite.

What’s your favorite thing about Spring?

Happy Days!

Putting God in our Writing

by Carole Brownquestion-mark2 free

As an inspirational writer and author, I had to come to the decision whether I would include God in my books?

  • Should I have heavy scenes with definite doses of conviction on the sinner and salvation transformations?
  • Should I go easy with the above things and hint at or subtly include all things pertaining to God?
  • Should I stick with “clean” writing that shows improvement in my characters?

With these three choices that I narrowed down (for me), I compromised.  I chose to go with light or no mentions of God. Does that sound like I went too far “left” in my choice? Let me explain:

 In my Denton and Alex Davies series, I stick with improvements in my characters. I might mention church or meal prayers, but for the most part, I try to show a positive change in couples or people in this series. I like the subplot to focus on the love (relationship) between couples.

  • In the first book (Hog Insane), the two protagonists, who are married and avid mystery book lovers as well as amateur detectives, learned that give and take is one of the best things in a marriage. 
  • In the second book (Bat Crazy), one of the secondary characters had to realize where her loyalties really lay.
  • In the upcoming third one (Daffy’s Duck), I hope to show a distrustful relationship that has greatly improved by listening. 

Now in my WWII series, my Appleton, WV series and my debut, stand alone book, the God scenes are more real. I like to show acknowledgement that characters see the need of reaching out to God for help. These are light scenes, but there, and, hopefully, real to the reader. 

It was a slow process and one that I battled through writing my first few books, but I finally felt peace over how and how much to bring God into my books, when I decided to go with this decision.

Woman looking at large book

Woman looking at doorway in large book

Will I ever go with the more serious, strong God scenes? Probably not. And, no I’m not ashamed of my God. But I want to reach people who will put up with “some” God in my books and also encourage Christians to read and enjoy my books.

 

Will I ever go with clean, but no God mentions? Maybe. Time will tell on this one. I will definitely have to know the story will hold up for a valuable lesson to do so.

What’s your thought on bringing God into your book? Yes. or No?

Happy Reading!

Overwhelmed…Again!

by Carole BrownBurnout2 free

Once again I’ve allowed too many things to gather in one week than is healthy for me physically and mentally, and probably spiritually too.

This week has been stressful to say the least.  Grandson care, writing, appointments, therapy, driving, housework and all that goes with that, battle with faulty internet, inability to get satisfaction with a book cover, events that were scheduled but not necessary for us to attend although hubby and I felt “obligated” for various reasons.

Does every writer take on more than they can handle, or is it just me? I think not. Once again I have to sit down and figure out how to de-stress my life, and I’d like to share that with you today. Unless you’re a permanently organized individual, you might find these ideas helpful. I’m going to:

  1. First I need to sit down and study my upcoming weekly schedules and check off everything that positively needs to stay on my to-do list. These are very important things that should not be put off: a doctor’s appointment for hubby that I want to share with him. An Essential oil meeting that is important to me for various reasons, including my health regards. A promotion evening that is important in marketing my writing. Church, of course. These items are the basic things I know I have to keep.
  2. There were two events going on today that hubby and I felt pressured to attend–not that it was necessary to do so, but by “guilt words” from others. To say the least, we were stressed, and after we’d headed down the road, hubby said, basically: “That’s it. We’re not going to either.” And we didn’t. But we did make a detour for a few minutes alone to have breakfast together. Something we haven’t had time to do for awhile. Reminder, stop scheduling events that are unnecessary for ME.
  3. Writer (Me!), stop allowing unimportant life stuff drain the energy and inspiration from my being. Find the perfect time to write, and get something down. Stop allowing distractions to hinder my writing time. Figure out my best writing time and do my best to stick with it.
  4. prayer freeFor me, I have to take the time to replenish my soul with prayers and reading God’s word and good devotionals. When my soul is at peace, then it’s so much easier to handle all the rest of life.

 

 

Keep life as simple as possible. I KNOW who and what are important to me, so focus on those things and people, and stop being pushed into thingsdog free I have zero interest in. Take breaks. Sit on the porch. Read a book I love. Do nothing but stare at the leaves and sky. Whisper after dark with the one you love whether person or pet. Call someone you’ve neglected. Take a walk by yourself or with a friend or someone else. Do something you really enjoy at least once a week. Plan a vacation: short or long, close by or far away. Smile. Love. Pray. Relax.

I need to remember to stay on track. Only then will I have fewer weeks like this past one. 

Do you have weeks that are desperately hard to get through? What’s your go-to help to prevent the overwhelming?

Wishing you all a great week!

WW2 Christian Fiction Facebook Party with $50 Amazon Card/7 Novels Giveaway

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Christian Fiction honors World War II Vets with WW2 era novels at this link.

Grand Prize: $50 Amazon Card

Runner Up Prize: 7 WW2 Novels

To enter:
• Click that you will attend the party at this link.
• Share the party on your timeline.
• Comment on one of each author’s posts during the party.

All 7 of these authors will be at the party and will give out additional prizes.
5:30 – 6:00 – Billie Houston
6:00 – 6:30 – Gail Kittleson
6:30 – 7:00 – Carole Brown
7:00 – 7:30 – Johnnie Alexander
7:30 – 8:00 – Joan Leotta
8:00 – 8:30 – Naomi Musch
8:30 – 9:00 – Tamera Lynn Kraft