Wednesday, September 25, 2013


““The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation. He is my God,
and I will praise Him.”
 Exodus 15:2 (NIV)

As a child, whenever I felt weak, I wanted to give up. I found myself just ignoring things that pertained to the particular activity. I craved lots of encouragement.

As a young mother, I attended an area meeting of the church I attended. My church hosted the sister churches in the county and one or two in the next county to the north.  The meeting was set up with small workshops. One of the titles referred to a Spiritual gifts survey.

The title drew me in. I answered a series of what seemed to be unrelated questions about how we viewed certain situations. We then scored the surveys.

One of my gifts was that of encouragement. At that time, I didn't do anything with these results. A few years later, the Sunday school class I was in studied all the Spiritual gifts and took the survey again.  My scores showed basically the same results.

A few years later, I found myself repeatedly asking a question, “Where does an encourager go to get encouragement?” All at once, I realized I had answered my own question. The answer to my question-“ An encourager gets the encouragement he or she needs when they go to God.”

With my Fibromyalgia, when I find myself stressed my limbs begin to ache and I feel weak. I recently began a project that caused me worry and resultant pain. I sent a prayer SOS to a group of people who pray for my writing ministry. I posted a response on the Facebook page of a writer/editor/ speaker who is in my ‘friend’ list. His question that day was; “How can I pray for you?”

God, through His Word and His answers to prayer, gives us strength to face the difficult times we face in this life. Also, God sometimes places people in our path to help us through times we don’t understand.

Dear Father God; Thank You for being my strength, for standing beside me as I encounter things of this fallen world.  I thank You for the encouragement found in Your Word. I praise Your name. In the name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN

Where Could I Go But to the Lord

Monday, September 23, 2013

REVIEWS: Emerald Fire and Topaz Heat

Emerald Fire                                                    
By Hallee Bridgeman   
Maxine Bartlett, middle sister of the Bartlett sisters, is a successful advertising executive. She has overcome her past. In her off-work hours she pursues her dream of being an artist. She received help from her sister Robin’s husband, Tony Viscolli and purchased two apartments, turning one of them into an artist’s studio.
Maxi, as her sister’s call her, enjoys watching sports–especially football. She has a friendship with Tony’s best friend and attorney, Barry Anderson. Barry has issues with his wife. One morning, she comes to him with a life-changing problem. Her infidelity has caught up with her. The other man has backed away from their relationship.
An event happens that causes Barry to tell a room full of people that things were not as they seemed. He makes a clean breast of the situation and leaves the gathering. Maxi follows him out and drives Barry to wherever he wants to go.
Barry impetuously invites Maxi to join him and two friends and their wives and go to the Maaco bowl in Las Vegas. He knows that Maxi is a Christian. He is also, but had lapsed in practicing his faith. He made arrangement for them to have separate room. She consents but asks that nothing be said to Robin and Tony.
While they are there, they do something very impetuous involving an Elvis impersonator. Barry almost immediately regrets their action. For months Maxi stews about his reaction. She decides to pray about the situation.
One day tragedy strikes, causing Maxi to be hospitalized. This event causes a realization to come to Barry.
This is a very good story. It is a continuation of the uphill drive of a family of sisters to shed the stigma of their childhood.

I was given an e-book that contained this story by The Book Club Network. All I was asked to do was read it and give an impartial review.

                                                 Topaz Heat
                          by Hallee Bridgeman                                                                                                                                                                    Topaz Heat, Book 3 of the Jewel Series

Sarah, the youngest of the Bartlett half-sisters, was adopted by Charles and Darlene Thomas.  When Robin Bartlett got a job, she approached the Thomases about helping Sarah continue her education. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were older and could not provide the funds for Sarah to do this.Sarah blocked out her life before she went to live in the Thomas family. 

Sarah attended college, studying to become a nurse. Now she works as a OB/GYN nurse. She has a boyfriend. The doctor is separated from his wife with a divorce in the future.

Several years before Robin’s husband, Tony Viscolli, chose to mentor a young man from the streets. This young man, Derrick DiNunzio, became an employee of Viscolli Enterprises. He had been managing the Viscolli New York Hotel. Due to circumstances, Tony called Derrick back to Boston to manage the hotel there.
Sarah and Derrick meet again. Derrick always liked Sarah but she thought of him as someone she had to tolerate because he was a friend of Tony’s. Something about Derrick that makes him good at his job is he doesn’t forget a face or a name. He happens to meet this doctor that Sarah is seeing. Derrick remembers the doctor staying at the hotel in New York with his wife.
Sarah becomes a victim and is in the hospital where she works. She has a flashback to her childhood.  When she rouses out of her sleep, she finds her two sisters and their husbands and Derrick around her bed. They decide to pray; Derrick chooses to pray for her first. His prayer reminds the others of his feelings for Sarah. He feels embarrassed.
Sarah later realizes that she had hidden feelings for Derrick. Something from his past comes to the forefront of their lives. God leads them through this murky time.
I enjoyed this story. These sisters and their husbands all live for the Lord, in spite of the what the world tossed at them.
I was given an e-book that contained this story by The Book Club Network. All I was asked to do was read it and give an impartial review.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...