Friday, November 4, 2016

Meet Julie Sunne, Blogger and Author

Everyday Praise

Today, I want all of you to get to know Julie Sunne. She is a writer, wife, and mother. I want you get to know her as she has a very interesting history. Help me welcome Julie to Following My King.
Julie, it is so nice of you to stop by and talk with us.

Please, tell us about yourself.

Really, I'm just a country girl, raised to be strong and self-sufficient, but grown by God to live surrendered and wiser in His truth and grace. And doing it all imperfectly.
I love anything outdoors — hiking, canoeing/kayaking, gardening, photography — as well as reading and baking/cooking/using and preserving wild edibles. Raised on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa, I knew the meaning of family togetherness in work and play. I loved farm life and spent hours roaming the hilly woods of our land.
As a young married woman I thought I knew what life held yet soon realized I had no clue. For me, the path of motherhood was paved with miscarriages and difficulties, including having our only daughter diagnosed with significant lifetime global disabilities. Early on, the struggles and loss left me feeling hopeless in my shallow, circumstance-based faith. Yet as I learn to let God fill me, I'm discovering that messy can also be glorious. This is the message I long to share with hurting women.

Although educated in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and as a high school teacher, I chose to be a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom for more than 20 years. Now chauffeuring our younger two children and encouraging our older two, editing/proofreading books and health grants, and writing occupies much of my waking hours. I like few things better than candles, books, dark chocolate, and steaming cups of herbal tea or Chai latte. Dave (my hubby of more than 27 years) and I live in a state park in northeast Iowa with 2 of our 4 children

How long have you been writing?

Although dabbling in writing through the years, I began writing regularly for a local newspaper in 2005 as a way to generate a little extra money. In 2011, my oldest son convinced me to begin blogging. Since then, I've also guest posted on online sites, submitted articles to print publications, and recently published this devotional Everyday Praise: Walking in Greater Peace.

In what genre do you write?

Mostly, I write nonfiction Christian Living/Inspirational/Women's issues/Devotional.

Do you have a ‘day job?’

Since 1998, I've edited/proofread books. Now I mainly edit health grants on an on-call part-time basis.

What have you written before this?

Previously, feature newspaper articles and lately, devotions/inspirational pieces for online and print publications.

Do you write a blog? Please give us the address.
Yes, currently twice a week at

Tell us about your family.
As mentioned previously, my hubby, Dave, and I have been married for more than 27 years now. We've partially raised our children. Our oldest son, Daniel, graduated from college this past spring. Zachary is a college junior. Rachel is a senior in high school. And our youngest, Joseph, is a high school sophomore.

For my curiosity, how is it you get to live on a state park?

My husband and I both graduated college with a major in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. However, it was very difficult for both of us to find jobs in that field near each other, so I quit to follow his career. He was hired on as a park ranger at the county level at first and then later by the state of Iowa. To be promoted in the state parks, he initially needed to move often. We nearly always had state housing in the parks in which we found ourselves. We've been in our current park in northeast Iowa for more than 19 years.

 Added thoughts

Julie has shared with us about her life. Her book, Everyday Praise, Walking in Greater Peace, has recently come out in print form.  It is exciting to see her work come this far.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Mile Wide By Brandon Hatmaker

Subtitle: Trading a Shallow Religion for a Deeper Faith
            Pastor Brandon Hatmaker has written a very thought provoking book on faith. He takes his title from the writings of Edgar Nye: “A mile wide and an inch deep.” Mr. Nye was talking about the Platte River. This is not a compliment about a river or about a person’s faith.
            At the end of each chapter, he includes a set of questions for discussion. These seem to penetrate deeper into the reader’s heart as the book advances.

            Pastor Hatmaker puts into words a stance I believe all Christians serious about their faith would adopt. “. . . the kingdom of God is not the destination at the top of the ladder we climb. Rather it’s a realm that appears when we chose to engage. Any moment we chose God’s way over our way, the kingdom breaks through. Whenever Jesus rules our day in any way, the kingdom breaks through. Anytime we choose to pray about a decision, to surrender to His will, to open the Bible for insight or wisdom, or to extend mercy or grace, the kingdom breaks through. Whether it’s the first time or the hundredth time, in that moment Jesus reigns in your life and the kingdom of God is at hand.(1)

            I recommend this book to all believers who are serious about their faith. However, there might be a few suggestions for small groups that may tend to bother some readers.Two of them concerned me.

            I received this book free from Nelson Books, am imprint of Thomas Nelson through the Harper Collins Booklook Locker Blogger review program. All they asked of me was that I write an honest review.

1.)    A Mile Wide, © 2016, Brandon Hatmaker, page 128.    

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