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First Line Friday #31

The book I’m featuring today on First Line Friday is Mail-Order Revenge by Angela K. Couch. As much as I enjoy mail-order bride novels, I wasn’t drawn to reading this one because a vengeful bride doesn’t normally appeal to me. However, I finally decided to give the book a try. The heroine’s character was developed well enough so the reader might understand the reason for her anger. I personally could not imagine responding in the same manner if I had been in her shoes. Yet, we are all different, of course, so perhaps someone else might take revenge to the degree the heroine did in the story. The writing was good. The hero swoon worthy.

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New York, 1882

It had to be him. Elizabeth Landvik’s pulse sped as she read the advertisement yet again.

 Now it’s your turn. First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then, if you’d like to, check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog and on the Hoarding Books link at the end of this post. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line. You can also click on the title of the book above and it will take you to Amazon so you can see what the featured book is about, check out the reviews other readers have shared, and purchase it if you’d like.

 

First Line Friday #30

The book I’m featuring today on First Line Friday is Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund. I read this book about a year ago, and loved it. The setting is the coast of Michigan, which is especially sweet for me since that is my home state.

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Presque Isle, Michigan

June 1859

“The blast of a gunshot awoke Emma Chambers.”

Now it’s your turn. First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then, if you’d like to, check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog and on the Hoarding Books link at the end of this post. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line. You can also click on the title of the book above and it will take you to Amazon so you can see what the featured book is about, check out the reviews other readers have shared, and purchase it if you’d like.

 

Seeking His Presence

How is it possible to experience the presence of God? How can my human spirit commune with a supernatural Creator? I cannot tell you how. I can only tell you it is so.

Look at this poem by C.H. Spurgeon in his book, Till He Come (Devotional Meditations on Communion).
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“Jesus, these eyes have never seen
That radiant form of Thine!
The veil of sense hangs dark between
Thy blessed face and mine!

“I see Thee not, I hear Thee not,
Yet art Thou oft with me,
And earth hath ne’er so dear a spot
As where I meet with Thee.

“Like some bright dream that comes unsought,
When slumbers o’er me roll,
Thine image ever fills my thought,
And charms my ravish’d soul.

“Yet though I have not seen, and still
Must rest in faith alone;
I love Thee, dearest Lord! and will,
Unseen, but not unknown.”

I love that last line, “Unseen, but not unknown,” for that is true. I have never seen my Savior, but I have experienced His presence. How? By seeking Him. You see, Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB) tells us, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Searching for him with all our hearts is the key. It was in my moments of desperation, when I sought for an answer on my knees, that He spoke a word into my heart and I knew it was Him. It was also as I worshipped Him — alone in my room or in the car or in a church full of people — it mattered not. The only thing that signified was that I worshipped Him with all my heart, pushing aside distractions. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 (NASB). How do we cleanse our hands and hearts? By repenting of our sins and trusting Jesus to forgive us.

I have sensed His presence while interceding for others, seeking direction, asking for healing, praying for protection, and so much more. You see, the Psalmist reminds us: “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18 NASB)

Do you long for a God who cares about the details of your life? A God who knows the worst about you, but chooses to forgive you and grant you a new start? A God who will walk through life with you and give you guidance? His name is Jesus. Jeremiah 31:3 (NASB) says, “The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”

All you need to do is:
1. Repent — Tell Jesus you are sorry about your sins.
2. Invite — Ask Jesus to come into your heart because you want to live for Him.

That’s it! He did everything else when He died for you on the cross. All you have to do is accept His free gift. Once you’ve done that, pick up the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to begin revealing Himself to you as you read His Word — and pray often. Pour out your heart to Him. He cares for you and He will make His presence known to you if you will earnestly seek Him.

First Line Friday #29

The book I’m featuring today on First Line Friday is A Match of Wits by Jen Turano. I read this book a while ago, but wanted to share it today. Don’t you just love that cover? Perfect for the title of this book.

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Colorado — Late September 1883

“Sometimes, no matter how independent and self-assured a young lady believes herself to be, certain situations demand a good dose of screaming.”

Now it’s your turn. First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then, if you’d like to, check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog and on the Hoarding Books link at the end of this post. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line. You can also click on the title of the book above and it will take you to Amazon so you can see what my featured book is about, read the reviews other readers have shared, and purchase it if it interests you.

 

Featured Author

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I am super excited to be the featured author on Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots today. Thank you Mary Anne Yarde for giving me this opportunity. I am sharing about what inspired me to write Reluctant To Wed. Click HERE to read the featured blog post.

 

 

 

First Line Friday #28

The book I’m featuring today on First Line Friday is The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd.

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Darbury, England,
February 1816

“There was no doubt in William Sterling’s mind. He was being followed.”

Now it’s your turn. First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then, if you’d like to, check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog and on the Hoarding Books link at the end of this post. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line. You can also click on the title of the book above and it will take you to Amazon so you can see what the book is about, read the reviews other readers have shared, and purchase it if it interests you.

 

First Line Friday #27

The book I’m featuring today on First Line Friday is The Social Tutor. It’s an enjoyable clean romance written by a new author, Sally Britton.

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November 1st, 1811

“”Waiting on a letter one knows to be full of exciting news is an excruciating experience,” Christine Devon said, slumping in her chair in a most unladylike manner.”

Trying to please a domineering and selfish father, Christine longs for her season in London hoping her success will finally win her father’s affection, but her bumbling attempts at proper etiquette in her small, home community causes her to realize she needs help. She strikes a bargain with Mr. Thomas Gilbert, who has need of her horses to establish his stables. He begins to tutor her in proper behavior for a young lady who is seeking matrimony. While spending time with Mr. Gilbert, feelings begin to awaken that could collapse her father’s ambitions. The story flowed nicely and the characters are well developed. I enjoyed this author’s writing style and look forward to reading more from this author.

 

First Line Friday #26

The book I’m featuring today on First Line Friday is Love on the Mend by Karen Witemeyer. I have yet to read a book by this author that I do not like.

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Cold Spring, Texas — 1868

Peace and quiet. That’s all he sought.

Don’t you just have this sneaking suspicion that he isn’t going to find peace and quiet? I love this author’s writing style, romance, humor, and spiritual encouragement. The characters are well developed. I fell in love with the main characters of this story. This is a novella, so it’s short, but I didn’t feel deprived. It’s complete and the ending is great. It held my attention from start to finish.

Now it’s your turn. First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then, if you’d like to, check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog and on the Hoarding Books link at the end of this post. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line. You can also click on the title of the book above and it will take you to Amazon so you can see what the book is about, read the reviews other readers have shared, and purchase it if it interests you.

 

Your Life has Purpose

audience-868074_1920She was just a college student, dedicated to her studies while serving in her local church. She helped in the youth group by playing the keyboard and leading the worship team. In the grand scheme of God’s Kingdom, how does her life matter? She was no Billy Graham, evangelizing the world. She was no Mother Teresa, helping the poor and needy in an impoverished city.

Many of us feel our lives are insignificant, yet God has a part for each of us to play in building His Kingdom. We all touch lives. It is up to us whether we will bring glory to God or live only for ourselves.

In the story of the resurrection of Jesus, two women (Mary Magdalene and Mary) went to the tomb where they met an angel. The angel told the women to tell the disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee. As they went, they met Jesus along the way and were the first to encounter him after he rose from the grave. This begs the question, why didn’t the disciples go to the tomb first? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that God used these two women. He knew he could trust them to relay the message so the disciples would end up where they could meet Jesus, too. There are no books in the Bible named after these two women. We know very little about them, but they had a part in God’s plan for this world.

So often when reading the Bible, we see people who played a small part in the grand scheme of things, but they were necessary. What about the boy who fell from the window as Paul was preaching (Acts 20:8-10)? Or the man who allowed Jesus to use his donkey (Matthew 21:2-3)? Or the boy who brought the bread and fish that was used to feed the thousands (John 6:9-13)? We don’t know the rest of their stories. I’m certain that if they continued living for God, He continued to use them to advance His Kingdom. However, we only caught a little glimpse into their lives. To us they may seem insignificant, but they had an important role to play in fulfilling God’s plan for mankind.

What is your role? If you are a mother, teach your children about God while drawing near to Him yourself. Show them by example how to apply God’s Word in every area of life. If you are married, apply God’s principles in your relationship with your husband. Build a healthy marriage that will encourage others to do the same. If you work outside your home, you have the wonderful opportunity to influence the lives of your coworkers. Are you a writer? Then write to bring glory to God. Do you work from home? Then you can befriend your neighbors and ask God to arrange opportunities for you to tell them about your relationship with Him. Text an encouraging message to a friend or family member. Call someone who might be lonely. Pray for people everywhere. The opportunities are countless when you allow yourself to be used of God.

That college student that I mentioned to you at the beginning of my post felt overwhelmed at times with leading the worship team while studying and working. There were many times she wanted to quit. However, she realized that youth group had no one else who could lead worship and she didn’t want to disappoint the leaders, so she pressed on. On top of all of that, God impressed upon her heart to start a college ministry that would reach out to international students. Wanting to be obedient, she gathered a group of college students in her church to help her plan for this new venture. It ended up being a huge success. They were able to impact the lives of many foreign young people who came from countries where the gospel was not openly preached. In spite of all these responsibilities, God blessed this young lady to graduate from her university with high honors and on the Dean’s list. She may never be a missionary in Indonesia or an evangelist leading thousands to salvation, but she impacted the lives of young people in her youth group, showing them what a life dedicated to Jesus looks like. She taught a teenage boy to play the keyboard so he could eventually serve on the worship team, too. She prayed for foreign students who more than likely had no one else praying for them. Her life mattered.

Everyone can touch someone. We all have a part to play in advancing God’s Kingdom. Just because our part isn’t a big one doesn’t mean it’s not an important one, but the only way we will be able to do this is by drawing near to God and staying close to Him. Jesus’ last words before ascending into heaven were, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NLT)  We can’t be witnesses of something we’ve never experienced. We need the power of His Spirit, which means we have to experience His presence first. Only then can we witness to others about what it is that He has done. No matter how big or how small, every life committed to God is significant in building God’s Kingdom.