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The Premier Magazine for... Lovers of the Written Word ~Est. Oct. 2011~

2012

The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord ~Psalm 33:12~

Pamela S Thibodeaux CEO/Editor/Ad Sales Director http://thewordsmithjournalmagazine.com


July 2012 Issue

So many exciting new things to share with you in the July, 2012 issue of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine! This month we welcome two new authors to our fold: Delia Latham & Shawna K Williams. We also debut our featured short stories and book trailers! Also, be sure and read our Guest Editorial by Evangeline Denmark!

Columns & Blogs The Proactive Author by W. Terry Whalin For a Thousand Generations by Scott Higginbotham You Are Not Alone by Dawn Kidd Behind the Mystery by Ellen Kennedy Michele's Musings by Michele Abshire Faith & Fitness by Kellye Davis The Power of Positive Faith by LaSharnda Beckwith Consider This by Rita Schulte

Book Reviews: A Homecoming Fourth of July by June Foster Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndale Taming the Wild Wind by Donita K Paul An Unexpected Romance by Donna Fitts

Author Interviews: Bryan Liftin Rodney Hennigan William D Burt David Vince

Short Stories

Love is Blooming by Mary Manners Love is the Reason by Pat Jeanne Davis The Nameless Wife by Lucille Barker The Passenger by Rebecca Sather

YA Perspective with Sarah Heath: Featuring Author Melody Carlson's True Colors Series!

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Featured Trailers

Featured Publisher Revell Books

Author Pages Mary Manners Kathi Macias Michelle Sutton JM Hochstetler Shawna K Williams Delia Latham

Featured Sponsor ~ John Poche’ John Poche' is a Christian businessman, an author and a pen, ink and watercolor artist. Mr. Poche’s book, Abba Father; A Simple Prayer is available on Kindle & in Print! Also @ B&N, and Smashwords!

Featured Sponosr ~ Christian Book Marketing Christian Book Marketing is a division of Awesome God Publications, located in South Western, Pennsylvania and has been actively serving the Christian community since 1998. Check out CBM’s Sponsor Page @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website!

~~~~~ Disclaimer Our goal at The Wordsmith Journal is to introduce readers to authors of books with a strong moral message. Primarily Christian based, we do not adhere to any particular denomination, nor do we question the integrity or worship of our readers, interview candidates, columnists, sponsors, reviewers, or authors who advertise with us. We understand reading is subjective and what one person deems sweet, clean, cozy or inspirational, another will not. Please know we do not read nor endorse every book advertised in our magazine but trust that the author understands our goal and his or her work fits the desires of our readers.

Book Store Featured Books © July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

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In An Unexpected Romance, Elizabeth Parker has no thought of marrying again, since her husband died two years before. She took over running their real estate business, and managing their apartment complexes. Despite that, finances aren’t so great with the downturn in the economy. On top of that, her drug-addicted son, Seth, constantly hits her up for money. And that’s a touchy subject, not open to discussion with anyone. An Unexpected Romance Donna Fitts ISBN# 9781937844844

When Mark Crandall returns to Greenville to sell his mother's home, he leaves his construction business, expecting to be back to work in two weeks. A chance meeting with an old friend leads him to Elizabeth Parker and turns his world, and hers, upside down! Elizabeth, widowed for two years, finds herself faced with an unexpected attraction to Mark. To add to her stress level, her income as realtor and her retirement funds have been impacted by the downturn in the economy and her oldest son is begging for money to launch his career as a rock star. ...At an Unexpected time Frightened and confused by the emotions Mark has awakened, Elizabeth is afraid her attraction to this man is tantamount to being unfaithful. Her deceased husband, Edward, owned over 40 years of her life, and she never imagined she could fall in love again. Has God brought these two together for an unexpected chance at love? Review of An Unexpected Romance By: Deborah Piccurelli An Unexpected Romance is a lovely story. It’s about widowhood, re-entry into the dating scene after many, many years in a happy marriage, and the second time around.

© July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Mark Crandall returns to Greenville to sell the house he inherited from his mother. Running into an old friend leads him to meeting Elizabeth, to whom he is instantly attracted. This was not in his plans, either. He’d been widowed for some time—much longer than Elizabeth, but the thought of remarriage hadn’t occurred to him. Elizabeth is afraid of the feelings Mark stirs within her. She believes they mean she is being unfaithful to her deceased husband, who she’d been married to for over 40 years. But could God have brought the two of them together for another chance at love and happiness? I have to admit that the prose could use some polishing, but it’s never unclear whose point of view you’re in, and the story never lags. The target audience for this novel is senior citizen women who would like to identify with characters in their age bracket, and I believe the author has hit the bull’s-eye! Deborah M. Piccurelli is an advocate for sanctity of life, and tackles such issues in her novels, weaving them into compelling stories. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, and now loves writing reviews for the works of her fellow authors.

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needed her to babysit. She felt her sister expected her to be available on demand.

A Hometown Fourth of July June Foster ASIN: B008GI61GU

When Max Tate meets Lynn Marshall at the annual Fourth of July celebration in his hometown of Ft. Freedom, Washington, he believes she holds the key to discovering his birthmother and his roots. When his dreams are shattered, he walks away from his faith and the woman he loves. Only God can reveal Max's true identity so he is free to love her and celebrate another Fourth. Review of A Hometown Fourth of July By Deborah Piccurelli As sweet romances go, June Foster’s A Hometown Fourth of July fits the bill, but there is so much more of an underlying story. The main plot is inspired by a real-life relative of the author, so we can see why the details are right on target. Max Tate had been adopted into a wealthy, prominent family in the town of Ft. Freedom. But he had always felt disconnected; like he didn’t really belong. Memories of a Hispanic woman plague him, and he wants to track down his birth mother. Max’s parents deny him any information about the woman. As a result, he becomes depressed.

When Lynn and Max meet at a town July 4th celebration, the circumstances aren’t desirable. Lynn’s niece, Jada drops ice cream onto Max’s head from her perch in a high tree. But soon, Lynn and Max become friends, then move on to dating. At first, Max has an ulterior motive for seeing Lynn. Though he is genuinely attracted to her, he realizes her employment as a research analyst at the Office of Program Research in Olympia could help him find his birth mother. As they spend time together, though, Max helps Lynn find the Lord, and they come to care for one another. As Lynn helps Max dig up information, secrets are revealed that could crush their developing relationship. Will love conquer all in this situation? Overall, A Hometown Fourth of July was a pleasant read. I liked how the author wove situations into the story that are supported by Scripture, like forgiveness, loneliness, self-worth, and feeling loved. The romantic elements proved satisfying, too. If you like sweet romances based on Biblical principles, and books inspired by true events, this book is for you. Deborah M. Piccurelli is an advocate for sanctity of life, and tackles such issues in her novels, weaving them into compelling stories. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, and now loves writing reviews for the works of her fellow authors. Check out Deborah’s book, Hush Little Baby

Lynn Marshall had issues with her older sister, Kara, feeling used whenever Kara

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Veil of Pearls MaryLu Tyndall

ISBN # 978-1616265779

She thought she could outrun her past. . . It is 1811, and the prosperous port city of Charleston is bustling with plantation owners, slaves, and immigrants. Immigrants such as the raven-haired Adalia Winston. But Adalia has a secret: her light skin belies that she is part black and a runaway slave from Barbados. Skilled in herbal remedies, Adalia finds employment with a local doctor and settles into a quite life, thankful for her freedom but still fearful that her owner will find her. Born into one of Charleston’s prominent families, Morgan Rutledge is handsome, bored—and enamored of the beautiful Adalia, who spurns his advances. Morgan’s persistence, however, finally wins, and Adalia is swept into the glamorous world of Charleston high society. But her new life comes at a high price—that of denying her heritage and her zeal for God. How far is Adalia willing to go to win the heart of the man she loves? And when her secret is revealed, will that love be enough, or will the truth ruin Morgan and send Adalia back into slavery? Review of Veil of Pearls By: Michelle Sutton

© July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

Okay, this book was completely amazing from start to finish. In fact, of the eight novels of Marylu Tyndall's that I've read, this is my absolute favorite. Not only was there plenty of realism and romance, but there were a lot of insightful comments about faith, slavery, surrendering to God, the meaninglessness of worldly riches, etc. But you could also see how difficult it was for some of the characters to forsake the physical comforts in life. The lure of wealth is powerful and can snag the hearts' of even the best of people. Not to mention that when you have things of the world filling your heart, there is no room for a close relationship with God. But like a true Gentleman, God steps back and waits for us to see that we miss Him and need Him in our lives. Sometimes He sends a messenger to us, or He speaks in that still, small voice. There were so many deep and profound spiritual truths in this story I could go on and on. This story totally wow'd me. I am a sucker for a good historical romance as well. Not only does the author deliver a satisfying read with plenty of historical content to bring you to another time and place, but she skillfully shows how love can develop and grow in the most unlikely situations, and how this can change a person's world, literally. I was feeling the depth of their love in this book and it was beautiful to experience with them. Not to mention those kisses they shared were heart-melting and powerfully written. The self-sacrifice of the heroine really moved my heart as well. More than once I got that familiar lump in my throat and wanted to sigh. I was totally enraptured by the story and fell in love with the characters. One of the points I really loved in this story was how manipulating to win a man's heart often drives him further away. At least that's true if he is a good man. This is especially true if the person doing the manipulating has no concern for those she hurts. That true

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beauty coming from the inside of a person was a powerful theme in this book. It was evident by a woman's actions, not just her outward appearance. The authors conclusion at the end was pretty profound and I loved it! I also loved how the author showed that loving the unlovely as Christ loves us tends to confound evil people. It may not make them change, but it does make an impact on them. Anyway, the romance was scorching hot (for an inspirational novel) because I felt their passion for life and for each other. That was very well done. I truly cared about what happened to them. And true to the author's style, she kept me hanging on to the end. I didn't skim a single page of this book, but savored it all. I highly recommend it. Michelle Sutton has been reviewing books since 2007 and is a top 1000 Amazon reviewer as well as the Number One review contributor on Christianbook.com. She has reviews on her blog, which averages 5,000 page views per month (minimum) and many are featured on Novel PASTimes (formerly Favorite PASTimes historical review blog) as well as past reviews posted on Novel Reviews, the ACFW Afictionado ezine, and other sites as a guest reviewer.

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Taming the Wild Wind Donita K Paul ASIN: B005IIRB1K

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Ida has always gone her own way like a gentle breeze, drifting through social barriers as if they weren't even there. Like the breeze, her comings and goings are hard to keep track of, and her family assumes Ida's activities are the same as the other society debutantes of Pittsburgh. When she responds to the wilder wind of the Oklahoma prairie, she recognizes the untamed quality in her personality. She also comes to realize that even the wild wind has a Master. She submits to the hand of her Creator, her loving Heavenly Father, and allows Him to tame her willful nature. Review of Taming the Wild Wind By Shawna K Williams Ida Meade has come to Oklahoma to fulfill her responsibilities as the wife of a missionary. The problem is she isn't married. Her wedding was postponed and fiancĂŠ, John Newcomb, detained due to his boss's illness, but John requested Ida go on without him. Despite rumors of ghosts, Ida takes up residence in an abandoned farmhouse with plans to turn it into a school for the Indian children living nearby. Her companions, three dogs, keep her company as she mends fences, cleans the house, and waits for the Indian Agent who was supposed to meet her upon arrival some two weeks earlier. Jeremiah Griggs was expecting a Mr. and Mrs. Newcomb, not an unmarried woman out of her element with a stubborn streak to boot. But Ida's determination, openmindedness, people skills, and ability to play a mean fiddle quickly win the admiration of the townsfolk and the Indian community. So with the promise that her fiancĂŠ will soon be joining her, Jeremiah decides to let her stay on. As the two work together, Ida discovers a deep respect and love for the Cherokee people. She also feels the same for Jeremiah, and though she tries to suppress it, she feels much more. Jeremiah appreciates her independence and

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intelligence. With him, Ida doesn't have to hide or pretend, but can be her true self. She wants that sort of honesty in her marriage, but how can she have it when John is nothing like Jeremiah? And if she doesn't marry John she won't be able to stay on this land or with the people she's come to love. I'm normally not a huge fan of 19th Century romance. I don't have anything against it, it's just that usually it doesn't capture me. However, this book did. I think it's because Ms. Paul took great care in developing out the characters, and while on the surface the rugged cowboy and independent socialite seem typical, Ms. Paul found unique angles that gave the characters depth and individuality. Ida never comes across as a spoiled brat. Her independence is far more than lip-service. And while I won't say she's never a damsel in distress -- because every good story needs one of those moments -she's certainly not a helpless one. Jeremiah, though rugged and tough, isn't over the top with his actions in handling the villain or the heroine. I tend to refer to that quality as sap, and I can whole-heartedly say that this story is sap free. I also appreciated how the spiritual element was delivered through characters. It felt very organic; never artificial, preachy, or force-fed. It flowed in gently and with grace, which is something else I very much appreciated. This book is really something any age can enjoy. There's nothing content wise that would be considered risquĂŠ. Nothing was avoided for the sake of keeping the story clean, the plot just never ventured that direction. The story is character-driven. There's some action, but that's not the driving force. Readers who look for that might not enjoy it to the degree I did. For those who like mystery, there's an element of intrigue woven into the story with the ghosts. I really liked the angle the author took. Even though it's an historical, I think most readers,

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despite their genre preference, will find relatable elements that make this an entertaining read. Shawna K Williams enjoys books in almost any genre as long as they contain strong characters tackling real-life grit -even if the book is sci-fi/fantasy. She also has a thing for dogs and pygmy goats, and believes the world would be a better place if people aspired to be the person their pet believes them to be.

~~~~~ Meet our NEW Ad Sales Rep Melinda Elmore!

Melinda has several books published and had been married to her wonderful husband, Tom for nearly 25 years when unexpectedly she lost her precious husband in Oct 2011. She has two remarkable children, Shaelee and Erik. She calls the state of Arizona her home. She discovered wealth is not measured in how much money she has but in how much love she shares. She works for The Peridot Chronicle on the San Carlos Apache Reservation as a reporter and sales rep. Find out more about Melinda by visiting our Contact Page. Email her for ad rates and availability at: melinda.elmore.writer@gmail.com

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July 2012 Issue

Interview with Bryan Liftin By Mary Nichelson

When Mark Elfstrand, Executive Producer and Host of the radio show Morning Ride, asks the question, “Ever wonder about a world with an almost-absence of God?”, author Bryan Litfin rises to the challenge and provides the answer in his actionpacked, adventure and romance laden series The Chiveis Trilogy. Litfin, a theology professor turned weekend writer, has penned an addicting fantasy series that has readers comparing him to Stephen Lawhead and anticipating each addition to the trilogy. With the release of The Kingdom, the final installment in the series comes enthusiasm for some, melancholy to see the series end for others. Understandable in that Litfin has successfully engaged his readers into the plots of each book, and some reviewers have admitted to thinking about the characters long after the last page was turned. I recently asked Litfin about the basis of The Chiveis series, what it was like to get an endorsement by Jerry B. Jenkins, and if his readers could expect another Chiveis-like series in the near future. MN-One reviewer of The Chiveis Trilogy wrote, “Entertaining, but not highly realistic.” For readers that do not fully understand the premise, can you explain what The Chiveis Trilogy is?

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BL-I definitely wanted to write an entertaining series with lots of swashbuckling adventures that will keep the reader turning of the pages. The premise of the Chiveis Trilogy is that there's a terrible virus in the year 2042, which leads to a global nuclear war that wipes out most of earth's population. But that's just the prologue, the setup. The story itself is set four centuries from now--yet it is neither futuristic science fiction nor postapocalyptic dystopia. Instead, the novels read more like sword-and-horse adventure stories set in a chivalrous context. There are no magical devices or mythical creatures-it's all happening in our real world. This isn't fantasy fiction. A noble kingdom has developed in the Swiss Alps (Schweiz is the German name for Switzerland, and in my imagination the word has evolved to be pronounced "Chiveis"). The people have gotten back to a medieval level of technology. However, the Bible has been lost and the Christian religion is forgotten. So the central story question is, "What if there were a people who had no knowledge of Christianity, and then suddenly a Bible were discovered...what would happen?" The hero and heroine find a Bible and strive to bring the message of its God to their land. MN-It must have been an amazing moment for you when you got the endorsement on the series by Jerry B. Jenkins. Did that surprise you or did you have a sense going into this that it would be well received? BL-It was indeed an amazing moment because I respect Jerry so much as a writer, and even more so, as a spiritual leader. He is the chairman of the Board of Trustees for Moody Bible Institute (the college where I teach) so I know him a little bit in that capacity. A few years back I had the privilege of going on a small church history cruise in the Mediterranean, so I got to know Jerry and his wife in that setting. He is such a hilarious guy, he always keeps everyone laughing. And we all know he is a great writer. But what stands out about Jerry Jenkins to me is that he is a godly man who is providing strong leadership for my

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school. I was very grateful that he would endorse a novel from a new fiction writer like me. MN-The third book in the trilogy was just released, and obviously that means it is the final in the series. Does The Kingdom neatly tie up all of the storylines with closure or will there be any left that will cause the reader to presume their own ending? BL-I really hope that I tie up the story lines. I don't want the reader to have to make up an ending. It seems unfair to do that to someone after he or she has journeyed so far with the characters. So I would suggest that all the plot points raised in the story do find their resolution in the third book. Writing The Kingdom was challenging because it not only had to conclude its own self-contained story, but also the macro story of the trilogy. I hope the reader will feel I have done that. I believe I owe this to the reader who has come to love Teo and Ana (the central protagonists). However, what is left open-ended is the expectation that they didn't quit having adventures together after the story ends. They are just not that sort of people. "Happily ever after" for them could not be some kind of settled and tame existence. They are both boundary-pushers, so the novel leaves you with the sense that new horizons will open up to them after you turn the last page. However, I don't have any plans to actually write those stories. I think the trilogy tells one grand narrative from beginning to end - the return of the true God and his eternal Word to Europe. MN-Sometimes when you have a series this popular with readers, it isn’t long before you see it on the small or large screen. Any word on whether the series will be made into a movie of sorts? BL-I would love to see this made into a movie, but I can't imagine it happening because the production values would be huge. You'd have to have all kinds of costuming and props and so many

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characters and lots of locations in castles and cathedrals and so forth. The trilogy is sort of epic as it sweeps you from the highest alpine mountains to the Black Forest of Germany to the Italian Riviera to the grandeur of Rome to the fiery slopes of Mt. Etna on Sicily to the cities of Marseilles and Geneva and then back to the Swiss Alps again. Really, the cost would be prohibitive. The publisher did, however, make a cool video trailer which might provide a hint of what a movie could be like. It is available on the web at www.chiveis.com. Just click on the banner that says "Watch the New Chiveis Trailer." I suppose if anyone wants to make this into a full length movie, they could contact Crossway. MN-As a professor at Moody Bible Institute, you have said that your greatest joy comes from investing in your students, especially when you can take them on study tours. Where have you been able to travel with your students, and what is a typical tour like? BL-I just returned a few days ago from one of those tours. It was fun to get Facebook messages that the third book was starting to move on Amazon, even as I was sitting on a balcony looking at the actual snow-capped peaks of Chiveis! Moody has fantastic students, and it is both my responsibility and my privilege to teach them theology and church history. Over the years I have taken students on academic tours to places such as Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France. These lands are layered into the narrative. As we traipse around the continent exploring the history of our faith, I also look for fascinating story settings. Whether or not every reader picks it up, the Chiveis Trilogy is absolutely loaded with historical and theological references. The ancient and medieval landscape of Europe is such an important part of this series. In fact, the third book provides an appendix that explains the real-world locations behind the made-up place names. Perhaps I might also add a word here about

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the dedication that I make in The Kingdom. My dear friend Dr. Jeff Ligon died of a brain tumor a few months ago. Jeff was a big part of this trilogy because twice he met me in Europe and we struck off on our own as I did research for the books. He drove the car while I imagined the plot. So many of the story locations in the three novels are places we visited together. Sometimes we even happened on a place by chance, and those spots were so cool, they had to go into one of the books! All of this is to say, it is a hallmark of the Chiveis Trilogy that its locations are real places in Europe which can be visited today. MN-You are a history buff as it applies to world history and church history. How can past events influence the world view of the modern generation? BL-This is a great question, and the answer to it is what I try to do in my "real" job -which is not to be a novelist, but a professor. I very much believe our modern generation needs to have a greater sense of connection to the past, and in particular the ancient past. What I mean is that contemporary Christians (especially Evangelicals) need to rediscover their roots in the ancient church, that is to say, the "early church fathers." Evangelicals today are extremely untethered to the catholic church (by which I don't mean Roman Catholicism, but simply the orthodox faith passed down through the ages). In our churches today, anything goes. Churches and their pastors make up stuff as they go along. Where's the sense of rootedness in the ancient past? Where is true, historic Christianity as expressed by the church fathers and encapsulated by the Apostles' Creed? Why do our churches feel more like shopping malls or movie theaters than sacred spaces? Where has all the mysterygone? The problem is, we have lost our ties to the forefathers -- and foremothers -- who have made us who we are. If someone wants to read more about this subject, my book Getting to Know the Church Fathers was written to provide a

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helpful introduction to our spiritual ancestors from the ancient period. MN-It was interesting to me to read that you helped open a Christian school in Wheaton using the classical model of education. Can you define what a classical model of education is and why it is so important? BL-My interest in classical education goes hand in hand with my appreciation of the ancient past. Helping to start Clapham School in Wheaton was a privilege that my wife and I had a few years ago. Classical education is simply the way people were educated during the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, continuing through the Middle Ages, and indeed, it's the way many Europeans are still being educated today. Unfortunately, many American schools have abandoned the world's great ideas--as expressed in art, history, poetry, philosophy, politics--so that today it seems what matters most is a kid's self-esteem. In contrast, classical education is an approach that leads a child not into himself, but toward an encounter with the great minds that have shaped Western society. The model uses the "Trivium" -- grammar, logic and rhetoric. In other words, it first teaches fundamental building blocks, then teaches you how to think logically about them, and finally teaches you to express yourself beautifully and persuasively. This works fine as a secular model, but it works even better as a way of bringing all culture under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The name ‘Clapham’ comes from a group of Christians associated with the British evangelical politician William Wilberforce who fought for the abolition of the slave trade. The members of the so-called Clapham Sect used their wisdom and eloquence for the glory of God and for justice on earth until the Savior returns. To me that is the true purpose of education. MN-Are there any more writing projects on the horizon that your fans can be looking for?

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BL-Fiction fans might have to wait a little bit. My next project is a non-fiction book in which I will provide easy-to-read translations of several ancient Greek and Latin texts written about the martyrs of the early church who died for their faith in Jesus. However, I do hope to return to fiction in the near future, if God allows it. And if I do, the novels will be like the Chiveis Trilogy -- full of action, adventure, romance, and best of all ... theology! Author Bio- Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in a Christian home as the son of a seminary professor, pastor, and college president. In addition to Texas, he has lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and Oxford, England. Bryan earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master's degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia. Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.

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To learn more about author Bryan Litfin or for ordering information, visit the website.

The Kingdom Bryan Liftin

ISBN: 978-1-4335-2520-9

In books 1 and 2 of the Chiveis Trilogy, The Sword and The Gift, Teo and Ana find the Old and New Testaments, which had been lost for centuries. Their discoveries lead to new friendships and renewed faith within a small band of men and women working to spread the knowledge of the one true God. But now an ancient pact has united enemies of the Christian faith. Through the discovery of a powerful military technology, this dark alliance now threatens to consume the known world. Teo and Ana learn of the nefarious plot, and against overwhelming odds race to stay one step ahead of their enemies, traversing stormy seas, dangerous cities, and smoldering volcanoes. As armies begin to mass for a final battle, the odds seem to favor the forces of evil, and Teo and Ana will have to fight for faith when all hope has been lost. In the final book of the Chiveis Trilogy, Litfin takes readers on a journey filled with peril, faraway lands, and adventure. Men and women alike will enjoy the fast-paced narrative, imaginative plot, and vivid descriptions of this master storyteller.

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July 2012 Issue

Interview with Rodney Hennigan By Mary Nichelson

Rodney Hennigan’s sole mission in writing My Father’s Gift is simple; join (him) in the outdoors and be prepared to embark on adventures of a lifetime. While it does sound less complex than pitching a tent, nothing is simplistic about this memoir. When Rodney invites the reader along for adventure, he extends a meaningful proposition to live vicariously through him as he parents with purpose and sets a humble example of making the most of each day. He never exactly went looking for the incidents he writes about, but neither does he shy away from what each experience taught him. “Consider these facts: The book is truthful, so the stories happened. Folks, you can’t make up the stories contained in the book. I know I couldn’t. So what I did write down was a simple chronological accounting of the events as they had occurred in real life, using my storytelling ability, in my own words, as if I was telling the story to my sons.” I was honored to be able to discuss My Father’s Gift recently with Rodney and learned that the author is as animated and passionate about life and fatherhood as is represented in his book. MN- I was very impressed with the press kit that accompanied your book, My Father’s Gift: A Louisiana Outdoor Legacy. From an

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author’s perspective, what is harder, writing or marketing your book? RH- Mary before I begin to answer the question I must also thank you for the kind words regarding the press kit and your generous support. You caught me by surprise when you used it for your Press Kit 101 example in your website, Mary’s World. (http://www.marysworld411.com) You played a large part in its creation by asking if I had one available. You caught me unprepared; I did not. Your prompting resulted in the brain storming sessions involving me and Ms. Pat Fox and Mrs. Stephanie Young-Ryder. Pat and Stephanie are two very talented special ladies. Pat was the first on board after reading the book. She was the first to volunteer to offer her precious time, public skills, and personal finances free of encumbrances to help promote the sharing of the stories contained in the book with other readers. Stephanie followed her example soon after. I had no knowledge of this wonderful woman at all until I had the privilege to meet her for the first time during my first book signing/speaking event held in in Crossroad’s, a local Christian book/gift store. It was just before last Father’s Day and my first public speaking engagement. I didn’t think I was doing well, my nerves were shot, but she ended up purchasing two of the books to give as gifts for the upcoming day of celebration. It was quite an honor. However, she read the book and soon contacted me afterward to say how much she loved it and wanted to volunteer her services/time to promote it and help share it with others, as Ms. Pat had. I am extremely grateful to all of these precious readers, but you must know there is something very important to me all must understand, it is a God thing with me, as Pat and Stephanie likes to often point out. So all of the honor, glory and praise I personally receive is passed onward to Him, for it is He I am most grateful for.

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MN-You are a gifted storyteller as you create pictures in the mind of your readers. I am sure you have been told that a few times along the way, am I correct? RH- Yes, you are. Readers with whom I have had the privilege to have personal contact with all tell me the same thing. Each inform me they had the experience of immediately becoming a part of the story in the book and joined in the grand adventures filled with the same emotions as I and three of my seven sons, literally. I was kind of glad to hear this, for it is true, ‘misery does enjoy company.” Meanwhile, other readers (some considered professional) have often compared my writing skills to the likes of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons) and Patrick F. McManus, perhaps the greatest outdoor writer of humor. Another reader, Roger, enlisted the aid of an editor to help me with the commas for free. The editor’s name is Chick. He said pages flowed like a river and recommended I read Ernest Hemingway. What all of this means or what it will lead to, I do not know. But I could never have imagined being mentioned in the same company of these great writers before, but nevertheless it is the judgment of readers. Two have sent me copies of Patrick’s work to read and make their case. Although I know it shouldn’t have, it surprised me to learn I had broken Patrick’s golden rule as for as the writing of humor is concerned. I learned this by reading one of the books sent to me by a reader, Mr. Booth. The title of this piece of fine literary work is: The Deer on a Bicycle: Excursions into the Writing of Humor. It’s a well written/informative how-to-writehumor book. I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to everyone, but I’ll quote what rule number one is for you. It is short and succinct and gets right to the point, something I cannot do. Rule number one is this,‘Never write about real life humor.’

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I almost quit reading his book and quit writing after reading rule number one on page forty. Thank God, the readers have my back. MN- I have always believed we need to be more vigilant about passing down stories to our children from our lives and even our parent’s generation. I love to see that you have capitalized on this concept as well. How can parents who are not artistic or creative enough to pen a book do so? RH- Thank you for asking this question Mary. It is a good one and I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe it to be everyone’s duty to bear witness to help others learn. A direct result of my taking the giant leap of faith to write and publish My Father’s Gift is that I continue to receive the privilege of meeting several good and interesting people. One of which is the Red Chief Bud Dark Cloud Grimes of the Cherokee American Indian people. Dark Cloud had read the book, contacted me and asked for an audience and I drove to meet with him. He placed me in front of him and peered deeply into my startled eyes. What he was doing was this; he penetrated my soul, to the core. And I knew it. He began speaking words and promptly sent me into shock. The words coming from his mouth and entering my stunned ears to be deciphered by a scrambled brain informed me that he, the Red Chief Bud Dark Cloud Grimes, by reading My Father’s Gift: A Louisiana Outdoor Legacy had determined I had, ‘Done a good thing for man and God. By writing down this true family story and having the heart to share it with the people, so they may be thus inspired to serve the Great Creator of all things good and thus, all people.” He presented me with a beautiful feather to wear in my hair so, as he further stated, ‘so all of the Indian people will recognize you as a person who has done a good thing for man and God.’

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The point is: This is a family historical event for the Hennigans and people of races other than American Indian. For a white man to be thus honored by a Red Chief in this way is a rarity. A Red Chief is the spiritual leader of his people. If this story is not told, the feather I wear today is simply that, a feather. Now however, it represents a great honor and an inspirational story with staying power. I can pass the feather to one of my children upon my demise and it will have meaning for him, perhaps all the boys will take turns wearing it and sharing the story of their dad and what he did. Who knows? The beauty of this is you do not need to worry about being creative enough to pen a book or even worry over how to spell properly or in my case, those dad blasted commas. Just tell the stories and preserve the all-important family history, which is often the history of the world, for future generations. The roots become thicker and life through memory continues. Witness, witness, witness, I can’t say more. MN-It is obvious in your writing that you love being outside and fully embrace God’s creation as some of your stories include nature-tornadoes, fires, and canoeing. Do you think that you have successfully passed this love of nature to your sons? RH- You are right, I do embrace God’s wonderful gift of the great outdoors. He and His Precious Gift to mankind have blessed me tremendously while I’ve spent time witnessing nature in action while in solitude. A day came where the pursuit of game awakened a part of me that drove home the point He really does have a unique plan for each of us. My life journey of faith through acceptance and believing filled with hope took a giant leap to one of knowing and being secure. I don’t think I’m telling you anything new here, but there is a huge difference between believing and actually knowing. Consider every species of plant, animal, insect, bird, or fish. Each has a delicate role to play in the balance of nature

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and thus, life and the delicate balance of the world. Every interaction provides a small piece of the beautiful mosaic puzzle of the circle of life as we know it, in its entirety. And as glorious as this exhibit of nature is, there is one more beautiful waiting on those of us who choose to make the right choice to accept the Truth. My son Daniel joined the Louisiana National Guard. Before leaving for boot camp he had to spend a weekend in the field with the unit. I drove the nervous new recruit to the pick-up point. He had stayed up all night and his nerves were shot. He didn’t know what to expect. The bus filled with soldiers and at least one green recruit left me alone in the parking lot. I watched it leave in the early morning darkness and wondered how he will do and praying for the best. The phone rang a day later. I answered and was surprised to find it was my new guardsman calling. His voice was filled with excitement. “Hey Dad, you’re not going to believe this!” “What?” “I was worried over nothing. They’re paying me two hundred and fifty dollars this weekend to camp out in the middle of the woods with a bunch of cool guys and outdoor girls. And we’re all shooting some awesome guns! Dad, I can’t believe they’re paying me to have this much fun!” “SSHHH! QUIET SON!” “What is it?” “The paymaster may be nearby listening. He may sense a weakness and try to dock your wages. Now hang up and get back to work. Time is a wasting. Calm down, the torture will be over before you know it and you’ll be able to fill in the horrible details for me when you get home.” We both hung up laughing and I felt much better. My other boys aren’t much different.

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MN-You are an accomplished communicator and successful writer and speaker. You have made many contributions to magazines and have been written about in publications including USA Today. When did you realize this was something you wanted to do? RH- I find some folks have difficulty accepting this fact when I try to relate it, but to do otherwise would be a grave disservice to everyone, especially my precious readers, and most importantly to the One who caught my undivided attention in the woods one day, long ago, six-and-a-half years ago to be more precise. When the incident I’m talking about concluded I knew I had to start writing. It was/is that simple. I never had the desire to write before that moment occurred and struggled with the realization I must afterward. Nor did I ever want my name to be shared in public discourse or on the cover of a book. When it became obvious I would be forced to make the attempt tov become known as an author, I struggled with what I termed “The Doubting Thomas Effect.” I constantly asked myself and others if I was in my right mind. Really, who in their right mind with a high school education would willingly and knowingly throw his precious family out there, to risk burdening them with embarrassment, and perhaps come under negative public scrutiny or criticism. I was perfectly content with my station in life and in who I am. The Lord has blessed me mightily. There is nothing else I need. I certainly did not want to do this writing thing. But after receiving the privilege of witnessing a prayer in the act of being answered before my very eyes through the loving actions of a complete stranger in the heart of the great Atchafalaya Delta, the world’s largest swamp, miles from civilization and the most unlikely of places, I knew I had to start the writing process. MN-You are very involved with your family. Not all families are as traditional and many fathers experience road blocks in being an

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ideal role model. Young fathers are gone many hours a day trying to bring in enough money to take care of their family, while other fathers only get to see their children on weekends due to divorce. How can they be involved fathers that can still make a positive impact on their children with limited time? RH- Oh dear Mary, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you might have made a common mistake I used to make all the time and still occasionally do. You see, it is true, we do have a traditional family and we do give thanks for it and ask for guidance on a daily basis to keep it so, but the road has not always been easy. I must take issue with any perception I may be the “ideal role model.” God help us all if I am. Being a father is a constant work in progress. There is always much to learn. If I am successful at the end, maybe at least one of my boys will declare I am ‘good.” Oh, to be so blessed! What I have done is try to keep in mind the fact anything worth having is worth working hard for and doing your best at it. When times are tough it’s good to always remember commitment is the key to building a good and healthy relationship, whether it is personal or spiritual. No one said it will be easy. It takes a conscious loving willfulness to remain committed to and/or dedicated to building a solid relationship with anybody. Discard selfishness and stay rooted in the Cornerstone of God’s love and soon you will discover you have unwittingly enlisted the aid of your precious child and/or family. Others, perhaps former strangers, will soon be stepping up to lend a helping hand and you will soon be on your way to a glorious adventure! Ponder the following and I assure you, life will become much more bearable and you can come to expect to receive everlasting rewards. Talk to God in prayer multiple times on a daily basis, whether troubled or not. Now we recognize He is working for us. So try paying on your debt to Him by allowing

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yourself to be used to do something good or loving for another. Allow your offspring the gift of seeing your ability to love others in action. They’ll often offer to help. I pray continuously for the inner strength, the help to become ever more determined to endure character building trials and to accept His will. We all have them. I strongly recommend one to read or listen to the gospel and try to learn to place your trust in Jesus, all of it. Focus. Find a nice quiet place outdoors, perhaps a park under the shade of a tree near a pond and open your heart in preparation to receive Jesus’ truthful words. Pause to ponder and listen to the silent wind whispering through the leaves. Before you know it hours will have passed in a blink of an eye. Always ask questions while seeking the Truth in all things. Give everything and everyone you encounter what I call the “God test.” Start by asking yourself if what you are encountering at any given time is a good thing for everyone. If it isn’t, reject it. Remember sometimes trouble can’t be avoided and is necessary for us to learn and grow. Be prepared to stand your ground and never willfully lie. Sometimes it helps to recall the “lessons” of the past to gain strength. You know the ones, those long ago forgotten difficulties designed to crush us in their time. Yet we survived and then we promptly went to work trying to forget the pain, do so, and then are doomed to repeat the same mistake. Stop! Forgive the offender (it may be one’s self) and hold onto the memory of the pain. It reminds us not to play with “fire,” what not to do. And they serve as reminders to teach how to recognize His constant good presence and workings. Keep in mind He is gracious and good. He often allows other people with good hearts to be vessels do His Will for Him. Oh, to be so blessed to be one of these. Become proactive. There is no gain in any relationship with a child by remaining

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sitting on the high fence separating one from the other. Leave your worries behind with Him and jump off to continue your wonderful journey, climb down if you must and go play. Just get moving; for what we do know is precious time is short. The children will be grown before you know it and they will begin their own journey with what you have taught them. Always put your priorities in order. There are times the earning of money must take a back seat. The purchase of new things can wait. Other things can’t. Some things must be given the highest priority. Our children are one of these “high priorities.” They need our time, our love, and our personal displays of affection more than a new game console of distraction, more than any material thing. Especially when they are young and impressionable. We need their loving attention as well. Each of mine have taught me a lot. To sum it up: The best thing we can invest in our children is our personal time. There is a time to do good work, a time to play hard, a time to expose the heart to love. Time spent with a child combines all three of these and is well spent. It’s up to the individual to discover the balance. I have found the best legacy to give your children is one with no end, one filled with joyful life rooted in a Good Memory. I cannot stress the following too much. Always spend as much time as possible with the family and/or child: Focus. Focus. Focus. Keep God first. And stay focused. Continuously search for the proper balance with everything. MN- Complete this sentence. “This Father’s Day, more than ever, I would like my sons to know……..” RH- I thank God each day for the privilege of being your dad. Each one of you is a fine example of the best a man could hope to have as a son. You have brought great joy and pleasure into my life, never trouble and

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provide my life meaning. THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU.

published both locally and nationally in newspapers and outdoor magazines.

You know I love each and every one of you and want nothing but the best “life” for you, whether you choose to dig ditches or become president. It’s your choice. I’ve done my best to teach you to follow your heart and not become entrapped by the false demands of the world. And I hope my tendency to get into trouble has not caused you too much discomfort and you have not inherited it. If you have, feel free to blame me. And if so, I beg forgiveness, but you know it’ll continue. But don’t worry, I’ve been grabbing that ol’ bull by the horns for so long, we’re actually starting to like it and have some fun. May God bless you all!

Rodney's prayer for you is simply this: May you soon reach the waypoint in your spiritual journey of faith to receive the same surprising joy he has found with the discovery there is a real difference between the active desire to believe and knowing that God is a very real, loving and attentive Father, from whom all good things come.

My Father’s Gift: A Louisiana Outdoor Legacy can be ordered online by visiting: www.rodneyhennigan.com. If you wish to place a mail order or would wish to discuss a speaking engagement please contact Rodney via email at: rodneyhennigan@rodneyhennigan.com.

~~~~~ TWJ Journalist, Mary Nichelson is an avid reader, writer, editor and selfproclaimed advocate for the authors that make Christian publishing the great industry it is. She is the host of Marysworld Internet radio talk show, maintains a website affiliated with several publishers, and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association. (EPA)

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Please visit My Father’s Gift on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/MyFathers-Gift/228740593813128) to keep up with recent activities of the book and/or Rodney. Author Bio: Rodney is a husband, father, a natural Louisiana outdoorsman and now, an exciting new author. He is also a railroad conductor nearing retirement and realizes he has indeed been blessed to be the father of seven wonderful sons, all of which have been a tremendous joy to raise. Rodney remains humbled by the written and unwritten adventures he has experienced. He willfully and truthfully acknowledges each one as a gift from our God of love, and he thanks all of you who have offered prayers of support on his effort to spread the good news. Rodney has had many of his stories recognized and

Devotion Marianne Williams

ISBN: 978-1-61116-164-9

From This Day Forward Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now. Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a

© July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

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rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that's what she thinks. For Better or Worse But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken? 'Til Death Do Us Part When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion. Devotion is part of the special Pelican Book Group 2012 Fall Preview! Details HERE

~~~~~ Interview with David Vince By Mary Nichelson

All authors have an intent and purpose in writing their book. Perhaps the goal is to entertain, or motivate, encourage or inspire. For David Vince, author of the upcoming release When Life Throws You Curves, Keep Swinging, the objective is heartfelt and authentic. “I hope my story can encourage others who may be facing difficult or trying times in their lives so that they, too, can

© July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

overcome adversity with proper attitude, faith and determination.” If anyone is qualified to write about proper attitude and determination, it is Vince. While a double amputee, he has enjoyed a successful coaching career for many sports, with both men and women. However, his life coaching skills are just as noteworthy and influential off the court and field as his leadership proficiency was during play. Vince writes from raw experience, prompting former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden to speak for many readers when he says “Read this book and be better prepared for what you will face in life.” MN-I noticed that over 40 copies of your book were purchased by the Moss Bluff Lions Club to be donated to all Veteran's Hospitals and outpatient clinics in Louisiana. Obviously they see a beneficial message in your book for Veterans. What do you hope these particular readers take away from your book? DV-I wanted to reach out to Veterans because many of them have disabilities or loss of limbs. I have a heart for other amputees. I want my story to encourage others that even if a person is disabled or has experienced an amputation ,that they can still live an active happy life in spite of it. Never give up, don't listen to the naysayers. I was told I'd never walk without crutches. I put the crutches down at age 8. I was told I'd never have children. I have 3. I also included a patriotic chapter from my overseas travels in the book that Veterans especially can relate to. We take so much for granted in this country. Anybody who's ever traveled out of the country recognizes how blessed we are to live in the U.S. and will come back home with a better appreciation for the U.S. MN-Let's talk about your book, When Life Throws You Curves, Keep Swinging. Coaching was a dream come true for yousomething you feared a lack of experience

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and being a double amputee might prevent. Why did you continue to pursue it in spite of your limitations? DV- As a child, I had parents and grandparents that never let me use the word "cant" until I had first "tried "and failed. They never let me use my handicap as an excuse. I accepted Christ at the age of 8 and discovered the scripture verse Philippians 4:13 " I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me". This gave me confidence and enabled me to have tremendous faith that I could accomplish my dreams with God's help. I also loved the Robert Frost poem I read in high school, The Road Less Traveled. Two roads diverged in the woods, and I took the road less traveled. Certainly becoming an athletic coach despite being a double amputee could be considered taking "the road less traveled" MN- You remind me of the popular little person, Matt Roloff. You both have this huge appetite for life and bring dreams into reality although physical challenges could have limited you in many areas. What do you attribute your passion for life to? DV-Proving naysayers wrong became my motivation. I developed a mantra "Vince's are Tough" . I have passed that mantra along to my children, especially my daughter Sierra who is also a double amputee. It's like most children, as soon as you tell them don't or cant do something, that's the very thing they become determined to do. Early in my coaching career I came up a with a slogan : 3 D's Desire, Determination, and Dedication Keys to Success. That aptly describes me. I had the passion or desire to succeed, the determination to keep trying even if I experienced failure along the way, and the dedication to read ,study, attend clinics, talk with championship coaches, and be a sponge to learn how to teach the game and overcome the fact that I'd never played the game by being a student of the game.

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MN- In the book, you share a touching story involving your daughter, Sierra. When she was born prematurely and with deformities, you admit that you felt a tremendous amount of guilt and blamed yourself for her problems. You also admitted that your faith allowed you to see the situation in a larger context. Parental guilt can be paralyzing with or without faith, but at least a manageable, temporary paralysis when you practice a lifestyle of faith. What advice do you have for readers going through parental guilt-or any guilt for that matter-right now? DV-Many times we are harder on ourselves than others are on us. Sierra has been so accepting. She is a Daddy's girl. I did experience guilt and anguish at first because I was told I carry a defective gene. We didn't know that until after she was born. After the initial guilt and shame, God showed me and I came to the realization that who better to be a role model for her than someone who has already experienced much of what she will be facing in life. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. God promises however, that He never gives us more than we can handle with His help. If we've made mistakes in the past, all we can do is ask God's forgiveness, and start anew today. We have to get rid of the emotional bitterness of the past and embrace the future beginning from this day forward. MN-Your life verses are Romans 8:28 and Philippians 4:13. Why are they so important to you and how do they motivate you? DV-Romans 8:28 "All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose". This verse eliminated my pity party. To me it doesn't mean that everything that happens to me in my life time is going to be good but it means that God can and will bring good out of bad situations. My family has experienced tremendous adversity so I can personally testify that everything that happens to a person is not always good. Instead of griping and complaining about my circumstances, I took the approach of

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adapting to my situation and trusting God to bring about the good even when we don't understand why certain things are happening to us. Philippians 4:13, as mentioned earlier, gave me the confidence and courage that with God's help I could be a successful coach. This verse along with strong encouragement from family emboldened me to "try". I also memorized the old quote," It's better to have tried and failed than to have never have tried at all" MN- I love your closing chapter titled "Retirement Reflections". It was interesting to read your narrative on having a child later in life, leaving coaching to become a stay at home Dad, and the accompanying emotions. How has retirement been for you so far? DV- I retired from coaching in 2010, 30 wins shy of 500 career wins. Attaining 500 wins was a very important goal that I personally wanted to achieve. Before I learned that my wife was pregnant with our third child, I had in my mind what I thought was a reasonable 5 year plan. I would retire in 5 years, ( It would have probably only taken two more years to reach the 500 win plateau), 5 more years would give me 34 years in the profession, and my uniform number I wore was 34, so that would be a Cinderella story. However, Scripture clearly tells us our ways are not always His ways. At age 50 and my wife at age 47, we had our third child. I guess God has a sense of humor. I decided to retire at the end of the 2010 season. At the time, I thought I was going to sorely miss coaching because I still had the passion to continue coaching. However, I was very surprised that I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would. I got involved with the Gideon International ministry which raises funds and distributes bibles in hotels, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and prisons. I also got involved with the local Lion's Club which aids handicapped children. Retirement also gave me the time to write the book. The purpose

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of the book is to inspire, encourage, and motivate others. These activities along with being a stay at home Dad with a two year old has taken the place and filled the void vacated by my coaching career. I'm also taking advantage of speaking engagements every chance I get to share more story MN- We all have the potential to coach each other, in one sense of the word or another. How do we recognize those opportunities of influence and mentor others in a way that is helpful and not hurtful? DV-Regardless of how tough we have it or how bad we believe our personal situation is, we don't have to look very far to find some one that is worse off than we are. It's important to keep the proper perspective and attitude. Nothing is too big for God to handle. Sometimes we lose sight of that. God has our back and because of that we can be a positive example to others just by how we handle our adversity. It's not what happens to us but how we react to it that's important. If we can respond in calm way demonstrating our faith and trust in a God that is in control even in the most trying and difficult circumstances, we can minister to others. It can be as simple as sharing your own personal circumstances and sharing how God was there the whole time and brought you thru it. Maybe it's making a visit, or a phone call, or sending a card. It's important for Christians to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will guide you how to and when to minister to others and in what specific way.If we take advantage of our opportunities, not only are we being a blessing to others, but many times we too are blessed because we were sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit and made ourselves available. Author Bio- David is the author of the forthcoming book, When Life Throws You Curves, Keep Swinging. He is an inspirational speaker with a truly unique story of overcoming hardship, living life to the fullest and motivating young men and women to achieve their full potential in

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sports and in life. As a baseball coach in the collegiate and high school ranks for 29 years, David earned 470 victories – despite the fact that he walks on two prosthetic legs and never played the game of baseball himself. David also coached as an assistant football coach for eight years, girls weightlifting for seven years, girls basketball three years and boys cross country for three years. He is a former head coach of Campbellsville University in Kentucky, where he led the team to a Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship in 1987 — the first baseball conference championship in the history of the school. David has had 10 district champion teams, eight district runner-up teams, two state final four teams, and one state runner-up team. He was a 10-time coach of the year recipient in various divisions. He has also coached baseball in Holland, Spain, Czech Republic, Sweden, Australia, Puerto Rico, Italy, Curacao, and Hawaii. David has worked as an associate scout for the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays. David, who recently retired from coaching, lives in Louisiana with his wife, Susan, and their three children. To learn more about author David Vince and to order your copy of his book, visit his website.

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William D. Burt is an author who understands what interest’s young readers. With the latest market of vampire books exploding, Christian readers are left with little on the shelves that provides competition. Burt knows the young mind needs inspiration and has figured out a way to provide it while remaining true to Godly standards. “What makes my storytelling style unique is that I scrupulously avoid the use of magic in my series. Instead, I introduce a God-figure who specializes in working miracles, especially those of the heart and soul. My characters actually pray for wisdom, guidance and divine assistance. By contrast, most modern fantasy authors create imaginary worlds and settings that are cosmologically humanistic. That is, there is no room for God unless it is a pagan god. Characters in these humanistic fantasies must rely upon their own wits and resources, sorcery, and/or their unique super-powers in order to resolve conflicts. My characters are at their best and strongest when they trust the God-figure to help them.” Burt is the author of seven young adult/adult Christian fantasy novels that are part of the King of Trees series. Not only is he in touch with his audience but he is honest about what motivated him to begin writing, the writing journey itself, and the one thing that is most important to him regarding his readers. MN-Tell me something about yourself.

Interview with William D Burt By Mary Nichelson

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WB-I spent most of my teenage years living in the Middle Earth-I’m an avid Tolkien and C. S. Lewis fan. While still in high school, I began my writing career editing my father’s popular identification guides, Edible and Poisonous Plants of the Western/Eastern States. As an Assistant Professor in the Special Education Department at Western Oregon University, I served as a successful grant writer and program coordinator. I have also served as a short-term missionary

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with YWAM and Campus Crusade for Christ overseas, as a lay preacher and as a signlanguage interpreter. MN-The genre you mostly write in would be…. WB-Fantasy, because it offers limitless possibilities plot-wise. It gives me greater freedom to create alternate worlds, creatures and characters. However, I do adhere to consistent natural laws in my stories, enhancing the realism factor. I also am enjoying dabbling in Creation Science Fiction, which may seem like an oxymoron. MN-You are referring to your current project? WB-I’m working on the first book in a new series featuring Creation Science and crypto zoology. MN-What was the inspiration for this series? WB-J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis are the authors that have most deeply influenced me. However, the Author of the Bible has given me the greatest inspiration for writing. MN-And God represents your passion for writing. WB-Speaking the truth about God is my passion. That passion infuses whatever project I’m working on. I find that writing has become an integral part of my life, and I would feel lost without this activity. MN-Your faith is important to you, isn’t it? WB-I would not be writing if it were not for God’s intervention in my life. He literally saved me from dying of anorexia nervosa when I was in college and tasked me with writing for him. The King of the Trees is actually an extended, Biblically based allegory.

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MN-What advice do you have for aspiring authors? WB-Write from the heart and write what you know. MN-What you know is fantasy fiction, and your heart? WB-I feel it is extremely important to provide young people in particular with Christian alternatives to dark, soulless fantasy works currently in circulation. Through my books, I enjoy the privilege of connecting with readers whom I might not otherwise have met. The books provide us with some common ground for sharing and friendship. KOT BOOKS—offering wholesome, faithbased fantasy for all ages. ORDER FROM OUR WEBSITE! SERIES TITLES: The King of the Trees, Torsils in Time, The Golden Wood, The Greenstones, The Downs, Kyleah's Mirrors, The Birthing Tree. KINDLE FORMAT LINKS: The King of the Trees, Torsils in Time, The Golden Wood, The Greenstones, The Downs, Kyleah's Mirrors, The Birthing Tree EPUB (NOOK, etc.) FORMAT LINKS: The King of the Trees, Torsils in Time, The Golden Wood, The Greenstones, The Downs, Kyleah's Mirrors, The Birthing Tree VISIT OUR BLOG! FIND US ON FACEBOOK! FIND US ON GOODREADS! FIND US ON SHELFARI!

~~~~~ Featured Short Stories

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Love is Blooming Mary Manners Bailey Cameron sipped sweet tea garnished with a fat lemon wedge as she leaned against the porch rail of her small, whitewashed house overlooking the ocean and tilted her face toward the warm, lateafternoon sun. Jonquils bloomed cheerfully along the deck edge and flaming-yellow forsythia lined a neat concrete walk. Though her heart felt light with the thought of mild spring days ahead, Bailey fought the urge to cry. Oh, how she missed the mountains of East Tennessee…and Nick Connor. Snagging the job of her dreams with Magnitude Engineering in Southern California was a great boost to her ego, but at what cost? She was here…alone, and the very idea felt like an anchor tugging at her heart. She’d hurt the person she loved more than anyone in the world—Nick. Bailey couldn’t nudge Nick’s look of utter disbelief from her memory as she recalled how she’d explained to him she’d be leaving Knoxville—and him—following their graduation from the University of Tennessee. His blue eyes, round and so full of love for her, had grown dark and shadowed with disappointment. “If you have to go, Bailey, I understand,” he’d murmured as he brushed a callused knuckle across her cheek, though his gaze told her otherwise. His breath was warm on her neck as he leaned across the dinner table and the scent of him—clean soap and smooth, sandalwood aftershave—consumed her as he drew her close. She pressed her face to his soft cotton T-shirt and sighed. “But, I’m going to miss you. I don’t know if I can stand it.” “You’ll be fine.” Nick stroked the tender underside of her wrist, and Bailey knew he must feel her trembling.

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“Can’t you come with me, Nick…even if only for a little while?” “You know I can’t.” He shook his head slightly, sighing, and sat back in his chair. “I’m needed here. The business…” “I understand.” Bailey knew his dad was counting on him to help out at the family’s construction firm, and now that Nick had earned his business degree, there was no excuse not to give one-hundred percent. “I can’t let my dad down, Bailey. I promised him…” Nick drew her close once more, and Bailey felt safe and sheltered in his arms as he murmured, “I know you worked hard for this opportunity, Bay, and you have to take it.” Now Bailey wondered…did she really have to take this particular job? Was leaving East Tennessee—and Nick—the only choice she had? Should she have waited for something better in Knoxville? She’d prayed about the choice at every turn, and still waited for an answer that would satisfy. But, none came. So she plodded on, doing the best she could at Magnitude and eating frozen dinners alone, with the soft murmur of ocean waves her only company. Long months had passed, yet her love for Nick remained strong despite the distance between them. They spoke every night, and sometimes in the mornings, too. He seemed happy as he talked about the progress he and his dad were making with the construction company…or was he just as good at hiding his loneliness as she was? Sure, she’d flourished at her job as a computer programmer while Nick took over his family’s construction business. And, yes, she excelled at her dream job. But Bailey felt empty inside—like a gaping hole had been punched right through her chest where her heart belonged. She wrapped her arms around herself and brushed a tear from her cheek as a sob escaped her lips. She wondered what Nick was feeling right now.

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Did he miss her as much as she missed him, or was he slowly beginning to move on— away from her and the memories they shared? The slam of a car door drew Bailey’s gaze from the sun-kissed ocean beyond, and she turned to find a delivery truck in the driveway. She set her tea glass on the porch rail and swiped the wet from her face as she rushed to meet the skinny, teenaged boy who leapt from the driver’s seat. “May I help you?” “Bailey Cameron?” He checked a note attached to his clipboard. “That’s right.” She nodded, cupping a hand over her eyes to shield them from the glare of the sun. He removed the ball cap from his head and scratched disheveled dark hair. “I think I have a delivery for you.” “But you’re not sure?” He shook his head and then repositioned the cap, tugging it low over his eyes. “Our computer crashed, but the boss sent me out here anyway. I know you’re supposed to get something, but I’m not sure which package is for you.” “How many are there to choose from?” Bailey peeked over his shoulder and into the cargo area of the truck. Cartons in a variety of sizes were stacked floor to ceiling. A few had toppled in a heap of battered cardboard. “Oh, just two.” “So I have a fifty-fifty chance?” “Uh huh.” He shrugged scrawny shoulders and scratched a hint of stubble across his pointed chin. “I guess you could say that.” “Well, I suppose I should take a look.”

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“Let’s see, then.” He climbed into the truck and fumbled around while Bailey kept her distance, waiting. A moment later he hopped down from the cargo area, a flat, rectangular-shaped box in his hands. “What about this?” The box held chocolate-covered cherries wrapped in shimmery gold and pink foil. Bailey quickly shook her head. “Uh uh. It can’t be those. I’m allergic to cherries.” She crossed her arms over her belly, frowning. Her blonde ponytail swept the nape of her neck as she shook her head. “And, I’m still trying to lose my freshman twenty…five years later. What else do you have?” “Let’s take another look-see.” The boy turned from her to reach into the truck again. Boxes tumbled and clattered against the metal floor as he hauled out a crate. “It’s gotta be this one, then. Be careful…it’s fragile.” Bailey’s heart raced at the sight of brilliant long-stemmed red roses arranged in a delicate emerald vase. A sunshine-yellow bow fluttered in the slight breeze. “Oh, my…” The boy gaped at her, his mouth tilting into a grin. “I take that as a yes.” “Oh, yes.” The roses had to be from Nick— they just had to be. Bailey remembered what he’d whispered to her the last day they were together, as he carefully loaded her belongings into her car and she slid into the driver’s seat to crank the engine, her eyes swimming with tears. “Don’t cry, Bay. You have to take this chance.” He’d leaned into the window and kissed her cheek, then each tear-dampened eyelid, gently. “But when it gets too much, Bailey—when I miss you so much I can’t stand to be away from you another minute— I’ll send you the most beautiful red roses you’ve ever seen, to let you know I’m on my

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way to you.” “Oh, Nick…” Bailey gasped and scanned the length of the quiet, tree-shaded boulevard. Widow Robbins and Sara Hunter were both busy in their yards across the street, pruning flowerbeds blooming with an explosion of wave petunias. Mr. Reynolds rocked in his whitewashed porch rocker, a folded newspaper in his hands. Two yards down, the Taylors’s dog whined to be let into the house. Bailey sighed and tilted her face toward the warm sunshine as her pulse began to dance. Soon Nick would be here to enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds. Together they’d make a life…an adventure they’d share together. The thought made Bailey tremble with longing. “I’ll sign for these.” Bailey took the roses from the boy and pressed her nose to the petals. The sweet fragrance of love surrounded her—love in full bloom. Author Bio: Mary Manners is an awardwinning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband, Tim, their daughter, Danni, and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. Mary writes romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels— something for everyone. To date, Mary has eleven books in print, with a half-dozen more under contract with White Rose Publishing. Learn more about Mary Manners at her website and at her author page at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine! Check out these titles by Mary Manners!

~~~~~ Love is the Reason Pat Jeanne Davis Tomorrow would be our twentieth wedding anniversary, but today I wasn’t in the mood for celebrating. I felt excluded and neglected during the three weeks Tom and I spent visiting his family and friends. Wasn’t this to be our family’s annual vacation, too? I paused in the park to watch large white clouds move across a bright blue sky irritated that I couldn’t share the beautiful scenery with my hubby. In three days we planned to return home. I rushed to catch up with my eight and ten year old boys. “Where’s Dad?” “Somewhere.” Tommy laughed. My sons and I stopped by a stream and watched the ducks glide by. A marching band played nearby. My oldest held up my camera. “Mom, take my picture.” Red, white and pink flowers in large baskets hung along the side of a bandstand. “Stand over there.” I took off my glasses, dropping them into my bag. “Josh, please hold this.” From the corner of my eye I watched him. “Stop swinging that around!” Had I closed my handbag? The three of us started back to the parking lot where Tom stood beside the open door of our rental car. “Ready to go then?” “Where have you been?” I retorted. *****

Buried Treasures

Tender Mercies

© July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

When the car began to move, I put my

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glasses back on. Now I not only had a headache, but my vision was blurred. Fear took over. I rested my head on the back of the car seat, closing my eyes. What’s going on here! Tommy touched my shoulder. “Hey, Mom, you’ve lost the lens in your frame.” I opened my eyes only momentarily relieved. “What’ll I do without my specs?” I cried. “Your glasses fell out, but I put them back in your bag.” “Oh, Joshua! I knew that would happen.” My husband pulled over. Then turned the car around. “We’ve got to go back to the spot where you stood.” Back and forth, again and again, the four of us searched the grass, the shrubs and the banks of the stream for the missing lens. It was getting dark. “It’s no use. I’ll replace my glasses when we get back home.” Our boys wanted to disappear when my hubby got down on all fours to look again. “Just one more swipe around.” Now I began to see Tom with my heart and less with my eyes. I really did marry a fantastic man. I stooped down beside him.“You’ve done enough, Hon. Please, let’s go.” “This is so embarrassing,” Tommy complained. Josh frowned. “I’ll never do that.” Hands and knees dirty, Tom got up. “Don’t count on that.” He winked at me. “That’s what love is all about, son.” **** The next day Tom surprised me by

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announced he’d arranged for his mother to watch our boys so we could celebrate our day. “Where are you taking me? I asked as we left the house. “Just wait and see.” I turned to Tom in the car. “This road seems so familiar.” “How would you know that since you say you can’t see anything without your glasses,” he teased. So I closed my eyes and listened to the CD’s I’d brought along. Tom parked the car and faced me. “I picked these up while you were taking all those pictures with the boys.” I could hear the love in his voice and see the light in my hubby’s eyes. He held out two tickets to my favorite musical at the playhouse in the park. The park that we’d visited only yesterday. My heart skipped a beat. He placed them in my lap. “Only pair of tickets left for the last show.” Then he took my hand. “I came back here with my flashlight last night.” He smiled and in my hand placed my glasses intact. “Should be able to see the stage clearly now.” My eyes pricked with tears. “Where did you find my lens?” “Not far from the stream.” Tom bent over and kissed me.“Happy anniversary, Sweetheart.” “It couldn’t be a better one.” I reminded myself that I needed to appreciate my hubby more for all his wonderful and thoughtful expressions of love every day. I took his arm

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as we entered the playhouse. “What a coincidence! This production is part of their twentieth anniversary season.” Tom squeezed my arm. “I couldn’t have planned it any better if I’d tried.” Later as the performers on stage sang “Love is The Reason for Living.” I closed my eyes and saw more clearly with my heart. Author Bio: Pat writes from Philadelphia, PA Her work has appeared in Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Harpstring Magazine, Horizon Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Guideposts, The Lookout, GRIT Magazine, Bible Advocate, Renewed and Ready, Faith & Finances, God Answers Prayers, Blessings for Mothers, Woman’s Touch, Woman Alive and Take-ABreak Magazine (UK) She is a member of ACFW and has agency representation for an inspirational historical novel. Visit her at www. patjeannedavis.com

~~~~~ The Nameless Wife Lucille Barker Another night that he’d come home late, out wandering the alleys of the town, just another big-hatted Pharisee filled with hypocrisy and cheap wine. All of us wives knew that it wasn’t always study and Sanhedrin business being done that kept them from home. I sometimes thought of following him, seeing what taverns and houses he went into. He would come home with a belligerent air; he was a blank wall. But that night he pulled me to his side, told me he had just found out the truth from the Galilean prophet, went to him to ask questions. I tried not to laugh, this is the man who knows everything, never a doubt. “He raised more questions than he answered,” my husband said, and he sighed.

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Maybe he had been out drinking, but he seemed too solemn. Sober in all senses of the word. This city is too big, but I had been a country girl, given to him by my father. “What did he say?” I asked, although I had been told not to question, but to submit. “He says that to see the Kingdom of God, you have to be born again.” And who from? I want to ask. Five, six, sometimes seven days a month, I don’t lie in this bed, don’t touch him, hidden until it’s time for the mikveh. Birth involves blood I want to tell him, you find it disgusting, drain it from your meat, despise women for it. That can’t be what he meant. “It’s about sin, and starting over, I guess,” Nicodemus said, sounding unsure of himself. I rather liked that, but then he started going on about flesh and the spirit and I was too tired to stay awake. I think that the prophet just flattered my husband, saw him as a way to gain influence and entry to the power of the Sanhedrin. How can Nicodemus be a leader if he starts following the ideas of this man? A few days later, this prophet left to go to Judea. His cousin John is out there, baptizing people in the river and saying a greater prophet is to come. Family business, I suppose. **** It’s all gone bad. Nicodemus should never have gone to see that man. The rest of the Pharisees are asking questions, but not the ones Nicodemus does. I was right about that cousin. Herod had him killed even though he was almost afraid. The wife and step-daughter got to him. John was right about the court and Herod’s family, but all of us knew that. And this Jesus stepped into his cousin’s shoes, and then he started stepping on other

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people’s toes. He defended a woman, an adulteress, he’s let a woman with continued menstrual flow touch him, made pronouncements he isn’t qualified to make. Some of the women at the well think that he may be the Messiah, have gone to hear him speak. I don’t know what their husbands could have been thinking about. Nicodemus has been defending him, and he is under scrutiny now. I’ve heard one side from Nicodemus, and at least three other sides from the wives of other people who were there with the high priest. “Are you letting this apikiros lead you astray?” he was asked. “Give him a chance,” Nicodemus told. “We are a just people. We should watch what he does.” “What goes on in Galilee should stay in Galilee,” another one of our leaders said. “And that goes for Samaria, too.” “Nothing good ever comes from there,” yet another priest said. “Look at the scriptures. This Bethlehem nonsense is just that.” Half the women feel that way and the other half are ready to believe. I’m not sure, not at all. I just know that those who say they have been healed by this man have indeed been healed. **** Nicodemus is a coward. This Jesus was on trial, and where was Nicodemus? Lying on his bed, curled up in pain, as if he was giving birth and couldn’t bear to let the child out. He didn’t dare defend his precious prophet from the Romans, but he couldn’t side with our priests and send this Jesus to his death. Since this began, there have been too many strangers at our door, not always asking for food and a bed, but to give quick cryptic messages that I didn’t want to understand. “The whole city is in an uproar,” one of the other wives said. “I feel sorry for his mother.

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A carpenter’s wife. And the rumours about that one.” I had heard some very improbably stories, and remembered I had seen her long ago. They had come to Jerusalem and Jesus had decided to stay there. Just before I had married Nicodemus, over twenty years ago now, and I had been going to the Temple mikveh. The prophet had been making trouble even back then. “We’re going up to Golgotha to see,” my youngest boy said. Just fourteen, should have been studying, but the rabbis let them out for the day. I guess they wanted them to see an example of what happens when you rebel that way. It’s Pesach anyway, and a lot of people slack off. Nicodemus went, too, dressed in such an ordinary way that I knew he was hiding from his friends and associates. He didn’t want to be recognized; I could tell by the pitying glances of my friends that he was in disgrace. He did see an old friend, Joseph, who had also been taken in by this prophet. Joseph was donating a new tomb and Nicodemus gave myrrh and aloes to wrap the body in. I heard the two sisters of Lazarus and that rich Magdalen women supplied the linen. I was glad I had already bought everything for the dinners this week. He didn’t just spend a fortune; he had lost credibility in the Sanhedrin. He came back and barely ate at the seder, hardly listened to the four questions. “Why is this night different from all other nights?” He didn’t answer. There were tears running down his face. We are supposed to rejoice in our fear, know that we will be saved, but he wants to be saved in a different way. “Comfort me,” he whispered in the dark, but he didn’t want what he usually wants. He wanted tenderness, sweetness, breathing together in the dark. If it was for any other reason than the death of the prophet I would have accepted it. But my heart

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couldn’t warm to him although my body did. It has been a cold spring. It’s been a cold time since he first saw Jesus. Shabat was worse. It’s always hard to make a seder dinner for the Sabbath, even with servants. The days were getting longer; everything had to be put off. There was too much wine before eating. Wine always made Nicodemus morose; that night he was almost silent. We retired early, an easy night on torches. There was an uproar the next morning. Someone had stolen the prophet’s body from the tomb. I put no credence into Lazarus’s sisters’ tale that they had seen him. Nicodemus did believe it went wild with joy, found the man’s disciples and had his seder with them forgetting us. Gradually it died down. We were no longer welcome in our former circles. We joined the ones who believed that there had been a miracle. Maybe there has been. Nicodemus smiles. He works with the Magdalene woman, who seems to have connections all over. We may have less money, but if I want dyes, fabrics, she can get them for me. I worry for our sons, and more for our daughters, who are being taught heresies by Lazarus’ sister, Mary. Martha is more down to earth, gets the work done. I still can’t believe the way they do. Sometimes I wish I had followed Nicodemus that night he met Jesus, seen for myself. Author Bio: Lucile Barker is a Toronto poet, writer and activist. Since 1994, she has been the coordinator of the Joy of Writing, a weekly workshop at the Ralph Thornton Centre which has a Facebook group for members all over the world. Recent publications include Memewar, Room, the Antigonish Review, Rougarou, Litterbox, Flashlight Memories, Bat Shat, Snakeskin Review, Hinchas de Poesia, Jet Fuel Review, U.M.ph.!, Menacing Hedge, Nashwaak Review, H.O.D., the Danforth Review, Vox Poetica, Connotations, The

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River, Binnacle, Whistling Fire, and Apocrypha and Abstractions. She is a two time winner of Press 53’s 53 word story contest. The Golden Age, the first place short story winner in the Creative Keyboards contest, a project of the Hamilton Arts Council, has morphed into a screenplay. Poetry and short stories are also forthcoming in Ginger Piglet andU.M.ph!. She can be reached at Facebook or atlambarker@yahoo.com.

~~~~~ The Passenger Rebecca Sather Danny hated when his parents fought. Arguments between his parents did not happen often but when they did Danny’s heart became awfully sad. It was hard being seven years old. Danny was slowly becoming a big kid but not big enough to understand his parents harsh words. All he understood was the tone in their voice when they were not happy with each other and whatever was going on between the two people he loved the most in the world right now made his mom cry. “I’m not saying it was your fault I just need you to understand how I feel about the whole situation.” Mom wiped away the tears forming in her eyes before they could trickle down her cheek. “Whenever we get into this subject I always feel you blame me. Don’t you think I blame myself every day? I go to bed at night thinking about it and wake up thinking about how I could have prevented it from happening. There is going to have to be a day when you support me and not blame me. Our marriage can’t survive another blow. I love you with all my heart. I always have but I can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep trying to forgive you while trying to forgive myself.” Dad turned his head to look at Mom—Danny saw the gleam of a tear in the corner of his father’s eye.

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Why adults had to make each other cry Danny hoped to never know. He knew he wanted to be the kind of grown-up that said good things to people and helped others whenever he could. Like him and his friend Jessica. They played together all the time and never made each other cry. Danny even always did his best to make Jessica smile because her eyes had a sparkly thing about them when she did. Danny liked when her eyes sparkled. Didn’t Daddy like it when Mommy’s eyes sparkled? He was sure that Dad did because, until recently Dad did make Mom smile most the time. Though Danny understood that his adult self would most likely have disagreements with other adults because even he and Jessica didn’t always agree on what cartoon to watch, he saw absolutely no need to make the other person cry. If only they could see each other as he saw them— good, caring, devoted, strong, and a friend. Then maybe they wouldn’t make each other cry. Maybe they would just love one another just as they are at that very moment every moment of every day. “Are you saying that I have to get over this tragedy in your time and not mine? Are you going to divorce me because I can’t heal my heart in six months?” Mom’s voice rose to a scary level. “MAYBE OUR MARRIAGE IS NOT WORTH SAVING THEN!” Danny cringed in his seat, he never heard his mother take this tone with anyone. “Fine maybe we are done. I guess there is no hope for us. You don’t want to fight for me and I’m tired of trying for the two of us.” Danny may be only seven but understood where this was going. He had a friend whose mom and dad lived in different towns and his friend only saw his dad every other weekend. Danny never understood how a mom and a dad could live in different towns. He didn’t get why the dad only wanted to see him a couple days a month. Marshal even had to be the one to call his dad to talk to him.

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His mom had him more often but she didn’t really pay attention to him. She kind of pretended to pay attention to him. Danny remembered one time being at the park and Marshal was there too. He and Marshal went into the woods chasing this really pretty butterfly that had purple and white in its wings. They didn’t mean to go so far into the woods. By the time Mom found him she was upset and crying. Marshal’s mom was on her phone to someone and didn’t even notice they were gone for so long. Even when they got back Marshal’s mom did not hang up her phone. Didn’t they love Marshal? Marshal loved them no matter what they did and it seemed that they just didn’t love him as much. And now Danny’s parents were acting like they didn’t love each other anymore either. Maybe this meant that they wouldn’t love him also. Or even worse yet they would be like his friend Marshal’s parents. See him when they wanted to see him. Talk to him when they wanted to talk to him. Pretend to care about him but really just care about everything else in the world. Danny wept. It would be okay though. Danny knew it. He would just love his mom and dad more than they loved themselves. He would be the well spring of love they needed to love each other and him. He could do it. He would do it. They meant too much to him to give up or quit on them. His love would be enough. Danny reached over the front seat and touched both of his parent’s shoulders. “I love the both of you even though you don’t think you love each other and maybe someday you might not love me but it will be okay. It will always be okay.” Both Steven and Jackie’s bodies went stiff. A sense of well being and love washed over them. The argument that was so heated just seconds before left the vehicle in a haze. Jackie looked at her husband of 12 years with newfound tears. How had they gotten

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here? Her love for Steve should have kept them from this but it hadn’t. Grief and the major trial they just faced led them astray. She knew it. How was she ever going to atone for what she had done? “I’m so sorry Steve…I know Danny’s death wasn’t your fault, please forgive me.” Jackie began to sob. Steve pulled the car to the side of the road and embraced his wife. “Jackie I love you. I forgive you. I even can forgive me. We will get through this—together. We will not allow Danny’s death to come between us any longer. Danny loved so much. As his parents it is our responsibility to make sure that love survives and is passed on” Steve grabbed Jackie’s hand and didn’t let go. Author Bio: Rebecca is a bookkeeper by day and an aspiring writer by night. After a short story she wrote in 6th grade was picked to send her to a Young Writers Conference a love for writing came to life. Practicing her writing skills are an off again on again event with a very busy family life that consists of a husband, three kids, teaching Sunday School and volunteering in her community. When she does find time for herself she very much enjoys weight lifting and Jazzercise. Check out Rebecca’s blog.

~~~~~ Christian Fiction Book Reviews

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A YA Perspective This month our young adult reviewer, Sarah Heath has reviewed 2 more of Melody Carlson’s True Colors series Burnt Orange and Fools Gold!

Review of Burnt Orange: Color Me Wasted Eighteen year old Amber Conrad is the perfect pastor’s daughter. Or so she thought she was, before popular and rich Claire Phillips befriended her and invited her to all the cool parties – which of course have alcohol involved. In an effort to cover up her new habit of social drinking, Amber starts lying to her parents. She even lies to the best friend she’s had since middle school, Simi. Now, one fake ID and many little white lies later, she finds herself getting caught up in a dark web of alcohol abuse and addiction. Can Amber fess up and get some help before it’s too late? Amber’s best friend Simi is willing to help her through her addiction, even offering to join her at an alcoholic anonymous meeting, so she can get some counseling. Though it takes a heartbreaking event for a truly sobering wake-up call to occur, Simi’s care for Amber is constant throughout the book. Claire abuses alcohol to keep herself numb. From the outside, she appears to have it all, looks, popularity and money, but inside she’s desperate and hurting. This hurt causes her to make poor decisions, which leads to life-altering events happening,

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which not only affect her, but a multitude of people.

she purchases seems to need some other accessory in order complete the “look.”

Melody Carlson masterfully displays the effects that alcohol can have on a person’s self-control. Although Amber repeatedly promises herself, and others, that she will stop her drinking, her self-control is nonexistent around alcohol. She lowers her guard, even driving under the influence of alcohol. Burnt Orange shows teen alcohol abuse as a serious issue. It not only can physically harm those who drink, leading to alcohol poisoning and liver failure, it can also have deadly consequences for others. Sadly, the events in Burnt Orange can and do actually happen. Many, many people drive under the influence of alcohol and risk others’ lives as well as their own.

Although Hannah is spending more money than she ever thought was possible ($300 for a pair of jeans?) it never seems to be good enough for her new (so-called) friends. As she sinks more and more into debt (eek!) she finally comes to realize that everything she’s purchased are not her identity, nor is her value based on the clothes she wears. It’s only Fool’s Gold after all.

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Materialism, sadly, is a part of everyday life for most teen girls. It’s easy to get caught up in what the latest issue of Teen Vogue says is in style, and forget that your value is so much greater than the price tag of your clothing. In Fool’s Gold, Hannah discovers that no matter how beautiful your clothes make you appear on the outside, it means nothing if you do not value your inner beauty. Sarah Heath is a 19 year old college student from Dallas, Texas. She has written reviews for publishers such as, Navpress, Thomas Nelson, and Bethany House. She is a member of FIRST Wild Card book review Bloggers. Her reviews can be found at Reviews by Sarah Katie.

Review of Fools Gold: Color Me Consumed Hannah Anderson is a MK (missionary kid) from Papua New Guinea. While on furlough from the missionary field, she visits her extremely fashion-forward and materialistic cousin and family. Vanessa’s life is vastly different from Hannah’s; she lives in a huge house and shops places Hannah has never even heard of, like Prada, Gucci, and Armani. Wanting to connect with her cousin again, Hannah joins Vanessa on these shopping trips. What starts out as innocent teen girl bonding turns into a major stumbling block for her. Whatever

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Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books with sales topping five million Before publishing, Melody traveled around the world; volunteered in teen ministry; taught preschool; raised two sons; taught wardrobe planning classes; worked briefly in interior design and international adoption as well as numerous other unrelated things. Find out more about Melody Carlson by visiting her website.

~~~~ Feature Publisher Revell Books Spotlights Author Ann H Gabhart! Ann H. Gabhart-Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky, Ann H. Gabhart has walked the same paths ~ All Rights Reserved


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her characters might have walked in generations past. Her thorough research provides a colorful backdrop for her Shaker novels. Gabhart is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Outsider,The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and Angel Sister. Find out more about Ann by visiting her website!

Some dreams were meant to come true. Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her young life, but in spite of how she loves her sisters there, she struggles to conform to the strict rules. Instead she entertains dreams of the world outside. When Tristan Cooper seems to step out of those dreams to entice her into the forbidden realm beyond the Shaker Village, her life turns upside down. Will Jessamine be able to survive the storms of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill? The Gifted can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CBD.com!

~~~~ God Sends the Rain ~ Michele Abshire Every morning I walk from a parking lot a half a block away from my work place. On the way I pass three large pots with flowers in them. As I passed them morning, lunch and early evening during this past week I noticed that the flowers were droopy. They

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were beautiful little flowers not quite able to lift their little faces to the sky; their leaves curled together and folded down due to the heat and lack of rain. I thought to myself “I wish I had some water to water those poor flowers.” Every single time I passed them I had this same thought but no water in tow. Finally, on the third morning it struck me that I was not going to remember water so I needed to pray. God could do what I could not remember to do. For the first time I prayed for those little flowers to receive rain. I prayed a simple little prayer “Lord, you can bring a shower for these poor little flowers. Please bring them refreshing. They need water.” That very afternoon showers came, bringing life-giving water and refreshment to those little wilted flowers. The next morning when I passed the flowers were rejuvenated, their little glorious faces lifted high to the sky. Their little leaves were spread wide and uplifted as if in praise. Like Jesus said of the flowers in Matthew 6:29, “But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.” To me, the rejuvenated flowers were a truly beautiful sight to behold. This brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes as I thought of the faithfulness of God and His willingness to answer my simple little prayer. Through this experience God has shown me some things that I need to share with you. First, how many times do we try and change things in our own strength or fix things with our own resources before we turn to God in prayer? How many times do we let prayer to God be our last resource to a situation? The Bible tells us in Phillipians 4:6b “but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.” This led me to the following thoughts: God answers prayer. However, not always in quite the way we expect. God could have brought those little flowers’ plight to my

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mind before I walked past them and reminded me to bring water. But, He choose to wait for prayer so He could move strongly by bringing the rain in His perfect timing. This revealed His glory in the situation and I learned a lesson in the process. I probably couldn’t have brought enough water to satisfy those big pots anyway. His shower did far more than I ever could have with the little jugs I might have passed with each morning; this reminds me of Ephesians 3:20 which says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” He wants to show His glory. He wants to send His rain, His refreshing showers. These thoughts lead me to thoughts of us; you and me. Sometimes our lives are like those little flowers. We are in our own little “pot,” our own little situations and circumstances. Life is oftentimes difficult, hard, lifeless and dry. We feel as if no one cares and no one sees. We are all alone in our little “pot.” We think to ourselves “When will the rain come, when will the refreshing come?” Sometimes we despair. Inside we are wilting, our hands hang down; our praises have become weak. Our countenance begins to fall and we look down at our circumstances instead of up to God from “from whence my help shall come.” As I passed those little flowers each day I did notice them. I noticed their plight. I saw the flowers and I did care about them. I wanted to help the flowers but I failed to give them what they needed to survive; refreshing water. How much more does God see you? How much more does He care for you? How much more does He want to bring refreshing, hope and life to you? How much more does He want to help you? You are special, you are His and He loves you. The rain, those life-giving waters that brought refreshment to those flowers are a beautiful picture of what God’s spirit can do as He pours refreshment into a tired,

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hurting and wilted life. Just as those flowers were revived and they lifted their little faces and leaves once again to the sun, so we too can lift our faces, hearts and hands to The Son as He pours His life giving Spirit into our hearts and situations. He can turn any life around. He can turn any situation around. He can bring hope where there is no hope. He can turn mourning into joy. Jesus was sent to “comfort all that mourn; to give unto them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 He sends the rain so that all of life can be refreshed. He sends the rain of His Spirit so that our lives can be refreshed; so that we can bring joy to others, so that we can bring His comfort to others, so that we can be beautiful in His kingdom, so that we can be a testimony to His faithfulness and His grace in our lives and that He will be glorified. Like those flowers we need to lift our face to Him, we need to lift our hands in praise to Him and give our lives to Him. Even as those flowers were wilting, they were still bravely trying to hold their petals out toward the sun; their leaves had given up but their little petals were trying so hard not to curl and give up. That’s how we need to be, always looking to our God no matter what life tries to bring. Life brings us to difficult, hard and dry places. It brings us to those places so that we realize our desperate need for God and our desperate need for His life-giving Spirit in our lives. It is He alone that will bring hope, refreshing and restoration. It is in those places that we come to know Him, His grace and His hope in our lives. It is in those places that we learn and experience just how great His love is toward us. It is in those places that we learn to trust in Him. It is in those places that we learn to lean on Him.

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One final thought; remember that when you think that no one sees your troubles and cares, God sees and God cares. Just as He moved my heart to compassion toward those flowers, how much more does He put compassion in the hearts of His people toward you? He moved on my heart to pray for flowers, how much more does He move on a heart to pray for you? Yes, He loves all His creations and He takes care of them, but you are of far greater value to Him than all of his creation [Matt 6:25-33]. He hears our prayers and He answers our prayers. He sends His rain to refresh and restore. Look to Him… He is your hope… He loves you… Yes, you… You are special and he wants to “water your pot” and bring refreshing today… My prayer for you is for God to: “Bless you, and keep you: May God make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May God lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-25 © August 2006 Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine. Her vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Read Michele’s monthly column, Michele’s Musings @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website.

~~~~ Exercise: Mind, Body, Spirit - It's All Connected ~ Kellye Davis Williams Regular exercise can bring remarkable changes not just to your body, your metabolism, and your heart, but also to your spirits. Exercise is the key for your head, just as it is for your heart. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. Endurance athletes

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commonly experience the restorative power of exercise and this has been verified in clinical trials that have used exercise to treat anxiety and depression. How can exercise help with problems as difficult as anxiety and depression? There are several explanations, some chemical, others behavioral. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Behavioral factors contribute to the emotional benefits of exercise. As your waistline shrinks and your strength and stamina increase, your self-image will improve. You’ll earn a sense of pride and self-confidence. Your renewed energy and motivation will help you succeed in many tasks and the discipline will help you achieve other lifestyle goals. Exercise and sports also provide opportunities to enjoy some solitude or to make friends and build networks. You know physical activity is good for you, and that lack of exercise is associated with negative physical and mental outcomes. However, did you know exercise is also an effective way to stop a panic attack in its tracks? Studies with large samples of participants consistently demonstrate a positive association between exercise and lower emotional distress in healthy individuals and in people who suffer from anxiety and extreme panic. Srinivasan Pillay, a brain-imaging researcher, says an immediate bout of exercise can also reduce anxiety and panic attack frequency, even in people with panic disorder. Pillay says areas of the brain that activate when we are anxious are connected to those areas that activate when we start moving. Your body naturally shifts blood flow to areas that need it, so by moving, you increase activity in the movement centers. The basic premise, he says, is that when you give your brain something that demands attention, it shuts off anxiety. Don't worry; you don't have to

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become a marathoner to control your panic attacks and anxiety. Moderately intense exercise is effective. Experts suspect using exercise as an active coping strategy also gives patients a "sense of mastery" that reliance on drugs does not. Stress is an inevitable part of life. Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives. Then there are those who suffer with the more intense anxiety, panic disorders, and even depression. It’s impossible to eliminate stress, but you can learn to manage it Exercise is a fantastic way to begin to manage stress and anxiety. The physical benefits of exercise— improving physical condition and fighting disease—have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness. It is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate. When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. I find that many of my clients become “addicted” to working out. This is because their levels of cortisol and adrenaline are reduced and their endorphins are increased during and immediately following their workout. This brings an elated sense of well being. Also, as they continue in a fitness plan they begin to feel better as health issues start to resolve and they gain a sense of self confidence as they lose weight and get fit. All of these things combined play a part in being healthy physically and mentally. God created our bodies to “heal itself” if we take care of ourselves and do all that we can to stay healthy….that means

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mentally too. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…. therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Our bodies were created by and belong to our Creator so we need to be treating them right. Eat healthy foods, exercise, avoid overeating and laziness, and you'll reap the benefits. Get stronger physically and mentally! Kellye Davis Williams is a personal trainer who focuses on the health and well being of her clients as well as coaching them to make positive changes that will impact the rest of their lives. She helps them to achieve their health and fitness goals as well as encourages them to strive for and achieve their " life" goals with her message of hope. As a model, Kellye exemplifies the essence of artistic beauty while proving the power of a woman is more than superficial refinement. Read Kellye’s bi-monthly column, Faith and Fitness @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website.

~~~~ Choices/Consequences ~ Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith © July 2012 Positive faith includes making positive decisions. It is so important to remember that our decisions, our choices, good or bad, will result in some type of consequence. We cannot point our fingers at someone else or blame someone else when things go wrong. We cannot make excuses for our own negligent acts. Yet that's exactly what happens so many times. Too many times our actions or inaction do not represent Christ well. Remember others are always watching and we may be the only Bible they will ever read. So don't justify or rationalize wrong choices and decisions; accept that

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they are wrong , and seek to do better. We cannot compartmentalize our lives. We cannot say our decisions in an area have no bearing on another. Yes you're right if you say these do not determine salvation, but as Believers, have we forgotten about "the fruits of the Spirit"? Galatians 5:22 tells us that Goodness is one of them. The others are love, faithfulness, gentleness, patience and kindness. How do we decide on what choices we will make? Or what is right? Look at what Proverbs 14:12 & Philippians 4:8 says "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is Lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything Worthy of praise, think about these things" The key is to practice "thinking". We are to think before we act or think before we decide to do nothing (which in itself is an action). We should always ask ourselves "what if?" What if I do something crazy? What are the consequences? Positive? Negative? What if I don't pay my tithes? What if I don't pay my bills? What if I don't pay those traffic tickets? What if I tell that person off? You get the point! I believe if we take the time to think, the right answer is always there. Or if we choose to risk it; to play the odds, we need to be ready to face the consequences; it's our choice! Ours alone. No one makes us do anything. So stop the finger pointing and stop blaming others. Try to make good and sound decisions so you will experience positive results. Then and only then. Will we not have to worry about them coming back to haunt us. Remember in all cases if we do what's right, we will experience positive consequences.

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Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith, PhD, MBAA, MA, BPS, is an Empowerment Advocate, personal life coach, motivational speaker & leadership expert. She knows that in order for anyone to experience success in their personal or professional lives, there must be a fundamental change in attitude. One cannot be or think negatively and expect positive results. In addition, she loves to interact where she can encourage, enable, empower and energize others. Read her monthly column, The Power of Positive Faith at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website.

~~~~ The Place of Inspiration ~ Scott Higginbotham Authors have a readily available supply of fuel for their novels. The key is finding whatever or whoever will inform our creativity. Certain songs elicit images that we seek to combine into a cohesive, well thought-out form. Additionally, our faith can inspire us to dig deep into the well of our experience and thrust our struggles and our triumphs from answered prayers into an epic story that causes one to re-examine their lives afresh. In Psalms 26:7 it reads, “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” Truly, King David had a host of struggles and triumphs that gave him cause to pen those inspired words of praise. He was a warrior, an adulterer and murderer, and yet he was dubbed as a man after God’s own heart because of his contrition. He lived in a place and time rich with inspiration for writers. Israel is only a place on a map. However, its history is one that inspires. In the Middle Ages, Frankish knights referred to it as Outremer, the Levant, or the Holy Land. My visits to Israel were courtesy of the US Navy, and the first time I stood on the Mount of Olives, I was speechless as I gazed

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out over Jerusalem. No words burst forth, but the memories were forever etched into my mind that day. The wind was brisk, drowning out the sounds of the city, which created a quiet hush. The various churches and domes gleamed in the bright sun, creating a bright dazzle of golden light that contrasted with the sandstone walls. Olive trees dotting the slope swayed in a graceful cadence. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher stood still as a sentinel behind the crenellated walls. And I wondered, did Christ once stand where my feet were firmly rooted? So dream for a moment. In your mind’s eye, place a score of mail-clad, bedraggled knights on that same hill in 1099. Watch their eyes as they scan the walls and what lies beyond. Some will lean on their battered shields with mouths agape. Others will weep at this vision. Pick one of the men out of the crowd and focus your eyes on him. Is he afraid? What emotions are running through his mind? Does he have secrets better left buried? Whom does he love, and is his love requited? Stand at his side as he tells his story. For the wind is brisk, drowning out the sounds of the city, creating a quiet hush. The various churches and domes gleam in the bright sun, creating a bright dazzle of golden light that contrasts with the sandstone walls. Olive trees dotting the slope sway in a graceful cadence. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher stands still as a sentinel behind the crenellated walls. And he wonders aloud to you, “Did Christ once stand where my feet are firmly rooted?” Find your song, your hope, an answered prayer, or that epic place. Then close your eyes, populate your creation, name them and give them faces, and breathe the life of words into the disparate pieces. And listen as they tell their story. Scott Higginbotham has a passion for fiction that goes beyond simple entertainment. His writing informs,

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instructs, and encourages readers with his signature style. He holds a B.S. in Marketing and an MBA, and is finishing an MA in Apologetics at Luther Rice Seminary. Read his monthly column, For a Thousand Generations @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website. Scott’s Amazon Author Page can be found Here!

~~~~ Lessons from a Control Freak ~ Rita Schulte, LPC © July 2012 I’m a control freak. How about you? The problem is I never realized it. I thought control freaks were the strong dominant type who demanded, manipulated others, and expected A + B to always = C, as long as they were in charge. The problem with the formula for control is that it leaves out a very important detail--the sovereignty of God. God isn’t into using cookie cutter formulas to make life work. He would much rather get down in the trenches of life with us and teach us a few things about our need to control. How has he done that for me? By allowing circumstances and people in my life that I can’t control! Over the last few years I’ve struggled with some difficult personal issues. I’ve experienced shattered dreams, unmet expectations and a whole lot of personal losses. I would love to say I weathered all the storms with praise on my lips and a song of joy in my heart. But I haven’t. Do I have a witness? After some deep reflection, and teaching these truths to others in the counseling office, I’ve realized a few things. First, the only thing I can control is my own thoughts, actions, attitudes and beliefs; the rest is up to God. Next, in order for him to get me to release my sticky fingers off the wheel of my life, he’s had to allow some difficult things

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to happen to drive a sledgehammer through my nice neat theology of control. I believe he’s used the difficult situations in my life to expose my need for the only thing that will truly satisfy me---Jesus.

Somewhere along the journey of brokenness, I got it. God wasn’t out to break me; he was out to break my confidence in all the ways I tried to control life to achieve the set outcomes I so desperately desired. As I ranted and raved, cried, fretted, and felt totally confused as to why the plans I had so painstaking put in place to make my life work went up in smoke, God showed me that I was fighting the wrong battle. I was so busy trying to control everything in my life so that I wouldn’t experience pain, that I missed it. The real issue wasn’t how to make my life work; the real issue was what do I do when it doesn’t work?

Truth be told, I wasn’t trusting God with my life, or the people in it. The difficult places he had allowed, the ones I wanted to hit the delete button on, were the very places he was leading me to so that he could evidence himself in and through me. If I kept fighting against the current I knew I’d stay stuck. This left me with only one choice. Acceptance. I had to choose to accept God’s plan for my life, and not do it with my arms folded and a sour face. A big part of that was realizing God’s goodness and believing he always has my best interests at heart, even if none of it works out the way I planned. If you and I want to move through the losses and disappointments of life, we need to accept the sovereignty of God. In the words of Carrie Underwood, we need to let Jesus take the wheel. We need to be willing to surrender our right to control and allow him to write the final chapter of our story.

Am I demanding a right that says, God I must have things be a certain way for me to be ok? Surrender begins with an attitude that says, God I’m willing…do with me as you wish. Can I pray that? Am I willing to experience all the angst that goes along with losing control, and depend solely on God? Do I trust God with my life? If not, what’s standing in the way?

If you’re serious about ditching the control freak label, spend some time contemplating the questions above. They’ll be a start in leading you on a path of self- discovery and surrender---and there’s no better place to live. Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Podcast and Consider This. Her shows can be heard on 90.9FM in Lynchburg, Va. and 90.5 FM in NC, and soon to launch on Christian Life Internet Radio. Read Rita’s monthly column, Consider This at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine website.

~~~~ Think Beyond The Bookstore ~ W. Terry Whalin ©July 2012 You may be wondering what I am talking about “beyond the bookstore.” Most authors are focused on getting their books into the bookstore and bookstore signings. They falsely believe the bookstores will be the best way to sell their book. There are several reasons for my statement.

How do we begin? Consider this:  Who is in control of my life—me or God?

1. The typical Barnes & Noble only holds 10,000 to 15,000 different book titles. According to Bowker who publishes books in print there were over a million new books published last year. Now that is only the new books. What about all the older book titles which sell consistently year after year? See why there is a problem to be focused only on the bookstore? I'm not contending

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to ignore the retail market but it is not the only game in town. In fact, it is not the biggest share of the book-selling market. 2. More than 60% of books sold are sold outside the bookstore. How do you as an author begin to think about opportunities beyond the bookstore? One huge opportunity is an area called special market sales. One of the best ways that I know to learn about this area is through a free teleseminar that I held with my friends Ted Rogers and Vickie Rogers. This event is on replay at www.massivebooksales.com You can immediately download the full hour interview as well as a free Ebook. Here's one example of the thinking presented to authors during the teleseminar. You've written a book about how someone can have joy and happiness in their retirement years. You've identified your target audience as people who have retired or are nearing retirement. Think about that target reader. What types of products do they consume every day? What types of beverages do they drink? Could you approach one of those beverage companies and offer them the ability to reach that target market with a customized version of your book on how to enjoy your retirement? The book would be branded with this beverage companies logo and marketing information. The beverage company would print 50,000 or 100,000 copies of your book. Then the books are given to a convention where there will be 50,000 or 100,000 people (or maybe several conventions) and given away to the people who attend. The beverage company gets the advertising from the gift of your book and you gain huge exposure and sales with a single sale of your book. Because these books are branded, they are not returned (a problem in the retail bookstore market). The sales of the book are final and you have suddenly become a bestselling author. Hopefully you see the innovation in this type of thinking. More than just thinking about it, this teleseminar helps you take

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practical action to make this type of special sales with your book idea. Ted Rogers and Vickie Mullins gave great information as they were answering author questions. The event was recorded and you can have instant access to the replay for this resource. Get it and listen to it today: www.massivebooksales.com Then take one additional step forward with your book. Plan your own strategic steps to make a special market sale for your book. I can hear the skeptics to these words. You don't know my book. My book is ________. Several times during this teleseminar, I asked specifically if special market sales are for every type of book. Ted and Vickie answered yes. Today I urge you to think beyond the bookstore. This action can be a complete game changer for what happens with your book in the marketplace. W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Irvine, California. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called: Write a Book Proposal. Read Terry’s monthly column, The Proactive Author @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website.

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Guest Editorial The Story Behind The Dragon and the Turtle ~ Evangeline Denmark As I sit down to write this article a fire threatens the western edge of the city we live in, Colorado Springs. The Waldo Canyon fire started midday yesterday, has burned 2,000 acres and continues to grow. At this time more than 10,000 people have been ordered to evacuate. We are safe in our home across town, but I can see the giant plumes of smoke from my window, and the breeze carries the

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unmistakable odor of a campfire. As we watch coverage of the disaster on the local news, I’m awed by two things: the bravery of those fighting the fire and the outpouring of support from the community. My children are watching too. They see the haggard faces of officials from the Colorado Springs Fire Department, the Forest Service and the Sheriff’s Department as those individuals are interviewed after many sleepless, stress-filled hours. They see the Red Cross shelters set up at local high schools and hear about the humane society staff and volunteers working to take in displaced animals. The news anchors answer the question on everyone’s lips— How can we help?—with instructions on where to donate and encouragement to be a good neighbor and offer your home to friends in need. And I watch my boys’ faces, knowing the examples of courage and selfless service to others will remain in their minds for the rest of their lives. As a mom and as a writer, I recognize the power of examples. Whether it’s a real life account or a crafted tale, people’s actions resonate with emotions common to humankind and can remain in the psyche for a lifetime. A story has the potential to stick in a heart and imprint a soul, which is why, as my mother and I crafted The Dragon and the Turtle stories, we did so with a child’s heart and soul in mind. Of course it all started quite unintentionally. One night my three-year-old son couldn’t get to sleep, so I stretched out next to him and told him a story about a turtle named Roger who got lost. I’d be lying if I told you my aim that night was to impart an important truth about life. Oh, no. I just wanted my little guy to go to sleep. But the next day I found my son peering out of the window by our front door. I asked him what he was doing and he told me, “I’m waiting for Roger to get here. He’s slow.” I knew the lost turtle I’d dreamed up the night before

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had found a spot in my son’s heart. I shared the incident with my mom, knowing she’d love cuteness factor of her grandson waiting by the door for an imaginary turtle to come play. After she exclaimed over her grandson’s brilliant imagination, she asked me to tell her Roger the Turtle’s story. I felt a little silly recounting the story meant to put my threeyear-old to sleep to my mom, the bestselling author of The Dragon Keeper Chronicles, but when I finished she said, “I love it! Let’s add a dragon.” I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. She’s called The Dragon Lady for a reason. Mom and I brainstormed the story concept as we went about our errands that day. Before long we pitched the idea to Mom’s editor at the time, Shannon Marchese at Waterbrook Press, and the bedtime story began the journey to become a children’s book. As we crafted our two main characters, Roger the Turtle and Padraig the Dragon, and developed their adventure, we were drawn to the theme of friendship. But we realized that children receive countless messages about friendship most of which are vague and impractical. We tell our kids, “Be a good friend,” or “Share,” or “Treat him the way you want him to treat you.” Sure I’ve done it. Hundreds of times. My kids looked at me with round eyes and blank expressions. I could almost see the word “Huh?” written on their foreheads. Practiced platitudes have no meaning for kids. To be honest, they have little meaning left for adults. In order to understand these concepts, children must see them acted out, exemplified. So we had Roger and Padraig model the very basics of making a new friend: being willing to engage with someone else, talking about things you like and don’t like, and offering help where it’s needed even when it is inconvenient. The Dragon and the Turtle came about because a certain sad turtle touched my

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son’s heart, and my mother and I recognized the opportunity to share some important life skills via Roger’s story. As we continued Roger and Padraig’s adventures in The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari we further built on the friendship foundation. The characters demonstrate that being courageous is a choice and having a friend by your side makes all the difference when you have to do something scary, like rescue a stranded kitten.

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children’s books with Waterbrook Press: The Dragon and the Turtle (2010) and The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari (2011) and also writes adult fiction. You can find Evangeline online at www.evangelinedenmark.com and www.dra gonandturtle.com. Follow @EvangelineD.

The themes of friendship, helping someone in need, and finding courage when you’re afraid are common in countless children’s stories. These messages are repeated in classrooms and Sunday schools and homes. We hope they are exemplified in the Dragon and Turtle books. Some might say that the lessons have been adequately taught, the subjects covered, no further exploration needed. But I say there can never be too many examples of compassion and bravery, both in fiction and real life. Whether it’s a little red dragon who comes to the aid of a lost turtle, or a firefighter on the front line of an out-ofcontrol blaze, or an officer going door-todoor in the middle of the night to ensure a safe evacuation, these examples translate in the heart where the words “Be a good friend” are inadequate and empty.

The Dragon and the Turtle Donita K Paul & Evangeline Denmark ISBN: 0307446441

~~~~ Agents Can Only do so Much ~ EE Kennedy Once upon a time, after Irregardless of Murder had been published, I was actually able to find a real literary agent. She was a well-respected professional whom I met at a writing conference. I queried her (as we say in the biz) and she liked my manuscript. The new book was a stand-alone, entitled Another Think Coming, and was a semi-serious, semi-comic novel about a Texas grandma, Hester MacBride, who blames the death of her only grandson on a local drug dealer. Deeming herself “hopping mad at God,” she decides that she is the only one who can bring justice to this evildoer, since law enforcement seems hamstrung.

Author Bio: Evangeline Denmark has storytelling on her heart and in her blood. The daughter of novelist, Donita K. Paul, Evangeline grew up living and breathing good stories. She has co-authored two

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in question turns out to be the very criminal she has been stalking. What happens next lands Hester in serious hot water.

out next year, and the third is in the pipeline. Thank you, Lilian, for the inspiration!

My agent loved my character’s feistiness, her faith and her courage. Secular publishers, unfortunately, found my book too religious. Christian publishers, while they complimented my writing, seemed to find my book too gritty or something. Anyway, after a good long try, the agent and I decided to call it quits. She’s a wonderful agent, and I’d recommend her to anybody. She just couldn’t perform miracles.

So, if you know your audience and understand their passion for your favorite genre, don’t give up. If you literally (and I use the term deliberately) can’t stop writing, and love what you’re doing, keep at it. Amass a large collection of work. Set things aside. Come back to them after a brief hiatus and edit the stew out of them. Then get busy finding an agent or a publisher.

DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB—YET So I—in agricultural terms—lay fallow for a while. I wrote a sequel to my first book, Irregardless of Murder and planned a third. I contributed short pieces to a couple of devotional books and gave talks locally on writing and mysteries, which went over well. I became a grandmother and that took up a lot of my time. But I never stopped wanting my Miss Prentice series to get another try. THE LILIAN (sic) JACKSON BRAUN STORY Most cozy mystery writers know who she is, the author of The Cat Who… series. Years ago, she published the first three or four of her cat mysteries and then cozies supposedly fell out of fashion. Noir mysteries were what sold, according to her publisher. So she went back to her day job, and hoped for a comeback, which came about 15 years later. Her first few books were re-published, and subsequent The Cat Who books have been top-sellers ever since. I took Lilian’s story seriously. Miss Prentice could make a comeback, I was sure. And she has. My new publisher has done a wonderful job of getting things going again. Irregardless is expanded and updated, has a new (and more striking) cover, and actually is available in ebook form, which didn’t exist when the book first came out. The sequel is scheduled to come

© July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

It can happen. E E Kennedy (author of the soon-to-be published IRREGARDLESS OF MURDER and its sequel, DEATH DANGLES A PARTICIPLE) was born in Alabama and grew up in far northern New York State, where these mysteries are set. Read her weekly column, Behind the Mystery @ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine’s website!

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God’s Choice ~ Dawn Kidd "Then Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Can I do what only God can do? You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done. So don't be afraid. I will take care of you and your children." So Joseph comforted his brothers and spoke kind words to them." Genesis 50:19-21

As I helped during a fundraiser for a local organization this week, I had the pleasure of meeting "Jackie". As we talked, she asked for prayer concerning her teenage daughter. "Misty", her fourteen year old daughter, had entered a rebellious stage and Jackie was at her wits end. She cried as she talked about her youngest daughter and how she just did not have it within herself to face another heartache. Misty was her youngest of four children. My heart ached for her. I tried to comfort

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July 2012 Issue

her the best I could. All of a sudden the words that were once told to me came flowing out of my mouth. I told her that God must have thought that she was the only mother in the world that could raise Misty. Of all the millions of women, God chose her and he would not leave her. The more I have thought about this conversation this week, the more God has moved on MY heart. There are times in my life that I have felt that I have failed God, my family...even myself miserably. Not in a small way, but I have felt as if I blew it...big time. God has walked with me this week and has shown me that of all the women in the world, he chose me to walk this path. He knew millions of years ago all the mistakes I would make, all the hurtful feelings I would cause (unintentionally) and the restless nights of sleep others would endure from my actions. He knows that I will make mistakes and I know he will test me. Of all the women in the world, God chose me to do what I do, to help in the ways that I can and to be the child of God that I am. I am not perfect. I make mistakes, but by God's grace, I am forgiven. You are not perfect, you make mistakes and by God's grace, you are forgiven. We should be more like Joseph and grant forgiveness to those that ask and to those who do not ask. His brothers, selling him to slavery, facing him years later ~ received nothing but grace. Forgive others, forgive yourself. Of all the women or men in the world....God chose YOU!!! Dawn Kidd is the author of "You Are Not Alone" that chronicles the loss of her two infant children. Along with her daily column at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, she is a weekend columnist for The Paragould Daily Press. Dawn enjoys her position on the board of TCF of Northeast Arkansas. (The Compassionate Friends is an International Organization that assists families with grief, who have lost a child, at any age). Read Dawn’s regular column You Are Not Alone @ The Wordsmith Journal

© July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

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Magazine’s website!

~~~~ Featured Author Delia Latham!

Delia Latham is a born-and-bred California gal, currently living in Oklahoma with her husband Johnny. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend— but above all, she treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. A former newspaper Staff Writer and frequent contributor to her hometown’s regional publication, Bakersfield Magazine, she has also freelanced projects to a public relations firm and various magazines; has compiled, edited, and designed cover art for various Kindness Incorporated projects; and sold greeting card verse. Many of her short stories, articles, and devotions can be found online. Latham’s published works includes: Goldeneyes (Vinspire Publishing, 2006); Yesterday’s Promise, Destiny’s Dream, Kylie's Kiss (2010-2011, White Rose Publishing), Gypsy’s Game (2012, White Rose Publishing); and Mine! (children’s picture book, 2011, Vinspire Imaginations). Find out more about this author on her website Or visit her blog. Check out Delia's Award Winning Solomon's Gate Series!

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Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter!

Check out these titles by Shawna!

Destiny’s Dream

Kylie’s Kiss

Gypsy’s Game

~~~~~ Featured Author Shawna K Williams! ISBN-13: 978-1468164930

ASIN: B0061YJAKU

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Having never considered becoming a writer, Shawna K. Williams' path changed in a single night all because of a dream. Her early writings were a mere attempt to fill in gaps within the dream and satisfy her curiosity, but later became the inspiration for her first two novels. She is an editor for Desert Breeze Publishing and Solstice Publishing, speaker and teacher on writing techniques, homeschooling mom and multipublished author of historical fiction. Shawna enjoys books in almost any genre as long as they contain strong characters tackling real-life grit -- even if the book is sci-fi/fantasy. She also has a thing for dogs and pygmy goats, and believes the world would be a better place if people aspired to be the person their pet believes them to be. Find out more about Shawna by visiting her website, blog or Author Page @ The Wordsmith Journal Website. © July 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine

We sincerely hope you enjoyed this edition of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine! Be sure and subscribe at our website so you can stay informed of all the great things happening as we strive to.... Publish His glorious deeds among nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. ~Psalms 96:3

© The Wordsmith Journal Magazine ~ All Rights Reserved Pamela S. Thibodeaux Editor, CEO, Ad Sales Director The Wordsmith Journal Magazine http://thewordsmithjournalmagazine.com 7/1/2012 http://pamelathibodeaux.com

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The Wordsmith Journal Magazine; July 2012 Issue  
The Wordsmith Journal Magazine; July 2012 Issue  

Established October 2011, The Wordsmith Journal is an online magazine geared to serve readers of Christian literature. Every month you'll fi...

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