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Being At Home With God’s Peace

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When a home is full of love, it is a place of peace, of comfort, of belonging. Are you at home, and comfortable with, God’s peace? Do you find a sense of belonging with the call of God to live in peace and be peacemakers in the world?

Isaiah 2:2-5
In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.
Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
    and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.
Come, descendants of Jacob,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Back in Isaiah’s time, Israel had the disease of unfaithfulness, of turning away from God’s wisdom to that of those around them. Isaiah prophesies that God is going to change that. God is going to change the direction of the people. The people would end up beating their swords into plowshares. 

God’s kingdom brings tools of peace into the world. His people take the weapons of the world and create tools to bless and encourage. Some might see this as an impossibility, but there is power in the blood of Jesus to accomplish what we cannot do on our own. 

But how does that work? Jesus shows us. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus turns the law upside down, expanding upon it with the law of love. Murder is wrong, but Jesus goes further, saying that even being angry with a brother or sister is subject to judgment. Committing adultery is wrong, but even having lustful thoughts is like having adultery in your heart. 

It really boils down to loving others. That is taking the weapons of the world (debate, name-calling, ranting about what you think is true, obstinate refusal to listen, etc.) and turning it around to love. It’s about respecting those who are different than you. It’s about listening to those who disagree with you. It’s about overcoming evil with good. 

So how do we become at home with God’s peace?

  • Pray to be in tune with the Holy Spirit
  • Ask the Spirit to show you how to love someone who is on the other side of wherever you fall, whether it be racially, politically, or religiously.
  • Ask the Spirit to show you who is in need of your generosity today. Your generosity is a tool of peace.
  • Ask the Spirit to show you how to express unity with others.
  • Think about your words before you speak. Your words matter, just as our actions matter, and they build our culture, either for good or bad.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. If we proclaim him king over our lives and live in his kingdom here on earth, we want our words, our actions, our very lives to proclaim him as our Savior, our Prince of Peace.

Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to transform you into an instrument of peace? 

This post is based on the notes taken of John Ketchersid’s sermon at the Spirit of Unity Church on November 18, 2018.

writing

First Line Fridays – A Heart for Freedom

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

My publisher has been releasing some great books! A Heart for Freedom by Janet Grunst not only has a gorgeous cover, but it also promises to be a great story!

About the book:

A Heart For Freedom_Janet Grunst

Matthew Stewart wants only to farm, manage his rural Virginia inn, and protect his family from the tyranny of the Crown. But with tensions between the British Loyalists and Colonial Patriots mounting, he’s forced to choose sides.

While in Scotland Heather Stewart witnessed the devastation and political consequences of opposing the Crown. Now she wants only to avoid war and protect the family and peace she’s found in Virginia. When Matthew leaves for a short journey and doesn’t return, Heather begins to lose hope of seeing her husband again.

She’s seen the cost of fighting England and wants no part of it. He has a heart for freedom and is ready to die for liberty and those he loves.

First Line:

Matthew removed the three-cornered hat and wiped the sweat from his brow as he headed down the narrow alley just off King Street. Every step felt like a drumbeat accompanying Lucas Stephens’ remarks from the day before.

flourishFirst Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

 

Sherrinda Signature

 

writing

First Line Fridays – Lighthouse Stories

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I got a new book in the mail! The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection, featuring novellas by  Lena Nelson Dooley, Rebecca Jepson, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Candice Sule Papperson, Kathleen Rouser, Pegg Thomas, and Marilyn Turk.

About the book:

The Great Lakes Lighthouse BridesLighthouses have long been the symbol of salvation, warning sailors away from dangerous rocks and shallow waters.
Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of our nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

First Lines

Anna’s Tower by Pegg Thomas: The wail of a ship’s whistle jerked Anna Wilson from sleep despite the cotton wadding she’d shoved in her ears before bed. 

Beneath a Michigan Moon by Candice Sue Patterson: Ava Ryan walked the shoreline of Lake Huron, enjoying the most beautiful day of the year – until she crossed paths with the devil.

Safe Haven by Rebecca Jepson: Rose Miller tried to silence her grandfather’s warning, but it kept whispering in her mind, an echo that seemed to fill her wintery world with peril.

Love’s Beacon by Carrie Fancett Pagels: Standing alone in the Island Pharmacy, Valerie’s hands shook as she removed the scrap of paper from her reticule.  

The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser: She struggled to maintain her grip on the splintered wood plank, the only thing keeping her from drowning beneath the roiling waters of Lake Huron. 

The Disappearing Ship by Lena Nelson Dooley: Defeated. The word drummed through Norma Kimbell’s head as she gazed out at the pine forest rushing by the window in a blur.

The Wrong Survivor by Marily Turk: Pausing from her daily lens polishing, Lydia Palmer peered through the windows of the lantern room high above the sapphire-blue water of Lake Superior at the boat heading toward the dock below.

flourishFirst Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

 

Sherrinda Signature

 

writing

First Line Fridays – Hearts Entwined

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I got a new book in the mail! Hearts Entwined, featuring novellas by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagers.

About the book:

Hearts EntwinedFour top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train. Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory.

First Line

The Love Knot by Karen Witemeyer: Claire Nevin frowned at the cheerful white clouds frolicking across the blue sky and tried to close her ears against the melodies the birds insisted on singing in response to the deceptively fine morning. Ignorant creatures.

The Tangled Ties that Bind by Mary Connealy: Home. One more hour on the trail and Connor Kincaid would be home for the first time in five years.

Bound and Determined by Regina Jennings: I don’t want to die on an empty stomach.

Tied and True by Melissa Jagears: The pounding of hammers above them ceased. 

flourishFirst Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

 

Sherrinda Signature

 

writing

Are you NaNo-ing?

NaNoingTomorrow, November 1, begins National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It is the month where writers all over the country attempt to write 50,000 words on their current work-in-progress (WIP). That means you have to write 1,667 words a day, which is about seven pages a day.

I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo twice and failed both times. There were several factors contributing to my inability to finish, including a stressful full-time job and, of course, all things Thanksgiving.

But this year is different!

This year I am at home with only a part-time job where I set the hours. This time I have prepared. I’ve had an idea for my second medieval and have four chapters written, but I knew if I wanted to be successful and write quickly, I needed a roadmap for my writing.

So this week I’ve worked out a skeleton plot, with ideas for about 25 scenes. I’m hoping as I get into the story, my imagination will spark with even more ideas.

I’ve worked a little on a Pinterest board with pictures of my characters. You can go to this link to view how I picture the characters I will be writing about: His to Keep Pinterest Board

Plus, I’ve set up a file in Scrivener (an organizational writing program), included some character sketches, research on certain topics like handfasting, inheritance rules, etc… Everything at my fingertips.

Scrivener_HTK

I’m set!

Now all I have to do is sit down every day and write, write, write!

If you are a writer, are you NaNo-ing?

If you are a reader, dd you know that some of the books you’ve read have been written during NaNoWriMo? 🙂

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reading

Reading Challenge Woes

Y’all! I’m so behind on my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge. I knew I hadn’t read as much this year with all the strenuous editing of my soon-to-be-published book, but I didn’t realize how behind I was! Check out my full list HERE.

Reading Challenge

I’m not even halfway to my goal and I only have two months left!

Friends, I’m not going to make it.

I’m trying to be okay with that, as I hate not finishing a goal. But it happens.

I’m of the opinion that wallowing in guilt over not following through just keeps me tied in knots and fosters self-loathing. Well, that’s a bit extreme. I don’t hate myself, but I do disappoint myself with my lack of discipline at times.

So I choose grace over guilt.

I choose to celebrate progress instead. Let’s face it, progress on a goal means that there is forward movement. It means that I’m not stagnating! Woohoo!

So my encouragement to you is to keep moving forward. Take a step. Progress is something to celebrate.

What is it you will choose to celebrate progress over? 

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writing

First Line Fridays – Just Let Go

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I haven’t read any of Courtney Walsh‘s books, but I keep hearing about them and decided it was time. I’ve downloaded Just Let Go and it is next on my list to read.

 

About the book:

Just Let Go_Courtney WalshFor Quinn Collins, buying the flower shop in downtown Harbor Pointe fulfills a childhood dream, but also gives her the chance to stick it to her mom, who owned the store before skipping town twenty years ago and never looking back. Completing much-needed renovations, however, while also competing for a prestigious flower competition with her mother as the head judge, soon has Quinn in over her head. Not that she’d ever ask for help.

Luckily, she may not need to. Quinn’s father and his meddling friends find the perfect solution in notorious Olympic skier Grady Benson, who had only planned on passing through the old-fashioned lakeside town. But when a heated confrontation leads to property damage, helping Quinn as a community-service sentence seems like the quickest way out—and the best way to avoid more negative press.

Quinn finds Grady reckless and entitled; he thinks she’s uptight and too regimented. Yet as the two begin to hammer and saw, Quinn sees glimpses of the vulnerability behind the bravado, and Grady learns from her passion and determination, qualities he seems to have lost along the way. But when a well-intentioned omission has devastating consequences, Grady finds himself cast out of town—and Quinn’s life—possibly forever. Forced to face the hurt holding her back, Quinn must finally let go or risk missing out on the adventure of a lifetime.

First Line

He shouldn’t be here. A diner in some little tourist town in Michigan was no place for Grady Benson, but here he was. 

Okay, I had to include the second sentence. 🙂 

First Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature