Thursday, August 27, 2015

Are you ready for some football?

Alright football fans! The Crafty Dad and Daughter ready for you! 

All football items are available in the team colors of your choice (high school, college or pro). 

The plaques are 8x8 inches and are painted one color on top and a second color on the sides. $12

The Texas will hang from a baseball ribbon and is $15.

Show your team spirit and order now! We will ship!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jesus takes our ragged edges and mends us into something beautiful

 Part 2 of an interview with Cynthia Ruchti,
 Author of Tattered and Mended

Artisans can reclaim exquisite beauty from the broken, frayed, and hopelessly shattered, perhaps once thought beyond repair. But what about us? What of the scares and broken places we hide inside? What of the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live? Can our tattered souls ever be mended?

In Tattered and Mended (Abingdon Press), author Cynthia Ruchti offers an invitation to think about soul-mending as a divine art form, to show us that God doesn’t just heal wounded souls, he heals artfully.

With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Ruchti offers hope for your own broken pieces. She opens the door to a gallery of the reclaimed and restored, reflects on a tapestry of stories not unlike your own, and helps readers discover that even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

Q: Tell us about a time in your life when you felt tattered and in need of mending.

In Tattered and Mended, I mention a period of time that brought me to my knees — or even lower than that. When Lyme disease was a fairly “new” disease, as far as the general public was concerned, I had the dubious honor of being one of the first in my area of Wisconsin to contract it. It crept in stealthily, one symptom at a time. It was a year and a half before we knew what was causing the relentless headaches, heart-rhythm problems, debilitating pain in joints and muscles and a dozen other symptoms. I had young children, a ministry that taxed my energies and an at-that-time unknown disease that raged through my body. It reduced me to a lump of fatigue, uncertainty, concern and an emotional drain that left me shredded. I plowed through because I had no other choice and because I’d learned God is faithful and capable even when our strength is completely gone.

Q: Humans try to heal themselves by slapping a bandage on the wound. How does God heal differently?

He does nothing carelessly or unintentionally. We can search diligently and not find a place in His Word where He decides, “Eh, that’s good enough.” He’s a God of excellence, trustworthiness and thoughtfulness. We can look to creation for confirmation that He is a master at details. He doesn’t settle for utilitarian purpose only. He goes beyond workable to beautiful.

Q: Why do you think many people remain in a broken state?

Some of us have come to expect too little. We think we don’t deserve anything more than where we now stand in the healing process. On the other hand, we may expect too much, growing bitter if the mending doesn’t happen as quickly as we imagine, in the way we imagine or with the results we envision. That bitterness is counterproductive to the healing we need and creates self-imposed setbacks.

Still others are broken and don’t yet know God cares they are hurting. They don’t yet know they’re mendable. I ache for them.

Q: What can we learn about healing from the miracles Jesus performed while He was here on earth?

We could talk about that for a long time and not exhaust the topic. The thoughts that come instantly to my mind are these:

·         He never performed a half-miracle. He always brought complete healing. Leprous skin as smooth as a newborn’s. Full sight. Not just the lame walking, but dancing. He anticipates the need and the side effects for others when we emerge fully mended.
·         He used an incredibly wide variety of methods to heal. Why should we expect our mending to look just like someone else’s?
·         He seems to delight in tackling what others find impossible. He finds nothing intimidating, not even emotional or physical traumas that would send others fleeing. Our tatters are not beyond His abilities.

Q: Many people don’t find wholeness because they can’t let go of hurt and resentment. Why is forgiveness so closely tied to emotional freedom?

Unforgiveness keeps us trapped in a state that is not a great environment for healing. Wounds can’t heal well in unsanitary conditions. Unforgiveness is spiritually unsanitary, and while it may seem natural, it isn’t healthy.

Q: How do you hope this book will offer strength and hope to those who are going through a difficult circumstance?

It’s one thing to believe God can make us better on a soul-deep level. It’s another to understand His intention is to make artwork from our messes and distresses. Like a master artist, He takes broken bits and frayed threads and mends us so thoroughly we can’t unravel, and the result is a thing of beauty.

Q: What do you mean when you say you’re an “observer-writer”?

Some write as experts on their subject of choice. I write from a place of listening and observing, then I attempt to express what others feel but can’t find a way to put into words.

To keep up with Cynthia Ruchti, visit You can also become a fan on Facebook (Cynthia Ruchti) or follow her on Twitter (@cynthiaruchti).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sharing your faith should not be daunting task

Part 1 of an interview with Rob Peabody,
Executive Producer and Host of
Intersect: Where Your Story and God’s Story Converge

Let’s face it: Opening up to the people we love most about the most important issues in life — such as faith — can be tough. Whether it’s embarrassment or misunderstanding, the fear of rejection can keep our lips sealed, thus keeping our unsaved loved ones lost in the dark. This is why Rob Peabody and Cris Rogers created Intersect: Where Your Story and God’s Story Converge (Kregel Publications/July 27, 2015/$15.99), a five-week short film resource designed to help Christians engage their family, friends and neighbors in a meaningful way about their faith. Whether used in a café, a friend’s living room or a more formal church setting, the video series can be tailored to a variety of audiences. 

Q: Tell us about the Intersect DVD series. Who was it created for, and what is the best way for it to be used?

Intersect is a five-week short film resource designed to be a missional tool to help those in the church engage those who might not yet be ready to step foot inside its walls and begin spiritual conversations centered on Jesus. It was created with a desire to enable people to have spiritual conversations with their friends, co-workers, family, neighbors and others, regardless of their church history or familiarity with God and church.

Often I find many in our churches agree that talking about Jesus and engaging in evangelism is a good thing they want to be a part of; however, they feel ill-equipped and apathetic when it comes to doing it. Intersect is a tool to help start the conversation — to put the “ball on the tee,” to borrow a golf analogy. We are finding Intersect is best used amongst a group of friends, whether in a café, friend’s house, church group, with co-workers on a coffee break, or more formal environment. It doesn’t take long, and the conversation it lends itself to can be tailored to your specific audience.

Q: What are you trying to achieve with Intersect?

We wanted to create a tool anyone could use to facilitate a conversation about things of greater importance.

It’s called Intersect because the basic premise of the series is to hear from five normal people about their struggles, issues and journeys in regard to basic universal human issues we all deal with (rest, control, expectations, disappointment and trust). The viewer can relate to how they deal with these issues in their own lives, and then we talk about what God has to say about these issues. We intentionally tried to stay away from being preachy, and we carefully crafted how the issues were presented, working under the assumption that the viewer may not know anything about the Christian subculture. We wanted to avoid the “Christianese” we so often hear from regular churchgoers and church leaders.

We also wanted to make Intersect as authentic as possible, starting with everyday issues we all deal with, and explore how the greater story of God connects to our lives on a practical level.

Q: The series features the faith journeys of five Christians. Why did you choose to use individual stories as the centerpiece of the series?

We all have a story. There has never been a person on the planet who did not have one. Our stories give us significance. They are what connect us to the past, the present and the future. In fact, our stories make us who we are. The beauty of each person’s individual story is that although they are completely unique, our stories can relate and intersect. When this happens, the result is life-giving. When you connect with someone’s story, it may bring validation, hope, assurance, comfort, meaning and a whole gamut of other emotions. The truest beauty, though, is when elements of a shared story amongst people also connect to the bigger story of God. What I love about God’s story — his grand meta-narrative we see played out through Scripture and our world today — is that it is designed to incorporate and converge with every individual story in humanity. It’s the way God set it up. It’s the way our true humanity is realized.

In Intersect we wanted to celebrate this truth and lead with a story. In a day and age where truth is debated and experience reigns supreme, our stories speak volumes. You might feel like you have nothing to offer, but you have a story, and there is a God and a people who want to merge into and share that story.

Q: Some people view the Bible as being abstract or symbolic. How can a person purposefully move to seeing God’s Word as a practical guide for their everyday life?

Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Bible is “living and active” and it is sharp and penetrates deep down to the thoughts and attitudes of a person’s heart. This sounds pretty personal to me. There are all sorts of different genres, writing styles, symbolism and writing techniques used throughout all 66 books of the Bible. It’s quite a complex book written by multiple authors over a period of thousands of years. At the end of the day, though, if God’s revelation of Himself, humanity and reality does not impact and intimately work in and through us, all it is to us is a great historical account. We must develop a practice of purposefully engaging with God through His Spirit and His Word if we are to understand and become more like God. God is after our hearts, not our head knowledge, and it is only by wrestling with the heart of God as revealed to us in the Bible and practically applying what we learn that we can ever get on the same page with Him.

Q: How can unmet expectations derail our spiritual journey?

I would say unmet expectations are the cause of all of our disappointments. We all have expectations, whether articulated or not, and these help guide how we behave, interact and process relationships and situations we move throughout daily. For those of us who are married, you know exactly what I am talking about! Often when our expectations are not met, we need someone or something to put the blame on . . . and quite often the easiest person to put this on is God. God is not a “cosmic vending machine” or “universal police officer” looking to reward good behavior and punish bad. We shouldn’t pray in order to get what we want because when things in your life are not going the way you had expected, you end up having a problem with God. Your spiritual journey gets derailed because you have failed to have an accurate perception of God in the first place. It all comes back to the view we have of God. And this view can only be accurately painted in our hearts and minds if we have looked to God’s revelation of Himself appropriately.

Q: What does the rest that God promises look like on a practical level in our lives?

Rest is an interesting concept. Rest can be taking a nap, ‘“unplugging” for a bit of time, going on a vacation or even spending a nice night in with a loved one. The most interesting thing, though, is that although you may be in a physical posture of rest (lying down, relaxing, etc.) your mind and soul can still be at work. Perhaps you have decided to lie down on a Sunday afternoon or are watching golf on television (prime sleep conditions!), and although you have the pillows and blanket, your mind is racing about that issue you cannot seem to resolve. Sleepless nights and anxious moments are often due to the fact we do not have this “soul rest” that is referred to by Jesus in the Bible. Jesus promises true rest for the believer — a soul or heart rest — that can be achieved no matter what the outside conditions are or what situations are demanding from us. In fact, Hebrews tells us that entering into God’s rest not only secures our eternal destiny with Him but provides a peace or a rightness in the life we currently live. Jesus is the bringer of this rest. It is by Him, to Him and through Him we can truly rest in a world that never stops.

Q: What is your ultimate hope for those who complete the Intersect DVD series?

My dream is that Intersect would be used to start conversations of significance centered on the Gospel in a day where it is so easy to remain superficial and safe in the depth of conversation we conduct.

My hope for individuals who complete Intersect is that they would take their next step with Jesus, whatever that may be. For some, that will be contemplating and beginning to explore the things of God for the very first time. For others it will be re-imagining what their relationship with Him could become, and for others still it might be using Intersect to lead others to explore their relationship with God in a new and fresh way.

I also hope Intersect will give those of us in the church a tool to begin sharing our faith with those outside the walls of the church. We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you; now all you have to do is push play and be open to having a conversation. My prayer is this would be a tool that helps to empower normal believers to make a difference in someone else’s life as they walk in obedience for the Kingdom of God.

For more information about Rob Peabody, visit, like the Awaken Movement on Facebook (awakenmovement) or follow Rob on Twitter (@AwakenRob and @awakenmovement).  

Monday, August 24, 2015

#BachelorInParadise specializes in #overkill

Tonight I have decided I want to go on Bachelor in Paradise just so that I have the opportunity to scream and cry and tell people what I really think. I won't go to try to find love. I just want to go to throw a hissy fit. I figure I'm due a good one.

The show starts off with a montage of all the crabs. I want crab cakes.

Then, we launch off with JJ screaming bloody murder at Joe because he's steamed over the whole Juelia thing. When you think about it, she gave up on someone she gave a rose and moved on to Joe. Other than Joe being a giant jerk, I'm not sure if I see the difference. Just because she is a widowed mother...

JJ tells Juelia he is thinking about giving her his rose to keep her around and have a chance at finding love.

Joe tells Samantha that he doesn't think he can handle this much longer. Samantha tells him to just forget about it because she doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

This is getting old. So old.

This particular night is the night of the rose ceremony. There are 10 women and 7 men, so three of the women are headed back to actual reality, not this fake reality.

Blah, blah, blah. Then the entire group of 17 rehash Joe and Juelia and Samantha. Clare plays the role of, I don't know, arbitrator? "If you were such good friends to Juelia, did you even think of talking to her about it?"

I'm zoning out again.

Ashley I. and I agree on one thing. That we're over Joe/Juelia/Samantha. Ashley wants to just stare at Jared for a while. Just stare. She wants to know why he hasn't kissed her in two days. I think he just kisses her to shut her up.

Meanwhile, Amber wants to make sure she and Dan have a chance to talk since he's one of the wild cards. Tinley wants to talk to JJ and convince him to go to bat for Juelia and give her a rose since she doesn't think JJ really hit it off with Megan anyway. He is torn though because he doesn't want to leave Megan out to dry.

Juelia wants to stay, but doesn't want a sympathy rose. She goes off to find Chris Harrison and talk to him. She answers "yes" when Harrison asks her if she felt played. She really wants Mikey to be brought back because she wishes she had given him a rose and tried to see if there might be a connection there since he really tried to warn her about Joe and was on her side.

Before we can get an answer about what Harrison is willing to do, we get sent to the rose ceremony. Harrison tells the women if they don't get a rose, they will be leaving Paradise FOREVER. And so it begins...

Josh gives his rose to Tenley.

Jared settles on Ashley I.

Kirk and Carly.

Tanner is solid with Jade.

JJ is visibly conflicted as his eyes dart back and forth. He throws everyone off by picking Ashley S. At first, she says she won't accept it. He followed Juelia's wishes and didn't give her the sympathy rose. He then gives a speech about it being a hard decision. JJ broke up with someone to come to Paradise. However, through the time there, he's decided he really wants what he left behind. He wanted Ashley S. to stay to find a chance at love. They play some patriotic music as he hugs everyone before he leaves.

Juelia is left in tears realizing she shouldn't have told JJ not to give her his rose.

Joe, of course, gives his rose to Samantha.

Dan is annoyed Joe gets to stay, and he's left being the only one who can save Juelia. It's time for Dan to give out his rose, and he puts it back down. He asks Harrison if he can talk to Carly a few minutes.

Now Ashley S. calls Dan a grandpa. He's not that much older than the rest. He's only 32.

Like an umpire going out to the mound to break up the talk, Harrison tells Dan it's time. He ultimately settles on Amber.

Megan, Juelia and Clare must say their goodbyes.

Clare laments that if she had just been chosen as bachelorette she wouldn't have had to have been there.

As Juelia goes out to the car to leave, Mikey is getting out of the car to meet her. They walk back in together, and Harrison explains what happened. There are no rules in Paradise, even after that FOREVER thing earlier.

At the end of the night, there's a date card up for grabs. It goes to Tanner. He and Jade head out early the next morning on a private plane. They are headed to Tequila. There they have to do some farm work and whack an agave plant so they can make tequila. 

In other news, Joe and Samantha are hanging out at the bar with Jorge. Joe thinks Samantha may be his future wife. Samantha says she's hear for Joe and wants to spend as much time as possible. That's until Nick arrives. Not that Nick. Some Nick I don't remember from Ashley's season and Bachelor Pad 3. He looks forward to meeting...

Samantha. They've texted before and he's told her that he would ask her out if he got a date card upon arrival. Sound familiar?

So, Nick walks up to the bar and says hello to everyone. He has a date card and reads it to the crowd. Nick asks Samantha. She said she would be flattered, then they go off to talk.

Everyone finds this funny and ironic. They anticipate Joe combusting over it. It's not until after they get back to the group that she tells Nick no to the date.

Mikey talks to Nick later. Nick says he had talked to Samantha quite a bit in LA before coming. Mikey explains what's been going before Nick got there. Mikey breaks the news that Samantha wasn't talking to just one guy before she got there.

Nick's second choice is Ashley S. They were supposed to go to a private island, but the island is closed. The local is talking to them in English, but Ashley says she doesn't understand Spanish. They have to go on the alternate date.

Now, back to Jade and Tanner... They are given an invite to a fantasy suite.

Now, back to Ashley S. and Nick... they start knocking back shots of tequila. They get smashed quickly. Next up, a massage. After a while, there's a grackle in a tree that Ashley starts communicating with. Nick doesn't know what to think about the oddness of Ashley.

Later in the hot tub, drunk Ashley says she'll always be a sister to him. The really strange behavior comes out. Then, she decides she's into him, not as a brother.

Back on Jade's date, Tanner wants to tell her how she really feels. Tanner is afraid he's going to fall so in love, but afterwards not seeing her again. They drone on for a while.

At the house the next day, Joe is telling Samantha what he really wants for his birthday today. Among his wishes is no drama. He asks her if there is anyone else there that she wants to go on a date with. He's starting to feel insecure. She's tired of being quizzed by him.

Later on, we see there's a little trouble in paradise between them. Something has changed. She had needed a moment alone to blow dry her hair.

When Tanner and Jade get back, they can tell the date must have gone very well as they are both beaming. Everyone there wants to feel that feeling.

In the pool, Jared talks to Mikey and Kirk about how he doesn't feel for Ashley I. what she feels for him. He's planning on talking to her and breaking it off tonight. Upstairs, Ashley is fixing all of her makeup and getting ready for some special time with Jared. Jared starts off by telling Asheley that he wants her to experience Paradise and get to know some other guys too. He doesn't want to lead her on, after all, he thinks she's the sweetest girl there. However, he doesn't know that their chemistry is what he's looking for. Jared says he's still trying to get over Kaitlyn.

Ashley tearfully asks why he doesn't just go. Jared doesn't want to leave her upset, but he goes ahead and leaves at her prompting. She snotty cries on about how no one will love her ever. It's two guys. She calls up Kaitlyn and asks what on Earth she did to Jared because he's obsessed. Kaitlyn be all like, "WUT?" (Yes, I felt the need to mix it up.)

Joe sets up a birthday celebration for himself to get some time alone with Samantha. At first she thought he was such a nice guy, then she started examining the drama. After giving him the benefit of the doubt at first, she had to take a look at what everyone was saying and why. She can't handle all the drama, even though there has not been drama today. Samantha doesn't want to start off a relationship like this.

"Sam isn't the girl I thought I was falling for." Really Joe? Now he's going to go toss perfectly good chocolate covered strawberries.

Samantha comes back to the group and tells everyone that Joe was not the one.

Joe is ready to get some revenge because he did everything he was supposed to do to be prepared for her to arrive.

And that's it for Sunday night.

Monday night's show starts with Carly and Tenley doing synchronized swimming moves on a dry land lounge area. Akward.

So, last night (in their time) there were two break-ups. Ashley I. and Jared as well as Samantha and Joe. The next morning Ashley I. is commiserating with Joe. Ashley is bawling again, and Joe says he's sorry, but he's not a sensitive guy. That move didn't work for her.

I think she cries for attention, and it's not working for her.

Carly finds a date card and reads it to everyone. It's for Mikey. He better pick Juelia considering he asked for him to be asked back. Mikey does do the right thing. They are packing up to go to Guadalajara. 

Tenley comments in a camera interview that she hopes Juelia does not feel too much pressure if it is an overnight date. Just because the date might span over a time period, I'm pretty sure there is not a contractual requirement that the two parties involved must have sex. I have always found Tenley to be flighty, so I don't like her. Of course, I've only seen her on every season of Bachelor Pad. I didn't watch her actual season of The Bachelor.

Before she goes on her date, she has to Facetime her daughter, Ireland. This desperation move to try to find someone, anyone, before going home probably isn't going to work out for her. It takes all of about two minutes on a private plane for Juelia to decide Joe is a boy and Mikey is a man.

Opinions of Samantha are sinking, much like Joe's, especially now that she's gravitating to Nick. However, Joe decides to confront her and ask her if she came for Nick. He keeps bringing up the "do anything to get a rose" text. She plays dumb and says she didn't come there with any set intentions. They rehash some stuff and she says she's over the drama and this discussion.

Kirk decides to do something special for Carly. They go fishing. It's kind of cute. Low key and nice.

That's the opposite of the Nacho Libre date Mikey and Juelia go on. Mike is all into the wrestling. Juelia probably wishes she is anywhere else. She says she has fun though.

Later in the night, they are given a card with the choice of using two keys or just one. Juelia wants to stay in one room so they can get to know each other. Take that however you please.

The next morning, Ashley I. tries to make conversation with Jorge the bartender. She claims to have not cried in three hours. At the same time, Joshua tries to give Joe dating advice, telling him to apologize to Samantha for the drama. Then, he goes to Ashley I. for some advice. Not sure that was smart. She suggests starting all the way over with her by introducing himself to her.

Joe was about to make his move when Justin from Kaitlyn's season arrives with a date card. Joe takes him off to fill him in on what is going on around there. Joe tries to convince Justin not to ask Samantha out and instead tell her what a great guy he (Joe) is.

Joe may have considered Justin a friend before, but not now! Justin asks Samantha out. She says yes.

Samantha talks to Joe telling him that she did have the best first date ever, but she wants a clean slate. Joe says he doesn't understand what she's saying. He feels like they are going to end up together in the real world, but she doesn't feel that way. "I can't deal with all this drama." As Carly says, "she's creating all the drama."

Joe makes an idiot of himself, and the show ends with him saying, "I want to go home."

And big surprise... next week promises more drama. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Who Did Swallow Jonah?

Who Did Swallow Jonah?

Who did? Who did? Who did? Who did?
Who did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah?
Who did? Who did? Who did? Who did?
Who did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah?
Who did? Who did? Who did? Who did?
Who did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah?
Who did swallow Jonah? Who did swallow Jonah?
Who did swallow Jonah… Up?

The whale did. The whale did. x2
The whale did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah
The whale did. The whale did. x2
The whale did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah
The whale did. The whale did. x2
The whale did swallow Jo-Jo-Jonah
The whale did swallow Jonah x2
The whale did swallow Jonah… Up!

Noah, Noah, Noah, Noah,
Noah in the arky, arky,
Noah, Noah, Noah, Noah,
Noah in the arky, arky,
Noah, Noah, Noah, Noah,
Noah in the arky, arky,
Noah in the arky, Noah in the arky,
Noah in the arky bailed.

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel,
Daniel in the li, li, li, li.
Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel,
Daniel in the li, li, li, li.
Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel,
Daniel in the li, li, li, li.
Daniel in the lion’s, Daniel in the lion’s,
Daniel in the lion’s den.

Peter, Peter, Peter, Peter,
Peter on the sea, sea, sea, sea.
Peter, Peter, Peter, Peter,
Peter on the sea, sea, sea, sea.
Peter, Peter, Peter, Peter,
Peter on the sea, sea, sea, sea.
Peter walking on the, Peter walking on the,

Peter walking on the sea.

This includes verses I never knew from childhood. I didn't know there was ever more than Daniel and Jonah. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Horsing around

You should be proud of me. I haven't done a craft post in two weeks, even though I had an event last weekend. 

My dad's brother has gotten the creativity bug, and now I have two retired brothers to keep busy! Anyway, I thought I would share some of his horseshoe creations with you. 

Crosses - $40

Stars - $35

Pumpkins - $40

I love you - $35

Ribbons (available in any color) - $8 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Go back to the Exodus from Egypt in Until My Name is Known

Travel back in time to 2450 B.C. to the Old Kingdom of Egypt where Pharaoh is god . . . but then Israel’s God arrives. Don’t miss Sonya Contreras’ book, Until My Name is Known. See how God changes all people: some for the better, others not. None stay the same. How will He change you? Can you trust a God Who destroyed a nation before your eyes? Would you want Him as your Friend?


(Bull Head Press, July 2015)
The Exodus of the Jews from Egypt is a love story between God and His people. God woos His people to Himself as He prepares them to leave. Before leaving, God must fight Pharaoh for possession of His people. See how God changes all people: some for the better, others not. None stay the same. How will He change you? Can you trust a God Who destroyed a nation before your eyes? Would you want Him as your Friend?
See God free His people from Egypt’s bonds before a watching world. Trace His Finger in the lives He touches. The time: 2450 BC. The Place: Old Kingdom of Egypt where Pharaoh is god. His people worship him. Israel’s God arrives. He challenges Pharaoh. His power touches all people. They must change. Some do not concede. They suffer. Others yield. They find freedom.
Until My Name Is Known brings all to see the one true God. Read it to see Him. Today’s historians and archaeologists puzzle over the fall of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, But the world at that time heard of God. The world knew that He is the Lord. His Name was proclaimed in all the earth.
Sonya Contreras


Growing up with five sisters, Sonya Contreras asked God many questions, even when she did not like His answers. Graduating from Cedarville University and Institute for Creation Research with a Masters Degree in Science Education did not stop her questions. Marrying her best friend and homeschooling their eight sons, she found that dreams do come true, in spite of unanswered questions. Trusting God, Who knows all answers, she shares questions that matter weekly at
Find out more about Sonya at

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Debra Clopton’s Counting on a Cowboy and her Love at the Reins Giveaway

A new tale of romance, family, and taking risks—don't miss Debra Clopton's Counting on a Cowboy! After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

Saddle up with Debra and her new book and enter to win her Love at the Reins prize pack!

counting on a cowboy-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
clopton collage

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 8th. The winner will be announced September 9th on Debra's blog.

counting on a cowboy-enter banner

counting on a cowboy


(Thomas Nelson, August 2015)
After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.
Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.
Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.
This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.
Debra Clopton


Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra’s goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.
Find out more about Debra at

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pre-Order ‘Glory Days,’ Max Lucado’s New Book, and Receive Free Gifts

Are you stuck in the wilderness known as midlife misery? Can you name the day you became a Christian but can’t remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer? Find encouragement in Max Lucado's new book, Glory Days. With God’s help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.

Now through August 31, 2015, pre-order Glory Days and receive free gifts!


There are two pre-order options:

Option 1:

Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format), and receive a free digital download of the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado.

After you've pre-ordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at

Option 2:

Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format) AND one copy of God is With You Every Day (Max's brand-new, 365-day devotional—any format), and receive both the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace and a paperback copy of Traveling Light by Max Lucado (U.S. addresses only). 

After you’ve preordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at

Pre-order today and get your free gift by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the offer ends on August 31, 2015.


GloryDays cover with border


(Thomas Nelson, September 2015)
The wilderness. Maybe you know it well.
The Israelites sure did. After all, they spent forty years wandering the desert. Victories were scarce. Progress was slow. They were free from Pharaoh but not free from fear. Saved but stuck.
Sounds a lot like midlife misery. Caught in a rut. Stalled out. Running on empty. Are you mired in the same?
You can name the day you became a Christian and escaped Egypt. But you can’t remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer. You’re fighting the same battles you fought the day you came to Christ. You’re out of Egypt, but Egypt’s not out of you.
Isn’t the Christian life supposed to be better than this?
Jesus offers abundant joy. Yet you live with oppressive grief. The epistles speak of grace. You shoulder guilt. You are more than a conqueror yet are commonly conquered by temptation or weaknesses.
But there’s good news. With God’s help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.
This is God’s vision for your life. You, at full throttle. You, as you were intended. You, as victor over the Jerichos and giants. You, minus the stumbles, hurts, and hate.
You and your Promised Land life.
Max Lucado


More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.
Find out more about Max at

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sarah Sundin’s ‘Through Waters Deep’ and Anchors Aweigh Giveaway

Dive into Sarah Sundin's explosive new series, Waves of Freedom, with book one, Through Waters DeepWhen evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them in the midst of their budding romance.

Join Sarah in celebrating the release of Through Waters Deep by entering to win an Anchors Aweigh prize pack!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Through Waters Deep
  • A nautical tote bag
  • A set of compass rose notecards
  • A "Hope Anchors the Soul" journal
  • A Boston Tea Party earl grey tea set
  • Through Waters Deep apron
  • A set of nautical tea towels

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 24th. The winner will be announced August 25th on Sarah's blog.


Through Waters Deep PK


(Revell, August 2015)

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war.
Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.
Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, In Perfect Time, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2014, On Distant Shores was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Awards from both AWSA and the Christian Authors Network. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.
Find out more about Sarah at