Archives for October 2013

CrossReaders Book Review: Times of Trouble by Cliff Ball

CrossReaders Book Review: Times of Trouble by Cliff Ball

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Title: Times of Trouble

Author: Cliff Ball

Rating: Five stars

About the Book

Book 2 in the End Times Saga

Terrorist plot expert.
Bodyguard to the President.
Tested faith and personal troubles–
How will Brian Atwood face the End Times?

FBI Agent Brian Atwood is used to danger, and when he hunts down leads to a terrorist plot and saves a U.S. Airbase, he’s eventually offered a position to be the personal bodyguard of the President of the United States. The job not only tests his skills as an agent, but also his faith as a Christian when he discovers that the President has the morals of an alley cat. As Brian tries to come to terms with doing his job and having to look the other way, his world begins to crumble. His wife is dying of cancer and his son was taken away by the government because he has Down Syndrome. What else can go wrong? As the U.S. disintegrates, Brian must try to keep his family safe while waiting for the Rapture of Christians, and shortly before the approach of the End Times.

What readers are saying about Times of Trouble:

“Times of Trouble novel’s backdrop is on the End Times and all the other events leading to it. It is like a true story as most of the character sketches, circumstances, and plots are familiar and possible to happen in real life.” — Christian Book Review

“Great end-time story. Fast paced and prophetic” – LaTawnia Kintz, Book reviewer

“….the story is quite captivating and intriguing…” Lisa Johnson, book reviewer

“Good read – always kept my interest”- Nancy Pardo, reader review

Have you read the rest of the End Times Saga?

Times of Turmoil – Book 1
The Evans family sets out to destroy Christian influence in the U.S.

Jon Ryan: An End Times Short Story
Jon Ryan has to deal with the government interfering in healthcare shortly before the End Times approach.

Xavier Doolittle: An End Times Short Story
Xavier, another character from Times of Trouble, goes to work for the federal government and completely abandons his Christian faith, until he meets Brian Atwood.

Times of Trial – Book 3
When the President declares a dictatorship, he begins the immediate persecution of Christians shortly before the End Times.

Review

I enjoyed reading Times of Trouble. This is book in in The End Times Saga. The story continues with just enough facts to make it current and enough fiction mixed with fact to make it not only very believable but scary. You will enjoy this series

[easyazon-link asin=”B0075CNFFI” locale=”us”]Check out Times of Trouble: an End Times Thriller (The End Times Saga 2) on Amazon![/easyazon-link]

This review was submitted by: Jan Hall

Behind the Scenes with Staci Stallings and To Protect & Serve

Behind the Scenes with Staci Stallings and To Protect & Serve

by:  Staci Stallings

On “Abiding in Him”

It always amazes me how there is a story and then the stories that happen while I’m writing the stories. Oftentimes I learn as much from one as from the other.  That was certainly true of “To Protect & Serve.”

Now first of all, you have to know that writing about firefighting was WAY out of my comfort zone.  Ovens scare me.  In fact, I didn’t light a match until I was married, and once I nearly burned my church down trying to get a small candle lit.  So this is not a story I would ever have envisioned me being called to write.

Second of all, this story was not my idea.  You see, I was writing a different story, and when I write, I find people who look like my characters (often celebrities) and I print off pictures of them. I also make a soundtrack of music for each book that I write.  Well this particular book featured a guy from a 90’s boy band that I liked at the time.  And I was happily writing that story when a friend who had taken a deep interest in my stories and how I write them happened to be talking with me about my new story.

I showed her the footage I had of the group and the pictures…. and she proceeded to “fall in love” with one of the other guys in the band.  No matter what I did from that point on, she was like, “That’s nice.  When are you going to write this other guy’s story?”  UGH!  She kept it up so long that one day as I was driving to get my kids from school, I said, “Well, God, if I was going to write this other guy’s story, what would it be?”

And God literally dumped the whole story on top of me.  That’s weird.  Most of the time He gives me bits and pieces and I have to do a lot of trusting along the way that He knows where we’re going with this.  Not this one.  It came almost fully formed.

My first obstacle was the firefighting thing.  So when I got home and started writing on this one, I realized I was going to have to do some actual-actual research because I knew NOTHING about fighting fires.  One day on the way home from somewhere, I drove by our local volunteer fire department station house, and on a complete whim, I turned in there.  Not usually an out-going person, I went in, introduced myself, told them I was an author and I was writing a story about firemen and could they answer a few questions.

Within 20 minutes I had five firemen (I know… I have a rough job! 🙂 following me around, showing me the trucks and the ladders and all of the equipment, the suits, the boots, the gear.  It was an interesting hour and a half!

Then I went home and the story just came tumbling out.  However, there was another obstacle.  The main character, Jeff, was like a turtle when it came to talking with his love interest, Lisa about his job.  This frustrated her and me!

All of this occurred prior to 9-11.  When that happened, it took me awhile to start writing again, and one of the Bible verses that started showing up was John 15:4 “Abide in Me and I in you.” I was beginning to learn deeply just what that meant–that I was to trust God even when I couldn’t clearly see where any of this was going.

So I wrote the story that came to me whether I understood it or not.

About four months later, the post office changed our address for no apparent reason and flatly refused to deliver things with the old address on them.  So I stopped getting magazine subscriptions.  I had tried to get the address changed on my subscription for Time, but it was not working.

Then, one day I went to the mailbox, and here was my magazine–with the old address on it.  It was the Man of the Year issue featuring Rudy Giuliani.  In that issue was a picture of a firefighter taken in the stairwell during 9-11 and accompanying that picture was an article about this fireman’s wife.  In it, she talked about how the firemen don’t talk about work with the wives and how hard that can be.

Right then, I fully understood “Abide in Me and I in you” because I had written a fully-developed character just from what God had given me that perfectly fit what a character like him might be like–and I didn’t know it until after the fact!

God is so cool!

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Book Blast: Here Today Gone Tomorrow by Carlene Havel

Book Blast: Here Today Gone Tomorrow by Carlene Havel

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

By Carlene Havel

About the Book

Disappointed, dumped, divorced. Everything Casey Slaughter counted on is gone. While contemporaries start their families, Casey works two jobs to haul herself out of debt. Friends and family recommend a new husband to solve all her problems, but Casey resists their well-intentioned advice. Although she longs for a soul mate, the last thing her flattened self-esteem needs is more rejection—and comparisons to her beautiful, talented older sister do nothing to enhance Casey’s confidence. Unable to have children, she feels she has nothing to offer in marriage. Will bitterness and insecurity destroy her, or can renewed faith in God provide some measure of comfort for this wounded heart? Can Casey ever find love again, or will a string of disasters keep her forever on the run?

LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK

 

Carleen picCarlene Havel has lived in numerous US states, the Philippines, and Turkey. Like most writers, Carlene has always loved to read, and her taste is eclectic. Her other hobbies include sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery. She especially enjoys Bible study, normally devoting one day each week delving into the scriptures with a small focus group. The Havels make their home in San Antonio, Texas, in the midst of a big, extended family.


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Gossip…Who Me?

Gossip…Who Me?

“You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother’s son.”
Ps. 50:20 NKJV

The Message Remix version states it this way, “You stab your own brother in the back.”

If you and I were created in God’s image and likeness, and our families, friends, and neighbors were all created in God’s image and likeness, then how do we justify speaking against God’s creations?

Do we not see the face of Christ in others? How can we love God and hate Him in others at the same time? Would you like it if someone said something against your child? Our heavenly Father doesn’t like it either.

Malachi asked, “Don’t we all come from one Father? Aren’t we all created by the same God?” (Malachi 2:10a The Message Remix) Unfortunately, we use our tongue “to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse our fellow-man, who is created in the likeness of God,” (James 3:9 GNB).

If we say God reigns supreme in our lives and we are part of His body, why are we so unloving to His other body parts?
Do our eyes hate our polished fingernails for being prettier? Do our teeth covet the gold in our ears? Are our hands jealous because our feet sport new shoes?

You may say that sounds silly, but if we are all parts of Christ’s Body, why does one part behave so unbecomingly, so unlovingly, towards another part? I just don’t get it!

The Lord once said to me, “Do not wound My Heart by saying unkind things about those I love, things you could not say to their faces.” Our love for Christ must prevent us from grieving Him with our criticism and judgment of those He loves.

Let’s bring this closer to home.
Let’s say you are in a restaurant and see someone you know, perhaps, your preacher or someone well known eating with his or her spouse. They are having a lively conversation, waving their hands in the air, with determined looks on their faces.

The next day you tell a friend what you saw, but what do you say? “Oh, I saw so-and-so last night, fighting with her (his) spouse in a restaurant. They were waving their hands all around, arguing. It looked terrible. I’ll bet they’re on the verge of breaking up.”

Now, what have you done?
You have gossiped and spread rumors of that which you had no knowledge. Matthew Henry said, “Men are most apt to speak evil of those persons and things that they know least of.” They were probably not arguing at all, just having an impassioned conversation on a subject close to their hearts, such as, how do you suppose rumors get started?!

Jesus warned, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults – unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging,” (Matthew 7:1-2 The Message Remix).

We are neither to listen to gossip nor to spread it. Remember, those who gossip to you will turn around and gossip about you!

Have you ever felt the hot breath of another’s Judas-kiss upon your neck? Has another felt yours?

~Lord, keep my tongue from bringing shame on Your name. Let my words to others be always wrapped in love and lavishly filled with encouragement. Amen.

 

CrossReaders Book Review: Eyes of Honor by Jonathan Welton

CrossReaders Book Review: Eyes of Honor by Jonathan Welton

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Title: Eyes of Honor

Author: Jonathan Welton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

About the Book

After struggling with sexual temptation for years, author Jonathan Welton devoted himself to finding a way to be completely free from sexual sin. He read books, attended 12-step groups, and participated in counseling—with no success.

Spurred on by countless friends and acquaintances who shared a similar broken struggle and longed for freedom, the author searched Scripture—there he found the answer and shares it with you in a compassionate, nonjudgmental way.

Eyes of Honor helps you understand how to live a life of purity by realizing:

Your personal identity.
How to view the opposite sex correctly.
Recognizing your enemies.

Eyes of Honor is honest and refreshing, offering hope and complete freedom and deliverance from sexual sin. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and your salvation guarantee rescue from the appetite of sin. Your true identity empowers you to stop agreeing with the lies of the enemy that ensnare you.

Eyes of Honor also offers REAL help for those struggling with any addiction, not just sexual issues, because the scriptures shared and effective application of the freedom Christ died and rose from the dead to give us gives true hope and an easy-to-follow path to true freedom and deeper faith in our God Who is bigger than the prince of this world.

Review

5.0 out of 5 stars
Bravo, Brave Author Jonathan Welton!
As a fellow author who longs and prays daily for international revival and freedom from personal stumbling blocks, I wanted to cheer so many times when reading this book. FINALLY! Finally someone is standing up, even in the arena of porn, sex addiction and other sexual temptation with which satan whoops up on sincere Christ followers.

Christ did NOT earn a life of continuing slavery with His death, burial and resurrection. He earned a life of freedom. But if we keep putting back on the “old clothes,” we believe we’re still slaves to that old, skanky sin nature.

Thank you, Jonathan Welton, for going through the journey and grasping God’s heart on this. He’s a good, perfect God who has purchased ABUNDANT life for us.

I’m sharing this like crazy. Please read this now and do the same.

[easyazon-link asin=”B00817LQKM” locale=”us”]Check out Eyes of Honor: Training for Purity and Righteousness on Amazon![/easyazon-link]

This review was submitted by: Chana Keefer – please visit their website at www.chanakeefer.com