Archives for March 2015

I’ll Win It For You by Staci Stallings

I’ll Win It For You by Staci Stallings

The game was tight. Archrivals had faced off for three and a half periods in a seesaw battle that was going down to the wire. As the clock ticked down, the two sides traded the lead back and forth. Neither could be assured of victory because with the game so close, anything could happen.

From the sideline, the coach watched his team getting more and more apprehensive as the seconds ticked away. They were missing shots they never missed. They were missing opportunities they didn’t miss. Even their body language said, “This is bad. We might lose this one.”

With less than a minute left, the coach called a time out. Now he knew that every girl on that court had been over the plays a million times. They didn’t need elaborate help to set up a play for a last second win. They needed to calm down and play the way they knew how to play. So when they bent into that huddle, the coach told them something more than a little unconventional. “Go out there. Play the game. Have fun. Do your best, and I’ll win it for you.”

No pressure instructions. No you have to win this or we lose to our rivals. No anxiety-inducing strategy. Simply, “Go play, and I’ll win it for you.”

To my way of thinking, that was an audacious statement because in reality, it wouldn’t be the coach taking the shot that would win or lose the game. He would be standing on the sideline with no direct control whatsoever. However, this coach knew something about the training these girls had been through, and he knew without a doubt they could do it. The problem was they didn’t know they could do it, and so, he let them rely not on themselves for the win but on him.

The amazing thing to me when I really started thinking about this statement is that what that coach told his team is exactly what Jesus tells each one of us: “Go out there. Play the game. Have fun. Do your best, and I’ll win it for you.”

We think it’s all on us—that we have to get everything right, do everything perfectly, or our “win” will never materialize. In fact, we get sucked into this mentality that Heaven may be just out of our reach no matter what we do. However, I think the reality is that Jesus is the coach standing on the sideline having full faith that we can do everything He’s trained us to do. We can love just like He’s shown us. We can give; we can live—not because we can do it on our own but because He’s right there, and He has faith that we have been given everything we need to win through Him.

I’m sure you know the end of the story. When the buzzer sounded, the team who had just gone out, had fun, and done their best was victorious.

One day the final buzzer of your life will sound, and the question at that moment will be this: Did you allow Jesus to be your coach? Did have faith that He would win the game for you—or are you still trying to win it yourself? It’s a question worth contemplating. (Copyright, Staci Stallings 2003)

About the Author:

Staci Stallings


Now a #1 Best Selling Christian and Inspirational Romance author. Staci Stallings, a stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Staci is a co-founder of CrossReads.

Dreams by Starlight

{Giveaway} “Hope” Audiobook

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 25 FREE audible copies of the audiobook “Hope – Four Week Mini Bible Study: Becoming Press Mini Bible Studies” by Heather Bixler!

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“Then I think about my own little desires. The desire that my husband would be completely healed from his disease, and how he is still suffering through this every day. It is all hurting my heart, and then I think about hope…”

Take this four week journey to challenge and renew your thoughts on hope.

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CrossReaders Book Review: Chosen: A Story of the First Prince of Israel by Glen Robinson

Title: Chosen: A Story of the First Prince of Israel

Author: Glen Robinson

Rating: Five out of five stars

About the Book

This is the story of David’s son Jonathan, but it’s not told through his eyes. Instead, you see the crowning and fall of Saul, the rise of David, and the fate of Jonathan through the eyes of Jonathan’s armorbearer, Ziba.


I love a good Bible story and this one’s a home run. I was a little put off at first by the modern dialogue because one of the reasons I read historical fiction is to get lost in the time period. But once I got used to it, I didn’t even notice because the story pulled me along. I loved how the Biblical material was referenced at the beginning of each chapter so I could look it up if I wanted. The few times I did check to see if something had really happened, I felt as though the Bible characters had become old friends. I was especially tickled to see that one of the main characters I didn’t recognize was a real person. His story is told so believably and it was all so plausible, that you can tell the author really did his homework. A lot of the little historical details of the period were eye-opening. I hope this is the first book of many along this line.

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This review was submitted by: Céleste Perrino-Walker

CrossReaders Book Review: Rachel’s Story by Sherry Chamblee

CrossReaders Book Review: Rachel’s Story by Sherry Chamblee

Rachel's Story

Title: Rachel’s Story

Author: Sherry Chamblee

Rating: 5 stars

About the Book

Two women, one-hundred years apart.

Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination.

Katie Brown enjoys Eldercare, but knows it’s a mistake to get involved when she could be transferred at any time. Still, with such an interesting patient as Granny, along with a loving church family nearby, this particular assignment has made it tough to stay indifferent.

Then one day she hears of a missing manuscript, written by Granny’s own mother decades ago. As an aspiring writer, Katie is fascinated, and sets out to find it.

In her search she may find more than just an old story. She may find some answers for herself, too.

The story behind the Story:

The author, Sherry Chamblee, is also the full-time caregiver for her husband’s grandmother. His great-grandmother (Granny’s mom – Rachel Clark Kennedy) was an aspiring author when she wasn’t being a nurse. Back in the early 1900s she wrote books – lots of them. She had at least one full-length novel, wrapped and sealed and sent to herself in the mail. Since the family saw it last, they’d lost track of it. The author got it into her head to look for this manuscript.

Back in February of this year (2014), we were looking for it (read ‘searching frantically through an old shed’) when we found a bin full of Granny’s mother’s things. In that bin was an old nurse’s registration certificate belonging to Rachel Clark – Granny’s mom. Paper-clipped to that certificate were several pages of typewriting paper – she’d written a short story, titled The Signal. Turns out it’s about 3000 words long, but complete. The only complete story of hers that has been found, so far.

The certificate is dated December 2, 1914. One hundred years ago. It’s safe to assume the story paper-clipped to it was written in the same year, or very close to it.

Her complete manuscript is included in ‘Rachel’s Story’, just as she had it 100 years ago, in chapter 5, as it’s being read to her own daughter.

This is a very short story at only a little over 8,000 words.

I have only edited the spelling in her part of this story, so as to keep her unique voice throughout. This is why readers may find a few grammatical errors in that chapter, and/or outdated words. This part was indeed written one hundred years ago, and is still an unpolished work, though still very enjoyable to read.

All proceeds from this book will go to help in the care of Rachel’s daughter, my husband’s grandmother.



What a beautiful story of how God gently speaks to us in our lives, if we will only listen. Katie Brown enjoys her job in Eldercare and her patient is known as Granny. She tends to her daily and takes her to church. Her life has been one of tender loving care to her elderly patients until death and then moving on. But sometimes, God places you right where He wants you. The story has Granny telling about her own mother and how she liked to write stories and the memory of a manuscript wrapped in brown paper. Now the search is on for this manuscript, but in the meantime, another story is found and is shared in this book in chapter five. It enlightens Katie to listen to what God is saying to her.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, ratings and opinions are my own.

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This review was submitted by: Kathy Heare Watts

Book Blast: GOD TELLS THE SUN TO SHINE: An amazing story of love and forgiveness by By Femi Bolaji

Book Blast: GOD TELLS THE SUN TO SHINE: An amazing story of love and forgiveness by By Femi Bolaji

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GOD TELLS THE SUN TO SHINE: An amazing story of love and forgiveness
By Femi Bolaji

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About the Book:

God tells the Sun to Shine is a short story about ambition, love, intrigue and forgiveness. The main character is the second-born of twin boys Esau and Jacob. Jacob struggles to come to terms with the privileges that the natural birth order accords the first-born twin Esau. He becomes so obsessed with the desire to become the alpha male in the family enterprise that he plots with their mum to upstage Esau. Although his plan succeeds, he is forced to flee the homeland after Esau plots to kill him in retaliation. For two decades, his life in exile is marked by turmoil in love, marriage and work. When a business arrangement goes pear shaped and he is faced with bankruptcy and the loss of his family, he decides instead to return to his country and face his nemesis – Esau. How will Jacob manoeuvre his way through the ordeal?


Femi Bolaji - photoFemi Bolaji is a seasoned writer and commentator on topical Christian themes. He likes to tell Bible-based stories in contemporary language and style that would appeal to all, yet with profound insight and application to the pressures of modern day living. He is an alumnus of the Bartlett, University College London. He lives in London, United Kingdom.

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