Fasting & Prayer

Yesterday I started my 39 day fast to pray for our nation to repent and turn back to God. The last time I fasted was four years ago for two weeks off solid food before the 2008 election.  My unbelieving family thought it was just another confirmation that I truly am a religious nut.  I survived on soups, juices, Ensure and milk-shakes for 2 weeks. When I happened to mention again to my sister that I was going to do it again this year only for about 40 days, she looked at me askance and said: "Well, it didn't work out so good last time now did it?"  To a nonbeliever, when you fast and pray for something not to happen and it does, they think that somehow God either misinterpreted what you were praying for or did what He wanted to do out of spite. I even turned down a steak dinner at Fleming's Steak House for a family party and had soup instead. They really thought I was nuts then!

This year I am not alone. There is a national movement afoot calling upon Christians throughout our nation to fast and pray (the website is here: 40 DAYS TO SAVE AMERICA.  The website says the following:
All around us, we see economic decline, immorality, corruption, growing secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty. For 40 days leading up to Election Day, we will humble ourselves before the Lord, and cry out to him with one voice to save America.
I have actually been praying for quite some time about the same thing before I heard of this. You'd have to be living under a rock not to have noticed all the apocalyptic events occurring lately. Here are just some:

Recent Mega Earthquakes:
Concepcion, Chile earthquake (February 27, 2010) - 8.8 mag.
Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake (September 4, 2010) - 7.1 mag.
Japan earthquake (March 11, 2011) - 9.1 mag.
Fiji earthquake (September 15, 2011) - 7.2 mag.

Mexico earthquake (March 20, 2012)-7.4 mag.
Baja, Mexico had a 6.2 (September 24, 2012) 6.4.
SW Colombia (today - 9/30/12) 7.2

In the past year there has been massive animal and fish die off's around the world, flooding, drought, massive crop destruction, economic melt-down of entire countries (and ours is on the way there). I don't think it's any coincidence on the timing of the book, The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn. God is trying to get our attention! The book and the video were recently mailed to every member of Congress.

In the book of Jonah you can read about how God was getting ready to destroy Ninevah.  He sent Jonah to warn them (even though Jonah did everything possible to avoid doing so, even going to far as to take ship in the opposite direction!). Jonah wanted that evil civilization destroyed! He thought they deserved it. So instead of telling people to repent he just told them they were all doomed and that they were going to get it within 20 days or so. Usually when Old Testament prophets told people to repent it would engender the exact opposite reaction; often resulting in persecution, punishment or even death for said prophet. Jonah was probably the most successful prophet in the Old Testament. He told an entire city that God was going to destroy it (no mention of repentance or mercy) and the entire place got down onto their collective knees, rent their clothes, cried out to God in sincere repentance and were spared!

Obviously I'm not the only Christian who can read the signs of the times. I think a lot of us are very alarmed at the outright hostility and hatred for God in general and us specifically. (The vote at the Democratic National Convention and the boo's about including God and Israel in the platform were eye openers!) We have ceased being salt and light and as a result the world is growing darker and more evil. Judgment starts at the house of God first so it is only fitting that we who call ourselves followers of Christ should be the first to repent and seek God's face!

That is why I am fasting. I managed to get through my first day. I had to endure going to Wood Fire Ranch BBQ with hubby's band members and was absolutely tortured by the smell of baskets and baskets of garlic buttered rolls sitting in front of me. I would rather have garlic bread than chocolate cake, hands down. I took a walk during dinner and bought myself a blender to take to work to make my shakes at lunch time. By the time I got back everyone had finished eating. Just finished a vanilla shake. I'm hoping for cooler weather so I can make some homemade split pea soup and cream of mushroom. The fruity shakes are going to get old really fast.

Today is Day Two and my husband says I'm already super grumpy. Now I understand why Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray...can you imagine what a grumpy, hungry Jesus could do in a moment of weakness? Just saying (and kidding....)

If you want to join in this fast and prayer for America, please keep in touch through this blog and let me and the followers here know what you are doing and how you are doing as you go and I will do the same. 

Interview and Book Giveaway with Elaine Cooper

Tells us first how you came to faith in Jesus.
I first became a believer in Jesus Christ when I was 21. My sister had invited me to a revival at her church and that's when I understood the meaning of the cross, and the sacrifice that He paid for my sins. I had been to church most of my life and knew about Jesus, but had never surrendered my life to Him before then. Having Him in my heart to guide my life was a whole new experience and a most joyous transformation.

Where did you get the idea for your latest book?
My latest book, "The Legacy of Deer Run," is loosely based on my third great-grandparents. I knew that my grandfather had worked at the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts so that became the setting for this historical novel that is filled with intrigue, romance, faith, and forgiveness.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?
In writing fiction, you always hope that your reader gets entertained. With historical fiction, I endeavor to teach my readers accurate history of the time period. But with inspirational fiction, there is the added layer of showing my characters' spiritual lives grow as they struggle through the difficulties in their lives. In "The Legacy of Deer Run," I endeavored to write about the importance of faith and forgiveness, sprinkled with romance!

What is your favorite Bible verse?
My favorite verse is Proverbs 31:8-9 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

There are so many verses throughout the Bible about compassion for the poor, but this is one of my favorites.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk. YUMMMMM!

What are your hobbies other than writing?
I love to cross stitch and crochet. Wish I had more time for both!

How does your faith play into your writing?
My faith plays a huge role in my writing and I try to weave it into my manuscripts in an unobtrusive way. My faith in Jesus is woven throughout my life so it cannot help but thread its way through my chapters.

Favorite childhood book?
"Jane Eyre." I still envision her on that window seat hiding with her books. :)

Which movie has inspired you the most and why?
"To Kill A Mockingbird." Gregory Peck as the ultimate dad fighting for his children and for justice; Scout, ornery and rebellious, finding her way in a lonely, sometimes frightening world. Inspiring script!

Have you ever had a mentor when you were first starting out? Who was it and how did they encourage you?
When I was first starting out, an online writing friend named Jennifer Slattery was the first person that encouraged my blogging attempts and efforts to contact devotional resources like "Chicken Soup for the Soul." She gave me the encouragement I needed to believe I could try, even though I was a rookie. Thank you, Jennifer. :)

Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of The Road to Deer Run (Finalist in Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Religious Fiction, Honorable Mention in Romance at 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival) and The Promise of Deer Run (Romance Winner for 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival, Finalist in Religious Fiction for ForeWord Review Book of the Year). She is also a contributing writer for Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson.  Elaine is a wife, mom, Grammie to triplets, and a registered nurse.

To win a copy of Elaine's book, you must be a follower of this blog and leave a comment.

Interview and Book Giveaway with Karen Arnpriester

I'm happy to introduce Karen to you. Not only is Karen a prolific writer and graphic artist, she is also the adoptive mom of two little girls (just like me); bringing them out of a world of darkness into God's marvelous light through her love and compassion. Karen also created the book cover for my third book, In Plain Sight.

Tells us first how you came to faith in Jesus.
I grew up in church, in the Midwest. Our social life was intertwined with our church life. I was saved at 7 the first time.  Again at church summer camp when I was 16. Oddly, I was making out with a cute boy only hours later.  So don’t think it was as profound as it should have been.  I talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk for the next few years.  At 19, I pulled away totally and struggled through a difficult marriage, divorced at 21, remarried at 23. Life was complicated, painful and God felt a million miles away. I would tell myself now and then that I needed to get back to church, would try a new one, and drift out. I was very angry with God and had lots of unanswered questions. Many of the questions covered in Raider’s Vendetta were my questions. Issues that kept me separated from God for many years. When I came back, God began revealing answers. I can’t say all are answered, but I have a much stronger foundation with my faith now.  My true faith in Jesus came at the age of 40. Of all things, I was watching Jimmy Swaggart (before the drama) and God just reached in and pulled on my heart. It was time to stop running and deal with my faith head on.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?
I want them to know that everyone has a story. We each process pain and disappoint differently.  That no one is beyond God’s grace. Never stop praying for that child who has refused everything Godly. Also, that once we plant the seeds of Heaven’s love, it doesn’t stop growing. We may not live to see the harvest in our Earthly life, but it doesn’t change the fact that we planted truth and God will find ways to nurture the growth.

What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why?
It was so fun to climb into the mind of a angry, mean person. I know that sounds odd, but we bite our tongues, play nice and pretend everything is fine. Raider just let it go, all the frustrations, anger and vengeance. I warned my husband, in jest of course, that he better watch out. I didn’t realize how mean I could actually be.

What is your favorite Bible verse?
Ezekiel 1:28.  I included this experience in my book, for my character Charley. My sister had prayed for a verse to help me make some big decisions about my second marriage. I was separated at the time. I had stepped away from God, but humored her. She didn’t get a verse or word and we moved on to other things. While talking about our kids, I had a brain whisper. Ezekiel 1:28.  I thought, how odd and ignored it. Moments later EZEKIEL 1:28 blasted through my head. I jumped, realizing that God was yelling at me. This verse has been my anchor to God. Even when I thought I could be an atheist, I couldn’t explain away this experience. God was real whether I liked it or not. He knew how to keep me close enough that I would eventually return to Him. The verse clearly states that it is He who was speaking to me.

Ezekiel 1:28
New International Version (NIV)
28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell face down, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

How does your faith play into your writing?
My faith is why I write.  I submitted several devotionals for a devotional book our church was putting together. Quite a few ladies asked me if I had ever thought about writing. They loved my devotional stories.  I tossed the idea around in my head for awhile, not realizing they had planted God’s seed. He wanted me to write. I started a book just out of curiosity, Anessia’s Quest. I had only taken a semester of Creative Writing in high school many, many years ago. I didn’t take writing my book seriously at all, but it was fun. Total freedom in a world I created. I didn’t know where it was going and just wrote. Several friends found out and wanted to read along. They were my cheerleaders and probably why I ever finished. I would write myself into corners, and God would download a picture of where the story should go. The story became a collaboration and God was leading. Last week I was driving, not thinking about much. I remember my storyline when I really focus, but it’s fuzzy in general. Different parts kept popping into my thoughts. I’d smile, laugh or tear up. At first I didn’t understand what was going on, but then realized that God was sharing our experience with me. We were having a conversation about the book without words. Awesome!

What is your favorite book by another author and why?
The Shack, hands down. Not only did this book speak to me on a spiritual level for my own walk with God, it showed me that Christian fiction can be exciting, entertaining and profound without being dry. I hadn’t read a lot of Christian fiction. I was a Koontz and King fan for many years. Never a romance fan and so much of what I saw advertised for Christian fiction appeared to be romance or Amish.  The Shack played a key role in my choice to begin writing.  I was given the book to read just after doing the devotional book. God had it all worked out to seed, water and harvest.

Website:  (trailer, synopsis, reviews, first 12 chapters free download)
Amazon: Search Raider's Vendetta for Paperback and Kindle
Also available at iTunes

Review of a very special book about God's miraculous deliverance

For 72 terrifying hours, Michelle Hamilton clung to her small capsized canoe in the middle of the South China Sea.  With no food or water, she endured the relentless sun, marauding sharks, and a violent storm.  But at the height of her desperation, she heard a voice. An audible voice. What she experienced could only be described as supernatural.

I first read this book as a "Drama in Real Life" Reader's Digest condensed book in the early 1990s and have never forgotten it. It is the true life, miraculous story of Michelle Hamilton who was lost at sea for 4 days and miraculously delivered by God when she wasn't even a believer.  The book is written both from Michelle's and her mom, Rachelle's, first hand experience. As you read the book you will experience the physical, emotional, and mental anguish of both mother and daughter as they each tell their own side of this amazing story of supernatural deliverance. I actually  have a relative to met Michelle Hamilton some years ago who in no uncertain terms told them to live for the Lord instead of themselves.  She is still serving the Lord and sharing her testimony of His divine intervention.

If you love to read about true life events of God working in supernatural ways, this book is a great reminder of what an awesome God he is!

I bought this book for my own reading pleasure. 
If you would like to visit Michelle's website, here is the link:

Action, adventure and a timeless tale of an epic love story that concerns all of us

An epic battle between good and evil The Victor A book that can potentially change your life

The Rapture and Your Pets

When I first became a believer in Jesus and was reading my Bible for the first time, I remember being absolutely amazed, thrilled and in awe of the fact that Jesus not only had saved my soul but that He was actually coming back!  My first (and still to this day) continuing passion with regard to the Bible has always been Bible prophecy.  Not only was I amazed to discover that the Bible described my generation as the one in which Jesus would return (the generation that saw the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948) but that the book of Daniel had actually predicted several hundred years previous down to the very day that Israel's Messiah would declare himself to His people (what we know now as Palm Sunday) for the first time.

So every fall for the past several years I found myself watching, wondering and waiting; hoping that this year's fall feast of Rosh Hashana (which is predictive of the Rapture) will be the one where Jesus catches away "His Bride" the church...especially this year more so than any other.

I follow Bible prophecy blogs like quite a bit and the news and it seems to me that something big and terrible is upon the horizon.  At least once a week for the past couple of years there has been A MAJOR earthquake somewhere in the world. Living in Southern California as I do, I can't help but think that our turn may be next. Why should we escape God's judgement when my state has championed so many things abhorrent to God? But I digress...

Like many of you I have a pet. A rescue dog named Buddy who I love dearly. If the Rapture were to occur this September (the 27th or 28th) he will be trapped in our house with no one to care for him. I couldn't bear that! I love this little creature so much!

Well I read a news article about a year ago about several organizations created by pet-loving atheists who have offered (for a fee) to hook your pet up with a loving atheist in the event of the Rapture. Now I ask each of you...if you believe in a pre-tribulation seriously do you take your belief? Enough to risk looking like a fool and contacting one of these agencies to find someone to take care of your pet should your entire immediate family disappear without warning? Enough to ask a good neighbor to do the same thing? I'm actually looking into the cost of this right now and if it's prohibitive, I think I will write a letter to my neighbor, enclose a check and a house key, seal it up and tell her to only open it if one day millions of people suddenly disappear (including us). My husband does not believe in a pre-trib rapture but I don't think that matters to God...I'll just be telling him I told you so! on the way up.

I'm putting my money and preparations where my mouth is. How about you? Have you made any kind of preparations for your pet? If so, what? If not and you believe in a pre-trib rapture, why not?

Below are some actual links I got after a Google search on the internet for pet care services.

  1. After The Rapture Pet Care | If The Rapture Happened Right Now ... - SimilarShare
    Shared on Google+. View the post.
    A couple weeks later Carol came back and suggested we start After The Rapture Pet Care together. She said she had asked several Christian friends the same ...
  2. Eternal Earth-Bound Pets - SimilarShare
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    The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World ... ability and desire to rescue your pet and the means to ensure their care for your pet's natural life.
  3. Post Rapture Pet Care :: Care for your pets after you're gone - SimilarShare
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    Post Rapture Pet Care are a collective of confirmed atheists offering a unique service caring for pets after the second coming of Christ.

Review of Illusion by Frank Peretti

Dane and Mandy, a popular magic act for forty years, are tragically separated by a car wreck that claims Mandy’s life—or so everyone thinks. Even as Dane mourns and tries to rebuild his life without her, Mandy, supposedly dead, awakes in the present as the nineteen-year-old she was in 1970. Distraught and disoriented in what to her is the future, she is confined to a mental ward until she discovers a magical ability to pass invisibly through time and space to escape. Alone in a strange world, she uses her mysterious powers to eke out a living, performing magic on the streets and in a quaint coffee shop.

Hoping to discover an exciting new talent, Dane ventures into the coffee shop and is transfixed by the magic he sees, illusions that even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. But more than anything, he is emotionally devastated by this teenager who has never met him, doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he first met and married some forty years earlier.

They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protege, but even as Dane tries to sort out who she really is and she tries to understand why she is drawn to him, they are watched by secretive interests who not only possess the answers to Mandy’s powers and misplacement in time but also the roguish ability to decide what will become of her.

Frank Peretti has crafted a rich, rewarding story of love and life, loss and restoration, full of twists and mystery. Exceptionally well written, Illusion will soon prove another Peretti classic.

My review:

I enjoyed this book: A LOT! Peretti's writing makes you feel as though you are in the book as the character. He took me on an emotional ride of sadness, pain, wonder, delight, suspense and even laugh out loud delight.

This book should really be made into a movie. It reads just like one; you can easily visualize everything that is going on.  The two main characters were real, very human and easy to relate to.

This book is a wonderful escape from reality and has a magical quality to it. I could never guess what would happen next but I was never disappointed!

A GREAT read!!!

To purchase a copy of this book from Amazon, click on this link:

I bought a hard copy of this book for my own reading pleasure.