His Encouragement #49

Welcome to His Encouragement. I have joined with some blogging friends to bring you a new Bible verse every Thursday, and a little discussion of hope and encouragement. We welcome you to join the conversation by adding your daily verse of encouragement as well.

I pray that these Thursday posts become an encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!

 

Today’s Thursday Encouragement:

May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE
by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

 

The great Advent hope provides a correct perspective for life and a true identity as well as encourages and brings lasting joy.

I pray that this Christmas season you and your family will find time to enjoy the joy of salvation and have the mind of Jesus, the model of humility.

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

 

To enjoy more Bible Encouragement, visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Becca @ The Becca Files
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes

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My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham

Synopsis:

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

  My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream

My Thoughts:

Pepper Basham eloquently captured the very essence of the Blue Ridge Mountains and warmly welcomed me home within the pages of this fantastic book. I loved this story and I seriously didn’t want it to end. The closer I got to the end of the book, the slower I read, savoring each word, each phrase! Opening the pages of this story and diving in, was like going home! I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains and while I may not live there now, it is still home to me.

I’d love to sit down for a chat or get the chance to cook with Laurel McAdams. She is a strong young woman, filled with grace and courage. Her kindness to outsiders and her helpful nature is sure to draw you in. Laurel is open to new ideas and not afraid to stand up for what is right, even in the face of many who would choose to fiercely cling to tradition and superstition. She has big dreams and determination to see her way to fulfill those dreams!

Teacher, Jonathan Taylor comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains to escape the heavy-handed expectations of his father and to prove himself capable and worthy. But will his reasons to leave behind all he knew and immerse himself in a culture that is highly suspicious of anything new be enough to keep him teaching in the Blue Ridge Mountains?

I fell in love with these dynamic, engaging characters! I appreciated their growth in the story as well as the wisdom of the secondary characters that provided a welcome insight and encouragement.

There is plenty of excitement to enjoy. From a mountain lion encounter, a brutal snowstorm, a couple of disgruntled mountain men, larceny, saving a child with a severe allergic reaction, and much more! You are sure to find an exciting plot-line, delightful characters, all set in a beautiful setting. I give this story 5-enthusiastic stars and encourage you to pick up a copy to enjoy!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

MyHeartIsInTheBlueRidge2

About the Author:

pepperbarnsmile  Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. You can connect with Pepper over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

 

  My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream

 

 

 

First Line Fridays: Searching for You

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring Searching for You by Jody Hedlund. Searching for You is a story that you will want for your “keeper” shelf. A story that you will want to pull out and read again. Jody Hedlund takes readers on a heartfelt journey through the pages of this book. I felt like I was right in the story with the characters. CLICK HERE to read my full review!

SearchingForYou

New York City
September 1859

          Sophie Neumann nuzzled her nose against Danny’s chest.

 

  Searching for You (Orphan Train #3)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

SearchingForYou.quote4

 

His Encouragement #48

Welcome to His Encouragement. I have joined with some blogging friends to bring you a new Bible verse every Thursday, and a little discussion of hope and encouragement. We welcome you to join the conversation by adding your daily verse of encouragement as well.

I pray that these Thursday posts become an encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!

 

Today’s Thursday Encouragement:

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name;
make known among the nations what He has done.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations, the Lord reigns.

1 Chronicles 16:8 & 31

 

When is the last time you told someone about God?  Let’s make an effort to share God with others.

Our creator, our redeemer; God of Love! Our Lord reigns!

Go tell it on the Mountain!

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

 

To enjoy more Bible Encouragement, visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Becca @ The Becca Files
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes

November – 2018

What books have you read during the month of November? I’ve had the pleasure of reading some wonderful stories this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in November.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

AHolidayByGaslight  A Holiday By Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

EnchantingNicholette  Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

ChasingSomeday Chasing Someday by Crystal Walton

DeckTheShelves  Deck the Shelves by Toni Shiloh

AMusketInMyHands  A Musket in my Hands by Sandra Merville Hart

SoBrightAHope  So Bright A Hope by Amber Lynn Perry

TheLibertyBride  The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall

UTSS  Under this Same Sky by Cynthia Roemer

BenjyAndTheBelsnickel  Benjy and the Belsnickel by Bonnie Swinehart

SearchingForYou  Searching for You by Jody Hedlund

Character Interview:

ALoveRestored Benjamin Coulter with Kelly Goshorn

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?
What book(s) are you looking forward to reading in December?

 

 

 

First Line Fridays: So Bright A Hope

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring So Bright A Hope (Daughters of His Kingdom #5) by Amber Lynn Perry. With moments of laughter, unexpected twists, and dynamic characters that take a hold of your heart. This story is an important reminder that Liberty is more than a gift, it is a hard-earned privilege that the founders of this country fought for and believed in. You won’t want to miss this story and the journey within the pages that you won’t soon forget! CLICK HERE to read my full review!

 

SoBrightAHope

August 21, 1770
Boston, Massachusetts

          Light from the street lamps snakes behind James Higley as he reached the end of the abandoned cobblestone street.

 

  So Bright A Hope (Daughters of His Kingdom #5)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

SoBrightAHope

 

 

His Encouragement: #47

Welcome to His Encouragement. I have joined with some blogging friends to bring you a new Bible verse every Thursday, and a little discussion of hope and encouragement. We welcome you to join the conversation by adding your daily verse of encouragement as well.

I pray that these Thursday posts become an encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!

 

Today’s Thursday Encouragement:

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined
to be conformed to the image of His Son,
that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:29

Do you ever wonder “What is the purpose of my life?” Did you know that God has a purpose and a plan for your life?

God’s purpose for you goes far beyond your profession or any accomplishment. The Bible teaches us that God wishes to reveal His Son in us (Gal. 1:15-16), through our God-given personalities and interests.

If you are confused about God’s plan for you — and you’re wondering what you should be “doing” in your life — remember that God intends to make you more like Jesus. The goal of your Christian life is to become like Christ.

The Holy Spirit within you shapes your character to become more like Jesus in every situation of your life.

Ask Him into your heart today!

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

 

To enjoy more Bible Encouragement, visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Becca @ The Becca Files
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes

Searching For You (Orphan Train #3) by Jody Hedlund

Synopsis:

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won’t abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he’s in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

My Thoughts:

I have been looking forward to reading Sophie’s story. It wasn’t easy to wait, but oh so very worth it! Jody Hedlund takes readers on a heartfelt journey through the pages of this book. I felt like I was right in the story with the characters. My heart broke for Sophie and cheered for her breakthroughs and successes!

Even at her young age, Sophie had a mother’s heart and a deep love for the two children, Nicholas and Olivia, that were left in her care. She made some very tough choices and sacrificed much to ensure that Nicholas and Olivia were safe and that they had someone to love them.  Sophie carried with her a big hurt and misunderstanding. She often blamed God for the hardships she has faced, and her feelings of being abandoned by God. Sophie grows a lot during this story and it was a beautiful thing to be a part of!

At its core, this story takes a deep, soul-searching look at the inadequacies that we all feel in ourselves at one point or another. Through the eyes of the characters, we can learn that the inadequacies are lies. We need to know who we are in God and trust in His plan for our lives.

One of my favorite lines from this story reminds us that, “Sometimes God allows us to sink down in our own misery until we reach a low place where we’re finally ready to look up and reach out for Him.”

Searching for You is a story that you will want for your “keeper” shelf. A story that you will want to pull out and read again. There is so much to love about this story! Multifaceted characters, a deep, heart-warming plot, with page-turning delights. Start to finish, this story wove itself around my heart!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

SearchingForYou.quote1

About the Author:

JodyHedlundWinner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and finalist for the Christy Awards, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.  You can find Jody at the following locations:

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest

  Searching for You (Orphan Train #3)

Don’t miss the other books in this collection:

     An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train Novella)

   With You Always (Orphan Train #1)

Together Forever (Orphan Train #2)

SearchingForYou.quote3

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Advent of Solitude 2018

I sure it comes as no surprise to you that I follow many author’s on both their individual blogs and also on social media. One of the authors I follow, Angie Dicken posted an invitation for an “Advent of Solitude” (CLICK HERE to see her post).

I am joining Angie Dicken in dedicating this next season as an ADVENT OF SOLITUDE.

Just what is an Advent of Solitude you might ask…

The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

WHAT IS SOLITUDE? The quality or state of being alone (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) OR according to Ruth Haley Barton, “An opportunity to interrupt this cycle {constant noise of our society} by turning off the noise and stimulation of our lives so that we can hear our loneliness and our longing calling us deeper into the only relationship that can satisfy our longing.”

The only relationship that I’ve found to satisfy my longing, has been through Christ. He is the wholeness of life, the one who has given me a hope and a way to live into each next step. Let us be mindful of Him this next season of Advent where we focus on His birth, to bear a new rhythm that connects us to Him.

 
An ADVENT of SOLITUDE  is  a season of FASTING from social media connection, and instead, connecting to God in   SOLITUDE,   PRAYING,  AND   BEING   PRESENT, with the hope of transforming  daily life into a rhythm that syncs with God.
   

THE QUEST:
To be more mindful of SOLITUDE, rather than screen time. To use the extra moments, or the actual moments, to tap into the quiet, to focus attention into the present.

A hope to be transforming to spiritual wakefulness on a consistent basis.

Does this sound like something you’d like to do? Does this resonate with your heart at all? I’ve spoken with many friends who feel the same longing, who have actually taken time apart from social media because of the noise, and the need for quiet. Does this interest you, too?
THE CHALLENGE:

DAILY: Each morning, I’ll spend some quiet in prayer–just God and me.  I have found an Advent Bible study plan (you can join the reading plan by clicking here). Or you may choose to do your own individual devotional study.

WEEKLY: Each week, I will carve out an 24-hour period to spend in worship, and time with family. From Friday evening to Saturday evening, I will be focusing on worship. Time in quite personal worship, family worship, and church worship.  Time away from social media and its distractions.

I will continue to share weekly Bible verses every Thursday here on my blog in the His Encouragement posts.

CHECK-INS: Each Monday morning, we will check in on Angie Dicken’s Facebook Page (facebook.com/dicken.angie). If you choose to join in the Advent of Solitude, you don’t have to share what is between you and God at these check-ins, just stop by and receive some encouragement, and let us know that you are spending your Advent focusing on Solitude.

MY HOPE:

I am going to do this to re-prioritize my moments. To become more present for my family, and more attuned to my relationship with God. I want to start a new rhythm this Advent, so I can step into 2019 with joy and a closer walk with God.

If you choose to join in the ADVENT of SOLITUDE, please join us on December 2nd, the first day of Advent.

You can also stop by Angie Dicken’s author page (facebook.com/dicken.angie) for pre-check-in.

 

 

 

First Line Fridays: The Liberty Bride

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m happy to be featuring The Liberty Bride (The Daughters of the Mayflower) by MaryLu Tyndall. With lively, dynamic characters, and a fun story plot of spies and secrets, I was eagerly along for a fun adventure both on the sea and on land! CLICK HERE to read my full review.

 

TheLibertyBride

The Atlantic Ocean off the Cost of Virginia,
August 6, 1814

          What would it feel like to drown…to float listlessly down…down…beneath the chilled waters of the Atlantic? To feel salty fingers wrap around you, their deadly talons tugging you farther into the murky darkness, your lungs burning until they screamed for air that would never come…until finally, cloaked in a silent, peaceful tomb, you floated into eternity…

          Emeline Baratt pondered these things as she gazed upon the dark waves from the larboard railing of her father’s merchant brig — or rather, privateer — Charlotte.

 

Yes, I shared a little extra today! It still leaves questions… Is there a storm brewing? What happens next? Does Emeline end up in the ocean?

The Liberty Bride is scheduled to release on December 1st.  But good news, you can pre-order your copy today!

  The Liberty Bride

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

LibertyBride

 

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series – Barbour:

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1863 The Alamo (February 2019)
The Golden Bride by Kimerley Woodhouse – set 1849 The Gold Rush (April 2019)

Find out more at: www.daughtersofthemayflower.com

Daughters-web-books