Friday, February 28, 2014

Bible Study: Live A Life Of Love - 1 John - Chapter 5

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the epistle of 1 John. I feel a great sense of urgency to publish them because I’m not sure how much time we have left on this big, blue marble. Thank you for reading them. I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, mid to late summer 2010, things are still looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment, BP finally thinks they’ve stopped the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and many people I know personally are experiencing difficulties of mega-crisis proportions – including my own diagnosis of breast cancer. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 5 of 1 John. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

5:1 – Believing that Jesus is the Christ is a gift of enlightenment from the Holy Spirit.

5:2 – How do you think obedience to God’s commands reveals that we love the children of God? Can you think of something other than the fact that one of God’s commands is that we love each other?

5:3 – Our obedience to God reveals our love for Him. Does your obedience reflect your love?

I love the part of this verse that says His commands are not burdensome. Can you identify God’s commands in scripture? Do you realize that everything He commands us to do, He also empowers us to do? That’s why His commands aren’t a burden. What a blessing!

5:4-5 – How does everyone born of God overcome the world? Our faith in Christ - because Christ conquered death. Why do you think this only applies to those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God?

5:5 – see Revelation 2-3.

5:6-8 – What do you think it means that Christ “came by water and blood”? What is the significance of coming “by water only”? The Spirit is mentioned in conjunction with these elements because all three testify to the truth and are in agreement. How do you think the water and the blood provide testimony?

5:9-11 – God’s puts His own testimony about Jesus into our hearts when we believe. His testimony is that He has given us eternal life through Jesus. Praise Him!

Anyone who doesn’t believe this testimony calls God a liar. Does this change the urgency you feel to share the gospel with others? Does it change how you will pray for others to be open to receiving the gospel message?

5:12 – This verse is plain and simple: whoever has Jesus has life; whoever doesn’t have Jesus doesn’t have life. Do you have Jesus?

5:13 – John wants to give believers assurance and confidence in their eternal life.

5:14 – Do you have confidence in approaching God? According to this verse, we can be confident “that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” How can we ask anything according to His will? Look up some of God’s promises and start praying them back to Him. The results are surprising. You may begin praying one way and He will change your heart as you pray so that you are more aligned with Him.

When I learned that I had breast cancer, I prayed to God that I know He has plans for me, to prosper me and not harm me. He wants me to have hope and a future. What began as a prayer of pleading for my earthly life became a realization that this life is not the end – I have an eternal future. This disease cannot really harm me – even if it does end my earthly life – because it cannot take away my relationship with Jesus.

5:15 – So the confidence comes in knowing that He has heard us and that we will have what we have asked for.

5:16 – We can pray for our brothers’ deliverance from sin. But, we cannot pray for their deliverance from the “sin that leads to death”. What do you think this sin is? Rejecting Jesus and calling God a liar, maybe? Absolutely.

5:17 – All wrongdoing is sin. But all sin doesn’t lead to death. Any questions?

5:18 – Anyone born of God doesn’t continue to sin. Can you see changes in yourself since you came to Christ? Do you see areas of sinful behavior that you know need to stop? Pray for God to take away the desire for that particular behavior.

5:19 – Do you know that you are a child of God? Are you aware that the “whole world is under the control of the evil one”?

5:20 – Jesus gives us understanding so that we may know Him. Isn’t this a wonderful blessing? How has He helped you to know Him recently?

5:21 – Where did this warning to stay away from idols come from? Are there any identifiable “idols” in your life? Ask Jesus to break them down. Can’t recognize them (or don’t think you have any)? Ask Him to reveal them to you. Then ask Him to break them down.



• First John instructs us in how to live a life of love. Like First Peter, it also llustrates several life lessons and warnings for Christians. What is God teaching you in this chapter of scripture? How will you apply it to your life this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When Wallflowers Dance by Angela Thomas – Week 7


Welcome to Week Seven of Angela Thomas’ “When Wallflowers Dance:  Becoming a Woman of Righteous Confidence”.

In this week’s video, “Eyes to see”, Angela challenges the audience to see the God Who loves us.  He is powerful.  He is protector.  He wants to dance with us.  Angela illustrated this point by bringing her daughter onstage and holding her close and moving her around the floor.  God loves us.  Are you dancing with Him?

This final week has no homework for us to do in the workbook, but that doesn’t mean that the homework is done.  I pray that you’ve allowed the Lord to change a few things about you in our short time together and that you’ll allow Him to continue the good work He’s begun in you.

Join me next week as we begin Lisa Harper’s study of the book of Malachi.  You won’t want to miss it.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Dream Dress by Janice Thompson

Here is my review of this amazing romantic comedy:


First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Janice Thompson and her publisher for sending me a copy of "The Dream Dress" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.







Janice Thompson's "The Dream Dress" is the third laugh-out-loud offering in her Weddings by Design romance series.  In this installment, the reader visits the world of wedding chaos and bliss from the perspective of the dress designer. Gabi wants to be a wedding dress designer, but right now she works as a "material girl" (she does alterations) for another designer.  She is at the bottom of the bridal totem pole, beneath the seamstresses and even the sales associate.  Her frenzied first meeting with the incredibly handsome journalist, Jordan Singer, leads to some unbelievable consequences that may push her toward her dream or further from it.




"The Dream Dress" is a great stand alone novel, but those who have read the previous 2 books in this series and the Weddings by Bella series will be reacquainted with some lovable characters.  Janice Thompson's books are not to be missed and this is definitely one for the "keeper" shelf.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bible Study: Live A Life Of Love - 1 John - Chapter 4

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the epistle of 1 John. I feel a great sense of urgency to publish them because I’m not sure how much time we have left on this big, blue marble. Thank you for reading them. I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, mid to late summer 2010, things are still looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment, BP finally thinks they’ve stopped the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and many people I know personally are experiencing difficulties of mega-crisis proportions – including my own diagnosis of breast cancer. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 4 of 1 John. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

4:1-3 – As Christians, we are to test every spirit. These verses are speaking about false prophets and false teachers. We do this very simply: “…every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

4:4 – Believers are from God. We have overcome the spirit of the antichrist “…because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

4:5 – The spirit of the antichrist speaks the language of the world. Those who belong to the world, and not to God, will listen to these false teachers. The only protection from this is to belong to Jesus.

4:6 – The disciples were sent by God to declare His message. In John’s case, His mission was to record history and the teachings of God. Whoever knows God will “listen” to the disciples – through their recorded testimonies. Whoever is not from God, won’t “listen”. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

4:7-11 – This is a very vivid picture of how God loves us and how we should love our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our love is what makes us recognizable as belonging to Him.

4:7 – Because love comes from God, those who love God must love each other. This is how you can know who has been born of God and knows God – they will love.

4:8 – Because God is love, whoever truly knows God will love.

4:9 – God showed his love by sending Jesus into the world that we might live through him.

How do we live through Jesus?

4:10 – Love is God sending Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

How did Jesus act as the atoning sacrifice for your sins? Have you accepted this wonderful gift that He has given you? Have you thanked Him, lately?

4:11 – Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

What does this verse mean to you? Should we also be willing to make ultimate sacrifices for our brothers and sisters in Christ?

4:12 – If we love each another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

What do you think this has to do with seeing God? Can you explain how our loving each other makes His love complete?

4:13 – How is the gift of the Holy Spirit proof that we live in Him and He in us?

What evidence do you have that the Holy Spirit lives in you? If you can’t confidently answer this question, please seek out a trusted pastor who can help you answer it.

4:14 – The disciples are eye witnesses that the Father has sent Jesus to be the Savior of the world.

4:15 – This is a powerful scripture:

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.”

4:16 – Why do you think John reiterates that God is love and that whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him?

4:17 – In what way is love made complete among us? How does this give us confidence on the day of judgment? How are we are like Him in this world?

4:18 – Memorize this!

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Don’t just memorize this. Really get to know it. If you belong to God, there is nothing to fear! NOTHING! I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Once the initial shock wore off – along with an unhealthy dose of terror – I ran straight to my Daddy! He assured me that what He was allowing to touch me first touched Him. He promised that this was for my benefit and the benefit of others. He said He loved me and still loves me and He has plans for me – to prosper me, to give me hope and a future. His love is perfect, and it really does drive fear away.

4:19 – We are incapable of love without Him.

4:20-21 – Here’s another powerful couple of verses. Someone who really loves God CANNOT hate his brother in Christ. If someone hates his brother, he CANNOT love God.

What do you think this has to do with being seen?



• First John instructs us in how to live a life of love. Like First Peter, it also llustrates several life lessons and warnings for Christians. What is God teaching you in this chapter of scripture? How will you apply it to your life this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sadie’s Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo


Short Book Description:
 

Sadie Callum is a master of disguise. Undercover agent William Jefferson Tucker is not looking for marriage—pretend or otherwise—but he needs the cover of a wife to clear his name and solve the art forgery case that has eluded him for years. But what will happen to his heart?
 

Short Bio & Author Website:

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of fifty novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad and nominations including a Career Achievement Award, Reader’s Choice Awards, Romantic Times Book of the Year, and several Romantic Times Top Picks. A proud military wife and tenth-generation Texan, she now cheers on her beloved Aggies from north of the Red River. Find out more at www.kathleenybarbo.com.

Take a look at Chapter One!

May 10, 1889
Louisiana State Penitentiary
Angola, Louisiana
Detective William Jefferson Tucker of the Criminal Investigations Division, London Metropolitan Police, stepped across the threshold of the sewer pit known as the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola with one purpose in mind. To see his brother, also named William.
William John Tucker.
His twin. His polar opposite.
With his first order of business being an explanation of exactly what John had done this time, he turned toward Major Samuel James’s office. When in doubt, go to the top, that was his motto. And Major James was the top dog around here.
“Hold on there,” someone called. Jefferson turned to see a uniformed guard coming toward him, one hand on his holster and the other pointing in his direction.
“Just paying a visit to the warden,” he said with all the charm his mother had taught him. “Nothing to get upset about.”
“We’ll just see about that,” the guard said as he nodded toward the other end of the dimly lit hall. “Just come on back here and sign in, and then we will see if the warden’s interested in visiting today.”
Shaking his head, Jefferson tried not to show amusement at the man’s pompous behavior. While he had seen the other side of a jail cell on many occasions, it had always been in the position of arresting officer and not prison guard. To spend day after day in this place would cause anyone to own an ill temper.
When the papers were produced, Jefferson signed them. “Anything else you need?” he asked as politely as he could manage.
“Any kind of proof you are who you say you are would be appreciated,” he said in a tone that just barely toed the line between polite and sarcastic.
“Gladly.”
“And I will be needing your weapon.”
Routine procedure in prisons, and yet Jefferson hated it. Reluctantly, he removed his revolver and handed it to the guard.
“That all you got?” He gave Jefferson a sweeping look. “Nothing else you can hurt anybody with?”
“Just a folding knife.”
“Hand that over too.”
Jefferson offered up his knife and then reached for his identification, carefully selecting the papers that would not give away his current undercover role in London. Placing what he had on the rough slab of wood that served as a desk between them, he stood back and waited while the guard examined the documents.
“And what brings you here?” The guard took in an exaggerated breath and then pretended to cough. “Sure can’t be the fresh air and sunshine.”
Jefferson played along, pretending to find the gag amusing. “I am here to see my brother.”
“Your brother?” The guard clutched the papers as he looked up at Jefferson. “And just who would your brother be?”
“John Tucker.”
“John Tucker,” the guard echoed as he opened an oversized leather book that sent a cloud of dust into the already rancid air.
The odd idea that this process was beginning to feel very much like checking into a hotel occurred. Jefferson decided he would keep that thought to himself.
“Don’t see any John…”
“William John,” he amended, irritated not for the first time that his father had insisted on giving both his sons the same first name and then calling them by their middle name.
The guard’s grimy finger paused below a line of scribbling. “Tucker. Well, here we go. William J. Tucker.” He looked up at Jefferson, his face now unreadable. “Wait here.”
Without another word of explanation, he hurried off down the hall, Jefferson’s credentials still clutched in his hand. A door shut somewhere off in the distance and then opened again.
“Initial for your property here,” he said when he returned.
Jefferson noted the date and the items he had just surrendered and then placed his initials on the line beside them to indicate agreement.
“All right. Come with me, Mr. Tucker,” the guard said, not quite making eye contact.
Detective Tucker, he almost said. Instead, Jefferson kept silent. Better not to make enemies of anyone in this place. “Yes, of course.” He followed the guard past the warden’s office and around the corner, stopping at an unmarked door.
“Right in there,” the guard said as he used a key from his vest pocket to open the door.
The room was dark, but a lamp in the passageway sent a weak shaft of light across what appeared to be a table and a bench. “I would be much obliged if you would turn on a light in here,” Jefferson said, the last of his patience with the ridiculous situation disappearing fast.
“Just go on in and a light will come on.”
He was about to protest when the guard shoved him inside and turned the lock.
“Open this door!” Jefferson demanded. “This is not funny. I demand to see either my brother or the warden immediately.”
“You just wait right there, Tucker. You will see the warden for sure.”
Jefferson felt along the edge of the wall, his fingers sliding across a combination of dirt and slime held together by something so foul smelling he refused to contemplate its source. A moment later he found the bench and managed to sit.
Outside the door footsteps approached and then halted. He heard voices arguing, their words indistinguishable through the thick walls.
Finally, the door opened and a man whose attire told Jefferson he might be the warden stepped inside. The guard shadowed Major James, as did another underling of some sort.
“Look,” Jefferson said, “all I wanted was to see my brother. Is this how you treat all your visitors, Major?”
“The major isn’t here today, but I am the man in charge. You can call me Butler. Won’t need any name other than that. And as to your question, no. This is the way we treat those who belong inside a cell.”
“Inside a cell? What are you talking about?”
Butler thumped Jefferson’s credentials with his free hand. “These here papers say you are Jefferson Tucker. Is that correct?”
He gave the man a curt nod. “It is.”
“So what you’re saying is that you are indeed the man whose name you have given to the guard?”
“Yes,” he said, this time with far less respect.
“And that you have a brother currently incarcerated in our fine facility.” When Jefferson nodded, he continued. “And what is that inmate’s name?”
“His name is John Tucker,” Jefferson snapped as he sensed a shakedown of some sort in the offing. It was time to tell them who he really was. “William John Tucker. Look, I know how these things work, and I am not someone you can play around with. I have credentials that prove I am a detective with the London Metropolitan Police.”
The man’s eyes narrowed. “I’m not sure I would believe that. You certainly don’t sound like no foreigner, so I suggest you change your tune and own up to the truth.”
“Here’s the truth for you. Either let me see my brother or the warden, or you can give me the reason why.”
Butler chuckled. “Oh, we will do better than that.” He nodded to the two men, who approached Jefferson. Though he tried to resist, they slapped handcuffs on him. “We are going to put you in his cell.”
“What are you doing?” he demanded as the two men jerked him out into the passageway.
“Taking you to where you belong, Jefferson Tucker,” said the guard who was still in possession of his revolver and the folding knife.
“I do not belong in a cell!” Jefferson protested even as he was being dragged through the doors into a cellblock that smelled worse than it looked. And that was saying something.
Instantly a deafening noise began as prisoners shouted and banged whatever they could grab against the iron cell bars. The guard took out his pistol and fired one shot.
Silence quickly reigned.
Up ahead a door swung open. “Looky here, Tucker,” the other guard sneered. “Your room is ready. Welcome home.”
“Wait,” the man in charge said. “Let’s let these boys say their howdys first.”
A prisoner stepped out of the cell. He was dressed in clothing so dirty that Jefferson could not discern a color or what kept it from shredding into rags. Legs shackled, the prisoner shuffled toward them. And then Jefferson knew him.
“John? Is that you?”
His brother heaved himself against Jefferson. Though the smell caused Jefferson’s eyes to water, he stood his ground as John held him tight.
“What have you done, John?” he said to the man who, under different circumstances, would be nearly a mirror image of him.
“Just what I had to,” was John’s quiet reply. “I hope someday you will forgive me, Jeff, but I wasn’t built for a place like this.”
“Neither of us were. And rest assured Mother has no idea her boy’s in trouble. It would kill her if she knew.”
“She always did see the good in me,” John said.
“She still does.”
“Even though she never could see to give me Father’s gold pocket watch when I asked for it first.” John looked down at Jefferson’s vest. “I see you’re wearing it now.”
He glanced over at the man calling the shots. It took Butler only a moment to reach down and rip the watch from Jefferson’s pocket.
“Neither of you’ll get it now.”
“The major will hear about this,” Jefferson said, earning him a punch in the gut that took his breath away.
The warden’s underling fixed John with a glare that shut him up quick. “All right, Will Tucker,” he said to Jefferson. “Are you verifying that this man is your brother, John Tucker? And that he is your twin?”
“I am,” Jefferson said through the pain in his gut as he took in the sight of his always well-groomed brother with streaks of dirt on his face, his hair coated with grease and, from the look of this place, thick with lice.
“Well, I believe that is proof enough for me.” Butler tapped John on the shoulder. “You were right in saying you were not Will Tucker, John. On behalf of the state of Louisiana, I hereby declare you to be a free man.”
John grinned like a fool and then nudged the bully. “Does that mean I get the watch that is rightfully mine?”
“Don’t press your luck, son. Just get yourself out of here while I am still in a mood to let you. Major James might insist on a trial to settle the facts, and you know how long those things take.”
“I know when I’ve been bested, so you can keep the watch.” John shuffled off behind the guards without so much as a backward glance.
A moment later, the cell door clanged shut behind Detective Jefferson Tucker of the London Metropolitan Police, leaving him once again in the middle of a mess his brother had created.

Here is my review of this amazing read:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Kathleen Y'Barbo and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Sadie's Secret" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Sadie’s Secret” by Kathleen Y’Barbo is the engaging and entertaining story of Sarah “Sadie” Callum, a female Pinkerton Agent who desires an assignment investigating artwork by Rembrandt, but gets caught up in a case of malicious identity switching between a police officer from England, William Jefferson Tucker, and his notorious twin, William John Tucker. Jefferson wants to stick close to Sadie because of her contacts as well as the effect she has on him.

This terrifically suspenseful and wonderfully romantic novel was nearly impossible to put down. The characters are thick with personality. The story kept me interested with twists and turns and changes of pace that allowed me to savor the romance and still race to the thrilling conclusion. As Book 3 in the Secret Lives of Will Tucker series, this novel reads well as a stand-alone. And, in fact, this is the only book in the series that I’ve read. But the characters are so likable, I am looking forward to going back and reading the other two books.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When Wallflowers Dance by Angela Thomas – Week 6


Welcome to Week Six of Angela Thomas’ “When Wallflowers Dance:  Becoming a Woman of Righteous Confidence”.

This week’s video, “The Holy Spirit” brought to light several facts about the Holy Spirit and our relationship to Him.  First, we received the assurance from Acts 2:38 that the Holy Spirit lives in everyone who has accepted Christ as Savior.  Second, the Holy Spirit will glorify God in my life (John 16:13-15).  Third, Hebrews 2:4 teaches us that we can’t boss the Holy Spirit around.  Fourth, the Holy Spirit falls on people (Acts 10:44).  Fifth, He is our power (Acts 1:8).  And I’m intrigued by the following formula:  maturity = time + the consistent covering of the Holy Spirit.

This week’s homework, “The Spirit of God” gave us a too quick overview of Who the Holy Spirit is:  in us, to us, for us.  This time in the Scriptures and Angela’s commentary really whet my appetite to be a more appropriate vessel for Him.  How often is He offended by my behavior, my thoughts, my heart?  I pray that you are equally impacted to be a vessel that is more honoring of His Spirit.

I was disappointed that there were no “Girlfriend Nudges” included in this week’s study.  However, we did receive several nuggets of incredible advice on how to live in the margin notes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bible Study: Live A Life Of Love - 1 John - Chapter 3

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the epistle of 1 John. I feel a great sense of urgency to publish them because I’m not sure how much time we have left on this big, blue marble. Thank you for reading them. I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, mid to late summer 2010, things are still looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment, BP finally thinks they’ve stopped the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and many people I know personally are experiencing difficulties of mega-crisis proportions – including my own diagnosis of breast cancer. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 3 of 1 John. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

3:1 – The Father lavishes His love on us by giving us His name.

Can you think of any special significance with regard to God bestowing a name within scripture?

3:2 – I love this verse! The honor of seeing Jesus is something I look forward to. Do you?

3:3 – What hope is John referring to? I believe he is talking about being privileged to be a child of God and honored with the hope of seeing Jesus.

see 2 Timothy 4:8.

3:4 – Everyone breaks the law because everyone sins. Sin is lawlessness. Therefore, the man of lawlessness referred to in scripture could also be called the man of sin.

3:5 – Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. He has accomplished His part. We need to acknowledge His sacrifice for us and accept the forgiveness He offers. Have you done this? If not, take a moment to pray the prayer on the left. Then seek out a Christian friend or church Pastor to help guide you in getting to know Jesus.

3:6 – If we live in Him, we won’t keep on sinning because knowing Him changes us. If we continue to sin, it’s a good indication that we don’t know him.

3:7 – John commands us not to let anyone lead us astray. We can recognize a righteous man because he will do what is right.

3:8 – We can recognize a sinful man by his sinful behavior. This is why Jesus came: to destroy sin.

3:9 – Why do you think John is reiterating what he said in verse 6?

3:10 – John wanted to be sure that we would recognize righteous men and sinful men so that we wouldn’t be led astray.

How do you rate yourself on this scale? Do you do what is right? Do you love your brother?

3:11 – Loving one another is crucial. This refers to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Can you find other scriptures that teach about loving your brother?

3:12 – We’re commanded not to be like Cain. Why? Could we belong to Jesus and murder a brother? Do you remember the Biblical teaching that a man can commit murder with hatred? Find that reference. What does this teach you?

3:13 – The world will hate believers. Why do you think that is?

3:14 – We can have the assurance that Christ’s life is in us if we love our brothers. Do you have Christ’s life in you? Remember that we can all be unlovable at times. It’s not their behavior that makes us love others. It’s Christ loving them through us. Let Christ love others through you. If you struggle with this, pray that He will do this supernaturally through you.

3:15 – Hatred is murder. Those who hate do not have eternal life in them.

3:16-17 – demonstrating agape.

3:16 – We’ve been told several times to love our brothers. Now we’re told how to love our brothers: by laying down our lives for our brothers as Jesus laid down His life for us. This speaks of sacrifice, which can come in many forms. Can you name a few things you might sacrifice for a brother?

3:17 – Here’s one practical way to sacrifice for a brother: see to his physical needs.

3:18 – Here’s another great verse! Let’s not pay lip service and say we love each other. Let’s show it! How are you showing it?

3:19-20 – God knows if we’re just paying lip service. He knows the motivation of our hearts. He knows if we are loving in truth.

How do you know that you belong to the truth?

3:21 – I struggle with this verse because scripture teaches that the heart is deceitful. What do you think this verse means? You may want to examine it with the verses that follow.

3:22 – This verse implies that we receive what we ask of Him because we are obedient and do what pleases him – which would indicate that we are asking of Him in alignment with His will for us.

3:23 – We are to believe in the name of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. We are also to love one another.

3:24 – He lives in the one who obeys His commands. We know that He lives in us because of the Spirit he gave us. What evidence do you have that the Spirit lives in you?




• First John instructs us in how to live a life of love. Like First Peter, it also llustrates several life lessons and warnings for Christians. What is God teaching you in this chapter of scripture? How will you apply it to your life this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck

Get ready for Rachel Hauck's newest heroine, Regina Beswick. Book two Princess Ever After, in Hauck's The Royal Wedding series, is Princess Diaries for grown-ups!
Regina Beswick never dreamed of faraway places. She's happy with her life as a classic car mechanic and owner of a restoration shop.

But an unexpected visitor and the discovery of a fairytale, drawn by her great-grandma, causes Regina to wonder if she might be destined for something more.

Tanner Burkhardt, Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, must convince the strong-willed Miss Beswick that she is his country's long-lost princess. Failure could destroy his reputation and change his nation forever.

As Regina and Tanner face the challenges before them, neither are prepared for love to invade their hearts and change everything they believe about themselves.

However, when a royal opponent nearly destroys Regina's future, she must lean into God and trust He has sovereignly brought her to her true and final destiny.



Here is my review of this engaging novel:


First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Rachel Hauck and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Princess Ever After" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
Reggie doesn’t ever want to go back to being a CPA.  But now that she and her business partner, Al, have successfully restored a Dodge Charger, she’s pretty sure she has the makings of a brilliant, new career.  The business appears to be taking off when they receive a request to restore a Duesenberg and when she talks an acquaintance into letting her restore his Corvette.  This is the most inconvenient time for a diplomat to arrive in America from Hessenberg, thrusting Reggie into a new life adventure beyond her wildest dreams.

“Princess Ever After”, the second book in the Royal Wedding series by Rachel Hauck, is another immensely entertaining novel.  Every little girl dreams of being a princess.  This book had me thinking about two things that I pray will be life changing.  First, what would I do if someone showed up on my doorstep telling me I was a princess?  How would I behave?  Would it be exciting or more frightening?  Second, I AM A PRINCESS – a daughter of the King of Kings!  So, maybe I should behave a bit differently than I do.  Maybe I should be a little intimidated by the responsibility but at the same time OVER THE MOON regarding the privilege!
This incredibly thought-provoking and entertaining novel wouldn’t let me put it down.  If I could have, I would have read it in one sitting.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

When Wallflowers Dance by Angela Thomas – Week 5


Welcome to Week Five of Angela Thomas’ “When Wallflowers Dance:  Becoming a Woman of Righteous Confidence”.

This week’s video, “Not Your Turn Yet” taught us to respond like Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:12.  Angela told us six things God asks us to do while we are waiting for “our turn”:  first, stay with the Lord (John 15:1-11); second, entrust to Him whatever you deem valuable;  third, trust Him to keep those valuables safe while you wait;  fourth, become the woman who is ready to be called up; fifth, become and remain women of prayer;  sixth, stand (Ephesians 6:13, Isaiah 61:3).  And when God says it’s your turn, run to Him!

This week’s homework, “Until It’s Your Turn” gave us the opportunity to examine what we’re waiting for and what we’re doing while we wait.  It led me to pray that God would teach me to be patient as I wait on Him to bring the life within me to maturity.

One of the things I’m waiting for is Christ’s return.  He is coming back for me.  It’s exciting.  I am eagerly waiting for Him, expectantly waiting.  But I will wait.  First and foremost, because I have no choice.  Secondly, because I trust that His timing is perfect.

Abiding in Christ while we wait is a good thing.  It’s not passive.  It’s active relationship development.  It’s building that trust in Him.  And He is certainly trustworthy.  So, how are you actively waiting?  Are you learning how to pray and developing that skill?  Are you worshiping God?  Are you reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on Scripture?  Are you serving Him wherever He has you right now?

This week’s “Girlfriend Nudges” included a challenge to extend your prayer time to 30 minutes for 3 consecutive days.  The second nudge was to find a woman who is “becoming” in a way you want to “become” and take her for coffee to learn about how she’s getting where she is.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Rachel by Jill Eileen Smith


First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Jill Eileen Smith and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Rachel" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Rachel” by Jill Eileen Smith is the third offering in the Wives of the Patriarchs series.  Following the account found in the book of Genesis, the story of Laban’s younger daughter is told with a sympathetic bent.  The culture at the time mandated that the elder daughter should be married before the younger is wed.  Laban pulls the most diabolical switch on his nephew, Jacob, by promising Rachel and secretly delivering Leah in her place!  What good can come of four women sharing the same husband, especially when two of those women are sisters?

This dramatic story is richly crafted to bring the Bible vividly to life.  The characters and places and circumstances are presented in an entertaining and enlightening way.  This is much more than Rachel’s story.  It is also Leah’s story and Jacob’s and Zilpah’s and Bilhah’s and their childrens’.  Ultimately, I think the best thing about the book is that it made me want to go back and re-read the account in Scripture to recall what really happened.  It gave me a hunger for the Word of God.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Bible Study: Live A Life Of Love - 1 John - Chapter 2

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the epistle of 1 John. I feel a great sense of urgency to publish them because I’m not sure how much time we have left on this big, blue marble. Thank you for reading them. I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, mid to late summer 2010, things are still looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment, BP finally thinks they’ve stopped the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and many people I know personally are experiencing difficulties of mega-crisis proportions – including my own diagnosis of breast cancer. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 2 of 1 John. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

2:1 – John writes to “My dear children”. This letter was probably addressed to his congregation at Ephesus. He writes so that they will not sin. But he reassures his children that Christ intercedes on their behalf if anybody does sin. We have this same reassurance today if we belong to Christ.

2:2 – Jesus sacrificed His life to atone for the sins of the whole world.

2:3-4 – John says that we know Jesus if we obey his commands. What does this say about you if you claim to know Him but you’re not obedient? Do you want to know Jesus? What command are you currently not obeying that you could start?

2:5 - If you obey His word, God's love is made complete in you. What does this mean to you? We know that we are in Him if we walk as He did. How did Jesus walk? Obediently, humbly, confidently, compassionately, lovingly. What else?

2:7 – What do you think the old command is?

the old command – love your neighbor.

2:8 – What is the new command?

the new command – love your brother. See 2:9.

2:9 – This is a powerful verse. Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness. This doesn’t mean a disagreement. Hate is equated with murder in the Bible. Do a word study on hate when you have the time. In fact, make the time.

2:10 – Conversely, whoever loves his brother lives in the light. This is awesome, and a very high bar to achieve consistently. How are you able to live this verse out? I think another word study is called for: look up “love”.

2:11 – How do you think the darkness blinds us?

2:12 – John wanted his children to know that their sins had been forgiven because of the name of Jesus. Do you know this? When was the last time you shared this with someone else?

2:13-14 – Why do you think the fathers would know “Him who is from the beginning”? What do you think is the significance of the young men overcoming the evil one? Does it have anything to do with their strength or the Word of God living in them? What do you think the source of their strength is? How did John’s “dear children” come to know the Father?

2:15-16 – This is a very specific instruction: “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” This refers to the sinful nature – cravings, lusts, boasting. If we love the sinful nature, we don’t have the love of the Father in us. How important is it to you to have God’s love in you?

2:17 – The world and its desires are temporary, “but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Are you doing God’s will? How do you know? Test it against His Word. Are you obeying His commands? If so, you’re doing His will.

2:18 – Apparently, the coming of antichrists is a signal that it is the last hour. Do not become complacent in this. Stay alert, keep seeking Jesus and sharing Him with others. He will be back to take us home before you know it!

the antichrist – Satan doesn’t know when Christ’s kingdom will come, so he must have candidates for this position “in every generation so that when the time comes, he can inhabit and use his prime choice.” (Daniel – Beth Moore)

“One of the most notable characteristics of the antichrist is his genius. I believe he will be a Gentile (Rev. 13:1), emerging from a reunified Roman Empire (Daniel 7:8; 9:26), who is an intellectual genius (Dan. 8:23), an oratorical genius (Dan. 11:36), a political genius (Rev. 17:11-12), a commercial genius (Dan. 11:43; Rev. 13:16-17), a military genius (Rev. 6:2; 13:2), and a religious genius (2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:8).” (Daniel – Beth Moore: The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy) I do not agree with the use of the underlined verses to support the genius reference.

2:19 – John appears to be saying that these antichrists went out from his own group. He states that they didn’t really belong to his group, though, because they would have remained with them if they’d truly belonged to them. What does this tell you? It tells me that there will be those among you in church who won’t belong to Jesus. Don’t be fooled. Keep your eyes, ears and heart and God’s Word OPEN! Why do you think John included this in the text?

2:20-21 – Believers have an anointing from the Holy One. This anointing reveals the truth. John reveals this as part of the reason he wrote this letter.

2:22 – John identifies the liar as one who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a denial makes this person the antichrist because he denies the Father and the Son.

2:23 – John explains that you can’t have the Father without the Son. Does this remind you of another verse – “I am the way, the truth and the life”?

2:24 – What do you think they’ve heard from the beginning that John wants to remain in them?

2:25 – The promise of eternal life comes to us through Jesus Christ.

2:26-27 – see Revelation 2-3.

2:26 – Why do you think John was writing about those who were trying to lead others astray? Do you think such warnings are timely today?

2:27 – Remember what was said in verse 20? The anointing in us reveals the truth. It teaches us.

2:28 – If we “continue in Him”, we may be confident and unashamed when He returns.

2:29 – We can identify those who belong to Jesus because they do what is right, as He is righteous. Can you identify a couple of people you know as belonging to Jesus?



• First John instructs us in how to live a life of love. Like First Peter, it also llustrates several life lessons and warnings for Christians. What is God teaching you in this chapter of scripture? How will you apply it to your life this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The February Bride by Betsy St. Amant


The February Bride by Betsy St. Amant

A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

Allie left the love of her life at the altar---to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine's Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family's destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress?

History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day---in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family---women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus but fears she's destined to repeat her family's mistakes. She can't bear to hurt Marcus worse.

Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar---him. When the two are thrown together for his sister's Valentine's Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?

  

Here’s my review of this enchanting Valentine’s Day novella:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Betsy St. Amant and her publisher for sending me a copy of "The February Bride" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
Second, I’d like to say that I’ve never read anything by Becky St. Amant, but I will be on the lookout for her books in the future.  She is eloquent, witty and her writing translates to a vivid picture in my mind’s eye.
Four months after Allie ran out of her own wedding to spare her fiancĂ©, Marcus, from a fate worse than death – divorce, she meets her friend (and Marcus’ sister) Hannah thinking that she’s going to be the recipient of a “piece of her mind”.  Rather than a tongue-lashing, she learns that Hannah is going to be married.  The events that follow before the wedding find Allie in Marcus’ company again and the spark is still there in spite of Allie leaving him at the altar.Show more
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This novella was another terrific read in this series.  Engaging and short enough to be read in a single sitting.  I totally recommend any of these monthly romances for an entertaining escape.

The January Bride by Deborah Raney


The January Bride by Deborah Raney

A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

What will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser's 'pen pal' friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn?

Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie's never met the innkeeper---but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie's alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn's owner---a man who's likely many years her senior---and who she's never even met.

Arthur Tyler is a college professor who lost his young wife to cancer. Together they ran the bed and breakfast where Art lives, but without his wife, the house is missing warmth and cheer. He jumps at the chance to have author Madeleine Houser use the space that was once filled with guests. He, too, begins to enjoy the daily exchanges with Maddie, but a series of misunderstandings lead him to believe she's far from being a prospective date---even if he were ready to date again, which he's not.

When Maddie and Art finally meet and discover one another's identity, sparks fly. Even so, they each have obstacles to overcome in order for this winter romance to blossom.

 

Here’s my review of this heartwarming novella:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Deborah Raney and her publisher for sending me a copy of "The January Bride" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

In “The January Bride” by Deborah Raney, leading lady Maddie is proving that an author can’t write “anywhere”!  After giving up her loft in New York to stay in her sister’s home near their mother, Maddie learns that preparing a home to be sold is not a quiet, relaxing place to commit thoughts to paper.  So, at the urging of her thoughtful neighbor, Ginny, she uses a room at the former bed-and-breakfast as an office where her creative juices can flow.

Deborah Raney tells a beautiful story and gives insight into the craft of writing through her protagonist.  This novella is an engaging savor-this-in-one-sitting type of read.  Her characters are likable, she transports you to the musty Tudor with her narrative, and she grabs and keeps your attention as romance and plot twist together to create a surprising read that will make you smile.

Compass Study Bible


Compass is about helping you find the answers you’re looking for in the pages of the Scriptures and allowing that truth navigate your life. Packed with Bible-reading helps and using an energizing, new Bible translation, Compass is a Bible designed with you in mind. Do you want to start reading and applying the Bible to your life, but aren’t quite sure where to start? Let Compass point you in the right direction.

Features include:

  • In-text notes that include cultural, historical, theological, and devotional thoughts
  • God’s Promises®—Thomas Nelson’s bestselling guide to Scripture for your every need
  • Book introductions
  • Reading plans for every day of the year
  • Topical Guides to Scripture and notes
  • In-text maps

 

Here’s my review of this enlightening new Bible:

I’ve read and enjoyed the Voice translation, and in this screenplay-like format, the Compass Study Bible is appropriate for devotional reading, and will engage small groups – especially children’s groups – who want to bring Scripture to life by acting it out.  Helps like maps and notes are conveniently located throughout the text to aid in your study.  There are reading plans to get you started reading the Bible every day and a topical index for looking up particular subjects.
 
This would be a good Bible for the group who wants to engage God’s Word by acting it out.  It would also be a good Bible for those who enjoy reading stage and screen plays.  Compass contains a good introduction to the Promises of God, and we all need to refer back to them especially when times are tough.  Not only is this a good beginner Bible, it is one that will grow with you as you mature in Christ.  I haven’t read all of the Compass Study Bible, yet, but what I have read has pointed me in the right direction.

Smitten Book Club by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Dian Hunt

In this remarkable collaborative novel, besties Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt tackle the tale of the Gentlewoman's Guide by writing for one book club member apiece. Smitten Book Club is a hopeful, hilarious story of friendship and healing, written by friends for friends.

The century-old Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship is no ordinary book club choice. But for the little book club in Smitten, Vermont, it might be their best pick yet!

The thick, leathery tome Heather pulled out of the dusty cardboard box was definitely coming home with her. Not only was The Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship an appealing curiosity by virtue of its title; it was also written by Smitten, Vermont native Pearl Chambers, a local gentlewoman from three generations back.

Little did Heather know the repercussions this little curiosity would have on her and her friends' romantic exploits.
When Heather and her fellow book club members begin passing the book around, their respective interpretations are unleashed on their respective love lives . . . for better or for worse. Is it a mystery? An idealist fantasy? An intimation of Jane Austen? As romantic love finds its way to each woman, the Guide proves itself both surprisingly prescient and hilariously irrelevant.

What's more, a handwritten inscription indicates that the arcane book might hold the only extant clues leading to buried gold-exactly what one of the members needs to keep her house. How could they not go treasure hunting?

Here's my review of this enjoyable weekend read:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter and their publisher for sending me a copy of "Smitten Book Club" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Smitten Book Club” is a fun and heartwarming anthology of novellas from four of Christian fiction’s best authors.  Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter contribute four stories to this collection in the series of novels about Smitten, Vermont.  The common theme that runs through all four stories is that the gals are passing around a book on romance that apparently contains clues to a real-life treasure hidden in Smitten!  This is a thoroughly satisfying weekend read.

****“Love by the Book” by Colleen Coble.  Heather has a history with Paul:  four years ago, she threw herself at him and he rejected her.  Now, he’s moving back to Smitten with the idea of creating an organic town garden and hopes that Heather will help him.  He has other hopes regarding Heather as well, but she seems to want to keep things between them away from a more personal interaction.  This engaging romance is a great way to kick things off!

***“Shelved Under Romance” by Kristen Billerbeck is the tale of Abby, the town librarian, who has grown older than her 27 years caring for her aging mother.  Wyatt is an adventurer and an extreme sportsman who wants to help Abby break free of her reticent lifestyle.  This sweet romance is a charming edition to the Smitten collection.

***In “A New Chapter” by Diann Hunt, Lia is reunited with a friend from her youth.  Joey has recently returned to Smitten with his daughter after losing his wife the year before.  Joey has never thought of Lia as more than a friend, but Lia has always been head over heels for him.  This touching Christmas tale will have you curling up on the couch with cocoa and a favorite blanket.

*****Molly’s husband passed away last year, leaving her with an adventure business she has no idea how to run in “Happily Ever After” by Denise Hunter.  Gage owns another adventure business, Molly’s prime competition in Smitten, and with her trust in men at an all time low because of things she learned about her husband after his death, Molly is having a hard time accepting that Gage wants to help her succeed.  He must have an ulterior motive.  This beautifully written story is a great way to wrap up this set of four novellas, bringing the suspense of the treasure hunt to a conclusion as well.

When Wallflowers Dance by Angela Thomas – Week 4


Welcome to Week Four of Angela Thomas’ “When Wallflowers Dance:  Becoming a Woman of Righteous Confidence”.

This week’s video, “Resisting Bitterness” taught us that it’s heartbreaking to see a grown woman who finds comfort in bitterness.  Teaching from Ephesians 4:31 and Hebrews 12:15, Angela shares three choices we should make to keep from becoming bitter:  choose God, choose wisdom and choose victory.  Hallelujah!

She also told a great story about a new Christian who went to her Pastor and asked what she should do next.  The Pastor told her to get a Bible and start reading and he would meet with her the next week to talk about what she read.  The woman shows up at the church the following day wanting to talk to the Pastor.  She was reading her new Bible and couldn’t wait to talk with him.  He asked where she started reading and she responded, “Revelation”.  Surprised and nervous, the Pastor said that Revelation can be a challenging place to start and asked what she learned.  Her response:  “We win!”  Amen!  Choose victory.

This week’s homework, “Resisting Bitterness” dug up some stuff in my life that I didn’t realize was there.  I thought these issues were dealt with and gone, but apparently not.  Thank you, Lord, for not letting me continue to walk in defeat in this area.  I want to live in victory.  I want to live what I believe.  And I believe God.

Angela includes a list of God’s promises that I will refer to again and again.  In fact, I’ve written out these promises and flagged them in my Bible so I won’t forget.  And when I do forget, I can look back at them and be reminded of His goodness, love, faithfulness, etc.

To choose freedom, we have to release bitterness.  Angela provides a 7-step process for releasing bitterness that I used this week to begin my own healing.  And once you dig out that bitterness and clean yourself up, you must fill that space with something:  wisdom.  So, a quick trip to Proverbs (with a lengthier trip included in the “Girlfriend Nudges”) pours healing balm into the places where bitterness used to reside.  And we’re again reminded to choose victory.  Amen!

This week’s “Girlfriend Nudges” included reading the whole book of Proverbs and underlining everything the book says about fools.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Shadows of the Past

While she's stalking the truth . . . someone is stalking her.
Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve--the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she works to uncover the truth, someone else will do almost anything to keep her from it.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife--a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. Now that his estranged brother is the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

Join the chase as Taylor and Nick search the murky shadows of the past for the keys to unlocking the present--and moving into a future they never imagined.


"Bradley had me totally hooked. An outstanding first book in the Logan Point romantic suspense series."--Sandra Orchard, award-winning author of the Undercover Cops series and Deadly Devotion of the Port Aster Secrets series

"Keep your eye on Patricia Bradley. With her stellar writing and edge-of-the-seat suspense, there is no telling what she has in store for readers next."--Sandra Robbins, award-winning author


Patricia Bradley is the winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier award and a 2012 Touched by Love award, and was also a finalist for the 2012 Genesis award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.

Here's my review of this thrilling read:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Patricia Bradley and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Shadows of the Past" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
From the opening phrase, “Shadows of the Past” by Patricia Bradley takes off at a run.  College professor and criminal profiler, Taylor Martin, is being stalked.  Mystery author, Nick Sinclair, is looking for his only surviving family, his missing brother who also happens to have taken a couple of Dr. Martin’s classes.

This novel is a non-stop thrill ride that packs plenty of suspenseful twists and the thrill of romance.  Thick characters and the rich backdrop of Mississippi add depth and dimension to a meticulously crafted plot and a narrative that plays like a great film in the mind’s eye.  I was excited to read that book 2 in the Logan Point series is due out in the fall of 2014.  I have a new author to keep an eye on and a terrific new novel for my keeper shelf!