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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gay N. Lewis: "Prism's Birthday Blog Hop"

Gay N. Lewis: "Prism's Birthday Blog Hop":   Happy Third Birthday Prism! Prism Book Group started in September 2011 as Inspired Romance Novels and grew rapidly. When the ...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gay N. Lewis: "Prism's Birthday Blog Hop"

Gay N. Lewis: "Prism's Birthday Blog Hop":   Happy Third Birthday Prism! Prism Book Group started in September 2011 as Inspired Romance Novels and grew rapidly. When the ...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Prism's Birthday Blog Hop"



 
Happy Third Birthday Prism!
Prism Book Group started in September 2011 as Inspired Romance Novels and grew rapidly. When the publisher realized the lines needed a broader scope, the name became Prism Book Group—a more inclusive designation. Joan Alley, the Editor-in-Chief then added two new lines to the existing catalog. The Diamond and Illuminate categories are now available along with Inspired.  With these three distinct lines, Prism remains devoted to clean reading and is ACFW approved.
Now how did I join Prism Book Group? Well, actually at the time, the company was named Inspired Romance.  I'd just written a story about a dyslexic angel who was a total goof-up as she attempted to help a man find a mate.  I dashed it off in an email to Joan Alley at Inspired Romance.
On May 4, 2012, I received this email. 
Mrs. Lewis,
What a delightful and heartwarming tale! After having the pleasure of reviewing your story and smiling often, I'd love to welcome you aboard at Inspired and offer you a contract for this story.
Our standard contract is attached for you to consider. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for submitting to Inspired.
 Best,
Joan Alley
Needless to say, the thrill of receiving my first contract brought happy tears. Since I signed the first one with Inspired Romance, I’ve since signed two more contracts for a total of six books for now Prism Book Group. Sarah: A Mission of Love was published on September 18, 2012, and Sarah: Laney’s Angel hit the market place on May 22, 2013.  Sarah and the Widow’s Mate is due for release this fall.  Three more Sarah books are due next year.
My experience with Prism Book Group is an exhilarating one.  As of today, the two Sarah books are on Amazon’s top one hundred list—a joy for any author, and I’m humbled that Sarah has been widely adored and accepted.
 At this writing:
                Sarah: A Mission of Love is #23 Kindle Store in Christian Fantasy
         Sarah: Laney’s Angel is  #90 in Kindle Store  Kindle eBooks  Literature &     Fiction    Christian Fantasy
The guidance at Prism Book Group has brought the Sarah Series to a level I could not achieve on my own.  The editors comb every word and check for consistent composition. Designers produce appealing covers. When a book is introduced to market, the authors merge in rich support.  Everyone at Prims works in harmony to bring about the best possible product.  Affiliation with Prism Book Group is a gift for any author. It’s a privilege given to us by Joan Alley as she submits to the divine leadership of God.
I'm giving away a print copy of Sarah: A Mission of Love. The winner will be selected by Joan Alley and announced on September 23.  To win, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this blog.  Several authors are giving prizes on their blogs, and Prism is giving a $100 dollar gift card.  I urge everyone to blog hop.  Join the fun!  Don't miss it!  We are giving birthday gifts to you, and we want you to receive them. 
* * *
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRISM
The authors at Prism are celebrating with dessert recipes as we sing out Happy Birthday!  My contribution is  a coconut cake.
This recipe came from a dear, sweet lady in our church.  At every church dinner, we could count on this delicious cake.  I sure do miss the cake, and I certainly miss Helen Evans. When a birthday came around for my husband or me, she brought this cake.  If God allows us to exercise our gifts in heaven, she'll be making this scrumptious dessert for His pleasure.  Another dear lady, Dovey Breedlove always brought my husband a coconut pie.  Dovey is up there too, and we miss her. Those two ladies knew how to bring pleasure to our palates.
I don't bake...barely cook.  We obviously enjoy coconut treats, and we miss these delicacies as well as the ladies who baked them.
Helen Evans gave me her cake recipe.  It's really good.

COCONUT BUTTER CAKE
2 c. sugar
1 c. butter, room temperature
4 eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 tbsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cram sugar and butter. Separate egg whites from yolks. Beat yolks and add to sugar mixture, mix flour, soda and salt.  Add alternately, butter, mild and vanilla which have been mixed.  Beat egg whtes until stiff, fold into cake mixture.  Bake in two 9 inch pans.  Bake 35-40 minutes.
ICING
¼ c. butter

1 (8ox) pkg. cream cheese

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 one pound box powdered sugar

1 tbsp. cream
Cream butter and cream cheese, add powdered sugar, mix well.  Spread on top and sides.  Put coconut on top and sides.
Best wishes with this recipe.  Thanks for stopping by my blog, and please hop over to the others at Prism.  Leave a comment.  Joan Alley will mail the selected winner a copy of Sarah: A Mission of Love.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Fear! Is it okay to have it?


Nehemiah Expresses Fear

Even though Nehemiah’s heart stayed full of severe sorrow and angst, he served wine to the king and never revealed his countenance or longing to the Persian ruler, King Artaxerxes.

What was the reason for the servant’s deep torment? What was his longing? Remember his prayer? Nehemiah made this same supplication over and over for four months—never giving up his belief God would hear and answer.

v  He constantly affirmed God’s love.

v  He reminded the Lord of how he prayed day and night on behalf of Israel.

v  He confessed the sins of his people. 

v  He asked God to remember the promises the Almighty had made to Israel’s forefathers. 

v  His final appeal to God was to find favor with King Artaxerxes, and that the king would grant him his desire to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. They lay in ruin.

As he fulfilled his food and beverage duties to the monarchy, the King suddenly asked Nehemiah, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? You must have sadness of heart.” Nehemiah 2:2 NASB

Oops!  Now Nehemiah was suddenly afraid—in fact, he was petrified. His attempts to conceal his feelings had failed. While shaking in his boots, Nehemiah responded to the question with these words, “Let the King live forever.  Why should my face not be sad with the city, the place of my father’s tombs lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?”  Nehemiah 2:3 NASB.

“What would you request” King Artaxerxes got to the bottom line in a hurry with that question.

Before he answered, Nehemiah quickly sent up a prayer and then boldly said, “If your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah and allow me to rebuild the city.”

Nehemiah was an exiled Israelite working as a slave.  He could have lost his head with that request.

Successful men admit fear.  Hmmm. Let’s repeat that phrase. Successful men admit fear. 

In his book, a sort of diary, Nehemiah recorded his terror for all posterity to see.  These would be facts many of us would wish to hide. Would you want readers to know your personal thoughts two thousand years from now? Here’s a thought. When we discover others who experience similar emotions, the revelation often gives us comfort.

What we attempt to hide, God knows. The Almighty comprehends our hearts and minds. He understands how our blood pressure increases due to panic. Not one cell in our body amazes Him.  Our anxiety is not news to Him, but it might be helpful information to others. 

What should we do when we experience alarm?

Perhaps Nehemiah recalled the words of Moses as he stood before the king. "Do not be afraid…the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22 NIV

Or perhaps Nehemiah comforted himself with the words of Israel’s revered monarch, King David. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 NIV.

We find over three thousand promises in God’s word, and God keeps all of them.  In our next addition, we will see how God answered Nehemiah’s prayer.  Don’t forget, he was a man who prayed as though the results depended upon God but worked as though the outcome depended on him.

Even with the acknowledgement of fear, Nehemiah proved himself an example to follow.

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What to do in times of enormous stress


Nehemiah handled monumental anxieties.

Nehemiah began his Biblical narrative by telling the reader about an event that occurred in December, 446BC.  While exiled from his native Judah, he worked as a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, King of Persia.

During this time we now know as Christmas holidays, several Jews from Jerusalem arrived in Susa, the capitol of Persia.  Eager to hear of news, Nehemiah found his countrymen and asked about his native city.  They told him the city walls are shattered and the gates to the city had been burned. When he heard the update, he wept and mourned for days, and then he began to fast and pray.

In his prayer, he affirmed God’s love and greatness. After that, he reminded the Lord of how he had been praying day and night on behalf of Israel. He confessed the sins of his people.  Following the confession, he asked God to remember the promises the Almighty had made to Israel’s forefathers.  His final appeal to God was to find favor with King Artaxerxes. The king could grant him his desire to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah prayed this same prayer—never giving up his belief God would hear and answer.

Four months later, God answered.

Was the four months an eternity to Nehemiah? Remember his condition—he wept, fasted, and prayed. The guy experienced enormous stress through these days—four months probably seemed infinity, and let’s also not forget his fear.  King Artaxerxes possessed the power to take his life if the official so desired. Terror of government administrators, and great sorrow for his homeland should have rendered Nehemiah incapacitated, but in spite of these apprehensions, he made plans to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 

Faith, prayer and preparation go together.

Four months may seem a short period of time for those who have pleaded four years—or maybe  as long as forty years. A long stretch of waiting emerged for Nehemiah, but through it,  he set an example. Here we see a man who prayed as though results depended upon God but worked as though outcomes depended on him.

I know many who are experiencing great worry and sorrow in their lives today.  Perhaps it is divorce, or maybe financial ruin. Others face the loss of loved ones or the loss of health. A few confront fear of the future. Remember this:  God listens, but may seem slow to us as He responds to our needs.  Nehemiah set an excellent example in times such as these.  Take heart, dear friend.  The answer is on the way.

In our next segment, we will consider Nehemiah’s prayer and plans.