Posted in First-Line Fridays, Weekly Themed Posts

First-Line Friday #208

A Heart Adrift

by Laura Frantz

Virginia Coast, April 1745

With his back to the coastal wind, Henri Lennox settled his arms around Esmee Shaw, guiding her soft, pale hands with his tanned, callused fingers as they let the long silken line out.


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Posted in Thursday Encouragement, Weekly Themed Posts

His Encouragement #166

Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.


Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place — the Most High, who is my refuge — no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

Psalm 91:9-10 (ESV)

I have been struggling HARD lately.

You see, plague has come near my tent. And this has rocked my world.

I have been sharing Psalm 91 with anyone who will listen. I’ve been breaking it down here on my blog for months all with the intent to encourage others, to keep people focused on Jesus and not the EVIL that is everywhere on earth. And I’ve done it to keep blinders on my eyes, so I only look up to Jesus. I was SO sure that I was doing my part of Psalm 91. But now I don’t know anything. I don’t know what God wants from me. Why did He allow sickness into my family? What did I do wrong?

God’s promises all over the Bible — Psalm 91 is not the only place where God gives direct promises IF — are so definitive. If a believer does X, God will make Y happen. The text says so. Look at the verses for today — IF you make God your refuge, NO evil will befall you, NO plague will come near your home. So, what if you do X with your whole heart, but Y doesn’t happen? Does this mean you are a fraud? Does this mean you are delusional and only think you did X with your whole heart? I mean, Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are the most deceitful of things. Maybe I am deeply fooling myself?

But maybe I am defining plague wrong?

In my modern way of thinking, a plague is disease. But maybe that is the wrong definition. According to the dictionary, a plague is a disease, but that’s the #2 definition. That’s the definition we are all accustomed to today. The #1 definition of plague is a disastrous evil or affliction, a calamity. A plague then is what happened to Job and his family. Well, that definitely changes how I see Psalm 91.

I read Psalm 91 MY way with my modern definitions and then got majorly hurt feelings when MY way didn’t pan out. But when I think back on the insane years of COVID, I can actually say that no evil has yet befallen on me and my family. The threats are everywhere and constant, but God HAS protected me and my family from evil. And, if I go by the #1 definition for plague, He has also protected me and my family from that as well.

Are you struggling today, dear reader, with a Promise from God that just doesn’t seem to be panning out? Are you worried that maybe you are a fraud? That your faith is not as strong as you thought it was? Maybe, just maybe, your definitions are wrong. Maybe you need your perspective shifted to God’s actual meanings and away from what YOU think is God’s meaning.

My advice to you, dear reader, is the same to me: pray without ceasing. If you are struggling, bring your burdens to God. He wants them. And, who knows, perhaps today’s prayer will be the right prayer and He will shift your perspective and grant you the peace that only He can!


NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!

WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?

Posted in Must-Get Monday, Weekly Themed Posts

Must-Get Monday #66

In Search of a Prince

by Toni Shiloh

58302844
Releases February 1, 2022

Amazon 👑 Goodreads

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? I absolutely love it. And I really am super excited to read this book. It’s been on my radar for a while now. February 1st can’t come quick enough!

About the Book

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops the mother of all bombshells–Brielle is a princess in the kingdom of Oloro IlZ, Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, King Tiwa Jimoh Adebayo, is failing.

Distraught by her mother’s betrayal, Brielle is further left spinning when the Oloro IlZ Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before assuming the throne or the crown will be passed to another. Uncertain who to choose from the council’s list of bachelors, she struggles with the decision along with the weight of her new role in a new country. With her world totally shaken, she must take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring.


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Posted in First-Line Fridays, Weekly Themed Posts

First-Line Friday #207

Harmony on the Horizon

Chaparral Hearts #3

by Kathleen Denly

June 30, 1865, San Francisco

A girl’s terrified scream jerked Margaret Foster’s attention from the mathematics formula she’d been rehearsing in her mind.


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Posted in First-Line Fridays, Weekly Themed Posts

First-Line Friday #206

Elinor

Daughters of the Lost Colony

by Shannon McNear


“In the beginning was the sea,” she murmured.


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Posted in First-Line Fridays, Weekly Themed Posts

First-Line Friday #205

To Treasure an Heiress

The Secrets of the Isles #2

by Roseanna M. White

7 May 1650, Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Prince … or pirate? Rupert felt like neither as he stood on the bluff, the sea beckoning him, the wind whirling about him, and the most beautiful woman in all the world pressed against his chest, her cheeks damp with tears.


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Posted in Thursday Encouragement, Weekly Themed Posts

His Encouragement #165

Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.


A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.

Psalm 91:7-8 (ESV)

I’m back studying God’s promises in Psalm 91. This week, I’m focusing on verses 7 and 8. And they are packed full of goodness!

If you remember a few weeks back when we were looking at verses 1-4, God promises that IF you make Him your Refuge then He will protect you from many things. The first set of things He will protect you from is terror at night, violence during the day, pestilence (illness), and destructions (nature terrors like earthquakes and hurricanes and tornados) that seemingly come out of nowhere.

This week, we continue with a list of things God will protect us from IF we make Him our Refuge. The imagery in verses 7 and 8 is compelling. First, we are told that 1,000 people may fall (die) next to you, 10,000 more may fall near you, BUT it will not come near you. You will be surrounded by ugliness, but the ugliness will not be able to touch you. What is the IT in verse 7 that won’t come near you? Well, that’s all that scary stuff from verses 5 and 6: terror, violence, illness, and natural destructions.

At this point, I can hear someone saying, “Wait, I’ve had to deal with terror or violence before. I’ve been sick before. I’ve gone through some natural storms before. Does this mean that I’m not really making God my Refuge?”

God doesn’t promise that we won’t go through these things at all. He promises that we won’t be destroyed by these things. They won’t hurt us. Imagine it like this: God, with His shield and buckler, stands BEFORE you. You stand directly behind Him. Notice how you are covered by Him and His shield? Notice how nothing can really get to you? Now, imagine that God is asking you to walk forward (but stay behind Him). You will have to go through some things, BUT God has you covered. So you will see things in your lifetime — you will see terrors and violence and illnesses and natural events — but God. He’s standing in front of you to take what would hit you if He were not your Refuge. It’s a really comforting image, don’t you think?

What’s next in the Psalm 91 promises?

Well, that you will see the wicked make amends for all the evil they spewed on this earth. There will come a time when the wicked will have to pay reparations to all those they have hurt. I LOVE this. Do you know why? Because it means they will have to take responsibility for their awful actions. They will have to acknowledge that they have caused pain and suffering. There will be no more gaslighting. OH! I cannot wait for that day.

Psalm 91 is amazing. God’s many, many promises to us IF we make Him our Refuge bring me great comfort in this crazy and chaotic time. I also love the image of God standing before me keeping me safe behind Him. I feel seen and loved and cherished. I don’t know about you, but this makes me love God all the more.


NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!

WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?

Posted in Must-Get Monday, Weekly Themed Posts

Must-Get Monday #65

To Treasure an Heiress

The Secrets of the Isles #2

by Roseanna M. White

58302947
Releases January 18, 2022

Amazon 🗝️ Goodreads

I LOVE books by Roseanna M. White. They are always SO good. I know To Treasure an Heiress is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to read this book!

About the Book

Beth Tremayne has always been drawn to adventure. During her childhood, she fed that desire by exploring every inch of the Isles of Scilly. As an adolescent, she dreamed of love in London’s ballrooms. Now, stumbling across an old map on her family’s property, she’s found more adventure than she ever craved in the hunt for pirate treasure. Unfortunately, Beth can’t escape the attentions of her family’s guest, Lord Sheridan.

Sheridan has spent years pursuing whatever archaeological interests caught his imagination. And when he discovers that Beth’s search connects with one of his favorite pirates of history, he can’t help getting involved. Plus, he finds her irresistible, even though she insists he stole a prized possession of hers.

As they work together following different clues and drawing closer to danger, they start to piece together a story of tragic love and piratical adventure. But the true surprise is the treasure they discover in each other.


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Posted in First-Line Fridays, Weekly Themed Posts

First-Line Friday #204

Meet Me in the Margins

by Melissa Ferguson

Pacing the back corner of the packed meeting room in outstandingly uncomfortable heels, I move as silently as possible along the three feet of available aisle space between my begrudgingly accommodating coworker, Clyve, and the horde of beady osprey staring down at me from the vintage wallpaper.


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GRAB THE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING, OPEN TO CHAPTER ONE, AND POST A SENTENCE OR TWO IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

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