Sunday, January 25, 2015

GUEST: Blessed and Highly Favored by Caryl McAdoo

Renee, thank you so much for inviting me to your Inspirational Moments blog. It is both an honor and blessing to be here and get to share an encouraging word with all your readers.



Many years ago—I’m unsure exactly when—someone I came upon asked innocently as we all do at one time or another, “How you doing?” It’s a casual question, and you’d probably agree ninety-eight percent of the time, the most often response is ‘good’ or ‘fine.’ But I wasn’t, my heart hurt over something that happened earlier. But what did I answer? “I’m fine, just fine.”
Now I profess to be a guardian of the Truth, have for decades. I hate lies. Holy Spirit said to my heart, YOU JUST TOLD A LIE. I couldn’t argue. I had, an out and out, bold faced lie. I repented and from that day forward, made a conscientious effort never to do that again. I prayed and the Spirit and I came up with blessed and highly favored. That is always the Truth. No matter the circumstances, I am always blessed and highly favored. If we belong to Christ, then we all are, no matter what happens.
Highly favored I am among women to be the wife of my wonderful wise and Godly husband; I’m mama to four healthy children; and fourteen grandsugars call me Grami. Forget new cars and houses and food and electric bills. Forget the opened doors and His favor that goes ahead of me. Just to be His, just to be called according to His purpose, I am so blessed.
I’ve made it a habit, for nigh on to thirty years now, ninety-eight percent of the time, I answer I am blessed and highly favored. This response offers many advantages in glorifying God which is my goal in life—to bring glory to His name. Answering “I’m blessed and highly favored!” brings a myriad of reactions.
Christians will say, “Well, Praise the Lord, I am, too! I like that answer, we are blessed!”
So it gives them the opportunity to speak up and praise the Lord. Others might give a weak smile and say, “Uh, that’s good.” So I give them the short version of my testimony how that’s ALWAYS true where saying good or fine is often a lie. How I’m a guardian of the truth. Some think about it and say, “You know, that’s right!” Others repeat, “Uh, that’s good.”
Another benefit of this positive confession is that Almighty God creates the fruit of my lips (Isaiah 57:19). Think about it. He spoke everything into existence—light, the world, all the fish in the seas, the birds in the air, and all the animals; everything that creeps and crawls, too. All except man who formed and fashioned in His own image, made us to be like Him.
Why wouldn’t we expect the things we say to come into being?
I am here to testify. For all these years, I’ve confessed I am blessed and highly favored—thousands of times, maybe tens of thousands. God Himself has created my words and I. AM. BLESSED. And HIGHLY FAVORED.  You can be, too. Get into the habit. May be hard at first, but try it, you’ll like it!


A big cow, maybe the biggest, had her nose to the ground, chewing. “What’s she eating?”
“That’s number one, except her real name is Eighty-six.”
“She’s the boss cow, but she was the sixth heifer born in 2008, so her registered name is Eighty-six, plus her mother’s number and whichever bull was her daddy. I can’t remember now, maybe Jester or Lex. Back then Daddy traded bulls pretty regular.”
“So you number the cows, but name the bulls?”
“Yeah, it’s easier that way.”
He glanced at the side mirror. The line of cows steadily grew. “Why?”
“We don’t ever keep a bull very long, and the cow’s number tells us their age. Plus, their ear tags are color coded.”
“Wow, and I thought all you did was buy a cow and turn them out into a pasture.”
“Wish it was that easy.”
“Don’t do that.”
“What’d I do?”
“Wishing is witchcraft.”
She wrinkled her nose and sneered. “What in the world are you talking about?”
“Wishing is not praying. Stars don’t make good things come true. There’s no such thing as luck either. According to the Word, we’re blessed or cursed. Period.”
Seemed she wanted to argue, but held her peace. He liked that, her examining exactly what she believed, then finally she nodded. “You’re right. Hadn’t ever thought of it really.”
Wow, what more could he ask for? A chaste lady who could so quickly see and admit the error of her ways, a treasure for sure. “Sad, but most don’t. They never realize the power of their words and how every single one affects their lives.”
“Hey, I learned a little chorus about that.” She grinned then burst into song. “Choose, my child, the words you speak, for I will create the fruit of your lips. Your words get to your future ahead of you, what you said yesterday, you’re now walking through.”
“I like that. Never heard it before.”
“A friend of mine, Mary Esther Baylor, wrote it.”
“I know a Christian singer Mary Esther, but her last name is Robbins. Wouldn’t think there were that many with such an old timey name.”
“No, she’s one and the same. She came home a year ago and married Samuel Baylor. They were childhood sweethearts before her daddy died and her mother moved her back to Dallas. They’re the ones who started the Prayer on the Square at the School of the Prophets.”

Isaiah 57:19 “I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is faroff, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.

Watch what you say. Your words will come to pass. Don’t complain, “My back is killing me” and don’t confess “I’ll never get that job.” I know it sounds like you’re lying at first, but God’s Word is more Truth than what you can see or the circumstances you’re walking through. Don’t lose heart, try it with something easy to start with. Next time someone asks, “How are you?”
Answer, “I am blessed and highly favored! Oh how I wish I had time to testify how He has brought this to Truth in my life!


(archived post - giveaway ended)

The Preacher's Faith

(drawing on 2/4/2015)
 (archived post - giveaway ended)

About the Book:

Can the orphaned preacher and the heartbroken rodeo queen navigate the path to true love with a lie and an ex-beau blocking their way?
Learning of Faith Johnson’s rash promise to her father, New Hope Baptist’s interim preacher Asa Davidson shows up to apply for the position—of husband. The cowgirl was only trying to give her dying father hope promising to marry the first thirty-something-year-old Christian virgin to ask. Who’d ever dream one existed in all of Texas, much less Red River County? But sure enough, one comes a’courting the very next day thanks to the Lord and Daddy’s baby sister, loud mouth Aunt Iris. Faith’s appalled, but a promise is a promise. She only needs to figure a way out.
Originally, Asa sees matrimony as a career move. He hopes a godly, local wife will seal the deal for a permanent call. Then asked right out about that very thing, he lies. Sparks fly when her past love and the preacher meet up, but as the days pass, she finds herself admiring the man and his relationship to God more and more. He’s a hard worker and wonderful, fun companion. Maybe she could learn to love him. But what if New Hope doesn’t call him? She loves it right where she’s at. Plus what about her dying father? And there’s that untruth between them….
And to make things even harder, her ex comes to Christ through it all!

About the Author:

Caryl McAdoo
Caryl McAdoo
With sixteen titles released by six publishers, Simon & Schuster’s hybrid author Caryl McAdoo is excited about her newest Biblical fiction, volume two of The Generations series, THEN THE DELUGE COMES. The novelist also edits, paints, and writes new songs. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes the books will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to all their readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.
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Lead pic: photo credit: dalioPhoto via photopin cc

Sunday, January 18, 2015

3 Ways to Share Your Faith


The Lord changed that place deep in your soul. You’re a Christian. The closet’s lined with a brand new wardrobe, and the trash can’s filled with nasty habits. Instead of sleeping in on Sunday morning, you attend church services. But now you have a choice to make.

Will you be content to lounge in the pew for the prescribed doses of worship and lessons each week? Or will the knowledge you gain continue beyond the doors? And if so, how?

Tweet: The Apostle Paul talks about spreading the word in his letter to Timothy. #faith #goodnews #blogThe Apostle Paul talks about spreading the word in his letter to Timothy.   
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2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correctrebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Now wait a second…it’s not as easy as you think or is it? How do you get prepared? Prayer, bible study, discipleship, Sunday School, devotionals…sink yourself into the Word of God and surround yourself with His presence. Get to know your Best Friend and never let Him go. Ever.
When you’re ready—after all, no one can share her faith if she doesn’t understand it—go for it. Remember what Paul said? Correct, rebuke and encourage.
  1. Correct: to make or set right…to point out for amendment of error or fault.
  2. Rebuke: to criticize sharply…to turn back or keep down
  3. Encourage: to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope…to spur on
(Webster Dictionary)
Did you notice the leash on the flesh in this verse? The method
What am I talking about? Since God knows mankind has little control over his tongue and even less over emotions, He’s provided a way…again. So, how can you to share your faith? With the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Listen to Him.
  1. Pray long and hard if you need to correct.
  2. If you need to rebuke, listen to the still, small voice before uttering a word.
  3. Evaluate, and judge according to His Word and encourage the worthy actions with joy.
As Christians, we’ve been given a commission…to share the Good News. This world’s hungry for Christ, but many fellow brothers and sisters are floundering. So...temper your words with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and share your faith. The Lord wants to change someone!

In Christ,


photo credit: fusky via photopin cc

Sunday, January 11, 2015

GUEST: It was the Worst of Times and the Best of Times by Carole Brown

Inspirational Moments welcomes Carole Brown...

Renee Blare Faith for the Journey
Life Blossoms


It was the Worst of Times and the Best of Times

“It will be only a short time, then you can have it.”
My two-year-old grandson’s sweet, adorable, usually happy face was crinkled into a frown, tears pooling in his big eyes, a wail coming from his precious throat.
What was I thinking? Asking a child--practically a baby still--to understand the depth, the perception of time, of future.
Because he is the baby of the family with two brothers who are quite a bit older than him, I see that he has the worst of it at times. He is babied because he is the baby many times, but he also must deal with bigger, stronger, smarter brothers who--although they adore him--also tend to lord over him at times. No, you can’t do this because . . . No, don’t come into my room. You’re too little . . .There are times when the older boys are allowed to do some things that he hasn’t grown into yet. Being siblings, there are also a few times of teasing and bickering which ultimately ends with Jonathan getting the worst of it.
He has the best of times too.
The older boys are our adopted grandchildren so we didn’t get to experience their babyhood. Jonathan’s our only baby grandson which makes him very special to this set of grandparents.
  • He gets lots of attention. When he says “feed horsey, gwandpa” whether gramps had planned to do so or not, the horse usually gets a little extra feed.
  • When he wants to help do the dishes, we all endure the water splashed onto the counter and our own soaked clothing.
  • When all the ornaments he hung on the tree were gathered like a nest on 2014’s Christmas tree at his house, everyone was warned to not touch it. Jonathan had placed them there.
He is loved and cherished and feels it.
Yet he is learning too that if there is a “worst” then there is also a “best.” If he throws something or cries for something when told “no” for whatever reason, there are consequences. Sitting in a chair until he quits crying and can say, I’m sorry, gives him an option. Control yourself, choose the “best” and the “worst” is gone. He may not get what he demanded, but he’s learned an important lesson even if he doesn’t totally understand the concept.
And that brings me full circle to myself. How do I act when confronted with the worst of times? Do I cry and demand an answer from God? Do I throw a spiritual fit because of the lack of something I think I need? And how does God respond? Does He say, wait, My child, you’ll understand it all in a while. Or, worse, does He say no and give no reason why? Is He silent when I feel I need Him now to intervene?
Even in my grownup way, I find myself having to sit for a bit, reading the scriptures or communing with my best Friend, and taking that needed time to relax and understand that God does have and does know the answer. Just like Jonathan, I have to re-learn many times, that I have an option: trust God, choose the best--his way, and the worst will no longer matter. For though it may truly be the worst of times in the world, God’s got it handled. It’s also the best of times!

Carole Brown's With Music in Their Hearts

About the Book:
Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.
He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.
While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.
As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?
Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?
With Music in Their Heart

About the Author:
Carole Brown
Carole Brown
Brown not only has her award winning (Nominated for an Epic Award, RWA International Digital Awards finalist in Inspiration, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.
November, 2013, the first book in her mystery series, Hog Insane, released. It’s a fun, lighthearted novel introducing the characters, Denton and Alex Davies. Look for the second book, Bat Crazy, late 2014 winter.
Released November 1, 2014, is the first book in a new WWII romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
Connect with her here:
She's also part of several other blogs:
Barn Door Book Loft:
Lead pic: photo credit: McMac70 via photopin cc

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The New Year Greets Janet Sketchley on the Coffee Corner

The Coffee Corner on Inspirational Moments


Janet Sketchley joins us once again for a dynamite interview on the Coffee Corner.

Hi everyone and Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2015?
Wow! Last year flew by, didn’t it? What better way to ring in another calendar year than with a great author? Janet's also giving away a copy of her book Secrets and Lies, so pull up a chair, grab a cup and let’s go!

RENEE: I’m so glad you could be here today for this special Coffee Corner, Janet. As you know, it’s a brand new year. Do you have any special plans or goals you can share?

JANET: I'm excited (and a bit nervous) about a couple of projects. Writing-wise, I'm ready to start Redemption's Edge book 3, No Safe Place. And household-wise, this looks like the Year of the Kitchen Renovations.

RENEE: I know what renovations are like, especially in the kitchen. Add writing to that project, and it sounds like you're going to be one busy lady this year.

Speaking of writing, Heaven’s Prey was such a great book. It really affected me when I read it. How has it changed your life?

JANET: I'm glad Heaven's Prey worked for you, Renee. It's a difficult subject and not for everyone, but a few readers have told me how it blessed them personally. It was my first published novel, so that changed my writing life. Suddenly there were deadlines and promotions, etc. But the biggest change for me came through exploring how an ordinary person's choices could turn him into such a terrible villain. I'm more mindful of my own choices now, and more inclined to wonder about the motivations and past experiences of difficult people I encounter, instead of simply assuming they want to be the way they are.

RENEE: I can see how it could be a challenging book to write in many ways. And as we all know, choices have consequences, some good, some bad. The challenge is facing them. Thank you for showing that in a realistic and godly manner.

Can you believe Christmas is already over and it’s 2015? What do we have to look forward from the author, Janet Sketchley?

JANET: No Safe Place is a romantic suspense set in Nova Scotia (on Canada's east coast). When Amy Silver's fiancé died in a plane crash, she accepted his best friend's offer of shelter and a job. Now, almost two years later, has she found sanctuary... or something more sinister? The novel should release in the fall of 2015, and I'm sure the description will have changed by then.

RENEE: Oooh, that one sounds spooky. I can’t wait to read it. I’ll even discover more about Nova Scotia in the process!
You’ll never guess what happened over the holidays at my place. Our household has a new member…a puppy. That’s right. Here I am…forty-five, and I have another baby. Who'd have thunk it?

Has life ever given you an unexpected surprise? If so, what did you do?

JANET: Congratulations on the new puppy! Looking back, I see plenty of unexpected surprises, not all of them pleasant. What did I do? Learned to rely on God and trust His character, a bit more each time. (That's the short version – the long version is that I usually resisted Him along the way and made the lessons last longer!)

I know what you mean about hard and long lessons. He usually has to bonk me on the head a few times to get me to see reason. Painful, but effective. It usually happens when I’m in panic mode. One has been time management. It seems to be a challenge for many people.

RENEE: Do you have any tricks of the trade?

JANET: It's a challenge for me, too! One thing I'm learning is that small amounts of effort, regularly invested, add up.  So as I work on this next novel, instead of waiting for a block of time to just write, I'll take a smaller chunk of time each day and work toward the end.

RENEE: When we moved away from Wyoming, I realized I’d taken many things for granted. Is there an easy way to tell the world to pay attention?

JANET: I don't think so! And the danger is, even a wake-up call to appreciate the blessings around us may not last. We're such complacent people. Gratitude journals can help, and what if we had a few friends who each challenged the others to look for the gifts in our days? Our examples can inspire others, and it could spread. I hope you're finding much to love about your new home and not missing Wyoming too much...

RENEE: I’m actually back in God’s country now (that’s what I call my beautiful state). Our excursion to the south was necessary but short-lived. He called us home. But it’s hard to watch others brush off the treasures within a finger’s touch. I love your ideas of the journal and accountability partners. The last thing I want to do is take those treasures for granted again.
Now, I’m as eclectic with my interests as I am with my music. I love to fish the mountain streams and lakes, read, and I play the guitar. At the same time, give me a beach and snorkel, and I’m in heaven.

What’s a good word to describe you?

JANET: It sounds like you can enjoy yourself anywhere, Renee. That's great! I like to do solitary things: reading, writing, cross-stitch, even listening to music. Yet I love nature walks with a good companion, and with those who know me well, I'm certainly not quiet! I also have a quirky sense of humour.

RENEE: If you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?

JANET: Whatever happens, Jesus will be there. And you can trust the hand – and the heart – of God.
Renee, thanks so much for hosting me again today at the Coffee Corner. All the best in 2015!

RENEE: Thank you for stopping by the Corner, Janet and Happy New Year!

Comment now for your chance to win Secrets and Lies!


Secrets and Lies by Sketchley
Secrets and Lies

Winner's choice of e-copy or print copy

About the Book:

A single mother must protect her teenage son—from organized crime and from himself. 
Carol Daniels thinks she out-ran her enemies, until a detective arrives at her door with a warning from her convict brother. Minor incidents take on a sinister meaning. An anonymous phone call warns her not to hide again. 
Now she must cooperate with a drug lord while the police work to trap him. Carol has always handled crisis alone, but this one might break her. Late-night deejay Joey Hill offers friendship and moral support. Can she trust him? One thing’s certain. She can’t risk prayer.

About the Author:

Janet Sketchley Author
Janet Sketchley
Janet Sketchley is the author of Heaven's Prey and Secrets and Lies, two novels of suspense and redemption. She also blogs about faith and books. Janet loves adventure stories, worship music, tea and Formula 1 racing. Like Carol in Secrets and Lies, she loves music and tea. Unlike Carol, Janet isn't related to a dangerous offender, has a happy home life, and has never been threatened by a drug lord. May those tidbits continue to hold true! You can find Janet online at Fans of Christian suspense are invited to join Janet's writing journey through her monthly newsletter:
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Purchase links for Secrets and Lies are included on the book's page on my website (above) but if you'd prefer specific store links, here they are: