Sunday, November 29, 2015

Renee's CRAZY Culinary Christmas CONTEST Begins December 1st!

The BEST Christmas Contest in the World

Starts

in

TWO DAYS!!!




Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)

Christmas is a wondrous time. It's our time to praise the Father above for His amazing gift to this world, His one and only Son, Jesus.

We lift joyous songs to the heavens in the form of carols and even reflect His enormous offering in the exchange of gifts to those we love.

Six years ago, the Lord called me to put the pen to the page and something amazing happened in my life. I fell in love with Christian Fiction. This year, I'm offering it to you.

Along this journey as a writer, I'm surrounded by wonderful authors. From my blogs to ACFW and Prism Book Group, I'm blessed to know many talented people with a drive to show God's message in their work.

Because the Lord has blessed me, I've been given a chance to bless you! Many of these writers have donated a copy of their books for the GRAND prize of this contest. In addition, some are talented craftsmen and their art is the SECOND prize! Wow! God is good.



Grand Prize: 19 Christian Digital Book Collection

Blink...come on now, blink...you aren't seeing things. That is indeed the GRAND Prize for this Crazy Contest! One winner will be selected from the entries by public vote (see details below.)

Don't miss YOUR chance to win this awesome book collection by authors such as Lena Nelson Dooley, Laura V. Hilton, Mary Ball, Amber Schamel, Susan Baganz, Carlene Havel, Julie Cosgrove and more.

This incredible, crazy contest begins on December 1st at midnight and is so simple, you'll be checking the rules for loopholes!

Post the picture of your Culinary Delight (100% edible except for the display ware) to the Facebook Event Page with your name. The entry must have been prepared this year, 2015 or it's not eligible (see rules below for details) for the contest.

Remember, entries open on December 1, 2015 and close on December 25, 2015. Get ready, here we go...


Renee's Crazy Culinary Christmas Contest Rules and Guidelines 2015

Renee’s Crazy Culinary Christmas Contest - Begins December 1st!


Enter your Christmas creation today! You may win one of three awesome prizes…
It can be as simple as this hand-crafted bottle out of smarties (a product of my son’s boredom) or a glorious gingerbread village, it’s up to you! All entries are acceptable as long as they follow the guidelines…of course.

And what might those be? Well, here they are!

Rules:

No purchase necessary to enter. Entries will be accepted beginning on December 1, 2015 at 12:00am until midnight on December 25, 2015 (MDT).

Entries shall be submitted by picture submission on the Facebook Contest page at the following url: https://www.facebook.com/events/978466482226337/ with entrant name.

This contest will be conducted in three phases due to the two-week restriction on Facebook events. Phase One: December 1-14, Phase Two: December 14-25 Phase Three: December 31st. The winners will be announced on December 31st directly on Renee’s Facebook Reader Group, Author Page, blog, website and throughout her social media.

All entries must be created this year, 2015 and 100% edible. No artificial structures, except for display dishes, are allowed. These include toothpicks, popsicle sticks, straws, etc…even if they are not visible. Exceptions may include pans, cookie sheets, or other such items used to display the entry.
Contestants may be asked to provide verification of ingredients and year of assembly. If necessary, this process may be accomplished via photo with date stamp.

All winners shall be chosen by popular vote during the following voting period: December 26, 2015, 12:00am through December 30,  2015, 12:00pm. The winners will be announced on December 31, 2015.

The Prizes:

1. Grand Prize:
The entry with the most votes at the end of the voting period shall receive an amazing collection of Christian Fiction. This digital collection includes books by Julie Cosgrove, Susan Baganz, Peggy Trotter, Renee Blare and many more wonderful Christian authors.
Value: approximately $45.00

2. Second Prize:
The entry which accrues the second most votes at the end of the voting period shall receive an assortment of donated artwork by selected artists. This may include paintings, prints, crafts, and/or photography.
Value: approximately $30.00

3. Third Prize:
The entry with the third most votes at the end of the voting period shall receive one (1) Fly Ornament and one (1) Soul Catcher crafted by Renee’s Scribbles and Scratches as sold on Renee’s Etsy Store. Value: $15.00

The contest shall be conducted on Renee Blare’s Facebook Reader Group via an “event” option with a separate url. All contestant entries (pictures) will be combined at the end of the entry period with the voting process beginning via poll on December 26, 2015 at 12:00am. Voting is limited to one vote per day per person. The poll will be available to the voting public at various sites including Social Media, Renee’s blog, and her website.

Contact:
Renee Blare, Christian Author of Romance and Suspense, Owner of Renee’s Scribbles and Scratches
These rules are available on Renee’s Facebook Reader Group, Author Page, and website.
Renee’s Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/474728079355449/
Renee’s Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/ReneeBlareAuthor



Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Thanksgiving Note


A Thanksgiving Note

to My Readers




Today is Thanksgiving Day. It's an important holiday in America but not just for the historical significance to this great land. It's a day to ponder the gifts and challenges which have been given, acknowledge people placed along the path (for better or worse), and say "thank you" for all.

I can honestly say that running this blog this last year, I've experienced the gamut of emotions. Inspirational Moments lives up to its name. I'm grateful for every person who has left a bit of their heart and soul for you, my readers.

As I meander my way toward 2016, I read the Word of God each morning and see the chaos in the world. But no matter what, the burning desire to spread the Good News remains. It's why I continue to write and post, interview and review.

I do it for you, the readers. And this day, I'd like to say thank you.

May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand.

Happy Thanksgiving.

In Christ,

Renee

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Renee's Review of Freed to Forgive (by Julie Cosgrove)

Renee’s Review

of

Freed to Forgive

(by Julie Cosgrove)





The Book, Freed to Forgive:



Shackled by her past, can she be freed to forgive? Abused in her Mexican village, Marisol’s anger is her ticket to freedom in America or so she thinks. But her temper lands her in worse and worse situations. Trafficked and pregnant, she gives up her baby so it can have a better life. Now, ten years later her past returns to haunt her, just when she has caught the eye of Jesse, the one man who wants to know her…and not just her body. Marisol has struggled hard to disguise her past, but will the unforgiving spirit she harbors prevent her from embracing her future? Though delicately worded with veiled descriptions, this faith-based novel does depict some disturbing, yet unfortunately all too common, sex trafficking scenes necessary for the plot.



The Review, Freed to Forgive:


Freed to Forgive is the conclusion of Julie Cosgrove’s trilogy which she began with Hush in the Storm.  These novels as well as Legitimate Lies explore and expose the dark subject of sex trafficking. Freed to Forgive backtracks a bit and recaps the life of a young Mexican girl by the name of Marisol. As Ms. Cosgrove leads us through Marisol’s life, step by step, we get a glimpse of reality.

Although the retelling of Marisol’s story in Freed to Forgive isn’t pretty, it’s necessary. For her to move forward, she must go back. Not to wallow, but to forgive. And in the process, she reveals a side of life many refuse to acknowledge. Her triumph is a true blessing to behold. God’s restoration of Marisol’s an illustration of His movement not only in her spirit but in her emotional, and physical life as well.

I believe every single person should read this trilogy, especially if they’re a Christian. But here is where I caution the reader. This book isn’t for the faint of heart. It contains serious content and topic matter. Sex trafficking, child rape, physical and child abuse, and molestation are hard issues to discuss in an elegant manner.
Although I’m relatively certain this novel should not easily offend, I offer a warning to any victim or person with prior experience at the hand of a molester: the content may cause unwelcome memories and emotions to surface.

Freed to Forgive earns a five star. Well done, Ms. Cosgrove.


The Author, Julie Cosgrove:


Freelance writer, author and speaker Julie B Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. She writes regularly for several Christian websites and publications and has been published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul, Faith Filled Family Magazine, Upper Room's Devozine and Alive Now, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, The Journey and Good News Daily.

Besides freelance writing and editing for clients, Julie has personally published three Bible studies, two inspirational works, a devotional and several novels - Focused (2012), Hush in the Storm (2014) and Legitimate Lies (2015), Freed to Forgive (2015) with Greener Grasses, Navy Blues and a three book cozy mysteries series, The Bunco Biddies coming in 2016-2017.

She is a member of North Texas Christian Writers, Texas Association of Authors, Advanced Writers and Speakers, American Christian Fiction Writers, Toastmasters International, Daughters of the Holy Cross and several web-based author groups Julie has one grown son and lives in Fort Worth, TX with two cats.

Visit her website at www.juliebcosgrove.com

Saturday, November 14, 2015

And the Greatest of These...

Is Love...

(1 Corinthians 13:13)



Friday, November 13, 2015

Terror rained on Paris, France much like it did across this very nation on September 11. So similar...a well-coordinated and lethal series of attacks aimed at densely populated areas resulting in high loss of life.

A shocked country froze as the world watched in horror. We sat...glued to our televisions...and waited for the latest news reports, praying for the best, expecting the worst. After all, as Americans, we'd been down this road...several times before.

But then...hasn't France just a few months ago? And Israel? What about Italy, Cameroon, Iraq, Egypt, Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey, the West Bank, the Philippines, oh, and the United States? The list of countries with attacks on their homeland goes on...and that's just since October!

Terrorism, whether Islamic or homegrown, is a cancer. It's not isolated to one region of the globe. It's spreading through the whole planet and it has no respect for life...of any form. The perpetrators kill and are killed, usually by their own hand, in the process of "honoring" their cause. And what may that be? War, land, power, religion...

The reasons vary from group to group. Why did Japanese pilots dive into destroyers during WWII? A sensible reason for one may be ludicrous to another. Either way, times have changed. Today's world isn't as it once was. We need to realize global terror is a reality. It's now being used, not only against military installations and in the realm of wartime strategy, but against innocent civilians...while we eat lunch.

As Christians, what can we do about it?

If we aren't in the trenches armed with a machine gun, how can we fight back? Especially when our world is ripped away with a single bullet? We may not expect the attack that may come our way, but we prepare ourselves with the Word of God. 

In 1 Corinthians, I believe the Lord shows us how to face days of terror, hopelessness, and loss. We can pick up the pieces of a shattered life. How? Walk one step at a time with hope and faith in the Almighty as our strength. Above all, by keeping His amazing love cradled close to our hearts, and moving into each brand new day with the Lord.

Believe, hold on to your hope, love...and remember, the greatest of these is LOVE

1 Corinthians 13:4-13


4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 
10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Stay strong, Paris. You're not alone.




Do you have a comment? Go ahead and share...I'd love to hear your input or opinion on the recent global events and how it is affecting you. (Please, no election talk!)

I'm giving away an e-copy of one of my books (winner's choice) to one commenter.




THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER



In Christ,

Renee Blare

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_2015
eSword__Holy Bible NKJV

Sunday, November 8, 2015

In Quietness and Confidence by Gail Kittleson (including a Special Giveaway)

In Quietness and Confidence

An Inspirational Post by Gail Kittleson

(including a special giveaway)




In our college Bible study groups, we picked “life verses.” Due to my severe lack of confidence, Isaiah 30:15 always stood out to me. “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”(NKJV)
However, many of us cut off the next four words: “But you would not.” They described those stubborn Israelites, not us. No, we would be faithful. We would believe, whatever life brought.
Well, it’s a few decades later.
Today, someone showed me how to do several tasks on the computer that I'd viewed as virtually impossible. One of them, I’d never even heard of. Now my teacher’s gone home, and it's my turn to follow her step-by-step instructions. All - by - myself. 
Yet that little voice representing the non-believing portion of me could almost … I say almost … talk me out of trying. But then I'd never know if I can do it, and that would equal the quintessential hiding my talent under a bushel.
That attitude would also disappoint a VIP in my life—someone who has patiently instructed me for many years—someone who laid down his life for me on a hill outside Jerusalem.
I've made too many but they would not choices like this in the past, so today, I'm choosing to open up the page (first instruction), go to the folder (next), click on the title words, and copy. And then move to the next line. 
Step by step. Quietness and confidence. That's how the writing life goes, too, yet it's tough to develop a writing life if you don't believe in yourself. Stories go untold if your faith flails. 
Growing confidence may take years, even decades, and I'm a prime example. I remember the first submission I made to an editor, by proxy. When we were in Senegal for missions work, my husband’s college friend sent our family a care package containing a book that changed my life.
One simple sentence struck me: if you have a gift you don't use, you stand to lose it. Ouch! This scared me into contacting the sender, who offered to submit some of my poems to magazines. An editor accepted one, which taught me that people who valued my work did exist. Before, I hadn't been at all sure.
Taking heart, I wrote a couple of short books for current issues classes, had a few more poems published in the next few years, and contributed verses to the Abbey Press gift line and Dayspring Cards. But I was only dabbling in writing.
Then, as a college expository writing instructor who loved cheering others on in their writing, a summer writing retreat assignment set off an avalanche inside me. We sketched the first thing that came to mind from our childhood homes, then wrote about our image.
That assignment jolted me to life. When we moved back to Iowa after my husband’s deployment in Iraq, renovating an old house stirred more and more memories. So many areas paralleled my childhood home, and recording the resulting emotions became a vocation.
Then, I led several groups through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron—so many great quotes, explanations, and activities at the end of each chapter to nurture one’s creativity. That experience birthed my first fiction attempts.
With so many younger authors full of zest and rarin' to go with their careers, sometimes the jealousy bug bites me. I knew during middle school that I needed to write—why couldn't I have embraced my passion earlier? 
Then I remind myself, it’s all about the journey … my journey. Patience has never been my strength—standing over a stove stirring slowly thickening jelly isn’t for me. But all of that memoir work needed to precede my fiction writing, and we must get to a certain pain threshold before we attempt memoir work. It takes time for things to jell.
Quietness and confidence...
Vinita Hampton Wright says in The Art of Spiritual Writing, “When a writer takes on the task of exploring the world of the spirit, she has invited a process that will change her permanently. If she has done her work well, it will change her readers, too.”
That’s where the joy comes in. And all those experiences, all those early years need not be classified as wasted. Now, they’re novel fodder, and Dottie Kyle’s story releases soon. Her step-by-step triumph over old fears is very dear to my heart—I hope you’ll take courage from getting to know her!


*************************

Special Giveaway:

Dottie is rarely found without an apron, whether at Helene’s boarding house, or in her own kitchen. Because this is a pre-release post, I’m giving away an apron much like Dottie’s—homemade, cheery, and serviceable.

In order to qualify, respond below to this question: How has your confidence grown or waned through life?

Renee will draw for the winner from your comments. May the best cook win!



**************************


About the Author, Gail Kittleson:


Our stories are our best gifts, and blooming late has its advantages—the novel fodder never ends. Gail writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy gardening and grandchildren. Gail’s memoir, Catching Up With Daylight, paved the way for fiction writing, and she’s so excited to announce the release of her debut women’s fiction novel, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Line) on November 18, 2015. Please feel free to contact her—meeting new reading friends is the frosting on her cake!



Contact links:


Excerpt of In This Together:

“Here” turned out to be Almira’s CafĂ©. Dottie pushed back her dripping hair. “I must look a sight.”
Al grinned, a raindrop balanced on the tip of his nose. “Me too, but who cares? How about I treat you to a California hamburger? Otherwise, it’s dumplings for the third night in a row.”
“You’re going to go broke, Al Jensen.”
“Nope. Del owes me for a lot of hours at the store. Even though I’ve only been working mornings the past couple of weeks, I rack up the hours. Besides, we’ve got something to celebrate.”
“Del pays you?” She could have sworn Al told her he volunteered at the hardware.
He made a Stan Laurel face. “No, but it sounded good. Del’s still making monthly payments on the store, though, and will be for a good long time.”
He helped her with her coat. “What a sudden storm. Hope it lets up by the time we’re ready to go.” He handed her a menu from behind the chrome napkin holder.
“Dottie?”
“What?”
“I meant it. I’m indebted to you. What’s something you would really, really like? Somewhere you’d like to go, maybe?”
The falling star and her wish to see Cora and the children flashed through Dottie’s mind. That scene out in the starry back yard replayed, her hands raised to the heavens and her heart open to surprises. But she tore her eyes away from Al’s to stare at the menu.

Purchase link of In This Together:




About the Book, In This Together:




It’s 1946. Dottie Kyle, an everyday Midwestern woman who lost her only son in the war and her husband soon after, takes a cooking/cleaning job at a local boarding house. But when a new employee is hired, complications arise, and when they niggle Dottie’s “justice meter”, she must decide whether to speak up or not. At the same time, her daughter's pregnancy goes awry and the little California grandchildren she's never met need her desperately. But an old fear blocks her way. When the widower next door shows Dottie unexpected attention, she has no idea he might hold the clue to unlocking her long-held anxieties.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Heaven Hotline

The Heaven Hotline



“Don’t worry about it, Mom. I’ll call the pastor’s wife when I get home and put Aunt Martha on the prayer chain.”

“What in the world happened? We were rockin’ along and now this? I guess we’ll have to regroup. Maybe we should find a church. Mmmm, not sure about that, but it couldn’t hurt.”

“I don’t know anymore. I’ve tried everything. Well, when all else fails, I guess we’ll just pray and what happens…happens.”

“Where are you, God? How can You let this happen? You’re supposed to be love and light! How am I supposed to believe in a God like You when you let these things happen?”


***************

The Heaven Hotline. The emergency call number or 911 for the modern-day Christian. It’s a simple concept really.

Life gets too hard or an unexpected tribulation strikes our neat and orderly little world and we grab the phone. We dial into Heaven for relief. As soon as we receive it, we hang up and go on about our merry way.

But what happens when we don’t get what we want? What happens when the trial or the pain is too insurmountable and it rocks the very foundation of our faith? Do we keep calling? Or do we hang up and walk away?

Quite the question, isn’t it?


***************

The problem with this concept of the Heaven Hotline is God’s NOT to be called only when we need Him. Life is TOO hard for that and Satan knows it. He’s waiting for us to make that mistake.

Like any relationship, the Christian’s bond with the Father needs nurturing. It begins at birth…or should I say rebirth when we accept His son, Jesus Christ as our Savior and grows each and every day with time spent learning more about Him (Scripture), communication (prayer), and fellowship with fellow believers.

It does not simply entail living our daily lives as we see fit and then making an emergency phone call when times get tough. (That’s a pretty one-sided deal, if you ask me.)

When a person makes a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, life changes on the inside for the man or woman but the world doesn’t care. In fact, the evil lurking within it (Satan) detests the purity and light now covering that person.

And be prepared, life isn’t fair in this world. Disease abounds. Crime is rampant. People are looking to destroy everything good in it. And it’s getting worse every single day.


***************

The Heaven Hotline is real, but what is it?

It is powerful and important and amazing. A direct line of communication to the Father through the Holy Spirit. And who are connected? Those who are in fellowship with Him, bathed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Are you ready to make that phone call?


But before you do…ask yourself, “Am I prepared for the answer?”

For He will answer.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Vote for the Best Pumpkin!

Voting Has Begun
Vote for the Best Pumpkin!


Here are the Entrants






Pumpkin A






Pumpkin B






Pumpkin C







Pumpkin D


Voting is officially OVER and the Results are IN!



Grand Prize Winner: Pumpkin B
1st Runner Up: Pumpkin C
2nd Runner Up: Pumpkin D
3rd Runner Up: Pumpkin A





Which Pumpkin Is the Best! Vote Below!


Pumpkin A
3%
2

Pumpkin B
52%
39

Pumpkin C
37%
28

Pumpkin D
8%
6
75 votes in 2 days
(comments)