Countdown to Christmas Day 21

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Welcome to Day 21 of our Countdown to Christmas!

Today’s Random Act of Kindness

Candy Cane bomb a parking lot!

I’m so doing this today! Join me! (Okay, so now the NSA will read my blog post because I used the word bomb…)

Basically, I’m going to put a candy cane on every car in the parking lots in town. I just wish I’d have had time to attach a little scripture to each one.

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

Today’s Scripture: John 10:10, TLB

The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.

Today’s Song: Born that We May Have Life

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Tweet this: Who will join me today sharing Christmas cheer via a candy cane?

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating!

Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Countdown to Christmas Day 20

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Welcome back! Today is Day 20 of our Christmas Countdown!

Today’s Random Act of Kindness

Let someone go ahead of you in line.

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

Today’s Scripture: John 8: 12-18, TLB

Later, in one of his talks, Jesus said to the people, “I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.”

13 The Pharisees replied, “You are boasting—and lying!”

14 Jesus told them, “These claims are true even though I make them concerning myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. 15 You pass judgment on me without knowing the facts. I am not judging you now; 16 but if I were, it would be an absolutely correct judgment in every respect, for I have with me the Father who sent me. 17 Your laws say that if two men agree on something that has happened, their witness is accepted as fact. 18 Well, I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”

Today’s Song: Jesus, Light of the World

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Tweet this: Can you handle today’s random act of kindness?

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating!

Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Countdown to Christmas — Day 11

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Welcome to Day 11 of our Christmas Countdown!

Today is our Christmas Program at church. But my heart will also be with the men and women in uniform who are serving our country during this holiday season. Which brings me to this very important Random Act of Kindness:

Today’s Random Act of Kindness:

Write to someone in military service.

You can do this easily online here: USO Send a Message.

If you don’t know what to say, this website has a lot of great ideas: Operation We Are Here.

Also, check out this great resource if you want to get involved or send a card personally: Cards and Letters

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

Today’s Scripture:

Luke 2:8, TLB: 

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.

Today’s Song: The First Noel

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Tweet This: Click here for today’s random act of kindness!

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Countdown to Christmas — Day 10

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Welcome to Day 10 of our Countdown to Christmas!

I love doing the act of kindness scheduled for today!

Today’s Random Act of Kindness:

Donate to a bell ringer. Drive to where one is on purpose to do so.

I honestly would love to be a bell ringer volunteer one day. I haven’t had the privilege of doing so, but I know you can sign up to be a bell ringer here: Register to Ring.

If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy. 

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Today’s Scripture:

Luke 2:7, TLB:

And she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

Today’s Song: Away in a Manger

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Tweet This: Click here for today’s random act of kindness!

Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Interview with Debut Author and Cancer Survivor, Barbara Britton!

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When I met Barbara M. Britton online, I had no idea I’d met such an amazing Strong Girl. But as my recent interview with her on YouTube progressed, and she revealed her journey with and triumph over cancer, I was in complete and total awe of her courage and tenacity.

She’s also a pastor’s wife and a Pelican Book Group author. How is that for kindred-spirit-sisterhood?

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As my regular readers know, I, too, am a pastor’s wife and my first book, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots was published by Pelican!

I know  you’re going to be inspired by Barbara’s story. Scroll down to the video, grab a cuppa and kick back and enjoy!

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Tweet this: Strong Girl Barbara M. Britton writes inspiring strong girl fiction!

 

To make your dreams come true, it’s up to you…

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“If it’s to be it’s up to me.”

I know that as a Christian this quote isn’t exactly right. But there’s a lot of truth in it. Other than the fact that indeed, we must line up our dreams and plans and goals with God’s purpose for our lives, no one is going to make sure we hit the mark but ourselves.

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Six years ago I decided to pursue two life-long dreams. To continue my college education and write books. Since then, neither of those dreams dissipated. And now I find myself in the middle of one of the hardest parts of the journey physically for me: student teaching and editing a book I’ve sold to ready it for publication.

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During my journey to today, no one ever asked me if I had my homework done or if I had written anything each day. No one pushed me out of bed in the mornings after staying up until two or three in the morning. No one made my tea or asked me if I was making my deadlines.

I had to learn to say no in order to say yes to my dreams. Saying no is hard for me. As a pastor’s wife, I’ve been conditioned to worry about what other people think. I’ve still not mastered the concept of forging ahead without a thought to others’ opinions, but I’m getting better. I mean, sometimes it’s good to hear other opinions about things. I’m still figuring out when to listen and when to tune out.

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The point is this. More than likely no one has a passion for your dream like you. No one wants it as bad as you do. And you’ve got to muster up all the courage you can to climb that mountain and reach the top. It’s called ambition. And its cohort is grit.

You can do this dream thing. But be prepared to encourage yourself a lot. Be prepared to forge ahead when others wish you’d just slow down and take a breather. When your friends look at you funny because you need to stay in and write or study instead of going to the game or out for a night on the town, you can have the backbone to know that you’re in a different season than they are. You’re in the season of mountain climbing, and you need to suck up all the oxygen you can.

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You can do this. Dreaming is a solitary thing. And sometimes, making dreams come true is solitary, too. But as Christians, we’re never alone. Isn’t that wonderful? Imagine having to do it alone. We don’t have to. We have the Great Teacher with us and in us. We have the mind of Christ. We have someone Who never leaves us nor forsakes us.

Give Him your dreams and He’ll help you carry them. He’ll even carry you when you’re too tired to take another step. Ask me how I know.

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Tweet this: Dreaming + Grit = Mountaintop views

Karla Teaches

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As you may or may not know, I’m nearing the end of my journey toward my degree in Special Education! If I make it through student teaching I’ll graduate in December. Yay!

If you’d like to follow my adventures, you can do so here at KarlaTeaches.com 

If you have ever been a student teacher and have tips for me, I welcome them!

I could also use your prayers for stamina. I sold my book on autism right before student teaching started and edits are due very soon. All I need is a clone, right? Anyone know where there’s a good deal on one?

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Tweet this: Superpower: teaching; passion: writing, sleeping: ?

Love and Cowboys: An Interview with Author Gloria Doty

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Gloria Doty, Author

If you’re into cowboys and romance, you’re going to love Gloria Doty and her new romance novels! What’s not to like about a title and cover like this? Bring a cowboy home? Don’t mind if I do…

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Click to buy

I fell in love with the book as soon as I saw it. And I pretty much fell in love with Gloria that way, too. She is a jewel. A people person and mother of a live-in adult daughter with autism, Gloria is a fascinating human being. She has a magnetic personality and we clicked immediately. Besides being an all-around great gal, her grit and work ethic are traits I highly admire.

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Her newest book is a winner, too:

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Below is an interview I did with Gloria. What a lovely woman and what a great author! You’re going to love her and her books!

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Tweet this: Bring a Cowboy Home! Why not?

What’s on your writing desk, Amy Clipston?

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Last week I had the privilege of interviewing Amy about how she writes Amish Fiction. You can view that interview here.  This week, Amy’s sharing her writing space with us. Take it away, Amy!

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Amy:

While most writers have a dedicated office space, you can find me tapping the keys of my MacBook while lounging on a love seat in my family room. I have a favorite corner where I sit and write with earbuds blasting music into my ears and drowning out my noisy family.

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When I published my first book, I needed complete quiet to write. I would barricade myself in my bedroom and warn my family to be quiet if they were brave enough to venture upstairs. Now, however, I’m most prolific if I work in the family room with only earbuds blocking out the chaos in my house.

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Usually at least two of my three cats come to visit me or nap on a nearby sofa. I refer to the members of my feline herd as my editors, and you can find numerous photos of them on Instagram site. My mom also keeps me company while I work. She sits on the sofa across from me and reads novels while I work. I appreciate her company and sometimes bounce book ideas around with her if I develop a case of writer’s block. I normally have a cup of tea on the end table beside me, and I sip it while I work. If you don’t see a cup of tea, you’ll probably find a cold can of Diet Coke in its place.

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Since I work a full-time job along with writing books, I have to squeeze in my writing time as much as possible. I don’t have a set schedule of when I write, but if I’m on deadline, I write late into the evenings on weekdays and then continuously throughout the weekend.

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Amy’s Dining Room

I write Amish inspirational novels and novellas for HarperCollins Christian Publishing. The Courtship Basket, which is the second book in my Amish Heirloom series, will hit bookstores June 28.

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In The Courtship Basket, Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Rachel is determined to keep her mind off the pain, and she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities. Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal. With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship. The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?

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The Courtship Basket is a book that’s very close to my heart. The story touches the topic of kidney disease, and my husband, Joe, has had two kidney transplants. Joe received his second transplant through a swap, where I donated to someone and Joe received a kidney in exchange. I dedicated this book to Nyeisha and Eric, who were part of our kidney donation swap. Both Joe and Nyeisha struggled with kidney disease similar to how Raymond Lantz does in the story.

Amy has two new books, too!

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Click to pre-order

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Amy’s Biography:

Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and three spoiled rotten cats.  You can find Amy at AmyClipston.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks, and on Twitter at @AmyClipston.

Social Media Links:

Author Website:  AmyClipston.com

Author Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks

Author Twitter: @AmyClipston

Author Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/amyclipston

Author Instagram: instagram.com/amy_clipston/

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Tweet This: Find out where a best-selling author writes!

July’s Brilliant Blog Award Winner

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I’m super happy and excited to announce July’s winner for the Brilliant Blog Award because I’ve been wanting to give this blog an award for a long time. I wish I had something funny and witty to say about it because its author, Tom Threadgill is about the most comedic blogger I know.

The thing I like about Tom’s blog, Wits’ End, is the dry humor and quick wit. Even though Tom writes suspense novels, I’ve been begging him to write a humorous novel. In fact, I look forward to the day he and I have time to collaborate on an idea I’ve shared with him.

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Congratulations, Tom!

Be sure to check him out. And if you have any editing you need done, I can highly recommend Tom. Eagle Eye is the perfect name for his editing service.

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Do you have a blog to recommend for the Brilliant Blog Award? Find out my guidelines here. Twitter_Bird_Coffee_by_Aaron_Riddleacriddledotcom

Please tweet: Congrats to @Tom_Threadgill for winning July’s Brilliant Blog Award!