Shootin Straight with Erica Vetsch

A few weeks ago I ran a contest. You had to come up with a sentence using several words from the Urban dictionary. It was a blast and everyone who participated whether on facebook or the blog had great and hilarious sentences. We’ll be doing it again soon! 

The winner had several options as a prize. You all voted and the winner was the fabulous Erica Vetsch! I love her writing, her personality and I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to meet her in PERSON! She chose a fun interview! And to make it even wilder, I’m over at her blog doing her Friday Five! So after you crack up at her answers, pop over there and say hi to me and answer the questions! It’s fun! I’ll have a link at the bottom of the blog! 

Let’s get this party started! 

What did you do for fun growing up?
We played outside. Rode our bikes all over the neighborhood without wearing helmets. Drank straight out of the water hose. We watched a lot of tv, played Pong on the Atari, and caught lightning bugs and frogs. It was a good childhood.
Sound a little like my growing up, only I never liked drinking from the hose and frogs…nope. What was the dumbest thing you did as a teenager?
Honestly, I did so many stupid things, but we were pretty sheltered so nothing that had lasting consequences. I got grounded once for a semester because of my grades. That was pretty dumb.
I can relate to doing so many stupid things. Grounded once? If I was UNgrounded my friends thought something was wrong. If you were offered 100 million dollars to stop writing books, would you? Why/why not?
Boy, that’s a tough one. I don’t think so. I’ve got more than enough $ for my needs, and I feel like I’m called to write.
I bet so many of writers would agree with you! If you could be a criminal and get away with your crimes (no threat of hell either), what kind of criminal would you be? Why?
Global domination has a certain appeal. Supreme Dictator For Life?
I like that. Bossing everyone around. Sweet. Me? I’d have to go with jewel thief. Like what a cool crime, yah know! What’s your favorite TV show, if you can’t decide, top 3?
In no particular order: Criminal Minds, Psych, Castle.
AH! Three of my faves too! We should hang out and watch TV sometime! 🙂 If you could own a yacht or a private plane, which would you choose and why?
Plane. I get seasick.
I get sick on planes. A really big yacht…you wouldn’t know you were moving. Okay now…fill in the blank: I would rather poke my eyes out with rusty nails than________.
Eat seafood.
Fill in the blank: On my private island, there would be a ________and my favorite_______but it wouldn’t be complete without a ______and _______.

 Satelitte Dish, Steakhouse, Library, my husband. 
Are you a concert person? How many you been to? And who?
Not so much. In fact, I can’t remember the last concert I went to. I love music, particularly country music, but I don’t go to the concerts because I’m not such a fan of beer-induced lack of inhibition.
A drunk guy passed out at Memphis in May during a Charlie Daniels concert and fell on top of me. My husband wanted to beat him senseless, but he already was… and comatose on the ground. Anywho, if you could pick one of your books to put on the big screen, which one would you choose and why?
At the moment, I’d choose Light To My Path, because the avalanche would be cool on the big screen.
Avanlanches! Suh-weet! I also like that title! This has been a blast, Erica! Everytime I talk to you I find out we have more and more in common! Before you leave this dog-and-pony show, do you have a question or want a reader to answer one of these? 
I’d love to have folks answer #8.
Okay everyone fill in the blank:
On my private island, there would be a ________and my favorite_______but it wouldn’t be complete without a ______and _______.

Come by Erica’s blog and do Friday Five with me! CLICK HERE! Hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend!

No Sleep for the Saints

Photo Credit: graur razvan ionut 

It makes me sad to say I finished Donna Pyles’ Your Strong Suit Bible study this past week. It was truly a wonderful study. If you haven’t done it, I encourage you to!
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— ” Ephesians 6:14-18
We’re down to the last part of the passage.
When I think about “praying always…being watchful…with all perseverance and supplication…” I think about a man who spent the night in a beautiful garden with his Master.
Exhaustion from traveling, rising early, going to bed late, fishing, not to mention emotional exhaustion pulled at his eyelids, his limbs. I bet he couldn’t even think straight, yet his Master begged him to stay awake.
Something was about to happen, about to change the world in a epic way and the turmoil raging inside the Master was overwhelming. He needed this man, not as a student but as His friend. He needed Peter.
“My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”  Matthew 26:38
I think Peter tried. He’d finished telling Jesus earlier that he’d go to the grave for Him, surely staying awake would be easier.
But he couldn’t.
What was going to happen in several hours overwhelmed Peter’s Master.
“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39
Photo Credit: Danilo Rizzuti /

When He raised up, He found them–His friends–asleep for the second time. “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26: 40 (emphasis, mine)

Peter didn’t understand. What temptation? An hour? An hour seemed like days this late. And he fell asleep again.
Jesus asked His Father to take the cup that was about to be poured on Him away, but then He asked for the Father’s will to be done. Again, He came back. Yet, He said nothing. In that moment what do you think Jesus thought? After going back to pray, He awoke them a third time.
The hour had come.
We know after that, Jesus was arrested. Peter denied Christ as many times as he had fallen asleep. Three. I wonder, had he stayed awake, watched, and prayed what would have happened.
Peter swore he’d die with Christ. His spirit was willing. But he failed to gear up through prayer, and his flesh was weak.
We scoff at Peter, shake our heads and think, “How could he spend three years with Jesus and leave Him at the worst hour of His life?”
But I’ve known Jesus more than three years, and I’ve turned my back on Him as well. I can relate to Peter.
When you feel tired, lazy, indifferent that’s when you’re at your most vulnerable. When you don’t pray,  you open wide the door to attacks.
Pray in the Spirit. Let the Spirit who lives inside you, guide and direct your prayers. Let Him take over dreams that hold glory for yourself and shape them into dreams that glorify the One Who prayed alone in the garden, to gear up for becoming your sin, and mine. The One Who stayed awake. Not only in the garden, but on the cross. When He refused the gall. When He chose to feel the pain, the sin–to keep a clear mind.
I need to work on staying awake.
 How about you? 
photo credit: bela_kiefer /

This is Holy Week. A time to remember what our Savior did for us. To remember how beautiful the Passion was–is. Still, Jesus intercedes for us. He knows the mind of the Spirit (His spirit) that lives within us and prays God’s will for our lives. Just like He did for Peter. He has confidence in us. Shocking isn’t it? 

 “And the Lord said,“Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke: 22:30-32

Just like He had confidence in Peter, knowing the mistakes he would make before returning. That’s a God I wan to worship. That’s a God that inspires and motivates me to pray.
So what about you? Could you stand to stay awake more? Ever found when you didn’t pray over something the outcome was a failure?

**What’s the Point of Passover? I talk about it, HERE

I’m over at Living By Grace! Come by.

Faith Readers Group Review: Pearl in the Sand

The story of Rahab is a fascinating story in the Bible, full of faith, hope, and happily ever after.  It’s also a beautiful picture of God’s saving grace and a testimony to all that He doesn’t care about our past. He can use anyone for His glory. I love this story. Don’t you? There’s so much to unpack.

For the month of March, we chose Biblical fiction. The book: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar. Here’s a peek: 

“Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel’ Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab’s untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well–walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness. A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith…of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.” 
Mixed feelings arose about this book.  Here are some of everyone’s thoughts.

“It stayed on point and accurate to Biblical history.”
“I could identify with Rahab wanting her father’s love. Everyone wants to feel safe and loved.”
“I was grabbed from the beginning. I laughed and cried.”
“I like to read to escape and this was an easy, quick read. I enjoyed it.”
“I didn’t like this book at all. The author rushed through the beginning and never really engaged me. I didn’t have any emotions for Rahab, so I didn’t care as much when she became a prostitute.”
“The author used phrases and words that were not around during that time. I seriously doubt Salmone would look at a tired Rahab and say, ‘You look spent.’ This happened several different times–using modern phrases and words. And she thought the water was cold as ‘ice’ which they didn’t have then.”
“I thought it was more of a told story. I never felt like the character going through the events.” 
“I thought the author said some really good things about life and any woman who’s had a past, not necessarily as a prostitute, but a promiscuous past would benefit from reading this. There’s  a lot of healing in this book.”
As you can see, not everyone agreed but that makes for great discussion! We also enjoyed the desserts and fruit with our coffee! 

Overall rating out of 5 stars (it was literally divided down the middle between 4 stars and 2 stars):  3 star average

This won’t be anyone’s last Biblical fiction read, that’s for sure. We’re reading She Walks in Beauty for April! 

Have you ever read Biblical fiction? What did you read? Do you like it or not? Why?