Jodie Bailey and the Cast of Crossfire!

Hey everyone! Guess who’s in the house today?
That’s right the amazing, fabulous, wonderful Jodie Bailey! I am so glad I know
her. And I’m so glad she writes wonderful books I can enjoy. She’s about to
play a few rounds of Would You Rather with us, along with her main characters
in her newest Love Inspired Suspense, Crossfire. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
Well it is. I’ve read it!
Thanks for being here today, Jodie!
Would You Rather…
…feel pain (emotional) or nothing at all?
Jodie: At one time, I would
have said “nothing,” but I’ve learned that nothing is far worse than something,
even when something is hard.
Andrea: Nothing. It would be
amazing to wipe away the hurt and go numb.
Josh:  Until I crossed paths with Andrea again, I’d
have told you nothing. That’s a battle I’ve fought far too long, but now… I’m
starting to think it’s worth facing the pain if it means feeling so much more.
…change something about your past or see what your future
Jodie:  Am I allowed to say neither?  My past has made me who I am today, and I’m
finally able to say that. People say all the time they want to know the future,
but I’m pretty sure they don’t. I guess if I could change one thing it would be
how I handled a particular family relationship early on so that maybe it would
be more healed today.
Andrea: I’d save my
brother.  Knowing what I know now, I’d
have paid a lot more attention back then and he’d still be alive today.
Josh: When Andrea’s brother
came knocking on my door that day, I’d have dropped everything for him.  It would have saved two lives and changed
everything about mine too. Worst decision I ever made was telling him I’d talk
to him “tomorrow.” It cost all of use everything.
…sing every word you speak or always speak in rhymes?
Jodie:  Trust me, you don’t want to hear me sing.
Andrea:  Uhm, this question has me a little bit
concerned. I have an opening two days from now and we could talk about this.
Josh:  Neither. I’d be out of the Army so fast or on
a psych profile so fast I wouldn’t know what hit me. Not to mention, my guys
would have zero respect for me. I can’t imagine how that would play out in
battle. You’ve got to be kidding me.
(Jess here! Josh, you’re so breaking the rules.
And for a military man…tsk! ;))
…be able to fly or read minds?
Jodie:  Fly. 
I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what people really think all of the
time. And I could get to the beach even quicker!
Andrea:  Read minds. It would help so much in a
counseling session to know what a patient was not confronting. Wow. Do you know
how much faster my patients would be healed if we could get to the bottom of
things in session one?
Josh: Fly. No doubt. That
would be awesome.  Man, no one could ever
hit a home run over an outfielder who can fly.
run out of oxygen on Mount Everest (slowly but surely) or underwater?
Jodie:  Mt. Everest. 
I’d feel totally trapped underwater. 
At least on Everest it would be wide open with a great view.
Andrea:  Do you think about death a lot? I still have
that appointment open in two days. Maybe I can clear something this afternoon
for you instead.

Josh:  On Mt. Everest.  It’d be like that movie where Tommy Lee Jones
played an astronaut and ran out of oxygen on the moon.  At least he finally made it to the moon and
died with a smile on his face. But, honestly, if I knew my oxygen was running
out, I’m pretty sure I’d turn around and head down. Definitely not going to
take a seat and wait for it to happen. 
Oh my goodness, that was so much fun! Loved your answers, Jodie. Thanks to you, Andrea, and Josh for playing!
Here’s a peek at Crossfire!
Buy the book! 

After he couldn’t save her brother, army first sergeant Josh Walker isn’t about to let anything happen to Andrea Donovan. Josh may have saved her from one attack, but drug smugglers are desperate to get information about one of Andrea’s patients—a patient who’s disappeared without a trace. Despite the danger, the beautiful counselor refuses to hand over confidential files. Now Josh and Andrea have no choice but to battle on for their lives—and their love—or they’ll be the latest casualty to get caught in the crossfire.

So, answer one or all in the comments! 

#1 Way to Sleep Peacefully

“In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19
I quote this verse often. To myself. To others. It’s a deep,
ministering scripture, and a reminder where to focus during hard times.
But I’ve never dug any further into the passage. Until last
“Anxieties” translates into disquieting thoughts. Ever had
any of those? The kind that keeps you tossing and turning throughout the night.
Preoccupied during the day. They grow like mountain before your very eyes.
Me too.
Let’s look at “comforts” in the Hebrew. It comes from the
root word “nacham” which means to console, to have compassion on.

Through the Lord’s
mercies we are not consumed,
His compassions fail not.”
Lamentations 3:22
In other words: In the middle of all my mountainous
disquieting thoughts, causing me great anxiety, I know that your compassions
that fail not will console me. Because you, O LORD, are merciful. They are new
every morning.
What is this consoling, this compassion like? What does it
do? It delights the soul. I think of delight and words such as joy, happiness,
smiles, sunshine, strength, dancing…they come to mind. What comes to your mind?
It’s interesting however, what that word “delight” actually means in the Hebrew.
It’s the word “sha’a’” and get this! It means, “to be
smeared over, to be blinded, to smear eyes shut, overspread.”
When all the disquieting thoughts swell like Everest, we
should slip into His Word, into His Presence and let Him smear our eyes shut,
through His tender compassion. Let Him overspread us. As moms to young babies.
Gingerly, coating them with creamy, soothing, sweet-smelling baby lotion
creating a calming effect. We generally do it before bedtime to ease them into
a sweet and peaceful rest.
Disquieting thoughts do not give us rest. We need Jesus to
smear us with His love. His mercy, and His compassion.
It’s an experience.
He says in Revelation 3:18, “…anoint your eyes with eye salve,
that you may see.”
We need Him to smear our eyes shut so the mountain, our
circumstances, our crisis fades away. Until we’re blinded.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7
Love the Message version:
If God hadn’t been there for me,

    I never would have made it.
The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,”
    your love, God, took hold and held me fast.
When I was upset and beside myself,
    you calmed me down and cheered me up.

Maybe you’re beside yourself right now. Move over, let Jesus
get beside you and smear you over with love and compassion that fails not.
You’ll be blinded, yet see more clearly than ever before!

Can you
think of a time God consoled you and helped you get through a difficult time?
What scripture verses or songs (or both) helped soothe you?

***If you haven’t signed up for my the Patched In
, what’s stopping you? Sign up today! Click HERE


Heather Gilbert and the Cast of Miranda Warning!

Guess who’s in the house today? Author Heather Gilbert! Her newest
book released—Miranda Warning, a twist-turning
mystery! Today, she’s agreed to play a few rounds of Would You Rather and then
share with us the inspiration behind the book. Here’s a peek!
of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share
of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive
whatever life throws at her.
when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a
note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts
are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must
use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the
killer…or the next victim might be Tess herself.
with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective
presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in
the Mountains 
Okay, Heather, let’s begin with the fun questions!
you rather….

…be famous or the best friend of someone famous?
Miranda: Oh,
honey, I think I’m too old to be famous. But if I were, I think I’d want it to
be for playing chess. I’m always beating that sweet little Tess Spencer and she
says I’m really good at it.
Tess: Famous?
Me? I don’t have time to be famous. I’m in the middle of something right
now…and I’m actually pregnant. Yes, that is a latte I’m drinking. I’m not
always one to follow rules, you know. I would like to see my husband, Thomas,
make a little more money at his lawyer job. But fame? I’m pretty happy where I am.
In all actuality, right now I’m kind of trying to lie low…
I’d love to be famous for writing great books, so I could be a financial
blessing to others as others have been to me over the years. But in the
meantime, I can say I know some famous authors in Christian circles and they
are some of the humblest, sweetest people I know. That’s the kind of author I
have so much respect for.
…find out that the life you are living now is an ongoing memory
and you are actually older and looking back on your life with life-like detail
OR your life was a very detailed imagination coming from a younger you
imagining your future?
Miranda: I’m
not sure I understand the question. I’ve been getting these heart flutters and
can’t seem to concentrate. But I am older
and looking back on my life, and so I spend a large part of my days walking
down memory lane. I like thinking about my husband, Russell. Why that man had
to leave this earth before me, I’ll never understand.
Tess: I
already have a better memory than I’d like (almost like photographic, only in
videos). But instead of looking back on life with intricate detail, I’d much
rather be young again and re-imagine myself a new childhood. Mine wasn’t the
Heather: Call
me weird, but I’ve always looked forward to being old and the wisdom that comes
with it. So I’d rather be old, but still looking toward the future, if that
makes sense. I had a great childhood and I’d love to remember that in detail.
But I also love looking forward to living life to the fullest as I grow older.
Someday I look forward to being in heaven, maybe reviewing my life and
understanding why certain things happened and how everything fit together.
…be a thief or a beggar? 
Miranda: I’d
be a beggar. I’d never steal from anyone.
Tess: Well…my
husband is a lawyer, so let’s just keep this quiet, but if my family was
starving, I’d be a thief. Only I’d be a nice
thief. I wouldn’t kill anyone, I promise.
Heather: Wasn’t that Jean Valjean’s crime in Les Mis, stealing food for his family? To be honest, I’d rather not
beg. I would ask for something
nicely, but if people refused to help and my family was in need, I think I’d
find a way around it. I’d try a lot of resourceful options before stealing, and
even then, I might not do it. But I would find a way to help us survive. I just
watched Catching Fire so obviously
I’m in a dystopian, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it mood. 🙂
Thanks so much for playing, Ladies! Loved your answers. Now,
share with us what inspired this story.
I was inspired to write this Appalachian mystery because
I’ve grown up reading mysteries: in particular, Agatha Christie. I love her
married detectives, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, and how they are different
yet they work their strengths to solve crimes. Even though my mysteries center
on Tess Spencer, housewife detective, her husband, Thomas, plays a large role
in supporting her and helping her see crimes in new ways (he’s a lawyer).
I also loved the psychological vibe of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and I knew I, too, wanted to get deep
into my characters’ heads in each mystery. Plus, I’ve recently moved back to my
home state, West Virginia, and it’s chock-full of paranormal stories, so it
lent itself very handily as a setting for this series.
I wanted to explore West Virginia the way it really is today, with all its beauty and
yet its heartbreak. This series will delve into some dark and sad places, but
ultimately the light of God shines through, just like it does in real life.
However, sometimes people choose to reject it and I feel it’s important to show
the ultimate end of those choices, as well. That’s why I say my writing is bittersweet.
I do hope Tess is a “sleuth” (love that word!)
people can root for. She has her foibles, yes. She’s newly married and has
issues that plague her from her past. But she’s going to grow and change even
through the hardships of hunting down murderers. Her marriage will also change.
I’m looking forward to taking readers along for the ride.
I rooted for her, Heather! Looking forward to the next one.
Okay, everyone! Pick one or all of the questions and answer
in the comments!
***The winner of Donna Pyle’s prize package is            . 
I will notify Donna of the winner.
Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing stories about authentic,
believable marriages. Sixteen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband
have given her some perspective, as well as ten years spent homeschooling.
Heather is a monthly contributor to Novel
, a site dedicated to bringing helpful information to authors.
You can find Heather at her website, Heather Day Gilbert–Author, and at
Author Page
, as well as TwitterPinterestYouTube. Her novel, God’s
, is an Amazon bestseller. You can find it here in
three formats–Kindle, softcover, and audiobook.

Show me the…

 “I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”
Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.” James 2:18 MSG
Were you thinking “money?” Show me the money. Nope. Faith and Works, my friend.
 It’s Sunday morning, the super moon is still bright and beautiful and clear as the sun rises. I’m sitting on my patio studying and admiring God’s handiwork. Thinking on the above verse.
I believe we are saved by grace through our faith. It’s a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8)
And I believe our faith will produce fruit i.e. good works. 
Jesus Himself said every good tree bears fruit. (Matthew 7:18)
James also tells us to be not just hearers of the word. But doers. To humbly receive the implanted word. I love the word implanted. It’s there, deep. Love for God, love for His precious word develops us to grow in maturity and in love. Out of that love, we will want to serve. To follow Christ. In other words: Good works, that God has prepared for each one of us beforehand will become reality. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to perform those good works. 
It’s a labor of love. One that is not done in vain. For God’s purposes and His word never return void, but accomplish all of His intended purposes.
Works motivated by our faith can best be described with the passion of Song of Songs/Solomon.
First, we see the lovely Shulamite woman knows to whom she belongs. She knows that He desires her. Longs for her.–her love, her company, her embrace.
“I am my beloved’s, And his desire is toward me.” Song of Solomon 7:10 
Out of her great love for Him, and even more so, His great love for her she also desires to be with Him. To go where He goes, to do what He does. She’s a doer. Of the Word. (For the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God John 1:1, 14)
“Come, my beloved,

Let us go forth to the field;
Let us lodge in the villages.


Let us get up early to the vineyards;
Let us see if the vine has budded,
Whether the grape blossoms are open,
And the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.


The mandrakes give off a fragrance,
And at our gates are pleasant fruits,
All manner, new and old,
Which I have laid up for you, my beloved.”

He calls. She answers.
They go to the field. “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are alreadywhite for harvest!” John 4:35
They lodge in the in the villages. They aren’t staying inside with walls of their church. They’re getting their hands dirty–outside. In the villages. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” Matthew 28:19
They don’t waste time. They’re up early. It’s a priority. People matter. Unsaved souls matter. New Christians with no spiritual training matter.

They’re looking for that fruit! Together they are growing a beautiful orchard. They are caring for their newly planted vineyards, seeing that buds are blooming and growing. Good fruit. Are they blossoming? 
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me—and I in him—bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. John 15:5
It’s in doing. It’s in the good works. It’s in fulfilling God’s purpose and obeying His commands we show Him our love. “The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.”John 14:21
The glorious result gives off a beautiful fragrance, it grows with every person that comes to Christ and grows in His grace. “In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life…” 2 Corinthians 2:14 MSG
It is not exclusive to any ethnic group, socio-economic background, or age. It is for “all manner.” It is our response out of love for our Beloved. “But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.” Romans 3:22-24 MSG (emphasis mine)
Beloved, don’t just be hearers of the Word. Be doers. Let your love for Christ and His love for you fan a flame that burdens you to action. Let faith motivate you to fulfill all that God has for you. His desire is toward you, lovely one. 

***You still have a chance to enter Donna Pyle’s prize package to celebrate the launch of her newest Bible study, Quenched. Click HERE to enter! 

*** I’d love for you to sign up for my newsletter, The Patched In. Click on the “sign up” at the top right corner of the page. It will only take a few seconds! I won’t spam you or give your email address to anyone. 

No Better Time To Be Quenched!

Nothing makes me happier than when Donna Pyle comes to visit on my blog. A wonderful and godly woman, good friend, and anointed Bible teacher, Donna’s an inspiration to us all. Thank you so much for being here, Donna! 

So settle in with some fresh iced tea! You can have mint, peach, sweet or unsweetened. It’s completely up to you! 

Because there’s no better time to be Quenched than when summer heat sweeps in with all its humidity and unbearability. (Is that a word?) And let me tell you, I’m reading it right now and my parched soul is being watered. Donna, your ministry is devoted to bringing Christ’s life-giving water. Tell us why this study especially is so important to you. 

Visit Donna’s website for her inspirational devotions
as well as other Bible studies and her upcoming calendar
of events! 

Quenched came out of experiencing a heartbreaking divorce four years ago. I never saw it coming. Even though God had nurtured a strong faith in me, that deep hurt flung me straight into a spiritual desert. Walking through that difficult time reminded me of how lost I felt as a new Christian at age 23. The parallels were staggering. I wanted to share those experiences illuminated by God’s Word to offer hope and encouragement to others.
As I wrote Quenched, I pictured anyone who feels spiritually dehydrated. At some point, that includes all of us. Seekers or new Christians may feel thirsty for God’s wellspring of life but do not understand how to access it. Veteran Christians may become exhausted by hectic demands or difficult trials and have temporarily lost the well’s coordinates. Since I have experienced both, it felt like writing to the person in the mirror.
Donna, I know in my own life, God has birthed something beautiful from pain and turned into a ministry to glorify Him. I am loving Quenched. Reading through it and chewing on the wisdom, letting the hope of our Lord anchor me further into His word. I love your life-application. It’s what makes it unique. Offering us not only words of hope but ways to walk it out. Not just hearers of the Word, but doers. 
Here’s a peek at Quenched:
What quenches your thirst? Wealth or health? Career or activities? Or do these things still leave you with a certain level of dehydration?

Perhaps right now you’re experiencing a detour through a spiritual desert. Perhaps you see the dry, cracked road ahead and feel like giving up. Perhaps you’re new to Christianity and uncertain about how to live your new life in Christ. Take heart.

Jesus offers the goodness and grace that quenches. He shows you the path to streams of living water that will quench your soul’s thirst. He doesn’t care where you’ve been. He doesn’t care what you’ve done. He cares about you.

Jesus is the living water that hydrates from the soul out. He said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13–14).

Quenched: Christ’s Living Water for a Thirsty Soul is for both new Christians and Christians going through spiritual dehydration. Author Donna Pyle has been both—new Christian and tired veteran Christian—so she writes from first-hand experience. Her “been-there-done-that” approach to affirmation and encouragement is welcomed by readers feeling confused or ashamed about living out their witness to Christ.

Regardless of the state you’re in, you will be lead to the life-giving waters of Christ’s grace, mercy, and hope. Pyle writes with honesty and humor as she points readers to the Gospel message of forgiveness and salvation, and emphasizes that it is only Christ and His grace that quench the parched soul.

Book features include: 

  • Collection of devotions, prayers, Scripture readings, Psalms, and hymns
  • Clear connection to daily life as Christians
  • Encouragement and affirmation for new Christians and for Christians going through a time of spiritual dehydration

Take the soul-refreshing plunge! 
Get Donna’s Quenched Bible Study today! 

You can read more behind-the-scenes info on Quenched and Donna HERE

Donna is giving away a 
Quenched Gift Basket:
A signed copy of Quenched
$25 Amazon card
A signed copy of her DVD Bible study, Your Strong Suit (I did this study and loved it!)
Tea & chocolate! 

Enter below for a chance to win! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can You Be Brave?

Life gets stressful, doesn’t it? For all of us. Social Media has put us in an age where we can create perfect lives with perfect homes and families. No worries. No disappointments. Life is as great as they want you to think it is. 

But it’s not. 

Because we all have moments of crisis. We all have issues. Even the giants we put in glass houses. We all have moments of doubt and fear. 

Last week I had a meltdown. A lot of things piled up on me and it seemed to all hit at one time. I’m not out of the woods or issues yet, but I’m feeling better today. More courageous. I have friends who are praying for me continuously and I steeped in a few verses that spoke into my emotional world at that moment. I read them over and over. I read them aloud. 

And I LET them minister to me. 

I hope they minister to you. I know sometimes scriptures can feel like someone offering a platitude. I get that. Sometimes, just sitting with a friend and sharing a cup of tea or coffee and crying or not, or talking or not, is the ticket. 

Sometimes a friend speaking a scripture to me doesn’t feel as good as just reading one on my own. (Not that that was the case last week. It was a friend’s scripture that spoke and then led me to some others.) But sometimes…sometimes.

”But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from
ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but
not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not
destroyed;…” 2 Corinthians 4: 7-9
“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew
their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow
weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or
sword?” Romans 8:35
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and
courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
“My enemies, do not gloat over me! Though I have
fallen, I will get up. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”  Micah

 Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. When it’s all said and done, I’ll stand. Oh yes I will.  For you, O Lord, make me brave.