Praise God Today

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

Praise Him All People Here Below

Praise Him Above All Heavenly Host

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

We have so much to be thankful for!! What a great country we live in. Of course, we are far from perfect. There is division and strife, but this is not the first time in our history that this has happened. We need to stay on our knees in prayer for our nation and its leaders. “I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” I Tim. 2:1-2 

Last Friday afternoon, we attended an event at the Americana Theatre in Branson, MO called Freedom’s Journey, about the founding of our Country on Christian principals. Most of our Founding Fathers were professing Christians and sought God’s leadership. We have prospered for over 225 years because of God’s blessings. We need to pray God will continue to bless us. Our granddaughter, Michaela, got to sing in a children’s choir at the end of the program.

Book Signing in Coldwater, KS

This next Saturday, we will be in Coldwater, KS at the annual Christmas Bazaar with my books. We are excited to see our friends from the area. We lived in Coldwater for 21 years while our kids were growing up. We have many fond memories of our time there. 

Interview with Tierney James

I am excited to interview my friend, Tierney James. Tierney decided to become a full-time writer after working in education for over thirty years. Besides serving as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, and attending Space Camp for Educators, Tierney served as a Geo-teacher for National Geographic. Her love of travel and cultures took her on adventures throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. From the Great Wall of China to floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Tierney weaves her unique experiences into the adventures she loves to write. Living on a Native American reservation and in a mining town, continues to fuel the characters in the Enigma and Wind Dancer series.

Tierney, I understand your new book, Black Mamba, will be released today, November 13th for $.99 on Amazon. I’m sure everyone will want to get their copy,

Yes, it will be available at:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JN58JYM.

In your last book, Kifaru, you introduced a character who was part villain and part hero. He is back in your latest Enigma book, Black Mamba. Why did you choose to create such a problematic person to be the center of attention?

Life has problems so to avoid them in my work would just be boring. When we don’t have to go through the danger ourselves, living through someone else makes the story exciting. We have all met someone one we wanted to trust but something inside us screamed to be careful.

Where does Black Mamba take place and why did you choose this location?

The story takes place in Botswana, African. Since I’ve been there I felt I could bring some real-life experience to the tale.

What did you learn while writing this book?

More than I wanted to know about the snake black mambas! Those babies are super scary

How much research was involved in writing a story like this?

Since I had been to Botswana I knew what I needed so I didn’t have to sift through mounds of useless information.

Do you always travel to the places you write about or is it all research?

I wish I could, but no. That would be too costly—and dangerous!

Where will the Enigma team go in the next book?

Russia!

What kinds of things inspire you when you write?

A story. A song. A picture. A news article.

How do you fit writing into your day?

I am a full-time writer so it is my primary focus. I start the day out by checking my social media followed by editing, then writing for several hours. Lunch. Laundry. Several more hours of writing. Editing. I usually do promotional work in the evening.

What places to visit are on your bucket list?

Israel. Vatican City. Istanbul. Tibet. Jordon (Petra). Iceland. Greenland. The Isle of Skye. Russia.

It has been fun getting to know more about you and your new book Black Mamba. I hope everyone will go to Amazon and get a copy.


God is Good

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.  II Cor. 2:14

Writer’s Retreat

I had a wonderful weekend at the Women’s get-away Writers Retreat. It was a refreshing time with friends at a beautiful campground near Racine, MO. Ginny Polentz and I had an interesting trip there, with some unplanned scenic side trips. We enjoyed the beautiful colors of the trees.

My newest book! Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I didn’t get as much writing done as I planned, but Sharon Kizziah Holmes, with Kids Book Press, and I worked on my children’s book, A Christmas Treasure Hunt.  It was released on Tuesday, November 6th and is available on Amazon.  https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Treasure-Joyce-Valdois-Smith/dp/1945669640

Beautiful scenery at the retreat.
A wonderful group of writer friends.  Ginny wasn’t feeling well.

New House closing

Our daughter’s new home

Our daughter, Holly and her husband, Erik, closed on their new house in Springfield on Tuesday. They are now proud first-time home owners. We are so happy for them!

Fall Beauty and Busyness

These last couple of weeks have been beautiful here in the Ozarks. The trees have been brilliant in their colors. Bob and I went to Branson last weekend and enjoyed God’s handiwork. It’s been several years since we have seen a fall like this. I’m afraid it won’t last long, though. The leaves are already beginning to fall. Winter is on the way.

Beauty in the Ozarks

Ladies Fellowship

Janna and I have been busy this week preparing for the Ladies Fellowship at our church. The theme is Vessels of Honor taken from II Timothy 2:20.  “But in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.” We are decorating in Fall colors. We’ll post pictures on Facebook.

Important Birthday Celebration

Dani

Dani, our youngest granddaughter, will be five years old this Saturday. She is so excited about her mermaid birthday party. She had been planning on it for months informing us of the toys she wants. We will be celebrating Sunday evening.

Writer’s Retreat

Women’s Get-Away Writer’s Retreat

This weekend, Ginny Polenta and I will be at a Writer’s Retreat at a church camp near Racine, MO. I plan to spend the time writing Liz and Michael’s story in “Home for the Heart.” I’ve taken a break from it the last couple of months to get ready for the ACFW conference and then preparing the proposal to send to the agent. I would also like to get a newsletter up and going, if possible. I will be sharing the weekend with a wonderful group of friends who write.

In Everything Give Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for. I could never finish a list of all my blessings. And yet, I find myself complaining because something isn’t going the way I want it to. I Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We should give thanks in everything, the good and the bad.

I have a wonderful, longtime friend who had a heart cath to determine why she was having fatigue. They found her main cardiac artery was 75% blocked and inserted a stent. In an unusual complication, a flap on the inside of the artery blocked it causing a massive heart attack. She was rushed into surgery for a heart bypass. She still needs prayer, but I am so thankful she was where the doctors could react quickly. Even in bad situations, there is always something to be thankful for. Please keep her in your prayers.

Writing News

A week ago I sent the proposal for my Harvey Girl Legacy Series to agent Steve Laube, president of Steve Laube Agency as requested at the ACFW conference. I pray God will use it for His glory. I have had a downtime from writing this week, but I need to get back to my second in the series, “Home for the Heart.”

Stay tuned – My new children’s picture book, A Christmas Treasure Hunt, will be released in the next few weeks. I will post a copy of the cover soon.

I have been rethinking this blog. Everyday is just too much to keep up with. I plan to continue it one day a week on Wednesdays. I will combine a meditation and writing news or family news maybe even some Harvey House recipes and information. Let me know what you’d like to see in the comments.

Monday Meditation

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  Romans 8:35

What a blessed promise! This is enough to make us shout for joy. This chapter in Romans is written to believers in Jesus. We who have asked Jesus to forgive our sins and have received Him as our Savior have this promise that we will never be separated from God’s love. 

But

That is a huge “but.” Those who have neglected or refused to accept Jesus as their Savior cannot claim this wonderful promise. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” God the Father is Holy, Righteous and Just. He cannot look on sin except through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23 declares, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  Every person has sinned! But there is wonderful news. Romans 5:8, “But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. All we have to do is receive His free gift of Salvation. Romans 10:9-10. “That is thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  It is God’s will that everyone believes and accepts Jesus as Savior. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Please call out to Him today, if you haven’t done so. Then the wonderful promise in Romans 8:38-39 will include you too!

Tuesday Tidbit

What is going on in your life? Does it feel as if Heaven and Earth had fallen on you and you can’t breathe or get out from under it. Circumstances in life can seem overwhelming. And there is the tendency to ask, “God, where are you in all this?” We all have times like that.

Actually, He’s right there with us all the time. We just can’t see His Hand with our feeble, earthly vision. God loves each one of us individually. He knows exactly what is going on in our lives and He can see the end from the beginning. I’m convinced His favorite word is “Wait.” If we do wait for His perfect timing and allow Him to work out His plan for our lives, it is a beautiful thing to behold. I tell our kids, “God has your back! He won’t drop you now or ever.” 

Several years ago, I was in a Spiritual “slough of despair.” I felt like I was in a rut and couldn’t get out. Not a pleasant place to be. The Lord gave me the verse, Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” I began to pray and to ask Him to show me the great and mighty things. Sure enough, good things began to happen. We sold our house that had been on the market for a year and a half. My sister-in-law who was diabetic received a kidney. But more than anything, it caused me to begin looking for the good things God had in store for me. And in His perfect timing, everything worked out for our move to Springfield. Just keep praying and asking Him to give you the great and mighty things He has promised.

Friday Friends and Family

I am so thankful for both my friends and my family. I don’t know what I would do without them. My children have stepped up and are helping me with the mechanics of promoting and marketing my book. Especially, I want to thank Kelly and Erik. I’m sorry I’m such a klutz when it comes to the media and technology.

Mirachelle Canada, Melissa Rice, Me, Kathy Atwell

ACFW Conference

Me and Keynote Speaker Debbie Macomber

I had to amazing opportunity to attend the ACFW Writer’s Conference in Nashville, TN. While there I met many wonderful author’s and friends. I also had the opportunity to meet with agent Steve Laube. He expressed interest in promoting my book, Romance Along the Rails, The Harvey Girl Legacy, Book 1 as the three-part series. That’s huge. He’s a well-known agent and would be able to negotiate with one of the large Christian publishing companies. Please pray with me as I prepare the proposal and get it sent to him. I want God to receive all the glory.

Happy Birthday

This week our sweet granddaughter, Gabby, turned 17. She is an amazing young lady and I know the Lord is going to work mightily in her life. This has been a hard transition for her this summer, moving to Missouri from her home in Utah, but she is involved in her school and will soon perform in a musical. We love you so much Gabby and are so proud of you!

This is My Father’s World

Art In The Spirit: This is my father's world
As I sit out on the patio, with my morning cup of coffee, and contemplate the scenes and sounds of nature, I am reminded that everything around me belongs to My Father. He, along with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, is the creator of all this beauty. He holds it all together and orchestrates the order of the seasons; the cycle of night and day; the life patterns of birds, animals, and insects. He keeps it all in perfect balance!
“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is none else.”
Isaiah 45:18
 
“Thus saith the LORD the King of Isreal, and the Redeemer, the LORD of Hosts; I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me, there is no God.”
Isaiah 44:6
It’s amazing to realize that the God we serve is above all things, and in total control. Everything that happens is allowed by him. The conflicts and interactions between countries around the world and our own great United States are all in His hands. When we see the sin around us; the riots and dissension; and the corruption and inaction of some in our government it’s a blessing to know our Father God is in control. We live in a vastly blessed country! I believe the indwelling Holy Spirit and the prayers of God people have held back the tide of judgment.
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else: I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass: I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
Isaiah 46:9,10&11b
 
In view of God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, why should we ever worry about anything? This Almighty God who holds the world together is our Father if we have put our faith and trust in Him. We are His children. He has promised to supply all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19) How much better can it get? In Matthew, Jesus says,
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not better than they?…for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
Matthew 6:25,26,32b&33
Baptist Hymnal 2008 46. This is my Father's world - Hymnary.org
 
This is my Father’s world, 
O let me ne’re forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done;
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and heaven be one.
 
Nana’s Treasures
This month my precious treasure is Danielle Hope (Dani). Dani is 4 years old and will be going into pre-K in the fall. Dani and her family moved from Utah this summer to be closer to Nana and Papa. We are over-the-moon happy to have them here. Dani is the princess in her family of three big sisters. She loves to play house and dress-up and spend time with Papa and Nana. We love our Dani very much and thank the Lord for her.
 
 

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Lamentations 3:22-23. Loved this verse from tonight! Such a beautiful reminder.
Have you found yourself in a situation or at a time in your life when it seems God has turned his back and isn’t listening or doesn’t care what is going on?

Our God is always faithful. Sometimes when circumstances crash in on us we may question whether He cares and is in control, but He is there behind the scene orchestrating everything to our advantage. He has our best at heart. If we wait for His timing, He will accomplish what is best.

Psalms 37:7&9 
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”

My observation has been that God is partial to the word “wait”. When we have to wait to see God’s hand move we are in good company. Think what it was like for Noah and his sons to build the huge ark in the middle of the dry land. I’m sure they questioned if God truly meant what He’d told them, but sure enough, the flood came. Also, Moses spent 40 years without a word from God and King David spent many years running and hiding from King Saul, but in the end, God showed up and called them to do His work. In the New Testament, Paul the Apostle spent three years in Arabia before he started his ministry.
We can’t see the finished picture, but God can and He is always faithful.
Psalms 37:23-25
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old: yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

This is my favorite hymn.

 “Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, Oh God my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not.
As thou hast been, thou forever will be. 
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see,
All I have needed, thy hand hath provided
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Lord unto me.

Dear Father God, I am so thankful that Your compassions are new every morning. You see us and love us and have our best at heart. Thank you for your steadfast faithfulness and care even when we can’t see Your hand.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Nana’s Treasures
This month my beautiful treasure is our granddaughter, Carenza. She is six years old and in kindergarten. Carenza loves to read and was already reading chapter books before she entered school this year. She loves spending time with her sister, Sonja, going to activities at the library and going to the zoo. She also enjoys going to Sunday School with her family. Carenza is a joy to be around. Papa and I are so proud of our granddaughter, Carenza.