Friday, February 24, 2017

Faith Leads to Understanding

Have you ever watched the children's movie, Polar Express? For years it has been one of my family's favorite fun Christmas films. For awhile, it became an annual tradition to watch it. A theme throughout the movie is belief in Santa, and the characters in the movie couldn't hear his sleigh bells ring until they first believed in him.

A few weeks back, I read in Mark 4 about Jesus explaining His parables to His disciples. It reads, “With many such parables He spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to His own disciples He explained everything.” (ESV)

Today, in Luke 8, following Jesus' parable of the Sower, I read a sort of continuation to this. “And when His disciples asked Him what this parable meant, He said, 'To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that “seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.” ' " (ESV)

I found some very interesting insight into this and I thought you might find it fascinating as well. In the Mark 4 passage, where it refers to “He spoke the word to them,” it is saying that Jesus taught the multitudes in parables. Who are the multitudes in Jesus' day? Unbelievers. Who are the multitudes in today's world? Unbelievers. Who are His disciples to whom Jesus explained His parables? Christians. Non-Christians will not be able to understand the full meaning of God's words as written in the Bible. Only the Christians who take the time to ask God and listen for His answers will be given true knowledge. Faith leads to knowledge and comprehension of the truth that is otherwise unable to be attained. By faith the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in believers and it is of Him that Jesus says, ". . . it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. . . . When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth . . ." (ESV)

As my family and I were discussing this, we came up with another level to it. What is a name of Jesus? The Word. Just as non-Christians cannot understand the Bible—God's Words—until they believe, neither can they understand the Word, Jesus. When non-Christians have so many questions concerning things in the Bible, and Christians try to explain them, with this knowledge it makes much more sense that the unbelievers cannot understand it and tend to keep pressing the same issues. It is impossible for them to comprehend these things until they first believe.

I keep thinking about the bell in Polar Express. They couldn't hear it ring until they first believed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Princess and I Cover Reveal

I know what you're thinking. Wow, two cover reveals in a single month? That's right. Today, I'm joining with several other bloggers in releasing the cover for another book I beta-read, The Princess and I, by Rebekah Eddy.

The Princess and I is an enchanting story of adventure, danger, romance, and heartbreak. Rebekah did a delightful job crafting the plot, and her characters each have unique personalities. I'm so happy to have been one of those privileged to read this before it releases March 3rd. (Rebekah is co-releasing with Jesseca Wheaton's A Question of Honor, which was the other cover reveal I participated in.)

Here is the fantastic cover!

Megan is content with her life, despite her parents' death and her brother Malcolm's job that keeps him busy at the King's castle. But when she is offered the position as Princess Christine's lady-in-waiting, Megan is glad of the change in scenery and accepts it with the hope that she can spend more time with her brother. The promise from Malcolm of lessons in swordsmanship only adds to her enthusiasm.

However, helping keep an eye on the emotional and excitable young lady proves to be much harder than becoming her friend. As rumors of war circulate the castle, Megan strives to encourage her new friend even as she tries to settle the doubts and fears in her own heart when her responsibility in protecting the Princess is put to the test. Follow the unwanted adventure which serves to teach her that loyal friendship, true love, and God's amazing grace will always triumph over revenge, greed, and hate.

Author Bio
Rebekah grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated and read good literature. First, she fell in love with the stories her parents read aloud to her from the Bible and books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Hobbit, and Anne of Green Gables. After learning to read on her own, she discovered other fantastic books which helped to build her ever growing imagination.

She completed her first written work at the tender age of eight and now uses it to humble herself whenever the need arises. The story did serve to show her that God had given her a desire to write, however, and from that moment on Rebekah has never looked back or regretted picking up her pencil and becoming an author.

This eighteen-year-old homeschool graduate lives in rainy Western Washington and is currently working on receiving her BA in English in order to further her passion for creating worlds on paper.

Congratulations, Rebekah, for completing another fine tale!

Friday, February 3, 2017

A Question of Honor Cover Reveal

(In advance, I apologize for the odd formatting at the bottom of the page. It does that when I copy and paste certain things.)

At long last, my good friend Jesseca Wheaton is releasing the cover for her latest book, A Question of Honor, the first in her series “Questions of War.” This book captivated my heart with the first words and enraptured me throughout its pages. I quickly found myself lost in the tale, in love with the characters, and lamenting with them in their trials. I'm so happy to be apart of her cover reveal! Without further ado, I present . . .

Isn't it powerful? And here is her book summary:

A man. A child. A war.
When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna's perfect world is shattered. In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met.
David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that doing God's will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.
A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons. When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives.
Will he chose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor.

I'm absolutely in love with A Question of Honor, and I can't wait for it to be released March 3, 2017. That's right! Just one month away this delightful tale will be revealed to the public. I'm so excited! Congratulations, Jesseca, and thank you so very much for allowing me to be a part of the process of your book.

Author Bio:

Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano.  And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.

If you have ever been fascinated by this time period, be sure to order A Question of Honor the moment it comes out! I guarantee you won't be disappointed with it. Remember, March 3!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Hightlights 2017

Wow. I can't believe that the first month of 2017 is already over. It doesn't seem real. Wasn't just yesterday Christmas? Despite the speed which with this month flew by, January was a very good month.

I kicked off the year with a trip to Hume Lake Christian Camps again with my youth group. That was my best trip there so far! Plus I earned lots of bragging rights because we went during Hume's biggest rain storm in ten years. Despite the pouring rain, I loved every minute of my time up there. The tube run, coffee shop, and band were wonderful, and the speaker was excellent. My favorite parts were simply the great conversations I had with my friends and getting to know them even better.

I mustn't forget the ice skating! All my friends agreed that this was the highlight of our trip. I had the honor of teaching yet another friend (or two, or three) to skate. This year, instead of always being the teacher, I also got a chance to improve as I was challenged by another friend (you know who you are :P). I finally decided that I didn't care how often I fell, and I had a blast! I attempted skating backward (a disaster but fun nonetheless), and did my best to keep up.

Due to the excessive amount of rain, the Boxsled Blitz was cancelled, at least, the normal one. The Hume staff came up with a sort of obstacle course that we did on the ice skating rink. We didn't even place, but I'm pretty confident that our sled would have won had we raced down the hill. Our design was a pirate ship.
In the coffee shop.
With the rain, the lake filled in a day.
In chapel.
Our pirate ship boxsled.

The river was less than half this size before rain.
This was one of the best weekends of my life! Thank you so much to my dad for taking the youth group, all the counselors, and my wonderful, amazing friends who made this trip so perfect! You guys are the best friends I could have! Thanks.

January also meant back to school, which really isn't so bad. I found myself actually looking forward to starting again.

In addition, the youth leader's wife from the other youth group I'm apart of had me and a few of my friends over to her house for an amazing sleepover.

A new experience for me this month is taking classes every Monday to get my amateur radio operating license. It's time consuming, but I know that it will be worth it to get my HAM license in a few more weeks.

Other than these, January didn't hold very many big events. It was nice to slow down a bit after Christmas and my birthday and enjoy the rain that we so desperately need out here in CA. We've gotten far more rain than all of last year combined and I'm getting to see ponds filled and rivers flowing strong. It's been so long since we've had this much water that I don't even remember seeing most of these as full as they are now.


I didn't quite make my goal of 10 books this month, but I came relatively close. Seven books for a total of 1,894 pages.
  1. Red Rock Mysteries: Hollywood Holdup, Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry (208 pages)
  2. Out From Egypt: Shadow of the Storm, Connilyn Cossette (346 pages)
  3. The Blades of Acktar: Destroy, Tricia Mingerink (165 pages)
  4. Adventures of the Northwoods: The Vanishing Footprints, Lois W. Johnson (156 pages)
  5. Dragons in Our Midst: Tears of a Dragon, Bryan Davis (363 pages)
  6. The Staff and the Sword: A Cast of Stones, Patrick W. Carr (428 pages)
  7. Red Rock Mysteries: Wind Chill, Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry (228 pages)
Every one of these books was wonderful! My favorite was probably Destroy. (Of course! It's by Tricia Mingerink!) I also read my first book by Patrick W. Carr, and I was really happy with his writing. If it's any indication, I want to buy more of his books. :)


After a long an unintentional break from writing, I finally started again on my dragon novel. I didn't get too much done, but I'm so happy to be writing again! I ended up writing a little over 1,500 words. I'm also in the process of editing a friend's story.

I think this pretty well sums up my month. I've been really absent from the blogging world lately, but I'm hoping that will change very soon. I hope you had a wonderful month! God bless you all!