Thursday, February 23, 2017

Uplifting Others

It has been something that rankles me, how other Christian authors consider this profession as a competition. I would think this if I were in the secular, aka general, market where I was up against other authors and trying to make my name known and my book sold; but, I am in a Christian market where our first and foremost thought, at least I would assume it to be, is to glorify Jesus Christ and lift up His name.

When Paul wrote his letters and traveled from place to place, he did not begrudge Peter, Barnabas, or Timothy as they traveled to places, too. No. He lifted them up in prayer knowing that what they did benefited all and glorified Christ. He didn't see these men as competition, but as brothers.

That's how I see my fellow CBA authors: as brothers and sisters in Christ. When I share their books, their successes, their posts, their news, I am sharing a portion of the gospel so that it will reach others. I'm thrilled to share those books that I have read and loved. And if a person chooses their book over mine, I am happy for that author. Do I feel saddened that I wasn't chosen?

Well, yeah. A wee bit. But it may be that my book wasn't what was needed for that person, but the other book was. And that is what I am elated to rejoice in.

To me, by sharing another author's book, I am sharing a message that glorifies Christ and may help another. As Christians we are to uplift each other. And for each act of kindness, blessings unfold exponentially. (which I see like this: for 1 act, there are 2 blessings. For 2 acts, there are 4 blessings. For 4 acts, there are 16 blessings. For 16 acts, there are 256 blessings, and so on.)

We may never see each and every blessing, but they are there. And if you really sit back and think, helping out another makes you feel good, and I mean really good. You are happier. Everything starts to look brighter. That is because we are concentrating on the positive, and not the negative.

So when you get a chance to help out another author, do it. Share that story. It may be just the one that leads another person to Christ. And do not forget, that person may also want to read your book, too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Abby Banks & Love Him Anyway

Abby Banks is a mom turned author and special needs advocate. A speech and communications summa cum laude graduate from Clemson University, Abby has a passion for finding God in the hard places. She and her husband, Jason, reside in Greenwood, SC, with their three children, who inspire her daily: Jay, Austin, and Wyatt.

 She is the author of the nonfiction book titled Love Him Anyway: Finding Hope in the Hardest Places which is published by Ambassador International.

~One night can change everything. Abby Banks put her healthy, happy infant son to sleep, but when she awoke the next morning, she felt as though she was living a nightmare. Her son, Wyatt, was paralyzed. There was no fall, no accident, no warning. A rare autoimmune disease attacked his spinal cord, and there was no cure. In an instant, all her hopes and dreams for him were wiped away. The life she envisioned for her family was gone, and she was frozen by the fear of a future she never imagined. As she struggled to come to grips with her son’s devastating diagnosis and difficult rehabilitation, she found true hope in making a simple choice, a choice to love anyway—to love her son, the life she didn’t plan, and the God of hope, who is faithful even when the healing doesn’t come. In Love Him Anyway, Abby shares her family’s journey from heartbreak to triumph and reminds us that hope and joy can be found in life’s hardest places.~ [from the back of the book]

Below is my review of the book and where you can connect with Abby Banks. 
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Abby Banks wrote a book of raw honesty and a look into the life of a Christian parent. We all struggle with feelings of selfishness and unselfishness, that duel between anger and love, and the ping-pong effect between bitterness and praise.

Love Him Anyway is such a heart-touching soul-wrenching testimony that leaves the reader breathless and needing to set the book aside in order to ponder those words written.

Many passages spoke to me, such as these:
  • "My wrestling sessions with God happened in the quiet and darkness of night when sleep wouldn't come and the eyes of the world weren't on me."

How many times have we felt we had to put on a "good face" for others, and then end up in our own wrestling match like Jacob?

  • "God didn't make me or Wyatt or anyone for a life of simple existence. We were made to live and experience life to the fullest, whatever that may look like."

I had to laugh at his part because it brought to light a new meaning to NeedtoBreathe's song Happiness. We aren't meant for a simple life. We are encouraged to chase our dreams and glorify the Lord.

But most of all, this passage says it all:
  • "I serve a God who has the power to part seas and bring the dead to life."

How powerful is that statement? Through all our hardships, our boomeranging emotions, and even through our praises, God is there for us and never leaves us. We are that special to Him.

In Love Him Anyway, this is made more evident. And the title has its own impact. Yes, they love Wyatt anyway, and they also love God anyway, too.

I encourage everyone to take a chance and read Abby Banks' Love Him Anyway. It's a true gift to every reader.


 Below is a list of place where readers can connect with the author. And click on the book's title anywhere in this post to buy the book.

Abby Banks:
www.fightlikewyatt.com
Twitter: @fightlikewyatt 
Instagram: @fightlikewyatt
                  @abbywbanks   
www.facebook.com/wyattsfightagainsttm

Love Him Anyway releases February 21, 2017 in paperback at all major retailers including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbook.com. You can also purchase Love Him Anyway through Ambassador International’s online store and use the coupon code “LoveHim” for a 10% discount. You can also enter to win a free signed copy below. The winner will be announced March 2nd at www.fightlikewyatt.com 


 




Win a signed copy of Love Him Anyway!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Late Night Scare

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NKJV)

5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

This verse has more meaning than ever today. 
 
After an ER scare last night when I couldn't move my left arm, numbness and tingling down the left arm, and was all "puffy" feeling, I had no idea what was going on with me. Of course anxiety sets in and my blood pressure rockets skyward and my heart joins the race.
 
"What was happening to me?", I wondered. Nothing like this ever happened before, not this kind of feeling. Months and months ago after having an EKG, I was told that I had a "good" heart, so I started wondering, was something wrong with my good heart?
 
I knew that my head was rebelling against me. Apparently it wanted to annex itself from my body.We had been at war for days.

I hitched a ride to ER courtesy of two paramedics and tests were ran on me. The EKG still proved I had a "good" heart. After the CT scan result showed that, yes, I do have a brain and a good looking brain (that's what they said and I will take their word for it), and the x-ray showed that my shoulder is right where it belonged, it was determined that I may be suffering from Cervical Radiculopathy. 
 
Oh, my. Now that is a big word that sounds scary. Well maybe to some...basically it's just a fancy word for pinched nerve. 
 
Apparently, probably from having a war with my head for the last four days (and by the way it is still where it belongs; the annexation was denied), the migraine may have caused a bulging spinal disk in my neck or the narrowing of the spinal joint from the beginnings of arthritis. Who knows?
 
Well, God does, so that verse is on par with me today.

Through it all, I held steadfast to my faith and love for God. It didn't matter if I was told my heart was broken, or my shoulder decided to relocate, or my brain decided to stroke out, I knew that God was with me all the way and still is today.

My strength may be less today, but with all my strength that I possess I will love Him anyway.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Two Days+One Book=Infinite Rewards

The other day a book's title was shared with me. Curious about an author from across the pond, I thought I would buy it and give it a try. And boy, was it a reward beyond belief!

There was so much insight and knowledge, perfect for the everyday reader, that bursts forth from Following Wherever He Leads by Joan Crory. To me, it was a truly remarkable and rewarding book.

A passage from the book: "And God has put you where you are to help meet the needs of the folk around you.", speaks volumes. This book is the epitome of that statement. It was put here to meet the needs of its readers.

I know it met a lot of my needs. From learning that to follow Christ means not to lead a simple life to knowing that Christ knows all our trials because He experienced them all. And the part about prayer and our prayer life? The analogy used broke this concept into easily, understandable bits and pieces. The more I read into each chapter, the more rewards I received it seemed. 

My favorite was the last chapter: Memorandum. An out-of-the-box thinking that pushed me to view my relationship with Christ from a whole new angle. This was truly a remarkable book and one that I plan on revisiting time and time again.

If you are curious about it, read my review at Rebel Book Reviews. You won't be disappointed in this deeply insightful book.