Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Had to share. . .

Yesterday I received a 'hot off the press' copy of Tara's Gold from my editor. I didn't expect to be as excited as I was when I opened the package, but just because it's not my first book didn’t take away any of the thrill. My publisher did such a wonderful job on the cover and presentation. It simply looks beautiful. I even had to delve into the story last night and read over halfway through it.

I planned to share a photo, but it keeps coming out looking like a negetive, so I'll try later, but I did post my first newsletter today. Congradulations to Donna, Dawn, and Jeanie who each won copies of Tara's Gold. I'll be holding another drawing around August first for a free copy of Massachusetts Brides, so be sure and sign up here.

And if you missed the trailer, be sure and check it out here.

I'm hoping to journal our trip in the next few days through photos if we can manage the internet connection.

Blessings to each of you!


Monday, June 25, 2007

It's official!

Yes, school is out! We've just finished our second term of the year and are looking foward to a couple weeks of holiday where we don't have to crawl out of bed at six in the morning into a cold, dark room.

We'll be taking some time as a family to visit Cape Town for the first time, so if I'm able to access the internet during that time, I'll share photos as we go. According to most people I've talked to, you haven't seen South Africa unless you've seen Cape Town, so it's about time we visited.

This is a photo of Scott, Mariah, and Jayden enjoying an afternoon of riding bikes at a nearby school (with an incredible view!)



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tara's Gold

It's hard to believe that the year's halfway over. It's always strange for me to hear from friends in the states who are taking their kids to water parks and enjoying the warm weather. We're in the middle of a South African winter with warm sunny days and cold nights.

With July almost here, I'm happy to announce my upcoming release, Tara's Gold, from Heartsong Presents. You can call Barbour Publishing at 1-800-847-8270 or email me at to order your copy today! It will also be available through your local bookstores soon.

Here's my latest book trailer for Tara's Gold.



Monday, June 18, 2007

Eyes on the prize

Okay, I have to admit that I’m not a runner or an athlete by any stretch of the imagination. I’m not even the best at remembering to exercise, though I’m trying to be more consistent. Yesterday was the 82nd annual Comrades marathon held here in South Africa. The course is 56 miles and spans from Pietermaritzburg to Durban with almost 12,000 runners participating this year.

One of my good friends here inspired me this past year by training for the race. To prepare, she ran consistently, worked out, and participated in smaller races. Her example has helped motivate me to persevere with my own exercise regiment.

It’s also made me think about why we are here.

Paul says in I Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

May we all keep our eyes on Him.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Double Crit Editorial Services

My good friend and long-time crit partner, Ronie, has just opened an online editorial service with Sara Mills. If you're a writer looking for that something extra to help your manuscript catch an editor's eye, check them out!

Double Crit Editorial Services

~specializes in polishing fiction book proposals~


Double Crit is a unique freelance editing service that offers high-level critiques of fiction book proposals from two experienced editors. Whether a writer is preparing for a conference or getting ready to submit their manuscript to editors and agents, Double Crit can help.

Double Crit is here to help with book proposal formatting, query letters, synopses and story structure as well as the first thirty pages of the manuscript. They can assist with the opening hook, back-cover copy, active and passive voice, showing vs. telling, character development, spiritual threads, and point of view.

Double Crit sharpens proposals to double your edge in the publishing world.

Double Crit Editorial Services is the brain-child of Ronie Kendig and Sara Mills. Ronie and Sara were brought together as friends and critique partners because they are both represented by the same agent.

Through networking with other writers, Sara & Ronie saw a gaping need for high-level editing services for writers who want to attend writers conferences with proposals that are polished and ready to impress. Thus, Double Crit was born.

A great book proposal can open publishing house doors for a writer, and Double Crit can to help you to tighten your proposal to sharpen your edge in the publishing world.

Contact Double Crit

Friday, June 15, 2007

Facing the Giants

I don't watch a lot of movies, but when I heard about a church who'd produced their own movie for a mere $100,000, I wondered about the quality of the film.

I was wrong.

Last night I finished watching Facing the Giants and I was blown away. Maybe it's because the message hit home so clearly and deeply personally, but I was moved to tears throughout the entire movie. It reminded me how God can take willing hearts and use them to change the world, because nothing is impossible for God. And the behind the scenes footage is just as riviting as the actual film.

It's even reaching people right here in South Africa. I was amazed to find out how many people had already bought the movie because they were so moved by the story.

Nothing is impossible for God. The resounding theme is one I'm holding onto.

Here's the synopsis from their website:

From the award-winning producers of FLYWHEEL comes a new, action-packed, family-friendly drama about a high school football coach who draws up a new game plan for his team … and himself.

In his six years of coaching, Grant Taylor has never had a winning season. Even the hope of a new season is squelched when the best player on his Shiloh Eagles decides to transfer schools. After losing their first three games of the season, the coach discovers a group of fathers are plotting to have him fired. Combined with pressures at home, Coach Taylor has lost hope in his battle against fear and failure.

However, an unexpected challenge helps him find a purpose bigger than just victories. Daring to trust God to do the impossible, Coach Taylor and the Eagles discover how faith plays out on the field … and off.

With God, all things are possible …

If you haven't see the movie, you can order it here
or where you normally purchase your DVD's.



Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What's for dinner?

You might find this store a bit lacking compared to your local Walmart. It's pretty typical, though, of a lot of stores in rural Africa. I noticed a few other interesting things today as I drove the kids home from school. Security guards at the front gate, army personal in front of the hospital, and only a handful of uniformed students walking home from classes.

What does it all mean? A labor strike across the country including services like schools, hospitals, and even transportation. Thankfully, there were no marches today in our area that I heard of, nor any other serious problems nearby. There have been a number of difficulties in other areas though, so please pray that the problems will be resolved quickly.

So, back to what’s for dinner. I had to share a great dinner idea we had a couple weeks ago at a friends house. Pancakes. But I’m not talking your typical American pancake with syrup. No, because their pancakes are what we would call crepes. They would call our pancakes flapjacks.

Confused? I’ll make it simple. Whip yourself up a batch of crepes and lay out bowls of fillings including grated cheese, meats, sautéed vegetables and mushrooms,and your favorite sauces. . .the possibilities are endless. Add your own savory fillings as well.

Roll them up and you’re ready for dinner!



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Thank you!

I wanted to thank those of you who have been praying for last week's ministry trip into Mozambique. God showed us so clearly his faithfulness, love, and desire for all to come to know him. While nothing seemed to go as we had planned, God's power to bring good out of difficulties continues to amaze me.

I'm still waiting for Scott to get home so we can talk face to face about all that happened. The openness of the people, the over one hundred who showed up Friday night to watch the Jesus film in their language, the people who begged them to come share with their extended families, the bridges built at the hospital, the university, and within the government. I have no doubt that God will continue to bring good from this experience.

Please continue to pray for Bia and Gustavo as they follow up full time on the many lives who are being changed. Allen will be leaving in two weeks to spend some extended time there while Janelle is back in the states visiting her new grandbaby. Pray also for wisdom as we make decisions on how to best follow up in this work. The outcome far exceeded anything we ever imagined, but we firmly believe in the importance of solid discipleship for every new believer.

The group is currently enjoying a day of rest at Kruger Game park on their way to Joburg where they will fly out tomorrow. I've posted a short video of our last trip to Kruger that I thought you might enjoy.



PS. Remember to sign up for my yahoo newsletter for a chance to win a copy of Tara's Gold on July 1st! Three people will win a free copy! You can sign up in the top, right hand corner of my blog.

Friday, June 01, 2007

God's Sovereignty

Some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen have been here in Africa. The night sky can be just as compelling with the vast expanse of stars shining through a brilliant black night. To me, these are reminders that God is in control. That He created this world and it was good. That He wants to claim us as his creation. As as his children.

Paul said in Romans that God works for the good of those who have been called. And that’s exactly what we have seen this week. The clinic has been officially cancelled. They forgot to tell us yet another step in the process. A committee must meet and grant permission. They meet once a month. I’m sorry for all the work that was put into planning this clinic, but God had other things in mind.

Instead of focusing on the details of the clinic, the team has been focusing on people in the area. Ministering to them, praying with them, discipling them, and leading them to Christ. I asked Scott if the doctor who came from South Africa was disappointed because he was unable to practice. Scott said no. The week had been full of frustrations, yes, but the ministry side had been amazing and has left a lasting impression on each person involved.

God works for the good of those who have been called.

I want to close with an excerpt from an email report I received from one of the members of the team. Please continue to pray that God will work mightily among the Tonga of Mozambique.

Many of you know the Sugar Creek outreach to the Tonga of Mozambique has already realized the birthing of two house churches (seven have been baptized so far). Today (Sunday) our 13-person team separated into 4 groups and visited the two house churches and two other preaching points. In each setting our team members shared their testimony and presented an evangelistic message. A very simple Gospel message was preached to the “church under the Mango Tree”. We saw many potential leaders of the new house churches who are hungry and thirsty for knowledge of God’s love and a desire to share the Good News with others.

One woman walked to the “Mango Tree” church meeting, a distance that would be a two-hour car drive. She is a female witch doctor and asked to be prayed for to release a controlling demonic spirit. After they prayed the authority of Jesus over her life, she told them that she wants to bring her family for prayer, and remove all the icons of witchcraft from her home.

After the close of the day the team gathered together in the thatch roofed hut to share testimony of our experiences. The Holy Spirit was so evident in our passionate stories of God at work among the people. As Gustavo was sharing suddenly something fell from the ceiling and landed on the table. There in the middle of us, staring right at Gustavo was a poisonous Green Tree Snake. Most of us scrambled for cover, but Gustavo did not flinch. Soon the snake was dead from the broom and frying pan. What an unbelievable moment…The Spirit of God and the serpent…face to face…the serpent is crushed.

As I was running along the shores of the pristine beach of the Indian Ocean this morning, gazing at the spectacular sunrise of a new day…my heart was overwhelmed by the radiance of the Bright Morning Star – a new dawn is shining on the Tonga of Mozambique – new churches filled with the Spirit of God are emerging and this place will never be the same.