Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Belles of Georgia

I love the Christmas season! Christmas light lined streets, crisp cool nights, the smell of pine filling the house and crayon circled toys in every store catalog; what's not to love about a holiday filled with the spirit of love and giving. One of the best parts for me has always been the songs, movies and books focused on the Christmas season. Below is an excerpt from a new collection of Christmas stories that beautifully combine faith with fiction.
First scene in Nick’s Christmas Carol, a novella by Rose Allen McCauley in Christmas Belles of Georgia

Nick Powers parked his battered four-wheel-drive truck by the curb in front of the law firm of Brockman and Davis. His mind had been racing faster than a greased pig at the county fair since he’d received Mr. Brockman’s registered letter—the letter whose contents had rocked his world.
            Exiting the truck, he pointed a finger at his collie perched atop some feed sacks in the truck bed. “Stay, Shep.”
            A thump of the dog’s tail told him the canine had heard and would obey. Pretty bad when a dog was one of the few you could trust these days.
            He entered the lawyer’s office and touched the brim of his hat in greeting. “Hey there, Beverly. I’ve got an appointment with Mr. Brockman at four o’clock.”
            The woman checked her computer then looked up over her glasses. “Sure thing, Nick. He’ll be with you soon.”
“Thanks.” Seating himself, he checked his watch. Ten minutes to four. The toe of his right boot kept time to the ticking of the clock on the wall.
            A flash of pink caught his eye through the glass-paned front door. Who could that be? Nobody around here would be caught dead in a pink vehicle.
            A few toe-taps later, a slender brunette breezed through the door, her pink skirt swishing with every high-heeled step she took. She wasn’t from around here, but something about her jogged his brain cells.
            Swooshing past him, she stood in front of the secretary’s desk. A manicured finger toyed with a pearl necklace. “I know I don’t have an appointment, but I have to see Mr. Brockman right away.”
            “I’m sorry, miss, but he has a four o’clock appointment, and it’s his last one for the day. Let me see if I can fit you in on Monday.” She flipped a page. “Sorry. Tuesday is the earliest he could see you since Monday is Labor Day.”
            The girl shook her head, swinging her sleek brown hair with golden streaks from side to side. “That won’t do at all. I have to be back in Atlanta for my classes on Tuesday.”
            Mr. Brockman stepped through his door. Nick began to rise.
            The lawyer frowned then glanced at the secretary. “Is there a problem, Ms. Dailey?”
            “No sir. I was just explaining to this lady that—”
            The stunning stranger rushed toward the lawyer. “I know I don’t have an appointment, but I have to see you. I’m Carol Peterson, and…” She waved a wrinkled envelope in her left hand. “I won’t be able to sleep a wink until I find out what this letter from you means.”    
The lawyer raised his eyebrows. “This is highly unexpected, Miss Peterson, but I will see you for five minutes before my next appointment.” He stepped back from the door, motioning her to enter ahead of him.
            With a short nod toward Nick, the lawyer followed then closed the door.
            Nick glanced at Beverly who shrugged her shoulders. He looked back at the door. Something about the woman, now so unsure of herself, reminded him of…
His breath whooshed out. It couldn’t be. Not the rich kid who made my life miserable that long ago summer. She always did play to get her way. Whatever it took.

To read more about Nick and Miss Peterson you can purchase Christmas Belles of Georgia on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles.  With a purchase this week you get a free copy  e-cookbook Novel Morsels, visit Rose's blog at for details.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Black Friday Fun Money Giveaway - $50 Amazon Gift Card

Who doesn't love the rush of excitement standing outside your favorite store at 4 AM in the morning? Well I for one do not! I would much rather sit in the comfort of my own home sipping on a hot cup of java and search the internet for great deals. So in honor of those of us who enjoy sleeping late on Black Friday, I'm giving away some fun money to spend on your favorite items. I already have a few things on my Amazon Wish List, how about you?? HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY AND HAPPY SHOPPING!

To enter all you have to do is follow the instructions below:

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's Filling Your Tank?

Special Guest Post by Kimberly J. James

Are you one of those people who drive your car until the meter stick is under the E? Have you tested the limits to see how far you can go with the gas light on before you break down? Do you put $10 in the tank, when you know it takes $50 to fill it? I was one of those people. Fortunately, I only ran out of gas 3 times in my life. Was it luck or something else?

The day I finally felt ashamed for someone to see me putting $4 in the gas tank; I realized that this bad habit was a metaphor for my life. I spent most of my life feeling like I was functioning on fumes. I was living with a “just enough” mentality, doing what was necessary to make it through the next day or the next crisis without breaking down. I had dreams, but I was getting nowhere fast and I didn’t know why?

When I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I decided that I deserved better, my family deserved better and I would pursue better, whatever that meant. In the seemingly reckless pursuit of what most would say was an impossible dream, I started on a journey that revealed much more about my past, my beliefs and my destiny, than I could have ever imagined.

This memoir draws you into the intimate details of how my mess collided with the love of God to catapult me into my purpose. My “truth”, which you will read has been painfully glorious, is why I KNOW that every time I should have been stranded on the side of the road, it was the Grace of God that was filling my tank.

So I’ll ask again… What is filling your tank? Or, shall I ask Who? 

Excerpt  from Running on G - What's Filling Your Tank  
Chapter 10 - The Voice

As we pulled into the hospital parking lot, Erica, Pam's daughter was just leaving. She rolled down her window and told us it was a good time to visit because the night shift crew needed a break. So we parked the car, followed her instructions to get up to the right floor and entered the waiting area in the ICU wing where other relatives had been resting.
Tracey explained what we needed to do:  clean our hands and put on a mask before entering her room. When I turned the corner, it was far worse than I had anticipated. She was hooked up to so many machines that you could barely approach the side of her bed. She sounded like Darth Vader with the ventilator and the tracheotomy tube protruding from the front of her neck, and that was without her even attempting to speak.
The best she could project was a faint whisper, which you could barely hear with the loud machines surrounding her, so most of the time she communicated by writing notes. The first thing I thought was, "Lord, you didn't tell me it was this bad. How could she fully recover from this?" To which His response was, "Don't be confused or affected by what you see in the physical, this is a spiritual issue, just stay on task."
So I did. Pam was happy to see both Nina and I and she was trying to move her lips to ask how our families were doing back at home. Just like Pam, still trying to take care of everyone else, so I shushed her and told her that I had something to say. I pulled a chair over to the side of her bed and sat as close to her as I possibly could. I told her to let me get this out before I messed it up, because I had travelled a long way to give her a message from God.
She nodded her head for me to proceed and mouthed the words, "Please Share." I held her hand as Nina moved close by her head to hold and support her through what she already knew was coming. I looked her in the eyes and told her:
"God told me to tell you that He knows that you have been suffering silently for many years. He said that you chose to bear the cross for all of the lost souls in this family and that He knows that your soul is tired and lonely. He said He knows that you have always been the one who has taken up the slack for everyone else when they fell short, because you just wanted everyone to be happy.
But He also said that your suffering has not been in vain, and that you have something that you have needed to say to all of us for a long time. The enemy has physically robbed you of your voice because like Moses' gift was his staff, your gift, your staff is your voice. He said that if you spoke your heart, the toxic spirit that is hovering over this family would be lifted and the chains of bondage would be broken. However, you have to choose to use your voice. He said that He knows the reason you haven't done it up to now is because you are afraid to hurt people's feelings, but you are the voice of authority in this family and if you choose to speak, they WILL LISTEN.
He said to tell you that you can choose to live and get up and walk out of this hospital, but you have to choose to use your voice, but it is up to you. The last thing that He said was that we would learn more from the miracle of your recovery than we would from your death."
Nina wiped the tears that were streaming down Pam's face, as she squeezed my hand with all the strength she had left, confirming that every word that I had just spoken was indeed a true and complete message from God. That was it, I said it!
Pam's machines started setting off alarms and the nursing staff rushed in to see what was going on. They tried to sedate her, but we asked them to leave her alone because it was not her health, it was the move of God stirring in her spirit. We asked the nurse for a little more time alone before she gave her any more medication.
Pam belted out a whisper asking Nina to sing to her.  She had a favorite gospel song called, 'Higher Ground' by Johnson Oatman, Jr. The lyrics are:

I'm pressing on the upward way, no heights I'm gaining, Lord every, everyday
Still praying as I onward bound,
Lord plant my feet on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost heights,
And catch a gleam of glory, of glory, of glory bright
Still praying as I onward bound,
Lord plant my feet on higher ground.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
My face on heaven's table land. 
No higher, place that I have found,
Plant my feet on higher ground.

So she sang, with a voice like an angel as the three of us held each other and cried together. This was what you call a "Holy Hook Up". I thought about how all of the pieces of the puzzle had fallen together brilliantly for this message of love to be conveyed to Pam in her time of crisis. God was definitely in that room on that day. There were no distractions, there were no other relatives around, there was no pride, and there was just LOVE.
I reflected on the great lengths God went through to deliver that message to her and I was honored that He chose me to be a part of it. Nina prayed the benediction over that situation and we were confident that we were about to be a witness to the greatest medical miracle in our human experience.


Purchase your copy of Running on G on Tuesday Nov 22 at and you will be entered for a chance to win $100 Gift Card. Visit Kimberly at for details.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Unshackled and Free

Are you free in Christ, or do you find yourself bound by your circumstances, sins, or even your past? If your answer was one of the latter, you need to know that you are not alone. So many Christians today don’t feel like they are truly free. We feel like there is no way to move forward because of where we are or where we’ve been, and that is exactly how Satan wants us to feel. The tighter we’re bound by his lies, the less of an impact we will have for Christ.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way, we can find lasting freedom in Christ, and that is why CJ and Shelley Hitz are hosting a free, 4-day online conference entitled: “Unshackled and Free”. They want you to know, and experience, the freedom that can only be found through Christ. Do you want to be refreshed, inspired, and challenged? Join them November 28th through December 1st, 2011 at 8PM EST each evening to hear from powerful speakers: Rae Lynn DeAngelis, Janet Perez Eckles, Renee Johnson Fisher, and Scott Mason as they talk about how they have found lasting freedom in Christ, and how you can too. They will be covering topics that are easily related to, including being set free from eating disorders, overcoming life circumstances, reflecting Christ in our relationships, and becoming a new creation in Christ.

If you have ever felt bound by something in your life, regardless of where you stand today, I encourage you to sign-up for this conference. You can have lasting freedom in Christ, and these speakers would love to help you get there. Each session will be broadcast live, as well as recorded for audio replay. This way you can attend from the comfort of your own home, and if the scheduled time does not work for you, you can simply listen at a time that is more convenient. Each call will be under an hour to make it easier to fit into your busy schedule of work, family and other activities. I do hope that you will join us for this life changing conference.

Get more information, including a complete schedule of events and speaker information by clicking on link: Unshackled and Free Conference 2011 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

From Empty to Loved and Redeemed

Naomi gave Ruth some pointers about how to present herself to Boaz for marriage. She told her he would be sifting barley that night on the threshing floor. The men stayed with their crops to protect them from thieves coming in and stealing them in the night. Naomi told Ruth to clean up, pretty up, and to go to the threshing floor. She told her to wait until Boaz finished eating. Once he lay down, she was to go and lie down at his feet. This was an act of submission. In those days, servants did that in case their masters needed something during the night.

Ruth did just as Naomi had told her. About midnight, when Boaz turned over, Ruth startled him by her presence. It was dark on the threshing floor, and Boaz couldn’t see, so he asked, “Who is there?”
-Excerpt from The Book of Ruth: A Story of Love and Redemption by Deborah H. Bateman

I have always loved the story of Ruth. I can relate to that feeling of isolation when life has stripped you of your identity. When situations and tragedy leave you feeling alone, but God is faithful to bring motherly figures that can lead and guide through a Titus 2 relationship. Despite the age difference, God used that type of relationship between this mother-in-law and daughter-in-law to help Ruth find her true identity.

Sometimes the journey takes you down to the threshing floor, a place where your past must be forcefully removed from your future. A place where the wind of God's Spirit blows upon you and sets you free from your iniquity. The threshing floor experience is a humbling experience. It's one where your soul must say "More of you, less of me." It is a place of emptying all you are to receive all He is.

He must increase, but I must decrease. - John 3:30

Ruth was able to complete this process. Despite the reproach of her past, she came empty. She laid her past, her present and her future before her kinsman redeemer. And there he asked her the question God asks all of us. Just like He did in the garden with Adam, God is asking "Where are you? Who is there?" Where are you mentally? Who do you say you are? Do you know your new name? Do you know your redeemed position in me?

If you have never done an in-depth study on the book of Ruth, I encourage you to do so this Christmas season. It is one that will open your eyes to who you are in Christ. My friend Deborah Bateman has written a reading guide that will help you in this journey to self-discovery. Allow her to be your guide through the threshing floor experience. You can visit her at: 

When you purchase The Book of Ruth: A Story of Love and Redemption on its book launch date on Tuesday November 15th you also receive special additional gifts! 

May God thresh out your past and blow away the chaff (the part of you that obscures your vision of your true identity in Christ), so you can see His banner of love and redemption over your life.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What Happened to My Joy

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to stop and access my spiritual condition. It's amazing how easy it is for life to sneak up on you and steal the very gifts God gives you. This past month I learned why 1 Peter 5:8 warns  "Be alert, be reflective, because your enemy Satan roars like a lion and is walking and seeking whom he may devour."

In a month filled with great opportunities to share the message God has burned into my heart, I found myself exhausted. Now as a doctor who still actively does hospital call, I'm used to spending hours awake and having to think quickly on little sleep. However this month I found myself on the verge of collapse from pure exhaustion. One night I was so drained I went to bed at 7:30pm and did not wake until 12 hours later. Honestly, I wouldn't have awaked then but my sons were yelling at me to get up and take them to school. What happened to my strength?

During this month I found myself laughing less and playing games with my sons less. Days were filled with PowerPoint presentations, writing magazine articles, recording radio interviews and other things I usually enjoy, however this month each one of them seemed more like a chore. My excitement of sharing God's truths was growing dimmer by the minute. What happened to my joy?

I found myself in a place in my past that I had once overcome, a place of striving and works. But in my comfort of being out of that place I failed to realize my enemy was still "seeking whom he may devour". In October he was trying to devour me. He was using the very blessings God had placed in my life to devour my strength, my joy, and my peace. Thankfully God's Spirit helps us to discern when we are off track and moving away from God's best.

So sitting in my hotel room alone in Milford Pennsylvania getting ready to speak to hundreds of women at the Iron Sharpens Iron Women's Retreat about living an abundant life in God, I was running on empty. I am convinced God set aside that time to fill me again. Verse by verse, He met me where I was. He did not criticize me for allowing myself to get so low, rather he held me with these words.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

I was a bruised reed, but instead of breaking me He lifted me up. Every scripture taking me deeper into fellowship with Him. Repeatedly His word reminded me of my true calling. Above my ministry of healing, above my writing ministry, even above my family; I am a seeker and my primary role is to seek Him. Seeking Him is not a chore, but an invitation. It's my invitation to roar back at the enemy, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26