Welcome!

FOR THIS WEEK ONLY! THE OFFICIAL RELEASE OF THE DIVIDING STONE. IF YOU LIKED "WAR ROOM" AND ENJOY MYSTERY OR SPIRITUAL WARFARE, THEN YOU NEED TO READ THE DIVIDING STONE.
BUY A COPY FROM JANUARY 18TH TO THE 24TH AND BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING TO WIN A $25 GIFT CARD OF YOUR CHOICE.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Inspiration for The Divding Stone




As a young girl I always loved reading because it took me to a different place and time. Of course, I fell in love with the Nancy Drew series which developed into a penchant for mysteries. When I began to write The Dividing Stone, it started out as a mystery, but then I felt the Lord got a hold of my pen and led it another direction. It became my quest to understand the forces behind the breakup of a vital church.

The more I wrote, the more He revealed the Satanic forces at work to divide Christian marriages and churches. Years before, as a young Christian living in Vermont in an isolated area, God began to reveal to me about the spirit world and in  particular principalities that ruled over regions.  When I moved back to New York there were ministries that were being shown the same thing. As my circle of friends began to grow, I met more people that lent credence to what God was showing me. Then my historical research  led to me uncovering  the presence of "secret societies" in the formation of our nation and a rift in our community.
I wove everything into a complex tale of  mystery and intrigue, but had difficulty finishing it.  For years, I struggled with getting the book polished and ready for publication, until God lit a fire under me and a publisher was interested. I believe the timing is perfect with the increasing persecution of Christians around the world and the rising dark forces in America.
 I was very excited when "War Room" came out because it dealt with a similar theme: attacking the root reason for many of our relational problems that cause division in the church and marriages, while waging warfare not with guns but in prayer. Though The Dividing Stone is a  fictionalized account it unmasks these root causes and what we can do to overcome them! 

The book follows the tale of a young artist, Margo Pierson, a young artist with a penchant for truth, sets off to find the identity of a missing ancestor. Unknown to her, she ends up discovering something far more significant—a key stone to a dark secret. Though she doesn’t realize the importance of the hidden message inscribed on it, the heavenly forces do. Stirred by her finding, a host of angelic beings resume an age-old struggle to reveal the truth about the town of New Coven, formerly New Covenant. Margo too is determined to uncover the facts surrounding her secreted relative. However, she never thought it would lead her down such an unexpected path. As mysterious events unfold and visions mark her dreams, Margo and her husband Chris are thrust into a battle to expose a secret society’s plans. With God’s help, they are led every step of the way. 

Come join Margo and her companions for the roller coaster ride of your life!

For anyone purchasing a copy of The Dividing Stone between January 18th to the 24th, your name will be entered in a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate. Leave a review and you'll be entered into a contest to win a signed FREE copy of The Dividing Stone!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A New Year Brings Good News

Here are the first three days of my work in progress, which is a daily devotional.

1.The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind” (Luke 4:18).
           
A new year is upon you. Light has dawned and a warm wind of the Spirit is blowing. It is a gentle breeze, so you must stop to feel it. It is a year of reprieve and favor from the Lord. It is the Word My Son proclaimed, “The acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:2). Enter into His favor and do the works My Son did. Not by might or by your own power, but by My Spirit you will be able to perform them. Let the Spirit breath upon you and quicken your mortal body and give you vision. Let Him set you free from the things that have tripped you up all your life, roadblocks like worry, fear, bitterness, indecision and lack of revelation. “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint” (Prov. 29:18), but this doesn’t need to be your story. I am sending you My Holy Spirit.  He will give you insight, wisdom and the strength to do My will.

2. "And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

            When I spoke to Moses, I called Myself “I AM."  Why? Because I am all; I am everything. I am existence. Think of what that means. I always was and will always be. I am all things good and wise. I am the essence of goodness. I am Alpha and Omega, Almighty God, King of Kings, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Think on this. I can not only give you peace, I can be your peace.
 I can be all things to you. "I AM everything you need.” I am your rock of protection in dangerous times, your provider in time of need, your healer when you hurt, your strong tower when you are troubled, your delight, your living water, your bread of life. And that is not all. I can be your love, your hope, your salvation, your everlasting joy. Stop and take notice. See what is happening around you; the burning bush is not consumed. Listen. I call you to discover who "I am."

3.  “Therefore humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

            Turn off the television, the radio, the noise and clamor of this world. Quiet your spirit. Focus on Me, your eternal Father. Put away those things that distract you from your purpose. Get down on your knees. Humble yourself before doing anything else. Be ready to listen. I cannot speak truth into a proud heart. It clouds the message. There is a dying world out there that needs to know the truth. You, My children, need to bring it to them in love. This is the challenge. All of you who are called by My name are to speak My truth, not your own. Listen and hear what I have to say. Be careful not to be puffed up because I have spoken to you. Recognize I do this for the good of others and not just yourself.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Auhtor Interview with Cheryl Colwell:Courageous Jack

Q: Why did you decide to do a children's book after writing suspense novels? 
A: I think writers are writers. Out of necessity to solidify our brand, we tend to focus on a specific genre. Yet, we write blogs, I write out my devotional thoughts to God, and I have adorable grandchildren I have begun to write for. Jack is my oldest grandson and I told him I would write a story for him. Thus, we have "Courageous Jack." Next is my granddaughter, who is the inspiration for "Unstoppable Penelope Jane." They are taking on the flavor of good character traits, so I decided to brand the series, The Noble Character-Building Series. It just happened organically.


Q: What inspired you to write? 
A: I've always had the gift of creativity, but focused on art. In 2007, I thought of a story idea and wrote 117,000 words in four months. It was the most thrilling thing I had done, but then I needed to learn the craft of writing, which is an ongoing study. 

Q: Favorite Bible verse?
A: I consider 1 Thessalonians 4:11 my life scripture, "...aspire to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands...." At the time, my life was a race, but with our four children grown, I have settled into the heart of it. And it's a perfect scripture for a writer. 

Q: Favorite author? 
A: I really enjoy Kristen Heitzmann. Her characters are varied and interesting. Her plots take place in interesting places and she has just the right amount of romance in her romantic suspense novels. When asked for comparisons for my work, I usually choose her writing, although my characters are generally older and thus, cannot follow the rules of romantic suspense. 

Author bio:
Staying true to my tagline, "Stunning Suspense," my characters visit stunning locations while they pursue adventurous quests peppered with mystery, suspense, and romance.
Passionate about all things creative, I find inspiration living in the country - the perfect venue for my interests in writing, gardening, and art. My husband, best friend, and chiropractor, keeps me in shape for gardening, and for writing long into the night. A smart and playful English Shepherd makes our empty nest a happy place. 

Illustrator bio:
“I share my illustration desk with two sweet kittens, now grown into two obnoxious cats, who swat at my pens and brushes as if to say, ‘Draw me.’"


Description for Courageous Jack:

Explore dangerous new worlds and animal habitats with Jack as his imagination takes him on a quest to scary places, each new adventure building his courage. This beautifully illustrated rhyming children’s picture book is a fun storytime read-aloud, perfect for parents and grandparents to teach the value and rewards of courage. Adults as well as children 2 – 8 will delight in the story from the Noble Character-Building Series by the mother and daughter team of Cheryl Colwell and Brittany Harris.


Links:
Kids Website: bit.ly/NobleKids
Author site: cherylcolwell.com
Google +:  bit.ly/CherylAuthor

Sunday, November 29, 2015

When God Speaks His Promises: Answers to Prayer



Here is an excerpt from day 15 of When God Speaks, being featured on Lisa Lickel's blog                                  
                                                                                                         
                                                    God  Promises:

ANSWERS TO PRAYER
  
Today’s verse is one that most people, who have walked through a church door know, but don’t necessarily understand.

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find: knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew7:7
Some people think of God as the divine Santa Claus granting their wishes. They come to Him with a long list of their wants—a nice car, a big house, a new job, a better salary and so on. Others don’t believe God is interested in their lives and they shouldn’t bother to ask Him for anything except when they’re in trouble or when someone dies. Both extremes miss the idea of what prayer is about. God wants us to pray in this manner
Ask—according to His will, not ours. “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”(1 John 5:14). But how can we, in our limited understanding know the will of God? As we spend time with Him in prayer and read His word, we will come to know the heart of God and His will. How do we ask? Jesus tells us, “Ask in my name” John 16:23. What do we ask for? We can ask for God’s protection, His provision, guidance, strength and wisdom. But asking is only the first step. Next we are directed to:
 Seek—to discover. Be actively involved in searching the topic of prayer. In the New Testament, Jesus gave us guidelines when He prayed the “Our Father.” Each phrase represents a certain topic. The prayer begins with praise to the Father, then moves to petition for our daily needs, to confession of sins, to forgiveness of others, and affirmation of God’s position on the throne. If we use this as our guideline when we pray, we will receive a fuller understanding of the role of prayer as communication. We also need to search the scriptures for the many verses about prayer and use them during our quiet time with God. Another way to gain insights is to read books about prayer that broaden your understanding. However, seeking is not enough, we also need to:
Knock—on God’s door. When a person goes to a friend’s home, they first need the right address. When they get there, they knock (beginning of change) on the door, believing their friend will answer if she is home. The same goes for prayer. Knocking gets God’s attention. When He hears it, He draws near to heaven’s gate. Now, we need to knock in such a way that God will answer. Have faith. He is always home, so keep on knocking. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Sometimes God asks us to persist in prayer and not give up. I’ve prayed for many years about my marriage and my career, and it has paid off.
The first year my husband and I moved to Vermont, I had a good job teaching art. Then I got pregnant and gave up my position to stay home with my precious son. For years I wanted to get back into teaching art, but we moved to an area where there were many artists looking for jobs. I decided to work in a Christian school as a resource room teacher and taught art on the side. I then worked at a college and several public schools, but I continued to pray for a job teaching art. One day I got a call from a director asking me to interview for an art teacher position with special needs children. I went and was hired. God opened the door after many years of my knocking.
But in order to know the right door to knock on, we need to listen to God. Prayer is communication between God and man, so we need to be willing to listen. God speaks to us in His still small voice, through His Word and in the circumstances of our lives. It’s important to listen after we pray and read the Word. Then we will be able to hear God’s answer.
Answer—God always answers our prayers, but we don’t always recognize it. Sometimes He says, “yes,” other times “no,” and more often “wait, it’s not time yet” as in the example above. Now and then His answers come wrapped in a different package than we expected. For years I thought God wanted my husband and I to have a ministry helping people with troubled marriages. While living in Vermont, we thought we would start a retreat center, but that never happened. Instead, we learned a lot about overcoming problems in our own marriage through experience! I hadn’t bargained on that. Now I am able to minister to women in difficult marriages in a different way than I originally thought. God is creative in the way He answers our prayers.
Whether you’ve had a thousand prayers answered or not, I encourage you to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Timothy 5:17). Keep your heart and mind lifted heavenward in all you do. Your answer is awaiting you on the other side of the door or just beyond the gate. Just remember, it might look a little more unusual than you originally thought.

Prayer



Dear Father,
Praise Your name, O Lord. You are indeed Almighty and on the throne in all situations. Teach me how to pray according to Your will. Let me have Your mind in my prayer life, and not just a list of what I want. At the same time, help me not to shy away from approaching You with my needs. Keep me in touch with your heart and listen to the cry of my heart. Thank You for hearing me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

  Application


Keeping a prayer journal is a great idea to encourage your prayer time. On each day, write down one thing to pray about. For example, Monday pray for family needs, marriage, children etc. Track whether you have received an answer—remember there are three choices: yes, no or wait. Add prayers to your list, as you feel appropriate.


Night Time Reflection



He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel, shall neither slumber or sleep.  Psalm    121: 3-4
Do you sometimes feel like your prayers are bouncing off heaven’s gates, posted with a “Do Not Disturb” sign? If so, be reassured that God is watchful of everything, but like a parent He doesn’t always interfere. There are lessons we need to learn without God directly intervening. However, He is watching. Like a Father, He cheers for us on the sidelines.



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Author Spotlight: Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light

      Let me introduce you to the author of Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light: Tracey Casciano is a passionate speaker and writer who is ready to shine a light for Jesus. She shines that light through encouraging words as a blogger, speaker, and writer to help others who may be suffering or doubting themselves on their current path in life.  After a childhood with an alcoholic mother and abusive father, her love for the Lord helped rise above her past. She describes this in her book, Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light: A Story of Faith and Forgiveness After Child Abuse." She is happily married and in the midst of raising four wonderful sons. Tracey has a background in Special Education, has been a missionary in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Join her on her blog http://ephesians2v8.wordpress.com.

Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light  is  Tracey's powerful testimony and journey of faith. In this book,  she chronicles how her search for God and eventual relationship with Jesus helped her survive a life of emotional and physical abuse from her  parents. She wrote the book after feeling God leading her  to share her story to help others who have struggled with similar issues, particularly with forgiveness. Her book is available on her website www.traceycasciano.com and also on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.  


Free Preview
One Sunday morning in the spring of 2013, I sat in church listening to a friend lead the band in worship.  So while I am far from a good singer, I did my best to join in. Next to me, my husband sat smiling and singing, and as I scanned the auditorium, I recognized many faces. I felt welcomed and happy to be there as part of this congregation that had become my church family.
When the worship music ended, I sat down and looked at the program laid out for this mornings service. Before the pastors message even started, Id taken note of the title and could feel my heartbeat quicken. FORGIVENESS,it read in large capital letters.
As the pastor began speaking, I felt as though a spotlight was on me. Nothing else was in focus. The pastor was talking directly to me. He read out a Scripture passage: If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you (Matthew 6:14 NLT).
I started sweating and felt as though I couldnt breathe. I broke away my gaze from the pastor and looked around to see if anyone was looking at me. Giving my husband a weak smile, I thought to myself, How could I possibly forgive my parents for all the pain they caused me as a young girl? They dont deserve it.
As the pastors message continued, I began to fidget and move around in my seat. After years of carrying my burden and hurt from a life with an alcoholic mother and abusive father, I didnt want to forgive them. I felt that would be letting them off too easily. By the time the service ended, my stomach was in knots. As my husband and I left the church with our four sons and walked to our car, my husband noticed my silence.
Are you okay?he asked me quietly.
I waited until we had arrived back home and had some privacy before I told him, I think the pastor was speaking directly to me. I am supposed to forgive my parents. But how? Why?