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Friday, September 27, 2013

A Taste of Friday with Cheryl Rogers and Lost in the Woods

Swayed by her love of Nancy Drew Mysteries, Cheryl Rogers decided as a child to become a writer. Her Bible Camp Mystery series encourages youths to seek God early.

Cheryl Rogers
October 14, 2012

The boys were talking loudly as they waited for their leader, Chet Harrigan, to make his big announcement.

Without revealing details, Chet had been dropping hints for a couple weeks that they didn’t want to miss tonight’s church meeting. There was lots of excitement in the air when Chet appeared before them as they sat on folded chairs in their church hangout, The Boy’s Den. The chatter stopped quickly as the boys turned their bright eyes, filled with exuberance, on Chet. The room became silent, as they waited expectantly.
Obviously enjoying their reaction, Chet began, “Have I got your attention? Then he laughed.
“Well this is it, guys. The moment you’ve been waiting for. …  It’s been in the works for about three months now, but I’m planning our first ever Bible camp.”
Chet, a 29-year-old former gang leader, led the Boy’s Den at Living Water Community Church. It was a great group of youths from varying backgrounds, who met regularly for encouragement in their faith. Until now, most of their activities were either at the church or in town.
But Chet was planning to change all that with this outdoor adventure. And so this was, for this small group, a pretty big deal.
“We’re going to go deep in the woods far away from everything, pitch our tents and spend some time hiking and canoeing,” he told the boys. “If you’d like to go, sign up before you leave today and we’ll give you all the information.”
Excited, the boys resumed talking. Thirteen-year-old Zack immediately turned to his friend Jeff, who had been attending church with him and participating in the Boy’s Den for as long as he could remember. “Wanna go?” he asked excitedly. “I’ve been wanting to go camping for a long time and nobody has taken me.”
“Sure,” Jeff replied. “Sounds like fun. I went canoeing once and I liked it. You get to swim and eat. It’s real quiet and peaceful. That’s unless you see some alligators.”
“Alligators?” questioned Zack, almost whispering.
“Sure, the gators like to sun themselves on the fallen trees alongside the river,” he said. “They don’t bother anybody. We’re just not supposed to feed them.”
“What’s this about gators?” asked Danny, another long-time pal.
“Aw, nothing Danny,” replied Jeff. “I’m just telling Zack here a little bit about being in the woods and canoeing. There are going to be gators. They won’t bother us if we don’t bother them.”
“That’s right,” Chet reassured them. “We’ll tell you all about staying away from the gators before we head out. If one of them comes near you, I’ll let them have it!”
Chet was six foot three inches and relied upon his tall frame to keep the sometimes rowdy crowd in line. To him, a gator was just another untamed creature, except this one stretched itself out horizontally instead of vertically. And Chet knew a lot about untamed creatures, having been one many years ago.
“You tell him,” piped in Bill, son of Youth Pastor Chuck Holden. “No gator is going to mess with us.”

“Yeah, Bill is going to help me lead this expedition, guys, so he knows what he’s talking about,” Chet grinned. “How many times did you say you’ve been out in the wild?”
“A couple of times,” Bill said hesitantly. “I’m just going to do the cooking, though. Gary, he’s the assistant leader. By the way, I’m accepting assistant chefs, if any of you want to volunteer.”
“Hey man, if you want I can ask my Uncle Carlos if he can join us. He knows how to cook a pig in the ground,” Peter said. “We can probably catch a pig in the woods, y’ know.”
“Yeah, I was thinking we might see some feral pigs,” Chet said pensively.
“Yeah, yeah, that’s what I mean,” Peter said, “Feral pigs.”
“Now just what is a feral pig? I hope you don’t expect me to cook a feral pig when I don’t even know what it is,” Bill protested.
“Let’s not plan on a pig roast just yet,” Chet said. “Thanks for suggesting it, Peter. Unfortunately, we just might have to put off the pig for another trip.”
“You’re not kiddin’ when you say tasty. My Uncle Carlos can cook the pigs real good,” Peter continued. “Well,” he shrugged, “it’s your loss.”
“Hey Zack, maybe you and Danny want to help me with the cooking?” Bill asked pleadingly.
“I’ll think about it,” said Zack, mumbling. “I think I’d rather just eat.” He laughed a bit nervously.
“I heard that,” announced Gary. “We also have latrine duty, if you’d like to sign up for that.” He gave Zack a broad smile.
“Oh, no,” mumbled Zack. “Cooking sounds pretty good, actually.”
“What’s a latrine?” he asked Jeff in a hushed voice.
“I dunno,” Jeff shrugged.
“We’ll get the chores assigned later,” Chet said, herding them towards the door. “It’s getting late tonight. Just be sure to sign up before you leave. We can only take about ten this first time.”
“Hey, can I bring along my 3DS and some games?” Chang asked, pulling his from his pocket as he waited in the signup line.
“Wow, what a great idea!” exclaimed Zack, who stood behind him. “Be sure to bring your Mario Kart 7 game.”
Chet overheard the boys and interrupted. “As much as I know you love video games, we’re not planning to allow them,” Chet announced abruptly. “One of the reasons we’re going to the woods is to get away from all the distractions in our lives! We want to focus on God and his creation.”
“We want you to have time to build friendships, too,” added Gary with an encouraging smile.
Chang was new and his Mario Kart 7 game might be a great icebreaker, but it could interfere with serious sharing and fellowship on a trip like this.
“Maybe you could come over to my house, Zack, you and a few of the guys?” Chang asked cautiously.
“Sure, sure. Maybe we can hang out and play video games sometime. Why don’t you talk to your mom?” Zack replied.
After the last boy had signed up, Chet and Gary were alone in the room. “It’ll be two whole days and nights of that,” Chet said, a tiredness creeping over him after the long evening. “Are you sure you are up to it? I know I can’t expect to do this single-handedly.”
“I KNOW you are not going to want to carry those pup tents by yourself,” Gary said smiling. “It’ll be fun. It’ll be a chance to get away from it all for a couple days in the woods.”
“Away from it all,” retorted Chet. “I wouldn’t go that far. I think we’re taking it all with us.”
They smiled at each other. “But I’m looking forward to it,” Chet added.
“Me too,” said Gary, “I didn’t figure on those gators, though. Did you?”
“No, neither did I. Didn’t think twice about ’em,” said Chet, turning serious all of a sudden. “I’m wondering if the parents are going to go for this. Gators like kids,” he said.
“You didn’t think about them because you can fight ’em off with your bare hands,” Gary grinned.
“I used to rely on my own strength, but you know I don’t do that anymore,” Chet said somberly. “I’m going to have to trust God to keep ’em safe. It’s his deal. He’s the reason for the camp. But I’m still going to have to convince everyone I can handle this.”
He stopped, looking Gary directly in the eyes.  “Do you think I … we can?”
Gary looked at his feet, momentarily uncomfortable at the thought. “We-ell, I wouldn’t trust myself with any of this, either. I’m not much of a camper after all. But ... we’re doing this for God, like you said. He’ll take care of us, right?”
“Of course,” Chet replied matter-of-factly as they walked toward the door leading outside. “Of course, God’s got it. Let’s go home.”
Chet turned off the lights in the Boy’s Den and locked the building. He smiled at Gary, as they walked toward their cars. Deep inside, Chet knew he’d need to do some serious praying to be sure, absolutely sure, this was God’s idea, and not his own...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Win a Copy of Food for Thought: Quick and Easy Recipes for Homescooling Families on Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Food for Thought by Lorilyn Roberts

Food for Thought

by Lorilyn Roberts

Giveaway ends October 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Taste of Friday with Tracy Krauss and Wind Over Marshdale

Tracy Krauss is an author, artist, playwright and teacher with several published novels and plays. She holds a B.Ed degree from the U of S and now resides in British Columbia.
by Tracy Krauss
Astraea Press (2012)
Chapter One
A whispered breath skimmed across the long prairie grass like a giant, invisible hand stroking the fur of a silken feline. The screech of an eagle echoed through the valley as it dipped and glided above the river. The rounded slopes of the bank rose above the swiftly flowing water while small clumps of trees clustered nearby, but for the most part, the land stretched uninterrupted toward the horizon.
In the distance, a faint rumbling could be heard. It began to shake the earth as it drew nearer. A cloud of dust accompanied the approaching barrage. Hooves pounded. Nostrils dilated. Eyes reddened with fear. The musky stench of sweat mixed with the heat and dust.
The huge beasts moved en masse toward the precipice. Thousands of shaggy heads bobbed in unison as the herd of bison stampeded forward. As if in slow motion, they continued on, up and over the sharp bank of the river into the ravine below. One by one, they hurtled forward, oblivious to the fate that awaited them, as they toppled headlong to their deaths.
Thomas shot up in bed, panting. The T-shirt he wore clung to his body with sweat. It was not the first time the dream had come to wake him.
He took a deep breath, disentangled himself from the sheets, and rose to get a drink of water. No point going back to bed now. He wouldn’t sleep anyway. He padded down the narrow hallway, passing the half closed doorways that sheltered his sleeping children. Ducking to avoid hitting his head as he entered the tiny kitchen, he paused for a moment to look at the expanse of landscape beyond the window. Mostly flat, with a rise of gently rolling hills in the distance, it was clothed with a carpet of rippling grass except for the odd patch of dry fallow. Just like in the dream.
The early morning sunrise was just beginning to filter in, reaching to shed some light in the shadowed corners of the room. Thomas had managed to rent a house near the outskirts of town. Correction. It wasn’t exactly a house. The realtor called it a ‘double wide’. Okay, it was a trailer, but it was the only property for rent in Marshdale at the moment. At least, that’s what the realtor had said. It wasn’t the nicest place – rather dingy if truth be told – and it was farther from school than Thomas would have liked, but it was still within walking distance. Better than the overcrowded and dilapidated homes he’d been used to as a child.
But that was another time. Another life.
He was here now, for better or for worse, and the people of Marshdale would just have to accept it. He was Thomas Lone Wolf, proud of his Cree ancestry, and determined to do something about it. As a community liaison, he’d worked with dozens of indigenous groups all over the western provinces trying to set up business propositions. This time was different, though. It was personal.
With practiced fingers he undid his nighttime braid and shook out his hair, which fell well past his shoulders. Even at forty, there was no sign of graying or hair loss. It was straight, coarse and black, just like his ancestors’ - the perfect picture of a Cree warrior.
Now that he was awake he allowed himself to replay the dream in his mind – at least the parts that he could remember. Like most dreams, the initial clarity soon faded after just a few waking moments. There were buffalo – always buffalo. And they seemed bent on suicide, careening to their deaths before he could stop them somehow.
He was going to start writing it down. The theme was too familiar; the mixture of fear and power too real. Some people said you dreamt in black and white. Thomas wasn’t sure about that. He also knew there was blood in his dream – and lots of it. The redness of it stood out in stark contrast to the muted prairie landscape. And the stench. That unmistakable metallic scent filled his nostrils to such a degree that he could almost swear he still smelled it. Almost. But that was ridiculous and he pushed the memory of the coagulating stains out of his mind.
With a sigh he turned back to the cupboards and started readying the coffee. It would soon be time to wake the children and get ready for work himself. Another grueling day of lobbying something that should be rightfully his to begin with. Reality didn’t stop for dreams.
Rachel Bosworth pulled her car over to the side of the road; gravel crunching under her tires, and came to a rolling stop. She put the car in park, pulled the emergency brake into place with a jerk, and stepped out of the confined yellow compact. She inhaled a deep lungful of the late summer air, surveying the picture of pastoral serenity below. 
Marshdale. This was to be her new home. Surrounded by a patchwork of gold and brown earth, it was an oasis of clustered houses and well established trees cocooned in a desert of wide open prairie landscape. Stretched out to the horizon, the summer sky met with rounded hills.
“Not very big,” Rachel’s friend Sherri noted, joining her on the outside of the vehicle. “You sure you’re going to manage way out here all by yourself?”
“I think it’s perfect,” Rachel said with a satisfied smile. “Just the change I needed.”
“Just the escape, you mean,” Sherri teased.
“Maybe.” Rachel turned to her friend. “Come on, Sherri. I’m feeling scared enough as it is. This is a big move for me. Besides, you’re the one who convinced me to move out west in the first place.”
“Yeah, I know. But I meant for you to move to Regina with Dan and me, not out to some backwoods hole in the wall. They probably don’t even have cell service for Pete’s sake!”
“It can’t be as bad as that. The hiring committee said Marshdale was a totally modern town with all the basic amenities.”
“Yeah? Let’s hope so.” Sherri shaded her eyes with her hand as she surveyed the town below them.
“Come on, Sherri. You’re my best friend.  I need you to be excited for me. Tell me I made a good decision and that I won’t regret it,” Rachel begged.
“You’re right, kiddo,” Sherri agreed, putting on her most encouraging smile. “It will be nice to see you more often, even if it is a two hour drive.”
Rachel nodded. “What’s a two hour drive compared to thousands of miles all the way back to Toronto?”
“Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet some cute farmer and end up getting married or something,” Sherri shrugged.
“Not interested in men right now, remember? I am here to become the best Kindergarten teacher Marshdale has ever seen.”
“Sorry. That was insensitive of me. I know you’re still hurting over Rotten Ronny.”
“Who?” Rachel grinned, raising a brow.
“That’s the spirit!” Sherri laughed. “Who needs men, anyway?”
“Better not let Dan hear you talking like that,” Rachel warned with a chuckle of her own. “Come on. Let’s get going. I can hardly wait to get my stuff unpacked.”
“I can’t believe you brought so little stuff with you,” Sherri observed, climbing into the passenger seat.
“I wanted to start fresh,” Rachel shrugged, putting the small standard vehicle in gear and rolling forward. “Besides, moving a whole lot of furniture and stuff seemed pointless. I’ve rented this really nice little basement suite. It’s fully furnished. And that’s what you’re here for, remember? I need your expert advice on what stuff I need to buy in the city before school starts next week.”
“Now, shopping is one thing I’m very good at.”
“I know.” Rachel nodded with a grin. “It’s why I brought you along.
“Thanks. I thought it was for the company.”
“Of course. That too.” Rachel laughed again. She sobered quickly and glanced over at her friend. “Thanks, Sherri. For everything.”
“What are you talking about?” Sherri waved a dismissive hand. “I’d be some friend if I didn’t come to your rescue when called.”
“I mean about Ronald. I don’t know how I would have coped without you there.”
“I know, kid.” Sherri gave her friend’s hand a squeeze. “That’s what friends are for. Besides, I’ll expect pay back some day, you know.”
They were nearing the outskirts of the village. A large carved sign by the side of the road said, “Welcome to Marshdale.”    
“I bet people live more freely here,” Rachel stated. “It’s what I’m hoping for. The simple life.”
“People have problems where ever they go,” Sherri noted. “It may look all peaceful right now, but I bet they have their share of troubles, just like everybody else.”
“Yeah, like what? No cell service?” Rachel asked, the corner of her mouth turning up.
“Now that would be tragic.”
“I know my life isn’t suddenly going to become a bed of roses,” Rachel admitted, “But it just seems to me that country living – the slower pace – has to do something to calm people. Make them less artificial and – you know – less selfish.”
“We can only hope,” Sherri shrugged. “Now come on, girlfriend. Let’s find that basement suite of yours. If we’re going to unpack, make a list and get back to the city before dark, we better get a move on.”
“Roger that.” Rachel glanced at the hand sketched map that was on the dash beside her. She made a left hand turn at the first intersection.
The interior of the church was cool, quiet and dim. Just the way Pastor Todd Bryant liked it.  He sat on one of the upholstered chairs in the sanctuary, allowing the viscosity of stillness to envelop him like a silky smooth liquid.
Sometimes he wished he could stay in here forever, without having to go out there. The recently refurbished sanctuary was a peaceful place compared to the world just outside its double oak doors. When he had come here just a year ago, he knew the Marshdale Community Church would be a place of refuge; a place to rest and strengthen his own weary spirit. A place to hide.
Modern and well kept, the Community Church had the appearance of comfortable affluence – a testament to God’s favor. The folks who attended were proud of their commitment to the Lord’s work in Marshdale and God had blessed them with material prosperity. They required little actual input from the pastor. Just keep the ship running smoothly, as instructed by the board, and everything should be just fine.
Perfect. His less than amiable departure from his last church had left him feeling just a bit shell shocked.  He needed a place to hide out for a while. As long as he followed the program. . .
Another soul sat alone waiting. The room was dark, the slatted shades drawn over the open window. The only light came from three candles burning in their resting place on the pentagram table top. The air was rich with the heady scent of incense smoldering in the small, intricately designed brass burner. The woman breathed deeply. Empty the mind.  Allow the inner self to emerge . . .
A sudden breeze whipped into the room, announcing its entrance with a slap of the wooden slats on the window frame. It caressed the chimes hanging nearby before darting to tease the three flames into a flickering dance.
She smiled. Yes. There was so much to share; to enrich the lives in this town. There were many paths to enlightenment, but ultimately they all ended one way. It was up to her to release this narrow minded and stiff necked people to accept that.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Memoir or a Novel - How Does One Decide Which Way to Craft a Story Based on Real-Life Events

by Lorilyn Roberts



Recently on a Linked-In discussion group, someone made this comment:  I’m strongly biased toward fiction unless you are trading on celebrity or some highly publicized event. Memoirs put out as imparting the wisdom of the elders or holding up your past mistakes as object lessons turn me off. The fact you were a moron yesterday doesn’t make you a genius today. Journals and memoirs may be great for family but most are less attractive to a general audience and often convey the message of pleading to be loved or admired. Make it fiction and you can be more candid and the reader can decide whether your experience was informative, moving or amusing based on its own merits.” 

I strongly disagree with his statement and share the following thoughts:

Memoirs are some of the most powerful pieces written today, but people are shortsighted. They don’t always see the value of first-hand accounts in the present. Without memoirs, we have history written by partial observers who bring their own worldview into play—maybe at the expense of writing with accuracy the way the events actually happened. Second-hand accounts are never as factual as first-hand stories and never as valuable for historical purposes.

Many people love reading memoirs and will look for them in libraries and bookstores. Life experiences written by people reveal more about society than any history book or journalist covering a story. I am thankful for all the memoirs written today by all sorts of people to give us a peek into the present and the past.

For example, the world never would have known of Anne Frank if she had not written her diary. She was an unknown 13-year-old kid before her father published her diary.

If you have a compelling story to tell, tell it with passion, revealing your innermost struggles and thoughts. Being “real” with the reader will make your story come alive. In my memoir
Children of Dreams about the international adoption of my daughters, I was open and vulnerable. That was the right way to tell that story. I could never have fictionalized it.

I just wrote another book and this one is fiction,
Seventh Dimension - The Door. In contrast to Children of Dreams, I took certain events from my own life and turned them into fantasy. I had a story to tell and the only way to tell it was as allegory and to fictionalize it. The point being, do what the story calls for and write it. Don’t let naysayers talk you out of writing your story the way you feel it needs to be told. At the end of the day, you have to live with the result and be happy with the story and the way you wrote it.

These are some thoughts I would consider:  Who is your target audience? What is your purpose in writing your story? Can anyone be hurt or impacted negatively if you write your book as a memoir? If you write your story as a memoir in hopes of making money, you need to write your book as “creative nonfiction,” using fictional techniques.

For example, you need a beginning, a middle, and an end. You need to think in terms of “scenes” and “plot” and “problems” that need to be solved. The reader needs a takeaway—what can he learn from your memoir that would be meaningful or cathartic? No one wants to read someone’s boring biography.

If you decide to write your book as fiction, you will have more options and won’t run the risk of being sued or worried about divulging something you might regret later.
However, you need the skills to write fiction. Writing fiction is harder than writing a memoir because you have to create “story” out of fiction and make the plot enticing to read. In a future piece, I will suggest some books for writing fiction that I used in my Masters in Creative Writing that I found helpful.

I have written an award-winning piece on writing memoir that is posted on my website. Here is the link for anyone interested. Some might find it helpful.

The most important thing as a writer is to keep writing and to keep learning—whether your write fiction, nonfiction, or memoir, and enjoy the journey.



Friday, September 13, 2013

A Taste of Friday withe Pamela Carmichael and Financial Empowerment

Pamela is involved with the John 3:16 Marketing Network September Launch.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PAMELA CARMICHAEL is a financial services professional with over 10 years’ experience.

Her book Financial Empowerment gives God-based solutions to personal finance challenges with the purpose of bringing empowerment.



Why Money?

Why is money such an important topic today? Everyday activities revolve around money. We can’t do much without it. Money also shows the intents and contents of our hearts as well as our attitudes toward God and others. Money is important because it can have eternal value.

The Bible provides God’s solution to man’s sin problem. As believers we know that Christ has saved us from sin and eternal death, given us eternal life, delivered us from sin’s bondage, healed us physically and emotionally, and given us countless blessings. Yet many Christians do not see Christ as the solution to their financial problems. Though the Word of God says much about money and promises that God will meet the needs of His children; many struggle in this area of their lives. As believers, this ought not to be.
If the Word of God is our compass throughout our Christian walks, why do we not heed its advice when it comes to our finances? If we so believe God and His promises, why do we not heed His instructions in this area?
In one or more areas of their lives, Christians have difficulty obeying God’s Word regarding money, whether it is to tithe, to give, to count the cost, to use money and not to serve it, or to be wise stewards. If Christians became free of money—understanding and knowing how to handle it correctly—their lives would greatly improve. Not only would positive changes emerge in their financial positions, but their correct view of money would be reflected in their relationships with the Lord.


Money Is Personal

No one on this earth is unaffected by this resource called money. Almost everything we need in life finds its value or weight in this resource. It is—without a doubt—the currency everyone carries. Some people tell us that money is unimportant, but as long as we are on this side of life, money will have a role in our lives. We may have a lot, just enough, barely enough, or none at all. For each of those levels, money will have some effect on us. We will worry about having too much, not have enough to meet our needs, or want more for us, our families, and others around us.
Money affects every life. Money is a personal thing.

Money Answers All Things

The Word of God says that the Lord has given us, His children, all things pertaining to life and godliness. I believe that includes money. We also know that money answers all things – there is little that can be accomplished without the use of money. ‘All things’ includes things like food, clothing, education, health care, and spiritual life. ‘All things’ is related to the physical as well as the spiritual. We may ask, “How can ‘all things’ be spiritual?” Money pays to maintain our church buildings, to source teaching materials and office supplies, to send us to conferences, and to provide other resources to build us up in the faith. As the writer of Ecclesiastes 10:19 says, “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything” (emphasis added).

Money Is Good, Not Evil

After all these years of reading the Bible, many still think money is evil; however,  the Word of God tells us that the love of money, not money itself, is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Money is good if used but not loved. Often many make the fatal mistake of loving money rather than God and His people. Some Christians are afraid of money simply because they fear it will control them. Others downplay its importance in their lives and in building the kingdom of God.
For money to remain a valuable resource, you must master it, see its usefulness, and use it effectively. If you see money this way, you won’t ‘fall in love’ with it, get greedy, or hoard it. But you will find good uses for it.
Money is good and useful.

Money Is a Servant (a Tool)

If we view money as a tool the Master has placed in our hands, we will learn to use it better. Money doesn’t function on its own; it needs human intervention to bring about its usefulness. God puts money in our hands to serve as an instrument of blessing not only to us but also to others. Money is available to serve our interests as well as God’s. We need to employ money to work for us and the kingdom of God.
Just as money in the hands of the righteous can bring about good, so money in the hands of the wicked can promote evil. Hence, the Enemy fights or wars against every believer who desires to bless and promote God’s work with his or her money. He fights by convincing many to spend their money foolishly and, as a result, become bound by consumer debt. Sometimes he creates problems that cause them to easily lose their money.
If you remain alert to the Enemy’s devices and are proactive, you will be able to have more than enough money to do good. Money stands ready and waiting for you to use it to do good. Use it well.

Money Is a By-product of You

Usually those who are not out looking for money make lots of it. Let me explain. The most successful or wealthy people are those who enjoy what they do. They are the kind of people who create a product or service because they believe in it; they fully believe it will benefit those who use it and, as such, never consider that the product or service might not sell. These people live on purpose for a purpose, and out of their driven lives, they must do something outstanding that brings the benefit of financial abundance. They are not necessarily top grade-A students, but they have a gift or idea they followed through on and made money from. They are paid for who they are, what they do well, and what they really enjoy doing. I believe the energy they put into what they do, along with effective marketing, causes their products and services to stand out above the rest.
Have you ever realized that some products stand out more than others? Some brand names are household names more than others, even though other brand names sell the same or better product or service. If you investigate the stories of the people behind these products, you will often find a love for doing what they do, doing it well, and promoting it no matter what led to money in their hands.
Clearly, life is more than money, and money is merely a by-product of who you are. As the Word says, your gift will make room for you before great men (Proverbs 18:16). Money is a by-product of carrying out your life’s purpose.

Money Can Have Eternal Value

Yes, this may sound a bit strange, but money does have eternal value. As we discussed earlier, money is a tool God has placed in our hands to do good. The good it does can be either temporal or eternal.
Think about this. When you give to your local church, you participate in God’s business of spreading the gospel. Through the spreading of the gospel people give their lives to Christ; here you can see the eternal value. Some complain that all the church wants is money, but remember, money answers all good things. You can attach eternal value to your money when you give to your local church or missions, or when you sponsor a child, fund someone’s education, or send a preacher to plant a church. How will someone hear the good news unless someone is sent (Romans 10:14-15)? How can someone be sent without financial support of the local church? Money has eternal value when it is used to spread the good news.


As you walk through the pages of this money book, I will discuss various aspects of financial management. You can see the areas of financial management I plan to cover from this perspective:


     Good money management brings positive returns: income generation, tithing, saving, investing, giving, and lending.

     Bad money management leads to negative returns: excessive spending and borrowing.

I will highlight the problems we face in each of these areas based on personal experience, observation, and research. We will also discuss some of the reasons for these problems, which are often a reflection of our relationship with God. Certainly we will delve into the Word of God and find the solution to each problem.
Although most solutions will be biblical, I will provide some practical tips to help you along this rocky financial road some have been experiencing. Certainly you will learn that God’s Word, when rightly applied, will benefit you in every aspect of your Christian walk, including your finances. For certain, if you govern your life including your money matters according to the Word of God, you will by all means be successful and prosperous.
I wrote this book to enlighten, educate, and empower the body of Christ to be knowledgeable, understanding, and wise in the use of the money resources God has entrusted to us.
One of the challenges we face is the lack of finances common among many Christians. For me this was a problem for years as I observed Christians struggling through life because they lacked the necessary financial resources. Much more can be accomplished to spread the gospel of Christ, but lack of finances and the unwillingness of many to give hinder the progress of God’s work.
This book seeks to address why this lack exists and what is needed to bring financial increase. Of great importance is understanding how to use the financial increase God provides to bless the kingdom of God. To learn that, we must place eternal value on the money available for our use.
This book calls the body of Christ to get its financial house in order. This is a call to start living as children of God, not orphans or beggars. It’s a call to examine our hearts and attitudes toward God and what He has entrusted to us. It’s a call to use what we have to be a blessing and build the kingdom of God.
When you finish reading this book, my prayer is not that you will say this was a good or powerful book. My prayer is that you will act to change how you handle your finances. I hope you will become stronger in your walk with the Lord. His grace will give you the ability to change the way you manage your finances and align them to His will.
Get ready for financial empowerment God’s way! As you examine His Word, may He give you the grace to obey, for this obedience will lead to His blessing on your life.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Second Bible Camp Mystery to be Released

The second in a series of Bible Camp Mysteries by Christian author Cheryl Rogers is slated for release this Sunday, Sept. 15. Called Alone in the Woods, the book set in the Florida backwoods teaches the power of prayer to heal.

"In the book, the group of campers discover a woman living far off the beaten trail to avoid electricity. When they learn she suffers from a severe immune disorder, they know God has put her in their path," says Rogers. "They pray for her, and she is healed."

The mystery series features a former New York gang leader Chet Harrigan, who leads a fellowship group for 10- to 16-year-old boys attending a Central Florida community church. The group, known as the Boy's Den, puts their faith to the test as they encounter unforeseen difficulties in the woods.

The first book, Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery, involves the mysterious disappearance of 13-year-old Zack in the middle of the night. The group battles no-see-ums, a bout of food poisoning, and an impending hurricane as they scour the woods for the missing Zack.

In Alone in the Woods, Chet tries to correct the mistakes they made during that first disastrous trip. He even hires a wilderness guide to join them at camp and build a hut, but he winds up with a novice whose unfortunate blunders only complicate matters. Their dedicated chef, one of the boy's uncles, foils their plan for an elaborate evening feast when he goes missing.

But two boys who wander off the trail make it all worthwhile when they discover Sandy, a crusty woman who needs some friends pretty badly. Chet tells her about Jesus, the group prays for her, and she is healed.

"It is my goal through the Bible Camp Mysteries to share the biblical path to salvation and other important truths from God's Word in a fun and entertaining way," Rogers says.

In the end, Sandy and the group enjoy a sumptuous feast in the wilderness as a forest fire rages at the edge of the park.

Alone in the Woods, aimed at preteens and teens, is available for pre-ordering from for $2.99. You can find it here:

Swayed by her love of Nancy Drew Mysteries, Rogers decided as a child she wanted to be a writer. But it wasn't until she came to know the Lord, as an adult, that she knew what she was to write about.

"I was suffering from Environmental Illness, a severe immune disorder," Rogers recalls. "When I surrendered my life to him, he healed me."

A former newspaper reporter, she has dedicated herself to sharing the good news of God's salvation through her writing.

With her Bible Camp Mysteries, Rogers has come full circle. "The Bible Camp Mysteries incorporate action and suspense similar to the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries," Rogers says, "while infusing biblical principles and godly examples of faith."

Rogers, who publishes NewChristian Books Online Magazine, also has written a short story collection featuring modern Jonahs. Just Like Jonah Wail Tales features wail tales or exaggerated tales of woe involving characters who land in a whale of trouble for their wrong choices. Like Jonah, they surrender their lives to God and receive his mercy. She also has written a parent/teacher guide, Just Like Jonah Wail Tales Workbook, which includes the short stories, plus Scripture citations and discussion questions.

Watch a video with Cheryl reading the first chapter of her upcoming book, Alone in the Woods.