We Can All Learn Something from Katie Brandt by H.L. Wegley

A guest post by H.L. Wegley

It is much harder to defend one’s worldview against attacks than it is to sit back and take pot shots at someone else’s beliefs. This is probably why Christians tend to have deep, worldview discussions more within the safe walls of our fortresses, with other Christians, rather than out in the world, in the marketplace of ideas. It’s intimidating to think about preparing to give a reason for our faith to anyone who asks (1 Peter 3:15). But, should it be, really?

In my story, Triple Threat, Katie Brandt is strongly drawn to a young man, Joshua West, who claims to be an agnostic. When the subject of her faith comes up, Josh throws questions at her, tons of questions throughout the book, often in an argumentative manner. In fact, by the end of the story, he covers all of the major objections to Christianity that non-believers raise. Katie answers Josh’s questions, always trying to steer him to the real underlying issue, the thing that Josh needs most to understand.

Though Katie has an IQ of over 180, we can all do what she does, because she actually handles only 5 basic issues: the nature of truth, the problem of evil, the role and result of God’s love, human depravity thus the need for forgiveness, the necessity for an infinite being (God) to reach out to finite creatures or they can never know God. Along the way, Katie touches upon a few other issues, such as the reliability of the scriptures. She doesn’t use the abstract words I alluded to, such as human depravity. Rather, Katie accomplishes this in conversational English in the dialogue of Triple Threat.

The Word of God is powerful, but there are people who will disregard everything we say if that’s where we start. The Apostle Paul, in Acts 17, when he met with the Greek philosophers in the Areopagus, started with their culture and writings, the common ground, then bridged from the Greek philosophers’ culture to the gospel by showing how God’s Word answered questions raised by their own beliefs. Finding the common ground is something missionaries must do every time the gospel is taken to a new people group, and it’s what Katie did with Josh.

Triple Threat is a fun read. It’s informative, but always in an entertaining way. And we can all learn from Katie Brandt, the remarkable young woman who is not afraid to defend her faith in the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15 – Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… (NIV)

About Triple Threat

Triple Threat

Brilliant, beautiful, 21-year-old Katie Brandt, PhD candidate and woman of faith, detects a deadly conspiracy. Suspecting it’s only the tip of an iceberg, she dives in, pulling fellow grad student, Joshua West, with her into a high-risk investigation of a cyber-terrorist plot. Damaged by the foster-care system, Katie takes huge risks to win acceptance and love. But when she risks Josh’s life, an agnostic, who isn’t prepared to die, she fears her mistake might have eternal consequences for Josh, a mistake that could break Katie’s heart, a heart rapidly falling for Josh.

Will Katie and Josh survive the investigation? If they do, can they ever span the chasm of divergent worldviews that separates them? How can they awaken a dozing nation to a three-pronged danger that threatens its very existence?

Triple Threat, an adventure that spans the Pacific Northwest from the shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the mountains of Whistler, BC, a conspiracy you might read in tomorrow’s paper, but pray you never will.

You can buy Triple Threat at:

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23437490-triple-threat

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Triple-Threat-Pure-Genius-Book-ebook/dp/B00OEMO7UY/

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/triple-threat-hl-wegley/1120629453?ean=9781611163827

Christianbook.com:

http://www.christianbook.com/triple-threat-ebook-h-l-wegley/9781611163810/pd/73287EB?event=ESRCN

Pelican Book Group:

http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_47&products_id=613

About H.L. Wegley

HL Wegley

H.L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life he performed research in atmospheric physics. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked 20+ years in systems development at Boeing before retiring near Seattle, where he and his wife of 48 years enjoy small-group ministry, grandchildren, hiking on the Olympic Peninsula, snorkeling Maui whenever possible, and where he writes inspirational thrillers and romantic suspense novels. He has a contracted 4-book, Christian-thriller-series with Pelican Book Group. He is currently finishing his 8th novel.

You can find him at:

His Web Site: http://hlwegley.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HLWegley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlwegley

 

Faith to Move a Herd of Alpaca by novelist Johnnie Alexander

A guest post by Johnnie Alexander

About a year ago, I moved from two decades of living in Florida suburbia to my sister’s four-acre hobby farm in western Tennessee. My little papillon Rugby moved with me, but only a few weeks passed before he wasn’t the only four-legged creature under my care.

My sister didn’t want to mow her sprawling front yard, and neither did I. So after researching our options, we bought four alpacas: Autumn, Winter, Sassy, and Starr. Over the next few months we acquired seven more: Charro, Di, General, Merry, Shelby, Snow, and Stonebride.

Johnnie Alexander

Though I grew up on a farm, I didn’t do much farm stuff. As the oldest of four, my chores mainly consisted of washing dishes, cleaning baseboards, and watching the youngest two children while Mom, Dad, and my brother did farm stuff.

But now I needed to learn about alpaca husbandry and something called herd distance.

You see, alpacas are skittish creatures. Though ours, especially young Starr and blue-eyed Snow, eagerly eat from our hands, they don’t like to be petted. Attempt to touch their luxurious fiber, and they’ll probably back away.

Sometimes it’s a challenge to get them where we want them to go. Get too close, and they flee. Too far back, and they head the opposite way. Like Goldilocks in the story of The Three Bears, you’ve got to get the distance just right.

Faith works both ways.

The herd needs faith that I’m not a predator. I prove this by paying attention to their body language and adjusting my behavior—and my distance—accordingly.

Johnnie Alexander

I need faith in my ability to appropriately respond to their cues so I don’t unnecessarily frighten them.

A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined living this kind of life. My personal circumstances had me as skittish as Winter, our youngest, who never eats out of anyone’s hand. But unlike our herd, whose faith seems to vary from day to day, my faith in God’s steadfast love rarely wavered.

During those unsettled months, through sermons, devotions, and Scripture, God promised me again and again to provide for me. Before I knew it, He had prepared a path before me. There’s no herd distance between us, only a minuscule “heart-distance.” Acutely aware of both my physical and emotional cues, He holds me as close as I will let Him.

Even though I may not always have the faith to move a mountain, I have the faith to move a herd of alpaca. And the faith to trust God to move me always closer to His will for my life.

“You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it” (Psalm 65:9, ESV).

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5, ESV).

About Where Treasure Hides

Johnnie Alexander

Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life. Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow. As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?

About Johnnie

Johnnie Alexander

Johnnie Alexander is the author of Where Treasure Hides which won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011 Historical Fiction). The first of three contemporary romances, tentatively titled Into a Spacious Place, releases from Revell in January 2016.

She also has won the Best Novel and Best Writer awards at the Florida Christian Writers Conference is a 2012 Bronze Medalist in the My Book Therapy Frasier Contest.

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie lives in the Memphis area with a small herd of alpacas, her dogs Rugby and Skye, and assorted other animals.

Connect with Johnnie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Good Reads,  and Linked In

Guest Post by Darlene Franklin, inspirational romance novelist

Since An Apple for Christmas features identical twins, Margil and Pippin Cortland, I thought it would be fun to look at memorable twins throughout history.

I had cousins who were twins, and my ex-husband’s grandmother was a twin. When I was pregnant, I was afraid I was carrying twins. (I wasn’t.)

In the Bible, we know about the infamous twins Jacob and Esau, sons of Isaac and Rebekah. Jacob cheated Esau of his birthright and his blessing, and had to run away when Esau wanted to kill him. They didn’t reconcile until twenty years later.Au

Judah had twin sons through Tamar, Perez and Zerah. One of the disciples was Thomas, known as “the twin.” We’re not told anything about his brother (if it was a brother and not a sister).

In the sky, one of the constellations is called Gemini, or, the twins Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology. Zeus granted Pollux’s request to make Castor immortal, by uniting them in the heavens.

P.T. Barnum’s circus featured conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen got their start acting in Full House and went on to a number of twin-themed movies. Eppie Lederer and Pauline Phillips—better known as Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren—wrote competing advice columns. Two of the musical group the Bee-Gees were twins, Robin and Maurice.

Barbara and Jenna Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush and his wife Laura, are twins. In 2011, the crown princess of Denmark gave birth to twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.

In sports, we can look at Jose and Ozzie Canseco. We remember Chris Paul and his twin Cliff from their ads together on television. Even my favorite Bronco John Elway has a less famous twin, Jenna.

Margil and Pippin play an important role in their father’s romance. Hope you enjoy reading An Apple for Christmas!

Darlene practice 2

About the Book: Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?

Darlene

About Darlene: Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over thirty books and has written more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Colorado to Vermont. You can find Darlene online elsewhere at  https://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin.

 

I’m Talking About Materialism on Laura Kurk’s Blog Today!

Hey yall, I’m talking about Materialism today on Laura Kurk’s blog! Hop on over and say ‘hello.’

Materialism

Too Busy to Talk to the Potter

For the past couple of months, I’ve been overloaded, too busy and too distracted to spend time with The Potter.

It reflected in everything I did: my eating habits, how I related to the kiddos, how I related to The Man…and in my laundry pile.

Image Credit: Colin Broug

After a couple of month’s of frustration with the overall discombobulation of of my life, I decided to get back to basics: my journal, my pen, and my Bible. I started with baby steps, waking up a couple of minutes earlier than usual, and basically ranted to God about everything on my brain. Then I read some verses to hear what He had to say back to me. Many times, my readings didn’t directly relate to how I felt at the moment, but I left those God sessions feeling refreshed and empowered. As a result, I zoomed through my day, attacking my ‘to-do’ list with a vengeance, getting clear ideas on how to meet the goals I’ve set for myself. It was awesome.

So the next day, I did it again. And again. And again.

Funny how all my inner angst could be solved with some sessions with the Potter. He’s the Author and the Finisher of my faith, and so it would behoove me to tune in to His station to see what He wants to say. Yet I often get caught up trying to do things MY way or the way all the experts recommend. In the end, working apart from His plan left me tired, bedraggled and crabby.

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

 (Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

How about you? Are you spending daily time in prayer and meditation? If not, what could you do to set aside 15 minutes each day for Your Maker?