Why and How To Create an Effective Prayer Strategy

Prayer

The previous weeks’ posts have been focused on goal setting and/or creating your life plans. But there is one important aspect of setting goals that I want to highlight today, that is, the importance of having a prayer strategy. In the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner I discuss the importance of connecting the word of God to your goals by speaking what God says about you.

Over the years, I have titled this method in different ways such as … “My daily confessions of faith” or “Pray the Word” or “What God says about me” or “My prayer strategy”. Prayer Strategy? What’s that? Simply defined prayer is conversation with God. And a strategy is also defined as “a plan, method, or series of manoeuvres or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result”. Therefore a prayer strategy is basically a set of guidelines you use when in prayer in order to see God’s will and purpose established in your life.

You may be wondering, “Do I have to plan how to prayer too?” Actually, yes. This isn’t something that the Lord Jesus wouldn’t approve of. After all, He gave us a model of how we should prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13). For years now I have used the Model Prayer along with creating my own prayer strategies. I have experienced the benefits of doing this:

More focused time – I am less distracted when I have my notes (prayer strategy). Whether on my phone or in a mini note book it serves as a point of reference to revert back to if I get side-tracked. And you and I know that sometimes when you set out to prayer distractions tend to come either because our minds drift off to something else or some other interruption occurs.

Purpose-driven prayer – I create prayer strategies based on the promises, commands, warnings and life examples found in the word of God. This way, my prayers are not based on what I want but on what God’s will is for me. They are focused on His plans for me.

Stronger faith emerges – As I pray according to His word, sometimes it wasn’t always faith-filled. But the more I spoke the word of God (Romans 10:17), the more I believed Him. The more I became certain that what I was hoping for would become a reality in my life (Hebrews 11:1, 6).

Develop persistence – When you know what you are praying about or for and you have the help of your prayer strategy and the Holy Spirit, you zero in more on those life issues that need to be addressed with tenacity and passion until the answer to your prayer is received (Luke 18:1-8).

Answers to prayer are received – This I can attest to that as I have prayed for God to work on in specific areas or circumstances in my life He has been faithful to do so. Even though my prayers are Biblical based they are also include my goals or life areas I need to develop or improve. I can do nothing without God so I rely on Him for all things.

Become more thankful – Certainly as I have seen God at work in my life, I have become more thankful and appreciative of His goodness and His love toward me and others. Answered prayers not only cause you to develop a grateful heart but also a faith-filled one.

Establish God’s will in you and others – The beauty of developing a prayer strategy based on God’s word is that you are saying to God, “Come kingdom of God, be done will of God in my life and in the lives of others.” Furthermore, you are less likely to go to God complaining but rather you desire to see God and His righteousness in your specific situations. Also, you are less likely to pray amiss because your heart condition become one in which you seek the will of God rather than your own.

You know what to prayer – Whether you’ve been a Christian for many years or just give your life to the Lord Jesus sometimes you find yourself lost for words to say to the Lord. You can become frustrated with yourself if this happens regularly and may find yourself drifting away from spending that essential time with the Lord. Please don’t give up. Use your prayer strategy to help you express your heart to the Lord and also ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray effectively.

But you may be wondering how to create a prayer strategy. Here a few simple steps to help you get started.

  • Review your goals for this year or a few years ahead
  • Examine your life and write down what you don’t like or rather what doesn’t line with God’s will and is causing frustration, sickness, stress, or anything negative in your life
  • For each of the above you’ve listed (some will overlap), search the Scriptures. What does God’s word say about each of these areas? Write out the Word of God that resonates with you for each area. Two or three verses for each issue would be a good start.
  • You can personalize the Word by creating confessions of faith or faith declarations or simply use the verses you found to remind you of God’s will when you are praying on specific matters
  • Make time daily to prayer using the prayer strategies to assist you. Some days you may cover every aspect of the prayer strategy and other days only a few areas as the Holy Spirit guides you.
  • Listen for God’s direction. This is not just an exercise in you doing all the talking. Let God speak. Ask questions and listen. Speak and pause for His response. God has much He wants to share with you to help you prosper through life. As you do this, please obey His direction.
  • Try to involve others in the process. Pray with a trusted friend or two. Jesus promised that as you agree with others in prayer, our Father God will do as you ask (Matthew 18:19-20). You can do this by either in person, by telephone or even online meeting. Get innovative about prayer. There is greater power in numbers.
  • Post your list where you can frequently see it so that you are ever mindful of what needs to be sent up to the throne room of heaven. You can put the prayer strategy in your dresser mirror, closet, home office, fridge door, computer screen or wherever you frequently go to pray. During my study I normally write and then type and print out my prayer strategy. I keep my prayer strategy in a folder close to my bible and notebook. I have even posted it in my Evernote account or my phone’s note app so I can reference it when I am on the road and have some moments for prayer. Of course, there are apps that you can use to assist you but keep it simple. Do what works best for you.

One more thing, set reminders for yourself to pray. You can become so bogged down with life that at times when you should be praying you are trying to solve the problem or fight the battles of life on your own. Set reminders for a few times a day – it could be to rest, to pray, to read the Word, to listen to some gospel music. A 15-minute break or two during the day dedicated to things gospel would make a significant difference in your life. It will help you to lead a life of praying without ceasing.

A prayer strategy will help you to focus on what matters. Your prayers will be aligned with the will of God for your life and for those persons and circumstances that you bring before the Lord. In my journey with the Lord, the more I consistently prayed about the matters that concerned me, the more I saw the hand of the Lord in my life. The more I saw the Lord working through every situation to bring it into His will and plan for me, the more grateful I am. Also the more I prayed, the more my faith grew and I developed a resoluteness that what God promised in His Word, He would perform.

As you prayer the word of God you will see the will of God expressed in your life. Therefore, make your time with the Lord your must-do and not just another to-do. Through your essential time of prayer; the Lord will strengthen, encourage, empower and guide you. You will enjoy His love and His peace.

So, what do you do to ensure that you spend time in prayer?

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How to Make FAITH Goals Rather Than SMART Ones

wirting goals_16732976_sFaith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. –Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

Goals and God, do they mesh? The short answer is, Oh, yes, they do! The worldview for goal setting is the use the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time sensitive) method. The aim of this is to make sure that a person set goals that are realistic and that they can achieve. Unfortunately, SMART goals leave no need for God because these goals are set based on a person’s natural ability to achieve it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking this method of goal setting. It helps you to think through what you really want to achieve in a methodical or logical manner. To me, that’s good.

S.M.A.R.T. goals have their place especially if you are new to goal setting but even for those who’ve been setting goals for a long time. You can find this method beneficial too if you feel intimidated by the idea of writing out and seeing your dreams laid out before you because it breaks the process into small steps. But as a Christian, when you set goals being S.M.A.R.T. about them can be a hindrance to God’s best for you.

How’s that?

S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific and maybe too specific in that you may not make room in your mind for anything greater than the amounts, times, places, people that you’ve identified in your goals. In other words, you can make these S.M.A.R.T. method mistakes (1) setting your goals too low or (2) wanting to accomplish them too quickly. You likely would overestimate what you can do in a year and underestimate what you can do in ten.

I like the idea of being specific, and that’s naturally me. But I’ve learned that when you do this you can become so bogged down with the specifics that you don’t see anything more or less than the goal you’ve created. But what if God wants more for you that you’ve determined?

Consider this: Instead set big goals with God for your life and spend the rest of your life going after them.

S.M.A.R.T goals are said to be achievable and realistic. Achievable by whom – You? Realistic to whom – the world standards? When you set goals that fall into this two categories, therein lies a problem. The goal is all dependent on you and not the Lord. First off, that places a lot of the burden on you to perform. Secondly, there is no reliance on God to help you. Thirdly, you miss the opportunity to ask God to show you His plans for you and help you craft then according to His will.

So enough said about S.M.A.R.T. goals. I like using the method but keep in mind the limitations for you and me as Christians.

Now, what I want to propose to you or challenge you to do is to set F.A.I.T.H. (Focused, Audacious, Inspiring, Transforming, and Hopeful) goals. Goals that will be require faith not in your ability to achieve them but in God’s ability to achieve them for you. I want you to set goals that will stretch your faith not in yourself but in God, in His word and in His ability.

So here is what I think F.A.I.T.H. goals should look like…

FOCUSED

A focused goal directs your attention or efforts to a specific task that is measurable and time-bound. A goal is a dream with a deadline.

These are S.M.A.R.T. goal setting aspects that are still needed. Why? When God works in you, through you, with you and for you to help you achieve your goals, you need to know what they look like so that when you receive the blessing you can clearly identify God’s handiwork and give Him all the glory for what He has done.

AUDACIOUS

This is where F.A.I.T.H. goals become interesting. An audacious goal will take you outside your comfort zone and inside the realm of God possibilities. Goals like these require you to be bold, daring, fearless, and highly inventive. This requires outside the box thinking that doesn’t conform to the norm for conforming sake. When your goals are audacious you take bold steps but with faith in God that He will reward your efforts.

Therefore be audacious! Stop thinking inside the box and stop the negative arguments against yourself and your goals. Let the size of your God determine the size of your goal. Don’t limit God by small thinking!

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us. –Ephesians 3:20

INSPIRING

More specifically, faith goals are God’s inspired goals. These goals produce feelings or thoughts towards that which is kingdom oriented. They build confidence in you – not in your ability but in God ability to help you do what you need to do and in His awesome power to perform a great work in your life that you’re not capable of alone. When you have F.A.I.T.H. goals you are inspired by the belief in a better future.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. –Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

TRANSFORMING

No matter where you are in your Christian walk, you would have realized by now that God is at work in you to change you and others into better His image and likeness. So whenever you set F.A.I.T.H. goals aim to impact others in your sphere of influence. The beauty of goal setting is that it doesn’t end after you have put it in writing. There is more involved. The journey to achieve your goals is a journey in which you and others will see transformation in your perspective, your character and other areas of your life. You will with God’s help know Him more and make Him known to others. You will become more like Christ. In the midst of the goal setting and goal getting, you should be kingdom-focused and kingdom driven. Therefore, be the light and the salt of the earth while accomplishing your goals.

HOPEFUL

F.A.I.T.H. goals give you a hope and a future that are good and exciting to look forward to. They will give you the impetus to get up and go in the morning. They will spur you on when the going gets tough. They will keep your eyes on the prize (particularly I you review them regularly). They will inspire you to do good works.

When you create F.A.I.T.H. goals, you are expressing hope. You are expressing your belief that you will succeed at what you are about to do. In reality, goals are statements of faith or statements of hope. When you set an F.A.I.T.H. goal you believe that God will help you to accomplish it.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. –Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

I hope that this post in inspire and challenge you to set your goals full of FAITH in the Almighty God. As you go through the goal setting process and as you work on this through the year, as yourself, “Will this require me to have faith in God?” Matthew 9:29, Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” Your faith determines what you receive or achieve in this life. God works with your faith. God acts on your behalf based on your faith. And it pleases Him when you have faith in Him. So remember, how much He does in your life have a lot to do with how much you believe He can do in your life. Your F.A.I.T.H. goals make that statement, “Lord, I have faith in you to accomplish…”

My friend, as you take this journey to dream great dreams. The question isn’t who you think you are but who do you think God is. Create F.A.I.T.H. goals to speak to the greatness of your God. God bless you!

It’s not too late to start setting F.A.I.T.H. goals and living out God’s success in you. I created the 2016 Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner out of a desire to have a goal setting process with a Christian perspective. I hope you’ll get a copy and start the road to living successfully in Christ.

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7 Reasons Why Christians Should Make Life Plans

22867681_s_where is my life goingGoal setting is making life plans and it’s a God-thing. What do I mean by that? God sets life plan or goals. One such life plan was the plan of salvation so that all would come to Him and have eternal life through Christ. Think about it. It was a goal – to save mankind from his sin. It took planning, timing, implementing in order to make this gift of eternal life available to all. That is an awesome plan that many people had and continue to reap the blessings from.

Throughout the word of God there is evidence of God setting goals or life plans for His children and for the effective working out of each of those plans in their lives. Today, it’s no different, God has life plans for you and I and wants to work with us to accomplish them.

Even though, goal setting is a God-thing. There are several reasons why you and I should set goals and work to make them happen.

1. Goal setting is spiritual
How is that? Your life plans should reflect the will of God for your life. For sure the plans He has for you are good and are worth looking forward to.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

However, when it comes to you there are plans specific to you and no one else. This is where life planning or goal setting gets spiritual. You will need to spend time in reflection, prayer, thanksgiving in order to learn His plans for you.

The good this is that you may already have a good start at knowing His specific will and plan for you. Usually the very desire of your heart is the very thing God desires for you. The things in life that you’re passionate about form part of the big plans God have for you. The important key is the ensure that these inner desires a good and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2).

2. Life Planning Set the Course of Your Life
If you choose not to plan, then you live by default and everyone else’s suggestions and plans become your own. You react rather than respond to life because you have no life plan to keep you from wandering through life aimlessly
diverting away from your main goals.
However, to plan and do it with God is to be purpose-driven. Jesus and the Apostle Paul as excellent examples of meaning specifics. They had an aim and worked towards those goals, their life’s purpose regards of the obstacles.
Have goals or a life plan means that you know where you are going. You are not side-tracked or easily distracted when you have a plan.

3. Goal setting is faith-based
Goal setting and faith go together. When you set goals you are making statements of faith. You are saying that you have faith in God to accomplish a specific thing by a specific time frame or period.

Are you confident in God that the goals (the hope you have) will happen?

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” -Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

FAITH goals please God. Those mentioned in the Hall of Faith had an aim, a life goal that they believed God would be able to do. Set your goals with faith in God. Believe that God will help you make them happen.

4. Goal setting is faith-stretching
Your faith in God is stretched or challenged only when you set goals that not is within your reach and therefore require God’s intervention in order to be achieved.
The bigger the goal, the risker the goal, the more your faith will be stretched. A faith-stretching goal compels you to run towards God and to believe that He will reward you as you seek Him.

Try setting goals based on what the word of God says in Ephesians 3:20 MSG “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

5. Goals focus your energy
When you have goals, they keep you from wasting time, money or energy. When you have focus you have an effective life. Like Paul you are driven by “this one thing I do”. The more you focus your life the more powerful and effective it will be.

Don’t think that you have to do everything. God doesn’t expect you to. You are human and knows that very well. Set the goal and then focus your energy to achieve the goal. The key is to do what do what matters most. Do what has eternal value.

“You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win! All those who compete in the games use self-control so they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time, but our crown will never be destroyed. So I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-26

6. Goals keep you active and persistent
Having goals fills you up with hope and give you something to look forward to. They make you persistent even when the going gets tough. You are able to see past the pain and aim at the prize. This is just what Jesus did – “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV)

Goals give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning and to be enthusiastic about life. They give you something to look forward to. However, without goals you feel hopeless; you don’t see a good future ahead of you (Job 6:11, NLT)

Have something to look forward to. Have something to live for. If you do you won’t loose hope and give up.

7. Goals build your character
The greatest benefit of setting and working on your goals in not the achievement of the goals but what happens to you in the process. Success is said to be a journey – a journey that starts with you and produces a better you as you work with God and allow God to work in you.

Through the process of goal-setting and goal-getting, God is more interested in your character than your accomplishments. He is more interested in who you are and who you become. While you are working on the goal, God is working on you.

As you create your life plans, aim to be more like Christ – to know him and to make him known to others. You cannot become the man or woman God wants you to be unless you’re intentional about it.

8. BONUS POINT: Good goals will be rewarded
The beauty of goal setting for Christians is that you have the advantage of doing it with God and of being guided by the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. This is an uncommon advantage but one that is often taken for granted or not recognized.

As you set your goals and work toward them, you will be rewarded on earth by people and by God in heaven. The key to success in the depend solely on God, the CEO of your life to guide you and help you every step of the journey.

“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” -Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)

So as you start this New Year, commit all your plans to the Lord and one day and one step at a time let Him work in you, through you and with you to bring into reality your heart’s desire. I wish you a year of Living Success!

The 2016 Living Success Goals Workbook and Planner is now available. As an added bonus this year, a full year planner is included for your convenience. Enjoy!

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Make the Most of Your Time with Goal Setting

Goal setting is a word that some don’t even want to hear. It’s a time that many dread and as a result do not even pursue. You may have tried setting goals and because you didn’t reach the goal you don’t think goals are worth pursuing. On the other hand, you think it’s time wasted and that you should just let life happen. But really, if God has plans for you you should make it your business to know what they are, pursue them and trust Him to help you see them become a reality in your life.

12073677_s_dream, plan, wrok

Goal setting time

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 (AMP)

Goal setting does not have to be a difficult process. It can be a rewarding and yet fun time in your life. As the word of God says, there is a time for everything under the sun and yes, that includes setting goals. Consider this as a time for planting – your vision, your dream, your destiny, your purpose – where you lay out what you want to be and to do. And remember that this time of planting will become a time of reaping or harvesting once you (with the Lord) have worked towards to goal to attain the prize!

Life planning and goal setting in a time to look forward to and a time to access if you have and to make sure that you make the most of the time God has given you on this side of heaven. Goal setting is a time of:

REFLECTION
This is a time to look at the past and the present to prepare for the future. This is not a time to be negative but use this to learn from your mistakes and from the setbacks you experienced. Also make note of the what your did achieve and started to do as well as the positive things that happened in your life.

Ask yourself a few important questions:
– Where am I today?
– How and what did I do to get here?
– What made this year great or not so great?
Make sure to reflect on each of these life areas: Spiritual, Family, Financial, Health (Physical), Intellectual / Personal Development, Social, Career development, Business development. This will help you to understand why you are where you are and help you continue the work to become who you want to be and do what you desire to do.

THANKSGIVING
Oftentimes you can live with regret, frustration or disappointment because you didn’t achieve what you wanted to. However, this is not the place for you to remain. Even if you “cry over the spilled milk” don’t keep crying. Get up, clean up the mess and move on.

Learn to be thankful for what you have and what you do not yet have. Be thankful in all things at all times (1 Thess. 5:18, AMP). Thank God want did work and for what small steps you made towards your goals. Have a heart of gratitude because no matter how bad things look there is some goodness in your life and that goodness came from your Father God.

Write a love letter to God – a note of appreciation. Don’t know how to start? Start with, “Dear God thank you for…” and make a list of all His goodness in your life. Or maybe you can start by worshiping Him just because He is God and then thanking Him for all the goodness has brought into your life. Think of yourself, your family, your friends. Thank Him for life, love, good health, safety and protection, provision and whatever else you recognize as God’s handiwork in your life. But for sure, His done you good, so be thankful.

CREATIVITY
Goal setting is a time to dream. In my goal setting workbook, I have a space for dreaming, there are at least three options you can use to start your dreaming process:
1. My Dream List – is a blank sheet or a mind map type sheet – you choose the either list in short form what your life looks like in the next year or two or beyond or you use the mind map page with cloud thoughts to express your heart and God’s heart for you.
2. My Vision Board – for those who are more visually inclined, you can collect images (from the web or from books or magazines) and create a collage of your dreams.
3. My Life Story – you can write in present tense what you life looks like several years from now. You choose the time and place you want to start seeing your dream become a reality and just write that vision.

This is a time to be imaginative, to let go of your doubts or fears and not limit yourself. It’s a not the time to think that God is limited in anyway. It’s a time to remove all the stops and road blocks from your mind. It’s a time to let your spirit soar, your heart smile as you gaze into your future of infinite possibilities God has planned for you (Jer. 29:11, AMP).

Goal setting is creative planning. As a Christian you plan your life according to God’s plan for you. This will require spending time in prayer to understand God’s heart for you.

PRAYER
Goal setting is a time of asking, seeking and knocking. However, depending on the size of your goal; you may need to fast, weep, vow or wrestle in prayer. In some case yours prayer regarding a specific goal may be turned to praise even though you haven’t seen the actual goal as yet. Nevertheless, goal setting requires time in prayer.

You may need to ask God, “Lord what do you want me to do in this coming year or the next 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40 years?” or “Lord, what is your Word to me for this year?”
Seeking the Lord is a time or season of drawing closer to Him and He coming closer to you also. It’s a time to connect with Him to know His heart and His plans for you which are totally good.

This time will also require you to knock on the doors of heaven and on the heart of your Heavenly Father. Why? To accomplish whatever goals God has placed on your heart you will need open doors. In other words, you will need God to supernaturally give your favor with others, create opportunities for you in whatever area you need it most, mend relationships and establish new much needed ones. You will need God to miraculously make things happen that normally would be difficult for you to accomplish on your own. Knocking prayer is needed when your goal is FAITH-filled goals that requires much of God’s intervention at every step as you press towards your prize.

As you can see, for the Christian goal setting can bring you closer to the Father. One thing I must also mention is that when you set you goals you must apply the Word of God to them and create a prayer strategy for each of them. (I will write about this in more detail in another post.)

As you set your goals for the coming year and years ahead, remember that you are working with God to carry out His purpose in your life and to see His kingdom come here in the earth (within your sphere of influence and beyond).

Now is your time! Go ahead, set those goals and see what God is able to do through you and for you.

Make the most of your time with the 2016 Living Success Goals Workbook and Planner. As an added bonus this year, a full year planner is included for your convenience. Wishing you experience the best year ahead!

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How to Win the Prize of Goal Setting

“Don’t you realize that everyone who runs in a race runs to win, but only one runner gets the prize? Run like them, so that you can win.”  – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (GW)

I have been writing about goals recently and I have also been setting goals for myself. I realize that act of goal setting is the easy part and it brings with it hope and exciting. Once you have set a few goals, the next step is the process is to achieve them. This can prove to be a challenge but you can make them happen. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your goals:

1. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Life is hectic and you can easily loose sight of what you want to accomplish. It is important to keep focused on the what, why and how of your goals. One way to do this is by reading your goal list daily. Keep them close on your bedside table and pray about them. Plan your week and your days by asking yourself, “What can I do today (tomorrow or this week) to bring my goal closer to reality?” You may even consider adding them to your smart phone for quick reference and as a reminder especially during challenges. I would also suggest a weekly, monthly and quarterly review. However, one fun way to get that daily reminder is by creating a dream board and posting that collage of your dreams in a place where you can keep your eyes on the prize.

2. Don’t Stress Out If You Fall Behind
We are not perfect nor do we live in a perfect world. The challenges of life will often get in the way of what you really want to achieve. It’s understandable if you have a late start or fall behind. The key is to get back on the journey and keep moving. Have a determination to succeed and when you fall down, don’t stay there get back up and get moving towards your dreams.

3. Discipline Yourself
Just like an athlete who trains to run a race, you have to train yourself. If you want to achieve your goals, when you set out your first steps, you will realize that you need to do some things differently. For example, if you want eat healthier foods; then your plan may include creating a meal plan, updating your grocery list, buying and preparing healthier meals, reducing your intake of soda, and so on. That goal requires some discipline on your part. Since discipline may sound like too much effort, consider this: Discipline is when purposely setup yourself to succeed.

4. Factor In Some Time Out For Relaxation
There is no point in working so hard to the point of exhaustion. You should try to enjoy the journey you are on. Two ways you can include relaxation and eliminate stress is (1) take 15 minute do-nothing-at-all breaks during the day (2) take a personal retreat or two during the year. Oh, don’t forget to take a family vacation as well. You will find that relaxation brings not only the benefit of refreshing the body but it will renew your soul and spirit as well. When you are refreshing you are more energized and creative which helps you to achieve your goals. Personal or spiritual retreats will also give you a new zeal for life. These times of refreshing will ignite you to keep moving forward.

5. Create A Sense Of Urgency
Have you ever noticed how productive you are just before going on a vacation or just before a pending deadline? Create a similar urgency with your own life goals one task at a time. One thing I have found useful is to set a timer when I really want to focus and get work completed. Knowing I have that clock ticking keeps my focused. I don’t stop to check emails or to answer calls or to chat. If you can work on projects in half-hour intervals, you’d be amazed at how much you will accomplish. Another way to create urgency is to set a time line within the same month to complete a major part of a project or all of it (provided it is reasonably doable). Knowing that you have a timeline within a few weeks often gets you started on making it happen.

6. Delegate Or Get Help
Ask yourself this question often, “Who can help me with this task?” There may be some things that you’re not skilled at and may need to hire someone to do. You may have a friend who is knowledgeable or experienced in an area that you need help with. For example, my husband did a book trailer for Financial Empowerment and I hired a designer to create the book cover as well as do the interior design of the book. If your time is best utilized in another area and you don’t have the time or talent to learn a new skill, then consider asking for help as you pursue your goals.

7. Tell Somebody What You’re Doing
Some goals are worth sharing with a friend or family member. If you have the goal of losing several inches from your waistline, and there is someone close to you who is into fitness, share your goal with them. Ask them to hold you accountable and even give you a few pointers on how to get started. A word of caution: Not everyone is a good candidate to share your goals with. Some will encourage but unfortunately there are some who will discourage. Your friends can either kill your dream or inspire you to achieve them. Ask the Lord who you should share your goals with. Choose wisely.

8. Join A Group That Supports Your Dream
I like small groups. Although there is the dynamic of dealing with different personalities, there is great benefit to being in a group that supports your dream. Such groups are often referred to as masterminds. If you can find a group of like-minded people whose goal is to succeed and help each other in the group succeed, go ahead and join them. The synergy and energy of being in a group that listens, guides and keeps you accountable for your goals is likely your greatest asset in goal achievement.

Many start off the New Year with excitement at the possibilities ahead. Unfortunately studies have shown that within weeks many give up on their goals. One reason for this is that some do not have clearly written goals. To help you set good goals check out these previous posts on goals setting:

If you are looking for a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

I hope that as you work through the goal setting process and at achieve your goals, that God will give you great success.

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7 Quick Tips to Make the Best of Goal Setting

wirting goals_16732976_s“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” – Habakkuk 2:2-3

I like December, not only because it’s Christmas – the time we celebrate Jesus – but because it marks the end of a season. December to me is like to ending of an old chapter and the start of a new one.

I usually take the time during this month not only to celebrate with family but to plan the year ahead. As I start to think ahead, I spend time praying and seeking God’s direction for the New Year.

In my excitement to get going this year, I started search for what I could find to help me do a better job at goal setting. I found information in abundance but it would take time to compile a process that would work for me. I found paid products but they didn’t have a Christian worldview. I believe that if you are a Christian, any goal setting you do should always lead you to seek the Lord’s will for your life.

Here are some tips you can use to make the best of goal setting and experience a great year:

1. Seek God’s Will through Prayer
Start your goal setting process with prayer. Ask the Lord what His will is for you in the coming year. Listen to hear His plans. You may already know where God is leading you. Your dreams or desires, the things you love to do, the things that you are eager to change are all pointers to your purpose.

2. Take Time Out to Plan
It’s okay to think about planning but you need to actually do it. Make an appointment with yourself and God. Set aside a few hours, half a day or two days, whatever you think you need to get your goals down on paper.

3. Reflect On The Past
Don’t hold onto the past but embrace it. Review the year with the aim of learning form it. What did you accomplish? What didn’t work well for you? What can you do differently in the New Year? What do you have to be thankful to God for? At the end of this exercise make sure to let go of the past and get ready to embrace the future.

4. Dream, Dream, Dream
Yes, it’s time to dream, not a little but a lot. Making your goals does not need be so rigid that you kill your dreams. I often write a dream list first before actually setting my goals. Get a blank sheet and write down what your heart’s desire is. Do this before making any of your goals concrete.

5. Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals
I don’t think most people like to hear about S.M.A.R.T. goals but the truth of the matter is that this process makes your dreams become goals that would bring them into reality. You don’t have to set big goals and a lot of goals; but you need to write what works for you. That could be 12 goals or 3 goals but write them down anyways.

6. Find Your Why
Why do you want to accomplish the goals you’ve outlined? Why are they so important to you? It’s important to know your “Why” because when the going get tough, the reason behind what you are doing will keep you moving forward.

7. Be Accountable
Ever noticed how much you get done when you have deadlines and someone else to report to. Why? Accountability results in performance. Get the support of a friend or two or join a group of likeminded people who hold each other accountable for their goals. You will reap great success from such support.

8. Simplicity Is Necessary
Yes, this is tip No. 8 but this is important. Goal setting takes effort and many are often deterred from starting or completing the process. Another reason for not setting goals is that you may not know how to set goals and make them happen. The key is to keep goal setting simple and I have created a workbook just to help you do that.

As I mention earlier in this post, I was on a search for a simple goal setting process with a Christian world view but found none. As I thought about it I realized that I already had a process I was practicing for more that 10 years, but I had never compiled into one simple format. So I decided to do just that.

Now available in ebook format (pdf) is my goal setting workbook – the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner.

If you are looking for a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

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The Benefits of Rest

Take a break. RelaxAnd on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.Gen. 2:2-3 (NKJV)

“Rest? Relax? Who has time for that?” Honestly that is what I often say to myself. I recently took a vacation with family but it wasn’t much of a rest. I had planned that on that time away from my job I would do other stuff – finish a course and write a few posts along with go on a shopping spree (yes, I’ll say more on that in a future post). As much as I knew I needed the rest, my vacation had much activity. Although I enjoyed spending time with my daughter and my sisters, at times during that “vacation” I was concerned that I did not do the things I had planned to do. My vacation wasn’t really a rest at all.

On my return, I found it hard to get back into the routine of work, blogging, writing and other projects I had started. I did what I had to do but eliminated a lot from my schedule – especially writing – including posting anything to my blog (sorry about that but it was necessary). During that time I read a lot more, prayed and asked a lot of questions about my future plans and got some much needed rest. Now I am slowly getting back to blogging, writing and developing online course.

Biblically, rest means to repose, to desist from exertion, to cease, to celebrate, to keep (Sabbath), to leave, to put away (down), (make to) rest, to be still. Rest is such a necessary part of our lives. Often times we think that have to keep going but there is a reason God introduced rest (Gen. 2:2-3). If God rested after His work of creation, then it must be important to rest. Knowing that this eternal God rested after His work of creation and blessed the day of rest, then you and me (who are mortal) should follow God and incorporate rest into our lifestyles.

I don’t know about you. But I can sometimes get caught up with the things that have to be done and lose track of time and the need to rest. Yet, this great God though He has given me a purpose and all the resources I need to accomplish it, expects me (in the time I have) to rest. God does not want me to be worn out or burnt out but to function at my best while carrying out His purposes.

Recently I read a book about the importance of taking personal retreats which as a timely reminder for me about the need to incorporate rest into my life. There are benefits to be gained when we make resting a necessary part of our lives. When you rest, relax, sleep, you…

  1. Rejuvenates the body. When you sleep at night and you arise in the morning you feel refreshed and energized for the day ahead. A few stretches and up and out and you’re ready to go for the day!
  2. Boost your creativity. Whenever I have to write on a particular topic and I find it hard to put my thoughts together, I take a few hours or days away from it and then start again. In other words, I rest my mind from that topic and when I return to it I have a fresh new outlook and I am able to write freely.
  3. Brings clarity. When life gets a bit much and your mind is bombarded with questions and you’re wondering what the next steps you should be taking. Consider a rest, a personal retreat and you’d be amazed at how getting away with help to bring clarity and direction to your life.
  4. Have peace of mind. Rest also involves stepping back mentally from the negativity that comes from all directions. It involves letting go of your problems – not worry – and instead giving them to go. This is where you need to be still (body, soul and spirit) and let God do His work on your behalf. This kind of rest can be the most challenging. It involves prayer and feeding the mind with the word of God and good thoughts (Phil. 4:8). It’s a rest from the negative mental, emotional and even physical act of worry to a place of peace and faith in God.
  5. Improve your overall health. To name of few, you experience improve memory, maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress levels and keeps the heart healthy.

How can we rest in this productivity driven world?

  1. Have a day of rest.  Take one day of the week to rest from you regular activities. Yes, go to church, spend more time in the Word of God, have quality time with the family, do an activity that you don’t normally do, put in a few extra hours of sleep. Recently, I started taking this more seriously and between Saturday 6pm and Sunday 6pm I limit my activity to church, family time, bible study and rest and avoid internet activity, writing or any of the normal activities of the week. The rest is quite refreshing.
  2. Take a daily fifteen minute break and do nothing but relax. Hmmm. Not impossible. Carve out that time in your calendar and eliminate the distractions of cell phones, internet and find a quiet place to rest. I’ve done it and need to start doing so again. It does boost your energy levels and stimulates the mind.
  3. Have a personal retreat. Sometimes you need to get alone with God and no one else. Choose a place and time and let your family know you’re off on a personal sabbatical. Take a book to read, spend time in prayer to connect with God more. Even consider journaling your thoughts and prayers. Retreats are not only times of rest but of refreshing for your body, soul and spirit. You will gain a clearer perspective on your goals and what the Lord wants you to do with more certainty.
  4. Rest mentally. Take a break from the news. Stop worrying about today’s issues and tomorrow problems (Matt. 6:34). A good mental break involves meditating on the word of God, speaking and confessing His word concerning you, thinking positively, and being thankful (Phil. 4: 6-7)
  5. Do something different outside of your normal routine. Yes, you can take a Sabbath day or a personal retreat but this kind of rest involves activity outside of work that you love to do. Do you have a hobby? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but never had to time? What about going to the beach and basking in the sun (providing you live a place with this kind of climate)? Maybe you could take a road trip with your family. That would be a nice break from the norm, wouldn’t it?

The important message here is that rest is necessary. In this hustle bustle world that can be hard to do at times. Everything and everyone seems to be calling out for your attention. But you have to strike a balance between work and rest. There will always be a demand by someone in your sphere of influence for you and your time. If however, you don’t take care of yourself and become worn out, you won’t be able to help your loved ones and others.

Consider today how you can incorporate rest into your routine.

What do you do to relax and enjoy resting without worrying out the to-do list?

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What Does Your Future Look Like?

The future

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 (MSG)

Last year, I decided to do something I had thought of doing for years – to learn how to become a life coach. So I took the plunge and now I am a Certified Professional Coach. Praise God!

The effectiveness of coaching is in the ability of the coach to bring out the best in you. As a coachee, you’ll be asked some questions that if answered openly will bring to light a lot about yourself.

As I reflect on the coaching sessions I had, one interesting aspect of the program is the development of a client vision statement. This vision statement is created based on the discovery sessions with your client where questions are asked to understand not only the client’s present situation but his/her future dreams and desires. It is amazing that in a few short sessions, an attentive coach can write a vision statement that speaks truthfully to the client’s life and desires.

The vision statements are written in present continuous tense using the word imagery your client expressed during conversations with them. When a coach listens and then writes in unbiased non-judgmental manner using the client’s voice it’s amazement how clearly you can capture your client’s heart on paper. Each client is encouraged to read and / or listen to their vision statement on a daily until it became a part of them and they began to act towards their vision. You see, it’s how you condition your mind and think, is who you become – as a man thinks, so is he.

Some years back I have done a similar exercise for myself in creating a vision statement. However, there was one element missing that kept me from accomplishing any part of that vision statement – I did not make it a part of me – I did not read or listen to it daily. If I did those words would have made an imprint on my mind that would lead to actions that would make my dreams become reality.

You may not use a vision statement with active and vivid language to describe what your life looks like in the future but you may employ other methods. What I have done for many years is to write a list of 12 goals for each year. I then broke these down into smaller manageable goals. During the year, I would pray about these 12 goals regularly. I kept a list in my Bible and even on my smart phone as a constant reminder. This practice taught in our church and proved fruitful to many with great testimonies heard throughout the year. We were encouraged to look ahead and trust God both for the practical things we could do and our seemingly impossible dreams. I did not always accomplish all I had on my list – some were longer term goals and for these I would continue to include them on my list until fully seen and in other cases some were revised as I got a clear picture of what I wanted.

As we enter into a new season – do you know what your future looks like? Do you know what you want to do, have, experience in the New Year and beyond? Have you took time to imagine what your year would look like, how you would feel, what you want see or hear? Do you have a mental picture of what you want to accomplish a year from now, or in five years or ten years? In what area of your life do you want to see change?

  • Do you want a closer relationship with God?
  • Do you want to be more Christ-like?
  • Is there a desire to study the word of God more?
  • A better relationship with your spouse or other loved one?
  • Do you want to start your own business?
  • Is there a career promotion that you are hoping for?
  • What about seeing your children excel in the things of God and in life? Do you know what you can do help them excel?
  • What do you need to do the move into your God-ordained destiny?

The questions are many but the answers are in you and as a Christian, God’s Spirit will guide you. You just need to take the time to express them outwardly. Today, spend some quality time with yourself and examine these key life areas – Career, Social, Financial, Family, Physical, Intellectual, and Spiritual. Get a few blank sheets, a quite place and write down your dream list for this year and the years ahead. You’ll be surprise at what you write. Take time to digest the dream and make sure to read and pray on those things regularly. Act on what you have written by starting with small steps toward those main goals.

There is always room for improve and I certainly desire better. I desire to live out God’s purpose in my life – part of which is being an author, a good wife and mother and much more. I desire to help others serve the purpose of God in their lifetime too. I think we all want to leave this world fulfilled and complete – knowing what we’ve done pleased God.

What about you? What do you dream of? What do you want to do? What is holding you back from being a blessing to others? As we enter this New Year, don’t remain where you are but decide to be the better you – an empowered you, a successful you, a person who both you and God will be pleased with.

In this year, as you delight in the Lord, may He grant your heart’s desires. May you experience the blessings and favor of the Almighty God.

I look forward to a blessed, favorable and abundant year. Let this be our best year ever!

To Your Good Success

Pamela C

Living Success Goals Workbook

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From Tenacity to Success

The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. —Proverbs 13:4 (NKJV)

It’s April already! Time flies. As my grandma often reminded me, “Time waits on no man.” So true, isn’t it?

Many of us started of this year with a bang. Full of excitement about what is ahead. We created our goals and looked forward to a productive and wonderful year, no doubt. Now we are into the second quarter of the year, and you may have slacked off from pursuing our goals or doing what the Lord has instructed you to do.  On the other hand, you may have become distracted or lost your focus. Maybe you faced with challenges that were unexpected or not anticipated. For me, it’s a bit of all the above but I am still excited. I feel encouraged rather than discouraged. Why, because the year isn’t over yet! It’s just the end of the first quarter. I believe that with God’s help I can keep moving forward to accomplish what He wants me to do and some of what I desire to do. You too can succeed!

Recently when preparing to lead a prayer session at church, the Lord reminded me of the need to remain tenacious. Life requires tenacity. A certain amount of stick-to-itive-ness is required in order to succeed in life or to overcome life’s hurdles, to solve problems (yours and others). An inward stubbornness (so to speak) or persistence is needed. I know that is easier said than done but we’ve got to make the effort. If we press forward, we will gain the prize we have long dreamed for.

Personally, one way I keep moving forward is by revisiting or re-evaluating my goals. That does not mean that I give up on them if they are not progressing as I hoped but I rework some of them in order to get the desired effect I want. This is the time that I also celebrate – I create my season every quarter – to be thankful to God for all He’s done and will do in my life. It’s a time for me to reflect on what I have done, where I am and where I want to go. It’s time to recommit myself to the Lord and His will for my life. Through this God imparts His grace to stay tenacious.

Jesus encourages us to be tenacious in prayer. We must always prayer and don’t give up until we have an answer from God (Luke 18:1-6). In Matthew 7, Jesus also speaks of the need to keep keeping on – always praying, always seeking, always knocking. Jesus promises that if we be persistent in these areas, we will receive, we will find what we are looking for and we will have open doors or opportunities made available to us.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. —Matthew 7: 7-8 (AMP)

This tenacity in prayer affects every area of our lives. How is that? Prayer covers any and every thing pertaining to our lives and our walk with God. So what do you need to be tenacious about in order to reach your goal?

Looking for a promotion at work? Then be diligent in your work. Do your work well, seek to improve it in some way that benefits you, your co-workers and your employer. Promotion will come.

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. —Proverbs 12:24 (NKJV)

Do you need to pass your next exams? Then create and work a system of study – set the place, length of time, frequency. It may mean giving up television, socializing or volunteering for a bit. Remember, studying and anything else for that matter, is for but a time but the achievement of the certification or degree will benefit you many times in the future.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

Do you need your business to grow? In this case, you may need to try new things, revamp an old method or business process. Think and move outside the norm and trust God for increased sales and profit.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5 (NKJV)

Do you want to build a strong family unit? Consider be persistent about having family times together regularly and consistently – maybe one-on-one special times with your children, going on a date with your spouse, or having family prayer times together. These both build you and your family’s faith and make the bond between all get stronger.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. —Proverbs 24:3-4 (NKJV)

This week, consider taking some time to reflect on your life over the past three months – give thanks to the Almighty God and asking Him for the grace to be tenacious in whatever area of your life you need to push ahead. If you need to revise some of your goals in some way – do so and persist in prayer daily about them. No matter what don’t give up. Your tenacity will lead to prosperity and victory.

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Christian Books Free & $0.99, March 27th – 28th only

Welcome to March Madness!

Where You Can Get Discounts, Free Books and More!
March 27th-28th only

March_Madness_General

For two days only, several best-selling authors have joined together to offer their books for free or 99 cents to avid readers.

Readers can download or order 40+ new books, saving over 50, and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card to get even more books!

The books are listed below – Fiction first, followed by Non-Fiction, and the Gift Card Giveaway can be found at the bottom of the page:

Fiction:

Free Books

 

Amazon Image Dear Tiz by Aslaug Grbitz

This story is about two seventeen year old girls who live in two different centuries. They are connected in ways they have yet to discover.

The men in their lives are chivalrous and honorable, not to mention multi-ethnic – the Italian, the Irishman, the American Indian and the Norwegian.

There is true love, adventure, pioneering and a little magic involved. No wait, maybe it is the hand of God.

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Amazon Image The Difference Between Night and Day by Melissa Turner Lee

Nathaniel Taylor was a Christian who thought believers were exempted from “dark times.” That was until he entered his own long time in the dark. When he meets Lilly, a young woman in danger, it sends him on a journey to discover the difference between night and day and that during dark times, the Light is hidden, not gone.

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Amazon Image Prince of Alasia by Annie Douglass Lima

Twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin, heir to the throne of Alasia, barely escapes with his life when invaders from neighboring Malorn attack. Accompanied by Erik, his young bodyguard and friend, Jaymin flees to a nearby town to live in hiding. There, coming face to face with the hardships suffered by the poor, he determines to improve his people’s lives someday when he takes the throne, assuming he can reclaim his kingdom. In his struggle to retain his identity and yet blend in with children in the local school, Jaymin’s life depends on his ability to protect his secret from both enemy troops and unsuspecting townsfolk. Meanwhile, Erik must resort to his skills in unarmed combat to defend Jaymin against everyone from a gang of schoolyard bullies to the Malornians who regularly patrol the streets looking for trouble – and for the missing prince. As the search intensifies and his enemy’s suspicions grow, Jaymin seeks desperately for a way to save his kingdom and himself. Then he stumbles upon a startling discovery that will challenge his assumptions and forever change his view of Malorn and the events that altered his life.

Free Today On Amazon Kindle:

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Amazon Image In The Enemy’s Service by Annie Douglass Lima

When the Malornian army invaded Alasia and Prince Jaymin was forced to flee for his life, what happened to those left behind? In the Enemy’s Service tells the story of ten-year-old Anya, imprisoned among other survivors and forced to work for the occupying troops. While pretending to follow orders and serve diligently in the palace, Anya discovers ingenious ways to spy on enemy officers and slip valuable information to the Alasian resistance.

But as she helps to craft plans that may eventually free Alasia, Anya accidentally uncovers a disturbing reference to her own family. Her fears are strengthened when she is confronted by a mysterious Malornian who seems somehow to know the truth behind the role she has been playing. Holding her life in his hands with that knowledge, he claims to bear information implicating her father in the betrayal that led to the Invasion itself.

Free On Smashwords With Coupon: MX74U

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99 Cent Bargain Books

 

Amazon Image Times of Trouble by Cliff Ball

Terrorist plot expert.
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Tested faith and personal troubles–
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Amazon Image Times of Trial by Cliff Ball

Three Christian families suffer from persecution as the President declares himself dictator, implements something called Order 21, and begins targeting his political and spiritual enemies. Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and Iran intensifies as the End Times approach.

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Amazon Image The Book of the Harvest by Brad Francis

For those who chose to follow Jesus Christ in life, heaven is nothing short of paradise. Time has no meaning and all is blissful reward and endless praise and communion with the One whose very presence makes eternity glorious. These believers lack nothing and their eternal lives are made complete by uninhibited access to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Eternity leaves endless time to grow and worship and play and learn and discuss. It is not surprising, then, when a man begins to wonder about the lives he had a chance to touch during his life on earth. He has no idea where his simple question will lead.

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Amazon Image A Dodge, A Twist, And A Tobacconist by Sophronia Belle Lyon

This series melds some better and lesser-known characters of classic literary fiction: A literary dream team of crime fighters including nods to Dickens, Stevenson, Alcott, Austen, Kipling, Doyle, and other writers across the pond, with plenty of homages to great books sprinkled throughout. Prowl the foggy London streets on the track of a ruthless enslaver of souls. Travel the Thames in a Giant Catfish. Soar over London in a stealth glider, and witness true redemptions and restorations no one ever imagined.

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Amazon Image Nehemiah, LLC by Michael J. Findley

The surface of Mars is swept by violent storms but the Nehemiah Group lives almost idyllically beneath the surface in thousands of acres of “Glop-dropped” parks and sandblasted living quarters. Soothed by the buzzing of bees and chasing the occasional escapees from their small herds of livestock, these people actually research and develop methods to protect the lives and welfare of all the people of the Space Empire. When a plea for help with their specialty comes their lives are turned upside-down. Life support has failed on the balloon ship Sojourner.

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Amazon Image Out Of The Wilderness by Anita K. Greene

Former Navy SEAL Grayson Kerr’s honor has eroded working as a soldier for hire. His newfound faith in God has him longing to restore his integrity. His new mission is to qualify for a job with the SeaMount Agency. He wants to be one of the good guys. In the midst of a wilderness survival trial, he discovers a woman and her children lost in the forest. Abandoning his own mission in order to help them could disqualify him for the job.

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Amazon Image Trapped by Gloria Repp
Book 3 of Tales of Friendship Bog

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Amazon Image The Forever Stone by Gloria Repp

No matter what they think, Madeleine decides to go. She’ll help her aunt restore the old house; she’ll sign up for an online baking course; and she’ll bury–yes, bury–those terrible memories. ”From now on,” she tells herself, “I’m going to be strong and independent.”

Her plan seems to be working, except for the panic attacks, until she has to deflect the attentions of two men.

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Amazon Image The Missing Piece by Carol McCormick

After only a few months of marriage, Lorraine left Dylan on a wintry night after he’d spent one too many nights out with the guys. Unable to cope with the loss, Dylan escapes the painful feelings by drinking them away. This decision costs him a year-and-a-half of his life after he stops in a little mountain town and ends up in the local jail. When he’s released, he returns home in search of a job to get his life…and his wife back.

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Amazon Image The Earth Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

The Earth Painter is a Young Adult Supernatural Romance set in the small mill town of Chesnee, SC. It revolves around Holly Scruggs, whose family has just moved back to Chesnee after her dad lost his job along with pretty much everything they owned. Her image conscious parents correct her to the point of brokenness until she meets Theo. He is the artist responsible for all the beauty of the land and he thinks Holly is beautiful, too. Together they will fight against Fritz, the water painter, who hates humans and is hiding a secret under the high school.

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Amazon Image Chosen by Barbara Ellen Brink

With tongue firmly in cheek and genuine Amish-made stakes at hand, Jael the vampire slayer is ready to kick some serious bloodsucker butt. Seriously.

Move over Buffy – there’s a new slayer in town! Raised in the desert of Nevada, and destined for the Minnesota Loon Lake Amish Community, Jael Shetler is the Chosen One.

Trained by her uncle and father in twenty-one different forms of hand-to-hand combat – she also throws a knife with the speed of a bullet, and is accurate to within two centimeters of a cold, dead heart with her crossbow – she is a bloodsucker’s worst nightmare.

Her parents, forced to leave their plain and simple upbringing to escape the clutches of the new Bishop – an ancient and powerful vampire with plans to use the Amish Community as his own personal Jamba Juice – raise and train their daughter to continue the fight begun thousands of years earlier by another Jael, and to fulfill the prophecy in the Book of the Shunned.

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Amazon Image Hearts On The Road  by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Will Randi find love on the open road? Abandoned, betrayed, and feeling forsaken by God, truck driver Randi Davis crisscrosses Wyoming with a broken heart, vowing never to love another man. Suddenly Matthew Carter, a pastor in search of a mobile ministry, is thrust into her life and into her cab. And there’s nothing she can do about it.  Matthew sees the seedier side of trucking every day, and he feels a pull toward the people there—a definite call to minister to them. But getting this ministry established is proving more difficult than he imagined.  Soon Randi and Matthew find themselves at cross-purposes. His life on the road has just begun. Her eight-year-old niece needs a parent to come home to every day. Will this be the end of the road for Randi and Matthew’s romance?

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Amazon Image That Hoosier’s Cap by Dave King

Stan Leidel has vanished from Beatty … again … leaving his two sons, Tim and Mark, to once again fend for themselves. But this time, there just has to be a good ending to the story!

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Amazon Image Julianne  by Rebekah Lyn

Julianne is a story about a young woman’s struggle to find inner peace and spirituality. Julianne Finnegan has experienced relationship issues, career confusion, and is overshadowed by a successful sibling. Dissatisfaction is evident in every facet of her life. She meets Oliver, a handsome young actor who struggles with demons of his own. Through her encounter with Oliver, Julianne begins to learn about faith in herself and in others, although she is faced with some difficult choices when a former love appears. Julianne is an exploration of the guidance we may seek in establishing relationships with others and a higher power.

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Amazon Image Joe The Dreamer by A.B. Brownell

When Joe’s parents disappear, he becomes the target of the radical militant group that enslaves them and his fate could be worse than death.

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Amazon Image Deep In The Heart by Staci Stallings

Just out of college and completely alone in the world, Maggie Montgomery has one shot left to save her life from an abyss of poverty and hopelessness. Clinging to the last shred of fuel and hope, she arrives at the mansion of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayers. Although Maggie is clearly not what Mr. Ayers and his wife have in mind for a nanny, they agree to hire her temporarily until they can find someone more appropriate to fill the position. However, Maggie’s whole world is about to be up-ended by two way-over-scheduled children and one incredibly handsome hired hand. As she struggles to fit into a world she was never made to fit in, Maggie wonders if she can ever learn to become a perfect version of herself so she can keep the job, or is she doomed to always be searching for a life she can never quite grasp?

Keith Ayers despises his life. As the son of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayers and the fiance to a Senator from Texas’ daughter, it looks great on the outside, but inside, he is dying. He would vastly prefer to manage and train his father’s racehorses. However, everyone else thinks that is beneath him. He needs to get into industry and build on his father’s success. Suffocating under the constrictions of his life, he meets Maggie who begins to teach him that wealth and power is not everything in this life. But can Keith defy the most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart?

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Amazon Image  To Protect & Serve by Staci Stallings

Houston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman’s fireman. He’s not afraid of anything, and no situation is too dangerous to keep him on the sideline if lives are at stake.Lisa Matheson runs a semi-successful ad agency that’s on the brink of falling apart. Her employees are incompetent and her schedule has become exhausting. When she takes on a client with a brilliant idea for a big conference, she thinks that maybe, finally this is her lucky break. However, the fire station wasn’t what she had in mind for finding conference speakers. When she falls for a handsome but shy firefighter, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can’t control Jeff and the death wish he seems to have…

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Amazon Image The Captives by Precarious Yates

Three lives weave together inextricably.

Qoshonni: the warrior.
Shunda: the orphan.
Mookori: the prince.

They fight against the MerKing and rescue the captives.

Can they trust themselves in their fight against this mutual enemy? Can they trust one another?

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Amazon Image Pyromarne by Precarious Yates

The MerKing has access to the magical metal, pyromarne, and the world of Aiqua Marrin is falling apart according to his designs. All his pieces are set in place. But he doesn’t anticipate the resolve of men, the dedication of the Ulys or the purity of the aquavians. Is there enough time to defeat the MerKing before the end that was foretold comes to pass?

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Amazon Image March Madness Revisited by Teirrah McNair

At first glance, Tiny, a young Silicon Valley worker, mightn’t have passed for much more than a pretty yuppie, up and about her sprightly life. When Tiny however meets an unexpected turn in her life, losing her job, without anyone to turn to for help, a desperate casting of doom spells over her.

She is left to fend with absolutely no money, no one to care or her, no rent money and not even gas money that can get her to her next job interview. Alone in a world that so suddenly turns perilous when one is without financial support, Tiny treads through her life with extreme caution, despair and just by blindly clutching on to hope, hope that will eventually redeem her, in a tale of twists, surprises and events that can only be described as put in place by destiny.

March Madness is about triumph of the human spirit. It shows how even people who seem like ordinary people can reach deep into themselves, to pull up amazing bouts of tenacity, fight, resolve and dogged determination, to overcome obstacles that just seem to keep tumbling down when they down on their luck.

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Amazon Image Read Me Dead by Emerald Barnes

Alexia Wheaton’s problems go far beyond picking a dress and a date for the homecoming dance.

For seven years, Alex has lived with a painful memory – the memory of her parents’ horrific murder. As the sole witness, she has kept quiet about the identity of the murderer to protect herself and her family and friends, but when a journalist over hears her secret and writes about it in the local newspaper, Alex is plagued with fear that her parents’ murderer will soon find her – and silence her forever.

Alex is catapulted into a race against time to save her own life and bring her parents’ murderer to justice. She will face many secrets, lies, and betrayals before the truth about their murder is revealed.

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Amazon Image Living a Life of Faith: 21 Days of Faith Challenge by Shelley Hitz

Do you want to live a life of faith?

Do you want your faith to be more than simply saying “I believe in God”?

Do you want to have a genuine faith that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God in every area of your life?

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Faith Challenge through this short but powerful eBook.

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Amazon Image Desires of My Heart by Heather Bixler

The TRUTH is……You don’t have to be perfect to delight in the Lord. You don’t have to have it all together, or have the perfectly balanced life. For so long I thought before I could move forward in certain areas of my life I needed to at least have a perfectly balanced life.

But now I realize that isn’t so. God will bless your efforts, and He will honor your humility. So when you feel like delighting in Him requires action from you to improve or be better at being a Christian, know this, God is strong where ever you are weak, and your actions for the Lord will not go in vain.

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Amazon Image 21 Teen Devotionals… For Girls!  by Heather Hart and Shelley Hitz

Our lives are ruled by habits. We are defined by them. How our days play out, how we act and react, and even how we eat, sleep and talk are all affected by our habits – for better or for worse.

It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one, so why not spend the next 21 days forming a habit of spending time with God? If you’ve got 21 days, we’ve got 21 devotions specifically written for today’s teen girls.

Are you up for forming a habit of spending time with your Creator?  If so, download this book and get started on these devotionals!

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Amazon Image Fuel For The Soul: 21 Devotionals That Nourish by CJ Hitz

It’s been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I don’t know about you but it sure seems difficult to break the bad habits and keep the good ones going. You may have several good habits you’ve formed in your life that have become second nature to you.

For me, running has become one such habit. What started out as a legitimate way to lose some extra pounds and help speed up my metabolism eventually turned into my favorite sport and primary outlet for competition. The daily run is something I look forward to as it leaves me feeling energized and full of life.

If you’re not a runner, you might not be familiar with something called an energy gel. These are little 100 calorie packets of mainly carbohydrates. Brand names include GU, Clif Shot, Hammer, and Stinger to name a few. They are a simple, easy-to-digest form of fuel. I’ve had several instances where I felt low on energy while out on a training run or in a race but then felt an energy surge after consuming one of these little guys. It’s amazing what a difference just 100 calories can make.

It’s my hope that these 21 days of devotions will serve as an “energy gel” or fuel for your soul. They’re meant to be quick yet powerful and thought-provoking no matter what time of day you prefer to read (eat) them.

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Amazon Image Starting Off On The Right Foot: A Beginner’s Guide To Running Well by CJ Hitz

No matter the sport, everyone has to start somewhere. The simple sport of running is no different. Running came natural to us as kids but for various reasons, many of us gave it up at some point.

In Starting Off on the Right Foot, best-selling author CJ Hitz (Smoothies For Runners) shares some of the valuable information he’s learned along the way since picking up running again in 2008. After running in the 1989 State Cross Country meet in Eugene, Oregon as a high school
sophomore, CJ gave up running for nearly 20 years before being drawn back into the sport.

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Amazon Image Another Second Chance by Troy Lewis

This is a very powerful book about the author’s experience in facing the ups and downs of kidney disease–After playing Jesus Christ in a local passion drama for 9 years, his world is turned upside down; As he states in the first chapter, “this would cause me to question who I was, all that I had believed, and God himself.” We live through Troy’s journey and the emotional and spiritual roller coaster with him, but always we sense God in control of the situation-even when all seems hopeless.

You will find yourself eagerly reading, in suspense, wanting to find out what happens next and how God will work. The author merely talks to us as if to friends, sharing something wonderful and awesome that happened to him; How at death’s door step, he found God’s Hope, Peace, and the reason for it all.

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Amazon Image A Mom’s Battle Cry for Rest  Battle Cry Devotional Series by Laura Marshall

Tired? Stressed out? Overwhelmed?

In this little book, set in an easy seven day format, join one Christian mom on her journey to enter into the rest that refreshes and find freedom from weariness.

This is a Battle Cry for Rest.

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Amazon Image Body Image Lies Women Believe by Shelley Hitz

Are you insecure about your looks? Have you ever compared yourself to someone else and found yourself wanting? Do complements or put downs determine the image you have of your beauty?

Throughout this book, Christian women share their stories of how they have struggled with body image lies and a distorted view of themselves. However, each of their stories also contains hope – the hope of replacing these lies with God’s truth. Our prayer for you is that you find encouragement within these pages and allow Christ to transform you with His truth.
God has created each one of us with unique abilities, unique talents and a unique personality. As women we are influencers and God has given us that role and our beauty to share with others. Yet so often we settle for a counterfeit. The enemy has counterfeited our idea of beauty, convincing us to share our beauty with the world in a distorted way. Today that often means that we see our beauty as what we look like on the outside.

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Amazon Image My Treasure  by Heather Bixler

There are plenty of Christian resources out there telling us how to manage our money. From budgeting, to couponing, to saving, to investing, (there are numerous) books, courses, and blogs available for all Christians to learn how to steward their money to better honor and glorify the Lord.

I think these resources are amazing and have often used them in my own life in order to become debt free and learn how to better manage my family’s finances. But one burning question always entered into my mind as I began to budget, coupon, and bring down my debt – what’s the point? my heart still struggled daily with greed and fear when it came to money.

In this four week mini Bible Study, we are not going to examine how to manage our money. Instead we are going to examine our heart towards money. One thing I have learned when it comes to money is this, it’s really not about HOW much money you have that will determine whether you are broke or rich, it’s WHERE your heart is towards God and towards money.

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Amazon Image Thoughts On Being Left Behind by Phyllis Sather

At one time or another we all feel left behind – whether because of illness, loss of a loved one, or the busyness of parenting and/or homeschooling. These timeless pieces, written by someone who went from the life of an active and involved woman to a near invalid within just a few weeks, speak to the heart of anyone who feels like they’ve been put on the shelf and possibly forgotten.

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Amazon Image Purposeful Planning by Phyllis Sather

Does having your spouse’s undivided attention appeal to you? Planning weekends give you time to dream, to talk together about what you wish, or want, at a time when the other person is really listening.

Do you need a plan to keep your family moving in the direction the Lord is leading you? Perhaps you don’t know where the Lord is leading you. Phyllis takes you step-by-step through the process of planning a time together for your family to help determine the path the Lord is choosing for each area of your life. Her family has followed this format for over 12 years and has found that it provides the compass they’ve needed to plan and stay on course.

This time-tested method of planning will give your family new direction for the future. Start today! Choose the dates for your planning weekend, read her book which has the entire “how to” included, and go for it!

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Amazon Image Swallowed By Life by Ada Brownell

In Genesis immediately after Adam and Eve sinned and knew they would die, God promised a Redeemer. Jesus was that Redeemer and He came to do something about death–and He did.

Does the book prove what we read in the Bible? Read it and find out.

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Amazon Image FaithLeaps by Alyssa Avant

Do you believe God has placed a purpose and plan in your heart for business?Do you need help channeling your passion into profits?

Are you scared to death to pursue the plans you believe God has placed in your heart for business?

This Book is for You If You’ve Ever Considered Taking . . . A Leap of Faith

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Amazon Image The Book of Esther: A Story Of Love And Favor  by Deborah H. Bateman

The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor is a Daily-Bible-Reading study of the book of Esther. In the book of Esther, Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai. In a series of events and through fasting, prayer and God’s favor Esther was placed in a position to save the Jewish people. Esther’s cousin Mordecai told her maybe she was born for such a time as this. God puts us all in circumstances where He can use us to further His kingdom and give Him glory, if we are willing and obedient. Esther found her identity in Christ and her purpose for life. Like Esther you were born for such a time as this. You too can find your identity in Christ.

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Amazon Image Psalm 119: Thy Word is a Lamp unto My Feet by Deborah H. Bateman

Psalm 119: Thy Word is a Lamp unto My Feet is a Daily-Bible-Reading Study by Deborah H. Bateman. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and is located in the center of the Bible. It is about the importance of God’s Word, the Bible in your life. It is broken up into twenty-two stanzas of eight verses each so Deborah created twenty-two short lessons which can be used for personal daily devotions or weekly group Bible studies. Each stanza starts with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet so you will also learn about one letter of the Hebrew alphabet with each lesson. Deborah includes a prayer and a few questions at the end of each lesson for personal reflection or group discussion.

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Amazon Image Proverbs of the New Testament by Lara Velez

A Relevant Study of the Book of James. Unlock the Secrets to Living a Victorious Christian Life… the Way God Intended

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Amazon Image Holiness Revealed by Lara Velez

But just as He Who called you is holy, so be holy in all your conduct and manner of living; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:15-16The word “holy” seems to be completely insane and utterly unattainable at first glance. It can also make many cringe at the mere mention of it. In today’s culture, the words: “holiness” and “holy” sound like something out of the dark ages–or at the very least, words spoken by some overzealous religious lunatic.

Thankfully, being holy is not crazy, “old fashioned thinking” or unattainable! It is what we are called to, and if God calls us to it, then He will make a way for us to walk in it!

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Amazon Image The Way of Salvation by Teirrah McNair

Comfort food for new Christians, The Way breaks down salvation basics into easily digestible bites. 5000 words. A great quick read for individual and group study.

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Amazon Image Financial Empowerment Realign Your Finances To God’s Will by Pamela Carmichael

Are you in a constant financial struggle and juggle where there never seems to be enough? Do you wonder if God is able to or even willing to provide for you? Are you constantly paying bills and covering debt payments without seeing much progress? Are you faithful in tithing and giving but yet you cannot see on outpoured blessing?

Then this book is here for you. Financial Empowerment discusses the problems we face in different areas of our finances and shows how to manage money in a God-pleasing manner. In a simple easy-to-read manner, it provides biblical and practical solutions to personal financial management.

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Amazon Image God’s Promises in 8 Key Life Areas That Will Change Your Life Forever by Krystal Kuehn and Violet James

God’s Promises in 8 Keys Life Areas That Will Change Your Life Forever helps you to know and understand who you are and what you have as a child of God. With personalized confessions of Scripture applied to 8 key life areas, you will easily be able to receive God’s promises and live life to the fullest. You will be empowered and changed from the inside out as you walk in the truth of God’s promises in your relationship with Him and others, in your life purpose, in your thought life and more.

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Amazon Image Think Like A Winner by Krystal Kuehn and Violet James

One of the greatest challenges we face in our Christian walk is the renewal of our minds and the application of Biblical truth and principles to our lives. This is an ongoing process, and it is the key to our victory and fulfillment. Think Like a Winner – How Renewing Your Mind with God’s Word Empowers You to Win in Life will inspire and motivate you to live the fulfilling life Jesus died to give you. You will gain a deeper understanding of the power and importance of renewing your mind. You will be given examples and exercises on how to apply and practice Biblical truth and principles.

This book is a perfect companion to In Christ, I am… and God’s Promises on Who You Are in Christ that Will Transform You from the Inside Out. You can win every battle and have victory in your mind, relationships, family, work, health …. because you are born to be a winner!

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Amazon Image Experience Life in Poetry Random Life Observations, Parenthood and Growing-up by Shannon Sonneveldt

This is volume one in the Experience Life in Poetry series, a series that reflects observations and emotions at any given moment in life from childhood to present time. Think of moments that stood out in time for you. Moments that made you laugh, made you cry, made you think or made you sigh. Hopefully, you will experience these same emotions through the poems in the book whether it’s wonder, laughter, understanding or something all together different. I hope it makes you think or makes you feel.

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