Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's a Jolly Holiday with Casey!

Oh, it's a jolly holiday with Casey! Casey makes your heart so light...

It really was a jolly holiday last weekend, when Casey Herringshaw (of Writing for Christ fame) came to visit me! We didn't jump into any paintings like Mary Poppins, but we did ride a carousel and have a grand old time! 

From attending a church service together, to going to the park and riding the lovely Riverfront Carousel, to eating lunch at Olive Garden and catching up on all the news (I got to hear Casey's dancing story firsthand!), and even giving Casey a tour of Corban, it was a delightful Sunday - and the often cranky Oregon weather was quite cooperative! How blessed am I to have met such wonderful friends through blogging - and then to actually meet a dear blogging friend in person, not once, not twice, but three times so far?? I am blessed, indeed!!!

It was so sweet of Casey to come and visit me - and Casey, I hope you know that I'm so grateful you made it work! I'm hoping that if it's the Lord's will, we'll have some more jolly holidays together. =)

To all of my blogging friends, thank you so much for your friendship! Because of your kindness, encouragement, and support, I can have a virtual jolly holiday through blogging anytime!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Prophet (CFBA Blog Tour) - With Update

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2012)
R.J. Larson


 R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women's Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman's Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre.


Close your eyes, Ela of Parne. Close your eyes and you will see.

Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified, bad tempered, and only seventeen--not to mention that no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

Istgard has turned their back on me. See the evil they do.

Yet after experiencing His presence, she can't imagine living without Him. Determined to follow the Infinite's voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite's word to a nation torn apart by war. Here she meets Kien, a young Traceland ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela must surrender to her destiny . . . and determine how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

Will you accept the branch and speak my will? Will you be my prophet?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Prophet, go HERE.


Another week has come and gone... And here I am again without a review! I have started to read this book, and I am certainly intrigued. It's fantasy with a twist of biblical "flavor." I'm curious to see what happens to the hero and heroine after they meet!

I owe ya'll (and different publishers/authors) some reviews, and I do hope to start delivering on those in May, after graduation. (Have I mentioned I'm graduating?? Sorry for being so repetitive - it's just hard to believe that the day is almost here, and hard to believe I have such a short amount of time to get everything done!) There might be a few posts here and there before graduation, but for the most part, I hope to be back more often in May with some fun posts (I'm thinking graduation, Sherlock Season 2 (!!!), book reviews, and maybe the 3rd Annual Camp Humility if I can squeeze it in...).

May God bless you all, and thank you so much for your patience! 

 *With thanks to Bethany House Publishers through CFBA for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion - coming soon!*

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Fiddler (CFBA Blog Tour)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Fiddler
Bethany House Publishers (April 10, 2012)
Beverly Lewis


Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."


Come home to Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania--the beloved setting where Beverly Lewis's celebrated Amish novels began--with new characters and new stories of drama, romance, and the ties that draw people together.

A wrong turn in a rainstorm leads Englisher Amelia Devries to Michael Hostetler--and the young Amishman's charming Old Order community of Hickory Hollow. Despite their very different backgrounds, Amelia and Michael both feel hemmed in by the expectations of others and struggle with how to find room for their own hopes. And what first seems to be a chance encounter might just change their lives forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Fiddler, go HERE.

Watch the book video:

Unfortunately, I haven't read The Fiddler, so no review yet. However, I'm eager to dive into this book  - it looks good!

Also, if you don't see me around the blogosphere much, it might be because I only have a little over three weeks until graduation!!! So I think it's safe for you to assume that no news is good news (as in, I'm surviving, LOL!).

*With thanks to Bethany House Publishers through CFBA for providing me with an ARC/galley of the book in exchange for my honest opinion - coming soon!*

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sundays through the Seasons

What is eternal life?

I recently explored this topic in a paper for my Johannine Theology class (a class studying the theology presented in the books of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation). In Sunday School as children, and perhaps even in certain contexts as adults, we are taught that eternal life is that which will begin after we die and go to heaven.

When Jesus prayed for His disciples before being arrested and crucified, He said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). And at an earlier time He declared, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" (John 10:10b-11).

At Easter we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus - that incredible, powerful reality that allows us to claim eternal life through faith.

So again, remembering and considering the Resurrection of Christ, what is the eternal life that God has offered us?

I think the movie Tuck Everlasting gives us a picture of what eternal life is not - as well as a beautiful hint at what eternal life is.

Tuck Everlasting is about a girl who meets the Tucks - a family who inadvertently found a spring that gave them immortal life when they drank from it. But while their way of life is unhurried and leisurely, and they don't have to worry about disease or death, they aren't exactly happy. Angus Tuck says at one point, "What we Tucks have you can't call livin'."

And it isn't living. The point of eternal life is not endless days. The point, as Jesus Himself declared, is a relationship with God:

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

Eternal life isn't endless, meaningless days without God. That is hell. "Eternal life" here on earth is not what we truly desire or need. True eternal life begins when we believe in God - and it continues on through eternity, beyond death.

The glimpse of this in Tuck Everlasting is found in the line, "Do not fear death. Fear the unlived life." It's a great reminder of the message of 1 Corinthians 15:54-57...

"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

So if you are saved through the grace of God, through faith in Jesus, may today's (and every) remembrance of the empty tomb thrill you with the knowledge of the eternal life with the Lord that you have already begun.

"Do not fear death. Fear the unlived life."

(Movie image from

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Midweek Memo

Hope everyone is having a great week so far! I'm back at school and keeping busy with last-month-of-school stuff. But I had to jump in here today and let you know my blogoversary winner:


Congratulations, Aizess! Keep a lookout for my e-mail!

Thank you all again for joining me on this blogging journey as "Seasons of Humility" enters its third year of existence! =)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sundays through the Seasons

Happy April! With a new month comes a few new changes:

I've deleted my "Mondays for the Military" page. This is not to say that I will never have "Mondays for the Military" posts again - this is just an acknowledgement of the fact that this isn't (nor has it been for quite a while) a regular feature anymore. But if you ever want to read those posts from the past, just scroll down to the "Labels: From Days Gone By" section in the sidebar and click the "Mondays for the Military" link.

Speedbo 2012 - the month-of-March-long endeavor - is now officially over. You might be wondering how I did... Well, I can tell you that I didn't finish my current WIP. However, I did log 7,500 words! It may not seem like much, but it's progress nonetheless. After the first couple of weeks I got sidetracked by life and such, and I wasn't sure exactly where to go with my manuscript after writing a critical scene. But yesterday I found some Scripture verses that helped me organize my WIP and give me a general idea of where I might go from here - a blessing indeed! April won't bring much writing time. As my last month of classes, it's going to be papers, tests, and community service hours - oh my!! But summer's right around the corner, so hopefully you'll see some more green on that progress meter I'm keeping in the sidebar soon!

Also, some of you may recall my past "Sundays by the Sea" devotional posts. Today I'm launching a new devotional series: "Sundays through the Seasons." I'd like to do more devotional posts again, and I think this seasonal theme should go nicely with my blog's overall theme and leave plenty of topic ideas open. Hope these posts encourage you! The first devotional in this series is below:

"Love Makes Us Real"

What better movie to watch during spring break (or any time during the spring season) than one about a cute stuffed bunny who ends up becoming a real rabbit? Yes, my family and I watched The Velveteen Rabbit (two different versions, actually - an animated one and the one directed by Michael Landon Jr.) this last week.

Shared in sweet simplicity, this story about a boy and his toy is a beautiful story about the transforming power of love. Here is a stuffed bunny who's future stretches before him bleak and hop-less. He can't do anything on his own. He needs a young boy to imagine him to life - and he lives in fear of being abandoned and unloved one day.

Over time the boy comes to love the velveteen rabbit as he plays with him and takes the rabbit everywhere he goes. In the animated version, it is the boy's love that changes the stuffed rabbit into a real rabbit. In Michael Landon Jr.'s version, it is the rabbit's love for the boy (in addition to the boy's love) that finally changes him. Combined, the message declares that loving relationships are what make us truly "real." The Velveteen Rabbit is a helpful and heartwarming visual of the message of 1 Corinthians:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I can remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

(Verses 1-3; emphasis mine)

The velveteen rabbit is burned (or supposed to be burned) along with the other items the boy touched during a case of small pox, in order to get rid of anything that might recontaminate the boy or others. But the bunny comforted the boy during his illness and showed him love, and so his trial through fire, so to speak, finds him transformed into a real rabbit - safe, with a new life.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away....

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

(1 Corinthians 13:10, 12)

The velveteen rabbit discovered just how amazing being loved and loving can be. He was once just a stuffed rabbit - but then, because of love, he became real.

This Easter (and in every season), the story of the velveteen rabbit serves as a great reminder of the love that sets us free and gives us new life - a real life in which we love others because we were first loved by God.

(Velveteen Rabbit movie cover image from