Starting Now

January 27, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

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Starting Now by Debbie Macomber

Have you ever lost your job? What did you do to cope?

Workaholic Libby Morgan is determined to make partner. However, a huge monkey wrench is thrown in her plans when her law firm decides to end her employment. Her mentor at the firm advises that she “get a life”. Libby has not taken time to enjoy life for a long time. She’s too busy working.

This book was a deeply emotional book. It’s from Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street Series. Libby begins to fill her time with a number of activities that enrich her life. She takes up knitting and mentors a troubled teenaged girl. If you’ve read other Blossom Street books, then you’ll see some familiar characters.

This is a story about Libby’s journey to finding herself, finding peace, happiness and love.

So, have you ever lost your job? What did you do to cope?

 

Sunday Brunch – Breaking The Sabbath

January 24, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

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Have you ever wonder about life during Old Testament times? I highly doubt I’d have been able to survive as one of the Israelites. This poor man mentioned in the following scripture – I have to wonder if he sinned intentionally, or, if he simply forgot the Sabbath:

Numbers 15:32-36

The Sabbath-Breaker Put to Death

32 While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death,as the Lord commanded Moses.

 

What do you think? Did this man intentionally sin, or did he simply forget that it was the Sabbath? Such a harsh way of life back then, before Christ came to save us. Don’t you agree?

 

 

Sunday Brunch – Have A Little Faith!

January 17, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

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Have you ever had weak faith?

Numbers: Chapters 13-14

In yesterday’s blog post I mentioned Moses sending his spies to the land of Canaan (the land flowing with milk and honey). When they returned, the spies gave a bad report about the land, stating that the Nephilim (Amalekites) were huge, and they were like grassphoppers compared to these beings. This bad report caused a big uproar amongst the Israelites. They doubted they could take over the land. The only spies who had faith were Joshua and Caleb. They knew that the Lord was on their side and would protect them from these giants.

The people grumbled, doubting the Lord’s protection. They even spoke of stoning Caleb and Joshua! The Lord became angry. He told the people that Joshua and Caleb, as well as all of the Israelites children who were under twenty years old would inherit the land of Canaan. The rest of them would loose their inheritance, becoming desert wanderers until their deaths.

The Lord killed the men who’d spread the bad report. Going against the Lord’s wishes, the people went up to the promised land (Canaan) anyway, only to be attacked by the Amalekites and Canaanites.

The Israelites were so stubborn, not listening to the Lord. They ignored the Lord’s miraculous signs/miracles!

Have you ever been faced with a strong fear, and doubted your faith in God? 

So glad that Jesus came, bringing hope and grace for us all! I know my faith has been weak! But, back in the Old Testament, I’ve always felt that God seemed to be in more direct contact with his chosen followers. It was a world much different than the way we live today. Even the earth was different, geographically, back then!

Sunday Brunch – It Takes Two Men To Carry A Cluster Of Grapes?

January 16, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

Photo use courtesy of photographer Suat Eman.

Does the Old Testament remind you of a science fiction novel? 

Numbers 13:23-25
23 Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs. 24 The place was called the Valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the men of Israel cut down there. 25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.

If you read my blog post last Wednesday, you’ll see that I was talking about the Giants/Nephilim in the Bible. A few verses before the verse that I quoted in Numbers, you’ll see that the spies that Moses sent out were to bring him samples of the food that was growing in the land of Canaan (also known as the land of milk and honey). They went to Hebron and cut down one cluster of grapes and two men had to carry this one cluster on a pole between them! Can you imagine how huge those grapes were? Plus, this is where the Giants were living, too. I’ll bet those grapes were as big or bigger than the apples that we eat today! Reading about these grapes and those giants reminds me of a science fiction novel!

I did some more research about the Giant people that appear in the Old Testament. The Nephilim mentioned in Genesis were killed in the big flood that God caused to wipe out every living thing on the earth with the exception of the inhabitants of Noah’s Ark.

The people that Moses’s spies saw when gathering the grapes, the Giants/Nephilim, were descendants of a man named Anak. Anak was a Raphaite. The Anakites or Rephaim were Giants that are mentioned in the Old Testament several times. It appears that they finally died off because there is a scripture Deuteronomy 3:11 which states:
11 (Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide.

As I think about it further, and as I mentioned yesterday, I’m assuming the Fallen Angels appeared again sometime after the flood and infiltrated the bloodline of Anak somehow?

What do you think about all of this? Can you imagine living in a land with those gigantic people with gigantic clusters of grapes? Almost makes me feel like I’m not on this earth when I read about it because the concept is so foreign. I’ll bet God’s earth looked a LOT different back in those days!

 

 

 

If you are interested, here are all of the scripture references of the Anakites, Nephilim, and Raphaim. Look them up if you want:
Genesis 6:1-4
Genesis 14:5
Genesis 15:20
Numbers 13
Numbers 13:33
Deuteronomy 2:11
Deuteronomy 2:10-11,20
Deuteronomy 2:18-21
Deuteronomy 3:11,13
Joshua 12:4
Joshua 13:12
Joshua 15:8
Joshua 15:13
Joshua 17:15
Joshua 18:16
2 Samuel 5:11,22

2 Samuel 21:20–21
2 Samuel 23:13
1 Chronicles 11:15
1 Chronicles 14:9
1 Chronicles 20:4

Most of the scriptures just give these giant people a brief mention. I’m assuming all were evil people like the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis, especially since Moses’s spies were told to get rid of the different people living in the land of Canaan, which included these Giants! I got most of this research from Wikipedia, so, use at your own risk! I did look up all of the scriptures but this is NOT a subject matter in which I’m an expert! If I have any facts that are wrong, then feel free to correct me! I’m willing to learn!

 

Sunday Brunch – Miriam – The Jealous Sister

January 10, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

 

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See Numbers Chapter 12, copied at the end of this blog post.

Do you remember learning about Miriam in Sunday school? It was taught how she was brave, helping to save her brother, Moses’s, life by following his basket in the river. Did you ever learn about her jealous nature?

Both Miriam and Aaron spoke against their brother, Moses. They were jealous because of his Cushite wife, and it appeared that they were angered because the Lord only seemed to speak through Moses, His humble servant.

I wondered why the Lord chose to strike Miriam with leprosy and not Aaron? Both of them spoke against Moses, so, I’d imagine both of them should have been punished. Reading the Old Testament is so mind-boggling and depressing. It’s a wondrous event that Christ came and forgave us for all our sins. I couldn’t imagine living life as they did in the Old Testament.

Why do you think that God chose to punish Miriam with leprosy and not Aaron? Was there a reason why Miriam was singled out?

 

Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses

12 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife,for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
    I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
    I speak to them in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses;
    he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face to face,
    clearly and not in riddles;
    he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
    to speak against my servant Moses?”

The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.

10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous[a]—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, 11 and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”

13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!”

14 The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” 15 So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.

16 After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.

A Sugar Creek Christmas

January 4, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

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A Sugar Creek Christmas by Jenny B. Jones

Have you ever regretted losing a former boyfriend/girlfriend? 

Anchorwoman Emma Sutton makes a surprising mistake on the job by saying that she hates Christmas. To vindicate herself, she must bring the perfect Christmas story to her employer. She returns to Sugar Creek, her hometown, to cover their Christmas-y atmosphere for her story. However, her new boss is Noah Kincaid. Noah is her former fiancé. Noah is startled to discover he’s working with Emma. After all, ten years ago, she broke his heart with false promises of marriage. Can he find it in his heart to forgive her? Can he ignore these feelings of affection for his former fiancée?

This book was a nice, pleasant Christmas read. I especially enjoyed reading about Sugar Creek. It’s a lovely Christmas town and I wanted to go and visit the place (even though it’s fictional). This story is also about forgiveness, trying to make amends with estranged family members.

So, have you ever had a relationship that you regretted losing? How did you get over your regrets? Were you able to re-connect with your lost love?

Raspberry Kisses – USA Today’s 2015 Must-Read Romance List

January 3, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

Raspberry Kisses made USA Today’s 2015 Must-Read Romance List! 

From USA Today – Must-read romances for 2015:
Raspberry Kisses (The Bakery Romance series) by Cecelia Dowdy. Cecelia Dowdy brings inspirational romance Raspberry Kisses to life with an emotional premise that ignites the attraction between this seemingly reluctant couple. Faith, hope and a tender romance develop amid the unfolding insecurities and doubt. The struggle and dynamics among the characters are equally satisfying as the rewards. Dowdy writes with the right touch to keep the readers engaged and vested in this delightful story and for the next installment.

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Shades Of Chocolate – Chapter One

December 14, 2015 Posted by novelistcd

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The Bakery Romance Series – Three bakers meet at a food conference, becoming long-distance friends. Each baker faces trials and tribulations, testing their faith in God.

Shades of Chocolate, Book 2 in The Bakery Romance Series, is now available for pre-order! Below is the first scene from the novel:

 

The navy-blue uniformed security guard grinned at Toni, holding a pink, heart-shaped cupcake in his hand. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

She returned his smile, snuggling beneath the fabulous winter cape that her fiancé Brian had gotten for her last birthday. “Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too.” She took a deep breathe, trying to calm her racing heart. “I’m here to see Brian Carter.”

The guard nodded. “Go on up. His admin told me you’d be stopping by for lunch.”

“Thanks.” Toni’s high-heeled black patent leather shoes tapped against the waxed floor as she strolled toward the elevator. She entered, pressing the button for the third floor.  She took deep breaths, clutching the handle of her picnic basket. “I’ve got to make it through this lunch.” She closed her eyes, the cool interior of the carpeted elevator bringing her a shred of comfort. Hopefully, her surprise Valentine’s Day lunch with Brian would give them a chance to talk about the problems they’d been having.

She stepped out of the elevator, going toward the double oak doors that led to Brian’s office. She slowly opened the door, giving a sharp cry. Brian clutched his secretary, Gia, in his arms, kissing her! He moaned, opening his eyes, spotting Toni in the doorway. He dropped his arms, his light brown skin reddening.

“Toni—” he started toward her.

What in the world? This had to be a dream. She froze, unable to move. She finally backed up, slamming into the wall behind her, still staring at Brian. She opened her mouth, but, she couldn’t speak. She glanced at Gia, who grinned, her eyes sparkling. Her blouse was unbuttoned and Toni spotted the lacy pattern of her bra. Finally finding her voice, Toni groaned, closing her eyes, her heart pounding.

She swallowed as Brian approached, the tangy scent of his cologne surrounded her. She’d usually found joy in Brian’s scent, but now, the nauseous odor of his aftershave just made her sick. He reached for her.

“Don’t touch me!”

“Baby, just give me a minute to explain.” His deep voice filled the room, and Toni looked away, backing toward the door. Gia buttoned her blouse, grabbed her pantyhose from the floor and rushed from the office.

The chocolate muffin she’d eaten an hour ago swirled in her stomach.  A sour taste filled her mouth. Have mercy, she was going to puke. The picnic basket slipped from her sweaty, shaky hands and chicken and chocolate pie exploded from the container onto Brian’s immaculate beige carpet. Her pink-enveloped Valentine’s Day card tumbled from the basket, landing on top of the pie. The intermingled scents of chicken and chocolate filled her nose, the food making her stomach cramp. She pressed her fingers to her quivering mouth. A sour taste filled her tongue.

Vomit exploded from her lips, right onto Brian’s fancy leather shoes. Blackness swirled around her, and she blinked. She couldn’t faint, not right now. She needed to give Brian a piece of her mind. She glanced at him. His nut-brown skin reddened as he glanced at his shoes, refusing to look at her. Did he really care more about his shoes than he did their relationship?

She rushed from the room.

“Toni!”

His voice sounded behind her but, she couldn’t stop. She ran to her car, got in, tried to put the keys into the ignition, but, she dropped them. She couldn’t drive, not like this. Her phone buzzed, but, she ignored it. Leaning against the steering wheel, she cried, her entire body shaking.

Do You Believe In Santa Claus? From The Blog Archives!

December 12, 2015 Posted by novelistcd

This is an old blog post from 2008!

 

When you were a kid, did you believe in Santa Claus?

Believe it or not, it’s a few days before Christmas, and I’m struggling with the Santa Claus issue. As a Christian, is it right to teach my child to believe in Santa Claus? I just don’t know. Santa Claus came to my three-year-old’s daycare this morning and gave the kids gifts. I took pictures. When I picked up my son at the end of the day, he was anxious to take his gift home and open it. He said, “I want to open the gift that Santa Claus gave me.”

As you might be able to tell, I’m not the most holiday-spirited person. I grew up not believing in Santa Claus, and I’ve never purchased a Christmas tree. My hubby and I usually exchange gifts with one another for Christmas, but, now that we have a child, Christmas celebrations may be taken up a notch or two! For the last few years, our child wasn’t really vocal about celebrating the holiday. However, this year, he notices the Christmas lights and he’ll say, “Mommy. Look at the lights! Are they out here because it’s Christmas?”

We don’t have a tree this year, but we’ve got lots of great Christmas cards decorating the mantle over our fireplace! Our son has never asked for a tree, but I feel that next year will be the year when we’ll buy him a Christmas tree.

I’ve purchased a ton of gifts for our son. I’ve been wrapping them while he’s in bed. I’ve hidden the gifts in the closet in my office. I’m not sure what I’ll say when he sees the pile of gifts at the appointed time. If he says, “Mommy, did Santa Claus bring the gifts?” What’ll I say…Yes?? or, No…??

I guess, as of right now, he’ll just awaken to the pile of presents, and I’ll say, “Open your gifts!” I won’t mention Santa unless he does, and then I’ll play it by ear, decide on what to say!

My question to readers is: What would you do if you were me? Did you believe in Santa when you were a kid?

 

Christmas Traditions!

December 8, 2015 Posted by novelistcd

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Merry Christmas! Do you have any Christmas traditions? If so, I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment!