Don’t Quit Your Race

Ice-from-window-large-NorthStaring out of my icy window pane, I shivered with dread as Hagee’s words echoed in my ears, “This is not a race for the fainthearted, it is not a race for cotton candy Christians who refuse to take tough stands on tough issues least they be ridiculed by local media or rejected by their socialite friends…”

Hagee’s “The Rules of the Race” is taken from Hebrews 12:1 … “let us run with patience the race which is set before us…” This race is the brutal race of our forefathers, Hebrews 11:32-37 “…They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented…”

But, being a Christian was all about love? That’s all God wants from us. From God, we can expect love and a get-in-free pass to heaven. Right?

The Bible is the rule book and Hagee explains, God will hold us accountable on judgment day. Many churches are helping Christians to feel good without being good, it’s just a big party and everyone is singing ‘Amazing Grace’ on their way to hell.

But… as long as I listen in my pastor, I’ll get to heaven, right? Besides, we have grace? Doesn’t that mean we can live like we please?

Hagee states that God will curse the churches of America for not supporting the Bible. The Supreme Court redefined marriage! Planned Parenthood is murdering children with our tax dollars! Christians are told in the Bible to be “salt” and “light”. Salt fights corruption and light is offensive to darkness…

Well, I don’t think Christians should be offensive to anyone. Now-a-day Christians are called to be politically correct and, well, we have to change with the times, right? After all, an all-knowing God knew about these changing times. He doesn’t expect us to stand up against all this—controversy. Well, yes, there was Sodom and Gomorrah—and God rained His fiery judgment, but that was in the Old Testament, that doesn’t apply to modern day, right? Then there were the people of Nineveh who did repent…?

What about Matthew 24:13 “…But those enduring to the end shall be saved.” And James 5:11 “We count them happy which endure.” Is the Bible of yesterday preparing us to fight against the evil of today?

What Hagee says make sense, “You can’t have a victory unless you fight something.”

Fight what? We don’t have to worry about anything. All we have to do is give to the local charities and go to church and make sure we tithe.

Hagee said that as Jesus suffered, and as our forefathers suffered, Christians, too, will be called to suffer. 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to Him…”

“Say not that a man has lived a good life until you know how he died.” Hagee continues. The church of America is at war! Churches need to get off the sidelines, America needs them!

God is love, however, Hagee explains that if there is hidden sin in your life—confess it! (Proverbs 28:13) Hebrews 12:2 says to focus your eyes on Jesus who endured the cross, despising the shame for us. Don’t allow the past to control your future. Run your race! Jesus has prepared a place for YOU and you will have a glorious mansion forever if you don’t quit your race. Run to win the prize of eternal life with Jesus!

Do you think your pastor or your loved one needs to here this sermon?

John Hagee The Rules of the Race

How can YOU be Supportive

Booksigning-with-Annabelle-2About that book you couldn’t put down?

Award winning author, Kristen Lamb says that the best way is to “WRITE A REVIEW. A GOOD ONE.”

Lamb explains that reviews are more important now than ever before. “If you love our books, your promotion means a thousand times more than any ad I could pay for. Ads and marketing don’t sell books. Never did and never will. Only thing that sells books is word of mouth!”

Lamb doesn’t hold back any punches and goes on to say, “You will be shocked how much regular people will pay attention to YOU!”

“When you review us, Amazon favors our books in the algorithms meaning more people SEE our books.” Lamb’s enthusiasm is contagious, and she admits that, “In the on-line world YOU have the power to get US that awesome front of the store book placement.”

Read on about:  The Ugly Truth of Publishing and How Best to Support Writers

Enjoy!

How can you get the Word Out…

About that book you just couldn’t put down and support writers you love?

Kristen Lamb says that the best way is to “WRITE A REVIEW. A GOOD ONE.”

Lamb goes on to say that reviews are more important now than ever before. “If you love our books, your promotion means a thousand times more than any ad I could pay for. Ads and marketing don’t sell books. Never did and never will. Only thing that sells books is word of mouth!”

Read on for more helpful tips in:  The Ugly Truth of Publishing and How Best to Support Writers

Enjoy!

What a Wonderful Chance!

kindle girl

My publisher, CrossRiver Media Group, is supplying her Kindle books at a temporarily reduced price of $1.99 (unless specified) for selected authors!

Don’t delay in purchasing yours.

51PzskyPZ7L__AA160_Wilted Dandelions
by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

The Second Great Awakening has stirred a young woman’s soul.

High-spirited Rachael Rothburn is eager to leave her luxurious life in Buffalo, New York, to share the gospel with Native Americans in the Oregon Territory. But the missionary alliance requires their missionaries to be married and Rachael has no husband or suitors. When Dr. Jonathan Wheaton, another missionary hopeful, learns about the restriction, he is desperate to find a wife. He offers Rachael a marriage of convenience and she agrees. The pair sets off for Oregon to share Jesus with the natives, but in the process they discover God doesn’t create coincidences—He designs possibilities.   $1.99

51z0M0ITlvL__AA160_Road to Deer Run (Deer Run Saga Book 1)
by Elaine Marie Cooper

The year is 1777 and the war has already broken the heart of Mary Thomsen, a nineteen-year-old colonial woman from Massachusetts. Her brother, Asa is dead — killed by the King’s army, so when she stumbles across a wounded British soldier, her sense of right and wrong is challenged. Should she help a soldier of the enemy who took her brother’s life, or let him die, cold and alone?

The war has also broken British soldier Daniel Lowe’s spirit. A severely wounded prisoner of war, he escaped his rebel captors while on a death march to Boston. As the pain in his injured leg worsens, he wonders if the young woman looking down at him is an angel or the enemy.

Need and compassion bring these two young lives together, but will the bitterness of war keep them apart? Or can they find their way to love and forgiveness on the Road to Deer Run?   $1.99

51Xc7U45DsL__AA160_Carried by Grace by Debra L. Butterfield

“My twelve-year-old daughter had put a chef’s knife to her chest and threatened to kill herself. Her step-dad was sexually abusing her. I felt swallowed by darkness — like Jonah in the belly of the whale. This can’t be happening.”

A family member… a friend… someone you know has sexually abused your child. Tumultuous emotions buffet you from all sides. You’re feeling lost and confused. Where do you turn for help? Part memoir, part devotional, author Debra L. Butterfield offers…

• comfort for your heartache
• practical guidance for daily needs
• a biblical path to healing, and
• encouragement and hope along the way.
Let yourself be Carried by Grace as you journey toward restoration. $3.99

41xGddN5p7L__AA160_The Grace Impact by Nancy Kay Grace

Chapter after chapter, verse after verse, the Bible shows a loving heavenly Father lavishing His grace on us through His Son. In her book, The Grace Impact, author Nancy Kay Grace gives us a closer glimpse of God’s character. In all things at all times, His grace covers every detail of life, not just the good things, but the difficult, sad, and complicated things. That knowledge can give us the ability to walk confidently through life knowing our heavenly Father is with us every step of the way. $3.99

51UHKDZzzPL__AA160_The Benefit Package: 30 days of God’s goodness from Psalm 103
by Tamara Clymer
Love, redemption, mercy…provision, revelation and healing — In Psalm 103, David listed just a few of the good things God did for him. When life get tough it is easy to get discouraged, but David’s list gives us plenty to be thankful for. These thirty true stories will remind you of all the amazing things our heavenly Father does for his people. No matter your circumstances or background, God is full of compassion, generous with his mercy, unfailing in his love and powerful in healing. When your circumstances leave you feeling like you have nothing to be thankful for — unwrap his benefit package and rediscover God’s goodness.   FREE

51QlnJcE8jL__AA160_Postmark from the Past
by Vickie Phelps

In November 1989, Emily Patterson is enjoying a quiet life in West Texas. She lives in the same house she grew up in, has a great job and good friends. But emptiness nips at her heart. Then a red envelope appears in her mailbox. It’s a letter from Mark who declares his love for her, and promises to come to her if he makes it home alive. But who is Mark? She flips the envelope over, but there is no return address and it is postmarked 1968. Over the next few days more letters mysteriously appear in her mailbox and odd things start happening. Is someone playing a cruel joke? Her friends say it is the season for miracles. As Emily seeks to solve the mystery, can she risk her heart to find a miracle in the Postmark from the Past?   $1.99

51yuh6CXMhL__AA160_Where Hope Starts
by Angela D. Meyer

Karen Marino’s life is a nightmare. The New York City restaurant manager is a professional success, but her marriage is in shambles. When her husband, Barry shows up drunk at her restaurant, she loses both. She flees The Big Apple and returns to her Midwestern home to sort through her options. But instead of answers, she finds an old boyfriend ready to rekindle romance, a family full of secrets and an angry brother bent on revenge. Karen wants to do the right thing, but how do you forgive the unforgivable? As she searches for the answer, she uncovers a family secret that threatens to tear them all apart. Can she find her way back to the place Where Hope Starts?   $1.99

51GYSmI-ypL__AA160_Finding Beth
by Linnette R. Mullin

Three years ago, Beth Gallagher lost her brother, Josh, in a tragic accident. Grief-stricken and estranged from her father, she turned to the one man her brother warned her about — Kyle Heinrich. Now she has discovered his dark side. She flees to the Smoky Mountains to clear her mind and seek God’s will about her impending marriage. With the help of a new friend, she finds the answers she needs, but will she have the resolve to follow through? And, if so, what will it cost her? Kyle Heinrich is used to getting his way, so when his fiancée leaves town without a word, he is furious. When she returns with a new man by her side, he determines to make her his — one way or another.  $1.99

519jWTLT1DL__AA160_Final Grace of Reverend G (Life at Cove Creek, #1)
by RJ Thesman

She has reached the final stages of Alzheimer’s still, Reverend G finds ways to bring encouragement and humor to the residents of Cove Creek. The cast of characters at the assisted living facility widens around her, even as her world begins to shrink. She becomes a grandmother and her relationship with Chris deepens through need and grace. Meanwhile, the disease is always there, robbing her of memories and now, even her words. But even as Reverend G struggles to communicate with her friends and family, she remains steadfastly honest in prayer. Once worried about forgetting God, the brave little minister discovers that He will never forget her. $1.99

51FsEFxVvhL__AA160_Generations
by Sharon Garlock Spiegel

When Edward Garlock was sober, he was a kind, hard-working farmer providing for his wife and eight children, but drinking transformed him into a bully, capable of absolute cruelty. When he stepped into a revival tent in the early 1900s the Holy Spirit got ahold of him, changing not only his life, but thousands of others through Edward. This true story of a family’s troubled past will leave you breathless at the depravity of human nature and amazed at the power Divine intervention.  $1.99

ConfessionsConfessions of a Lip Reading Mom by Shanna Groves

As Shanna Groves held her newborn son, she should have reveled in the joys of motherhood. But instead of hearing sounds she once took for granted — the doorbell, smoke alarms, baby cries — all she heard was silence. Then the buzzing started — the sound of locusts filling her head. What was wrong with her and most importantly, how could she care for her newborn son, if she couldn’t even hear him cry? In Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom, Shanna Groves shares her struggle to find God’s grace during her roller coaster ride of unexplained deafness. No matter the struggles you’re facing, Shanna’s honesty in sharing her emotional battle with a progressive hearing loss diagnosis, will inspire you to reach out for your heavenly Father’s hand…and hang on tight.  $1.99

Thirty Days of GloryThirty Days to Glory by Kathy Nickerson

Catherine Benson longs to do one great thing before she dies and Elmer Grigsby hopes to stay seriously drunk until he slips out of the world unnoticed. Against a Christmas backdrop, Catherine searches for purpose while fighting the infirmities of age and the best intentions of her children. She gains support in the battle from her faithful housekeeper and her quirky friends known as the Glory Circle Sisters. Elmer isn’t supported by anyone, except maybe his cat. When he opens the last whiskey bottle of the month, he knows it is time to shuffle down to the post office and pick up his government check. Somewhere in his fog, Elmer knows he was once a better man. That is why he stays in the fog. When their destinies intersect one Tuesday in December, they both discover it is only Thirty Days to Glory. $1.99

The King of Glory Comes, the Nation Rejoices!

Christmas at St. Paul

The 2015 Christmas season is often a painful reminder of past Christmases. “Merry Christmas” is being replaced with “Happy Holidays.” Hallmark and other Christmas programs, omit nativity scenes. The Christ child is replaced with magical Santas.

When I entered my grandchildren’s Christian school, the band was playing an old tune, “My Country ‘tis of Thee.” I hadn’t heard that song played by children since I was a child in public grade school. Believe me, that was many generations ago. I even recalled the verses I had loved to sing the best: “Our fathers’ God to Thee, Author of Liberty, To thee we sing, Long may our land be bright With Freedom’s holy light, Protect us by thy might Great God, our King.”

Modern-day Americans are being taught a new type of freedom, a new type of entertainment. Our forefather’s idea of liberty is being replaced. Much like the salvation message about Jesus laying in a manager, is the forgotten symbol for Christmas. Old songs, traditions, and beliefs are tossed aside like garbage—to please twenty-first century politically-correct mandates.

I mediated on the changes I have seen to my beloved nation and wondered about my grandchildren’s future as I waited for their entry into St. Paul Lutheran Church’s sanctuary. You can just imagine my exaltation when the children came marching in singing to the top of their lungs:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dwfq9j9l5lwbmy1/Enter%20%281%29.mp4?dl=0

“The King of Glory comes, the nation rejoices Open the gates before Him, lift up your voices. Who is the King of Glory? How shall we call Him? He is Emmanuel, the promise of ages.”

Pray our nation will open wide the gates for our beloved Jesus, and that this nation Under God shall have a Great Awakening, and share Christ’s heavenly vision throughout the world.

“Blessed are those who do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” Revelation 22:14,15 “…Surely I am coming quickly.” Revelation 22:20

Played by St. Paul’s Lutheran School Band:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lvlocufnlsjduaq/20151216_184129.mp4?dl=0

Lyrics to “My Country ‘tis of Thee” by Samuel F. Smith – 1832

My country, ’tis of Thee,
Sweet Land of Liberty
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountain side
Let Freedom ring.

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet Freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.

Our glorious Land to-day,
‘Neath Education’s sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!

Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation’s pride!
No tyrant hand shall smite,
While with encircling might
All here are taught the Right
With Truth allied.

Beneath Heaven’s gracious will
The stars of progress still
Our course do sway;
In unity sublime
To broader heights we climb,
Triumphant over Time,
God speeds our way!

Grand birthright of our sires,
Our altars and our fires
Keep we still pure!
Our starry flag unfurled,
The hope of all the world,
In peace and light impearled,
God hold secure!

May you and your have a blessed Christmas season. What are your thoughts, does America need a spiritual revival?

Igniting My Passions

Cathy and Ed on Western trip

Mark Twain once said, “Writing is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.”

The hours and hours of research, writing, editing and reediting Wilted Dandelions proved to me Twain’s words were not an exaggeration. To confirm what I wrote was accurate, my husband and I went on a road trip out west. In our comfortable car, we envisioned what traveling west must have been like for missionary Rachael and her husband, Jonathan, in 1837.

We were at Council Bluffs, Iowa, at the Western Historical Trails Center when an old newspaper clipping caught my attention. Harold of the Newport Times wrote back in 1846, “Might as well attempt to march an army to the moon as to march overland to Oregon.” He wrote that article ten years after Rachael and Jonathan’s trip!

Everything went fine for my husband and I until we drove through a dust storm in Nebraska, lost our cell phone connection in Wyoming, and the red light on the dashboard of our car blinked “low fuel.” There were only miles and miles of mountains and no gas stations!

If this wasn’t enough to get us worried just a little, what I thought was a lovely white puffy cloud turned out to be snow flurries that soon covered the steep mountain side. We could only pray that our little Ford Fusion was capable of hugging the steep, icy, snow-covered pavement. One slip would land us on a rocky precipice and into the gaping abyss beneath us. I glanced down at our road map. The tiny black print I had missed seeing earlier stood out like a neon light: “Wyoming backway may not be suitable for travel during inclement weather.”

We safely made it to our destination; however, the experience is imprinted on our minds forever.

I admire the bravery of these first missionaries who left the comfort of their professions and homes to “march to the moon,” believing in God and their Savior, Jesus. These missionaries sacrificed their lives in order to preach the Holy Bible and Christ’s salvation message to those who were ignorant of Satan’s abyss.

Wilted Dandelions’ book signings brought another unexpected surprise to me that ignited my passions again. Rachael and Jonathan were no longer fictitious characters. They were as real as was their over 200-year-old story about the Second Great Awakening and our nation’s history. A story about Spinster Rachael, a woman on a mission who met her destiny, and learned that God doesn’t create coincidences, He designs possibilities.

Grand prize:

One winner will receive a Kindle loaded with CrossRiver books! Winner will be chosen randomly from among those who enter the correct phrase.

Other prizes:

Four winners will receive hard copies of 3 different CrossRiver books, signed by the author!

To celebrate the scavenger hunt, I’m giving away an autographed copy of my historical romance, Wilted Dandelions. One winner will be chosen randomly. For a chance to win, enter a comment on my blog, or email me your comment at catherineulrichbrakefield@yahoo.com.

Join my email list CatherineUlrichBrakefield@yahoo.com  and you will receive a stylus pen with the engraving “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed … nothing is impossible,” Matthew 17:20. I shall also include a pocket Bible (New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.)

Thank you for stopping by during the CrossRiver Author Hunt!

Before you go to the next stop collect your clue below. You’ll need this to enter the giveaway on the CrossRiver website:

“that ignite”

Next stop on the CrossRiver Author Hunt: Jane M. Tucker

Have you stumbled onto the Author Hunt? Visit CrossRiver Media for all the details.