Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Light Under the House

About the book:

Light Under the House is the saga of an American family—the Levis, a family of secrets. None greater than the secret of what lies under their house, a secret that could destroy them. A secret that an ancient evil will stop at nothing to uncover. The novel follows the Levi family line for a generation, creating a story that explores lives lived in the aftermath of the cultural rebellion of the late 1960's. It is a historical fiction novel that shows the power of consequence and the hope of redemption. Most of all, it is a story about fathers and their children.

Interview with the author:

What inspired you to write this story?
I feel very strongly about the breakdown of the family and fatherlessness and how there is much dysfunction and despair because of it. I wanted to tell a story to shed some light on the situations that many face and hopefully bring some type of reversal to the current dynamic in whatever small way I could. I wanted to challenge men, fathers especially, to be who they were created to be….its certainly a challenge I face myself daily. A challenge that I often fail at but keeping picking myself up to start again.

Did you model any of the characters after people you know?
I used many things to model the characters … people I know, other literary figures, actors, biblical characters, celebrities … the characters are a combination of all of these. I wanted them to be new and familiar at the same time, universal.

Why did you choose the Dallas/Ft Worth area as your primary setting?
First of all, the south has a certain reputation for is deep spiritual roots (bible belt and all). I patterned the book in part after GONE WITH THE WIND (another book set in the south) … not in the sense of a love story but in the sense of “here is civilization that is about to cease to exist, come see it before its gone”. In the case of my novel it is a spiritual civilization on the brink. Dallas just seemed to have everything I needed to make the story work from both a symbolic and technical standpoint.

Do you have plans to write more books?
i have an idea or two floating around … nothing concrete yet.

What sort of research did you do for the historical portions of your book? What did you like best about the research? The least?
My co-author and I researched deeply into ancient history for some aspects of the book … I learned a lot of things … some things I’d rather forget but most of it was enlightening. What I liked best was that it confirmed for me mostly what I already knew, there really is nothing new under the sun.

Where can we find out about more opportunities for a free copy of this book?
Follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter or check out the book, the author and more on Facebook.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).

1 Peter - Week 2

Week 2 of 1 Peter, Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times
by Sue Edwards

Core One talks about getting ready, first with our minds. Sue directs us to verses in 1 Corinthians. Why is it important to start with our minds?
    • We cannot understand all that He wants us to know without having the mind of Christ. We embody the mind of Christ when His Spirit takes up residence in our lives. Without His mind, we know nothing.  
Core Three begins with a quote from Blaise Pascal: "The serene, silent beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of the Spirit of God." 
    • Our actions speaks louder than our words. I can tell you I'm a Christian - but does my life reflect that? Do I have any fresh fruit on my tree, or does it appear that God needs to do an extensive pruning job?
Love. It all comes down to love. What have you learned from God's Word that has helped you truly love others? 
    • He loves me no matter what. His love is truly unconditional. If He can love me, even after all I've done, how can I not show that love to other people. When I find someone difficult to love, He seems to remind me of His love.
Fun! We get to talk about chocolate... What is your favorite food? Something you crave and thoroughly savor. 
    • I love all things sweet. I don't really care what they are, as long as they are sweet! I think cakes are my favorite, especially cold cakes (not frozen, just cold).
On a more serious note, how do you learn to crave and savor God's Word?
    • The more time I spend with God and spend in His word, the more I want Him. When I find my cravings going towards something other than Him, then I know I've strayed too far. I don't want a life that isn't filled with longing and craving for him.

How about some information about Sue Edwards? Here you go!
One of my favorite pastimes is to engage my students in provocative topics. For example, in my seminary courses, we discuss:
  • navigating gender stereotypes that strap both men and women with unrealistic expectations that counter their gift-mix and personalities
  • discovering how to do ministry in a postmodern pseudo-spiritual culture instead of a world dominated by rationalism 
  • figuring out how to work together as men and women in biblical community while protecting our integrity
I love teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary, but after a full day tackling lofty subjects, I savor going home. Home means falling in a heap with my grandchildren in games like “Ring around the Rosie” and “London Bridges” or cheering on Wallace, my West Highland Terrier, as he protects our yard from bands of marauding squirrels.

When I wake up each morning, I pray, “Lord, help me not to mess up.” I have messed up before. I came to faith in my mid twenties, newly married with two baby girls. If not for his mercy, I would be another statistic, but he supernaturally showed me his grace. So for the last thirty years, I have served him.

Serving God has included teaching the Bible to women, overseeing two mega-church women’s ministries, writing four books and a Bible-study series, and now instructing seminary students in a world-class institution. These opportunities are God’s gifts and fertile learning ground. But I doubt you are impressed. People don’t care so much about credentials any more. Too many credentialed people have disappointed us. So I write out of flaws, failures, and occasional progress. I write out of the lessons learned in my day-to-day walk with Jesus, through highlights and heartaches, much like yours. I write from the everyday places--as I raised two-year olds and teen-agers, as I attempted to unify a discouraged ministry team, and today, as I attempt to create lessons for future ministers that will actually equip them for the challenges they will face.

God has truly opened “new doors” for me. And I’m grateful, but you know what gives me unbridled joy? Seeing God open new doors for you and seeing you step through them and shine. That’s our purpose, what keeps us writing, talking, and training others just like you. So stay in touch. Share your stories, tales of woe as well as wins. We want to grieve and rejoice with you. Give us feedback so we can learn from one another as we all prepare for new doors ahead. Who knows? Your insight just might show up in our next book!

Every blessing,

Follow along - Week 1

Thank you Kregel Publications and Sue Edwards for the opportunity to participate in this review and study process of this book!
Monday, January 16, 2012

1 Peter - Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times, Week 1

1 PeterFinding Encouragement in Troubling Times

by Sue Edwards  
  • This study (and all Sue Edwards studies) offer three levels so you can choose which level of study fits your lifestyle.  
  • I am committing to the first level of study, as I have a lot going on right now. I like that I can switch it around, week to week (or lesson to lesson).
  • The first lesson is about preparing for opposition. Our first-century sisters faced hostility and hatred for their faith.  
  • I face opposition on a continual basis because of my faith. It keeps me from doing "what the cool kids are doing" or being just like everyone else. I grab a hold of God's promises and His word when I feel attacked.
  • 1 Peter 1: 3-5 reveals the amazing riches God provides for His children.
     3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
  • I am blessed by the fact that my new birth (in Him) gives me hope and an inheritance! Oh the blessings He has for each of His children warms my soul. With Him on my side, I know I can face any trial. 

Thank you Kregel Publications and Sue Edwards for allowing me to participate in this graduated blog tour and study!
Friday, January 6, 2012


I received a great package on Christmas eve! I was busy getting things for everyone else - it was nice to get something just for me (though, I had a very nice Christmas - Santa was very good to me)! My friends at Ivory sent me a collection of its soaps to try! I received three body washes, two bars of soap and a tote to carry them all in. The body washes are original, aloe and lavender. The soaps are original and aloe. I love the way Ivory soap smells...clean and fresh! You can buy the products at a drugstore or retailer. You can also visit the online store (which has many of your other favorite products).

If you haven't checked out Ivory lately, I encourage you to do so. The products are always great and are top quality. I love the thought of keeping it "pure, clean & simple". Who needs all the additives? I highly encourage you to check out the new Facebook page and the Soap Dish, which is hosted by Melissa McCarthy (love her!!).

Thank you, Ivory, for the samples and for the neat pre-Christmas surprise. I look forward to getting "my clean on" with the new products!

Become - Shopping Your Way

Have you heard of this new site? Become - Shopping Your Way - It's a new way to find exactly what you want online by comparing pricing, shipping and selection! They have everything from diamond rings to smart phones to cat wall clocks! You can use the product research engine for advice on what you're shopping for online and buying guidelines. I like that ability to compare and shop in one place!

Check the site out. I like the way it's organized and all the content. It's like having a mini-mall on one site, with your best friends' opinions close by!