Friday, December 11, 2015

Interview with Christian Author Kay Edwards

Today, I have the honor of introducing you to one of my dearest friends: Kay Edwards. We met one another thirty years ago at Delaware Run Wesleyan Church in Watsontown, Pennsylvania and have remained in contact over the years. She has recently self-published two Christian fiction novels that face this gritty, imperfect world head-on and show God's grace among the turbulent times. Her novels are also flavored with sweet romances that grow as healing begins. 

Welcome, Kay Edwards. We are glad to have you join us today.
To help my readers know you a little better, please start off by telling us a little bit about you.

I live in Katy, Texas.  It is a suburb of Houston.  I am a full time mom and housewife.  I homeschool, so my life is way too busy for a job outside the home.  I absolutely love to bake and cook.  The family kitchen is present in all of my books. 

I know you are writing a trilogy entitled the Susquehanna Trilogy. Please tell us about the 1stbook in the story.

The first thing to note is that all of my books are ebooks. The first book in the series is A Prelude To A Dance .  It is the story of Helen and Logan.  Helen becomes a local hero overnight.  The publicity is not something she embraces at all.  When she is asked to do a dance benefit, a dark secret from her past comes back to haunt her.  Logan is a famous dancer that sees the private pain she carries.  With God’s help, he gently helps Helen deal with the horror of her past. He also helps her stand as the threat from that past comes back to claim her.  

This book can be found for free online at the following retailers:

This book can also be downloaded for free on nook and ibooks.

It can be purchased as well for $.99 at the following retailer:

Please tell us about the 2nd book in this series. 

The second book in the series is The Storm’s Journey.  It tells the story of Toby and Tiffany.  Tiffany learns that the man who assaulted her has died at the hands of the police while he was attacking her friend.  This attack reunites her with Toby.  Though the two have not seen each other in months, it soon becomes apparent that the feelings they tried to ignore are still there.  Both come from broken pasts and must find the strength to turn and face their pasts before they can embrace their future.  Can Tiffany find it in her to not just survive but live?  Can she find it in her to forgive a person who still seeks to harm her?  Can she survive another encounter with that person?  Can Toby face and forgive those that harmed him?  Will they allow God to show them that they are beloved by Him?  Will they allow Him to show them that love can grow even in the storm’s journey?

This book can be purchased at the following retailers for $1.50:

It can be downloaded on the following apps for $1.50 as well:

Would you please give us a sneak peek at the 3rd book? 

In the first and second book we meet Jody.  Jody's story of love is in the third and final book.  As a friendship blossoms into love, Jody must risk losing her family to follow God's leading.  Can Jody stand firm when she is forced to choose between the man God has given her to love or her family?  Will her family see God’s plan too late when tragedy strikes?  Join Helen, Logan, Tiffany, Toby, and Jody in the last book of the trilogy, To Be Blessed to be published in January of 2016.      

What are readers saying about your books?

You can't help but fall in love with the main characters, Helen and Logan. True love and devotion guide them through an unfortunate and heart-wrenching ordeal. Although the story keeps you on edge, it is filled with wit and humor. I cannot wait for the next book in the trilogy. ~ Gshamo

I read this book and i have to say i feel like i know Helen. Logan is just so understanding it makes sense he's the one for her. I nearly cried at some point. I'm glad you penned this down to remind those abused that they are never alone. Thank you for such a wonderful story. I'll be looking forward for more from you. God bless you~ Aku Sedodo

Five Stars from By AmyP on amazon
Endearing characters; suspenseful plot; great read! On to the next book!

What has been the toughest part about the Christian writing proces

The biggest bump is being asked to ignore the real pain in the world.  The main reason I self-published is because I was asked to sugar coat too many things.  There are Christian men and women that have been abused sexually, physically, and mentally.  I can’t pretend what happened to them didn’t happen.  The other thing that I was asked to exclude was the fact that men and women are attracted to each other.  In real life, a Christian couple better be willing to talk about the fact that in certain situations very real physical responses happen.   One of my male editors, Rodney, was thrilled that I wrote frankly about this.  He encouraged me to self-publish based on that alone.  My series now, as well as the series I’m working on, addresses the accountability of being aware of your body.

What has God been showing/teaching you throughout this journey?

The biggest thing God is teaching me is to be bold.  It is okay to let myself be vulnerable.  He has always been there.  He always will be.  In life, there are very sad things that happen.  From start to finish, God needs to be the center of my books.  I can’t lose sight of Him or it doesn’t work.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

The first thing I would say is write your story.  Do not let others change it to meet guidelines.  It has to be yours to work.  Readers can tell if you are trying to change things to please a publisher’s guidelines.

What has your experience with self-publishing been like?

It has exceeded my expectations.  A Prelude To A Dance has been downloaded almost 1,000 times.  The biggest advantage was the fact I could tell my story.  I would have done this sooner if I had realized how easy it was to do.  I also want to point out again that all of my books are only ebooks, so they are only available online.  I do not pay to have them published, but I can charge for them. is an excellent site to self-publish.  You still have to do the work and get the word out about your book though.       

Where can people connect with you?

I am on Facebook.  Please feel free to like my page.  I will keep everyone updated on my books.  Anyone can message me.  I would love to hear from those that have taken the time to read my books.

Thank you, Kay, for joining us today and sharing the passion God has placed on your heart to write stories that bring Him glory and don't shy away from the gritty realities of our world. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

After the Rain by Rita Gerlach

My dear friend, Christian author Rita Gerlach has a new book available titled After the Rain. Rita is a gifted author who specializes in inspiring historical novels. Her words will transport you back in time to days of long ago and her rich characters will win your heart as she artistically weaves an intriguing story through descriptive words much like an artist paints a canvas.

Here is a blurb about After the Rain:

It's 1908, a year in the Edwardian Age, the year J.M. Barrie's play "What Every Woman Knows" premiered in Atlantic City and the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in Detroit. It is a year when the world faced one of its worst disasters in history, when the New Year would heal the wounds of loss.

Louisa Borden lives a privileged life in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a new and thriving community on the outskirts of Washington, DC for the well-to-do. Against the wishes of her domineering grandmother, she retreats from prospects of a loveless marriage and instead searches for what she hopes is her calling in life.

When her horse is spooked along Rock Creek. she is thrown from the saddle - an embarrassing situation for any affluent young lady. Soaking wet, bruised and humiliated, she is carried up the muddy bank to safety by Jackson O'Neil, a stranger to the city, who changes the course of everything, including the lives of all around her.

After the Rain is available on Amazon both as a Kindle edition and a paperback. Currently, the Kindle edition is free to those with Kindle Unlimited and $4.99 for those without while the paperback costs $17.73. CBD carries only the paperback edition which is currently priced at $18.03 while Barnes and Noble carries only the paperback edition which is currently priced at $17.95. Please click on the above links to check the current pricing as well as to purchase your copy of the book.

After the rain has been getting rave reviews as well: "Such an alluring fragrance 'tis After the Rain," "After the Rain is an unforgettable story," "I found this novel to be sweet, restorative, and historically intriguing," and  "After the Rain is written in such a way that it transports you back to another time and place."

Get to know the Author:

Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland. She was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in a large family in the Maryland suburbs.

"Romantic historical fiction that has an inspirational bent, is one way people can escape the cares of life and be transported back to a time of raw courage and ideal love," she says. "The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite from a stressful world and give them hope."

In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists, with a sprinkling of both American and English history. Her genre are Inspirational Romance and Drama.

Rita is a breast cancer survivor, and incorporates into her newer fiction what she learned through her journey - courage, faith, and the precious gifts of family and friendship.

For more on Rita and her books, stop by her website and blog or check for the latest news on her Facebook author page and her Twitter feed.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Every Life Matters | Evangelicals for Life

EFL Button 

Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place January 21-22, 2016, in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit
Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.

Kelly Rosati will be one of this year’s speakers. Kelly is the vice president of Community Outreach at Focus on the Family where she oversees the Adoption & Orphan Care Initiative and the Sanctity of Human Life department. In the article below, she speaks to how we can and should be both pro-life and pro-justice Christians.

Pro-Life Christian or Pro-Justice Christian? Yes.

Are Christians supposed to be pro-life or pro-justice? Kelly Rosati shares: We ought to be both.

Do you consider yourself a member of one of these two camps? The news about the gruesome harvesting of fetal organs by Planned Parenthood prompted some interesting discussion in this vein. 

It’s important to consider how you ended up in one of these categories in the first place. As followers of Christ, our hearts become more like His as He transforms us from the inside out. We care more about people and life and justice as we meditate on His word and spend time with Him. As we grow in grace, it becomes impossible to be indifferent or complacent to the suffering of human beings God made in His image and whom He loves with an infinite love.

Verses such as Proverbs 31:8 (“speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”) and Micah 6:8 (“to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”) burn in our hearts as we join God in His redemptive work on behalf of preborn babies, victims of human trafficking, war refugees, orphans, those with disabilities, racial minorities, those without access to clean water, families living in extreme poverty, homeless, dying and lonely elderly neighbors, and many others who qualify as what Jesus called “the least of these.”

We’re changed as we seek to minister to the vulnerable. We listen to them and learn from them, and in them we see the face of Jesus, the one who admonished us that “whatever we’ve done to the least of these, we’ve done to Him” (Matthew 25:40).

In my role at Focus on the Family I’m blessed to meet and work with people in both the Christian pro-life and pro-justice communities. I’ve noticed they have much in common: They love Jesus, they love their families, they share a deep sense of calling and are led by the Holy Spirit, and they take Scripture seriously and find in it the inspiration to advance the Kingdom and to participate in God’s redemptive work. They all want to be careful to worship Jesus first and only, who called them to His work, rather than make an idol of the calling itself. They’ve sacrificed the American dream, many of them, to give their lives away like the One who gave His for them. 

Yet . . . it often seems as if pro-life and pro-justice Christians come from two different planets. Their leaders don’t tend to know one another. All of their conferences are separate. They lean in different political directions, and each thinks the other should prioritize the issues differently. Yes, most would grudgingly agree they serve the same God and their passions come from the same Holy Scriptures. But at the end of the day, they have little interest in working together—in fact, they can often seem “at odds” with one another.

This is tragic because both communities have much to offer and much to gain by listening to and learning from one another. For the average Christian seeking to love and serve his or her neighbors, life and justice should not be an either/or proposition. Together, the life and justice communities can offer a both/and approach that is truly biblical and comprehensive.

I have personally gleaned much from Christian sisters and brothers in both communities. From the pro-life perspective, I have learned about perseverance and faithfulness to the truth, even when it’s the most unpopular position in the world. I have been moved by their conviction that God’s word won’t return void and that He loves both moms and their babies (and dads and everyone else!). I have been impacted by the conviction that abortion stops a beating heart and that life is always the better choice. I have encountered the breathtaking beauty of Christ’s forgiveness for those suffering grief and shame post-abortion. And I have come to understand the hope and optimism that can only come from Christ in the face of the discouraging reality of 57 million lives lost to abortion. And I know I have so much more to learn from this passionate group.

From the pro-justice community, I have learned about systems of oppression and injustice that must be challenged in order to love and serve our neighbors well. I have a deeper understanding of the solidarity of suffering and the ministry of presence. I have also learned about perseverance, patience, and the simple beauty of loving and serving those who suffer. I’ve been reminded about new life in Christ and the transforming power of His love for individuals and families. I’ve seen the beauty of humility and the freedom that comes from eschewing power, money, and privilege on behalf of one’s neighbors. I know I will continue to learn and be challenged by this group as well.

But . . . the division remains. Pro-life Christians tend to view their cause as primarily moral in nature—as if speaking up for oppressed populations, combating human trafficking, and addressing the root causes of poverty are not inherently issues of profound moral concern. And pro-justice Christians tend to view their cause as primarily a matter of justice—as if speaking out in defense of preborn babies as the most helpless and vulnerable members of society was not quintessentially a question of biblical justice.


Together, pro-life and pro-justice Christians have so much to offer a world that is buckling under the effects of sin. So here’s a short list of what I think each community could offer the other that would enhance the work of both:
  • When the pro-life community advances the dignity of every human person, it is at its best when making clear that along with the essential concern of innocent preborn lives lost to abortion, every sex trafficking victim, orphan, and victim of preventable death is worthy of the same defense. We must help the Church understand that all of these issues are biblically connected and directly tied to what it means to be “pro-life.” They are all related to the God-given sanctity, dignity, and intrinsic worth of every human life, and therefore they cannot be segmented or pitted against one another.
  • When the pro-justice community boldly and compassionately advances the cause of justice for victims of sex trafficking, racial hatred, failing schools, extreme poverty, or lack of access to clean water, it is at its best also to include the absolute necessity of justice and human rights for preborn children. Again, advancing biblical justice, promoting the common good, and enabling human flourishing must be for all people, born and preborn. There can be no neglecting of the cause of justice in the human right to life. They should not be separated.
  • Each community should endeavor to rise above easy (and sometimes valid) criticism of the other. Pro-lifers often lament that being pro-justice is “popular” in the broader culture whereas being pro-life is not. As a result, they can be tempted to view the pro-life cause as somehow more “noble” than the social justice cause. At the same time, the pro-justice community often suggests that the pro-life community cares only about life in the womb, but not life outside it, making it a myopic single-issue cause. Of course, in both communities (just like in every community) there are those doing it well and those doing it not so well. But by and large, both groups are motivated by deep conviction and the love of both Christ and neighbor.
What if, instead of marching resolutely down two different paths, we made a commitment to learn from each other, forge meaningful relationships with one another, and seek creative ways to help the Church learn about the comprehensive approach to life and justice reflected in the totality of the Scriptures? Can pro-life conferences address abortion and end-of-life issues as well as human trafficking and poverty? Can social justice conferences make room to embrace the cause of justice for preborn children? These are issues that transcend political parties and point directly to the heart of God Himself. Let’s step outside our comfort zones and work together for the common good, for life, and for justice—all because of the love of Christ.

This article was adapted from the original article posted on Ed Stetzer’s The Exchange blog on

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Beauty from Ashes

My heart aches for the people of Paris. Our world is in such turmoil. Wherever evil thrives, there will be destruction and loss. We need to be fervently praying for our world because we are a world desperately in need of the One true King, God our Savior. I know some people will be asking, "How can God allow such travesty to occur?" God wants to have a love relationship with each one of us. However, He gives us the free will to choose whether or not we will accept His love. Some people will choose love and seek what is good. Unfortunately, some people will choose to seek evil and bring chaos. A child who is forced into submission will grow resentful. A child who freely chooses love will freely give that love to others. That's why God allows us free will. When tragedy does strike, God will be there to help heal us and bring beauty from the ashes.

Father God, please have mercy upon Your children. Help us to seek You, Your truths, and Your love.Be a healing balm to our chaotic world and our refuge in times of trial. Help us to persevere and to be Your light to this hurting world. Amen!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I Am My Father's Beloved Child

When tests and doctor appointments yield more questions than answers, it can be extremely frustrating. These are the times that I must remind myself that I am His beloved: "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1 ) I must also remember that God is fighting for me: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14) It helps to also know that our knowledge (mine and the doctors) pales in comparison to God's knowledge: "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!" (Romans 11:33) Thankfully, I can hold onto His promises because He is faithful and true. God promises to restore me one day in His perfect timing: ""But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 30:17) Until that day, I will continue to trust in my Father: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5) Believe that He will be my strength: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." (Isaiah 40:29) Trust that He is my refuge: "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." (Psalm 62:8)  Trust that He will help me: "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." (Isaiah 41:13) God knows every step I take and every tear I cry: "You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle" (Psalm 56:8) as well as the number of hairs on my head: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matthew 10:29-30 I am sitting at Your feet Father, trusting You for Your ways are not always my way but Your way is infinitesimally better than my own. You will be my strength and my refuge! Thank you Father for Your never-ending love!  May ALL glory, honor, and praise be Your Father! Just Be Held by Casting Crowns

Thursday, August 13, 2015

For Such a Time as This, I Don't Have to be Strong

God knows and prepared me, in advance, to do His good works, to show His love, to offer His praises in the midst of this storm. I don't always feel well equipped to handle these new challenges. There are days when I wonder if we will ever "know" the answers for which the doctors are so diligently seeking. Then, I realize, it doesn't matter if we ever find the answers. What matters is that God knows what I am facing. He is walking this journey with me. And, He has prepared me for such a time as this.

God knew there would be days when I would be frustrated, overwhelmed, unable to endure. Yet, it is on these days when His love speaks to me. It reminds me that His love for me provides the strength I need to keep persevering because when I am at my weakest, He is at His strongest. I don't have to be strong. I merely have to trust in Him and in His love for me. It is also on these difficult days that His love for me wraps around me and clothes me in His indescribable peace. When I say, "Lord, I can't go on," He whispers. "I will carry you until you can continue on this journey. Rest in me. Trust in my love for you." He is my refuge when life gets too difficult. On these days, I envision sitting at His feet, in total awe of His presence, soaking in the amazing love and incredible peace He exudes over me.

Yes, even as much as I am a train wreck physically, God reminds me that I am His handiwork: wonderfully made. He also reminds me that He has prepared me for such a time as this and will be with me always. Do you know that God has also prepared you for such a time as this? He will be with you each step of your journey. No matter what you might be facing: divorce, depression, financial difficulties, health issues, heartache, or loss God will be your strength and your refuge. When life is too difficult to endure, find rest in His love for you. Still not certain you can persevere? Look at the Bible and see how He used ordinary people with messy lives to shine His love and truth. Look at how He continually takes something bad and turns it into something good. He is doing that through each one of us. We may not be able to see His hand at work at this exact moment in time but if we continue to trust in His heart which is filled to overflowing with love for us, then we will one day be restored.

With God as my guide, I will not be shaken! He will be my strength through which all things are possible! May all glory, honor, and praise be God's for He alone is worthy!

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

'Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.  Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:5-8

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Strong Enough, by Matthew West, clearly reiterates how it is His strength that gets me through the difficult days.

"Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

My Hope Is In You by Aaron Shust

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman

Sunday, March 29, 2015


These song lyrics from Mandisa keep running through my had tonight. Perhaps it is because I know just how true they are. When I am down, He lifts me up again. His strength keeps me persevering. His love never fails. His grace makes my brokenness something beautiful. He allows me to push beyond my own limits and comfort zones. His death on the cross overcame everything (John 16:33). His act of love for me (and for you) ensures that Hi grace will allow me (as well as you) to also overcome everything this world may throw our way. Hold onto that hope that is only found in the love of our Savior! I know I'm holding on tight to Him every moment!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Overcomer by Mandisa​
Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He's not gonna let it get the best of you

You're an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You're not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it's hopeless
That's when He reminds You
That you're an overcomer
You're an overcomer

Everybody's been down
Hit the bottom, hit the ground
Ooh, you're not alone
Just take a breath, don't forget
Hang on to His promises
He wants You to know

The same Man, the Great I am
The one who overcame death
He's living inside of You
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There's nothing He can't do
He's telling you