Friday, October 27, 2006

The Election by Jerome Teel

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is reviewing Jerome Teel's latest book, The Election.

Jerome Teel is a graduate of Union University, where he received his JD, cum laude, from the Ole Miss School of Law. He is actively involved in his church, local charities, and youth sports.He has always loved legal-suspense novels and is a political junkie. Jerome and his wife, Jennifer, have three children-Brittney, Trey, and Matthew-and reside in Tennessee, where he practices law and is at work on a new novel.


They seek ultimate power.
Nothing can stand in theirway.

Ed Burke has waited a lifetime to become president of the United States. He's not about to let his nemesis, Mac Foster, stop him now...especially when he's sold his soul for the Oval Office.Claudia Duval has lived a rough life. And finally, things have turned around for her after meeting the wealthy Hudson Kinney. But is all what is seems?When a prominent citizen is murdered in Jackson, Tennessee, attorney Jake Reed doesn't want to know the truth. He just wants to get his client off. But as he investigates, he uncovers a sinister scheme. A scheme that would undermine the very democracy of America...and the freedom of the entire world.

"The Election, by Jerome Teel, is a fast-paced, highly readable mystery filled with suspense, intrigue, and political conspiracy. Teel skillfully weaves together themes of faith, family, suffering, and providence in a way that not only compels, but enlightens."
David S. Dockery-President, Union University

Friday, October 20, 2006

Blog Tour: Like Dandelion Dust

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Karen Kingsbury's latest book, Like Dandelion Dust.

About the Author:

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. There are nearly 5 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including more than two million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 30 novels, nine of which have hit #1 on national lists, including award-winning Oceans Apart, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, the Redemption Series and Firstborn Series, and several other bestsellers, one of which was the basis for a CBS Movie-of-the-Week and Gideon's Gift, which is currently in production as a major theatrical release for Christmas 2007.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Don, and their six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti.

About the Book:


Jack and Molly Campbell enjoyed an idyllic life (great house in a fancy neighborhood, high-paying job, and a beautiful little boy) in their small hometown outside Atlanta with their adopted 4-year-old, Joey. Then they receive the phone call that shatters their world: a social worker delivers the news that Joey's biological father has been released from prison and is ready to start lifeover with his son. (It's discovered that Joey's birth mother forged the signature of Joey's birth father, making it a fraudulent adoption.) When a judge rules that Joey must be returned to his father (a man who cannot separatee love and violence), the Campbells, in a silent haze of grief and utter disbelief, watch their son pick a dandelion and blow the feathery seeds into the wind.

Struggling with the dilemma of following the law, their hearts, and what they know to be morally right, the Campbells find that desperation leads to dangerous thoughts. What if they can devise a plan? Take Joey and simply disappear....LIKE DANDELION DUST.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Violette Between Blog Tour

It's that time of the week! Time to do a blog tour! This week's tour is Violette Between.

Between Here and the PAST,
THERE LIES A PLACE...a place of longing for what has been rather than hoping for what could be!


Alison Strobel graduated with a degree in elementary education, and in the summer of 2000 she moved from Chicago to southern California where she taught elementary school for three years. It was in Orange County that she met her husband, Daniel Morrow, and the story developed for her first novel, Worlds Collide.

Violette Between is a poinant story of a true artist. When the love of Violette's life, Saul suddenly died, she died too. Then she meets Christian, who also is morning the loss of a loved one.

As Violette and Christian begin to feel something that they both thought was impossible. Tragedy strikes again. Christian finds Violette on the floor of his waiting room, that she had been painting to look like a New York rooftop restaurant.

As Christian holds a vigil at her bedside, begging her to come back to him, Violette is in a coma, traveling to a place where she meets her beloved Saul. And she finds that she may not want to come back!

What would it be like to choose a place between the past and the present?

Violette Between is a powerful character study of a woman finally relinquishing the past to move on, only to be thrust into the quandry of reliving that life and needing to make a choice.For Christians, this will definitely make you think about heaven and the consequences of eternal life.

"Delving into the underside of complicated relationships, Alison Strobel takes readers to unexpected places, but doesn't hesitate to deliver redemptiom when needed."---Melody Carlson, author of Finding Alice

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dark Hour by Ginger Garrett

Dark Hour is the first in the Serpent Moon trilogy by Ginger Garrett. Dark Hour is based on the story of Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel and her desire to rule which leads to vicious attempts to eliminate the House of David. Only a remnant of people serve the true God while most of the others in the kingdom find themselves seduced by Athaliah, her gods and her promises of peace. Athaliah surrenders to the dark side with the shed of innocent blood and heartless betrayal of her own family but a thread of hope remains as God goes about keeping his covenant with His people.

Dark Hour is steeped in such vivid imagery that you will clearly envision Jehoshebeth walking the dusty streets of Judah or navigating the stone corridors of Solomon’s Palace. Besides the great story this was one of the things I enjoyed most about this book; it was so wonderfully written. Look forward to the second part in this trilogy Midnight Throne to be released in September 2007.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Feeling Refreshed

Today we had a day of prayer and fasting as a church and our deliverance service tonight. It was awesome; we searched some scriptures; promises of God in the Word, claimed them as our own and prayed for ourselves, our church, our families and our country. Many were in tears as we cried out in the presence of the Lord. Personally, I feel refreshed. Strengthened. Forgiven. Things I felt were getting the better of me I feel better equipped to handle. Like a cool glass of water on a lonely dessert road, I feel refeshed. Encouraged. Hopeful. Thank you Jesus for that.

P.S. I was thinking today about the house situation today and I remembered a few years ago when we were looking for a bigger place to live after I had gotten a promotion at work (believe it or not at the time seven of us were living in a two-bedroom house. We had found this ideal (in our minds) place to live only to be turned down by the owners. I remember crying at the time because I felt the reason she gave was not reasonable and I felt cheated but God worked it out so we got a nicer place for less money! If He did it once He can do it again!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Disappointing news tonight. My family has until the end October to move from our current home (it’s rented) and we thought we had found the ideal place, close to the children’s schools and the church but we did not we learned tonight that someone else has gotten the place. Right now we don’t have many other options and those we have are apartments. I don’t really like the idea of living in an apartment so we’re hoping something else comes up. I told myself that all things work together for good and I’m holding on to that but I’m still feeling very disappointed. Incidentally (or not) we started studying Hebrews 11 in Bible study tonight (I got the news just before the servie) and as you will know the first verse of this chaper deals with faith. Was God trying to tell me something with this timely word? I think so, so I'm going to trust Him to work this out for me.

Monday, October 02, 2006


It is October 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our
alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an
author and their latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:


Guess what? You can win a free copy of Dark
! Just leave a comment on this post and I will pick the winner from a random draw on Saturday 07 October!

About the author:

Ginger Garrett is an acclaimed
novelist and expert in ancient women's history.

Her first novel, Chosen, was
recognized as one of the best five novels of the year by the Christian
publishing industry. Ginger enjoys a diverse reader base and creates
conversation between cultures.

In addition to her 2006 and 2007
novels about the most evil women in biblical history, she will release
Beauty Secrets of the Bible (published by Thomas Nelson) in Summer

Ginger Garrett's Dark Hour
delves into the biblical account of Jezebel's daughter and her attempt to
end the line of David.

And now, a
special Q&A with Ginger Garrett:

1.) First, tell us a bit about Dark Hour.

I was praying about what book to write after Chosen, and accidentally
left my open Bible on the kitchen table. (A dangerous thing, since in my
house, small children and large dogs routinely scavenge with dirty
hands and noses for snacks!) As I walked past it, I saw a caption about
someone named Athaliah and a mass murder. I stopped cold. I knew it was my

Athaliah was the daughter of Jezebel--a real woman in
history--who tried to destroy all the descendents of King David in a
massacre. God made a promise that a descendent of King David would always sit
on the throne, and one day a Messiah would come from this line. If
Athaliah succeeded, she would break the promise between God and the people,
and destroy all hope for a Messiah.

One woman, her step-daughter, Jehoshebeth, defied her. She stole a baby
during the massacre and hid him. Between them, the two women literally
fought for the fate of the world.

2.) What drew you to write biblical fiction?

The similarities between the lives of ancient women and our lives. We
get distracted by their "packaging," the way they dressed and lived, but
at heart, our stories are parallel.

3.) How much time is spent researching the novel versus writing the

Equal amounts, and I don't stop researching while I write. I have a
historical expert, probably the best in the world in his field, review the
manuscript and point out errors. The tough part is deciding when to
ignore his advice. He pointed out that most everyone rode donkeys if they
weren't in the military, but a key scene in the novel involves riding a
horse to the rescue. It would have been anti-climatic to charge in on a
donkey! :) So I ignored his advice on that one.

4.) Dark Hour takes its reader deep into the heart of palace
intrigue and betrayals. Were parts of this book difficult to write?

I left out much of the darkest material I uncovered in research. It was
important to show how violent and treacherous these times and this
woman (Athaliah) could be, but I tried to be cautious about how to do it.
The story was so powerful and hopeful--how one woman's courage in the
face of evil saved the world--but the evil was depressing. I tried to
move quickly past it. I wanted balance. Our heroine suffers and some
wounds are not completely healed in her lifetime. That's true for us, too.

5.) What would modern readers find surprising about ancient

They had a powerful sense of the community of women. They also wore
make-up: blush, glitter eyeshadow, lipstick, powder, and perfume! They
drank beer with straws, and enjoyed "Fritos": ground grains, fried and
salted. Many of our foods are the same today, but they loved to serve pate
made from dried locusts, finely ground. Ugh!

Without further is the FIRST chapter
of Dark Hour by
Ginger Garrett. Judge for yourself if you'd like to read more!

(There is a prologue before chapter one regarding the birth of
Jehoshebeth... Athaliah is not Jehoshebeth's biological mother.)

c h a p t e r O n e

Fifteen Years Later

HER BARU, the priest of divination, opened the goatskin bag and
spread the wet liver along the floor, leaving a path of blood as he
worked. Retrieving a wooden board and pegs from his other satchel, the
satchel that held the knives and charms, he placed pegs in the board
according to where the liver was marked by fat and disease. He turned the
black liver over, revealing a ragged abscess.

Athaliah covered her mouth and nose with her hands to ward off
the smell but would not turn way.

“Worms,” her sorcerer said, not looking up. He placed more pegs
in the board before he stopped, and his breath caught.

A freezing wind touched them, though they were in the heart of
the palace in the heat of the afternoon. Athaliah cursed this cold thing
that had found her again and watched the sorcerer search for the source
of the chill before he returned to the divination. There was no source
of wind here; in her chamber there was a bed, the table where her
servants applied her cosmetics from ornate and lovely jars shaped like
animals, a limestone toilet, and in the farthest corner so that no one at
the chamber door would see it, her shrine. Statues of Baal, the storm
god, and the great goddess Asherah, who called all life into being, stood
among the panting lions carved from ivory and the oil lamps that burned
at all hours. Here she placed her offerings of incense and oil, and
here she whispered to the icy thing as it worshiped alongside her.

The baru watched as the flames in the shrine swayed, the chill
moving among the gods. The flames stayed at an angle until one began to
burn the face of Asherah. Her painted face began to melt, first her
eyes running black and then her mouth flowing red. He gasped and stood.

“I must return to the city.”

Athaliah stood, blocking him from his satchel.

“What does the liver say?”

“It is not good that I have come. We will work another day.”

She did not move. He glanced at the door. Guards with sharp
swords were posted outside.

“A dead king still rules here. You set yourself against him
and are damned.”

Athaliah sighed. “You speak of David.”

The baru nodded and bent closer so no other thing would hear his
whisper. “There is a prophecy about him, that one from the house of
David will always reign in Judah. His light will never die.”

“I fear no man, dead or living.”

The baru continued to whisper, fear pushing into his eyes,
making them wide. “It is not the man you must fear. It is his God.”

Athaliah bit her lip and considered his words. She wished he
didn’t tremble. It was such a burden to comfort a man.

“Yes, this God. It is this God who troubles us. Perhaps I can
make an offering to Him. You must instruct me. Stay, my friend, stay.”
She patted him on the arm, detesting his clammy flesh. “I have dreamed,”
she confessed. “I have a message from this God, and I must know how to
answer Him.”

The baru took a step back, shaking his head. “What is this

“A man,” Athaliah said.

“Tell me.”

“At night, when I sleep and the moon blankets my chamber, I see
a man. He is not as we are: he is coarse and wild. He wears skins hewn
from savage beasts, run round his waist with careless thought, and in
his mind he is always running, ax in hand, running. I feel his thoughts,
his mind churning with unrest, and he knows mine completely. I hear a
burning whisper from heaven and shut up my ears, but he turns to the
sound. A great hand touches him, sealing him for what lies ahead, and
speaks a name I cannot hear, a calling to one yet to be. I try to strike
this man, but all goes red, blankets of red washing down.”

She licked her lips and waited, breathing hard. The baru nodded.

“You see the prophet of Yahweh, Elijah, who plagues your

The baru began to reach for his goatskin sack. He picked up the
liver and put it in the sack, keeping an eye on the door as he wiped
his bloody hand on his robes. She knew he was measuring his steps in his
mind, thinking only of freedom from here, and from her.

Athaliah grabbed his arm. “I let those who worship Yahweh
live in peace. They mean nothing to me; what is one God in a
land of so many? Why would this God send a man to make war
on my mother and then claim me also?”

The baru narrowed his eyes. “This God is not like the others.”

“How can we be free of Him?”

The baru thought for a moment then reached into his satchel. He
pulled out a handful of teeth and tossed them on the ground at her
feet. She did not move.

He squatted and read them, probing them with a shaking finger.
She watched as the hair along his neck rose, and goose bumps popped all
along his skin. The cold thing had wrapped itself tightly around him.
She could see his breath.

“There is a child,” he said. “The eye of Yahweh is upon this
child, always. I must counsel you to find this child and kill it, for when
it is gone, Yahweh would trouble you no more.”

Athaliah murmured and ran her teeth over her lips, biting and
dragging the skin as her thoughts worked back in time. “It is my daughter
you speak of. Only a girl. But even so, I cannot kill her yet. I would
lose my rights as the most favored wife. I will not risk my crown for
so small a prize. No, I will find another way to get rid of her, and I
will deal with this threat from Yahweh as I must.”

Athaliah walked to her shrine and cleaned the face of Asherah.
She could hear the baru scooping the teeth back into the bag. She turned
with a sly smile, pleased that her mind worked so quickly even with the
cold thing so near.

“My mother has already angered this God. We will let her have
our problem. She has a talent for these things.”

He had finished putting everything back into his two sacks and
edged toward the door. She wondered if he would return. He was the best
she had at divining dreams and saw in the liver so many answers. She
sighed and tried to think of a word to reassure him.

“A farmer may own the field,” she began, “but much work is done
before a harvest is even planted. Stones are removed, weeds are torn
free. We must break loose the soil and uproot our enemies so the field
will be ready. On that day I will sow richly.”

He managed a weak smile.

“Let your appetite grow, my friend,” she coaxed. “The harvest is

He fled so quickly she knew her words had been wasted, as all
words were on frightened men. He would never return.


silver bowl of dark wine and wished the business of inheriting a kingdom
did not involve so much listening. He rubbed his beard, its thick
clinging brown curls now flecked with gray. His beard was weathering his age
better than the hair on his head, he realized, which had already
surrendered to the assault of time, great gray streaks overtaking the brown.
He knew his face was kind, though, not hardened or roughened by his
years, but retaining a boyish appeal in his wry mouth and a small scar
just under his left eye. Any woman could look upon him and see the child
of mischief he once was. All women looked upon him and still thought to
correct him.

He dined in a dim, private room with his advisers. The room was
adjacent to the throne room, where he would one day rule, and was bare,
save for an oil lamp on a low table. Cedar beams topped the limestone
walls, giving the palace a sweet, smoky scent under the afternoon sun.
The men sat around the table, scattered with maps, sharing a lunch of
grapes, bread, wine, and cheese. Normally they would eat more, and in the
dining hall, but the kitchen servants were busy preparing for the great
send-off feast and it was easier to be served here.

Tomorrow, his father, King Jehoshaphat, would lead Judah’s army
north toward Israel and King Ahab. Together, the two kingdoms would
fight their inconstant friend Ben-Hadad to end his trade monopolies.
Ben-Hadad fought alongside them against the cruel Assyrians but turned often
and claimed the richest of trade cities for himself.

“There are implications, my prince,” Ethan said. Ethan was the
tallest, and his skin turned red when he was angry, which was often. His
temper had plagued him since he and the prince were boys, but now
Jehoram no longer found pleasure in goading his friend. “If the kings
succeed at Ramoth-Gilead against Ben-Hadad,” Ethan continued, “and the
proposed alliance is
accepted, your father will have obligations both to the north and
south. In this way, Ahab’s kingdom will be strengthened by this victory, and
your own kingdom will be compromised. Judah may weaken and fall at last
to a king of Israel.”

“I have married the daughter of Ahab,” Jehoram replied. “I have
given their daughter an heir and promised her the crown. I have curried
the favor of the north well enough. They will not turn on me, for their
own daughter is at my side.” He tried to entertain himself with the
food and wine while his advisers prattled on. He wondered what would be
served at the feast tonight. If the servants’ exhausted expressions were
any indication, the spread would be remarkable.

“That is true, my friend,” Ethan said. “But you are wrong to
think this is Ahab’s war. It is a woman who is shaping this new world.
Think on this: What does the powerful Jezebel desire more than to bring
glory to her own name? She wants the north and south reunited so that she
may one day rule them both, a queen equal in power to Solomon.”

Ethan smirked as he continued. “Everyone knows Ahab wears the
crown but Jezebel rules. With Ahab and Jehoshaphat together in battle,
their voices silenced for a time, Jezebel will be listening for yours.
Let her know a lion roars in Judah. We will never be ruled by a woman,
especially one who hides behind her husband’s crown.”

Jehoram listened, running his tongue across his lips, catching a
spot of wine resting just above his lip. Ethan was his truest friend,
if a man about to wear the crown had one, but he was always ready for a
fight. Jehoram preferred to suffer a blow and stay with his women and
wine. He sighed. “Ethan, you look into darkness and see monsters, but I
see only shadows. It has always been this way.”

Ethan frowned. “We are no longer children hunting with our
fathers at night. Listen to me, for I am the voice of God in your ear.”

Jehoram turned his face away and crossed his arms. Then he
sighed and reached for a bowl of grapes and began to eat. He did not like an
empty stomach.

Another adviser bit into some cheese and leaned in. “Mighty
Ethan is right. Jezebel wants to see you on the throne because of your
union with her daughter Athaliah, but she is no ally. Listen to what I tell
you: Something evil here stirs the water and watches.”

“These voices of doom!” Jehoram yelled, slapping his bowl down
on the table so that it spilled. “These voices and whispers, will they
not cease?” He gripped his head and glared at the men. Each had but one
wife and thought to advise him on his many? “You warn me against women,
even my own wife, but they are women and nothing more!”

Ethan scooted closer to him. “Do not play the fool. Athaliah
practices her strange magic and you slip under her spell little by little.
There is still time to save yourself, and the kingdom, if you are
indeed a man and king.”

Jehoram rose and adjusted his robe around his shoulders, staring
down at Ethan.

“Do even my friends turn against me now?” he asked.

“I have always been like a brother to you. I desire nothing but
your good,” Ethan said, rising. Jehoram held his temper and the two men
glared at each other, breathing hard.

The adviser Ornat spoke. “May I address the future king of

Jehoram nodded and sat, returning to his grapes. He glanced at
Ethan and shook his head.

Ornat was new to his inner circle, an adviser Athaliah had
recommended for his influence among the people who did not worship the God
of Judah. She promised his voice would balance the harsh messages the
others always gave. He had long, straight gray hair that always hung as
if he had just come in from the rain. A magnificent bump crowned his
nose, but it was the only remarkable feature about the man, a man who
looked as if he were melting before their eyes.

“Good Jehoram,” Ornat began, “the king knows you are a son who
is not like the father. King Jehoshaphat has conspired with your
brothers to ensure you never take the throne. They plot behind closed doors,
taking their meals without you. I have heard the plans from my spies
among the servants.”

Jehoram felt his stomach churn at the accusation. He would not
allow such ridiculous talk and raised his hand to dismiss the man at

The arrival of Athaliah interrupted them, and all bowed as she

“Jehoram, I seek your face with a burden on my heart. Hear me
and help me, my lord and husband,” she said.

Jehoram looked at her a moment, his eyes having trouble
adjusting to the light that streamed in when the door had opened. She stirred
something in him, as she had from her first night in the palace,
rain-soaked and announced by thunder, her sheer robes clinging to her tiny
frame. She came bearing boxes of shrines and gods, like the dolls of a
child, and she clung to them even in their bedchamber. She was the only
wife who did not submit to his will, and he had found her exotic. Now she
had grown, but his exotic pet was still wild, shaking off the customs
and manners he tried to teach her. He knew she hungered, but not for
him. His face burned with shame.

“Speak, Athaliah,” he said.

“Your daughter has grown quite pale of late. I have seen this
sickness before.”

Jehoram sat up straight. Sickness in the palace would spread
rapidly, a threat as swift and fierce as any Assyrian.

“What sickness?” he demanded.

Athaliah smiled at him, then at the men reclining.

“Of course you do not understand,” she said. “You are men. You
have tended your kingdom well but neglected to see that your daughter
has come of age.”

Jehoram exhaled and sat back, an indulgent smile on his lips.

“And what remedy does this sickness crave?” he asked.

Athaliah bowed before Jehoram. “She must marry, my lord.”

Jehoram waved his hand, a broad gesture. Here he could be

“I command, then, that she be married. If there is a commander
well thought of, it would be an honor to give a daughter in marriage
just before a battle.”

Athaliah nodded, just once. He felt his victory slipping away.

“I have sent word to the north,” Athaliah said, “to my mother’s
house, that a nobleman from my own home who serves in the ivory palace
of my mother be given her. King Ahab has sent you his favorite
daughter.” She smiled. “Now let us send ours to him. It will be good for
Jehoshebeth to hold your name ever before my father, Ahab. And Jezebel would
relish a granddaughter so near.”

Jehoram stopped and frowned. “It is Jehoshebeth you speak of?
She is a special child to me. I would not have her sent north.”

“But you have given the order that she be married. There is no
one else worthy of her,” Athaliah said.

Jehoram rubbed his chin and pretended to study a map. Finally,
he shook his head. “I must think on this.”

Athaliah bowed low, her eyes closed. “May the God you serve
bless all your decisions, good Jehoram,” she said. She straightened and
looked at the advisers. Jehoram could not bear to see their eyes upon his
bride, the only territory he owned and could not rule. He detected
secrets moving between her and Ornat like a sudden spring bubbling up from
a dark source. Only a few found it distasteful and turned away. Ethan
was the first to scowl and return his glance to the prince.

“I will see you all at the feast tonight,” Athaliah said as she
She wagged a finger at Ornat. “Take care of my good husband.”

Jehoram slouched in his seat and returned to his grapes.


Friday morning around nine our country was rocked by an earthquake that measured 5.5 on the Richter scale. I was standing in the reception area of our department, speaking to a fellow employee when the building began weaving like a drunken Frankenstein. Strangely enough I didn’t panic I just stood still and waited to see what would happen next. I remember recently thinking about the scripture that spoke about not being afraid of evil tidings. I still don’t know how I’ll handle other situations but I think I got a better understanding of what the psalmist was saying. Knowing that God is in control of your life: here and in the hereafter gives you calm in these types of situations because you know you can trust Him. Knowing your name is written in the Lamb’s book of Life gives you confidence to look death in eye because you understand that it can’t hurt you.

When it was over and I was making my way down the stairs to exit alongside the other employees I remember repenting before the Lord for anything that might keep me from Him. I’m sure I’m saved but I know I’m not perfect and there is something about facing such a moment that makes you realise you don’t know what the next will bring. We stayed outside the building on the football field that we have to the back, behind the car park for approximately two hours while engineers checked the building for damage. Afterward they let us back in the building but didn’t dismiss us for the day. A lot of people left though some to check on homes and collect children because most schools were let out early. I called family and friends and everyone was okay so I stuck around. Until around half two when the second quake struck then there was no question of sticking. I picked up my bag and left. I admit I was shaken after the second one because strangely enough I was more surprised at that one. It was a wakeup call really. Even though we live in an area that is threatened by hurricanes and earthquakes we always seem to escape the wrath of these natural disasters. A fact that a lot of people take for granted, believing that God is on our side and nothing bad can happen. It seemed God’s way of saying ‘You don’t know what the next moment might bring.’ If it was a lot of people didn’t hear that message. When we broke for lunch some of my coworkers went out to buy lunch when I called them to find out where they were at they had gone to a nearby restaurant/bar. When they returned it was clear to me that they had been drinking. I know people deal with stress differently but I still hope that on some level they realized the uncertainty of the future.

My prayer: Father, help me to face each moment as if it were my last so that I will always be prepared to meet You. I pray for my country, that we will understand our need for you, collectively and individually. Touch the hearts of those that don’t know You Lord and give them understanding of Your great love. I pray especially for family and friends, still lost in the clutches of the enemy. Open their eyes to the truth and if You can use me in some small way to make this happen, use me Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.