The Latest Reads, Listens, and Book Updates
It's still 90+ degrees in Texas, so the image feels a bit premature, but the colder weather is coming! We're finally supposed to cool off this week and I am SO ready for it.
Mini Devotional: Open Door Theology
When we say God opens a door, it means a clear and easy path, right? Because surely opposition means it isn't from God. When we hit snags, we think we should look elsewhere.
Cue the record scratch.
Did you know, we might actually have that backwards?
Our pastor recently preached from 1 Corinthians 16, and verse 9 talks about this directly, when Paul writes:
"...A wide door for effective ministry has opened for me — yet many oppose me."
An open door, filled with opposition?
It's not actually a revolutionary idea. Matthew 7:13-14 talks about the narrow way to heaven, and the wide and easy path to destruction.
Our connection between what appears to be an easy path and an "open door" is completely backwards. Because God is actually in the business of difficulty. He often opens doors that lead to opposition, adversaries, and road blocks. Not to be cruel, but to show us his glory. Because when we find what we can’t do, we see what God can.
So this month I ask you: what's an open door in your life that you've perhaps been avoiding, because you could only see the opposition? Look a little closer. You just might find God there on those hard roads, waiting to walk them with you.
I was in the mood for mostly light-hearted things this month, so there's a lot of Rom-Coms coming your way.
The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, by Sara Brunsvold
An interesting look into the mind of an elderly woman on her deathbed. Mrs. Kip's character was so well written, and she was an inspirational model of Christian love. I felt that the other characters lacked depth, but Brunsvold won the Carol Award with this one for a reason!
The Right One, by Barbara A. Luker
Barbara is a fellow Black Rose Writing author who launched her latest book last month and I had the privilege of reading it beforehand! This is a romantic thriller, set in Texas. Luker's love stories always draw me in, they're so relatable and real.
Can't Help Falling, by Courtney Walsh
This is a cute, autumn-themed rom-com from a fantastic author. It's a clean and sweet story of a girl falling for her best friend's brother. Give me the aww's.
Strawberry Fields for Never, by Kate Watson; and Baby Llama Drama, by Kate Watson
I just discovered Kate Watson, and it was fun to dive into her books. She's a Christian author who writes clean romances. Though they weren't directly faith-based stories, there are elements of Christianity (specifically stating that the characters are *waiting* for marriage, glances at a Bible, etc.), which I appreciated. These were both very well-written, fun Rom-Com reads. Watson's references to Bluey made me laugh out loud (really, ask my husband).
This interview with Dr. Morgan Cutlip made me put her book on my TBR list. She had some wonderful things to say about the positive impact becoming a parent can have in our lives, despite a cultural message that children are just a drain.
Songs: three new (to me) songs have been added to my repeat list. I share songs with apprehension. I have been told (multiple times) that I have bad taste in music. Listen at your own risk.
The next book in the Grace Church series is under contract! It will be released August 29, 2024. Thank you so much to all who have supported my writing so far. I'm excited for the opportunity to share more.
While I say next book, I should clarify: it's not technically the second. There's another book, yet to be written, that comes before Outside of Grace in the Grace Church timeline. But the upcoming release will take place approximately two years after Outside of Grace, and you'll get little glimpses at Ava and Jack, while following the storylines of two new protagonists, Wren and Hollis.
Stay tuned for descriptions, previews, book covers and more.
Thank you for spending a little time with me here! I hope this monthly update brings a bit of joy to your day. If I can be praying for you, please let me know in the comments or reply to the email if you're a subscriber. And know that I pray as soon as I see the requests. You are not forgotten. Your story matters. And I appreciate you.