Posted on May 21, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
My heart is breaking for all of the victims of the storms, bombings, and fires that the U.S. has faced in recent weeks and days. I can only imagine the pain and loss these families are dealing with.
Remember Mr. (Fred) Rogers? He said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
The last week of May celebrates the helpers. National Emergency Services Week honors those who provide help when we are at our weakest. First responders, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, and a host of others step into situations that most of us will never see and lend assistance.
And then there are he emergency workers we don’t often applaud that work within the wall of the hospital. One of my good friends from college is a chaplain at one of the busiest trauma centers in the U.S. Here’s what he did last night:
“Let’s see, what did I do tonight? I visited around 20 patients and families… I responded to 6 shock traumas… I prayed for and comforted a grandmother whose husband and grandson were in a knife fight — both ending up in the ICU…. I held the hand of an expectant mother and prayed her through several of minutes of her contractions… I assisted the staff through an interpreter with a death notification to a Mexican family whose patient had died two days prior…. I comforted a woman who learned her husband was brain dead on her birthday… I passed out around 200 “Blessings of the Day”…. and I prayed for stressed/struggling friends in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas…”
Let’s keep laying our prayers at the feet of Jesus for all of the victims, but let’s also lift the emergency workers before Him. They see so much of life’s uglier side. Not only do they need stamina and physical protection, but they also need emotional support.
Have you been helped by an emergency worker? Do you know one? What other unsung heroes, like a trauma chaplain, can you think of?
Posted on May 20, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
We all know Memorial Day is approaching for those of us in the U.S., and in Canada, today is Victoria Day, but what about all those unusual holidays we hear about. National Dance Like a Chicken Day (May 14) or Love a Tree Day (May 16)? Those poor little holidays don’t get the kind of press they deserve. No one sends a card for National Sea Monkey Day (May 16) and you don’t get presents for National Chocolate Chip Day (May 15) even though you should.
So, for the next couple of weeks we want to introduce you to the May’s little known bizzare holidays of the last weeks of the month. Some are serious and some are just plain fun, but everyday we can promise you something unique.
National Be a Millionaire Day
“All I ask is for a chance to prove that money doesn’t buy happiness.” -Author Unknown
The organizers of this auspicious holiday would encourage us to make an investment or review our portfolio, but I think it’s the perfect day to imagine what it would be like to be a millionaire.
It got me to thinking what I would do with that kind of money. At first, I thought about how incredible it would be to have no more money worries. Then, I began to consider what I’d do with it. That’s far more than any family of five would need to live on.
I know I’d want to give a lot of it away, but how could I ever choose from all of the worthy charities? Even last night when I watched the final episode of Celebrity Apprentice, I found myself listening to each of the celebrity’s charities and thinking, “Oh, that’s a good one.”
And then there’s the people affected by yesterday’s tornado and the victims of hurrican Sandy who are still without homes. And what about the Boston bombing victims or the families who lost firefighters in the Texas explosions?
I’d want to give to mission work and education and… Well, you can see the list goes on and on. So, now, I’ve come to a decision. I might not have the same money worries, but I’d have a whole new set because I’d want to spend what God had blessed me with wisely. That burden might be even worse than a few credit cards.
But just a million dollars? Yeah, I think I might be able to handle that.
What about you? What’s the first thing you would do with a million dollars? What woud you do with $377 million? We might not get the chance to actually find out, but we can sure dream once in while.
Posted on May 5, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
April showers bring…May releases! And here at Inkspirational Messages, we have book releases blooming all over the place.
Please join us during the next two weeks as we celebrate our very own Rose Ross Zediker’s May release Wedding on the Rocks. Because the hero in Rose’s book in an archeologsit, some of the Inkspers will be sharing about the most unusual job they’ve had. However, since the heroine writes a beauty advice column for teens, some of the Inkspers will be sharing beauty tips they received while growing up. Some may even be brave enough to share a mishap.
Now, here’s a littel about Wedding on the Rocks.
JENNIFER EDWARDS IS BACK HOME
When she traded small-town life for the bright lights of Chicago, Jennifer Edwards yearned to discover a world beyond Faith, South Dakota. So when her father’s illness calls her home to run their cattle ranch, she tells herself it’s temporary. Then why is she even thinking about a future with archaeology professor Brett Lange-the boy she left behind-whose life’s work is digging up the past?
Twelve years ago, Brett had a crush on Jennifer the size of the T-rex that put his hometown on the map. Now she’s a citified magazine editor who prefers designer duds to dungarees. Except that’s not the real Jennifer. Brett needs to make her see how a little faith can go a long way in uniting two perfectly-in-sync hearts.
My most unusual job? One summer, I worked for a temporary agency between my junior and senior year of college.
I was placed in a distribution center where my job, they said, “required a college education.” While I had high hopes, I soon learned my job was to count the number of boxes on a pallet and see if matched the invoice. If you could mulitply 8 x 6, you could do this job. But hey, I made more money than most people that summer.
HOW CAN YOU WIN A COPY OF WEDDING ON THE ROCKS?
Rose is generously offering not one but TWO copies of Wedding on the Rocks AND TWO copies of her previous release Rose of Sharon to readers who comment during the next two weeks and let us know about their most unusual job or a beauty secret and/or mishap. That’s four chances to win a book every time you post here at Inkspirational Messages in the next two weeks.
Contest closes Friday, May 17 at midnight (central time). It is open to readers in the U.S. and Cananda only
Also, mark your caledars for the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt. Get more details here.
Posted on May 4, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
In the last two weeks we’ve been celebrating sisters in honor of my new release When Love Calls. It was wonderful to celebrate with so many of you!
The winner of a copy of When Love Calls for herself and one for her sister (or sister stand in) is
Congratulations, Julie B. Please send your snail mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org and that of your “sister.”
Be sure to join us in the next two weeks as we celebrate Rose Ross Zediker’s new release.
Posted on April 21, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
“A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” –Marion C. Garrety
Sisterhood has been described as one of the most complicated relationships on earth. There is an undeniable love bond between sisters, but they can also share a rocky bond of emotions. One thing that is for srue, from jealousy to joy, they go through it all together.
And some of us have extended the bonds of sisterhood to friends we claim as sisters, adopted family members, and to our sisters in Christ. The very word “sister” strikes a chord in our hearts.
To celebrate the release of the first book in the Gregory Sisters series, When Love Calls, the Inkspers will be sharing sister stories. Also, in honor of the May release, one of our reader friends who comments will win a copy of When Love Calls for themselves AND one for a sister.
When I was four years old, my first cousin, Andrea, came to live with us. She was fourteen. Because I was so young, I don’t remember a time she wasn’t my “big sister.”
I idolized my teenaged sister. I remember her big pink curlers, how she played Monopoly with her friends, and how grumpy she got on Christmas morning because we woke her up so early.
When my parents left my younger brother and I with her when they went out, she’d have me cut letters out of magazines and I thought it was so special. Later, she said it was to keep me busy. She taught me to read the Dick, Jane, and Sally books, and I can still remember the short green prom dress my mother sewed for her.
When Andrea graduated, she’d moved to Turkey to marry her fiance who was stations in the Army there. By the time I was nine, I was an aunt. She and her husband had five children–all before I was twenty-one. This means that my adult nieces and nephews have now become my friends. The downside? I’m a great aunt eight times over. They sure like to tease me about that.
Even though we weren’t born sisters, I believe God intended for us to be sisters all along. We share history and dreams, but most of all, we share a faith in God.
We are sisters. We will always be sisters. It’s by choice, and I thank God for placing her in my life.
Now its your turn. Every time you share one of your sister stories in the next two weeks, you’ll be entered in the drawing for a copy of When Love Calls for yourself and a matching copy for a sister. Contest closes at midnight, central time on Friday, May 3 and is open to those in the U.S. and Canada. Name chosen by Random.org.
Posted on April 20, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
Congratulations to Elizabeth Elliot! She was the winner of When Love Calls and the $10 Gift Card for Starbucks. The winner was chosen by Random.org.
Thanks to everyone who commented. Please come back as we’ll be giving away more books soon. In fact, you’ll be able to win one for you and for your sister in the coming weeks.
Posted on April 8, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
Spring–it’s the time of the year everything is new again. Flowers burst into bloom and trees begin to bud. Lambs are born, and best of all, new books come out!
While we Inkspers love flowers, gardens and fluffly lambs, we’re most excited about the new books which be blossoming on our shelves. In the next two weeks, we want to share some of the books you won’t want to miss.
Since my book, When Love Calls, is one of those spring reads, we are offering a giveaway to kick things off. One person who leaves a comment in the next two weeks will receive a signed copy of When Love Calls and a $10 Starbucks gift card. (Hannah, the heroine, loved coffee.)
And dear Inksper Readers, I need your help for something else. My publisher, Revell, is offering a set of my books books to one person who “likes” my author Facebook page. But here’s the catch. I need 800 “likes” before a winner can be chosen. You can join the Likefest by clicking here.
Now for a little about my spring release.
When Love Calls was such a fun book to write and research. Heres’ a little about it. In 1908, Hannah Gregory quits law school to become a telephone operator to support herself and her younger sisters after her parents die. When her union-member childhood sweetheart is accused of arson to terrorize management, Hannah must turn to the very lawyer who evicted her family to exonerate him. Hannah’s outspokenness irritates Lincoln Cole, but there’s something about her that compels him to risk his career to help her.
What a thrill it was to find out When Love Calls received four stars from Romantic Times Reviews! Here’s what reviewer Carolyn Martin said, “Seilstad’s sweet, amusing, heartwarming romance features vibrant and charming characters, intriguing historical detail, and genuine flashes of family humor. The reader roots not only for the hero and heroine, but also for the engaging secondary characters.”
Intrigued? If you are, consider pre-ordering a copy today. It may even ship before the May 1 release, and they make great Mother’s Day presents, too.
So what are you looking forward to this spring? Remember, every time you leave a comment during the next two weeks, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of When Love Calls and that $10 Starbucks card.
*Contest ends Friday, April 19 at midnight, central time. Hard copy of When Love Calls given to selected reader if in the continental U.S./ Cananda. E-book for a winer outside the continental U.S./Canada. Winner will be chosen by Random.org from those who have commented during the two week period.
Posted on March 24, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
By the end of winter, most of us are more than ready to see spring arrive. If you’re like me, cold weather, sickness, and dreary days have taken their toll and you can’t wait to get out in your garden or to take a long walk.
So as I faced yet another little round of snow along with a dozy of a cold, I turned on a funny television show. When it was over, my spirits were lifted.
Isn’t this just what God told us in Proverbs 17:22. “A joyful heart is good medicine”?
In the next two weeks, the Inkspers will be giving you a healthy dose of laughter to ease the can’t-wait-f0r-spring blues. Join us here every day for a giggle and smile. You’ll be glad you did.
THREE LITTLE PIGS by CHONDRA PIERCE
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend one of Chondra Pierce’s concerts. If you ever get the chance to do likewise, I highly recommend it. I haven’t laughed so hard in years.
I wanted to share this Youtube excerpt from one of her performances. It was one of my favorite parts that night. I think you’ll see why.
So what did you think? I love how Chondra uses laughter, then reminds us of a heavenly truth. It’s a real gift and what commedy does best–helps us see ourselves in a new light.
Will you ever look at the Three Little Pigs the same again? I know I won’t.
Posted on March 10, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of [her].”
–Lili St. Crow
If the root of my writer’s block is self-doubt, I pray and ask God to use me and let His words flow. I often type, “Help me. Help me. Help me. Help me,” until I get laugh and get going again. Sometimes, I write my prayer out. Any of these remind me that I am just an instrument in God’s orchestra.
When I say I try to feed the writer in me, I’m not talking chocolate, although that’s important, too. My writer soul needs a regular diet of good stories. Because I sometimes think of this as a luxury, I don’t always realize how essential it is for my ability to write. So, if I’m still stuck, I often try to read a new book, listen to a book on CD when I’m working in the house, or even watch a good television show or movie.
Sometimes it feels like the creativity switch in my brain has been flipped off. If I want to turn it back on, I try to do something creative. I might work on church Bible camp curriculum, design a newsletter, make a flower arrangement, or play on Pinterest. I often have my most productive days after I’ve worked on some other kind of project. Studies show that once you get your creative juices flowing in one area, that can translate to other areas.
Posted on February 25, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
To be a Christian without prayer is no more posssible than to be alive without breathing.
How many times have you found yourself at Jesus’ feet, pouring out your heart in prayer, putting your concerns in His hands, and thanking Him for your abundant blessings? If you’re like me, the answer is often, but sometimes we forget to look back at the answered prayers–both large and small.
In the next two weeks, the Inkspers are going to be sharing about some of there own answered prayers. We hope you are encouraged by our stories and your faith will be renewed in God’s amazing goodness.
Flat Tires and Fleeces
“And then, when you are ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would ever dream. You see, until you are ready, I am working even now, this minute, to have you both ready at the same time . . . . but, until you are satisfied exclusively with Me and with the life I have prepared for you, you will not be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me which is perfect love….Know that I love you always; I am God Almighty.”
The quote above was a portion of “On HIs Plan for Your Mate” and the author is
unknown. (You can find the whole narrative here.) I had this letter hanging in my bedroom all of my teenage and college years. I’d read it often, sometimes tearfully, when I worried what if I never met the right person.
I also spent many nights praying about the man God was preparing for me, and I knew I was going to marry David the day I met him. I wasn’t love at first sight, but it was this strange “knowing.”
However, our dating time was far from smooth. David knew all about wooing a woman, but hadn’t been friends with a woman on a long term basis. I had been friends with a lot of guys, but I wasn’t used to handling the overwhelming feelings. David also wasn’t sure he wanted to be in love with me or anyone else. He wasn’t ready to give up his single life. We’d break up, but we couldn’t stay apart long. It seemed that we’d take two steps forward and one step back on a regular basis.
I began to grow weary and doubt my first feelings. After all, how long could I wait for David to make up his mind? Truthfully, I wanted to give up. This relationship
thing was just too hard.
One night, I began to pray, begging God for direction. I’d been reading about Gideon laying out a fleece in Judges 6, and decided to lay out one of my own. I said, “God, if you want me to stay with David, just give me a flat tire on my car tomorrow.” Almost immediately, I took it back and told God to forget it.
The next morning, I hurried to get ready to go to work. I stepped onto the porch and stopped cold. There, in the driveway, was my car with a flat tire. My whole body shook.
When my ad took the tire in, there was no hole, and they couldn’t explain why it went flat.
We dated for two and half sometimes rocky years before we were married. The words from that letter came true. “When you are ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would ever dream.”
I think God knew I needed the flat tire and the original feelings to stick with this
relationship. David is a man who gives 110% to everything he does. That included marriage. The reason he’d been reluctant to commit was he understood how significant that commitment was. I had to learn about resting in God’s timing and a lot of other things.
God brought us together from across the world. He worked out the five year age difference and kept us exclusively for each other. He answered my prayers for a man of God, for a man I could easily respect, and for a man I could serve the Lord beside.
I didn’t expect him to come in a 6’6” package, but I’m sure glad he did!