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Tag Archives: God

New Contract with Barbour!

pegg-signing-2nd-barbour-contract-12-28-16In December I received my second contract from Barbour Publishing. It came one week after I’d told my husband, “If I never sell another manuscript, I’m okay with that. My goal was to write a book and have it published. I’ve done it. It’s off my bucket list.”

Galatians 4:4a – But when the fullness of the time came, God

God’s timing is always perfect. In everything. In the big things and in the littlest things. tweet this

I’d submitted the proposal for In Sheep’s Clothing back in June 2016. It was one of seven stories in a collection called Bouquet of Brides. Six months later, I’d not heard a peep from Barbour. I’d written it off.

God sends His blessings in His time. Generally when we least expect it. How sweet is that?!

 

PeggThomas.com

Debut story will release in April 2017 from Barbour

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Pegg Thomas, Writing

 

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364 Days to Go

hurry-only-364-days-till-next-christmas
The birth of our Savior. The gathering of friends and family. The exchanging of gifts.
So many emotions are wrapped around this particular day.
How does it leave you feeling on the day after?
Are you looking forward to next year – or dreading it.

Keeping Christmas simple is next to impossible in this day and age.
We prepare – we over-prepare.
We fuss, we worry, we shop and bake and cook.
Are you exhausted today? Burned out? Emotionally flat-lined?

Is it time to rethink your Christmas traditions?
Is it time to envision the next year as a time of joy and magic of the season?
Instead of a merry-go-round of fuss and bother.
Instead of a hassle and a grind.

If you dread next year already, decide this day to change that.
Make your resolution early this year.
Plan ahead to make next Christmas your best yet.
Keep it simple.
Keep it about Christ.

PeggThomas.com

Debut story will release in April 2017 from Barbour

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Pegg Thomas

 

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Surviving Holiday Anxiety

file9221293737060Christmas is coming! It’s the time of year when all is merry and bright. But… what if it’s not? Losses, financial difficulties, travel advisories, and social gatherings can cause anxiety. Here are some suggestions to encourage you if you’re anxious about the upcoming Holiday.

Focus on God’s provisionJoseph was a godly man, but how must he have felt when the innkeeper told him there was no room in the inn? Regardless of Joseph’s feelings, God was divinely orchestrating–with pinpoint precision–the location where His Son would be born. God is working out His plan in our circumstances as well.

file9731293737665Expect the unexpected. Like Mary and Joseph on the first Christmas, we can experience Christmas surprises that are stressful and messy. But if we complain about changes instead of celebrating new opportunities, we’ll miss the blessing of the journey on the way to the destination.

Anticipate joy. Shepherds rejoiced at the announcement of the Savior’s birth. Rejoicing is an act of the will, a mental resolution. The Savior’s birth is still reason to rejoice today.

When anxiety threatens to steal your joy, be thankful for God’s provision, remember His sovereignty, and rejoice evermore!

 

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in devotion, Jericha Kingston, Writing

 

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A Different Kind of Poverty

clarence-quote

Clarence’s quote from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

At the food bank where I volunteer, I met a woman whose entire future hinges on her coming up with about $400 in six weeks. Tears filled her eyes as she explained the situation to me. She’s an addict, and she’d been arrested. The judge had given her the opportunity to prove herself sober by taking a drug test each week. He’d ordered her to complete a course. If she did those things, he’d dismiss the felony charges, and she’d walk away with a clean record.

She’d stayed sober, but the drug tests are $50 each. She took the course, but to get the certificate, she has to pay $75. And her lawyer won’t give her any advice, because she has no money to pay him.

Her whole life was on the line for the sake of about $400.

I asked her if she had any family who could help. Nope. She’d burned all her bridges with her family, and they wouldn’t help her any longer.

I inquired about friends, but apparently the people she was closest to were other addicts, and they didn’t have the money to help her and, since she’d quit using, she’d cut off ties with them.

“I know it’s my own fault,” she said more than once. “I brought it on myself. This is what I deserve.”

What she deserves? The thought of getting what I deserve gives me chills. I don’t want justice when it comes to my own sins. I long for mercy and grace.

I have a God who offers both, and I shared that truth with her and prayed for her. I wish I could have done more, but aside from the strict never-give-money-or-rides-to-clients policy at the food bank, if I gave money to everybody who needed it, I’d be a client myself.

So after I gave her some phone numbers to organizations where she could seek help and counsel, we prayed together, she got a few grocery sacks of food, then we sent her on her way.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that woman’s poverty. It wasn’t just her extreme financial need—that’s one kind of poverty, to be sure. What bothered me more was her poverty of spirit. It was her poverty of hope. It was her poverty of relationships.

Tweet this: Poverty comes in many forms: of hope, of spirit, of friends. Even those without money can offer love.

I thank God for the scripture, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:30). She was a woman who understood her own poverty, and I continue to pray that the Lord will reach out to her in her need.

I walked out of the food bank that day thinking of all the people I could call upon if I were in need. I have a family who loves me. I have friends who love me. I have a church that loves me. If I needed $400 and told a few people, I’d have it by noon. Not because I’m something special, but because the Lord has blessed me with wonderful and generous people in my life. And I don’t deserve them. In fact, I deserve no more than that poor woman at the food bank does, but the Lord has shown me mercy and grace despite my egregious sins, and a lot of that has come in the form of the wonderful people he’s put in my life.

So I thank God today for my family and friends. And I hope I always remember that not everybody in the world is as blessed as I am. I pray I’ll be on the lookout for people suffering from poverty—of money, of hope, of relationships, and I hope to have the courage and selflessness to reach out to them when I meet them.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards and won the 2016 Bookstores Without Borders Lyra Award in the Women’s Fiction category. Its prequel, Chasing Amanda, is currently offered for free at all major retailers. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

 

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Considering your Role in an Epic Tale

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-4-19-28-pmIt’s possible I’m consumed with story.

I make up and write stories for a living. When I’m not writing, I edit other people’s stories. In my free time, I watch stories on TV and at the movies, and I read stories before I close my eyes every night.

All these stories have gotten me thinking—real life is a series of stories, and each story is connected to all the others. And it’s all part of one big story.

An epic tale.

This tale had its beginnings long before you and I drew breath. In fact, it began before those famous words in Genesis, “In the beginning.” It began in the heavens when an angel named Lucifer decided he would be equal with God, and God disagreed.

And there was a war.

And it still rages today.

You and I were born into a world at war, and our stories are episodes within this larger tale. We are living short (relatively speaking) stories that illustrate the great forces that battle all around us.

The tale we’re in makes stories like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia look like picture books.

And each of us is a character. Writers only create characters who matter to the stories they create. The Author created each of us because we matter in His epic tale.

An amazing thought, isn’t it?

William Shakespeare must have considered this himself when he penned these words in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…”

I’ve asked myself lately, what part do I play in God’s epic tale? And if I’m meant to play a part, am I doing it right? Or am I missing the epic in the pursuit of my own short-story interests?

What part do you play in God’s epic tale?

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards and won the 2016 Bookstores Without Borders Lyra Award in the Women’s Fiction category. Its prequel, Chasing Amanda, is currently offered for free at all major retailers. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Living for God, Robin Patchen, Writing

 

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Freeing Ellie: Author Chat with Joan Deneve

View More: http://photos.pass.us/joan-deneveQPQ: Today’s a great day to visit the Quid Pro Quills. We’re thrilled to bring you another interview with Author Joan Deneve. Thank you for joining us, Joan! Tell us what’s new since Saving Eric.

JD: Hello, Jericha. Great to be with you again! Eric and Ellie’s story continues in my new novel Freeing Ellie.

QPQ: Eric and Ellie… together at last! What are some of the challenges they face in Freeing Ellie?

JD: You’re right about challenges. Life seems to be full of them, doesn’t it?

One of Ellie’s greatest fears comes to pass: Eric has to return to his former professional skills in an attempt to rescue someone dear to them both.

Most importantly, though, Ellie has to deal with some baggage from her past: Guilt over past mistakes; depression; doubts about God’s love and forgiveness. These things rear their ugly heads as she and Eric deal with tragedy, as well as complications from a crisis pregnancy.

QPQ: Oh my. Can’t wait to read how they address these challenges. What’s Ellie’s most endearing quality?

JD:  Ellie is sweet, even when she is having a hard time. This quality is endearing but not always helpful. In an attempt not to be a bother to anyone, she bottles up her pain and tries to handle it all on her own.

QPQ: I think a lot of women can relate. Tell us how your book, Freeing Ellie, came to be.

Freeing Ellie FRONT COVERJD: I love books that end with Happily Ever After, but I always want to know what happens to a couple after the wedding when real life hits them square in the face. I love Eric and Ellie, and I wanted to take their journey farther and deeper. Since they were both new Christians when they married, I wanted to show their growth as believers and also the strengthening of their own relationship as husband and wife.

QPQ: Anyone who’s read about Eric and Ellie will definitely want to know more. What resources did you utilize to gather information for Freeing Ellie?

JD: My own life experiences! I was not reared in a Christian home. In fact, my childhood was often violent and troubled due to having a mentally ill father. I was gloriously saved two weeks before my sixteenth birthday! I entered this wonderful faith with a lot of baggage from my childhood. God graciously created the perfect storm of challenges and trials aimed specifically at my fears and doubts to bring me to the place where I could fully trust Him.

Although Ellie’s struggles were different from my own, I think the concept is the same for every believer. God knows the deep secrets and fears in our hearts. He often allows us to go through tribulations (which are trials we can’t handle on our own) in an effort to free us once and for all from the things that have bound us spiritually or emotionally.

I love the line from the novel: Retreat to the truth, not your feelings.

Our thoughts and feelings are often colored by lies we inadvertently tell ourselves such as, God doesn’t care; I’ll never change; Not even God can fix this mess…. We must learn to counter the lies we believe with the truth of His word. God’s truth will make you free. John 8:32.

QPQ: Yes! God’s truth is the only truth in a world of lies. What about Eric and Ellie will appeal to readers?

JD: Their cute, sweet banter! They’re still newlyweds in this novel! They are also still relatively new Christians. I think the reader will enjoy and benefit from witnessing their growing pains in their new faith.

QPQ: Can’t wait to read it. Your dialogue is amazing! What is the single most important lesson you’ve learned about writing, or life in general?

JD: Wow! I had to really think about the answer to this question because there were many lessons along the way. But I think if I had to narrow it down to the single most important lesson in regards to writing and life in general, it would be this:

Even though my life’s calling is to be a teacher, I found I REALLY enjoyed writing. At fifty-seven, when I began this glorious writing journey, I felt that I had walked through the wardrobe door and entered a whole new world that I loved very much. Five years later, I’ve learned some things about this ‘writing Narnia’ that I could not have known when I began.

  1. Writing is a gift but it’s also a craft that must be learned, often through painstaking, patient, and humbling trial and error.
  2. Getting a book published does not bring a lasting or euphoric high that one thinks it will bring. (Nor will it bring fame or wealth.)
  3. Most importantly, I’ve learned that God wants to use my gift of writing in His time and in His way. Once I learned that lesson, the pressure was off to compete with other authors, or to complete yet another epic book. God’s will, God’s way, God’s timing. It took me a while to learn that one, and I think I’m still learning. Actually it was this year that I realized God wants to use my writing whether in a work of fiction, a Facebook post, or even the occasional blog. It doesn’t have to be an award-winning book.

Sorry. I gave you three, but I saved the most important lesson for the last.

QPQ: I’m so glad you did. Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

JD: Me? Not really. But I can tell aspiring authors what I tell myself.

Don’t let self-doubt rob you of the blessing of pursuing your dream of writing a book and getting it published. God wants to use you to help and bless (or maybe just entertain) the people with whom you share this planet.

Don’t look at the Goliaths of other great authors or great and seemingly impregnable publishing houses. As young David said, “Is there not a cause?” Yes! If God has put this desire in your heart, God wants to use you. Trust God and do it!

QPQ: Fabulous advice, Joan. Tell us something we might be surprised to learn about you.

JD: Like Ellie, I once tried to commit suicide. God wasn’t through with me. It’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about this book. God is in the business of changing lives! He changed mine! My prayer is that God uses this book to help someone who is struggling with guilt or depression. There is deliverance!

QPQ: Thank you so much for your transparency, and most importantly, for sharing the sure hope found in Christ Jesus. What’s next for you? Are you writing anything new?

JD: I could use your prayers! Teaching high school English is rewarding but very time-consuming! I also am the primary caregiver for my ninety-six year old mother, another very rewarding but time-consuming challenge. But yes! I am currently working on Loving Brock, the third and final book in the Redeemed Side of Broken Series.

QPQ: Oh goodness! There’s more to come? I can’t wait! Thank you so much for joining us. How might readers contact you?

JD: I love to hear from readers! Here are some ways to connect with me:

cjdeneve@hotmail.comFacebook: Joannie Denevejoandeneve.com

QPQ: Finally, where can we find Freeing Ellie?

JD: Freeing Ellie can be found on Amazon. ♦

~ Jericha Kingston

View More: http://photos.pass.us/joan-deneveJoan Deneve teaches English in a Christian school and has a passion to help young people fall in love with Jesus and equip them to become all God wants them to be. Joan began her walk as a Christian when she accepted Christ as her savior two weeks before her sixteenth birthday. She graduated from Tennessee Temple Bible College in 1975.

Joan and Rene’, her husband of forty-plus years, reside in Prattville, Alabama, a charming city with Southern hospitality. They count their son, daughter, son-in-law, and seven phenomenal grandchildren to be their greatest blessings on earth.

Joan enjoys time well-spent with family and friends, but finds equal joy in quiet moments of solitude on her back porch. There, surrounded by bluebirds and yellow butterflies, she began writing her debut novel, Saving Eric.

An active member of her church, Joan enjoys singing in the choir. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is currently working on the third book in the Redeemed Side of Broken Series. She enjoys chatting with fellow writers and readers. Contact her at http://www.joandeneve.com

 

 

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Ruled by Love in a Sea of Stereotypes

no-stereotypesLast weekend I was sitting alone waiting for a play to begin when a lovely woman sat beside me. Somehow we started talking about the plight of the poor in America. She and I had very different thoughts on how to deal with the issues. We were polite, tiptoeing around each other, careful not to offend. Neither of us mentioned candidates—though it was clear where we each stood. We didn’t argue. Instead, we searched for common ground.

You know what? We found it. We were both Christians, both cared deeply about the suffering we saw daily, and both passionate about wanting to help.

But when it came to our political beliefs, we were polar opposites.

I had a conversation the next day. This person, frustrated about something in the political arena, said, “Those liberals are all alike.”

I thought of that lovely ebony-skinned woman. She’d spoken passionately about the people she served. She wanted things to get better, just like I do. She was a liberal, no doubt, but she was beautiful, kind, tenderhearted, and sincere. Was she just like every other liberal in the world? I don’t think so.

Is the wealthy business owner I work with at the food pantry just like Donald Trump? Not at all.

Bring it closer to home, though. Are you just like your siblings and your parents? When you gather for family reunions, do you look around and think, we’re practically clones of each other? When you go to church, are you amazed and how everybody looks, acts, and believes the same?

Of course not. It’s so obvious that we’re all unique, and yet, how often do we hear it?

They’re all alike…

Those politicians

Those Muslims

Those cops

Those blacks

Those gays

Those immigrants

Those Christians

That kind of reasoning is intellectual laziness. It’s insulting not just to the people we’re talking about but to all humanity. It’s a slap in the face to the Creator, who made us each unique and in His image. Every single person has beliefs, ideas, opinions, and dreams, and those have been shaped by their families, their trials, their successes, their friends, their schools, their communities, and countless other things. Each human soul represents a beautiful story that began in the heart of God.

Tweet this: Each human soul represents a beautiful story that began in the heart of God.

Yet I find myself slipping into that thinking sometimes. It’s so easy, isn’t it, to classify people? To disregard them?

I resolve to look beyond stereotypes to the people behind the masks. I resolve to believe that each of us has something unique and valuable to contribute, whether I agree with a person’s politics or his faith or his lifestyle. I strive to, like that sweet woman and I did, respect another person’s beliefs even if I don’t agree. And I resolve not to be offended when he doesn’t agree with me.

In short, I resolve to do my best to be ruled by love. And when I fail–which I do often–I resolve to keep trying.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (Quoted from BibleGateway)

How do you keep yourself from stereotyping people?

Have you ever felt like someone was stereotyping you?

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, was recently named a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards and won the 2016 Bookstores Without Borders Lyra Award in the Women’s Fiction category. Its prequel, Chasing Amanda, is currently offered for free at all major retailers. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Living for God, love, Robin Patchen

 

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