CHOICES–PRAISE IS ALWAYS THE RIGHT ONE

by: Lillian Duncan

(Proverbs 18:21, NIV)

 Psalm 69: 30

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

Today, we learned my husband is having a triple bypass this week. Not something we expected—at all and certainly not something we wanted. Now, we are faced with choices, lots of them. But the biggest choice becomes how we are going to react to this.

We could choose to blame God and ask why this had to happen to us but that’s not our choice. We choose to praise God and be grateful the problem was found early enough to do something about it.

Does that make it easy? No. Does that make it any less scary? No. Does that mean there haven’t been tears? No. Does that mean I would choose for this to be happening? No. But it does mean I also have peace, joy, and hope. That I am trusting in the goodness of God and knowing He loves us and that he works all things for the good of those who love Him.

I don’t know the future. I don’t know what God has planned for us. I don’t know the outcome of the surgery.  But I do know that in all things, I will praise Him and love Him and trust in his love for me.

In life, we don’t always have control over what happens to us but we always have the choice to how we react.

*~*~*

Grace & Faith Author, Lillian Duncan, can be found at:  http://www.lillianduncan.net/

Sweet Read with Lots of Lessons: Hailee by Penny Zeller

Review by:  Staci Stallings

Hailee

by: Penny Zeller

We’ve all made mistakes. I suppose we should recognize that, but sometimes jealousy and arrogance just plain blur our vision. We begin to think we have the right and the duty to judge others, to put them in their place, and to announce their transgressions to all the world. Tragically, few of us realize how deeply our words and actions wound those on the receiving end of them.

In the book Hailee, by Penny Zeller, readers come to see the spiritual damage we cause when we refuse to afford to others what God so graciously gives us–a second chance. Hailee, who has now out-grown the mistakes of her past, is terrified that anyone in her new hometown will find out what she did to survive all those years ago. Nate–now Reverend Nate, also made terrible mistakes as a young man trying to fit in, so he knows what it’s like to hope that no one ever finds out.

It seems that character-after-character in this book either has something to hide or something to forgive–as it is with all of us. I fully expected Reverend Nate to suggest that the first person to never have sinned cast the first stone at Hailee. Though he never does, those words echoed through my soul as the two stood to face the uncovering of their pasts. But the truth is, too many of us are like the angry, agenda-driven townsfolk who level the accusations.

We feel justified in dragging others through the mud so that we can get what we want. The thing this book points out so gently is that God has already forgiven us. Our task now is to learn to forgive each other and ourselves so that we can step in to the Promised Land He has laid out before us. It is a challenge the characters face with grace, dignity, and love and one they call each of us to face as well.

See more about “Hailee” Today Click Here!

*~*~*

About Penny Zeller:

I was bitten by the writing bug at age seven when I began writing Bible stories in my own words. In fourth grade, I started to write fictional stories and “publish” them in homemade wallpaper-covered cardboard books.

I also write a blog “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” where I serve up a dose of humor relating to family and writing life, write movie reviews from a Christian perspective, and introduce you to some of my favorite author friends through author interviews and giveaways.  I am an active volunteer in my community. I serve as a Bible study leader, co-leader of a women’s prayer group, and founder of The Sisters in Christ Community Girls Night Out. My passion is to use the gift of the written word to glorify God and to benefit His Kingdom. I devote my time to assisting, encouraging, and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. When I’m not dreaming up new characters for books, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and playing volleyball.

*~*~*

About Staci Stallings:

Staci Stallings is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection.  The full line of Staci’s books, which include Contemporary Romance, Bible Studies, and short story collections can be found at:  http://stacistallings.wordpress.com

Her blog is at: http://spiritlightbooks.wordpress.com

G&F Welcomes Fearless Author, Suzanne Williams

Today I’d like you to meet a lovely woman who has overcome many challenges thanks to God’s help.  Suzanne Williams now runs the Fearless group on FB, helping others to overcome fear issues and live again.

Welcome, Suzanne.  Thanks for joining us!

We’d love to know a little about you.  Who is Suzanne Williams?

I always say my life is ordinary. I am a “born and raised” Floridian. In fact, I live only a few miles from where I grew up. I attended a local high school, graduating with honors. My parents were always active in the church, dragging my older brother and I to every service imaginable. My mother is an ordained minister who teaches in churches across the U.S. and in Bible schools around the world. I have worked for her as the office staff for twelve years doing everything from sound and video editing, to graphic design, accounting, and even typing and filing.

My spouse and I have been married for twenty-two years. We have one eighteen-year-old daughter who is graduating from high school this year. He is my best friend and she is my sidekick.  We have one spoiled dog, a dachshund, and two saltwater fish.

I know how active you are on the Facebook page and with writing, but if you weren’t doing that, what might you be pursuing?

If I am not writing, I am reading. I think a writer learns to write better through what they read. I am an avid nature photographer. I take time out at least once a week to concentrate on photography. I see life through the nature around me. I enjoy gardening. I grow everything from flowers to seasonal vegetables. I especially like to plant what draws in insects or birds.

Gardening is not my forte!  I can kill plastic plants, so I have a great admiration for people who can grow things–especially when they can grow things for a purpose like to attract butterflies or birds.  You sound like you lead a very quiet, peaceful life.  Have there been any challenges along the way?

I never thought my life would have a great challenge.  But in 2007, my world fell apart and I became physically ill. I found myself gripped by fear to the point I couldn’t leave home. It was a struggle even to buy groceries or attend church.

I turned to God as the answer. First, I repented. I had bitterness in my heart that required forgiveness. Then I poured myself into the Word of God. I turned off the television, closed all the books, and spent my days and nights feasting on God’s words about peace and freedom. I learned to worship. Worship lifted God back into the place He needed to be for my life to have balance, and through it, God became bigger than my problem.

I will not lie; it was a very hard and slow process. I had to go places I was afraid to go. Often I went sick, but I went. Still today, I find myself doing things out of the ordinary, having little victories. Just yesterday, I drove after dark by myself. That was a huge step from where I was a few years ago.

It’s amazing how we take things like that for granted when others struggle so much with them.  Is there a quote or saying you live by now?  Something that gets you through the hard times?

At the end of my emails, I have a quote made by Peter Marshall, Senate chaplain, on April 18, 1947. He said, “Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”

I believe Christians must live clean, moral lives in the midst of the sin around us. We must walk in the love of Christ, our lives shining as examples of who Christ is.

Boy, AMEN to that!  Are you working on anything new right now?

I am writing a fiction series, the first book to be released through Write Integrity Press in April. I never thought I’d write fiction, but one night the Lord sparked an idea in me that I had to pursue. It has been fun and I’ve received only positive comments from those who have read it so far.

Awesome!  Something to look forward to!  So what about your other writing endeavors?

This month, one of my letters released in the book Love Letters from the Heart, published by Pix-N-Pens Publishing. These letters serve as testimonies to people in a variety of situations – letters from people who have experienced pain and suffering and want to share their heart with someone going through something similar. Love Letters from the Heart is a beautiful book that will touch hearts and has the power to change lives.

Last year, Tracy Ruckman and I began a project for a series of anthologies entitled “Life Lessons.” Our first book in this series, Life Lessons From Grandparents, came out in December. Currently we are seeking submissions for the other books in the series  – Moms, Dads, and Teachers. We are looking for heartfelt stories about how these special people touched your life. Visit Write Integrity Press for information on how to submit.

One year ago this March, I released my book, Fearless. It is my testimony of freedom from fear, words God spoke to my heart that set me free. I am so blessed at the comments people have given of how it has helped them. That was truly my heart in creating the book. I saw so many trapped in the cycle of fear and wanted them to know there is a permanent way out.

I know our readers would love to read that!  Tell us where we can find you on the ‘net to learn more.

I write regularly in my blog. All the links to my places on the web are listed there  – both with my writing and my photography. I also write monthly for Steve’s Digicams.com on the subject of photography. Email subscribers to the blog will receive notice of anything I have coming out.

http://suzanne-williams-photography.blogspot.com/

Readers, Suzanne is giving away two prize packages of books – one digital and one print! Just leave a relevant comment here on the blog about her interview, and then tell us whether you’d like to win the digital package or the print package.

She’ll then draw two winners – one digital package and one print package – each winner will receive one copy each of her books:

Fearless

Love Letters from the Heart

Life Lessons from Grandparents

The print package is available only for residents of the US, but the digital package is available internationally.

Comments must be posted by March 2, 2012 – Winners will be contacted by e-mail, so be sure to put your email address in your comment.

 

 

Thanks for joining us Suzanne.  Best of luck and many blessings on all you do!  Join us next week when our guest will be Judy Hampton.  Until then… Have a blessed day!

Please Don’t Faint!

By Ada Brownell

Clara has always been a fainter. She passes out at the sight of blood. Once she fainted when she bumped her head on a door.

Due to her habit of fainting, Clara is not much help in emergencies. When she was a teenager, she worked for her Uncle Matt and Aunt Marge. One day Matt broke his leg. Marge was away so Matt shouted for Clara to call a doctor. Clara, however, rushed to see what had happened. When she saw the broken leg, she fainted. Matt had to crawl to a phone and summon an ambulance himself—then try to help Clara!

In the face of almost every crisis, Clara faints. After her marriage she and her family were camping on top of Grand Mesa near Grand Junction, Colo. Her son Dean had a heart murmur and in the middle of the night began breathing hard—gasping for breath.

Clara’s husband awakened her and said, “We’re going to have to take Dean down off this mountain. He can’t get his breath.”

She sat up, looked at Dean, and then lay back down. “I think I’m going to faint,” she said weakly.

Her husband laughed. “Don’t be silly; you can’t faint lying down.”

She did anyway.

Her fainting is the result of a depression in the action of the heart. This can be caused by cold, heat, hunger, mental shock, weakness, pain, or fright. As a consequence, the flow of blood to the brain is interrupted and temporary unconsciousness occurs.

Not many people suffer physical fainting as often as Clara–but in the church there are many “spiritual fainters.” The Bible reproves those who faint when the going gets a little rough. “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small,” it says (Proverbs 24:10).

When trouble comes into our lives, we don’t need to faint. If we wait on God in prayer, He will renew our strength so that we can “mount up with wings as eagles,” and “run and not be weary,” and “walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).

A preacher’s wife was ill and not expected to live. The minister became discouraged and seemed to have no more heart for his church work. Instead of helping, his flock deserted him. “I’m going to another church,” they said, and departed one by one.

Eventually the minister’s wife recovered and the preacher was able to throw himself into the work with his former zeal. But by that time the church was so depleted it could not meet the challenge of the community and that section of a metropolitan area was unreached. Victories were forfeited because the church members “fainted” when the going became hard.

But  “fainting” is not necessary. As long as God lives and answers prayer, there is a way to recover strength. Better still, there is a way to prevent “fainting.” For the Bible says, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).

Please don’t faint. Pray instead—and let God give you supernatural strength.

This encouragement article appeared in The Pentecostal Evangel years ago. Clara, my sister, is in heaven now, but the message it still appropriate for today. No matter what our talent or ministry, we should not be weary in well doing because we will reap if we faint not (Galatians 6:9).

Incidentally, Clara laughed and loved that she starred in this article. — Ada

Ada Nicholson Brownell is a retired newspaper reporter who has had articles and stories published in more than 40 Christian magazines. Her latest book is Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, available now at amazon.com. Check out her blog: http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com

The Huguenot Sword: A Review

Reviewed By: Mary C. Findley

The Huguenot Sword

by: Shawn Lamb

I am interested in church history, especially regarding Protestants, and as soon as I saw this book I wanted to read it. I got the Amazon Kindle version on a 99 cent Cyber Monday sale after a heads-up from the author on Goodreads. It deals mostly with young adult characters and includes a number of well-known historical figures. For those who don’t know, Huguenots were Protestants who tried to obtain the right to live as citizens and practice their faith in Catholic France but were severely persecuted, especially under Cardinal Richelieu.

Shawn Lamb has created a great study of how ordinary people look at and practice their beliefs, and how those beliefs affect their own lives and conduct, and their interactions with others. If you like the Three Musketeers, the Scarlet Pimpernell, and Zorro, you will like this story. Adventure, disguises, intrigues, court life, expectations of family, arranged marriage, and elements of romance and temptation all enter into the plot and storyline.

Three young men try to live by their motto, “For Friendship, for Faith, and for Freedom,” while aiding the Huguenot Resistance in France. Shawn Lamb provides plenty of swordfighting, pursuits and escapes, and, most importantly, insight into how young people view faith as they mature and make decisions about what they really believe and how it will shape their conduct.

Though I enjoyed the story and characters very much, I found the book contained some technical imperfections. The author was kind enough to share her process of writing and “vetting” a book and her many years of experience with different ways of bringing a book to print. She graciously promised to take my comments about the book into consideration in her future writing.

So, take it all together, the Huguenot Sword was an exciting, satisfying read, a tribute to faith and its struggles to grow, and an opportunity for me to learn firsthand something about how an author gets a book out of her head and into print, or into my Kindle, in this case.

Click here to see more about  The Huguenot Sword

Karen Baney Stops by G&F

Word has it that Karen Baney was bringing Carmel Kukamungas today.  For those who don’t know, Karen’s favorite drink is some kind of iced, caramel latte that those of us not into coffee can’t pronounce.  So our own Matt Patterson christened them Caramel Kukamungas!  Trust me, Karen is always good for a few laughs when she stops by… coffee or no coffee!  Also, for those who don’t know, Karen was the inspiration for Grace & Faith.  I was her article that sparked the idea that started this whole thing!  So if you want to thank someone, she’s the gal you should talk with…

Welcome Karen Baney!

We’d love to know a little about the woman behind the smile.  Who is Karen Baney?

I’m a doggie mom to Max (Maximillion P. Coaltrain) and Ginger (Pooh-bear Aliwicious Jones the third).   I’ve been married to my hubby for close to 12 years now and I still like him, so we must be doing something right.  🙂

Reading and photography are some of my hobbies.  And I’m totally addicted to the TV Shows “The Big Bang Theory” and “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded”.

Says something about me, I’m sure, but I’ve never even HEARD of those shows. LOL!  Now, you’ve been a historical writer and have just crossed-over to contemporary.  What differences have you noticed in writing and/or marketing the different genres?

I found the contemporary was easier to write.  I didn’t have to do as much research because I know how people talk and dress in 2012.  With a historical, I research everything down to the type of clothing worn, what my pioneer’s kitchen would hold, etc.

I think I’m still figuring out the marketing side for contemporary.  I know that some readers love both, so I’m excited to see fans who loved the Prescott Pioneers Series picking up a copy of Nickels.  But, moving to a new genre means building a second fan base.  It takes time and patience.

Time and patience.  Good advice.  In fact, you give lots of good advice to authors who are trying to market their work.  What is the most rewarding thing about the work you do helping other authors learn to do this?

My favorite part of working with other authors is when I get to witness their “ah-ha” moments.  Sometimes it’s the little things, like learning about a new distribution channel.  Other times, its big – like when they all of the sudden start to see sales ranking climbing like crazy during a promotion.

I’ve always been the type of person to share knowledge and I am happy to pass on what I’ve learned to others.  Sometimes it just helps having someone who has already walked a path help you navigate some of the bumps.

By my count, Nickels is your fourth book.    What is the most challenging thing for you as an author–writing, editing, marketing or something else?

My least favorite part of being an author (besides negative reviews ) is the revision and editing process.  There are times that I read the manuscript through so many times that I start to hate the book.  This is very bad psychologically.  I start to think no one will ever want to read it.  When I get to this place, I put it down and step away for a few weeks.

Every single time I do this, I come back to it and get excited again.  Yes, this is something that readers will love!

Again, great advice.  So what is the best thing about being an author?

Everything!  I love writing.  I also love the business aspect of it which appeals to my entrepreneurial side.  Most of all, I love getting email from readers who have grown because they were inspired by one of my fictional books.

I’m curious, how did you come to be a Christian writer?

Suddenly.  In early 2010, I had a series of health problems that gave me plenty of time to sit around and think.  I knew I wasn’t called to be a mom.  I even accepted it years ago.  But what I wanted to know from God is what He was calling me to do instead.

So, I asked and He answered (as He loves to do) with one word:  Write.

I had absolutely no clue where to start.  Through much prayer, I began writing A Dream Unfolding in March 2010. I had to learn everything:  plot, structure, point of view, dialogue.  The one area that seemed to come naturally was characterization.

Through the course of the last two years, God has shown me a second calling related to writing.  I’m not just passionate about writing fiction for readers, but I also have a huge passion for helping authors learn more about the business aspect of writing.  It’s something He has been building in me for years—I just didn’t get it until recently.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing and why?

My dream has always been to run my own business, so either that or continuing to plug away at my career as a computer programmer.

And you’ve even made that pay off with your latest book Nickels–which is a romance about computer programming!  Now that’s talent!  So, if you could give one piece of advice that’s not writing-related, what would it be and why?

Know who you are and whose you are.  If you aren’t grounded in the knowledge that the God of the Universe loves and treasures you, everything is so much harder.  It’s hard to balance a day job, with writing, marketing, and spending time with my family.  I absolutely couldn’t do it without know what the real priorities are and where my value comes from.

AMEN to that!  No wonder we “clicked.” 🙂  Is there a quote or saying that’s near and dear to your heart?

I’ve never been one to seek out a theme verse, but one keeps repeating itself over and over in my mind and heart these past few months.  Psalm 37:8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.

The big part that speaks to me is the “do not fret—it leads only to evil.”  I mean, God is telling me that when I worry it can actually lead to something bad.  Not just bad but evil.  I’m certainly being challenged to trust him more and worry less.

Trust more, worry less.  More good advice!  So what are you working on right now?

Drum roll please…  A Hope Revealed (Prescott Pioneers 4).  This dramatic conclusion to the series will tie up several lose ends.  I’m bringing a few new characters into the spotlight, Mary Colter and Warren Cahill, while bringing back Will and Hannah Colter.

I’ll give you one hint: This book deals with yet another controversial topic that I think many readers will relate to – divorce.  And that’s all I’m saying.

Yes, you certainly know how to accept a challenge! So what are some of your writing endeavors other than the new book.

For readers, I’m still featuring indie and small press author interviews every Monday on my blog.  This is a great chance for readers to learn more about Christian authors and find new books to read. www.karenbaney.com

For authors, I’m continuing to develop articles on marketing and self publishing.  I believe a book may be in the works for authors sometime this year: The Business of Writing.  Stay tuned for more.

11)  Where can readers find you on the ‘net?

www.karenbaney.com

Twitter: @karen_baney

Facebook Fan Page

Karen Baney, in addition to writing Christian historical fiction and contemporary novels, works as a Software Engineer.  Spending over twenty years as an avid fan of both genres, Karen loves writing stories set in Arizona.

Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing.  She is active in various Bible studies throughout the year.  Karen and her husband make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs.  She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University.

BUY NICKELS HERE!

 

Where Wildflowers Bloom

Review by Ada Brownell

By Ann Shorey

You’d think by the title that this book would be an easy-read romance, but you’ll be surprised at the mayhem that can surround a mercantile and the young lady who manages the store for her ailing grandfather.

In the first place Faith Lindberg doesn’t want to spend her life stocking shelves, waiting on customers and trying to balance ledgers that are in chaos. She wants to make enough money to pay passage to Oregon and perhaps marry Royal Baxter when he returns from the war.

Yet, it seems every day something happens. Grandpa gets lost on his way to the store. Good thing Curt Saxon, the stableman, comes to the rescue.

It seems Curt, who carries a long jagged scar on his neck from the war is always there when crises occur.

Could Faith, with her grand goals and drams fall for a scarred stableman? Or is he responsible for some of the crimes occurring in town?

This book is not only entertaining, but has enough suspense it kept me reading into the night. I recommend it.

Note: I was given a review copy of the book by the publisher and author.

Get Where the Wildflowers Bloom.  Click here.

— Ada Brownell, author of Swallowed by LIFE

Ada Nicholson Brownell is a retired newspaper reporter who has had articles and stories published in more than 40 Christian magazines. Her latest book is Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, available now at amazon.com. Check out her blog: http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com

Romance Week is here!

Interview with G&F Author Sarah Witenhafer

Today is it my honor and privilege to introduce you to Sarah Witenhafer.  Sarah’s wit and charm are contagious, and she has a beautiful, bright, fun-loving spirit.  Please welcome, my friend… Sarah Witenhafter!

At the risk of where this could go, tell us about yourself, Sarah.

I’m 47. Somedays it’s hard to get over that fact and remember anything else. Where did the years go?! Well, 20 of them have been spent with a great guy, my husband, Dale. He spent many of those years teaching me what it means to be accepted just as I am. I learned just in time to be there for him when he needed me. Also within those 20 years, I became a mom to three amazing daughters: 12 yr. old Rachel; Hannah – 15; and Emily – 19. I home schooled them until they ran away. Now I write in my free time.  (Just kidding. Thankfully, they’re still here, and I have no free time.)

Running away wouldn’t surprise me. 🙂 Just kidding!  So how did you become a Christian writer?

I started writing because one of my girls read the Twilight series. After reading it myself, I saw an opportunity to reach the next generation with the gospel of Christ through writing a fantasy/romance. My book doesn’t have vampires, but it does have a Damon – and he’s better than any frozen blood-sucker out there, let me tell you.

A Damon… fascinating.  Have you had any major challenges in your life that you’d like to share with our readers?

I’ve had several major challenges. Divorce ravaged my family several times growing up. Had my first baby out-of-wedlock and placed her for adoption. Had a breakdown. Lost our business, and life savings, in the economic crash not too long ago, and went through my own marital problems. How did I handle it? I didn’t. Each time God turned my darkness into light, many times miraculously.  He did more than I could ask for or imagine. I know the secret of Job. Seeing God makes up for every loss, every heartache, and with Him, you only get stronger.

Wow.  Yes, I ‘d call those a few challenges.  And I’m with you on the having God thing. I don’t know how those who don’t ever make it. Is there a verse or a saying in particular that you hold onto in touch times?

Psalm 18:28 I sign every book with that verse. Could there be any greater hope? It is a promise not only to guide our way, but through Christ, to literally turn our sin nature into glorious light. It’s special to me because one dark day, I came face to face with my deepest fears. I was sitting alone in an airport weeping, thinking my best days were all behind me. I got on the plane and took out my pocket Bible, so numb with grief I didn’t know which Scripture to read. In fact, I sat staring at the page where my Bible had fallen open for a long time without seeing the words. Then, slowly, a verse stood out to me. It was the only one on the page that was highlighted. “My God turns my darkness into light.” All I could say was, “Lord, please… do this for me.” By the end of the flight a supernatural strength empowered me, and I left the plane radically changed. That’s the God I want my readers to know.

See, I knew there was something cool about you!  It’s HIM! 🙂  So what are you working on now?

A prequel to Tamed, explaining how Damon’s family came into existence. Set in Babylon, in the city where the Tower of Babel is built, the story incorporates history, fantasy, romance and non-stop action for a heart-pounding ride. Don’t even think of picking up this book on a night when you’re alone… or if you have to stop and make dinner. J

“Kids, you’re on your own for supper.  I’m busy!”  🙂  Where can our readers find you on the ‘net, Sarah?

Please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or at my website – http://www.SarahWitenhafer.com.

Thanks for stopping by, Sarah.  Now get back to writing! 

More about Sarah Witenhafer and her books…

Sarah Witenhafer is the author of two 5 star books, Tamed (her debut book), and Anointed, the sequel. Both are available in paperback, or ebook format, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

See more HERE!

Considerable Comeback

by: Melanie Bonita

I have heard people say that in life; sometimes they feel like they are going backward instead of forward. During a challenging season, that feeling can be even more magnified. They feel like they should be a lot further along than they are in life. Remember that it is only temporary. It’s time to leave those things behind, unless it is for a learning experience.

Philippians 3:13 (NLT) says, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”

As Willie Jolley would say, “A setback is a setup for a comeback.” Don’t look backward, and be determined to make your massive comeback today! While you’re coming back, remember to be determined to be resilient! When there is something that can take you down, don’t stay there. You have to bounce back quickly. The time spent on pondering what went wrong should instead be used to be productive and focus on the purpose and plans that God has for your life.

Jewel Diamond Taylor says, “In a harsh storm the palm tree bends instead of breaks. After you have done all you can during your financial storm, health storm or relationships storm, just stand and be resilient.  Bend but don’t break.  Be flexible and stay grounded in your faith.   Remember, this, too, shall pass. Don’t allow the difficulty and disappointments to make your heart hard like a stone.  Remember you are not alone and you are stronger than you think.” ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor.

Melanie Bonita is an anointed Amazon Bestselling author, inspirational speaker, faith coach, prophetic dancer, gospel fitness instructor, poet, financial business consultant, veteran, and community leader.

Melanie Bonita started being a very determined person at a very young age. She overcame many adversities that she faced in her life. Even though she had her daughter at age 16, married at 18, separated at 19, and divorced at 20, she still managed to get two degrees and bought her first house by the age of 27. In 2001, she started going through various health issues. She was diagnosed with arthritis in both her knees and was in three major car accidents which caused excruciating pain in her back and neck. Not understanding why the Lord wanted her to continue ministering through dance. She realizes now that she no longer dances, but ministers through her body and that her life is a living testimony. Now she just allows the Holy Spirit lead her. As she praises Him, she has no pain. Her motto is “There is healing in your Praise.” She was also laid off from her job and experienced financial hardship. Through all of her trials, she was still determined to reach her dreams, goals and aspirations. With the favour of the Lord, her tenacity and fortitude, she has been able live her dreams and determined to help you live yours too.

 She is a partner Spirit of Faith Christian Center in Temple Hills, MD, under the leadership of Pastor Michael A. and Dr. DeeDee Freeman. In August 2011, Melanie Bonita’s book “Daily Dose of Determination” became a #1 Amazon Bestseller in the Kindle Hot New Releases in Christian Prayer Books category. Creative Praise International was birthed in 2008 out of obedience to the Holy Spirit. God has also given her a vision to help women be healthier through dance and gospel fitness workouts.  Melanie Bonita with her gospel fitness class has been featured in the news, magazines and on television internationally to include Newsweek Magazine, Yahoo News, CBS, and NBC just to name a few.  She currently resides in Mitchellville, MD and has one daughter, Crystal. She has a Bachelors of Science Degree from Bowie State University.

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