Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Which Book?

Blog posts of book giveaways and interviews with and articles by Christian authors.


I have a new blog titled Lifelines. Miriam-Webster defines lifelines as something which offers help or support. I hope my posts on Lifelines will offer you help and encouragement when I write about everyday happenings we all meet in one way or another.

I’ll welcome all comments whether you agree or disagree with me. We can agree to disagree and have sensible chats about a post’s topic. I plan to post on Lifelines every Monday and I hope you’ll visit me there. In the right sidebar on that blog you can sign up to follow the blog and never miss when a new post goes up. While there, you can also sign up to receive my newsletter and be eligible for a book giveaway in every issue.

Inspirational thoughts formerly on the website page "My Thoughts" are now on the new blog, Lifelines.

by Jennifer Slattery

Leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, September 30, 2014 to be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left sidebar “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. Please leave your email address. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post.

BEYOND I DO by Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here:  Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available in print and e-book format for under $10! You can find it here:  Check below Jennifer’s article to learn about her novel, Beyond I Do, and where you can read a 36-page excerpt of the book. Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 

Which Book Stayed With You?

They've been banned, burned, buried, and criticized. They've influenced nations and kings, rulers and peasants. They've helped people trade ignorance for informed action and apathy for passionate direction.

I'm talking about books, and not just the nonfiction variety, though I suppose those are the ones we assume create the greatest influence.

But is that so? Can a story, something read for entertainment, impact a human heart? Motivate positive change? Spur the reader to action?

On Facebook, there's a thread going around encouraging readers to list the top ten books that have stayed with them. If I were to list mine, A River Rising by Athol Dickson would be among my titles.

In this story, the author used the life of one of his characters to show readers what it truly meant to live the gospel message. We share the gospel message quite often, but few of us (myself included) know how (or are willing to) live it out. I believe living out the gospel message means living like Jesus 24/7/365. We quote that a lot, don't we? What would Jesus do? Be His hands and feet...but do we really get what that means? And just how far would those "feet of Jesus" take us? One quote from the novel has stuck with me. On page 165, Hale Poser, the character that demonstrated through his actions what it meant to be a Christ follower, thought, "...he was not accustomed to thinking of himself as an exceptional man. Indeed, he was not accustomed to thinking of himself at all.  And with that realization, suddenly he knew why he had been chosen."

This statement is quite true. Throughout the novel, Hale is focused on two things--the needs of others and showing them Christ. It's made me ask myself a most uncomfortable question: How often do I think of myself? My comfort, my desires, my dreams, my plans? And what would happen--what might God be able to do--if I lay it ALL aside?

Now I ask you that same question. Stop a moment and consider your plans for the day. Have you surrendered your responsibilities and desires to God, asking Him to do as He will? Are you ready to truly be His hands and feet, regardless how inconvenient or time-consuming that may be?

As you go about your day, be alert to all the "I" thoughts that wiggle into your mind. Ask God to show you the extent selfishness has crept into your heart then ask Him to help you flip it.

We are born with a sinful, selfish nature and are very good at looking out for ourselves. The challenge then is to train ourselves to see and focus on the needs of others. Philippians 2:1-11: 1) Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2) then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4) not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  5) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7) rather, he made himself nothing  by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself  by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!  9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11) and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There's plenty of people serving--and writing--for their own glory. For name recognition, for increased prestige. But God's looking for humble servants so in love with Him and His saving message, they're willing to lay it all aside to be used how-so-ever God wills. I challenge you to make the following song your heartfelt prayer this morning. Ask God to search the deepest recesses in your heart, doing whatever is necessary to remove whatever gets in His way, drawing you ever-closer to His good, pleasing, perfect will. 

Link to the youtube video: [youtube=]

Beyond I Do:

Released Sept. 2014

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fianc√©. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here:

Jennifer, thank you for visiting. One of the commenters on this blog will win a copy of your Beyond I Do, which you have offered.

The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Hearts in Defiance by Heather Blanton is Maxie. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling


  1. Ouch! But true. I think about myself way too often, worrying about how I look or what people think. A good reminder...

  2. Me, too, Jen! Have you read Athol's book? It is so very good! What fiction story have you read that's stayed with you and motivated positive action or a change of thinking?

  3. Jennifer, thanks for coming by and leaving your comment. If you want to be in the drawing for a copy of Beyond I Do, I NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

  4. I would love to read this beautiful romantic book

    1. Danie, glad you stopped by. Thanks for leaving your comment.

  5. thanks for the chance to read this novel, jo...I'm a follower, too ;)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    1. karenk, you're welcome. I appreciate you following my blog! Thanks for leaving your comment.

  6. My hope is not necessarily live like Jesus 24/7. Don't get me wrong, I just simply do not remotely think I can (not that I am not trying, I just have to give myself slack there), but what I can do is love like Jesus and that is the cry of my heart because truly if I can love like him, I can reflect him to others. The more I love like Jesus, the more I die to my own selfishness. The nice thing is when someone does ask me what makes me different, the opportunity to share that I am forgiven and given grace and of course then I can share about Jesus.
    This book looks wonderful.
    Thank you so much for the chance.
    I am a follower and email subscriber too.


    1. Kelly, you're welcome. Thanks for leaving your thoughts. I appreciate you following my blog!

    2. I like what you said, "I just have to give myself slack there." Actually, I'd say we're most effective when we give ourselves slack in every area and focus on drawing close to Jesus as often as we can, allowing Him to work through us. :) Because as John 15:1-5 says, we are but branches that receive our sustenance from Him, and He is the one to bear fruit in our lives. :)

  7. My prayer each morning is to reflect Jesus to those I meet. My late SS teacher often said, "You may be the only Bible some people read."

    1. Patricia, how true! Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.