Monday, March 23, 2015

Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Gold Medal Winner
Reader's Favorite International Book Award for Christian Romance 

"Fresh dialogue, realistic characters, a powerful message. McCormick does a great job creating her characters and portraying the struggles they endure," The Romance Readers Connection. 

"A real treat. Readers who delight in tales that focus on second chance relationships with the Lord and beloved humans will relish Carol McCormick's heartening novel" (FIVE STARS) Harriet Klausner, Amazon's #1 Hall of Fame Reviewer

"The Missing Piece is well-written story of Christian life and love that readers everywhere will enjoy" (FIVE STARS), Alice D., Readers' Favorite review  

"Inspiring and encouraging. Anyone who desires a restoration to their spirit should read The Missing Piece,"

"A wonderful, heartwarming Christian romance. This is definitely a story that I recommend to all lovers of Christian romance," Escape to Romance

~ * ~ 

How does a man pick up the pieces when his world crashes around him? Misplaced priorities shattered his marriage. Problems almost crushed him. Love motivated him to mend the damage, once he found all the pieces. 

After only a few months of marriage, Lorraine left Dylan on a wintry night after he'd spent one too many nights out with the guys. Unable to cope with the loss, Dylan escapes the painful feelings by drinking them away. This decision costs him a year-and-a-half of his life after he stops in a little mountain town and ends up in the local jail. When he's released, he returns home in search of a job to get his life—and his wife back. 

The Missing Piece is not only a love story about a man who loves a woman, but is also a love story about a merciful God who loves mankind, even when he falls. The novel is an emotionally-charged journey of hope and redemption with a touch of spunk, a hint of humor, and a few twists along the way. 

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Monday, March 16, 2015

The Great Exchange

Attaining anything of value places demands upon a person

Becoming a musician, doctor, or teacher (or any other artist or expert) requires time, effort, money, and training. Forming a diamond also takes a lot of time and tons of pressure, but it is these very sacrifices and stresses that make the professions and gems so precious.

Both the person learning the new behaviors and the coal changing to diamonds, willingly (or naturally) make an exchange. They allow the sacrifices and surrender to the pressures to become someone or something more valuable. 

Musicians, doctors, and teachers sacrifice their time, money, and social life to study for their careers in order to improve the lives of others. Yet as admirable as these accomplishments are, there is One who gave His all in the greatest exchange that ever took place. This momentous event occurred during Passover when an innocent man died on a criminal’s cross, all because He loved us and wanted to spend eternity with us (Romans 5:8). 

Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, willingly suffered, died, and rose again for our sins, so you and I can be righteous in God’s eyes and live eternally (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Bible says that when this exchange is made, we not only experience forgiveness, peace, blessings, and heaven, but when we teach others the way of righteousness, we will also shine like the stars of heaven forever (Daniel 12:3).

My awful sins for His light and righteousness. Best exchange ever!  

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Merry-go-round…and round…and round

Merry-go-rounds have a lot of movement and a measure of fun. They also have an appearance of progress, but they never really go anywhere. The highs and lows are enjoyable, but many times the ups-and-downs are like lives entangled in sin or addiction.

When riding the carousel of compulsion, the good times are great and we don’t want to lose them, but the bad aftermaths bring remorse and we don’t want to repeat them. But we do. And the vicious cycle continues because we both love and hate what we eat or drink or do in excess even when the substance or behavior is killing us.

I know how it feels. I’ve been there before. Loving the party, but hating the clean-up that followed. My carousel life spun in the same circles year after year, after year, appearing to progress with its highs and lows, but really going nowhere at all, until I finally learned how to step out of the crazy cycle.

It was when the horses were down (when my life was at a very low-point) that I began to seek and speak to God, asking Him to help me step off the merry-go-round. I begin listening to His Still Small Voice (1 Kings 19:12) and obeying what I heard and read in his Word.

There’s always a pause when the horses are down and that’s the time to quiet your mind and listen to His gentle voice beckoning you to Him (Isaiah 30:21). Carousel living provides no lasting satisfaction. On the contrary, Jesus promises freedom (John 8:31-32) and abundant life to those who follow him (John 10:10). 

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Time is Always Now

What would you do if you had one day to live? If you knew without a doubt that you would not be here 24 hours from now, what do you wish you’d have done with your life? A man on his deathbed isn't concerned with his trophies or trinkets just as a woman doesn’t care about her teacup collection, because none of these things really matter in the end. When all the accumulations of life are set aside, most of those on the brink of eternity discover that God and people are what truly matter, and having this knowledge is key to improving your life now, if you understand it and act upon it.

Again, if your life was going to end tomorrow, what matters most when you look back? Whatever it is, this is your golden moment to begin straightening out the wayward places and living a life without regrets. When you keep this eternal perspective in mind, priorities often fall into place. 

The Bible tells us that life is like a vapor that vanishes away (James 4:14). Jesus also said, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). To adjust your circumstances pray for guidance and then act upon your “death-bed” discoveries to make the needed changes.

The time is always now.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Become as Little Children

Do you ever wish you were a kid again with all the carefree ease in living? I do, and as I’m learning more about how to live that way, I’ve also learned that staying fit doesn’t have to be adult drudgery. It can be fun and exciting like little children running and jumping and playing all day. 

Years ago, kids spent hours outside entertaining themselves with jump-ropes and balls and skates. They chased each other around the park and tumbled in the grass. They hiked and biked and hula-hooped, and because of these activities, they were rarely over-weight. 

I did most of these things as a young girl, but in my late teens and early 20s, I traded these innocent activities for the kicks of cigarettes, alcohol, and junk food. I eventually outgrew all of my clothes, three times in the course of two years, and became so lazy that I drove my car a half-block to the store.

It was during this time that I made a conscious decision to get into shape. I began reading all that I could about nutrition and exercise, and then started jumping rope five days a week. Over time, I added more activities to my routine and soon discovered that these exercises not only curbed my appetite and helped me lose weight, but they also increased my energy level and confidence. These changes also gave me the desire to improve my life in other areas too. 

It’s not necessary to join a gym to get into shape. Take a walk or bike outside for free, or for the price of a three-month fitness club membership, buy a couple of exercise DVDs and a few pieces of equipment instead: a bar weight, a weighted ball or kettle-bell, resistance bands, a stepper, or a jump-rope will help vary your workout at home. Whittle your middle by doing 30 minutes of hula-hooping. This fun exercise is equivalent to walking 3.5 mph on a treadmill for that same amount of time, plus it firms the abs. When you enjoy what you do, you will do it longer with greater enthusiasm and intensity. There are also phone apps that will log your eating habits and track your exercise progress to make your experience more measurable. 

Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). If we live with childlike humility and simplicity, it will not only prepare us for eternity, but it will also help us live a more fulfilling life, with less stress and more joy, here on earth right now.

If you would like more healthy tips and ideas, you can find them in I'm Hungry! I'm Bored! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired?

It seems as though a lot of people are sick lately. I have a few tips that will help reduce the discomfort. Many illnesses come about when the lining of the nose and throat dry out. When heat is cranked up, like it has been lately, the air lacks humidity, the orifices dry out, and germs enter in. The way to help prevent and heal colds is to set a pan of water or a wet bath towel (hung over a plastic coat hanger) near the source of heat. (You will see how quickly the water evaporates or the towel dries when the heat is on.) Drink plenty of clear fluids to keep mucus thin and to ease chest congestion and sinus pressure. Drink a cup of tea with a little lemon and honey or add a mentholated cough drop to it, and then breathe in the steam while you sip it. Add garlic to soups and other foods. Louis Pasteur proved that garlic has healing properties because it kills germs. For more healthy tips like these, check out I'm Hungry! I'm Bored!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Your Sphere of Influence

There once was a woman who interviewed people and asked if they knew the definitions of ignorance and apathy. One man replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care” then quickly hurried on his way. It is this type of attitude that leads to failure because it depicts a closed and uncaring mind and heart.

It is in seeking to better our sphere of influence that we attain success in life. It’s not heaping up treasure that brings satisfaction. It’s in giving that we receive, no matter what it is we are giving away. Doing a good deed for someone else not only helps them, but it also makes us feel better too. On the same token, helping someone else to learn also helps us become more knowledgeable too. Romans 2:21 says, “You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?” When the Bible says, “Give and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38) it’s not just referring to money or possessions. Whatever you give whether good or bad is going to come back to you, so be careful what you send out on your boomerang.

Therefore, if you want to be more successful then teach someone else what you want to become more adept at. If you want people to respect you more then treat all people with respect. If you want more love in your life then begin showing kindness to others. In doing so you are gaining more knowledge and creating more love and discovering what truly matters. Jesus owned nothing while he lived here on earth yet his influence spread far and wide. You don’t need a boatload of money to make a difference in this world. You merely need to stand up for what you believe, in a respectful way, and then live it every day. It’s then that you will grow stronger and others will be influenced by your example and will love and respect you more in the process.