Moment ‘Til Midnight by Brent Crowe
The book is set into chapters based on each hour after Paul finds out there will be an execution. The author imagines what might be going on in the mind of Paul as each hour ticks by. He even paints a picture for the reader of what it was like in the jail with the loss of light as the hours go by and the cold stones.
Although the author is dealing with what Paul might be reflecting on, the author also puts in modern examples to make a point to the reader. He talks about finding one’s purpose and gives ways one can do that to find God’s purpose for each one of us and how we can know when we find it. He talks about how we can see if we’re representing the name of Jesus in whatever you do. Crowe also focuses on developing the heavenly mindset.
This is a very introspective book that makes you think deeply about your own place in the world and if you’re doing enough to fulfill your purpose and if you’re living God’s perfect will for your life. I was expecting it to be more of a historical fiction feel, but this has more of a Christian non-fiction/self-help feel and would be a great edition in any library for people looking to dig deeper.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
You guys know I love Kadee Carder's work and I feature her on here a lot, but her recent Facebook post blew me away and I asked her (fine, begged) if she'd write something up for the blog based on it so I could share it with you. Hope you enjoy her inspiring post.
Life’s a mixture of rolling hills and looping decisions. This journey you and I are on, it’s a riot. The work can be challenging, overwhelming, or fun. The work may bring you to your knees. Push forward, push through, and create your best life.
Do You Want To Limit Yourself?
The old saying goes, "If God brought you to it, he'll bring you through it." There are two sub-parts to this idea.
First, God placed you on this earth, in this time and space, for a reason. You may or may not see or understand it, but he's got great big plans for you. He'll bring certain challenges into your life to 'level you up' so-to-speak. He wants you to be your best version to do those great works he's prepared for you to do. Seems like if he put it on your heart, if he entrusted the dream of getting this degree to you, then it's worth doing and seeing to completion. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." He put you together, piece by piece, with your interests, and quirks, and unique perspective, and gifts. He planned for your coming, long ago. He believes in your abilities to do more than you imagine. (You know what? I do too.)
Second, you must believe in yourself. You can do more than you ever imagined. Why? Because you've got God on your side. We don't always understand why we end up in a situation. But I firmly believe that if you find yourself in a challenging situation, you need to see it through. The challenge seeks you. If you've begun a project out of a spirit of bringing God glory, of doing good, of sharing light in the world, to help, to improve, then by gum, that's the Spirit working in you. Believe. Act. Face the challenge. Face the fear, and wrestle it.
Is it so wrong to believe in yourself? What happens if you don't? Will it hurt more to believe in what you can do? Or will it hurt more to give up?
Do you want to limit yourself? The only limits we have are the limits we believe.
Life Itself Is A Challenge
Choose to be disciplined and plan for success. Schedule time to do your work, to rest, to play, and to learn. Learning is HARD. You've got to move past not knowing subject matter, to practicing it, and then becoming well-versed in doing the new things. The more you work, the better you get. Easy is earned.
And it doesn’t matter how fast you move along your plotline. Slow progress is still progress. Don't overload yourself based on someone else's schedule. Create a schedule that works for YOU and make it work. Stick with that schedule. Sacrifice. Work for it.
And when you want to give up, when you want to give in, ask yourself: What will you miss if you stop now?
Failure Is An Opportunity For Growth
Failure is discovering that what you tried did not work, so find what it takes to succeed. The truth will set you free, but first it will sucker-punch you in the gut. Failing stinks. It's the worst. It feels terrible. I one-hundred-percent understand the ache in your chest and the sinking in your spine.
May I share a story? Might as well, since we're here. Once upon a time I decided to write a story. The story turned into a book, which turned into a trilogy. I believe in this story more than I believe in my ability to write. It came through me, for myself and others. And that's why it had to be written. I followed the rules of writing stories, and bought the book about getting published, and began the "process" of finding an agent. I wrote query letters to agents. I wrote synopses and blurbs and summaries. I researched agents and sent more letters. I sent 69 query letters. Ignored by most, I heard back from 21 agents, and all but one was a form rejection letter. That's a lot of rejection, right? My heart sank. I wasn't good enough. My story wasn't unique or fresh enough. I was unknown. I was stuck. My friend from college told me about a conference in Las Vegas where authors could meet face-to-face with agents and pitch to them. So we went. Forget emails! I'mma go see them, face to face so they can't ignore me! There I met my publisher. Number 70 was the pitch that worked. SEVENTY.
The Not-Good-Enough finds you for a reason, to make you good enough.
An editor once told F. Scott Fitzgerald, “You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby character.”
Rudyard Kipling (“The Jungle Book”) was rejected with the quip, “I am sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just do not know how to use the English language.”
Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Left Hand of Darkness” (which is the 2nd best-selling fantasy novel of all-time, 2nd to “Lord of the Rings”) was told by an editor in the rejection letter that her book was “Hopelessly bogged down and unreadable.”
Agatha Christie endured 5 years of continual rejection. Her books sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.
We all know those famous stories of rejections... Jack London received 600 rejections before selling a single story and C.S. Lewis received 800 before selling a single piece of writing.
So, "failure" is simply finding out what didn't work. Success is figuring out how to overcome and to find the way that works. Find the way that works FOR YOU. And believe in yourself along the way. You've got the God of the universe on your side, within your sinew, at your back, and cheering you on. But you have to do the work, even when it's hard, and even when you don't see the light. "Hold on to what you believed in the light, when the darkness has robbed you of all your sight" (Mumford and Sons).
Use this opportunity to see how you can do it right next time, and COMMIT to doing it right. Giving up is letting fear win. And God tells us he has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
Ask For Help
Asking questions displays wisdom, not weakness. You need to seek out help if you need it. Ask peers. Ask tutors. Invest in a tutor. If you don't understand what to do, ask for help. My best students are the ones who contact me and put forth the extra effort to clarify if they don't understand the content or the writing prompt. Ask questions! Questions are life.
Just Do The Work
Instead of letting yourself be overwhelmed by the work, just do the work. If you invested the energy into doing the work, rather than investing in telling yourself stories about WHAT IF or any outcomes, you'd be amazed by what you can accomplish. Just do the work, not the storytelling about the work.
I'm sure that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I've never seen work that was a waste, honestly. All experience teaches you to own your power and operate on a higher level. I believe you can succeed. This is why you’re here.
Say A Prayer
Here's a prayer for you and your heart to wrestle with as you move forward (Found it online. Loved it!):
My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed upon faithfulness. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and will not be afraid: for Jah the Lord is my strength and song, and he is my salvation. — O Sovereign of the universe, in your holy words it is written, saying, He that trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall encompass him.
And it is written, ‘And you give life to them all.’ O Lord God of truth, grant blessing and prosperity upon all the work of my hands, for I trust in you that you will so bless me through my occupation and calling, that I may be enabled to support myself and the members of my household with ease and not with pain, by lawful and not by forbidden means, unto life and peace. In me also let the scripture be fulfilled, ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.’ Amen!
Unto life and peace. Find your 'why.' Create your best life. And always, go be the hero. ❤
Kadee Carder Bio:
Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I'm not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
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A Me and You Thing by Taylor Dean THE DEEPEST HEARTACHE IS THE ONE YOU DON'T SEE COMING. Golden couple, Sawyer and Quinn Denali, have an amazing love story. A match in every way, their happiness is evident to all who spend time with them. The arrival of twin baby girls completes their picture-perfect family. When Quinn has the opportunity to help others on a two-week volunteer trip, she reluctantly leaves her family, knowing a short break from the demands of motherhood will be good for her. She doesn’t expect the trip to change her life forever. But it does. It changes everything. Struggling from day to day, the young family moves forward, finding happiness . . . and love. But fate isn’t done mixing things up in their lives. When an unexpected event leaves them all reeling, the unspoken question rings loudly and can’t be ignored: “What happens now?” A Me and You Thing is a novel that explores the strength of enduring love and friendship. I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
For the Love of Laura Beth by Aubrey Wynne The Korean War destroyed their plans, but the battle at home may shatter their hearts... Laura Beth Walters fell in love with Joe McCall when she was six years old. Now she is counting the days until Joey graduates from college so they can marry and begin their life together. But the Korean War rips their neatly laid plans to shreds. Instead of a college fraternity, Joey joins a platoon. Laura Beth trades a traditional wedding for a quick trip to the courthouse. The couple endure the hardship of separation, but the true battle is faced when Joey returns from the war. Their marriage is soon tested beyond endurance. Laura must find a way to accept the tragedy thrown in their path or lose the love that has kept them anchored for so long. With a determination that only comes from the heart, Joe relentlessly fights an invisible enemy...for the love of Laura Beth. Praise for For the Love of Laura Beth Warmth, compassion, heartache, faithfulness and more are emotions you will experience as you read this. I was completely immersed in this Korean War era tale, the historical details making the story come alive. Aubrey Wynne did an awesome job with this Historical book. Thank you Aubrey Wynne for a very beautifully written story!! An emotional read about the life, fears, and love during the Korean War! Aubrey Wynne begins each chapter with a thought-provoking quote. As a Midwesterner, who often visited Chicago in the 1950s, this romance includes well-researched historical details about Chicago, the era, and journalism. Aubrey Wynne blends history with a nicely paced full of family dynamics love story. EXCERPT Excerpt 1: “Men always want to be woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.” Oscar Wilde Chapter One Late April 1949 Kankakee, south of Chicago It was the kind of first kiss all girls dreamed of, hoped for, and rarely received. The kind of first kiss a girl saw in the movies or read in romance novels. The kind of first kiss a girl only whispered about because the moment was too precious to share. A moment Laura Beth Walters had waited over ten years for. She sighed and leaned her cheek into the hand that still cupped her face, afraid to open her eyes. Joe put his forehead against hers. “So this is love.” Her lips still tingled from his touch. Her heart clamored against her chest. She wondered briefly if life would ever be this sweet again. Yes, this was love. She’d known it since first grade, but Mom said boys were a bit slower in the cleverness department. She peeked through her lashes and looked into his deep chocolate eyes. His lids were half closed, and a sated smile played on his lips, as if he’d just tasted something heavenly. Me, she thought wickedly. The moon threw shadows across his strong jaw and square chin. He was the most handsome boy in Kankakee. No, in the state of Illinois. No, in the entire Midwest. “Yes, Mr. McCall, I do believe it’s love.” She ran her fingertips down his cheek, the coarse, dark stubble bristly on her skin. Warmth spiraled through her with the intimate gesture. “What do you think?” “I think I understand why my mom smiled at me, and my pa thumped me on the shoulder when I left tonight.” Joe moved his hands around her waist, pulling her close. “So your parents will let you go to the prom with a senior?” Laura shrugged, trying for poise but failing miserably when the grin would not leave her face. Daddy had been reluctant to let her date. Her mother had come to the rescue, convincing him that sixteen was old enough to date a boy they trusted. The McCalls lived down the street and owned the local mechanic shop. Joe was a hardworking, polite boy. Their families attended neighborhood barbecues, community, and school functions together. “I’m practically a senior.” “And Roger Willard will be practically comatose if he ever buys you another soda. I saw him giving you the eye last week.” He leaned closer and whispered in her ear. “I don’t know how I missed you graduating from the Bobbysox Brigade and becoming such a dish, but I’m crazy about you now.” Their first date had come about by accident. She had been at the drug store, having a malt with a group of friends early last March. Tuesdays and Saturdays were her favorite days because Joe worked then. He looked so handsome in his white hat and jacket—like a sailor or a doctor. Laura had ordered a strawberry malt and was waiting for Joe to make it. He’d rubbed her head, still treating her like a child. “Give me a minute, kid.” “I’ll buy that,” Roger said to Joe as he slid onto the stool next to her. Joe had nodded and glanced over his shoulder, a puzzled expression on his face as he took in the other boy. “Nah, I got it for her.” “I said I’ll buy Laura Beth the malt,” Roger had repeated through clenched teeth. Joe, a scowl on his face, had set the malt on the counter with a thud that made the other girls giggle. “Fine. Like I care who buys it for her.” But Joe had rubbernecked from across the counter while the teenager tipped his head close to Laura’s and made her laugh. He studied Roger, then his sweet childhood friend, and then frowned at the boy as if something was definitely off. She knew the second it hit him, recognized the shock on his face. “You’re sweet on her. Sweet on my little Laura Beth.” He shook his head and then looked at her again, as if for the first time. “I’m done here in half an hour. Wait for me,” Joe had said, with a glower at Roger. “Sure, Joey, I’ll wait,” she replied in her sweetest voice, and then continued to talk Roger. Excerpt 2: “Son, you’ve got some mail.” The tone of his father’s voice sent a chill through Joey. He looked over his shoulder, straightened up, and smacked his head on the hood of the Crosley station wagon. Rubbing his scalp then wiping oily hands on his overalls, he took the envelope with an official-looking seal in the corner. Joe held it as if it were poison. “Do you want me to open it, son?” He shook his head, the pulse beating rapidly in his neck. With trembling fingers, he tore at the paper. The words blurred as he sunk onto the bumper of the pickup. “It’s a conscription notice,” he whispered, looking into his father’s terrified eyes. “I’m being drafted.” “It’s my fault.” Max let out a moan and lowered himself onto the bumper. “If I hadn’t spent your college tuition, you’d be in school right now.” “It’s nobody’s fault, Pa. You served your time, and now it’s my turn.” He waved the letter in the air. “Maybe we’ll end up with matching limps.” It was a bad attempt at humor, and he wanted to take the words back as soon as they left his mouth. Unlike many of his friends, Joe did not have any romantic ideas about soldiering. His father had been straight up with him about the horrors of war. “I just pray you come back, boy, and you don’t have to live through what I did.” The lines on his father’s face seemed to have deepened in the last five minutes. He swiped his palms at his eyes and squeezed Joe’s arm. “When do you go?” “It says I report for my physical January 2 at ten o’clock.” Maybe he wouldn’t see active combat. He wasn’t chicken, but his father still screamed at night once in awhile. His mother had said they were night terrors left over from WWII. “I do have a skill, Pa. I’m sure they need mechanics.” “That’s true, son. Maybe they’ll have you keep those jeeps running for the generals.” He forced a chuckle. “Go on and get out of here now. It’s Friday night and you’ve got a purty little gal to take to the movie.” An awkward silence ensued as both men stared at the floor. Laura Beth. How would he tell her? It was bad enough they had to postpone their wedding, but now this? It was just plain bad luck. And they’d all had enough of that for one year. The thought of the tears welling up in those clear, blue eyes made his blood cold. She’d been their pillar these past months, and now he would break her heart. “I’ll get cleaned up, I guess.” Joe headed to the door then stopped. Without turning around he said, “She’s really gonna flip, Pa. I think telling her might be as hard as going.” In a thick voice, Max tried to offer some comfort. “The only thing worse than war was losing your mother, but Laura Beth is a strong young woman and loyal as they come. She won’t give up on you, and it wouldn’t be fair not to let her know right away. So go on now and get ‘er done.” Author Aubrey Wynne Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante's Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2019. Once Upon A Widow series will officially launch in March 2019, the Wicked Earls’ Club will release again just in time for the holidays. I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. 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Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True