4 Ways to Be a Best Friend to Your Husband

Proverbs 27 gives four actions we should take in all friendships, but especially in our marriages. Because our husbands should be our best friends, we should help them become the best they can be, sharpening each other by giving heartfelt counsel, persevering through the hard times, and lovingly rebuking our husbands.

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Lila's Top Christian Books of 2018 Awards

Out of the 125 books I read in 2018, these are the ones I rated 5 stars. Check out the honorable mentions and then walk the red carpet to see who won the awards for the best in each category: Favorite Old West Historical Fiction, Favorite Contemporary Novella, Favorite Christian Allegory, Favorite Christian Nonfiction, and more!

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Review of This Homeward Journey by Misty M. Beller

This Homeward Journey by Misty Beller cover.  Buy on Amazon .

This Homeward Journey by Misty Beller cover. Buy on Amazon.

Title: This Homeward Journey

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release date: January 1, 2019

After her husband’s death, Rachel Gray is finally free from the turmoil his addictions caused. She wants nothing more than a new life with her twelve-year-old son. If she can reach her brother in the wilderness of the Canadian territories, they’ll have help to start over in peace. She knows better than to put her life in the hands of another man, but she never expected the Montana mountains to be so treacherous. When two brothers invite her to join their small group traveling to the same area, she refuses. After she and her son narrowly escape a bear attack, she’s forced to admit they need the safety of numbers in this untamed land. If the men prove dangerous, she can always leave with her son and strike out alone again.

Seth Grant has made some bad choices in his life, but God healed him from the addiction that mired him in his sins. Now, he’s determined to live the life God called him to, starting with a journey northward to see the Canadian mountain both his brother and sister have fallen in love with. When he discovers the woman and boy who plan to travel the same mountain trail, he can’t fathom why she refuses to join in the safety of their larger group. Though her decision seems unwise, he has no other choice but to pray God provides her protection.

Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to the Seth—until a secret from his past proves he’s not at all the man she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Misty Beller, author, and her horse.

Misty Beller, author, and her horse.

Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Guest Post from Misty

Why Christian Historical Romance?

I don’t know about you, but my life can get crazy…busy…chaotic. Historical fiction gives me a haven, allowing me to immerse in a simpler time and place. Add in remote mountain settings—log cabins and horses and snow…what could be better? Sometimes I wish God had let me live a couple centuries ago, but then I remind myself He knew exactly what He was doing. I don’t do well without a shower every day.  And He even lets me go back to that simpler time through stories!

If you’re reading this, you probably enjoy immersing yourself in a good book, too. Story can be such a powerful thing! Becoming an intimate part of the characters’ lives, feeling their struggles—the desperation, the elation, the emotions, the love.

I enjoy reading and writing Christian fiction because it provides a place where I don’t always have to be concerned about inappropriate language or too-graphic love scenes. It’s a “safe zone” where my imagination can escape, living out exciting times and experiencing God-orchestrated happily-ever-afters—without having to clean-up at the end of the day. Can you relate?

I’m excited to share my latest Christian Historical Romance story with you, and hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it!

This Homeward Journey tour banner by  Celebrate Lit .

This Homeward Journey tour banner by Celebrate Lit.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, December 29

Through the Fire Blogs, December 29

Carpe Diem, December 30

Splashes of Joy, December 30

A Baker’s Perspective, December 31

Mary Hake, December 31

Pause for Tales, January 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 1

Simple Harvest Reads, January 2 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Connie’s History Classroom, January 2

Among the Reads, January 3

For The Love of Books, January 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 4

Connect in Fiction, January 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace. January 6

Bibliophile Reviews, January 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 7

Inspiration Clothesline, January 7

Creating Romance, January 8

Texas Book-aholic, January 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9

Janices book reviews, January 9

Wishful Endings, January 10

Cafinated Reads, January 10

Bigreadersite, January 11

Blossoms and Blessings, January 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the image or link below to enter. 

Enter to win a  $50 Amazon gift card !

Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

Lila’s Thoughts:

What I loved about This Homeward Journey:

I don't know why it took me so long to actually start it, and why the first couple of times I couldn't focus on the first page. It wasn't the author's fault. It was mine. I was still in a “book hangover” from the last great book I read. However, as soon as I finished the first chapter, I was hooked.

At 3% of the ebook, in the first chapter, I already saw the first mention of God. That warmed my heart. I didn’t have to wonder if it was going to be a truly Christian novel or just a clean one with a mention of “religion” thrown in to market it as a “Christian fiction.” I wasn't disappointed. There were personal prayers to God all throughout, in almost every chapter.

From the very first page when we’re introduced to the main male character, Seth, I liked him. He loved being outdoors, he had come to loath his former vices, and he already wanted to protect an innocent woman. Now there’s a good guy I can have a book crush on! I’m so tired of these romances (usually secular, but I’ve seen them even in Christian fiction) where the love interest is a bad boy, or he’s a flirt, or the woman hates the man for the majority of the book. That drives me insane!

I also enjoyed the way that the setting was unobtrusive yet played such a big part in their journey up to Canada. The climbing of the mountains, the camping details, the use of a simple act like swimming to demonstrate Andy's character growth—they all showed a mastery of setting without pounding it into the reader's brain that this was a trip from this place to that place. The physical journey was just the backdrop to the real journey, the spiritual journey of healing for Rachel and Andy. Very well done.

What I Didn't Love:

There were only a couple. The first is a minor thing. I'm not sure that the thought from either Rachel or Seth at the beginning of each chapter added anything. In fact, several times I felt that the thought was something Rachel wouldn't have admitted even to herself yet. And who were these thoughts directed to? A journal? To God? Neither option really fits, as they were too personal for a journal that might be read by posterity, neither were they in second person as speaking directly to the Lord. Several times I didn't see what the thought even had to do with that particular chapter. I personally think the book would be better without these. Just a chapter heading is fine.

The second is more important. Though it took so long to build Rachel's trust, and I loved the believable length of time for the romance to unfold (unlike so many romances where a woman who had hated the man through the entire book suddenly capitulates and falls madly in love with him because of one incident), there was one point that didn't seem very realistic to me at all. The climax. And that was what brought it down from 5-stars for me.

Without spoiling anything, I'll just say that the tension and stakes had been gradually building, and then from out of nowhere comes a truly evil villain without a single redeeming quality, shooting the stakes sky-high. And there was no real motive for the villain, no obvious rewards for the risk, no demand for his supply. I think there could have been a much less dramatic—and more realistic—conflict, and we still would have been satisfied with the character growth and the happily ever after resolution for the romance.

All in all, though, This Homeward Journey was a very enjoyable read with deep characters, masterful use of setting, and a journey that I won't soon forget.

Introduction to a Business for Authors, Reveries Co. + a Giveaway!

Today I’m sharing a post written by Miss Kellyn Roth to introduce her new business, Reveries Co., with services of all kinds for authors.

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Include Jesus in Your New Year's Resolutions

But in my personal goals, how can I measure freedom? I really can’t. That’s where trust comes in for this goal-oriented, detailed person. I have to leave that up to God. I will explore the Bible to learn more about freedom and slavery, and I will listen to Him.

I need to continually remind myself of James 4:13-17 (ESV)…

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Merry Christmas!

There will be no blog post this week. I want to focus on spending time with my family, and I want you to focus on spending time with your family.

May God bless you with joy and peace as you remember why the Prince of Peace “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8, ESV).

Merry Christmas from Lila Diller

Definition of Christian Romance

Next week, we’ll be focusing on Jesus’ birth. Last week, we focused on Jesus’ reason for being born, His death as the perfect sacrifice. (If you missed it, you can read about the Beauty of the Church here.) This week, I want to focus on one aspect of Jesus’ life: the Bridegroom, the object of our spiritual romance as the “Lover of our Souls.” ;)

What is Christian Romance and is it beneficial or harmful to Christians?

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Time-Traveling in the Bible?

The term salvation has several different meanings,which makes it easy to misunderstand each other. The Bible uses this important concept in three main ways. God has saved us in the past (justification); God is saving us in the present (sanctification); and God will save us in the future (glorification).

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The Holiness of Sabbath Rest- Review of Holy Hustle

Finding Freedom in Rest: This is my review of Holy Hustle by Crystal Stine. I pray that you will begin to understand the balance God has modeled for us, commanded us, and helps us to reach.

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Modeling Good Relationships During the Holidays

I look forward to holiday traditions, but I don't always look forward to extended time with family, especially those in my extended family I don't know well. As an introvert, the holiday season is usually exhausting with all the parties, Christmas programs, dinners, teas, and caroling outings to attend. If we can keep these three areas in mind, our family time will be more enjoyable for everyone.

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Black Friday Gift Ideas for Christian Readers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become big deals in America, especially in the business world. Many businesses spend all year in the red and don't break even until this weekend.

While I don't like the emphasis on materialism, selfishness, and big business ads on top of ads, this time can be used wisely by Christians to show true thanksgiving. Though tempting to buy a lot of stuff “just because it's on sale,” If we plan ahead, we can show our loved ones how thankful we are God has placed them in our lives by buying thoughtful gifts while still remaining good stewards of our financial gifts by utilizing the best prices of the year.

Knock out some of the stress of the holiday season by crossing off items on your to-buy list of gifts, specifically those with spiritual benefits of refreshment and nourishment.

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Ideas for Great Book Nooks

We talked last week about why books can impact us so deeply. This week I wanted to inspire you to take some extra time before the holidays and curl up with a good book. Here are some great ideas for book nooks, book corners, and reading escapes to get you in the mood for a relaxing read.

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"Book Hangovers:" Why Books Impact You Long After You've Finished the Last Page... and What to Do With that Impact

Reading books is my number one way to relax. But when I finished the last page and close the book, something happens inside me. I often need some time to work through the emotions and ideas stirred within me by the author. That processing time is called a “book hangover.” What about you? Have you ever felt like this?

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Questions Every Christian Should Ask Yourself Before Your Marriage

What I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Married + 3 Facts To Help You Set Realistic Marriage Goals. Though perfect marriages aren't possible, happy marriages are. To avoid being blindsided by reality, like I was, and blaming your husband for your unrealistic expectations being disappointed, like I did, please take these three facts to heart. Though marriage is hard, it's not impossible.

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Birthday Sale of the "Love is" series!

Friday will be my big birthday, and I’m not looking forward to it! But, to help celebrate, I’m giving you two surprises! Read to accept the gifts…

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Review of 12 Gifts of Christmas

Anyone looking for merely a clean romance but can't handle religion will not like this book. God, church, Jesus’ birth, missions, and prayer are all mentioned regularly without any apology, which I love.

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13 Worship Songs for Christian Writers

Are you a Christian writer? Have you been in a slump lately? Maybe writer's block? Maybe you're struggling with inadequacy: “Who am I to write this message?” Inspiration for writers block: let me share some songs that were instrumental in helping me to push past the fear and inferiority to share this gift God has given me. I think they'll motivate you, too.

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Review of Dare to Begin Again

I gave this book 4-stars, because though not quite as practical as I had hoped, the motivation and inspiration were great, as were the Bible studies for each chapter's lesson.

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Review of A Tale of Two Hearts

I don't know how anyone could not love this book! I finished it in two sittings, as well. I loved it so much that I will be adding this book to my favorites to re-read every Christmas!

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Overcoming the Joy-Sucker of Financial Struggles

I don't think I'm the right person to try to teach others about joy. It's one of the fruits of the Spirit that I have the hardest time with. Not that any of them are easy, but joy is one of the harder ones for me. God has always provided. I know that. I've seen Him do it time and again. But every time we lose income, every time we have financial trouble, I fall right back into that habit of worrying.

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