Authors, Uncategorized

Q & A with Author Patrick Egle

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Please welcome author Patrick Egle to my blog. His brand new devotional Renovating Your Mind just released last week. The title says it all. Our minds do need renewed. So many Believers are saved, yet stuck in their thinking. Salvation is the first step on our journey with Jesus. Then the real work begins. The transforming work of the Holy Spirit in each of us. So many battles are in our minds. Freedom comes through the truth of God’s word.

We need to be in the Bible every single day. A great way to do that is with the use of devotionals like Renovating Your Mind. This one makes it so easy for you. There are 365 devotions all marked by the day of the year. You can jump in on the day you receive your copy. There’s a Bible verse and an insightful illustration from Patrick. It’s relatable and will make you think, which I like and need. I also appreciate the male perspective, after reading so many female devotionals.

Patrick is the real deal. He loves Jesus, and his beautiful family. He’s kind, which has almost disappeared in the world, even among Christians. Patrick wrote this out of a love for God and his family. He poured himself into writing this and it shows in his words. They will touch you.

Take a few minutes and read about Patrick and why he wrote Renovating Your Mind. May it inspire you to go after what God is calling you to do. Purchase your copies today with the links below. Keep one for yourself, and give the rest away to new believers, non believers, friends, and family. They will be blessed and so will you.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

Q: How did you begin writing devotions? 

A: I didn’t sit down and decide to write devotions one day . . . in fact, the thought never even entered my mind. It all started with a conversation I had with my brother Chris. See, as a family, we always spent Sundays together at my parent’s house watching football, doing laundry, catching up with each other, etc. The problem was that I was saved and wanted to talk about God, and my family was not comfortable doing that. So one Monday morning, my brother and I got into a conversation about this over email and I told him that I couldn’t truly be who I was around our family because God was everything to me yet I couldn’t talk about Him to them. Chris was shocked, as it never even dawned on him that I felt this way. He apologized and said that I could talk to him about God whenever I wanted to, I just shouldn’t ever expect a response from him. So that morning I decided to send an email to the members of my family sharing with them what I learned in my devotional time. The following day I sent another email to them, but also felt I should send it to some guys in my bible study as well. The next day I included some Christians at my work. It was then that one of my co-workers, Keith Ricker, a faithful Christian brother, wrote me back and said, “Bro, these are really good . . . you should do this every day.” And with that, a ministry was born. I never imagined an email distribution list, a website, or a book . . . I just wanted to share God with those I loved so that they might come to know Him more. But God had a greater vision for these devotions, one that included saving my family and publishing a devotion book. 

Q: To help people get an idea of the kind of devotions that are in this book, let me ask you this . . . if your devotions were a type of food, what would they be? 

A: In Texas there is a restaurant that sells 72-ounce steaks for $72. The challenge is that if you can eat the entire 72-ounce steak in one sitting, you get it for free. I would say that these devotions are kind of like that. They are not light like a salad and they are not something quick like fast food; they are a substantial meal that requires you to sit down and really digest what is being said because you are going to be challenged to consider and apply spiritual truths that may not always be comfortable or politically correct in today’s society. At the same time though, you will encounter God in a deep and meaningful way through the explanation and application of His word. 

Q: How did God encourage you as you went through the process of putting this book together? 

A: When I first started writing devotions in 2008, I was given some really bad advice from a friend. I was told that if you read something, and you put it in your own words, then you do not have to cite the source. So when it came time to submit my manuscript to the publisher for editing, imagine my surprise when I learned that I had to cite every source I had ever read and wrote about. Some of these devotions were ten years old and I couldn’t remember if portions of them were given to me by the Holy Spirit, or if He influenced my writing through someone else, so, I went through every single devotion, line by line, verse by verse, using every resource I could think of . . . bibles, commentaries, devotion books, online resources, subject books, movies, etc., meticulously checking to see where I may have been influenced by someone else’s material. It was the most stressful, exhausting experience of my life. It got so bad that I actually quit publishing this book at least 10 different times. Yet God would not let me quit. Each time, within hours after quitting, I was spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally renewed and restored in such a powerful and complete way that I knew it had to be God. It literally felt like a reset button had been hit within me to where I just knew that everything was going to be ok. Once I realized what God was doing, my entire perspective changed as I now knew that God was fully in this and that He had a plan and purpose for this book that far exceeded the difficulties I was experiencing. 

Q: What would you like your readers to take from these devotions? 

A: I think that many times when we read the Bible, we forget to take it literally, kind of like it is just a book of stories and is not really for us today. We forget that the Bible is absolute truth that transcends time and culture; that it is alive and active and is fully relevant for every situation we will ever face. It is not just for certain moments in life, but it is for every moment in life as it instructs us how to act, what to say, and how to navigate life’s troubled waters correctly. I want readers to see the relevance of God’s word in their lives today . . . in the every day things, so that they may experience the freedom and joy that He desires for all of us to have regardless of the situation we are facing. These devotions are real life examples of how an average man saw and experienced God’s word move in and around his life. 

Q: Can you give us an example of a real life experience that led to a devotion? 

A: My wife, Michelle, and I love to go for long walks around our hometown of Redlands because the south side of the city has some amazing homes from the early 1900’s. With that though, the infrastructure is pretty old as well; the sidewalks are cracked, uprooted, uneven, and sometimes just stop, so you have to be very aware of your surroundings. So one Saturday, as we were out walking, Michelle pointed out something for me to look at. As I looked to see what she was pointing at, the sidewalk dropped because of a tree root and I missed a step causing me to tweak my back. About a block later, I pointed out something for her to look at and she about broke her ankle as the sidewalk suddenly stopped. Then, as I was looking at my phone to see how far we had walked, I hit my head on a low hanging tree branch. As we were laughing about our random misfortune, and talking about the “dangers of walking in Redlands”, I said to Michelle, “You can’t take your eyes off of where you are going for 2 seconds without getting hurt.” 

As soon as I said that, something clicked. A divine truth was revealed to me about our walk with God. See, I had always pictured the Christian walk as us walking on this perfectly smooth dirt path up and down hills and valleys. I now realized that along this path, on both sides, is the world with all of its temptations and distractions. As we walk along this path, keeping our eyes straight ahead, we do not stumble or fall. But, if we take our eyes off of where we are going, and begin looking at the things of the world, desiring them, we slowly drift off the path onto very uneven ground with lots of pitfalls and dangers. This is when we get hurt. I was reminded that we have an enemy and a world and a flesh that purposefully tries to sabotage our walk with Jesus by getting us to focus on all of these other things. 

Q: Why do you believe people should read this book? 

A: I once heard a saying, “If you write a message from your head, you will only reach a person’s mind; but, if you write a message from your heart, you will touch a person’s soul.” When I would receive responses from people who read these devotions, I would say 95% of the comments I received were, “You have no idea how much I needed to hear this today.” This book is kind of a divine appointment between God and its readers. To put it simply, I believe people should read this book because God is in it and He will speak to them through it. 

Q: Can you explain what you mean by, “this book is kind of a divine appointment between God and its readers”? 

A: A divine appointment is where God has prepared two parties for a specific time and purpose. Generally speaking, it is a time where one person can serve God by playing a part in the life of someone else. For example, one morning I was standing outside of the prayer room in between services at church; and as I was looking around the sanctuary, I noticed a young man sitting in the front row all by himself. It was then that I felt God say to me, “Go say ‘Hi’ to him.” “What?” I replied. “Go say ‘Hi’ to him.” The Lord repeated. “And then what Lord?” “Just go.” He said. My thoughts began racing. “This is dumb. Saying ‘Hi’ won’t change anything . . . it’s trivial.” 

But the Lord kept pressing on my heart to go, so, reluctantly, I walked over to this young man and said to him, “Hey bro, the Lord really impressed on my heart that I needed to come say ‘Hi’ to you, so . . . Hi.” Immediately his eyes welled up with tears. He told me that he had been to our church seven times, and not one person ever said ‘Hi’ to him. He said, “I was just praying that God would please send someone over to say ‘Hi’ to me.” We both rejoiced and praised our amazing God. That is a divine appointment, and that is what I have seen God do through these devotions over and over again as He has spoken into people’s lives at exactly the right moment. 

Q: How has your family supported you through this process? 

A: My family was really great throughout this process. They were our prayer warriors, our sounding board, our test group, and a great source of insight when we needed it most. My wife, Michelle, though, she really carried the heavy load and was amazing through it all. When I would vent, complain, or express all the hopelessness I was feeling, she would patiently listen and then would just pray for me. She constantly encouraged me when I was down and corrected my thinking when I was of the wrong mind. She wrote me notes daily expressing how proud she was of me, and would text me verses throughout the day reminding me of who God is and who this book was for first and foremost. She always gave me the right perspective when I needed it most. 

Q: So, who is this book for first and foremost? 

A: It is for our children, Kate and Joel. This was the answer God gave me when I was praying about the vision for this book. He reminded me that when they get older, and are able to read and understand the spiritual truths that are written in this book, they will get to read about us when we were single, when we became friends, when we were courting, when we got married, and eventually when the Lord gave us them. They will see our struggles, our failures, the lessons we learned, the victories we experienced, and more importantly, they will see how God was always faithful to us no matter what we faced. This book is essentially a diary of how God wrote our love story, formed our family, and walked with us through every season of life. 

Q: The title Renovating Your Mind is very interesting, what does it mean exactly? 

A: The title was birthed out of Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” One of the meanings for the word renew that is used in this verse is to renovate. As believers, there has to be a renovation of our thought process and how we deduce things. In other words, we have to change our thinking from the carnal to the eternal. No longer can we think and act like the world does, for we are no longer of the world. We are now of Christ and must think as Christ thinks if we are to become more like Him. That is essentially what this verse tells us, without renovation, there can be no transformation. This renovation of our minds only takes place when we read, memorize, and apply the word of God to our every day lives; for it is by doing this that we are transformed more into His image. 

Q: Is this book for men or women? 

A: In the spirit of the Galatians 3:28, and really the Bible as a whole, this book is written with truth being both universal and absolute which effectively breaks down the barriers that exist between gender, ethnicity, age, and social status. In short, this book will appeal to anyone who is seeking truth. 

 

 

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https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/renovating-your-mind-patrick-egle/1130393300?ean=9781632695079

 

 

Authors, Joey Flynn's Extraordinary Tale, Uncategorized

Fun Summer Read for Middle Grade ~ Free Kindle Book 6/20 – 6/24

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It’s my privilege to share Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale with you! This book is my labor of love. I poured myself into writing this story to give the kids in your life a fun, faith-filled, adventurous book. Check out my post Why Did I Write A Children’s Book?  to find out what drove me to write in the first place.

Here are a few fun facts about my book:

~Joey Flynn is my two boys middle names together, Dylan Joseph and Joshua Flynn.

~Most of the character’s names are family names. Joey’s little sister Theadora, is my mom’s name Dorothea backwards. Leo, Joey’s friend, is my dad’s name.

~My main influence for Joey was my two boys. When I started writing, Dylan was eleven. When I completed the story, Joshua was eleven. That was not planned.

~The fictional town of Argyle, Oregon is based on several small towns. Sandy and Corbett, Oregon, and Rosenberg, Texas were some of my inspirations. I have spent a lot of time in small towns, and wanted to incorporate the uniqueness and charm of small town America.

~The silhouette on the cover is my oldest son’s head. He does not like it, so he was a good sport to allow me to have his head on my cover.

~The beautiful cover was created by talented artist and friend, Nick Carrubba. He made it personal for me and had me take pictures around my house for ideas. I absolutely had to have a teal cover, since its a favorite color. And I knew I wanted a black silhouette to represent Joey. Nick took my ideas (and strong opinions) and gave me this gorgeous cover!

Please get your free copy today! Read it and share it with a child in your life. If you would like to leave a review I would greatly appreciate it. If you don’t, just enjoy the story and pass it along to another family. My hearts desire from the beginning of the writing process until now is the same; that Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale blesses and encourages each reader, whether a child or an adult.

Thanks for stopping by! I am grateful for each of you.

Love you all,

Meghan

The free promotion runs June 20th 12:00 AM to June 24th 11:59 PM. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Authors, Uncategorized

Q & A with Author Jessie Mattis

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I am so excited to introduce author Jessie Mattis to you! Power Up is her debut Middle Grade novel. She wrote Power Up to teach kids about the Holy Spirit. It’s a topic that can seem intimidating, or even a bit mysterious to so many Christians. We easily talk about God and Jesus, but what about the Holy Spirit who lives in every Believer?

I had the pleasure of reading Power Up and thoroughly enjoyed it. You will go on a journey of discovering the Holy Spirit through eleven-year-old Lexi. I found Lexi relatable and honest. You will be drawn in to the story and sweet family. It’s a wonderful book for kids and adults. I was encouraged in my faith. Jessie did a fantastic job explaining the Holy Spirit, and that God wants to use kids too. The Holy Spirit is for every Christian, regardless of age.

Jessie is a kind, humble, loving person. If you met her, you would want to hang out with her. She’s the kind of person you’d want to chat with over a cup of coffee. Her kindness, and warmth pour out of the pages of Power Up. How refreshing to have a family friendly book with such a delightful, faith-affirming message.

Thanks for stopping by, and please enjoy my interview with author Jessie Mattis.

 

 

Tell me about yourself.

 

My name is Jessie Mattis and I am a Jesus-loving, homeschooling mother of three, a wife, daughter, sister, friend…and now a writer. I grew up between cornfields in Potomac, Illinois, graduated from Greenville College with a BA in Social Work, and worked in child welfare for a couple years before becoming a stay-at-home mom (my real dream job).

 

Since college, I’ve been a ministry volunteer in church on some level, often working with kids. In 2013, my family and I joined a small team of people and helped plant Rolling Hills Vineyard Church in Valparaiso, IN, which was a wonderful, difficult, life-changing experience.

 

 

What are you passionate about?

 

I have always had a heart for kids, and now that I have three of my own, I more clearly see the urgency in exposing them to the truths of the Christian faith at a young age.

 

I am passionate about raising my kids to love Jesus and reaching others for Him. Sharing the truth that they are loved by Him no matter what, even when life doesn’t make sense, is one of my main goals. Tons of people struggle with their faith as they grow, but if they can grasp this fact (God’s love and goodness) at a young age, it could save them from a lifetime of doubts and uncertainty.

 

What is your book, Power Up, about?

 

Power Up is the story of an eleven-year-old girl named Lexi who thinks she’s already learned all there is to know about God, until a new kids’ church teacher comes and shares some new ideas about the Holy Spirit. Through school struggles and a family crisis, Lexi must decide for herself if God is truly good and if this Holy Spirit stuff is for real.

 

Why did you write Power Up?

 

I decided to write this book when I was searching for something similar for my own children and couldn’t find it. I want all kids to learn and be comfortable with the Holy Spirit and the various ways he moves and guides us, but I’ve noticed that oftentimes adults don’t expect enough out of children. Kids are far more capable than we sometimes think, and most are perfectly able to think through matters of faith at this age (8 and up). Power Up is my way of telling kids “I believe in you, and know you are capable of actively hearing from and following God no matter your age.”

 

 

I felt that getting the story into the hands of “church-kids” might inspire them to view their faith in a new light, activating the Holy Spirit power that was inside them all along, whether they knew it or not. And for children who are already familiar with the activity of the Holy Spirit, I wanted to encourage them in their walks, helping them realize they’re not alone and aren’t “weirdos” or however else they may feel at times. For not-yet-Christians, the book also covers the basics of Christianity, woven into the story line, so they can come away from reading the book with a sense of what Christianity is all about.

 

Why were you the right person to write it?

 

Being active in kids’ church for years, in a similar environment that the story takes place, has given me a heart for reaching kids in this way. Seeing children explore and embrace their own faith inspires me, and I want it for my own kids as well as every other child. Right now my kids are ages 11, 9, and 7, so I’m right in the thick of the middle grade parenting years. This gives me an advantage in writing for children because I’m able to get inside their heads and understand their thoughts and struggles a little more readily than some.

 

 

How is Power Up different than other books in its genre?

 

Power Up is certainly more “teachy” than most in this genre, which may sound negative, but I don’t believe this is the case. It is a book intended for an audience of middle-graders who are taking their faith seriously and want to dive deeper. While my goal was definitely to keep it entertaining and relatable, there is certainly a lesson to be learned. It is a book that I can imagine Christian parents and children’s church teachers giving to their children/students, or even reading aloud and discussing as a family.

 

 

 

What do you hope people will gain from reading your book?

 

My hope is that children and adults alike will read Power Up and find the hum-drum normalcy of their current faith challenged. As they read, they will encounter new ideas and ways of living their faith out loud, and my prayer is that they’ll apply these lessons to their own lives, coming away with a more active, powerful, solid walk with God and a new understanding of who the Holy Spirit is. I want children to know it doesn’t matter how old they are—the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to guide, speak, and walk with them throughout their entire lives.

 

Power Up is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

 

 

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