Are you ready? I have a load of goodies for you today! My next (Virtual) Tea Party is live for orders. There is a SALE on The Lost Heiress. And…our podcasts are LIVE!!! 

With everything that is going on in the world today, I wanted to be able to share as much GOOD with you as I can.

People are selfish.

This isn’t a newsflash. People have always been selfish, and I don’t see that changing any time in the near future. At the core, we’re always looking out for us. Me. My family. They matter most. I’ll do anything I have to do to provide and protect. Right?
I daresay most of us think this way–it’s the way the human brain is wired, frankly. It’s natural. 
But Jesus asks us to give up those natural inclinations when we follow Him. He asks us to put the souls of strangers above the health of our own.

59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”~ Luke 9:59-60, NKJV

In so many teachings, Jesus is instructing us to change our perspective. On what we define as sin. Of where our hearts should be. Of who we should love. Of how we should love them. Time and again He challenges us to love our neighbor.
Time and again, He and the apostles make it clear that this faith, this trust, this decision to become a slave of Christ means giving up our lives–giving up the ME–for Him.
We’re in a time of trial right now–something that can be said a lot in history on a national or international scale and pretty much always on individual levels. I’ve heard a lot of fellow-Christians saying, “Don’t live in fear!”
And this is #Truth. Don’t live in fear. You don’t have to, because you know that your life isn’t your own. You know that you’re His. There doesn’t need to be fear for these bodies.
But let’s not be ignorant. We can say God has this in His hand, and that too is #Truth. But God had the Black Death in His hand too. He had the Spanish flu. He had every other worldwide pandemic. That doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be suffering and death, of both the faithful and the faithless, the just and the unjust. It simply means that He’s still Lord through it. It doesn’t mean we won’t die. It means if we do, He’ll welcome those who believe in Him with open arms. Yes, He can protect His children from any virus–but we know He doesn’t always choose to. We know it in the statics from past pandemics. We know it by logic. And we know it because we know that He doesn’t define tragedy in the same way we do. Christians can and do die all the time. It’s something we’re not told won’t happen, but which we’re instead told not to fear.
Where, then, is the line between fear and wisdom? 
More, where is the line between living fearlessly and still loving our neighbors?
If you didn’t follow that jump, let’s spend a bit of time on it. You do not have to fear. But what about the older lady next door? What about the stranger on the street? What about the coworker or the delivery man or the clerk? The mom whose child has immunodeficiency? The daughter whose father is in the middle of chemo? Do they have that certainty?
So what if your determination to live without fear and live life as normal endangers theirs?
This is the question my family is wrestling with as we determine what lines to draw in these troubling weeks. We don’t fear for us. But we’re not called to think only of us. We’re called to think of them. The people in need of Christ. The people who are at risk. The people who are frightened and without hope.
“Not living in fear” should not mean putting others in danger. Not our fellow believers who are at risk of physical illness, and not the rest of the world whose souls don’t have that certainty in Him.
Love your neighbor.
Love them with encouragement and faithful words and promises of Someone bigger than their fear. But love them too in wisdom and caution and care. Love them with distance when our leaders ask for it, and with praise to God that distance, in this day and age, doesn’t mean being cut off. Let’s be grateful that we can still be in the community through the wonders of technology, and let’s respect the wisdom of the professionals we expect to turn to when something bad does happen.
Let’s stop thinking about how we can keep from giving in to fear…and start thinking about how we can best show love to those around us. Be wise, and think of them. Knowing that if everyone thinks first of their neighbor, that means someone has our backs too.

Readers to Leaders
My husband and I have just launched a community that we’re calling Readers to Leaders. Basically, the idea is to encourage and support each other to take those inspirations and ideas we get from books and actually put action to them.
For instance, in a book I recently read, the heroine joins forces with an elderly woman in a nursing home to write letters to soldiers. Well, that inspired me to pull out my cards and stationery and write to the people in my local nursing home that I usually visit once a month but can’t right now because of COVID-19.
This community is designed to encourage READERS to take actions like that inspired by the books we read and make a difference. Become LEADERS. =)
If you have a few minutes and an example or idea–from my books or ANY books!–would you consider participating? The forum was just turned on this morning, so it’s still very bare…which of course needs to be corrected, LOL.
You can find it HERE.

Book Deals

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and how our guests explore them both in the real world and on the page.

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April Tea Party

Friday, April 24
7 pm EDT / 6 pm CDT / 5 pm MDT / 4 pm PDT

This is a special PRINCESS (virtual) party!! Included in the package will be some special royal treats.
Author Hannah Currie will be joining us all the way from Australia
(so we’ll get to hear her lovely accent)

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