Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I would like you all to meet one of my favorite people, S. D. Grimm. She's one of my critters (critique partner) so I'm particularly excited for her to be officially published! I'll let her introduce her newly released novella. 
And now. Here she is ....
First of all, I want to thank Jenn for being gracious enough to let me post on her blog today. I am so excited about the release of my novella, BREATHLESS.
What if one touch could unlock a thousand memories?
Eighteen year old Claire Summers has a rare gift she must keep secret, she's a Breather—someone who can see other people's memories by touching an object they've touched.When she stumbles across a memory of her friend in danger, she'll do anything to help rescue him. The problem is, her secret will be revealed. If the wrong people find our about her ability, they'll hunt her because Breathers are powerful weapons.
I started writing when I was … well I actually can’t remember not writing. It’s kinda my thing. I love fantasy—epic, urban, sword and sorcery, all of it—so that’s what I write.
The way I look at it, God blesses us with talents and makes us passionate about them so we’ll use our talents. You can learn more about me and what I’m writing on my website: www.sdgrimm.com                                                      
Breathless is an urban fantasy. For those of you unfamiliar with whatever that is, it’s fantasy set in a city, sometimes it’s in the future, sometimes present.
The story takes place in a few cities—Podunk towns actually. Yup, there’s a road trip involved, and it’s in this awesome, awesome ride.
                                                                           
Photo Credit: John Rosa
                                          
Yeah, I know. 
And for your reading pleasure, here’s an excerpt:
My shoes crushed the thick grass. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Damp, summer air swirled around me unable to cut through the heavy fog. Headstones, cracked and crooked, spread across the grassy hill. I’d been here before. My dreams often brought me to this cemetery. The full moon lit my way down a familiar path. Even though I was dreaming, I was chilly in my tank top and shorts.
I headed toward the tallest headstone on the hill’s crest. No flowers or American flags decorated this soul’s final resting place. I reached out, like I had the other times I’d dreamed this, and I knew what to expect. Before I could touch the stone, my subconscious would pull me back and I’d wake on my bouncing bed feeling like I’d fallen from somewhere high.
The rough stone was cool beneath my fingers.
Three translucent figures walked away from me, passing through the untouched fog. Two men, one held a young boy’s hand, the other followed them. The boy looked so familiar. They walked through the headstones littering the hillside as if they were insubstantial, and then flickered out.
My hand jerked back. A chill skittered across my chest and spread over my whole body leaving me with goose bumps. Heart racing, I willed myself to wake.
I didn’t.
My chest tightened. Was I dreaming or not?  Thunder rolled closer. I backed away from the creepy headstone and stepped on something slippery. Arms flailing, I lost my balance. I landed in the moist grass. Pain shot up my elbow as it connected with rock.
“Back here. Quick.” The whisper turned my blood to ice.
“I’m dreaming,” I said aloud since this was too freaky to be real.
“Dream? No, sweetheart, you’re in a trance. Snap out of it or whatever it is you Breathers do.” The stranger’s voice rasped.
I froze, watching him inch closer. Breather? What was he talking about? My head cleared like a fan turned on and blew the fog from my brain, and I realized my situation. I so wasn’t dreaming. This was real. This was real?
I faced the stranger hiding behind a headstone and caught a glimpse of his rifle. Oh holy night.

It's Jenn again. Like what you read? Buy it for $.99 here. After you've devoured it, give it a great review. Then be on the lookout for her incredible series: Children of the Blood Moon.
                                                  His servant,
~Jenn

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Steward Ship

With all that I've been through with my health lately, I'm learning we’re to be called to be good stewards of ALL God has given us … including our bodies.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” ~1 Corinthians 3:16
Think about it. What good are we to God if we don’t have the energy to do His will? What if we’re too sick? What if we become a burden to others? Please don’t misunderstand me. God has a purpose for everything, including illness. People get sick and hurt. God might use it to teach you or others valuable lessons. We may not know until we meet Him. In the meantime, while we have the chance, we should take care of the Holy Temple God has given us to house His Holy Spirit.
Less than a year ago, I was told I had diabetes. I took that wakeup call seriously. Before it progressed and I became insulin dependent, I cut sugar out of my diet and ate healthier. My dedication paid off. A few months later, I was no longer diabetic. But I still had work to do. I needed to take better care of myself. I tried to exercise, but I just couldn’t summon the energy. My determination to take care of what God had given me would not be quenched. I persisted and was diagnosed with MTHFR. Now I have the supplement (methylfolate) I need and my health and energy is improving every day.
Are you struggling with your health? Here are a few things I recommend:
·         Pray – Anything we attempt to do should begin with prayer. Who knows what you need better than He who created you? Tell Him your struggles. Ask Him what you should do. If you need help with anything from summoning energy, strength or getting up earlier, ask Him.
·         Exercise – Our bodies were built to work. Especially if you have a sedentary job, you need to find time to get your heart pumping every day. Sweating is the best way to detox. Run, walk at a brisk pace, pop in an exercise DVD, whatever you need to do. Do it! Even if you don’t have the energy. It’s one of those backward things—you need to exercise to get energy, not vice versa. Find an accountability partner to help you. Make it a priority. As Paul said, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” ~1 Corinthians 9:27
·         Eat organic fruits and vegetables – I believe we were created to eat primarily fruits and vegetables (minus the pesticides). We didn’t begin eating meat until after the fall. Many of the grains we eat today have been genetically altered. This means they’re no longer what God created to be processed in our body as He intended. These so-called “healthy whole grains” are man-made replicas which have not been tested for human consumption. Since I loaded my diet with organic fruits and vegetables and eliminated gluten, I no longer crave the processed junk I once loved. I still see things like apple pie and wish I could have it. I plan to learn to make a gluten free crust so I can make one, but these things must be in moderation. The healthy stuff should be the primary sustenance.
·         Don’t give up – If you’re tired, get up and exercise anyway. If you truly just can’t summon the energy, seek medical advice. If your doctor shrugs, find another one or go to a nutritionist or holistic doctor. Find someone who will spend time with you.
·         No excuses – Never say tomorrow. I once heard someone say that tomorrow is the devil’s favorite word. Get off your rump and do it today. If you have a medical condition, seek the doctor’s advice. Don’t let it be an excuse.

I still have much to learn. But with God’s help, in good health or in bad, I’ll do the best I can with what He’s given me. Whatever you do, I pray you will earnestly seek God’s will for all He has given you, before it’s too late. It may be a long journey, but the Bible tells me travels full of obedience and perseverance are worth the trip.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ~Revelation 21:4
Until then, I pray the Steward Ship will not set sail without you.
                                                                       His servant,
                                                                                              ~Jenn

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Tale of Two Avocados

                The other morning, preparing my salad for lunch, I grabbed an avocado. The skin was nice and dark with just the right amount of give. Yum. There’s nothing like a perfectly ripened avocado.
                I sliced it in half and pulled it apart. Brown veins ran in twisted paths all through the darkened flesh. Rotten! But how? It looked great on the outside.
                Only one more seemingly ripened avocado lay in the bunch. I cut into it. Inside I found beautiful green fruit.
                How could two avocados appear so good on the outside yet be so strikingly different on the inside? Are we like that? Are there Christians running around, seeming to have it all together on the outside, only to be overrun with ugly rottenness inside? You bet.
                So how do we know what we look like on the inside? We can’t just cut ourselves open to see what our hearts look like. Not physically. And that wouldn’t reveal what we're seeking anyway. But emotionally, perhaps that’s exactly what needs to happen. Perhaps that’s precisely why God allows certain things in our lives, to cut us open and reveal the nastiness within so we can deal with it.
                Give yourself a check-up. Pray to God as the psalmist does in Psalm 139:23-24. Pray “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” It’s a big prayer. One that takes courage. One that will likely result in difficulty as we learn the truth about ourselves. But it’s necessary for growth.
                While we are in this world in this flesh, we will never be perfect. But we can and should continually strive to improve, to grow closer to God and Christlikeness every day. I pray we would “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” ~ Romans 12:12
                                                     His servant,

              ~Jenn

Monday, September 2, 2013

MTHFR

I’ve always known something was wrong with me (you know … aside from that pesky sin nature we all suffer from). But, even as the symptoms grew worse, no doctors have been able to figure out what it was. I’ve had anxiety and OCD all my life. I’ve dealt with depression. As a young adult I developed digestive issues and migraines. My hair prematurely greyed. Before my daughter was born I had two miscarriages. Then asthma. Then chronic fatigue. And recently, diabetes.
What in the world? I’m not even 40 yet. I’m not overweight. My eating habits aren’t terrible. Why am I so sick? 
When the results of a blood test for a life insurance policy came back showing diabetes, I knew my doctor would throw a blood sugar regulating pill at me. After much prayer and internal debate, I went to a friend's homeopathic doctor.
What? A homeopathic doctor? They’re not real Doctors.
Right?
How I found this doctor was another story … definitely an answer to prayer. And I believe my going to see him despite scoffers and my own skepticism was an act of obedience. In any case, he’s been doing something most doctors don't: he spends time with me to determine the root cause rather than put a band-aid on a symptom and boot me out the door within 15 minutes.
A couple weeks ago, my blood results came back with an answer: methylenetetrahhydrofolate reductase (MTHFR)
Basically, MTHFR is a genetic variant. It effects your ability to convert folic acid which is necessary for important processes like eliminating toxins. I don't pretend to understand how it all works, but it's responsible for ALL the symptoms I mentioned above.
Though I'd never heard of it before, MTHFR is COMMON. Approximately 40% of the population has this problem. Most don’t even know it. I want to raise awareness … particularly since it can lead to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. All it takes are vitamin supplements and toxin avoidance and all these symptoms virtually disappear.
After all these years I’m getting my life back. I haven’t felt so good in so long and I can feel myself getting stronger every day. PRAISE GOD!

As I said, I want to speak up about MTHFR to save lives … the same reason I want to speak up about Christ. approximately 40% of the population suffer from MTHFR but 100% of the population suffers from a sin nature. And 100% will suffer eternally if they don’t accept the gift God offers each one. Don't listen to scoffers. Ignore the skeptic in your head. He’s reaching His hand out … take it!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

~John 3:16

His servant,
~Jenn

If you want to know more about MTHFR, Google or Bing it. There’s tons of information out there. Get tested. Don’t wait. Your life is waiting for you!

 If you want to know how you can have eternal life through Christ, email me!