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Release Day! Daughter of the Nile!

September 6, 2016

Daughter of the Nile

Smith_DaughteroftheNileRELEASE DAY!!

This third installment in the Loves of King Solomon e-book series is now available from the following vendors:
Amazon (for Kindle)
Barnes and Nobel (for Nook)
Christian Book

If you missed them, the first two books in the series were:
Desert Princess
The Shepherdess

Coming next year will be the last novella (short story) on the Queen of Sheba. Then I will be working on a paperback compilation with extras for release in 2019.

Here is the info on Daughter of the Nile:

Explore with me the exotic world of ancient Egypt and ponder the dilemma Siti faces when she leaves her homeland, her family, and the worship of her many gods, to live in Jerusalem where only Yahweh is worshiped. Can Siti leave her favorite goddess Bastet behind? Will she ever make sense of this land, it’s strange worship of one God, and a husband who is as wise and ever-changing as the wind? What must it have been like for a foreigner to marry the famous Israelite King? Come…imagine with me…

About the series:
Four royal women. One king. Each has a story uniquely their own and each must face a life they did not expect. What events set them on their course? What love will they choose in the end?

I hope you enjoy this exotic story of a Egyptian princess who married the most powerful man in biblical history.

In His Grace,

Forget not

August 30, 2016

I was thinking today about Ruth as I finished up galley edits on her story, and in the process, the bigger story of redemption would not remain silent. The truth is, the Bible is one cohesive redemptive story of just how much God loves us and to what lengths He went to prove it.

But sometimes I forget, don’t you?

PicMonkey Image-3Perhaps that is why King David wrote these words that I added to some pictures. “Praise the Lord, my soul. FORGET NOT ALL of his benefits.”

How had God benefited David – aside from making him King of Israel? He’d done something far better than making David king. There are many kings in this world and I daresay that most of them think they are powerful. Not too sure that humility and kingship go together very often. Although Jesus was the perfect model of both, though He chose not to be recognized as the King He is–yet.

But back to David. In his life he was king, but so what? God promised him a future–a son to sit on the throne after him–a legacy that would lead to the Messiah. Now that’s pretty cool!

But it’s still not thing David praised God for most. He didn’t want to forget that God had FORGIVEN ALL of his sins and REDEEMED his life from the pit. (That word, redemption again, which is Ruth’s shining story.)

And on top of all of that, God crowned David, not with a golden jeweled crown (though he had that too) but with LOVE AND COMPASSION.

After studying David’s life for many years, I can bet that forgiveness, redemption, love, and compassion mattered FAR more to David than any other gift God had given him. THAT is what he wanted to remember. So he told his soul to praise the Lord. To praise the Lord so that he wouldn’t forget.

Beloved, do you find it hard (like I do) to praise the Lord – especially when life is hard? Do you even find it hard to pray sometimes?

We need to REMEMBER. Remember Who it is that loves us. Remember ALL of His benefits. His forgiveness. His love and compassion. His Grace.

Never forget His great grace. Because He gave everything to give it to us. And we so often take it for granted. And still He forgives. He loves. He invites us to remember so that we have reason to praise. And reason to praise isn’t to boost God’s ego. It’s to give us JOY!

You know, I think almost everything in Scripture – every redemptive act – every story told – is really about God jealously loving us to the point that even what seems hard is always meant to bring us back to the joy that He wants to give us.

But too often we allow ourselves to forget. And that’s what David told his soul NOT to do.

We need Him. And His benefits are better than any this earth could ever offer us.

#livelovesprayhopetrust #remember #forgetnot #godneverstopslovingus #hisredemptionistrue

by jill at 8:36 pm in , ,

And yet, He waits…

August 27, 2016

Sometimes we look at our circumstances and long for the King of Glory to come walking through those gates in Jerusalem, don’t we? And yet, He waits. Why does He wait?

I’ve asked myself that question over and over again in my life because, honestly? Waiting is just plain hard to do. It’s not my strong suit.

PicMonkey Image-2I was talking to my agent the other day about various issues and she asked me if I was worried about something, and I realized, no…I wasn’t worried…I was impatient.

Yeah, I can get that way sometimes. I want God to answer now. I want to understand why – now. In our instant everything generation, don’t you feel it too? We want life to happen or life to change or life to do this or that – now!

We want the King of Glory to come fix this broken world now because the truth is, we can’t fix it. We know that too, don’t we? We’re all broken. At a heart level, the brokenness can run mighty deep. And we want Jesus to come and fix the broken, to bind the wounds, to answer the prayers we are begging to be answered.

And He says, “Wait.” And we wonder why. Sarai and Moses and David and Joseph and Elizabeth and so many more were made to wait and wonder—why are we waiting? Why can’t it be fixed right now?

Lift up your gates – Open those gates – let the King of Glory come in now!

But still, He waits. And I think I have a glimpse of the reason.

Because He is patient. (Unlike me.) He is SO patient with us and wants to bring every one of His children to the place we need to be. He wraps Himself in time, though He is outside of time, to allow US time to be found – out of our lostness. Because He loves us.

He loves us. Yes, He does. Even as He waits. Even when it doesn’t feel like love. Even when we hurt Him. And yes, He can feel our hurt and be hurt by us. (Read the Old Testament for proof of that.) He can grow angry by our actions, but He always returns to the theme of His love.

He is patient because of love.

He will return. The King of Glory will enter those barred gates in Jerusalem one day. But not until the time is right. Not until His patience is at an end. Not until the lost are found. And He is looking for each one of us who feels far away from Him. He is a relentless seeker. A relentless lover. A relentless God.

And He never gives up on us.
Because of love.
He has earned the right to be King.

#liveloveprayhopetrust #alwayshope #thekingofglorywillcome

by jill at 9:16 pm in ,

A longing fulfilled

August 24, 2016

Hope deferred…we’ve all known that, haven’t we? And I can bet we have all tasted the bitter gall of heartsickness too. All it takes is to risk loving someone to risk losing, to where our soul wants to curl up and hide.

But a longing fulfilled…what a joyous sound, yes? Solomon relates such a longing to a tree of life. Not “the” tree of life mentioned in Genesis and Revelation, but “a” tree of life – something that gives joy to our souls.

IMG_0892Hope can do both, can’t it? If we’re putting our hope in people, we’re going to risk that first part – hope deferred, hope lost – because we humans are really good at letting each other down.

But hope in God is so very different! The psalmist said, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God..”

He was talking to his soul – telling himself that God could be trusted with his hope. He didn’t have to lose heart.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my share of looking at the world through disappointments, through hope deferred and I think I’m ready for a new look. I’m not a big fan of heartsickness, so putting my hope in a different place, in a different Person, in order to taste and see that the Lord truly is good, sounds like a much better plan.

I don’t know what kind of fruit grows on a tree of life, but I can bet it tastes pretty good because it’s coming from hope in a good God. And I’m ready for a really delicious feast of joy! Don’t you agree?

Be blessed tonight, my friend. Never lose hope in the only One who is worth trusting.

by jill at 8:45 pm in

When rejoicing in the Lord is just plain hard

August 16, 2016

Rejoice in the Lord. Do you ever struggle with that? I’m going to go out on a limb here and admit that right now I’m feeling like we’re walking in the wilderness. Life is like that sometimes, isn’t it? That’s when rejoicing in the Lord gets really hard.

Today, as I was praying, I reminded myself of all of the prayers God had answered in the past. He HAS answered many prayers. But in the here and now, when I’m praying for miracles – you know the kind – the impossible, only God can do them life changing miracles – and I’m not seeing them answered yet…that’s when faith and hope collide. Or maybe they miss each other in the dark.

Philippians 3 verse and picAnd rejoicing in the Lord becomes nearly impossible.

That’s where I am in life right now. It’s a difficult place. It’s a place of wanting to know. Wanting to see. Wanting a glimpse of God at work.

But sometimes God works in the silence. Sometimes He’s busiest when the lights go out and hope hangs by a thread. When we fall into the pit and can’t crawl out. When we’re praying for rescue and no one comes.

Like Paul and Silas who sang in a jail cell, that’s rejoicing in the hard times. I’m not very good at that. Can you relate?

I’m pretty good at smiling and persevering, but I’m a serious person and don’t always see a very full glass. But maybe the glass half empty is really not a bad thing, because when we are empty, God can fill us, yes?

If I come to Him with hands full of all the things I want, there is nothing He can fill because I’m already filled up with stuff. I’m “happy” in “things”. But those “things” don’t last. I can’t rejoice in what is passing away.

I find the greatest joy when I hear good news. When I see relationships thrive. When family and friends are in love with Jesus. When people are walking in truth. When I’m listening to God and hearing His voice tell me, “I’ve got this. It’s going to work for your good.”

Sometimes that means offering a sacrifice of praise, of rejoicing in THE LORD, in who Jesus is and what He’s done ALREADY, and what He can do, and only He can do in the future. And trust me, for me, that is one of the hardest things to do. To be grateful for what is not yet. To thank Him for what will be.

It means I have to trust that He knows best and His timing is never wrong. It means that I believe He CAN do the impossible, even when I’m sure my world is falling apart.

Rejoice in the Lord, Beloved. We can do this. It takes a little faith, but that little faith leads to a little hope, and that hope leads to a full-blown trust. Rejoicing in Him even when we cannot yet see Him or touch Him or feel Him or know that He’s at work. Trusting that He can and He WILL keep His promises.

Rejoice. It’s the one thing that keeps us grateful and gratitude always enhances faith.

#livelovesprayhopetrust #rejoiceinthelordalways #godcantrulybetrusted

by jill at 9:17 pm in