Guest posts on the GCC, Women-Together, and The Fear Warrior Blog

I’ve spent some time this past spring and summer guest-posting on various websites. Some posts are refreshed favourites and others are new. I hope you are blessed as you read them.

Press On, Sweet Sister

July 16, 2020

When my husband and I first entered full-time ministry, I was confident I knew how life would play out. But after five short years, we had packed our bags to leave, convinced we were unfit for the calling. Ministry has a funny way of turning our certainties on their heads. 

We might both be involved in ministry, but your journey will be distinctive to you. You have brought your own set of expectations and certainties to this adventure. Your relationship with the Lord is uniquely yours, shaped by his sovereign hand to craft you into the image of himself. The edges he sands off of you might be vastly different from my sharp edges. The stretching you endure will be intimately tied to your needs and his will for your life. The only certainty I can claim that we share with 100% confidence is our need to remain before the cross in humble dependence upon God’s mercy, admitting our constant need for him.

Read more: https://gccollective.org/article/press-on-sweet-sister/


Be a Woman of Bravery, Dignity, and Perseverance

June 12, 2020

Queen Esther’s character emerged when she, along with many other young women, were swept into a human-trafficking ring of sorts. Their custodial pimp, Hegai, spent 12 months beautifying them in a preparational harem, and then they competed for a prize that would make them little more than a sex slave with the title.

One by one, Hegai sent them to the King. 

In the evening, she would go in and in the morning she would return to the second harem, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the King’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines.”

Esther 2:14

These girls didn’t parade before the King twirling batons or displaying vocal talents; their audition was an overnight visit. Esther wins this twisted Old Testament beauty pageant and joins the King’s concubines.

Read more: https://women-together.org/be-a-woman-of-bravery-dignity-and-perseverance/


God’s Presence in the Community of Believers

April 17, 2020

“As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” (Psalm 84:6-7, ESV)

I love to run. Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that I love how I feel when I run. I love how running clears my mind and quiets my soul. I love how strong my body becomes after running regularly. I register for races because I need the motivation of a goal, but after I register, I question my sanity. Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why did I commit to another grueling workout schedule? And most importantly, why did I join with a friend? Now, I can’t back out. I have to continually remind myself that the discomfort of training is worth the glory of finishing with a strong body and mind.

Race day dawns with excitement. The crowd cheers, the gun explodes, and thousands of feet hit the pavement, but soon that excitement fades. The crowd thins. I’m left in the race, just putting one foot in front of the other, looking for the finish line. I am tempted to quit, but my friend encourages me. She wants to stop, so I support her. And as we pass mile marker after mile marker, the strangest thing happens. Our strength and determination increase instead of decreasing. Every stride brings us closer to the finish. We are encouraged as we help one another overcome difficulty and exhaustion. We pump worship tunes through headphones, and the remaining distance to the finish line shrinks. Mental fatigue lessens. Soon, people are lining the streets again, cheering because we are close to the finish. We become invigorated. The prize is in sight.

Read more: https://gccollective.org/article/gods-presence-in-the-community-of-believers/


The Certainty of Joy

March 27, 2020

… It’s in the difficult moments of uncertainty that the testing of my faith produces steadfastness, and I must let steadfastness complete its work in me because the trial ultimately leads me to hope (James 1:3-4)Romans 5:3-4 is clear, if I want hope, I must understand it comes from character. Character is produced by perseverance, and perseverance is birthed from suffering. Every leader must decide if it is worth fighting through suffering to find their hope and joy in the Lord.

Read more: https://women-together.org/the-certainty-of-joy/


Unshaken: How to Face Chaos and Danger Without Fear

March 23, 2020

There was a morning quite a few years ago when my children were small that the wind picked up. Three nearby trees went down and every boom and crack sent the neighborhood running into their backyards to investigate.

I watched out my window as our giant maple swayed like a hula dancer at the mercy of the wind. I felt a bit like the third little pig waiting to see if the huffing and puffing would blow our tree down onto our house of bricks.

Our children were at school 1KM down the street, so after a few more booms and the power failing, I walked out front and looked toward the school. In the distance, I could see the flashing lights of emergency vehicles.

Read more: https://jerushaagen.com/unshaken-how-to-face-chaos-and-danger-without-fear/


My husband has also visited the Fear Warrior blog, and he is giving away his book, Anxiety Attack. Visit the post below for information.

How Your Response to Problems can Conquer Anxiety

by Kevin Weeks

June 1, 2020

The date was April 1, 2018: Easter Sunday morning. I was only minutes away from preaching the first of two services, and I had major knots in my stomach. More than normal. Far more.

I couldn’t think straight. My brain slogged through a dense fog.

My emotions were all over the place. They had been for some time.

I wasn’t sure if I had the physical strength, the emotional strength, or the spiritual strength to stand up and preach again.

As this storm raged in me, I sank into a chair at the back of our Worship Centre. I cradled my head in my hands, occasionally looking up.

People were walking past me, finding their seats, ready for the worship gathering to begin. I was trying to smile and say hi to people, but the smiles felt fake. I could barely maintain eye contact.

There I sat, alone in a room full of people, wondering what in the world was happening to me. Raw emotion smouldered, ready to burst through the surface in a blistering mess, and all I could manage to do was quietly quiver in my plastic chair and wonder to God why I was suddenly overcome by a fear that I couldn’t explain.

Read more: https://jerushaagen.com/fearless-posture-how-your-response-to-problems-can-conquer-anxiety/

Psalm 13 asks a question we are all thinking: How Long?

How long will we fight these same battles? How long will chaos and turmoil abound in the streets? How long will a tiny virus wreak havoc in the world? News report after news report lands heavily on my heart. Has God forgotten us? Has He turned away from us? Sorrow lingers all day. How long until God intervenes? How long until relief? 

It is easy to get stuck in the lingering sorrow, anguish, and despair, but this is not a safe place to remain. Some fights will continue until the Lord returns or takes us home. We fight for the truth. We fight for sanity. We fight for justice. It’s equally vital that we fight against the falling curtain of despair or encroaching fears. Join me in Psalm 13 and acknowledge your woes, declare your dependence on the Lord, and resolve to take the only action that can change your heart. Work through Psalm 13 and feel every emotion the psalmist expresses in those early verses, and then determine to follow his example in the end.

Psalm 13 asks a question we are all thinking: How long? Fight against the falling curtain of despair and encroaching fears by studying #Psalm13. Acknowledge your woes. Declare your dependence on the Lord. Take action.

Read Psalm 13 and answer the following questions. (A printable version of the short study is available on the free short study page.)

  1. When have you felt forgotten, unseen, or not important enough? Create a list of words that describe how you felt at that moment. 
  2. Many of the words on your list could likely be used to describe the psalmist’s emotional state in verses 1-2. The psalmist asks the Lord four questions in his grief (1-2). When we are overwhelmed, it is common to ask questions. What questions do you have for the Lord pertaining to your current needs and concerns? 
  3. It’s doubtful the psalmist expected answers from God. Asking his questions was more likely a way of communicating his anguish on feeling forgotten. Read Isaiah 44:21 and 49:15. What do these verses indicate about God’s memory? 
  4. Based on what you’ve learned from Isaiah 44:21 and 49:15, it’s clear that the psalmist’s feelings of being forgotten are not a reliable source of truth. How do your feelings in emotionally charged moments threaten to lead you astray? Find at least one truth from Scripture that can speak into those lies.
  5. Psalm 13 shifts in verses 3 and 4. The psalmist stops expressing his sorrow and begins asking the Lord to intervene. What are the possible results of the Lord failing to intervene in the psalmist’s life (4)? 
  6. How do you need the Lord to intervene in your life? What do you fear might happen if the Lord does not intervene? 
  7. Another shift occurs in verse 5 indicated by the word “but,” which contrasts all the earlier despair with decisions the psalmist has made. What three things does the psalmist resolve to do (5-6a)?
  8. What do you learn about God’s character from verse 5-6a?
  9. Why does the psalmist decide to do these things (6b)?
  10. The NASB, ESV, NKJV and the KJV all use the word “bountifully” in verse 6. What images does the word bountiful bring to your mind? Make a list of synonyms for the word bountiful. 
  11. Where else in Scripture do we see God dealing with his people and expressing his love for his people in lavish and bountiful ways? 
  12. How has the Lord “dealt bountifully” with you?
  13. Jesus understands what it is like to feel far from God. What does he say in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 that conveys the agony of his soul? Also, see Hebrews 5:7. What does Christ’s suffering as a punishment for our sins reveal about God’s love for us? What sort of response does that stir in you?

Application

a) Go back to question eight and praise the Lord for His character qualities that never change. 

b) Rejoice in your salvation (5a).

c) Praise the Lord in song (6a). Either sing, listen to, or sing along with a worship song that expresses your trust in the Lord.

d) Confess the fears you have listed in question six and express your trust in the Lord to work in those circumstances (5).

e) Thank the Lord for His kindness and mercy toward you that you discovered answering questions ten through thirteen.


If you enjoyed this study, check out my other free short studies. If you’d like to try something deeper, check out Glorious Surrender, a short book that will help you discover the freedom of living for God. Or, if you’d like something even more in-depth, try Chasing Holiness and learn how to train for the race you are already running.

Where is God When I Need Him?

Today is a day of high stress for the people of God. Normal has evaporated, and there is no telling when it will return or even if it will ever return. The entire world might be gearing up for a new normal that looks radically different from the past. 

The children of God have a choice to make. We can press into God and his Word and fight against fear with the truth that never changes, or we can succumb to dread and anxiety. I am choosing to fill my mind with the Word of God. 

The children of #God have a choice to make. We can press into God and his #Word and fight against #fear with the #truth that never changes, or we can succumb to dread and anxiety. ##Free short #study on Ps 77. #Faith

If you join me in Psalm 77, you’ll find some striking similarities between the psalmist and us. The people of God are in distress, and the psalmist cries out to God. He is in a moment like ours, and he decides to turn his attention and energy into prayer and meditation. If you follow along with the psalmist, you’ll find that God leads his people through by the hand. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better place to be right now than hand-in-hand with God.

  1. In verses 3, 6, and 11-12, the psalmist repeats his decision to do two things. What has the psalmist decided to do? 
  2. Consider the progression of his decision preceded by the words when (v3), let me (v6), and I will (v11-12). What do these words convey about biblical thinking?
  3. In verses 1-9, the focus in on the psalmist. If you mark every reference to the psalmist and then every reference to the Lord, you will notice a 20:12 ratio. The psalmist is very focused on himself. In verses 10-15, this begins to shift—the ratio changes to 7:15 in favour of the Lord. Finally, in verses 16-20, the entire focus is the Lord. Ten times the Lord is referenced, ending with a declaration in verse 19-20. What does the psalmist declare?
  4. In verse 19, the word through shows the relationship between “way” and “sea,” and the same word through shows the relationship between “path” and “water.” What is the significance of the word through? How might this apply to the COVID-19 pandemic? 
  5. It is frightening to consider what going through COVID-19 might mean for us. What comfort can you find in the last half of verse 19? What is the significance of the word unseen, and how does it comfort you today?
  6. In what two ways does God lead his people in verse 20? Explain what those phrases meant for the psalmist and what they mean for you today. 

If you’d like to hear more from this passage, check out this short video devotional my husband has put together for our church. It is social-distancing friendly, and it is a great way to address the question: Where is God when I need Him? 


Looking for more studies that get you into the Word? Start an 8-day journey through Jeremiah 17:5-8 right here. The Blessed Woman is FREE!

Looking for something even deeper? Check out what people are saying about Chasing Holiness. Now is the time to fix your mind and heart on Christ. Each chapter concludes with an in-depth study on a passage of Scripture or theme from Scripture. The e-book is only $4 and is social-distancing friendly! ($2.85 in the USA.) I’ve just learned that my publisher is lowering the price on all their e-books to make them more accessible, so check those prices for steep discounts.

When Fear Meets Faith

Our Prime Minister is in isolation. His wife has tested positive for COVID-19. Ontario schools are shut down, and all the local stores are out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. When it is this easy to press into fear, we must choose to press into the Lord.

A Wise Response to Fear

Wisdom compels us to stay up-to-date with the news and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Wisdom tells us to wash our hands. Wisdom dictates that we isolate if we show worrisome symptoms. Wisdom also tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Proverbs 9:10). The antidote to your anxiety and fear is not bravery, denial, or stocking your basement with hundreds and hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizers. The antidote to your anxiety and fear is wisdom, the wisdom of the Lord.

The antidote to your anxiety and #fear is not bravery, denial, or stocking your basement with hundreds of hand sanitizers. The antidote to your #anxiety and fear is #wisdom, the wisdom of the #Lord.

Wisdom of God

Psalm 91 speaks of God’s presence and His protection. This theme repeats throughout the Psalm with words and phrases like shelter, refuge, fortress, in whom I trust (v1-2). As I meditate on these truths, a calm overcomes my soul. I will not fear the terror of night, the attacks in the day, or the fears that come in the dark because God is my refuge and dwelling place (v5-6, 9).

Look at all the Lord does for his children. He shelters us in his shadow and delivers, covers, and shields his people. He commands the angels to guard and uphold those depending on the protection of the Lord. God sets his people securely on high, remains with them, rescues, honors, and satisfies them. He lets them see salvation (v3-4, 11-12, 14-16). The Lord is active in our troubles, but the psalmist is active too.

Like the psalmist, we act by dwelling in the shelter of the Most High. That means we find our shelter and comfort in His presence. We abide in the shadow of the Almighty, and for his shadow to cover us, we must be close to him. We declare God is our safe place and fortress. We declare our trust in Him. We seek refuge with Him. We will not fear because we dwell with Him. We love Him. We know Him. We call upon God (v1-2, 4, 9, 14-15).

We decide to fill our minds with God and His Word, not fear and unknowns.

It’s time to replace thoughts of fear about the unknown with thoughts of God and His Word. #Trust #Faith #God #Christian

No Earthly Guarantees 

None of this means that believers are protected from physical harm. The promise in Psalm 91 is not supernatural protection from the virus sweeping across the world; it’s a promise that God is present and at work. It is a reminder that if God is for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31)? The Family Worship Bible Guide explains that “God’s ordinary way is to answer the prayers of Christians by sustaining them in the trouble, then rescuing them from the trouble, and ultimately giving them eternal life (Ps. 91:15-16)” (409).

What does this mean for my family and yours? It means that we walk by faith, trusting the Lord is at work. We stay up-to-date with the news and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We wash our hands. We isolate if we show worrisome symptoms. We apply wisdom and refuse to succumb to fear. We dwell in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 


Works cited:

Beeke Joel R. et al., editors. Family Worship Bible Guide. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2016.

FREE Audio Track, a New Fiction Book Tour, Prizes, and Giveaway

One of my favourite things about launching a new book is thinking up all the creative gifts I can give to my readers. You have no idea how much brain space I devote to you! I’ve made bookmarks and coloring pages, written free short stories and short Bible studies, created Christmas planners and gift tags, but this is the first time I’ve gone audible.

Chasing Holiness released March 4th, and I hope everyone had the opportunity to take advantage of the free book bonus with Glorious Surrender that ends on the 10th. If you missed it, don’t despair, I came up with ANOTHER freebie for you to enjoy.

The idea began at a recent women’s event at which I spoke. It was wonderful! I had a chance to catch up with some old friends. There is something pretty special about friendships that last over twenty years.

The event was recorded, and when they provided me with the recording, I knew I had my gift. This audible track comes from chapter seven of Chasing Holiness. If you keep checking, I’ll soon have a video link that will contain all the slides and images. Unfortunately, file size issues have delayed my ability to provide it today. (If you’re reading this post through an email subscription, you might have to visit the actual post to access the audio track.)

Chapter Seven, Chasing Holiness. Recorded at Hope Bible Church, Oakville, Ontario.

Listen to Chapter 7 from Chasing Holiness #FREE. Visit StaceyWeeks.com and check out the additional bonus material for readers. Free #Bible studies and free #shortstories and an extras page of more surprises.

Also, in the news, starting March 14th, you’ll find me all over the internet on a book tour for The Builder’s Reluctant Bride. I have such a soft spot in my heart for this story because it was my first contracted book, and it went on to win a national award for Christian romance. If you enjoy contemporary fiction with a romantic thread that digs a bit deeper into the issues of the day, you’ll really love Jenna and William.

You can follow the tour by reading the daily reviews that are interspersed with several author interviews. All the tour stops are listed here, but I will also post regular updates on several social media sites. The fun starts on the 14th! Make sure that you enter (and keep entering at every tour stop) for multiple chances to win a lovely “You Are Loved” bracelet from Little by Little.

I can’t get enough of this company! I love Little by Little.

If you missed my FREE 8-day Bible study on Jeremiah 17:5-10, The Blessed Woman, you can catch up by starting here. At the end of each post is a link to the next. Feel free to print and share this study with friends. My prayer is that you will be encouraged and blessed as you press into the Word of God.

Take care, and I hope you enjoy the bonus material!

Nothing changes until we enter the presence of the Lord

The familiar words of Psalm 73 washed over me anew. I had read these words before, but this time, for some reason unknown, they came alive. The preacher read Psalm 73, and the Spirit of the Lord opened the eyes of my heart.

The psalmist begins in the right place. He begins proclaiming the goodness of God to those pure of heart. But he quickly shifts his attention from the Lord to the people around him. He confesses he is envious of the wicked (v3a), envious of their prosperity (v3b), envious of their plenty (v4b, 7), and envious of their apparent ease of life (v5). The psalmist is envious even as the wicked mock the Lord (v11).

I see myself in these verses. I begin right. I believe God is good to me, but then I shift my eyes to those around me who appear to have it easier or appear to have so much more. I am tempted to respond like the psalmist, who questions the worthwhileness of following God (v13).

Until

What a transition word. The psalmist’s eyes are on himself and on his dissatisfaction UNTIL he enters the sanctuary of the Lord (v17). The antidote to my self-centeredness is not a change in circumstances or reward from heaven. The remedy to my self-centeredness is a focus on God, entering into His presence. Only then will I see that God is sovereignly working out His plan.

“Until” is an amazing transition word. The Psalmist’s eyes are on himself and his dissatisfaction UNTIL he enters the sanctuary of the Lord. Psalm 73 #biblestudy #bibleverse #bible

As I enter the Lord’s presence, I see that God will justly deal with evil (v18-20), but I also see that I am no better than the wicked (v21-22). I am senseless and ignorant. I am like a beast before the Lord. I deserve what the wicked receive, yet that is not what the Lord offers me.

The psalmist celebrates because he is continually with the Lord, and I, too, can celebrate because my faith in Christ for the forgiveness of my sins allows me to enter into the presence of the Lord Most High. God sees me through the filter of Christ, and He takes my hand and leads me with wise counsel. He welcomes me into His glory.

The wicked were still prosperous, had plenty, and lived a life of ease, but it no longer mattered because the Psalmist had God. When you have God, you have everything. #bible #biblestudy #bibleverse

All this happens when we lift our eyes to the Lord. Notice that the circumstances of the psalmist’s life did not change. The wicked were still prosperous, had plenty, and lived a life of ease, but it no longer mattered because the psalmist had God (v25). When you have God, you have everything. When your heart and flesh fail, God is your strength and your portion forever (v26). There is no need to envy the wicked, for they will perish apart from God. But you? You are near the Lord, and it is good. He is your refuge. Go and tell of His wondrous work. Chase holiness.

If you need help lifting your eyes to the Lord, or if you don’t know where to start, consider checking out Chasing Holiness. It will encourage you in your pursuit of holy living, and it releases MARCH 4th!

If you missed the first few segments of the FREE bible study on Jeremiah 17:5-10, you can catch up here. Once you are caught up, there is a sign-up link that will direct all future segments into your inbox.

Ready or Not Here Comes Christmas!

“Olly Olly Oxen Free!”

The words ring out. Children pour from their hiding places assured of their safety. Something in the game has changed. The threat of penalty has been eliminated. This phrase was an old-school re-set. A new “it” counts to ten, the children scramble to hide again, and then ready or not, “it” comes searching.

Christmas arrives similarly. The countdown begins months in advance. We scramble to fulfill our culturally imposed Christmas duties in an ever increasing panic of the dreaded phrase: ready or not, here it comes!

  • Five days remain. Is the baking finished? 
  • Four days. Are the gifts wrapped?
  • Three days. I still have to decorate.
  • Two days. Are there any new places where I can stage that silly elf for the children to find?
  • One day. Hang the stockings. Light the candles. Leave out the cookies and milk. 
  • Ready or not, Christmas is here! 

Year after year, multiple generations snuggle by the fire pursuing the promise of a wonderful life. But when we search 34th street for a miracle that can only be found in a manger, we are left wanting.

Ready or not, God spoke. He called creation into existence, declaring His unparalleled glory, breathing life into you and me. He spoke to us through prophets and His Word. Prophecy after prophecy announced his imminent arrival, but we did not listen. Finally, God put on skin and stooped to earth to speak to us face to face through a miracle that began in a manger.

Olly Olly Oxen Free! Something has changed! Come out of hiding and meet the One who has paid the penalty. 

This God-child, born needy and weak, meets all needs for all of time in His perfect strength. He pursues your heart through the cross. He speaks forgiveness in His dying breath and brings life through His resurrection. The Pharisees were not ready, yet they should have known. They had read the prophecies. They had memorized the Word of God, but distracted by tradition and greed; they missed His arrival. 

And, so might we. 

Christmas is more than jolly and generous gift-giving. It’s more than tradition and making a list rooted in greed and desire. It’s our reminder that the call to safely come out from hiding will not ring out forever. One day, the lion of Judah, the root of David, the slain Lamb, who was born in the manger, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven, will return and collect His own. He will take the scroll and break its seal. He will open the books and judge the living and the dead. He will establish a new heaven and a new earth, a holy city, a new Jerusalem, prepared as a bride for her husband. Because of Him, the dwelling place of God will be with man. The Great I Am is the Son of the Most High and His kingdom will have no end.

Ready or not, Christ is coming again! This is the message of Christmas that began thousands of years ago in the manger. Behold, He will make all things new. He will be called holy—the Son of God. Olly Olly Oxen Free. The penalty is paid for those who repent and believe. They can safely enter the presence of the living God and worship Him for all eternity. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift. 


Don’t miss these under two-hour Christmas reads with a gospel message, Mistletoe Melody and Mistletoe Mission, or the free under 10-minutes short story, Under the Summer Mistletoe.

Both books are part of an online book tour. If you visit the daily tour stops, you can enter for your chance to win the morse code bracelet featured in Mistletoe Mission. The tour starts tomorrow; visit http://www.celebratelit.com/mistletoe/ to participate. 

#Christmas #books Mistletoe Mission and Mistletoe Melody are part of an online book tour from Dec 20-Jan 2. Visit the daily tour stops & enter for a chance to win the morse code bracelet featured in Mistletoe Mission. http://www.celebratelit.com/mistletoe/

Newsletter subscribers – look for the Christmas newsletter tomorrow – it will arrive with an updated password for the extras page, a small holiday gift, and our family Christmas letter. Not a subscriber? Sign up today!

Photo by Shawn Ang on Unsplash

Mistletoe Mission is here!

Mistletoe Mission releases today, and I open my hands to hold loose this story God placed on my heart. It is my offering to Him. 

As a writer, I long to worship God with my words. Carefully chosen, and purposefully crafted, they are my offering of praise. Today, as book two set in Mistletoe Meadows hits the market, I’m avoiding Amazon stats and download numbers. Instead, I linger in the Psalms. This is the prayer of my heart:


Give ear to my words, O Lord. 
Draw me up from the water, out from the darkened pit.
Spread your protection over me,
cover me with favour as with a shield.
Hide me in your shelter.
You remember me.
You lead me.
You restore me.
You are the stronghold of life.
I respond in a stillness that knows You are God.
So, I fret not, waiting patiently, forsaking anxiety. 
You cause broken bones to rejoice
and grant dry and fainting flesh satisfaction.
My mouth overflows with reverent praise.
I will not fear.
With lifted hands, I praise your name. 
The heavens declare your glory. 
The sky proclaims your handiwork.
I sing.
You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

As Mistletoe Mission releases, exposing my heart and making me vulnerable, I am choosing to be still. I will not fear. I lift my hands and praise the God who has gifted me this passion to write for His glory and fame. 


Order your copy of Mistletoe Mission and rediscover the God of Christmas miracles.

Get your copy at
Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk

The Mission of Mistletoe Mission

In one week, you can return to Mistletoe Meadows and visit Quentin, Melody and Janie. This Christmas, Melody’s good friend, Emily, is planning Travis and Leah’s wedding in Mistletoe Mission. You might remember Emily from her brief appearance in the FREE micro-read Under the Summer Mistletoe where she organizes Quentin and Melody’s July wedding. (Download links are at the bottom of this post.)

What you don’t know, is that much in Mistletoe Misson is inspired by real people and organizations. For example, the small start-up business in Mistletoe Mission is based on this AMAZING organization.

Little by Little, founded by Isabel Stigge, is a business as mission organization, through Crossworld, committed to keeping families together in Haiti. Before starting Little by Little six years ago, Isabel worked as a volunteer in a Haitian orphanage, where she learned that about 80% of children in orphanages have families who need a way to generate income to keep their families together.

 

Unfortunately, 1 in 4 children in Haiti do not live with their families, and they are vulnerable to working in servitude, child-trafficking, or being sent to orphanages. Little by Little is working actively to improve this statistic and keep families together!

The goal of Little by Little is to create a self-sustaining business for caregivers in Haiti, by training them as artisans so they can generate income and keep their families together. The artisans create beautiful products in an environment that gives them a sense of dignity.  The beautiful jewelry and home decor items produced in Haiti are sold in Haiti, Canada and the USA.

Product revenue financially sustains Little by Little, but they are also very dependent on the Lord’s provision through financial partners who help carry the cost burden of operating in two countries. Little by Little currently supports 22 families and has kept 150 children out of orphanages and with their families, and it continues to stay on mission to see these numbers grow! 


In Mistletoe Mission, Luca brings these beautiful Morse code bracelets home from his trip to Haiti, and they play an important role in the story. But you’ll have to read to story to find out how. As a fun bonus, I’m giving away a Morse Code bracelet on my Celebrate Lit blog tour (Dec 20-Jan 2). Entry details and links will come in a later post.

While her own relationships always end up doomed, Emily Colt is still determined to create happily-ever-afters through her wedding and event planning business. In hopes of expanding, she enters her latest project–staging the Christmas wedding of the year–into a town-wide contest. But between crossing paths with the first man to break her heart and dodging a saboteur, she doubts success is within her grasp.

Jilted pastor, Luca Wilson, fled to the mission field to escape a broken heart. All the hurt rushes back when he returns home to officiate his cousin’s wedding, and he finds Emily–the girl to whom he once promised forever–organizing the celebration. 

Despite Luca’s lost faith in love, their unforeseen reunion rekindles a spark, and Luca vows to help Emily save her struggling business. But to succeed, they will have to learn what it means to trust each other and believe in the God of Christmas miracles.

Friends in Canada can pre-order Mistletoe Mission on Amazon.ca

American friends can pre-order on Amazon.com.

UK friends can pre-order on Amazon.co.uk


Don’t miss the FREE micro-read Under the Summer Mistletoe. Links for Canadian, American and UK friends are below. I hope you enjoy this free short story as my early Christmas gift to you.

Canadian friends

American friends

UK friends

Stacey’s books are available at several other quality book providers.

The Legacy of Anne Dutton

Anne Dutton lived from 1692-1765, a time when women were discouraged from being authors, something I find curious, as a female author. Amidst this tension, Anne wrote, “not for fame but for only the glory of God, and the good of souls.”[1] She published 50 plus books over her lifetime, all the while wrestling with whether it was biblical for a woman to be an author. She argued that since her books were intended for private reading of believers, she was not in violation 1 Timothy 2:12.[2]

Anne’s life and ministry are chronicled in chapter three of the book, 8 Women of Faith, by Michael A.G. Haykin. Her story is a warm hug from a kindred spirit because I know this struggle. I’ve wondered if I grappled alone or if other women in ministry, other authors, have wrestled with when and where to speak and when and where to remain quiet. I’ve spent much time these past few months studying the Word, praying, and examining my heart. What motivates me to write? Am I teachable when corrected? Do I truly desire to lift the name of Christ higher than the name on the cover of my books?

I’ve learned from Anne that speaking up might be necessary no matter how uncomfortable it may make me feel. She boldly critiqued theological positions of her day that threatened the integrity of the gospel. She corresponded with many leaders, gently challenging them while remaining respectful. Her final days on earth have been said to illustrate Ps 92:12-14 and Gal 5:22. Anne flourished like the palm tree, bringing forth fruit in her old age of seventy-four, exhibiting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.[3]

O Lord, I pray it may it be said of me that when my days are done and all that remains is the legacy of my words that every written word and every spoken word has been for the glory and fame of Jesus Christ. May I be remembered for a teachable spirit, for speaking in gentleness, correcting in love, and always respectful of the authority placed over me. When I quiver on the precipice of eternity, may there still be much fruit, much evidence that anything good that came from my life was and is the work of the Spirit in me. 


[1] Michael A. G. Haykin, 8 Women of Faith, (Wheaton, Il: Crossway 2016), 58.

[2] Haykin, 8 Women, chapter 3.

[3] Haykin, 8 Women, 65.