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Monty Hobbs

Monty’s Book:

* For more information on his book, click the pic above

About the Author:

Monty is a retiree from the United States Army, husband for nearly five decades, father of three, grandpa of nine, and at last count great grandpa of one. He saw the forty-eight contiguous states and southern Canada from behind the windshield of an eighteen-wheeler for over seven and a half years. Monty is a certified lay speaker, deacon, licensed minister and led a men’s group study that centered primarily on discipleship. While his first book, Small Steps to Understand a Big Gospel, did not come to him in a dream, it did prevent him from sleeping one night until he got out of bed and hammered out the introduction to the book. As a recently developing blogger he is excited and enjoying learning and appreciating just what it takes to publish a blog that will interest the public and draw them back to his site on return visits to hear more about our amazing God and His gospel. You can read his blog here: https://montyghobbs.blogspot.com/.

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Donna Arlynn Frisinger

Donna’s Book:


* For more information on her book, click the pic above

About the Author:

Donna Frisinger has spent her life teaching, creating, performing, and nurturing children both inside and outside the classroom through own her private fine-arts academy and in directing state and national champion dance teams. Jesus Lovers from the 1970’s, she and her husband live in rural Indiana where they enjoy hiking, spoiling their nephews and nieces, and riding their trusty steads (retro-looking Schwinn bicycles) throughout the lay of the land.

First Name Acrostic:

Dances with God

Oasis of Creativity

Nature Lover

Naughty but Nice

Always ready for New Adventures

Travel Bucket List Items:

In the U.S.A. — The River Walk in San Antonio, Texas; the Rose Bowl Parade

Outside the U.S.A. — Switzerland/Austria

An adventure — Revisiting the Holy Land

An Accomplishment She’s Proud Of:

I organize a community-wide Bible Reading Marathon on Rochester’s Courthouse Lawn which resulted in the traveling performing group my husband I directed being invited to Washington D.C. to perform for the National Day of Prayer Breakfast.

Five Favorites:

Movie – The Greatest Showman

Childhood Gift – A 1960’s reel-to-reel tape recorder so she could record herself singing

Drink – Chai Tea Latte

Book – The Zion Chronicles by Brock and Bodie Thoene

Season – Autumn

Website: donnafrisinger.com

Coming soon: 

Bink and Slinky’s Ark Adventure

Bink and Slinky’s Pyramid Adventure

Bink and Slinky’s Christmas Adventure: The Musical

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C. S. Elston

Chris’ Books:

* For more information on his books, click the pics above

About the Author:

Chris Elston has worked as a writer in various mediums, including the film and television industry, since the 1990’s. He primarily grew up in the northern suburbs of Seattle, Washington, went to college about twenty-five miles southwest of Portland, Oregon and then lived in the Los Angeles area for fifteen years. He now resides in Prescott Valley, Arizona with his wife and business partner, Andrea. Together, they own and operate Shine-A-Light Corp, which includes a publishing house, and a non-profit organization called Shine the Light Ministries.

First Name Acrostic:

Christ follower

Husband

Rambunctious on occasion

Imaginative

Saved by the 5 solas

Travel Bucket List Items:

In the U.S.A. — I’d like to take a road trip through the northern states because I haven’t been east of Montana and north of Illinois/Indiana as an adult. We could turn around and head back once we stopped for a “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate” at the iconic Serendipity3 between Second and Third avenues in New York City.

Outside the U.S.A. — Israel.

An adventure — I’m typically just happy to survive the day.

An Accomplishment He’s Proud Of:

Finding the most amazing woman on the planet and somehow convincing her to marry me.

Five Favorites:

Movie – The Shawshank Redemption

Music – Christian, Classic Rock, Country

Food – Pizza, steak

Book – After God’s Word, that’s like a 50-way tie and I’m not going to list them all

Vacation spot – Hawaii, Lake Chelan (Eastern Washington State)

“Family Photos”

Website: cselston.com

Coming soon: The Four Corners of Winter

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Andrea Elston

Andrea’s Books:

* For more information on her books, click the pics above

About the Author:

Andrea Elston was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She has taught at the elementary level for 20+ years and also creates educational resources for Shine-A-Light Press. She and her husband Chris live in Prescott Valley, Arizona and love seeing the sky for more than 3 months out of the year!

First Name Acrostic:

A born-again believerNorthwest native, Arizona transplantDrinks way too much coffeeResponsible (or at least tries to be)Educator and…Advocate for truth

Travel Bucket List Items: Statue of Liberty, Quebec or Paris (anywhere she can practice her high-school French,) and somewhere to see the northern lights and stay in an ice-hotel.

An Accomplishment She’s Proud Of: She just recently made over 200 desserts for her niece’s wedding, turning a fun hobby into something that was able to bless the happy couple. It was definitely challenging, especially since it was 100 degrees that day (quite uncharacteristic for Washington in June), but she made it work!

Five Favorites:

Movie: The Fugitive

Childhood Gift: a Cabbage Patch preemie named Caroline Tabitha

Coffee Drink: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

Season: Fall

Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“Family Photos”

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Michele Renee DeRouin

Michele’s Books:

Coming Soon: Swimming From the Shadows

* For more information on her books, click the pics above

About the Author

After growing up in Bakersfield, California, Michele earned a degree in Child Psychology and spent twenty years working in social services. In 2001, she moved to the mountains of Arizona where she learned to hunt, fish, and rock climb. During that time, she felt God moving her to write a book. In 2017, she moved to the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where she retired from social work and began to write her first novel.

Michele has two grown children and one grandchild. In addition to her love for the outdoors, Michele enjoys painting with watercolors and digital mediums and has sold over 200 pieces of art. Her strong faith in God has helped her to overcome many obstacles and her heartache inspired much of her first book, Cracks in the Floor of Heaven. Michele has also been blessed with many gifts from God, who has taught her how to have joy despite pain and hope in the midst of hardship. She remains an optimist, has a heart for helping others, and plans to write many more books that she hopes will bring light into the darkness and healing into the lives of hurting people.

First Name Acrostic:

My faith keeps me

In the light because I am

Chosen for a purpose

Helping others creates an

Ease in trusting God and

Loving others makes

Everyday special

Travel Bucket List Items: All of the Hawaiian islands, New Zealand, and the national parks.

An Accomplishment She’s Proud Of: Her move to Hawaii.

Five Favorites:

Hobby: Swimming and body surfing

Food: Fish tacos

Music: For King and Country and ’80’s tunes

Movie: Burnt

Season: Summer

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Chrisann Dawson

Chrisann’s Books:

Coming Soon: CONGO EBOLA

* For more information on her books, click the pics above

About the Author

Chrisann and her husband Gale, along with their three children, lived in the Congo, Africa (formerly Zaire) for seven years doing mission work. They learned the Lingala language, became emerged in the culture, and established lifelong friendships with the Congolese people, who continue to do the work of their non-profit mission, Rise Congo.

Now living in Payson, Arizona, Chrisann works part-time for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, doing vision and hearing screenings for preschool children in her county. She also works as a member of a chaplain team with Gale at Payson Christian Clinic, and she continues to pursue her writing dreams.

First Name Acrostic:

Classic

His handiwork

Risen with Christ

Idealistic

Sense but not Sensibility

Abundantly blessed

Noble

Nice (most days)

Travel Bucket List Items: Tombstone, Antelope Canyon, and a cruise among the Hawaiian islands.

An Accomplishment She’s Proud Of: Her marriage and family. Additionally, she’s thankful for her great circle of friends.

Five Favorites:

First cup of coffee; a brand new journal; her kids;  her friends; and, her main character, James, who now lives out the adventures she’s too tired to continue having.

Website: https://www.chrisanndawson.com/

“Family Photos”

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Mary C. Carroll

Mary’s Books:

* For more information on her books, click the pics above

About the Author

Mary has a four-year degree in electro-mechanical engineering from Miami University and a master’s in education from Xavier University. She was fortunate enough to earn a blended online learning certificate from the University of Cincinnati and retains a current teaching certificate in the state of Ohio for 7-12 math.

Having homeschooled her three children, who are all grown up, married, and now providing her with grandchildren, Mary credits God for training her, without her even realizing it, to launch His Vessel Academy, which provides live, online, interactive education. Specifically, the school’s mission is to illuminate the connection between mathematics and the Creator by integrating every mathematical subject, topic, and concept into a framework that glorifies God.

​“All the curriculum was created with God’s knowledge and my pen.  I can honestly say I had no idea God said so much about math.  I have been involved with math most of my life and love it.  I am only now learning about math through God’s eyes and I have to admit it is sometimes mind-blowing.  He has challenged me to really look for Him in my math curriculum and He has never disappointed in showing me some amazing ideas.” – Mary C. Carroll

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Spring

by Andrea M. Elston

I generally love this season…the longer days, the warmer weather, the birds singing, etc! Spring and summer are not without their issues, though, for sure: allergies, taxes, and the one thing I dread the most…the abundance of insects that seem to appear out of thin air and seek to steal my joy! Real insects give me the creeps, but if you make them out of soft, fuzzy material, stuff them with small beads, and give them a name, somehow, they are now not only acceptable, but adorable! If you were part of the Beanie Baby era, you are sure to remember a particularly darling insect: a ladybug named Lucky.

This was my first Beanie Baby in what came to be a small obsession. I stood in line with moms and grandmas who were under the same impression that I was…that these were going to be worth an amazing amount of money someday if you kept them in pristine condition (AKA didn’t enjoy them at all). Well, for the most part, that did not come to pass. You can now find Lucky at a variety of garage sales, thrift shops, and flea markets, and if you’re “lucky” you can buy her for much less than she was originally “worth.”

The value of something is truly in the eye of the beholder. I am so thankful that my worth has nothing to do with what happens in this world. God reminds us in His Word:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~ Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

Take a moment and reflect on the things in your life that have real value: faith, family, friends, and freedom. Those will never lose their worth and should be protected and held on to at all costs. Be brave and do not let fear (even of insects) steal your joy! “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power, and love, and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7-8 (NAS) There are so many other scriptures that remind us not to fear, but here are a few of my favorites: Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10, 13; Psalm 56:3.

If your child(ren)/students need a lesson in bravery and hanging on to what is really important, read them Bubba and Trixie by Lisa Campbell Ernst. This darling book will be enjoyed by all ages, but really gives kids the boost they may need to grow in their confidence. It’s not a bad reminder for adults either! If you have read this book before, you will understand the recommendation. If you are not familiar with the title, you are in for a treat. I especially love the word choice and find myself laughing out loud at parts. I hope you love it as much as I do and find it helpful! There are so many lessons you can extrapolate from this sweet story! Enjoy!

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Gratitude

by Andrea M. Elston

There is always a mixed amalgam of feelings that accompany the ending of one season and the beginning of another. The end of summer is no exception. No one can quite capture in words the bitter-sweet emotions that come with the thoughts of saying goodbye to warm weather, vacations, and freedom from routine, with the anticipation of the upcoming school year: new books (does anything beat that “new book” smell?), new friends, new knowledge, new experiences, and new routines. Whether you are experiencing this yourself or vicariously through a child, this time of year can cause a sense of loss and sadness and even fear. I have found that the most effective way to treat these emotions before they take over is through gratitude.

Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians: …(Give) thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (5:20 ESV)

Be grateful for all things as a gift from God.

Do you see the people in your life as a gift from God? 

Do you see the experiences in your life as a gift from God? 

 Thanksgiving is applying value to something and someone. Those that you value will sense it! That is why the simple act of applying thanksgiving to the people in your lives will transform your relationships.

Maybe this summer didn’t go quite as you had planned and your feelings toward summer have been tainted by illness, loss of a job, a sudden move, or a damaged relationship. Or maybe this season had some of the best moments of your life so far and you see the beginning of the school year as a force threatening to take away all that is good and pleasing and comfortable. Whatever your situation, I urge you to view the events of the last few months through the lens which God intended… gratitude. God is the author and the giver of life, each one of our breaths is authored by Him. As His child and as a follower of His Son, that is how we should live our lives.

A famous quote from Cicero states: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” That is comforting and convicting at the same time! If we are to see ourselves as virtuous, or at least aspire to be, we have to start with gratitude, and all other virtues will be birthed from it.

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV-emphasis mine)

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Give Thanks

by C. S. Elston

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

2020 has been a crazy, difficult year. Is there anyone on the planet who disagrees with that statement? I doubt it.

Still, I have so much to be thankful for: a roof over my head, food to eat, a car to drive, an educated background, friends and family that I love and who love me back (including the most amazing wife a guy could ever dream of,) and, most importantly (yes, even more so than that beautiful, gracious wife,) the hope of eternity with my Creator. A lot of that probably sounds like obvious stuff but, it’s good for the soul to express it anyway. The Bible instructs us to give thanks for many reasons, but I will briefly focus on two.

First, it honors and glorifies God.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Revelation 4:11 (ESV)

Second, it puts our focus on the blessings in life and gives us a more positive outlook.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

Quite simply, giving thanks is a healthier way to live than the alternative.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

It’s important to remember these things as we head into what might be the most difficult Thanksgiving holiday we’ve ever experienced. With that in mind, please allow me to end this on a lighter note and one of my favorite subjects: food.

We all look forward to the turkey. Well, most of us do anyway. A lot of people look forward to the desert, too. Of course, you don’t have to pick just one item to look forward to about the greatest American meal of the year (yes, even 2020.) But, if I was forced to, mine would have to be a side dish. No, it’s not the cranberry sauce or even the mashed-potatoes and gravy. The latter is high on the list, however. My favorite would have to be my mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole. So, I got special permission to share the recipe. It’s so good, it just wouldn’t be fair to keep it to ourselves.

Ingredients

2 cups of mashed Princella canned Sweet Potatoes — drain the syrup before mashing

4 tablespoons of softened butter or margarine

2 eggs

1 cup of milk

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Dash of salt

2/3 cup of sugar

Directions (part one)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine above ingredients. Mix well. Place in greased casserole dish and bake for approximately half of an hour. Remove from oven.

Topping Ingredients

6 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine

1/2 cup of chopped nuts

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of flour

Directions (part two)

Combine topping ingredients. Mix well. Cover casserole with the topping mixture and place back in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove and serve. This dish should take care of about 8 people. But, if you love it as much as my family does, you may have to drop that number to 6 . . . maybe even lower . . . I actually prefer this to most of the pies. Enjoy and have a happy Thanksgiving!