Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spiritual Checkup, 3 Steps to Aging Gracefully, Giveaway!

The Spiritual Fitness Checkup
for the 50-Something Woman
by Sharon King, PhD
Retail: $8.95
Every 7 seconds, 
another “Baby Boomer” turns 50...
That’s a lot of “MIDLIFERS!” 

Along with many physical and emotional changes, 
midlife can bring a deluge of spiritual questions:
  • Where am I at this major milestone of my life?
  • Where am I headed?
  • How do I prepare for “later life?”
Organizing the book like a visit to the doctor’s office for a routine physical, Sharon presents 10 spiritual fitness “checkups” and exercises to help you take your own midlife “Spiritual Pulse Check.” You will learn how to:
  • Jettison unwanted spiritual baggage
  • View your midlife crisis from God’s perspective
  • Focus on forgiveness instead of anger
  • Conduct a spiritual lab test
  • Improve your spiritual stamina
  • Enhance your meditation time
  • Spiritualize your midlife self-image
These Spiritual Pulse Checks can be used by individuals or for group discussion points. It is Sharon’s hope that The Spiritual Fitness Checkup for the 50-Something Woman will help readers adopt the same attitude toward their spiritual health as they do their physical health, and strive to maintain a vibrant relationship with God.
Sharon V. King, PhD
Realizing that thousands of other “50-something” women may have the same feelings about their official entry into midlife, Sharon set out to apply her knowledge of aging to her spiritual questions and help other women find their way through the midlife maze and, revive (or discover) the joys that come from a closer walk with God at this unique crossroads of life.
Author Bio
Raised in an education-loving family, Dr. Sharon King came of age during the civil rights and women’s rights era of the 60s and 70s. She followed her family’s belief that education plus a deep commitment to God and service to others equals success. She earned a doctoral degree in sociology with a focus on religion and aging.

When Sharon crossed her own midlife threshold, she had an experience that prompted her to re-think what really mattered in life. To celebrate her 50th, she travelled to Washington, DC to research her grandfather’s genealogy at the Library of Congress and found herself in the middle of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. Rushing to leave the city and unable to take a flight back home to Atlanta, she drove her rental car 600 miles to get home. “I had plenty of time to think about life and just how quickly it can end,” she says. “That was when I took up journaling to do my own midlife review to see just where I stood with God.”

Dr. King has written three books, of which The Spiritual Fitness Checkup for the 50-Something Woman is the first to be published. Her two other books are currently under review by publishers. One is more autobiographical, titled Midlife Reflections from the 23rd Psalm. The second book is Meditations from the Spirituals for Today’s Working Woman.

An Atlanta resident, she works at a university coordinating international programs and sponsors a “Goats for Grandparents” charity that funds the purchase of goats for older women and their grandchildren in Kenya.

Sharon's love of writing is shared with other authors through her editorial service, King’s Ransom Writing and Editing Service and her blog " Women of Color Writing for Christ."
3 Steps to Aging Gracefully:
1. Enjoy the journey. Unfortunately, our youth-loving society has taught women to fear aging. Slowly but surely, the word is getting out that the second 50 years of life can be as fulfilling and possibly more exciting than the first.  
2. Remain flexible. Even though our second 50 years may be exciting, that doesn’t mean they won’t be full of change. We can choose to manage changes creatively and positively or be victim to them. We hear the word “reinvent” a lot for women facing midlife years. It’s more than media hype; it’s a spiritual doctrine. Who knows more about “making all things new” than God?  
       3. Don’t go it alone. We all should seek social support as we move into later  life, no matter our life status. That support may or may not come from our families. It may be in the form of a group or a single individual—face to face or across the internet. We gain perspective as we hear that others are traveling and have traveled this same journey. It’s essential we can avoid isolating ourselves, which can lead to depression. We can reach out to women in other cultures or with lifestyles very different from ours and learn just how universal this aging business really is. 
GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing....
You could win.....
a free copy of the The Spiritual Fitness Checkup for the 50-Something Woman: Ten Steps Toward Midlife Spiritual Health. As a bonus, you also will receive services from the author's editing business, King's Ransom Writing and Editing Service, for up to fifty pages of double-spaced manuscript (book, articles, etc.). With this giveaway, you will receive more than proofreading. Sharon also offers writing assistance, tips, points out bad writing habits, etc. It's a writing analysis as well as editing. This has a value of up to $350. But wait, there's more! You also will receive a special discount editing rate of fifty cents per page (Some editors charge $5 to $10 per page!) if you sign a full manuscript-editing contract with King’s Ransom. Quite the giveaway!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Leave a comment and you may win!

Bestselling Authors Join Forces Again
Call-Ins Welcome
Bestselling author Don Piper
(Bettendorf, IA) — Name that title. This book is now in its fifth year on the New York Times' bestseller list. It's sold more than five million copies and has been translated into 40+ languages. A feature film is in the works. The book? 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey.
Piper will join Murphey on the new Toginet online radio show, Cec And Me on Tuesday, December 7th. Tune in to learn how the authors connected—the birth of a multi-book project and their mutually-respected relationship. 
Listeners are welcome to call in with questions or comments, with opportunities to win free books. Piper and Murphey offer comfort and wisdom from their vast source of life experience with heartache, pain and loss. These men live out the phrase, “I feel your pain.” This show is certain to deliver grace-filled strength.
Call in details below!

More about The Cec And Me Show:
Billed as a delightful, thoughtful, serious, and not so serious call-in show with Cecil (Cec) Murphey and Twila Belk, the show promises a blend of fun and a variety of topics, including tough issues such as cancer, caregiving, and sexual abuse, as well as lighter topics such as writing and Christmas miracles.

The far-reaching, refreshing, faith-based, shared conversation and call-in show offers:
  • An inside look at the “Man Behind the Words.” This patriarch in the publishing industry shares from his life of words—over 100 books and going strong.
  • Special guests who've been impacted by Cec in some way—people who in turn impact others—authors, speakers, pastors, ministry leaders and more.
  • A wide range of topics—tough issues, practical helps, encouragement, inspiration, hope, and some fun thrown in for good measure.
  • The opportunity to call in with your questions and comments.
About Cecil (Cec) Murphey
Bestselling author Cec Murphey
Murphey is an international speaker and bestselling author who has written or co-written more than 100 books, including Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold millions and have given hope and encouragement to countless people around the world. Many writers claim Murphey as their mentor or the father of their writing. 

Gotta Tell Somebody Gal!
About Twila Belk
Belk is a writer, inspirational speaker, and conference director who also works fulltime with Murphey as his manager and personal assistant. She serves as the show’s host.
Check out this clip for more details of Cec And Me:
Show Details:
Tune in to Cec And Me every Tuesday evening, 7-8 CT/8-9 ET at
The call-in number is 877-864-4869.
All shows archived for your listening pleasure.

Leave a comment and you may be chosen in a random drawing for 90 Minutes in Heaven or Christmas Miracle book giveaway!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


    " I've told my kids for years that God doesn't make mistakes," writes Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Grammy award winning recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman. In a 2008 accident at their family home, the Chapmans lost a precious child and Mary Beth wrestled with God in a big way. 

     I didn't realize how much she struggled with hopelessness and depression until she spoke out on a recent tour - Night with the Chapmans. I guess somehow it's easy to think such a successful and strong-faithed family wouldn't bleed like normal people do. But they are human too. No amount of money eases a hurting heart. She said their prayer from the beginning was asking God that they SEE what He wanted to do in these unthinkable circumstances.
   As I listened, I remembered a time when my son was taken away by an arresting officer. My unthinkable circumstance. 
    Almost instantly I choose HOPE rather than fear. Hope is expecting something good in the bad. Fear is just expecting something bad. Fear would have blinded me to what God wanted to do.
    HOPE allowed me to SEE the heart of God and KNOW He had purpose in the pain. 
    Choose HOPE. Choose to SEE. Choose to Know.
Click here to view an interview with Mary Beth Chapman as she talks about her new book - Choosing to SEE : A Journey of Struggle and Hope


Friday, June 11, 2010

Power Failure

Running the washer, dryer and hair dryer at the same time blows a fuse at our house. I run to the basement, in the dark because basement lights are on that circuit too, and flip the breaker switch. When power fails, everything comes to a halt!

What is your power source....job, family, church? When that power fails, does your world stop? Do you feel like you are left in the dark and are afraid of the next step?

I was recently reminded from a man named Nehemiah where to find the real power source - one that won't fail.

Nehemiah (2:2) went to the king. Right away the king noticed Nehemiah was depressed. The king called it 'sadness of heart.' Nehemiah became afraid because to be sad in front of the king was not allowed!

With respect, Nehemiah decided to be honest with his pain and talk to the king. The king asked "What do you want?" In a heartbeat, Nehemiah did three things:
  • He trusted God
  • He obeyed God
  • He asked for wisdom from God
Then Nehemiah asked the king to go and rebuild the city. He also asked for everything he needed to do the job. Everything he needed to fulfill the dream. Verse 8:
"And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my request."

Do you have an unfulfilled dream? Have you acknowledged God as your Power Source and Giver of Gifts? Replace your fear and 'sadness of heart' through  trusting God, obedience and wisdom.

May his gracious hand be upon you and grant your request!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quad City Christian Writers' Conference

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A compassionate message to anyone affected by grief...

Don't miss anything...

About the Book
About the Author
Personal Letters
Bonus Article
Table of Contents
Enter Grand Prize Giveaway!
Special Price at
Discount $9.34     Item #636810


Among comforting paintings by artist Michal Sparks, brief stories, personal experiences, and prayers offer a meaningful path toward healing for readers when they:

  • feel alone and lost in their grief and want to reconnect with others and to life

  • seek to make sense of their loss alongside their sense of faith, purpose, and God

  • want to honor their loved one without clinging to the past in unhealthy ways
Readers are given gentle permission to grapple with doubt, seek peace, and reflect on loss in their own way without judgment and with understanding and hope. A perfect gift for a loved one dealing with loss and grief.


Liz Allison was married to NASCAR driver Davey Allison until his tragic death in 1993. Widowed at 28 with two young children to raise, Liz faced the long journey of pain, loss, and grief with great faith. Committed to encouraging others, she returned to her work in TV reporting, has published eight books, and hosts a weekly radio show. Please visit

Cecil Murphey is an international speaker and bestselling author who has written more than 100 books, including New York Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper). No stranger himself to loss and grief, Cecil has served as a pastor and hospital chaplain for many years, and through his ministry and books he has brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world.

Please visit

PERSONAL LETTERS -  Why We Write About Loss
On the morning of July 12, 1992, my husband, Davey, left home like any other morning—he kissed my forehead and hugged our kids.That afternoon I answered a knock at the door, sensing something wasn’t quite right. When I glimpsed the faces of Davey’s two best friends—they didn't have to speak—the looks on their faces said it all.

That day, after lunch with his race team, Davey had hopped into his helicopter and taken an unplanned trip to the nearby Talladega Superspeedway to watch a buddy practice. Attempting to land in the infield, he had lost control of his helicopter and crashed. Although paramedics airlifted Davey to a Birmingham hospital, sixteen hours later he was pronounced dead.

Immediately following Davey’s death, I had to work through my grief enough to plan his funeral and make hundreds of small-but-significant decisions, all while maintaining the time and energy to care for our two young children, ages one and three. Well-wishing friends hovered around me and frequently asked, “What can I do for you?

Most of the time, I could only respond with a blank stare. Looking back, my friends could have done many things for me, but they didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what to tell them.

I hope the insights I have gained during the aftermath of Davey’s death will help you as you struggle with your own grief.


Two weeks after my father suffered a ministroke, a massive stroke took his life. On the day of his funeral, my older brother, Ray, died of cancer. Over the next eighteen months, I lost two brothers-in-law and my mother.

On the Sunday after Dad’s and Ray’s funerals, a parishioner rushed up to me, hugged me, and said, “Pastor, I heard about the deaths. Were they saved?”

I honestly don’t remember what I answered, but I wanted to shout, “Does it matter right now? I hurt. I’m so filled with pain that I’m not sure I can handle the worship service today!”

In 2007, our house burned down. Our son-in-law, Alan, died in the fire. The next day, a neighbor pulled up in front of our burned house, got out of his car, and started to look around. “Where did he die?” he asked.

Through the years, I’ve met many like those two people. Maybe they didn’t know what to say. Perhaps they were so focused on what they cared about that they were unaware of my pain. Instead of helping me, those comments made me feel even worse. What I needed was compassion. I didn’t get that from either of them, but I can offer it to you.

That’s why we’ve written this book.


Words of Comfort for Times of Loss
Little Joys
                                                           You're Not Alone
One Simple Thing
Accepting Help
Make It Go Away
Why Did You Leave Me?
If Only I Had
What's Wrong With Self-pity?
Perfect Grieving
Am I Crazy?
Material Possessions
Facing Those Special Days
Words of Comfort for Times of Loss
Heaven Is Real
Gift Edition, 90 Minutes in Heaven
Journal       Pens   Potato soup   Oyster crackers    Dove silky smooth milk chocolate
ultra-plush spa socks     large gel eye mask

This special grandprize giveaway is designed especially for someone going through a difficult time. The winner can keep or pass along to someone who could use the pick-me-up.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Depression is contagious

TMZ posted this headline 2/28/10: Marie Osmond Son: Suicide note shows sadness. Michael Blosil jumped to his death to end his 'torment' from depression.

It is a familiar story to Patricia Gallagher, author of No More Secrets- A Family Speaks About Depression, Anxiety and Attempted Suicide. Her husband, John, faced uncertainty at work and anxiety landed him in the hospital where he jumped from an open window. John survived. That landing from 40 feet brought pain to the entire family in ways they never imagined. Quickly a web of lies began to maintain appearances as that happy family featured on Oprah a few years earlier when life was good.

Patricia Gallagher and her family appeared in a segment about her book Raising Happy Kids on a Reasonable Budget. A dream come true for any author and her family!
 Today, the family tells a different story about depression and it's ripple effect on family members. They have found healing and peace as they help other families facing depression, addictions and difficult situations.

I asked Patricia to share her thoughts in a recent interview:

How can you relate to Marie Osmond's son suffering from depression and chosing to end his life?

I honestly, am finding that I feel too deeply when I hear about tragedies such as the Osmond family. When it's someone's child, it is almost too much for me. I think because of writing the book, and doing all of the research....I have found this type of tragedy is more common that I could ever have imagined. It is so heartbreaking.

What gets you through those unthinkable circumstances?

For me, I kept running, running, running, being busy...then I discovered a true faith in God to help me. I went to church and was a 'good person' but during all that was happening with John and the residual effect on our family, financially and emotionally, I had to really hold on to God as my anchor. I started writing prayers/poems. As I look back, I realize they were 'desperate housewife's ' plea for heavenly assistance. That is how the Team of Angels Project began.

How does a loved one with depression effect those around them?

Depression seems to be contagious. We were all affected because of John's negativity and pervasive sadness. It wasn't his fault because depression is a disease, but in our case, it was not being treated, because we didn't have a name for what was happening. We just didn't know why he was acting the way he was. I was frustrated.

What are some ways family members can stay emotionally healthy while
 living with someone suffering from depression.

Find a support group; tell other people; reach out for help at church, friends, relatives; seek counsel; join on-line communities to vent.

Patricia suggests organizations like NAMI, Depression Bi-Polar Support Alliance and Mental Health America for help. Other resources are listed on their website From there visit their on-line community blog and find book ordering information.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Awesome Bond of Sisters PLUS Eight tips to maintain relationships with sis!

 The Awesome Bond of Sisters

by Virginia Smith

Having a sister is like having a best friend
you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do,
they'll still be there. --Amy Li

My middle sister and I fought like wildcats when we were growing up. One of my most vivid childhood memories is of being forcibly separated during an argument and banished to sit together on the living room couch with orders not to get up until we could get along. I huddled against one arm and resigned myself to living on that two-foot square cushion for the next eleven years, when I would turn eighteen and could get my own apartment. After an eternity, Mom entered the room to mediate. “Girls,” she said, “you are sisters. There will never be another person in the world more closely related to you than your sister. So you’d better learn to get along, because someday one of you might need a kidney.” Not, perhaps, the most convincing argument for reconciliation ever presented, but it worked. For the moment, anyway.

A woman has many relationships in her life, but the bond between sisters is unique. There is the biological link, but the connection goes beyond that. Sisters enjoy a shared past. They experienced many of the same events that molded their personalities, and therefore they understand one another in a way no one else can. They speak the same shorthand. If one of my sisters says, “I know! Let’s put on a show!” we all laugh, because we remember the first time one of us said that, and the resulting spectacle that has become family legend.

Sisters “get” each other without having to go into all the background. When I’ve had an argument with my husband, I can call my sisters and say, “He doesn’t want a puppy. I think I may divorce him.” My sisters understand my reaction immediately, because they remember witnessing our parents’ argument over the same subject. They can talk me down from the ledge, and away from the divorce attorneys. And they will do this even if I call them at three o’clock in the morning, with only a minimum amount of grumbling about the loss of sleep.

Psychologist Marcia Millman, author of The Perfect Sister, said during an interview, “I think sisters can help repair the injuries of childhood.” That’s certainly been true in my family. Whenever we get together, our husbands cover yawns and eventually slip away to the other room to watch a ballgame while we rehash events of our childhood, and discuss how they have impacted us as adults. Often I come away with a new perspective and a better attitude, so gatherings with my sisters are sort of like group therapy sessions. Only less expensive.

While it’s true that we share a common past, even sisters experience different events while growing up in the same household. I like to remind both of my sisters that, being the oldest, I blazed the trail for them. They both got their ears pierced sooner than I did, and wore lipstick, and shaved their legs. They were both allowed to date at an earlier age than I was, and stay out later. There are ten years between my youngest sister and me, so by the time she became a teenager, I had successfully driven our parents into a state of exhausted stupor, and she got to do pretty much whatever she wanted. (Which I still think is totally unfair, but that’s the way it is in most families, I’ve learned.) I think she owes me big-time.

My sisters and I do still have the occasional conflict. Author Linda Sunshine said, “If you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.” Our arguments don’t become physical anymore (we all understand the importance of good hair now, so we are no longer tempted to grab a handful), but these days, being at odds with one of my sisters is far more painful than our childhood brawls.

Several years ago, my middle sister and I had a disagreement and didn’t speak to each other for a few days. I was miserable without her, but we both stubbornly refused to back down. While cooking dinner one evening, I dropped a glass measuring cup she had given me, and it shattered. When it did, my stubbornness broke into a million pieces. My husband brought the phone to me where I sat sobbing on the floor, surrounded by shards of glass, and said sternly, “Call your sister.” Never has a reunion been so sweet.

Someone once said that relationships between siblings are the most long-lasting and influential of all. My sisters have been a part of my life longer than my husband or my children, and they will be part of my life even after our parents are gone. They know me, and understand me, and they like me anyway. They’re one of the best blessings God has given me. And as Mom said, if I ever do need a kidney, I know who to call.

Virginia Smith is the author of a dozen Christian novels including the Sister-to-Sister Series, which is based in large part on her relationship with her own sisters. Stuck in the Middle was a finalist for the 2009 ACFW Book of the Year award. Her newest book, Third Time’s a Charm, the third and final book in the series, is now available wherever books are sold. Learn more about Ginny and her books, and enter a Prize Bonanza Giveaway, at 
Paperback: 336 pages    Publisher: Revell    Release: January 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 0800732340  ISBN-13: 978-0800732349
Retail: $14.99

8 Tips for Maintaining a Relationship with your Sister

In today’s busy world, it’s easy to let a relationship slide. That’s true regardless of whether you live nearby or far apart. Here are some tips for maintaining a strong relationship with your sister.

Scheduled Phone Calls – Communication is the key to any relationship, so don’t leave it to chance. Select a specific day each week for an uninterrupted phone call. Put your sister on your cell phone “Favorites” so you can talk free.

Text Messages – Texting is the preferred method of communication for one of my sisters. Be sure you have unlimited texts on your cell phone plan.

Utilize the Internet – Email and social networking sites like Facebook are wonderful ways to stay connected. On Goodreads and LibraryThing you can keep track of what your sister is reading, too.

Skype – If you both have a computer with a camera, this software allows you see each other while you talk – and it’s free.

Letters – Email is wonderful, but there’s nothing like reading your sister’s words in her own handwriting.

Cards – Next time you browse the card shelves, pick up several funny ones and tuck them away in a drawer. Send one every so often to surprise your sister with a laugh.

Sister SleepoversEven if you live near one another, there’s nothing like getting away from it all with your sister. Schedule an annual sleepover at a lodge, or hotel, or even at someone’s house. Leave the kids at home, and focus on having fun with each other.

Start a Tradition – Create a tradition you share only with your sister. For instance, my sister and I exchange ugly ornaments at Christmas every year. We spend months shopping for the ugliest ornament we can find, and love the competition of seeing who “wins” that year.

                                 Hi ginny