Etched … Upon My Heart

January 22, 2013

What We Learn and Why We Never Forget

Etched Upon My Heart, Jill Kelly

Every Christian parent today wrestles with the challenge of how to raise kids in a God-honoring, morally sound way. In ETCHED … UPON MY HEART, Jill Kelly offers up the unforgettable episodes of her life-some sorrowful, others filled with joy-as a “living epistle” to her daughters. For the many other Christian mothers who also long to pass on their hard-won knowledge of God’s steadfast love and healing grace to their children, Kelly’s down-to-earth reflections provide an inspiring example.

As she writes, “God will break our hearts, but He will hold the pieces. He will cradle us and redeem every tear we cry.” Although great personal pain-her young son Hunter’s death, her husband’s infidelity-informs these pages, Kelly’s story is ultimately one of forgiveness, reconciliation, and hope. Through the moments in time that Jill Kelly recounts, readers will recognize the daily reality and eternal value of God’s plan for their own lives.

Etched … Upon My Heart, Jill Kelly [link]
Published by FaithWords: January 22, 2013


God Loves Ugly

September 4, 2012

& love makes beautiful

God Loves Ugly, Christa Black

Whenever Christa Black looked in the mirror, she was waging a war with herself. Her hatred of her face and body drove her, as a young woman, into frantic overachievement, addiction, and an eating disorder that landed her in rehab. A preacher’s kid, she’d grown up imagining God as a “thou shalt not” tyrant. It was only when she miraculously discovered God’s unconditional love for her–physical imperfections, moral failings, and all–that she finally began to accept herself. As she tells her story, Christa shares the tools she uses to combat the self-rejection that harms so many people’s lives.

In this raw testimony, Christa Black takes women on a step-by-step journey of faith and positive belief to reveal that if God loves ugly, then we can too.

God Loves Ugly, Christa Black [link]
Published by FaithWords: September 4, 2012

Join the conversation on Twitter with @christablack and @FaithWords: #godlovesugly

You can find Christa online at and on Facebook.

Love Out Loud Devotional App Available

November 16, 2011

Joyce Meyer’s latest devotional, Love Out Loud, is available as an app in the iTunes store.


In the LOVE OUT LOUD DEVOTIONAL app, Joyce Meyer speaks to readers about what the Bible teaches us about love. If one had to choose a single verse in the Bible that is a formula for successful living, this would be the one to live by, says Joyce Meyer: love God, yourself and others – in that order.

This daily app will help you in your walk to love God, yourself and others. This app has a devotion search feature, daily push notifications, and the ability to read the entire devotion at once if you prefer.

Click HERE to find the app on iTunes.

LOVE OUT LOUD, by Joyce Meyer
FaithWords, November 2, 2011
Find LOVE OUT LOUD on Facebook and used #loveoutloud on Twitter!

Love Out Loud Devotional, Joyce Meyer

November 2, 2011

365 Devotions for Loving God, Loving Yourself, and Loving Others

Love Out Loud, Joyce Meyer

Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” – Luke10:27

If one had to choose a single verse in the Bible that is a formula for successful living, this would be the one to live by, says Joyce Meyer: love God, yourself and others – in that order.

Love Out Loud, Joyce Meyer (link)
Published by FaithWords, November 2, 2011

If you’re on Twitter, follow @FaithWords and @JoyceMeyer and don’t forget to use #joycedevo or #loveoutloud in your tweets about the book!

Working it Out, by Abby Rike

May 4, 2011

A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope

Working it Out, Abby RikeIn 2006, Abby Rike lost the life she knew and loved when her husband and two young children were killed in a car accident.

In this riveting book, Abby tells her story–from her joyous life before the accident to the unbearable pain that followed it and her eventual emergence as a woman reinvigorated by her faith in God. Today Abby’s resilience and positivity are a testament to the power and importance of faith in the darkest hours.

Abby is well-known for her participation on the reality show The Biggest Loser.

Working it Out, Abby Rike (link)
Published by FaithWords, May 4, 2011

Chasing a Dream

December 2, 2010
Chasing Lilacs, Carla Stewart

Chasing Lilacs, a novel by Carla Stewart

Guest post from FaithWords author Carla Stewart, whose novel Chasing Lilacs was published on June 17, 2010. Her second novel, Broken Wings will pub in June 2011.

As a young girl in Texas, I didn’t think of my life as being anything but ordinary. My dad worked in a petroleum plant. My mom sold Avon so she could save up for a piano and pay for lessons for my two younger sisters and me. And more often than not, she spent any extra money on new dresses for us girls while she wore last year’s style.

Right before junior high, my dad built an addition onto our pint-sized two bedroom “company” house. Until that time I’d shared a room with my sisters, and I was excited at the prospect of having my own room once the addition was completed. That summer I found myself doing an array of odd jobs – pulling nails from boards, clamoring around on the steep-pitched roof handing shingles to my dad, and the thing I remember the most clearly: mixing concrete in a wheel barrow with a garden hoe while my dad added the right combination of sand and cement and squirted water from the rubber water hose until the consistency was just right. I was the one behind the hoe doing the mixing.

I don’t remember feeling like I was being overworked or mistreated as I looked forward to having my own room, and indeed, as soon as the sheetrock was up, my parents let me move into the east upstairs bedroom. I didn’t even care that it wasn’t finished. I tacked up my movie star posters, plugged in my clock radio, and let the breezes blow in my window while I dreamed of one day writing novels like those I loved to read.

But that’s all they were – dreams. A someday thing. “Other” people wrote books. I read them and only dreamed about writing. After all, my life hadn’t been particularly remarkable, and there was no single defining moment that I could tap into and write about.

Or was there?

Carla Stewart as a young girl

Carla Stewart as a young girl, in Texas

My years as a nurse, a wife, and a mom were rich with experience. A few trials. Boundless joy. Loss. Fun family vacations. Friends. Family. And an above average curiosity. As our boys got older, I became restless, and the writing dream that hovered all those years, now tapped me on the shoulder. Do it. Believe in yourself.

The voice inside said, “Surely if a twelve-year-old didn’t flinch at getting her hands dirty in a wheelbarrow of wet cement, then a grown-up woman could write a book. She should at least try.”

God and I had a few talks about this, and the answer came in the pages of Matthew. “Let your yes be yes, and your no, no.” It sounded simple, but as any writer will tell you, it’s not. I studied, connected with other writers, and kept at it. After a few false starts, the idea of setting a book in the place where I grew up nagged at me. And there was that strange curiosity I had as a child when people whispered about “nerve” problems and “shock treatments” that the occasional neighbor had. Why not explore that?

I visited the place where I grew up, enveloped in the warm memories of childhood and knew at once that I would write this story. I plotted and wrote. Then rewrote. The words didn’t always come easy, and more often than not, they weren’t even very good. Sometimes I didn’t have the right mixture of sand and cement and had to go back and add water. Or a little more effort.

And like the gentle breezes that blew through that upstairs window when I was a child, I felt God’s hand on my life, stirring the desire, and whispering words of affirmation.

Holding the first copy of Chasing Lilacs in my hand was one of the sweetest days of my life, ranking only a notch or two below holding my newborn boys in my arms.

And like any project of substance, many hands built the house. I’ve been overwhelmed at the belief that others have had in me: my family, my agent, my editors at FaithWords, the cover artists (Isn’t this a simply stunning cover?), the fabulous people who know how to get books into the hands of reviewers and publicize behind the scenes, and then there are those folks in New York who wave a magic wand over the whole thing and out comes a book. With binding. And all those copyright notices that have my name and my publisher’s name. The book smells divine. Feels just the right weight in my hands.

I’m just an ordinary person. But realizing my dream has been an extraordinary experience. In all the best ways.
Author, Carla Stewart

Carla Stewart is the author of Chasing Lilacs. Her writing reflects her passion for times gone by, cherished relationships, and the mysteries of God in our skid-marked world. She and her husband have four adult sons and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren. You can find her online at

The Confident Writer

October 25, 2010

Guest post from FaithWords author Billy Coffey, whose debut novel Snow Day was published on October 11, 2010.

I found the gift when I walked upstairs over the weekend to begin this piece. Sitting here on my desk waiting for me, propped up against my notebook and held in place by my pen.

I flipped on the desk lamp and settled into my chair, then unfolded the piece of paper. The neat, balloon-like words of half script and half cursive seemed to reach out and peck me on the cheek:

SNOW DAY, Billy Coffey

Billy Coffey's debut novel, SNOW DAY


Don’t work yourself too hard tonight! I found this book in the attic. I wondered if you ever saw it or read it. I’m pretty sure you need it since you are almost officially an author now. Just as a heads up it looks like a really old book. Some of the pages fell out. I stuffed them back in there. It’s the Second Edition. I wonder if you have the First Edition. Anyway you might need it sometime. Remember don’t stay up too late and again don’t work yourself too hard. I Love You!!!

The word “love” had been written again at the bottom of the page in an eight-year-old’s attempt at Elizabethan flourish. My daughter had signed her name below that and added a pencil-drawn heart beside it.

Beneath the letter was the treasure she had rooted out from the attic—an ancient grammar book, the origins of which escaped me. I noticed the font of the cover mimicked the “love” she used for her complimentary close. I ran a finger over the title—The Confident Writer.

That my daughter managed not only to find the book but write this letter, place it here for me to find, and then sneak back downstairs without spoiling the surprise is a testament to her resourcefulness. Also to her understanding of her father. I sat the paper aside and turned my attention to the book. After all, she was right. I may indeed need it.

It was all there in those 525 pages—nouns and verbs and sentence structure. Punctuation and prepositions. Referential words and phrases. Everything anyone would ever need in order to become an “official author.”

Most everything, anyway. Because while all the nuts and bolts of proper writing were there in abundance, the most important things were not.

It’s said that writers are a notoriously fragile lot, given to fits of everything from low self-esteem to a worry that borders on paranoia. I won’t say that’s all completely true, but it’s not completely false. There are a great many rewards that can come by living your life from the inside out and scribbling down what you find along the way. But there are drawbacks, too. Every profession has its hazards, myriad ways to be banged up and injured and sickened. The only difference between writers and most everyone else is that our welts and abrasions lie hidden beneath the skin. They’re visible, but only to us and only when viewed through the nearest mirror.

That is why we look for comfort wherever we can and lean upon our loved ones and those who work for our success. Small acts such as my daughter’s note beside me become life preservers of sorts, something to tether us to a safe harbor and keep us from drifting into murky waters. To accept them and then offer your own small acts in return is all the proof you need that putting pen to paper may at times be an exercise in isolation, but never in loneliness. That, I think, is how a confident writer is made.

And that is why I’m setting the book in front of me aside. It won’t go back into the attic, but neither will it stay on my desk. It will instead remain close at hand, ready to offer another nut or bolt to whatever story I build.

This letter, though.

That stays here. Right here next to me, where my eyes can wander to it. Where my lamp can cast its glow upon these balloon-like words and I can trace this pencil-drawn heart with a finger.

Billy Coffey was raised on stories. The first ones came on the front porches of relatives, tales laced with local charm and deep meaning. Then came the stories from people like Max Lucado and Robert Fulghum, who write with a charm and deep meaning of their own. He lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. If you drive by his house, you’ll probably spot him on the front porch. If you do, give him a wave. He’ll wave back. You can find him online at

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