The Lenten Tradition: Prayer and Bible Studies To Help You Prepare For Easter

February 18th, 2015

Easter is quickly approaching and I believe the time leading up to that exciting Sunday is important to every Christian. Because of this, I’m offering a great deal on my ebooks and Bible studies that can help you prepare during this season of prayer. But first…

A brief history of Lent…

Lent is known as a time for prayerful preparation for the remembrance of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Christians often give up something during Lent like a bad habit, junk food or, more traditionally, red meat.

The season begins with Fat Tuesday (also commemorated by Mardi Gras) in which one consumes all the stuff one plans to get rid of over Lent.

Then on Ash Wednesday, we enter a time of repenting and prayer. Some attend church services in which they are prayed over and anointed with an ash cross on their forheads, a symbol of penitence.

The culmination of Lent is called Holy Week, which begins with Palm Sunday,  then proceeds through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to Easter. Each of these days is important in the Christian calendar with Palm Sunday being the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, Maundy Thursday being the night of the disciples last supper with Jesus, Good Friday the day of the crucifixion and, of course, Easter is the glorious resurrection of Christ.

If you want more in-depth information on Lent and its history, you might enjoy reading this wiki.

History is great, but what can I do to prepare?

As I mentioned earlier, people often give up bad habits and junk food during Lent as a way to understand in a very limited way the sacrifice Jesus made for us. However, there’s also another trend in which you begin a new, better habit as a way to celebrate the new life His sacrifice gave us.

Two great habits you can choose from are a consistent prayer life and regular Bible study.

Limited Time offer…

To help you get started, I’ve reduced the prices on my ebooks Simply Prayer and both my ebook Bible studies, Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises For Our Lives and Trust God! No Matter What…, to $.99 on Amazon from Feb. 18 through Feb. 23, 2015.

You can also “Pay What You Want” for the Simply Prayer audiobook and One Servant’s Heart — Vol. 1, a compilation of six inspirational messages.

Scroll down for a list of these books with links to the Amazon purchase page and the link to the audiobook purchase pages.

Front-Cover-25-percent
God promises to be with us through everything,
encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

    • No Matter Who You Are…
    • No Matter How You Feel…
    • No Matter What People Do…
    • No Matter What Happens..
    • No Matter Where You Are…
    • No Matter How Little You Have…
    • No Matter What You’ve Done…
    • No Matter How Old You Are…

    Trust God!

    Ebook version available for $.99 on Kindle Feb. 18 through Feb. 23, 2015.

     

    Vol1Cover25percent

    Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

    Messages include:

      • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
      • New Beginnings
      • No Fear In Love
      • The Boneyard
      • The Dirty Little Penny
      • The Hardest Commandment

      Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

       

      Simply Prayer ebook

      When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

      Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

        • What prayer is
        • Why we pray
        • How to pray
        • How to know your prayers are answered

        From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

        Ebook version available for $.99 on Kindle Feb. 18 through Feb. 23, 2015.
        Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

         

        Fear Not
        When life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

        Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

        The eight sessions are:

          • Session 1 … God is always with us
          • Session 2 … God is in control
          • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
          • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
          • Session 5 … God provides for us
          • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
          • Session 7 … God gives us new life
          • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

          Ebook version available for $.99 on Kindle Feb. 18 through Feb. 23,2015.

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          Knowing When To Slow Down

          August 21st, 2014

          Sometimes life slams you across the head with a 2×4 to get your attention.

          20140816_030902That’s what’s happened recently in my household. As if being 7 months pregnant wasn’t enough to remind me that I need to slow down and take care of myself and my family, last Friday’s torrential rain storm certainly was.

          Our finished basement was flooded with about 6 inches of backed up sewer water that night. Might not have been a big deal, except that’s where our bedrooms are. Imagine the horror of waking up at 1 a.m. and setting your feet into ankle deep, ice cold water that wasn’t there when you went to sleep. Hubby, God bless him, not only stayed up until 6 a.m. trying to suck up as much water as possible in our borrowed shop vac, he also had the brilliant idea to call our insurance company. (My 5-year-old daughter says he saved her life, too, by carrying her upstairs so I could drive her out to my folks warm, dry house to spend the rest of the night.)

          Since then it’s been a matter of focusing on the next step for the insurance claim and “where do we go from here?”

          That brings me back to my original thought: knowing when to slow down.

          God always takes care of us. Sometimes, though, we neglect to listen to God’s guidance and just barrel on through, which often ends in our being forced to reconsider what we thought was important. That’s what’s happened to me.

          During the summer, my daughter was on vacation, so my writing schedule was extra tight. I had, at most, one hour to do everything writer related–business, monthly messages and studies, and drafting my newest Bible study, Trust God. I pushed on, believing that if other mother’s could do it, so could I, pregnant or not.

          Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Not a big deal. I had it with my first daughter, so I knew what to expect. Still, there are times when low blood sugar causes some irritating side effects, like feeling like I’m slogging through half-set Jell-O. And yet, I did not head the message to slow down.

          Then last Friday’s flood was the last straw. I’m now faced with trying to live in 800 square feet of space with my husband and daughter and our mountains of stuff. All our 20140816_104632clean clothes are piled in the kitchen. Everything that could be moved from downstairs is now residing either in our shed or our dining room. The living room is now our dining room and bedroom. Our poor neurotic cat is stuck in my parents’ basement garage, hiding somewhere. And we have less than 2 months before the new baby arrives.

          I think it’s time to re-think my schedule.

          I am certainly not complaining. It could be much worse. We could have had a house fire. The multi-outlet surge protectors we usually have on the floor of our bedrooms could have been in the water and we all could have been electrocuted. Any number of other scenarios could have played out, but they didn’t. All in all, I think we’ve been blessed.

          Perhaps the biggest blessing is my realization that I need to slow down and focus on the most important things right now. I need to focus on my family and our welfare at the moment.

          Here’s what you can expect from me for the next few months.

          Journeyman-Cat15percentI may be rather scarce on social media and my regular monthly posts may become much more irregular, as might my monthly newsletter. I’ll be diligently working on releasing Master Cat in October, as promised, and finally releasing the audiobook for Journeyman Cat later this fall (fingers crossed).

          Beyond that, I’m working on the first of the Master Cat Novel series, which takes place after Master Cat and continues the story of Toby and his partner Lorn. I’ll also be drafting the third in the Malkin novella series, featuring Nadine and her continuing struggle to understand what it means to be specially chosen by the One.

          I also have plans for another inspirational book on how to pray and see the blessings around us while in the midst of crises.

          My normal schedule for new releases is a Malkin novella in the spring, a Bible study or inspirational book in the summer, and a Master Cat novel in the fall. However, things being what they are, release dates may need to be pushed back a month or two (or three or four. You get the picture). It’s frustrating to me, but I put my faith in God’s timing and I hope you’ll join me on this new, if slower, adventure called the writer’s life.

          ***

          GFront-Cover-25-percentod promises to be with us through everything,
          encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

          Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
          discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

          • No Matter Who You Are…
          • No Matter How You Feel…
          • No Matter What People Do…
          • No Matter What Happens..
          • No Matter Where You Are…
          • No Matter How Little You Have…
          • No Matter What You’ve Done…
          • No Matter How Old You Are…

          Trust God!
          Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

          Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

          buy the .pdf version here

          Vol1Cover25percent

          Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

          Messages include:

          • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
          • New Beginnings
          • No Fear In Love
          • The Boneyard
          • The Dirty Little Penny
          • The Hardest Commandment

          Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

          Simply Prayer ebook

          When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

          Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

          • What prayer is
          • Why we pray
          • How to pray
          • How to know your prayers are answered

          From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

          Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

          buy the .pdf version here

          You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

          Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

          Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

          Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

          The eight sessions are:

          • Session 1 … God is always with us
          • Session 2 … God is in control
          • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
          • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
          • Session 5 … God provides for us
          • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
          • Session 7 … God gives us new life
          • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

          Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

           buy the .pdf version here

          Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

          Simply Prayer CD Sets Available

          April 16th, 2014

          Simply Prayer

          Simply Prayer

          When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

          Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

          • Why we pray
          • How to pray
          • How to know your prayers are answered

          From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

          I am making this valuable tool available to you now as a Pay What You Want mp3 downloadable .zip file here on my web site for a limited time (April 16-April 21, 2014).

           

          You can also purchase the 2-disc CD set by clicking on the Buy Now button. (Supplies limited) (domestic shipping only)

           

          Ebook version available for NookKindle, and Kobo or …

           buy your .pdf copy today

          You can also purchase a paperback version of this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front

           Or purchase one here (domestic shipping only).

          Open Book Audio May Be The Best Choice

          November 10th, 2012

          Back in June of last year I finished recording the audio version of Simply Prayer and went looking for a place to sell it. At the time Kunaki seemed the best choice. Since then my audio book journey has drawn a bit of attention between two companies: ACX.com and Open Book Audio.

          Being a social creature I did some asking around and found that most of the indie authors I knew were going with ACX, so that’s where I decided to go, despite Andrew Parker of Open Book Audio’s various helpful comments.

          To make a long story short, I’ve been disappointed in ACX. Some would say I’m just being impatient, but so far the results with this company has been null in trying to get Apprentice Cat narrated. Thankfully I have an author friend who put me in touch with someone outside that company who may be able to narrate the book for me. (We’re still working on details at the moment.)

          I’ve been looking into how to upload narration from an outside source onto the ACX site, but I keep getting lost in the directions available. Admittedly, I have yet to contact the company about this. I had plans to contact them this week, but then an interesting comment appeared from Andrew Parker on a post on my old blog about how Open Book Audio may be a better choice.

          Here it is in full:

          Hi Jaime (and all who are following the conversation),

          Thanks for the kind words on the podcast. To your questions, the reality is with Audible that if you decide to go the ACX route (which definitely has it’s benefits) and go non-exclusive, you can sell your audiobook elsewhere, like through Open Book Audio. The problem with that, as I see it, is that you are locked into the 7 year agreement and, here’s where it gets interesting, you lose out on the marketing push we offer. Not to mention being able to track your sales through our website. As for Audible, they distribute their library, as I think most everyone knows now, to iTunes on an exclusive. So, if you want into iTunes, you have to get into Audible first. If you don’t go the ACX route, you have to have 5 books to get in. As for iTunes/Apple, they accept no audiobook unless it comes through Audible. So, even if you were to pay the development fee of $99, it still gets your book listed as a Spoken Word album or just an app. Either way, it makes it hard for folks to find you.

          Back to the marketing push. At OBA, we have a very specific formula about what books we’ll take and what books we market. The truth is that, as long as the audio quality is good and the subject matter isn’t offensive, we’ll take the book and publish it to all of our retailers. What we then do is see how the book performs over the next few months. If it performs well enough, we put a big marketing push behind the book (reviews, websites, social media, press releases, interviews, podcasts, library journals, etc.) to goose the sales of the book and drive more money. Best of all, it’s free. How can we do that? Well, it’s simple really. If the book has proven that it can sell, it’s kind of a “why wouldn’t we?” mentality. Better yet, we have a specific formula that allows us to determine the precise amount of copies sold over a given period to guarantee a successful book. It’s remarkable how accurate we can be in determining what will be a hit and what won’t, rather than doing like most publishers do and go from their gut.

          All that said, any publisher, like ourselves, won’t take your book if you decide to go direct through Audible and then come to us for the rest. Financially, we can’t make it work without the Audible slice of the pie and that’s the truth. Now, our fees are the lowest in the industry (again, math allows us to do that!) but Audible is still an essential piece of the puzzle.

          So, what I would tell you is that if you’re content with your book just being available and not looking to make a great deal of money on it, ACX might be the way to go. But, if you’re looking to make more money, regardless of whether or not you hit the threshold for the marketing push, OBA is a much better option. After all, with a wider net, you’ll always get more fish.

          Hope that helps. If you want to talk further (if anyone wants to talk further) just email me at andrew at openbookaudio dot com.

          After reading this comment, I have to say I’m seriously considering using Open Book Audio instead of ACX. I’ll be contacting Andrew soon to find out the details and I’ll let you all know how it goes.

          Has anyone else been through working with audio book companies? What did you like? What would have liked to see improved?

          *** Update***

          I’ve just learned that once you sign up with ACX you cannot delete your account with them without deleting your Amazon account as well. That makes me very unhappy because now it seems they’re trying to force me to use their services. While it does simplify things, just as using Createspace does, it also limits your options once you claim your book, even with non-exclusivity.

          I urge everyone to make weigh all your options before signing up with any audio book producing company.

          New Simply Prayer Ebook Cover Revealed

          April 4th, 2012

          I want to thank everyone for helping me choose the new ebook cover for Simply Prayer. I’m so excited to show it off, so without further ado… the winner is:

          Simply Prayer ebook

          If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, then you know I think is a very important part of our lives. Yet it is often the one area that we neglect. Sometimes it’s because we don’t consider it very important — until we’re in crisis. Most often, though, I find people procrastinate in their prayer life because they think its more complicated or difficult that it really is. If this is you, then read on.

          It’s my intention (and my fervent prayer) that this book will help anyone who wants a closer relationship with God to find a deeper, simpler method of prayer. Prayer is the best way to learn about what God has planned for our lives and to communicate our needs to our loving Parent.

          Please enjoy this excerpt from the Simply Prayer:

          The Heart of Prayer

          To find the heart of prayer, we have to go to someone who not only taught about prayer, but lived a prayerful life.

          For Christians, the authority on how to live a prayerful life is Jesus. He taught his disciples to pray by example, as well as giving them a solid template of words to build on called The Lord’s Prayer.

          One of the best examples of what prayer can look like is Jesus’s prayer at Gethsemane:

          Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”

          He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”

          He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

          Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.” He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words. — Matthew 26:36-44 (World English Bible)

          Jesus’s prayer is not only beautiful in its emotional depth, but also in its simplicity. Here we see God’s Son in deep spiritual communion with God the Father, his “Dada.” Jesus shows his pain to God and asks for what he most desires at that moment in very simple language, something we often have a problem doing.

          For some of us, it’s not the language that’s a barrier, it’s the sharing. I grew up believing I had to be tough. I thought any mention of pain, be it physical or emotional, was a sign of weakness. Emotions were only acceptable if they were mild, as in being mildly amused or slightly irritated. Anger was taboo and anger at God was blasphemy.

          Somewhere along the line, though, God reached into my heart and showed me what Jesus demonstrates in his prayer at Gethsemane. Because God made us, he understands how we feel. He expects us to show our emotions, especially when we pray. To keep them to ourself is to keep God at arm’s length. When we do that we make prayer into just a petition again instead of the communion God desires.

          ***

          There are a lot of ideas and examples on simple ways to pray in my book Simply Prayer, available in print, for KindleNook and audio book.

          Simply Prayer Gets A New Cover… a poll

          March 17th, 2012

          I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on cover design. While I still love the original cover of Simply Prayer, reading Joel Friedlander’s ebook cover design awards has convinced me I need to make a change — at least to the ebook. Add that to the success my friend Steena Holmes has had with her new book cover for Hot For Cowboy and it just makes sense.

          However, (isn’t there always a “however”) I’m having trouble deciding which new cover to choose and I could really use your help.

          Here are the two new covers:

          cover 1
           cover 2

          Voting ends Easter, April 1.

          [poll id=’1′]

          God Hears Even When We Don’t Pray

          February 22nd, 2012

          I’m getting ready to re-vision my blog. By that I mean I’m going to take a short break to brainstorm some great ideas for future posts. I want to make this a place you can stop by to pick up handy tips and inspirational messages to help you in your day-to-day life, as well as catch a weekly laugh.

          That being said, I don’t want to just leave you high and dry while I work up a new plan, so I’ll be re-posting some of the best from the last year. Enjoy!

          God Hears Even When We Don’t Pray

          One of my tweeps recently shared that she hadn’t been able to pray like she would like and that she was in a bad place. My first reaction was to want to help her somehow, so I prayed. My second was to share what I knew about God and prayer — God hears us even when we don’t have the words to pray. My third was a to wonder how many others, like my friend, held onto the idea that prayer is something we must ritualize in order for it to be effective.

          There is a misconception that prayer is something we must make a lot of time for in a quiet place with a certain ritual. Not so. Prayer can happen in an instant and doesn’t need quiet or ritual. In fact it doesn’t even need words.

          In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered. –Romans 8:26 (The World English Bible)

          God hears us even when all we can do is nothing. Our hearts and souls shout to the Heavens when our minds and lips remain mute. If you’re in the midst of crisis, don’t wait until you have a quiet moment to pray. Simply focus your feelings and “shout” them to God. Spirit will do the rest.

          When have you found yourself praying without words?

          Why Time Management Doesn’t Work

          February 18th, 2012

          I’m getting ready to re-vision my blog. By that I mean I’m going to take a short break to brainstorm some great ideas for future posts. I want to make this a place you can stop by to pick up handy tips and inspirational messages to help you in your day-to-day life, as well as catch a weekly laugh.

          That being said, I don’t want to just leave you high and dry while I work up a new plan, so I’ll be re-posting some of the best from the last year. Enjoy!

          Why Time Management Doesn’t Work

          Like most people, I often complain about the amount of time I don’t have. I’ve tried a variety of time management strategies with different degrees of success. Yet all the complaining in the world and no number of time management tools ever seem to keep time from slipping through my fingers. I always wondered what I was doing wrong. Was I just lazy?

          Then I read Joy Held’s May 9, 2011, Monday Meditation: Time and Herding Cats. It clicked. Maybe it will for you, too.

          Monday Meditation: Time And Herding Cats
          by Joy Held

          “Time management” is an oxymoron. We can’t possibly manage time. It does what it wants regardless of our efforts to wrangle it into submission. It marches on no matter what. Trying to manage time is frustrating because it’s a little like herding cats or nailing Jello (trademark) to a tree. Time has a mind and a mission of its own. Time cannot be told what to do and it cannot be beat into submission. But time rules the world and we will continue to know frustration until we develop a different relationship with time.

          Read the rest of the post.

          ***

          Meditation and prayer often go hand in hand. When you need ideas on simple ways to pray you can find a good resource in my book Simply Prayer, available in print, for Kindle and NookAudio book version coming soon.

          4 Steps To Keep Your Original Files Safe When Creating An Ebook In IDCS4

          December 18th, 2011

          When the proof of my second book, Simply Prayer, finally arrived in the mail I had to beg my husband to read through it just to make sure the errors I found needed to be fixed or if I was just being a perfectionist. Usually I would have simply buckled down, fixed the errors and ordered another proof. However, I ran into a snag with the digital files — which is the point of this post.

          If you use InDesign CS4 you probably know about the book feature where several separate files can be compiled into a single book. It’s a great tool that keeps file size down and makes it simpler to print a single chapter.

          The downside, as I discovered after sending my .pdf to CreateSpace, is transferring all those files into an ebook. You can’t simply re-save the book with a new name and expect the chapter files to save themselves as new files too. You’ll have a newly named book using the original chapter files instead.

          What that means is that any re-formatting you do to your chapters will be saved over the original files. For instance, I wanted to include the pictures from the print edition in the ebook edition, but I wanted them to be seen just before the section titles. To do that I followed Elizabeth Castro’s instructions from EPUB Straight to the Point and pasted them directly into the text box. It looks great in the epub, but when I went back to check something in the original book file (after making those changes to two entire chapters!) I discovered that change was there as well. Not good.

          If I had already approved the print edition and had no plans to ever release a second edition similar to the first, then it wouldn’t be a problem. Now, if I wanted to make any changes to the print edition, it will be a major headache. I’ll have to re-format the print files, getting them back to the original as close as I can, before I can correct those little things I didn’t like.

          The good news, at least, is that I’ve learned a valuable lesson I can pass on to all of you.

          1. Save the original files in a single folder, including images and anything else contained in your print edition.
          2. Copy everything from that folder into a second folder strictly for epublishing and web content.
          3. Re-name everything in the second folder. I chose putting an “e” in front of each file name to make it easily identifiable.
          4. Open the new “eBook” in IDCS4, select all the old chapter files, click the remove button, then add the new “eChapters.”

          It’s a little bit of work to create a second set of files in a new folder, but believe me when I say a little work now will save a lot of work later.

          What other tips and tricks have you learned while putting your book together?

          ***

          GFront-Cover-25-percentod promises to be with us through everything,
          encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

          Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
          discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

          • No Matter Who You Are…
          • No Matter How You Feel…
          • No Matter What People Do…
          • No Matter What Happens..
          • No Matter Where You Are…
          • No Matter How Little You Have…
          • No Matter What You’ve Done…
          • No Matter How Old You Are…

          Trust God!
          Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

          Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

          buy the .pdf version here

           

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          Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

          Messages include:

          • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
          • New Beginnings
          • No Fear In Love
          • The Boneyard
          • The Dirty Little Penny
          • The Hardest Commandment

          Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

           

          Simply Prayer ebook

          When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

          Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

          • What prayer is
          • Why we pray
          • How to pray
          • How to know your prayers are answered

          From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

          Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

          buy the .pdf version here

          You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

          Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

           

          Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

          Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

          The eight sessions are:

          • Session 1 … God is always with us
          • Session 2 … God is in control
          • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
          • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
          • Session 5 … God provides for us
          • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
          • Session 7 … God gives us new life
          • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

          Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

           buy the .pdf version here

          Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

          Season Of Giving, Season Of Sacrifice

          December 7th, 2011

          We call Christmas the season of giving, but it can also be a season of sacrifice.

          Sacrifice not a bad thing, though it can hurt.

          My husband and I have day jobs. In the spirit of giving, our companies gave us each a Christmas bonus. It would have been nice to just take the money and spend it on whatever we wanted, but my practical side just wouldn’t allow that. Why? Because spending freely has put us in the same boat as many others. We have a mountain of debt and a valley of income.

          The sacrifice for us has come in using most of our bonus checks to begin paying our way out of the huge debt we’ve accumulated.

          It doesn’t end there.

          Paying our debts down is great, but we have to do more. We need to pull the reins back on future purchases, to sacrifice the spur of the moment wants and the consumerist “needs.”

          It’s just as important to really consider each purchase, to weigh our wants against our needs, as it is to dig ourselves out from under the mountain. If we continue to max out credit cards on those items advertisers have convinced us we need, then we’ll never be free from the stress of wondering just how we are going to cover this month’s bills.

          When we live within our means — or better yet, below it — then we make way for something even greater.

          Live simply so others can simply live.

          Spending less than we make means we can give more. When we give a little more to charity and buy a little less for ourselves we can begin leading a simpler life. Enjoying what we have instead of craving what we don’t, makes for greater happiness. And being happy is so much better than being stressed out over bills.

          If you need help getting your debt to income ratio under control, here are two blogs that give excellent advice on money matters:

          What sacrifices have you made to live a happier life? What other sites, books, etc. have you found to help you get a handle on your finances?

          Simply Prayer Advent Giveaway…

          I believe prayer is an important part of life, especially during Advent and Lent. I also know that sometimes we get stuck in the details and make having a conversation with our loving Creator more difficult than it needs to be. That’s why I wrote Simply Prayer, to give you some tools to break through what’s holding you back.

          With that in mind, I’m giving away a free copy of the Simply Prayer ebook during Advent (Nov. 27-Dec. 26).

          To find out how to receive your free copy, check out my post, Simply Prayer Advent eBook Giveaway.