Friday, December 28, 2018

Be Not Conformed~ Devotional ~ Sara Foust ~

Be Not Conformed
a Devotional by Sara Foust

“And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
~Romans 12:2 (KJV)

I discovered this verse for the first time a little over six years ago when I was going through an extremely difficult time in my marriage. It brought me such comfort at the time. I am a bit of an overthinker, and my mind was revolving over and over the problems I was facing. Worrying, wondering, wallowing on repeat. When I read this verse, it was clear to me that the only way to stop my mind from obsessively hyper-analyzing, overplanning, and causing severe stress was to submerge myself in the presence of God. That in order to find rest, renewal, and light again, I needed to discover God’s will for me and follow it, without question, with a full level of faith. I was able to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and repeat—rather than the worries and confusion—God is capable of renewing my mind, rerouting my thoughts, and reorganizing my concerns.

I rediscovered this verse in the last few months when I, again, decided to take up the burden of fixing all my problems myself regarding my marriage. God brought this verse to me in a random moment, I don’t even remember what I was doing at the time, but He encouraged me to focus on the calm serenity inside His will for me that always allows my mind to refresh and renew. It’s easy for me to plan, organize, and plan some more. What isn’t easy is to let go of control. I’ve been working on this (and when I say working, I mean working with sweat, tears, and the constant need to be acutely aware of my thoughts and behavior) for the last few weeks. 

I’m practicing intentional relaxation techniques, the most important of which includes talking to God, telling Him my fears and worries, and then releasing them to Him and not magnifying them and revolving them over and over. It’s a practice I’m not very good at yet, but I can already see the benefits. I am sleeping better. I am waking better. I am spending my days in a more relaxed and less anxious state. After all, I trust Him completely to guide my steps and to take good care of my mind, body, and soul, so why should I create unnecessary stress? God’s got me, guiding me toward His good, acceptable, and perfect plan, giving me rest in body and mind, and renewing my faith day by day. For that, I am thankful.

About 'Of Walls':

 A struggling marriage and a mission trip to the other side of the world. What will Julie’s future hold? 

Julie Johnson's life as a mom and homemaker is richly blessed, but her marriage is struggling. Years of busyness, exhaustion, and hurt have taken their toll on her emotional and spiritual life, building impenetrable walls around her heart. When she feels God calling her to a mission trip on the other side of the world, Julie puts her faith in Him and leaves her family for ten long days. What she learns about herself, her marriage, and her faith will change her life forever.


Purchase Links:
Kobo, Apple Ibooks, Tolino, and Nook:

About Sara:
Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author and homeschooling mother of five who writes surrounded by the beauty of East Tennessee. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She is the author of the Love, Hope, and Faith Series, which includes Callum's Compass (2017), Camp Hope (2018), and Rarity Mountain (March 2019).  She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit

Where to find Sara:

Friday, December 21, 2018

Lucy Adams ~ His Name is Wonderful ~ Story Behind the Song

Hello, Whispers in Purple friends and readers. I have a special treat for you today, and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

I coaxed Lucy Adams, a long-time online friend for, I think, over thirty years Does that sound about right, Lucy? Sadly, we've never met each other.  Here's what Lucy wrote when she sent this to me:

Dear, dear, Peg, what a wonderful request! I have sung the music and words of "His Name Is Wonderful” many times this Christmas, so I thought I’d share this song, and the story behind it.
     Also, I love it since it can go into the New Year with us … and we can shout out forever ---- His name IS definitely wonderful all year round!  Isaiah 9:6 is the basis.

     So thankful you asked.

Okay, here's Lucy's research story about this song.

                                   His Name Is Wonderful

     Gifts come to us for various reasons.  The composer of this song said it was a "gift from heaven."  And, I believe that gifts from God are given to bless us, so that we may bless others.  Audrey Mieir, composer of "His Name Is Wonderful", wrote a song that has blessed millions of people.

     However, she said she never intended to write a song on that special day.  She was focused on the children's nativity scene and the sermon of the morning. Mrs. Mieir said it all happened on Christmas day in 1955 as she sat quietly in church. At Bethel Union Church in Duarte, California where her husband's brother, Dr. Luther Mieir was the pastor, everyone was smiling at a joyful and typical scene.

     The children, who were shepherds, were dressed in oversized bathrobes.  The angels' halos were slightly crooked.  Carol singing and scripture reading was meaningful, as always. The familiar prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 went down deep into her soul as she cherished those old words: 

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace."

     When the pastor finished reading the familiar scripture, he lifted his hands, closed his eyes and said, "His name is wonderful."  There must have been a holy hush in Mrs. Mier's soul.  She said, "I felt as if I heard the rustle of angel wings and a musical chorus came to my mind."

     Quickly she wrote in the flyleaf of her Bible the words that her brother-in-law had just proclaimed, "His name is wonderful." She wrote it three more times and added, "Jesus my Lord."

     In a few days, she completed the song with a fuller description of who Jesus is.  The last line is a personal response to the One whose name is wonderful.  We want to bow down, love and adore this wonderful Jesus.

     Before Audrey Mieir died in 1996 at the age of 80, some of her last words were:  "His Name Is Wonderful" and will outlive the chubby human hands chosen to write a few black notes on five lines and four spaces. But it will never outlive the Father who glories in His Son's name."

Peg here: As I usually try to do with Lucy's posts, I looked for a video of someone singing this beautiful song, so I've embedded it here. I hope you'll enjoy ... maybe even sing along.

Lucy N. Adams  

Thursday, December 20, 2018

New Beginnings ~ Jude Urbanski ~ Story Behind the Story ~ Giveaway

Please help me welcome author Jude Urbanski as she shares the story behind her new release "New Beginnings." I searched for an appropriate header picture to go along with this post and found this. What better symbol of "new" could there be? Besides, it's purple :)

Crocus - courtesy
  Hi Peg, thanks for having me on your blog. We talked about my writing ‘the story behind the story’ and here goes! 

My newly-released novel is called New Beginnings and wouldn’t you know, whenever I plug the title in on Amazon, Debbie Macomber’s New Beginnings pops up. First, of course, but I feel in very good company. Had to laugh though.

After many title considerations, the words new beginnings said it all for my heroine Savannah, who was left at the altar. This title also has become my article of faith as I have adjusted to my dear husband’s death and began my new, unexpected journey.

This book, that I consider my best, had a long birthing process. I started, I stopped. I almost had an agent. She died. I had a publisher, but they went MIA. I became weary of submitting.

I know I am preaching to the choir, but I am glad I slugged it out, glad other writers encouraged me. Sounds familiar I’m sure. The story moves me every time I reread. I write stories of men and women who spin tragedy into triumph with God’s help.

Here is a very brief synopsis of New Beginnings:
Nurse Practitioner Savannah Banks is betrayed at the altar. When she discovers her reluctant groom’s departing gift is an unexpected pregnancy, only God’s mercy and a platonic friendship with an ill-and-aging artist bring faith to hope and trust again. Once healed and healthy, excitement propels Savannah as she carts special-needs Baby Gabriel and Alberto to her new job at a Jamaican clinic.

Idyllic island life rapidly turns complicated and threatening. Conflict comes in the form of two, handsome doctors and turn-of-life events for both Savannah and Alberto. Caught between romantic feelings for Khenan and terror of Anders, Savannah is pressured by her best friend to tell Gabriel’s father, Judson, he has a son. Judson and his wife arrive on the island and surprise abounds when Alberto discovers in Judson the lost family for whom he’d been searching.

The truth about Anders’ behavior evolves from unlikely sources, clearing Savannah’s name, but snagging Anders cold. When she’s on the verge of leaving the island, thinking all is lost, Khenan proclaims his love.

An endorsement for the book: “New Beginnings” touches all the reader’s emotions and stays long after the last page is turned. A five-star novel with great characters and timeless themes. Highly recommended.” – JoAnn Durgin, USA Today bestselling author of The Lewis Legacy.

About Jude:
Jude Urbanski, pen name for Judy Martin-Urban writes women's fiction featuring inspirational romance. She invites you to stories of heroes and heroines who spin tragedy into triumph with help from God. She was first published in nonfiction, and still enjoys that genre, but writing inspirational romance is her passion. Jude currently guest blogs and was a former editor. She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing, taught nursing, and worked as a nurse practitioner in women’s health. She is a member of national and area chapters of American Christian Fiction Writers and NonFiction Authors Association. Beautiful ancestral Tennessee is now home and when not writing, Jude enjoys her large, blended family, travel, church work, genealogy, painting, volunteering, and popcorn.

*Find Jude*

The Giveaway: Jude says, "I am happy to give away an electronic copy of the book New Beginnings. Just leave a comment and if you are led, an honest review on Amazon is appreciated." (Amazon link:

To enter, just leave a comment below with your name and contact information so we can contact you if you're the winner. Giveaway ends one week from today on December 27, 2018, at MIDNIGHT, CST.

Thank you, Jude, for being my guest today. Blessings, and best wishes for a MERRY CHRISTMAS, and a HAPPY, HEALTHY, PROSPEROUS, and PRODUCTIVE NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Kathy Cretsinger ~ Smoky Mountain Brides ~ Giveaway

Please welcome author/publisher Kathy Cretsinger (AKA Katt Anderson) to Whispers in Purple blog

 Mountains, courtesy See below why this picture appears here

Hello everyone! Kathy Cretsinger here. I am so happy to be on this blog and tell you a little about what I do as an author and publisher. In truth, authoring is very little, but publishing is a lot. I love the work, the stress, and above all getting to know the people we work with.

Twelve years ago, I began to have thoughts that I could write. I knew nothing about writing, but I still had the desire. A friend told me I could do it. I must have believed her because that’s exactly what I did. I should have learned the craft first, but I like to dive in and then find out what a mess I’ve made.

Remember that book you thought you had to write? Mine was so horrible it’s hidden on a flash drive somewhere. I really don’t want to find it. It was that bad.

Now let’s look at one that turned out to be good. The next book I wrote turned out to be a wonderful tale sprinkled with my ancestors. Callie’s Mountain was the first book I published, and that book started my publishing career.

Like myself, there are a lot of authors that need someone to see the future in their book. They need help in writing a finished product and publishing that product. That’s where we come in at Mantle Rock Publishing LLC. We want a perfect printed copy. We are human and sometimes a mistake is made, but if we all work together as a team, we’ll have a perfect book.

The last book I wrote is Smoky Mountain Brides. My editor, Pam Watts Harris, and I decided we wanted to write a sweet romance set in the Smokies. We both love the mountains, and we’ve both been there many times. It wasn’t hard to come up with two career girls who find true love and get married. I loved working with Pam, and I love this book. 

Smoky Mountain Brides by Pam Watts Harris and Katt Anderson (I forgot to tell you I have a pen name) can be found at And I’m giving a free copy to one person who makes a comment.

At the present, I’m writing a romantic suspense set in a real place. [Peg here ... see image above] My husband grew up in a small community in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee, between Bristol, TN and Boone NC. This book is set in the community where he grew up. I am very conscious of the people who live there, and I want this book to be enjoyable to them. It will release in June 2019. I won’t give a name until later.

Thanks for visiting with me for these few minutes. Have a blessed day.

Kathy Cretsinger writes under the name of Katt Anderson. She lives in Kentucky with her husband of fifty plus years. They have two grown children, four grandchildren, no cats or dogs, but a few squirrels who live around the walnut trees. 

When not writing, you’ll find Kathy people watching, reading, enjoying her flower garden, going to activities her grandchildren are involved in, or helping authors with their manuscripts. Kathy also speaks at writer’s conferences. 

She and her husband Jerry are owners of Mantle Rock Publishing LLC. You can visit her at 


To enter Kathy’s giveaway, just leave a comment below, including your name and contact information. Giveaway runs for one week, ending December 26 at Midnight, CST. Winner will be drawn and notified via email on Thursday, Dec. 27, which is why we need your contact info. Thanks.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Flower Inside a Flower ~ Donna Schlachter ~ Giveaway

A Flower Inside a Flower -- with a giveaway!
By Donna Schlachter

Sometimes beauty finds us in the most unexpected places.

This flower was growing on a shrub in a shopping mall parking lot in Scottsdale, Arizona. I saw it as we crossed the hot asphalt, drawn in by the fuchsia color, amazed when I saw the tiny pale pink/white blossom inside the outer coat.

As I snapped several pictures, I wondered that nobody else who passed me even slowed to glance at what I was so interested in. Even my sister tapped her toe impatiently while she waited for me to catch up with her.

Picture by Donna Schlachter *
I thought about these blossoms as we continued our shopping, about the intricacy of their design, and how God must get a kick out of creating such beauty and planting it right in our midst, like a gift wrapped under a Christmas tree, waiting to see if we’ll notice.

For me, this opened my eyes to the wonder of blessings disguised as something else in our lives. In June, I stepped into a small boat and rode up the headwaters of the Amazon River in the jungle of Peru. Me, a girl who doesn’t like small boats or deep water. And at the end of the ten-minute boat ride, I discovered a group of boys at a boarding house hungry for one-on-one attention, starved for the love of God.

In September, I stepped onto a cruise ship and rode the open seas to Alaska. Me, a girl who doesn’t like big boats or deep water, who can get seasick standing on a wharf and looking at the bobbing boats. But I didn’t get even a single stomach-flip the entire seven days.
Alaska cruise ships, Skagway, courtesy
In October, I traveled to Arizona to celebrate my (mumble)-ith birthday with my siblings and spouses. I’d made it to a milestone, one my mother never saw. And I’d done it in relatively good health, with all of my original parts including teeth and hair. We had a great time, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. And I had the opportunity to see this tiny flower. God blessed me not only with relative longevity, health, and family but also with beauty—a flower inside a flower.

Life isn’t always fun. Or beautiful. Sometimes life is really, really hard. But God is always in control, and He’s always there, waiting for us to acknowledge him. In a boat ride. In not getting seasick. In a flower in a parking lot.
If you’d like to see more about the stories in the collection, check out the following posts from the seven authors:

 About the collection: These seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back from an adventure.

About Detours of the Heart: (Albuquerque, NM, 1925)
A tour guide who wants to move on, a playboy who’s never had a place to call home—can they overcome their own plans and allow God to make their path straight, or will they take yet another detour?
 About Donna:
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a critique group, and teaches writing classes. Donna ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management. Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!
Books: Amazon: and Smashwords:

Giveaway: Leave a comment below with your name and contact information, and we’ll draw from the names and a random winner will receive a free print copy (US only) of MissAdventure Brides Collection. Giveaway runs for one week, ending next Tuesday, December 25, 2018 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!) at Midnight, CST.

*PS: Can anyone identify that lovely flower for Donna?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Fellowship with God ~ June Foster ~ Christmas at Raccoon Creek ~ Giveaway

Fellowship with God
by June Foster

(There's a Giveaway here. See below for details)

Psalms 107: 9 "For he has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things."

Since I asked Jesus into my life and heart, I've made it a practice first thing in the morning to read my Bible, pray, and have fellowship with the Lord. But the other day, something gave me pause. For a brief moment, I stopped praying and asked myself. Am I really communicating with someone or talking to myself?

I opened my eyes but from where I sat on the deck, all I saw was the flower beds and trees in my backyard. I listened carefully but only heard the birds chirping. I sipped my dark roast coffee but could taste nothing else. The only aroma I sensed was the gardenias in my flower pot. Oh, and I closed my eyes and extended my hand. No touch met mine. The obvious conclusion was I can't see, hear, taste, touch, or smell God. Yet the Bible is filled with scriptures that talk about His presence with man. 
  • ·        1John 1:5 "God is light, in him there is no darkness at all." 
  • ·        James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadow." 
  • ·        John 3:16 "For God so love the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

So how can I know Him and have fellowship with Him if I can't connect to Him with my senses? Here are a few ways:
  • ·        God's instruction about His will and our lives comes through His word. Psalm 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
  • ·        God can be known through His creation: a beautiful sunset, the Grand Canyon, the forests and rivers in Washington state, and the exquisite construction of a lily.
  • ·        God can be known through other people: a kind and loving friend who shows up at the right moment when we need help, a prayer partner, the pastor of one's church who preaches the message truly needed that week, an innocent child filled with wonder when discovering something new.

Best of all, though I can't see or hear Him now, I know that someday I will be able to and I await that day in joyful anticipation. I Corinthians 13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face."

Book Spotlight - From the back cover:
When love spans the decades
Emily Eason wants to distance herself from her parents' opulent lifestyle in Birmingham, Alabama, and enjoy life in the tiny rural village, Raccoon Creek and her fifties-style home. But after gazing into the little snow globe she purchased from Hardwicke's Drugs and Gifts, she finds herself transported to another time—her grandmother's era.

Lance Hardwicke is the pharmacist and owner of Hardwicke's Drugs. Four years of pharmacy school didn't allow for much of a social life. Gorgeous Emily Eason, nurse and resident of Raccoon Creek, has captured his attention more than once. The next time she comes in the store, he's determined to ask her out. Perhaps go to Birmingham to see the Christmas lights in his brand-new orange and white '53 Pontiac Pathfinder.

Can love span the fifty-year gap standing between them?
About June: 
June Foster is an award-winning author who began her writing career in an RV roaming around the USA with her husband, Joe. She brags about visiting a location before it becomes the setting in her contemporary romances. June's characters find themselves in precarious circumstances where only God can offer redemption and ultimately freedom. Find June at

social media links:

About the Giveaway:
June is offering a free eBook copy of Christmas at Raccoon Creek to one of my readers. Just leave a comment below with your name and contact info (e.g: you(at)yourdomain(dot)com) so we can contact you if you win. 
Giveaway runs for one week, ending Friday, December 21, at Midnight CST.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

What Child is This? ~ Ada Brownell

Bethlehem: Image courtesy


By Ada Nicholson Brownell

Can you imagine the chaos if identification on newborns in large hospitals disappeared?

“Whose baby is this?” nurses would say over and over as an expert checked tiny footprints. 

“What Child is this?” often is asked near Christmas. William Chatterton Dix, struck with a near-fatal illness at age 29 asked the question. Confined to his bed for months in 1865, he looked to Jesus, the babe born in Bethlehem so many years before. Was the Christ child different from everyone else born into the world?

Some people put Jesus on the same level as Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, the Pope, Moses, and other famous religious personalities. Some religions teach Jesus was a great prophet but deny His deity. Author Josh McDowell says in his book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, that Jesus can’t be identified as a great moral teacher because He claimed to be God. “He is either a liar, lunatic or the Lord.”[1]

Who was the babe in the manger?

Dix searched for an answer to the question and wrote a song titled “What Child is this?”  set to the music of Greensleeves, a 16th Century English tune.
Down through the centuries, people asked, “Who is Jesus?”

Scripture reveals who the Child is. My Bible has 1,448 pages filled with the story of the Messiah-Redeemer—promised right after Adam and Eve became subject to sickness and death.[2] God warned the couple if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would die.

Satan, taking the body of a serpent, told Eve, “You won’t die.  It’s good.  Try it.”

The couple took the reptile’s advice and the venom of Satan’s lie fills every urn and grave since then. Adam and Eve understood sin’s tragedy when they grieved at the grave of a dead son, killed by his brother.

Although God’s justice required severe consequences for sin, He promised redemption as soon as the first couple disobeyed. Sin is so terrible God required blood to forgive it. Beautiful animals lay over altars, blood dripping over the stones until God gave His one and only Son as The Promised Redeemer who showed up on earth in the body of a tiny baby.

Prophets testified about the details of the Messiah’s birth, death and resurrection thousands of years before He came.

Jesus was unlike any baby born. He was God in human flesh, yet we are invited to know Him personally. According to Rev. 3:19-21, Jesus stands outside the door to our lives and knocks. He says, “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him. The last chapter of Revelation declares, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

What Child is this? Humankind’s only hope.

©Ada Brownell 2013

[1] Here’s Life Publishers Inc, San Bernardino, CA 92402, 1979, page 107
[2] Genesis 3:15

Love’s Delicate Blossom, an historical suspense
By Ada Brownell
Sequel to The Lady Fugitive and Peach Blossom Rancher

Edmund Pritchett III wants to marry Ritah Irene O’Casey, but she says wait. The beautiful redhead is trying to rescue Tulip, a 14-year-old orphan kidnapped by Henry Hunter to work in his brother, and Ritah doesn’t have much time. She has a train ticket to go to college and hopes to fulfill her dreams.

Ritah wants to become a teacher who can help widows keep their children when tragedy strikes. She also wants to teach mothers how to prevent dangerous diseases and treat health problems, in an era when few have access to a doctor and too many children die. Instead, Ritah ends up fighting for the lives of injured soldiers in a World War I Army health clinic and finds her own life threatened by illness as well as sorrow.

But Ritah finds a teaching job in Penokee, Kansas, and there Joe Nichols, a handsome farmer, edges his way into her heart. But Edmund Pritchett III isn’t giving up, and neither is Henry Hunter, who is still after Tulip and about to open his brothel.

Will Rita be able to continue to fight for women and families, understand enduring love, decide on the man she loves, and defend herself and her students when Henry Hunter bursts into the school shooting a pistol?

COMMENT FROM A READER: “Your book set a tone and world from your grandmother’s time, the historical elements are what readers read the genre for.”

Ada Brownell blogs and writes with Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement. She is the author of nine books, more than 350 stories and articles in Christian publications, and she spent a large chunk of her life as a journalist, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She and her husband L.C., have five children, one of them in heaven, eight wonderful grandchildren. and three great-grandchildren.

Her book, The Lady Fugitive, the first book in the Peaches and Dreams series was a finalist for the 2015 Laurel Award.

Love’s Delicate Blossom

Ada Brownell Amazon Author Page:

Twitter: @adabrownell