Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Silent night, Holy night,

All is calm, All is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, Holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing alleluia;
Christ the Savior, is born!
Christ the Savior, is born!

Silent night, Holy night,
Son of God, Love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Merry Christmas!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Why Celebrate Christmas? Answers From Scripture

Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of different people. When we think of Christmas our minds might immediately go to the gifts we will be giving and receiving. Or, maybe we think about the tree and decorations that we put up. Or the family that we will be seeing.

All of those are good things, but what Christmas is truly about is Jesus. He came to earth and was born in a manger, lived a perfect life, and died to take away our sins.

Christmas is about Jesus.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

He had humble beginnings...

...And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:7

His birth was celebrated...

"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
Matthew 2:2

Why did God take on human form? Because he loves us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

It is important to remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus was born on earth to save us from our sins. He loves us. He died for and rose again for us.

So, this Christmas, be extra merry, remembering all that God has done for you.

Happy Christmas!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

8 Christian Fiction Books That Would Make Great Christmas Gifts

Looking for a unique gift this Christmas? Give someone a great Christian novel!

I love sitting down to read a good book. Those listed below are all books that I personally love!

1. A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay. This book is beautifully written, is more than a love story and has an Italian setting and culture, and it is easy to fall in love with the characters.

2. Take A Chance On Me by Susan May Warren. It is the first in my favorite series by her, and it is a great read on its own. Filled with family drama and love.

3. The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter. This is just a fun book, and anyone who likes reading love stories will be sure to enjoy it and the great plot that it has!

4. The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden. This is a great historical fiction book and perfect for anyone who loves that genre. I greatly enjoyed this read!

5. The Memory of You by Catherine West. I loved this book. It has a great story and a lot of emotion.

6. A Sugar Creek Christmas by Jenny B. Jones. This book is hilarious! I love Jenny B. Jones, and any one of her books would make a great Christmas gift.

7. One Perfect Spring by Irene Hannon. Get someone on your gift list looking forward to spring with this well written and emotional read.

8. No Longer Broken by Emily Acker and Bethany Acker. I have to include our book because it is filled with passion and heart, a story of family and forgiveness, and I think it would make a great gift, too.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What Does it Mean to Make the Most of Every Moment? Answers from Scripture

What does it really mean to make the most of every moment?

Here are some answers from the Bible.

Love more.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9

Stick to our convictions.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

Do more good. Be a light in the darkness.
...making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16

Live out our faith.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:14-17

Don't waste time.
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

Be kind to everyone.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Matthew 5:43-44

Use our passions to do good.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

Think of the future.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:20

I hope these verses have encouraged you to make the most of every moment starting today.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

My God is a God of Second Chances

My God is a God of Second Chances. If I didn't believe that, then there would be no point in life. I mess up. I make mistakes. I'm human. If God didn't give me a second, third, fourth, hundredth chance, I would have no hope.

My God is a God of Grace. He sent his son to die for my sins and doesn't expect anything in return. Nothing we could do would be good enough for him. We don't deserve his grace. That's the point of grace.

My God is a God of Justice. There is such a place as Hell. It is real. Because sin is real. And when anyone chooses to ignore their sin, to ignore God's great gift of life, there are consequences. Hell is real, but so is Heaven.

My God is a God of Mercy. He sees us and knows us. He knows our flaws. He knows how messed up our lives are. He knows it, and yet he chooses to forgive us. He could easily turn us away. He could say that one mistake was too many. He could give up on us because we will never be good enough for him. But he doesn't. If we choose to come to him, then he will show us his mercy.

My God is a Good Shepherd. A good shepherd looks after his sheep. He makes sure that they are cared for and protected. God loves us. He wants what is best for us. He will be with us always. He will take care of us always.

My God is a God of Love. It is never too late to turn to him. He loves us, his creation. He tells us over and over again in the Bible that he loves us. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17

Never doubt the power, the love, the mercy, and grace, of our God. He is a God of second chances. He is a Good Shepherd. He is an Amazing God.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Monday, November 20, 2017

What Does The Bible Say About Thankfulness?

With Thanksgiving coming up this week I thought I would explore this subject a bit.

Giving thanks: what does the Bible have to say about it?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Bible tells us to give thanks in all circumstances. It shouldn't just be at Thanksgiving that we are thankful, but every day. In every situation.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1

God has given us so much. We should praise him and thank him for all that he has done.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1

God's love endures forever. He is amazing. He is wonderful. And we should thank him at all times, during Thanksgiving and this time of year and otherwise.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and remember to be thankful for all that you have this week and always!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What Should Love Look Like? Answers From Scripture

God instructs us to love one another. But what is love, really? What does it mean to truly, wholeheartedly love someone? We can find answers in the scripture, such as the verse below.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16

To lay down our lives. To give everything that we have. That is love.

And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:21

To love is a command. He doesn't just suggest that we love others, but he commands us to love everyone.

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19

God is the perfect example of love.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

He has shown us perfect love in dying for us while we were sinners. When there was no reason to love us he loved us. He cared for us. He died for us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

God gave his own son for us. He loved us so much that he sacrificed for us.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is not always easy. But love is always essential.

God loved us so much that he died for us. He gave the perfect example of love, and when we follow his example we cannot go wrong.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Just a closer walk with thee.

That should be our goal always. To walk closer with God. No matter the circumstances. No matter our stress over our everyday lives. No matter what is going on in the world. It should be our goal to walk closer to God.

The reality is that this isn't always on our mind. There are times when we are so focused on this life that we forget the next. That we forget that these earthly struggles will not matter forever.

There is so much joy in life. There is so much good to come in heaven. And this earth can be that much better if we walk close to God.

God wants us to give him our all. To love him and do what is right with our lives always.

He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
1 Thessalonians 5:10

Jesus died so that we could have life eternal. And that is something that we should keep with us always. When we remember what is to come the worries of this life won't be so great. And we will feel closer to God because of that.

Come near to God and he will come near to you.
James 4:8a

What does it mean to be near to him? In James chapter two we are told that true religion is to look after orphans and widows. It is to be selfless and kind. To follow the example that Jesus gave us while he walked on earth. To trust in God more and to let him lead us.

Just a closer walk with thee.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Truths from The Bible - God Is With Us Always

Do not fear, for I am with you.
Isaiah 41:10a

God will be with us through everything. Every day. This life doesn't last forever, and that means that we will face pain. We will lose loved ones. We will go through sicknesses, and we will have troubles. But God will be with us through it all.

God promises to walk with us. To guide us. To hold us.

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:20b

There is never going to be a time when we are alone. Even through the hardest days of our lives, we will have God at our side.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:18

In the end, if we believe, we will be with God in heaven. If we have accepted the free gift of salvation, then God will accept us into his heavenly kingdom. And it will be beautiful.

We have nothing to fear here on earth because God is in control. He will take care of us. He will sustain us. He is in control. He has a plan for our lives. And heaven and the perfectness of it is what we can look forward to.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

So, let us rejoice in him, even during the hard times. God is with us, and he has so much good in store for us.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Favorite Christian Authors - Denise Hunter Writes Fun, Heartwarming Books

Denise Hunter was one of the first authors whose book I read as a teenager and really loved. I remember reading Surrender Bay when I was a young and feeling intrigued with it. I have now read many more of her books, and I know that I won't be left feeling disappointed when I pick up a new one.

Denise Hunter writes stories that are fun and heartwarming and that stick with you. Her writing style is one that inspires me, and I have enjoyed every book of hers that I have read. I love that she includes family drama into her books. I like the small town charm found in them.

One of my favorite books of hers is The Goodbye Bride. It was funny and it tugged on the heartstrings. It has an interesting and well thought out, and well written story. I enjoyed it from the first page to the last.

Just A Kiss is about the brother of the man in The Goodbye Bride, and it is another emotional, yet funny, story. The brother returns from war wounded, and it is packed with relationship and family drama.

Each one of her books is so interesting, and that is what makes me love Denise Hunter's writing so much. If you haven't read any books by her yet, I highly recommend that you do. Her books are heartwarming and fun and an easy read.

Start with Surrender Bay, like I did, and you will be hooked!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Truths from the Bible - God's Grace is the Biggest Blessing

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

All that we need to do is to confess. To admit that we have done wrong, and to allow God's grace to wash over us.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

God's grace is enough. I am weak, but he is strong.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

We never have to fear because he is with us always. He will guide us. 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

He is our hope. We will not grow weary when we trust in him.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We can and should always rejoice and pray to God.

Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

Isaiah 26:4

We can always trust in the Lord. His grace is enough to cover our sins. He is our rock and our help and our creator. We can pray to him, trust him, and rejoice in all that he has done for us, knowing that his grace is the biggest blessing we have ever been given.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Favorite Authors - Elizabeth Camden Makes History Interesting

Historical fiction is not always my thing. I am usually much more into reading contemporary fiction, since that is what I enjoy writing, but Elizabeth Camden is the exception! I read her book To The Farthest Shores quicker than I have read another book recently. It held my interest from the first page to the last with humor and history giving it charm.

Elizabeth Camden is a talented author who knows how to piece together a good story. It doesn't feel like you are learning facts about history when you are reading her books, but at the same time you come away with knowledge of the past and how things were then.

The characters that she creates are really well thought out, and each of them has a strong personality, which, sadly, isn't true of every book out there. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book I read by her, The Lady of Bolton Hill. The characters in it were ones I loved.

Into the Whirlwind is another book I read by her and loved. Each of her books has a different setting and unique story. This one is set in Chicago in the late 1800s, and I love learning about different areas and real life events that happened in the past, like the Great Chicago Fire, through good writing.

I enjoyed everything about the books that I have read by her. She is so talented in the way she writes her books, and the quality of her writing can't be beat. She gives the stories heart and humor, and she keeps me turning page after page to see how things are going to end up. She tells of historical events and things of the past with ease, and I love learning through reading a good fiction book.

Needless to say, Elizabeth Camden is my favorite historical author. If you read one of her books, I am sure that you will fall in love with her storytelling skills, too!

Start with To The Farthest Shores for a humorous and heartfelt read.

I am excited to read more of her books in the future!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Making the Most of Our Lives Requires Us to Let Go of Fear

When a person comes through something bad, it is common for that person to talk about how they are going to make the most of the rest of their life. It is common for a person to claim that they are going to do more for others, add more excitement to their life, or simply turn away from the wrong things that they had been doing.

When a tragedy happens like what took place this past weekend, the message gets spread that each of us should be making the most of our lives. We never know when we are going to lose the lives that we are blessed to have, so we make decisions to give of ourselves and make the most of what we have.

It is easy to say that we are going to make the most of our lives, but it is not always easy to actually do that.


Because in order to make the most of the life that we have left, we have to let go of our fears.

Tragedies stir up fear in people. Seeing others lose their lives makes us afraid of losing our own. Watching friends and family members deal with their struggles makes us scared for them. Fear is powerful, and it can take over our lives. As long as we are focused on fear, we cannot truly make the most of our lives.

God has not called us to live in fear. God has called us to an abundant life. The sooner that we let go of our fear, the sooner that we will live out the life that God has called us to. We need to trust God, move beyond on fears, and make the most of every moment that we have been given.

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Our hearts go out to everyone who was affected by the shooting that took place Sunday night. We are praying for healing for each one of you!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Favorite Authors - Why I Love Sally John's Books

Sally John is a "newish" author to me. I have only read a few of her books, but I really enjoy her writing style. I like that she writes short chapters. She really holds my interest that way, and I always tell myself "just one more chapter" (and, of course, end up reading more than that!)

I love the way that Sally John is not afraid to take on real life issues and put them into her books. She doesn't just go the route of writing fluffy romances, but she makes her characters go through some tough situations. She writes books that have meaning and great messages, and I love that about her.

I have always enjoyed a book that is about more than a love story. I like reading about family problems and painful pasts, about couples struggling in their marriages, about siblings learning to get along. Sally John has all of that in her book Heart Echos, which centers around two sisters and the hurt and challenges in their lives. I enjoyed every minute of that book. I literally did not want to put it down.

There are few authors who make me feel fully engaged in a book, so much so that I want to keep turning page after page. Sally John is one of those authors because of the interesting stories that she tells. She writes with purpose, and she really gives the characters life. She writes stories about family, and that is what I most enjoy writing in my own novels.

If you are looking for a new author to read that isn't all fluff, then I suggest that you try one of her books. Sally John is a talented author who inspires me in my writing. She writes stories with great messages, and she really does tackle the tough issues in her writing. She gives hope for healing in her novels, and I really like that about her.

Start with Heart Echos, like I did, and I'm sure you'll be hooked.

I'm excited to read more of Sally John's books in the future!

Stay tuned for more Favorite Author blogs coming up soon!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Favorite Authors - James Scott Bell Writes Complex Thrillers

I have been a long-time fan of James Scott Bell. He writes books that are well thought out. They keep me guessing but all make sense in the end. The main characters draw you in immediately and get you feeling for them, and I love all of the minor characters that he throws into the books, and how the settings seem so real. I can still look back on a book that I read of his years ago and remember different scenes from it and what the characters did and said. His books are memorable, and he is an author who inspires me.

If you love thrillers, then you will appreciate James Scott Bell's writing. He has written many great suspense/legal thriller novels. Each of the novels that I've read by him have held my interest and kept me turning page after page without wanting to put the book down. He has long been one of my favorite authors, and I know that you will love his writing, too, if you read one of his books.

Try Dying was the first book I read by him. It's about a lawyer who's fiancee is murdered. And, despite the dark theme, it is humorous, too. It's a well written novel, and I loved everything about it and the sequels that followed.

The Whole Truth was another book that I read by him and thoroughly enjoyed. It is about a man who's brother was kidnapped when he was young. It tells an interesting story, and I have read it more than once. Breach of Promise is another book that kept me turning the pages, and it is about a father trying to keep custody of his young daughter.

All of James Scott Bell's books are worth a read. He really knows what he is doing, and he has even written books on how to become a better writer. He is an inspiration to me as a writer, and I look forward to rereading a few of his novels soon.

Start with Try Dying, like I did, and you will get hooked!

Thanks, James Scott Bell, for writing great books!

Stay tuned for more Favorite Author blogs coming up soon!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Favorite Authors - Can't Get Enough of Jenny B. Jones

Jenny B. Jones' books have been a favorite of mine (and Emily's) for many years now. I love the humor that she puts into each one of her books. I love how connected I feel with the characters, and how real their struggles are - and how they always face each struggle head on and become a better person because of them.

Jenny B. Jones is a talented author, and she is an inspiration to me. I have loved her work since the Katie Parker Production series, and one of her most recent releases, I'll Be Yours, is one of my favorite books of hers yet. The characters in it are so well thought out, with a story that is equally good, and I couldn't put it down.

I'll Be Yours is a novel about Harper O'Malley, a smart teen, who agrees to tutor the school's football star and takes dating advice from him. Her home life is complicated, and she grows a lot throughout the course of the book.

Jenny B. Jones' books make me laugh. They make me cry. The leave me wanting to be a better writer.

If you love fiction, then you need to check out Jenny B. Jones' work. Her books are some of the best out there. And, even if you are older, you are still going to love her teen books. I do. The stories she writes are so good that adults and teens alike can relate.

I have enjoyed Jenny B. Jones' books for years. She has a great sense of humor and put so much heart into the books, as well, and I know that you will really love her writing, too.

Hers are books that I can read for hours straight. Once I get into one of them I don't want to put it down. I look forward to rereading I'll Be Yours, as I have reread some of her previous books.

If you want to read a book that will make you laugh out loud, and yet that will tug on your heartstrings at the same time, then you need to check out Jenny B. Jones' books.

Start with I'll Be Yours and then work your way through the Katie Parker Production series and The Charmed Life series. Those are my favorites of hers, but all of her books are great!

Thank you, Jenny B. Jones, for putting such great writing out there for all of us to enjoy!

Stay tuned for more Favorite Author blogs coming up soon!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

God is faithful. Always.

Even during scary times like the flooding going on in Houston, God is faithful.

Even when it feels like there is no hope, he gives hope.

Even during war. Even with the fear of evil, he can be trusted.

God is faithful. He is never going to leave or forsake us.

All that we need he has provided. He is not going to let us down.

No matter what we need, we only have to ask him and to trust him. He won't always do things in the way that we expect, but he will always be faithful to take care of us.

There are many things in life that will get us down and scare us. There are times when we will be so worried about the future that we can't enjoy the moment. But God is going to take care of us, and that is what we need to remember always.

You might be going through a hard time, but God has not given up on you. He loves you, and he is faithful to help you. In all seasons, through all of your pain.

Never fear, for God is with you. He is not going to leave you, but he will provide all that you need, always.

I hope you are encouraged today by God's faithfulness!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Favorite Author - Susan May Warren is one of the Best

Susan May Warren is an author who is a favorite of both mine and Emily's. Her books are full of drama, love, and heart. She pours herself into her works, and the details in her books are amazing.

Susan May Warren is one of those authors who I wish I could constantly be reading. Like, if every book I read was written by her, I wouldn't mind. She's that good.

She has books that are centered around families and the drama that comes along with them, like The Christiansen Family Series, and I really enjoy her style of writing. I love the stories that she tells and how she works everything together neatly into each book.

She creates settings that you can imagine in your mind, such as the charming small Minnesota town of Deep Haven, and she really captures the heart of the reader in each of her books.

I love getting deeply involved in the story I am reading, and with Susan May Warren's writing, it is easy to do that.

I have enjoyed Susan May Warren's books for many years now, and as mentioned above, The Christiansen Family series is one of my favorites. I felt connected to the characters in each of the books, and it was fun getting to know the whole family and see all of them fall in love.

I recently read her book Wild Montana Skies and it was beautifully written, too. I like that she writes about families and their struggles, as well as love stories. She digs deep and makes the characters seem real. The Shadow of Your Smile is one of my favorites of hers. I enjoy all of her books, and she is an inspiration to me as an author.

All of her books keep me turning the pages because they are so packed with action. There is never a dull moment in them, and I look forward to reading many more books by her in the future.

Never read a book by Susan May Warren? Start with the Christiansen Family series, then go with the Nobel Legacy series or dive into the Montana Rescue series. I know you're going to love her books!

Stay tuned for more Favorite Author blogs coming up soon!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Family in the Bible - Paul and His Nephew

I never really thought about it until recently, but what was Paul's nephew's opinion of him? We hear of the nephew when he warns Paul about the plot that some had to kill him in Acts 23.

And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
Acts 23:16

Did his nephew simply do it out of family loyalty? Or did he agree with Paul in his beliefs? I always assumed he was a Christ follower, too, but was he?

And, if he was, did he become a Christian after Paul's conversion? Did he support him when he was still Saul and was persecuting Christians?

It's always interesting to study Bible stories more in depth. To think about the people and what they were actually thinking, feeling, and going through.

I find families in the Bible especially interesting, and I really wonder what the relationship between uncle and nephew was.

As a aunt myself, my nieces and nephews mean the world to me. I wonder if Paul felt the same way about his nephew. Did he love him since he was a child? Did he spoil him? Or was he distant until the time he saw the light on the road to Damascus, and then did he start being kind to his nephew? Or, maybe his nephew didn't actually know him, but just knew of him.

We don't know a lot about what went on and the relationship between them, but it is interesting to think about, none the less. Paul's nephew cared enough about him to warn him when people were out to kill him, and I think that says a lot.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

But Where Is Our Praise?

Something goes wrong, and we ask God to fix it. We ask him to fix us when we are broken inside. We lean on him during the storm, during our struggles. And while all of this is good, there is one question that I have.

When we are saved from our struggles, where is our praise?

God helps us out in so many ways. Every day he is looking out for us, even when we do not see him at work. He is there. He blesses us with our homes, our families, our jobs. God takes care of us in giving us health. In giving us love.

So, where is our praise?

Sure, we might sing songs of praise on Sunday mornings, but do we really mean it? And even if we do, where is the praise that we should be giving God every day of the week, not just in church?

We are so quick to ask God for help.

We are so in need of what he can give us all of the time.

But where is our praise?

I know that I need to learn to thank God more often. I need to praise him every day for all of the beautiful things that he has given me. For all of the answered prayers. For all of the ways he has made me learn and grow.

God is great, and his mercies are endless. His love is unfathomable. His grace extends to all.

"Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord."
Psalm 117

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

7 Must Read Christian Fiction Novels (not just the typical love stories)

If you are into reading books that are focused on more than just a love story between the two main characters, then you will love all seven of the books listed below.

These books have heart. They have a story beyond what is typically told in a book. And I love them all.

The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
This story is one of a mother who has been constantly on the move since her daughter's birth. But she's now settled in a small town and finally feeling good about being there. Her teenage daughter's pregnancy and the rumors that are sure to come with it make her want to leave again... but will she stay? Loved this book on a topic rarely written about. I found it interesting and heart warming.

The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren
This book focuses on a middle age couple facing divorce. But, just before they are to go through with the divorce, the woman is in an accident that erases parts of her memory. It's an interesting, emotional, and well thought out read, and I loved all of the family drama in the story.

From Bad to Worse by Todd and Jedd Hafer
This is not your typical book in any way. It focuses on a hurting young man and a road trip that he takes home from college with his high school crush. The books gets deep, and it tugged on my emotions as I read it. It was an inspiration to me, and I definitely recommend that you read it if you are looking for something different.

Heart Echos by Sally John
A woman with a hard past. A daughter who never met her father. Secrets between family members... two sisters who need each other's support... This book is one that held my interest from the first page to the last. It was all about a dysfunctional family, and I loved it.

Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley
This book is highly emotional. I cried when I read it. It's a young adult book, but it tells a compelling story, and you will want to read it, no matter what age you are. It deals with heavy topics, such as suicide, and it is crafted beautifully.

In Between by Jenny B. Jones
I have read this book through a few times because it is just that good. I laughed and cried as I read the story of a teenage foster child and her struggles to fit in with a new, Christian family.

A House Divided by Robert Whitlow
I love a book that tackles hard topics and that is different than most, and this one definitely fits the bill. It centers around an alcoholic attorney, who is failing at his firm and with his two adult children. This book is full of drama and is well written. It is interesting, real, and a must read.

So, go ahead and check these books out! You will laugh, cry, and have a great time as you read each one of them.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

No Longer Broken Is One Year Old!

It's been one year since No Longer Broken was released. It's crazy to think that it's been out that long. It's been a great year.

Emily and I have been writing for so long, and we have always wanted to share our writing with others. We have always wanted to make a positive impact with the writing that we do.

We feel so blessed to have been published. We had dreamed of getting a book in print for years, and to have eLectio Publishing choose to work with us and publish our book was an honor.

This past year was amazing. And we hope that people will continue to read our book and be touched by it.

Check out an author interview that we did on and was published today here.

Thank you for supporting our writing!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You'll Take Me Back Always

Christian music is a great source to give us encouragement. One song that came to mind the other day was Jeremy Camp's, "Take You Back." This is such a powerful song with great message.

God will always take us back.

No matter what we have done.

No matter how much pain we are in. We can count on him.

God loves us and forgives us. He is full of grace and mercy.

If you don't know this song yet, then give it a listen now.

Thank you, God, for loving me always.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Have No Fear

When we see bad things happening in the world around us it is easy to get wrapped up in all of that. To become afraid.

We fear pain and death. We fear losing a loved one. We fear war. We fear evil.

And, while those are all very real and scary things, God tells us in Proverbs 3 that we don't have to be afraid.

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
Proverbs 3:25-26

Does this mean that we will always be safe, and that nothing bad will ever happen to us? No. But God will be with us. He is with us always, and he doesn't want us to fear.

Over and over again the Bible tells us not to be afraid. Jesus says it multiple times in the New Testament, such as in Matthew 6.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

Jesus tells us not to fear tomorrow. To not look ahead and worry about what is going to happen to us or if bad things are going to happen, but to trust him. To rely on him to see us through.

God is in control. Good day or bad, sunny or stormy, God knows what is going on in our lives. He will not let us stumble and fall. He will hold us even through the hardest days that we face. And we can trust him because he made us. He loves us. He watches over us always, as it is said in Psalm 121.

He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber.
Psalm 121:3

So, do not fear. Even when disasters happen, even when your life feels rocky and everything is uncertain, God has it all under control. He is watching over you. He is not sleeping on the job, but he is there for you. You can trust him. Have no fear.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Our Grandmother, an Avid Reader

Our maternal grandmother was a great person for many reasons. (Our paternal grandmother was, too, but we'll save that for another time.) She was happy despite the pain that arthritis caused her. She made jokes and got people to laugh at them and the stories that she told. She cared about her grandchildren. She was generous. I loved her very much.

One of our grandmother's wonderful traits... she was an avid reader. She loved all kinds of books. She devoured books quickly. She was always reading. The librarians in her hometown knew her pretty well.

I love that my grandmother loved to read. I like to think that part of the reason that I enjoy both reading and writing is because of her. Whenever we would go to her house when I was young, she would always have her books sitting around.

There was a period of time when we would go to my grandma's house to clean on a weekly basis. Those cleaning visits were not complete until someone had given my grandma a ride to the library so that she could stock up on books.

My grandma didn't have the best vision in her later years so she would read large print books. That cut down on the number of options open to her. She would pick up anything and everything when we were at the library, simply eager to read.

I remember one time when we took my grandma to a library other than her hometown one. This one had multiple floors and new book options for her. I carried her books around for her, and she kept adding to the stack in my arms. By the time we got down to the main floor and I deposited those books onto the counter to be checked out, my muscles were sore and my arms were shaking.

My grandmother passed away eight months before Bethany and I received our contract for our debut novel. I wish that she would have had the chance to know that we were going to be published. I wish that we would have been able to share No Longer Broken with her. I know that she would have been proud of us.

I am so thankful for the wonderful woman that my grandmother was, and the time that I got to spend with her. I am thankful for her love of reading, and the fact that I have inherited that.

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

Dear God,

Thank You for all of the freedom that you have given us in America.

Thank You for the freedom to worship You.

Thank You that we can write Christian books and have them published in this country without fear of legal trouble.

Thank You for those who have stepped up and fought for our freedom.

Thank You for the history that our country has.

Thank You for the whole concept of freedom.

Thank You for the ways in which you have made us truly free.

Thank You for everything that You do.


By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Everyone's Different

Everyone's different. God didn't have just one plan that fit with all of the prophets, but he gave a unique plan to each one of them.

God gave each one of them unique gifts and a different way of reaching those they were sent out to reach.

He took Jonah and had him swallowed by the fish to get him to where he needed him to be.

He talked to Moses through a burning bush because that was the best way to reach him.

God knows that each person is different. And he uses the differences between everyone for his good.

It doesn't matter that we're not all the same. It's actually a good thing.

And it doesn't matter that we're not all sharing the gospel in the same way, either. Some people are more vocal about their faith, and some show others their faith in the way that they quietly live it out. The peace that they have in their lives is a testament of their faith in and of itself.

And there are people who are called to be pastors. Writers. Or Christian musicians. There are those who are involved in teaching young people about God. There are those who have a coworker they feel called to minister to.

Everyone is different, and that is a good thing. So, we should embrace the things that make us different and be willing to be used by God always.

No matter what your gifts are. No matter how you feel it is best to live out your faith. Ask God to show you what to do and use your unique gifts for him.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What are We Running After?

I like to shop for clothes. I like to find designer pieces at a good price, and I dream of getting designer pieces at full price. There are times when I will go through a website and just browse those items that I know that I can't afford. I would love to fill my wardrobe with all new pieces - and I would love to have all of them come from high-end brands.

I watch YouTube videos a lot. I see vlogs from people who have houses that are big and beautiful. Houses that are new and perfect. I see their bathrooms, their kitchens, all of those extras outside such as pools and ponds. All of that seems amazing.

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Mark 8:36

I could push to gain everything that others have. I could fight hard to earn all of the money that I would need to live an amazing lifestyle. I could attempt to fill my closet with clothing that costs more than it probably should. There is so much that I could fight for, but that is not what is really important.

Would I be willing to give up my soul in order to get those things that I long for? Would it be worth it if I got all that I want but I had to give up my faith? What am I running after, and why am I running after that?

This is not a post about whether or not it is okay for us to become rich while others are poor. This is not a post about envy. This is not a post about giving. I was simply thinking of this truth in writing this: The whole world means nothing in comparison to our faith and our souls.

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Comfort From The Psalms

The Psalms are a great place to go for comfort and encouragement. Here are a few great verses from the book.

Hope you are having a great day and a great week!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

We Just Need To Live - And Rely On God Always

You can't be certain of anything in this life.

But you just have to live.

You don't know what plans God has for you. You don't know where he'll lead you.

But you just have to live.

You need to take his direction. You need to be unafraid.

Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen every day.

But it doesn't help anything to worry or fear.

God doesn't want us to be afraid.

So we just have to live.

We need to put our faith and hope and trust in God and his timing, knowing that his ways are perfect.

He wants the best for us, and he will never fail us.

So, we just need to live.

We need to love God, and we need to live.

There are times when stress will take over our minds and consume us.

When pain will fill us up inside.

But we need to press on. And we need to live.

There are going to be good times in our lives, too. There will be joy and laughter. There is a time and season for everything.

God has blessed us with so much. In this moment, right now, we can look around us and see that. And we should be grateful for all we have.

God will never leave us or abandon us, but he will be with us every moment.

So we need to live.

And we need to rely on him always, as we live.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

God Knows What We Want... And What We Need

God knows what we want, but more importantly he knows what we need.

Too often we doubt him in this. We pray for the things we want, and we think that we should get them. And when we don't we feel that God has failed us.

But God never promised us that life on earth was going to be easy. He never once said that it was supposed to be perfect.

Life on earth is hard. It's messy.

Sometimes we might feel like God is ignoring us and our pleas for things to go our way. But he isn't.

God loves us so much and he wants what's best for us. And he always knows what that is.

So, as hard as it is, we need to try to trust God to give us all that we need. We have to leave things up to him and ask him to help us through whatever we are facing.

God knows what we want and what we need. And when we have full faith in him to see us through whatever we are facing we will never get let down.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Do Not Fear For I Am With You

Thinking of the tragedy that happened in Manchester yesterday, I wanted to share some encouraging Bible verses today.

Evil is present in the world, but it will not win. God is life. God is love. God tells us not to fear.

Here are a few of my favorite Bible verses when dealing with fear and anxiety:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:27

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken