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Christian Store Week October 1-10, 2011

Have you been blessed by a Christian bookstore? I certainly have. When I was a little girl, I loved going to the local Berean Christian bookstore. Today I’m doubly blessed by my local store (Graceland Christian Bookstore in Pittsburg CA). As a customer, I appreciate the great selection of books, music, and gift items. As an author, I’ve been blown away by their enthusiastic support.

October 1-10 is Christian Store Week! These stores offer a unique blend of products and ministry, and this week is our chance to thank them. Many stores are hosting authors or recording artists! Check out the Christian Store Week website to find participating locations near you.

During Christian Store Week only, the Feed the Flock CD will be available for purchase at participating stores and will include music, books and videos from Christian artists and authors. All proceeds go to World Vision’s food aid programs.

What else can you do to show appreciation to your local store?
1) Buy something!
2) Thank them in person, or even better, write a letter all the staff can read.
3) Bring them goodies!
4) Brag about the store to all your friends and family.
5) Sing their praises on Facebook or Twitter.
6) Visit one of the Christian Store Week author or artist events.

I’ll be participating too! On Wednesday, October 5, I’ll be at Lighthouse Christian Store, 7188 Amador Plaza Rd., Dublin CA from 7-9 pm. I’ll be giving a short talk about the process of writing a book, as well as signing books. On Saturday, October 8, I’ll be signing books at Nu Revelations Bookstore, 22431 Foothill Blvd., Hayward CA from 3-6 pm.

Missing the Mark

Algebra. I loved it, but as a parent the word makes me shiver. Today I corrected my son’s algebra homework. Although he got every problem correct, I made him redo the entire page. Why? He didn’t show his work. In algebra, the process is as important as the answer. If turned in, that paper would have earned an F.

In other words, he missed the mark.

Sin can be a difficult concept. We understand murder and theft and adultery as sin. We understand lying and gossip as sin—especially when we’re on the receiving end. But coveting? Judgmental thoughts? Complaining? Well, everyone does those.

But they miss the mark.

Remember, Eve “only” ate a piece of fruit. But she knew God had forbidden it. Any time we do what God doesn’t want us to do, or we don’t do what God wants us to do, we’ve missed the mark. We’ve sinned.

I offered my son a redo of his algebra page, but God offers the best redo of all—a new life in Christ, all sins forgiven and erased. The wages of sin might be F—I mean, death! “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23.

Book Beat – Don’t Leave Your Brains at the Door

It’s tough being a teenager – drama, tests, making major life decisions, hormones, parental pressure, boys/girls, and more drama. In addition, teens get conflicting messages about God, Christianity, and life.

Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler’s bestselling Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door has been updated for a new generation and addresses questions teens may have about their faith. 

Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door is written in an accessible style and takes on various myths teens have heard – and may even believe – yes, even kids raised in the church. These myths include cosmic-killjoy God, just-a-good-teacher Jesus, everyone goes to heaven, God “grading on a curve,” and most importantly the myth that you have to sacrifice your brain to be a Christian. McDowell use clear logic to debunk these myths. While this is not an in-depth apologetics text – nor should it be – a teen will see the logic behind their faith and come out with a clearer view of God, the Bible, and how to live as a Christian.

I highly recommend this book for young to mid-teens, their parents, and youth workers. The book would make an excellent resource for parent-teen discussions or study, as well as for small groups.

Blue Skies Tomorrow Kindle Giveaway…Winner!

To celebrate the release of Blue Skies Tomorrow, the final installment of the Wings of Glory series, I teamed up with Litfuse Publicity to give one winner A Vintage Kindle Prize Package!

A whirl of bloggers reviewed Blue Skies Tomorrow – and this is what they had to say… Read what the reviewers said here.

The contest closed on September 10. I can barely believe it, but 3996 people entered the contest!!!! And the winner is….Barbara Nolan of Kentucky!!!

Barbara will receive:

* Kindle with Wi-Fi
* Handmade vintage apron for her and a friend (see a photo here)
* Blue Skies Tomorrow (for Kindle)

Thank you so much to all of you who entered and to all the fabulous bloggers who made this contest and blog tour so much fun!

Faith Deployed Again Giveaway Winners

On September 11, it seems fitting to honor the families of those who serve in our military. These Home Front heroes serve quietly and without accolade. Often military wives live far away from the support of family and friends. Please remember them. Pray for them. Reach out to those military families in your community.

The winners of Faith Deployed…Again: More Encouragement for Military Wives by Jocelyn Green are “mrskatbaca” and “Evy,” both of whom are in the middle of their husband’s deployments.

Thank you to all the members of our military and to the families who support them. We appreciate and honor you.

Book Beat – Faith Deployed…Again

The September 11 attacks altered life in America. For most of us, this meant little more than increased patriotism and longer lines at the airport, but military families experienced deep and lasting changes. Troop deployments have become more frequent, longer, and far more dangerous.

Sadly, military wives are often forgotten. During deployments, these women function as single parents, deal with their own fears and concerns, and keep life normal for the children while keeping Daddy real to them as well.

Author Jocelyn Green, a former Coast Guard wife, compiled a series of devotions for military wives in the award-winning Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody Publishers, 2008), and now another compilation, Faith Deployed…Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives.

In Faith Deployed…Again, thirty military wives and Blue-Star moms share heartfelt, biblical advice in short devotions that can be read in snippets of time. Each devotion is beautifully written, with personal anecdotes, Scripture passages, and prayers. Even though I’m not a military wife, I was moved and convicted by many of the readings. Excellent advice is given on protecting marriages, caring for yourself, and providing stability for children.

Faith Deployed…Again would be excellent for military wives, friends or family of military wives who would like to support them better, and even for women whose husbands travel.

Jocelyn Green also has an excellent Faith Deployed Website, which provides information, resources, and an online community for military wives.

Thanks to Moody Publishers, I have two copies of Faith Deployed…Again to give away! Please leave a comment with your email address in the following format: sarah [at] sarahsundin [dot] com, so I can contact the winner. I would love for these books to go where they are needed!

Lessons from the 1940s – Labor Counts

On Labor Day I thought it was appropriate to honor the vital role of production in the Allied victory in World War II.
The United States was well situated to become the “Arsenal of Democracy.” Other than a few random bombings from Japanese submarine-based planes and shellings from submarines, America was free from damage. The factories and shipyards functioned free from danger. The US also had a large industrial infrastructure with Yankee flexibility. Assembly lines for civilian cars and washing machines were reconfigured to crank out jeeps and tanks. Women stepped forward to work in the factories, with 16 million women in the workforce by 1943.

Work days were lengthened and manufacturing wages rose, from an average of $25 per week in 1940 to $45.70 in 1944, while civilian prices and rents were frozen.

American industry and workers stepped up production so that by 1944, real economic output had increased 150%. By 1942, the United States produced more arms than all the Axis countries combined. As a result, America was able to keep itself and the rest of the Allies well supplied.

Dark spots existed. Despite taking a “no-strike pledge” after Pearl Harbor, unions launched many strikes that slowed production, especially in the coal and steel industries, and in the railroads. The threat of government takeover, public outrage, and disgust from the military ended these strikes. In June 1944, sailors on the USS Coos Bay sarcastically sent $412 in pennies to buy off the workers at the Wright aircraft factory in Ohio.

In the end, American production was a key factor in the Allied victory. By keeping the Allies suppled with arms, vehicles, planes, ships, equipment, uniforms, medical supplies, and food, the “Arsenal of Democracy” lived up to its name.

Historical Polio

For months, Helen had lain in the county polio ward. No matter how hard she’d concentrated, her legs wouldn’t do what she asked from them, demanded from them, pleaded from them.
In my novel Blue Skies Tomorrow, which takes place during World War II, Helen Carlisle deals with many repercussions of a childhood bout with polio. Thanks to vaccination, polio is quickly being forgotten, but it was a dread threat in the first half of the twentieth century.

Last week I had the honor of guest blogging about polio on Jordyn’s Medical Edge, a fabulous blog that helps fiction writers with medical questions for their stories.

On August 22, the article covered Polio the Disease – the cause, how epidemics spread, the symptoms of the various types of polio, and Post-Polio Syndrome.

August 24 focused on the Treatment of Polio – isolation, immobilization, the iron lung, Sister Kenny’s massage therapy, and rehabilitation.

The article on August 26 discussed the Polio Vaccines – the Salk Vaccine (IPV – inactivated polio vaccine), the Sabin Vaccine (OPV – oral polio vaccine), and the process of eradication worldwide.

I was touched by the many stories I heard from polio survivors or relatives of victims or survivors. We must never forget the dangers of this virus.

Be Prepared

Does the thought of evangelism scare you?

Sometimes we make the process bigger and more intimidating than it needs to be. The story of Philip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8) shows us a simple three-step process.

1) Listen to the Spirit

Philip was told by the Spirit to approach the Ethiopian. Obviously the Holy Spirit knows the state of each person’s heart and whether they’re ready and willing to receive Christ. A lot of “failures” in evangelism probably happen when we act in our own power (with our hearts in the right place!). Pray for God to send you those promptings and listen to those you receive.

2) Meet them where they are

When Philip approached the Ethiopian, he didn’t launch into the full Plan of Salvation. First he listened. He asked questions. He figured out where this man was coming from.

3) Be prepared

Philip knew the Scriptures well enough to share the gospel message. This comes over time with the daily discipline of reading the Bible. Don’t let a lack of knowledge stop you—remember, the early church grew through the preaching of uneducated brand-new believers—but do meet daily with the Lord. His Word prepares you for any situation.

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” 1 Peter 3:15.

Blue Skies Tomorrow Kindle Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of Blue Skies Tomorrow, the final installment of the Wings of Glory series, I’m teaming up with Litfuse Publicity to give one winner A Vintage Kindle Prize Package! 

The blog tour starts today! Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One winner will receive:

* Kindle with Wi-Fi

* Handmade vintage apron for you and a friend (see photo)

* Blue Skies Tomorrow (for Kindle)

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, giveaway ends on 9/10. Winner will be announced on 9/12 at Sarah Sundin’s blog. Details and official rules can be found when entering the contest.
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