Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Be Strong and Very Courageous by Laura V. Hilton

Laura V. Hilton

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 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 1:7-9
“I’m afraid of this year!” I cried to my husband when he asked me how I’m doing. “My “baby boy” is leaving for the Coast Guard, my oldest son has been making bad decisions and I’m afraid of where this year will find him, my oldest daughter will be leaving to start her higher education, and my middle daughter is finishing up middle school and starting high school. And…”

“Read Joshua 1,” he says.


“Read Joshua 1.”

“But I’m afraid that—”

“Joshua 1.”

“Is that your answer to everything?” There’s probably more than a hint of annoyance in my voice.

“Yes. Joshua 1.”

I have the phone on speaker, so I can do something else while I’m talking to him and my oldest son is being a dear and scrubbing the kitchen floor without my asking.

Then I bump my full cup of iced coffee. It goes everywhere! What a mess. “Ugh, my coffee! It’s everywhere! I’m afraid of this year. It’s getting bad already!”

I yank my chair out of the giant coffee puddle, my son grabs towels, and my husband says, “If that’s the worst thing that happens to you this year, we’re in good shape.”

I said, “But what if it’s not! They say that how the New Year begins is how it goes.”

“Joshua 1.”


My son looks up from mopping my spill. “What’s Joshua 1?”

“A chapter in the Bible. He wants me to read it.”

My husband says, “I’ll let you go so I can get back to work, and you can read. Joshua 1.”

“Yes, dear.” So I load the washing machine and start it while my son finishes mopping the sticky mess left from the coffee spill. Then I sit to type. I have this blog post due, you see, and I don’t know what to say. What to write.

Joshua 1.

This time it’s that still small voice in my head.

Oh. I guess I need to read that first.

So, I do. And then there are those verses. These:

“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.

Be strong and courageous.

Don’t be afraid.

Don’t be discouraged.

The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Whatever challenges this year brings.

Whatever blessings this year brings.

Whatever changes this year brings.

Wherever I go.

Are you facing challenges this year? Let’s claim Joshua 1 together.

Lord, help me to be strong and courageous. Help me not to be afraid or discouraged. Please help me to remember that you will be with me wherever I go. Amen.

About the Author
Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Connect with Laura
visit her blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/ & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

The Bird House
The Bird House
by Laura V. Hilton
Twenty–year–old Greta Miller's daed has been injured in a farming accident during the summer. The supportive Amish community tries to help out, but Greta and her sister must work outside the home to make ends meet, and so Greta rents a booth at the farmers' market. Because Greta is still in her rumspringa and free to explore the world, her family selects her to sell her homemade jams, jellies, and preserves to Englischers. Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game; which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. Josh struggles to fit in and rebuild relationships he destroyed. Knowing Greta's family needs help, he steps in, hoping to win her back. When Greta admires one of his birdhouses, he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta get beyond her family's distrust and return home? Will she prove her innocence? Or will she remain outside her Amish community?


  1. Wow. What a great post. Thanks for sharing. God knows what we need when we need it. I had tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading. Don't be afraid, don't be discouraged. God's got this, whatever this may be. You can trust Him.

    1. Yes. I'm still hanging on to that. God does know what we need when we need it.

  2. I had to read this post because COURAGE is my word for 2016 and Joshua 1:7-9 are my verses!!! Yes, it takes COURAGE to "walk by faith and not by sight" as we follow where the Lord leads us. May GOD be glorified beyond our wildest imaginations this year as HE leads us through it.

    1. God has never given me a word for the year, ever, until this year, and it is this phrase. Be strong and very courageous.

      Amen to your last sentence.

  3. Perfect, Laura! Isn't it wonderful how God works not only to calm you in the storms of your life, but also to have you share with others so they too can be calmed by Him in their storms.

    1. God does work in mysterious ways. I'm so thankful I'm a believer. I don't know how others survive w/o God's help and comfort.

  4. Wonderful post, Laura. I sorely needed it today, at this time of year. Gonna make sure Joshua is my new bff. Thanks. I mean it.

  5. Wonderful and timely post, Laura. With everything happening in all around us plus in our personal life fear wants to come out. But WE have nothing to fear when we know God as our Lord and Savior. "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world". Blessings to you and prayers.

  6. Laura, I'll claim Joshua 1 with you! Thank you for an incredible post.

  7. Thanks, Laura! I needed this today. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that's before me.

  8. Thanks, Dawn. Praying for you as you press on.

  9. Great post, Laura! My word for 2016 is EMBRACE. I was having a difficult time with all the changes that 2015 brought, being 'afraid' of them, but the Lord convicted me about my attitude and showed me that I need to embrace them because they are meant for good not harm. Life is challenging, to say the least. Keeping our focus on Him and not circumstances is key to walking a fruitful Christian walk.


We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!