Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Refiner's Fire by Laura V. Hilton

Laura V. Hilton
Some time ago my family decided to take some craft classes at the Ozark Folk Center about fifty miles from our home. My oldest son took bladesmithing classes (making knives), my youngest son took a painting class, and my oldest daughter took a herbal gardening class.

I was, at the time, writing my first book (Patchwork Dreams) where the hero, Jacob went to Seymour, Missouri, and helped out in a blacksmith shop.

I knew nothing about blacksmithing. Nothing.

I noticed one of the classes they offered that year was blacksmithing. So I asked the instructor if I could audit the class.

He agreed.

So the lone female in a class of ten men, I hung out in the blacksmith shop every day, for two weeks. Inhaling the smoke. Listening to the clang, clang, clang. And keeping the fire hot. It had to be kept at a certain temperature for the metal to become pliable.

Fast forward several years.

My work in progress (planned release Fall 2016) has a character referring to the Refiner’s Fire and applying it to real life. My heroine had some terrible things happen to her and she questions why… why… why?

Don’t we all?

There are several reasons why God allows bad things to happen to us. I’m not going to venture to guess why in your case or your friend’s case. But, let me tell you about a couple of mine.

I miscarried three babies. I was told that when you have a large family, it is normal and no big deal. Wrong. It was a big deal. I wanted that baby. Those babies.

Around that time God kept putting women in my path who miscarried. And I was able to witness to them. Let them grieve. Reach out to them with God’s love.

Later, I went through cancer. God used that time to refine me further. I learned the importance of putting God first every day. Every hour. Every minute. Not only that, but God also has women approaching me and telling me they have cancer. And I am able to pray with them and for them.

The refiner’s fire.

We have to be pliable for God to be able to mold us into something He can use.

Going through the fire isn’t pleasant.

As many of you know, I’m going through another sort of fire right now. Spiritual warfare over my oldest son. It isn’t pleasant. I don’t know why yet. But God has a reason for this. For the continuous prayer. But even though I don’t know why – He does. He’s teaching me how to fight on my knees.

Are you going through a trial by fire? Maybe He’s refining you for a certain purpose. He has your best interest in mind. He knows the why. And He loves you.

Thank you, God, for choosing me to be use by you. Help me to be pliable and easily molded to what You want me to be. Amen.

Can you use prayer over anything in your life? Feel free to post a brief note in the comments. No need to go into details. I don’t need to know why to be able to pray for you.

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
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?