Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Enlarge My Coast by Laura V. Hilton

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10

Laura V. Hilton

Many years ago, the Prayer of Jabez was popular. Little gift books came out about it along with other gift items. People passed out little wallet cards with the verse printed on it. My mom taped her card to the steering wheel of her car and prayed it every single day. She gave me a plaque with the verse printed on it. It has since gone missing, wandering off with the help of a small child, but for a long time, it sat on my desk. And I prayed it every day. Or did. I haven’t for awhile now, because honestly, I forgot.

But it was brought to mind the other day. You see, I am, by nature, a quiet, shy person. If I don’t know you, I don’t have much to say. Small talk is not my gift. I tend to be direct like Rachel Lynn on Anne of Green Gables. Okay, well maybe I’m not quite that direct. But almost. Becoming an author – a published author – was a dream come true. And I used to joke and say “If my book ever appears in the Christian Book Distributors catalog I would know I made it.” My very first book appeared there. Then I said, “If I ever see my book at Walmart I would know I made it.” My books appeared in Walmart.

And then these uncomfortable scenarios cropped up. Book signings. Discussions about my book in front of a small group. I got pretty good at handling myself in the small rural area I live in, and was actually flattered when a couple times I had a line. A. Line! Of people who wanted to meet me! Wow. It wasn’t as long as, say, a line to meet Beverly Lewis, but still. She’s been around a lot longer than I have and I have no idea how many books she has out, but it must be in the triple digits. I’m grateful for the double digit amount I have out.

But then I got a phone call. The conversation mentioned a book tour. Tour. As in more than one location. As in a massive road trip. To cities.

I didn’t say a whole lot. What could I say? Excuse me while I go find a cave and hide? They said they flew another author to Nashville. My heart started pounding. My head hurt and I think I had a major hot flash.

I whined to my husband, mentioning the possibility of those two words. He said, “embrace it.” Right. Good thing I love that man. Embrace the major shove out of my comfort zone if it actually happens?

But that made me think of that verse in 1 Chronicles. And those words. Enlarge my coast. Other translations say, increase my territory. Expand my boundaries.

Do we really think about what we’re praying with that verse? What if God decides to answer it and shoves you out of your comfort zone? Will you enter into the increased boundaries like I do, fearfully and carefully, imagining the worst? Or will you embrace it with open arms, “Here I am, World!”?

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” 1 Chronicles 4:10

How do you handle being shoved out of your comfort zone? If you’re comfortable, will you share your tips for those of us who aren’t?

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 GlobeThe Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015.

See below for information on Laura's latest, The Amish Firefighter. 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: http://www.twitter.com/Laura_V_Hilton or@Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

Amish Firefighter
by Laura V. Hilton

A Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home
Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away with some relatives she'd never heard about, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She's desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody's making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn't seem willing to help.

A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own

Sam Miller is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor-in-training. When local barn fires escalate, everyone suspects arson. And since the Miller family are among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.

A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated
When their paths first cross, at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or extinguish. And they'll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno.