Giveaway and Book Tour The Unannounced Christmas Visitor

My Review:

I really enjoyed this short novel.  It might not have had hundreds of pages but it was packed with powerful messages that stayed with me.  This contemporary Christian fiction is an eye-opening book that I would recommend to everyone.

The author has done an exemplary job of capturing society’s views on multiple issues.  It offers food for thought and insight into many issues.  Homelessness is explored as well as motives for going to church.  Giving graciously and joyfully is addressed.  Serving others is discussed.  His story is God glorifying.  Shouldn’t every book that is classified as “Christian” bring glory to God?

The characters are relatable and believable.  Grace and Matthew, the children, are adorable.  Enoch, the angel, was riveting and I wanted to keep “listening” to him speak.  The author did such a good job with this book.  I could not put it down.

Scripture is not sprinkled throughout this book, but rather it is heavily dropped in all the way.  It took me from page one to become invested.  This is a story that should move and change everyone who reads it.  I hope to see it on the Hallmark Channel at Christmas on day.

It get a huge recommendation from me.  Everyone should read it.  I rated it 5+ out of 5 stars but wanted to go higher.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but all opinions and the review are my own honest opinion.
7F6BB251-A72B-4F7E-861E-C81FD49B70E4

About the Book

Book: The Unannounced Christmas Visitor
Author: Patrick Higgins
Genre: Christian fiction/Christmas
Release Date: November 18, 2014
What if angels really did come from the most unlikely of places? That’s exactly what happens in this heartwarming story, set in a homeless community in Anywhere USA. Sent to Planet Earth by his Maker, disguised as a homeless person, Enoch was on a mission: to rescue a man whose life was slowly but steadily spiraling out of control
Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed! 2016 IPA (INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHER AWARDS) GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNER.
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Patrick higginsPatrick Higgins is the author of “The Pelican Trees”, “Coffee In Manila”, the award-winning “The Unannounced Christmas Visitor”, and the award-winning prophetic end times series, “Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye.”

Guest Post from Patrick

Why I wrote the book: Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed!

Blog Stops

Lighthouse Academy, November 10
The Power of Words, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 12
Bogging With Carol, November 12
Moments, November 14
Mary Hake, November 15
Inklings and notions, November 16
Bibliophile Reviews, November 17
Vicky Sluiter, November 18
Godly Book Reviews, November 19
Texas Book-aholic, November 21
Carpe Diem, November 22
Bigreadersite, November 22
amandainpa, November 23

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Patrick is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d5c7/the-unannounced-christmas-visitor-tour-giveaway

I Wish I Had or I’m Glad I Did

I wish I had….  How many times have we all started a sentence with those four little words?  I wish I had gone to see her.  Perhaps, I wish I had said or even had not said that.  The list of “I wish” is endless unfortunately.

A few days ago a friend died.  It was unexpected for most everyone.  I listened to mourners and read tributes from so many people.  The majority of people started theirs with “I wish”.  “I wish I had called him instead of texted that morning.”  “I wish I had told him I loved him the last time I saw him.”  “I wish I had taken more time to talk when he called.”

9975B42B-94CF-4914-98CC-29F404603EAE

Cliche as it might sound, maybe it is time to give up the wishes and regrets.  It is time to live life doing those things.  There is a song that talks about “Live Like You are Dying”.  What if we lived like our family and friends were instead?  Would we treat them differently?  Yes, I certainly would.

My words would be much more thoughtful and kind.  I would definitely consider others’ feelings and needs.  All of the things I wanted to say would get said.  There are things I have learned thatI would share.   It would be a priority to discuss Jesus and salvation.   How will I know if I don’t ask?

Do they know that in times of sorrow, Jesus is my comfort.  He is my strength.  In Psalm 46:1, the Bible tells us “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  This is so true.  I cannot make it a day without Him.  He shelters and strengthens me.  I draw my peace from Him.

John 14:27 gives us Jesus’ assurance that “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  This is the “peace that passes understanding” that we sang about in Sunday school.  A pure peace is given to us by Jesus when things are in chaos.

5FE31E4C-2BFC-4535-97B3-0FABB218BA59

Scripture says  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  That is my goal.  To make certain my family and friends have one of those mansions.  It has already been bought and paid for by Jesus.  All I can do is give them the good news and pray they accept the keys.

No more wishing for me.  It is time for action.  Live each day purposefully.  Say the “I love you” and “thank you”.  Make the phone call.  Take the time.  Go to lunch.  Share the love.  Talk about Jesus.  Say goodbye to “I wish I had” and hello to “I’m glad I did.”

What are your I wish sentences that turn into regrets instead of sweet memories?  How about doing something now instead being disappointed later?

 

Vacations are Nice, but I Yearn for Home

Have you been on vacation this year?  Most people take an annual vacation and often more than one.  Some people have a favorite spot to visit each year while others enjoy seeing new places. Me, I like both.  Seeing new places is great.  The sights, experiences, and tastes of somewhere I have never before been is an exciting adventure.  A new treasure could be awaiting me there.

8DBDAE5E-7D68-4BE4-B4EB-D6ECC0F14F63

My favorite getaway is a cabin high in the Smokey Mountains with my family for the week.  I could handle that vacation at least once a year and probably more.  The majesty of God’s beautiful mountains take my breath away each time we drive to Gatlinburg.  Like a child I become excited when I see a chipmunk, raccoon, or bear off of the cabin’s deck while having coffee in the morning.

After vacation, there’s no place like home

Vacation, an extended period of recreation spent away from home or in traveling, is nice for a time, but after it is over it is nice to be home.  Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz emotionally repeats “there’s no place like home” and I agree.  No matter how good vacation has been, we are always happy to be home when it is over.

2F10F102-6CF2-47EB-AFBA-ABA437527C60

My maternal grandmother often would tell me “you know, this old world is not our home.”  That was confusing to a child, but the older I got the more she explained.  Finally I understood.  Mammaw was talking about Heaven.  She would tell me her soul longed for “home” and to be with loved ones there.  When she spoke of Heaven it was beautiful and biblical.

“In Heaven there will be no sickness or pain, no tears, and affliction.  We will be whole with perfect bodies.”  She would laugh when I asked what we would do all day for eternity.  “Probably the same things we do now only better” she would brightly say and break out in song “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.  My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue….”

4EFB9B8E-A7BE-4B73-94E4-3E83AEA21269

What about you?  Do you ever feel like you are waiting to go home?  This world, like a vacation, is nice for a while, but your heart is yearning for someplace better.  It is homesick.  I know I am.  Vacations are wonderful.  This world is a nice place, too, but Heaven is our home.  Our Father is there.  Jesus is there.  Our family should be, too.  We have a home there.

Gather your treasures and pack for your trip home.  What will you take?  There aren’t a lot of things allowed.  The main thing on your list should be loved ones.  Make sure you have shared Jesus and His salvation with your family and friends.  You will want to see them after your vacation or theirs.

A056FB6F-D8EF-4A4D-B610-F2296840AF28

“For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Hebrews 13:14

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  John 14:2-3

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Let’s Talk About it. . .

Well, top of the mornin’ to ya and Happy St. Patty’s Day! ‘‘Tis the day everyone claims to be at least a wee bit Irish,  What about you?  Are you really of Irish decent or just Irish today?

0E2C84F5-0041-470A-B858-46BE3FFB3DCD

A sea of green will be flowing everywhere today because most everyone wears green clothes, Irish or not, on this day. It is the day many foods turn green on purpose.  Even the river in Chicago turns green.  This is also the one day of the year that we all put a “Mc” or “O” in front of our surname and become Irish. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick was a soul saver. IMG_1716A soldier for the Lord.  That is what we are really celebrating.  He used a three leaf clover to teach people about the trinity.  St. Patrick turned thousands of hearts, minds, and souls to the one true God.  Now, doesn’t that sound like cause to celebrate!  I think so, too.

It isn’t about having things green and being Irish. No fictional little leprechauns with rainbows and pots of gold were there.  This is about celebrating the vast number of Druids, pagans that were saved and became Christians.

4EAD1148-8A9D-47AB-9CCA-0876851BC54B

 

Irish are supposed to be lucky among a lot of other things. You’ve heard of the “luck of the Irish,” right? Hmm, I am not sure about that. Well, I guess you could say the ones that met St. Patrick were lucky, or could you? Was it luck that drew them to St. Patrick or something else?  Perhaps the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe in luck? Do you think there is gold at the end of the rainbow? Personally, I don’t really believe much in luck or leprechauns. Maybe if I keep losing when playing a game I say I have bad luck, but outside of that I don’t put belief in luck. My faith and trust are in Jesus. He is the one that guides and directs me just like He did St. Patrick.

When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He was the Way or rainbow to my riches. I followed Him. My gold happens to be where Jesus prepared a place for me at the end of my earthly life – in Heaven. IMG_3600That is where my heart is, too. In Heaven the Bible says there will be beautiful streets of gold. My saved loved ones will be there. There will be no more sickness, no more death, no more tears. My Savior, Jesus, is there. Our Almighty God, my Maker, is there. Talk about hitting the jackpot or pot of gold! That is everything I could ever want. Wow, no riches can compare to that. None. So what about you? Where is your pot of gold?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21.

Traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day Dish

img_3557

Irish Colcannon, an Irish Treasured Dish

1 lb. potatoes peeled white or unpeeled red potatoes
½ lb. bacon (cut into small 1-inch squares)
1 T. Kosher salt
6 cups thinly sliced cabbage (approximately a head)
6 T. butter (four for the cabbage and two for the potatoes)
½ cup whipping cream (or milk)
Fresh parsley chopped finely-a few sprigs will do
A large onion, chopped
5 or 6 scallions or a clump (handful) of chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash potatoes and peel if you’re using thick skinned.
Cut the potatoes in quarters and place in a large pot of boiling water.
Add the Kosher salt. Boil for approximately 25 minutes.
Stick one of the potatoes with a fork to see if they’re cooked. They should be tender and easy to penetrate with the prongs.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.
When they’re finished cooking, add 4 T. butter.
Add the cabbage and onions.
Sauté the cabbage mixture until almost done, with the onions translucent and cabbage a bit crispy. Some people prefer to cook the mixture until everything is soft. It just depends on whether you like a bit of crunch or not. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and add the butter and cream or milk, mashing it to silky smoothness—unless you left the skins on, then almost silky smoothness.

Add the onion, cabbage mixture and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot. Enjoy this Irish classic dish.