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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Classic Valentine Fight of 1975 & Interview with Amy Litzelman

Love is in the air...or not. It depends on how things look after Valentines Day. Am I right? In the past I have measured my happiness by how a sweetheart behaved toward me on this 'most important' holiday.

I have to tell you a funny story. While Terry and I were engaged, the society lady of our small town newspaper asked us to be the 'sweetheart' couple in the local interest section of the paper.

We were two weeks away from saying our vows and very strapped for money. (How many of you know that to a 19-yr-old girl, Valentines Day is much more important than silly old money?) Mrs. Mahood asked that we bring a Valentine Candy heart with us for the photo shoot.

I was intending to be sarcastic when I told Terry that we could use the old heart my ex-boyfriend had given to me some three years earlier. (Actually, I was hoping for a jealous reaction.) He said, "Great! That will save us some money!!!"

Can you believe that I fumed all the way to the newspaper office. I was ready to call off the wedding. (almost) I couldn't believe that he didn't understand the significance of the 'all important' Valentines box...but...he was thinking of our future.

We got through that photo shoot and managed to look like we were in love. (By the time I got through letting Terry know how I felt about his non-jealous moment, he was equally angry with me.) It was a very nice write up in the paper.
We have made it through 37 Valentine's Days. He has never forgotten to get a card or something sweet for Valentine's Day. He still isn't jealous of anyone. He is very secure in my love so he doesn't see the need. He is, after all, he is my Valentine.

I would like to introduce you to a new author friend of mine.

Amy Layne Litzelman

Christian Non-fiction, Devotional, Christian Life

This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship
1. How long have you been an author and when did the desire to write (the writing bug) bite?
This Beloved Road is my first book, but writing has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started out as a young girl filling stacks of journals, but soon expanded to newspaper work and earning a Journalism degree with a minor in English Education from the University of Wyoming. Growing up with a very gifted father also planted in me a deep-rooted love for music. Over the past 15 years I have written/composed over 75 songs and recorded four CDs. I started a blog in 2002 while leading a band and music ministry, and continue to share writings through that venue, as well as working on a second book and posting an occasional guest blog.

2. Why did you choose the genre you write in? Are there plans to write in another genre
My daily walk with the Holy Spirit is central to all of who I am and what I do. It constantly fills my heart, mind, and writing, so Christian non-fiction has become a natural outlet. I dabbled in fiction and children's literature when younger, so they may overlap with my writing again someday.
3. Please tell about each title here:
This Beloved Road is a snapshot of my pursuit to know God. To really know Him. It is about taking faith beyond believing that God is out there, somewhere, but not really involved too much in my life.

It records my ever-expanding realization that He is more powerful and magnificent than one could imagine, yet more personal than we could hope for. It is about recognizing His voice and believing His words.My goal is to stimulate the idea that a relationship with God is more than theology; it is a daily, growing friendship like all others – and yet so far above all others.

Can we know God? Yes, more intimately than imagined. We are meant to have a friendship full of laughter and tears, questions and answers, and like any relationship it takes time and effort over many years to cultivate. Through 80 essays and songs, I discuss numerous topics, including faith, trust, forgiveness, perseverance, peace, purpose, grace, and love.This book is not age, race, or location specific. Rather, it is for anyone with a spiritual longing.
It is intended to spark desire in those who don’t yet know Jesus, but hope that He is more than just religious duty. It is also for those who have a relationship with God, but long to go deeper in hearing His voice and understanding His ways.
This Beloved Road is also for the faithful for whom the journey deep into their Father’s heart has been long, and now need encouragement to persevere. This Beloved Road is meant to give a taste of the sweetness of God’s friendship and the vastness of His power.
My desire is that you, the reader, will be strengthened and encouraged. I want to share aspects of God that you may have never considered. I hope to open a window and let you see something that will motivate you to walk outside and experience it for yourself.

4. Do you do speaking engagements? Tell about your subject matter.
Yes, I have traveled across the United States and to the Philippines and China to lead worship and teach. Whether leading small groups in a home, training worship leaders and teams, or speaking in churches or at conferences, I love to share biblical truths that bring hope, wisdom, and freedom, and help us learn to see from God's perspective. My favorite topics center around knowing God and living a life of worship.

5. What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?
Three things come to mind: First, writing always takes me deeper in my relationship with God. It challenges me in ways I never could have imagined, but then encourages me to keep going. The process of writing and compiling This Beloved Road was no different. It opened doors to reveal much more beauty and truth about the One I believe in and made me hunger to go yet deeper in Him. This process never ceases to amaze me.
Second, I love that the Holy Spirit can take words on a page and use them to drastically change the lives of others for the better. I have received numerous letters and notes saying that specific pieces of my writing described exactly what that person had already experienced or needed to hear in order to continue on. I've also been leading a study using This Beloved Road for the last few months and am so blessed to see these ladies changing right before my eyes as they apply what they are learning. What an amazing God to put all of these pieces together.
Third, it is very rewarding, very encouraging, to be able to go back and re-read words that I wrote and have read dozens of times before and have them still minister truth and hope to me.

6. Where can your books be purchased?
Several purchasing links are listed on my website
( ):

•signed copies

•eBook download


•Barnes & Noble

•Tate Publishing
Locally: Valley Bookstore and The Cottage Bookstore (Jackson, WY), and Barnes & Noble (Idaho Falls, ID).
Numerous other outlets can be found through Google.

7. How can readers reach you through twitter? through facebook? through your blog? through your website?




8. We all know that writing can be a lonely occupation, what do your family and friends do to lift you up when you are down?
I have a wonderful family and am surrounded by very encouraging friends who pray for me and remind me that God uses this gift for His purposes in my own life and the lives of others. But mostly, my greatest encouragement and strength comes from the Holy Spirit, Himself. I have learned not to try to get from people what only God can give. He alone releases in us the flow of Life and fills us with the courage and ability we need to obey. Without a constant diet of His presence, my writing and my life become empty and weak.

9. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Most of my younger years were spent on a farm in Montana. Toys were limited, but our imaginations were free to run wild. My very favorite thing to do was build forts - in the woods, in a haystack, in a snowbank, in the bushes or garden - anywhere we could find. And to this day, I can't walk past the bushes in my yard or hike in the woods without thinking, "Oh, that would be a great fort!"

Books by Elaine Littau:

Some Happy Day is the first book in the series I have just begun writing. Rescued...A Series of Hope follows the Nan's Heritage Series. It is being released this month. For the whole month of February 2012, I am offering "Some Happy Day" for a lower price. After February, the price will go up.

Your book will be sent to you as soon as they arrive at my house.

I am selling all 5 of the books in the Nan's Journey Series:
Nan's Journey
Elk's Resolve
Luke's Legacy
The Eyes of a Stranger
Timothy's Home
Print versions for $55.

No comments:

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

100 Ways to Simplify Your Life

Publisher: FaithWords; Lrg edition (November 12, 2008)


JOYCE MEYER is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has written more than seventy inspirational books, including The Confident Woman, Look Great, Feel Great, and the entire Battlefield of the Mindfamily of books. She has also released thousands of audio teachings as well as a complete video library. Joyce's Enjoying Everyday Life® radio and television programs are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences. Joyce and her husband, Dave, are the parents of four grown children and make their home in St. Louis, Missouri.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $16.99

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: FaithWords; Lrg edition (November 12, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0446509396

ISBN-13: 978-0446509398



Everyone has them: those days where nothing seems to get done, except maybe what you’ve added to your already lengthy to-do list. Are you tired most of the time? Are you spent? Do you find yourself wish- ing for a better day—a simpler day? Too many things compete for your limited resources of attention, energy, and time. You may be suffocat- ing and not even know it. If you feel like this, you’re not alone.

Most people today live complicated lives that leave them frustrated and confused, weary and worn out. But I have good news: your life does not have to be that way. You can choose a life of simplicity, fruitfulness, fulfillment, peace, and joy. I want to warn you, however, unless you are determined not to, you will do what everyone else does. You will get sucked up in the system and spend your life wishing things were different, never realizing you are, in fact, the only one who can change things. Unless we are resolute and remain undaunted in our quest for simplicity, we are destined for complication and frustration.

I recall a time when I was complaining to God about my schedule being absolutely insane. How could anyone be expected to do all I had in front of me? Then the realization hit me that I was the one who made my schedule and nobody could change it but me. You can spend your lives wishing things were different, but wishing won’t change anything. Smart decision making and decisive action is what changes things. If you picked up this book looking for change, are you willing to make a decision and follow it up with action?

I wasted many years hoping life would change and things would calm down until I finally realized life itself doesn’t change; in fact, it has the potential to get worse. I understood my only real option was to change my approach to life. I had to say no to another day of rushing around and feeling frustrated. I didn’t want the doctor giving me another pre- scription to mask another symptom of the real problem—stress.

In my search for simplicity, I have come to believe life can never be simple unless I learn to approach all things simply. It is my attitude toward each event in life that determines how easy or complex each situation will be. Perhaps life is complicated because people are compli- cated. Is it possible that life is not complicated, but rather, individuals complicate life in the way they approach it?

I discovered it wasn’t really life or circumstances or other people as much as it was me that needed to change. My problem wasn’t the problem—I was the problem! When you spend your life in frustration trying to change the world and everyone in it, you fail to realize it could be you just need to change your approach to life. It can be very easy for someone to live an entire lifetime and never entertain the notion that the way they do things is the real problem.

Have you ever attempted to have friends over for what you initially intended to be a simple afternoon of food, fellowship, and fun, but somehow, it turned into a complicated nightmare? I remember those days vividly. I’d be at church on Sunday and, without much forethought, invite three couples over for the following Sunday to a barbecue. My initial thought was hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, baked beans, potato chips, and iced tea. My motive was fellowship and fun, but by the time the guests arrived, I didn’t even want them there. Fun was not going to happen, at least not for me. Why? I turned my simple get- together into a nightmare of preparation, expensive food, and fourteen people instead of the original six. My complicated approach to life and my complicated thought process convinced me hot dogs and hamburg- ers weren’t nice enough so I bought steaks we could not afford. My potato chips turned into a huge bowl of homemade potato salad. The simple baked beans became four side dishes I labored over.

Insecure and wanting to impress everyone, I had to spend the week cleaning and getting everything in the house to the point where I thought it would be impressive. Of course, the lawn chairs were old, so I bought new ones. I got angry at Dave because I thought he wasn’t help- ing me enough, and by the time our friends arrived, I resented them, wished they hadn’t come, and had a miserable day of pretending to be the happy hostess when in reality I was frustrated and miserable.

I could not figure out why I wasn’t able to enjoy much of anything in life until God revealed to me I was killing my joy with complication. For years, I prayed God would change the people and circumstances around me when, in reality, He wanted to change me and my approach to life. He wanted me to simplify so, ultimately, He could be glorified.

Let me share with you 100 ways to approach living that can simplify your life and, in turn, release and increase your joy. I believe they will dramatically improve the quality of your everyday experience if you incorporate them into the way you do things. Jesus said He came so we might have and enjoy our life in abundance (see John 10:10). His prin- ciples are simple. Faith is simple! Trusting God is simple! A childlike approach to Him is simple! The plan of salvation is simple!

Jesus offers us a “new way of living,” and I believe it is a simple, yet powerful way that enables us to enjoy everyday life. Are you ready to simplify your life? Are you ready to say good-bye to the complexities you’ve allowed to take over? Let’s get started.

Do One Thing at a Time

The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is, on the contrary, born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything elseówe are the busiest people in the world.


Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].

—Hebrews 12:2

When we do things without truly focusing our minds on them, we immediately decrease our strength to do the work before us and do it well. By putting our hands to one thing and our mind to another, we divide the muscle behind our abilities and we make the task much more difficult. It’s like removing an egg yolk from the egg white—both can be used separately but the result isn’t as effective (or tasty) as it would be if we leave the egg whole. However, by directing all of our faculties to the one thing we are doing on a particular day, at that hour, at that moment, we find it much easier to do. The ability to concentrate and stay focused can only come from discipline.

The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6 to be anxious for nothing. Anxious people are always trying to live ahead of where they currently are. They spend today trying to figure out tomorrow and the result is the loss of simplicity. God expects us to trust Him with tomorrow just as He instructed the Israelites to do when they crossed the barren wil- derness, pressing toward the Promised Land.

Practice living one day at a time; give yourself—your thoughts, your conversation, your energies, every part of you—to the day at hand.

100 Ways to Simplify Your Life

1. Develop an ability to give yourself to what you are doing. You will sense an awareness enabling you to enjoy the current activity, instead of going through each day in a blur of activity and confusing thoughts which leave you drained and exhausted.

Do you fear you will not accomplish as much if you try to live this way? It’s true you may not do as much, but you will also enjoy what you do a whole lot more. One key to simplicity is realizing that quality is far superior to quantity.

The Blog Tour for "Nan's Journey" Begins July 23

It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and his/her book:

Nan's Journey

Tate Publishing & Enterprises (January 2, 2008)


Littau is a life-long resident of Perryton, TX. She met husband, Terry at the Apostolic Faith Bible College in Baxter Springs, Kansas in 1974. They married March 1, 1975 and reside on a small acreage near Perryton where they enjoy spending time with their family and friends. They raised three sons and now have three daughters-in-law and four grandchildren added to their family. They also enjoy visiting with their extended family located in Perryton, Clear Lake, Laverne, and Amarillo.

Author Elaine Littau is a busy woman who by profession is the church secretary for Harvest Time First Assembly of God Church in Perryton. Among other things she has led women’s groups and taught preschool, and was a mentor for the M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in her community. She has been active in Toastmasters and enjoys painting, crafts, and playing piano and organ. She was recently appointed to the Campus Education Improvement Committee for Wright Elementary in Perryton. She belongs to Christian Storytellers and Faith Writers writing groups.

“Nan’s Journey” was written over the course of several years. “A salvation message is at the core of the book.” Littau says. “If it weren’t for the Lord, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. I truly enjoy meeting new people.”

Littau is currently working on two other books that are continuations of “Nan’s Journey.” Book signings and speaking engagements are currently set up for venues in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Oregon.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises (January 2, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602478325
ISBN-13: 978-1602478329


Chapter One

It was late. The moon had risen and the night symphony was in full force. Crickets chirped at their rivals, the frogs, and dominated the night chorus. Only one sound in the forest was foreign—a whimper from under the ferns. At the base of the largest pine in the woods was a small form crying, moaning, and whimpering. Black hair, matted and dirty, hung in long ropes down the front of the tiny girl. She had been in this spot for hours. At least that is what it felt like to her. Stretching, she cried out in pain. The blood-covered welts burst open to bleed again. Her back was wet with blood, and her dress was torn and useless.

Why had she dared to speak to the woman that she was obliged to call mother in that way? She knew that talking was not allowed from children before chores were finished. The accusations being made by “Ma” were totally false and she could not let Elmer take the blame for something she herself had forgotten to do. She shut her eyes tight against the memory, but it intruded anyway.

She had just gotten up to take the water off the stove to make up dishwater for the supper dishes. Ma had stepped outside the room to turn down her bed and prepare for sleep. When she reappeared in the kitchen, she realized that the wood supply next to the stove was low. Elmer was standing next to the table gathering the plates for washing. “Elmer, where is the wood you were supposed to bring up to the house?” Before he could answer, a hand had slapped him across his face. Getting back onto his feet and standing as tall as a five year old can stand, he looked her in the eye and said, “Ma, I was sick today, ‘member?”

“So, Elmer, you’re going to play up that headache trick again. Nan, didn’t your good for nothing Mama teach you people how to work, or are you just lazy?”

“Our Mama was good! Don’t you say mean things about her!” Nan yelled as her heart raced at the assault against her real Mama’s character.

“What about it, Elmer, are you like your weakling Mama or what?” Elmer’s eyes became very large and filled with tears. He could barely remember his real Mama, but when he did, he remembered soft kisses and sweet singing and a beautiful face. “I’m sorry; I’ll get the wood now.”

“No, Elmer, don’t. I promised you I’d do it today when your head was hurting, but I forgot. I’ll get it after I do these dishes.”

“Listen here, Nan, I’m the boss around here and Elmer will do what I say, when I say, and you will respect me.”

Nan’s eyes widened.

“Don’t look at me like that, little girl.”

Nan held her breath.

“Well, I guess you will be making a trip to the wood shed…with me!” Ma had grabbed her by the arm and jerked her along behind the shed. The strap was hanging there, waiting. Whippings were becoming more and more frequent. After Ma’s husband left, they had taken on a more cruel form. The last whipping was more like a beating. It took days for the marks to scab over and heal. Little Elmer had come in that night and brought some horse medicine from the barn and applied it to the oozing marks.

The next afternoon when the schoolteacher came over, Ma had already formulated a story. “Mrs. Dewey, we missed Nan and Elmer today at school. Are they sick?” Ma lied the first time in her life and said, “Well Miss Sergeant, since Mr. Dewey is going to be gone for another four weeks, I need more help around here to get things done. I’m holding the kids out until he gets back.” Week after week went by, and Mr. Dewey still hadn’t come home. Everyday Ma grew more and more angry. It became more and more impossible to please her. When she began hitting Elmer, it was too much. Nan had to do something— right or wrong; things couldn’t stay the way they were.

The coolness of the earth had settled into Nan’s bones. She stood silently for a minute and carefully crept up to the farmhouse. As she opened the door, she saw that Elmer was in the pallet at the foot of the stove next to her bedroll. Ma was asleep in her room. The door held open with a rock. Slowly she began peeling off the dress and the dried blood stuck to it. She reached for the old shirt she normally wore over her wounds and under her dress. She had washed it today. It had bloodstains on it, but it would keep her from ruining another dress. She retrieved the old work dress that she wore when chores were messier than usual; it was the only one left. She put it on swiftly and shook Elmer awake with her hand over his mouth. “Baby, we must leave. Do you understand? Stay quiet and I will get some stuff to take with us.”

She found large old handkerchief and began looking for food supplies. There was one sourdough biscuit and about a cup of cold brown beans. She located her tin cup and another rag. She would probably need that. Three matches were in the cup on the stove. She would just take two. Suddenly she heard a sound from Ma’s room. A scampering sound… just a rat. Ma turned over. Her breathing became deep and regular. For once Nan wished that Ma snored. She tied the handkerchief in a knot over the meager food supplies, grabbed their bedrolls, and slowly opened the door.

“Come on, Elmer. Can you carry this food? I’ll get your bedding. That’s a good boy. We must hurry!”

The cold air bit at their faces, but they walked bravely on.

“Elmer, we must go tonight so we can get as far away as we can before Ma wakes up and sees that we are gone.”

For the next half hour the pair walked in silence through the familiar woods past the graves on the hill. In one, a mother dearly loved, in another, an infant who had died the same day as his mother, and the third, a father that only Nan had memory of. Elmer was only two years old when Pa died in the logging accident. Nan snapped out of her reverie and urged Elmer on. Molasses, Pa’s good old workhorse, stood in the pasture. He skidded the logs Pa cut with his axe. His legs hadn’t healed quite right, but Mama hadn’t let Mr. Dewey kill him because he was all she had left of the husband of her youth. Molasses was a faithful friend to Nan and Elmer. He stood there and waited for them to mount him.

“Molasses, take us to…” Nan realized then that they had nowhere to go. Mrs. Dewey had said that they were ungrateful little imps who didn’t realize she and Mr. Dewey were taking care of them out of kindness, and they could easily be put into an orphanage. Nan didn’t know anything about orphanages except what Mrs. Dewey…uh, Ma had told her. “Molasses, just take us out of here.”

Cruise Blunder

Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Westminster CO

Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Westminster CO
Great book signing in Colorado!

Mardel Bookstore in Littleton, CO

Mardel Bookstore in Littleton, CO
Booksigning - Elaine

Elk's Resolve Proof is Here