Happy January, everyone! Today we’re starting a new Bethany House Fiction tradition: taking time on the first week of every month to pray for authors who have new releases coming out. I’m Amy Green, the fiction publicist here, and these authors mean a lot to me. I appreciate you joining me to pray for them. To read more about the reasons behind this time of prayer, go to this post.
Authors with Books Releasing in January:
Verse of the Month: Feel free to use the text of this verse to guide your prayers for these authors, as well as other people in your life who you want to remember in prayer today.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9-10, NIV
General Suggestions for Prayer
- For readers to find the authors’ books at just the right time for God to use the books’ messages in their lives.
- For peace and focus during release month (often a busy and stressful time for authors).
- For God to give clarity and endurance to the authors as many begin new projects.
- For freedom from comparison, worry, and pride—that the authors will be able to put their identity in God and not in their writing.
If you have a prayer request on your mind, for yourself or for someone you care about, share it below. I’ll read through every comment and pray for your requests as well. Thanks for joining us!
My parents knew how to make Christmas special. For my mom, it was the highlight of the year–especially once she had grandchildren. I feel blessed that my boys and their cousins grew up with Christmases brimming with anticipation, secrets and surprises, and the wonder of childhood. Mom would start buying presents early…and then forget all that she had bought. She was determined to spend the same amount on every child and grandchild, so then she’d have to go buy more to even up the piles. Ai-yi-yi. By the time Christmas arrived, the mound was amazing, and my poor dad would spend days trapped in the basement wrapping.
But to them it was worth it all to see the open-mouthed, bright-eyed expressions of wonder on their grandchildren’s faces when they came downstairs on Christmas morning to a city of wrapped gifts surrounding the big tree, decorated with a pleasing disarray of antique glass ornaments, kid-made ornaments, and the popcorn garland they had strung on their first Christmas together. (That string of popcorn lasted more than forty years!) Now that my parents have been gone a few years now, Christmases are just not the same. So I’m glad for this excuse to pause and reminisce about the wonder years.
Our typical Christmas schedule was:
- We would serve appetizers with extended family, and the kids got to open one gift.
- Everyone would leave one of their actual socks (clean, ideally) on the stairs in age order for Santa to fill (We didn’t have a fireplace). My brothers, with their huge feet, scored big time.
Christmas Eve Appetizers (partial list).
- Mini pigs in blankets—a favorite with the kids
- Reuben sandwiches on mini cocktail rye and baked. Yum.
- Shrimp and cocktail sauce (ketchup, horseradish, fresh lemon)
- Liver and onions (ick; but Uncle Al liked them, so…)
- Meatballs, crab dip, crackers and cheese, veggies and dip
- Homemade cookies and candy, etc.