Friday, May 29, 2015

"Coffee Cake Days" - bonus giveaway!

Who doesn't like a good cup of coffee? And I mean a GOOD cup of coffee. Sorry, but my Louisiana birth might have a little sway to my opinion...If you've not tried Community Coffee and you like coffee, you really want to try it! You know you do!

Oh, that's just part of the giveaway, though. I guess I should highlight "Coffee Cake Days" - this time, as a print copy (to enter a giveaway for an ecopy, go here).

And then, there is a really cute, old-fashioned mug to top it off. Everything to give you a good morning's break.

And now, the giveaway: enter away!

(P.S. It's not too late to be a part of the FB party. Actually, we're only half-way through at the time of this post. Request an invite here)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us." She looked up and quoted it five times then looked back down and read it again. "And walk in—"
The door burst open and Crystal's bare feet pattered against the wood floor. "I done with school! Read to me!"
 "I'm busy." Meg clamped her hands over her ears and stared at the words. Crystal climbed onto the bed below and reached up to the top bunk. "Get down before you fall," Meg commanded, peering over the bed. She kept a steady stare with Crystal until the latter backed away from the bed and left the room. With a sigh, Meg turned back to her Bible. "And walk in love—"
"Read to me!" Crystal was back in the room, this time with a book in her hands.
"Okay, okay!" Meg flipped her legs over the edge of the bed and jumped to the ground. She let Crystal trail behind her as she hurried to the living room and sat on the couch.

Coffee Cake Days - release and GIVEAWAY!

The time has finally come! "Coffee Cake Days" is now up for sale. This time, you can buy it for your Kindle, your Nook, your computer (PDF), OR you can buy a print copy!! Go HERE for more details or email me at amandaterobooks(at)gmail(dot)com.

But I know you probably didn't stop by for all of that. In celebration of the release of "Coffee Cake Days" I'm giving away an ebook (your choice: PDF, Kindle, Nook).

Adding to the celebration, we're having a FaceBook party. If you're on FaceBook, hop over to my fan page ( and request an invite to the party. It is from 7:30-8:30 tonight (Central Time) but will continue until Saturday or Monday...whenever I decide to take it down. So if you can't make it tonight, still hop on over. There will be more giveaways there. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A bonus giveaway of "Coffee Cake Days" (coffee mug, and Community coffee to boot!) HERE.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Guess What?

Not only is "Coffee Cake Days" coming up for sale tomorrow...but also...all of my short stories are now available for PRINT!

Interested in all of them? Get a 10% discount!

Recital 2015

Has it been two years since my last big spring recital? So many memories flashed through my mind this week as I prepared for my first recital after relocating. I am so very, very thankful that the Lord allowed me to pick up teaching again after moving! While I miss my 30+ students in Louisiana, God has given me such a wonderful, gifted group of students here -- it is a joy to work with them! I am so looking forward to where the Lord will lead each of them in their musical talent.

One of my highlights this recital was that each student played at least one piece that they arranged themselves! Of course, I love arranging hymns, but to pass that love onto my students is surreal! They did a fantastic job!

With a music recital, there must be a little more musical flair, right? I did a little more decorating this time than usual (big thank-you to my sisters and others who helped -- I'm not a natural decorator!).
My sister, Elizabeth, spent hours on our cake. I didn't get to see it until after recital and, like every recital, was so happy with it. :)

My younger sister and aspiring artist decorated the chalk board (I should've gotten a close-up but was snapping pictures quickly).

And then musical centerpieces. Simple. But cute.

And everyone's favorite -- paper chains! I remember spending hours as a kid making paper chains from colorful construction paper. Little did I know that technique would be cute as a recital decoration later!

Special thanks to several sisters for snapping pictures for me during recital!

What have you been up to this week?

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Psalm 100:1-2

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Word Wednesday #56

"Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed;..." Habakkuk 3:13

What a beautiful picture of our God, of Jesus Christ! Valiantly coming as Savior. Redeemer.

Share a verse that God has given you today or copy the button if you'd like to join in Word Wednesdays with your blog!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Psalm 119:21-24

Psalm 119:21-24
(21)  Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

Those who err (stray, mistake, transgress) from God's Word are not left unpunished. This standard was given at the very beginning of the law. We see the choice to follow God's law given to Adam, but he chose to err. Again and again, we see examples in Scripture, warning us to follow God's laws.  "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:" (Deuteronomy 28:15)

For the new testament believer, we are not exempt. "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23) As believers, we are still responsible to keep God's Word: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

(22)  Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

When we keep God's testimonies, He will not hold us in reproach of contempt.

There are blessings for all who will keep God's Words and His testimonies:
"Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the Lord your God. And now the Lord your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side Jordan." (Joshua 22:3-4)

"I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight." (2 Samuel 22:24-25)

"Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not." (Psalm 17:4-5)

"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." (John 15:10)

According to these verses, the benefits to keeping God's laws are:
- God's promises fulfilled
- God cleansing us and seeing us as righteous and clean
- God holding our footsteps
- Abiding in God's love

If we do our part, God will do more than His part back to us. With these promises, why do we hesitate to keep God's commandments?

(23)  Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

In difficult outward circumstances (accusation, murmuring against, etc.) how do we respond? Do we let ourselves get crushed by the enemy's attacks? or do we meditate in God's Words? What comfort do we find in God's Word? Can we bring it to our mind to meditate on it at any time? How important it is to hide God's Words in our heart so that we can meditate on it.

(24)  Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.

Going back to verse 20, "My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times." Do we long for and delight in God's Words? Can we truly say that "This is my delight."

Above that: who - or what - counsels us?
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:3-4)

God has given us all the things we need for counsel in any decision. But we don't gain it immediately because we're Christians. As Psalm 119 has been reiterating, we must seek God and His Word and then apply it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Coffee Cake Days - blog tour and party

Wow! God is so good! When it came around to the completion of "Coffee Cake Days," I prayed about doing something a little different -- a little bigger. That "different, bigger" thing ended up being a blog tour (where different bloggers will read and review "Coffee Cake Days") and a FaceBook party. For something very last minute, I emailed several of my blogger friends with great apprehension, praying that, if this was indeed God's will, He would work it all out. One by one, the days were scheduled -- and amazingly, no one landed on top of anyone else's days.

Schedule for "Coffee Cake Days"
(note: schedule may be updated in the near future)

Please stop by and visit each of these blogs. There's a lot of good stuff out there.

May 28 -

May 29 - RELEASE DATE and FaceBook Party (visit and request an invite -- don't have a FB? Don't worry, I'll have something for you here too)

Are you on Goodreads? You can now add it to your Goodreads list.

"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." Psalm 138:8

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Coffee Cake Days - cover reveal!

Once again, I am so grateful to the Lord for enabling me to bring another project to completion. "Coffee Cake Days" is on the brink of publication so keep your eyes out! For now, though, you get the first glimpse of the cover:

Lord willing, "Coffee Cake Days" will be released May 29, 2015!

Read a little more about "Coffee Cake Days" here and here.
"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." Ephesians 5:1-2

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Word Wednesday #55

"The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." Nahum 1:7

Share a verse that God has given you today or copy the button if you'd like to join in Word Wednesdays with your blog!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Psalm 119:17-20

Psalm 119:17-20
(17)  Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

Why do we want God to deal bountifully with us? Honestly? We like to live a successful life; we like to be at ease, in comfort. But why? So we can live how we want to.

But what is the Psalmist's motive for asking for God's bountiful dealings? To the end that he could live to keep God's Word.

It is interesting to compare this with a couple Proverbs:
"He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4)
"Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye." (Proverbs 7:2)

When we keep God's law, we will find that life is more abundant for living. Also, keeping God's law protects our lives.

(18)  Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Before any person can behold wondrous things from God's law, their eyes must be opened. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Once our eyes are opened, we still can pray for God to reveal His Word to us, that we can learn as we read.

(18)  Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
(19)  I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

As strangers and pilgrims in this earth, we need God's commandments to guide us. God's Word is our instruction book to reach His home, are we using it? If we but seek Him, He will guide us.

(20)  My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

What do we long (desire) for? Do we long for God's judgments so much that our soul breaks (crush, dissolve) for it? How do we treat God's judgments? Do we long for it? Do we desire it? If so, then that should show in our life, our behavior. How often do we turn to God's Word? Only on Sundays? Once a day? That does not reflect someone who truly desires God's Word. Oh, may the Lord increase my desire for His Word that I desire it more and more!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Second Serving of Coffee Cake

Tonight I am working on "Coffee Cake Days" - at least trying to get a few paragraphs jotted down tonight.

Here are two passages that have influenced the lesson in "Coffee Cake Days:"

"And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people." (Luke 9:12-13)

" And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." (Luke 9:23-24)

What are some verses that have influenced you this week?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

And the Winner Is...

After twenty-two participants and 143 entries, I am happy to announce the winner!

DRUMROLL please...
Congratulations Rebekah N!!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered the giveaway. Keep your eyes out as, Lord willing, I'll be having other giveaways in the near(ish) future!

If you're interested in obtaining a copy of "Letters from a scatter-brained sister" I have ebooks available for sale here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Giveaway reminder!

The giveaway for "Letters from a scatter-brained sister" will end at 11:00 central time tonight. If you haven't entered yet, visit

Word Wednesday #54

"And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Micah 4:2

This is the attitude we should embrace when going to church: we make the effort to go, expecting to be taught of God's ways, willing to walk as we have been taught.

Share a verse that God has given you today or copy the button if you'd like to join in Word Wednesdays with your blog!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Psalm 119:16

(16)  I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
Delight - OT:8173 sha`a` (shaw-ah'); a primitive root; (in a good acceptation) to look upon (with complacency), i.e. fondle, please or amuse (self); (in a bad one) to look about (in dismay), i.e. stare:

"In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul." (Psalm 94:19)
"And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved." (Psalm 119:47)
"Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law." (Psalm 119:70)

All of these verses have one thing in common: delighting in God's words. Do we find God's Word our delight? or has something else taken its place?

Forget - OT:7911 shakach (shaw-kakh'); or shakeach (shaw-kay'-akh); a primitive root; to mislay, i.e. to be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention:

If God's statutes are my delight, then I won't easily forget them. In a way, this makes me think of 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." I have found that whenever I put forth effort to study God's Word, I am less likely to forget it than if I merely read it over or hear someone else mention it. If we are applying the former verses of this passage and seeking God and His Word, we will not be likely to forget it. If we find that we are forgetting God's Word, perhaps we should dedicate more time to seriously seek His Word.

There are so many verses referencing our ability to forget God and His Word - may we not be proud to think that "I'll never forget" but take these warnings to heart.

"Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;" (Deuteronomy 4:9)

"Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee." (Deuteronomy 4:23)

"Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage." (Deuteronomy 6:12)

"Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:" (Deuteronomy 8:11)

"All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant." (Psalm 44:16)

"If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart." (Psalm 44:20-21)

"Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver." (Psalm 50:22)

"That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:" (Psalm 78:5)

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:" (Psalm 103:2)

"I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me." (Psalm 119:93)

"I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts." (Psalm 119:141)

"My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:" (Proverbs 3:1)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Letters from a scatter-brained sister | Giveaway

Yep! I'm finally doing it: my first personal giveaway!!! I must admit, I'm a sucker for giveaways. They're just loads of fun. :)

So, up for giveaway (obviously) is a printed version of Letters from a scatter-brained sister (yes, you read "printed" - something that I don't offer for sale via online yet). But before we get into the giveaway, I like "behind-the-scenes" so here's a little...

Letters was one of my original short stories that I wrote for my younger sisters' Christmas gifts (Maggie's Hope Chest, Noelle's Gift, and Deb's Bible were written for other sisters). I had begun writing Letters a few years before, but, as was normal with writing projects, never completed it. My sister, Rachel, begged me to write more so as Christmas neared, I decided it would make a great gift and, with the Lord's help, finished it!

Letters is full of fun cooking stories and mishaps - stories which are actually taken from life (me, my sisters, cousins, and friends). In fact, much of this short story is based on real life. For example, the following excerpt (from Letters) was taken primarily from one of my real-life journal entries:
            Day before yesterday was full of company, it seemed. Easy company – family. You surely remember the difference it makes to have “just family” over versus “company-company” when you have to scour the house, prepare a full-course meal, and get into decent clothes and shoes. Blessed family-company means a straight house, normal food, and marvelous bare feet!!!!
            We played a lot of games with Uncle Marvin, Aunt Jo, and Betsy. Betsy and I were neck-to-neck but Uncle Marvin and Mom aced us all. Imagine that! Then, Anna and Thom came to spend the evening/time with Uncle Marvin and family. That, of course, meant enough players for volley-ball. It’s getting cold, but I braved the bare feet (so far, no consequent cold!). Those were some miserable games!!! It was me, Betsey, Thom, and Joe against Jonathan, Mark, Anna, Caleb, and Ben. Of course they had more “age” than us. We were slaughtered the first game. Then Ben and Caleb dropped out so Joe somehow thought he needed to switch teams to help “even us out.” What? My three brothers (and Anna) against me, Betsey, and Thom who never play together? I gave up. It was getting colder since it was close to evening, so I never moved from my new position: crossing my arms and keeping my hands tucked between my arms and warm body. I actually managed to hit a few balls and you know what? We even won! How did that happen? I guess I figured out my best way to play!!! By the way, you can pass the message on to Nathan that I missed him helping me out. Why did you have to move so far away?
            Of course you know we girls didn’t manage to get early to bed. Well, it was early – I think we stayed up until 1:00. But that doesn’t beat the boys. I woke up in the middle of the night and as I went to get a drink of water. I heard some laughing from upstairs so immediately trotted up to proclaim, “Boys, this is ridiculous! Do you know what time it is?” Jonathan, Thom, Mark, and Joe looked up from battling over the world in Risk. Mark’s reply was, “Oh, a little past 3:00.”
            “No! It’s 5:00!!!”
            They gave me a sheepish look, shrugged their shoulders, and continued playing. I didn’t even ask them what time they got to bed finally – I just know they didn’t drag it out until about 10:00. We gave them a hard time.

As you can see, Letters is written in a very lighthearted, easy-going, and informal. If you want more of a peek, you can visit here.

Now! For the giveaway! 

(Note: even if you don't have FaceBook, you can still visit my FB page and gain one entry! :))

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Word Wednesday #53

"So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord." Amos 4:8

Wandering from one place to another, gather from others what we do not have will never bring satisfaction. Only when we return to God will we truly be satisfied.

Share a verse that God has given you today or copy the button if you'd like to join in Word Wednesdays with your blog!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Psalm 119:13-15

Psalm 119:13-15
(13)  With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

From God's mouth to our lips. Do we take what God has taught us and, in return, teach others? This reminds me of the Psalm I read this morning: "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations." (Psalms 67:1-2) God has given us amazing blessings and mercy - do we, in return, share that with others? that His way may be known upon the earth? We must remember our responsibility: "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." (Luke 12:48)

(14)  I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
Rejoiced - (7797 - siys) be bright, i.e. cheerful

We are not to simply rejoice in God's testimonies - but in the way of His testimonies! If we were to suddenly gain wealth, wouldn't our way seem so much brighter? Our fears dissolved? In the same way, we are to view God's testimonies. We have all that we need by God's testimonies ("All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Are we rejoicing in that way or view it as a burden? (a ridiculous response to wealth: "*Sigh* I have all this money; it's such a burden to deal with, to provide what I need." - but how often is that our attitude towards God's Word?)

 (15)  I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
Meditate - OT:7878 siyach (see'-akh); a primitive root; to ponder, i.e. (by implication) converse (with oneself, and hence, aloud) or (transitively) utter:

It is interesting that this Hebrew word is translated not only as "meditate" but also "to speak." To meditate on God's Word is not only to hoard it to ourselves, but to think on it so much that it then becomes our manner of speech:
"Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works." (Psalm 105:2)
"Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes." (Psalm 119:23)
"Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works." (Psalm 119:27)
"My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes." (Psalm 119:48)
"Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts." (Psalm 119:78)
"Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word." (Psalm 119:148)
"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." (Psalm 143:5)
"I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works." (Psalm 145:5)

Respect - OT:5027 nabat (naw-bat'); a primitive root; to scan, i.e. look intently at; by implication, to regard with pleasure, favor or care:

To respect God's ways is not to merely think highly of them. It gives the same implication as verse 14, "I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches." God's ways, to the believer, should be that which we dive into with delight and carefulness.

This is the same Hebrew word used in the following verses:
"Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments." (Psalm 119:6)
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalm 119:18)

"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee." (Proverbs 4:25)

Friday, May 1, 2015

R Family | Photoshoot

My second photoshoot in April was of a family of boys. And did I have a blast with them! At first, the mom said, "You know how guys are with pictures," but honestly, they were all super easy to work with and I think that whether or not they'd admit it, they also had some fun. :)

And I can't post about this family without sharing about God's amazing work in their lives. Last February (2014), Tyler was out cutting trees. One kicked back and hit him in the back of his head and neck, causing traumatic brain injury. Quoting from his dad, "His brain was swelled and had three bruises on his brain stem. Three long weeks of ups and downs while in ICU. We know prayers were sent up on Tyler's behalf and God chose to perform a great miracle in Tyler's life. We are still thanking God and praising Him for what He has done. Thanks to all that have prayed and are continually praying for him." This young man who was not supposed to live and if he lived, was doubted that he'd be able to walk ...

Just saying... we serve a BIG GOD with no limitations! He is Creator, Sustainer, and Healer!

What a blessing to know this family who give God all praise and glory for His work in Tyler's life!

Some of my favorite pictures are those that I didn't ask to get. Being just a boy, Seth hopped on the "kiddie swing" - don't do things like that around a photographer. ;) This is one of my favorites!!

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." Psalm 68:19

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