by: Staci Stallings
If you got a Kindle for Christmas, I’ve got a special gift for you…
FREE on Amazon Dec. 27 & 28….
& Merry Christmas!
Taking today off from blogging to let you know that my #1 Christian Romance Best Seller, TO PROTECT & SERVE is FREE on Kindle!
TO PROTECT & SERVE
“Romance of the purest and sweetest kind…”
Houston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman’s fireman. He’s not afraid of anything, and no situation is too dangerous to keep him on the sideline if lives are at stake.
Lisa Matheson runs a semi-successful ad agency that’s on the brink of falling apart. Her employees are incompetent and her schedule has become exhausting. When she takes on a client with a brilliant idea for a big conference, she thinks that maybe, finally this is her lucky break. However, the fire station wasn’t what she had in mind for finding conference speakers. When she falls for a handsome but shy firefighter, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can’t quite get control Jeff and the death wish he seems to have…
“Staci Stalling is like an artist, and she really paints a beautiful picture. There are few books that can glue me to my seat and with every Staci Stallings’ book, I am glued. In ‘To Protect and Serve,’ you will smile with them, get angry with them, and you’ll also cry when the characters are hurting. In this novel, Staci shows that love does not only encompass emotion, but to love, we need to trust, to accept and in some instances, surrender.”
–Amazon Reviewer, Rhonda Aberdeen
by: Staci Stallings
Not long ago we spoke about change and how others will try to block your change. This is true of others who you are working with as a Sower of God’s Seed as well.
Change is difficult. It takes time. It takes work.
Mostly it takes willingness.
If you are not willing to change, you won’t.
In fact, I think that is the biggest sticking point many people have with God. They think that if God is God and can do anything, then why doesn’t He just change things–to be better to be more peaceful. After all, He’s God. What’s He waiting for?
Well, I will tell you… He’s waiting for us to be willing.
Have you ever been so angry with someone that you weren’t willing to forgive? Maybe you weren’t even willing to entertain the thought of forgiving the other person. You didn’t think they deserved it. You thought that you deserved to be angry.
God will wait.
And you as a sower will have to learn to wait as well.
No matter how much you may want another person to change, only they can decide when that will happen. You can pray. You can gently point the right direction, but you cannot force them to change. That is their decision alone.
And oh, is that hard!
Because you and I think if they would just X… forgive, let it go, work harder, be kinder… whatever… then things would be better.
Often when you are working with someone, change is going to look VERY slow and sometimes non-existent. But that’s where you have to get a different perspective, a God perspective. From God’s perspective, He has eternity to work on your heart and mine and theirs. He’s a patient God, a loving God who will never force you or them to be anything you or they are not ready to be.
The “trick” is for YOU to BE (remember that from last time?). Be peace even when they are not peaceful. Be kind even when they are not. Be generous even when they are not. Meet them all the way over and over again until they are willing to take a step toward you.
Oh, this is hard. I’m not going to lie to you. Change is hard. Those rocks are heavy. The pavement is hard. The thistles and weeds have thorns and you are going to get hurt. I can almost guarantee it. But you are no longer looking to the world or to others for your peace. You are now looking only at God. And He will teach you how, how to be peaceful in the midst of turmoil, how to be merciful in the face of “they don’t deserve that,” how to love unconditionally… in all circumstances… no matter what. He’s teaching YOU as much as He’s teaching THEM.
Know that going in, and determine that this soul is worth your effort, your patience, your time, your belief in them… because Jesus did all of that for you… and more. In fact, that’s ultimately what Jesus did for us. He showed us how to be a Sower of God Seeds into souls by being the First Sower. His love changed things–in personal lives and in the world. It still does in the hands of Sowers who know that change is not easy but it’s always worth it.
FREE ON KINDLE TODAY!
Staci’s “Amazing!” novel:
To Protect & Serve
“Reading To Protect & Serve, I’m taken away to another world, a world I want to be a part of and never leave. Staci’s characters are real with real everyday problems. I love that.
Oh, and the firemen in this story, they’re smokin’ hot! Especially the hero!”
–Debra, Amazon Reviewer
When control freak Lisa Matheson falls for handsome but shy firefighter, Jeff Taylor, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can’t control Jeff or the death wish he seems to have…
Available as a free download from Amazon!
Although tomorrow is the official release of my new book “To Protect & Serve,” I’m giving you, my loyal readers a sneak peek…
Houston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman’s fireman. No situation is too dangerous to keep him sidelined if lives are on the line. However, when control freak Lisa Matheson falls for him, she quickly realizes she can’t control Jeff or the death wish he seems to have…
To save others’ lives, they will risk their own
“To Protect and Serve will hold you prisoner to its pages until the final one is turned. Prepare to cry, laugh, wish, love and maybe even cry again as you become enveloped in the hopes and feelings of Lisa and Jeff.”
Get Your Copy Today!
by: Staci Stallings
Maybe you know me and know this already about me. Maybe you have guessed it about me in reading my posts. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I like control. I like to know where I am. I like to know where I’m going and how I’m getting there.
It’s just how I was wired, I suppose.
Sometimes my plans get bigger than my ability to pull them off, but most of the time I’m working toward something with a definite plan in mind and a map of how to get there.
That’s definitely true with the marketing of my writing. With the writing itself, I’ve learned to turn that little slave-driver in me off. But when I’m marketing, sometimes it’s a whole different story.
I think that’s why God throws little and sometimes BIG hitches in my plans. To remind me, once again, that I’m not the one in charge and that we will go in His direction and at His pace. It’s humbling to say the least.
And so it was Feb. 1, 2012. I had been planning for that day for several weeks. It was the first day my book, “Coming Undone” would be on Free Kindle, and I had a lot of things set up–articles on other sites, Facebook pages to contact, tweets for Twitter all ready to go. I was SET I tell you… Ready, Set, GO!
I even had a spreadsheet set up so I could track the downloads and learn nuggets to help me better do this next time.
Feb. 1 started, and I noticed something strange on the Amazon reporting site almost immediately–my rank on the page was going down, but I wasn’t adding any sales. In fact, it hit 89 downloads and stopped completely!
I was patient for as long as possible and then I emailed my writer’s group to ask if anyone else was experiencing this. Sure enough, it was an everyone problem. One of the guys wrote in, “Great! Staci Stallings just broke Amazon!”
HAHA! I needed that laugh.
As the day progressed, my book’s rank kept climbing into the #200’s and then the #100’s. The problem was, half the time, I could no longer even see my rank. The other writers were updating me, but my rank (what I could see) was all over the place. It would be in the 500’s and then 100’s then the 200’s then the 100’s again. I had watched these things for a long time, and I had never seen this.
As the day wore on, I was getting more and more irritable because I had no clue what was going on! I couldn’t see my sales numbers and my ranks were not consistent or logical. And then I got an email from a friend, “YAY! You’re number 54!” Which meant I had broken into the Top 100 Free Kindles on Amazon!
I was jazzed, but it sure would have been nice to see it.
Frustrated, I opened a book of Bible sayings and came across the one for Feb. 1, which was tied to the verse: We walk by faith, not by sight. Ah-ha! Finally I understood.
Finally after all day, my spirit relaxed. Here was the message God had wanted to give me all along. “Staci, you’re gonna have to trust me even if you can’t see what’s going on.”
Someone sent me a link to the Top 100 page, and suddenly I got a glimpse of what was going on. The rest of the evening and into the next morning we watched in the Top 100 as my book climbed ever higher until it had reached #11 in Free Kindle Store. Two days later it was climbing the Paid side, finally ending its ascent at #98 in all of Amazon, and #1 in Religious Fiction and in Religion & Inspirational.
It was a wild ride.
And it was a whole week before I got a real understanding of just how many downloads that represents.
Let me tell you, walking by faith is not easy for a control freak. I’m just glad God was kind enough to give me the lesson in a way that I can’t miss it. That sure did help!
Check out Staci’s New Website that’s all about her books: Ebook Romance Stories… You’re gonna love it!
by: Staci Stallings
One of the most interesting aspects of the rise of Coming Undone through the Amazon book ranks at the beginning of February (it was #1 on Religious Fiction and Religious & Inspirational, as well as #11 on the overall Free Kindle Store) has been the reviews.
What interests me is the 2 1-star reviews I have received so far. The first went like this:
“Coming Undone, My Dear Lord!?!
NONONO! Why? God has to work very hard in this one. Why?
I guess without his CONSTANT input we can’t deal with life.”
This is not a spoiler for the book, but in it the heroine, Kathryn works in a hospice unit as a social worker. Now think about it for just a moment. She deals with death, families going through death, and the people who become her friends losing the people they love over and over and over again. So it’s not like she’s asking God for help purchasing a latte.
But even without this heightened need for God and His help, I want to ask this person and the other who left a similar review decrying the characters’ reliance on God… what’s the alternative?
What is the alternative to relying on God every moment?
Doing it yourself?
Isn’t that the very definition of Original Sin? “I don’t need God. I can do this on my own”?
And even if you don’t want to go that far with it, let’s look at it from a relationship standpoint. Let’s say you have a friend, and this friend is someone you greatly admire and even say you love. Now let’s say that the only time you ever talk to this friend is when you are in desperate need of help. I mean, otherwise, you don’t need this friend, so why talk to him, right?
How would you feel if someone did that to you? How would you like it if the only time this person showed up at your doorstep was when they had messed everything up, everything was horrible, and they needed you to fix it?
Yeah. That’s what I think too.
We wouldn’t want to be treated that way, so why do we think God does?
I think some of this “don’t rely on God all the time” mentality goes back to the unBiblical saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” I’m curious who in the Bible really “helped themselves” the way this saying seems to tell us to do. Abraham? His helping God turned into a disaster we still haven’t recovered from. Moses? Would that “helping himself” have been the part about killing the Egyptian or the refusing to go talk to Pharaoh because he couldn’t talk well?
What about Mary? When the angel showed up, did she start making a list of all the things she’d better do and accomplish to earn being the Mother of God?
Or how about Jesus, Himself? Have you ever noticed how many times the Bible refers to Him going off by Himself to pray? Why? Because He thought He could do it Himself? And He was GOD!
Yes, God sometimes has to work very hard in our lives. Why? Because we need Him! We need Him to show up, to help us, to guide us, to protect us, and yes, to love us. And He is more than willing to do that if we will just ask. So yes, I need God’s CONSTANT input in order to deal with my life. I hope you do too!