The High King Lives

Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: How Long Does it Take to Write a Book? July 31, 2012

In this post: My rude awakening, a list of how long it took famous authors to write their books, and please leave me a comment with any surprising revelations you found out on your writing  journey.

Well friends, I’m a dunder head. I seriously thought I could spit out a book in 6 months because I had such a great outline. Well, I spent several hours last night working on my timeline and fixing my outline. I’ve realized my character can’t move from one place to the next in one short chapter. It has taken ten chapters to get my character a third of a way to his goal (for the first book). They’re not really long chapters compared to most but it takes me a looooong time to write them.

It’s been a bit frustrating because I actually started this project about two years ago. The first year I only got about seven chapters and then I threw it all out because the plot was flawed. Thankfully the characters and world building stayed. So my first year basically just yielded the world, characters, and creatures.

It was back in January that I really started hunkering down and making myself write on a regular basis. I finally have a plot that makes sense and I’ve fixed many loop holes. I’m not sure why I thought I could whip up a good book in such short time…especially an inspirational fantasy. Maybe because I read a lot of YA fiction and many of them have a book out every six months. Yeah, well they also have traditional publishers and fans pushing them to write fast. Plus many of the genre hang on the present day fads. They need to write before the fad dies. Also I’ve noticed that certain popular YA authors start out strong but by the third book the plot has become so cheezy I can’t stand it. Also the editing becomes sloppier and sloppier.

I don’t want my books to be like that and I’m not trying to catch a fad. I just want my story told and I hope it’s timeless. Overall, I pray my books will inspire people to seek the TRUE High King. I hope they will want to know someone as wonderful as the High King in my stories and that my Forward will point them to Christ. Hopefully they will realize He is greater than the High King of my stories and beyond what anyone could imagine.

In a way, it’s like Aslan. C.S. Lewis didn’t write an allegory. He said so himself. Aslan is an inspiration but he is indeed fiction. No one should base their theology on Narnia or say Aslan IS Christ. Because he IS NOT. But Aslan reminds me of Christ and then I think of the way Christ is far superior. What a joy to realize that there is a true kingdom similar to those found in stories but oh SO much better……there is a true Lord & King similar to the stories but OH SO much greater!

Moving on… I have the timeline for all three books and I have a detailed outline for book one….less detailed outlines for books 2 and 3. I have names for all three books….simple names…but hey, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m finding this writing thing takes a lot of work and time…doh lol.

It takes research to come up with a good map and to figure out how long  journeys take. The first book will only cover 6 months but most likely four years will have passed by the end of the trilogy. I wish I could get this story to people quicker. I love the characters and I love the world. I think it’s neat and I know God inspires me. My greatest inspiration comes from church. As I understand more about the concepts of sin and grace the book comes together better.

I can’t wait to share with you the ruins and secret tunnels of Davar, the mighty Leviathan of Aletheia and it’s sea faring city, the blistering desert of Ebaer, and the icy halls of Keshet. I could go on about the other lands in Emeth but I don’t want to give too much away. That’s a small taste of where the first book will take you. 😉

So I’m not sure when I’ll finish this book but I’m in it for the long haul. Writing is hard work and those of you in the same boat understand that. This didn’t click until I was watching “The Making of The Lord of the Rings”. I saw how long it took Tolkien to write and I thought “How arrogant of me to think I could produce a book worthy of it’s predecessors in such a short time!”

Here is a list of famous authors and how long it took them to write their books 🙂 Enjoy!

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How long did it take C.S. Lewis to write his books?

“Although Lewis originally conceived what would become The Chronicles of Narnia in 1939,[1] he did not finish writing the first book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe until 1949.” -wiki

All seven books finished by 1956, around seven years since the first book was finished. So the first book took a good bit of time and after that a new book was published each year.

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There are mixed answers on how long it took J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings. Here is an opinion I found.

“Ask anyone how long it took J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings and they will probably say something like 11 or 12 years. But is that really the correct answer?

Tolkien began working on the story in late 1937. He completed a semi-final draft of the main narrative in 1948 but by 1950 J.R.R. Tolkien had begun working on the Appendices. He paused his work to make changes to the background material that would be compatible with the published 2nd edition of The Hobbit. When The Lord of the Rings was finally accepted for publication Tolkien made numerous changes on the galley proofs, even rewriting many paragraphs. The final galley proofs were sent to the publisher in 1954 or 1955.

It would thus be more accurate to suggest that it took about 17 years (allowing for some breaks) from start to finish for J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings.” ~

Xenite.Org (

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How long did it take J.K. Rowling to write the first Harry Potter book? six to seven years. All seven of her books were finished in 17 years. She said the shortest writing time was a year. That’s a long time for fans to wait….wow.
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John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress- a classic favorite of mine. It took Mr. Bunyan a year or two to finish the first part. He was also in prison where I presume he had a lot of time to write. He was imprisoned twice for preaching. Some of the best writings have been written in prison……for example parts of the New Testament ;).
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My favorite author, Francine Rivers, has a book every year it seems. She is a special literary genius. I don’t have the vocabulary to write as well as she. Seriously lol.  She has some great tips.
Honestly, I think it all depends on genre. Writing an epic fantasy is a lot different than writing a supernatural romance…..or picture books. Some genres take longer than others. So as I look at my predecessors I don’t feel so guilty that I’m not published. Also I realize this book is like a marriage…it takes commitment. Also it has to come after the most important three in my life: God, my marriage, and parenting. Four if you include family…or I could just say: God, family, writing. but when I say parenting I’m talking about a lot of time parenting…..because of homeschool. Sometimes writing just has to take a back seat.
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
PS: Please leave me some comment love. What have you learned since writing? Any surprises? Did you expect it to be as much work as it is?

Crafty Monday: Planet Mobile & Constellation crafts July 30, 2012

Hello friends! This week in Homeschool we continued our study of Space. We learned about the planets and made a nifty planet mobile.

Planet Mobile

We actually found this on You have to subscribe to see it I think.

Basically you need this:

  • A round piece of cardboard about 1 ft across (the cardboard from a frozen pizza works well)
  • Lots of colors of construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • String (we used fishing line…good except it curled a bit)
  • Pencil, crayons, or markers
  • A compass (for making circles) or jar lids/cups

1. draw a cross on the pizza circle :). Line top to bottom then left to right.

2. Draw the orbits of the 9 planets (draw circles around the center of the piece of cardboard). The first 4 planets orbit relatively close to the Sun, then there is a gap. Then the last 5 planets orbit very far from the Sun.

3. Punch a hole in the center of the cardboard for the Sun. Then punch one hole on each orbit according to where the planets are supposed to be. We looked at our Planet book to figure it out.

4. Draw circles for the planets on the construction paper. Remember some planets are bigger and some smaller than others.

5. You can tape string to the planets but we made a small hole in the top and then tied fishing line to them.

6.  Lace the string through the proper holes on top. We then taped the string to the top of the cardboard. The site says to “adjust the length of the strings so that the planets (and Sun) all lie in a plane.” We probably didn’t do that part right…

7. To hang your model (mobile), tie three pieces of string to the top of the cardboard – then tie these three together. Tie them to a longer string (from which you’ll hang your model).

We then learned about Constellations. Michael read a book about the history of constellations. We found “The Constellation Song” here with lyrics:

At this site:

we found the “If I Was a Constellation” idea. It was really fun taking silly pictures.

We printed them out and held it up to the window to trace.

We put them on the bulletin board for comparison. Too cute!

We made a nifty Constellation Book using blue construction paper & a hole punch. I used to find the names and shapes of different constellations. I drew them and Michael used the hole punch on the stars.

Well, God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Jump to Part 1 of Space Studies:

Jump to Part 3 of Space Studies:


My Family Rocks! Sunday: Back to School? Plus copycat McNuggets recipe (healthier!) July 29, 2012

Note: In this post ~ Back to school organization, shopping, and lunch ideas. Also simple hair style ideas from Pinterest.

Hello friends. As you know, we are a homeschool family. We actually school year round and take breaks in between. So we haven’t had a big break from school. Schoolwork is lighter for Michael during the summer though. Our schedule will get a bit tighter come August. So in a ways we are preparing for back to school.  Also Michael will officially start second grade/some third grade.

Sooooo Chris put up a couple bulletin boards and I organized the homeschool room. Now it’s a bit more functional. Pics below (click to see them larger):

I don’t have to pack lunches for my son but since my husband Chris works and goes to school…I pack his lunches. So I’ve worked on getting organized in the kitchen as well. I found several lunch ideas on Pinterest. I’m trying to balance the meals with the main food groups and to have more diversity than sandwiches.

This is a great list of ideas:

So I made these  copycat McDonald’s Nuggets. They are a lot healthier too. I left out the MSG. Recipe here:

Note: if you don’t have a deep fryer then be careful. I fried mine in a deep pot on the stove. I didn’t think about it smoking and we ended up having to open all the windows and doors.

This was filling for both supper and lunch: Pigs in a Blanket & chips w Spinach artichoke dip

I love homemade Spinach artichoke dip! Link to old post with it:

Awhile back I did a post on money saving tips. I shared a list of freezer meals and I actually used that list.

Well, to be honest I only liked one or two of the freezer meals. Note I am very picky and I like fast food too much. Still the freezer meals just didn’t work for our family. They may work for others but not for us. So this month I came up with a list of our best meals over the years. You’d think after almost 8 years of marriage that I’d have this supper thing down. Anywho, pictured below is my list. I had many staple ingredients already and our grocery bill was below $250 for the month. We have plenty to keep us going. We just have to practice self control because we’re all addicted to fast food.

Note: the breakfast casserole was a new thing I found on Pinterest. It was a fail. We didn’t like it at all and it went to the dog & cat. The rest of the meals are family favorites though. I have a few soups we use in the fall too. This is just the list for this month and possibly the next.
Not all of these work in the slowcooker or as freezer meals but most of them are quick and easy to whip up. The chicken Rockefeller did work in the slow cooker. The texture was different but I added rice to help with that. Anywho, I made several deserts ahead of time and froze them. I used the cobbler recipe I shared with you awhile back to not only make Peach Cobbler but also Pear, Blueberry/Strawberry, and Apple Cobbler.

Then I made a few Cherry Pies for desert that night. I’m really liking smaller sweets….eat some now and freeze the rest for later.

Also mini vanilla/rum cakes ( I ran out of vanilla extract and had to use rum extract). Everyone said it was good. I like the frosting in a can. It makes it easy to decorate.

We also got our kitchen in order (for the most part). My Step-dad Kim brought us some long shelves. The hubby sawed them in half and they became spice racks…which freed up cabinet space.

Lastly, and completely random….I’ve been looking for easy hairstyles. I found a site on Pinterest and tried a style. This style is great for those days you don’t have time to wash your hair. Here’s a pic of my attempt and below is the site for instructions :).

The Simple Updo

The Classic- pony tail with a spin

(my hair didn’t look as lovely as the lady in the video but it worked okay)

PS: This may sound gross but it’s useful when you’re a busy mom… powder works wonders for greasy hair. My mom taught me this trick. The powder soaks up the oil….just make sure you don’t put too much. You don’t want to have white hair lol 🙂 (Edit: I just realized they had this tip on the link I gave you. Well, honestly I heard it from mom first and have used it many years.)

Well, God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


Virtual Friday: Battery Park NYC July 27, 2012

Hello dear ones. I’m still on my “Around the Virtual World” series where I take you to Virtual places inspired by real life. Today I take you to the Battery Park replica in SecondLife.  Enjoy the pics 🙂 (you can click on them for a better view).

There’s some beautiful artwork on display

The Crystal Carousel. I’ve never been there in real life so I didn’t think this was real. Upon further research I found there is an actual Sea Crystal Carousel in Battery Park. I want to visit it in RL now 🙂

You can check this out on the grid at Visit WaterWay New York (146, 71, 24)

God bless and remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover

PS: For those of you new to my blog, here’s  my first Virtual Friday post with tons of info about SecondLife:


July 24, 2012

Filed under: Hear the Writer roar! Tuesdays — amberdover @ 1:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

Great reminder “If you really wanted to write, you’d make time.” 🙂 Enjoy the reblog folks. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

To Write These Words Down...

Let me start this blog by saying thank you. Thank you readers, followers, commenters, friends, and family. Yesterday the blog saw an unprecedented amount of views. I’m still debating whether my mom was just clicking in to reread things, or if I actually had that many views, but I’m running with the good feeling it’s left me either way.

So, thanks everyone!

Yesterday was also a great day for my novel. I plugged in 1,356 words in less than two hours before my shift. This sudden flow of writing has me glowing and confident in a way I’ve lacked since last fall.

So now here I am, back in my Starbucks on my day off, ready to do it all over again. But what if it doesn’t come as easy today? What if, as opposed to yesterday, I have to fight for every word, and each of them comes after…

View original post 544 more words


Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: Favorite tips

Filed under: Hear the Writer roar! Tuesdays — amberdover @ 12:05 am
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Hello dear ones 🙂 Here are some great articles to assist in your writing  journey.

God bless and remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover


Crafty Monday: Oreo Moons July 23, 2012

Hello friends, this past week Michael and I started learning about space.

I put together this lapbook with and also some resources from  The cover is simply black construction paper and I drew the solar system with chalk. I used it as a teaching tool so I did the work. But I did have Michael color the phases of the moon cards.

We got the model for this paper rocket from

The Astronaut idea came from Pinterest. Black construction paper with glitter stars. I printed out an enlarged photo, cut out Michael’s head, and he put it in the middle of a white circle. Super simple 🙂

Our favorite part of the week was the Oreo moons. We learned about the lunar cycle. These are actually generic Oreos but they taste the same.  Yummm….

I thought I’d throw this in. I loved the Odd and Even game from:

Click to access treehouse.pdf

Also, the book “Even Steven and Odd Todd” is highly recommended.

Like I said in a previous post…for Michael’s 2nd Christian birthday (celebrating when he was spiritually born again), we went to the Space and Science Center.

They have a nifty center with a replica of the Mars rovers.

There’s also a weather center with a green screen. Look Michael’s a hurricane lol!

Well, more space stuff next week.

God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Jump to Part 2 of Space Studies:


My Family Rocks! Sunday: Moments in my week :) July 22, 2012

Filed under: My family rocks! Sundays — amberdover @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , ,

Pics of special moments in my week lol

Michael likes to give his action figures rides on my mini Carousel 🙂

Chris decided to give Chester a bath. You can definitely see the Siamese part in him.

God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


Inspirational Wednesday: This is my Story July 18, 2012

Hello friends :). Before I start I want to share with you this thought provoking post by J.S. Park:

Today is my son’s 2nd Christian Birthday, meaning that two years ago my little boy gave his life to Christ. It was not pushed or forced. It was something amazing that he decided on his own. Unfortunately I was asleep :(. We were visiting my Granny in our hometown. Michael had started asking questions on the trip down. Michael already knew the gospel message but it was never rammed down his throat. I know a person can only come to Christ if the Spirit draws them.

I was taking a nap :(…..and Michael started another “God” conversation with my Granny. Then he decided he wanted to pray and give his life to Jesus. He went and told my mom, who offered to help him pray. Mom loves to tell the story of how her 4 yr old grandson basically said “I need to do this now or I may never do it.” That still blows me away but then again Michael blows me away daily. So he actually didn’t want help praying. He did it on his own and asked for Jesus’ forgiveness.

What’s neat and why I totally believe his commitment was/is real is the spiritual battle around him at that time. You see up until this point Michael was having bad nightmares every night. He thought he saw stuff in his room….and he probably did.  I would pray and pray but still every night……even with Christian music on. I don’t doubt kids when they say they see things because I know some really do. I saw things as a kid……scary things……I still see things but not as frequent. I was tormented by my nightmares and it was worse when things happened in real life (like blinds moving up and down on there own).  When Michael gave his life to Christ the nightmares pretty much stopped. He may have one every once in awhile but for the most part he has peace at night. Plus I’ve seen the fruit of the Spirit in Michael’s life as he grows daily by reading his Bible & praying. It’s a beautiful thing to see.  He has a genuine love for Jesus. It’s not about a get out of Hell pass.

So for Michael’s second year of being a Christian I took him to the Space & Science Center. Then he had a Swiss Roll “cake” with candles.  All of this celebration has me thinking about my own Salvation experience. How I met the love of my life and my best friend….the one who died and lived for me…Jesus Christ.

Below is a music video from “Courageous” and also one of me and Michael’s songs. This song also makes me think of my Heavenly Father, who is always willing to “dance” with me (spend time with me). In the movie the Dad was too busy to dance with his daughter and then she dies. He then takes his dance all alone while he’s grieving.

The Beginning of My Story ~Amber Dover

I’ve pondered how to share my testimony and what brought me to Jesus Christ (aka how I became a Christian). My story isn’t just my own. It is a tapestry of stories and lives that were changed and in turn changed my own. I did not find Christ……..He found me.

Luke 15:4-7

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?5 And when he hath found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

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I could tell you every detail but that would distract you from the point. I will do my best to keep this simple….yet rich.
Basically, I remember a time when I lived in fear and lacked peace. I really didn’t understand a Father’s love…much less the Heavenly Father’s love. My Dad (Jim) was my Mom’s  (Ann) second husband. I have a half sister from her first marriage (Jen’s blog is on my blogroll). My parents divorced when I was 7 but they separated a couple of times in between. I remember that my Dad wasn’t home very often and that we didn’t have a lot of money (American-wise). We moved a lot and my Dad didn’t keep jobs very well. When my parents divorced I went to live with my mom. I saw Dad on holidays, during the summer, and every other weekend.

My Dad and I didn’t have a good start but we finished well. The first half of my childhood my Dad was barely around. I remember him being with his friends a lot. Some days he would forget to pick me up from school and my Papa (Dad’s stepdad) would pick me up instead. There were some good moments with Dad but it just seemed other things and people were more of a priority to him than me.

It was in my Papa that I first saw a glimpse of the Heavenly Father. My Papa told me I was special and he spent time with me. Papa was a quiet and humble man. If anyone acted Christ-like it was him. Papa wasn’t perfect but there was something different about him.

I grew up going to church. My mom was a Christian but in my early years she was struggling in her own relationship with God. Still, her wisdom kept me away from some scary things that I had been drawn to (namely witchcraft). My grandparents (Mema & Papa) took me to church as well. I knew the Bible well…even read the book of Revelation in my spare time. I wanted to be a good girl and I did a good job of playing the part….on the outside.

Inside I was struggling. I was terrified of going to Hell and I said the “Sinner’s Prayer” so many times that if it was magical it would’ve worked. But Salvation isn’t magical. Only the Spirit of God can draw a person to Christ’ redemption. It’s nothing we can conjure on our own by prayers or good works.

Ephesians 2:8-9

“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

I remember when I found out my Dad was smoking and selling pot (marijuana). I cried all night. I was so scared that the police would find out and take my Dad away. I remember hearing my Dad and his friend’s cursing while I slept on the couch. I now knew these “friends” were dealers too. I didn’t feel safe. I prayed a lot. I begged God for His help. Why wasn’t it working?
I tried to be good. I said the prayer that the preacher told us to say. I even got baptized. Still I was terrified and still I couldn’t control my bad thinking. I seemed to be a good girl on the outside but inside I thought horrible things. I would curse to myself and then slap myself to try to make the anger go away.

I felt horrible. People picked on me at school and I just felt like a nobody. I didn’t know who I was. My attempt to be the good girl wasn’t going well. Sometimes I slipped up in front of people. If God was real then why did He seem so far away? At that point Christianity was almost a joke. I saw people go to church and still act the same. My Dad didn’t go to church really but he knew the Bible good. He twisted it too. He had a shirt that said “God made Weed”. Somehow I knew God didn’t approve of these things or how my Dad and his friends acted.

Romans 3:22-26

“22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus.”

God also reached out to me through my Granny. She always knew the right things to say. I felt torn apart by divorce and the colorful people brought into my life, mainly Dad’s friends but also Mom’s boyfriends. Others in my family were struggling too. A first cousin of mine committed suicide. It wasn’t too long after that when my sister tried to kill herself. Praise God her attempt was in vain. A couple years later another first cousin committed suicide.

I have had the privilege of seeing God transform many lives. My sister was one of them. At one time she was hopeless. By God’s grace she is now a strong follower of Christ. Her love for Jesus is apparent and I’ve seen how He gave her peace and still does so.

I had come to a place of feeling absolutely filthy when a “friend” sexually abused me. I didn’t realize I was a victim until adulthood. I just thought I was a really bad person. This abuse happened over the course of a year or more. I can’t remember for sure. I believe it was before I turned ten but I again I can’t quite remember.

The turning point came the summer of 1998, after I had turned 13. My Family began to change in a wonderful way. It is then that I first realized that Jesus Christ was/is really alive and that he affects the lives of those who encounter Him. My Dad was on the path of destruction. His friends were druggies. His music was all about death and he had posters everywhere of skulls etc. He was going nowhere as a father. But Jesus Christ completely changed my Dad’s course.

This is how Dad told his story which in turn became mine as well. Dad said he was driving down the road, rock music blasting, and joint in his hand when the conviction of God came down hard. My Dad had given his life to Christ when he was seven but his family fell apart and he turned down the path of drugs. Anywho, Dad was driving and he felt God telling him that he had to change how he was living. God told Dad that he couldn’t live for him and still do the bad things he was doing. Dad tried to speed up…….like he could get away from God lol. Finally he couldn’t handle the conviction any longer. He pulled over, turned off his music, and flipped the joint out the window. My Dad completely surrendered himself to Christ that day.

I went to spend the summer with my Dad. Usually I stayed with my grandparents the most because my Dad was busy with his friends and he didn’t have a big place for awhile. This summer my Dad had his own trailer though. So I went to stay with Dad. My mouth dropped open when I saw the place. All of the “Grateful Dead” posters were gone! The TV was gone! Dad’s music was gone! And Dad was dressed decent. I was like “what happened?!” So Dad explained his testimony to me. I didn’t understand what it mean’t to feel conviction. I knew guilt but not conviction. I kind of shrugged my shoulders. Dad found God. Great. Dad quit smoking/selling pot and lost alot of his “friends”.  I really got confused though when I saw a change in how my Dad treated ME. Dad actually cared and wanted to spend time with me. Dad wasn’t perfect but something or someone had changed him.

I knew it wasn’t something…….because church and prayers didn’t work for me or others. My Dad talked about God like he really knew Him….like he was a real person…not some cosmic genie. One day me and my buddy Philipp were hanging out in Dad’s living room when Dad decided to put on an old preaching tape he had. The speaker was a revival preacher named Olan Daphron and he had died many years before. The man began to talk about sanctification and justification…..words I had read in my Bible but never understood. Basically it was what Jesus’ sacrifice (his blood…death and resurrection) actually does for us. He talked about true repentance. Not begging for forgiveness just to get out of Hell………but actually choosing to commit to God and let Christ change you.
I had heard the simple gospel message many times. But something was different about that day. For the first time I felt God speaking to my heart. Yes, I had said the sinner’s prayer but deep down I thought I could change myself on my own. I wasn’t sorry for my sins. I just wanted to get out of the consequences of them. I cared about how people saw me….not God. God wasn’t even real to me….just a story in a book. But in that special moment I knew without a doubt that God was/is real. That Jesus had REALLY died to pay for MY sins. I knew in my heart that Jesus really did come back to life three days later…….that Jesus Christ was/is the Son of God. I knew Jesus wanted me to live for him….to make Him Lord (master) of my life.

John 3:16-18

“16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

It was painful. Painful to realize that I was hopeless to change myself. That I was a sinner and on my way to Hell no  matter how many prayers I prayed. But it was also joyful because now I knew that Jesus really could save me…..that He would change me. It was a gift I could accept. I just had to believe….truly believe in my Heart and then confess it with my mouth. I asked God’s forgiveness and mean’t it. I wasn’t muttering a rote prayer to the atmosphere. I was talking to God almighty. I wanted Him to be my Heavenly Father. I wanted to live for Him and do what He wanted no matter the cost.

In that moment I finally knew Peace. I was sealed by the Holy Spirit. I became God’s child. I met the love of my life…..I met Jesus Christ. He began to change me and still changes me daily. I’m not perfect at all. But I do know the King of the universe. The Heavenly Father who reached out to me through family members and even teachers (who prayed for me)……now called me by name and I knew His voice. Every day I see the Holy Spirit lead me. Times when I’m angry and I hear the Spirit say “apologize”. Times when I feel unloved and God’s peace wraps around me like physical arms.

My Dad became a minister the following year and I was baptized a second time (the real time) in the ocean by a missionary. (Baptism symbolizes the change within.) I went to live with my Dad and God restored our relationship. My Dad actually became a good father. We still had our moments but I can thankfully say that when my Dad died in 2009 we were completely reconciled. I was blessed to have my Dad lay his hands on and pray for my son. Dad died in October and Michael became a Christian in July.

It was hard on my Mom when I went to live with Dad but even in that time God used it to draw her closer to him. Mom has always been my best human friend and it’s been beautiful to see how God brought her out of depression. My Mom inspires me with her walk with Jesus. I have seen Jesus change the lives of many family members including my Father-in-law. They are all filled with God’s love and it’s so much nicer to be around them. You see, when someone truly meets Jesus and surrenders to Him they will change. It may not be overnight change but you will see a difference in their life and in how they act.

I’ve dealt with many things…..depression, suicide, anger, and bitterness. I felt impure so long because of my past. I am not perfect but Jesus Christ has brought me through these things. He has kept me from attempting suicide. He turned my sorrow during my husband’s deployments into Joy. He taught me and continues to teach me how to really live. What it means to have an abundant life. How to be content whether rich or poor. He has restored my purity.

Jesus led me in my decisions……things I had never thought to choose for myself (marrying an army man….being a homechool mom). I’m learning that God’s ways are so much better than mine. I may try to plan my life but my plans will fail. It is God’s hand that keeps me where I should be. I still cry. I still bleed. I’ve been picked on for my Faith and sometimes my Faith causes me to endure great hardship. God didn’t promise sunshine and rainbows. He told us we would be persecuted and that we would endure hardship because we live in a fallen world. He did promise to always be with us and that no one can separate us from Him. Jesus keeps His own. Even when we stray, the Father draws us back to Him if we are really His.

Romans 8:14-18

“14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

My sin nature drew me towards bad things… paths that led to fear. Jesus Christ draws me to the Light and to peace. Every good gift comes from Him. I am so thankful that Jesus saved me….that he did hear my cry after all. I was in complete darkness until Jesus came into my life and heart. I can’t imagine living in that darkness again and I pray for everyone who doesn’t know Jesus.

God created this world in perfection but sin (disobedience) corrupted the world and caused it to be cursed. Likewise we are all cursed. Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem us….to pay the price for our sin. He rose three days later because death could not keep Him. Jesus is alive and by him we can know eternal life too. God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell. So He sent His son, Jesus, to save us. We must choose His salvation… follow Him. God will not force anyone to believe in Him. The Holy Spirit is a gentle man. What do you choose? Death or Life? Jesus is the only way to the Father (eternal life).

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Jesus is real. He requires true friendship and commitment. You either love Him or your don’t. If you love Him you will follow Him. You won’t be perfect at all but you will want to be like Christ. You will want to spend time with Jesus by praying and reading His word. I now know that prayer is just talking to God and listening to Him. He’s real and He requires real relationship. Would you consider a person a true friend if they never talked to you? God speaks to us through His word (the Bible) which is His love letters to us….even his discipline is Love….He will do whatever it takes to draw His own back to Him. Because there can be no life or light apart from God. He IS Life and Light (the true kind….not the counterfeit).

Being a devout follower of Jesus means a very big choice. I pledged my allegiance to Jesus Christ no matter what happens. Whether that means persecution, death, or hardship I choose to follow Jesus. This is serious stuff…….no playing church….only caring about God when things are rosy or when you’re so scared all you can cry is “God”. No this is complete loyalty come what may….rain or shine. Even when you don’t understand what God is doing and even when you get mad at Him (don’t worry He can handle it)………still saying “God I choose you even though I feel hurt and mad at you”. Because Jesus is real and once you truly know Him you can’t help but love Him…….no matter the cost. I don’t care what this Faith….this love relationship costs me, I don’t EVER want to go back to not knowing Christ. I won’t go back. I may slip and fall but you better believe it I’ll be on my knees saying “God here I am! Please don’t leave me.” And He won’t leave me….because I am His child. The Heavenly Father doesn’t abandon His children. I love Him so much because He loved me and showed me by His blood.

Romans 8:35-39

“35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I can’t convince you that Jesus is real and I can’t convince you I truly know Jesus. I pray you see the Truth in how God works in my life. But honestly unless the Spirit Himself draw you then nothing is going to happen. I will tell you this. If you truly want to know God and you’re ready in your heart to truly surrender to Him. He will find you…….He will save you…….and He will make you His Child. You see, God the Father is looking for people who are looking for Him. He knows who will commit and who won’t. So in this way God chooses us but there is also Free-will. Because God already knows who is going to choose Him. Sometimes His choices are surprising…..take the apostle Paul…..once he murdered Christians but God changed Him and forgave Him……..then Paul became one of the greatest Christians, wrote most of the New Testament, and was willing to die for Christ…which he did.

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God is so merciful. I was once a nobody and on the path of darkness but now I am a Daughter of the King of Kings. Thank you Jesus!

Here is the life-changing message I heard way back when. It is preached by my Dad in this version.

and here’s the second part:

(Note in 12:54 when he says we will be “equal with Christ” he did not mean we will be lil gods (equal in that way). It was either a slip of words or he was referring to how we will be co-heirs with Christ.  Please don’t be confused.)

The Gospel of John Movie (Crucifixion)

God bless and remember the High King Lives! ~Amber Dover


Crafty Monday: Memory Lane~ Sensory boxes & other craft memories July 17, 2012

(PS: Sorry this is late…long day)

Hello friends, I don’t have any new crafts to share today. Here are some oldies :). Enjoy the pics! Some of these are when Michael was itty bitty :).

Sensory boxes:

Rice Box

Coffee Box

I also let Michael grind his own beans. He loved this activity 🙂

Ocean Box (now moved to a plastic container.) Warning: fish gravel stains hands & clothes

Spring Box and Moon Box~ Easter grass and then Moon sand

Inside the Spring Box- Egg carton caterpillars (egg cartons, paint, and pipe cleaners)

Fall Box~ green felt, a branch glued to pieces of tile. Pom pom acorns, pumpkins, and apples. Decor from craft store.

Winter Box~ Styrofoam for the snowman and I made a felt hat and scarf. Beads on a string for the Christmas lights. Green glitter on the pine cones. Quilt batting for the snow. Snowflake cutouts…

Felt Vegetable Garden

“Mommy Loves Michael” picture painted on a round piece of wood.

Cutest pic of Michael. He was 4.

Homemade geo-board~ two foam boards, felt, push-pins, glue, and rubber bands.

Bird Mask~ paper plates, feathers, etc… (pic below of Michael and Nana/my mom)

Recycled Garden: cereal boxes, magazines, buttons, bottle caps, blue construction paper

Michael learning to type (4 yrs old). His cheeks were so chubby then 🙂

The four emotions masks: Angry, Happy, Scared, and Sad (Sad isn’t pictured)

A Fourth of July Musical two years ago. Michael was a patriot 🙂

Book It! Pizza Goals~ “Book It” is a wonderful program where kids earn free pizzas for reading. We used a poster to keep track.

Fort Fredericka Museum: Michael all dressed up lol

Rainbow Fish lesson (3 or 4 yrs old)

Cardboard Robot~ Different cardboard boxes painted and glued together.

That’s all of the old pics for now. God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover