A Deadly Business – Mixed Emotions


I’ve watched her on Fox News and I’ve seen her mystery books in Christian bookstores, but this is the first novel I’ve read by author Lis Wiehl.

A Deadly Business in the second book in the Mia Quinn mystery series by coauthors Lis Wiehl and April Henry.  The main character Mia is mother of two children, widowed and a prosecutor in Seattle.

This is a fast-paced novel, filled with action from the get go.  Starting on page two, buckle you seat belts because you are on a roller coaster ride as Mia, her family and coworker are thrust into danger, mystery and intrigue.  Questions arise on her husband’s death seven months earlier, that may indicate murder not an accident.  In the middle of dealing with that duty calls as Mia is assigned a case prosecuting juveniles who critically injure a woman by dropping a shopping cart on her from two stories up.  Mia has to make the tough decision to prosecute these criminals as juveniles or as adults in a highly volatile and politically charged atmosphere.

Now what did I think of the book…well the book held my attention.  I found that I didn’t have a chance to get to know the main character early on because the action started so abruptly.  I connected with two of the characters, Detective Charlie Carlson and Mia’s fourteen year old son Gabe because they seemed good and real.  There were times I found myself put off by Mia’s thoughts and approach to the criminal justice system.  Rather than punishing criminals for their acts, the character approached it as a place to help rehabilitate criminals.  I wondered is that the authors view point or just what they wrote about the character?

Another question that came up, as I was reading this novel, is that I’m not sure what would qualify this book as “Christian Fiction”.  If a writer is a Christian does that mean what they write is Christian fiction?  I don’t think so.  There was precious little in the book about God, faith or prayer and nothing that would stand out to suggest it was a Christian book.  I wouldn’t have guessed this book was from a Christian writer unless I had known this was put out by a Christian based publisher.

Nevertheless, I did appreciate the fact that the book did not contain filthy language or promote sexual immorality, etc.

Would I recommend this book?  I would advise customers to read the book synopsis, reviews, and choose based on an informed decision if it sounds like something you might like.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for someone who likes to read books that include characters dealing with God, scripture, prayer and wrestling their faith.  But if you are looking for a good mystery you might like it.

I would like to thank the people at BookLook for providing me with a free copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.

I Bless You

For my precious friend, I pray and bless you

I bless you with faith that rises
Faith that burns brighter
In the darkness of trials

I bless you with faith like a jewel
A multifaceted diamond
Sparkling and reflecting the Light of God

I bless you with faith that takes God at His Word
“All things are possible to him who believes.”
A responsive heart that confesses, “I believe.  Help me with my unbelief.”

I bless you with faith that remembers
Your Savior suffered and was tempted
And is able to help and strengthen you today

I bless you with faith that trusts God
When all others tell you to abandon ship
You will remember that God still calms the stormy seas

I bless you to remember your Savior’s compassion
He stands ready to wipe away your tears
With His nail scarred hands

I bless you to praise God,
Unapologetic, out loud and with boldness
Though others may tell you to curse God

I bless you to know with confident assurance
That God is perfectly weaving your trials and pain
Into a beautiful tapestry of your life

I bless you to recognize
That God will never waste your trials
Be confident that He will use them to help others

I bless you to remember book by book
Who God has revealed Himself to be
In holy and inerrant Scripture

I bless you to recall the names of God
Reflect and remember
How He has proven Himself over and over in your life

I bless you to rejoice always
Pray without ceasing
In everything and for everything give thanks

Imperfect Forgiveness

Just when I thought I’d moved beyond it
I see wounds from the past and brokenness
Still impacting me today

Time has moved on
As has the one who fell short
Leaving scars in their wake

This side of heaven
My questions will remain unspoken
“Why?” and “What were you thinking?” will not be answered

I wish I had been able to talk it through
Or hear “I’m sorry”
And confess my sins against them too

Lord I need to forgive completely
Not dredge it up again
Let the pain remain in the past, not feel it afresh

Lord, I need to follow Your example
Forgive completely, once and for all
Cancel their debt

Help me to remember
Not only did Jesus pay my sin debt in full
But He died for the sins of the world

You are lavish in grace, mercy and forgiveness
Not holding my sin debt against me
You have cast my sin into the sea of forgetfulness

I need to remember
Unforgiveness is a sin
Like all sin, I must repent of it

Show me how to live this out day by day
Help me to remember that You never waste my trials and pain
You are working things out according to Your perfect plan

Thank You God that Your forgiveness is not like mine
You forgive fully and completely, even to the uttermost
Heavenly Father, help me to be more like You

by Susan Wachtel
June 19, 2014

Small View of God

A small view of God, an inaccurate view of God will lead to sin:

Sin against God

Sin against man









Neglect of the Word of God



Carrying a burden that God never intended for me to carry alone

Ceasing to praise and worship God

Overestimating myself

Underestimating others

Failure to put on the full armor of God


Bad fruit

Failure to take every thought captive…giving my thoughts free rein

Discouragement, not encouragement

Losing my focus that I am engaged in a spiritual battle every day this side of heaven

Listening to the lies and propaganda of the enemy

I’m sure that this list could go on and on.  Perhaps you have a few that you can think of too.  Please free to share them.

I think I’m safe in saying that nothing good comes when I have a small view of God.

Just Thinking on Unbelief

Lord, help me to remember that You are at work in our lives, even when I can see it and when the outcome is yet unknown.

What form does unbelief take in my life?  Fear, anxiety, doubt and negativity to name a few.

Unbelief is a sin!  When I recognize it help me to repent, turn and walk by faith and trust in the One True and Living God.

Help me to renew my heart and mind through Your Word oh God.

Lord, when I feel overwhelmed help me to reflect on Who You are and what You have revealed about Yourself in the Bible.

The Bridge Tender – Insightful


When selecting a new book to read The Bridge Tender by Marybeth Whalen caught my eye.  First the beautiful cover picture, then comments from other readers and finally the storyline drew me in.  I’m not usually one to read romance books, so I wasn’t entirely sure if I would like this book by an author who is new to me.

The story starts out with Emily and her husband Ryan on their honeymoon in Sunset Beach filled with carefree days, romance and love.  Fast forward five years and we find Emily getting dressed for Ryan’s funeral.  In the ensuing chapters, we learn about Emily and how she handles overwhelming grief and how life moves on in spite her.

I found the author very insightful on relationships, friendships, grief, loneliness and learning to live again after a huge loss.  Many times I found what was shared evoked in me a desire to appreciate what I have been given and to recognize that I don’t know how long I will have those gifts in my life.  I appreciated how Emily reasoned through her way to be supportive of her friend Marta who had a budding romantic relationship in the wake of Emily’s loss of her husband Ryan.  God and faith were part of what Emily wrestled through, but I would have appreciated an even greater emphasis on faith.

There were many times, I didn’t want to put the book down when duty or sleep called.  All in all The Bridge Tender holds a special place in my heart and look forward to reading more books by author Marybeth Whalen.  I highly recommend this book.

I would like to thank the team at BookLook for providing me with a free copy of The Bridge Tender to read in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.

Feeling defeated?

I bless you to remember that satan is defeated foe. That you will recall the truth about your enemy and not be taken in by his lies. In the Bible, Holy and inerrant Word of God, we learn that from the beginning satan was a murderer, he is a liar and the father of lies. He comes only to kill, steal and destroy. Just as you would dismiss the words spoken to you by a known liar, I pray that you will dismiss the lies from the enemy. I pray that you will remember that on the cross Jesus Christ crushed the satan’s head. Jesus proved His victory when three days later He arose from the grave. Feeling defeated…then take a good look at the empty tomb. I pray that you will remember that you have been given the Holy Spirit who dwells within you. You have been sealed for the day of redemption. Remember that Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father and He is interceding for you. Remember Who is on your side. I pray that you will remember that You have been give the Word of God which is living and active, and is more powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. It is able to divide soul and spirit, joints and marrow and is the discerner of the thoughts and intentions of your heart. I pray that you will follow Jesus Christ’s example when He was tempted in the desert for 40 days and nights, that He responded by wielding the Sword of the Spirit. I pray that you will remember that satan’s doom is certain. Just as God has revealed in Scripture the devil, who deceived them, will be cast alive into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are at. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever…Amen! Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!



Rising Faith

I pray that your faith will stand strong, even in times of trials and tribulation or in the doldrums of life.  I pray that your faith will rise and be strengthened on the Solid Rock of Scripture.  In those times when God seems to be silent, that you will turn to God’s Word and remind yourself about who God is, see what He has revealed about Himself in Scripture.  I pray that you will hide God’s Word in your heart so that you may not sin against Him.  That when other’s faith fails them, praises of God will come forth from your lips, strengthening your heart and mind and the faith of other believers.  I pray for you to have a heart and mind that desires to know God more and to be obedient.  I pray that you will be open and teachable, bendable and yielded unto the Lord God Almighty.  I pray that you will fear God, not man.  That you will turn to the Bible, holy and inerrant Scripture, daily to know who you are in Christ.  That you will be bold, confident and unapologetic in your proclamation of the Gospel, knowing that it is the power of God for salvation of all who believe, first the Jew and then the Greek.  I pray that you will desire to bless the Lord each day with how you live, what you say and think, even down to the desires and thoughts and intentions of your heart.  I pray for you to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to desire to be washed by the water of God’s Word daily.  It is in the incomparable, blessed and holy name of Jesus Christ I pray.   Amen and amen!


I officially stopped working outside the home two months ago.  I’ve got to say, it’s still somewhat strange not to be under continual stress day in and day out.  That’s not to say that there is no stress in my life, but in comparison to the work-a-day world it’s a world of difference.

I must declare publicly that my husband Chris is my hero.  He has allowed me to stay home and take care of our home and do volunteer work.  He is the one bearing the burden of being the sole income earner of which I am most grateful!

I am continuing on with cleaning out the clutter in our home.  Each week I focus on closets or drawers and work on throwing away or giving away the endless amount of things that we don’t use or need any longer.  Some of it’s in good shape or has never been used…that’s the stuff we give away.  Some of it just needs to go away.

On a closet I cleaned out last weekend I found hundreds of cards that my husband and I have received.  Cards for whatever reason, at the time, I decided I wanted to hang on to them.  So I’m starting to go through them, one by one and see what I want to keep and what I can get rid of.  Many of them we haven’t looked at for months if not years.  In that respect, I would think that I should be able to throw them away.  But I’m struggling with doing that.

That struggle has been heightened by the passing of friends over the last few years.  I look at the cards and have precious memories of our friends and am comforted by what they wrote.  The cards from people that have passed on are much harder to get rid of.  But in reality, how often do I look at those cards?

So…I’ve been trying to think of a good solution.  What I’ve decided to do is scan the cards that I want to keep.  I’m going to take the scanned picture of the card and message the person wrote and post them to a personal Pinterest board that I’ve created just for cards we’ve received.

One of the lessons I’m learning from this is that I need to appreciate the people I’m with and hold on to those precious memories.  I need to have a looser grip on material possessions but hold on to friends and memories.

At the end of the day, when I hold on to things I’m just delaying the inevitable.  Perhaps it’s just part of getting older, but I realize that when I die…all those things that I’ve held onto, someone else is going to have to go through and get rid of.  So maybe I need to learn to let go of the clutter day by day.  Accumulate less instead of having to clean out the closets and cupboards every few years.

If anyone has some good ideas on what I should do with the cards and letters, let me know what you’ve done.

Enough of that…onward and upward and back to cleaning I go.