Monday, July 31, 2017

Anna May's Favorite Bible Verses

As promised in the book, The Long Way Home, I've compiled a list of Anna May's most treasured Bible verses. These are what brought her through the darkest times in her life. I pray they do the same for you. All these scriptures are from the King James Version of the Bible.
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21 KJV

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Romans 3:28

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Galatians 2:16

"For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." Galatians 2:19

"Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Galatians 3:3

"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Galatians 3:25

"Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Galatians 4:7

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1

16 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Galatians 5:16-18

8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:8-10

5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:5-7

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

4 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Hebrews 6:4-6

13 "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:13-14

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:22

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24




Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sweet Competition - Why I'm Writing Amish Romances

I never dreamed a year ago I'd be writing Amish romances. In my work with (The website I founded five years ago) I have seen many authors throw together manuscripts with Amish characters trying to make a quick buck. Never in a million years did I think I'd be one of them. But when I was invited to write an Amish novella for a collection with four other authors I accepted. I wanted to write again, and I wanted to make a job of it. I've struggled for many years about the decision to write for a living, and I finally realized that dedicating my time to it would be the only way to make me any better at it. And I believe God wants me to write. So I said yes. I wrote Sweet Competition surprisingly easily.

Previously I'd considered myself a Missouri fiction author, and I found that the Amish genre wasn't far from it. We have an Old Order Amish community just down the road, and as I began to think about how they must live, I realized it couldn't be that much different from how we grew up, or at least how our parents grew up.

I remember my grandfather having an outhouse, and also the one we used for years at church. My husband grew up here as well, and his family didn't have running water until he was twelve. They carried water from the nearby spring. So living simply is part of our Missouri heritage, something I'd like to pass on to my daughter.

I was disappointed when the set got cancelled. Two of the authors decided they couldn't write Amish, and another couldn't make the deadline, so I was left with one book to publish on my own. I decided right then it wouldn't be that hard to write three more and have a collection of my own. I started the ninth of January, and now it is almost August and I've written eight stories, with plans for several more.

I've since learned so much about the Swiss Amish. I was able to visit the Amish country store and speak with the woman who ran it. It was disappointing when she told me that many authors had visited and asked questions, and then "wrote up a bunch of lies they put on the internet". I told her I'd seen the books with the community's name on it and I agreed, even with my limited knowledge of them, that they were lies. The Swiss Amish are very different, and it seems little is known about them. I knew right then I would do my very best to write about the Amish in the most respectful way. I've made friends with some people who grew up Amish and they answer questions for me, and I've began reading the Bible with sort of an Amish lens. How do they see these verses? How is it different than the way we view them? The Christian Amish books we all like to read aren't exactly the way the Amish believe. Some Amish people have actually been shunned for proclaiming salvation through Jesus Christ. Amish groups vary, and so do the rules in each community, so it would be wrong to say all Amish believe a certain way. So my books are as realistic as they can be toward their religion, while still maintaining my own.

Sweet Competition is about how the Bible says we should treat our enemies. I consider this one my "hillbilly romance". The Amish people around here speak just like we do, except their English may be a little better, and some do it so well they don't have any accent at all. But I'm sure some are just as hillbilly as we are, so I created two families that are a little more "down home" than the others. I hope you enjoy it, and follow me on my writing journey.
God Bless.
Tattie Maggard

Check out The Amish of Swan Creek Series on Amazon.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What Is A Romance?

What does it take to be considered a romance in the Christian fiction genre? Is it young love? A man who at the end proposes marriage? Is romance not for the middle-aged or already married?

I've considered all these things as I begin to write my new Amish Romance series and I've come to think that romance can (or should be) defined as when a couple comes together in unity in both mind, spirit and, (if they're married) body. I believe this is independent of age and marital status.

Can a dead marriage be made alive again? Through Christ I believe it can. I would consider that a romance, wouldn't you? But what if the couple didn't obey God's Word and came together anyway, in marriage or in body? Will we cast their problem out for secular audiences only, not willing to consider a Christian character who is less than perfect? Nay, there is redemption for them, too. That is both a romance and a realistic portrayal of what life is actually like.

And that's why you may find a book or two here and there in my series with characters who marry long before the happy ending.