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WELCOME TO MY

JOURN+AL JOTS BLOG ...

A journal where you can learn what I'm up to on my books, giveaways, fun things I'm doing or even my own personal devotional for the day. It's a broad mix of what's on my mind, allowing me to feel a little bit closer to some of the most important people in my life -- YOU! So please stop by from time to time, and if you have questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you via the "Contact Julie" tab or via my Facebook page.  Hugs, Julie

 

7:26AM

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared ...

praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”

Luke 2:13-14

"On whom His favor rests."

Whoo-hoo, guys — that's you and that's me — people who profess Jesus as Lord and try to live according to His precepts.

And the night Jesus was born? It was definitely the shepherds — the very first human beings to hear the good news proclaimed by a host of angels in the sky.

Ever wonder why the shepherds were the first to hear? I mean, shepherds were on the bottom rung of the social ladder in Israel at that time and according to most, the last people upon whom God's favor would rest.

And yet it did. For a very good reason my pastor explained last week, so I hope it blesses you as much as it did me. Here we go ...

And you, Oh tower of the flock,

the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come,

even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come

to the daughter of Jerusalem.

— Micah 4:8

"Tower of the flock." You know what that is? Well, I sure didn't until our pastor explained it. These were the shepherds’ fields outside Bethlehem called Migdal Eder, which translated means "tower of the flock."

The shepherds in these fields had a very special duty. It was their responsibility to care for the flocks of the temple priests. The same flocks from which spotless and unblemished lambs would come for sacrificial offerings. So as a result, these shepherds were trained to spot the signs for the perfect sacrificial lambs!

And what did these shepherds do with the lambs when they selected them? According to the Mishnah (the oral Torah), these lambs were immediately wrapped in "swaddling cloths" to protect them from injury. You see, apparently baby lambs tend to thrash about and harm themselves during the birthing process, so the swaddling cloths protected them, making sure the lambs were born without blemish.

Would you like to guess where these lambs were birthed? In caves outside of Bethelem called "birthing caves." Sound familiar?


But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.

I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;

He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you:

You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes

and lying in a manger.”

—Luke 2:12


A sign. One they recognized immediately because remember, they were trained to spot the signs for the perfect sacrificial lamb! And they found it. A baby lying in a manger, the perfect sacrificial lamb, without spot or wrinkle.


"Behold the Lamb of God

who takes away the sins of the world.”  — John 1:29


My prayer for us this holy season is that each of us will truly "behold" — see, contemplate, embrace, and rejoice in — the Lamb of God, God's eternal sign of His love for your and me: Jesus Christ.


 

For God so loved

the world, He gave his only

begotten Son, that whosoever

believeth in him should not perish,

but have everlasting life. — John 3:16


My love and thanks to each of you who have been such a blessing in my life. I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and truly holy holiday season!

Hugs,

Julie

 

πŸŽ„ My Last Facebook Live:

A Christmas Story!

 

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, I did my last Facebook Live of the year, so here's the video if you would like to check it out:

MEGA HUGS TO EVERYONE WHO POSTED A REVIEW FOR "FOR LOVE OF LIBERTY"!

If you have posted a review for For Love of Liberty, contact me immediately because I have a thank-you prize for you, okay?

And if you haven't read my latest novel, For Love of Liberty yet, why not? Liberty is a 5-star novel on Amazon for only $3.99, so buy a Christmas gift for yourself I promise you won't regret it. :)

 

Love you guys and MERRY CHRISTMAS!! ❀️

Julie


 

 

.

 

 

 

 

4:37AM

Thursday, December 7, 2017

🌟

Marcy smiled.

“A Light in the Window

is a play about Christ giving His peace

and joy to those who give their hearts to Him

and to others, shining bright in a dark world like a

light ablaze in the window. A story in which we, too, can shine

our own light of Christ’s love through the windows of our eyes …

our hearts … our actions … At a time and place in history when our own

community not only desperately needs it, but the very God we serve ordains it.”

—Marceline Murphy,

A Light in the Window

 by Julie Lessman


Okay, I gotta admit, I truly love the meaning and message of my Christmas book, A Light in the Window, because when you strip away all the tinsel, ribbons, and bows, Christmas is about the Light of the World—Jesus—within our hearts, shining His light and love to everyone we meet.

Christ in us, the hope of glory. —Colossians 1:27

And don't you just love the extra smiles and courtesy this time of year brings? Wouldn't it be nice to have that every day of the year? Well, you know what? We can, but only through Him.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. —2nd Corinthians 5:17

New creatures, yes, but not perfect. Never perfect. Which always boggles my mind that although that is the case, Almighty God still chose those of us who claim Christ as the dwelling place for His Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Christ Child.

A "stable," if you will, like the one where Baby Jesus first lay. A place warm and welcoming and holy. Sure, sometimes it may stink and sometimes it may be noisy with animals, and sometimes it may even be cold and drafty from the winds of the world battering hard. But ultimately it is a shelter for the Light of the World and we owe it to Him—and to ourselves—to share His Light with others.

Through a smile.

Through a kindness.

Through a prayer.

A "light in the window," if you will, that not only brings warmth and wonder, but light to a dark world so desperately in need.

May His light shine through us, not only at Christmas, but everyday of the year!

Hugs,

Julie

πŸŽ„ Christmas Facebook Party & Contest!

TOMORROW —  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8, 6-10 EST — Join me and seven other Christian authors for a Christmas Facebook Party you will NOT want to miss!

In addition to lots of free books and individual author giveaways, there will also be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card, with a runner-up prize of a signed copy of every participating authors' featured book.

SPECIAL CONTEST FOR JOURNAL JOT READERS ONLY! Leave a comment during my segment at 9-9:30 PM EST and mention Journal Jots, and you will be entered in my own private contest for your choice of any one of my paperbacks, indie or Revell, any of my e-books, PLUS I will name a character after you or a loved one in book 1 of my Silver Lining Ranch series, Love's Silver Lining and send you a signed paperback copy when it releases next summer. So hope to see you there! Here's the link:

Christmas Christian Fiction Lovers FB Party!

 

Liberty's Here!

HOLY FROG SPIT! Liberty's here and racking up 5-stars, so have you had a chance to meet her yet? If not, she's waitin' for you to take her home for Christmas, so be sure to check her and her reviews out at Amazon!

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN?
OR SOMEPLACE A WHOLE LOT WARMER?

She’s stubborn, educated, and looking to give women the vote. He’s bullheaded, successful, and looking to give her a piece of his mind. But when things heat up, they just may give each other a piece of their hearts.

ORDER LIBERTY HERE!

 

πŸ“š 1 Novel & 4 Novellas 99 cents each!

Gear up for the holidays with some fun reads for only 99 cents each, so do check them out!

LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

WHISPER OF HOPE

BEST GIFT OF ALL

GRACE LIKE RAIN

GIFT OF GRACE

 

πŸ“š Three 5-Star Novels & Free Prequel!

A GLIMMER OF HOPE

ISLE OF HOPE: UNFAILING LOVE

LOVE EVERLASTING

HIS STEADFAST LOVE


 

 

9:09AM

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"We grew up believing in Cinderella,

yet some of us feel our palace turned out to be a duplex, 

our prince turned out to be a frog, and the wicked stepmother

turned out to be our mother-in-law."

 —Beth Moore, Breaking Free

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK!!

Right off the proverbial bat, I want to make it perfectly clear that I had one of the BEST mothers-in-law on the planet, so today’s quote is no reflection on her, trust me. I actually just liked the quote when I read it in Beth Moore’s amazing workbook, Breaking Free, and thought it would make a good jot. Why? Well, because it reminds me how our own expectations in life can booby-trap our happiness … and our gratitude!

Thanksgiving. Such a simple word and yet within lies a wealth of joy to be had for those who heed its message:

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;

give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good

and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

— Psalm 100:3-6

What does that mean? Well, for me, it says that “thanksgiving” invites us into the throne room of God and “praise” ushers us into the courts of the King of Kings—keys, if you will, that unlock the doors to God’s bountiful blessings.

I'm pretty much a black-and-white bottom liner, so when I was a new Christian, I simply applied that Scripture diligently to everything that happened in my life, good or bad.

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!

I learned very quickly that when we thank and praise God in the face of negative situations, not only do we stomp on the devil’s toes by giving glory to God rather than getting angry at Him like the devil WANTS ... BUT we activate that insurance policy that each one of has if we belong to God:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him

and have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28.

For instance, when I was 27-year-old single woman supporting myself as a secretary for a meeting producer, I had managed to work my way up from secretary to bottom rung of the corporate ladder as a “Associate Writer Producer,” something very difficult to do without a degree. Never mind that I didn’t have the title, salary or business cards to go along with it and still had to do secretarial duties as well—it was a career breakthrough, and I was elated!

Until, that is, the economy hit a snag, and the company scheduled a massive lay-off. As a fairly new Christian trusting in God, I was STUNNED when the V.P. of our division called me in his office to tell me that although I had done an incredible job working my way out of secretarial work into the “Associate Writer Producer” realm, the hard facts were that since I was low man on the totem pole, I had to go.

I remember sitting there in his office, tears welling and shock reverberating throughout my body. Dear God, what was I going to do? I was my sole support and lived in my own apartment with nowhere to go if I couldn’t make the payments. Both of my parents were deceased, so it wasn’t like I could go back home. “I’ll give you a few moments alone,” the V.P. said, vacating his office so I could “pull myself together.” The moment the door clicked behind him, the tears began to fall, fear crawling through my belly like the serpent had crawled through Eden. “You trusted God,” the serpent said, “and yet what good has it done? God allowed you to be fired.”

I will never forget that still, small voice that drifted in my brain that day. “Praise me, thank me,” the thought came and so I did, right then and there in that office, loud and clear with tears trailing my cheeks, praising and thanking God in the midst of losing my job. Because deep down I knew that somehow, someway, God would work this out for my good.

A calm came over me that defied the circumstances, and lifting my head high, I walked out of that office not having a clue what I was going to do, but knowing one thing for dead sure: I wasn’t alone.

Want to take a guess what happened next? Within two hours a manager from another department heard that I had been let go and offered me a job that very day. A job, I might add, that within two weeks led to a bona fide “Associate Writer Producer” job in yet another department where I not only received the title, business cards and salary, but had a secretary working for me as well. Go ahead, tell me that isn’t a God thing, and I will tell you a hundred more stories just like it because when we praise and thank God in the midst of our trials, He is “good, His love endures forever and His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

This week I  had the pleasure of doing a podcast with a very good writer friend of mine, Cara Grandle, and she asked me to bottom-line just why I took a sabbatical a few years back. Now, let me say right off the bat that this is not your typical author interview. This is a raw, serious discussion on truths I don't admit to just everybody. But she — and I — wanted to help writers understand what happens AFTER you get published. If you are interested in listening to this podcast, then I invite you to check it out at JULIE'S PODCAST, especially if you are a writer. :)

So in this month of Thanksgiving, I encourage all of us to not only give thanks for all the good God has done for us, but give thanks for all He has yet to do — both in the trials and tribulations of your life right this moment, and in the years ahead. Because we serve a God Who is just aching to show us that His love not only endures forever, but it will carry us through every storm of our life with peace, hope and joy.

 

Liberty's Here in 2 Days (Nov. 24)!

HOLY FROG SPIT! Have you taken advantage of the pre-order discount on my new Western novel??? Price goes up November 24, so don't wait till the cows come home!

For all of you who have already pre-ordered, THANK YOU, and if you like it, I would SO appreciate a brief (as brief as 1 or 2 lines) review on Amazon if you can. For some reason, this particular book came out a weeeee bit more passionate romantically than I thought it would, so I'm thinkin' I'm going to need LOTS of good reviews to counter any bad ones I may get. ;)

And for those of you who haven't yet pre-ordered, save yourself a dollar by doing so here: 

PRE-ORDER!

I wish you and yours the most BLESSED of holiday seasons, and may we enter it with thanksgiving and praise for a God who is truly worth it.

Hugs,

Julie

 

❀️ Did You Miss My FB Live?

NO WORRIES, because you catch the replay right here!

 

Also, I picked a winner from those who showed up, and that person not only gets a character named after them in For Love of Liberty, BUT a free e-copy as well. So, SUPER CONRATS to that winner, who is:

Debbie Garrison Rhoades 

And I have two additional winners of For Love of Liberty who submitted questions I answered during that video, so SUPER CONGRATS to:

Amanda Dunseith

Jeanne Alfveby Crea

So if YOU would like to win an e-book the next time I go LIVE on Facebook, just shoot me a question at CONTACT JULIE, and if I answer it during my next FB Live next month, you will win an e-copy of any of my indie books, including For Love of Liberty, Romance-ology 101, His Steadfast Love, or any of my newly released novellas.

 

 πŸŽ„ Christmas Christian Fiction Lovers' Facebook Party!

Be sure to mark your calendars for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8th when I and a host of other Christian authors will be throwing a HUGE Christmas Facebook Party you will NOT want to miss! In addition to lots of free books and individual author giveaways, there will also be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card, with a runner-up prize of a signed copy of every participating authors' featured book. Details to come on time and the link in my next Journal Jot, so stay tuned ... :)

 

πŸ“š 1 Novel & 4 Novellas 99 cents each!

Gear up for the holidays with some fun reads for only 99 cents each, so do check them out!

LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

WHISPER OF HOPE

BEST GIFT OF ALL

GRACE LIKE RAIN

GIFT OF GRACE

 

πŸ“š Three 5-Star Novels & Free Prequel!

A GLIMMER OF HOPE

ISLE OF HOPE: UNFAILING LOVE

LOVE EVERLASTING

HIS STEADFAST LOVE


2:47PM

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

 

Eeek ... Liberty's Coming!

Have you Pre-ordered?

WHOOOO-EEEEE ... I am sooooooo excited and I hope you are, too, because this series is gonna be a fun one, my friends, guaranteed!

So fun, in fact, that I am plowing through book 1, Love's Silver Lining at a fast clip, so who knows? I may release it in late spring or early summer instead of the fall!

ALL PRAYERS APPRECIATED for supernatural productivity and creativity. Oh, and anointing ... lots and lots of anointing! ;)  THANK YOU!!

 

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Pre-Order Sale! 

You know, you guys are some of my favorite people, and the thought occurred to me that my closest reader friends should get a discount if they pre-order, so let's do it!

Anybody that pre-orders Liberty before its release date of November 24th, will get a dollar off, making it a steal at $2.99. It goes up to $3.99 on the 24th, so I hope you take advantage.

 PRE-ORDER FOR LOVE OF LIBERTY HERE

Uh, I will warn you, however, that I went a little crazy on the kissing scenes, so there are lots of little clips like this one, where Finn and Liberty are butting heads over festival co-chair business:

πŸ’œβ€οΈπŸ’œ

      “Mr. McShane, wait!” Libby called after she said her goodbyes to the ladies, hurrying to catch up with Finn. “We are not done here, sir.”

     Finn wheeled around in the open doorway of the V&T, hand on the knob and a scowl on his face. “What is it now, Miss O’Shea?” he boomed, loud enough for Miss Delilah and everyone on the street and walkway to hear. “You’ve already taken up most of my lunch hour.”

     “I’d like to discuss the park benches some more.” She nodded at several ladies who passed her on the boardwalk as she stopped before Finn.

     “Of course you would,” he said in a near growl, charging into the V&T while a wide-eyed Delilah looked on. He paused at the door of his office to glare, hands on his hips. “Let me guess—now you want to add little lacey pillows with hearts and flowers on them.”

     “Don’t be ridiculous, you mule.” Libby closed the front door behind her with a little too much force, sparing a strained smile in Miss Delilah’s direction before she followed Finn into his office. “I want to discuss how the V&T might benefit from possibly donating a bench or two.”

     “For the love of mercy, Miss Bell, the V&T has already given their all to this festival, not to mention the excessive time of its director whose been hounded to death by his co-chair.” He turned his back on her to storm to his desk, grumbling all the way.

     “You want hounded?” Libby slammed the door behind her with a rattle of the glass and marched right around his desk. “I’ll show you ‘hounded.’”

     “Oh yes, ma’am, please—‘hound’ away,” Finn said in her ear as he butted her to the wall with a low groan, smothering her neck with kisses. “Heaven help me, I’ve missed you, Libby.”

 

❀️ FB Live: Thurs., 11/16 at Noon CST!

Yep, it's that time again when I go LIVE on Facebook, only this time anyone who comes by and leaves a question for me not only wins an e-copy of For Love of Liberty, but they will have a character named after them in that very book AND their choice of any of my indie e-books, including Romance-ology 101, so come on by! I will pick the winner this weekend and announce it in my next Journal Jot.

 JULIE'S FACEBOOK LIVE


πŸŽ‰ We Have a Winner!

MEGA Thanks to everybody who came by to watch the video interview I did for Cara Grandle's Periscope show. I really appreciate your support.

Quite a few of you came by, but unfortunately only one can win, and that winner is:

Cheryl Fouts Herndon

So SUPER CONGRATS to Cheryl -- I will be in touch! And THANK YOU to everyone else for entering. If you missed the video and would like to see it, just head on over to Youtube at the following link:

 JULIE'S PERISCOPE VIDEO INTERVIEW

 

πŸ“š 1 Novel & 4 Novellas 99 cents each!

Gear up for the holidays with some fun reads for only 99 cents each, so do check them out!

A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

A WHISPER OF HOPE

THE BEST GIFT OF ALL

GRACE LIKE RAIN

THE GIFT OF GRACE

πŸ€— Hugs & Happy Weekend!

Julie

10:26AM

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"True liberty is doing the right thing."

For Love of Liberty by Julie Lessman

You know, most of the spiritual lessons in my books are things I have learned the hard way ... uh, kind of like my characters do because, well, I hate to go through things alone!

But I have NEVER written a book where I actually learned the spiritual lesson ON THE SPOT.

Until my latest novel — For Love of Liberty. And yes, it is a short novel rather than the novella I originally intended it to be because frankly I have trouble writing short stories.

Oh, what a surprise! ;)

So, what's the lesson I learned? Well, it's our header quote today, which is taken from the book — "True liberty is doing the right thing."

And how did I learn it?

Not easily, I can tell you that! You see, last week my husband and I were vandalized. Now, mind you, we live in a gated community, so we always feel fairly safe. Safe, that is, until someone slashed our tires. Unfortunately, we heavily suspect who did it, but we do not have proof. So we bit the bullet, and paid the $600 to rectify the situation.

Only I didn't count on the barrage of fear and bitterness that came along with it.

Do you have any idea HOW many prayers I have prayed for the person who did this? TONS AND TONS. Because as most of you know, I believe in praying for those who persecute you and praising and thanking God in the midst of trials. So I do it all. Over and over again.

But you know what? I have blood in my veins. Which means I am a human being who, YES, has an Irish temper, and is also a CDQ (caffeinated drama queen). So no matter how much success I had in trying to pray, forgive, and praise God in this situation, somehow the devil always managed to sneak in and trip me up here and there. Like late at night when my body and mind are tired. Or when I was on the treadmill in front of the window — a window that just happens to look straight at the culprit's house. Or whenever I looked out our kitchen window to the car that was vandalized, wondering if and when the vandal would do it again. Trust me — the devil has been relentless!

Case in point. I prayed nonstop for this vandal when it happened, asking God to bless him and bring him to know Jesus. And I did beautifully all day long. But when my husband and I went to bed that night, we got into a fight because he did not want to tell the police his suspicions of who we thought the vandal might be, and I wanted him to. "We don't have any proof, Julie," he said, and I argued that we needed to tell the police every hunch we had — hunches that were not only confirmed by our gut, but by several other people who'd seen things as well.

Yes, Keith and I finally did make up and go to bed, but it was difficult sleeping that night. For Keith because we'd argued, which we seldom do. For me, because I have an imagination like a runaway train, so I envisioned the slasher coming back and hurting more than our tires. Both of us wrestled with fear and anger for a long while that night.

Keith finally fell asleep, and I was reading, although I will admit that it was difficult to concentrate. And then, all at once, in my mind's ear, I heard the phrase from my book, "true liberty is doing the right thing," a spiritual theme I had sown into For Love of Liberty. Suddenly in one wild thud of my heart, I realized that true liberty for me was following God's will in this situation, and not allowing the devil to turn me into an angry, unforgiving person like the person who slashed our tires. Because that's what satan wants, and I will not give it to him. Fear and bitterness — the devil's tools — were trying to ruin my life and my husband's, and we will not let it. Instead we will honor God and pray for a person who desperately needs Jesus.

So I learned in a most personal way that "true liberty IS doing the right thing," and true liberty is honoring God. I don't know about you, but this is the mantra of my soul because I want to be free. How 'bout you?

 

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ New Novel -- For Love of Liberty!

It's coming, I promise! I finally finished my prequel novella to my Silver Lining Ranch series, For Love of Liberty, scheduled for release November 24th.

 Only there's one problem.

Uh, it's no longer a novella, so I hope you guys don't mind. Nope, it's a short novel, which is why it took me a bit longer to get it out, but I hope you will think it's worth it and consider pre-ordering. Here's the jacket blurb:

 

A Match Made in Heaven?

Or Someplace a Whole Lot Warmer?

She’s stubborn, educated, and looking
to give women the vote.
He’s bullheaded, successful, and looking
to give her a piece of his mind.
 But when things heat up, they just may give each other
a piece of their hearts.

 PRE-ORDER FOR LOVE OF LIBERTY HERE


😳 Facebook LIVE -- Q&A with a CDQ!

I invite you to join me for another fun Facebook Live THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2017 at 12:00 NOON CST, when I will be giving away THREE copies of For Love of Liberty.

How can you win? Just show up during the FB Live on my author page and leave a comment OR send me a question you want answered, and if I answer it during the FB Live, you automatically win your choice of any one of my e-books, including For Love of Liberty. So, be sure to put it on your calendar, and hope to see you there!

 JULIE'S FACEBOOK LIVE


πŸŽ‰ Giveaway!

Have you seen the video interview I did for Cara Grandle's Periscope show? It's geared to writers, but I think readers would find it interesting, too, so come on by.

And if you DO and leave a comment, you'll be entered to win a copy of For Love of Liberty, so I hope to see you there!

 JULIE'S PERISCOPE VIDEO INTERVIEW

 

πŸ“š 2 Novels/4 Novellas 99 cents each!

Gear up for the holidays with some fun reads for only 99 cents each, so do check them out!

A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

ISLE OF HOPE

A WHISPER OF HOPE

THE BEST GIFT OF ALL

GRACE LIKE RAIN

THE GIFT OF GRACE

πŸ€— Hugs!

Julie