Special guest and book giveaway with author Staci Stallings!

Today I have special guest, Author Staci Stallings, on my blog. Staci is giving away a copy of her fantastic contemporary romance  book Cowboy.  (Your choice of a Kindle download or the paperback version). Below is the blurb:

Life has done its best to knock Beth McCasland to the ground, and the truth is: it’s done a pretty good job of keeping her there. Stuck in a minimum-wage job with a young daughter counting on her, Beth does her best to stay standing under the weight of it all because she knows God is on her side. Then one night she gets the chance to be an angel to another of life’s weary travelers. For once hope has never looked so real.

Cowboy is a grace-filled story about the power of giving everything to God and how a simple act of compassion can change lives forever. Emotional, soothing, and heart-wrenching, Cowboy is infused with the message that no matter who we are and no matter what life has thrown at us, we never have to walk alone.

I recently read Cowboy. You can read my review here: http://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-The-Harmony-Series-ebook/dp/B0049B2E82/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1326343386&sr=1-1

As always, anyone can enter (U.S. residents only, please) by leaving a comment for Staci. Don’t forget that confirmed subscribers receive two entries! The giveaway ends on January 19, and the winner will be chosen at random.

And now, a special devotional by Staci that I know will bless you…

The Power of I Can’t

by Staci Stallings

We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions–but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds.  We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all. (TMB 1 Corinthians 8:2-3)

Let’s be honest.  Our culture today worships the individual who succeeds.  We hold up as our role models those who are tough, who fight through adversity and come out on the other side, those who know the most and do the most.  It’s an intimidating culture to marinate in.

We have been told almost from birth that any situation you face should be met with a “can do” spirit.  “I Can” is verily tattooed to our birth certificates before we exit the hospital.

In schools, administrators busily design programs that foster “self-reliance” and “self-respect.”  They teach children to believe in themselves and work toward their goals.

I suppose from a worldly perspective that’s about all we could ever hope for.  After all, without God, who else are you going to rely on?  There is a song that talks about no one is going to have your back when you fall.  That’s the juice we are all steeped in.  We hear it in commercials and on the radio.  We even hear it from each other.

“It’s okay.  You can do this.  I know you can.”

But here’s the thing:  None of this is Biblical.  None of it is based on a relationship with God.  It is all based in self, which ultimately is the very sin Adam and Eve got thrown out of the garden for committing.

So I invite you for a moment to take a good, hard look at these messages that sound so good and so right, and see them for what they are:  lies of the Enemy.

That may sound harsh, but speaking as someone who practically gorged herself on this kind of thinking for 35 years, I can tell you that this way of thinking is not just sin–it is deadly.  When you rely on yourself, what happens when you are weak?  What happens when your doubt overtakes your faith?  What happens when you’re walking on water with a friend who really needs you, and you suddenly sense that you can’t do this?

I’ve felt the panic that rises at this very thought.  I have fought it.  I have tried to shout it down with platitudes and positive thoughts, but the sad truth is, on my own I’m not capable of handling the depth of brokenness in this world.  Sometimes I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to do, I’m swimming and swimming, but I sense that at any moment I’m going under with no way to find up again.

That’s often what happens when God puts you out into deep water with the emotional issues of others–family, friends, those we work with, our children, and spouses.  There is a depth to the need that none of us can quite meet.  No matter how much we want to.  No matter how much we try.  We simply can’t because as humans we are limited.  We have limited understanding, limited wisdom, limited patience, limited everything.

But here’s a secret that Satan never wanted you to hear.  When you think you can’t, you’re right.  Now that doesn’t give you license to give up.  It is, instead, a call to stop trusting yourself and start trusting God.

Jesus is walking on that water with you, and He knows you can’t.  He never meant for you to.

I know, that’s radically new thinking, but it’s true.  God knows you are human.  He knows you don’t have all of the answers. He doesn’t expect you to.  What He wants is for every one of these occasions of “I can’t” panic to be cause for you to call out to Him, to ask Him into the situation, to reach for His help, His love, His strength, His wisdom, His peace.  He wants nothing more than to come to your assistance, but you have to recognize your own need for Him and make the choice to ask.

There is power–God’s power–waiting in the words “I can’t” so long as they are followed by, “but He can.”  Rest in that power.  Reach for that power.  For He is always right there ready and willing to do what you can’t.

A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from.  Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again.  Every title is a new adventure!  That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.  Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:

Spirit Light Books–The Blog
http://spiritlightbooks.wordpress.com/

Facebook Author Page at:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Light-Author-Staci-Stallings/266593276699576

Staci’s Bookshelf:

http://stacistallings.wordpress.com/

Or…

Follow Staci on Twitter @StaciStallings

 

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44 thoughts on “Special guest and book giveaway with author Staci Stallings!

  1. Wow Staci your devotional really hit home. How many times have I said I can? How many times have I said I can do it myself I don’t need anybody? It has just been within the last 10 years that I have learned that I can BUT only through God’s help. Your post was a reminder that I need to daily remember this. One thing I never thought about was that Satan is putting I can into our thinking, that struck me as very powerful when I read this devotional!! Thank you so much for sharing this! I can through God’s strength do better in my life to rely on Him!

    Your book Cowboy sounds like a great read and I am looking forward to reading it.

    Blessings!
    Judy
    judyjohn2004[at]yahoo[dot]com

    • Judy, it’s amazing how many areas this works. Like when my son was angry at his classmate and I told him he needed to forgive. He said, “I can’t.” I said, “I know. It’s too hard for you to forgive, so you’re going to have to ask God to help you.” I truly am stronger because I can’t!

  2. Your devotional touched me too. I remember growing up I said “I can’t” a lot – and my parents firmly corrected me saying “A (family name) never says can’t.” Looking back I see that the true answer is exactly what you said – we can’t, but God CAN. I wish I had gotten that message so many years ago!

    I went to Amazon and read the reviews of your book. It sounds wonderful and I’d love the opportunity to read it.

    Please keep writing this type of book. We need more of these!
    Rebecca
    rrgreene62(at)gmail.com

    • I literally went to “I Can” seminars when I was a child. Not my parents faults. They were trying to break us out of what their parents did… “You’ll never be anything!” 🙂 Still, it was a lot of pressure to put on a child, and only later did I really begin to grasp just HOW much pressure it added. I do think together and with God, we can point our kids in a healthier direction. At least that’s what I’m trying to do now but getting this one right myself… for me and in my life. Oh, and I have 10 other titles out, and more coming out every month! Thanks for the vote of encouragement!

  3. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Absolutely agree with your devotional and how if we leave Christ out of the equation we are teaching lies, self dependence. We are created for God’s glory not ours. Cowboy looks great and I hope that I get to read it. Have a blessed day, Staci. My God richly bless as you help spread His word.
    teelayoung at hotmail dot com

    • You know, it’s amazing to me how we took God out of the schools, substituted Him with this “self” curriculum and then when our kids turned selfish, we wondered what happened. I think if we could ever really grasp that the Bible boils down to: God’s Way works, my way doesn’t, we’d be a whole lot better off!

  4. The description sounded interested and then I read the reviews and they make me want to read the book even more! And Staci, I really liked your devotional. The American “we can” spirit can really misguide us & get us focused on ourselves rather than what God can do through us. And when we can’t, we get depressed and feel like failures.

    • I think the American spirit was always until about 30 years ago grounded in God. God bless America. When we got off of that track and into “you’ve got to do it and prove to everyone you can,” that was a major mistake. The answer is to get back to that. First, in ourselves. Then in our marriages. Then in our families. Then in our schools, communities and especially our churches, and then the nation!

  5. Staci – You are quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite authors. I have never read books that describe emotion like your writing. What a gift you have! I can’t wait to read Cowboy!

  6. I think many of us grew up hearing that we couldn’t depend on anyone but ourselves. For myself. that type of thinking lasted far too long into my Christian walk but by God’s grace He showed me what a lie it is many years ago!

    • Oh, boy, Anne. I think you are exactly right. Either we were taught we had to do it or we were failures… OR we were taught there was no one we could rely on, so we were on our own. Both are dangerous lies. For me, that thinking lasted until about 7 years ago, and like I said in the article, God literally saved me from me! Thanks for your comments!

  7. I agree as your devotional touched me also. So many times we want things to happen fast and don’t wait for the answer to our prayer. We have to learn that God works on his schedule not ours.
    I would love to read this book and looking forward to reading.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    I am old email subscriber

  8. I’m thinking about writing an article called, “We Don’t Have a Microwave God.” There is a song that goes “Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.” The reason strength rises as we wait upon the Lord is that “waiting” involves complete and utter trust in the Lord. When we trust Him, fully and completely, we gain not our strength but His. Thus, as we let Him schedule our days and we “wait” upon Him and trust Him for what He wants to do in our lives instead of demanding our way, miracles begin to happen.

    Oh, and you’re not an “old subscriber…” you’re just well-seasoned! 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  9. Hi to Staci,
    I am so glad to have found another great new author, well, new to us. My husband used to claim Houston as home and lived for years in Central Texas area. At night before going to sleep I read to us. It has been a 23+ year tradition.

    We just finished reading the last book in Penny Zeller’s Montana Skies trilogy. I think Rick has already figured out a fourth book for the series but hopes Penny will write one. He really likes her writing.

    Looking forward to reading Cowboy.

    God Bless

    Karen

    • Karen, I haven’t gotten to read the first two, but I loved Hailee! I would read to my husband, but then I’d be the only one awake and then next night I’d have to read that part over again. 🙂 But that is really cool!

  10. Staci, VERY inspirational post — thank you. And I would love to be in the drawing for Cowboy — have heard very good things about it, so count me in!!

    Penny, thanks to both you and Staci for this giveaway opportunity!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    gsus(at)charter(dot)net

  11. I am looking forward to reading “Cowboy”. It sounds like a wonderful book and would love to receive a paperback of it.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

  12. Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement that God is always with me. When I am sinking, I need to get my focus back on Him. PTL!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  13. Hi Staci, Your devotional really hit me hard. I am always saying I can do it myself but I no longer physically able to the things I use to do. I have to let go and let God help me. I was raised to not ask for help or complain and I have not been able to ask for help except a few times when I had no choice. Thanks for your post.
    I would love to read Cowboy and am adding to my wish list.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.
    Penny I am email subscriber and love you books.

    • You know, I think one of the things life will teach you, one way or the other, is your need for God and others. Raised German on a dairy farm, I was like you. Don’t ask for help. But it’s such a lie. None of us can do it on our own–certainly not salvation, but even life. I think once you can ever let go of that and put your trust in GOD’S ability, not yours, life becomes much more doable and much less miserable.

  14. Thank you SO much to everyone who has entered for a chance to win Staci’s book. It’s an awesome book and I know the winner will be blessed! We’ll be drawing a name out of the hat late tomorrow and I can’t wait to see who wins. Again, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment for Staci. I really appreciate you all!

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