The Fields are Ripe

I had no idea what would happen.

When you know the end of the story, I believe you will understand why I did not have “Christians” in mind when I wrote: “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness”. Instead, my thoughts were centered upon the lost and searching world. So, I wrote this novel in full focus of mainstream America and all its cravings for love and fun. Mixed in the story are two critical life-and-death decisions that are made my millions of people every day. The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness is a fiction story that has both characters and suspense steeped in 21st century realism. You probably are one of the characters, or have a relative that matches one.

My inspiration was to write what is called a cross-over Christian novel that could hopefully make its way into both book markets and touch hearts. I struggled over how far I should let my characters go into what some would cast as worldly. Sometimes I cried as I wrote. Sometimes I laughed. There were times when I felt God so strong in what I was writing that I got goose bumps. Finally it was finished, and with a click of the computer mouse I let my story sail to my publisher.

Facing true facts, Christians are fully saturated with devotional books and religious sermons, and novels that stay on the soft side and are predictable. Another book like those would be like a thousand more in the market, which would be destined to get lost. The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness gives the Christian a fresh novel that deals with real life, yet has Godly precepts as the end result.

So I went to my computer, and everything in my life stopped once I decided to do this. I had only one initiative — to bring the lost heart to know the lover of their soul (Jesus), and to do it in a story that touches real mainstream life and witnesses to the forgiveness and saving grace in Christ the Savior. The character, Ellie, is the spiritual leader in this wealthy family, whom I placed in a penthouse condominium in New York City. She is perfect — steeped in the spiritual freedom of Christ and His salvation, yet not so stiff-necked that it would chase people away. Twists and turns are in this story on every page, with the world presenting itself in different ways, yet the “wonted voice” of forgiveness and redemption holding tight.

This book was released May 3, 2022 and it appears that I may have inched into a tiny edge of the secular world, but in a troubling way. What has happened is that one of the category labels which Amazon, and other book distributors have placed on my novel, is flatly false. Amazon has labeled one of their categories for this book as LGBTQ-EROTIC. How could this have happen? There is nothing in this book that even hints of LGBTQ-EROTIC. The team working with my Christian publisher believes that the book distributors misunderstood the word “Wonted” in the title. Instead, their minds latched onto the word “Wanton”, which means lewd and sexual. When I discovered this false label I felt like dropping to the floor in despair. I became exhausted with fear and I was depressed with all sorts of negative thoughts. Mostly failure.

My first inclination was to get angry with God. Why didn’t He intervene during the editing conversations regarding the title? Why would He let this title be printed, when in His omniscience (all knowing) He knew this false label was going to happen? I was literally shocked! It seemed that the last page of the book — which is an invitation to accept Christ — was actually mocking me.

Then, a friend looked into world statistics on the LGBTQ-Erotic population and told me that this population of people are just a small group compared to the global population of almost 8 billion. Still, that bit of information didn’t help much, because the false label was there for the world to see…even for Christians! The whole matter seemed to be an attempt by the minions of Satan to destroy my work. Well, maybe that is another grandiose thought of mine — assuming that my work might be a threat to Satan. But I truly desire to believe that the message of love and forgiveness woven throughout “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness” is powerful enough to cause success, and a sustained battle against Satan.

Shortly after the false category discovery my publisher emailed a message to me – “God is still on the throne. No weapon formed against a child of God will prosper.” I appreciated that reminder. Then word also came to me from one of my pastors. “I get it,” he said, regarding my inspiration to gain a cross-over book. He went on to say, “The book would make a great forum for Christian discussion.

My point in sharing this with you is that there are many ways for you, my cyber friends and blog family, to use this book, besides simply reading it. First, it would be an excellent book to give as a gift to your family members and friends. It would also be a good book to plan a forum (small or large group of people) for an interesting exchange of sharing, even spiritual blessing. It would be a good start for a small book club, with three or four people. You could also give the book to a neighbor, to witnesses without being “preachy” about your personal faith. There are many ways this book can be used.

Sharing this article on Facebook would also be a great help. Lots of ways, lots of opportunities. God says His Word will not return void. I encourage you to use this book as an evangelical ministry. (To be honest, this is the most humbled post I have written, and it is with carefulness that I have clicked the mouse.)

If you have not read this book, I encourage you to get a copy. It is available on Amazon and at all stores where books are sold. I believe that you will be blessed as you read the story and see how powerfully God works in the lives of each character. It’s a story for both the Christian and the secular audience. The fields are ripe for harvest!

Direct link into Amazon for this book: https://amzn.to/3MvajYx

More books:

Direct link into Amazon for this book: https://amzn.to/3vRaWEh

This is the sequence story to “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness”. It can be ordered now from Amazon by writing the title, with my name, into the Amazon search bar. You will immediately be sent a copy upon its release date, July 19, 2022.

Thank you so much for your support.

God bless you!

The Glory of Spring

Another cold April came and went, and Southern Lower Michigan was wondering when spring would arrive. Well, it said hello this week, and did it in all its glory! And I was like the woman in the photo at the right, drinking in the sun and warm air.

Strange, however, that even in cold weather and the threat of frost, the trees and early flowers phenomenally know when it’s time to wake up and come alive. Since the end of March they have shown signs of rubbing the crusty sleep from their eyes, but not until this week did they wake up.

    Here is an example of waking up. Less than a week ago I saw tiny buds on this tree — hundreds of them — and I knew one day there would be a burst of blooms. And yesterday, I walked passed the open front door and glanced out to see this sight….white buds like a cloud burst of fluff.

  I took these two photos with my cell phone camera, instead of getting out my digital camera. But I believe the beauty still shows up.

I am not sure if this tree is a Dwarf Cherry Tree, or something different. It was here when my husband and I bought this place seven years ago. It produces berries and the robins come by the hundreds to eat, as they migrate south for the winter. Right now the garden below the tree is yet to come forth, but it’s there!

I mentioned to one of my blog followers that spring reminds me of the resurrection. Coming forth. One day soon Christ will appear and call His people home.

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”  I Thessalonians 4:16-17.

Amen. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

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A love story that points the reader to a God Who loves us, even when we fail to follow His plan.

Available on Amazon. Click here: https://amzn.to/3MvajYx

A sequel follows in July. “The Same Rainbow’s End” You can pre-order it now on Amazon.

Here at last!

I am happy to announce that my new Christian novel was released TODAY!

   “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness” is a contemporary Christian novel that tackles the hard questions of love, relationships, and forgiveness. It is truly a story ripe for today’s progressive and searching world.  As you read about Marco Ricci, and look into his heart and soul, you will discover a life that portrays a deep desire to do what is right, while battling against temptation. “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness” will keep you turning the pages, as it points to a God Who loves us, even when we neglect to follow His plan.

Here is a brief synopsis of the story . . .

After his wife’s death, Marco Ricci feels all alone. He wants someone with whom he can share his life. When he meets Katie, he is sure that God has sent him the answer to his prayers. But Katie is married to an abusive man, who is angry because he has been paralyzed in a tragic accident. Committed to staying true to her vows and her God, Katie settles into a life of caring for an ungrateful husband, hoping that God might have more for her someday.

With a broken heart, Marco abandons his hope for Katie and returns to his job in Boston. As he tries to forget her, he loses sight of what really matters and carelessly makes a decision that alters the course of his life. In despair, he wonders if God will repair what is broken and make all things new. Will Katie find the happy life she longs for? 

I am confident that you will love this book, and I am hoping you will support my work as a Christian author, so I may continue in this ministry.

For your convenience, here is the direct link into Amazon…… https://amzn.to/3MvajYx

After you have read the book, please be sure to go back into Amazon and leave a comment. This is helpful to others who are searching for Christian books.

Thank you so much. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions: macprod4@gmail.com

The Greatest Plan of All

Two weeks ago our maple tree started budding. A sign that spring was on the way. And I remembered something I head my mother say when I was just a kid: “Spring is a reminder of the resurrection, when everything that died comes to life again”. It wasn’t until she passed way that I fully became aware of the comfort in her statement.

While we move through life we see that God has provided all sorts of good things for us.

The way that He loves us is perfect and beautiful, even when in sorrow and suffering.

It was Jeremiah who wrote in Chapter 29 the words that we hang tight on when we struggle with something that is gnawing away our peace and troubling our lives. God gave him these words to ensure us of His love and care: “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil — I say these words to give you hope in your final outcomes of all that you do and all that you hope for. You can call on Me and I will hear you and heed your call.” (my emphases from The Amplified Old Testament).

And sure enough, full bloom comes and the answers we needed are given and understood.

It might be different than what we except. Dandelions instead of flowers

Running shoes instead of soft slippers. But the answer is there and it is always for our good. . . .His plans are always for our welfare and peace.

We look at this troubled world and notice that not much seems right anymore. Many wonder and worry about their prosperity and safety. Unless we live in a bubble, we cannot deny that there is a great falling away from God. But we know the end of the story — the final outcome that will bring the resurrection and a new life that will surpass all our grandiose imaginations.

It’s a beautiful morning today. The sun is brilliant, like a million stars coming at us at once. The grass is green, the maple tree is fluffy with new leaves, and the patio table and chairs are waiting to be uncovered. Spring is here, and the promise of the resurrection and new life is everywhere.

God’s command to “Be still” brings quiet and comfort. I am assured that He has the reigns held tight in His hands. Even at this moment, in the darkest places on earth, the promise He gave in Jeremiah still holds true.

What’s Your Reason for Bragging?

My daily devotional this morning had a great point. It asked the questions: do I feel a need for constant confirmation and do I need to drop names to show off?

I think if we’re honest, we are guilty from time to time of bragging about ourselves, especially when we’re with friends we desire to like us…to love us…and keep us in their circle.

The point of these two questions have definite answers from a Christian standpoint. We need only to pause at the foot of the cross to be reminded that the God of the universe chose to die for us rather than to live without us. He saves us no matter how unfavored we are. The bottom line to the questions have a strong point answer — If we need to brag, it should be to brag about the cross of our Lord.  

I was reminded of a Scripture that fits into the subject of friendships and serious conversations . . . it was the words of the Apostle Paul who said to the Corinthians: “For I determine not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (I Corinthians 2:1, King James Version)

So many times I have come home from a gathering and hashed over the things I have said and wished a thousand times over that I could take back some of my words. I’ll soothe myself by saying that I’m no different than anyone else. I do this to ease the pain of my besetting sin. But it goes right back to knowing that I’m in need of deeper sanctification.

I think the opposite of bragging is thankfulness. Truly, all of us who live in freedom and comfort in this dangerous war-torn world are thankful for the “keeping” power that God has on our lives, and the knowledge that no matter what, He is in control. AMEN.

God help us to shine for Him when in conversation with friends and family.

Side Note: I know we all are praying for God’s help in Ukraine, and for His blessing and safety for all His people around the world. May we be faithful to pray each day for God’s will and plan.

NEWS

This is the cover of a new novel to be announced soon. It’s a beautiful love story with twists and turns that hold true to life and the difficulties in our society. It asks the questions, can God bring beauty from ashes and repair what is broken.

In “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness” the hard questions of love, lust, and forgiveness are faced, and the reader is pointed to a God Who loves us, even when we neglect to follow His plan.

I’m excited about this book, and I believe its message of love and hope will encourage and bring joy, no matter what age or gender. I’ll post the launch date as soon as my publisher gives it. Please stayed tuned.

You Fill My Heart with Joy

Youth and happiness exists only when there is no reality of death.

I’m not sure who said that . . . maybe it is a quote from the movie: “Into The Wild”, written by Christopher McCandless. But whomever wrote it, in a great sense it is true of the Christian. But only if we change the word reality to that of not being fearful of death. “. . when there is no fear of death”. In Christian reality, we have eternal life through Christ.

The world is upside down right now, but for those who have their faith and trust in Christ, we can affirm that God over-rides and interrupts fear with joy and happiness. I’m not saying that we Christians live in a constant state of euphoria, or an imaginary existence of utopia. No! Not when last week I had a break-through infection of COVID. (Thankfully it was mild compared to those in hospitals and many struggling on vents.) However, I believe we can support the words of King David when he wrote: You (God) have filled my heart with greater joy than when our grain and our new wine was abundant. (Psalm 4:7, emphasis is mine.)

Think about it….much has been taken away from us by a vicious pandemic, terrible storms, and leaders here in our country, and around the world — who appear to be void of Godly wisdom. We wonder what tomorrow’s news will be. Even as I am writing this, Russia is advancing toward the Ukraine, and tons of our army equipment is being transported to the Ukrainians — to help them fight, and hopefully hold the Russian army back.

Still, in the stress of world conditions and even experiencing hardship in our own lives, underneath are the Everlasting Arms of God holding us up. We would faint and wither if this were not true.

I hope you are finding joy and gladness in all the little things that come to you today.

For me, I plan to sit with my husband inside our warm car at the park, facing toward the icy, rushing water of the River Raisin Dam, and enjoy a yummy McDonald’s hamburger with him. The sight of the power that moves the water is exciting to watch.

Perhaps I’ll dare to sneak a few of my husband’s salty fries, just to tease him. And we will laugh at the funny antics of Canadian Geese gathering at the shoreline in front of us, and watch the sea gulls fly over the river.

Oh, what simple things God gives us everyday that shows His love and comfort toward us. If we should live in a place as wonderful as the Taj Mahal, or have the fame and fortune of the entire world, without the joy of the Lord in our hearts, we would have nothing to boast about.

So today, as I gather up my blessings, I invite you to grab hold of yours, and enjoy the little blessings that come moment by moment. They add up to a joyful heart.

Happy are those who trust in the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:7, paraphrased.)

My novel: Hidden in Irish Hills is available on http://amazon.com or can be purchased at http://christianbooks.com

Stay the Course, Sailor

The world population of almost 8 billion people is still in the process of treading water – hoping for rescue from all that has come across the globe in the last 20 months. It’s been a wild ride! More than ever before in our lifetimes, the last two years will be remembered for its phenomenal events, ranging from COVID, mass civil unrest, election disputes, Middle East shakeups, multiple business failures, soaring prices . . . and what we wise Christians see as the great falling away from God.

The comfort and help we need – which keeps you and I from complaining that it’s not easy being a human being – is the love of our family and friends, and of most importance, the promises in God’s Holy Word.

I hope you are staying the course. I am surely trying. I admit that I’m tired of treading the deep waters, but I’m staying afloat, knowing that whatever the stress, or fear, or unrest that comes my way, God has the answer and will move powerfully into it. I say this because I know! I’ve had many serious problems, of various things throughout my life. One event, especially, has been deeply hurtful. It has not been solved, but I can testify that God’s grace is sufficient to keep me going forward, and stay the course. So, I encourage you – don’t give up on your efforts to have victory and success in all that you set out to do.

God is faithful.

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I must tell you, although I don’t like to keep talking about my new book release, “Hidden in Irish Hills”, but the exciting thing is that Amazon is running a sale on it. I’m thinking the book is a great Christmas gift for those in your life who like to read. It would be a perfect gift for anyone who loves suspense, exciting mystery, and love. It’s not a fluffy novel by any means. By that I mean, it’s not a “girly novel”. It’s a page turner for men and women alike, and of all ages. This story is set in the times we are in right now, and moves excitingly into the future. On the last page is the personal invitation to accept Christ as Savior. Yes, right on that page is your opportunity to invite an unsaved friend or loved one to come to Christ. I hope you will click into Amazon now and take advantage of the sale. Buy 2 books and get one free.

Click here: https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Irish-Hills-Mary-Cates/dp/1649601085/ref=sr_I_?dchild=1&keywords=mary+cates+hidden+in+irish+hills

Thank you, and God bless you and your family.

Fingers On the Computer Keyboard

  There are no scientific DNAs or electronic lists of words giving me information. On the contrary, it is just my fingers plucking away on the computer keyboard and my words coming out like a lone voice into a global wilderness. And so, what the world recently received was the creation of my novel Hidden in Irish Hills — appearing like a baby suddenly rescued and placed into the arms of humans who would take it and profit. Of almost 8 billion people on this earth, it remains a mystery who will enjoy and profit from this gift of words that was given to me from the highest source possible, like words as though they are  “The People’s” most  influential documents in history. Please do not take this as being excessively proud of myself, or carnally exaggerating my qualities or abilities. The truth is that I struggle with gross inferiority. I am simply saying that this novel came into my mind and my spirit from another source far greater than I. Yes, greater than the success of J.K. Rowling who wrote the Harry Potter series. Indeed, the Voice that leads me is contrary to Rowling’s fiction writings which were supposedly inspired by an erroneous rumor that a female named Doris Crockford – who is a witch in Britain – greeted Harry Potter in the Leaky Cauldron on the way to Harry’s first trip into Diagonal Alley.  Rowling’s novels are steeped in the evil world of satanic activity….her success is not from God, but from the dark spirit world. 

And acknowledging that, it leads me to say that the world of “fake” is all around us, even in the publishing industry. It’s amazing the fake things most authors do to get an audience. Some pay for stars and reviews on Amazon to make them look popular. Some pay for bogus awards that are simply framed documents that make them look prestigious, but they amount to nothing to those who really know. I have witnessed the merchandising of manuscripts causing a frenzy of greed. Granted, if you are a Follower of this blog, you are aware that I seek an audience. But it is not for myself, but for the One who has given me the gift of writing. God is sovereign and He controls everything in my life. The truth is that He could wither my flesh with leprosy and cast me upon the garbage pile if He chose to do so.

My website is public. I accept very few Followers, and recently purged my list of Followers — of which you are one if this post was sent to your email inbox. You, and the public are everyone walking the paths of global business affairs, entertainment, sports, retirement, and family. A vast wonderful audience of people in which God has complete sovereignty. 

My hour as an author is now. The good wine in my life is ready to drink.

And so, Hidden in Irish Hills is like wine in a new flask, the messages in this book await to be tasted by everyone. It is for a purpose. There is a message of hope hidden in every chapter….you simply need to find it. 

For the public surfer who has just entered this website, please know that this book is available on http://Amazon.com and the storyline is also posted there. Simply ask for Hidden in Irish Hills by Mary Cates. The book can also be ordered at all stores where books are sold. Also available at http://Christianbooks.com

Okay, I’m almost ready to sign off for now, but first I am compelled to say this, because it’s true and been bugging me for a log time. What has been my most disappointing experience with my church and many of my friends has been the discovery that my books have been read second hand, by passing them around rather than buying them. This simply tells me that my audience is NOT my church, but people like you, the public. It would be great if you would repost this article to your social medias…..Facebook, Tweeter, Linkedin, etc., and even to your private data list. You are my audience. You are the human lifeline and link to my work. I know this, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If you are a new public internet surfer, please mark my blog in our favorites or bookmarks so you can be updated, or better yet, request to be a Follower. I will have more news for you. Another exciting novel is coming out soon, which is of a different subject and setting. I will post its’ arrival as soon as my publisher (Ambassador International Publishers) releases it for pre-order.

God bless you my friend.

Happiness

I read something the other day that expressed happiness as a spiritual experience of love, grace, and thankfulness. In other words, it’s not something found on a treasure hunt, but rather it exists within ourselves. The evidence of it can be found in our goals and what we consider our purpose in life. Happiness and joy has miraculous evidence even as we experience the evils of the world, which is moving farther into godlessness. Sadly, I see enough happening today to believe we are experiencing the “End of Days” as described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy chapter 3.

I draw attention to Rachael Carson, the heroine in my novel “Hidden in Irish Hills”. I created her character with many of the values you and I carry — a desire for happiness, along with notable purpose. Rachael’s desire was to do everything in her power to use what God had given her to save herself, and rescue others in a world that had gone mad with evil power. She courageously gambled the odds in order to survive.

I am excited about this book because right NOW it is being sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores throughout the country, and the world. The storyline focuses on a suspenseful plot, with events popping up that appear to showcase what End Time prophesy might be like when God’s prophetic clock begins to strike the midnight hour. There is intrigue, love and grace woven throughout every page. Although this book is fiction, reality speaks between the lines.

I began writing this novel several years ago. Today I am astounded to see how the plot is spot-on for what is happening right now — things that could bring the End. My observance grew as I saw the violence and lawlessness running ramped throughout major cities in our country last summer. Massive civil unrest throughout the world also added to my belief that the world is getting ripe for the antichrist. COVID-19 raised my eyebrows, mainly because the epidemic may have been deliberately caused. Yet, considering the killing power of this “created” virus makes its something of evil intention, regardless of how we view it. Then, more astonishment came after 2021 arrived. We are experiencing an all-out war against God, our Constitution and deliberate desecrating of the moral codes we have followed for over 245 years. I believe we are living in the last minutes before the events spoken of in Revelation begin to occur. Hidden in Irish Hills has become a novel that everyone will benefit reading.

Proudly, this is the third publication of this novel, for which I thank Ambassador International Publishers for recognizing its value. They have taken this book to heart and worked hard to give it superb editing and a breathtaking ending.  

Click here to see a three-minute video that gives a glimpse of the book:

Click here to order the book on http://Amazon.com or http://christianbooks.com

God bless you all!

My Old House

It’s sad to see things grow old. The city where I grew up (Detroit) is old and many areas are nothing but ugly blight. My old neighborhood is almost unrecognizable now. Many of the houses are torn down. The old church I went to is still standing strong, primarily due to it being built with cement walls.

My old house is the white house in the middle of the photo. The house that once stood next door, behind the wood fencing, is gone. It belonged to a wonderful elderly couple who were migrants from Italy. I remember the delicious smells that came out of their open windows in the summer — of garlic and oregano and simmering tomatoes.

The people that lived in the dark-colored house next door had four kids that had it “in” for me and my brother. My parents were strict Christians and we seemed like weirdos to this liberal, godless family. The kids were rough and tough. Playing with them was a challenging warfare, and me and my brother got beat up plenty. But, every now and then we got a good lick in and sent one of them home crying to their mother. Finally we all grew up and the clashes stopped. Life in Detroit was harsh at times, but most people were hard-working and respectful. My years there were happy and I wish I could make the old new again, and walk the street once more.

I think about my soul in contrast to the old city. King David, the psalmist, wrote: God restores my soul. I can say a big YES to that, because my soul is nothing like my old deteriorating neighborhood. The Lord is constantly renewing and restoring, and some days I actually feel newborn.

I cherish the memories of my old church, which looks rundown and wanting now. It was there I learned about Jesus and gave my heart to Him at the age of eight. The church is now called First Church of the Redeemed. Its windows are boarded up for protection. I checked it out on-line and it seems its doors are still open on Sunday for worship.

Detroit was my starting point, and no matter how bad things may get, I will love the old city and my memories there forever. I will remember the picnics at Belle Isle Park, and the memories of the Detroit River Channel — shown in the background of the photo, behind the seven connected skyscraper buildings of the Renaissance Center. Canada is seen from the shoreline, and can be reached quickly by driving across the Ambassador Bridge, or going through the tunnel under the river channel. Two global countries connected by a river channel that runs 28 miles from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie. Big freighters regularly sail through this busy channel. I live south of Detroit now, just a couple miles from Lake Erie. I am still home, because I enjoy the best of Detroit’s southern suburbs for shopping, church, and entertainment.

In all the fun of my nostalgia and writing about it, I treasure most the goodness of God’s constant restoring of my soul. I cherish the reality that God The Father – the Creator of Heaven and Earth – never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His love endures.

Please feel free to comment, especially if you have fond memories of Detroit. My suspense-end time novel “Hidden in Irish Hills” has much of Detroit in it. It can be order on Amazon here:https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Irish-Hills-Mary-Cates/dp/1649601085/ref=sr_I_I?dchild=1&keywords=mary+cates+hidden+in+irish+hills

Your best discount price for this book is at christianbooks.com

God bless you all.