Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

Searching for God With All My Heart
Friday, October 30, 2015 by Linda Wood Rondeau

Please welcome Dianne Barker to The Writer's Journey.  Peruse her testimony and her work. Leave a comment, she'd love to hear from you. 
 
 
Extraordinary Life in Christ
By Dianne Barker
 
Growing up, I had big dreams. I was born into ordinary family with rather extraordinary circumstances—my father was fifty-eight. After the death of his first wife, he married a woman twenty years younger, who gave him a second family. I was their last baby, my mother's only girl, after four boys. I grew up cherished.
 
My mother was a big dreamer and my greatest cheerleader. When I was seven years old, she explained how I could spend eternity in heaven with Jesus, and I invited Him into my heart. Occasionally I had doubts about whether I’d fully settled my eternity and prayed many times to make sure I'd done it right. I didn't want to miss heaven because of some technicality I'd overlooked.
 
At age twenty-eight, I settled the fact forever, claiming the promise of Romans 10:13. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Although I can't say with 100 percent certainty when I joined God's family, I believe with my seven-year-old understanding, when I called on Jesus, He came into heart as Savior and Lord. I understood the “Savior” part. It took a while to grasp what it meant to acknowledge him as Lord.
 
 
Desiring to be the perfect mom to my two small children, I struggled with discouragement, wondering, “Where’s all that joy and peace I’ve heard so much about?” 
 
Searching for God with all my heart, I discovered joy and peace are fruit produced by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) when we surrender our lives fully to Christ—key to abundant living. In prayer, I surrendered my life, acknowledging Christ as Lord of all. Although I had much to learn, I’d taken the first step toward an incredible adventure exploring Christ's abundance.
 
During my teenage years, I dreamed of being a journalist. Where on earth my wild dream came from, I couldn't imagine. Although I didn't know then, it hadn't come from earth. It was God's design for my life.
 
While attending college, I landed my dream job at eighteen, writing for our local newspaper and joined the full-time news staff after graduating. Besides news and feature stories, I covered many religious events and area-wide crusades and interviewed a host of celebrities, including Corrie Ten Boom, Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, and Joan Crawford.
 
When Billy Graham came to Knoxville, Tennessee (100 miles from my hometown), I covered the crusade for the newspaper and reconnected with Dr. Sherwood Wirt, founding editor of Decision. A year earlier I’d attended the magazine’s School of Christian Writing. Through his influence I was asked to write a book about the crusade, which made national headlines with President Richard Nixon’s visit. Billy Graham in Big Orange Country was my first book—I was twenty-four.
 
 
After seeing that book, Vietnam hero Clebe McClary asked me to write his life story, Living Proof. Through Clebe, I met his friend, Harold Morris, who was in Georgia State Penitentiary serving a double-life sentence for armed robbery and murder, after being convicted by the false testimony of two companions. After his miraculous release from prison, he asked me to write his story. Twice Pardoned was the first book for Focus on the Family Publishing and a #1 national Christian best-seller in 1986.
 
Following that huge success, the Lord gradually led me away from my pubic life to care for my parents and my husband’s parents as they declined in health. For the next fifteen years I didn’t write any best-sellers, but the Lord gave me an amazing gift: peace that I was in this place by His design and a promise He would enlarge my life again. He began doing that after our parents moved to heaven.
 
 
In 2012, I published Cabbages and Kings—Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ, a collection of columns I’d written for the newspaper. I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life, won the Christian Authors Network 2014 Golden Scrolls third-place award for non-fiction book of the year.
 
My forthcoming book is my heart’s passion, Help! I’m Stuck and I Can’t Get Out! The Maximum Marriage Maintenance and Repair Kit. On 9-11 my husband and I celebrated our fiftieth anniversary. I’m convinced the divorce rate would drop astronomically if couples saw themselves as stuck and sticking together, relying on the Lord to make their marriage everything He designed it to be. As long as divorce is an option, they won’t fully invest in the marriage.
 
My greatest joy is encouraging women to live abundantly in Christ. That’s an extraordinary life!
 
Dianne Barker—journalist, radio host, and best-selling author of eleven books—is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Authors Network, and Christian Women in Media. A popular speaker for women's events, she teaches with passion about marriage, parenting, relationships, and abundant living. She and her husband James reside in Tennessee. They have two children and two delightful grandchildren. For more, visit www.diannebarker.com.
 
 Dianne's upcoming book!
 
Could your marriage use a booster shot? Help! I’m Stuck and I Can’t Get Out! The Maximum Marriage Maintenance and Repair Kit (2016) identifies personality differences as the major source of marital conflict and suggests one person in the relationship willing to obey God can, by his grace, change the relationship. Only two essentials are required for a flourishing marriage: a conviction God has a standard of conduct for our lives and a desire to live that way. The key to making marriage work is making our Christianity work. Couples who see themselves as stuck and sticking together, relying on Christ, can celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. As long as divorce is an option, they will never invest fully in the marriage. Get out the paint brush and a few tools and start to work building the marriage of your dreams!
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Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

AND THEN BLOOMS LOVE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

IN THE MONEY
Linda Wood Rondeau
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HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

AMMO (An Original Shorty Story)
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

BLESSINGS IN AN IMPERFECT WORLD
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

GOLDEN GIRL
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

POWER UP
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

BOOKENDS
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

THE PINK BONNET
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

UNDERGROUND
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

Food, Families, and Fond Memories
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

KATELYN'S CHOICE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

THE POWER OF LOVE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

HOSEA'S HEART
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

FOR THOSE OVER FIFTY-FIVE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

FAITH AND HOPE
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10/30/2015

A CONVENIENT COMPASSION
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10/30/2015

NEXT GENERATION
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10/30/2015

FALLEN LEAF
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TONGUE-TAMING 101
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Mimi and Bop
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GRACE & LAVENDER
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WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION
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NEVER TO OLD TO START OVER
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JULIA
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R and I
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AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE
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10/30/2015

KATELYN'S CHOICE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

MY SINAI SAGA
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THE WRITER'S CALLING
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10/30/2015

When Valleys Bloom Again
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10/30/2015

You Asked for It
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PLAYING THROUGH THE FOG
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One Door Between Us
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Counterfeit Detectors
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SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED TO TURN OFF THE GPS
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BURIED MOUNTAIN SECRETS
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LANDING HARD
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DON’T CALL HER MA’AM
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CAPTURE ME
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LOVING ONE ANOTHER
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10/30/2015

When Your Past Looms Longer than Your Future
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10/30/2015

UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES
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10/30/2015

TAKIN' IT TO THE LIMIT
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

OUR MCDONALDS
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A Tender Hope
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10/30/2015

DON'T HIT THE FAN
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

BORN TOO LATE
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PARHELION
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

NOT OF THIS WORLD
Linda Wood Rondeau
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PERSPECTIVE
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CAROLINA GRACE
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THE POWER OF "WITH"/OVERCOMING ANXIETY
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IS IT THE BEGINNING OR THE END
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10/30/2015

A LOVE MOST WORTHY
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10/30/2015

HITTING YOUR SPIRITUAL GROOVE
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10/30/2015

MY TO-DO LIST
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10/30/2015

YOU'RE AMAZING
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10/30/2015

STIRRED, NOT SHAKEN
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10/30/2015

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

LOVE'S RESCUE
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10/30/2015

COURTING DANGER
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10/30/2015

A CHURCH PLANTER'S WIFE
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10/30/2015

MAMA, I CAN'T TAKE A BATH THERE'S A FISH IN THE TUB
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10/30/2015

JOHN ALDEN ... A SHORT STORY
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FIG LEAVES RIPPING?
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EAT RIGHT NOW LIVE LONGER LATER
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10/30/2015

THE OTHER NEIGHBOR
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A BEFORE I
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10/30/2015

AM I STRESSED?
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NO TURNING BACK
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

EVERYDAY CHOICES
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SHOULD VS WANT
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10/30/2015

ALLEY'S PERFECT ANGEL
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YOU ARE THE APPLE OF HIS EYE
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10/30/2015

I'LL BE ALONE FOR CHRISTMAS ... YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

A SILVER MEDALLION
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10/30/2015

WHY WE SING JOY TO THE WORLD!
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THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE
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THE AMISH MIDWIFE'S SECRET
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Coming Home For Christmas
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LIVING WITHOUT REGRET
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CHRISTMAS WITH THE ENEMY
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WHY DO WE NEVER LEARN
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10/30/2015

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RETURN TO WALHALLA
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SAVED BY THE LAMB
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SOARING WITH BROKEN WINGS
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HOMELESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
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FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
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HAIR CALAMITIES AND HOT CASH
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NEVER TOO LATE
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MEET ME IN GALVESTON
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The Not So Good Good Old Days
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HARVEST OF BLESSINGS
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MEET JENNIFER SLATTERY
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HONESTLY SPEAKING
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Perceptual Blindness
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THE PUTTING GREEN WHISPERER
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The God of the Mundane
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WHEN I WAS THREE
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He Passes By
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Bryan's Homecoming
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EMERGENCE
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THE PURSUIT OF PEACE
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Live Long and Prosper
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THE REAL DEAL
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Antiquainted Man
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SOMETHING NEW
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IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED TAKE A BUBBLE BATH THEN TRY AGAIN
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10/30/2015

REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS
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FOOTPRINTS
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FUNNY WITH A POIGNANT MESSAGE
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CASTING STONES
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HEADLINE HYSTERIA
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COUNTRY ROADS
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STUPIDITY IS NO EXCUSE
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10/30/2015

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10/30/2015

AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH/WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CHAPTER 2A
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WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CREATED TO BE SALT PART B
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WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/ CREATED TO BE SALT/PART A
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10/30/2015

CELEBRATE YOUR FEMINITY
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10/30/2015

THE FIFTY-FIFTY CONUNDRUM
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THE ROCK OF OUR FUTURE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
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10/30/2015

PASS THE LOVE, PLEASE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

STRANDED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
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10/30/2015

BATTLE WITH A BUMBLEBEE
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BATTLE FATIGUES
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ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
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LOVE IN A SUITCASE
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FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
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10/30/2015

ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM
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10/30/2015

KERI'S CHRISTMAS WISH
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10/30/2015

Raising a Child With Autism
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10/30/2015

SHOULD OR WANT
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10/30/2015

CONFESSIONS OF A GARDENS SLUGGARD
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10/30/2015

GRANDMA PRAYED WHILE IRONING
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10/30/2015

The Day Super Mom Died
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10/30/2015

FOLLOW WHICH LEADER?
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

ROYAL LEGACY
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10/30/2015

MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE
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10/30/2015

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING
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10/30/2015

THE POWER OF ONE
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10/30/2015

A LIFELONG PURSUIT
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

A TEENAGED ROBIN HOOD
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10/30/2015

NUGGETS OF GRACE
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10/30/2015

THE CHOICE TO FAIL
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10/30/2015

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TROUBLE
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

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10/30/2015

PATIENT PRAYING
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MEET DARLENE FRANKLIN/SCAVENGER HUNT/LAST STOP
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PATIENT WISDOM
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OF PETS AND PERSISTENCE
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10/30/2015

God's Server Never Shuts Down
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10/30/2015

Blessed to be a Blessing
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10/30/2015

Mama, I Can't take a Bath 'Cause There's a Fish in the Tub
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10/30/2015

SOUR GRAPES OR BLESSED FRUIT
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10/30/2015

IT'S WHAT THEY DO
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10/30/2015

MEET JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
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10/30/2015

FROM LIGHT TO BRIGHT
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SURRENDERING TO THE CALL
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10/30/2015

MY QUEST
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10/30/2015

MY INTIMATE JOURNEY WITH MY HEROINE BY NIKE N. CHI
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ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
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10/30/2015

When Art Imitates Life: An Author's Book Journey
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10/30/2015

Settled By Faith
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10/30/2015

JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

From Little Golden Books to Summer's List
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

THE EDUCABLE MOMENT
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

There's love in them there casseroles
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10/30/2015

Searching for God With All My Heart
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10/30/2015

I RUN TO YOU
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

Sweetening Our Sour Grapes
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

THE FALL THAT LIFTS
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10/30/2015

A Walk With God
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10/30/2015

Disappointment and Discouragement
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STIRRING TRUTH
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10/30/2015

PENNED BY GOD'S OWN HAND
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The Masterpiece
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10/30/2015

RESTORED HEARTS and a Writer's Journey
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10/30/2015

THE WRITER'S JOURNEY: Meditations on the Road
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10/30/2015

DIALOGUING OUR FEARS
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10/30/2015

WHY A BOOK OF PRAYERS?
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10/30/2015

From Lettuce to Pages
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

AND NOT TO YIELD
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10/30/2015

BONNIE LEON WRITES TO ENCOURAGE THE DISABLED
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10/30/2015

FAITH WORTH THE FIGHT
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

CANT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER
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10/30/2015

THE WINDING TRAIL
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The Flavorful Church
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10/30/2015

Commitment Phobia
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God knows our hearts
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10/30/2015

God Had Other Plans
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10/30/2015

BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT
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10/30/2015

God's Writer: Jan Elder
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10/30/2015

THE CURE FOR THE WEARY SOUL
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10/30/2015

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10/30/2015

OF THEE I SING
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10/30/2015

A HUNGER FOR GOD
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10/30/2015

What Do We Ask God For?
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10/30/2015

BUCK STORM SINGER/SONGWRITER/STORYTELLER
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STRESS: THAT OTHER HOMEWRECKER
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10/30/2015

A Dream Come True of Being A Writer
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10/30/2015

COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

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10/30/2015

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015

EMPTY NETS
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10/30/2015

Bucketwish
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10/30/2015

Loyalty that Springs from Spirituality
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10/30/2015

Wonderfully Made
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10/30/2015

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10/30/2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/30/2015