Two Houses

Once upon a time, a man named Mr. Moros sailed to a beautiful tropical island not far from the coast and decided to build a house there.

He had difficulty with the foundation. He dug and dug through the sandy soil, but he could not find rock. Finally, he sank huge support posts deep into the sand and set them in poured concrete. Atop this he built a lovely house with the floor plan he’d always wanted, and he furnished the place exactly as he pleased.

Another man, Mr. Phronimos, chose the other side of the island to build. He ran into the same problem as Mr. Moros–he could not find the bedrock. He’d seen Mr. Moros’s solution to the problem, but he didn’t trust it. Instead, he shipped in the equipment he needed and burrowed down to the rock. His house finally had a two-story basement, but the foundation was fixed on the rock.

After the expense of the crazy foundation, Mr. Phronimos couldn’t afford all the finishing touches he’d planned. But with a setting like this island, he was fairly content.

Both men lived there for several years before a huge hurricane threatened their homes. They boarded up the windows, fastened down anything they thought could move, and traveled inland.

The hurricane barreled right along and brought the right side of its eye straight across the island.

Once the storm had passed, the men hurried to see how their homes had fared. Mr. Phronimos found his home almost in one piece. The roof had fared worst, the surrounding landscape had been rearranged, and the house had taken a beating. But it still stood. So he hurried to see how his neighbor’s house looked.

Wreckage greeted him. What was left of Mr. Moros’s beautiful home had crashed down, partially buried in drifted sand. Pieces were strewn across the island. But the debris left could never have comprised a whole house.

Two emotions hit Mr. Phronimos so strongly he had to sit down on an uprooted tree.

Relief that his home had been spared and he didn’t have to rebuild his life.

Guilt that he had counted Mr. Moros’s foundation “none of his business” and had not warned his neighbor when they both began to build.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:

and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

-Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)

You might have to dig through tons of different knowledge, toss aside countless worldviews and philosophies, but it’s worth it to make sure you’ve founded your life upon the Rock.

A foundation that will not wash away when the eye of the hurricane beats on your life.

-Miss Darcy

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When I Grow Up

I’m twenty-two. An adult. Sometimes I don’t feel like it.

When I was little, I’d say, “When I grow up…” and I meant when I reached about the age I am now.

There’s a certain dry humor in that.

I’ve always wanted to be grown up. Mature. Respected.

But I’ve come to realize that however old I get (and I hope to get quite old before I leave this world), I don’t want to forget what it’s like to be a child.

  • How to throw myself into a physical game, playing hard until I’m hot, sweaty, exhausted, and perfectly happy.
  • How to transform brooms into horses and baby strollers into automobiles.
  • How hard and tedious it is to learn to read.
  • The drudgery of practicing an instrument before you’ve begun to master it.
  • The childish, but very real joy of saying or doing something particularly “grown up.”
  • How it feels to want to say something but have no grown-ups interested.
  • How it feels to not understand why your parents are arguing: you just hate the tension. Or worse, the subtler, but even more unnerving tension of an old grudge in the extended family.
  • How it feels to meet one of your mom’s old friends, and hear them say to her, “Oh, my goodness. Are these your kids? I haven’t met the youngest, but I remember this one when she was in diapers.”
  • The painful self-consciousness when you overhear your parents tell an embarrassing story about you before you’re old enough to laugh at it.
  • How it feels to compete with siblings for adults’ attention.
  • The joy of making a perfectly useless gift of questionable artistry for your parents or friends.
  • The scathing injustice of getting an equal punishment as your sister when you know she was more guilty than you. 😉
  • The importance of adults’ approval.
  • The way it felt like forever until you’d get older.
  • The small delights of ice cream, swinging at the park, hide-and-seek, and new school books.
  • The scheming to get more time to play with friends.
  • The begging of “the dads” or “the moms” to play with us kids instead of just talking.
  • The indignation when an adult won’t listen to your side of the story.
  • The wonderful feeling of your first successful bike ride without training wheels.
  • The frustration when your parents are lecturing and you know they’re right.
  • The uncertainty when you get older and you’re hovering somewhere between the worlds of children and adults.
  • The stupid rivalries between kids and how they somehow matter then.
  • How it feels to admire a teen or twenty-something and have them treat you as a cute kid, a twerp, or a nuisance.
  • How it feels to have a “big kid” or teen pay genuine attention to you.

I had a good childhood. And I don’t want to forget the good things. Or the bad things.

I want to keep part of my heart in childhood as long as I live.

(Side note to any teens or twenty-somethings reading this: Let me encourage you to engage kids. Listen to them. Treat them like equals sometimes [unless, of course, they’re acting up and you need to straighten them out]. Wear yourself out playing with them. Give piggy-back rides. Let them make an idiot of you once in a while. Be the cool teen, the cool young adult you would have wanted to play with when you were small. It’s fun.)

Now, as a Christian, I do not want to always be a child.

A Christian who never grows more like Christ. Never matures in knowledge. Never learns to display Christ in everything I do.

No, I want to be a Christian who matures.

I’ll never be a truly grown up Christian until I die. But I always want to be a Christian who is growing up.

Interestingly, the path to mature Christianity is counter-intuitive.

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,

and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

-Matthew 18:2-4 (NKJV) emphasis mine

Notice He says little child. I’ve known older children to develop a bit of pride. Don’t ask where I discovered that. 😉

But we must come to God as children.

With all a child’s awe at God’s power and grace. With all a child’s undiluted love for a good parent. With all a child’s unquestioning trust in a trustworthy caretaker. With all a child’s sorrow when struck with a true understanding of wrongdoing.

With all a child’s joy in the life given to them.

It doesn’t pay to be a grown-up too soon. Maybe when it comes to serving Jesus, it doesn’t pay to be a grown-up at all.

-Miss Darcy

The Blood Is Still There

As an oldest child, certain stories in the Bible stick out to me. (Cain and Abel, for instance. If ever an oldest child flunked his role, Cain did!) Today I want to talk about Passover.

The Hebrews were slaves in Egypt. Moses had come and requested that Pharaoh let the Hebrews go. Pharaoh wouldn’t.

So God sent plagues upon the land of Egypt, warning Pharaoh and his people that they must let the Hebrews go. And Pharaoh would say, “All right, you can go. Just remove this plague.” Of course, as soon as God had eased the suffering, Pharaoh changed his mind.

Finally, God told Moses, “This is the final plague. After this, Pharaoh will let you go. In fact, he will drive you out.”

Before, God had sent frogs, lice, hailstorms, livestock diseases, and boils on man and beast, among other things. This time, God would strike hard. No one would be able to ignore His power.

At midnight, God would kill every firstborn child in the land of Egypt.

From the firstborn of Pharaoh to the firstborn of the captive in the dungeon, even to the firstborn of the livestock, God would strike with death.

I can’t help thinking: If I had been an Egyptian child that night, I would have died. Just stopped breathing.

If I had been a Hebrew child, I would have died that night unless my father followed the strict instructions to protect me.

A lamb had to die for the firstborn to live.

The father had to kill a perfect lamb and let its blood fill a basin. Then he dipped a bunch of hyssop in the blood and struck the doorposts and the lintel with the blood.

Can you imagine that wooden doorpost, dry from years of desert air and wind in Egypt? The man took a bunch of hyssop, dipped it in the lamb’s blood, and slapped it against the lintel (the beam across the top of the door). Again, he dipped the hyssop and hit one doorpost. Finally, he struck the last one.

Can you picture the dry wood soaking up the deep red liquid? This is a stain to last for decades, no matter what winds and rains scour the doorposts.

When God saw the blood guarding the door, He passed over that house. Death had already occurred there, as evidenced by the blood. The firstborn child could live.

Fourteen hundred years later, Jesus came to this earth. His purpose? To save mankind from sin.

They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.

-Psalm 14:3 (NKJV) emphasis mine

For the wages of sin is death, …

-Romans 6:23a (NKJV)

Someone had to die to pay for sin. Logically, that person should be the sinner. But God did not want us to die.

A Lamb had to die for us to live.

Jesus is our Lamb. The final sacrifice. His blood is enough to erase all sin, forever. (John 1:29)

And just like the blood on the doorposts in Egypt, Jesus’ blood is never going to wash away.

Once I accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and turned my life over to Him, He applied His blood to cover my sin-stains. His blood isn’t going to evaporate. It won’t fade. It won’t grow too weak to cleanse me. Ever.

No matter what Satan throws at me.

I love the way this song captures that: The Blood Is Still There by Gary Duty.

Hope you enjoy!

-Miss Darcy

Truth Frees

I have long loved the verse in John where Jesus says,

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

-John 8:32 (NKJV)

I always thought it referred to discovering Truth in the Bible, which frees us. And I still believe it refers to that.

But I also think it applies in a more general way. This hit me about three years ago.

Truth has the power to free us, whether it is the Truth in the Bible or a truth in our own lives.

Let me explain. There are people in my life whom I love deeply. But the relationships always felt one-way. As if I had to do all the work; I had to make all the compromises; I had to tread lightly for their feelings. Yet I still thought they cared about me, so I tried to put in the effort, you know?

Three years ago, one of these people blew up in front of me. I had long known he had a temper, but never seen it on display. He berated principles I hold dear, insulted people I love more than anyone, and basically mocked my whole lifestyle.

Not exactly endearing behavior. Rather shocking, in fact.

But…

I got to see the truth.

It hurt, but I got to see how he really felt. And it set me utterly free from his expectations. Now the relationship is completely on my terms because he showed himself unwilling to extend any amount of unselfish love.

There’s freedom in that. In living without concern for his opinion.

It wasn’t pleasant to see the already-fragile relationship fracture. But it set me free. More in my mind, perhaps, than anywhere else.

And it is good to live in freedom.

Sometimes when Jesus reveals to us the truth about ourselves and others, it’s ugly. When He reveals truth about Himself, it is beautiful. But either way, truth frees.

And it’s worth any pain it may bring.

-Miss Darcy

Interrogating God

I’m sure we’ve all heard the argument, “How could a loving God allow _______?” (Fill in the blank. There are plenty of options.)

We may have even asked similar questions:

  • “God, what purpose is there in this child having leukemia?”
  • “Lord, we wanted this baby. Why did it have to die after a premature birth?”
  • “God, why don’t you stop the violence of militant Muslims?”

But some people take it further than voicing a genuine question from a grief-wrung heart. They declare, “A loving God would never let that happen. Therefore, I don’t believe God exists.”

I saw a video of a noted atheist, whose name I cannot recall, being interviewed about his beliefs.

He was asked, “What if there is a God? What will you say to him when you die?”

His response was one of those times I got a kinda sick feeling, like my very bones were horrified.

He said, “I’ll say, ‘Child cancer? What’s with that?” He named a couple natural disasters. “How could you let that happen if you claim to be a good God?'”

I can’t remember the rest of it, or how he phrased it. I just stood there in shock listening to all the questions he intended to use to interrogate God on Judgment Day. Until finally my brain couldn’t take anymore, and I quit watching.

Well, I must say, the guy’s brazen enough. Certainly confident in his own importance.

But let’s back up a minute. Usually when people ask that question, “How could a loving God allow _______?” they’re talking in a rather vague way about the God of the Bible. They’ve heard the Bible says God is good and loving, then when tragedies tear this world apart, they say their disbelief in a good, loving God is justified.

Apparently, they’ve missed all God’s other qualities. His justice, His might, His infinite wisdom, His blinding glory, His unapproachable majesty. At least, the atheist on this interview did.

The average height for a human is somewhere around six feet. The average lifespan is somewhere around eighty years, not long in the whole span of time. A human has to eat every day, breath several times every minute, sleep a certain amount each week, and be at least somewhat protected from the elements in order to live at all.

Yes, we have marvelous brains, and, yes, we are marvelous creatures–astounding testimonies to God’s power.

But we aren’t near as stunning as we think we are.

The Lord GOD created the stars–huge, pulsing masses of super-hot gases. He created more galaxies than we can even hope to discover, each composed of billions of stars. Yet He calls each star by name.

The Lord established laws of physics that we can’t fully wrap our minds around. We know why the apple falls down–gravity, of course. Yet no one can confidently define gravity or tell where it comes from.

God created matter out of tiny atoms, so small we’ve yet to see them, and packed them with devastating power. We’ve harnessed that power somewhat. And still we don’t fully understand the mystery.

The Lord is clothed with light so bright that when Moses only glimpsed it, his face glowed. (Remember, we’re saying if the God of the Bible exists, so we have to assume everything written about Him in the Bible is true.)

So, this atheist is saying that if he stands before the God who holds the stars, the God who created the atom, the God who controls the winds and storms, the God whose very essence is blinding, holy glory, he will interrogate God?

I seriously doubt it.

Maybe he will stand and gape.

Maybe he will fall to his knees and hide his face in his arms.

Maybe he will stand silent while his heart implodes in dismay.

I don’t know what he’ll do. (I don’t know what I’ll do when I stand before God’s majesty, and I am God’s daughter.)

But I know he won’t be interrogating God with all the sharp, clever, well-phrased questions he has prepared.

When this atheist discovers that the God of the Bible does indeed exist (you can say if instead of when if that suits you better), he won’t have a word to say. He’ll have no defense for his disbelief. He will have no defense for any of his sin.

Only the blood of Jesus can give us the right to stand before God’s holiness uncondemned.

Friend, if you are one of those who plans to interrogate God if you one day find He exists, I pray with all my heart that God will pull out all stops to bring you to your knees now, while you still walk this earth. You don’t want to have to fall on your knees for the first time after you die.

-Miss Darcy

The Measurement of Success

The world has its measurement of success, and pretty much screams it at us constantly.

Money. Wealth. Things.

Fame. Popularity. Status.

Pleasure. Any kind. All the time.

But when you don’t plan to spend most of your life in one place, it’s important not to stockpile your treasure there.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

-Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)

Writers usually measure success in sales. In number of positive reviews. In number of loyal readers. Or number of new readers who rave about your book.

And, to be honest, I would appreciate all those things when I finally publish. But I never want to forget how I measured success when I first started writing: success is giving someone a blessing, however small.

Souls touched for even a little good will be treasure in heaven, yes?

But the world’s measurement of success can be distracting from what’s important.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

-Matthew 6:24

I can’t afford to get distracted by pursuing this world’s success. Yes, I’ll do the best publishing job I can. Yes, I’ll market my books. And, most certainly, I want people to enjoy and be encouraged by what I write. I want it very much. But I must remember that people’s approval is not the main thing to aim for.

I want to write for my King’s approval.

Of course, I want His approval in my whole life, not just writing. But writing has become a big part of my life.

You’ve probably heard the verse about “well done, good and faithful servant.”

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.

-Matthew 25:21 NKJV (emphasis mine)

That’s what I want. To enter into the joy of my Lord.

-Miss Darcy

The Secret Slipper | Blog Tour

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I’m excited to be doing something new today. I’m participating in a blog tour for the release of a new book by Christian author Amanda Tero.

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to beta-read The Secret Slipper, helping it on the journey to publication. I loved it! It’s exactly the sort of “princess” book I want to read with my children if the Lord should so bless me one day. But don’t get the idea this is only a children’s story. Teens and even adults will discover worthwhile gems in this novella. I know I did.

I loved the medieval setting, although it’s not a strict historical. I loved getting to know the characters. I loved the eternal Truth woven so beautifully into the story. It’s rare I find a book I can unreservedly recommend.

So, without further ado, I present:

The-Secret-Slipper-cover

About the Book
Being a cripple is only the beginning of Lia’s troubles. It seems as if Bioti’s goal in life is to make Lia as miserable as possible. If Lia’s purpose is to be a slave, then why did God make her a cripple? How can He make something beautiful out of her deformity?

Raoul never questioned the death of his daughter until someone reports her whereabouts. If Ellia is still alive, how has she survived these ten years with her deformity? When Raoul doesn’t know who to trust, can he trust God to keep Ellia safe when evidence reveals Bioti’s dangerous character?

As time brings more hindrances, will Raoul find Ellia, or will she forever be lost to the father she doesn’t even know is searching for her?

Let me insert the purchase links real quick. Both books in the Tales of Faith series are available on Amazon: Befriending the Beast (Book 1) and The Secret Slipper (Book 2). Or if you’d like to order a signed paperback copy of The Secret Slipper (U.S. residents only), you can complete this form.

Although I loved the main characters, my favorite character was Jolin, the closest friend of Raoul (also known as Lord Kiralyn). I’m delighted to be able to interview him here today. I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did.


Jolin, thank you so much for visiting with us. You earned my respect as I read The Secret Slipper, and I’m delighted you’ve agreed to answer a few questions about the story.

My pleasure! Methinks my author had a little too much enjoyment shaping my character.

1) You’ve served Lord Kiralyn a long time when the story begins. What is your position, and what are the duties entailed?

I began as just a companion of Lord Kiralyn. Throughout the years, this has changed until he is one of my closest friends and companions. It feels as if my duty is to just be there for Raoul, to serve him however is needed—whether it is counseling his decisions or joining him in escapades which may not be the wisest for a lord to go upon.

2) In your estimation, what is Lord Kiralyn’s greatest weakness? What is his greatest strength?

His greatest weakness would be his rashness. When he gets something in his mind, he goes for it. At the same time, it can be his greatest strength. I am more of the overly cautious fellow. Another strength of his is his genuine care for others.

3) When you first heard that Ellia could be alive, did you entertain hope of finding her? Or did you think it impossible?

I couldn’t entertain hopes that Nes’s report was true. I tried reasoning it out, though, and I couldn’t deny the evidence piling up. Yet, for Raoul’s sake, I held back. If she was alive, what were the likelihoods of finding someone who had been missing for a decade?

4) If you could have one thing in the world, anything, what would you choose?

I would choose for wise people to be in control.

5) Is there anything else you would like to share with readers of this story?

It’s a journey, and a long and wild one at that, but it’s a great journey and I’d not exchange anything for being beside Raoul as he made his choices and grew through it all.


About the Author

Amanda-bio-pic

Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

You can connect with Amanda through her website, her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Amanda is hosting a giveaway for both The Secret Slipper and the first book in the series, Befriending the Beast (which I also loved). Click on the links to be taken to the Rafflecopter forms.

giveaway-secret-slipper

U.S. Giveaway: Enter to win the set of “Befriending the Beast” and “The Secret Slipper”

International Giveaway: Enter to win the eBook set of “Befriending the Beast” and “The Secret Slipper”

If you’d like to see the other places The Secret Slipper has toured, you can click on the links below my signature. (All the links open in new tabs.)

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this!

-Miss Darcy

May 25, 2017
With a Joyful Noise | Release Day, Giveaway
Leila Tualla’s Bookshelf | Spotlight
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections | Review, Giveaway
Great Books for God’s Girls | Review, Author Interview

May 26
Zerina Blossom’s Books | Interview
Knitted By God’s Plan | Spotlight and O’Scarlett Reviews | Review
A Brighter Destiny | Review, Giveaway

May 27
This Journey Called Life | Spotlight, Review, Giveaway
His Princess Warrior | Review, Giveaway
The Destiny of One | Spotlight
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen | Spotlight, Interview, Giveaway

May 29
Once Upon an Ordinary | Review, Interview
Penumbra Reviews | Review
Peculiar Miss Darcy | Character Interview
My Joyful Journey with Jesus | Interview

May 30
Honey Rock Hills | Review, Giveaway
Christian Author: A.M. Heath  | Review
JudithWNicholson  | Interview

May 31
Whimsical Writings for His glory  | Spotlight, Review
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae  | Spotlight, Review
Purposeful Learning | Review, Interview, Giveaway

June 1
Reveries Reviews  | Review
Victoria Minks Blog  | Spotlight, Video Review
Kelsey’s Notebook | Spotlight

June 2
RockandMinerals4Him | Spotlight, Review, Giveaway
Roxbury Books Blog | Spotlight
Views from the Window Friend  | Review
Crystal’s Adventures for Christ  | Spotlight, Review, Interview

June 3
Verbosity Reviews  | Spotlight
Chosen Vessels  | Review
Clothed with Scarlet | Review, Interview, Giveaway