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Month: April 2014

BOOK REVIEW: AM I OKAY, GOD? Five Stars from Readers’ Favorite Book Reviewer Kathryn Bennett

Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension by Lorilyn Roberts is geared for teens. It aims to answer any questions that come up, from self–esteem to dating, careers, forgiveness, and even abortion issues. Any issue you can think of for the younger set (and even some adults) can be found within these pages. It looks at what it means to be born again and offers a full range of 27 devotionals that come with links and other references to help continue education and enjoyment. It encourages discussion and should help to make you unafraid to speak about faith.

I have a friend with a preteen daughter who is starting to ask about these things. So when I got the chance to read Am I Okay, God?: Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension by Lorilyn Roberts and review it to see if it would help her, I did. I am glad I read this book. While it is laid out and geared in a way that is friendly for a younger audience, it is not light and fluffy in that sense. The topics covered are important and each passage shows a way to look at it. To find the faith you need and to know what it means to be born again into the faith. I think it is a good and inspirational read that will help someone who wishes to walk the path.

The biggest thing I personally took away from this work is that it is okay to be a work in progress; it is okay to need to work on things because everyone has to work on things. I would recommend this one.


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I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: Devotional from “Am I Okay, God?” by Lorilyn Roberts

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
—Philippians 4:8 

What did Jesus mean when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life?”  


From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:

What did I want? If I knew, would I be willing to risk everything to obtain it? I gazed at the lake—where was the king headed? I wished I knew the lake’s secrets. If he was the king from the garden, how did he get here? He seemed powerful in some ways but not in others.
—Shale Snyder, chapter twenty-three


Shale faced the same issues that you and I face today—discovering the truth and what it means. How should I live, and is Jesus who he said he was?

Many religions offer you multiple paths to salvation or fulfillment. Baha’i embraces all religions and states that God sent messengers—like Jesus, Buddha, Moses, and Muhammad—to progressively teach us about God’s nature.

Islam teaches that if your good works outweigh your bad, and Allah wills it, he will let you enter into paradise.

Hinduism and Buddhism claim you go to heaven after many reincarnations when at last you become one with God.

Some Jews still wait for the Messiah’s return. Each year during the Passover Seder, a Jewish custom is to pour a cup of wine, “the cup of Elijah,” and send a young child to the door to look for the prophet who is to herald the coming of the Messiah.

Unitarians believe you can get to heaven any way you want and not to worry about the afterlife.

Wiccans don’t believe there’s a need for salvation.

What do you think?

In Seventh Dimension – the Door, Shale went on a journey—it was her path. No two journeys through life are exactly the same. God knows which path you will take—but his unconditional love gives you free will to choose.

Along the way, you will be exposed to many “truths” and many lies. You must learn to discern truth from falsehood. The Bible says Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, shortly before being crucified, Pontius Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” (John 18:38).

Truth stood in front of Pontius Pilate, and yet he did not recognize the truth. Instead, he denied that truth, condemning Jesus the Messiah to death.

If truth stood before you, would you recognize him? Could you taste his goodness? Could you feel his breath and know it was the breath of life? Could you perceive God’s gentle touch? Would your mind be quickened if  God called your name?

It’s a scary thing to be confronted with the truth of Jesus Christ and yet deny him—deny his power, deny his sacrifice, and deny his love.

Satan makes our life difficult. Our sinful nature leads us astray. But if we confess our sins and acknowledge Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life, we won’t be fooled into believing untruths. Nothing makes Satan and his demons angrier than hearing the name of Jesus. Fill your heart with God’s love, praise his holy name, and they will flee.

Thank you, Jesus, that you are the way, the truth, and the life. Help me to be more like you. Help me to be discerning in all things and protect me from being led astray.

Help me to focus on what is true and noble and be an example to others. Let my little light shine before men and light the path to you. Help me to know the way of salvation through living out my faith. In my life, Lord, be glorified.

The full collection of devotionals can be enjoyed in “Am I Okay, God?”

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WHICH ANIMAL AM I MOST LIKE: Devotional from “Am I Okay, God?” by Lorilyn Roberts

  But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes its food?
—Job 12:7-11
Which animal do you identify with in Seventh Dimension – The Door? Do you perceive your nature to be like Worldly Crow; Cherios, the rabbit; Baruch, the donkey; Much Afraid, the dog; Nevaeh, the bird; or Lowly, the pig?
“Will the king always be with me?”
“Always. The seventh dimension is within you. The animals represent parts of your character. Your suffering has produced good fruit. And always remember, the king is your heavenly father.”
—Shale Snyder and Astella, chapter thirty-seven
All of us are multifaceted and complex, intricately woven together into extraordinarily complicated human beings. The Creator isn’t a novice at creating life. Look around you. He can breathe life into building blocks simply by speaking them into being.
Good and evil are at war against each other in the world and within ourselves. We will never be free of temptation until we enter heaven’s gates.
All of us at one point or another have been as wicked as Worldly Crow or as heavenly as Cherios, the rabbit, or Nevaeh—the unusual bird in the garden. Did you know that Nevaeh is “heaven” spelled backward?
Cherios comes from the word “charity,” which means generous actions to aid the poor, ill, or helpless, or to devote one’s life to love. Cherios gave her life as she praised the king before the demons in the Hall of Darkness.
The other animals were redeemed by the king. Baruch means blessed. In The Donkey and the King, Baruch was a temperamental donkey that struck out on his own and became lost. The king sent the sheep to find him in the wilderness, just as the king searches out each one of us when we become lost.
You may be feeling lost right now. Have you made foolish choices? The good news is that Jesus Christ won’t leave you there. Even if you’re as wicked as Worldly Crow, God still forgives if you ask for forgiveness. The king is in the business of fixing problems and situations that seem hopeless. The king’s way is even better than your way.
Maybe you’re like Lowly the pig. Do you feel worthless? God has given you everything you need to become the person he created you to be. Not one cell or gene is missing because God made a mistake. He’s gifted you with what you need to glorify him.
If you want to be a doctor, God has given you the brains and the ability to be one. If you want to be a dancer, God has made you graceful and athletic. If you want to be a teacher, God has given you the ability to teach. Not only that, he has given you the desire to want to do the things he created you to do.
If you enjoy painting, God made you to paint. God needs Christians in all walks of life. We can’t all be lawyers or bankers or chefs. Perhaps the job you will have when you graduate from high school, technical school, or college doesn’t yet exist. My profession wasn’t around twenty-five years ago. The world is constantly changing.
Perhaps you’re like Much‑Afraid, the dog that pursued Shale. The Bible tells us in I Peter 5:7:  “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
This is much easier said than done, but just as Much‑Afraid stood up to the demon‑possessed man in the cemetery, God will give you supernatural power to overcome your worst fears. He does not mean for you to live in fear of the future or regret the past.
Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want them to, but it’s not because God failed or you failed. It’s because if you put your trust in Jesus, he knows what’s best in every circumstance. Jesus cares about the process more than the outcome.
The only moment you have is right now. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. And we don’t want to look back on our past with regret. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:16 that we should make the most of every opportunity.
The devil and his demons won’t like it if you read the Bible or pray to God daily. Expect at those moments when you’re most like Jesus to be attacked. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 that the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
You must not give up. Shale was tested and overcame and you can overcome, too. The battle is a spiritual one. 
I imagine angels all around with swords in hand knocking down demonic strongholds. We must claim the power of the risen king to overcome demonic influence, the Worldly Crow part of us, and rely on the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is not in the tomb. He is risen. He is sitting at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, interceding for you.
You have a future and hope. You were made with heavenly hands in your mother’s womb. When you start to doubt your value in God’s eyes, remember what Nevaeh whispered in Shale’s ear, “You’re a daughter of the king.” 


Thank you, Lord, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made— that you knitted me in my mother’s womb and knew me even before I was born.

I thank you for tall giraffes and whimsical butterflies and slimy snails and hooting owls. If this world can have so much vitality and variety, as darkened as it is with sin, I can only imagine the perfect world that lies in wait.

Let the animals teach me how to be kind. Help me to listen— to the call of the wild, the purring of a kitten, the roaring of a lion, or the cry of an abandoned dog. Help me to be your heart in a world that needs caring people to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.

May I grow more like you as I care for the animals I meet. May I be as wise as a serpent and as innocent as a dove. May I remember that a kind person is kind to his animals even when no one is looking.


Note from Lorilyn Roberts


I am busy writing my second book in the Seventh Dimension Series.  So if my posts seem a little more sporadic, bear with me. It’s difficult to tear myself away from the writing to post on my blog. Summer 2014 is the projected publication date.
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GUEST POST BY JOHN 3:16 NETWORK: Lorilyn Interviews Emma Right About Her New Book “Dead Dreams” – YA Christian Suspense





Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family on the sidelines,  an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams—of going to acting school, finishing college, and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.


Chapter One


IT STARTED ON a warm April afternoon. Gusts of wind blew against the oak tree right outside my kitchen balcony, in my tiny apartment in Atherton, California. Sometimes the branches that touched the side of the building made scraping noises. The yellow huckleberry flowers twining their way across my apartment balcony infused the air with sweetness.

My mother had insisted, as was her tendency on most things, I take the pot of wild huckleberry, her housewarming gift, to my new twobedroom apartment. It wasn’t really new, just new to me, as was the entire experience of living separately, away from my family, and the prospect of having a roommate, someone who could be a best friend, something I’d dreamed of since I finished high school and debuted into adulthood.
“Wait for me by the curb,” my mother said, her voice blaring
from the phone even though I didn’t set her on speaker. “You need to eat better.” Her usual punctuation at the end of her orders.
So, I skipped down three flights of steps and headed toward the side of the apartment building to await my mother’s gift of the evening, salad in an á la chicken style, her insistent recipe to cure me of bad eating habits. At least it wasn’t chicken soup doubleboiled till the bones melted, I consoled myself.

I hadn’t waited long when a vehicle careened round the corner. I heard it first, that high-pitched screech of brakes wearing thin when the driver rammed his foot against it. From the corner of my eye, even before I turned to face it, I saw the blue truck. It rounded the bend where Emerson  Street met Ravenswood, tottered before it righted itself, and headed straight at me.

I took three steps back, fell, and scrambled to get back up as the vehicle like a giant bullet struck the sidewalk I had only seconds ago stood. The driver must have lost control, but when he hit the sidewalk it slowed the vehicle enough so he could bridle his speed and manage the truck as he continued to careen down the street.
My mother arrived a half minute later but she had seen it all.
Like superwoman, she leaped out of her twenty-yearold Mercedes and rushed toward me, all breathless and blonde hair disheveled.
“Are you all right?” She reached out to help me up. “Yes, yes,” I said, brushing the dirt off my yoga pants.
“Crazy driver. Brie, I just don’t know about this business of you staying alone here like this.” She walked back to her white Mercedes, leaned in the open window, and brought out a casserole dish piled high with something green. Make that several shades of green.
I followed her, admittedly winded. “Seriously, Mom. It’s just one of those things. Mad drivers could happen anywhere I live.”
She gave me no end of grief as to what a bad idea it was for me to live alone like this even though she knew I was going to get a roommate.
“Mom, stop worrying,” I said.
“You’re asking me to stop being your mother, I hope you realize this.”
“I’ll find someone dependable by the end of the week, I promise.” No way I was going back to live at home. Not that I came from a bad home environment. But I had my reasons.

I had advertised on Craig’s List, despite my mother’s protests that only scum would answer “those kinds of ads.”

Perhaps there was some truth to Mother’s biases, but I wouldn’t
exactly call Sarah McIntyre scum. If she was, what would that make me?
Sarah’s father had  inherited  the  family  “coal”  money.  Their
ancestors had emigrated from Scotland (where else, with a name like McIntyre, right?) in the early 1800s and bought an entire mountain (I kid you not) in West Virginia. It was a one-hit wonder in that the mountain hid a coal fortune under it, and hence the McIntyre Coal Rights Company was born. This was the McIntyre claim to wealth, and also a source of remorse and guilt for Sarah, for supposedly dozens of miners working for them had lost their lives due to the business, most to lung cancer or black lung, as it was commonly called. Hazards of the occupation.
And then there were caveins, which presented another set of
drama altogether, Sarah said.
I sat across from her, the coffee table between us, in the small living room during our first meeting. “So, that’s why you’re not on talking terms with your family? Because of abuses of the coal company? ” I asked.
We sipped hot cocoa and sat crosslegged in the crammed living
room, which also doubled as the dining space. I’d never interviewed anyone before, although I’d read tips on the Internet.
“I just don’t want to be reminded anymore,” she said, twirling her dark ringlets round and round on her pointer finger.
“But, it’s not entirely your dad’s fault those people died of lung problems.”
“I guess, but I just want to get away, you understand? Anyway, I’m almost twentyone now. That’s three years too late for moving out and establishing my own space.” She took tiny sips of the cocoa, both hands cupping the mug as if she were cold.

I walked to the thermostat and upped the temperature. A slight draft still stole in from a gap in the balcony sliding door I always kept open a crack to let the air circulate.

“So, your family’s okay with you living here? In California? In
this apartment that’s probably smaller than your bathroom? With a stranger?”
“First off, it’s none of their business. Secondly, you and I won’t stay strangers.” Sarah flashed me a grin. “Besides, I’m tired of big houses with too many rooms to get lost in. And, have you lived in West Virginia?”
I shook my head. The farthest I’d been was Nevada when we went for our family annual ski vacation. “I heard it’s pretty.”
“If you like hot, humid summers and bitterly cold winters. So, do I pass?As a roommate?”
She looked about at the ceiling.I wondered if she noticed the dark web in the corner and the lack of cornices and crown moldings. I was sure I smelled mold in the living room, too. But I wasn’t in a position to choose. Sarah was.
“As long as you’re not a psychopath and can pay rent.” I returned her smile.
“I don’t know about the psychopath part.” She shrugged and displayed her white, evenlyspaced teeth. “But here’s my bank account.” She tossed me a navy blue booklet with gilded edges and with golden words “Bank of America” on the cover.
I fumbled as I caught it and was unsure what to do. “Should I peek?
“Go on.” She gestured, flicking her fingers at me as if I were a stray cat afraid to take a morsel of her offering. “No secrets. I can well afford to pay rent. And, I’m a stable individual.”
I flipped the first few pages and saw the numerous transactions

in lumps my parents, who were by no means poor, would have gasped at. The last page registered the numbers: under deposits, $38,000. My eyes scanned the row of numbers and realized that the sum $38,000 came up every sixth of the month.

My mouth must have been open for she said, “You can stop
gawking. It’s only my trust fund. It comes to me regardless of where I am, or where I stay. So, do I make the cut?”
I handed the bank book back. We discussed the house rules: no
smoking; no drugs, and that included pot; no boyfriend sleepovers or wild parties, which was a clause in my landlord’s lease; and Sarah was to hand me her share of the rent, a mere $800 a month, on the twentyeighth of every month, since I was the main renter and she the subletter. She didn’t want anything down on paper—no checks, no contracts, and no way of tracing things back to her, she’d stressed a few times.
She fished in her Louis Vuitton and handed me a brown paper
bag, the kind kids carry their school lunches in. I peeked inside and took out a stash of what looked like a wad of papers bundled together with a rubber band. Her threemonth share of the deposit, a total of twentyfour crisp hundred-dollar bills. They had that distinct new-banknotes-smell that spoke of luxury.
I gulped down my hot chocolate. “Why all the secrecy?” I asked
as I wrapped up the interview. I could understand not wanting parents breathing down her neck, but as long as they didn’t insist on posting a guard at the door, what was the harm of them knowing where she lived?
Sarah glanced about the room as if afraid the neighbors might have their ears pinned to the walls, listening. She leaned forward and, her face expressionless, said softly, “My parents are dead.”

LORILYN: What made you want to write, and why Christian books?
EMMA: I have always enjoyed spinning a yarn for my friends, even from as young as eight years of age. But right after college, and before I had kids (the B.C. days I call it), I worked in advertising, writing print and TV ads, and I really enjoyed copywriting. Some of my ads won awards. I don’t even know where I keep those dust collectors! But that was ages ago.
It occurred to me that I should write some of the stories down. Despite everything happening around me, I always think about different plots and storylines whenever I have the time—usually before I doze off after a long day.
So, I guess I’d always wanted to be an author. I never really consider one particular point in time when I made that decision. Writing is a part of life—of communicating. It’s just a means to get the stories from my brain into someone else’s head.
Also, I feel called to write the stories swimming in my head. I hope they will touch some people positively and draw them closer in their walk with God. My stories are not overly Christian, but I do approach it from a Christian point of view and leak some of the lessons I’d learned from the Bible or by being a Christian into the fiction I write.
LORILYN: When was your first book published?
EMMA: Last year, in May 2013. I launched it with the John 316 group and “Keeper of Reign” reached the Amazon Kindle best seller’s list.
LORILYN: Does God play a big part in your life?
EMMA: Hugely! Every hour of the day! Apart from Christ, I am nothing. And also another verse I live by: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
LORILYN: Are you married and have children?
EMMA: Yes, for more than two decades—to the same man! And we have five kids. And also numerous pets—who take up as much time as the kids, on some days.
LORILYN: What is your greatest advice to a writer? 
EMMA: I don’t know if this is the greatest advice but it’s one I follow and I’d read it somewhere else. Write a million words, then, read, read, read, and write a great story that’s been trying to burst out of you. Read as many books as you can on crafting great fiction that deals with all the elements of a great book. Writer’s Digest has plenty and I practically spent thousands of dollars trying to educate myself and soak in as much as I could when I had to re-revise “Keeper of Reign”—about 17 times.
And never give up on your dream no matter how many problems life throws at you! If a person is called to write she will know this in her bones, even if it’s something she has been pushing aside due to life’s commitments. Don’t give up. You’ll eventually get published if you keep trying.
As a Christian, I always plead my cases to the King of Kings. Without His help, I truly, couldn’t accomplish much at all.
LORILYN: Are you working on another book? 
EMMA: I am currently writing “Keeper of Reign Book 2,” a Middle grade/YA adventure fantasy, hopefully out by Summer 2014. Some readers have asked me to write a prequel for “Keeper of Reign.” I might. I am also working on “Dead Dreams 2” and hope to finish this by the end of the summer of 2014.
LORILYN: Where can readers get your books? Are they all on Amazon?
EMMA: “Dead Dreams” will be free from April 3rd – 6th for four days. Both the paperback and the e-book versions are only available on Amazon. “Keeper of Reign” is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all other major retailers.
Amazon:   BUY HERE
Title: Dead Dreams
Author: Emma Right
Series: Dead Dreams #1
Publication: August 26th, 2013
Category: Young Adult (YA)
Genre: Psychological Mystery Thriller
Emma Right is a happy, Christian housewife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which include two cats, two bunnies and a long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.
Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.
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