Friday, September 20, 2013

Teaming up with Jesus: Author Angela Strong

Let’s Do This

By Angela Strong

In my most recent novel, I have an elderly Hispanic character who always ends her prayers with, “In Jesus’ name, let’s do this.” My main character is a little taken aback, but the hero explains that Mama Rosa doesn’t believe in praying for things that you aren’t willing to work for. Then he gives the example of how he prayed for God to help him with finances after he blew all his money on a motorcycle.
Now, I’ve never bought a motorcycle, but I’m guilty of doing this very thing. Perhaps that is why the following verse speaks to me.
“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” –Matthew 6:14-15
God is always for us. He gives us everything we need including his laws to protect us. When we pray for something that we aren’t willing to work for, it’s like asking God to keep us dry then stepping out from under his umbrella.
I heard a sermon once that took the perspective that God didn’t take away the “thorn” in Paul’s flesh because perhaps he’d already given Paul everything he needed to take care of it himself. This sermon came the weekend when we were trying to decide whether to go out of state for a third Achilles surgery for my husband. People at church often surrounded us and prayed for healing—some even going so far as to suggest that my husband didn’t have enough faith to be healed. But when we heard this sermon, we knew we were supposed to make the trip.
The surgery was an answer to prayer. A specialist from Boston just happened to be available to help with the surgery, Jim got the care he needed, and the whole hospital stay was covered. After two years of dealing with the injury, I would call this a miracle.

God has given a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. I love this. Because of God, and only because of God, I have the ability to make good choices and find healing and pursue dreams. That’s what a relationship with the Lord brings. We are a team. So in Jesus’ name, let’s do this.

Bethany Light, a minister's daughter, can’t forgive her father for running off with the church secretary. She goes to her own pastor for counsel, never expecting to fall in love with him. To make matters worse, she’s personal training his fiancé in preparation for the big day and somehow ends up in their wedding.
Refusing to make the same mistake her dad made, Bethany tries to focus on fixing her family rather than face her own issues. How could a household that used to have it all together have fallen so far from grace? And how can she keep from following in her father’s footsteps when it feels so right?

Angela Ruth Strong sold her first article in high school and went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and three children where she writes for Idaho Family Journal. Angela's debut novel LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO received a four-star review from Romantic Times Magazine, and she is currently working on the sequel to LIGHTEN UP. When not writing, Angela teaches aerobics, coaches her kids in sports, and adventures throughout the Great Northwest. She'd love to have you visit her at where she gets a lot more personal about the way God's love changed her life.