Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Rebecca Ondov

November 29, 2014

Snowflakes dance and twirl past the window.

It feels like it’s already Christmas, yet only yesterday was Thanksgiving. As the year draws to a close, I feel like celebrating, perhaps dancing like those snowflakes on a mountain breeze.

At the beginning of the year I signed a contract to write another book Great Horse Stories for Girls. I’d dreamt of writing this for decades! I work a full-time job so nearly every evening and weekend I pecked away at the computer. God helped me put together a collection of horse stories that demonstrate how much He treasures each one of us. When I finally clicked “Send button” the end of August, I breathed a sigh of relief. When it releases in August of 2015, you’ll hear me hooting and hollering all the way from here in Montana.

April: Great Horse Stories stampeded onto the bookstore shelves. It contains a unique collection of other people’s horse stories that I wrote (with a few of mine sprinkled in). I’m in awe of the letters from the readers saying that the stories touched their hearts with God’s hope and love.

On May 30th, after suffering for the last few years, Mom moved to heaven. The first miracle? My dad, brother, sister and I were in the hospital with her. The second miracle took place at the national cemetery. Thousands of rows of white markers dotted the grass as far as we could see. There were 204,000 graves! I was speechless when Mom’s casket was lowered into a gravesite—next to my dad’s brother and his wife—what are “the chances” of that happening? One out of 204,000! That’s the Hand of God!

The middle of August I kissed Little Girl’s forehead for the last time. Yes, my sweet Little Girl, the mule I’d owned over 31 years, had blown out her knee and there was nothing that could be done. Yes, she’s the one who had a broken jaw when she was two-days-old so I bottle-fed her every two hours around the clock. As the excavator dug a grave next to Czar’s, I choked back my tears with the realization that I don’t know of another person who had owned their dream horse and mule—both of them—over 31 years. I am blessed.

Dad came out to Montana in September and we had a blast touring an old gold-rush ghost town and hanging out together.

October: I was thrilled to fly over to Oregon and visit Harvest House Publishers for my very first time. It was incredible meeting all the people who help me. Then my editor, Barb, and I disappeared to the Oregon Coast and stayed in a condo for a couple days and watched the waves lap the shoreline.

I’ll finish off the holidays celebrating with family and friends, filled with the assurance that it’s Mom’s first Christmas in heaven—she lives where I want to be. I wonder if heaven celebrates Christmas? Do the trumpets blow and the angels sing? What would it be like to celebrate it with Christ Himself?

That’s how I want my Christmas-on-earth to be this year—filled with the wonder of Christ. And I pray that yours is too.

Blessings, Rebecca

Catch Us if You CAN: Spring Scavenger Hunt! STOP #27, Rebecca Ondov’s Blog

March 20, 2014
0075_Miller

Introducing Author Kathy Collard Miller

Here are the CAN Hunt’s official guidelines: http://www.christianauthorsnetwork.com/

WELCOME, to the Catch Us if You CAN: Spring Scavenger Hunt! We hope you enjoy meeting Christian Author Network members as you chase down clues for the chance to win our grand prize: $200 in gift cards from CBD, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon, plus 29 free books, one from each participating CAN author!

2nd & 3rd Prizes: $50 Amazon, B&N, or CBD gift certificate!

Catch us on this hunt beginning at Noon on Friday, 03/21/14 and ending at Midnight on Thursday, 03/27/14. No need to hurry as you search for clues—you have almost an entire week! If you need help at any time during the hunt, check in here: http://illuminatingthewordthroughfiction.blogspot.com/2014/03/resource-page-for-catch-us-if-you-can.html

Enjoy 29 stops, each featuring a different CAN author!

Gather the clues from each post, beginning at STOP # 1 and ending at Stop #29. Follow the directions and fill out the Rafflecopter form. Be ready to provide the complete clue in sentence form, gathered from all 30 stops, within 2 days of email notification or another winner will be randomly drawn. There is no need to email/submit the clue, unless you are notified by 03/29/13.

Sorry, due to international regulations and postage costs, prizes will be awarded to US Residents only. Individual contests within the hunt may vary, so please read rules presented with each giveaway.

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Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries

Welcome, Hunters! I’m pleased to introduce Kathy Collard Miller. She has been writing a long time. Her first book was published in 1984 and now she’s up to 49 published books. Next Spring, her 50th book will be published. But her latest book is Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries. You can glance at it here: http://amzn.to/18SUUHM. Don’t miss the book trailer at: http://bit.ly/1czUhKh

Kathy is also a popular women’s conference speaker who has spoken in 30 states and 7 foreign countries. Thankfully she loves to travel. And guess what she did once! And she stresses once: She sky dived! Yes! Jumped out of a plane—while it was flying! She had an exciting time. But once was enough.

To get to know Kathy a bit better, you can read a piece of Kathy’s heart here:

I Can’t Be Her Grief Savior

by Kathy Collard Miller

 

My father-in-law passed away at the age of ninety. My in-laws had been married for sixty-two years and in that time, my mother-in-law Audrey had only been alone overnight for fewer than twenty nights—total. So I was worried about Audrey’s loneliness. I began praying Psalm 146:9 for her: The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow; But He thwarts the way of the wicked.

Unexpectedly, I thought, I shouldn’t try to fill the place the Lord wants in her life. In my worry, I had begun to feel responsible to make sure she wasn’t lonely.

When I told my husband, Larry, about what the Lord had revealed to me, I quipped, “God doesn’t want me to be your mom’s grief savior.”

When I talked to Audrey later that day, she enthusiastically said, “Guess what Chuck Swindoll talked about on his radio program today?”

“What, Mom?”

“Loneliness. It really ministered to me.”

I laughed. God had come through. I didn’t need to be in charge of making sure she wasn’t lonely. Of course, she’s going to be lonely—she’s alone for the first time in her life. We certainly are going to help her, but she should primarily look to God, not us. Otherwise, she’ll draw too close to us and not closer to God.

www.KathyCollardMiller.blogspot.com

 

Be sure to friend Kathy on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/Kathyspeak and Twitter: @KathyCMiller

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Kathy Collard Miller after her Great Adventure

CAN hunter, are you ready for your next clue? THE SCAVENGER HUNT CAN-Dos:

Before you go, write down this STOP #27 clue: our

And for a chance to Win a Free Copy of “my newest release: “Great Horse Stories: Wisdom and Humor from Our Majestic Friends” go to my Website http://RebeccaOndov.com and click on the “Contact” page then fill out the form to receive my free email newsletter and the chance to win!

Now, proceed to stop #28, http://www.kathycollardmiller.blogspot.com/2014/03/catch-us-if-you-can-spring-scavenger.html

Happy New Year from Rebecca Ondov

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

From My Home to Yours

It’s been an exciting year sprinkled with family, friends, and travel.

In February my book Heavenly Horse Sense: Inspirational Stories of Life in the Saddle was released. It’s such a popular family devotional that the publisher has asked me to write another book, entitled Great Horse Stories, which will include other peoples’ horse stories as well as my own. So if you or your friends have experienced special moments with your horses, be sure to let me know…you might just end up in a book. How Fun!

My annual spring trip with Chuck to visit Dad and Mom in Minnesota turned into a mini family reunion. Kevin, my sister Julie and her husband Michael joined us for a few days of spring chores. At the end of the week it was fun to look through the sparklingly clean windows and gaze at the manicured yard.

The picture above is of Sunrise and I on a spring hike at Como Lake, which is about an hour from my home. The beginning of the summer I climbed into the saddle every spare moment. SkySong, Sunrise and I explored some new country. But by August the forest fires raged and smoked us out of the woods. I hung my saddle on the rack because I was concerned for SkySong’s lungs.

Throughout the summer I was blessed with visits from some of my readers from California and Alabama. My editor and her sister from Oregon came over for a week in September and we took the Red Bus Tour through Glacier Park, cheered on the Dragon Boat Races at Flathead Lake, and tried to wrap our arms around one of the biggest larch trees in Seeley Lake, MT.

October was a whirlwind. I was privileged to meet one of my dear prayer partners face-to-face for the first time in Los Angeles. Ellie Kay gave me “The Tour,” which of course included Hollywood. The next day we met Steve and Elizabeth, a couple more of my prayer partners & dear friends, for breakfast. Then Ellie whisked me away to her home, where I instantly became one-of-the-family and helped work a food concession stand at her son’s football game. Prayer partners are the best!

From Los Angeles I flew up to San Jose and took a shuttle out to Monterey, CA where I met my literary agent and her clients for a retreat. In a beachfront hotel, with the waves lapping the shore, we gobbled up cutting-edge information (incredible food too) and explored Cannery Row.

Upon leaving Monterrey, I drove up to Ukiah, CA where I was the featured guest on the Barbara T. Marshall show. Barb is an incredible host. We bonded instantly like we were sisters, which we are in Christ. We taped the two episodes and they are airing now.

In late October I drove up to Maple Creek, Saskatchewan to teach a writing class and speak at a couple churches. The rolling Cypress Hills, dotted with cattle, are enchanting and the people are so gracious. The gal at the home where I stayed wanted to give me a key so I could come up and stay anytime. I fell in love with the folks up there and will be going again.

I boarded a plane bound for Minnesota in November. I stayed with Dad and Mom 16 days while Dad attended a Continuing Education Class for his attorney’s license (yes, at 86 years old he’s still learning) and then while he recovered from surgery. The first night after surgery, with over a four inch incision, he willed himself to walk up and down the basement stairs three times—WOW!

Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m still working a full-time job brokering lumber? Yup, I squeezed that in there too.

Whew! Now I’m home. I just finished catching up on my accounting bookwork for the year and I’m opening Christmas cards. Tonight I’ll start putting the Christmas family photos on the refrigerator where they’ll stay until next year. Often times I pray over all of your photos—so thank you for sending them.

I’m praying that 2013 is the best year of your life.

Love, Rebecca

WEEK 27: THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP

December 25, 2012

Welcome to THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP!! Each week a new group of writers introduce themselves and tells you a little about their books. Check out past and previous posts and find some new books to enjoy–you might even discover the next big thing!

I’m excited to introduce you to my latest release!

1: What is the title of your book?

Heavenly Horse Sense: Inspirational Stories from Life in the Saddle

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

While horseback riding thousands of miles over craggy trails through the Rocky Mountains, I experienced first-hand the power and protection of God through my breath-taking (and hair-raising) encounters with everything from forest fires to grizzly bears.

In each experience I came away with a unique life lesson. I’ve corralled a collection of these Wild West adventures into this book.

Join me and witness God’s power through three miracles in the life of a foal named Rahab; see how you can accomplish the impossible through a stallion who overcomes insurmountable odds; and conquer the death-grip of fear over your life through Rebecca near-death experience.

3: What genre does your book fall under?

Nonfiction Devotional

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Tom Selleck would have to play me, because other than me, do you know of any other gals who would live in a tent and ride her horse around in the wilderness leading horse pack trips for 15 years?

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Saddle up and ride through the pages of Heavenly Horse Sense for an adventure of a lifetime.

6: Who is your publisher?

Harvest House Publishers

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

53 years, which is how long it took me to learn to write and to ride the wilderness

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

None, this is a cutting-edge family devotional that will keep your teens on the edge of their seat.

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My desire to share life-lessons with people, combined with a couple nudges from God, led me to corral this collection of Authentic Wild West adventures.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Do you enjoy the wilderness? My readers say that they leave the hustle and bustle of the world behind and that they find themselves alongside me in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana, experiencing the sights, sounds, and adventures.

 I love keeping in touch with my readers. It’s be fun if you contacted me through my Website: http://RebeccaOndov.com and/or through Facebook.

Thank you for Hillari Delgado for including me in this blog hop. If you enjoy Regency romantic suspense, check out her new “Fatally Fun” novel Lavender Close.

Here’s the line-up for next week–for WEEK 28: THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP (December 30th). You’re going to enjoy these two authors and their books:

Barbara T. Marshall, who is the talk show host for the Barbara T. Marshall Show. She’s on a Mission to Help You Love Your Life! Described as energetic, dynamic, compelling and passionate with messages that reach right to the heart, Barbara has written Ransomed and its companion Study Guide, which helps women love themselves from the inside out. Find out more at http://www.loveyourlifeministries.org/

Linda Thomas, Who is an author of the Little Miss Frisky Children’s books. You can find out more at: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Miss-Frisky-Sister-ebook/dp/B00ACNA1U4

Divine Encounter on the 4th of July

July 6, 2012

If I would have known that God planned a “Divine Encounter” for my 4th of July I would have been bouncing off the walls with excitement and probably would have missed God’s timing. I was pretty excited already. My plans included a sunrise horseback ride in the mountains with a cup of coffee in hand. Before dawn I sat in my prayer chair sipping my first cup of coffee while reading my Bible and chatting with God about my day.

As I shared my plans, He gently rearranged them. Then one thing after another delayed me. By the time I drove out the driveway pulling the horse trailer it was 9:30 a.m. and He directed me to go to a trailhead an hour away. Although it wasn’t anything similar to my original plan I was thrilled because I was going riding. Little did I know that it was all about timing—His timing. Perfect timing down to the second so I could have what I call a “Divine Encounter.”

On my ride I met a woman who was by herself and felt all alone. Tears streamed down her face as she spread her mother’s ashes in the woods at what had been one of their favorite horseback riding spots. I was able to give her (a total stranger) a hug, pray for her, and share that God loved her. If I would have been a couple minutes sooner or later, I would have missed her. But God loves her so much that He had me at that location at that exact moment in time when she needed to know that He cared. Best of all, God gave me a new friend.

God loves you that much too. He’ll send people to comfort you if you need it. I’d like to encourage you to share your plans with God each morning. Ask Him to lead you in the way He wants you to go—and He’ll give you Divine Encounters.

I pray that your summer is filled with incredible adventures!

Love in Christ,

Rebecca

 

Join the Spring Fling!

April 21, 2012

This is so awesome—at the end of the month I’ll be doing a mailing to cowboy churches in the United States to let them know about my newly released devotional book “Heavenly Horse Sense”. I’ll be enclosing a coupon in the letter—and my publisher has offered to send a free copy to the first 50 cowboy churches that mail back the coupon to me. Wahoo! So if you attend a cowboy church or know of one that wants to be included, please email me this next week with the pastor’s name, church name and mailing address. You can get my email from my Website: http://rebeccaondov.com/Contact.html  Join in the spring fling by emailing me before April 28, 2012.

In the corral at home, Brian just tacked shoes on SkySong—1st set this year—and I can’t wait to put some miles on. If I lived a bit further south…like in Naples, Florida, I would have loved to put some miles on with one of my readers, Linda Kay Thomas.

Talk about creative! Linda Kay Thomas sent in the photo on the right which I’ve featured as the new photo on the “Horsing Around with God” page of my Website. Linda Kay says, “Frisky and I are going for a Red Shoes Ministry prayer walk through our neighborhood. This ministry was created to attract our neighbors’ attentiImageon as we walk through our neighborhood praying for them (it was not originally intended to include horses, but when I found Frisky’s red boots I decided to paint my riding boots red too and take her with me). Frisky is the same horse I wrote my children’s story about, ‘Little Miss Frisky’ A Story About an Unwanted Pony.”

Do you have a photo you’d like to share on my Website of how you “Horse Around with God”? For more details, check it out: http://rebeccaondov.com/Horsing_Around_with_God.html

Until next time~~Happy Trails to you!

Rebecca Ondov

Do You Have Any Interest in Writing?

June 17, 2011

Do you have any interest in writing? Or simply in organizing those pesky piles of paperwork? Have you ever gotten a great idea for a magazine article or a book, and didn’t know what to do with it? Do you find yourself shuffling through stacks of papers over and over, only to discover that you keep wasting time searching for something because you don’t know how to organize your writing business? I’ve been there and on Monday June 20th I’ll be sharing with you some of my secrets as I talk about “The Gold Rush! Seven Keys to Staying Organized and Crystalizing Your Focus.

 I’ll be tackling tough issues from what to do when you get an idea, form an outline, and forge a manuscript to how to store all this on your computer and in your file cabinets. Of course I’ll touch on quick tips to keeping track of your marketing as well as your accounting. I hope you join Felice and me for an hour of fun on Monday—and don’t forget to bring a pen and notepad so you can jot down some time-saving tips. Although this will be geared for writers, with a little tweaking, these tidbits can be put into practice to help organize any business/home school/or even the paperwork in your personal life.

 Join Felice Gerwitz and me June 20th at 3:30 EDT on Blog Talk Radio. Here’s the link: http://www.writingandpublishingradio.com/

 Have a great weekend!

Blessings,

Rebecca

Love–In Spite of…

May 31, 2011

Yesterday I stepped off the plane, returning from a visit with my parents. The highlight was celebrating their 60th anniversary—WOW, 60 years! And we love each other more deeply with every passing year. I’ve been in awe the last couple days, pondering, How did we become a loving family?  

The last couple weeks I’d invested every spare moment into planning the open house. I even put together a movie which we played in the background throughout the evening, starting with the old slides of us kids as babies and family vacations, up to the modern day photos of celebrating Dad and Mom’s birthdays with us wearing hillbilly teeth and dark sunglasses. (And yes, when possible, we’d sing Happy Birthday after taking a deep breath of helium so we could sound like the chipmunks…some folks never grow up.)

Last Friday night the three of us kids decorated the Youth Building at Mom and Dad’s church with balloons and flowers. The caterer brought in food, cake, and a punch fountain then a couple of Dad and Mom’s friends came to help. I was hoping for a good turn-out in spite of the fact that it was Memorial Day weekend and besides the fact that Mom is 86 and Dad’s almost 85, most of their contemporaries are long gone. But I needn’t have worried. The fun began when they and over 150 of their friends filtered in. Even Mom’s Maid of Honor—from 60 years ago graced us with her presence (what are the chances of that?). I was honored and humbled that so many came to pay tribute to them and again I pondered, Why?

At the end of the evening I felt like a part of the royal family as we sat on the stage and the cameras flashed. Perhaps we even looked and sounded like the perfect family. But how can families be perfect? When you take imperfect man and pair him with an imperfect woman then sprinkle on a couple imperfect kids who grow into wild teenagers…that’s a recipe for disaster.

But families and friendships aren’t about agreeing 100% of the time or being perfect. They’re about supporting each other by having the mercy to forgive and the grace to love…in spite of. And the only way that it’s possible is through Christ. Tonight when I place my head on the pillow, I’ll be marveling at how our family’s faith in Christ has held us through the storms of life and that God will continue to faithfully support us with each passing year.

And I’m praying that your faith in Him gives you hope, grace, mercy, peace, and most of all—love in spite of….

Blessings,

Rebecca

Dad & Mom's 60th Anniversary

A Bear Hug for a Wet Dog

April 10, 2011

The Wet Dog Today was my first “day off” since February so the dog and I hiked up to a high mountain lake. The crystal clear water reflected the blue sky and the snowcapped peaks, which rimmed the lake.

 While Sunrise swam, I napped on the sandy beach in the sunshine. Okay, the sand was between piles of snow :-)  but it was so relaxing to lay there. That was–until the dog rolled in the sand to dry off and snuggled next to me, putting her face on my chest. She stunk as only wet golden retrievers and water dogs do and clumps of sand fell on my face.

 

  True Love  I peeked through my closed eyelids, Her big brown eyes watched me. When I didn’t move, she nestled into me. Curling her front legs under my arm, she pushed her body against me. Water seeped through my fleece jacket and now I was covered in sand.

At first I wanted to scold her, but then I   realized that she wanted her whole body to be as close to me as she could possibly be, because she loves me.

The Bear Hug I wrapped my arms around her and my mind drifted to my relationship with Jesus. With nearly every step up the mountain, I had chatted with Him. I can’t seem to get enough of His presence. But I know that often times when I snuggle with Him, the cares of this world are sticking to me like sand and perhaps I appear to be soaking wet. Maybe I even smell like a “wet dog.” But He always opens His arms wide and gives me a big bear hug. That’s who love is. Love is a person. His name is Jesus and He loves you too—just try snuggling with Him when you’re covered in sand and He’ll wrap His loving arms around you and hold you tight.

  Wishing you a “wet dog” spring!

  Blessings, Rebecca

Don’t miss my BlogTalk Radio inteview and these encouraging words

January 25, 2011

On Wednesday January 26th at 11 am CST tune into BlogTalk Radio and listen in as

Julie Gorman of “His Love Extended” interviews me. Here’s the link

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cwa-radio/2011/01/26/his-love-extended

Do you feel like me, “What New Year’s? Wasn’t that about a year ago?”

 As I looked at the calendar this morning I realized that almost 1/12th of 2011 is gone–Poof! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I didn’t this year because so often I forget about them a week or two down the road when the excitement wears off.

 This year I’m doing something different. Throughout the month I’m asking myself three things: Did I stay in tune with my goals? Did I make a difference in somebody’s life? And most importantly, am I staying on track with what God wants me to do? Three easy questions. If the answer is no to any of them I choose to “tune up” what I’m doing. It’s nothing fancy like a New Year’s resolution, but it’s something that’s achievable. I like achievable because it gives me a chance to pat myself on the back and it inspires me to take another step forward.

I’d like to encourage you to ask yourself those three questions, and let me know what happens.

 Have a blessed 2011!

Rebecca


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