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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Today's Reading-- CS Lewis


[One of the most unpopular of the Christian virtues] is laid down in the Christian rule, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ Because in Christian morals ‘thy neighbour’ includes ‘thy enemy’, and so we come up against this terrible duty of forgiving our enemies.

Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive, as we had during the war. And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger. It is not that people think this too high and difficult a virtue: it is that they think it hateful and contemptible. ‘That sort of talk makes them sick,’ they say. And half of you already want to ask me, ‘I wonder how you’d feel about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a Pole or a Jew?’

So do I. I wonder very much. Just as when Christianity tells me that I must not deny my religion even to save myself from death by torture, I wonder very much what I should do when it came to the point.

I am not trying to tell you in this book what I could do—I can do precious little—I am telling you what Christianity is. I did not invent it. And there, right in the middle of it, I find ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us.’ There is no slightest suggestion that we are offered forgiveness on any other terms.



From Mere Christianity

Friday, June 19, 2015

New today! Writing Devotional by Dianne J Wilson

                                                        He’s a Keeper!

Over a decade ago, God leaned down and nudged me… maybe you should write a novel. I argued with Him, “But Lord, novels are not important. They don’t have the power to change lives. I want to write words that matter!” His answer surprised me, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.  Jesus told stories.

Jesus told stories. That was enough to launch me into wrestling eighty thousand words into submission.  Much like stuffing an octopus into my mailbox, I grappled with character arcs and plot, themes and sub-themes. When the first one didn’t find a publisher, I wrote the second. I faced my nemesis daily: doubt, fear of rejection. How does one take so much time away from your family in the hopes that a publisher will take a liking to it?

And then one did. And that brings us to today – release day for Finding Mia from Pelican / Harbourlight. 

 As I look back over the last decade of writing, hoping, polite rejection letters and tears, there is one thing that stands out to me through it all. Jesus is the keeper of my heart. From that first whisper, through all the times I quit writing (and then came back) He kept me on track. He kept the dream alive long after I was ready to take a shovel to it and bury it out back beneath the daisy bush.

 Friends, He is a keeper! 

He kept me hoping. He kept me believing. He kept me writing. And He will do the same for you. He is well able to tend the dream He planted inside you until the day shoots break the surface and become visible to those around you. He will coach you, teach you what you need to know, fling wide doors of opportunity in the right place, at the right time. Take courage, He can keep you beyond where you can keep yourself.



Dianne J. Wilson is a freelance writer and novelist from East London, South Africa. She is mom to three girls and wife to Scott, who, being the only male other than the St Bernard, is horribly outnumbered and has learnt to dodge flying hormones. Her first 'official' novel, Finding Mia, releases from Pelican / Harbourlight today.



Isobel is on the hunt for her missing muse. What she finds instead is an abandoned toddler who is sunburned and close to death. Dr Liam Brigham keeps little Mia alive, but needs Isobel to save the girl from a far greater danger--a killer with an agenda for kidnapping.
 
With Mia's life next in line, Isobel and Liam have to put aside their differences, face their past and throw their trust at the only One able to save. 









Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Morning ----Charles Spurgeon    


"The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."
Psalm 126:3




Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them. But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, "I will speak, not about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad." Such an abstract of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we have been through them safely and profitably; we have not remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who has brought us "out into a wealthy place." The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life's song, "He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."

Friday, May 22, 2015

New Fiction From Dana Pratola

The Voice of Truth

Seeking the truth brought them together. Finding the truth may tear them apart.


Sophia is an extremely private, yet world-famous singer. She wants to share her God-given gift with the world while trying to keep her secrets to herself. That’s made difficult when her publicist talks her into allowing a biographer to research her life. Cade is an expert investigator, determined to meet the real Sophia, the self she hides from the world. Yet she gradually finds herself interested in learning his secrets as well. Theirs is a beautifully written love story that kept me reading straight through to the end.




EXCERPT: 

“What does your book entail, exactly?” she asked.
“That depends on you.” He could see her bristle. “Look, I’m going to write the book, anyway,” he told her clearly when she arched one perfectly sculpted brow. “We can do it my way, where you let me in your life for a while, give me exclusive insight into your mind, your past, your dreams.” He paused. When she did no more than quietly stare at him, he continued. “Or we do it your way, where you resist me, I tail you, probably misinterpret some things, get half-truths from jealous no-talents, and draw my own conclusions. My way’s best for both of us.”
Sophia stopped twisting the chain on her neck and eyed him evenly. “Can’t you just tell me what you want so we can discuss it, and find mutually acceptable ground?”
He couldn’t stop the laugh any more than he could stop reaching for her hand and pulling her to her feet along with him. She was absolutely charming, in a quietly indignant, difficult sort of way.
“That’s funny. Really.” He kept her hand in his as he walked with her to the door, taking his jacket as he went.
She was something, even when she used her eyes as daggers as she did now. Despite being glossed over with a palate of makeup, her face had only come by way of genetics. She shared some traits with another famous Sophia of Italian movie prominence, with the almost overly large mouth and dark, sultry glare that could skewer a man at thirty paces.
But, it was there the resemblance ended, for her body was tight and compact, with softer curves, but that was another matter, and one he wouldn’t dwell on.
“I know you don’t trust me,” he told her, unperturbed by the way she tried to tug free. “I can respect that. I don’t trust anyone, either. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to argue with you. I have a meeting with my publisher in less than an hour.”
Her brow raised again, and it gave him the impression of a queen, pronouncing sentence on a lowly peasant. Now that he thought of it, there might be some imperial affiliation in her lineage, maybe a monarch or two. He would add that to his research.
“Well,‛ Sophia said, dislodging her hand at last. “I won’t keep you.”
“Sophia—“ Kitty began.
“I’ll think it over and get back to you,” Sophia said, making no effort to disguise her annoyance.
Cade had to admire her spirit, even as she opened the door and backed him into the hall. “I need an answer by Wednesday.” He still admired it when the door closed in his face. He grinned when he heard the snap of the lock.



Available Now! 


Visit Dana here...






Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Today's Reading-- CS Lewis


Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children’s games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups—playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits so that the pretence of being grown-up helps them to grow up in earnest.

Now, the moment you realise ‘Here I am, dressing up as Christ,’ it is extremely likely that you will see at once some way in which at that very moment the pretence could be made less of a pretence and more of a reality. You will find several things going on in your mind which would not be going on there if you were really a son of God. Well, stop them. Or you may realise that, instead of saying your prayers, you ought to be downstairs writing a letter, or helping your wife to wash- up. Well, go and do it.



From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 03:00 AM PDT
Author: Steve Laube

Twelve years ago this week (April 28, 2003) Apple announced the launch of a new way to buy digital music. The iTunes Store. (Click for the original press release.) It started with 200,000 songs available for purchase. (Today there are more than 26 million songs available for sale.) The iTunes software had been introduced a couple years earlier, but now it became a commercial venture. A place where you could buy your favorite song for 99 cents and carry it with you without having to buy the entire CD and “rip it” and then download the song to your iPod. You could ditch the CD entirely!
Only twelve years ago. Where were you in April 2003? I was one month removed from leaving Bethany House Publishers and starting a new life as a literary agent. Michael Jordan had just officially retired from the NBA. The U.S. was five weeks into the Iraq war and Baghdad had just fallen. The number one song on the Billboard chart was “In Da Club” by 50 Cent. And there was a new hit show on TV called “NCIS.” (Note that youtube.com didn’t hit the internet until 2005!)
Fast forward a bit and we find that in Fall 2013 the 25 billionth song (billion with a ‘b’) was downloaded from iTunes. That is 3.5 songs for every man, woman, and child on the planet earth.
Little did anyone realize the disruption this technology would create in the music industry.

Read the rest here:

Sunday, April 19, 2015


On free will...





The sin, both of men and of angels, was rendered possible by the fact that God gave them free will: this surrendering a portion of His omnipotence (it is again a deathlike or descending movement) because He saw that from a world of free creatures, even though they fell, He could work out (and this is the re-ascent) a deeper happiness and a fuller splendour than any world of automata would admit.




---CS Lewis,  from Miracles