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Saturday, March 28, 2009

All Things Are Possible


An excerpt from today's devotional from Liveprayer.com:


There are many great and precious promises in the Bible. In the Book of John
Chapters 14, 15 and 16 we are told by the Lord that God will give us what we
ask for in the name of Jesus. In Matthew chapter 7 we are told to "Ask, and
it shall be given you." The 37th Psalm tells us that He will give us the
"desires of our heart."

Today, I want to give you a promise in the Bible that will literally
transform your life. They are 6 words spoken by Jesus that can make all the
difference in your life this very moment. Individually, they are just 6
common words. But put together as they were by our Lord, they give us one of
the greatest promises we have in God's Word. This is YOUR promise today!

"ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD." (Mark 10:27)

That means if you are sick in your body, God can heal you! That means if you
need a financial miracle, God is your source! That means if your marriage is
in trouble, God can restore it! That means if you need a job, God can open
the doors for employment! That means if you are in some form of bondage, God
can set you free! That means if your children are away from God, God can
bring them home! That means if you have lost a loved one, God can ease the
pain! No matter what your need is today, God is able to meet that need!

YOUR promise today is 6 words from Jesus, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Turning The Paige

Zondervan (March 1, 2009)

by

Laura Jensen Walker



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Jensen Walker is an award-winning writer, popular speaker, and breast-cancer survivor who loves to touch readers and audiences with the healing power of laughter.

Born in Racine, Wisconsin (home of Western Printing and Johnson’s Wax—maker of your favorite floor care products) Laura moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she was in high school. But not being a fan of blazing heat and knowing that Uncle Sam was looking for a few good women, she enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after graduation and spent the next five years flying a typewriter through Europe.

By the time she was 23, Laura had climbed the Eiffel Tower, trod the steps of the Parthenon, skied (okay, snowplowed) in the Alps, rode in a gondola in Venice, and wept at the ovens of Dachau. She’d also learned how to fold her underwear into equal thirds, make a proper cup of English tea, and repel the amorous advances of a blind date by donning combat gear and a gas mask.

Laura is a former newspaper reporter and columnist with a degree in journalism who has written hundreds of articles on many subjects ranging from emu ranching and pigeon racing to goat-roping and cemetery board meetings. However, realizing that livestock and local government weren’t her passion, she switched to writing humor, which she calls a “total God-thing.”

Her lifelong dream of writing fiction came true in Spring 2005 with the release of her first chick lit novel, Dreaming in Black & White which won the Contemporary Fiction Book of the Year from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her sophomore novel, Dreaming in Technicolor was published in Fall 2005.

Laura’s third novel, Reconstructing Natalie, chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006, is the funny and poignant story of a young, single woman who gets breast cancer and how her life is reconstructed as a result. This book was born out of Laura’s cancer speaking engagements where she started meeting younger and younger women stricken with this disease—some whose husbands had left them, and others who wondered what breast cancer would do to their dating life. She wanted to write a novel that would give voice to those women. Something real. And honest. And funny.

Because although cancer isn’t funny, humor is healing.

A popular speaker and teacher at writing conferences, Laura has also been a guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows around the country including the ABC Weekend News, The 700 Club, and The Jay Thomas Morning Show.

Another book in this series is Daring Chloe

She lives in Northern California with her Renaissance-man husband Michael, and Gracie, their piano playing dog


ABOUT THE BOOK

At 35, Paige Kelley is feeling very "in between." She's still working her temp job after two years, still not dating three years after her divorce, and still melting at every chubby-cheeked toddler she sees while her biological clock ticks ever louder. Paige even moves back home to help her ailing, high-maintenance mother.It's not exactly the life she'd dreamed of!

When her Getaway Girls book club members urge Paige to break free and get on with her life, she's afraid. How will her mother react? How can Paige honor her widowed mother and still pursue her own life? The answers come from a surprising source.
A trip to Scotland and a potential new love interest help launch an exciting new chapter in her life, and lead Paige to discover that God's plan for her promises to be more than she ever imagined.

This latest release in the Getaway Girls collection delivers a smart, funny, and warm account of one woman's challenge to reconcile who she is - a dutiful Christian daughter - with the woman she longs to be.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Turning The Paige, go HERE

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Michal

Revell (March 1, 2009)

by

Jill Eileen Smith



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of several articles, poems, and stories, and her unpublished novels have placed in five writing contests in the past five years. A children’s story, which she wrote for her church led her youngest son to faith in Christ several years ago; much like a gospel tract led her to the Lord at a similar age.

That story, “Seeking Treasureland,” is now available. Jill is a member of several online writing groups and helps promote fellow authors’ works through monthly interviews on the "Spotlight" page of her website. She, along with her husband and children, are active members in their local church. A stay-at-home mom, she homeschooled the couple’s three sons for twelve years through high school, seeing them go on to higher education.

In her spare time, Jill teaches piano, reads, does picture scrap-booking, and enjoys trying out new recipes, especially those that include dark chocolate. Jill and her family make their home in Southeastern Lower Michigan.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Can their epic search for true love survive a father's fury?
The daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege--but one that is haunted by her father's unpredictable moods and competition from her beautiful older sister.

As a girl, Michal quickly falls for the handsome young harpist David. But soon after their romance begins, David must flee for his life, leaving Michal at her father's mercy in the prison that is King Saul's palace.

Will Michal ever be reunited with David? Or is she doomed to remain separated from him forever?

Against the backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and daring desert escapes, Jill Eileen Smith takes you on an emotional journey as Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as the first wife of King David. Jill Eileen Smith has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has gathered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Michal, go HERE

Monday, March 16, 2009

It was a Happy Birthday!


Yesterday, our family celebrated the 92nd birthday of my dear grandmother Madge. It was a wonderful day and I am thankful for everyone.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Beginner's Guide

There is a very funny post today over at Parchment and Pen.

The Beginners Guide to Christianity: Nineteen Things You Need to Know Right Now

by C Michael Patton


1. “Head bowed eyes closed . . .”: During a church service, you may hear a preacher abruptly break into this unexpected dialogue with the audience: “Heads bowed eyes closed. If you have accepted Christ into your heart [more later], I want you to raise your hand.” Don’t get scared. Nothing bad is going to happen to you. It is not a fancy way to steal your money or pull anything sneaky. It is the preachers way of helping the uncomfortable seeker feel more at ease about accepting Christ. It is best if you just follow instructions here.

2. “Into the Word”: This is a portion of an important phase that may be communicated by seasoned Christians in many different context. It always has reference to the Bible. Yes, I know, the Bible is more than one word, in fact it is thousands, but once you are a Christian, it becomes singular and has a definite article, “the,” attached to it. If you hear someone say “Are you in the Word?” this is another way of saying “You need to read the Bible if you are going to be spiritual like me.” IMPORTANT: This has no relation to the phrases, “Word to your mother,” “Word up,” or just plain “Word.”

3. Backslidden: This has no reference to the past event of sliding down a hill on your back. It is used to refer to those Christians who are now suspect in their original confession due to their current participation in a particular sin.

4. “Ask Jesus into your heart”: Although there is no where in Scripture that people are commanded to ask Jesus into their heart, this has become the primary means by which Evangelicals believe a person becomes a Christian. Don’t be scared here. Heart surgery, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular exercise (or lack thereof) have no bearing on Christ’s presence in your heart. He does not actually live there.

5. Soul Winning: Please understand, this is not a game. It is the act where by one person is tells another about Christ and the person believes, thereby having their souls “saved” (i.e. “won”). I know that normally if there are winners, you would think there are losers, but not in Soul Winning.

6. “I see that hand . . .”: This is related to #1. The pastor has just asked for raised hands while everyone’s heads are bowed and eyes closed. “I see that hand” can mean one of two things: 1) Someone is indicating that they have accepted Jesus by raising their hand. 2) The pastor is acting like someone has to be more heroic and finance the new building. VERY IMPORTANT: Avoid any temptation to look for the hand when the pastor says “I see that hand.” Although science is inconclusive, we are not sure if you looking for the hand raised has any bearing on the effectiveness of the salvation process. It is best to be safe and avoid giving in to this temptation. To be very spiritual, just thank the Lord for that person and pray that they become a Calvinist.

7. Contemporary Christian Music: Avoid at all costs. Yes, many of your Christian friends will act as if they like it. Musicians, sociologists, and psychologists are perplexed as to the reasons why. We believe it is due to the pressured environment of the Christian community for Christians to do all things Christian, but this has no bearing on your salvation. Please, don’t feel pressure to like it.

8. Christian Movies: See “Contemporary Christian Music.”


Read the rest here.

Friday, March 06, 2009

How do I hear God?

Thanks to Liveprayer.com for this excerpt--


One of the questions that I get daily is, " How do I hear God speaking to
me?" That is a great question and one of the most important things for a
follower of Christ to do, hear God's voice. The fact is, God not only does
speak to us, but speaks to us constantly throughout the day. As a matter of
fact, God NEVER STOPS SPEAKING TO US. I know this may come as a shock to
many, even those who have followed the Lord and heard His voice for many
years, but God is actually speaking to each of us non-stop, all the time.
The problem is, we are not always listening for His voice all the time.

There are 4 main ways God speaks to us. He speaks to us through His Word,
through our prayer life, through that "still small voice," through other
people, and He speaks to us through our circumstances. I do want to mention
that there is one other way God can speak to us, though it is very rare, and
that is audibly as He spoke to Saul on the Damascus Road. I personally have
never heard God speak to me audibly, and to be honest with you, am not sure
I really want to. I am very content hearing Him through the other 4 ways.

God speaks to us through His Word. Have you ever been reading the Bible and
a verse or passage jumped off the page at you, almost like it was "talking
to you?" IT WAS! That is how God speaks to us through His Word. We can read
the same verse or passage 10 times, and it may say something different to us
each time. As we read the Bible, we need to be listening to what God is
saying to us as we read. Those places that "speak to us" are God speaking to
us! God also is speaking to us when we pray. As we are in that time of
prayer, that "still small voice" inside of us is God. One of the most
important parts of our prayer time is the time we stop talking and listen.
Part of praying includes being silent to "listen to the voice of God." God
is talking to us if we will be quiet long enough to hear Him.

Another way we hear from God is through other people. God speaks to us all
the time through others, both those who know Him and those who don't.
Normally we hear God when He is speaking through our pastor, or someone we
are accountable to spiritually, often through a pastor, evangelist, or
teacher we may see on t.v., hear on the radio or a tape, or read in a book
or on the Internet. God speaks to us through other people all the time,
including those who may not know Him. He can use anyone to speak to us so we
need to be aware that God uses other people to communicate with us.

The last way God speaks to us is through our circumstances.

THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS AND NO COINCIDENCES WITH GOD!

There is no such thing as "chance" or "luck." One of the most powerful ways
God speaks to us is through the things that happen in our life, especially
those things that are totally out of our control. God is speaking to us all
the time through the events in our life and we need to realize that what
happens to us is happening for a reason. We may never fully understand or
comprehend that reason, but nothing happens in our life that God doesn't
allow.

Hearing from God is like anything else, it takes practice. If you want to
hear God's voice, you have got to practice listening to God's voice. The
more you practice hearing God, the more you WILL hear God. The first thing
you will be amazed at is how much God is speaking to you. Like I said
earlier, God is ALWAYS speaking to you. The problem is, we are not always
listening. The more you practice hearing God, the more you will hear God
since He is always speaking to you.

The other critical issue in hearing God is knowing His voice. You see, satan
also can talk to you in all these same ways I outline above. So, how do you
know you are hearing the voice of God as opposed to the voice of the great
deceiver? Again, the more you practice hearing God, the better you will
become in knowing the sound of His voice. As you practice hearing God speak
to you, you are also sharpening your discernment.

Here is the key. When God speaks to you, what He says will always be in line
with His Word. God will NEVER contradict His Word. God is not going to tell
you to do something that He has told you NOT to do in His Word. That is
another reason why it is so critical to read and study the Bible since it
helps you know what God says. When God is speaking to you, it is always in
line with His Word.

Lastly, let me share with you the main reason why people don't really want
to hear God's voice much of the time.

IF WE HEAR FROM GOD, THEN WE MUST OBEY GOD!

You see, most people really DON'T want to hear from God, since once they do,
they now need to obey Him. They feel better about themselves by tuning God's
voice out, and that way they can claim ignorance when they live in rebellion
to God. That is a game from the pits of hell. Don't you know that rebellion
brings consequences while obedience brings blessings? Why would you want to
tune out God's voice, just so you can do it your way, when you know in the
end, your way doesn't work? When you know in the end your way won't bring
blessings but consequences?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Double Minds

Zondervan (February 1, 2009)

by

Terri Blackstock



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Terri Blackstock hasn’t always written for the Lord. Just over a decade ago she was an award-winning secular novelist writing for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Silhouette. With thirty-two titles published and 3.5 million books in print, she found that she was miserable. The compromises she had made in her career had taken their toll on her spiritual life, and she yearned to renew her relationship with Christ.

After much soul-searching and wrestling with God, she finally told the Lord that she would never write another thing that didn’t glorify Him. Thinking she might never be published again, she began planning ways to supplement her income, while she worked on her first idea for a Christian novel.

Because she enjoyed reading suspense novels, she tried weaving a faith message into a fast-paced page-turner with ordinary people in jeopardy. When Christian publishers expressed great interest, she realized that a secondary job would not be necessary. God was paving the way for her to enter the Christian publishing world.

Since that time, she’s sold 2 million Christian novels. She has over thirty Christian titles, many of which have been number one best-sellers. Her latest book, Dawn's Light is part of her popular Restoration Series. True Light, reached number one on the Top 50 of all Christian books the first full month it was in stores. Night Light was the winner of the 2007 Retailer’s Choice Award for General Fiction. Other reader favorites include her Cape Refuge Series, her Newpointe 911 Series, her SunCoast Chronicles Series and her “Seasons” books written with co-author Beverly LaHaye.

Terri is literally a native of nowhere since she was raised in the Air Force, She makes her home in Mississippi. Terri and her husband are the parents of three adult children--a blended family which she considers one more of God's provisions.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Struggling to succeed in the Nashville music scene, talented singer/songwriter Parker James finds the competition fierce – even deadly. A young woman’s murder, industry corruption, and a menacing stalker draw Parker into danger and intrigue. Nothing is as it appears, and unraveling the truth challenges everything Parker believes about her talent, her future, and her faith.

The young girl with the Bohemian style was on the floor where she’d fallen, between Parker's computer case and her file cabinet. She wore a long, flowing skirt—lavender, the color of calm—and camel-colored Uggs. She lay on her back, her long, wavy blonde hair matted with blood.

For struggling singer/songwriter Parker James, the music business has just turned deadly. Her desk in the reception area of a busy recording studio has become a crime scene, and Parker finds herself drawn into a mystery where nothing is as it seems.

Unraveling the truth puts her own life at risk when she uncovers high-level industry corruption and is terrorized by a menacing stalker. As the danger escalates, Parker begins to question her dreams, her future, and even her faith.

Double Minds is a double treat—combining a compelling suspense novel with an inside look at the world of the Christian music industry in Nashville. Terri Blackstock grabs readers at page one and keeps them riveted until the final plot twist is untangled.

You can preview a Book Trailer on her site HERE

If you would like to read the first chapter of Double Minds, go HERE

Monday, March 02, 2009

God's Positive Answer

Thanks to Gail Gaymer Martin for sharing this:

God's Positive Answer

A writer, Cindy Bauer, sent me this list, and thought some of you may have seen it, I thought I would post on it for those who haven't.


So often in life, we are overwhelmed with all that we must do and all the problem life sends us. We are discouraged or frustrated. We feel lost and helpless, but God has answers for us, answers to give us courage and power.


You say: "It's impossible." God says: All things are possible. (Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired." God says: I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me." God says: I love you John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 )

You say: "I can't go on." God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corin 12:9/Psa 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out." God says: I will direct your steps.(Prov 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it." God says: You can do all things. (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able." God says: I am able. (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it." God says: It will be worth it. (Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself." God says: I Forgive you. (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage." God says: I will supply all your needs. (Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid." God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear. (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated." God says: Cast all your cares on ME. (I Peter 5:7)
You say: "I'm not smart enough." God says: I give you wisdom. (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone." God says: I will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)