Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 119:9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.

How can anyone stay pure? Note first of all that the question is not, “How can a young person become pure?” nor is it, “Can a young person even be pure?”. We are made pure before God the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. Jesus forgives all of our sins and makes us pure before God. In Christ the old nature that causes us to sin is changed into the new nature that causes us to want to not sin. We desire to please God and live under His guidance and influence.

We stay pure by obeying God’s Word and following its rules. Our unwillingness to do it hinders our growth and discolors our souls. Every time we disobey God we put a chink in our armor of purity. Disobedience darkens our soul. It impacts our relationship with God. It pulls us away from God and the farther we get from God, the less pure we become. In fact, if we are not trying to live by God’s Word, we do not have pure hearts before God; we are not His children.

In order for us to remain pure we must obey God’s Word. We must purposely strive to know God’s Word and obey it. We can’t put into practice what we don’t know. So, we must constantly stay connected with the Word. We must read it, meditate upon it, and ask the Lord to help us live it out. We won’t be able to perfectly do it, but we will be able to do it more than we won’t. Our ability to live in obedience is directly connected to the effort and time we put into studying the Word. There is no sugarcoating it. In order to stay pure before God, we must invest our lives in His Word. We must strive daily to put into practice what we know and seek to learn more.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, both now and in eternity.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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The Sharpening Interview

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by Parker J. Cole

About a month and a half ago, I had the honor of being interviewed on a good friend of mine’s show entitled, ‘The Sharpening Report’. During the interview, we talked a lot about the rise of Christian Speculative fiction. With the popularity of speculative fiction in general, Christians whose voices have been silent by mainstream publishers now have a chance to write and merge their the faith with fantastical stories.

CLICK TO WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S36nlmBSepg

Josh Peck was one of the first people to contact me three years ago when I started my show. At the time, he only had one book he was promoting called Disclosure and was just growing his ministry. When he reached out to me, neither of us knew where God would place us.

Fast forward to now: Josh Peck is an avid researcher of fringe topics, vidographer at SkyWatchTV, host of The Sharpening Report and Into the Multiverse, and is the author of numerous books, including Quantum Creation: Does the Supernatural Lurk in the Fourth Dimension? and Cherubim Chariots: Exploring the Extradimensional Hypothesis. Josh has been featured on TV and radio shows, including SkywatchTV and The Hagmann and Hagmann Report.

Josh is also a family man. He is married to Christina Peck and has two beautiful children, Jaklynn and Nathan. Josh works in full time ministry, dedicating his life to The Sharpening Report, SkyWatchTV, Into the Multiverse, writing books, and providing for his family.

I can’t count how many times Josh has been a help to me in so many areas, from prayer to education, to just listening to me blab on, and on, and on. He’s a great friend and I was so pleased to be on his show again.

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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Author Interview

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by BJ Robinson

Tell us about one of your book heroines.

Alexis, called Lexie, in Siege of Azalea Plantation and Azalea Plantation vows to teach slaves to read even though it is dangerous and she’s warned against it. She’s also warned that it’s not wise to sharecrop her plantation when the war is not over, and the South hasn’t lost, that it could also prove dangerous. She’s warned not to discuss the fact that she has freed her slaves before the emancipation proclamation was even official, so she is in defiance of the times. These are Civil War historical romance novels.

Are there recurring themes throughout your books? Words or strengths/weaknesses that you are trying to touch on in your characters’ stories?

A young widow must learn to let go of the past to claim a future. She’s lost her new husband in the Civil War and will have his baby to rear. When Reese Armstrong appears in a Union blue uniform, she wants nothing to do with him and blames the Federals for her Luke’s death. She’s forced to deal with him when he uses her home for a hospital. Gradually he tugs at her heartstrings and makes her want to live again. She has to let him go to continue fighting in a war that never seems to end. Her strength lies in finding something productive to do with her time while he’s gone in teaching others how to read. Her weakness is worrying that she’ll lose another love to the same war.

Below is a short blurb about each of the books mentioned. Azalea Plantation is my newest release:

Alexis thought she’d never love again until Reese Armstrong made her want to live, but can she trust him? Is he a spy or traitor? Historical romance.

Reese Armstrong never thought he’d fall for a belle or any other woman after what happened to him. He stood staring after the buggy as it rolled away, dust flying from beneath the wheels. His heart went out to the young woman, but she sure was a feisty one. Those haunted eyes showed passion and love for the husband she’d lost. He felt a twinge of envy race through his heart. To be loved like that.

Lexie never thought she’d love again until Reese made her want to live. A young widow has to learn to let go of the past to claim a future for her unborn child and a life. http://www.amazon.com/Siege-Azalea-Plantation-Book-ebook/dp/B018JOIFRI

Book 1 – An explosion rocked the earth. Lexie gasped as it shook the ground beneath her feet, and she felt herself slide. Down she went, right down the embankment. She grabbed at tree roots as she slid. It was nearly

dark. She wondered if she’d be found. Alexis never thought she could love again until Reese Armstrong made her want to live. Reese never thought he’d fall for a belle or any other woman after what he’d been through. http://www.amazon.com/Siege-Azalea-Plantation-Book-ebook/dp/B018JOIFRI/

The awaited sequel to Siege of Azalea Plantation is here! Book 2 in the Azalea Plantation Series.

Reese Armstrong recently married Alexis, but he must leave her after a short honeymoon to continue fighting the Civil War with Sherman in Georgia.

Lexie’s heart breaks when he decides she’d be safer at his uncle’s plantation near New Orleans, and she must leave her beloved home. Warned on the Natchez, trouble soon strikes in New Orleans and leaves her to wonder if she’s made the right decision. Will she ever see little Reese, her husband, or her beloved home again? http://www.amazon.com/Azalea-Plantation-Siege-Book-ebook/dp/B01CSOTHQS/

Bio:

B. J. RobinsonB. J. Robinson is blessed with five children and thirteen grandchildren. If you would like to explore the various genres she’s written, please check out her Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458731934&sr=1-2-ent

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God’s Hope for Us

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By: Staci Stallings

The following is a sermon preached in Staci Stallings’ brand new release, “Mirror, Mirror” available now…

“In the words of St. Paul that Sister Phillis read so eloquently,” Pastor Steve said. “We hope for what we do not see, what we cannot see. Who hopes for something they already have, right? St. Paul, the man of wisdom, tells us that hope must be ours especially when we cannot see how something will work out. And he goes on to tell us how to have hope. It’s not about knowing what we can do to fix things. It is about having hope in our weakness, in our frailty, in the midst of our human suffering and trials. Hope is not about when things are going well. Hope is about when we’re stuck in yuck, and there doesn’t seem to be a way out of it.

“Hope is what says, ‘God has a way even when there seems to be no way.’ In fact, the Scriptures today tell us that even when we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit will step in and pray for what we most need. This is being in the middle of God’s grace. Seeing our circumstance and knowing we don’t know how to fix it but knowing that even if we don’t, He does.”

Sage smiled, wondering if he had written these words for her. If so, she was thankful.

“I want you to understand that just as we cannot be faithful enough in our own faith. We also cannot be hopeful enough in our own hope. There will come a time and a place where we’re going to want to give up because we don’t see how this is ever going to get any better. That’s when we have to stop relying on our own hope and start grabbing onto His hope. God’s hope, just like His grace and His mercy, does not end. He never gives up on us. Ever. He doesn’t say, ‘Well, okay, I’ve wasted enough time on him or on her. I give up.’ God never gives up. He is constantly working to set things right in our lives, in your life, in a very up-close-and-personal way. Why?

“Because He made you with a purpose. He set you where you are, as you are so that the world can see Him working in your life. So when things go wrong and we make bad choices or wind up on the downside of the up ladder, remember that God is not finished with you. If you will let Him, He can take even this and show you Him and by doing so, He will show the world Himself as well. With this in mind, we strive forward, forgetting what has gone before, reaching for that prize of faith, which is Jesus Christ Himself standing before us ready to welcome us home—not some day in Heaven. Right now. If we will let Him. He hopes for us, and He never gives up. Let our hope begin to be found in Him as we reach up and let Him take hold of our lives in a powerful, real way today. So that His life, His love, His faith, His mercy, and His hope will be channeled through our lives into the world that needs Him so desperately. Amen.”

Closing her eyes, Sage breathed a sigh of peace. God had a plan, and if He hadn’t given up on them, she wasn’t going to either. “Amen.”

“Mirror Mirror encompasses a romantic relationship, of course, but other relationships are equally important here. Broken family relationships, marital infidelity, lies and slanders, sibling jealously, and emotional/psychological abuse are at the root of Sage’s victimization by those who should have protected her most.”

💝 💝 💝 NEW RELEASE 💝 💝 💝

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EM3SW2S 

💙 💙 NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED 💙 💙

Mirror, Mirror

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Pastor Jim Hughes
CrossPs. 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

We don’t know what is going to be in our day. For some of us, there will be great blessings from God. For some of us, there will be great difficulty or even suffering. For some of us, there will be much opposition to our faith. Some of us will experience ridicule because of our faith. Some of us will face unexpected circumstances that will throw us for a loop.

The attitude we have before we get started on our day will determine how we face whatever we may encounter today. If we are determined to be positive and praise the Lord no matter what, we will have a great day. If we are not determined to see opportunities to praise Him, we will probably not have such a great day. Each day is a gift from the Lord. He gives us life and the opportunity to live it to the fullest. He wants us to have fun as we go through our day. He wants us to see good in all things. The enjoyment we gets from today is directly related to our ability to praise the Lord. There are lessons to learn today. There are things we must go through to grow stronger in our faith. There are things we must do and say as a witness for Him. There are things we will face that require us to go through by faith and not by sight.

The choice is yours to make. You can have a great day in the Lord by being thankful and rejoicing in it, or you can have a lousy day by letting circumstances dictate how you feel. Don’t let your experiences determine whether or not you will rejoice. Be determined before you even start your day that you WILL rejoice and be glad in it.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Coming Soon: Conflict of the Ages Part V: The Ancient World by Mary C. Findley

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coa 5 student ebook 25

coa 5 teacher ebook 25

“We forget everything. What we remember is not what actually happened, not history, but merely that hackneyed dotted line they have chosen to drive into our memories by incessant hammering.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell

And [Abraham] said unto [the rich man in Hades], “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31

“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:46-47

Setting the historical timeline straight, this volume takes you through the Conventional Chronology flaws to discovering the fallacy of the 500 years of dark ages secularists want to insert into World History. It’s unnecessary if you just believe the Scriptures and examine the evidence with a true open mind.

We are seeking Beta readers with a knowledge of history and/or science to help vet the book. Please let us know at mjmcfindley@gmail.com if you are interested! Following are just a few of the hundreds of illustrations to whet your appetite.

2 globes and supercontinent

320px-Mesopotamian_weights_made_from_haematite

Mesopotamian Hematite weights

364px-Shang_dynasty_inscribed_tortoise_plastron

Tortoise Shell Oracle Bone with early Chinese script

451px-Prologue_Hammurabi_Code_Louvre_AO10237

Prologue to Hammurabi’s Law Code

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Reflection Of Hope

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By: CJ Peterson

They say that a “man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.” Hope can be the difference between success and failure. You can withstand so much if you know you have people who support you and are looking out for you. You can face just about anything, as long as you don’t lose the hope that you can succeed. Even hope and faith as tiny as a mustard seed can produce mountainous amounts of blessings.

Now, does that mean you will be successful at everything you go after? Absolutely not. As Ralph Nader said, “Your best teacher is your last mistake.” If you continue to persevere, learning from your failures, you will eventually succeed. Whether it’s running, walking, or crawling…progress is progress. There are a couple of people I am currently working with right now, who I have had to repeatedly remind them that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Take things a little at time. As it is often said, “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins…not through strength, but through persistence. Persistence and hope are both keys to success.

 

PersistenceHope

Even in the darkest rooms, a tiny candle can shed light. The lighthouse that sends its light to warn sailors of dangerous areas or points of navigation, are only lit by a 250-1000 watt light bulb, but can be seen anywhere from 14-19 miles away. The difference? The light reflects off mirrors. Is your ‘light’ reflecting to help others? Are you being an encouragement to those around you?

lighthouse

In Matthew 5:14-16, it reminds us that as Christians, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”” Is your spiritual light reflecting off of the Father? Are you sharing your light to help those lost in darkness? In these dark times, we need to reflect the light, love, and life of Jesus to the world.

Who is your light? Where does it come from? As Christians, John 8:12 tells us, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”” No matter what you are going through, if you have Jesus in your life and heart, the darkness can never overtake you. Stay focused on Him, and He will bring you through whatever life brings. Let Him be your hope and strength. When you don’t think you can hold on any longer, let Him carry you. He never said life would be easy, nothing good in life ever is, but He did say that He would never leave you.

Some people aren’t sure how to take that first step. They’re afraid or self-conscious about what making such a drastic life change will do to their lifestyle. Can they trust someone they can’t readily see? Some are nervous on what to say to the Lord God Almighty in prayer. He knows your heart. Just have an honest and open conversation with Him, and then let Him do the rest. Read His Words in the Bible, allowing them to help guide and direct your steps. He placed the Bible in the world for a reason. B.I.B.L.E. is sometimes described as “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” You want an owner’s manual to life? There you go!

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Let Him show you what purpose He has placed you on this earth for. It may not necessarily be what you want, or what you planned, but I promise you that you will be blessed if you trust Him and let Him show you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Does that sound like someone who intends to destroy you or help you?

I want to encourage you to stay focused on Jesus. Be the stream, not the rock. Pray for endurance. Know the Lord has a plan. And finally, be a reflection of hope to the world. Let them know where your hope, faith, and trust lies, sharing the light and hope with them.

About the Author:

C. J. PetersonI was raised in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Like many young people, I left home as soon as possible, and went my own way, thinking I knew better. To me anything was better than where I was. Unfortunately, some of the choices I made led me away from the Lord, and sometimes that path was a dangerous one.
God is faithful, even when His children are lost and wandering. When I needed Him most, the Lord was there for me. He led me out of that danger and into a new life…a life where I am loved and appreciated. He taught me what ‘real love’ is, and what it’s supposed to look like through my family and wonderful husband.
Who knew that “Prince Charming” actually existed? I hoped and prayed he was out there, and I found him! He is a 24 year Navy veteran and the love of my life! With his encouragement, I rediscovered the creativity I thought I had lost a long time ago, and have begun to publish the books I have written through the years. The words in these books helped me through my struggles, and my prayer is they will help others.
The way in which I write my Christian Books, is unique to say the least. I am a realistic Christian. People are people, they stumble, they fall, they trip, but God continues to dust us off, and set us back on the path again, if we just learn to trust in Him.
The challenges faced in my past give me a perspective on the realities of living the Christian life that some people may never see. There are times we wander away from God…there are times when we draw closer to Him. In our arrogance we think we can make it on our own. However, the One who made this world, and who made you, has the answers, and thankfully, He forgives our impudence and petulance and loves us through it all. God is a God of love, mercy, grace, and guidance. He loves us and only wants the best for us.
Those who have read my books, describe them as encouraging, frustrating, and a wonderful read all at the same time. The same character that could have you crying one minute, will have you cheering the next! One of my editors, stated that ‘she was so into the story, that she forgot to edit, and had to go back to do the editing’.
I pray you will enjoy my books as well!

While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.

Visit CJ’s websitehttp://cjpetersonwrites.com/

Follow her on FBhttp://www.facebook.com/writingbycjpeterson

Follow her on Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/authoress_cj

Follow her on Pinteresthttp://pinterest.com/authoresscj/

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You Never Know

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by Patricia PacJac Carroll

I was going to write a different post. Our anniversary is July 13th. Forty-three years of a happy marriage. My happily-ever-after story. Then something happened.

We’re having our house painted and rotted wood replaced. The workers just started yesterday. The first one to arrive, Allan, introduced himself and waited for the rest to show up. Nice man. That was as much as I knew about him.

He died that day on the way home from work.

I’ll never see him again. No one will.

This morning, the rest of his coworkers are pounding away and continuing on with their lives. Life, and death, are that way. One life ends, another is born, and life goes on.

I’m glad to say I was friendly and welcoming to Allan. But it is such a warning to watch what you say to others for you never know if you will ever see them again.

What does the Bible say? 1 Peter 1:24 (KJV) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

How fearfully and wonderfully we are made. Strong and resilient enough to endure such hardship, yet our lives are held on a tender thread. But take comfort for the Lord holds that thread in His hands. He knows the days of our lives. The time when our life in earth will end.

But we do not know.

Today, hold those you love close, and those you despise treat with kindness. For no one knows the day or hour when their thread will be cut and their life ended. Keep close to the Lord and keep an attentive ear to the Spirit and His leadings.

Be quick to give the Good News and just as quick to treat others as you want to be treated. That teller at the bank that is taking too long, the person in front of you in the less-than-twenty line at Walmart who clearly needs remedial math, the driver who cut you off – any one of them may or may not be here tomorrow.

You never know.

But how comforting to know that you treated them with kindness. That you weren’t rude, but caring. That you didn’t yell at them, but prayed for them. Smile – it doesn’t hurt. Beef up your vocabulary with words that bring life, encourage, and lift up.

Throw out the harsh, beat down words that have flooded our culture. Yes, in many ways, we live in a culture of death. Just watch the news and movies. But we are strategically placed in this world by a Knowing God. He’s put us as lights to lead others to Him. Don’t dim your light with meanness.

Treasured Love

For you never know. I have a new book out ~ Treasured Love https://www.amazon.com/Treasured-Love-Treasure-Harbor-Book-ebook/dp/B01HLIUY7C/

Kori James is looking for treasure and a fresh start. What she’s not looking for is a good time with a handsome, care-free guy. She’s been there done that and fears following in her mother’s staggering footsteps.

Max Triton loves the sea and has a reputation of loving the ladies as well. But things are changing. For one, the town has been flooded with treasure hunters looking for the Burton-Callahan lost treasure. Max wants nothing to do with lost bounty. Then he sees Kori and a hidden place in his heart is unlocked.

About the Author:
Patricia PacJac Carroll

Patricia PacJac Carroll~ I am a writer, Christian first, and blessed beyond my imagination. I live in the Dallas-Ft Worth area of Texas with my wonderful treasure of a husband, my spoiled dog, Jacs, and my awesome grown son, Josh. Did I say I was blessed? The PacJac is from my initials and my husbands. I wouldn’t be able to write if it weren’t for him.I love adventure and the open road. The stories of the western era have always been a favorite of mine. I enjoy writing, and my goal is to write stories readers will enjoy.

Hope you are enjoying the series ~ Mail Order Brides of Hickory Stick. I’ll have a new series this year set in Montana – Solomon’s Valley ~ First book is The Feud.

My blogs http://patriciapacjaccarroll.blogspot.com/
Also on FB http://www.facebook.com/PatriciaPacJacCarrollAuthor
Twitter https://twitter.com/@PacJac
Email pacjaccarroll@aol.com

You can find all my books on my Patricia PacJac Carroll Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-PacJac-Carroll/e/B008R9JCN2/

And if you want to know when my next HEA book is coming out – sign up for my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bpPmbP

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Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 118:8 It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in people.

In case you haven’t noticed it yet, people will disappoint you. People will not always treat you fairly or nice. People will not always have your best interests in mind. People will not always be honest with you. In other words, people are unreliable. You must be wise in whom you trust. Trust only those who have earned the right to be trusted. And, it takes time to observe a person in action before you know whether or not they can be trusted. Don’t just jump into a relationship with someone you don’t know anything about. Check them out. If you need help in discerning someone’s character, go to the Lord who knows the heart of every soul.

One of the problems with people is that we are all sinners. No one is going to act perfectly towards you all the time. Everyone is capable of breaking your trust in them. It is why grace is so important in our lives. Not every misstep is worthy of a broken trust. We need to extend grace to others as much as we can. There are certainly issues that arise that are worthy of a broken trust, but don’t hold all people at arm’s length out of fear they can’t be trusted.

You may not be able to trust some people, but you can always trust in the Lord. The Lord never varies in who He is. He is absolute Truth. He is always holy. He will never let you down. He will never seek anything but your good. He will always act in a loving way toward you. The Lord is always worthy of your trust. If you will let Him, He will take care of you and bring to completion all the good He has planned for you.

You can trust the Lord with anything and everything. He will never violate your trust in Him. He always keeps do what He says He will do. He will always be who He is. Put your life in His hands. The more you learn from Him, the more confidence you will have in His trustworthiness. God earned your trust in Him at Calvary.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Giving to Get; Getting to Give

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By: Staci Stallings

Giving. It’s such a loaded word—especially in the church. In fact, I saw a cartoon the other day that had a guy passing the plate wearing a “We Give Online” T-shirt in case anyone thought he was shirking his tithe.

Although there are many verses in the Bible about giving, I don’t believe God ever meant for this to become a hard-and-fast-if-you-don’t-give-X-amount-you’ve-sinned rule. It’s kind of like encouraging your child in something that gives them pleasure—photography, music, science. You encourage them to take classes or join clubs or do activities on their own. They enjoy the activity, it increases their knowledge and understanding, and they are more likely to do more of it, which perpetuates the cycle.

Same with giving, except we get it so very, very wrong.

Instead of learning to give with a generous heart, we learn to give with a guilty or resentful one. Guilty if we don’t compare well with the gift of others, resentful if we are continually guilted into giving more when we really don’t want to.

But it was never meant to be like this. God says He loves a cheerful giver, and no, that doesn’t mean you fake it. It means you stop giving to get and start getting to give.

What do I mean by that?

One of my favorite kick-back pastimes is to read Dear Abby. I don’t know why, but I enjoy doing that. One of the most common types of letters Abby gets goes something like this: “We sent our niece a vase for her wedding six months ago, and we have not gotten a thank you note yet. Do you think we should point this out to her mother, just, you know, to make sure she got it?”

Seriously, people! A GIFT is a GIFT. If it’s not a gift, it’s a bribe.

When you give something with the intent of getting something out of it (yes, even a thank you!), you’ve established a deal, not given a gift.

This thinking gets further skewed in the church. How many times have you heard, “God will repay you tenfold…”? So people ‘give’ with the intent that God had better live up to His side of the ‘bargain.’ When they don’t see the tenfold thing happening, they get resentful of God and believe He doesn’t live up to His promises.

PLEASE! Nothing could be further from the truth!

The problem here is the heart the gift is given with, not the gift itself, nor the promise.

You see, I believe that we should think in terms of getting to give, rather than giving to get.

In my world, I don’t have to give anything, but I get to give so much. I get to give of my time because God schedules things so I can. I get to give of my finances because we have more than enough. I get to give of my talents to those who need a helping hand in the writing world or the spiritual world.

This is not a burden. It’s an unspeakable JOY!

And my kids are learning this joy as well. When my son was in second grade, he came out of school one day and asked if we could go get a wall clock. Not really sure why he would want a wall clock, I asked him what he was going to use it for. He said, “Well, Mrs. J gets so frustrated when we’re in the blue room because there isn’t a clock in there. I just thought it would be nice to give her one.”

He was right. It was nice. Really nice. In fact, it made her day.

Not long after that, my middle child who had just started middle school at the time came home with the story of how some of the boys in her class had broken her teacher’s crayons. That made the teacher really sad. My daughter asked if we could go get some new crayons, and “maybe even the big size, Mom, so she will have more than enough.”

More than enough. What a concept. And what a beautiful lesson for my daughter when the teacher broke down in tears when presented with the gift.

All the way to the other day when one of their other teachers ran out of dry erase markers trying to write notes on the marker board. What did my oldest two daughters decide to do? Why, go to Wal-Mart, buy the nice dry erase markers in multiple colors, and hang them in a nice gift bag on the teacher’s door as a surprise.

The teacher still doesn’t know who gave her those markers, and she never will because for my girls it’s about getting to give, not about giving to get. It’s an amazing way to live when you finally understand that lesson.

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2014

 “Really enjoyed the honesty of life’s trials and fears in this book. The following of Godly principles bringing peace. A good book of overcoming.”
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“Contemporary Christian Romance at its best!”
~~~  THE LONG WAY HOME ~~~

Long Way Home

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

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