Gems From Pastor Jim 4/23/2019

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by Jim Hughes

CrossIs. 29:16 “How stupid can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you. You are only the jars he makes! Should the thing that was created say to the one who made it, “He didn’t make us”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?

Let us think about this for a moment. How often do we question God? How often do we come up against things in our lives that we simply do not like and do not think is good in any way and then accuse God of not loving us? Do we blame God for what goes wrong with us? It happens, doesn’t it? How should we think about God when we don’t like what is happening?

We need to get to know God well enough to know who He is so we don’t turn on Him when things go bad. We need to know that God’s nature never changes. He is always good; He always does what is right. God is incapable of acting towards us in evil ways. He is holy love and always works for our good. He allows things to happen in our lives for our good. He desires that we grow through the tough times so our faith is made stronger. He knows what we need to experience so that we will become more holy and learn to trust Him more.

Instead of seeing things as bad, we need to see them as good. Circumstances do not define who God is. They do not reflect His love for us. He is in control of the lives of those who are committed to Him. He in His wisdom knows how to best help us become a holy people. Instead of complaining about our difficulties, we should see them as a good and necessary part of our lives. We should thank the Lord in the midst of our struggles for His goodness to us. We should get our eyes off of our problems and focus on the goodness and holiness of God.

It is foolishness to turn against God when things don’t go our way. He never promises that things will always be what we want them to be like. He never promises us an easy road to heaven. We need to grow up and deal with life positively and not negatively. All that blaming God does for us to push us away from God. Wise is he who draws near to God regardless of the circumstances that surround us. Wise is he who turns to God and seeks God’s help to overcome. Wise is he who knows how to praise the Lord in all things.

Before and After the Honeymoon

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 chapter 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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Two Giveaways & a New Release

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by Lisa Prysock

Hello GNF friends and readers.  It’s GIVEAWAY time!  I hope you had a blessed Easter celebration surrounded by family, friends, the Lord’s presence, and great food!  Spring is here and I’m anxious to get out in my garden and plant flowers and veggies.  Before you know it, summer will be here and then I’ll want to swim as much as possible.  That is, when I’m not writing or reading books. 

I’m excited to share my newest release with you, The Legend of Lollipop, Book 20 from the ‘Whispers in Wyoming’ seriesThe book can easily be read as a stand-alone. If you love a good horse story and sweet, inspirational romance with a Christian theme of winning, this book is for you.  Here’s a look at the beautiful cover. 

The Legend of Lollipop

https://www.amazon.com/Legend-Lollipop-Whispers-Wyoming-Book-ebook/dp/B07QQNW3MY/ 

Here’s the blurb–: 

Anastasia isn’t the least bit interested in a romance with Jed when her sister’s job placement agency sends her to work as a temp at The Sweetwater Ranch bakery. She finally has a chance to make one of her dreams come true by doing a great job managing the bakery. Maybe she’ll even get to ride the horses on the Wyoming ranch in her leisure time, or catch a glimpse of the wild horses she longs to own.

Jed’s laid back, fun-loving personality hasn’t helped him find a woman to settle down with, but he’s perfectly content working as a wrangler at The Sweetwater. However, he can’t deny the attraction he has for the new bakery manager when he meets Anastasia.

Landon, a prominent, esteemed horse trainer with notable success in quarter horse racing, arrives at The Sweetwater for one purpose only. A legendary horse and her three-year-old filly have been spotted there in recent weeks. He’s determined to capture the renowned horses. He finds himself distracted when Jed and Anastasia introduce him to her sister, Trisha, owner of a job placement service who takes her career as seriously as he does his own. 

Will this matchmaking couple, Jed and Anastasia, fall in love? And what of the legendary horses? Will they become the crowning glory of Landon’s extensive collection? Get your copy of this stand-alone Contemporary Christian Western Romance today! Clean, sweet, and romantic, don’t miss this inspirational adventure.

Some tips to make this story a more enjoyable read for you–:

  • In addition to the main characters of Jed and Anastasia, the character of Landon Callahan in this story was loosely inspired by prominent American horse trainer, Wayne Lukas. Wayne has raced and trained both quarter horses and thoroughbreds. If you watch the Kentucky Derby coming upon May 4thmight even hear his name 
  • In my research, I discovered there is a Triple Crown trio of horse races for not only the Derby here in Kentucky, but also for quarter horse racing. These races take place at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. 
  • You’ll also meet Trisha Halston in this story. She owns Halston Staffing and was inspired by the many years in which I worked in the job placement and human resources industry. 
  • There are many characters in this story, but you’ll also meet one named Riley. If you watch this Britt Nicole video called “Pave,” my inspiration for Riley is the little girl in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU71JOa_810

I’m giving away two eBook Kindle gift copies from Amazon to two random winners who leave a comment on this post.  I hope you love this story and enjoy horses as much as I do.  I spent part of my childhood growing up on a farm where we had horses, a cow named Daisy, and chickens.  Have you ever been to Wyoming or Yellowstone where the setting of this story is?  Tell me how your Easter was, or perhaps you have a horse or farm story to share with us.  Or, maybe you have a favorite dessert to share.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Here’s the link to the book.  Enjoy!   

https://www.amazon.com/Legend-Lollipop-Whispers-Wyoming-Book-ebook/dp/B07QQNW3MY/

Author Biography  

Lisa M. PrysockLisa M. Prysock is an award-winning, bestselling, Christian and inspirational author of 17 novels.  She and her husband of more than 20 years reside in Kentucky.  They have five children, grown.   

She writes in the genres of both Historical Christian Romance and Contemporary Christian Romance, including a multi-author Western Christian Romance series, “Whispers in Wyoming.”  She is also the author of a devotional.  Lisa enjoys sharing her faith in Jesus through her writing. 

She has many interests, but a few of these include gardening, cooking, drawing, sewing, crochet, cross stitch, reading, swimming, biking, and walking.  She loves dollhouses, cats, horses, butterflies, hats, boots, flip-flops, espadrilles, chocolate, coffee, tea, chocolate, the colors peach and purple, and everything old-fashioned.   

She adopted the slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl” because of her love for classic, traditional, and old-fashioned everything.  When she isn’t writing, she can sometimes be found teaching herself piano and violin, but finds the process “a bit slow and painful.”  Lisa enjoys working with the children and youth in her local church creating human videos and plays or programs incorporating her love for inspirational dance.  A few of her favorite authors include Jane Austen, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  You’ll find “food, fashion, fun, and faith” in her novels.  Sometimes she includes her own illustrations. 

She continues the joy and adventure of her writing journey as a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and LCW (Louisville Christian Writers).  Lisa’s books are clean and wholesome, inspirational, romantic, and family oriented.  She gives a generous portion of the proceeds to missions.    

Discover more about this author at www.LisaPrysock.com where you’ll find free recipes, devotionals, author video interviews, book trailers, giveaways, blog posts, and much more, including an invitation to sign up for her free newsletter. 

Links to Connect with Lisa: 

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMPrysock 

https://twitter.com/LPrysock  

www.LisaPrysock.com            

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J6MBC64   (Find all of Lisa’s books on Amazon at this link) 

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-m-prysock 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/500592113747995/      (Lisa’s Facebook reader & friends group) 

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Faith’s Checkbook: An Expert Searcher 4/19/2019

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“”For thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out” (Ezekiel 34:11).

This He does at the first when His elect are like wandering sheep that know not the Shepherd or the fold. How wonderfully doth the LORD find out His chosen! Jesus is great as a seeking Shepherd as well as a saving Shepherd. Though many of those His Father gave Him have gone as near to hell-gate as they well can, yet the LORD by searching and seeking discovers them and draws nigh to them in grace. He has sought out us: let us have good hope for those who are laid upon our hearts in prayer, for He will find them out also.

The LORD repeats this process when any of His flock stray from the pastures of truth and holiness. They may fall into gross error, sad sin, and grievous hardness; but yet the LORD, who has become a surety for them to His Father, will not suffer one of them to go so far as to perish. He will by providence and grace pursue them into foreign lands, into abodes of poverty, into dens of obscurity, into depths of despair; He will not lose one of all that the Father has given Him. It is a point of honor with Jesus to seek and to save all the flock, without a single exception. What a promise to plead, if at this hour I am compelled to cry, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep!”

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Verse of the Day and Devotion 4/18/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body.  – Romans 12:4-5 NLT

Devotion

In our verse for today, “Christ’s body” is used by the Apostle Paul as a metaphor for the church. We know this because he clearly identifies the two terms in a number of places. (e.g., Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:24) The word “church” is a translation of the Greek word “ecclesia,” which means “called out assembly of people.” In other words, the church, the body of Christ, is an assembly of people that have been called out of something.

From what have they been called out? The Apostle Peter says they have been called out of darkness and into the light of Christ. (I Peter 2:9) Similarly, Paul says they have been called out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of Christ. (Colossians 1:13) The members of the church, one might say, have been called out of the wicked way of life governed by Satan and into the righteous way of life governed by Jesus Christ.

How extensive is Satan’s dark reign from which the church has been called? Satan’s darkness has affected every area of life. There is no area of life that has not been twisted and perverted to one degree or another by Satan’s evil influence.

How extensive, then, is Christ’s reign of light to which the church has been called? The light of Christ has an effect on every area of life as well. There is no area of life that is not being restored and renewed to one degree or another by Jesus Christ’s reign of light.

In this transition from dark to light, therefore, the church has a role to play in every area of life. Each member of the church has a special function, or several functions, to help with the transition. These special functions are not limited to the religious professions. The church is more than just a religious institution. Since Jesus Christ’s Kingdom of Light affects every area of life, he has need of members in every area. In marriage, family, school, university, media, business, politics, government, etc., he needs members with the special functions necessary to banish the darkness and introduce the light.

Wherever you see light, no matter what area of life, there the church, Christ’s body, is at work.

Til the Whole World Know

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Faith’s Checkbook: Enemies at Peace 4/17/2019

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“When a man’s ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).

I must see that my ways please the LORD. Even then I shall have enemies; and, perhaps, all the more certainly because I endeavor to do that which is right. But what a promise this is! The LORD will make the wrath of man to praise Him and abate it so that it shall not distress me.

He can constrain an enemy to desist from harming me, even though he has a mind to do so. This He did with Laban, who pursued Jacob but did not dare to touch him. Or He can subdue the wrath of the enemy and make him friendly, as He did with Esau, who met Jacob in a brotherly manner, though Jacob had dreaded that he would smite him and his family with the sword. The LORD can also convert a furious adversary into a brother in Christ and a fellow worker, as He did with Saul of Tarsus. Oh, that He would do this in every case where a persecuting spirit appears!

Happy is the man whose enemies are made to be to him what the lions were to Daniel in the den, quiet and companionable! When I meet death, who is called the last enemy, I pray that I may be at peace. Only let my great care be to please the LORD in all things. Oh, for faith and holiness; for these are a pleasure unto the Most High!

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Gems From Pastor Jim 4/16/2019

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by Jim Hughes

CrossIs. 29:15 Destruction is certain for those who try to hide their plans from the LORD, who try to keep him in the dark concerning what they do! “The LORD can’t see us,” you say to yourselves. “He doesn’t know what is going on!”

Go ahead and try it. Try and hide what you are doing or plan to do from the Lord. It cannot be done. The Lord somehow knows all about every detail of our living. He knows what we are doing and even why we do it. He knows what is on our minds. It is impossible to hide anything from the Lord.

If you are doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing and think that you are getting away with it, think again. The only thing you are accomplishing by not being upfront about your activities before the Lord is certain destruction. When you do evil you are not harming anyone but yourself. Trying to hide or cover-up evil destroys the soul.

As much as you might want to believe that God is in the dark and does not know what you are doing with your life, it simply is not so. God is light and His light penetrates the darkest soul. He knows all there is to know about you and there is nowhere to hide from His gaze. He knows and holds you responsible for what you do and accountable for it.

In order to protect yourself from self-destruction, live openly before the Lord. Be honest about what you are doing. Tell the Lord what you are doing. It benefits you, not the Lord. He knows what you are doing. Your activities affect your heart, not His. Honesty is the only policy that works with the Lord. Confess any sin or sinful thoughts you may have. Seek the Lord’s forgiveness. And, with His help, strive to change your behavior so that you don’t get yourself in a similar mess down the road.

Develop a plan to stay out of sin’s path and work the plan. If you don’t work to help yourself you will lose the battle for your soul. The Lord rewards those who are faithful to Him so work hard at keeping your soul healthy and holy before Him. You can do it. The question is, “Will you do it?”

Before and After the Honeymoon

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 chapter 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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Mapped Out Murders is Ready for Readers

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by Mary C. Findley

mapped out murders 25Sarah Groben is an LAPD Homicide detective and a pastor’s wife. She’s got six murders she wants to solve by Sunday. Members of a fledgling group for 10-40 window transplants seeking Christianity are being killed. A Muslim charity interested in better relations with Americans seems to be connected by the death of a former financial manager. Family members of the victims might also end up in the crosshairs if Sarah is right about a “Persecutor for Hire.”

Sarah’s partner is down with the flu and her husband Don seems like a tailor-made substitute with his knowledge of Middle eastern languages and cultures. But the case keeps getting more complicated by the minute, and Sarah and Don might not be able to crack it before the killing starts again.

Here are a couple of snippets:

“You cannot pretend to charge me with a hate crime,” Suleiman sneered. “Christianity is the only thing the whole world is allowed to hate and to discriminate against. Look at your own schools! You ban candy canes because they represent Jesus, and celebrate Muslim culture freely. Everything else is protected, taught, encouraged. Who these days hates Christianity more than Americans?”

“Raif Izzettin, my old friend,” Don said as a shrunken, twisted old man with a thick cloud of white hair and beard opened the door of a run-down efficiency apartment in North Hollywood. “This is my wife, Sarah.”
“Groben, Groben, welcome! This is your wife? You never told me she was such a beauty!”
“Well, her name is Sarah,” Don said with a grin as they entered the tiny but tidy dwelling. 
“God bless you for putting up with this rascal, my dear,” Raif said as he waved them to seats. “I am making tea. Give me just a moment.”
Sarah looked around at the shelves and small tables crammed with Middle Eastern curios. “You have so many beautiful things,” she exclaimed as the man brought a tea tray.
“They are not mine. I keep them in trust until the day they are reclaimed,” Raif said as he served them tiny cups of sweet mint tea. “Perhaps Don has told you that we met when I was known in Turkey as the Moses of Istanbul. I do not boast to say that for many years God allowed me to hold a position in the government that I discreetly used to help the persecuted find safer places to live, or to leave the country altogether. All glory to Christ, that I was privileged to be used in that way.
“So many wanted to cling to their family possessions, but they could carry nothing past inspectors, so they entrusted the things to me. I still have people arrive at my door and ask for things. I praise God with them, that they still found refuge and safety after I was forced out. These are like sacred things to me. I know the story of each one of them.”
Sarah nodded. “I would love to hear some of those stories, another time, sir, with respect.”
Raif heaved a great sigh. “But of course, you are the detective. You are here about the deaths. How many now?”

Mapped Out Murders is available for preorder on Amazon for 99 cents, and is free on Kindle Unlimited. http://mybook.to/MappedOutMurders

https://youtu.be/ouhssm-VInA

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Faith’s Checkbook: He Remembers No More 4/12/2019

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).

When we know the LORD, we receive the forgiveness of sins. We know Him as the God of grace, passing by our transgressions. What a joyful discovery is this!

But how divinely is this promise worded: the LORD promises no more to remember our sins! Can God forget? He says He will, and He means what He says. He will regard us as though we had never sinned. The great atonement so effectually removed all sin that it is to the mind of God no more in existence. The believer is now in Christ Jesus, as accepted as Adam in his innocence; yea, more so, for he wears a divine righteousness, and that of Adam was but human.

The great LORD will not remember our sins so as to punish them, or so as to love us one atom the less because of them. As a debt when paid ceases to be a debt, even so doth the LORD make a complete obliteration of the iniquity of His people.

When we are mourning over our transgressions and shortcomings, and this is our duty as long as we live, let us at the same time rejoice that they will never be mentioned against us. This makes us hate sin. God’s free pardon makes us anxious never again to grieve Him by disobedience.

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Verse of the Day and Devotion 4/11/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.   – II Corinthians 4:11 NKJV

Devotion

There’s a paradox in the life of every Christian. Although we live, although we live abundantly in Christ Jesus (John 10:10), we still have to deal with death. That is, although we live, our lives contain various things that can be compared to death, if not death itself. At one moment, things are going well: we feel healthy, we have money, we’re protected, we’re happy, etc. At the next moment, in contrast, things are going bad: we get sick, we lose money, we’re persecuted, we’re sad, etc. We have the surpassing power of the life of Jesus taking us to ever greater levels of life, but we still have to deal with the devil and his attempts to stop it from manifesting in “our mortal flesh.”

The Apostle Paul expressed the paradox in this way: “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (II Corinthians 4:8-9) We long to escape the paradox. We long for the good times to go on forever, but the reality of brokenness and death keeps intruding into our lives anyway. We know the Bible, we know that the paradox will never be completely overcome this side of glory. Nevertheless, we want as much of the first-fruits of that coming era as we can get right now. (Romans 8:23) We’ve experienced how good it is and we want more of it.

Why? Why the paradox? Aside from the fact that God’s redemption has yet to reach its consummation, the paradox goes on because we would make a grievous error if it didn’t. If we never saw anything other than the life of Jesus made manifest, if we never saw anything other than the good times it brings about, then we’d be tempted to think that the good comes from us instead of God. Paul puts it this way: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (II Corinthians 4:11)

The life of Jesus needs to be clearly manifested in our lives for everyone to see. They would never see it as such, however, if it didn’t come in contrast to brokenness and death.

Til the Whole World Know

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Faith’s Checkbook: Look and Live 4/10/2019

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shalt come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live” (Numbers 21:8).

This is a glorious gospel type. Jesus, numbered with the transgressors, hangs before us on the cross. A look to Him will heal us of the serpent-bite of sin; will heal us at once — “When he looketh upon it, he shall live.” Let the reader who is mourning his sinfulness note the words — “Everyone that looketh upon it shall live.” Every looker will find this true. I have found it so. I looked to Jesus and lived at once, I know I did. Reader, if you look to Jesus you will live, too. True, you are swelling with the venom, and you see no hope, True, also there is no hope but this one. But this is no doubtful cure — “Everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.”

The brazen serpent was not lifted up as a curiosity to be gazed upon by the healthy; but its special purpose was for those who were “bitten.” Jesus died as a real Savior for real sinners. Whether the bite has made you a drunkard, or a thief, or an unchaste or a profane person, a look at the great Savior will heal you of these diseases and make you live in holiness and communion with God. Look and live.

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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