Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:35 Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.

We need help don’t we? We don’t always live by God’s Word. We tend to forget, neglect, ignore, or downright refuse to obey what God tells us to do. We struggle with living by God’s Word because we want to do things the easy way or we want to satisfy our own pleasures. We think sometimes that God’s Word is too demanding. We chose what we want to do and ignore the rest. Whatever we may think about God, we find it hard to want to obey Him. Therefore, we must seek the Lord’s help. We are at war with our sinful thoughts and desires and we must have God’s help if we are going to obey Him. The Psalmist said, “MAKE ME WALK ALONG THE PATH OF YOUR COMMANDS.” We need to pray the same prayer. We must have God’s help if we are going to obey Him.

Why do we need to obey the Lord? Because that is where happiness is found. God’s way is the only way to true happiness. The joy we get from obeying God has staying power. We find in obedience peace with God. We find satisfaction of soul that is not found anywhere else. We find that as we obey Him we want to obey Him. Our desire for Him increases. We see through obedience gratitude for God’s blessings.

When we don’t obey God, nothing goes right with us. We are miserable as we try to squelch our convictions. Guilt and shame plague us because we know better and choose to disobey God anyway. We are restless day and night because peace eludes us. If we continue in our disobedience our health begins to be affected by it as well as our relationships with the people in our lives. When we get what we want out of life we are never satisfied because the ways of sin are nothing but empty promises of happiness.

“Lord, make me to walk along the path of your commands. I don’t always want to do it, but I must if I am going to live rightly before You. Lord, make me do it for my soul’s sake. Keep me off the path of sin and on the path of righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
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: TheAncient World

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by Mary C. Findley

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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Prejudice

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by Patricia PacJac Carroll

The word is rampant in our news and culture. The definition is bias, preconceived ideas, prejudgment, and bigotry. Ouch! But is anyone really free from prejudice? I doubt it. Like many character flaws and even sins, it is a sneaky.

We can be prejudiced against skin color, ethnicity, language, fat or thin, young or old, poor or rich, and the list goes on. So what is the cure?

Love. Honoring others above ourselves. In short, loving your neighbor as yourself. Easy to say, not so easy to do.

What can you do if you find yourself thinking or speaking ugly? First, recognize it. Second, pray for those you are looking down upon. Third, ask the Lord to help you love them and what specific actions that might entail.

One technique you might think about – flip the verse. If you are not loving your neighbor or a group of people, realize that it may be showing you an area that you are not loving yourself. An area where you don’t believe the Lord loves you.

If we can embrace the fact that God loves us totally and unconditionally, we just might be able to love others who are different.

My new release – Bride and Prejudice deals with prejudice in 1870 Denver. https://www.amazon.com/Bride-Prejudice-Historical-Romance-Hickory-ebook/dp/B01K9I4H1K/

Bride and Prejudice

Bride and Prejudice

New release in the Mail Order Brides of Hickory Stick Series

Jacqueline Bedel fled from her home and all she’d ever known. Escape. She couldn’t let Sebastian find her. Ever. With a last look at New Orleans, she clutched the letter in her hand and prayed she was running to a better man. Dr. Blake Morgan wrestled with his past, the hold whiskey held over him, and loneliness. He needed a wife. A good woman would save him.

Hope you enjoy the story.

Patricia PacJac Carroll

Patriciapacjaccarroll.com

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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One Person

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by Sherry Chamblee

If you look back on history, it’s striking how often one person held the key to a monumental shift of some kind.

On one person, historians hang losses and wins on the battlefield that changed the course of entire nations.

One person fired the shot heard round the world.

One person stood behind a pulpit and inspired others to stand up against slavery.

One person convinced another to not walk out of crucial negotiations.

Just go look at history and you see it everywhere – the One Person phenomena.

One person thought we should be able to see into the dark without a candle.

One person thought it would be neat if we could talk to each other over a thin wire.

One person thought a combustion engine would be a good idea.

One person refused to give up her seat in a bus.

One person refused to withhold the Gospel of Christ from the Gentiles, and confronted the leadership over it.

And there are so many others…

Most of these people didn’t know the impact of their actions, either. Not when they made their decisions. They were just doing what they believed was right. They might have known it was a momentous point in their own lives, but I don’t know that any of them foresaw the huge impact their actions had on the world to come after they were gone.

I write this because we often think our actions don’t matter – no one cares what we do or say, what we stand for, what impact we’re having on the world around us. No one notices little old me.

But you’re wrong. Maybe what you do won’t change the whole world – or maybe it will, but you’ll never know it in your lifetime.

Or maybe what you do will change One person’s world.

While we think we’re nobody, that our little range of influence means nothing past what we see in our neighborhood, that what we do doesn’t matter much… just remember all those other One Persons.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

While I know none of us would compare ourselves to Jesus Christ, He is the greatest One Person of all. His moments on earth changed the world more than any other person ever. Since He is God, His impact is going to be greatest, of course. But the amazing thing is, He calls us to join Him, because He loves us.

Make sure of your salvation today.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:33-34 Teach me, O LORD, to follow every one of your principles. Give me understanding and I will obey your law; I will put it into practice with all my heart.

First things first. We must seek from the Lord the desire to obey Him. For some of us, there simply isn’t much desire to obey. We want to do what we want to do more than we do the Lord. If that is you, ask the Lord to change the desires of your heart. You must want to obey before you will obey. The Lord cannot teach the unteachable.

Next, your desire must be without restriction. You cannot pick and choose what you will obey and not obey. Everything God has spoken is important for our growth in grace. While we are no longer under the legality of the Law, the principles of the Law are appropriate and important for us to follow. Christ gives us greater understanding and the ability to apply them when we seek His guidance.

In order to follow every one of God’s principles, we must be faithfully and diligently into the Word. They are there, but they will not be known unless we are looking for them. God has clearly shown us how to be holy in His sight; it is up to us to discover the way and do it. Ask the Lord to make His ways known to you as you study the Word.

When we gain understanding, we must apply it to our lives with all our heart. If your heart is not totally committed to the Lord, you will always struggle with living a life that pleases the Lord. You cannot have divided loyalties and be successful in your Christian walk.

If you really love the Lord, you will want to know God’s principles. You will want to understand them so that you can live by them. The desire of your heart will be to obey the Lord.
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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Crafting a Great Romance

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by Staci Stallings

I love romance. I love to watch people fall in love… not lust. Love. And there’s a difference.

When people fall in lust, they are attracted to a body–a temporary entity. They expend a lot of energy trying to impress the other person. They might go out on dates, give expensive gifts, and even sleep together soon after meeting. This is not love.

Love is deeper, more profound than who slept with whom last night. Our society has lost its sense of love because love requires being there in the good times and the bad times–not just as long as it’s easy or it works. Real love is about going beyond yourself and doing what’s best for the other person even if it’s difficult or inconvenient for you.

In my books a lot of times the characters in the prospective relationship have emotional baggage they really need to put down in order to move forward. Love gives each character a safe place to do that even though it might be extremely hard to get to them to the point of wanting to.

For example in this book, “To Protect & Serve,” Jeff Taylor is the epitome of shy. He can hardly get two words out with the guys around. Bring a woman around, and he’s sunk. At first you kind of sense that about him, but you don’t really know why. As he and Lisa begin to get to know one another, those walls start coming down and you learn why he is so shy right along with Lisa, and a connection cannot help but be formed to this man who has been hurt so deeply.

That’s what real love is about–breaking down those walls, allowing this person you’re in the relationship with the time and space and safety to come out from behind their walls and learn to be real.

So when I write a romance, I’m not writing about two people who fall into lust. I’m sharing about two people who are learning what real love is. And this book does that in spades.

First there’s the fact that Jeff is so shy and Lisa hates guys with a purple passion because of how she’s been treated over the years. Those walls take a long time to breach. But then about the time those start coming down, real life hits.

You know, the real life you don’t often think about in romances–where bad things happen and you’re having to navigate them with this person you are only beginning to learn to love. Oh, those are so rough because you just want to make everything better, but you can’t. They are hurting. You are hurting. And life is really a struggle.

However, I believe it’s in those times that real, true, deep love is forged, or the relationship breaks completely.

So how do I craft a great romance? Mostly I just let the characters tell their stories, and they take care of most of it. But ultimately I remember that really falling in love is about more than clothes hitting the floor and how much one person “wants” the other. It’s about learning to be there for each other and about living through things together, making memories together, and growing into something whole

and new and beautiful as individuals and… together. That is what falling in love and being in love really means. And that’s what makes a great romance.

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2012

To Protect and Serve

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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Streams In The Desert – August 12 – Meant to be Used

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by L. B. Cowman

Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire.—2 Pet 1:4 NET

When a shipwright builds a vessel, does he build it to keep it upon the stocks? Nay, he builds it for the sea and the storm. When he was making it, he thought of tempests and hurricanes; if he did not, he was a poor shipbuilder.

When God made thee a believer, He meant to try thee; and when He gave thee promises, and bade thee trust them, He gave such promises as are suitable for times of tempest and tossing. Dost thou think that God makes shams like some that have made belts for swimming, which were good to exhibit in a shop, but of no use in the sea?

We have all heard of swords which were useless in war; and even of shoes which were made to sell, but were never meant to walk in. God’s shoes are of iron and brass, and you can walk to Heaven in them without their ever wearing out; and His life-belts, you may swim a thousand Atlantics upon them, and there will be no fear of your sinking. His Word of promise is meant to be tried and proved.

There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for His people to make a show-thing of Him, and not to use Him. He loves to be employed by us. Covenant blessings are not meant to be looked at only, but to be appropriated. Even our Lord Jesus is given to us for our present use. Thou dost not make use of Christ as thou oughtest to do.

O man, I beseech you do not treat God’s promises as if they were curiosities for a museum; but use them as every day sources of comfort. Trust the Lord whenever your time of need comes on.—C. H. Spurgeon

“Go to the deeps of God’s promise,
And claim whatsoever ye will;
The blessing of God will not fail thee,
His Word He will surely fulfill.”

Now can God say no to something He has promised?

Get your own copy of “Streams in the Desert” from Amazon by clicking on the image below.

Streams in the Desert

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AT YOUR AGE?

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by Ada Brownell

Some people probably wonder why I’m still writing. I’m no sleek new creation and I’m a high mileage model. What high mileage means is most of my life when my feet hit the floor in the morning I kept going until night. Sometimes when we had small children or they were ill, I also worked at night.

I retired from my paying job almost two decades ago, but I wish I had kept working longer. As a newspaper reporter I enjoyed interviewing people, digging out interesting and important information for our readers, and loved the challenges. I also enjoyed the people I worked with.

I wrote for Christian publications and had one book before I worked for newspapers, and I had been so excited about retiring and going back to it. Alas, the editors I knew weren’t there anymore. The market changed. Most magazines assigned articles.

I received some assignments, but after a couple years of feeling lost in the marketplace, a stirring began in me. I had a book where I used what I’d learned as a medical reporter and what I knew from being a student of the Bible that showed evidence we are more than a body. An agent had been interested in the book, and a new publisher accepted it. Then the publisher, went bankrupt.

I couldn’t find another publisher and I set the book aside. But a couple of years after I retired I decided to drastically edit it myself. That book took the longest of all my books to get to the marketplace, but Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal became reality.

I’ve written five more books since then. The latest is the second novel in my Peaches and Dreams series, Peach Blossom Rancher– the sequel to The Lady Fugitive.

The Lady Fugitive

 

I’m still writing because of these reasons:

  1. I should have time to write because I’m retired. If I budget time I do. But I tell my friends we have to work as fast as we can so we can have fun. Senior Citizens love to get together and enjoy life. It’s not all fun, though. Senior citizens go to the doctors, buy prescriptions and vitamins, exercise, do laundry, cook and clean just as they did when they were employed. So I plan writing time and try not to live up to the label “Senior Sit-izen.
  2. Time is running out. As the doctor told me when he persuaded me to get new knees, I’m not getting any younger. If I’m going to do it, I better get to it.
  3. Time to reminisce. Writing novels is so much fun. All my novels contain snippets from my past. For instance my character Edwina Jorgenson stands too close to a pig pen and a sow sticks her snout through the hog wire and sucks her dress. That happened to me when I emptied a bucket of slop over the fence. I ran to the house holding my dress away from my body, pig saliva stringing down my legs. I imagine the pig detected the starch in my dress. I let the same thing happen to a gal in my first historical romance.
  4. Time to hang with interesting characters. It’s amazing how in fiction people come to life in your mind as well as on the page. As the author, I know them well.
  5. Time to share the gospel. Several of my non-fiction books are Bible studies including Swallowed by Life, Imagine the Future You, and Facts, Faith & Propaganda. My novels have portions that are inspirational.
  6. Time I can possibly borrow from the next generation. If Jesus tarries His coming, it’s likely my writing will be read in newspaper archives, paperback books, and on the internet long after I’m gone.
  7. Time with a purpose. I decided years ago that I would try to do something every day that would last beyond this day. Sometimes it’s a chore that only needs to be done occasionally instead of daily. Sometimes it’s an encouraging word that will remain in someone’s mind beyond today. Having a purpose motivates, invigorates, and helps me grow spiritually, and connects me with a purpose greater than myself.

Even at my age!

Ada Brownell

Connect with Ada on her

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

Blog: http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com

Sign up for her newsletter at ada@adabrownell.com

Just released! Get Peach Blossom Rancher http://ow.ly/4ETL302QdhW

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:29 Keep me from lying to myself, give me the privilege of knowing your law.

Reread today’s Scripture. How might we lie to ourselves? One thing we tend to do is to think we are better off spiritually than we really are. We look at others and compare ourselves to them. We realize that we are better than many and become convinced that we are alright with God. We believe that the Bible is true and we might even read it and pray. We might be involved in various ministries in the church. We see ourselves in a good light.

But, what does God say about us? Are we really living holy lives before God? As we read and hear the Word can we honestly say that we are like that, doing that? Can we? God commands us to be holy and holiness is living free from sin. It is having godly thoughts, speaking in godly ways, acting in godly ways. No one can say that they have arrived and have no room for improvement in their walk with the Lord. No one who sees himself through the eyes of the Lord can do anything but be humbled before Him and recognize his need for God.

It is a privilege to have at our disposal God’s Word. Some of us have several copies of it in our homes. We are blessed with the opportunity to not only become aware of God’s law, but to know it. We have no excuse for not knowing how the Lord wants us to live. Our ignorance is nothing but our laziness. We must be actively spending time in the Word so we can know how to live. We must meditate on it and discover ways to apply it to life. If you are too busy to spend in the Word, you are too busy and your priorities are in the wrong place.

Be honest with yourself today. What sin are you struggling with? Have you sought God’s help with it? Have you confessed it and made a determination to overcome it? Have you struggled and failed with it so often that you have quit trying? The Lord wants you to know today that there is victory for you in Jesus. He wants you to keep on trying. He wants you to call on Him and let Him help you. Dear friend, don’t give up. Confess your sins. The Lord knows them and He knows how hard it is for you. Resolve to let Him help you get a handle on them. You CAN do it with Christ’s help.

It is a privilege to get to know the law of God. Not everyone has the opportunity that you have to learn how to live a life that pleases God. God makes it clear in His Word what our sins are so that we can deal with them at Calvary. There is no excuse for not knowing what our sins are. There is no excuse for not seeking His forgiveness and living a holy life.
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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What You Practice

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by Staci Stallings

Here’s a simple yet profound thought: You get good at what you practice.

Now maybe you have some natural talent, but even natural talent will only get you so far. LeBron James was talented, but it was practice that made him LeBron James. He didn’t just step onto a court one day and command the salary he’s making. What made him phenomenal at the sport he loves is the simple concept of practice.

Think about it.

Name anything in this life that you don’t get better at with practice. Sports. Playing a musical instrument. Writing. Reading. Bike riding. In every single one, you get better with practice.

This morning I had the opportunity to teach color guard flags to a group of students who had never so much as held a flag before. To teach them, I started out with teaching each flag position. Drop the flag to your left side. Down… two… three… four. Up… two… three…. Four. Down… two… three… four. Up… two… three… four.

See, flags is all about muscle memory. In short, the idea is to train your muscles so well, that they do the movement automatically and on beat almost without you thinking about it.

But that doesn’t just happen. It takes practice.

Later, as we were talking, I was just messing around with the flag doing moves I literally learned over 25 years ago. There was one move that when I was in band my 9th grade year (think, 25 + 8 or 9 more years ago), we learned this move.

For those in color guard, it was a windmill with a spin and a high-spin-toss. It was quite impressive, and now thinking back, I sure wish someone would have thought to videotape us because I would love to see us perform that move.

Let me set the stage for this move if you will allow me to. The song was “Fiero”—a fiery Spanish number with lots of blazing trumpets. And it was fast. Like SUPER fast. And our band at the time was crazy good, so they could play this song amazingly well.

It was our entrance number onto the field from the opposite side. The beginning of this song started with the flag corps doing this move. It was flashy and amazing, but only if it was done right.

Wait. Did I say “right”? I don’t just mean “right.” I mean “perfect.”

We had eight flag girls, fanned out from the 30 yard line to the 30 on the field. At that distance and with that many flags all doing exactly the same thing, one of us being a half-count off would be super-noticeable.

Our teacher at the time had been in flag corps herself, and to say she was a perfectionist would be a VAST understatement.

Now I came from a very small school, and our school’s claim to fame was basketball. So you can imagine how protective the school was about our basketball courts. In other words, NOBODY walked on the basketball courts unless you were there to play basketball.

So, here we are, and it’s time to practice this move and get all eight of us in perfect time together. Because we can’t practice on a basketball court, we’re outside. And it is COLD. Like FREEZING cold.

One thing you have to know is that you can’t do flags with gloves. It just doesn’t work.

While the band practiced INSIDE because it was too cold to be on the field marching, the flag corps was OUTSIDE learning to be perfect.

Because it was so cold and our hands and fingers were pretty much frozen, those flags were a lot more difficult to control. Yet, here we were. Doing this one move over and over and over and over.

When we’d get off-count, even by a fraction of a second, we’d have to start over and do each part of the move in counts of four. “SNAP IT!” she’d say. “It has to be precise! Move the flag. Don’t let it move you! Do it again!” And if someone didn’t get their hand perfectly in a fist over their belly button when the other hand was at the top of the high spin-toss, we had to start over… again.

I don’t know how long we were out there. I really don’t. I do know it was light when we started and dark when we finally quit.

I remember being ready to quit the flag corps altogether. It wasn’t worth THAT.

Until it was. Until we got rave reviews at every contest we went to. Until the guy on television at the fair said how amazing we were. Until today when I did that move, and my hand went right in a fist to my belly button every, single time.

Muscle memory. Practice.

The question I had to ask myself after I noticed that today was this: What in my life am I practicing now? Practicing even when or maybe especially when it’s hard. Am I practicing patience and unconditional love? Am I practicing diligence and encouragement? Am I practicing forgiveness and peace?

Even now I’m teaching my spiritual muscles the “counts” of how to do all of these things, so that when it counts, my spiritual muscles do exactly what they’ve been trained to do.

It’s worth thinking about in all aspects of life. What you practice, you get good at. What are you practicing?

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“There are always lessons to be learned when reading a Staci Stallings novel. I happened to read this one at a pivotal time for me. I was struggling with some issues regarding conditional love. In the novel, Charity struggles with having always felt that she couldn’t do anything “good enough”.

A Best Selling Christian Romance!

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The Easy Way Out

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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