Be Still

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by C.J. Peterson

In today’s world, we are usually moving at speeds exceeding Mach 10. So, what happens when the world comes to complete stop? Well, we got a sample of it recently with the quarantine from this virus.

Whether you believe it to be true or not, you were still (or still are, depending on your location) in quarantine. During that quarantine, we saw the best and worst in people. Crime went up in some areas. Meanwhile, givingserving, and sacrifice went up in other areas. During that time, how did you do? What did you do with the extra time? You know, that time where you were normally going to a sports event, a concert, going out with friends, or watching a movie. Did you use that time wisely?

This world has some amazing sights. Some are in the picture connected to this blog. Those are photos that I took on our travels. Yes, we have done a lot of traveling, but we also know those words said in Psalm 46:10 – “He says, Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Whatever we are doing, we take time to stop and just be. We take time while we’re out and about to appreciate all He has given us, and all He does for us each and every day.

Be Still

In a world that is running a mile a minute, and is also an instant gratification society, do you take time to just be still? When you do, what does your mind center on? Is it on Him? Do you even take time to appreciate Him…all that He is, and all that He has done for us? What does that look like?

I have often said I find God in nature. I find Him looking after the birds of the fields, and the fish in the ocean. I found Him in gazing out over the vastness that is the Grand Canyon, and in the stunning beauty of the setting sun. I found Him in the power of the waters in the ocean and in the falls at Niagara Falls. I found him in watching the vast creatures He created as we were on a safari in Kruger Park, South Africa. I found Him when we’re snorkeling in the Grand Caymans and in Cozumel. I found Him in the massive power of a hurricane as it was barreling down on us in the Dominican Republic. I found Him in the mountain loads of snow, when I see prints from a little bunny, knowing He was watching out for them as well. I see Him when I watch the birds flying south to avoid the snow. How do they know when to go? I find Him, when I see the damage tornados inflict around us – sometimes literally on our street. I find Him in watching the bees in the apiary of our front yard. They know when to gather, and when to hunker down. They know what flowers are poisonous to them. They know when to make a new queen before the old one passes. I also find Him in the streaks of light pouring through the storm clouds…assuring us that even in the storms, He is there.

What I’m saying is that He is here. He is all around us…whatever part of the world you find yourself in at the time. I encourage you, that no matter what is going on around you, to listen to His words, “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

About the Author:

CJ 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 FB http://www.facebook.com/writingbycjpeterson

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

Follow her on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/authoresscj/

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Out of the Darkness

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Out of the Darkness

by Sandra Sanders

Out of the Darkness

The story is about a woman who left her family, ventured out in darkness and in an unfamiliar territory, lost, alone, and broken. That was when encounters with Jesus Christ began through other people including a homeless man. She was rescued and saved by Christ, and through her salvation Christ told her what would happen in her life next.

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CrossReads Short Takes: Within Golden Bands & Illuminated

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

Within Golden Bands

(A Home for My Heart Book 2)

by Norma Gail

Within Golden Bands

Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child.

But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. When faith in love is not enough, where do you turn?

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Illuminated

(The White Road Chronicles Book 1)

by J. R. Castle

lluminated

Welcome to the kingdom of Alburnium
If the Wizard of Oz swept you away and Narnia enchanted you, then follow the White Road Chronicles for a new kind of adventure.

Illuminated: Book One- begins with a girl in search of the truth.
Alyra, mockingly known as Princess, was captured at an early age by the evil ruler, Darnel, and brought up in the dark land of Racah. Now, at the age of seventeen, she considers herself nothing special. She has no recollection of who she is or where she came from. Her hope of ever finding freedom dims.
Until the messenger arrives. Until he brings to light the meaning behind the medallion she’s kept hidden. Until she accepts the blinding truth.

Now she flees for her life.

Alyra’s journey leads her down a narrow road with strange traveling companions. Together, they encounter a kingdom where nothing is what it first seems.

This is an updated revised version with a new cover

Illuminated is the first book of The White Road Chronicles followed by:
Luminosity Book Two
Emanate Book Three
Radiance Book Four
Ignited Book Five
Ablaze Book Six

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Free eBook: Fresh Faith

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Free eBook

Fresh Faith

by Jon Edward Fugler

Fresh Faith

Recently, I highlighted author Jon Edward Fugler on my show. We discussed his book, Fresh Faith, Leaning on God During the Corona Virus Pandemic. 

This short book packs a wallop as it challenges the believer to use this pandemic as an opportunity to draw closer to God. To become more deeply intimate with Him. Jon Edward Fugler said in his interview, this is an opportunity we’ll never receive again.  

I want to invite you to download this ebook for free at getfreshfaith.com and be inspired by Jon’s words.

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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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 5/18/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossLam. 3:22-24 The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! Isn’t that great news?!! It is the best news that man could ever hear. The Lord never fails to love, because He is love. Satan tries hard to convince us that we are not loved or worthy to be loved, but what he says is nothing but a lie from hell. God is not able to do anything but love us. Now, this does not mean that God will embrace us in His love regardless of what we do or become in life.

God is holy love. He will never embrace those who defy Him or live unholy lives. God is absolutely perfect in holiness and no sin will ever get near Him. God does not ever condone the sin of His children. He never ignores sin or overlooks it. All sin must be dealt with by Christ before we can be embraced by God. Only Christ’s righteousness in us makes us approachable to God. We must never be presumptuous and take our sin lightly. Our only hope of drawing near to God is Christ’s righteousness and holiness.

God is merciful and faithful. Every day is a testimony of God’s mercy towards us and His faithfulness to us. If it were not so, no one would be left on earth to live for Him. Heaven would be an unreachable place. No one would be able to see God, let alone experience Him in their lives.

As God’s children, we inherit the righteousness and holiness of Christ so we have a sure hope that we will be with God some day. Great is God’s faithfulness to us and He will see us home to be with Him. But, we must cooperate with Him and strive to live holy lives. We must not cater to sin or ignore it when we do sin. We must stay in close fellowship with Christ by confessing our sins and being fixated on Him. We must strive to live obediently to God’s Word and seek to please Him in all we do. Heaven awaits those who do these things.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending 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.

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Sofa Talk Podcast considers the daily devotions of Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening Devotionals which deal with all of the things that we are fearful of family job, and our country,+ we will take your prayer requests. sofatalk.podbean.com
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Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard
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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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Cold Hard Ice 5/15/2020

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by Sherry Chamblee

I like my coffee frozen, then melted just enough to turn into a slushy. Now that I’ve moved to one of the hottest cities in America and summer months are in full force, this is more about survival than a fun treat. So I make myself a cup of coffee at night, flavor it the way I want, and put it in the freezer. When I get up in the morning, it’s a solid block of coffee-ice in a mug – a big mug.

Then the slushifying begins. I have to set the cup out on the counter and let it melt a bit, if I want to speed the process, I have to pour a little bit of hot coffee over the top, maybe run hot water over the mug too. I might set it in the sun, maybe even microwave it a few seconds. All of this is done in an attempt to soften it up a little. Remember, so I can survive the heat later.

That block of coffee-flavored ice is no good to me in its present state. I have to make it into something I can use. I have to do things to it that the ice might not enjoy if it had feelings. Its state isn’t damaged by those things, but its form is changed.

By making it a bit uncomfortable – running hot water over it, chipping away at the edges with a spoon, adding a few things to make it melt a little – I take it from something I can’t use to something I can use.

Isn’t this like God with us?

I know that sometimes I’m that block of ice, cold and hard, unusable to God in my current state. God has to chip away at my hard edges, maybe add something that will melt me a bit, put me in some uncomfortable situations that will not damage me, but they do transform me into someone He can use.

I don’t like change. I never have, even though my life has rarely stayed the same for any length of time. Change has been constant, so much so that I’ve found myself getting anxious over the next change whenever I see one looming in the distance.

Our family just went through one of the biggest challenges we may have ever faced so far – it took us over a year to get through, but we’re finally on the other side of it, and I can look back now and see all the ways God worked on us.

That change didn’t just transform our circumstances, it transformed us – me. It made me into a different person. I can stand and say that I trust God will rescue us, I know He has a plan, even when I don’t feel that plan at the moment. Because I’ve seen God take a seemingly impossible situation and turn it into something that directed us to be exactly where He wanted us to be at exactly the time He wanted us to be here.

It is a blessing to be able to say that, though the last year and a half have been filled with uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and sadness. Let me say again that I know that God will provide now that we’re on the other side.

And I know that God will provide for you too, if you rely on Him.

Psalm 100:3

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

About the Author:

Sherry ChambleeSherry 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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CrossReads Book Spotlight: The Ascension

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

The Ascension

(The Lazarus Chronicles Book 2)

by Richard Spillman

The Ascension

Everyone dies once…what if a chosen few were raised from the dead?

Now that the threat from Abdul Ba’ith has been eliminated, Lazarus and his team at SOAR hope to help Ricki discover the secret in his journal. That hope is dashed when he discovers that the UDs have even bigger plans in the works—plans that threaten the stability of the entire world. North Korea is ruled by a UD who has overseen the development of a deadly airborne disease. The virus is on its way to the Middle East by boat where ISIS will use it to destroy Israel on October 10th.

Lazarus joins a team sent to North Korea to eliminate the UD responsible for the program while another team searches for the virus in the Middle East, hoping to destroy it before it can be used. The odds are stacked against both teams as event after event arises to impede their progress. Will Lazarus be able to free North Korea of its dictatorial leader?

Will Shiri’s team be able to locate the virus and neutralize it before it is released on Israel? It’s a world-wide hunt with more than the existence of Israel at stake, because the virus will spread from Israel to the rest of the world.

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CrossReads Short Takes: Small Town Romances & Crowns Legacy

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CrossReads Short Takes

Small Town Romances

Inspirational Boxed Set

by Mary Davis

Small Town Romances

Mary DavisThe Daughter’s Predicament—As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. While a third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping to sweep her off her feet. Whom will Isabelle choose?

Cynthia HerronHer Hope Discovered—Is the sure thing worth risking for the possibility of maybe?

Charla Winthrop, a savvy business woman seeking a permanent lifestyle change in small-town Ruby, learns that things aren’t always what they appear when she takes up residence in a house steeped in charm and a hint of mystery.

Rumor has it that Sam Packard the town carpenter is her go-to guy for home remodeling, but can Charla convince him to help her—with no strings attached, of course? Alone far too long, Sam’s prayed that God would send him a wife and a mother for his daughters. However, the new Ruby resident is hardly what he imagined.

Christa MacDonaldAt the Crossroad—Erin Sullivan has endured the rumor mill of Sweet River, Maine for years. Being the subject of small-town judgment taught her not to hope for good things. No matter how strong her feelings were for Pastor Dan Connors, she planned to keep them buried for the sake of his reputation and the good of her own heart.

Dan became a pastor thinking it would be temporary–three years later he is struggling in a job he never wanted. When Erin sees Dan struggling alone, she reaches out to help, and he comes to rely on her quiet strength and kindness. Dan is determined to find his way, but it may have to be without the woman he’s come to love.

Barbara ScottDreams of My Heart—If plucky Irish immigrant Kate O’Brien can’t pay off the loan on her deceased brother’s homestead, she’ll be forced to marry the banker’s son. When she’s attacked by a drunken gang, salvation comes from a total stranger—Texas cattleman Buck McKean. However, his kindness threatens her reputation, and they marry to prevent impending consequences. But love has a hard time growing within two hearts scarred from past hurts. When Kate asks Buck for the unthinkable, her choice endangers both their lives. Can God mend their hearts and save their love?

Kelsey NormanUnbroken Spirit—Nina Anderson never expected to pull an unconscious man from a lake. Neither did she imagine that the unearthly man would claim he was sent to be her protector and help her with an impending future event. Nina’s mysterious new protector, Liam, brings her the respect she’s always wanted—and maybe even a chance at love. Will he have the power to save her and restore Nina’s faith in God?

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Crowns Legacy

(2 book series)

by Nadine C. Keels

Crowns Legacy

From Book 1: First in the Crowns Legacy series.

She isn’t a beautiful young maiden hoping to erase the Commander’s memory.
Opal Whilstead knows she has a reputation: a reputation as a bright, giving, upright woman—smiling and laughing her way through hopeless spinsterhood. It’s been so long since she’s had serious feelings for a man, but now she finds herself taken with the Commander Exemplar of Diachona’s army.

And she regrets it.

Not only is the Exemplar a widower still longing for his wife, but he’s the father of the reigning king. Even if a man of such prestige could find love again, he’d be unlikely to search for it among the kingdom’s old maids. Besides, Opal dreads being found, due to a grievous secret she carries…

This book is inspirational historical fantasy: fictional history that takes place in a completely fictional world. The background of this story comes further to light in The Movement of Crowns Series, which is great to read before or after this book.

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Two Forms of Inspiring Poetry 5/12/2020

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by Carmen Peone

Never in this world did I think I would love poetry.  

Until God touched my heart with Haiku and Elfchen 

Elfchen is newer form of poetry for me, but I have come to love its simplicity. It’s a place I can hone in on God’s creation and love.  

In this time of fearuncertainty, and quarantine, we can create a safe place within verse to bring us back into God’s hope, love, and protection.  

Elfchen is an eleven-word patterned poem written across five lines.  

It is also called an Elevenie. Elf means eleven in German, and chenat the end of a German word makes the word wee or enduring. So, an Elfchen is essentially a little poem.  

Here’s how it works:

One word for line one 

Two words for line two 

Three words for line three 

Four words for line four 

One word for line five 

Here are a couple of examples: 

Hope 

God’s protection 

holds us close, 

In times of fear  

Hope   

Love 

each other… 

in trying times 

we lift up another 

Love

Haiku is an unrhymed Japanese poetic form that consists of 17 syllables arranged in three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables.

A haiku expresses much and suggests more in the fewest possible words. This form of poetry gained distinction in the 17th century, when Basho, a Japanese poet considered the greatest practitioner of the form, elevated it to a highly refined art. It remains Japan’s most popular poetic form.

I learned how to write a traditional five-seven-five syllable haiku years ago from Japanese students who came to the United States to study abroad. They came to the after-school program I had coordinated at the time and worked with our youthoffering them a creative outlet.

Haiku has given me the means to worship my redeemer and appreciate all He has created. With my photos, I can zoom in on minute details and offer various perspectives.

The traditional haiku poem should accompany a photo and looks like this:

cherry blossoms

God’s glorious love 

Blooms like spring cherry blossoms 

He bathes us with hope

Cedar Roots

God’s Word offers life 

as our spiritual roots  

burrow into Christ

Now you try.

I’d love to see what you come up with in either Elfchen or Haiku.

About the Author:

Carmen PeoneCarmen Peone has lived in Northeast Washington and on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation since 1988. She had worked with a Tribal Elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes Language and various cultural traditions. She owns and trains her horses and competes in local Extreme Challenge and Mountain Trail competitions. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. With the love of history and western woman lifestyle, she brings stories of hope, family, relationships, and faith to her novels.

These books were a labor of love, especially the second edition of the True to Heart Trilogy. Thank you to my cover model, Shayna Palmanteer of the Colville Confederated Tribes, for your willingness to be a part of this adventure. Visit my website for information on the workbooks that go along with my young adult books at https://carmenpeone.com/books/.
http://carmenpeone.com

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Hidden Surprises 5/11/2020

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by Rebekah Beene

As I went into the dark bedroom one morning where the computer/office is now I noticed something in the chair. I reached out to touch it in the dark and it was a group of tiny stuffed animals all arranged just so. One of the grands had been playing in this room and the evidence sat mutely there.  I laughed as I switched on the light and discovered which toys they were.  Without the light I had no idea what it was.

Oh beloved, God speaks to my heart.  Sometimes we just have to reach out in the dark.  We aren’t sure what’s ahead or even what this day will hold.  But we can be sure that God will show forth His light on our present darkness and reveal truth to us.  His desire to speak this truth to us is to give us Light in every situation. We may have to step out but we never go alone. We may feel uncertain but because we have His light, we don’t fear the unknown.

God wants you to know this morning that it’s okay to wonder what will happen next, but it’s not okay to spend all your time fearing what you do not know.  This is not a life to fear. It’s a life to embrace. Even if you feel you’ve made too many false moves. Made wrong choices. Had bad things happen. God understands and still He is with you.  His grace is enough. For anything and everything. His salvation is enough. To cover all  your past.  His power is enough. To take you through what you face this day. And He promises to take all your cares on Himself simply because He cares for you.  He isn’t daunted by your age, your bills, your problems or your insufficiencies of self.  He is the Light – the Only True Light – in this darkened world.  You are never truly walking in darkness because you have His light with you but oh you have His light within you!

God loves you and He’s for you. If you are uncertain about where to step this morning ask Him.  Take some time this morning to simply sit and ask and listen.  He will help you and He will guide you. And He will take your uncertainty and feed your faith. And you can walk freely in the Light wherever you go, knowing Jesus settled it all for you in the Light of His salvation and grace.

John 8:12 Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Colossians 1:13 For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son

Psalm 89:15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, Lord

Psalm 119:105 Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 18:28 For You light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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