Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for October 22 Morning

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Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for October 22 Morning

“I will love them freely.” – Hosea 14:4

This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning is a theologian, and he who can dive into its fulness is a true master in Israel. It is a condensation of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The sense hinges upon the word “freely.” This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are. The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness: “I will love them freely.” Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then he would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, “I will love you freely.” We complain, “Lord, my heart is so hard.” “I will love you freely.” “But I do not feel my need of Christ as I could wish.” “I will not love you because you feel your need; I will love you freely.” “But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I could desire.” Remember, the softening of spirit is not a condition, for there are no conditions; the covenant of grace has no conditionality whatever; so that we without any fitness may venture upon the promise of God which was made to us in Christ Jesus, when he said, “He that believeth on him is not condemned.” It is blessed to know that the grace of God is free to us at all times, without preparation, without fitness, without money, and without price! “I will love them freely.” These words invite backsliders to return: indeed, the text was specially written for such-“I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely.” Backslider! surely the generosity of the promise will at once break your heart, and you will return, and seek your injured Father’s face.
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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 25:4-5 Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD, point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

This is a prayer that the Lord will answer every time. The Lord wants us to know the way to Him. He wants us to stay on the path to Him. He wants what is best for us and for us to be on the path that gets us there. He wants us to clearly know the truth. He wants us to learn the things we need to know in order to live holy lives.

The path that leads to the Lord is a rugged path because it is not worn down by many travelers. It is rugged because we are constantly battling Satan along the way to stay on it. It is rugged because it requires much determination, commitment, and work on our part. It is rugged because it’s the only way we will ever develop our spiritual muscles to sustain us in life. It is rugged because sometimes it’s a very lonely road since most do not travel on it.

We must be careful that we don’t get on the wrong road. Only one road leads us to Christ and it is the road of Mount Calvary. We have to ask the Lord to help us because it’s so easy to get off track and start traveling on the wrong path. One thing to look out for is if everything is easy with no struggles along the way, you are traveling on the wrong road. On Calvary’s road, we must pick up our cross and carry it along with us daily.

As we travel this journey of life we must always be led by God’s Word if we want to see Jesus. We must make it a priority in our lives to learn God’s truth and live it. We must never be satisfied with what we know, or think we know. We must always remain teachable. We must never get out from underneath its teachings.

Only the Lord our God can save us. He alone is the only hope we have for making it to heaven. Let us stay the course and always follow in the footprints of Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation.
C Through Marriage
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Think by Ada Brownell

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Writing occurs first in the mind. Authors think.

You can think anywhere. I used to take notes beside the sink as I washed dishes and cooked. I often keep an idea pad in my lap when we’re traveling. Pen and paper are in my nightstand. Every great book or article begins in the author’s brain, and that’s where we also should work out the kinks in novels or come up with great illustrations and original story angles.

Meditate on the things of God and listen for His voice. Often my best ideas come while I’m on my knees.

Here’s my advice if you’d like to stretch your writing to include Christian publications or other genres.

1) Read and study the publication or the book genre for which you would like to write.

Make notes. Copy guidelines and other info you notice. Stick these and samples of the publication. If you’re writing a book, collect website addresses of potential publishers’ book lists. If you plan to go Indie, look up books for sale in the genre you hope to target. You can buy and download e-books you want to study into your computer. Then ask yourself whether you can write and market similar stories or articles.

Clive Cussler, who was formerly in advertising, spoke years ago at a writers’ meeting and told us he used another novel as a model for his first book. He didn’t plagiarize. Instead, using his characters, setting and plot, he mimicked the style of the other author, creating a hook for each chapter as the author did, weaving in description and back story like the other writer, dropping in complications when the other person did, writing the dialogue in a similar way. He sold his book. I still see his byline on displays in airports and stores. He learned by thoroughly studying a successful novel.

2) Flesh out your ideas. With fiction, create character sketches, do scene research for the background and history on the location for your story—or draw a map of your fictional city and create your own history. Then identify your main character’s problem or goal. Don’t have mercy on your characters–create complications, or in other words, disaster. My editor of The Lady Fugitive told me, “Ada, you’re mean.” But she said it was a great cliff hanger at the end of that chapter.

You use some of the same fiction techniques for short fiction for Sunday school papers. A character with a problem and something or someone causing conflict. Conflict can be described as

1) Man against nature 2) Man against himself 3) Man against someone else 4) Man against evil. The areas of literary conflict are listed differently in some places.

Keep your eyes open for ideas, and learn to observe life everywhere. Rebecca McClanahan devotes a whole chapter in her book Word Painting to opening our eyes. She titled it, “The Eye of the Beholder,” and she highlights the many ways we can observe things around us.

3) For non-fiction: What do you know or what have you experienced that qualifies you to write the article or book? I used things I learned as a newspaper reporter for my books, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal; and Imagine the Future You. But I also drew on years of study, amazing life experiences that partly came from raising five children, writing more than 50 years, and teaching youth.

But no matter what you’ve experienced, we need to think. What do you know that will help others? What have you experienced that affected you greatly—that caused you to grow in some way, or conquer a huge problem?

4) Research facts about your subject. On my blog recently I wrote a story about feet http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-wonder-of-our-feet.html and later I submitted it to a Christian publication, informing the editor it appeared on my blog. The article came from thinking and remembering, but also through research. Notice how I used info about feet from the Bible and medical experts. Find applicable anecdotes and illustrations for your non-fiction. Interviews are great helps, too.

Use fiction techniques in your non-fiction, whether it’s a book or article, especially showing instead of telling. One of the best reviews I’ve received on my motivational Bible study, Imagine the Future You, said “It reads like fiction.”

5) Write. Edit. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, edit and send or publish. Forget that piece of writing and go on to your next project. If you’ve done your best, it’s in God’s hands. We sow and sometimes reap. God gives the increase.

MEET THE AUTHOR:

Ada Brownell

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and write books with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Among her books: Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AdaBrownellWritingMinistries
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AdaBrownell
Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06
BarnesandNoble.com http://ow.ly/rFSW3

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God’s Way by Laura J. Marshall

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Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12 that he pleaded with the Lord three times for the thorn of his flesh to be removed. God answered him “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Most of us are very aware of the thorn or thorns of our flesh. They keep us humble, human, and can cause us to need – turning outward instead of inward. If we had it all together, would we still love the way He wants us to? Is it through our broken hearts that the need for another is found?

We reach out for comfort or hope or strength and we give back the same when we see another’s struggles or desperation.

It is in and through our brokenness that God moves. I read a few weeks ago of a Japanese art called Kintsugi. It is the act of fixing broken pottery with gold, silver, or platinum. Wiki defines its philosophy “as it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.” These vessels are more beautiful for the break, not despite it.

Kintsugi
(Image from Wikipedia)

We are beautifully imperfect. These imperfections, individual to each of us, cause us to be able to have the capacity and compassion to relate to and love others.
Sometimes God must break our hearts to teach us to live (and love) His way.

It does not come naturally. It is the divine in a repaired vessel reaching out as the imperfections drive us, to a world who needs to see the beauty of the Lord’s work in us.
———-

About the Author:

Laura Marshall

Laura J. Marshall is a full-time mom of five boys. When not on active duty, she is the best-selling author of Christian romance, nonfiction, and Archibald’s Bible Adventure series for kids. Visit Laura’s website at http://www.LauraJMarshall.com

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All We Like Sheep by Lynn Mosher

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Lynn Mosher

Sheep intrigue me. I started a small collection of little sheep figurines with the ones found in an old crèche set. I love them. I place them around a shepherd that looks like he might have been David with a precious lamb wrapped around his shoulders. I always think of him as Jesus carrying me.

The figurines have different looks on their tiny faces as they stand in different positions. Some look up adoringly at the shepherd and some graze at his feet. Reminds me of the different times in my day. Sometimes gazing up into His face in thanksgiving; sometimes falling on my face before Him in heartache or in praise.

If we compare sheep’s characteristics with those of humans, we’ll find they are very similar. No wonder Jesus lovingly calls us His sheep. How similar? Let’s see…

Sheep are not very intelligent!

Actually, they are notoriously dumb! They have the IQ of a rubber tree plant! Because of this brain deficiency, they are the only herd-type animal that requires a custodian or guardian to give them constant care and supervision 24/7. A shepherd must commit his whole life to watching over his flock.

Because they have a strong instinct to follow a leader, when one sheep decides to wander off, the rest of the flock usually follows, no matter where it takes them. For example, if the lead sheep jumps over a cliff, the others will more than likely follow.

Because of their lack of intelligence, they…

…are not trainable…

They also need constant supervision because they are not trainable. You’ll never see them in the circus doing tricks on command.

Though they are not teachable, they will imitate the exact thing the one in front of them does. For instance, I read that, if you hold a stick in front of the first sheep in a line and it jumps over the stick, the rest of the flock will mindlessly follow suit, leaping over the stick, even when it is taken away!

Because they are not trainable, pain and punishment have little or no effect on their behavior because they have no memory and do not learn from their mistakes. They keep doing the same dumb things over and over.

…will wander off, go astray, and, with no sense of direction, get into trouble.

And since they will senselessly follow the one in front of them, they will all wander off in any direction and probably get into trouble. Therefore, with no sense of direction, if one sheep wanders off and gets lost, the rest of the flock will follow right along, even if, like I said, the sheep jumps over a cliff.

As people…

Please don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t mean people are as dumb as rubber tree plants, but sometimes I wonder about the things we humans do. Sometimes, I don’t think we learn. We do the same dumb things over and over, going around, as some say, the same ol’ mountain again and again. It takes a while for us to be trained, if at all. If we could just learn a lesson the first time around, we wouldn’t suffer some of the same consequences.

This is why we need a guardian for constant care, just as the sheep do.

We have a strong instinct to follow a leader, but we need to make sure it is the right Leader. We will wander off aimlessly and follow the flock right over the cliff if we do not listen to the Shepherd’s voice and follow His footsteps.

With no sense of direction, we will always pick the wrong way without the Shepherd. We will continue to go astray and get lost.

The disciple Peter recognized that we all need the true Shepherd. Having known Him himself, Peter wrote, “Like sheep you wandered away from God, but now you have returned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:25a TLB)

* Do you repeat the same mistakes over and over?
* Have you wandered off aimlessly and lost your way?
* Or do you listen to the Shepherd’s voice and follow in His footsteps?

May you be blessed with the Great Shepherd’s constant care, guidance, and love.

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes for 10/14/2014

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 25:4-5 Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD, point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

This is a prayer that the Lord will answer every time. The Lord wants us to know the way to Him. He wants us to stay on the path to Him. He wants what is best for us and for us to be on the path that gets us there. He wants us to clearly know the truth. He wants us to learn the things we need to know in order to live holy lives.

The path that leads to the Lord is a rugged path because it is not worn down by many travelers. It is rugged because we are constantly battling Satan along the way to stay on it. It is rugged because it requires much determination, commitment, and work on our part. It is rugged because it’s the only way we will ever develop our spiritual muscles to sustain us in life. It is rugged because sometimes it’s a very lonely road since most do not travel on it.

We must be careful that we don’t get on the wrong road. Only one road leads us to Christ and it is the road of Mount Calvary. We have to ask the Lord to help us because it’s so easy to get off track and start traveling on the wrong path. One thing to look out for is if everything is easy with no struggles along the way, you are traveling on the wrong road. On Calvary’s road, we must pick up our cross and carry it along with us daily.

As we travel this journey of life we must always be led by God’s Word if we want to see Jesus. We must make it a priority in our lives to learn God’s truth and live it. We must never be satisfied with what we know, or think we know. We must always remain teachable. We must never get out from underneath its teachings.

Only the Lord our God can save us. He alone is the only hope we have for making it to heaven. Let us stay the course and always follow in the footprints of Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation.
C Through Marriage
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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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Redemption Interview by Lillian Duncan

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REDEMPTION PROMO:

Redemption

To celebrate the release of REDEMPTION, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. But wait…there’s more! I always feel bad for the people who enter the contest but don’t win. So I’m also going to pick FIVE more lucky names to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Just the right amount to buy REDEMPTION! Just kidding, the winners can use it to buy whatever they wish.

So hop on over to TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at http://www.lillian-duncan.com to enter. Leave a comment on the post REDEMPTION and you’ll be entered to win. Easy Peasy!! Contest ends on October 18.

Tell us about REDEMPTION.

It’s the third and final book in my Sisters by Choice series. Well, probably last. I do have an idea for a fourth book rattling around in my brain, but it’s only an idea at the moment. Who knows if it will actually grow into a book?

Redemption brings the series full circle and gives closure for those who’ve read all three books. Jamie is the missing twin in the first book-DECEPTION. And in REDEMPTION, we come to learn more about Jamie and her spiritual struggles. But the main story is about a missing child who Jamie is determined to find—no matter the danger to herself.

What’s the setting for REDEMPTION?

This story is all over the place. It starts in Florida, then Jamie goes to Ohio and on to Wyoming and New Mexico—and not all of her own doing!

How did you come up with the title for REDEMPTION?

The story begins with Patti not understanding why her twin, Jamie, continues to place herself in serious jeopardy time and time again. Jamie doesn’t understand either. Only that she needs to help others if and when she can no matter the danger to herself.

As the writer I know why, and I’ll share the secret with you. Jamie is ashamed of things she’s done in her past. As a result she feels God can’t love her the way she is. So she seeks redemption by putting herself in dangerous situations to help other people.

But then I checked out the definition of redemption. Dictionary.com defines redemption as an act of atoning for a fault or a mistake; deliverance or rescue; deliverance from sin; salvation; atonement for guilt.

Wow! As I look at those definitions, I realize REDEMPTION is full of all sorts of redemption for many of the characters in the story—not just Jamie’s. No wonder that’s the title I chose.

Why did you write REDEMPTION?

We only catch a brief glimpse of Jamie in DECEPTION and BETRAYED. REDEMPTION is Jamie’s story.

What do you want readers to take away from REDEMPTION?

God loves us no matter what we’ve done in the past or what we do in the present or will do in the future. His love is the one constant we can always count on!

Does REDEMPTION have a theme?

God loves us just the way we are and He is always there waiting for us to come to him.

What’s the SISTERS BY CHOICE series about?

This series definitely has romance in it, but I also wanted to explore the strong bonds that form between women—through blood or through the choices we make. Each story focuses on a relationship between two women that becomes as important to the story as the romantic plot.

Why did you become a writer?

I always had stories in my head waiting to be told. Unfortunately for many years those stories were only being enjoyed by me. One day a light bulb went off—hey, maybe I should be writing these stories down for other people!

That was the day a writer was born, but it took many long years until I could say, “I’m a writer!” Now, I love saying that.

What is your writing process?

I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?

Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be. As the story comes to a conclusion, I am surprised right along with my readers. REDEMPTION was no exception. I thought I knew who the bad guy was but as usual there were a few surprises!

Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?

I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s all right. I understand that. I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

As mysteries and suspense, there is, of course, some violence in the stories. However; I don’t promote or glorify violence. I make sure to show characters experiencing the natural consequences of bad choices and bad actions.

Then what makes your stories Christian Fiction?

My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.

My stories shows characters in crisis. I use the crisis to illustrate how real Christians react to real problems in their life. We all react in different ways when bad things happen and the same is true in my stories. I show characters having doubt but also resolving that doubt and becoming stronger in their faith as a result of the crisis.

One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.

If REDEMPTION becomes a movie who would you like to see play your main characters?

I’d love to have the Oslin twins play Jamie and Patti. As for Enrique—a dark, handsome actor with a bit of a Hispanic accent. Mmm, who could that be?

What are you working on now?

In July, I had a new mystery novella series released–DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS. It features a crime-fighting speech pathologist. Having been a speech pathologist for almost 35 years, this story was so much fun for me to write.

The second in the series—NOWHERE TO BELONG—will be released sometime next year and I still have some work to do on the third in the series. Along with that I have a few other projects I’m working on. Busy, busy, busy!

HOW CAN READERS FIND YOU ON THE INTERNET?

My website is http://www.lillianduncan.net. My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at http://www.lillian-duncan.com. I’m also on Twitter as https://twitter.com/LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan I also contribute to Putting On The New at http://www.puttingonthenew.com.

BOOK LINK:  http://buff.ly/1lLHN7F

BLURB:

Others may think Jamie Jakowski is a hero, but she knows differently.

Haunted by her past, she seeks redemption by helping others in spite of the danger to herself. However, after almost orphaning her daughter, Jamie opts to retire. When a friend needs her, Jamie agrees to one last undercover operation.

She is determined to reunite a heartbroken mother with her kidnapped son. Used to working alone, Jamie’s not happy when she’s assigned a partner. And after a failed operation and their failed romance, Enrique Rodriguez is the last person she wants to work with—ever.

To succeed, Jamie must confront her past as well as the people who want her dead.

BIO:

Lillian Duncan
Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem!

Lillian is a multi-published writer with several Amazon bestsellers, including The Christmas Stalking and Betrayed. Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch or two of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us.

Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: http://www.lillianduncan.net. Tiaras & Tennis Shoes is her personal blog at http://www.lillian-duncan.com.

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Devorah’s (Deborah) Prayer by Paula Rose Michelson

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Scripture: “Barak said to her, “if you go with me, I will go; but if you do not go with me, I will not go.” Very well,” Devorah said, “I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Siser over to a woman.” (Judges 4:8-9) In reply, Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again,” (John 3:3)

What were you thinking my sister, my kinswoman? How did you come to feel comfortable with the task laid before you? I know that you were a woman of prayer, one that was called by God Most High. If I could have been there would I have heard your petition which is, I think, founded on the same questions all of us women pray when we are asked by God to step out of our normal roles and assume a mantel that is unique? If so I believe that your prayer might have sounded something like this:

“Oh God why have you chosen me for this work,
I am as a seed of wheat,
Not yet ripe for the harvest,
Yet you call!

Oh God why have you asked me to lead men,
I am as one unprepared for war,
Not schooled in weapons and fighting,
Yet you call!

Oh God why have you asked me to bear the burdens of the nation Yisrael,
I am as one of the least of your people,
Not wise in my own understanding,
Yet you call!”

“Daughter, it is because you see yourself as nothing,”
Saying, “I am as a seed of wheat,
Not yet ripe for the harvest,
That I call!

Daughter, it is because you see yourself as one unprepared for war,
That I ask you to equip my people with righteousness and send them out with prayer,
For there is no weapon fashioned against my righteous ones that will stand,
That I call!

Daughter, it is because you see yourself as a seeker of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
Because you have an undivided heart that yearns for and reaches up to me,
Saying “What is God’s will in this matter,
That I call.

Many are ready for leadership in the world’s sight,
Many are prepared to do things in their own way,
Many believe they have a burden to serve but will leave when the battle turns against them,
But few truly know how to seek after me with all their mind, all their heart and all their soul.

That is why I have chosen you,
For you have chosen to abide in me,
I have chosen you to be a standard to my people,
an example of selfless devotion to their God.

That in seeing your selfless devotion to me,
They may also come to know Adoni-Jireh,
The Lord that will provide today,
Then, they will learn to search for my provision tomorrow.

For just as I had my servant Moses lift up the serpent in the desert,
That all who looked upon it in faith would not die,
Even though they had been bitten by a deadly snake,
My people must learn to look at those I have lifted up and not judge them,
But see me!”

“This I understand Lord Most High,
This, I Devorah, pledge to do and this will I sing about,
And give glory to your name for you chose a servant not a warrior,
That your name would and will be forever proclaimed!”

“Yes, and in the future that is yet to be another comes that is greater that he,
Greater than Moses who I led through the red sea,
Greater then any who have walked the earth,
for this is the Messiah who will herald in the rebirth.

“My Lord, I do not understand for I am not wise,
However, if you will it,
I will pray for those who will hear it,
that you open up their eyes.”

Oh Devorah did you know, as I think all the righteous do, that life is fleeting and there is more to us than the here and now? If so, may I, and all that follow after be as wise as you were. Wise enough to know our wisdom is as nothing before the throne of God Most High. Yet, wise enough to know that what we say and do matters both here and now and ripples throughout eternity. May God grant us all a modicum of understanding and a heart that is melded to His, least we fall into Satan snare and become ineffectual for all who care to hear and heed the message of the Lord and His Messiah.

Paula Rose Michelson 2001

Authors Bio:

Paula Rose Michelson

Paula Rose Michelson’s journey from fear to faith in Messiah and her awareness that the Lord turned her, “…darkness into light” (2 Samuel 22:29), as she took, “every thought captive unto Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), thus daily having her thoughts, “transformed by the renewing of (her) mind”, (Romans 12:2), lead her to found LAMB Ministries in 1988. She continues to call her to help women recover from trauma and abuse through the effective use of Scripture and prayer.

Her books: Christian romance with a Messianic twist and a hint of history, nonfiction recovery, and political satire stem from her belief that God is in control.

She is the wife of Lutheran Pastor and Chosen People Field Missionary, Ron Michelson. The mother of two married daughters, and grandmother of seven grandchildren, when not involved in ministry, writing, speaking, or teaching the effective use Scripture, you will find Paula researching her next book or meeting with friends.

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The Congregation of the Beloved To One Another Part Two by Allison Kohn

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Allison Kohn

Three truths we should remember about our love for each other: 1. We are to love one another in the same way Jesus (Yeshua) loves us. He gave up his life for us and we, with his love and power, can give up our own interests for what our brothers and sisters need. We are equiped to, and must be willing to, empathize with each other. 2. Our love for each other is our proof to the world that we are followers of Jesus because God is made manifest to the world through our love for oneanother; when we relate to, put up with, and carry each other’s burdens – our love reflects God’s glory to the world. 3. Jesus (Yeshua) prayed for us to love one another and God always heard Jesus when he prayed; so we know God is working everything together in our lives so we will be what we should be: for good; and we are blessed when we cooperate with God and work with him as he re-creates us in his image.
The one another verses in the Bible are instructions for loving each other and living lives that will glorify God. Walking in the Light, as John spoke of in I John 1:7, means seeing ourselves as God sees us so our daily practice will more nearly match our position in Christ. We will see the sin in our own lives and farsake it, while we daily practice goodness, righteousness, and truth.We will daily die to our old nature with it’s unfruitful deeds of darkness.

We reflect God’s attributes when we demonstrate generocity, cordiality, and reception to our borthers and sisters without selfish greed.Greed and selfish behavior have no place in the fellowship of God’s people. We can see that things the world considers treasure are really trash compared to the riches of God’s character, so we can shun them and display the wealth of the righteousness and holiness of our new nature. Our new nature is kind, soft-hearted, and forgiving toward the family members.

So, all this is very fine, you say, but what about that woman who “says” she’s a Christian but acts like the devil’s grandmother behind that fake smile and those righteous words with no action to back them up? You believe you have the gift of exortation and need to show her the error of her ways, you say. Well, the meaning of exortation is to call to ones side, strengthen by consolation, comfort, instruct, admonish, beg (intreet, beseech), to strive to appease by entreaty, to recieve consolation, to instruct (teach). Let’s talk about that first. We don’t pick and choose who we want to be soft-hearted and forgiving toward. Jesus left us examples of how to call others to our side. First and formost, we have to be sure our side is God’s side – and God is love. Tough love is great but we have to be sure it is not a harsh counterfiet of love. It is God who puts us through the fires of refinement, our job is to strengthen by encouragement and consolation. The best way for us to instruct each other is by our own example. Our gentle explaination of why we do what we do will go a lot further toward instruction than harsh lectures.

We can’t weed out the tares in our wheat field. If that woman or man says she or he is a stalk of wheat, we must treat them like a family member, not an outsider. God wil seperate the wheat from the tares in his own time and way. Meanwhile we will go on being light to the darkness around us no matter where it is and the one another verses from the Bible, our instruction manual, will be our guide.

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CrossReads Book Blast for Tony Yang

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By Tony Yang

About the Book:

When we think about our love relationship with God, we tend to focus on His love for us: God created us in His image. God sent His only begotten son to die for our sins. God will send His son once again to take us home.

But what about our love for God?

What exactly does it mean to love God? Why is it so important? And how do we love Him? Tony Yang answers these questions through a Bible-centered approach, weaving in his personal testimony with his unique storytelling style.

His conclusion is one that he least expected—the “O” word.

In his highly anticipated debut book, Tony Yang presents key questions and answers them with such simplicity, using easy-to-follow practical applications. With a solid Biblical foundation, it also educates, encourages and inspires, leaving the reader to desire a deeper relationship with our God.

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Tony Yang - Casual PortraitTony Yang is a storyteller.

As a television news reporter, he discovered his passion for finding and telling good stories. After eight years as a journalist, he found himself on the administrative side of health care and higher education as a communication executive (but still a storyteller at heart.) His career has been recognized by industry organizations with nearly 20 professional awards, including two Emmys.

Through God’s leading, Tony Yang hopes to use his love of writing and storytelling to share his experiences and encourage others in their love relationship with God.

 

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