Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 17:9 Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends.

We have a problem that doesn’t go away. We are prone to see the faults in people more than we do their good qualities. We magnify flaws more than we should. It is easy to see what’s wrong with others and overlook what is right with them. We do it for a variety of reasons. Probably the greatest reason is that when we do it, we forget about ourselves and our flaws. As long as we can point fingers at others, we can forget how needy we are to change. We live in denial. We think we are better off than we really are. We think we are justified in comparing others to ourselves and calling them up short.

First of all, we need to see ourselves for who we really are before God and not man. How we stack up to others is not even in the formula. All that matters is how God sees us. He sees our heart and knows our thoughts. He is never fooled by the way we portray ourselves. The sooner we accept this truth, the better we are.

We must then confess to the Lord what he reveals to us. We must not excuse ourselves or let it slide. We have need of confession for our sins. We have no business looking down on others because they are sinners when we ourselves are guilty of sin. We must take the log out of our own eyes before we take upon ourselves the duty of trying to take the splinter out of someone else’s eyes.

Love dictates that we mind our own business when it comes to the faults of others. We need to embrace others in love. We need to focus on the good in them and let the Lord take care of the rest. If there is something that should be pointed out for someone’s good because it is the loving thing to do, we should do it prayerfully and carefully. We should always do it out of love and never with a condescending or judgmental spirit.

Criticizing others drives them away from us. No one wants to be around someone who is always finding fault. The best way to be friendless is to have a critical and judgmental spirit. If you find yourself with very few friends, perhaps you need to look in the mirror and take an honest look at yourself as you stand before God.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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Counted Worthy of Suffering

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by Mary Hamilton

The apostles left the Sanhedrin rejoicing that they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Acts 5:41 (NIV)

Sounds like a good time, doesn’t it? The apostles walked out of the meeting place where the Sanhedrin sat in judgment and they were rejoicing. I imagine a lot of back-slapping, high-fiving and laughing. They’d been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for Jesus’ sake. Way to go, guys!

Actually, I doubt that’s how it went. If we look back to verse 40, we see the Sanhedrin ordered them flogged. Like Jesus was flogged. Thirty-nine lashes with a bone and metal-tipped whip intended to shred the skin on the victim’s back. Thirty-nine—because few survived that fortieth lash.

When the apostles may have left the Sanhedrin, could they have left under their own power? Who could walk after receiving 39 lashes? Maybe friends and followers carried them home. I doubt there were any high-fives, and I’m certain there was no backslapping or laughter.

Yet, there was rejoicing. They were glad they’d been counted worthy to suffer for the Name of Jesus. To them, persecution wasn’t some sort of punishment or a trampling of their rights. It was an honor, something to be found worthy of. Why? Maybe because they’d seen their Lord suffer torture and death for them, and if they wanted to be like Him—to identify with Him—they had to be willing to do what He did.

I admit I have a hard time understanding this. As a citizen of a free country, I don’t consider suffering something to be worthy of, but rather something to be avoided. I back down at the slightest rebuke for my faith, unwilling to step on toes or offend anyone. But sometimes, God calls us to suffer verbal attacks, rejection, even physical harm as a result of our faith. Like the martyrs of old and of recent times in other lands, may the Holy Spirit grant us the attitude of rejoicing that we are counted worthy to suffer for the Name. And may His kingdom increase because of such a witness.

Author Bio: 

Mary HamiltonMary L. Hamilton grew up at a camp much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp Collection, giving her books a strong sense of authenticity. She has also published Pendant, a Christian cozy mystery. Besides writing, Mary also enjoys knitting, photography, spending time with her grown children and watching sunsets with her husband of 35+ years. They make their home in central Texas. Learn more at www.maryhamiltonbooks.com 

 

Rustic Knoll Bible Camp Collection

Hear No Evil Box set

Book link: amzn.com/B0768771XY 

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Mouth Confession; Heart Belief

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”   (Romans 10:9).

There must be confession with the mouth. Have I made it? Have I openly avowed my faith in Jesus as the Savior whom God has raised from the dead, and have I done it in God’s way! Let me honestly answer this question.

There must also be belief with the heart. Do I sincerely believe in the risen LORD Jesus? Do I trust in Him as my sole hope of salvation? Is this trust from my heart? Let me answer as before God.

If I can truly claim that I have both confessed Christ and believed in Him, then I am saved. The text does not say it may be so, but it is plain as a pikestaff and clear as the sun in the heavens: “Thou shalt be saved.” As a believer and a confessor, I may lay my hand on this promise and plead it before the LORD God at this moment, and throughout life, and in the hour of death, and at the Day of Judgment.

I must be saved from the guilt of sin, the power of sin, the punishment of sin, and ultimately from the very being of sin. God hath said it — “Thou shalt be saved.” I believe it. I shall be saved. I am saved. Glory be to God forever and ever!

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

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Storms of Life

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by CJ Peterson

When the storms of life hit, are you ready? These will undoubtedly hit, but are you prepared? Who is your Captain? Is He experienced? How much experience does your crew have? How many newbie sailors are on board with you (or is it you)? When you are sailing, there is a pre-sail checklist to do, which will also include knowing where all your safety equipment is on board the ship.

So, in your mind, allow us to take a trip…

It’s a beautiful, sunny day for your first trip out. Your Captain is a strong sailor, who has sailed these seven seas all His life. He designed and built this ship, so He’s aware of every nook and cranny, and has hand-picked His crew, knowing their strengths and weaknesses. He pairs you with a weathered sailor for your rookie trip out. This is a person with whom you connect immediately. You both have similar stories in your background, but he has the sailing experience you don’t. As a matter of fact, he’s the one who introduced you to the Captain, knowing the Captain would be good for you and would take care of you. You see, you’ve had a rough background, and you couldn’t give a fleeting thought about anyone else in the world. Trust was a luxury you couldn’t afford, but you have to eat, so you allow yourself to have maybe a ‘mustard seed’ size of trust in this Captain. At the very least, you can have food in your belly each day.

As the boat is cast off, there is a slight breeze, allowing the boat to sail calmly out into the ocean. The first few days are smooth, which allow your trainer to show you many different aspects of the boat, as well as the ‘what to do when…’ list.

On day four, the Captain calls you to Him. The way He maneuvers the boat, allows Him to also speak with you and get to know you. The Captain has a lot of insight in the world, how it works, and He shares many stories from the past in His sailing around the world. You drink up His words and enjoy your time with Him. He allows you to soak in His stories and experiences for several days before it happens.

You are woken up early in the morning by your trainer. There is a storm on the horizon, and the crew has to get ready and brace for it. With your heart racing, you run up on deck with the rest of the crew. You listen carefully to your trainer as he shows you how to use the radio, how to put on your lifejacket, and how to use the windward jackline. Afterward, you work with the crew to clear the deck and secure everything that could potentially move.

As you work, you suddenly realize just how dark it is around you. Even though it is only two in the afternoon, it looks as if it is ten o’clock at night. The clouds churn above you, threatening to open up any minute. You work as fast as you can as your heart races out of control. The pounding of your heartbeat almost deafens you, while many dangerous and deadly scenarios play out in your mind.

Feeling the Captain’s rough and weathered hand thump on your shoulder, you turn to look into His eyes. They are tender and calm as He gently asks, “Do you you not remember all those stories I shared with you? Do you not know Who created this vessel and Who its Captain is?”

“Yes-yes, sir,” you stammer.

“Then know that I will not let anyone out of My sight until we are clear of this storm. Things will happen that will terrify you. You will see things that will freeze you in its wake. When you get scared, I only ask you to do one thing.”

Remembering the stories He shared, you stand confidently, and say, “Anything You ask, sir.”

He crouches down, eye level with you. “When you feel like you can’t go on, when you lose sight of the security beneath you, when the storm rages so badly that you can’t even see your crew mates, I ask only for you to look to Me. I will take care of you. I need you to trust in Me that I will get us through this. Without the trust of the crew for the Captain, the boat will sink. If you have to come all the way up to Me, and sit with Me at the helm, then so be it. This is your first storm. After this, your trust will multiply with each storm you go through. You will become more confident in Me as we go through each one. I have hand picked this crew, knowing their strengths and weaknesses. They will help you in areas where you are weak, and you will help them in the areas where you are strong. That’s how it works. Trust them. Trust Me.”

With renewed vigor, you salute Him, and say with more boldness, “I do trust you, Sir. I trust the crew you have given me as well.”

Resting both His hands on your shoulders, He reminds you, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you. You are one of Mine now. You are part of My family. Trust Me.”

“I will, sir, but I may make mistakes.”

“You may, but  that’s life and you will survive. Keep in mind that at the end of this storm, you will live again.”

With that, He leaves for the helm to continue preparations. As soon as the Captain disappears, your trainer is instantly at your side, guiding and directing your steps, reminding you of what to do when situations happen, when suddenly the clouds break open.

Tossing the ship to and fro, you hold on for dear life! As the waves drop the ship below, into their cavernous depths, and propel the ship toward its peaks at mind-boggling rates of speed, terrifying would have been a calm word! It was during one of those plummets into the depths that you feel the boat tilt to the side where you are secured. With the water inches from your face, you look toward the helm and see the Captain through the window. Tears fill your eyes as you see the room glow. Pulling and tugging your way, you slip several times before you reach the helm.

Your lifeline snaps just as a hand appears before you, reaching down toward you. Before you fall into the churning seas below, you grasp His hand, holding on for dear life.

Dangling in the air, the only thing holding you onto the ship was the hand of the Captain. “I’ve got you! I will never let you go!” He shouts, and pulls you to the helm with Him. “Hold onto something! We’re almost through!”

You look around, panic-stricken. “How can you tell?”

With a look of peace, He gently explains, “I’ve been through many a storm. I have guided many through safely, and I will not give up until we are through this. I am your Captain. Trust Me.”

About the Author:

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

While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.

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

Follow her on 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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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 17:3 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart.

If you want pure gold and silver they must survive the test of fire. Fire gets rid of all the impurities that may be found there. The end result of going through the fire is a product that is beautiful, pure and of great worth.

It is the same with the soul. In order for the soul to be something of beauty and useful to God, it must first be tested and refined by God. The goal of God as He works in us is to make us pure. He never stops working on us because He knows that we will never be 100% pure this side of heaven. He created us with a will and He knows that we don’t always choose to cooperate with Him. We struggle and sometimes fight the process. We don’t like the process of going through the fire; it makes us uncomfortable and sometimes hurts a lot. We try to avoid the heat as much as possible. And the more we struggle against God, the more we find ourselves in need of God’s testing and refining.

Left alone we will never become pure in heart; we will avoid the refining fire. We will never be found to be pleasing and acceptable to God. We must let the Lord work in us. Knowing that He loves us and sees the beautiful person we can become, it is in our best interest to submit to Him and let Him have His way with us.

Thank you, O Lord, for not giving up on us. We thank You for seeing in us something beautiful to reclaim. We thank You for your refining fire. We thank You that we are becoming pure in heart. Lord, we confess those times in which we struggle against you. We know we don’t always let You have your way with us and thus delay the process of our becoming pure. We ask You to forgive us. Lord, we must have your help in this. We ask You to strengthen our resolve to not sin against you. We ask that You do whatever you need to do in us to make us pure and keep us that way. Lord, test our hearts today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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Why I Write Diverse

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by Precarious Yates

I didn’t set out to write my books with a diverse cast of characters. After a while, I realized that this theme kept popping up with each book.

Diversity wasn’t some trend I picked up on. I grew up in the city, so I was immersed in lots of different cultures.

In elementary school, the majority from any race differed from class to class. This school was close to the graduate school of an Ivy League university, and the plethora of foreign students sent their children to this school. In my particular class one year, the majority of the kids were Chinese. The next year, there were more kids from India than from anywhere else. At one point, my best friend was Everet from Ethiopia. At another point, it was Kaia from Arizona.

The church where my dad was a pastor was attended by graduate students as well. At times, it was like a mini UN during the coffee hour. You could walk through and hear all kinds of languages. German. Mandarin. Afrikaans.

I was so used to this level of diversity that homogeny kind of freaked me out. The first time I attended a school where everyone in the class spoke English as a first language, or at least fluently, I was eleven.

I had no idea that most children didn’t have this kind of upbringing. Most kids my age, when Tianamin Square demonstrations and massacre occurred, who were 11/12 years, thought it strange that I was so upset by this. It hit me so hard because some friends from my last school had gone back to China. I felt personally connected.

For the rest of my life, I made it a point to connect with people of different ethnicities, so I could learn from them, and also because I found people I really enjoyed hanging out with. It gave me perspective about the world at large, the world outside of my bubble.

People who give writing advice often say, “Write what you know.” There’s a way in which we do this without consciously thinking about it. For me, diversity is what I knew. It surrounded me during the most formative years of my life.

Right now, there’s a major push in the publishing industry, both indie and traditional, to have diversity in books. I don’t think that’s something any writer can just do. This, more than anything else, is where “Write what you know” comes into play. You need to KNOW the voices, the culture, the reason behind a certain way of forming sentences. Simply watching movies or TV doesn’t give the real insight. You can’t glean this knowledge from a script.

If you don’t think you’re ready to write a culturally diverse novel but would like to, check out some others who have. I can recommend Parker J Cole, Angelia Vernon Menchan, Suprina Frazier, and Joanna Alonso.

Other than that, stretch out, reach beyond your comfort zone. One main piece of advice I give to writers is, “Write what you NEED to know.” That’s part of what drives me to write culturally diverse books even after I realized I was. Because I NEED to know.

Why do we need to know about cultural diversity?

Because heaven will be culturally diverse.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, – Revelation 7:9

Don’t fret about perfection. One thing I have learned in all my travels: there’s so much diversity even within a single culture!

May God’s blessing be upon you and you write!

Precarious Yates

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

Links:

Facebook Amazon Author Page

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Sell Your Book(s), Promote Your Blog With Twitter

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by Patricia Bell

Hi my name is Patricia Bell and recently I decided to make my own twitter exchange group. I’d been retweeting in several groups but found much of the content I was obligated to retweet to be either very dark or much too sexual. I write clean, Christian books and I wanted a platform where I could get my Novels seen by others but not compromise my values at the same time. So, as they say, if you can’t join them, make your own. (No one says that.) Anyway, so I created my own group called Christian/Cleanread Retweet group. In this group, all are welcome to post clean tweets about whatever they like. 

You may be asking what exactly a retweet group is and how it works? Well, basically it’s a way for thousands (or tens of thousands) of like-minded people to see your tweets. Each day, a thread is posted in which each person may leave a tweet link. The only requirements are, first it must be clean, and second, you must reciprocate 100%. Which means, if you post a link you must then retweet all the links posted for that day. If for some reason you are not in a tweeting mood that day, no problem, if you don’t post a link on the daily thread, you are not required to retweet that day.  

Since I am the administrator of the group, I am happy to welcome new members and get the word out to spread more clean news on the internet. If you would like to join, click the link below and I will promptly get you into the group.  

Want your #Tweet seen by a larger like-minded audience? Join the newly formed Christian/Cleanread Retweet group. We Retweet all things clean. Books, blogs, recipes, quotes…if it’s clean we will get the word out!(no ads please) Already in a #Christian or #Clean #Retweet group? It’s okay, you can never have too many. You may even meet some new people! Click below to join! #WeTweetClean

Christian Cleanread/Retweet Group

 

http://bit.ly/2pImv2x 

My links 

http://amazon.com/author/pbellauthor 

http://pbellauthor.weebly.com/ 

https://www.facebook.com/pbellauthor/ 

https://twitter.com/mrsbellaz 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2598681.Patricia_Bell

A Light in the Darkness

My Bio 

Patricia BellPatricia Bell is an Arizonian, who has traveled much of the world. Growing up a military brat and joining the Navy herself, at the age of eighteen, has allowed her to see many places and experience the world. She’s also served on Mission trips to Uganda, Africa, which has greatly changed her perspective on life and living.
She has since settled down and now writes YA and Mystery Novels. She is an Avid reader of Christian fiction of any kind, and sometimes dabbles into the unknown world of Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and John Grisham.
She’s married to the love of her life and has three children who are now grown and facing the world on their own. Years of raising her teenagers has given her plenty of experience in the YA realm. As a matter of fact, if you read her stories, you may glimpse some of their characteristics within.

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A Review Revisited: The Flower Brides

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by Paula Rose

This review originally appeared on Books-N-Reviews by Paula Rose on Publishers Marketplace.

Publisher: Barbour Books | Published: July 1, 2015 | Formats: eBook and Paperback (848 pages) | ASIN: B0125U9CQA and ISBN: 9781630588489 | Series: Grace Livingston Hill Classics Love Endures | Origin: NetGalley 

 The Flower Brides

Cover: Courtesy of http://www.barbourbooks.com/ 

Thoughts:

THE FLOWER BRIDES by Grace Livingston Hill introduces readers to three old-world stories with a date in charm, sensibility, and storytelling having His presence ingrained throughout Marigold, Mystery Flowers, and White Orchids.

In reading these stories by Grace Livingston Hill, we escape the contemporary times and travel back to the style of each tale in thoughts, speech, proprieties, expectations, and dress as we meet amazing characters where many are good but a few surprise us in their cunning, manipulative, and deceptive ways!

Although contemporary writing has changed, these sweetened stories illustrate many of the same flaws, schemes, dangerous people, and foolhardy traits that existed beforehand are still around today. Albeit some formats may change with reasons, the problems still coexist with humanity.

***This opinion is my own.***

Preview:

Grace Livingston Hill was a past generation’s first with His message in fiction, but she’s still as relevant today as in her day.

Readers look into a woman’s life while she is facing choices and dangers realizing what might come from the wrong direction inside Marigold.

Mystery Flowers takes us into the life of a young woman suffering still from the loss of her mother. Diana hasn’t moved on as far as one might even though her father has gone forward. His new marriage is disastrous, flawed, and bankrupt, but it is also quite dangerous.

Meanwhile, a crisis forms the beginning of White Orchids and takes us on Camilla’s journey in the aftermath, but once life returns to normal, threats and exploits are forged to force a split through a bond already established.

Author Bio:

Paula RoseAuthor Paula Rose brings an “average” family into extraordinary situations, brushes with life-size strokes of reality, adding just a touch of humor, and coats with suspense inside Christian fiction. Paula’s research gives readers a panoramic view from law enforcement and lends to character authenticity. She enjoys writing in the romantic suspense, suspense, and mystery genres, but when she’s not writing, Paula Rose is reading or playing amateur photographer. Member of ACFW. 2015 Genesis Contest judge. NetGalley member. 2014 Grace Awards judge.

Website: http://paularosebooks.com/ Blog: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/booksnreviews/

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

Prov. 16:21 The wise are known for their understanding, and instruction is appreciated if it’s well presented.

There are good teachers and bad teachers. There are those who teach from what they know and those who teach what they don’t know. A good teacher believes from the heart what he has learned and knows to be true. The best teachers have lived and experienced the truthfulness of what they teach. Understanding comes from living, not books. Speaking from experience validates one’s teachings.

When you speak truth because you live it, you gain respect and are trusted. It is important to know what gives a teacher credibility. The better you know your teacher, the more you can trust the worth of what is being said. Wisdom dictates that we be careful whom we allow to teach us.

It is good to sit at the feet of a good teacher who knows well how to teach. We learn best from those who teach well. For me, one of the things that I respond well to is one who teaches from the heart and not just a book. I trust more what is lived than I do what is taught. I want to know how truth works in life.

If you are a teacher of the Word, take your role as a teacher seriously. Those you teach are depending on you to help them learn how to apply Truth to their living. They need to know from your living and learning how to better walk in faith. Don’t waste the opportunity God gives you to help others. Do your best to present Truth well. Don’t be afraid to be transparent. Share how you have learned the lessons of faith you teach. Share your struggles, failures and victories. In other words, be real. It’s okay to be vulnerable, because everyone is in real life.

If you are not a teacher, thank the Lord for your teachers, pray for them, and let them know that you appreciate them.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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Habits

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by Sherry Chamblee

While having a routine is good, we forget sometimes that our routine doesn’t guarantee that we’re right with God.  

We have to live the truth, not just do things out of habit.

Sitting in church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car…

Holding a Bible doesn’t make you a Christian any more than holding a blade of grass makes you a lawn…

Talking about God doesn’t make you a Christian any more than saying “vroom” makes you a motorcycle…

While going to church, reading your Bible, and telling others about Christ are all vital parts of what God has called us to do, they are not in and of themselves what make us Christ-followers. They are symptoms, and symptoms can be faked.

Be real. Follow Christ out of love for Christ, and to do that, you have to know who Christ actually is, and spend time getting to know Him.

Parents, you should bring your children to church, but don’t rely on the church to show them the reality of Christ.  

What they see in their own home is what they’ll use to interpret what they hear at church.  

If your faith is fake, they’ll assume that it’s that way in the entire church…that they’re being taught dead religion, not living faith.

But if they see that you have a living faith in Christ, then what they hear at church will be vibrant in their hearts and minds.  

Show them the truth of God at home, and it will support the lessons they learn at church.

Be the Christian you know you should be, but do it because you’re trying to be real.

I’ve had someone tell me they acted like a good Christian out of “respect” for me… but in reality, they were being fake. I’d rather you be real, and show me that you have faults, than that you act perfect when in reality it’s the farthest thing from how you really want to act.

Being real doesn’t have to mean you’re rude or disrespectful or inappropriate. It means don’t pretend. And sometimes that takes work. Because being real for Christ means more than just being who you are… it means truly allowing Christ to change you into what He wants you to be.

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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