Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 13:9 The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the sinner’s light is snuffed out.

The life of the godly is full of light. We live in a dark world. No matter where you turn, there is darkness. The ways of the world are anti-God. There is nothing but an anti-holy mindset. The world is lost and has no clue how to find its way out of the darkness. On the other hand, the godly walk in the light of God. They know who they are and where they are going. They don’t have any confusion about what their life is all about. They understand life in ways that the world never can. They know the way to God while the world is forever trying to figure it out. The godly have it altogether while the world never does. The godly see life through the lens of God’s Word while the world can only see what is right in their own eyes.

The life of the godly is full of joy. There is just something about being right with God that causes one to be full of joy. The joy of the godly is not a giddy joy. It is the joy of knowing that the soul is right with God. It is the knowledge that if the Lord were to call us home today that we would be with Him tomorrow. It is knowing that God is real and all of His promises are true. It is the affirmation of soul that beyond this life there is eternal life with God in pure holiness. It is the knowledge that we are never alone in this life, that the Lord is always with us to help us, even in the worst of times.

It is not so for the sinner. Sin darkens the soul and mind of man. There is a darkness that envelopes the sinner that prevents the light from shining in. The sinner does not understand life from God’s perspective or how he fits into it. He has no hope for the future. He believes that the only life there is is the here and now. He sees himself as the only hope he has and strives to make himself happy anyway he can. He convinces himself that he is in control of his own destiny. He cannot comprehend life beyond death and if he does, he fashions an understanding of it that assures him that he will be alright in spite of the life he chooses to live. Sin darkens the soul and separates him from God who is light.

Wise is he who chooses to live a godly life where there is light and joy. Godliness is only found in a life fully surrendered to Jesus Christ.

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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How to Avoid the Slush Pile

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Editor’s Note: The Following is an article written by Tonya Barbee, a client of Paulette Harper, one of our regular contributors.

by Tonya Barbee

Do your homework first.  I recommend checking out the most current Guide to Literary Agents that is published yearly.  Don’t move forward without getting a hold of this book. Review it first and foremost to see what agents you are interested in writing. It’s difficult when it’s unsolicited because you have to search for someone who will be willing to review your material.  Check out the instructions for submissions and be sure to follow those instructions completely. Otherwise, that’s a sure way of getting your manuscript trashed. And be sure to have your agent’s name spelled correctly and include a subject.  I read that you would be surprised how many authors do not spell the agent’s name correctly and include a subject line such as the title and the genre as well.  Many times the agents allow for so many types of manuscripts and if you’re sending just one more of what has surpassed their quota of submissions. That would not be a good thing.   When agents give specific instructions to only send the first six chapters, do not send the entire manuscript when they didn’t ask for it.  That would be another mistake and could possibly get it in the slush pile.  It’s unfortunate but think of it this way, they probably get hundreds a day depending on the publishing company/agent.  It’s a massive business and I’m sure more manuscripts than there are agents to review them.  Another factor is to watch how you communicate on social media. I read an article that spoke about kindness.  Not only are employers reviewing social media sites of their future employees, agents are doing the same thing. Who wants to work with someone who is unkind? No one.  If you’re not being kind to people on your own personal Face Book site, who on earth would want to take a chance of being in a working relationship with you.  If you want to get your material read, follow these steps and be sure to proof read.  Being so close to your own material, you may not find any errors so I would advise paying either an English teacher or another professional editor. 

About The Author:

Tonya BarbeeTONYA BARBEE is a novelist and aspiring playwright. Her most recent published work is titled, The Little Girl Inside Owning My Role in My Own Pain. She is currently working on another project that complements this book. Tonya grew up in Durham, NC, a family of four daughters and one son. Her father, Woodrow served his country for twenty years as an Army officer, retired then taught ROTC for another twenty years and her mother, Doris, a college administrator. She is a proud 1980 graduate of Frank W. Ballou High School in Washington, DC. She worked in operations and management for Department of Agriculture for twenty years. For the past ten years, she’s worked as a project manager for Department of Defense in Washington, DC. She studied at National-Louis University where she earned her Masters in Business Administration in 2009.

Although she’s worked her way up the ladder in the federal government, she had no idea she would end up writing professionally however she has always enjoyed sharing her personal life through story telling with those she thought she could help. Then something clicked. As she writes, she is in hopes that her work reaches her readers that have been through something and have contemplated giving up. Her goal is to enable her readers to become empowered to keep moving forward to accomplish their dreams no matter what challenges they have been faced with.

Tonya resides in Bowie, MD with two of her youngest children, Christian and Zachary. Her eldest two, Andrew and Jessica left the nest years ago and have blessed her with seven beautiful grandkids.

About The Book:

The Little Girl InsideThe Little Girl Inside is a prolific story of triumph and discovery of inner peace. With each page, the reader will be captivated while the author uses the writing pen as a sowing tool-seaming a garment of praise, banner of victory and fabric of joy. With imaginative color, the book is a perfectly designed combination of patterns expressing the maturation of a woman.

A uniquely designed transparent jewel every woman should own in her jewelry box. The Little Girl Inside is a ministry resource tool for women in search for transparency in the human heart. The author shows us how to overcome the inner battle of doing the right thing the wrong way, going from finding love in the wrong places to allowing love to be revealed in the right time and in the right place.

Excerpt:

I made room for Sir Intellectual to bring what I thought were the remainder of hi things. I also made room on my health insurance policy just in case he didn’t have any. Too bad it didn’t occur to me to ask him. My ability to confront was non-existent. I decided not to wait until I returned to work to handle it. I contacted my carrier and updated my policy to include my new husband. The whole time I felt sad that he wasn’t contacting his carrier to include me. I had a husband, though what caliber of husband, I wasn’t sure. Sometimes I wanted to slap myself for being so needy that I overlooked important things and ignored flags, bells, and whistles been faced with.

Tonya resides in Bowie, MD with two of her youngest children, Christian and Zachary. Her eldest two, Andrew and Jessica left the nest years ago and have blessed her with seven beautiful grandkids.

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Temporary

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by BJ Robinson

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. – Revelation 22:1-2

… the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. Peter 3-7

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Peter 3-10

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth; the home of righteousness. Peter 3-13

In August my husband and I vacationed in Alaska. The day of the eclipse, he was in Homer fishing for halibut, but the waves were so rough the captain turned the boat around and took us in to be safe. We tried again the next day, and he caught his halibut, which is his main reason for going. It was beautiful, and my next work-in-progress is titled Alaskan Adventure. It was our first and probably only time to visit, and it was an Alaskan adventure for us.  

The day we were able to catch fish, it was the prettiest day out of the week we spent, and the sun was beautiful reflecting off the water as a pod of whales followed our boat. It rained every other day we were there, yet we found something to do and enjoyed our time there. I thought of how peaceful and untamed some of the territory was and could understand how some people feel in love with the place and wanted to move there, but I have to admit, as always after any vacation, I’m glad to be back home. There’s no place like home. 

Troubled times in today’s world from hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, and terrorists might make one long for the simple times of Henry David Thoreau when he lived on Walden Pond, but God promises a new heaven and earth that will be even better than Walden Pond, one with no sickness, no pain, and no death. He tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, to trust in Him.  

Years ago, I longed for the peaceful solitude of a cabin in the woods by water. For a short time I enjoyed my own with the Tickfaw River for my back door. Nature abounded the cabin on three sides with beautiful woodlands, and I loved it. To me, it was heaven on earth, and I read Walden by Henry David Thoreau when I lived there and identified with how he loved his simple cabin in the woods and the reasons he did. 

Thoreau wrote of his Walden Pond, “This is my lake county.  These with Concord River, are my water privileges . . .” He spoke of White Pond also.  As those were Thoreau’s water privileges, mine consisted of the Tickfaw River, and I took advantage of it on a daily basis that summer for fishing and swimming. 

I have had my money’s worth of sunny hours and summer days “spent lavishly,” as Thoreau said, splashing and swimming in the waters of that old muddy river. I practically lived on the banks of the Tickfaw River that summer.  My entire summer was spent between writing, with a view of the Holden woods, or swimming or sunning on the banks of the Tickfaw River.  I usually used my own private little island, which was a present leftover from the many floods, a gift from God. 

Just looking at the peaceful, calm water calmed and relaxed me.  It was my way of getting back to nature. I was like a bird out of a cage, and I enjoyed my freedom. The pond, the woods, and the river were my links to nature. Sometimes a writer needs his solitude and to get back to nature, and my own Walden allowed me to do this. As nature and peaceful solitude helped Henry David Thoreau, it also helped this writer write as well as reflect upon nature and God’s gift to us while we live in our temporary homes.

Robert Lowry wrote a hymn in 1864, “Shall We Gather at the River?” which eases my heart.

These songs and the above-captioned scriptures helped me in my time of need when I lost my mother and youngest sister six years apart. God sent His Comforter and though I still miss them dearly, I know they’re no longer in pain, and I will see them again when we gather at the river. As Robert Lowry wrote, “Yes, we’ll gather at the river, The beautiful, the beautiful river, Gather with the saints at the river That flows by the throne of God.”

I pray you will be comforted by the Bible verses and hymn as I was, and I pray for America in these trying days. Friends and loved ones, I hope to see you there one day. Meet me at the river. Remember, there’s no place like home.

B. J. Robinson

 

 

Bio: B. J. Robinson writes Amazon best-selling historical romance and romantic suspense and enjoys writing in various genres. There are numerous selections readers may choose from among romantic suspense, historical romance, mystery, and sweet contemporary romance. Robinson is an avid reader and passionate writer whose hope is to entertain her readers by taking them on a continuous journey to other worlds while reminding them of the beautiful one yet to come. If you would like to explore the various genres she’s written, please check out her Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458731934&sr=1-2-ent 

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A Review Revisited: Nowhere to Hide

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by Paula Rose

This review appeared on Books-N-Reviews on Publishers Marketplace by Paula Rose http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/booksnreviews/ 

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers | Published: March 1, 2015 | Format: eBook (224 pages) and Paperback (224 pages) | ASIN: B00TG0KAAU and ISBN: 9780736917483 | Origin: NetGalley 

Nowhere to Hide 

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers 

Thoughts:

In NOWHERE TO HIDE, Sigmund Brouwer pens a young-adult thriller that is hard to put down!

From the moment that William Lyon Mackenzie King senses something wasn’t right with Don Mundie, despite the badge he displays, readers will know this ride off McNeil Island is just the beginning of a web of deceit and betrayals. It becomes even clearer to King that his friends, MJ and Blake, have been doing something that Mundie isn’t part of, and the three friends go-rogue, speeding up this thrilling ride.

Soon, King, MJ, and Blake aren’t sure, who to believe, who is involved for good, and who is part of the problem, including one question that haunts him. When is it ever okay to lie?

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

Preview:

Sigmund Brouwer’s NOWHERE TO HIDE introduces us to cyber bounty hunting, but he demonstrates the long reach and consequences lies do have.

King, MJ, and Blake have parents active in raising them with good values, but these friends want to explore life away from the island. Cyber bounty hunting seems just the way to do it. However, they’ve seen some of the worst of the human condition and are put into a world where lies are careers and threats have realities.

You, along with them, will wonder why they are here and what happens if they get exposed.

In a world where nothing is as it seems, these friends face danger at every turn. Once their parents get involved in the case, danger’s arms entangle more than any of them thought possible, and now all families are a pawn inside the game of lies. 

About the Author:

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

CrossProv. 13:6 Godliness helps people all through life, while the evil are destroyed by their wickedness.

It is good for a person to live a godly life. Godliness gives a person a whole different perspective on living. The godly understand life to be more than what is experienced at the moment. They understand that life has a purpose far beyond life lived on earth. They know that there is much more to enjoy about life than the temporary pleasures found on earth. They know what it is like to not be at odds with God. They are at peace with themselves. The godly know that God is not some vague reality unattached from human life. They experience life as God intended for man to experience it. They have a sure foundation upon which to stand. They are guided by the hand of God and live by God’s holy standards.

On the other hand, an evil person lives in self-destruction. They are victims of their sinful choices. They are never at peace with either God or man. Mistrust plagues their living. They are driven by momentary pleasures. Their hope is built on whatever they are able to accomplish in this world. They are never satisfied, always needing a new fix to satisfy their needs. They have little real compassion for others, looking out for themselves at the expense of others. They are easily led away from the truth and often believe and live a lie. Evil people wreck havoc in the world and cause trouble wherever they go.

Godly people are humble and trainable. Evil people are stubborn and demand their own way. Godly people live by the Word of God while evil people live by the ways of the earth. God honors the life of the godly and rejects the ungodly. Yes, there are different degrees of wickedness, but it God’s eyes all who reject Him are among the wicked’

Everybody has a choice to make in life. They will either accept God’s offer of salvation and strive to live a godly life, or they will reject Christ and live a wicked life. No one can escape from having to choose. Godly living is all about daily choices. We must choose to live by God’s rules or to disobey Him and open the door for wickedness to enter in. Godliness takes constant vigilance over one’s soul. Wise is he who daily chooses to live life God’s way.

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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Crystal Rose

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by CJ Peterson

My husband sent a friend of his who got into a motorcyle accident some crystal roses. The more I thought about it, the more it began to make sense. I asked him, ‘Did you send her those to let her know she is stronger than she thinks she is, and isn’t made of crystal?’ He responded, ‘Something like that.’

In our lives, things happen every day. There is a saying, ‘What doesn’t kill you, makes your stronger.’ I have seen many people, where something big happened to them, and it ‘crippled’ them for life. They used it as a ‘crutch’ for not progressing, or succeeding in this area, or that area. They give up…or ‘break’ under the pressure.

In Isaiah 40:31, it says, ‘But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’

Through the many struggles I have fought in life, I have leaned on God, the Father…My Father…to give me strength when I couldn’t stand on my own. He gave me courage I didn’t think I had, showed me through my faith that He made me to be a strong person.

When you look at the crystal rose below, remember that you are a beautiful flower, created by God. You are not made of crystal. You are more valuable than even the finest crystal created. You will not ‘break’ when there is too much pressure applied to you. And when you do make it through – as I have faith you will – know there is a purpose for your life; that God made you more beautiful than any rose currently in bloom; and have courage to face the struggle before you, with the faith that you will make it though!

Crystal Rose

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The Leadership of Our Guide

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth”   (John 16:13).

Truth is like a vast cavern into which we desire to enter, but we are not able to traverse it alone. At the entrance it is clear and bright; but if we would go further and explore its innermost recesses, we must have a guide, or we shall lose ourselves. The Holy Spirit, who knows all truth perfectly, is the appointed guide of all true believers, and He conducts them as they are able to bear it, from one inner chamber to another, so that they behold the deep things of God, and His secret is made plain to them. What a promise is this for the humbly inquiring mind! We desire to know the truth and to enter into it. We are conscious of our own aptness to err, and we feel the urgent need of a guide. We rejoice that the Holy Spirit is come and abides among us. He condescends to act as a guide to us, and we gladly accept His leadership. “All truth” we wish to learn, that we may not be one-sided and out of balance. We would not be willingly ignorant of any part of revelation lest thereby we should miss blessing or incur sin. The Spirit of God has come that He may guide us into all truth: let us with obedient hearts hearken to His words and follow His lead.

If you would like to have your own copy of Morning and Evening click on the image.

Morning and Evening

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Glorifying God

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by Sherry Chamblee

Am I trying to please God? Or am I trying to glorify God?

I hadn’t really comprehended this as being different until tonight. Our church life group discussed this question tonight, and it made me think.

There is a difference between trying to please God, and trying to glorify God. Some might think of the difference as being insignificant, but I actually think it’s an important distinction.

God says we should be glorifying Him in all we do. Think about it, when we’re striving to please God, it has that note of desperation. Like we’re trying to do more to make God happier with us, like He’s not quite pleased, and we need to just try that little bit harder.  

But God doesn’t ask us to strive in that direction. God tells us to glorify Him.

So what do we do to glorify God?

Well that has more of an implication of “existing” in the right way, rather than having to frantically work for His favor. We can glorify God just by giving Him the credit for our achievements. Or by asking for His help and acknowledging when He’s the reason we were able to get through a rough spot.

It’s the difference between wondering if God’s going to be happy with me today or not, and wondering if an action we take will be damaging to God’s reputation, or uplifting His reputation in the eyes of others who are watching us live.

It’s a subtle difference, but sometimes those subtleties make all the difference in the world.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

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

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

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 13:5 Those who are godly hate lies, the wicked come to shame and disgrace.

Do you hate lies? We don’t like it when others lie to us, but are we guilty of lying to others? As children of God, we should be speaking the truth always. God demands that we speak the truth. It may not always be convenient or easy, but we must speak the truth. If we know telling the truth will make a situation worse, it is far better for us to not say anything rather than lie about it.

Sometimes telling the truth is hurtful. If the hurt is because of sin, then it is good to tell the truth so that the offender can see the truth and repent. But, when it becomes necessary to reveal someone’s sin, it must be done in godly love. If you can’t do it in love, keep your mouth shut and let someone else who can do it in love do it.

Sometimes telling the truth hurts a person’s ego. If it’s a matter of taste, appearance, habits, etc., tack must be used if anything is said. If you must speak, choose your words carefully. Attacking a person’s character is never good. Words can easily offend another and we must avoid doing that if possible. We are to build one another up and not tear them down. Sometimes silence is indeed golden.

There are people all around us who are liars. They don’t either care about telling the truth or they aren’t able to discern the truth. They are children of darkness and they bring shame and disgrace on their own heads. The Lord will take care of them in due time. It is not our responsibility to judge or condemn them. It is far better for us to pray for them than it is to judge them. They wreak havoc in the public arena and they often make life miserable for those who are honest in their hearts. Only the Lord can change their hearts and ways. Ask Him to work on their hearts and shed light on their souls. They need the Lord and they need us to pray for them.

Godly people hate lies and do not participate in 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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Wings – Free 10/2-10/6/2017

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WINGS 

SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS  

FREE 10/2-10/6/2017 

http://amzn.to/1JV0GMo 

Wings Free Giveaway 

Author’s Note:

This story is in large part an allegory, giving physical form to spiritual truths. Though I have taken some liberty with the abilities of the main characters, the power of God to bring complete salvation – of the heart, the mind, and the body – is available to any who will believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God is, in fact, stronger than the devil, which was defeated on the cross. This story seeks to represent this. I hope you’ll download your copy.

If I take the wings of the morning…even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me (Psalm 139:9-10).

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

She turned her head again and her gaze narrowed. “Shh.” Focused in one direction, she walked forward, leaving him standing in place. At the doorway to the classroom he’d just left, she halted then entered. 

Mystified, he followed. Inside the classroom, he came to a screeching halt. Mrs. Butler lay prone on the floor, her eyes open, her mouth agape. Sara bent over, cradling her head.

“I’ll go get help,” he said.

But she held up her hand. “Lock the door.” 

His brow furrowed. “Why? She needs help.”

“Just do it. I can fix this.”

“But …”

“Angus Brant Finlay lock the door.”

Her use of his middle name settled in his brain. He hadn’t given her that, so how’d she know it?

“If you keep standing there, she’ll die.”

Die? Then they did need help. He extended one hand toward the door with every intention of going through it, yet his fingers did as she’d asked. The lock clicked in place.

At the sound, Sara grasped Mrs. Butler and flipped her over. The teacher’s countenance was pale and, for all he could tell, she barely breathed. Kneeling overtop, Sara laid a hand on either side of the teacher’s face and began to croon.

He didn’t understand the words. In fact, they weren’t English at all, but an ethereal melody that came from everywhere at once. Permeating the atmosphere, it grew in intensity to the sound of a thousand voices, a harmony of tone and timbre in perfect accord.

Angus’s gaze widened. Sara’s voice carried over the rest, yet blended with it. She was singular, yet not alone at all.

He swallowed the knot in his throat and fingered the coin in his pocket, his nail fitting into the center of its bend. She bent a coin and now what? What was this? He stared across at her. She’d shifted her hands to Mrs. Butler’s chest, then down her frame to her belly. There, she silenced.

She shut her eyes and cupped her palms. A radiance formed on her skin, white Light spreading outward like a vapor and yet luminous from everywhere as the sound had been. It glimmered and flashed, consuming every corner of the room, encircling even him where he stood. Then in a blaze of brilliance, it blinded his eyes and disappeared.

The shape of things returned:  the desks, the white board, a pencil dropped in the floor. Mrs. Butler blinked up from her position in the floor.

“What happened?” she asked.

Sara glanced up at Angus. “Help me get her up.”

Awestruck, he obeyed, taking hold of Mrs. Butler’s elbow then her waist. Together, he and Sara moved her across the room to her desk chair. She sat, the seat whooshing out a puff of air, and leaned her head back. 

 “What do you remember?” Sara asked.

“Darkness. I couldn’t breathe, and then great Light. A voice said, ‘Go back.’ Wh-what happened to me?”

Sara took Mrs. Butler’s hand. “You have denied the doctor’s instructions about your heart.”

Mrs. Butler raised her gaze to Sara’s face. “How do you know that?”

“The Creator told me. You’ve denied Him, too. But He’s not finished with you here. Go home and see the doctor. Follow his instructions. Otherwise, this will happen again. The human body is frail; we must protect it.”

The bell rang in the hallway and a hand banged on the classroom door. “Mrs. Butler?” someone called.

“We need passes to class,” Sara said.

“Of course.” Mrs. Butler reached for her notepad and scribbled two excusals, handing one to each of them.

Angus folded his in his palm.

Sara took hold of his arm and urged him toward the door. Unlocking the knob, she pulled inward. Students fell into the room, pushing them both backward, and they moved to the side, at the next opening walking out.

“What was all that?” Angus asked.

Sara glanced at him. “This way.” Not releasing his arm, she pulled him behind her to the girl’s restroom. She stuck her head inside, looking back and forth, then tugged him after her. She placed her back to the door. “She has a heart condition, which she’s ignored.”

“Not that,” he said. “What you did. How did you know she was in there? And what was all the Light and sound?”

Her expression changed. She tilted her head. “You experienced that?”

“Yes.”

“You weren’t frightened?”

He rubbed his thumb between his eyes. No, he hadn’t been. Why not? He settled for a shake of his head.

“Not everyone sees, Angus. Most are blind. They grope around in Darkness of their own making, unable to spot the hope before them. You are blessed to have observed, and it shows your heart.”

“My heart? I’m confused. How do you know any of this?”

“The Creator speaks to me,” she said. “He is everywhere and all things at once.”

“But …”

She raised a hand to his face. “Keep these things in you, and we will talk. We must get to class.” She moved away from the door and tapped him outward.

He halted after a few steps. “When?” he asked. When would she explain what he’d just seen?

“My number,” she said. “It’s written in your notebook. Call me.” 

And turning her back, she walked off.

About The Author: 

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com. 

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