Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 116:15 The LORD’s loved ones are precious to him; it grieves him when they die.

This is a verse that comforts the soul. We need to be reminded of it over and over again. We who are children of God are precious to Him. Dear friend, you need to grasp this awesome truth today. You are loved by God and are precious to Him. Regardless of how you may feel about it, it is true. God’s love for you does not depend on how you feel or your circumstances of life. He loves you. And, His love for you is not a sentimental love. He loves you with the highest form of love there is. He loves you unconditionally and sacrificially. You do not have to be somebody, know somebody, or cater to anybody to be loved by God. You are loved simply because God is love and it is impossible for Him to not love you.

You are precious to Him. You may sense that you don’t matter to anyone. There may be times in which you feel like your life is so insignificant that if you weren’t alive no one would care. You may feel like everyone is against you and that your life is worthless. Those thoughts and feelings come straight from the pits of hell. Dear child, you are precious to the Lord. He loves you and loves to hold you close. You are the object of His love. You are why He came to earth and died at Calvary. You are why He is in heaven today preparing a dwelling place for you. Because you are precious to Him, He will never leave you alone or forsake you. He will always be available to you when you call on Him. He will always come to your rescue when everyone else abandons you.

It grieves the Lord when people die. The Lord loves and He is grieved when people die without knowing His love. He is not willing that anyone would perish and spend eternity in hell. It would be the greatest news the Lord could ever have if hell would be empty except for Satan and his demonic forces. He loves everyone in the world and longs for fellowship with them, but He knows that most will spurn His love and not be with Him in heaven. It greatly grieves the heart of God when a soul goes to hell because they chose to not let Him be the lover of their soul.

Oh dear friend, won’t you let the Lord love you today? No matter what your circumstances may be or how you may feel, won’t you open up your heart to Him and let Him give you a love bath? Let the Lord in and let Him hold you close. You will be glad you did. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the life of His children.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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Liberty and Freedom by Rebekah Beene

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“Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.”Patrick Henry 1775

Today we celebrate our free country’s birth. The founding fathers and mothers didn’t just come over here and claim land. They left their home country because of cruel and oppressive government rule to find freedom to worship the God of the Bible. But this desire for freedom came at a price.  And it took 8 long years to win. Today the freedoms we take so for granted were granted to us by the blood of soldiers who fought and died for our freedom.

Oh beloved, you are a valiant warrior, fighting for freedom from tyranny. Each time you pray God arises and your enemies are scattered. The oppression you have faced has been great. The enemy of the earth and the heavenlies has been cruel beyond measure. But you are not destined to fall at his merciless brutality.  No, beloved, you aren’t destined to live an oppressed, depressed, enslaved life. You do not fight a single battle alone. Christ went to the cross to stand in the gap against all wickedness and evil devices the enemy could ever think up. You have declared your independence from the old life and are now declaring your total dependence upon the Only Living God!

Rejoice in your freedom! Thank Him as He raises up the heavenly host to fight on your behalf. Praise Him for the rare strong, valiant, mature believers He raises up to help you in battle. This is your day to rise up and say no more devil! You cannot have my country or my life or my heritage or my family or my descendants! I serve a God Who is able and He has promised never to leave me or forsake me.

God loves you and He’s for you! As surely as He ordained this country to live free, He has ordained you to live even more free. Walk in His favor and remember you are invincible because God is within you as you live in the Truth of the Freedom of the Cross!

Psalm 31:4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for You are my refuge.

Psalm 33:16 & 18 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love

Psalm 3:1-3 O LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head!

John 8:36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

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

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

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

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Nobody likes to be criticized, right? Even if it’s done supposedly to help you, we don’t really like to be confronted with something that another person doesn’t think is perfect about us.

However, a disturbing trend I see nowadays in Christians is the inability to hear anything negative.

We act as if any time someone says something negative to us, it’s because they’re jealous, or they’re being sinful, or they should take the beam out of their own eye first.

I see memes being shared stating that if someone can’t accept you as you are, then just leave that person behind.

Now, I’m not saying that there are no boundaries. And I’m not addressing the notion of BEING critical. I’m talking now about TAKING criticism.

Whether or not it’s given in the right spirit, we can (and ought) to TAKE it in the right spirit.

What if, when the prophet Nathan had said to David, “Thou art the man!” King David had turned to Nathan and told him he had no right to talk to him that way? What if King David had told the prophet that he hadn’t asked for Nathan’s opinion, and that he was having a bad day already and Nathan should be more kind? What if David had begun pointing out all of Nathan’s shortcomings, and said that he’d only listen once Nathan had all those things cleared up himself?

Yet it’s responses like these that I hear and see around me all the time from Christians.

We seem to be incapable of hearing anything negative about ourselves, focusing instead on the way the message was delivered, the person who delivered it, and/or our excuses for why that issue might be true in our life.

It’s not like I’m not the same way – I am. But what I’m trying to say is, we should NOT be that way.

When someone comes and points out a problem in our life, we ought to be thanking them. Whether they were doing it from the goodness of their heart or not, whether they’ve got their life all in order or not, whether there are valid reasons or legitimate excuses –

What if, instead of ignoring the critique, defending ourselves, or relegating the critique to jealousy or bitterness, we take that criticism as perhaps something God is trying to point out.

Yes, God.

I’ve even heard some people say that if there were really a problem, then God will point it out.

Doesn’t God work through His people?

So if someone is pointing out an issue or problem in your life, maybe that IS God pointing it out to you.

Let’s not be so quick to dismiss criticism. Instead, take it in, examine it, see if there’s anything you can learn from it.

Let it grow you.

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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The Strange Necessity of Death by Parker J. Cole

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The entirety of this post came to me this morning while I was in the shower around 7:30ish. You may be thinking why would she be thinking about Death so early? I don’t know. Since childhood, Death has been a constant refrain in my mind for one reason or another. My mother and father always told me I was trying to kill them for many years. Well, not really KILL them but I often asked about how things would be after they die.

Go figure.

At any rate, this post is a stepping point from another blog post I saw on SpeculativeFaith.com where one of the bloggers mentioned how a lot of speculative fiction on TV tries to get rid of death or overthrow death. Characters are suddenly brought back by some means, whether supernaturally or artificially enhanced. This tendency to eradicate death in our fiction has some repercussions in real life some of us may not be aware. We may possible forget the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

Death however, in the context of our sinful nature, is a strange necessity. Death does things nothing else quite on earth can do.

Death changes things. Change is a part of life. Without it, things stagnate. Stagnation breeds contempt and limits creativity. Now, I’m not referring to the cycle of life as people develop and grow in the normal course of human development. Without death, things don’t change. Would anyone still want to be fighting a war with Hitler or Stalin at the helm? When God told Adam and Eve they were going to die, it changed the whole of paradise to them. God kicked them out the garden in order to save them. As I understand it, had they stayed in the Garden, they would have lived eternal in sinful bodies that could never be reconciled to the Lord. The way death changes things can be summed in a few points:

  • Death is the great equalizer. No matter your social standing, Death will come to you unless the good Lord decides to rapture us. Death doesn’t care about your station in life, your wealth, your knowledge or lack thereof. Death is the great enemy of us all, no matter who we are. Is it any wonder why the Bible calls it the King of Terrors?
  • Death forces us to look at our mortality and our lives. Since death doesn’t care who we are, when a loved one or someone we know dies, we’re forced to take a step back and really think about our lives. Are we really going to be stuck in a dead end job for the rest of our lives? Are we really going to stay in a toxic relationship? Are we really going to let our dreams slip by? What are we waiting for? Jesus said himself, “I come that you may have LIFE and have LIFE more abundantly.” In the context of this scripture, he is talking about eternal life and a life with our Father. But when we allow Christ to lead us, we have greater life in this world until He calls us home.
  • Death can cause us to mature. When a loved one dies, especially if we’ve depended on them, the ripping away of the rock in our lives can be the stepping stone to maturity. Please understand: I’m not saying we should seek death in order to grow mature. That’s not it whatsoever. My granny always tells me you have to keep moving no matter what.
  • When my grandfather died, she’d been married to him for a number of years. She could have collapsed from not having her life partner with her but she forged a new path for herself, wrapped in her grandchildren. I’ll never forget how proud I was when at 72 years old, she received her high school diploma. She was probably the oldest graduate there but I assure you, she was one of the happiest. Some people succumb to the crushing permanence of separation Death causes. You can succumb or you can use it to develop and grow. Do you know why? Psalms 23 “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For thou art with me.” So in reality, it’s not Death that matures us, it’s Christ who does it because we are never alone.
  • Death ends suffering. It’s pretty self-explanatory. After all the questions of, “God, why do we have to suffer,” Death ends those by taking us or our loved ones. Like it or not, death will end suffering on this side of eternity. I’m not saying it’s going to make sense or we’re going to understand it. I’m not saying we should rush to make hasty decisions when loved ones are between the grip of life and death. But Death is a necessity to end suffering – it’s as simple and complicated as that.
  • Death will bring us closer to the Lord. This is probably the best part of the post that is at most an inadequate response to questions and thoughts about Death. The apostle Paul looked forward to being with the Lord. He said, ‘To live is Christ, and to die is to gain.” He understood Death brought us to the Lord—we who believe in Him. In fact, once we recognize how much more we have to gain in the presence of God, we can joyfully say, “Death where is your sting. Grave, where is your victory?” With Christ, Death does not and cannot steal our joy.

I’m not sure if I explained myself but I wanted to share my thoughts. Feel free to correct me or expand where I am wrong. I’ll leave your with the lyric of this song When I see Jesus Amen– When I see Jesus Amen– All of my troubles will be over, when I see Jesus Amen

Then the strange necessity of Death will be no more.

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 116:12-14 What can I offer the LORD for all he has done for me? I will lift up a cup symbolizing his salvation. I will praise the LORD’s name for saving me. I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

There is nothing we can offer the Lord that can come close to being good enough to show our gratitude for our salvation. His gift of life is priceless. It cannot be fully understood or appreciated. All we can do is treasure it. The more we treasure it, the more valuable it becomes to us.

I fear that many of us do not treasure it much. We accept it, but then we take it for granted and let it lose it’s luster in our lives. We don’t take pride in it and keep it fresh and glowing in our lives. We let our living tarnish it and even render it useless in our lives. We treat God’s gift with little respect and fail to appreciate what we have been given. How can we be so foolish?

Salvation is the gateway into heaven. Salvation is the gateway into holiness. It is God’s way of preparing us so that we can enter into His presence without fear and judgment because of our sin. Salvation allows us to have fellowship with God! Salvation is God’s guarantee that we will not spend eternity in hell.

I challenge you to keep the promises you made to the Lord. When you first believed, did you promise Him the best of your love? Did you promise Him to go anywhere He would lead you, to do whatever He bid you to do? Did you promise Him that you would right some wrong that you had done? Did you promise Him that you would be faithful to Him and do what is right in His eyes? Did you promise to let Him have His way with you?

Lift up the cup of your salvation to the Lord today. Repent of those things that are not true to your salvation. Repent of the promises you have made to the Lord and have not kept. Renew your vows to Him. Let your heart once again be able to sing His praises. He is waiting for you.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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How to Write a Novella by Suzanne D. Williams

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I have made my writing career on novellas and short stories. By definition, this is any book less than 40,000 words. To date, I have seventy in publication written in a four year time span. So to say I know how to write one is putting it mildly.

I recently read the words of another author who prefers to write novellas. This author described the antipathy in modern publishing companies toward anything of less than 60,000 words and also the destruction of his story when he tried to make it longer than it really should be. I’ve experienced both mindsets. Most promo sites require a book to be full length. Many readers leave negative reviews based strictly on story size and not quality of writing.

But the one thing from the article that stuck with me the most was this – the author said the appeal for him was starting the book at the beginning of a flight and ending it when you landed. I’ve only flown a few times, but I like that idea, that, as a reader, I can dip into my imagination and leave satisfied in such a short period of time.

As an author, I also like knowing there isn’t far to go from the beginning to the end in writing. However, to make a novella truly worthwhile, there are a few tips I can offer to writing one successfully.

A. Start with action, preferably mid-story.

Don’t work up to the action. Begin with it. The main character has the gun is about to fire it. The girl meets the boy by tripping over his shoes. In a novella, that first chapter should start at a key moment and end at a key moment. You have no time to dawdle.

You’re not writing an entire epic of the character’s life, but a single moment in it. Think of a personal story, say the office Christmas party. If you were telling that to a friend, you wouldn’t start with your earliest childhood memory, but perhaps walking in the door. You’d end it at a satisfying point in the evening as well. Pick a good ending and forget what might happen to the character once he goes home.

This isn’t to say you don’t need to tie up all your loose ends. You do. But the reader must assume there was life before that story and life after it.

B. Avoid mindless descriptions and backstory. Avoid lengthy dialogue.

Make your words count. You can’t run on and on about the size of the estate, the style of dress, or have pages and pages of dialogue not related to the plot. Ask yourself what matters the most and cut away the frills and the lace.

For instance: John notices April’s dress because it’s too short. There’s no need to have April’s thoughts on why she picked out the dress, that her mother gave it to her on her sixteenth birthday, that she picked it over another dress she liked better. None of that matters unless the dress is the point of the story. If I want the reader to know what he thinks about the dress, then I have him notice the dress and move on to the main point of the scene.

This idea also works with dialogue. Write well. Put thought into what the characters say, but don’t use needless space discussing things that don’t advance the plot. Which brings me to point C.

C. Write ONLY the scenes that advance the plot.

There are no visits to Mom’s house for cake unless something important happens with the cake or Mom is going to give some important word of advice while they eat the cake. Just to include a scene to add word count will detract from the story itself.

My biggest pet peeve with longer books are scenes that are there as filler. The importance of the story, the impact, should always be that it’s well written, not how long or short it is. I’ve read long books that were awesome and short stories that blew me away. LENGTH IS NEVER A DETERMINING FACTOR AS TO QUALITY … unless the length is incorrect for the story itself.

A well-written novella will cover everything the plot needs to satisfy the reader without adding too much in or taking too much away.

D. Limit the number of characters to four or five (max), but two or three is better.

Having fewer characters is almost a must. I usually have the two main characters (John and April), a best friend, and maybe a parental figure. That’s it. Everyone else either isn’t named (the grocer, the boss, a woman in the store) or has only a first name, usually something generic and forgettable.

And I introduce them in separate scenes, never all at once, and in the order of importance in the story. For instance, the best friend is going to be in more scenes than any other supporting character, then she is introduced first. If Mom only gets one scene, she can come in later.

In conclusion.

Novellas are a GREAT way to get started writing and, for someone not used to writing them, a good way to challenge yourself. I admit, marketing requires thick skin and determination. Long-standing prejudices tend to pop up regularly. But there IS a faithful readership for them.

Don’t let anyone tell you they won’t sell. I am proof positive that’s not true.

Now available!

99 cents.

http://amzn.to/1UP6OMB

Nate's Healing

*This is a short story of 15,000 words. It can be read as a standalone.

“I don’t care if you never eat another potato I’ve cooked or if you lay there in bed and turn into one, but I’ll wear white at a funeral before I’ll be associated in any manner with Arthur Willowby. He may have legs, but they’re fat ones. I’d just as soon snuggle up with a goat.”

She whirled and stomped off, not looking back, but heard his laughter as she rounded the corner again.

—–

Nate Sawyer has a good life as a bachelor and no immediate interest in forming a permanent relationship. One day, he’ll find the girl of his dreams. Until then, he has a loving family and a job he enjoys. He’s in no hurry to settle down.

Georgianna Smith headed south after the death of her papa and a failed attempt to find love. A new start in a new place seems like her best choice, especially when she learns she’s expecting a child. No one there will know what poor decisions she’s made and judge her for it.

Nate’s sudden bout of crippling illness shortens the distance between their neighboring houses. She’s his promise of a happy, normal life, and he’s the man she should have waited for, a loving man, a perfect would-be father … if their inward personal struggles don’t tear them apart.

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 http://www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SDWAuthor.

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Recipe for a Southern Barbeque by BJ Robinson

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I’m from the South and my husband is from the North, so I was used to Southern barbeques. What he called barbeque was simply plain grilled to me, so I was disappointed to find that when he said barbecue, it was plain grilling. To me, barbeque means with barbeque sauce. I love to smell it cooking.

He grills his with no sauce, and I use Kraft honey barbeque sauce or hickory smoke on mine. He enjoys steaks and burgers. I enjoy those, but I also enjoy hot dogs and chicken legs as well as boneless lemon-pepper chicken breasts, which he doesn’t like. I like to make homemade potato salad, but he doesn’t eat it. He opts for a baked potato. That’s okay. I have leftover potato salad, and the flavor goes through it, and it’s even better the next day.

In the South, we use barbeque sauce. The northern one is easy. Just put it on the grill plain.

In my books, you will often find characters enjoying a barbeque. Since the Fourth of July will soon be here, and many families will barbecue, here is a way to experience barbecued or just plain grilled for your tastes. Have a safe family day this federal holiday that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. When Old Glory ripples with the wind, enjoy the time with your family and thank those who have kept freedom waving.

Step 1: Grill the meat until lightly browned and sauce. Some put sauce on it while it is raw. I do. He waits. It works either way. I like mine not burnt, but dark and a little black won’t hurt me.

You can also barbeque fish or shrimp. Love them both.

Step 2: The Potato Salad:

Peel, wash, and clean about three pounds of potatoes or use a five-pound bag if you have someone else to help you eat the salad. Boil potatoes and three eggs. Peel eggs and chop. Dice pickles, olives, green onions, and use about one teaspoon mustard, if you like it. Leave out the onions if you don’t care for them. Some people do not use the mustard in the potato salad and use only mayo. I like both. If you like, you can use spicy mustard. I usually use the yellow.

Mix and include the mayo to taste. Season with salt, pepper, or seasonings you enjoy. Tip: If you refrigerate the potato salad and let it get cold, and you have used the green onions, you will find the flavor goes through it more. You will need to refrigerate it regardless to keep it from spoiling, but some people like to eat it while it’s fresh and hot. I enjoy mine cold.

To me, a barbeque is not one without potato salad. I have discovered I also enjoy the Amish potato salad and if I don’t have time to make my own, I will buy a container of it from Publix, but I still like my homemade the best.

The neat thing is you can make the potato salad to suit your tastes by putting in or leaving out what you please. If you’ve never tried a southern barbeque, you might find you like it. However, my husband still doesn’t eat potato salad and will put no sauce on his meat. He wants it just plain grilled. We used to enjoy this potato-salad recipe for family gatherings of any type. It goes well with many dishes besides barbecue. Fried chicken and potato salad is a given. It goes well with beef stew. For the Fourth of July, we always had barbeque and potato salad. Enjoy.

You might enjoy a little historical romance as you savor those flavors and scents cooking with the breeze sending them through the air. Below you will find a small blurb about my latest two novels.

Lexie thought she’d never love again until Reese Armstrong made her want to live. Readers who’ve read this one can’t wait for the sequel, and it’s here!

This one has been called the best yet by early readers and reviewers. Bestseller Historical romance. Cover beautiful Houmas House Plantation near New Orleans. When Reese Armstrong met Lexie, he knew he’d met one of a kind, but could he win her heart?

The way they met wouldn’t help change her mind. He never thought he’d fall for a belle. A young widow has to learn to let go of the past to claim a future. http://www.amazon.com/Siege-Azalea-Plantation-Book-ebook/dp/B018JOIFRI

Azalea Plantation is here! Book 2 in the Azalea Plantation Series.

Azalea Plantation

Reese Armstrong recently married Alexis, but he must leave her after a short honeymoon.

Lexie’s heart breaks when he decides she’d be safer at his uncle’s plantation near New Orleans, and she must leave her beloved home. Warned on the Natchez on the way to the city, trouble strikes in New Orleans and leaves her to wonder if she’s made the right decision. Will she ever see little Reese, her husband, or her beloved home again? http://www.amazon.com/Azalea-Plantation-Siege-Book-ebook/dp/B01CSOTHQS/

About the Author:

B. J. RobinsonB. J. Robinson pens historical romance from her home in Florida as three dogs keep her company. She has five children and thirteen grandchildren. Visit her Amazon Author Page for a selection of books in various genres and to discover more historical romance. http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458650137&sr=8-2-ent

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Stay Among The Living by Rebekah Beene

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Among the old photos we received, there was a picture of Danny’s grandmother Pearl with a man named Elvis. Elvis of all things! We know he must be kinfolks, but none of us have ever heard of a cousin or brother or uncle named Elvis. I even when to a great sight online called Find-A-Grave to look for him but that was a wash. Amazingly many graves in cemeteries all over the country are recorded on this sight. You just have to have time to go through the graveyards to find someone. Searching among the dead for answers sounds wrong doesn’t it? 
 
Oh beloved, God wants you to know this morning that He doesn’t expect you to search among the dead to find your answers. The world, as far as spiritual living, is dead. It holds no real answers. It carries no living epistles. Even though your ancestry may be found among the dead, your life, your hope and your future is found among the risen – the Living Christ! He is not in the grave; He is alive and interceding for you and me with the Father in heaven. God’s Word is alive and sharper than any two edged sword – it will help you pierce through the dead lies and find living proof and lively answers! 
 
Now it is time to rise above tradition and cultivate a living relationship with Christ! This is your strength for living! This is your truth for life! God loves you but He is a living Lord, so it’s not some distant someday kind of love. No, beloved, it’s the kind of love that’s based on His value of you as a living, breathing, born again human walking this life for His glory! Know too, that because you are living in Christ you can speak to the dry bones you see and call them to life! Lost family will come forth alive! Dead works will vaporize and be replaced with resurrection living! You no longer look to what you see for your truth, you look to the truth for your sight! Speak the truth over everything and everyone for your power is in the living faith of Christ! 
 
God loves you and He’s for you! Cultivate this life of faith and rejoice as you live fully alive in Spirit filled harmony and agreement with the Lord of Heaven and Earth! 
 
Luke 20:38 Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him. 
 
I Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God 
 
2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

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

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

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

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CrossPs. 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, but to you goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

We are not as careful as we should be about accepting the praise and adoration of others. We like the attention and sometimes let it go to our heads. We get the idea that we deserve it. We accept praise because of our hard work and talents. We somehow get the idea we are worthy of the attention lavished on us. We soak it up and before you know it, we become arrogant and proud of who we are and what we have done.

We are sinners by nature and it is the natural thing for us to do. It takes determination and a right relationship with God for us to resist the temptation. We must constantly be reminded of the fact that only God deserves the praise, honor, and glory others try to bestow on us. We dare not forget that who we are and what we become is all because of God’s mercy and grace. It is God who enables us to become who we are. God alone deserves the credit.

If our heart is right with God, we will want to give him the glory for all things. We will understand that it is because of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness towards us that we are who we are. We will understand that we deserve nothing from God but His wrath, but instead He has given us His mercy and favor.

If our heart is right with God, we will be careful to not hoard the praise of others. Instead, we will give it to the Lord who alone deserves it. We will not take ourselves seriously. We will always understand who we are before Him. We will always strive to please and honor Him in all things. We will understand that whatever we may be able to become or achieve is because of God’s gracious work in us. And, we will understand that all of it can be taken away from us in a moment if we let sin creep in and take away from the Lord the glory due his holy name.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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Can We Not Know We Are Serving Christ? by Mary C. Findley

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In Matthew 25:31 ff Jesus speaks about sheep and goats. They will be separated in the end times and the goats will be condemned. The sheep, on His right, will be praised in this manner:

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

Did you notice something odd about this passage? The sheep — the blessed of the Father, express surprise that they were “caught serving” Christ. They didn’t know they were doing it. How can that be? Don’t some of us work hard to “work the works of Christ”? Don’t we want to be known for serving Him? But these people … they are just going about their lives, doing what comes to mind, and earning Christ’s praise because it turns out they are serving and meeting needs for food, clothing, drink, shelter, all the way down to prison visits. Yet they react with surprise. They’re not working to earn a reward. They’re not looking for Jesus as they meet needs and show love. But there He is, and He’s blessing them and rewarding them.

I want to stop working so hard to please God. I want it to be natural and automatic to show love that pleases God. I want to be surprised when Jesus says, “You did these things, and they were for me.”

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