Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

I dare you to pray this prayer from your heart today. I dare you to let the Lord search out your heart and reveal to you what He finds there. Do you have the guts to let the Lord have access to your thought life? What do you think about that you don’t want others to know about? God knows all that you think about. What kind of thoughts do you have for those who wrong you? God knows what you are thinking. What do you think about when things don’t go your way and things begin to fall apart in your life? God knows what you are thinking.

Do you have the guts to ask the Lord to point out anything He finds that offends Him? Think about it. In light of what you understand from the Word, is there anything going on in your head or heart that you know offends God? Be honest with yourself. You know there are things that God is not pleased with. We all have the same problem. We all sin against God. What is He pointing out to you today?

What are you going to do about it? Are you going to continue on as if it doesn’t matter what the Lord finds, or are you going to confess it and seek the Lord’s forgiveness? You will do one or the other. If you don’t seek the Lord’s forgiveness, you won’t have His peace overshadowing your life until you do. You will not enjoy the presence of God until you do. It’s your choice.

Do you want the Lord to lead you along the path of everlasting life? He wants to do that for you, but He won’t drag you along. He will gladly lead you if you are willing to follow. He will show you how to live a life that pleases Him. He will show you what you need to get rid of in your heart and the changes you need to make. He will not mess around. He will lead you directly on the path of righteousness. He will not take any side trips. The way to heaven is a narrow path and you must stay behind the Lord at all times if you are going to safely make it home.

Do you dare to follow in the footsteps of Jesus today by letting him have his way with 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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Stepping Stool God

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by Sherry Chamblee

So the other day my daughter was sitting at the computer when she noticed her cat walking across the piano in her direction. Being the cat person that she is, this daughter stopped everything to talk to the cat. She even said, “Awww, are you coming over to sit with me?”

The cat walked to the edge of the piano, jumped on my daughter’s knee, and then straight off onto the floor and walked away, tail held high.

That cat had only been using my daughter as a stepping stool. My daughter and I laughed a bit and went on with our day, because it’s a cat and that’s what cats are like.

But then it got me thinking.

Do I act like God is my stepping stool?

He’s my stepping stool to heaven? To food on my table? To a roof over my head? To a job that can pay my bills?

Do I act like He’s only there for my own convenience?

It’s true that He wants me to see Him as the Provider, but I believe God wants me to see Him as more than just a stepping stool to get to where I want to be. He saved me so I could go to Heaven to BE WITH HIM. He wants my needs taken care of BECAUSE I have a relationship with Him.

I think sometimes we go around demanding this or that of God as if we’re the cat in the house and the ultimate ruler of everything. Instead of going to Him and just fellowshipping, do we go to Him and stay only when it’s cold outside? Do we use God the way the cat uses us? As a big heating blanket to be discarded once the need is done?

Oh I pray I see God in a different way than that. While yes, He’s my Master and Provider, He’s also my Friend and Guide and Counsellor.

God is so much more than just my stepping stool.

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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Water of Life

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by Rebekah Beene

We loved going to the river to swim as teens. Eventually the road to that wonderful flowing water was fenced off. There was an artesian spring my parents used to get water from in the same area. But one day we found out someone had blocked it off.

Flowing fresh water is imperative to our health. Without water it becomes hard to be clean, provide food or be refreshed. Even cattle know this. On the trail they would get very thirsty. Once they smelled water they would often stampede to it.

Oh beloved Jesus is the water of life! Through Him we become clean, are fed Living bread and always find refreshment. No other source will do. The enemy may tell you it’s all dried up or blocked away from your access. He will use lies that say you aren’t worthy or God has forsaken you.

God wants you to know that when you hear the enemy lie to you stampede in the direction of God! Run quickly and find your refreshment and stay there, close to Him, always!

God loves you and He’s for you! Rejoice that everything you need is found where He is! Rest in His promises and seek His face. Thank Him as well for the life giving flow that is yours for the asking. And live in the light of His mercy and grace!

John 7:38 Anyone who believes in mMemay come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'”

Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children.

John 4:13-14 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

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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Devotional for 3/1/2017

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by Mark Malcolm

Text Box

Not everything is about the non-Christian. Sometimes it is about our brother or sister in Christ. When we face outward in our attentions at all times we spend inner resources of strength, courage, and will. It is hard to wade into the World and be the gospel.

When our energy ebbs low we begin to stumble and make mistakes. When we get tired things become more difficult, our temper gets short, and we have less tolerance for those things we could normally put up with. Don’t let your brother or sister falter in defense of the Gospel as they work to move away from those things that mar their witness.

Re-read v24. We are to help one another. We are not meant to be in this alone. Yes, we are to witness to the lost, but we are also to witness to one another. Let us step up to the task of making sure we encourage each other, stimulate one another to love and good deeds. This is the primary purpose of our corporate worship together.

Sometimes this encouragement comes in the form of cautionary tales. When we are tired we make mistakes. Sometimes we don’t notice those mistakes while we remain in them in our exhaustion. It takes the loving kindness of a fellow laborer to point these missteps out. The wise man or woman will at once recognize the mistake and be thankful, but we cannot just wander about pointing fingers at errors.

We have got to more often provide encouragement to those who are laboring. If all we are known for is the accusing finger of inadequate behavior no one will listen to our words. More often will we get results if we are found spreading joy, peace, love, and hope; encouraging one another. Then, and only then will the reproofs of correction be heard and taken in the spirit in which they are intended.

Bio from my web site :

Smiling Mark IIMark Malcolm is a child of God, husband, father, project manager, technical writer, gamer, fiction writer, Marine (’87-’91), has practiced Shao Lin Kung Fu and Tai Chi, been published in magazines and newspapers (editorial anyway), and seen the Southern Cross.

The goals he has currently are to more accurately identify the path God has for him to walk, continue to provide for his family, establish a solid web presence, build a career writing novels through both traditional and independent publishing, and learn to better relate to the people around him.

http://www.firstchevalier.com/about-the-cavalier/

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Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 139:4; 141:3 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. Take control of what I say, O LORD, and keep my lips sealed.

The Lord knows what we are going to say even before we say it! He knows the heart and it is out of the heart that we speak. Think about it, the Lord knows everything we are going to say. He even knows what we want to say and don’t. Are you comfortable with what God knows about you? Does it frighten you that you may say something you don’t want the Lord to hear?

Let’s be honest; when we control what we say we often say the wrong things. We say things that we regret saying. We say things in ways that are hurtful. We say things that we don’t really mean. We say things for selfish reasons; things that make us come across in a better way than we really are. We say things that are self-promoting and defensive. When we are in control of what we say, we lack the wisdom of God to say helpful, encouraging, and edifying things.

The only way that we can speak in ways that please the Lord is to let Him control our hearts. Out of the heart the mouth speaks; what is in the heart is what comes out of our mouths. Only if the character of our heart is godly can we say things that are God honoring and helpful to others.

It is far better to keep our mouths shut if the Lord is not in control of our hearts. No one needs what comes out of a sinful heart. Ask the Lord faithfully to purify your heart and you will then be safe to speak. The Lord knows what is in your heart. He knows what you are capable of saying. We cannot hide from God what comes out of the heart. It is imperative therefore, to keep our souls pure. The Lord holds us accountable for what we say, how we say it, and why we say what we do.

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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I Am A Writer

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by Suzanne D. Williams

I looked up from my computer and realized it was past noon, yet in the last few hours, I’d written less than 500 words. My characters weren’t much further along than they had been, and the solution to that particular scene still eluded me. As I banged my head, figuratively, against the wall, time kept flowing. The sun rose higher in the sky, creatures stirred, flowers opened. People with “real jobs” went to work and accomplished their short-term goals.

How much of life have I missed buried in these stories? I love them. I adore writing. I make friends with those in my figmentary world. We carry on conversations, travel places, fall in love over and over again. Yet I find that I miss what I’ve lost. I miss what I could have done from eight to twelve, the laughter I could have shared with my daughter, my family and friends. I could have squeezed out a few more minutes in my garden … or with my dog. She’s twelve, and I hate to think it, but one day, she won’t be here, and I’ll have regrets.

I could have eaten one more meal with my family and formed another memory to keep. I could have visited a public garden with my camera and snapped a shot that encapsulates “me” today. I was lost in a world in my mind instead, trying to move John Doe closer to Jane Smith, wrestling with problems that don’t really exist except in black-and-white. That doesn’t really make me dislike being an author. I love it, actually. But I see how much balance plays a role.

It pays to stop and step aside sometimes, to turn off my head and not be thinking about the story. To admire the day and do something else sometimes. Those people I’ve made will still be there when I return, and maybe my head will be clearer, the scene shift into place. Plus, I’ll feel refreshed – more human – and less like an automaton, plugging in letters on the page.

My head says, “Write,” but my heart says, “Live. And it’s the “living” I’ve overlooked, that feeling of doing things, participating. I am a writer. I am also a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend. I can spend time in prayer, read the Bible and build myself up spiritually. I can watch a TV program that’s been on DVR for over a month. I can bake a cake or plan a meal. Even a trip to the grocery store, as hated as that sometimes is, is part of this “life” God’s given me, and as great as books are, as much as I love words, I want to love my daily existence just as much and honor Him in it.

I will step away from the screen, lift my fingers from the keys, and “be”. Jane and John will forgive me.

Now Available Under One Cover!

Three Christian Scifi Romances

Time-Travel Romance, Cyborg-Human Romance, A Superhuman Boy

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

http://amzn.to/2m5FVZt

Love Across Time

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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God’s People Are Shields of the Earth

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by Lisa Prysock

Psalm 47:9 (KJV)  

The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God:  He is greatly exalted.

I noticed that in this verse (above), God refers to us as the princes of the people and the people of the God of Abraham.  He further defines these (us) as being the shields of the earth.

The Oxford University Press defines a shield as protection against blows or missiles.  The definition goes on to include:  a buckler or target; a person or thing providing protection; a protection, cover, guard, screen, security, or shelter.

I believe we can conclude from this verse that God preserves the whole earth because of His special people; His blessed ones; His redeemed; His children who love Him; those whom He refers to as the shields of the earth.

He goes on to say that these shields belong unto Him.  He defines who we are and reminds us that we are His.  He takes great pleasure in this.  He is greatly exalted by our faithfulness to Him.  He deeply loves us.  We can take great comfort knowing that He is always going to take care of us and the world we live in no matter what we are facing.

I find this a comforting antidote to fear.  Consider for a moment, if God’s people were all removed from the earth… what an unprotected place it would be as His wrath and judgment would surely be poured out upon the earth and the remaining inhabitants; the enemies and haters of God.  We can clearly see that God is watching over the entire earth for our sakes, for the sake of His people and those who will eventually turn to Him.

Friends, in Psalm 34:7 (NIV) we are given another promise:  The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.  Whatever we are facing today, we can rest assured, the God of Abraham has His eye on the sparrow and He will deliver us, provide for us, and watch over us.

If you enjoyed this devotional, you can discover more like it inside Lisa’s 30 Day Devotional Challenge, Arise Princess Warrior.  This recently released devotional is also FREE for readers in the Kindle Unlimited Program.

About the Author:

Lisa PrysockWhen she was thirteen she knew what she wanted to be: a mother and a writer! Lisa says she went on a detour a number of times but the Lord generously allowed both of her dreams to happen.

Lisa M. Prysock is the author of “To Find a Duchess,” a Regency Inspirational Romance and two more Historical Christian Romance books with Kentucky settings in the Victorian Era, “Hannah’s Garden: a Turn of the Century Love Story,” and “Abigail’s Melody,” Volume 1 and 2 in a series titled “The Victorian Christian Heritage Series.”

“I don’t know how it happens but most of my books end up in beautiful England at some point and two start out in gorgeous, rolling Kentucky…”

Kentucky inspires her writing and is home. She is happily married to her husband of seventeen years and homeschools two of their five children. She has a son in college and two stepdaughters, grown. Lisa grew up in the Ohio Valley and also spent her early childhood years in Minnesota on a farm. “Yes, there were chickens, a cow named Daisy and even horses one summer, a huge vegetable garden, fishing and snowmobiles!”

Lisa remembers writing her very first book in kindergarten in Wisconsin, with help from the teacher and a stapler. “It was a book about ‘Curious George.’ I couldn’t spell yet but the teacher wrote words beneath my illustrations for what I wanted to say on each page.” She has been writing ever since. She won a prize for a short story in 8th grade and remembers buying a manual typewriter with her first ever babysitting earnings.

Lisa is a huge fan of the “Little House on the Prairie” series, the “Anne of Green Gables” collection, the Jane Austen collection, C.S. Lewis books, “Heidi,” “Christy,” “Jane Eyre,” and “Little Women.” She loves writing family oriented, classic style literature: a little less conversation and a lot more detail and background. She also loves sharing her faith in Christ with her readers. She believes people just need to know how wonderful He is and attributes her dream of writing coming true entirely to Him.

She gives a portion of the proceeds of her books each month to missionaries and evangelists to further the gospel. She is currently writing her eighth book, and she recently completed “The Lydia Collection.” For more information about Lisa and to find out when her next book will launch, she can be found at: www.LisaPrysock.com

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The Cure: Exercept

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by Parker J. Cole

Enjoy this excerpt from my newest book, a sweet romance entitled The Cure!

The Cure

“Ms. Woods?”

The professional, neutral tone of the doctor caught her attention. She stood and raced over to the woman, Tisha and Connie trailing behind her.

“Yes, Dr. Yamaguchi? How is she? Is she going to be all right?”

The doctor’s kind brown eyes landed on her. “So far, her condition is stable.  She’s still sleeping right now.  But we’re not out of the woods yet.”  She extended a hand to a nearby waiting room seat. “I don’t want to unnecessarily upset you but you need to know exactly what we’re dealing with. Do you want to sit down?”

“No, please just tell me what’s going on. Can I see her?”

Dr. Yamaguchi nodded. “You can see her, but only for a few minutes. We’ll be observing her for the next thirty-six hours.”

Savannah’s legs threatened to buckle. “What do you mean?”

As the doctor detailed the extent of the damage done to Liliana’s body from the fire, she thought she might collapse.  It was almost too much to bear.

God, give me strength.

When the doctor finished, Savannah asked quietly, “Can I see her now?”

“Of course.” The doctor grabbed her limp hand. “Don’t let what you see in there discourage you. Liliana’s a fighter. And you need to fight with her, too.” The woman squeezed her hand as if trying to infuse her with strength.

Leaving her friends behind, Savannah walked the path alone to Liliana’s room, trepidation tap dancing along her spine. The pristine white floors and colorful walls made the journey there seem like a psychedelic trip.  Uniformed hospital staff passed her by, the figures fuzzy and nondescript to her unseeing eyes.

When she arrived at the room, the sight of her niece made Savannah almost fall to her knees. This couldn’t be her beautiful, fun-loving Snuffy. It couldn’t be.

Machines hummed next to the tiny frail body lying in the hospital bed. Snake-like plastic tubes were taped to her nose and mouth. Bandages covered a good portion of her body from her shoulder to legs.  The little girl’s chest moved shallowly.

“Snuffy,” Savannah moaned, her legs so weak she barely made it to the side of the bed before crumpling in the chair the nearby nurse had pushed toward her.  She wanted to reach out and touch the girl, but the doctor had warned against any contact for the next few days.  She could only stare.

“Oh, dear God,” she cried out. This time, nothing held back her tears. A dam had cracked inside of her and she submitted to its torrential power.  The nurse thrust a box of tissues into her hand. She spent the next while crying and sniffling, wishing this was all a dream she could wake up from.

When the outburst had run itself dry, Savannah wiped her eyes and nose for the last time and stuffed the used tissues in the garbage can by the bed.

At least she wasn’t alone. Everyone who loved Liliana would work together to help her niece get through this.

Except for one person.

Savannah jolted. Why now? Why would she suddenly start thinking about him?

Fiona and Bart would want him to know. 

A strange calm came over her. Savannah couldn’t deny the truth of those words. She’d avoided a name she hadn’t uttered in voice or thought for three years. If she could have, she would have gone for the rest of her life without having to speak his name ever again.

But circumstances had gone beyond her pride. It had come to this. Just as he had predicted.

Micah Reddington.

A bevy of memories tried to break through the mental brick wall she had placed around them.  She closed her eyes to suppress those tattered recollections of days gone by. Yet, snatches of them still made their way through, glowing like spots of light through the cracks. His long blonde hair often turned to gold when the sunlight cascaded over it.  She recalled the flash of his smile, his teeth white and even above the cleft in his chin.  Those freckles splattered across the bridge of his nose gave him a boyish look that always disarmed her in the past.

No, she didn’t want to go there. Yet, she had no choice.

Savannah pulled her phone from her pocket. She’d erased his name from her contact list but his number was embedded in her head right next to the alphabet.  She typed it in, added her message, and sent it. A life-altering event, and it took less than ten seconds to execute.

She leaned her head back along the rim of the chair and accepted the inevitable. She needed the man who hated her most in the world.

***

I need you.

Micah’s chest swelled in unholy but righteous satisfaction. The latest superhero movie receded into the background. His whole world centered on his phone.

It didn’t matter there wasn’t a name associated with the number the message had come from.  Those three words were distinctive as a superhero’s calling card blazoned across the sky. He knew the identity of the sender just as she’d known he would.

I need you.

He mouthed the words unnecessarily in the darkness of the theater.  The taste of them reminded him of cotton candy. The moment he took a bite of the sugary sweet, it seemingly disappeared…until the granules hardened on his tongue, enriching the experience.

The screen blacked out and he hurriedly tapped the surface of it so he could feast his eyes on the message.  He’d always known it would come to this – where she’d be the one crawling back to him. How he wanted that – wanted her begging and pleading for his help.  Hadn’t he told her that when they parted three years ago?  Micah was rarely wrong – not when it came to Savannah. He knew her so well.

On the tail end of that thought came another, and he grimaced at the irony.  She knew him, too.  She knew he’d come to her. In the past, all  she had to do  was crook her finger and he’d be there, no questions asked.  He’d been a slave to her every desire. His lip curled in disgust at his overblown infatuation. What a sorry sap he’d been then.

Micah toyed with the idea of delaying a response to her but decided against it. After all, she must be desperate in order to reach out to him like this.

He pressed the reply button and texted back. Where are you?

Did she still strut down the runway in the season’s latest trends? He’d avoided perusing any of the fashion magazines or TV shows for the past three years. He didn’t need to see her going on with her life.

Saginaw.

The word stopped him. What was she doing back in Michigan? He sifted through the reasons, trying to figure it out, but no plausible scenarios came to mind. Thoroughly mystified, he nonetheless replied back.

Address?

A split second later, an address came over from her. He punched in the search for the map and saw that it was a hospital. Micah’s eyebrow arched. What was she doing in a hospital? Had she been injured? Sick?

Fledgling concern wiggled its way through the resentment and antagonism choking his thoughts. He fought to keep it tampered down, but he knew once it reared its head, there was no going back.

No matter how much he hated her, he sincerely wouldn’t wish anything awful to happen to her. He wanted her alive and well…if only to gloat over the fact that she was coming to him for his help.

I’ll be there

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

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 139:1 O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

How does this truth make you feel? Are you okay knowing the Lord has examined your heart and knows everything there is to know about you? There are things that we can effectively hide from others. There are things which we allow to enter into our minds and dwell on that no one knows about, but God knows. There are things we do that no one knows about, but God knows. There are things that we do with less than honorable intent, but God knows. We can’t hide anything from God.

The Lord knows everything about me. He knows my weaknesses as well as my strengths. We often portray our strengths but try to keep hidden our weaknesses. The Lord knows where we are vulnerable, and that is good news. He knows our needs better than we do. He knows how to minister to our needs. He works to help us become stronger in our character, one weakness at a time.

The Lord’s scrutiny does one of two things for us. It causes us to become very uncomfortable in His presence, or it causes us to have peace and joy knowing that He won’t find anything there that displeases Him. If we are pursuing the Lord as we ought to be, we will have nothing to fear. There is calm assurance for those who are letting the Lord be lord of their life.

The Lord is examining your heart right now. If you are uneasy at the thought of it, you need to bow before Him in repentance and let Him restore unto you the peace that only He can give.

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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Christ Alone

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by Sherry Chamblee

Lately God’s been highlighting a couple things for me. I’ve seen articles written wondering why young people are leaving church, and why we don’t seem to be affecting our culture much lately.

A few weeks ago we were talking in church about the New Testament Christians, and what we think of when we think of “Christianity.” Most of us in the room responded from where we were before salvation, and at that point, they thought of Christianity as a set of rules, standards, the church service, even outreach ministries can be seen as “Christianity.”

It struck me then – the very first generation of Christians knew nothing of what we today term “Christianity.”   There were no programs. None. There were no fancy church services, or debates over whether to use a screen up front, or what sort of instruments to have on the stage, or what people ought to wear, or even how to reach our community in the most effective manner.  There was no curriculum teaching people how to go soul winning – no studies showing how to reach different demographics – no research into what the community wanted in church. None of that was “Christianity” to them.

They were literally only following Jesus Christ.  None of the rest of it existed, and they came to HIM, and Him alone, in droves.

If they weren’t an eyewitness themselves of Jesus Christ, then they came because of the personal witness of those telling the stories. They connected with the men and women talking about Jesus. They saw people they trusted whose lives had been radically changed, and they were drawn to that.

So how does that impact me today, 2,000+ years later?

I’ve started seeing Christianity as the trappings, and I need to get back to seeing it only as Jesus Christ. My relationship with Jesus is what my Christianity ought to look like to other people.

They shouldn’t see the programs my church runs, or the dynamic singing, or the standards and rules. They should see Christ and Christ alone.

This doesn’t mean programs and singing aren’t important, and it certainly doesn’t mean we abandon the standards or God’s rules for how He wants His children to act. What it does mean is that those should be overshadowed at first by my relationship with Christ.

Is He alive, or isn’t He?

Is He real to me, or isn’t He?

Do I have an actual relationship with Him, or don’t I?

That’s what people should see.

Christ alone.

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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