Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:29 Keep me from lying to myself, give me the privilege of knowing your law.

Reread today’s Scripture. How might we lie to ourselves? One thing we tend to do is to think we are better off spiritually than we really are. We look at others and compare ourselves to them. We realize that we are better than many and become convinced that we are alright with God. We believe that the Bible is true and we might even read it and pray. We might be involved in various ministries in the church. We see ourselves in a good light.

But, what does God say about us? Are we really living holy lives before God? As we read and hear the Word can we honestly say that we are like that, doing that? Can we? God commands us to be holy and holiness is living free from sin. It is having godly thoughts, speaking in godly ways, acting in godly ways. No one can say that they have arrived and have no room for improvement in their walk with the Lord. No one who sees himself through the eyes of the Lord can do anything but be humbled before Him and recognize his need for God.

It is a privilege to have at our disposal God’s Word. Some of us have several copies of it in our homes. We are blessed with the opportunity to not only become aware of God’s law, but to know it. We have no excuse for not knowing how the Lord wants us to live. Our ignorance is nothing but our laziness. We must be actively spending time in the Word so we can know how to live. We must meditate on it and discover ways to apply it to life. If you are too busy to spend in the Word, you are too busy and your priorities are in the wrong place.

Be honest with yourself today. What sin are you struggling with? Have you sought God’s help with it? Have you confessed it and made a determination to overcome it? Have you struggled and failed with it so often that you have quit trying? The Lord wants you to know today that there is victory for you in Jesus. He wants you to keep on trying. He wants you to call on Him and let Him help you. Dear friend, don’t give up. Confess your sins. The Lord knows them and He knows how hard it is for you. Resolve to let Him help you get a handle on them. You CAN do it with Christ’s help.

It is a privilege to get to know the law of God. Not everyone has the opportunity that you have to learn how to live a life that pleases God. God makes it clear in His Word what our sins are so that we can deal with them at Calvary. There is no excuse for not knowing what our sins are. There is no excuse for not seeking His forgiveness and living a holy life.
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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What You Practice

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by Staci Stallings

Here’s a simple yet profound thought: You get good at what you practice.

Now maybe you have some natural talent, but even natural talent will only get you so far. LeBron James was talented, but it was practice that made him LeBron James. He didn’t just step onto a court one day and command the salary he’s making. What made him phenomenal at the sport he loves is the simple concept of practice.

Think about it.

Name anything in this life that you don’t get better at with practice. Sports. Playing a musical instrument. Writing. Reading. Bike riding. In every single one, you get better with practice.

This morning I had the opportunity to teach color guard flags to a group of students who had never so much as held a flag before. To teach them, I started out with teaching each flag position. Drop the flag to your left side. Down… two… three… four. Up… two… three…. Four. Down… two… three… four. Up… two… three… four.

See, flags is all about muscle memory. In short, the idea is to train your muscles so well, that they do the movement automatically and on beat almost without you thinking about it.

But that doesn’t just happen. It takes practice.

Later, as we were talking, I was just messing around with the flag doing moves I literally learned over 25 years ago. There was one move that when I was in band my 9th grade year (think, 25 + 8 or 9 more years ago), we learned this move.

For those in color guard, it was a windmill with a spin and a high-spin-toss. It was quite impressive, and now thinking back, I sure wish someone would have thought to videotape us because I would love to see us perform that move.

Let me set the stage for this move if you will allow me to. The song was “Fiero”—a fiery Spanish number with lots of blazing trumpets. And it was fast. Like SUPER fast. And our band at the time was crazy good, so they could play this song amazingly well.

It was our entrance number onto the field from the opposite side. The beginning of this song started with the flag corps doing this move. It was flashy and amazing, but only if it was done right.

Wait. Did I say “right”? I don’t just mean “right.” I mean “perfect.”

We had eight flag girls, fanned out from the 30 yard line to the 30 on the field. At that distance and with that many flags all doing exactly the same thing, one of us being a half-count off would be super-noticeable.

Our teacher at the time had been in flag corps herself, and to say she was a perfectionist would be a VAST understatement.

Now I came from a very small school, and our school’s claim to fame was basketball. So you can imagine how protective the school was about our basketball courts. In other words, NOBODY walked on the basketball courts unless you were there to play basketball.

So, here we are, and it’s time to practice this move and get all eight of us in perfect time together. Because we can’t practice on a basketball court, we’re outside. And it is COLD. Like FREEZING cold.

One thing you have to know is that you can’t do flags with gloves. It just doesn’t work.

While the band practiced INSIDE because it was too cold to be on the field marching, the flag corps was OUTSIDE learning to be perfect.

Because it was so cold and our hands and fingers were pretty much frozen, those flags were a lot more difficult to control. Yet, here we were. Doing this one move over and over and over and over.

When we’d get off-count, even by a fraction of a second, we’d have to start over and do each part of the move in counts of four. “SNAP IT!” she’d say. “It has to be precise! Move the flag. Don’t let it move you! Do it again!” And if someone didn’t get their hand perfectly in a fist over their belly button when the other hand was at the top of the high spin-toss, we had to start over… again.

I don’t know how long we were out there. I really don’t. I do know it was light when we started and dark when we finally quit.

I remember being ready to quit the flag corps altogether. It wasn’t worth THAT.

Until it was. Until we got rave reviews at every contest we went to. Until the guy on television at the fair said how amazing we were. Until today when I did that move, and my hand went right in a fist to my belly button every, single time.

Muscle memory. Practice.

The question I had to ask myself after I noticed that today was this: What in my life am I practicing now? Practicing even when or maybe especially when it’s hard. Am I practicing patience and unconditional love? Am I practicing diligence and encouragement? Am I practicing forgiveness and peace?

Even now I’m teaching my spiritual muscles the “counts” of how to do all of these things, so that when it counts, my spiritual muscles do exactly what they’ve been trained to do.

It’s worth thinking about in all aspects of life. What you practice, you get good at. What are you practicing?

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“There are always lessons to be learned when reading a Staci Stallings novel. I happened to read this one at a pivotal time for me. I was struggling with some issues regarding conditional love. In the novel, Charity struggles with having always felt that she couldn’t do anything “good enough”.

A Best Selling Christian Romance!

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The Easy Way Out

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

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Law in the Heart

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. (Psalm 37:31)

Put the law into the heart, and the whole man is right. This is where the law should be; for then it lies, like the tables of stone in the ark, in the place appointed for it. In the head it puzzles, on the back it burdens, in the heart it upholds.

What a choice word is here used, “the law of his God”! When we know the Lord as our own God His law becomes liberty to us. God with us in covenant makes us eager to obey His will and walk in His commands. Is the precept my Father’s precept? Then I delight in it.

We are here guaranteed that obedient-hearted man shall be sustained in every step that he takes. He will do that which is right, and he shall therefore do that which is wise. Holy action is always the most prudent, though it may not at the time seem to be so. We are moving along the great high road of God’s providence and grace when we keep to the way of His law. The Word of God has never misled a single soul yet; its plain directions to walk humbly, justly, lovingly, and in the fear of the Lord are as much words of wisdom to make our way prosperous as rules of holiness to keep our garments clean. He walks surely who walks righteously.

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

Morning and Evening

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Joy of what God has me doing in the world for Him

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by Mark Malcolm

19 Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, “Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me’? 20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. 21 “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been into the world. 22 “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. John 16:19-22 (NASB)

The life you’ve led to this point, however short or long, has given you a set of experiences. Those experiences have taught you lessons of things to do, things not to do, what to avoid, and what to savor. The memories of those experiences make up who you are, both the good and the bad. They do not make you good or bad, they just define how your life has progressed to this point. What makes you good or bad is every decision you choose to make, or not make, every moment from here on out.

Knowledge of a thing is just knowing what the facts are. Understanding a thing is being able to tell the good and the bad about a thing. Wisdom is choosing the good over the bad in a thing. Experience helps grant us wisdom when we filter it through Jesus.

If you are seeking to throw off the Old Self in favor of the New Self, you are actively acquiring wisdom, which should not be horded as a prized possession, but shared. You can only share that wisdom to those who are willing to hear it. People will only be willing to listen to you where they grant you credibility in things. You only get that credibility through meeting other people in the same places they live or can establish relatable similarities in past experience.

One does not place a light under a bushel basket. We’ve said this before. God is moving in you not just to save you, but to make you a light to more of His children so they might also find Hope, Peace, and Joy. You’ve had some hard experiences in life, everyone has. Others out there are going through the same things but they have no idea what is going on, what to do, or how to cope with it. You’ve learned some lessons from what you’ve survived to this point. That wisdom should not be “put under a bushel basket”, but shared. Where are you shedding your light this week?

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. 119:28 I weep with grief, encourage me by your word.

I believe it’s pretty safe to say that you know what it is like to weep with grief. It is a human experience we all go through. It might be the loss of a loved one due to death, a broken relationship, watching someone you care deeply about self-destruct because of sinful choices, overwhelming circumstances that control you and you can’t regain control over them, the loss of something valuable to you that you can’t prevent from happening, or something else going on in your life. Whatever the situation may be, it is common for us to suffer grief. We sense the hopeless and helplessness of our situation and there is nothing we can do but weep over it. It is life.

When times of grief come, there is only one lasting way to deal with it. We must go to the Word of God and let the Comforter minister to our hurting soul. In the Word we discover there is a way out of our grief. We discover there is One who can help us. We discover that we are not alone in our sufferings, that there is nothing we go through that has not been gone through before and that we can make it through because others have. We discover that as we meditate on the Word and draw near to the Lord of the Word, He draws near to us. We discover that we can do all things through Christ who is able to deliver us.

When grief floods your soul, don’t wallow in its misery. Flee to the Word of God and let the Spirit guide you into its truths. Let God remind you that He is your Immanuel and that because He is with you, everything is going to be alright. The Lord will encourage you by His Word if you but let Him. Spending quality and quantity time in the Word opens up heaven’s doors and the Lord of heaven floods our souls. Let the Lord soothe your grieving heart as you meditate upon His wondrous promises.
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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You Have a Talent, Use it for the Lord

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by Rebekah Beene

As a young child my parents’ first inclination I had musical talent came when they heard Rock of Ages emanating from inside the house while they were in the yard. My momma came inside and saw me playing the old pump organ.  We lived way out in the country at the time. Within a couple of years we moved to a much larger town and piano lessons were begun.  Practice always meant growth. Without practice I would not have the best outcome. I had no idea that one day God would give me more gifts for His Kingdom.  I have had to allow God freedom to develop those gifts in me so that Holy Spirit had freedom of expression through me.

God’s talents give freedom of expression to members of the Body.  Practice the gift that is in you. God will hold your hand and guide you all the way.  Holy Spirit will bring it up within you and out for the world to see the Glory of the Lord through you.

Oh beloved, your talents are gifts from God. He delights in you and He loves to give you avenues to express His heart to the world. Whether your world is your family or the family of God it’s needed for this day. Don’t wait to express your talents when you have perfected it. Perfection comes in practice of that gift. Your gift may not be like my gift but both of our gifts are important to the Body of Christ today.  Ask God to build up the gift He desires to give you. Ask Him to show you the supernatural side of your gifts and talents. Realize today that your gift is a gift from God and a gift back to Him. Spiritually speaking you aren’t who you are just for you. The callings of God are without repentance – He really wants you to express the supernatural gifts for the Body of Christ.  Without your gift expressed something is missing in the family of God. Ordinary talents become extraordinary expressions when put in the hands of God. And even more, talents you never knew you had will become apparent as you step out in faith with the Lord guiding.  Supernatural and extraordinary are both words that are sorely needed in the Church today. Whether you are in the building on Sunday or on the go the rest of the week the talent within you should be bursting from you every opportunity that comes. Just as Jesus said as you go, you too can find discernment to express His gifts through you in everyday life. As you allow God to develop the gifts and calling within you He will give opportunity to use them everywhere you go.

God loves you and He’s for you! No more fear! No more hesitation! Go forth in the Power of the Cross and express God’s supernatural callings today! Rejoice that you can quit hiding it and start letting Holy Spirit use you for His glory as you live in the Light of God’s calling for you!

I Peter 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

Romans 12:6 In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

I Corinthians 12:4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.

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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Know Your Audience

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by Suzanne D. Williams

One of the biggest mistakes I see writers make is not first considering who they’re writing for. By way of example, I’ve written everything from young adult stories to historicals to romantic suspense. Each of these genres appeals to a different type of audience and requires a slightly different marketing technique.

Let’s be honest. Marketing is more than half the battle of independent authors. We not only have to write an excellent book, we have to get it into the hands of people who want to read it and will enjoy it. That’s the ticket! You want the person who reads it to be someone who will love your style of writing and especially that particular storyline.

A writer of children’s books also needs to appeal to parents as well. A writer of young adult books needs to speak in the language of youth. A mystery writer needs to find that core group of mystery enthusiasts. These seem like simple thoughts, but believe it or not, I’ve seen books that are supposed to draw in a certain readership, but seem directed at another.

Young adult novels, for example, are written largely by adults and, being frank, some adults are incredibly out of touch with the young mindset. I can recall one in particular that sounded more like a recollection of the author’s childhood. It would have appealed far more to history buffs or readers of nostalgia than to teens. I heard of another that markets their books as YA, yet sells mostly to adults. Need I say that that makes no sense?

I’ve also read poorly written YA that is too graphic for any teen to read. Don’t call it YA if it’s really an excuse to write erotica. Young characters alone do NOT make it a young adult fiction novel. There are subjects young people do not need to read and content that should be avoided.

This problem extends into other genres as well, but those examples come immediately to mind. From the book’s contents to the style of writing to the book cover itself, all should all be directed at a particular audience. I’ve seen wonderful books with the wrong book cover. The fact is certain styles are seen in certain genres and you will get more sales if you try for something that appeals to the current market. You will get more reviews if your historical romance is in the hands of a historical romance reader than if it looks and feels like a mystery novel.

This means making decisions. There are times when scenes in the story will not fit with who I’m trying to write for, and I have to cut them out entirely. What I would include for a general audience, I can’t include in a Christian fiction book, and what I’d include in a book written for adults, I cannot put in a book written for teens. Sadly, the book cover I loved had to go; the intimate scene that probably happened in real life got cut. In both cases, I did what would help the book sell and generate positive reviews.

Which brings me to short stories. I love short stories. I write a lot of them. But people looking for 80,000 words get miffed when the story is shorter than they wanted. People looking for 20,000 words get miffed when the book is 80,000 words. You have to be clear on the length of the book as well as the content because the fact is people will leave a low review simply because the length didn’t fit their perception. Be sure to say it’s a novella or short story in many place (the blurb, the subtitle, the book cover) and leave the reader with no reason to be ignorant.

By careful consideration of your book along the way and by making informed decisions on storyline and appearance, you will become a successful author, not simply because you write well (which is very important), but because you understand how to get your book into the hands of people that will love it. Hearing those words is the best feeling of all!

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3 Stories, 3 Rich Girls, 3 Handsome Young Men

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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.

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Book Sale Promo

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by CL Wells

Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God is Now on Sale for $0.99 through August 4th.

Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God

Fourteen-year-old Krystal finds herself flailing when her parents separate. Withdrawing from her family and friends, she begins cutting. No one knows.

At her new school, she makes one single friend, Em, who invites her to volunteer at the local homeless shelter. There, Krystal discovers fellow misfits, including Brandon, a boy from her school. How can Krystal start a new life when the scars of her old one will never fully heal?

What readers are saying about “Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God”

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“WOW! It is not an easy book to read, but it is a powerful book. Heartbreaking, heartwarming, challenging and uplifting.”

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Quality Writing by Ruth O’Neil

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Psalm 66:1 says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.” That statement is repeated many times throughout the scriptures. If I had a list of misapplied verses, it would probably be a pretty long list, and that one would have a prominent place on it. We usually interpret “make a joyful noise” to mean, “If you can’t sing, sing anyway.” After all, God gave you that voice, such as it is, and He knows your efforts are sincere, so it doesn’t really matter how it sounds.

That attitude might be all right between you and the Lord when you’re in the shower, but you can take the word of a lifelong non-singer; the other people who sit near you in church do notice and care about the quality of your singing.

Sad to say, that attitude of indifference to quality has crept into much of our Christian music, visual art, and more significantly for us, our Christian writing and speaking. Sometimes I’m uncomfortable with using the word Christian to describe my work. It’s too bad we categorize everything as either spiritual on the one hand, or secular on the other. Many Christians want nothing to do with the secular, and that’s a shame, because it limits the areas of our writing, and limits the ways in which the Lord can use us. I believe those divisions were contrived by men and are not from the Lord. He is interested in every area of our lives. Every single thing we do, say, and write can and should be pleasing to Him.

We Have a Creative God

We represent many backgrounds and schools of thought within the body of Christ. One thing we surely can agree about is that we have a creative God. Creativity is one of His main characteristics, and as creatures made in His image, it ought to be one of ours. Christians, of all people, should have an appreciation for the creative arts.

Most of us believe, or at least suspect, that we have a call from God to write and speak to groups. I don’t believe He calls any of us to do any part of our job in a mediocre fashion. He is a Holy God. He calls us to be perfect. He is concerned about and involved in our writing and speaking. He can enable us to do those things with excellence.

Why then are so many of our Christian magazines full of nonsense articles that have no real meaning for most of us? Why are so many Christian songs simply a rehash of worn-out phrases and rhyme schemes that have lost their freshness and meaning?

I’m disturbed by what I see in Christian biographies we give to our children. Sometimes a protagonist is presented as a Christian hero and role model, but the book contains misconceptions or even outright errors in reporting of documented facts. I’m not saying the same problem doesn’t exist in secular history, but if an author who makes no profession of faith does a poor job, it reflects on no one but himself. When a Christian does a sloppy job of research or shows an attitude of disregard for facts, it reflects on the Lord as well. He compromises his integrity. Not only does he lose respect as an historian, but also in spiritual matters. Who’s going to believe you know what you’re talking about in Biblical truth, if you can’t get anything else straight?

Too often when we attach the word Christian to something, the world has come to view that adjective as synonymous with “second rate.” It’s not necessary to debate how this happened or when it started, or why. We could discuss that for a month and not come to any conclusion, except to say that the problem exists.

Even if we aren’t interested in writing so-called Christian literature for a so-called Christian publisher, we need to be just as concerned about quality in our work. I believe our Christianity is discernible in everything we write. Besides, someone we have dealings with through our writing may find out we’re Christians. Or someday we may change our minds and decide to write something of a religious nature.

If we really are called to write or speak, each of us is going to be unique. Because of who you are, where you live, how you live, who you know, what you know, and what you’ve experienced, you can tell something no one else can.

The Challenge

I have intended these words as a challenge. I don’t want to be negative. If we really regard our writing and speaking as a gift form God, we’ll want to offer it back to Him as a sacrifice, even an act of worship. Quality shouldn’t be a problem. The God who calls us will enable us to write and speak with an excellence that is glorifying to Him.

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot)blogspot.com or her website at ruthoneil (dot)weebly.com

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Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 119:9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.

How can anyone stay pure? Note first of all that the question is not, “How can a young person become pure?” nor is it, “Can a young person even be pure?”. We are made pure before God the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. Jesus forgives all of our sins and makes us pure before God. In Christ the old nature that causes us to sin is changed into the new nature that causes us to want to not sin. We desire to please God and live under His guidance and influence.

We stay pure by obeying God’s Word and following its rules. Our unwillingness to do it hinders our growth and discolors our souls. Every time we disobey God we put a chink in our armor of purity. Disobedience darkens our soul. It impacts our relationship with God. It pulls us away from God and the farther we get from God, the less pure we become. In fact, if we are not trying to live by God’s Word, we do not have pure hearts before God; we are not His children.

In order for us to remain pure we must obey God’s Word. We must purposely strive to know God’s Word and obey it. We can’t put into practice what we don’t know. So, we must constantly stay connected with the Word. We must read it, meditate upon it, and ask the Lord to help us live it out. We won’t be able to perfectly do it, but we will be able to do it more than we won’t. Our ability to live in obedience is directly connected to the effort and time we put into studying the Word. There is no sugarcoating it. In order to stay pure before God, we must invest our lives in His Word. We must strive daily to put into practice what we know and seek to learn more.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, both now and in eternity.
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.

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