Metaphorically Speaking

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by Carmen Peone

Metaphors extend familiar names and pair them with new objects. In metaphor there is a transfer of meaning. The Greek word from which metaphor originates from means “to transfer.” Hence a ray of sunshine cuts despair (as though it were a knife); a woman weaves through life (as cedar bark is woven to create a basket); clouds sailed across the sky (its motion likened to that of a sailboat). 

The Bible is filled with metaphors. The most famous Biblical metaphor is “The Lord is my shepherd.” Think about this. What does a Shepard do? Protects. Feeds. Waters. Provides for. Isn’t that what God does for us?  

I also like this definition: A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied, or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated, but which share common characteristics. In other words, a similarity of two contradictory or different objects is made based on a common characteristic. 

I love using metaphors in my novels. They are fun to create and add color to any scene. I don’t recommend using too many, like punctuation, they are the seasoning on a salad. And remember they are not similes who compare two dissimilar things using like or as.  

When using metaphors, force and sharpness of detail (sensory detail ratchets things up a notch) tend to go hand in hand.  An example would be: my spurs raked over the day’s gloom. Can you feel the prickly spur rowels cutting through trouble, grief, or heartache, possibly taking the reader on a horseback ride through a mountainous forest with streams to cool their faces and birds to lift downtrodden spirits, communing with the Creator (Yes, I’m a horsewoman.) 

Other Biblical Metaphors include: 

The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer. My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter, my shield, the horn that saves me, and my refuge. (Psalm 18:2) 

I am the light of the world. (John 18:12) 

I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35) This is one of my favorites. It tells me God is my deliverer. He has and is all that I need.  

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1) 

Many of the parables of Jesus are extended metaphors. For example, in the story of the Prodigal Son, the father can be seen as a metaphor for God. We are all prodigals until we accept Jesus as our redeemer. God is our father, who waits for his children to come home upon salvation.  

Okay, now it’s your turn.  

Try describing each of the following subjects or scenes in a sentence that uses an appropriate metaphor:

  1. A crowded street: 
  1. A hot summer evening: 
  1. A rank bronco: 
  1. An elegantly dressed woman: 
  1. famous racehorse 
  1. A stormy ocean: 

I’d love to see what you come up with. Please share your metaphors in the comments section.

About the Author:

Carmen PeoneCarmen Peone has lived in Northeast Washington and on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation since 1988. She had worked with a Tribal Elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes Language and various cultural traditions. She owns and trains her horses and competes in local Extreme Challenge and Mountain Trail competitions. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. With the love of history and western woman lifestyle, she brings stories of hope, family, relationships, and faith to her novels.

These books were a labor of love, especially the second edition of the True to Heart Trilogy. Thank you to my cover model, Shayna Palmanteer of the Colville Confederated Tribes, for your willingness to be a part of this adventure. Visit my website for information on the workbooks that go along with my young adult books at https://carmenpeone.com/books/.
http://carmenpeone.com

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: How to Study the Bible

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

How to Study the Bible

Basic Principles for Studying God’s Word

(The Bible Teacher’s Guide Book 23)

by Gregory Brown

How to Study the Bible

There is quite a bit of confusion over how to study the Bible. This confusion has led to extremes—including hesitancy in approaching the Bible at all (as though it can never be understood) or, on the other end of the spectrum, heretical doctrine. God has given us his Word to be read, studied, understood, enjoyed, applied, and shared. It is meant to be one of our greatest joys, because through Scripture, we get to know our Creator and his will for our lives. Consider what David proclaimed about God’s Word, “O how I love your law! All day long I meditate on it…Your words are sweeter in my mouth than honey!” (Psalm 119:97, 103). Likewise, Job declared, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12b). In How to Study the Bible, we learn the great benefits of studying Scripture, hindrances to study, basic Bible study tools, and how to interpret and apply it, among other things. Let’s learn how to study God’s Word together with the Bible Teacher’s Guide.

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CrossReads Short Takes: The Twelve Apostles of Jesus & Just Kin

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CrossReads Short Takes

The Twelve Apostles of Jesus

Their Forgotten History

by Richard Orzeck

The Twelve Apostles of Jesus

This book is a definitive history of the lives and deaths of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. It details the lives of twelve Jewish men who walked the earth with the Son of God and who changed the course of world history. Using scholarly sources, modern translations of the ancient texts, and the often-ignored concept of local tradition, the author follows each of the Twelve Apostles from their calling by the Lord, to the most likely geographical locations of their evangelical missions, and to the locations of their deaths by martyrdom. As well as it can be known, the author goes one step further and tells the reader the fascinating stories of the far-flung postmortem journey’s of each apostle’s earthly remains and informs us of where their tombs can be visited today. Along with all of this, Dr. Orzeck shares with us his firsthand account of his adventures involved in visiting the locations mentioned in the book. He does so first and most importantly because of what he feels is a huge responsibility to get the story of these great men correct as humanly possible. With the possible exception of the late Pope John Paul II, to the best of his knowledge, he (and his wife and traveling partner) are the only persons ever to have been in the physical presence of all Twelve Apostles of Jesus since the first Pentecost, an honor he doesn’t take lightly.

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Just Kin

(Texas Romance Book 6)

by Caryl McAdoo

Just Kin

Love covers a multitude of sin.
A stolen kiss ignites a fire that burns all the way from Texas to New York City. Torn apart by war, rejection, and a letter with news she never wanted, Lacey Rose takes her shredded heart and runs. Charley figures out something isn’t right, but is duty-bound to the Confederacy until a deathbed order sets in motion a series of events that tests his love, honor, and commitment to the breaking point.
Can the two lifelong friends see past the pain to finally realize God’s plan for them to be more than just kin?

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The Point Is … The Clock Is Ticking 3/10/2020

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by James Collins

Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away. Psalm 144:4

 “I like 6 o’clock being 7 o’clock a whole lot better than I did its being 5 o’clock.” I said. 

“What?” my wife, Amanda, asked with a look of bewilderment on her pretty face. 

“I said, I like 6 o’clock being…” 

“I heard what you said, but what did you mean?” 

“I just simply meant that I like slow time better than I do fast time.” 

“You have lost me. I have no idea what you are talking about.”  

After living with her for over two decades, I should have remembered that mine is the scientific mind in the family. Amanda is more romantic than scientific. So, I carefully explained. “Remember we have to turn the clocks forward tonight. When we do that, 6 o’clock, which had become 5 o’clock when we had to turn the clocks up last spring, became 7 o’clock because we turned them back this fall.” 

“I don’t think you know what you are talking about.” she said. 

“Let me try again. You see,” I started slowly because I could tell this was going to take a while for me to explain. “You see, cold air is heavier than warm air and in the winter months it presses down on the earth. The cold air slows the rotation of the earth down and that’s why scientists must turn the clocks back so we can keep time in pace with the slower rotation. But, then in the spring when the air becomes warmer it doesn’t press down on the earth and the earth spins faster. Therefore, the government makes us set our clocks forward. We have to adjust our clocks to keep up with the fast time. 

“Honey, time is time. An hour is an hour no matter if it’s hot or cold.” she said. 

I smiled at her and said, “Okay.” It was pointless to continue. Since she is not scientifically minded, I should not have been surprised that she didn’t understand my reasoning. 

Flawed logic is everywhere. Take, for example, the logic of a lost person. Someone is reading this right now, and you are lost without Jesus Christ. Your life is focused on things that perish with the passing of time. You are busy chasing money, possessions, and pleasures while the days are flying off the calendar. 

Last week, I was visiting with an eighty-seven-year old man. At one point in our conversation, he said, “It seems like I was a young man just yesterday. The years have passed by me so quickly. I feel like I wasted so much of my life.” My heart hurt for that man as he looked back on a life filled with regrets.  

Your time on this earth is limited, but you are eternal. If you are not careful, you can let the passing dominate the permanent. You can spend your life pursuing things that will pass away and ignore your eternal soul. 

The point is: Your life on earth is like a shadow that passes with time. Even though your days on earth will end, you will not. You will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. There is only one way out of hell and into heaven and that is salvation through Jesus Christ. If you have never received Christ as your personal Savior, do it today. Believe that Jesus shed His blood on the cross to forgive your sins, and that He conquered death by rising from the grave. Ask Him to save you today.  

Don’t wait. The clock is ticking.

The Point Is...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, columnist, and author. You can write to him by email at james@thepointis.net.

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood 3/9/2020

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by Rebekah Beene

We watched “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”. It was a setup from the beginning. One of the early shots was Mr. Rogers having spent 73 minutes with a boy from Make A Wish. 73 minutes. He spent a lot of time with people helping them understand their life. And as the writer in the movie who was sent to write about him found out, Mr. Rogers was not a character but indeed he WAS Mr. Rogers in real life.

I looked at my hubby and asked if he ever remembered as a kid anyone trying to understand him or validate his feelings. Nope. We come from the silent era for the most part. Being quiet and keeping quiet was the way of the 50’s and 60’s.

Oh beloved God speaks to my heart and maybe yours. We can’t all have a Mr. Rogers in our lives – a dad, a father or a friend. But we have Jesus. We have someone who not only gets us, our problems and our falterings. He is acquainted with who we all are inside. He walked the walk so we would have Someone to talk the real stuff with. Jesus never fell into the trap of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. He points the way for us and put His Spirit within us so that we can deal with those things as well.

God wants you to know this morning that you are just right in His sight. But you don’t have to hold yourself up or ignore your feelings or stuff your troubles to approach Him. You beloved are so loved and so cared for by Him! Too tired. Too angry. Too worried. Whatever it is, God will stop and discuss it with you and give you a lift up. His Words will always speak love to you even in correction. And listen, God loves people like you, He even likes you.

God loves you and He’s for you. You can thank Him for the life you’ve had- even your childhood. It has all been a setup to give you His empathy to pour out on others- even those who have hurt you. Run to Him this morning and ask Him for fresh understanding and then live out your life with His love and care!

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 2:17 For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, in order to make atonement for the sins of the people.

Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.

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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Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 3/6/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossJer. 9:23-24 This is what the LORD says, “Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

We do like to gloat, don’t we? Whatever it is that we do well, we want to boast about it. We want others to know that we are worth something. We like to be noticed for what we do well. We like to impress others with what we know. But there is a real problem that we get into when we gloat over our accomplishments. We tend to internalize it to the point where we crave the attention of others. It gets to the point where we must have others notice us and appreciate what we do in order for us to feel good about ourselves. We tend to consider our worth to be what we can do.

God says the wise do not get caught up into boasting about themselves. Instead of turning the spotlight on themselves, the wise turn it on the Lord. They understand that it is God who gives a person the talents and gifts they have. It is God who enables a person to do things well. It is God who orchestrates a person’s life in such a way that talents are nurtured and refined. It is God who provides opportunities to shine and be noticed by others. It is God who deserves the credit, not us.

The wise understand that it is God who deserves the glory and honor that comes from a job well done. It is God who deserves the credit for the work He does in our souls. We owe Him the credit for saving us, keeping us, growing us, and using us. It is the Lord alone who deserves the praise and glory of man. It is God who makes us righteous and gives us a life worth living and dying for.

The wise in heart delights in the Lord, not in what he can do well. He does whatever he does for the honor and glory of God, not himself. He keeps his eyes focused on the Lord, not himself. He continues to do what he does well, but he does it for the Lord and Him alone.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

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

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

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

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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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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Hearing The Voice of God: Discerning God’s Voice From All The Other Voices

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

Hearing The Voice of God: Discerning God’s Voice From All The Other Voices

(Hearing God Series Book 1)

by Sheldon D. Newton

Hearing The Voice of God

“YOU CAN HEAR FROM GOD AND KNOW IT!”

In this powerful short read, Bible Teacher and Pastor Sheldon D. Newton shows you how to learn the Voice of God through the scriptures. Attention is given to such vital subjects as, knowing when God is speaking to you; the ways God speaks; the number one way He speaks to all of His children; discerning when God is speaking to you and when He is not; how to judge personal prophecy; visions and dreams; the still small voice of the Spirit; positioning yourself to hear from God, and so much more. Get your copy of this short read that will inspire and teach you how to discern the voice and leading of the Lord!

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CrossReads Short Takes: Matter Of Life And Death & The Sentimental Journey

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CrossReads Short Takes

Matter Of Life And Death

by Brian Tate

Matter Of Life And Death

Officer Christina Rose reflects on her prior experiences in patrol, giving perspective to the matter of life and death she’s now presented with.

This captivating short story also cultivates discussion and debate on several hot topics. Use of deadly force, life and choice, legality and morality, sacrifice and safety, and consequences and destiny just to name a few. Perfect for debate teams; government, literature, and comp classes; book clubs; and criminal justice and police academy courses.
The story includes discussion topics and the details for the free quarterly essay contest.

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The Sentimental Journey: A Novel

by Tammy Sinclair

The Sentimental Journey

Kara Michaels could have gone on living her simple, solitary life if it wasn’t for her insatiable curiosity. And of course, the old trunk in the attic. When an antique watch catches her eye, she is suddenly thrust back in time – and onto the homefront of WWII.

Kara is terrified until the family residing in her home takes her under their wing. Soon, their enlisted son returns for a visit and she finds herself instantly drawn toward him. But their time together can’t last.

While she and Jerry face being parted by war, she has to decide where she belongs. Although she’s learning to feel at home in this new world, she knows it’s not truly hers. Is she willing to stay, even if Jerry can never return?
As Kara wrestles with uncertainty, she longs for the same faith she sees in Jerry and his family, but with so many questions, it’s hard to completely trust.

Especially when she has to hold tight to her strange secret alone.

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Yippee! Another Interjection! 3/3/2020

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by Carmen Peone

An interjection is a word added to a sentence to convey an emotion or a sentiment such as surprise, disgust, joy, excitement, or enthusiasm.   

There are two main reasons to use interjections in both fiction and non-fiction: 

They are fun! 

They show a character’s emotions. And emotions keeps readers turning pages.  

Have you ever thought how many interjections you use in a day? “Oh,” “Darn!” “Shoot” “Eww!” “Mmm” I’ve used, in my head, several simply writing about them.  

I bet now you’ll start counting. Or at least giggle when you catch yourself using one. Or Two. Or… 

Check out some sounds we tend to make: 

  • Ahem - The sound of someone clearing their throat in an attempt to get your attention 
  • Aah– Used when someone is scared 
  • Oh Used when something understands what is said or an idea 
  • Eh - Used when you didn’t hear or understand what someone said 
  • Eww– Conveys dislike or disgust 
  • Hmm - Can mean you’re thinking or hesitating 
  • Jeez - Could indicate you can’t believe something or you’re exasperated 
  • Mmm – When someone likes something or thinks something tastes good 
  • Ooh-la-la - A slightly comical way to refer to something as fancy or special 
  • Pfft – Used to express or indicate a usually sudden disappearance or ending  
  • Oops - An exclamation people use when they do something by accident 
  • Phew - Expressing relief or pleasure something is over 
  • Pshaw – A meaning of disbelief or impatience  
  • Whoa - Can show surprise or amazement 
  • Yee haw - Expresses joy or happiness 
  • Yeah - Demonstrates a very strong affirmation or approval 
  • Yoo-hoo - An expression used to get someone’s attention 
  • Ahh – An expression of delight. 
  • Uhg – Used when someone is frustrated or scared 
  • Bah  – Used when someone is disappointed or irritated 
  • Grrr – An expression of anger  
  • Humph – Used when someone is disappointed or jealous

Who doesn’t use words to express themselves! Heck, I do all the time. These also elicit emotion such as joy, cranky, tired, sad, or disgusted.

Take a look at these fun exclamations we may use to express ourselves and our characters:

  • Bless you! I couldn’t have written that without you. 
  • I have to go. Cheers! 
  • Congrats! You finally ran the marathon. 
  • Sheesh! Do you ever think before you speak? 
  • Gesundheit! I hope you’re not getting sick? 
  • Good grief! Why are you wearing a tank top and shorts in this kind of weather? 
  • Holy smokes! Did you eat all the pie? 
  • Oh dear! I don’t know what to do about all these bills. 
  • Shoot! I forgot my wife‘s birthday. 
  • Well, duh! That was a stupid thing to say! 
  • Yowza! You look amazing. 
  • Hurray! You got your masters! 
  • Oh my, you may want to rethink that dress! 
  • Uh-huh, you’re not convincing me! 
  • Ha-ha, you look like a clown. Take that make-up off!

A couple of interjections on the rez (Colville Reservation) I often hear and have used in my novels:

  • Holy! What were you thinking? 
  • She’s coming through the door, ayyz!

Your turn. What are some of your favorite interjections?

About the Author:

Carmen PeoneCarmen Peone has lived in Northeast Washington and on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation since 1988. She had worked with a Tribal Elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes Language and various cultural traditions. She owns and trains her horses and competes in local Extreme Challenge and Mountain Trail competitions. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. With the love of history and western woman lifestyle, she brings stories of hope, family, relationships, and faith to her novels.

These books were a labor of love, especially the second edition of the True to Heart Trilogy. Thank you to my cover model, Shayna Palmanteer of the Colville Confederated Tribes, for your willingness to be a part of this adventure. Visit my website for information on the workbooks that go along with my young adult books at https://carmenpeone.com/books/.
http://carmenpeone.com

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: When Thick Darkness Surrounds 3/2/2020

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by Precarious Yates

Today, I turn 43 years old. This has me meditating on one of my favorite passages of scripture:

1 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 

3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…

4 …[Y]ou are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…  – Isaiah 43:1-4a

Allow me to tell the story of why this is a favorite passage.

When I was 20 and wobbling on toddler legs in my Christian walk, I called my mom because the depression I felt was so thick, it was like being stuck in a deep dark pit, with gooey sludge for walls. If you’ve ever read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and remember that dark island, the one where nightmares become real, I felt as if I was stuck on those shores with the option of either fear or drowning. I felt overwhelmed by guilt, shame, and this inescapable depression. 

And so I sat on the phone and wept as she recited these words to me from Isaiah. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…” These words were a ray of bright sunshine into the darkness. 

There have been many times since that I have wrestled with that darkness of depression. If you have too, allow me to share something that God showed me one time in the Psalms:

He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.  – Psalm 18:9

Sometimes, for those of us who struggle with depression, all we see is darkness. All we see are thick clouds. All we feel is this unending heaviness. But just on the other side of that, right there is God! The Holy One of Israel, shining in all His radiance, is just beyond the darkness. 

Scripture shows us this in various ways. First there is the encounter Abram has with God in Gen. 15. There’s thick darkness, a smoking pot and a flaming torch. God shows Abram that even in the darkest times, He promises to be there, shining His light. 

When God delivers the 10 commandments to Moses, in Exodus 20, there is thick darkness on the mountain. But it’s there, also, that Moses encounters God’s glory (Exodus 24 & 34). 

When the Shulamite maiden in the Song of Solomon reaches the most difficult and dark part of her journey, she is asked how her Beloved would be recognized. Her first words are, “He is radiant!” Other translations say “brilliant” or “dazzling” to describe this Beloved. 

When Jesus was on the cross, there was darkness covering the whole land for 3 hours. When He died, His disciples experienced deep emotional darkness and fear. But then…

But then, Sunday came! 

Are you struggling in the darkness of depression? Throughout His word, God reminds us that He doesn’t condemn this state. He doesn’t expect us to pull ourselves out of that before He encounters us. 

He is willing to meet us where we are and carry us through it! When you pass through the waters, I WILL BE WITH YOU, and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  – Isaiah 43:2

If you struggle with depression, like I do more often than I let on, be honest about it before the Lord. And be honest with at least one friend. It’s not a sin to confess, but depression is worse when it’s hidden. Bring it into the light! “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only like can do that.” ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

May you encounter the glorious light of God’s great love for you!

God bless you!

Precarious Yates

About the Author:

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

Links:

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