CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Carrying Easter Beyond Easter Sunday 4/5/2021

Send to Kindle

Blog Featured Standard

by Precarious Yates

2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

What a wonderful truth that Jesus is alive! He became sin so that we could become righteous, but that wasn’t the end. We get to spend eternity with Him! This is the message of Easter. Yet the idea of eternity in heaven seems to slip away all too quickly when we get caught up in the day to day of this life.
If this year has shown us anything, it’s shown us how tenuous this life is. And if this life is all there is, then we of all people should be pitied, as Paul told the Corinthian church in 1 Cor. 15. Sometimes we do live as if this life is all there is. So how do we carry the hope of Easter in our hearts beyond Resurrection Sunday?
First, meditate on the goodness of the Lord and all He has done. Jesus says in John 17:3 that eternal life is to know the Father and to know Jesus, whom He sent. We can start that eternity right now! In the same way that a baby in the womb gets to know her or his mother’s heartbeat and voice, when we are born of heaven, we can learn God’s heartbeat and His voice—today!
Next, we can meditate on heaven and what heaven will be like. The other day, I told my kids that while they were playing Minecraft, why don’t they ask God to build with them so they can meditate on heaven. They were surprised by this concept, but they had asked about the mansions in heaven, and I suggested they ask God to help them design the kind of mansion that they would live in while in heaven. Since this game is a major social outlet for kids, especially while there is still social distancing, they now had a way to share about the goodness of God with friends while they played. I believe the Holy Spirit gave this idea!
Next, a wonderful way to live with eternity in mind is to walk in love as Christ loved us (see Ephesians 5:1-2). When we live a life of love, we live vulnerable. Sometimes when we love, it involves picking up our cross. I believe that if Jesus was not convinced that the Father would raise Him from the dead, He wouldn’t have picked the cross. Jesus tells us to pick up our cross with that same kind of confidence—that we will live again. There will be resurrection. There will be an eternity in the light of His love. In view of this, and with full assurance of eternity in Him, we can, like the Apostle Paul, be convinced that the sufferings of this age are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (see Rom. 8)!
So strengthen yourself in the Lord and in His promises for you! Carry that promise of eternity in your heart long after the Hallelujahs of Easter Sunday morning services.

May the blessings of God be with you today and always!
~ 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:

Facebook Amazon Author Page

Share Button

Dressing Characters 4/2/2021

Send to Kindle

by Staci Stallings

Dressing CharactersWhen readers think about the joy an author must feel when creating characters —the sheer exhilaration that here is a person under your complete control, that you can mold and form and make them do whatever you want (HAHA right!), I’m quite sure very few of them ever think about the issue of dressing characters.

Okay, maybe you do if you are a reader of historical fiction or if clothing is somehow synonymous with a character’s career choice or personality. But how many really give any real time to considering the clothing choices of characters?

I will tell you, from an author’s standpoint and as someone who is not a fashionista in any way, shape or form, clothing characters is one of the most challenging parts of creating them for me.

First, I have my own “style,” which isn’t, overall, what anyone would think of as super stylish. At home, I’m mostly in sweatpants and a STAR Laboratories sweatshirt (navy blue or gray—take your pick) and of course my green cabin socks. In the real world, I’m a little more dressy, but mostly I’m an I-have-three-pairs- of-shoes—tennis shoes, sandals, and boots kind of girl. I’m also not much of a hair person, having worn the same hairstyle of varying lengths for going on four decades now.

So, when a story calls for a character who thinks critically, or self-consciously, about clothing choices, I get out of my depth rather quickly.  Worse, when I write about a character’s clothing, I often harken back to the days of my youth when the local paper would come out on Thursdays with the write-ups about the local weddings. There was always a section in the article about “the flowing gown made of shimmering satin had an empire waist and a mother-of-pearl detailed full cathedral length train.”

I mean, how much detail is too much?  And how much is just not enough?

The reason I was thinking about this today was that I happened to see an ad on a website I frequent, and my thought when I saw the dress in the ad was, “Oh, that would look good on Taylor.” My next thought was, “Wait. Doesn’t she already have a dress kind of like that?” To which I replied, “Well, kind of but that’s her style, and this one is a little different than the other one because the top has navy and not just dusty pink…”

I’m not kidding you, I had that full conversation in my head before I realized that the person I was debating about over this dress was, in fact, a fictional character who only lives in my head. I couldn’t get this dress for her for Christmas or her birthday. I couldn’t even ask her opinion about it as to whether or not she would actually like it. I will never see it on her, and yet, here I am debating about how it would look on her and if she would even like it or not!

The funny thing about this is that Taylor really is far more into clothes than most of my characters usually are. Clothes are important to her. So important that I’ve actually noticed that she’s got a couple of clothing personalities—or her clothing fits the personality she happens to think she needs to put on and wear at any given time.

She has her church look, which is quite conservative and understated. Then she has her “art” style, which she is at present growing into. It’s kind of flowy with less “fit” and far more fabric. Then there’s her “every girl” look that’s either jeans and some type of sweater or cute top, or her dressier fitted mini with a cute top and jacket. And the shoes!  Oh, the shoes! There’s no end to trying to find the perfect shoe for each and every outfit.

The thing is, when you’re not a clothes person, but you’re writing about a clothes person, it can be as intimidating as being a non-dancer writing about a dancer. You just feel like everyone is going to know you’re a complete fraud!

So, dear readers, what do you think about characters and their clothing? Have you ever read any clothing descriptions that you thought were over-the-top and trying too hard? Do you even notice the clothing descriptions or am I overthinking this thing completely? (Which is honestly a good possibility!)

Feel free to sound off!

Always

Share Button

CrossReads Book Spotlight: The Dreams Series

Send to Kindle

CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

The Dreams Series

Contemporary Inspirational Romance

by Staci Stallings

The Dreams Series

TWO BOOK BOXED SET

Dreams by Starlight (Book 1) If all the world’s a stage and each of us plays a part, then Camille Wright is the high school wallflower that nobody remembers and only the bullies ever knew was there. However, her headlong dash to Princeton’s Aerospace Engineering program crashes to a heart-jarring halt when in order to “round out all those math classes,” she is unwillingly signed up for drama class. Awkward, shy, and quiet, Camille struggles to stay part of the wall even under the bright lights. But sometimes where you want to be isn’t where you were destined to be at all…

Jaylon Patrick Quinn has been the star so long, not even he remembers when he wasn’t. Confident to the point of obnoxious, smooth to the point of disgusting, Jaylon has his high school peers enthralled. However, the fool’s gold of stardom and the glare of being one-half of the school’s star couple have made Jaylon begin to question if this is really how life is best lived. Now he must decide which direction his future is headed and more importantly, if he really wants to go there at all.

Reunion (Book 2) Camille Wright and Jaylon Quinn met in high school and fell in love, but their dreams under the stars took them in two different directions. Now an aerospace engineer, Camille is successful in her career but struggling in life. Jaylon’s life took him where he never expected to be, and now he’s building a life that looks perfect—from the outside. Both remember the love they shared but understand that love once lost rarely comes back around…

Ten years later. Lives have changed. Dreams have changed.

Or have they?

A Contemporary Christian Romance Novels, DREAMS BY STARLIGHT and REUNION give a glimpse into two people who are better together than they ever are apart. When they meet in “Dreams,” their differences pull them together in ways they never expected. However, time and life drive a wedge between them. Can they bridge the gap and find love a second time around in “Reunion”? As inspirational books go, this series has it all—two struggling characters, loss, love, and ultimately peace. You will cheer for these two, cry with them, and love them just like you would expect to in the best of romance books. It is a romance like no other.

“Staci Stallings… Christian romance of the best and sweetest kind!”

Amazon-Buy-Button

Share Button

CrossReads Short Takes: The Parson’s Bride & The Movement of Rings

Send to Kindle

CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

The Parson’s Bride

A Christian Historical Western Mail-Order Bride Romance

by Lisa Prysock

The Parson's Bride

After serving in the Civil War as part of a Minnesota infantry regiment, Zachary feels compelled to head further west to follow the call of God tugging on his heart. He has finally completed correspondence school and earned a certificate to become a preacher. He accepts a minister’s position in the small town of Blossom in Dakota Territory, but there’s a catch. The church board requires him to become married, and a mail-order bride soon becomes the remedy.

When his bride arrives by train from Ohio along with the spring blooms, he has no idea so much trouble can exist in such a pretty package. Miss Darcy Chenowyth takes his breath away with her good looks. However, she can barely cook or clean, and finding peace and tranquility to study his sermons proves hard won, if not scarce, after her arrival.

When a small town printing press, a boy named Charlie, and the mysterious Old Man Brompton compound their challenges, Zach wonders what else could possibly go wrong.

Get your copy of this sweet, inspirational, pioneer adventure today, and begin enjoying the Wild West as it comes alive in this Christian Historical Western Romance novel by award-winning Author Lisa M. Prysock!

Amazon-Buy-Button

 

PageDivider

 

The Movement of Rings

(Movement of Crowns Book 2)

by Nadine C. Keels

The Movement of Rings

Sequel to The Movement of Crowns.

What lies deeper than fear?
The Mundayne empire has prospered under the rule of King Aud, a ruthless man of war. Naona, a spirited imperial servant who holds Aud’s favor, enjoys pulling pranks on her peers around the king’s estate. But the time for laughter spoils when the citizens of Munda begin to oppose the taxes that pay for Aud’s wars.

After meeting the princess of Diachona, Naona must choose between remaining loyal to her king and becoming another nation’s ally. With the rise of unrest in Munda, how can Naona’s heart survive intact: intact enough, even, for a chance at love with a foreign man?

This book is inspirational historical fantasy: fictional history in a completely fictional world.

Amazon-Buy-Button

Share Button

The Real Jesus 3/30/2021

Send to Kindle

by Suzanne D. Williams

He isn’t a roadside attractionDriveby Jesuswhile you’re seated in your comfy minivan, the kiddies clambering for a view. Open 10-to-5 on weekdays. Half price on Sundays. And for $19.95, you can purchase cross replica, made to scale, complete with decorative boxperfect for display on your mantle.

Subscribenow JesusFor a donation of any amount, receive a rusted nail, like those that pinned His feet, and an authentic copy of His prayer shawl. Add $10 and we’ll have your name listed amongst our sponsors. Cue infomercial.

Statue Jesus, head hung, a crown of thorns painted on His brow. Inanimate. Life-size. Lifeless. Come on Good Friday and pose for family photographs.

He isn’t a roadside attraction, but we’ve fitted Him into our schedule like oneNot now, the game is on. Not now, it’s been a long day; I just want to unwind. Not now, people are watching.

We’ve allowed Him a pocket-size view, Paper Jesus tucked away in our wallet like a business card we picked up at the local diner. We dress like saints and smile like saints but don’t tip the waiter. Don’t hold our peace but open our fat mouth. Don’t give to support the church but sit on our wallets just in case He pries it out of our pocket. After all, He doesn’t pay our bills. We do with all our hard work.

I’m as convicted as I hope you are. I’ve yelled at many drivers then parked and got out where I intended to go, pretending I wasn’t hot-headed and impatient on the way thereI’ve spouted freshwater and saltwater from the same fountain. Grown onions on a fig tree. (Jas 3:12) 

Instead of Secret Jesus, Hidden Jesus, Pop-Him-out-when-we-need-Him Jesus, why don’t we show of the REAL JESUS? The one who died for the men who put Him there, those who rejoiced when He was beaten, when His beard was plucked out, men who watched self-satisfied, blood streaming down His sides, and cared not one bit that His mother mourned. Or His disciples had been scattered. 

Why don’t we show Jesus-the-Resurrected to the world? Awesome Jesus, who defeated the devil and rose from the grave, the power of Holy Spirit so strong it raised others to life, who’d been buried around Him. (Mt 27:51-53) That Jesus. Son of God Jesus. King of kings Jesus. Lord of lords Jesus.

Except not our Lord because that spot is reserved for food and money and cell phones and entertainment, for weekends at the cabin fly fishing, for an afternoon at the amusement park. Jesus can step aside while we cram in two seasons of a show we loved back in our twenties, all in one weekend. Jesus will understand. Jesus is longsuffering. He’s patient. He’s merciful.

I have an idea. Let’s make Him FirstPlace Jesus. BestOption Jesus. Or better yet, OnlyOption Jesus. Let’s make Him Go-To Jesus, Is-the-Answer Jesus, Lord-of-Hosts Jesus with eyes of fire and a massive angel army. Compassion Jesus, who will sit there while we cry. Loving Jesus, who takes us in His arms, no questions asked, no perfection needed.

Let’s look like Jesus, speak like Jesus, dance like Jesus. Let’s show off Jesus and not be ashamed of the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation. (Rm 1:16) For the coworker you like. And the one you don’t. For the nincompoop in politics who stands for all the wrong things. Her too. Let’s leave vindication to Jesus and commit to being the children of God, who dedicate our lives to Savior Jesus and worship Soon-Coming-King Jesus, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, twelve months a year, from January first to the end of December.

Every-Single-Day Jesus. Everywhere-I-Go Jesus. My Jesus.

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.

www.feelgoodromance.com 

www.suzannedwilliams.com 

Facebook – suzannedwilliamsauthor 

Twitter  @SDWAuthor. 

Share Button

CrossReads Weekly Devotional: The Point Is … Do You Know the Story? 3/29/2021

Send to Kindle

 

Blog Featured Standard

by James Collins

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.Luke 2:11 

There once was a very famous professor of chemistry. This man discovered several industrial chemical compounds, and he wrote many books on chemistry. As a result, he became financially well-off and retired. In his retirement, he became a guest lecturer at colleges and universities.  

As the professor got older, he developed poor eye-sight. His poor vision made it difficult to drive. Therefore, he hired a chauffeur. Over the years, the professor and his chauffeur became best friends.  

The chauffeur drove the professor to dozens of speaking engagements. He heard the professor give the same speech hundreds of times. One day, on the way to another speaking engagement, the chauffeur said, “Professor, I believe I could give your speech myself; I’ve heard it so often.” The professor said, “I’ll bet you $50 you can’t.”  “You’re on,” said the driver.  

The chauffeur stopped the car and the two exchanged clothes. They got to the college and they went into the lecture hall. The chauffeur was dressed in a tuxedo. He sat at the head table. The President of the College stood up and introduced him.  

The chauffeur stood up and he gave the professor’s speech without missing a word. It was perfect. It was as if the professor gave it himself.   

There was a standing ovation when the chauffeur finished. The President of the College got up and said, “You know, we are so fortunate to have such a fine resource with us tonight, and since we have a little extra time, let’s have some questions and answers.”  

A student stood up in the back and asked, “Professor, the element, strontium when combined with radioactive isotopes does not produce a normal reaction. Why is this?” The chauffeur just stood there for a moment. He had a nervous look on his face. Finally, he said, “That’s just about the dumbest question I ever heard. In fact, it is so dumb I bet even my driver could answer that question!” 

The point is: Sometimes we hear something so many times that we can lose the meaning. How many times have you heard the Christmas story? I’m sure you could stand up in public and tell the story. You have heard it hundreds of times. Even non-Christians know the story of Mary’s unexpected pregnancy, Joseph’s confusion, and the visits by angels. Everyone knows the story of Caesar’s tax, the trip to Bethlehem, and the Christ-child born in a stable. We’ve heard it thousands of times. We even hear Linus tell the story every year on A Charlie Brown Christmas. We all know the story. 

Could it be we have heard the story so many times it has lost its meaning. We think we know all there is to know about the Christmas story, but maybe we don’t. Maybe we don’t understand Christmas.   

Christmas is God coming to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Christmas is Jesus being born to save us from our sins. Christmas is the Savior of mankind living with mankind. Christmas is God with us.  

I am sure that you know the story, but do you know the Savior. I am sure you know about Christmas, but do you know Christ? The Christmas season brings familiar sights and sounds. Don’t let the familiarity of the season cause you to lose sight of the baby in the manger.  

Get to know Him this Christmas.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday Image

========================================
Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now on EDIFI.APP. Download from GooglePlay or AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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.
========================================
Share Button

The Challenging Art of Weaving a Story 3/26/2021

Send to Kindle

by Staci Stallings

Every book is a challenge. Some are more challenging than others, and some are challenging in different ways than others.

For example, when I wrote a book about a dancer, I had to do lots of research about dance. I had to learn terms and how to put specific movements into words that flowed like music. That was a challenge.

When I wrote about a young journalist covering a dangerous story, the research part was easy. I had been a young journalist in a newsroom. I had lived that experience. What I hadn’t lived was being a new student in a huge school. I hadn’t lived having someone stalking me. I hadn’t lived trying to protect my friends from someone who literally wanted to kill them. That was a challenge.

Every book has its own challenges, but one of the challenges that presents itself in every book is that of how to weave a story. How do you take all of these random threads and bits and scenes and somehow weave them together so they a) make sense, b) keep the reader engaged, and c) tell a heart-gripping story that makes readers simultaneously want to read it, not put it down, but never want it to end? Yeah. That’s what I’m up against every time I audaciously start a new story.

Now, you might already think I’m out of my mind to take on such a crazy-difficult task, and honestly, there are times I totally agree with you. But in this writing season, I’m finding myself even more challenged than normal.  The good news is, for way the most part, many of the technical aspects of this series (The Imagination Series) fall pretty well within my own life experiences. I am a musician. I play the piano and the guitar, and I sing. I write music. I’ve written poetry. I’ve been a student. I can fake knowing about cars. (HAHA!)

I’ve put on proms and decorated spaces.  I know about punch and sound systems. I’ve even studied psychology, religion, and film.  All of those are threads in this series, and those are relatively easy.

There are a few threads I haven’t had direct experience with such as domestic violence and the court systems. So those have taken more research, but by and large, that hasn’t been a huge challenge.

The really challenging thing with this one is the sheer immensity of it all. Of course, it didn’t start out that way. In 2009, when I wrote the first book, it was literally supposed to be ONE BOOK. Now, I’m working on Book #9 with #10 and #11 swimming around in my head constantly.

So with this one, the real challenge has become how to craft this whole ginormous story into something that is going to, in the end, have all the elements I’ve been given and actually make sense. And it’s funny as I go because scenes I knew were going to happen, happened out of sync of what I thought they would while some just hang out there illusively calling like a Siren Song I can’t get out of my head.

For example, I know that Greg and Taylor go to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe… twice. (Right now, they haven’t even gone once.)  I have seen the car ride as they are traveling.  I have seen them as they explore the crazy-cool art gallery.  I have seen what happens at the top of the stairs. It’s all right there for me, in my head, always calling, never leaving, but illusive like a dream that may never happen.

The insane thing with this particular series is that some of the scenes floating around in my head have been there for YEARS, and somehow, actually putting them on paper doesn’t change that. It’s like having someone else’s memories… even though some of them haven’t happened yet…?  That makes no sense, but to me, it’s perfectly normal. (I think that makes me weird!)

When I think about Taylor and Greg, I know all these little details like how he was in school and how that shaped him into who he is today even though he doesn’t even really know how or why, where he got his first guitar and why that changed everything about everything in his life, her actual spirit and life calling that’s been buried under equal layers of shame and trying to be something she’s not, and those red cough drops… oh, yes. Those are still coming. No, I haven’t forgotten about them. Trust me.

It’s all right there in my head like this is my life I’m writing down, even though I don’t really have a plot written nor is there an outline of how I’m going to get where this thing is taking me. It’s like driving with no real map other than a vague understanding of where you’re supposed to be going.

Anyway, I guess we can call this blog musing on the odd quirks of being a writer, or something like that. Yes, sometimes being me is a real challenge because this stuff never stops in my head. It swims there 24/7.

So, dear readers, I’m curious from you… when you think about authors and how books and series are written, do you envision plots and outlines or just sitting down and writing? How do you think the stories come to be? Can you tell if a story is plotted from the beginning or written as the author goes? How? What types are your favorites?

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts from the other side of this project called the written life!

Check out The Imagination Series
(Click an Image to View the Book!)

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. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe with her various Internet and writing endeavors.
Share Button

CrossReads Book Spotlight: Angel in White

Send to Kindle

CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Angel in White

(A True Story)

by Carol Carnevali

Angel in White

Whether you are a new Christian, a long-time follower of Christ, or just someone who is curious about God, you will find Angel in White an inspiring and engaging book that you won’t want to put down. It is a true story about a young woman from the same hometown in western Pennsylvania that David Wilkerson was from, and a similar calling to New York City to be a part of Times Square Church, the church that he founded there. It’s a story that takes you through her amazing salvation and the many trials and tribulations she faced in learning to walk with God. She learned not only how real God is, but how real Satan is, and the battle between good and evil for one’s soul. She also learned how to “count the cost” and go “through the fire”, suffering severe heartache, to be made into a vessel of honor for God, trusting that He knows best. The main story-line is about her call to New York and how a naïve, country girl faced all of her fears to go to the big city, as she felt God was leading. Her trips include some gripping moments where the devil tries to steal, kill and destroy; but God triumphs over and over again as the author learns to hear His voice, and trust and obey Him in all things; knowing that the life God has for us is bigger and better than anything we can imagine and that, truly, He gives us life, and life more abundantly!

Amazon-Buy-Button

Share Button

CrossReads Short Takes: The Secrets of the SOS Society & Miner Girls Gone

Send to Kindle

CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

The Secrets of the SOS Society: Save our Souls

by Peggy McGee

CrossReads Short Takes  The Secrets of the SOS Society

Duchess Lana Courtney’s days were numbered and she wanted to spend her remaining life helping young women in the Regency era in England escape from an abusive situation, similar to what she endured during her marriage. Now a widow and an heiress to her maternal grandfather’s shipping business, she had the independent wealth with the support of her two younger sons, despite her first son’s constant meddling in her affairs. Through forming the secretive SOS Society (Save our Souls), a network of trusted contacts befriended those in total desperation to assist these women in their struggles. Many personal stories are enumerated of the countless women she aided. But one in particular, Bridget O’Rourke, is highlighted because of her high-spirited personality who went on to continue the duchess’ legacy while seeking her one true love. This is an inspirational novel that emphasizes, through faith and fortitude, how one can make a difference to those who are in dire need.

Amazon-Buy-Button

 

PageDivider

 

Miner Girls Gone

by Peggy McGee

Miner Girls Gone

“Miner Girls Gone”, based on many actual events, is an inspiring story of three young women’s lives during the coal mining era (1875) of Eastern Pennsylvania when the Molly Maguire organization terrorized the area. Born into mining families, they experienced many hardships and losses with aspirations of escaping the area to begin over again. Two of them were granted the opportunity to travel to Colorado in search of a better life. However, their past problems followed them while experiencing unexpected new dangers in an entirely new existence known as the “Wild West”.
Learn about an important time in history in this praiseworthy, heartwarming story of strong and resilient women who attempt to change their lives for the better, despite numerous obstacles in their path.

Amazon-Buy-Button

Share Button

Two Hundred and Twenty-Two Prayers 3/23/2021

Send to Kindle

by Parker J. Cole

A prayer for everything. 

Last night, while on the phone chitchatting, my girlfriend and I talked about a situation she had asked prayer about. God had answered her prayer and showed signs of that by couple of conversations. She’d called a mutual friend of ours to discuss the situation. Our mutual friend, who for certain has the hand of God upon her had rebuked her in sisterly condemnation for not listening to her about the situation a year ago. Yet, with love, everything was soothed away. 

Listening to this retelling, I said, “You had a Gideon prayer. You needed reassurance in certain ways because your obedience to God’s will needed that type of answer.” 

When I thought about it, I recognized many of the prayers spoken by the small and great of the Bible are different. Some are long and reverent, full of supplication. Others of confession of sins and misdeeds. More of forgiveness and repentance. And still others for rescue or destruction. 

As I thought about it, I went online and looked up how many prayers were in the Bible. I came across this list. Browsing through the list, the helpful list detailed what prayers were answered and why. What prayers were unanswered, along with their reasons. Also, prayers that don’t record any solution. 

I thought back to Gideon. Why would we need to know about the prayer of Gideon? He already had seen the angel of the Lord and had spoken to him. He’d already knew the Lord had called him. He already knew God had plans for him–big plans. So, why did Gideon still pray twice more for a sign? Is it because of unbelief or unrighteousness? Was it because Gideon doubted the Lord’s provision? 

Was it wrong for Gideon to ask and pray for these many signs? 

I am not a scholar or a minister. I wasn’t called to preach (thank you, Lord!). So, I am open to correction if I have this wrong but the more I simmered on this, I realized that the magnitude of what the Lord was asking of Gideon, coupled with his own self-doubts of his effectiveness, not to mention the potential loss of life glaring at him from a formidable enemy, he needed reassurance on several levels. 

If it was wrong to ask for the reassurance, I think the Lord would have rebuked him. There are instances in the Bible where the Lord does that with others. 

I remember when the prayer of Jabez book made its rounds among the church. Songs about it, people praying for an increase in their lives, all of that. Nothing wrong with wanting more, but there’s more to praying than asking for prosperity or material wealth. In the list noted above, Jabez’s prayer was answered because of God’s promises to Israel, not just to Jabez. 

Sometimes we have to kneel in prayer and confess our sins. King David did that with admirable skill. He knew who he had sinned against. 

Some prayers are spoken with haste and expediency. When Peter took his eyes off Christ, when he commanded him to walk on water, and started drowning, Peter didn’t have time to get reverential. He hollered, “Lord, save me!”   

Some prayers were about remembrance of what God had done before. I can’t remember who said this, but I recall hearing that the term atheist didn’t mean one who didn’t believe in God. The biblical terms for an atheist was one who forgot what God had done for them. This I find is significant because we as people forget. God answers our prayer, and then we forget He had. We’re easily demystified by His provision after the fact. Many times in the Bible, it speaks of remembrance. 

Healing prayers are ones close to our heart. I think of my brothers and sisters in Christ who deal with chronic pain and illness. They pray for healing and alleviation of pain. Sometimes the Lord says, as he did to Paul, my grace is sufficient. I think of others who pray for healing, and they receive it. 

In our church, we had a man who was dying get miraculously healed nearly a month ago. I am so pleased that God allowed us to see His work on earth. Perhaps I had forgotten that God works in the supernatural, and this man’s healing gave me that renewed sense of awe of the power our Lord has. 

Prayer as a weapon is the one I am coming to understand more. Coupled with praise and worship, you have an arsenal against the fiery darts of Satan and his minions who only mission is to destroy you by any means necessary. We get tired and take a break, a nap. Satan and his minions don’t have to do that. They don’t ease up. They don’t stop in their work. They will work overtime. 

My mother says, “The devil is always busy.” 

Prayer as a weapon in the reality of spiritual warfare becomes even more important. 

I believe put these prayers in the word to show us that in EVERYTHING we need to pray. He wants us to talk to Him. I talk to my family all the time. Relationships build because of that communication. When we give our concerns, our fears, our transgressions and sins, our praise, our past, our present, our future, to the Lord in prayer, what would the intimacy of that relationship look like? 

I encourage you to look at the list I shared above and go through the Bible for yourself that so that you can see there really is a prayer for everything.

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

Share Button