Matt’s Story by Patricia PacJac Carroll

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Matt's StoryHave you ever had a dream or goal that you thought was just about to come to fruition only to have it wiped away? InMatt’s Story, that is what Matt Logan is dealing with. But God does have a way of working things out to good even when we see no way it can happen. Matt’s Story is a tale of hope and faith set in the background of the Old West in Texas. Settle back with a cup of hot chocolate and a good clean read and enjoy Matt’s Story.

~~~~~

Hannah opened her eyes.

Two men were talking near her, but she didn’t hear Gunther’s voice. She lay still and listened. The older one had a gruff voice. He was a hard man but honest. The younger one, the one she first saw, he was kind and gentle, but there was a strength and sadness in him.

She relaxed. They weren’t outlaws. In her spirit, she knew that. Her pain lessened. She pushed down on the straw mattress and sat up. The cabin spun. She closed her eyes and rested. Thirsty, she cleared her throat. “Could I have a drink?”

The two men jumped up.

The younger one grabbed a cup and his canteen before rushing to her. He poured the water and then handed the tin cup to her. “Here. Take it easy.”

The water cooled her parched throat. With a nod, she handed the cup back to him. “More, please.”

The second cup helped her strength return. “Thank you. My husband?” Hannah saw the truth on their faces. He was gone. Poor Gunther, life had turned so sourly upon him. She prayed he’d seen the savior’s face at his last breath.

“Sorry ma’am. He was dead.” The younger man spoke, looking sadder than she felt.

She stared at him, trying to feel, to cry. “I think I need to lie down.”

He jumped to help support her and eased her down gently. “Best thing for you. We’ll be here. Call out if you need anything.”

She looked into his brown eyes and nodded. Yes, she could trust this one. She was so tired. Gunther was gone. She should cry, but the tears wouldn’t come. Maybe after she rested she could give Gunther the sorrow and grief she owed him.

As she closed her eyes, Gunther’s image didn’t fill her mind. It was the kind face of the strong, gentle man with the brown eyes. She didn’t even know his name.

###

Matt stared at Big John and cringed. His uncle had that lecturing look.

Big John stood. “One thing you don’t want to do is bounce to another woman after losing one. She was married to a man and lost him. You owe her nothing. You don’t even know her.”

Matt matched the big man’s glare. “I just want her to have a chance. You’re right, I don’t know her. I just want to get her to a doctor, not like I asked her to marry me.”

“Yeah, just keep it that way. Females can be awful needy when they’re on their own. This farm doesn’t look like it’s worth a thing. She’s likely destitute. You just make sure she doesn’t get her claws in you.”

“Her name is Hannah. She’s not like that. You just worry about yourself. Worry about becoming a grumpy, old man.”

Big John guffawed and slapped his knee. “Well, young Matt, you and me have a lot in common. I’d say we were cut from the same cloth. You watch out that you don’t become a grumpy, young man.”

About the Author:
Patricia PacJac Carroll

Patricia PacJac Carroll~ I am a writer, Christian first, and blessed beyond my imagination. I live in the Dallas-Ft Worth area of Texas with my wonderful treasure of a husband, my spoiled dog, Jacs, and my awesome grown son, Josh. Did I say I was blessed? The PacJac is from my initials and my husbands. I wouldn’t be able to write if it weren’t for him.I love adventure and the open road. The stories of the western era have always been a favorite of mine. I enjoy writing, and my goal is to write stories readers will enjoy.

Hope you are enjoying the series ~ Mail Order Brides of Hickory Stick. I’ll have a new series this year set in Montana – Solomon’s Valley ~ First book is The Feud.

My blogs http://patriciapacjaccarroll.blogspot.com/
Also on FB http://www.facebook.com/PatriciaPacJacCarrollAuthor
Twitter https://twitter.com/@PacJac
Email pacjaccarroll@aol.com

You can find all my books on my Patricia PacJac Carroll Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-PacJac-Carroll/e/B008R9JCN2/

And if you want to know when my next HEA book is coming out – sign up for my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bpPmbP

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The Overcomer by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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Morning and EveningTo him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)

No man may turn his back in the day of battle or refuse to go to the holy war. We must fight if we would reign, and we must carry on the warfare till we overcome every enemy, or else this promise is not for us, since it is only for “him that overcometh.” We are to overcome the false prophets who have come into the world and all the evils which accompany their teaching. We are to overcome our own faintness of heart and tendency to decline from our first love. Read the whole of the Spirit’s word to the church at Ephesus.

If by grace we win the day, as we shall if we truly follow our conquering Leader, then we shall be admitted to the very center of the paradise of God and shall be permitted to pass by the cherub and his flaming sword and come to that guarded tree, whereof if a man eat, he shall live forever. We shall thus escape that endless death which is the doom of sin and gain that everlasting life which is the seal of innocence, the outgrowth of immortal principles of Godlike holiness. Come, my heart, pluck up courage! To flee the conflict will be to lose the joys of the new and better Eden; to fight unto victory is to walk with God in paradise.

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 100:4-5 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues to each generation.

Attitude is everything. How and why we approach God matters. If we constantly approach Him with our complaints or problems, it robs us of the fellowship we need with Him. We come to Him to solve our problems because He is our problem solver, but when He is nothing more than that to us, we lose the joy of living in fellowship with Him. Instead of focusing on what is not right in our world, we must learn to focus on the Lord and who He is.

Worship involves adoration. We must learn to focus on God for who He is and not just on what He does. We must learn to appreciate the Lord in His majestic glory. We must discover the Lord in His holy love. We must rediscover the Lord, our God, as absolute holiness and goodness. We must learn how to approach God with no agenda other than to worship Him. We must learn how to enjoy the time we spend in the presence of God.

When we focus on the Lord for who He is, we swell up with thanksgiving and praise. God is not far removed from us! He became flesh and dwelt for a while amongst us. He took upon himself our sin and shame, our condemnation before God, and made us into children of God. The Lord has not left us alone to fend for ourselves in our quest for God. He gave us His Spirit, his Word, and His children to help us. The Lord has poured into our lives His goodness and love. We are never outside the security of His love.

Let us pause right now and give the Lord, our God, our thanksgiving and praise. Let us thank Him and bless His holy name. Feast on the richness of His nearness, love, and grace. The Lord is our faithful lover. The Lord chose to love us before we were ever conceived. There has never been born anyone who has not been loved by God.

Let us set aside for a moment all of our concerns and burdens and worship the Lord for who He is. He is perfect love, holiness and goodness all in one. Enter into His gates and praise His holy name.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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How to Joyfully Seek and Find Amazing New Beginnings by Cathy Bryant

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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. -Genesis 1:1

Have you ever stopped to ponder the miracle of that first beginning? And does it bring you to a place of awe–like it does me–that the Maker of the beginning has no beginning or end? He simply is.

No wonder God answered with the words “I AM” when Moses asked His name. He always has been. He is. He always will be.

That is the very essence of the God who began time by speaking the heavens and the earth into being.

In the Beginning

But as miraculous as that first beginning was and is, God didn’t stop there. He is the God of new beginnings.

Don’t believe me? Just Ask Adam and Eve, who in spite of their sin and dismissal from Paradise, were given a fresh start. Or ask Abraham, who in spite of a God-given promise, in impatience took matters into his own hands, starting a war between brothers that continues to this day. Or ask Moses, on the run from his adoptive family for murdering an Egyptian. Or King David, who in spite of being a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery and then murder to cover up his wrongdoing.

The Bible is chock-full of example after example of men and women who messed up, but were given a fresh beginning. A do-over. Another chance.

I say all that to say this. As much as we might long to be perfect, we are not. Sometimes we mess up. The ugly word for it is sin. Like it or not, we are all sinners, and we will be until the day that God makes us new in His kingdom.

If you’re struggling to get over a past sin or a pet sin–if you can’t forgive yourself and assume God won’t either–if the enemy of our souls constantly hurls accusations your way, there is still hope. And it’s found through Jesus Christ. If we come to God through Him, truly repentant and working hard to turn ourselves back around to Him, we can trust that our God does indeed give us that new beginning for which we yearn.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You that You are a God of new beginnings. That our mess-ups–our sin–is no match for Your forgiveness. Father, at those times when we struggle against sin and the accuser, help us to whole-heartedly turn back to You as our only help and hope. We praise You for being a God of second chances. Thank You for what Jesus did for us at the cross. In His name we pray. Amen.

=======================================================================

We all long to experience times of fresh starts and new beginnings. And God, in His great mercy, allows us those times. New beginnings cause us to count our God-given blessings and make goals and plans based on this new door of opportunity that lies open before us.

This 31-day devotional journey guides us through scripture verses that reveal how God does indeed make all things new, grants us new beginnings, and how best to set goals and plans for those new beginnings. Join us for the journey!

The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3:22-23

NEW BEGINNINGS: A 31-Day Devotional Journey

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New BeginningsOur God does new!

We all long to experience times of fresh starts and new beginnings. And God, in His great mercy, allows us those times. New beginnings cause us to count our God-given blessings and make goals and plans based on this new door of opportunity that lies open before us.

This 31-day devotional journey guides us through scripture verses that reveal how God does indeed make all things new, grants us new beginnings, and how best to set goals and plans for those new beginnings. Join us for the journey!

The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3:22-23

 

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Cathy BryantAmazon bestselling Christian author Cathy Bryant loves to write heart-stirring stories of God’s life-changing grace. In addition to penning the much-beloved and award-nominated Miller’s Creek novels, she’s written devotionals for The Upper Room magazine, many online devotional websites, and two devotional books done in collaboration with other Christian writers. Her new devotional book, New Beginnings: A 31-Day Devotional Journey, is an addition not only to her devotional writing, but also her two LifeSword Bible studies.

When she’s not writing, you’ll find her rummaging through thrift stores, romping in the great outdoors, enjoying her family, or up to yet another home improvement project in the mountain home she shares with her minister husband of almost thirty-five years. To find out more about Cathy and her books, visit her website at CatBryant.com. Cathy loves to interact with folks via her various social media channels. You can find her in the following spots:

| Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Pinterest | Goodreads |


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Join Cathy’s readers’ group and receive a free Miller’s Creek novel. Your email will be kept confidential, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Author Interview of B. J. Robinson

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1. Describe yourself as an author.

I’m a morning writer who enjoys writing about the places I love and the people I love as well as my beloved pets. I also enjoy crafting fiction. As an author, a visual would be a woman with a golden retriever on one side of her feet, a cocker spaniel on the other, a cat curled up near the computer, and a cup of coffee in my favorite red bird cup striking keys at wee hours in the morning with a husky at my feet. At times I do write during the day and even at night, but morning is my favorite time. I also love to write outdoors listening to the birds sing and watching the squirrels frolic.

2. What was the very first thing you remember writing?

In the third grade, I wrote a story about my pet dog, and it was published in the local newspaper. This encouraged me to continue writing, and I’ve been writing ever since. Back then, I had no idea how many beloved dogs I would have in my life or how important they would become to me and what glorious writing companions they’d make.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is it dreams? Things you see on television or in movies. Books? People you meet?

Inspiration comes from the people and animals I love and the places I’ve visited on vacations or tours. There have been times I’ve had dreams and have written about them. I am inspired by reading books and the Bible.

4. Are you a full-out plotter? Are you a “let’s see what happens” pantser? Or do you think you fall somewhere in between? Describe your process in coming up with and executing a story idea.

I’m mostly a pantser, but I plan in my head and usually start with an idea and a few notes, maybe a blurb and a cover of my novel and go from there.

5. Tell us about your hometown as a child. What influence did your upbringing have on your writing?

I’m from a small town in the South and tend to write about the South in most of my work. Beautiful rivers, woods, and nature inspired my writing, and small-town, ordinary people influenced it. Some of those ordinary people were bigger than life for me and have found their way into my heart and my writing.

6. What are your favorite genres and why?

Romantic suspense is usually my favorite genre since I grew up on Nancy Drew and love mystery and suspense, but I also love romance and this genre allows me to include it all. I also love touring old plantation homes and that has lead to writing historical romance novels. When I tour an old home, I love the history behind it, and it brings history to life for me. I especially love the Civil War era because of the lovely old homes and the history surrounding them.

7. Do you work any reality from your own life into your novels? If so, do you change it to make it more or less dramatic? How and why?

I have used my father’s death, my youngest sister’s death, and my mother’s guiding spirit in my writing. Some is changed and some not. I’ve also used life experience as fodder, embellished to make the story more dramatic. I love writing about vacations and have used those vacations for story ideas but changed some things to make the writing more dramatic as I did with my novel Last Resort, set in Key West, Florida. Also, my novel Whispering Cypress has bits of a Tennessee vacation in it but no wedding ever took place in Tennessee though it does in my novel. This book is in the process of revision and will soon be published again.

8. Of all the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite and why?

In Mysterious Ways, Myrtle is in essence the guiding spirit of my mother. Mom read the book before it was ever submitted for publication and loved it, but she never lived to see it published.

9. Why do you write?

I write because I can’t not write. It’s a passion, and I love it. As a child, I loved and devoured books because they took me to other words. As an adult, I love creating those other worlds with fiction and traveling through them. My family could never afford vacations when I was growing up, but that didn’t stop me from taking my own through a good book. I traveled to Grand Isle, Louisiana, in a book about a young girl who had an imaginary friend on the beach there many years before I visited the place as an adult.

10. What is the greatest love story you have ever heard?

The one about Jesus dying to save us all. In books, Nicholas Sparks wrote one that has stayed with me for years, The Notebook.

11. Where is the most interesting place you have ever traveled? If you haven’t traveled much, where would you absolutely love to go?

Flying on a plane over the ocean for hours to get to Hawaii was the most exciting and adventurous. I also loved traveling by car to the Grand Canyon. I enjoy rode trips better than airplanes.

12. Who is your hero, and why?

My father because of the quality time he spent with me in the few short years I knew him. I lost him when I was four on Christmas Day, but his memories live on in my heart and I cherish the time we had together. He walked me to the store, holding my hand and singing songs to me, some he made up just for me. He took me fishing. He rocked me to sleep singing to me. He always made me feel special.

13. Do you have a writing routine? If so, what is it? What must you have without compromise in order to write? Do you have a specific place to write? Music?

Mornings with three dogs, a cat, and a cup of coffee, actually three cups. I can’t always stick to my favorite writing routine though. I used to but now I write at night and during the evenings at times. I still write in the mornings as much as I can.

14. Tell us about your latest novels.

Siege of Azalea Plantation is a clean historical romance novel that readers say is my best in the genre so far. It has made an Amazon bestseller. A young widow has to learn to let go of the past so she can claim a future. Alexis never thought she could love again after losing her husband in the war. Reese Armstrong never thought he’d fall for a belle or any other woman after what happened to him. I’m working on the sequel to it, and my readers say they can’t wait to read it. -Book-Plantation-Azalea-http://www.amazon.com/Siege… ebook/dp/B018JOIFRI/

The Belle and the Officer was my historical romance before the latest one. It has also made an Amazon bestseller and is a Christian historical romance. Plantations, one southern belle, four brothers. Three reared in the South, the other the North. Would they ever see eye-to-eye or agree on anything? Alice’s heart aches for the simple times and young love, now a thing of the past. A Yankee officer turns the college into a hospital and turns her world upside down when he encamps on her front lawn and uses her house as well as the college. Sonny wanted to console her. Lonnie wanted to marry her. Bert, the Yankee officer wanted to use her home. http://www.amazon.com/Belle-Officer-Battlefield-Romance-Book-ebok/dp/B00YQB58BK

Note From Author: I wish to thank all my readers for your support and reviews. Nothing makes an author’s day like hearing from her readers. May God bless you and your families.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1452521584&sr=1-2-ent

Historical Romance Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/BJRobinsonHistoricalRomance/

Christian Inspirational Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBJRobinson/

http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com My blog page.

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An excerpt from our book The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Chapter Three: Counterfeiters, Imitators, and Enemies by Mary Findley

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(This is an excerpt from our book The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Readers’ and Writers’ Guide for Believers)

articulated-male-818202_640
Philippians Three has a strange statement at the beginning. So then, my brothers, keep on rejoicing in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you; indeed, it is for your safety. (3:1) You may think some things in this book are repetitive, but as Paul says, repetition aids safety. You can’t tell people too many times to keep rejoicing in the Lord. How is it for your safety? Several translations mention the idea of safety, but one says it is “necessary.” Apparently good writers repeat things for our own good.
Counterfeiters
Paul not only wants to remind us to keep rejoicing, but he also wants us to remember to be on guard against false teaching. We mentioned counterfeiting in the introduction. We wish we could just avoid counterfeit Christians, but they are all around us. They also write books, so we need to watch out for them in what we read.
Dogs
In the Jewish culture, dogs are unclean. So perhaps Paul, when speaking about dogs, may have meant that we are not to accept what is unclean. Peter had a vision before preaching to Cornelius in which God showed him not to call anything common or unclean, and he had to learn that lesson more than once. Paul accused him publicly of wrongdoing when he separated from Gentiles to gain favor with visiting Jews. Peter was not to treat non-Jews earnestly seeking truth any differently from his fellow Israelites.
This is not what Paul is talking about here. He does not want people to pollute the church by inviting in those who are not cleansed from sin. Some people think we must show love for all by including everyone, regardless of whether their message is true.
Some believers participate in ecumenical meetings where people who do not believe the Scriptures and who teach heresy are allowed equal participation. We cannot love everyone so much that we allow them to cause confusion at best and corruption at worst in our churches. We should not be sucked in to believing error and watering down the word by what we read, either.
Evil workers
Those who put human, or even spiritual, experiences above the Word of God are evil workers. The Old Testament Scriptures warned against believing a prophet who told the people to do things the law told them not to. This might seem obvious, that a message opposite to the Scriptures is wrong, but so many people are sucked in by books communicating a heart-wrenching story, a vision of angels, a life-altering experience. Humans cannot rely on their feelings to decide who and what to worship. That’s why we have the Word of God. It is the perfect standard.
Mutilators
In Paul’s day, people came to the Gentile Christians and told them they had to be circumcised in order to be truly saved. There is nothing wrong with being circumcised. It is not mutilation in itself. Paul circumcised Timothy when he began to be a part of the ministry. Physical things become mutilation when they are works that people say we must have as part of salvation. Justification is by faith alone. A writer whose book demands works as part of salvation is mutilating the faith.
Paul says his former assets are liabilities, because confidence in the flesh is the opposite of confidence in Christ. We cannot save ourselves by our works. People in books can and should do good works, but not as a way to become justified.
Imitators
You might think that an imitator is a fake or a bad thing. But Paul wanted to be an imitator of Christ. During our college years an instructor gave an illustration using a pattern. We lay it on a piece of fabric so that we can cut out something that is exactly the same. But what happens to us, as human beings, when we lay the pattern of Jesus Christ onto our lives and begin cutting? Sometimes God picks us up, holds us side by side with Christ, and says, “You don’t look much like My Son.”
Some of the people in the books we read, fictional or real, don’t look much like Jesus Christ. They are imitating something quite different. We don’t want to be influenced by the kinds of books that give us the wrong kinds of patterns to imitate.
Forsake self
Paul, as stated above, tossed everything he once valued — his human works — onto the rubbish heap. The pattern of Jewish tradition apart from the Scriptures wasn’t making him look much like the Messiah. It is because of him that I have experienced the loss of all those things. Indeed, I consider them rubbish in order to gain the Messiah. (v. 8)
Embrace faith
Paul admonished us to do as he had done, to be
found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but one that comes through the faithfulness of the Messiah, the righteousness that comes from God and that depends on faith.
(Philippians 3:9)
The books we read should teach this need to embrace this change, as Christ has embraced us, wholeheartedly.
Study Christ
I want to know the Messiah—what his resurrection power is like and what it means to share in his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, though I hope to experience the resurrection from the dead. (3:10)
How many books really teach us this kind of passion to know Christ better? How many self-help books really help us toward the goal of being Christlike in every aspect of our lives?
Emulate maturity
It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus. (3: 12-14)
Read books about the maturing process. Don’t dwell on the past, successes or failures, but keep seeking to answer God’s call and become more like Christ. Look at it as a prize to be won, not an ordeal to be suffered through.
Anticipate translation
Our citizenship, however, is in heaven … He will change our unassuming bodies and make them like his glorious body (3: 20-21)
Many books focus on this world, this life, and barely consider heaven. If they do, they focus on near-death experiences with visions of what it will be like, disregarding what it really takes to go there. We get to heaven by his glorious power. People practically worship heaven and angels in books, but we must worship Christ and focus on him.
Enemies
The Scriptures take two positions toward enemies. One is praying for their destruction. The other is Jesus Christ’s admonition to love your enemies. (Matthew 5:24)
Books that manage to balance those perspectives are excellent reading. Paul delivers his warning with a mixture of sadness and finality.
For I have often told you, and now tell you even with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of the Messiah. Their destiny is destruction. (3: 18-19)
Destiny of destruction
Loving your enemies does not mean you want them to keep on doing evil. Paul reassures believers that these people will not be able to continue to harm believers or the cause of Christ. Their days are numbered.
God of appetite
Easy believism, the prosperity gospel, and any beliefs that allow focus on self fall into the category of making your appetite your god. It is the opposite of everything Paul has been talking about. The shame is that it is common in Christianity.
Glory is shame
We read a blog that decried “divorce parties.” The writer was already angry that divorce would be considered a festive occasion. But a reader of his blog iced the cake by sagely justifying multiple divorces. What is wrong becomes right, and is then justified and even celebrated. Sin and freedom are almost synonymous in many books nowadays. Words are redefined to glorify what should be shameful.
Mind is earthly
For people who truly want to know Christ, the books written by shallow, world-bound people who claim to be Christians are easy to spot. But more and more people are losing their grip on the Scriptures and substituting expert opinions, devotional stories, commentary, studies, and popular sermons for Scriptures.

good bad ugly 25

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Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 100:4-5 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues to each generation.

Attitude is everything. How and why we approach God matters. If we constantly approach Him with our complaints or problems, it robs us of the fellowship we need with Him. We come to Him to solve our problems because He is our problem solver, but when He is nothing more than that to us, we lose the joy of living in fellowship with Him. Instead of focusing on what is not right in our world, we must learn to focus on the Lord and who He is.

Worship involves adoration. We must learn to focus on God for who He is and not just on what He does. We must learn to appreciate the Lord in His majestic glory. We must discover the Lord in His holy love. We must rediscover the Lord, our God, as absolute holiness and goodness. We must learn how to approach God with no agenda other than to worship Him. We must learn how to enjoy the time we spend in the presence of God.

When we focus on the Lord for who He is, we swell up with thanksgiving and praise. God is not far removed from us! He became flesh and dwelt for a while amongst us. He took upon himself our sin and shame, our condemnation before God, and made us into children of God. The Lord has not left us alone to fend for ourselves in our quest for God. He gave us His Spirit, his Word, and His children to help us. The Lord has poured into our lives His goodness and love. We are never outside the security of His love.

Let us pause right now and give the Lord, our God, our thanksgiving and praise. Let us thank Him and bless His holy name. Feast on the richness of His nearness, love, and grace. The Lord is our faithful lover. The Lord chose to love us before we were ever conceived. There has never been born anyone who has not been loved by God.

Let us set aside for a moment all of our concerns and burdens and worship the Lord for who He is. He is perfect love, holiness and goodness all in one. Enter into His gates and praise His holy name.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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Deep in the Heart FREE Jan. 11 -15 by Staci Stallings

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Deep in the Heart

Keith Ayers, son of billionaire oilman Conrad Ayers and fiancé of Dallas Henderson the daughter of the junior Senator from Texas, sat down with TexasBeat to discuss his up-coming nuptials in what is purported to be the wedding of the Texas century in early June. Welcome, Keith. Thank you for joining us today.

Keith: Thanks for having me. Before we get started, may I ask if we can do this off the record? I’d feel a lot more comfortable as things are kind of confusing in my life right now.

TB: Sure. We’re off the record. First off, are you open to your own romance?

Keith: Well, to be honest I thought I was. Life seemed to be headed in the direction everyone thought I should be going –including me (nodding), including me, and then Maggie showed up. Now I’m not really sure about anything anymore. I mean, there’s Dallas, my fiancée. She’s beautiful–every man’s dream really. If we walk into a room, every man there wants to be me. So why is it all of a sudden I don’t want to be me?

TB: What’s the number one quality you’d require in a mate?

Keith: Up until about last week, I would have told you someone who could fit into my world. Someone I’d be proud to show off as a wife. I just can’t quite figure out why that feels so empty now, and why I keep thinking about Maggie–who is pretty much the antithesis of this “someone who fits into my world” ideal person. She would be more comfortable backstage than in the spotlight, and that’s why this whole thing makes absolutely no sense to me. Okay, in one way, I really like that she’s not pretentious, that she’ll bring the kids out and go horseback riding with me, that simple thing she has going on about just being yourself. But seriously. I’m Conrad Ayers’ son. I stand to inherit a lifestyle filled with boardrooms of important people and parties at the Grand Plaza. What am I doing fantasizing about a girl who wouldn’t know quiche from caviar?

TB: Where is the best place you can think of to find a mate?

Keith: At the bar or at a party. That’s where I met Dallas. Okay, granted we had a rocky start, but after that, things got rolling pretty good. I can, however, tell you were I would never guessed I would run into someone that keeps me up all hours of the night thinking about her–that’s at my dad’s mansion. Maggie’s the help for crying out loud. Not that I think that’s beneath me or anything, after all, I’m basically the help as well. But she just so took me off-guard with those shoes and that car that barely runs… I don’t know. Umm. What was the question again?

TB: What type of character traits are you attracted to?

Keith: I guess I’m seeing more and more that I’m attracted to real. You know, how some people are really good at putting on a show to impress everybody else? Maggie’s not like that–at all.

She just… She’s real. No show. No elaborate production. Just real. I don’t know, maybe I’m losing my mind with this whole thing. Maybe it’s like Ike said, maybe it’s just cold feet.

TB: What’s the one habit or lifestyle that would make you run the other way?

Keith: Boy, you don’t ask the easy questions, do you? Well, to tell you the truth, I’m starting to realize this whole billionaire life thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I mean give me simple, you know? Which is funny because last month, I didn’t even remember simple was possible. (He thinks for a moment.) This is going to sound completely insane, but I want someone who makes me a better person when I’m around them, someone who takes time to… I don’t know… go to church, read the Bible, be a good person. Not that I do those kinds of things, or that I did before. (Sighs.) I don’t know. Maybe I’m the kind of guy she should run away from. That’s probably a lot closer to the truth right there. Wait. Maggie, I mean, not Dallas. I’m probably just Dallas’ type–all flash, no substance. As depressing as that is to admit, it’s probably true.

TB: Where do you dream of getting married?

Keith: What difference does it make what I want? My life isn’t about me anymore. Not that it ever was. But I guarantee you this… this marriage to Dallas isn’t about me. My family, not to even mention Dallas’ family, would hog-tie me and frog-march me to the brig if I so much as questioned their plans for this whole thing. So I guess it really doesn’t matter just too much what I dream of. From now on, my dreams are better off left unsaid and buried so far down that even I forget I ever had them.

TB: What would be the best gift a potential mate could buy for you?

Keith: I’ve already been given the best gift I’ve ever had. One, simple day with Maggie and the kids. Honestly, if that’s all I ever get again, it’s more than I deserve.

Well, Ike’s going to be wondering where I got off to, so if that’s it for questions, I’d better get my hide back down to the stables. Thanks for taking the time. Sorry I’m such a mess. I’m normally a little more together than this. Must be the wedding coming up and Dallas coming in any day now.

Thanks again. I’ll catch you later.

Deep in the Heart, featuring Keith Ayers and Maggie Montgomery, is FREE on Kindle January 11 – 15, 2016!

Don’t miss out on this book one reviewer called “heart-breakingly fantastic!”

Get it on Amazon

About the Author:

Staci StallingsNow a #1 Best Selling Christian and Inspirational Romance author, Staci Stallings, astay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, 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 including http://CrossReads.com, http://Graceandfaith4u.com, and http://StaciStallings.net.

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News Years Resolutions, Bible in a Year Plans and Other Resolutions by Russell Sherrard

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Hello everyone, Well, 2015 is over and 2016 is upon us. With the New Year we always make one, two, or more resolutions and common among all of these is “I resolve to Read Through the Bible this Year”. We get about the middle of February and the resolutions go out the window and we never keep them and I hardly blame you. when you get to Numbers with all of those numbers, and the genealogies are a real show shopper. Until now!.

I have been using a new Bible Reading System that I can’t wait to get to every morning. If I miss a day I notice it and can’t wait to catch up because I enjoy reading the Bible this new way.

I enjoyed this Bible Reading Program so much I put it into a Kindle eBook so others can get the benefit of the Life Changing system. I use the World English Bible with the Bible Reading System wrapped around it. The new eBook is called “Life Changing Bible Reading System – WEV” and I have included a spread sheet to help you keep track of your Bible Reading.

Life Changing Bible Reading System

You can get this Bible Reading System for FREE now and everyday. This is a PermaFree eBook on my web site Sherrard’s eBook Resellers.

This is not the only Bible Reading System I have on my web site. These come with a cost however.

One Year Bible American Standard Version

One Year Bible King James Version

One Year Bible World English Version

The above three have a cost associated with them but you will find that they are much less that you would expect to pay.

I am doing this to help you finally to be able to keep your New Years Resolution of Reading Through the Bible in a Year although the Life Changing Bible Reading System actually allows you to read through the Bible two and a half times. It is for serious Bible readers and will revolutionize your life if you stay with it. It takes about an hour to read through all ten lists. If you want to break it up you can read lists 1-5 in the morning for 30 minutes and 6-10 for 30 minutes to have a morning and evening reading if you would rather read it that way. You will still get the same benefit.

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New Beginnings by Sherry Chamblee

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Our pastor is beginning a new series this year on the book of James, and it got me to thinking.

James is a very practical, street-level book. By that I mean it gets down on our level, the place where we walk and talk and live every day. The book of James is all about our faith’s practical application. All the talk of spirituality in all the other books of the New Testament is of course necessary, but the book of James gets right in your face and applies that spiritual stuff to the truly gritty every day life.

Interesting too that the author of this book was the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of all the authors of the Bible, James knew Jesus the best and the longest. He saw the Christ every day – grew up with Him – lived his whole childhood right there in the same house just like you grew up with your siblings. James saw the everyday life of Jesus, he saw Jesus walking that talk from the time they were both children. And when it came time, that prepared James for being the one who would write the book that tells us how to walk that walk.

Here are some things that I was thinking of in regards to really living each day in faith:

Watch what I say…

How do I talk in everyday conversation? Do I name drop – making sure everyone around me knows how close I am to important people? Hey, people in the church do this too – making sure everyone knows what great friends we are with the pastor’s wife, or the deaconesses, or the elder or pastor. It might be true, but do we need to tell everyone?

Do I say the witty remark, the sarcastic comment, even when I know it could hurt the other person? We do this too, claiming the other person just shouldn’t be so sensitive, or they laughed, so it must be ok. Not true. Even when someone’s feelings are hurt they may laugh to try to hide it. Be aware of others.

Watch what I see…

Do I look for the bad in others, or the good? Do I assume the worst? Am I willing to think good about those around me?

Do I notice the needs of others? Do I see when someone is hurting, or when someone has a need? Do I see the pain in the eyes of those I come in contact with throughout my day? Do I consider the people around me?

Watch what I hear…

Do I listen to the negativity of the world? Do I stop and let that negativity take hold in my own heart? Do I combat it with something right from God, or do I let it take root?

Do I hear what’s really behind what other people are saying? Am I really listening to those talking to me? Am I letting their words take hold, and listening with real understanding, or am I just waiting for them to stop talking so I can say more?

Hear the hearts of those around me.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

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