Finding Flow 7/19/2024

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by Staci Stallings

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence

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For the past couple of years I’ve been intensely interested in the concept of flow or flow state. Some call it optimal performance state. Basically, it’s when you go from System 2 thinking (consciously thinking about something) to System 1 thinking (automatic thinking or subconscious thinking).

A good way of understanding it for most people is to think back to when you first started driving a car. At first, everything was new, and there was so much to pay attention to.  Just doing the brakes right was a problem. That is a great example of being in System 2 (conscious) thinking.

After a while, you began to just drive. In fact, now you can probably drive and eat. I’ve seen some women drive and put on their makeup. Some drink coffee, and as we all know, some think they’ve got the driving thing down so well they can text and drive (they can’t!). That’s System 1 (subconscious) thinking.

Flow is when you shift from consciously having to think about every step in what you’re doing, and instead, you just do it.  A basketball player, for example, doesn’t have to think “Dribble, dribble, dribble, pass” once they get good at it. Much of their actions and movement are very close to being automatic.

I like it when my writing is automatic.

(I’m not much of a fan of writing when I’m in System 1. It’s laborious, tedious, and very frustrating.)

In the current series I’m writing, all of the characters have their own “flow” thing. One writes poetry. One plays several instruments and writes music. One works on cars. They have all been finding their “flow thing,” but they didn’t know that’s what they were doing.

Enter Taylor who has been taking the LONG way around to find her thing. She sings, but singing isn’t her real flow thing. She paints, but painting is more her friend’s flow thing than hers.  In fact, she does a lot of things rather well but maybe not really well. Until now.

In Psychology class, they started talking about positive psychology, of which flow state is a component, and WOW! Did that change her life!  All of a sudden, she’s watching all of these videos on flow and learned helplessness and beta-alpha-theta-delta brainwaves. It’s so fun to watch her be so fascinated because up until now, she’s been kind of bouncing around, going through the motions.

It’s also fun now to get to watch her start to understand her friends in a different way than she ever has before.  She’s starting to “see” what they are doing and how their “thing” shows them how to be fully alive.

So, dear reader, what is your “flow thing”? What do you love to do that you can do for hours and lose all track of time?  What is a flow thing you’ve seen someone else do that fascinates you? Share with us so we can all have some inspiration of things we might think about trying!

And be sure to check out Taylor’s story in the newly released “When You Sing a Love Song.” You’ll get to learn right along with her!

When You Sing a Love Song

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.

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CrossReads Book Spotligtht Raya, Isaac, Egypt, and Noah Presents 7/18/2024

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotligtht

Raya, Isaac, Egypt, and Noah Presents

by Michelle Carter-Douglass

Raya, Isaac, Egypt, and Noah Presents

This book will take you on the journey from Creation through The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In this full-length color book, illustrated by authors Patrick M. Douglass, Brialan Douglass, and Arlessa R. Douglass, the authors answer questions, why do we dye boiled eggs, what’s the significance of an Easter bunny, and more.

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CrossReads Short Takes: The Order of the Black Robe & How to Hide God’s Word in Your Heart 7/17/2024

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CrossReads Short Takes

The Order of the Black Robe

by Tiana Dokerty

The Order of the Black Robe

 

In a kingdom overrun by shadows, one girl’s abduction sparks the light of hope.

Rebekah Otual lives a peaceful life in the kingdom of Freislicht. While her husband Jonathan, a Knight of J’shua, is off on a missionary journey, she is happy to stay at home raising her six-year-old daughter Sarah.

But when an official from the earl shows up one morning with soldiers demanding immediate payment for a debt and Rebekah has no means to pay it, Sarah is snatched as collateral.

Desperate to save her daughter, Rebekah masquerades as a man, traveling through the kingdom to find her. On her quest, she discovers the government’s dark secret: they’re using kidnapped children in a grim ritual to empower an ancient evil.

Now, Rebekah must not only save Sarah but also confront the growing darkness, risking everything to protect her family and stand against the evil that seeks to consume her world.

Can one mother’s love save the entire realm from eternal darkness?

Unveil the mysteries of faith and valor in The Order of the Black Robe, the captivating debut of the Chronicle of the Knights of J’shua series. Dive into a world where courage battles darkness, where gritty realities intersect with divine destiny, and where medieval landscapes provide the backdrop for an epic spiritual journey. If you’re drawn to stories of bravery, confronting evil, and the timeless struggle between light and dark, then this christian medieval fantasy is a must-have.

Embrace the adventure — purchase The Order of the Black Robe today!

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How To Hide God’s Word In Your Heart

Keys To Remembering More Of What You Read From Your Bible

by Sheldon D. Newton

 

How To Hide God's Word In Your Heart

Do you want to become skillful in Bible meditation and understand the scriptures in a deeper and more meaningful way? This book will teach you the power of Bible meditation and how to retain scriptures so that they can transform your life. Reading this book will give you the tools to:

-Experience the Word of God in a more powerful way and fall in love with the God of His Word
-Gain confidence in your ability to remember what you read in the scriptures
-Apply the Word of God to your everyday life and find new strength and courage

In this book, you’ll learn:
-The principles of Bible meditation and how to apply it to your life
-Memorizing techniques to make scriptures stick in your mind
-Practical advice on how to make the most out of your Bible study

Don’t wait – get your copy now and start unlocking the principles of scripture interpretation and the power of Bible meditation!

 

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Living With The End Times In Mind 7/16/2024

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by Robin McKinley

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence

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With each passing day, we get closer and closer to the end of time. We don’t understand everything about these times. But understand this: they will be exciting times for the church.

In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.  Isaiah 11:10

This chapter in Isaiah talks about the 1000-year reign of Christ, called the Millennium. Many wonders will happen during that time that would seem unnatural today. Isaiah mentioned these;

  • In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
  • The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.
    The cow will graze near the bear. 
  • The cub and the calf will lie down together. 
  • The lion will eat hay like a cow.
    The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
  • Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Isaiah 11:6-8

In the same context, a couple of other things are worth noting. During the tribulation time, not all of the Israelites will make it back to Jerusalem. 

In this setting, Isaiah talked about the conclusion of the tribulation with the Battle of Armageddon. He continued by saying the following.

In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people. . . He will raise a flag among the nations and assemble the exiles of Israel. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth. Isaiah 11:11,12

God chose Israel, Abraham’s seed, ever since God made a covenant with Abraham. The Lord invited the Gentiles to join His family after Jesus arose from the grave. 

All who have accepted what Jesus did on the cross, both Jews and Gentiles, have now become God’s chosen people.

Israel, as a nation, however, will not recognize Jesus as their Messiah until during the seven years of tribulation. Before that tribulation begins, enough evidence shows the church will be raptured or taken out of this world to meet Jesus in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)

This will be a reunion of the entire body of Christ coming together. If you don’t share the same end-time view, that’s fine. One thing we can all agree on is the pan theory—it will all pan out in the end.

As we read what verse 12 said, a reunion of the Israelites will happen just before the Millennium, after the Battle of Armageddon. In that verse, Isaiah He said, “He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth.”

In chapter 12, Isaiah continued speaking to Israel with the following.

With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation! In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is! Isaiah 12:3-4

We, too, can and should be letting others know how mighty the Lord is in the same way daily. Because we already enjoy salvation from our Savior. 

So, don’t wait for some sort of tribulation to remind you to look to Thank the Lord! Praise his name! And tell others what He has done for you!

Lord, sometimes we forget how blessed we are, and sometimes we just take you for granted. Would you forgive us for that?

About the Author: 

Pastor RobinRobin, with his wife Cindy, became children’s evangelists early in their ministry. They ministered to children full time for 8 years. During that time they developed several children’s stories which were told with visuals and puppets.

Robin recently turned two of those stories into children’s books. One is called “The Contest,” a book about the Fruit of the Spirit, and the other is called “Twas the Night of Christmas”.  He has also authored 5 volumes of devotional books called, 3 Minutes Alone with God. Each entry is a product of his personal biblical Journaling.

These and his other writings are available on his website called Christian Perspectives at www.ramckinley.com. When you visit this site, you can sign-up for newly written devotions as they come out which will be emailed to you.

Presently Robin is the pastor of Calvary Christian Center in Pottstown, PA. He is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He and his wife make their home in Birdsboro, Pa. He also serves as the president of the local ministerium. He and Cindy have two married sons and four grandchildren.

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Faith’s Checkbook: The Mourner Comforted 7/15/2024

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by C. H. Spurgeon

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence

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Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

By the valley of weeping we come to Zion. One would have thought mourning and being blessed were in opposition, but the infinitely wise Savior puts them together in this Beatitude. What He has joined together let no man put asunder. Mourning for sin “our own sins, and the sins of others” is the Lord’s seal set upon His faithful ones. When the Spirit of grace is poured upon the house of David, or any other house, they shall mourn. By holy mourning we receive the best of our blessings, even as the rarest commodities come to us by water. Not only shall the mourner be blessed at some future day, but Christ pronounces him blessed even now.

The Holy Spirit will surely comfort those hearts which mourn for sin. They shall be comforted by the application of the blood of Jesus and by the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost. They shall be comforted as to the abounding sin of their city and of their age by the assurance that God will glorify Himself, however much men may rebel against Him. They shall be comforted with the expectation that they shall be wholly freed from sin before long and shall soon be taken up to dwell forever in the glorious presence of their Lord.

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A Time to Write, A Time to Put the Pen Down 7/12/2024

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by Staci Stallings,

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence,

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As I get older (just turned 51 last Friday), one thing I’ve come to realize is that there really are seasons in life. Looking back, I see there were seasons of growing up, falling in love, going to school, getting married, having kids, having little kids, having bigger kids, their school, them getting older…

At the time, I was working like crazy to keep the kitchen clean and get to the next activity. Now I have only one kid left “in the nest” although the middle one is back a lot with her fiancé who is living here. They are both going to certificate school—her for massage therapy, him for auto body work.

With my youngest a senior, I took the plunge to teach personal finance at his school—something I always secretly wanted to do but never had the push to do.

What I’m finding, with two books left to write in this series, is that writing for now has taken a backseat to everything else. I keep thinking I’ll get back to it, but so far, that hasn’t happened. Instead, I’m doing lesson plans for my two classes—which are crazy now that it’s practically all online. I’m making slides for each class and posting assignments and writing up materials for my classes (does that count as writing?).

There was a time in my life, I could have told you within 300 pages what each Kindle Unlimited page count was for the month for every single book I have out. Now, I realize I haven’t checked it in a week.

I’m glad to know this is a season because I know writing will still be there when this season comes to an end.  After all, we’ll have three graduations in May and a wedding in June. I’m just trying to hang on here and enjoy every second of this crazy ride.

However, right now, for me is a time to put down the pen—at least for today, maybe for the week or even the month.

But don’t think I’ve forgotten about Taylor and Greg and the gang. They are still hashing things out in my head—just not in print yet.

What seasons has your life gone through, dear reader?  And what is the thing or thing you come back to when all the craziness dies down?

Always

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.

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: A Match for Merle 7/11/2024

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

A Match for Merle

The Matchmaker – Agatha Returns

by Janice Cole Hopkin

CrossReads Book Spotlight

A Match for Merle

Vanessa Acker didn’t have a very good reputation in Pinyon Falls, Texas. All the men she’d flirted with had rejected her, and some people even considered a shrew. Since she’s not getting any younger and wants to marry, she decides to contact the same matchmaker three of the men in Pinyon Falls had success with.

Merle Sullivan has made a lot of money as a successful real estate speculator, but he’s ready to move on with his life and settle down. He contacts a matchmaker to begin the process. When he meets Vanessa Acker, she’s pretty enough, but he knows he’s in for a challenge. However, he senses something special about the woman buried beneath what she shows to the world.

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CrossReads Short Takes: Scott and Jo vs. The Martians! & Where’s Chuckawalla Bill’s Cabin? 7/10/2024

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CrossReads Short Takes

Scott and Jo vs. The Martians!

(My Cousin the Atheist Book 2)

by Jeri Massi

Scott and Jo vs. The Martians

Thirteen year old Jo is proud that her parents have decided that she’s very responsible. And then her cousin Scott arrives. He says very little, understands electronics, and loves math. Is it at all possible that he is a robot? Jo isn’t sure, but Scott makes clear from the beginning that he’s a rational atheist. He and Jo share a passion for getting to the bottom of mysteries, so they end up working together, often while arguing. Comedy, adventure, and high calibre Christian content.

This series includes discussion of the classical Christian arguments on the evidences of God. Each book can be read independently, but parents may also want to read along to provide guidance, insight, and discussion.

In Book Two of the series, Scott and Jo confront Martian invaders. The entire family joins together to help the police chase the Martians out of Mayfair. A story with a lot of comedy, as the Martians seem more playful than dangerous. But darker forces are at work behind the scenes. This time it’s Jo who must come to the rescue, as Scott is trapped in a web of danger and deception.

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Where’s Chuckawalla Bill’s Cabin?
A True Tale of Being Lost in the Hi-Desert
by Kevin Heaton
Where's Chuckawalla Bill's Cabin
Few adventurers have ever gone missing in the Joshua Tree National Park Wilderness Area, & lived to tell us their story.

How does one become so hopelessly lost? The answer to that question is revealed here in this true tale of despair, & perseverance. From the onset of this ill-fated walkabout, you will see what the author sees, & feel what he feels as, step by step, his precarious situation becomes increasingly desperate. Heaton is not likely to make it out of the desert alive, but you will find yourself hoping against hope that he does.

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Faith’s Checkbook: Faithful and Useful 7/9/2024

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by C. H. Spurgeon,

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence,

Click Above to Read/Listen to the Devotional

Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. (Psalm 101:6)

If David spoke thus, we may be sure that the Son of David will be of the same mind. Jesus looks out for faithful men, and He fixes His eyes upon them, to observe them, to bring them forward, to encourage them, and to reward them. Let no true-hearted man think that he is overlooked; the King Himself has His eye upon him.

There are two results of this royal notice. First we read, “That they may dwell with me.” Jesus brings the faithful into His house, He sets them in His palace, He makes them His companions, He delights in their society. We must be true to our Lord, and He will then manifest Himself to us. When our faithfulness costs us most, it will be best rewarded; the more furiously men reject, the more joyfully will our Lord receive us.

Next, he says of the sincere man, “He shall serve me.” Jesus will use for His own glory those who scorn the tricks of policy and are faithful to Himself, His Word, and His cross. These shall be in His royal retinue, the honored servants of His Majesty. Communion and usefulness are the wages of faithfulness. Lord make me faithful that I may dwell with Thee and serve Thee.

 

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Building Houses Is Not An Easy Business 7/8/2024

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by Rebekah Beene,

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence,

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I have been enjoying watching a couple of episodes of a building show on Youtube. The brothers who are builders make videos of their everyday house building.

By last night I decided I am tired of watching them work so hard. One of the brothers even had a catastrophic equipment accident last year when his hand got into a machine that cut off his fingers! I looked at my husband while watching last night’s episode and told him how much I realized how hard he worked when he did construction.  And how I knew those brothers understood that they wouldn’t be able to work so very hard all their lives. Building houses is not an easy business.
Oh beloved, what we see on the surface of people’s lives isn’t all that there is.  Overnight success is really hard work in disguise. It’s good to admire someone, but don’t get envious of their life. God is giving you everything you need for life and godliness. It’s a good reminder this morning to be grateful and thankful for everything you have. And to be prayerful about whatever you need.
God loves you and He wants to change your life. He will supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. So ask Him, thank Him and expect Him to care for you as you focus on His goodness, mercy and grace over you!
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:32 For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.

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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