CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 9/19/2022

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 32:6 Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.

Here the godly are being singled out. Yes, the godly do sin. What happens when the godly do not confess their sins and die? They will face God with sin on their hearts. How will God handle that? Only God knows that for sure. He knows the heart motives of man and will judge fairly and rightly each of us. He knows whether or not we are truly righteous in heart. All I can tell you for sure is that no sin will be in heaven.

Today’s verse tells us that the godly will drown in the floodwaters of judgment if they don’t confess their sins. God’s judgments are like a floodwater. It sweeps away everything in its path. It is consuming power and no one can stop it. It cannot be contained and will keep flowing until it accomplishes its purpose. Anyone caught in floodwaters will more than likely drown.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way for the godly. If we will quit hiding behind our perceived righteousness and confess our sins, we will be saved. If we quit resisting God’s ways and live life by God’s Word, we will be saved. If we quit pretending that we are better than we are, we will be saved. If we are living in Christ’s righteousness and not our own, we will be saved.

In reality, the godly are not as godly as we might think we are. We are all guilty of sin, no matter how long we have been in the faith. We all have need of confession. We all need to carefully monitor our souls and submit to God’s rightful authority over us. We all need to acknowledge our need for Jesus to be our Savior and Lord.

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

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

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

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

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My Most Personal Story Yet 9/16/2022

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by Staci Stallings

Some of you know me or know of me.  Others may never have heard the name Staci Stallings until this very minute, and that’s okay.  In fact, part of me likes not being known. One thing I do know is this:  my readers probably know me better than most people who have ever met me in person—they just don’t know how well they really know me.

In my writing, the “real me” that I don’t show many people in real life often comes out.  Many times that happens in very subtle ways that most people would never catch, and that’s good for me because although I’m not the mysterious type, I don’t normally shout from the rooftops who I am and why—except in my writing if you know how to read between the lines.

In real life, it takes very little for me to choose to help you.  However, it takes moving the Grand Canyon for me to feel comfortable enough with you to really let you in to my world.

That is why my fiction release “Whisper If You Have To” is such a step off the sheer side of an emotional cliff for me.  When this book came up in my heart and spirit to write, I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to be that real, even on paper, even if no one else would ever read it.  I didn’t want to “go there.”

Trying not to spoil it, “Whisper” is about a young girl who, although she has different talents than I did, is very similar to me when I was that age.  She is driven by forces she doesn’t really see or understand.  She is constantly trying to be “enough” and knowing she will never measure up. She pushes herself harder than anyone should ever be pushed and then berates herself for not doing and being enough.

Worse, she has a secret that her family literally moved from their previous home to avoid and move on from.  It is in that secret that readers will come to know many things about me and my heart.  The details are different, but I have lived through what Alison has gone through in the book.

In fact, there are a couple of points in the book that her confessions and “going there” are as much me as her.  The fear, the confusion, the not knowing where to go from here—those thoughts are my thoughts, those feelings are my feelings.  And that scares me more than you can ever know.

When I first wrote this book, I gave it to two very, very close friends to read telling them that they were probably the only two people on the planet who would ever read it.  They read it and loved it, but couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to put it out.  That’s an easy one to explain.

It’s because I don’t want to let anyone in that far… especially people who might take my heart and twist it because the book doesn’t fit their preconceived notions about how this type of story should go.  The details are different, but many things in the story are exactly how things “went” when I was dragged through this very same fire.

I cannot tell you more as that would spoil the story, but I will tell you… this one was hard to write.  Many tears went into every page.  I will also tell you that this one was even harder to publish, and I do so even now with great fear and trembling, and praying that others will be gentle with me because my heart is still very fragile in this area.

This one is me, and only because God is giving me the courage to reach out to help others going through this same fire am I even willing to put it out there.  It’s in His hands now as it probably always was. I just hope that in your hands it gives God the space to teach you to love on a deeper level as the events in my own life did me.

Whisper If You Have To

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: How To Live The Christian Life Successfully…Victoriously 9/15/2022

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

How To Live The Christian Life Successfully…Victoriously

A Practical Guide On Christ-Centered Victorious Living

by Sheldon D. Newton

How To Live The Christian Life

A HANDBOOK ON EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN LIVING

Becoming a spiritually mature and victorious Christian should to be the goal of every believer. And in this handbook on victorious Kingdom living, Dr. Sheldon D. Newton takes you by the hand and leads you step by step through the scriptures & into a closer walk with God. Those who love the Lord and who are hungry and thirsty to know Him more and fulfill His will for their lives will find great delight as they discover the principles which lead to a deeper walk with Christ.. Dr. Newton shares on Christian commitment, dedication and consecration to the will of the Father, without which you’ll never fully understand or live out the purpose of God for your life.

These principles for victorious, Christ-centered living are laid out in a very practical manner, giving you the keys you need to grow in your walk with the Lord and develop in the fruit of the Spirit. Never again will living for Christ seem to be too hard to understand or apply, but you will know exactly what He requires of you and how to walk with Him. You will experience a deeper and closer relationship with Him and live a more fulfilling and satisfying life as a believer.

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CrossReads Short Takes: Breaking Chains & The Lincoln Penny 9/14/2022

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CrossReads Short Takes

Breaking Chains

of beliefs & behaviours & be set free into new life, peace & victory!

by Lauren Roskilly

Breaking Chains

Do you want to live in the fullness and freedom that God has for you?

Perhaps you have physical, emotional and/ or spiritual chains that are preventing you from living this way.

These chains can include, but are not limited to; behaviours, habits, thoughts, beliefs and unbelief, distractions and un- forgiveness.

You will learn how to break these chains through the 4 P’s:

  • Pray
  • Prune (Eliminate Hindrances)
  • Pass (To Jesus & let go)
  • Perception

And the bonus- Praise!

Each section is backed up by scripture and gives you stories, guidance, actionable steps and teaching.

Also includes tools and techniques of Christian Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBCBT).

All of which can be carried out and used straight away.

‘Breaking Chains’ will help you to live in the freedom, love, joy and peace that God does have for you!

Are you ready?!

A percentage of book sales go to the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team. https://bhct.org.uk/

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The Lincoln Penny

(A Time Travel Series Book 1)

by Barbara Best

The Lincoln Penny

Just when Jane Peterson, a history geek in small-town Georgia, hits the refresh button on her life, a devastating event thrusts her into a raging siege with brutal consequences. 2012 resets to 1862, Savannah, Georgia, during the bloodiest conflict in American history.

Jane’s ghostly appearance is a bad omen to the doomed Confederate soldiers at Fort Pulaski. In a chilling twist, the charitable heart of a handsome lieutenant and the arrogance of a Union general compel her to cross hostile enemy lines and seek shelter with strangers. In a story of good and evil, murder, intrigue and the supernatural, she must survive in another century. One hundred fifty years from everything she knows and loves, Jane cannot escape the grim truth that her existence in the past alters the future and puts lives in danger.

Vanished on her twenty-fourth birthday without a trace! Medical student Bryce McKenzie and Jane Peterson have shared a unique bond since childhood. But when exactly did she capture his heart? Refusing to accept Jane’s death, Bryce vows never to give up on the girl he loves. With the help of Sophie Downing, the only witness to Jane’s freak disappearance, he searches for the key to unlock an impossible mystery.

The Lincoln Penny * The Lover’s Eye * The Celtic Key: Empathy, humanity and love tangled and interwoven across time. A many-layered drama far above standard time fiction

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 9/13/2022

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Verse of the Day

September 13th, 2022

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Scripture

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. – Matthew 1 24 thru 25 NASB

Devotion

It still astounds me that nowhere in the Gospels that talk about birth of Jesus do we hear Joseph’s voice. In fact, as we search the Gospels, we discover that they do not contain a single word uttered from the mouth of Jesus’ earthly father. But, as some people say, actions often speak much louder than words! Through his silent actions, Joseph teaches us three valuable lessons:

First, we are introduced to Joseph in the middle of a personal crisis. He was engaged to a beautiful young girl and he had worked hard to establish an income to support his new bride and begin a family. He is committed to Mary. He believed she loved him, until he heard the news that his precious bride is pregnant. Before any divine explanation, Joseph chose mercy. Certainly he could have asked a lot of questions here, such as ‘How could you do this to me?’ or ‘Who’s the father?’ But no such words are recorded, only tenderness. He would not hurt Mary, no matter what he thought she had done. When he could have demanded a bitter sentence, he chose a righteous mercy. Joseph displayed righteousness and mercy. This righteous carpenter would help to raise God’s Son to be a merciful Savior.

Second, God gave Joseph a glimpse of His Divine plan in a dream. Because Joseph was a descendant of David and a righteous man, I believe God gave him the unique job of raising the Messiah. God told Joseph that Mary’s Son would, “save His people from their sins!” Jesus came to earth to redeem humankind, to save us from the penalty of our sins. God has done for us what we were unable to do for ourselves. He paid the price for our sins with the blood of His Son. He bought us back. He redeemed us. What an awesome gift! Can you imagine Joseph’s anticipation, knowing that he would be responsible for the upbringing of the most important child ever born? God is asking Joseph to raise the Savior as his own son. Most people would never accept that kind of challenge.

Third, there was no hesitation with Joseph. He understood clearly what God expected of him and was ready to obey! He would take Mary to be his wife and suffer the cutting remarks about a child conceived prior to their wedding. He would obey in spite of the fact that this child of divine promise would be born under a false cloud of adultery. He called his adopted son “Jesus,” just as he was told to do. Joseph believed God and obeyed Him.

Throughout this season, and throughout the rest of our lives, I hope that we will take with us the lessons we can learn from a simple carpenter who’d been given the greatest honor.

By Daniel Devadoss, Bible League International staff, India

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: God Loves You 9/12/2022

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by Rebekah Beene

When I closed the car door on my thumb, my daddy had to open the door to release me from the pain. When our oldest daughter was little and the truck door captured four of her fingers, her daddy had to open the door to release her from that same pain.  And years later, when a precious older saint got her finger stuck in the van door, hubby had to open the door to release her from that pain.

Oh beloved, it’s important for you to see this morning. You may be stuck in the pain of life, but your Abba Father is going to have to open the door to release you from the pain. You and I don’t like that. It may hurt, but won’t that release hurt worse?  We are so willing to hold the painful situation tight to us because surely letting it go free will hurt even more.

God wants you to know this morning that He doesn’t want to inflict more pain on you. But the process can be painful. But sure enough the result will be relief.  A hand or finger in the door of a vehicle without release will cause and inflict much more pain. You just can’t live that way.  Let God have a look at the situation of your heartbreak. Let Him move the door to your troubles and give you freedom. You need freedom to move on.  You need freedom to proceed with your life. Don’t get stuck living with the pain.  Your destiny doesn’t include being a victim for the rest of your life.

God loves you and He is for you.  Always. In pain. In joy. In captivity. In release. But oh, how wonderful it is to be free! Let the Lord release you this morning and live out the rest of your life in freedom!

Psalm 118:5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Psalm 147:3-5 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and names each one. Our Lord is great and very powerful. There is no limit to what He knows.

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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Wandering 9/9/2022

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by Staci Stallings

Let’s start with this:  I am not a Lord of the Rings fan. I apologize to those of you who love it, but I must confess that I am not among that number.

My children once had the movies on our television in the living room, and I didn’t leave my office the entire time.  Even if it’s a good story, I can’t take the fighting and the noise of violence.

So my next confession probably won’t surprise you either:  I have never read any of the books except for The Hobbit that I assigned my seventh grade English class back in the early 90’s because someone said they would like it.  I don’t know if they liked it. I didn’t get much out of it though that could be because I was reading three other books for other classes as well as doing lesson plans and grading. (Yes, I was a crazy teacher!)

Suffice it to say, I am not well-grounded in Middle Earth though I do know the term and where it comes from.

That’s why it’s so weird to me that LOTR, which is what all the cool kids call it, keeps showing up in my life and in this set of books I’m writing. At first it was just a passing mention because Taylor, the main character, loves books and Greg’s sisters were showing her their book collections. Then Clara, Greg’s ex-girlfriend mentioned it later on in When You Sing a Love Song, and it became a bonding moment between her and her new boyfriend, Ryan.

Then, the craziest thing just happened this weekend in real life that is destined to be included in the new book.  There is a whole thread in the books about how you need to try things and do different things to find the things that you love and that you’re good at.  Taylor, my current protagonist, is embarking on a whole new way of being, and it’s great fun to watch. However, she very much feels untethered to the world she once knew and believed she was headed toward.

She has come to the conclusion that she wants no part of the future she thought she was building (because that’s what everyone told her she should want), but she doesn’t really have a grasp on what a new future might look like either. There are a lot of references to being in the goo—that spot when a caterpillar is not a caterpillar nor a butterfly. It’s in process. It’s just goo.

Being someone who was driven and goal-oriented, this is unsettling in the extreme for Taylor. And then this great line comes waltzing in my life as if to ask what took you so long to get here?

Now a little on just how circuitous a route this line took to get to me.  My niece had come to stay with us last year, and she’s been doing a lot of growing up and becoming—just like Taylor. One of the things she dearly loves is Lord of the Rings. She even read the actual books although she is dyslexic. Over the Christmas break, she and her father watched the movies together, so she was telling me about all of it while she sat at my island and I did the dishes. (Hint to all the creative people out there:  Never underestimate just where and how God might throw a lightning bolt in your direction.)

So she’s talking about the films and she says quite innocently enough, “Wandering doesn’t mean you’re lost.”

That hit me like a truck, and I was like, “What?”

She said, “It’s the Riddle of Strider. ‘Not all who wander are lost.’ It’s not even in the movie because….” (insert long, drawn out explanation that I only barely followed)

But to say I was intrigued is putting it mildly. That quote is exactly what Taylor needs to hear right now, and I know just how to weave it in.

The crazy thing is, people who read this book are going to think I’m a Middle Earth aficionado, and strangely, nothing could be further from the truth. Just like I’ve never danced ballet (like in Dance With Me) or fixed up an old house (The Long Way Home, Raising Attabury), fixed old cars (Little Drops of Sunshine), or been in a plane that crashed (Flight 259), or my favorite, been in a burning high rise (To Protect & Serve).

And yet somehow, on this strange, wandering path called writing, I’ve gotten to do all of that and more.

I can’t wait for Taylor to hear this line!

So, dear reader, what is your work in progress that you are excited to be starting the new year out with?

Who I Am With You

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: Castles in the Sky 9/8/2022

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Castles in the Sky

(Healing Hearts)

by Tori Hines

Castles in the Sky

Castles in the Sky – (Healing Hearts)
(Heartwarming and inspiring story of loss and love)
Recently divorced and losing her father in the past year, special education teacher Trish Young needed to reinvent herself in order to heal. Having inherited a townhouse bordering a public golf course, she was determined to take up the game as a diversion. Assistant pro Max Meyer, who lost his wife in a tragic accident the previous year, was attempting to raise his Down Syndrome teenage daughter by himself. Could Trish whose faith was shattered when her ex’s new love attended their church, somehow regain it? Could she salvage the love from her angry, spoiled, and willful teenage daughter with whom she and her ex shared custody? Join Trish and Max as they attempted to navigate their grief while healing through their faith, common interests, and their love of their daughters in order to move on.

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CrossReads Short Takes: Alaska’s Firy & Tapping Into The Anointing Of God 9/7/2022

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CrossReads Short Takes

Alaska’s Firy

Tough Times Tougher People

(My Mama’s Mama Book 1)

by Cheryle Coapstick

Alaska's Firy

Mama said to love Bozhe and do what’s right. How could she?
Glaphira (Firy) Oskolkoff buried the confusion of her biracial heritage — Russian, Yupik, possibly white. Firy didn’t fit in a segregated Sitka, Alaska.Childhood losses and pain caused her to seek a safe, uneventful life. Her desire for predictable, peaceful times was doomed. Still, she tried to live by Mama’s words, “Love Bozhe and do what’s right.”The black and white Movietonews reports shown at the local theater made the war in Europe and even the South Pacific seem far away, unreal. Then the enemy invaded Alaska. It was thought the Japanese Navy would cross the Gulf of Alaska and attack Sitka. To Firy, the more immediate danger was the thousands of American servicemen pouring into Sitka. She must protect her sisters and herself.Amid her fears and anxieties about the war, Firy had other concerns. Ever since Papa Bill had married Mama, he and his cronies from the Sitka Café decided they had the right to interfere in her life. They thought they were doing the right thing. Crazy old coots. She could take care of herself, thank you very much.
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Tapping Into The Anointing Of God

The Mighty Presence And Power Of God To Accomplish The Will Of God

by Sheldon D. Newton

Tapping Into The Anointing Of God
DO YOU WANT A STRONGER ANOINTING IN YOUR LIFE & MINISTRY? When His Presence and power is active in our lives miraculous things take place. His anointing is available is bring healing to the sick; deliverance to the captives; wholeness to the broken-hearted and salvation to the lost. Learn how to tap into the anointing of God and be transformed from the inside out. Let His power flow through you through gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, bringing help, healing and hope to others. God desires to use you for His honor and glory. He wants you to walk with Him and to minister to others in Jesus Name, experiencing His holy power as He moves in mighty ways, destroying the yokes of bondage. Get this life-changing book and learn how to tap into God’s anointing today.
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Living The New Life 9/6/2022

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by Robin McKinley

Most of us remember the day when we accepted Jesus. It changed your life, didn’t it? Are you still living that new life? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking about your salvation.

No, I’m asking if you still think about the things of heaven. Or, do you get bogged down about the things going on around you? Look what Paul told us in Colossians.

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:2-3

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is John 17. This entire chapter consists of a prayer Jesus prayed for His disciples and for us. In this prayer, He prayed the following.

I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. John 17:15-16

So we are in this world but not of the world. Peter gave us a warning in his first epistle to stay away from worldly desires. Those desires can go well beyond blatant sin.

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 1 Peter 2:11

If we are just temporary residents, then what are we to do? Peter also addressed that just a couple of verses prior.

You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 

How We Should Be Living this New Life in Christ  

Maybe this illustration will help. A few years ago our family rented a house in Florida for our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

We stayed at the house for a week and I have to say, it was quite nice. We slept in its beds, swam in its pool, watched its TVs, and cooked in its kitchen.

The house though wasn’t ours and we didn’t pretend it was. In fact, we treated it better than if it did belong to us. At the end of the week, we left the house clean and vacant.

Maybe each one of us should be living our life in Christ the same way. Living it like we are just passing through and yet living honorably for the Lord.

Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. 1 Peter 2:12

Do you agree that this world is not our home? Do you believe we are pilgrims on a journey? However, do you actually live that way?  Look at how we can do that.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Colossians 3:1

Living our life anew in Christ gives us a new perspective on life. Why, because we believe in the realities of heaven. Look what happens when we live in that manner. 

 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. Colossians 3:4 

Lord, thank you for our new life that you gave us for living in this world to please you. 

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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