Thursday, October 29

If You Heard a Voice Begging...

If you heard a precious voice, one from another country, begging for Bibles and help for the lost, what would you do?

Many missionaries and servants of God have heard these precious calls for help and are trying to respond, ministries that have taken on the burden of caring for and giving to brothers and sisters in Christ.

I have come to know several people in the last few months who are basically working on their own, those who feel like lone voices in the wilderness:

* M300Ministries
* Surrender40
* @TweepleFund
* and Letters for the Lord Prison Ministry.

These are just a mere representation. These people share the same deep desire: to present salvation to the lost, seeing that they grow spiritually, and to meet the varied needs of those who lack, wherever in this country or around the world.

They hear those begging voices and try to respond. Some of these ministries have no one to champion them, no one to be their cheerleader. Therefore, they do not receive the funds that they so desperately need. These people give unselfishly of their time and, when others do not give financially, they reach deep into their own pockets to help alleviate the needs.

So, I’m here to cheer for them…
Go, work-ers! Go, work-ers! Go, work-ers!

I know the economy is the pits right now. It’s difficult for everyone. But giving even a small amount like $5 helps these ministries and so many others. Each rivulet of resource runs into another, which runs into another…until there is overflow!

We are very fortunate in this country, even when we have meager surroundings and limited resources. We are so much more blessed than two-thirds of the world, and yet, we whine when our new shoes pinch our feet!

The early church was very concerned about giving to those who preached the gospel and meeting the needs of those believers among them and in other cities.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s needs will be met.” (2 Cor. 8:14 NLT) That is how the Kingdom works. God wants us to be a channel, a pipeline, a distribution center. He does not want us to be a storage tank!

It is not the size of the gift that matters but the condition of the heart. We give out of what we have, whether a little or a lot, “For if the [eager] readiness to give is there, then it is acceptable and welcomed in proportion to what a person has, not what he does not have.” (2 Cor. 8:12 Amp)

In this sense, Jesus remarked of the widow’s two mites, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has thrown in more than all of those casting into the treasury. For all threw in out of that abounding to them, but she out of her poverty threw in all, as much as she had, her whole livelihood.” (Mark 12:43-44 Received Greek Text) She gave all she owned to the Lord.

Where have we placed our love? The disciple John said, “If someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him - how can God’s love be within him?” (1 John 3:17 TLB)

Paul then urges us, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:10 NKJV)

I’m learning to be a better cheerleader. My hope is that you will be inspired to be a cheerleader as well in whatever way you can to help whatever ministries the Lord lays on your hearts. And may the Lord bless you!

With many drops in the bucket, it can overflow!


Sunday, October 25

There's a Ram in the Thicket Just for Me!

Last time, I asked… What is faith if it is not tested? And when it is tested, and we are found to be obedient, isn’t God always there, ready to rescue us and provide an answer?

One of the greatest faith tests and rescues in the Bible occurred in the life of Abraham. In his hour of intense testing, the Lord appeared and provided an answer.

Years after the fulfillment of God’s promise of a son, Abraham experienced a test that squeezed his faith to the max in the most frightening of all ways. God told Abraham to take his long-awaited, beloved son Isaac to the land of Moriah and to offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which God would tell him.

Gulp! Did Abraham run in the other direction or pretend he didn’t hear God? No! He listened to God’s instructions and obeyed. When Abraham, Isaac, and the servants reached the mount of God’s choosing, Abraham spoke out of the abundance of a faithful heart, for he told his servants at the bottom of the hill, (one of my favorite faith-filled verses), “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” (Gen 22:5 NLT)

Up the hill of sacrifice they went to worship! Abraham’s faith started at the bottom of the hill while the rescue plan was yet to be unfurled. Once they reached the top, Abraham laid all on the altar, all that was valuable and precious to him, his only son, trusting that God would raise him up again.

In answer to Isaac’s question of the whereabouts of a lamb, Abraham said to Isaac, “God will see the lamb for Himself,” (Gen. 22:8 Mas) or “God will provide for Himself a lamb.” (Gen. 22:8 NKJV)

The Hebrew word for ‘provide’ means to see, appear, to present oneself, perceiving or ascertaining something apart from seeing it with one’s eyes, and so on. The English definition comes from the Latin ‘providere,’ which means before seeing, to take measures with due foresight, to get ready beforehand, and so on.

Abraham held his dagger high in the air, his hand quivering as the dagger glistened in the sun. Sweat poured down his forehead. He held his breath and heard, “Abraham! Abraham!” The Angel of the Lord commanded him to stay his hand of destruction.

Then, God said, “For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Gen. 22:12 NKJV)

Abraham raised his tear-filled eyes, turned and saw the sacrifice provided. God presented a ram of sacrificial replacement, a male sheep with its horns entangled in the bushes, as the foreshadowing of a crown of thorns upon the head of the Lamb of replacement.

Abraham then called that place “The-Lord-Will-Provide.” (Gen. 22:14 NKJV)

On our refrigerator is a marker board, an advertisement from some company. Some time ago, as financial woes hounded us, I wrote this on it:

Faith is not moved by what it sees. “There is a sound of abundance…” (1 Kings 18:41 NKJV) $…Elijah spoke it…prayed it…believed it…and after the drought, the rains came!!! Then, up in one corner, I wrote this: There’s a ram in the thicket!

When I wrote that, I made up a simple, little chorus to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands.” It goes like this:

There’s a ram in the thicket just for me,
There’s a ram in the thicket just for me,
There’s a ram in the thicket that’ll be just the ticket,
There’s a ram in the thicket just for me!

And there has been!

Abraham passed the faith test. His hill of sacrifice became his pinnacle of obedience and his summit of provision. All Abraham did, the Bible says, he did by faith, and the promises of God were thereby fulfilled.

* Has God asked you to sacrifice some “Isaac” in your life? Have you obeyed or held it tight?
* Do you have some hill of circumstance before you? Do you mount it with praise and worship?
* Do you have the same unfaltering, Abrahamic obedience and belief that God will work out your faith tests, even when you see no way of escape?

God provided the lamb of rescue for Abraham. And He will do it for you.


Wednesday, October 21

Tested Faith

“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:3-4 NLT)

What is faith if it is not tested? But do we look at trials as building our spiritual muscles?

Peter said, “Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested so that it may endure.” (1 Peter 1:6-7a GNB)

Three of the things God chose to conceal deep within the bowels of the earth…

* gold,
* coal,
* and diamonds.

In order for these to be useful…

* gold must be purified through a fiery furnace to remove all impurities, drawing off the dross, that its worth be revealed...

* coal must be crushed and burned to release its power and energy…

* diamonds must suffer the cleaving of the jeweler’s sharp chisel and the friction of the polishing wheel to release their greatest beauty.

The crucible of fiery trials tests our faith, bringing to the surface and discarding the dross of sin. The crushing of circumstances presses upon us to express the remains of self and achieve God’s purpose, infusing us with His power and energy. The cleaving blows of afflictions chisel away at the crusty layers of our hearts’ hardness, while the friction of irritations sands down the rough edges.

“Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine” and to leave behind the pure essence of spiritual maturity.

An old Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” God knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within our hearts and only that which is contrary to our comfort releases the precious qualities within us.

Peter exhorts us, “Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.” (1 Peter 1:12 Amp)

After everything had been ripped from Job’s heart and his hands, in reply to his wife’s “advice” to curse God and die, he said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10b NKJV)

How will we know the strength and extent of our faith if it is not tested? Untried faith is worthless. Is God’s power revealed in our good health or when we have money in the bank? Trials forge our witness, declaring what God has done in our circumstances. If we have no trials, how can we tell others what God is capable of doing?

All trials have a purpose; it is up to us to find out what it is and to grow because of them.

God knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within your heart and only what is contrary to your comfort will sometimes release those precious, spiritual qualities within you.

May the Lord bless you with tested faith!


Saturday, October 17

Come Home, It's Suppertime!

When I was growing up, my mother used a bell to call me home for dinner. This is when kids played outside until the very last minute of sunlight and air conditioning existed mainly as a bright idea. But when I heard that bell ring, it meant come home, now! It’s suppertime! Time to join the family around the dinner table.

Twice in my childhood, my family lived with my paternal grandparents on their farm, which was self-supporting. We had everything from our own dairy to turkeys and everything in between. I fondly remember sitting at the dinner table with them. Because of all the animals and the fresh food from the gardens, I loved living with there with them, especially because of my sweet Granny. I still shed tears because I miss her, even after fifty years separation.

John the Revelator wrote, “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” (Rev. 19:9 NKJV) I was invited and I RSVPed so I know I’ll be there. Will you?

In my spirit, I imagine hearing the sound of that heavenly dinner bell ringing out and the call, “Come Home; it’s suppertime.”

I imagine that great, heavenly feast and sitting down at the family supper table with Abraham, David, and Paul. Or even better, my mom, dad, and grandparents. Better still, sitting next to Jesus. Woo-hoo!

With each passing day, I miss my precious Mom, Dad, and grandparents more and more. I long to sit at the dinner table with them again. And I know I will. They’re waiting for me.

Do you yearn for that heavenly banquet…to sit down with those gathered around the greatest supper table of all time?

Tune your spiritual ears to listen for that dinner-bell-call to come home!

If you love Southern Gospel, and even if you don’t, I hope you will listen to Come Home, It’s Suppertime by the Gaither group…

If the Master rings the bell tonight, will you be ready to go Home?


Friday, October 16

Guest Interview...Michelle Sutton

I have another privilege today to bring you an interview with Michelle Sutton, author of…

*It’s Not About Him

*It’s Not About Me

* and just recently released Danger at the Door

Michelle won the SORMAG’s (Shades of Romance Magazine) Reader’s Choice Award for 2009 as the Featured Author of the Year.

Michelle, can you tell us a little about your background?

My background in writing is that I started writing inspirational fiction in August of 2003. Never wrote a word before. Never liked writing at all before.

What makes your inspirational romances different from the other ones on the market?

All romances must have a HEA (happily ever after) otherwise they are just love stories (think Nick Sparks) and Christian, or Inspirational romances have a spiritual theme as well. I can’t imagine writing something with no spiritual arc at all.

Name the one item in your closet that is a constant favorite - the one that always gets worn even though you might have something newer or better?

I have favorite jeans and they are the stretchy kind that let you overeat without cutting into your tummy. Ahh…comfort.

What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I don’t really have a favorite author. I have many favorites. I read almost 100 books last year. Most were inspirational and most were fiction. Maybe two or three books fell outside that genre. I love to read historical romance (inspirational), women’s fiction, and regular romance. I just hate a boring story.

On days when you are bone tired, but know you must get at least a few pages done, how do you motivate yourself to get going?

I read a book instead. If I don’t have “the muse” then it’s wasted time for me to try to write.

What is the best piece of writing advice you didn't take at first, but then realized it made a lot of sense?

Be ready to work hard because selling the book once it is written is much harder than writing it.

Humans tend to be creatures of habit. Which habits do you have that you like, and which ones would you like to change or get rid of?

I have a habit of despising Mondays (I have to go to my day job) and I should probably try to be more chipper about it. But honestly, I would rather be reading great books or writing some.

No interview of a writer would be complete without this question: what is your favorite comfort food?

Chocolate, of course!

You can find Michelle on her website

…on her blog

…and you can find Michelle’s books at Amazon.


Monday, October 12

If I Have Chosen to be God's Servant...

“It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master.” (Matt. 10:25 NKJV)

One of my devotionals the other day kindled some self-introspection, as usual, and caused me to ask myself some questions. Then, I had an occurrence in my life. You know, one of those experiences that the Lord allows to drive home a point? Well, it did! Here’s what I asked myself…

If I have given the Lord my life, allowing Him to be my Salvation, my Guide, my Rescuer, my source of Power, my Victory, my Freedom, my Listener, my Promise, my Protection, my Forgiveness, my Peace, my Comfort, my Joy, my Praise, my Provision, my Healer, my Teacher, my Rest, my Righteousness, my Shepherd, my Life…


* will I serve Him every day?
* will I strive to remain obedient?
* will I surrender all into His care?
* will I trust that His will and purpose are best?
* will I dare to believe His Word and promise and apply it to my life?
* will I know all things, yes, all things, come to me as sifted through His loving fingertips?

The opening verse uses the word ‘enough.’ It also means sufficient and content. So, how sufficient do I consider my life in my Master’s hands? How content am I to have Him manage my day?

If all the moments of my everyday life are filtered through His care, then how can I not receive every situation, every hurt, every interruption in my day as being of His keeping, of His nod of approval? How can I not serve Him gladly and say, “Yes, Lord, Your will be done”?

How can I not smile and say “thank You” to the One guiding me, the One Who loves me more than anyone else, the One Who watches over me, the One Who takes all my moments and 8:28s them?

As Romans 8:28 says, if I love God and am called according to His purpose, then “all things work together for good.” The Greek word for ‘working together’ is ‘sunergeo,’ which, in part, means to labor together as partners, co-operate, co-worker, assist by putting forth power together, and so on.

‘Sunergeo’ is the basis for our English word ‘synergy,’ which is a combined action or functioning, a combined action of two or more agents, when taken together, having a total affect that is greater than the sum of the individual effects.

The first definition of ‘synergism’ listed in The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1966, gives this awesome definition: the doctrine that the human will cooperates with the Holy Ghost in the work of regeneration. Thank you, Random House!

In other words, all things co-operate together, as co-partners in labor for good. So, if I have chosen to be God’s servant, what is my attitude at what He allows to come my way? Do I work together with Him to bring good results?

As a servant…

* do I still praise the Lord if persecution comes my way?
* do my words speak of peace and joy or anger and bitterness?
* do I complain when something negative interrupts my peace?
* does my day’s work glorify the Lord if I rebel at His commands?
* do I serve my Master poorly by grumbling under my breath at His requests?
* am I perfected in His image if I do not have a positive attitude, no matter what the circumstances?

If I desire to be like my Master, trials and tribulations, heartache and pain, grief and suffering will come my way. Is my attitude toward them synergistic with His?

If “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever He wants,” (Luke 1:38 TLB) will I hear those awesome and long-awaited words from my Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant…Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:23 NIV)


Sunday, October 11

When God Turned Out the Lights...guest post by Cecil Murphey

Wandering Around in the Dark?
Wondering Where God is?
Take a tour with Cec Murphey

I am so honored to be a part of today’s blog tour for Cecil Murphey. I know you will enjoy reading what he has to say. One name will be selected from this post to go into a drawing on October 22 for a gift basket, which includes When God Turned Off the Lights, 1 book light, 1 LED nightlight, 1 LED flashlight, and select dark chocolate, and can be seen on the bottom of this post. To enter, be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post.

About the Author: Award-winning writer Cecil Murphey is the author or co-author of more than 100 books, including the “New York Times” bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). He’s also the author of When Someone You Love Has Cancer and Christmas Miracles, both 2009 releases. Murphey’s books have sold millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world.

What to Do When the Lights Go Out by Cec Murphey

If you sincerely desire to follow Jesus Christ, life won’t always be easy. Many times the Bible promises victory, and you may need to remind yourself that there can be no victory without struggling and overcoming obstacles.

In my book, I used the image of God turning out the lights because that was how I perceived the situation. I felt as if I walked in darkness for 18 months. We all interact differently with God, and my experience won’t be the same as yours. Even so, most serious Christians have times when God seems to turn away or stops listening. And we feel alone.

Perhaps it’s like the time the Israelites cried out to God for many years because of the Egyptian oppression. “God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise...and knew it was time to act” (Exodus 2:24 NLT). God hadn’t forgotten, of course, but from their perspective, that’s how it must have seemed. It may seem like that to you if you’re going through your own form of darkness.

Here are a few suggestions to help you:

1. Ask God this simple question: “Have I knocked out the lights by my failures? Have I sinned against you?” After you ask the question, listen. Give God the opportunity to speak to you.

2. Don’t see this as divine punishment (unless God shows you it is), but consider the silence an act of divine love to move you forward. This is God’s method to teach you and stretch you.

3. Avoid asking why. You don’t need reasons and explanations--and you probably won’t get them anyway. Instead, remind yourself that this temporary darkness is to prepare you for greater light.

4. Say as little as possible to your friends. Most friends will want to “fix” you or heal you and they can’t. They may offer advice (often not helpful) or make you feel worse (“Are you sure everything is right between you and God?”).

5. Stay with the “means of grace.” That is, don’t neglect worship with other believers even if you feel empty. Read your Bible even if you can’t find anything meaningful.
I chose to read Lamentations and Psalms (several times, especially Lamentations) because they expressed some of the pain and despair I felt.

6. If you don’t have a daily prayer time, start one. Perhaps something as short as three minutes--and do it daily. Talk honestly to God. It’s all right to get angry. (Read the Psalms if you’re hesitant.)

7. Remind yourself, “I am in God’s hands. This is where I belong and I’ll stay in the blackout until I’m ready to move forward.”

8. Pray these words daily: “But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults” (Psalm 19:12 TNIV). Some versions say “secret sins.” These are failures and sins of which you may not yet be aware. One of the purposes of your darkness may be to bring those hidden problems to light.

9. Ask God, “What do you want me to learn from this experience?” You may not get an answer, but it’s still a good question. Continue to ask--even after the lights go back on again. If you’re open, you will learn more about yourself and also about God.

10. As you receive “light” about yourself while walking in darkness, remind yourself, God has always known and still loves me.

You can find Cec at his site, The Man Behind the Words.

When God Turned Off the Lights can be purchased at Amazon.


Wednesday, October 7

The Breath of the Almighty

Explosive creative power! Light. Water. Firmament of heaven. Earth and planets. Nourishment. Wildlife.

And then…

God “formed the man out of the dust of the ground.” (Gen. 2:7 Masoretic Text) The Hebrew word used here for ‘formed’ is ‘yatsar,’ a potter’s term that means to squeeze into shape, mold into a form as a potter sculpting, individuals at conception, frame, and so on.

The word for ‘ground’ is ‘adamah,’ which also means soil as for building, husbandman, husbandry, and so on. It comes from the word ‘'adam,’ meaning to show blood in the face, turn rosy or flush, ruddy, reddened, and so on.

From this word comes another word ‘'adam,’ which is the word for man, mankind, human being, common sort, or of low degree.

From this last definition comes ‘'Adam,’ as a proper name. Adam’s name reflected his standing, a man of low degree from the redness of earth’s clay. Out of the womb of the ‘adamah,’ the soil of building, God shaped the ‘'adam.’

God fashioned man, as if drawing near to form him with His own hands out of the earth, as a potter in total absorption with his clay, taking time to sculpt him. This evokes the image of Jehovah having a personal relationship with man as His special creation, as a hands-on project.

I imagine the Potter taking His time with His most prized possession, and through His Word, molded here, patted there, adding more in this spot, a little less in that spot. Can’t you just imagine that, when God finished, Adam looked like one of Michelangelo’s statues or like the image of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?

Created with no life yet, man received another touch from the Creator. The Spirit of God hovered over him and “blew into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7 Masoretic Text)

‘Breath’ in Hebrew means a puff, wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, soul, spirit, and so on. That breath of God, that divine inspiration infused man, supplying him with the vital breath of His likeness.

I can imagine God whispering in Adam’s ear, “I am your Life, the very breath of your soul,” and Adam sitting up, saying, as Job did, “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4 NKJV)

What God commanded Ezekiel in his vision to prophesy over the dry bones in the valley sounds as if God could have pronounced it over Adam, “Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live; and I will lay sinews upon you and bring up flesh upon you and cover you with skin, and I will put breath and spirit in you, and you [dry bones] shall live; and you shall know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord.” (Ezek. 37:5-6 Amp)

Just as God gave mankind His breath of physical life, so He endows us with the breath of the Spirit, placing His Eternal Life within us through His Son. As “He Himself gives life and breath to everything,” (Acts 17:25a TLB) “the soul of every living thing is in the hand of God, and the breath of all mankind,” (Job 12:10 TLB) and it is “the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.” (Job 32:8 NIV)

God created us and His purpose was to have an eternal relationship with His creations. Paul said, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17 NIV) Therefore, the only way for us to have that everlasting relationship with the Father is to allow the Holy Spirit to infuse us with that vital breath of His likeness, His divine inspiration, His Eternal breath of Life.

Have you allowed the Almighty to breathe Life into your spirit? Can you say as Job, “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life”?

May you know that precious breath of Eternal Life as He infuses it into your body, soul, and spirit.


Tuesday, October 6

The Gift of a New Day...guest poster

I’m privileged to entice you to sit back and enjoy a great post today by my guest-friend blogger, K. M. (Katie) Weiland, author of the new book Behold the Dawn. If you’d like to have your name put in the pool for the drawing of the book, just leave a comment at the end of the post. Here are Katie’s insights…

The dedication of my recently released medieval novel Behold the Dawn reads in part, “To my beloved Savior, who has given us a fresh beginning in each new day. May we always have the strength to reach out and grasp that perfect gift.”

When I began writing this novel five years ago, I had no idea how much the story would teach me about my own life and my walk with the Lord. Perhaps not so ironically, the theme of Behold the Dawn—that each new day holds the opportunity to redeem yesterday’s mistakes and begin afresh—was a lesson I faced on an almost hourly basis during the writing of this book.

When we are born anew into the Spirit, we are given a clean slate, a brand new life, cleansed of all our mistakes and sins, both deliberate and accidental. But as the years slip by, it’s so easy to forget the beauty of that snow-white gift in the face of our continuing blunders.

When we are saved by the blood of Christ, we are released from the weight of our own defiance and stupidity—but we aren’t transformed into perfect beings who will never again sully ourselves with a mistake. Speaking for myself, mistakes are an hourly occurrence.

When I pause at night before bed to say one last prayer and look back over my progress (or lack thereof) during the day, there is inevitably something I regret. Some thoughtless word, some deliberate act of selfishness, some weakness in the face of temptation. I look at what I have to offer my Lord at the end of my day, and I am ashamed at its tarnished paltriness. Heartsick that, once again, I failed to do better, I hand one more day over to Him and fall into bed.

And what do I get in exchange for my pitiful little offering? I get the indescribable gift of a New Day.

In the 1985 movie adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, Anne Shirley (Megan Follows) comments, “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.” Is there not an indescribable wonder in that? When I began writing Behold the Dawn, I knew I would be telling a story of redemption. I knew I wanted to tell the story of the world-weary knight Marcus Annan, who had spent most of his life broken beneath the weight of both the mistakes in his past and those continuing in his present.

What I didn’t know was that this story would necessarily lead me to articulate the beautiful truth that to have our lives redeemed by our submission to the Lord means that every single one of our days must also be redeemed.

We aren’t just given one shot at starting over. We’re given the endless gift of a million dawns, a million new days, a million chances to put the past behind us and begin anew. Even with the power of Christ in our lives, we will never live in perfection this side of eternity. But we can gladly relinquish the burden of each day’s mistakes. We can surrender them, throw them into the wastebasket like so many crumpled pieces of paper, and try again tomorrow.

My heart overflows with the joy of that knowledge, and I am so grateful and humbled that the Lord let me share this beautiful truth in my fiction. Although my representation of such an immense topic as redemption and grace must necessarily be flawed, I hope readers will be able to see past the dross and take away a few flakes of the gold at the story’s heart.

And perhaps Marcus Annan and company will leave their impact on their lives, as they most definitely have on mine.

I hope you’ve been blessed by my friend Katie’s post. If you’d like to check out her website, you’ll find her at Wordplay or at AuthorCulture.

If you’d like to purchase her book, here’s the link to Amazon.


Friday, October 2

"I Still Lead"

I share with you a word, or rather words, from the Lord...

“O, Lord…lead me in a plain and even path.” (Ps. 27:11 Amp)

“Remember all that I have done for those in the past? You have read how I led Moses and parted the sea making a path for My loved ones to follow; how I led Abraham to become the father of many nations; how I led David, Isaac and Paul, My disciples and all the others. You have heard of the many people I still lead today, who tell how I have told them what to say and what to do and where to go.

“These people are no more special to Me than you are. But they all have one thing in common - a yielded will, a humbleness that wants to do My will more than anything else. And that is what I wish for you to have.

“I want you to be led by My Spirit. Sometimes a child of Mine, whose priorities are not of My making and whose ears are filled with the noise of the world, will not sit still long enough to hear Me. I want you to sit still before Me so that My Spirit can whisper many wonders to you.

“I cannot lead you if you are not on My path. If you leave My path to follow your own will, you will find the hurts of life. There will always be hurts on My path, too, but you will not find My complete guidance when you go your own way. You must walk all the way with Me. My way is smoother. My load is lighter. Your load becomes heavy only when you try to carry it alone or when you don’t realize you have taken on too much for your shoulders to bare. You must let Me carry it.

“I am answering your prayers - all is in answer to your prayers. But you must believe that I am taking care of all things in your life.

“I have led others in the past. Do you not think I would lead you? I have, I do, and I will, just allow Me to do so.

“My Spirit is ever ready to guide and direct you. Just keep the listening ear open and uncluttered from any other voices. My Voice is all you need to hear. Mine is the only True Voice. I love you. Just trust Me to do the very best for you and for those whom you love and care for.

“I have much to teach you. Keep your heart open to My words and let them be absorbed into your life and being. Be a reflection of Me. You are My Mirror to the world - a hurting world that needs love. Will you not care for them as I do? They are your brothers and sisters. Love your family. Pray much for them. Love them for Me.

“I will use you to speak for Me. Be ever ready. You will never know when I need to use you, when I need to give someone a loving, comforting word. There are many out there who are hurting, as you have hurt. Together, we will soothe and comfort and ease the pain of many. Follow Me. I know the Way. And it leads to Life Itself.”


Sacred Friendships Blog Tour

It is my pleasure to bring you an interview with Bob Kellemen and Susan Ellis, co-authors of Sacred Friendships. If you would like to be in the drawing for a copy of their book, please leave a comment at the end of this post.

What’s the “big idea” behind Sacred Friendships? What would you like readers to take away from it?

Far too often we build our models of ministry by ignoring over half the Christian world—women. The big idea of Sacred Friendships is to give voice to the voiceless by celebrating the legacy of Christian women and by applying that legacy to our ministries today.

We want readers, men and women, to learn from godly women of the faith how to be powerful spiritual friends. Readers will be enriched by the powerful stories of the heroic sisters of the Spirit to apply proven ways to help people find healing hope in the midst of deep pain. They’ll be empowered to help people to find God’s grace for their sins and God’s strength for their journey.

With all that’s going on in the world, why this book now? What’s unique about Sacred Friendships?

There are a few scattered books out there on the history of women in the church. There are a few books out there on women counseling women. Sacred Friendships is not just a history book. It’s not just a counseling/spiritual friendship book. Frankly, there’s not another book out there that applies the history of the legacy of godly women to life and ministry today.

Sacred Friendships is especially vital in our world today. We are so disconnected from one another. We sit by our computers . . . alone. We send quick text messages . . . without any depth.

People are hungry for profound relationships, for meaningful connections. But they have few examples showing how to connect to others in practical ways. Sacred Friendships provides over 50 concrete models that teach us how to be real and raw, how to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth, how to be a . . . sacred friend.

Who should read Sacred Friendships?

I love this question. First, anyone who loves riveting stories of victory snatched from the jaws of defeat should read Sacred Friendships. Susan and I like to think of our roles as “story-tellers”—we share stories from the lives of over 50 remarkable Christian women. If you like a good, true story, read Sacred Friendships.

Second, people might assume that Sacred Friendships is a book only for women. Not true. Susan and I like to say that Sacred Friendships is a gift to women and a gift from women.

As a gift to women, Sacred Friendships puts to rest the lie of Satan that women in church history have been second-class spiritual citizens! Just one example: the famous Church Fathers were mentored by the lesser-known but incredibly gifted Church Mothers.

Sacred Friendships encourages and empowers women to realize that as bearers of God’s image they have equal worth, dignity, value, and giftedness as men have. Women young and mature need the message told by these stories—because the world surely is not the place to turn for validation of worth in Christ.

As a gift from women, Sacred Friendships is for men and women—it’s for anyone who learns best by example. Men and women can read Sacred Friendships and glean life-changing skills to empathize with hurting people, to encouraging people with Christ’s sure hope, to exhort people by speaking the truth in love, and to equip people to tap into Christ’s resurrection power.

How can people get in touch with you and how can they learn more about your ministry and about Sacred Friendships?

To learn more about RPM Ministries, please visit

I can be contacted by email at:

A free sample chapter of Sacred Friendships is available at RPM Books.

Sacred Friendships is on sale at 40% off for $12.99 at RPM Ministries.

May the Lord bless your work, Bob and Susan!