Thursday, September 27

Forward or Reverse?

Imagine this scene with me for a moment.

You’re floating on a beautiful, crystal blue river in a raft. You’re stretched out. Relaxed. Hands tucked in behind your head. You’re looking up at the cloudless expanse of an azure sky.

Question: Which way are you going? Forward or reverse?

This is not the river of life that rushes you along with the current, taking you to some unknown destination and sweeps you over the rocky edge to destruction.

No, this is The River of Life, “a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev. 22:1 NLT) Those eternal waters of refreshing that take you where God wants you to go.

When we go with God’s flow, we find The River of Life flows so freely and we have a Helmsman to navigate for us. Though we encounter an occasional storm or billowing wave, the Helmsman guides us when we cannot see a way. He steers us away from crashing into the rocky shore. He anchors us when we feel as though we drowning.

However, if it seems so easy to go with the flow, why then do we insist on going in reverse and making it so hard for ourselves? The struggle mainly comes when we try to go against God’s flow.

Maybe we should pay attention to what God said to Jeremiah about the Israelites, “But they would not listen to and obey Me or bend their ear [to Me], but followed the counsels and the stubborn promptings of their own evil hearts and minds, and they turned their backs and went in reverse instead of forward.” (Jer. 7:24 Amp)

Reverse rides on the whispers and way of the world; forward flows with God’s commands and blessing of His kingdom.

May your heart and mind be willingly bent to follow the Lord’s every command. And may your River of Life be effortlessly navigated.

Question: Which way are you going? Forward or reverse?

Hooking up with...

katherines corner
Reflections of His Grace


Sunday, September 23

Take the Bread with You, Even If It's Just the Crumbs!

You’re excited, filled with praise and thanksgiving. Why? Because God miraculously answered your prayer for some sudden situation. He remedied it, fixing your emergency. And now, you feel full and satisfied, just like the disciples.

A great crowd gathers in a fishing village on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Thousands of people cover the grassy valley. Moved with great compassion for them, Jesus heals the sick and teaches them about the kingdom of God.

The day is about to shut its door; the sun begins its descent. The people are hungry. How are the disciples to feed all these people? Something needs to be done.

With the meager offering of five loaves and two fishes of a young boy, the Lord takes it and provides an answer by multiplying it. The disciples witness the miraculous feeding of a multitude.

They all eat and are satisfied.

Not wanting anything to go to waste, Jesus tells the disciples to gather up the fragments. They fill twelve baskets with leftovers.

Immediately, Jesus sends the disciples out in a boat while He sends the people away and He goes up the hill to pray.

But wait! What’s that appearing just over the hill? A storm is churning and it’s headed your way. You’re stuck out in the middle of roiling waters in a little dingy. Your life-boat begins to rock as the waves of circumstance crash over you. Your heart is overwhelmed, just like the disciples.

As the sun slips down into its western bed for the night, it leaves a trail of shimmering gold across the sea. The disciples row for several hours in the dark.

Springing out from behind the hills is one of those quick and brutal storms that develop at the snap of the fingers on the Sea of Galilee.

From His place on the hill, Jesus sees the men at sea. Shards of lightning flash against the black of night, silhouetting the disciple crew as they fight to row the canting vessel against the surging waves and hostile wind.

In the light of one lightning shaft, another silhouette appears. The men scream in terror, supposing they see the ghost of a dead one spewed up by the sea.

“It is I! Don’t be afraid!” calls Jesus across the growl of the squall, climbing into the boat with them as the storm calms.

In your storm, do you cry out to God in terror? Do you quickly forget what God has done for you in the past and you harden your heart as the disciples did?

The disciples fail to understand the meaning of the miracle of the loaves. Lacking insight into its significance hardens their hearts that Jesus has the power to do whatever they need.

With the smell of the fish still clinging to their fingertips and the bread crumbs still resting in the folds of their garments, they do not remember how those things got there. The bread merely filled their stomachs.

Even though they take the baskets of leftover bread with them into the boat, they do not take the Bread of Life with them into their hearts.

The next time a storm blows into your life, don’t let your heart harden.

*Remember to welcome Him into your boat of circumstance; He will bring the calm.
*Remember the miracle of The Bread of Life was broken and multiplied to overflow in leftovers just for you.
*Remember the aroma on your fingertips for your last answer to prayer.
*Remember to take the Bread with you to rest in the folds of your heart.

 “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you;
do this in remembrance of Me.”
1 Cor. 11:24 NKJV

Beauty in His Grip Button

On In Around button



The Deliverer ~ book tour

Today, I bring you an interview with Kathi Macias, author of the Freedom Series books on human trafficking entitled The Deliverer. Leave a comment at the end if you’d like to be entered in the drawing for the book.

Q: While this is the third and final book in the Freedom Series, I’m sure there are people who are just learning about it. Would you please share what prompted you to write these books on such topic as relevant and difficult as human trafficking?

I was finishing up my previous fiction series for New Hope Publishers (the Extreme Devotion Series, dealing with the persecuted Church around the world) when Andrea Mullins (the publisher at New Hope) asked me what topic I wanted to tackle next.

We discussed a few possibilities, and then she suggested human trafficking. I was aware of it and thought it was terrible but had no idea how widespread it was. I agreed to do some preliminary research and get back to her.

When I discovered there are more than 27 million people held in various forms of human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor or military conscription, involuntary donation of body parts/organs) and that many of them are children (including an estimated 100,000—300,000 MINORS held in sexual slavery in the US today!), I was horrified.

I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight. Not only have I now written/released the Freedom Series on human trafficking, but I’m speaking on it everywhere/every chance I get.

Q: What was your original objective in writing these books, Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer? And, what are you hearing back from people who have read the books? How are they taking action?

Originally, my plan was to see the books alert readers to this horrific crime and, hopefully, challenge them to get involved in fighting it some way. That seems to be happening but on such a larger scope than I had imagined.

The response from readers is overwhelming! Pastors have written to say they are challenging their entire church to get involved on some level, and I’m being invited to speak all over the country on this topic. I am thrilled to see the Light being shined in this terrible darkness at last!

As for specific actions, pastors and civic leaders are inviting me (or others in this ministry) to come and speak to their congregations/groups to help educate them on this massive tragedy. Readers tell me they are posting about my books all over the net to help snag people’s attention.

I’m getting invitations to speak on radio and TV as well. I’ve also been contacted by readers who are getting involved in setting up safe houses for rescued victims, which is a huge need. I was even contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and invited to participate in group conference calls on the topic. Overall, I’m thrilled at the way God is using these books to help sound the alarm and to “rescue the perishing.”

Q: It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include?

This is vital to me, and as you said, I almost always include an intercessor in my novels. I know there were intercessors in my own life who prayed me through some incredibly dangerous and difficult times, and I appreciate those heroes of the faith more than I can express.

Highlighting their importance in my books accomplishes two things: it enables me to honor those faithful intercessors that often get no recognition in this world, and it also calls others to get involved in intercession as well.

Q: You write books as you often call them, parables with a purpose, on topics such as human trafficking, the persecuted church, illegal immigration, and your Christmas 2012 book is about homelessness. Some might call you an advocate. Why is it important for Christians, and the church as a whole, to discuss these issues?

You’re right that I call my novels “parables with purpose,” because I believe Jesus is our example and that’s what He told to His followers—parables with purpose. He didn’t just tell them “nice stories” to entertain them. He told stories that would grab them right where they lived, and then challenge them to change their hearts, their minds, and their lives.

The church has always been at the forefront of serious social change, leading the charge to abolish slavery for instance, and leading the charge on these other issues is right where the church needs to be now. The first step is to discuss the issues, to make people aware of them, and then to call them to action. I believe gripping fiction is one of the most effective ways to do that.

Q: Will you give us a glimpse, a taste of things to come -- without getting too far ahead -- of what’s in store for your next series and books on the horizon?

In addition to the 2012 Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in America, I will be releasing a new series starting in January. The first of the three novels is called The Moses Quilt, and it deals with a contemporary interracial romance, set against the background of a quilt that tells the story of the courageous, faith-filled woman known as Harriet Tubman.

A contemporary novel dealing with the issue of abortion will follow, with the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell, as our backdrop heroine. The final book will be built around the much beloved Fanny Crosby, as we deal with the issue of people with disabilities.

That series is from New Hope Publishers, but I also have a book releasing in the spring of 2013 from B&H Publishers called Last Chance for Justice. It’s part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series, and I’m very excited about it.

Q: You also write a devotional blog. Can you tell us what the focus is and where we can find it?

I started writing a weekly devotional several years ago in response to a request from the then newly formed group CAN (Christian Authors Network). I sent it out as a group email and had about 40 recipients then. The devotional mailing quickly grew and expanded beyond the CAN group with countless readers signing up to receive it.

I also started posting it each week on my devotional blog, a part of my primary website, where you will also find my “Easy Writer” blog, which is more writing-related. (You can also sign up there to receive the weekly devotional in your inbox.)

Over the years, the devotional has been picked up by Crosswalk, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News (I offer it in Spanish as well as English),, Christians in Recovery, etc., so the readership has mushroomed beyond anything I ever imagined. God is amazing, isn’t He?

Q: Finally, we know you as an award-winning author, but you also enjoy speaking for women’s events and other groups as well. On what areas or topics do you focus your speaking presentations? How can a church or group find out more about having you speak for their event?

I speak on various topics, including the issues I address in my books, but on other topics, too. One of my most requested topics is “When Passion and Purpose Collide.” That, along with several other popular topics, can be found in the speaking section of my website.

To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at

For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services.


Thursday, September 20


See the broken glass? A robber did that. He broke in and stole from one of God’s ministries, Surrender40.

Five robberies have occurred in sixty days in the area, including the Pentecostal church down the street from Surrender40.

Not only did the perpetrator rob ministries but he also robbed the ministries’ recipients, like himself, of what God’s workers could have done for them.

Trachena and Steve Muchnick run a wonderful ministry to the homeless in drug-infested Miami. At the time of the robbery, Trachena was in the building and able to hide in the bathroom and escaped harm, thanks to God’s mighty hand of protection.

Through the ministry, they give out meals, shirts, socks, sweaters, blankets, jackets, Bibles, hygiene items, and many other items, feeding over 200 people every two weeks and preaching the Gospel to them.

They also minister to the inmates in the Florida prisons and visit the sick and suffering in local area hospitals. Devotionals are written on a weekly basis and sent out to over 100 women, a large majority of them are incarcerated for life.

The city of Miami recently outlawed all homeless feeding ministries. Anyone violating the ordinance will be arrested and fined $300 for each occurrence. Because of this, Trachena and Steve planned to move north within 30-60 days.

It has also been their dream to open a homeless shelter for those who desire to get off the streets and a transitional shelter for inmates coming out of prison.

Unfortunately, their dreams are smashed. In less then four minutes of ransacking and burglarizing, everything is gone. Now, they must start all over again at the bottom. Their financial coffer is empty.

Never defeated, they keep their coffer of faith full. They know God will restore and replace what the enemy stole from them.

The culprit who did this was arrested days later and is now in jail, facing a life sentence for being a career criminal. At the moment, he is in one of the jails in which the Muchnicks have preached. If you feel so led, please pray for him. His name is Kevin.

I’ve never asked my readers to support a specific ministry, so I hope you will not mind. I believe strongly in Trachena and Steven’s work. They are now turning to others to ask for donations to get to the $10,000 mark that they need to move the entire ministry.

Would you prayerfully consider donating to their cause? If you feel so led, you can donate on their website through PayPal or you can send a check to the address listed on their website

As everyone’s finances are strained in these times, if you are not able to help financially, would you please pray for them? Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated.

May the Lord bless you!


Monday, September 17

The Living One Who Sees Me

The players:

Mistress: Sarai, Hubby’s wife
Hubby: Abram, Mistress’ husband
Maid: Hagar, Sarai’s servant
Angel: Angel of the Lord

Act 1:

Childless through many years of marriage, Mistress is frustrated. One night, she turns to Hubby in their tent:

Mistress: “The Lord has held back children from me. Go, sleep with my maid. Maybe we can have children through her.”

Hubby hearkens to Mistress. Listening with interest, he willingly grants her request.

Maid becomes with child.

It all backfires. Besides a big belly, Maid gets a big head.

Maid, singing taunts to Mistress: “I’m pregnant and you’re not! I’m pregnant and you’re not!” 

Later, Mistress to Hubby: “It’s all your fault!”

Hubby: “She’s your servant. Do what you want with her.”

Mistress, then, treats Maid harshly.

Act 2:

Treated severely, Maid runs away to the wilderness.

Feeling forsaken and utterly alone, Maid, in tears over her plight, sits by a spring of water, somewhere on the way to Shur (meaning a wall), where she encounters an Angel of the Lord.

Angel: “Where did you come from? And where are you going?”

Maid: “I am running away from my Mistress.”

Angel: “Return to her and humble yourself to her. Then, I will greatly multiply your descendants. The Lord has heard your cry of distress.”

Act 3:

Maid names the Angel: The Living One Who Sees Me.

She also names the well: The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.


Maid goes back where she belongs...serving her Mistress, the one ruling over her. And she is blessed with a multitude of descendants.

Personal application:

Act 1: The problem

Question 1: Have you ever had a situation that just wasn’t working out right?

Question 2: Have you ever had a problem, or been a part of someone else’s problem, and you, or the other person, did something without thinking it through?

Question 3: Has someone treated you so badly that, in your hurt, you wanted to escape?

Act 2: The consequence

1): Maybe, like Sarai, you got tired of waiting on God. You tried to help Him out by acting on your own, doing something that wasn’t His plan, and you suffered overwhelming consequences.

2): Maybe, like Paul, when those around you struck out on their own, not consulting God, you got caught in their aftermath, and you felt as if you were shipwrecked.

3): Maybe, like Hagar, you ran from your situation to the wilderness, where you sat down all alone, forsaken, and cried a bazillion teardrops. Maybe you ran up against a Shur-wall.

Act 3: The application

At one time or another, we have all experienced at least one of the above three scenarios.

When circumstances become overwhelming and our heart is aching, we all want to run to the wilderness to escape our problems, whether of our own or someone else’s doing, and cry.

We might feel alone and forsaken, but are we? No. God is with us. It’s not like the song, I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City! He’s not somewhere else.

In the Old Testament, God’s name and His presence were synonymous: Jehovah-shammah, meaning the Lord is present or there. In the New Testament, it is the same; Jesus’ name is Immanuel, God with us.

God is present; He is with us. He sees our tears; He sees our heartaches; He sees our struggles.

He says, “I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Josh. 1:5 NKJV)

We cannot run to a place so desolate, so forsaken, that the Lord will not find us. For wherever we go, there He is! No running away from any circumstance can ever separate us from God’s presence.

*Denouement (conclusion)

Running to your prayer closet to seek the Lord is preferable to running away from your trials. In God’s presence, you will receive His guidance, comfort, provision, love, forgiveness, joy, and His peace. Whatever your heart needs.

When you sit by the well of the One Who sees you, you are filled with courage and strength to return to where you serving and submitting to the One ruling over you.

No matter where you go, what you do, what your need, or what happens to you, God is there and you will encounter Him. And you will be blessed in your returning to Him.

In your tears and your heartaches, in your wilderness times of distress, remember...

...The Living One sees you.



Thursday, September 13

I Am So That You...

I Am...Abiding Love... that as you abide in Me, you abide in love.

I Am...Mighty and Strong... that you may have My strength and power for your weaknesses.

I Am...the Joy-giver... that your joy may be filled to overflowing.

I Am...the Provider, Jehovah-jireh... that you may have provision for all you need.

I Am...Life Everlasting... that you may have Eternal Life within you.

I Am...the Lord of Peace...Jehovah-shalom... that you may be filled with My peace in a chaotic world.

I Am...the One Who whispers to your soul...
God once said to me, “My name is I AM, not I WAS or I WILL BE. If My children insist on living in the past with regrets and unforgiveness, then I am not there, for My Name is not I WAS, even though I was to others, yet I still am. If My children insist on living in the future, I am, in essence, not there yet, for My Name is not I WILL BE, even though I will be what they need when they get there. If they want to change My Name, change it to TODAY, for that is where they will find Me. I am where My Name is. My Name is My Presence.”

In the New Testament, Jesus is Jehovah-shammah, as Matthew, quoting prophecy, said of His name, “‘They shall call His name Immanuel,’ translated as, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1:23b NKJV)

The last thing Jesus said to His disciples was, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20 NKJV)

I Am...always with you, intimately involved in all you do...

...Jehovah-shammah, Immanuel... that you may know Me in your innermost being.

I that you can be!

katherines corner
Reflections of His Grace

Beholding Glory


Sunday, September 9

Follow Me!

“Let’s play follow the leader!”

Remember saying that? We’ve all played that age-old game. Running around the yard, doing exactly what the leader did.

As you played that game years ago, could you have imagined saying it many years in the future but in reference to your life?

Paul was a leader and encouraged the Philippian believers to follow him, “Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.” (Phil. 3:17 NLT)

In essence, Paul said, “Be co-imitators of my life.” “Learn from those who shape their lives after us.” “Mimic us and observe those that live as we do.” “We” meaning Paul and his other followers who were living exemplary lives. They were setting an example, a pattern of living, something worthy of being imitated.

He also told the Corinthians, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1 NIV)

Why was Paul a good leader? Why was he able to tell others to follow him? Because he truly followed the Lord.

Can we say the same about our lives?

Our lives will more than likely be a disappointment to others at some time or another. The Lord never said we were perfect. But He said He is. And our lives should point to Christ as the Perfect One to follow.

Jesus has always entreated others to align themselves with Him. He started by calling the Disciple Dozen to follow Him.

One day on the lakeshore of Capernaum, as Jesus walked through the crowd gathered there and was teaching them, He saw Levi, a tax collector. He looked at him and said, “Follow Me.” No other conversation. Levi got up, left his old way of life, and followed Jesus. He is otherwise known as the disciple Matthew.

Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew as they fished. He called James and his brother John as they mended their nets. One day in Galilee, Jesus found Philip and called him to follow.

All the disciples left their old way of life and followed Jesus.

On one occasion, Jesus spoke to the disciples and a crowd, saying, “If any of you wants to be My must put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross, and follow Me closely.” (Mark 8:34 TLB)

And He speaks the same to us. “Leave it all behind and follow Me!”

Jesus said, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” (John 12:26 NKJV)

By definition, if anyone is serving Jesus by being an attendant, ministering to one, waiting at a table offering food and drink to guests, supplying food and the necessaries of life, taking care of the poor and the sick, serving as deacons, serving another’s interests, s/he is to also follow Jesus.

If we’re going to serve Him, we must walk as He walked, do as He did, follow His lead.

In other words, we can’t just “play” follow the leader. We must be sure that what we are doing in service to Jesus is truly following Him and not just doing works. “To follow” means to be in the same way with, to accompany as a disciple. A disciple is one who imitates Jesus’ example by serving others. True service brings honor.

If we follow Jesus, Paul urges us, “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (Phil. 1:27 NLT), to walk “worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:12 NKJV), and “now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him.” (Col. 2:6 NLT)

We need to ask ourselves...

Am I “playing” follow the leader?
Is my life worth imitating?
Have I left my old way of living to follow Jesus?
Am I truly serving others?
Am I living my life for God’s glory?

Our prayer should be as David’s, “Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.” (Ps. 25:5 NLT)

Are you like this...

Or can you say to others with confidence, “Follow me”? 

Beauty in His Grip Button

On In Around button