God’s Mathematics

By June Foster

When I was an elementary teacher, I used the Venn diagram to teach the set theory showing the relationship between two groups of objects, numbers, concepts, etc.

The other day when I read “Jesus Calling” about our relationship with God, I thought of a small circle with me in the center. Then another with God in the center. I placed the God circle so it would intersect the me circle.

Part of me intersects with the God circle. But I’m holding back the rest of me and not allowing God in. I need to “erase” the two lines. Not only that, I need to move the me circle all the way into the God circle. And of course that circle is infinitely larger than the minuscule me circle. As large as infinity. No man could draw it.

I’m wondering how many of us intersect with God but hold back a portion of ourselves. Let’s erase any barriers that keep us from the Lord. Let’s live in perfect union with Him.

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will love it, but however loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8: 34-35.

Tim Garrett saw Jess Colton back to health in Give Us This Day but can’t control his own life. He wants nothing more than to serve God as a pastoral counselor, but first must prove to the staff and elders at Bellewood Fellowship he can handle the job he was hired to do — work with the senior high youth.

Roxanne Ratner’s father abandoned her when she was ten, and now she doesn’t trust men. They’ll only hurt her like her parent did. She fills the empty place in her heart with shopping for designer clothes. Though the perky young hairstylist falls in love with the Tim, she must keep her distance from the handsome pastor.

Despite Tim’s efforts to prove himself on the job, everything works against him bringing him closer to dismissal. Tim has one last chance at Camp Solid Rock. When Tim learns a frightening secret from his youthful adversary, can he make a difference? Can Roxanne risk giving her heart to Tim?

June Foster is a retired school teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She writes full time and travels in her RV with her husband Joe. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We Forgive – September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012. June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives. June’s book, Ryan’s Father, will be published by WhiteFire Publishing in the near future.

Tale of a Harpist

By Lynn Mosher

“Take a harp…play skillfully and make sweet melody…that you may be remembered.”

(Is. 23:16 AMP)

Suddenly taken ill, a renowned harpist was rushed to the hospital. While tests were being run to find the cause of his illness, he lay in his hospital bed, reminiscing over his life.

Seeing himself as a young boy, he remembered his dreams of becoming a famous harpist, even though his family was poverty stricken and could not afford even one string of a harp or music lessons.

Each day, after school, on his way to one of his many odd jobs, he stopped at the local music shop to quickly thumb through the catalogs of instruments, envisioning the day of owning a harp from what little money he saved.

He became great friends with the shop owner who took pity on him and allowed him to purchase, piece by piece, all the parts necessary to make a harp. Each new string added a new dimension of hope to his life.

After many years, he had all the parts and the shop owner assembled the beautiful harp for him. The shop owner’s wife, a music teacher, offered him free lessons, and, under her tutelage, he became an accomplished, well-known harpist in a very short time, thus fulfilling the purpose for his life. He was loved and admired by all.

As he laid there thinking about his life, he remembered the many setbacks and hardships he had suffered. His mother and father, as missionaries in a foreign land, were killed by natives. His sister, whom he loved dearly, was killed in a car accident. World War II took the life of his only son. After many years of marriage, his wife left him for someone else. Now, he was fighting for his life – alone.

As each trial took its toll on his life, he laid his harp aside. Yet, after each respite, he resumed his music, playing his beloved harp more beautifully than before. Each occurrence in his life brought more enthusiastic reviews from the critics.

Now, while lying in his hospital bed, depressed and having no desire to live, he asked the Lord why so many trying things had occurred in his life.

The Lord whispered to him, “You constructed your beloved harp from its many pieces with great love. For it to make its beautiful melodies, much effort and practice time was necessary. To keep it in tune, you tightened its strings every now and then.

“This is as your life, for it was put together with great love. Each sorrow, each disappointment, each heartache added a new string to your life. Each event was part of the process to tighten you and transform your life’s music. It was your choice whether it would be played in harmony or in discord. All prepared you to make beautiful melodies, each as a sweet praise to the Great Instrument Maker.”

After the review of his life, the great harpist rested back on his pillow, satisfied and comforted. He closed his eyes, content that he would awaken the next morning to play sweet melodies of praise to his Master – on his harp of many strings.

 

Lynn MosherThrough many hardships, trials, and health issues, I have learned to depend entirely on the Lord for everything. After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2000, the Lord whispered to my heart to write for Him. So, now, out of a great passion to reach others, I obey His call. You can find Lynn at http://lynnmosher.blogspot.com/

A Violent Pen

By Laura J. Marshall

The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.

A violent heaven.

I feel the target as it hangs at my back and see the arrows as they take aim.

Does it matter?  Why persist?  Why resist?

Do I fear the enemy over the Lord?

The words linger and fight their way onto the page.

A violent pen.

I run to my Father and take His hand.

I tuck-in, trusting in His gaze as it sweeps over me and loosens the target.

It flutters to the ground, just paper on the breeze.

I run and grasp it, fodder for God’s purposes.

And equip myself for battle.

Faith, my shield.

Truth, my buckle.

The Word of God, my sword.

A violent heaven.

A violent pen.

laura Laura J. Marshall is a writer and mother of five boys.  Her first nonfiction book is called A Mom’s Battle Cry for Rest: Battle Cry Devotional Series.  You can find out more about Laura and her books at www.LauraJMarshall.com

laura's book

Her book on Amazon:  http://amzn.com/B00BI2HMDM

An Author’s Prayer

by June Foster

Dear Lord,

Give me the strength today to pen the words you want written on the page, the knowledge and wisdom to convey the message You desire for the reader to grasp.

I am weak, but You are strong. Lord, I am helpless and can do nothing without Your mighty power and understanding. You make my fingers move on the keyboard. Without You, I couldn’t even find the letters.

You put the words in my heart and allow them to flow through me and onto the page. Without Your knowledge I couldn’t write even the shortest of sentences. And you even placed Spell Check in the program because you know I can’t spell.

Help me mold the words into a story that comes from Your heart. Bring healing and hope to any who read it. Put Your emotion and desire within me to convey Your passion. With every word I type, glorify Your name. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.

June Foster is a retired school teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She writes full time and travels in her RV with her husband Joe. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We Forgive – September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012. June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives. June’s book, Ryan’s Father, will be published by WhiteFire Publishing in the near future.

Tim Garrett saw Jess Colton back to health in Give Us This Day but can’t control his own life. He wants nothing more than to serve God as a pastoral counselor, but first must prove to the staff and elders at Bellewood Fellowship he can handle the job he was hired to do — work with the senior high youth.

Roxanne Ratner’s father abandoned her when she was ten, and now she doesn’t trust men. They’ll only hurt her like her parent did. She fills the empty place in her heart with shopping for designer clothes. Though the perky young hairstylist falls in love with the Tim, she must keep her distance from the handsome pastor.

Despite Tim’s efforts to prove himself on the job, everything works against him bringing him closer to dismissal. Tim has one last chance at Camp Solid Rock. When Tim learns a frightening secret from his youthful adversary, can he make a difference? Can Roxanne risk giving her heart to Tim?

Where My Title Came From

By Jessie Powers

Right now as I type this my house is peaceful. Hymns are running through my mind, our daughter is peacefully sleeping in her crib, my husband is about to get up and head to work, and the sun is beginning its daily trek across the sky. I am pleased to admit that my house cozy, and full of wonderful memories. The promise of a day with new adventures waits.

11 years ago I could not have said all that. 11 years ago I was living in fear, pain, shame, and confusion. I felt abandoned by God. This God that I loved and had grown up loving, this God that I dedicated my life to serving seemed to be a god that was out of touch, that didn’t really care about me, that ignored me in my time of utter desperation. So, when I was at my worst in lieu of turning toward God and running into His comforting arms, His waiting peace, I ran the opposite way.

I took an act committed by men and blamed God. I blamed God for allowing human nature to run its course. I blamed God for my feelings, for my situation. In reality God was hurting just as much. God is our Abba, our Father and He loves us. He desperately loves us. When one of His precious children is abused He hurts. He hates to see us use the precious gift of choice to hurt each other. He wanted me to turn to Him. It had to be my choice though.

In my time of running I learned a lot of truths. I learned that the places where we expect to find God are not always the places where He is the most evident. I learned that good, loyal, lifelong friends are one of the most precious gifts on this earth. I learned that it is ok to admit that we are weak sometimes. I learned that rarely does life happen the way that we plan. I learned that no matter how far I run, no matter what I do, no matter how angry I get at the world, God still loves me.

I learned that even a broken vessel is beautiful to someone. 11 years ago I was a rape victim, a mother that lost the baby I conceived during the rape, I was a hopeless child craving the love of her Abba, and I didn’t know how to feel His love. I knew Him. I grew up knowing Him, but I didn’t know how to tune into that love when it was most needed.

We can now fast forward to today. The sun is beginning to peak over the mountains. My husband is getting ready to head off to work, and our 13 month old daughter is peacefully sleeping in her crib. Not only do I have the family that I have prayed for since I was a little child. I have something more. I have a hard won peace that comes from seeking God and finding Him. I have a joy that comes from knowing that after all this life has to throw at me (the beautiful and the ugly) I have Heaven waiting, and finally I will not just feel God in my soul I will get to see Him. I will get to say “Jesus, thank you. I love you. I praise you.” And that is why my book is entitled Joyfully After All.

jessieJessie Lee is the author of Joyfully After All: My Journey From Rape Victim to God’s Princess. It can be find in paperback and Ebook format on amazon.com. When she isn’t busy working on her next book or her blog (www.joyfullyafterall.wordpress.com) Jessie enjoys spending time with friends and family, both indoors and exploring the wonderful world God has created.  Jessie Lee can be found on Facebook under Joyfully After All and loves spending as much time as possible helping other women realize that no matter what happens, no matter what they do, God is offering them salvation, joy and peace.

 

 

Testing and Trials (A Part of the Christian Life)

By Erin Lamb

Some teach that if you love God and do everything He says, then your life will be filled with nothing but good things. Nothing is further from the truth. Jesus lived a perfect life and suffered greatly. Jesus told us, “In the world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world,” John 16:33. Today, I wanted to talk about another person who suffered, Job.

“Job was a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his large family and extensive flocks. He is “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil (1:1). One day, Satan (“the Adversary”) appears before God in heaven. God boasts to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argues that Job is only good because God has blessed him abundantly. Satan challenges God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job will turn and curse God. God allows Satan to torment Job to test this bold claim, but he forbids Satan to take Job’s life in the process,” Spark Notes.

My pastor friend told me that going through trials is a compliment, a sign that God trusts you. I thought to myself, “God can You trust me less.” I can relate to Job. Can you? Maybe we haven’t had the exact same experiences of losing children, a spouse, our health, or all our belongings all at the same time. I am certain that we have all had our faith tested in some way. If we haven’t, then eventually we will. The brief summary above tells us something about Job. He was not afflicted because he had done evil in the eyes of God. He was afflicted because the enemy wanted to prove that Job would turn away from God.

The good things about Job’s life:

He was well respected and honored by God. I love that God was boasting about Job in heaven. How great is it that Abba boasts about us? It does not matter if other people boast about you. What matters is what God is saying about you in heaven. To the people around you, even your friends and family, you may appear to be weak, sinful, and a mess. But in the eyes of God, you are more than precious. Job’s friends did not understand; his wife did not understand, but God did! God knows right where you are. He knows what is breaking your heart. He is boasting of your faithfulness in the heavens.

Job did not curse God, and he received double for what he lost. Whatever happens to you, don’t lose faith in the goodness of God. You may have to cry it out, scream it out, counsel it out, but don’t lose faith in God. He is cheering for you! He will heal and restore you. He will never leave or forsake you. Dig in deep with Him. One thing I can promise, God is more than faithful.

imagesCAMKUI04From the time Erin Lamb was a child, she was curious about God. She grew up in a home with a pastor and Sunday school teacher, which made knowing God a part of everyday life. More than reading about Him, her heart longed to know Him personally. Along this journey, she picked up a pen and paper and began to write about her experiences with God and His responses.

I Thought I Knew What Love Was is a book for every person who wants to plunge deeper into the heart of cover-iibGod. If circumstances or life have made God seem distant or cold, the words on these pages will lure your heart on a journey with the God of the high and low places. Understanding the depths of God’s love during the good and the challenging times is essential to living a joy-filled life. Erin has captured the heart of God through prayers, sonnets, and poems that reveal the human experience in relation to God. If you have ever felt as though God doesn’t understand you, then poems like “Agape” “Even If” and “Our Deepest Need” will reveal God’s unfailing love for you. Whether you find yourself in the difficult places, or on the mountaintop, your heart and mind will be drawn to a more intimate place where you commune with God.

Practice What You Write

By Precarious Yates

“You pay more attention to your work than you do to your family.” This scathing rebuke from my husband was spot on. And I needed it pointed out to me.

I had some troubles in family life, and while I prayed and cried out to God, I saw no relief or end in sight to these troubles. So I sank into my work and blocked it all out. (Trust me, this doesn’t feel very good to confess, but I think it’s important.)

During this time, I could edit and I could polish up work, but I couldn’t write anything new. Here’s why:

Everything I write is about people who are fully alive or people who are struggling toward wakefulness. I couldn’t write it if I wasn’t living it. I could edit it, or polish up the style, but I couldn’t write it if I wasn’t practicing it.

In the midst of crying out to God, He answered with the strangest answer I could have imagined. I felt called to write romance.

WHAT???

I’m a YA sci-fi/fantasy author! The romance parts of my books are so minimal it’s as if they hardly exist. There was no way I could write romance.

Instead of arguing with God, I prayed. I didn’t beg Him to let me off the hook, I asked Him to unfold His plan through me. So I wrote. (At least two of these books will be released this year, one this month.) And He unfolded His plan.

I began to practice what I wrote and to be fully alive in my marriage. My husband is much happier, I can tell you that!

But the journey didn’t end there. I also felt called to write a series of children’s stories. Through writing these stories, some of the major troubles in my family life began to heal.

Many say that a writer needs to choose a genre to build up a “brand”, but I’ve learned that I need to write what the Lord calls me to write. He’s been healing my heart through what I put on the page, but especially when I begin to walk it out in my life.

So let’s be fully alive! Not just on the page, not just in our work, but in every aspect of our lives!

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates lives in Texas with husband, daughter, dogs, chickens, rabbit, lizard and by the time you read this some other exotic creature her husband or daughter has brought home. She had studied the plight of and worked toward the abolition of modern slavery for over a decade before sitting down to write Revelation Special Ops. She was further inspired by the work of her sister-in-law, who helped to found Love146, an organization that works to raise awareness about human trafficking and builds safe homes in vulnerable regions. Yates spent several years overseas as a missionary in Ireland, and also did missions work in India and the Philippines. Her passion for literature has become her means of further educating young adults of the realities of modern slavery, while producing hope through the power of Christ Jesus in us.

Book 1 of Revelation Special Ops

Elite

Crawling through an air duct in Queens…spending all night alone in an African jungle…that’s normal for teenage spy Hadassah Michelman. She wants to join Revelation Special Ops, a Christian organization that works to rescue kids from modern slavery.
Hadassah’s life is about to get a whole lot crazier.
The spies of Revelation Special Ops are the elite of the weak. Weak because their hearts are broken for the oppressed. Elite because they keep the code.

Trusting in God Despite Our Circumstance

By June Foster

Habakkuk 3:17-19 are a couple of my favorite scriptures. The verses depict the prophet’s faith in the Lord despite his material circumstances. I think it would be interesting to put this into modern day language.

Here’s the original. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength, he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.

Now for the updated version. Though I don’t have the money to buy more than rice and beans at the grocery store, and I can’t pay my electric bill, though my car is sitting on empty, and I can’t find a job, though there’s very little food left in the cabinet, and only oatmeal to set on the table for my kids, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord will provide. He enriches my faith and opens the doors to His provisions. He supplies that job I need so badly and lifts me out of my poverty because I seek first the Kingdom of God.

I don’t believe this revision is merely an interesting exercise, but I think it has meaning for many. If this version brings a bit of hope, email me personally if you’d like. I’d love to hear your testimony. junefoster11@gmail.com

Tim Garrett saw Jess Colton back to health in Give Us This Day but can’t control his own life. He wants nothing more than to serve God as a pastoral counselor, but first must prove to the staff and elders at Bellewood Fellowship he can handle the job he was hired to do — work with the senior high youth.

Roxanne Ratner’s father abandoned her when she was ten, and now she doesn’t trust men. They’ll only hurt her like her parent did. She fills the empty place in her heart with shopping for designer clothes. Though the perky young hairstylist falls in love with the Tim, she must keep her distance from the handsome pastor.

Despite Tim’s efforts to prove himself on the job, everything works against him bringing him closer to dismissal. Tim has one last chance at Camp Solid Rock. When Tim learns a frightening secret from his youthful adversary, can he make a difference? Can Roxanne risk giving her heart to Tim?

June Foster is a retired school teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She writes full time and travels in her RV with her husband Joe. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We Forgive – September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012. June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives. June’s book, Ryan’s Father, will be published by WhiteFire Publishing in the near future.

My darkest days

By Jen Gentry

When I was asked to write this devotional I started to panic. You see I love the Lord with all my heart
and I remind the Lord every day “I have never not believed.” I can’t remember a time in my life when
I did not know the Lord Jesus as my personal savior. I have recited the sinner’s prayer many different
times in my life as I rededicated my life to him. But I still can’t recall a time when I did not know of Jesus
and believe that he died on the cross for my sins.

Back to my original panic here, how can I write a devotional in what I deem to be one of the darkest
periods of my life in what has been the worst year of my life? How can I share what the Lord has done
for me and how he has saved me when I am suffering so? There is only one way. I have to believe. John
3:16

Let me share with you how this past year has changed my life forever. My story is heartbreaking and
difficult to tell. On February 2, 2012 my youngest son was backing out of my driveway struck my two-
year-old granddaughter and killed her. He was her uncle as she was the daughter of my oldest son.

How can I convey in words the heartache me and my family have suffered? Sadly I find there are no
words. The pain is indescribable. In the hours and days immediately following this great tragedy our
church stepped in to minister to us and an entire community reached out to my grieving family. Some
of us questioned how could God let this happen? I got on my knees and prayed. I was hurt, angry,
confused. I begged and pleaded for my granddaughter back, but the Lord told me very clearly. He is
sovereign. Every knee shall bow every tongue shall confess…Romans 14:11

I promised God that I would praise him through this awful storm. I did not know what else to do so I
praised him. It was then in my complete surrender that changes began to take place in my home. My
husband who always confessed to being a Christian but never lived the life started going to church with
me. He rededicated his life to Lord. This may sound like it was a very simple thing, but let me tell you for
me this was huge. This was an answer to a prayer I had been praying for over the last twenty years.

In the months following I completed a novel I had been working on for the last year. It was not my first
work, but it was the one I felt the most sure about. This was the work I would see published for the first
time. The Lord has performed a great and mighty work in my life over the last year and I give him all the
praise and glory for it.

I have learned it is when our days are at their darkest we must cling to him the most. Just as King David
praised the Lord continuously during times of great tragedy as when his first son from Bathsheba passed
away and the Lord was merciful and forgave David his sins. So must we be like David and cry out to
the Lord as we sing his praises in the midst of the storms in our lives. Psalms 9-10 It is in our complete
surrender to the Lord that he can do his most mighty works in our lives.

The Gift of Light

imag002Emily and her Aunt Gemma are two very special women. They see into the spiritual realm and commune with angels. With this exciting tale, reminiscent of the great Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, debut author Gentry portrays in realistic terms the angelic and demonic creatures who inhabit our world, and why.

A centuries-old battle, waged in the heavenly realm between the forces of good and evil, is fast reaching a flashpoint in Hook Pond. Demon Prince Azelius has a centuries-old stronghold over the family of Senator Brad Steel, whose goal is to become President of the United States, a goal Azelius wants him to achieve. Azelius wants the senator’s son as well, but someone is praying and interfering with his plans. That someone must be silenced, permanently.

When young Bradley Steel finds the Lord, he goes through a profoundly life-changing experience. He is overwhelmed with the need to ask forgiveness for an adolescent transgression that has haunted his life. Marta forgives him and promises forgetfulness as well. They become friends and eventually fall in love and marry. Bradley goes to Afghanistan as chaplain and is critically wounded in an explosion, but a pregnant Marta is told of his death.

With the presidential election drawing near, Senator Steel makes his bid, and threatened with exposure of past misdeeds including adultery and kidnapping ending with murder, he utilizes his demonic connections to summon the Ba’al and a shaman priest.

A spine tingling ending that will have you cheering.

Find Jen Gentry online: 0

Website

https://jengentrysbooks.com

Twitter

https://twitter.com/jengentrysbooks

facebook

http://www.facebook.com/jenny.gentry.758

The Gift of Light Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+gift+of+light+jen+gentry&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Athe+gift+of+light+jen+gentry&ajr=0

Heretofore…

By Lynn Mosher

“Heretofore the Lord has helped us.”
1 Sam. 7:12 Amp

What did the year closing bring into your life? Joys? Sorrows? Trials? Triumphs?

Look back over the year now closing. With what was it filled? Which side of the scale
tipped over with the most weight…the positive side or the negative side? Did adverse
circumstances gobble up your days? Did heartaches keep you awake at nights?

In all the highs and lows, was God any part of it, or was He in every part of it?

My guess is that He was in every part of it, even if you didn’t recognize His presence.
My guess is that He brought you through many situations. My guess is that He spoke to
your heart with words of comfort and peace and quite possible discipline, encouraged you
through others, gave you hope for a renewed future.

Do you desire God to do a new thing in your life this year? No matter how this year
played out for you, the New Year offers you a new beginning. Whatever it brings your
way, the Father will carry you through it all and bring a host of others to lift you up in
prayer and encourage you in your walk.

The end of the year may have its lingering troubles or disasters, but the Lord is gracious
and will never leave you without His help or comfort. He stands close, with His arms
outreached, awaiting your call.

My prayer for each of you is that your heart be guarded with the hope of a better new
year and that you will experience a special touch of the Lord’s presence upon all you do.

“Heretofore the Lord has helped us…”

…and He will yet again.New Year’s blessings, Lynn

About Lynn

Lynn Mosher

Through many hardships, trials, and health issues, I have learned to depend entirely on the Lord for everything. After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2000, the Lord whispered to my heart to write for Him. So, now, out of a great passion to reach others, I obey His call. You can find Lynn at http://lynnmosher.blogspot.com/

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