Thoughts on the New Release

By Staci Stallings

Eternity cover“Eternity” might be more accurately called “The one I’m going to get killed for,” and believe me, I fully know this going in.  Why?  Because I already know some of my Christian readers (especially the newer ones) will question the portrayal of Christians in this story.  They will say things like, “I would hardly call them Christian.  They went to church, but it didn’t seem to make any difference at all.”

That’s probably one reason I’ve called “Eternity” an inspirational (rather than Christian) romance in the past because I recognized this void almost from the start.  However, to be completely honest, that’s not totally accurate either.  I think “Eternity” is really about Christians who don’t know and live the meaning of the word.  They go to church, but church and God really don’t affect their lives in a practical way.

In fact, they are a lot like I was when I was younger–back when I thought the 10 Commandments were about God taking your fun away, making life harder with all of His rules, and waiting to bop you on the head if you broke one.  Since realizing God is about relationship more than religion, I now see my Father’s intense and immediate love in giving me these rules because in them, He is saying, “To be able to really LIVE, here are the ways to avoid life’s messiest, rottenest decisions that will really land you in a pit of yuck.”

So, I think ultimately “Eternity” is not just about the decisions and situations, it is also about how lost, confused, and deluded by the world even Christians can get when they see God as the rule-maker and punisher rather than as the all-wise, loving Father He is.

Therefore, if there’s not enough Christianity in this one for you, know that I knew that upfront and that I am simply giving you the story the way God gave it to me–with lost and hurting Christians who don’t realize they’ve had the Answer the whole time.  Call it a practical lesson in what happens when Christian is your label, not your life.

Staci Stallings

Staci Stallings

A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, #1 Best Selling Christian author, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from.  Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again.  Every title is a new adventure!  That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:

Staci’s Internet “Home”:

http://www.stacistallings.net

Staci’s Ebook Romance Stories:

http://ebookromancestories.com

Facebook Author Page at:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Light-Author-Staci-Stallings/266593276699576

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Book Blast: Winter’s End by Rebekah Lyn – Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Something fun you might want to check out…

Title: Winter’s End (Seasons of Faith)

By Rebekah Lyn

Book Two of the Seasons of Faith Series

Musician Michelle Burton just had the best night of her life. Her band Tangled Web opened for Wonderland in downtown Orlando and the crowd loved them. Too excited to sleep she makes a fateful decision to go to work early. The best night of her life turns into the worst day of her life.

Nearby, at boutique Hotel Lago, Stephen Longbottom, acting concierge manager, is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the board of directors for Silken Pleasures, a multimillion dollar company based in New York and specializing in high end cosmetics, fragrances and lingerie. Their incessant demands before they even arrive are driving him to distraction. Meanwhile Lizzie Reynolds, his boss is on a romantic ski trip in Vermont leaving him to manage his first solo event.

Hope, forgiveness and love are an integral message throughout the book and like a fine tapestry the threads of God’s master plan for the character’s lives are woven into a fabric of great storytelling, conflict and humor.

Readers who came to know and love the characters of Summer Storms will enjoy catching up with Lizzie, Stephen, Michelle, Jeffrey and Ian.

Kindle | PaperbackRebekah Lyn
ScanRebekah is a Christian with a heart for new beginnings. She is a Florida native and a graduate of Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Fl. A love of history, research and journaling led naturally to a passion for writing. She enjoys travel and has traveled extensively across the United States and Canada as well as Europe and the Caribbean. Her reading taste run from the classics to light fiction. When she is not working or writing, she enjoys cooking,baking and sharing recipes on her blog, http://rebekahlynskitchen.wordpress.com

Her current works include, Summer Storms and Winter’s End, books one and two in The Seasons of Faith series, and Julianne the first book in The Coastal Chronicle series. She is currently working on the, as yet untitled, second book in the Coastal Chronicles set in coastal Florida during the early years of the space program.

Rebekah currently resides in Florida along with her “attack” cat, Mia. They would enjoy meeting with you on her Facebook page.

Follow Rebekah Lyn
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GNFA: A Year in Review

By Naty Matos

Well, if you are reading this it means you survived the 1,000th time since the existence of humanity where the end of the world has beenend announced. I tell you something. In preparation for the world not to end the authors of GNFA have been popping out books like rabbits.

Yes, this group has had a lot of accomplishments during the last 12 months. But let me start by telling you more about GNFA. It stands for Grace and Faith Authors. This is an organization that houses the best Christian Indie Authors in the market.

We pride ourselves with bringing the message of the cross and providing clean reads for Christians and non-Christians. Let me highlight some of the things that we can count as blessings more than accomplishments in 2012.

  • There were 95 books published amongst all the members of the group.
  • Two of those books have been nominated for Book of the Year by The Book Club Network
  • 2 other books achieved the #1 download in Amazon on their free day and another one reached #2
  • We opened a Facebook group for our readers to connect with our authors and now we have 101 members of the GNF Readers Connection!
  • There were 3 television appearances, 3 radio interviews, 1 magazine article and 1 newspaper article by some of our authors.
  • Two books from some of our authors were released on Audiobooks.
  • Our group count has grown to over 200 Christian Authors

I can tell you that our authors are already going full steam ahead in preparation for 2013. They will teach you, advise you, entertain you, comfort you and motivate you in the best way we know how, by writing good books.

But we couldn’t do any of this without you. So on this last day of 2012 I want to thank you for your support and following.

Happy New Year and have a blessed 2013!!!

Staci Stallings, Naty Matos & GNFA

2013

PART OF THE PROBLEM OR PART OF THE SOLUTION

by Lillian Duncan

My writing journey has been a long and twisted path—and I made some wrong turns along the way. But God has been with me every step of the way and He has made a way in spite of my wrong turns.

I didn’t start writing until I was forty. For the life of me, I can’t figure that one out since I always had stories in my head. Daydreams I called them. But they were very detailed with interesting characters and plots. Sometimes happy endings and sometimes not so happy.

One day I realized—hey, I’m supposed to be writing those stories down so I did.

It took me a year to finish that first manuscript and it was the most fun I’d had in a long time so I started another one and another.

Even though I was a Christian since my teens I wasn’t living a Christian lifestyle at the time. Along with starting my writing journey, I was also beginning my spiritual journey back to my Christian roots.

My first attempts at writing a novel were mystery and suspense and just like the books I read they were filled with four letter words and gratuitous sex.

When someone called me on the language, I explained that’s how bad guys talk but…I began to wonder about that and the more I prayed about it, the more uncomfortable I became.

About the same time, I got very tired of reading that same bad language and titillating sex scenes in books that would have been much better without them. But the thing that really bothered me the most with some of the mainstream books I read was the negative portrayal of God, traditional values, and Christians.

That led me to Christian fiction.

It occurred to me that you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. I wanted to be part of the solution. And a Christian fiction writer was born.

I am so thankful that my earlier “raunchy” attempts—oops—I mean mainstream suspense didn’t get published. I’m so glad I didn’t add to the problem.

DARK ALLEYS is a story about a woman who ends up homeless and alone in a dark alley on a cold winter night. She witnesses a murder while in a drunken stupor and almost becomes his second victim. She awakens in the hospital with no clear memory of how she was injured. She attempts to put her life back together but, of course, the murderer has other plans.

I wanted to write a story where the main character was the queen of underdogs and I think I succeeded. Tessa is a mess, just like the rest of us. She could give up and no one could blame her, but she doesn’t. She keeps going—putting one step in front of the other.

And some days that’s all any of us can do.

Those are the days we need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

And one step at a time He will lead out of that dark alley and into His light.

Lillian Duncan writes stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. She writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or aspeech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan

As an early Christmas gift to your readers, anyone who purchases a copy of THE CHRISTMAS STALKING can receive a FREE e-copy of either DARK ALLEYS or GEESE MATE FOR LIFE. Once you purchase it, simply go to my website (www.lillianduncan.net) and send me the order number. I will email you a copy of the book of your choice. Merry Christmas to all!!

Working for Your Worth

By Staci Stallings

Worth.  What is it?

We ask, “Is it worth it?” and “What’s it worth to you?”

All of the definitions of worth speak of value–monetary or life value.

But where do we get our worth?  I think that is a central way Satan uses to get us off-track.  I also think if we were to really look at the question and not just live it blindly, it could help us find some peace rather than a mountain of stress.

Let’s look first at how the world says we get our worth.  There are many ways the world says you can be “worth it.”  You can have a well-paying job or a good family; a fine home or fancy cars.  You can be a leader in your community or you can contribute to society in some meaningful way.

All of those are fine in their place, but here’s the problem.

When you get your worth from your job, what happens when you lose the job or even could potentially lose it?  At that point the job becomes your worth.  No wonder losing a job can be so devastating.  Yes, you have the financial strain, but worse the job loss signals to you that your worth is suddenly zero.

How about if your worth is tied up in being married or in a relationship.  “I am worth it because I have someone who loves me.”  Okay.  What happens when they leave or die?

Many Christians try to derive their worth from their work in the church or in ministry.  Don’t get me wrong–ministry is important, but it does not and should not define if you are worth it or not.  When people begin to look to their ministry and church work to give them self-worth, oh, do they get into trouble quickly.

And I believe right there is where Satan snags the most well-intentioned Christians. In their heads and their hearts he twines the belief that “since I’m working in the church, I’m worth something.”

However, when you are working for your worth in any context, even the in the church, you’re in trouble.  Why?  Because seeking worth through your own work can become an addiction.  At first, it feels like it takes very little ministry to experience a worth-increase.  Then, as you go, it takes more and more to experience that same sense of “I’m worth it.”

Now, I love the church, but it is one place that will absolutely ask you to give more than any human ever can.  There are always positions to fill, jobs to do, needs to be met.  You can join the choir and the ladies organization; you can pray for missions and help at the bake sale; you can volunteer to help with the youth, teach Sunday School and run VBS; you can help plant the trees and do the fundraiser for the new foyer rug.  You can read in services, usher, and be in hospitality. You can be on the finance council and on the board.

There is literally no end to the ministries you can choose to be in, and therein lies the trap.  When you are working for your worth, and to get the “high” you initially experience from gaining your self-worth through you work, you have to do more and more and more; and there are so many good things in the church that you could be doing…. Oh, it’s easy to hit burn-out while simultaneously feeling like you are not doing enough.

It’s a paradox that snags too many Christians.

So what is the answer?

Stop working for your worth!

The truth is… the Good News is… your worth is not defined by anything on this earth.  Nothing you do or don’t do can add or subtract from your inherent worth.  Why?  Because your worth doesn’t come from you or anything outside you. It comes only from God, and the worth God imbues you with is perfect and whole just as it is.  And once you accept that, no additions or subtractions are necessary.

Does that mean we don’t work?  No.  It means we work from a spirit of who we are in God, not from a spirit of trying to become something if we do enough.

Stop working for your worth.  Understand that right now, just as you are–you are worth it because God says you are.

Once you accept that, your work will no longer feel like work. You can say yes when you want to say yes and no when you don’t, and not feel the crushing guilt of letting everyone else down and knowing that now they will think you are not worth it.

The truth is:  You are priceless, just as you are, because God made you and you are a Child of the King.

Period.  End of sentence… and beginning of a brand new life.

 

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, invites you to take a very personal journey out into the territory with her. Reflections on Life III: Posts from the Territory is a collection of short stories that show the trials and tribulations life can throw at someone as well as the hope that abides no matter how challenging life becomes.  “Your words touched my heart and gave me cause to believe that what I’m going through right now has a purpose.” –Greg Parker, online reader

Pick up your ebook copy today on : Amazon  or BN Nook 
Reflections on Life III
~ Posts from the Territory~

Life. It sounds so easy.

But then you hit “the territory.”

Out in the territory–some call it the wilderness–you’re not on sure footing, you’re uncertain how to proceed and sometimes how to even survive. Maybe it’s a bout of unemployment or a divorce. Maybe it’s a loved one’s death or an illness.

The territory can be a frightening, overwhelming place.

In this candid, very personal collection of stories, Staci Stallings shares with her readers her own walks through in the territory. From the death of her brother through her son’s battle with dyslexia, Staci knows what it’s like to be in the disorienting sandstorms of life. Fortunately, she also knows that holding onto God and faith can see one through the “territories” of life that crop up no matter who you are or how much faith you have.

Find hope and healing, faith and peace in these pages. Let Staci share with you the lessons she has learned so you will come to realize that not only is there hope–even in what may appear to be hopeless situations, but that you are not alone in having “territory moments.” Most of all through these stories it will become clear that God truly is right there with you–even in the territory–every step of the way.

“Your words touched my heart and gave me cause to believe that what I’m going through right now has a purpose.”
Greg Parker, online reader

Pick up your ebook copy today on : Amazon  or BN Nook

 

 

 

The Cadence of Dialogue

by Suzanne Williams

There is a commercial on television that instead of playing the standard background music has a poetry reading. My husband and daughter find it annoying, yet for me it holds a certain beauty in its cadence. I like the flow of the words, how they fit into each other, each creating a rhythm perfect for the next. I’ve never been big into poetry, mostly because I don’t understand the meaning of what’s being said, but I can close my eyes when it’s read well and enjoy the pulse of sound.

I have learned to use this same idea when writing. I am a proofreader as well as a writer by trade. It’s my job to find spelling errors, sentence structure problems, and incorrect punctuation. I can read anything and do this without thinking. Yet when I back up from that task and listen to the movement of the words, it often changes what I think is right.

The easiest way to explain this is through writing dialogue. My first task when I approach dialogue is to decide the goal. What is the purpose of the conversation? Next, I ask how each character feels about that goal. Often, the answers create the dialogue on their own. However, when I ultimately start to put it down on the page, I have a semi-systematic method. First, I write the conversation itself, what each character needs to say. Then I return and work on the cadence of it.

Cadence, or pacing, does two things. It allows me to share with the reader the characters’ feelings, and it controls the speed at which the scene is read. This is best seen through an example. The scene below contains two characters, a young Irishman named Michael and his friend Patrick. Michael has taken it upon himself to help Patrick’s love life along, and Patrick wants him to know he doesn’t need his help. This is the final cut.

“You look perky,” Michael laughed. “You toss around all night?”

Patrick pulled a face at him. “Less than you and the child.”

The corners of Michael’s mouth twitched. “I’m sorry about that. I don’t know what got into the little fellow.”

“I suspect he has his father’s lungs.”

Michael waved his hand in defeat. “Touché.”

 

The conversation itself has nothing to do with the ultimate goal, that of Patrick going on a date, yet in it, Patrick wants Michael to know, “You have more responsibilities than I do, and I can handle this.” The cadence of the dialogue comes with the beats between the words. If I leave them out, it reads like this:

“You look perky. You toss around all night?”

“Less than you and the child.”

“I’m sorry about that. I don’t know what got into the little fellow.”

“I suspect he has his father’s lungs.”

“Touché.”

You still see the idea of the exchange, but you lose the rhythm behind it. The words become rushed. In order to slow the scene down, I need to add the beats. Now, I could go with the standard “he said/she said,” but that would lose some of the characters’ personalities.

“You look perky. You toss around all night?” Michael asked.

“Less than you and the child,” Patrick replied.

“I’m sorry about that. I don’t know what got into the little fellow,” Michael said.

“I suspect he has his father’s lungs,” Patrick said.

“Touché.”

Boring, huh? And stilted as well. These two are best friends, but you don’t get a picture for that at all.

When I initially add beats, I often use brackets to fill in for my final choice of words. My biggest reason for doing this is to avoid repeating myself. There are only so many times you can have a character displaying certain behaviors before they become odd. I remember in one book, the character’s eyes changed color a lot. I began to think they were a chameleon.

Well, reworking the example scene and including brackets, it looks like this:

“You look perky,” Michael [did something]. “You toss around all night?”

Patrick [reacts]. “Less than you and the child.”

[Pause here while Michael does something]. “I’m sorry about that. I don’t know what got into the little fellow.”

“I suspect he has his father’s lungs.”

Michael [completes the exchange]. “Touché.”

Notice, I made the brackets the same approximate length as what I wanted the rhythm to be. Now, I don’t always put brackets everywhere like this. Sometimes I know what the character is doing. I knew Michael was laughing. He’s a bit of a tease throughout the story. Patrick is more reserved by nature, so that affects what he will or won’t do. But you get the idea through how I’ve written it. Also, I moved the brackets around. Rather than leaving them all at the end, as in my “he said/she said” example, I broke the thoughts up.

The biggest key to writing dialogue is to picture the scene as if it was happening. By doing this, I can usually figure out how the characters move as they speak, if their hands shift or remain still, if their facial expressions change, and that becomes fodder for the pace of the scene. Yet my ultimate aim is always to move this scene into the next smoothly and thereby forward the characters’ goals.

Reading is about the pulse of sound, and dialogue is only one facet of that pulse. This same technique works with all other forms of writing. I read and re-read everything to see how its rhythm works, and I change words to fit that rhythm. In the end, striving to give the reader a wonderful experience that makes them want to return and read more of my books.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This first book in the Sanders Saga tells the intimate stories of three generations of one family.
Adele Davis’ husband, John, is missing in action. A chance encounter with Stephen Sanders, himself also a Vietnam veteran, brings love back into her life. Yet is it right to start over or does that dishonor John’s memory?
Amos and Elizabeth Sander sent their sixteen-year-old son, Andrew, off to fight the War Between The States. However, he never returned. In their searching, a strange twist of fate will change their lives and the lives of those around them forever.
Molly Pratt has a secret. But then so does Doug Sanders. Will his secret from World War II and her personal tragedy ruin their chance at happiness forever?
This book is dedicated to all who have served and most especially to those who didn’t survive

Book Review PURSUED BY Lillian Duncan

By Ada Brownell

The ultimate test of a good novel is the story told, and Lillian Duncan created a powerful story with Pursued. First the attorney, Reggie (short for Regina) Meyers is in danger of losing her job because of a grammatical error on a contract.

 

At the airport on her way home, a woman accidentally whacks her in the head with luggage when she takes it from the carousel. Still dizzy from the blow, Reggie tries to weave her way through heavy traffic. She swerves to avoid a dog being chased by a child and an old pickup collides with her car.

 

She doesn’t care how handsome the driver is, she’s angry. Since her vehicle absorbed most of the impact, he offers to drive her home. After he uses some persuasion, she goes with him only to find the door to her home wide open, her apartment ransacked, trashed and the furniture slashed.

 

The owner of the pickup, Dylan Monroe, insists she can’t stay in that apartment after such vandalism. The person might be a killer.

 

Thus begins the chase. Reggie is pursued by someone who is serious about killing her.  She’s shot at, her phone is bugged, and bombs are placed on her car.

 

Although Dylan just met her, he insists on protecting her. He takes her to his sister’s house. When she’s followed there, he moves her to his parents, then to a friend’s place that is difficult to find and equipped with detection equipment.

 

It takes a while for Reggie to understand why Dylan wants to help. He’s a committed Christian and feels it’s his calling to do what he can for a person in need. Reggie, abandoned by her parents at a young age, is in need of someone who cares. She grew up in foster homes and knows little of committed love and devotion.  She fights being attracted to Dylan because he’s a farmer and she’s an attorney.

 

The story is a great read, and that’s why I give it five stars it deserves.

 

   — Ada Brownell

Author of Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

and  Confessions of a Pentecostal

 

“Abide in Me”

 by:  Staci Stallings

Author’s Note:  This article was written around 2001 about the same time I was writing my newest release “To Protect & Serve.”  The book this article talks about was that book.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” –John 15:7

 “Abide in Me.” The three words with which Jesus invited his disciples to place their faith in His love as they walked to the Garden of Gethsemane that last fateful night. He wasn’t just talking to the disciples though. No, He was talking to us, too. And these three simple words, if understood and acted upon, can make all the difference in a Christian’s life. The problem is that many of us have never really even noticed they were spoken—much less taken their message to heart.

What does “abide” mean anyway? According to Webster’s Dictionary, “abide” means to remain. That makes sense, remain with Me, stay with Me, stay by My side. Ah, but Jesus doesn’t say “with,” He says “in.” Simply put Jesus is not saying He wants us to walk with him, or to be with Him. He is saying He wants us to remain in Him—as close as we could ever get to Him without actually being Him.

This is just semantics, you say. A play on words. What possible significance could such a tiny distinction make? I can tell you that in my life, it has made all the difference.

I must confess first that until recently I didn’t put words to this phenomenon. I knew it was in my life, but explaining it wasn’t easy to do. At the time I called it “faith.” As a writer, I put great faith in the belief that God would light my path, that if I surrendered the project to His care, I would have the right words at the right time.

The opportunities to use this faith were boundless. For example, when my two year old deleted five pages of the new manuscript I was working on, I distinctly remember saying, “Well, I guess God didn’t want it said that way.” Or when my publicist threw a major curve into my plans by saying the cover for my second book (which I had chosen) would never work, and we had no choice but to change it. True it took me awhile of being furious with her before I realized that it was God, not she, that had a better idea. Once I surrendered to that understanding, the new cover came into focus, and it was far and away better than the original.

For several years these were the types of ways I tried to “abide in Him” although “faith” was probably the better term because I was still relying on some outside entity—not a spirit that permeated me.

Recently, however, I came into contact with Bruce Wilkinson’s Secrets of the Vine, and my understanding took a giant leap forward. In Secrets, Wilkinson talks about the phrase “abide in Me” and what Jesus really meant when He spoke those words. After reading that book, I was having a discussion with a friend about my writing. For the first time ever this friend is getting to experience the writing process with me as she is reading the book I am working on as I am writing it.

The strange thing is: it is not just she who is growing through this project as I am now getting to experience the writing process in a whole new light. A light which has opened my eyes to what has been happening for years. When it would happen in the past, however, I couldn’t adequately explain it to anyone else and therefore it was easier to overlook or to not take the time to really examine. Nonetheless, I believe this experience is the best definition for “abiding in Me” around.

A couple of examples: during the course of writing my current book, I was introduced to two songs that so embody the book that their entrance into my life could not be called mere “coincidence.” Also, I received an email that depicted the exact kind of person characterized in the book in a way that visually detailed the precise message I am trying to portray. A sign possibly that I am on the right track?

Perhaps most intriguing I received a magazine which gave me in perfect form the insight I needed to understand why this character was acting the way he was. Of course, everyone receives magazines every day, and it was one that I was subscribed to, so that shouldn’t be all that noteworthy. Except for this: the post office had changed our address and that particular magazine was one I hadn’t changed the address on yet. I hadn’t received that magazine for four weeks, and when that copy got here, it had the old address, which the post office had said they refused to deliver to anymore. More than that, I haven’t received either of the next two editions although I have now changed the address. So, why then did that one come through with exactly what I needed despite every obstacle against it?

I think the answer can be found in those three words: Abide in Me. Tell me honestly, do we really think that some little post office crisis can keep God’s plan from working out in our lives? If you do, then I challenge you to question how many of these “coincidences” in your life you are either missing out on—or overlooking right at this very moment.

As a firm believer in these words, I can tell you that if you will take them to heart… If you will accept that Jesus is not just an “out there entity” that you can have faith in but truly a spirit that permeates your very life… If you will truly accept His presence in every aspect of your life, every minute of every day, then He will abide in you, and your life will never again be the same.

After all it was His promise.

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Check out Staci’s brand new release…

Houston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman’s fireman. No situation is too dangerous to keep him sidelined if lives are on the line. However, when control freak Lisa Matheson falls for him, she quickly realizes she can’t control Jeff or the death wish he seems to have…

 To Protect & Serve

The Courage Series, Book 1

To save others’ lives, they will risk their own

 Buy it on Amazon Kindle

Buy it on Barnes & Noble Nook

“To Protect and Serve will hold you prisoner to its pages until the final one is turned. Prepare to cry, laugh, wish, love and maybe even cry again as you become enveloped in the hopes and feelings of Lisa and Jeff.”

-Cindy Reiger

Get Your Copy Today!

How Long is Forever?

By Ada Brownell

Grand Mesa near Grand Junction, Colo., is the largest flat-top mountain in the world. The mountain has 300 lakes that anglers claim are “bottomless.” In Carlsbad Caverns, early spelunkers named one yawning opening as “The Bottomless Pit.”

Yet, we know those lakes and the pit end somewhere. Someone discovered the reason the abyss in the cavern seems to have no bottom is because soft sand covers its floor. Sand prevented sound when a stone dropped.

Although people imagine pits and lakes that go on forever, the human mind can’t comprehend no beginning and no end. I used to try to figure it out as a child and it made me dizzy.

At the end of the Lord’s prayer we say, “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory—forever.”

How long is forever? No one has wrapped his brain around it, but we know from His Word God is eternal. The great “I am.” The self-existent One. The One who was, and is, and is to come. Someone with no beginning and no end. He’s always been, He is, and He will exist forever.

But humankind is limited. We all have a beginning, and life does end. But Jesus promised “whoever lives and believes in Him will never die” (John 11:26).

What hope that gives! Back when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and they discovered Satan lied, telling them, “You won’t die if you eat the forbidden fruit,” they realized their future was ruined.

Afterward, although they would die, God promised a Redeemer who would reverse Satan’s scheme. Through God’s only Son, eternal life was restored for those who accept redemption.

Although often it brings joy, “forever” can be a troubling word. Like Adam and Eve, sometimes our choices mean we are changed forever. Suicide is a forever decision; it can’t be reversed. Rejecting Jesus can be a forever decision because “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:26-28).

The Book of Revelation is full of “forever” passages, most reasons to rejoice. “There will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5NLT).

“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5: 13NKJ).

”Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10NLT).

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15KJ).

If we know Jesus and accept God’s love, even though we die, we will live forever, too. This is the theme of my new book, Swallowed by LIFE: “While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life” 2 Corinthians 5:4NLT).

©Ada Brownell 2012

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