Archives for June 2013

Drowning Lessons

Drowning Lessons

Any lifeguard will tell you the worst thing someone that the lifeguard is trying to save can do is to “help.”  A drowning person in a panicked attempt to “save” themselves by thrashing about can end up taking the lifeguard down with them. It’s a lesson all of us need to learn no matter how good we are at swimming in spiritual waters.

Many people ask:  “What is my purpose here on earth?”  They go through various exercises and workshops to find out what their purpose is.  I will save you some time and money if you, too, are asking this age-old question.

You have one purpose here on earth, and it can be summed up in two words:  to learn.

You were sent here to learn—to learn about yourself—your capabilities, your liabilities, your strengths, your weaknesses, your abilities, and your limitations.  You were also sent here to learn about and how to deal with others—those who are easy to love and those for whom God’s mercy will have to be super-abundant for their forgiveness to be obtained.

Nonetheless, you were mostly sent here to learn about God and His unending, unfathomable, unstoppable, overwhelming, unbelievable love for you.

One of the biggest lessons and one of the hardest to take and accept is what has been called a disruptive moment. These are the times in your life when you have been easily walking next to the water when suddenly something pushes you into the deep end.

This something might be someone. It might be an event or an illness or death or a sudden change that blows gaping holes in your belief that all is right with your world.

Suddenly you are buffeted—slapped on every side with wave after wave of despair, doubt, anger, hopelessness, helplessness, grief, anxiety, and fear so strong it pulls you under like a rip tide.

I believe what we are sent here to learn is that it is precisely in these times of trial and fear that we learn the real depth of God.  It is in these moments that the Almighty Lifeguard takes hold of us, rather than us holding onto Him.

The problem here is that many of us continue to struggle. We continue to try to save ourselves even as the waves wash over us time and again.  What God says to us at these moments is exactly what the lifeguard would say to the drowning person. “Relax. Let Me do it. Do not rely on your strength, trust in Mine.”

Your purpose here is primarily to learn that one lesson as deeply as possible.  When the storms blow, quit struggling. Trust the Lifeguard.

He has the strength you need. Relax, and let Him work in your life, and you will surely see wonders come from the moments you thought you were destined to drown.  By your own effort, you would have.  In His strength, however, you will be brought out of the waters of chaos and confusion into a new life you can only know when you have felt both the rip tide and His marvelous, sustaining strength.

In your weakness, His strength can be made manifest.  Trust it for it will save you—especially when you feel you are drowning.

Staci Stallings New Headshot 1

Staci Stallings is a co-founder of CrossReads and a #1 Best Selling author.  A stay-at-home Mom with three kids, a husband, and a writing addiction, Staci’s work can be found across the Internet.  Visit her at:  http;//www.stacistallings.net  to see her best selling Christian romance novels, Bible Studies, and Reflections on Life.  As always, you’ll feel better for the experience!

Check out these Staci Stallings Best Sellers…

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Come Home, It’s Suppertime!

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 self-supporting farm. 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 there with them, but I loved it most of all because of my sweet Granny. I still shed tears because I miss her, even after fifty-four years of 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.

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. But even better, with my mom and dad, my other grandparents, and my Granny. 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 to come Home.

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

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. One day, the Lord will call us Home…for Suppertime.

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

LynnMosher website 4

*At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn Mosher felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, she has embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets, and expanded by three giggly grand-chicklets, and an inherited dog. You can find out more about Lynn by visiting her website, Heading Home.

CrossReaders Book Review: The Promise Box by Tricia Goyer

CrossReaders Book Review: The Promise Box by Tricia Goyer

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[easyazon-link asin=”0310335124″ locale=”us”]The Promise Box (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors)[/easyazon-link]

Author: Tricia Goyer

Reviewer: Nancee Marchinowski

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the Book

Every year, young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive ‘resident’ status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Lydia Wyse, a book editor from Seattle who grew up Amish, returns to the small community of West Kootenai to give comfort to her father after her mother’s death. She is drawn back to the familiar Amish ways after finding her mother’s most precious possession, a Promise Box of prayers and scripture. What her publisher sees, though, is an opportunity for a sensational ‘tell-all’ book about the Amish. Lydia soon finds herself falling in love with Amish bachelor Gideon Hooley. She wants nothing more than to forget her past and look forward to a future as an Amish bride. But will the pain of her childhood—and her potential betrayal of her community—keep her from committing her whole heart?

Review

Lydia Wyse returns to West Kootenai, Montana for her “mem’s” funeral. As a teenager she left her Amish family to discover her true identity. Her “mem” had left her a promise box containing small pieces of paper upon which she had written meaningful verses of scripture, special prayers and promises from God, as well as letters to Lydia. An adoptee, she had numerous unanswered questions about her biological family. Are the answers to her past included in the promise box?

Gideon Hooley traveled to West Kootenai, Montana, with other Amish bachelors to obtain hunting privileges. Gideon’s purpose for the visit is far deeper than merely hunting. Painful questions haunt him, and Gideon needs answers to a mystery that involves being lost in the mountains when he was four years old. His family has ignored his questions, leaving him frustrated and concerned about what might have happened all those years ago.

Lydia and Gideon share a special bond, and their relationship blossoms. Lydia commits an indiscretion that could affect all she holds dear. Will the secrets they keep betray their friendship? Will the answers to their questions drive a wedge in their relationship?

Tricia Goyer writes an inspiring story of two characters lost in the questions of their past. The characters in this book are richly defined, and so endearing. A blended community of both Amish and Englische is unique, with numerous colorful characters and personalities. The settings are eloquently described, leaving images and portraits that create a familiarity for the reader to ponder. Conflicting developments and issues that develop throughout the plot are unpredictable, leaving the reader challenged. There is a deep spiritual richness throughout this story, validating the writer’s personal convictions. The Promise Box is impressive!

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book from Zondervan through Litfuse Publicity in return for my honest review. All opinions expressed are mine, and I received no monetary compensation for this review.

Read more about “The Promise Box” @ Amazon!

This review was submitted by: Nancee Marchinowski – please visit their website at Perspectives By Nancee

Book Blast: At The End Of Our Journey by JACK R EAST JR {June 18, 2013} – $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Book Blast: At The End Of Our Journey by JACK R EAST JR {June 18, 2013} – $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

End of Our JourneyAt The End Of Our Journey

By:  JACK R EAST JR

About the Book

At the End of Our Journey is a personal testimony of the life and Christian faith of the author. The inspiration for the book came from two incredible and powerful dreams about Jack’s Christian faith. The dreams were experienced in November of 2010 on two consecutive mornings. Jack awoke from both dreams with precise and detailed memories of the events and emotions felt during the dreams. He can recall all of the events of both dreams two years later. To be able to remember all of the details of both dreams is very unusual for him and for most other dreamers.

The two dreams did not reveal anything new about his Christian faith. The first dream expressed all of the doubts, fears, and questions that all followers of the Christian faith have asked themselves many times. The second dream was a direct confirmation from God that all of the promises of the Christian faith are true and will happen for all who believe in Christ’s redemption and follow his teachings. Words cannot adequately describe the events and emotions of the second dream. The author has difficulty finding words to describe the emotions experienced in his dreams, but he can share the following conclusions about his dreams and the Christian faith with you.

He experienced the finality of knowing that he had died.
He knew the joy of knowing that his Christian faith allowed him to conquer death.
He felt hope and joy to know that his spirit had conquered death and was rising
into Heaven.

He was overcome with joy, peace, contentment, fulfillment, and the sure
knowledge that the only place he could possibly be was in Heaven. No other
place could feel so good and right.
He cannot adequately describe how it felt to know that God was there to
welcome him to Heaven where he heard his powerful and loving voice
say to him,

“Jack, I am glad you are here,
I have been waiting for you.”

How could he describe hearing God’s welcome end with the
following words…

“but, I am not ready for you yet.”

At the End of Our Journey is Jack’s attempt to share with you the wonderful experience of his life, dreams, and Christian faith. His wish is that you may also know the joy of the personal presence of God in your life and feel the full depth and beauty of His powerful love. And that you may receive a taste of what awaits for us at the end of our journey of Christian faith.

Get the PAPERBACK on Amazon!

Jack EastJACK R EAST JR

Jack was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in September of 1940. In 1945 his family moved to Southern California where he lived for 30 years. He started his journey of Christian faith in 1956 at the age of sixteen. Jack married his wife Barbara in 1961 and their marriage has lasted for over fifty years. Jack started his career as a CPA, and he and Barbara started their family while living in Southern California.

Jack and Barbara moved to the far north coast of California in 1975. Jack continued to work at his accounting and tax practice as he and Barbara raised a family of three great sons. Their boys and their spouses have provided them with four precious grand children. Both family and the Christian faith have always been important parts of the life of Jack and Barbara. At age 72, Jack is still working at his accounting and income tax practice with Barbara’s help. Retirement is under consideration, but it is not their greatest priority at this time.

In November of 2010 Jack experienced two incredible dreams about his Christian faith. The dreams were the inspiration for writing a book and for this website. The dreams have started a new chapter in the life and Christian faith of Jack R. East, Jr. at age 72.

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  WebsiteFacebook

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

 

Tested Faith

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!