Archives for July 2013

Where is Your Heart?

Where is Your Heart?

Listening to Pandora the other morning, I recognized an old familiar song and, as I hummed along to the instrumental, the words to the title kept swirling around my mind…

Where is your heart? Where is your heart?

(The song, entitled Where is Your Heart, was originally recorded by Percy Faith’s orchestra, words by William Engvick and music by Georges Aurie, for the movie Moulin Rouge.)

As I listened, I heard God whisper to my heart, Where is your heart? Then, these words of the song shot their arrows into my heart…

“It’s always like this
I worry and wonder
You’re close to me here
But where is your heart?

Of course, He doesn’t worry or wonder; He knows exactly where my heart is. But, as the Bridegroom to His Bride, He seeks, in tender and intimate appeal, for an answer from me, Where is your heart? Does it belong to Me alone?

So, I search for the answer…

* Where is my heart?
* Is it seeking my beloved Lord above all else?
* Am I having love affairs with other things?

The disciple John cautions, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him…For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father.” (1 John 2:15 NIV, 1 John 2:16 NLT)

Oh, my! Longing for and loving things of the world displaces my love for the Father.
Allowing duplicity to move into my heart, I will have an inward turmoil of two masters, and I will then experience what I call the Rebekah Syndrome.

When Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, found out “two children struggled with each other in her womb,” (Gen. 25:22 NLT), she asked God, “If this is right why am I this way?” (Gen. 25:22 Masoretic Text) The Lord answered her, “Two nations are in your womb.” (Gen. 25:23 NKJV)

Two different fellowships desiring my full attention.

Is my attention diverted by too many things, leaving me no time for my Lord? Is my heart out wandering the streets of the world, searching for its pleasures? Or do I spend precious time leaning upon my Beloved’s breast as the disciple John did, just to be near Him, or sitting at His feet as Mary did, just to serve Him in worship by pouring out my thanks and my tears as fragrant oil upon His body?

~~Lord, where is my heart? Am I truly seeking You? What have I allowed to move into your Living Room, making itself comfy on the throne that belongs to you? Oh, Lord, search my heart, show me what I worship and desire more than You and dispose of them so that I may love, worship, and serve You with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind. Amen~~

Questions: Where is your heart? What causes a Rebekah syndrome in you? Ask the Lord what is in your life, whether harmful or seemingly good, that separates you from a holy relationship and deep, intimate fellowship with your Beloved.

Is there anything you love more than the Lord? Jesus asks you…

“Do you love Me more than these?”
(John 21:15b NKJV)

 

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: Severed Threads by Kaylin McFarland

CrossReaders Book Review: Severed Threads by Kaylin McFarland

[easyazon-image align=”center” asin=”B008UZYLOI” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41OR-J5r8uL.jpg” width=”322″]

Title: Severed Threads

Author: Kaylin McFarland

Rating: 3 stars

 

About the Book

While claiming to be a Christian book, this book is pornographic in content.

Review

“Severed Threads” by Kaylin McFarland is set in San Palo, California. Chase Cohan is a treasure hunter. Four years earlier, his partner, Sam Lyons, died because of an equipment failure while diving. Chase fell in love with Sam’s daughter, Rachel Lyons, but left her without an explanation.

Now, Rachel is offering a grant to Dr. Lao Ying, and the local museum. Dr. Ying is very interested in the Wanli II, a Ming Dynasty Emperor’s lost dragon ship, rumored to be just off the coast. He’s hired Trident Ventures to seek the wreck and find the ‘heart of the dragon’, a treasure that is rumored to be worth millions, and is connected to an age-old ghost story and curse. Dr. Ying’s family is connected to the treasure, and if it can be found, it will break the curse that has followed his family for centuries.

Trident Ventures is owned by Chase Cohan, and the search throws the two of them back together again. But that’s not the entire story. This is a dual plot, a ‘meanwhile back at the ranch’ story with a second set of characters.

Devon, Rachel’s brother, has gotten himself involved with thugs and murderers. He has been kidnapped, and if Rachel wants to see him again, she will have to pay the thugs the money his boss ran off with. Her only hope for getting such a large sum of money in short period of time is to join the crew of Trident Ventures, and steal some of the gold from the wrecked ship.

The underwater scenes are mesmerizing. The author knows quite a bit about scuba diving, and paints vivid pictures of what it must be like to go searching the ocean’s depths. There are shark attacks, ghost sightings, landslides, and all sorts of perils in the story, making it a captivating and exciting story. It kept me turning the pages, and taught me things about marine life I didn’t know.

I have two objections, however.

The sex scenes, while few in number and well-spaced, are disgusting. They are much too erotic for my tastes. This type of writing makes me ask the question why some authors think they are above the law? The legal definition of pornography, as relating to pictures and films, is that it shows genitals engaged in a sexual act. If a film producer shot a movie of this scene, the way it was written, he would go to jail for producing hard-core porno. If a photographer from Playboy shot a set the way this scene was described, it wouldn’t be published because it is over the legal line. If equality means that there is one set of rules for everyone, then why is it illegal for a film producer or photographer, but not for an author?

The author’s guidelines for Harlequin and Silhouette, the largest producers of romance novels, state that there are two differences between romance and porn. Romance is about emotions. Porn is about bodily functions. Romance uses physical contact to form and express a committed, monogamous relationship. Porn uses sex to fulfill a physical desire. According to industry standards, this book is a piece of porn. The couples have sex before they say “I love you”, and their reactions to touch are purely physical. They don’t become committed until the end of the story, and when they do, it is only an admission of being “owned” by the other.

This author names the specific body parts, and mentions practices that are pornographic in nature. I don’t need to know [sexual details of how certain characters] deal with [a] broken heart. The sex wasn’t all that necessary, and I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if it had been left out altogether, or just limited to a little fore play.

The author assured me that this book is in keeping with Christian standards, and while it does have one Bible verse worked into the story (love bears all, forgives all…) and there is a preacher who speaks about God’s will, this is not a book that a Christian would enjoy. If it was Christian, then what they believe in would have an effect upon the way they behave. They would rely on belief and faith to help them make decisions, and would avoid known sins such as stealing, fornication and lying.

Authors have the power to shape the moral character of our culture. They can shape the reader’s attitudes on a number of issues by the way they address it. In addition to making sex a casual, meaningless encounter, and lying an acceptable practice, the author has the characters tied up, bound, gagged and entangled in so many ways that it almost becomes kinky. Too much bondage can encourage readers to believe that women enjoy being raped. People read stuff like this, and then we wonder why football players end up going to jail because they thought they were getting ‘lucky’.

My second objection is with the ending. Chase and Rachel end up becoming murderers themselves. I lost respect for them when they sank to the same level as the hoods that were trying to kill them. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

The story is about using people to get what you want, even if you have to lie and steal to do it. After reading the book, I feel that I was used too. I told the author I only review sweet and mild books. I said “no” to sex, and she sent it to me anyway.

http://www.examiner.com/review/severed-threads-is-there-a-difference-between-romance-and-porn

 

 

This review was submitted by: Paula Hrbacek – please visit their website at http://www.examiner.com/book-review-8-in-panama-city/paula-hrbacek

 

It’s Christmas in JULY!

It’s Christmas in JULY!

CrossReads Summer Book Sale Where You Can Get Free Books, Discounts, And More!

 

JulyChristmas

For 3 days only, July 25th-27th, several of your favorite CrossReads Christian authors have joined together to offer their books for free or at 99 cents to summer readers for this special Christmas In July Book Sale.

Readers can download 20+ books this summer, saving over $60 AND enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card from the CrossReads team!

Click here to see the books and enter to win the Amazon Gift Card!

CrossReaders Book Review: The Cameo by Lorraine Shelstad

CrossReaders Book Review: The Cameo by Lorraine Shelstad

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Title: The Cameo

Author: Lorraine Shelstad

Rating: Four and a half stars

About the Book

The Cameo is set in Italy, during the Victorian Era, and deals with a Protestant falling in love with a Catholic.

Review

James Marsh is living in England after WWII when he finds a brooch hidden on a window sill in his rented house. The owner of the house claims that it belongs to him, and they meet with his lawyer to discuss the issue. The lawyer points out that according to the law, if someone finds something of value, they must take reasonable steps to find the real owner before they can claim it as their own. They agree to post an ad in the paper and see what happens.

After several false claims, a woman contacts James to say that the pin belongs to her grandmother. She correctly identifies the pin, a rare portrait of the Virgin Mary. When asked for proof of ownership, all she can offer is her grandmother’s diary that mentions the pin. She marks the page and loans him the book so that he can see for himself.

But instead of reading the marked page, James begins to read the entire diary.

It tells of a trip to Italy at the turn of the century that was made by two young women from England. They stay at Porto al Prato and go to tourist spots and churches. A romance begins between the girl, Claire Ashford and her Italian tutor, Signore Bartole, a Catholic. As they flirt in a Victorian proper manner, they begin to discuss the difference between the Church of England and the Romanists.

The promotional literature for the book said that it would expose the tensions between the Protestants and Catholics in England. I feared the War in Ireland. I’m a preacher’s kid, so I grew up around men who love to argue about religion in depth. This book, however, is about a lay person’s perception of the church. Claire is a polite girl who knows that she is not supposed to join the men’s discussion according to Victorian manners. Instead of asking questions to the men, she explains her point of view and perceptions to the diary. Her questions are the same as any convert asks. The opinions on both sides are stated in a conversational style. The discussion is just as mild and proper as the Victorian characters are themselves.

I have a storybook that belonged to my grandmother that was written during the Victorian Period. Comparing the style to that, I was pleased with the way the author captured the writing style, manners and conversations of the time. She painted adequate pictures of the places they visited, presented likeable characters, and motivated and foreshadowed the ending in a logical and acceptable way.

The pace of the book is slow. It is a good book to read before bed because it lacks any of the page-turning, spine chilling hooks of contemporary novels. Women who lived during the WWII time frame would also enjoy the book because of its proper and pleasing style, and because it discusses issues that they may be familiar with. Women who enjoy sweet or mild romance would enjoy it too, because it is very, very mild, without a single kiss.

 [easyazon-link asin=”B004ZW992O” locale=”us”]Check out The Cameo on Amazon![/easyazon-link]

 

This review was submitted by: Paula Hrbacek – please visit their website at http://www.examiner.com/book-review-8-in-panama-city/paula-hrbacek

 

Have You Been Fence Jumping Lately?

Have You Been Fence Jumping Lately?

Israel was a fence jumper. Hopping back and forth as they worshiped God and Baal.

God wanted to keep Israel a pure nation set apart to Himself, so He commanded them not to make covenants with other nations, to ensure they would not be tempted by other suitors and intermarry with them and, therefore, worship other gods.

It didn’t work. Moses even tried to persuade them, “O Israel, listen: Jehovah is our God, Jehovah alone. You must love Him with all your heart, soul, and might.” (Deut. 6:4-5 NLT) But they ignored Moses and God by making covenants with those around them and marrying into those forbidden nations.

So as not to anger the prophets of God or the prophets of Jezebel, Israel bowed down to both God and Baal and ended up dividing their affections, time, and worship between the two. Actually making them double-hearted.

Elijah asked them, “How long will you be divided between two ways of thinking? If the Lord is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21 NLV)

According to the definitions, the question could be stated this way: How much longer will you waver and jump back and forth between two divided thoughts?

The meaning of Baal’s name comes from another Hebrew word ba’al, which basically means a title for any person who owned something, a possessor, master, lord, owner, husband, or married. It comes from the root word ba’al, meaning to be master, rule or lord over, possess, own, be husband, or to marry.

Essentially, Baal owned the people who worshiped him and was joined to them in oneness as in marriage. Worshiping Baal implied ownership rather than relationship.

The take-away? That which we worship, we are joined to it, becoming one with it, as married to it.

Which side of the fence are we on? The world’s side or God’s side? We cannot live on both sides of the fence.

When Israel displayed their shameless conduct in the face of their heavenly Husband, God said, “My covenant…they broke, though I was a husband to them.” (Jer. 31:32b NKJV)

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul showed the same godly concern over their relationship with unbelievers because of the unbelievers’ false gods. Though I’m not addressing a believer partnering with an unbeliever, the same truth applies.

Paul warned them, “How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil?” (2 Cor. 6:14b-15a NLT)

The Old Testament prophet Amos similarly asked, “Will two walk together unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 Masoretic Text) The Hebrew word for agreed also means to make appointment to meet, to betroth, to engage as for marriage, and so on. Interesting!

What we walk with, as what we worship, we are joined with, become one with. We either walk in agreement with God as our heavenly Husband or we are espoused to something else. There is no fence-sitting or fence-hopping!

Scripture cautions us, “Shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God).” (1 Cor. 10:14 Amp) Anything! If anything is dearer to our hearts than the Lord, then it is an idol and it threatens our relationship with our heavenly Bridegroom.

We say we love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds. The problem is we say we love chocolate or ice cream or fall days, our jobs or our car, horse, or fishing boat, in the same way, and sometimes we say we love those things with more passion. Where is the passion for our Bridegroom?

We cannot be double-minded as the Israelites were. God said, “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God Who will not share your affection with any other god!” (Deut. 5:9 NLT)

A heart yoked together with the Bridegroom in a holy union—one undivided in its affection, giving Him its full allegiance, without infidelity, hypocrisy, or unbelief—this is His desire for His Bride.

As it has been said, “If He is not the Lord of all, then He is not the Lord at all!”

Do you have a double heart or a double mind, as two spouses?
Have you been worshiping something other than the Lord?

Have you been fence jumping lately?

LynnMosher website 4At 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.