CrossReads Short Takes: Until Death Do You Part & Fool’s Notion

CrossReads Short Takes: Until Death Do You Part & Fool’s Notion

CrossReads Short Takes

Until Death Do You Part

by  Suzanne Coulter

Until Death Do You Part

Jeff and Suzanne Coulter have been married since 1987. Jeff Coulter was born in 1966 and is from Williamsburg, Ohio. A devout Christian throughout his early adulthood, Jeff reached a crossroad with the death of his mother in 1988 and found himself turning away from God. On April 22nd, 2014, Jeff was nearly killed in a head-on collision. Beating the odds and surviving the crash, one week later Jeff suffered multiple pulmonary emboli. Only one out of 20 survive such a traumatic incident.

Jeff slipped into a void of nothingness – the absolute absence of the presence of God. A void filled with demonic beings and symbolic icons of hell and death. Miraculously surviving the crash and emboli, God also delivered Jeff from alcoholism and chronic depression. Through it all, there was his wife Suzanne at his side, as if she belonged there by God’s own invitation. Driving him along the way. Jeff has since rededicated his life to Christ and now dedicates himself to church ministries, online ministries, and authoring diverse books.

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Fools Notion

by Lisa J. Flickinger

Fool's Notion

Missouri mules were the best. Alda grew to love the creatures working side by side with her pa on their farm along the banks of the Missouri River. He would be hopping mad when he realized his wife and daughter colluded behind his back to sell a pack string. It wouldn’t matter that they were trying to save the farm.

Alda struck out on her own to drive the team over fifteen hundred miles. By day three, her lead mule Bessie refused to take one more step. It was a good thing the handsome cowboy Cord stopped by to lend a hand or Alda might still be sitting in the dust.

Now, Alda needed the man to move on so she could continue her journey. Judging by the spark in Cord’s eye … it just might take some convincing.

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Aw, God, Do I Have To?

Aw, God, Do I Have To?

by Suzanne D. Williams

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mt 18:21-22)

I had a bad day. You know, one of those where even the dog doesn’t cooperate? Well, ‘round about 10 a.m., I exploded. I screamed at everyone within a two-mile vicinity. And regretted it afterward.

You know the drill. “I should never have … and now they will always think of me like …”

Regret is a good thing, though, because it got me thinking about forgiveness and repentance. “Lord,” I said, in a sort of prayer, “Seventy times seven is REALLY hard to do.”

It looks good on paper. As Christians, we should be all “turn the other cheek,” “love the unlovely,” etcetera. Except I’ve seen anger and offense creep into the church. Someone lit into me the other day over something trivial, and I was taken aback. But struck harder by the thought I was supposed to pray for them and move on.

And I don’t mean pray they’ll trip.

The Bible says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rm 12:19) We love to quote that, picturing lightning bolts striking someone and God up there beating his chest, “Bwahaha!” Truth is, He’s more apt to show them mercy if they’ll receive it.

Fixing the other person is not our job.

I heard speaker, Joyce Meyer, say she spent years trying to fix her husband, Dave, only to realize it didn’t work and she was the only one who was miserable. This helped me with my own relationships. I am apt to blow up first then swim in my regret for several days. But if I let God handle the one who’s antagonizing me, if my prayer is, “Give me a clean heart, O God,” and not, “Let Sister So-and-so stump her toe,” I can place myself in the Holy Spirit’s control and overcome those awful moments.

Overcome them and defeat them. Because God’s instructions to us are tougher than simply not fighting back. God said to forgive “seventy times seven,” then He said to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Mt 5:44) 

“Aw, God, do I have to?”

Yep. And notice, all of those things require ACTION on our part. To DO GOOD we must actually DO something. To BLESS someone, to PRAY for them, we must speak peaceful words. To show God’s love we must be the antithesis of everything our flesh and mind asks us to do. I heard a preacher say, “The nose doesn’t have to associate with the armpit,” referring to the body of Christ. So, take comfort that your prayer doesn’t mean you have to spend a day with Mr. Grumpy, it does mean we must seek to react differently. To actually crucify our flesh. (Gal 5:24)

And become like Jesus, who loved the least of men, but faced the devil in faith and power and won. We grow strong in Christ. Strong enough to love when, at that moment, it’s the last … the hardest thing we will ever do.

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About The Author:

Suzanne D WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at twitter.com/SDWAuthor.

CrossReads Book Spotlight: A Chance Mistake

CrossReads Book Spotlight: A Chance Mistake

CrossReads Book Spotlight

A Chance Mistake

by Jackie Zack

A Chance Mistake

A Vacation Takes a Funny Turn –

By the flip of a coin, famous novelist, Kory Slate travels to Wales intent on finding rest and relaxation. His latest best seller has left him freaked out, and he begins to suspect that he’s being followed. Is he the target of a nefarious scheme? Has his money-making imagination veered out of control?

An array of Kory’s books in a Welsh bookstore window pulls him into the shop to browse. He is astonished to meet Dafina Perry, the living image of a female character in his last book. As his vacation progresses down its unusual track, he finds himself inexplicably and somewhat humorously entangled in her family drama.

Dafina, struggling with betrayal and potential loss, worries about the welfare of the handsome, brilliant novelist. Will helping him bring unexpected love and happiness to her life? Or will her good intentions invoke destruction for them both?

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CrossReads Short Takes: The Surrogate & Claddaugh

CrossReads Short Takes: The Surrogate & Claddaugh

CrossReads Short Takes

The Surrogate

by Patricia Bell

The Surrogate

All she has to do is sign her name on the dotted line to become $100,000 richer. For the first time in her life, nineteen-year-old Emily Calhoun’s dreams are within reach. Her wealthy employers want a child and she’s in a position to help.
But when complications arise in the pregnancy, Emily finds herself in a situation beyond her control. And a moral dilemma that eats away at her conscience.
She thought she was doing the right thing… a good thing…until it all went wrong.

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Claddaugh

by Tammy Doherty

Claddaugh

~ A Christian Historical/Western Romance

Leigh Latham dreamed of marrying a man of wealth. When she chooses money over love, she turns her back on family and friends. But life doesn’t go quite as Leigh planned.

When the dream becomes a nightmare, Leigh flees Philadelphia. With nowhere else to go, she returns to the friends she left behind. Can she possibly hope to find forgiveness?

Marshal Rory Johnston thought he was over Leigh. Now he isn’t so sure they can be just friends. Is Leigh hiding something, running from someone? Can he protect her and his heart at the same time?

Will history repeat itself? Or can loyal friendship grow into a love to last a lifetime?

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Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

by Rebekah Beene

What a cold night we’ve had. We’re waking up to 22 degrees according to my phone weather app.  It’s probably colder in the valley areas.  With the slight wind we have the temperature actually feels like 13 degrees! Brrrr.  Do I enjoy this weather? Nope.  But I have a choice. Either curse the cold. Or be thankful for the heater that has run a lot overnight.  I’m grateful that God has seen fit to bless us with a warm house.

Oh beloved, don’t allow the winter doldrums to take over your life.  Especially when Christmas is over it’s tough not to give in to the melancholy. Wishes for something other than what you have had can slide into your heart like cold air under the door.  Chilling your heart to the bone because the enemy can convince you that you should have done more, you could have enjoyed more, you would have had it better “if only…”

God wants you to know this morning that He has given you the heart of a warrior – one who can fight the enemy’s lies by being thankful, cultivating gratefulness and realizing just how blessed you are.  Sure, none of us has a perfect life, but we are in Christ and that makes for a wonderful life even in the midst of the less than perfect things we deal with. You are not the sum total of what’s wrong with your life. You are the multiplication of God’s richest blessings. You don’t have to face anything alone. You don’t have to give up hope even when you see no answers to your prayers. You aren’t waiting for the next bad thing to happen. You are living in the Glory of the Lord. You have the warmth of His Presence regardless of what’s going on. You are more than a conqueror through Christ.

God loves you and He’s for you.  Hug up to the truth and let it warm your heart. Rejoice, beloved, that nothing can defeat you because God is for you! And live thankful, grateful and blessed because you belong to Christ and have all you need in the Light of His Mercy and Grace!

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.

Jonah 2:9 But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.

Ephesians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.