Passing the Pearly Gates

Passing the Pearly Gates

by Sherry Chamblee

My pastor gave us a great message last night on Revelation 21, and one thing that stuck out to me was what he was saying about the gates of pearl. The pearl is the only gemstone that’s created by a living creature – the pearl is the oyster’s answer to pain.

His thoughts were that perhaps, just perhaps, the gates being made of pearl is God reminding His people – the ones allowed into the New Jerusalem – that while the city offers freedom, that freedom came at a great price. That price was a painful price. It was God’s answer to pain, but it also represents Christ’s pain – caused by our sins.

So this made me think –  if the reminder is the intention of the pearly gates, then that means we don’t forget everything that happened here on earth.

We won’t just forget this life on earth. It’ll have a mental impact of some sort, even in eternity…because if God wants us to remember His pain on the cross that procured our salvation, then that means God wants us to remember. Seems simple, right?

But I think we sometimes give ourselves a pass – even when we sin here on earth, someday we’ll forget it all because the Bible says God will wipe all tears from our eyes. Of course, the Bible doesn’t say He’ll wipe our memories. And He doesn’t say that He’ll wipe away all the pain of those memories…

So – what if a painful memory from our life here could taint a relationship there in heaven? What if, before talking to someone in Heaven, we hesitate because the pearly gates remind us of the pain that our actions caused in regards to that person.

What if we treated everyone around us with that thought in mind?

The thought that in Heaven – in the New Jerusalem – we’ll be interacting with this person, and our interactions now will be remembered then – every time we pass the pearly gates. 

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

CrossReads Book Spotlight: Randy

CrossReads Book Spotlight: Randy

 Randy

by Sharon Srock

Randy

Her soft side is buried deep…

After surviving a traumatic childhood, Miranda Franklin grew up tough, fast, and convinced of her inability to ever nurture a child. Eli Page is the only man to earn Randy’s trust. For him, she will face her worst fear—spend a day caring for his granddaughter. When the unthinkable happens, Randy realizes she’s the same as her mother was—a monster.

How can he choose…?

Widower Eli Page devoted the last fifteen years of his life to raising his daughter Celeste. Now it’s time for his happiness. His future. But six weeks before his wedding to Randy, Celeste skips town, leaving her one-year-old daughter for Eli to raise. Randy wants no part in raising a child—but how can she expect him to turn away his own granddaughter?

Will their happily-ever-after fall apart?

With their wedding day looming, can Eli track down his runaway daughter? Can Randy discover the truth about herself? Will Randy and Eli find a different future than what they expected—a better one?

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CrossReads Short Takes: Formerly Yours & Hand-Me-Down Princess

CrossReads Short Takes: Formerly Yours & Hand-Me-Down Princess

Formerly Yours

by Samantha Bayarr

Formerly Yours

Juliet, a former bridezilla, is now a wedding planner, and determined to change every bridezilla. That is, until she meets Lexie, and her past collides with Lexie’s future.

Don’t miss the BONUS book, Confessions of a Former Bridezilla, a companion book to be read alongside this one.

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Hand-Me-Down Princess

by Carol Moncado

Hand-Me-Down Princess

The Monarchies of Belles Montagnes
Book 4: Mevendia

Prince Malachi Van Renssalaer of Mevendia is getting married. The problem? He’s never even met his bride. His father arranged everything, right down to the marriage contract. Malachi swears to himself that he will be nothing like his father in the ways that count – including his fidelity to his wife.

Jessabelle Keller would happily spend her entire life in obscurity, but her father once saved the life of a future king. Before he dies, her father is committed to seeing that king make good on his promise to have one of his sons marry her so she would be taken care of for life.

No sooner than Prince Malachi and Jessabelle return from their honeymoon, they find themselves dealing with both private trauma and the very public drama of groundless accusations from the press. Just as they begin to weave their fragile trust back together, a ghost from the king’s past arrives and threatens everything they’ve ever held dear.

Secrets have a funny way of coming out and this one could rip the faith of the country in their leaders to shreds. Malachi is determined to protect Jessabelle no matter what it takes, but will it ever be enough for her to not feel like a Hand-Me-Down Princess?

(Previously labelled book 1 in The Brides of Belles Montagnes series)

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Choice of Words

by Ruth O’Neil

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” Proverbs 16:24 ESV.

As writers we use words a lot. When writing, we painstakingly choose just the right word to convey our meaning. We might even look to a thesaurus for help. But what about our everyday life? I know I often carelessly allow hurtful words to come out of my mouth. So many days I wish I could edit my speech as easily as I edit a piece of writing.

Then there are the times my words are nice such as when I send a card to a friend. It makes me smile when I receive a handwritten note from a friend myself. I have one friend who hung the cards her friends sent her during a surgery on the wall so that she would remember to pray for them specifically. Prayers are good words.

One time I sent a gentleman a sympathy card after the loss of his wife. I included a couple memories I had of her. He was so moved by my simple words that he called to thank me. These words took only a moment of my time to jot down, but were so appreciated.

I try to use my words carefully, although I’m not very good at it. At least with the written word, I can scribble out and rearrange so that my mood and intentions are clear.

The Bible also tells us in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (ESV). Gives you something to think about, doesn’t it?

What are you doing with your words today, whether they are written or spoken? Do you use your words to uplift people and brighten their day? Or do your words tear people down?

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot)blogspot.com or her website at ruthoneil (dot)weebly.com

CrossReads Book Spotlight:  The Fall

CrossReads Book Spotlight: The Fall

The Fall

by Chana Keefer

Top-Rated in Science-Fiction, Messianic Judaism, Science & Religion, & Old Testament Hebrew

Part suspense, part love story, this epic retelling of the fall of Lucifer — through the eyes of an angel who was once his best friend — examines powerful themes of redemption, good, and evil.

If Steven King, C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien collaborated on a story about our origins and the Garden of Eden, this might be the result.

New Adult and college level readers as well as spiritual seekers of all persuasions will enjoy this challenging, insightful read

Main Characters:

Rapha: A faithful angel who witnesses the cause and effect of Lucifer’s fall from grace. Rapha becomes the mentor/tutor to Adam and Eve.

Lucifer: Beautiful, seductive, brilliant, ambitious, vindictive angel intent on replacing the most high God as ruler of creation.

Adam: Preteen, mischievous, daring, slightly pampered son of the Most High.

Eve/Glory: Preteen, brilliant, curious, fun-loving, betrothed to Adam.

Sheatiel: Gorgeous, pregnant, sex-slave escapee.

Take a journey to the beginning. Pull back the veil on biblical history and mysteries. This is a worldview changer.

The Fall isn’t afraid of collision: spirituality & science; good & evil; truth & deception; religion vs. relationship; grace vs. prejudice — the joy of fairy tales combined with suspense, horror and an epic love story.

Rapha, once Lucifer’s best friend, had a front-row seat for every crucial moment that shaped the world we live in today. This faithful angel wants to tell you his story. But beware, this is not a journey for the faint-of-heart. Ahead there be giants–plus demons, centaurs, mermaids, demi-gods and war that extends from the beginning of time.

In the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Frank Peretti, THE FALL (The Rapha Chronicles, Book 1) melds science fiction, fantasy, biblical fiction, epic adventure and mythology.

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