I’ll Win It For You by Staci Stallings

I’ll Win It For You by Staci Stallings

The game was tight. Archrivals had faced off for three and a half periods in a seesaw battle that was going down to the wire. As the clock ticked down, the two sides traded the lead back and forth. Neither could be assured of victory because with the game so close, anything could happen.

From the sideline, the coach watched his team getting more and more apprehensive as the seconds ticked away. They were missing shots they never missed. They were missing opportunities they didn’t miss. Even their body language said, “This is bad. We might lose this one.”

With less than a minute left, the coach called a time out. Now he knew that every girl on that court had been over the plays a million times. They didn’t need elaborate help to set up a play for a last second win. They needed to calm down and play the way they knew how to play. So when they bent into that huddle, the coach told them something more than a little unconventional. “Go out there. Play the game. Have fun. Do your best, and I’ll win it for you.”

No pressure instructions. No you have to win this or we lose to our rivals. No anxiety-inducing strategy. Simply, “Go play, and I’ll win it for you.”

To my way of thinking, that was an audacious statement because in reality, it wouldn’t be the coach taking the shot that would win or lose the game. He would be standing on the sideline with no direct control whatsoever. However, this coach knew something about the training these girls had been through, and he knew without a doubt they could do it. The problem was they didn’t know they could do it, and so, he let them rely not on themselves for the win but on him.

The amazing thing to me when I really started thinking about this statement is that what that coach told his team is exactly what Jesus tells each one of us: “Go out there. Play the game. Have fun. Do your best, and I’ll win it for you.”

We think it’s all on us—that we have to get everything right, do everything perfectly, or our “win” will never materialize. In fact, we get sucked into this mentality that Heaven may be just out of our reach no matter what we do. However, I think the reality is that Jesus is the coach standing on the sideline having full faith that we can do everything He’s trained us to do. We can love just like He’s shown us. We can give; we can live—not because we can do it on our own but because He’s right there, and He has faith that we have been given everything we need to win through Him.

I’m sure you know the end of the story. When the buzzer sounded, the team who had just gone out, had fun, and done their best was victorious.

One day the final buzzer of your life will sound, and the question at that moment will be this: Did you allow Jesus to be your coach? Did have faith that He would win the game for you—or are you still trying to win it yourself? It’s a question worth contemplating. (Copyright, Staci Stallings 2003)

About the Author:

Staci Stallings

Bio:

Now a #1 Best Selling Christian and Inspirational Romance author. Staci Stallings, a stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, 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 is a co-founder of CrossReads.

Dreams by Starlight

“God Has the Most Amazing Plans for You!” by Rebekkah Beene

“God Has the Most Amazing Plans for You!” by Rebekkah Beene

I have lots of plans. I always have. Since Pinterest, I’ve got even more plans! Planning is just a part of life. Without intentional planning, the young couple with small children won’t have a moment alone. Without financial planning, there will definitely be more month (and bills) than money. I don’t get all my plans done. In fact, there are unfinished quilts, and yet to be completed afghans somewhere among all my stuff. Other plans went by the wayside because they didn’t turn out to be what I really wanted to do. I’ve decided at this time in my life I must plan well and with purpose in order to get that soul satisfaction that comes from completing things.

The enemy of our souls has a plan. It’s all about him. The killing, stealing and destruction he plans is ongoing and he never gets it out of his mind. Fortunately for us who are born of God, trusting in Christ for our salvation and living by the Spirit for our existence – we have an anchor and a sure Word for God’s plans for us. His plans include defeating the enemy, sending us help, granting us favor and lighting our way!

Oh beloved, maybe you’ve never planned for tomorrow. You know about Jesus, but you’ve never given Him your heart. Today is your day to let that Plan of God be real in your life! It’s so simple a child can work it out – ask Jesus to come into your heart, repent of your life without Him and become a completely committed follower. Following His plans will grant you everything you need for life now and godliness always.

God loves you – each and every one of you – His plan for good and not evil includes you! He has plans to prosper you and redeem you and lift you up whenever you are down. His plan of love for you is beyond your wildest imagination.

Go ahead today and make plans to meet with the LORD in fellowship, prayer and worship. He’s available! As you make plans and take time to fulfill those plans you have with Him, He will bless your heart and make streams in the desert and bridges in the floods! Live in the light and watch His plans unfold for you always!

Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

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.
CrossReaders Book Review: More Than This by Staci Stallings

CrossReaders Book Review: More Than This by Staci Stallings

More Than This

Title: More Than This

Author: Staci Stallings

Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

Liz Savoy has no plans to date anyone—least of all the dark handsome mystery man who sometimes inhabits the corner table at the coffee shop where she’s working to get through school. But plans change, sometimes in ways no one expected.

Jake McCoy is the next mega-millionaire author, or at least he would be if he could get the stories in his head down on the ether. With no good place to write, he resorts to dark corners in Wi-Fi hotspots, knowing no one in the world cares about him or his comings and goings one way or the other. However, there is one waitress at The Grind coffee shop with a cute smile and kind eyes who doesn’t seem to think he is as invisible as he likes to think he is. Can reality with her ever hope to match the fantasy world where his imagination has him living?

Review

Once I was really able to get into this story (which did not happen until about 25%) I was totally drawn into the lives of the characters, Jake and Liz, and the dramatic issues that make up this story. Jake McCoy has a brilliant and creative mind, but from his thought process to trying to get it down on paper things go seriously wrong. Liz Savoy is a college student, studying education and works at a coffee house in the evenings.
The storyline has so many valuable lessons, trust, acceptance, forgiveness, redemption and being open-minded. With God there are no accidents. Jake going into The Grind for coffee and to work on his book and Liz working there and serving him coffee and friendship. I will admit that the dialogue in the first fourth of the book was vague, more thoughts than actual dialogue, but once Jake and Liz started actually talking to each other and became friends, the dialogue was heartwarming. This is not just a warm fuzzy romance book, it is so much deeper than that. Dealing with real issues of learning disabilities and how over time they limit a person in life, of how making unwise decisions lead to consequences and heartache. This is a book that also shares God’s love, his forgiveness and the messages at church from the minister are enlightening without feeling preachy. Great lessons that we are all children of God but we are each individuals with different issues, problems and circumstances. This story does have a HEA ending.

Amazon Buy Button

This review was submitted by: Kathy Heare Watts

Counting Tent Wires by Staci Stallings

Counting Tent Wires by Staci Stallings

Yesterday a friend and I were talking. We were specifically talking about the work God has called us to do—both in writing and in standing between the dragon of the world and fellow writers who are struggling. I happen to be reading one of her books right now while a couple of writer friends read one of mine. I’m writing another, she is finishing one, and keeping up is getting to be eyebrow-raisingly crazy.

I was telling her how much I have to do and how exciting it all is. Suddenly she said, “Yeah, it’s too bad it doesn’t pay better.”

That comment took me by surprise. At the time I happened to be sitting in my house, enjoying how clean it is. (I know that sounds weird, but because of round-the-clock kids for the last 13 years, I’ve let the cleaning go. Recently my final one went to kindergarten, and I am loving being able to clean and it actually staying clean.)

When she said that, I said, “Are you kidding? I’ve got the best paying job in the world. I’ve got three healthy kids who are doing well in school and loving where they are in life. I’ve got a husband who is covered up with work because everyone knows he does such a great job. Even more, I get to do what I love to do—write! I get to hang out with awesome people like you. I can’t imagine wanting or needing anymore than I have right now. And to top it all off, I have a glimpse of how much God loves me, and I know His love is even more than I can see! This IS the best paying “job” in the world!”

I think she was stunned.

Just so you’re not, let me explain it this way.

I was listening to a Dr. Lee A. Simpson sermon on Sunday that I had already heard. This was actually fun because I could listen instead of frantically writing every sentence down so I didn’t miss anything. Once again he was talking about Abram and how he was in the tent praying to God that God’s plan for his life simply wasn’t going to work. After all Abram was old, Sarai was old, how could God do this because that was just not even possible with the laws of the earth.

Sound familiar? Are you ever grumbling to God that His promises are just impossible in your life? Have you ever “explained to Him” that the 15th is coming up, and you’ve got all these bills and no money? Have you ever lamented that your health is keeping you back from reaching for what He has promised? Or maybe it’s your kids or your past. Maybe it’s your education level or your marital status.

Whatever “it” is. It is not stopping God. YOU are stopping God. So, STOP IT!

Well, in the sermon, Dr. Simpson said something I thought was interesting. Abram was sitting in that tent, and he was looking up. When he looked up, there was something to count—tent wires. I don’t know why, but that struck me as particularly funny.

How many times have you counted tent wires? I know I have. “God, I want this goal or that goal or if I could just have $20 for this thing or that thing.”

God, however, is not confined to your tent. God said to Abram as He says to you, “Step outside.”

Stop counting tent wires and STEP OUTSIDE.

And then I loved this line. Dr. Simpson said that God told Abram to count the stars, and then in a perfect act of God’s understanding being so far past ours, He said, “Okay, now count the stars that you can’t see.”

You see, God can see EVEN those stars that you can’t. If you were to number the blessings in your life, they would number as the stars—the ones you can see, and the ones you cannot!

On this day before Thanksgiving, I’m having some fun counting the stars I didn’t even bother to see yesterday. That my home is warm, I have a family that loves me, I get to go to church in peace…

God has blessed me beyond what I could have ever hoped for or thought to dream about. He has blessed me with countless stars that I can’t even see. I woke up this morning alive. I am breathing without thinking about it. I can move. I can talk. I can write to you…

Stop counting the tent wires, step outside, and start counting the stars. I bet like me you will be completely amazed!

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2008

About the Author:

Staci Stallings

Bio:  Now a #1 Best Selling Christian and Inspirational Romance author. Staci Stallings, a stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, 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 is a co-founder of CrossReads.

Dreams by Starlight

Comfort by Heather Bixler

Comfort by Heather Bixler

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; – Psalm 1:1-6

I’ve been thinking a lot about comfort today. It’s been on my mind a lot especially since I had been fasting and praying. Often I can find myself clinging to THINGS that I feel bring me comfort. Today I made a list of all the things I turn to for comfort, some were good, and others were sinful and/or harmful.

I have seen many people be on fire for Christ but in their pursuit of comfort they have turned away from Him. We all seek comfort; we all want to feel safe and secure.

Often when I am uncomfortable I am irritated. I then begin to wonder if the discomfort will ever go away. Will I ever be able to live without the sinful things that I take comfort in? Will I ever feel satisfied in this world?

During the 21 days of prayer and fasting I remember my husband and I having a conversation after dinner. I remember telling him that I was full but not satisfied, and mainly I wasn’t satisfied because I couldn’t have cheese or sour cream on my yummy Mexican food.

I am beginning to wonder if as Christians we are FULL of the Word, truth, grace, and forgiveness, but for some reason we are not satisfied. For some reason it’s not enough. It’s not enough to keep us from sin, or over indulging on the things of this world.

The other night I had a dream that I was in a car looking out into a field of dandelions flying all around. The sun was shining just right, it almost looked like the field was shimmering and glowing. All I could think was how “magical” it looked. I actually thought about going into the middle of the field because it was so intriguing and inviting. But then I thought to myself it would be a bad idea considering I was allergic to dandelions and I would be sneezing the entire time. I was sure to keep the window rolled up in the car and view the “magical” site from a distance.

Once I woke up I began to journal about the dream and it occurred to me that the magical sight was just a bunch of floating weeds. Yes, it made me feel good and I even felt like maybe I could float around in the wind.

But I don’t want to be a floating weed; I want to be a deeply rooted tree that can weather the storms of life because they are sure to come.

I think when we are on a mission to find comfort in all the wrong things we become floating weeds. It may be a magical, feel good experience, but what happens when the wind stops? We might have our highs and lows, but where is our stability?

Often we can become discontent and float from one place to another, uprooting all that we have already planted.

Like in the Psalm referenced at the beginning of this post, a rooted tree bears its fruit in its season! Even if we find comfort in a moment, it is not something that lasts, or bears fruit season after season!

The thing about deeply rooted trees is when someone wants to get rid of the tree they don’t uproot it, they just cut the tree down leaving only a stump behind. Even though the tree is cut down, everyone will know that it was there, a deeply rooted tree leaves it’s mark behind.

If we are going to win this race then we are going to have to endure through our moments of discomfort. In our moments of discomfort we need to find rest in whatever it is God is speaking to our heart through His word.

I think we hear from God often, but we question everything we hear. Yes, we need to test what we hear against scripture, but once we know we have received a vision from God, we need to rest in that promise He has specifically given to us.

I think we need to learn how to find comfort in the season we are already in. That’s the only way because if we don’t then we will be looking around for some temporary fix. We just need to say no to what we desire to indulge on, and instead turn towards God.

I know I do not have all the answers to this; it’s something I struggle with every single day. But I do know that if we are going to find our self living a holy life then we need to find that stable & fertile ground, and start planting some seeds and growing our roots. It’s the only way we are going to overcome our sin and have the strength to not give in to our temptations.

About the Author:

Heather Bixler

Hello, My name is Heather! I am a mom of three, married to a firefighter, and I am a writer. In 2005 I ventured into the online world to simply start an online community for moms. Little did I know the adventure God had in store for me. It has been a roller coaster with many ups and downs, but each step has led me to where I am today. My heart is to share God’s word with you in a loving and practical way. If you are looking to find a way to connect then please check out my upcoming online Bible Studies here:http://heatherbixler.com/online-bible-study/