Caution!

Caution!

by Rebekah Beene

As we traveled home yesterday from a nearby town we decided to take a different route. We even took a side trip to see an old cemetery. What we found was a beautiful old church and I took a picture of it. We drove on to see if we could find another out of the way treasure but we discovered the pavement ended just over the hill. As we turned around to head back to the main highway I asked Danny if we could take another picture of the church – this time with the gate. God was speaking to my heart.

Wrapped across the gate was the word CAUTION in black letters on yellow tape.

Oh beloved, God wants to caution you and me this morning. He loves His daughters so much that He watches over us day and night. And He spreads His warnings before us so we aren’t captured in anything.

He says CAUTION – be cautious not to allow fear, worry and anxiety to reside in your heart. There will be times that these things will come to you. But you don’t have to allow them to live within you. Fear will rob you of the adventure the Lord has for you. Worry will rob you of the faith to move mountains. And anxiety will weigh your heart down.

He went on to say be cautious about making decisions without prayer. Just as the caution tape was draped across the church’s gate He drapes His Spirit across thresholds you encounter. Make sure He has spoken before you proceed. Once you have found God’s counsel on decisions you can go forth with power and confidence!

Finally He says be cautious – cautious about the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart. Make both of them pleasing to Him. Are you speaking things without consulting His Word? He directs us to speak the TRUTH in love – to ourselves first and foremost. Don’t allow words like useless, powerless, hopeless, and other negative thoughts to escape your lips. You are the righteousness of God in Christ! Don’t allow untruthful declarations about life and loved ones escape either. Instead declare blessings! Speak out God’s will over them. Praise the Lord when you feel like cursing yourself or others. You have been called to speak the oracles of God in blessings so that you receive blessings back and so that the ones you are praying for will be changed! Your words matter! Be cautious!

God loves you and He’s for you! Don’t ever be cautious about praying, about believing God or about praising Him always. He is the reason you live – through Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Step out of the miry clay of self-condemnation and apathy of spirit. Thank the Lord for His caution when you need it but live fully alive in the Light of Words of Life!

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless.

Psalm 16:7 I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

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.
Essential Acts of Worship

Essential Acts of Worship

by Ruth O’Neil

It doesn’t matter who you talk to; there are as many ways to worship as there are believers in the world. Worship can be corporate or it can be personal, hopefully believers experience both corporate and personal on occasion. Scripture tells us there are four basics to worship and all should be included in our worship time whenever and wherever one decides to worship.

Singing 

Singing is a form of worship that can be highly emotional. One can be moved to quiet tears or moved to dance with joy as David was when the Israelites brought home the Ark of the Covenant. Despite what some people think, the beat of the music doesn’t matter. The music that moves one person to worship may put another to sleep or bring on headache. It’s the words of the song that are important. It’s the words that bring about the meaning of the song, along with the emotional response from the listener. Be careful about judging others in the form of music that bring about worship for them. Worship for one can be as a member of a 1000 person choir singing the “Hallelujah Chorus,” while for another, it’s singing along to a song on the radio in the privacy of the car.

Make sure your worship includes some type of music.

Prayer 

Prayer is the form of worship that not only allows us to speak to God, but also allows Him to speak to us. One can pray anytime, anywhere, in a crowd, or all alone. Prayer needs to be more than a list of what we want. If you have trouble thinking of things to pray about, make a list you can refer to during your prayer time.

Don’t think that you always have to kneel to pray. Pray whenever someone or some situation comes to mind. Pray whenever things are quiet and you know you won’t be disturbed. Pray short prayers throughout the day, if that’s what you have time for. Do as the Bible says and “pray without ceasing.”

Tithing 

Tithing is the act of obedience in giving back to God. The Bible commands us to tithe and gives us some guidelines. Tithing can take place in a number of ways. One can tithe to the church, one can give directly to missions, or simply to give, in Jesus’ name, to a need. Tithing should be as private as possible. What you tithe is ultimately between the giver and God.

Preaching 

One cannot grow spiritually without another one to lead. Yes, personal Bible study is extremely important, but there is much to be said when sitting under teacher who is more knowledgeable in the Scriptures.

It doesn’t matter where or when you worship, is on you do as you do it regularly and that it contains these four aspects. They do not even have to all be done in the same one-hour church service. You can incorporate these four acts of worship throughout your day.

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 http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com or her website at http://ruthoneil.weebly.com

CrossReads Short Takes: Smile for Me: Love in the Bahamas & Heavenly Peace

CrossReads Short Takes: Smile for Me: Love in the Bahamas & Heavenly Peace

CrossReads Short Takes

Smile for Me:

Love in the Bahamas

by Jan Thompson

Smile for Me

 

She is laid back.
He is uptight.
Never the twain shall…kiss?

A deadline-driven workaholic assistant school principal who meticulously plans his schedule months in advance meets an easygoing art teacher and studio potter with no sense of time, living her life as the seasons come and go. When they cross paths again at the Summer by the Sea Day Camp sponsored by his church in Nassau, Bahamas, how can they get along if they cannot see eye to eye?

From USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson comes SMILE FOR ME, book 1 in the Vacation Sweethearts collection of wholesome, sweet and inspirational Christian romance novels set in some of Jan’s favorite vacation places around the world.

A spin-off of Jan’s Savannah Sweethearts series, these Vacation Sweethearts novels begin with SMILE FOR ME, Byron and Tina and their summer romance in the Bahamas.

Tina MacFarland is laid back…

“Come to the Bahamas, they said. It will be fun, they said. Well, arriving in Nassau, I feel I could be okay if Byron’s not around. I made it! I’m here! That’s good enough for me, but apparently it’s not good enough for Mr. Uptight. Why does he bother me so? I don’t need his approval—Oh yes, I do. As a volunteer art teacher at the day camp, I have to answer to Byron for four weeks. Well, thank God it’s only for four weeks. And then I’m outta here, and he’ll be out of my hair. Surely I can last through day camp. What could possibly go wrong in a month? Nothing I can think of…”

—Tina MacFarland, Potter, Ceramic Artist, Art Teacher, Volunteer at the Summer by the Sea Day Camp in the Bahamas

Byron Moss is uptight…

“This is what I’ve always wanted, right? Then why does this assistant headmaster position hem me in? I feel constricted, restricted, afflicted. I fear I have taken a wrong turn in my career. What is God’s will for my life? And what does Tina think about—Tina? What does she have anything to do with my career decisions?”

—Byron Moss, Assistant Headmaster, Chapel by the Sea Christian School in the Bahamas

Never the twain shall…kiss?

Ah, Byron and Tina. How would they navigate the super-conservative work environment where office romance is frowned upon? Can they change the old rules? Or will the old rules change them? Let’s find out in the Caribbean, where the waters are blue, skies are pretty, and hearts are warm…

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Heavenly Peace

by Leslie Ann McDaniel

Heavenly Peace

Christmas is just around the corner, but Valerie Seldon is too stressed to enjoy it.

As a widowed mom to a four-year-old boy, Valerie can’t keep up. Between providing for her son and her aging father, plus worrying about the mounting bills and the potential loss of her apartment, there’s no room to even think about Christmas. But when her son convinces her to pick a tag off a Giving Tree, a request for a miracle might be just what she needs to restore her joy.

Jake Barnett loves his job at Impact Ministries, but his long hours have turned him into a social recluse. It’s been so long since he’s been interested in anybody that he doesn’t even know what qualities to look for anymore. But when a beautiful woman walks into the coffee place where his Giving Tree is located, he can tell there’s something special about her. Could the tag her son picks off the tree be the key that opens the door to his heart?

Holiday Hearts…seasons of love.

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Usable

Usable

by Sherry Chamblee

Am I usable for God? Not am I good enough, or smart enough, or talented enough. But am I usable?

What does being usable mean?

Colossians 2:20-23

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

This passage struck me today. We know from other passages that God does expect us to be obedient children, so these verses aren’t telling us to be lawless, or to go ahead and live in sin.  But I’m seeing this passage as referring to being caught up in following ritual, obsessed with doing things just right to the point where we forget who we’re serving. Instead we really wind up serving the rules. We’ve let them become our master.

If the law is our master, then we aren’t usable to God anymore. We’re ignoring Him.

God is our Master. What He says, goes… yes?  It might be a subtle difference, but I think it’s important.

God doesn’t give us the law so that we’ll follow it blindly and forget all about Him. He wants us to be in a relationship with Himself, so that following His laws becomes a natural outcome of that relationship.

And once we see it that way, we see how God can truly use us.

It no longer is a matter of “merely” loving my neighbor and haphazardly figuring out how to show that. It’s now a matter of listening for God’s guidance in how to show that particular person what God’s love looks like.

So if I let God be my master, and not just the law, than God’s the one using the law in my life to do His will in the world.

Pretty cool, isn’t it?

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 Spotlight: Imperfect

CrossReads Spotlight: Imperfect

CrossReads Spotlight

Imperfect

by Christy Barritt

Imperfect

(Formerly titled “The Trouble with Perfect”)

Since the death of her fiancé two years ago, novelist Morgan Blake’s life has been in a holding pattern. She has a major case of writer’s block, and a book signing in the small mountain town of Perfect sounds like just the solution to help her clear her head.

Her trip takes a wrong turn when, on her way there, she’s involved in a hit and run—she’s hit a man, and he’s run from the scene. Before fleeing, he mouthed the word “help.” She plans to give him that help, but first she must find him.

In Perfect, she finds a town that offers everything she’s ever wanted. But is something sinister going on behind the town’s cheery exterior? Was she invited as a guest of honor simply to do a book signing? Or was she lured to town for another purpose—a deadly purpose?

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