Back to Normal?

Back to Normal?

by Ruth O’Neil

Let’s all give a collective sigh. The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over. All we have left is New Year’s. Shortly after that, the kids go back to school and things get back to normal.

But, what is normal?

And who likes normal anyway?

This is the time of year when people begin making all kinds of New Year’s Resolutions. Those resolutions run the gamut of eating healthier, losing weight, making more money, being happier, etc. Before we turn the calendar to remind us that February has come, we will more than likely have forgotten all about those resolutions that seemed so important at the beginning of January.

What about the goals we’ve set that aren’t necessarily resolutions? How far will we get down that list?

There is nothing wrong with making resolutions and setting goals. However, the one element often missing from our plans is God. Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Hmmm… Maybe we should look to Him or at least consult Him on what our plans are.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years about planning – and I do a lot of planning – my plans are not always what God has in mind for me. I have learned that I need to seek His will for my life. When I do that, His plans become my plans. His goals for my life become my goals. Only when I seek Him are we on the same page.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” A future and hope. I’m not sure there is anything that sounds better than that!

So, over the next few days, as the year comes to a close, take time to pray and ask God what He would like for you to accomplish this next year. Write down some of your ideas and lift them up before Him. Once your goals match up with God’s, you will be amazed at what you can achieve in one year.

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

Fear and God

Fear and God

by Sherry Chamblee

II Timothy 1:7 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 

Proverbs 28:1 

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. 

Fear does weird things to us, doesn’t it? It makes us run when there’s nothing chasing us. The panic of fear can cause us to say things we shouldn’t say, and do things we shouldn’t do. It can make us shove aside people we should be helping, and trample underfoot those who need us the most. Fear is a big scary monster, and yet – it doesn’t exist.

It’s no wonder God tells us that this is not HIS spirit. God has not given us fearful spirits, but bold, courageous ones. He gave us the spirit of love, power, and a sound mind.

Fear takes our sound mind away. Fear takes our love away. Fear takes our power away. Fear leaves us running down an empty road, afraid of the boogeyman when there’s nothing behind us. Nothing.

We are fleeing from air.

What do we fear?

We are afraid of so many things – sometimes our mind is creating a fear out of the things we put into our minds. Gossip, tattlers, talebearers- people who love to spread stories that are false, or mostly false. Fear comes from dwelling on what ‘could’ happen.

So how do we conquer fear?

I John 4:18 

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

Psalm 56:3-4 

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 

In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

Point ourselves to Christ again. That’s how we overcome fear. Look at God, trust in Him, praise Him, give Him glory for His mercies, and trust that no matter what happens to me, God is in control and God is in it all.

Trust in God is the only thing that effectively overcomes Fear.

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/

Commitment to Marriage by BJ Robinson

Commitment to Marriage by BJ Robinson

. . . , For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh, So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Matthew 19:5-6 NIV

Husbands and wives are companions and fellow travelers through the journey of life to help one another as long as God allows breath and life on earth. Commitment to marriage is important in journeying to heaven together. A vow before God was signed, a contract. To enjoy the blessings of a Godly marriage, this cannot be taken lightly since couples vowed to be faithful and love each other no matter what. Blessings come through commitment during struggles as a marriage is forged like strong steel.

It is a blessing is to grow together with love for God so your love won’t flicker like a candle in the wind. To keep your marriage strong, show respect for your partner in front of others. Study your partner. This reminds me of the Sherwood movie “Fireproof” when one fireman tells his coworker to study his wife and get a college degree in knowing her. And she should do the same. What are her greatest needs? What do his moods center around? How can I satisfy my husband or wife? Your aim should be to please each other, and your husband or wife should come first, well second. God comes first. Aim to please your husband or wife before others. Remember, you are one. Marriage is the eager anticipation of a perfect bond enjoyed in eternity as Christ’s redeemed bride. You and your husband are spiritual travelers. Fullness of joy will only be found at His right hand. Delight yourselves in the Lord together. A godly marriage will make you eager for more, a perfect love, the only perfect love, the love of Jesus in heaven.

The blessings of a godly marriage are enduring through life, death, and into heaven, the beginning of eternal blessings. Marriage is converging with your partner in the stream of life at one point with a strong force. God merges two lives into one like a deep, great

river for a restful blessing of the soul when two people find contentment and peace of mind with each other and God. Marriage begins at the altar and should end at the grave through laughter, tears, joy, and heartbreak as God sees you through the trials of life.

Too many people just give up in frustration during troubled times. Remember to forgive as the good Lord forgives you and pray for each other. Hold fast to the other part of you, or you’ll lose half of your soul with the loss of your soul mate. You may not realize this until it is too late.

Dear God,

Father, we confess we’re sinners who need grace, but Your grace can and will see us through. Thank you for sending Jesus to save and pardon us through grace. Help us walk through this world together as husband and wife, a couple who is in Jesus and in whose hearts Jesus lives, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, & 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

 

B. J. RobinsonBio: B. J. Robinson loves reading and penning Civil War era historical romance as well as various other genres to provide choice for readers. She also enjoys writing devotionals. She’s an Amazon best-selling author and has written over twenty books. Blessed with children, grandchildren, and pets, her three dogs are part of the family. Visit her at http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU.

Willing? by Sherry Chamblee

Willing? by Sherry Chamblee

What are you willing to do to help others?

I’ve known people who say, “Well, I’m willing to give – I don’t hoard because I constantly remind myself that it’s all going to burn. So I’m not too attached to my things.”

Ok, but do you give it? You say you’re willing to give, but do you give? That’s what I think God is asking us now. He wants more from us than to just be ‘willing’. I believe He wants us to search out ways to give of ourselves…go out of our own comfort and give something to someone else who needs it. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Go out and do it.

So, you’re willing to volunteer your time if someone needed you. Do you go find someone who needs you?

You say you’re willing to give of yourself financially if someone needed it. Do you go out of your way to find someone who needs something?

You say you’re not attached to your stuff. So do you go find someone else who needs something you own and give it to them?

We can say we’re willing to do lots of things. But honestly, that’s easy to say. Realistically speaking, who’s going to come up to you and ask you for a bag of clothes from your closet? Who’s going to ask you if you have an extra $100 this month? Who’s going to ask you to come spend time down on skid row helping the homeless?

Most likely no one – or if they do ask, it’s a general call for action rather than someone coming to you specifically.

The hard thing is knowing you have something, and realizing someone else could use it, and then going and finding someone else who needs it.

That’s the hard thing. Going and doing it.

James 4:17 King James Version (KJV)

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Put the talk away, and walk the walk. Go out and do it. Take the first step. Don’t wait for someone to come and ask you. Go find someone for you to help. I’m betting that God has someone in your life already, right now, who could use your

help. All it takes is you stepping out. It’s more than willingness, it’s action putting that willingness into practice.

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/

From Doubt to Shout by Rebekah Beene

A few weeks ago I got weary. I’m talking heart numbing, tear shedding, forget about it weary. My prayers (specific ones) were not getting answered and I saw all kinds of destructive behavior flying around like a tornado. I was tired of that and tired of not seeing the fruit of my labors.

One day I had a startling realization. I can’t say it was super spiritual but it was definite. “It is what it is”. With just a little bitter undertone I explained it to God like this: “Okay, God, it is what it is. I cannot do a thing about any of this. I’m tired of trying. If YOU don’t do it, then it’s not going to get done.” I shared it with my husband in my bitter undertone voice – cynical and ready to throw in the towel.

Little did I know that God was waiting on me to get out of His way, to get off His throne and to realize that indeed I CAN DO NOTHING! Even my prayers mean nothing without divine connection to Him.

God evidently was waiting on me to meet the end of myself. And here’s what He did. He sent me a copy of a prophetic message from a pastor in Alabama (via a friend). As I listened to that message I was undone – I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking through this man. My inner man received the entire feast and internally I was changed! I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true.

Within an hour I got a phone call correcting a situation to my delight. Within another hour I was asked about something I’d never been asked about before in my life, to my great delight! By that evening the evidence of God changing hearts, setting things right and answering prayer was fully displayed.

My doubts turned to shouts. Why? Because God changed me! Does this mean everything is hunky dory? No, but this means that I have relinquished my right to be the one who has to fix everything! What a freedom! I no longer have to accept all the fault for others’ wrongs, I no longer have to wash their clothes white for God, and I no longer have to lose sleep, cry my heart out and wonder what I’ve done wrong!

Oh beloved, it’s time for you to go from doubt to Shout! God is with you. He hears your prayers. He loves those you are praying for more than you do! And His plans for you and your situations, loved ones and everything else are good and right and going to happen. Rejoice as you come alive in the Light of God’s Glory & Grace!

Ecclesiastes 7:13  Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? 

Matthew 19:26  And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 

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.