Comfort Level

Comfort Level

by Ruth Donner O’Neil

Ephesians 5:3-7   

 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient (Ephesians 5:6). 

I had an interesting job. I worked in a call center and I don’t know who entertained me more, the people I called every night or the people with whom I worked. Even though I was a supervisor and didn’t usually get on the phone, occasionally I did need to make a few calls myself.

One such time we had extra calling to do on top of all our regular work. We were calling hotels to find out if they offered adult movies for their patrons to watch. The company we were doing the calling for was going to set up a website so Christian families can be prepared when they went on vacation.

At first, I was embarrassed asking about adult movies. I certainly didn’t want any of those hotel workers thinking I actually wanted to watch them! I had to keep saying over and over in my head, “They don’t know me. They don’t know me. They don’t know me.” On the other hand, I wasn’t naïve to the fact that plenty of these types of movies existed. I was thirty-something years old and had been married for quite a while; I didn’t understand why it was so awkward for me to ask the question, “Do you offer adult movies in your rooms?”

Then as I thought about it, I realized adult movies were cram-packed with sin. The Bible tells us to stay away from all immorality. Adult movies clearly fall into that category. If we are truly saved, what is sinful ought to bother us and ought to make us uncomfortable.

Does sin make you feel uncomfortable?

Dear Heavenly Father, When I am around blatant sin, I feel out of sorts. I pray that I never lose this quality. I don’t want to get so used to sin that I am immune to it. Keep my heart and mind pure. In Jesus name, Amen.

Originally published in Whispers From God.

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

A Devotional from the Heart of Atlanta

A Devotional from the Heart of Atlanta

by Lisa M. Prysock

Good morning friends!  This is the day the Lord hath made and we rejoice in it!  I’m so excited to bring you this devotional from the beautiful city of Atlanta, Georgia this morning!   This is a view of the city skyline and the historic hotel we stayed at overnight as we settle our daughter at college. 

 Atlanta1

Atlanta2

I have to admit this is a big change for us!  She’s our baby; the last of five children.  It’s a bittersweet moment as we watch her spread her wings.  It’s hard to let our children go and yet, we spend years training them for this so they can make an impact on the world.  Here she is moving into her dorm:  

 Atlanta3

Atlanta4

We enter this phase of life intrepidly.   She has filled a big role in our family, and not having her with us in Kentucky fills me with all sorts of anxiety.  Will I be able to adapt without her there?  Will she adapt to being away from home?  Will she remember to call home often?   

Yet, one thing resonates in my spirit this morning!  This day did not take the Lord by surprise.  He had had a plan for our beautiful daughter all along.  He knew this day would come!  He is holding each of us by the hand this morning.  This is the day He hath made, and we will rejoice in it and with her!  Whatever our anxieties, worries, or fears, He’s got this and He’s got us for He hath said, I will never leave you nor forsake you!  Be blessed today my friends!  This is the day He hath made!

Author Biography:  

Lisa M. PrysockLisa M. Prysock lives in the countryside of beautiful, rolling Kentucky just outside of the greater Louisville area near horse farms and four board fences with her husband of 19 years.  She homeschools the two youngest of their five children (three grown).  She and her husband live in an average, two story, Colonial style home they are continually updating– with a funny looking Heinz 57 dog; an adorably dainty lady cat; two teenagers; a vegetable garden; numerous flower beds; and a tree house undergoing a remodel.  When not in teaching or writing mode, she is teaching herself to play the piano and violin.  In regards to that, she laughs:  “It’s a pretty painful process, but I’m truly enjoying it!”

Lisa loves all things old-fashioned and has adopted a slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl.”  A few of her interests and passions include doll houses, long dresses and hats, gardening, reading the Classics, butterflies, swimming, walking, working out, cooking, sewing, crochet, cross stitching, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, decorating, and drawing.  Recently, her husband remodeled a room in their home with a picture window overlooking a valley which contains a creek and wooded area, transforming the space into a serene and sublime writing office/sewing room.  “It’s a great source of peace and inspiration for me… and pure joy not to be writing from the busy kitchen amidst the household chaos on a laptop.  Growing teenagers eating every five minutes makes for a constant stream of happenings!”

Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of To Find a Duchess, an Inspirational Regency Romance; a Victorian Christian Romance Series which includes Hannah’s Garden:  a Turn of the Century Love Story and Abigail’s Melody; and ‘The Lydia Collection,’ which includes The Redemption of Lady Georgiana (a Ruth love story of modern day Regency proportions), Protecting Miss Jenna (an Antebellum Era Christian Romance Adventure), and Persecution & Providence (a ‘Jane Austen-ish’ mail order bride story from the Pioneer Era).  She is also the author of a devotional/Bible Study, Arise Princess Warrior and recently released The Shoemaker, an Old-Fashioned Regency Christmas Romance.  Lisa writes clean and wholesome literature that shares her faith in Jesus Christ.  She is a member of ACFW and Louisville Christian Writers.  You can find out more about Lisa at:   www.LisaPrysock.com

Links: 

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMPrysock

https://twitter.com/LPrysock

www.LisaPrysock.com

Be Careful Little Eyes

Be Careful Little Eyes

by Suzanne D. Williams

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  (Php 4:8) 

What are you lookin’ at?

No, seriously, what are you looking at? What have you set before your eyes? What’s playing in your ears? Is it a view of the circumstances? The voices of negativity and doubt?

There comes a time when the children of God have to make a choice to either listen to worry and fear or slam the door in its face. On a practical level, that may mean no Facebook for you. Or no TV. No internet.

Here’s a biggie – it might mean upsetting that friend or relative who likes to keep you informed. I have a friend who loves political things. I have another who is always watching the weather. On a good day, neither one is harmful. But when a category 5 hurricane is bearing down on you, there’s that choice – to shut the door and lean on God, the maker of all things, or to feed your fears until they’re as big as that storm.

Now, I’m not saying to be unprepared. Whatever you face, whether it’s chemo or your light bill or your children’s future, you should pray and do what God directs in your situation. But there’s a difference between preparedness and fear.

There’s a song we sang when I was young. It went, “Be careful little eyes what you see.” Then in the next verse, “Be careful little ears what you hear.” What a great lesson for us to learn.

What we look at, what we listen to is vital for our success or failure, and I want to know when I’m staring the monster in the eye that the Greater One inside of me had been given all He needs to operate in my life. That my faith in the Anointed One will take precedent over anything else I have to do that day. (1Jn 4:4; Gal 2:20; Eph 3:17) 

Because the Man who calmed the storm lives inside of me! The Man who said, “Here’s My peace. Take it,” when He faced the biggest chance to be afraid, the cross. Death is staring him in the eye and all the powers of hell rage against Him, yet He trusted His Father to carry Him through. (Mk 4:39; Jn 14:27; Jn 10:17; Lk 22:42)

That’s peace! So pick up your shield and use what the Good Lord gave you. You have faith as your guard, a sword powered by the very anointing that raised Christ from the dead, and a gospel of peace to guide your feet. Close off to the winds around you, shut the rains out, and spend time with God seeking peace. (Eph 6:13-17; Rm 8:11; Ps 34:14)

He can handle your situation. No battle you face is too hard; no river is too wide; no mountain is too high. Lift up your hands in praise, and watch and see what God can do. (1Ti 2:8)

He made something out of nothing, after all. (Ge 1:2-3; Rm 4:17)

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; (Ps 91:9)

~~~~~

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She Loves Me in the Fall

Fed up with her life, Lorelai McDowell went back to college. Though she’s older than other students, it’s never too late to start over. She only needs to apply herself, and with enough dedication, she’ll earn her business degree.

Jarek Barrow took the job filling in for the school’s current business professor, happy to expand his horizons. He loves his home state, but, in light of his brothers’ recent marriages, needs to strike out on his own. He’ll make new friends, see new places.

Yet, tossed together unexpectedly, time and time again, her desire for success and his search for a new beginning might create the best thing of all. A chance to fall in love.

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.

Opinions – We All Have Them

Opinions – We All Have Them

by Sherry Chamblee

Some of them are right, some are wrong. But one thing we all like to do is share them.  

We share our opinion on whether someone made a right or wrong choice, what someone’s motives were, how they could have done it better.  For the most part, these days, those opinions are shared on social media and are directed at news stories, or some sort of current event that everyone’s talking about. We often even get asked directly about our opinions on these things, even though it won’t change a thing.  

I do it too. I want people to know my opinion of things just as much as anyone else does.  

But you know, sometimes my opinion doesn’t matter. Sometimes it has no bearing, and will help nothing in the situation if I share it. Sometimes I’ve shared my opinion anyway…maybe we all have.  

Our society right now is teaching us to give our opinion on every little thing – and every big thing – as if our opinion can and will actually make any difference.  

We share these opinions as if we know – as if we have all the information and every right to make a judgment.  

One thing I’ve learned is that usually the truth of a matter is a shade between the two sides of the story being told. One might be more right than the other, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t spinning it their direction just a little too.  

James 3:6 King James Version (KJV) 

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

We take too much upon ourselves. We decide we have the right to our opinion, which we do, but then we decide we also have to inflict that opinion upon everyone else around us.  

It’s ok to have an opinion – but I think we all need to take a step back and determine whether or not we need to share that opinion. 

Sometimes we just have to ask ourselves if it’s necessary to say it out loud. You know? I mean, sometimes fires are beneficial, but oftentimes they’re incredibly destructive. The fire that a tongue can start is most often an unchecked wildfire rather than something that purifies.  

Some things are better left said only to God in prayer.

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/

Perseverance

Perseverance

by Lisa M. Prysock

Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success is the definition of perseverance according to The Oxford Dictionary.  Merriam- Webster states “it is the one quality that allows a person to continue doing something even though it is difficult.”  Following Christ is not easy and I don’t mind being among the first who may admit that.  My life isn’t perfect just because I’m a Christian.  There have been challenges to overcome I never thought I would have to face.  Some roads were so difficult that I know the Lord surely must have carried me through them.  That is part of my testimony.  The Lord sustained me even during times of crisis in my life.  

Though He didn’t promise us a rose garden, He did promise to never leave us and that He would be with us through the trials.  Though salvation is free, there are often many costs and trials associated with being a Christian.  Perseverance is the key.  We must not be “fair weather friends” to God.  We’re in it for the long haul. 

One of my favorite verses about perseverance is the one my grandmother wrote in my first King James Bible, Proverbs 3:5,6 –:   5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.   

Sometimes we look at our circumstances and nothing makes sense.  We wonder why we should continue to follow God if it’s going to be so rough.  Remember Job?  He really had a whopper of a test!  All of his friends turned on Him when he lost everything, including his wealth, children, and health.  In the end, God restored double unto Job.  Why?  Because he persevered through every trial and never gave up His faith in God.  In the end he said, I know my Redeemer lives and at the last day, He shall stand upon the earth.  Job 19:25, paraphrased. 

The Bible promises great rewards for the man who perseveres: 

Matthew 24:13   But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 

Revelation 3:11   Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 

We may also look toward ensamples of the Bible and a number of great men of faith endured afflictions and trials of all kinds.  Obviously, Jesus Christ Himself is our greatest example of endurance.  The Word tells us He endured the cross, despising the shame, for the joy set before Him.  Joshua endured being sold into slavery by his brothers and later, God rewarded Him with a great purpose and a promotion.  King David endured years of being hunted down by King Saul and having to hide in the mountains and caves until the time he became King.  Moses gave up being the Prince of Egypt with every kind of pleasure available to him in order to follow God and suffer affliction with the people of God in the desert.  Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, bore all kinds of suffering and trials to help the early church and write most of the epistles of the gospel.  Most of the twelve disciples were crucified or killed in order to follow Christ.  Mary, the mother of Christ on earth suffered the loss of her Son and had to live with the memories of what they had done to Him.  Mary Magdalene suffered a shameful past and scorn as she carved out a new life in Christ.   

Galations 6:9 reminds us–:  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 

I Chronicles 16:11 gives us a way to persevere:  Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. 

II Timothy 2:12 gives us another promise to hold onto as we persevere:  If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him… 

We are also given Romans 5:3-5 3–: And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 

Finally, we are given Joshua 1:9–:  Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 

How can I do that, you may ask… only by the quickening and resurrection power of Jesus Christ made available to us by faith through grace, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  My grandfather spoke these words which I will never forget–: “Do the best you can in the worst of places.”  Be blessed today as you and I link arms together, trust the Lord, and persevere.

Author Bio:

Lisa M. PrysockLisa M. Prysock lives in the countryside of beautiful, rolling Kentucky just outside of the greater Louisville area near horse farms and four board fences with her husband of 19 years.  She homeschools the two youngest of their five children (three grown).  She and her husband live in an average, two story, Colonial style home they are continually updating– with a funny looking Heinz 57 dog; an adorably dainty lady cat; two teenagers; a vegetable garden; numerous flower beds; and a tree house undergoing a remodel.  When not in teaching or writing mode, she is teaching herself to play the piano and violin.  In regards to that, she laughs:  “It’s a pretty painful process, but I’m truly enjoying it!”   

Lisa loves all things old-fashioned and has adopted a slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl.”  A few of her interests and passions include doll houses, long dresses and hats, gardening, reading the Classics, butterflies, swimming, walking, working out, cooking, sewing, crochet, cross stitching, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, decorating, and drawing.  Recently, her husband remodeled a room in their home with a picture window overlooking a valley which contains a creek and wooded area, transforming the space into a serene and sublime writing office/sewing room.  “It’s a great source of peace and inspiration for me… and pure joy not to be writing from the busy kitchen amidst the household chaos on a laptop.  Growing teenagers eating every five minutes makes for a constant stream of happenings!”   

Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of To Find a Duchess, an Inspirational Regency Romance; a Victorian Christian Romance Series which includes Hannah’s Garden:  a Turn of the Century Love Story and Abigail’s Melody; and ‘The Lydia Collection,’ which includes The Redemption of Lady Georgiana (a Ruth love story of modern day Regency proportions), Protecting Miss Jenna (an Antebellum Era Christian Romance Adventure), and Persecution & Providence (a ‘Jane Austen-ish’ mail order bride story from the Pioneer Era).  She is also the author of a devotional/Bible Study, Arise Princess Warrior and recently released The Shoemakeran Old-Fashioned Regency Christmas Romance.  Lisa writes clean and wholesome literature that shares her faith in Jesus Christ.  She is a member of ACFW and Louisville Christian Writers.  You can find out more about Lisa at:   www.LisaPrysock.com 

Links: 

https://www.facebook.com/LisaMPrysock 

https://twitter.com/LPrysock  

www.LisaPrysock.com    

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J6MBC64  

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-m-prysock