The Entirety of Me

The Entirety of Me

by Suzanne D. Williams

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Mt 7:1-2 NKJV) 

You don’t know me. All this you see on the outside is the result of what I’ve been through on the inside. The moments I’ve lived that have made me, me. The choices I’ve made, both good and bad, the things I’ve done that have changed me.

You decide my judgment, the right and wrong of my life, without holding my hand in the tough times.

I was frightened. Who consoled me?

I was tempted. Who offered guidance?

Who reads my innermost thoughts? Who knows how my joints are knit together, the aches I have in the morning, the afternoon, the evening? The worries I carry that I should not. The sadness, depression, anger.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Ps 139:16)

What you see of me is but an nth of who I am and what I’ve done. These words I’ve written are a sprinkling on a much larger page. A book. A Facebook comment. A tweet of less than 140 characters.

In those small spaces is the entirety of me?

No, it doesn’t include the private places, the tears I’ve cried, the arguments I’ve had, the losses I’ve survived, the accomplishments I’ve made. All of me … all of you … is known only to God.

A God of mercy. Not judgment.

We can judge the fruit of a man, but we can rarely judge their motives with accuracy.”  – David Guzik commentary

“Judge every man in the scale of merit;” i.e. let the scale incline towards the side of merit or acquittal.” – Pulpit commentary

To be like Christ, to show the depth of His mercy, when I am hungry, you feed me. When I am destitute, you house me. Instead of walking just one mile, you will walk two. (Mt 25:35-36) 

And if I, in my despair, should offend you on one side, you offer me the other as well. If I require your coat, you offer your shoes. (Mt 5:40-41) 

Only God knows the heart of man, and though my actions or yours or the woman we pass at the grocery store may appear to do wrong, He sees the pathway we took to get there and knows exactly how to mend the broken pieces and make us better the following day. (1Co 2:11) 

In that lies forgiveness and mercy. You judge me for my yesterdays. But God makes today about who I can be tomorrow. And here’s the kicker, forgetting the stumbles I made along the way.

Be like Christ.

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Mt 25:40) 

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 http://www.feelgoodromance.com

Interruptions in a Life

Interruptions in a Life

by Sherry Chamblee

Today a lady shared her testimony in church. She said she was once at a very low point in her life, trying to commit suicide, when “someone” interrupted her.

A random stranger, someone who was just going about their day, saw her need, interrupted her attempt, and took the time to drive her to a women’s shelter/rehab center.

The woman sharing her testimony seemed to not even know this person’s name, or at least not to have had any personal connection to the person. They were a stranger…and because of that, may never know how this lady’s story turned out.

I wonder if this “someone” prayed for her when she dropped her off at the women’s shelter. I wonder if this “someone” thinks of her still. I wonder if this “someone” knows how much of an impact they made…even though now they’re just a line in someone else’s testimony.

This “someone” saved that girl’s life, but in their perspective, they may have only been giving someone a ride across town. Their interaction would have taken the course of a few minutes, maybe part of an hour or two out of one day. Their actions could have seemed insignificant – perhaps the incident isn’t even something they think about anymore. They interrupted their own life that day, but in the end, perhaps to them it was just a car ride.

But then I got to thinking.

What am I willing to let God interrupt my life for?

Can He interrupt my schedule long enough to give someone else a smile? Long enough to bring someone a meal? Long enough for an invitation to church or to share the gospel with them? Long enough for a ride across town?

One interruption to my schedule may be an annoyance, but probably won’t have a long-lasting impact on my reality. But for that other person, that interruption may be one action in a string of events that leads them to salvation.

Am I willing to be part of that string of events?

Do I let God interrupt me with someone else’s need?

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/

Do You Feel Squeezed Out By Circumstances Beyond Your Control?  There is hope!  One minute Devotional

Do You Feel Squeezed Out By Circumstances Beyond Your Control? There is hope! One minute Devotional

by Lisa Prysock

Psalm 31:7-8, KJV  

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy:  for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large room.

Are you hungry to be doing something for the Lord or serving Him in some sort of capacity than your present circumstance?  When we are tempted to give up, hang on more tightly!  It is often darkest just before the dawn!  We can turn to our Savior and pour out our heart to Him.  He hears our prayers.

Psalm 34:18, KJV 

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

I have often run to my Savior in my brokenness and as Hezekiah did, spread it out before the Lord in prayer.  Sometimes all I could do was just let the tears stream down my face because I could not find the words, but I knew that my heavenly Father saw every circumstance and knew the load of the burden I was under.

Not only did He lighten my burden, He stepped in and began to move things around for me in my life.  At first I could not see what He was doing.  If I had looked at my external circumstances, I would have given up.  Instead, He helped me to look to Him.  I just had to trust Him that He was working behind the scenes on my behalf.

During this time and whenever I feel times of trial or testing, I continue to pray, read the Word, rest in Him, wait on Him, and offer my praises up to Him.  I often have felt His sweet and reassuring presence with me in a greater way during the most difficult trials of my life.  These have been moments in our relationship that I deeply cherish and will never forget.

After a little time had passed, I was pleasantly surprised that the Lord had changed my circumstances almost entirely.  When I looked around and took inventory of my new situation, I realized that He had put me in a new place, gave me new ideas, and the strength and knowledge to implement them.  I knew that in my own strength I would never have been able to get my feet where He had placed them or open the doors that He had opened for me.  The Lord is mighty and delights in rescuing His children.

2 Chronicles 16:9, KJV 

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

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

Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking

by Suzanne D. Williams

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20) 

I picked up the weight of the world and carried it on my shoulders. Depression. Anxiety. Confusion. Deceit. Everything done to man and done by man has become part of me. I am bitter, unhappy, unkind.

I saw sin and ran after it, giving into temptations painted gaudy colors, juggling them alongside a revised version of morality. Righteousness is adaptable. What was wrong, isn’t. What wasn’t acceptable, is.

Let’s change the rules to gild the new pro forma. Everything fits if you cram yourself into it far enough. You need only close your eyes and ignore any unusual discomfort. It’ll disappear after a while.

Might as well enjoy ourselves while a silent God reclines on His throne, twiddling His thumbs.

Except everything I’ve gained is a mirage, and this freedom I’ve embraced smells a lot like death. Looks a lot like prison bars. A tiny cell. A putrid rat hole with a bucket for a latrine and grave clothes to wrap myself in.

By kicking at the walls around me, I’ve broken my spirit. By closing my eyes, I’ve rolled in the filth of condemnation. But it felt good. But it looked good. But they said I could. But they called it “love”.

But God is deaf and dumb and stupid.

My fist raised, I shake it at the sky, unable to see further than the ceiling. “God, if you’re out there, why didn’t you stop me, pull me back, rein me in?”

I want an answer, a clash, a thunderclap. Lightning and wind carrying the voice of the Almighty. I feel justified in my accusations.

But instead, the door opens and the guards lead me out. Dead man walking.

Bloodied pride, injured feelings, every guilt and immorality I’ve renamed is open for display, and there in front of me, at the end of the path, stands my execution.

This is the end. I blew it. I am regretful. I look up, my throat tight, prepared to accept my fate.

I startle. This cross has been used already. Someone died here and bled out on the ground beneath my feet. Worse, He carried the weight of my actions on His shoulders.

Repentant. Weakened through willful starvation, I fall, face forward, in the muck. I have that Man’s blood on me now, in my eyes, my ears. It’s coating my hands.

My airways close. My heartbeat stops. I lie inert, unmoving.

Yet, there falls a gentle rain, washing my failures away. A heavenly wind blows, filling my lungs again. My eyes open to a golden future, a new beginning.

I died. But I live. As a new man. My hand in His, the Savior who died for me, my feet guided by His loving Words onto a prosperous path toward a celestial tomorrow.

Now available!

http://amzn.to/2pqVSK1

She Loves Me in the Summer

Kaidence Grimes grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, but not a whole lot of love. She received more affection from her nannies than either of her parents and seems to be in their lives only to make the perfect match with some other high-end family. She’s their way to climb further up the social scale.

Walton Barrow left his former fiancé at the altar and hasn’t been able to live down the image since. Though she’s happily married now, the stigma of him as unable to commit still lingers. When Kaidence approaches him in Las Vegas, offering instant marriage, though he knows she’s running a scam, he also sees a way out of his issues. Instant wife. No ceremony. Perfect.

Yet the more they learn about each other, about marriage and responsibility, the heavier the weight of their actions become. And the greater the secret growing between them. A secret that will either bring them together in wedded bliss or put them back where they started – looking like fools.

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 http://www.feelgoodromance.com.

God’s High Places

God’s High Places

by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. (Psalm 91:14)

Does the Lord say this to me? Yes, if I have known His name. Blessed be the Lord, I am no stranger to Him. I have tried Him, proved Him, and known Him, and therefore do I trust Him. I know His name as a sin-hating God, for by His Spirit’s convincing power I have been taught that He will never wink at evil. But I also know Him as the sin-pardoning God in Christ Jesus, for He has forgiven me all trespasses. His name is faithfulness, and I know it, for He has never forsaken me though my troubles have multiplied upon me.

This knowledge is a gift of grace, and the Lord makes it to be the reason why He grants another grace-gift, namely, setting on high. This is grace upon grace. Observe that if we climb on high, the position may be dangerous; but if the Lord sets us there it is safe. He may raise us to great usefulness, to eminent experience, to success in service, to leadership among workers, to a father’s place among the little ones. If He does not do this, He may set us on high by near fellowship, clear insight, holy triumph, and gracious anticipation of eternal glory. When God sets us on high, Satan himself cannot pull us down. Oh, that this may be our case all through this day!

If you would like to have your own digital eBook in Kindle format click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotional