Real Things

Real Things

by Sherry Chamblee

We have a weird idea of what “real” means these days, don’t we?  

I mean you’ll hear people talking about “real” women looking a certain way, “real” men acting a certain way, putting “real” issues into what we write as authors.  

Thing is, real women come in all shapes and sizes, including the very tiny, very fit size. Real men are sometimes quiet and understated rather than loud and outgoing and take-charge. Real stories sometimes include happily ever after endings and real people sometimes live very clean lives.

Sometimes we have to strip away all the trappings in order to get to the reality of an issue though.  

Take salvation, the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Christianity has added all these trappings to it – we go here, we do these things, we don’t go to these other places, and we don’t do these other things. The rules and standards may be absolutely correct, but do they enter into the Gospel message itself? Are those rules what save us?

We ask people if they want to go to heaven someday. We talk about the wonderful way Heaven is, the glorified bodies, the life eternal. But is that the reality of what salvation is?  

Heaven will be wonderful, I agree…and Jesus does talk about that. But is that why we’re saved? Is that what salvation offers us?

In reality, the standards and rules of Christianity are secondary to salvation. They are the result of a salvation decision.  

In reality, Heaven is a byproduct of obtaining salvation. Salvation gets us primarily a relationship with Jesus Christ, a reconciliation with God the Father, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If Heaven wasn’t a place at all, than that relationship with Jesus Christ would still be everything we’d ever need, here on earth and on into eternity.

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/

What Sanctifies Our Offerings?

What Sanctifies Our Offerings?

by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD”   (Leviticus 4:7).

The altar of incense is the place where saints present their prayers and praises; and it is delightful to think of it as sprinkled with the blood of the great sacrifice. This it is which makes all our worship acceptable with Jehovah: He sees the blood of His own Son and therefore accepts our homage. It is well for us to fix our eyes upon the blood of the one offering for sin. Sin mingles even with our holy things, and our best repentance, faith, prayer, and thanksgiving could not be received of God were it not for the merit of the atoning sacrifice. Many sneer at “the blood”; but to us it is the foundation of comfort and hope. That which is on the horns of the altar is meant to be prominently before our eyes when we draw near to God. The blood gives strength to prayer, and hence it is on the altar’s horns. It is “before the LORD,” and therefore it ought to be before us. It is on the altar before we bring the incense; it is there to sanctify our offerings and gifts. Come, let us pray with confidence, since the Victim is offered, the merit has been pleaded, the blood is within the veil, and the prayers of believers must be sweet unto the LORD.

If you would like your own copy of Morning and Evening click on the image below.

Morning and Evening

 

What Is God Asking You?

What Is God Asking You?

by Rebekah Beene

Danny decided to clean out my coffee mug collection. Only I didn’t know he had that plan until I arrived home and mugs were all over the kitchen counter. Those mugs have been stored in an entire corner of our kitchen cabinets for as long as we’ve lived here. He just decided that we didn’t need that many mugs in the cabinet. He’s right.
But within that mug set were many precious memories. Some of them are my parent’s coffee mugs from long ago. Some are gifts. Some are my favorites to drink from. There are scripture mugs and church mugs and funny mugs. I didn’t really want that corner of my kitchen to change. But I didn’t need dozens of coffee mugs in the cabinet. After I got over my shock I sorted through those precious memories on the counter tops and let them go. A couple of those mugs had been glued back together, never to be useful for drinking from again. Why was I keeping broken mugs? Danny wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings, he was trying to help. And it did help. It spurred me on to get rid of more “stuff’ in the cabinets. When you’ve lived somewhere for over 20 years there tends to be too much excess. So we laughed about all those mugs and I let them go.
Oh beloved, what is God asking you to let go of? Is He saying it’s time to de-clutter your life? Are you willing to let Him decide what stays and what goes? It’s tough isn’t it? As I looked at the mugs in the box headed for elsewhere I thought of my whole life. The things I’ve tried to hang onto and the things I’ve held dear that either slipped through my fingers or were torn from me. God wants us free of entanglements. Whether it’s memorabilia or memories, He wants to set us free to live an uncluttered life. He’s not trying to hurt our feelings. He’s not allowing sorrow to become our focus. He will use even the broken places, the shattered dreams and the unusable stuff of our lives to show us where we need to un-clutter.
He says to you this morning trust Me. When the relationships are broken and you’ve prayed to keep them intact, trust Him. When the heart is sorrowful over things long gone and you just want them back, trust Him. When you feel empty inside, trust Him. He’s got so much more ahead for you. And beloved, what He removes He replaces. Only He replaces the removed with His presence, His peace, and His better.
God loves you and He’s for you. Let Him clean things out for you. Let Him manifest His presence in the broken, empty and precious places. God is trustworthy, faithful and true. You may not know what He’s doing now, but it’s all for your good and His glory. Jesus sealed that deal on the cross and Holy Spirit within you will walk you out of the stuff and into the best as you live a free life letting God choose what goes, what stays and what returns. It’s all good in the Light of His Glory and Grace.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. AMP
Psalm 84:12 O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in You.
Daniel 6:23 Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

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.
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