Life

Life

by Suzanne D. Williams

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28)

We are all the same beneath our skin. We all bleed red. We all breathe air. Barring flaws brought about by the power of death on the earth, we function the same.

Digging deeper within us, past the physical to our soul, our mental needs are also alike. We desire love and peace and happiness. Perhaps, there we might differ somewhat. One might like something that another might hate. Some people are more gifted in one area than another – whether in a particular sport, the creative arts, or even in business. But take us home at night and we seek security, safety.

Delving deeper still, to the spirit man (for we are spirit, soul, and body, as God has created us) and we seek something to worship – a divine being, an idol made with man’s hands, even, in many instances, our children or ourselves. But the need is there for everyone. (1Th 5:23)

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Ps 139:14) 

We are all alike, no matter where we live, how we live, or what we believe in. God didn’t create Adam and ask for a do over, and He doesn’t look at you and see the color of your skin, your weight or height, your grades in school, the failure of your marriage, even if you’ve been convicted of a crime. He doesn’t have a scale He weighs us on to see if we measure up to His ideal of perfection.

Our prejudices, the names we call each other, the spite we cast on our neighbors, the arguments we have, the battles we’ve fought in the name of freedom or insult or creed, are just that, ours. We scrabble and claw at each other, always seeking to be on top, first in line, above the heap. We trample on each other trying to get there, not caring who is pushed aside in our efforts.

We’ve become black and white, Democrat or Republican, British or American, Muslim or Christian instead of the one thing that we all are, that the God of heaven made us to be … whether you believe in Him or not.

Human. We are human. A gunshot, a knife to the chest, a plane crash, an automobile accident has the power to kills us all. A handshake, a hug, a smile, three small words, “I love you,” can bridge the gap and mend our differences.

No, some people in their humanness won’t ever see that. In the absence of God’s light is only darkness and darkness breeds hate, sickness, and ultimately death. Some people will, consumed with that darkness, do unspeakable horrible things, things that require extreme consequences. We must have rules and laws or else we descend into chaos.

But I should never walk into a room and look at you and think of what you lack. I shouldn’t scoot aside because she’s Asian or he’s from the Middle East. I shouldn’t criticize you because you didn’t go to Yale or Harvard or … high school. I should see only your face, that you smile and laugh, that you love, that you trust. I should treat you as an equal because that’s how God created us all.

On a level playing field, striving for one thing – Life.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

http://amzn.to/2rn9nfP

Soldier

Katy Hansen’s husband died in a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan, and the future they’d planned dissolved in an instant. Left with a young son to care for, in the last ten months she’s had to bury her grief and learn to be both mom and dad.

Harper Chavez lost his arm in the same bomb blast and carries the mental pain of it everywhere he goes, but his personal issues won’t let him forget the last thing his buddy asked him to do – take his wife, Katy, a note penned the night before his death.

Yet this one simple mission, one hour of their time, changes everything they thought they knew. She isn’t as alone as she thought; he’s much stronger than he realized; and together, there’s power in forgiveness, and maybe, love in moving on.

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 or link with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SDWAuthor

Silver Words

Silver Words

by Sherry Chamblee

I’ve been thinking lately of the words we hear from each other. We say things flippantly, sometimes purposely being hurtful, oftentimes just careless. We say things without thinking, we ramble on as if words are cheap.

Now I know our words are not on the same level as God’s, but look at the care that God takes with His words. He says His word is established forever:

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 

And He makes a point that all His words themselves are tried and purified. He keeps His Words clean, pure, solid.

Psalm 12:6-7

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 

Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever

God is talking in these passages about His Bible, but I think it can also serve as a reminder of how we’re supposed to be trying to be like God.

Are our words like something precious and easily used to turn into useful tools? Or are our words harsh and brittle, divisive and hurtful?

Our words aren’t Scripture, but they can have an affect that lingers on for generations. Our words impact other people’s decisions, and those are decisions we’ll all have to live with. Our words can change the course of a day, a week, a year, or someone’s life.

Let your words be as silver, purified, tested, found to be true and honorable and helpful.

God’s Word is our final authority, but I think we can take a lesson from God in how we talk to each other, and how seriously we take the words that come out of our mouths.

Proverbs 25:11

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

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/

The Recovery Room

The Recovery Room

by Rebekah Beene

My hubby had a stroke in May. When that stroke occurred we were in the midst of a misdiagnosis. They didn’t get it right. Twice. It was only because of the Holy Spirit speaking to a physician after my husband’s arrival in Little Rock that the real problem was discovered. I’ll ever be thankful for a woman up early for her quiet time who heard the Lord speak to her heart: “Go see that  man in person.”  She responded and came to see him in person and discovered that this could not possibly be a simple back issue.

Now we could spend all our days lamenting the missed problem. We could be angry, frustrated, bitter and focus on the what if’s, how could they’s and more.  But honestly we were so thankful someone figured it out so that we could begin the recovery. Without a diagnosis that’s correct there cannot be true recovery.

Oh beloved, God wants to take you to the recovery room. He wants to heal your hurts and relieve your pain. His Holy Spirit knows the truth. He is moving heaven and earth at this moment to secure your total recovery.  He is speaking to your heart as well.  He may be totally changing your life in the process. Let Him.  Even though I am still so very sorry my sweetheart had a stroke there are some things that have changed that I like.  You will love the changes God does for you. If you can just quit focusing on the what if’s and begin to praise Him and walk with Him into the recovery room you will have the life of freedom you’ve always wanted.  It’s there for you. You cannot take yourself through the process. You’ve got to let Someone who understands the entire thing walk with you through it all. This is not your undoing, this trial you are going through. This is for your promotion – to bring you up into the power of the Holy Spirit in ways you’ve never experienced and to trade the natural for supernatural living.

God loves you and He’s for you.  This process will be for your good, that’s God’s promise in His Word. Rejoice that you have been called up to His best. And rejoice that your healing is secured as you walk through it all with the One Who loves you more than you can ever imagine and calls you His own.

Isaiah 53:4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins!

Psalm 33:14-15 From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.

Isaiah 64:8 And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.

Jeremiah 17:14 O LORD, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone!

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.
Two Minute Devotional:  Why Do All of Those “Begat’s” In the Bible Matter?

Two Minute Devotional: Why Do All of Those “Begat’s” In the Bible Matter?

by Lisa M. Prysock

And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other was Zillah.  And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. Genesis 4:18-20

And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.  Genesis 4:21

At first glance, all of those passages of ‘who begat who’ may seem awfully boring, but through them, we not only see how generations were formed and those that carried the lineage of the Kings and tribes of Israel who birthed Christ the Messiah to the world; but we see how valuable each of these people were to God.  We see that many were the mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, or great grandparents… the list goes on…  who shaped ordinary people who often did extraordinary things!  Each of these names mentioned in the Bible are important to the Lord.  Each contributed to the world, and many contributed to the Kingdom of Heaven with their gifts and talents.

Can you imagine a world without music?  I’m thankful for Jubal.  Not all of us may appreciate steak, but I am also thankful for Jabal, because I appreciate the cattle that provide us with steak.

I believe God has placed something unique inside each and every one of us.  If you are a mother or a father, you are helping to shape someone else’s life.  If you are a teacher, you are shaping the students in your class.  If you are an aunt, a sister, brother, cousin, friend… you are impacting those around you.  Some of you have multiple talents.  Fathers, if you have a skill and support your family by using your skills, gifts, education, and/or talents, you are making a huge difference in the lives of your spouse and children.  I believe that the “begats” reveal the love of our Heavenly Father to us in that He offers to each of us redemption, salvation, and unique purpose in living.

Adam, the first man, named all of the animals.  Jubal developed musical instruments. Noah saved the animals during the great flood.  Abraham had great faith.  Moses had leadership ability.  Jacob birthed twelve princes of Israel.  Joseph could interpret dreams and had leadership ability.  King David could take down giants, wrote many of the Psalms, played the harp, made a fine Shepherd, and became one of the greatest earthly Kings Israel ever had.  Through his lineage, our Savior was born from into the earth.  In Christ, ye also trusted after ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, in whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise… (Ephesians 1:13)  The AMP version goes on to say we are as owned and protected by God!  Today and every day, we can take great joy in knowing how much the Lord cares for us and that He is with us on a daily basis watching over each one of us.  Not one of us is forgotten.  I am thankful that the “begats” reveal not only our heritage, but so much more to us!

About the Author:

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

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