Usable

Usable

by Sherry Chamblee

Am I usable for God? Not am I good enough, or smart enough, or talented enough. But am I usable?

What does being usable mean?

Colossians 2:20-23

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

This passage struck me today. We know from other passages that God does expect us to be obedient children, so these verses aren’t telling us to be lawless, or to go ahead and live in sin.  But I’m seeing this passage as referring to being caught up in following ritual, obsessed with doing things just right to the point where we forget who we’re serving. Instead we really wind up serving the rules. We’ve let them become our master.

If the law is our master, then we aren’t usable to God anymore. We’re ignoring Him.

God is our Master. What He says, goes… yes?  It might be a subtle difference, but I think it’s important.

God doesn’t give us the law so that we’ll follow it blindly and forget all about Him. He wants us to be in a relationship with Himself, so that following His laws becomes a natural outcome of that relationship.

And once we see it that way, we see how God can truly use us.

It no longer is a matter of “merely” loving my neighbor and haphazardly figuring out how to show that. It’s now a matter of listening for God’s guidance in how to show that particular person what God’s love looks like.

So if I let God be my master, and not just the law, than God’s the one using the law in my life to do His will in the world.

Pretty cool, isn’t it?

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/

 

 

CrossReads Spotlight: Imperfect

CrossReads Spotlight: Imperfect

CrossReads Spotlight

Imperfect

by Christy Barritt

Imperfect

(Formerly titled “The Trouble with Perfect”)

Since the death of her fiancé two years ago, novelist Morgan Blake’s life has been in a holding pattern. She has a major case of writer’s block, and a book signing in the small mountain town of Perfect sounds like just the solution to help her clear her head.

Her trip takes a wrong turn when, on her way there, she’s involved in a hit and run—she’s hit a man, and he’s run from the scene. Before fleeing, he mouthed the word “help.” She plans to give him that help, but first she must find him.

In Perfect, she finds a town that offers everything she’s ever wanted. But is something sinister going on behind the town’s cheery exterior? Was she invited as a guest of honor simply to do a book signing? Or was she lured to town for another purpose—a deadly purpose?

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CrossReads Short Takes: Sandwich, With a Side of Romance & Nickels

CrossReads Short Takes: Sandwich, With a Side of Romance & Nickels

CrossReads Short Takes

Sandwich, With a Side of Romance

by Krista Phillips

Sandwich, With a Side of Romance

Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than an hour on the clock. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong. He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Shop. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.

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Nickels

by Karen Baney

Nickels

Niki Turner has finally arrived. Her career is soaring—she has just been offered the company’s most sought after account, Helitronics. Life would be perfect, if she could stop her roommate from playing matchmaker.

Then Kyle Jacobs mysteriously re-enters her life. As painful memories resurface, his presence turns her life upside down and threatens to waylay her career. She must find a way to work with him—after all, he’s the helicopter flight consultant for the new flight control system she’s programming.

Kyle Jacobs struggles to find his place in the civilian world following a tragic accident in Afghanistan. He must learn to move beyond the guilt he feels. As he picks up the pieces of his life, he longs for a second chance with Niki, the girl he carried in his heart during the war.

Can Niki forget the past and see Kyle as the new man he has become? Or will her resentment keep her from finding what she has always been searching for?

This contemporary novel is an upbeat and compelling story set in the Phoenix Metro Area. Karen Baney shows a new side to her writing with great whit and banter between the main characters. Inspired by her love of romance and of computers, this story takes readers on a journey filled with laughter and tears.

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CrossReads Spotlight: Prescott Pioneers

CrossReads Spotlight: Prescott Pioneers

CrossReads Spotlight

Prescott Pioneers

by Karen Baney

Prescott Pioneers

“Well written and deep characters pull you in from the first page and keep you turning to last.” –Reader

“If you love great western romance stories with a faith in God, then you’ll love the Prescott Pioneers series!” –Reader

“Realistic. Well-written. This series is one of the best series of the old west that I’ve read.” –Reader

The Prescott Pioneers Series is set in the Arizona Territory in the mid-1860s. The series follows the lives of the Andersons, Colters, and Larsons as they make the journey west to a wild new territory.

Will the cost be worth it? What heartaches are in store? Will their dreams be everything they hoped?

A Dream Unfolding (Book 1)
Hannah Anderson and her husband head to the West in the hopes of starting over. The journey is difficult and costs more than either expected.

Will Colter is forced to leave the ranch he has called home for nearly thirty years. The cattle drive west challenges him and his men—threatening their very lives.

A Heart Renewed (Book 2)
Julia Colter rebels against her old brother’s poor choices of suitors. When her rebellion against her brother puts her life at risk, she turns to her friend for help.

Adam Larson longs to train horses and plans to head west to the Arizona Territory to see his dreams fulfilled. When Julia shows up on his doorstep in the middle of the night, he agrees to help her flee. The decision changes both of their lives forever

A Life Restored (Book 3)
Social butterfly, Caroline Larson, longs for adventure. Stranded in the Arizona desert, far from her final destination, she must rely on a stranger who gets under her skin.

Thomas Anderson has always struggled with making good decisions. Dealing with the ghosts of his past threatens to overshadow his future—until he meets a woman needing his help. Sparks fly as she grates on his nerves.

A Hope Revealed (Book 4)
Life turned out differently than Mary Colter expected. With her abusive husband either missing or dead, and the ranch gone, she is left to raise her two children on her own. She decides to head west to start over.

Warren Cahill is confronted with one problem after another in his new role as foreman of Colter Ranch. Missing cattle and hot-headed cowhands take most of his attention. When Mary arrives at the ranch, tensions rise and he finds himself in the middle of it.

Special sneak peek opening scene for Karen’s next series included.

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CrossReads Short Takes: Pennies From Heaven & Crimson Eve

CrossReads Short Takes: Pennies From Heaven & Crimson Eve

CrossReads Short Takes

Pennies from Heaven

by Janice Thompson

Pennies from Heaven

It’s back to Splendora for Bella and the gang, and boy, do they have their work cut out for them! This time Bella’s planning a Parisian-themed wedding in the springtime, right in the heart of a crazy political season! Whew! Talk about a challenge. And when the fine folks in Splendora find themselves split down the middle over their presidential candidate of choice, Bella’s in for a whirlwind of a time. Throw in a flustered bride, a passel of rowdy children, and a BFF with big news, and you’ve got the makings of a fun (but crazy) story.

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Crimson Eve

by Brandilyn Collins

Crimson Eve

Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind fissured, one side pleading this was some sick joke, the other knowing it was not. Her throat ran dry, air backing up in her lungs. She swallowed.


‘Please. You must have the wrong person. There’s no reason for someone to want me dead. I don’t have any enemies.’


‘Then you’d best rethink your friends.’

Realtor Carla Radling shows an ‘English gentleman’ a lakeside estate—and finds herself facing a gun. Who has hired this assassin to kill her, and why?
Forced on the run, Carla must uncover the scathing secrets of her past. Secrets that could destroy some very powerful people. Perhaps even change the face of a nation …
Crimson Eve is book three in the Kanner Lake Series. Set in a small lakeshore town in pristine northern Idaho, this series combines suspense and fast-paced action with intriguing, well-crafted characters and many an unexpected twist. Also available: Violet Dawn, Coral Moon, and Amber Morn in the Kanner Lake Series.
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