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 

It’s a done deal

It’s a done deal

by Suzanne D. Williams

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2Ti 1:12)

I had a BBQ sandwich for lunch – sliced ham slathered in sauce, French fries, green beans, and hush puppies with a bowl of homemade pickles. I sat at an over-varnished picnic table in a down-home local restaurant between “good ol’ boys” on their lunch break and enjoyed every bite.

No one anywhere can tell me I wasn’t there and didn’t eat it. For one thing, I have the receipt. For another, there are witnesses who’d remember seeing me at the table in the corner. My daughter, who sat across from me. The waitress who will recall taking my order. The girl at the register who’ll say I paid for the meal.

It’s equally ridiculous for anyone to say God doesn’t exist, and Jesus didn’t die on the cross. I’ve experienced both. God is real to me. Jesus lives in my heart. Those are absolutes.

You can’t tell me God doesn’t save anymore. He saved me.

You can’t tell me God doesn’t heal anymore. He healed me.

You can’t tell me God doesn’t rescue or deliver. He delivered me from paralyzing fear.

You can’t tell me God doesn’t prosper and provide for physical needs. He’s provided for mine many times.

You can’t convince me there’s any “good” to walking in the darkness when I’ve already experienced the light.

No man can undo how I’ve lived. I did get married in 1989. I did have a daughter in 1993. I buried one of my beloved grandmothers in 2008. I published my first book in 2011.

And yesterday, I had BBQ. It’s a fact. A done deal.

So is the work of Christ in my heart. Oh, I mess up frequently. I’m short-tempered and impatient with others. I must repent daily and lean on God’s mercies. But there isn’t a doubt in my mind where I stand in Christ. (Php 3:9)

My mother used to tell me, whenever I’d come home from school complaining about something this friend or that friend said, she’d say, “But they’re wrong.” That has solved more things in my life over the years.

Because the fact is, if you try to tell me God’s a myth, you’re wrong. If you try to say He doesn’t love everyone, you’re wrong. If you try to say my prayers aren’t heard and I shouldn’t expect an answer, you’re wrong. These are things I’ve already proven.

No government, political party, misled celebrity, confused Christian, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature can separate me from the love of God, in Christ, my Savior. (Rm 8:38-39)

I’ve sat at the table. I’ve eaten the meal. I HAVE THE RECEIPT. Written in the blood of Christ, paid for when He hung on the cross, sealed when He rose from the dead. I have witnesses, a cloud of them in heavenly places.

And here’s the best part – if you can’t say that, God is standing here with an outstretched hand waiting to do the same for you! Anyone who comes to Him, He won’t cast out. (Jn 6:37) 

I’ll take it even further. You don’t think you need Him. You’ve lived your life minus God this far. Perhaps, you’re the person trying to convince me to give up, to turn loose, to let go, to realize how wrong I am. I’m wrong frequently and have to admit it. I’m a work in progress, learning every day to be a better person than I was the day before, but in this – in God’s salvation – I’m not wrong at all.

I’ve already been there, hand-in-hand with Christ when He raised me from the lowest place. It wasn’t a freak accident. He didn’t do it for me because in my delusion I needed something to worship. He did it because He’s alive. He did it because He’s willing and able. He’s infinite unfathomable love.

All God, all powerful, all day. You can count on it.

Now Available On Preorder 

Barrow Bros. Brides, Book 3 

http://amzn.to/2fydkgx 

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

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

Closer Than a Brother

Closer Than a Brother

by Sherry Chamblee

Proverbs 18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
The second half of Proverbs 18:24 says there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I used to be convinced this verse was referring to Jesus Christ – and honestly, I still do think it applies to Jesus as our True Friend.

But this entire passage is regarding relationships between each other – it isn’t essentially about our relationship with God. So if we take that into consideration, it’s just as true to say that this verse is referring to the idea that there is a friendship possible that becomes closer than a brother. Those are the types of friendships that get you through trials, but you can’t have them unless you allow them.

Which brings up the first half of that Bible verse – the half that talks about showing ourselves friendly – open to friendships with other people.

I think too often we believe ourselves to be fine on our own – we don’t need anyone else. But this Bible verse encourages us to be friendly – to cultivate relationships so we have a support system when we’re going through trials.

I wish I could say something to everyone who’s hurting. If I could it would be that when you’re hurting, don’t shut people out completely. People around you want to help, and their presence IS something you need, even if you don’t realize it right now.
To this day, I thank God for some pushy friends, and how they were ok with no talking. Let a couple push in, and then let them sit there.

Allow people to help you. Create friendships – exercise those relationships like they’re muscles. They’ll grow stronger with use.

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/

Jesus Is Living Water

Jesus Is Living Water

An encouraging excerpt from the devotional  Arise Warrior Princess  by Lisa M. Prysock

Psalm 87:1-3, 5-7  

1  His foundation is in the holy mountains. 

2  The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 

3  Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.  Selah. 

5  And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her:  and the highest himself shall establish her. 

6  The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there.  Selah. 

7  As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there:  all my springs are in thee. 

I’m sure you will agree that this is an encouraging Psalm!  Because we are grafted into Zion, we can find many of God’s promises to us in the Bible.  Right away, the first verse in this Psalm tells us that our foundation in Him has been established.  The words comfort and remind us of how much the Lord delights over us when we then share the gospel with others.  When we actively do our best to bring more souls to Jesus and turn hearts toward Him, He is very pleased.  We can’t take fancy cars or homes to heaven, but we can bring souls!

My grandfather used to have a saying I heard him repeat often:  “What a privilege it is to serve the Lord!”  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this, especially when we feel ourselves growing weary of the many things we do to help bring in the harvest.  It is so important that we take time to refresh.  They that win many souls will shine bright as the stars of heaven.

I am also reminded that the Lord gives us everything we need to accomplish what He calls us to do for the Kingdom of God.  He provides the water, the sunlight, and the seed.  Yet in His graciousness, He makes a way for each of us to find and have an active role in serving Him.  This passage reminds us of the way He celebrates when new souls are brought to Jesus and come into the Kingdom of God.  The Lord doesn’t just notice; He actually writes down who had a part in this taking place!  What a tremendous comfort to each of us!

I also notice that the Lord speaks of the singers and players on instruments being there.  He delights so much when we worship Him.  He inhabits our praises and we then become more aware of the river flowing from us as we learn to rest in Him and worship our King.  That spring is Jesus!  He is living water!  It bubbles.  It flows.  It winds.  It ripples. It brings life and healing everywhere it goes.  My friend, that river is inside each of us who have accepted Him!  Likely you have heard the verse John 7:38:  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. May we carry it to bless others everywhere we go.

About the Author:

Lisa PrysockWhen she was thirteen she knew what she wanted to be: a mother and a writer! Lisa says she went on a detour a number of times but the Lord generously allowed both of her dreams to happen.

Lisa M. Prysock is the author of “To Find a Duchess,” a Regency Inspirational Romance and two more Historical Christian Romance books with Kentucky settings in the Victorian Era, “Hannah’s Garden: a Turn of the Century Love Story,” and “Abigail’s Melody,” Volume 1 and 2 in a series titled “The Victorian Christian Heritage Series.”

“I don’t know how it happens but most of my books end up in beautiful England at some point and two start out in gorgeous, rolling Kentucky…”

Kentucky inspires her writing and is home. She is happily married to her husband of seventeen years and homeschools two of their five children. She has a son in college and two stepdaughters, grown. Lisa grew up in the Ohio Valley and also spent her early childhood years in Minnesota on a farm. “Yes, there were chickens, a cow named Daisy and even horses one summer, a huge vegetable garden, fishing and snowmobiles!”

Lisa remembers writing her very first book in kindergarten in Wisconsin, with help from the teacher and a stapler. “It was a book about ‘Curious George.’ I couldn’t spell yet but the teacher wrote words beneath my illustrations for what I wanted to say on each page.” She has been writing ever since. She won a prize for a short story in 8th grade and remembers buying a manual typewriter with her first ever babysitting earnings.

Lisa is a huge fan of the “Little House on the Prairie” series, the “Anne of Green Gables” collection, the Jane Austen collection, C.S. Lewis books, “Heidi,” “Christy,” “Jane Eyre,” and “Little Women.” She loves writing family oriented, classic style literature: a little less conversation and a lot more detail and background. She also loves sharing her faith in Christ with her readers. She believes people just need to know how wonderful He is and attributes her dream of writing coming true entirely to Him.

She gives a portion of the proceeds of her books each month to missionaries and evangelists to further the gospel. She is currently writing her eighth book, and she recently completed “The Lydia Collection.” For more information about Lisa and to find out when her next book will launch, she can be found at: www.LisaPrysock.com