Out of Your Reach?

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:18-21 NIV)

I am at a point in my life where I feel hopeless. There is a goal that I greatly want to attain, but no matter how hard I try for it, I fail miserably. Every time. To overcome my temptation takes more willpower and determination than I possess of myself. Have you ever been there?

Abraham was there.

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't make a child happen with Sarah. At one point, they take matters into their own hands, and Abraham has a child with Sarah's handmaid, Hagar--and look at how that changed the course of history forever...

So I've been tempted lately to take matters into my own hands, and traverse the "shortcut" offered by the world. I know that it's wrong, and that it's not a solution, just a further complication. But it's hard to believe, when I'm in the middle of failure that I am what God says I am.

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:5)

So what am I to do to become an overcomer?

It's time to renew my focus. Not on the problem, but instead on the solution. I know that by God's strength I can overcome. I know that if I put my trust in Him, He will deliver. He has never failed me before.

So why is it so hard to do just what I need to do?

How did you miss Jesus?

How is it possible to go to church every Sunday and not see Jesus?

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16)

These two people had walked and talked with Jesus before the cross. They knew Him once. They heard of His crucifixion, and had even heard of His resurrection. He was standing right in front of them. And yet, they didn't know Him.

What kept them from recognizing Him?

[Jesus] said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! (Luke 24:25)

Lack of faith.

They heard, and yet they didn't believe...much. They sort of believed. Likely, they wanted to believe completely, but reason held them back. So Jesus reasoned with them.

In the World, Satan has perpetuated his lies and made them the standard of intellect. He claims Christianity is not a reasonable faith. And yet it has more evidence to back it up than the "theory" of evolution. Although I am not an apologist, and cannot argue with an atheist nearly as effectively as C.S. Lewis or Ravi Zacharias, I can not hide my head in the sand, either.

How is it possible that someone can work side by side with me everyday and not see Jesus in me?

Am I ready?
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15)

Am I actively reading the word?

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)

How can I walk the walk and talk the talk if I'm not letting Christ rule in me? Being a nice person is not enough. I have to understand God's purpose in my daily life, in each and every moment. I need to breathe Him in so I can exhale Him out. Only then will people see Jesus in me. Only then can I give the reason for my hope by the words He gives to me. And I'm not talking about beating people over the head with my faith. I'd hope that anyone who knows me would know that I wouldn't do that. BUT I'd also hope that they know that I am a follower of Jesus.

Sunday Devotional - The Wearing of White

For a Christian, writing novels is like teaching Sunday school—the writer or teacher always learns more than the reader or student. 

What I learned while writing my latest novel is that in order to fully enjoy the plans God has for us, we need to first go through a sort of funeral.

I can hear the gasps. Please let’s not talk about funerals. Let’s talk weddings instead, which are so much nicer. Here in the west our brides wear white, while in the east they wear other colors to show their joy, usually red. The color white in eastern cultures is for wearing to funerals.  

Yet, people around the globe want the same thing—to experience the joy which weddings bring. 

As a Christian, I’m looking forward to when Christ calls His followers home and we have that grand wedding celebration when the Son of God claims His bride, the church. 

But in order to fully enjoy that wedding we need a funeral first. 

Oswald Chambers in the devotional book My Utmost for His Highest explains that as Christians we must have a sort of funeral for our life, our ambitions, our plans. We must wear the metaphoric white funeral garments. Once our life is dead and buried, we can allow Christ to live His life through us. But can we trust God to give us joy when we give up our dreams, and say “Thy Will be Done?”

What if He asks me to give up the work that I really love, like my writing career, and do something else? Gasp, what if He wants to send me to the mission field or a life of singleness?

What I’ve been learning—and sometimes the hard way—is that we can trust God’s plans. He will use our lives for His glory in more marvelous ways than anything we could ever devise. Even if it hurts for a while. Even if we have to put our preferred work on the shelf to obey the Lord’s schedule for our day. 

You might be surprised after your funeral what God will do in your life. You may find to your surprise that dying to your dreams may eventually become a dream-come-true.

Romans 6:4 “Buried with Him…that…even so we also should walk in newness of live.”
Christine Lindsay writes historical inspirational novels with strong love stories, but she doesn’t classify them as straight romances. Nor does she shy away from difficult topics such as spousal abuse in her debut novel, Shadowed in Silk, or the sex trade in Southeast Asia in Captured by Moonlight.  Christine takes pride in her Irish roots. Her great grandfather and grandfather worked as riveters in the Belfast shipyard. One of the ships her ancestors helped build was the Titanic. On her mother’s side it was stories of ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India that seeded Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj and became the stimulus for her Twilight of the British Raj series.   The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home where she lives with her husband, David, and they enjoy the visits from their adult children and grandchildren.

To keep updated on Christine, check her website: ChristineLindsay.com

Every Step Counts

© Amadea | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images
 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 NIV)

It's hard not to get caught up in all the rules when you start out and make a commitment to follow God more closely. It's hard not become a Martha, and get caught up in the work rather than being still.

Be still, and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

I understand the weight that Martha puts on her work. It is important to her. It becomes her identity. She's not lazy, and doesn't want to be a freeloader. So she works. But when she falls short, she feels like a failure.

But God doesn't see things this way. He wants us to become Marys, not Marthas. We are to focus first on our relationship with Him. He is our identity. And the rest will fall into place. We cannot rush it.

Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. (Exodus 23:30 NIV)

What we accomplish is to come one step at a time. One minute of prayer at a time. One denial of temptation at a time. One word of Bible study at a time. Each step is a step toward the increase we need to take possession of God's promise.

Each step counts.

God doesn't do what I say

Photo: © Jsternig | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

God has never done things the way I want Him to. He doesn't come when I snap my fingers. He doesn't let me have candy for breakfast, and He doesn't let me skip brushing my teeth before going to bed. Does this make Him a bad parent? Quite the opposite. He doesn't want spoiled, lazy disrespectful, self-destructive children. He wants the best for us, so we can be at our best.

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:14 (NIV)

So we cannot blame him for the repercussions of our sin, our gluttony - nor can we expect Him to take our pain or our weight away from us without having to work for it.

But He will help us work toward our goals by giving us the means of escape when temptation comes. The strength to defeat our enemy when he comes to tell us we'll never make it and may as well give up.

Do not listen to the liar, no matter how loud he shouts. Instead focus on the still small voice. 

He loves you anyway. 

He will never leave you or forsake you. 

You can do this.

The Valley

The Valley

Walking through a valley, shadows on both sides
Surrounded by so many lost, confused, fear-filled lives 

Faces downcast, forward moving as cattle, no one behind with a prod 
Why do we continue forward without purpose, doesn't anyone find it odd? 

Then I looked up and saw ahead a man determined to go the other way 
He smiled and tried to convince others to listen to what he had to say. 

No one seemed to listen or care. "Everyone else continues on this path, 
Why should I change? Why ruffle feathers? It works for all the rest!" They ask. 

As I near him I see he is dealing with pushes, grunts and bumps from the crowd 
They curse him, step on his toes, but he continues against them, never crying aloud. 

He still tells them all: "You’re going the wrong way, LOOK!" pointing to behind 
but no one looks the way he’s pointing, ignoring, saying he’s out of his mind. 

Curious to know what’s going on, I look ahead to see the familiar dark 
But isn’t this the way life is supposed to be, don’t we always have to work hard? 

How hard are we really even working, going with the crowd, carrying our load 
I looked at those other men empty handed, only fighting against the flow. 

I looked around and saw a few others who were also doing the same 
fighting the flow, no burden, against the crowd with a common aim. 

It did seem more difficult to fight against the crowd, angering others, and yet 
they were smiling, happy, carefree, fighting for something they had to get. 

So I, curiosity peaked, decided to stop and turn to look in the other direction 
but shoves, curses, hatred, and glares from the crowd met my hesitation. 

I went forward again, a few more steps, deciding my next move, 
Should I try again or just forget it, and stay in this same groove. 

I looked again at those fighting and saw them struggling, getting knocked down, 
but getting up again, staying the course, committed to never turning around. 

I stopped again, and was met with the same shoves and curses, but I turned anyway 
And looked. A light shined so bright compared to the dark that was the other way. 

I sheilded my eyes and blinked, squinting to see a man who simply said "Come!" 
"Let go of your burden, this is the right way, do not choose the other one." 

Pushed and shoved, sworn at, "Turn around!" somone yelled, "Keep Going!" 
Suddenly my burden felt heavier, and I needed to catch myself from falling. 

Decisions to make, I must make a choice. What if I turn back? 
Will I ever find the strength to turn again this direction with power that I lack? 

I see again the faces of those heading for the light, Joy and Happiness even though 
they struggle, for they didn’t seem to mind fighting against this status quo; 

Then the anger, the despair of the ones who continued to carry their load. 
Even though there were two kinds of people, two directions, there was just one road. 

Then I met one of the light finders on the path who spoke to me as I listened 
There was so much joy as he walked with me backward and explained 

a story of love so incredible, unbelievable, it was just so much to take in 
There was a God in heaven, it’s true, who made a way to reconcile my sin. 

God who is perfect and cannot stand our wrong way sent Jesus his son to earth, 
To be born in a small town, lowly and in a manger, the miracle of a virgin birth. 

Healer of the sick, casting out demons, teaching the way, the truth, the abundant life 
After a three year ministry, gave his servant life as God’s only acceptable sacrifice. 

But he didn’t stay in the grave, to the dismay of the enemy, his story did not end. 
After 3 days he returned to his people, proving life everlasting to all who are his friend. 

What an amazing story, IF it were true, what action should be taken, should be done? 
To accept relief from the burden, accept the gift everlasting from God, the only one. 

I felt the urgency and had to turn, let go of my life and follow the direction of the voice 
knowing it was true, all of these things, believing there was no other choice. 

I would make my decision without looking back, no regrets, I was ready to fight 
the opposition, knowing it would be worth it, deciding what I’m doing is right. 

So I stopped again and dropped my burden, again met with taunts and shouts. 
I ran against them hearing his voice, knowing this was the right and only way out. 

I called to the others, shouting what I’d heard the other men say: 
"Your heading the wrong direction, just trust me and look, this is the right way!"

Sunday Devotional Blog - Seeing is Believing

Seeing is believing. We’ve all heard the saying. But as with most twisting of truth that Satan plays on us, this is another lie. Our eyes often play tricks on us, so that what we believe to be true based on what we’ve seen could be false. In psychology, they have several eye “tricks” like the one in the picture here.

In this figure both the lines are the same length (81 pixels) but the bottom one appears longer because of the way the brackets are placed on the sides. This is an example of how what you see does not always prove that what you believe is true.

If you saw a fellow coworker searching the drawers of the boss’ desk when they were out, what would you believe to be true? Is the coworker a thief? Playing a practical joke? Or maybe getting something the boss asked her to get? Seeing does not prove anything, often it’s the interior motives that provide the truth of what is actually going on.

In Luke 11, the crowd grew around Jesus, wanting for a miracle or some sign that Jesus was who He said He was. He answered: “Everybody’s looking for proof, but you’re looking for the wrong kind. All you’re looking for is something to titillate your curiosity, satisfy your lust for miracles.” (Luke 11:29 MSG) 
How often do we look for proof that God is who He says he is before we’re ready to believe?

In John 20, Thomas had said that he would not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead until he’d seen and put his fingers in the scars of Jesus hand. After seeing, Thomas believed, but Jesus said “Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”

Believing is seeing. The act of believing is an interior motive. It is what causes something to be true or false at least in our own minds. Jesus said in Mattew 21, “And whatever you ask for in prayer having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.” Are we supposed to believe that we got what we ask for before we get it or after? What would be the point in believing after?

So what are we believing about our God? Are we in a season of prayer right now, waiting for a miracle, but not sure if we’ll get it? Do we not believe in His goodness without seeing it? If we believe that God is good and that He wants our best, shouldn’t we believe he’ll give it to us?

“For we walk by faith, not by sight,” (2 Cor 5:7 HCSB)

God wants us to obey in faith, rather than waiting for a sign from Heaven. If you know that God would want you to do something (go on a missions trip, give more money to the church, volunteer in the nursery), don’t wait for a sign before you obey, before you “walk” in it. Prayerfully approach the project and if you believe it is what God wants you to do, do it. I’m sure you will “see” the results.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)

© Seesea | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

If you have to see before you believe, than you can’t call that faith. Faith is given before the event takes place, every time. You have faith that the sun will set tonight. You have faith that the chair you’re sitting in will hold your weight until you stand up again.

If your child comes to you in the morning and asks you to take them to the store, and you tell him that you will later, will your child have “faith” that you will take him?

If he went around the house all day depressed and saying, “Mom’s never going to take me to the store, why did I bother asking her?” Wouldn’t that show a lack of faith. Or if your child said, “Mom, I don’t believe you’ll take me to the store, will you take me now?” How would these two responses make you feel? Wouldn’t you want to make their belief a reality and not take them to the store because of their lack of faith in you, responding, “Well, I was going to take you to the store, but now I’m not.”

Now what if the child had faith in you and waited patiently? While he was waiting, he cleaned his room and mowed the lawn – walked by faith, showing obedience to the things he knew you wanted him to do, even if you didn’t ask. What if, even more so, he stopped in the kitchen just to tell you he loved you, and thank you for being willing to take him to the store. I know if that were my child, I might just give him a little extra money when I took him to the store, and I’d be more likely to take him to the store sooner as well.

So the question is: how is our response? When we ask God for something, are we walking in faith or are we murmuring and complaining? Do we thank God, or do we keep bugging him with our unbelief? Are we waiting to see what we ask for before we believe we’ll get it, or are we believing before we see?

Leap into Books Giveaway Hop

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop
February 28th to March 7th
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Sunday Devotional Blog - What is a Loser?

When my son was about five, we watched a show on TV where a character shaped a hand into the letter L and placed it on their forehead and then chanted “LOSER” to another character. Being curious about the world as only a child can be, he turned to me and asked, “Mommy, what’s a loser?”

I thought on it for a moment, not wanting to blurt out the wrong answer, because to me a loser is not simply someone who loses at a sport or game, but more. Then the voice in my heart taught me exactly what a loser is. I shared it with my son, “A loser is a person who quits. Because if you believe in yourself, and keep trying, even if you fail over and over again, eventually you’ll win – you’re not a loser until you give up.”

No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don’t stay down long; soon they’re up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces. (Proverbs 24:16 MSG)

One of the common misconceptions about Christians is that once you’ve been covered by Christ, you no longer sin or make bad decisions. But that’s not true. The difference is that when we fall down into the pit of sin, we don’t stay there, but get up and get going again. We don’t get up and get going by our own strength, nor are we asked to. It would be too much for us. When we fall down, the Lord himself supports us and helps us up.

The step of a good man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. (Psalm 37 23-24 AMP)

Thank God we don’t have to believe in ourselves. We can trust Him to help us up. How many times would we give up if we felt that we had to get ourselves out of trouble, save ourselves, do the impossible?

This is why we can be called “more than conquerors,” in Romans 8:37. Because nothing can keep us down. We don’t fail once and for all, but eventually we win, as long as we believe, keep trying, and let Him help us up. To be called more than a conqueror raises us up above even Alexander the Great. Because he won his battles, conquered what he thought was the whole world, then sat on his laurels and quit. As long as we live we don’t give up - don’t let one failure keep us down - but press on and persevere.

So what has been bringing us down lately? What keeps tripping us up and making us want to give up? Consider for a moment the promises He’s given us, and let us reach up for His hand, and never give up.   

Sunday Devotional - Unfinished Business with God

The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.  
Then the Lord called Samuel. 
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” (1 Sam 3:3-4 NIV)

There are times when the Lord calls me, and I'm busy. Like Samuel in the passage above. He was laying down and going to bed...after a hard day's work. His pillow was likely calling his name. But when the Lord called him, Samuel jumped up and said, "Here I am."

As Christians, we have to remember that God doesn't work according to our timing. He has His own. If we try to take the timing out of his hands and into our own, this is sin. It is not wasteful to leave a task unfinished. 

If I'm in the middle of doing the dishes, and God calls, I need to leave the dishes and answer. If I'm in the middle of eating, and God calls, I need to put down my fork and answer.

What we think is left unfinished might be exactly where God wants us to be. Sometimes people die leaving work in a state that seems unfinished, but is right where God wanted it to Be. We never see the full picture in this life, but we need to trust in His call, His word, and His timing.

What is God calling you to leave incomplete today?

Home is Where the Heart Is Blog Hop

Happy Valentine's Day!

You know, it's funny, but this little saying has so much truth. I have been married for nearly twenty years, and would be fine living in a car with my husband as long as I had him...and my family.

My most recent writing project is a Steampunk Fantasy series I am co-authoring with Paranormal Romance author, Melissa Turner Lee. The series, called Armored Hearts is set at the turn of the century and is a fantastic amalgam of Steam and Fae.

Here's our logo:

Tristan Gareth Smyth has lived in the same home his entire life. Although his grandfather often leaves for London, he never takes his grandson with him because he finds the wheelchair cumbersome. So Gareth is stuck at Waverley Park with the servants.

His single source of freedom is in the fact he can fly, but in order to keep this secret, his adventures must be kept under the cover of night. Tabitha, his friend and close relation, is the only one who knows his secret.

When debtors come to call on Grandfather, there becomes only one way Gareth can keep his home. He must marry rich, and do so quickly.

 What is a home without love?
And do you agree with me that you can make a home anywhere as long as love is present?
here at my blog with your email address, and a lucky commenter will win an e-book copy of 
Winter Fae - the short story prequel to Armored Hearts

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Sunday Devotional - Becoming Farsighted

(c) Samc3352 Dreamstime.com
Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. (Hebrews 12:16 MSG)

As Christians, we need to become farsighted. Dictionary.com describes this trait as: seeing objects at a distance more clearly than those near at hand.

Personally, I find this difficult. Even when I know there is something better in my future, at times it's difficult not to satisfy my own needs now. Like snacking. Dinner is so much better, but if we fall prey to hunger at 4 in the afternoon, and dinner seems hours and hours away, we might be tempted to eat a few chips...or maybe even a whole bag. Then when dinner finally arrives - we're no longer hungry for it.

So maybe it's time for me to wake up and dismiss those things that are near at hand -- for the better things that seem far-off.  Perhaps they are closer than I think.

What is #God? - Sunday #Devotional for #tworship

(c) Sorinus - dreamstime.com
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14 NIV)

When God says "I am" what does He mean? What is in that name? Do I believe Him?

Everything that God is - is wrapped up in that simple name. I was meditating on this and heard this song:
I am ... Enough

Do I believe Him? Sometimes I struggle with this. If He is enough for me, why do I still search for other things to satisfy first? Is He really my satisfaction? Why is the pull of this world so strong? Why is it that I still want to do what I know I shouldn't FIRST, before I realize I'm heading the wrong way again?

But I do know. I know that He is enough.

Those other things that pull me to them rob me of my joy, my peace and my comfort. Often these things offer a short term pleasure, but long lasting misery (like drugs, alcohol, overeating.) If I could stop being so short-sighted and improve my long-range vision, maybe I could overcome this pull and head for my true source of joy, peace, and comfort.

I am ... the Father

A father is supposed to be the provider, the comforter, the protector. In today's society the role of father has been so distorted, that for many "father" had become the opposite of what he was supposed to be. So it's hard to TRUST God, who calls Himself "Father" if we have had a father who was not a provider, or source of comfort, or protector. If we've never experienced what a father should be, how can we trust God to be what He says He is?

I am ... Jesus

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:59 NIV)

If you ever read this passage of the Bible and didn't understand the significance of WHY they wanted to stone Jesus after He said this, you must see the video clip above - the dramatization of this chapter of John is unforgettable.

So do I trust Jesus when He says "I am" - this is what the foundation of all Christianity is. 

Do I trust that He is who He says He is - and will do what He says He will do.

Because if I do - it changes everything.

Do you trust Him?

Sunday #Devotional for #tWorship - Controlling Peace - Guest #Blog

Controlling Peace

by Barbara Ann Derksen

The winter sky, this morning, is the same color as the snowy landscape, not so great for those of us who think of ourselves as photographers. But there’s no wind and the temperature is slightly moderate in light of what it could be at this time of year.

I’m working on my latest books, writing, social networking, and doing research, all necessary to the work of a writer. In the midst of it all, God tells me through Paul, in His letter to the Colossian church that “You have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” Col 2:10 (NIV)

I can relax knowing that Jesus is in control. The following is an example of someone who tussles with who she is in Christ. Marsha struggled with the task in front of her. She needed to complete this one before she could begin the next. There is always a next one, she thought. She had a hard time saying no. Marsha loaded the table with fresh produce for the food bank and then picked up the inventory list. Keeping track of what came in and what was taken by needy people in the community was part of her job as food bank coordinator.

Marsha loved the accolades she received from leaders in the small town she lived in. And yet, she was never satisfied that she’d done enough or that she received enough community awards. She felt a deep emptiness inside. These volunteer projects were supposed to fill that void, guarantee her a place of honor in heaven someday. Nothing seemed to be good enough, however.

As a Christian, God has come into our lives to fill that empty spot, the void that was created so that only He could fill it. People try all sorts of things. They work hard to load that emptiness with good deeds, but they leave God entirely out of the picture. It doesn’t work because it remains ‘human doings’ instead of God doing through us.

Our walk with the Lord, our daily time with Him, fills us to continue through the rest of our day. Because we are content, because we feel loved and cherished by God Himself, we seek to volunteer, to do whatever we can for someone else, not so we can earn anything but because of what He has given to us. We want to share His love with others because He gave His love to us when we least deserved it. Our life is full, content, and we have only God to thank for it.

For further study: Phil.4:11; 1 Tim. 6:8;Heb.13:5

This is an excerpt from the devotional Road Trip. The book of Matthew, Chapter five, begins the greatest sermon ever preached. In this chapter and all the way to the end of chapter seven, God gives us clear direction on how we are to live our lives as Christians. He covers a host of topics leaving no doubt that He loves us and wants only the best for us. Road Trip is an easy to read study of those principles to encourage you in your daily walk. http://t.co/S6NymPvv


Watching the expressions on the faces of her readers is what drives author and speaker, Barbara Ann Derksen to write. Her favorite genre is murder mystery but each book brings forth characters who rely on God as they solve the puzzle in their life. With 14 books to her credit, Barbara works hard to develop a social media presence. Her books can be found on Amazon, at Barnes and Nobles, and on her website, www.barbaraannderksen.com. Canadian born, Barbara is a member of The Word Guild, Manitoba Writer’s Guild, The Writer’s Collective, and Christian Motorcyclists Association, USA.

The Broken Battle Plan - #Sunday Devotional for #tWorship

Stay alert; be in prayer so you don't wander into temptation without even knowing you're in danger. There's a part of you that's eager, ready for anything in God. But there's another part that's as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire. (Matthew 26:40-41)

Every day dawns as a fresh start. I feel it every morning. I spend time in prayer and diligent study of the Bible and map out how great my day is going to be. I'm eager, ready for anything in God. Ready to serve Him and battle my temptations. I'm like a warrior, ready for my fight.

Then the day presses on. I get tangled up in the worries and cares of this world. It's just my daily routine, but it can be so very harrowing. I grow fatigued. I'm like a warrior who needs to march 20 miles to the battlefield.

Now I'm tired. But I'm tough, right? Because I'm a warrior. So even though my General, my God is calling His troops into a huddle, calling me to a moment of prayer and the nourishment of His word, He's way over there, and there's this great spot right here where I can sit and take a break for a minute. I'm not that hungry, am I? I'd rather have this moment of peace than eat right now.

Then the battle begins. The enemy flanks me and finds that I'm the weak spot. He learns that I'm not ready for him, and doubles his attack. But I'm a warrior, too proud to call out for help. I can handle this.

Then I lose. Every time.

When will I learn that the old lazy dog in me is going to make me lose the battle with temptation every day? I know how to fix my problem, and I know what I'm missing. So today, will I change?

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

3rd Annual Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop 
January 18th to 24th
Co-hosted by Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf

Welcome to my Blog -
I <3 books, and if you're here, then I know you do, too!
And have made it my goal to read 50 this year in addition to my writing and editing.
What books are you dreaming of for 2013?

Here we're gifting a $5 Amazon Gift Card to get you started,
and a e-book copy of my bestselling 2012 Devotional, Found Adrift.

And don't forget to check out the other hops!

The Acid of Life and the Antacid of #God

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:7 NKJV)

Because of his anatomy, the horse’s stomach is constantly producing acid. He must eat all day long in order to keep from developing ulcers and other digestive issues. This is why it is suggested to split a horse’s daily food intake into several small portions rather than one large one.

God has designed us spiritually in a similar manner. We need to take in nourishment from Him several times per day in order to keep the “acid” in our lives from making us upset. Reading the word, spending time in prayer, praising His name, and listening to Godly teachings are ways to get that nourishment.

Spending twenty minutes of devotional time in the morning is wonderful, but if that’s all the nourishment we get, then by evening the “acid” of worry and stress in our lives will upset our witness, our progress, and our walk. We have to keep ruminating on the word all day long in order to keep our spiritual digestive system on track so that we can grow.
An Excerpt From:
Read more: Kindle Edition only 99 cents at Amazon

YA Faeries and Fantasy Giveaway Blog Hop

Hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer & The Mod Podge Bookshelf

Faeries and Steampunk -
That's the theme for the series I am co-writing with Melissa Turner Lee, YA Author of The Earth Painter.
It all starts with Winter Fae
More Faerie than Steam, it's a treat for Fantasy lovers.

My son on the other hand is a fan of Artemis Fowl - What book do you recommend?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to visit the other stops on the hop to win more fab fantasy prizes!

Has it become harder to hear #God?

Don't forget to enter the Happy New Year Giveaway Hop!

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)

God often starts small when prompting us to do well, avoid sin, and withstand temptation.

It's that still, small voice saying "don't do it."

But what happens when we start weighing our options, compromising with it, or if we decide that it's not that bad. What happens when we ignore the gentle prompting? Will we get a bigger one?

This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.' I appointed watchmen over you and said, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But you said, 'We will not listen.' (Jeremiah 6:16-17 NIV)

Sometimes there may be punishment involved, as God wants us to avoid sin for our own benefit. But other times, He just stops trying so hard to talk to us.

I teach horseback riding lessons to teen students. I love them all as if they were an extended family. Sometimes I get a student who listens to everything I say and tries their hardest. Other times I get one who only gives me half-hearted effort or even ignores me because they think they know better.

My response - I put less energy into the ones that are not trying. At first I put more energy into them, but I soon found it wasn't worth it. And sometimes, they decide that I'm mean because I'm picking on them. I realized this was the best way to handle them. Until they learn my way is better, they will continue to show no progress.

So what about you? Have you ignored God's gentle prompting so often you don't hear Him like you used to? I have enormous good news. If you start today, this minute, to gain sensitivity to His prompting, it will become easier to hear him. Agree with Him, stop arguing, and realize that HIS way is better.