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.


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, 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.