As we approach the New Year, I want to share that you all are important to me and to my family. Whether we are close acquaintances or connected through a group I care for and love you!
A while back I asked God how I could best serve Him. Trigeminal Neuralgia and Migraines now limit my interactions outside the house and on the internet. But guess what? God doesn’t give a hoot how believers reach the world for Christ, just that they do it.
God’s reply was simple and direct, “Testify!”
“15 And then he told them, Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16 (NLT)
If you know me, it’s no surprise that I am excited for Christ’s return! I am not afraid about what’s to come because of the presidential election, etc. My forever future is based on knowing our Abba Father is in control; not politicians, false religions or dictators.
In 2017 I encourage anyone who claims to be a believer of Jesus Christ to pick up their cross and follow Him. Please, please don’t keep your faith in a box collecting dust. Trust God to use you for His glory. And don’t expect others to do the job that you signed-up-for when you accepted His gift of eternal salvation. I believe we are each qualified to use our talents and spiritual gifts to testify about Christ’s unconditional love. Nowhere in scripture does God tell us to sit on the sidelines and sing, “Kumbaya My Lord.”
As my fav songwriter, Rich Mullins wrote:
Faith without works….
It’s about as useless as
A screen door on a submarine
Faith without works baby
It just ain’t happenin’
One is your left hand
One is your right
It’ll take two strong arms
To hold on tight
Some folks cut off their nose
Just to spite their face
I think you need some works to show
For your alleged faith
James 2:14-26 (NLT)
So, this believer is going to be more vocal about her faith online and that includes social, political, national and international events.
Undoubtedly, some of you will dislike my posts and I’ll lose your friendships. Although, that saddens me, I won’t forfeit my love and relationship with Jesus Christ.
“15 But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 New Living Translation (NLT)
Friends, I can’t emphasis how much God loves us, but perhaps this Bible verse can.
“16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (NLT)
Praying that each of you have a blessed 2017!
A Writers Community Endorsement
I’ve been struggling to resurrect my muse and revise the, Legend of the Emerald Rose series. Recently, I joined the dynamic writers community http://www.inkitt.com/.
Since then my muse has scurried out from beneath its dusty doormat. Hurrah!
I won’t rattle on about everything I like about this community because there is too much to list; there are also a few kinks to be smoothed out, but it’s happening! http://www.inkitt.com/ has an open suggestion forum where members share ideas to improve their community. The Inkitt staff listens intently and implements the suggestions as soon as possible.
I’ve high praise for this fledgling site, where you’ll find gifted writers–many seeking publication.
No doubt I omitted important factors such as critiques (beta readers) and reviews. Yes, they are included with this outstanding free site, as well as contests and most importantly, showcasing your stories for eager readers.
Well, this writer has to hustle and feed her famished muse.
But for mere curiosity take a peek at http://www.inkitt.com/
Or visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/508313502643395/
Good Tidings of Great Joy!
And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Matthew 1:10-11
Precious family and friends, oh how you are loved and blessed!
Gary and I remain faithful to our living God, Jesus Christ. We are thankful for everything that He continues to give us; a precious family, steadfast friends and the freedom to share our faith. Although, we don’t always know what God will ask of us we walk by faith, and trust He will never forsake us.
Several years ago Jesus brought Evangelist Arooj Nabeel into our lives. Pakistan? Who’d of thunk, hey? God did. And with Arooj’s friendship came the stark realization of how blessed we are to live in this free land, America. We have since partnered with Voice of the Gospel Ministry (VOG) caring for the widows and street children of Faisalbad, Pakistan. I am humbled by sister Arooj, brother Nabeel and our amazing VOG staff. I applaud their unshakable faith. Every day they confront adversities intended to obstruct them from aiding the needy, and witnessing the saving grace, and the unconditional love of Jesus Christ in a predominately Islamic country.
Satan loses! Christ prevails!
Christmas time is nigh. This year VOG plans to feed 35 widows, many whom have little ones. I believe that through the help of those more fortunate, God will provide for these families. The cost of one food packet per family is $20.00 and the total amount that we need is $700.00.
Because of your kind donations, we have almost reached $300.00, but are short of our goal. Please consider a onetime gift to feed a needy family in Pakistan during this holiest of seasons, Christmas?
We gladly accept all donations.
For more information please contact myself or Evangelist Arooj Nabeel on Facebook.
Also, my email address: email@example.com
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35
I am honored to post this Thanksgiving piece by my husband, Gary Wichman
It’s that time of year, Thanksgiving! The other day I ran across these stats again:
Is this what it means to be blessed, to have our basic needs and much more? Col 3:5 warns, “Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry.” Interestingly, one of idolatry’s characteristics is that it feeds upon itself, robbing us of the joy it promised initially. God wants to do more than free us from idolatry with this warning; He wants to free us from ourselves.
I’m sure you have heard the expression, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” Sometimes when I hear that phrase, I get a strange, uneasy like feeling, deep down inside. I wonder what they are focusing on. Normally, I hear that phrase used when things go their way. They get the job promotion, they find out that lump they had biopsied was not cancer or they have claimed one of God’s promises like, “Ask and it shall be given onto you,” and so they say God is good.
Yet, when things go wrong and God doesn’t answer their prayers in the manner they want, I hear questions like, “Why me? Why would a good God allow bad things to happen to good people?” or “But God promises…” Not too often do I hear, “God is good,” then.
I would like to share a story. Some of you know that I’m a sailor. Once upon a time, in my younger days, I wanted to sail around the world. Although that did not happen, I have always been fascinated by the sea and the people who sail it. In 1992 a man named Michael Plant, set off on a solo crossing of the Atlantic. He was an expert yachtsman and had made trips across the Atlantic and around the world numerous times. His brand-new sailboat, Coyote, was very high-tech; $650,000 worth.
Plant had a support team that monitored his trip by satellite and radio. With the exception of some electrical problems which limited his ability to communicate, everything was smooth sailing. When he crossed paths with a freighter he asked its crew to send a message to his support team that he would have the electrical problem sorted out soon and all was well. So when Plant sailed into a storm, no one worried. After all, he was one of the best sailors in the world. They figured that once everything settled down Plant would resume radio contact.
After the storm passed and they did not hear from him, they repeatedly tried to reach Plant by radio but they received no reply. The Coast Guard started a sea and air search. Thirty-two days later, a passing cargo ship spotted Coyote floating upside down. Her captain was never found.
How could this have happened? Unlike motor boats, racing sailboats are very hard to turn over and even if they do, their heavy keels cause the boats to right themselves. But as Coyote was examined, the cause of the tragedy was clear. The one thing that would keep her from capsizing had failed. The 8,400 pound keel bulb had broken off. Even with all her advanced design features and high-tech gadgets; without the unseen thousands of pounds of lead attached to the bottom of the boat, Coyote became instantly unstable and went out of control, flipping over during the storm.
Michael Plant designed his boat for the sole purpose of going farther and faster than anyone else. Every design element was produced with that goal in mind. One basic item was not given enough consideration and that decision cost him his life.
Some people focus on the goodness of God and not on God who is good. The more fancy stuff; the healthier, wealthier and wiser they are, the more they believe that they have been blessed. Matt 5:45 says, “He sends rain on the just and the unjust, too.” The difference between the just and the unjust is found beneath the surface, not above. We have a keel that gives our lives direction and keeps us from capsizing in life’s storms.
During this holiday season, being truly blessed will not be measured by the food we have on our tables or by the number of family or friends who surround us. Being blessed is and always will be measured by the weight and depth of our relationship with God. Paul sums it up best in this prayer in Ephesians 3:16-19 “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
That’s why Jesus could say: “Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the hungry. Blessed are those who mourn.” Being blessed has nothing to do with the stuff we have in our boat, it’s all about what we have below the water line.
The strange, uneasy feeling I mentioned earlier, can maybe be summed up with this verse from an old hymn, “The things of this world have grown strangely dim…” It took a few trips, okay, maybe several trips into the valley, but through a deep, personal relationship with my Creator, I finally got it. My life is not about me. And to me, that’s what being blessed is all about.
Let’s always remember, Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
Gary Wichman is a husband, father, grandfather and a lifelong child of God.
Due to chronic migraines and TN, I was not able to worship at my home church, Appleton Alliance. Some people tell me, ‘I don’t need to attend an organized church to worship God. I worship Him in my backyard or walking through the woods, fishing, sailing, hunting, etc.’
True, God welcomes us into His holy presence wherever we are. I’ve had plenty of chit-chats and praise time with God on my back porch in my PJs. But worshiping Him with other believers, joy-filled singing and raising our hearts and hands, hearing His Gospel message of love shared in its truth and purity, feeling the Holy Spirit work within a multitude of believers is a powerful personal encounter with God! It’s a reminder and reassurance, that I need my Savior every day and not just on Sundays.
I long for my fellowship time with other Christ followers to be lifted up when I’ve fallen, and for me to do kindnesses to those needing encouragement, a helping hand or just listen and not judge. That weekly 70 minutes of fellowship and worship helps me to extend God’s grace and mercy to others who have yet to hear or believe upon the name of the one true living God, Jesus Christ! He is my all and all . . .
Matthew 18:20 New Living Translation (NLT)
20 For where two or three gather together as my followers,[a] I am there among them.”
An encouraging reblog for YA Indie authors and magic hunters!
For this week’s installment of “Starting out as an indie author” I offer you an interview with new writer Kate Sparkes, who — to judge by her rankings in the Amazon store — “did it right.” She published her first novel, Bound, in June 2014. The novel is a YA fantasy and the first in a trilogy – and has a beautiful cover that makes me drool. 🙂
As of today, the book already has 88 reviews with an average of 4.7. The rankings in the Amazon US Kindle store are also impressive:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy…
View original post 1,810 more words
Like most serious authors I do extensive topic research and love unearthing nuggets of knowledge.
In this post, I touch on some of the spiritual beliefs practiced in my Emerald Rose series. I hope to hear both sides of the spectrum and welcome feedback from anyone who has had experience with; demonic attack, angels, Wicca, Indigo-Star Children, psychics/mediums and spiritism.
Example: Spiritism claims to prove the preamble of all religions, the existence of a spiritual world, and to establish a world-wide religion in which the adherents of the various traditional faiths, setting their dogmas aside, unite.
Heaven’s angels and fallen angels are often intricate characters in my stories: to avoid confusion, I believe God’s heavenly angels are sent to protect us, (Psalm 91:11 NIV) ‘For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.’
We are not to pray to angels, call on them to do our bidding or tell our futures.
Everything I believe and have personally experienced is based on what scripture says regarding the occult. I included an excerpt from http://www.gotquestions.org/psychics-Christian.html
What is the Christian view of psychics/fortune tellers?
The Bible strongly condemns spiritism, mediums, the occult, and psychics (Leviticus 20:27;Deuteronomy 18:10-13). Horoscopes, tarot cards, astrology, fortune tellers, palm readings, and séances fall into this category as well. These practices are based on the concept that there are gods, spirits, or deceased loved ones that can give advice and guidance. These “gods” or “spirits” are demons (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). The Bible gives us no reason to believe that deceased loved ones can contact us. If they were believers, they are in heaven enjoying the most wonderful place imaginable in fellowship with a loving God. If they were not believers, they are in hell, suffering the un-ending torment for rejecting God’s love and rebelling against Him.
So, if our loved ones cannot contact us, how do mediums/psychics and spiritists get such accurate information? There have been many exposures of psychics as frauds. It has been proven that psychics can gain immense amounts of information on someone through ordinary means. Sometimes by just using a telephone number through caller ID and an internet search, a psychic can get names, addresses, dates of birth, dates of marriage, family members, etc.
However, it is undeniable that psychics sometimes know things that should be impossible for them to know. Where do they get this information? The answer is from Satan and his demons. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).Acts 16:16-18 describes a fortune-teller who was able to predict the future until the apostle Paul rebuked a demon out of her.
Satan pretends to be kind and helpful. He tries to appear as something good. Satan and his demons will give psychic information about a person in order to get that person hooked into spiritism, something that God forbids. It appears innocent at first, but soon people can find themselves addicted to psychics and unwittingly allow Satan to control and destroy their lives. Peter proclaimed, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). In some cases, the psychics themselves are deceived, not knowing the true source of the information they receive.
Whatever the case and wherever the source of the information, nothing connected to spiritism, witchcraft, or astrology is a Godly means of discovering information. How does God want us to discern His will for our life? God’s plan is simple, yet powerful and effective: study the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and pray for wisdom (James 1:5).
And still–millions of professed Christians believe and engage in some form of the occult. Why?
Yep, that’s my question.
If you’d rather not respond here, write me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Anything you privately share will remain confidential.
I appreciate your feedback.
A NOTE to my tribe of faithful friends and fans of ‘Legend of the Emerald Rose’ who are patiently waiting for me to write something, anything!
FOR almost a decade I’ve undergone the slow, harrowing metamorphosis of being an award-winning author, and an active wife, mom and Nana (Hi boys!) into someone quite different. Today, I live with the facial-pain disease of Trigeminal Neuralgia/Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia and severe chronic migraines. One disorder alone is disabling, but combined there are no gentle words to describe the physical, mental and emotional agony of this progressive disease. Add prescribed pain medications and on most days, my muse is in La-la Land while my body inhales M&M’s and cruises Fox News Network and Netflix.
Despite this obstacle, I give all praise and glory to God!
This cruel beast referred to as the Suicide Disease will not destroy my love and passion to write romantic tales that kick up the star-dust in your imagination and make you believe that nothing’s impossible because; “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
The way I look at it, this is just another season, guys. The stories continue . . . and so will I.
PS: If you suffer from chronic pain or TN please don’t hesitate contacting me through Facebook or my email address.