Friday, March 29, 2019

Miracles Happen

God is still in the miracle business. Sometimes we are too busy to see them——a smile from a passerby, a rainbow half concealed by clouds, a text of encouragement from a friend. All a nudging from God. Often we miss God moving mountains. We are too absorbed in the details or consumed with fear to see God’s hand in our lives and circumstances. But if we did . . . the glory of God’s presence would overwhelm us and bring us to our knees. 

Ask God to intervene in your life, your situation, and you will see miracles. Remember God has power over all creation; He has the ability to work miracles in your life. 

Today I’m staying observant, watching for miracles. Are you?

“But if I were you, I would appeal to God;
 I would lay my cause before Him.
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:8-9
Angela Beach Silverthorne
Living Life Through Faith

Monday, February 25, 2019

Writing From The Heart

I believe there is power in stories, offering lessons learned, and personal growth. My writing has gone through a definite progression, from poetry to Contemporary Christian fiction. It’s a movement through life’s seasons. It began with a poetry book, Promises Seeded Inside, and then an up-close-and-personal coming of age novel, Depression Cookies (rebranded Heart Chatter).

All my writing is about God leading me into the struggles and successes humans encounter every day. Brokenness. Unforgiveness. Loss of identity. Unworthiness. Addiction. Remorse. Lies. Truth. Love. Grace. Mercy. Redemption. God has taken me into the belly of human frailty and hurt. I never meant to write about it, but God kept pressing me. I had to tell the story of brokenness to reveal God’s mighty work in the lives of His people. Thus, the Cries trilogy was born: Cries of Innocence, Cries of Grace, and Cries of Mercy (due out in May 2019).

More importantly my writing is about how people maneuver through life, its highs and lows. Do they reach out in faith and determination, letting God lead them? Or do they sink under the weight of life? In both cases, their choice is determined by the condition of their heart.

“The heart of the matter is what matters to the heart.” 

“Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change. We need to remind ourselves that God can change things. Outlook determines outcome. If we see only the problems, we will be defeated; but if we see the possibilities in the problems, we can have victory.” ~Warren Wiersbe

If we face challenges feeling defeated, we open the door for Satan’s entry into our situation. Satan’s evil and his intent to sabotage lives, twisting truth into lies, is so insidious it slips in unnoticed, consuming us. Desperation and anxiety, addiction and health issues often follow. 

If we face challenges in God’s victory, we rise above circumstances by trusting God to lead us to higher ground. “Adversity is not simply a tool. It is God’s most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives. The circumstances and events that we see as setbacks are oftentimes the very things that launch us into periods of intense spiritual growth. Once we begin to understand this, and accept it as a spiritual fact of life, adverse situations become easier to bear.” ~Charles Stanley

How do we begin to face challenges in light of a risen Savior who loved us enough to die for us, who wants us to seek Him for strength?

1.      Believe God is who He says He is.
“I AM WHO I AM.” Exodus 3:14
People who know God’s name trust Him with their heart.

2.     Believe God can do what He says He can do.
“I am God Almighty, walk before Me, and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1
“God is Lord strong and mighty.” Psalm 24:8
“Power belongs to Him.” Psalm 62:11
“Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.” Jeremiah 32:17

3.     Believe you are a child of the King, loved beyond measure.
“But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12

4.     Believe you can get through anything with God’s help and guidance.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

5.     Believe the Word of God, study it, memorize it, sink it deep within your heart until it is alive and active within you.
“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

The above statements are modified from Beth Moore’s 5 Statement Pledge of Faith in her book “Believing God”.  The first time I heard Beth Moore declare them, I wrote them on my heart as my belief statements. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shared them with others and seen the change in their faces when they heard these powerful words. That’s why I offered these life statements to my story characters. Some received. Some didn’t. All had choices just like you and me. Navigating those choices, problem solving, and bringing it back under the authority of God, kept hope and perseverance at the forefront of their decision making. That’s my goal as an author, letting the reader see what happens when we stand in the light of our Savior verses standing alone, struggling.

Writing is my life’s joy. God is my fortress, my anchor through life.
God bless you,

Monday, January 28, 2019

Our True Identity

Identity is my genesis, my name, story, connection to life. As a young woman I tried to create my own identity. I loved reinventing myself. Every Saturday morning my mother would take me to the movie theater. I’d come home adopting my favorite actress’s stance or subtle smile. I worked hours on end trying to mimic Twiggy’s pout, overarched eyebrows, and double-thick mascaraed lashes. But I owned this metamorphosis and could cause its demise with the swipe of a Ponds cold cream filled washrag.

Sometimes it’s fun to reinvent yourself, pretend to change your identity. But often the desire to change is due to fear. Fear of not keeping up, not being like others. No one wants to feel different. True identity is fragile, especially if we base it on a cultural worldview rather than God’s Biblical viewpoint.

During our Christmas dilemma of possible identity theft, my husband and I were able to pull back and re-center ourselves. I was so thankful my daughter had asked me to do a Bible Study with her last November that prepared me. Sharing some pivotal comments from the book with my husband allayed his concerns. We all need to understand and know who we are in Christ in order to keep our focus on our true identity.

Identity Theft: Reclaiming The Truth Of Who We Are In Christ

In this book several authors got together to Biblically explore identity in three ways:

·       Identity theft: Expose our false notions of identity
·       Identity truth: Understand the biblical truth of our identity in Christ
·       Identity transformed: Reflect on what it looks like to live in our new (and true) identity
The author’s messages were structured in the above framework, but their use of different scriptures, real-life stories, and commentary highlighted and enlighten the reader on “Who am I in Christ?”

“An author and missionary Elisabeth Elliott expressed, ‘The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.’ Our identity in Christ is a fixed anchor guiding us through the changing seasons and circumstances of our lives as women. We’re not primarily defined by our college degree, marital status, the number of children we have, where we live, or the work we do. It’s our identity in Christ that shapes every aspect of our lives. As Paul told the Colossians, ‘He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together’ (Col 1:17. Understanding who we are in Christ impacts every other area of our lives.” (Melissa Kruger, Identity Theft)

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, a people for His own possession, that you may
proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of
darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not
a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had
not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(1 Pet 2:9-10)

Remember who you are in Christ. Remember all He has done for you. You are His and He is yours. 

“Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me
I was lost but He brought me in
Oh His love for me
Oh His love for me”
“Who You Say I Am” Hillsong Worship

Remember you are who Christ says you are.

I am loved. (Jeremiah 31:3)
I am a child of God. (1 John 3:1)
God delights in me. (Zephaniah 3:17)
I am forgiven. (1 Peter 2:24)
I am washed clean. (Isaiah 1:18)
I am free. (Galatians 5:1)
I am a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)
I am adopted into God’s family. (Romans 8:15)
I am co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
I am righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I am new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am never alone. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
I am wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
I am whole in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)

A wonderful life-enriching book. I hope you will buy it and enjoy each chapter. It will stretch your understanding of your identity all the way to the Throne Room.
God bless you!