nyone who has visited my blog and read through my postings knows that I write devotions to inspire others. It's something God has led me to do.
What is harder is promoting two other things that God inspired. One is my first contemporary suspense, "Death in the Desert
." The other is a new inspirational holiday book titled "Christmas Chaos
Death in the Desert
is available in several eBook formats, and Christmas Chaos
is available as a Kindle eBook. Both can be found on Amazon and Christmas Chaos
just went on sale.
Finally, my new author interview is posted on Smashwords
and will give you an idea about both my books.
I invite you to check out the interview and take a look inside both of my books.
I hope you'll be blessed by both.
Merry Christmas, Francine
Headlines are everywhere in this digital age. There's headline news on TV along with a bunch of "news" stations. Then, there's the Yahoo home page with lots and lots of headlines. If you have a phone or some type of tablet, there's many applications for reading news. And yes, the daily paper.
Unfortunately, the high percentage of headlines is pretty depressing. The economy, political battles and scandals, countries either at war or full of unrest, murders, abductions ... I could go on. But I'm thinking most would agree there aren't too many upbeat or happy headlines. Then again, I'm a firm believer that bad news gets higher ratings. Scandals sell.
How do you cope? I mean, really. What do YOU DO to not get caught up in the "circle of doom." I mean, really, isn't that what it is nowadays. You click on one story and then you may see a link and click on another, and another, and another.
If you have a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then you know where you should be looking. And I know, we'd have to live in a bubble to NOT know what's happening in the world. Still, taking our eyes off the circumstances and placing them on the Creator is the best place to begin.
These words from Ephesians don't come with screaming headlines. But they are words we can begin to apply to our hearts.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Ephesians 6:13-18, The Message
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or at least, that's what an old saying says.
Unfortunately, my absence has gone on far too long. I must confess that I've let my full time job overtake my desire to share God's words and beauty in my writing and my photography.
Scottish author George MacDonald was a Christian children's author best known for his popular fantasy stories, fairy tales, and memorable young protagonists. MacDonald was an inspiration for writers of children's fiction such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Madeline L'Engle, Lewis Carroll, and even Mark Twain. He was one of the most respected authors of his generation in 19th century Scotland. He wrote over fifty books, nearly half of them novels for adults, along with some theological studies, several volumes of essays & criticism, a few volumes of poetry, and three best selling children's novels accompanied by a couple more volumes of fairytales. Two quotes by George MacDonald sum up my desire for all of my writing and my blogs:
If I can put one touch of a rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.
If, instead of a gem or even a flower, we could cast the gift of a lovely thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give.
o those who have followed my blog over the years, I want to apologize for so long between posts. I've been working full time (economics) and made a major change in churches. My new church home has provided me a wonderful place to worship, fellowship, and learn.
John 15:5-8 in The Message says:
"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
I've been able to also make myself "at home" again with the Father. Believe me, it makes all the difference in the world.
I hope to return here to Words from the Heart
and share how God has "grown" me during this time I've been away.
Until then, abundant blessings,
Knowing that God goes before us and often leads us out of harms way gives me a wonderful sense of security. I hope I never forget that He brings me into the spacious places David talked about in Psalm 18. And it would be easy to continue to cruise along life’s highways and byways, staying safe, and never venturing down some unexplored path. Yet I think in order to experience spiritual growth, we should all look for opportunities to step out of our comfort zones.
While our reliance on God in all aspects of our lives is crucial to an intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe, I don’t believe we are to live our lives isolated from the world. Taking the gospel to all the earth is the impetus for missionaries who carry the truth around the globe. Many are called into that ministry. But what about those of us who aren’t?
Some serve in various ways within the parameters of church. Others serve in well known organizations like the Salvation Army, reaching out and meeting needs, regardless of a person’s faith or beliefs.
But I believe we must go beyond the walls of churches or organizations and actively live our faith. In other words, WE must be in the driver’s seat, leading others who don’t know the way.
It comes first by making our stand as Christians, identifying ourselves as followers of Christ. “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35, NLT
Once we do so, then we have a responsibility to not only be an example to others in word and deed, but be willing to clear the way for them so they too can come into a spacious place.
It can be something as inconsequential as a smile to a stranger or as significant as financially helping someone in need. It could be taking the time to pray WITH someone who is struggling through difficult circumstances or encouraging a neighbor who lives alone. There are a thousand and one ways each of us could touch a person who doesn’t know God’s truth. Too often, I believe we think presenting the plan of salvation is the answer. But if we look at Jesus’ life, we’ll see a man full of compassion for the lost. He met their needs. Can we say the same for ourselves?
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” 1 Peter 5:2-4, NIV
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