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Guest Blog Post – Be Careful Little Ears by Kristin Peck

Picture a three year old little boy playing with a toy truck. That truck falls to the floor, and instead of the usual, “Oh man!” he spouts, “D*** truck!” After the initial jaw drop reaction, you are quick to tell him that is a bad word, and he should choose another to express his displeasure in the truck that so obviously let him down. He nods in pretend understanding, and goes back to his imaginary world where trucks apparently have personalities of a harsher nature.

Accusatory mode starts downloading …

The blame was going on the neighbor who talks a bit loud, or perhaps the family member that did not watch his mouth the other day. Agitation is almost immediate because all of those surrounding your child are at fault. You simply do not talk that way. Children are like sponges and everyone else should know that they need to respect your wishes, and not speak vulgarities around your son. Nodding and feeling indignant at the world and its lack of understanding, you sit back down to continue your Law and Order marathon.

Solving the murder on this particular episode is very engaging, and it takes a moment for you to notice the silence in the other room. Glancing over, you realize that your son is sitting next to you and trying to figure out what it is that has your undivided attention. You become very aware of what is being played on the screen – the blood, the yelling … the cursing, and he has stopped blinking as he absorbs every little detail.

Pause the DVR!

Shooing him off to play, you watch him pick his truck back up again, but this time the truck is dying because he was shot by a bad guy.

Accusatory mode download complete …

The blame goes to you.

Clicking off the television, you sit down with your son and pick up another truck to race across the coffee table and down a ramp made from old books. You make noises of pretend exasperation as he beats you, and revert him back to the, “Oh man!” language he was using before. The reality of what he has been listening to really hits, and while you thought he was not paying attention, he was silently pulling in everything that his parent thought it was okay to watch. You are his primary example, and while he may pull things from others surrounding him, it is ultimately you that he will follow.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NIV)

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from which you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Author Bio
Kristen Peck headshot v1Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Jack of all trades, master of none – I am a little bit of everything wrapped in a package of truth seeking individuality. As I walk along my chosen path in life, I am taking time to listen to that inner voice inside that tells me to stop and pay attention to the little things.

I love writing everything from fiction to poetry. Crafts keep my kiddos and I occupied, and television … well I watch too much. However, I find true enjoyment in studying God’s words and exploring the meanings behind them to discover how they pertain to everyday life.

Author Links: Website

Ebook of the Day! Previously Loved Treasures by Bette Lee Crosby

Previously Loved Treasures by Bette Lee Crosby

– Award-winning family saga – rich with magic and mystery

Genre: Mystery, Women’s Fiction, Family Relationships

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Book Description
FROM A USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR comes a heartwarming mystery that is rich with imagination and magic. In Previously Loved Treasures, Book Two of The Serendipity Series, recently widowed Ida Sweetwater finds the granddaughter she never knew she had and turns a group of haphazard strangers into family.

Struggling to make ends meet, Ida turns her cozy home into a boarding house and goes in search of used furniture. This quest leads to the Previously Loved Treasures shop and Peter Pennington, a delightfully strange proprietor who anticipates people’s needs. In addition to bargains, Peter hands out sage advice. When a pocket watch belonging to one of the residents goes missing for a second time he warns of danger—but will Ida’s granddaughter listen and will she heed his advice?

This is a story that resonates with Crosby’s heartwarming albeit quirky characters and the joy of a pay-it-forward philosophy.

Reader Reviews on Amazon

“I thoroughly enjoyed Book One (The Twelfth Child) of the Serendipity Series and so I looked forward to reading Previously Loved Treasures.” -Suibytheresa

“I love Bette’s stories and characters.” -Elizabeth

“Sometimes, even our pets become like family to us because no matter what happens, we know that they will always love us.” -Donna F.

Bette Lee Crosby v2Author Bio
USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby’s books are “Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances.” – Midwest Book Review
The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby’s writing is, “A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures.”
Samantha from Reader’s Favorite raves, “Crosby writes the type of book you can’t stop thinking about long after you put it down.”
“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”
It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Author Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest

Redemption in Big Fork Lake by Mary L. Ball

Redemption in Big Fork Lake by Mary L. Ball

Can he be forgiven?

Genre: Inspirational fiction, romance

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Book Description
Can he be forgiven?

Only after Robert Turner hurts a woman does he realize how much of a hold alcohol has on his life.

For Robert, a chance meeting with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor offers hope. A new devotion to the Lord and a relationship with Belle McBride gives him expectations for a better future.

His life appears to be on the right track, until he comes full circle with his past and faces the one mistake that haunts him daily. Can forgiveness-free Robert? Or will heartache drive him to return to the life he once had?

Author Note
How can the joy of drink and a night in life turn your world upside down?
Redemption in Big Fork Lake is a tale about the challenge of turning your life around and dealing with the struggles of being a recovering alcoholic. This story paints a realistic picture of the trials involved when someone’s life has turned down a wrong road. Whether it is addiction to alcohol, or any other substance or activity, the road toward spiritual and physical health has many bumps and challenges.
In reading Redemption in Big Fork Lake, you got a good sense of what the challenges of being pulled toward an old habit might be like. This novel also deals with honesty in a relationship and forgiveness. It is an enjoyable book with likable people and a good message.

Book Excerpt
Redemption in Big Fork lake- Excerpt

The calm waves of deep-blue glistened in the sunlight. Robert scanned the green vegetation that lined a big section of the lake. Lizard’s Tail plants outlined a walkway leading to a walking path. Snapping a photo, he captured the bright orange of a nearby Butterfly Weed. He shaded his eyes and looked up, scaling the length of several longleaf pines dominating the gravel roads, which led to various boat docks.
As Robert approached the landing, he caught a glimpse of a something—someone—that made him hold his breath a second. The natural beauty of the large lake was nothing compared to the woman standing maybe a few dozen feet before him. Something about her intrigued him in a way no other had.

Robert strolled onto the wooden L-shaped walkway and paused. He couldn’t stop himself from staring. Even from a distance, he could tell her beauty was natural. Robert noticed appealing women plenty, but for some reason this one tugged at his heart and made him realize how long it’d been since he enjoyed a relationship or even a date.

With his feet planted to the wooden deck, Robert watched as she gazed at the water. Like the small wave rippling in the lake, emotions rose inside him and feelings he’d covered up for so long bubbled to the top. No doubt, he was lonely for female companionship. It would be nice to go out occasionally with someone. I’ve concentrated so much on maintaining my sobriety that I’ve missed some of the good things in life.
Standing there, Robert pondered his life, activities he’d given up—dating topped the list. Now, the desire to start living again crept past his defenses. He wanted to enjoy the company of a woman, not just any woman, but the lady who stood before him with the cute ponytail.

Trying to divert his attention somewhere else succeeded for a few seconds—soon, however, his eyes darted back. Robert looked her over, guessing she was about his height and age. The wind kicked up, and blew her golden hair. The long strands waved in the breeze. Rays from the sun highlighted her blonde tresses.

While he stood there, Robert thought back to a conversation with his mother when he was in college. He wondered at the time if there was someone for him. She responded by giving him a hug and assuring him God would choose a special lady for him one day.

While Robert’s memory dug up those words, he hung his head in shame because of the times he ignored his parent’s advice. Why didn’t I find different friends instead of trying to fit in with the wrong crowd?
Robert mentally snapped back to the present and lifted his head. Recovering from alcoholism had taught him not to wallow in self-pity, but to move forward and redeem what he could. Returning to the sight of the beautiful woman, he tried to be discreet as he continued to observe her.

Author Bio
Mary L. Ball headshotMary L. Ball is an inspirational fiction author and lives in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. She writes about real-life problems, suspense or mystery blended with romance.

When Mary is not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions. Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter.

Author Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterest

Guest Blog Post – The Potter and the Clay by Pastor Jason Royle

Luke 19:28-38

Jesus chose his path, he chose to leave the relative safety of Galilee and his rural ministry, and he chose to confront the political and religious power-structures at the very heart of their existence, in Jerusalem.

But this should not come as too big of a surprise. God has allowed us to choose from the very beginning, for example, the presence of a forbidden tree places Adam and Eve in a position of having to choose whether to obey or disobey. Cain and Abel, both sons of Adam. Abel chooses God. Cain chooses murder. And God lets him.

Abraham and Lot, both pilgrims of Canaan. Abraham chooses God. Lot chooses Sodom. And God lets him. David and Saul, both kings of Israel. David Chooses God. Saul chooses power. And God lets him. Peter and Judas, both apostles, both deny their Lord. Peter denies him three times. Judas once. Peter seeks mercy. Judas seeks death. And God lets him.

Throughout history God has allowed humankind to make a choice. And no one preached about this more often and more clearly than Jesus. According to him, we can choose: narrow gate or a wide gate; the narrow road or the wide road. We can choose to build on solid rock or on sinking sand; serve God or riches; be numbered among the sheep or the goats; attend the great banquet or remain outside in darkness.

Come to think of it, isn’t that Calvary’s call? Hurry up and make a choice! Do I choose the God of eternal salvation, or not?

So here it is Palm Sunday, and in a way all of us have the opportunity to be just like Jesus, by that I mean we have before us an opportunity to make a choice. What choice would that be? Jesus stands at the door and knocks; it’s your choice whether or not to let him in.

Author Bio
Jason Royle Headshot v1Writing, for Jason, is a way to express the ongoing story of theology. With every book or article he hopes readers get a sense of the complexity of God and the necessity of faith. Captivated by the spiritual component of life, Jason loves to read everything from the Greek classics to the Sunday comics.

While serving as pastor of a Disciples of Christ congregation near Memphis, TN, Jason wrote a weekly column in a local newspaper called Sermon in a Nutshell and has had devotions published in The Secret Place among others.

Jason holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work and Bible from Kentucky Christian University, a Master’s in New Testament Theology from Johnson University and a Doctorate in Ministry from Sewanee: University of the South School of Theology.

Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania where he serves as the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitter

Genre: Religion

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Revelations From The Only True God by Angelika Stellmacher

Revelations From The Only True God by Angelika Stellmacher

Our Creator is indeed a revealer of deep and mysterious things

Genre: Christianity, Bible Interpretations, Spirituality

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Book Description
YHVH the only true God is indeed a revealer of deep and mysterious things. Clear evidence of that is provided throughout the entire length of this book. The reason our Creator is now shedding much more light unto His Word, the Bible, is because He knows exactly where His child, humanity, is positioned within the frame of time. And since He knows His child is already within very close range of a new era it is as though He is now telling it that it has nearly outgrown its current stage of development and thus needs to be prepared for the next one – the great messianic kingdom.

This book reaches beyond most people’s biblical understanding as it deals with Bible subject matter many of us would really like to know so much more about. It goes for instance to extraordinary length in explaining the inner nature of man, getting into this particular subject even to such extent as to sort of ‘taking the invisible and making it visible to us’ and is in this fashion giving structure to it. And in point of fact, a greater understanding of the inward man or inner nature of man will then also result in a heightened awareness of many other Bible topics, including of those this book is dealing with which are topics that range from matters related to the Adam and Eve story, the power of Jesus Christ’s blood to subjects such as the Holy Spirit, the bride, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven, just to name a few.

This book will no doubt greatly contribute to a much deeper understanding of the Bible as a whole and of God’s divine plan for humankind in particular.

Author Note
My name is Angela. I am the author of “Revelations from the Only True God.” This e-book is an absolute must-read because it deals with Bible subject matter a lot of people from both groups – believers and unbelievers – would really like to know so much more about.

Mankind for instance is still pretty much in the dark on matters pertaining to the inner nature of man. We only have to look at subjects such as soul and (human) spirit to realize that even at this day and age there exists great confusion in terms of what their true meaning really is. We also know precious little about the body-mind connection. The third chapter of this book thoroughly explains everything we ought to know about the ‘essence’ of the inner nature of man which from God’s perspective consists of the heart, the kidneys (body) – the conscience and the spirit (mind). Chapter three reveals why this essence is so important to God and why out of all our chest and belly organs He views the heart and the kidneys as playing the biggest role in this body-mind connection. This incredible chapter basically takes the invisible and makes it visible to us – fascinating subject everybody should look into.

A lot of people are also very confused about God’s divine law. Has it been made void or not? Chapter five sheds plenty of light unto all things to do with God’s divine law.
Another popular yet little understood subject among people is Judgment day. People usually associate it only with gloom and doom. Chapter ten however will open the reader’s eyes to the fact that there is also a very beautiful side to Judgment day and that this much nicer side far outweighs the nasty one.

Since the book deals with a great variety of important Bible issues and was written by me under guidance from God and His Son Jesus, it provides truthful answers to many popular Bible related questions.

Book Excerpt
chapter three

The body – mind connection

The heart, kidneys (body) – conscience, spirit (mind)

This chapter gives a very detailed insight into the inward/inner man or inner nature of human souls, beings or persons.

PART ONE The heart and the kidneys

The heart

The heart is the real inner man

Our Creator knows our true thoughts, intentions, feelings and so on (1) because He is the one who looks into, tests and refines our hearts and kidneys (2), even as His glorified Son Jesus now also searches, tests and refines our hearts and kidneys by the power of His Father’s Holy Spirit (3).

Since the heavenly Father has equipped His children/child, the human race, with intelligence (4), we should really pay much closer attention to His messages in His written Word (5) and also should never be afraid, especially not those who belong to His spiritual household (6), of asking Him for guidance in all matters (7).

YHVH the only true God knows the entire make-up of man in the most detailed way (8) and He dearly wants us now to see that the heart plays the most important part in respects to the shaping of ones kidneys, conscience and spirit (spirit of the mind). The heart’s strong influence over the kidneys, conscience and spirit is clearly demonstrated throughout God’s Word, the Bible. Because in it this most powerful organ, which has a lot to do with emotions and feelings, is also associated with spiritual qualities (spirit of the heart (9) – most positive quality in the heart is love), with thinking, imagination, understanding and reasoning (10) and with being the motivating force behind our behaviour (11). Indeed, our hearts are very powerful. They influence our minds even to such extent that they take control over our choices we make and decide over whether we see things through or not. In other words, the heart can either motivate or discourage (think of willpower) the whole human being (12). The truth is a lot of the things we observe, hear, see and read are not just taken into the mind to stay there for further processing. No, most of this data or information that enters the mind – especially social relationship related matters – will travel into the heart which thinks about this incoming information and then sends its thoughts on it back into the mind again. This actually means that we think and react – say and do – according to the thoughts of our heart or according to what our hearts are dictating us to think, say and do. The heart rules over the kidneys and other belly organs (body) as well as over the mind/brain (conscience, spirit), which in effect means, it rules over the whole human soul, being or person (13). Because the heart is so powerful, it is the real inner man (14).

God’s Word clearly shows us that there is a close connection between heart and kidneys as well as between heart and spirit (of the mind) (15). The other part of the inner man, namely the conscience, is involved in matters relating to morality (16) and because of that has in a sense its own unique relationship with the heart and kidneys, which, like all other matters briefly touched on here, is explained in more detail throughout later parts and sections of this chapter. It is important to know however that regardless of what role or how big a role any of the other parts of the inward man may play, the heart always plays the biggest since it is the influence of the heart alone that ultimately determines whether a person possesses a perfect (clear) or an imperfect (not clear of offence) conscience, or whether one expresses desirable/ positive or undesirable/negative spiritual properties. Most of us do have (spirit of the heart) and express (spirit of the mind) a mix of both, namely desirable and undesirable spiritual qualities.

Desirable : love, faith, self-control, humility, patience, long-suffering, kindness, godly or
truly spiritual wisdom (opposite to men’s wisdom), truly spiritual justice,
understanding, strength et cetera (17).
Undesirable : selfishness, impatience, hatred, no self-control, greed, pride, fleshly or men’s
wisdom, justice, understanding, strength and so forth (18).

To love in an unselfish, principled way

The heart’s physical function is pumping and spreading blood so as to nourish the body and to keep the entire human soul or being which or who is something living, moving, expressing – thus something that has and expresses emotions and character/personality (think of spiritual qualities), alive (19).
Love has its seat in the heart. But as a result of inherited sin we cannot express this precious quality to perfection. A complete healing of the heart and thus also of the whole human being can only be achieved by way of an indwelling of Holy Spirit and the consequent gradual working of the Father’s and Son’s eternal spiritual qualities into our inner man, and more specifically, into our hearts (20).

Please note: The numbers in brackets have been converted by my publisher into hyperlinks.
They connect the reader to the Bible references which are positioned at the end of the book.

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The Storage Room by Daniel Wilson

The Storage Room by Daniel Wilson

A teen finds a room that shows the spiritual battles we all face.

Genre: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Fantasy

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Book Description
Will is a teen searching for his purpose in life and trying to figure out how to use his talents for God’s glory. He finds his answer on one fateful night at church when his mentor shows him a not-so-ordinary storage room. They are transported to a world of fantasy filled with monsters and danger, illustrating the spiritual battles that everyone goes through. Besides trying to survive the storage room, Will has to figure out how to use it in order to serve God and fulfill the purpose set out for him.

Reader Reviews on Amazon
“Great for any Christian teen or young adult or anyone who loves a good fantasy story!” -Richard M.

“This is a great book, for teens and adults, and it does a great job of showing us that we face real spiritual battles on a daily basis.” -Michael D.

“A fast paced storyline which gives insight into the parallel spiritual world.” -Amy S.

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