Monday, October 27, 2014

Spirit Know-How

Have you ever experienced instruction from the Spirit?

Jesus spoke to his disciples in John 14:26, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

Does this idea of a Spirit inside of us excite anyone else? When I think about the fact that God has put a deposit of Himself inside of each Christian, I'm just in awe. God's Spirit can urge us to confess sins so we are on the right track and come clean before God. The Spirit can give a nudge when we encounter wrong things. He can teach us through God's Word, the Bible. He can enlighten us with knowledge we could not know on our own.

First Corinthians 2:12-14 says, "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

I remember a trip to the mall. My husband and I had just entered a store. Suddenly it was as if the air was cold and the hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention. My husband turned to me. "Did you feel that?" I nodded my agreement. We turned on our heels and left the store. As we were leaving, we glimpsed a couple dressed in very dark clothing and wearing satanic symbols. I'm convinced that God's Spirit in both of us warned us about the evil present in that store.

One night I awoke from a sound sleep and got the strongest urging to pray for someone in my family. Later I found out the family member was experiencing some problems at just that time. How else could I know without the Spirits's nudge?

Recently I was struggling to complete a novel I was writing that was based on a particular Biblical passage. I knew there was a scene to write but I also knew that I didn't have all I needed to construct that scene. I wandered into the living room and plopped into my husband's recliner. I noticed his New King James Bible on the table. I turned to the scripture passage and there at the end were three other verse addresses. I immediately turned to them and my eyes were opened. I couldn't get paper fast enough to write that scene.

I don't have enough space to recount the times the Spirit has interpreted a scripture specifically for my life or circumstance. I've also had the privilege of the Spirit enlightening a passage even more deeply for my understanding.

Did you catch the end of the First Corinthians verse above? People who do not contain the Spirit will not understand. It is those of us Christians who contain the Spirit that "get it."

So, to take advantage of this Spirit know-how, you need to walk in the Spirit. Study God's Word and be sensitive to the Spirit's leading.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Release from Rachel A. James

Rachel A. James grew fascinated with the medieval time period as a child. Dubbed a bookworm from a young age, Rachel found herself surrounded by places steeped in history and adventure. She enjoyed trips with her family to visit nearby derelict castles and Roman ruins, and that coupled with a zealous imagination and love for stories, sparked her interest in knights, fortresses and ancient kingdoms. 

Born and bred in England, Rachel writes adventure driven historical romance, she is also a pastor’s wife, and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others in their own spiritual journey. She’s also captivated by romantic tales… combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she’s smitten! Find her at for more information.

A few years ago, whilst living in Yorkshire, I visited a grand stately home, Harewood House, where there was a commemorative exhibition on display to celebrate the once owner of the house, Princess Mary.  I discovered that she was known as ‘The Yorkshire Princess’. I was fascinated at the notion that Yorkshire, once had their very own princess, and inspired to write a story about it. However, I did not want to write a historical account, but rather a fictional book.

Having always been drawn to medieval times and tales of Britain when it was once divided into separate kingdoms, I wondered if I could write about a princess who lived long ago. It was then that I discovered the kingdom of Elmetia. Elmetia existed for only a few hundred years, before it was invaded by neighboring Anglo-Saxons, where the last king of Elmetia, King Ceretic, was slain in battle.

There is no historical record of Ceretic ever being married, or having children, but some historians believe that just because it wasn’t recorded, didn’t mean they did not exist. This inspired me to write about Princess Teagen, my fictionalized daughter of King Ceretic, who, because she managed to flee the invasion, was forgotten about.

The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia is essentially, a story about how a forgotten princess journeys to find her true identity, and reclaim what was stolen from her. It is an inspirational tale, demonstrating God’s amazing grace and forgiveness, and love.

This sounds like a must-read for your reading list! Thanks for sharing the background, Rachel. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

25 Years!

Tuesday, October 21st, is my and my husband's 25th wedding anniversary. It was so wonderful to celebrate with family and friends Sunday.

This guy of mine has been in my life since we sat in first grade together. He asked me to "go with" him when we were in middle school. It wasn't called "talking" then. We broke it off when I moved about an hour away. But, after two years, my family and I returned. My sweetheart and I got back together in high school.

During high school, he felt the call into ministry. My mama saw it all along!

We stayed together all through college, even though we attended different schools. We came home on the weekends to see each other and do our laundry.

On my graduation day from Maryville College, my honey proposed to me. Five months later we tied the knot!

I don't remember my life without him and don't want to. I've seen God take a very shy boy and turn him into a bold preacher of the Word and a caring pastor.

He told me when we got married that he would probably not ever be able to give me a big house or an expensive car. But, he did promise if we stuck together and followed God's guidance, we would have an adventure. He didn't lie about that!

Happy Anniversary, Babe! I love you. Let the adventure continue .........

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Godliness Without Its Power

Have you ever had a scripture passage just stick with you? I want to share just such a passage with you today. These verses have become the basis for the novel I am revising. In fact, I'm thinking God will lead me to subsequent novels with this scripture basis.

2 Timothy 3:1-9
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth - men of depraved minds, who, as far as faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone."

When you read that list above of the evil ways of people in the last days, do you definitely feel we are living in those last days? Yeah, me too.

Here is the scary thing to me about this passage. Look closely at the line, "having a form of godliness but denying its power," and the line, "always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth." These two statements refer to those among us. I'm talking about Christian brothers and sisters.

The Message version of the Bible says, "They'll make a show of religion ..." and that their thinking is twisted.

My first inclination is to examine myself. Am I living in true godliness or just a form of godliness of my own creation? As Christians we can slip into going through the motions or relying on what we learned in the past instead of always pursuing the holy life we are to strive for.

Read through the list of evil ways above. Aren't the opposites the very things were are to do and focus upon? Not being self-centered, not allowing money to control us, not boasting in anything but God, not allowing pride to blind us, being kind, loving, forgiving, obedient to parents, not speaking ill of others, loving the good, being loving, and loving God above all.

Here's another verse that spreads a warning vibe through my bones: 1 Timothy 4:1 "The Spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."

Some brothers and sisters in Christ would read this verse and scoff, saying this is a little over the top. Really? Deceiving spirits and demons? Yes. Please allow me to warn us all that Satan would want nothing more than to pull a Christ follower away. He'll use whatever deceptive method he can.

In these last days, living a godly life isn't easy, but it is necessary. Let's make a pact, dear brothers and sisters, to pursue godliness with its inherent power. Let's live by the Spirit so we will be discerning to false teachings and practices. Pray and test everything through God's Word and by His character.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Don't Limp Through Your Day

Just a few days ago this phrase showed up in my Jesus Calling devotional. My eyes widened when I read the line. Why? I had been doing some major limping through several days. But, God didn't intend for me to just limp or just make it through a day. He planned for me to abound.

Scripture says that Jesus came to give us life more abundantly. (John 10:10)

In another area of scripture this same concept comes up.

"Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God - as you are doing - do so even more." 1 Thess. 4:1

Beth Moore in her study, Children of the Day, says, "God has an affinity for lengthening cords and extending boundaries with a person willing to be stretched by Him. No matter who you are, where you've been, or what you've done, God has handpicked you to abound."

To continue to walk in the way God would want me to walk, it might take some stretching. I have to make the effort and be willing to do what He has planned for me if I want to experience the abundance He has for me.

I can settle. I can go through the motions. I can worry about tomorrow or have regrets about yesterday. But, that won't get me the abounding life that God so wants me to have. Those worries and distractions rob me of the abundant life I can have through God today. That is what causes me to limp through my day, defeated.

God wants me leave all those things that would pull me down to Him. Then, I can concentrate on seeing and doing all that He has planned for me which will lead to that abundant life.

Lord, help me to bask in Your presence more and more and never settle for just limping through a day. Help me reach for Your abundant way of living.