Sunday, July 08, 2018
Having grown up in Trinidad, a country where kids playing soccer is an everyday occurrence, I can't help watching whenever my husband turns the channel to the World Cup Soccer games. But many times, my joy turns to dismay when I see players push and shove each other in an attempt to get the ball. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned marking and tackling and dribbling? Or better still, what happened to good old-fashioned self-control? The players who push and shove know they are breaking the rules, yet when the referee raises his hand, they protest.
It's not much different when we allow ourselves to respond to someone in a harsh or sarcastic way, or to try to get even with someone whom we perceive has wronged us. Lack of self-control has serious consequences. In the case of the soccer player, it can result in the other team scoring a goal and winning the game.
But lack of self-control goes much deeper than winning or losing a game. It can change the whole direction of our lives. It causes people to do things they wouldn't normally do, like consuming alcohol in excess, overspending, using illegal substances, and making poor choices. It can even lead to road rage, which can result in someone's death.
Do you need self-control? Of course you do. We all do. But temptation lurks around every corner. Remember the story of how Peter cut off the soldier's ear? That was a classic case of a lack of self-control. Peter saw the soldier about to arrest Jesus, so he pulled out his sword and cut off the man's ear. Read John 18: 10. Fortunately, Jesus restored it.
Much later, after Jesus had left this earth and Peter had received the Holy Spirit, he became a changed man. He wrote, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3: 15).
The Holy Spirit is the Member of the Trinity who molds and shapes us into what God intends us to be. If you find that you lack self-control ask God to allow the Holy Spirit to help you exhibit this fruit in your life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Gal. 5: 22 - 23
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Saturday, June 30, 2018
Coming Out of Egypt
Sixteen years ago, I started my first novel, a story inspired by two sisters who attended a school where I was a teacher. The sisters lived near Egypt Village, Trinidad, and it was rumored that they were being abused by their father. Because of the law, or lack thereof at the time, no action was taken, as far as I knew. Years later, my mind went back to them when I realized that sexual abuse is still prevalent in this modern society. In the Bible, the Israelites eventually came out of bondage in Egypt and so I combined the metaphor of the Exodus with the village where the girls lived and named my novel Coming Out of Egypt. This book is my attempt to rewrite their story, to have them come out of Egypt.
In the Wilderness
Continuing the metaphor of the Exodus, I named the second book in the series, In the Wilderness. As you know, the Israelites didn't make it straight to the land God promised them. They wandered in the wilderness for forty years after leaving Egypt.
Here is a short blurb of the series:
When Marva accidentally kills her father while trying to protect her younger sister June from him, she anticipates a new beginning far from "Egypt" where they once lived. But her new life is not what she envisioned. The strain of trying to elude the detective and cope with her rebellious younger sister while holding down her job in a man’s domain, drives her to drink. When Cicely, her former teacher, intervenes and leads the girls to Christ, Marva finds some measure of peace, but guilt over her crime and the desire to save June from disgrace force her to contemplate suicide. Fortunately, a serious accident derails her plans and both Marva and June discover their true calling – to serve God, and others, with all their heart and with all their strength.
In the Promised Land
Yesterday was the official release day of the last book in the series, In the Promised Land. The girls have come out of Egypt, gone through the wilderness and are now about to enter the promised land. However, their journey is still turbulent. Tragedy accompanies them and they lose sight of their purpose, but with God's help, they get back on track and complete their journey. I don't want to give any spoilers, so that's all I'm going to say, but let me encourage you to get these books which are all 99c until the fourth of July. They will bless your heart, renew your hope and strengthen your faith in a God who alone can bring you out of Egypt, whatever it might be.
Here's a bonus for you: Coming Out of Egypt is part of a clean, contemporary romance giveaway taking place on Instafreebie. Click on this link and claim your free copy and other books that may interest you. And when you claim your books, please sign up for my newsletter where you can get more updates like this one. God bless.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Is your dad your hero? Some people may answer "yes" to this question, but I know some, men especially, who will give an unequivocal "no." It always saddens me when I hear that. My own father, who departed this life when I was just a little girl, was my hero. He taught me to read and spell while he indulged his hobby/part-time occupation -shoemaking. Needless to say, I had shoes to match every dress, and love shoes to this day.
My father also cultivated in me a love for reading and I became a good speller. I enjoyed going places with him, and when I heard his voice in the front yard in the evening, I would leave my mother and run to meet him. She often complained that I loved my father more than I did her, which wasn't true, of course. I was just fascinated with him - his voice, his smile, his jokes. The only bad thing I can recall about my dad is that he left me too soon. Late at night, quite suddenly and without warning. Died of a stroke in his sleep.
So, what about your dad? Is he flawless in your eyes? A man's man? A woman's man? As head of the home, fathers carry a heavy responsibility. They are entrusted with the task of providing, protecting and caring for the home and family. The mother is the one who nurtures, comforts and keeps the home together. However, a real father assumes the mother's role as well. The father who confronts the school bully is the same father who takes his little girl on his lap and reads her a bedtime story. Or tucks her in at night. Or takes her to the doctor when she is ill.
Sadly, some dads do not measure up to the ideal. Some walk out on their families and never look back. Others stay in the home, provide and protect but do little else. We need to pray for these fathers. I think of King David, a mighty man of God, but his track record as a father left a lot to be desired. His son, Amnon, raped his daughter Tamar (2 Samuel 13: 10 - 18) and even though the Bible says David was furious (v 21) he did nothing about it. Absalom, David's other son, had Amnon executed to avenge what he had done to his sister.
Later, Absalom fled from David and they didn't see each other for two years. Eventually, Absalom tried to take the throne from David and to murder him, but Absalom himself was killed. On hearing the news, David wept bitterly. "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you--O Absalom, my son, my son!" (18: 33).
What a sad cry! You may not see your father as your hero, but remember your Father in heaven is faultless. He is perfect and will never fail you. Run to Him and make Him your hero. Happy Father's Day!
Monday, June 04, 2018
I hope most of you can answer yes to the above question. Studying the Bible regularly is one of the basic ways we as Christians connect with God and get to know Him intimately. 2 Timothy 2: 15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) for Women says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth."
This version of the Bible is the most comprehensive study Bible ever prepared for women and by women. Extensive commentary notes, word studies, answers to hard questions, doctrinal notes, “Written on My Heart” applications, charts and timelines, full-color maps and more, all put together in a sturdy hardcover binding with colorful illustrations will not only make you look forward to studying your Bible, but will provide answers to those puzzling questions you had previously.
I started studying the book of Esther and I have gained a lot more information from the CSB for Women than I did from my other study Bibles. If you truly hunger for God's word and want to get a deeper understanding of it, I strongly recommend this Bible.
And now you can enter this exciting giveaway: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/csbwomensstudybible.html
To purchase: http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/the-csb-study-bible-for-women-hardcover
Sunday, May 13, 2018
The song goes like this:
M is for the million things she gives me.
As mothers, we want to show our love to our children by giving them everything their little hearts desire, and so we give them more then a million things, only to see them discarded in a few days. We have to ask ourselves if we are harming or helping our children in this way.
O means only that she's growing old.
Mothers, no matter how young you are, or how young you look, in your children's eyes, you are old. So, don't try to look or behave like your twenty-something-year-old daughter. Just be yourself and your children will appreciate you for it.
T is for the tears she shed to save me.
We can all relate to this one. We shed tears the first day we leave little Johnny in pre-K, then when he goes off to college, we shed tears. More tears as we escort him up to the altar to meet his bride. Another deluge comes when we hold his newborn baby for the first time. Whether we shed tears of joy or tears of sorrow, we have an unending supply.
H is for her heart of purest gold.
Who else but a mother would exemplify a heart of gold by the way she cares for her children? Who else would give them unconditional love, devotion, selflessness, understanding. I can go on and on. Unfortunately, not all mothers do. Some of us expect our children to fall into some particular mold that we set for them instead of following their God-given talents and interests.
E is for her eyes with love light shining.
The eyes are the window to the soul, someone said. The love a mother has for a child shines through her eyes, but hurt, disappointment, loss, separation may dull the light in those beautiful eyes, even though the love remains.
R means right and right she'll always be.
I don't know about this one. Despite the halo around our heads, mothers are flawed beings like everyone else. We make mistakes, bad decisions. I know I have made some mistakes in raising my children, and I daresay, my mother did too, and most likely her mother before her. But the good news is, God knows our heart. If we confess our mistakes and shortcomings to Him, He would redeem those mistakes and set us and our children on the right path.
As you celebrate Mother's Day today with your children, consider the words of this song. Do they all ring true for you? Maybe not. But no matter how young or old you are, you can still thank God for the gift of motherhood and for the wonderful children He has placed in your care. Acknowledge your need of Him and ask Him to partner with you in "training up these children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it".
Happy Mother's Day!
Today is Mother's Day, and you may have already given your mother a beautiful gift, but you can still give her a gift that never fades, grows old or out of style. Give her the gift of a book that is guaranteed to bless her heart and remind her of the power of God’s love. Give her a printed copy of Coming Out of Egypt, complete with swag – tote bag, bookmark, bandana and pen. She will love you even more - if that's possible.
Coming Out of Egypt
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
This morning I read a devotional in Our Daily Bread about waiting with anticipation. So many thoughts crossed my mind as I read it.
I hate waiting.
Most of the time when I wait, I do so in frustration, not anticipation. But that article showed me that if we are waiting for God to do something for us, then we should do so in faith and anticipate His action.
Isaiah 40 : 31 says “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Waiting is never easy. It can sap our strength, physically as well as emotionally. That is why we need to trust God that He will show up at the right time and do what is best for us.
So, what are you waiting for? Healing? A job? A mate? An answer from God? Wait in faith; wait in hope. Do not doubt and do not give up. Abraham waited twenty-five years to receive the promised heir, but there are some who wait and never receive the promises. What happens then?
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6 :12
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24:13
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Thursday, April 26, 2018
God Bless You and Good Night written by Hannah Hall, illustrated by Steve Whitlow
The bestselling God Bless You and Good Night has sold more than a quarter of a million copies as a board book, and this beautiful expanded picture book will make a perfect gift for families.
God Bless You and Good Night sparked a series that is as beloved as it is adorable. The original board book has sold more than 280,000 copies and continues to grow. This expanded picture book offers a classic, collectible item that readers will love for their own home library and is a beautiful gift option for baby showers and birthdays or as an announcement gift for soon-to-be grandparents. With its deluxe formatting, larger art spreads, and expanded content, this picture book will be the family favorite for bedtime.
The A God Bless Book series has sold more than 600,000 units and has appeared on numerous bestseller lists. Contributor Bio Hannah C. Hall estimates that she has read approximately 4,500 bedtime stories to her children over the last few years. She is thankful to get to add her own books to their daily rotation. Hannah and her husband, Josh, have five children and live in a small town in Arkansas. Steve Whitlow lives in northern England, on the top of a (very) windswept hill, with his wife and young family. Steve followed his artistic calling from an early age and was first published at age 16, producing vibrant characters for greeting cards and then children's publishing. With no formal art training and only his natural talent, Steve has now been working as a professional artist for more than twenty years. "My kids are my critics," says Steve. "The best reaction I can hope for is an exclamation of 'Cool, Dad!' from either Sam or Ethan-or both."
And now you can get a copy of this lovely book by entering the giveaway here:
Purchase Link: https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/god-bless-you-and-good-night-P005621646