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Sunday, May 13, 2018

What Does Mother Mean

When I was growing up, there was a song we sang especially around Mother's Day. It was an acronym for the word "Mother" and, I believe the composer was attempting to explain what the word meant to him or her. I used to sing the song a lot without thought to its meaning, but now that I'm a mother -and grandmother - I've become a little more analytical and question to some degree the meaning of the words.

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

Waiting In Faith


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







Enjoy the Fred Hammond below. And if you enjoy this blog post, please sign up for my newsletter where you can get more inspiring posts like this and updates on giveaways and other happenings.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

God Bless You and Good Night - Review


Are you getting ready for bed? How about your little ones? Are they bathed and fed but rubbing their eyes, trying to resist sleep? Well, here's the solution. God Bless You and Good Night is a big, beautiful hardcover book with beautifully-drawn pictures of animals getting ready for bed. The rhyming verses are catchy and funny and just right to have your youngster read along with you. They will give your child a feeling of safety and send them right off to sleep.



God Bless You and Good Night written by Hannah Hall, illustrated by Steve Whitlow

Summary

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:

https://www.blessedfreebies.com/godblessyouandgoodnightgwy.html

Purchase Link: https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/god-bless-you-and-good-night-P005621646



Friday, April 06, 2018

Prone to Wander Phone Cases




"Prone to wander far from thee," the song says, and if we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that our hearts are prone to wander far from God at times. When the cares of life overcome us, we can take comfort in knowing that God understands and He is ready and willing to bring us back to Him. To remind us of His love and steadfast presence, Prone to Wander LA has created the beautiful phone cases you see in the pictures above. The company Prone to Wander takes its name from the hymn "Come Thou Fount," and it exists to bring God's word to us "in the little things we carry, wear or see everyday." These phone cases fit nicely on my iPhone 5 or any phone around that size.

You can win one of these cases by entering the giveaway here: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/p2wgiveaway.html or you can use the entry form below:


* indicates required



































Friday, March 30, 2018

The Power of the Cross

 My mother loved reading and she encouraged me to read a lot when I was a child. I always enjoyed the books she read to me and had  me read back to her, but one thing I didn't enjoy was the story of the crucifixion which she had me read one Good Friday. I remember hoping that when Jesus was arrested there would be a happy ending like most of the stories I read, that Jesus would not be crucified. But of course, it didn't end that way, and I wept inconsolably.

Today, even as an adult and a Christian, I no longer weep when I think of the cross, but as I reflect on Jesus's crucifixion, my heart fills with horror and sorrow for what He endured for you and me.The pain, the agony, the shame was more than we can ever imagine. However, I know now that the cross was God's plan of redemption for mankind, and that He, and Jesus, agreed on that plan before the foundation of the world. And so instead of the cross being a symbol of shame, it became a symbol of power and victory.

 Everyday cares and concerns may cause you to feel like you are bearing a cross. When you do, remember the cross. Remember that Jesus bore it all for you. Your sin and mine has been wiped away because of the cross. Jesus could have chosen not to go to the cross, but instead He prayed, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26: 39). Jesus died on the cross, but death could not overcome Him. In the same way, we who believe in Him  have the victory because of the cross.  Sickness, poverty, death all have to bow to the power of the cross. Halleluiah!

Would you like to know more about the cross and what it means for mankind? I have written a short story that you can read in less than an hour. It's called For God So Loved. It won an honorable mention in a Writer's Digest contest. You can  get it free from now until Monday 3/2/2018. Just click on this link.. You will not only get my book but also your choice of other Christian-themed books for your Easter reading AND a chance to win a $25 gift card. Enter this giveaway now.

God bless

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Florida's Latest Tragedy




Celebrate His Love
To help you get your mind in tune to the Easter season, I am inviting you to join an exciting giveaway taking place right now until Easter. It's called Celebrate His Love and features several Christian-themed books that you can pick up for FREE. And when you enter the giveaway, you also stand a chance to win a $25 gift card. My ebook, For God So Loved: The Story Behind Easter, which won an honorable mention in a Writer's Digest contest is on the list. So please get your FREE books and invite your friends to do so as well. God bless you.

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"The righteous cry out, the LORD hears and he rescues them from all their afflictions. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed. Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalms 34: 18-20 These words were quoted by Senator Marco Rubio of Miami, Florida a few hours after a newly-constructed bridge at Florida International University (FIU)collapsed, killing and injuring several people. This is the second major tragedy to hit the sunshine state in about a month. Even though I don't know anyone who was affected, the tragedy hit home as FIU is my alma mater.

When the unexpected happens, how do we cope? Can we pick up the pieces and move on?

In this season of Lent, we may do well to read the account of what it must have been like for Jesus's disciples following His death. To say they were devastated is an understatement. Their Lord and Master had been taken from them and crucified. Executed in the most inhumane way possible. And, as far as they knew, Jesus had done nothing wrong. In fact, He'd only done good. Healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead. Why hadn't he raised himself? Or prevented the Roman soldiers from killing him?

The disciples could make no sense of this horrible tragedy.

But that day on the road to Emmaus, two of them did what should be done when we experience a tragedy:

1. They talked about it. "Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;" Luke 24: 13 - 15

2. They reached out to Jesus. "As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them" (v 28- 30).
In our grief and pain we may not think of the needs of others, but these men extended their hospitality to Jesus - even though they didn't recognize Him - and invited Him to stay with them as it was late in the day.

3. They took care of themselves. Jesus joined the disciples at their dinner table.  When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them(v 30).
During a tragedy, we may find it difficult to eat, but we must make the effort. Going without food and drink can cause your body to weaken and collapse under the strain.

4. They stayed together. "They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together" (v 33). When you are going through the stress of a loss or any form of tragedy, you may be tempted to isolate yourself, but this is the time when you need the companionship of trusted friends and relatives.

5. Pray. We don't see the disciples praying in this chapter, but we know that they prayed a lot. "They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers" (Acts 1: 14). Prayer, Bible reading and fellowshiping with others will give you the encouragement to get through this trying period.

We all experience tragedy at some time, but when this occurs, we can draw on the resources that God has given us and look to Him who is "our strength and refuge."

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Billy Graham's Legacy

I was not born in America but I grew up listening to the evangelist Billy Graham every Sunday. My mother would serve lunch at the exact time that "The Hour of Decision" weekly broadcast came over the radio, and we would all have lunch while listening to the evangelist. Even though I was too young to understand his message, his earnest voice struck a chord in my young heart that would impact my life for years to come.

As I grew older, watched his crusades on television and read about his life, I became convinced that Billy Graham was sent by God to draw people to Christ. How else could he have preached to over 200 million people all over the world and have them respond in the way they did? He never danced and pranced on stage, he didn't promise miracles, all he did was preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in a clear and simple way and invite people to "Come." And they left their seats in droves and went up to the altar to have their lives transformed by the powerful gospel message. Such was the charisma of this great man.

I chose to write about Billy Graham today, not because he passed away a few days ago, but because this is Black History month and even though Dr. Graham was not black, his influence extended to the black community as well. While he has been criticized for not taking a strong stand on racial issues and for not marching with Dr. King, it is well documented that Billy Graham refused to preach to segregated audiences in the South and even removed the ropes himself that divided the people. I think to do that in a period of racial tension that existed in the fifties and sixties was nothing short of courageous. In one account about the relationship between Dr. King and Dr. Graham, it is said that Dr. King advised Graham to continue preaching to integrated audiences and he would continue to march. This, King believed, would pave the way for him to make inroads in the South. Some say this has not been authenticated.

Dubbed "Counselor to the Presidents," Billy Graham was well known for his meetings with every president since Harry Truman. Some of these meetings took place at the White House, others on the golf course and in other informal settings, but President Barack Obama was the first president to meet with the famed evangelist at his log cabin home in North Carolina.

Whatever stance, or lack of, Billy Graham may have taken on civil rights issues, one cannot deny the impact he had on evangelism and on the lives of millions. Our society and the world owe a huge debt of gratitude to this great man.