When I was a little boy, I always longed to have a toy tank. Read the rest of this entry »
After I graduated from high school in Hong Kong, I had no desire to attend college. Read the rest of this entry »
Rebekah in the Old Testament is a woman of faith. Her encounter with a stranger changed her life forever. Read the rest of this entry »
Oftentimes, we wonder what our spiritual gifts are. Today, my friend Cynthia Simmons will talk to us about the spiritual gifts that God has given us.
Do you ever feel insignificant and wonder if anyone would notice if you disappeared? On the other hand do you struggle with thinking too highly of yourself? The followingverses in Romans teach us proper self esteem. “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith God has assigned. For as we have many members and the members do not have the same function.” Rom. 12: 3-4
Pride comes so easily to us, but so does poor self esteem. Neither extreme brings good mental health. So what’s the answer? In the next few verses the Apostle Paul launches into an explanation of spiritual gifts, and I believe that forms an excellent basis for a balanced view of ourselves.
Think about it. God gives every believer a gift. No one gets left out. Furthermore your gift may be mercy, but it will have a different slant than others in the church. You’ll be uniquely gifted to do a job no one else can do the way you can in the time and place you live. Even more than that, when you exercise your gift, you become a vital part of the whole church—a necessary cog in the workings of the machinery. Should you fail to use your gift, the church will lose the special ability to touch the world as God planned. Imagine your body deprived of an eye, or even the big toe. Doubtless you’d miss either one.
Let’s revisit the verse above. Paul taught each believer in Rome “…not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…” In other words, he’s saying not to be proud. A prideful person would think of himself as the entire machine. Nothing would happen without him, and we all know that’s not true. That’s disobeying this verse—he’s not that important. But if a believer sees himself as a vital part of the machine, or the body of Christ, that’s healthy. He’s valuable and has something to offer. Paul continues Romans twelve this way, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…”
Do you battle with thoughts of insecurity? Discover and use your spiritual gift. Do you combat pride? View yourself as a member of God’s church with a vital role to play. The church needs us all, working together for God’s kingdom.
Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over twenty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. Active in Christian Authors Guild (CAG), she conducts writing workshops and has served as president, vice president, and conference director. In December 2009 the membership granted her Life Time Membership for her numerous contributions to writers.
“Cindy” is fond of history and writes both historical fiction and nonfiction. Her writing appeared in CAG publications, NATHHAN NEWS, Chattanooga Regional Historical Magazine, Georgia Right to Life Newsletter, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Catholic Exchange, and Christian Devotions.us.
Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, came out in 2008. While promoting her book, she had interviews on radio and TV across the nation and was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the year.
She also conducts monthly podcasts called CAG Spotlight in which she interviews authors and VIPs in the writing industry. At present she is completing a twelve week Bible study using the stories in Struggles and Triumphs.
What’s wrong with our world? Shouldn’t a God who claims to be all powerful and flawless prevent suffering? How can we continue to believe when storms rage on in our lives? If you’ve ever had tough questions like these Struggles and Triumphs Study Guide is the book for you.
Author Cynthia L. Simmons will guide you toward answers with her unique and enlightening approach. Her twelve-week Bible study for ladies comes from stories of real women as told in Struggles and Triumphs: Women in History Who Overcame. As you study, you’ll come to understand God’s perspective on timeless issues that impact your life. The carefully chosen Scriptures combined with interesting historical information will challenge and encourage you.
Watch the trailer at: http://youtu.be/HOP9HY7xTXU
To purchase Cynthia’s book Struggles and Triumphs, please go to http://www.lulu.com/shop/cynthia-simmons/struggles-and-triumphs-workbook/paperback/product-20038687.html
I am so happy to introduce to you my Christian friend Julie-Allyson Ieron. Julie is an author, writing coach, editor, and conference speaker. Two of her e-books are doing the Amazon Prime free promo in the next few weeks.
Book summaries are:
Staying True in a World of Lies (free on Amazon Kindle March 17-18)
Updated Second Edition with Study Guide
Practical Models of Integrity for the Workplace and Beyond
Have you ever found yourself in a moral dilemma at work? Something seemingly insignificant that tested your resolve and challenged your integrity. Staying True in a World of Lies looks at integrity as the unification of thoughts, words, and actions. It is a timely, practical resource filled with stories of real people that will reinforce your commitment to Christlikeness—and energize you for the long haul. Then, rebuild your life around God’s character expectations using the bonus 12-session Bible study.
Praying Like Jesus (free on Amazon Kindle April 5-7, Easter week)
Updated Second Edition with Study Guide
Prayer is more—much more—than a laundry list of requests. It isn’t about getting the answers we want just when we want them. Actually, it isn’t about us, at all. Prayer is about relationship between Almighty God and you. Praying Like Jesus introduces you to prayer from a close-up perspective—that of God the Son. This dynamic study of 52 ways Jesus prayed for you will challenge your heart to come into contact with the Heart that beats to intercede for you. Savor one chapter at a time or one each week for a year. And dig in for yourself as you use the 9-session Bible study included in this updated eBook package.
Julie-Allyson Ieron (pronounced: I-RUN) is a perceptive journalist who investigates God’s truth and crafts her discoveries in ways that engage your mind and resonate with your heart. Her passion is to open God’s Word alongside you to equip you to apply its riches to your daily joys, questions, and challenges.
She recently celebrated 25 years as an author, writing coach, editor, and conference speaker. Her ministry-defining project released in 2010: The Julie-Allyson Ieron Bible Reference Collection on WORDsearch 9.0. It features 9 of Julie’s books linked with 75 Bible reference resources. Additionally, most of her books are available in MP3 audio and e-book formats, as well as print. Her book, The Overwhelmed Woman’s Guide to … Caring for Aging Parents is a featured resource for Focus on the Family, where she was a radio guest.
Julie is excited about her newest book: The God Interviews: Questions You Would Ask; Answers God Gives, scheduled to release from Leafwood Publishing in Autumn 2012.
Julie’s personal life is as dynamic as her writing. She is her dad’s medical advocate, and along with her mom Joy (who is quick to point out she’s not Julie’s aging parent!) daily administers his tests, meds, and shots. In more relaxed times, Julie and Joy play violin and organ duets for weddings and church services (sometimes for funerals, too). Julie plays violin in her church’s orchestra, dabbles in art for fun, and plays a killer game of Scrabble™.
This post is written by Fay Lamb, the author of Because of Me.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways
My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens
are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I love my walks around North Carolina’s Lake Junaluska. As I stroll alongside the rose garden or hike the secluded trail, I spend time with the Lord, contemplating his path for me.
The prophet Isaiah wrote about the “high ways” of God, and I’ve wondered what those ways mean to me as I trod the paths God has for me. If God named his “high ways” what would they be?
Satisfaction Boulevard: Worldly satisfaction is often found in things we buy or produce, but God calls us to satisfaction in Him. “Ho, everyone one that thirsteth come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea come buy wine without food and price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” (Isaiah 55:1-2) When I am dissatisfied, I’m telling God what He has provided isn’t enough. When walking Satisfaction Boulevard, I see that everything He has given me is more than enough.
Security Circle: While my trek around the lake is a short one, I have to watch carefully for individuals who may intend me harm. So it is with my life. I must watch for everyone and everything that will pull me away from my journey with God. Isaiah 55: 3 says, “Incline your ear, and come unto me, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” When we walk with God, we are safe—He is an everlasting harbor.
The intersection of Surrender Trail and Salvation Lane: God’s mercies are immeasurable. He met me where I was so I could continue a journey free from the burdening sin I once carried. God handed that burden to His son. “Behold I have given Him [Jesus] for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55: 4, 6) Because Jesus sacrificed for me, I can approach God’s throne and ask Him to walk with me in the cool of the day.
Sanctity Court: In the North Carolina mountains, the picturesque setting changes from moment to moment, making it easy to understand that with God, each day is a new beginning. No matter what I’ve done, God is faithful to forgive me if I ask. Isaiah 55:7 declares, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” God calls me to bring my sins before him. Each confession draws me closer to Him, the walk a more enjoyable one, as I move toward the future in God’s abundant forgiveness.
Sharing Way: When I walk, I carry a camera to record the beauty of the lake, the plants, and the wildlife. I marvel that God spoke it all into existence. Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” God’s Word is powerful, a gift for the ages—a gift that God says will accomplish its purpose of announcing salvation to mankind—the Creator’s message to His creation.
Singing Street: Following God’s paths leads to joy. “For we shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you in signing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 55:12-13) I’ve never broken into song during my walks, but I’ve enjoyed the song of nature in the honking geese, the lapping waters, the rustling leaves, and my heart has been lifted in praise to the Maker of that chorus and for the “high ways” He has made for me.
Fay Lamb works as an acquisition/copyeditor for Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books), offers her services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel is published by Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing.
Fay has a passion for working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010.
In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board.
Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.
Fay’s debut novel: Because of Me:
Not your typical Christian fiction.
Michael’s fiancée, Issie Putnam, was brutally attacked and Michael was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s home to set things right.
Two people stand in his way: Issie’s son, Cole, and a madman.
Can Michael learn to love the child Issie holds so close to her heart and protect him from the man who took everything from Michael so long ago?
Available through all fine book retailers, Amazon.com, and Mountainview Publishing (www.trebleheartbooks.com/MVLamb.html), a division of Treble Heart Books.
Purchase the book at: