Friday, January 25, 2013

It's a Small World After All!

Hello readers! 
What a mighty God we serve!  This is a kind of different post tonight.  I've been tinkering with the blog, under direction of my sister, and I have found the "Audience" button.  This allows me to see the demographics of my readers AND MAN WAS I SURPRISED!!!!!
We've had readers from:

          The U.S.         Russia          Germany          Poland              
          The U.K.        Latvia           Ukraine            France              
The Netherlands            Argentina
I'm amazed at how God allows us to use modern technology.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading! 
Tomorrow, we will be at the Sumter County SC Local Author Book Fair from 3 until 5 p.m.  Lord willing, will be get some more exposure, and we'll sell some books! 
I would also like to invite you to visit our church's website to hear some good, old fashioned, Gospel preaching! 

Some of you may remember that my husband is the pastor, and he's has just recently updated the website with new messages.  I know that they will be a blessing to you. 
Again, thank you so much for all of your prayers and support.  We need it!
God Bless You!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

I have resumed my college courses at Newberry College for the spring semester, and one of the classes that I am required to take is World Literature.  Thank the Lord that one of the required readings was selections from the Book of Job, as a study of Hebrew Literature. 

My assignment was to select a question from the list given and write a one-page reader's response.  I really tried to keep it at one page, honestly, but I COULDN'T HELP MYSELF!!!  :) 

Here is the question:

Why is evil allowed to prey on Job?  What message is conveyed by allowing evil things to happen to Job?  How is Job's reaction to each terrible event an important aspect of the purpose of this selection?

Here is my answer: (I hope this is a help to you-it was to me!)

In the opening selection “Job’s Trials” comprised of the first three chapter of the Book of Job from the Authorized King James Version, we find a man that has had a rather bad day.  In the course of one day, Job lost his herds, his servants, his livelihood, and his children.  He did not respond foolishly, he proceeded in the traditional rites of grieving.  Job rent his clothes, shaved his head, but then he fell on the ground and worshipped God.  All this happened as a result of Satan attempting to assert himself over the Lord God Jehovah by tempting Job who was a servant of God, “…perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” (Job 1:1) 

When Satan saw that he had lost round one, Satan asks God for another go at Job.  It is notable to also point out that Satan must ask permission to perform these acts against Job.  God had a shield of protection surrounding Job and his family, which was only removed at God’s discretion.  During this round of affliction, Satan caused Job to be covered in boils from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. 

At this point, Job’s wife also comes to him advising him to “curse God and die” in a feeble effort to retain his “integrity.”  What she didn’t understand was that she and Job had two very different definitions of “integrity.”  Her definition of the term was “pride.”  She wanted Job to curse God to save face, because people were already talking about them and it was making her look bad; but Job had true integrity which is honor and the fear of the Lord. 

This presents the answer to the question of why God allowed these evil dealings to fall upon Job.  The answer is simple—to bring glory and honor to God Himself, and to create a closer relationship between Himself and Job.  God knew that Job would not curse Him.  God is omniscient.  He knows and perceives all.  Satan is a defeated foe that continues to plague the children of God to fall away and join his band of demonic followers who will find their eternity being spent in a lake of fire.  Since he knows that he cannot escape the wrath and punishment of God, he will try to increase the number of souls that will rebel against God, simply for spite.

The message conveyed by allowed evil things to happen to Job is that through this trial, Job actually grew closer to God.  Job had some “friends” that came to “comfort him!” With friends like these, who needs enemies?  These so-called “friends” proposed that Job had sinned, that he was a hypocrite, and a liar.  They offered him tradition and oriental proverbs.  Job points out in chapter twenty-one, evil people do prosper, so the supposition that he is being punished for some sin is unfounded, but his “friends” continue to offer their “assistance!” 

The only progress that is made comes from “Elihu” the final friend of the account of Job.  Elihu points out that the only thing that Job has done wrong in this situation, is that he has proclaimed his own righteous, and not that of God.  After Elihu’s speech, God speaks to Job from the whirlwind, confirming Elihu’s guidance.  In fact, in verses seven through nine of chapter forty-two, God commands the “three friends” Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, to repent of their wickedness, which they did as seen in verse nine.  It is very interesting to observe here that there is no further mention of Elihu.  We don’t read what happened to him.  The name Elihu actually means “God is he.”  There are some that believe that Elihu was actually a Christophany, a bodily appearance of Jesus Christ, there to defend Job against his “friends” and at the same time chastise Job as a Father chastises His child to teach them and bring them closer to Him.

Job’s reaction to each of these terrible events teaches us that we should not be so wrapped up in ourselves.  We should keep our eyes on Christ in His sovereignty, majesty and divine decision.  He knows the beginning from the end because He’s already been there.  He is the true friend, one that “…sticketh closer than a brother.” (Hebrews 13:5)
and in the words of Job...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Our Song

You all know that I'm a Christian Romance writer.  I love writing love stories.  The Greatest Love Story ever written is the Bible, and the best part about that is it's TRUE! 

Well, one facet of a couple's relationship is that most of the time, the couple has a special song that they refer to as "Our Song."  Maybe it was playing when he proposed or when they first knew they were in love.  Whatever the case may be, "Our Song" is a popular phrase-and everyone should have a song.

I was privileged to be able to attend the Watch Night Service at Open Bible Baptist Church on December 31st.  One of the preachers there was a missionary going to preach the Gospel in North Korea-that's right NORTH Korea.  For safety's sake, I will not mention his name.  God is able, and He knows this blessed man's name, so we will pray for North Korea and let God handle the rest!
In his message, he mentioned this verse:

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
                                                                              Ephesians 2:10

I've highlighted, this word "workmanship", because the Lord used His comments to give me this blog post.  I pray that it will help someone out there.

The missionary said that an old Indian preacher had given him the original Greek word and it's translation, and that made me want to do some research.  I found that the Greek word that is translated as "workmanship" here is "ποίημα", literally translated "poem". That old Indian preacher had done his homework-he was dead on!  A poem, just like any other work of art is indeed a workmanship-make no mistake about it!  When I write a novel, it is definitely WORK!  So, we see that the KJV here is correctly translated.  I still love studying the Greek and Hebrew from the Bible though, because it can give you a different perspective, like we see here.  The missionary continued sharing his conversation with this old Indian preacher-the preacher explained it to him as such:  God is writing a poem, or a song, with our lives. 

This is what jumped out at me-the song.  God has given me many talents to use for him (what a responsibility!) and musical ability is one of those gifts.  I play the piano, sing, and have on occasion written a song or two (read "Wheels of Love"-yes I actually wrote music to that song and everything!) 

So I began thinking about "The Song" and its parts:

Verses: They tell the story-not just the everyday stuff-special events that are worth singing about.

Chorus: This part is repeated over and over, and is always the most popular part of the song-people will sing this the loudest!  Folks will sometimes forget the title of the song, and simply call it by the Chorus!

Bridge:  Not all songs have these, but some do.  This part of the song is very distinctive, different from the rest of the song.  It creates momentum and, most of the time, leads into a key change (modulation) where you sing the chorus again in a higher level, or key. 

So, I thought that the verses of the song are events in our lives. Not the mundane, everyday things, but things that happen in our lives that are special. 

Application:  What kind of song are we singing?  Are we singing the blues-complaining all the time?  Are we singing songs of rebellion? Or are we singing love ballads (some of my favorites) that tell the true love story of Jesus?  Can others see this love song playing out in our lives?

Then, I thought about the Chorus-the part that is sung over and over, and the part that is "the identity" of the song.
Application: What's our identity?  What do people "know" us for?  What do they associate with us?  Um.  That really made me stop and think-woe is me!  This is our everyday life!  Sometimes it gets monotonous and tiresome. But, the chorus should always emphasize the main idea of the verses.  And remember, it's the part of the song that's always sung the loudest!  I love to hear my nephews Gabe, Adam, and Jonathan singing "Dwelling in Beulah Land" in church!  They just belt it out on the chorus and literally shout "Praise God" at that part!  It brings a smile to everyone's face!  So, what do our lives "shout out"-bitterness, rebellion, or love?

Finally I thought about the bridge-the part of the song that is different.  Sometimes the bridges in songs may even be in a minor key.  I associate this portion of the song with trials.  God uses trials to refine us-to get rid of the trash in our lives to make us more pure for His use.  These difficult times are designed by God to bring us closer to him, and to make us stronger.  At the end of the trial, don't you feel like you're on the mountain top?  That's our key change!  Our Modulation!  That's our "Higher Ground!"  That bridge helps build momentum and strength for us to make it up that hill!  It helps us to fight the fight, and to keep on keepin' on until we reach that higher level for Jesus! Amen! 

I finished that last paragraph through tears-so if no one else out there needed this post today, I know I did!

In conclusion, let's all take a good look at our lives for the New Year-and let's let Jesus be "Our Song"!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Address!

Alrighty!  We have successful ported the website address in an have attached it to this blog!  YAY!

So, now you only have to enter...

and you will come here! 

Much easier, don't you think? :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Don't Forget...!

Happy New Year!
One stop on today's stop on
"The Next Big Thing" blog tour is :
And I got a preview thought about what the devotion might be, and if Marcie went in that direction, I promise you won't want to miss it! 
Lord willing, I'll have a devotion posted for the evening.  I was privileged to attend a Watch Night Service at Open Bible Baptist Church in Sumter, SC on the 31st, and the Lord gave me a thought I'd like to share. 
This morning, though, I must travel to Orangeburg, SC to formally accept my new job at Orangeburg Christian Academy!  I've got papers to sign and a classroom to decorate and "move into"!
Thank the Lord for his Goodness and Provision!
Don't forget to stop at Marcie's and then come back here tonight!