Wednesday, February 22, 2017
One of the most horrendous things I can think of is child abuse, particularly sexual abuse. Barry Napier has tackled this gut-wrenching topic with the clarity and anger it deserves, and it's hard to believe this book is fiction--it sounds way too real. Actually--what goes on is real. Although this story takes place in Nicaragua, what happens could be in nearly any country worldwide,
Gabrielle is a young child in South America sold by her aunt to sex traffickers. Her little sister had leaped from the back of the cattle truck they're in several hours before and escaped, but Gabrielle isn't sure if Natalia can survive the cold nights and hunger in this thick forest long enough to make it back home again.
Ryan had begun going to the Bent River Community Church when his marriage and his life went south. He was struck by the stories coming out of a small hideaway in Nicaragua, and something in side him--Someone?--urged him to go. The pastor at Bent River agreed with that, and off Ryan went without a clue what he was doing or even how to speak Spanish.
The little rescue home acreage (Jubilee House) is guarded by a huge man the locals call "the Giant," transportation and translation is provided by a happy but crazy driver named Miguel, and the whole thing is run by one small widow with a huge heart, Sarah. Dozens of children play in the mud and dust. Ryan finds that every time he sits down he is surrounded by children, some on his lap and some snuggled up to his side.
He's not so sure he believes in God. How could God allow these sweet children to be so abused? But soon he finds in a situation where he must believe or die.
Grab this book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You won't be sorry. You might even be inspired.
I received this book free from the author in return for an honest review.
Monday, February 20, 2017
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7, NKJV.
Obviously, we aren't talking here about geographical valleys--they've been here a long time and probably will be for the foreseeable future...despite the current weather situations in California and other areas.
Spiritual valleys are another story. They don't last. I know, sometimes it seems like they will last forever, but they won't. That's not just God's promise, it's the experience of countless believers.
Think back over your lifetime--haven't there been times of joy? Those were times on the mountaintops. Those mountaintop experiences are, I believe, times of rest in preparation for battles ahead. Sorry, Christians, but the valleys/battles are the times when we grow or fail. That old saying about what doesn't kill us makes us stronger? It's one hundred percent true!
Again, I'm not talking about the physical. It's the spiritual.
Athletes don't exercise all day every day. They have to have periods of rest and refreshment. True in the spiritual realm, too. We have valleys where we have to exercise our faith because the rest (mountaintop) is in the future.
While my husband was extremely ill, that was one whale of a valley. All I could do is hang on for dear life to God. There were times I think it was the other way around--God hung onto me.
He will do that for you too, you know. When your strength is gone, His remains strong.
Father, thank You for being with us through valley of shadows, sometimes carrying us. Your strength is as everlasting as Your love. You are the best. For the glory of Your Son, we pray. Amen.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. Genesis 9:12-15, NKJV
Just in case the Californians (and others) are fearfully wondering: No, it won't rain forever; and no, a flood won't cover the whole earth ever again. Right now, though, it sure seems like it, doesn't it? And even if it doesn't flood the whole earth, orchards and fields are covered in water. It could damage trees and cause the farmers to have to postpone planting.
It got me to thinking, not all floods are made of water. We get flooded with all kinds of worries, like not enough money, too many bills, too much rain, not enough rain, too much homework, no job, the car died, the spouse is sick.... And so on. It's no wonder so many worry themselves sick--literally. The worries overwhelm just like a broken dam.
Jesus told people in the sermon on the mount (specifically in Matthew 6 :25-34) not to worry because worry never changed anything. Instead we're to give our worries to God and trust Him to take care of us. Yes, He expects us to work for a living, if we can, but still to trust Him for our supply. He is faithful. Remember that, if nothing else. Ask Him for what you need or what your neighbor needs. He is able.
Lord, please help us to remember that You are our source of supply, not our paychecks or lack thereof. We tend to be forgetful of all You've done for us. And Lord, we give You thanks for all Your benefits every day. Remind us to watch for the rainbows. In Jesus's name and for His glory, Amen.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
I love medical mysteries, don't you? Although this one really is more about romantic suspense than a mysterious malady. And I love Jordyn Redwood's writing technique. She puts more tension and twists into her books than you would think the front and back could successfully contain. This is Jordyn's first venture with Harlequin's Love Inspired, and they have welcomed her with enthusiastically open arms.
This one begins with a woman (Julia Galloway) who has oxygen deprivation-induced amnesia and US Marshal (Eli Cayne) who had worked to keep her safe and healing after a near-fatal hanging. She doesn't remember him, but there's something about him that makes her feel safer. The hangman, or so the attacker has been labeled, is safely in prison, but someone has put out a hit on Julia. Why?
Daily near-death experiences keep Eli and cohorts on their toes. They put her in a safe house--which is anything but safe. Each place they select results in another attack. Obviously, there's a leak of information from within. Danger escalates to both Julia and Eli.
Buy the book now, and solve this puzzle before it's too late! Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Harlequin.
Monday, February 13, 2017
He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:45b NKJV
Continuing with what I was writing last week, I'm going to be talking about valleys for the next few weeks during the Monday Morning Devos. Pastor David Rieck gave a really inspirational sermon a week ago, and he said our emotional valleys are inevitable. They happen to everyone, without fail.
Jesus said in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble." Not "you might have trouble." Not "other people will have trouble." Not "I will keep those who follow Me from having troubles."
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:4-5, "
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
I read the first two of this Christian Science Fiction series (the Seventh World Trilogy) for free and this one I actually had to buy. Me being a cheapskate should tell you that I thought it would be worth the price--and it was.
If you read the two previous reviews of the two previous books (or read the books) (Worlds Unseen and Burning Light), you will remember some of the characters were gifted. Maggie was gifted with songs that foretold, comforted, and healed; Virginia was blind most of the time but had extraordinary visions; the Ploughman had the gift of being able to call on angelic warriors when needed; Miracle could bring healing even to the worst wounded; Nicolas, the one with the fire eyes; and Kieran, the boy in whose footsteps plants grew. The prophesy said when the six were woven together something great would happen. The six were scattered from here to yonder, some captured by the evil ones and in danger of life and limb. The Blackness sought to capture all of them and grab their power.
Talking about being woven together, this book is something else. You need to grab it and read, read, read. Some truly inspired writing here! Amazon or Barnes and Noble.