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Christmas Miracles

Christmas Miracles

Christmas is about the supernatural, about guiding stars, mystic prophesies, and virgin birth. At Christmastime we gaze beyond the limitations of our earthly existence to a Power that supersedes mere natural law. Yes, Christmas reminds us that nothing is impossible, that any dream can materialize, any wish can come true, and that the impossible becomes likely when we believe.

But Christmas is about mercy, too. It’s about do-overs, no matter who you are or what you’ve done, since the quintessential story of the season involves the whole world getting a second chance.

And yes, Christmas is about presents, but most of all, a Present. It’s about God so loving that he that gave his very Best. Yes, Christmas is about the unworthy receiving unlikely favors – unwarranted miracles. It’s about Ebenezer Scrooge, George Bailey, and Scarlet Ribbons.

Do you need a help? Do you need mercy? Do you need a miracle? Then Christmastime is the time for you. Talk to God now. Hold nothing back. Ask for the unaskable, even if you don’t deserve it. For at this time of year, more than at any other, we’re reminded that God is able, merciful, and generous – and looking down on us with wonder-working love.

David

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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

New Things

New Things

 

Like most fly fishermen, I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to my hobby. For example, I inherited a split bamboo fly from my uncle when I was fourteen, taught myself the art of flycasting, and enjoyed that old rod thoroughly. There were fiberglass models everywhere at the time, but I refused to even consider buying one. Bamboo fly rods were classic. And as the country folks used to say: “Why fix it if it ain’t broke?”

Later came graphite. Space Age material. It was supposed to be lighter. Have faster action. Enable longer casts. But it wasn’t bamboo – what I was used to – and so I resisted. By then I was emotionally attached to my old stick anyway. It had always served me well…until it started coming apart earlier this week.

Forced by circumstance, I finally caved in and bought one of the newer graphite-composite rods. The UPS guy brought it to my house just the other day. I took it from the box, strung it up with line, and took it outside to test it out. Two casts and I was hooked. (Not literally; bad pun, I know…), but honestly, it was as if it opened up a whole new world of wonder. I felt like the legendary flycaster Lefty Kreh, throwing farther, more accurately, and with more finesse than I’d ever thought possible. I blurted aloud, “Graphite, where have you been all my life!?”

Oh wait, it had been there for decades. I’d just been too set in my ways to try it out.

The Pharisees were like this about Jesus. They weren’t interested in His newfangled message of love and grace, so to their detriment and loss, they resisted the Good News.

When God invades our lives, He offers change. Jesus said, “Follow Me,” and following implies movement. Movement from one place to another, for sure, but also from one way of thinking to another. “Be transformed by the renewal of your minds,” wrote the Apostle Paul. In other words, be open to new ideas, new methods; new ways of looking at the truths revealed in God’s Word. Always stay open to change, so God can change you. It can open up a whole new world of wonder 😉

David

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The Gossamer Web of Faith

The Gossamer Web of Faith

Psalm 91:9-11–Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

Matt. 17:20– So Jesus said to them…“if you have faith as a mustard seed…nothing will be impossible for you.”

We all face threats from time to time, but few of them are as menacing as one faced by a certain WW2 American soldier. Separated from his company and surrounded by Nazi troops, he took refuge in one of the small caverns scattered about the area. The enemy was close; he could hear them speaking to one another as they scoured the little hillside caves, killing any and all American soldiers they uncovered.

“Save me, Lord,” he prayed.

And yet no delivering army came to his rescue. He cowered in that cave for hours; exercising what little faith he had, as a tiny spider began spinning its frail web across the entrance. That’s nice, he thought, but it’s gonna take more than a spider’s web to protect me.

Soon the Nazis stood at the entrance to his hideout. As one of them began to crawl inside, another commented that no one could have gotten into that cave without disturbing that frail spiderweb. Agreeing, the enemy soldiers moved on, and the American’s life was saved.

I don’t know what kinds of threats or challenges you might be facing today, but I do know that your faith in God, no matter how weak and fragile it may seem, is still powerful enough to keep the enemy from harming you. Just remember that though your faith may be small, your God is great. You can count on Him to rescue you.

 

David

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Facebook Prophecies

Facebook Prophecies

I recently read a Facebook post that went something like, “How can you guys believe in all these prophecies going out over social media. Do you really believe God could give a prophecy to everyone on Facebook at the same time? C’mon, people, get real.”

I understand this person’s skepticism, but my simple reply to their statement is two-fold:

1: Your God is too small. God can do anything He wants. Period. I think the parting of the Red Sea, Joshua’s stopping the Earth’s motion, and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proves that.

2: Prophecies delivered via public venues are not, and have never been, for everyone who hears or reads them. Israel received some positive prophecies during Queen Jezebel’s reign, but they weren’t for Jezebel; she was eaten by dogs. Yuck – ‘nuff said.

You see, it was Jesus himself who said, “Let those who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches” (Rev. 3:22). So what Jesus was saying to the churches wasn’t for everyone who would ever pick up a Bible and peruse the Book of Revelation, it was for those who might have ears to hear.

Do you ever read prophecies on social media that seem to ring like a bell in your heart? When you read them, do you think, “Yeah baby, that’s for me!”? Then guess what, it is for you, because you have ears to hear what God is saying to you and all the others like you. You have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to His church.

David

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Christmas Distilled

Christmas Distilled

Christmas. If you could distill it to its most basic element, it’s about God coming to us. In fact the traditional word for this season is Advent, from the Latin word for just that, for coming. And the message in this is that God came to rescue us when it would have been far easier, and certainly less painful, for Him to have remained in Heaven, aloof and separated from the tragic mess we’d made of our world.

But God so loved us that He gave His only Son to save us from the consequences of our bad decisions. And He told Joseph and Mary, “Call Him Jesus”, a name which is literally translated as “Rescuer,” because He came to seek and save – deliver – those who were lost.

And sometimes we still feel lost today, and not only in the eternal sense, because we can still make bad decisions or fall into misfortune even after we’ve been born again. But the thing to remember when this happens is that He still comes, every time we need Him, to rescue us.

So no matter what you’re facing at this moment, keep in mind that He’s on His way to you. His appearance may take the form of a friend or relative, or even a sudden twist of fate. If needed, His intervention will be miraculous; after all, when His disciples were caught in a storm, He came walking to them walking on the water, which proves to us that He’ll do whatever it takes to arrive on the scene and save His own.

And since you’re His own, He’ll come to you too, to still your storm and to get you to the other side of this. He’s coming to save you, and you can count on that, because He’s The Rescuer. That’s His name. It’s who He is. It’s what He does.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Spider Bite

Spider Bite

I just returned from teaching and ministering in Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara. It’s a beautiful, modern place, with amazing artistic architecture. But apparently they also have poisonous spiders, because I got bitten by one of them while there.

For real. My leg swelled up like a log. And hurt like a root canal for days. And yet still, despite all this it was   a  wonderful trip. In fact, I had a blast. Wish I was still there.

Oh, sure, the spider bite was a bummer, but I learned also something from an experience: that whether or not you love or hate a certain period of your life has a lot to do with your focus when you’re going through it. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things…and the God of Peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:8-9). My wife Diane put it more succinctly: “Be sure to enjoy your time in Guadalajara, ’cause you’ll miss it later.”

She was right. I do. And with this in mind, I was able to get my mind off of my “owie” and onto the beautiful people and things around me. I changed my focus from the negative to the positive, and in doing so changed both my attitude and the quality of my experience.

And yes, my leg is all well now, which I attribute to God’s keeping and healing power, since I’m told that bites of this type can be very serious. But that aside, is it possible that somethings going wrong in your life right now? If so – and I know it can be hard to do this – let me encourage you to lift your eyes from the problem to all that’s going right in your life you at the moment. Think about those who love you. Call a friend, take a walk, have a nice cup of coffee, and drink in the beauty that seems to be everywhere at this time year. As the T-shirt says. “Life is Good.” It really is.

So as difficult as it may seem, when we shift your focus from our challenges to our blessings, God of Peace brings peace to our hearts. And yes, He fixes our problems, too.

David

You can check out my new novel Falling for Chloe here: Falling for Chloe

Hope you love it 😉

FallingforChloe1000

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

You Called it What?!

You Called it What?!

I recently had to change the name of my novel “Hot”, to “Falling for Chloe”, so I can relate to my friend, author Jessie Bailey Andersen’s blog about re-titling a book. Her exciting novel The Breeding Tree is now available for purchase here: The Breeding Tree

But let Jessie tell you about it:

YOU CALLED IT WHAT?—TITLING AND RE-TITLING

Titles are difficult for me. Nothing ever seems right. I wanted something that would encompass the entire story, not only the first book, but a title that might apply to the two books following as a series title. Then it came to me: THE UNVIABLES.

You see, the children in the story are considered unviable. The Hidden City Rebels are for all intents and purposes, unviable. It was perfect…until it wasn’t.

For three years it was named Unviables. I submitted it, edited it and was halfway through the process when I got an email that said, “We need a few other title options.” WHAT??? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! (Drag that Nooooo out so it sounds like it’s falling into an abyss.)

But I complied. After all, the publishing house and its employees are professionals at Titling things.  So I took it to my writers group. “I need help. I thought I had the perfect title, but we need to come up with some more.” That day at group, we created a list. This was only part of it:

Unviables: Disposable Generation

Follow the Leader

Rejected

The Breeding Tree

Disposables

Disposable Generation

A Burden on the

Restriction League

Perfection League

Choosing Perfection

Hanging in the Balance

Nothing really grabbed me. My heart was stuck on Unviables. But word came back that The Breeding Tree had won the vote. “The Breeding Tree? What does that even mean?” you ask. Let me explain.

It was suggested by my friend, Ivory, who explained that the society in my book bred children like farmers breed cows. When cows are bred, they are attached to a post called ‘the breeding tree.’

Suddenly, it fit!

While, I still love THE UNVIABLES as a title, THE BREEDING TREE does encompass the story behind the book. Now, if I can only figure out what to title the next book, I’ll be all set.

Any suggestions?

About The Breeding Tree:

THE BREEDING TREE-- final cover

Is the opportunity to create the next generation of life a dream come true or a deadly nightmare?

When seventeen year old Katherine Dennard is selected to become a “Creation Specialist” in Sector 4, the opportunity sounds like a dream come true. But Kate soon discovers the darker side of her profession – the disposal of fetal organs and destruction of human life. It makes sense, really. In a society where disease and malformations don t exist, human perfection demands that no genetic “mutants” be allowed to live. For Sector 4, “survival of the fittest” is not just a theory – it’s The Institute’s main mission.

When Kate discovers that The Institute is using her DNA to create new life, her work gets personal. In order to save her unviable son, she’ll have to trust Micah and his band of underground Natural Born Rebels. The problem is, if The Institute discovers her betrayal, the next body being disposed of could be hers.

You can get Breeding Tree here: The Breeding Tree

About Jessie:

Andersen_headshot

There’s not much to do growing up in a small town in Western, NY, so J. Andersen wrote stories and won high school writing contests. But in college her writing was limited to term papers. While teaching middle school she began to read young adult books and got serious about writing. She now writes full time, volunteers at the town library, helps to run a School of the Arts at her church, and sings in the church band. She enjoys good coffee—read: home roasted by her husband—crafts, baking, and chasing after her children. You’ll rarely see J. without a book in her hands, and that’s the way she’d like to keep it.

You can reach Jessie here:

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagram.

Thanks Jessie, for sharing on Encouraging Word today!

David

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
 
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