The Puzzle Pieces of Life

(Pixabay.com photo)

There are quite a few things we can learn from broken relationships and pain in our lives. I talk to quite a few women monthly and it amazes me that they all want the same thing. To be pain free from their circumstance.

Yes. That is an important thing to want but, how to get it is all together different.

As you are walking through the pain of a broken relationship you have to remember that you are walking through it, not stuck in it. This includes any other pain in your life as well.  You can’t go back to the way the relationship used to look before it was broken. Why? Because you are now smack dab in the middle of transition.

You are going to a higher calling in the middle of your messy situation. You do not want an improved version of the mess but a whole new thing that God will do. You want it to be what God intended it to be. Right?

But, some of you are afraid.

Fear gains power when it  is in the dark. When we face the fear for what it is, and illuminate it in God’s light, fear’s control over us begins to dissolve. It will hold no power.

Try as we may, we keep trying to fix that broken problem only to find it usually gets worse. How about this. Try not to fix the problem but put your focus on something else. On God.

GOD’S LESSONS OF LIFE ARE SO PERSONAL

Take a puzzle. Some have hundreds of pieces for the puzzle you may be working on. The puzzle you are fixing is complicated. It has a lot of intricate details. But, let’s say you get tired of working on that puzzle of a city night scape because you can’t find some pieces. You look and look and you can’t find the right piece. So, you decide to go to another puzzle of flowers and coffee cups. You now look at your new puzzle of flowers and coffee cups and and you take a piece of that puzzle in your hands. You try and try to get that coffee cup puzzle piece to fit your own night scape puzzle.

Do you see what is wrong with that? It won’t fit. It won’t work in your puzzle no matter how much you make it fit or how much an empty space is similar to yours. It’s not for your puzzle.

But this is what we do in our situations. We try to get another solution to our problem instead of looking at our own puzzle and refocusing on what is there.

Well, what is there? God is there. In the darkest and most confusing state…God is there. Somewhere under all the other “puzzle pieces” you will find your piece to your puzzle but you may have to step back and refocus to see it.

You may have to move some other puzzle pieces out of the way to see the next piece you need to fit the space you are looking for. But, sometimes you bypass that piece and go to a whole different section of the puzzle.

What if your situation was just like that. Maybe you need to stop focusing on that one piece you keep trying to find and work a different part of the puzzle. You know that in order to finish the puzzle that piece will be found but, not right now.

What if you need to step back from your situation and work on a different area of your life instead the area you keep trying to fix or “find”. What if you looked further out from your problem, from a different view and put the pieces together there. What would the puzzle or your life then look like.

I would say it would look like it is coming together, piece by piece.  Just like a real puzzle. Even that broken situation you keep trying to fix it will someone how come together.

Give it up to the Holy Spirit. Let Him help you find out how to put the pieces of your life back together again.  I remember when I felt all I had were pieces of my life. It didn’t resemble a whole life or “puzzle” at all. I had no clue what pieces went where or how they fit. I was going through an unwanted divorce and all I could see and say was….

“I can’t be divorced. I can’t be divorced. I can’t do life alone. I can’t be divorced.”

But, I was divorced and those thoughts echoed so loud and my heart pounded so hard in the dark of night in my bedroom alone. I wanted to die. It wasn’t that I didnt want to live, I just didnt want to live like this. Divorced. The word has a horrible sound in the ear or at least to my ear  it did.

At the time, I didn’t know what I know now about putting your life back together and looking at your life from a different perspective. All I saw was a pile of puzzle pieces. All the pieces were there to make it a beautiful life but sifting through and putting them in some kind of pattern or order felt impossible. But, to get to the place I am now, I had to let the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth help me and show me how to find the next piece. One piece at a time.

The one hurting is looking for those pieces that fix the situation. God is looking for a lifestyle that overcomes the situation. I had to learn to live differently. That was jus a fact. I had to learn to wait expectantly for God’s next set of directions. This was kind of like looking for that next piece of the puzzle. You just don’t know where or when it will show up. But it will.

You can’t have a complete puzzle without it. Just as you can’t have a complete life without the Holy Spirit guiding you.

He knows where the next piece or “step” is you need to take. He will show you. Learn to wait expectantly for God’s next set of directions.  Let Him put your pieces of the puzzle back together.

Walk in the light God has given you: no more and no less. God releases His instruction in His timing and in the right amounts so we can gain the most from it. It’s like traveling in the fog; you can’t see beyond your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

 


Conformity

What Have You Conformed To?

As you look around in society you can see many varied things and people. But, you may not see God or holiness. Holiness?  That’s a word that shocks some of you. Why? Because society has brought God down to a level of commonality with man.  He is not seen as holy by many. We truly are a society bent on believing that ‘our’ choices and decisions are okay no matter how far they are from the center of the will of God. People have come to believe and live with no filter for right or wrong in their lives and choices.
A few months ago I was in the AT&T store and a  AT&T representative was helping me. This man, we will call him Larry, said in our random talking, that the bible was just a book of tales and rhetoric. He said that it was okay for regular people to replace their own names with the name of God in the bible!
I know,  I know you are shocked. Imagine how I felt.  At first I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. But, then I remembered this is our culture today. This random, now crazy conversation, was coming to an end after I stated that is not right and that God ‘s name it not to be replaced with any other name. I also told him the bible is not a book of rhetoric and tales.
He quickly became silent and attended to my phone.
As I left, this conversation with Larry got me to thinking. How many people in that moment would have stood up for their beliefs? I wondered, what are people really standing for, conformed to. It was easy for me to stand up for what I believed about Christ but what about others.
I inventoried my life and rechecked my beliefs . As I headed to the car, I thought about how Larry could believe that was true and how I believed something so totally different. I thought about my choices everyday that lead me to this place of belief and why I hold them so strongly.
What if , one day, I come across another person with some radical crazy belief. Will I conform to that way of thinking? Then, I had a thought. What about the next person behind me that Larry would speak to and say something to them about the bible being a book of tales. Would they agree with him. Their conversation might change that person’s life and set them on a wrong course. Larry could be dangerous to many in their faith.
Why was Larry so willing to speak this out to me, a stranger, in the store like that? Because, he was conformed to a part of society that sees Jesus as someone on their level, unholy, unworthy and not the God of the universe and mankind and just a man.  Larry saw the bible as common and not holy and nothing to live by.  Remember, to him it was just a book of tales.
God said that He was a holy God and we were to be holy.  We are not to defame holy things or make them common. We are to be set apart in the ungodly world. That doesn’t mean we are not to live in the world. We do that but, we are not to be a part of the culture and society that doesn’t look like God or act like God in the earth.  We are to change and effect the society. We are to be the light to the darkness in the society.
We are not to make our life decisions the way the world does based on selfishness, failures, sins, and think that God accepts that and it’s okay. WE are not to take the culture into our lives and be shaped by it. We are to shape it. We are not to conform.
What have you conformed to? What have you taken in from the culture. Are you living by your own set of rules and what feels comfortable to you? Are you living as if the bible is a book of tales and rhetoric? What would you do with a Larry in your life?
We must be conformed to His image only. We are to let His image be seen even in the AT&T store or wherever we go. When the image is challenged and made to be common we are to stand up and be a voice for God.
Somewhere, Larry conformed to some image. But what if he didn’t? What would Larry’s conversation be then to the customer coming into the store. We must stand up for what is right and think about how we shape the world around us and show forth the image of God to all we meet.
Life is a challenge and life is good. Think about what you display. Is it conforming to His image or your image.
The Bible says that we are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. Larry needed his mind renewed from the belief that its a book of tales and rhetoric to a holy book about God and His love for His people and how Christ died for us.
Transformation of the mind takes work. If you are conforming to the world I challenge you to study the word of God. Pray and ask God to help you transform and think a different way about Him, His laws and love. He loves you and wants you to know Him intimately. He wrote a book to tell you how much he loves you and put very real stories in them, all true, to show you His goodness.
Be ye transformed!
Selah.

 

 

 

 

 


…Behold, I Do A New Thing

 

I sat quiet looking at my laptop keys and I looked at what I had written about 5 times, I heard Him, the Holy Spirit, say, “Write what I tell you, write what’s on My heart.”
Then it dawned on me. That is what my writing life is about anyway. That is what my whole life is about…ministering and helping other people. Being sensitive to what they need. Because, we all need something only He can give. My writing life is about writing what He says, not what I want to say.  My own words won’t help anyone. They must be infused with His wisdom and His power.
Today, the Holy Spirit wants to encourage you with the verse in Isaiah 43:19 “Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Holy Spirit has a lot to say to us and He uses people to say it. He uses different avenues to get a message to you.  As I began to get still and quiet, I heard these words below for you the reader. Take them as your own.
There will be many that will read this blog and they need to know that as one year ends and we meet another it is a new beginning in many areas of their lives. We are almost done with the first month of the year and it went quick!
The new beginning of this month may have already been met with disappointment for some of you. You may feel discouraged because you thought this was your new year of happy or change but you are met with more of the same. Trouble.
I heard a woman say recently that “life hits you hard sometimes.” This is true. Life can hit us hard in the loss of a child, a divorce, the tragic loss of a home, the loss of a job or career,  or a crushing blow to a long held dream or the loss of a precious family relationship. Any of these things and more cause us to bruise inside if we are hit terribly hard. We can being to wonder and ponder where is God and why has this thing happened.
The Holy Spirit wants to encourage you with this question. “What can I be to you now in this situation that I could not be for you had you not had this situation?
That is the question, not why is horrible thing happening. It all about perspective and vision.
Sure you are hurt or bruised and you were expecting a change and it didn’t come. But a new thing can spring up suddenly and you know not how. God is like that you know.

“The place of struggle is always the place of your breakthrough, but the first thing that has to be broken through in a struggle is you. It’s your mindset, it’s your willingness to trust, your willingness to believe the Lord, and your willingness to step into a miracle.” ~Graham Cooke (from Provision & Partnership)
You see this verse is about perspective. God says “do you not perceive and know it and give heed to it”. You can’t give heed to something you are not perceiving.
But what is perception to one is not the same to another. So how then can I know it.
By looking to see with the eyes of the heart and by looking at the wilderness places and desert places of your heart. Do you see a new thing there? Do you see even the smallest change in the darkest place? That is the new thing suddenly coming upon you.
God is faithful to your life and to His call and plan. This I know to be true. He will do anything to get His plan to come to fruition in your life. Trust Him. Lean on Him and perceive what He is doing. Perception is everything. It is the only thing. See with the eyes of the word and His eyes into your situation. Trust in that alone.
Behold, He is doing a new thing!

 

 

 

 

 


Happy New Year!!!

 

Happy New Year.

A new year brings up a lot memories for us all. It also brings up a lot of goal setting, resolutions and changes we want to make.  We seem to get a lot of energy for new things at the beginning of a new year. Why? Because we love the new thing. I know I do.

I thought I would start of my new year blog with a few ideas for the new year and share with you what I am doing and hope you post back to me what you are doing. It’s going to be a great year. Out with the old and in with the new.

So what do we do that the calendar has clicked over and we get a new year? We all get a clean slate so to speak so let’s learn from the past and go on forward.

At the end of every year I reflect on the people I lost. I still miss my mom very much. She died in 1990 but I still miss her. It’s funny because I still that feeling when she first died that I am leaving her behind in 1990. Now more than 25 years have passed I feel even further from her. It’s weird but I do. So I thought about her and my grandparents and my divorced husband. I feel such a sense of loss at the end of a new year. Not sure if anyone else feels that. But I do.

Next I reflect on how good God has been to me and this year He was soooooooo good. Wonderfully good to me and my sons. He helped us in so many ways I couldn’t name them all.

My thoughts then were about what I wanted to do this year. I want to write several books and start my coaching program, Grace to Live Coaching. I want to organize my life a bit more and my time. I have to  learn the art of saying NO this year to some things to see my dream flourish. I planted the dream and did a few things with it but to see it flourish I need to really tend to it. I also want to strengthen my relationship with God more this year. I want to do some reading and studying in scripture and exegete scripture. I want more intimacy with the Holy Spirit.

I will however in February 2017 this year have completed bible school with my doctorate degree!!! Woot woot! I am super thrilled about that. That is a great goal I accomplished. I will be Dr. Stephanie Carter. Never saw that coming.

So what are you goals this year. What are you trying to get accomplished this year?

Happy New Year – 2017 We await your gifts.

 


Fun Friday – December 9

Fun Friday picture

Its Friday. Wooooohoooooo. We all love Fridays and it’s the Christmas season.

Welcome to a new part of my blog called Fabulous Fun Fridays. This is where I post or try to post fun stuff for your life or interesting things. I just let the blog go where it wants to go.

Since it is the Christmas season and almost everyone is in the mood to have fun, eat, give or shop… why not this year, if you have never done it, think about really giving to someone else this year. I know we say that all the time and your probably thinking I already gave to someone or I have someone in mind, but how about this year…..start in  your own backyard. Neighbors. How many of you do not know a neighbor around you. Try making or baking or buying something for one of them.  Get to know someone that you do not know. You would be amazed and how many people don’t know their neighbors.

I watched a movie called The Insanity of God. I won’t give it away but you need to watch it. A huge takeaway for me was this phrase “Is He worth it?”

I learned from the documentary that the church in the eastern world lives to tell the lost about Christ and will die for it. They will sacrifice their entire lives and their children for Christ. But, we in the western world will not do that. We don’t live like Jesus is worth it all. The statistics show that the church for the most part in the western world never really tells another person that they meet about Christ and willing to pay the price for telling them about Him. Wow!!!!!

So, if that is you, if you have never really told another person about Christ why not start this Christmas with telling someone about Christ. Ask do they know Him. Share some gift with them. Food, candy, a present, or a card with a smile.

Fun Friday Ideas:

  • Be a secret Santa to someone

  • Buy a single mom a family dinner this season, grocery store gift card, send a gift basket

  • Make a cake for someone and take it over and make coffee and catch up

  • If there is lover of books, buy them the first book in series. Get them started on their love and passion of books or get them a bookstore gift card.

  • Give a gift card to a clothing store or a mall

  • Pay a bill for someone

Is Christ worth it to  you this season to help someone else even in some small way. See where you can meet a need. A real need and not with a fruitcake. (nothing against fruit cake, but you get the idea). Christ gave His all. Where can we give to one another?

Merry Christmas!!!!!

 

 


25 Great Books You Need to Read

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© svklimkin – morguefile.com

I love to read and I bet you do to. A wealth of information can be found in books and many life changing words between the pages of a book. In this blog you will find books that I have read that are totally life changing for you, but only if you read them. A lot of times we want answers but don’t know where to find them. Many authors have written great books that will give you answers to success, life, family, the presence of God and more. If you are like me, you will want to get a real book, hold it in your hands, underline and write in it!!!!
A lot of people ask me “How do you do what you do? How did you learn to be the woman you are? How, how how?” A lot of what I learned came from being intentional about the books I have read. If you want your life to be better you need to be intentional too. That change can happen in many ways. One sure way is by reading books.
I made it easy for you to find 25 of my best and favorite books that I promise will change your life. Just click on a book and order. Let your journey of transformation begin!!!

The Principle & Power of Kingdom Citizenship

Are you ready to experience life on a new, supernatural level? Then it’s time to take your place as a royal citizen in God’s unshakable Kingdom.
For too long, too many followers of Christ have lived beneath their Kingdom inheritance. They are saved and set-up for eternity in Heaven, yet they continue to live defeated and unfulfilling lives on Earth. In this paradigm-shifting work by Dr. Myles Munroe, he presents the biblical blueprint for what it looks like for you to live as an empowered Kingdom citizen.
You will learn to: identify and access your royal rights as a citizen of God’s Kingdom, exercise your authority as an ambassador of Christ in your sphere of influence,change atmospheres around you with the climate of Heaven.The Kingdom is not just about going to Heaven one day after you die… it is about walking in the purpose and power of Heaven today while you are still living on Earth!

 

Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman

To live successfully in the world, women need to know who they are and what role they play today. They need a new awareness of who they are, and new skills to meet today’s challenges. Best–selling author Myles Munroe examines societies’ attitudes toward women and helps women to discover who they are. He addresses vital issues such as: Are women and men equal? What are the purpose and design of the woman? Are women meant to be leaders? Whether you are a woman or a man, married or single, this book will help you to understand the woman as she was meant to be.

 

 

My All For Him

Moving Devotionals That Inspire a Passionate Love for Christ. What was it that gave the early Christians their dynamism? What inspired them to share their faith before kings and emporers, to brave hardship, suffering, even death, to take their message to the ends of the then-known world?—A passionate love for Jesus Christ. Two thousand years later we need this burning love at a time when the very foundations of our Christian faith are under attack. This vital love for Jesus can be ours. Every situation, every aspect of daily life, offers opportunity to draw closer to Jesus until our one desire is to give our all for Him who gave His all for us.

 

Unbound

Believe and trust in love again! Unbound weaves an uplifting tale of two people who begin their journey held captive by the strongholds and thought patterns that had prevented them from loving each other, their families, and the Father. Their pain begins to outweigh their shame until they seek for help, finding healing for their lives, their family, and for literally thousands of people around the world. Share the true story of how Jack and Trisha Frost apply God’s unconditional love to their lives and it forever changes them and their family. 
 Learn to: Understand why we experience pain in order to develop a character that causes us to live moral lives. Become more than you can imagine you could ever be. Uncover the old habit patterns of thinking, that have become strongholds in your life and alienate you from intimacy first with Him and then with those you love. Choose to take a chance to find your destiny through new challenges and discover what it means to live a life unbound from life’s entanglements.

Bait of Satan

The Bait of Satan exposes one of the most deceptive snares Satan uses to get believers out of the will of God—offense. Most people who are ensnared by the bait of Satan don’t even realize it. John Bevere shows you how to stay free from offense and escape the victim mentality. With nearly one million copies in print, this book includes testimonials of transformed people whose lives have been changed by the message in this book. You will find answers to tough questions like these:   Why am I compelled to tell “my side” of the story? How can I fight thoughts of suspicion or distrust? What can I do to stop rehearsing past hurts? How can I regain trust after someone deeply offends me?

 

Marriage: Covenant or Contract

Our modern society has gotten away from the plan that God has for marriage. Is marriage a contract or covenant? What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage? Craig examines the scriptures for answers. This book is used as a foundational reference for several Marriage focused ministries.

 

 

 

Gate Breakers

Today we need champions who will stand for Christian truth, protect the borders of our sacred faith, and carry the good news of freedom to those imprisoned behind the gates of: Mormonism, Hinduism, Freemasonary, Buddhism, Islam, Evolution, New Age, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Occult, The Mind Sciences, Scientology, Moonies, And many more!

 

 

Remarriage is Adultery Unless …

Consecutive polygamy (as many husbands or wives as you like but only one at a time) is now an accepted norm in contemporary society. Hardly surprising, since the social, legal, moral and financial restraints holding marriages together for a lifetime have been steadily eroded in a relativist age where anything goes. What is surprising is that divorce and remarriage are becoming as common inside the church as outside, even among Christian leaders and especially in the Evangelical stream. Believers have been outspoken about such issues as abortion and homosexuality though their Lord Jesus said nothing about either. He did say quite a lot about the subject of this book but there is either a reluctance to take his teaching at face value or an eagerness to enlarge his ‘exception’ until it becomes the rule. This volume primarily appeals to those for whom the Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and behaviour, especially those who preach to, teach and counsel others. The author believes that the church should be leading the world uphill rather than following the world downhill.

Tale of Three Kings

This best-selling tale is based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom. For the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing, and hope. Christian leaders and directors of religious movements throughout the world have recommended this simple, powerful, and beautiful story to their members and staff. You will want to join the thousands who have been profoundly touched by this incomparable story.

 

 

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on a long spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell.
In seizing the inspiration that came to him through Rembrandt’s depiction of the powerful Gospel story, Henri Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son’s return, the father’s restoration of sonship, the elder son’s vengefulness, and the father’s compassion. In his reflection on Rembrandt in light of his own life journey, the author evokes a powerful drama of the parable in a rich, captivating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times. For all who ask, “Where has my struggle led me?” or for those “on the road” who have had the courage to embark on the journey but seek the illumination of a known way and safe passage, this work will inspire and guide each time it is read.

Anointed to Reign

In this insightful study of the biblical accounts of David’s difficult ascent to the throne of Israel, Dr. Cottle reveals invaluable principles of leadership for us as we “train to reign” in fulfillment of our calling. This compelling book is a “must read” for every minister, serious student, and disciple following in the steps of Christ.

 

 

The Forgiving Church

If you want to learn what true forgiveness is and how it works in your life and your church, this is the book for you. You will not see forgiveness the same way and the power it unleashes in your life.

 

 

 

 The Courts of Heaven

Why do some people pray in agreement with God’s will, heart and timing, yet the desired answers do not come? Why would God not respond when we pray from the earnestness of our hearts? What is the problem, or better yet, what is the solution?
Robert Henderson believes the answer is found in where your prayer actually takes place. We must direct our prayer towards the Courts of Heaven and not only the battlefield. Robert shows that it is in the courtrooms of Heaven where our breakthroughs can be found. When you learn to operate there you will see your answers unlocked and released.
This book will teach you the legal processes of Heaven and how to operate in its courts. When you get off the battlefield and into the courtroom you can grant God the legal clearance to fulfill His passion and answer your prayers.

Tomorrow is Not Promised: A Personal Journey of Submission to Holy Spirit

 
This is my book. I had to include it. Tomorrow Is Not Promised is literally the heart and soul of a woman determined to not let the pain and hurt of a broken marriage destroy the promises of God in her life, her children and her family. Standing in the midst of pain and rejection she was determined to love unconditionally her covenant partner, heal, and learn that God truly is her husband and Father. If you are tired, weary, and just plain need a miracle bigger than you could imagine this is the book for you. If you need to know love that will keep you forever fulfilled this is for you. If you want to be His bride, this book is for you. In Tomorrow Is Not Promised you will go on a journey with the Holy Spirit from a place of pain to a deeply intimate relationship with Him. Learn how God will breakthrough your darkness and bring healing to your soul.

Growing in the Prophetic

Mike Bickle combines biblical balance and passionate faith to draw readers into new spiritual levels of relationship with God. This revised edition discusses Bickles’s involvement with the International House of Prayer and The Call. Having lead a church where prophetic gifts have been practiced for over 20 years, Bickle offers practical and sound advice to pastors, leaders and lay people. Learn how to integrate prophetic ministry into the life of your church.

 

 

Sacred Marriage

Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply. Scores of books have been written that offer guidance for building the marriage of your dreams. But what if God’s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy. . . but holy? And what if your relationship isn’t as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?
Everything about your marriage–everything–is filled with prophetic potential, with the capacity for discovering and revealing Christ’s character. The respect you accord your partner; the forgiveness you humbly seek and graciously extend; the ecstasy, awe, and sheer fun of lovemaking; the history you and your spouse build with one another–in these and other facets of your marriage, Sacred Marriage uncovers the mystery of God’s overarching purpose. This book may very well alter profoundly the contours of your marriage. It will most certainly change you.
Because whether it is delightful or difficult, your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God, and to a spiritual integrity that, like salt, seasons the world around you with the savor of Christ.

Experiencing Father’s Embrace

 HERE IS A BOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU EXPERIENCE THE LOVE OF GOD! Experiencing Father’s Embrace shows you how you can personally feel your Father’s loving and comforting embrace, and points out areas that may be hindering you from experiencing a more intimate relationship with your Creator. Jack Frost, ministry leader and teacher, reveals the love that God has for each of His children. His love is not doled out by age, race, gender, politics, or denomination–His embrace is for all. The author offers many ways to bring both new and seasoned believers closer to Him. The truths shared in this book will make a positive difference in your life, in the lives of your loved ones and especially in your relationship with God the Father—who yearns for your companionship.
Experiencing Father’s Embrace is not based on hearsay but on Scripture and powerful life experiences of a man whose personal testimony will encourage and inspire you to pursue God’s eternal loving embrace.

Spiritual Avalanche

This is a wake up call and vivid warning to readers through a vision of an avalanche that God gave Steve Hill, which represents the false and heretical teachings from pastors and teachers that are spreading to Christians worldwide. Hill shares how every aspect of his vision relates to Christians today. The snow represents the false teaching that is steadily falling on the ears of many Christ followers, covering with many layers the solid foundational truth of Christ. Heresies including universalism, the deification of man, overemphasized grace, and many more that will ultimately destroy the spiritual lives of many.
What happens when snow keeps falling, creating the dangerous threat of an avalanche? Those who heed the warnings are saved, but those who fail to listen are caught in a deadly trap. Readers will be challenged to understand these dangers and what they can do to help tear down these false teachings in order to secure a layer of solid, biblical instruction that will establish truth in the work of the Gospel, and help us avoid spiritual destruction.

Secrets of the Vine

In the Secrets of the Vine Bible Study, Bruce Wilkinson shows groups or individual readers how the three Secrets of the Vine introduced in the bestselling book are supported throughout Scripture, applying sound biblical insight to help them move toward making maximum impact for God. This Bible study provides a personal encounter with the life-changing teaching of Jesus in John 15, an inspiring look at God’s intervention in His children’s lives from Bible times to the present, a practical approach to a meaningful relationship with Him, and a visual and interactive learning tool for individual or group use.

 

The Practice of the Presence of God

 
Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. For nearly 300 years this unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day.

 

Knowledge of the Holy

The Knowledge of the Holy by popular evangelical author and Christian mystic A.W. Tozer illuminates God’s attributes—from wisdom, to grace, to mercy—and in doing so, attempts to restore the majesty and wonder of God in the hearts and minds of all Christians. A modern classic of Christian testimony and devotion, The Knowledge of the Holy shows us how we can rejuvenate our prayer life, meditate more reverently, understand God more deeply, and experience God’s presence in our daily lives.
True religion confronts earth with heaven and brings eternity to bear upon time. The messenger of Christ, though he speaks from God, must also, as the Quakers used to say, “speak to the condition” of his hearers; otherwise he will speak a language known only to himself. His message must be not only timeless but timely. He must speak to his own generation.
The message of this book does not grow out of these times but it is appropriate to them. It is called forth by a condition which has existed in the Church for some years and is steadily growing worse. I refer to the loss of the concept of majesty from the popular religious mind. The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men. This she has done not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic.

Praying Hyde, Apostle of Prayer

John Hyde’s prayer life ranks in a league with the prayer lives of Andrew Murray, George Mueller, Charles Finney, Frank Bartleman, Rees Howells, Evan Roberts and other prayer warriors of church history. If you wish to learn to pray effectively you can do with no better example than to read the life of John Hyde. The fact that John Hyde came by universal accord of his intimates to be known as “Praying Hyde” dates back to a day on the deck of a steamer which was taking him out to his twenty-year missionary service in India, when he crumpled up in anger a letter from a friend urging him “to seek for baptism of the Holy Spirit as the great qualification for mission work.” How he thought better of his hasty act, and how not only India but the world at large was blessed by this man’s amazing prayer life, is lovingly set forth in this brief record.

The Power of the Blood

You know that “there’s power in the blood,” just like the old hymn says––but are you actually experiencing that power in your daily life? As you delve deep into this newly revised and expanded version of H. A. Maxwell Whyte’s classic best–seller, you will realize the value of this vital, yet seldom wielded, weapon in the believer’s arsenal and how God wants you to use it in coping with life’s difficult situations. Defeat oppression, addictions, and sickness as you become spiritually empowered, equipped, and energized. You can create an atmosphere for miracles. Discover the wonder–working power of the blood for yourself!

 

Good or God? Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough

These days the terms good and God seem synonymous. We believe what’s generally accepted as good must be in line with God’s will. Generosity, humility, justice―good. Selfishness, arrogance, cruelty―evil. The distinction seems pretty straightforward. But is that all there is to it? If good is so obvious, why does the Bible say that we need discernment to recognize it? Good or God? isn’t another self-help message. This book will do more than ask you to change your behavior. It will empower you to engage with God on a level that will change every aspect of your life.

 

 

The Insanity of Obedience

All Christian disciples have one thing in common: as they carry the gospel across the ocean and across the street, persecution will become the norm for those who choose to follow Jesus. How believers respond in the face of persecution reveals everything about their level of faith and obedience.
The Insanity of Obedience is a bold challenge to global discipleship. Nik Ripken exposes the danger of safe Christianity and calls readers to something greater. The Insanity of Obedience challenges Christians in the same, provocative way that Jesus did. This book dares you—and prepares you—to cross the street and the oceans with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Some of Jesus’ instructions sound uncomfortable and are potentially dangerous. We may be initially encouraged by His declaration, “I am sending you out.” But how are we to respond when He then tells us that He is sending us out “like sheep among wolves”?
In light of the words of Jesus, how can modern day believers rest comfortably in the status quo? How can we embrace casual faith in light of the radical commands of Jesus which are anything but casual? Ripken brings decades of ministry experience in some of the most persecuted areas of the world to bear on our understanding of faith in Jesus. The Insanity of Obedience is a call to roll up your sleeves . . . and to follow and partner with Jesus in the toughest places on this planet. “We have the high privilege of answering Jesus’ call to go,” Ripken says. “But let us be clear about this: we go on His terms, not ours. If we go at all, we go as sheep among wolves.”
Jesus gives us Himself.  And He gives us the tools necessary for those who dare to journey with Him.

Fabulous Fun Friday – June 3

Fun Friday picture

 

It’s Friday and I have a new blog space on my website called Fabulous Fun Friday!

Every Friday, I am going to try to post fun stuff, different stuff, articles, interviews with other women, advice from other women, recipes, how to stuff, best apps, TED talks, helpful hints, books to gets, other great blog posts, great movies, and all things chocolate.  So why am I doing this? Well, I am a new author and I need followers and I am a passionate woman about a lot of things nothing more than Jesus Christ but I want to use a day on my blog for you the reader to get to know me as an author and as a person.

I also want to help other women who have message they want to get out or heart they want to share or their passion.

So to kick off the first Fabulous Fun Friday is a survey about me so you can get to know me better. How did I come about this… well if you know me, as some of my friends do, they know I am totally spontaneous and funny but you have to get to know me. But, if you make me angry, I am angry until God deal with me…. but I am learning to just let stuff go and stay in process.  See I am not perfect.

So since I am so spontaneous I was actually looking for something else to blog and came across this idea and said hey what the heck. Go for it? My website my blog. But I did post on my Facebook page  click here that I am looking for women to interview you about your passions for other women, purpose, goals, a message you have that you want to get out.  (Not a video blog, I haven’t gotten that techie yet.) Just a question and answer type interview. So check out my request here if you are interested.

Let’s get to know me better and I can get to know you better!!!!

1. What time do I get up in the morning? That is hard to answer. I am 51 years old and menopause is creeping around so I am not sleeping well and it varies. I do not work outside the home and I homeschool my son. So let’s just say my goal is to get up at 6 am and have my own time and organize and set my day but that doesn’t happen and since I am having insomnia and up late working on books and writing so I may get up more like 7 or 730am which is just too late for me. I have been fighting this time struggle for months. Suggestions??

2. What is my greatest passion? My greatest passion is to instill integrity, discipline and uncompromising spirit  within women. I hate when we as women compromise and hurt and live a life lower than Jesus wanted for them to live. My passion is to teach, talk and write books. I love it could do it and not get paid but getting paid sure helps. LOL.

3. What would I like to be doing right now and get paid for it? I would love to be a pastors wife, writing books making more money than I am right now, selling quilts on the side and being a prayer counsellor. If I could start that today somewhere I would be over the moon.

4. What is a secret desire that no one probably knows about you? I could be a farmer and live on a farm. I love that kind of life. People that know me are like WHAT!!!! yes it’s true. I like cows and chickens and pigs and the open fields.

5. What was the last film I saw at the cinema? Oh, let’s see I think it was the last Star Wars movie the new one that came out in 2016.

6. What is my favorite TV show? I really don’t have one. I am not that much into TV. Maybe the Christmas shows on Hallmark but that is iffy.

7. If I could live anywhere in the world where would it be? In Connecticut or New Hampshire, or upstate New York on a quiet street in a semi small town and be at peace writing books in my office with a few friends near by.

8. What did I have for breakfast? I usually don’t eat breakfast. I drink a green power food drink called Barley Max and Beet Max and may have a banana. Water. But when I do, I love bacon, hashbrowns, pancakes, toast, 2 eggs over medium, jelly, coffee and juice.

9. Who has been the greatest influence in my life? There is a saying look at your friends I will show you your future or show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. I totally believe that. The Holy Spirit is my biggest and greatest influence.  My spiritual mom, Doris is the next greatest influence in my life. This last person is a group of people. It is all the sandpaper people in my life. I have to say thank you for being sandpaper and playing your part in the process of me becoming who I am today. You know, we all have them. Those that just rub us the wrong way, the unsupportive, the liars, those that abandoned you, jealous, back stabbing, users, haters, all those people. Be glad for them in your life, if you let them do their work and you stay in process you will be better for it. People just show you who they are the first time, believe them.

10. What is my favorite cuisine? I love pasta, Mexican, rice, and Chinese

11. What foods do I dislike? I hate liver, liver, liver, and calamari

12. Favorite Place to Eat? Chili’s – OMG…. to die for chipolte chicken and southwestern egg rolls and french fries. Yummmo.

13. What is the worse thing I have ever been through? The affair of my wonderful husband of 22 years and divorce in 2014. He was and is my best friend since 18 years old. It was the hardest death killing pain of a loss in my life. I am still healing from it.

14.What kind of vehicle do I drive? A gray 2000 Honda Civic

15. What is my dream car or vehicle? Right now I would take a Chevy Cruze or Honda CRV any color.

16. What are my  favorite clothes? If I could live in sweats and a t-shirt I would but I can’t so I just get dressed. I am one of the few women that really hates clothes shopping. Just give me one store and a sales lady and she bring me a bunch of stuff I try on and I purchase. Done. Out the door.

17. Where would I visit if I had the chance? Israel

18. Favorite time of day? I actually do not have one.

19. Where were you born? Beaufort, South Carolina – go figure. Dad was in the Marine Corps

20. How many siblings do I have? One sister that I have not seen since December 1990.

21. Favorite pastime/hobby? I love to make quilts for people

22. What would I love to do today? Go get a brand new car and drive it off the lot

23. Who would you love to surprise right now? My sister/long time friend Gwen Evans in Texas. Just show upon her door and see her face.

24.  Am I a morning person or a night person? Morning and night depends on the mood. But probably more morning. I can get up and get going.

25. Do I have any pets? I have two dogs a schnauzer, Basil and a Doxie, Oscar

26. Any new and exciting news I’d like to share? Yes, I have another book signing coming up June 23 and I just finished my rough draft on 2nd book The MANual: Raising Sons in a Fatherless Society. It is with the editor and I am making changes now. Should be on Amazon and print June 2016. I have even started book #3. My oldest son Jonathyn is graduating from ministry school tomorrow. I am so happy for him and he is travelling all summer doing worship living his dream at 21 years old.

27. What did I want to be when I was a little girl and teenager? I wanted to be an Ob/gyn.

28. What is my best childhood memory? I really do not have any childhood memories. Strange but I don’t.

29. Am I a cat or dog person? Totally a dog person.

30. Am I married? In Christ yes I am to my husband, by the laws of the land nope.

31. Always wear my seat belt? More often than not

 32. Favorite Pizza Toppings? beef, olives, onions, mushrooms, cheese, pepperoni, bacon, green onions

33. Favorite Flower? peony and roses

34. Favorite fast food restaurant? I do not have one

35.  Do anything spontaneous lately? Nope not really. Sure wish I could though. Been neck deep in writing.

36. What was my  favorite vacation? Jamaica with my husband in 2000

37. What am I  listening to right now? Spotify Writing Music Playlist

38. What surprise I love to happen to me today? For my husband to return back home to me and our sons and marriage restored with a wedding ceremony.

Ok. So there are a few things to help you get to know me. Silly I know but fun for me. Next week I hope to post either chocolate recipes, or 10 best books I loved, who knows…… Enjoy your day and do something fun this Friday. Enjoy life.

Stephanie Signature

 


Marriage Moment – June 1

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Marriage Moment – June 1, 2016

Staying married is not mainly about staying in love. Don’t get me wrong. Love is a huge part of marriage but so is commitment.  And, that commitment must be stronger than your love for your mate.
Marriage is about covenant and about the “til death do us part” and the “As long as we both shall live”. These words are sacred vows you make to each other and you really don’t get the choice of breaking them because you feel “differently” at some point in the marriage. 
Marriage is a covenant promise–the same kind Jesus made with his bride when he died for her. Therefore, what makes divorce and remarriage so HORRIFIC in God’s eyes is not merely that it involves covenant-breaking to the spouse but that it involves misrepresenting Christ and His covenant. Christ will NEVER leave his wife. EVER.  There may be times of painful distance and tragic backsliding on our part. But Christ keeps his covenant forever. Marriage is a display of that!!!!
That is the ultimate thing we can say about it, It puts the GLORY of Christ’s covenant keeping love on display. What are you displaying? 
I know there are some of you that need encouragement. Some need it by the bucket load and some need it by the semi-truck load. Life has gotten the best of you for a while now. Some are struggling with all kinds of things. Health, husbands, weight, self esteem, fear, anger, loneliness, doubt, patience, personal growth in God and your marriage. The list can be endless. Well here is your word of encouragement that I must give to you that my friend Holy Spirit gave to me…..
The battles that you face.. some of them are bloody and messy. You are not in a clean fight. The devil plays dirty. You will get messy and bloody too, but you always win!!!! No matter what the circumstance no matter what Satan brings. You are going to have to fight him. Do  you understand….. not fight in the sense of defeat him because he is already defeated but you are going to have to fight YOU. You are going to have to fight what you want, what you feel, what you desire. You. You are going to have to fight to keep your ground in Christ, your intentional life in Christ, your integrity in Christ, your mind in Christ, your life in Christ. You will have to fight to stay holy with each decision.
For some of you it looks like you lost your fight. There may be something you thought would work out a certain way and it didn’t. Don’t lose heart. Let your faith be radical and unwavering. Let it loose. Fight. In war, you are tired and you may even feel like this enemy is never going away or die. Fight! I am telling you that you can make it. You can get the strength you need from the Holy Spirit.
You can make up in your mind that Satan will not have your family, your life, your children, your anything. The Word of God says…
“Not for one moment to be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such constancy and fearlessness (by you) will be a clear sign and proof and seal to them (the enemy) of their impending destruction but a sure token and evidence of YOUR deliverance and salvation and that from God. ~Philippians 1:28
Think about this. Most of you women are strong and will stand and fight, but it is the consistency of the war that gets us. It is the intensity of the attack of Satan and his low level devils. It is the length of the battle and sometimes multiple enemies and no reinforcements to say “you can do this”.
Also we fail to remember that a fight is always fierce and messy. Some of you, you want to fight and still look good. Sometimes in the middle of your battle you are exposed and you look bad. It’s just part of the process.  But what matters is the end. In the time of darkness and lonliness or abandonment, go to the Word.  In that time of darkness in the battle is where the most power and change is happening inside of you.  Go to Him, the Source, your standby, your helper.
Get in the secret place with Him and wait. For He will surely answer and come to help you and deliver you out of all your trouble. But, you must press. You must press in and be consistent. God is on your side. He calls you His friend.
You WIN!!!! If you hold your ground and be fearless you will defeat the enemy in your life. So get up put your war clothes on and fight, fight to win.

Stephanie Signature


Marriage Moment – May 18

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Marriage Moment

Marriage is not about you! Shocker. No seriously. It is not about you. It is really about the person you are  married to.  You will  not find in this life many people that will give their life up for another person. But that is a part of what marriage is about. Covenant marriage is about you walking out daily the unconditional love for another person and to do that you have to give up all. You can’t be selfish. You just can’t. It won’t work. You must count the cost of the love you say you have for anyone, especially you mate.
I want to give you a devotion from Still Higher for His Highest by Oswald Chambers on May 18, that I feel speaks so clearly to this heart of abandonment for someone else and for unconditional love.

“Whenever the call is given for abandon to Jesus Christ, people say it is offensive and out of taste. The counterfeit of abandon is that misleading phrase ‘Christian service’. I will spend myself for God, I will do anything and everything but the one thing He is asking me to do, viz,: give up my right to myself to Him. We say, “but surely Christian service is a right thing.” Immediately we begin to say that, we are off the track. It is the right Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, not the right thing. Don’t stop short of the Lord Himself– For My Sake. The great dominating recognition is that my personal self belongs to Jesus. When I receive the Holy Spirit, I receive not merely a possible oneness with Jesus Christ, but a real intense oneness with Him. The point is, will I surrender my individual life entirely to Him? it will mean giving up not only bad tings, but things which are right and good. If you have to calculate what you are willing to give up for Jesus Christ, never say you love Him. Jesus Christ asks us to give up the best we have got to Him, our right to ourselves. Self-realization must be renounced in order that Jesus Christ may realize Himself in us.”

Oswald Chamber is talking here about the love we believers say we have for Jesus. He is talking about total surrender. He is not talking about you say you love Jesus and you keep back part of that love for yourself.
See we live in a culture that you can say you love but you don’t have to show you love. You can say you love in this society and it cost you nothing. My friend…that is not LOVE. Most people say that they can love you but don’t have to give up anything. I say that is simply not true because of the pure nature of love and its origin, God. God is love and love by itself gives. Love doesn’t ever consider itself or a suffered wrong. Period. You can’t argue with that.
To really love Jesus and love your mate, you must give up all. The fact that if the Holy Spirit is in you, He beckons and pulls at you and reveals Jesus to you, you cannot help but love Him with everything in you. The question then is not is this love real but will you abandon yourself to this love. This goes in marriage. Are you abandoned to your spouse or do you hold back. Do you think only of yourself and when it is convenient you give love on a condition?
Staying married, therefore, is not mainly about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. “til death do us part” or “As long as we both shall live” is a sacred covenant promise–the same kind Jesus made with his bride when He died for her.
When this love is not in place as it should be, divorce can happen. What makes divorce and in most cases remarriage so HORRIFIC in God’s eyes is not merely that it involves covenant-breaking to the spouse but that it involves misrepresenting Christ and His covenant. Christ will NEVER leave his wife. EVER.  There may be times of painful distance and tragic backsliding on our part. But Christ keeps his covenant forever.
Marriage is a display of that!!!!If you have the Holy Spirit residing in you, why would you want to display divorce and conditional love. Imagine how grieved He must be.
Marriage puts the GLORY of Christ’s covenant keeping love on display. What are you displaying?

Stephanie Signature


Marriage Moment – May 4

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Marriage Moment

Marriage is a covenant between two people, a man & a woman. 
Marriage is not a contract.
Marriage is until death you do part.
Marriage is not and arrangement or agreement to be with each other until you get tired of each other or want out or see something better on the other side.
Marriage is God’s idea, not man.
Marriage is sacred. Marriage is honorable.
Marriage is a powerful witness in the earth of God’s love for us.
Marriage is not a game. It is not to be demeaned on television as something to be tossed away and taken for granted.
Marriage is not for everyone but if you are already married STAY married.
Marriage is not for the faint at heart. You will work at it and work at it.
Marriage is not to be entered into lightly.
Marriage is not a friendship only but a deep connection you have with that man or woman.
Marriage is a mystery, for only God can join two people at the soul and spirit level.
Marriage is God.