BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP, REVELL, SUSAN MAY WARREN

TROUBLED WATERS by Susan May Warren

9781493412556 - Copy

IMPRINT: REVELL, PUBLISHERS: BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP

ISBN: 9781493412556. PUB. DATE: Jan 2018. PRICE:  $14.99


“Troubled Waters” by Susan May Warren sparkles with redemption, resolution and saving grace amidst the picturesque beauty of a backdrop of wild Montana skies and sweeping scenery, wilderness suspense and romance. This is a high-stakes, swiftly-moving, dramatic, high-flying, mountaintop action-adventure, packed with snappy dialogue and flawed characters with emotional and spiritual challenges. It is a heartwarming story of love and sacrifice. It has an increasing complex plot and character development. Susan May Warren’s high peril situations are set at the height of human emotions, as she uses unusually trying situations and circumstances to make her characters depict illustrating truths. The main characters deal with honesty, self-control, and faith, while reaching their physical and emotional limits of self-endurance, to grow beyond their problems. They travel down difficult paths, with nothing but faith to cling on to, before they learn to truly love each other with selfless devotion. This book bears the unique stamp and hallmark of Susan May Warren’s books and makes a very interesting read. I recommend it to readers.

Miriam Jacob


 

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BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP - REVELL, LAURA FRANTZ

The Lacemaker – by Laura Frantz

9780800726638 - Copy

IMPRINT: REVELL, PUBLISHER: BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP

ISBN: 9781493412501. Pub. Date: Jan 2018. PRICE: $15.99


The dashing young hero of “The Lacemaker,” Noble Rynallt, is truly noble and lives up to his name. The gracefully elegant and beautiful heroine, Lady Liberty’s great resourcefulness, in the face of the utterly devastating loss of everything most precious to her heart, reveals a woman of incredible courage, strength and determination. Laura Frantz has a fastidious approach to historical research and pays an impeccable attention to detail. Her clear-cut characterisation has an uncanny ability to revive heartfelt emotion in her readers with living, breathing characters, large as life. In “The Lacemaker,” Laura presents a highly suspenseful story of true love, cunning twists of betrayal, and brand new beginnings. With her flawless, meticulous eye for detail in historical fiction, Laura Frantz enchants her readers into the beautiful world of historical romance to make them feel a warm part of her incredible story.

Miriam Jacob

GPROCOMMISSION

GProCommission features Handbook to Happiness by Dr. Charles R. Solomon

http://www.gprocommission.org/articles/handbook-happiness/http://www.gprocommission.org/articles/handbook-happiness/

We pray that the Handbook to Happiness and its blog will have an impact on pastors in training and, in turn, they will impact the Church. Each of the pastors needs to see the simplicity and power of the Wheel and Line diagrams that illustrate the teaching. The Wheel and Line tract is a condensation of Chapter Two of Handbook to Happiness, by Dr. Charles R. Solomon. The book explains and applies the message of the Cross and Exchanged Life in strategic ways. Experiencing the Cross in our own lives by understanding our crucifixion and resurrection with Christ is the only way into the Spirit-controlled life (Galatians 5:16). It is life out of death, victory out of defeat. It is the only purpose and sole answer for suffering in the believer’s life. Our path to the Cross, and the Cross itself, is a path of suffering that leads to the end of suffering with victory in the believer’s life. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” – (Galatians 2:20). After studying Handbook to Happiness, pastors will witness this life transformation in themselves and those to whom they minister, and will teach it in the Church. The Handbook to Happiness, a fifty-year-old, time-tested and proven Biblical Guide to Victorious Living, along with its Wheel and Line diagrams, is a powerful tool to revitalize the Church with a new reformation in this 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation!

Miriam Jacob

MARIE BENEDICT, SOURCEBOOKS LANDMARK

Carnegie’s Maid – by Marie Benedict

9781492646617_ba1b4

Publisher: SourceBooks Landmark.

Date of Publication: 1 January 2018

ISBN 13: 9781492646617


With captivating insight and great sensitivity of heart, Marie Benedict tells the mesmerizing tale of an unknown woman who might have inspired an American dynasty, transforming Andrew Carnegie from wealthy industrialist into the world’s first philanthropist.

In the 1860s, Irish immigrant Clara Kelley, seeks employment as a lady’s maid in the home of Andrew Carnegie, head of the Carnegie Empire. Unfortunately, Clara Kelley is not who she appears to be. Posing as a knowledgeable, well-experienced Irish maid, she is actually a poor farmer’s daughter with nothing to her name. Another woman named Clara has gone missing, and Clara pretends to be her, in order to earn some precious income to send back to keep her family alive. Clara tries her level best keep up the ruse though it requires special talents and skills that she does not possess. But she does have a stern resolve as strong as steel, along with an uncanny, unique gift of business skills, that makes Andrew rely upon her. But Clara cannot afford to let her guard down even for a single moment. It was too dangerous. Revealing the true state of her past might only serve to ruin her own future and that of her family’s, who depended solely on her for sustenance. Soon, Clara and Andrew care for each other deeply. When Clara suddenly goes missing, Carnegie’s fruitlessly persistent search for her eventually lay the foundation for his lasting legacy.

Clara tries her level best keep up the ruse. Posing as a lady’s maid in the household of Andrew Carnegie requires special talents and skills that she doesn’t possess. But she does have a stern resolve as strong as steel, coupled with an uncanny gift of unique business skills, that makes Andrew start to rely on her. But Clara cannot afford to let her guard down even for a single moment. It was too dangerous. Revealing the true state of her past might only serve to ruin her own future and that of her family’s, who depended solely on her for sustenance. Soon, Clara and Andrew care for each other deeply. When Clara suddenly goes missing, Carnegie’s fruitlessly persistent search for her eventually lay the foundation for his lasting legacy.

In this well chronicled and impeccably researched novel, that highlights the hitherto unsung role of all unknown women like the mysterious Clara, who with extreme courage and selfless determination, made their silently, unannounced mark upon the renowned pages of history, we witness with breathless awe the stunning stamp of the relevance of history in the early immigrant experience. In a deeply human narrative of incredibly complex, extremely vulnerable, sensitive characters and peculiar twists and turns of fate, this book reveals the arresting power of ambition to realize the American Dream. With captivating insight, Marie Benedict’s clever intellect is dramatically displayed in her well-drawn characters and well-crafted plot, utterly well-suited to historical fiction, in an engaging read, with excellent description and perfectly good balance of emotional tones.

Extremely realistic to accept and confront the vicissitudes of life head-on, the clear-headed, pragmatic Clara Kelley is firm in her convictions and careful to protect herself from impropriety. She struggles to understand Carnegie’s inconsistent behavior and stubborn refusal to confront his flaws. Despite the shared chemistry between them, Carnegie’s mercurial behavior is revealed in his double personality – the ruthless businessman and the egalitarian, erudite young man. Clara’s musings and revelations are interestingly portrayed. Equality with passion is stressed, as the epilogue rushes the story to its logical conclusion. It is sad that in this heart-moving story, Clara and Andrew could never develop their relationship due to the sharp differences in their own particular positions in the echelons of society, forcing Clara to leave the Carnegie home for a life of total oblivion. In this fictional book, although readers are deprived of the ‘happily-ever-after,” that magical moment when true satisfaction comes to the reader, we derive a small measure of comfort from the fact that Clara’s loss becomes Andrew’s gain, when he pledges to pursue her lofty ideals for the ultimate good of mankind.

The climax of the story takes place on December 23, 1868 in the luxurious interior of the study of a hotel suite in New York, where ensconced behind his desk, Andrew Carnegie wielded his fountain pen with a fury, in dire contrast to the gentle melody of a Christmas song wafting through the air. Haunted by memories of Clara, Andrew had spent most of his time searching for her, without success. There was not even the slightest hint of her trail. Clara had covered her tracks so well that it was as if she had never existed except in a dream. Andrew was alone with his thoughts of Clara. In the seclusion and privacy of the study, intimate memories of Clara washed over him. Andrew was filled with a longing so intense as to give him physical pain. He remembered her demure manner and averted gaze, and the few times when she met his gaze unflinchingly, revealing fleeting glimpses of the sharp intelligence that lay concealed beneath her placid demeanor. Andrew had vowed to Clara that he would carve out a different path for himself, choosing a life that would be the most elevating in character and principles. He would honor his vow even though she had disappeared. Through his inexorable pain and agonizing despair at losing Clara, Andrew found healing grace. He might not have Clara, but he would wield her beliefs like a sword. The twin idols of status and money would be worshipped no longer. Instead, he would utilize them for the benefit and betterment of others, in creating ladders for immigrants to climb to success. The document Andrew so painstakingly drafted would have pleased his Clara. And this thought gave him a small measure of happiness. It was the tiniest of appeasements that was to set Andrew on the path to glory. Clara had won the battle at last.

Miriam Jacob

FATHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP

Dearest Dad – From your Daughter

The relationship between a father and his daughter has something special about it, that makes every father and every daughter in the world speak warmly about it. It is a family relationship where both learn essential things from each other. The father learns how to be vulnerable and open about his feelings while the daughter learns how to be confident and strong.
 
“To a father growing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter.” – Euripides
 
A daughter is a precious gift in a man’s life, especially as he grows old and needs more kindness, support, and tender words to sweeten the burden of old age. A daughter knows how to exude love and kindness around her and how to make her father feel young at heart.
 
“A girl’s first true love is her father.” – Marisol Santiago
A father remains a girl’s true love forever.
 
“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived, and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland
 
Fathers want their daughters to learn the best from them. The best thing that a man can do is live his life and give his daughter a good example that she can follow.
 
Everyone can be a father, but it takes a lot to be a daddy. Transitioning from father to daddy takes a lot of responsibility, love, and patience, but it shows that a man is present in the life of his child with all his heart. It is about learning how to be your best version, how to behave gracefully and kindly, and how to remain a loving and compassionate person, which is something that a father teaches his little girl.
 
A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men. 
A dad helps a daughter to become a complete person, confident in herself and at peace with everyone.
 
“Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.” – Gloria Naylor
 
The relationship between father and daughter remains the same, despite the passing of time. Age does not take away a daughter’s need to be close to her father or to enjoy his presence and his support. Whenever life seems too much, a daughter knows that she can find support in the encouraging words of her father.
 
The reason why daughters love their Dad the most is…that there is at least one man in the world who will never hurt her.
 
Daughters learn from their fathers that men should be loving, respectful, supportive, and strong. As they grow up and discover the world of men, they realize how pure and uplifting is the love of their fathers and how difficult it is to find something similar.
 
No one in this world can love a girl more than her father.” – Michael Ratnadeepak
 
The love of a father for his daughter is a very special kind of love, based on kindness, purity, and unconditional support. No matter how many people a woman meets and loves throughout her life, her father remains the one who loves her the most.
 
When I come home, my daughter will run to the door and give me a big hug, and everything that’s happened that day just melts away. 
 
“Being a father to a girl is all about the simple, but beautiful moments of everyday connection. The smiles, laughter and warm hugs of his daughter are the things that make a father rediscover the joy and innocence of childhood and the beauty of life.” – Hugh Jackman
 
“Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. 
The love that a man feels for his daughter is almost an angelic feeling that has no other motives than love itself. It is a type of love that makes a man regain the strength of his own heart and to acknowledge the beauty of vulnerability. His daughter becomes his most precious treasure. In love to our daughters, there is something which there are no words to express.” – Joseph Addison
 
“The happiest moment of my life was probably when my daughter was born.” – David Duchovny
 
In a man’s life, there are moments that shine brighter than others and which talk about his innermost feelings. One such moment is when a daughter is born. The thought of having to take care and love a precious little angel for the rest of her life is heart-warming for any man.
 
“I’m looking at my daughter right now. To think that I am her dad is the greatest honor in the world. She’s an amazing kid. We have a great relationship and she is one of my closest friends.” – Harry Connick, Jr.
 
Having a daughter is not only about responsibility and constant worrying as many men think, but it can also be about fun and connection. A daughter can be a great friend, confidant, and partner in all sorts of wonderful adventures.
 
From the instant he lays eyes on her, a father adores his daughter. Whoever she grows up to be, she is always to him his little girl. 
 
A father’s love for his daughter is always unconditional and boundless, no matter who she grows up to be or what life she chooses for herself. A father sees in his daughter the tiny, precious baby that he once held in his arms for the first time and whom he will love forever.
 
“He was a father. That’s what a father does. Eases the burdens of those he loves. Saves the ones he loves from painful last images that might endure for a lifetime.” – George Saunders
 
A father is never very open about his feelings and worries, but beyond his tough exterior, there lies a warm and loving heart. He always thinks about those he loves and tries to find better ways to protect and take care of them.
 
A father should be his son’s first hero, and his daughter’s first love. 
 
For every girl, her father is the first man that she knows and loves. Even though she might meet many extraordinary men in her life, she will always see her father as her first love and as the greatest man in the world, remembering his years of patient and loving care.
 
Fathers give the best advice to their daughters because, as men, they know how to give a fresh and objective perspective.
 
“It was my father who taught me to value myself. He told me that I was uncommonly beautiful and that I was the most precious thing in his life.” – Dawn French
 
No one has more power in shaping a girl’s self-confidence and self-esteem than her father. Daughters always look up to their fathers and when fathers know how to make them feel beautiful and precious, daughters that they deserve respect and love.
 
For a little girl, her powerful and confident father is the hero that helps her navigate the world. She believes and trusts her father with all her heart. That is why fathers hold the responsibility to never disappoint their daughters if they want them to grow as happy and confident women.
 
“A father’s tears and fears are unseen, his love is unexpressed, but his care and protection remains as a pillar of strength throughout our lives.” – Ama H. Vanniarachchy
 
Fathers don’t like to look vulnerable, yet they do have a fragile side where they hide all their fears and worries. Despite their own vulnerabilities, they are always there to offer their daughters a strong shoulder to lean on and a warm embrace.
 
“Daddy, thanks for being my hero, listener, life mentor, friend, guardian, and simply be there every time I need a hug.” – Agatha Stephanie Lin
 
A father has many roles in a family, especially when it comes to the relationship with his daughter. For her, he can do anything because he is powerful, brave, and wise. He can be a friend, a mentor, but most of all he is the hero that offers the best hugs.
 
“I love my daddy. My daddy is everything to me. No one treats me as good as my dad.” This is the dream of every woman. Fathers teach daughters to seek and accept only love, respect, and support, an essential part of their happiness. A father always set up high standards in his daughter’s life. No matter how life goes, a woman will still love her father the most.
 
BOOKS, OSWALD CHAMBERS

Celebrating 100 Years of Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

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Celebrating 100 Years of Oswald Chambers

Author of “My Utmost for His Highest”

A Classic of Devotional Literature

“Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.”

OSWALD CHAMBERS

PETER MARSHALL

Let’s Keep Christmas – by Peter Marshall

And finally Christmas morning will come. Don’t worry – you’ll be ready for it – You’ll catch the spirit all right, or it will catch you which is even better.
And then you will remember what Christmas means – the beginning of Christianity . . . the Second Chance for the world . . . the hope for peace . . . and the only way. The promise that the angels sang is the most wonderful music the world has ever heard. “Peace on earth and good will toward men”
It was not a pronouncement upon the state of the world then nor is it a reading of the international barometer of present time . . . but it is a promise – God’s promise – of what will come to pass.
The years that are gone are graveyards in which all the persuasions of men have crumbled into dust. If history has any voice, it is to say that all these ways of men lead nowhere. There remains only one way – The Way – untried, untested, unexplored fully. . . the way of Him Who was born a Babe in Bethlehem.
In a world that seems not only to be changing, but even to be dissolving, there are tens of millions of us who want Christmas to be the same . . . with the same old greeting “Merry Christmas” and no other.
We long for the abiding love among men of good will which the season brings . . . believing in this ancient miracle of Christmas with its softening, sweetening influence to tug at our heart strings once again.
We want to hold on to the old customs and traditions because they strengthen our family ties, bind us to our friends, make us one with all mankind for whom the Child was born, and bring us back again to the God Who gave His only begotten son, that “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
So we will not “spend” Christmas . . .nor “observe” Christmas.We will “keep” Christmas – keep it as it is . . .in all loveliness of its ancient traditions.May we keep it in our hearts,that we may be kept in its hope.

– by Peter Marshall


Peter Marshall (May 27, 1902 – January 26, 1949) was a Scots-American preacher, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC and twice appointed as Chaplain of the United States Senate. 

(Source: Wikipedia)

BIBLE STUDIES, ELISHA, JANA DARVIS

A Pot Of Oil And A Word From God! by Dana Jarvis

Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her.  When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing.  She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

2 Kings 4:1-7

Elisha came to a widow with her back against the wall in circumstances certainly not for the faint of heart. She had been left penniless with creditors beating on her door demanding payment she clearly did not have. I know may of us can relate to that story! They were even determined to take her two sons as bondsmen which the Mosaic law permitted them to do at that time.

However God heard the cry of this widow’s heart!

God saw beyond the woman’s circumstances. Elisha did not ask the widow what she did not have, but what she did. God already saw that pot of oil! Elisha then told her to do something totally out of ordinary as she would go and borrow other vessels. She faced an impossible situation, yet look what God did. She poured that oil into every container one after another as it multiplied right before her eyes. She went from penniless and on the verge of losing her sons to being totally debt-free!

Just a pot of oil and a word from God through his prophet Elisha changed everything!

You may be in some dire circumstances, but what do you have in your hands that God can use to cause a turnaround for you? That pot of oil became the widows secret to her financial breakthrough. That pot of oil represented her faith! Her act of sacrifice shattered the grip of poverty at that very moment.

If you will pour out your faith, God will use what you have. Disregard the reports of famine, lack and all the other lies the enemy is trying to feed you. Gods outpouring and harvest are ready to be unleashed into your life. You may feel you only have a little like the widow, but to God that little is much and can transform your life forever in a moment. Step out in faith and God will multiply everything you have in your hands.

Your future is so much greater than your past. Your tomorrows can be more prosperous than anything you have known before!

© Dana Jarvis

Dana_Jarvis_500px

Dana Jarvis
Hezekiah’s Wall

www.hezekiahswall.weebly.com

Dana Jarvis is the Founder of Hezekiah’s Wall Ministry. She is a Prophetic Teacher, Intercessor, Christian Life Coach, and mainly a Spirit-Filled Daughter of the Lord, speaking forth His words of fire and passion. For her it is all about tearing down the walls and all the while shouting His Name. 

RAY STEDMAN - LIFE'S HARDEST TRIAL

Life’s Hardest Trial – by Ray Stedman

https://www.raystedman.org/old-testament/genesis/lifes-hardest-trial

LIFE’S HARDEST TRIAL

Genesis 22:1-19

There is a trial that is perhaps the hardest of all and it is to this incident in the life of Abraham that we now arrive. In the 22nd chapter of Genesis is one of the most famous stories in the Bible, the story of Abraham offering up Isaac. I think anyone can see, in this account of Abraham offering his son Isaac as a burnt offering, a remarkable foreshadowing in the Old Testament of the work of Christ in the New. It seems to me that no one watching old Abraham binding his dear son to the altar and his heart breaking within him can miss the parallel with God sending his own Son to Calvary’s mountain centuries later.
I want to touch on that aspect as we go through this story, but I wish primarily to dwell on the individual application to our own hearts. As we have been studying through the life of Abraham, you notice we’ve seen God has written this man’s story in such a way that he is a “sample man of faith,” that is, the Pilgrim’s Progress of the Old Testament and all these incidents recorded in Abraham’s life form clear pictures for us of what occurs in our life of faith. Therein we learn some instructive lessons.

In Chapter 22, we come to the story of Abraham’s greatest trial. This is the deepest thrust of the cross of Christ into his life. Because it was the work of the cross in the life of Abraham, there is involved in this account a Gethsemane, a Calvary, and a resurrection.

After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. (Genesis 22:1-4 RSV)

It is helpful to realize that about twenty years have elapsed between Chapters 21 and 22. We last saw Abraham in a tent by the well of Beer-sheba in the wilderness with his son Isaac. There he built an altar and worshiped and called on the name of the everlasting, unchangeable God. For twenty years of blessing and happiness, Isaac has been the delight of his parents’ hearts. True to his name, he has brought laughter into their tent; the whole family life centers around this dear boy as he grows up to young manhood. Suddenly like a thunderbolt from the sky comes this word from God. Abraham can hardly believe his ears: God says, “Now take your son Isaac, your only son whom you love, (I know you love him) and go to Mount Moriah and offer him up on that mountain.”

Mount Moriah is the very place where in later years King David bought the threshing floor of Ornan as a place for the site of the temple, (1 Chronicles 21:18). On that very place where Abraham offered Isaac, the temple of Solomon was built, (2 Chronicles 3:1). Today there stands in that very place the Dome of the Rock, a Moslem mosque, built over the great rock that formed the altar upon which Abraham offered Isaac. It is from this rock that the Mohammedans believe Mohammed and his horse ascended to heaven. So it is a very historic spot.

You can imagine what a blow this was in Abraham’s life. It is specifically called a test. That means it was meant by God to determine if Abraham’s confidence is in his son Isaac, or in God who gave him his son. This is a test of Abraham’s real heart love. In other words, will Abraham obey the first commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”? (Matthew 22:37 RSV). This is also a test of how far this man has advanced in the life of faith and in the strength of the Spirit.

As we read through this account, we see that it says nothing about Abraham’s emotional reaction to this request of God’s. I think the reason is that it was quite unnecessary to say anything. We instinctively know what this must have meant to Abraham. His first reaction must have been incredulity. How could God be asking this of him? And yet, the voice is unmistakable; he has heard this voice many times.

Every now and then an account appears in the newspaper that someone has heard “the voice of God” telling him to go murder a certain person. We read of a terrible murder carried out in the mistaken belief that God has ordered it. But there is nothing like that occurring here. It is clear from the complete account that God never had any intention of allowing this to be carried through, but it was a very severe and bitter test as to where Abraham’s love was centered.

God is a jealous God, very concerned that he has what he deserves; that is, first place in every human heart and life. You can imagine the questions that must have arisen in Abraham’s heart as he contemplated what God had asked of him. What about the promises — all that God had said would take place — what about those? God has said: “Take your son and offer him as a burnt offering.”

“But Lord,” Abraham might have said, “How will the promises be fulfilled that my seed should fill the land and be as numerous as the stars in the heavens and the sand on the seashore? Why should this be asked of me?”

Whenever we get into a strait like this, the question in our hearts is always: “Why?” Why should God do this? Why should it be asked of me? “I can see, God, why you asked me, your servant Abraham, to give up Ishmael. You told me to cast him out of the tent because he was the son of the flesh, not of promise.” We can understand when God tells us to get rid of some cherished attitude that we know is wrong. We never ask why about that.

“But, Lord,” Abraham said, “This is Isaac; this is the son of promise, this is the one you yourself gave me. Why do you ask me to put him to death like this — the very gift of your grace to my heart?”

And then Satan must have suggested doubts to him, so that he wondered, “How can I find strength to do this? And what about Sarah? What is she going to say when I come back from that mountain empty-handed and she asks me what happened? I’ll have to invent some kind of yarn to explain it and I know she won’t believe me. She’ll keep probing till she finds out the answer and how am I going to face her?”

These must have been some of the questions that arose in his heart. What a sleepless, troubled night of torture and heartbreak this man went through.

And yet, is it not also a picture for us of that awful struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane when our Lord Jesus faced this very same test? God was requiring something of him which God surely could not be asking.

I think in some lesser degree, you and I have had experiences like this. Perhaps you have stared in unbelief at some situation or circumstance in your life, and said, “Is this what God wants me to go through? Is this what God is asking of me? Is this God’s will?” And your heart cries out, “Why? Why should this happen to me?” Well, this is life’s hardest trial. It is never so difficult when we can see a reason. However, when something happens to us in which we fail to see any logic, and, in fact, everything seems to be against it, this is when faith is really put to the test.

Now, notice that, when morning comes, Abraham’s obedience is prompt and complete. Though his heart is torn, yet he obeys God. He has passed the test. I am tremendously impressed at the obedience of this man Abraham. Is not this the secret of his life? We are so inclined to excuse ourselves from hard things and to rationalize our way out of difficult situations, relieving the pressure and avoiding certain unpleasant situations. We don’t like disturbing questions, and unsettling challenges. When it comes right down to it, we don’t like to take hold of ourselves, and say, “I am going to obey God!”

As I have lived, and prayed, and studied through the years, I have discovered that God is an utter and complete realist. He is not at all impressed with our emotional, hysterical outbursts. We sometimes get all wrought up, and believe our emotions will melt the heart of God, and change his mind. But God knows that when he tells us to do something, it is necessary for our benefit, for his benefit, and for everyone concerned, he expects us to obey. I am impressed with Abraham’s obedience here; when he hears God tell him to offer his son as a burnt offering on yonder mountain, Abraham obeys.

Now we come to faith’s Calvary:

Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place The Lord will provide; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22:5-14 RSV)

Again the record is silent about the emotional reaction of Abraham here, but we have only to put ourselves in his place to sense what he felt, how his heart was torn, how he avoids telling Isaac the fearful truth until the very last possible moment, how he perhaps trembles within when Isaac asks the question, “Where is the lamb?” We know there is no real answer to Isaac’s question until we run through intervening centuries and listen in the New Testament to John the Baptist standing before the people of Israel saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29 RSV). Just as our Lord Jesus approached his cross with calmness and quiet self-control, so there is seemingly a sense of peace about this man Abraham as he draws nearer the actual sacrifice of Isaac.

What is the explanation for this? Where did this stricken father find the strength to carry through this fearsome task? How did he nerve himself to do it? The answer is found here in one brief phrase in Verse 5, “Then Abraham said to his young man, ‘Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.'” We will both be coming back again. Abraham is not trying to deceive these men, but somewhere in the quiet meditations of that awful night when this word first came to him, there came the consciousness that God could do something to raise this boy from the dead and Abraham believed in resurrection. That is where he found the peace to follow God’s command. In the struggles of that night, he began to reason and to reckon on God.

He must have thought something like this: “Now God has given me promises and I have lived with God long enough to know that when God gives a promise, he carries it through. God has said that in my son, Isaac, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Isaac is necessary to the fulfillment of the promise. It can’t be any other; he has said this boy is the one who is going to be the fulfillment of the promise. Well, then, if God has asked me now to offer him up as a sacrifice, there is only one explanation. God intends to raise him from the dead.”

Abraham had never had, as we have today, the experience or the record of anyone having risen from the dead. He knew nothing of Easter, nor of Lazarus, nor the miracles in the Gospel accounts. Yet so firm is his faith in the character of God that he comes to a realization of the resurrection. This is confirmed in Hebrews 11: “By faith Abraham … offered up Isaac,” (Hebrews 11:17 RSV). “He considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead; hence, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back,” (Hebrews 11:19 RSV). And so, to this father, as he is traveling on the way to Mt. Moriah, Isaac has been as good as dead in his eyes for three days. Abraham risked everything he owned and loved upon the character of God and found him to be a God of resurrection.

Because of this wonderful triumph in his life, he calls this place, “God will provide.” Because of this miracle there sprang up a little saying in Israel, a proverb:

“When you get to the mount, it will be provided.”

Do you know what that means? God’s ways with men are such that it seems as though deliverance will never come. It seems that you will never be delivered. But if you go on, when you get to the mount it will be provided. Man’s disappointments are God’s appointments. It is never too late for God. Even if Abraham had had to carry the bloody business through to its end, nevertheless, his father’s heart was quiet in restful peace because he knew God would raise his son from the dead. He had promised; therefore, it must be.

In conclusion, we read of the hope of resurrection morning:

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba. (Genesis 22:15-19 RSV)

When Abraham gave his son back to God, then God said the promise of fruitfulness would be immediately fulfilled. There would be no more delay. The rivers of living waters would now begin to flow out from him to bless all the nations of the earth as God had promised. It was when Isaac came back from the dead, so to speak, in resurrection power that God said, “Now the fruitfulness of your life will be manifest.” This is resurrection life.

Even God’s gifts to us are of no value until we are willing, if necessary, to lose them so that God might reign without a rival in our hearts. When we have to come to that place to which the Spirit of God wants to bring us, that perfect relationship with the Father (in which our Lord lived his entire life) when God means more to us than anything, when we love the Lord our God with all our strength and soul and mind and spirit and heart, and we are even willing to give up the very gift that God has given, then in resurrection power that gift will be a blessing to everyone it touches.

We all have been given gifts from God. Maybe God has given you a special talent and you are asked to take a job where perhaps you can’t use that talent. You wonder about it, and perhaps rebel over this. But remember Abraham, and give it back to God. Face the possibility of not using that talent and the God of resurrection will take that talent and return it to you and make it a blessing to many hearts. Anything else will be a curse.

Perhaps you have a loved one and a situation arises in which you have to part from him or break that relationship. This is a struggle, but Abraham’s faith says that if God asks you to do it, then there is blessing beyond if you obey. Maybe you are living in a situation of comfort and happiness but you are needed in another place which is not as pleasant, and you say, “Lord, why — why do I have to give up my home and my relationships which I enjoy and go there?” You resist, you question, as Abraham did. Remember, however, that if God calls, you must obey. Beyond the apparent heartbreak and death lies resurrection. In the resurrection of that experience, God will give you back that gift and make it a blessing.

Is not this the record of every man and woman whose life has ever counted for God, who have been willing to give up the very areas they thought were God’s choice blessing for them when God called? In so doing, God made them a blessing. It can be in minor or major areas. This is the principle of the cross throughout all our lives. This is what makes resurrection life possible. This is why the Lord Jesus says, “He who loves father or mother … son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me…” (Matthew 10:37 RSV). “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it…” (Matthew 10:39 RSV).

Our God is the God of resurrection. When it looks as though we are throwing away every chance of blessing, God transforms in a moment the very thing we give up into the most richly rewarding and meaningful experience we have ever had.

I dare you to act upon this! I don’t know what it might be for you, but I know this is true and God has written this account so we may know that this is his way in the affairs of men. When we dare to stand upon what God has said, we discover as Paul did that the yearning of our hearts is “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…” (Philippians 3:10 RSV).

Title: Life’s Hardest Trial

Author: Ray C. Stedman

Series: The Man of Faith

Date: 1968

www.RayStedman.org

DR. CHARLES R. SOLOMON, GRACE FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL

Profile – Dr. Charles R. Solomon

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AUTHOR PROFILE

SHORT PROFILE

“Handbook to Happiness” (Tyndale House Publishers) is the foundational book for SpirituotherapyTM, Dr. Charles R. Solomon’s doctoral thesis from the University of Northern Colorado in 1972, awarding the degree of “Doctor of Education in Spirituotherapy.” This Bible-based approach to counseling or discipleship is called Exchanged Life counseling. “Handbook to Happiness” is the flagship book of the Exchanged Life counseling movement, synonymous with revival. Hurting people are healed by the living Word of God. Dr. Charles R. Solomon is the Founder & President Emeritus of Grace Fellowship International (GFI), incorporated in 1969, to implement a spiritual counseling ministry to share the power of the Cross with hurting people. GFI trains professionals and lay people on six continents to share the power of the Cross and see the Holy Spirit radically transform lives. GFI is a nondenominational corporation with allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the infallible and immutable Word of God. GFI pioneers a Christian counseling model that applies the victorious life message of the New Testament to personal ministry, teaching how one can be equipped for Christ-Centered soul care ministry as a biblical counselor. Starting a full time ministry on February 1, 1970, GFI now transforms lives in revival and sanctification, through the ministry of discipleship counseling and the printed page.

LONG PROFILE

“Handbook to Happiness” is the foundational book for SpirituotherapyTM, Dr. Charles R. Solomon’s doctoral thesis in psychology and counseling from the University of Northern Colorado in 1972, for which he was awarded the degree of “Doctor of Education in Spirituotherapy.” This Bible-based approach to counseling or discipleship is also known as exchanged life counseling.

Dr. Charles R. Solomon is the Founder & President Emeritus of Grace Fellowship International (GFI), incorporated in Colorado, USA in 1969, to implement a spiritual counseling ministry to share the power of the Cross with hurting people. The first GFI office opened on February 1, 1970, in Denver, Colorado. The first branch office opened in 1975, and the first international office was opened in Argentina in January 1981. The first training seminar was conducted in Colorado Springs in 1972.

Grace Fellowship International (GFI) trains professionals and lay people on six continents to share the power of the Cross and see the Holy Spirit radically transform lives. Hurting people are led directly to the Cross of Christ – both for eternal life with Christ, and for the abundant life, here and now. God called Dr. Solomon in 1967 to pioneer the approach after God’s work in his own life in 1965, through the words of Isaiah 58:10-12.

Grace Fellowship International (GFI), originally established in Denver, Colorado in 1969, has now relocated to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It is a nondenominational corporation, whose allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the infallible and immutable Word of God. “Handbook to Happiness” is greatly used by God to lead hurting people into victorious living, by the glorious healing grace of Jesus Christ. Hurting people are healed by the living Word of God.

The mission of Dr. Solomon’s Grace Fellowship International (GFI) is to teach how to live victoriously, disciple strategically, and counsel effectively, using a personal ministry model that simplifies with clarity, illustrates with diagrams, personalizes and demonstrates. Since 1970, GFI pioneers a Christian counseling model that applies the victorious life message of the New Testament to personal ministry, teaching how one can be equipped for Christ-Centered soul care ministry as a biblical counselor.

Grace Fellowship International (GFI), incorporated in 1969, began full time ministry on February 1, 1970. It now has a prominent presence on six continents, transforming lives in revival and sanctification, through the ministry of discipleship counseling and the printed page. Handbook to Happiness (Tyndale House Publishers) is the flagship book of the Exchanged Life counseling movement, synonymous with revival. Chapter 2 has been condensed into tract form, the Wheel and Line, and translated into 49 languages.

Dr. Charles R. Solomon received his B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University and his Master of Personnel Service degree from the University of Colorado. While employed with Lockheed-Martin Corporation as a senior engineer from 1951 until 1970, he began counseling part-time, under a contract with the Department of Labor, in which Lockheed-Martin was to hire staff for clerical work. His master’s thesis was based on the results of that program. Dr. Solomon’s doctoral thesis was published as the first edition of “Handbook to Happiness.”

DR. CHARLES R. SOLOMON, HANDBOOK TO HAPPINESS, TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS

“Handbook to Happiness: A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living” – by Dr. Charles R. Solomon

978-0-8423-1809-9

“Handbook to Happiness: A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living” by Dr. Charles R. Solomon is a fifty-year classic, with more than a quarter of a million copies sold. Although believers are enriched by deeper life devotional writers like Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray, and Oswald Chambers, people struggling with life-controlling problems assume that “devotional truth” does not directly pertain to their need for personal freedom. In “Handbook to Happiness,” the author bridges this gap, providing a clarified, practical handbook for strategic discipling and effective counseling, to help hurting people to exchange their life for Christ’s. Instead of living the Christian life by our own efforts and strength, we allow Christ to live His life in us, enabling us to become totally Christ centered. How do you fix a broken person? Where do you take twisted emotions to get them repaired? The answer is the Cross. We must die to self and find life in Christ, by appropriating His work on the Cross, as taught in Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This is known as “Exchanged-Life Counseling.” Don’t “Get A Life” – Exchange It!”

Dr. Solomon’s personal testimony involved emotional problems that hampered living. Finding only temporary solace with all the church had to offer, unable to survive for even one more day, the Holy Spirit intervened directly in Dr. Solomon’s life, through Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ.” Applied to his heart by the Holy Spirit, this gave him radical victory, becoming the message he was to teach, now 50 years ago. Understanding people, and helping them to understand themselves, involved unraveling the two intertwined themes of rejection and identity, to give self understanding. With this accomplished, the truth of identification with Christ in His death and resurrection can be shared for all to find true freedom in Christ. People face problems impossible to resolve in the strength of human resources, and it is crucial to understand the concepts of rejection and identity. We have access to the infallible Word of God and the Counselor, the Holy Spirit who transforms our lives by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). After being “filled with the Spirit,” we must “walk in the Spirit” to allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives. To experience the cross, we must embrace it, with its brokenness and suffering like the Master. To have victory in life, we must follow the way of the cross. Life comes out of death and victory out of defeat. It is a paradoxical principle. Through the exchanged life and the experienced cross, we become in experience what we already are in Christ by position.

Rejection, with its effects, after-effects and counter-effects, is the lack of meaningful, fulfilling and edifying love, resulting in the impaired ability to give and receive love. It can be so subtle and unintentional as to be unrecognized and unavoidable. The answer to rejection is acceptance. Human acceptance will not heal the damaged emotions, although it might be the only help available at the time. Being accepted in Christ is the only true, time-tested, proven cure in the world. Understanding identity and how it affects our life is vital. What we see as our identity determines where we look for acceptance. “Our fleshly identity is what we are as a result of human resources. Our spiritual identity is what we are through the Holy Spirit’s power. The cure for an unacceptable fleshly identity is a true spiritual identity, which only a proper relationship to Christ can give us.” Our identity is who we are in Christ. We are being “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). We exchange our fleshly identity, based on indwelling sin, for our perfect identity in Christ, accomplished by the Holy Spirit, who gives us our true identity as redeemed children of the King of kings (Ephesians 1:17-20; Romans 5:10). “Our identity, based on who we are in Christ, is claimed by faith. We exchange our fleshly identity for the Christ-life, by exchanging a life of defeat for a life of victory.” (Luke 9:23). We define our identity to understand what we must lose, in order to live out our true identity in Christ as dearly loved children of God. We deny our old identity to exchange it for our new identity in Christ. “He who loses his life for my sake shall find it” – (Matthew 16:25).

For five decades, thousands have found help and healing through Spirituotherapy – a Christ-centered strategy pioneered by Dr. Solomon. The practical principles of this time-tested, proven treatment are presented in “Handbook to Happiness – A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living.” People with emotional struggles are helped to return to the cross of Christ and see themselves buried with Christ in His crucifixion and raised to new life in His resurrection. “Handbook to Happiness” relies heavily on the truth of Scripture to give people hope and encouragement. Countless lives are transformed by the Holy Spirit on all six continents since 1970, with so many spin-off ministries such that an exchanged life movement was launched and several books written. Each transformed life experienced revival. People were set free where psychotherapy had failed, including addictions. The wheel and line diagrams are effective from 8-80 and may be used in evangelism, discipleship and counseling. Prison inmates are very receptive to the book’s message. The Handbook to Happiness is published in 10 languages with chapter 2 (the Wheel and Line) in 49 languages.


Solomon_Charles
DR. CHARLES R. SOLOMON

Dr. Charles R. Solomon, the author of “Handbook to Happiness” and founder of Grace Fellowship International, has an extensive counseling ministry in the United States and worldwide. He has written twenty books, including four books of New Covenant Poetry.


© Dr. Charles R. Solomon,
Handbook to Happiness: A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living
Tyndale House Publishers

 

AUTHORS, CINDY WOODSMALL, WATERBROOK AND MULTNOMAH

Fraying at the Edge – by Cindy Woodsmall

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Fraying at the Edge
A Novel

by Cindy Woodsmall

WaterBrook & Multnomah, Publication Date: 16 August 2016
ISBN: 9781601427014, Price: $14.99


Faith and love of family are exquisitely and artistically stitched into Ariana’s Brenneman’s beautiful patchwork quilt of life. But the Amish life Ariana loved with all her heart vanished when to her horror, she discovered that she was switched at birth two decades ago. Quill Schlabach is Ariana’s only link between the two Amish and Englisch worlds. There is only one question to be answered. Can he be trusted? Into this most unpredictable scenario enters Skylar Nash with one of two choices to make. Brand new ties link Ariana and Skylar together, as unparalleled wisdom and strength lead them to follow God’s guiding threads into the future He charts out for them.

 

AUTHORS, CINDY WOODSMALL, WATERBROOK AND MULTNOMAH

Gathering The Threads – by Cindy Woodsmall

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Gathering the Threads
A Novel

by Cindy Woodsmall

WaterBrook & Multnomah, Pub Date 15 Aug 2017
ISBN: 9781601427038. Price: $14.99


After spending months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is thrilled to be back in the Old Order Amish world but will her new mindset threaten to tear her family apart? Ariana’s hidden apprehension causes her to rebel against her Daed’s authority, who just cannot understand why his normally docile daughter is fighting with him. There is the dire possibility that seeds of unrest and rebellion might germinate to disturb the peace of the family. Ariana must find the true cords of love and understanding that bind a family and community together. Ariana is the Thread Gatherer. Life is like an antique heirloom quilt, split at the seams, with Ariana working on the frayed pieces, to remake the quilt and restore it to its original purpose once again. For Ariana, it is deeply satisfying to help people in need to start life afresh on a new footing. In doing so, she finally figures out who she is and what she wants in life. In the love of family, life is all about walking in love and finding one’s own identity and true place in life. Ariana finally finds her true purpose in life.

Miriam Jacob

AUTHORS, BARBOUR PUBLISHING, INC, KAREN MOORE, SHILOH RUN PRESS

Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life – by Karen Moore

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Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life
Inspiring Prayers for Living Life “Heart First”

by Karen Moore

Imprint: Shiloh Run Press, Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Pub Date 01 Dec 2017
ISBN: 9781683223207
PRICE: $12.99


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In “Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life” Karen Moore speaks right to the heart. This inspiring book helps you to discover God’s plan for your life, as you live each new day heart-first. Karen teaches you to pray from the deepest depths of your heart to God for your deepest needs and those of others. With God, you get a fresh new start each day.

“Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life” helps you to put prayer first as you begin your day. God guides you with His saving grace, offering you forgiveness and redemption. This book, an indispensable guide in your walk with Christ, strengthens your faith as you seek the priceless “peace that passes all understanding.”

Can prayer help you to see the world with eternity’s values in view? Can prayer inspire you to walk “heart first” through life? Can prayer transform love to become your only priority? 1 Corinthians 13:2 states: “If I knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do?”

The Heart-Shaped Life series, with its awesome motto to live life “heart first”, features “Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life,” with over 200 prayers to draw you closer to the heart of God, the author of Love Himself. Each heart-shaped prayer and selected Bible verse sets you on the road to the only life worth living – LOVE.

 

MIRIAM JACOB

God’s Greatest Gift to Humanity – by Miriam Jacob

God’s greatest gift to humanity is invested in the humanity of His only Son, Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus reveals God’s agape love, the highest kind of self-sacrificial love. God cleanses the sinner and saves him. God’s love for a sinner is the crown of all His attributes. Jesus is “the only begotten Son of God.” God gave us the very best of Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ. God gave His only begotten Son up to death on the cross to save sinners. The only object of our faith is “in Him,” the only begotten of the Father. Jesus is the object of saving faith and saving grace. There is life-saving grace
in His Blood, shed on the cross of Calvary to save us from our sins. Those who believe on Him “shall not perish, but have eternal life.” “To perish” is eternal rejection by God. In Jesus, God’s greatest gift to humanity, we receive eternal life. God loved humanity so much “that He gave His one and only Son.” When we believe in Him, we will receive eternal life.

© Miriam Jacob

HARTLINE LITERARY AGENCY, KATHI MACIAS

To the Moon and Back – by Kathi Macias

TO THE MOON AND BACK - by Kathi Macias

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 
(October 19, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-1975940232


“TO THE MOON AND BACK” by Kathi Macias is an inspiring story of the love of family in the lives of people with dementia and their care-givers. The compellingly complex characters are extremely well delineated, their overwhelming struggles and extraordinary successes realistically depicted and powerfully portrayed, as Kathi Macias compassionately connects faith, family and Alzheimer’s into an amazing story with great wisdom and incredible insight. A family barely survives a past tragedy, only to be confronted with Alzheimer’s. No one escapes life’s traumatic struggles, and Kathi utters God-given answers through her characters with humble grace and selfless courage. What an amazing love story of a family whose mother has Alzheimer’s, that records their relationship with God. Each new day presents different challenges to overcome, as God showers His abundant grace and mercy into their lives.

Kathi Macias presents a novel story portraying the fragility of human relationships and addressing serious health issues, like Alzheimer’s, that devastating stealer of memories, paving the way for a deep-rooted understanding of hope, love, and faith. To the Moon and Back is a realistic true-to-life story, firmly anchored in God’s grace as old as time immemorial. An initial cloud of confusion veils its beginning, with a life-shattering diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, but with remarkable hope, rekindled faith, and reassuring love, Kathi Macias clears the pea souper fog of confusion to restore a perfect vision of clarity. This is a poignant, heartmoving story, overflowing with saving grace and sustaining hope, to strengthen the unshakable faith that God is at work in our lives. The book poignantly connects with the debilitating issues of disability and dementia, tackled with insightful wisdom and courage. It is the perfect choice for all sufferers and care-givers of Alzheimer’s.

After the devastating accident that altered life for Rachel, which she felt was her own fault, nothing ever prepared her for what followed. Unsure of exactly how it first started, the phantom darkness appeared often, making her feel forgetful, fearful, confused and even suspicious at times. Her husband was a semi-invalid, dependent on her. Their only child, Lilly, dealt with her own difficulties, including a divorce, but Rachel was unaware of most of this. Alzheimer’s had mercilessly invaded their home, shattering their fragmented lives into smithereens. Will they ever find healing, or will the darkness destroy them all in its unrelenting onslaught and relentless wake? Unconditional love is their only hope of a way out of this nightmare, if it was indeed possible at all.

In this compassionate, care-giving book, Kathi Macias pulls back the veil covering Alzheimer’s, a devastating disease that affects memory. In the midst of insurmountable challenges, Rachel and her family become aware of God, who offers loving comfort and perfect peace in Him, right in the midst of the storm. In the dedication, Kathi gently exhorts us “to take heart. God stands ready to carry you all the way.” Here is a revealing glimpse of dementia from inside the ravaged mind and body of the afflicted, and its radical impact on the family. Kathi Macias captures dementia with rare sensitivity and crystal-clear accuracy. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to have a deeper understanding of dementia with its myriad, multifaceted angles.

© Miriam Jacob

TO THE MOON AND BACK - Kathi Macias

RUBY MAGAZINE- TO THE MOON AND BACK - KATHI MACIAS - page_19

https://issuu.com/ruby4women/docs/december_2017_ruby

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ABIDING LIFE MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL, BETTY WELLS

A Grain of Wheat – by Betty Wells

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How do we best glorify the Lord during times of turmoil, unrest, topsy-turvy worldviews, and uncertainty? We stand on the Rock of Christ with His peace, love, and joy within us, our lights on a lampstand showing the world that there is a Way for them, too, if they want it.

As October 11 is the 6-year mark of Dr. Michael Wells’ departure to heaven, I hope you will allow me to share some reflections! For the past several years in the face of seeing the Lord call home so many of His lovelies, I have seen that we who are left behind are privileged. Believers go through trials in abundance, and I believe it is because the Lord is preparing us for the end times, the end of this age about which He told us so much. At the very least He is preparing us—as He has believers in every generation–for whatever is ahead. Losing a family member or any loved one is the crash course in that. Under the severe pain of the loss, we diligently seek the presence of the Lord (He has never been far away, indeed, closer than our next breath and thought, but we get busy and distracted and neglectful of Him). We turn our hearts more heavenward. In that way, the loss (which we know is not a permanent loss, but just for this time) shows us how very blessed we are as God’s people that He would put us in the situation where we had to sink or swim, drown in sorrow and meaninglessness or rise above the depths by seeking Him for His comfort and clarity and Truth. That’s where the privilege comes in, that Christ Jesus so longs for intimacy with us as His children that He will use the departure of a loved one–who had come to the end of his allotted days on earth–to draw us near to His presence. Would our dearly departed loved one have chosen to be the one to get to fly to the very presence of the Lord in order to bless all of us remaining on earth through our growing more deeply in our awareness of the Lord’s presence with us? I know he or she would volunteer to be the grain of wheat that falls to the earth and dies to bear much fruit (John 12:24). It is a privilege for him/her and a privilege for those of us still left on earth, awaiting our time to fly. Everything in our life in Christ is a privilege if we have eyes of faith to see it. God is increasing our faith through trials as we look to Him for the resolution. Everything is for us. As pal James Hicks has so often said, “We win!”

By the way, the above paragraph applies also to friends and family who drift naturally away from us in the normal course of life, or perhaps they have left after betrayal, malicious gossip and slander, disinterest, or dislike. I believe God is in all of our earthly partings, and in each one we and the others involved have a lot to gain from Him as we take up our crosses and follow Him. Does anyone remember the old hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”? One bit said, “Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.” Yes, folks, once again, we are to see our Lord in every single situation in our lives, settled in the fact that we only have what He gives us, and that includes friends and family members. Hopefully that will encourage some of you today. Thank you, as always, for your friendship as together we serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mrs. Betty Wells
Abiding Life Ministries International
http://www.abidinglife.com

 

ESTHER ANOINTING

The Esther Anointing – by Miriam Jacob

The anointing of Esther pleads life before the courts of heaven, making her plea through prayer and fasting, and her petition before the most powerful court of earth. What was written in the name of the king could never be revoked, who reigned in the mightiest empire at that point in history.

The favor of heaven rested upon Esther to move the heart of the king. The anointing of Esther is of extraordinary power, God-ordained authority and amazing favor, a favor of heaven recognized by this world, a favor that cries out for life for all God’s people, who have no voice to cry out for themselves.

Esther is raised up in this generation, to be placed in a position of influence where her voice can be heard, to cry out for life, freedom and mercy for those who have no voice, to cry out for God’s people who face persecution.

God raises up Esther! Let the anointing of favor fall upon Esther to stand before the courts of heaven and earth, a favor arising from bold, humble obedience and selfless courage, a favor to rest upon Esther who fears no one but God.

© Miriam Jacob

 

5OOth ANNIVERSARY, REFORMATION

PRAYING FOR A NEW REFORMATION IN THE CHURCH

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PROTESTANT REFORMATION
October 31st marked the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. On that day in 1517, Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses in Wittenberg, Germany. Five Latin phrases (or slogans) summarize the Reformers’ basic theological principles in contrast to certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. “Sola” is Latin meaning “alone” or “only” and the corresponding phrases are:

• Sola Fide, by faith alone.
• Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
• Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
• Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
• Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

In the following article, South African pastor and author Andrew Murray (1828 – 1917) mentions the need for a continued reformation in Christ’s church.

ONGOING REFORMATION | Andrew Murray

According To The Grace of God

The apostle Paul declared, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:10, 11).

“Not laying again the foundation…” These words of Hebrews 6:1 were certainly not applicable to the Reformation. In the course of centuries the Church of Rome in building had left the true foundation. Instead of justification by faith in Jesus Christ being the foundation of Christian life, the Church itself claimed power to forgive sin. Forgiveness could be obtained only through a priest; indeed it might be bought from a priest for money. The great work of Luther and Calvin was to lay anew the foundation of Jesus Christ, to the comfort of thousands of anxious souls. We can never thank God enough for the Reforma­tion, when Jesus was proclaimed anew our righteousness–our peace with God.

That great work of Reformation was not accomplished in a day or a year. It took fifty years to establish the Reformation, and even after that time there were many priests whose conversion did not include the power of a holy life. Calvin himself said the Reformation was more in doctrine than in the lives of the people, and he felt deeply the need of the people to be taught and trained in the paths of righteousness. It was no wonder that so long as the foundation had to be relaid in the full truth of conversion and faith, there was delay in the building itself on the true foundation–a life of sanctification.

The Reformation is sometimes thought of as a return to Pentecost, but it was by no means that. Instead of brotherly love, separation from the world, and earnestness in preaching Christ by all who loved Him, there was much controversy among the Reformers. They trusted too much to the patronage of statesmen where these were kindly disposed towards them, and preaching was the work of ordained priests only, in contrast to the Pentecostal witnessing for Christ by all those who were constrained by His love.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6,7)… As the roots of a tree receive life uninterruptedly from the soil, so the Christian receives his life and power moment by moment from abiding in Christ.

In the confessions of Faith drawn up by the Reformers, prominence is given to conversion, acceptance of Christ. “Justification” and “justified” are words in frequent use. But the word “sanctification” is rarely found. Emphasis is laid on the doctrine of forgiveness of sin, of faith in Christ as our righteous­ ness before God, but we find little about Christ living in us, and our life being rooted in Him. The Heidelberg Catechism gives the explanation of the Ten Commandments, but Christ’s commands in Matthew ch 5. and John 13-16 are hardly mentioned.

Let us thank God for the Reformation as a time when the foundation truth of a crucified Savior was laid, but at the same time let us go on to perfection, to a daily uninterrupted walk in Christ wherein we may abound in faith, experiencing the abundance of grace from the fullness there is in Christ for us to enjoy daily. The earliest description of true godliness is in the words: “Enoch walked with God” (Gen. 5:24). So Christians must learn to walk in Christ daily, established in the faith and abounding in it.

God’s Best Secrets, by Andrew Murray

DR. CHARLES R. SOLOMON, HANDBOOK TO HAPPINESS, TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS

Handbook To Happiness – A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living – by Dr. Charles R. Solomon

978-0-8423-1809-9

Imprint: Tyndale Momentum, Tyndale House Publishers.

Newly Published: May 9, 2017. Pages 176.

Originally Published: 1971, 1989, 1999

ISBN: 9780842318099. Price: $13.99

Reviewer: Miriam Jacob


“Handbook to Happiness: A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living” by Dr. Charles R. Solomon is a fifty-year classic, with more than a quarter of a million copies sold. For generations, believers have been enriched by deeper life devotional writers such as Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray, and Oswald Chambers. Yet most who struggle with life-controlling problems assume that “devotional truth” does not directly pertain to their need for personal freedom. In “Handbook to Happiness,” the author writes from personal experience as he bridges this gap, providing a clarified, practical handbook for strategic discipling and effective counseling.

It counsels hurting people to exchange their life for Christ’s. Instead of trying to live the Christian life by our own efforts and in our own strength, we allow Christ to live His life in us, enabling us to become totally Christ centered. How do you fix a broken person? Where do you take twisted emotions to get them repaired? The answer is the Cross. We must die to self and find life in Christ, by appropriating His work on the Cross, as taught in Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

Dr. Solomon calls this “Exchanged-Life Counseling.” Don’t “Get A Life” – Exchange It! For five decades, thousands have found help and healing through Spirituotherapy – a completely Christ-centered strategy pioneered by Dr. Solomon. The practical principles of this time-tested, proven treatment are presented in “Handbook to Happiness – A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living.” Those dealing with emotional struggles are helped by returning to the cross of Christ and seeing themselves buried with Christ in His crucifixion and raised to new life in His resurrection. “Handbook to Happiness” relies heavily on the truth of Scripture to give people hope and encouragement. 

Countless lives have been transformed by the Holy Spirit on all six continents since 1970. There have been many spin-off ministries such that an exchanged life movement has been launched and several books written. Each life that is transformed has experienced revival. Many people have been set free where psychotherapy had failed, including addictions. The wheel and line diagrams are effective from 8-80 and may be used in evangelism, discipleship and counseling. Prison inmates are very receptive to the book’s message. The Handbook to Happiness is published in 10 languages with chapter 2 (the Wheel and Line) in 49 languages.

Solomon_Charles

Dr. Charles R. Solomon, the author of “Handbook to Happiness” and founder of Grace Fellowship International, has an extensive counseling ministry in the United States and worldwide. He has written twenty books, including four books of New Covenant Poetry. 

AUTHORS, CHRISTIAN MENTORING, DR. CHARLES R. SOLOMON, MIRIAM JACOB

CHRISTIAN MENTORING

Christian mentors are trusted counselors who give Biblical training on how to live a successful Christian life to their mentees. Christ leads and we follow. The mentor is the role model who leads the mentees to follow and emulate. Christian mentoring submits to the leadership of Christ in a mutual role of sharing and trust with the mentees. The mentor is a trusted confidante who relies on the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit for wisdom and insight to impart spiritual truths to the mentee. Mentors train disciples to transmit the faith to others. Mentors are committed to follow Christ and live up to their calling. Christian mentors equip others to mentor.

Mentors train mentees to worship Christ and lead good Christian lives. They offer wholehearted guidance and support in mutual love and obedience. This takes a lot of clear-sighted vision and understanding of the Bible. The mentor trains potential leaders, who in their turn, mentor and train others to become leaders. The extraordinary skills and unique abilities of a mentor sets him apart to be an obedient child of God, with selfless dedication and unquestioning obedience to God’s call. Mentees are taught to live for Christ. The Christian mentor is a force for the Kingdom to be reckoned with. It is a giant leap of faith.

You, as the Christian mentor, give your mentees spiritual support to become good disciples, help them to grow and mature in faith, realigning their beliefs and behavioral patterns to enable their character to line up with their call. You use your gifts and talents to have a contented life, filled with His Spirit. When serious setbacks and tiresome troubles come into your life, you deal with them fearlessly and learn precious lessons from them. You will be a mentor to someone, as a shining beacon of God’s divine light.

To be a good Christian mentor, keep your faith in Christ. Christianity requires a level of faith that is costly. It needs our untiring and selfless obedience. Our faith protects us from what we fear most. It inspires us to do our very best in Christ. As a mentor, you will teach and inspire others. You are a role model, growing in the Lord. You obey His Word. God uses you to impart spiritual learning to others. Being a mentor to your mentee is a relationship and a process. It is about God’s love pouring His precepts into us. Be a caring, supportive mentor for Christ. When you try to help another live a good Christian life, they need to learn to let Christ live or walk in Him — the not I but Christ life — which will be a good Christian life! The experience of the cross must be front and center. If not, the would-be mentor would be training flesh to try and please God.

Christian mentoring is a specialized form of discipleship. The mentor is one who has come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, and Life, according to Romans 6 and Galatians 2:20. His calling as mentor is to foster this relationship with another believer and to walk with him as he is established in walking in the Spirit.

The mentor should be established in a church which advocates such a relationship where he, too, can be under authority. Such a church should have a discipleship program where one believer leads another to appropriate his death, burial, and resurrection with Christ, thus entering into the Spirit-filled life.

Miriam Jacob & Dr. Charles R. Solomon

© The Authors

AUTHORS, DAWN KINZER

Sarah’s Smile – by Dawn Kinzer

Sarah'sSmile with wide white border

Series: The Daughters of Riverton (Book 1)
Paperback: 394 pages
Publisher: Morningview Publishing; 1 edition (September 5, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0997815405


“Sarah’s Smile” by Dawn Kinzer is a well-crafted, multi-layered story of heartbreak and second chances, that inspires our hearts on many levels. It is filled with heartwarming, captivating, late Victorian characters, full of realistic hurts, amusing foibles, and redeemable traits, revolving around mutual feelings of trust and forgiveness. In this warm, heartbreaking story, Dawn Kinzer teaches us to love and forgive. God’s love comes with the gift to forgive.

In 1902, Sarah McCall, a would-be missionary awaiting a call to the mission field, longs to leave bitter heartbreak behind, to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter Caswell, a widowed pastor, yearns for the way things were. They had been best friends—she had loved him and supported his dreams—but he married another and broke her heart. Although ten years had passed since he left, Peter hopes Sarah will give him a second chance. They had shared a past, but can they share a future together? Both Sarah and Peter are bitterly scarred by sorrow, pain, lost chances and unrequited love.

Abandoned as a child by her mother and gambler father, Sarah McCall strives to overcome a tarnished family history and a heartbreaking romance of unrequited love that she just cannot obliterate, try as she might. Peter Caswell returns to his hometown as a pastor, dedicated to his four-year-old daughter and new congregation, but he cannot forgive himself for his wife’s death. Will Sarah and Peter find their way to love and forgiveness, or will their past mistakes make the hope of a life together even impossible to contemplate?

Dawn Kinzer’s crystal-clear voice is fresh and distinctive in historical fiction. The spiritual content in this inspiring book is beautifully integrated, making the story meaningful to readers. The two main characters in this faith-based book have wide-spread appeal. The well-developed characters, intriguing storylines and surprise plot twists create a beautiful and captivating tale of forgiveness and enduring love that triumphs at all costs.

Dawn Kinzer is inspired by the Holy Spirit to write for Christ. God’s stamp of approval is upon her books. May “Sarah’s Smile” inspire the hearts of people worldwide, as Dawn’s heartfelt words match the awesome spirit of her heartwarming book.

Reviewer: Miriam Jacob


Dawn Headshot - 460

DAWN KINZER

http://www.dawnkinzer.com

Dawn Kinzer - novel arrives - shadow box


MEET DAWN AS SHE INTRODUCES HERSELF

Writing is a passion, but music has always played an important role in my life since I was a wee little one. I sang with groups through high school and college, then served as a vocalist with a contemporary worship band for eighteen years. Blessed with two married daughters, one grown stepdaughter, and three gorgeous grandchildren, I live with my husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

My work has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends, The One Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love (Guideposts), and featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home.

In 2010, I launched Faithfully Write Editing and soon moved from part time to full time freelance editing. I provide critiquing, copyediting, substantive editing, and proofreading services for both fiction and nonfiction writers.

Dawn Kinzer


A. W. TOZER, AUTHORS, MOODY PUBLISHERS

Meditations on the Trinity – by A. W. Tozer

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Meditations on the Trinity
Beauty, Mystery, and Glory in the Life of God

by A. W. Tozer

Moody Publishers. ISBN: 9781600668036. Price: $11.99


A. W. Tozer, one of the 20th century’s most beloved spiritual writers, is renowned for his extremely powerful writing style, strong Biblical stand, and his extraordinary ability to see God in the Bible and state with crystal-clear clarity what he sees. Tozer’s amazing style shines brilliantly like a priceless jewel through “Meditations on the Trinity.”

This volume on the Godhead consists of four parts on each person of the Trinity, and one on the triune God. It imparts an accurate view of God, and offers Him the true worship He deserves. Knowing God is the only purpose for which mankind was created.

The devotional readings reflect Tozer’s passionate zeal for the glory of the Lord. Tozer loved God fervently with all his heart, and he treasured the Word of God deeply, fighting to uphold truth at any cost. The doctrine of the Trinity is the basic foundation of the Christian faith, for us to behold the glory of the Triune God.

Tozer teaches the doctrinal-cum-theological basis of the Trinity and trains us in the devotional aspect as well. The Christian life first begins with God as we seek to know Him and reflect on the character and nature of God, and the ways He chooses to reveal Himself.

The first part of this book comprises reflections on God the Father, the eternal and immortal Creator. The second describes the humanity of God the Son. The third is on the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit. The fourth part emphasizes the unity of God. Tozer conveys the profoundly theological thoughts of God in the most lofty language and style to lead to the doxology of worship.

A. W. Tozer’s voice rings out bravely and boldly to believers of all generations to empower them in their Christian walk with God.

Miriam Jacob

AUTHORS, Sandra McCollom, WATERBROOK AND MULTNOMAH

I Tried Until I Almost Died – by Sandra McCollom

cover

Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah
Publication Date: 03 Mar 2015
ISBN: 9781601425775
PRICE: $14.99


Are you tired of trying to measure up to the world’s difficult standards? Do you want to exchange your anxiety and frustration for God’s divine peace, blissful rest and relaxation? In a culture that over-emphasizes accomplishment and ever-higher goals as the hallmark of success, we are hopelessly driven to do more, strive more, achieve more and be more. We get mercilessly caught up in the ruthlessly turning treadmill of rigid, self-imposed rules that wreck utter havoc in our lives. The pitiful end result of all this stress is anger, frustration, and anxiety that prevent us from living a life of peace in God. For seemingly endless years, Sandra McCollom lived in this death-like trap. Worn out from striving for a perfection she could never attain, try as she might, she cried out desperately to God for help. God answered Sandra by setting her on a trend-setting, life-transforming journey to discover the abundant riches of His grace. In “I Tried Until I Almost Died,” Sandra shares how she exchanged her burden of anxiety and fear for God’s divine peace. This book will teach you how to taste the exuberating freedom of trusting in the perfect power of God’s grace.

Miriam Jacob

AUTHORS, KIM VOGEL SAWYER, WATERBROOK AND MULTNOMAH

When Grace Sings – by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah
Publication Date: 17 Mar 2015
ISBN: 9780307731333
PRICE: $14.99


As trouble brews in waves in peaceful, quiet Arborville, Kansas, Alexa Zimmerman and Anna-Grace Braun are ruthlessly targeted for bitter discord and exposed secrets. Can they find God’s boundless grace in the swirling fog of confusion? Alexa wonders if the community in Arborville will ever accept her, hoping against hope that her excellent culinary and hospitality skills will win her many skeptics over. Alexa allows Briley Forrester, reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder at her bread and breakfast, blissfully unaware of his real motives for being there in the first place. When Alexa’s cousin Anna-Grace arrives to stay, the extended family circle uncovers Alexa’s deep-rooted insecurities, setting Briley on the long drawn out trail of a web of secret truths. A secure future and a young romance hang precariously in the balance. Alexa and Anna-Grace realize that their secrets are interminably interconnected, binding them in unimaginable ways. They must take refuge in the abiding goodness and faithfulness of their loving, heavenly Father and His trustworthy plan for their future.

Miriam Jacob

AUTHORS, BRENNAN MANNING, WATERBROOK AND MULTNOMAH

The Ragamuffin Gospel – by Brennan Manning

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Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah,
Publication Date: 06 Oct 2015.
ISBN: 9781601428684. PRICE: $19.99.

Brennan Manning wrote this book for himself and weary, discouraged people along the Way. Although we believe in grace, we feel as if we still must earn God’s love, for Him to be pleased with us. In “The Ragamuffin Gospel,” Manning presents a completely different picture of our relationship with God, as dirty, bedraggled, exhausted ragamuffins. But as we sit at God’s feet replete in our rags, He smiles at us and embraces us, treating us as the cherished recipients of His love. In this classic meditation on grace, we don’t need to make ourselves presentable to God. Our extreme poverty and utter powerlessness brings us closer to God, whose fatherly love embraces us, no matter what our condition or circumstances. Let us allow God’s grace to do what only He can do – hug us to His heart.

According to Brennan Manning, “The Ragamuffin Gospel” is for bent, bruised and broken people, who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God. By grace, we are saved through faith. Manning explores the true meaning of grace in all its power. When we acknowledge that only grace saves us, we draw near to God who delights in us, His dearly beloved children. We find the timeless wisdom of a man who came to God needy and desperate to find a peace that revolutionized his life for ever. You are not a disappointment to God. God celebrates you. God loves you. This is the exhilarating joy of the Good News – the gospel of grace.

Miriam Jacob

AUTHORS, DEE BRESTIN, WATERBROOK AND MULTNOMAH

He Calls You Beautiful – by Dee Brestin

cover

Hearing the Voice of Jesus in the Song of Songs

by Dee Brestin

Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah,

Publication Date: 11 Jul 2017.

ISBN: 9781601429902. PRICE: $15.99


“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” God loves you with divine passion. Jesus Christ wrote a love song to you, signed with His life-giving blood, for you to taste His love in a most intimate, heart to heart way! The Song of Songs, one of the most love-revealing books of the Bible, illuminates with a divine spotlight, the best love story of all time, the intense, personal love God has us, His dearly beloved children. In He Calls You Beautiful, Dee Brestin teaches us life-transforming truths with deep insight and understanding, as she illustrates how God uses the divine art of poetry and the most exquisite imagery to illuminate the unique intimacy Christ has for each one of us. God calls you to know His love in your heart. He sings over you a song of selfless love and undying devotion. A passionate Song of songs, sung personally to you, and only for you, by the divine Creator of your soul. Jesus loves you, and He calls you beautiful.

Dee Brestin’s writing voice blends in with the lyrical beauty of the Song of Songs, as she captures our five senses to taste the breathtaking love of God. Her sheer passion for Him captivates our hearts until we are swept up in His divine embrace. He Calls You Beautiful. He writes it on your heart with His life’s Blood. Here is what you always long for, your very own personal love story, to be loved, honored and cherished. God will make you feel inexplicably, indescribably and undeniably loved, for yourself alone. The Song of Songs melts our hearts with the beauty of Christ, inspiring us to be more intimate with Him, the Lover of our souls.

The Song of Songs is the best lens to understand God’s heart in all of Scripture. Dee Brestin poignantly weaves the tapestry of biblical truths to illustrate God’s enraptured heart for His people. The Song of Songs illustrates an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, in a glowing illustration of Christ and His bride, the Church. We will understand the depths of Jesus’s tender love for us and how He transforms our lives into His glory. “He Calls You Beautiful” plumbs the exquisite beauty and awesome wonder of intimate love with God, and the glory of His unique design in creating you, as He welcomes you into the heart of intimacy with Christ!

Miriam Jacob

ABIDING LIFE MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL, MICHAEL WELLS

WHAT IS GOD LIKE? – Dr. Michael Wells

I have to know the love of God before I can surrender to it. What is God like? . . . What is God really like? The Holy Spirit has to set the norm before we will be able to invite Him into our hearts. The norm set by the Spirit is Jesus. The Spirit is the merger of the Father and the Son. Jesus came to reveal who God really is. We don’t want to know doctrine, we actually want to know God, what His character is like, & the only way we can know God’s true character is to look to Jesus. Jesus appeared, He worked as a carpenter. He made the worst feel drawn to Him. Only in Him do we see sinners drawing near, expecting something other than judgment. He was goodness that was not meticulous but merciful. He was goodness that was not on a pedestal to be worshipped but serving. His goodness was not Pharisaical but friendly. He was not terrible but tender; His tenderness and friendliness made men tremble. Children sat on His knees, and strong fishermen fell on their knees. Like perfect words and perfect music His majesty and meekness are blended, and He was different than any man who ever lived. He taught men and His words were filled with reality. He taught with the authority of His own insight. Others came seeking Truth but He came proclaiming it; Truth gushed forth from Him like a spring. Others worked their way to Truth through logic; He announced self-verifying Truth. He did not argue Truth but left Truth to argue itself. As men listened they knew He possessed something that belonged in them. His words made sin seem so unnatural, so extraneous, so incapable, and so unfitting of life.  He was the Living Word; the Word and the action were one. Men didn’t just hear His love, they experienced love, and when He spoke of God people felt His presence, for He came not proclaiming God; He brought Him. There wasn’t a gap between the Word and the work; He taught high things and He lived still higher. He was struck on His cheek and He turned the other. He went one mile to the judgment hall and the second mile to the cross. He gave His coat at the judgment hall and He gave His seamless robe at Calvary. He loved His enemies on the cross and cried, “Father, forgive them!” They nailed His hands so He couldn’t heal them, so He died for them.
There was never a moral lapse, only moral completion; He said, “It is finished!”
He was goodness, approachable, irreproachable, and serving. He was goodness wrapped in a towel stooping to wash the feet of any who would stop.
He was something utterly new.

© Michael Wells

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DR. MICHAEL WELLS, ABIDING LIFE MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

The late Dr. Michael Wells, Abiding Life Ministries International.

ALLEN ARNOLD

The Story of With – by Allen Arnold

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This is “The Story of With,” in our ‘story of without,’ in a world where we cannot see the realization of our dreams or experience the awesome presence of God. This allegory leads us into the exhilarating freedom of letting God into our lives, empowering us to dream new dreams and envision fresh goals. This is a Story of More. It transports us to a new realm of deeper identity, stronger intimacy, and imaginative creativity with God. We will enjoy the presence of God in a closer walk with God. Delve deep to discover your true identity, in the right place, at the right time, to find the real you.

The Story of With creatively fuses allegory with application to offer a delightfully new perspective of renewed hope and refreshing vision, as you enjoy the glorious wonder of a life bathed in the glory of God. This story will fuse the iron in your soul and give you a personal understanding of who you are – a unique child of the King. Do you thirst for more? Does an indescribable ache tug at your heartstrings, as your heart desperately cries out for something more?

Are you ready to pay the cost? There is always a cost. Have you reach the end of yourself? Is there a glimmer of hope in who you can become, a grain of truth in what you see? Can God make all things new in your life? God is your Father. You are His child. Do whatever you do with God. Chart a better path. Begin anew. Don’t build your own kingdom. Use your God-given power to care for others. You yearn for more. Seek and you will find. The strength we seek might be hidden in our dreams, desires, and creativity. Awake it for God’s glory.

Did God place a homing device inside us to lead us back to Him? Reorient yourself. You are unique and creative. The DNA of God pulses through you. His eternal spark is in you. He created you with interests leading to your God-ordained destiny and truer self, to open the door to freedom. Your God-given gifts, interests and talents are a gateway to discover your true identity. Don’t limit what’s possible with God to what’s humanly probable. See with new eyes that your current reality is not the only reality. There is so much more on the horizon. The sky is the limit. Fly to it. An ocean awaits you. Swim to it.

Walk through each day, knowing who you are and how your identity connects you to your life. Taste a sense of expectancy, as the unknown leads to unimaginably great things. Step into creativity with God’s unlimited power.

 Miriam Jacob

Asheritah Ciuciu, MOODY PUBLISHERS

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus – by Asheritah Ciuciu

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Unwrapping the Names of Jesus
An Advent Devotional
by Asheritah Ciuciu

Moody Publishers, Pub Date 03 Oct 2017. ISBN: 9780802416728. PRICE: $11.99

Christmas is all about Christ Jesus. Let us prepare our hearts to celebrate Him.

In Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, author Asheritah Ciuciu guides us through an Advent devotional of Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love. Each day’s reflection focuses on one name of Jesus. When you read this devotional in your own personal quiet time or in family worship during the Christmas season, you will be filled with a great sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus really is. As you focus on the person and character of Jesus, your heart will rejoice exceedingly and be filled with awesome wonder at the greatness of the glory of God. You will sing exuberantly from the depths of your heart in adoration and praise, “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!” Let us recapture the joy of Christmas and imprint upon our souls the love and wonder of Jesus.

Miriam Jacob

MIRIAM JACOB, POETRY

DIE TO SELF, LIVE IN CHRIST – by Miriam Jacob

I am the WAY you are to walk;
I am the TALK you are to talk
I am the TRUTH you are to believe;
I am the LIFE you are to live;
You LOST your life to gain MINE.

You are crucified with Christ,
it is no longer you who lives,
but Christ who lives in you.
And you now live by faith
in the Son of God, who loved you
and gave Himself for you.

 © Miriam Jacob

MIRIAM JACOB, POETRY

Fiery Faith – by Miriam Jacob

Flagging, floundering spirits
are revived in the labyrinthine landscape
of the sea of faith.

Faith has a face
transfused with wisdom,
tempered by suffering,
transmitting an air of the
most fragrant fortitude.

Faith has a fiery, far-away look,
an incredibly fast-moving brain,
and an extremely determined air
of dash and daring.

Faith has a flair for firmly believing
in the fruitful and ultimate fulfilment
of all God’s promises.

Faith is an inspiring breath of fresh air
in the dark, lonesome dungeons
of doubt and despair.

Faith struggles to persevere,
struggles to hope,
struggles to endure,
struggles to live.

Fiery faith
always involves
a struggle with
the Unknown.

© Miriam Jacob

 

CHARLES R. SOLOMON, TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS

HEART TO HEART – by Charles R. Solomon

HEART TO HEART

When we come to the place of full retreat
And our heart cries out for God,
The only person whose heart ours can meet
Is one who has likewise trod.

Others may offer a word of cheer
To lift us from despair;
But above the rest, the one we hear
Is the whisper, “I’ve been there”.

© Charles R. Solomon


Grace Fellowship International – Handbook to Happiness

Tyndale House Publishers – Handbook to Happiness

CHARLES R. SOLOMON, TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS

HANDBOOK TO HAPPINESS – by Dr. Charles R. Solomon

978-0-8423-1809-9

Imprint: Tyndale Momentum, Tyndale House Publishers.

Published: May 9, 2017. Pages 176.

ISBN:978-0-8423-1809-9. Price: $13.99

Originally Published: 1971


Handbook to Happiness” is the foundational book for SpirituotherapyTM, Dr. Charles R. Solomon’s doctoral thesis in psychology and counseling from the University of Northern Colorado in 1972, for which he was awarded the degree of “Doctor of Education in Spirituotherapy.” This Bible-based approach to counseling or discipleship is also known as exchanged life counseling.

Solomon_Charles
DR. CHARLES R. SOLOMON

Dr. Charles R. Solomon is the Founder & President Emeritus of Grace Fellowship International (GFI), incorporated in Colorado, USA in 1969, to implement a spiritual counseling ministry to share the power of the Cross with hurting people. The first GFI office opened on February 1, 1970, in Denver, Colorado. The first branch office opened in 1975, and the first international office was opened in Argentina in January 1981. The first training seminar was conducted in Colorado Springs in 1972.

Grace Fellowship International (GFI) trains professionals and lay people on six continents to share the power of the Cross and see the Holy Spirit radically transform lives. Hurting people are led directly to the Cross of Christ – both for eternal life with Christ, and for the abundant life, here and now. God called Dr. Solomon in 1967 to pioneer the approach after God’s work in his own life in 1965, through the words of Isaiah 58:10-12.

“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.

Grace Fellowship International (GFI), originally established in Denver, Colorado in 1969, has now relocated to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It is a nondenominational corporation, whose allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the infallible and immutable Word of God.

 “Handbook to Happiness” is greatly used by God to lead hurting people into victorious living, by the glorious healing grace of Jesus Christ. Hurting people are healed by the living Word of God.

The mission of Dr. Solomon’s Grace Fellowship International (GFI) is to teach how to live victoriously, disciple strategically, and counsel effectively, using a personal ministry model that simplifies with clarity, illustrates with diagrams, personalizes and demonstrates. Since 1970, GFI pioneers a Christian counseling model that applies the victorious life message of the New Testament to personal ministry, teaching how one can be equipped for Christ-Centered soul care ministry as a biblical counselor.

Grace Fellowship International (GFI), incorporated in 1969, began full time ministry on February 1, 1970. It now has a prominent presence on six continents, transforming lives in revival and sanctification, through the ministry of discipleship counseling and the printed page. Handbook to Happiness (Tyndale House Publishers) is the flagship book of the Exchanged Life counseling movement, synonymous with revival. Chapter 2 has been condensed into tract form, the Wheel and Line, and translated into 49 languages.

AUTHOR PROFILE

Dr. Charles R. Solomon received his B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University and his Master of Personnel Service degree from the University of Colorado. While employed with Lockheed-Martin Corporation as a senior engineer from 1951 until 1970, he began counseling part-time, under a contract with the Department of Labor, in which Lockheed-Martin was to hire staff for clerical work. His master’s thesis was based on the results of that program.

 When Dr. Solomon earned a Doctor of Education degree in Spirituotherapy, Counseling and Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 1972, the state of Colorado formally recognized the new discipline of Spirituotherapy. Dr. Solomon’s doctoral thesis was published as the first edition of “Handbook to Happiness.”

Steven K. Scott, WATERBROOK AND MULTNOMAH

Jesus Speaks – by Steven K Scott

9781601428424

Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah. Pub Date: 15 Dec 2015

ISBN: 9781601428424. PRICE $19.99


Jesus Speaks by Steven K Scott is a most inspiring Devotional with 365 Days of Daily Guidance and Encouragement, Straight from the Words of Christ. It will inspire you to spend time daily in His Word and sense His loving Presence. You will grow in your intimate relationship with God, as you understand the heart of Jesus. This beautiful book is a divine treasure-trove of comfort, encouragement, and wisdom. It will lead you into a true intimacy with Christ. I love Christ, and Jesus Speaks! I love Jesus more and more with each daily devotion I read in Jesus Speaks. I gain an intimate understanding of His heart of love, in His own words, in Jesus Speaks! Each devotion in Jesus Speaks is a daily love letter from Christ. It unites your heart with God’s love. You will listen to the voice of Jesus very closely. Jesus Speaks opens your heart to the deep, plumbless depths of God’s timeless Word. It gives you an eternal perspective. It grows your faith to know the truth which sets you free. It infuses His life into your life, as you surrender to His life-giving words. Listen to God’s love letter through the words of Christ, in Jesus Speaks. It transforms your heart to enjoy a true intimacy with God. It will guide you into the loving heart of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Come, Jesus Speaks, to You! Read it and be transformed into the image of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

Miriam Jacob
 

ELIZABETH GEORGE, HARVEST HOUSE PUBLISHERS

BEAUTIFUL IN GOD’S EYES – by Elizabeth George

cover120278-medium - Copy

Harvest House Publishers, Pub Date 01 Oct 2017.
ISBN: 9780736970495. PRICE: $15.99

In Beautiful in God’s Eyes, with delicate sensitivity and inspired wisdom, Elizabeth George reveals God’s ideal, in the heart of the Proverbs 31 woman as she embraces the purest virtues of beauty: obedience and strength of character. She is beautiful in His eyes because she is obedient. The Proverbs 31 woman is a priceless treasure, her value a glorious gem, a sparkling jewel. Her loyalty is a solid rock on which she stands, unshakable and firm. Her contribution to God’s Kingdom is her selfless commitment, devotion and dedication. Her mission is like a spring of goodness, welling up in her heart as a fountain of joy. She has a most enterprising spirit. Her discipline is worthy to emulate. Her vision is a flourishing field of fragrant dreams. Her confidence is rewarded with success. Her diligence is a trait to learn from. Her mercy extends a helping hand to the poor and needy. Her handiwork is an exquisite tapestry of beauty. Her industry is a creative work of art. Her clothing is a wardrobe of admirable virtues. Her words are kindhearted and loving. Her family is an overflowing cup of blessing. Her adoration and praise to God is a crowning chorus and jubilant chorale. Her fervent faith is reflected in a reverence to her Creator. Her reward is to reap the fruitful harvest of a lifetime. I recommend this book for a perfect Bible study on the Proverbs 31 woman.

Miriam Jacob

BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP - REVELL, LIZ JOHNSON

Where Two Hearts Meet – by Liz Johnson

9781493405176

Where Two Hearts Meet
by Liz Johnson

Revell, Baker Publishing Group. Pub Date: 18 Oct 2016.
ISBN: 9780800724504. PRICE: $14.99

Although food had such a strange, intoxicating and mysterious power, wielding it made Caden Holt feel significant at most times but vulnerable and fragile at other moments. Usually calm and collected in her lovely kitchen at the majestic Red Door Inn, on beautiful Prince Edward Island, executive chef Caden Holt felt competent until her boss requested her to show off the exquisitely beautiful island to a visiting travel writer to save the inn. Caden is compelled to confront a world outside her kitchen. Journalist Adam Jacobs, on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island, makes Caden wistfully wish that she was beautiful. He had an appealing easiness to his gait and demeanor. On assignment to uncover a story, he loves the island’s red shores and Caden’s delectable sweets. When Caden discovers that Adam is not what he appears to be, she realizes that apart from the dire possibility of his article ruining the inn’s chances for survival, he might also succeed in breaking her heart.

Readers will delighted to discover hope for the hurting, joy for the brokenhearted, and romance for the lonely at the enchanting Red Door Inn in an enjoyable tale of faith and finding truth. ‘Where Two Hearts Meet’ will melt your own heart. Liz Johnson transports her avid readers to the enchanting Prince Edward Island. She writes that God’s lavish grace overcomes our deepest regrets. With a captivating setting, ‘Where Two Hearts Meet’ is a perfectly charming and endearing story of love and healing that will help us to find peace, hope and enough grace to face every situation. Liz Johnson brings the characters to life in the story. That is the poignant beauty of a great writer. We can relate to Caden Holt at so many levels. She might be pretty unsure of her calling, but she certainly loves food passionately, and she loves to make people smile, as she serves them delicious food. This book will escort you away on an adventure somewhere out there in the world. Enjoy the journey and happy reading!

Miriam Jacob

 

AMY CLIPSTON, AUTHORS, HARPERCOLLINS CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING, ZONDERVAN

The Cherished Quilt – by Amy Clipston

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The Cherished Quilt
by Amy Clipston

Zondervan. Pub Date 29 Nov 2016.
ISBN: 9780310341963. Price: $15.99


Christopher Hochstetler still reels from his brother’s death, for which his father blames him. Chris desperately needs to get away. He decides to work in his uncle’s leatherworking shop. Emily Fisher, daughter of his uncle’s partner, Emily tries to be friendly to Chris and draw him out of his shell. But his cold frosty demeanor freezes her sincere attempts to build a new friendship. Longing for a fresh start, Christopher’s freshly wounded heart still grieves from sad memories of home. Making new friends is one of the last things on his mind. Having known the bitter pain that comes when we lose a loved one, Christopher wants to guard his heart from further heartbreak. When he sees Emily’s kindness, he tries to keep aloof and distant. However he steals glances at her during the day.

Christopher Hostettler starts off wrong with Emily Fisher. When he finally tells her about his tragic reasons for leaving home, her heart opens up to him and her feelings for him undergo a sea change. When Christopher compliments Emily on the quaint beauty of an old quilt, Emily decides to make one for Christopher as a simple gesture of friendship. Emily must guard her heart, as Christopher is not baptized. When a family emergency beckons Christopher home, Emily decides to finish stitching the quilt, in spite of her heartache, to send it to him as a Christmas gift. But when Christopher receives it, will he have the courage to follow his own heart? Tragedy might have cruelly torn Christopher’s world apart but Emily fervently believes there are enough pieces left to stitch together a beautiful patchwork quilt for a brand new beginning. Lacking self confidence after facing years of criticism from his father, Emily painstakingly helps Chris to regain his confidence, overcome his grief and conquer his guilt. As his birthday approaches, Emily wants to make him something special. After hearing the story of the quilt, he left behind at home, Emily wants to make him a beautiful patchwork quilt. Emily’s mother gives her fabric from her grandmother’s trunk.

The Cherished Quilt is a well-written, easy to read, standalone novel. Amy Clipston creates very likable characters, equally challenging to understand. It was good to see how Chris changes, thanks to friendship and love. The Cherished Quilt deals with grief, forgiveness, friendship and love. Chris cares for Emily, but there is something that he keeps from her. Can they overcome Chris’ secret, the one obstacle in their path, to have a happy ending? Will Emily be left with a broken heart? Open The Cherished Quilt and step into their world to find out.

Miriam Jacob

HARPERCOLLINS CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING, THOMAS NELSON

An Amish Home – Four Novellas – by Beth Wiseman , Amy Clipston , Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid

9780529118691.jpg.1466517670

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Pub Date: 07 Feb 2017

ISBN 9780529118691. PRICE $15.99 


SYNOPSIS

A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman—Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. But all of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston—Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadihaus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid—Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is reignited.

Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller—Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiance, Silas. As they work to build Martha’s kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?


REVIEW

‘An Amish Home’ is an anthology of four novellas with faith-inspired plot lines by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kathleen Fuller. Here are four different stories by four different authors, writing in their unique style, with a wealth of Amish background knowledge. Although the four stand-alone stories are not interrelated, each story carries the common thread of redemption, forgiveness, and love. Each novella impacts our hearts by what the characters experience and how they rebuild their lives as they confront challenging choices in different ways. The choice to move on in faith is extolled. Each novella is unique, filled with hope. The stories resonate in the hearts of the readers, reflecting life with its joys and sorrows. All four novellas have heart-warming storylines with likable and lovable characters. The heart of the home and Amish family life is featured with beauty and grace. Each well-crafted story evokes heartwarming feelings of ‘Home Sweet Home.’ The characters leap off the pages into our hearts. They face different circumstances in life, but their perception of heart, home and hearth makes them appreciate their blessings, be grateful for love, and learn how to be content. The realistic issues in these novellas focus on loss, struggles, community, family, faith and love.

Four different authors write faith-filled, family stories, unique with conflicts, troubles and issues to deal with. Each heartwarming story comes with a unique take on the themes uniting them. Each author crafts a portrait of a couple in crisis in a heart-warming story of a struggle with faith and bitterness at the futility of life. These stories tug at your heart strings. Grief-stricken families agonize over their losses, as they wade through hurts to find love and happiness. God’s ways are not our ways. His grace is sufficient to carry us through the toughest times. ‘An Amish Home’ focuses on the daily struggles of life, love, faith and hope. Each author incorporates the importance of family, home and faith in God into their stories. Each inspiring page causes us to reflect upon our own lives. The themes of the four stories center on the home and family life, the hardships that couples face and the love and healing that comes from leaning on God. Each novella was well written in the authors’ own style, capturing well-researched information about the Amish.

‘An Amish Home’ will restore your faith in love and in God. The importance of faith, family and prayer are interwoven throughout all four stories. ‘An Amish Home’ is a collection of four different novellas from four different authors, each with a different story with different struggles, but with a common theme of home and family life. In each story, readers connect with the characters, to understand their struggles and relate to them. These are inspiring stories of love, faith, devotion, heartache and pain. In each story, the power to accept and overcome the challenges comes from the strength of home and family. Readers get acquainted with the struggles Amish communities face. Its authenticity relates to all, Amish or ‘Englisch’. Faith and love are the keys to unlock the door to ‘An Amish Home’ and find it truly ‘Home Sweet Home.’

Miriam Jacob

MIRIAM JACOB, NETGALLEY

NETGALLEY REVIEWS – by Miriam Jacob

An Amish Home – Four Novellas

by Beth Wiseman; Amy Clipston; Kathleen Fuller; Ruth Reid
Thomas Nelson, Pub Date: 07 Feb 2017 

ISBN 9780529118691. PRICE $15.99 

https://www.netgalley.com/book/99718/review/11975

https://miriamjacob.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/an-amish-home-four-novellas-by-beth-wiseman-amy-clipston-kathleen-fuller-ruth-reid/


Mattie’s Pledge – by Jan Drexler

Revell, Baker Publishing Group

https://www.netgalley.com/book/91903/review/11975

https://miriamjacob.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/matties-pledge-by-jan-drexler/


 Waiting for Wonder – Learning to Live on God’s Timeline
by Marlo Schalesky
Abingdon Press
https://www.netgalley.com/book/100503/review/11975


Encouraging Thoughts for Women: Blessings
by MariLee Parrish
Barbour Publishing, Inc
https://www.netgalley.com/book/110618/review/11975


Unseen
The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed
by Sara Hagerty
Zondervan
https://www.netgalley.com/book/112811/review/11975

https://miriamjacob.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/unseen-by-sara-hagerty/

https://unseengift.wordpress.com


The Writing Desk
by Rachel Hauck
Thomas Nelson
Zondervan
https://www.netgalley.com/book/108941/review/11975


The Sound of Sleigh Bells
by Cindy Woodsmall
WaterBrook & Multnomah
https://www.netgalley.com/book/117399/review/11975


 

BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP - REVELL, JAN DREXLER

MATTIE’S PLEDGE – by Jan Drexler

9780800726577 - Copy

Mattie’s Pledge

by Jan Drexler

Revell, Baker Publishing Group.

Pub Date: 20 Sep 2016

ISBN 9780800726577. Price: $14.99


In a tender, poignant glimpse into the Amish Migration West from Pennsylvania, Jan Drexler presents the heartwarming story of Mattie’s Pledge. When heart, home and horizon threaten to pull Mattie in opposite directions, which will she choose? Mattie Schrock is used to having her life uprooted. When her father relocated with his family from one Amish community to the next, Mattie always settled well into their new surroundings. Now as the Schrocks plan to move west, Mattie hopes to connect with old friends like Jacob Yoder, who always held a special place in her heart, although they had grown into different people with different dreams and visions. Jacob longs to settle down, while Mattie envisions life beyond the western horizon. When an Englisher tempts her to search for adventure in the West, will her pledge to Jacob anchor her to heart and home?

Jan Drexler weaves a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs into her writing. Mattie’s Pledge offers a revealing glimpse into Amish life in the 1840s, and into Mattie Schrock’s heart. In April of 1843, Mattie must make a choice about her life. Will she settle down in the Amish church or take off on a new adventure? Mattie’s Pledge is a historical romance with well-crafted, appealing characters and a good Christian theme. Jan Drexler weaves a beautiful storyline in her well-researched work. A compelling family story about difficult, exciting choices in life, Jan Drexler’s engaging Amish family share their joys and sorrows to embrace the adventure of life. Mattie’s unique adventure to the West begins with awesome descriptions of the journey in a Conestoga Wagon, traveling along twisting paths to achieve her goals. Moving from one community to another, Mattie Schrock knows how to adjust to different circumstances and situations. Yearning for new adventures and the chance to travel, Mattie has to decide between a new adventure in the West or the comfort of her own community based on a certain pledge.

With ancestry dating to the Amish immigrants in the 1700s, Jan Drexler’s special interest in this genre is well written and true to the Amish culture. Will the new land Mattie travels to give her a brand new beginning and a better life? Mattie struggles with her faith. The story deals with forgiveness in a very compassionate way. Mattie Schrock wants to move west to find her perfect destiny. She pledges not to leave her dearest friend, Jacob Yoder. But the pull is so strong to leave. Can Mattie keep her pledge? God is the main character. He alone knows the path to follow but Mattie ignores Him. The story was filled with hardship and adventure on their trek westward. MATTIE’S PLEDGE is a gripping story. Read it to find out why!

Miriam Jacob

CATHERINE MARSHALL - THE PRAYER OF RELINQUISHMENT

THE PRAYER OF RELINQUISHMENT by Catherine Marshall

When I first began active experimentation with prayer, I was full of questions such as: why are some agonizingly sincere prayers granted, while others are not? Today I still have questions. Mysteries about prayer are always ahead of knowledge– luring, beckoning onto further experimentation. But one thing I do know; I learned it through hard experience. It’s a way of prayer that has resulted consistently in a glorious answer because each time, power beyond human reckoning has been released. This is the prayer of relinquishment. I got my first glimpse of it in 1943. I had then been ill for six months with a widespread lung infection, and a bevy of specialists seemed unable to help. Persistent prayer, using all the faith I could muster, had resulted in – nothing. One afternoon, a pamphlet was put in my hands. It was the story of a missionary who had been invalid for eight years. Constantly, she had prayed that God would make her well, so that she might do His work. Finally, worn out with futile petition, she prayed, “All right, I give up. If You want me to be an invalid, that’s Your business. I want You even more than I want health. You decide.” Within two weeks, the woman was out of bed, completely well. This made no sense to me, yet I could not forget the story. On the morning of September 14 – how can I ever forget the date? I came to the same point of abject acceptance. “I’m tired of asking,” was the burden of my prayer. “I’m beaten, finished. God, You decide what You want for me.” Tears flowed. I felt no faith as I understood faith, expected nothing. And the result? It was as if I had touched a button that opened windows in heaven; as if some dynamo of heavenly power began flowing, flowing. Within a few hours, I had experienced the presence of the Living Christ in a way that wiped away all doubt and revolutionized my life. From that moment, my recovery began. Through this incident, God was trying to teach me something important about prayer. Gradually, I saw that a demanding spirit, with self-will as its rudder, blocks prayer. I understood that the reason for this is that God absolutely refuses to violate our free will; unless self-will is voluntarily given up, even God cannot move to answer prayer.

Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is this pattern for us. Christ could have avoided the Cross. He did not have to go up to Jerusalem the last time. He could have compromised with the priests, bargained with Caiaphas. He could have capitalized on His following and appeased Judas by setting up the beginning of an earthly Kingdom. Pilate wanted to release Him, all but begged Him to say the right words that would let him do so. Even in the Garden on the night of the betrayal, He had plenty of time and opportunity to flee. Instead, Christ used His free will to turn the decision over to His Father. “Dear Father… all things are possible to You. Let me not have to drink this cup! Yet it is not what I want, but what You want.” The prayer was not answered as the human Jesus wished. Yet power has been flowing from His Cross ever since. Even at the moment when Christ was bowing to the possibility of an awful death by crucifixion, He never forgot either the presence or the power of God.

There is a crucial difference here between acceptance and resignation. There is no resignation in the prayer of relinquishment. Resignation says, “This is my situation, and I resign myself and settle down to it.” Resignation lies down in the dust of a godless universe and steels itself for the worst. Acceptance says, “True, this is my situation at the moment. I’ll look unblinkingly at the reality of it. But, I’ll also open up my hands to accept willingly whatever a loving Father sends.” Thus acceptance never slams the door on hope. Yet, even while it hopes, our relinquishment must be the real thing – and this giving up of self will is the hardest thing we human beings are ever called to do.

It’s good to remember that not even the Master Shepherd can lead if the sheep do not follow Him. That’s the why of Christ’s insistence of a very practical obedience: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Obey… obedience … trust… is all over the Gospels. The pliability of an obedient heart must be complete from the set of our wills right on through our actions. So we take the first hard steps of obedience. And lo, as we stop hiding our eyes, force ourselves to walk up to the fear and look it full in the face – never forgetting that God and His power are still the supreme reality – the fear evaporates. Drastic? Yes. But it is one sure way of releasing prayer power into human affairs. In the prayer of faith, our hand is still in His. Our heart is still obedient. But now, He has led us out of the frightening darkness, with only the pressure of His hand to reassure us, into the sunlight. We look into the face beside us with a thrill of recognition – the hand of the Father is Jesus’ hand! All along, our heart told us it was so. Relinquishment? Faith? Just daring to trust Jesus.

Father, for such a long time I have pleaded before You this, the deep desire of my heart:_______. Yet, the more I have clamored for Your help with this, the more remote You have seemed. I confess my demanding spirit in this matter. I’ve tried suggesting to You ways my prayer could be answered. To my shame, I have even bargained with You. Yet I know that trying to manipulate the Lord of the Universe is utter foolishness. I want to trust You, Father. My spirit knows that these verities are forever trustworthy even when I feel nothing. That You are there… That You love me…That You alone know what is best for me… Perhaps all along, You have been waiting for me to give up self-effort. At last, I want You in my life even more than I want ________. So now, by an act of my will, I relinquish this to You. I will accept Your will, whatever that may be. Thank You for counting this act of my will as a decision of the real person even when my emotions protest. I ask You to hold me true to this decision. To You, Lord God, who alone are worthy of worship, I bend the knee with thanksgiving that this too will work together for my good. I relinquish this to You. Amen.


BEYOND OURSELVES – A Woman’s Pilgrimage in Faith – by CATHERINE MARSHALL

BEYOND OURSELVES - by Catherine Marshall

CATHERINE MARSHALL
CATHERINE MARSHALL
Catherine-Marshall-e1505780547949
CATHERINE MARSHALL