We’re moving. That’s the extent of what we know about this year, or maybe next. My husband is going to retire or the business is going to close—we don’t know which will come first—and we’re moving closer to home.

We don’t know if it’s the right time. Billy is eight years older and past retirement age, but I still have a few years to go before Medicare. I also have a condition that may or may not qualify me for disability, but it’s bad enough that we must have health insurance to help pay for all the annoyances associated with it.

One thing I know for certain. I want Billy to have time to enjoy the little farm we own back home, so I’m ready to take that leap of faith. The faith-leap that says we’ll be fine. That I won’t have to go through any more extended hospital stays or endure any more surgeries. That, even if I do, God will somehow help us pay for it all.

It’s a huge leap. Not just for my health, but for everything else involved. By faith, we’re believing the house we’re in will sell at such a price we can afford to build the new one without going into debt. That we’ll be able to move everything into storage and live together in tight quarters for months while the new house is under construction. That we’ll make the transition from work to retirement—while building a new house, while missing our friends here—without too much discord. That we’ll survive this as a loving couple.

We aren’t the first to have plans without a clue of how or when they’ll be accomplished. Long ago God said to Abram, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV).

Abram and Sarai knew less about their future than Billy and I do. They had no clue where they were going or how God would make them a “great nation” when Sarai was barren. But they trusted God and did as He instructed, and sure enough, through Abraham, all the earth was blessed through the life, death, and resurrection of his distant grandson, Jesus Christ.

Billy and I aren’t looking for such greatness. We just want to move to our little seventy-acre farm back home and enjoy the time we have left raising cattle and green beans. And the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of promises and results—will guide us through the maze.

What can He guide you through this year? This month? Today? There is nothing too big or too small for Him. We don’t have to know the particulars of the plan as long as we know Him who guides us through the particulars. Let’s trust Him together.

Linda W. Yezak lives with her husband and their funky feline, P.B., in a forest in deep East Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She has a deep and abiding love for her Lord, her family, and salted caramel. And coffee. Don’t forget coffee. Author of award-winning books and short stories, she didn’t begin writing professionally until she turned fifty. Taking on a new career every half century is a good thing. Visit www.lindayezak.com.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

What does walking by faith mean?

Romans 1:17 caused me some consternation. “The just shall live by faith.”

Sounds simple enough. But when I was a young believer seeking to know Christ better, this idea seemed vague and confusing. I needed a how-to. You know…five simple steps.

I heard this explanation: we’re saved by faith, trusting Christ alone; and we walk by faith, trusting Christ alone.

Being an emotionally expressive person, I let feelings trip me time after time. When anger, worry, or discouragement robbed my joy or a bad decision knocked me off track, I’d come to the Lord confessing my failure and expecting him to forgive and cleanse me and restore my joy.

Going on with my day, I didn’t feel forgiven…or joyful. I’m not clean enough! I’ll never be clean enough!

Living by feeling plunged me into despair. How will I ever be able to please the Lord?

Reading Hebrews in The Amplified Bible, I came across this explanation of faith: “leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness” (4:2).

As that truth soaked in, I recognized my error: I didn’t believe the promise of 1 John 1:9. “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”

If I confess, he will forgive and cleanse. My feeling doesn’t change fact. I can go my way rejoicing that God has done what he promised, whether I feel it or not.

Walking by faith is simply moment by moment leaning my entire personality on Christ in absolute trust and confidence in his power, wisdom, and goodness.

I think I’m getting the hang of it!

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books. This post is adapted from Cabbages and Kings—Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ. She serves as secretary of Christian Authors Network and is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

Don’t you love a spring shower? Refreshing. Relaxing. Rejuvenating.

But what happens when it doesn’t stop raining? Flooding.

Only one kind of flooding refreshes, relaxes, and rejuvenates––the reign of God flooding our heart.

How do we know He reigns in our heart?

  • When He reigns in our heart, His praise flows from our lips.

“The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad” (Psalm 97:1 NIV). Our great God overflows from his creation. We can see His greatness through his creation. We are His creation. If He reigns in us, He flows through us. We not only experience refreshment but also others feel refreshed by our testimony. We should praise God’s great and awesome name because it symbolizes His persona and His nature. Our best witnessing happens when our hearts overflow with appreciation for what He has done. God has chosen us to declare His marvelous works.

  • When He reigns in our heart, we want to evangelize the whole world.

“…let the distant shores rejoice” (NIV 97:1b). How will His Word spread to distant shores so others, too, can rejoice in His presence? Only if God’s ambassadors take His Word to those distant shores will they know of Him and rejoice with us.

  • When God reigns in our heart, we worship Him and respect His name. We give Him praise by both our words and our life.

“The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake” (Psalm 99:1 NIV). God’s holiness is frightening for sinners but a wonderful comfort for believers. God cannot tolerate sin. But for believers, God’s holiness gives comfort. And, because we worship Him, we are lifted from the mire of sin.

Have you seen these three examples flowing from your heart, soul, and lips?

You will if you let Him reign!

Peggy Cunningham and her husband have been missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also a prolific writer. Book 1 of her newly released children’s series, Hooray for Holidays, and her devotional for adults, Dancing Like Bees, are available on www.Amazon.com.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

I’ll never forget the day I was cleaning my top dresser drawer and found a treasure.

I read through the stack of aged, yellowed papers and instantly realized why I’d kept them. On them were written words of endearment—nearly 30 years ago—from my husband. They contained irresistible phrases like, “You complete me like no other” and “I love you desperately.”

As I read through them, my eyes teared. And then my heart dropped. Why doesn’t he write these words to me anymore?

It would have been easy to believe he was the one who had become distant, more critical, and less interested in me through the years. It was a little tougher, though, to ask if I were the one who let resentments build or baggage get in the way.

That night, I lay awake next to my husband and wondered how to turn back the clock. How could I make him see me the way he once did—as the captivating woman he fell in love with? Then I realized there was only one way to recapture his heart: be the woman I was and do the things I did when he first fell in love with me.

In Revelation 2:4-5 Christ told a first-century church, “You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first.”

While that verse can apply to complacency in our relationship with Christ, it can also apply to marriage. God is not the only One who recognizes when our enthusiasm for Him has waned. Husbands recognize when our enthusiasm for them has waned, too.

That night I asked God to help me look to Him as my first love and then begin responding to my husband the way I did when we first married.

Cindi McMenamin, a national speaker and author of sixteen books, has been married thirty years to a pastor and introvert. Her newest book, 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband, just released from Harvest House Publishers. For more on resources to strengthen your walk with God, your marriage, or parenting, visit Cindi’s website www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

        

In this three-book novella collection, each story is based during a different calendar season, as well as, a different season of life, which makes this collection entertaining and something for every reader.

In An Apple a Day (1st Novella), a summertime romance kindles when Doctor Brian Coridan spends time away from his practice at Blossom Lake, Wisconsin, and he meets Talia Fountain, a health food store owner with her own non-medical license remedies.  At first the two don’t see eye-to-eye, but the charm of small town living, “mom’s apple pie”, and church-goer get togethers bring them together for an unforgettable romance.  I found this story fun and entertaining.  The summertime experiences living in a small town felt real.  I especially liked the banter between the main characters.

September Sonata (2nd Novella) tells the story of newly empty-nesters Krissy and Blaine finding love again.  After a work-related injury, firefighter, Blaine is in pain and frustrated with his homebound recovery.  He has no idea that his marriage has lost its spark.  Krissy is a school teacher who is struggling with her new season in life.  Her daughters are away at college and she’s suddenly aware she’s been taken for granted too many years.   When a new principal at school shows interest in getting to know her, she struggles with what ifs.  I found these character’s struggles realistic in every way and was drawn into this story from the first page.  This story was well-written and touched on a topic that isn’t seen in many Christian books.

Let It Snow (3rd Novella) takes place on a snowy Christmas Eve.  Widow Shari Flannering plans to spend her first Christmas without her deceased husband in her hometown of Forest Ridge, Wisconsin, but a blizzard changes those plans.  She finds herself stranded at the bed-and breakfast inn of her ex-fiancée’s mother.  Doctor Brenan Sheppard never got over Shari ending their engagement in a letter and running off to marry someone she’d just met.  Now a missionary in Brazil and home for the holidays, he’s ready to take the plunge and propose to a woman he met on the mission field.  Seeing Shari again stirs old feelings, but can he get past her betrayal and trust his feelings again?

Andrea Boeshaar is a great story teller.  Her characters are well developed and relatable.  Although I eagerly turned the page with each story – totally captivated- my favorite was Let It Snow.  I liked Shari’s determined cheerfulness despite the painful loss of her husband.  And of course, Christmas themed stories are always fun to read anytime of the year.  If you like sweet inspirational romances, you’ll fall in love with this novella collection!  I look forward to reading more of Andrea Boeshaar’s books in the future.

Seasons Of Love, Published by Prism Book Group (Dec., 2015); 200 pages

Reviewer:  Ruth Reid

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube