One woman who had sat in a Bible-teaching church Sunday after Sunday for over 10 years told me something one day that took my breath away. She had been having an affair with her best friend’s husband! Those in her world had counseled her, confronted her in love, shown her care and compassion – everything possible to help her see the trauma she was causing two families – then one day she eloped with this man! When she arrived back in town, I saw her at one of our children’s sporting events. She was so excited. She was flitting from person to person showing her ring and wedding pictures. When she arrived in front of Bill and I, we were shocked by her flippancy, “Oh, aren’t you excited for me? I just knew it was God’s will that we marry because after the ceremony, I looked up and there was a ring around the moon!”

“A ring around the moon!” my heart screamed with sadness. Her heart had drifted so far from God’s Word that her decision-making ability had become irrational. That day has stayed with me – primarily because it wasn’t an isolated incident.

A best friend, married to a minister, told me God had led her to an Internet chat room where she encountered a man who met her emotional and sexual needs. Another woman, who had been a committed women’s leader for years, told me at a retreat, “I was praying about whether to leave my current ministry, and I saw a butterfly and thought, “Butterflies are free; I am free from this ministry calling now. I am released to fly on to something else. Something for me.”

Our world has become so feelings-based and experiential, women are hopping from one emotional high to another. Sadly, this thinking is also creeping into the church, and into church leadership.

 

Seeing this, I feel compelled to be in the Word daily because every day that I might  lean on an experience or emotion rather than on God and His Word is one more day my heart drifts further from truth, and further from God. If I don’t gird up my mind with the truth, I will drift from the truth.

One way to protect your heart is to learn the strength and wisdom found when you dig deeper into God’s Word. In Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience, you will learn the skills and the joys of being in the Word of God on a daily journey to find hope and help through God’s Word.

 

 

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, and bestselling author of 46 books including her newest, Discovering Hope in thePsalms and

7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success In Keeping It All Together. She and her husband, Bill co-direct Love-Wise. When they are not traveling for speaking, they love long walks on the beach.

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Most cats hate water, right? Nope. Colonel Brandon, my kitty, loved it when he was little. He would smack the water in his dish and watch it fly in the air, landing all over the floor. Who knows? Maybe he could see a rainbow of colors while he splashed.

His joyful game usually ended when he knocked over the bowl, saturating the floor underneath. He’d walk away with droplets of water all over his face.

When he got older, he used to sit with his water dish between his paws, as if he feared it might get away.

His actions remind me of Psalm 42:1. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.”

How wonderful if I sought God as diligently as my cat sought water.

Sometimes I try to find satisfaction other places. Reading or watching a movie can help me escape for the moment.

However, the days I spend time in God’s Word and prayer, I always find the refreshment I need, and I have the courage to face life’s challenges.

Just like my kitty sought water, I encourage you to get in the Word and delight in God’s love.

Cynthia L. Simmons

Cynthia L. Simmons

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former home-school mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

Pursuing Gold

Pursuing Gold

 

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On one of our trips overseas we were able to take a day and spend it in London, England. The highlight for me were the guards of Buckingham Palace. Those guards were so self disciplined, vigilant and stalwart—nothing could shake them from their duty! It reminded me of 1 Cor 15:58, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (CSB) I have always pondered, just “HOW can I be steadfast and immovable in a world that always seems to shake us to the core?”

In Becoming a Brave New Woman, I share an example: It was one of those days. It must have been a Monday. I had been away speaking all weekend. I picked up the phone to gather voice-mail messages. “You have 31 messages.” I put down the receiver, discouraged. A stack of correspondence, a half-finished manuscript, and my email screen all stared back at me demanding a response. I was officially overwhelmed.

I had made a commitment to God, that I would spend time with Him before I would start my workday, but this day I hadn’t had my quiet time yet. I reached across the desk and picked up my dog-eared copy of Daily Light for the Daily Path, a book that gathers verses of the Bible together by topic, and has a Bible reading for each morning and evening. I opened to January 8th and read: “I know whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able. Able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. Able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work . . . Able to guard what I have entrusted . . . Who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control . . . Do you believe I am able to do this? . . . According to your faith it will be done to you.”

ABLE! ABLE! ABLE! I felt free to be me and let God be God. I thought of several friends in ministry who might also be encouraged by receiving this same devotional page. I turned to January 8th to copy it. It wasn’t there. I turned to February 8th – not there either. I turned to March 8th. It was the March 8th reading, but I had read it on January 8th! I’d been so preoccupied, I’d read the wrong page – but God had me read the right day for me! He is Able!

 

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 46 books and bestselling author of Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience (co-authored with Jean E Jones and artist Karla Dornacher) Pam and her husband Bill have now celebrated their 39th anniversary, and are the Co-Directors of Love-Wise. Their home is a live aboard boat docked in Southern California. The Farrels invite all their friends, readers and CAN community to join the Living Love-Wise Community. 

 

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Excerpt from Christmas Charity by Susan G Mathis

“I heard you were newlyweds from Canada. From Wolfe Island? It’s a mighty lot to adjust to, that’s for sure. But how’s you doing, dearie?”

Susan bit her lip and studied Mabel. Could she trust her, this stranger? Susan needed to talk with someone, especially since her mama wasn’t here. “It’s … all so sudden. Patrick is a good and kind man, but …” She looked toward the door and sighed. “I’m sure I’ll adjust … with time.”

Mabel took Susan’s hand in her tiny, wrinkled ones. “Change ain’t easy, I’ll give you that. But you can nudge it in the right direction. Charity is what you need, dearie. God’s love for that spitfire of a girl. I ’spect she be hurtin’ a mighty bit with all the goin’s on. She’s a child sneaking her way to womanhood I ’spect. You be a woman who must guide her along the path with a strong dose of charity.”

“That’s what my mama said. Not quite in those words.” Susan smiled and swiped a tear that had leaked out.

“We old folk knows such things. We’ve tried and failed many a time afore learnin’ the way. You’ll learn to, in time. But I feel in my bones that charity is the tool you need to use to crack that hard shell your girlie has formed around herself. What happened to her mother?”

“Died of pneumonia when Lizzy was seven, short of four years ago. Patrick and her had several stillborns and miscarriages before Lizzy came along, so Patrick …” Her words trailed off.

Mabel finished her thought. “Spoils her.” She grinned as Susan shrugged. “I could see it in her eyes the minute she cast her icy glare at ya.” Mabel chuckled. “She be a stubborn one?”

Susan sucked in a breath and nodded. “She hates me.”

“Naw. She fears you.”

Susan’s brow furrowed and she shook her head. “She doesn’t fear anything. I, on the otherhand, fear her.”

Mabel patted her hand. “Now you just stop that right now. You’s the grownup and mustn’t fear her. She’s but a child and needs you, dearie.”

Susan countered with a furious shake of her head. “She needs her father, not me. She despises me, and my marriage to him.”

“She’s just protecting herself, afeared to let you in, afeared you’ll take her daddy, afeared that she’d be betraying her mama, afeared that if she lets you in and loves you that you’ll die like her mama. It’s just the way them babes think.” Mabel touched Susan’s cheek and tenderly gazed into her eyes stinging with tears. “Now, be puttin’ away those tears and straighten that spine and fill that heart of yours with a boatload of charity for that prickly little thing. And do not fear! God will give you victory, dearie.” Mabel grabbed a towel that was lying on the table and wiped away her tears. Like her mama would have done.

Susan G Mathis is vice president of Christian Authors Network. She’s a multi-published author of stories set in her childhood stomping ground, the beautiful Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY. Her newest novella, Christmas Charity, her first novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, her Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, and her novellas will take you to a time and place few have gone. Susan is also author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, seven stories in compilation books, and hundreds of published articles. Visit her at www.SusanGMathis.com.

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Jesus was a good son.  Bill and I recognize a good son, we enjoy having three good sons.

A good son carries out the will of his father.

A good son represents his family well and moves the family legacy forward. Good daughters would do the same.  We meet people each week and many of them are those

A Couples’ Journey with God
Harvest House

who value the heritage that have been handed to them and they build upon that strong foundation.

While writing our newest devotional book, A Couple’s Journey with God, we had the opportunity to stay on a beautiful farm. Within minutes of meeting John and Barb Schaller, we knew they had an unusual love. Barb found it easy to gush about how blessed and fortunate she found it to be married to John. John found it easy to compliment a wife he was obviously endeared too by the gleam in his eyes. They are our peers in marriage, married about the same amount of time as Bill and I, over three decades! When I asked Barb the secret of their long lasting love, she said, “My husband forgives easily. He is full of grace, mercy and forgiveness.” When we asked John the same question, his reply was similar, “My wife knows how to keep giving love when people are hard to love. She love unconditionally and tenaciously”.

Notice it is really just two sides of the same coin:

He loves without limits and she is limitless in her love.

They are the owners of Morning Star Dairy. They live in the home John was raised in. John is the youngest of  twelve so he had the good fortune to watch his parents have a lifelong love. Love is a rich heritage on Morning Star farm.  John describes his mother as a saint who loved lavishly, never uttered a harsh word, and had a servant’s heart. Her  heart of love was often expressed toward her husband as she darted about the kitchen waiting on him with an affectionately, “On the way Daddy Baby”.  And that legacy of love continues as one will sometimes hear Barb call John, “Daddy” and with a twinkle in his eye and sheepish grin he will tease back, “That’s Daddy BABY to you.”

How does one go about building a legacy of love that passes from generation to generation? Follow John and Barb’s pattern and the example they saw in action, simply out serve one another.

Love is an action verb and it is best expressed with a servant’s attitude. 

What is a servant’s attitude?  Phil 2: captures it best when it simply says:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant . . .  (Phil 2:3-7)

This year, make the commitment to simply have a “you first” attitude and seek to place your mate’s needs as a priority on your heart. The plus side of having a servant’s attitude is your children are watching, and perhaps…

you will be laying a foundation of a family that all seek to out love the other!

 

Bill and Pam on their boat

Pam and Bill Farrel  are international speakers, relationship specialists and the authors of over 45+ books including best selling Men Are Like, Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti.  Find more information on the Farrels, their books, videos, audio and even free resources to help people be “Love-Wise” at www.love-wise.com

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