A Tap Says Notice me! While sitting at my kitchen table, I often feel a tap on my arm. Looking down, I find my white kitty touching me with his paw. Sometimes he lets out a pitiful mew as his blue eyes gaze with longing.

Sir Edmond usually wants me to feed him, but sometimes he’s pleading for his morning brush-down. Or he might initiate a game. He hovers around me as I do household chores, and he curls up nearby when I sit down to write.

I think he’s discovered I’m his best source for food, comfort, and play. I hear people say cats aren’t affectionate, but I know better.

In much the same way, people get confused about God. Perhaps they see him as an angry judge who lies in wait for them to sin, or someone so distant he doesn’t care. However, I crave his love, grace, and mercy.

“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good, I have made the Lord God my refuge” (Psalm 73: 28 NAS).

My days flow more smoothly when I stay close to the Father. Just like my kitty, I often “tap” my Father when I need love, wisdom, or an eternal perspective.

 

 

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

I enjoyed crafting magnets with encouraging sayings to give as game prizes at my weight-loss club. But the ones that said “Hello, Beautiful!” sat on the eight-foot table like unadopted pound puppies. What is wrong with these people, Lord? I muttered. Why don’t they like themselves?

But when I looked at my own fridge, I noticed the lack of a “Hello, Beautiful!” magnet. I couldn’t take a dose of my own encouragement. Perhaps we’re afraid to come across as arrogant. Or perhaps it’s because our society equates beauty with outward appearance only.

Even though God made us in his image (Genesis 1:26), we’ve believed the lie that unless our bodies are perfect, we’re less than attractive or valuable. We’re quick to tell our friends how great they look or how special they make us feel. But we can’t say it to ourselves.

I decided to help those around me—and myself—get a glimpse of the beauty God put inside us. I started handing out genuine compliments right and left. I told the cashier at a restaurant I appreciated her cheerful attitude. I thanked the nurse at my mom’s assisted-living facility for her dedication. I wrote a note of gratitude to my easygoing co-worker. I made a habit to look for ways to say, “You are beautiful—I see God in you.”

Every time I shone a light on someone’s inner loveliness, I felt better about myself. Helping my neighbors see their value made me more aware of how God sees me: one of “his chosen people” (I Peter 2:9 ERV). I even made another magnet that said “Hello, Beautiful!” and put it on my own fridge.

(Adapted from Hello, Beautiful: Finally Love Yourself Just as You Are)

Jeanette Levellie, a spunky redheaded pastor’s wife, is the author of five books and hundreds of published articles. She is the wife of one, mother of two, grandmother of three, and waitress of two (cats). Find her mirthful musings at www.jeanettelevellie.com.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

Are you having a bad day? A bad decade? If you’re struggling to find peace, if you feel a certain emptiness, or you’ve misplaced your faith, there is hope.

In the midst of your mess, take heart and remember anew that the power of the resurrection is available in your life today.

Recently, Christians around the world celebrated Easter. We remember each year the true story of Jesus Christ dying on a Cross and rising from the dead—alive and victorious! He said He would and He did! Christ defeated death so we could live forgiven and free, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The good news is that we can live alive and victorious, too.

What was true thousands of years ago is still true: the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is available to us today—and every day. (Check out Ephesians 1:19-20)

While things may seem dead or dormant in your life, the power of our living and loving God can resurrect and bring to life again. He has the power—the strength and ability fueled by love—to make real and lasting changes in your life.

He brings wholeness from brokenness.

He creates order from chaos.

He brings prodigals home.

He heals our infirmities.

He frees us from the grip of sin and temptation.

He resurrects dreams and desires.

He helps us to love again.

And so much more.

Just as an expectant gardener tills the soil, plants seeds, and waters the ground, surrender your hopes and dreams and brokenness in the soil of faith. Keep it well-watered by reading God’s Word, talking with God in prayer, praising Him and thanking Him for all He has done. Expect God to grow new life in you and your circumstances.

It’s time for a resurrection.

Jackie M. Johnson is an author, blogger, and freelance writer who inspires readers worldwide to grow a better life. She’s the author of the popular Power Prayers for Women; the breakup recovery resource When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty; and the inspiring Praying with Power When Life Gets Tough. Connect with Jackie at www.jackiejohnsoncreative.com.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

In May of 1948, as the British Empire ended their mandate and withdrew from Palestine, five Arab nations sat on the border ready to invade. At that moment, David Ben-Gurion, the leader of the Jews, stood in Tel Aviv and declared the establishment of the State of Israel—marking the rebirth of a Jewish nation in the Holy Land after 2,000 years in exile.

I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel tells the amazing true story of Israel’s rebirth—promises made, promises broken, and ultimately the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy that this people would indeed return to their Promised Land.

Beginning with the birth of both the Zionist Movement and Harry Truman in the 1880s, I Am Cyrus chronicles the growth of Zionism and the unlikely emergence of Harry Truman on the American political stage. It then describes the prophetic and historic days leading to the rebirth of Israel and the vital role Harry Truman and his former business partner, Eddie Jacobson, played in those crucial moments.

The rebirth of Israel declares for a modern generation that God still keeps his promises. His Word is as reliable today as when these words were written.

“Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant” (1 Kings 8:56).

Has God given you a promise? Then live in expectation.

Dr. Craig von Buseck is an author, editor of digital content for Inspiration.org, and a contributing writer for CBN.com, MTL Magazine, Charisma, and ChristianPost.com. He holds a Doctor of Ministry and an MA in Religious Journalism from Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. His latest book is I Am Cyrus: Harry Truman and the Rebirth of Israel. Contact Craig at www.vonbuseck.com, craigvonbuseck@gmail.com, http://www.facebook.com/craigvonbuseck, http://twitter.com/craigvonbuseck

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

Winters in Michigan, where I grew up, were long, cold, and dreary. Gray skies, leafless trees, and a colorless landscape made the winter months feel endless. Occasionally, the sun would peek out in March with a patch of blue sky that gave hope to a frigid existence.

Then came April. As daylight lingered a little longer and snow melted away, the sky became brighter and creation began to wake up.

I love that we celebrate Easter in the spring because it’s a celebration of new life. Just as brown grass turns to green, flowers sprout from the earth, and tree branches blossom with new foliage, the resurrection of Jesus gives new life to those who are spiritually dead. And the new life that Jesus gives to those who believe in him lasts through all eternity.

Even more than the blue skies and colorful flowers, what I loved most about spring was the melody of birds singing praises to their Creator from early morning until evening. This Easter, as we celebrate our new life in Jesus, may we join our feathered friends by praising the One who is worthy of our song.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land (Song of Solomon 2:12 NIV).

Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her latest book is Mothers in Waiting—Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms (Harvest House).

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube