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.

 

 

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Paisley Abbey in Glasgow, Scotland
Paisley Abbey in Glasgow, Scotland

Paisley Abbey in Glasgow, Scotland.

Recently my family and I were able to travel around historic Scotland researching our ancestral ties to this beautiful country. One of the amazing places we visited was Paisley Abbey where our ancestors, the Lords Cathcart I & II, were interred. We searched and searched all over the huge church for their tombs. But we needed to know some crucial information.

Traveling Historic Scotland can flip your assumptions 180 degrees.

The interior view of Paisley Abbey's new altar area

The interior view of Paisley Abbey’s new altar area.

Paisley Abbey was built over time in the 12th century. Major benefactors included the Cathcart family. Over the centuries, major benefactors and important people in society were very often buried nearest the altar inside churches. The less important a person in society, the farther from the altar. knowing this, we searched every brick and tomb. We searched all the carvings and stones.

The volunteer guide pointed out Cathcart Aisle and a small alcove behind the choir. We found more recent (1800s) Cathcarts that would be very distant cousins. But no sign of the lords’ gravesites.

 

Then, our guide mentioned that the  huge cathedral had a different design than its original. 

The historic altar had been destroyed as the Paisley Abbey, several times from war and a huge architectural mistake when one of the roof rebuilds crashed down from poor workmanship. Over time, the altar was moved as the abbey was expanded and rebuilt.

But one wall, the Old Wall, still exists.

Cathcart Memorials at Paisley Abbey in the Old Wall

Cathcart Memorials at Paisley Abbey in the Old Wall.

The guide pointed out the difference in the height and narrowness as potentially guards against Viking raids versus the new walls with windows at a more normal height. Then he mentioned the original wall, hidden mostly behind a long line of screens that told the story of the abbey. He pointed out where the original altar likely stood. People commonly interred in the thick walls of historic Scotland’s cathedrals over the centuries.

We’d been searching in the wrong place the entire time because we didn’t know the altar moved!

The ancient Cathcart tomb is a large stone carved in Latin, pretty high up below very narrow windows on the original monastery wall. We all admired the beautiful stained glass, more recently placed, but still gorgeous in the ancient church. Then…

We found them! A long brass plaque beneath the carved words, different centuries and yet the root of our Cathcart roots. Just one branch on our family tree. But I am so happy to have found them and a little more information to share with future generations.

All that time scouring every nook and cranny in the choir, altar, walls, and floor. Often we chase all around the answer, not realizing it’s the wrong spot because of an assumption based on the way things look right now. What a great example those few hours gave me! When I’m methodically searching and not finding, I learned from historic Scotland to ask God to point me in the right direction regardless of my assumptions.

Angela Breidenbach and her daughter pay their respects to ancestors at Paisley Abbey

Angela Breidenbach and her daughter pay their respects to ancestors at Paisley Abbey.

 

Author and genealogist, Angela Breidenbach

Author and genealogist, Angela Breidenbach

Angela Breidenbach uses the research from her travels in her historical novels.

She’s a genealogist and the president of the Christian Authors Network.

You can find her at AngelaBreidenbach.com and on social media with @AngBreidenbach including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter.

Try one of Angela’s historical novels that include genealogical research like:

 The Captive Brides Collection telling the story of Scottish immigrants who endured indenture to come to the Colonies as the American Revolution is birthed.

Captive Brides Historical Romance Collection

Captive Brides Romance Collection featuring CAN author Angela Breidenbach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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My husband and I spent February driving to and from Florida, away from New England cold.

A strong motivator for this trip was the relatively new Museum of the Bible in DC. Great reviews, and I badly wanted to experience it. Had it all planned out, down to the purchase of a parking slot—# 14 on G Street, near the museum. The museum hours were 10:00 to 4:00, so we left our hotel with plenty of time for the half-hour trip.

As we drove, tension crawled up my neck. Why was the GPS taking us in the wrong direction? I reprogrammed several times. No change. Finally, I tried the museum address instead of Parking Slot # 14 and was informed we had eighty-four miles still to go!

Given the time wasted, we couldn’t possibly make it back with enough time for the museum. Sadly, we gave up and headed south.

I grieved…deeply. Many tears. An enormous disappointment.

Today, I received a communication from friend Steve who has Multiple Myeloma, a serious cancer for which he underwent multiple chemos. He had gone to a scheduled appointment to plan for a promising stem-cell treatment. Instead, though—bad news. He still had too many cancer cells and would need more chemo.

Disappointment put in perspective—my small, mosquito-sized grief next to a raging tiger.

After the GPS fiasco, I did not ask, “Why, God?” as though I had a right to question Him. I did, however, poke around for what I might learn from it. God doesn’t arbitrarily dump grief on us for no good reason. Steve’s post today gave me my answer: whatever I learn in handling mosquito bites prepares me for the tigers that prowl my murky future.

I still have plenty of tears, but I’m trying to redirect them toward disappointments that matter.

Ellie Gustafson, a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences include gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make Scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story. In An Unpresentable Glory, a noted gardener from snobbish Westchester County in New York, finds a stranger, obviously ill, sprawled near her delphiniums. She takes him into her house and cares for him an entire week before learning who he is. An investigative reporter uncovers the secret week, and both Linda and her guest become a spectacle in the eyes of the world. More about An Unpresentable Glory https://tinyurl.com/y9lpft6a; Dynamo  http://tinyurl.com/otdxwad; The Stones  http://tinyurl.com/nf5o63d. Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/eleanorgustafson; Twitter: @EgusEllie; Facebook: Ellie Gustafson. https://www.facebook.com/ellie.gustafson.7

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“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”—Sir Winston Churchill

History still matters today, and with all the revisionist history going around our world—in the media, popular culture, and even in our educational system—we need to be wise. As Churchill wisely warned us, we need to learn from history so we don’t repeat the failures of the past. The historical parts of the Bible are important for that reason. So is our own history.

We can learn so much from the people who lived before us. They shaped and were shaped by the events of their time, and so are we. We can find inspiration from people of the past, but we can also understand the world today if we take the time to connect the dots.

Unfortunately, the subject of history often becomes a list of dates and names so many have turned their backs on it. And that’s where historical fiction fills a void we desperately need filled today.

Historical fiction allows us to explore and experience history in a tangible way. We can catch glimpses of the past through the people who lived it. We can explore the human condition through the story and see history rather than just hear about it. That’s why dramas like Downton Abbey are so popular.

I love learning while being entertained with drama, whether in a novel, TV show, or movie. Moreover, studies prove that when we’re interested in something, like what will happen to our heroine in the novel we read, we’ll remember the historical details that surround it. Readers get to not only enjoy the character’s story but also learn from history, and that’s a win-win.

So whether you read about the kings of Israel, the days of Esther, or the Thousand Islands Gilded Age, never stop learning about history and applying it to your world. If we all did, we’d make a much better world for ourselves and for those who will come.

Susan G. Mathis is vice president of Christian Authors Network and a multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in Upstate New York. Katelyn’s Choice,The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, and Christmas Charity will transport you to a time and place few have visited. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her husband, Dale, and relishes time with her four adorable granddaughters. Find out more at www.SusanGMathis.com.

 

 

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