Categories
Encouragement

Joy is Transformation

Picture the contrast between a funeral and a wedding.

A funeral is somber, reflective, full of sadness, grief, perhaps even remorse.

A wedding, especially one between two godly believers, is full of gladness, delight, gless, bliss,  rejoicing and packed with hope on the horizon.

The wonderful majesty of God is that He has the ability and desire to turn our mourning into a wedding dance!

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have  taken away my clothes of   mourning   and clothed me with   joy…(Psalm 30:11)

I like to jump into the original language to dig into word meanings, With the descriptive synonyms, this sentence could be amplified to mean:

My WAILING and LAMENT  You have OVERTURNED into MERRY DANCING (with Timbrel and joyous instruments). You have LOOSED and FREED me from my SACKCLOTH FUNERAL clothes of grief and mourning and GIRDED and EQUIPPED me with DELIGHT, HAPPINESS, EXTREME REJOICING, PLEASURE, EXCEEDING JOY AND MIRTH like a FESTIVAL! 

Only God can transform your grief, wailing, mourning and lament into a Festival of Exceedingly EXTREME JOY!

What do you need God to transform in your life that would free you to live a life of joy in Jesus?

Trade in your funeral attire for a party dress! 

Let God transform your life as you unpack the delightful new Discovering Joy in Philippians: Creative Bible Study Experience. 

Come join me for a festival of joy– bring me to speak to your church group or join me online for the Discovering Joy in Philippians FREE Bible Study. Register Today.

  

Categories
Encouragement

My Favorite Book. Is It Yours? By Darlene Franklin

My Favorite Book. It Is Yours? by Darlene Franklin

 

 

Since I’m an author, it’s not surprising that I read. Some books I never finish, some I’ve read five times. But even with my favorite books, I reach a saturation point and let them gather dust on a special shelf.

But there is one book I started reading as a child which I find as endlessly fascinating and worthy of study as the first time I opened it over fifty years ago: my Bible. No other book stirs so much discussion with friends and strangers. Whenever I’m sad, it gives me solace. I chose to memorize chunks of scripture to keep my aging brain active. No other book speaks life to me.

The written word, teaches me so much about the living Word of God, His Son. Whether I open it at Bible study, rehearse memory verses, read through the Bible, research a theme, look up a verse, or read the day’s passage in a devotional—nothing else convicts me, inspires me, teaches me, or draws me closer to God. Nothing is a greater tool for devotion, for prayer, for ministry.

Recently have I have begun the practice of praying the Bible. What a freeing experience! I no longer need to know someone’s exact needs today to know how to pray (although it helps). I pray for unknown situations and never met people, missionaries, the unsaved, leaders—simply by praying God’s word. Not the mention the insight I get into God’s answers for myself and known needs by praying His word.

How about you? What excites you about the Bible, about prayer? Do you struggle with Leviticus and freely pray the Psalms, like I do? So dig in to the daily spiritual nourishment from the Lord. Enjoy the mountain tops in the Psalms. I learn something new every day.

Darlene Franklin is a contributing author to the currently available Daily Wisdom for Women 2018 Edition (http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/Daily-Wisdom-for-Women-2018-Devotional-Collection,14789) (and to the upcoming 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women (TBR Feb 2018). I’m also the author of Praying Through the Bible in a Year, TBR in Nov 2018.Darlene Franklin is a contributing author to the currently

Darlene Franklin

available Daily Wisdom for Women 2018 Edition oduct/Daily-Wisdom-for-Women-2018-Devotional-Collection,14789) (and to the upcoming 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women (TBR Feb 2018). I’m also the author of Praying Through the Bible in a Year, TBR in Nov 2018.

Categories
Devotional Encouragement

God Never Stops Working on Us

Kathy Collard Miller
Kathy Collard Miller

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller, here in the Southern California desert.

It was always difficult for my mother to relax and trust God, and even when she was in her 80’s, it seemed like the Lord was still inviting her to trust Him more. My sister and I would say to each other, “You’d think the Lord would stop working on people when they get old enough, but He sure seems to still be working on mom.”

That was true up until the last few days of her life. When it was time for hospice, she moved into my home but didn’t seem to really comprehend that time for her was short. In fact, ten days before she joined

Great-gramma with great-grandson Raphael

Jesus in heaven, she complained to me, “Kathy, I just hate lying here and not accomplishing anything. I should be doing something!”

I didn’t quite know what to say except, “Well, mom, you are 89. Maybe it’s time for you to just relax and let me take care of you.” She gave me a half-hearted smile like she wasn’t quite convinced.

Categories
New Releases

NEW RELEASE: January 2015 – RAINDROPS FROM HEAVEN by Twila Belk

Raindrops from Heaven

Raindrops from Heaven by Twila Belk
Raindrops from Heaven by Twila Belk

Hosea 6:3 says, “Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that cover the earth.”

Raindrops from Heaven is a beautifully designed one-year devotional filled with gentle reminders of God’s power, presence, and purpose. Revel in the rain. Splash in the puddles of God’s goodness. Delight in the deluge of His unconditional love. Let the daily words descend upon you like dew and shower your spirit with the reality of who God is.

Categories
New Releases

NEW RELEASE–Oct. 2014–Active Boys by Jesse Florea and Karen Whiting

The One Year Devotions for Active Boys by Jesse Florea and Karen Whiting
The One Year Devotions for Active Boys by Jesse Florea and Karen Whiting

Releasing October 1, 2014

The One Year Devotions for Active Boys, 365 upbeat devotions, each with a twist of humor, combine Scripture and a spiritual message with jokes, riddles, puzzles, and hands-on activities to engage tween boys.

About the authors:

Jesse Florea, author or more than a dozen books, is the editorial director of youth publications where he edits Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. at Focus on the Family.

Karen Whiting (www.karenwhiting.com), international speaker,  author of 18 books, and former television host, loves to splash creativity n the pages she writes.

 

 

New Releases are posted by Christine Lindsay author of Multi-Award-Winning Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight.

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Categories
Ministry

Your Devotional

"MaureenHello! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly CAN blog. This time, some thoughts on writing the devotional.

The devotional is intensely personal, but can also provide tremendous support for many. I've experienced this first-hand. When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I suffered from a number of life-threatening symptoms. None, however, was as confounding as the non-life-threatening phenomenon of lupus brain fog, which is much like looking at the world through a pea-soup fog on a chilly day. It isn't permanent, much like those clouds of fog, and it doesn't cause changes in the brain, per se. But it does make memories slippery at times, and frustration quick to rise.

Faced with a horrible diagnosis, I turned to prayer, Scripture, and reflective meditation on what I had read and prayed about. Only, I would forget what I had read and prayed about. Frequently. I finally bought a spiral-bound notebook and started writing down what I read and prayed about. A year later, I looked back at the now-full notebook and wondered, "Could someone else benefit from what's in here?" Then, I prayed. And then, I called my agent. A few years later, my book "Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness" was published and has been reaching readers like myself, patients of chronic pain & illness, ever since. Such a blessing!

Writing the devotional is a highly personal pursuit, fueled by insight and inspiration born from experience. Not all experience needs to be that of the writer, but ideally each devotion should be linked to a "ripped from real life" instance in someone's life. I liken writing a devotional to being a "spiritual reporter," combining life's events with the place God takes within it all.

As they are extensions of our faith, devotionals spring from Scriptural reflections. Reading Scripture regularly and listening to the passages resonate gives the right context for the meditations you craft for each topic. I also spent much time in an empty church, sitting quietly, reading passages, then sitting quietly again. The waters of the Word can refresh us whenever we partake of them, but they truly nourish us when we let them soak into us completely.

Devotional structure will be unique to each project, but ideally each project does have a structure, an arc, a way in which it builds and carries the reader through to greater insight, comfort, or encouragement. At the same time, devotionals are often read in pieces, and not linearly, so the author needs to keep this in mind (avoid referring to a previous devotion, for example).

Writing "Peace in the Storm…" was exhausting for me, but what motivated me to keep going was the thought of my audience. Each day, I prayed for and thought of someone who would read what I was writing, someone who was suffering with or from the particular problem, or asking the particular question, that I addressed in the devotion I wrote that day. Keeping the reader close to mind and heart enables the words to flow as from a friend to a friend, a very effective and empathetic voice.

Blessings to you!

Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

http://blog.beliefnet.com/gooddaysbaddays/

 

 

 

Categories
Devotional New Releases

CAN Book Feature: Drawing Closer to God by Dianne Neal Matthews

Drawing Closer Drawing Closer to God

Dianne Neal Matthews

The Bible is full of questions asked by God, Jesus, ordinary people, Satan, and even a donkey. Some are questions that we wrestle with but are reluctant to voice. Others are asked to comfort, to convict, or to reinforce spiritual principles. Drawing Closer to God: 365 Daily Meditations on Questions from Scripture explores 365 of these questions and shares practical application that can help deepen our relationship with God and strengthen our daily walk.