Book Launch

I am so excited! I Indie-published my first book through Amazon’s Kindle program. Currently it is only in eBook format, but will hopefully soon be available in a Print-on-Demand version as well. I have set up an Author page on Amazon if you’d like to follow me.

You Are Forgiven is my story of testimony. I discuss how for years I ignored God and all that He offered, and then when I finally decided to search for Him, He gave me a wondrous gift. If you would like a copy but do not own a Kindle, you can download Kindle apps. Here is a link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BMZSYXQ?keywords=you%20are%20forgiven&qid=1455157273&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Bookcover Forgiven

It is truly amazing how much support I have received from my family and friends. I am humbled and truly grateful for them. And… now that this book is out, I hope those who need it can access it.

My next major project is going to be to work out the whole Coffee and Yarn Club. I’m looking forward to find out how that action all plays out. Once I finish that series, it will be full steam ahead on the Christian Tompta series. I am currently leaning toward publishing those books the same way.

I wish you well this fine February evening… Peace.

The Truth About Me & Jesus

The other day I took one of those social media quizzes that told me my word for the new year would be “truth.” This makes perfect sense to me as I am in the midst of rewriting my testimony book, which is about true stories of God working within my life.

I struggle in my faith. I don’t doubt God (usually), but I have much conflict about staying in relationship with Him and doing things in His name. I know, I know, I’m human. That’s just it, though. I am human. I am of the earth, weak, imperfect and make lots of mistakes.

The other side of that coin is that because I am human, I have the capability of having an awesome, and I mean awesome, relationship with the Holy One. And sometimes I do. I have moments when Spirit takes me over and I cry and tingle and am so very grateful.

But… then there is the rest of the time. I want to watch movies, read books and go do activities that have nothing to do with God – and even may go in the opposite direction sometimes. GOT ring any bells?

Part of living this crazy existence is that we are able to see the beauty and unimaginable creations produced by different humans. No other species can come anywhere close to the creative dominion that man bears. Paintings, architecture, literature in rhythm and rhyme and sculpture all hold their place, but nowadays, in this digital age, creativity and beauty are oftentimes better than real life. Movies and animation, digital comics, photo shopping technology and audio equipment provide experiences that we could not mimic in nature.

The above does not even include the endless information at our fingertips. Means to improve every aspect of our earthy lives can be found: paths to happiness, ease of cleaning, any type of clothing, transportation and food, access to devices that contain and provide our daily activities, music, access to books containing other worlds, and much much more.

So then… Why are we still so unhappy as a species? We do we suffer from disease and depression? Why do we try to fill that gaping hole inside with other things… things not of God?

I don’t know. I wish I did. Will power isn’t always enough to keep me in line as to how I think I should be with God.

It’s a very good thing that He just loves me so much in spite of my shortcomings. It’s lovely and amazing that I am redeemed because of Him. And truthfully, it feels good in those moments when I do connect with Him – it feels better than anything else really. It feels like home.

My truth is that I fail. But I keep trying even though I don’t have to do good works for redemption, because I love Him. And because He loves me.

Peace.

Merry Christmas!

When I was a kid, every Christmas my mom would pile us all into the car and head to our grandparents’ house for Christmas, to be with the whole family. There would be tons of sweets, games, kids running around, presents, and invariably someone would be sick. That didn’t matter though-everyone still came and the sicko would bed down in one of the beds to rest.

Besides being drown in the love that is my family, the best activity was when we would all gather ’round the tree, drape over chairs and each other, and my Grandpa Joe would read to us the Christmas story, from the book of Luke. I miss him and that tradition very much. So, for you my friends, I wish you the very best of Christmas’s and leave with you this very special and most important story…

Luke 2:1-20:  “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shine round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was the angel with a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all those things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

Peace and joy to you…

A Sunday

Do you ever feel like you are in the right place at the exact right time? It feels like physical harmony, not just that vibration in your ears and throat you get when you sing, but a total body vibration – like all is right in the universe.

God has been blessing me with that feeling more often lately. I’ve been growing in my relationship with God over the past few years intensely. I’ve had ups and downs in this process…so many ups and downs. As you know from my last blog post, I have begun to obey the tasks I am given. It’s not always easy. There is often doubt and even panic on occasion, but that’s where that TRUST issue comes in. Faith is trust.

I had recently become dissatisfied with my church. I was led there for a time, at the right time where I was needed and for what I needed. Lately though, I have been leaving there feeling sad or angry and empty inside – not by anyone’s fault, it’s just that the lines weren’t connecting for me spiritually. I decided to go church shopping. It’s not a new thing for me, as we have moved often for my husband’s career. The funny thing is though, that God sent me a message about a particular church. Not once, but twice. Out of the blue I received an invitation in my mailbox addressed to me, and then one of my good friends told me about it – also out of the blue. It just happens to be the closest church to my new home, so I went. Today.

I was in the right place at the right time. The building is comfortable, the people made real connections with God in that house and the music was right up my alley. The best part was the sermon. The head pastor was gone on a mission trip so we were blessed by a talk from the young children’s pastor, and he seemed to be speaking directly to me. The Spirit was working hard this morning, the pastor was fired up!

He preached on Mark 11:23 – “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”

The sermon was about faith. Trust is a more accurate word. You need to trust God. God doesn’t owe us anything, and yet we have been given the most precious gift imaginable. Salvation, connection, redemption and relationship with the most Holy One.  But, a gift needs to be accepted. We need to hold our hands out to Him and say, “Yes, God – I accept. Thank you!”

It’s just that simple. Trust Him. Accept Him. Then…nothing but awesome sauce.

I needed a gentle reminder this morning. Thank you, Jesus.

Peace to you and yours…

What is the Bible?

Boy, that is indeed a loaded question, and by asking it and giving an answer, I am definitely setting myself up for criticism. However, when God gives me a task, I must obey. This may be the most evangelistic post I’ll ever write, at least it is up until this point. Am I comfortable? Heck no! Do I need to write it anyway? YES.

I’ll begin with the first answer: The Bible is a guidebook for life. That probably sounds dull as you’ve heard it a million times before. The thing is, it’s true. Any question you have can pretty much be answered directly or via some methodology in there. I hear you say, NO WAY…what about ___? Well, perhaps not modern day math formulas or food recipes, but for that I will just note that at the time it was put together, building in cubit and herbs/spices references are noted throughout the tome. Here’s the meaningful stuff though: conflicts and resolutions, rules on how to live together in a society, how to handle a runaway son, bullies, standing up for yourself, and yes, how to grow and hold onto faith and hope. All of those answers are there. I believe one of the most important stories for our day though, is the story of disobedience in the Garden. Why?

Because this story showcases that God gave man free will. He gave Adam and Eve one rule – do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In a human’s curiosity, they did; thus separating humanity from Him on this earth. Now, why is this important? Because for the past thirty years while I have been a student of humanity, I have seen that this separation has caused a rift in each and every person. Some fill this hole with shopping, some try to fill it with relationships with other people, some do drugs,  some try sexual deviancy – you see where I’m going with this. Even some like me, try to fill it by overcoming their fears and trying new things-travel/sports/arts etc.

Nothing on earth will give us that subconscious ecstasy feeling we know from before we were born into human flesh. That’s not to say that some things don’t venture near, but humans are constantly searching for that all encompassing love and acceptance that only God can give us. The only way to really get the glimpse of that, is to have a relationship with Him.

I can hear the naysayers. That’s ok. Naysay away. It does not change what I know to be true because God has given me this insight. Do I have the Bible memorized? No, and I have felt much guilt in my life because of it. But in recent days as I’ve grown in relationship with Him, I have come to the conclusion that it is unnecessary to memorize it. The passages that I need stick with me and bubble up at right moments. Plus, it is always there for me to refer to in times of need.

Yes, the Bible is for the tired, the sick, the weary…but it is also for the wealthy, the successful, the busy and those who know they have it all and yet are missing something. Even “successful people” need their hole filled.

Look around you. Can you see them – those people with a hole? Help them.

As a society we are beginning to recover from generations of hell-fire and damnation speeches that have been used in the name of God to create fear within us. The Bible has been poorly abused in this manner because it actually says “Fear Not” 365 times, and Jesus, in the four gospels, uses variations of this around 125 times! That is the number one message – Fear Nothing with the Lord.

The Bible is our comfort, our mentor, our parent. It ignites every emotion: anger, joy, annoyance, sadness, confusion. Is it ALL? I don’t think so, because God hasn’t stopped talking to us – we’ve just stopped listening to Him.

God wants us to remember: “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”-Matthew 19:26. Think about that. ALL THINGS. Dinosaurs? Fairies? A bit of evolution? Perhaps…because it is ALL THINGS.

So what is the Bible? It is mystery. It is our story. It is God’s story. It is redemption. You only need read it and as any story, choose to believe it or not. He gave us free will. Believe it.

It is Truth. It is the Word.

 

Weep (a Poem)

Weep oh children

Weep for the love

That’s been showered upon you.

Weep oh stalwart of heart

Weep for the joys of labor

That have been given unto you.

Weep oh you scamp

Weep for the misdeeds

That cannot be cleansed by you.

Weep oh man and woman of God

Forgiveness is accessible

Take it, it’s all up to you.

Spiritual and Physical Warrior

Good morning,

It occurred to me this morning as I worked out that I went to a Halloween party last weekend and did that thing I always do lately, but never intend to do: told a new person I met that I love Jesus – as soon as I walked in the door. I do not know what overtakes me (well, I really do) but its unusual for me and can be a little embarrassing sometimes. I will walk away from events thinking – what just happened?! Most of the time the conversations play out with other people who also love Jesus, so it works out.

What a great segue for what this post is about – working out. Anyway, the conversation got going and so I told this new person that my schedule is extremely busy, and that I developed one way to organize and simplify it. I listen to sermons, bible verses and Christian music, both old hymns and contemporary songs depending on my mood, while I work out. Honestly, I start out with a hip-hop song or two to get me rolling, but once the blood is pumping, I switch to a sermon and then end the session with cool down Christian music.

Throughout our conversation, the young man became very excited about this idea. He told me that he was going to try to instill it into a program at his church. I mostly work out on the elliptical or walk, but his mind immediately sprang to a spin class. I think that’s pretty cool and why I posted today. I thought, if one guy thinks it’s a cool idea, maybe other people will too, especially since it can be modified for any type of workout.

FYI about the sermons: I mostly listen to Life.Church and they run about 30-40 minutes so I usually split it into two sessions, unless its just so good that I need to finish it right then. They run sermons in series by topic and are easy to access on my device. We have moved around a lot, so I also pull  audio sermons from past pastors I’ve had. I was really excited when I found sermons from my favorite Californian! I like Alistair Begg as well, his Scottish(?) accent changes things up a bit and he’s a tad funny (listed under Truth for Life). Also, if you are just bored with what you’ve been listening to, you can check out Sermon Audio for a myriad of choices, or maybe your own Pastor has sermons online.

Working out with the Word really lifts me both physically and spiritually for the day and gets my WARRIOR persona in place to take on daily challenges. Give it a try, maybe it’ll help you too!

Links:

http://www.life.church/watch/

https://www.truthforlife.org/

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermonstopic.asp

My favorite Pastor Russ: http://www.bethanialutheran.net/worship-life/

Have a great work-out!