“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions [I, God] gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7–9 nlt
Friday, October 24, 2014
However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; we are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7–9 amp
Thursday, October 23, 2014
“Blessed be God, who has given peace to his people . . . just as he said he’d do. Not one of all those good and wonderful words that he spoke . . . has misfired. May God, our very own God, continue to be with us just as he was with our ancestors—may he never give up and walk out on us. May he keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors.” 1 Kings 8:56–58 msg
Monday, October 20, 2014
Lynn Austin is back with the next book in The Restoration Chronicles series, Keepers of the Covenant. Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God's unwavering love for His people.
Lynn is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and a live author chat webcast on October 21st.
One winner will receive:
- A Kindle HDX
- Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 21st. Winner will be announced at the Keepers of the Covenant LIVE webcast event on October 21st. Connect with Lynn for a fascinating evening centered around God's unwavering love for His people. She'll be hosting a Biblical fiction book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in The Restoration Chronicles, and much more!
So grab your copy of Keepers of the Covenant and join Lynn and friends on the evening of October 21st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!
Lynn Austin once again brings the Old Testament to life in Keepers of the Covenant, book two in the Restoration Chronicles.
In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king's palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.
When the battles come to an end, Ezra's brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude's widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple---but the fight to keep God's Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges . . . this one for the survival of God's covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.
Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live near Chicago.
Margie's Comments: Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin is the second book in the Restoration Chronicles. I don't usually like to read books in a series out of order. While there were some instances where I felt a little lost, wondering if I should have read the first book—Return to Me—the book can stand alone as a very good read. I've always loved the story of Esther, but I've never read about the millions of Jews who were directly affected by Haman's attempt to wipe out their nation (other than what is recorded in the book of Esther). The author's characterizations and her choice of characters made the people and this time in biblical history come alive. While there are several themes, the one that touched me most was the theme of faith in God, which includes God's faithfulness to mankind. True biblical faith believes in God and who He is as revealed in Scripture and in our life experiences no matter if we can sense Him near or if we can understand His working. It means staying true and obedient to Him even if it's the hardest thing we've ever done. Amina, a Gentile-born believer in God, summarizes faith when her husband was faced with possibly having to divorce her. He says he'll take her and go live somewhere else if the worst happened. Amina says, "I don't think faith works that way, Reuben. Before we can ask for mercy, we have to be prepared to obey the Almighty One no matter what happens. Abraham didn't know that God would provide a ram in the thicket in place of Isaac. He was willing to obey and sacrifice the son he loved no matter what." And that's exactly what faith is—trusting and obeying God, even when it doesn't make sense. God is good, no matter what. Keepers of the Covenant and the Restoration Chronicles are excellent biblical fiction that I can highly recommend to fans of this genre.
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (Philippians 4:6–9 MSG)
Friday, October 17, 2014
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” John 15:1–7 nlt
Thursday, October 16, 2014
But those who trust [wait, hope] in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 nlt
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 nlt
Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. Psalm 37:34 nlt