I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. (Philippians 3:12–14 MSG)
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
I will teach you wisdom's ways and lead you in straight paths. If you live a life guided by wisdom, you won't limp or stumble as you run. . . . Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. (Proverbs 4:11–12, 25–27 NLT)
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 ESV)
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV)
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV)
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law. (Galatians 4:4)
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. (Titus 2:13)
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Though the Lord gives you the bread of distress and the water of oppression, your teacher will no longer hide, but you will see your teacher. If you stray to the right or the left, you will hear a word that comes from behind you: “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21-22 CEB)
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. (Hebrews 4:16 AMP)
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I will never forget Your precepts, [how can I?] for it is by them You have quickened me (granted me life). (Psalm 119:93 AMP)
It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63 AMP)
Monday, December 16, 2013
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Philippians 1:6 AMP)
Friday, December 13, 2013
Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1 NLT)
We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy. (Colossians 1:11 MSG)
My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6–7 MSG)
Thursday, December 12, 2013
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:8–10 NLT)
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those who are afraid, "Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to . . . save you." (Isaiah 35:3–4 NLT)
Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14 NASB)
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)
"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit." (Luke 12:35)
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
My mom wrote this poem when facing an yet another difficult trial. When I was cleaning up some things this morning, preparing to putting up some Christmas decorations, I found it. And given some of the things we've been facing the last couple of months, God planned this for me today.
"But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10 NASB)
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15 NKJV)
You Know, Dear Lord
You know the way I take, dear Lord
E’en though that way may be
In “the furnace of affliction”
Still you know and care for me.
’Tis by your hand I’m here, dear Lord,
For clearly you have seen
The dross that hides your image now,
The need to make me clean.
And as the furnace hotter grows,
I long for sweet relief;
The tears must flow, the heart must break,
And be bowed down with grief.
I cannot see your plan, dear Lord
In its entirety.
But I can trust, and know your heart
Is working good for me.
I know you’re at my side, dear Lord
You’re watching closely now.
You’re bending low, you skim the dross,
You know the “why?” the “how?”
And as I rest in you, dear Lord
Until your face you see
Reflected in the pure, clear gold
That you have made of me.
Ruth Paton Geary Hunter, 1994
Friday, December 6, 2013
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. (2 Corinthians 3:5 NLT)
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Can't say I'm perfect in having the attitude Paul talks about here, but it is certainly my goal:
So I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size--abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Corinthians 12:7–10 MSG)
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This week, the
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.
The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. "I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost," she says. "So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line."
Sandie's real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace Is Sufficient...Decaf Is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor's proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects ... and still pursue my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"
And one of the author's pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy -- a red-haired collie with "killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown."
ABOUT THE BOOK
A Merry Humbug Christmas features two holiday romance novellas from hilarious and heartwarming author Sandra D. Bricker -- the perfect gift to yourself or someone else at this most wonderfully stressful time of year.
In "Once Upon a Jingle Bell," A Bah! Humbug cruise to the Mexican Riviera is Joss Snow’s answer to this year’s quest to avoid the holidays completely; at least until she’s rebooked on a different kind of cruise altogether. Candy canes, holly wreaths, reindeer, and ornaments seem to be stalking her on the 12 Days of Christmas holiday cruise extravaganza. An escape back to land is her only goal . . . until she meets a kindred spirit in rugged Irishman Patrick Brenneman, and then the game is on! Avoid Christmas festivities at all costs . . . except maybe for that one stop under the mistletoe.
In "It Came Upon a Midnight Deer," Reese’s guilt over abandoning best friend Joss on their holiday tradition of avoiding all things Christmas is trumped by the joy of her recent engagement. Meeting Damian’s family for the first time on idyllic Sugarloaf Mountain is about as far from that Bah! Humbug cruise as she can get, and Reese can hardly wait to get there. But from the moment they hit that deer in the road just two miles from the cabin, everything seems to go wrong. There are no drummers drumming or pipers piping this particular year! And once she sets her future in-laws’ family cabin ablaze, she’s pretty sure there won’t be even ONE golden ring in her future.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Merry Humbug Christmas, go HERE.
Margie's Comments: What an absolutely fun read! I love Sandie Bricker's humor, and it didn't disappoint in Merry Humbug Christmas. It is laugh-out-loud funny as the two friends tumble in and out of trouble. The characters are fully fleshed out. Their struggles and the life lessons they learn are ones I wrestle with often. For those who love to read Christmas-themed books in December, this is an excellent holiday getaway. I highly recommend this latest release from Sandra Bricker.
Let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don't become weary and give up. (Hebrews 12:1–3 NLT)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Her Holiday Hero by Margaret Daley –Together, Jake and Emma will discover it takes a different kind of bravery to open themselves to love-and to healing. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired)
A Cowboy Christmas by Delia Latham and Tanya Stowe — A mom on the run; a child and her “imaginary” friend; a Cowboy; and God. – Heart’s Haven is at it again. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing)
The Firefighter’s New Family by Gail Gaymer Martin — A widow with small son will never find love again, but God has other plans when a firefighter rescues her from benath a fallen tree and takes her and her toddler into his heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired)
Tempest’s Course: Quilts of Love Series by Lynette Sowell– Kelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal city of New Bedford to restore a 150-year-old Mariner’s Compass quilt. There she meets Army veteran Tom Pereira, the caretaker of Gray House, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky Massachusetts coastline. Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she and Tom grow closer. Then Tom learns secrets of his own family’s past, and both Tom and Kelly learn they are tied to Gray House in ways they never imagined. (Contemporary Romance from Abingdon Press)
An Amish Miracle by Beth Wiseman, Mary Ellis, Ruth Reid — Three wonderful new stories by three of the top authors in Amish fiction. (Romance Novella from Thomas Nelson)
A Ruby Christmas by Jerusha Agen, Dianne E. Butts, Jennifer Fromke, Marji Laine, Fay Lamb, J.A. Marx, Ruth O’Neil, Phee Paradise, Debbie Roome — Ruby Buckner travels the world at her father’s request, picking up nativity pieces along the way. But she returns with far more than an eclectic creche. (General Contemporary from Write Integrity Press)
The Sheep Walker’s Daughter by Sydney Avey — A Korean War widow’s difficult mother dies before revealing the identity of her daughter’s father and his cultural heritage. As Dee sorts through what little her mother left, she unearths puzzling clues that raise more questions: Why did Leora send money every month to the Basque Relief Agency? Why is her own daughter so secretive about her soon-to-be published book? And what does an Anglican priest know that he isn’t telling? All this head-spinning breaks a long, dry period in Dee’s life. She might just as well lose her job and see where the counsel of her new spiritual adviser and the attentions of an enigmatic ex-coworker lead her. (Historical Women’s Fiction from HopeSprings Books)
Marriage by Arrangement by Anne Greene — Lady Cailin MacMurry marries the Fifth Duke of Avondale, honoring the arranged marriage her parents ordered. But Avondale’s shadowy past and strange disappearances threaten their marriage. Can she discover his secret, or must she arrange his accidental death to protect her unborn child? (General Historical from White Rose Publishing)
The Professor’s Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes –Long ago, Mia and Ayden chose their careers over love. But God, it seems, may have other plans for them… (Historical Romance from Heartsong Presents)
Return of the Cowboy Doctor by Lacy Williams — The Cowboy’s Reluctant Sweetheart Two years shy of his medical degree, cowboy Maxwell White is out of money. So, he’s back in Bear Creek, Wyoming, working part-time for the local physician. Though he is immediately drawn to the doctor’s lovely, whip-smart daughter, she seems to be irritated by Maxwell’s very existence. Hattie Powell can’t quash her feelings for the town’s new would-be doctor. But that’s exactly why she must keep him at a distance. Hattie is closer than ever to fulfilling her lifelong wish of becoming a doctor. Now, the only thing standing in her way is the man of her dreams. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired)
Alaska Brides Collection by Mary Connealy, Tracie Peterson, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Cathy Marie Hake — Six Romances Persevere in the Alaska Wilderness. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Yuletide Jeopardy by Sandra Robbins — A TV anchorwoman will stop at nothing to solve the cold case surrounding her high school friend’s death. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. (Romans 12:1–2 NLT)