Monthly Archives: September 2016
My husband and I recently watched the movie, God’s Not Dead 2. It’s one of those movies that makes you think and ponder long after the final credits have rolled.
One main thought has been…if I were on trial for my faith, how much evidence could be shown to support it? Would the scale be heavy balanced on one side? I don’t know that I have a ready answer, but it has been something I’ve been ruminating on.
Jesus is who we look to and try to emulate. I believe that those that were around Him could easily sense that something was different about the man. Perhaps at first they didn’t recognize what it was, but I think that within minutes it could be detected.
Are we the same way? When others are around us, do they notice that we are different? Can they see Christ in us? I love this from Acts 4:13 (NIV): “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” The crowd recognized that these men had been with Jesus.
I have to ask myself, can the same be said of me? Can others tell I’ve been with Jesus?
At the food bank where I volunteer, I met a woman whose entire future hinges on her coming up with about $400 in six weeks. Tears filled her eyes as she explained the situation to me. She’s an addict, and she’d been arrested. The judge had given her the opportunity to prove herself sober by taking a drug test each week. He’d ordered her to complete a course. If she did those things, he’d dismiss the felony charges, and she’d walk away with a clean record.
She’d stayed sober, but the drug tests are $50 each. She took the course, but to get the certificate, she has to pay $75. And her lawyer won’t give her any advice, because she has no money to pay him.
Her whole life was on the line for the sake of about $400.
I asked her if she had any family who could help. Nope. She’d burned all her bridges with her family, and they wouldn’t help her any longer.
I inquired about friends, but apparently the people she was closest to were other addicts, and they didn’t have the money to help her and, since she’d quit using, she’d cut off ties with them.
“I know it’s my own fault,” she said more than once. “I brought it on myself. This is what I deserve.”
What she deserves? The thought of getting what I deserve gives me chills. I don’t want justice when it comes to my own sins. I long for mercy and grace.
I have a God who offers both, and I shared that truth with her and prayed for her. I wish I could have done more, but aside from the strict never-give-money-or-rides-to-clients policy at the food bank, if I gave money to everybody who needed it, I’d be a client myself.
So after I gave her some phone numbers to organizations where she could seek help and counsel, we prayed together, she got a few grocery sacks of food, then we sent her on her way.
I couldn’t stop thinking about that woman’s poverty. It wasn’t just her extreme financial need—that’s one kind of poverty, to be sure. What bothered me more was her poverty of spirit. It was her poverty of hope. It was her poverty of relationships.
I thank God for the scripture, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:30). She was a woman who understood her own poverty, and I continue to pray that the Lord will reach out to her in her need.
I walked out of the food bank that day thinking of all the people I could call upon if I were in need. I have a family who loves me. I have friends who love me. I have a church that loves me. If I needed $400 and told a few people, I’d have it by noon. Not because I’m something special, but because the Lord has blessed me with wonderful and generous people in my life. And I don’t deserve them. In fact, I deserve no more than that poor woman at the food bank does, but the Lord has shown me mercy and grace despite my egregious sins, and a lot of that has come in the form of the wonderful people he’s put in my life.
So I thank God today for my family and friends. And I hope I always remember that not everybody in the world is as blessed as I am. I pray I’ll be on the lookout for people suffering from poverty—of money, of hope, of relationships, and I hope to have the courage and selflessness to reach out to them when I meet them.
Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards and won the 2016 Bookstores Without Borders Lyra Award in the Women’s Fiction category. Its prequel, Chasing Amanda, is currently offered for free at all major retailers. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.
The American Presidential Election is seven weeks away. Seven weeks of candidate behavior the likes of which are rarely seen outside of an elementary school playground. Lucky us. As far as I can tell, there are twenty-six people looking forward to this election. That’s counting the candidates and their families. The rest of us view it like swallowing a spoonful of castor oil. We know it’s going to be nasty, and we’re pretty sure it’s not going to do us any good.
… I WILL VOTE …
Generations of Americans have bled and died to secure our freedom to vote for our leadership. Even though I’m pretty sure this election isn’t what any of them had in mind, I believe we owe it to them to uphold the basic foundation of our nation by exercising our freedom of self-governance.
Who do you vote for when all the choices are bad? Let’s face it, this year it’s been whittled down to the liar, the jerk, and some minor characters who don’t have a chance to be elected. Not exactly the stuff of legends.
I’m not looking forward to voting. I know who I’m going to vote for, but I’m only voting that way because I think it’s the person who will do the least amount of damage over the next four years. Still, I will vote.
… I WILL ALSO TRUST …
God already knows who our next president will be. He’s already chosen. We know this from Roman 13:1, Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. That’s the verse I have to hang on to this election. God can and will use whoever He puts in that position. Our job, our obligation, is to do our part, cast our vote, and then support with prayer whoever the next president is.
And lest you despair, remember, God has used a talking donkey to accomplish His will. Numbers 22:28, And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times? Prayerfully make the best choice you can, and then trust that God’s got this.
Debut story with Barbour Publishing will be released in April 2017.
Mike Ortiz is a war hero favored to win the White House.
Erica Sparks is an ambitious tv reporter. out for the truth.
She questions what really happened in the over crowded prison in Al-Qaeda, where Mike spent nine months.
What happens when her daughter’s life is threatened?
She is also the author of the must-read New York Time’s Bestseller Face of Betrayal.
Hew latest release, The Candidate releases October 4, 2016.
Or did she?
Defense attorneys expect to catch their clients lying. It’s part of the game.
But Tara’s confession doesn’t add up, and attorney Leslie Conners must overcome more than first-trial jitters
to mount a credible defense. She’ll need to uncover what really happened
. . .and it just may be more shocking than the crime itself.
If you’re not currently a fan of Christian suspense author, pastor and lawyer Randy Singer you will be at the end of this book.
Order your copy here.
Six people arrive on a remote island–contestants in the reality show of the century, Dream Prize. The winner will be the person who learns the most facts about the others and gains the most viewer votes. Sounds simple. But the three men and three women soon discover nothing is as expected.
They are alone on the island. Cameras surround them, filming twenty-four hours a day. And their challenge? Discover which of the Seven Deadly Sins each contestant, including themselves, represents.
Turns out each person has a damning secret–one that could ruin his or her life. Those secrets are about to be revealed on live television.
And this is only the beginning of the twists in the game.
Order your copy of Vain Empires today.
As a seasoned FBI agent, DARREN TIMMONS has seen it all, but when his precious daughter Savannah is abducted from a Christmas wedding party, she quickly becomes the only case that ever mattered. As she is lost somewhere out in the big, dark world of Memphis’ underbelly without her inhaler or her medication, Darren is forced to sit on the sidelines of the investigation and put his faith in the one woman he’s not sure he can trust.
DNA Serologist EVA LANGSTON is still nursing the sting of a breakup from her romance with Darren. Eva doesn’t know if she has the strength to assist when she’s called in to work the case of Darren’s missing little girl. When her name is listed as a possible suspect in the abduction, Eva wants nothing more than to escape, but she can’t bear to leave Darren alone in his desperate search for the little girl she came to love.
As the clock ticks on Savannah’s medical needs, Darren and Eva must work together and learn to trust again, to bring the little girl home. Can their search for Savannah help them find true love again?
If you love suspance (my term for Suspense and Romance 🙂 then you can’t go wrong with suspense novelist, Robin Caroll. You can order your copy of The Christmas Bell Tolls and several of her other award-nominated novels from Amazon.
What if the Islamic State captured the most valuable hostage in history? The president of the United States . . . is missing. With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, report-ing from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured. As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS s threats become a catastrophic reality.
Bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg is the author of several Mystery/Thriller/Suspense novels that have won numerous awards, and also the author of nonfiction and historical novels.
Mr. Rosenberg’s novels are current, relevant, and politically prophetic with international suspense and intrigue masterfully woven in. Order your copy of The First Hostage today.
She’ll also continue to keep you updated on some of the best reads in Christian fiction suspense.
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