Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig


Although I did not read the first two books of the series, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. But…because there was “one” word over-used in this book, I suspect there is a very good reason that I could find out if I read the first ones. A descriptive word. An Irish lass makes a sinful choice and gets involved with a lad from her hometown. While trying to escape the clutches of some evil Irish organizers, the lad is killed. The ship’s captain has taken on the job of finding out why and how each person is connected to the underworld characters. Although some of the characters say they believe in God, it takes numerous occasions of protection by Him before they come to grips of His love and their call to obedience. Not an overly Christian book, but by no means un-Christian either. Written well, similar to the writings of Phillips and Pella. I anticipate I will be reading other books by this author!

I received this book free from Bethany Publishers. I have given an honest review.

Mary Young Robinson, Boise, Idaho

Goat Lady

Confession of Sins


Jesus the Christ, who died for my sins

Jesus the Christ, who died for my sins

Our Father in heaven:

We confess to you that we
have strayed from your holy Word.
We have not loved you sufficiently.
We have not served you resolutely.
We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.

Yet you are a God of forgiveness.
You scatter sin “as far as the east
is from the west” (Ps 103:12).
You restore those of lowly and contrite hearts.

Examine our priorities, our ambitions,
our attitudes. Reveal wherever they are contrary to
your will. Remove every impediment to holy obedience
in order that we may “walk in a manner worthy of the
calling that we have received” (Eph 4:1);

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Taken from All Saints PCA bulletin, January 19, 2014

Tomorrow? Better Take Care Of Today


He Cares For You

He Cares For You

James 4:13-16 ESV

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

The Bible warns us that we never know what will happen in the future; sometimes we believe we have all the time in the world.  And then, boom!

After my divorce, my youngest daughter and I moved into a two-bedroom apartment near our old neighborhood.  It wasn’t a bad place to live, the grounds were very green and manicured and the walls seemed to be pretty thick.  (I let her play the piano sometimes.)

My daughter was a senior at a Christian school in another town, so she often spent the night with friends instead of driving home.  She was in a pretty tight group and I trusted her time in that community.

One night as I prepared for bed, I received a call.  It was scary.  I have been able to continuously thank the Lord for the person who spoke to me that evening.  “Mary, this is (—) and I am a paramedic/EMT.  Your daughter has been in an accident.  She is going to be fine, but she will be at Caldwell Hospital for observation.  I have to tell you, when I saw the car that was hit, I didn’t see how anyone could still be alive.  You are blessed.”

I thanked God the whole hour while I drove to see her.  When I walked into the room, her face was covered with blood where bits of glass had shattered and attached to her skin.  Her pale legs had larger shards of glass that had to be removed.  It was unsettling, but I knew she would be all right.  Her emotional status was shaken and it would take weeks for her to drive again.  A drunken driver going the speed of 70 miles per hour ran a stop sign and twirled her around scooting across a highway, smashing totally the other side of the car.  I was so grateful there was not a passenger that night.  She managed to leave for college on time, still a little dazed.

A wreck, an illness, a storm, there are so many things that happen that remind us that life is fragile.  But so many times, we push these things back in our minds as we move on with life.   We often avoid acknowledgement of looking squarely at life…the changes that need to take place, forgiveness that needs to be actualized, taking some silent moments for God to speak to us.

The quiet voice of the Lord may be speaking after the shock of whatever you have been  through, but are you listening?

A Part of Me


Yes, It could be me...or, could it be you?

Yes, It could be me…or, could it be you?

The trees are bare, the sky so still, Seems only yesterday leaves were gold,

Fall to winter, winter to spring, The season’s change can be so bold.

A certain sadness is felt in the air, And yet with renewal beings hope,

With each new bud and leaf of green, Lays optimism within our scope.

Seasons come and seasons go, As years go drifting by,

We must change as life must change, Until the time we die.

Mary 1988

Let my heart break once more, If it brings me still nearer

To the One who can heal me, And take away all my fear.

Oh, Jesus what you did on that old rugged cross

Makes my pain so little a loss.

Let my heart break once more, If it takes me back to Calvary

To the tree where your blood flowed, And slaves to sin became free.

Oh, Christ, the sacrifice is so not comprehended

Take your sheep you’ve so tenderly tended.

Let my heart break once more, It it brings honor to the Master

Showing praise to Him to linger, And remain towards others long after.

Oh, Savior, accept my most sincere adoration,

My joy, my song, my jubilant elation.

Mary 2000

Praise be to God!

Sovereignty of God: The Disposal Proposal


Is it not true that we say we believe and know that God is sovereign, then turn around and doubt that He knows everything about us, including the future?  It isn’t funny at all, except that I am shocked almost to laughter sometimes of how I presume things.  If you are anything like me, you may be dumbfounded when things of the past glare at you when you reflect back on them.

Our heart is full of deceit.  Even before we sin, the propensity is there.  Our study and preparation for life is not for just a one-time race that we think we are starting.  It is for later on…the “moment” in the race when we feel like throwing in the towel, giving up on church, blaming God for pain and loss.  The Holy Spirit nudges that will and spirit of your own and gives you the strength to keep going.

God had to save me from myself, as well as from hell.  I didn’t understand this for many years.  I think I do now.  The more I see of His goodness, the more I see of my sinfulness.  I was a slow learner, even though I accepted Christ as a child.  It was the in-between years that got me.  I must have thought that I could be disobedient until I got tired of it and would change my course.

So, here I am, still asking Christ to help me with my baggage…after all, it’s heavy!  It gets in the way, and I am tired of it even more than other people are.  I know He will help me rid of it when He knows I am one hundred percent serious.  Serious is when you fall on your knees and say you know you have been stupid, accept His “disposal proposal” and move on.

“Lord?  I am ready.”

 

When a Woman finds her Voice, by Jo Ann Fore


When A Woman Finds Her Voice

When A Woman Finds Her Voice

About This Great New Book by Mary Young Robinson

It didn’t take long for most of us to learn to put the mask on, protecting ourselves from more shame and pain. And then there were those well-meaning non-victorious Christians who just encouraged that type of living filled with pride.

Well now we know! That’s definitely NOT what Christ wants for us. Jo Ann Fore is able to plainly articulate why that plan always fails. With grace and experience, Jo Ann seeks to point others to the real answer and how to apply it Biblically.

Using her own war battled wounds and scars, Jo Ann genuinely hugs each reader with her insight and encouragement. It is amazing how God is still raising up special people like Jo Ann to melt our hearts and strengthen our spirits through Jesus Christ.

I won my book through a give-away on Good Reads. (a great place to read reviews and leave reviews)  I would have bought it anyway…and now I want to get it into the vision of other wanderers…you will love her stories! You will love how God has helped her overcome!

Friends, don’t you agree that when you are depressed, ashamed, and nursing wounds, you wish you could talk to just one person who understood?  Jo Ann does, and she surrounds herself and ministry with other vital women who are learning the process that will make them free.  Read it, make notes, and treasure your outcome as you serve others.

GUEST Dr. Michelle Miller Bengtson


From Her Series on BEAUTYImage

When I was traveling up north and observing and drinking in the beauty of the fall colors, there were times when I saw one tree changing its colors but surrounded by trees that had not yet begun the process of change.  It made me think of those times in our lives when God calls us to do something new, to forge a new path, to stand apart, despite all those around us who are not called to the same in their journey or perhaps resist change.  It’s not easy to blaze a new path, especially when we are surrounded by those who want to hold on tightly to the old, familiar ways of doing things.

As I looked on those changing trees flanked on all sides by those yet to give in to change, I realized how beautiful the one tree was that was undergoing the transformation. What a beautiful sight it is to gaze upon those whom He has called and set apart for kingdom purposes.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

Will you embrace change today?

Visit Dr. Michelle @http://drmichellebengtson.com/  or on Face Book

You Gotta Get The “Want To”


Colossians 1:13-14:  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  ESV

Do you ask the Lord for the tools that you need to accomplish things?  And I mean everything your heart desires to do or you have been called to do?

If you are called to do a job, don’t you ask the Lord to help you do it efficiently with His help?  No? Yes?  Don’t think on something that you know you should do for years without asking Him to give you “the want to.”  If you do, you will not succeed in the way you hoped and you may suffer more than you could ever have imagined.  Pain manifests itself in so many ways.

My father was a sick man.  He was physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally ill when I was growing up.  I dreaded a day when he didn’t take his tranquilizers.  It was either black moods, bleeding ulcers, or temper tantrums that kept me from sleeping at night.  He was rude to my mother and made our lives very hard.  He had a heart attack and died right after I turned fifteen years old.  But something happened that last year before he died.

Our small church in middle Tennessee had a 24 hour family prayer chain.  Each family had to take an hour and pray at our church in the sanctuary.  He had just started going back to church a few months earlier when we took our family time.  I watched him come out of the church with his face “glowing”.  I knew God did business with his heart that night.

Although I was happy, I was still angry at all the years he fought God, caused stress and tension and then died.  I stayed angry for another 13 years until one day I took a chair in my kitchen and pretended that he was there and I talked with him audibly and asked him to forgive me and I told him I loved him.  I needed that closure to end that chapter of my un-forgiveness.  I now believe my Daddy will be in Heaven when I get there.  I did want to do that for a long time, but when I did it, I meant it.  But if he had still been alive I am not sure when I would have done that.  And if I had missed out on years of relationship it would have been sad.

I have recently been on a journey re-examining my life, my goals, my inner thoughts, and my personality/behavior traits.  Just because I am a Christian doesn’t say that I don’t have wounds that still need to be healed, that I don’t have forgiveness I still need to extend, and all kinds of “Jesus adjustments” to be made.

I also realize that I need to ask Christ for the “Want to” to go forward and obey.  I cannot be released from old baggage, introduced to new life, and keep growing to touch others if I do not seek the work of the Redeemer.  One part of this new life is “Forgiving”.

No matter how deep the wound, how big and tough the scab, Christ paid the price for ALL sin.  He forgave us.  We must forgive them!

For more on “Forgiveness” go to:

http://joannfore.com/forgiveness/

or on Face Book:  “Write Where It Hurts” with Jo Ann Fore.

Review of “The Miner’s Lady” by Tracie Peterson


Screen shot 2013-09-20 at 9.11.21 PMBecause our belief in God gives us Hope, we can be encouraged by reading a story that tells of hope. Even if this one particular story is fiction, it could have been real in someone’s life that we never knew personally. The growth of these characters in maturity and spiritual matters will give other Christians a thrill.  Watching true love happen to someone else is a gift.  It looked as if two families would never forgive each other and allow a blending of blood, but God had another plan.  Many times we humans have to walk through scary circumstances before we learn to obey the Lord and extend forgiveness. This sweet story taking place in a small mining town in Minnesota, also gives glimpses of Old Italy and the families’ heritage. You will enjoy finding out how hearts melt and love wins in this mid-western romancer.

This book was sent to me by Bethany Publishing House for a fair review by me.

Voice Your Failure And Your Redemption


When A Woman Finds Her Voice

When A Woman Finds Her Voice

I asked Jesus Christ into my heart.  Yes, He was real to me.  But His truth was not nourished and embedded in my heart.  The battle raged on.  I was thrust into the struggle without the proper armor.  I was young, I was weak, I was confused.  Through relationships, I became controlled and manipulated to succumb to Satan‘s invitations.  My insecurity ruled me, after all, this was what the fallen angel wanted.  I listened to the  Wrong Voices.  

I failed.  I scraped my knees while falling.  But I can get up.  With God’s power I am being made whole again.  It is a journey.  I will NOT be controlled again by anyone or anything but Christ.  Do I believe this?  Now, Lord help me with my unbelief!

***********************

The Lord wants us to be as healthy as we can be even though this world is so desperately flawed.  Sickness in so many forms resonate from the original fall, but our present sins are also influencing these developments every minute of the day.  Strive for perfection, say ye?  NO, of course not, because that is not attainable on earth.  But listening to the Holy Spirit to allow His guidance, is here in this present day world, as Jesus promised before He went to be with the Father God.

Emotional and mental illness is a complex issue.  Educated doctors are still baffled over which pill will calm you, which pill will keep you centered on life, what therapy will help you get well.  I am certainly not against help.   But the counsel and therapy offered through Jesus Christ and the Bible should be sought first and foremost for the Christian.  And remember what the Bible says about fellowship?  This is so important, I believe, especially for women of today.  (ALL AGES)  This includes mentoring, praying together, laughing together, grieving together, etc.

Jo Ann Fore has been a “wounded woman”.  Through God’s Grace, she has found her voice and wants to be involved with healing of other women, partnering with the Lord.  She is offering information and experience for today’s women to help them find their voice.  Have you been to her Face Book site “Writing Where It Hurts“?  And where does it hurt?  Only you know where it hurts and how it hurts.  Why not journal and write about it to help get your thoughts down before you and God as you pray.

Look for Jo Ann’s new book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference, soon to be released.