‘ABUNDANCE OF MERCY’ – My Latest YouTube MessageChristian Faith, Healing, Inspiration, Videos
God’s Looking For Ordinary PeopleChristian Faith, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Videos
So many people feel that they would be willing to serve the Lord and be used to tell others about His love and mercy, but they believe that God can’t use them. They have the idea that He uses only people who have some special talents or gifts — or people who are particularly strong in faith and never have any fears or flaws to get in the way.
But that idea simply isn’t true. The Lord isn’t looking for people who are perfect, or who have developed some kind of talent or ability before He calls them to share the truth about Jesus and His redemption with others. God’s just looking for people who are willing. That’s it. If we are willing to listen when He calls; if we’re willing to spend time in His Word so that He can give us revelation concerning it; and if we’re willing to obey His call when we hear it, then we are exactly the people He’s looking for.
Two friends of mine, Bud and Maretta Hall, from a small town in Southern Illinois, USA, are exactly that kind of people. They fit the description of “ordinary people” perfectly. They didn’t see themselves as having any particular gifts or accomplishments that would have destined them to be used internationally to spread the Gospel. But they loved the Lord. And when He tapped them on the shoulder and beckoned them to believe Him and just obey His instructions — one step at a time — one day at a time — they found themselves in the midst of a life of service that wasn’t ordinary in the least.
Through decades of following the leading of the Holy Spirit, they constantly experienced God’s unchanging love, His timely provision, and His abiding peace.
This past year, Maretta was led to share much of their experience in a memoir that recounts the story of how an extraordinary God can take two very ordinary people and do miraculous, life-changing things that affect lives, both in this world and in eternity.
So if you’d like to be thrilled, challenged and inspired by such a story, take a look at the trailer for her book and then hop over to Amazon and order a copy for yourself — and another copy for someone you love.
Check out THE CALL OF AN AWESOME GOD TO TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.
Available in Paperback, Hardcover, or Digital HERE.
Believe You CanChristian Faith, Inspiration, Uncategorized
You will see in this exceptional photo that the horse is literally flying over this double hurdle with a measurable amount of space to spare. A particularly difficult feat, and a beautiful sight to behold. I was inspired to see in this photo the meeting of a challenge in a quote from a woman named Dorothea Brande. She said: “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”
The beautiful horse in this picture believed he could fly over this hurdle with room to spare. That is the only reason he is doing it successfully. I found that looking at this picture and dwelling on it encouraged me to challenge myself to do the same, and I’m passing on that challenge. Whatever it is in your life that you need to — or even want to — accomplish successfully, believe that you can do it. See yourself doing it. Throw your heart over the hurdles that look like they could hinder you.
A famous trapeze artist from two generations ago was training a new student who, one day, suddenly became filled with fear as he looked at the precarious perch where he had to perform. He froze — couldn’t move a muscle — and began to gasp, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” The long-time veteran put his arm around the young man and said, “Yes, son, you can do it, and I will tell you how: throw your heart over the bar, and your body will follow.” The Word of God backs up that premise with the truth from Proverbs 23:7, which says of man, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
The horse in this picture had been trained by his master to jump over those hurdles successfully. He knew the thrill of doing so, and he knew the rewards of success. That training caused him to believe that he could make this jump with plenty of room to spare. Our God teaches us that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13), and that “with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37). He also tells us that if a man has faith in God and shall “not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23).
That horse threw his heart over those bars because he believed he could make that jump. So he did. He simply acted on what he believed and succeeded. Let his example stir you. When you go through a difficult situation in your life and find yourself facing the challenge of doing something that looks a little too big or too high for you, go back and take a long look at this photo. Meditate on it until the power of it has saturated your own soul. Then obey Dorothea Brande’s wise words: “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”
Healing Is The Children’s BreadChristian Faith, Healing, Inspiration, Lessons From God's Word, Uncategorized, Videos
If you would rather access this message on video, you will find the link below the article:
In the natural realm, we are going through a period of time in our world when some items that we need for everyday life are running low – or are unable to be delivered in a timely manner. I’ve had the experience – and I’ve listened to many other people complaining about the experience – of going to the local grocery store and finding shelves almost empty of staples like bread and milk and eggs. And sometimes even a trip to one or two other stores doesn’t glean us any of those supplies either. It’s frustrating – even aggravating – to need something and have no way of obtaining it.
But today I’d like to talk to you about a supply chain that never runs out – doesn’t even run low. I’d like to focus on God’s supply of some things we need and His storehouse that always has well-stocked shelves. I’d like to focus particularly on the bread that He supplies for His children.
When Jesus was here on the earth, He made a pretty amazing statement. When referring to deliverance and healing of the body, He said that those provisions were the “children’s bread.” We find His words in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 15 and in Mark, chapter 7. Jesus was speaking to a Syrophoenician woman who, although she was not a Jew and had no covenant with God, was, nevertheless, asking for deliverance and healing for her daughter. And the point Jesus made to her was that He had not been sent to those with no covenant with God, But He had been sent to fulfill the covenant God had made with those who loved Him and had relationship with Him. Now, Jesus did respond to that Syrophoenician woman’s faith and delivered her daughter anyway, but His point in that conversation was that anyone in covenant with God had a predetermined right to a supply of that healing and deliverance, simply because it was a part of God’s covenant provision – as surely as bread was part of their food provision.
It’s significant that He spoke about those provisions as something as basic as bread. It’s a staple for the human diet. It’s not something we consider an appetizer, a dessert, or a between-meal treat. No, bread, according to the Word of God, is one of the primary foods that He promises to provide and bless. One example of that provision is found in Exodus 23:25, where He says “I will bless your bread and your water.”
So God sees bread as one of the most necessary items in our food supply. And He chose to identify His healing and deliverance as a commodity that is a fundamental staple in our lives as surely as bread is a physical staple in providing our nourishment and satisfying our hunger.
Beloved, are you battling sickness or physical infirmities right now? Are you in need of deliverance from some kind of stronghold in your life? Then you can come to the storehouse for your supply of the “bread” God has prepared for you.
There’s plenty of it. And we’re not talking crumbs here. If you have made Jesus your Lord, you are God’s child, and God’s bread belongs to you. If you haven’t made Jesus your Lord yer, you can remedy that fact right now. Simply tell Jesus that you choose to believe that He is the Son of God and that He took your sin and died to pay for all that sin. Tell Him you want Him to become your Lord and take control of your life from this moment forward. That’s all it takes. Once that’s done, you, too, have become a child of God, and His bread is yours.
And God’s supply isn’t running low. There are shelves and shelves of bread available every day. Come and get yours. Take a whole loaf. You aren’t limited to a slice or two. You can have a whole loaf at once, with a new slice for every different thing that’s wrong. Are you dealing with an eye problem and a pain in your foot, as well as a head cold? Are you dealing with cancer and diabetes and arthritis all at the same time? Are your mental faculties waning, causing you to lose memory or have trouble reasoning? Is there a problem with one of your organs because you have had an addiction to alcohol or nicotine, so that you need deliverance as well as healing?
No problem. It doesn’t matter how many afflictions you’re dealing with. There’s a slice for every problem. If you need two or three slices for one kind of sickness, and then two or three more for another issue, there’s still no problem. If your current loaf runs low, there’s plenty more where it came from.
And we don’t even have to stop at getting bread. The Lord loves us so much that He wants to provide a complete menu for us, meeting our every need. He tells us in Psalm 23, verse 5, that He prepares a whole table for us right in the presence of our enemies. Now we don’t have to keep our eyes on the enemy forces that have come out against us, watching all the time to make sure they are not going to get the upper hand. When we put ourselves into the right relationship with the Lord – by becoming one with Jesus Christ – we can rest in that relationship and it’s promised protection. We can sit back and enjoy all the wonderful provisions the Lord has for us even when our enemy is present and wanting to get us down.
Let’s think for a minute about the kind of table the Lord prepares for us. What kinds of provision do you think you’ll find on your table? Will there be bowls of cancer? Or platters of infectious diseases? Will there be loaves of sorrow or pitchers of pain? Why, no, beloved child of God. The Word of God says that Jesus took all of those things for us. Galatians 3:13 tells us clearly that He took the whole curse of the law for us so that we could be free from it.
And that curse includes every kind of sickness and disease man will ever know. You can find the details of that curse in Deuteronomy 28. It lists a lot of individual sicknesses and infirmities by name, but then verse 61 adds the fact that every single kind of sickness and disease that has not already been named is also included in the curse. We are redeemed from it – from every bit of it – so our table will have none of those hurtful, life-threatening things on it.
Instead, we will find bowls of joy and strength, platters of comfort, pitchers of balm, trays of mercies to cover every need, and baskets filled to overflowing with our bread of deliverance and healing.
So if you are in need of any kind of deliverance or healing in your body – or in your mind or emotions – come take a seat at the table the Lord has set for you. Come boldly and joyously. Dip from the bowls and platters and baskets again and again. Take all you need, all you want. Partake until you are fully satisfied and rejoice in the knowledge that your Father is a faithful provider and will never fail to keep an abundant supply for you at His table. The invitation is for all time, so you can come back again and again and feast on the “bread” of healing and deliverance that His love – and the finished work of Jess – have provided for you.
The World’s Only Infallible GPSUncategorized
Nothing But a Stick?Uncategorized
“So the Lord said to him [Moses], ‘What is that in your hand?’ He said, ‘A rod.’ And the Lord said, ‘Cast it on the ground.’ So he cast it on the ground and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the Lord said to Moses. ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.’ And he reached out his hand and caught it, and i t became a rod in his hand.’” Exodus 4:2-4.
At the time of this conversation, Moses had just spent 4o years in the desert herding sheep for his father-in-law. He carried a rod, as was the custom of sheepherders. It served a number of purposes, including supporting Moses as he climbed steep areas, guiding the sheep when they tended to wander, and providing a weapon to beat off attackers. It was just an ordinary rod. A long, solid, sturdy piece of wood with nothing out of the ordinary about it.
But one day, when the Lord was ready to call Moses and anoint him for the purposes of the Kingdom, the Lord took charge of that ordinary piece of wood and converted it into a tool for His own use. As the passage of scripture above makes clear, the Lord was able to take a solid stick of wood, with no qualities of life or animation at all, and turn it into a living creature. He totally changed, not only the shape, but the whole molecular structure and chemical makeup of that wood until it became something else entirely. And then He changed that living, breathing creature back into a solid stick again.
From that moment, Moses’ rod was no longer an ordinary object. It had become a tool in the hands of the Lord, anointed to do whatever work God called on it to do. So in Exodus 7, it becomes a serpent at the feet of Pharaoh, and when the Egyptian sorcerers produce serpents from their rods, Moses’ rod (with the anointing) swallows up all the serpents of the devil’s camp.
Then in Exodus 14, we see the Lord commanding Moses to lift up his rod over the Red Sea, and when the rod is lifted up, the Lord sends a strong east wind to blow all night and divide the sea so that the entire nation walks through the sea on totally dry ground. Later, when the Israelites are thirsty and belligerent toward Moses because they can find no water (Exodus 17), the Lord instructs Moses to use that very same rod to strike a rock, and a gusher of fresh, sweet water comes pouring forth from solid rock.
Nothing but a stick in its own right, that rod became a miracle-working tool once the Lord took charge of it and anointed it for His use. The same is true of each one of us. We may be nothing in our own right. We may even be a big mess. We may be a prime example of how to fail at everything. But when we turn ourselves over to the Lord and make ourselves and our lives available to Him for whatever He needs to do with us, we suddenly become a blessed, anointed, miracle-working tool for the Kingdom of God.
So if you’ve been sitting there feeling sorry for yourself — or feeling that you’re too big a failure to be of any use to the Lord and His kingdom — or that you’re too ordinary to be used for anything great in God’s work — just toss yourself down at His feet and let Him change you into what He wants you to be. Once you’re in His control, there’s just no limit to what you can become or the supernatural work you can do.
‘Slate’ – My Newest Novel is Now on KindleUncategorized
Everyone calls him Slate, and you won’t want to miss knowing him. Rough around the edges, a little slack in his morals, but totally irresistible all the same.
When I started writing this my 11th novel, it was going to be Vanessa Hayes’ story. But, somehow, while I was minding my own business — just sitting at my computer keyboard — quietly putting the story together one chapter at a time — Slate took over. And I’m so glad he did. I struggled with this novel for a couple years, but once Slate came to the front of the story, it flowed the way it was always intended to do.
What’s it about? Well, several of my readers know because they followed the story with me while I posted it one chapter at a time (under a different title) on my author’s blog (The Happy Wordcrafter). And they helped it along with their comments and encouragement. But for the rest of you, here’s a short synopsis:
While in Florida looking for her brother Ken, who has disappeared, Vanessa Hayes meets Slate. Owner of Buccaneer Boat Charter Service, Slate is actually better known in the area as the local rake. Moreover, his connections with sources on the wrong side of the law prove more valuable than local law enforcement in helping Vanessa discover Ken’s fate.
But Slate’s attention isn’t fully centered on the investigation. His primary interest is in seducing Vanessa, even though she is engaged to a man back home who’s very much in love with her.
As the investigation heats up, so does Slate’s pursuit of Vanessa, causing her life-long commitment to the Lord to meet head on with temptations she never thought she’d have to face.
And in the meantime, the Lord is in pursuit of Slate. Love on several levels gets a workout in this story, and the resolution will stick with you long after you’ve read the words “The End.”
The book is now available for purchase at the Amazon Kindle Store, and because the contract with Amazon is exclusive, I won’t be able to leave the chapters on this site for free reading. But I hope some of you will hop over and check it out. Even if you read it here, if you enjoyed it, I hope you’ll buy one for someone you love.
And don’t forget. You don’t have to own a Kindle. Amazon offers a free Kindle app for any device. You can download it from the same page where you order the book.
Just follow the link and get to know Slate for yourself.
Book 1 of Smoky Mountain Series: Only $1.99 during JuneUncategorized
Detective Maddison Holt is a man who loves God, but after facing a tragic loss, and accepting the guilt for causing that tragedy, he finds himself doubting both God and himself. Grief, guilt, and self-condemnation are keeping him from being free to love or even receive love from the woman the Lord wants to bless him with for the rest of his life. His journey into the truth that can set him free and give him another chance to love is the story you’ll find in SET FREE TO LOVE.
But Maddison’s story is just the beginning. Because once you get Maddison and Beth on their way to a happily-ever-after, you’ll find that several of the other characters in Book # 1 wanted a book of their own as well. And so the series grows. Four books currently make up the Smoky Mountain family of novels — each with its own hero who faces a challenge that only God’s love and power can overcome. There are more to come, and, hopefully, once you read Maddison’s story, you’ll want to read them all.
SET FREE TO LOVE went on sale yesterday at the Kindle store on Amazon.com. For the rest of June, you can purchase it for only $1.99. Check it out. And if you don’t have a Kindle, no problem. Amazon has a free Kindle app for any device you use. You can download it right from the page where you order SET FREE TO LOVE.
Give Someone ‘A Quiver Full Of Arrows’ For ChristmasUncategorized
Christmas is a time for families. And what better gift to give than the story of one unusual, but heart-warming family that fills the pages of A Quiver Full of Arrows — by me, of course.
Take newspaper publisher Lawson Wainright, who has a gut feeling that two sleeping bags and a can full of peanuts under his front porch just might be connected with four run-away children who have been in the news. If he’s correct, his life as a quiet, orderly, 40-year-old bachelor just might be on the verge of being turned upside down.
Now add those four children, and a handful of other characters who will make the reader’s heart melt. Throw in a miracle or two from the hand of a loving God. And there you have a story that’s just made for Christmas giving.
It’s available in e-book on Amazon’s Kindle Store, and the price is right for giving: only $2.99.
And don’t forget, Amazon offers a free Kindle app for any device. Downloadable right on the page where you order A Quiver Full of Arrows.
Give a copy to someone you love this Christmas.
Movin’ On Up From the MangerUncategorized
“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.” Everyone knows the song, and nearly everyone acquaints Christmas and Jesus Christ with that lowly manger on the night of His birth as a human being. But, beloved, we must make sure that we do not continue to acquaint Jesus Christ with a little baby lying in a manger — helpless and dependent on mommy and daddy to feed, change, clothe, and protect Him. In fact, if we would bring pleasure to the heart of God, we would actually give very little attention to that lowly feeding trough, and we would focus our attention on where Jesus went from there. Because, in actual fact, where He went from there is exactly where we have gone. He took us with Him every step of the way.
Before His lowly birth into the human race, the person we know as Jesus Christ was the second person of the Godhead. He is described in the first chapter of the Gospel of John as “the only-begotten son” of the Father. The Greek term that is translated “only begotten son” actually means a being that never had a time of beginning. And because Jesus was part of the triune Godhead, He had existed for all time just as much as the Father and the Holy Spirit. It’s interesting to note that only before His redeeming work on earth is Jesus referred to by this term. Once He became a human being, suffered and died and rose again, He is never referred to by that particular term again. He is referred to only as the first-born from the dead, or the head of the church. Because He is no longer just God — but is now God and man together, His whole identity has changed.
But in the old covenant, while still the “only begotten son”, He was also the person of the Godhead who would reveal Himself in physical form to man whenever there was a need for that. Every time we see the old covenant fathers receiving a visit from what many Bible translations call “the angel of the Lord,” the men themselves recognized that they were actually in the presence of the Lord Himself. They all recognized that this person who was visiting them was part of the Godhead and, therefore, they addressed Him as Lord or they named the place where they had received Him in honor of having come face to face with their God. Jacob wrestled with that “angel of the Lord,” but when the battle was over, and that “angel” had blessed him with a new name and a new identity, Jacob named the place, “I have seen the face of God”
During the old covenant, those visits by the second person of the Godhead were very short and for very specific reasons, but the Word of God says that “when the time was fully come,” God sent forth His son, born of a woman. In other words, there was a set time at which that person of the Godhead would no longer fleetingly come and go to help man a little bit here and there along the way — but would come and stay as a man so that He could live the life of perfect obedience that a holy God demanded, and then he could give His life to pay for the disobedience of every other man, thereby satisfying God’s justice, His holiness, and His merciful love for His wayward creation.
So when the time was fully come, Jesus obediently got up from His throne, laid aside all the privileges of being part of the Godhead (Philippians 2: 6-7), and took on the same flesh that every other human being had to live in on this earth. Why did He do that? In order to live a life on this earth as a human being, facing everything we face in a world cursed because of sin and terrorized by satan and his hordes of demons. Jesus had to live life as a real man — obedient to God’s covenant — anointed by the Holy Spirit with power for ministry — and He had to do it perfectly. He did it, and the Word of God says He did it for you and me.
But then He willingly allowed the Father to lay onto Him all the sin, all the rebellion, all the hatefulness that we had perpetrated — as well as all the curse for breaking God’s laws. He was beaten with stripes beyond recognition for our healing, and He hung on the cross until He had given up every ounce of His blood for our sin. The Word says He died for all, and so in God’s mind, we all died with Him. (Romans 6:3-9, Galatians 2: 20).
So let’s leave the manger and go on to the cross. We hung there in Jesus until the price was paid. But when His body came down from that cross and was put into the grave, that act too was simply one more step in the journey. It was not a stopping place. Because three days later, when God the Father was able to proclaim the price was paid and He could then justly give eternal life to the human race because of what Jesus had done on our behalf, Jesus rose from that grave. The Word says (Ephesians 2: 1-7) that God brought us up out of that grave with Jesus — in Him, to be exact. But that’s still just one step in the journey. There’s more, and it’s the most exciting part of all.
When Jesus had finished His redeeming work and was resurrected — carrying us with Him — He then moved back into Heaven — right into the throne room from which He had begun His journey. But this time, according to the Word of God, He did not enter that throne room as an individual person. He entered it as the Head of His new Body — the body of believers — who died, were buried, and were resurrected in Him. Let’s refer once more to that passage in Ephesians 2, which says clearly that God seated us– in Jesus — at His very right hand — to reign there forever.And what do we reign over? Why everything in life. Romans 5:17 says, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ.”
So, beloved, this Christmas do not linger at the manger too long. Observe it, yes, as the symbol of the fact that the Lord of the universe willingly came to this cursed planet to accomplish God’s purpose of salvation. Move on to the cross, but do not linger there too long either. Move on to the grave and experience the glorious, exhilarating reality of having been brought up out of death into eternal life. But go on further. Go forward from the open grave to the throne. That’s where we have our reality now. We are seated in Jesus at the right hand of the Father.
And the next time you find yourself in serious trouble — in circumstances that look impossible — remember that you are not supposed to be looking at those circumstances from a world point of view. You need to look at them from where you are actually seated.. Look down on those problems and those circumstances, and when you pray about them, don’t grovel and whine and beg. You’re praying from your position at the right hand of the God of the universe. Let His faith, his joy, and His vision be your own and take authority over those circumstances. Proclaim God’s Word to them and over them.
You’re in a royal position now because the Lord you serve and worship is no longer lying in a manger — no longer hanging on a cross — no longer lying in a grave. He’s reigning at the right hand of the Father God — and so are you. Making us righteous enough to take that position, beloved, is the whole reason Jesus came to the manger in Bethlehem. Putting us in our legal position on the throne at the right hand of God is what Christmas is all about.