Get Up

 Genesis 3:8-11

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?”

Haven’t we all taken the wrong advice, made the wrong choice, or listened to the wrong voices? If you’ve heard from God and you didn’t obey, understand this: God gives second chances.

Adam and Eve heard from God regularly. They had a regular appointment with Him in the garden. When He came for his expected appointment, Adam hid.

That simple act was evidence that something was wrong.

Instead of hiding when we mess up, we can communicate our failures to God. He understands and forgives.

A lot of people try to do what is right. They figure out how to obey God, and then that sneaky snake whispers something to entice them away from what God has told them to do. They stumble. They feel so bad about stumbling that they stay down too long.

God says, “Get up.”

God will provide for you everything that you need. Everything. But you have to get up and walk with Him. He will lead you through open doorways and lead you out of danger, but you have to do the walking.

Seeking God and finding Him isn’t hard. The fact that we’re so imperfect is what is hard to deal with.

You were created to do something that nobody else can do. Your life has purpose. God designed you with specific gifts and abilities so you can accomplish that purpose. Communicate with God and find out what that is. You have a job to do, but you can’t do it lying down. Give God your guilt, shame, bad memories, and pain. Let Him help you back up.

In your journey to a better relationship with God, you’re probably going to stumble. The key to the journey is to get back up and keep walking.

Getting Answers from God

 Psalm 3:4

To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.

Do you cry out to the Lord? Many people are crying out right now, but some have forgotten how to get an answer.

It is important to direct our cries to the one who has the answers. We don’t get what we need by crying out for help to no one in particular. Our peace comes from knowing that we’re speaking to someone who can provide the correct answers, someone who wants to help us.

We need to know what to expect from the one we’re crying out to. When we cry aloud to the Lord, we know that he is interested in shielding us, answering us, and sustaining us. He wants to bless us.

If a man hasn’t had food or water for twenty-four hours, he’s not going to be picky about the brand name on the water bottle you give him. When we ask for help from God, we shouldn’t be picky about the kind of guidance God gives. No matter what advice He gives us, we should respond to God with passionate obedience. 

Why would God want to answer us when we have no intention of accepting his instruction?

What good is it to call to the Lord if we don’t concern ourselves with his answer? It is important to listen for the answer with the expectation that we’ll obey his instruction.

When we call to the Lord, we can be sure that the guidance we’re waiting for will bring us to a better place in our lives. He will help us achieve those little victories that keep us walking forward.

I know that God is love. His answers are full of love because that is how he guides his children.

You Are Never Alone

We can rest in the assurance that God hears us when we call on Him in prayer.

When Texans experienced record-setting cold temperatures, we had to deal with the absence of normal communications due to power outages and no cell tower coverage. My house had running water for the first twenty-four hours our electricity was out. When the power came back on, we quickly warmed the house again.

And then we had no water.

Within a few hours, we had cell coverage, electricity, and water. We listened to the Houston news coverage and decided to remain cautious. They warned us to be on the alert for more harsh weather. We charged all our phones and stored water in the bathtubs in case the water supply was shut off again.

We never felt alone in our struggle.

For many, a weather emergency means being cut off from other people. I happened to have five people in my home during the emergency. We worked through our emergency together as a team.

Those who live alone don’t have a team. But they have God.

When Daniel was sent to the lion’s den, he wasn’t alone. (Daniel 6:1-28) When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were sent to the fiery furnace, they were not alone. (Daniel 3:1-30) And when you go through your trials, you will not be alone either.

Overcoming anything in life requires accepting help from God. That help may come in the form of a person, food, water, electricity, or wisdom from God. Choosing to rely on God before the emergency arrives gives you the ability to trust God in all circumstances.

Right now is a good time to develop a relationship with God so that you don’t lose hope when difficulties arise.

If you don’t journal every day, you can begin with this 100-day journal that’s all about writing your experiences to God with a grateful heart. The 100 Days of Prayer Journal is a great way to record how God has blessed you through even the most difficult of days.

We don’t know what lies ahead, but we do know that God is with us and will be with us through it all.

A Real Reward from a Real God

 Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

… anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

It’s easy to ignore God. Lots of people do it. Developing a relationship with God takes time and effort. You have to give of yourself and work on two-way communication. Sadly, developing a relationship with anyone is something few people spend their energy on these days.

Anyone who wants to hear from God about a particular issue must realize that God already knows what you need. And He is willing to satisfy you with good things.

God doesn’t approach us as if he was a businessman, negotiating for the best deal. He doesn’t have office hours. He doesn’t take coffee breaks.

Our loving and generous Heavenly Father is available to us whenever we want to speak and listen.

And since He’s available 24/7, we have to realize one more thing. He’s not a vending machine. We’re not supposed to put in words of praise and adoration like quarters into a machine. He doesn’t give out blessings and miracles if you push the right buttons.

God is real. He’s a person with feelings. We sometimes forget how to speak to God since we’ve never encountered anyone else who is Almighty, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. We have to remember that seeking God is simply seeking a relationship with him.

I don’t think of the reward mentioned in Hebrews 11:6 in earthly or financial terms. When I’ve spent time seeking God with my whole heart, the satisfying and enduring reward that He gave me was the thrill of his warm presence. Having a conversation with God is more important to me than receiving a gift of finances. I know He provides and protects in whatever way He chooses, so I don’t worry about what I don’t control. I simply enjoy His presence.

Right now is the perfect time to thank God for his presence with us.

Has 2020 Changed Christmas Shopping?

 

I’m celebrating the birth of Christ in my home, and not just in December.

In my novel Pam’s Christmas Kisses, she doesn’t like all the Christmas decorations in the stores in October because it seems like they’re rushing through the year. However, I like the early emphasis on Christmas. I like the sparkly decorations in yards way before December.

If you haven’t already finished your shopping for family and friends this year, you probably ought to consider how things have been changing. Will your family get their package before Christmas? They probably will, but only if you allow lots of extra time for shipping. Remember, paperback books have been a little slower in some cases.

To see how Pam gets her happily ever after, start the series today.

Testimonies

 We’ve all read the testimonies people leave in reviews for services or online courses they’ve enjoyed. Maybe you’ve seen some like these:

  •    “I always see great results.” 
  •    “I was thrilled. And what great timing.”   
  •    “I had my doubts, but in the end, it was worth it.”
  •    “Because I followed the process, I now have proof that this works.”   

Testimonies from people who have actually used the services or courses will confirm the shopper’s opinion that they either should or should not buy.

Book shoppers deal with the same thing. Reading reviews helps you see if anyone was satisfied with their reading experience. Those reviews are testimonies that make a shopper feel more confident in their decision to buy.

Do you leave a review when you finish a book?

I am grateful for everyone who leaves a review for any of my books. The review shows the author that someone connected with their characters or was held captive for a few moments by the adventure.

If you have enjoyed a book lately, your thank you to the author is an honest review. You have the power to spread joy by letting the author and shoppers know that you enjoyed something in that book. Since a novelist’s whole purpose is to provide a faraway fictional land where readers can escape and relax, your review encourages them to continue creating more characters and adventures.

Set a goal for yourself to provide feedback in an honest review after you finish the book you buy today. You are putting a smile on an author and encouraging readers.

Want to try a new book?

Pam’s Christmas Kisses is a Christmas-themed Christian romance about two people who have different hidden wounds. They find each other, challenge each other, and help each other. The story’s big picture is about leaving the shadows of shame and accepting love.

After you read Pam’s Christmas Kisses, don’t forget to leave your review! Thank you!

The Burden of Hiding Scars

 

How do you hide?

We all have something we would like to hide. For some, it’s a mistake that isn’t obvious. For others, it’s plans for a future surprise event. Revealing something you would rather not let anyone see takes courage. First, you must find someone you trust. Then you must be vulnerable with that person to show them that you trust them not to use the secret against you.

If you’ve chosen well, that person is someone to build a relationship with.

Sadly, it’s hard to know which people to trust. It’s not just our current-day culture. The question of whom you can trust is thousands of years old.

When you pick the wrong person, you are hesitant to make the same mistake. Trusting becomes harder. The shame and embarrassment of trusting the wrong person makes us grow a tougher shell. We become the tortoise who can’t move forward because of the fear of being seen.

Our self-protection keeps us from meaningful connections with people.  

This is one of the main themes in Pam’s Christmas Kisses, book one of The Fulton Ridge Family Series. In this Christian romance, Pam finds someone who has no idea what she’s hiding inside her heart. Her wound isn’t visible, but it keeps her from moving forward.

To see how Pam gets her happily ever after, start the series today.