Are You on the Right Highway?

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Have you ever headed somewhere and realized you were on the wrong road? Maybe you made a wrong turn or maybe you weren’t paying attention while you were driving. Driving on the wrong road can easily be corrected, especially since GPS and cell phones have become a standard.

God has a road He wants us to travel on. It’s called the highway of holiness. Many Christians today aren’t traveling on the right road, but it’s easily corrected.

Isaiah 35:8-10

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

The Highway of Holiness: According to this Scripture, this way of holiness is for Christians, for those who walk on that way. Only the redeemed walk there. If you are a Christian and are not walking on the Highway of Holiness, you are on the wrong road. You need a course correction.

Protection: No lion or ravenous beast is found there. In other words, God protects us when we walk in holiness. It’s dangerous to stray too far from that highway. When we do, we are wandering away from God’s protection.

Joy: In this society where everyone is urged to find happiness by doing whatever they want, this is something that isn’t taught any more. Even in churches, Christians worry about becoming legalistic when they walk in holiness. The truth is when you are walking in holiness, joy overtakes you and sorrow flees.

How to Make a Course Correction: If you are straying from God’s Word and the way of holiness, you can easily make a course correction.

Repent: Tell God you’ve strayed, ask Him to help you get back to where you need to be, and make the changes necessary to get there. Don’t justify what you’re doing. Confess it, and allow God to remove it from your life.

Yield: The more you yield to God and let Him direct your path, the closer you’ll be to the Highway of Holiness. When He tells you where to go, through His Word or in another way, obey Him without delay. Yield to what He is doing in your life. Remember He protects those who yield to His way.

Throw Away Your Checklist: This isn’t about a list of dos and don’ts. Too many Christians in the past have equated holiness to how long your hair is or how you dress. Your checklist doesn’t work because this is a heart issue, not a behavior. Yielding to God’s way and making baby steps toward Him does.

The Adventures of Chipper!

by Carole Brown

chipper-learns-a-lesson-copy-copy

 

If you’re old enough, you’ve read/seen about Dennis the Menace. Nowadays there’s all kinds of books with characters that entertain.

But have you read about CHIPPER?

He’s a fairly new “KID” on the block, and the eight books (so far) in this series are filled with tons of adventures for kids. There are quiet lessons for children to identify with and learn from too: 

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  • the results of childish rebellions,
  • facing up to bullies,
  • knowing when to say no to taunts and dares,
  • being brave when you’re scared,  
  • being loyal and helpful to your friends
  • and even a mystery!

Discussion questions and scripture verses for parents and children to enjoy are in the back of the book. 

Check out Dan Brown’s The Adventures of Chipper Books here: Amazon

Oh, yeah, on Thursday (this week) enjoy the interview with Dan Brown and find out why he’s writing these charming books...

Happy Reading!

New Books on the Block

By Carole Brown

One of the best moments in an author’s life is when a book of theirs releases. And probably one of the top pleasures it gives those who love to encourage, is to share the reward of a new book out from a fellow-author-friend. 

Today I want to share with you some new books that recently released and hope you’re intrigued enough to check them out! Here goes…

coloring-journal

 

Coloring Journal. Author: Sharon A. Lavy.

Why should you buy this book?

  • Throughout history, successful people have kept journals.
  • Writing letters and keeping a diary is an ancient tradition that dates back to 10th century Japan.coloring-journal3

 

  • We now know that journaling has a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being, and modern psychologists contend that regular journaling strengthens the immune cells.
  • Many artistic types swear that three pages a day of free writing by hand boost their creativity.

 

coloring-journal-2

 

  • Couple that with the accepted benefits of coloring for calming stress relief and we recognize the usefulness of providing a combination coloring journal.
  • As you fill the following pages with your thoughts and your unique style of expression, please dwell on the goodness of the creator and His great love for us.

Remember, Sharon has a many Adult Coloring Books for your pleasure and relaxation. Do check them out here: 

Sharon A. Lavy’s Amazon Books

 

* * *

416kruadagl-_uy250_

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing (Writing to Publish Book 1)

Why should you buy this book? 

  • Do you see yourself as a writer?
  • Is your dream to publish?

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing helps you create a map you can follow to make your dream come true. The examples, reflective assignments, and challenges walk each reader through the process of constructing a thoughtful and achievable plan. While the handbook offers examples of structure, it is in no way formulaic. The plan you design to be a published author is customized to fit your personality traits, your specific gifts, and your busy life.

Check it out HERE:

Rebecca W. Water’s Amazon Book

THERE you have it! Some books to catch your attention this month! Enjoy.

Just When I Think I’ve Lost Confidence In Man’s Trustworthiness . . .

by Carole Brown

Yeah, trusting folks that we are, cautious and prayerful about major decisions, abundantly wary over people who seem scam-ish–we “got taken” last summer.

Normally, we would have pulled away immediately.

Our antennas would have been quivering with suspicions . . .

Why weren’t they?


They were.

But I ignored mine. It doesn’t matter what those reasons were. The big questions I had were: 

  • Why did I ignore the warning signs? 
  • Was I ignoring God’s gentle touch to be careful here because of false security? 
  • Or was it God’s way of getting my attention for an area in my life that was just a bit too unguarded?

What matters now is:

  • I’ve strengthened my spirit in being more guarded than ever in aimless trusting. 
  • I’ve determined that being a bit more pushy (in a Christ-like manner) can’t hurt–at least me. If the other person wants to be offended, after I’ve listened to that “still small voice” then it’s on them. 
  • I’ve learned to be even more careful to follow God’s leading, and finally . . .
  • I’ve learned that I must keep and cherish the promises I’ve made to God. 
It was a hard lesson to learn, but somehow God saw us through. Since then, I’ve felt God’s presence and comforting touch and his wonderful peace. He’s given me a calmness over the whole matter–that regardless of the deceit and slyness, the “reasons” I gave in at the time, the quickness of the decision, the knowledge I should have seen through the trickery, we will come through. 
Stronger.
Steadier.
Have you ever gone through an experience that, in hinder sight, seemed so foolish? How did you handle it, and how did you come through? 
Blessings to you in the awkward moments!

On Life Support in India – Guest Author Rebecca Waters

Rebecca WatersRebecca Waters left her position as a professor of teacher education in December 2012 to actively pursue her writing career. She shares her writing journey in her weekly blog, A Novel Creation. Rebecca has published several freelance articles including two submissions in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Standard Publishing’s Lookout Magazine, The Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, and Home Health Aide Digest. Rebecca’s debut novel, Breathing on Her Own, was released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

To learn more about Rebecca or to read A Novel Creation, visit her website at www.WatersWords.com

You can also find Rebecca online at Facebook and Twitter.

On Life Support in India

by Rebecca Waters

Thank you, Tamera, for giving me the opportunity to share on your blog.

This past April, God opened the door for me to travel halfway around the world to work with girls who had been rescued from brothels. Yes, girls. Some as young as nine-years-old had been coerced, kidnapped, or sold into forced prostitution.

For the girls we met, rescuers had arrived. Rescued girls are placed in a government -approved facility first. At age 18, they are dismissed from that group home setting. They often have little schooling and few possibilities for work.

Mumbai __Inked__During our time there, we visited in the homes of young women now 18-25 who are redefining themselves. Some had been rescued at age twelve or thirteen and placed in a government -approved facility first. After the girls leave the government system, a group called “Life Support” works with these girls, placing them in smaller homes. Money for this work comes through churches.

Up to six girls will live together in one of these homes. The home has a housemother and the seven of them become a family. The housemother makes sure the girls get to church, study their Bibles, learn practical life skills such as cooking and cleaning, and get into the vocational school or a college.

The team I was on visited one of the homes the second day of our trip. The girls, all smiles, served us juice and cookies. They showed us around their apartment and proudly showed us their bedrooms—three to a room. These girls were like any other girl of the same age. They love colors like purple and pink. They love to watch movies and listen to music. They like jewelry and clothes.

And they are learning to trust a Father in heaven who will never betray them.

Waters Mumbai paintingI shouldn’t be amazed at their trust. Or resilience. Or joy. These are only a few of God’s gifts to them. And me. But the way God continually provides, the way God continually cares, and the way these precious girls respond to God? Yes, I am amazed. The simplicity of faith is always amazing.

Each team had visited one of the homes that day and later in the week, we took all twenty- seven of the girls to a resort for two days. I use the term “resort” loosely. It was much like an intense Vacation Bible School.

“Sit by me, Sister,” the girls would say as they patted a space next to them.

We sang songs of praise. Some were even in English. We made crafts. We listened to stories. We had a snack each day. We worshiped together.

Together, we made “shields” for each home. We talked about how God is our protector.

We each, side by side, made decorative soft pillows to take home. We talked about how God is our comforter.

We painted pictures to represent selected verses from the Bible about who we are in Christ. We talked about how God sees us.

The girls took delight in decorating our hands with henna. Their giggles reminded me of my own daughters painting each other’s nails at a slumber party.

The last event of our “resort” time was a puzzle activity. Each group sat on the floor and worked together to fit a puzzle together. It was a good reminder that the pieces of our life come together for God’s purpose when we come together to serve Him.

I sat on the floor. Our puzzle was complete and we were waiting for the last group to finish. I stretched my legs out and leaned back on my hands behind me. I had this incredible feeling. “You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.”

Human Trafficking is a worldwide evil. I didn’t need to go to India to find girls who needed me. Maybe I needed to go to India to see how God could use me. And you.

Romans 8:37-39 (NIV) reminds us:

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

BOHO Front Cover HDBreathing on Her Own

Molly Tipton and her husband are looking forward to retirement, but Molly’s life suddenly spirals out of control when her oldest daughter is involved in a terrible accident. An icy road and a sharp turn leave one woman dead, another clinging to life.

While two families grieve, details emerge that reveal Molly’s daughter was driving under the influence. As she prepares her daughter for the prospect of a vehicular homicide lawsuit, Molly discovers her oldest child is not the only one injured and forced to deal with past mistakes.

If it’s true that time heals all wounds, what are we to do with our scars?

Purchase it in paperback or on Kindle here.

Who and What is Parkaleo?

Today is a guest blog post from a ministry called Parakaleo that works with missionaries in Haiti and other places around the world. They’re also having a giveaway at the end of this post.

Who and What is Parakaleo?

Haiti 1How we do what we do: Parakaleo International works closely with national pastors to support projects and needs that are at the heart of their ministries.  In Haiti, several pastors and laypersons have formed a sister organization called Parakaleo Haiti.  This organization is made up of pastors and laypersons that have become inter-dependent on each other for prayer and financial support.  Parakaleo International’s role with this sister organization is to come alongside them and support projects with them and provide resources for other projects. Our vocational Haiti 4schools are an example of resources that we can provide.  Parakaleo International also helps churches and pastors outside of this sister organization, however, Parakaleo Haiti does help provide accountability.  This kind of sister organization is a kind of framework we plan to take to other areas and countries around the world.

 How we started: Kevin Falde, pastor at Carolina Baptist Church in Clover, SC and president of Parakaleo International grew up in Cayes Jacmel, Haiti with missionary parents Keith and Kathy Falde.  He had a vision that CBC could have a different missions program than traditionally implemented in churches.  This vision included supporting national pastors and churches instead of foreign missionaries from the states.  After creating many personal relationships with Christians in Haiti and several years of funding missions in this way, it has become evident how effective and efficient this Haiti 2missions idea is.  A church of less than 100 members has been able to have a direct impact on 4 different church plants, several schools and create a medical missions program.  The money that the church has given to missions is going directly to evangelism and church planting.  Parakaleo International was formed after this framework as a way to allow other individuals and churches the opportunity to be a part of an effective missions program. ​

Haiti 3How we are different from missionaries: I recently asked a young missionary on deputation with a popular missions board how much support he had to raise.  His response: $80,000/year.  This missionary would be on deputation for several years and then spend approximately 1-2 years in language school before ever able to even start a ministry.  Thanks to missionaries that have sacrificed over the last century there are established churches and programs in many countries run and supported by national workers.  Parakaleo says, why not use a small portion of that money to support and encourage them?  $100 a month could support a national pastor and his family comfortably in a developing country, but would not even provide a month language school for a foreign missionary.

Haiti 5Accountability: Parakaleo International wants to provide  donors and recipients with an atmosphere of fellowship and relationship.  We don’t want to just “throw money” at problems, but rather give of ourselves to those who need our help.  We want donors to commit to pray for their brothers and sisters in Christ and be a part of their ministry through both prayer and giving.  Parakaleo International encourages donors to participate in trips where their specific skill set could benefit a ministry.  We want to keep both parties accountable to each other, financially and spiritually.

Broaden your vision for the world and increase your passion for Christ.  Pray, Give and Go!

Leave a comment to be entered to win A Home for My Heart by Anne Mateer and a bracelet which was brought back from Haiti on our recent mission trip. It is hand made, teal in color, and made from wooden beads. Don’t forget to leave your email address. If you stop by Parakaleo International http://parakaleointernational.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog we will enter you in a second giveaway (don’t forget to leave a comment there and tell us you followed the blog).  This giveaway is for US mailing addresses only.

Haiti 6    Haiti 7

Guest Author Carole Towriss – Not of This World

Carole ToneissCarole Towriss

Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, writes, watches chick flicks and waits for summertime to return to the beach. She is the author of Biblical novels In the Shadow of Sinai and By the Waters of Kadesh.

Not of This World

In addition to my novels, I write for a ministry called Christ to the World. CTTW produces radio dramas that are translated and broadcast to over thirty countries where either Bibles are not allowed or are in extremely short supply, or where literacy is an issue. All the writers and editors in the United States volunteer their time and talents. I’ve just finished writing my first series for them, Joshua: Warrior of the Faith.

Each of the eleven episodes was like a tiny little historical novel of about thirty-five hundred words. They had their own characters, plot, theme, lesson and they all ended with a gospel message. Writing them was different from writing novels in that they contain only sound effects and dialog, but other than that it was very similar.

The last one I wrote was from Joshua 23 and 24, Joshua’s farewell to Israel. These last two chapters are his final speech, and the thing he keeps repeating is that the Israelites must choose whom they will serve.

3,500 words of constant speech from one character without any action is not very exciting on the radio. So I came up with a fictional character, the youngest son of one of Joshua’s officers. Reuben had been seduced into worshipping a false god by Donatiya, a lovely Canaanite girl. It started out innocently enough. First he just went with her to the temple. “If you love me, you’ll come with me.” A few weeks later, he went inside. Months later, he sacrificed with her. After all, her gods didn’t care if he still worshipped Yahweh, whereas his God was so selfish, and only wanted His people to worship Him. It was a logical and convincing argument.

Doesn’t that sound familiar?

Our land is every bit as full of false gods now as Canaan was then. There are many things in this world competing for our worship, for our adoration. Most of them are not idols that demand that we abandon God entirely. No, they’re not that obvious. Usually they are time-stealers that creep in little by little, stealing a bit more of our time, our attention, our devotion. Just as then, they are “snares and traps.” We have to “be very careful,” and “hold fast to the Lord [our] God.”

We’re never going to fit in in this world. We never have. We’re not supposed to. God said it through Joshua 3,500 years ago: “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

He also said it though Paul 2,000 years ago: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

And He says it to us today, in the quietness of our hearts, whenever we seek Him. To serve God, we have to turn away from this world. But that’s OK. Because God has so much more to offer than this world could ever dream of.

By the Waters of Kadesh

By the Waters of Kadesh

by Carole Towriss

Kamose, once Egypt’s most trusted soldier, no longer has a country to serve or king to protect. Moses insists God has a plan for him, but Kamose is not so sure. Tirzah’s cruel husband died shortly after they left Egypt. She escaped his brutality, but now she’s alone, and once they reach their new land, how will she survive? Gaddiel, Tirzah’s brother-in-law, is chosen as one of the twelve spies sent to scout out Canaan. He’s supposed to go in, get information and come back, but all he really wants is to bring down Joshua.