Thursday, June 25, 2009

I wish Bibles would do this:

I wish Bibles would use God's names. Just as I like to hear my friends say my name, I imagine God would enjoy it. And it would show us more clearly the traits in nature of our Heavenly Father. See how powerful are his names in this lovely devotional by Sylvia Gunter:

Praying The Character Of Your Father
From The 23rd Psalm

For every need, there is a name of Father-God that corresponds to the need. His faithfulness and his caring meet in the 23rd Psalm to portray our intimately personal Shepherd. God's character in all of his covenant names can be seen in this psalm. Ask him what he wants you to know about who he is, what he does, what you have in him through each name. Cultivate your personal communion with God praying this Scripture.

The Lord is my Shepherd -
Jehovah-Rohi: The Lord my ShepherdThank your Shepherd that he knows you by name and wants to communicate with you. Talk to him about your intimate relationship with him. Write your response.

I shall lack nothing -
Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord my ProviderThank your good Shepherd that he provides all your needs, beginning with redemption. Ask him to carry all your worries, burdens, and cares. Write what he says to you.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters -
Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord my Peace
Thank Jesus your Peace for his attention to the details of your life. Tell him you want to see him more clearly in your "dailies." Let him speak to you.

He restores my soul -
Jehovah-Rapha: The Lord my Healer
Because Jesus your Healer became man, he understands everything you have experienced. Thank your Healer for healing the hurts. Write remembrances of his restoration.

He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake -
Jehovah-Tsidkenu: The Lord my Righteousness
Thank the Righteous One that you are accepted in him and completely forgiven. Thank your Shepherd for his guidance of your life for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me -
Jehovah-Shammah: God who is there
Thank God who is there for his presence with you that dispels all fear. Your Shepherd is always there for you. Thank him that he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Thank God for his loving authority in your life to discipline, correct, and give you the security of loving limits. Thank him that you can never mess up so bad that you fear punishment by him.

You prepare a table before me in the presence
of my enemies -
Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord my Banner of victory
Thank your Banner for his strength and protection against the enemy. Thank him that Jesus lives victorious in you.

You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.
Thank your Shepherd for his grace and favor that he gives you so generously. Thank him that you can enjoy fellowship with him.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life, and I will dwell
in the house of the Lord forever.
Thank your Shepherd that you can continuously sense his presence because of his faithfulness. Worship him with a song that speaks of his nearness and love.

From the weekly “Seek Him Meet Him” devotional of Sylvia Gunter © 2009.

Used by permission.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All dogs go to heaven!

Don't you just adore animals? We've always had at least one dog, and sometimes fish, birds and a cat, as well. As a child, I'd watch the circus on TV and wish I could bring all the animals right into my living room to snuggle.

When I saw how "compassionate" or "tenderhearted" God is toward animals as well as people, I was deeply touched. I just love these indications of the tender love of our Heavenly Father for us all:

When Jesus came upon the funeral at Nain, he found a widow weeping over her son. She now had no man to help her and protect her. His heart moved with compassion, Jesus raised her son from the dead and restored him to her. But first, He had to tell her, "Don't cry."

In the law, God commanded on three different occasions, do not boil a kid goat in its mother's milk. Anyone who has ever cuddled a kid goat at a petting zoo knows how cute they are. I guess our tenderhearted God thought it ironic to the point of being cruel and disrespectful to the animals to cook the little thing in the sustenance of its own mother.

God also tell us that the creation itself groans and waits for our glorification. When we are finally free of the sins of this world, the creation will also experience freedom from corruption. What a beautiful thought.

And finally, in Psalm 104, God mentions His provision for His animals ten times, by my count. You can verify the number, yourself, below and enjoy the praises to God.

Do all dogs go to heaven? I feel sure they do. Cats? Probably. LOL My own theory is that animals are here to serve us and show us God's love and majesty, and then return to Him, like a class of angels. Just my opinion.

My heroine, Maggie, in my wip set in New Orleans, Pensacola, Paris and Israel, is tenderhearted, so much so that sometimes she compromises her values for fear of hurting someone else's feelings. She discovers this can be a problem. A major problem that could cost someone else's life.

Anyway, it's no wonder that God urges us to be kind to one another, compassionate, tenderhearted, as Jesus is toward us. Easier said than done, but God promises that He pours out His love on us through the Holy Spirit. So it's also no wonder He commands us to be (continually) filled with the Spirit. If He desires it for us, He will not deny us the same. Our job is to regret our wrong thoughts and actions and ask Him to forgive us, save us, and fill us. It is a request to which He always says yes.

To enjoy these tenderhearted passages, click here and here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Want to *really* thank a soldier?

Here's an email that's doing around. I love it. Copy and send this, if you like:

I'd like to ask you to do something that has been troubling me.

Our nation is/has been on the slippery slope for a long time. If you look around you will find corruption, greed, moral decay, and a steady move away from the things that made us great.

The principles upon which this nation was founded are no longer our backbone. However, we can reverse this trend.

In God's word he states,"If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14

I am convinced that we must pray for our nation and its leaders and ask for forgiveness. For our own sins, as well. So I ask you to join me in this plea to our Lord.

Would you please send this to at least 25 people in your address book, (send it to all of them). Ask them to pray EVERYDAY.

If you do and they comply, we will lift up millions and millions of prayers a day to our Creator. He will hear us and in faith will answer.

Let me just add a quote from Ronald Reagan - "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." I truly believe this is why the United States of America is in the shape we are in today.

Most people have forgotten that we are one nation under God! Let us as Christians stand up and remind people of this.

Rise up, O Church of God
Be done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of Kings.

And write to our would-be kings!

Please take a moment and write courteous letters to our reps in Congress. They say one letter probably represents 10,000 more of the same opinion. One issue per letter gets better notice than a long letter about many issues. This is the best way to say thank you to our soldiers, too.

This is what they fight for. Government *by* the people, a democractic republic in action.

Again, a *courteous* letter will be read. Any other kind will be deleted, maybe laughed at.

Addresses for our reps:

~ Have a blessed day!

"For nothing is impossible with God."

God will not ignore the prayers of His people. Especially not prayers He urges and promises He--promises. He'll heal if we'll repent--change our ways--and He'll help us with that, too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How to delight our biggest fan.

CJ Darlington's blog today talks about Writing Edgy for All the Wrong Reasons.

She defines edgy: pushing the envelope of what has generally been considered acceptable in novels regarding violence, sex, language, etc.

On the other hand, not wanting to be preachy, she says she was acting ashamed of the Gospel: Romans 1: 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

And that if she wanted to write a powerful novel, she needed to include the Good News of Jesus. While she doesn't want to write preachy, she also doesn't want to be ashamed. Excellent points.

LOL, let readers skip over salvation scenes in inspirational the same way some do sex scenes in other books.

I was church librarian for eight years and my favorite books to recommend got people interested in the Bible. A little didactic--instructive as well as very entertaining--the books showed the power of God and led people to salvation.

In this world where science rules for so many, it's wonderful to see when the loving Creator of the universe breaks through and shows Himself in the world.

One of the books, the autobiography of Lydia Prince, reads like an exciting novel: Appointment in Jerusalem. A prosperous Scandinavian school teachers follows a strange urge to leave job and boyfriend to go to Jerusalem in the '30s. A whole different world of opportunities opens up.

Thing is--well, two things. First, we're going to meet a lot of authors in heaven. Maybe in a receiving line. Habakkuk and Malachi among others better known, Matthew, Isaiah, etc.

When I realized that, I read the whole Bible. How humiliating to shake their hand and say, "So nice to meet you. Duh, I haven't read your book...." Imagine! LOL

Second thing, when I go through that line or whatever, I want to hold a book or many in my hands--my own. And I want to be able to say to them, "Here's my little contribution to the Kingdom. It's nothing like yours, of course, but it's my best shot."

Whatever the Lord leads, didactic stories or simply clean stories where people go to church and pray--and to some degree, edgy stories--done the best way we know how--that's our best shot.

Main thing--I want to be able to show it to Jesus. I don't want to be ashamed to hand it to Him.

Not ashamed for making attractive the sin He died for. Not ashamed for excluding Him.

Here's my little contribution to the Kingdom. It's nothing like yours, of course, but it's my best shot.

He reads it, anyway. Even now.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Asking for what we need

Do we need to interview an expert in order to describe our character's profession? Do we need an endorsement? Do we need time off to write? (Ha!)

The Apostle James said that we don't have because we don't ask. Or we ask for the wrong reasons.

Jack Canfield, co-founder of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, elaborates on asking people for what we need.

Good Things Come to Those Who Ask by Jack Canfield

Asking for what you need is probably the most underutilized tool for people. And yet, amazing requests have been granted to people simply because they've asked for it!

Whether its money, information, support, assistance, or time, most people are afraid to ask for what they need in order to make their dreams come true.

They might be afraid of looking needy, ignorant, helpless, or even greedy. More than likely, though, it is the fear of rejection that is holding them back. Even though they are afraid to hear the word no, they're already saying it to themselves by not asking!

Do you ask for what you want or are you afraid of rejection?

Consider this: Rejection is just a concept. There is really no such thing as rejection! You're not any worse off by hearing no than you were before you asked. You didn't have what you asked for before you asked and you still don't, so what did you lose?

Being rejected doesn't hold you back from anything. Only YOU hold yourself back. When you realize that there's no merit to rejection, you'll feel more comfortable asking for things. You may just need a bit of help learning how to ask for what you want.

How to Ask for What You Want

There’s a specific science to asking for and getting what you want or need in life. And while I recommend you learn more by studying The Aladdin Factor, here are some quick tips to get you started:

1. Ask as if you expect to get it. Ask with a positive expectation. Ask from the place that you have already been given it. It is a done deal. Ask as if you expect to get a “yes.”

2. Assume you can. Don’t start with the assumption that you can’t get it. If you are going to assume, assume you can get an upgrade. Assume you can get a table by the window. Assume that you can return it without a sales slip. Assume that you can get a scholarship, that you can get a raise, that you can get tickets at this late date. Don’t ever assume against yourself.

3. Ask someone who can give it to you. Qualify the person. Who would I have to speak to to get...Who is authorized to make a decision about...What would have to happen for me to get...

4. Be clear and specific. In my seminars, I often asks, “Who wants more money in their life?” I’ll pick someone who raised their hand and he gives them a quarter, asking, “Is that enough for you?” “No? Well, how would I know how much you want. How would anybody know?”

You need to ask for a specific number. Too many people are walking around wanting more of something, but not being specific enough to obtain it.

5. Ask repeatedly. One of the most important Success Principles is the commitment to not give up.

Whenever we’re asking others to participate in the fulfillment of our goals, some people are going to say “no.” They may have other priorities, commitments and reasons not to participate. It’s no reflection on you.

Just get used to the idea that there’s going to be a lot of rejection along the way to the brass ring. The key is to not give up. When someone says “No”— you say “NEXT!” Why?

Because when you keep on asking, even the same person again and again...they might say “yes”...

…on a different day
…when they are in a better mood
…when you have new data to present
…after you’ve proven your commitment to them
…when circumstances have changed
…when you’ve learned how to close better
…when you’ve established better rapport
…when they trust you more
…when you have paid your dues
…when the economy is better
…and so on.

Kids know this Success Principle better than anyone. They will ask the same person over and over again without any hesitation. (can you relate!)

Getting a good perspective on rejection and learning how to ask will make a world of difference for you as you work toward your goals. Practice asking and you'll get very good at it! You'll even speed your progress by getting what you need, or improving yourself in order to get it later.

Make a list of what you need to ask for in all areas of your life, and start asking.

Remember, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE… if you dare to ask!

© 2009 Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

Thank you, Terry Whalin, for pointing out this article.