Lent Devotional – .99 for a limited time

 

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Preparing for Resurrection Sunday? Here’s a devotional you’ll want to consider, on sale for .99 from  2/14-2/17.

The 40 Day Lent Vocabulary Word Devotional pairs uncommon words with a verse or passage from the Bible. Specifically, the goal of this devotional is so you’ll understand more clearly the life, ministry, and teaching of Jesus Christ including His death, burial, and resurrection. At the end of each daily devotional, you’ll get the “Bottom Line for the Day” that has specific takeaways for you to apply for that day, and really for a lifetime.

Here’s a sample:

Day 6

Word for the Day:

ganef [gah-nuh f] noun

  1. a thief, swindler, crook, or rascal. ganef. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ganef (accessed: January 7, 2017). The concept of this word includes a thief, crook, or scoundrel.

Scripture for the Day:

Luke 23:33-43 (NASB95)

33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ?  Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Devotion for the Day:

The salvific work of Jesus Christ couldn’t be stopped while He was suffering in anguish on the cross. Grace was even extended to the thief on the cross next to Jesus. The man on the cross admitted that he was receiving the punishment, in the form of death, justly for what he had done. In spite of his past, when sincerely trusting that Jesus was the path to heaven, the thief was granted grace by Jesus. At the end of this thief’s physical life, he was extended the forgiveness, grace, and mercy that all of humankind should partake. Today, I’d like for you to reflect on those people in your sphere of influence who you may have written off because of their past. Their past may have made you believe that they are a throwaway person; similar to the way the thief on the cross was treated. The important thing to remember is that it’s never too late for someone to give their life to Jesus Christ. You may very well be the person who needs to reach out to that “throwaway” person who is racing through your mind right now.

My challenge to you for today is to reconsider with whom you might need to share the message of Jesus Christ. Are there people in your sphere of influence who you’ve written off as unreachable? Jesus doesn’t have that perspective; He died that all would have an opportunity to come into a relationship with Him. Don’t delay in taking the opportunity to reach out to this person or persons for Jesus Christ.

Bottom Line for the Day:

The ganef (thief) on the cross next to Jesus was granted salvation as he realized and recognized his physical and spiritual condition; imploring Jesus for what he knew he needed. Take the time now to consider who you may need to reach out to in order to share the lifesaving message of Jesus Christ. You may be the only one who can reach this person for the Kingdom of God.

 

End of Sample

 

Don’t Call Me Missionary – Guest Post

Today’s guest is Chad Owens who has a very honest take on being a…gulp.

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For me the most surprising thing about publishing a book has been the large amount of positive responses I’ve received. When I wrote Don’t Call Me Missionary I didn’t expect anyone would read it. I thought if anyone did ever read it, they would dislike it. So when I started getting emails and comments about how much people enjoyed the book instead of angry emails, I was very surprised.

You might wonder why I would write something that I thought people would dislike. You have to understand that I never really wanted to become a missionary. When you prepare to become one, there can be a lot of training involved. I was never the type who liked school. In high school I did as little reading as I could to still get decent grades. In college I had to do so much reading, I never read for fun. To me, books were work and I hadn’t developed an interest in recreational reading until I moved to the land of no streaming internet, no television, and precious few movies. (Things have changed now of course).

Because I didn’t like all this training and reading to become a missionary, I became very selective about what material I would engage with on the topic of moving overseas. So when I finally moved overseas I started realizing that the experiential things I was learning, had not been mentioned before in any of my training. I wondered if this was all part of it? Had I been tricked? Were these things some sort of odd initiation ritual? Or were there simply some things you just aren’t supposed to say out loud?

Don't call me missionary

$2.99 on Kindle

My book says those things out loud. Which is why I suspected people would not like it, especially missionaries. I mean no offense to the wonderful men and women working in missions work today, but I never wrote the book for you. Several of you already know what it’s like to risk your life to use the toilet, or to pick bugs out of your rice. I wrote this for the people like me, who hate reading, hate training, and even when they are forced to train, don’t believe nor like what they’re told anyway, because they suspect the real story is being hidden.

My audience is someone who wants to know the reality of missions work, without the work of having to go overseas to find it out. I sort of expected that attitude to offend people. But to my surprise, people have actually enjoyed the book. Before publishing I had to ask myself, “Is this really something you want to release into the world, Chad?” After praying over it, I came to the conclusion that it was. I have been very happy to discover the lives it has already touched. The testimonials that have been shared with me have been wonderful. This book seems to be striking a chord with a much larger audience than I ever anticipated.

I have been sincerely delighted and surprised at the positive comments people have shared with me, and I hope that many others can find it a useful addition to their book list.

I’d like to thank Bev for giving me a chance to share some of my thoughts on the process and for hosting me on her blog!

-Chad Owens
http://dontcallmemissionary.weebly.com

You’re welcome, Chad. I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s def on my TBR now! Let me know what you think, readers!

Bev out.

Bible Origami

Bible Origami

Origami based on Biblical stories is such a great idea. When our son was four years old and waiting to have a broken arm set in the ER, a pediatric nurse calmed him by folding a paper crane, and presented him with it. We still have it to this day and it reminds us of the nurse’s kindness on an otherwise stressful day.

The author of Bible Origami, Todd Huisken, suggests that kids can do origami while sitting in church instead of fidgeting. To me though, folding paper is a form of fidgeting so I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I do like the concept of teaching the art while drawing on stories from scripture. He’s included designs from the Old Testament including Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale, the Ark of the Covenant, and from the New including a fishing boat, a dove, and fishes and loaves.

Huisken has indicated the levels of difficulty from 1-3, and the drawings are good and relatively easy to follow, but after fooling around with a couple of levels, I think the activities are better suited for a group situation than expecting a child to be able to follow the directions on their own until they’re adept at the task.

“Did you know” trivia accompanies each design and I can imagine homeschoolers, Sunday school teachers, and grandparents would find origami a great way to teach and also spend some going over the Bible concepts in a visual way. If you’ve never folded before, I suggest practicing first before introducing the activity, but I think all ages will really enjoy the craft that’s also a beautiful art.

I really like the concept and recommend Bible Origami .

 

New story for The Seasons of Cherryvale fans

aloha grace cover

A short story. .99 on e-reader

At the conclusion of “Christmas Bells” Mark surprises Grace with a trip to Hawaii. I’d been wondering how to write a fun story for Grace to experience the island, and for the island to experience Grace!

While I was thinking about Aloha Grace and what she’d do while on Oahu, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor was on the news and I had my story. As those of you who’ve read my other books know, I like to add a little something that’s an extra touch, like in Fresh Start Summer, the information about the Oscar award ceremony for “Gone with the Wind” that adds fun details.

I hope you enjoy Aloha Grace as much as I enjoyed writing it. Escape to the tropical paradise of Hawaii with Grace and find out how she helps a new ohana, as welll as a young woman who must make a life changing decision.

 

Sharing Jesus with Muslims in America

Sharing Jesus with Muslims

 

As God is in the business of answering prayer, it was no coincidence that the request for a review landed in my inbox recently. In a sec, you’ll understand where I’m going with this.

I’m nearing the end of my latest manuscript, and while I won’t spend time on it here cuz I don’t want you getting weary hearing about it, I’ll just say it’s going to be a doozy and it’s kicking my proverbial writer’s behind to the curb, y’all.

But I will tell you like all my books, there’s a faith theme, because when all is said and done, that’s probably the only thing that’s going to get us out of this world alive. Can I get an Amen?

So let me tell you about this book I was asked to review.

It’s a doozy, too.

While we all debate open or closed borders and who’s right and who is wrong, the real question should be, “how do we treat our Muslim neighbor?” Because if you don’t already have a Muslim friend or neighbor, you probably will soon. You don’t have to traipse across the Sahara  >cough< may or may not be a hint about my WIP, to find them.

Abu Daoud has written a stunningly well organized, well researched and cited book that walks a Christian through how to befriend and answer their Muslim friend’s questions about Jesus. It comes from experience, which is important because the Qu’ran teaches about Jesus so before we go off spouting what may be either silly or offensive, knowing how a Muslim thinks about Him will help immensely.

And this book lays it all out there.

I read it in a couple of days, and feel like I have a good foundation, and yet I also was inspired to learn more.

And I suggest you pick up a copy as well, because understanding a culture and religion we only hear about or shy away from because we’re uncomfortable won’t do anyone any good at all.

Here’s just a hint of how you will be challenged and informed in Sharing Jesus:

  • “Most Muslims in the United States have no idea what Christians actually believe. Muslims are from locations where the gospel is hardly available, and they will not come to know the gospel without the efforts of American Christians.” Kindle location 380
  • Did you know most Muslims believe all westerners are Christians, and because of that they attribute everything, and I mean all the bad stuff too, as being acceptable to Christians? Better to call ourselves “followers of Jesus” or “a follower of the way.” Kindle location 985
  • The Qu’ran quotes the Bible, but some Muslims claim the Bible has changed, and yet one can compare the two and see it hasn’t, which actually validates the Bible’s claims. Location 1083
  • Muslims do not have the same understanding of religion that most secular folks in the West do. They do not believe that religion needs to be hidden away in churches or homes.” Location 1516

Your own faith will be increased and perhaps even challenged in places, and I know your understanding of what Muslims believe will be. It’s not too academic or clunky, it flows well, and has many references so you can check their work and learn more. The author told me there is a video and study guide coming, so stay tuned for updates about that.

Grab a copy and be prepared to speak gently and with respect to every tribe and nation. (Bev’s paraphrase)

Here’s the publisher’s summary of Sharing Jesus with Muslims in America:

“The Muslim population in the United States is growing quickly, and there are no signs of this growth slowing down. So how should Christians respond? With fear? With tolerance? By ignoring Muslims? Or with boldness, hope, and the Good News of Jesus Christ, clearly the biblical answer. For centuries the church did not go to Muslims with the gospel because Christians thought it was too dangerous or too difficult. Now God is bringing Muslims to America where Christians can lead them to Christ. But when I share this opportunity with churches around the country, I’m asked, “But how? How do I meet Muslims? How can my church make the connections?” This book seeks to answer those questions and more. If you are a Christian, I hope you will open your heart to God’s plan for Muslims in your community. You can start by reading this book.”

Bev out!