Friday, October 25, 2013

The Door - Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension

 THE DOOR

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me.”

Revelation 3:20


Is God standing at the door to your heart? If he is, it’s because he wants to come in and be your friend. He brings heavenly food that has eternal value, food that will feed you spiritually. God knows your needs before you even ask.  

*~*~*~*~*~*

From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:

The door creaked as I turned the handle. I held my breath and peered through the tiny slit. Moving shadows darkened the room.

—Shale Snyder, chapter one




*~*~*~*~*~*


Sometimes doors are closed and padlocked. Experiences from our past haunt us, making us afraid to open them. We want to be healed, but our sorrow and fear may prevent us from taking that leap of faith. We must all face our worst nightmare, but God promises even if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he will be there.

Shale was hiding in a closet, afraid of people, haunted by her past and afraid of her future. She was a prisoner of her foolish mistakes and insecurities.

Allow God in—open the door of your heart to the one and only one who can heal you.


Thank you, Jesus, for standing at the door and waiting for me to open it. Thank you that you know all my failures and mistakes and don’t hold them against me.

I invite you into the secret places that no one else can see. Help me to accept your love and receive your forgiveness. Thank you that you’re trustworthy and true, a father and a friend—my Savior.





includes 26 more devotionals like this one and is a companion book

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dark Secrets, Am I Okay, God - Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension











DARK SECRETS

Would not God have discovered it since he knows the secret of the heart?


—Psalm 44:21

Do you have a secret hidden in your heart—something that is so horrid you wouldn’t share it with anyone?


*~*~*~*~*~*

From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:

“I hid in the closet underneath the stairs—my safe house. Nobody would find me in here.”

—Shale Snyder, chapter one

*~*~*~*~*~*

God knows everything about you. Every thought and every deed you’ve ever done or will do is not hidden from his watchful eyes.
Including secrets. Satan will use anything he can to prevent you from experiencing God’s grace. Secrets are among his favorite weapons. The devil derives great pleasure using blackmail. You will never win playing his game. All he has to do is threaten to expose your secret sin—pornography, abortion, cheating, thievery—you name it.

My worst fears from the time I was young involved secret sins. I would convince myself if anyone knew “this or that” about me, I would be on the front page of the New York Times.

Seriously, in the past, when I was plagued with guilt, I would lie in bed at night and ponder what would happen if someone told something about me that was slanderous. Many poor souls have committed suicide to escape the judgment of others. Secrets of the heart can imprison you in a living hell. Is that how you want to live your life?


God doesn’t want you to live in fear. Bring your hidden sin to your heavenly father, confess it, and receive God’s unconditional forgiveness. Remember:  God died on the cross to heal you from all your sins—past, present, and future. 


Thank you, Jesus, that I no longer want to hide in a closet—or behind a fa├žade. I will seek you in the morning, noon, and night so you can set me free from secret sins. 




 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kindness - Guest Post by Rose Chandler Johnson




“And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me’” Matthew 25:40 (KJV).

When my son Justin was in Iraq in 2003 with the 82nd Airborne, several news correspondents were embedded with the troops. Peter Sleeth, with the Oregonian, was one such reporter who posted his stories on the web. I searched for news daily. It had been several weeks since the war had begun, and we had not heard a word from Justin. As the weeks past, fewer stories regarding the 82nd appeared. Then one day my search yielded, the following link: “Just back from Iraq, see Peter Sleeth’s new photo gallery”. With one click, four pictures of my son Justin popped onto the screen.

 [These pictures are on my blog: http://www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com.]

 There was my son Justin, dressed head to toe in full army gear, the helmet buckled under his chin, his face and hands smeared with dirt. With a pensive look on his face, he sat crouched on dusty cement steps facing a little dark haired girl and boy. They too were dirty and somber, and sat at his knees looking up into his face. His arms were outstretched to them, as he gave the little girl and barefoot boy sips of water from his bottle. The little boy held a bag of Skittles, which had been in Justin’s MRE (meal ready to eat). The caption beneath the picture said Justin was caring for the little children, while paramedics cared for their mother nearby. On the following Sunday, which was Easter, the story behind the picture of my son and the little children was a featured story.

When I saw the pictures, my heart overflowed with joy and gratitude to God for his loving kindness to me. I was so eager to have any news of my son. What a miracle to get this glimpse of his activities in Iraq. Out of thousands of soldiers, my son was photographed at that particular moment. Of all the things he could have been doing, his kind deed was captured on camera for me to see.


I can never repay God for that kindness. Justin deeds were acts of kindness as well. Kindness is a gentle gift from the heart of the giver, that does good to the heart of the receiver. Such is the nature of kindness. The giver expects nothing in return.
Paul says in Ephesians, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  Jesus takes every act of kindness personally. Every act of kindness touches the very heart of God.


Suggested Readings: Proverbs 25:11; Proverbs 31:25; Ephesians 4:32.



 Journaling Considerations:

Has something happened in your life that you think was a special act of God’s kindness?


Have you shown His kindness to someone lately?

Prayer:  Dear Father God, thank you for your tender mercies. You are most gracious and full of loving kindness. Help me to be kind in my words and deeds.
In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Today’s Sweet Tea Moment:  It doesn’t cost a cent, to give the priceless gift of kindness.
Prayer Focus:  Children in need.



Rose Chandler Johnson's devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments released in July from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Her devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications. She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with God, and engaging with her readers. Rose is from a tiny Georgia town, and has lived near Augusta, GA for the last twenty-eight years. For the last twenty years, Rose has been a French and English teacher. She's also worked as a counselor, librarian, and ESOL teacher. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families.

Monday, October 14, 2013

What Inspired Michael J. Webb to Write Infernal Gates? Guest Post by Michael J. Webb


    
Ethan Freeman, ex-Special Forces Ranger, wakes up to discover he is the sole survivor of a fiery commercial airline crash that killed his entire family.  His nightmare is only beginning when he becomes the FBI’s prime suspect.  Only Ethan knows he’s not a cold-hearted murderer, but he has no idea what happened to him--and why he alone survived.


He finds an unlikely ally in Sam Weaver, the NTSB Chief Investigator.  An ex-military pilot, Sam senses Ethan is innocent.  She tries to remain dispassionate in her investigation of the crash even as she finds herself attracted to the man who may be Americas worst homegrown mass-murderer.


Neither Ethan nor Sam realize that shadowy spiritual forces are at work which will alter their lives forever.

A monstrous evil, imprisoned since the time of the Pharaohs, has been released by The Nine, a sinister group of powerful men and women who believe they are the direct descendants of the Anunnaki, ancient Sumerian gods. The demon they have unleashed intends to free The Destroyer from The Abyss, the angelic prison referred to in the Book of Revelation, and unleash a worldwide reign of terror and annihilation.

Facing impossible odds, time is running out for Ethan and all of humanity as he is drawn into an ever-deeper  conspiracy--millennia in the making--and learns that he is the key to stopping The Nine.

  
 *~*~*~*~*~*

It was a dark and stormy night . .
Ooops.  Not really!
J  Sorry Snoopy.

I regularly drive long distances and have a great deal of time to think.  One morning, as I was headed to an appointment, the opening lines from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities scrolled through my mind unexpectedly:  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
         

As I meditated on those powerful words in terms of the present condition of our fallen world, a fascinating thought popped into my head.  What would happen if my wife and I were on a commercial airliner that crashed within a few minutes of takeoff killing everyone on board—except us!  We awaken exactly 24 hours later, at home, in our bed, dressed in the same clothes we’d worn to the airport.  How would we explain what happened to us?

This is how all of my novels are born. A vivid opening scene, generally an action-filled, pulse-pounding sequence of events, but sometimes several lines of riveting dialog from a character I have yet to meet.  In the case of Infernal Gates, the opening line was “Less than ten minutes before we’re all dead, thought Ethan Freeman, and there is nothing I can do about it!


I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer.  I’ve never done an outline.  All of my stories begin as movies in my head.  I have a general idea about plot, but it morphs into something bigger than my imagination over time.  My characters are born, grow, and mature as I write.   At some point, they take control.  Then, all I do is transcribe as fast as I can whatever I see and hear.

Unbelievable fun—and I get paid to do this!


But I digress.  Back to the “inspiration” theme.


Most of us, sadly, see the world three-dimensionally.  But, as Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone was fond of saying: There is another dimension--a fourth dimension. A dimension not of sight or sound, or taste or touch, or hearing, but one that overlays the one we accept as the “real” world. A parallel universe layered over the terrestrial realm like a gossamer veil. In order to “see” into this realm and interact with it we must use gifts given to us by God that transcend our fleshly bodies—and our souls.


The realm of Spirit.


I’m inspired by God to write about this realm and explore the consequences of ignoring, denigrating, or misrepresenting its power to impact our lives for all eternity.


I hope you’ll take a chance on an “unknown writer” and join me in my world.


             Michael J. Webb graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida and obtained his J. D. from the same university.  Over the past forty years he has travelled the world in search of adventure.

            He is a history buff, both ancient and modern, and is fascinated by the intersection of the scientific, supernatural, and Biblical world views, and has studied and taught from the Bible extensively for more than twenty-five years. He is also intrigued by recent discoveries in quantum physics that are now providing extraordinary insights into the reality of the spirit realm, especially as it relates to the study of Light.  He incorporates all of the above into his supernatural thrillers.

            Michael and his wife make their home in North Carolina.  
Books by Michael:  The Master’s Quilt, The Nephilim Parchments, The Song of the Seraphim (Giants in the Earth trilogy), The Oldest Enemy, Infernal Gates.  He is currently working on Devil’s Cauldron, the sequel to Infernal Gates.  He also authored a non-fiction work entitled In the Cleft of the Rock: Insights into the Blood of Jesus, Resurrection Power, and Saving the Soul. 

BE SURE TO VISIT http://bit.ly/Christian_Books TO WIN A $100 AMAZON GIFT CARD IN CONNECTION WITH THE LAUNCH OF INFERNAL GATES!     


Saturday, October 5, 2013

"I Don't Want to Forgive," Excerpt from Upcoming Book, "Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension," by Lorilyn Roberts










Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
—Matthew 18:21



Everyone agrees forgiveness is something we should do until we are confronted with the unforgivable.


*~*~*~*~*~*

From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:

I stood frozen as if shot with a stun gun. How could he be here? Memories hijacked me—the curse he put on me two years ago, the attack in the hallway, shaming me with the worm, and all the things too numerous to mention. He had made my life hell. I hated him. How dare he follow me here! I began to hyperventilate, feeling my way behind me with my hands.

“Don’t come near me or I’ll kill you.”







D
id Shale have the “right” to hate Judd? After all, he had molested her and made her life hell.
How about Judd? Was he justified in how he treated Shale? Shale had hurt Judd when she accidentally killed his puppy. Do two wrongs make a right?

I have been a Christian since I was twelve years old. At thirty I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ when I read the book of Romans in the New Testament. My desire to read the Bible was prompted when my husband left me for another woman.

At the core of my struggle was the fact I didn’t want to forgive him. I wanted to hold on to my pain because it was familiar. I had been in a lot of pain for a long time. I didn’t know how I would live without him and I didn’t feel like he deserved to be forgiven.

Besides that, I was grieving. Emotionally I was too distraught to be rational about the concept of forgiveness. Its stranglehold on me was relentless.

Once I reached the point I knew I needed to forgive, I wasn’t sure I wanted to. I felt like I had died a thousand deaths and there was no way I could forgive anyone who had hurt me that badly.

Has someone done something to you and you can’t seem to let go? Have you ever done something to someone else that caused that person immense pain?

Over the course of time, the raw memories will fade. The pain may ease, but will probably always be there. Despite the hurt, forgiveness brings acceptance and peace.

Hate is one of the strongest emotions of the human psyche. Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

How did Shale’s hatred toward Judd  spill out into other areas of her life? Do you want to be like Shale?

When you harbor unforgiveness, it’s toxic. You can’t compartmentalize it. Being unable to forgive will eventually take over your entire personality. Have you ever met an angry person?

Thoughts, emotions, and actions will be affected. Just like cancer invades a person’s body, hatred knows no boundaries.

Preoccupation with hate can become a full-time job. It takes a lot of energy to stay angry—energy that could be used for more constructive purposes. Satan is the only winner when you refuse to forgive. Is the price of unforgiveness worth it?




                                          *~*~*~*~*~*



Dear Jesus, I want to forgive, but I don’t know how. Help me to let go of my pain. Help me not to hate. Even if I was willing to forgive, it wouldn’t change what has already happened, but I don’t want to be separated from you. Please help me to forgive.




http://bit.ly/Angels_and_Demons




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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mr. President - Please Tell Us The Truth - Fox News and Neil Cavuto Speak Out

How about some truth, Mr. President?

My premiums and deductibles have tripled since Obamacare.

You have done nothing for me or my family. As a single mother, you have hurt me. More money comes out of my pocket for insurance than I could have imagined only a couple of years ago. If that's what you want to do, please be honest about it. Don't stand up there and tell the American people lies. I am more worried about my health insurance now into the future than I have ever been in the past. I am not stupid, Mr. President.

 
MORE FROM FOX NEWS;


President Barack Obama: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.

Mr. President, tell that to tens of thousands of retirees at IBM and Time Warner and dozens of others, who've been dumped from their coverage and told to find their own coverage. Fox News didn't break that news to them, Mr. President. Their companies did.

Fox News didn't push more of those firms to hire part-time workers. Your healthcare law did. Fox News didn't incentivize fast food restaurants to scale back their benefits. Your healthcare law did. Fox News didn't make doctors want to opt out. Your healthcare law did. Fox News didn't make insurance premiums sky rocket. Your healthcare law did. Just like Fox News didn't grant hundreds of exemptions to companies that needed them. You did. And Fox News didn't delay one key provision after another, including online enrollment for those small business exchanges. You did.

Just like it wasn't Fox News that said we had to pass this to see what was in this. You did. Or was that Nancy Pelosi? Sometimes I'm confused. But of this I am not. Fox News didn't re-do basic math. Sir, you did. Fox News didn't say you can cover 30 million more Americans and not see a hit in premiums. You did. Fox News didn't say you could throw in those with pre-existing conditions and not have to pay for it. You did. Fox News didn't all but say you could get something for nothing. You did. Fox News didn't come back years later and say, oh yea, we did raise some taxes. You did.

Here's where you are right about Fox News, however, Mr. President. We can do math. And did. You cannot. And did not. We said it, and proved it. You didn't. And we're all suffering for it. Take it from the numbers guy at Fox. Numbers don't lie. The number of Americans working part-time and nervous. The number of retirees days away from being dumped on exchanges and anxious. The number of company bosses with any news to pass along on those exchanges, but still clueless. The number of doctors who want out. The number of congressmen now opting out. No, Mr. President, none of those numbers lie.

But with all due respect sir, I can only conclude you do know; I know, I know you hate us at Fox. But please take a look in a mirror, and fast. You think we're the skunk at your picnic. But that doesn't mean we're the ones that stink. Because that smell isn't coming from the folks reporting on your law. Mr. President, that smell is your law.