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Monday, February 20, 2017

Dragon Slayer



Recently I've been drawing Chinese dragons with my second grade students and Western influenced dragons with fifth graders and it reminded me of "the serpent of old" as pictured in this painting, St. George Slaying the Dragon.  I returned to this blog post that I wrote a while ago. I think it is was pertinent then and applies to now also. I'd love to hear what you think.

The clouds are gathering. Everything is falling into place. The storm is brewing. It will unleash terrible whoas  upon the earth. Yet do not fear my little ones. If you are My children, I will hide you in the cleft of My Hand. I will be your rock and fortress.
Do not worry about the impending storm, but neither ignore the signs of My great coming. Great evil is gathering its troops. Do not be ignorant of the cause of these terrible whoas. It is the face of Satan himself who wants to destroy life, especially Christians. 

Yet have I not told you greater things were yet to come. If you are imbued with power on high, greater works will you do. Miracles will abound as the end times draw near. However, do not overly concern yourself with these either. 

Let me make you into a vessel. One who can be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. I can only fill you up to the degree that you surrender to Me. The flesh screams to have its way, but you must not succumb. This is the most important work to be done in your life: surrender to Me. Then obey.

As you walk in loving obedience, you will be filled with My Holy Spirit and conquer the evil crashing down all around you and on this nation. Evil times call for greater light and thereby further obedience. Step out of the shadows of Morder and into the light of obedience. Slay the dragons within for there are many more approaching on the earth.
How can you sleigh dragons when you are empty handed? Take up what I have already given you--My Word, My Holy Spirit, and most importantly My Son, who is a representative of My forgiveness, grace and love. Enter the battle armed and dangerous.


I do not call you merely to sit by and let evil overtake the land. I call you to enter the fray, in the cleft of My Hand. Take up your weapons, with the Sword of the Spirit in your right hand and the fruits of the Sprit in the other. Let love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, and self control thrive within your soul.

Allow Me to aide you in destroying the enemy inside, the flesh, and then you will become a sharpened instrument in My hand. Thus I will call you to battle the enemy of the whole human race, the serpent of old.  I make each and every disciple, who has been disciplined by My Hand, a dragon slayer.

Monday, February 13, 2017

True Love and Valentine's Day



February is considered the month for love as Valentine's Day falls right in the middle of it. While articles abound on the existence of the monk who may have secretly married couples when it was outlawed, this one will look at the inner workings of love. Christians in America are failing miserably at understanding what true love is all about as more than 50 percent of these marriages wind up in divorce, higher than the secular statistics. Why?
Fundamentally, Christians have bought into the idea that marriage is all about personal fulfillment, but that's not what "true love" is really all about.  Let's  look at what the Bible teaches us about love. The most famous scripture comes from the letter to the Corinthians who had confused the idea of love to include not only sexual promiscuity, but depravity. In order to clear up their misunderstanding, the apostle Paul wrote what is perhaps considered the greatest treatise on true love. 

In  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 he states:  "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. " What a statement! Certainly no human being can reach this kind of perfect, godly love. True. It can only be accomplished by knowing Him. 

But is this agape love achievable or even advisable in marriage? Certainly we don't want to be doormats to our mates, nor unattractive to them. While Eros, or sexual love is indeed part of marriage and God ordained, it's not enough to sustain a marriage for the long haul. If marriages are to survive, this kind of unselfish love needs to be the basis or foundation. The only way one can achieve this "agape" love is from God. He is the one who reaches out in perfect love to us and brings us into the Kingdom of Love, where He dwells. It is only in having a deep, meaningful relationship with God that we can live out this kind of unconditional love with our partners: being kind when we want to retaliate, not dishonoring our spouses, nor seeking our own happiness above our mates or not getting irritated by the many annoying things they may do. Indeed a high calling, but one we can achieve as we draw the water of life from the source: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

But as the woman at the well said to Jesus, " Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?" (John 4:11).  The first step is getting to know God and His love. Accept the gift of His love. Then learn about God and from His Word, which will give you a deeper understanding of who God is and His love. Prayer and daily time with the God of these vast resources of love will fill your well so that you can draw on this living water when needed. Only a marriage that utilizes these resources from above will attain the true purpose God has for your marriage and your life. And that is the purest kind of true love.

Friday, February 3, 2017

A Strong Intent: Author Interview


 http://a.co/7rpkR4P http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intent-krista-wagner/1120255539?ean=9780692281499

I'd like to introduce my readers to author Krista Wagner and her first novel, Intent.

Krista, can you give us a brief summary of your book. When a bored fast food worker loses her parents she finds comfort in an old high school crush, but when people start to die and her former nemesis shows up, she starts to question who she can trust.
What elements of mystery and suspense does the book revolve around? The mysterious deaths of people close to Raylee, the unpredictable behavior of Billy, her high school crush, and the suspicious conduct of her former nemesis, Crystal.

What is the character of your heroine? Raylee Johnson is a bored twenty-one year old who feels like her life is going nowhere. She wants something to happen, anything! She puts almost all of her trust in her high school crush who returns to town after four years.
How long did it take to write the book? I wrote the screenplay version first. Since I already had a basic template, the novel took me two weeks to “fill in”. I completed the narrative on a cross-country road trip. 

Why did you write the screenplay version first? I wrote the screenplay for the final class of my MFA degree. We had to write a full length script within one month. I had never done anything like it before, so it was very challenging working with a lot of "white space" and having to focus on dialogue and action rather than narrative and interior monologue. My thesis was based on the script, the novel itself. 
What is the takeaway that you want your readers to have?
To pay careful attention to their instincts when there’s doubt, to place their trust in God first, and to hold fast to endurance.

An exciting excerpt from the book: 

“She paused at the driver's door of her yellow Honda. The wet keys slipped out of her hands and struck the ground just as a splinter of lightning tore apart the sky. Raylee shook as she picked up the keys and fumbled with the door lock. 
            She just caught the sound of a whispery rustling nearby, but the darkness made it practically impossible to see. There was something about the dark that typically left her unsettled. Not being able to see clearly sent disturbing thoughts through her head. She had felt this way as far back as she could remember. As a child, she used to dread dangling her arms or legs over the side of the bed, believing that sharp teeth would clamp down on them. Or sometimes she’d been quite certain that the monster would fly out of the closet and throw itself upon her bed, trapping her.
            Another shot of lightning hit and illuminated some kind of blurred movement about 10 feet away, between the dumpster and a car parked next to it. Raylee froze. Something felt really wrong. A dim light pole stood next to the sidewalk, adjacent to the dumpster. It towered several feet over the parking lot like a foreboding giant. The whispering grew slightly louder and sounded like it came from the blurry dark behind the dumpster.
Raylee had no intention of playing inspector. She’d seen enough scary movies to know how these things turned out. Nevertheless, she found herself mesmerized. She strained to see through the darkness and the sheets of rain to get a glimpse of what she thought might be there. If she could just figure out what it was, she would feel a little better”.
 Link to purchase Intent
Author's Bio
Krista Wagner is a 70's product of Southern California who lives with her Marine Corp veteran husband, three very entertaining children, and an indispensable faith in Christ. She graduated from National University with an MFA in Creative Writing. Her debut novel Intent, a spiritual dramatic thriller, was published in 2014.
Her psychological thriller, Rian Field, The Gold, a middle-grade fantasy, and her YA
realistic issue-driven novel, Indigo, were published in 2016. She has been an English
Instructor since 2008. She enjoys suspenseful films, reading the Bible, and spending
time with her family.

Links to purchase 
The Gold
Indigo
Rian Field

Saturday, January 21, 2017

On Hearing God's Voice


When you come to the end of yourself and see how much you need God, you may begin the journey of knowing Him. As in any relationship, if you want it to grow, you need to spend time both talking and listening to God. Be transparent with Him, for He knows you heart already.

If pride is at the core of your being, along with rebellion, He will search it out. Jesus had little tolerance for the pride of the Pharisees nor ours. He does not speak to a heart full of self, unless to bring it into the light and hopefully cause a desire for repentance.

A contrite or humble heart is necessary to cultivate a relationship with God, and to hear His voice clearly, though at times He will even use the ungodly to speak His truth. He used a donkey to speak to Balaam when he was about to curse Israel.

God can speak to whomever and through whom He chooses, but a soft heart will hear His voice more frequently as he or she pursues knowing God. Yet God does not speak in the same way to all His children. He may come softly or boldly depending on the message and the personality, if He so chooses.

There are many competing voices out there and God will not vie with them.He silences them all. How then does he speak to you? His voice is often accompanied by the quickening of the Holy Spirit so that you can discern it is Him.He often uses the Holy Spirit to speak to you about the truth of scripture. This is one way He speaks to us, but what does He say?

He affirms His Word and His promises. He gives direction and clarity on important issues. He gives encouragement. At times, He rebukes or admonishes when necessary to cause a turning around to the truth. He can assure you of a decision you are trying to make or have made. He can show you if it is His will or not. He may call you into full time ministry, or into a particular service. He can speak to individuals, an assembly or the church.

God's voice can come to you in various ways. It can whisper into your heat, awaken your mind to see truth or sound a clarion call to the church. It can rise up in you in such a way that it can't be suppressed, as in a prophecy or it can be like a bubbling brook or flowing stream.

In the matter of discerning God's voice from all others, pray for wisdom. Know He will never contradict His Word, but can expand on it as it aligns with His truth.His words will affirm scripture, though they may contradict the world's way of thinking.

The Holy spirit and the expressed word of God work hand in hand with each other.Their hands are on the plow and they desire to break up the clogs in your life, in others, in the church, the nation and in the world.Never turn away from a word God has given you, but keep plowing. Move ahead, following Him, the Word of God and His word to you.

Always pray for wisdom and be on the alert for false doctrine. He will teach you how to discern the voice of truth if you take the time and are willing to learn. Develop an intimate relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.These are merely some thoughts on hearing from God, but never put God's way of working in your life into a formula. Stand by His principles and listen.
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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Learning Scripture the Visual Way

I can't think of a better New Year's resolution than to embark on the adventure of learning Bible verses in a new and dynamic way! Being an art teacher myself, I know that more and more people are learning through pictures. Here is an exciting new program for using pictures for Bible memory. The author, Amy Levis, created this new program and is here to tell us a little about it.

 What inpsired you to create this whole new system for learning Bible verses?

The inspiration for the Visual Bible Memory (VBM) books was a desire to learn Scripture myself. I've always had a difficult time memorizing and started to ask myself questions. Why was it so difficult for me to memorize? I discovered that connecting the Scripture to myself by using visuals improved my memorization of it. In fact, it became quite easy. I think that people do try to create a picture in their mind and try to connect it to themselves in order to memorize. The act of writing down the Scripture, drawing it, and drawing the text of the Book, Chapter, and Verse within the picture helped me to memorize it.  The process takes some time, but is extremely valuable!! The Holy Bible, God's words, change us from the inside out and lead us into a closer walk with our God. God's words are also our only weapon against evil.

The Visual Bible Memory (VBM) book one has three different levels. Book one green level has 13 verses to memorize; Book one orange level has 30 verses; and Book one purple level has 46 verses to memorize. If you have never memorized Scripture before, you may want to choose book one to start. Each book level is meant to carry you through one year. I usually think of school year, September through May or June, but you can take as long as you need. You will write Scripture and draw how it connects to you. Scripture memorization is not a race, but your journey with God. It's important to begin wherever you are in this process and wherever that is, it is good! Our journey with Him is for life. Thank you God, for our journey with You and for You. May You bless our endeavors and open new adventures for us through Your Word this coming year. AMEN.

About the Author
Amy grew up in a small town in Upstate New York, which was only a few hours from the beautiful Catskill Mountains. She spent her childhood fascinated by art and was involved in many projects. She is currently an elementary educator who brings her creative flair into all of her teaching environments. When asked about what she feels is her most creative endeavor she said, "The Visual Bible Memory books are the culmination of my creativity. This is what I was meant to do, share God's words with others and share what I've discovered. It can't get any better than this!"  She currently resides in Kingston, N.Y. with her family and pets.

For additional information, please go to www.amyllevis.com to view and order books. Check out the new book for learning vocabulary words debuting in the spring of 2017!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I AM Calling Devotion Offer

In this increasingly stressful and busy life there is an ocean of calm and wisdom waiting for you in the readings from I AM Calling. Would you like to receive a daily short inspiration during the month of January from this devotional? If so, just respond yes to this post along with your e-mail and you will be added to the list. I AM Calling is a lifeline of hope for the discouraged and a call to experience God more fully for you. The daily readings provide a word of encouragement and inspiration from the heart of God to you and have the potential to transform a discouraged heart into a vibrant one. This is a totally free offer with no obligation to buy anything. If you do sign up and decide to buy the book in February, you will receive a discount. I hope to hear from you soon so you won't miss your fist word from God's heart to yours.
Here is the first one to start of the year:

1.The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind” (Luke 4:18).
           
A new year is upon you. Light has dawned and a warm wind of the Spirit is blowing. It is a gentle breeze, so you must stop to feel it. It is a year of reprieve and favor from the Lord. It is the Word My Son proclaimed, “The acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:2). Enter into His favor and do the works My Son did. Not by might or by your own power, but by My Spirit you will be able to perform them. Let the Spirit breath upon you and quicken your mortal body and give you vision. Let Him set you free from the things that have tripped you up all your life, roadblocks like worry, fear, bitterness, indecision and lack of revelation. “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint” (Prov. 29:18), but this doesn’t need to be your story. I am sending you My Holy Spirit.  He will give you insight, wisdom and the strength to do My will.

 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

"I AM Calling" you to Me

For a number of years I've been writing down  some insights and 'Words from the Lord" based on scripture. They've been complied into a daily devotion " I AM Calling" which will be available t soon. Here are a few samples I hope encourage and minister to you.



  "Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

            I AM faithful. I will work in your life to the degree that you allow Me. It is My desire that you mature in spiritual matters as well as practical matters of living. Trusting Me is the most practical thing you can do. It releases faith and allows blessings to flow.
            I AM involved in the small details of your life as well as the big picture. I know all about you, your strengths and weaknesses and I use them both. I do not leave things undone. Unlike humanity, I finish the projects I begin. I began a work in you and it is I who will see it through. You need only cooperate because I do not trespass your will unless you give me permission.
            Be confident in this and do not doubt when the storm clouds roll in, for they will indeed bring rain. Yet rain causes living things to grow both in the natural and the spiritual. Look forward to your day of completion and be assured of its coming.




“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
           
            I provide all the grace you need. What is grace? My unmerited favor. You don’t earn it, but you can receive it, if you want. My grace abounds, that is it runs over freely. My grace will do a work in you. It will give you strength when you feel weak. It will give you courage when you feel fearful. It will give you hope when you feel hopeless. My grace will provide everything you need for every good work. Thank about that. Every good work, that’s a lot of works. You will not only have enough, but abundance. That’s how grace operates—abundantly. Once my grace is utilized, it keeps streaming like a gurgling brook. It’s full of life. It is thirst quenching and purifying. It cleanses the spirit and the soul. But only you can appropriate grace and take advantage of it. Angels and demons don’t need grace, human beings do. Are you ready for it? Then simply ask.
 

"Your command is exceedingly broad" (Psalm 119:98).         

            The Psalmist knew that My commandments are not burdensome. They are a lamp to your feet and they light your way in a dark world. My commands keep you on the best path. I know what is best for you because I made you. Contrary to what people believe, My way leads you into a broad place. Though the gate is narrow that leads to life, once you pass though it, it leads to a broad plain.
            My commandments show you how to come into a  place of mercy, kindness, goodness, forgiveness and love. Love is the broadest place you can live in and abide. But the problem today is that people misinterpret what true love is. That is why there are so many broken hearts and broken children today. My love is agape, unconditional love. Your love is limited and narrow. My love is broad and freeing. You can only know real freedom though My Son, Jesus Christ. All else in counterfeit.

 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

            Man’s nature is rebellious. It is the first sin of Adam to rebel against my plans and then blame another. I have given you much freedom, but many of you trample that freedom and bring yourselves into bondage. I have given you My commandments to walk in and abide by. They bring your rebellious nature under My authority. They reveal man’s need for Me in order to keep them. They show man what I consider to be just. The burden of My commands is light in comparison to the burden of sin. Sin weighs you down and ultimately leads to death. My appointed path brings peace and life. It will usher you into My presence. It will bring unending joy and a glorious eternal reward.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, which will be ready in late December or early January, you can PREORDER for  $12.99, which is four dollars off list price plus $3 shipping  price. Either leave a comment or e-mail me @ anitawriter7@ yahoo.com and I will give you the details.