Saturday, July 30, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Looking Out the Window: Linore Rose Burkard Discusses Twenty Promises for Your Life in Psalm Ninety-One
Psalm 91 has long been one of my favorite portions of Scripture and this morning I was reminded why. Did you know that tucked inside the 16 verses of this Psalm are no less than 20 promises?
There are nineteen instances of what God WILL do for the believer, and one "I WILL" on the part of the believer. That makes 20 promises. Nineteen for us to receive and one for us to do. I'd say that's a generous ratio!
Let's take a closer look:
1. Whoever lives under the shelter of the Most High WILL remain in the shadow of the Almighty. (vs.1)
(I will be protected by God's sheltering "shadow".)
2. I WILL say of the LORD, You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.(vs.2)
(God is a refuge, a place of rest and peace and I can trust Him--and tell this to world.)
3. He is the one who WILL rescue you from hunters' traps and from the deadly plagues.(vs.3)
(If someone tries to trip me up, God has my back. If danger surrounds me, even death-traps, God will rescue me.)
4. He WILL cover you with his feathers,
(like a mother hen covering her chicks)
5. and under his wings you WILL find refuge. His truth is your shield and armor.(vs.4)
(He will keep me safe from harm; He shields me from dangers I don't even know exist.)
6. You do not need to fear terrors of the night, arrows that fly during the day,
plagues that roam the dark, epidemics that strike at noon. They WILL not come near you...(vs.6-7)
(Wow! I can't even add to these!)
7. No harm WILL come to you.(vs.10)
(No ultimate harm--I can't lose my place in the kingdom!)
8. No sickness WILL come near your house. (vs.10)
(Have you stood firm on this promise? It's good to remember this in winter!)
9. He WILL put his angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways.(vs.11)
10. They WILL carry you in their hands so that you never hit your foot against a rock.(vs.12)
(Perhaps they already have. Nothing to say we'll realize when it's happening!)
11. You WILL step on lions and cobras.(vs.13)
(How cool is that? Get thee behind me, Satan!)
12. You WILL trample young lions and snakes.(vs.13)
(In Jesus' Name)
13. Because you love me, I WILL rescue you.(vs.14)
(I can depend on the LORD.)
14. I WILL protect you because you know my name. (vs.14)
(Another instance of sheltering by the Almighty on my behalf.)
15. When you call to me, I WILL answer you.(vs.15)
(I never pray in vain.)
16. I WILL be with you when you are in trouble. (vs.15)
(I never face things alone.)
17. I WILL save you and honor you.(vs.15)
(No matter what, through thick and thin, and when others don't.)
18. I WILL satisfy you with a long life. (vs.16)
(I don't worry about dying--even if my earthly tent should fade, my "long life" goes on and on.)
19. I WILL show you (vs.16)
(God speaks to me)
20. How I WILL save you. (vs.16)
(and reassures me!)
Wasn't that fun? This is an amazing Psalm. What promises are speaking to you today?
What promises do you want to remember? Write them down somewhere now.
For all the promises of God in Christ are yea and Amen!" (2 Cor.1:20)
I will probably always continue to turn to the 91st Psalm as I have since I became a Christian.
I love to recite this Psalm if I have a sleepless night, for instance. What about you?
Do you love this Psalm? Do you have another favorite from the Psalms? Share your thoughts with us. Gail will choose one commenter to get my short story "Coach and Four: Allisandra's Tale" for free, via email.
Join my mailing list to receive TWO chances to win one of my regency romances for free! You'll also get my monthly illustrated ezine, "Reflections" with its own free download once you join.
LINORE'S BIO, SHORT STORY AND BOOKS
Linore Rose Burkard was born and raised in New York City, where she attended the City University of New York (Queens College), earning a magna cum laude degree in English Literature. Ms. Burkard now lives in Ohio with her husband and five children. She homeschooled her children for ten years, is an avid fan of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, and delights in bringing the Regency alive for readers with light-hearted adventure, faith and romance.
COACH AND FOUR
THE HOUSE IN GROSVENOR SQUARE--IRCC AWARD WINNER!
THE COUNTRY HOUSE COURTSHIP
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
MEET JENNIFER AND ASHE SLATTERY
Parenting on Your Knees
This year our daughter starts high school. This is the age when kids either flop or flourish. They either self-destruct or blossom. Quite honestly, a great deal of the parenting’s already been done. More and more, I spend less time telling my daughter how to view the world. Most often, I listen as she tries to figure out how her views fit in with the world. Basically, her core values are set, although luckily, she’s turned into a very strong and committed Christian.
I say luckily, yet luck had nothing to do with it. When she was young, I dreaded the teen years. We’ve all seen teens raised by wonderful parent spiral into self-destruction. We’ve watched relationships shatter and once sweet and cooperative children turn into angry, rebellious teens. But one thing I learned very early on—whatever battle we faced, whatever discipline problem we wanted to curb, whatever fear we felt, God had a solution. The trick, then, was to take the time to listen for His guidance.
One verse brought me great comfort then and has proven true now. Isaiah 40:11 says, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.”
I realized, if I wanted to be a successful parent, I needed to learn to pray—frequently, fervently and diligently. Only God truly knows the heart of my child. Only God knows His plans for her future. My job, then, is to figure out what He’s doing and cooperate!
After a recent interview on young adult author, K Dawn’s blog, many said, “You must be proud!” I’m not sure if proud is quite the term. I think what we feel most is grateful. Over a decade ago, as I knelt by her bed in prayer, I clung to those words in Isaiah and let God take the lead. Over the years, He’s proven faithful to His promise and I’ve learned, a moment is never lost when spent on your knees. Quite the opposite, really!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
WELCOME AGATHA CHRISTIE AWARD NOMINEE
Searching for the Blue Danube
If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:9-10
There’s nothing quite as terrifying as being lost by yourself in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. This has happened to me more than once. The most memorable time was when I was twenty-five, and I got this ridiculous notion in my head that I should travel to Budapest, Hungary alone. I was already in Eastern Europe visiting a friend, and my friend had to work the day of my Hungarian adventure. I didn’t want to waste one minute in Europe by sitting around her apartment when a whole continent was right outside the window.
I took the train from Bratislava to Budapest without incident. I felt confident I knew where I was going. I had a map and a travel guide—what could possibly go wrong? I figured I’d find the Danube River and would be able to follow it on foot to the Castle Hill district where the museums and other tourists would be.
Outside of the train station, I started walking, and I walked, and I walked, and I walked. I got farther and farther away from the train station and no closer to the river. After walking for a half hour and finding myself not in Castle Hill but in some type of industrial neighborhood, I realized I’d taken a wrong turn somewhere, and knowing my sense of direction, it was the first turn out of the station door.
With limited options, I walked toward the only establishment I recognized. It was a Burger King sitting catty-corner from me in between several huge office buildings. It’s amazing how pervasive American culture can be so soothing overseas.
A Hungarian teenager was working at the counter. I asked her in English if she knew where the Danube River was. She replied in Hungarian. I shook my head that I didn’t understand her. She shook her head back that she didn’t understand me either.
The young girl behind the counter was crestfallen that she could not help me. “French fries?” she asked.
Without knowing what else to do, I nodded. “Yes, French fries.” I paid her and took my small fry to a window booth and ate them while mulling over my dilemma. Obviously, trying to navigate the city on foot had been a bad idea.
After finishing my fries, I retraced my steps back to the train station and found a taxi that drove me to Castle Hill for an exorbitant amount of money.
I was never lost to the point of no return while wandering around the city, but at the time, it felt that way. I should have remembered that God was watching over me through the whole ordeal. It’s something I constantly have to remind myself as expected and unexpected challenges and disappointments pop up in my life. God’s presence doesn’t mean those challenges and disappointments will get any easier, but there is someone to turn to if you are alone and frightened.
In Maid of Murder, India Hayes, a college librarian and reluctant bridesmaid, is thrown into the role of amateur sleuth as she hunts down the person who murdered her childhood friend and framed her brother for the crime.
When bride-to-be Olivia turns up dead in the Martin College fountain and the evidence points to India’s brother Mark, India must unmask the real culprit while juggling a furious Mother of the Bride, an annoying Maid of Honor, a set of hippie-generation parents, a police detective who is showing a marked liking for her, and a provost itching to fire someone, anyone—maybe even a smart-mouthed librarian.
Amanda Flower, cozy mystery author of Agatha Award-nominated Maid of Murder, is an avid traveler. She has visited seventeen countries, forty-eight U.S. states, and counting. She is a member of the Clash of the Titles staff. Learn more at http://www.amandaflower.com/
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Protection in Dangerous Times
Psalm 91: 1-2
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust !"
The 1940s, the time-period BURNING HEARTS is set in, were dangerous times. World War II had ended and the Cold War and a great global arms race was beginning. Today we're living in dangerous times, an era of global terrorism.
We all have a desire to protect those we love. We face this every time we, or someone we love, goes off to work in the morning. Our streets today are not as safe as they once were. It's a reality for us when our children go off to school, or our teens get into a car with their friends.
Yet, we have an all-powerful and loving God, who's desire for us is the best, not the worst. He is our refuge and our fortress. In Him we shall trust.
But this doesn't make God into a Santa Claus up in the sky to whom we shoot off a wish list of prayers, not the least of which are prayers for protection. We are to abide with Him. That means we are to live in His love for us, to walk with Him and have a glorious type of peace in our lives. This is our fortress.
Out of this, we model our love for our family and other relationships and the walk through life we have with them. Can something bad happen to us and to our loved ones? Yes, it can. Sorry. But even in the midst of bad stuff, we have His love, His grace, and we can have a peace that passes all understanding.
There is a terrific way to pray the 91st Psalm for protection and it can be applied to nearly any portion of the Bible by personalizing it to ourselves, loved ones and friends…We who live and walk in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. We will say to the LORD, You are our refuge and our fortress. You are our God in whom we trust. Amen.
READ ABOUT NIKE'S NEW BOOK, BURNING HEARTS (arson/murder, action, and romance in equal measure)
Can a sheltered young seamstress, disillusioned by the horrors of WWII, escape an arsonist/murderer who has killed her employer and mentor, while trying to decide if she can trust the dashing war hero who’s ridden into town on his Harley—who some say is the murderer?
Erica Brogna’s parents doted on her and taught her to think for herself. Many boys she grew up with have fallen in the war, shaking her childhood faith. In rides a handsome stranger, at the hour of her most desperate need. A woman who is her best friend and mentor is trapped in a burning house. After making an unsuccessful rescue attempt, Erica stands by as this man rushes into the inferno and carries her friend’s lifeless body out.
Lorne Kincade can’t out run his past on his Harley Davidson WLA, the civilian model of the motorcycle he rode in the war. He’s tried. He’s been a vagabond biker in the year since the war ended. His Uncle Ivar bequeathed him a ramshackle cottage in Sanctuary Point, on the Great South Bay of Long Island, NY and now he’d like to hope for a future again, repair the miniscule place, and settle down. The only problem is, a young woman with hair the color of mink is starting to get under his skin and that’s the last thing he needs.
Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes monthly book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. BURNING HEARTS is the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, published by Desert Breeze.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
MAY WE ALWAYS BE FREE
MAY WE ALWAYS WORSHIP
AS WE PLESE
WHEN WE PLEASE
AND WHERE WE PLEASE
MAY WE ALWAYS
HAVE THE RIGHT TO SUCCEED
WITHOUT INTERFERENCE OF
MAY WE ALWAYS
RESPECT OUR FLAG
MAY WE HONOR THOSE
WHO DIED OR SUFFERED
TO KEEP US FREE