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1

Star Song by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Posted by Julie on December 15, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

From Julie:

This is an excerpt from Katheryn Maddox Haddad’s Star Song, Book 1 of her 8-book series “THEY MET JESUS”. Look for places where you can “talk” to the characters.

 

Star Song by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

“Mary…” Gabriel grows more serious. “Mary, you are a very favored lady, for the Lord is with you and has decided to wonderfully bless you in a special way.”

Silence. What is he talking about?

He continues.

“Very soon now, you will become pregnant and have a baby boy.”

“Well, very soon now I will be married. But a boy? How can you know that?” she responds, momentarily forgetting her fear.

Gabriel reassures her. “Remember, Mary, I’m an angel. God has told me everything. Furthermore, you are to call your baby Jesus.”

“Jesus? But my husband will be Joseph. I plan to name my first son Joseph.”

Gabriel continues as though she has not responded. “He shall be very great and shall be called the Son of God.”

The words grab hold of her heart and will not let go. Son of God…of God…of God…

Mary’s mouth opens, but in speechlessness. She does not understand.

Oh, Mary. Listen to what he says. Really and truly listen.

The angel continues. “He shall govern this nation forever; his kingship shall never end!”

His words echo through her mind and are trapped there in a confused abyss. She sits on a bench by the wall, her trembling hands grasping its edges.

“The child will not belong to Joseph. You will become pregnant miraculously before you are married. Remember the prophet Isaiah saying a virgin will bear the Son of God?”

Indeed, Mary does remember. Her father had been talking about it just the day before.

Gabriel continues. “And when I said his nation would never end, I was quoting from the prophet Daniel. Daniel even predicted exactly when he would be born. His birth year, Mary, is next year. Do you have a scripture scroll? I will show you.”

Mary, he’s offering you proof now. He’s helping you believe.

He quotes from Daniel.  “Pay attention! It will be 49 years—that’s seven weeks’ times seven days in a week—plus 434 years from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the crowned One comes!’”

“That’s a total of 483 years,” he explains. “Mary, it has been 452 years since our capital city was rebuilt. The descendant of David is due to be born next year and become priest-king when all priests are eligible—at age 30. That will be the 483rd year.”

Grasp what he’s telling you, Mary. Can you do it?

Mary tries with all her heart to believe him.

He has proven himself with scripture, with the Word of God. The final proof is yet to be given.

“But I’m a virgin. How can I have the baby? How can I conceive?”

Okay, Mary. Can you handle it? Can you comprehend what he’s about to tell you? Try, Mary. Really try. Don’t let the moment slip by, Mary. It’s. dynamic. It’s spiritual.

Gabriel remains seated and smiling. He stands now, and walks slowly toward Mary, then kneels in front of her so he can look into her eyes. Full of excitement, he whispers as though telling a special secret.

“The Holy Spirit shall come upon you!”

“The Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit helped David write his psalms.” Then, thoughtfully, she adds, “He does other things too?”

Gabriel’s exhilaration swells. His words trip over each other in excitement.

“Mary, the power of God will overshadow you.”

Come on, Mary. You’re almost there. Don’t stop now.

“Therefore,” Gabriel continues, “the baby born to you will be thoroughly celestial.”

“Celestial?” she manages to say.

What is happening?

Hang on to your seat, now, Mary. Here comes the rest of it. You didn’t get it when he told you before. Grasp it now.

“Your baby will…your baby, Mary, will be the Son of God!”

That’s it. That’s the final thing you’ve got to believe. Do you believe it, Mary? Can you? Try hard, Mary.

Divine truth descends to her mind. Dazzles her soul. Ignites her spirit. “I want to believe you. Somehow I do believe.”

Day dawns in the mind, soul and spirit of Mary. And of Mankind.

 

…. Yes. It is night. But Satan has been silenced. Now it is indeed silent night. Indeed, holy night. The dawn comes. And with it all that is calm and all that is bright.

Katheryn Haddad was born in the cold north, but now lives in Arizona where she does not have to shovel sunshine. She enjoys hot weather, palm trees and cacti in her yard, and a computer with the letters worn off.
With a bachelor’s degree in English, Bible and social science from Harding University and part of a master’s degree in Bible, including Greek, from the Harding Graduate School of Theology, she also has a master’s degree in management and human relations from Abilene University.
Her newspaper column appeared for several years in newspapers in Texas and North Carolina ~ Little Known Facts About the Bible ~ and she has written for numerous Christian publications.
Currently she teaches English over the internet every morning, using the Bible as a text book. Most of her students are Muslims. She has taught some 6000 thus far, and has former students, now Christians, in hiding in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Jordan, Uzbekistan, and Palestine. “They are my heroes” she declares.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers of the West, and is also an energetic public speaker who can touch the heart of audiences.

Website: http://inspirationsbykatheryn.com

To purchase STAR SONG, purchase HERE.

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7

She Said “Yes” by Jodie Wolfe

Posted by Julie on December 7, 2015 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Jodie Wolfe shares Mary’s story with She Said “Yes.”

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1

A Merry Christmas Message: Even in the Fog

Posted by Julie on December 25, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Ah, Sunday. It’s a day to relax. Enjoy your family. For me, I also worship and fellowship at my local church even though my faith is a daily part of my life. Here, I also share my own amateur nature photo and a thought or two on God’s love for you.

December is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Sleigh rides, hot cocoa, beautiful Christmas lights, and caroling.

Okay, maybe it’s more like the cat climbing the tree. Christmas concerts where it’s one rendition of Jingle Bells on third grade recorders after another. Kids with the gimmes.

Stressful, right?

Well there is a bigger population where December is bleak. They spend the month in a daze, trying to put one foot in front of another. It might be the first Christmas without a loved one. Relationships aren’t always at their peek in December. Couples break up. Marriages crumble. Parents still get the call in the middle of the night that their kids are in jail.  Sadly, suicide rates rise this time of the year.

If your December feels more like a fog than a celebration, please know you aren’t forgotten. There was a baby born over 2,000 years ago in a season of chaos and strife. The parents-to-be worried about provision and safety. When it was time to deliver, the most precious gift a person can experience came into the world in a barn. He wasn’t surrounded by nurses and calming music. He was greeted with a chorus of animals and the scent of their dung.

Thing is, the baby delivered under such bleak appearing circumstances chose that entrance because He came to deliver…You.

His love for you is that great, and whatever fog you’re trying to conquer, is not a cosmic joke at your expense. It’s that broken place where you, if you allow it, can not just survive, but thrive.

My hope is that you receive that gift.

And please know how loved you are, and your visiting this post today was not an accident.

Not even in the fog.

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1

12 Pearls of Christmas—Shellie Tomlinson’s Let the Baby Grow Up This Christmas

Posted by Julie on December 19, 2011 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

Enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from some of today’s most beloved writer’s (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

AND just for fun … there’s also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 – 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

Let The Baby Grow Up This Christmas

By Shellie Tomlinson

When I was a little girl, Christmas seemed to take forever to make its way back to our little house on the end of a dirt road called Bull Run in northeast Louisiana. We kids started counting down the days before the leaves ever began turning. Sure, the adults said it came once a year but I wasn’t so sure. Once Santa Claus left our humble abode it seemed like light years before he found his way back to the Delta.

That was a child’s perspective. I imagine it hasn’t changed all that much for today’s kids. On the other hand, I’m operating under a completely different time frame these days. It seems like it was just yesterday when I pulled the boxes down from the attic and began pulling out the nativity scene, the miniature lights, and the keepsake ornaments. And now, just that fast– Christmas Day is right around the corner. Soon the tree will be striped naked and the piled up presents will all be distributed. After a few more day it’ll be hard to remember who got what from whom, and once again, I’ll start packing all the decorations away for another year.

I was thinking about how bare and cold the house always looks after the holidays when I realized that, sadly, this  scene would play itself out in many hearts as well. A lot of people will have had expectations that weren’t filled and many of those same souls will be left with hurts that don’t seem to heal. Unless this year is remarkably different from past seasons, my bet is, the New Year will bring magazines full of articles on combating depression and the talk shows will have experts on offering ways to fill the long days ahead and cure the winter blues.

I’m no expert, dear readers, but I’d like to offer you a suggestion that will go far beyond the creature comforts of a nice warm bath or a delicious bowl of hot soup. Your heart doesn’t have to be bare and naked after the holidays. Do you want to know the real secret? It’s simple, really. Don’t pack up Christ with Christmas! As beautiful and special as the Christmas story is, it’s only a part of heaven’s miracle. The Christ child grew into a man and the man became a Savior.

This year, may we be determined to let the babe from Bethlehem live on in our hearts. If we’ll allow Him to become the Messiah He was born to be, the joy of Christmas can be ours all year long.

***

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is an author, speaker, and radio host from Louisiana. Her latest release Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy was endorsed by Jeff Foxworthy as “laugh out loud funny!” You can find Shellie’s weekly southern features, podcasts, video chats and more at http://www.allthingssouthern.com/ Make sure to get by the blog  and read about the Super Christmas Giveaway Shellie is hosting for her readers and secure your chance to win a Mort Kunstler print valued between $700 and $1400. www.allthingssouthern.com

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0

Sabbath Sunday: Even in the Fog

Posted by Julie on December 18, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Nature, Sabbath Sunday, surrender |

Ah, Sunday. It’s a day to relax. Enjoy your family. For me, I also worship and fellowship at my local church even though my faith is a daily part of my life. Here, I also share my own amateur nature photo and a thought or two on God’s love for you.

December is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Sleigh rides, hot cocoa, beautiful Christmas lights, and caroling.

Okay, maybe it’s more like the cat climbing the tree. Christmas concerts where it’s one rendition of Jingle Bells on third grade recorders after another. Kids with the gimmes.

Stressful, right?

Well there is a bigger population where December is bleak. They spend the month in a daze, trying to put one foot in front of another. It might be the first Christmas without a loved one. Relationships aren’t always at their peek in December. Couples break up. Marriages crumble. Parents still get the call in the middle of the night that their kids are in jail.  Sadly, suicide rates rise this time of the year.

If your December feels more like a fog than a celebration, please know you aren’t forgotten. There was a baby born over 2,000 years ago in a season of chaos and strife. The parents-to-be worried about provision and safety. When it was time to deliver, the most precious gift a person can experience came into the world in a barn. He wasn’t surrounded by nurses and calming music. He was greeted with a chorus of animals and the scent of their dung.

Thing is, the baby delivered under such bleak appearing circumstances chose that entrance because He came to deliver…You.

His love for you is that great, and whatever fog you’re trying to conquer, is not a cosmic joke at your expense. It’s that broken place where you, if you allow it, can not just survive, but thrive.

My hope is that you receive that gift.

And please know how loved you are, and your visiting this post today was not an accident.

Not even in the fog.

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0

Sabbath Sunday: Not Even in the Fog

Ah, Sunday. It’s a day to relax. Enjoy your family. For me, I also worship and fellowship at my local church even though my faith is a daily part of my life. Here, I also share my own amateur nature photo and a thought or two on God’s love for you.

December is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Sleigh rides, hot cocoa, beautiful Christmas lights, and caroling.

Okay, maybe it’s more like the cat climbing the tree. Christmas concerts where it’s one rendition of Jingle Bells on third grade recorders after another. Kids with the gimmes.

Stressful, right?

Well there is a bigger population where December is bleak. They spend the month in a daze, trying to put one foot in front of another. It might be the first Christmas without a loved one. Relationships aren’t always at their peek in December. Couples break up. Marriages crumble. Parents still get the call in the middle of the night that their kids are in jail.  Sadly, suicide rates rise this time of the year.

If your December feels more like a fog than a celebration, please know you aren’t forgotten. There was a baby born over 2,000 years ago in a season of chaos and strife. The parents-to-be worried about provision and safety. When it was time to deliver, the most precious gift a person can experience came into the world in a barn. He wasn’t surrounded by nurses and calming music. He was greeted with a chorus of animals and the scent of their dung.

Thing is, the baby delivered under such bleak appearing circumstances chose that entrance because He came to deliver…You.

His love for you is that great, and whatever fog you’re trying to conquer, is not a cosmic joke at your expense. It’s that broken place where you, if you allow it, can not just survive, but thrive.

My hope is that you receive that gift.

And please know how loved you are, and your visiting this post today was not an accident.

Not even in the fog.



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