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Three God Whispers to Live By

Posted by Julie on April 19, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

How did we get into April? I am loving the lilacs, lawn mower sounds, and general themes of new life and beginnings. If nothing else happens in April, I was giddy to be over March. That was a tough month full of adversity and challenges.

Three God Whispers to Live By

What made things extra hard was that they were not my challenges. Both our kids were facing things that left them hurting and asking God why. I’ve faced prayer times that I thought were difficult, but seeing their pain nearly broke me.

One night we grieved and prayed together. We asked God tough questions and requested wisdom, discernment, and direction.

Not everything has changed, but here are three things God whispered to my heart to prepare for and to apply to the challenges.

 

  • Close the current door with grace. We had an opportunity that we knew wasn’t working. It was time to leave, but feelings were raw and the true defeated one was trying to leave us in a quake of anxiety and depression. It would be easy and tempting to walk away angry and bitter. God’s whisper was to close the door with grace. More than that, the same manner we close one door is the exact way we open the next. We definitely wanted to act wisely.

 

  • Use your voice. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but “praying in your head” doesn’t have the power that praying out loud does. I don’t think God is looking for us to stand in the middle of a park and start talking in King James Bible translation, but when we use our voice and pray, heaven moves and hell quakes. I’ve seen it. As I prayed with the kids, that phrase kept coming back. They needed to push back fears and bring down heaven’s promises to earth with declaration. That takes a voice, and in their hard times, I believe God is developing a powerful voice to speak on His behalf.

 

  • Hands off. They are toddler rules, but I need to hear them. It is my personality to run way ahead of God, turn around, and ask Him how I’m doing. I call it living, “Sarah, Plan B,” and it is not a lifestyle you want to emulate. Sarah ended up with an “Ishmael” of a problem. I hate seeing the kids hurt, but I’ve been around long enough in faith to know that what’s happening is a refining fire. He’s taking everything that isn’t going to work in serving Him and melting it away through affliction. What’s left is pure Him. In their hard times I’m seeing a new level of faith from them. They are pressing in, going to Him and not giving up. I can’t orchestrate that or manipulate it. I’m not going to lie, being an observer of the process was one of the hardest things I’ve come up against as a parent.

I believe with this season and God’s whispers, the kids will look back and credit the time as a spiritual marker—a time they mark as when God changed everything.

Have you gone through a searing time of adversity where God whispered to you?

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Finding Freedom Through Surrender-A 30 Day Devotional available on Amazon.

 

 

FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER-A 30 Day Devotional features the characters and issues from ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, and ENGAGED to encourage you as you let go of fear, loss, change, regret and dreams. I also share my own stories where I was broken and in need of surrender. If you’ve read my contemporary romance series, you’ll be familiar with the characters and inspired. If you’re new to my writing, the devotionals will introduce you to characters and situations you can relate to. Purchase HERE.

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God’s Creative Side by Katheryn Haddad

Posted by Julie on November 2, 2016 in Julie Arduini |

I used to look around at this amazing earth and the astounding heavens, and wonder how I could ever be in the image of God ~ the Great Creator of all this.

He didn’t create a barren earth and then order people to get to work and plant something. He got everything just right. And then….  And then….  And then his crowning glory ~ he created us! Special us! But how could I feel special compared to my Great Creator?

Then one day I realized what he had done. I got it. He gave you and me a special gift: To be creators too.  As perfect as he made the earth, he left some joyful things for us to create ourselves.

He left the jewels unmined, the buildings unbuilt, the songs unsung, the paintings unpainted, the ships unmade, the sculptures uncarved, the books unwritten.

Here I am surrounded by everything I need to imitate one part of God ~ his creative side. Today, I think I’ll create something.

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Author Katheryn Haddad

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

Web page about Mefiboset: Crippled Prince

 Pinterest about Mefiboset: Crippled Prince

 

Video about Mefiboset: Crippled Prince

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatherynMaddoxHaddad

Linkedin: http://bit.ly/28WsEgZ

BACK COVER of MEFIBOSET: CRIPPLED PRINCE

0-mefiboset-kindle-medium_editedDenied the throne as king of Israel and crippled for life at age five, Sett spends his early years fleeing his grandfather King Saul’s enemies. Inheriting his gigantic grandfather’s height and good looks along with his father Jonathan’s positive attitude, Sett uses his wits to get out of life-threatening situations in Israel, Babylon, and Assyria. Despite his handicap, the beautiful Kissara becomes his wife, King David becomes his friend, and the forests become his mission. Though he must constantly deal with three enemies who do everything they can to make his life miserable, Mefiboset, grandson of a king, is an overcomer, a climber, a conqueror who triumphs in the end.

Purchase: Mefiboset: Crippled Prince eBook

Purchase: Mefitoset: Crippled Prince Print Book
 

 

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Saturday Confession: Sometimes I Cry Myself to Sleep

I’ve blogged for the better part of seven years. In the ever-changing cyberworld that’s like 100 years. For the most part when I communicate with a reader two things stand out when they summarize me.

I love chocolate.

I’m transparent.

That’s success to me because it’s the brand I’ve quietly built over the years. You might not remember my name but you recall that author that loves chocolate. The one who writes about surrender. And those things circle back to me.

Lately I’ve been going through a growth spurt with the Lord, a season and as I feel I’m supposed to, I share certain aspects of the journey. Today is a hard one because it is transparent. Not only are men not encouraged to admit their feelings,

And I am.

But there are times I cry myself to sleep.

Why?

Most of the time because I’m bone tired.

This particular season my husband is on a project that has him on call every weekend and many evenings. If he gets home at a reasonable time he’s tethered to the laptop. I don’t say it often because it comes across harsh and I believe it looks like an appeal for pity.

But for those that really know me, it’s no secret. I’m married but often a single mom. It’s not what either of us want but it’s our reality. Our oldest drives now so that helps with a lot of the shuttling that falls on my shoulders. Yet I still get tired. Juggling school schedules, all of our times in ministry and the logistics involved, medical appointments and the aftermath, keeping up with the house. I recently had to take our two senior dogs to the vet to put them down. Cry? That was a day I spelled it out. I needed my family to be present and encouraging. And they were. But lately I’ve been so tired the only way to let that out has been through tears.

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I also cry out of anger. There are times, rare, but moments when I’m at such a loss for words I can only cry. Most of the time it’s out of love for someone else and desire to protect them. The hardest lately has been people demanding things from my husband he doesn’t have. If he had time, I’d like some of it yet many hands are grabbing for him wanting their (in my tired opinion) minor needs yet. Without knowing our full story they offer their commentary and it wounds to the point of hot tears I save for night. I cry for my kids. When they are frustrated and they have to do the right thing knowing they will probably be the only one that will. When they are picked on. And another biggie for me—when I want justice and I don’t see it. Oh, I cry and shake my fist on that!

And then there’s the loneliness. I’m an introvert’s introvert with a call to write. That alone is a life of solitude. Add the above and sometimes the isolation threatens to choke the very life out of me. It’s complex because it’s a time God uses to train me. But I hate it. It’s so hard. And it seems with each growing season my circle is pruned. There are fewer people I’m able to relate to and trust. And the cycle is vicious.

Why do I share such a vulnerable place? Because I vowed I would always write what God asked when He did.

. I’m confident I’m not the only person crying themselves to sleep. My hope is that by sharing that person or people feel less alone and reach out to their Heavenly Father so that they can learn and prosper from the experience.

And may your sleep be full of His peace.

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A Call to Praise Blog Hop Starts Today by Jennifer Slattery

Posted by Julie on March 5, 2015 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Julie’s Note:
This post first appeared at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud.

A Call to Praise Blog Hop Starts March 5th at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud

A Call to Praise Blog Hop Starts March 5th at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud

I’m a firm believer in the power of praise. When I’m sad, anxious, or upset, nothing lifts my heart quite like singing praises to my Heavenly Father. I think there are many reasons for this, perhaps the most important of which being that it centers my heart and mind in God’s peace-giving, ever-loving presence. As some of you may know, I battle chronic illness, which means, I often battle negative emotions as well. One week, when going through a particularly difficult time, I felt as if God led me to Psalm 103, calling me to focus not on my struggle but instead on Him–who He is and all He’s done. Ever since, I’ve found praise to be my life-line, so I thought I’d share this precious gift God showed to me with each of you.

Starting March 5th, a group of bloggers and I have decided to dig deep into Psalm 103, passage by passage. I hope you’ll join us by following the links below. 

March 5 Jennifer Hallmark will launch our series with a beautiful post on gratitude on my blog.

March 9: Sarah Ruut will visit Carol McClain’s to share her thoughts on what it means to praise God will ALL that we are.

March 11: Allyson Carter will visit on Sarah Ruut’s to talk about those things that hinder our praise.

March 13: Julie Arduini will visit Allyson Carter’s blog to talk about “Discerning Satan’s Tactics and Living on the Offense.”

March 16: Carol McClain will visit Susan Aken’s to share her thoughts on the importance of remembering all God has done.

March 18: Maria Morgan will visit Sarah Ruut’s blog to expand on Psalm 103:2, especially focusing on what it means to “forget not all His benefits.”

March 21: Allyson Carter will discuss Psalm 103 verse 3, hosted on Carol McClain’s blog

March 24: Sarah Ruut hosted on Marji Laine’s blog, discussing how God’s Blessings in our lives can give us strength.

March 26: Delia Latham will visit Carol McClain’s blog to talk about verse 6 and how God’s justice makes a difference in our lives

March 30: Susan Aken will visit my blog to discuss Psalm 103:9-12, focusing on God’s underserved grace

April 2: Marji Laine hosted on Allyson Carter’s blog, discussing what it means to live anew in God’s grace.

April 4: Susan Aken will visit Delia Latham’s blog to share her thoughts on Psalm 103:14, discussing the what it means when Scripture says God knows we are weak

April 9: Carol McClain will post on my blog, discussing God’s sovereignty and power.

April 11th I’ll tie up our series on Ginger Solomon‘s blog, calling each of us to be fully present when we praise.

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Thankful: It’s Hard to Pick Just One by Jill Barlow

Posted by Julie on November 18, 2014 in Guest blogger, Life Lessons, Thankful November guest blogger, Writing |

In the beginning of 2013, I felt led to start my own blog. I wrote about God, but nothing in particular. I also ended up going through a divorce that year, which completely changed my life. I was married for 19 years. I was a stay at home mom for a great deal of that time. The last 3 years had been dedicated to my three children, because we pulled them out of public school to home school.

 

As I sit and type this up, I am thankful for so many things. It is hard to pick just one.

 

I am thankful for my Heavenly Father who has gotten me through the rough spots. This  journey we call life is not an easy one. Being a Christian is not a “get out of trouble” free card. We are still going to have hard times. Jesus even said, in John 16: 33, “33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”john16_33

 

It’s not an IF, it’s a WHEN type thing. God is always here for us, no matter what.

 

I am also thankful for my children, friends and family. Without them, I don’t know where I would be. They have made me laugh, hugged me as I cried and told me the truth when I did not want to hear it.

 

God has really moved in my life and heart over the past several months. He has started talking to me in every day ways. I have started writing those things for others to see that He is there, daily. He cares about our daily lives and He just wants to help us make it to tomorrow.

 

Take a moment and think about what you are thankful for. Maybe it’s totally different from me. And, guess what? That’s ok. 

 

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Jill Barlow is a mom of three, an administrative assistant to two, and a writer. Divorced after a lengthy marriage, she started finding God in her every-day life. Jill says, “God really cares and is interested in talking to us through the little things. Showing people His love and character in a way they might not have ever experienced is my passion.” You can find Jill at www.coffeewithsnoopy.blogspot.com and on Facebook .

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Thankful: A Choice We Make by Martha Rogers

Posted by Julie on November 6, 2014 in Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Thankful November guest blogger |

Being thankful is a choice we make. Rather than complaining about what we don’t have, we chose to be thankful for what we do have. Paul said it best in Philippians 4:13: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” NIV

I am thankful for life. Twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a radical mastectomy and treatment, I was declared in remission. Exactly five years later the cancer returned. After a second surgery and treatment, the oncologist ran tests and declared me to be not only in remission, but also cancer free.

In that fifteen years so much has happened for which I thank the Lord. He healed my body and made it possible for me to enjoy these years. We had two more wonderful grandchildren, participated in the wedding of our oldest granddaughter, sat by the bedside of  a grandson after a liver transplant, signed my first contract for a full length novel, enjoyed the births of three great-grandchildren, and wrote 13 novels now in stores.

To say that God has blessed our family would be an understatement. He gave me new life in which I began a journey that is ongoing. Our Lord is faithful, and only He is worthy of all the honor, glory and thanksgiving for a life fully entrusted to His hands.

 

Martha for blogs _editedMartha Rogers is a free-lance writer and was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.  A former English and Home Economics teacher, Martha loves to cook and experimenting with recipes and loves scrapbooking when she has time. She has written two series, Winds Across the Prairie and Seasons of the Heart as well as several novellas. Love Stays True and Love Finds Faith, the first two books in her new series, The Homeward Journey, are available now with book number three being released in the fall of 2014.



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