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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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Thankful: Our Kind Father by Fay Lamb

I have to admit that when it comes to thankfulness, I am not the poster child God would use. I often fail to rest in thanksgiving for all that He has bestowed. Oh, my. Every breath I take comes from Him.

As I look over the last year, I find that I am most thankful for His long suffering. You see, I’m like the child that does whatever she wants and then comes crying when things don’t work out the way that I want. I sit at my Father’s feet with tears running down my face, and I ask Him, “Lord, why?”

I imagine Him smiling at me, not a weary smile, but a knowing one. “Daughter,” He wipes my tears, “If you had only sat here with me and asked for direction, I would have guided you. Instead, we have taken a longer and more painful journey, have we not?”

Then I realize that not only is my Father longsuffering, kind, and loving, He is steadfast. Though I took a long, painful journey, He had sojourned with me. Though my endurance may have been tried by my own ignorance, He never left my side. He lovingly gazes down at me and asks, “So, what have you learned from this journey?”

That thought makes me realize I have so much more to be thankful for. My Father is not only longsuffering, kind, loving, and steadfast. He is a patient teacher, willing to allow me to learn the hard way when my stubborn nature gets in the way of my relationship with Him.

I imagine my Father’s hand against my cheek as I reflect on the journey we took. He might even wink when He says, “Don’t worry, Daughter. Nothing you did took Me by surprise, but I do look forward to spending time with you, and I hope that you will come back to Me. Why, I would love it if you’d spend all of your time communing with Me. I love you, and You will never lose My love.”

Even now, I feel the tears gathering in my eyes as I realize that not only is my father longsuffering, kind, loving, steadfast, and a patient teacher, He is also merciful to me, a sinner, and He desires to spend time with me. With me! His wayward daughter.

And I recall all of the times when I have forgotten to be thankful, and I praise Him for one more kindness He provides to me daily. His forgiveness.

BIO

DSC_0076 (426x640)_editedFay Lamb is an author, editor, and writing coach.

Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, and the newest A Dozen Apologies. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind. Also, look for Book 1 in Fay’s Serenity Key series entitled Storms in Serenity.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads.

 

Blurb for Libby

 

91x31TVE2IL._SL1500_Libby Overstreet can’t see herself as anything but shy and socially awkward. She’s nearing thirty, and she’s never even been on a date. Then she meets the man of her dreams, but Libby knows he would never be interested in a wallflower like her. All she wants to do is to buy that garden nursery on the outskirts of town and settle down with the life she has always dreamed about.

Evan Carter has been watching the sweet woman in the coffee shop for weeks when his friend tells him that the object of his affection plans to buy a garden nursery and needs Evan’s expertise as an architect/contractor.

When they meet, Libby is more enamored of Evan and even more convinced that he would never look at her as anything but a friend.

However, that’s far from the truth. Evan would love to get to know the innocent beauty God has placed in this path. Trouble is, he fears that a lovely flower like Libby will wilt under the sins of his past, and he’ll do everything in his power to keep that from happening.

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Sabbath Sunday: But, God.

October2014leavesWhen I first took this picture, I smiled thinking about the other leaves and how inferior they must feel around this big yellow leaf in the middle.

and that reminded me of a story.

About a huge giant who laughed as he slayed solider after soldier from the Israelites who dared fight him.

But, David.

Look at the tiny leaf that is at 11:00/top left in the picture. The leaf is so small you could almost dismiss it.

But, David.

David was a shepherd, not a warrior. Yet when God tapped him as the one to take down the giant, victory was assured. It wasn’t because of armor, he took it off because it was cumbersome. It wasn’t because of training, he basically stumbled out of the field.

It was because of God and David’s not just believing in Him, but believing Him.

What new door has opened for you that seems so huge you could never knock it down?

But, God.

He’s got this.

And, He’s got you.

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Sabbath Sunday: But, God.

Posted by Julie on October 19, 2014 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Nature, photography, Sabbath Sunday |

October2014leaves

When I first took this picture, I smiled thinking about the other leaves and how inferior they must feel around this big yellow leaf in the middle.

and that reminded me of a story.

About a huge giant who laughed as he slayed solider after soldier from the Israelites who dared fight him.

But, David.

Look at the tiny leaf that is at 11:00/top left in the picture. The leaf is so small you could almost dismiss it.

But, David.

David was a shepherd, not a warrior. Yet when God tapped him as the one to take down the giant, victory was assured. It wasn’t because of armor, he took it off because it was cumbersome. It wasn’t because of training, he basically stumbled out of the field.

It was because of God and David’s not just believing in Him, but believing Him.

What new door has opened for you that seems so huge you could never knock it down?

But, God.

He’s got this.

And, He’s got you.

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Sabbath Sunday: But, God.

Posted by Julie on October 12, 2014 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Nature, photography, Sabbath Sunday |

October2014leaves

When I first took this picture, I smiled thinking about the other leaves and how inferior they must feel around this big yellow leaf in the middle.

and that reminded me of a story.

About a huge giant who laughed as he slayed solider after soldier from the Israelites who dared fight him.

But, David.

Look at the tiny leaf that is at 11:00/top left in the picture. The leaf is so small you could almost dismiss it.

But, David.

David was a shepherd, not a warrior. Yet when God tapped him as the one to take down the giant, victory was assured. It wasn’t because of armor, he took it off because it was cumbersome. It wasn’t because of training, he basically stumbled out of the field.

It was because of God and David’s not just believing in Him, but believing Him.

What new door has opened for you that seems so huge you could never knock it down?

But, God.

He’s got this.

And, He’s got you.

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Sabbath Sunday: Blazing Love

February2014sunsetOhio

It’s my pleasure each Sunday to share my own nature picture and share a thought or two about God’s love for you.

I couldn’t believe this sunset in the dead of winter.

Brilliant.

Warm.

Blazing.

Passionate.

When I’m feeling:

Cold

Numb

Frozen

Guess what?

God’s love blazes just as hot for us when we’re cold.

Rude.

Unforgiving.

Broken.

We just need to take that first step.

Toward the Son.



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