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Saturday, December 11, 2010

A lovely story

This story was passed on to me from one Toy James of "Inspirations for Women Inc. Book Club."  She's always finding nice little provoking  things like this to share.  Please read.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid.

Make a connection with the Word of God.  What scripture does this story bring to mind.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Vanessa Newton performs Let Freedom Ring

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Life You Want To Live vs. The Life You Actually Live

Pic courtesy of Animation Factory
       "The life which God has ordained for Christians is a life that is hid with Christ in God.  Nothing can touch, affect or shake this life."   Those are the words of Watchman Nee* a pastor persecuted and jailed in China back in the 50's for his fearless teachings on a life unto Christ.  Check out Colossians 3-4.

       It's in the Word my friends. How to please God is in the Word.  I urge you to read your Bible everyday until the Words are so embedded in your spirit they fill every available space in your life.  Until there is nothing else that can come out of you except the power of God. This kind of life affects everyone and everything in its presence to the glory of God. No matter what your physical man must endure.

      I can tell you right now I'm in a silent war with my flesh because I can't say that I don't lie,  I can't say that I haven't broken every one of the minimum ten commandments.  But as guilty as I am God's grace abounds that much more (Romans 5:20). Praise my God in Heaven.  I understand that I am unable to be good or even kind of good on my own (Romans 3:23).

      Which like Paul said doesn't give me a license to sin (Romans 6:15) but this unearned grace and mercy sure do carry more weight in my eyes. It makes me want to be hidden with Christ in God because that's where I can be found pleasing to God. I'm not hiding guiltily in the world like Adam (Genesis 3:10)but hiding forgiven in the Word like Christ.  Colossians 3:3  For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.

So what kind of life are you living? 

*Quote taken from: Watchman Nee. (1986). The Life That Wins.Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc. NY

Until next time,
Read your Bible
Pray without ceasing

God bless,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Suggested Reading for the Little Ones

The Little Soul and the Sun: A Children's Parable Adapted from Conversations With God
Neale Donald Walsh
A Children's Parable 

Here is a bed time story that's just right for children of all ages.  An engaging conversation between the soul and his creator. The soul wants to know how he fits into God's plan. 

The Little Soul and the Sun: A Children's Parable Adapted from Conversations With God

He innocently bombards the creator with questions of how he can become special. The creator lovingly answers his queries and introduces him to another soul that offers to help him live out his specialness.  The two plan for the journey and the little soul is now going to have the opportunity to live out his dream of letting his light shine.

The book is filled with pictures that will engage the little ones as much as the parable itself.  Be prepared to answer questions and it might be a good idea to read the book yourself first.

Until next time,
Read the Bible.
Pray without ceasing.
God bless!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

CBM’s Discussion – Abraham’s Well Chpts. 17-20

Abraham's Well (Center Point Premier Fiction (Large Print))Title – Abraham's Well 
Author – Sharon Ewell Foster 
Total chapters 62
This review covers chapters 17-20
Dates of discussion: 7/24 – 7/30

Q. How effectively does the author portray the presence of Holy Spirit in the characters' everyday lives?
A. I think an author would have to be filled with Holy Spirit in order to be able to reflect that presence in the characters. Of course no writings can be compared to the Bible. In the context of being able to understand whether Holy Spirit is involved in any writing, the reader would have to be filled with that same spirit to confirm. As I read sections 17-20, I was reminded of when the Lord Jesus Christ advised that he would leave a comforter after he submitted Himself as sacrifice in place of us. 

Walking the trail of tears and having the reverend walking with them invoked a hope inside of me
that spoke to my own trail of tears today. I know that I cannot walk through this life without Holy Spirit taking every step with me. The Reverend Oganaya's character portrayed the essence of how the Word of God, the Spirit of the Living God walks with his sheep through easy and treacherous times.

I do believe the author was very effective in portraying the presence of Holy Spirit in the characters' everyday lives. Today everyone may not choose to embrace Holy Spirit, just as not all of these characters in the story choose to hear what He says. But He assuredly will make His presence known
to the ones who will receive. 

Q. Has the author succeed in presenting faith in a way that feels relevant and applicable?
A. God's message is always relevant and applicable. The story really makes me reflect on my life and the relationships I hold with my husband, father, mother, siblings and others. Since faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen I say yes again! I wonder if we can hear when Spirit of God is speaking versus the so-called-good we always want to experience? The author invokes the question inside of me "where is your faith Monica?"Are we believing for God to give us material things or are we believing for Him to increase that we may decrease? This includes our plans.

I see that I may not have it as hard as I think; certainly if God was with the Children of Israel and the ones that were His on the trail of tears then I know He is with me because He is faithful and cannot lie. The good thing is His grace and mercy reigns on the just as well as the unjust. What a wonderful God.

Q. How has reading this book up to this section changed or confirmed your opinion of Christianity/Religion/Relationship with God?
A. I always felt that Father, God wants more than routine sacrifices from us. He wants relationship. So far the story and its scriptural reference has confirmed this for me. God's plan is not to stop us from going through hard times. The characters had to go through a process. That may not equal a life of ease.
He is waiting for us to decide that we want to go through this process with Him at our side every step of the way, also known as, a relationship.

Lines that stood out:
Page 98-99
Spoken by Reverend Peter Oganaya
"Sheep, stay close to the shepherd…Don't get far behind. The wolves grow fat on the ones that fall behind… Sometimes men are wolves, sometimes they do not even know they are. They don't even recognize themselves."

At the closing of this section I kept thinking of the scripture: Revelation 2:10

As chapter 20 closes Johnnie Freeman the young boy Armentia thought would be her future husband takes an eternal exit. The people have reached Indian Territory after approximately 1000 miles more or less of walking. The Reverend Oganaya, after tarrying with them the whole way, makes his departure and now they begin a new life whether they want to or not. What good can come from all this. I don't know but …

Until next time,
Read the Bible
Pray without ceasing, God bless.



Friday, July 2, 2010

CBM's Discussion - Abraham's Well Chpts. 13-16

Title - Abraham's Well
Author - Sharon Ewell Foster
Total Chapter 62
This review covers chapters 13-16
Dates of discussion: 7/2/10 thru 7/8/10

Q. What is unique about the setting of the book?  How does it enhance or take away from the story?

A. The setting is changing in chapter 13.  They have left the only home some of them have ever known in what is now North Carolina.  Are they going to walk to the new place? I remember the first few lines of chapter 1 referenced Armentia's memory of  east compared to west. Walking  this far seems unimaginable. But there really was no other way to move further inland. The author actually walks us right through the trail of tears.  Very sad so far. I was able to visualize the disparity of the whole situation in light of the treacherous traveling conditions.  The moving was the setting. It enhanced the story.  
Q. Do you  think the author was equally invested in presenting the spiritual world in the novel as  she was in developing a compelling plot and creating nuanced characters?

A. The story is written as a fictional work but the trail of tears is very real  in the Indian culture.  It had to be difficult to write a fictional story based on real events while remaining true to history.
The spiritual side of this story is an undercurrent to the events and the anguish of these characters.  It certainly  makes you think of your own anguish in life today. Just like them we ask without asking."Where are You Lord? Don't You see what we are going through?"  Spiritual isn't always marked by good times. The bottom line is God must be glorified. No matter what it looks like to us. This is all His plan.

Q. Did this part of the book make you uncomfortable?

A. These chapters made me feel more thankful than uncomfortable. It was hard to accept that any of this could really happen but of course it has. I can relate to the story. I am considered a minority in my birth country America despite the fact that my ancestors helped build this place the Indians actually founded. But even that troubling circumstance becomes small when I understand my ancestor's path of disparity as the one on which I find reconciliation with the Father through his Son.  Not saying that I would not know the Lord if I still lived in Africa but I recognize a blessing when I experience one.

Lines that stood out:
Page 86
Spoken by Armentia
"I guess when you're in terrible bad, not so bad seems pretty good." 

At the end of these chapters I kept thinking of the scripture:  Jeremiah 29:11

As chapter 16 closes Missionary Wilters cries for forgiveness, Armentia's mother is having some form of breakdown until she sees the red bird, and we are mourning the departure of Golden Bear's Father.  What in the world could happen next on the 'Trail of Tears'.

Until next week

Happy reading! God bless.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CBM's Discussion - Abraham's Well Chpts. 7-12

Author - Sharon Ewell Foster
Total Chapters - 62
Currently Reviewing Chapters 7-12 
Dates 6/21 - 6/25

Chapter 6 left off with Armentia's honey escapade...

Question - How do the characters change throughout the course of the story? What event triggers such change?

Answer - Okay, there was a lot of change in these chapters. The honey theft would have been bad for Armentia but it turns out her big brother Abraham aka The One Who Guards His Family took the blame.  It's not easy to instill that kind of caring in today's lifestyle. Maybe sometimes the less you have the more place there is for love. But the consequences of Abraham's decision were outstanding.  They changed everything and it effected everyone. 

Mama Emma ordered a whipping for him.  The first of its kind in the village.  The punishment wasn't the only remarkable thing.  Mama Emma's comments on page 53 really brought the true nature of their relationship to the forefront.  "She belongs to me. Don't forget your place! Don't forget who you are."  Eek!  Things have taken a turn for the worst in the family.

I knew something was going on with Mama Emma.  But these events made me think of slavery in relation to God. Is it right? The Bible lets me know that having servants isn't wrong.  Because the first half of Ephesians 6: 5-9 advises servants to be obedient to their masters as unto the Lord. However in light of the history of the nature of slavery in America there must be perspective.  That's why the last half of that same scripture talks to masters advising them to do good things to their servants as unto the Lord since God blesses them both.  Some people just take things too far. 

Abraham's beating brought on significant changes to the village.  Everyone is now whispering amongst themselves.  The owners are drawing lines for all of us to see.  Then Abraham disappears on a fishing expedition in a storm. Let's not forget Missionary Wilter's announcement.  They must leave their land or else. 

Lines that stood out:
Page 68
Spoken by a wise women and village elder
"When a man walks someplace we see the footprints of who he is. We can see who a man is by the way he changes the place."

Reminds me of Philippians 2:5

As chapter 12 closes the setting is changing from the familiar village to somewhere else.  We don't know.
The soldiers have surrounded their homes and are escorting them all out at gun point. The last thing they see are the flames orange and red rising behind them. Where is Abraham? And what will happen to their way of life.  Serious changes folks.

Until next week.

Happy reading! God bless.


To get in the discussion click on the Discussion Questions page/tab at the top of the CBM blog.

Friday, June 18, 2010

CBM'S Review - Abraham's Well Chpts. 1-6

Abraham's Well: A NovelTitle - Abraham's Well
Author - Sharon Ewell Foster
Total Chapters - 62
This review covers Chapters 1-6 of the 1-12 to be discussed from:
Dates - 6/18 (Fri.) thru 6/25 (Thur.)

Question - What was unique about the setting of the book?

Answer -  The setting is the East somewhere in today's South Carolina.  We realize Armentia has traveled from the East to the West because the book opens describing, in her words, nature in both places. I think the setting sounds beautiful.  Specifically lines like on page 13... "What I remember most often is the dancing stream waters, clean enough to see the pebbles on the bottom, and fish-darting, nibbling at rocks."  This really gave me visual.  I'd like to see that and I tried to imagine it as I read.  

Question - Do the characters seem real and believable?

Answer - So far Armentia seems to be endeared by all the other characters.  Abraham her brother loves and protects her, Mamma Emma (Grandmother figure from what I can tell)
spoils that girl even at the protests of Armentia's mom.  The fun the children had That's pretty normal to me.

Question - Christian books should point to Christ.  Was there a moment reading the chapters when you felt that prodding?

Answer - Although the missionaries came preaching Jesus they actually had other motives such as enforcing the Echota treaty between the Indians and the Immigrant Anglo Saxons. Looks like the adults and the children are concerned about the missionary's true intentions.  Sheep in wolves clothing maybe? I'm not sure. What was funny to me was the greeting the children gave Missionary Wilters on page 40 - ("Jesus, Jesus!" we waved our hands in the air, ...simply saying the words usually brought us candy or something else sweet.)  Children are the same everywhere no matter the culture.  They'll do anything for candy. 

Question - Did some part of what's been read make you feel uncomfortable.

Answer - The visit from the White man and his child slave Ephraim left a sad impression on me initially.  The boy seemed like he would never know the blessings of being free. The scars on his body were a testament to how the Bible says a master should not treat his slave.  Ephraim's life up to that point was guided by fear.  He was critically hesitant to jump in the water with the rest of the children.  But once he realized that for the moment the top was off the jar he thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated what the experience allowed.  I bet he carried that with him for the rest of his life.

As chapter 6 closes something is going on with Mamma Emma after the visit from her cousin the owner of Ephraim.  And the families are trying to keep a unified front to stand against being forced from their land. Finally, Armentia has stolen 6 jars of honey and is having a honeyfest.

This book is sure to get even more interesting as the days go by.

Happy reading. God Bless!


To get in the discussion click on the Discussion Questions page/tab at the top of the CBM Blog.  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Book called 'Prayers' very helpful

Attended my first Meet-up and it was wonderful.  I was really interested in getting together with other avid readers.  Found this great group of women - Inspirations for Women, Inc. Book Club. The founder/organizer is Ms. LaToya James (no relation) who welcomed me graciously into her private group and soon I'll have many more ladies on my prayer list and friend list. There are a plethora of groups on the site to choose from depending on your interests; visit the link above when you get a chance. As you know I enjoy doing almost anything that has something to do with books...being in a room filled with books, the smell of them, touching them oh and don't let me near a hardback book - man oh man.

I'm on cloud 9 with my books. So anyway... the group organizer presented each member with a book called 'Prayers' by Christian Word Ministries that I absolutely don't know how I've done without before this.  Prayer is so important.  There was a time when I felt my prayers were becoming redundant.  I mean, how else could I say the things that needed to be said daily without sounding like a broken record? Well that's when Holy Spirit introduced praying the scriptures.  Initially I would just repeat the prayers of David from Psalm but eventually I selected principles that came with a promise and prayed those. Of course you have to apply the principles in order to experience the promise but that goes hand in hand with increasing my faith.  It's biblical praying and this makes it easy to stay in God's will when asking things of Abba. This way also helped me to find new scriptural ways to say His name.

So if you want to improve your prayer life just start reading/digging into your Bible and use the scripture to pray. I know it's a lot of information but Holy Spirit will bring what you need back to your remembrance when it's needed.  My communication with the Lord has improved by leaps and bounds from this method.   Hebrews 4:16 kjv has taken on a whole new meaning. The book is free. It can be ordered or downloaded to your cell.  Really convenient/inexpensive for something so useful.  The inside cover indicates users can distribute freely.  You can order a bunch for your ministry as well. (Note: The book is free but be nice and send a donation since they're not asking.)

The book includes:
Daily prayers for adults and children/teens
Prayer Manual
Affirmations for adults and children/teens
I am - affirmations w/scriptural reference
Word of God concerning sin   w/scriptural reference
List of Sins
Names of God - w/scriptural reference 
and much more....

I guarantee you can use it or bless it to someone else.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Voices of Christ Literary Ministries International

Voices of Christ Literary Ministries International

 Check out this absolutely wonderful sight for prophetic creative writers. The following is their vision, mission and purpose as displayed on their own website. I have included them here so you can get a preview of what this is all about.  Do visit their site (VOC) for additional information about workshops, the scribal anointing, poetry-spoken word and much more.

To prepare Christian writers to operate effectively in their prophetic call to write and release the creative word of the Lord while providing a supportive, nurturing environment that promotes individuality, spiritual growth and development, and intimacy with God.

To break the strongholds of entertainment, comparison, compromise and competition in the worship arts by preaching the truth to believers; To restore the ministry of the literary arts to the body of Christ, and to save souls for Jesus Christ through the ministry of prophetic creative writing.

To raise up generations of literary ministers who are committed to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness and without compromise.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What does the cross say about me?

I always felt I was a good person. Never would I have described myself as an enemy of God. For one thing it doesn’t sound nice. I mean I never killed anyone and I went to church. I could even share with someone the story of the cross without being afraid. That doesn't sound like an enemy of God to me.

 We'd like to believe the devil is the only antagonist in the story of Christ's life and we are the less offensive  sheep. To our detriment we don't understand that we play the role of antagonist deserving only death and separation from God.  That's hard to receive when you think you are generally a good person. Here's what I've learned.

In Watchman Nee's The Life That Wins I was blown away by the author's explanation of Galatians 2:20
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God.”

Nee asks a question.  “Why did we need to be crucified with Christ?”  He explains, "The cross is God's verdict of us...we must accept His assessment."  God the Father decided death is what  men/women deserve. We are like a computer over taken by a serious virus. Everything has been compromised, the computer is useless.

So it is for salt without Christ... good for nothing but to be cast down and trodden under the foot of men. When I thought about myself this way I have to admit there was a bit of resistance.  I didn't want to accept that I am useless and incapable of being good.(Rom. 7:18b). 

Despite God's verdict of us proclaimed by the cross men will disagree with the Father's assessment, strive to be good, make resolutions secretly believing "they aren't that bad" because there is a way that seems right to a man but we know how that ends.

All along these are the folks the Word speaks of in Luke 13:22-28 who will be called evildoers. Even though they were a part of the church they'll be thrown out of the kingdom of God. Our only recourse is to accept God's verdict, and get hidden in Christ otherwise we will be statistics of the prophesy...and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Nee, Watchman. (1986). The Life That Wins. How to enter into the life that wins (pp 47-62). Richmond, VA: Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.