3 Aspects of Faith for Daily Life

I was so upset one day after a phone call from someone I dearly loved.  I was not happy with the situation I thought they were allowing…I wanted them to do something different, but I knew I couldn’t tell them that . . . I’d already done that a few times. . . and it didn’t work. So I went for a walk on the beach.  It was a gorgeous day with blue skies and glitters on the aqua blue waves. The air was warm. People were walking and swimming and playing. . .a beautiful day.  I took in the beauty, but inside I cried out to God. “Lord, I need to hear from you on this. I need your perspective.  I don’t want it to go this way.  I want to fix it. I want to shake someone so they see it correctly.” I was looking up and there may have been tears in my eyes. When I finished my little rant, I glanced to my side.  There on a bench about 20 feet away sat a man with a black t-shirt on. In huge white letters his t-shirt said, “Stay Calm and Walk On.” At first, I did not want to acknowledge that God was answering me like that. But He was.

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Faith needs Hope. Without hope, there is no foothold for faith, no path to walk on. The Bible tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, so hope needs to be present.  You have a desire, a need, a dream and you hope for a fulfillment, an answer to your desire.  If you spend time in the Bible, known as the Word of God (what He says), you’ll find all kinds of promises, and more often than not, there will be a promise for what you want or need.  So, you want it, God promises it, and now you build on that with faith. You believe and trust that you will get the answer, the need met, the desire fulfilled.

Faith works by Love. Faith doesn’t stand alone when you are believing and trusting. It travels down a two-way street of love.  One direction is knowing that God loves you and wants the best for you, and the other direction is loving Him and the people He has set around you.  1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible holds amazing truths about love.  We can have all kinds of faith, but faith is nothing without love.  That chapter in the Bible tells us love isn’t rude, but is kind. It doesn’t rejoice in evil but in truth. Love isn’t resentful and touchy. Helping others in faith, hope, and love will open doors for you.

Faith without Works is dead. The Greek word for work is ergon, meaning toil, effort, labor. Sometimes we want to believe God for what we need and never do a thing…just sit back and wait. There is a certain truth to that…it’s called resting in the Lord, letting go, not trusting in our own efforts. However, there is a toil, an effort, a labor to standing firm in your trust, in obeying God in those little and big things He may nudge you to do. It is a bit of a dichotomy, but you let go of your own way of doing things, put your situation in God’s hands, and then speak and act as if it’s done, staying vigilant to hear and obey what He wants you to do.

So now what do I do about the situation that so upset me. I have to walk in faith. I have asked God to lead me to promises and verses that lay a foundation of hope. On those I build my faith and trust God to fulfill those promises. I stay calm in faith and make a continuing effort to walk in love, knowing God loves those involved more than I ever could, and He can guide them. And then my work, my ongoing effort is to pray for His will to be fulfilled, to trust and believe and to speak the promises in faith, knowing God will bring them to pass. And if He nudges me to say something, do something, I will obey.

Christmas Ivy

Product Details

Christmas Ivy a heartwarming Christmas story with a twist of how God provides published by Prism Book Group in November 2016. It is available as an ebook at Amazon.

How can one visit alleviate the trials of the past few years? How can one quilt reveal truths never before realized?
It had to be a dream…
Her grandparents passed away a few years earlier, but here in the family kitchen on the dawn of Christmas morning, they greet her with the same love and sage advice she grew up with. Their presence captivates reality and brings Ivy to complete confusion.

Could this strange visit truly be the provision for which Ivy longed?

Excerpt: The sizzle of bacon cooking brought Ivy to an upright position out of sound sleep. The smoky flavor tantalized her nostrils as the fog in her mind slowly lifted. Her hands flew to her face. It’s Christmas! The words rose within her, not with joy, but with panic. How could she have slept so late!? Mama will have my head. I should be making breakfast. But wait. It’s Christmas! Mama must have let me sleep. A wonderful gift, to sleep past dawn. Ivy heard a gentle snoring and looked to see the cat curled next to her legs.

 

Run With the Wind

Product Details

Run With the Wind is part of a Christmas Cowboy novella series, published by Prism Book Group in November 2016. It is an ebook available at Amazon.

Linney Merritt loves her life in the Florida scrub where she assists her Pa in raising and taking cattle to market. The new cowman, Cyrus John, appreciates the chance to start over. Marrying holds no interest for either, but they can’t help but be drawn to each other. And then, just before Christmas, they find themselves fighting together to save the life of a calf, all while discovering the One who can remove fears and provide forgiveness.

Life changed for the world in a stable one Christmas. Could it also begin for Linney and Cy in this stable?

Excerpt: Nellie moaned, and Linney pulled. The emerging calf licked her face. “We better hurry, Pa. He just done licked me. Don’t want him thinkin’ I’m his mama.”

“You’ll make a good one someday.”

“That ain’t happenin’. Why would anyone want to go through this?”

Pa looked around Nellie’s bulk. His eyes found Linney’s. “For the likes of you, girl. It’s  worth it.”

 

Miracles Do Happen — Guideposts

Guideposts publishes books. One of those is Miracles Do Happen, 101 Glimpses of the Hidden Hand of God. It will include two stories from our family. One is Lee’s story of being instantaneously healed of a broken back. He was riding his motorcycle with his brother-in-law and hit an overgrown stump in a field. His 25% compression fracture of his 7th vertebrae could have made him a paraplegic. In a wonderful moment at a Kathryn Kuhlman service in the early 1970’s he was completely healed. He left his back brace in New York. The other story occurred the day after my nephew Matthew died. I saw a window into heaven open and Matt leaned forward to tell me he definitely was there. It makes me laugh and cry every time I think about it. The book was originally scheduled to be published in May 2017, but it has been put off to May 2018.

Christmas Novella and Short Story

November, 2016 will see the publication of Run With the Wind, Judy DuCharme’s Christmas Cowboy Novella, published by Prism Book Group. It’s the story of the Florida Cracker Cowboys, called Crackers as they cracked their whips to keep the cows in line and take out the varmints. It’s set in the Florida scrub land in the 1880’s. Cyrus John is the new cowman, but Linney Merritt is just fine not having a man in her life. She’s great at helping the cows give birth, but since her ma died in childbirth, she is not about to have that possibly occur in her life. The novella (short novel) will be part of a print collection and as well as a standalone ebook.

Also available in November by Judy DuCharme, and published by Prism Book Group, will be Christmas Ivy, a story of Christmas provision through amazing circumstances. It will be an ebook.

Society of the L.A.M.B. released 9/23/16

So happy to announce that Society of the LAMB will be re-released September 23, 2016 by Prism Book Group. It will be available on Amazon and many other places.

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Check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biM0a3RKIn0

Josiah knew he’d been detected, but by whom? He must get to Grandfather’s place to see if survival in this age was still possible. The stories from his youth about King Glory . . . could they be true? Could life and freedom be normal again. Not if the watchers had their way. The dreams, the visions, revealed he was chosen. Had he heard the shout? 

Can you be brave enough to let your inner light shine while other feel compelled to put that light out? Is your life showing?

Godly Grandeur — Perpetual Creation

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If you haven’t taken a walk in the woods this season, now would be the time. The beauty and continuous life seen there is breath-taking. The hush of the breeze, the variety of shape and size, the colors that wash over you represent the trueness of God. Even with the death process that is ongoing and the destruction that occasionally attacks, life is perpetual. . . like the first law of motion, that which is in motion tends to stay in motion.

Here in the woods, the motion of creation is displayed wonderfully. Creation is life. Yes,301 death and destruction attack and destroy, but life keeps going. To believe that God created this in six days is not hard to believe. To think that all this just happened is hard to believe. We have the saying ‘Life goes on’, and how true it is. We cry out against that saying when we have experienced evil and loss. That life goes on seems wrong and unfair. But, be thankful that it does. Look at the plants that grow unaided by human intervention . . . the trilliums, the lady-slippers, the forget-me-nots. A multitude of plants keep on growing, trees grow out of dead trees and through rock. God is life continuing.

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We say destruction is from God, we rail against God allowing evil and therefore conclude He doesn’t care. But life is what God does. Life keeps going perpetually. Think of the thousands of years that life has kept going. We think that accidents are God. An unwanted pregnancy may be an accident, yet is is precipitated by the law of sowing seed . . . you sow seed, you reap life. And think about the infant growing in the womb, the wonder of giving birth, the growth of that baby into someone with a totally unique personality, able to talk and walk and create and think brilliantly. Yes, a birth defect is an accident, not God’s original plan, and I know about that.  Yet, considering all that could possibly go wrong in the growing of an infant, because so much goes into that growing, it is amazing that the majority of births are defect free . . . that’s life continuing, God’s plan.

We know the agony of a young person dying at an early age, truly an accident, crying out against all that is right. Truly tragic as it is, it shows God’s plan is for life — for we correctly don’t think of early death as a right thing. We do take note and find comfort in the good that may come of it, but that again reveals that God’s purpose, His grandeur, is life, not death. He will help us go on . . . and it’s right that we do so, allowing His healing and comforting hand to work in us. Life does and must go on.

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We see evil in the world, but it is not from God — it comes from without. Even the word evil in English is live backwards. It’s a wrong direction, going against God’s purpose. 

Sometimes we worship what man does, his creative brilliant mind, the many inventions and commodities he has made. But where did that intelligence come from? God began it all with creating a world that perpetually continues, that demonstrates life.  We marvel at science, yet the laws that we use to create are the laws that God placed in the world. The law of lift, gravity, laws of motion, of thermodynamics. All of it we discovered in the world that God created. All the abilities of language, of communication, of intervention, came from the creative mind of God. He created a world that is logistically amazing and interdependent on its working parts.

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Even the simplest cell has over 60,000 proteins and thousands of interdependent parts . . . not simple at all . . . except that it is simply magnificent. Some say evolution is true because of similar systems in all animals. Yet, when we find a work of art, or pieces of writing, we identify the creator by the similar patterns. God has similar patterns throughout all living things, but the most marvelous variety you can imagine. We want to call it mother nature, but it’s Father God, who loves us and gave life that continues.

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So go outside and find a place where you can consider what God has done, what He is doing, and what He will continue to do. His heart for you is life, continual, restorative life. No matter what has attacked you, what lies have been told to you, God is a life-giving God. His Godly grandeur is perpetual life. Feel free to tap into it.

 

Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest

2014 was the year I entered the Guideposts Workshop Contest with thousands. Along with eleven others, I won and was sent to New York for an amazing week of training. In the March 2015 issue, the harrowing story of my niece who spent the night in the ocean was published. Here it is:

Clare Louis story Guideposts

If you have a story to write, the deadline for this year’s contest is June 10, 2016. Go to this site for all the information you need:  https://www.guideposts.org/enter-the-guideposts-writers-workshop-contest

 

All Eyes on September . . . A Perfect Storm?

Today is 9/11, the 14th anniversary of the terrible terrorist attack in New York. 3000 people lost their lives and we remember them with honor.

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This next week also holds significant dates. Could it be a perfect storm of economy, astronomy, and Biblical prophecy?

Sunday, September 13th is the 29th of Alul on the Israeli calendar. It begins the holiest time in the Hebrew calendar. The 14th, the beginning of the month of Tishri is Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the year on the Israeli civil calendar. Tishri is the seventh month of the sacred calendar.

Ten days pass from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, Sept. 23, the Day of Atonement. These days are High Holy Days, called the Days of Awe and the Days of Teshuvah (turning or repentance). It is said that on Rosh Hashanah, God’s assessment of a person or a nation is set. The ten days that follow provide the opportunity to change that by what you do. You can ask forgiveness of God and others, getting things right, and forgive those that have wronged you. It is also a time to pray for the nations.

On September 27/28 we will see the last blood moon of the current tetrad. Blood Moons are lunar eclipses that occur on Israeli feast days. In the last 600 years there have been four of these tetrads (grouping of four), with three sets occurring in the last 70 years. There will not be another for hundreds of years.

Lunar eclipses occur fairly often, but the ones that occur consecutively on Feast Days, hold great significance for Israel. Each tetrad of blood moons signaled great trouble followed by great triumph for the Jewish people. 1493-94, right after the Spanish Inquisition, Jews were murdered and kicked out of Spain, but made their way to a new world via Christopher Columbus. 1949-50 was immediately after the Holocaust and the Jews gaining Israel. 1967-68 was the time when all the surrounding Arab countries went after Israel and Israel triumphed and received Jerusalem back. We are now in the 2014-15 tetrad, and there has been no lack of evil pressure on Israel. I’ve written a novel about all of this entitled Blood Moon Redemption that incorporates the history of the blood moons and current events into a political thriller.  It is not published yet, although publishers and agents are looking at it.

The blood moon this month will also be a Super Moon, when the moon is in perigee – closest to Earth in its orbit. (http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/life/2015/09/10/rare-supermoon-light-up-night-sky/72001486/). Super Moons occur about every 18 years. That day begins Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles which continues for seven days.

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Overlaying these events is the end of the Shemitah year on Sept. 13. Shemitah means release. Just as the Sabbath was designed to be a day of rest, so Shemitah is to be a year of rest every seven years. The ground was to lay fallow and what grew of its own accord was for the poor. Debts owed were to be forgiven. In the years that Israel followed this pattern, abundant crops grew before and after the shemitah year. However, when this was not followed, the month of Tishri became a time of financial upheaval. You can read more about this at http://www.hopeoftheworld.org/.

It seems our economic cycle follows this same seven year pattern.  If you study stock market crashes, you’ll see most of them occur every seven years, and this autumn is that time. Perhaps we would do well to heed the ten days of repentance and prayer, asking forgiveness of God and others, getting things right in our lives, and forgiving those that have wronged us. Let’s ask God’s mercy, wisdom, and protection for our nation, and pray as well for the nations of this world.

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It seems the perfect storm of economy, astronomy, and Biblical prophecy may be here. Let’s remember that 1 Peter 5:6,7 says, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” And Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” In these perilous times we need to actively trust Him.

Batting Practice – 8 Strategies for Success

My friend Kelli Hughett is my guest today. She wrote a novel about football . . . so what’s not to like. So, as the pro-football season is heating up, the little league baseball season has wrapped up, and Kelli found some life lessons from her sons’ summer to share with us.

Summer Baseball was about to begin. It was the first batting practice and anticipation was high. We were there to see our 7 year old shine. But his feet were all wrong. He stood so awkwardly at the plate. The bat extended from him at such a strange angle. Our stomachs flip-flopped as his first swing went everywhere except to meet the ball. We lost count of how many balls swooshed by him as we shouted encouragement to little man. The coach, seeing the distress, slowed down the pitches, but our son connected only occasionally.

DCF 1.0

DCF 1.0

The game wasn’t much better with players on our 12 year-old’s team, but as the weeks passed, their stances improved as did their swings. Players on each team learned to connect with more pitches.

When late July arrived, they both played in the end-of-season tournament.

What a difference! Both teams, and both sons showed major improvement at the plate. They were taking fast, hard pitches and sending them into the outfield! This year, both their teams won their bracket! What a joy to watch them learn and improve in a sport they love.

Even with all the improvement, pitches still got past every hitter on both teams. Out of three pitches, they might foul one before sending a big shot to left field. How we would cheer when they connected! The fans (read: parents) won’t remember the balls they didn’t hit. We remember the balls they did!

As Christians, we so often put tremendous pressure on ourselves. We look at the challenges and opportunities of life like batting practice, only we expect to hit every pitch to the fence. When we don’t we feel guilty or like failures.

Here are 8 winning strategies for success when opportunities come your way like batting practice.

  1. Step up to the plate. You’re never going to improve if you don’t take batting practice. Pray God starts sending “pitches” you can hit. Opportunities to serve and share the gospel will come if you step up to the plate!
  2. Trust your coach: God’s a good coach. He’s promised to be patient with you. If you’re at the plate, that’s all he wants. He’ll allow some slow pitches while you’re learning. Take correction by getting into the word on a daily basis.
  3. Swing batta, batta. Take the risk and swing! Don’t let the best opportunities pass you by because you weren’t ready to swing or feared failure.
  4. Shake off the strikes. Stop feeling guilty about the pitches you missed. The ones that matter are the ones that connect.
  5. Wait for your pitch. As Christians, we can get busy “swinging” at any ball (opportunity). Set your priorities and wait for your pitch to make the biggest impact for the Kingdom of Christ.
  6. Sometimes you get walked. God’s grace can send any batter to first without a hit. Capitalize on this to persevere when the game gets hard.
  7. Quit keeping the count on other Christians. We’re quick to call 5 and 2 when our fellow players are at bat. Be an encourager of your teammates, not the umpire!
  8. We’ve already won the game. Jesus Christ has already sealed the victory with his blood. We play, not to earn the win, but because we’ve already won! Step up to the plate like a winner!

 

Here’s the link to Kelli’s book:  http://tinyurl.com/qesthpm

You can also visit her website at kellihughett.com

Enjoy!

 

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