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Archive for the category “Inspiration”

Crossreads Book Blast with Robin Merrill

thejesusdiet

The Jesus Diet: How the Holy Spirit Coached Me to a 50-Pound Weight Loss

By Robin Merrill

About the Book:

In The Jesus Diet: How the Holy Spirit Coached Me to a 50-Pound Weight Loss, Author/Poet Robin Merrill shares her weight loss experiences through 30 Bible devotions designed to inspire others to join her on her journey toward improved spiritual, and physical, health.

LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK

robin 12 web (2)Robin Merrill is the author of several books, including The Jesus Diet: How the Holy Spirit Coached Me to a 50-Pound Weight Loss (30 Devotions), two collections of poetry from Moon Pie Press, and five Scholastic Book Fair books.

Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications, including The Cafe Review, Ledge Magazine, Margie, Pearl, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Stolen Island Review. Three of her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. She is a 2013 recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from St. Botolph Club Foundation of Boston.

Robin is also a performance/slam poet who has competed at the national level. She has her MFA from Stonecoast and frequently leads creative writing workshops for writers of all levels.

Follow Robin Merrill

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The Good Conductor

In 1982, British author Bernard Hare was an impoverished student who was unable to pay his rent. When the police came knocking at his door, he did not reveal his presence because he was afraid that he would be evicted. However, he realized that since his mother had not been well, and he did not have a phone, perhaps the police had come to tell him to get home quickly before his mother died. He went to a public telephone, called his father, and learned that yes, his mother was dying and was expected to die that night. His father told him, “Get home, son.” He went to the railway station, but he learned that he could get only partway home that night.

Normally, he would have transferred to another train to get home, but he would miss that connection by 20 minutes. He bought the ticket anyway. Mr. Hare says, “I was a struggling student and didn’t have the money for a taxi the whole way, but I had a screwdriver in my pocket and my bunch of skeleton keys. I was so desperate to get home that I planned to nick [steal] a car in Peterborough, hitch hike, steal some money, something, anything. I just knew from my dad’s tone of voice that my mother was going to die that night, and I intended to get home if it killed me.”

The train conductor saw how upset Mr. Hare looked and asked him, “You okay?” Mr. Hare was not in a mood to talk, but the train conductor said, “You look awful. Is there anything I can do?” The train conductor added, “If there’s a problem, I’m here to help. That’s what I’m paid for.” Mr. Hare told the train conductor his story: “Look, my mum’s in hospital, dying, she won’t survive the night, I’m going to miss the connection to Leeds at Peterborough, I’m not sure how I’m going to get home. It’s tonight or never, I won’t get another chance, I’m a bit upset, I don’t really feel like talking, I’d be grateful if you’d leave me alone. Okay?”

The train conductor disappeared for a while, and then he came back and said to Mr. Hare, “Listen, when we get to Peterborough, shoot straight over to Platform One as quick as you like. The Leeds train’ll be there.” He then explained, “I’ve just radioed Peterborough. They’re going to hold the train up for you. As soon as you get on, it goes. Everyone will be complaining about how late it is, but let’s not worry about that on this occasion. You’ll get home, and that’s the main thing. Good luck and God bless.”

Mr. Hare thanked the train conductor, who told him, “If you feel the need to thank me, the next time you see someone in trouble, you help them out. That will pay me back amply. Tell them to pay you back the same way and soon the world will be a better place.”

Mr. Hare wrote in 2010, “I was at my mother’s side when she died in the early hours of the morning. Even now, I can’t think of her without remembering the Good Conductor on that late-night train to Peterborough and, to this day, I won’t hear a bad word said about British Rail. My meeting with the Good Conductor changed me from a selfish, potentially violent hedonist into a decent human being, but it took time. I’ve paid him back a thousand times since then, and I’ll keep on doing so till the day I die.” He tells other people who perhaps think that they owe him something, “You don’t owe me nothing. Nothing at all. And if you think you do, I’d give you the same advice the Good Conductor gave me. Pass it down the line.” – (The Kindest People Who Do Good Deeds – Vol 7)

Lessons from the traveling preacher

69044b25aae8e4bf1e8d5a6b438dce27A traveling preacher finds himself in a tremendous rainstorm. Within a few hours the hotel he is staying in is flooded. As the water rises, the preacher climbs to the roof and starts praying. “Lord, save me so I can continue on my mission of preaching your gospel.”

Just then, a coast guard rescue party floats by in a rowboat. “Let’s go mister, into the boat!”

“I’ll stay here,” says the preacher. “The Lord will save me.”

An hour later a second boat reaches the scene and the water is close to the roof of the hotel. “Sir, you better get in the water is still rising.”

“No thanks. The Lord will be my salvation.”

Toward evening, the hotel is almost completely under water and the preacher is clinging to the satellite dish on the roof. A helicopter is spotted and on a loudspeaker is heard: “Sir, grab on to the line and we will pull you up. This is your last chance.”

“I’m all right,’ says the preacher, “I know the Lord will provide sanctuary.”

As the helicopter departs, the satellite dish is hit by lightning and the preacher is killed.

When he arrives at the Pearly Gates he is furious. “What happened?” he shouts. “I thought the Lord would provide!?”

Moments later a thunderous voice is heard: “Give me a break. I sent you two boats and a chopper!”

It is important to recognize things for what they are…

The Storms of Life

A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that day was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child.

Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword, would cut through the sky. Full of concern, the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child’s school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly and with each the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile.

When the mother’s car drew up beside the child she lowered the window and called to her, “What are you doing? Why do you keep stopping?” The child answered,” I am trying to look pretty. God keeps taking my picture.”

May God bless you today as you face the storms that come your way!

Encounter with Jesus at a Restaurant

An Irishman in a wheelchair entered a restaurant one afternoon and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee. The Irishman looked across the restaurant and asked, “Is that Jesus sitting over there?” The waitress nodded “yes,” so the Irishman told her to give Jesus a cup of coffee on him.

The next patron to come in was an Englishman with a hunched back. He shuffled over to a booth, painfully sat down, and asked the waitress for a cup of hot tea. He also glanced across the restaurant and asked, “Is that Jesus over there?” The waitress nodded, so the Englishman said to give Jesus a cup of hot tea, “my treat.”

The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Redneck on crutches. He hobbled over to a booth, sat down and hollered, “Hey thar ;sweet thang. How’s about gettin’ me a cold glass a Coke!” He looked across the restaurant and asked, “Is that God’s boy over thar?” The waitress nodded, so the Redneck said to give Jesus a cold glass of Coke, “on my bill.”

As Jesus got up to leave, he passed by the Irishman, touched him and said, “For your kindness, you are healed.” The Irishman felt the strength come back into his legs, got up, and danced a jig out the door. Jesus also passed by the Englishman, touched him and said, “For your kindness, you are healed.” The Englishman felt his back straightening up, and he raised his hands, praised the Lord and did a series of backflips out the door.

Then Jesus walked towards the Redneck. The Redneck dropped his crutches, jumped up and yelled, “Don’t touch me…I’m drawin’ disability!”

Four Blood Moons – What nobody is talking about!

Before I get into what’s troubling me about all this, I want to cover some very basic facts for those who may not know:

-A blood moon is ALWAYS a lunar eclipse
-A lunar eclipse is ALWAYS a full moon.
-Lunar eclipses have happened over 7700 times in the last 5000 years
-Only a “TOTAL” lunar eclipse can be a blood moon
-The color of the moon depends on atmospheric conditions at the time. It can range from an orange hue to a coppery color to blood red or even black.
-You cannot know the color of the “blood moon” until it actually occurs.
-Total lunar eclipses have occurred about 2700 times in the last 5000 years.
-A series of four consecutive TOTAL lunar eclipses is called a tetrad
-Tetrads are less common. We are in our second of eight, this century.
-Passover and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) ALWAYS fall on a full moon.
-Lunar eclipses at Passover or Tabernacles are not rare.
Full Red Moon With Reflection

Read the whole article by Michael Q. Pink, bestselling author, teacher & keynote speaker

The Story Behind the Story of A Bridge Unbroken by Cathy Bryant

With every Miller’s CImagereek Novel I write, it never ceases to amaze me at how God uses the spiritual theme of the stories in my own life. I pre-plan all the stories, choosing the spiritual theme before anything else. Before I wrote even one word of A Bridge Unbroken, I knew the theme would be forgiveness.

The story is about a frightened runaway who wants her painful past to disappear. Her plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with the man responsible for the scars on her heart. He isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Because of past hurts between the two, the story question becomes: “Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempt at forgiveness?”

In every relationship, even ones that have lasted for decades, things happen that require us to be gracious and forgiving. In fact, I think those things are often divinely inspired to test our commitment to the relationship and to living the kind of life our heavenly Father desires.

Before I wrote A Bridge Unbroken, and also during the writing of the story, I seemed to be constantly confronted with situations that required grace and forgiveness on my part. At times my life was so emotionally painful that I questioned God as to why He wanted me to write a story on forgiveness when I struggled to forgive others. As I studied the concept of forgiveness in the scriptures, I was reminded of these truths.

1. True forgiveness is an act of the will, not emotion. We forgive–not because we feel like it–but because God requires it. How can we expect Him to forgive us if we’re not willing to forgive others?

I love this C. S. Lewis quote: “Being a Christian means forgiving the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” What powerful words, and oh, so true!

2. True forgiveness is unconditional. When Jesus, from the painful and humiliating cross of His crucifixion said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34, KJV), He placed no conditions on forgiveness. And He, as the sinless Son of God, certainly had the right to do so! In that light, as children of our heavenly Father, our forgiveness toward others can’t be based on the offender’s remorse, apology, or anything else. (If that were true, there are some whom we’d never forgive!) Instead, we forgive like Jesus–unconditionally and with no strings attached.

3. True forgiveness is motivated by the highest and purest love. When I stop to consider what Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection have bought for me, I’m astounded. I’m forgiven! Jesus’ work was motivated by God’s great love, in spite of who we are and the horrible ways we sometimes behave. Thank You, Jesus, for Your matchless love and grace! Thank you for forgiving an old sinner like me.

Cathy’s Website    ||   Amazon   ||    Goodreads   ||   Facebook

 

God said….

God said…

If you never felt pain,
Then how would you know that I’m a Healer?

If you never went through difficulties,
How would you know that I’m a Deliverer?

If you never had a trial,
How could you call yourself an overcomer?

If you never felt sadness,
How would you know that I’m a Comforter?

If you never made a mistake,
How would you know that I’m forgiving?

If you knew all,
How would you know that I will answer your questions?

If you never were in trouble,
How would you know that I will come to your rescue?

If you never were broken,
Then how would know that I can make you whole?

If you never had a problem,
How would you know that I can solve them?

If you never had any suffering,
Then how would you know what Jkatie49esus went through?

If you never went through the fire,
Then how would you become pure?

If I gave you all things,
How would you appreciate them?

If I never corrected you,
How would you know that I love you?

If you had all power,
Then how would you learn to depend on me?

If your life was perfect,
Then what would you need Me for?

- Unknown

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12)

Does Your Roof Leak?

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In a book written in 1696, I found these statements: “Sharp afflictions are to the soul as a soaking rain to the house. We know not there are such holes in the roof till the shower comes, and then we see it drop down here and there. Perhaps we did not know that there were such unmortified cuts in our soul till the storms of affliction came, then we found unbelief, impatience, and fear dropping down in many places.”

How true! Affliction tests us and proves what sort of Christians we are. If there are defects in our spiritual armor, they will show up under the strain and pressure of trouble.

When the floodgates of distress are opened, it is then we echo with understanding the words of the psalmist, who exclaimed, “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck” (Ps. 69:1). Yet we need not fear, for it is our loving Father who allows the waters to come, not to drown us but to cleanse us and help us to see where our life needs repairing.

Have you been through a storm? Have you been disturbed, irritated, faithless, fearful, or rebellious? Consider that God may have put you through this difficulty to reveal your spiritual needs. By prayer, faith, and yielding to the Holy Spirit, repair the “leaky roof.” —Henry G. Bosch (ODB Editor 1956-1981)

God’s way is the best way, though I may not see
Why sorrows and trials oft gather ’round me;
He ever is seeking my gold to refine,
So humbly I trust Him, my Savior divine. —Leech

God takes us into deep waters not to drown us but to cleanse us.

- Courtesy: Our Daily Bread

The Road We Must Travel

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The Road We Must Travel: A Personal Guide for Your Journey is a well-organized book written by a fine collection of some of the best writers, spiritual mentors and teachers in contemporary Christian world. A careful reading of the book which is meant to be a guide will undoubtedly help readers to take a firm grasp of themselves as they journey along life’s rugged pathways.

Insightful and practical, the book consisting of eighteen well thought-out chapters are divided into five parts – Part I: Roadworthy, Part II: Necessary Repairs, Part III: Washouts & Detours, Part IV: Traveling Light and Part V: Peripheral Vision. The book offers direction as you steer through unfamiliar roads. The Road We Must Travel: A Personal Guide for Your Journey features one lesson each from Francis Chan, Eugene Peterson, Ruth Barton, Nathan Conrad, Steve May, Tullian Tchividjian, Skye Jethani, Mark Labberton and Donald Sunukjian while Bill Hybels, Mark Buchanan and Gordon Mac Donald contributed two, three and four chapters respectively.

The hurdles along the road of life are not easy to overcome. Yet, this marvel of a book provides guide for every rut, fault and failure, roadblock, pothole, turn and corner of the road. Delightful chapters like Tuning Your Engine, Bad Situations Are Great Opportunities, Yield the Right of Way, and The First Rule of the Road: Love will help you unlearn and learn with a new eye. All in all, this is a book that will help the sojourner move forward, keep balance, maintain regular checks and nourish the soul spiritually. Refreshingly insightful and resourceful, this book must be in the hands of every Christian wherever they are in this journey of life.

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1617952915
ISBN-13: 978-1617952913
List Price: $14.99

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