Five Minute Friday – Rush to the Lord

Today, I’m participating in this week’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  If you like to write or need some inspiration and encouragement be sure to check it out.

Today word prompt:  Rush

Start

Lord, I confess to You
So much of the time I feel rushed

I rush from morning to night
I rush to take care of the urgent

How much of what man considers urgent is truly important?
How much of it has eternal consequences?

When I read about Jesus, He didn’t rush
Though He had people coming to Him night and day

Desperate with crippling sickness and disease
A pressing needs that only the Savior could meet

Yet Jesus, the Son of God
Took time to pray to His Father in heaven

Jesus was driven to do His Father’s will, not man’s
He responded with grace, mercy and compassion

May I rush to spend time with Christ Jesus
May I focus my mind on Your life changing Word

May I rush before the Father’s throne of grace
May I bring Him my prayers and wait upon the Lord

Help me to make a priority
That which is important to You

May I rush to come before the Lord
May I be quick to listen and obey

by Susan Wachtel
August 31, 2018

End…Times Up

I’m so looking forward to fall. While I’m not in school, I will be back in Bible study classes. I desperately need the disciple and focus of in-depth Bible study. More than I know, I the community of believers.

How about you? Are you in a good Bible study? If not…now is a good time to jump in. A lot of studies begin in early September. There a are a number of in-depth, verse by verse studies available, like Community Bible Study, Bible Study Fellowship, Precepts or perhaps a study at a local church near you.

I cannot adequately explain how important it is for you know God’s Word for yourself. God will use it to grow you and change you. He will enable you to be discerning and wise and read, understand and obey His Word.

 

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Five Minute Friday – God is Loyal

I’m participating in this week’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  If you like to write or need some inspiration and encouragement be sure to check it out.

Today word prompt:  Loyal.

When I think of loyalty, its something that we all desire in relationships.  We want our spouse, family and friends to be loyal to us.

Some examples from the Bible that come to mind…Ruth and Naomi.  Ruth remained devoted and loyal to her mother-in-law during a time when Naomi wasn’t too pleasant.  She was grieving the loss of her husband and two sons while in a far-away pagan land.  Ruth is a reminder to me that we are to be loyal through good times and bad.

How about Joseph in the Old Testament?  Now that is someone who by God’s supernatural grace remains loyal to his family, including his brothers, despite the fact they hated him out jealousy and wanted him dead.  Because of his relationship with God, he saw God’s hand in all his circumstances and knew God was doing a good work in and through him.  He was able to trust God and return good for the evil done to him.

Jonathan and David…both were loyal to each other and their respective families.  Jonathan loved his friend and knew that David was God’s chosen anointed man to be the next king.  He even risked his own life and his father’s wrath to warn David so he could get to safety.  David showed his loyalty to Jonathan and later to his son Mephibosheth.

Times Up

I have to ask myself, am I a loyal person, both the God and people?  If I’m honest, I recognize fall woefully short!  My hope is in God, not me and what I can do.

As believers in Jesus Christ we can know the absolutely loyalty of God.  When we have genuinely repented of our sin and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior…then we are saved.  He paid our sin debt in full on the cross and clothed us with His righteousness.  In Christ we are eternally secure.

How wonderful it is to meditate on what God has done for us when we have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

 

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble – Implausible

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble is the second book I’ve read by this author.  What drew me to the book was the setting along the coastline of Washington, the mystery of what happened to the missing sister, a little romance with some home renovation mixed in.  I wanted to like this book more than I actually did.

The story is about two sisters Ellie and Mackenzie Blackmore, one of whom is missing and presumed dead.  She leaves behind a mystery of a life that wasn’t what it seemed.  Thrown into the mix is Grayson Bradshaw, an investigator for the US Coast Guard, who is looking into a missing shipment of illegal drugs that has ties to a terrorist.  One of the prime suspects is Mackenzie and that news doesn’t sit too well with Ellie who just wants to find her sister.

What I liked about The House at Saltwater Point:

  • Grayson was very honest, forthright, nice and likeable.
  • I kind of liked his relationship with Ellie, but they went from an adversarial relationship to romance and I wasn’t quite sure how they crossed that bridge.
  • I liked the subplot of Grayson finding out that he was adopted and had biological sister and family whom he knew nothing about.
  • I enjoyed the setting of Lavender Tides, the description of the town, the townspeople and friends, waterfront, beaches and scenery.
  • I liked the home renovation career of Ellie.

What I wasn’t too keen on:

  • The storyline was rather convoluted and had too many subplots going on.
  • The story and characters weren’t very realistic. Especially, the two small town sisters trying thwart a terrorist attack.  There were times that the sisters did a better job than the FBI and Coast Guard in trying to stop the terrorists.  There sure didn’t seem to much of a police presence considering the seriousness of what was going on.
  • Early on in the book Ellie takes in a helpless small kitten. Periodically, the kitten would be mentioned but for the most part it wasn’t part of the story.  I found it distracting.  That part of the story was unnecessary and didn’t contribute to the storyline.
  • At times the story seemed the drag.
  • The characters weren’t very realistic. My favorite was Grayson, a very nice man…but he was a little too perfect.

Colleen is really good at setting a scene and describing the place and helping the reader see it in their mind.  However, the storyline was not plausible and the characters weren’t deep or realistic…much of it was very surface level.  I think that’s where it lost me, I didn’t connect with the characters.

If you just want to read a mystery to escape for a while you may enjoy The House at Saltwater Point.

Colleen Coble is a Christian author, but there nothing much about faith included in this book.  It’s clean, no profanity and or sexual immorality, and I appreciate that.  But nothing much regarding faith and characters talking about God or praying or faith being lived out in their everyday lives.

I wanted to like The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble.  There were parts I did enjoy, but I think the implausible storyline and lack of depth the characters were too much to overcome.

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and BookLook for the opportunity to read The House at Saltwater Point for free in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Five Minute Friday – Loved Even When I Don’t Feel Like It

I’m participating in today’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  If you like to write or need some inspiration be sure to check it out.

Today word prompt:  Loved

Goodness…when I first read today’s Five Minute Friday prompt of loved…I thought oh no, what can I write about love.

Let me tell you a secret…I don’t think there’s been too many times in my life when I can honestly say I’ve felt loved.  Why…not sure entirely.  Not sure if it’s part of the baggage that some adoptees feel?  Maybe, maybe not.

When you don’t feel loved…you start thinking you are unworthy of love and something is wrong with you.  Is there something wrong with me?  Absolutely and with the world too.

First and foremost, I’m a sinner and I live in a broken sinful world.

But the thing that helped change me is when I was saved…when I recognized my sin, repented and believed in Jesus Christ and His perfect and complete atoning sacrifice on the cross paying the penalty for my sin.

That was done out of love.  Love of God the Father who came up with an outrageous plan to save sinners.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 1:10

Love of the Son, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself up for me and all who would repent and believe.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. – John 15:9

My Five Minutes Ended

Sometimes…I may not feel God’s love or feel loved or deserving of love…but now I can go by what I know…what recorded in Scripture.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). – Ephesians 2:4-5

Because of God’s love for me…may I now walk in love.  Love of God first and love for others.  I have a long way to go…but praise God…He has given me the Holy Spirit and the Bible to help me grow, learn and change.  Forgiveness for times I fail and fall short.  Abundant grace and mercy daily.  Assurance that my sin debt…all of it…was paid in full.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. – John 15:9

We love, because He first loved us. – 1 John 1:19

How about you?  Do you feel loved?  Do you know that God loves you?  Do you know that He made a way for you to be saved from your sins?  It’s through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.  To know that truth…pick up your Bible or read it online.  Where to start…how about the Gospel of John in the New Testament.  Don’t wait one more day.  For today is the day of salvation.

 

Discipline from the Father’s Hand

From the heart of the Father
Through the work of the Son
A call to the church to be holy and sanctified

Commanded by the Savior
Authority given to the church
Discipline one caught up in sin

The honor and glory of the Lord to be upheld
Protect the flock and keep her pure
A healthy reverence and fear of sin

Do not neglect
Nor turn a blind eye
To the one going astray

Serious measures must be taken
With the aim to restore
A repentant sinner to the Lord

Proper sense of shame
A tool in the hands of the Lord
To bring one to repentance

The one who knows
Go in private to the brother gone astray
Confront, admonish with the aim to reprove

With ongoing rebellion
Bring two or three witnesses
Rebuke and correct

When faced with open defiance
Hand them over
Remove them from your midst

Be warned dear church
First examine yourself according to the Word
Ensure your heart and mind are right before the Lord

Be filled with genuine love for the sinner
With gentleness and humility
Desire to forgive

From the heart of the Father – Love
Through the work of the Son – Forgiveness
A broken and contrite heart He will not despise

By Susan Wachtel
August 12, 2018