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Archive for the ‘Praying for our nation’ Category

What I’m reading and hearing from people I respect underscores what I have been feeling in my spirit for a long time. Difficult days are ahead for our nation. They will be days of intense testing for Christians, but they also will be days filled with opportunities to strengthen our faith muscles and to live and to write His answer.

Will we witness God’s judgment of our nation in the coming weeks and months? I don’t know. I’m praying we will turn back to God and that He will have mercy. Whatever happens, I want to be a contagious Christian whose words and actions draw people to the Lord – our only hope for today, tomorrow, and eternity.

  • Contagious Christians love. – John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:7-10; Matthew 5:44
  • Contagious Christians are passionate. – Luke 10:27; Revelation 2:4-5; 3:15-16
  • Contagious Christians pray. – Colossians 4:2; Philippians 4:6
  • Contagious Christians live their faith. – James 2:14; Ecclesiastes 5:7; Ephesians 5:17
  • Contagious Christians boldly share their faith. – 2 Corinthians 4:13; Colossians 4:5
  • Contagious Christians are gentle, respectful, and gracious. – 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:25; James 3:17
  • Contagious Christians avoid senseless arguments. – Titus 3:9; John 14:6
  • Contagious Christians avoid pat answers. – Ezekiel 3:10-11; Habakkuk 2:1-2
  • Contagious Christians are authentic. – 1 Corinthians 4:20; Colossians 2:6-7
  • Contagious Christians are joy-filled and expectant. – Psalm 71:14,16; 9:1

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eagle and flag

“If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV2011)

History, at least the history of our nation, is swiftly moving to a climax.

The sad fact for America is that
our sin has made God our enemy.
If there is no national confession of sin|
and if we cannot find a heart of repentance,
a Holy God will complete his judgment;
either by the complete annihilation
or subjugation of what was once a great
and godly people or by rendering it
completely irrelevant on the world stage. 

Michael Gantt
http://growinggodlyseed.com/stand

We have stepped over a line
   from which there is no turning back.
We have taken a paradigm leap
   from mere disobedience
      to open rebellion against God,
   thereby crossing the line
      from blessing to judgment
         and from God’s prior favor
   to His impending wrath. . . .

Mike Wolff
http://thereconnectedchurch.org

There is no doubt—
the TRUE hope for this world is Jesus Christ!
Our struggling nation and a lost world
need a fresh introduction to the message of Jesus!
This generation urgently needs to learn
of the new birth that comes through faith in Jesus!
A church that is committed to obeying Christ
and sharing the Gospel could … save this nation!

Focus on the Family, 9/3/15 email

frog-in-the-kettle

Friends, please do not allow a spirit of complacency to cause you to suffer the fate of this frog in the kettle. I can’t urge you strongly enough to watch the video of Michael Gantt’s keynote address, “The Cross Is the Main Thing,” that he gave July 31 at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Or read the transcript at
http://growinggodlyseed.com/stand and subscribe to his blog. Mike Wolff’s September 3 blog post, “Sounding the Trumpet,” is also critically important to read.

I believe the days ahead are going to be very difficult for our nation. I don’t know if she will survive God’s judgment. As for Christians, persecution is coming. Indeed, it is already here, and God will allow it to intensify for it is the only way His church will again become strong.

Am I fearful? Yes! I long to be strong in His strength and to live and to write His answer.

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eagle (2)The Cross
is
the Main Thing

Last night I watched Michael Gantt’s 30 minute keynote, “The Cross is the Main Thing,” from this year’s Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. You’ll find it on YouTube at http://bit.ly/1JkE8m9.

In 32 years of ministry I believe this is the most powerful message that has ever been presented at the conference.

The sad fact for America is that because of our sin
we have made God our enemy,” Michael said.
“The only thing that holds any hope for our nation
is the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Friends, I urge you to watch it and to share the URL on your social networks, web page, blog, and with your family and friends and church family who you spend time with in person.

Father, please cause each one who reads this to make time to watch this video. Save us from the spirit of apathy and complacency. Help us to hear and to speak and to write Your truth – Your answer.

Difficult days our ahead that will test our faith as never before. Father, please help us to

Stand united, singular in vision,
contending for people’s trust
in the Message, the good news,
not flinching or dodging
in the slightest
before the opposition.”
(Phil. 1:27-28 MSG)

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file1981260652892 (1)Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand
against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against
flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:11-12 NIV

My hands tied behind my back, I was dragged before a tribunal of cloaked men. They accused me of subversion against the government because of my faith in Jesus Christ. I could not deny the charges, for spread across the table were books and articles I had written.

The congregation’s singing brought me back to reality. Had I dozed off or seen a vision? I’ll never know for sure. But I do know the Lord spoke to me. “Do you realize, Child,” I felt Him say, “that the things you are writing may one day convict you? Are you willing to follow Me despite the cost?”

It was a sobering moment. I didn’t ask Him to give me a closer look at the titles of my published works. And I didn’t answer quickly or feel very brave when I finally said, “Yes, Lord.”

That was fifteen years ago. Societally, things were bad and getting worse; but Christians generally were seen as part of the answer—not the problem. We were not the frequent brunt of jokes on TV sitcoms and talk shows. Media coverage was not openly biased. Gays were not militant. People did not worry about being politically correct. The New Age was beginning to infiltrate some churches, but few discerned its danger.

Things are changing—rapidly. We can no longer ignore all the signs that point to the return of Christ. They challenge us to be actively involved in spreading the Gospel while the doors remain open to produce and distribute Christian literature. But we do need to count the cost. In a very real way, writing for the Lord puts us on the front lines where “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12 NIV). To go into battle without the “full armor of God” (Eph. 6:11 NIV) is dangerous.

“This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels,” The Message says. “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued” (Eph. 6:12-13). Having been defeated too often, I’m learning to pray on the armor every morning that I might “resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over . . . still be standing up” (Eph. 6:13 TLB).

“Lord,” I pray, “help me to gird myself with your belt of truth’” (Eph. 6:14 NIV). “Give me discernment that I might immediately recognize the enemy’s lies and half-truths. Help me to refuse to receive or believe them.” When a manuscript is returned and those insistent inner whispers threaten to defeat me, I buckle the belt of God’s truth more tightly around me. I affirm, often out loud, that the return of one manuscript (or dozens of manuscripts) does not mean I should quit writing. I know God has called me to write, but that is not a guarantee of accepted manuscripts. I must keep developing the gifts of writing and marketing and persevere.

The breastplate of righteousness (Eph. 6:14 NIV) protects my most vulnerable area—my heart, the home of my feelings and emotions. It is so easy for me to be wounded by others, to allow myself to be influenced by fear of what they might say or think. I need to be constantly vigilant against the temptation to compromise because “everyone else is doing it.” I cannot pad my writing expenses on my Schedule C. I cannot be careless attributing quotes or use copyrighted material without permission. Instead, I must handle every aspect of the business side of my writing in a way that honors the Lord. My first priority must be to bring glory to Him and not to myself. “Lord,” I pray, “help me today to consistently choose to do what is right in Your eyes.”

Putting on the shoes of readiness to share the Gospel (Eph. 6:15) protects me from the temptation to get sidetracked. There are often other things I can do and write that would require less time and effort, but if I am to be a soldier of the King, I must take my orders from Him. I need to follow His marching orders instead of asking Him to bless mine. When I walk in obedience, I find that my feet do not become bruised and weary from going places He never intended me to go. I also find that when I say yes to what He wants me to do, rather than yes to what others tell me I should do or what I feel they expect me to do, I am filled with peace instead of tension.

I prayerfully pick up the shield of faith to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16 NIV). I ask God to make me mighty in spirit—to help me to walk by faith, not by sight. I also ask Him to help me not to lower my shield by nurturing doubts. A soldier can be fatally wounded if he lowers his shield for only a moment.

The helmet of salvation (Eph. 6:17 NIV) protects my thought life. Each morning I thank God that I do not have to be bound by old habits and thinking  patterns. I ask Him to continue His work of transforming me by renewing my mind (Rom. 12:2) and giving me the “thoughts and mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16 TLB).

Finally, there is the one offensive piece of armor. It is with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17 NIV) that we go forth into battle to confront the evil of our day. Doing so doesn’t mean we are supposed to hit our readers over the head with the Bible. Instead, I pray that God’s Word will so permeate my life that the principles of Scripture will be evident in all I do, say, and write.

“The enemy is within the gates,” Chuck Colson wrote in Against the Night (Servant Publications, 1989, p. 19). “I believe that we do face a crisis in Western culture, and that it presents the greatest threat to civilization since the barbarians invaded Rome” (p. 23). But God commands us to trust Him. Even when facing the spirit of the antichrist, we need not fear because “the one who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world” (l John 4:4 NIV). We need to “pray all the time” (Eph. 6:18 TLB) and to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Eph. 6:10 NIV) knowing that Jesus has already won the battle.

Responding to God’s Call to Write

Study Ephesians 6:10-18 in several translations or paraphrases. Ask the Lord to show you what each piece of the armor can mean in your life. List those insights below and begin to daily pray on the armor.

Belt of truth

Breastplate of righteousness

Shoes of readiness

Shield of faith

Helmet of salvation

Sword of the Spirit

From Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers by Marlene Bagnull. ACW Press. © 1990, 1999 Marlene Bagnull.

Banner 2015 GPCWCIf God is calling you to “write His answer,” you need to come to the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. It’s not too late to register.

I feel such a sense of urgency. “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work” (John 9:4 NLT).

Our Friday morning keynoter, Pastor Michael Gantt, said in a blog post “Found Standing” in May:

Because of our terrible national sins; because as a nation we have essentially given God the middle finger of disdain for His Person, His character, and His laws there is no defense to be made. I made the point in a recent post, “The Hedge is Gone,” that we must realize that Islam is not our enemy, the militant LGBT bloc is not our .”enemy, nor is Planned Parenthood (the chief purveyor of the murder of our children) our enemy. Our sin has made God our enemy.

Because of the rejection of God and His Word and because we have exchanged the God of Life for the gods of death and perversion, God is already judging the nation and if there is no national confession of sin and repentance He will complete his judgment; either by the complete annihilation of what was once a great and Godly people or by rendering it completely irrelevant on the world stage.”

Oh Father, have mercy and bring our nation back to You! Thank You for the message Michael will bring Friday morning. Indeed, “The Cross is the Main Thing.”

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Israel Prayer Alert Mar 2Emergency Prayer Alert to Christian Friends of Israel Around the WorldFor if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, NIV)

Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem is posting this special prayer alert around the world [reprinted with permission] to motivate Christians everywhere to pray for a much-loved Prime Minister of Israel. He has just departed for the United States on a difficult, but extremely important mission, where he will walk into the Chamber of the US Congress with a message on his heart similar to that of Queen Esther when she knew she had to speak out on behalf of her people. Someone said “who knows whether he was elected so that he may be ready in such a time as this?” The Bible story of Esther shows that Mordechai the Jew refused to bow before Haman, and came from the tribe of Binyamin. It is reported he was a descendant of Binyamin, son of Jacob, who refused to bow to Esau. Benjamin is the English name for Binyamin in Hebrew. The Israeli Prime Minister will have the weight of centuries on his shoulders as we hope he will speak the words of Esther and allow his voice to echo to all corners of the world. He cares for the nation of Israel, for the United States and the world and will go only to warn of the danger of a nuclear Iran for the entire world; as Iran’s primary goal is the elimination of the Jewish state.

Recalling the story of Esther, we read also that the Jews of Shushan were supposed to have been executed. It was Haman’s desire as he carried within him the hatred for the Jewish people as did his ancestors, the Agagites. Every year on the 13th of Adar Israel observes the Fast of Esther. She entered the dangerous arena of the king’s court without being invited. When the tables were turned, the Jews received permission from King Ahasuerus to gather and defend themselves, on the 13th of Adar. They struck only those who had risen to kill them–and they succeeded. It will actually be on the 13th of Adar, in the year 5775 (2015) that the “man of the hour”, the messenger for the nation of Israel, her Prime Minister, will be accompanied in spirit by 8,000,000 hearts – the citizens of Israel. There will also be millions of Christians around the world who stand with and pray for this beloved nation and people, going with him in spirit.

This historical speech will be broadcast in Israel, with a five-minute delay. One Israeli stated, “Jewish people from across time and space will be watching and waiting for him to raise his hand and say. A report in Israel this past week stated “It is this Haman that is our adversary and most wicked enemy” (Esther 7:6); that Bibi tells them 4-year-old Adele Biton did not just die of pneumonia, but her death was the result of a murderous stone-throwing attack; that the Jews at the kosher supermarket in France were not murdered because “zealots randomly shot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” as Obama stated, but because they were Jewish.” May he also state unashamedly the truth that centrifuges in Iran are spinning at a rapid pace to commit eventually commit genocide against God’s Chosen People.

We call upon our Christian friends of Israel around the world and ask that as Esther solicited her people to pray and fast on her behalf, that we would also do the same and fast and pray for Prime Minster Netanyahu. Esther chose to disregard protocol in the face of possible extermination of her people. She succeeded in averting an evil decree. As a result, Jewish people to this day around the world celebrate the Festival of Purim. It is no coincidence that “the most remarkable serendipitous aspect of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech is that it is scheduled for the very day before Jews will be observing the Fast of Esther and Purim this year, to recall a time when a heroic Queen decided that the survival of her people took precedence over protocol. (Rabbi Benjamin Blech, Aish.com, 2/22/2015).

“Religious leaders are warning that the United States is nearing a day of judgment based on its treatment of the nation of Israel. What’s more, they say, signs in the heavens are coinciding with what is shaping up to be an unexpectedly controversial address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3 and… Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries warns that “our nation will be judged” based on whether the United States sides with or against the Jewish state. Biltz believes signs in the heavens and correlations with feast days on the biblical calendar show such a judgment may be coming soon.” “When Netanyahu speaks before Congress on March 3, this is the day before the Fast of Esther when the enemies of Israel, specifically Persia (Iran) had planned to destroy the nation of Israel, he said. “The next day is Purim, which celebrates the day Israel achieved victory over Iran. The timing significance of this is just as important as the timing of the blood moon.” Pastor Ray Bentley of Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, California, enthusiastically agrees with Biltz and warns that Christians need to be “praying like they never prayed before”… As Biltz puts it, “God says He will divide the sheep from the goats, one nation from another, and He will do it on the basis of those who supported Israel and those who didn’t.”  (World Net Daily, Saturday, February 28, 2015).

On September 27, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations. He spoke about the danger Iran and radical Islam poses to the world. He also clearly presented the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel by quoting the Bible. At that time he showed  how close to the redline Iran is before it completes Stage 2 of the uranium enrichment process. He made his case to the world on a chart with a drawing of a bomb on it that the entire western world faces if Iran is allowed to succeed.

Let’s Enter the Throne Room and Pray:

·         Pray that Prime Minister Netanyahu, will receive strength and courage from God not to bow or back down. May his trip to Washington be one of truth in order to awaken those who slumber in dark and dangerous times.

·         Cry out to the Lord fervently that he will not come under attack (as Mordecai also came under attack by some). Mordecai was held in high esteem by many of his brothers but not “all” of them. (Esther 10:3).

·         Ask the Lord to keep politics from prevailing and that only truth will prevail during this important historical speech.

·         Intercede for for the US Congress to welcome the Prime Minister and that he might move the hearts of all those with righteous hearts and consciences in the political realm today in America. “I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.” (Psalm 142:1, KJV).

·         Beseech the Lord  for wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 8:11, 35) to come forth from the lips of the Prime Minister and that he will know he doing the right thing for his nation and people, not wavering in his decision to speak truth at this time to the world arena of nations. “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver”  (Proverbs 16:16).

·         Pray for his safety, security and protection at all times and that no harm or danger come near him at anytime.

·         Pray that the Lord will be with him from the time of departure from Israel until he returns home to Israel.

Please feel free to send this email to your family, friends, pastors, churches and lovers of Zion on every continent. Let us mobilize, rally together and marshal the prayer power that will be needed to ward off the forces of evil that are against this voice from being raised in the US halls of Congress at this significant time. This “call up” for prayer is as important as any prayer has ever been for such a time as we are now facing. May the courage of Esther, the righteousness of Daniel and the wisdom of King Solomon go with the Prime Minister as a chosen vessel “for such a time as this”.

Sincerely for the Nation of Israel,

Sharon Sanders
Co-founder, Director
Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem
email: sharon@cfijerusalem.org
www.cfijerusalem.org

 

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thanksgiving (1)

Come All Christians

Marlene Bagnull
To the tune “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”

Come all Christians join in song
Praise our God the whole day long
Not just on Thanksgiving eve
But throughout eternity
Thank You God for all You’ve done
For Your Spirit and Your Son
And Your Word that points the way
To bear fruit for You each day

Thank You for this land we love
For Your watchcare from above
For  countless ways that You have blessed
Giv’n Your strength when we are stressed
Turn our nation back to You
Change our hearts, our faith renew
Help us, Lord, to once again
Stand for Truth lost souls to win

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I’m back! Well, I’ve not really been gone although it feels that way. For the past month I’ve spent more time in my garden than in my office except for the week when I had to work on our 2013 taxes. PTL I got them done several hours before the October 15 deadline.

It’s been a good month of catching up on stuff I can’t do during conference season. I still have more catching up to do (will any of us ever really be caught up?), but it’s time to get to work planning next year’s conferences. There’s a book to be written that Father is placing on my heart, and there is the ongoing need to prayerfully address the issues and to “write His answer.”

For now, let me encourage you to do several things.

  • Go to the polls tomorrow having studied where the candidates stand on the issues. A helpful non-partisan tool is  http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm. Join me in praying for the election of godly men and women.

nativity2

  • With Christmas fast-approaching (it’s only 7-1/2 weeks away!) ask Father how you can keep Christ in Christmas through His gift of words. Perhaps He will lead you to post Scriptures on Facebook throughout Advent or to do as my friend, Cindy Watkins, is doing in November with a daily “thank You” post. Or perhaps Father will lead you to compile a booklet of poems and short stories as a gift for loved ones. And do be aware of what’s happening in the world around you especially as it pertains to man’s attempt to remove Christ from Christmas. Ask Father for wise words to present biblical truth.

God bless you as you seek to write and to live His answer.

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Loretta OakesGuest Blogger
Loretta Oakes

For the past several years the decline of this nation has been happening at a rapid rate. The lack of a fear of God with our nation’s leaders has trickled down through the ranks. God sees all this. More than anything He wants us back, for He is a jealous God. He desires us to be with Him. So how does that happen that we return? You and Anne are right, through prayer…but right now only the righteous see that need. And so we do what Jesus asks, pray for each other.

But there is something else. Humanity hasn’t changed that much. The Old Testament teaches us that the Israelites would turn away from God with their idols and such and then God would allow their enemies to take over. Why? The parenting style, Love and Logic  teaches that there are natural consequences for our actions. For example, if a child throws a toy in anger, the toy is taken away. It is no different for adults. And I believe that it truly is the way our God disciplines us. He gave us free will, He won’t take that away, so instead there are natural consequences because one doesn’t learn by having their hand slapped, but they learn by having what they want taken away until they learn to appreciate it.

Here in the U.S., we have taken our freedoms too lightly, forgotten where they came from with respect to the sacrifices of our ancestors. Many don’t even know the Pledge of Allegiance. I’m not sure that we can hold back the natural consequences for our actions in not respecting unborn life, in our charge forward toward euthanasia, or our lack of respect for the human body in general. Each of those moments of defiance have caused a great rift in our relationship with God and His allowance of this country to continue.

We have become too complacent as a people here in the U.S. We have our view of “rights” and it has been deeply distorted. How do you teach that our unalienable rights and respect for others’ same rights is a privilege unless you take it away?  This is the quandary I speak of with regard to Anne Graham’s call.

We do need to pray, but I believe it goes well beyond seven days. The prayer and fasting of Lent that is followed by practicing Catholics has a value beyond Lent. It takes six weeks to form a new habit and I believe that ideal applies here. I love the three things that Anne is asking us to pray for. Love them. Each of them signifies a humility that we as a people need to apply daily in our lives and be an example for others. A spiritual awakening usually only takes root in suffering. We are a hard headed people, not much different from those that Moses dealt with in his conversations with God (Ex 33:5).

So this is my hope: that this prayer will last more than seven days. It needs to. And that we as a people will take to heart what history teaches us. It took, I believe, more than 50 years to get to where we are today. If we read the Bible we know that it took generations to fix their problems. Therefore, in addition to the three lovely prayers that Anne suggests, I hope that we will also pray for our children and their children because the consequences of our sin will fall hardest on them. They will be the ones that must maintain the faith and propagate Christ’s teachings. Let us embolden them with the teachings and the love that Christ sought to bring into the world. They are our hope now and the meaning for Christ’s words, “Let the children come to me…” (Matt 19:14.)

Don’t get me wrong! I believe there is still hope, but it will be long in coming and hard fought. We are seeing some hope with things like the Hobby Lobby decision (that is if people take the time to read it instead of relying on the “stiff-necked” media to interpret it for us). It’s not about contraception, it’s about four abortion drugs. Very different than the media spins it. And there are other victories too. Let us thank the Lord for these and pray for those who fought for them.
___________

Thank you, Loretta, for giving me permission to share the email you sent to me. And thank you for your blog, “Complementary Thoughts – Finding a Balance for Science and Religion” – http://lorettaoakes.blogspot.com/.  Friends, I encourage you to subscribe. I also encourage you to respond to Anne Graham Lotz’ “Urgent Call to Prayer”- http://www.annegrahamlotz.com/events/urgent-call-to-prayer/.

 

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new deck
“Relax,
everything’s going to be all right;
rest, everything’s coming together”
(Jude 1:2 MSG).

 

I discovered the above paraphrase of Jude 1:2 after five exhausting days of refinishing my back deck. Despite 90 degree weather, I pushed myself to finish a job that needed to get done. We stained the deck two years ago only to have the finish begin to peel less than a year later. We couldn’t afford to hire a contractor, and my husband couldn’t help because he tripped over a cord in the driveway and sprained his hand two weeks ago. He’s in a cast that he is supposed to remove only to take a shower.

It’s a job that would have been difficult for someone 30 years younger than me. (I’ll be 70 in January.) Lessons learned:

  • Count the cost. Jesus said, “Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it?” (Luke 14:28 MSG). The job did turn out to be more costly than I anticipated – and not just in dollars and cents. It’s all too easy for me to get in over my head. You, too?
  •  Ask for help. “Tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers” (Phil. 4:6 TLB). Because God works through people, I also needed to let my daughter and her husband know that I really needed their help. Thank You, Father, that they did not ignore my cry for help.
  •  Rely on His strength. My own strength would never have enabled me to finish. “He gives me new strength,” Psalm 23:2 (TLB) promises. He also “lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams.” I admit in my desire to finish I didn’t pace myself as well as I needed to, but I did go to bed earlier at night and sleep later in the morning. It was much-needed rest that has included a nap this Sunday afternoon on my lovely new deck!
  •  And more learned-the-hard-way lessons – After four days of sanding off the old finish, I will never again use stain or paint on the deck or a stripper to try and remove it. I used Thompson’s Natural Advanced Water Seal. It’s supposed to last three years – I hope!

Update July 30 – August 2 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

Reminder – The price increases July 2 so register now.

Another reminder – Clinic applications are due July 1.

Teens Write info is finally online (click here). Thanks Pam Halter for the great program you’ve put together for our teens.

Faculty Bios and Editorial Needs – With 58 on faculty this was a time consuming task. Unexplained techno glitches didn’t help. The same as with the Teens Write page, I lost my updates to the Authors page and had to begin again several times. Then, when the Authors page was finally uploaded, I discovered that it had somehow copied over the Paid Critiques page. God bless Jonathan Shank at SKWD (my webmaster) who was able to recover the information. Jonathan will teach a workshop at the conference on “Effective, Efficient, Engaging Websites.” I am so grateful Father led me to SKWD two years ago.

Friday Special 

There has never been a society in the history of mankind
whose moral values
have deteriorated so dramatically,
in such a short period of time,
as those of Americans in the last 50 years.
And so far it shows no sign of stopping. 

Bert M. Farias, “The American Church – How Deceived Are We?”

The above quote from a June 1 Prophecy News Watch article is sobering and cause for deep concern. I encourage you to click here to read the entire article. I clearly felt Father speaking to my heart as I read this article that I needed to invite Rick Marschall to come and teach the following special session on Friday from 1:00 – 2:00 (during the Indie Publishing Panel). It is open to the community free of charge.

Save Our Children – Christians are pilgrims and strangers in this world. Surely every believer senses that these times are darker, more dangerous than ever. Our culture has turned hateful toward Christians and children are the primary targets of the enemy. There are things we can and must do as Christians. Let us engage!

       Rick has 74 books and hundreds of magazine articles to his credit. A former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney, his fields as an author are as eclectic: popular culture; classical music; country music; biographies; television history; children’s books; cartoons and comics; and Christian books, where his publishers have included Thomas Nelson, Faithwords, and Tyndale House. For four years he has produced the weekly blog www.MondayMinistry.com, devotionals that feature music videos and address culture, worldview, church history, and matters of faith.

News You Can Use

Must Read Articles – “Culture Upside Down: The Colossal Shift In America’s Values Since 2001,” is another must-read (click here). And please make time to read Joel Rosenberg’s blogpost, “Anne Graham Lotz & new Southern Baptist Convention president call for urgent prayer for a Third Great Awakening” (click here) and to click on the link to the video of the message Anne Graham Lotz gave at the National Day of Prayer last month. “Judgment is coming,” she said. “God’s patience is at an end.” If ever we needed to earnestly pray for our nation to return to God and to “write His answer,” it is now.

Reality YA FictionClick here for an interesting article from Publisher’s Weekly about  contemporary, realistic YA fiction. Father, please raise up Christian writers to address to issues our children and teens are facing through the power of story. And please encourage Christian publishers to get these books in print.

Writing for ChildrenClick here for a helpful post from LittWorld Online, “Beware of these blunders in writing for children.”

Word Counts Click here for a helpful article from Writers Digest.

What Are You Reading? – In Part 4 of 10 of  “Secrets from Professional Writers” GPCWC keynoter Cec Murphey says, “We Read. A Lot. Often. Constantly.” Click here. What are you reading this summer?

Keep writing His answer!

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Office post CCWCWhen my heart is faint and overwhelmed,
lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety.
Psalm 61:2 TLB

Monday mornings are challenging and overwhelming! And so is mopping up one conference and working to launch another. Well the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference was launched April 1 when online registration opened, and the brochure has been off press for about six weeks. Still, when I look at my to-do list and the chaos in my office it’s hard to know where to start. And so, I’m choosing to pray and to praise – and to move my office to the back porch!

Sing praises over everything,New Office June 2
any excuse for a song
to God the Father
in the name of our Master,
Jesus Christ.
Eph. 5:20 MSG

Thank You, Father, for reminding me to praise You in all things. And thank You that what overwhelms me doesn’t overwhelm You. WITH You nothing is impossible.

This is a large work
I’ve called you into,
but don’t be overwhelmed by it.
It’s best to start small.
Matthew 10:41 (MSG)

July 30 – August 2 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

If you’ve emailed me and I’ve not yet answered, I’m hoping to get caught up on the backlog of emails this week.

Clinics – Applications will be online in the next couple of days. And what an exciting line-up of clinics we have this year:

Advanced Fiction Intensive with Nancy Rue
Nonfiction Book Prroposals with David Fessenden
Get Them Coming to Your Blog?Website with Megan Breedlove

Updating the conference website is high on my list of priorities this week including the addition of faculty bios and editorial needs. Once that is added, the Appointment Request Form will be available to those who have registered. As long as the form is submitted to us online by July 10, your appointments will be booked in the order that you registered.

Bonus appointment – Because I’ve been focused on the Colorado conference, I’ve not been sending updates on the Philly conference. Therefore, I suspect the May 31 deadline for the early registration discount caught many of you by surprise. I’m unable to change the date on the online registration form and the form printed in the brochure, but I will give everyone who registers through this Saturday, June 7, an additional free appointment.

Colorado Christian Writers Conference

2015 Conference – Save May 13-16 for next year’s conference.

CDs of 2014 conference Click here for an order form.

Emails not yet answered – I will respond as soon as possible.

News You Can Use

Must read articles – Please make time to read these two critically important articles. We NEED to pray and to “write His answer.”

The American Church – How Deceived Are We?

Playing on Fields with No Boundaries or Goalposts
by my good friend, Rick Marschall

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