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Freedom in Truth

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 19, 2014

Matt. 22:16b – “Teacher,” they said, “we know You are a man of integrity and that You teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.”

In an attempt to trap Jesus, the Pharisees and Herodians ask Jesus questions. Here they say they know He is a man of integrity but really don’t believe it. They say Jesus teaches the way of God IMG_9490but again do not believe it. Muslims today say Jesus was a great prophet but do not believe in His sovereignty as do most other world religions. They acknowledge Him but do not really believe He’s relevant to their lives.

Maggie placed her hand on Jigger’s arm. “You know my parents go to church every Christmas Eve. They will be pleased if we go with them. It’s only for an hour. We don’t believe that stuff but…I love my parents. I don’t want to hurt them. Can we go?”

“I’ll feel like a hypocrite but if that’s what you want. All this Jesus stuff is just so much garbage.” Jigger scratched an itchy patch of beard. He grabbed their bags and walked behind Maggie up the front steps to the door that led into her parent’s home.

The evening went really well. Dinner was tasty and Jigger seemed to get along with her father really well. At least he’s trying, she thought. She began to relax. This home had always seemed like a refuge to her. Peace seemed to reign here. Maggie breathed deeply, curled her feet up under her on the sofa and leaned her head back. There was nowhere else where she felt this sense that all was right with her world.

Soon it was time to head out to the service that celebrated the coming of Jesus. Another Christmas season. Maggie walked beside her mother down the block toward the large edifice that had been as familiar to her as her own home for many years. Her heart skipped a beat. Anticipation flowed through her veins.

The service was everything she expected. It’s like coming home, Maggie reflected and then wondered at her reflection. She’d been taught this story was true. Maybe… She looked at Jigger. He was listening, really listening. She’d never been able to get him to consider any religion, never mind this one.

Jigger listened intently. He wanted to find a flaw in what the preacher said but…somehow it all made sense. He’d never felt such peace before. It was as if this Jesus wanted him to…what? Believe? How do I? Jigger felt his heart grow warm, the ice that always seemed to permeate his soul disappeared and it was as if a warm hand cradled the organ and caused it to beat once more. Whoa!

Jigger and Maggie were confronted with the truth of the Gospel message as never before. They didn’t wonder how all this fit into their lives. They just accepted and let the rest fall into place. Years later, they would look back on this night and see the very hand of God and the truth of His gospel at work.

Skeptics, over the years, have done whatever they could to prove the Bible is a collection of stories and nothing more. Many have instead been confronted by truth that changed their lives forever. Have you been confronted by God’s truth? If you have, you have one of two choices to make. One – you accept and walk into a new life as a believing Christian. The other choice is to reject this truth and face the consequences of that choice in your life. And there are always consequences.

Father thank you for providing us with a truth that can make a difference in our lives. Walking with You opens our eyes to all the attempts of the enemy to blind us and lead us down the wrong path. Place Your hedge of angels around those who choose to follow You. Amen.

(Excerpt from Chaps)

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Faith Girded

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 16, 2014

Isaiah 45:19 – I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, “Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.

God does not speak to us in riddles so we can’t understand Him. He does not whisper secrets to a select few whom He takes into His confidence. He does not require us to take an oath of secrecy so we can appropriate the information He has for us. God speaks publicly. He declares His truths openly and gives us free access to all that will declare us righteous and holy, to His honor and photo 2glory.

Jade walked home slowly, fear, like tangible droplets, streaked across her face as she contemplated the scene she’d encounter when she walked through the door. The club was meeting. She’d be banished to the bedroom while everyone else, including a few women, rested comfortably in every chair and on every sofa. Her refusal to take the oath placed a wall between her and her husband as well as the rest of the club.

Jade shivered. She wanted to be part of them. The atmosphere seemed to thicken when club members walked into a room, as if the devil himself walked through the doorway with them. She hadn’t heard a word about the oath, knew nothing of what was asked of her. She only knew the fear that seeped into her soul whenever she thought about the secrecy.

If it was a secret, then something must be wrong with it, she reasoned. But then, she had an ally in her corner. She had the creator of truth on her side so when asked to swear allegiance to another, she hesitated, just long enough for truth to surface. Fear vanished.

She’d encountered God, for the first time in her life, just three months before. She’d attended her friend’s church to support that woman’s limited acting ability. Deana participated in a short drama depicting Mary Magdalene. Jade was blown away…not by the acting but by the story. She could relate. In fact it spoke directly to her heart as nothing had ever done in the past.

Jade lifted her head, squared her shoulders, and marched up the stairs to her front door. If God was for her, she remembered reading a couple of days ago, who could be against her. She was protected and God walked by her side. She opened the door, walked confidently into her home, smiled, spoke her greeting and then walked up the stairs. Nothing had changed as far as the club was concerned but the fear was gone.

God openly, in public, does business with all of us, anyone who cares to listen. He does not require an oath, a secret meeting, or anything else. All we need do is invite Him to step into our lives, to take control, as we admit that we fall short of His perfect standard. His Word, the Bible, is our instruction manual, easily understood and readily available in most countries in the western hemisphere. Open it regularly. Read it intensely. Meditate on the words with clarity of mind. Allow God to gird you with His truth so you, too, can walk without fear, but with confidence.

Father You are the giver of all things including truth. Thank You for loving us so much that You’ve made Your word accessible, understandable, and applicable. Give me the confidence to memorize, meditate, and appropriate all that Your word has to offer so I can walk through life reflecting Your Glory to those I meet. Amen.  

(Excerpt from Chaps)

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Source of Truth

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 14, 2014

Psalm 145:18 – The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

IMG_0298

King David’s theme throughout this Psalm tells of a time when all people will join together in recognizing and wors

hipping God. Because God is full of love, He satisfies all who trust in Him, who call on Him in truth. Where does that truth come from?

Barbara opened the book she’d discovered that morning lying beside her son’s bed. His rebelliousness was driving her crazy, yet she knew deep down, this boy of hers had a heart of gold. Where was he hiding it, she mused, as she began to read. This definitely wasn’t the Bible.

Each passage seemed to contradict everything she knew about God and His love for His people, His creation. The lies leapt off the pages. What was this? She turned the book over and read the Title. Satanic Bible. Her son had opened his heart to Satan’s lies and …She had to stop this. But how?

Barbara lay the book down exactly where she’d found it. She cringed and wiped her hands on the legs of her jeans in an attempt to wipe away some dirt. How could he have brought such a book into their house, a house she and her husband had dedicated to God so long ago? And what about the house of her son, his temple? She remembered when he wanted nothing more than to be at church, learn Bible verses and quizzes, and hang out with his Christian friends. Now…

Barbara began to pray. She knew her God was in control, the all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent. He could guide her with His truth to help her son see truth from the lies he was buying into now. She knew God promised to be near all who came to Him in truth, a truth she wore like a mantle now, as she girded herself for battle with the enemy. He would not take her son.

Have you ever faced a battle, an impossible situation in and of itself until you realized that God saw, knew, and also wanted the same outcome you did? He had the situation in control all along but until you went to Him, you only saw the problem looming large and unconquerable.

God’s truth brings everything into perspective, His perspective. We can see tasks as manageable when we look at them through His magnificent eyes but we can’t do that if we are not spending quality…and I mean the best part of the day…time with Him. Give Him the best part of your day when you can meditate on His word and allow His truth to penetrate your soul.

Father, I love you. I want to place You first in all things, to give You the best part of my day, not the leftovers when I am so tired I can’t concentrate on Your voice. Help me see any situation whether good or bad from Your perspective and give me Your truth to walk in so that I can battle when I need to. Amen. (Excerpt from Chaps)

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God’s Classroom

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 12, 2014

Psalm 86:11a – Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth.

King David, a devoted man after God’s own heart, asks God to teach him His ways. David demonstrates that no matter how well we know and follow God, we can always ask Him to increase our awareness and improve our obedience.

Jonathan slumped his body in front of the television. He took a long pull from the liquid in the dark brown bottle, and swallowed, the burn giving him a satisfying sensation in the pit of his stomach. His new wife watched as she grabbed her coat from the front hall closet.

“Why don’t you come with me, Jon?” She slipped her arm into one sleeve.

“Wha for?” His speech had already begun to slur. “I know that stuff. I know where to go when I need help and it isn’t to that place you call a church. Nothin’ but a bunch of hypocrites.” Jonathan took another drink to accent his intent to stay home. “Besides, I wanna watch the game.”

“Believers need to gather with other believers. We strengthen each other. We pray for each other, and we study the Lord’s words together. You need to be there. When we got married, you said…”

“Yeah well, that was before I knew it wasn’t necessary. I can do church anytime, anyplace. I don’t need those people to worship God.”

“But I don’t see you in the word at all anymore.”

“Quit judgin’ me woman. That’s between God and me.”

Jonathan was right. His faith was between him and God but his armor was not in place. He spent no time protecting his mind by absorbing God’s words and guidance. Jonathan was steeped in the sin of independence from God and the people God had raised up in the community to strengthen this young couple. Unlike King David, Jonathan made the mistake of thinking he had arrived at the place where he was untouchable.

Other verses in the Bible describe Satan as a prowling lion, seeking to steal, kill, and destroy. Jonathan was ripe for the plucking.

Are there days when you feel that you know all that the Bible could possibly offer you? Are you tempted to walk away from God’s teaching because it’s boring or it’s not exciting anymore…like it was in the beginning? The enemy would like nothing better than to see all Christians put their quiet time with God on hold as they make decisions without God’s beneficial counsel. King David knew better and deep in your heart, so do you.

Father, I need you, all day every day. Keep me close to Your side so the lies of the enemy bounces off You and never reach me. Protect me with Your Holy Armor as I walk in Your paths for me. Amen. (Excerpt from Chaps)

front cover smaller size copy

The Bible, in Ephesians, says to 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, but against the rulers, again

st the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

This book is designed to help you do just that and in so doing understand how God uses His armor to protect, strengthen and shield us so we can minister to the people he places in our paths. Purchase at http://amzn.to/15vrRK2

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Pathway of Truth

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 9, 2014

Psalm 43:3a- Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me…

Today we look at another verse from the Psalms. These verses were written by the sons of Korah, temple assistants, who plead with God for His truth, and His light to guide them. They know that God’s truth provides the right path to follow and God’s light provides the clear vision to follow it.

Gail stuck her head out the door. Quiet. Finally. Bodies were stretched over every conceivable piece of furniture, loud snores emanating from half open mouths, heads thrown back in drunken stupor. The air smelled foul but more daunting than that was the bone crunching chill that filled her as she stepped over prone figures in her path. It was as if Satan himself wafted through the air around her, clinging, clawing, trying to consume her.

How had she gotten here? Oh, she remembered the large, good-looking man who had sat down beside her in the booth earlier that evening. He seemed so nice. When he had asked her if she wanted to come to this party, she’d thrown all those stuffy feelings to the back of her mind, the things her parents were always harping about, and her church…what did those people know about being young anyway.

But now. She was so ashamed. It had been awful. She shivered, tears sliding down her mascara stained cheeks.  She’d felt the darkness as soon as she stepped into the loud raucous mass of humanity. Drugs and booze flowed freely. She knew better. After only a short few minutes, she’d realized her mistake and sought a place of refuge until she could think of a way out. She prayed for a clear vision and thanked God that His truth gave her direction.

Gail tried to ignore God. She almost succeeded in making some life changing poor choices. God was her lighthouse. His teaching surfaced just when she needed and His light did not allow the enemy’s plans for her to succeed.

Have you ever been in a situation where you tried to walk away from the Christian upbringing you had, only to discover that, rather than happiness, the people around you reeked of inner turmoil, unrest, soul wrenching discontent. The only way they could feel better about themselves was by bringing another down to their level. But God’s Word, the things you knew in your heart to be true, rescued you. Like Gail, you escape; fresh air surrounds you and you thank God.

Father, thank You for Your belt of truth. Thank You for rescuing this foolish, imperfect human being. I love You Lord, and only wish to walk under Your arm of protection. As these sons of Korah said, guide me, Father, today and every day. Amen. (Excerpt from Chaps)

front cover smaller size copy

The Bible, in Ephesians, says to 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, but against the rulers, again

st the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

This book is designed to help you do just that and in so doing understand how God uses His armor to protect, strengthen and shield us so we can minister to the people he places in our paths. Purchase at http://amzn.to/15vrRK2

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CrossReads Book Blast With Lillian Duncan

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 8, 2014

 

Betrayed_h11347_300

BETRAYED

By Lillian Duncan

About the Book

Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules–every rule. She’s given up everything–her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future.

Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.

When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she’s wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one…and that’s her first mistake

LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK

lil2011dLillian Duncan

Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com

Follow Lillian Duncan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Lillian Duncan!

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

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What a Difference a Truth Makes

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 7, 2014

Psalm 40:11 – Do not withhold Your mercy from me, O Lord; may Your love and Your truth always protect me.

King David, with all the wealth of his kingdom at his disposal, all the power he had and the large army that he commanded, still understood that he would be consumed by his sinful nature if God’s truth did not protect him. In The Message, the second part of this verse is translated, “Your love and truth is all that keeps me together.”

Gordo stumbled toward his campsite. He watched as his buddies partied around the fire pit, their shadows weaving as high as the tree tops in grotesque shapes. Gordo blinked. It was as if he were being pulled toward them. One woman shrieked, her laughter a distortion to his ears. Gordo tipped the bottle he carried, taking a long drink. The bitter liquid burned all the way down his throat.

Just then, his attention was captured by laughter from another campsite; its tinkle sounded like little bells. He watched these people and noticed the drinks they held in their hands. Pop. Nothing but pop. Their faces seemed softer somehow, genuinely enjoying the companionship around the fire. There was nothing harsh or grotesque about their shadows either. Huh?

Gordo was given a glimpse of the difference between a life steeped in sin and lives filled with the truth of God. While his friends campsite seemed to claw him towards their location, the warmth emanating from this other campsite felt so refreshing, freer somehow. Gordo decided to find out why.

Even the most devout of all the saints in the bible, knew that sin was just around the corner waiting to consume them. They needed the protection of God’s Word, His truth. Do you expect that one hour in church on Sunday morning will protect you as you walk in this world all week? How is that working for you? By week’s end, have you failed miserably, once again, to reflect the Savior’s love to those you come in contact with?

What makes us think that today is any better than in the times of King David? Are we stronger than this man who was considered a man after God’s heart? Even more important, Jesus, in the form of man, sought His Father’s council on a regular basis. Take a few minutes, each day, to place yourself in partnership with God as you walk under his protecting arm, side by side, step by step.

Father, remind me often that, without You, I am a frail sinful mass of humanity. All that I accomplish, all that I produce, is nothing when it is not seasoned with Your truth. Protect my sight with Your truth. Protect my mind and my heart with Your insights so that the enemy cannot gain a foothold. Amen. (Excerpt from Chaps)

front cover smaller size copy

The Bible, in Ephesians, says to 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, but against the rulers, again

st the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

This book is designed to help you do just that and in so doing understand how God uses His armor to protect, strengthen and shield us so we can minister to the people he places in our paths. Purchase at http://amzn.to/15vrRK2

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Stand Exonerated

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 5, 2014

 

Psalm 26:3 – for Your love is ever before me and I walk continually in Your truth

King David, possibly during the time of Absalom’s rebellion, stood before God.  He asked to be absolved of the condemnations heaped on his head by his enemies because, and he makes his case clear, he walks continually in God’s truth.

Cheryl and her husband Dan, although not perfect, had grown in their love for God. They walked where He directed, encouraging many to turn their lives over to Christ. God was first in their lives and they reflected God’s love to anyone who witnessed their behavior..

However, mistakes made years ago continued to haunt them. People who knew them when they drank too much, partied too heavily, and used their power to intimidate others, made sure that everyone remembered the old Cheryl and Dan. They laughed at the couple’s attempts to prove that they were not the same people, that they had changed.

Like King David, once they started to walk in God’s truth…once they girded themselves with God’s belt of truth beginning with how much He loved them, they could stand before God exonerated. His truth taught them that they walked in forgiveness. His truth told them they were not the old Cheryl and Dan but new creations. They could step into the ministry God had for them with their conscience clear, especially after they went to the people they’d hurt and asked for forgiveness.

God’s Word, His truth, girds us, protects us from the barbs of the enemy. We carry a clear picture of who we are in Jesus Christ and that knowledge places self-confidence like wings on our feet. He is our truth and we bow down to no one but Him. Instead of destroying their ministry, God used the picture painted of the before in Cheryl and Dan’s life to show how He can make a difference.

Father God I thank You for who You are and for who I have become, because of You. Use me to draw people to Yourself and help my enemies see You in me, not me. Gird me, remind me continually through Your Word, who I am in You. Amen.

(Continued from 4/2)

He stepped into the bright sunshine. I wonder where all those bodies came from? He shivered and then walked down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. Not going there again. Won’t be missed anyway. I’m in the way, he said. Maybe I’ll search for my real parents. Where do I start?

Bet the police will be interested in the warehouse. They’ll never believe me. “dad” always said the cops only did things if you paid them. I haven’t any money, but I should tell someone. Those were kids in there. Someone’s sons. At least the ones I

Coming May 2014. Book Two of  Finders Keepers Mystery Series
Coming May 2014. Book Two of
Finders Keepers Mystery Series

noticed appeared to be boys. Ugh. He shuddered again. I won’t be able to sleep tonight. The one with the missing hand seemed to be only about five or six years old. Maybe his parents are looking for him. Obviously mine never did. Why?

A tall man in a dark blue uniform headed toward him down the sidewalk. His heart thundered inside his chest wall. Droplets of liquid fear popped out on his forehead. A cop. His legs wouldn’t move. Forcibly, he moved his body down the nearest alley and melted against the cold stone facade. Large orbs of terror perused the man as he walked slowly past the entrance to his hiding spot. A deep sigh and his body sagged in relief.  Common sense told him his fear was exaggerated but “dad” had a friend who worked as a police officer. He liked to ‘love’ little boys, too. (Chapter One)

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Armor of God

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on April 2, 2014

Psalm 25:5 – guide me in Your truth and teach me for You are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.

David, considered to be a man after God’s own heart, and the writer of the Psalms, seeks guidance from God. He did not demand answers to the situations he faced but guidance, truth if you will. For there is no truth apart from God, who knows the beginning from the end.

Terry walked, head down. Her heart ached with loneliness. Christmas was here and she had no front cover smaller size copyone with which to spend the holiday. Why had she moved so far from family, friends, all those who truly loved her?  A fleeting image of the conversation that had altered her course in life swept to the fore front of her mind.

Cal, the branch manager, had sat on the opposite side of her desk. He had made it clear that he wanted more from her than just the job description. He was a very wealthy man, respected, and in a position to help her advance in the company. Terry felt very flattered at all the attention.

“I see a strength in you that would be a great asset in Columbus. You could make twice what you are making here. Come with me. I need you by my side.” If Terry had been filtering his words though God’s truth in the scriptures, she would have seen the lie of Satan as clearly as if she could see the enemy himself sitting across from her.

The belt of truth is just one of the pieces of armor Christians have at their disposal. God has given us His armor to protect us. All we need to do is take it for our own, as we spend time daily in His Word. Knowing truth when we hear it can save us from much heartache. Terry would be surrounded by a loving community of family and friends when she needed them instead of walking the lonely streets by herself. Where would you be if you had not given in to the lies of the enemy?

Father, thank You for making Your truth accessible to me. While for the most part, I appreciate the free will You have given me, there are times when my will takes precedence over Your will for my life and it doesn’t take long before I realize I needed to know Your truth before making that decision. Forgive me Father, for not seeking You first. Amen.

Excerpt of Essence of Evil (Continued from 3/31)

 The boy glanced toward a woman as she walked through the door into the shop. The bell

Coming May 2014. Book Two of  Finders Keepers Mystery Series

Coming May 2014. Book Two of
Finders Keepers Mystery Series

announcing her presence made him jump. The old lady zeroed in on what she wanted as she headed for the shelves of books. Her wrinkled hands grabbed one book and opened the cover. Blank. The pages have nothing on them. He shook his head and moved cautiously toward the window closest to him. This would be a good spot. The street is visible from both directions. If anyone saw me in that warehouse ….

His memory drifted to the deadbolt, the one that had locked him inside all those years. He remembered when he had reached a hand to grab the doorknob; his fear had forced him to pull his arm back as if something had bit him. The punishment for disobeying was always severe. Terrified eyes glanced left and right. He was alone. The man had gone out right after the phone call. He left instructions to clean the house. The boy had rushed through his chores. The plan to step through the door was in place.

The warehouse sat at the back of the yard. He decided that if he wasn’t allowed in that building … “dad” probably was hiding something. I was right … but nothing in his deepest imagination prepared him for the sight that filled his eyes. His trek into the freezer he’d found inside acted as a starting pistol for a race to safety.

He shuddered. The memory was indelibly etched on his brain.  He shook his head. Do kids even talk like that? His “dad” insisted he read every book he brought home from the library. The boy never knew why.

His current surroundings came back into focus as the steady rhythm of foot traffic passed the little shop. I can’t stay here all day. A short, round lady approached.

“Can I help you?” she asked with a slight accent foreign to the boy.  The boy peered at her from under lowered eyelids. I guess I don’t belong. Need to leave. “No. Thank you. I thought this was another store I’m looking for.” He moved toward the door. The woman smiled and returned to her place behind a counter. His heart picked up speed at the thought of being free to roam for the first time in his life, or at least, as far back as he remembered. (Continued 4/5)

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Freedom to Live a Full Life

Posted by Barbara Ann Derksen on March 31, 2014

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon. Psalm 92:12

Cynthia checked her calendar one more time. She could hardly believe they were leaving for South Carolina already. It seemed so long ago that they’d planned this trip. She wondered how many pictures she’d take, pictures that she’d use to remind people of God’s glory and His wonderful creation. She moved toward the garage, looking for her scuba gear.

Cynthia checked her tank, made sure her flippers, buoyancy compensator, and snorkel were packed and then rolled her wet suit into a ball. She tucked it into her duffle on top of the other gear. She had everything she needed to explore the depths off the coast near the beach house they’d rented for the week. Life was fun sometimes.

She also knew that life could be lonely. When her husband of 55 years had died three years ago, she’d thought she’d never survive. God had sustained her as He’d promised. He’d brought a new woman friend into her life, another widow. This woman loved God, life, and adventure all at the same time. They took college classes together and learned to scuba dive last spring. They prayed together and went diving together. They even went to a local pool every day to keep in shape.

Cynthia also had three grandchildren who she loved to spend time with. They would watch her ride up on her Harley and giggle, streaking toward the sidewalk asking grandma to take them for a ride. Life with grandma, they knew, was never dull.

Life doesn’t have to be dull and boring. God has given us the freedom to enjoy his creation and live a life full of adventure. He brings people from all walks of life our way, people who either encourage or discourage us but people He wants to love through us anyway.

Have you looked for your adventure today? What have you always wanted to do that you keep putting off? A movie called ‘The Bucket List’ is about two older men who have been given a life expectancy much shorter than they’d anticipated. Cancer runs rampant through them and they undergo treatment but soon realize it’s not working. So they formulate a list, one that keeps getting longer with each new experience. This list is all the things they want to do before they kick the bucket.

Do you have a bucket list? Make one with God as your partner and see where He’ll take you over the next years of your life.

Father, thank You for not expecting us to sit in a rocking chair all day once we’ve reach a certain age. Thank You for not using the term ‘retire’ in Your Book. Thank You for giving us purpose, fulfillment, and adventure, as well as confidence to learn new things throughout our life. AMEN.

Excerpt of Essence of Evil (Continued from 3/29)

The boy scrambled around the corner, grabbing for a handhold. The brick facade of the first building filled his fist. His feet tripped over themselves in his hurry to exit where nightmares were made. Damn. His mind uttered a few other expletives as he raced for a place to hide. His heart beat thundered in his chest preventing him from catching his breath. As terrifying as his life had been for the last ten years, the sight he ran from was his worst nightmare.

He rounded another corner, side-stepped a pedestrian, and slipped into the nearest shop. He looked behind before he closed the door. His eyes slowly scanned the street roaming over each pedestrian and parked car. He slipped toward the nearest corner letting the door swing shut. The boy struggled to take a deep breath. He kept his gaze casual, breathing slowly in and out. He pretended to look at some of the items on the shelves. With caution, he moved to one side of the entrance. His eyes slowly grew accustomed to the interior lighting as he glanced around. What is this place, anyway?

Coming May 2014. Book Two of  Finders Keepers Mystery Series

Coming May 2014. Book Two of
Finders Keepers Mystery Series

Shelves stocked with all sorts of books lined one wall. A couple of the designs displayed a cutout right in the center of the front cover. They were colored brightly, a few with fancy doodads and some with pictures. He noticed a rack nearby held packages with decorated sheets of paper and another shelf held pages of stickers. He was familiar with those since his “dad” bought some for him to keep him quiet.

Dad. Yeah, some father image. His chest tightened. I overheard “dad” tell someone over the phone that I’d been taken from my real home. A whole list of emotions traveled across his brain, fear being one of them. The idea that someone is watching me hasn’t left me alone since.

His “dad” had needed someone younger, and asked the person on the phone to arrange it. That meant he was no longer loved as the man had told him all those years. The adult had stopped coming to the child’s room at night weeks ago. At first he had been relieved. He began to miss the attention.  (Continued 4/2)

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