Friday, October 4, 2019

Our Greatest Resource ~ Alexis A. Goring ~ Devotional


Our Greatest Resource
A devotional by Alexis A. Goring
 
“You know how to reach me.”

These are the words spoken to me by one of my close friends when I called her in distress but could not put my emotional pain into words.

After two minutes of pauses between starts of sentences and barely-there words on my end of the phone line, that is what she told me before we both hung up the phone.

It comforted my heart to know that she left the door to her support open for me, as she understood that I was not ready to talk about my troubles. It was helpful to know that when I am ready to talk, she will be there.

Thinking back on this experience, a spiritual parallel formed in my mind.

I realized that though this dear friend of mine tried her best to be there for me in my distress, I serve a God who is always there for you and I in our troubling times.

And unlike our family and friends who we may turn to for help, His resources to help us are unlimited! He never sleeps and He is always ready to rescue us. There may be times when we cannot reach our loved ones or a professional for help but we can always reach God! He is with us anywhere we go (Joshua 1:9). We are never hidden from Him (Hebrews 4:13). He knows all and sees all (Psalm 139). God cares about everything that affects us (Psalm 37:23) and He has all of the resources we need (Philippians 4:19).

The Bible and several gospel music songs say that our God is the “Balm in Gilead” that is “healing for the soul.” Listen to the song “
Healing” by Richard Smallwood and his choir as they sing about this great balm that only God can give to us.

God understands the cries of our hearts. Not only does He know what we want to say but are struggling to speak it, He answers us before we call (Isaiah 65:24). What a mighty God we serve!

I love God’s Heart of compassion and the way that He loves us unconditionally. I am forever grateful that He is always open to being there for us. The Bible says that He has promised to be with us until the “end of the age” (Matthew 28:20) otherwise known as “the end of the world.”

I would like to encourage you to run to Jesus Christ (God’s Son) when you cannot find the words to say. Go to God when you need help or comfort. Yes, still reach out to the people who God has placed in your life to help you. But never neglect your greatest resource (God). He is waiting for you with open arms.

Now the question is, “How can you reach God?”

The answer is simple: Open The Holy Bible and ask God to send His Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Before you read a word, ask God for understanding and spiritual discernment. Then listen as God speaks to you through His written word. And always pray! Prayer is like talking to a friend because God wants to be your friend (John 15:15). Just remember to be respectful, because He is King of the Universe and He is Holy. But don’t be afraid to tell Him what is on your heart. God can handle your honesty. Then trust Him to answer all of your prayers according to His will and in His perfect time.

Finally, dear friends, never give up on God because He will not give up on you!

God loves you with all of His Heart. And just like my dear sister friend told me that I “know how to reach” her, you “know how to reach” God! So don’t despair when you are troubled; go to your greatest resource (God). He understands what you are trying to say even when you cannot find the words to say it. And only He can truly comfort and heal your heart.

Be encouraged, dear friends. God’s Love for you will never end. I cannot say it enough: Go to God. He is your greatest resource!

God bless you.

Love,

Alexis


 About Alexis: Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Julie Arduini ~ Entangled ~ Timeless Thursday


ENTANGLED





Julie Arduini

            I was about two-thirds done revising my first Adirondack romance, Entrusted. The heroine, Jenna Anderson, was a strong character with a great surrender message to tell about trusting God with fears about change and wanting to belong. Helping Jenna was her new best friend, Sheriff Carla Rowling.
            The more Jenna and Carla hung out, the more I realized Carla was someone I wanted to know better. As I gave her a secondary story within Entrusted as a single mom who loved to “do hair” as a hobby, I had fun with her. At the time I was trying to finish the first story and wasn’t thinking long term. If I needed to create a series, I figured I’d use the “bad girl” from Entrusted, Trish Maxwell, as a lead in another story. I never dreamed Carla would get her own.
            I revised Entrusted so much from what the first draft was that I ended up re writing the ending. I had no idea how I was going to wrap up some loose ends when it came to Jenna, Ben, and the Speculator Falls senior center. I was praying, and I have a team of ladies that pray for me. One writing session at the laptop not only did all the loose ends come together, it gave Carla her own story. I was floored.
            Entangled was my hardest book to write. I was a new indie author re-releasing Entrusted and releasing Entangled at the same time. Our son graduated from high school and our other son got married in the same time frame, out of state. It was stressful. On the writing front, I couldn’t relate to Carla. She was a single mom. She wasn’t honest. But the reader feedback to this day remains strong. Readers can relate to Carla. Guilt, shame and regret are things that hold us back. Through surrender in Christ, we can find freedom.
            In Entangled, Carla’s been given her dream to leave her job as sheriff and attend cosmetology school. The gift is so overwhelming that she struggles with feeling unworthy, especially since she still feels guilty for becoming a mom as a teenager. When Wayne Peterson re-enters her and their son Noah’s life, Carla creates some tangles between her and her steadfast boyfriend, the flannel-wearing, truck driver Will Marshall. Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?
            I love that when I couldn’t see beyond the page God dropped an entire character’s history and transformational story into my laptop as I tried to finish my first novel. I hope everyone enjoys Carla’s story as much as I do.

ENTANGLED
Entangled: Surrendering the Past
Book #2, Surrendering Time Series
Julie Arduini
 “You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”

Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son's father is back in their lives.

Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He's the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will's ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He's bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.

Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?

Purchase Link:


ENTANGLED EXCERPT: Julie Arduini

Chapter One
A twenty-minute run. That’s all I need. Just enough time to feel free.
Instead, the Hamilton County DA places a neon green gift bag in my hand. He then looks to the crowd. “Just forty-eight hours and our very own Carla Rowling will go from handcuffs to haircuts.”
The Piseco Inn meeting room is wall-to-wall people. My fellow law enforcement, paramedic, and fire and rescue colleagues hand me gifts and joke at the idea of me leaving for beauty school.
I paste on a smile as I lift a pair of black running shoes with hot pink trim from layers of tissue paper, but my focus is on my breathing. Steady and even. Like when I’m running.
“From squad car to standing all day. What a switch.” Fred Beebe, retired bank president, grins.
I stand and balance my arm on Joanie, the county dispatcher, as I slip off the three-inch heels I borrowed from my best friend Jenna and try on the comfy shoes.
“Hey, Carla! Will you wear those as you run with scissors to chase perps out of your hair salon?” Jack Hunt, my replacement, snorts from laughing too hard.
“Do they fit?” Joanie looks to the empty box on the floor where wrapping paper and ribbon litter the area.
I nod, let go, and sit. “They’re so comfortable I’m going to wear them for the rest of my party.” And as soon as I can, break these sneakers in. There's nothing like the feel of new running shoes, and no better time to use them than when the walls feel like they’re closing in.
Will Marshall, my truck-driving boyfriend of less than a year, adjusts his bright orange hunting cap and places his hand over mine. “Carla, those shoes are going to be great for the long days at your salon.” He turns to Joanie and winks. “What a nice gift. You all have the best ideas to transform our favorite sheriff to our new stylist.”
Looking around, I see my former colleagues from around Hamilton, the only county in New York State that doesn’t have traffic lights. The people smile and chant my name. Their grins seem sincere as they point to the table full of packages. Gifts I’ll never deserve.
“C’mon, keep opening your presents so we can have cake.” My thirteen-year old son, Noah, never wastes time, especially when it comes to food. He walks over and grabs a stack of wrapped boxes
I sigh and rest my moist hands on my lap. “Okay. Hand me another. By the looks of that pile, we’ll be here all week.”
Will chuckles. “Sweetie, you don’t have that kind of time. You start beauty school in two days.”
I glance at the door, my breathing no longer steady, but fast. Beads of sweat form at my hairline and I regret not putting my hair in a ponytail without bangs. Probably everyone’s counting the perspiration drops falling on my jeans.
I have to run.


About Julie:
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com.

Contact/Social Media Links:
Snapchat: @juliearduini
Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG
Weekly Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate: http://eepurl.com/bJ5yHP
Surrendered Scribe Media Promotions: (Book release info sent as needed) http://eepurl.com/bXAW0L