Friday, August 23, 2019

Linda Shenton Matchett ~ "Love's Allegiance" ~ Faithful Friday ~ Devotional


New Hampshire - Linda Matchett
A Faithful Friday Devotional

by
Linda Shenton Matchett

Here in the Northeast, summers are delightful. New Hampshire is heavily forested, so there is greenery everywhere you look. Flowers too. We get lots of sunshine, but very little oppressive heat like what folks in other parts of the country experience. I’ve only been exposed to desert-like conditions a couple of times in my life when we visited Arizona and Texas.

Over the last few months, I was mired in a different kind of desert. Perhaps you’ve been there. 

Because of being short staffed, I worked six-day weeks and double shifts. Our house sold, which meant purging, packing, and moving a 4,000 square foot house in sixty days. Responsibilities at church, volunteer commitments, and the completion of a manuscript by deadline also vied for my time. I managed to keep all the plates spinning (to coin a phrase), but not without loss of sleep and lots of anxiety. Depression creeped in.

Then at the beginning of August, God intervened (even though I hadn’t asked Him to). My assistant manager is also a Christian and after a meeting commented that she was worried about me. I explained my struggles and assured her I had everything under control. Laughing, she replied that none of us do and reminded me that it’s God who should have control. She offered to pray for me, then proposed bits of practical advice that included her taking some of my workload.

Relief followed our conversation, and I finished the rest of my day. But God had more in store.

The following morning, I flipped over the date on my “Prayers for Emotional Wholeness” calendar* and found the following:


“Lord, I ask that You would restore any place in my life that is like a wasteland. Take the dry places in me and make them to be like a well-watered garden. In the areas of my life where I don’t see much fruit, make the roots of my life go down deep in You. Put in me a heart of thanksgiving and a voice that will always sing Your praise.”

“The Lord will comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord.” Isaiah 51:3 [NKJV]

Wow. God knew I needed more and through His Word gave me His assurance that He knew exactly what I was going through and that He would take my Arizona-like-desert experience and turn it into New-Hampshire-like-garden. The remaining stress I’d been holding drained away. Peace overwhelmed me. I nearly wept with joy. I shouldn’t be, but I’m always astounded at how God personally and uniquely meets us where we are and provides exactly what we need. 

My problems haven’t all gone away, but by keeping my eyes on Him and allowing Him to carry my burden, I have joy in (spite of) my circumstances. I hope you can too.

*Written by Stormie Omartian and published by Dayspring


About Love’s Allegiance:
With most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.

Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again. 

Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?

Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2TybLz5

 
About Linda: Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII. 

Social Media links:


Monday, August 19, 2019

Playing with new blog header. Yeah, I know, but, hey, I'm a woman and as such, I get an urge to change things after a while.

So, while I'm not sure I like this new layout, it'll stay up for a few days. If you're so inclined, please let me know what you think. And be honest. You won't hurt my feelings, promise.

Thanks for indulging me.

 ~Peg


Friday, August 16, 2019

Alexis A. Goring ~ Out of Darkness and Into the Light ~ Faithful Friday


Out of Darkness and Into the Light

 A devotional by Alexis A. Goring




Image courtesy Pixabay.com



 A few weeks ago, while riding the Metro on my way home from work, God impressed me with a beautiful thought that turned out to be this devotional!

Here’s what happened…

The line that I take home from work starts its journey underground. The train shoots swiftly through dark tunnels illuminated by a few yellow-white lights along the way. Often, the scenery outside the windows of each car on the train isn’t too enlightening. All you can see for miles are shades of beige walls of the tunnels and sometimes it’s so dark that you can barely see anything.

Sometimes, the darkness that surrounds me while traveling on the train, overwhelms me and makes my mind start drawing parallels to dark seasons of my life and if I’m not careful, I can easily sink into despair.

However, the good news is that the darkness on my journey home doesn’t last forever. No! Why? Because after a few stops, the Metro train that I ride on emerges out of darkness and into the light! What light? The natural light of day (bright, glorious sunshine)! See, the train is only traveling underground through the darkness for a moment (okay sometimes like 40 minutes) but eventually, it does come into the light! This only happens if I’m traveling home before sunset but you get my point, right?

My point is that in this life, we will have moments (be it mere seconds, challenging minutes, long days and dark nights or many years of trials) where darkness surrounds us and despair tries to grip us. But in those times, we must remember that God is REAL and He is ever present with us!

No matter how dark your life may seem, God is still there! He still loves you! He’s still watching over you with His Heart of compassion. He’s still commanding His Heavenly Angels to minister to you as one of His children who is meant to inherit salvation! (Hebrews 1:14)

The key is to keep moving forward. Keep traveling through the darkness and following the Light of the World. Jesus Christ says in John 8:12 (ESV), “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus loves you too much to ever leave you nor will He ever forsake you! He promises this to us in Hebrews 13:5.

I hope that you will always remember this spiritual parallel that God taught me on the ride home that day. He taught me that our journey here on Earth may be filled with dark moments in which we cannot see the light but God promises us in His Word (The Holy Bible) that there is a Light at the end of the tunnel. That Light is Jesus Christ and He promises to not only be there with us in the darkness but He will also usher is into the beautiful light of eternity spent with Him in Heaven where the glory of God lights the city (Revelation 21:23) and there will be no more darkness. I imagine that sacred journey will feel like my metro ride home, emerging out of darkness and into the light! The good news is that journey of being in the light will not be short-lived, it will be forever and that my friends, is a beautiful truth!

Despite these beautiful lessons that God teaches me, sometimes worry still invades my mind. On the commute home one day this month, I was worried about my future. It was then that I felt God impress me with these words, “You act like you don’t have a God.”

I realized that He is 100% right! I should never be worried about my future or anything that happens here on Earth because I believe in and serve a God who is Mighty, Sovereign and He has a pure, caring, forgiving heart of love for ALL humankind! His love for us is unconditional and eternal, which is why He sent His Son (Jesus Christ) to save us from our sins and deliver us from evil! God wants ALL of His children to be reconciled to Him.

God doesn’t want sin to separate us from Him forever! So He made a way through the birth, life, death and resurrection of His only Son to give us a hope that this world cannot give us—hope of an eternity spent free of sin with Him! Read John 3:16-17 for details.

Circling back to my original points: Don’t be afraid. Trust God. Keep moving forward in life and remember that if you continue following Jesus Christ, you will emerge out of darkness and into the light!

In closing, please listen to this song, “God With Us” by Terrian and allow  God to bless you through it!

Love, your sister-in-Christ,

Alexis

Author Bio: 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.