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Sex was not a word I ever remember hearing in my house growing up, yet it was in that very house that I got my education—not through my parents, but under the cover of darkness. Tucked into a forgotten cabinet, a worn-out cardboard box taught me more than I’d ever wanted to know. Unbeknownst to my parents, as a teenager, I’d discovered soft-core pornography in the form of romance novels—the mass-market paperback kind. Someone had loaned my mom a box of their favorite mystery novels and she’d stuffed them into one of the deep cabinets in our living room and forgotten about them. Being an avid reader and a lover of mysteries, I was always borrowing my mom’s books. So one day while she was out, I remembered that old box and drug it out of the cabinet. Fishing through it, I pulled out one mystery novel after another, weighing which one to read first. Books piled all around me, I reached in again, my hand groping toward the bottom of the box, when I pulled out a book unlike any I’d ever seen in our house. I tipped the box over only to see a dozen more like it […]

Romans 8

by Mel in Faith 0 comments
  I rarely do this, but this is so so powerful, I just had to share it. I pray these words come ALIVE to you today!   *Video and screenshot (picture above) taken from video is the property of TWR
  “Am I interrupting anything?” At my editor’s words, I looked around the kitchen I had dove into in hopes of muffling the noise of the TV in the next room. “Ummm . . . not exactly,” I muttered. “I was ummm . . . don’t think any less of me . . . I was watching (insert popular reality show about dating).” To my relief, she burst out laughing. “Melanie, that is hilarious because a girlfriend of mine just texted me before I called you that I had to watch it. She’s been trying to convince me to watch it for YEARS. But I texted her back and said, “Look, I am NOT watching that because I am editing a chapter this girl wrote about the struggle to honor God with our relationships. How could I watch it!?” Crap . . .   “That’s pretty funny!” I burst out in an awkward laugh that wasn’t even believable to me. Anxious to change the subject, I asked her if she was calling about the latest chapter I’d sent her to edit. “Yes, I wanted to ask about how you have the verse ‘everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial’ […]
     “HE IS JEALOUS FOR ME. Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me. Oh, how He loves us so. Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us so. ” —“How He Loves Us” (Jesus Culture)   Huddled among the couch cushions, the pull on my soul is nearly palpable. My hand pressed against my chest, I shiver, for the air is thick with them—thick with dragons I thought I’d slayed. Thick with dragons I’d told to stay. Thick with dragons I could have sworn I’d tamed. How had I not felt this crusade, this war, this fight for these hands, my mind, my eyes, my time, my life? I think of Jesus’ words in John: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments,”[1] and then I stumble upon James’ words about those who listen to the Word but do not do what it says.[2] He calls them the deceived. The deceived . . . I think about the freedom that […]
God doesn’t want this for you. He doesn’t want you to have Lupus. I blinked, momentarily speechless. Melanie, He wants so much more for you than this. I remained silent, her gentle words more familiar by the moment. He loves you, do you know that? He LOVES you. The precious woman looked at me with eyes so kind and confident, that for a moment I wondered if she knew something I didn’t. Involuntarily, my head shook, breaking me out of my reverie. “But you don’t understand,” my voice broke, “I’ve been CONVINCED of His love through this. It is because of this disease that I have come to know His love!” I tapped her arm gently as if to emphasize my point. “Telling me I’m not supposed to have Lupus is like telling someone who was born without an arm that God didn’t want that for them. Or like telling someone who has one leg shorter than the other that God never meant that for them. It’s like telling me I was never supposed to be only five-foot-three.” My voice trailed off but I wanted to add, “Where does it stop?! What exactly did God not intend for us?!” Was […]
Confession… I’m not exactly sure I like Christmas. Now, before you write me off and mail me a copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you should know it wasn’t always this way. When I was little, it was magical—full of twinkling lights, homemade gingerbread houses, and the taste of my mom’s sugar cookie Christmas trees. The scent of pine, the rustle of wrapping paper, and the tinkle of silver bells was enough to permanently glue a smile to my face. Then came one October twelve years ago. On an autumn day, in a rush of wind and amber leaves, the Lord stopped me from taking my own life as I stood under a canopy of pine trees, cursing Him. Standing there with my fist in the air, ready to drown myself in the lake before me, the wind had suddenly rushed like a torrent through those pine trees, carrying red and gold leaves I’d somehow failed to notice before. In that moment, the hand of the Lord pushed me away from the lake. One year later, on the first anniversary, the mere sight of a pine cone and the flurried dance of brightly colored leaves through the air was […]
This is the third blog in the Chapter 34 Series. I’ve called this series “Chapter 34” because when Jesus was 33 he had a pretty rough year to say the least. Granted, it couldn’t have ended better, but still…. Had it all ended at 33 for Christ, had His story and His life stopped at that wooden cross and gone no further, we would not know the glory of His 34th chapter, if you will.  When I turned 33 this last February I was full of hope about what was ahead, thinking that a decade of broken circumstances and health and finances would somehow take a turn for the better. Instead, it has been one of the hardest years of my life. It’s out of this time that I’ve written this series that I want to share with you. Oh how He loves you and me….  ”You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies—though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet […]