His Amazing Grace

His Amazing Grace

 

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 HCSB

I have a confession to make. I haven’t worked on my newest book project since October. My poor characters continue to be stuck in the limbo of chapter four. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m going to write. God already gave me most of the story back in 2013. So why haven’t I been working on it? I’ve allowed myself to get distracted by all the other things I felt I should do to further my calling. I was so busy trying to build my platform as a writer, that the actual writing part took a back seat. I listened to satan when he whispered that writing books wasn’t enough, and so I tried to do more. But in doing more, even though they were good things, I was being disobedient to God. 

When I looked into seminary classes because I felt my non-theological background wasn’t good enough, the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

When I began to compare myself to other Christian writers and speakers and became discouraged, He said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

When I saw all those other Christian novels on the shelves of the bookstore and cried because mine may never be there, He said, “My grace is sufficient for you.” 

It has taken me six months to finally get what the Lord has been telling me all along. His grace is *enough in every aspect of this calling and if I keep trying to accomplish things with my own might, then I am forfeiting His power in the process. I’m exchanging heavenly for worldly, perfect for just okay. 

This means I can stop trying to help Him along. He’s got this. I’m just supposed to write. I’m not to worry about book sales or blog views; I’m just supposed to write. I don’t have to stress about trying to reach more people; I’m just supposed to write.  

So this week, I’m going to sit down at my computer and rescue my characters from chapter four. I’m going to let all that other stuff go and just concentrate on finishing the work God gave me to do. And I’m going to do it standing firm in the belief that His grace is all I need. 

Many blessings to you,

Robin

*NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries 

Running His Way

Running His Way

 

image

You were running well. Who prevented you from obeying the truth? Galatians 5:7

Many times the answer to that question is me. I prevent myself from running the way Christ wants me to. My aspirations, though good, often get in the way of His plan for my life.

And these aspirations are often the main cause of my disappointments.

Just today I received a rejection email from a Christian blog I wanted to contribute to. I wallowed in self pity for a few minutes until Christ brought something to my attention. This is how our conversation played out.

“Robin, did you pray about joining that group?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“Did you wait for My confirmation before applying?”

“Umm, well you see….”

“No, Robin, that’s not how it works.”

Big sigh from me, cause I’m stubborn that way…”Okay, Lord, I get it.”

And I do, and knowing that He has something else planned for me, I let that disappointment go.

But then, a few hours later, I almost did it again. I almost applied to another blog. As I began to type out the email request, I heard the Lord’s voice, “Robin, we just covered this. What are you doing?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m trying to do it on my own again, Lord. I’m sorry.”

I immediately closed out of that email, and once again, let it go.

You see, today is not my day to become a writer for a nationwide Christian blog, and that day might not ever come if it’s not His will. But what a blessing that He allowed me this lesson today. Who knows what might have happened if I sent that email. I may have gotten the job, but would have been out of His will, or I may have had to face another disappointment when I was rejected yet again.

Christ wants what is right for us, but will allow us to settle for what we want instead. Let’s not settle, let’s wait and allow Him to show us the best way to run.

Many blessings to you,
Robin

Cell Phone = Life

Cell Phone = Life

image

In this day and age, people are obsessed with cell phones. Unless they are living off the grid or are too young or old to hold one, most everyone owns a cell phone. And what’s not to love about these wonders of technology? We can talk, text, take photos, and keep in touch with family and friends through all the apps available like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Our cell phones have become indispensable to us. We keep them right by our sides day and night. And if the unthinkable occurred, and we forgot our phone at home, most of us wouldn’t know what to do. We would be lost. How could we spend hours away from our Facebook news feeds? Just think of all those funny cat videos we would miss out on.

For most of us, our phones basically holds our whole lives. We have all those texts, pictures, passwords, banking info, ebooks, and videos just hanging out in that little rectangle. It contains the information we choose to keep private and the information we choose to share with the world.

Let’s take a minute and get personal. What would happen if someone else got ahold of our phones? Think of all the things they would see and read. Most of us would be horrified. What if that someone found some not so nice texts about them, or even worse, saw some of the pictures we snap in private?

Now let’s go one step further. What would happen if Jesus came back and asked to see our phones? How many of us would sputter out excuses and cling to it, too ashamed or afraid of what He might find?

Well get ready, because one day, that will happen, only Christ won’t need our phones. When He takes His chosen from this world, our entire lives will be on display. And for some of us, it’s going to be ugly.

For the Bible says:
Nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden that won’t be made known and come to light. Luke 8:17

For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14

No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. Hebrews 4:13

Uh oh, we’re in trouble now. But wouldn’t it be amazing for after all those ugly secret things are displayed to Christ, a marked change occurs. A turning point. A specific time when our lives became all about Him.

Well guess what? We can make that change to our lives right now. We can spend more time with Christ then with our Facebook friends. We can think about Him before we write that text or post that picture. We must ask ourselves, is what we’re doing and how we’re living glorifying Him?

It’s all up to us. So, will 2015 be the year that we unashamedly hand over our “cell phones” to Christ, or will we continue to cling to them, storing up more of the same?

Many blessings to you,
Robin

“The Red Tent”- No Thanks, Not For Me

“The Red Tent”- No Thanks, Not For Me

When I saw the ads for the movie, “The Red Tent” on Lifetime, I wondered if it would be a good, Biblically-sound movie. The movie is based on a book of the same title by Anita Diamant. I have not read the book, so I decided to do some research. As I scoured the Internet for book reviews, I found many singing the praises of author Anita Diamant and her version of the story of Dinah. The number of negative reviews paled in comparison to the positive ones, but as I read through them, I got a not so great feeling about “The Red Tent”.

Here are a few of the negative reviews from readers on Amazon-

-Some of the subject matter ruined it for me —Biblical characters frequently acting like perverts, engaging in whatever self-indulgent sick behavior they have the urge to.

-Rebecca is reduced to a sharp tongued, selfish fortune-telling oracle with nothing but disdain for her husband. This is an unimaginable description of her when one knows the story of her generous, loving and giving nature based on why she was chosen as the wife of Issac.

-Diamant’s book would be fine, I suppose, if you read it without knowing or caring about the Bible story.

-These are not “God’s women” at all. They are portrayed as having a kind of Moon Goddess. And the men–almost all portrayed in a very derogatory light–are variously involved in bestiality, incest, self-pleasuring in public view, and so forth.

Several of the comments stated that, in the book, Mrs. Diamant portrays Dinah, not as a victim of rape, but as a young girl that simply gave into the seductive ways of Shechem.

The Bible says otherwise.

When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, a prince of the region, saw her, he took her and raped her. Genesis 34:2

I also ran across a few interviews of Mrs. Diamant talking about her novel. I believe her own words say all I need to know about “The Red Tent”.

From The Boston Globe-
“I was taken to task for not being faithful to the Bible,” she pointed out. “I can’t complain about them not being faithful to my book.”

From Haaretz, a news organization in Israel-
Even if people were not happy with the liberties she took in the story, “I don’t take the Bible as history,” she says.

From the Jerusalem Post-
“I feel I have permission to do whatever I want with the Bible.” In researching the book, she said, she didn’t do rabbinic research or even look at the Bible.

From Christianity Today-
“It’s a novel,” she replied later in response to questioning. “When it came out, there was lots of comparison to the Bible, and concerns about my corrupting the text. But I have freedom as a novelist . . . My responsibility is to tell a good story.”

The Jewish Advocate-
“I don’t write novels to teach people, I write novels to entertain people,” said Diamant.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I’m sure there are many Christian folks out there that read this book and liked it. All I’m saying is this, do some research before you dive into this book or movie. Not everything that calls itself from the Bible, actually is.

Many blessings to you,
Robin

The Master Gardner

The Master Gardner

God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalms 51:10

The flower beds around our home were bad. And when I say bad, I mean absolutely terrible. My husband and I have been neglectful in the care of these beds all through the summer. We both made excuses not to keep them up like- it’s too hot, or I just don’t have the time. Then it got to the point where we would go outside to look at them and shake our heads at what appeared to be such a huge undertaking. We didn’t even know where to begin anymore. Briars and vines had run rampant and covered our once beautiful azaleas and bushes. The metal edging surrounding the beds was now invisible behind a sea of green, scraggly mess.

Well today, we made a decision. After church, we exchanged our Sunday best for work clothes, pulled on our heavy duty gloves, and headed out to tame the jungle that was claiming our flowerbeds.

As we bent down and began to pull weeds, we realized something. All those vines and briars had shallow roots and pulled easily away from the ground. We were then able to roll them off the bushes like a carpet. Fifteen minutes later, we stepped back and there were our beautiful azaleas and bushes, good as new.

This reminded me of my relationship with Christ. There are times when I’m neglectful in my reading of His word and my prayer time becomes less about Him and more about me. I’m too busy to pick up my Bible. I tell myself I’ll do it later, but then life and distractions get in the way. There always seems to be just one more task I need to accomplish, and before I know it, the hours of the day are gone and I’ve missed the chance to spend time with the Lord. As this becomes the norm, the inevitable happens. Life and sin began to weigh me down. My once happy spirit becomes entangled and ensnared in worldly desires and my relationship with Christ grows more and more distant until one day, I look at myself and realize that His light has been choked out. And let me tell you, that’s a heartbreaking realization.

But there is hope. Amidst all that muck, Christ is still there. He never leaves me. All I have to do is call out to Him, repent, and He’ll roll that sin away like an old carpet. He’ll break those snares that bind me, and I’m once again made brand new.

A true relationship with Christ takes work and it’s not always easy. But He is with me every step of the way and His word tells me so.

For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

Today I pray that if the briars of life are choking out His light within you, that you open your heart and your Bible and let the Master do His weeding.

Many blessing to you,
Robin

He Is Listening

He Is Listening

When I woke up this morning, I knew that today was the day for me to put all of life’s distractions away and finally return my focus to being a writer for Him. I’ve enjoyed my time off, but God has been sending me little nudges here and there to let me know that my vacation from writing needed to come to a close.

So this morning, I heeded those little nudges, canceled my lunch date with friends, and immersed myself in prayer and His word. And wouldn’t you know it, I’d made it a whopping ten minutes before a distraction hit.

It came in the form of a text message from my husband. He was having a bad day and decided that instead of waiting until he got home to discuss it with me, he would attempt to lay it out via text. Immediately, I recognized the situation for what it truly was- satan’s attempt to divert my focus away from God and what He wanted me to accomplish.

But I was ready for it. I was determined that satan would not kill, steal, or destroy what God had planned for me today.

Instead of ignoring my husband and his complaints, I sent him a quick response letting him know that he was interrupting a very important time for me. Then I asked him to pray about the situation and turn to God’s word to find peace about it.

And that was the end of that, or so I thought.

I finished up my quiet time by praying that God would give me the words to write, then I opened up my notepad app and stared at the blank screen, and stared….and stared some more. Just as I was beginning to get discouraged, the words rod and staff came to mind. I knew these words were from a verse in the Bible, but couldn’t remember where. I looked it up and found them in Psalms 23:4- Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me.

I thanked God for the verse and began to write a blog post centered around fear. I was just getting to what I thought were some good points when my phone rang. It was my husband, again. He wanted to share with me the verses that God had led him to during his prayer time.

And now, I’ll share them with you.

He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psalms 23: 3-5

It was several minutes before the goose bumps disappeared from my arms and the tears stopped sliding down my cheeks. When I was finally able to tell my husband about my own experience with that same verse, I was met by a short moment of silence, followed by a strangled sounding, “You’re kidding.”

Nope, I wasn’t kidding.

Needless to say, I shelved my blog post on fear for a later date.

I had asked God to give me the words to write today, and boy, did He ever. My husband had asked for peace, and boy, did God ever grant it.

Today, I pray that you never, ever doubt the power of prayer when it comes from a faithful heart. Not only is He listening, He is answering too.

Many blessings to you,
Robin

More Than a Glimpse

More Than a Glimpse

Loving her new life, Katie Phillips knows she is blessed beyond measure. She has an amazing husband, a son she adores, and a new life growing in her womb. She thought the pain and struggles from her past were over but with one accidental bump of a stroller, it all comes rushing back. The blue-eyed monster from her past is back, and he’s determined to take what he thinks is his.

As her life changes from idyllic to chaotic, will Katie stand strong in her renewed faith, or will she crumble when her dreams of a happy future are replaced by old nightmares?

More Than a Glimpse is the riveting and unpredictable sequel to Katie’s Glimpse.