Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A post-holiday devotional for you

Whew! We made it over the Christmas holiday! I know for some people that notable accomplishment deserves a victory dance. Christmastime can be a rush and you look forward all month to that one special day. You plan, coordinate and wish for all of your holiday dreams to come true. And then in just 24 hours that compose a date called December 25, it's over and you crash.

Today, I've invited Nike Chillemi to speak words of encouragement to your weary soul. I hope you will find the rest you need as we all gear up for an exciting New Year 2015! :)

Take it away Nike!

The Whirl of Christmas Is Nearly Over
Written by Nike Chillemi

Although we’re still within the Twelve Days of Christmas, the heady excitement of the Christmas holiday is over for most of us. I love Christmas, love the rush and excitement. However, there’s something to be said for the post-holiday Twelve Days of Christmas which ends with Epiphany, traditionally the day the Wise Men arrived at the holy manger.

For me, the twelve days after Christmas are sort of a smooth landing after a wonderful flight. The rush is over, the wrapping paper has been ripped off the gifts and thrown away…and I have twelve days to bask in the deeper meaning of this holy event. Actually, I have an entire year to do that, but I’m a holiday and tradition oriented person. I do enjoy the traditional twelve days.

This year my family has experienced great stress and anxiety within the last six months, upheaval even. We put up the small ceramic Christmas tree my late mother-in-law made instead of the usual seven-foot faux-fir we deck with an incredible amount of ornaments. This year a highly personal relationship with Jesus has never been so important to me.

In John 4:12 the one who best loved Jesus tells us, “No one has seen God at any time, if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” [NASB] So, as things in my life manifest in ways I hadn’t planned, I find myself hugging up close to Jesus. I had quite an angry thought a few days back, actually several, one right after another. I had to say out loud, “No, I will not let this individual pull me out of love.” I had a few very difficult moments there, but with persistence and commitment, I was able to overcome my flesh and walk once again with the Lord.

I do think saying the words out loud helped me. God used words. He spoke the world and all matter into existence. Speaking out loud about my commitment to a love walk, cut right through any drivel the enemy might’ve been throwing at me and I was able to overcome that challenge.

In my contemporary detective novel, NYC female private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels travels to Texas where her cheating husband is murdered and she finds the handsome sheriff has her as a prime suspect. Ronnie struggles with faith but comes to admire the love walk of Bertha, her dear friend and humorous side-kick.

I believe if there is anything I can take away from Christmas, it’s that my love walk can be a powerful witness of Christ in my life. I pray the Lord continues to walk with me, holding my hand and pulling me back onto the kindness and love path when I veer off.

Author Bio:
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT released in the spring of 2014 under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers. http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/

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