Friday, January 29, 2016

Words of Faith: Ada's story

Faith Is A Decision
A Words of Faith story written by Ada Brownell

I wasn’t surprised when atheists responded to tweets about my book Facts, Faith & Propaganda.

They usually want to argue. I always tell them “argument only proves who is best at debate.”

In several of my books that speak about faith and in all my writing I emphasize we decide what we believe. You can’t prove whether God exists, and atheists can’t show he doesn’t. There’s a reason for this—faith in necessary for salvation. We can’t please God if we don’t have faith. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 KJV).

I met a woman from Sweden in the airport and we discussed faith after my husband told her I’m a writer and gave her my card and a bookmark.

“I don’t worry about whether I believe in God, and I’m letting my children grow up and make their own decisions,” she said. “I’m a good person, and that’s all that’s necessary.”

She was nice, but as her daughter lay nearby reading I explained, “Belief in God is a decision. As he traveled the world, Billy Graham called people to the altars to ‘make a decision for Christ.’ If you ignore God, you decided not to accept His sacrifice for sin so that you could live forever. It’s the choice you already made.”

I talked to her about evidence for faith and the need to choose Jesus as Savior.

She smiled. “You’re messing with my head. I’ll need to think about this.”

Here are some facts about faith:

What is faith? “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and confident of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).

God has given each person a measure of faith (Romans 12:3 KJV). Often people who don’t think they believe cry for God’s help spontaneously in crises.

Faith comes through hearing the Word—the gospel
(Romans 10:17 KJV). Because faith is necessary to be redeemed from sin and to have our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, God “breathed” truth into writers He chose to pen His love message to humankind. It is through that love letter—the Bible—we gain knowledge of Him and why He allows us (anybody) to accept it and love and obey Him (2 Timothy 3:15-16 NIV).

We must voice our belief. “For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:10 NIV).

Our brains may be made to believe in God. In a CNN report by A. Chris Gajilan on April 4, 2007, Dr. Andrew Newberg, neuroscientist and author of "Why We Believe What We Believe," says the human brain is affected during prayer and meditation. He suggests brain scans may prove our brains are built to believe in God. Because of this God-shaped place within, nearly every person worships something, even if they create it themselves.

Faith comes through the will.
We decide whether to believe God’s Word, a false religion, or atheism (everything about who we are, why we are here and where we are going takes faith). Yet it takes a leap—a decision:“...Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:15 KJV) Read John 3:16 KJV which says,“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus is our only hope. “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 KJV).

Salvation is a Gift we receive: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ his Son” (Romans 6:23 KJV).

Don’t wait to decide what you’ll believe. Remember much of what atheists and agnostics think they chose to believe, is based on propaganda. If you would like evidence of that, read my book Facts, Faith, and Propaganda which can purchased online at this address,

Read the first chapter free. A review says the book provides information from both sides without preaching. Just the facts. Remember, however, Peter wrote “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16).

Author bio:

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher.

After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, freelance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement.

She is the author of six books. She is a member of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband have five children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Her historical romance, The Lady Fugitive, is a 2015 finalist for the Clash of the Titles Laurel Award.

Connect with Ada:
Amazon Author page -
Blog -

Monday, January 25, 2016

Devotional by Mary Manners: Is Today Really Necessary?

Today, I'd like to re-post a favorite devotional written by Mary Manners! It's about persevering through the trails as you journey through life. I believe you will benefit from reading this devotional.

Meanwhile, please pray for Mary Manners and her family. They are going through a tough time and will appreciate your prayers. God knows the details. Just pray.

Enjoy the devotional!

Is Today Really Necessary?

A devotional written Mary Manners

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~James 1:2-4~

My dad has always been my hugest inspiration. Long ago, when I was barely a teenager in the early days of my middle school journey, I came home following a particularly rough day to find him sitting on the front porch waiting for me so he could ask about my day. I joined him on the concrete landing and he spent a good hour listening while I vented about the trials and tribulations of being a thirteen-year-old in a cruel, cruel world. I imagined he had no idea what I was going through, since he couldn't have possibly ever been as young as thirteen. Little did I know!

The next day, Dad came home with a small treasure for me—a
 poster with the most forlorn-looking bloodhound sitting in a washtub full of soap bubbles that had been dumped over his head. The caption read, "Was today really necessary?" 

Dad helped me mount the poster in a place of honor on my bedroom wall, and then we sat together and talked some more. That's when I began to understand the power of adversity in shaping who I am as well as my life's path.

Today, I use the trials of my life—both 
the small inconveniences that jab like bony fingers along my rib cage as well as the tsunamis that sweep through to wash away any semblance of sanity—to shape and mold my writing. Characters come alive when their story is infused with nuances of my personal trials. In daily tribulations I find a never-ending fount of inspiration. The passion to write the next story burns continuously inside me, and with every detour that comes my way I know that the round-about will lead to another exciting chapter.

My dad succumbed to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma thirteen years ago, but his memory is alive and well in the poster that has traveled with me through the decades. It now holds a place of honor on the wall across from my office desk. Each time I glance up to read the caption, I smile and think, "Yes, today is really necessary and thank you, God, for allowing me another breath, another test…and another chapter."


Author bio:
Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus.

She loves swimming, running, flavored coffee and Smoky Mountain sunsets.

Mary believes everyone has a story to tell, and she loves to share hers. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.

Learn more about Mary Manners at her website:

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book Spotlight: Where She Belongs

Today, I'd like to share the delightful details about Johnnie Alexander's latest release, Where She Belongs! Here's the cover photo:

Lovely, isn't it?

Continue reading this blog post where you will be treated to a review about Where She Belongs, an excerpt from the book, purchase links for the book and notes on how to connect with the author.

Happy reading! 

Review written by Kavon and published via Amazon with 5 stars on January 19, 2016In Kavon's words, Where She Belongs is: That moment when you are happily reading a wonderful story and suddenly what you think is going to happen doesn't and then other things you never even dreamed of start happening instead. You're like -- whoa, wait. Noooooo! And you start waving your arms around like a rabid music conductor as you try get Character A to cool his jets so you can coach Character B to stick with it a bit longer while praying for Character C to just shove off to another book all while trying to hip check secondary characters into an appropriate holding pattern while...Yeah. There were a lot of those moments in this book. All that arm waving and not one single character listened to me. Not even the dog.

Enthralling because I wasn't sure what would happen next. Gut-wrenching because it didn't always go the way I hoped. Dipsy-swoony because when the romance is on it's really, really on! Thud! Heart-stirring because the author explores the power in relationships -- both the past and the present -- and how they shape us. Soul-nourishing because of a solid inspirational thread that anchors it all.

Read this one in a day because . . . I. Just. Couldn't. Stop.

*Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Book blurb: Shelby Kincaid is ready to move on from her grief. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family’s ancestral homestead so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she’ll have her work cut out for her. 

AJ Sullivan never wanted the homestead. Inherited as a punishment from his grandfather, it has sat empty for fifteen years and fallen into ruin. He’s glad to finally unload it. But a clean break isn’t possible when he can’t get the young widow Shelby off his mind. 

Welcome to Misty Willow, a place that will have as great a hold over the reader as it does over its inhabitants. 

Where She Belongs
excerpt details from Johnnie Alexander:

Shelby Kincaid’s dream is to raise her daughters in the same house where she spent golden summers with her grandparents. After signing the papers that allows her to do just that, she celebrates by dining at a little Italian cafĂ©. When AJ Sullivan shows up at her table, she reluctantly invites him to join her. Her happiness overshadows the anger she feels toward him because he let the house fall into ruin.

Story excerpt: 

“I’m sure it was. Once.” AJ bit into the soft, hot bread. Shelby’s green eyes mesmerized him, but her mercurial attitude confounded him. One minute, he felt like her enemy. The next, as if they could be best friends. Maybe even something more. “But the first time I saw it, the house had already been empty several years.”

“You didn’t want to fix it up? Live in it?”

“It’s kind of large for one person, don’t you think?” He ventured a grin. Thankfully, she nodded agreement.

“You could have rented it out. Made some money.”

He searched for a noble reason why he hadn’t done even that. But the simple truth was that he wanted nothing to do with the house or the memories it embodied. Shelby might be hurt by that truth, but perhaps his explanation would make up for whatever wrongs his family had done to hers.

“Granddad—everyone called him Sully—had several business interests,” he said. “And three heirs. My two cousins and me. I got Misty Willow, and they got everything else.”

“To punish you?”


She didn’t ask, but he read the question in her eyes. What had you done?

He gave a casual shrug, as if what he’d done wasn’t that big of a deal. Except that it was. He didn’t need to tell Shelby the whole story, though. Only the part that most people knew.

“I’m his namesake. His only son’s only son. Naturally, I was supposed to be a lawyer so I could take care of his legal affairs. But I dropped out of law school and became a teacher instead.”

“So he pretty much disinherited you?”

“Except for your farm, yes.”

“Why the ‘you can’t sell this for ten years’ clause?”

“According to Richard, who’s the trustee, Sully thought I was too headstrong. That I didn’t think before I acted. Forcing me to keep the property was meant to teach me patience.” AJ leaned back in his chair and traced a pattern on the tablecloth. “For all his faults, he was a visionary. The farmland around here becomes more valuable every year. The commute to Columbus isn’t that far. Seems people want to raise their kids in the country.”

“I understand that.”

“I guess you do. Anyway, what the commuters don’t get, developers will.”

“Not Misty Willow.”

“Nor the rest of the acreage. I kind of like the land the way it is.”

“I wish I could have afforded to lease all of it now.”

“I wish you could have too.” Apparently, the numbers hadn’t worked out for her to lease more than the thirty-two acres. At least that’s what Richard had said. AJ wasn’t sure what difference it made in the long run, though. He gave her an encouraging smile. “But you have first options on the rest, and it’s not going anywhere.”

“I guess that means we’ll be doing business again in the future.”

AJ lifted his glass of tea. “To the future.”

A slow smile brightened Shelby’s features as she clinked her glass against his. “To the future.”

With her perfect timing, Tiff sidled to the table with separate checks and routine questions about to-go boxes. AJ paid both bills then escorted Shelby to her car. The moon hung low on the horizon, and only a few stars gleamed in the night sky.

Shelby clicked the remote to unlock the car. “Thank you for supper.”

“Thanks for letting me sit down.” Stepping in front of her, he opened the door.

“Thank you for the key too. Tell your grandmother it means the world to me.”

“She’ll be glad.”

Shelby started to get in, then halted, standing so close her delicate fragrance beckoned him even closer. “You’re very close to her, aren’t you?”

AJ’s throat tightened. “Very.”

“It’s hard. Losing a grandmother.” She stared past him, a faraway look in her clear eyes. “The pain eases, but it never goes away.”

“Would you want it to?”

She looked at him a moment, her eyes dark in the dim light of a nearby lamppost, then barely shook her head. “Good night.”


AJ stood on the sidewalk, staring at the taillights as she drove away. When she turned a corner, he jammed his hands in his pockets and strode to his Jeep. He envied her. That’s why he couldn’t stop thinking about her.

He envied her passion for a rundown house. He envied her happy childhood memories. He was even jealous that she had kids.

There had been a time when he thought he could change the dysfunctional Sullivan legacy. Become a respected husband and loving father.

But God couldn’t trust him with a family of his own. Not after the way he’d messed things up.

As he slid into his Jeep, he vowed not to think of Shelby Kincaid’s dazzling eyes or delicate features. Ever again.

Author bio: 
Johnnie Alexander writes inspiring stories that linger in the heart. Where Treasure Hides, her debut novel, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011) and Golden Leaf Award (2014). Her first contemporary romance, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series; Revell), and her first novella, The Healing Promise (Courageous Bride Collection; Barbour), releases in 2016. 

She also has won Best Novel and Best Writer awards (Florida Christian Writers Conferences), and Bronze Medalist (My Book Therapy Frasier Contest). She volunteers as a category coordinator for the ACFW Genesis Contest, judges various contests, and serves as marketing director for the MidSouth Christian Writers Conference.

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area with a small herd of alpacas and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees raccoons.
Buy Johnnie's book:
AmazonBarnes & Noble and Christian Book Distributors

Connect with Johnnie: 
Visit her BlogFacebook Profile (Friend or Follow!) Author Page on Facebook, Follow Johnnie on TwitterGoodReads and learn more about her books via her Amazon Author Page.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Words of Faith: Umbrella Faith

Umbrella Faith
A Words of Faith story by Wade Webster

Hope and faith are very similar. What’s the difference?

The best example I ever heard is that both hope and faith pray for rain during a drought. After the prayer hope walks out the door, faith stops and grabs an umbrella before he heads out.

I’m doing my best to live out this form of faith in my life right now.

Barb and I met at Grace Bible College in Wyoming, Michigan when we were both in our mid-twenties. We married during Christmas break just over 29 years ago now.

We had the typical financial struggles early on. Barb endured a few surgeries along the way. No children blessed us. Cats filled that void.

We both loved walks in nature and fishing at a private lake of a distant family member. Memories were built well and often. Barb introduced me to birding. I took her hunting twice.

God tugged at both of our hearts to move out west near the end of our first decade together. Too many failed attempts that had us return to her parents’ vacant winter home added to our memories and tested our sanity. Nobody we knew understood that type of faith we displayed with no job or housing lined up at the other end of most of those moves.

God never let us go hungry or homeless.

Such a nomadic lifestyle made for no long-term friendships. I couldn’t fill Barb’s emotional needs by myself. She began to pull away just before our move to Plano, Texas.

I was driving trucks for a temporary agency at that time which did little for my stability emotionally. My mind was too far away for us to carry on any deep conversations during our walks.

We did find a fantastic church home filled with marvelous Christian brothers and sisters that I hoped would fill Barb’s needs for female friends to help her cope. The distance between us only grew.

Over three years ago Barb physically moved out to match the emotional distance we lived.

All attempts by me blew up in my face rather than reconcile anything. Marriage counseling was off the table by her as an option.

I had a choice to make at that time. I could let her go and end our relationship to pursue my happiness, or I could do my best to honor God with my commitment to Barb.

I chose to please God before myself. I accepted that I’m to love her as Christ loves the church. I continued to pay off her car and gave her access to the checking account.

I wrote Barb a letter telling her I’d continue to save her seat next to me every Sunday at church. Yeah, we both still attend the same church. She hasn’t walked totally away from God.

That empty seat next to me is my umbrella of faith as I continue to pray for God to touch her heart in His time.

Over a year ago I made the last payment on her car loan and lost my well-paying job in the same month. She filed divorce papers after that. Her seat is still on hold next to me each week.

Our county court system says we’re no longer married, but I know in God’s eyes and in my heart I vowed to keep Barb my one and only till death separates us. My ring hasn’t come off my finger and I don’t plan on it happening.

There’s no guarantee Barb will come back to me because of my faithfulness.

Paul told the Corinthian church that the trials of this life are light and temporary compared to the glory that awaits us someday (2 Corinthians 4:17). He then goes on to give a definition of faith as concentrating on what we can’t see because of its eternality.

Your circumstances may be difficult and baffling. Things may be out of control as far as you can see. Trust your Heavenly father to be pleased by the faith you grow as you obey Him today.

Don’t forget to grab your umbrella before you head out the door, my friend.

Author bio: 
Wade Webster lives in Plano, Texas with his best friend, Jesus Christ. He gave his heart to Jesus so young he doesn’t remember not being born-again. 

Most of his income is derived from driving trucks. He was 47 years old before he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. Now writing is his passion and future career. 

You can get a taste of his writing styles and read his blog at

You can find links to some prayer e-books on his website which will be in print under one cover soon. Yes, that link will be on the website, too when it comes to life.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Words of Faith: Jodie's story about faith and muscles

Faith and Muscles
A Words of Faith story written by Jodie Wolfe

“For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~ Matthew 17:20 (HCSB)

I'm not crazy about working out and building up a sweat. The only weights I've lifted are those little hand ones that are only about 1-2 pounds. You might call me a weakling. My muscles look more like this photo to the right:

Okay, maybe not even quite as impressive as that.

Now don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I don't exercise...I just don't work out with weights. I do walk, though that's a subject for a different day.

I've found through my many years of being a Christian that faith is like a muscle. You only develop your faith by exercising it. In other words, you have to use it in order for it to grow.

Faith starts out small, like a mustard seed - small, insignificant. But when planted, the seed cracks open and produces a tree that grows as high as 20 feet. Jesus said the mustard seed was smaller than any of the other seeds of the ground. (Mark 4:31)

Our muscles may start out as small and flabby but as we continue to work out our arms and our bodies, we strengthen them. The muscles harden and grow and may become as strong as this photo in the middle: 

Faith may start out small, like a mustard seed or a flabby muscle. But each time we choose to believe, choose to trust in God and His faithfulness, even when we can't see the outcome, it grows. With each circumstance and situation we face, we have a learning opportunity to exercise our faith and strengthen our spiritual muscles. 

I don't know about you, but I desire my faith to be like the second photo! :) Are you ready for a faith workout?

Author bio: 

Jodie Wolfe loves to stroll through history with the characters she creates. 

When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading and walking. 

You can connect with Jodie via her websiteFacebook and Twitter.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Words of Faith: God's Faithfulness

God’s Faithfulness
A Words of Faith story written by Pat Jeanne Davis

My husband had a long commute five days a week to our church. His work there was mentally exhausting, but Joseph was happy. Then circumstances changed—he lost his job. His disappointment was keen and his spirit crushed. Joseph felt that God was displeased with him. This became a nagging and recurring thought.

Friends and co-workers from our church called to express their disappointment. He assisted them with their questions as they learned their new responsibilities in a changed environment.

Joseph needed encouragement. My husband’s emotional and spiritual well-being were of more concern than how we were going to manage financially, especially when he asked questions like, “What did I do wrong?” or “Now What?”

To get us through this crisis, I knew I needed God’s help. In my heart I believed that, "all things work together for good to those who love the Lord" (Romans 8:28). Again, I would experience the reality of this promise in these circumstances.

“Have you talked to God about it?” I asked him.

“I can’t,” he replied.

I prayed for him and myself as I waited on the Lord for His direction. Then I began to see the hand of God in our experience.

We discovered that under the pension plan Joseph was enrolled in with a former employer, he could apply for early retirement benefits. This was our first indication that God was working on our behalf.

I’ve been a full-time homemaker since our sons were born fifteen years ago. I decided to claim Social Security benefits this year when I reached age sixty-two. I learned at the time I applied that our boys were eligible for children’s benefits as well. The Lord is faithful. He was providing for us.

A major concern was our children’s education. It was re-enrollment time once again at their school. Would we be able to continue to provide them with the Christ-centered schooling we had committed to giving them? After applying for financial assistance, we were given a 40% reduction on the following year’s tuition. We were overjoyed!

And then there was the matter of health insurance coverage for us all.

After some inquiries and searching the Internet, I learned that my husband and I were eligible for low cost health insurance coverage. Our boys have free coverage under our state’s children health insurance program. God continued to meet our needs.

During these hard times, we learned how to live more frugally on a lower, fixed income. Fortunately, our home is mortgage free. But the high cost of utilities was another concern. I applied for financial help with those costs and received discounts on our electric and heating bills. We experienced God’s goodness once more.

Since my husband’s unemployment, the blessings have been many. Johnny and Tim only got to see their dad a short time each day when he worked full time at our church. Now he sees them off to school in the morning and picks them up later. He is free to go on field trips and youth group outings. But most important, my husband has the time to sit and talk with our boys. This is a witness to God’s faithfulness to our family during a time of crisis.

Until his employment ended, I was concerned about Joseph’s long hours and how they were affecting his health. Now we spend time together during the day, and he seems more relaxed. I’ve seen my husband’s disappointment gradually vanish. Joseph has more time also for personal Bible study. Only this morning he was singing a favorite hymn.

“Maybe I could help at the school. Do they still need volunteers for grounds work?” Joseph asked our son recently. Many projects left unfinished at home are getting completed as well.

We walk by faith and not by sight. It's during times of uncertainty that God reveals Himself. You too can experience God's faithfulness. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). 

Look to Him in changed situations and see new mercies.

Author bio:

Pat’s short stories appeared in Harpstring Magazine, Splickety Love, Splickety Prime, Horizon Magazine, TWJ Magazine and Take-A-Break (UK). Her articles and inspirational pieces appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Guideposts,The Lookout, GRIT Magazine, Bible Advocate and Woman Alive (UK). 

She writes Christian historical novels set in the early 20th century. She loves to hear from other writers and readers. Visit her at

Friday, January 1, 2016

Words of Faith: Gail Kittleson's story

Second Chances—from Bethlehem to 2016
A Words of Faith story written by Gail Kittleson


New Year’s Day is all about starting over—second chances, and that’s what our God emphasizes, too. 

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."~Romans 5:3-5 NASB

Jesus’ birth story revolves around second chances, too. Once again, we’ve contemplated the little Jewish family’s trek to Bethlehem, their firstborn’s birth, the Wise Men’s visit, and the angel’s call to Egypt.

The angels were awfully busy—and in Jesus’ parents, they found reliable receptors for their messages.

Take Joseph, who sought to get out of his commitment to Mary without disgracing her when he realized her pregnancy. An angel intervened, and Joseph listened. Then he obeyed, completely disregarding his own conclusions about the honorable thing to do in this situation.

And then he undertook an arduous journey to Bethlehem to pay his taxes—never a joyful jaunt, but he obeyed. The birth completed, he welcomed strange worshippers—stinky nearby shepherds and stargazers from afar. The gifts they brought may well have financed the little family’s journey to Egypt, again at the behest of an angel in a dream.

What would his parents have said? What did they think, or did they even realize what was going on? So many questions, but Joseph obviously relied on the firm faith foundations of his youth to find his way through this complicated time.

Aware of the danger and committed to keep Mary and the baby safe, Joseph sojourned in Egypt for some time. When a dream confirmed it was time to return home, he acted cautiously, watching and listening for guidance.

Does Joseph remind you of anyone? If so, you’re fortunate to know a humble, courageous man of God who puts his own agenda second to that of his family. He waits to hear a word from God, and when he does, he acts.

Can’t help wondering how Joseph would fit in a society that lauds self-made men, independent souls who found businesses, make fortunes, often at great cost to their families and others who might be “in the way.” The other day, I heard a story about a generous, kind, humble CEO of a very successful company. This man determined to make our country a better place by helping individuals through college and afterward into their careers. He does this financially, of course, but also by providing a network of mentors and opportunities that change these individuals’ prospects. 

In other words, he gives them second chances, gives them hope.

“Wow,” I thought. “What great vision.” His story shows he puts his money where his mouth is. Or maybe we could change that to where his heart is.

History records Joseph’s heart was right where the Almighty desired it to be. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

Joseph’s attitude teaches the value of listening and obeying, even when our instructions might seem pretty weird to others. Humility requires putting aside our desire to please people, to keep everyone happy. We’re not the center of the world anymore. Joseph didn’t seek public acclaim.

Adopting this viewpoint, we can listen and obey. Joseph traveled a difficult road, but to be trusted with the Son God sent to earth—what an honor. But Joseph didn’t seek public acclaim. Pleasing God was enough for him, and God’s pleasure led to second chances.

We assume Joseph and Mary reared a healthy family, and day-by-day, Joseph worked to provide for them. Mary becomes a focal point at several points in the Gospels, but Scripture never mentions Joseph again after the nativity. He passed from the scene unobtrusively, his task on earth complete.

Joseph—a quiet, unassuming man, but faithful and focused on finding God’s way when circumstances obscured it. He’s a great example as we learn to humble ourselves, listen, and obey. Second chances, straight ahead!

How have listening and obeying made a difference for you, and what second chance do you desire in 2016?

Author Bio: 
Gail believes our stories are our best gifts, and blooming late has its advantages. The pent-up novel fodder never ends. WhiteFire Publishing released Gail’s memoir, Catching Up With Daylight in 2013, and her debut women’s historical fiction, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Line) greets the world on November 18, 2015. Another women's Christian historical fiction (World War II) has been contracted for February 2017 release, with two more in that series. Gail has also written two pioneer stories, as yet unpublished. 

Please feel free to contact Gail—meeting new writing and reading friends is the frosting on her cake!