Monday, November 27, 2023

Final book in Ten Commandmentseries series

It was on a summer's day, back in August 2004, that I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me about writing a book series. It wasn't an audible voice but at the same time, it was loud and clear.

We were living in Southern California at the time, on a beautiful ranch where my husband worked as a racecar technician. Just a few years earlier we had come to faith in Jesus Christ. An event that radically changed our lives. The fact that it was possible to hear God's voice had never occurred to me.

I am forever thankful that He spoke exactly the way He did because I never doubted what I had heard. I was still a rather young believer back then and, although I enjoyed writing since I was a little girl, I had no plans of writing such books.

And here we are, nineteen years down the road. I finally finished the tenth and final book in the series about the Ten Commandments in the 21st century. To be honest, I have longed for this day. Why? Because I have so many other ideas for writing books. Ideas that I didn't want to work on as long I had not finished this series. Yeah, that's called discipline 😁 

No other gods is the tenth and final book in this eye-opening series and it deals with the first commandment: You shall have no other gods before Him. Each chapter starts with a travel story, travels we made throughout the years all over the world. Travels that introduced us to other religions than the one we grew up with, to other cultures, and to other gods...

The subtitle says: Why undivided loyalty to the One and only living God matters in these days

Curious? The book is available on Amazon in your country.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Power and love

Power and hatred, a dangerous combination. Well, hatred by itself is dangerous enough. But as we see around us in the world, hatred empowered by weapons, money, and evil influence in high places becomes deadly.

How different is the combination the Bible uses: power and love!

I like the way the psalmist says it: But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress (Psalm 59:16). He sings about God's love and about His power!

Power and love go together quite well, with God that is. As a matter of fact, they describe His character, they describe who He is. Psalm 117:2 says it this way: For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord! 👉I like that idea, His love for us is powerful.

Jumping forward to the New Testament, we find that the apostle Paul has a message for us as well, namely that it takes power to understand God's love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is (Ephesians 3:18).

In the next verse, he turns it around. When we experience the love of God, we will be filled with the life and power that comes from Him. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God (Ephesians 3:19).

No matter how we look at it, the Bible shows us that power and love make up a divine combination and experience that we should not want to live without. He gives it to us freely, as we can read in 2 Timothy 1:7,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

I am wondering (and asking myself): Are we people of power and love?

Friday, October 06, 2023

Has your faith been tested?

Has your faith ever been tested to see if it was genuine?

Maybe you find this a peculiar question. Of course, we have faith. Faith in God and in His Word and yes, we must show our faith by our actions (See James 2:17).

Trials and difficulties

But still, faith that hasn't been tested, is no faith at all. Now, the Bible says our faith will be tested by trials and difficulties and/or we can test ourselves to find out if our faith is genuine.

In 2 Corinthians 13:5 we read: Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.

Interesting, isn't it? How do we test ourselves to see whether we stand in faith? If all goes well in life, there is no opportunity to test our faith. It is when things go wrong, we get the chance! We get the chance to see if what we believe will stand the test of time, even if we don't see it manifest in our lives at the moment.

Not a bad investment

In 1 Peter 1:6-7 we read: So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

👉Tested faith will bring us much praise, glory, and honor in the future. So, the testing is never a bad investment.

Endurance will grow

And finally, when our faith is being tested, our endurance has a chance to grow. In James 1:2-4 we can read the following: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

So, whether we test ourselves or we are being tested, it is the perfect opportunity to grow in our faith! Has your faith been tested? I would love to hear your story and who knows it might encourage someone else.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

A wave of the sea

I am currently working on the final stages of my new book (yeah!). People are proofreading, I am editing, making corrections, and rewriting sections here and there.

My new book will be the tenth and final book in a series about the Ten Commandments in the 21st century. The book is based on the first commandment that tells us not to have other gods before Him.

It will probably come as no surprise that the title of this new book will be 'No other gods' and it basically deals with the importance of undivided loyalty towards God and His Word. My free translation of 'no other gods' would be 'no compromise.'

👉Undivided loyalty will make us stand firm, especially in a world that is getting crazier by the day! We see new ideas, trends, and philosophies popping up like mushrooms and people are being tossed around like ragdolls trying to follow all that is 'new'. 

I will not be tossed around for I am standing on solid ground and I hope the same is true for you. We need to guard our position, however, and pray for wisdom. James 1:6 says about such prayer, But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

Aha, we will be blown and tossed by the wind if our loyalty is divided. We should therefore ask ourselves if we feel like a ragdoll because of everything that is going on in the world. If the answer is yes, we should check our loyalty towards God and His Word. Does the Good News still stand above all the bad news in our lives?

James continues: Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. Ouch. Instability is the result of divided loyalty. I have the feeling that it's time for a faith check-up for many believers. Let's do it now!

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Snakes and doves

Have you ever been sent out to do a certain task? 

Maybe you had to sell raffle tickets, gather up a group of people to do some volunteer work, visit someone and bring a message, or go to some foreign country to preach Jesus.

Sending out

Whatever the case, such 'sending out' is often accompanied by a wish for good luck, farewells, warnings (be careful, come back as quick as you can), and lots of advice of course.

When Jesus sent out His twelve disciples, He said this:

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves [Matthew 10:16].

One or the other

Uh, excuse me Lord? You want me to be as a snake and as a dove? I don't think that will go very well together. It's either one or the other, right? One is either clever or stupid, extravert or introvert, loud or quiet, obnoxious or sweet. Oh, how we love to add labels and put people in boxes. We don't even realize how much we limit ourselves when we do so.

Perfect example

God is different. With Him all things are possible and He wouldn't be God if He had not set the perfect example Himself. Jesus is the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. Yeah, both the lamb and the lion. Jesus displayed tender compassion as well as harsh anger. He is the judge as well as the savior.

We have a tendency to accept the side of God we like the most and ignore the rest. But, let's not forget, God is love but He is also just. Yes, God loves the sinner but hates the sin. Yes, God forgives but He also corrects and disciplines.

Pure in an evil world

When Jesus says we should be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves, He is not asking for the impossible. He wants us to be pure in an evil world. He wants us to be determined and yet dependent on Him. He wants us to be outspoken and diplomatic at the same time. He gives us both courage and meekness, power and love, alertness and rest.

In Him, we will have the perfect balance. In Him, we will speak up when necessary and be silent when required.