Thursday, December 27, 2007

Reflection on 2007

Traversing the distance
A few days before ringing in a brand new year, I always enjoy looking back at the previous 12 months. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes we might feel we're not moving, we're not traversing the distance. That is... until we stop and look back and notice where we've come from! I encountered that many times in the natural, while hiking difficult mountain trails. I encounter it also in my work. I feel I am only at the very beginning of my journey as an author; yet when I look back, I can clearly see the long and winding trail I have been following. 2007 was the year in which I had my 2nd book published while my 1st book came out as audio book. It was the year in which the production of my 3rd book began and a contract for another audio book has been signed. It was also the year in which I carefully entered the world of free lance writing. I am very thankful that I was given a monthly column in a National Christian Magazine in Holland. It inspires and encourages me to move more boldly towards writing on an international level as well. All in all I can look back at a productive year again. I am slowly getting established in the world of writing and publicing. It sure is not an easy thing to do but I know that I am not alone in this. I am always reminded of Jesus' words in John 15:5, apart from Me you can do nothing. Everything I do is because of Him! This word and His Word alone is the assurance for my victory!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

About the Christmas Buzz

Is peace on earth wishful thinking?
Believe it or not; if you are celebrating Christmas this week you are doing so in remembrance of the birth of Jesus, the Son of the living God. His arrival on earth changed the world forever, which is the reason we still celeberate this more than 2000 years later. Jesus came to earth for a reason, not just as a display of divine power but as a messenger of peace. God set it up a certain way, which the bible explains in Colossians 1:20
Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to Himself. God made peace through His Son's death on the cross and so brought back to Himself all things, both on earth and in heaven.
Wow, it was through Jesus that the whole universe came back to God, all things, both on earth and in heaven. That was God's way of making peace. Not a written statement, not a treaty, not a peace plan, but the miraculous birth of His Son among people. God desires reconciliation, He desires a spiritual relationship with every human being. That is why He has put a void in every one of us, a void that can never be filled with human love alone. No relationship will ever be sufficient, no human relationship will ever be perfect. If human relationships were perfect, no one would ever come to Him! No one would ever feel the need for Him! Sin seperated us from God ever since Adam and Eve, but somehow God decided to bring the whole universe back to Himself! The peace we sing about each Christmas therefore is not the absense of war, but the coming together of God and men by means of Jesus. Do you merely celebrate or do you truly believe this?

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's on Your Wish List?

Something better than gold and silver
Christmas is celebrated different in every country. In America gift giving seems to be the major focus. So the other day I asked myself, what would I like to receive? What would I put on my wish list if I was going to make one? Proverbs 16:16 says,

It is better, much better, to have wisdom and knowledge than gold and silver.

Well, that would eliminate the jewelry, haha! No, seriously, if the Bible says wisdom and knowledge is better than material stuff, I believe that to be the truth. Nothing wrong with making a wish list, but let's keep it balanced!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Back To The Studio

Recording 2nd book starts next week!
I am happy and very thankful to be able to announce that next week I will go back to the studio to read and record Respectfully Yours, the 2nd book in the Ten Commandments series. Mountaindog Music Studio in Oak View has opened her doors again and I am looking forward to reading chapter by chapter of this awesome book under the supervision of topdog Tim. He is a very skilled sound technician and a happy Christian as well, which makes working on this project all the more fun and fruitful! Tate Publishing has offered to publish the 2nd book on audio CD's as well as in MP3 form, which is great. Millions of people in the USA hardly ever read a book, but they listen to books on tape all the time. I receive wonderful comments about my first audio book, Sacred Sabbath, all the time, which encouraged me to take on this new project. It simply opens up the market and thanks to the internet, availability of the books is offered all over the world!
The sound of their voice went out to all the world; their words reached the ends of the earth. (Romans 10:18)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

About Attitudes and Such

Five words to describe Jesus
Last week I wrote about following in Jesus' footsteps. Let me add something to that. In Philippians 2:5 we can read something very interesting about the same subject,
The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had.
That made me re-think the life Jesus lived and I would like to ask you to do the same. Grab a piece of paper and start thinking. Could you describe Jesus' attitude in, let's say, five words?
After you have come up with five words, check and see if these words are applicable to your own life. This is a great way to check our own attitudes, to find out where we are in our walk as Believers and in what areas we still need to grow. We should have things in common with the great Master if we are serious about our faith!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Walk the Talk

Being a follower in a true sense of the word

A few weeks ago I wrote about a tree that is recognized by its fruit. We can call ourselves Christians, but would people recognize us as such without that label? In 1 John 2:6 we can read the following,
Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.
It means we have to follow in His footsteps, live like He did, do what He did.
The Bible tells us a lot about the way Jesus lived. It tells us about His family, friends and disciples. It tells us about his childhood and ministry. It tells us about His teachings, His toughts and His feelings. I would like to encourage you, read! Read about Him and learn from Him. Study His life and copy it. One of my favorite movies on DVD about Jesus is The Gospel Of John. Powerful, powerful movie! Live like He did, do what He did. Sometimes that may feel like we're jumping into the deep, but that is also the place where we will get our biggest catch!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tate Publishing Accepts 3rd Book

Contract signed for 3rd book in series
Halleluja! I can't tell you all how excited I am now that my 3rd manuscript has been accepted by Tate Publishing. Breath of Life is the 3rd book in my series about the Ten Commandments in the 21st century. It is based on the 6th commandment: do not commit murder. It differs from the previous two books in style; this one is a novel, based on biblical truths and principles. I truly believe this book will rock the nation and I pray it will change the way we value life! If you haven't done so already, please make sure you order and read the previous books so as to get acquainted with my style of writing and use of scripture. I could use your support in whatever form: prayers, e-mails, comments, ideas, anything! Together we can make this project happening!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Rules Make The Game

An enjoyable life in freedom
Galatians 5:1 says: Freedom is what we have, Christ has set us free. Many people think the Bible is just a bunch of rules that will limit our freedom. Do this, don't do that. Who wants rules for living, we can live any way we want, can't we? Living without rules is not freedom, it is anarchy and it will lead to chaos and destruction. Living without rules is a false kind of freedom, because it will lead into slavery.
Let me tell you something about football, or soccer as we call it. Rules or guidelines are there to keep the game going. Without any rules the players wouldn't know what to do, or what not to do. The game would turn into chaos; no fun to play and certainly no fun to watch! I lived most of my life in Holland, which means growing up with football. That is what we call the game where two teams kick a round ball with their feet and try to score. I know most of the rules and when watching the world cup series for example I get really excited. Coming to America my husband and I tried to watch a couple of games of American football, just to get accustomed with that part of American culture. Believe me, not knowing any of the rules, the whole game just does not make sense. All we can see is heaps of people falling over each other just in time to be stopped by the whistle whenever they get hold of the ball. It seems they never get to where they want to be. In the mean time we can hear and see the crowds screaming and hollering, so we know something good is going on. We just do not know how to interpret the movements. Looking at the excitement of the crowd we know a game of American football is definitely different when you know the rules. Knowing the rules, whether playing or watching, keeps the game going. The rules make the game!
I am using this analogy to make a simple point: rules are needed to play a fair and exciting game. God's rules are needed to be able to live a fair and exciting life together with the 6 billion other people on this earth! The rules won't determine the outcome of the game, but they'll make it a lot more enjoyable. Obeying God's rules won't bring us the victory, which is eternal life, (only faith and grace can do that) but it will assure us better life on earth! The freedom the Bible talks about is freedom from sin, from guilt, from sickness, from fear and worries!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Set Apart To Serve

A tree is recognized by its fruit
Nowadays we can call ourselves religious, spiritual, enlightened, believer, Christian or whatever other name we can come up with. Even within Christian circles we have names for our groups and denominations, we're either catholic, protestant or charismatic. The name game goes further then that, because within these groups are yet other groups to be found, like baptists or presbyterians. However, it is not the name we give ourselves that sets us apart from the rest of the world, it is our actions! Well, besides our relationship with Jesus of course! James 2:14 says it this way,
What good is it for someone to say that he has faith if his actions do not prove it?
Jesus said it simply like this: a tree is recognized by its fruit.
Let us make sure we are being recognized as Christians in a world that asks for help and comfort. Is there something you can do for someone else this week?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Land of Entertainment

God wants to teach us!
We live in a country and age where people do not like to be taught, they want to be entertained. Christians should be, but are no exception to the rule. I hear many people ask God to show them direction and purpose in their lives. The fact of the matter is that these things can be found in the Bible, we don't have to ask, we must seek! I believe the Bible holds the answers to ALL of life's questions. Now, you might ask, why does God need so many words to tell us how to live? Well, if He would have simply said 'be good', how would we know what being good meant? It would be the same as telling a teenager to be careful. Be careful with what or whom or where? We are supposed to explain what the dangers are. Likewise, God shows us through different stories, prophecies, parables and teachings in the Bible what dangers we may encouter when we do not live according to His guidelines. Isaiah 48:17 says:
I am the Lord your God, the One who wants to teach you for your own good and direct you in the way you should go.
I really feel the need to press this upon your hearts today. We need to turn back to the Bible if we really have a desire to know how to live a good life and skip the nonsense that the world proclaims and that fills our newspapers, magazines and televison programs every day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

All We Say and Do

What motivates us on a daily basis?
Sometimes (or should I say: often) the Bible holds some pretty radical statements. The other day I was reading in Colossians 3:17,
Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Everything I do or say? Well, that sums up all I can possibly think of. Personally I love these kind of words, because they trigger my thoughts. In the name of what do I do my daily chores? Do I sometimes say things in the name of impatience, frustration or anger? Do I sometimes work in the name of power, greed or simply money?
It is good to examine our motives, to find out what really drives us on a daily basis. It could be anything, it should be Jesus!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Great Faith

Size doesn't matter
Ever looked up at someone because of their unshakeable faith? Ever asked God for greater faith? I like what Jesus said about it in Matthew 17:20 (TEV),
I assure you that if you have faith as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this hill "Go from here to there!" and it will go. You could do anything!
Notice that this translation says faith as BIG as a mustard seed. Jesus' perception of size is different than ours! He basically tells the disciples, and us today, what mustard seed faith is: something very small you can use in order to do something very big! Go ahead, use what He has given you!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Be Glad, Rejoice!

Make music for your Creator

Last week I wrote a little about prayer and thankfulness. We all have reasons to be thankful but often we struggle a bit in expressing our feelings to God. Why is that? Think about it; we cry or laugh watching tv, we open our hearts when talking on the phone, we reveal our inner feelings chatting away on the computer, we jump up and down at a football game and we scream our heads off when our favorite band is performing. But when it comes to God.... Maybe religion taught us that silence and shyness is the way to come before our God. Maybe tradition taught us that being quiet and reserved is the way to show Him how thankfull we are. You know what, I am utterly thankful for the Word! The Word tells me how the Lord likes it. For example in Psalm 149:1-3
Praise the Lord, Sing a new song to the Lord; praise Him in the assembly of His faithful people! Be glad, Israel [fill in your own name], because of your Creator; rejoice, people of Zion [fill in your own group or church], because of your King! Praise His name with dancing; play drums and harps in praise of Him.
Maybe this cannot be done in your church, well find a group of faithful people and do what the Bible tells you to do. The next verse says that the Lord takes pleasure in His people. Don't be afraid to express yourself. He loves it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


The truth about our prayers
The other day I was reading some interesting words about prayer in Colossians 4:2,
Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God.
I've always put emphasis on the part about being thankful. This time my eyes caught the part about being alert. Keep alert as you pray... This week I have been listening to my own prayers and the prayers of others as well and I started to wonder: do we believe in what we pray? Are we indeed alert in case our prayers get answered? Ever so often prayers do get answered and we can hear people exclaim: I don't believe this ... this is unbelievable ... etc. How come we act surprised if something we asked for actually comes to pass? Why use that word (of all words) 'unbelievable' so easily? Praying is connected to believing. It does not make sense to pray for healing for example and an hour later tell someone you have something incurable. It does not make sense to pray for peace of mind and an hour later tell someone how stressed out you are. That way our prayers are futile. We cannot pray one thing and say another! Please, let us be alert as we pray, realizing that what we are asking will eventually be answered by God. We do have a true reason to be thankful!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Roar Of The Ocean

We're flying to California
This week we'll cross the Atlantic, on our way to the Pacific. It is breathtaking to see God's creation from the air, while flying from one side of the world to the other. We will see oceans, mountains and deserts from our little window as we cross timezone after timezone. We are thankful for the opportunity to travel between the continents, using human technology. We know there is One, greater than everything we can possibly imagine. Psalm 93:4 says
The Lord rules supreme in heaven,greater than the roar of the ocean,
more powerful than the waves of the sea.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Our Proper Place in the Universe

Are you in union with Jesus?
Not so long ago I was talking with a friend about evolution and creation philosophy. Our earth, the heavens, the universe, it all seems so complex to us, how can everything has it proper place and function? I smiled when I thought about the time in my life when I questioned the reason for our existence, a time when nothing made sense! I smiled at the joy I finally found in God's Word! I finally laughed wholeheartedly when thinking about my union with Jesus, an event that gave me my proper place in the universe!
I found answers in Colossians 1:15-17:

Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God.
He is the first-born Son, superior to all created things.
For through Him God created everything in heaven and on earth,
the seen and the unseen things,
including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities.
God created the whole universe through Him and for Him.
Christ existed before all things,
and in union with Him all things have their proper place.

My questions for you today is: are you where you want to be?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bible Teaching Not Popular?

The key to the secrets of life
A little while ago I had a talk with the owner of a Christian book store and she told me that most of the books that are being sold are fiction books. Anything from thriller to romance to fantasy. Books about Bible interpretation and application are not so popular, so she explained to me, most readers don't like study books, they want to be entertained. Her words made me feel a little uncomfortable, they reminded me of something I wrote in my first book Sacred Sabbath.
Our society is one that is proud of her independence and self-help structure. We can figure it all out if given enough time and money! I think that a result of this same society is the fact that we find it very difficult to accept correction and guidance. After all, we want to find out ourselves. We do not like to be taken by the hand and guided into a different direction. We are self-supporting, and in case we really need help in certain troubled areas in our lives, we can always seek professional help. There seems to be a therapy for about everything, but then again, we switch doctors and therapists as if they were a pair of jeans. If we don't like the direction they are sending us in, we leave. We keep looking for someone or something who will tell us what we want to hear! We go from yoga, to pilates, to massage therapy, to psychics, even from church to church, searching for anything or anyone who will agree with the way we already think. Yes, we want our help to come from a direction that we choose. We want our help to come from a direction that we are comfortable with, something we can feel at peace with.This attitude has already been foreseen in God's Word. In 2 Timothy 4:3, we can read the following warning:
The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear.
From there on the chapter goes on to explain more about the Biblical principle of giving one day a week back to God, as in giving a certain percentage of our income back to God. Yes, my books are about the teachings of the Bible and how to apply them to our daily life. Life is not all about entertainment and feeling good! It is certainly also about growth, development, learning and finding direction. Where do we come from, why are we here and where are we going? Believe it or not, but the Bible is the key to discovering the secrets of life! To be more precise I want to use the words as written in Colossians 2:3 Christ is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge.
Now, if you want to learn more about Him, start reading your Bible!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Beyond My Understanding

A prayer away from home
In the coming weeks many people will travel to go on vacation or simply enjoy a time of rest. It is good to know that we are being followed! God does not take time off. Well, in a way He does, He wants to go with us wherever we go! Psalm 139:1-6 could be our prayer while away from home:

Lord, You have examined me and You know me. You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts. You see me, whether I am working or resting; You know all my actions. Even before I speak, You already know what I will say. You are all around me on every side; You protect me with Your power. Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Intelligent Design

Questions for mankind
Most people have a lot of questions for God. Did you know God does have some questions for us too? Listen:

Were you there when I made the world? If you know so much, tell Me about it. Who decided how large it would be? Who stretched the measuring line over it? Do you know all the answers? What holds up the pillars that support the earth? Who laid the cornerstone of the world? In the dawn of that day the stars sang together, and the heavenly beings shouted for joy.
(The Book of Job, 38:4-7)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Our Well Being, His Concern

Guidance towards a better life
Somehow God's Commandments often trigger negative comments from people. It is all about do's and don't's.... Is that really so? In the Ten Commandments Series I am working on, I am putting emphasis on God's concern for our lives. He does not delight in punishing us for wrong doing. He cares for our well being. The sub titles of the first two books in the series reveal this concern. Sacred Sabbath deals with the stress our 24/7 society brings. The sub title is as follows: God's way to multiply our time and restore our joy. This is not a book about rules and regulations, it is about God's love for and patience towards mankind. It is about the quality of life here on earth! God's Commandments are the guidance we need as individuals and as a nation. The 2nd book, Respectfully Yours, carries the sub title: Revealing God's truth about well being and a long life. Believe it or not, God is truly concerned about our overall well being!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Measure We Use

Honor God's day and He will honor you!
Sacred Sabbath, the first book in this series, is based on the words that can be found in Isaiah 58:13-14. When reading those words we can discover an interesting principle at work that is explained to the New Testament believers in Luke 6:38, The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.
In regards of a day of rest God says 'honor My day and I will make you honored.' As a matter of fact God plays the ball back to us. He has given the responsibility and free choice to all the people of the earth to honor His Holy day, but not without a promise attached! Honor Me and I will honor you! Awesome! Whether as an individual, a group, a church or a nation, we can give heed to that calling and expect Him to honor us all over the world! I urge you: start honoring His Holy day and see what will happen!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Living Book

We need every word God speaks
Read the Bible as if God is speaking to you today! In other words, personalize what you read. That theme keeps coming back in my first book Sacred Sabbath. The Bible may be an old book, but it is the only book that is truly alive, simply because God inspired it. God's spirit is in it! That is why we can apply old principles, sayings, wisdom, or teachings from the Bible in our life today, and they will still work! The Bible only works if we work it. Just reading the Word won't change anything, we must use it. Jesus says in Matthew 4:4 Man cannot live on bread alone, but needs evey word that God speaks. Note that Jesus says we NEED every word that God speaks. Jesus used the Word, He lived the Word, He fulfilled the Word. In doing so He has set an example for His followers. Don't just read the Word, don't just talk about it. LIVE it, use it, fulfill it!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Do for others....

Serving God means serving people!
It is such a joy to come together every week as a small group and study Sacred Sabbath together. Sometimes it takes us a whole evening to discuss one chapter! This week we talked about an important biblical principle mentioned in chapter 7 of the book. You can find it in Matthew 7:12 Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets. Chapter 7 talks about 'serving God'. Serving God does not mean that He needs anything from us. In helping and loving other people we serve Him. Jesus explained it quite simple there in Matthew 7:12. Just treat others the way you want to be treated, that is LOVE. That is the meaning of the Law. We decided to be extra alert this coming week in order to recognize opportunities to do for others what we want them to do for us. What do you think, would the world be a different place if we all did that?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Release Audio Book June 26th

Order your own copy today!
Tate Publishing has set the release date of my first audio book Sacred Sabbath at June 26th. Listeners in the USA don't have to wait this long!It is now possible to pre-order your own copy through the following link
and Tate will send you the CD box as soon as possible! Again; this is only possible for purchases within the USA. Anyone overseas will have to wait untill the audio book appears on internet book sellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Last winter I have spent a few days in Tim's recording studio in Oak View, California and slowly read each chapter of Sacred Sabbath. It took Tim a while to get used to my accent (he laughed a lot, I didn't) but believe me, he really liked what he heard. It was a fun project and I am really proud that the time has finally come for everyone to listen to and be touched by the simple but life changing words of this first book in the Ten Commandments Series.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Written In Our Hearts

Is love being shaped in you?
Recently an e-mail traveled around the world wide web. It held the letter of a concerned student asking God where He was when the Virginia shooting happened. God replied: 'I am sorry, but I am not allowed in schools. Sincerely, God."
In my book series about the Ten Commandments in the 21st century I have boldly written about the movement that is trying to get rid of all displays of God's Law in the USA. I quote:

We serve a God who wants the Ten Commandments back in America's homes, in America's family lives, and in the hearts of the people. It is from there, from within our hearts, that we will be able to change the world we live in. It is from within her own people that America can turn back to moral and high value living, the way God had in mind when He created us in His image!

Almighty God wants to write His words, His teaching, His Law, in our hearts! He wants to mold and shape us according to His love, because love is the fulfillment of the Law (Romans 13:10).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Reading Is Learning

Small group gathers around Sacred Sabbath

Recently we've started a small group in our home, or I should say: in our garden! The beautiful spring weather allows us to gather outside and take a closer look at the first book in this series, Sacred Sabbath. Reading together is so much fun! It has nothing to do with a dry, dusty and boring study group. First of all because the people aren't boring and second of all because the book isn't. It doesn't matter how many times I read chapter one, it still excites me! I find new truths all the time!
Let me share some of the discussion starters from chapter one:
  • "When God speaks, He creates." What do you know about God's creating power? What about our words, do they have creating power? (think about: I'm tired, I can never do that etc.)
  • "God still speaks today." Have you ever experienced that? Do you know how to hear from God? (think about: miracles, music, the Bible etc.)
  • "God is not a mysterious God somewhere far away on His own safe planet." Is that so? What is your view about God? Try to describe Him. Do you want to learn more about God?
This is only a hand full of topics we've touched last week. I wrote this book with the hope that reading it would provoke your thoughts. Please feel free to write, journal, underline and highlight! Use the book! Make it your own!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring Explosion

A call for the universe to praise God
Wow! I don't think I've ever seen a spring so beautiful as the one we are currently experiencing in Holland. Trees are bursting into blossom and flowers pop up everywhere. Everything and everyone suddenly awakes from their winter's sleep. There is joy in the air, you can feel it, you can hear it, you can see it!
The changing of the seasons takes me to Psalm 148 where the writer urges all creation to glorify God. It is the Psalm I used to open up Sacred Sabbath, it sets the stage for awe and wonder! I don't need scientific proof that everything exists by intelligent design. I know it! I see it, I sense it, I live it. To God be the glory! Amen.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bridge Between The Continents

We can learn from each other!
This week we'll have the opportunity and privilege to fly between California and Holland. We are planning to spend several months on the European continent, re-connecting with the old world so to speak. After a pretty long stay in the USA (since September 2005) we are curious to find out what's happening in Europe, revival-wise!
Recent publications about the post-secular future of Europe have stirred up the desire in us to experience things from up close! It is our dream to build a bridge between the continents and truly learn from each other. Please check out for yourself what's going on there!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Heart and Mind, Mind and Heart

Just having knowledge is not enough!
Why does God need so many words to teach us right and wrong? The Bible is a huge book, isn't that a bit too much, since we all know deep down inside the difference between good and evil?
Personally I think having knowledge of something isn't enough to be acting likewise. Knowing that pizza is fattening doesn't keep us from eating it, does it? Knowing that smoking may cause cancer doesn't keep people from doing it. Just having knowledge is not enough, we need understanding! We need conviction in our hearts! According to the Bible we have knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 3:22, after Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit, God says, Now the man has become like one of us and has knowledge of what is good and what is bad.
That knowledge wasn't sufficient, He decided to give us guidelines to live by. He wants to enter our head, but also our heart. In Hebrews 10:16 He says, I will put my Laws in their hearts and write them on their minds. Heart and mind, mind and heart! Once God's teachings are in both places, it becomes easier and easier to live a life that is pleasing to Him!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

About Guidance And Correction

Are you on the road to nowhere?
When God speaks about respecting our parents He speaks to everybody; we all have (or had) parents, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Respecting parents and treating children right almost sounds like an old-fashioned idea. After all, in our society numerous families are divided, relationships distorted and authority is laughed upon. Many find it hard to show respect to parents who abandoned or abused them. Does God expect us to obey and respect the people who hurt us? Is that really the right thing to do? Well, in chapter two of Respectfully Yours we have already seen that our attitude towards others should no longer be the result of past experiences, but the key to unlocking future blessings. The right attitude is based on Christ’s love in us. The right attitude is, just like obedience, a virtue we have to work on and God wants to help us. God wants to guide us, not punish us. He wants to teach us, not confuse us.
Today many people seem to make up their own laws and don’t care about what God says or said thousands of years ago. They do not want to be guided or corrected but rather find their own way through life. I am not saying that living that way is an impossible thing to do (millions of people are doing it), but I know it will lead to a lot of frustration. Be honest, how will you know if you are on the wrong track if there are no road signs? How will you know if you are on the right track if there is no map to guide you? How will you know when you have arrived if you don’t know where you’re going? You will never be corrected and never receive a compliment either.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Mirror For Our Lives

The Bible is a user's manual
I am the Lord your God, the One who wants to teach you for your own good and direct you in the way you should go (Isaiah 48:17).

Why does God need so many words to tell us how to live? Well, if He would have simply said: "Be good," how would we know what being good meant? It would be the same thing as telling a teenager to "be careful." Be careful with what or whom or where? We are supposed to explain what the dangers are. God shows us through different stories, prophecies and parables in the Bible what dangers we may encounter when we do not live according to His guidelines. The history of the people of Israel is the mirror for our lives.
The Bible wouldn't be attractive to anyone if God only talked about about dangers, that is why He promises blessings too! When God speaks about respecting parents and treating children well, He promises to bless us with a long life!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Timeless Teachings

Shift your thinking
As human beings we have a tendency to stick to events of the past and often our thinking and behavior is based on what happened to us at one time or on what someone said to us. Sometimes people still hold anger because someone was rude to them 20 years ago! In Respectfully Yours the changing of our thinking and behavior, by looking ahead instead of behind, is a main theme. In chapter two I wrote the following.
Jesus didn't get stuck in the past; He always looked to the future. When He was teaching the crowd about the Law in Matthew 5 and 6, He kept saying, "You have heard that it was said" and by doing that He urged the people to think about their behavior up until that moment. In other words: why do you do the things you do? He then continued "But now I tell you" and from that moment on He tells them to change their thinking and behavior. He didn't say the Law was no longer there, He gave them the way of fulfilling it. Jesus still wants to shift our thinking and behavior with His timeless teachings. He is still telling us "but now I tell you." He still urges us today to change from this moment on. We can make the decision today to live life from Jesus' point of view. Remember, love is the fulfillment of the Law. We need to love, because God loved us first! It is our Christian duty!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Love is the key

How do I want to be treated?
In my newest book Respectfully Yours a lot of questions are being asked to make the reader think. The key question is: how do I want to be treated?
God expects us to have a certain attitude towards our parents and others, not as a result of what they have done to us (good or bad) but as an example of Christ's love in us. Jesus teaches us to shift our thinking when it comes to treating others with respect or love. We shouldn't ask: what has he or she done for me. We have to ask ourselves another question, namely: how do I want to be treated? If we want to be loved, we have to love. If we want to be respected, we have to respect. If we want to be obeyed, we have to obey.

Our attitude towards others should no longer be the result of past experiences, but the key to unlock future blessings!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Doing Our Duty

Love is the fulfillment of the Law
Listen to what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 7:12

Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets.
Treating others the way we want them to treat us is the meaning of the Law. Have you ever looked at it that way? To be honest, that one had me thinking for a while. Yet, it is so simple: I want to be loved, so I have to love others and in doing so I fulfill the Law. People have been discussing and debating the Law for ages and it all comes down to one simple question: how do I want to be treated? The answer to that determines my attitude toward others. The question therefore should no longer be: how am I going to respect the people who hurt me? How do I obey the ones that mistreat me? How can I do this? It is time to stop this struggle.
Our attitude should not depend on what other people did to us; it should be the result of what Jesus did for us! We are loved by Him and He expects us to do the same for others. It is time we stop thinking that we do God a favor when we are nice to someone-we are simply doing our duty!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Relationship Check-up

'Respectfully Yours' offers in dept analysis
The first chapter of the newest book in this series, Respectfully Yours, starts with a powerful word from the bible; to get your mind working!

For through the living and eternal word of God you have been born again as children of a parent who is immortal, not mortal.
You can find this in 1 Peter 1:23. It sets the stage for a study about family relations, not just natural ones, but spiritual ones as well. We are children of a heavenly Father as well as an earthly father and throughout this book we will look at our attitude towards both of them. We will take a closer look at family relations in general, as we know them and as God sees them. It turns out He wants to open up our family circle! Once we will be able to shift our thinking about those topics, we will experience freedom in our attitude towards God and other people. I believe it is time to get excited about discovering God's path that will honestly lead us into well-being and a long life. You will find out what His plan for the New Testament generation is: freedom in fulfillment!
This book will definitely help you to get on track. To help the reader even further each chapter ends with some questions and thoughts to meditate on. For example:

# Which relationship do I want to change/improve in my life?
# Would I call myself a child of God? Why or why not?
# What do the words 'overall well-being' mean to me? Do I experience that?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mutual Respect

A Major Issue To God
Hope I didn't scare away the fast food junkies with a book like Respectfully Yours. I know, I know, the 7-steps to happiness and success books are popular, but that is just not what this is all about. No processed food, no prepared dish. You actually have to do some work to get the best result; so let's start cooking!
In Respectfully Yours we will take a look at the mutual respect between parents and children. You may think: that is not the guideline I need to better my life. How would it be possible to change the things around me and eventually the world into a better place by respecting my parents or being kind to my children? It seems such a minor act of influence compared to all the wickedness I experience around me. Well, maybe it is a minor issue to us, but it is a major one to God, that is why he put it on His special list: the Ten Commandments.
If you think the Commandments are outdated, think again. If Jesus said I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true (Matthew 5:17), how in the world could we do away with them! That would be contradicting His statement. Jesus made the teachings come true. As followers of Christ we need to do the same. Every time we act in love, we make the teachings come true, because love is the fulfillment of the Law (Romans 13:10).

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

No Spiritual Fast Food

Respectfully Yours needs to be chewed on
The newest book in this series deals with the way God looks at family relations. If you are expecting 10 quick ways to respect people who hurt you, you bought the wrong book. If you are expecting earth-shaking methods to build up self respect, wrong book again. This book does not contain an instant remedy for all our problems. It certainly does not fit in our microwave society; it contains no spiritual fast food. I am simply asking you to think about God's guidelines for improving our relationship with Him, our parents and our children. I am talking biblical guidelines here and they need to be chewed on. I promise you the nourishment is awesome, it will build you up. it will change your life and it will bring you a great blessing as well: so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2nd Book in Series Launched

Nationwide Release Respectfully Yours
The official nationwide release date for the 2nd book in the Ten Commandments Series is set for January 16th 2007. They call this a nationwide release, but as a matter of fact it is a worldwide availability, thanks to the internet! Respectfully Yours (Revealing God's truth about Well-being and a Long Life) will be available at bookstores nationwide and through all major internet booksellers and can be ordered at as well. Tate will be sending out press releases and establish marketing contacts. In the meantime I am trying to organize some book signings to get the sales started.
I believe Respectfully Yours is a powerful, powerful tool in the (re)building of a bible based and family oriented society. Every page is loaded with truth that will surely touch your heart. If you haven't already done so, please order a copy today for yourself, a friend or family member. By the way, this is a great book for small group studies!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Our Motto for 2007

Focus on Victory, One Day at the Time
The bible teaches us about the victory we have in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57). This coming year we would like to focus on that winners position we have, one day at the time, so as to never forget it! It is so easy to become overwhelmed in our world today. Overwhelmed with fearfull thoughts of terror and disasters, sickness, discouragement, failed relationships, financial stress or difficult work situations. How can we avoid the trap of negative thinking? In 1 John 5:4 we can read the following,

We win the victory over the world by means of our faith.
Now, that is good news! Our faith is the key to victory!
Maybe you say, well, Marja, my faith is way too small to face the problems of this world. I don't see how that can be of any help. Listen, the disciples thought so too. They asked Jesus, 'please, increase our faith.' A logical request, it seems, most people will ask that same question at some point in life. But Jesus doesn't think it necessary to give them more faith. He explains that if they had faith as big as a mustard seed they could perform miracles. In essence He is saying, whatever faith you have, use it! This is such an important principle throughout the entire bible. Use the faith you have, plant it as a seed and it will grow! Not by asking Jesus, but by using it! In James 2:22 (easy to remember) faith is explained using Abraham as an example,

His faith and his actions worked together, his faith was made perfect through his actions.
Yes, our faith will be made perfect through our actions and our faith will give us victory over the world. We believe 2007 is going to be a very special and exiting year. The Hebrew number seven (sheva) means fullness, completion. 2007 will not only be a year of completion, it will be a year of victory too, if we all do what we are called to do!
What are your plans for this year?