Saturday, June 23, 2018

Reviews: give and take

As bloggers we love to get comments on our posts, it encourages and motivates. As writers and authors we love to get feedback on our articles and books, whether that is in the form of emails, shares on social media or honest reviews.

Of course we are excited about our own work, if not... something would be wrong ๐Ÿ˜Even with little response to our writings, most of us would probably continue to do what we feel God has called us to do.

However, it is always good and useful to reflect and pray about our writings, to learn new skills, to develop existing ones and (let's not forget!) to comment on the work of others.

Reviews... it is a give and take business. Do for others what you want them to do for you; everyone loves to receive positive feedback from their readers!

Blogger and author Jeanette Levellie wrote a review about my latest book IN MY NAME on her blog Love Splashes and she posted a 5-star review on Amazon. She wrote:

"I found myself not only thinking of God and his name in new, intimate ways. But the teachings of In My Name  changed the way I pray!" 

Her comments are very encouraging to me and I am thankful for her postings. Have you subscribed to Jeanette's blog

Readers Favorite gave my new book a thumbs up in several reviews. One reader wrote:

"...clear writing and a straightforward concise message."

As bloggers/writers/authors we can meet on Goodreads as well, there are several interesting groups where books are discussed and reviews are given. Several years ago I started the Christian Nonfiction Lovers Book Club. We are currently revamping the topics, so feel free to join in!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Solomon's question

I am a curious person by nature. I like to ask questions, simply because I like to learn. And yeah, I have questions for God as well.

Throughout the Bible we encounter many people who had  questions for God. Like Solomon for example. He had built a temple for God's presence but at some point he found it hard to believe that the Lord God would actually be there. You can read all about that in 1 Kings 8. In verse 27 he asks this question: ‘but will God really dwell on earth?’ I have used his question in my latest book In My Name. I quote:

"It might as well be one of our questions today. Are You really, really with us Lord? Are You there when we pray and prophesy in Your name? Can we trust You to show up when we need You? Is Your Holy Spirit in us and among us equivalent to the presence of Jesus on earth? Does that sound familiar?

Some of my questions over the years have been: How come nothing happened when we prayed for my sick friend? Why didn’t You show up when we called on Your name? Why didn’t You heal my niece when we prayed? I don’t know about you, but I can relate to Solomon’s question. Will God really dwell on earth?

We talk about Him and His presence, a lot. But talking about Him is not the same as experiencing Him. Many people talk about God, some of them even from a pulpit, but they never had a real encounter with God. The Bible states that God’s presence fills the heavens and the earth, but what about our living rooms or back yards? ๐Ÿ‘‰What about our church buildings and religious gatherings? 

How come we can sit in a meeting and not sense God at all? How come we can be in a church setting where it is all about God, but it seems He decided not to show up? I don’t know about your experiences, but I have often felt disappointed about the emptiness of our religious activities. I have often felt powerless when my prayers weren’t being answered and God seemed a million miles away. Yes, I can certainly relate to Solomon’s question."

Can you?

In My Name is available in Kindle format on Amazon for $2.99.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Who am I, that I should go?

Have you ever asked that question? Who am I that I should go?

Thousands of years ago Moses had a life-changing encounter with God in the desert. God wanted him to go to the Egyptian Pharao and ask for the release of the enslaved Israelites. Moses was hesitant and began to ask some serious questions... What is your name? What can I tell them? Who am I that I should go? You can find the story in the 3rd chapter of Exodus.

In my latest book 'In My Name' I have used this encounter to describe how God's presence and His name are connected.

"The significance of the name Yahweh is that it not only confirms God’s existence but even more so His presence! Before Moses asked God which name he could use, he posed another question: ‘who am I, that I should go?’ Have you ever asked that question? Who am I that You should ask such a thing of me? To go and lay my hands on someone who is sick. To donate money that I have destined for something else. To open my mouth and share the Gospel with my co-worker.

We often do not consider ourselves worthy or equipped to take on the very task God has assigned to us. So it was with Moses. God responded by saying ‘surely I will be with you’, which, at first sight, not really answered the question. However, it turns out to be a very good answer when we realize this encounter was not about Moses, but all about God revealing Himself to Moses!

So often we, like Moses, act like everything that happens and that is being said revolves around us (whether we are capable or ready or whether we are the right person for the job), while in reality everything revolves around God. So, in answer to Moses’ question God confirms His personal, protective and holy presence (verse 12) right before He reveals His name (verses 13-14). That tells me we cannot separate His personal name from His personal presence."

Can you relate to the questions Moses asked?

๐Ÿ‘‰In My Name is available in Kindle format on Amazon for $2.99.