The Lenten Tradition: Prayer and Bible Studies To Help You Prepare For Easter

February 18th, 2015

Easter is quickly approaching and I believe the time leading up to that exciting Sunday is important to every Christian. Because of this, I’m offering a great deal on my ebooks and Bible studies that can help you prepare during this season of prayer. But first…

A brief history of Lent…

Lent is known as a time for prayerful preparation for the remembrance of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Christians often give up something during Lent like a bad habit, junk food or, more traditionally, red meat.

The season begins with Fat Tuesday (also commemorated by Mardi Gras) in which one consumes all the stuff one plans to get rid of over Lent.

Then on Ash Wednesday, we enter a time of repenting and prayer. Some attend church services in which they are prayed over and anointed with an ash cross on their forheads, a symbol of penitence.

The culmination of Lent is called Holy Week, which begins with Palm Sunday,  then proceeds through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to Easter. Each of these days is important in the Christian calendar with Palm Sunday being the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, Maundy Thursday being the night of the disciples last supper with Jesus, Good Friday the day of the crucifixion and, of course, Easter is the glorious resurrection of Christ.

If you want more in-depth information on Lent and its history, you might enjoy reading this wiki.

History is great, but what can I do to prepare?

As I mentioned earlier, people often give up bad habits and junk food during Lent as a way to understand in a very limited way the sacrifice Jesus made for us. However, there’s also another trend in which you begin a new, better habit as a way to celebrate the new life His sacrifice gave us.

Two great habits you can choose from are a consistent prayer life and regular Bible study.

Limited Time offer…

To help you get started, I’ve reduced the prices on my ebooks Simply Prayer and both my ebook Bible studies, Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises For Our Lives and Trust God! No Matter What…, to $.99 on Amazon from Feb. 18 through Feb. 23, 2015.

You can also “Pay What You Want” for the Simply Prayer audiobook and One Servant’s Heart — Vol. 1, a compilation of six inspirational messages.

Scroll down for a list of these books with links to the Amazon purchase page and the link to the audiobook purchase pages.

Front-Cover-25-percent
God promises to be with us through everything,
encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

    • No Matter Who You Are…
    • No Matter How You Feel…
    • No Matter What People Do…
    • No Matter What Happens..
    • No Matter Where You Are…
    • No Matter How Little You Have…
    • No Matter What You’ve Done…
    • No Matter How Old You Are…

    Trust God!

    Ebook version available for $.99 on Kindle Feb. 18 through Feb. 23, 2015.

     

    Vol1Cover25percent

    Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

    Messages include:

      • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
      • New Beginnings
      • No Fear In Love
      • The Boneyard
      • The Dirty Little Penny
      • The Hardest Commandment

      Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

       

      Simply Prayer ebook

      When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

      Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

        • What prayer is
        • Why we pray
        • How to pray
        • How to know your prayers are answered

        From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

        Ebook version available for $.99 on Kindle Feb. 18 through Feb. 23, 2015.
        Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

         

        Fear Not
        When life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

        Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

        The eight sessions are:

          • Session 1 … God is always with us
          • Session 2 … God is in control
          • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
          • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
          • Session 5 … God provides for us
          • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
          • Session 7 … God gives us new life
          • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

          Ebook version available for $.99 on Kindle Feb. 18 through Feb. 23,2015.

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          Being Strong When You’re Terrified: Joshua 1 9

          January 28th, 2015

          Joshua 1 9

          In Joshua 1 9, God commands us to have courage, but we know that’s not always easy.

          We’ve heard the stories of brave men and women of all ages who face terrifying situations and demonstrate a faith most of us can only wonder at. We hold them up as heroes, and rightly so. And yet, most of us will never face a situation like that, so we are left feeling somehow weaker, not knowing if we could ever be that brave, have that much faith. What do we know of fear and being strong in the face of terror?

          The truth is, we all face overwhelming fear at some point in our lives. In this message, learn how to quiet your heart and mind to hear how God is taking care of you.

          Scroll down to listen to the message or click on the pdf download link to read it in its entirety. As an added bonus, scroll down to enjoy the clip I mention in this month’s message from Bruce Almighty.

          You can also purchase your copy of Messages from One Servant’s Heart – Vol 1 today. Scroll down for more information.

           

           

          ***

          My One Servant’s Heart monthly messages are on iTunes and Podomatic! Add the One Servant’s Heart podcast to your iTunes player, or, if you don’t use iTunes, you can subscribe to the feed directly.

           

          Vol1Cover25percentOr Pay What You Want for the audiobook. Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

          Messages include:

          Called to Forgive Called to Serve
          New Beginnings
          No Fear In Love
          The Boneyard
          The Dirty Little Penny
          The Hardest Commandment

           

          New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

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          God and the Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich: Matthew 6 26-34

          September 10th, 2014

          bigstock-Holy-Water-Cross-25percent

          Matthew 6 26-34

          In Matthew 6 26-34, Jesus reminds us that God is in control, yet we continue to worry about each challenge and crisis we’re in.

          In this month’s message we take a look at Matthew 6 26-34 to better understand what it means to trust God will take care of our needs.

          Scroll down to listen to the message or click on the pdf download link to read it in its entirety.

          You can also purchase your copy of Messages from One Servant’s Heart – Vol 1 today. Scroll down for more information.

           

           

          ***

          My One Servant’s Heart monthly messages are on iTunes and Podomatic! Add the One Servant’s Heart podcast to your iTunes player, or, if you don’t use iTunes, you can subscribe to the feed directly.

           

          Vol1Cover25percentOr Pay What You Want for the audiobook. Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

          Messages include:

          Called to Forgive Called to Serve
          New Beginnings
          No Fear In Love
          The Boneyard
          The Dirty Little Penny
          The Hardest Commandment

           

          New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

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          Knowing When To Slow Down

          August 21st, 2014

          Sometimes life slams you across the head with a 2×4 to get your attention.

          20140816_030902That’s what’s happened recently in my household. As if being 7 months pregnant wasn’t enough to remind me that I need to slow down and take care of myself and my family, last Friday’s torrential rain storm certainly was.

          Our finished basement was flooded with about 6 inches of backed up sewer water that night. Might not have been a big deal, except that’s where our bedrooms are. Imagine the horror of waking up at 1 a.m. and setting your feet into ankle deep, ice cold water that wasn’t there when you went to sleep. Hubby, God bless him, not only stayed up until 6 a.m. trying to suck up as much water as possible in our borrowed shop vac, he also had the brilliant idea to call our insurance company. (My 5-year-old daughter says he saved her life, too, by carrying her upstairs so I could drive her out to my folks warm, dry house to spend the rest of the night.)

          Since then it’s been a matter of focusing on the next step for the insurance claim and “where do we go from here?”

          That brings me back to my original thought: knowing when to slow down.

          God always takes care of us. Sometimes, though, we neglect to listen to God’s guidance and just barrel on through, which often ends in our being forced to reconsider what we thought was important. That’s what’s happened to me.

          During the summer, my daughter was on vacation, so my writing schedule was extra tight. I had, at most, one hour to do everything writer related–business, monthly messages and studies, and drafting my newest Bible study, Trust God. I pushed on, believing that if other mother’s could do it, so could I, pregnant or not.

          Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Not a big deal. I had it with my first daughter, so I knew what to expect. Still, there are times when low blood sugar causes some irritating side effects, like feeling like I’m slogging through half-set Jell-O. And yet, I did not head the message to slow down.

          Then last Friday’s flood was the last straw. I’m now faced with trying to live in 800 square feet of space with my husband and daughter and our mountains of stuff. All our 20140816_104632clean clothes are piled in the kitchen. Everything that could be moved from downstairs is now residing either in our shed or our dining room. The living room is now our dining room and bedroom. Our poor neurotic cat is stuck in my parents’ basement garage, hiding somewhere. And we have less than 2 months before the new baby arrives.

          I think it’s time to re-think my schedule.

          I am certainly not complaining. It could be much worse. We could have had a house fire. The multi-outlet surge protectors we usually have on the floor of our bedrooms could have been in the water and we all could have been electrocuted. Any number of other scenarios could have played out, but they didn’t. All in all, I think we’ve been blessed.

          Perhaps the biggest blessing is my realization that I need to slow down and focus on the most important things right now. I need to focus on my family and our welfare at the moment.

          Here’s what you can expect from me for the next few months.

          Journeyman-Cat15percentI may be rather scarce on social media and my regular monthly posts may become much more irregular, as might my monthly newsletter. I’ll be diligently working on releasing Master Cat in October, as promised, and finally releasing the audiobook for Journeyman Cat later this fall (fingers crossed).

          Beyond that, I’m working on the first of the Master Cat Novel series, which takes place after Master Cat and continues the story of Toby and his partner Lorn. I’ll also be drafting the third in the Malkin novella series, featuring Nadine and her continuing struggle to understand what it means to be specially chosen by the One.

          I also have plans for another inspirational book on how to pray and see the blessings around us while in the midst of crises.

          My normal schedule for new releases is a Malkin novella in the spring, a Bible study or inspirational book in the summer, and a Master Cat novel in the fall. However, things being what they are, release dates may need to be pushed back a month or two (or three or four. You get the picture). It’s frustrating to me, but I put my faith in God’s timing and I hope you’ll join me on this new, if slower, adventure called the writer’s life.

          ***

          GFront-Cover-25-percentod promises to be with us through everything,
          encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

          Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
          discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

          • No Matter Who You Are…
          • No Matter How You Feel…
          • No Matter What People Do…
          • No Matter What Happens..
          • No Matter Where You Are…
          • No Matter How Little You Have…
          • No Matter What You’ve Done…
          • No Matter How Old You Are…

          Trust God!
          Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

          Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

          buy the .pdf version here

          Vol1Cover25percent

          Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

          Messages include:

          • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
          • New Beginnings
          • No Fear In Love
          • The Boneyard
          • The Dirty Little Penny
          • The Hardest Commandment

          Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

          Simply Prayer ebook

          When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

          Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

          • What prayer is
          • Why we pray
          • How to pray
          • How to know your prayers are answered

          From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

          Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

          buy the .pdf version here

          You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

          Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

          Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

          Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

          The eight sessions are:

          • Session 1 … God is always with us
          • Session 2 … God is in control
          • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
          • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
          • Session 5 … God provides for us
          • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
          • Session 7 … God gives us new life
          • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

          Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

           buy the .pdf version here

          Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.