God Sends A Helper To Us: Acts 2 1-13 and 1 Corinthians 2 10-16, 12 1-11

August 28th, 2014

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Acts 2 1-13, 1 Corinthians 2 10-16 and 12 1-11

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 2:4

Few people have experienced the Holy Spirit in a rushing wind or tongues of flame that lead to speaking in a foreign language one has never studied. When we hear about people “speaking in tongues,” unless we were raised in a tradition that readily accepts even the idea as a possibility in this time period, we usually shrug it off as someone’s fevered imagination. And when we read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians we may gloss over chapter 12’s acknowledgement of spiritual gifts, especially those we have never personally encountered before.

But it doesn’t matter to God whether we believe what the author of Acts says the disciples did or what Paul says about spiritual gifts or not. God promises to send the Holy Spirit, his personal helper, to each of his followers to aid us in doing what God has called us to do. As the writer of Acts says about the disciples in verse 2:4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” God didn’t ask each of Jesus’ followers if they believed the Holy Spirit would give them special abilities, nor did he ask them which abilities they wanted. As they sat together to pray and accepted God’s leading in their lives, God filled each of them with his Spirit so that they could do what he called them to do.

As you read Acts 2 1-13 and 1 Corinthians 2 10-16, 12 1-11, try to remember a time in your life in which God’s Spirit was working in you to help you follow God’s call. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

 

Meditation Activites

 

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take 10 to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Acts 21-13 and 1 Corinthians 2 10-16, 12 1-11, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  • In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to God sending the Holy Spirit to help you in whatever God calls you to do.
  • Identify a gift or talent you have or think you may have. Find ways to develop your gift, either by classes, workshops, books or some other means, then watch to see where God might want to use you.
  • Take time each day to quiet yourself and listen for God’s whisper.
  • Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God sending the Holy Spirit to help you in whatever God calls you to do.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

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.

Book Lover’s Delight $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

August 28th, 2014

Fall is almost on us. Time to stock up on some great new reads and, while you’re at it, why not enter the $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway?

 

Thanks to Shauna of I Love to Read and Review Books, 12 authors (including yours truly) have come together to give you some
BOOK LOVER’S DELIGHTful READING and a $200 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!

 

Click on the image to read a summary of each book :)

 








 




ENTER TO WIN THE 

$200 AMAZON GIFT CARD

GIVEAWAY ends 9/30/14

No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older and legally able to receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. This giveaway is not associated with Rafflecopter, Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.

VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Summer’s just about over. Fall will be here soon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was organized by I Love to Read and Review Books :)  

and sponsored by the participating authors.

Stephanie Fowers

Maria Hoagland

Danyelle Ferguson

Paul Mark Tag

Tara C. Allred

Rachel Rossano

Jaleta Clegg

Virginia Ripple

Tricia Ballad

Lisa Swinton

Victorine E. Lieske

Julie Wright

***

Continue the adventure with all the books in the Malkin series.

Apprentice Cat CoverApprentice Cat available in paperback and for KindleNookKoboScribd and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now  Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

Also available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon and iTunes.

 

 

Journeyman-Cat15percentJourneyman Cat available in paperback and KindleNookScribdiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now  Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

Audiobook coming soon.

 

 

Secrets-of-the-Malkin-sidebar-newsletterSecrets of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now  Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

 

 

 

Huntress of the MalkinHuntress of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookKobo and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now  Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

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 this on Selz Start selling on Selzbuy 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.

Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

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 this on Selz Start selling on Selzbuy 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.

Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

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 this on Selz Start selling on Selz buy the .pdf version here

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

Master Cat Poll And Thank You Gift

August 13th, 2014

I’m so excited. Master Cat is nearly ready to be released (scheduled for October). To celebrate I’d love some help choosing a cover design. As a thank you for your vote, download the first chapter from the upcoming release, Master Cat, FREE! (scroll down to download)

In case you’re unfamiliar with the book’s concept, here is the back cover blurb: Toby, a magical talking cat, has cut ties with the Office of Kingdom Guardianship, intent on finding his long-lost father and avenging his mother’s murder. He thought he left everyone behind, but someone from his past is stalking him. Now he must avoid this strange new menace while he seeks the truth about his family’s dark history, a history that threatens to unravel his sanity and cause the rest of the world to descend into madness. Can Toby reconcile himself with the past or will his inner turmoil allow his enemy to plunge humanity into chaos once and for all?

Here are the three covers to choose from. I need your help because I just can’t decide which one I like better. Here are the choices (scroll down to vote):

Master-Cat-Cover-mockup Cover #1 Master-Cat-Cover-mockup2 Cover #2 Master-Cat-mockup3 Cover #3

The poll is now closed. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to find out which is the winning cover. Mass audience cover reveal will be Sept. 17, 2014.

***

Catch up on the adventure with other books in the Malkin series.

Apprentice Cat CoverApprentice Cat available in paperback and for KindleNookKoboScribd and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now  Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

Also available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon and iTunes.

 

 

Journeyman-Cat15percentJourneyman Cat available in paperback and KindleNookScribdiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now  Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

Audiobook coming soon.

 

 

Secrets-of-the-Malkin-sidebar-newsletterSecrets of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now  Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

 

 

 

Huntress of the MalkinHuntress of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookKobo and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now  Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

Letting Go: Psalm 47 and Mark 4 35-41

August 6th, 2014

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Psalm 47, Mark 4 35-41

In Psalm 47, God tells us to let go of our worries, yet, like the disciples in Mark 4 35-41, we fear the storms in our lives are bigger than the power of Jesus.

In this month’s message we take a look at Psalm 47 and Mark 4 35-41 to better understand what it means to “let go and let God.”

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 Online Success Minute 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

Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

 

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.

God Gives Us Life: Matthew 27 11-28 10

July 30th, 2014

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Matthew 27 11-28 10

“He is not here, for he has risen.”

Matthew 28 6

As the winter snows melt away, new life begins to rise from the earth. Babies are born and plants sprout new leaves. Each spring life is resurrected from something that looked dead. In a similar way, each day brings new life as the sun rises and we wake to new opportunities.

There are times in our lives, though, when it seems everything is dead or dying and new life is impossible. When we wait in a hospital room, hoping our loved one will recover, or struggle through therapy without seeing so much as a glimmer of improvement, we feel the loneliness Jesus’ disciples felt as their master lay in the tomb. When we receive the dreaded call to the boss’ office and are handed our last paycheck as he tells us we no longer have a job, we understand the hopelessness the women who went to the tomb felt as they contemplated their task of finishing the preparations for Jesus’ body.

And yet, we can know that eventually we will see the sun rise again, that spring is within reach. As those on chemotherapy have said, one day you will feel better. The time between our cold winter of the soul and the first blossom of our spirit’s spring can feel like an eternity, but God promises to give us new life. We can hold onto that promise just as the women going to the tomb did when the angel declared in Matthew 28:6, “He is not here, for he has risen.”

As you read Matthew 27 11-28 10, try to remember a time when God breathed new life into your world. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

 

Meditation Activites

 

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take 10 to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Matthew 27 11-28 10, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to God giving us new life.
  2. Plant a seed and watch it grow into a new plant. As you care for it imagine yourself as the plant and God as your gardener bringing you new life each day.
  3. Capture a sunrise in song, in poetry, in a painting or in some other way. Think about how you could use the new life you’ve been given this morning to follow God’s call.
  4. Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God giving you new life.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

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.

Blog Tour – Why I Write

July 29th, 2014

When Jessica Schaub invited me to be a part of Blog Tour — Why I Write, I jumped at the chance. It’s only three questions, questions authors are asked again and again, but they are three questions that reveal a lot about the person behind the words. So here are my answers to those three important questions:

What am I working on?

I just finished my second Bible study, Trust God! No Matter What…, and have returned to finish final edits on Master Cat (the third in Toby the cat’s tale). If you haven’t had the opportunity to read Apprentice Cat or Journeyman Cat, be sure to check them out. Master Cat picks up where Journeyman Cat left off and finishes up the story arc. Not to worry, though, there are plenty more Toby and Lorn stories to come.

Here is the description of Master Cat:

Toby, a magical talking cat, has cut ties with the Office of Kingdom Guardianship, intent on finding his long-lost father and avenging his mother’s murder. He thought he left everyone behind, but someone from his past is stalking him. Now he must avoid this strange new menace while he seeks the truth about his family’s dark history, a history that threatens to unravel his sanity and cause the rest of the world to descend into madness. Can Toby reconcile himself with the past or will his inner turmoil allow his enemy to plunge humanity into chaos once and for all?

Check back next month to cast your vote for the Master Cat cover and be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter to be first to find out when Master Cat is available.

Why I Write what I do?

That’s a good question. I’ve been a story-teller since I was a child. When I learned to write, I couldn’t get enough of stringing words together to create stories from the wild imaginings going on in my head. I even self-published two short stories when I was nine  (basically I used brads to hold the sheets together between two pieces of construction paper with a pasted on cover I drew myself). I begged my English teachers to read them and they seemed to like them. I wish I could say I got an A on every story I ever wrote in school, but that’s not true. Still, it was the enjoyment of writing that was the pull, not the grade.

For a short time, I put writing on a shelf and worked in ministry, even working on a Masters of Divinity. It was during that stressful time in grad school that I discovered I wasn’t meant to be a minister in a church setting. My ministry was writing. Through that medium, I can be a tool for God to reach people, to share God’s love and caring. I left school one semester shy of graduating to pursue my career as an independent author and haven’t looked back since.

Today, my mission is to aid others in developing a closer relationship with God, to see that God is more than a wrath-filled judge or a magic genie. That is why I write.

What is my writing process?

At first I tried to cram everything into whatever free time I could carve out for myself. That’s a recipe for frustration and procrastination. After my eldest was born, I tried squeezing it all in a scheduled hour or two before spending time with my husband just before we went to bed. That led to being over-tired and cranky.

After my daughter started half-day’s in preschool, I was able to get four solid hours of work done before I had to go to my day job. This, so far, has worked best, especially since I pretend that I’m going to a regular 9 to 5 job as soon as I walk in my front door after dropping her at school. On my days off from my day job, I spend the mornings doing the highest priority work, like drafting or editing the next book, and the afternoons on more business tasks, like marketing and administrative tasks, and research.

The next step I took was purchasing a Galaxy Tab 10.2 in 2012 with a bluetooth keyboard. That has been the best business purchase I’ve made to date. I can now extend my writing time to the afternoons at my day job and kill the down time between customers with some massive productivity. In fact that’s what helped me win the 2012 and 2013 NaNoWriMo. Combined with my smartphone, I can work on both writing and business anywhere, anytime.

As for the actual drafting of any of my books, it wasn’t until I read James Scott Bell Plot & Structure and Conflict & Suspense that I really got the hang of it and the process got faster. I’m a plotter by nature, so Bell’s various ways of plotting made getting my ideas down so much quicker and efficient. And while the old adage “chase your character up a tree and throw rocks at him” might be one way of creating suspense and conflict, it just didn’t make sense to me. It wasn’t logical. When I read Bell’s Conflict & Suspense the “ah-ha” moment arrived with a giant Acme lightbulb. It’s not just throwing your character into challenging situations; it’s about finding the tension point — the “what’s the worst that could happen” moment — and then building the next scenes from that. I highly recommend both these books to anyone wanting to stuff some more tools in their writer’s toolbox.

Who is up next on the tour?

Call me an overachiever, but I found three terrific ladies you’ll want to meet. They are: Kathy Jones, Jansina Grossman and Beckie Laux Carlson. Be sure to stop by their web sites to find out more.

A Mission, A Dream, And A Cat – My Interview With Jessica Schaub

July 9th, 2014

A couple weeks ago I was interviewed by Jessica Schaub. It was such a great experience, getting to let readers know about the behind the scenes work I do with my books and what my driving passion for writing is, that I wanted to share an excerpt here. To read the entire post, scroll down and click the read more link.

A Mission, A Dream, and a Cat – Meet Virginia Ripple

Over the last several months, and for months to come, I’ve been interviewing authors who have self-published their work or have published through small publishing houses. From each, I’m amazed by the mission behind each book and the hopes of the author to share a theme. I have learned something valuable from each – and the trend continues this week with Virginia Ripple.

If you are a fan of fantasy and also appreciate authors who include their faith, then Virginia’s books are certainly for you!

2Apprentice Cat Toby with mysterious eyes

1. In your biography on your website, you shared something that really struck home – While working part-time as a Religious Education Director and writing the other half “the teeter totter of passions unbalanced” your life and you found yourself writing less. Many people reading this will find encouragement that they are not alone in feeling frustrated with not having enough time to write. What changes have you made to your life-style, your career, and your passions that open up the 24 hours to more writing time?

I learned a lot during my time in ministry about what it means to be Called into God’s service. Sometimes others see our hard work and think, “Wow! She really has a heart for (fill in the blank). She should do it full-time.” If we’re not aware of what our true purpose is, then we might go along with their well-meaning suggestion and then suffer because we’re not doing what God planned for us to do. It took me the better part of seven years to figure that out and another four years to understand what doing my particular ministry meant in terms of what I spent time on.

Click here to read more.

Chinese Checkers, God and Me: Matthew 16 21-23

June 30th, 2014

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Matthew 16 21-23

Through Matthew 16 21-23, we find reaching our personal goals, our dreams, maybe even our destinies becomes a real possibility when we begin acting more like Jesus and doing what is best for us rather than facing off with opponents.

In this month’s message we take a look at Matthew 16 21-23 to discover how “playing our own game” rather than doing what we think others expect from us can help us reach our potential.

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 Online Success Minute 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

Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz

 

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.

God Reveals Himself To Us: Matthew 14 22-33, 16 13-19

June 25th, 2014

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Matthew 14 22-33, 16 13-19

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16 16

Whether it is in the face of a delighted child or the crash of thunder during a storm, God reveals himself to us. Sometimes he catches our attention in a way we cannot ignore, like when he appeared to Moses in the burning bush. Sometimes we miss seeing or hearing him entirely. Many times we eagerly race toward God only to become afraid as we begin looking around us, just as Peter did when he stepped out of the boat to meet Jesus on the water.

Although God wants us to see and hear him each time he reveals himself to us, he doesn’t stop reaching out just because we weren’t paying attention. God repeatedly revealed himself through Jesus even though those around Jesus often mistook his acts as those of someone else . The reason Jesus’ acts were attributed to the return of a prophet was most likely because God was revealing himself in a way the people of the time were not expecting, yet Peter saw him for who he was and proclaimed in Matthew 16:16, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Seeing God reveal himself in our day to day lives means being aware of our surroundings and, sometimes, expecting the unexpected.

As you read Matthew 14 22-33, 16 13-19, try to remember a time in your life in which God revealed himself to you. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

 

Meditation Activites

Jynette w funky do

 

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take 10 to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Matthew 14 22-33, 16 13-19, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to how God provides for you.
  2. Spend some time with a child. Notice their reaction to discovering something new. Think about how God might be revealing himself to you in a new way.
  3. Go to a park or zoo. Watch the people and animals around you and ask God to reveal himself in a special way. If you have the equipment, take some pictures. Put the pictures together in a scrapbook or collage to remind you of a time God revealed himself to you.
  4. Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding how God has provided for you.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

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