Not Qualified to Minister

Mark 6
Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

I've been a Christian for twenty years but I often struggle with feelings of unworthiness. In my heart, I believe I've been called to minister to women.  However, I have been in the 'preparation mode' for most of my Christian walk. When should I begin reaching out and touching lives on behalf of Christ?  Have I studied the bible enough?  Have I conquered enough of the sin in my life or do I wait until I am completely sinless?  Is that even possible?  
Then, I read this passage and I see that Jesus was not considered to be qualified by those who knew him best. They thought he was an ordinary carpenter. He was a son and a brother. It's likely that some of them had watched him grow up. To them, he was nothing special and they questioned his right to minister. In fact, they were offended at the very notion of him being worthy of ministry. Their lack of faith limited Jesus' ability to perform miracles. They effectively managed to restrict his ministry. 

Jesus did not let his ego get in the way of the important job he had to do. He wasn't upset that they didn't give him the respect he was due. Rather, he was troubled that he couldn't minister to more people.  

Today, as I consider moving forward into the place that I strongly feel God has called me, I am thankful for this scripture. I might be ordinary and I am certainly not without sin, but that doesn't mean I am not qualified. I now see that I have been looking at myself through the eyes of others and they might not think I'm anything special. I can't let that limit my ability to minister. I need to keep my focus on the important task at hand and the lives that need to be touched.

If you are reading this and you feel you've been stuck in 'prep mode' for a long time, I encourage you to stop holding back. Don't allow the opinions of others to prevent you for completing your race. 

Thanksgiving without the Cliches

With the holiday coming in a couple days, I already expect to see a lot of posts about being thankful.  People on Facebook are posting daily "I'm thankful for___" updates.  I admit that I enjoy the heightened awareness toward gratitude and the noticeable decrease in complaints. At the same time, it bothers me that feelings of 'thanksgiving' are somehow tied to a large meal and beautiful fall pictures.  It feels a bit...hallow.

I love this scripture, especially in this plain English version:
Philippians 4:6 
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

As my family has been walking this heart transplant journey with my grandson, we've come very close to losing him a few times. I can confidently say that he's been sustained by the hand of God! I have spent hours praying and interceding on behalf of this precious child and my heart has been careful to thank God along the way. I worry that I can't thank him enough!  

Remember the ten lepers who were healed and only one came back to thank Jesus? I don't want to be like them. 

Psalm 100: 4 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.

My Thanksgiving prayer is that I will properly express gratitude to Him because He's so worthy!  He's so FAITHFUL! I want my heart to be full of THANKS. According to the above Psalm, I can enter His gates when my heart is full of thanksgiving. That means, the key to his house is having a thankful heart!   

Work in Progress- a Blog Tag Game

I'm so blessed to be tagged by a fellow author, John Peters, on his blog. Thank you John! I encourage my readers to visit his blog and see what this talented author is all about. He posed a list of questions, which I'm answering, and then I will be tagging a few of my favorite authors to ask them the same questions.  HOW FUN!  

What is the title of your next book?
I'm currently working on a Christmas novella called "A Pine Cove Christmas" which I had hoped would be finished by now.  Unfortunately, life got in the way, but I'm planning to finish it soon. 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I love Christmas! I thought about the type of book that I'd enjoy reading and then set to writing it!

What genre does you book fall under?

Fiction with strong Christian undertones

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Three families, each facing a difficult situation, are stranded in a mountain inn over the Christmas holiday.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?

I publish on Kindle.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your novel?

I'm still finishing the first draft and I've been working on it for a couple months. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Honestly, I'm can't think of a good answer for this.  

Who or what inspired you to write your book?

I love the idea of random circumstances leading to great things. In this book, three couples are each dealing with wounds and pain. They certainly never planned to meet but by the end of the book it's clear that divine intervention was at work. 

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

It has all the things you like in a Christmas story; warm fireplaces, a fresh pine tree, candle light, and magic. 

I'm now tagging some of my favorite Christian authors and asking the same questions. VISIT THEIR BLOGS AND FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER! You'll be blessed for sure! 

Julie Cave


Be not Afraid, Only Believe

A text popped up telling me that my grandson was in trouble again. Another grim medical situation had occurred. I felt the panic hit and my breath was stolen. I cried out to God, 'WHY? Why is this happening again?"

Fighting tears, I tried to pray.  My thoughts were scattered and it was hard to focus. Suddenly, one clear thought came to the surface; Be not afraid, only believe. 

This was a verse from Mark that I had recently read.  Jairus' daughter was near death. He came to Jesus for help. By the time they arrived, it was reported that his daughter had died already.  Jesus assured this worried father telling him, "Be not afraid, only believe." 

Jesus then went to the little girl and raised her from her sick bed. One report claimed she was dead but Jesus had another report.  

As soon as I heard those words in my spirit, my anxiety started to calm.
Within an hour, I was totally at peace.  Shortly after that I learned that the crisis had passed and he was OK.  

If you are in the midst of a storm, cry out to God. He will meet you there. He'll never leave and He will never fail you.  

The Deepest Fear

I teach a careers class at a Christian high school.  I've been blessed with a group of students who are very honest and don't just tell me what I want to hear. For example, they don't tell me that their first concern is pleasing God if that is not the truth. Their candor has opened the door to discussions that have been really insightful.

Tonight, I've been thinking back on today's class. We were talking about future career plans and how those choices should be made. We determined that there are three reasons most people select a career:

            1. Money
            2. Interests
            3. Personal fulfillment 
We fully discussed each of these reasons and how they might not be the best reason to make a choice. Money is not the source of happiness. Interests can change. Our quest for personal fulfillment will always leave us empty.

I encouraged them to think about God and his plan for their lives. They looked at me with blank stares. I took the discussion in another direction. I asked each of them, "If you fully trusted God and allowed Him to direct your career, what is your worst fear? Where do you fear God might lead you?"

They each shared their ideas and some were predictable. Two worried about being sent to foreign lands as a missionary, one feared becoming a pastor, and another shared her fear of public speaking.  Invariably, they were concerned that if they submitted fully to God, things would be unpleasant.  They clearly don't have a grasp of the loving, kind, wonderful God that we serve. They are afraid to trust Him and, given their current point of view, I can't blame them.

I think we've all been there and, to some extent, we can still be in that place. Do we really believe that if we fully submit and trust God, He will take us someplace that we will despise?  If, in our deepest heart, we don't trust our Father, how can we completely submit to His will?

Tonight, I'm examining myself carefully. I am thankful for these students who have challenged and inspired me.

The Twelfth Child- Book Review

Trust, love and friendship--Abigail Anne Lannigan searched for these things all her life. Now, when she is at the tail end of her years, she teams up with a free-spirited young woman. A nobody from nowhere, who suddenly moves in across the street. Their unusual friendship comes under suspicion when a million dollars goes missing and a distant relative, claims embezzlement. Abigail knows the truth of what happened but, unfortunately, she'll never get the chance to tell.

My Review
I really enjoyed this book. The author writes in a comfortable manner that endears you to the main character immediately. The story is intense and as you are drawn in, it's easy to feel the emotions of the situation. I was mildly disappointed at the ending, but at the same time, I agree with the author's decision to resolve things the way she did. She was true to her characters to the very end.  

I'd honestly recommend this book and I am excited to read a few more books by this author.  I give the Twelfth Child 5 out of 5 stars! I have a link for it right on the sidebar.  GO BUY THIS BOOK! You will thank me. 


by Bette Lee Crosby


Abigail Lannigan

Born – August, 1912

I was barely thirteen years old when Mama died and left me and Will in the care of Papa, a man who’d think nothing of shoving a dose of castor oil down my throat just so he could watch my face turn inside out. “It’s good for what ails you,” he’d say; yet, I noticed he never gave Will the same big dose. Papa didn’t say it in precise words, but he made it clear enough he wouldn’t give two hoots if all the girl babies in Chestnut Ridge, Virginia, were in the graveyard along with Mama. Of course with him being a staunch Methodist, I don’t believe Papa was capable of taking a butcher knife and slicing off heads or anything; but he surely knew how to destroy people from the inside—a sliver of spirit, a piece of pride, a chunk of heart—until one day there’s nothing left but a walking around shell to do the cooking and laundry.        

It’s a roundabout story, but Papa’s blind-sightedness is the very reason Destiny Fairchild may end up in the Women’s Correctional Facility—which is a fancy way of saying penitentiary. Everybody’s life could have been a whole lot different if Mama hadn’t died before she got a chance to set things right. She was the one to tell Papa there were two sides to every story and he should have the fairness of mind to hear them all the way through. Will, bless his heart, wasn’t the least bit like Papa; nonetheless, we’d get to scrapping over something—who was smarter, who slacked on their chores, who said what and who didn’t—and that’s when Mama stepped in. She’d make us sit at the kitchen table and tell both versions of how the tussle got started. After everything was all explained, she’d generally say we should be ashamed of ourselves, fussing over such a bit of nonsense when here we were twins, born of the same seed, a brother and sister, linked together for life. More often than not, she’d dole out a punishment that involved standing in opposite corners of the room and thinking things over for a while. 

Unfortunately, Destiny didn’t have Mama to see to the fairness of things before they got out of hand; besides, in her case there were three sides, hers, Elliott’s and mine. Problem is, no one’s ever heard mine—not even Judge Kensington.

My first KINDLE Giveaway! I'm Excited!

Win a FREE Kindle Paperwhite! Enjoy your books with the latest technology. No Purchase Necessary; see below for details and to enter the drawing. Giveaway starts Saturday, November 3 at 12:01 AM and end on Sunday morning, November 18 at 12:01 AM (EST)

Here are the details:
There is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY to enter the contest to win a Kindle Paperwhite loaded with ELEVEN e-books by the sponsoring authors.
  • You may enter once at the Books-a-Fire website and enter again at each author’s website. Links to sponsoring authors’ websites are included with each book pictured on the main website. That gives everyone 12 free chances to win!
  • The contest starts Nov. 3, 2012 and ends at midnight Eastern Time Zone on Nov. 17, 2012.
  • The grand prize winner will be notified by e-mail and we will post the results on the Books-a-Fire website.
  • Additional prizes of one $50 gift card, two $25 gift cards, and two bundles of books by sponsoring authors will also be awarded during the contest.
Enter drawing again for Kindle Paperwhite and Amazon gift cards here:

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