Friday, November 22, 2013

God's Original. A Guest Post by David Stearman

I'm delighted to host David Stearman today. David is another author from 
 Helping Hands Press. Enjoy.

Guest Post
by David Stearman

God’s Original*

Psalm 33:25--He fashions their hearts individually.

I got to thinking about our individuality today. Snowflakes, leaves, human voices. It started when a friend of mine, an intelligent, multi-talented model whose image graces the covers of several of my books, texted me about passing her GED. She’d never been able to graduate from high school due to extenuating family challenges, though you’d never know this, since she’s so well-read, self-educated, and accomplished.

Our texts went like this:

Her: I passed my GED with flying colors!

Me: Of course you did. You’re smart.

Her: I am an overachiever with low self esteem. So I surprised myself! Lol

Me: You have no reason, on any level, for having low self esteem. You’re gifted and exceptional. But it’s often the people like that who have low self-esteem, simply because they’re different. Normal people don’t do special things.

Me: Dang. That was good. I should blog it.

Her: Thank you!

Her: Blog it!

So here I am, blogging it. ‘Cause face it; you’re abnormal, right? Don’t look at me in that tone of voice. Of course you are, because you’re an original creation of God.

Snowflakes. Leaves. Human voices…

You were born with your own unique face, personality, and set of talents. Yet you feel inadequate when you compare your own unique characteristics with others’. “She’s taller than me, more petite; better at math, better at English, skinnier, more shapely,” whatever.

…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12)

It’s impossible to compare the quality of two original paintings created by the same artist. Though Monet painted both Water Lilies and Sunrise, they can never be measured against each other for superlatives. One’s not better than the other; they’re just different. Like you and me.

God, the master Artist, created each of us individually.

For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in your book they all were written; the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139: 13-16)

But God not only created us individually, He also created us as individuals. So you’re not normal, and neither am I. There is no normal, there’s only you, me, and all those other weirdos, each of us with his or her own special beauty, significance and purpose. So be yourself and be proud of it. You’re God’s original.

Today’s prayer: God, today I’m gonna be me. I won’t try to imitate anyone else, for you gave me my own, beautiful individuality. I’ll walk tall in it and be proud of who I am: a unique creation of God.

*The above post is an excerpt from David’s 90-day devotional “Encouragement Explosion--90 Days of Uplift,” available from Amazon here as well as from Barnes, Noble, KoboBooks, and other fine online retailers.       

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review. A Carol of Light by Marcy Weydemuller

An engaging story, Volume # 6 in Kathi Macias’ 12 Days of Christmas series.
Tension builds in this story about a young woman forced to disguise herself as a boy performing in a wandering drama troupe. Only a handful of people know Kat’s true identity but she is hopeful that will soon change. Until, in the middle of a performance, she sees the imposter who abducted her and fears that flight will be her own salvation once again. 

But something else troubles her heart. The young man who rescued her has become distant and she fears more than having to run away again, that she will lose him. But God has a plan and on the 7th day before Christmas it will all be revealed.

A Carol of Light is now available on Amazon

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Feed the Dog

"Praise the Lord Oh my soul." (Psalm 103:1) It was printed on a small card on the hospital breakfast tray. I had just given birth to my first child, a beautiful baby girl the doctors said could never be. She was God’s gift to me, the direct and deliberate proof of his love that melted my hardened heart and turned my life around. On that cold morning in November, 31 years ago, I smiled as I continued to read the words of that Psalm. At that moment I had more joy and love surging through me than I would ever have believed possible. So at that moment I didn't need the words to tell my soul to praise God. My soul was overflowing with praise.
But sometimes I do need those kinds of reminders.

Like the Psalmist David, there are times when I need to command my soul to praise, to be thankful, to be still, to obey. Like David, there are things in my life that block the righteousness Jesus has put in me. My will has been bent by an unholy world and like the old song says, I am "prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love." I need reminders to pull me back into the light so I can again see the depth of God’s grace and mercy and move closer to Him.

I am reminded of an old urban legend about a man who said he felt like he had two dogs inside him. One was good and one was evil. When asked which dog would win, that man answered, "the one I feed the most."

I try to feed the "good dog" - I read God's word and other books that feed my spirit and nourish my soul and stimulate my brain to follow a righteous path. I listen to music that does the same. I associate with people who are on that same track. It works. God has designed it that way. This is the reason why man will always create, always search out that which is good and pure and beautiful, because he must have it to feed his own soul. He must have it to remind Him of the One who created all that is good and pure and beautiful. The longing is part of our DNA.

That’s why the scripture tells us, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

It is in pondering “such things” that we draw closer to our God. When we are confronted with such things – when we are captivated by them - we catch a glimpse of who God is – true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and oh so worthy of our praise. And we are captivated by Him.

All of us have that good and bad dog within us. Both dogs want to be fed. It’s up to us to choose which one will grow strong and which one will languish. 
Marcia's new ebook novella, An Unexpected Glory, is now available on Amazon, Amazon .ca , Barnes and Noble and Kobo  

Volume #5 in Kathi Macias' 12 Days of Christmas series, releasing every two weeks. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Divine Secrets of the Woopie Pie Sisters


We would like to thank all of the wonderful readers that have purchased, read and reviewed Book I and Book II of the #1 Best–Selling Trilogy “The Divine Sisterhood of The Whoopee Pie Sisters” by Amazon Top 100 authors Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell.

Good news about the Trilogy!
The price of Book II was originally $1.99 but has just been lowered to $.99.

Here is the Amazon Kindle link

Anyone that has purchased Book II at the $1.99 price is welcome to come to the Helping Hands Press Facebook page, message us there, and we will be happy to send you some amazing stories to compensate you for the price reduction.

Remember: there is only one dynamic author duo named Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell and there is only one original series named “The Divine Sisterhood of The Whoopie Pie Sisters”. Except no imitations!