TLP Inspiration: September 17, 2018

TLP

To Be Blessed

In verse 10, Jesus said that those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed; here He gets personal, for now He isn’t referring to someone else, or some group of individuals, now it is about “you”. People may speak all sorts of evil against us as followers of Jesus; what should our reaction be − should we pop ‘em right in the mouth?

It wouldn’t seem so; Jesus says we should “rejoice and be glad”, of all things.

Really? We should rejoice and be glad when people are speaking against us because of our faith in Christ?

Yes we should, for great is our reward in heaven.

Jesus didn’t exactly say so here, but our reward here on earth won’t be so bad, since it is a relationship with Him. In the old days, people spoke against the prophets in the same way that they spoke of…

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Excerpt from Hannah’s Rainbow

R

Rain hit Haley’s bedroom window, tracking down the glass like the tears on her face.  Her geometry homework sat unfinished in front of her as she lifted blurry eyes from the numbers and turned toward the wall separating her room from the bedroom next door.  She heard Pastor Rife’s muffled voice reciting the familiar words of Psalm 23: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me.  Your rod and Your staff: they comfort me.”

She found no comfort in those words.

When the pastor’s voice stopped reciting the Psalm, he murmured a prayer.  Hannah’s voice, if she even spoke, was too weak to be heard through the wall.  Footsteps retreated down the hallway a moment later, and Haley listened for any sound, her breath caught in her throat.

Wiping away tears, she sniffled and stood, finding her resolve.  She went to the bedroom door and pushed it slightly open.  Down the hallway, the door to her parents’ bedroom was slightly ajar, and her dad’s voice travelled the short distance.  She picked up snippets of the phone conversation, and curious, she walked quietly to the bedroom and listened.

“I doubt she’ll live another twenty-four hours,” Alan said.

Dad thinks Grandma will be gone in a day?  Haley thought, refusing to believe it.

“She was still walking around last night, that’s right,” her father continued.  “To take such a turn for the worst overnight was unexpected.”

Haley refused to listen to another word.  She withdrew from the doorway and retreated toward her room.  When she reached the door, she made to push it open, but she hovered with indecision as her eyes fell upon the door to what was normally her brother’s room.  Grandma Hannah had spent the night in Randy’s bedroom, the bed more comfortable than the pull-out one she usually occupied whenever she spent the night.

Biting her lower lip, Haley entered the darkened room.  The shades were drawn shut on all three windows as the sound of rain continued to hit the glass.  Hannah was lying on the bed, propped up by several pillows, and Haley couldn’t discern her grandma’s face until she was nearly upon her.  She stopped at the bedside and tried to smile, but Haley’s heart wasn’t in it.  More than anything, fear filled her.  This figure lying here – this couldn’t be her beloved grandma!

Haley felt tears prickle again, and with a watery smile, she whispered, “Hi, Grandma.”

No rosy cheeks, no warm smile, no life in her eyes – Hannah stared back at Haley, so weakened and withered, and managed a faint, “Haley.”

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Unbroken

I just finished reading Unbroken, the biography of Louis Zamperini’s life as an Olympian, a WWII bombardier, a POW in Japan, and his struggles to overcome PTSD (which wasn’t diagnosed in the 1940s) after coming home. He experienced extreme starvation, beatings, dehydration, disease, and harsh living conditions while floating on a raft for 47 days in the Pacific after the B-24 he was on crashed and then at the hands of the Japanese in the POW camps. He turned to alcoholism and was bent on revenge after the war, only to turn his life around when he became a Christian after attending one of Billy Graham’s tent revivals in 1949. From then on, this remarkable man served his Lord and used his suffering to drive his passion to help others. He founded the Victory Boys Camp in the early 1950s to help at-risk youth, which is still running under his son, Luke, as the Louis Zamperini Foundation. He lived to the ripe old age of 97! This man is a true hero, with an amazing legacy!

Life 101

TLP

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 

1 Peter 3:8-9

In these two verses, Peter is telling us what it looks like when we love one another.  What may confound us at times is that He has set this out as an imperative, making it a lesson or instructions. When a group of people share real fellowship, what happens, what do they look like to others?

Well, let’s see, they are in harmony, they aren’t fighting, they are gentle and they are humble in their demeanor, caring for one another.  They are forgiving of one another, and they are blessings to one another.  Isn’t that about what he said? OK, maybe you are thinking that I simply found different…

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Is it worth it to offer your book for free?

Into Another World

This post is the fifty-second post in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

You have published your book and want readers and reviews. Many authors choose to offer their book for free. (It is one way to get reviews.) But should you offer your novel that you worked so hard to produce for nothing?

Well, that depends…

I have heard many authors claim that it is a bad idea to offer our books for free. We are diminishing what we do, they say. We worked hard on our novel so shouldn’t we expect to get paid? Are we setting a precedent for readers who will now expect free books all the time? Are free books deterring them from actually buying books?

These are all valid concerns but from a marketing stand point offering a novel…

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The One Who First Loved Us

TLP

“He committed no sin,
    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Peter 2:22-25

The second chapter concludes at the foot of the cross, as Peter applies the prophecy of Isaiah 53 so as to make clear that Jesus is our example in dealing with the hardships of life.  In everything that Jesus said or did during His ministry, His priority was on serving the Father by serving others in a way that would advance the Father’s purpose. When this…

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