ATTENTION! FINAL NOTICE! by Narita Roady

I recently received my 15th “LAST” notice from Fingerhut warning me that without an order I would not receive any more catalogs. The notice read, “We’re sorry, but unless you order something, this could be the last catalog we send you. Don’t take a chance!”
I throw away my “last” catalog and go on. As sure as night follows day, another one comes in the mail. I have yet to be taken off the mailing list! Have you ever stopped to think, what would we do if God sent us a final notice concerning certain matters in our lives? How many of us would treat it as I do my catalog, toss it in the trash, and proceed with life as usual? What would you do if God sent you a final notice? I can think of several areas people commonly neglect and take for granted.
One of the most important is our relationship with Christ. Do you claim to know Christ as your Savior but in your heart you know you are lost? Maybe you have always had doubts about your salvation, but you push those concerns aside and never make sure your eternal destiny. Have you felt the Holy Spirit convicting you of your need to be saved, but continue to put it off until tomorrow? Let’s say tomorrow you received a letter from God that read, “I’m sorry, but unless you accept Christ right now, this could be the last time you ever can. Don’t take a chance!” For those who are unsaved each moment they are alive may be their last chance to be saved. Death may come or Christ may break the Eastern sky. None of us know when either will occur. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
Perhaps your salvation is sure, but God has laid someone on your heart that you need to go witness to. Has fear of rejection or indifference prevented you from obeying now? Most would profess, “Boy, a letter like that would sure get my attention! I’d take care of it right away!”
I’m sorry but I don’t believe you would. You see, God has already sent notices in His Word sharing His good news with others and you’re disregarding them.” And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23
Let’s think about a few other notices we might receive as Christians. What if your notice read:
“This could be your last chance to pray!” Who and what would you pray for? For forgiveness, wisdom, protection, friends, family, the lost? How frightening to think of having no way to speak to God and have Him hear us! Prayer is a privilege and a gift that we cast aside so carelessly. If prayer was so important to Jesus, it should be just as important to us. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” Isaiah 55:6
“This could be your last chance to read your Bible!” Where would you begin? What verses would you read? Would you frantically attempt to memorize large portions? This is not so far-fetched, just ask Christians in those countries who have no Bibles. We of all people across time and even in the present have unequaled access to owning and reading all of God’s Word. He has faithfully protected His inspired Word throughout the ages for us to have, yet we frequently disregard it. Other reading material such as novels, magazines, newspapers, and internet articles take the place of the Bible. Have you ever thought about spending an equal amount of time reading the Scriptures as you do other things?
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:15-17
“This could be your last chance to attend church!” Here is another condition that is not as outlandish as it sounds. It is reality in much of the world and becoming even more so as time goes on. Everyone wants a good Bible believing church to attend, support them, and call upon in times of need, request prayer, and fellowship with. Then why do members treat worship attendance as a hobby instead of an honor and command of God? In America, countless churches close each year due to indifference. It’s one of those things we will not realize the importance of what we have until we lose it. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25)
What other “last chance” notices might God send? Truly take time to stop and think – Your last time to: obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, use one of your talents in His service, teach your children about Jesus. Try making your own list to search your heart and priorities.
The realization that something is going to be taken away always creates urgency, or a deadline, that motivates us to action. It also brings to light the value of what we have taken for granted. Sadly, if finality is all that opens our eyes to the importance of what we have neglected, we may be too late. Don’t wait for your final notice, act now!
Published in the Oklahoma Baptist Newspaper, September 2014

VISITATION KARATE by Narita Roady

Most of the time when you think of convents, you picture sedate nuns, reciting prayers or chants in quite, peaceful surroundings. In India, a passerby might be shocked at the sounds wafting over a convent wall in Madras. They would hear deep-throated grunts that usually accompany a fight, and the whack of calloused hands splitting bricks! This convent puts its nuns through a 45 day karate class before they go out to visit and work for their church! This bizarre training began after several nuns were threatened, harassed, some even raped, murdered, and beaten when visiting in nearby villages. The oldest nun to take the course was 66!
This is no course for wimps! Nuns are also taught to counter knife attackers and throw strategic punches to their assailants. So serious are they about their training that they even form a line on the ground, face down, while a jeep rolls over their outstretched hands to toughen them!! These ladies willingly endure all this, just to journey out and fulfill what they believe is a work for the Lord! Think about it!. . . Women, many of them elderly, facing rigorous training, confronting hostile people, hazarding dangerous situations, and risking their lives for God, when they aren’t even leading lost people to the saving knowledge of Christ! In contrast, most of our churches cannot get a handful out each week to visitation and sometimes even church services!
Some of the excuses that are heard from Christians are: “I’m afraid to visit people! I wouldn’t know what to say! I couldn’t handle it if someone slammed a door in my face! I don’t want to make people angry! I just don’t visit! I have don’t have time! I’m too tired after working all day!” You could probably add many more excuses, maybe some of your own! Keep in mind; these are usually supplied just for being asked to invite people to church! Fewer folks even consider witnessing!
I can just see the Sunday bulletin note now:
VISITATION
THURSDAY NIGHT 6:00 P.M.
This week the pastor will have everyone lay on the ground while he rolls over their fingers with his car. Afterwards we will each split a few bricks. We will then have prayer asking God’s protection from murder and beatings, before going on visitation. Everyone come and do a work for the Lord!
How many would show up for visitation then?! Can the number really get much less? We should be ashamed of ourselves! As saved people, Christ lives in us, and we have the Gospel to share with others that they might be spared an eternity of suffering! Someone cared enough to share it with us! If these nuns can endure such pain, and face real dangers, why can’t we go out once a week to visit and witness?!
So what if someone gets angry or shuts a door in our face?! These occurrences are rare anyway. No, we don’t need karate training. We need “heart training” in commitment, a love for lost souls, obedience to God’s Word, and a true desire to serve Christ. We need to “toughen” ourselves against worldly living, worldly thinking, selfishness, laziness, and hearts that are cold toward God.
You may say, “Well my church doesn’t have visitation.” That doesn’t let any of us off the hook. We all go to the stores, the gas station, the doctor, and multiple other places where we come in contact with people every day. Those are opportunities to share Christ and what He has done for you, and to invite others to church. Visitation isn’t limited to a church scheduled time or date. It should be a part of our daily lives!
If you’re saved, you’re not too young (teens this includes you), nor too old to fulfill your responsibility to reach the lost for Christ and invite others to His House.
And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 15:23
We need to get onto the “highways” where the people are and get off the dirt roads. We need to get out into the “hedges” where things might be a little uncomfortable and thorny, and quit sitting among the daisies! With all the events in the news it is clear Christ’s coming is VERY near! Once He returns, those we are neglecting and could reach will not have another chance, just an eternity of torment in Hell. You notice the Lord’s words begin with an action verb, “Go”. That means it is a command from Him, not an option!
Our churches are definitely not full. Have you been neglecting visiting and witnessing? Ask God to forgive you and guide you. Ask Him to send you those searching for Him and for an answer to their life’s struggles. Ask Him to make you strongly aware of those moments so you will not pass them by. Our fears come from Satan to discourage us in obeying the Lord and delivering the lost from his clutches. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
God will give you the courage and words to say, all you must do is obey the Great Commission. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:19
WON’T YOU COMMIT YOUR HEART AND TIME TO REGULARLY SEEKING THE LOST AND WITNESSING…. STARTING THIS WEEK?
Published in the Oklahoma Baptist Newspaper, August 2014

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW by Narita Roady

I have mixed emotions about snow. It is peacefully beautiful to look at, but it has an ugly side too. Let me explain. Several years ago, we lived 15 miles out in the country, but attended church in town. It was a bitterly cold day and heavy snow had been predicted. By the time church services were out, snow flurries were quickly covering the ground. We lingered in town and ate lunch.
About 2:00 p.m. we decided we should head home as the snowfall was increasing. By the time we turned down the country road about, 2 miles from our house, the drifts were incredibly deep, and it was snowing extremely hard. All went well until we started up a hill and it quickly became evident; there was no way we could make it! Jerry decided he would walk to a neighbor’s house about ½ a mile away and borrow his tractor to pull us up the hill. He bundled up, left the van running, and admonished us to stay inside and keep warm.
Time seemed to stand still. I pictured my poor husband trudging through the steep drifts in his suit and dress coat, and then having to ride back down in the frigid weather on a tractor.
A brilliant idea flashed through my brain! I would get the van unstuck, drive to Ralph’s house, and surprise him! Visions of Jerry’s astonished face flashed across my mind, his overwhelming pride at his wife’s problem solving ability, and his gratitude for being spared all that hard, cold walk. Yes! I knew I could do it! I had no doubt! I told the girls to bow their heads, and we would pray for the Lord’s guidance and help. All the time they were whimpering, “Oh no Mommy! Please listen to Daddy! Please don’t do anything!” Their pleading aggravated me but it wasn’t without cause, they had been with me on similar missions before!
I took a deep breath, sure of my victory, and began our rescue efforts. I had seen Jerry go in forward and reverse rocking the van to free it. “Piece of cake” I thought, “we’ll be outta here in no time!” By now the girls were sobbing and pleading. Back and forth, back and forth I rocked the van, over and over, turning the wheel and trying different angles. Yep! In no time at all….we were stuck fast and the engine died. There we sat, snuggly “secure” in the snow and now with no heater! The children’s imploring faces were replaced by grim expressions carved in stone. I flashed them the “hairy eyeball” and that kept any comments at bay, but I could still feel their menacing looks boring through the back of my head.
Our fingers and toes went numb from the cold. Finally Jerry and Ralph arrived with the tractor. I was right, boy was he surprised! But the emotions that showed on his face weren’t pride and gratitude! My rescue effort had formed a 3 foot snow bank in front of the van. Snow was literally packed up into the motor where the belt couldn’t turn, and the back end had slid off the road. The tractor couldn’t even budge it, little lone pull it up the hill. The sun had sat by now and it was bitter cold. Two at a time we mounted each side of Ralph’s tractor (Sunday dresses and shoes), and held on as he drove us the 1 ½ miles home. It took 3 trips to get all of us, a total of 7 ½ miles! When we were safely home, the biting cold outside didn’t even compare with the icy glares of my family. I was so intimidated; I didn’t even jostle for my position in front of the wall heater! As they stood there in a shivering group, the girls scowling at me, Jerry finally spoke. “Sweetheart, next time you decide to help me, PLEASE DON’T!”
I wonder, how many times has God said those exact same words to me? He created the heavens and the earth, the human race, all plants and animals; parted the Red Sea, turned water into wine, and saved my soul from hell; how could I think He needs my help?! Having full knowledge of these facts, I still find times when I step in to “help” God. Just like my winter rescue mission, my efforts end in disaster, leaving God with a lot of “clean up” work to fix the mess I made.
How can we know if God is prompting us to act in a certain situation, or we are just jumping in to “run the show” for Him? Here are a few lessons I learned:
Keep a close relationship with the Lord.
The sheep can’t hear the shepherds voice if the wander too far. Keep a close walk with Him. When we neglect prayer and Bible reading, we tend to drift from His side. We wander too far away to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit guiding us. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27
Satan will be able to creep in and put thoughts into our minds, making us think it is our own idea. “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”
1 Chronicles 21:1
God always gives clear direction.
The Lord never fails to give us clear direction in what He would have us do. He promises us His guidance. It is our own desires and temptations that often cloud our vision from seeing His leadership clearly. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalms 32:8
God want us to succeed. He is on our side! He doesn’t play games or speak to us in riddles. His guidance is easy to understand. The problem comes when we don’t trust Him or try to make His leading match our desires. This again opens the door for the devil to get us off track and on his course. When confusion enters the situation, KNOW it is NOT God. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints”. 1 Corinthians 14:33
Obey Him in the things you know are His will.
Most Christians know without a doubt, basic principles that God wants us to obey. (If you don’t find someone who does and start studying!) We often by pass them because of their simplicity. We are fueled by our own desires. If we don’t do what we do know, how can He show us more? We wouldn’t be able to apply the new information. God doesn’t make things hard, we do! Start with what you do know and He will light your way. “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” Jeremiah 7:23
So next time you want to help God “fix things” PLEASE DON’T! He can handle everything fine all by Himself!
Published in the Oklahoma Baptist Newspaper, July 2014

Here and now are the perfect place and time to get your copy of Unclaimed Legacy.

Unclaimed Legacy 99 Cents for a limited time

 

Now? Because it’s only 99 cents for Kindle (for the month of September only). Here? Because buying it enters you in my giveaway of the complete Time and Again trilogy (personally signed by yours truly) AND a pretty mug for your morning coffee. Hint: You might want to keep the mug and Kindle book for yourself and give the signed copies of the trilogy as a gift.

The Rafflecopter giveaway entry form is below, but first let me tell you about Unclaimed Legacy.

Unclaimed Legacy blurbette

 

Those who have read Time and Again know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house.

And now Beautiful House comes in handy when Abby, John, and Merri agree to help the “Old Dears” next door with their family tree. Except Abby and John learn more about one of the ladies’ ancestors than they ever wanted to know. Convicted in 1871 of murder and arson, Reuben Buchanan is a blight on the family’s reputation. But was he really guilty? Abby and John must get inside the mind of a murderer to find out.

And while they’re rummaging around in the Old Dears’ family history, they also find Nathan Buchanan, a heroic relative connected to the Lewis and Clark Expedition—and a legacy waiting to be reclaimed. But the most important discovery they make is that God’s promise to bless a thousand generations is true.

“In this sequel to Time and Again Deborah Heal has taken pieces of real life history and woven them [into] a fantastic story geared to keep the reader entertained and on the edge of their seat… I adored every single bit of this. It has the perfect blend of history and action-packed suspense to keep young adults glued to the pages… I think she has mastered a home run here. This one easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars for me…and I hope it will work its way to the top of the best seller lists for young adults.”

– Pirate2240 “Kat” Amazon Reviewer

080The Clue of the Unclaimed Legacy

The blurb above doesn’t say a lot about it, but Unclaimed Legacy features my heroes Lewis and Clark. I’ve always been fascinated by them, partly because I knew the explorers spent the winter of 1803 at Hartford, Illinois, near where I grew up in Woodburn.

They chose that site for the camp they called Camp River Dubois, because it was near the mouth of the Missouri River, which they would ascend the next spring. The captains spent the winter laying in supplies and training their men. I decided it would be fun to let Abby “time-surf” back to see Camp River Dubois. . .

Continue reading HERE to get my clues about Unclaimed Legacy.

As the blurb says, sometimes when Abby and John are “time-surfing” they learn more than they want to know about people from the past–like Bertram White a violent husband. Read my companion article about him HERE.

Read a free chapter of Unclaimed Legacy HERE)

Now, enter the contest to get your Kindle copy of Unclaimed Legacy for 99 cents and a chance to win the complete trilogy in paperback, personally signed by me. Oh, and a mug.

Time Travel Trilogy by Deborah Heal

Mar 27 2013 038

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Candle Bible for Kids: Toddler Edition

This is the perfect book of Bible stories for little hearts and minds learning about God’s Word.    The soft cover and size are perfect for small hands to hold and use.  I also liked the fact the cover is washable.  An especially nice feature where kids are involved! 

The illustrations were excellent, with bright bold colors.  This will be a real attention holder for young ones.   Each page has one to four lines on it; just the right length for short attention spans.   What was surprising was how very clearly they conveyed the Bible stories with so few words.   The simplicity will definitely enable a small child to grasp and understand the story.

I particularly liked the book and chapter Bible references at the end of sentences that showed where in God Word the story was taken from.  This makes it easy for the parent to go directly the Bible read the complete story.

This would be a beautiful gift for a baby or young child.  A very nice addition to any young child’s “library”.

I received this book from Kregel Publications for my honest review.

 

To Love and Cherish by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

It is the late 19th century and Melinda Colson has lost both of her parents. Due to their debts and no inheritance, she is stripped of her wealthy and privileged lifestyle and thrown into being a common working lady’s maid. Mrs. Mifflin, once her equal now her employer is petty, selfish, and difficult. Melinda’s past experience as a socialite gives her great insight into the demands of Mrs. Mifflin. This causes her employer to greatly value her to the point she wants Melinda’s life to revolve around her alone.

During their winter excursion at a resort named Bridal Veil,  Melinda meets and falls in love with the assistant gamekeeper, Evan. She is sure he feels the same way about her. Evan is everything she wants in a husband, and his proposal for marriage cannot come soon enough. Her desire to be married and have her own home is exacerbated by her frustrating job with peevish Mrs. Mifflin.

Hoping he will ask her hand in marriage before they leave the island makes Melinda very anxious. She hints, flirts, and does everything in her power to persuade Evan to marry her. When he just doesn’t get it, she resorts to pouting and throwing fits. Poor Evan hasn’t a clue what he is doing wrong! Her time is unexpectedly shortened by Mrs. Mifflin’s decision to leave 2 weeks early to prepare for an important guest’s visit at home.

Shortly after their return home, a hurricane devastates the island.  She is terrified Evan is injured or dead. Impulsively she quits her job and hurries back to the Bridal Veil. She is positive now they will be married. . He truly wants to marry Melinda but is waiting on a promotion to make sure he can support her so she won’t have to work. When he explains this to her she is grows even more angry, arguing that she does not mind helping support their family. Their relationship continues to be strained and misunderstandings abound. Other events threatened to end their hopes of marriage completely.

I learned so many lessons in this book! Melinda was like  many women. They have the unrealistic expectation that the men in their life can read their minds! Instead of just saying what they want they hint and get mad when he doesn’t understand! Like most men, poor Evan truly did want to please her and couldn’t figure out what he was doing wrong. This causes needless tension in relationships when openness and honesty is all that is needed.

Melinda was a prime example of making plans and not waiting on the Lord. She wanted her way and she wanted it right away! She was lucky Evan was so patient with her impatience and immaturity. God’s timing is always right and we need to leave the “when” and “how” to Him.

The book also had many wonderful examples of not making assumptions on appearances. Melinda, Evan, and her brother Lawrence were all victims of circumstances making them look guilty when they were not. Tempers flared and judgments were rendered when they were innocent of any wrongdoing.  It is always best to seek out the truth before coming to any final conclusions.  We can’t always see the whole picture.

I found this to be a fun book with a surprise ending. I look forward to reading the first book and the third one to be published in January 2013.

I received this book free from the Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan

The title is telling the truth! You really can understand the religions of the world in 15 minutes a day and even less. As a Christian, I desire to be able to share my faith in Christ with all people. To do so I need to understand where they base their faith and what their beliefs are. I also want to respect their beliefs as I share mine.
I was able to get a basic over all view and not have to wade through lengthy books. The author has done all the hard work and research! Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism are covered in more than one chapter as their belief systems are much more complex to understand. I appreciate how understandable and easy to read the information is.
This book has common religions I was most familiar with and many I had never heard of. I did not even know that Jainism and Zoroastrianism existed! I even learned some interesting information about some of the ones thought I already knew about! From a Christian viewpoint, I was given not only their beliefs, but also their history, and how their faith is practiced. This book such a great resource! I only wish Mr. Morgan had written it years ago!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Ghee’s Hiney Honey

This is one of the BEST home remedies I have ever used for diaper rash. When I was a teenager I babysat for a neighbor and she always had me slather this on her boys bottoms before bedtime.  She said they NEVER got diaper rashes.  When my oldest was a baby and began to get rashes I called her and got the recipe.  It works! 

 I have shared it with so many moms that had children with severe rashes and were using the expensive mini tubes of prescription medication and even that wasn’t working!   I have seen in clear up bad rashes on my babies and grandbabies within a few applications.  I got it’s name from my oldest daughter.  When I was mixing it up for her first born she said, “Mom that’ looks like butter and honey mixed together!”  The name has stuck!

Be sure to use the name brands on these ingredients. I have tried the generic and it doesn’t seem to work as well.

Ghee’s Hiney Honey

1 part Vaseline

1 part A & D ointment

1 part zinc oxide

1 tube of lanolin

Mix all together well and store in a jar that has a lid.  This stuff lasts forever!  If you don’t want to measure just get the smallest container and tubes available in those brand.  The lanolin comes in a tiny tube and it a bit pricey but so worth it.  Especially when you look at how many applications you will be getting!

Each time you use it be sure to wash the area and pat dry before applying.  It can be used as a regular diaper change ointment if you like.  Do not rub it in, apply a thick coating.