Saturday, April 11, 2015

Johnnie Alexander shares a devotional from Romans 2:7 and a peek at her book...

We're happy to have Johnnie Alexander with us today sharing a devotional and talking about her book Where Treasure Hides. She's been gracious enough to provide a link for those of you who'd like to read the first chapter. Purchase links are at the bottom, also. I love the cover. It's gorgeous! So WWII!

Romans 2:7 reads: “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (ESV).

It’d been one of those weeks—tiring, stressful, too much to do in too few hours. So I wasn’t too excited when the day’s reading, according to the YouVersion Bible plan I’m using, was Romans 2.

A chapter I’ve read dozens if not hundreds of times before.

But it’s when we least expect it and most need it that God’s familiar Word pops with something new. It only took a moment for my heart to respond to a very short phrase in verse 7: patience in well-doing.

Initial Response: Frustration
I’m not doing a lot for God’s kingdom these days. Guilt presses against my shoulders because I’m not teaching a Sunday School class or feeding the homeless or planning a missions trip or filling my calendar with a myriad of activities that will show the world what a committed, devoted, devout Christian I am.

Because filling our calendars is what we do.

At least it’s what I did in earlier seasons of my life.

And Then: Curiosity
Patience in doing well.

My heart responded to that phrase for a reason, so I did what I often do at such times.
Research!

I booted up my laptop and paid a visit to the Blue Letter Bible website. Here’s what I found:

The Greek word, hypomonē, translated patience, can mean “the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose” despite trials and sufferings.

Two Greek words form our English well-doing. The first, agathos, means excellent and upright. The second, ergon, means employment, undertaking, the idea of working.

The phrase patience in doing well could be translated as deliberately perform tasks with excellence.

So what is my deliberate purpose? What are the tasks I should be performing with excellence?

Finally: Peace
After studying the phrase, I wrote three things in my journal, and none of them have anything to do with my local church.

The list consists of three things God has given me to do in this season of my life—days when I’m living far away from home, friends, and my children. My deliberate purpose is to:

       * care for my mom;
* write my next novel; and
* fulfill obligations I’ve made.

In the rest of Romans 2:7, God promises to reward our steadfast efforts to perform our deliberate purposes with excellence.

That purpose may be to teach a Sunday School class, feed the homeless, go on a mission trip, or even to fill our calendar with a myriad of activities. Or our purpose may be more confined to very particular needs and tasks.

Please don’t misread my heart. Church activities are vitally important, and at one time, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Bible studies were a major part of my life. Right now, though, I’m still finding my place in a new community. Perhaps once I do, my calendar will fill up again.

And Now: Your Turn
Your deliberate purpose will be different than mine. You may be involved in an exciting range of activities, or perhaps you, too, are in a quieter season. If you’d like to share, please do.

My prayer is that we are steadfast in performing our purposes with excellence so that God is given the honor and the glory.

(Note: The Greek terms and definitions can be found at http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G18&t=KJV.)


 K. Dawn here....Thanks for the, devotional, Johnnie! And now a little info about Johnnie's book, Where Treasure Hides. 

Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life.

Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow.

As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?

Link to Chapter One:

Purchase links:
Where Treasure Hides is currently available as an ebook. The print edition releases August 2015.

Amazon:



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review of the movie "Do You Believe?"


I took my 13 year old niece to see the movie, "Do You Believe?" earlier in the week. I'm not a huge fan of watching movies in the theater because I like to wait on movies to be released on DVD so I can get comfy in home in my PJs with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of Ginger Ale. I've had a change in the way I think about Christian-based movies lately and that is...if we don't support them, they're going to be gone. I'll gladly spend my money to support Christian-based movies because I want the production companies that make them to remain in business to they'll continue to give us good, clean faith-based films.

If you choose to watch "Do You Believe?" in the theater, take your tissues! We cried though about a third of the movie. The message is tremendous. If you have an unsaved family member or friend, ask them to if they'd like to go watch a movie with you. I can see this movie changing lives. I absolutely loved it and will buy it when it comes out on DVD and watch it again.

Movie Synopsis:
A dozen different souls - all moving in different directions, all longing for something more. As their lives unexpectedly intersect, they each are about to discover there is power in the Cross of Christ - even if they don't believe it. Yet.
When a local pastor is shaken to the core by the visible faith of an old street-corner preacher, he is reminded that true belief always requires action. His response ignites a faith-fueled journey that powerfully impacts everyone it touches in ways that only God could orchestrate.

Have you seen it? Did you like it? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought. Click below to watch the movie trailer.