Monday, March 18, 2013


This is a stagnant site as of April 1, 2013, pending possible re-publication of new editions of books at a later date.

Please enjoy the past posts under each of the Tabs! Thanks for visiting.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

(Contact info in right-hand column is still valid.)
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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Jewish Holiday Purim: Queen Esther Stood for "Such A Time As This"

I'm writing this on the eve of the Jewish holiday, Purim (poo’rim). If you’re familiar with the Old Testament, you’ll know that this began in the book of Esther. It recounts events that occurred during the reign of the Persian King Xerxes (486 to 465 B.C.). Xerxes is also known in the Bible as Ahasuerus.

Esther was an exceptionally beautiful commoner selected by Xerxes to be his new queen, after Queen Vashti defied him. Unbeknown to the king, the beautiful Esther was also Jewish.

Esther's cousin Mordecai found out about a plot by the commander of the king's army, Haman, to kill all the Jews in the country. He asks Esther to go and plead with the king to overturn this order.

Going before the king without an invitation could mean punishment by death, even to his own wife. But Mordecai tells her, “Who knows but that you were born for such a time as this?”
And Esther answers, “…I will go to the king even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:14). She was the only person God had placed in a position to bargain for this. Besides, if they did kill all the Jews, she herself would not be spared if her Jewish faith and heritage was found out.

Before approaching the throne, Esther fasts and prays for three days. Mordecai has all the Jewish people in their region do the same. In the end, Esther succeeds far beyond her own expectations: Not only does the King rescind Haman’s order to kill the Jews, but has the scheming Haman hanged on the scaffold originally prepared for Mordecai. Xerxes also elevates Mordecai to a place of respect in the King’s palace, because Esther credits her cousin with the discovery of the plot.

From that day to this, the Jewish people celebrate Esther’s victory with great feasts and joyfulness. Purim usually falls in late February or early March.

Although this historic event was a triumph of good over evil, it should remind us of the seriousness of anti-Semitism, which we haven't been able to eradicate to this day – and to the growth of persecution against Christians which is costing lives around the world where there is hatred of Christianity.
The time is coming when, if unprepared in our Bible knowledge and belief, American Christians and Jewish believers may be in for a shock when our persecution goes beyond mere angry words and vandalism of property.

Every day we're seeing new affronts to scriptural faith in the name of “diversity” which is anything but: It's the new tolerance being intolerant of anything biblical and God-driven in favor of atheism and most importantly, certain other Middle Eastern beliefs running contrary to God’s Word. Christians in other countries are forfeiting their lives today in large numbers.
But rather than being alarmed and scared, we must remember Jesus’ words in Luke 21:12-20:

“…They will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them"...

(An opportunity to share the saving grace of Jesus!)

..."But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish.By standing firm you will gain life.

20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near." (NIV)

Sound familiar? Let’s not appear scared to the world, but confident in the fact that all these things must take place before Jesus returns. That will make us like Esther - good examples and standing strong "For Such a Time as This."

If you'd like to know more about the Jewish People, order my book in the right hand column, What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People at Amazon or Wine Press.

Queen Esther depiction by Edwin Long (1829-1891) found in Public Domain at Wikimedia Commons.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How Will You View True "Success" in 2013?

How will you view “success” in 2013? The “American Dream” is slipping away for more and more people due to financial challenges, job loss and new government regulations. Others want to get famous quickly by pasting themselves all over YouTube or auditioning for “reality TV.” Still more are wondering when their 15 minutes will come while being confused over what to do to achieve it.

But I’m more convinced than ever that we can’t obsess over what society considers personal “success” while our country is in such turmoil and God is being more fervently rejected every day. It's time to make a choice: Are we going to be self-absorbed, or will we show the Lord that we’re willing to work at bringing light into the darkness and more people into His family?   

"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." Matthew 5:16, KJV 
In the last couple of years, I've spotlighted other self-published or small-press Christian authors over in my “Authors Corner” tab at this blog (check them out here!), but it was recently brought to my attention that I never blogged about my own 2011 book, which is all about the topic of this post – SUCCESS… not fame or fortune, but being successful in building, maintaining, and improving a personal relationship with God.

In “God, Am I Nobody?” I use a little sermonette by a 19th century missionary, Hudson Taylor. Taylor calls Christians to fully devote themselves to accepting God’s will for their lives, and acting on that call. But I don’t really tell how I found Taylor’s piece, and how deeply it affected me.
At a point in my life that I began to have a huge pity party about not feeling “successful” in certain areas I had always dreamed of, I brushed against a shelf at a Christian bookstore and a book tumbled to the floor. It opened to the page with Hudson Taylor’s message. Really, it did!! This turned my whole life around and I finally learned how to commit myself to giving glory to God for all I did instead of desiring personal recognition.

Lessons from my comparisons of Taylor’s words to God’s Word are contained in the simple 17-day devotional along with ways they can apply to our lives today. More information, and how to order, can be seen in the immediate right-hand column, Sheryl's Books.

It’s hard to “promote” a book about not wanting worldly success over God’s will! So instead here are the latest 2013 reviews, and I’ll let these talented book reviewers tell you about it. Previous wonderful reviews (thank goodness!) can also be seen at the links to Amazon and the publisher.

(Reviews were unsolicited.)

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