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What Are Your Credentials?

January 8, 2018 2 comments

credibility Credibility. Politicians fake it. Pundits announce it. Actors crave it. Businesses sell it. However, when it comes right down to it, no one does credibility like God does credibility.

I was just about to finish up an interview with a book website about my Titus Ray Thriller series, when I was asked, “What are your credentials to write this series?” The question stumped me for a minute. Were they asking about my experience as a writer? Were they questioning my knowledge of the subject? Were they just wondering if I had enough creativity to write a series of books?

In the end, I answered the question by referring  to the premise of the series and how my main character was growing in his faith while working as a covert operative. I decided not to make the case for my own credentials because, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure I could do that.

God, on the other hand, can always do that. He has the credibility. When God comes to the prophet Jeremiah to give him His message to the people of Israel in Jeremiah 33:2, He says, “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name.” On what basis does God come to the prophet? He comes as THE ONE who made the earth.

Those are pretty good credentials. In fact, they’re GLORIOUS. The God who created the world around us, the universe and all that’s in it, from the smallest particle to the biggest galaxy, is someone who has credentials. And this is what our God tells Jeremiah to do in Jeremiah 33:4: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

With credentials like that, why wouldn’t we?

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Who’s in Charge?

September 20, 2017 2 comments

In ChargeAs I was viewing posts on a writer’s site describing the results of methods used to advertise a new book’s release, I ran into a common theme–frustration and discouragement.

Some authors lamented their publishers weren’t being aggressive enough in advertising their latest release. Others felt their own methods had failed to generate sufficient sales. Yet, both were engaged in time-tested efforts book publishers usually employed to market books, getting them in the hands–and, thus, the hearts–of readers.

Since all my spy novels are in the Christian fiction category, what interested me most about these posts were comments by Christian authors. Several of them posted they had felt led of the Lord to write their book, yet many posted they weren’t happy about they way the  book was selling. Did that mean they felt He wasn’t in command of how their book was selling, even though God had been in charge of writing their book?

Sometimes, when it appears God is leading us in one direction and we commit to that course of action, the results are not what we anticipated. We expected success, and we experienced failure–or, at least, less than successful results.

I believe this is a common misconception when it comes to feeling led of the Lord to do something.

Just because I felt led of the Lord to initiate a project, support a cause, or engage in some personal pursuit, and His hand was on me in the doing of it, that doesn’t mean, when it comes to the results, I’m suddenly in charge.

God is still in charge when it comes to all outcomes–not me and not you. Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

This is a common theme throughout the Scriptures, but as self-sufficient, self-determining human beings, we failed to remember or perhaps just refuse to heed, what the Lord is saying to us on the subject of who’s in charge.

Isaiah 55:8-11, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways . . . it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

What are your plans today? Will God be responsible for the results or will you decide to assign the blame–or maybe even the credit–to yourself?

Words That Say Think, Meditate, Contemplate This

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I love reading, probably go through a couple of fiction books a week, digest several chapters from a variety of books in preparation for the weekly Bible study I teach, and browse/surf countless webpages for research and entertainment.  Rising up from off the pages like signposts on a stretch of desert highway, some phrases catch my eye, make me strain to discern exactly how these words stir my soul, make me pause, cause me to catch my breath for just a second.  Here are a few from this week’s reading:

“Joy is not the absence of pain, but the presence of God.” –Teilhard de Chardin (quoted by Ron Dunn in his book When Heaven Is Silent.)  These words seemed to leap straight from the page to my heart because I was hurting for someone, feeling their pain, and their pain had become my pain, and I wanted to be rid of the pain, to regain my joy. No need to do that, though, I was reminded by this thought.  His presence was with me and this is my joy forevermore, even in my pain.

Jonathan Edwards wrote on our being satisfied with God :  “God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of Him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.”  Is this how I think about God?  Do I find enjoyment in Him?  Joy comes, I think, as a response to something I am experiencing.  Say, for instance, I am reading to my grandkids and they are delighting in the story and we are laughing and joking about the characters.  I’m enjoying this experience.  It gives me joy.  I believe we enjoy God in the same way, though it is far better than this earthly joy.  The more often we share His words together, the more often we talk together, the more enjoyment I find in Him and my soul is indeed satisfied in Him.

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