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Letting Go (a Timeless Truths blog post)

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Letting go is never easy. Perhaps it’s even harder than keeping things the way they are. We get in our comfort zone … and then, when the time comes for us to leave, we find ourselves procrastinating and finding all kinds of good-sounding excuses why it’s better for us to stay than to leave. Unfortunately, this type of thinking just leaves us stuck … and stagnant. Too afraid to move forward and do something positive with our lives we end up staying where we are … and end up missing the growth and full potential our heavenly father would have us reach … for His glory. Ecclesiastes 3:1,6 (NIV) says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens … a time to keep and a time to throw away.” This timeless truth is easy to apply to certain areas of our lives … when it comes to making relatively easy decisions about what to keep and what to throw away for food in our refrigerators, for example, all we really need to do is look at the expiration date or (if we’re really brave) just smell that gallon of milk to see if it’s gone sour yet, or look at that piece of cheese to see if there’s any mold on it yet. Other decisions may be a little harder … such as what to keep and what to put in the yard sale your spouse insists on having … knowing that the time has come. How about even harder decisions … like making the choice to let go of a grudge and forgive the person who hurt you? Or making the choice to take a step of faith and follow the path God is leading you on … even when that path involves letting go of your own plans, your own dreams, and your own way of accomplishing things … trusting that God’s way is far better. Like I said, letting go is never easy … in Matthew 26:39 (NIV) we can see that even Jesus had to deal with this issue as we read, “he (Jesus) fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup (of having to go to the cross to be crucified) be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.’” So, today, whatever God may be laying on your heart to let go of … whatever it may be … follow Jesus’ example and come into agreement with the One who knows what’s best for you, personally, and say, “not my will, but yours be done … I let it go!”

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Law of Love (a Timeless Truths blog post)

courthouseThe law of love supersedes the law of man. Jesus himself showed this to be true when a leper came to him for healing in Mark chapter 1 verses 40-41. The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) reads, “Then a man with leprosy came to him and, on his knees, begged him, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched him. “I am willing,” he told him. “Be made clean.” In those days, people with leprosy were considered “unclean” and usually quarantined themselves away from others due to the law of Moses. This man, however, knew that Jesus could heal him and had no qualms about asking to be healed. In turn, Jesus responded to this man’s faith with love … effectively breaking through the barriers of society … miraculously healing the man, and showing us that nothing is greater … or more important … than love. Song of Songs 8:6-7 (NIV) says, “ … love is as strong as death … many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” So, with all the “laws of man” out there, don’t forget an even more important law – the law of love. Even Jesus, when asked what the greatest commandment was replied, “’Love the Lord your God … and the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37, 39 NIV). This timeless truth involves obeying the Holy Spirit as He leads and guides you in your interactions with others … even in a pandemic. It may mean you obey the “laws of man” by keeping social distance and wearing a face mask in public to protect others from potential harm … or it may mean something even more radical. It may mean heeding the Holy Spirit’s whisper to your heart if He’s prompting you to approach someone others may consider “unapproachable” … such as a broken person you may “happen” to see crying off to the side … away from others … crying because they feel discouraged by the many rules and regulations out there that have turned them into a virtual hermit feeling like nobody cares how alone they feel … until you courageously approach them with the healing words of encouragement they so desperately need to hear to keep pressing on for yet one more day. If you’ve truly heard from God and truly obeyed His direction, you may just find yourself in the middle of God performing a miracle through you … perhaps even saving someone’s life … simply because you chose to obey the law of love above all else … believing nothing is more important.

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Safe (a Timeless Truths blog post)

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Fear is becoming more and more widespread as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Everywhere you turn, it seems, someone or something is trying to influence you to fear. Safety has become our #1 concern. What can we do to protect ourselves? What can we do to be safe? The answers are varied … wearing masks, washing our hands, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces … the list could go on and on. In this day and age, it’s important to know how to be safe … not just physically, but mentally as well. Our minds can play tricks with us … fear of the unknown can cause our mental state to spiral out of control … and fear of other people’s opinions can be just as damaging. When we let others opinions of us dictate how we live our lives we are, in reality, giving in to fear … we are, in reality, allowing it to be a “snare” that ends up controlling us. Proverbs 29:25 (NIV) says, “ Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” This means if someone gives you a hard time for obeying what the Lord has put on your heart to do, you will need to exercise faith and humbly trust that the Lord knows what’s best for you, personally … even if it means you’re “different” than those around you. For example, say you’re in your living room watching a church service live stream on YouTube and the worship team is singing and you feel the urge to raise your hands in praise to the Lord … right there in your living room with your husband or wife who is not a Christian in the adjacent room where they can see you and you know they may not “approve” of your behavior … right at that moment, you have a choice to make … are you going to allow that other person (as much as you love them) to be a “snare” to you … are you going to allow the fear of their opinion control your actions? Or are you going to humbly trust that you will be “safe” as you trust the Lord that everything really will be okay as you go ahead and raise your hands in praise to Him … trusting that, perhaps, your unsaved spouse may just be watching you to see how serious you really are about your faith and about expressing your love and praise to God … no matter who is watching. Perhaps, as you take that step of faith, they may even choose to come into the room and see what all the fuss is about … and they may even get encouraged to begin their own relationship with the Lord that night as well … and all it may have taken was for you to not allow fear to win. I could give many more examples, but you get the idea. When you allow God to direct your path (rather than people’s opinions) you will always be kept safe spiritually. But what if I still feel afraid you may ask? Well, 1 John 4:18 (NIV) is your solution. It says, “ … perfect love drives out fear …” When you stay close to God, you stay close to His love … and His love will drive out any fear you may feel as you trust in Him and keep your eyes on Him rather than on other people’s (real or imagined) opinions of you. Psalm 25:3 (NIV) gives even further encouragement as it declares, “No one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame.” So, today, don’t allow fear of man to be a snare, instead, trust in the Lord and you will be kept safe.

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FREE E-BOOK My Journey with God Today only (April 14th) and New Blog Feature coming soon!

 

 

pic of me reading 2020 Want to hear a true story from my book,             My Journey with God? Listen to this video (only on my Author Ann Marshall Facebook page)!

https://www.facebook.com/authorannmarshall/?ref=bookmarks

And don’t forget to download the FREE e-book version on amazon.com TODAY ONLY (TUES. APR.14TH) !!! (See link below)

COMING SOON>>>>>>>>>>>>

NEW FEATURE ON MY BLOG: (right here at https://relatetomestories.com)

STARTING THIS WEEK: TIMELESS TRUTHS: a once-a-week blog post similar to a devotion (usually posted on Thursday’s)😃

 

 

Courage over Corona

https://www.facebook.com/cchurch11a/videos/611221929432695          

Be encouraged!!!

got life?

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Can you relate to Trevor?  Has something happened in your life that’s left you feeling angry, bitter, and resentful?  Something that’s left you feeling like giving up on life?  Do you want to find out what happened with Trevor that caused him to have a complete turnaround … a complete new life?                     Then this book is for you!

 

Note: (Even though this is Book 2 of a series it can still be read on its own)

 

Free for a limited time!!!

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Click on link to download your copy today:  https://www.amazon.com/My-Journey-God-Ann-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00IKTUFW6/ref

 

 

FREE E-BOOK AUG. 3-7, 2018

Hidden_Love_Cover_for_Kindle (2)

FREE E-BOOK AUGUST 3, 2018 TO AUGUST 7, 2018

Take advantage of this special offer while you can … download your free copy of Hidden Love for a limited time only!

Clicking on the following link or going to amazon.com will get you where you need to be:  https://www.amazon.com/Ann-Marshall/e/B00ILC8PSI

Also go to Book Descriptions and Story Excerpts on my website at http://www.relatetomestories.com to read a full description and a sample of this clean Christian romance book!

 

Behind-the-Scenes

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The Making of My Journey With God

Everything we go through in life involves a process. For me, just to begin the process of writing my first book took a while as there were many things I needed to work through before I could actually jot down the first word.

I had to be spiritually mature enough to really and truly know (by experience) the truth of what I was saying – that way, I could write out of heart knowledge (not merely head knowledge) since I’d actually experienced what I wrote about first-hand.

In addition, once I was finally ready to write, I had to learn and apply the lessons God taught me about freedom, boundaries, responsibility, and thinking correctly.

In His mercy, when I was at the beginning stages of writing my very first book (My Journey With God) God gave me a revelation. I hadn’t known how God wanted me to do it – how He wanted me to put it together (like all the details about whether to put it in poems or some other format).

Then, I thought of my writing (of building a book) comparable to building a cake. I thought of the round yellow cake plate I had that I’d put a round cake on and the cover that went over it. I thought that the boundaries I had to work within were the parameters – whatever cake I made had to be the size that would fit within the round yellow cake plate (so it would have to be round and fit in there). Then, the height of the cake could only be so tall as it would have to fit under the cover that went with the cake plate (that was another parameter/boundary that I’d have to stay within). But, after that I had freedom.

I had freedom to choose what flavor cake I could make. The only parameter there was that it had to be sweet (not bitter). But it was my choice of flavor and I could choose the frosting and the decorations of how I wanted the outside of the cake to look (assuming I should make it look good also so it would be appealing to whoever was going to eat it).

So, I had the freedom to be myself and express myself (and even be unique as I created and built the cake and how it all looked and all came together – basically for others to enjoy – and all using my freedom responsibly – staying within certain parameters and certain guidelines.)

As I came to realize, it was like God showed me how my building a book was like the example of building a cake. I had to stay within certain parameters and guidelines as I built the book. I had to physically have the book fit within the borders guidelines of the printing company I was using (for margins, page size, book size, page count, submission requirements, etc.) however, within those borders I could be free to create and free to choose and free to be myself in whatever I created – all within the borders and parameters that God had given to me, personally.

For example, the inside of the book (like the inside of the cake) must be sweet (not bitter) – it must say words that honored God. So, in my freedom to choose the content of what I wrote (the words), my parameter/boundaries were that the words must honor God – but it was like God let me know He trusted me to do so.

I felt so humbled and even cried at the thought that He actually trusted me to make the actual decisions about what to put in the book (for words especially). It’s like He gave me the sense that He was letting me choose – like I could choose the flavor … and there was no wrong flavor.

I realized that I didn’t need to ask Him every two seconds if I should write this or that – or if I should make it as poetry or whatever – I didn’t have to ask Him all the details and didn’t have to have it all figured out ahead of time – it was sort of like all I needed to do was just start writing and trust that the Holy Spirit would continue to lead me and guide me in the decisions that I made (by me having a sense that it was “right”). So, really, it was going to have to be by faith – something not tangible – believing in something I couldn’t see, feel, taste, or touch – believing in that – above believing in the fear that I was doing something “wrong”.

So, I needed to think of building my book like building a cake. I sort of needed to pretend I was a humble child creating the book for my Abba Father – to honor Him, to show Him to be sweet to the world (not bitter) – to sort of be His ambassador to make the cake/book appeal to whomever God (by His Holy Spirit) wanted to draw towards Himself to “eat of it”. And I had to do all of that in a way that expressed myself in who God had created me, personally, to be – so I could spread His light through the cracks and flaws of my “under-construction” life – as the world needed the exact amount and type of light that I, personally, reflected as I allowed myself the freedom to be “me” – the unique person God Himself had created me to be – for His glory.

So, as I continued to go through the process of learning these lessons, I courageously chose to share the stories you will find as you read My Journey With God – a memoir of my life that highlights the various ways God has shown His love to me, personally, in my relationship with Him.

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