What Is Your Bait?

Romans 4:2 (BSB), “Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?”

Matthew 4:19 (NIV), “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

If we look at these two scriptures it is clear that Jesus want us to be a witness to people. He wants out lives to be a shining example of the Father’s love and goodness. Why? Because people will see how kind and caring He is and want what we have… the love of a Father.

If we think a minute about fishing in the natural. We find out what fish like to eat and then we “bait” our hook or traps with it.

We don’t fish with a frying pan.

Neither can we “catch” converts by telling them they are sinners and treating them like they are sub-par to us (Christians).

The end of that fish may very well be the frying pan, yet we don’t show them one and expect them to want to get on the end of that hook. They are gonna run from us.

If we spout hell and damnation to the lost… yep, they’ll run.

The goodness of God turns hearts to Him. Is He good? You bet. Has He been good to you? Tell someone.

That folks is our bait.

False and Fragile Chains

A inspirational speaker a few months back reminded me of something about elephants in captivity used for entertainment (years ago, not sure if the practice is still used.) When the elephant calves are small they tie a chain around a hind leg and attach it to something solid that can’t be moved. Over the years the elephant learns that it can only go so far, before the chain stops them in their tracks. Eventually a small rope and a tent stake will hold this enormous animal in place, actually it’s the ingrained belief, not the fragile rope at all.

Why did this speaker, Jonathon Thomas, use this elephant story? To point out that what we think, how we train our minds, is very important.

For years, I suffered from anxiety. At one point it almost had me paralyzed. Like those elephants, I believed I could only go so far, with certain “safe people”, and lived a horrible life of fear and bondage. All of this happened while I was a born again Christian! Why did it last so long?

I think mostly because I had to change the way I thought and my expectations. Instead of believing made up lies of the enemy, I should have believed what God said. When I expected God’s best and quit expecting the worst, life got better. Once I sat through a dentist appointment with no pills and no anxiety, the next time wasn’t problem. When I could wait in line, sit in a crowded room, and manage a new situation without the sky falling or the ground swallowing me up, and without fainting or seemingly heart failure, I knew that God had my back.

Whenever feelings of anxiety try to come back, I rebuke them and quote His truth.

What fragile and false chains are holding you back?

Vacation Thoughts

We just got home last night from a ten day trip to Tennessee to visit some family. We are all getting old. We visited with a 90 year old aunt who is cared for by her daughter who is in poor health. They were sweet, spunky, and full of laughs. Then there was the uncle who has beginning Alzheimer’s who just had surgery. He was confused, in pain, and scared. His wife, with knee issues was so patient and caring. We stayed in the home of two cousins who visit us often in Wisconsin. They are some of the most generous people I know. People fed us, talked our ears off, loved on us and were happy to see us.

We were there for some “decoration day’s”, a day where the graves of loved ones are decorated with fake flowers. We visited the ashes of my father in law and the tombstone his Tennessee family put up for him. One of my favorite cousins was buried right next to him, with a spot waiting for his wife. We also participated in a graveside service in a Church cemetery where another cousin was buried years ago, two weeks before she was to be married. She was 19. Life is short.

Family is important. They remind us of where we came from and sometimes of where we are going.

For some of the family we visited, their faith was strong. Some were struggling.  None had given up hope. Hope in Jesus.

This trip was a reminder of how important it is to really know Him! He strengthens us, comforts us, heals us, and gives us hope of a better future.

Book Review for “Blink”- Fiction/Romance/Paranormal Mini-series

What the book is about: “Aria Grace has always been a rebel. Well… maybe more like a silent rebel. Okay, okay, perhaps that’s not really a thing. But still, she’s totally a rebel in her head. Until she meets gorgeous Wisdom and lets the rebel in her out to play. Then her world shatters, leaving Aria’s mind spinning and her heart aching. Maybe it was only a dream. A beautiful, fleeting dream. So fleeting, that if she blinked, she could fool herself into thinking it never happened. That he never happened. But Aria knows better. Wisdom was real. He had to be… right? Soon, Aria finds herself on the run, her life in danger, with no idea who she can trust. Wishing with all her heart she could just go back to dreaming. ”

About the author: 
C.B. Stone is sometimes called author, writer, or purveyor of stories. One might even dub her a yarn spinner, if you will. It’s very possible she might be considered just a little left of normal by most, but she’s cool with that. Really, she’s too busy avoiding normal to care.

On any given day, you might find Stone pounding away at a keyboard in sunny Florida, contemplating waves, contemplating life, and dreaming up more exciting stories to share with readers. Except Sunday’s of course. Sunday’s are God’s day, so you’ll often find her making her best “joyful noise” with her local church praise team.

When not pounding poor fingers to bloody nuggets and reinventing the definition of eye strain, C.B. Stone enjoys living it up, doing the family C.B. Stone is sometimes called author, writer, or purveyor of stories. One might even dub her a yarn spinner, if you will. It’s very possible she might be considered just a little left of normal by most, but she’s cool with that. Really, she’s too busy avoiding normal to care.

On any given day, you might find Stone pounding away at a keyboard in sunny Florida, contemplating waves, contemplating life, and dreaming up more exciting stories to share with readers. Except Sunday’s of course. Sunday’s are God’s day, so you’ll often find her making her best “joyful noise” with her local church praise team.

When not pounding poor fingers to bloody nuggets and reinventing the definition of eye strain, C.B. Stone enjoys living it up, doing the family thing, the kid thing, and the friend thing. And in her downtime, reading the minds of fans.

Also being invisible. Being invisible is fun.

My review: I received a copy of this book from Instafreebie with no obligation for a review. I am always looking for good dystopian fiction. This one didn’t disappoint, other than it is a series of short books. So fare this one ends in a cliff hanger. I am moving on to the next one right away. Good writing, good characters and you will go through a gamete of emotions in a few short chapters. Clean fiction, no swearing or sexual content. Load of suspense. I give it 4/5 stars and can recommend for teens and up.

Get your copy here

Come Home

Art work by Charlie Mackesy

Luke 15:20 (Berean Study Bible), “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still in the distance, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”

In Luke 15 we can read about a man that had two sons. The younger wanted his share of the inheritance before his father had passed. This can tell us a lot about this young man. Normally an inheritance isn’t given until there is a death. In those days the oldest son got a double portion and it is possible he resented this. People who dream of getting their inheritance early usually dream about losing the person early. But this man begs his dad to give it to him now. He was tired of working his father’s land, he was tired of being the second son, and he obviously didn’t respect his father.

The father, in his love, gives the son all that is due him. What does this selfish son do? He leaves everything behind, the work, the family, his social standing, his home. Then he proceeds to fulfill every lust of his flesh. When you have a lot of money, people suddenly want to be your friend. When you are “paying for the next round” or drive the fancy car with all the bells and whistles, when you throw your money around like it will never run out, people use you.

Before long, this young man who was always provided for, who had a family and a home, had an inheritance waiting, had absolutely nothing, and because he had run so far from it all, he found himself alone and starving.

Good thing he finally “came to his senses”. He remembers how good it was back home, he thinks about how his father even treated the servants pretty darn good. It took all of this for him to realize dad wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and his life was a whole lot better than it was at the end of the rope. He began to miss his old life and says to himself:

I will get up and go back to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ (Luke 15:18-19)

Then while he was way down the driveway his father sees him. That means dad’s been watching and he can recognize this son he loves from even very far away. Does he wait for the prodigal to come to him with his tail between his legs, rehearsing the “did you learn your lesson” speech? Nope, he runs to his son and kisses his neck. To this father, it’s like his son had returned from the dead.

What a love. I want that kind of father, don’t you? Well, it’s time we “came to our senses” as well. We have that Father. He recognizes us better than anyone, He is looking for us to come up the drive, He is ready to give us a party in Heaven. He loves us no matter how we have behaved, disrespected, and squandered what He has already given us. He loves you!

Won’t you come home?

Blog Tour for “Shatter”

What the book is about:

When a mysterious explosion kills her sister, Salem Jefferson becomes convinced the death was no accident—it was a conspiracy. But no one else at her high school believes her, and all she has so far is one clue. She knows Carrie hired a gang member to protect orchard workers. Problem is, Salem doesn’t know who.

To find out, Salem pursues the gang-bangers who rule her town, especially classmate Cordero. As her distrust of Cordero heats up, so do the number of suspects in Carrie’s death. Teachers and school officers are orchard owners. They have every reason to stop farm workers from demanding higher wages. With Carrie’s killers still out there, Salem’s not sure who she can trust. Meanwhile, the people who live on orchards and the people who pick them are drawing lines in the sand.

The only way for Salem to learn the truth is to slip behind those enemy lines.

The only way to survive is to find a way back out.

My Review: I loved this book. Salem can’t let anyone know what her gut is telling her. Everything is messed up and she doesn’t know who to trust. This is a good book about forgiveness, finding your identity, and friendship. I give it five stars. I loved it. No sexual content or swearing. There is some violence. I can recommend for teens and up.

About the Author: I live in Utah with five kids, a CrossFit-training husband who writes computer code, and lots of hip hop background music.

The Rest of The Tour: