Battlerama is Live!

Battlerama Super Tweens To The Rescue is now live on http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M.-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ!  Read and Enjoy!  Don’t forget the review!ST

Believe When You Ask!

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6,7 NIV).

One of the reasons that many people do not get a chance to see their prayers answered is because when they ask God for something, they really don’t have the faith to receive. How do we know that we lack faith to receive?  When we doubt, “if it be possible Lord…”  With God, all things are possible so why would we hinder God by not believing His Word?  When we keep asking for the same thing over and over again, we demonstrate that either we don’t believe He heard us or He might forget.  God hears and answers prayer.  The answer may not be what we expected, but He does not ignore us. “A delayed response is not a denial” to our request.  Sometimes, we are not ready to receive the abundance He has to give us and so He waits until we are.

Don’t complain and become bitter when prayers are not answered instantly.  Wait! The answer is coming.  Don’t doubt!  The Word says that when we doubt we are “double-minded” and we can expect to receive “absolutely nothing” from Him.

When we ask, we must believe that He hears and He will respond–not necessarily when we  want Him to respond, but He is always on time (His timing). When we ask, we must keep thanking Him for what we have asked until we see it come to pass.  Our thanks to Him before we see the answer demonstrates our faith, not our doubt.

Don’t let the enemy deceive you into thinking God doesn’t care about you.  He does and when you ask, in Jesus’ name, He is obligated to respond to any prayer that aligns with His Word.  “God is not a man that He should lie.”  Believe when you ask and watch how God works!

I am so confident that I will see 1 million copies of my books sold on http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M.-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ that I keep praising Him, daily for His goodness, mercy, and favor in touching the hearts of 1 million plus readers.  Hallelujah!  He is just that Good!

Excerpt 2–“Battlerama! Super Tweens To The Rescue!”

After seeing the hopelessness, they turned inward to their new-found home and created a circle and meditated.  Modsi saw them moving forward, but not away from where they were.  They now had to think about the best way to find a way to stop Loftus.

Noissa started speaking in a quiet voice.  “We know he feeds upon fear and doubt.  We also know he hates with a passionate all who dare to care.”

Modsi responded, “That’s true, but we also have to consider the power he harnesses from those who hate.  That’s why we have to stop him and soon.  If he creates enough situations for people to hate, he’ll infuse their hate with his and have more power than we do.  He has to be stopped and soon. We cannot do it by ourselves; he has already gained too much ground.  We must find fearless ones to train in order to stop him.”

Ytirge joined in, “The only fearless ones are those who have not had an opportunity to learn fear.  We must seek those first and inspire others later. Think, Modsi, where do we find fearless ones?”

Modsi thought for a moment and the only ones she knew about would be children who had not been taught to fear.  “We must find children, wherever they may be and choose the right ones to train.”

“How will we know them when we find them?” Ytirge asked.

“Think,” Noissa said.  “Think!”

As they huddled in their circle, the vision became clearer.  All over the world were children who had not yet known fear.  Some knew anger, but they could be trained under the right conditions and right now, The Wisteria didn’t have time to be choosey. They decided to watch the children in action for a day and then make a decision.  They knew they had to make the right decision the first time because they would not get a second try.

 

Available soon on Amazon.com!  Book trailer available now on YouTube–“Battlerama Bk Trailer”

Excerpt from “Battlerama–Super Tweens To The Rescue!”

Although the attack had been planned for months, it did not last long.  Loftus thought he had it made with his band of warriors, but he did not count on those who had been chosen and filled with wisdom and knowledge—The Wisteria were worthy opponents. The air was electric and the only sounds that could be heard were the thunderous roars of the clashing rivals and the lightning flashes hurtling through the stars as though comets were being born by the minute. This was a battle he could not win. With all the weapons he had at his disposal, they were of no use to him and soon after the scheduled attack, he and his mercenaries were driven back—so far back they fell through a black hole that opened beneath them and the only thing that anyone could hear was their terrified screams—screams that echoed to far reaching places that eventually subsided as they fell further away into another dimension.

 

Coming soon and available on amazon.com!  Book Trailer on YouTube–“Battlerama Bk Trailer”

When The Lord Stands With Us!

“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth” (2 Timothy 4:17 NIV).

When The Lord stands with us, He gives us strength to do what must be done.  In this passage of scripture, Paul tells Timothy that while the Gospel was being preached, Paul knew the Lord was with Him and that knowledge gave him the strength and courage he needed to preach to the unbelieving.  If God stood with Paul, will He not stand with us, when we do as are told to do?

I am convinced that even though there are many people who would shun listening to the Gospel message, and there is evidence on a daily basis that many will attempt to refute, if I stand firm in the knowledge that the Lord is with me, I can preach the Gospel and convince others to believe without worrying about the end result.

Some people are afraid to preach the Gospel message (without compromising it) for fear that they will lose friends or people will laugh at them.  People laughed at Jesus; they refuted His attempts to get them to understand that He was the Son of God.  I’d rather be in the company of Jesus than those who would oppose Him.

Perhaps, it is because of my nature that I have never really been concerned about what people thought of me.  I know this attitude helped me to overcome the negativity of being a female preacher in many circles.  I know this attitude helped me to overcome the indifference of many who thought I was crazy to go back to school and begin teaching in public schools at 50 years old.  I know this attitude helped me to overcome the “hems and haws” when I first started writing (seriously) at a late stage in my life.  How did I overcome?  I know the Lord was with me and I was strengthened by the knowledge that He would never leave me or forsake me.  I knew that as long as I was doing what He had either asked me to do or given me permission to do that everything was going to be all right. It is because I knew then and know now, when The Lord stands with me, I can do all things above and beyond my finite expectations and if I can, so can anyone else who believes He will.

Do all things that glorify Him with Him standing by your side and you will be victorious!

Deceptive Storms “Live”

Deceptive Storms is now available on amazon.com.  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M.-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ  If you enjoyed the excerpts, you’ll love the book.storm cvr

Deceptive Storms Excerpt 6

When Paul finished talking to the principal, he left his car in the school’s parking lot and decided to take a stroll around the building.  He checked every nook and crevice he thought a student could hide, but he couldn’t find Vernon.  He finally went back to his car and drove towards the bridge where he knew all sorts of things took place.  Sure enough, he spotted Vernon talking with a guy who looked pretty seedy; he sat in the car watching and then decided to take a picture when he saw them make an exchange.   When Paul got out of his car, the guy he didn’t know ran in the other direction.  Vernon looked up to see why the guy ran and saw Paul and readied himself for the lecture, he knew was coming.

“Vernon!  Hold on a minute!  I’ve been looking for you,” Paul told him.

“Yeah, well you found me.  What up?”

“I was just at the school making arrangements for an assembly and I wanted to ask you and some other young people to participate.  I got a chance to talk to Ronald and Stephanie last night, but you left before I could get to you.  So, how about it? Would you be interested in participating?”

“Nah.  I ain’t got time for that assembly crap.  That’s for the nerds—Ronald and Stephanie would be perfect.”

By now Paul was standing directly in front of him and looked at him closely.   Vernon’s eyes were glassy and red.  He refused to look directly at Paul and kept fingering something in his pocket.

“Okay, Vernon.  Since when did a school assembly classify as “crap” and why do you call Ronald and Stephanie nerds?  I thought you all were friends.”

“We was, but you know, things change,” Vernon responded sullenly.  “I don’t need no assembly in school trying to tell me anything.  Those things are always so lame.”

“Look at me, Vernon.  Look at me!” He was close enough to Vernon to reach out and grab him, but he didn’t.  “What is going on with you?  You’re skipping school, your grades are failing, and you’re standing here high as a helium-filled balloon.”

“Man, I don’t know what you talking about,” Vernon started, but Paul interrupted him.

“Don’t even try to deny it.  I know the symptoms and signs.  Working at the rehab center with kids for the last nine years has taught me a great deal.  I do know how to recognize the signs when someone is using.  So, what are you using?  And like I said, don’t try to deny it.”

Vernon gave him a dirty look and then shrugged his shoulders.  “What’s it to you?  I ain’t bothering you none?”

“What…are…you…using?” Paul repeated, firmly stating each word.

“Okay, okay!  It’s no big deal.  I’m just smoking a little weed, that’s all!” Vernon shouted, angrily.  “Man, get off my back, you not my father.”

“No, I’m not your father.  I came looking for you because I wanted to talk to you before I talked to your father.  And the weed—it is a big deal.  I almost lost my life after smoking some weed—my little indiscretion cost my parents a fortune and me a scholarship.  So, don’t tell me, ‘a little weed is no big deal’.  Any weed at all is a big deal, the sale and use of it is illegal and you are too young to get strung out on it.” He watched him fidgeting with his hand in his pocket.  “What’s in your pocket that has you more interested in it than in what I’m saying?”

“Ain’t none of your business what’s in my pocket!”  Vernon pulled his hand out of his pocket and was clenching his fist.

“Oh, I’m making it my business.  And what’s next…?—I see your balled up fist.  You think you can take me on?”  Now, Paul did grab Vernon by his collar, pushing him back against the pillar of the bridge.

Vernon was choking and couldn’t breathe and he tried to pry Paul’s hands from around his neck, but couldn’t.  Paul relaxed his hold on him, but didn’t completely let him go.

“Now, I’ll ask you again. What’s in your pocket?”

“Come on man.  I told you.  A little weed,” Vernon wheezed his response.

“Pull it out your pocket!”

Vernon hesitated and Paul tightened his grip.

“Okay, okay, here!” Vernon held up the bag in his hand.  What he had was not “a little weed, but enough for him to sell and make some serious money.

Paul let Vernon go and snatched the bag out of his hand. When he opened it, he discovered 15 tiny zip-lock packets of weed.  He was still blocking Vernon’s escape so he just looked at him disgustedly.

“Do you know how you’re messing up your life with this garbage? Do you?  I should just throw it in the river, but I really wouldn’t want to destroy the fish.  Not like you’re destroying your life.  And your father—what would he say about this?”

“Man, leave my father out of this.  He’s got enough problems of his own.”

“Vernon, I can’t leave your father out of this.  He has to be told.  Now the question is—who’s going to tell him, me or you?”

“I ain’t telling him nothing and he won’t believe you!”

“He will when I provide him with the evidence.  I took a picture of you and the guy that ran off.  Just what do you think he’ll make of that?”

Now, Vernon was scared.  With his father’s temper and all of that secret stuff going on with him, he knew he was in trouble, but his immaturity and lack of real bravado wouldn’t let him back down.

“Go ahead!  Tell him.  Show him all the pictures you want to.  He’ll listen to me and then blame everything on you.  Try him!”

Deceptive Storms Excerpt 4

Paul Anderson, the greatest athlete known in the community high school, had been awarded all sorts of scholarships to college and had many offers from various colleges.  It was the spring just before he graduated that things fell apart.  He and some of his buddies had been out celebrating their impending graduation and all of their accomplishments in high school.  When someone pulled out a joint, at first Paul refused—thinking about all he had ahead of him.  After a while, someone dared him to take a drag.  Never one to resist a dare, he accepted the joint and inhaled deeply, sputtering as he coughed.  The other guys laughed at him, but his eyes were smarting and his lungs burning.  He didn’t see anything funny.  The longer he sat, watching them pass the joint, the calmer he became until he finally took another hit.  This time, he didn’t sputter or cough, he just sat back and grinned stupidly.  By the time he got ready to go home, he couldn’t focus.  The world seemed to be moving faster than he was and he was trying to catch up.  He heard laughter faintly, but he couldn’t see who was laughing.  They all appeared to be far away. Finally, he heard someone say, “we gotta take him home.  He can’t drive like that.”  Unfortunately, they didn’t move fast enough. Paul had walked out the door, keys in-hand.  He struggled to get into the car and to get the door open, but he finally got the car started and headed home.  That’s all he remembered of that fateful night.

When he woke up two months later, he discovered that he had totaled his car and had been in a coma for the last two months.  Doctors confirmed the drugs in his system and he was ticketed for that and his license was suspended since he had a probationary license.    Once he woke up from the coma, he was in rehab for another month, learning to walk all over again.  While there, he experienced first-hand what drugs and alcohol could do to a person and to their families.  There were a number of addicted teens in the rehab, struggling to overcome—their addictions and their family’s disappointments.  While he could sympathize with their plights, he had to deal with his own.  His family wasn’t rich and they incurred an enormous hospital bill for his care and their car insurance rates when through the roof.  He was able to graduate with his classmates, but college had to wait because of the publicized accident and the drugs in his system, scholarships were revoked as were offers from the colleges.

He spent a few months in a wheelchair and suffered the agony of watching his parents, deal with his situation.  They didn’t say anything-nothing, and that made it all worse.  He would have understood if they had yelled or screamed at him or even beat him, but they said nothing.  They just looked at him and shook their heads, sadly.  Of course they were glad he was alive, but the thought that their son was on drugs devastated them.  It took him a long time to earn their trust.  But he did.  He never forgot that night and how easily a person could slip into dark behavior.  Fortunately, his disability was not permanent.  With constant therapy and a determination to overcome, he did.  He worked to put himself through college and never again, took life for granted, grateful for the second chance he’d been given; especially after he saw the damage to his car.  Only a miracle kept him from being killed.

Working to pay for college was a blessing and one he took to heart.  He ended up working for the rehab center where he had been a patient.  He understood the struggles, the temptations, and the desire to get out from under.  His preference was to work specifically with teenagers who were addicted to drugs. He thought that he could better relate to them and when he made a change—to live for Jesus—nothing could convince him otherwise.  Most of the young people were able to relate to him, but then there were a few who thought he was just too straight-laced to understand them.  No matter what he did, he couldn’t get through to these few, but thankfully, there were more he reached than not.

It was his work with teens at the rehab center that first got the attention of Pastor Cal.  He had been attending church when Pastor Dee and Pastor Cal arrived in London.  After a few months, he had been approached by Pastor Cal to work with the youth at the church.  Paul had never thought about a call of ministry on his life, but he prayed before giving Pastor Cal an answer and was then shown in the Word and in his spirit, God’s will for his life.  He had completed a course in ministry and had been ordained, ready to do the work.

Deceptive Storms Excerpt 3

When Cal entered his house, he was grateful that there were no lights on upstairs.  That usually meant that D’Cerner had fallen asleep.  He had just hung up his coat and hat when the phone rang.  He grabbed it, but too late.  D’Cerner had picked up the extension in the bedroom.  He hurried up the stairs to intervene in the conversation, but when he walked into the bedroom, he could tell by the look on her face and the tears streaming that she knew.

“Dee, I need to you to listen to me.  I don’t know what someone just told you, but it’s not what you think.”  He sat down beside her and tried to pull her to him, but she resisted and stared at him.

“Dee, say something.”

With a deadly calm, she responded.  “What do you want me to say?  How was the kiss? Was it worth it?  What exactly do you want me to say?”

By the time her last question was asked, her tone had risen several decibels.  She was flushed and breathing hard and Cal was scared.

“Dee, you’re getting upset and you know that could be dangerous for you and the baby.”

“Really? You think I’m getting upset!  I am upset!  How could you?  I thought we had worked this out.  I thought you said you could wait eight months.  ‘I’ve waited over fourteen years, I can wait eight months.’  That’s what you said, but you couldn’t,  you couldn’t!” By now she was crying uncontrollably; her shoulders were trembling and cries were heart-wrenching.  He couldn’t stand it.

He pulled her into his arms and held her even she tried to resist and would not let go until she stopped crying.  When she was totally spent of tears, she got up and went to the bathroom.  When she came out, she had one final blow.

“Get out!  You can either sleep in the den or at Chassida’s.  I really don’t care, but you are not going to sleep in here tonight.”

“Dee, are you serious?  Over a kiss?  It’s not like I slept with the woman?”

She looked at him for a moment and said, “You might as well have.  Trust has been broken and I don’t know if it can be repaired.  Now, get out!”

She laid back down and turned her back on him.  He stepped out of bedroom totally distraught because he had never thought about not sleeping with his wife. As he crept down the stairs, he stopped at the linen closet to retrieve a sheet and blanket.  He thought about going back into the bedroom to get a pillow and then decided not to risk it.  He had seen D’Cerner angry before, but this was more than anger; this was hurt –he saw in her eyes and heard it in her voice.

He put the sheet on the couch and the blanket and covered himself without getting undressed, but he felt naked—his shortcoming revealed for all to see and he didn’t know how he would proceed from this point.  He tossed and turned and turned and tossed, until eventually, just as the light of dawn was rising, he fell asleep.

 

Excerpt from Deceptive Storms

“Minister Anderson, come quick!  We need help.  Someone spotted Pastor Cal stuck between some trees on the river bank!” Vernon came in screaming.

D’Cerner panicked.  Her heart pounded so loud she could barely hear what others were saying.  All the men headed for the door with ropes.  For a moment, she thought she was going to faint, but somehow, she reached deep down inside, took a deep breath and got up.  She felt like she was outside of herself, looking at what was going on, but had no control over it.  She got her raincoat and hat and went out the door before anyone could stop her.  She started walking, battling the wind and the rain, barely able to see directly in front of her.  She prayed—for guidance, wisdom, and strength to find Cal.  The closer she got to the river bank, the slower she was able to move because of the rising water.  By the time, she reached the farthest point she could go, she had to stop.  She called him.

“Cal,” she yelled, trying to be louder than the wind.  “Cal, where are you?”

She waited, hoping to hear a response, but getting none, she plodded through the water a few feet north of where she was standing.  She called again and again, no answer.  She kept this up for almost an hour and then just as she was about to give up, she heard him.

“Cal, where are you?”

“Dee, I’m over here hanging onto a branch.  I can’t hold on much longer.”

“Cal, hold on!  I’m coming.  Keep talking to me so I can find you!”  She sloshed through water already above her waist.  She listened to him, talking to her, but his voice was fading.

“Cal, keep talking, I’m getting closer.  Don’t you give up on me!”

“Dee, go back!  The water is too deep!  Go back!”

“I am not going back without you.  Just hold on!”

“I am holding on, but I’m getting tired.  Can’t hold on much..”

“Hold on, you hear me!  Hold on!”

“Dee, I love you! I’ll always love you!”

“I love you, too, now hold on! I’m coming to get you!”

By the time she reached a clearing where she could see him, she heard the snap of a branch and then saw him floating by holding onto the branch, but his head was sinking under the water.  That was the last she saw of him.  She heard herself screaming and then she knew nothing.

She collapsed in the water and would have been swept away by the fast-moving current, but the men who were looking for Cal to save him were right behind her and two grabbed her, while the others waded out further, tied to each other in order to hopefully reach Cal before he was carried further out into the river.  They watched him bobbing in and out of the water for about fifty feet when suddenly he stopped moving.