Victory Through The Finished Work on The Cross!

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15: 56,57 NIV)

Whenever Jesus taught the people, He used parables or anecdotal stories to which the people could relate. All He told them, they understood because of the times of their lives. The Word is still taught in anecdotal stories–those things to which people can relate. So today, we look at how much “stings” hurt and can damage.

There are so many things in our lives that can sting us. We can stung by bees and wasps. We can be stung by jellyfish and sticky leaves on plants. We can be stung by betrayal, hurt, and sadness. and we can be stung by death when we allow sin to reign in our lives. How does sin reign? With the power of the law–given to Moses–and rejection of the work on the cross by Jesus Christ.

For when The Law was given–Holy Spirit ascended upon people as God directed and those people were the only ones who had the authority to speak what God said. With The Work on the Cross, Holy Spirit dwells within every Believer who has received Him and God speaks to every Believer in whom Holy Spirit dwells. However, if we choose not to hear and obey, that is on us and we miss receiving the victory over sin in our lives.

We no longer have to go to a specific place or to a specific person–asking them to seek God on our behalf. We only have to look within–The Word and our hearts, and decide to hear what God has to say. If we do not know The Word, we will not recognize God’s voice when we hear Him. If our spiritual ears are blocked with the cares of the world and those things that distract and distort the sound, we will not hear Him. If we cannot or will not hear Him when He speaks, we allow sin–whatever our fleshly dictates desire–to overtake us and we give up ground in the victory we had won, and sometimes, we never regain our position in order to enjoy the victory we were given.

The war with ISIS is a perfect example of giving up ground. The United States has time and time again, helped other Middle Eastern countries to gain control over cities in which ISIS had captured. And with each loss, ISIS regrouped and gained that territory back. That’s how the enemy works. If we’re not careful with the victory we have, we allow more demons to come into our lives and take up residence, leading us back into the captivity of sin and we know–sin’s payment is death.

When we accept the Work on the Cross, Believe Jesus is the Son of God, and give Him His rightful place in our lives–as Lord, we have victory of sin. However, we must guard our victory vigorously by staying in The Word, always ready to hear God and obey. We have the victory–our problem–as we can see in our society is how to maintain the ground we have gained without allowing the enemy’s forces to regain the territory.

Victory is ours–through The Work on the Cross and we can loudly proclaim–Jesus Christ is our Lord!

Deceptive Storms (excerpt 2)

deceptive storm“I just got a call from the high school and it appears that more and more kids are involved in drug use.  They’re trying to pinpoint the distribution, but you know how difficult that can be.  This is especially true since they do not control the flow of traffic in and out of the building.  I suggested they put up security cameras in lieu of having someone man the doors.  At any rate, they said they would take my suggestion to the next board meeting.  I’d hate the thought that some of our kids are involved, but one never knows what kids will do when they are out of sight of authority.”

“Yes, I do know.  I’ve actually been a little concerned about Vernon Jenkins, lately.  He seems to be more resistant to the teachings at the church.  I’m not sure if it is just teen-age angst or if there is another problem.  I’ve tried to talk to him, but he always leaves as soon as church is over and I think he only attends the youth meetings because his dad makes him.”

“Both he and his dad are having a bad time.  I’ve offered to counsel him, but his father insists he can handle it.  I’m just not sure if he’s trying to handle things as his dad or as a minister.  Sometimes those lines can be blurred.  I hope that’s not the case here.”

“Pastor Cal…I …uh.  I was trying not to say anything until I could prove my suspicions but I think Vernon is using.  He’s distant and his eyes are always glassy-looking.  I know the symptoms.  The pulling away from people who know you well, trying to fit in with all the wrong folks.  I hope he’s not, but all the signs are there.”

“Before you draw any conclusions, see if you can get him to open up and talk to you.  I’m sure if we can get him to talk, we’ll be able to help him, but if he’s not willing, the only thing we can do is to alert his dad.  You want me to do it?”

“No sir.  At least, not yet.  Let me try talking to him.  His dad has quite a temper and I would not want to be responsible for anything that happens to Vernon because of his dad’s uncontrolled anger.  I’ll make it my business to talk to him tonight and let you know what happened.  Was there anything else?”

“No, not at all.  I’m sure you have things to prepare for your meeting.  Call me tomorrow when you get a chance.  And…by the way, Pastor Dee and I are expecting a new baby…”

“Congratulations!” Reverend Anderson interrupted, surprised by the news.

“Thanks, but we want to keep this quiet for a while.  Because this pregnancy puts her at risk, she’s not going to be around the church much and I’m going to need every minister on board to fill in the gap.  Can I count on you?”

“Absolutely.  And please let Pastor Dee I’m praying for her and the baby.”

“I’m sure she’ll appreciate your prayers.  I’ll talk to you later.”

After Reverend Anderson hung up the phone, he smiled to himself.  He knew that Pastor Dee and Pastor Cal were relatively newlyweds, but he didn’t think that a baby would ever be part of the equation.  “How about that?” he thought.  “They still got it going on.” He pulled out his bible and began writing some notes for the youth meeting.  Before long, stumped as to how to approach the subjects he wanted to discuss, he got on the Internet to see if there any websites with good suggestions. As he searched, he remembered.  He remembered his own involvement with drugs and how it could have cost him his life.

Paul Anderson, the greatest athlete known at Community High School, had many offers from various colleges and had been awarded all sorts of scholarships.  It was the spring just before he graduated high school 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 had pulled out a joint, at first Paul refused—thinking about all he had ahead of him—he didn’t want to ruin his chances to be successful.  After a while, someone dared him to take a drag.  Never one to resist a dare, he accepted the joint and inhaled deeply, sputtering like crazy as he coughed violently.  The other guys laughed at him, but since 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 as though it was far away, but he couldn’t see who was laughing.  His buddies 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. By the time someone thought about getting his car keys from him, Paul had walked out the door, keys in-hand.  He struggled trying to open the door when he couldn’t get the keys to slide into the lock and then almost fell getting into the car, but he finally got the keys into the ignition and started the car to head home.  That was the last thing he remembered of that fateful night.

Deceptive Storm available on amazon.com and smashwords.com Enjoy!

Deceptive Storms (excerpt 1)

She sat with a glass of wine in her hands, swirling the burgundy liquid slowly, reflecting, contemplating her life.  Taking a luxurious sip, she sighed and wished for more than what she had.  More money, more house, more of a man, more happiness—just more of everything.  Leaning back on the black leather chaise in her living room, she closed her eyes, glass still in hand.  Her thoughts vacillated between what was and how she was going to fast forward.

“If I could just shake the past and move on, I’d be alright,” she thought.  “I just need to shake the past.”

Her past was a multicolored debacle.  One misstep after the other.  She tried hard to think about the last time she had actually done anything right.  She couldn’t remember.  Brain cells only seemed to recall the squirmy situations she had created or fallen into.  Fallen into—with deliberation.  She shook her head at her own recriminations.  Deciding to traipse down memory lane, she focused on the first real love of her life—the love that had left her dangling for years and finally cut off her emotions to the quick.  She had loved the wrong man as so many before her had done, but she just knew—Brian was the only man worthy of her love.  The real tragedy was that Brian was from Loser Street—and just didn’t know how to get off of it.  Appearances can certainly be deceiving.  Hefty and handsome as any movie star, Brian strolled into Charleston Café with his friends, easily the center of attention.

She had seated them at the best table in the house—near a window so they could keep an eye on the object of their discussion—the latest fast car purchased by the racing car company that was based in town.  Sleek, low to the ground, shiny black with yellow pinstripes and the company sponsor listed on the side, it was something to behold.  Apparently, the three men discussing the car thought so, too.  She heard someone say something about the most “horsepower that was legal” and that was as much as she needed to hear.  She really wanted to meet the man behind the smile and the talk.

Standing at their table waiting to take their order, her eyes shifted from one to another.  The other two men were slightly older than the man talking and she could quickly detect that the younger man was trying to convince the other two to do something.  After taking their order, she deliberately brushed against the younger man, knowing he would have to pay attention, but he didn’t.  He moved slightly and kept talking.  After she had placed their drinks on the table, he glanced at her briefly and nodded.  She perceived the nod as recognition and invitation to something later.

When they had finished their meal, the younger man eagerly picked up the check while the older men smiled, shaking each other’s hands, ready to go their separate ways.

“Brian,” she heard one of the men say, “you’ve got yourself a deal.  Come into the office tomorrow and we’ll sign the paperwork.  It’s nice doing business with you.”  They left Brian in the Café.  She had asked if he’d like for her to take the payment to the cashier, but he said no and ordered a cup of coffee.  He leaned back in the chair and openly appraised the woman in front of him.  Heat began to crawl from her toes to her face under his scrutiny, but she smiled as he apparently decided he liked what he saw.

He rose from the table and left her a tip with a note.  A telephone number.  A number that would eventually lead to more heartache than she could have ever imagined.

She had called him after her shift ended and they made plans for dinner and a movie.  The dinner and the movie were good, but his conversation was mesmerizing.  She couldn’t stop listening to him and encouraged him to keep talking.

He was one of eight children, his mother was not very healthy and his dad was a truck driver, always on the road.  When he finished school, he decided that he did not like his life and was determined to recreate himself.  He left the hollow that he had grown up in and went to Texas.  There he attended college, but became more involved with racing than books.  When he discovered that he had a knack for driving fast cars, he quickly adapted by attending the races and eventually got a chance to show what he could do.

He left ten experienced drivers in the dust during his first race.  No one watching understood how he had managed it, but he had easily won the race and a few hundred dollars.  The race itself was addictive, but the money was the jolt that kept him going.  He thought he had finally found his niche in life.  Not only was he good at racing the cars, he was an expert at finding investors to sponsor him in races.  He loved the feel and the smell of the cars, but he loved the stench of the jumpsuits after a race.   More importantly, he loved the attention he got wherever he went.

“Oh yeah,” she remembered, he loved the attention.  In the three years they dated, she could barely keep him focused on their relationship because of all the attention he received by racing.  Every where they went, people wanted to talk to them.  Alone time was seldom, but he seemed to enjoy her company and she was totally lost to him.   Lost—that’s a word she would remember for a long time.

She thought they were on their way to a march down the aisles when she discovered that he was on his way—to another woman.  She didn’t see it coming.  Never had a clue.  The connecting line had been cut and she fell with a clump, thump, and a bump—heartbroken and hell-bent on revenge.

Available on http://www.amazon.com and http://www.smashwords.com  Enjoy and review!

Revised and Made Over When Money Talks

cvr2https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/373509

When Money Talks

It’s not always just about the Benjamins, but betrayal, seduction, and lies! Watch, read, and review!

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.

 

Deceptive Storms!

storm cvrThis is the cover of my new book–Deceptive Storms.  In life, we face all types of storms–emotional as well as natural.  D’Cerner and Cal (from My Father’s Gift) have embarked on a new ministry in a new location and as can be expected, have to learn to weather all types of storms.  Through all the storms–losses and revelations–they maintain their trust in God.  Book will be available within the next two weeks.  Working hard to revise and edit now!  Book Trailer available next week!  Hope you will enjoy!

By the way, I really welcome your comments about the cover. Yea or Nay and why if you’d like to include.

Excerpt–When Money Talks 2

Mara stayed just long enough to inquire if there was anything she could help others with and being told no, prepared to leave.  As she walked through the lobby, going towards the door, Eric came from Bonnie’s office and they both waited for the security guard to unlock the door so they could leave.

“So, how did the first day go?” Eric asked.

“It went well,” Mara responded, no more cordial than she was earlier and not really looking at him.  She was fidgety, impatiently waiting for the security guard.

Eric took a really good look at her, appraising her from head to toe.  He noted how sophisticated she looked in the navy blue suit she wore, with a red silk blouse and matching red heels.  He wondered why she was so impatient and then it occurred to him, she might have someone waiting for her at home.  Even that thought didn’t deter him from thinking about how much he appreciated her exquisite good looks.

“I’m glad.  I hope every day goes well for you.  I understand you’re from Atlanta.  Why did you decide to move to Houston?”

“I needed a change,” Mara replied, exasperated with the question.  “Is that good enough for you?”

“Whoa!  I didn’t mean to offend you,” Eric apologized. “I was just trying to hold polite conversation while we wait.”

At that moment, the security guard returned from wherever he had been and unlocked the door.  As they walked out into the early evening heat onto a bustling sidewalk of people, Eric turned to tell her good-bye, but she was walking in the opposite direction. For a second or two, he started to let her go without any further attempt to say anything to her, but then decided he wanted to know what was eating at her, so he followed her around the corner of the building.

“Mara,” Eric called after her, “Could you wait just a moment?”

Mara stopped and turned around, really irritated now.  She couldn’t imagine what he could have to say to her and she certainly didn’t have anything to say to him.  While she was pondering what he could want, he caught up with her.

“Mara, have I offended you by anything I said?” Eric asked as he stopped and stood in front of her.

“Not really,” she replied. “I just don’t like people asking me questions that are none of their business.”

“I wasn’t trying to be nosy, just friendly.  That’s the way Texans are.  We are very friendly people, you know,” he said smiling, sensing how uncomfortable she was and wanting to make her feel at ease with him.

Mara stood and stared at the man in front of her.  Eric had a stocky, muscular build, was over six feet tall, and wore his dark wavy hair cut short.  His smile revealed slightly imperfect white teeth and changed his demeanor from somber to playful.  Listening to him make an appeal about Texans being friendly made her smile.  She visibly relaxed, at least for a moment.

“Eric, I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to be rude.  It’s just that moving here, finding a job, and being alone without friends or family has made me a little tense.  I didn’t mean to take it out on you,” she apologized.

There was a lost sheep air about her that tugged at Eric’s heart.  As she stood there looking up at him, waiting for him to accept her apology, he saw a wealth of wisdom that did not belong in the eyes of one so young—a wisdom that could only come from the experience of tragedy.  He noticed her long mahogany hair framing her exquisitely shaped face—somewhere between being an oval and pear-shaped, her wide-set oval eyes and pert little nose.  Her full lips were now almost turned down in the cutest frown he had ever seen.  He wanted to get to know her.

“Let’s start all over again.  Hi, my name is Eric Harrison and I’m very pleased to meet you Miss…,” he said holding out his hand waiting for her to fill in the missing name.

“Mara Mooring,” she responded holding out her own hand and smiling at him.  I’m pleased to meet you.”

“Well, since we are so pleased to meet one another, would I seem forward if I offered to buy you a cup of coffee?” he asked, grinning now at their little game.

 

Available soon as an ebook on amazon.com.  You’re going to love it–a bit of a departure from what I normally write–it is hot and steamy.  Watch for it within the next 72 hours.

Excerpt-When Money Talks

At twenty-two years old, she thought the entire world was hers to explore at her leisure and nothing was impossible for her achieve.  Today, she was preparing a candlelight dinner for two, complete with a marvelous French Bordeaux.  She had been planning this surprise for her fiancé for days. This would be their last dinner together as an unmarried couple.  After tonight, she was staying in her parent’s home until after the wedding when she could move into his tastefully decorated apartment. She was deliriously happy and excited as she got off the elevator and stood in front of his apartment door.  With the key he had given her, she opened the door and practically floated in as she noiselessly closed the door behind her.  She smiled as she thought about sharing the apartment with him.

The living room was spacious and not a hint of pretension dwelled there.  The white Corinthian leather couch and matching chair were perfectly centered in the middle of the room and were accentuated with matching gray smoked-topped glass tables.  The knee level coffee table sat between the couch and a gray-upholstered recliner while two other tables were sentries at opposite ends of the couch.  The adjacent dining area boasted a beautiful white-topped cherry wood table with matching plush padded chairs.  The kitchen was just big enough to maneuver from the stove to the sink without walking into another person.  The apartment-sized refrigerator was tucked away in the corner which gave the impression of much more room.  Hanging in the hallway were two pictures of a serene village with children playing and puppies sleeping.

A smile played upon her lips as she thought about the master bedroom. The king-sized circular bed with its bronze-colored comforter, covering matching silk sheets had an attached headboard that boasted two built-in shelves filled with books, a radio, and an overhead lamp.  A triple-walnut stained dresser  with a sculpted framed mirror was positioned in front of the bed and to the left in a corner, a large walnut-stained open-faced cabinet held his television and entertainment center.  As she stood surveying the area she could see, she mentally checked off the days.  She sighed wistfully as she turned the corner from the hallway towards the kitchen.  Her head inclined for a moment when she thought she heard a noise and thinking that James had left on the radio in the bedroom, she put the down the bag of groceries in the floor and headed for the bedroom.

The French vanilla-colored carpet beneath her feet was so thick she felt as though she was sinking with each step as she walked down the hallway to the bedroom.  The door was slightly ajar and when she pushed it open, she barely contained the scream that rose from her belly, constricting her throat muscles.  She fell back against the wall and had to use it to support her buckling legs.  A wave of nausea swept over her and almost caused her to faint.  She stood in the room against the wall seemingly mesmerized by the flailing bodies in the bed in front of her.  Her beloved fiancé and best friend Karen were so intent in their love-fest they didn’t hear her come in and didn’t realize she was in the room until she finally allowed the bubbling scream freedom.

They jerked in surprise at seeing at there, with their mouths hanging open, they watched her and saw the horror she felt mirrored in her eyes.  For a moment, they were also frozen into immobility, too filled with guilt to react immediately.  Then, as she approached the bed, James was catapulted into action, attempting to cover them with a tangled silk sheet.

“M.m.mara!  What are you doing here?” he stammered.