Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Go To God For Rest... Embracing Peace In 2018

Go to God for rest...

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Don't we all wish it was easier to fully embrace the comfort that God offers? He provides us with rest. He knows us and loves us and wants what is best for us. He doesn't want us to fear or worry. He wants us to know him and to trust that he is going to do what is best for us.

God wants to give us rest. And, as hard as it is to accept the help he is offering us, that is something that we all should try to do. To embrace the peace that he is offering. To know that he is going to take care of us.

I need to strive to accept the rest and comfort that God offers me because I know that he cares about me. And I know that the worries of this world will not last forever. This is a temporary life. As often as I get caught up in stress about what is going on now, it really doesn't matter.

What does matter is God. Doing the right thing. Living for him.

So, I should take the rest that God provides because I know that he wants what is best for me. He loves me and wants to make me at my best. When I feel rested in him I will be able to live out my life in a good way. I can share his love with others better when I am not worried or exhausted.

I need to learn to trust in God. To rest in him. To know that he wants what is best for me and that when I follow his lead I will never go wrong.

God wants to give each one of us rest, and I hope that is something that we can all learn to accept as we start out the year 2018.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

8 Christian Authors To Read In 2018

I love reading a good book. And it's always fun to discover different Christian authors. If you feel that way, too, then read on!

1. Michelle Phoenix. Her writing gets you to think. I enjoyed Of Stillness and Storm because it was thoughtfully written. It is a unique story of a missionary wife and her family.

2. Katherine Reay. She is an author with a unique voice, and I loved her book A Portrait of Emily Price because of how well she described the settings in Italy and how real each of the characters felt.

3. James Scott Bell. His books have been a favorite of mine for years because of how layered the stories are. Just when you think you have the story figured out, a new twist comes into play. I especially loved the Ty Buchanan series.

4. Catherine West. Her writing drew me in right away because of the way she crafts her characters. She puts heart into her writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed The Memory of You.

5. Katie Ganshert. This author is one whose writing grabbed me immediately. I thoroughly enjoyed A Broken Kind of Beautiful when I read it years ago, and Life After pulled me in with its interesting and sad story when I read it more recently.

6. Tracey Bateman. There are some authors who know how to put just the right amount of humor in their books, and she has done that with Leave It To Claire. I really loved that book, and even though its an older book, if you haven't yet read it you should now.

7. Celeste Fletcher McHale. She wrote one of the more interesting books I've read lately. The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories is set in the south and has great character, story, and heart.

8. Terri Blackstock. She is one of the first great authors I read when I was younger. I love the way that she writes about family, and how her books are full of action. Intervention and the books that follow in the series are my favorites of hers.

Of course, I wouldn't mind if you read our book, too! Check out No Longer Broken for a story of family, betrayal, and forgiveness.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

God Works Everything Together For Good

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

God works it together for good.

It is unexplainable

Good doesn't necessarily mean perfection. Perfection is for heaven. Good means we will grow. Or, at times, the good is something we will never fully see or understand. But God knows what he is doing, and we can trust him to work it out for the best.

Even the bad and horrible things can help us to grow. Maybe we won't see that growth immediately. Maybe we won't ever realize why it had to happen. But God is in control. And he is working it out for good.

I don't understand it all myself.  And maybe I never will.

But I do know that I can trust God.

God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what is best for us. He knows what we are going through and what we can handle.

God will be with us through everything. There are going to be difficult times in our lives, but we need to trust him to be with us and to work it all together for good.

There is no explaining the bad times. There are things in life that we may never understand. But God knows what he's doing. He gives people free will, and he hurts for us, but he will work everything together for the good of those who love him. So, when terrible things happen we shouldn't believe that God is ignorant. Instead, we should know that he is still in control.

God made the world. It is his. He holds it in his hands. He has love for us, and he is always looking out for us.

Does that mean that good and decent people escape bad things? No. But God's love is real. And when we believe in his love and goodness, it will make life much more bearable.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Silent night, Holy night,

All is calm, All is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, Holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing alleluia;
Christ the Savior, is born!
Christ the Savior, is born!

Silent night, Holy night,
Son of God, Love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Merry Christmas!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Why Celebrate Christmas? Answers From Scripture

Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of different people. When we think of Christmas our minds might immediately go to the gifts we will be giving and receiving. Or, maybe we think about the tree and decorations that we put up. Or the family that we will be seeing.

All of those are good things, but what Christmas is truly about is Jesus. He came to earth and was born in a manger, lived a perfect life, and died to take away our sins.

Christmas is about Jesus.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

He had humble beginnings...

...And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:7

His birth was celebrated...

"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
Matthew 2:2

Why did God take on human form? Because he loves us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

It is important to remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus was born on earth to save us from our sins. He loves us. He died for and rose again for us.

So, this Christmas, be extra merry, remembering all that God has done for you.

Happy Christmas!

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

8 Christian Fiction Books That Would Make Great Christmas Gifts

Looking for a unique gift this Christmas? Give someone a great Christian novel!

I love sitting down to read a good book. Those listed below are all books that I personally love!

1. A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay. This book is beautifully written, is more than a love story and has an Italian setting and culture, and it is easy to fall in love with the characters.

2. Take A Chance On Me by Susan May Warren. It is the first in my favorite series by her, and it is a great read on its own. Filled with family drama and love.

3. The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter. This is just a fun book, and anyone who likes reading love stories will be sure to enjoy it and the great plot that it has!

4. The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden. This is a great historical fiction book and perfect for anyone who loves that genre. I greatly enjoyed this read!

5. The Memory of You by Catherine West. I loved this book. It has a great story and a lot of emotion.

6. A Sugar Creek Christmas by Jenny B. Jones. This book is hilarious! I love Jenny B. Jones, and any one of her books would make a great Christmas gift.

7. One Perfect Spring by Irene Hannon. Get someone on your gift list looking forward to spring with this well written and emotional read.

8. No Longer Broken by Emily Acker and Bethany Acker. I have to include our book because it is filled with passion and heart, a story of family and forgiveness, and I think it would make a great gift, too.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What Does it Mean to Make the Most of Every Moment? Answers from Scripture

What does it really mean to make the most of every moment?

Here are some answers from the Bible.

Love more.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9

Stick to our convictions.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

Do more good. Be a light in the darkness.
...making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16

Live out our faith.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:14-17

Don't waste time.
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

Be kind to everyone.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Matthew 5:43-44

Use our passions to do good.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

Think of the future.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:20

I hope these verses have encouraged you to make the most of every moment starting today.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken