Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What Should Love Look Like? Answers From Scripture


God instructs us to love one another. But what is love, really? What does it mean to truly, wholeheartedly love someone? We can find answers in the scripture, such as the verse below.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16

To lay down our lives. To give everything that we have. That is love.

And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:21

To love is a command. He doesn't just suggest that we love others, but he commands us to love everyone.

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19

God is the perfect example of love.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

He has shown us perfect love in dying for us while we were sinners. When there was no reason to love us he loved us. He cared for us. He died for 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

God gave his own son for us. He loved us so much that he sacrificed for us.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is not always easy. But love is always essential.

God loved us so much that he died for us. He gave the perfect example of love, and when we follow his example we cannot go wrong.


By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Just A Closer Walk With Thee


Just a closer walk with thee.

That should be our goal always. To walk closer with God. No matter the circumstances. No matter our stress over our everyday lives. No matter what is going on in the world. It should be our goal to walk closer to God.

The reality is that this isn't always on our mind. There are times when we are so focused on this life that we forget the next. That we forget that these earthly struggles will not matter forever.

There is so much joy in life. There is so much good to come in heaven. And this earth can be that much better if we walk close to God.

God wants us to give him our all. To love him and do what is right with our lives always.

He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
1 Thessalonians 5:10

Jesus died so that we could have life eternal. And that is something that we should keep with us always. When we remember what is to come the worries of this life won't be so great. And we will feel closer to God because of that.

Come near to God and he will come near to you.
James 4:8a

What does it mean to be near to him? In James chapter two we are told that true religion is to look after orphans and widows. It is to be selfless and kind. To follow the example that Jesus gave us while he walked on earth. To trust in God more and to let him lead us.

Just a closer walk with thee.



By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Truths from The Bible - God Is With Us Always


Do not fear, for I am with you.
Isaiah 41:10a

God will be with us through everything. Every day. This life doesn't last forever, and that means that we will face pain. We will lose loved ones. We will go through sicknesses, and we will have troubles. But God will be with us through it all.

God promises to walk with us. To guide us. To hold us.

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:20b

There is never going to be a time when we are alone. Even through the hardest days of our lives, we will have God at our side.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:18

In the end, if we believe, we will be with God in heaven. If we have accepted the free gift of salvation, then God will accept us into his heavenly kingdom. And it will be beautiful.

We have nothing to fear here on earth because God is in control. He will take care of us. He will sustain us. He is in control. He has a plan for our lives. And heaven and the perfectness of it is what we can look forward to.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

So, let us rejoice in him, even during the hard times. God is with us, and he has so much good in store for us.


By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Favorite Christian Authors - Denise Hunter Writes Fun, Heartwarming Books


Denise Hunter was one of the first authors whose book I read as a teenager and really loved. I remember reading Surrender Bay when I was a young and feeling intrigued with it. I have now read many more of her books, and I know that I won't be left feeling disappointed when I pick up a new one.

Denise Hunter writes stories that are fun and heartwarming and that stick with you. Her writing style is one that inspires me, and I have enjoyed every book of hers that I have read. I love that she includes family drama into her books. I like the small town charm found in them.

One of my favorite books of hers is The Goodbye Bride. It was funny and it tugged on the heartstrings. It has an interesting and well thought out, and well written story. I enjoyed it from the first page to the last.

Just A Kiss is about the brother of the man in The Goodbye Bride, and it is another emotional, yet funny, story. The brother returns from war wounded, and it is packed with relationship and family drama.

Each one of her books is so interesting, and that is what makes me love Denise Hunter's writing so much. If you haven't read any books by her yet, I highly recommend that you do. Her books are heartwarming and fun and an easy read.

Start with Surrender Bay, like I did, and you will be hooked!


By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Truths from the Bible - God's Grace is the Biggest Blessing


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9


All that we need to do is to confess. To admit that we have done wrong, and to allow God's grace to wash over us.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

God's grace is enough. I am weak, but he is strong.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

We never have to fear because he is with us always. He will guide us. 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

He is our hope. We will not grow weary when we trust in him.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We can and should always rejoice and pray to God.

Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

Isaiah 26:4

We can always trust in the Lord. His grace is enough to cover our sins. He is our rock and our help and our creator. We can pray to him, trust him, and rejoice in all that he has done for us, knowing that his grace is the biggest blessing we have ever been given.


By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Favorite Authors - Elizabeth Camden Makes History Interesting


Historical fiction is not always my thing. I am usually much more into reading contemporary fiction, since that is what I enjoy writing, but Elizabeth Camden is the exception! I read her book To The Farthest Shores quicker than I have read another book recently. It held my interest from the first page to the last with humor and history giving it charm.

Elizabeth Camden is a talented author who knows how to piece together a good story. It doesn't feel like you are learning facts about history when you are reading her books, but at the same time you come away with knowledge of the past and how things were then.

The characters that she creates are really well thought out, and each of them has a strong personality, which, sadly, isn't true of every book out there. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book I read by her, The Lady of Bolton Hill. The characters in it were ones I loved.

Into the Whirlwind is another book I read by her and loved. Each of her books has a different setting and unique story. This one is set in Chicago in the late 1800s, and I love learning about different areas and real life events that happened in the past, like the Great Chicago Fire, through good writing.

I enjoyed everything about the books that I have read by her. She is so talented in the way she writes her books, and the quality of her writing can't be beat. She gives the stories heart and humor, and she keeps me turning page after page to see how things are going to end up. She tells of historical events and things of the past with ease, and I love learning through reading a good fiction book.

Needless to say, Elizabeth Camden is my favorite historical author. If you read one of her books, I am sure that you will fall in love with her storytelling skills, too!

Start with To The Farthest Shores for a humorous and heartfelt read.

I am excited to read more of her books in the future!


By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Making the Most of Our Lives Requires Us to Let Go of Fear




When a person comes through something bad, it is common for that person to talk about how they are going to make the most of the rest of their life. It is common for a person to claim that they are going to do more for others, add more excitement to their life, or simply turn away from the wrong things that they had been doing.

When a tragedy happens like what took place this past weekend, the message gets spread that each of us should be making the most of our lives. We never know when we are going to lose the lives that we are blessed to have, so we make decisions to give of ourselves and make the most of what we have.


It is easy to say that we are going to make the most of our lives, but it is not always easy to actually do that.

Why?

Because in order to make the most of the life that we have left, we have to let go of our fears.

Tragedies stir up fear in people. Seeing others lose their lives makes us afraid of losing our own. Watching friends and family members deal with their struggles makes us scared for them. Fear is powerful, and it can take over our lives. As long as we are focused on fear, we cannot truly make the most of our lives.

God has not called us to live in fear. God has called us to an abundant life. The sooner that we let go of our fear, the sooner that we will live out the life that God has called us to. We need to trust God, move beyond on fears, and make the most of every moment that we have been given.

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken


Our hearts go out to everyone who was affected by the shooting that took place Sunday night. We are praying for healing for each one of you!