Friday, November 30, 2012

God Speaks: Real Stories of God's Guiding Hands in Real People's Lives: Prayer for Answers


The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

During my research for this column I came across a Christian forum on the topic of God speaking to everyday people. On the forum people shared some of their true life stories, with the hopes of inspiring others.  It is my hope that by sharing some of their stories here as well, that we can spread the word and bring hope and faith to more people through their inspirational experiences. It is my sincere hope that these kind believers do not mind.

Ask and You Shall Receive...


Back in the early 70's when I was a very new believer in my early twenties, I had decided to see if what the bible says is true about hearing His voice, seeking and finding, and asking and it being given. I did not want to believe in a God who was not real, and who could not talk to me. His word said that He would talk to me. So this was what I focused on. I had learned from other believers and from the Word, that He answers prayers that are in line or according to His will. So I choose to ask Him which denomination or church I should join. I knew that it was His will for me to hear and know the answer to this, and I was VERY determined. I prayed for over four months solid. One day, I was loading the dishes into the dishwasher and I stopped right in the middle of putting a dish in and said, impatiently..."Lord ..You said that you would answer and I have not heard" and my thoughts were interrupted and I heard in my head these two words...."Peoria and Philadelphia"...those words meant nothing to me. I was just a kid and I knew nothing about those places as I was born, raised, and still live on the west coast. I knew that I knew these words do not come from my own mind...it just didn't make sense...yet!! I was and always have been a researcher, so I got out my National Geographic’s and tried to find out what I could about them. We didn't have computers back then, and I didn't own a set of encyclopedias either. I searched through these magazines until I became weary.

 I asked the Lord "what do I do with these places, what do they mean"?

He said very clearly again in my head, "call Bethlehem". I thought for a few minutes and decided that I would look up churches in the yellow pages that had the name Bethlehem. The first page I turned to in the book showed a church that was just blocks from where I lived and it was called Bethlehem. I decided to be brave and call the pastor...I wanted to see if this was the right church and to prove (even though I already knew) that this was all from God. I called him and simply asked him (without telling him my story) if Peoria and Philadelphia meant anything to him, and he said, "why yes, I was ordained in Peoria and my first church was in Philadelphia, why do you ask"? I told him my story.

He was amazed, and frankly, in my naive ignorance, I thought it was odd that a pastor would be so amazed. I did not yet know that there were some Christians, pastors, and churches that held the belief that God does not speak to us anymore. God used a naive young person like me to tell the pastor that He does indeed still talk to His children.

Much later I found out that after the pastor spoke to me on the phone, he went to his next standing appointment he had with a young couple that had an interest and questions regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

He explained to them our phone conversation, as he was still amazed. I later became friends with that same young woman. It wasn't long after that this couple moved to Arizona to start a Charismatic church. God can do amazing things through anybody that is willing. I just wanted a church home and to believe in a God that was really real...and He took care of my needs, taught the pastor something very valuable, and also confirmed what a young couple was wanting confirmation in....all at the same time. God is alive and well, and He speaks to you if you ask and then listen.... and keep on listening no matter how long it takes.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Ireland Abortion Laws: What do you think of the case of Savita Halappanavar



The recent case of Savita Halappanavar, a dentist who apparently died from blood poisoning due, in part from, some say, because she was unable to get an abortion in Ireland has blown up the Pro Life/Pro Choice debate.

According to some reports, Halappanavar was already carrying a 17 week old baby who had died in her womb, and hospitals were still unable to perform the process to remove the fetus. Other reports say the baby still had a heartbeat at the time of the termination request.

In any case, it calls attention to the Pro Life/Pro Choice debate and the situation in Ireland where some pro choice groups complain that women must go to the UK to get abortions in the cases of rape, incest or other tragic circumstances. 

Whatever your stance, read on about this interesting and controversial case.. tell us what you think.

 (From the BC Catholic Paper)

Pro-lifers warn against snap judgments regarding Ireland abortion case



Following the death of a pregnant women in Ireland who was denied an abortion, pro-life voices are advising careful examination of the circumstances rather than abortion advocacy.

Debate over Irish abortion law has been heated since news broke of Savita Halappanavar, a 17-week pregnant woman who died in a Galway hospital on Oct. 28.

Halappanavar's autopsy has revealed that she died of blood poisoning and E. coli ESBL, an antibiotic-resistant strain of the bacterium.



“Instead of jumping to the conclusions that Halappanavar needed an abortion and that Ireland needs to legalize the killing of the youngest of its kind, the reasonable approach would be to get to the bottom of what Halappanavar’s condition was and examine how it was, or was not, responded to,” wrote Stephanie Gray, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform Nov. 20.



E. coli ESBL has recently spread throughout the U.K., causing urinary tract infections which can develop into blood poisoning.



“The presence of E. coli ESBL is particularly problematic if Halappanavar was given antibiotics to fight an infection that was resistant to those very antibiotics,” Gray said.

Both the Irish health department and University Hospital Galway are making independent inquiries into the circumstances of Halappanavar's death.

On Oct. 20, she went to the hospital suffering severe back pain and there found she was miscarrying. She then requested an abortion, but was told medical staff would not make such a move as long as her daughter had a heartbeat.



Prasa, the child, died four days later, and after another three days Savita succumbed to blood poisoning and E. coli ESBL.



“We have yet to hear from the hospital and the medical professionals involved as to what precisely happened, but with this report of her dying from E. coli ESBL one wonders how killing Halappanavar’s baby Prasa would have killed the E. coli,” Gray noted.


read more: http://bcc.rcav.org/canadian/2172-pro-lifers-warn-against-snap-judgments-regarding-ireland-abortion-case-


Note: The above article is from a Catholic newspaper. Other new sources may report the story differently.

Friday, November 16, 2012

God Speaks: Real Stories of God's Guiding Hands in Real People's Lives: God in the Passenger Seat


The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

During my research for this column I came across a Christian forum on the topic of God speaking to everyday people. On the forum people shared some of their true life stories, with the hopes of inspiring others.  It is my hope that by sharing some of their stories here as well, that we can spread the word and bring hope and faith to more people through their inspirational experiences. It is my sincere hope that these kind believers do not mind.




"God in the Passenger Seat"
 

"I've had several experiences where the Lord spoke to me. It saved my life a number of times. Like once, when myself and my wife went to the seaside to take some time off. I was behind a slow truck, and decided to overtake it - since it appeared quite safe to do so. Right then, He said "No, my child" - and I obeyed. About a second later, a car came racing past - way over the speed limit. We would have had a head-on collision, since there would have been nowhere to go to avoid an accident.

It's sad that there are so many "God made me do it" stories out there that make people believe that God not only never speaks to His children, but that anyone who believes that is crazy."


Do you have a story to share about how God intervened in your life? Please write us here at Treasuring Grace to share your story...

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rape and Abortion: The Real Statistics May Surprise You

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about rape and subsequent pregnancies.  Although there is really no dispute that rape is a traumatizing and violent event, abortion is not the choice of every victim whose rape results in an unwanted pregnancy.

Afterabortion.org recently printed this article that focuses on the misinformation about the choices rape victims make when faced with pregnancies. I think you'll find it interesting.

“Rape hurt my mother, but abortion devastated her.”

This comment was recently posted to our web site:
My mother was raped at age 16. Her parents forced her to have an abortion. She stopped going to church, dropped out of high school and became depressed. Her young adulthood was during WWII and she had a problem with relationships. She eventually married my father after only a two week courtship and she told him what a horrible woman she was because of the abortion.
They vowed to have as many children as possible. God sent them ten children and she lost one to miscarriage; she mourned the lost baby along with her aborted child. When she was pregnant with me, her third child in four years, the doctor told her she wasn’t really pregnant and that he would remove some tissue. She knew what he meant and got another doctor.
I told my dad how blessed I was that mom knew what he meant and he then told me, 60 years later, that the reason she knew was because of the rape and subsequent abortion. She took this secret to her grave and I would have never known except my dad was praising me for getting involved in the pro-life movement through 40 Days for Life.
I was almost not here along with my four children and six grandchildren. My dad told me she mourned that aborted child her whole life and she never forgot and never received healing. My mother died at age 67 and I was told her secret when I was 60.
Rape hurt my mother, but abortion devastated her.
Stories like these are why women who have experienced a pregnancy resulting from sexual assault have created The Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA).
For the last eight years, WPSA has been petitioning Congress and state legislators to hold hearings at which women who have actually been pregnant following rape or incest could tell their stories and talk about what they and other women facing such a situation really want and need.
We collected stories and surveys from nearly 200 women who experienced a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest for the publication of our book  Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies,Abortions,and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault. Most who aborted told us that abortion only added to their trauma and was not a good solution. Further, many reported having been pressured to abort by others.

Read more at :  http://afterabortion.org/2012/rape-hurt-abortion-devestated/

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Doorways through Time

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal.  




The basic timeline has been used to depict and review a persons life path in a therapeutic way for decades. A simple line with demarcations for years and notations of important events help remind us of our journey, accomplishments, defeats, and choices along the way. 

As a visual tool, a timeline has endless possibilities for life reflection. A more creative approach means realizing that no ones life takes a straight line with a neat and orderly list of data and statistics. Our lives, and all the choices we have made, all the people who have come in and out of it, who we have loved and lost, all of our mistakes and successes, are made up of color, texture, scars and depth. 

In this approach to a life-reflection timeline, I ask you to consider your most impactful moments, the moments that have shaped you, hurt you, and healed you as doorways you have walked through to get to the next part of your journey.  Each doorway, from start to where you are today would look differently... perhaps the very first door that you entered into this world would look golden bright and new... perhaps a doorway to a toxic relationship would look battered, made of wood and broken.  

Use paint, pencils, collage materials, old photographs, any medium you feel most comfortable in, and create your time line of doorways and doors... 

Once finished, look at your journey. What does it tell you about the choices you have made? What are your doors made of? Have you had to squeeze through them? Have they been easy to open? to see through? Have you been able to guess what was behind them before you opened them? How can looking at them now help you in the future? 

Create an image of the next door you want to walk through.  Make it the most beautiful door you can dream of... post it somewhere you can see it everyday and make that choice a reality. 


Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Behind the Bookcovers: Insider Tips for Christian Writers

Treasuring Grace is a Christian themed book that was published by Healthy Life Press. Being a first time author makes it hard to break into the writing business and the Christian market, although growing, makes it even harder. We know there are a lot of you in the same boat, with great ideas, inspired story lines, but not really sure where to go with your manuscript or how to take the next step.  
We asked our publisher at Healthy Life Press some questions about breaking into the Christian Publishing business (referred to a CP in the future) and wanted to share his valuable information with you here. We are sure you'll find it fascinating and helpful.


Q:  I have written my book and have used the Kindle e-book uploading software to put it online. What more can I do to promote my book and get it to sell?


A:  Purchase read, and re-read, and implement the advice in the book Platform, by Michael Hyatt.
Read more about this book in this article by the Christian Post: 

 
-->

Michael Hyatt Shares Blog and Social Media Tips in 'Platform' Book

Life in this fallen world is hard. It's easy, at the end of a long day of ...

By Katherine T. Phan , Christian Post Reporter
May 23, 2012|2:02 pm


Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson publishers and an influential blogger, built his large online audience using blogs, Twitter and Facebook. He is now passing along marketing tips and techniques that he has learned over the past eight years in his latest book Platform: Get Noticed in A Noisy World.

Hyatt argues in the book that in today's crowded marketplace compelling content is no longer enough for someone to get noticed. As a former CEO of Thomas Nelson, Hyatt had to turn away authors and writers with brilliant material because they didn't have a platform to market their message.

"Content was king still but platform had become queen," he told blogger Brad Lomenick in a recent interview.
Without a platform, even a great message or product can get lost amid all the "noise" created by other competitors and distractions, according to Hyatt.

Platform serves as a step-by-step guide on how any author, business owner, sales people or pastors can build a platform or expand an existing one using blogs and social media.

"This book is a for someone who has anything to say or sell," said Hyatt.

The book is divided into five parts / steps:
• "Part One: Start with the Wow" talks about how to make a compelling product by making sure the experience of the user exceeds the expectation.
• "Part Two: Prepare to Launch" helps the reader create a mindset to succeed by having clear goals and team.
• "Part Three: Build Your Home Base" teaches a reader how to draw and build an online audience through blogs.
• "Part Four: Expand Your Reach" gives the ins and outs to using Twitter and Facebook.
• "Part Five: Engage Your Tribe" is on how to monitor comments and follow up with blog readers.



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Friday, November 2, 2012

God Speaks: Real Stories of God's Guiding Hands in Real People's Lives

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.
 
  During my research for this column I came across a Christian forum on the topic of God speaking to everyday people. On the forum people shared some of their true life stories, with the hopes of inspiring others.  It is my hope that by sharing some of their stories here as well, that we can spread the word and bring hope and faith to more people through their inspirational experiences. It is my sincere hope that these kind believers do not mind.



-->
"When i was in school, i had 2 different professors say that God literally speaks to them. 

I am still not 100% sure what they mean but, when i asked one of the profs what he meant, he told me that sometimes, it's like the holy spirit is whispering into his ear so quietly and it's like a person is standing next to him. 

He told me other times, when he's praying, meditating or doing something else, sometimes the holy spirit will just grab his attention and point him in a direction, whether it's to pray for someone or to mentor someone. 

In class once, he shared this story -- there was this 1 student named Anton who used to go there, and he said, this one day, he just felt led to text him -- he said God placed a verse on his heart and told him to text that number and he said he text the number w/ the verse and by saying whatever it was that he felt God leading him to say. 

He said that later that day, he got a text msg back and the text msg said something like this, 

"i don't knoe who Anton is, but, thanks for what you said to me, that really touched my heart, it's something that i needed to hear right now." 

So, apparently, the kid changed his phone number w/o telling this prof. but God knew something bigger was going on and used this prof. as a tool to help this person out and he told us, that he had gotten a few other text afterwards from this other person asking for advice.

 So, God speaks to people and uses them in his own ways." 

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