faithcounts

Following God One Step at a Time

The Bible in Order

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The most popular book that people read is the Bible!

I’m not reviewing the Bible, but I decided to share today about a Bible Reading plan. 

I just started it a few weeks ago.  I have always been confused about what order things happened in the Bible.  I have tried to read chronological books that turn the Bible into a history format, but I could not finish them.

So, I am now doing a chronological Bible reading plan!

I am using the “As it Happened” reading plan. 

I am enjoying this!

The Bible is divided up by what chapters to read in 1 day to finish reading in 365 days.  It lists the chapters to read as close to historical order as possible.  That means jumping around in the Bible.  It starts in Genesis, then goes to Job, then back to Genesis.  The Psalms are sprinkled in among several different books. 

The plan puts it all in the correct order for you!

I never realized that the Psalms covers such a long stretch of time in history.  In fact, the first part of Psalms I will read chronologically is Psalm 90.  For some reason, chapter 90 covers the earliest history in the book of Psalms. 

Who knew? I didn’t.

Now, you don’t have to do the chronological reading plan.  There are several to choose from. 

The reading plans are also FREE!  Which I love!

–>Choose a plan HERE!

There are plans for reading the whole Bible, or just the New Testament.  There are lots of options.  Once you choose a plan and start it, the site will keep track of where you left off reading.  You can read the Bible on the screen, or you can read in your own Bible and check off each chapter as you read it.

What I like is that if I miss a few days, it just adjusts the reading plan to your schedule.  I don’t stress about it.  When I have time, I read several days worth.  If I am busy, I skip a few days.  I am not worried about when I finish.  I am reading to understand the history in order of how it really happened.

If you have wanted to read the Bible, but you can’t stay focused, these plans are helpful.  If you want to know the history of the Bible, or want to read the entire Bible in one year, there are plans to do that. 

If you can only find time to read 1 chapter each day, there is a plan for that.  It will take you 3 years to read the Bible one chapter per day.  Does that sound like something you could do?

There are also Bible readings on specific topics like “doubt” or “anxiety”.  If you click on a topic, it will give you a 7-day or 14-day devotional to read.  I haven’t tried that yet, but that sounds like it would be helpful if I was dealing with a problem and needed encouragement and guidance. 

–>Browse the topics HERE!

Why not try it?  

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Divided We Fall

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Jesus wanted us to be healed, to love God, to love each other.  He prayed that we would be united as one.

Still we get more divided.  The rift between us yawns ever bigger.  We barely see each other now.  We certainly don’t understand each other.  We bicker and criticize and quote Scripture at each other, but only get farther apart. 

Jesus died so we could be healed.  Don’t injure others in His name! 

Scripture is not meant to be a weapon against others.  First we should use the Scripture in our own life.  Measure our own behavior against the Scripture.  At least when we show the Scripture to another, we can then understand the difficulty of applying it to our own life.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). 

So shouldn’t we strive to also be gentle and humble in heart?

One day we, all His believers, will be in Heaven together, worshiping God. 

God forgives each one all their sins.  He did not say, “I forgive this one, but not that one.”  When Jesus died, His blood makes us all white as snow!  He forgives us ALL! 

Speaking to the Corinthians, Paul said, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. BUT you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God(1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

If you spend your life criticizing others, don’t you miss the point of why Jesus came to Earth?

We should be working to become oneWe should be trying to be closer in relationship with one another.  We should be forgiving.  We have differences, but are they so important that we must create a divide, going against Jesus Christ’s own prayer for us?  Should we not obey that Scripture too?

When I become frustrated or angry with a believer, I stop and remember, “He too will be in Heaven.  He too has been forgiven by God.”  I may not understand why, but God has chosen to forgive us ALL, and bring all believers together in Heaven, to praise Him!  It is all for God’s glory!

 20 “My prayer (says Jesus) is not for them (the Apostles) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)

It is God’s plan — all one — for God’s glory!

 

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If the Creek Don’t Rise

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“If the Creek Don’t Rise” is the title of a new fiction book.  

It caught my eye, because with 3 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria) all causing flooding, and river flood warnings still going out daily in my area of Florida, “If the Creek Don’t Rise” sounded relevant to me!

The author is Leah Weiss, and this is her first novel.  It is a humdinger!

I was able to get the book at my local library.  Reviews on it have been 4.5 stars all the way! It is a book about life in the Appalachian Mountains.  This area has always been intriguing to me.  Life there is hard and most people were dirt poor.  The descriptions of the homes the characters lived in, and the clothes they wore, are so real.  I felt I was there in the Appalachians watching these people walking through the woods and cooking over a fire, hanging clothes on the line to dry, or making moonshine.  

Life in the Appalachian Mountains had many dangers, like coal mine explosions, or drunk men with guns, or husbands that beat their wife, or illnesses when no doctor was available close enough to help.  They grew there own food and used plants for natural remedies for illness and injuries. This is all in the book.

The life described in this book is very authentic.  My eyes were wide at what these people endured.  Even though this is a novel, it is true that many people in the Appalachians did live this way.  The story is gripping.  The characters’ lives are heart wrenching to read about.  They faced so many challenges, knowing there was no one to help.  They had to do it alone.  Sometimes a neighbor would stop by to help, but they could not count on this.  Most people had their own problems to deal with, and more than enough work to fill their day.

I so enjoyed reading this book!  

I guarantee you won’t be bored!

–>Get your copy HERE

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Who to Blame

So who do we blame for the recent mass shooting in Vegas?

The shooter is an American citizen, retired, white, male.  He lived in Texas and now lives in Nevada.  No muslim is involved. No immigrant.  He is one of us.  

Deporting immigrants won’t help.  Banning muslim immigrants won’t help.  Building a wall won’t help.  

We need tougher gun laws!

We need a Congress willing to do what is right to protect the citizens of the United States!

Congress is who I blame for this.  Especially Republicans in Congress, because they are in control of Congress now, and have been for the past 10 years.

I pray for the families affected by this horrific act taken by a lone gunman with a semi-automatic rifle.  There are about 500 families with dead or injured loved ones.  Please God bless them with healing, comfort, and respect for their privacy.  Do not let them deal with this alone.  

The shooter is already dead.  The only closure, the only retribution possible, is stronger gun laws.

Update 10/3/17 — A minister reminded me today that the blame for this tragedy is really the devil.  This evil comes from his work.  So our best way to fight back is to pray.

Christians please cover these families with prayers.

–>Hear from country singer who performed night of Vegas shooting.

Is America really more violent than other countries?   –>See the proof!

 

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Daring to Hope

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I am so excited to review this new book —

“Daring to Hope” by Katie Davis Majors!

You will find out by reading this book that everything about Katie is “Daring”!

Katie’s smile makes people feel comfortable right away.  It is her love of people that has made her the go-to-person to help those in her community with impossible health situations.  She has provided food, medical care, and even a place to live to those in need.  She also has adopted 13 girls, becoming a very busy single mom over ten years.  I told you she is daring!

This is Katie’s second book about her life.  Reading it will encourage you to love others, and help you find the hope you need to live through difficult times.  Katie is honest in this book.  She tells us there were times she was overwhelmed, and times when she sobbed with grief, and many times she desperately prayed for God to bring a better outcome.  She ultimately finds hope by fully trusting God.

You will be changed by reading this book.  Your mind and heart will be changed.  You might even start praying as Katie does when she meets someone new, she prays that God will give her eyes like His so she can see in them what God sees.

So if you dare, ->CLICK to get “Daring to Hope”!  (It is on sale today, so don’t wait.)

Still not convinced that you need to read this book?

 Ok, then I probably should tell you that at 18, after graduating from high school in the United States, Katie moved to Uganda.  She adopted 13 girls.  She started a charity, ->Amazima Ministries, to help families provide the food and education there kids needed.  Yes this young lady did all this with no training.  All she had was an unshakeable faith in God, and amazing love for people.  She also had a ton of daring! 

This second book, “Daring to Hope”, explains why we have every reason to have hope in our Father God.  He provides everything we need.  He many times provides more than we ever dreamed.  This is certainly true for Katie.  She never dreamed she would be a single mom of 13 girls living in Uganda.  God did that.

So now –>Jump on THIS to get her book, “Daring to Hope”!

I should tell you, if you buy the book (anywhere) before October 3, you can get a free handmade bracelet! 

–>Click HERE for details about the free bracelet.

If you need more convincing, –>click HERE for a video from the author.

If you haven’t read her 1st book, then you might want to get that too.  Katie’s first book is “Kisses from Katie”.  That book is about her life from a high school senior in the United States, to a mom of 13 in Uganda.  Her second book starts from there, but it stands on its own since you already know the basics of her history by reading this post today. 

After reading “Kisses from Katie”, I wrote this post “We can save the world one child at a time”.  I dare you to read it and meet my challenge to you in it!

 –>Read my post HERE!

–>Click HERE to read her first book, “Kisses from Katie”.

I served on Katie’s launch team for “Daring to Hope”, so I received a free copy of the book.  All I did was share the news on social media about her new book, and write this honest review for you all to read.

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Under Pressure

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Are you feeling like me?  Under pressure?

I don’t know what to do first.  Do I pray? Yes!  Do I forgive? Yes!  But still I feel the pressure building…

I need to do more!  I hear so much hate and anger.  I see so much devastation from recent hurricanes and earthquakes.  I hear refugees crying with no place to go for food and shelter.  I see children without clean water to drink.  I feel the fear of so many people not knowing if they will have a place to live next year or be deported. I feel the fear of many others not knowing if they will have health insurance next year for needed medical procedures and medicines.  

I do not care if someone kneels when you want to stand!  Then stand and let them kneel. Then all of you do something for the many people who need help desperately!  –>Donate to charities!  –>Write your Senators!  Encourage others to do the same…

And pray like you have never prayed before!

My prayer —

Father God! I am crying out to you in desperation! This world is in the middle of many disasters.  There are millions of people dying without food or water.  There are millions of people without a safe place to live.  There are millions of people in need of urgent health care that have no one who will provide it.  There are millions of children with no school to attend.  There are thousands of people being murdered.  Please God have mercy on us!

We have not been acting like the body of Christ.  We have not been merciful.  We have not provided food.  We have not provided healing.  We have not forgiven.  Show us what we must do!  

Help us be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.  We need your eyes to see the needs.  We need wisdom to know how we can help.  We need humility to know that one day we will be in need, and we will want someone to help us.  Father, forgive our pride.  Forgive our arrogance.  Open our eyes to see how we can help those in need.  Put more pressure on us, until we help in whatever way we can.  

Thank you Father for being a good Father, for providing for our needs every day, and forgiving us, but I know you must be crying for all the millions of people who are not being helped.  Send us out.  Wake us up!  Lead us to the ways we can help. Thank you for listening to our prayers. Have mercy on us all. Amen.

 

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Hurricane Irma 1-2 Punch

Hi everyone!

I am so sorry I have not posted on my blog for a couple weeks!  

It started with a vacation to visit family…

Hurricane

then Hurricane Irma set her sights on Florida!

So all outside furniture, plants, and grill… had to be brought inside.  Then there is the news!  The Hurricane is now a Cat 5!  And she is aimed at the whole state! Yikes!

The Hurricane hit as a Cat 3, with a lot of noise!  There was stuff banging against the house, and wind howling.  The power went out! The city sent an emergency message to stay off the streets for 2 days while they cleared streets and live wires — full curfew in effect.

After the hurricane, we bought a generator.  We started cleaning up our yard.  A tree and many large branches filled our back yard (but the house was fine).  We couldn’t even walk through the back yard.  My husband and a neighbor took 2 electric saws (powered by the generator) to the debris and hauled it to the curb.  

I tackled the refrigerator and freezer.  I threw out anything too warm or too thawed.  The food that still had some ice crystals and felt cool, we put in coolers. We bought bags of ice.  We cooked on our propane grill all the hamburger patties and chicken strips and flounder filets we had. We would eat off that for the next four days!

Once we got a small refrigerator hooked to the generator, we moved everything out of coolers except water.  We also hooked up a fan, so we wouldn’t be so miserably hot — 88 degrees with 75% humidity.

Finally Sunday night we got electricity back!

Now the fun of cleaning the refrigerator and freezer, and doing laundry (since we were down to our last underwear and socks).  We went to the grocery story (Publix) and picked up all the essentials we had thrown out before.  

Today we are almost back to normal, except for the piles of yard debris all around the neighborhood.  Thank goodness I could read all this time (no electricity needed for that), so I will be reviewing some new books in the weeks to come.  

Also I had plenty of time to pray.  Believe me, I was praying a lot all through this experience!  Praise God everyone in my family and in my neighborhood are safe!  

I hope to see you here next week.

If you need something to read this weekend, I suggest >“Convicted” by Jameel McGee. This one will shock you!  

Or for an easier read, try >“Daughter of the King” by Amanda Williams, or my favorite of her books >“Lost and Found.    >Here’s my review.

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Daughter of the King

This is my review of “Daughter of the King” by Amanda Williams.

This is an enjoyable, fun read.  Just right for a beach read.  It takes place in Florida and Georgia.

The main character, Lexy (short for Alexandra), is in college and getting her first job after graduating.  Of course at that age, she is also involved with boys. Most everyone in the story are Christians, so this is a good clean book, safe for any age to read.  I would say that high school and college age young ladies would enjoy this book the most.  Even moms with daughters would enjoy it for a quick read.

Although I don’t read much fiction, I picked this book because I enjoyed another book, “Lost and Found”, by the same author.  

Click HERE for that book review.

The author has written several books.  –>Find them all HERE. 

Purchase “Daughter of the King”.

 

Wow! I just noticed that several of Amanda’s books are on sale for 99 cents! (Including “Daughter of the King”.) I don’t know how long the sale will last.  

Check it out! Get a few books while you are HERE.

 

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Kings and Kingdoms

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Everyone is a citizen of a country.  As a citizen, you have a national anthem to sing.  You have a flag to honor.  You probably know someone who is in the military to protect your country, who would give their life to defend your country.  You obey the laws of your country.  If not, there are punishments.

We are all a citizen of a country on earth.  Sometimes people are citizens of two countries, called dual citizenship.  If you are born again through baptism, you are re-born into the Kingdom of God.  Then you are also a citizen of God’s Kingdom.  In John 18:36, Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

If you have read history, you will know that kings rule kingdoms.  There aren’t many kings anymore on earth, because we have political offices to run many of our countries.  But as believers, our King is God, and He rules His Kingdom! 

When the King makes a decision, we must accept it.  We might be able to get the decision revised by begging or praying, but whatever His final decision is, we must accept it same as laws.  How we react to it is up to us.  We are God’s children, but even princes and princesses must obey the King! 

There are benefits to our obedience.  We are blessed with gifts from God.  We are given love, grace, and salvation.  We also will receive an inheritance.  When Jesus Christ died, His inheritance of Heaven was also given to His followers.  His followers know that one day, they will live in Heaven.  Even though we know whose Kingdom we belong in, we can’t show people where it is.  It is not on a map.  In Luke 17:21, Jesus says, “the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” We just can’t see it!

Some Kings on earth were rich, and the inheritance his children would receive might be land, castles, gold, jewelry, and other valuables.  Sometimes the King would get angry with one of his children, or one of his wives, and they might be sent to a prison, or even killed.  A favorite son would likely become the next King, once the current King died.  Other children might be a prince or duke.

God runs His Kingdom differently.  Jesus Christ is the ruler, the King of Heaven forever.  No one will take His place!

There were many kingdoms in history that were destroyed by another country’s army, and then that country would take over the kingdom.  Usually the King’s family would be killed when the new country moved in.  No other kingdom will take over God’s Kingdom.  God’s Kingdom rules the world forever!

Kingdoms on earth have boundaries.  The boundaries separate the different countries.  God’s Kingdom has no boundaries; God rules over all that is in the entire universe. 

I ask myself — Do you think you can disobey the King who rules over the universe?  Do you think you are smarter than the King who rules the universe? Do you think you could run the universe for even just 1 day?  When I think of God’s Kingdom this way, I wonder why I ever want to disobey God.  I guess some days, most days, I forget that my life is ruled by a King.  In Philippians 1:27a, Paul reminds us “Whatever happens, as citizens of Heaven, live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”

I think I am in charge of my life.  Because God gives us the gift of free will, we are not His slaves.  This means we do have some control over our life, but not complete control.  But we do not have any control over the universe!  If we are honest, we would not want to have control over the universe.  Talk about a headache!  Can you imagine how many complaints God gets every day from people praying to Him?

Just thinking about how difficult it would be to run the universe even for 1 day, makes me very grateful that all I have to take care of is me and my family.  That is more than enough for me!  Thank you God for not giving me too much to handle.  Thank you God for food each day.  Thank you God for water, rain, sunshine, trees, fruit, flowers, birds, and so much more.  The list could go on forever.  Perhaps it will when we are in Heaven. 

Do you know what I am most grateful for?

I am most grateful that God saved us from the Kingdom of darkness.  Jesus Christ died to save us from the darkness of the devil.  People who do not believe in Jesus Christ will always be in the Kingdom of darkness.  That alone is the single best gift from God even if He gave us nothing else.  I am eternally grateful to God that He rules His Kingdom with Love and Truth. 

 

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Convicted by Lies

Book Convicted

“Convicted” is written by Jameel McGee (the prisoner)

and Andrew Collins (the policeman).

“Convicted” is a true story that is shocking!

First there is the outrage over the treatment Jameel gets from the police, and when he gets sent to prison even though he is innocent! Yes, I felt outrage!

Secondly there is the astonishment that Andrew, a former policeman, would so honestly expose the illegal activities that are practiced by many of the police he worked with, and by Andrew himself!  Truly amazing that he has admitted to everything dishonest that he did. 

BUT then Jesus!  Jesus enters the picture and changes everything!

I was cheering on both of these men – Jameel and Andrew.  What they did is truly awesome!  They went beyond what anyone would expect of them.  It was only their growing faith in Jesus that allowed them to change the outcome of their futures. 

You don’t want to miss reading this book!  It could become a movie one day, but don’t wait for that! READ this book!

–>Click HERE to get your copy!

Yes, I received an advance copy of this book so I could give it an honest review.  These are my opinions alone.  I really did find this book shocking and amazing!  I think this book could help heal some of the anger between whites and blacks in America.  This book tells the truth, and can open our eyes to what is really happening in this country.  It also shows that there is hope for reconciliation, healing, and a better future if we work together.  Read this book to find out how we can work together despite our differences.

–>Read MORE, from the publisher.

 

 

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