Category Archives: Christian Living

Warrior Women Photo Gallery

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I am currently accepting submissions for the fourth book in the Warrior Women Series.  Warrior Women, Victory on the Battlefront of the Mind.  The projected deadline is May 31, 2018.  If interested, please contact me on my Facebook page – Judith Victoria Hensley, Author.

The original book is Mother: Warrior.  The second book in the series is Warrior Women, The Power of Prayer.  The third book in the series is Warrior Women, Healing the Brokenhearted.  As a  part of this book series, I have also photographed friends, relatives, and women from my church of all ages and all walks of life.  I would like to share some of those photographs.  As Christians, there is a warrior woman in each one of us.  The photographs tell a story of their own.

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Bibliography in Book Covers

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The following book covers include books I currently have in print and available on Amazon.com and Kindle. The first section includes Christian faith based books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have written one Christian Romance novel:  In the Circle of His Arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next section includes books appropriate for middle school, junior high, and high school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next section includes book of Appalachian folklore, culture, and interest.    

 

 

 

                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following books include short stories I have written as part of their project collection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following books resulted from student projects at Wallins Elementary School and Junior High in Harlan County, Kentucky in the 30 years of my teaching career. The students are also featured in a book called Hope and Heroes by international photographer Barry Shainbaum, and illustrated the book Odette, Goose of Toulouse by the late, beloved Earl Hamner, Jr. (creator of the Waltons).       Their work was also highlighted by Steve Flairty in his Kentucky Heroes book series.

                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Warrior Women, Healing the Brokenhearted

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This book is the third in the Warrior Women Series.  It is a collection of stories from women of the Christian faith who have experienced great loss as well as divine intervention in their healing process.  The book also includes photographs of ordinary women dressed as warriors which adds to the unique appeal of the book.

Available for purchase through Amazon.com and Kindle

Introduction

By J. V. Hensley

This book, Warrior Women, The Power of Prayer, is the second in a series. The first book Warrior: Mother – Daughters, Arise! can be found on Amazon.com, all of its affiliates, and Kindle. Submissions are being accepted for the third book in the series Warrior Women, Healing the Brokenhearted.

I believe God is speaking to women everywhere to arise and become who He has called us to be.

As Esther, we were born in this time, and in our respective places around the world, for such a time as this.

As Deborah, we are established to be workers in the kingdom of God, both fearless and wise.

As Ruth, we are fashioned to be loyal and steadfast, doing the will of God.

As Hannah, we are to be promise keepers, placing all our hopes and dreams in God’s hands.

As Rebecca, we are chosen ones.

Many women suffer from low self-esteem, or doubt their place in the Kingdom of God. Through the stories and images on these pages, it is my prayer that every reader will see herself differently than she did before opening the cover.

When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our flaws, our warts, our scars, or our failures. If we are born again Christians who have put our faith in Christ Jesus, that’s who He sees in our reflection. All our shortcomings are forgiven at the foot of the cross where we are redeemed by the blood of Christ and His great sacrifice for us.

We are His precious daughters, blood bought, redeemed, children of the Most High God. We are called and equipped through the Word of God and the power of prayer to become Warrior Women and make a difference in this world in our lifetimes.

We are instructed to put on the whole armor of God.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; – Ephesians 6:10 – 18

The call has gone out. DAUGHTERS, ARISE! God is calling His warrior women to come together in unity. Let our voices be heard in the land. Let our prayers touch the throne of Heaven. Let us take up our Sword, which is the Word of God, purify and strengthen ourselves through the power of prayer, and take our places in the ranks of those called by The Living God of Heaven.

1 Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and He in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him? or the son of man, that thou makest account of him?

Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains…               – Psalm 144

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Warrior Women, The Power of Prayer

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This is the second book in the Warrior Women Series.  It is a collection of stories from women of all ages and walks of life who acknowledge the importance of prayer working in their daily lives.  Photographs of women dressed as warriors add to the uniqueness of this series.

Available for purchase through Amazon.com and Kindle

 

Something Smells Good in the Oven

By Judith Victoria Hensley

Nothing smells better in a home than the evidence that someone has been busy baking.  The person who comes in and sits down at Mom or Grandmother’s tables and automatically gets fed a scrumptious meal probably doesn’t think about all of the preparation that goes into it.

When someone walks in the door and asks “What’s cooking?  Something smells delicious!” they know the meal is close to being completed.  The smell gives it away.

A friend recently compared answered prayers to making a pie.  There are a lot of steps in a homemade pie.  The crust has to be made first, and then the contents prepared.  The filling of a pie can be very time consuming or very simple.  From chicken pot pie to pecan pie, the ingredients in the middle take some preparation.

The answers to our prayers are like that.  We have to invest some time in praying and seeking God’s answer.  We may need to do some preparation on our end also in order to be ready to accept God’s answer.  On His end, there are many factors or ingredients that may be necessary to bring a specific answer for a prayer to pass.  Some people give up and move on if the answer doesn’t come immediately.  Impatience will cause a person to give up prematurely before the answers to prayer become evident.

When we pray, we may not see what all goes on in preparation before our pie goes in the oven.  Even then the oven must be set at the right temperature and the pie has to remain in the baking stage for the right amount of time before it is edible.  If it is taken out too soon, there is nothing more disappointing than a raw inedible pie.  If it stays too long, there is nothing good about burnt pie.  A seasoned baker knows exactly how long the pie has to stay in the heat and exactly the right temperature to produce a culinary masterpiece.

Hebrews 11:1 says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Shouldn’t our faith in God be that simple?  If we have faith that God will answer a prayer request we have brought to Him and wait for the process to be complete, the answer will come in due season.  Our faith is like being able to smell the pie before we see it.  We know that by the time we can smell it, it is almost finished.  When God brings our pie (answered prayer) out of the oven, it will be perfect.

I can’t think of anyone that enjoys waiting, unless we know the exact time the waiting will be completed and we get what we want.  Some people wait better than others.  Consider a doctor’s office waiting room, for example.  Some people read, while others watch TV or listen to the music.  Some are perfectly content to talk to strangers.  Others sit there and moan or huff and puff to let everyone else know how miserable they are.

Waiting on answered prayers is pretty much the same way.  Some people whine and complain that they are still waiting.  Some people go about their daily business until the answer comes.  And some people praise the Lord ahead of time for answered prayers.

If we’ve been waiting for God to answer a prayer, consider if He’s given us instructions to follow in the waiting time.  We must be faithful in both the praying, the waiting, and the praising.  We can do what we know to do in the meanwhile.  Waiting time always passes more quickly when we are doing something productive during the wait.

Throughout the Bible there are amazing stories of fascinating characters.  Script writers and their imaginations can’t begin to match the real people and their life stories recorded in the Bible.  The unglamorous part of those lives is usually the season where they were required to wait.

Strength of character is developed while we are waiting.  Wisdom is gained while we wait.  God is equipping us to be able to receive the answer to our prayers when they come.  In the wait, our faith is established.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

If we’ve been waiting a long time, there is a temptation to give up.  We grow weary and begin to feel that either God hasn’t heard us, isn’t going to answer us, or has forgotten us.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

The toughest part of waiting on an answered prayer is in the silence while our unseen answer is on the way.  There is an appointed time for answered prayers to be unveiled in our lives.  From the first moment we, as children of God, whisper a prayer, it is heard and things are set in motion.  Sometimes the answer is an immediate, “No,” because we’ve asked for something amiss or selfish.  Sometimes it is an immediate, “Yes!”  Most of the time, even our “Yes,” means we will have to wait for it.

We can smell a pie in the oven that is almost complete.  The aroma fills a house with the promise of something good to eat.  We have faith in the one who created it that they used all the right ingredients and are in control of the timer to bring the pie out of the oven when it’s done.  Our faith in God should be the same.

Don’t give up!  The answers to situations we’ve prayed about are on the way and are closer than they were yesterday!  We only need to hang on a little longer.  We do not know what another day will bring forth or what answered prayers will be in it.  We can praise God during the wait, knowing that His answers come from His great love for us.

 

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Mother: Warrior

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This is the original book in the Warrior Women Series.  It is a faith based collection of stories from Christian women who write about the importance of the role of mother in their lives.  Featured in photographs throughout the book series are every day women dressed as warrior women.

Available for purchase through Amazon.com and Kindle

Mother Warrior

Birth of a Book

By Judith Victoria Hensley

          Motherhood is one of God’s greatest blessings in my life. My former husband and I had planned on having lots of children. He said he wanted a basketball team. Since my mother’s mother had sixteen children, and my father’s mother had fourteen children, that idea didn’t sound so unrealistic at the time.

We agreed that adoption would be part of our family plan, plus children of our own. We were in the midst of the adoption process and had been married for five years before I found out that a little one was on the way.

Our rented home was a historical house on Sulphur Well Road on the outskirts of Lexington, Kentucky that had at one time served as a toll booth for wagons and stage coaches. It sat at the edge of a lovely sprawling cattle and tobacco farm.

In the middle of a September night, I heard a voice with a joyful message. “You are going to have a baby son.”  It was as if the voice was coming from a real person standing very near the bed, or even over the bed.

I awakened my husband and said, “Did you hear that?  Did you hear that?”

He hadn’t heard anything. The voice had been so loud and so real to me, it was hard for me to believe that he didn’t hear it also. When I told him what I’d heard, he didn’t believe me. I was so persistent that he got out of bed and checked the whole house to make sure all the doors and windows were locked and that there was no way anyone could have gotten in and said anything.

The idea that a heavenly voice had spoken to me was outside his stretch of faith at the time.

I was so thrilled and filled with joy, it was overwhelming. I wanted the world to know that I was going to have a son!  I was going to be a mother!

In the meantime, we were called for a final adoption hearing. We had successfully passed all the interviews, medical exams, and things that had taken years to complete.

“Has anything changed?” the interviewer asked. “Are you pregnant at this time?”

With joy, and apprehension, I had to answer, “Yes.”

Our adoption process came to a screeching halt. We were informed that we could renew our application in a couple of years if we were still interested.

As much as I knew I would have loved adopted children, I couldn’t help the joy of my own potential biological motherhood. I believed God’s timing was perfect.

I was totally convinced that if God had spoken to me through a dream, a voice, or an angelic visitation, HE had made no mistake. There was faith and affirmation in my heart that no amount of doubt from anyone else could defeat.

It took months for a pregnancy test to show up positive at the doctor’s office (in the era before home testing). Even the doctor tried to convince me that my enthusiasm and the test results were not compatible.

When the test did show positive, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. Even my mother tried to soften my expectations for a “son” in case I delivered a bouncing baby girl. At the baby shower, she even bought a little girl’s outfit (which could be returned) just in case the new baby needed a frilly outfit to wear home from the hospital.

I had a normal pregnancy with some issues of pre-eclampsia which required me to quit work earlier than expected. Our health insurance had changed and the baby had to be born after June 1 to be covered on our policy. Again, God’s timing was perfect.

On June 6, 1978, I went for my check up with Dr. O’Neil at Central Baptist Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. After the examination, he said, “Are you ready to have this baby?”

I laughed and said, “I surely am!”  I thought he was making conversation.

“You have a couple of hours to get home, get your bag and get back to the hospital.”  He laughed when he saw the startled expression on my face. “This baby is ready to meet Mama. You are already in the beginning stages of labor and dilated to four. No more than two hours before you get back!”

I was stunned. I had been having some pains scattered here and there for a long time. They were still far enough apart that I didn’t recognize them as “regular.”

When I checked in to the hospital, Dr. O’Neil came and signed orders to set me up on a pit drip. He was going to take his wife out for an anniversary dinner that evening. “I’ll see you around midnight,” he said as he left.

Things sped up far too quickly. I was in full blown labor after 7:00 p. m. and in the most excruciating pain I could imagine sweeping over me like the waves of a great storm. My husband was telling me to quit pushing and the nurse was trying to explain to him that I couldn’t stop the contractions and wasn’t pushing on purpose.

The doctor on call was already in the middle of a delivery, my doctor was out to dinner with his wife, and no one was available. It looked like daddy might have to handle the delivery himself with the help of a nurse.

The doctor came rushing in the room in his tuxedo right before 8:00. He checked on the baby and me, scrubbed in, and wheeled me off to delivery. At 8:06, our son was born. When they placed him on my chest, he looked up at me with one little open eye. I felt so sorry for him and the difficult passage through the birth canal that had caused his little face to swell. “Poor little fellow,” I said.

The doctor and staff were making happy guesses about how much he weighed. “He’s a big fellow!” they all agreed.

They cleaned him up and weighed him in at 9 lb. and 8 oz. My doctor was getting ready to go back and finish celebrating with his wife.

I knew something was amiss with me and I told the nurse. When she checked, I was hemorrhaging. I could feel the life blood draining out of me. Everyone broke into full blown panic. The doctor came back and began to put pressure on my abdomen with his fists. Nothing was helping stop the flow of blood.

They started preparing for an emergency procedure. Out of desperation the doctor climbed on the gurney and increased his efforts to press his fists into my belly. I remember thinking that it felt as if an elephant was stomping on me.

“I’m so sorry,” the doctor assured me. “If this works, it is far better than what we’ll have to do in surgery.”  I suppose he was referring to a hysterectomy and the end of my ability to produce children. I never asked.

I was praying. I don’t think I realized how close I had come to death and how serious the situation was when the bleeding stopped. God had preserved me.

I stayed in the hospital for a total of eight days while they continued to monitor me and make sure that my blood count was coming back up to normal. When I finally went home, I was weak as a kitten and my mother came to stay with me for a week.

I was instantly in love with my child. As much as I loved his father, I had no idea the depth that would be there of my mother love for him. I wanted to hold him and protect him from every possible hurt. I was as happy as could be just watching him sleep. My beautiful boy!

I have watched my son go through heartache in his life. He had to deal with the disappointment of losing his dad through divorce before he ever reached the age of one. I won’t go into detail of the challenges he faced all through growing up because he was a child of divorce. He was greatly loved on both sides, but also greatly conflicted by his own love for both of us.

In recent years, I watched him go through adult heartache that I would have taken on myself if it were possible. All I could do was love him, stand with him, and continue to pray over him. I could feel the darkness trying to overtake him, and except for prayer and my faith in God’s great faithfulness for him, I didn’t know how to “fix it for him.”

In what seemed like out of nowhere, I had one of the most dramatic visions of my entire life. I was viewing the vision as if I was above the situation, looking down on the whole thing. I saw my son cowering in a dark corner of a room that looked like a basement or a pit of the most nightmarish kind. Above him, peering down through the ceiling was a horde of demons with long claws and teeth. They couldn’t wait to get hold of him and rip him to shreds.

But between him and the creatures that were waiting to attack stood the most glorious of creatures. She was dressed in full armor in a fighting stance with her sword drawn and held up in both hands. Light was shining out of her, out of her sword, and all around her. She was the light which was keeping the demons at bay and was there to protect my child.

“An angel!” I declared.” God has sent an angel to fight for my son and hold back the darkness!”

A voice spoke in my heart with bold authority.
“She is not an angel. This is you. MOTHER.”

I was dumbfounded!  There was no way in real life that I even remotely resembled that glorious creature in full battle attire.

The Holy Spirit began to teach me many things from that vision. She was clothed in the, “full armor of God” and the sword she held was, “the Word of God.”

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Being a mother is one of the most important, and most noble roles a woman can play in this life. Whether a woman becomes a mother through the birth process of her own body, adopts children, cares for her siblings, or becomes a mother figure to children in her extended world, the heart of “motherhood” is a wonderful gift.

The calling to be a mother is also a call to be a warrior. If a child is placed in a woman’s care, she has a joyful responsibility, although fraught with challenges, to make a difference in that child’s life.

There will be times that she is the watchman; the guardian standing between her child (or children) and the powers of darkness commissioned to destroy them. When she prays and trusts in God, the armies of heaven are behind her.

God Himself hears the cries of a mother’s prayers for her little ones, no matter what their age. God equips mothers with a warrior’s heart for her children and calls them to intercession for those in her care.

We cannot control our offspring when they grow to adulthood, the decisions they make, or the struggles they face, but we can always be Mother: Warrior in their behalf.

It is my sincerest desire that the stories gathered for this book will encourage the reader, increase faith, and help each one to see herself as God sees her.

Mother Warrior

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When September is Over

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2009_0927WB2Wedding0479    I’ll be glad when September 2015 has gone.  Beginning last year I felt like God was speaking to me about something I needed to take care of before this September came around.  I got it done, but I have had such a sense of dread about this month for months in a row.

I don’t know if the anxiousness I feel is because of something that’s going to happen in my personal life, my family or friends, our state, the nation, or in the world arena.  I haven’t felt my spirit churning like this since BEFORE 9/11.  It’s almost as if I feel a shaking coming up through the earth and into my body.  Words are inadequate.

Couple that with all of the things I found on the internet when I decided to research September, 2015 and there was little comfort to be found in any of it.

Yet, the Bible repeatedly tells us we should not fear.  I am not afraid, exactly.  It is more like an anticipation of events to unfold that will impact my life (or perhaps mankind) and I am powerless to change what’s been set in motion.

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope all of the other people on the internet hailing September, 2015 as a crisis month for humanity are wrong.  I hope this is another false alarm like all the crazy survivalist stuff that was going around at Y2K.

With the month half way over, I will be glad when October 1 rolls around.

My faith is in God.  I’ve put my trust in Him.   No matter what comes on a personal level, family level, national or international event, I know that He is faithful.  No matter what comes, He is always worthy of our praise, our thanksgiving, and our worship.  In the big picture, that NEVER changes.

 

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Fearmongering is a Weapon of the Enemy

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To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.”

Any other fear is unhealthy and unnecessary.  If our faith and our confidence is in God alone, every other fear is diminished.

The enemy of our souls uses fear to control, manipulate, divide, and conquer.  Fear outside of God brings insecurity, mistrust, suspicion, and paranoia.  Even within our churches, the enemy uses fear to stir up false prophecies, and as a means of controlling people.

There have been so many prophetic words about this year of 2015 and the dreadful things that are supposed to unfold, that many are fearful.  Allowing this fear to take over our thoughts and behavior is a means of taking away our confidence in God and His divine involvement in our lives, and His divine protection.

The Lord has given me specific instructions about September, 2015 for my own life and began to speak to me over a year ago regarding a time of transition in the earth and in the United States.  Although I have a dread about hardships that will come at some point in the future, that is not the same as fear.

What has happened in me is a desire to spend more time studying the things of God, listening to sound preaching, less television, more LISTENING TIME where I hope to hear from God.  I’m less insecure about stupid things like how I look or trinkets I’d like to own.  My priorities continue to shift, but NOT out of fear.

In the very near future I have seen by the Spirit things that will affect the United States and the world, but I am not the only one seeing these eventualities.  Earthquakes, flooding, barren fields, famine, a tsunami unlike anything recorded by man before, military rule in our streets, curfews enforced, illness, isolation, military attacks inside the US, financial collapse, and even the appearance of an entity CLAIMING to be an extraterrestrial who will influence governments and people.

The Bible says that in the last days, men’s hearts will fail them because of fear.  Many nominal Christians will fall into the melee  of fearful madness.  Not having time to have developed relationship with God, they will embrace world events as if they are proof that there is no God or that God has abandoned us.

Fear of hunger.  Fear of death.  Fear of losing finances or material goods.  Fear of suffering.  Fear of disease.  Fear of being abandoned or alone.  Fear of fear.  All of these things are weapons in the hands of our enemies.  All of these are tools of control.

If our confidence is in men, there is much to fear.  If our confidence is in God, we shall be delivered into His hands and nothing else matters.  I believe I will not leave this life one day early or one day late.  My steps and my purpose have been established by the Lord.  I will live long enough to fulfill my divine destiny.  To me, that’s all that matters in the big picture.  I am thankful for the blessings, joys, people, opportunities, and wonderful life I have along the way.  I will not let fear of the future or the unknown rob me of the gifts God has given me each day.

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Matthew 10: 28 – And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.

Proverbs 14: 26 – In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

Job 28:28 – And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.

Psalms 33:8 – Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Deuteronomy 10:12 – And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

Proverbs 14: 27 – The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Proverbs 3:7 – Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Psalms 25:14 – The secret of the LORD [is] with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Luke 1:50 –  And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Psalms 111:10 -The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.

Psalms 86: 11 – Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

Isaiah 41: 10 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Philippians 12: 12 – 13  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Proverbs 16: 6 – By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.

Psalms 34: 9 – O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want to them that fear him.

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Every Door is an Opportunity to Praise God.

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For every open door in my life, I praise God.  For every opportunity, I praise Him.  For every blessing, I praise Him.  In every trial and tribulation, I praise Him.  In every challenge, I praise Him.

No matter what our situation, or circumstance that changes, there is something that remains constant.  God is ALWAYS worthy of my praise.

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An Adventure We Cannot See

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Life on this planet is a journey of discovery for all of us no matter who we are, where we come from, socioeconomic background, or educational opportunity.  Every day is jam packed with potential.

Having lost a dear friend today and several people that I cared about over the last few weeks, I am mindful of the lessons we should learn from life, love, and loss.  All of it is good.

My best advice that I’ve learned for my life follows:

1.  Love God with all your heart and trust Him in every situation ALWAYS.

2.  LOVE the people you have the opportunity to love, but never to the point that they think they have the right to abuse you or take you for granted, or willfully harm you in any way.  LOVE yourself enough not to let that happen.

3.  Don’t miss the joy of today because of yesterday’s fears.

4.  BE BRAVE.  Take chances on things with an outcome worth the risk.

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5.  Use your gifts to make the world a better place.

6.  DREAM BIG.

7.  BELIEVE in yourself and that God has a plan for you that is good, has purpose, and will bring you joy.

8.  Be a life long learner.  Never abandon curiosity and never think you have learned all you need to know.

9.  Worry more about what your heart is made of than your bank account.

10.  Work hard, play hard, love hard – live your life to the fullest.

11.  FORGIVE.  It is the gift you give yourself.  Then move on.  Don’t go back and wallow in the misery, hurt, or confusion that another person carried into your life.  Forgive, let go, move on.

12.  PREPARE your heart for the adventure we cannot see.  When this life is finished here, it is the propulsion into eternity – into the adventure we cannot see except by faith.  Go to sleep where you are.  Wake up in eternity.  Always keep your heart ready.

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