Tag Archive | Christian encouragement

Restoring Hope (A Casey Conrad Sequel)

How did you spend your quarantined year? For me, dear friends and followers, I concentrated on my writing endeavors. I guess this 2020 project could be filed under “If we can’t play outside with our playmates – make up imaginary ones!” 

And so I did!  Therefore, I am pleased to announce the launching of my newest novel, “Restoring Hope (A Casey Conrad Sequel) by Ellie Marrandette

As a parent, what lengths would go to, to restore joy to the one you love? Restoring Hope is a feel-good novel about love and redemption based on my Christian values and counseling career.

Below is the book blurb:

 

 

Renown LPGA golfer, Casey Conrad, is married to her career. Overcoming a tragic childhood, golf became her redemption. She now aspires to use the skills she learned to give back. Her dream is to create an Academy as a safe-haven for underprivileged, inner-city girls. “Golf transcends life,” she testifies. “It instills discipline, integrity and moral values.”

Hope Morgan, a rebellious teenager, feels abandoned by those claiming to love her. How can they love me when they keep sending me away? Everyone lies!  Adopted at birth, residing in a wealthy home, she has everything but what she desires most – a place to belong.

Ryan Morgan had always wanted to be a father. A product of a middle-class upbringing, he grew up amid hard work and godly values. Wealth and privilege were nothing he desired until he met Angelina Rappaport, the daughter of a prominent investment banker. Marrying into a lifestyle he knew little of, he quickly felt like an outsider.

After a tragedy occurs, Ryan moves with his daughter to Charleston, South Carolina, to begin a new life. Now his only desire is to restore his daughter to the joyful, spirited girl he remembers.

Three different victims, many different scenarios. Will a father’s love prevail, can another young girl find redemption and will a dream be fulfilled?”

***********************************************************************

WordPress has changed their website while I’ve been away. The best I can do for a link right now is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N6Y84M2  Hopefully, I can figure out how to edit this later. At least this will link you to the page. The book is available in ebook format for $2.99.

Here are some of my other works:

Nonfiction:

“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us)    Paperback and ebook format

Novels:  

Sometimes Marriage is a Real Crime 

Casey’s Journal   

I am reformatting my short novella, “The Curious Proposal for Prosperity, Nevada” which should be done within the next week or so,

Thank you my friends, I very much appreciate your support and any word-of-mouth advertising you can provide.  Blessings back, Ellie

 

The Garbage Truck

Change Therapy

David Pollay was in a New York City taxi cab and here’s what happened to him.

“I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car skidded, the tires squealed, and at the very last moment our car stopped just one inch from the other car’s back-end. I couldn’t believe it. But then I couldn’t believe what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face. And he even threw in a one finger salute!…

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The Color of Love

I had no intention of falling in love. But there he was.

At a huge outdoor market one spring day, I nonchalantly walked by the large open pen where most of his brothers and sisters lay sleeping. At first I simply checked them all out as they played and slept.  Aah, who doesn’t love puppies? I thought. Yeah, so cute but so much work. Feeding, walking, grooming, vet bills . . . It’s a long term commitment!

Don’t get attached, just walk away, Ellie, walk away. I failed to heed my own advice. 

There were some very pretty puppies of many different colors, but one in particular, happened to catch my eye. He was white with large black eyes, a black nose and one floppy brown ear. Eight weeks old. Oh, but he’s so precious!!!

At first, he just observed me with those curious black eyes. It looked like he had just woken up. Then, as he watched me, his tiny tongue began flicking in and out. Then his little tail slowly began wagging back and forth. Suddenly he pounced upward, happily bouncing against the side of the pen on two legs, smiling, begging for attention – all while his little tongue was moving a mile a minute, longing for kisses and attention.

Aren’t we all searching for attention and love?

Nope, I had no intention of falling in love. But there he was . . . and yes, I did. Do you think I cared whether he was white, tan, brown, red or black? Would you?

I fell in love with a happy-go-lucky, friendly, intelligent, kind and sweet little dog. His character was more important to me than his fur color or his pedigree. Four and a half years later, he still instills joy into our lives.

When I meet someone new, I look at their smile, kindness, integrity and enthusiasm for life – which is all part of their character. I admit, I have little patience with those those who stir up dissension and I despise injustice, negativity and stupidity.

Which brings me to the spiritual aspect of New Creations Ministries. How are we to treat others?

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

When God looks down on us, do you think He cares what color we are? How prestigious our heritage? Our job title? I doubt it very much. When God looks at us, He sees our heart and cares about our character, not our skin color. Jesus himself was not a blue-eyed Caucasian and he didn’t look like George Clooney.

“For God does not show favoritism.” (Romans 2:11)

God doesn’t play favorites and neither should we. We are all His children and created in His image. Bring religious education and at least the Bible back into schools again and we might save the next generation. Our US Constitution does not proclaim Freedom FROM Religion, only Freedom OF Religion. Disagree? Search out Truth.

God cares about our character so much He sent His only Son to die on the cross for ALL mankind! That’s LOVE and it has no color. How many young people today realize that? Oh, you say, “I wouldn’t want to force religion on my children. I let them choose.”  Well okay. how is THAT working out for us???

Real love is a demonstration of it!

Are We Becoming a Wasteland?

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. (Amos 8:11)

I must have finally become “old” for I am longing for the good old days. I remember a time in the 1950s when my grandfather declared that Rock and Roll was destroying today’s youth! Now those songs seem so innocent compared to the Rap, Rock and even Country lyrics heard today.

I know we tend to build on memory and make the past better than it was, but I don’t recall a previous time when civility was as out of control as it is today! Even during two terrible world wars, most people still had respect for one another.

Not today. And even in the ’50s and ’60s, when there were strip clubs and pornography, it wasn’t blatantly viewed daily on television as we do now. Even during the angry generation of the 1960s, if a man swore in front of me, he’d immediately apologize afterwards. Now young men in stores casually drop f-bombs and think nothing of it. I have seen little girls go from wearing patent leather shoes to high heels and butt-exposing shorts with no regard to modesty, while her mom apparently approves because she’s wearing a matching outfit.

Heard nightly on the news, protest groups want to convert others to their radical “religion.” I ask you: ‘Why would we EVER want to become them? Their ways are neither loving nor uplifting.” And I am not only talking about radical religions in other countries but our own as well! When viewing someone’s unkind Christian remarks, what would make us desire their religion? I follow NO religion . . . I follow Christ!

In today’s world of apathy and depravity, how many long to hear the sweet words of our Lord? You’re right, not many. We have a great famine in our country and it’s not for lack of food. 66% of our country is overweight and don’t care! They’d rather follow a famous false diet guru than God’s healthy- living plan.

The famine I speak of is a famine for Moral Truth. Please don’ become an unthinking sheep wandering in a swamp of destruction. How much farther can our nation plummet into the muck before we’ll perish? Who has the courage to stand out with Godly Conviction, declaring “enough!” and lead us out of our pit?

Today we see so many children innocuous to suffering, either due to ignorance, (no one has shown them Jesus) apathy (which is the opposite of love) or blatant disregard for rules and regulations. After all, taking drugs isn’t hurting anyone else! Must I remind you that we don’t live in a vacuum? Everything we do affects someone else! It’s called the “Butterfly Effect.”

“They wouldn’t listen or pay attention but became obstinate, not listening or accepting discipline.” (Jeremiah 17:23)

I believe your neighbor is thirsting for the Word of God (and everyone is our neighbor!) All you have to do is speak out. I realize it’s scary at first to profess Christ, but it gets easier as Jesus controls your life. Pray for opportunities and they will come. Don’t be afraid – for won’t it be more embarrassing if before they are sentenced to an eternity in hell, they ask God, But why didn’t Ellie tell me about Christ? As Christians, remember we never stand alone! Put on that full Armor of God and don’t hesitate to spread the Word of Truth!

 

Is the SBC’s Tent Big Enough for ALL Marginalized Christian Women?

What a powerful post linking the correlation between sound Christian doctrine and sound nutritional teaching. Michelle Lesley is a powerful Christian writer. I respect her for she stands courageously for Truth and so do I. I praise God for her strong testimony for the Lord.

As a Christian nutritional counselor I profess physiological truth when it comes to health. Sadly there are many more in this world who will follow what their “itching ears want to hear” than will follow Spiritual and physiological Truth.

Case in point: I’m not sure if you noticed the headline advertising “hot dog water” recently on the news lately? This hot dog water was being sold for $38 a tube – hopefully as a joke, but touted for weight loss. I’m not sure how many people actually bought it but in the mid 1990s, 41 signed up for Oprah’s fake hot dog and ice cream diet in two days! “itchy ears” again.

If I sold and promoted junk food as a weight loss program, I’d be rich by now. I continually battle false diet teachers who have a celebrity name or have a doctorate who profess unhealthy , unrealistic, quick weight loss, eliminating food groups and outright untruths to sell product. But professing the truth of Genesis 1:29, Genesis 9:3 and 1 Corinthains 10:23 as a legitimate health plan, doesn’t make one wealthy. I will continue to write and stand for mental, physical and spiritual interity, truth, praying you wil never become a sheep following blindly. Seek and hunger after the Word of God always, blessings,

Michelle Lesley

It started with Paige Patterson’s gobsmackingly horrible and unbiblical advice to an abused to wife to return to her husband. Then it was the lurid remarks he made about a teenage girl, with which he regaled a congregation during a sermon. Next came the allegations of his mishandling of two separate sexual assault cases at two different seminaries.

In response to all this turmoil, Beth Moore added to the conversation some vague stories of various unnamed men in Christian circles who had, in her perception, condescended to her or otherwise not treated her as an equal, leaving the impression that there is widespread, systemic misogyny within modern evangelicalism. Jen Wilkin, from a more biblical – yet, troublingly, similarly vague – perspective, joined the chorus, and has been afforded a wider audience for the “they can’t be pastors, natch, but we need more women in church leadership” platform she…

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Thank You for the Light of the World Award

I’d like to extend a special thank you to http://www.hisperfecttiming.blog   for a very special award given to those blogs “whose presence on the web serves as a shining light for Christ and His Gospel of salvation.”  That’s quite an honor, thank you! I have been truly blessed via the internet to obtain many wonderful followers who have become very close friends. She is certainly one of them.

This lovely award, created by Joe Rodriguez of Lighthouse Devotions,  http://www.lighthousedevotions.blog  (one of the rules is to mention him in your prepared acceptance post.) So thank you Joe for creating an encouraging award. All who post this to our site strive to motivate others to become their best self, pleasing to our Lord.

The Rules for Acceptance:

  1. Save and add the award image (pictured here) on your blog.
  2. Create a page/post to mention the award nomination and thank the person/blog that nominated you. Make sure you provide a link to their site.
  3. Give credit to the creator of the award (Lighthouse Devotions) and provide a link to the site as well. (http://www.Lighthousedevotions.blog)
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer the next four questions on the same post:
    What three words would you use to describe your blog?
    In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?
    What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?
    What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.
  6. Nominate 7 or more people/blogs to receive the award. Briefly explain why you think they should receive it and provide a link to their sites.
  7. Contact them and let them know that you nominated them.
  8. Provide them with a link to the Rules page.
  9. Say a prayer thanking God for His light and ask that He continue to shine it through you and your blog.
  10. Keep shining the light of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do!

Here are my answers to His Perfect Timing’s questions:

1. What three words would you use to describe your blog?

“Biblical Nutritional Truth”  There are so many false diet gurus out in the world today who profess a false dietary doctrine which contradicts God’s Word of physiological Truth. Don’t believe everything your “itchy ears” want to hear simply because it sounds easy and quick!

2. In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?

One way is to present our bodies as living sacrifices, practicing self-control over food cravings. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.”  (Romans 12:1)

3. What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)

Many people are in the dark about what constitutes a sensible daily diet. That path can literally lead to one of destruction through dangerously high cholesterol levels, heart disease, diabetes and even cancers.

I urge you to discover what God already knows and has encouraged us to follow, a common-sense physiological pathway – which He laid down in Genesis 1:29 & 9:3 – for that way leads to a healthier lifestyle.

4. What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.

Perhaps Chris Rice, “Go Light Your World.” By exhibiting a strong Christian testimony, others seek what you have.

Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world

My nominations in no particular order and I love everyone of my 3200+ followers:

  1. Matthew Winters, Comeback Pastor  https://mdw4christ.wordpress.com  His Biblical insight is soooo incredible, that I’ve sent many links to my pastor husband.
  2.  Yelobird, Tammy of  http://www.yelobrd777.com   Her prayerful encouragement never failed to bring peace to my soul, She’s not only my wonderful sister in Christ, but also my personal prayer warrior!
  3. Randy, another wonderful pastor friend who provides Wisdom in all his posts which is an encouragement to me.  https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com/ The world needs more strong, intelligent Biblical pastors like Randy and Matthew!
  4. Wendy Endaya of   https://harvestofhealing.wordpress.com    My gosh, I know if she lived in my town, I’d be over at her house daily for Christian fellowship! I thank her for her prayers of encouragement as we endured tough times recently.
  5. Bob Clark posts on Facebook: https://plus.google.com/+RobertClarke He is always is there with an intelligent comment attached to a Scripture verse and he knows nutrition!!!
  6. Lisa Riehm, another strong-minded Christian woman who physically struggles with Lyme disease. You’d never know it however, for her positive attitude is an inspiration to all!  https://thewhisperwithin.live
  7. Sheila, my Christian Outreach friend in Italy (the gorgeous city view on her site is worth the click alone!)  https://sheilascorziello.com.   My heart broke when we couldn’t meet after my Italian missionary trip was canceled. But if not soon, I know we will eventually

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”  (Philippians 1:3)

Labels- Do’s and Don’ts

What a fabulous and powerfully written post by Eat, Move, Improve by Anthony DiMarino! How often do we believe the labels placed upon us? How foolish to believe the lies and whispers of the devil telling us we are junk. God made us and God never makes junk!

Enjoy reading this motivating post and take it to heart:

EAT, MOVE, IMPROVE

IMG_5849
Labels- we seen them everywhere.  We label people.  We label products.  We label foods.  Depending on the label we give something, it will change the meaning and the perspective we take.

For example, we label people.  We generalize.  We label rich people as “greedy,” “grimy,” or “despicable”.  We label overweight individuals as “lazy”, “losers”, or “undisciplined”.  These labels we use create how we interact within the world.  If you see the people I outlined above in this way, would you interact with them?  Probably not.

What if we turned this concept inward to ourselves.  If we see ourselves as “lazy”, “uncommitted”, “no good”, or “weak”, how do you think we would act?  Like losers, I’m sure.  So, why give yourself labels like that?  Consider changing the way you see things. Change the way you see others and yourself.  Choose constructive thoughts, words, and actions when viewing other people, yourself, and products.  Choose products and people that will benefit you in your mental, physical, emotional, behavioral, and…

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Calling All Biblical Teachers and Homeschooling Families

Remember when Andrew first met the Messiah? What was his first reaction? He ran to tell his brother Peter the Good News! Well, that’s how I felt when given a wonderful children’s book entitled, “Where Are The Other Nine?”  (The Story of the Leper that Came Back to say Thank You) by Max Reid. I found an excellent Biblical resource and wanted others to know!

Max Reid has written and published 14 children’s Kindle Bible Stories (2 of which are compilations of 5 stories each)  and 1 Picture Book for toddlers. All of these are affordable, available in both e-book or paperback form, starting at $.99 on https://www.amazon.com/Max-Reid/e/B071P2ZSJW/https:/

Today, I am reviewing “Where Are the Other Nine?” Written from the point of view of a Samaritan family; it places us in the shoes of the one afflicted. I found it relatable and intriguing, inviting much discussion of faith, trust and how we treat others.

At first glance, gazing at the cute cover, I mistakenly believed this book to be for those of a younger age. (It’s a sweet cover, as are all of Max’s books.) But what I discovered was so much more. These books are targeted perhaps toward the 4-10 year age group but easily could be used as practical Biblical instruction in Sunday School, homeschooling, children’s church or during family devotions.

As parents, we are commanded to teach Biblical values daily to our children: “Teach them repeatedly to your children. Talk about them while sitting in your house or walking on the road, and as you lie down or get up.”  (Deuteronomy 6:7) 

This thought-provoking book is based on the miraculous healing of the ten lepers by Jesus found in Luke 17: 11-19. This event opens up a myriad of questions which transcends into our modern age, bringing to light many “what if’s” to a young person’s mind.

How do we treat others who are not like us? How often do we walk right by someone who isn’t: the poor, homeless, disabled, disfigured . . . and ignore them or believe they are “below” us? (Does God look at our outside appearance or our heart?)

Levi’s father, through no fault of his own, became one of the lepers and an outcast. He couldn’t work any more. Therefore he had no money and had to beg for food, clothing, warm blankets. Money meant nothing since he couldn’t enter a store to shop and had to rely on the kindness of others for his very existence.

What if your entire comfortable lifestyle was taken away? What if we lost everything, how would we react? (How do we thank Jesus for his many blessings, even amidst trials?)

And what if that leper was you? How would you like to be treated? With compassion, help or disgust? What if that outcast was your own parent? You’d never feel their arms around you, kiss your cheek or tuck you in at night.

Life certainly would take on a different perspective, wouldn’t it? Would you be kinder? What did Jesus do and what does that teach us?

What becomes most important in your life? How would you feel if you were suddenly isolated from your loved ones because of illness? What would be your first reaction? Would you shake your fist at God and blame Him? Would you pray, trust in God or turn from Him?  

The author, Max Reid is a talented writer who has taught children’s Bible Studies in his church for 18 years and it shows. Beautifully written, this book draws the reader in by presenting the gospel adapted for today’s generation. I urge you to purchase and use his books in your church or family’s devotional time!

 

Where Have All the Relationships Gone?

I came across a cute cartoon on Facebook which was created entirely of emoji’s and icons. (not this one, wasn’t sure if other had a copyright) It professed that after more than 3,00o years we’ve returned to speaking through modern day hieroglyphics. How true!

Real one-on-one communication today seems to be disintegrating as quickly as paper books. Twitter, Texting and Facebook have emerged as conversations without actual voices. A happy face icon is replacing actual laughter and a physical hug and in this extremely mobile modern world, even close friendships can dissolve quickly.

A study conducted by the University of North Carolina indicated that stress levels were lowered when participants hugged each other. Hugging releases chemical feel-good endorphins such as oxytocin, described as a hormone of love and the neurotransmitter, serotonin. This allows us emotionally to feel safe, secure and in trusted hands. No amount of x’s, o’s or happy face icons attached as an internet hug can replace a physical one!

God, time, communication and laughter in my opinion, is the glue that holds friendship together. Your spouse should also be your friend.

GOD is the Anchor. He instills a moral compass as well as the Golden Rule. There is no coincidence with God. He brought you together for a reason. Do you care? That which you treasure, you take care of. Protect each other’s feelings through a lifetime commitment of respect, courtesy and love.

LAUGHTER keeps a relationship young-at-heart. What seems like a crisis  in a relationship can often be a learning experience which over time is usually laughed about when relating that story to family and friends years later. Don’t sweat the small stuff, as the saying goes. In perspective, it’s all small stuff. Only what we do for our Lord matters.

TIME. In a strong, loving, balanced relationship, a couple should continually allocate more time together than apart. Never stop supporting, learning and growing together! God created us as complex creatures. It’s exciting to discover new interests that add to a couple’s extensive memory portfolio in marriage!

Communicate! Don’t let your relationships become complacent! Complacency leads to boredom. Sadly, many marriages are disposable in today’s throw-away society. How many times while counseling did I heard the phrase: “We used to talk for hours, but he doesn’t communicate with me anymore!” Wouldn’t most women prefer good communication from the heart than a gift from the store?

I can’t believe in life you can’t find something to talk about:  vacation plans, politics, sports, travel, world events, work, music, television shows, a joke you heard, a Bible study point of view . . . there’s literally a world of items to discuss!

We surround ourselves with such busyness and noise and yet more and more, as humans, we are so lonely. Then we reach for anything that temporarily satisfies, food, drugs, alcohol, shopping. We find ourselves in a void, falling further and further away from God’s love. Get back to the Word!

Surround yourself with godly people who encourage, build you up and believe you are worth speaking to. It takes commitment, patience and the Lord as the center of any relationship to ensure longevity. Reach out!

 “Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will listen to the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you, so that it may go well with us when we listen to the voice of the LORD our God.”  (Jeremiah 42:6)

Water, The Great Equalizer

As I watch the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the heartbreak of those who have lost so much, my heart goes out to them. Through no fault of theirs the Houston and additional Texas areas are enduring trials I can’t imagine.

Expectedly the hurricane with its torrential rain turned north after striking Corpus Christi, hitting the beautiful area of Houston hardest with still-rising flood waters. Leaving their beloved home, memories and animals behind, residents called out for safety.

Floods demonstrate how water is the great equalizer. It didn’t matter if one owned a shack or a multi-million dollar estate; water devastated each one. It didn’t matter if someone was a field laborer or CEO, water took away their livelihood. When we come before God, keep in mind that it won’t matter if we are janitors or celebrities because no one can purchase Heaven with fame or money. Salvation by Faith is a free gift and will be the only fact that determines eternity.

I wonder how many of them thought of the Scripture in Matthew, Chapter 24. Jesus told his followers; as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it will be when Christ returns to rescue his Believers. For a hundred years Noah urged his friends to renew their lives through faith in God. But some, believing they had all the time in the world, mocked his warnings. Failing to heed God’s Saving Grace, they perished. Water became the great equalizer. Many today believe they have plenty of time to accept Christ. Until then, God is mocked and other idols replace our Lord.

Unexpected disaster can occur at any moment in our lives, even death. Some seem apathetic to death as well. “I’m young!” They say, “I have plenty of time, couldn’t happen to me!” But “Now is the time of Salvation!” (1 Corinthians 6:2)

Some will blame God for their circumstance; failing to understand that God originally created all things, “Good.” Remember it was man’s choice to mess everything up. Mankind became so evil that God sent a worldwide flood to reclaim and renew His original Creation. But in His Mercy and Love He didn’t destroy all but rescued eight faithful people and began again.

As residents evacuated, many had to leave their beloved pets behind, praying they would be saved eventually. When Christ comes to rescue his Believers, some loved ones will be left behind. Do everything you can to ensure they are saved!

Baptism by water immersion represents a rebirth and dedication to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If one confesses sin and turns from their old ways, Baptism washes it all away. God will never forsake us and offers us a safe place of refuge. Find refuge with Him.

Accepting Christ makes one new through a newly-created attitude and mindset. Some experts say it will take years to rebuild Houston but accepting Christ and becoming a New Creation only takes a moment. God is giving you a way out of your despair, accept Him today!

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) NASB