Monday, December 18, 2017
Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my two week book tour for Burnt Orange by Meiah Shaun. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs December 18-29, 2017. Follow the tour here. Book your own tour here WNL.
Genre: African American Christian Fiction
About The Author
Meiah Shaun pens fiction, non-fiction and plays with faith-based messages linking her personal life experiences with spiritual life lessons. She launched A Crown of Beauty Ministries. She's a native of Orange, Texas and currently resides in the Dallas, Texas area. She is a graduate of LeTourneau University. Her anticipated new release "Burnt Orange" is an inspirational coming-of-age story. In addition to writing, she's an avid reader, a foodie, loves flowers and shoe shopping.
About The Book
A coming-of-age story of Erin and Erika, Texas twins in an abusive home in a town segregated by white and black color lines, who are wounded by the revealing of a shocking family secret and long to escape their circumstances and erase what they have been labeled. Follow their journey in this compelling novel filled with inspiration and triumph.
I enjoy viewing maps and the globes at school as it makes me dream. I live in the largest state of Texas, along the muggy and swampy Gulf coast. The summers are really hot and humid here. Folks call this area of southeast Texas the Golden Triangle, where there’s a large Cajun Texan population. In our Lapland, we have gumbo cook-offs, Cajun festivals, crawfish boils, and zydeco radio. The part of the Golden Triangle that my family lives in is Orange, Texas.
The year is 1991, and majority of our small town is segregated. We have pecan and moss trees canopying the paved streets. But somehow, the town was named Orange, like the fruit. You’ll hear some black folks call our town the Fruit.
Occasionally, I see prints of burnt orange and yellow tints in the late-evening hazy skyline far above me. Black birds fly high above, embracing the sunset, while crickets chirped throughout the night. Traffic parades through our neighborhood street every evening, with homeboys blasting the latest rap music rumbling in their dashboards and trunks. Some of our neighbors are to blame for most of the congested traffic. Our neighbors keep a lot of company over at their house, but their folks never block our driveway. I think that’s ’cause most people around here think my momma is the police ’cause she works at the county jailhouse.
Around here, blacks and white folks work and go to school together, but they hardly play together outside of that. There’s racial tension, and the railroad tracks divide our town along class status and color lines. We live on the east side of the tracks.
I’ve heard black folks complaining about how mean the white people are here in Orange especially in nearby Vidor, which has a history of the Klan. My folks believe some whites are mean too. They talk about how whites work hard to keep black folks down. Daddy complains about not finding a good job ’cause of the white man.
To me, if it’s that bad, then we all need to move away from here! There are a million places on this earth where we can live. It’s just that simple to me. I see myself living a new life away from here. I dream of living in a big city with crowded streets packed with all walks of life, tall skyscrapers, and the everyday hustle and bustle. But it’s just a dream I see every day in my head.
“Erin and Erika, get up and do yo’ chores! Da dishes are dirty, and fold up my clothes!” Daddy yells at the top of his lungs.
“In a minute, I wanna finish watching my show.”
Daddy stumbles over me and then steps over Erika, who is sitting Indian style on the living room floor. He turns the television off during the last five minutes of our program. It’s our Saturday off, and we love to watch Teen Summit on
BET. He never wants us to enjoy ourselves at anything.
Erika jumps up and runs to the TV. As I’m standing up to my feet, Daddy pushes Erika, and she falls into my chest.
Barnes & Noble:
Amazon ebook: http://a.co/9y57n76
Amazon Paperback: http://a.co/3OcxrDz
Get Started Publishing Your eBook
The alternative to publishing a paperback copy of your book is to offer your readers an eBook copy. eBook prices are more affordable than a paperback and hardcover. I initially wanted to publish my book only as an eBook because of the popularity of eBooks. I published my book through Kindle Direct Publishing. My eBook was available for purchase within twenty-four hours. Royalties for eBooks can be paid much higher between 35% and 70%. Pricing for eBooks are cheaper than the paperbacks and hardcover books. You may update and change your eBook pricing at any time. Be sure to research other popular books that are in your genre. Price your eBook at a price that you feel your eBook is worth. Do not sell yourself short on the pricing because you are building your net worth.
I have learned from experience that an eye-catching book cover is crucial for eBooks. I only needed a front book cover and I didn’t need a barcode. Your eBook cover is the first thing that customers will review upon purchasing. You can hire a graphic designer to create your book cover. Kindle Direct Publishing gives authors the option to create their own book cover using the free graphics. The book title should be large and in bold font along with the author’s name. It is important that your book cover represents your story’s theme. Make sure that your book cover appears professional with a bold and creative design. You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to create an awesome book cover.
An ISBN is required for eBooks as it is for paperbacks and hardcover books to track your sales. ISBN can be purchased through Bowker. There are other retailers who will use your ISBN to track sales of your eBook. An ISBN is not required to publish an eBook through Kindle Direct Publishing. Authors without an ISBN will be assigned a unique identification number called an ASIN.
Market your eBook on your website and use additional social media outlets. Set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Build a following of potential customers. Share with your audience your upcoming events and provide links to purchase your eBook. Open up discussions on your blogs to engage your readers. This will allow feedback and opinions from potential customers.
There are many well known successful authors who have self published their eBook. Be willing to put in hard work and time making your eBook a success.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Arlena's Blog Information For Various Authors : Write Now Literary Presents The Bennu Project Virt...
Arlena's Blog Information For Various Authors : Write Now Literary Presents The Bennu Project Virt...: Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my two week book tour for The Bennu Project by Tyrone Givens. This virtual book tour is orga...
Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my two week book tour for The Bennu Project by Tyrone Givens. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs November 23-December 6, 2017. Follow the tour here. Book your own tour here WNL
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi
About The Book
On a dangerous run to scavenge supplies from a remote excavation site in the Meza Ruins, Azubuike and his friends encounter a unique piece of technology left by their ancestors. Once exposed to the device, Azubuike’s reality is altered in ways that could unravel his mind. The team has no way of knowing the danger—or benefit—posed by this ancient technology which triggered a series of events forever changing Azubuike and his friends. Has he unlocked the secret to end the alien occupation of his world or will this device result in the extinction of his people?
The Bennu Project is a genre-defying novel with the suspense of mystery, metaphors of science fiction and accuracy of historical relevance depicting the rise-and-fall of several Nile Valley civilizations.
About The Author
Fed up with the stereotypical caricatures used to falsely portray the Black culture, Tyrone Givens is committed to creating heroes and heroines as positive images for our children. To reverse the less-than-flattering qualities that diminish self-esteem, self-worth and cultural value, this master storyteller entertains readers with science fiction plots infused with historical facts often omitted from school curriculums.
Givens, a homeschool educator whose high school-aged children are attending college, is a multi-lingual, federally-licensed airplane pilot. The Bennu Project is the culmination of his passions: empowering Black children, accurate depiction of our history and rebuilding our community.
Tour hosted by WNL Book Tours
The Bennu Project
What Inspired Me to Write My Book
Of concerns important to me, representation is among the most pertinent. Many issues that trouble this generation can be viewed as symptoms of how they view themselves. Minorities who are often under-represented or outright misrepresented in main stream media are often affected. That said, what inspired me to write The Bennu Project Series was an overwhelming urge to reverse or mitigate stereotypes and misrepresentations of certain demographics.
Another source of inspiration: my children. I am a homeschool educator who struggled to find a way to teach my teenagers historical reference material while keeping their attention. I wanted them to enjoy the subject matter as they learned. My attempts to find literature about social justice heroes (that was more than biographical or reference material) were getting me nowhere. Thus, I merged one of our favorite topics—science fiction—with one of my favorites—pre-colonial Africa—and The Bennu Project was born.
The teaching tool I created for my children to more easily retain historical concepts is now a recommended resource for history classes. I am amazed and grateful at the progress of The Bennu Project Series and the reception it has earned with inner-city educators and home schoolers.
Monday, November 6, 2017
Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my week book tour for Jillian, by Julia. A Royston. This
virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs November 6-30, 2017. Follow the tour here. Book your own tour here WNL
Book Title: Jillian Book 1 of the Women of the Fellowship Series
Genre: Romance Fiction
About The Author
Julia Royston is an author, publisher, speaker and teacher. Julia provides full-service book publishing services, writing and publishing coaching services as well as hosts workshops and conferences to help aspiring writers become best-selling authors and thriving entrepreneurs. By profession, Julia is a 22-year certified, media specialist/technology instructor with the local public school system. For more information about Julia and her companies visit, www.juliaroyston.net
About The Book
Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/ybk7pnpw
Amazon Kindle: http://a.co/g25CVcY
Amazon Paperback: http://a.co/cnd0R2q
Tour hosted by WLN Book Tours
10 Places Writers Should Be Writing
If you truly love writing, you write all of the time. Ideas come to me in the car, shower or when I’m inspired by another writer. Ideas for writing literally pop in my head and I open my note app on my phone or if I’m alone, record it on my voice recorder app on my phone. The command denominator here is writing it down and my phone. I take it everywhere. I digress but writers should always be writing something somewhere. Below are 10 places/ways that writers should be writing. Whether you want to write for fun or for a career, writers should be writing. Let’s go write!
Your own monthly or quarterly newsletters to your readers or followers
Create Your Own blog. This blog can be separate or included on your website.
Be a Guest Blogger on someone else’s blog.
Publish books. This is my world and if you need help, reach out to me.
Create Audiobooks or Audio files. It may be a different format than paper or ebook, these are your words just the same but through sound instead of black and white.
Ebooks – This is one of the easiest and less expensive ways to get your message out there without printing costs and specific page count. The ebook doesn’t have to be long to be impactful but the content should be meaningful.
Speak – Have a signature speak is key for writers. There should be something that you can talk about whether it is the topic of your books or business at a moment’s notice.
Live Stream – Now Live Streaming can be intimidating at times but necessary to attract new viewers, listeners or potential clients. Although Live Stream may be seem like an author’s words on paper, it is even more effective because the author’s words are heard out of the author’s mouth. Your words now have a face and personality to go along with them.
Social Media – Social Media is no longer an option but a must, requirement and/or necessity. I am hesitant to work with authors who are not active on social media. You have to pick one, practice and then dominate on whatever the platform.
Julia Royston is an author, publisher, speaker, coach with the motto “get your message to the masses and turn your words into wealth via books, products and services.” Julia has written 40+ books, published and coached 100+ authors and releases 100+ books. Julia resides with her husband in Southern Indiana. For more information visit, www.juliaroyston.net.
Monday, October 9, 2017
This is one of my stops during the two month tour for The Little Girl Inside: Owning
My Role in My Own Pain by Tonya Barbee. This virtual book tour is organized by
Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs October & November. Follow the tour
Book Title: The Little Girl Inside: Owning My Role in My Own Pain
About The Author
TONYA BARBEE is a novelist and aspiring playwright. Her most recent published work is titled, The Little Girl Inside Owning My Role in My Own Pain. She is currently working on another project that complements this book. Tonya grew up in Durham, NC, a family of four daughters and one son. Her father, Woodrow served his country for twenty years as an Army officer, retired then taught ROTC for another twenty years and her mother, Doris, a college administrator. She is a proud 1980 graduate of Frank W. Ballou High School in Washington, DC. She worked in operations and management for Department of Agriculture for twenty years. For the past ten years, she’s worked as a project manager for Department of Defense in Washington, DC. She studied at National-Louis University where she earned her Masters in Business Administration in 2009.
Although she’s worked her way up the ladder in the federal government, she had no idea she would end up writing professionally however she has always enjoyed sharing her personal life through story telling with those she thought she could help. Then something clicked. As she writes, she is in hopes that her work reaches her readers that have been through something and have contemplated giving up. Her goal is to enable her readers to become empowered to keep moving forward to accomplish their dreams no matter what challenges they have been faced with.
Tonya resides in Bowie, MD with two of her youngest children, Christian and Zachary. Her eldest two, Andrew and Jessica left the nest years ago and have blessed her with seven beautiful grand kids.
About This Book
The Little Girl Inside is a prolific story of triumph and discovery of inner peace. With each page, the reader will be captivated while the author uses the writing pen as a sowing tool-seaming a garment of praise, banner of victory and fabric of joy. With imaginative color, the book is a perfectly designed combination of patterns expressing the maturation of a woman.
A uniquely designed transparent jewel every woman should own in her jewelry box. The Little Girl Inside is a ministry resource tool for women in search for transparency in the human heart. The author shows us how to overcome the inner battle of doing the right thing the wrong way, going from finding love in the wrong places to allowing love to be revealed in the right time and in the right place.
"I made room for Sir Intellectual to bring what I thought were the remainder of hi things. I also made room on my health insurance policy just in case he didn't have any. Too bad it didn't occur to me to ask him. My ability to confront was non-existent. I decided not to wait until I returned to work to handle it. I contacted my carrier and updated my policy to include my new husband. The whole time I felt sad that he wasn't contacting his carrier to include me. I had a husband, though what caliber of husband, I wasn't sure. Sometimes I wanted to slap myself for being so needy that I overlooked important things and ignored flags, bells, and whistles."
How did you sale your first book?
I was so excited! My coworker and friend Mary would ask me the status of my book at least once a week and the last time she asked me I surprised her by showing her a copy of the book. I had brought in several to show to my coworkers. She was more excited than I was. She took the book, examined the cover, which she said was so me, and then she started flipping through it, and began to read excerpts from the book. She beamed with so much pride. She was acting like a mother! She made me feel bashful because she just kept beaming. She said she never had a coworker that wasn’t a professor that wrote a book. After all the praises and the fact she was a friend, I wasn’t comfortable selling it to her so I told her, “Here, it’s yours.” She told me no and gave me $15! I was so excited to get my first payment in cash too. She works in the library too so on top of standing in front of the new books that came in; she and I took a picture together. A few weeks later she made sure her office catalogued the book for me so now, it’s available to read in the library where I work as well! That too was a big deal because that particular library only catalogues books written by the subject matter experts and other faculty members. It’s a prestigious military, educational institution and it’s an honor to have my book available. It’s a great feeling to have supportive friends whom were there from the very beginning. Not only did she read it, she gave it to her daughter to read who is still asking for the sequel. I treasure that picture of my first purchase with my most encouraging coworker and friend.
Social Media Contacts
Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/y768n67m
Amazon ebook: http://a.co/7V9fOx6
Amazon paperback: http://a.co/b9qsRcs
Tour hosted by Write Now Literary
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Hello. I’m Excited. This is one of my stops for the Virtual Book Tour That Was Then, This Is Now, This Broken Vessel Restored. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs September 28, 2017. Follow the tour here. Book your own tour here WNL
Genre: Christian Non Fiction
Kindle ASIN: B073VCY1L5
About the Author
In addition to being an award winning author of Completely Whole and Secret Places Revealed, Paulette is an inspirational speaker, as well as a writing workshop instructor. Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, Real Life Real Faith Magazine, The Sacramento Observer and Black Pearls Magazine. She has also appeared on numerous local and online radio shows.
Paulette resides in Northern California.
About The Book
HOW COULD GOD HAVE A PURPOSE FOR ME AMIDST THIS MESS?
WHY DO SUCH BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?
If you've recently asked yourself these questions, Paulette Harper's That Was Then, This is Now has the answers. Struggling to recover from a broken marriage and disappointed dreams, Paulette Harper gropes for meaning and understanding. And through her searching, God reveals Himself to her in ways she never before imagined possible. By sharing her struggles with transparency, she illustrates how a heart attitude of surrender allows God to use a broken vessel for His ultimate plans of glory.
That Was Then, This is Now, minsters to hurting hearts in every season in life, reminding them that God restores shattered lives, intent on using them for His sovereign purposes.
Amazon paperback: http://a.co/8uFAONt
Amazon author page: http://amzn.com/e/B004FEJKCQ
Tour hosted by Write Now Literacy
Built to Stand Through it All
Have you ever wondered how a building that was being erected would be able to withstand the elements of weather—earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, and the like? A building must also be able to withstand the weight of the occupants. If you and I are not contractors, we may not have the complete knowledge of what goes into the development and restructuring of a building. But what I do know is this: first, there are the building plans, which must get proper approval from the building planner and city before any work can be started.
Once you get the approval, the next step would be to secure the engineers, general contractors, electricians, plumbers, surveyors, and all those who will be part of this development. Knowing that each person is unique in his field of expertise, you would never hire someone unskilled to do a job he is not qualified for.
Next, the foundation must be laid. Building the foundation of the house is one of the most important tasks. If the foundation is not properly laid, then the entire edifice will be unstable. A well–laid foundation is absolutely essential for a house. Once the proper foundation has been laid, we can now start building our house.
Now let’s examine what the Bible has to say about our foundation. First, it must be settled that our foundation is Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Word of God.
Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone of sure foundation; he who believes (trusts in, relies on, and adheres to that Stone) will not be ashamed or give way or hasten away in sudden panic. Isaiah 28:16 (TAB).
Because Jesus is our foundation and the Word comes to equip and bear us up, we are well able to handle all the elements that life will bring our way. Your flesh and the devil will tell you otherwise. Here is what Jesus says about our spiritual house:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. Matthew 7:24–27 (NKJV).
In the above passage, Jesus is doing a comparison between two types of houses or people. Both will experience the same elements in life: storms, rain, floods, and wind, which represent testing, trials, hard times, and tribulations. We will all face hard times, no matter who we are, no matter how much money we have, no matter what our status in life, what occupations we hold, how many degrees we have, and so forth; we are going to have bad times. The difference between these two builders is their ability to hear the Word and obey.
Jesus said the rain, floods, and wind will come to beat on the house, but if you hear and obey His saying, your house will be able to withstand it all. However, if you hear and don’t obey His sayings, your house will not stand, and Jesus said great would be your fall. Your spiritual ears should only listen to what God is saying; all other opinions, ideas, or suggestions do not matter. Real sheep hear and obey His voice; no other voice, that of a stranger, will we listen to.
The New Living Translation says the rain comes in torrents and the floodwater rises. Torrent, in the dictionary, is described as roaring, rushing, impetuous, violent stream, and heavy. Because your house is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, your house will not collapse no matter how fierce or strong the elements.
If you know these things are coming (tests, trials), you have time to prepare to fight off any attack that would come to snatch the Word. These things will not have the ability to uproot you because your roots are growing deep in Christ. The Bible says, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
The Word has been given to do things you cannot. It will enable you to be stronger than what you face; it will cause you to endure the pressures of life, and give you the ability to rise and stand firm on God’s power, ability, and might. It is imperative, as believers, that we study the Word and know the Word for ourselves.
A wise builder applies what he learns and hears to his life. He takes the scriptures, meditates on the Word, and does the Word. The Amplified Bible describes the foolish builder as stupid. He is one who hears the Word but does not do the Word.
Why would you go to church Sunday after Sunday, hear the Word, and not practice what you’ve heard? No one in the Kingdom can effectively operate in his or her full capacity without hearing, obeying, and practicing the Word of God. James says,
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forget-ting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:23–25 (NIV).
The enemy knows where you are in your relationship with Christ and the Word, and he will make sure you are inoperative, ineffective, and unfruitful in all you do. The only way we are able to stand against everything that comes is by taking the Word of God and using the Word when we are faced with hard times. Here is what God has to say about the Kingdom you are part of, “Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28, NKJV).
Do not be ignorant of the devil. He is crafty, but God has put him under our feet. However, if you do not take the Word and practice with authority your rights, the devil will continue holding you captive to do his will. Isaiah brings us the good news of how God has dealt with our enemy:
A Fortified House
When the storm came my way and my life began to crumble, I allowed the enemy to rape me of my identity in Christ. Instead of standing on the Word, I wanted to escape the pain by contemplating suicide.
I felt my situation was extremely difficult for me to overcome but I had to face my challenges, knowing that God was with me. I didn’t think I had the ability to make it through, but I realized that God was giving me strength every day to endure.
Escaping on God’s Terms Only
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV).
Allow or suffer, in Greek, means to give up, to leave, to allow one to do as he wishes, to let alone. Bear means ability to endure, and able means to be capable of handling. We are constantly being built up so we can become a people fully developed and able to stand. He will not put more on you than you can handle. The Word is going to be tested and tried, but if you hear, do, and apply the Word, you will endure. Be a wise, prudent, and practical builder.
Although the storm came to wipe me out, God would not allow that to happen. God was using every situation to cause me to become a fortified house whose structure would stand. God was building me even when it didn’t seem as though my foundation was holding me up.
I was a house under construction, whose builder and maker was God. The only way we are able to stand up against all the elements of life is by building on our foundation through the study of God’s Word. When everything else ceases to exist and vanishes away, the Word of God remains. God will never design something with the intent of that building crumbling, falling, or being demolished. Here is His promise to you, “Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God’s power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time” (I Peter 1:5, TAB).
Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better
Our enemy often tries to use the disappointments and setbacks in life to cause us to become bitter with God and with those that hurt us. From my own experience, I persuade you to use what has happened in your life as a stepping stone to propel you to a new level in growth and to a place of faith and determination in God. Remember, setbacks in life are opportunities that God will use to show you how faithful He is. “Let all bitterness, wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you with malice” (Ephesians 4:31, NKJV). “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up troubles you; and thereby many are defiled” (Hebrews 12:15, KJV).
The Hebrew word for bitterness is pikria, which is translated as extreme wickedness, a bitter root and so producing a bitter fruit, hatred. Malice, in the dictionary, is a desire to harm others; to see others suffer, spite. Defiled means to make filthy or dirty; to profane; corrupt.
In the book of Ephesians, chapter 4, the Apostle Paul is warning believers not to revert to the “old man” when faced with testing, trials, and tribulations. The amplified version of the scripture tells us to “strip away” the old, unregenerate man. Your “old man” is deceitful and corrupt and walks under the sway of the enemy.
Some of the characteristics of the old man are anger, lying, indignation, fury, polluting language, rage, and resentment. When you are facing the difficulties of life, don’t allow the circumstances to control how you are going to act or respond, especially when you have been hurt. We feel that we have the right to retaliate against those that hurt us, but the Apostle Paul says:
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, vengeance is Mine, I will repay, say the Lord. Romans 12:17–19 (NKJV).
When you take it upon yourself to inflect hurt onto others because they hurt you, you are standing in the position as a god. God does not need our help in dealing with people that have hurt us. Retaliation comes from a wounded spirit, and a wounded spirit is liable to do anything and say anything. When you respond out of a wounded spirit, there are consequences to your behavior. You cannot justify yourself, nor can you escape the correction God will bring to you. The Bible gives us the answer on how Christ deals with a wounded spirit, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5, KJV).
Paul is addressing Christians, born again believers, the people of God, because he is aware of the struggles we face with the flesh and how we deal with those that have hurt us. Since you are a child of God, your behavior should reflect the nature and lifestyle of God.
Did Christ retaliate against His enemies? No, He did not—He died for them; He blessed them; He prayed for and loved them. Scripture records that Christ opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:7). Although Christ was innocent of the charges against Him, He refused to yield to the will of His enemies.
When we allow bitterness into our hearts, the scripture says that we are defiling our temples, and God will not dwell in a dirty temple. God is taking account of how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ, and He will deal with us accordingly.
The truth of the matter is everybody is not pulling for you. Some people want you to fail. They will not celebrate your victories with you; they want you to suffer because of something you did to them. They are praying that God does not bless you; they want to see God punish you, and they want you to stay in bondage. However, regardless of the actions of others, you are to maintain your Christ like disposition. Devastations, hard times, troubles, and disappointments will come and people will hurt you, but whatever life brings you, don’t allow it to cause bitterness to spring up in your heart.
If the test you’re facing is one of the hardest and you’re still standing, rejoice and again, I say rejoice. The next test you’ll face will cause you to stand even stronger, and it will not move you out of the position you are in right now. Through it all, allow the tests,
Are You Bitter With God?
In the book of Ruth, chapter 1:20–21, here is what the scriptures read:
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? (KJV).
The Message Bible reads like this:
But she said, “Don’t call me Naomi; call me Bitter. The Strong One has dealt me a bitter blow. I left here full of life, and God has brought me back with nothing but the clothes on my back. Why would you call me Naomi? God certainly doesn’t. The Strong One ruined me.”
If you have never read this story, here we have a woman whose life was drastically changed. First, she and her husband, Elimelech, and their two sons left Bethlehem because of a severe famine. Looking for a better life, they journeyed to Moab. While in Moab, Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, dies, and ten years later, her two sons die, leaving her to care for her two daughters–in–law. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, but upon returning she has no husband or sons, instead a bitter heart.
Naomi, meaning pleasant, changed her name to Mara, meaning bitter. Her name reflected how she felt toward God. She was angry with God because He allowed her to lose her husband, whom she loved and who was her provider, and her two sons. Naomi went from pleasant to bitter because of her circumstances.
Have you changed your name because of your circumstances? Are you so angry at the way things turned out that you blame God? Although Naomi could not see the big picture, God had a wonderful plan in restoring her and Ruth’s life.
The Bigger Picture
God allowed her husband and both sons to die in order to get her and Ruth back to Bethlehem so Ruth and Boaz could meet. Ruth and Boaz had a son named Obed, who was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David the King, who was the father of Solomon. After a lineage of forty–two generations, we get to Jacob, who was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, who birthed Christ. God caused Naomi to lose everything she loved so that He could get her into position of receiving more than she could ever have gotten in Moab.
With some of life’s experiences, you will go through sorrows and times that seem so overwhelming and God will even begin to break you during the most difficult times in your life. He will also allow those close to you, family and friends, to come against you. You must remember God’s plan for your life is to get you to a place of stability in Him.
We may never understand why God allows things to happen the way they do, but sometimes God’s plan may or may not include those you love. Don’t look at where you are, look at where God is trying to take you.
No one knows the battles you are facing, what sorrows or setbacks you have experienced. Maybe you are going through a divorce or have just come out of one. Maybe some relationships have been torn and you feel you have hit rock bottom, or maybe your Cinderella story has come to an end. Whatever you are going through, be encouraged; better days are ahead.
Tell God whatever happens, good or bad, “It is well with my soul.”
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