Thursday, September 29, 2022

 The Bread of Life

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst  (John 6:35).

With fall upon us, my husband loves for me to start making homemade bread, something I usually do more of throughout the fall and winter. Historically, bread in one form or another was a staple in most cultures. This was certainly true for the Israelites. Maybe this was one of the reasons Jesus called Himself The Bread of Life. He should be the staple in our spiritual diet.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life (John 6:47-48).

Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior also gives us eternal life. He's our sustenance, our life-giver, now and forever. As you know, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But did you know the word, bethlehem, means  "place of bread?" How appropriate! Jesus gives us life and life more abundantly.

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me (1 Corinthians 11:24).

In the Upper Room at the Last Supper, Jesus broke the bread and distributed it among his disciples, saying that the bread represented His body, given as a sacrifice for all. He told them to continue holding this communion to remember. Yes, Jesus is our Bread of Life.


Monday, September 26, 2022

Books and Blogs

I've always thought that a good writer could write almost anything they wanted to. I used to write for magazines, and, with the proper research and interviews, I wrote on many topics I knew little about. I guess, the old adage that there're always exceptions to any rule holds true here, however.

One of my favorite authors, who writes wonderful novels, just became part of a team who blogs daily.  Her blogs are rambling pieces that wander all over the place with little cohesiveness, and they're hard to follow. I was shocked because her novels are nothing like this, and I've never seen anything similar with the other authors I follow.

I don't know what to make of it. Does she have a competent editor who keeps her on track in her book manuscripts, or is there another reason for the difference? I wish I knew. I find it discerning, but I plan to keep reading those page-turning novels, although I may approach her blogs with more caution. 


Thursday, September 22, 2022

 God's Word Is Crucial for the Christian

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

It's hard, if not impossible, to live a Christian life without knowing God's Word. How can we obey Him if we don't know what He expects of us? We can't please Him unless we do. Hearing it read from the pulpit is good, but it's not enough. We need to spend time each day in Bible study. Even with busy lives, we make time for the things that are important to us, and even ten or fifteen minutes done daily will make a difference.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119:11).

Knowing God's Word is how we avoid succumbing to temptation and defeat Satan. That's what Jesus did when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. He quoted Scripture to defeat the enemy. When listing the whole armor of God, Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armor of God in order to resist the devil. Our main offensive weapon is the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. 

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him (1 John 3:6).

God's Word is also one of the important ways we get to know God. Along with prayer, it helps us form a close, personal relationship with our Lord. Nothing else is more satisfying, and it's how we find true joy, the kind that doesn't depend on our circumstances. When your faith gets to this level, God's presence will become your most precious treasure.


Monday, September 19, 2022

Why Smaller MAPs Can Be Better

A successful multiple-author series can be lengthy, especially when many authors participate. I am involved with some like this. In reviewing my number of preorders, I've realized something. It's not good to have a series of more than twenty books because that's all Amazon displays on a page. To see more than that, the reader must click on a link at the bottom of the page. Often readers don't do that.

In one such series I'm in, the book displayed on the page has twice the number of preorders as the one where the reader must click to see it. Savy MAP administrators will divide large MAPs, running a spin-off or new branding for the series before it goes over twenty books. This is helpful in several different ways.

Readers who like to buy books in a MAP series often have book budgets. They don't want to spend too much at any one time. With the smaller MAPs, they can purchase the preorders when posted without worrying about going over budget. Of course, they aren't charged until the book actually publishes and is sent to them, but the smaller MAPs aren't as overwhelming. It's something for MAP administrators, authors, and readers to consider.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Spending Time

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).

Have you ever wished someone you loved would stop being so busy and spend some quality time with you? Have you longed for someone's undivided attention for just a little while? Have you wished you could be a priority in someone's life?  Perhaps this is how God feels about you. Do you spend the time you need to with Him, or are you too distracted by worldly things? We make time for things that are important to us.

"Prayer is a privileged invitation from a Holy God.... How awesome is that? He wants to have a relationship with us. As a result, he meets our spiritual and emotional needs. Isn't that precisely what we're looking for? ...we're made to need Him. He is the Creator and the greatest satisfaction for our longing souls." We will never be truly satisfied or have lasting joy until we give Him full reign of our lives. And He's always there, waiting for us to come to Him fully.

"Have you been a casual Christian going through the motions? Have you been a backsliding Christian? Do you need to recommit your life to Christ...?" Do you spend time in His Word and pray daily? Have you spent enough time with God to develop a close, personal relationship? If not, you can begin today. He's calling you to do just that.

Quoted parts taken from Pursuing Prayer by Penny Cooke


Monday, September 12, 2022

 My Changing View of KU

At first, I was skeptical of Kindle Unlimited. For one thing, the author gets less money per book for a book read on KU as opposed to one they sell if they charge $2.99 or more for an average size book. And, in the beginning, KU wasn't that popular. With the books I put on the program to see how they did, they just didn't have enough people reading them on KU to bother with the program.

That has changed, however. The pay per page read on KU hasn't changed, but the number of people involved has. Now, enough people read on KU that it has the volume to make money for the author. It's still true that the author will make more if the person would buy the book instead, but most people who pay for a KU membership only read KU books. It makes sense that if they pay the monthly fee they don't want to spend extra money buying them, not when they get unlimited access to those books on KU.

Therefore, as it turns out, it's like two different marketplaces that rarely overlap. The people who read the most Kindle books usually have a KU membership and don't buy many books outside KU. And, of course, the people who don't have a KU membership are the ones who buy the books. Now, my KU sales almost equal my other sales, and I plan to put the rest of the books I publish into the program.


Thursday, September 8, 2022

 You've Just Begun

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Some people seem to have the idea that when they accept Christ as their Savior and are baptized, that's all they need to do. However, they've only just begun in their walk of faith. If they are serious about accepting Christ into their hearts and making Him Lord of their lives, they will want to please Him, to serve Him. If they refuse to allow Him to be Lord, then one could question whether or not they are really saved.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:26).

It is true that salvation is a free gift from God, made possible by Christ's sacrifice on the cross. We cannot earn it in any way. However, once we belong to Him, we should be transformed by His presence. And as James explained, we will do good works because we love Him and are His. Our "fruits" are the evidence of a changed life. If there's absolutely no change in a person, then he or she hasn't been transformed or saved. Too many go through the motions and give lip service, but they selfishly remain the same as before.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever (2 Peter 3:18).

Of course, the Christian life is a journey. Hopefully, we will continue to grow in our faith and in His grace throughout our lives. It is a process of trying to become more Christlike all the time. But experiencing the Lord's presence and having a personal, intimate relationship with Him is a precious treasure that's beyond explanation. It brings inexplicable peace and joy.