Sunday, July 26, 2015

Love Revolution: Love in Action...

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.
But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap
burning coals upon his head.
Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.
~ Romans 12:19-21

Have you seen the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo? It's one that most people really enjoy. I've seen it a few times and considered it a pretty good movie, even recommended it, yet one thing has always been sort of a downer for me, something that I rooted for in the movie, but shouldn't have. In case you haven't seen the movie here is a short synopsis on it...

The Count of Monte Cristo' is a remake of the Alexander Dumas tale by the same name. Dantes, a sailor who is falsely accused of treason by his best friend Fernand, who wants Dantes' girlfriend Mercedes for himself. Dantes is imprisoned on the island prison of Chateau d'If for 13 years, where he plots revenge against those who betrayed him. With the help of another prisoner, he escapes the island and proceeds to transform himself into the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo as part of his plan to exact revenge.

The entire movie is about betrayal and exacting revenge. During the time that Dantes is in prison there are five words carved on his prison cell walls, "God Will Give Me Justice " He carves them in deeper during the 13 years he stayed in this horrible prison, as if he were etching them into his brain, yet sadly he didn't understand them.

Dantes seems to get everything he could ever want when he becomes the Count of Monte Cristo, yet he is not pleased until he kills his friend that betrayed him.

We all have been betrayed by someone in our life that we trusted and loved. I was homeschooled during my high-school years, yet I went through some painful high-school drama from a girl that said some mean lies about my family and I. Too many people believed her lies and it greatly hurt. I wanted revenge against this pain. She had taken friends away from me and made me and my family into something we were not. This was a trying time, yet as crazy as this might sound, I am glad for it all. I learned to overcome evil, with love. This girl was a sad and miserable person... I didn't want to become like her. So I treated her with kindness and love.

When we exact revenge we become like the ones who gave it... nothing good comes out it... only more sorrow.

Joyce Meyer says it in a nice way, "But you don't know what was done to me," people say when trying to excuse their bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. Based on what the Bible says, it really does not matter how great the offense was. We serve a God Who is greater, and if we will handle the offense in the right way, He will bring us justice and recompense when we allow Him to do so.

In Isaiah 61: 7 the Lord promises us, "Instead of your {former} shame you shall have a twofold recompense." A recompense is a reward. It is a payback for past hurts. It is like worker's compensation. The Lord once told me, "Joyce, you work for Me, and as long as you do, if you get hurt on the job, I will pay you back."

Jesus taught us that we are to forgive those who hurt us, pray for those who spitefully use us, and
bless those who curse us. That is hard. But there is something harder: being full of hatred, bitterness,
and resentment.

God will give you justice. It might not be what you expect, but in the end it will be better than you could of imagined. That is if you trust Him to...

Love/Dare Challenge Four:
We all have someone in our life that is unkind and treats us poorly. This week try to show some love towards them. Instead of being irritated when they treat you poorly, repay it with kindness. Continue to smile, love them like Jesus would. You might just be surprised in the end... a foe could possible turn into a friend. Please know I'm not saying to do this to someone that is a danger to you; such as an abuser, in that case, pray for them, because it will be good and healing for you.


I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. - John 13:34-35

I need your help (YES that means YOU) because love can’t stay silent…

Lately there has been a lot of talk about “Love”. What is Love? Everywhere we turn there is something about “Love Wins” but is it really love or something else?

I’ve been aching to do this for some time, but I can’t do this alone. Dare to Love?

Join me in the Love Revolution every week and feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comment section below or email me at ryanheart89@comcast.net
Let's not just talk about love, let's practice real love.
For some, the only love they will ever see, will be from you. You will be their glimpse of God. What an awesome privilege and responsibility. As Christians we are His hands and feet, and sometimes His smile!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Love Revolution: Another Chance...

Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy ] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart .
~1 Peter 1:22

Now we all have heard and perhaps said the phrase, "First impressions are lasting impressions." You do usually remember the first time meeting someone. You remember if they were nice, rude, grumpy, happy... you get my point. First impressions are important, but they shouldn't be the last impression.

I know without a doubt that I've given bad first impressions of myself. Through the majority of my teenage years, I was painfully shy. I'm sure I gave the impression of being snotty, when in reality I was very self-conscious of myself and I didn't really "fit-in". Teenage years can be brutal!

Have you ever seen the movie or read the book, Pride and Prejudice? A pretty good story on first impressions. There is a character in it called, Mr Darcy. When you are first introduced to him, you right away dislike him, but by the end of the movie, you love him. Don't lose the chance of really getting to know someone because they gave a poor first impression of themselves.

I once had a job interview that I had to do online. After giving all my information and past history I had to take a one hundred question psych test... I guess the grocery store really didn't want to hire any crazy people. Knowing that I should hear back in a few short days for an in person interview, I waited, believing I would be called. A week and a half went by, so I gave them a call, thinking my application didn't go through. To my surprise they informed me that I failed the psych test and did not qualify for an in person interview. Ya. that was awkward! Looking at this now it's kinda funny that a silly test would judge and tell who I am... I wonder how many questions I was allowed to fail. I wasn't really given a chance to show who I truly was. Sometimes like this test we quickly judge others and pass them up. Everyone is worth a try... even if they fail a psych test ;-)


Love/Dare Challenge Three:

Is there someone you should give another chance?
Is there someone you would like to give another impression of yourself to?
I dare you this week to personally give someone another chance, whether it be of yourself or them. Here is a good start, invite them to join you for lunch, or even more casual coffee/tea or ice-cream.

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. - John 13:34-35

I need your help (YES that means YOU) because love can’t stay silent…

Lately there has been a lot of talk about “Love”. What is Love? Everywhere we turn there is something about “Love Wins” but is it really love or something else?

I’ve been aching to do this for some time, but I can’t do this alone. Dare to Love?

Join me in the Love Revolution every week and feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comment section below or email me at ryanheart89@comcast.net
Let's not just talk about love, let's practice real love.
For some, the only love they will ever see, will be from you. You will be their glimpse of God. What an awesome privilege and responsibility. As Christians we are His hands and feet, and sometimes His smile!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Love Revolution: Saying I love you...

Last week I started what I'm calling a Love Revolution. Every Monday I'll be posting a Love/Dare, a challenge to show some honest love. Take a look at last weeks challenge here, Love? What is it?

A few years ago my mom and I had to take our dog Wyatt (who was a puppy at the time), to an emergency vet visit. Poor Wyatt's eyes and face quickly swelled up that morning and gave us quite a scare. The vet was not able to see us until mid-afternoon. We could tell that little Wyatt was in great pain, but there was nothing we could do, but give him some comfort, with gentle words and soft petting.

Sadly, my family and I struggled with Wyatt for the first year we had him. It was what I felt a "love and hate" relationship with him... more of a hate with me. He's full blown Australian Shepherd  ... Google that, and you'll see what we dealt with. Too much energy, scary smarts, with a mix of... crazy. Marley and Me, looked mild compared to him.

During this scary incident though, I realized how much I actually loved him. How much I truly cared for him. How much sorrow filled my heart, at the thought of something really bad happening to him.

I hear too many people say how they rarely hear or say the words "I Love You" to the ones they care about. Don't let an opportunity of saying, I Love You, ever pass you by. There is no such thing of ever saying it too much, but there is such a thing of saying it too little or sadly not getting another chance to.

I love my church, where total strangers and friends hug you (I'm not a huge fan of it, but I'm getting better ;-)) and freely say I love you. There is something powerful in these three words.

Love/Dare Challenge Two…
Tell someone that you haven’t told in a while that you love them. Let them know how much they mean to you. If you can’t in person, give them a call. Don’t wait… tomorrow is never promised.

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. - John 13:34-35

I need your help (YES that means YOU) because love can’t stay silent…

Lately there has been a lot of talk about “Love”. What is Love? Everywhere we turn there is something about “Love Wins” but is it really love or something else?

I’ve been aching to do this for some time, but I can’t do this alone. Dare to Love?

Join me in the Love Revolution every week and feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comment section below or email me at ryanheart89@comcast.net
Let's not just talk about love, let's practice real love.
For some, the only love they will ever see, will be from you. You will be their glimpse of God. What an awesome privilege and responsibility. As Christians we are His hands and feet, and sometimes His smile!


Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Love Revolution: Dare to Love...?

                                                                                                                                                       
I need your help (YES that means YOU) because love can’t stay silent…
Lately there has been a lot of talk about “Love”.  What is Love?  Everywhere we turn there is something about “Love Wins” but is it really love or something else?

Regardless of your status, race or the economics, everyone values love and recognizes that it is love that shapes what is true and good. The term “Love” has always been used so broadly to describe an emotional attraction between two or more people. But the truth of the matter is that there are three kinds of love in the Bible and this includes Eros, Agape and Philos. So if you really want to learn how you can follow Jesus’s command to always love one another please read on.

EROS LOVE
Eros is a Greek term which actually means desire and longing. And according to the Greek methodology, Eros is the name of the Greek god of love. Also referred to as erotic love, this is a selfish kind of love as it associated with sexual love. Eros love is based on the strong feeling we have against one another and it usually develops during the 1st stage of a romantic relationship. This kind of love is based on the physical traits. And unless it is redeemed by the Lord’s presence; this type of love can end up being possessive, since it always seeks to 1st conquer and then control.

God created physical attraction between a man and a woman, but He never intended for it to be selfish. He created desire and longing which makes up sexual love which is crucial in any marriage. This love was meant to be preserved between a couple and it is essential for any healthy marriage. And since it is mostly based on self-benefit, many people tend to fall out of love if they are not happy with the marriage.

PHILOS LOVE
This is a unique kind of love like the one you have for a companion or pal. It refers to loving one another just like your brother or sister. This love is for a pal who is really close and dear to us and it is characterized by various different shared experiences between two people. In fact this is the kind of love that many Christians tend to practice towards one another. And although philos love is really wonderful, it is not always reliable, since it can end up souring at times as we have all experienced at some point in our lives.

AGAPE LOVE
This is a special term which represents the divine-love of the Lord towards his Son Jesus Christ, and us. This is the best of the three types of love in the bible, in fact Jesus himself showed this type of divine love to his Father and humanity. Agape love is the love that God commanded all believers to have for everyone whether he/she is a believer or not. Agape love should never be determined by our feelings; it is more of a set of behaviors or actions. 

Agape love is above philos love and eros love. It is a love that is totally selfless, where a person gives out love to another person even if this act does not benefit her/him in any way. Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love (even without any self-benefit).

Agape Love… That is true love and the love I want to dwell on. The love I want you and me to share. Loving others more than ourselves. A sacrificial and unconditional love… beautiful!

This week begins my Love Revolution. I’ve been aching to do this for some time, but I can’t do this alone. Every week I'll have a new challenge, some will be harder than others, but all will be on love (Agape or Philos). I’m going to call them a Love/Dare and I hope you are daring enough to join in. Not sure how long this will last, but I hope to do it all Summer long...

First Love/Dare Challenge: Be a smile to those around you...
Reach out to someone who seems alone this week. Someone that you have noticed, but don’t really know. Befriend them! You might be surprise at what you find. It could be your neighbor. It could be a coworker. It could be a classmate. It could even be the lady who rings your items up at the grocery store. Reach out. Too many of us feel lonely. A simple, “Hello, how have you been?” means a lot!

I don’t know why, but I’ve been struggling with an overwhelming feeling of suicide (NOT me personally) but perhaps someone near me… maybe even a stranger? I’ve been running into odd things and I don’t really know what to think clearly on it all. It’s really been bothering me!

So, if there is someone out there that’s feeling really down, I want you to know that there is hope… real beautiful hope. And if you are someone close, I’m here if you need to talk. You are noticed and dearly loved!



(((If you accept this challenge, feel free to share your story in the comments, and be sure to come back next Monday for another Love/Dare Challenge.)))

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

CSFF Blog Tour: Storm Siren by Mary Weber...

I haven’t done a book tour in a long time. I've missed the CSFF Blog Tour.

This month we are doing a tour on Storm Siren by Mary Weber.

About the book: 
Author: Mary Weber
Book: Storm Siren (Book One)
Genre: Science-fiction/fantasy/Young Adult/
Pages: 352
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Age range: Older teen mature 17+
Lots of gore, death, and holds sensual scenes that would not be appropriate for younger readers. 


“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse – and the girl – can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth – meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.
Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

My Review:
Sadly I don’t have a good review. One, my week has been crazy so I can’t make this too long and two, I did not like this book.

In fact I disliked it so much, I’m debating on what to say and what not to.

Being a writer myself, I never like to be “mean” or only say bad things about a book, for I know there was a lot of time, heart and dedication put into this, but boy was I (the reader) disappointed.

I think what gets me the most on Storm Siren, is that I was expecting something Christian and received nothing. It wasn't even what I would call a “clean” read. It held no message, or really even a hope of one. Maybe some glimmers of redemption, but nothing really Christian. This was what I would call a secular work, and perhaps if that's what it claimed to be, I wouldn't be as hard on this tale.

I really hated the romance within it! I like romance and after all I’m a girl, but this was just shallow and at times inappropriate and sometimes confusing.

I honestly cannot think of anything I really liked about this book. Wish I could, but I can't. I’m grateful for receiving a copy and I see that this story has touched others, but I will not continue with the rest of the series. 

You got my two cents, but be sure to see what the rest of the tour has to say about Storm Siren by Mary Weber.
  
Lauren Bombardier
Beckie Burnham
Vicky DealSharingAunt
George Duncan
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Janeen Ippolito
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Simone Lilly-Egerter
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Michelle R. Wood 

Storm Siren – http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Siren-Trilogy/dp/1401690343/

Author Website – http://www.maryweber.com/