Hard Pressed ~

Dr Joseph Valks

 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;  perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned;  struck down, but not destroyed.”

~ 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9

Life has a way of becoming overwhelming. As Shakespeare writes in Hamlet, “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions,” so life tends to buffet us on every side.  How easy it is for us to lose ourselves within the midst of our troubles.

Sorrows and struggles engulf us as we try to walk our path in this world. Waves of disappointment crash over us, causing us to lose our footing, casting us down. But as a wrestler who has been thrown to the mat, we too can push ourselves once more upon our feet.

As I read the Apostle Paul’s words, I was roused as a soldier before battle. Even though we are hard pressed, even though we are confused, persecuted and struck down by the slings and arrows of this world, we need not be overthrown. As the battles of this world rage, we have a support, we have a hope. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4: 17) So then as a runner within a race, we must fix our eyes upon the goal, never forgetting why we run. And beside us, the Master keeps our pace, encouraging and supporting us as we press on toward the finish line.

As the waves of life threaten to overtake you, keep your eyes upon Jesus. But know this, that if you begin to sink within the turbulent sea, He is there, reaching for you. Look up and grasp His hand and He will pull you to safety.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

~2 Corinthians 4:18

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Silent Resolve Update

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A few months ago I entered my manuscript, Silent Resolve and the God Who Let Me Down, in the  2011 Women of Faith Writing Contest. Yesterday, I received word that my work was chosen as one of thirty finalists from out of more than 600 writers whose manuscript was reviewed by a team of judges.

The three top winners will be announced on March 31, 2012.

I am overjoyed to be able to share my story with all of you. The apostle Paul writes that as we are comforted in our own suffering, we are “able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (1 Corinthians 1:4) My hope is that through the struggle and resolution within the pages of my manuscript, many will find the peace that only God can bring.

Look for it. The story unfolds spring 2012….

~ Susan

~Living History

Michal Marcol, digital artist

How can one live history? For if history is an account of events that have occurred in the past, how can one actually live history? For those of us that really enjoy studying the past, living-books enwrap us in the arms of past events, transporting us into a world that is beyond the scope of our present reality. The term ‘living-book’ was coined by the great British educator Charlotte Mason (1842–1923). She envisioned an education, with interest and emotion, which spoke directly to the child.

Historical fiction are living-books. It tells a story placed in the past. Events and settings are real, drawn from history in which the spirit, manners, and social conditions of persons and events are captured. Historical fiction provides a medium that is entertaining as well as rich in education. How better to identify with a time and place than to be wrapped in the events of a beloved character in whom we can relate? When we make that emotional connection to a character in a book, we are better able to remember the facts and events that are often presented as dry information in history text books.

The series, Trilogy of Kings, is such a story. It is a historical fiction that will enrapt the reader in a thrilling adventure that is based on true events. Guaranteed to entertain as well as educate, follow the three kings of Israel as they face the personal and spiritual struggles common to the human condition.

~ Susan