Living Seperate Lives by Paulette Harper – Cover Reveal

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Title: Living Separate Lives
Four Friends, One Secret and The Weekend That Changed Their Destiny
Author: Paulette Harper
Publisher: Thy Word Publishing
Genre: Christian Fiction, Novella
Hosted by: Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tour
ISBN-13: 978-0-9899691-0-9
Release Date: Nov 5, 2013 e-book and paperback
Blurb:

Candace Walker, Kaylan Smith, Jordan Tate, and Tiffany Thomas have their share of sorrows, but neither of them realizes how deep the sorrow goes.  What happens when they agree to meet for a weekend of relaxation in beautiful Napa County? Which one will leave the same or worse?

For Candace Walker, life has left her battered and bruised.  Kaylan Smith has struggled with prejudice from her in-laws. After fifteen years of marriage, bitterness is trying to raise its ugly head for Jordan Tate, whose husband wants to call it quits. And for Tiffany Thomas, dealing with rejection has never been one of her greatest feats.

Although they have been friends for years, they thought they knew each other well. But will a secret destroy their relationship and bring the sisterhood to a complete halt? Will they be able to forgive and allow God to mend that which might be torn?





Author Bio:

Paulette Harper is an award-winning and best-selling author. She is the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. Paulette has been writing and publishing books since 2008. Paulette is the author of That Was Then, This is Now, Completely Whole and The Sanctuary. Her articles have appeared on-line and in print.

You can find Paulette Here:
Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter  *  
LinkedIn  *  Pinterest  *  Email











Book Trailer:





Excerpt:

“Stop preaching to me. I don’t want to hear it anymore. I’ve had enough of your self-righteousness.” The words continued to cut Jordan’s heart; words that she never heard before coming from the mouth of her husband, Eric. “You knew how I was before we got married.” His tone deepened with every word.

Standing in front of the sink, Jordan was frozen and motionless in the middle of the kitchen. She held the dish towel in one hand and a plate in the other. She turned and faced Eric, whose eyes were cold and hard. The verbal blows kept coming. Her mouth opened wide, but no words could be formed when he uttered the deadly words, “I want a divorce.”



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Blog Tour – The Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry

The Beloved Daughter, an inspirational suspense novel by award-winning author Alana Terry, is a story of persecution and triumph set in the oppressive North Korean regime. The audiobook version of Alana’s bestselling debut novel is narrated by Kathy Garver, a four-time Audie award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Motion Picture Council. (You might also recognize Kathy as Cissy from the TV show Family Affair.)

Listen to a sample of Kathy reading from The Beloved Daughter.

The Beloved Daughter

Synopsis: In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.

Acclaim: 
 
     *Winner, Women of Faith Writing Contest
 

Join the giveaway

     *1st Place, Book Club Network Book of the Month

     *Amazon Bestseller (#5 Christian Suspense)

Reviews:

“…an engaging plot that reads like a story out of today’s headlines…” ~ Women of Faith Writing Contest

“The Beloved Daughter is a beautifully written story that is…both personal and representative of the challenges that many North Koreans still face today.” ~ Sarah Palmer, Rescue Team Coordinator at Liberty in North Korea

“The author does a phenomenal job… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – but have tissues handy.” ~ Pauline Creeden, Editor AltWit Press

“…the most compelling Christian novel I have read.” ~ Temujin Hu, Author of The Rage

Order your own copy of The Beloved Daughter.

Awesome Prizes!

A sample of Nicole’s nature-inspired earrings

You don’t want to miss out on The Beloved Daughter audiobook launch party. RSVP now on Facebook. Dozens of winners … Hundreds of $$$-worth in prizes!

THIS WEEK’S PRIZES: The author’s friend Nicole makes beautiful hand-made earrings out of bark, coral, and even teeth and bones. Six winners! To see what kind of work Nicole does, check out her etsy shop.

SEE THE AUDIOBOOK HERE

SEE THE PAPERBACK HERE

SEE THE EBOOK HERE

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Book Promo: The Jubilee Bible, Russell Stendal (Editor)

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

and the book:

ANEKO Press (January 30, 2013)
***Special thanks to Jeremiah Zeiset for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Russell Stendal was born in Minneapolis and raised on the mission field in Colombia, South America. He became a missionary jungle pilot at age nineteen. Almost ten years later in 1983, he was kidnapped by Marxist rebels and held hostage for five months. His book, Rescue the Captors, relates his experience, including how God worked in the hearts of the rebels.

Russell has written many other books, produced videos, and edited two Bible translations, the Spanish Reina-Valera 2000 and the Jubilee Bible in English.

Russell heads up the work of Colombia Para Cristo, which operates twelve radio stations involving more than one hundred staff and coworkers and covering much of Latin America with the gospel. A thriving underground church has developed in remote jungle areas of Colombia. New high-gain antennas are now beaming the gospel message deep into areas of increasing crisis across the borders of Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, as well as throughout Colombia.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Russell Stendal spent 10 years translating The Jubilee Bible based on the early Bibles of the Reformation. The original text was essentially the same as that used for the King James. The differences are primarily due to two reasons: 1) In the King James translation, committees were used for each section. This led to the use of as many as 13 different English words for just one Hebrew word. The use of synonyms blurs a lot of things and renders the over-all translation less precise. The Jubilee Bible is much more consistent translating the same thing the same way (within the limits of the English language). 2) The early reformers put a different value and meaning on many key passages than had the translators a generation or two later, who had to be politically correct and get the approval of the Church and of the King.

Product Details:
List Price: $2.99
File Size: 3809 KB
Print Length: 2509 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: ANEKO Press (January 30, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00B8GICKA

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

To the Reader:

Have you ever come across footnotes in the Old Testament saying, “Hebrew Obscure”, or “Hebrew Uncertain”? This is not due to any lack of content or clarity in the original text, but rather to the fact that most modern Hebrew scholars simply do not know the precise meaning of many of the original idioms with any degree of certainty. For hundreds of years, Hebrew was studied as a “dead” language (a language that was not spoken in everyday life). The difference between studying a “living” versus a “dead” language could be compared to the difference between the study of fossils or museum exhibits of long extinct animals, versus the study of living examples of the same species.
A number of years ago, I was given a copy of an old Spanish Bible translated in the heat and fervor of the Reformation (which was brutally put down in Spain by the Inquisition) during a time when it was common practice to burn Bibles along with their owners. I immediately began to notice a depth and clarity to this translation that brought forth a clear witness of the Spirit of God as to the meanings of many seemingly unfathomable passages (mainly in the Psalms, Proverbs and Prophets) that had intrigued me for years. I began to investigate the unique circumstances of this Spanish translation by Casiodoro de Reina published in 1569.
Casiodoro de Reina was born in 1520. He learned Hebrew in Spain as a young man, apparently from Jews who still spoke Hebrew as a “living” language. The Jews had been officially expulsed from Spain in 1492, but it is estimated that only one-fourth of them left at that time (some of those who remained did their best to blend in with the Christians). Eventually, the Spanish Inquisition made it impossible for any Jewish people to survive in Spain speaking their own language. Almost every Hebrew scholar since Casiodoro de Reina has had to learn Hebrew as a “dead” language, which was no longer spoken, until the modern day ongoing resurrection of the Hebrew language in Israel.
Casiodoro began a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew to Spanish and was forced to flee from Spain in 1551. Several Jewish translations of the Old Testament were published in Spanish about this time (such as the Biblia de Ferrara of 1553) to which Casiodoro had access. He also built on a translation of the Psalms that was published by his friend Juan Pérez de Pineda in 1557. He went to Geneva and was there until the government of Geneva under John Calvin burned Miguel Servet at the stake over differences on points of doctrine. Casiodoro had some strong words about this. He said that Geneva had become a “new Rome” and left for England. The Queen of England (Elizabeth I) allowed Casiodoro to preach to Spanish speakers in the Church of St. Mary Axe and gave him a monthly income. Casiodoro continued his Bible translation until the Inquisition found out about it and sent agents from Spain, who brought false charges against him and undermined his support from the Queen.
Casiodoro fled to Germany just in time to witness a war between Lutherans and Catholics. He had some words with the Lutherans regarding this and went on into the Low Countries. There he was given a place to preach in a Congregational Church where he spent quite a bit of time in conflict with the Consistory (the minutes of those meetings still exist). Casiodoro seemed to always maintain an open mind to truth and refused to go along with any given school of doctrine or thought believing that everyone must be responsible before God for their own conscience. After more than twenty years of working on his translation while fleeing with his wife and children, one jump ahead of the Inquisition, which was always sending agents to attempt to kill or hinder him, his Bible was finally printed. The Inquisition set up a ring of retenes or checkpoints all along the borders and for many years carefully searched every person and/or cargo that entered Spain, making an all-out effort to not let even one single Bible into the country. They searched for Bibles with the same intensity that our modern countries search passengers for weapons and drugs! Casiodoro was last heard of at age 70, still one jump ahead of the Inquisition, and it is not known for sure whether they got him in the end or not.
Casiodoro de Reina, although younger, was contemporary with William Tyndale. I have noticed many similarities between the translations of both men (William Tyndale in English and Casiodoro de Reina in Spanish). Studying these two Bibles (they basically agree, yet each brings out unique facets of truth from a slightly different perspective) has been the equivalent of getting the truth of the Scriptures of the Reformation in stereo. The power and clarity of their translations has a much sharper edge than the work that was done in either language even a generation later when the intense heat of the Reformation had died down, and Bible translation had to be officially approved by ecclesiastic and/or secular governments.
It is recognized that the Authorized Version (by King James) in English is basically a revision of Tyndale’s work (in many key passages the wording of the AV is ninety percent or more Tyndale’s) with the exception of the last half of the Old Testament (from Ezra to Malachi). This portion of Tyndale’s work is believed to have been lost at sea in a shipwreck (only the book of Jonah survived). Unfortunately, William Tyndale was burned at the stake before he could redo the books that were lost. This disaster has, in my opinion, placed these books of our English AV Bibles on a foundation less than equal in terms of clarity and consistency of translation with the rest of the AV which draws so extensively from the work of Tyndale.
When we edited a recent edition of the Spanish Bible (Las Sagradas Escrituras, Version Antigua, published March of 1998) based on the original text of Casiodoro de Reina, I checked much of it against the work of William Tyndale and against the Authorized Version. This strengthened the Spanish Bible in many areas and also tended to confirm the opinion that I gave in the preceding paragraph. Then I decided to diligently compare and align the work of Casiodoro de Reina with the books of the Authorized Version that did not receive the heritage of William Tyndale. The first fruit of that endeavor is this rendition of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.
Over the years there have been many revisions of the Authorized Version; some of these under the guise of modernizing the language have watered down the message and introduced errors proceeding from deviant manuscripts, from doctrines of men, and from over simplification of the English language. The same is true regarding the Spanish Bible. Instead of revising “forward” towards modernism and employing modern scholarship, textual criticism, and the like; it has been our intention to revise “back” and return as close as possible to the roots of the pure message and pure language. I believe we are at a place where brilliant scholarship and linguistics alone cannot discern between all the possible variations of meaning, or among what are all being presented as ancient and worthy manuscripts in the original languages. We must have the witness of the Holy Spirit. I have chosen to go with the Hebrew scholarship of Reformers such as William Tyndale and Casiodoro de Reina whose translations of the Received Text (Textus Receptus) shined the light of the truth into the spiritual darkness of their day and changed the church and the world for the better, rather than to rely on the modern scholarship which has a penchant for removing the fear of the LORD from among the people of God in this Laodicean hour.
Let us allow the Spirit of Truth to have the last word regarding this matter. We must always bear in mind that even if we were to all learn Hebrew to perfection and could obtain a flawless manuscript of the original text, there would still be a humanly insurmountable language barrier between us and the Truth that can only be bridged by the Spirit of God.
Russell M. Stendal
Editor
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psalm 36:9)
Translator’s Notes
Amen. So be it.
Belial. Satan. The Evil One.
Charity. The original translators used this term to differentiate God’s love (Gr. ágape) from man’s love (Gr. phileos). God’s love is born of sacrifice (not of human emotion) and is redemptive by nature. God the Father gave his only Son. Jesus gave his life for us. Only God can put this type of love within us. We are not capable of it on our own. (See 1 Corinthians Chapter 13).
Chasten. Primary meaning: To refine or to purify.
Comes from the root: Chaste.
Congregation. In OT includes all Israel. In NT this word is used in italics to translate the Gr. ekklesia which literally means called out ones. This applies to and includes individuals, small or large groups and even the universal body of Christ.
Earth = Land. Same word in original. Spiritually this has to do with the People of God.
Eternal. Primary meaning: Denotes a change in quality (like a change of state). Secondary meaning: Unlimited time as a consequence of coming into another realm (God’s realm). Therefore, Eternal Life is not life in the human quality that we inherited from Adam going on forever; rather it is a new quality of life in Jesus Christ which may begin now for those who are born again by the Spirit of God.
Fools. Those who are governed by carnal thoughts or desires. This is folly in God’s eyes.
Halelu. Praise ye.
Jubilee. Primary meaning: Freedom, liberty. Secondary meaning: The joy of being set free.
Life = Soul. Same word in original. Translated one or the other according to context.
Right Hand. Authority (power strength).
Selah. Stop and think about it. Meditate on this.
Shadow. Includes the connotation of covering and protection.
Sheol (Heb.) Hades (Gr.). The empire of death under the power of Satan which imprisoned even the just until the redemptive work of Jesus and which even now retains the unjust as they await final judgment. This is different from the lake of fire or Gehena (Hell) of the final judgment which is the second death (See Luke 16:20-31; Ephesians 4:8; Revelation 20:14).
Shofar. Special ram’s horn trumpet blow on the Day of Atonement to announce the year of Jubilee and on other special occasions.
Spirit = Wind = Breath. Same word in original. Translated according to context.
Unicorn. Means one horn. In the old Spanish this is the Rhinoceros.
Use of Italics: Words added by the translator either for proper English or for clarification.
Use of pronouns:
Thee, Thou, Thy. Always singular. Note: Serious doctrinal error can result from the consequences of changing Thee, Thou, or Thy to You or Your. This can cause scriptural promises or directives addressed to the individual to be mistakenly applied to a corporate group. Modern English is ambiguous in this regard and lacks the precision necessary to accurately render the true meaning of the original.
Ye. Always plural. Always denotes a corporate or plural situation. Note: Serious doctrinal error can result from the consequences of changing ye to you and then indiscriminately applying scriptural promises or directives that apply corporately to the People of God to a given individual. Modern English has lost this important distinction.
Editor’s Note:
Of the original edition of Casiodoro de Reina, we only know of a handful of copies that survived the fire of the Spanish Inquisition. Many Bibles were burned together with their owners. William Tyndale was killed because he translated, published and distributed the Word of God. But when the devil knew that he could not stop subsequent editions of the Holy Scriptures, he was obligated to change his tactics. Taking advantage of the good intentions of many to actualize, modernize, and simplify the Bible, the enemy was able to plant his tares, partially dim the light and truth of the Word of God, and little by little dull the sword of the Christian.
It is our intention to actualize orthography and grammar only to the extent that we are confident that the original full range of meaning can be preserved; that we may deliver to you a translation that contains all the force and anointing that was poured out in the sixteenth century over men like Francisco de Encinas, Juan Pérez de Pineda, Casiodoro de Reina, Cipriano de Valera and William Tyndale: men who were chosen by God to be translators of the Bible.
Keeping to the tradition of these reformers, we have continued to take great care to ensure that key terminology is translated in a uniform manner and to footnote exceptions {these footnotes are printed directly in the text within brackets like those surrounding this phrase}. These features also make this an outstanding Bible to study by computer. The first usage, last usage and development of each key term has been carefully checked {the number of overall instances and number of verses in which a given term is used have been carefully tabulated and tracked to insure separation of terminology and to eliminate the use of synonyms wherever possible within the limits of the English language}. This means that when you print a list of all the occurrences of a given term or phrase and study these verse lists, this Bible then defines itself, and the exact value that God has placed on each key term can be established beyond the shadow of a doubt without the need to look up the meanings of the words in a dictionary or commentary that may have been tainted by human endeavor {which in some cases could also be slanted according to the doctrine or school of thought of those who compiled the material}.
We have also made an effort to preserve the emphasis of the original translators in our use of capitals, words in italics and/or in {brackets}. Italics are used when the translator considered the word to be necessary in order to complete a proper translation of the thought or phrase, but the word does not appear in the manuscript of the original language. Words enclosed in square brackets [ ] are explanations amplified by the translator to avoid misunderstandings. The punctuation and orthography have the principal purpose of preserving the meaning, flow and unity of the original manuscripts and do not always follow the norm of modern English.
The Name of God appears in the Hebrew manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures with four consonants (without vowels) YHWH or JHVH and translates literally into English as I AM (according to Exodus 3:14). This is expressed in like manner in Greek in various New Testament texts (see Matthew 14:27; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:70; John 4:26; 6:35, 41; 8:18, 24, 28, 58; 11:25; 18:5-8; Revelation 1:8, 11, 17; 2:23; 21:6; 22:13, 16). The ancients considered that the Name of God was too sacred to pronounce and so they read “Adonai” or Lord each time that they encountered the four consonants of the tetragrammaton. This tradition was followed by our Lord Jesus and by the apostles in more than three hundred instances when they were quoting the Scriptures of the Old Testament. In this work for the most part, we have continued in the tradition of our Lord in regard to the Name of God (YHWH) in the Old Testament. If the original read YHWH, the translation reads LORD. If the original read Adonai, the translation reads Lord. If the original read Adonai YHWH, the translation reads Lord GOD. In a few instances (such as Exodus 3:14), the tetragrammaton is translated I AM.

The First Book

of Moses Commonly Called

Genesis

Genesis 1

1 ¶ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 And the earth was without order, and empty; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.

4 And God saw that the light was good, and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 ¶ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made a firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heavens. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 ¶ And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas; and God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth green grass, herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its nature, whose seed is in itself upon the earth; and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth green grass and herb yielding seed after its kind and the tree yielding fruit whose seed was in itself, according to its nature; and God saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 ¶ And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for appointed times and for days and years;

15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth; and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth

18 and to rule over the day and over the night and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 ¶ And God said, Let the waters bring forth great quantities of creatures with living souls and fowl that may fly above the earth upon the face of the firmament of the heavens.

21 And God created the great dragons and every living soul that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their nature, and every winged fowl after its nature; and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 ¶ And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living soul after its nature, beasts and serpents and animals of the earth after its nature; and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after its kind and cattle after their kind and every thing that moves upon the earth after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

26 ¶ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the beasts and over all the earth and over every serpent that moves upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every beast that moves upon the earth.

29 ¶ And God said, Behold, I have given you every grass bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.

30 And to every beast of the earth and to every fowl of the air and to every thing that moves upon the earth, in which there is a living soul, I have given all green grass for food; and it was so.

31 ¶ And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2

1 ¶ Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

3 And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it he had rested from all his work which God created in perfection.

4 ¶ These are the origins of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens

5 and every plant of the field before it was in the earth and all the grass of the field before it grew, for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and neither was there a man to till the ground.

6 But there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

8 ¶ And the LORD God had planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is desirable to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it was divided into four heads.

11 The name of the first is Pison; that is it which compasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;

12 and the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

13 And the name of the second river is Gihon; this is the same that compasses the whole land of Ethiopia.

14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel; this is that which goes toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

15 And the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

16 ¶ And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou may freely eat;

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou dost eat of it thou shalt surely die.

18 ¶ And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.

19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living soul, that was its name.

20 And the man gave names to every beast, and to the fowl of the heavens, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a help meet for him.

21 ¶ And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his sides and closed up the flesh in its place;

22 and the LORD God built that which he had taken from the side of the man into a woman and brought her unto the man.

23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3

1 ¶ Now the serpent was more astute than all the animals of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Has God indeed said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman answered unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;

3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, Ye shall not eat of it; neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 Then the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God knows that in the day ye eat of it then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 ¶ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was desirable to the eyes, and a tree of covetousness to understand, she took of its fruit and ate and gave also unto her husband with her; and he ate.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves girdles.

8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

9 ¶ And the LORD God called unto the man and said unto him, Where art thou?

10 And he replied, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11 ¶ And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee not to eat?

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.

13 Then the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.

14 ¶ And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all beasts and above every animal of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life;

15 and I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; that seed shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

16 ¶ Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth sons; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 ¶ And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18 thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the grass of the field;

19 in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread until thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

20 ¶ And the man called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living.

21 ¶ Then the LORD God made coats of skins for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

22 ¶ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live for ever,

23 therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.

Book Promo – Pursuing His Presence by David Cerullo

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Whitaker House (September 2, 2013)
***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David Cerullo is the Chairman and CEO of Inspiration Ministries encompassing the INSP Television Network, dedicated to impacting people for Christ worldwide through media. David is a unique combination of Christian minister and corporate businessman. The son of international evangelist Morris Cerullo, David took a less traditional approach to ministry, graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business administration and management. He and his wife, Barbara, have been married for more than 40 years, have two adult children and five grandchildren. Together they serve as hosts of the international television outreach program, Inspiration Today! David is also the author of 11 books.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

PursuingPresence_Comp Thousands of years ago, God imbedded mysteries within the pattern of Moses’ wilderness tabernacle. But, just as earthly treasures must be searched for and mined, the spiritual riches God has buried in His Word must be searched for with diligence. Pursing His Presence serves as a treasure map with David Cerullo as guide for those who seek ever-deepening intimacy with God and are willing to embark on a life-changing path. Readers will explore ancient explore ancient scriptural truths unveiling the pathway into God’s awesome presence and understand as never before the riches hidden within the tabernacle.

Product Details:
List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (September 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603748938
ISBN-13: 978-1603748933

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Missing the Mark

“You are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
—1 Corinthians 1:30
Whether we realize it or not, every one of us is crying out for more of God’s presence. Something inside us yearns to know Him, to experience intimacy with Him, and to offer Him the only thing we have to give—our worship.

My own journey into a relationship of intimacy with the Lord began many years ago with a growing cry in my heart. I was sitting in a hotel room, reading my Bible, in preparation for the message I was to deliver at a conference that evening. I came across this verse written by the apostle Paul: “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10).
I was blown away when I read those words. I thought, Paul, how could you possibly say this? You wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, and you’re talking about “wanting” to know God? If you felt as though you didn’t know God, who else can possibly know Him?
Then the realization dawned on me that all of us are on a journey into the heart of God, and that none of us will arrive at the end of this pilgrimage until we’re in heaven. None of us has reached the place of intimacy with God that He desires us to achieve. Paul was simply saying that he recognized he wasn’t yet where God was calling him to be in his relationship with Him, but that he was pressing upward, toward the call of God in Christ Jesus.
I was desperately hungry to know God like this, and so I prayed, “Lord, I want to know You. I don’t just want to know about You; I want to know You.”
The Lord then spoke to my spirit, saying, David, do you want to go to that next level with Me—beyond acquaintance, beyond friendship, beyond knowing about Me? Are you truly longing for a deeper level of relationship?
I responded, “Yes, Lord, I truly want an intimate relationship with You.”
He replied, David, if you really want to get to know Me, why aren’t you spending more time with Me?
Now, let me be honest with you. When God asked me this, it hurt—a lot. I had been spending time with the Lord, but He was gently and firmly convicting me that I usually limited my time with Him because of my overcrowded schedule.
He went on, We don’t talk very much. You don’t spend much time in My presence. If you truly want to know Me, you’re going to need to spend more time with Me.
I thought about this for a while. There are a lot of ways we can get to know someone. Often, when we meet someone for the first time, we’ve already heard about that person; we just don’t really know him or her. The only way we get to know others is by spending time with them.
All of us have different kinds of relationships on different levels with different people.

    • There are people we’ve heard about but will never know.
    • There are people we’ve met but will never really get to know, because we don’t invest in our relationship by spending time with them.
    • There are people we spend more time with and get to know a little bit.
    • And then there are those with whom we spend a lot of time, those who eventually become our closest, most intimate friends.

The more time we invest in our relationship with someone, the more we know that person, and the closer we become. This is why the first thing the Lord said to me when I prayed for a more intimate relationship with Him was, If you want to truly know Me, spend time with Me.
And so I did.
Later that morning, I went down to the hotel restaurant to get some breakfast. As I was sitting there drinking my coffee and considering what God had said about how I needed to spend more time with Him, I sensed He was about to speak to my spirit again. I fished inside my pocket for an envelope and a pen, to write down whatever He was about to tell me.
David, if you truly want to know Me, there are some steps you’re going to have to take in order to move into a deeper level of relationship with Me.
“Yes, Lord,” I said, “I’ll take these steps. Whatever they are, I’ll take them.” And I quickly scrawled on the envelope the five words the Lord spoke to me:

Repent. Praise. Worship. Offering. Sacrifice.
Little did I know the impact these words would have on my life over the next several years.

Repent

The first step God said I would need to take if I wanted to know Him more intimately was repent.
Ouch! That was a tough word for me to hear.
But I understood why He was saying this to me. As believers, we often knock on God’s door, wanting to spend time with Him, when we haven’t prepared ourselves to enter into His holy presence. The psalmist wrote,

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24:3–5)
When we ask Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, we are immediately washed clean by His blood. Our sins are forgiven, and His righteousness becomes our righteousness: “You are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
However, when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He told them to pray these words as part of their daily prayer: And forgive us our debts [“sins” tlb], as we also have forgiven our debtors [“those who have sinned against us” tlb](Matthew 6:12). Although our sin nature is cleansed when we invite Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, we must repent of our sins on a daily basis, as He instructed us to do.
What is sin, exactly? The Greek word for sin is hamartia, which means “to miss the mark.” Sin is anything we do, or fail to do, that causes us to “miss the mark” of God’s standard of holiness. We all “miss the mark” repeatedly throughout the day!
This is why Jesus taught us to ask God daily to forgive our sins. Thoughts that shouldn’t have been entertained, words that shouldn’t have been spoken, actions we should or should not have taken—all these failings occur in our lives on a daily basis. If we are to have “clean hands and a pure heart,” which is a qualification for spending time in intimate communion with the Lord, we must repent daily of our sins.
The word repent comes from the Greek word metaneo, and it means “to think differently.” True repentance requires changing your mind about your sin, and then changing your thinking and your behavior. Refusing or avoiding repentance actually prevents us from having an intimate relationship with the Lord.
Psalm 66:18 reminds us, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear,” and Isaiah 59:2 sobers us with this warning: “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
Now, please understand, I’m not saying that God requires us to be perfect. He doesn’t. He knows we’re weak and vulnerable to temptation. What I am saying is that God has provided us with an escape from His judgment for our sin: repentance based on faith in Jesus Christ alone, initially, when we’re forgiven for our sin nature, once and for all, and then for the sins we daily commit that can block us from knowing Him more intimately.
Genuine repentance before God is a sign of our brokenness and our desperation for Him. A good example of a prayer of repentance is found in Psalm 51:
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.(Psalm 51:1–2, 17)
God is so glad when we humble ourselves before Him and repent of our sins. He lovingly forgives us and welcomes us into His presence when we ask for His power to strengthen and help us when we “miss the mark.”

One Requirement

I want to pause here for a moment and offer you the opportunity to repent before God and invite Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, if you have never done so.
If you’re reading this book, I’m assuming it’s because you’re hungry for an intimate relationship with God. However, until Jesus is the Lord of your life, you will never be able to experience intimacy with God. Why? Because God is holy, and the only way to come into His presence is to be made holy once and for all by the blood of the One who never sinned—Jesus Christ.
Only by accepting that His death on the cross is the one true way leading to God do we “have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).
But the good news is that you don’t have to wait any longer! You can repent of your sinful nature right now and immediately have the awesome right to an intimate relationship with God, who loves you with an everlasting love that will never fail! All you have to do is…

1. Acknowledge you’re a sinner.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

2. Confess your sins.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

3. Repent (“change your mind”) regarding your sins.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7)

4. Believe that Jesus is God’s Son, who lived a sinless life yet chose to die a sinner’s death on the cross to save you from your sins.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)

5. Pray this simple prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your great love for me. I confess that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and ask You to forgive me. I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, that He died on the cross for me, and that You raised Him from the dead. Please wash me clean with His blood. Thank You for forgiving me and making me Your child.
Jesus, please come into my life right now, live in my heart, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Be my Savior and Lord. Set me free from every bondage the devil has held in my life.
Jesus, I pray this in Your powerful name.
Amen.

If you just prayed this prayer, then welcome to the family of God! Right now, the angels in heaven are rejoicing over you (see Luke 15:10), and I’m rejoicing over you, too!
In the following days, weeks, and months, you will sense the Lord drawing you into an increasingly intimate relationship. Talk to Him. Read His Word. Fellowship with other believers. Spend time with Him every day. He loves you so much and wants to be with you. Keep reading this book to discover powerful treasures that will help you draw closer and closer to Him.
Remember, the daily confession of our sins is a powerful step we can take in our journey toward intimacy with God. As we come before Him, washed and cleansed by Jesus’ blood and the mercy of God’s forgiveness, we’re ready to take the next step that will bring us further into His presence.
Digging Deeper

    1. Think about a person with whom you have had a close, loving, intimate relationship. What made this relationship special and different from other relationships in your life?
    2. Compared to the relationship you just described, how would you like your relationship with the Lord to be the same or different?
    3. Consider the time when your relationship with the Lord first began. How has it changed, strengthened, or weakened since then?
    4. Spend some time with the Lord and ask Him to reveal areas of your life where you are “missing the mark.” When He reveals any sin, simply repent. Tell Him you have “changed your mind” and that, with His courage, grace, and strength, you also will change your thinking and your behavior.

Book Promo: Ruth Mother of Kings by Diana Wallis Taylor

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Whitaker House (October 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Recently named “Writer of the Year” by the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild, Diana Wallis Taylor has been writing since the age of 12 when she sold her first poem to a church newspaper. A former school teacher, popular women’s speaker and award-winning author, she’s best known for her biblical novels that focus on women such as Martha, Mary Magdalene, Claudia Wife of Pontius Pilate, and Journey to the Well. She’s also published several contemporary novels, a collection of poetry, and contributed to a wide variety of publications. Diana lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. Among them, they have six grown children and ten grandchildren.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The story of Ruth has captivated Christian believers for centuries, not least of all because she is one of only two women with books of the Bible named after them. Now, Diana Wallis Taylor animates this cherished part of the Old Testament, with its unforgettable cast of characters. She describes Ruth’s elation as a young bride— and her grief at finding herself a widow far before her time. Readers will witness the unspeakable relief of Naomi upon hearing her daughter-in-law’s promise never to leave her. And celebrate with Boaz when, after years as a widower, he discovers love again, with a woman he first found gleaning in his field. The story of this remarkable woman to whom Jesus Christ traced His lineage comes to life in the pages of this dramatic and unique retelling.


Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (October 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603749039
ISBN-13: 978-1603749039
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Ruth sat with her brother, Joash, on a small rug in the neighbors’ courtyard, listening fearfully as the adults discussed what to do with them. Ruth wanted her mama. Why would they not let her see her? Was she still sick? Her papa had tended her for several days and told them not to disturb her. No one baked any bread for their breakfast.

She scrunched up her small face, her lower lip trembling. Yesterday, her mama would not wake up, and her papa began weeping and acting strangely. He struggled to stand up, and perspiration ran down his face. She remembered his words, spoken like he was out of breath. “Joash, you must help me. Take Ruth and go to the house of Naaman. Tell him I need his help. Stay there until I call for you.”

Joash grabbed her hand and almost pulled her to the neighbors’ house. She had been holding her mother’s shawl, and she wrapped it around herself that night as they slept in the neighbors’ courtyard. She could hardly breathe for the fear that seemed to rise up from her chest. Why would the neighbors not let them go home? Had Papa not called for them?

Everyone looked at them with sad eyes and whispered to one another. She clutched her mother’s shawl and turned to her brother.

“Why will they not let us go home?”

“I don’t know. Something is wrong.” He looked at a woman standing nearby. “We want to see our mama and papa.”

The woman answered quietly, “Children, your mama and papa are dead. You cannot see them…ever again.”

Ruth heard the word “dead.” A bird fell in their small courtyard one day, and her papa said it was dead. It lay on the dirt, unmoving, its eyes closed. She could not imagine her mama and papa like that bird. She turned to her brother again.

“Mama and Papa are dead?”

Joash nodded, tears rolling down his cheeks. He put an arm around her, and they clung to each other.

Naaman’s wife spoke up. “I have fed them for two days, but I cannot continue to care for them.”

“Do they have family elsewhere?” said another neighbor woman. “I have children of my own to feed.”

Naaman murmured, “Phineas has family near the Plains of Moab, outside Beth-Jeshimoth. He told me before he died.”

“What family? His parents? Are they still alive?”

There was silence. Then, “How would the children get there? They can’t go alone; the boy is only six, the girl almost four. Who would take them?”

“That is something to consider. It is a two days’ journey.”

Teary-eyed, Ruth turned to her brother and whispered, “Where do they want to take us?”

He straightened his shoulders and tried to sound very strong. “I don’t know, but do not be afraid, Sister. I will care for you.”

A couple entered the small courtyard and hurried up to the group that had been talking. The woman spoke. “We just heard about the parents. The mother, Timna, was my friend. Do you know what is to be done with the children?”

Someone said, “Naaman told us they have grandparents, outside Beth-Jeshimoth, but we don’t know how to get them there. They cannot travel alone.”

The man nodded, then said, “I will take them. My wife, Mary, will go with me.”

“But, Gershon, can you leave your shop for that long? It will take at least two days or more, just one way.”

“Ha’Shem will watch over my shop. It is the right thing to do. If they have family, that is where the children should go. I will prepare my cart and donkey.”

The first woman spoke. “May the Almighty bless you for your kindness, Gershon, and your wife also. It is a good thing you do. I will gather food for your journey. The other women in the neighborhood will help.”

Ruth listened to the women click their tongues and murmur among themselves.

“Those poor children were alone in the house with their sick parents for days before Phineas sent them to Naaman and his wife.”

“My husband wondered why Phineas had not come to work in three days.”

“The Lord only knows the last time they had eaten.”

“Both of the children are so thin.”

One of the other men spoke up. “What if you get there and find that the children’s grandparents are dead?”

“We will just have to trust the Almighty to guide us; we will pray that they live and that these orphaned children will be welcomed.”

Joash clutched Ruth’s hand tighter. “See? We will go to Abba’s family. They will take us there.”

Ruth, too frightened to speak again, could only nod, dried tears still on her cheeks.

Early the next morning, they were fed some lentil soup and fresh bread, and then Gershon and Mary took their hands and led them home, telling them they would now gather a few things to take with them. Mary clicked her tongue and sighed as she and her husband looked around the small house. “There is little of value here,” Gershon said. “The girl seems determined to hold on to her mother’s shawl.”

Mary glanced at Ruth. “It is a comfort to her. We must not take the bedding, because of their sickness. I will bring bedding from our house. Oh, Gershon, they were so poor. How did they live?”

“Evidently he made just enough to survive.”

Ruth, with her mother’s shawl still wrapped around her shoulders, clutched a doll made of rags that her mother had sewn for her. She looked around. There was no sign of her mama or papa anywhere. She watched her brother slip a small leather box out of a cupboard when the man and his wife were not looking. He put a finger to his lips and hid the box in his clothes.

When the cart was loaded, Ruth climbed in after Joash and settled in as the journey began. Never having ventured beyond her street, she looked about, wide-eyed, as they passed through the town.

“What is our town called?” Joash asked.

“It is Medeba,” the man answered.

His wife turned around in her seat at the front of the cart. “Have you not been in the town before?”

Joash shook his head.

“It is large. Your father made many fine bricks to build houses with.”

Ruth looked up at her. “I miss my mama.”

Mary sighed. “I know, child. Your mama and papa were so sick from the fever. They just didn’t get better, like so many others. But soon you will be with your grandparents.”

“Will they let us stay with them?” Joash asked.

There was a pause, and Mary looked at her husband. “Oh, of course. I’m sure they will be glad to see you.” She turned around again. “Have you ever met them?”

Ruth looked at her brother, and both children shook their heads.

They spent the night with some other families that were traveling. Gershon said something about it being safer to stay with a group.

Mary made sure Ruth and Joash were settled for the night and then lay down next to her husband. The two adults whispered to themselves, probably thinking that Ruth was asleep. She kept her eyes closed and listened in.

“Oh, Gershon, I pray that the grandparents are still there. What will we do if they are not?”

“We must trust the Almighty, Mary. I feel we are doing the right thing.”

“Then we will do our best, and know the outcome soon.”

“Timna was never well, from what I understand.”

Mary murmured, “If the parents of Phineas had a farm, why did he leave? Would he not work the farm with his father?”

“A disagreement of some kind. I don’t think the parents approved of the marriage. Medeba is a larger town. He probably thought he had a better chance of finding work there.”

She sighed. “Then the grandparents may not even know about the children?”

“It’s likely they don’t. Let us get some rest. We have many miles to cover tomorrow.”

Ruth yawned. What did it all mean? She was so tired. It was too much for her to understand. Moving closer to Joash, she settled down and, despite missing her parents, allowed sleep to draw her into its embrace.