Sunday, November 8, 2020

Covenant Yields Inheritance Yields Calling (1)

 

Covenant Yields Inheritance Yields Calling (1) - Covenant Part 3 of 4

Are you aware that there’s a calling on your life? If not, I hope this post will encourage you to consider it. And if you are aware, I hope it will inspire you to stay on track. 

As for me, for many years I was unaware that I was called to teach. But from childhood, I had a passion to teach. As a little girl I would line up my dolls and stuffed animals in my make-shift classroom and teach them. I don’t remember what I taught but I was certainly their teacher.

At age twelve, I taught swimming lessons at our city pool. I loved it and the pool manager loved it because since I was too young to be certified, he didn’t have to pay me. I would teach the children according to the Red Cross regulations and administer the swim test at the end of the week. A certified swim instructor would then sigh their Red Cross Swim Certificates. As soon as I was eligible, at age sixteen, I got my lifeguard credentials and worked as a lifeguard off and on through college.

Throughout my youth my passion was to be a teacher, though I didn’t recognize it as God’s calling until many years later. Eventually I became a teacher in public schools. In addition, I taught children and adults at church, lead Bible studies, and even cooking classes for adults and young children. I also wrote curriculum for secular and biblical education. To this day I love teaching and writing Bible oriented study material.

I now know that God has called me to be a teacher and to write for Him. It was He who put that desire in my heart. Because I’m in covenant relationship with Him, He has guided me along the way to walk in this calling according to His plan for me. It’s a large part of who He created me to be. Had I not been in relationship with Him, I would probably have still been a teacher but likely not have been as effective in loving and impacting my middle school students.

Occasionally, a former student tells me he or she appreciates something I taught them in my middle school Teen Living (home economics) class. When this happens, I’m overjoyed and grateful.

About a year ago a former student and I began following each other on Instagram. Through sharing life via this social media, I have learned that he is a police officer and, on the side, is also a preacher and a caterer, specializing in barbeque. A couple of weeks ago I made a comment on his post about the great looking BBQ meal he had prepared for a wedding reception. My comment was, “Yum!”

His kind response back to me brought tears to my eyes. He said, “I learned some things back in the day. Thank you for a positive impact on my life.”

If my impact on his life has had anything at all to do with what he is doing with his life today, then I’m overwhelmed with praises to God.

When we walk in our God ordained calling only God knows the extent of the impact our lives will have on others. And some of those influences are of eternal consequence.    

When does it happen that God declares a calling on a person’s life?

A beautiful psalm of David gives insight into that. In Psalm 139 he extols the glorious creation of a human being, declaring that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (verse 14). He goes on to say, “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them” (Psalm 139:16-17 NKJV*).

Photo by Connie Wohlford

Let’s look back at covenant, from my post of October 26, 2020. I shared Chuck Pierce’s definition: “an endless partnership or solemn and binding agreement between two or more parties. 

Covenant with God provides a commitment to a relationship that allows His purpose for us to be fulfilled.” ** 

Then in my post of November 1, 2020, I pointed out that when we enter into covenant with God, we’re bequeathed an eternal inheritance. One facet of our inheritance is the plan and purpose He ordains for each of us. Within that is our calling. And as we walk out our calling we step through the door that leads to the abundant life God desires to give each of us.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b). Notice He said, “may have.” He did not say “will have.”

One who does not follow the leading of God and answer His call will not realize their highest potential nor live out the best life God wanted for them. That doesn’t mean they cannot have a good life. It means they will not have the best life in the fullest of abundance that God planned for them.

So, what is your passion? Perhaps the thing you love to do was placed inside you by your Creator.

What is it that strikes a chord in your spirit and releases a yearning to do, or help, or accomplish something?

We can be assured that God’s desire and plan is that we use our giftings and passions to glorify Him and to achieve our part in the building of His kingdom. This does not necessarily just happen. Circumstances don’t automatically fall into place. We need open to our spiritual eyes and seek God for the answers to our questions about our calling—His plan. 

It is amazing—supernatural—how our Heavenly Father loves us so much He wants a covenant relationship with each of us. After all, we’re each created in His own image. (Genesis 1:27) And interwoven into that eternal covenant He incorporates an individualized inheritance which contains a multifaceted plan and purpose—a calling.

Let’s pray: Father, how amazing that You are so concerned for my well-being that You plan out a wonderful abundant life for me! Thank You, Lord. Please help me to lean into that calling with everything that is in me. Show me, with clarity, what you desire for me to do and be, and help me to have the courage, strength, and will to walk in it daily. I will leave the outcomes to You. For I know that will be good. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

 

* All Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

**Possessing Your Inheritance, by Chuck D. Pierce and Rebecca Wagner Sytsema; Chosen Books, Baker Publishing Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 2009; page 119.

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Covenant Yields Inheritance (Covenant Part 2)

 Covenant Yields Inheritance (Covenant Part 2)       

Have you ever received an inheritance of material things? Not everyone does. But if you have it was probably a great blessing.

I have been the recipient of inheritance and it truly blessed my family and me. Why did something choose to bequeath worldly goods to me? Because they loved me.

Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to give each of us an inheritance—an eternal inheritance. Indeed, He wants to supply us with things to meet our earthly needs, but His idea of inheritance is far greater than that. In order to receive the inheritance set aside for each of us we must enter into a covenant relationship with our Creator, Yahweh. (Yahweh is the Hebrew name of God.)

It’s through faith in Jesus that we do this. We then become God’s own children and joint heirs with Jesus. (Romans 8:17) As His children, we qualify to receive a magnificent, out of this world, inheritance, both on earth—abundant life—and an eternal home after we die.

Any covenant God enters into is forever and HIs eternal covenants yield eternal inheritance. I touched on this truth in my previous post. I hope you’ll read it if you haven’t.

The Apostle Peter encourages us: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible [will not perish] and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5 NKJV*). 

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b). That is fullness of life on earth and eternal life in Heaven.

Photo by Connie Wohlford 

A few of the promises we inherit are: forgiveness of sin, thus removing it’s penalty (Ephesians 1:7-8); promise of provision of earthly needs (2 Peter 1:3); peace in all situations (John 14:27); the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16); for each of us, God’s purpose and a calling (1 Timothy 1:9); nothing can separate us from God (Romans 8:38-39); we will each have a perfect glorified body fit for eternal life (Philippians 3:21); assurance of eternal life in Heaven with Jesus as members of God’s own family (John 6:47).

I have named only a few of the wondrous things that are part of our eternal inheritance from our Father God. The list is endless. As we read and study God’s Word we learn more of the depth and breadth of His unfailing love and all He wants to bequeath to His own.

Please take a moment and meditate on each of the above promises in our inheritance. Write down more as you think of them.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, You are so good to us and we don’t deserve the marvelous things You choose give. You know our every breath and our every need even before it arises. Father, we are so grateful. Thank You for providing with an open hand of love and mercy. We love You, Lord. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

*** All Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Covenant or Contract

 Covenant or Contract                                        

What is the difference between a contract and a covenant? Some say they’re the same, but they’re not, especially when God is involved.

“A covenant, in the biblical sense, implies much more than a contract. … A contract always has an end date, while a covenant is a permanent arrangement. Another difference is that a contract generally involves only one part of a person, such as a skill, while a covenant covers a person’s total being.” * 

Chuck Pierce defines covenant as “an endless partnership or solemn and binding agreement between two or more parties. Covenant with God provides a commitment to a relationship that allows His purpose for us to be fulfilled.” ** 

Consider this: When we purchase a car, we agree to a contract. When we get married, we enter into a covenant. Big difference.

We can be confident that any covenant of God is initiated by God Himself. Some of the most famous God ordained covenants are: God’s covenant with Noah, (Genesis 9:11); God’s covenant with Abraham, (Genesis 15:18); and God’s covenant with Moses and the Israelites (Exodus 19-24).

God will always uphold His end of a covenant. He keeps promises. On the other hand, people sometimes fail to hold up their end.

People enter into covenants with other people as in the example of marriage. Sadly, not all marriage covenants are upheld. A good example of a human covenant which was honored by both parties is the friendship between Jonathan and David. This kind of loyal friendship is not easy to come by. Even after Johnathan died, David honored his friend by caring for Jonathan’s handicapped son, Mephibosheth. (2 Samuel 9)

When we become born-again followers of Jesus, we enter into an eternal covenant with our Creator. We receive and are consecrated into what Jeremiah prophesied would be the New Covenant.

“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. … I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. … For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34 NKJV). ***   

It was through the death of God’s own Son, Jesus, with the shedding of His blood that the New Covenant was given to Mankind. Through God’s covenant with Moses and the Israelites man’s sins could be covered over through the sacrificial shedding of the blood of animals. But now, through the shedding of the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, our sins are completely removed. Besides that, Jesus takes away the accompanying guilt and shame. We are made clean and made new just as if we had never committed the sins at all. We are born-again.


“For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:13-15).


It is by faith that we enter into this eternal covenant with our Creator. He offers it and we choose to receive it or not. When we say “yes” to God’s offer, we have the opportunity to receive our eternal inheritance. “What is that?” you may ask. Please see my next post to learn about it.

“Therefore know that the Lord Your God, His God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

Let us pray: Father, we can never thank You enough for providing Your New Covenant to us, a free gift we receive by faith. Because of your great love, mercy, and grace, You have given Jesus, the divine Mediator of this better covenant. By Your Spirit, help us to have the will and strength to follow Your lead into the divine inheritance so that Your purpose in each of us will be fulfilled. What a wonderful adventure You provide! In Jesus name we pray, amen.


*New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publishing, page 306.

**Possessing Your Inheritance, by Chuck D. Pierce and Rebecca Wagner Sytsema; Chosen Books, Baker Publishing Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 2009; page 119.

*** All Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Power of The Book – God’s Word

 The Power of The Book – God’s Word           

Can you imagine becoming a king at the age of eight? I cannot fathom being a king (queen), much less as a child.

Well, that’s what happened to a boy named Josiah. His father and grandfather, who preceded him on the throne of ancient Judah were not good examples for this boy-king. In fact, they were a couple of the wickedest kings the nation ever had. Second Kings 21 and Second Chronicles 34-35 give an account of their evil reigns. 

But then came Josiah—a breath of fresh air.

We’re told, “And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2 NKJV*).

What do you suppose caused Josiah to depart from the leadership philosophies of his predecessors? The answer to that question is simple, yet profound.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah instructed his scribe, Shaphan, to take care of some administrative business with the high priest, Hilkiah, regarding repairs to the house of the Lord. While there, Hilkiah said to Shaphan, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan and he read it” (2 Kings 22:8).

“Then Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read it before the king. Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes” (2 Kings 22:10-11).

In those days, the tearing of one’s clothes represented humbling oneself in despair over some occurrence. Here, King Josiah repented for the years of sins his nation committed against Jehovah God. Many of those sins included the worship of false gods. Josiah’s grandfather had even sacrificed his own son to the god, Molech. (2 Kings 21:6)

Josiah then instructed his spiritual leaders to go and inquire of the Lord on behalf of himself and the nation. God responded to their genuine repentance and promised peace in the land for all the days of Josiah. 

“Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant” (2 Kings 23:3).

King Josiah then took action to uphold his part of the covenant. He ordered that all the pagan gods and articles of worship be destroyed, along with the priests of these gods and those who practiced witchcraft. (2 Kings 23:4-20, 24)

“Then the king commanded all the people saying, ‘Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as is written in the Book of the Covenant.’ Such a Passover surely had never been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was held before the LORD in Jerusalem. … Now before him (Josiah) there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him” (2 Kings 23:21-23, 25).

Scholars tell us that the reforms of King Josiah launched the greatest revival throughout the kingdom in Old Testament history.

The days we live in are filled with sin, fear, and unrest. Many people in distress are turning to God, discovering His Word, and uncovering the hope that’s found in Christ. We hear reports of increased retail sales of Bibles and many are digging out Bibles they haven’t touched for years.

Because of a renewed interest in God and Jesus, many spiritual leaders and modern-day prophets predict that a new Great Awakening and Last Days Revival is right around the corner. How thrilling to think we might be a part of that! Repeatedly we hear, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

God’s Word is certainly powerful—giving life, strength, and hope for the future. Like Josiah, lets read The Book and allow God to revolutionize our spirits.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:11). 

After Josiah read the Book he repented of national sin and took action. If repentance is in order, we need to go before God and repent. He loves each of us more than we can imagine and desires for us to be in right relationship with Him. He is quick to forgive when we sincerely repent for our sins.


Through Jesus, God’s Son, and with the help of His Spirit we can live our days in harmony with our Creator. He put us on His planet at this time in history to give us abundant life and to help Him build His kingdom.

Let’s pray: Father God, these are amazing days I’m living in. It’s also amazing to think you placed me here to serve Your own purpose in this time in history. Help me to know You better through Your Word, to hear You as You teach and guide me, and to serve you according to your plan for me as I join You in the building of Your kingdom. I want to glorify You with my life. In Jesus name—amen.

* All Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Power of Fullness

 The Power of Fullness                                       

Have you ever said, “My heart is full,” or “My cup runneth over”? At times in life when an experience or event pleases me immensely, I have felt this way and have said those words.

For example, when I first held each of my newborn sons and then years later each of my grandchildren, the feelings of joy and completeness overflowed. More importantly, when our two sons and eight grandchildren each received Jesus as Savior and Lord and was baptized, my heart was full.

These life experiences fill our hearts and complete something in our lives. The Bible speaks of fullness on several occasions, meaning to be filled to satisfaction or brought to completion. Strong’s defines fullness as “what fills (as contents, supplement, copiousness, multitude), or what is filled (as container, performance) … fulfilling …” * 

By Robin Lambert (Instagram) - used with permission

Psalm 24:1-2 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters” (NKJV). 

How encouraging it is to know that God owns the earth and all that’s in it. 

Though the nations rage and Satan appears to be having his way on many fronts, ultimately God will have His way. In the end, we who are in Christ will come out winners. 


On God’s calendar:

In the fullness of time He laid the foundations of the earth. (Psalm 102:25)

In the fullness of time God established His own people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In the fullness of time Father God brought forth His own Son through the virgin, Mary, and named Him Jesus, (Yeshua in Hebrew).

In the fullness of time Jesus paid the sin debt of all Mankind, dying on a cross.

In the fullness of time God rose Jesus back to life from the dead, completing the way for those who put faith in Him to have eternal life.

In the fullness of time Jesus will return, God will set up His Eternal Kingdom and all wrongs will made right.

I believe that my favorite Bible uses of the word fullness are found in Paul’s letter to the fledgling church in Colossae when he spoke of Jesus. His description of Jesus helps reinforce our reasons to trust Him.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible. Whether thrones or dominions or principalities of powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (that is, hold together**).

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have preeminence.

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:15-20 NKJV).

Now, that’s enough to make me want to shout! Unless you’re pressed for time, I suggest you read that passage again—this time out loud, standing up.

And there’s more. Let’s move into the next chapter for a nugget that can knock our socks off when we soak it in and believe in depths of our being that it’s true.

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principalities and power” (Colossians 2:9-10 NKJV).

Jesus Christ is the fullness of God in bodily form. When we are born-again believers in Him, He is in us by way of the Holy Spirit. That means we are complete in Him who has authority over all other powers that may exist.

The fullness of God is full in us. No, we are not equal with God by any means. But we have access to our Creator through our Savior, Jesus. He is in our very breath. We have power over sin, power to stand on truth, and power to walk in the character of Jesus Himself.

Therefore, let us know our God and know our Savior. Let us meditate on and study God’s Word, the Bible, so we can understand who we are in His fullness and be able to withstand the attacks of evil forces and stand firm in truth—that is, God’s truth. (Ephesians 6:12-13)

Let’s pray: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to rescue me from evils of life and fears of death. Thank You that in Him Your own fullness dwells. Help me to allow the fullness of Jesus to shine in my own life and to fill me with all I need to be who You created me to be. In Jesus name I pray—amen.

*Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, by James Strong; Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc.,, Nashville, TN, 1890; Greek Dictionary, p. 58.

**my insert

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford

Sunday, August 16, 2020

What’s on Your Child's Reading List?

 

Children’s Books by Connie Wohlford      

What’s on your child's Reading List? 

How about some books about Jesus — or a unique animal character? 

Do your children (ages 3-11) know about things that happened to Jesus as an infant? And, what about captivating events before during and after Jesus crucifixion? 

Or perhaps the young ones in your life would enjoy unique stories about that odd creature, a rhinokaroarus, named Gerald. 

Please consider the stories I wrote for my grandchildren which have evolved into delightful, informative books for all children to enjoy—even grown up ones. And, hey, each book comes with a FREE reproducible word puzzle! 

Though each is a stand-alone book, the four books about Jesus are connected by a parallel donkey story. The adorable donkeys, Gil (meaning joy), Elpis (means hope), and Kavod (meaning glory), affectionately help captivate young readers and listeners. 

Watercolor illustrations, by Virginia artists, Molly Keller and Lesley James, beautifully carry the stories along.  

Then for entertainment with a moral twist enjoy the rhinokaroarus stories. Delightful illustrations, by Virginia artist, Ken Henderson, help convey the story of Gerald, whose unfortunate life changing experience brings him a best bud and some unusual adventures. 

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Book lengths are between 20-30 pages. Each book comes with a FREE word puzzles which challenge and are enjoyed by children who are old enough to write as well as adults. These puzzles may be copied as much as you wish for repeated use and/or group use, such as in Children’s Church, VBS, homeschool, Christian school, etc.

 I invite you to take a look at my children's books:

Joy Comes to Bethlehem- (Temporality Sold Out) - Meet the lovable donkeys, Gil, and her little one, Elpis.

Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem with Joseph, Mary, and Gil. Experience the sad goodbye of Gil & Elpis as well as the danger and the drama along the way. See the faithfulness of God and the amazing birth of His Son, Jesus.

Again, read of the birth of the Savior. Enjoy the setting & the perspective of these faithful beasts of burden carried along with the beautiful full color illustrations by Virginia artist, Molly Keller.

 

At eight days of age Jewish boys experience the custom called “Bris Milah,” and their names are recorded in the Hebrew records. Go with Joseph and Mary as they take Jesus to the home of a rabbi for His own ceremony. While walking along the dusty road, Mary & Joseph each recall the most unusual way in which they came to name their baby son. Their faithful donkey, Gil alerts them to an alarming danger at the Rabbi Jonathan’s courtyard. 

Meanwhile, back in Nazareth, the young donkey, Elpis, is still missing her mama, Gil, but continues to be comforted in a very special way. So, join in with these wonderful characters of the Bible & learn about the infant life of Jesus. Young & old alike take pleasure in gaining insight into these early days of the King of kings, artfully captured in the story & illustrations in His Name is Jesus.

 

He Is The ONE - As was tradition, at 40 days of age little Jesus is taken by His parents to the Temple to be dedicated to Yahweh. There an amazing thing happens. Share the surprise and wonder with Joseph, and Mary when strangers, Simeon and Anna, recognize Jesus as the long awaited Messiah. 

Their faithful donkey, Gil (whose name means hope), accompanies the Holy Family to Jerusalem. While Gil waits outside the temple, her thoughts turn to her own little one, Elpis (pronounced el-peese’), who is back in Nazareth. On this eventful day, Elpis’ jolly fun with her buddy, Buzi, turns into a painful tumble. Join in to see how the little donkey deals with her ordeal with her Mama so far away

.                                                                      

The Lord Has Need of YOU - Join donkeys, Elpis & her little one, Kavod, and experience the last days of Jesus’ life on earth prior to His ascension. Having known each other since childhood, Elpis and Jesus are uniquely reunited.

Through the eyes of these loveable donkeys, see the Bible account of Jesus’ earthly life from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem to His ascension back to Heaven after rising from the dead. It includes several occurrences during Holy Week and thereafter.

 Walk alongside Elpis and Kavod and share in the joy of knowing Jesus on a personal level. Feel the sadness of His crucifixion. Then rejoice with the donkeys, the disciples, and others at the resurrection of the Jesus, the Messiah. Stand amazed with them at the risen Lord as He ascends to Heaven, rejoicing at the promise of His eventual return.

This account is carried along pictorially with the beautiful watercolor paintings of Virginia artist, Lesley James. Children and adults alike will be blessed by her art, by the story of Jesus, and by the personal challenge to step out in faith because the Lord has need of you.

 

You’re A What?! ~Every once in a while, a story or character comes along that is different−really different−from anything else you find on a shelf of children’s books. 

 Gerald, the star character in You’re A What?! is just that−different.  He is a captivating creature who has been dealt a ruthless blow, having experienced a collision with life that changed everything. He suddenly finds that he has become a “rhinokaroarus” (pronounced “ry-nock-a-roar-us”). “A What ?!@#?!”  you might ask. The author, herself, did not invent the word, “rhinokaroarus.”  It was made up by her father. She and her brothers heard it on a regular basis.  Amidst his destress, Gerald is befriended by a funny badger named, Banjo, whom every reader or listener will come to adore.


                    

Make It A Happy Day  ~ That, one of a kind, creature, Gerald, sets out on an adventure with his new friend Banjo, the badger. Through a bit of conflict, they really do find a way to make it a happy day. Just ask the fish! The 6 friendly trout get to experience the good and the bad when they encounter the odd-looking Gerald and the clash with Banjo. 

Artist, Ken Henderson’s captivating illustrations help to carry the story along.

 


Thanks for considering my books for the children in your life. 

Let me knowif you would like to order a signed and personalized copy of one or more of my books?

The Lord has Need of You is the only one of these books available on Amazon but if you would like a signed copy, get it through me.  

You can contact me via email or Facebook message:

author@conniewohlford.com https://www.facebook.com/ConnieWohlfordAuthor/         

 PayPal or credit card.  Sales Tax added, in Virginia.  Nominal fee for shipping.

FREE SHIPPING on orders of 4 or more books shipped anywhere in continental USA 

 All of my books are 100% Made in U.S.A.

©Connie Wohlford 2020 

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Power of Holiness

 

The Power of Holiness                                              

A Bible teacher whom I greatly admire told of an incident in which she purchased pajamas for a gift. In order to best fit the recipient, she switched out the top from one pair to go with the bottom of another pair. She carried her purchase out of the store, pleased to know the PJ’s would fit perfectly. But by the time she got home, she was miserable with guilt. The Holy Spirit was nudging her spirit, helping her realize and admit that her action was wrong—dishonest even.

The next morning, she returned the pajamas and confessed to the store personnel what she had done. Can’t you imagine the humbling experience that must have been?

Her point in the telling of her blunder was that the Holy Spirit is holy. Holy. When we are born-again followers of Jesus, He resides in us and helps us stay on the straight and narrow path.

So, what is holy? What is holiness? 

Photo by Connie Wohlford
It can be defined as “the process, quality, and condition of a holy disposition and the quality of holiness in personal conduct. It is the principle that separates the believer from the world … It causes every component of our character to stand God’s inspection and meet His approval.” *
Many Bible scholars describe holiness as being “set apart.” We who follow Christ are to be separate from the world. We’re to be in the world but not of the world. (John 17:14-16)

The world’s system often emphasizes accumulation of wealth, power, fame, notoriety, constant entertainment, self-indulgence, and so on. What would you add to this list? These things can preoccupy our minds and our time, pulling us away from the things of God, which are of eternal significance.

While many accomplishments and pleasures can fit into a holy life, they are not to be the focus and fuel that drives us. God wants us to have plenty and to enjoy life. He also warns that life is not always easy, and we may be persecuted for our faith because we disapprove of and/or do not participate in many of the world’s ways.

Peter inspires us with this powerful exhortation: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJV).** 

We have been called out. We are His own. Think about it—meditate on that. We’re a chosen generation—each one handpicked by our Creator. He calls us His own special people. Father God has looked down on us with compassion and mercy that is renewed every morning. (Lamentations 3:23)

We need not live in darkness for we are in His marvelous light.

The Holy Spirit is holy. Let’s never forget that. In Him is no darkness nor impurity. And He has chosen to take up residence in each of us so that we have the power to be holy and walk in holiness.

Paul wrote, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).

“For God did not call us to uncleanness, but to holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God who has also given us His Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8).

Yes, the call to holiness is a mighty tall order but with the help of the Holy Spirit in us, we can do this thing for God. We can be set apart—separate from the ways of the world.

I have told my grandchildren that taking a stand for Christ and what is right may be the bravest thing they ever do. It takes courage to be holy and like my admired Bible teacher, we’ll sometimes miss the mark. But when we step up and make it right, we’ve grown some and have allowed the light of Christ to brighten in us.

Let’s pray: Holy Father, thank You for calling me out to be Your own. Thank You for the indwelling of Your Spirit Who helps me walk in holiness according to Your own character. Lord, help me to be brave so I can fulfil the purpose You have set before me and help others along the way. In the holy name of Jesus, I pray—Amen.

 

Me—Holy?

Holiness—me! You’re kidding. Right?

You do know who I am.

 

You’ve called me out to walk upright

But God, I’m such a sham!

 

Enter in—Your Spirit, Lord.

Yes now—I do receive.

 

Your loving kindness—thank You, Lord.

In You, I do believe.

 

Now holy, I will walk with You.

Your Spirit lives in me.

 

The road of life we’ll travel on,

And holy I will be.

 

By Connie Wohlford

August 2020

 

*Spirit Filled Life Study Bible, Thomas Nelson, “Word Wealth” page 1829.

 **Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version

©Copyright 2020 Connie Wohlford