Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Is Awesome Excerpt Day

I'm in a great mood today and thought that I would give you a free look into my very first book. Enjoy!

Just outside of Washington D.C., Halle Smith was sitting at home alone flipping through the television channels.  There is so much turmoil going on in the world. It seemed as though every single channel that she turned to was about some disaster or another. Hurricanes and monsoons killing people, people starving to death in Africa, North Korea threatening to bomb South Korea, children being used for warfare, gang violence, serial killers, suicide bombers, the list went on and on and on. Halle was overcome by all that she saw.

“Oh Lord, why is all of this happening? Why is there so much pain and hurt in the world?” Halle asked.

Tears were steadily streaming down her face; she was incredibly saddened by what she saw. But what was worse was the fact that no one seemed to care. The news reporters showed no emotions whatsoever as they reported the horrible news. Just what is wrong with people?

She wished that her husband, Richard, was home from work. She really wanted someone to talk to. She didn’t really want to be alone, at least not right now. Her heart felt as though it was breaking. She turned the television off and called some of her friends to fellowship with for a while. Strange, everyone seemed to be busy as all she got was voicemail after voicemail. She hung the phone up disgusted. Why is it that whenever I need someone they are never available, but if they need me I am always available? I don’t understand it.

She walked through the house tidying up. She glanced at the clock; it would be hours before her husband came home. She picked up her Bible and drove to the church. Wow, the parking lot sure is packed this morning. I wonder what is going on. She had never seen this many cars at the church except on Sundays. It took her over fifteen minutes to find an available parking spot. She grabbed her Bible and hurried into the church afraid that she was missing something important.

Inside the church, the sanctuary was packed with people. Halle wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to find any place to sit. Bishop Williams was already preaching, for how long she had no idea. She sat quietly at the back of the church listening.

“Brothers and sisters, right now is the time in which you must make a decision! Are you going to continue living the way that you currently are or will you live for Christ? Look around at the world around us. The crime rate is skyrocketing through the roof, the amount of natural disasters is increasing in amount and intensity, homosexuality is on the rise, our children are becoming desensitized by the world around them, brother is going against brother, children against their parents, children are murdering at younger and younger ages, our society is accepting immoral and ungodly behavior, people are turning their backs on God, and our economy is in the toilet. These are not things that should alarm you or scare you, not if you are living for Christ as all these things were foretold in the Bible. Turn with me in your Bibles to 2 Timothy 3: 1-5, 12-15. When you’re there say amen, if you need more time say wait,” Bishop Williams preached.

He looked out over the congregation waiting for those who were looking for the passages in their Bible to find them. He smiled to himself, he was glad that so many people had come to listen. If only he could reach each and every one of them. The congregation stood as he began to read the scripture.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! Brothers and sisters, we see much of this behavior going on today and it’s getting worse. Unfortunately, we are even seeing this behavior in the church. But, I am here to tell you today that there is still hope for you. However, you must repent of your evil ways, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and live for Him. I pray that you do this before time runs out.”

He looked around the room waiting. The congregation remained silent.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Yes, as followers of Christ we can expect to have trials and tribulations even more so than non-believers, we will also be persecuted in His name. As Jesus himself, suffered trials and tribulations, and was persecuted, how can we expect not to be? But regardless we will make it through because God is always with us! No matter what you are going through, nothing. I say again, NOTHING is too great for God to handle. He will work it all out for our good. Remember that we are going through so that God will get the glory.”
“Amen,” replied several members of the congregation.

Halle was taking notes as fast as she could. Many questions popped into her head while she was listening to Bishop Williams. She wrote down all of her questions in the margin of her notepad so that she could ask him about them after the service.

“Turn with me now to Mark 13:5-37, And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and will deceive many.” We have seen many deceivers in recent years. For example, think back to the Waco incident, the priest in Florida that convinced his entire congregation to tattoo the number of the beast on themselves. There are many more if you want to look it up for yourselves. But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. We have heard of war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ireland, Africa; and we have heard of rumors of war in Korea and Russia. But we need to be encouraged brothers and sisters, as Jesus himself said that these things must happen in the end times. We need to take comfort in knowing that the end is not yet! Use this time to get right with the Lord! Preach His good news to everyone. Live your life for Him in every aspect of your life. When people look at you, they should see the love of God shining through. We are an example to the world. You are the only Jesus that some people will ever see.”

He started walking back in forth across the front of the sanctuary.

“For nation will rise against nation. We have seen this all throughout history: World War I and World War II for example. Kingdom against kingdom. Earthquakes in various places. There have been devastating earthquakes in the past few years, many in places that are not common for earthquakes. Famines and troubles. Africa has seen famine for many years. It is also affecting other areas of the world. We will be persecuted for his sake. The gospel must be first preached in all the nations. We will be hated by all for His name’s sake. Continue reading Mark 13 on your own. Let’s move on,” Bishop Williams said returning to the pulpit.

“Turn with me in your Bibles to Revelation 6:1-6. When you’re there say amen, if you need more time say wait.”

Halle was mesmerized. She was so excited and couldn’t wait to hear what the pastor was going to say next.

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see,” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see,” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see,” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine,” We have been given the different signs of the end of days. What we do with the information, is up to each and every one of us. I leave you with these questions to contemplate. How will you continue to live your life? Will you live each day as though it were your last? Will you live your life serving God and doing His will? May each of you make the decision to live for Christ and do so willingly. May God watch over each of you until we meet again,” Bishop Williams said before turning and leaving the sanctuary.

Wow. There was still so much that she wanted, no needed, to know. She gathered her things quickly and pushed through the crowd after Bishop Williams.

“Bishop? Bishop Williams? Do you have a moment?” Halle called out. Bishop Williams turned around to see who was calling him.

“Ah, Halle. How are you my dear?” Bishop Williams asked taking her hand.

“I’m okay. I just have some questions that I wanted to discuss with you.”

“Well, come into my office and I’ll see what I can do about answering those questions for you.”  

“Thank you,” Halle replied following the Bishop into his office. 

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