WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the category “Books By Cheryl Zelenka”

New Book: Belly Up In The Koi Pond

_Belly Up Cover

Hello Friends,

I continue to write devotions but writing fiction has become a new hobby. My second book in the Sadie Sunshine Cozy Mystery Series is now available on Amazon. I’m sure you will enjoy Belly Up In The Koi Pond.

Please check it out if you like clean and fun mysteries. It’s a quick read filled with budding romance, humor, and suspense.

http://www.amazon.com/Belly-Sadie-Sunshine-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01EU2Q2V4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1461810763&sr=8-4&keywords=cheryl+Zelenka

Sadie Sunshine is off to Portland with her friends Detective Dora Flores and Lilly Pierce. Their plan to enjoy a long weekend at the annual Yard, Garden, and Patio show, along with some gourmet dinners, suddenly goes belly up. On opening day a body is discovered in the Koi pond exhibit which was the ladies’ first stop of the day. Sadie dives into the investigation as suspects come to light.

Book two of the Sadie Sunshine series reveals Sadie’s unusual phobia, Ichthyophobia. Two love interests spice up her life and an eating contest will leave readers in stitches. Ms. Zelenka cleverly weaves colorful suspects, with deep hidden motives, into a complicated web of mystery and suspense.

5 Star Book Review for FACING TRIALS Devotional

_Facing Trials 3 (1)

I just had to share this wonderful book review for my book, FACING TRIALS: THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION. It is such a blessing to write words of hope and comfort for others going through difficult times.

I need book reviews for my third book, Facing Adversity. Send me a message via my FB author site and I’ll give you a free eBook in exchange for a book review. https://www.facebook.com/cherylzelenkaauthor

“5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful Encouragement and Comfort!!
ByJulie Danielsonon February 16, 2016
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

I found this book to be so helpful and comforting! I have been through a lot of trials over the past few years and it does start to wear down my hope. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or what Scriptures to meditate on. This book solves that problem and is so full of wonderful encouragement!

I really liked that the book is broken down into sections regarding things that could be bothering one. Whatever you find yourself struggling with, this book probably has the help you need. There are twenty chapters and some of the titles are, “Facing Trials”, “Broken”, “Endurance and Perseverance”, and “Healing”. Each chapter gives instruction, encouragement and wisdom to help us deal with the situations we may find ourselves in or that we’re trying to get past. There are Scriptures for each chapter to meditate on and put in our hearts.

I highlighted so much of this book! I found the wisdom and comfort of this book so wonderful! It has helped me to heal in so many ways and it will definitely be a book I refer back to time and again when I’m feeling the need to get that comfort I need. The book is very Biblical and definitely pointed me back time and again to God’s Word. I really loved this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

New Book: School Lunch Is Murder

Dear Friends,

I’m still writing devotions but recently set my hand to fiction writing. Please check out my first book in the Sadie Sunshine Cozy Mystery Series…

SCHOOL LUNCH IS MURDER

It’s a fun quick read and the main character is a Christian! Just 99 cents for an eBook download. Please tell your friends!

http://www.amazon.com/School-Murder-Sunshine-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01BIDRIKW/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454719624&sr=1-3&keywords=cheryl+zelenka

*The Paperback:School Lunch

Iron Sharpens Iron

 

_Facing Adversity Cover Final jpg

An excerpt from my book Facing Adversity: Thoughts of Wisdom, Praise, and Promise

**Available on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Adversity-Though…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

IRON SHARPENS IRON

“Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

A dull knife is still a knife but far less effective than one that has been thoroughly sharpened. The same goes for Christians. A Christian who is lax in obtaining knowledge by way of reading scripture is still a Christian, but far less effective than a believer who reads the living Word daily and listens for God’s instruction. God will surely use both Christians for His purposes, but the one who is more spiritually minded will have greater success in leading others to Christ.

We were created for fellowship and a lone Christian is at a great disadvantage. Again, let me refer back to the knife analogy. A single knife sitting in a drawer, with no other blade next to it, will eventually grow dull and less effective in its purpose. The same goes for the Christian who neglects fellowship with other believers. They are that solitary knife growing duller and more foolish every day, due to the absence of a sharpening “blade.”

The people who cross your path in life have been placed there for a reason. Nothing is a coincidence and no meeting is by chance. Every person you work with, all of your family members, the homeless person on your street corner, even the neighbor next door has been placed in your life for some purpose. God has provided interactions with these individuals, although certainly in different measurements of intimacy. Everyone in your life is beneficial to your spiritual growth, and you in theirs as well.

“Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.” ~Corrie ten Boom

The individual who causes you the greatest annoyance is sharpening your capacity to love unconditionally.

Holy Fear

*88

There is a fear of God that adoration enfolds with arms of thanks. It acknowledges the absolute power of the Creator and the inconsequence of man. This holy and reverent fear is the beginning of wisdom, for it is wise to know one’s place in this world…and in the next.

“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27 (NKJV)

The Bible gives many examples of believers showing reverence for God. Abraham (Genesis 17:3), Moses and Aaron (Numbers 14:5), Daniel (Daniel 10:15) and Joshua (Joshua 5:13) all fall on their faces in humble piety and devotion. In the New Testament, Mary Magdalene demonstrates her esteem for Jesus by pouring expensive perfume on His feet and using her hair to wipe them clean.

Because of pride, man often thinks too highly of himself and claims credit for that which God has achieved. It is dangerous to be wise in your own eyes and the Word tells us that “pride comes before a fall.” Stealing from God is no small matter, be it His plunder and goods or acts of might. Consider what happened to Achan (Joshua 7:20-25) and the arrogance of David’s soldiers when they demanded spoils for an unmerited victory. God had gifted them the spoils and the battle conquest, it was not won by mere flesh and blood (1 Samuel 30).

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:7 (NKJV)

When we live a life of contentment and satisfaction we provide the enemy with fewer foot holes to tempt us with. A fulfilled life leaves the adversary little room for traps. Temptation is harder to achieve with a saint living peacefully with what God has provided. Evil will readily slip past the door of a contented man and seek out easier and less satisfied prey to devour.

“The fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.” Proverbs 19:23 (NKJV)

Certainly a holy reverence is due our God yet we have fallen away from positions of prostration during prayer. No longer is it a common practice to bend a knee during times of intercession or during solitary moments of thanksgiving and praise. Where has our reverence for God flown?

In mercy and grace the Savior freely gives atonement for sin. Yet, do flippant confessions and petitions show up in the throne room with an expectation of unquestionable forgiveness? This is my answer offered back to you in a question. Is not a broken and contrite heart the sacrifice God expects when delivering His gifts of redemption?

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart. These, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)

Consider how you have been approaching God as of late. Are you entering into your prayer time with an awareness of His righteous sovereignty? Do you toss petitions at His feet without any thought for quiet meditation? Forgiveness is a precious gift and your prayers should be made with reverence and offered in awe.

TAKE TIME TO READ THESE WORDS OF WISDOM AND CONSIDER THE REVERENCE GOD IS DUE

“In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.” Proverbs 16:6 (NKJV)

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29 (NKJV)

“The greatness of God rouses fear within us, but His goodness encourages us not to be afraid of Him. To fear and not be afraid -that is the paradox of faith.” ~ A.W. Tozer

This devotion is found in my book Facing Adversity: Thoughts of Wisdom, Praise, and Promise. It is available on Amazon.  Here is the link…

http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Adversity-Thoughts-Wisdom-Promise/dp/1503377989/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1445567083&sr=8-4&keywords=cheryl+Zelenka

Pray Away Confusion

*6

This devotion is found in my book FACING STORMS: DEVOTIONS FOR THOUGHT AND MEDITATION. Available on Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Storms-Devotions-Thought-Meditation/dp/1502487551/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1430870978&sr=8-2&keywords=cheryl+zelenka

“Storms can bring fear, cloud judgment, and create confusion. Yet God promises that as you seek Him through prayer, He will give you wisdom to know how to proceed. The only way you will survive the storm will be on your knees.”  ~Paul Chappell

“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints,”   1 Co 14:33 (NKJV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”   2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Confusion has the ability to rob us of the peace given by God. It can ransack our sleep and distract our thoughts. It is the cause of much mental stress and many health issues. Without the guidance of God, we will not escape its fog or snare. Indeed, prayer and quiet meditation are required to sort out the troubles that greet us every day.

Since God is NOT a God of confusion, He is the God of peace, we can conclude that our head scratching is the result of personal sin, bad choices, or a spiritual battle has ensued. Confusion is an instrument of deceit often employed by the enemy.

He is a talented deceiver who continuously invents ways to confound the children of God. Relentless and ever watching, he waits for moments of weakness to attack. He will invent new ways to baffle and bewilder even the most spiritually mature. Nobody is beyond his reach.

Thankfully, everyone belonging to Yahweh is engraved on the Father’s palm. We are under His eternal protection. We are always before Him and continually on His mind. He will never abandon us to this foe.

One of the most deceitful and heinous ways the Devil achieves our befuddlement is by misusing God’s own Word. The enemy knows the scriptures well; so don’t be surprised when you become perplexed by his subtle lies for they will be mixed with gospel truth. He may be cunning and clever but we have the Holy Spirit within us and He will always provide the necessary discernment needed to cast him off. If we resist the Devil he must leave. Complacency has never won a war.

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NKJV)

Prayer brings us into the throne room of God. We can always lay our petitions at His feet with the assurance of knowing our prayers have been answered, in His way and in His time. However, there are times when we will find ourselves entangled in spiritual warfare. Who knows the reason? There is a multitude of possible answers but for whatever reason, the Lord will ask you to persevere and fight. With the armor of Christ, you will not only fend off fiery darts, but with the Living Word you will attack this fallen angel.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”       Ephesians 6:12-17 (NKJV)

To carry a sharp sword, one that is effective in bringing down strongholds, a soldier of Christ should be in the Word daily. It is the bread of Life and we shouldn’t neglect our spiritual diets. An undernourished body is weak, so too is an undernourished spirit.

It takes diligence and a true conviction on our part to seek out God’s truth. We are responsible for our own spiritual walk and should heed the example given to us by the Berean Jews. They heard what Paul preached, but they did not take it for truth until they had examined the Scriptures themselves. They worked to verify the truth. They were involved and active in their spiritual education.

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11 (NIV)

We too must study Scripture when trials or events cause us confusion. We should also search the Bible if a Christian leader says something that causes a check in our spirit. The Holy Spirit is a guardian of truth, and unsound doctrine will set off our internal alarm. Don’t rely solely on others to feed you. Go directly to Scripture and study it yourselves. The Holy Spirit will be your guide.

“ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”           2 Timothy 3:16-17

We live in challenging times and it will only get more difficult as the return of our Lord draws near. The Bible warns us that false prophets existed in Paul’s time, and they do so even now. These men and women come to tickle our ears and tell us what we want to hear.” 1 John 4:5 (NKJV)

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” 1 John 4:1 (NKJV)

“They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.”            1 John 4:5 (NKJV)

We cannot pick and choose parts of the Bible to believe and obey, and then create our own truth. God is love, but love also involves truth, order, and discipline.

The Devil wants to beat us down and convince us that God has left us in our spiritual desert forever. This is a lie! The Father brings his children out of their wilderness in His time. Sorrows are for but a season.

Confusion will discourage the best of us but the best way to attack it is with Scripture and prayer. Ask God for direction and wisdom if you are struggling with decisions or suffering from doubt. Request the Holy Spirit to direct you to truth and then be prepared to face the facts and realities He reveals. The truth and revelations may cause you to make choices or personal life changes.

2 Timothy 2:7 (NIV) commands, “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”

If you are facing trials, struggles, or you simply have questions and concerns, diligently seek the truth. Like a buried treasure, you will find the answers and a cherished prize. Be a Berean today! Don’t let confusion rob you of the peace of Christ.

STUDY THESE WORDS DURING YOUR QUIET TIME:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” 2 Peter 2:1-3 (NIV)

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” Philippians 1:9-10 (NIV)

“They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.” 1 John 4:5 (NIV)

“What hinders me from hearing is that I am taken up with other things. It is not that I will not hear God, but I am not devoted in the right place. I am devoted to things, to service, to convictions, and God may say what He likes bt I do not hear Him.” ~ Oswald Chambers“Storms can bring fear, cloud judgment, and create confusion. Yet God promises that as you seek Him through prayer, He will give you wisdom to know how to proceed. The only way you will survive the storm will be on your knees.”  ~Paul Chappell

“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints,”         1 Co 14:33 (NKJV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”                 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Confusion has the ability to rob us of the peace given by God. It can ransack our sleep and distract our thoughts. It is the cause of much mental stress and many health issues. Without the guidance of God, we will not escape its fog or snare. Indeed, prayer and quiet meditation are required to sort out the troubles that greet us every day.

Since God is NOT a God of confusion, He is the God of peace, we can conclude that our head scratching is the result of personal sin, bad choices, or a spiritual battle has ensued. Confusion is an instrument of deceit often employed by the enemy.

He is a talented deceiver who continuously invents ways to confound the children of God. Relentless and ever watching, he waits for moments of weakness to attack. He will invent new ways to baffle and bewilder even the most spiritually mature. Nobody is beyond his reach.

Thankfully, everyone belonging to Yahweh is engraved on the Father’s palm. We are under His eternal protection. We are always before Him and continually on His mind. He will never abandon us to this foe.

One of the most deceitful and heinous ways the Devil achieves our befuddlement is by misusing God’s own Word. The enemy knows the scriptures well; so don’t be surprised when you become perplexed by his subtle lies for they will be mixed with gospel truth. He may be cunning and clever but we have the Holy Spirit within us and He will always provide the necessary discernment needed to cast him off. If we resist the Devil he must leave. Complacency has never won a war.

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NKJV)

Prayer brings us into the throne room of God. We can always lay our petitions at His feet with the assurance of knowing our prayers have been answered, in His way and in His time. However, there are times when we will find ourselves entangled in spiritual warfare. Who knows the reason? There is a multitude of possible answers but for whatever reason, the Lord will ask you to persevere and fight. With the armor of Christ, you will not only fend off fiery darts, but with the Living Word you will attack this fallen angel.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”                     Ephesians 6:12-17 (NKJV)

To carry a sharp sword, one that is effective in bringing down strongholds, a soldier of Christ should be in the Word daily. It is the bread of Life and we shouldn’t neglect our spiritual diets. An undernourished body is weak, so too is an undernourished spirit.

It takes diligence and a true conviction on our part to seek out God’s truth. We are responsible for our own spiritual walk and should heed the example given to us by the Berean Jews. They heard what Paul preached, but they did not take it for truth until they had examined the Scriptures themselves. They worked to verify the truth. They were involved and active in their spiritual education.

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11 (NIV)

We too must study Scripture when trials or events cause us confusion. We should also search the Bible if a Christian leader says something that causes a check in our spirit. The Holy Spirit is a guardian of truth, and unsound doctrine will set off our internal alarm. Don’t rely solely on others to feed you. Go directly to Scripture and study it yourselves. The Holy Spirit will be your guide.

“ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”           2 Timothy 3:16-17

We live in challenging times and it will only get more difficult as the return of our Lord draws near. The Bible warns us that false prophets existed in Paul’s time, and they do so even now. These men and women come to tickle our ears and tell us what we want to hear.” 1 John 4:5 (NKJV)

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” 1 John 4:1 (NKJV)

“They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.”            1 John 4:5 (NKJV)

We cannot pick and choose parts of the Bible to believe and obey, and then create our own truth. God is love, but love also involves truth, order, and discipline.

The Devil wants to beat us down and convince us that God has left us in our spiritual desert forever. This is a lie! The Father brings his children out of their wilderness in His time. Sorrows are for but a season.

Confusion will discourage the best of us but the best way to attack it is with Scripture and prayer. Ask God for direction and wisdom if you are struggling with decisions or suffering from doubt. Request the Holy Spirit to direct you to truth and then be prepared to face the facts and realities He reveals. The truth and revelations may cause you to make choices or personal life changes.

2 Timothy 2:7 (NIV) commands, “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”

If you are facing trials, struggles, or you simply have questions and concerns, diligently seek the truth. Like a buried treasure, you will find the answers and a cherished prize. Be a Berean today! Don’t let confusion rob you of the peace of Christ.

STUDY THESE WORDS DURING YOUR QUIET TIME:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” 2 Peter 2:1-3 (NIV)

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” Philippians 1:9-10 (NIV)

“They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.” 1 John 4:5 (NIV)

“What hinders me from hearing is that I am taken up with other things. It is not that I will not hear God, but I am not devoted in the right place. I am devoted to things, to service, to convictions, and God may say what He likes bt I do not hear Him.” ~ Oswald Chambers

 

http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Storms-Devotions-Thought-Meditation/dp/1502487551/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1430870978&sr=8-2&keywords=cheryl+zelenka

Jesus Is The Lion Of Judah

*Lion

“If you…come to Christ, He will appear as a Lion, in His glorious power and dominion, to defend you. All those excellencies of His, in which He appears as a lion, shall be yours, and shall be employed for you in your defense, for your safety, and to promote your glory; He will be as a lion to fight against your enemies. He that touches you, or offends you, will provoke His wrath, as He that stirs up a lion. Unless your enemies can conquer this Lion, they shall not be able to destroy or hurt you. Unless they are stronger than He, they shall not be able to hinder your happiness.” ~ Jonathan Edwards

“Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him?”  Genesis 49:8-9 (NKJV)

We have a mighty and powerful Savior. His name is Jesus but He is also known as, “The Lion of Judah.” This name originates back to the book of Genesis. The patriarch, Jacob (“Israel”) gave this symbol to his tribe upon blessing his son Judah in Genesis 49:9. Jesus is a descendant of King David, who was from the Tribe of Judah.

Lions are powerful animals with mighty roars, sharp claws, and terrifying teeth. Fearlessly, they chase and devour their prey. Their very presence intimidates and rouses fear. Lions have the respect of all animals.

A lion, which is mighty among beasts and does not turn away from any.” Proverbs 30:30 (NKJV)

Jesus is even more commanding for He is all-powerful. In His mighty strength, He defends and protects His own. He chases down enemies and intimidates any who dare to challenge the authority of His children. This includes Satan and all the principalities of darkness.

Though we may find ourselves harassed by evil, we can be certain assistance is always nearby. With a single cry for help, Jesus will appear. There is power in His name and we who neglect to use it are fools. Be comforted by the promise that if we resist the devil he must flee (James 4:7).

Many scriptural references to the Lion are about His powerful voice. Could this be so that God’s children will always hear Him calling? Is it also so that His roar will instill fear in the hearts of His enemies? As it is written in Amos 3:8, “A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” Then there is also Proverbs 19:12, “The King’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but His favor is like dew on the grass.”

The Lion of Judah does hold His own children accountable and expects them to battle sin. In 2 Kings 17:25 there is a reference to God using lions as agents of divine punishment, and in Hosea 5:14 we read how His just actions are lion-like in nature. He hands out judgment with wisdom and justice.

Finally, Jesus is also mentioned as the Lion of Judah in the fifth chapter of the book of Revelation. In this chapter He is triumphant and victorious over all evil. Upon Him we can place our trust. He is our Protector, Redeemer, and Savoir. He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads and cares about every detail of our lives.

If you are facing persecution, storms, or fearsome struggles please cry out to the Lion of Judah. He is faithful and will never allow anything beyond your ability to bear. Ask Him to protect and defend you, request shelter from your storm. When you are weak He is strong, therein He reveals His power and glory during your times of need. Praise be to Jesus Christ, the mighty and all-powerful Lion of Judah!

(Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew word for praise.)

CONSIDER THESE SCRIPTURES AND QUOTE DURING YOUR PRAYER TIME:

“For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.” Hosea 5:14 (NKJV)

“I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage, and there I will devour them like a lion. The wild beast shall tear them.”  Hosea 13:8 (NKJV)

“And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them.”
2 Kings 17:25 (NKJV)  

“Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Revelations 5:5 (NKJV)

“I am mended by my sickness, enriched by my poverty, and strengthened by my weakness.”
~Abraham Wright (1611-1690)

You will find this devotion in my book Facing Storms: Devotions for Thought And Meditation

http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Storms-Devotions-Thought-Meditation-ebook/dp/B00O1OJS0Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1422768058&sr=8-2&keywords=cheryl+zelenka&pebp=1422768061443&peasin=B00O1OJS0Y

Obedience To God=Results

*Obedience:E. Elliot

This devotion is found in my book FACING TRIALS: THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION. Available on Amazon (eBook is just $2.99)                             http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Trials-Meditation-Cheryl-Zelenka-ebook/dp/B00K7TNT5W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421884466&sr=8-1&keywords=Cheryl+Zelenka&pebp=1421884468539&peasin=B00K7TNT5W

“Rest in this—it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond or what have you.”   — Jim Elliot

You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:14 ESV)

Isn’t it a big weight off your shoulders to know that all God asks of you is obedience? He is the one in control and the one who will get results. All He asks of you is to obey His commandments. He will take care of the rest.

Satan fears the willing servant who prays daily these two simple words: “Use me.” In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul encourages Timothy to present himself to God as one approved, as a worker who has no cause to be ashamed. Paul stresses the importance of rightly handling the Word of Truth. If we are obedient in properly handling the Word of God, then He will do the rest.

A servant and slave must obey his or her master in all things, even if the request does not make sense. It is not a matter of questioning the lord of the house; it is a matter of following through on his instructions.

The Word of God tells us that if we are faithful with the little things entrusted to our care, then He will increase our responsibility and service by placing us as caretakers over much more. God tested the faithfulness, obedience, and love of Abraham and Noah. Why would he not test us in modern times?

If God is testing you through a personal struggle or injustice, be courageous and hold onto His promises. He is the Defender of the weak and tells His children that He will fight for them; you need only be still. That is a commandment, and that requires obedience. He will fight the battle for you and achieve the results He wants and requires.

Remaining still as the spiritual battle rages on around you will not be an easy thing to do, especially if you are a person of action. To be still takes self-control and faith. You are also commanded to pray without ceasing, so as you let God fight the battle before you, pray for grace and mercy. Pray that His will be accomplished and that Enemy attacks be thwarted. He and His angel armies will be shielding you and keeping you safe, as you are tucked safely under His wing.

As you obey His commands with an obedient heart, He will honor you with bigger struggles and tasks that will serve to glorify His holy name.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURES AND QUOTE DURING YOUR QUIET TIME

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14 NIV).

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’” (Matthew 20:26 ESV).

 “Just as a servant knows that he must first obey his master in all things, so the surrender to an implicit and unquestionable obedience must become the essential characteristic of our lives.”   —Andrew Murray

 The biblical word for obey comes from the Greek hupakou, which means “to listen attentively.” The meaning also implies heeding or conforming to a command or to an authority. Basically, one has no choice in the matter whether or not to obey God’s commandment. It needs to be carried out whether one agrees with the order or not.

Stewart, Ed, ed. Jesus 365: A Devotional. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.

Bruno, Bonnie. When God Steps In: Stories of Everyday Grace. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 2007.

Afflicted? Roll Over And Gaze At The Stars

*Atars

When difficult times knock you down, roll over and look up at the stars. It’s okay if you don’t have the strength to stand up right away. Facing unexpected trials can knock over even the most mature Christians. Reasons for a fall will differ from believer to believer. However, I do guarantee that Satan knows the vulnerable spots in every believer’s armor and will not hesitate to aim fiery darts in his or her direction.

“Through affliction, He teaches us precious lessons that otherwise we would never learn. By affliction, He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world and makes us long for heaven.”—J.C. Ryle

Trials are a part of life, and affliction usually accompanies them. Nobody can escape this. Joy and love, sorrow and hardships—these are what face us as we journey to our forever home after we die. We should try to accept that trials are part of our journeys in life and attempt to build up our spiritual muscles. We can do this by reading the Word of God.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12 NIV)

In the first chapter of James, we are told to count trials as pure joy. How is this possible, and why is it a joyful thing to face difficulties? It is because the testing of your faith produces perseverance. When perseverance has finished its work, you will be mature in your faith, lacking nothing.

If you find yourself face down in a puddle of mud and tears, you could drown! Roll over and gaze up at the heavens. Meditate on the constellations and imagine the one who designed it all. He is powerful. Better yet, He is powerful and loving. His compassions are new every morning. Tomorrow will be a fresh start.

Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Faith requires that you accept the truth of this Scripture, even though you may not see the good in your circumstances right now. God has a plan for your life, and He has allowed or sent your difficulty for a good reason.

Oswald Chambers wrote, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”2 Corrie ten Boom spent the first fifty years of her life learning lessons of love and forgiveness so that she could teach the world how to be more like Christ. God sent hardships her way and permitted trials in her life that transformed her character and refined her spirit.

Endurance and perseverance belong to the same family. They are cousins and true allies. Throughout your trial, you must hold on to the biblical fact that God will never leave or forsake you. Your desert journey, or the hurricane you are experiencing, is only for a season. You will not live a life of sorrows. Your weeping will eventually turn into dancing. A joyful song will once again rise anew from your lips.

God loves to whisper words of hope and encouragement into the heart of a suffering and weary child. He walks with you through every one of your struggles.

So, while on your back, you will see the beauty of the night. Not all darkness is ugly and fearsome. Behold the lights God has provided in the darkest of times. A zillion pinpoints provide us with not only illumination, but also with the ability to navigate. It is true that in stormy weather it is harder to find your way, but storms do not last forever. If you are feeling lost, rest and wait for the weather to clear. Eventually, you will be able to navigate and continue on your journey. God will help you get back on your feet, but you have to will yourself to live and roll over.

Meditate on the three Bible verses below:

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:3–5 NIV)

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:14–15 NIV).

“O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. O restore me to health and make me live” (Isaiah 38:16 ESV)

This devotion is found in my book FACING TRIALS: THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION available on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Trials-Meditation-Cheryl-Zelenka/dp/1499504071/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1420930091&sr=8-2&keywords=cheryl+zelenka

How Is God Stretching YOU?

7) Young Woman:Cheryl

God is once again taking me out of my comfort zone! He likes to stretch (mature) His children and to be honest, I like being stretched! I don’t ever want to be stagnant and slow in my spiritual growth. I have tossed the baby bottle of milk aside because I so enjoy feasting upon the prime rib of sold spiritual foods!

I was once a public school teacher (25 years) but God called me into a new career as an author. Boy, that was a shock and a stretch! With God’s help, I wrote 3 devotionals and a Bible study. Non-fiction is now my comfort zone.

Well, now He is calling me to once again use the gifts He placed within me to teach. He has asked me to enter the world of FICTION, or Historical fiction. I am writing a children’s rhyming book inspired by the book of Esther. As of now it does not have a title. I am praying about this and I know it will come to me in God’s timing.

A wonderful illustrator (She is also an author, publisher, etc) has agreed to work with me. Her name is Cheryl Ellicott. Please keep this project in prayer. I would like to see this book in public schools, libraries, and of service to the home schooling network. There will be a curriculum sold separately for 2nd-5th graders.

We are to use the gifts GOD GAVE US for HIS glory and the edification of the Body of Christ. I challenge my readers to use their gifts!! God will see your labor of love and be pleased and glorified. Posted are samples of Cheryl Ellicott’s work. These are NOT for my book. They are posted to show her style.

How is God stretching YOU in 2015? Please share!

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” Colossians 1:9-10 (NKJV)

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” Hebrews 5:12 (NKJV)

2) Cheryl Landscape w:Woman and Child14) Sparrow:Cheryl10) Girl w:Bible Cheryl13( Corrie ten Book:Cheryl

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