Monday, February 17, 2020

Throwback Tuesday on Monday - When Suffering Comes - Martin Wiles

When Suffering Comes

The brother’s hugged before one entered surgery. Little did they know what lay ahead.

Two brothers, Chad and Ryan Arnold. One with a healthy liver, the other with incurable liver disease. But love won out. In Denver, Colorado, Ryan…age 34…the brother with the healthy liver, was donating a part of his liver to his brother who needed it to live. The surgery was complicated and dangerous. Everything seemed to go well, but complications set in. Within four days, the brother with the healthy liver had died while the sick brother survived. Read more...

Tweetable: Where do you turn in times of suffering? 

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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Love Works Everything Out - Martin Wiles

Series: Love Unchained

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

“My house has been shot.”

The early morning text from my daughter was not how I wanted to begin my day of worship. I wanted details, and they came too slowly by text. But my daughter is a Millennial, and that’s how she communicates best.

Over the course of the next half hour, my wife and I pieced together what had happened. Our daughter lives in a less-than-desirable section of town. Since moving into her new house, several shootings have occurred either in her neighborhood or in the nearby apartment complex. This case was a drive-by and was aimed at one of our daughter’s neighbor’s children.

As the car sped by the young man who walked down the street, three shots rang out. He dropped and rolled, but one bullet struck my daughter’s house and two her neighbor’s house. Fortunately, no one in either house was harmed. The one bullet which pierced our daughter’s house plowed through wall after wall until it finally stopped in the back bedroom after having passed through our two grandsons’ bedrooms and their bathroom. Luckily, one of them slept on the couch, and the other slept in the bed with his mom.

The bullets that struck her neighbor’s house entered low and could have easily struck and killed anyone standing or sitting. The mom happened to be lying in bed. The bullet which entered our daughter’s house went in high near the roof, and continued that way as it made its path through the house.

As believers in God’s sovereignty, we believe God protected our daughter and grandchildren. Had it not turned out as it did, we would not have stopped believing in God’s sovereignty or love. Paul says God takes everything, good and bad, and works it all together for good in His children’s lives.

How God will use this for good in my daughter’s life remains to be seen. Perhaps she’ll move to a safer area. Maybe she’ll install a security system. Maybe she’ll draw closer to God or use this as an illustration of God’s protection when talking to someone going through a similar experience.

Whatever God does with the “bad” things in our lives, they’ll be good when He gets through with them. Our part is simply to trust and obey and to leave the consequences to Him.

Trust all events in your life to God, and watch what He does.

Prayer: Father, we give our lives—and everything in them—over to Your providential care.

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Flashback Friday - A Simple Yes Will Do - Martin Wiles

A Simple Yes Will Do

While growing up, "Little House on the Prairie," was one of my favorite television shows. One touching characteristic of the series was how the town’s inhabitants trusted each other. After all, it was through teamwork and trust that the town had materialized on the Midwest farmlands. Farmers normally had no funds to buy seed and other items needed to plant their fields. But not to worry. Charles Ingles—like any other farmer, could saunter into Oleson’s Mercantile and walk away with seed and any other needed items to plant his fields. Mr. Oleson simply gave farmers the materials based on their promises to pay him when the crops came in and were sold. No paperwork to sign. No binding contracts. Just a simple promise to pay, perhaps accompanied by a handshake. Good track records and reputations led to mountains of reliance. Read more...

Tweetable: How good is your credit? 

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Author Interview with Maria Henriksen

Today, Love Lines from God welcomes author, Maria Henriksen. 

Maria, tell us when you decided to become a writer. In other words, what made you actually sit down and write something?

I have always liked writing. In fact, I wrote and illustrated books and comic strips as early as third grade. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I seriously entertained the notion of becoming a novelist. At that time, I decided it was important to read as much as possible. From there, I figured out what type of genre I wanted to write.

Every writer is eventually asked this question, but where do your ideas come from?

Honestly, the ideas just pop into my head. I use actual experiences as a springboard and then from there the real creativity flows.

Why do you write what you do?

I write what I like reading. Since I frequently worked in a high school, I had access to young adult novels. Something about being around teenagers and reading about them always interested me. I’m also a sucker for a little romance, and I was disappointed when romance never ensued in the books I read. Also, most of the books I encountered were not Christian, and as a believer, I craved that spiritual component. It wasn’t until I sat down to write Not Again that I combined all the elements I enjoyed reading into one novel.

What is the hardest thing about the creative process of writing?

Honestly, once I start writing, I don’t have many issues. In that sense, I suppose the hardest thing is finding the time to write. I really need to schedule it in my day and make it a priority or it doesn’t happen.

If you’re a Christian, what are the challenges you believe Christian writers face now and in the future?

As a Christian writer, I feel the challenges we face are embracing the differences in how we share the gospel. Since my target audience is the youth, I intentionally created intense scenes and kept the plot moving to keep the interest of readers who expect instant gratification. Teens today are exposed to so much in terms of graphic violence, pre-marital sex, and otherworldly sins that should not be swept under the rug. Ignoring the existence of sin will not put an end to it. It is our responsibility, as Christian writers, to offer alternatives. Not Again addresses these sins in a relatable way and provides practical and spiritual methods to combat them.

If you would, please tell us what was the hardest thing about writing your last book? How long does it typically take you to finish your books?

The biggest challenge I faced in writing my novel was deciding where to end it and what to add and delete. My original manuscript extended the time period into college, and I didn’t realize the length of my novel. I had no idea how many words a typical young adult novel consisted of. It wasn’t until after I wrote it that I decided to shorten the time frame of the novel by restricting it to high school years and to make the remainder of the original the beginning of the sequel. That required adding an epilogue along with other chapters to enhance the character development which lays the groundwork for the sequel. It took me a few months to write the original manuscript. The actual finished product took well over a year.

Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.

Finding professional people of integrity who provide valuable services is the biggest frustration I have encountered. I have worked with several people who demonstrated their inexperience, incompetence, or lack of work ethic, yet asked for more money than the agreed upon contract amount. I had to start over and find new people to perform certain services or learn how to do it myself.

Dealing with the outcome of people who have publicly slammed my work has been gut-wrenching, too, but it has opened my eyes to the realization that my novel is not for everyone—as I originally thought. As published authors, we are artists who put our work out there, making ourselves vulnerable to criticism. Some authors choose not to read their reviews for that reason. An author friend said, “Opinions, everyone has them.”

Finally, promoting my book is an ongoing frustration. If I don’t constantly promote it, I risk losing what I have built. Not only is it costly to get the word out, but it is also challenging to crack the many codes for effective advertising. Bottom line, it takes time, money, and energy to promote a book. That’s time, money, and energy taken away from writing the next masterpiece.

On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?

I find it rewarding to create something out of nothing. Putting words on the screen that evoke intentional reactions like crying or laughing is satisfying. Healing hearts one page at a time is rewarding. Having someone accept Jesus as a result of reading Not Again is the biggest gift imaginable.

What are you reading now, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?

I really don’t have any favorite authors, but I plan on reading Knit 2, Purl 2, Kill 2 by Erina Bridget Ring.

Would you give the readers the buy link for your book?

And could you provide your social media links so the readers can connect with you?




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Maria T. Henriksen is a newly published author of Not Again. Not Again is a young adult edgy Christian romance novel. Since she was a child, Maria has dreamed of becoming a published novelist and plans on writing the sequel to Not Again.

Maria wears many hats. She is a wife to a doting husband and a mother to boy/girl teenage twins, as well as a substitute teacher of all grade levels and disciplines. In addition to writing, subbing, and rearing her amazing twins, Maria can be found running on trails or the track to stay fit. Her son is the inspiration for her running and she loves it so much that running is incorporated in her book.

Maria considers writing her ministry. As a guest blogger, Maria writes devotions and featured articles relating to the writing and publishing world. She also hosts her own blog and is a featured guest speaker on podcasts.

Maria also helps aspiring and fellow authors by showcasing them and their writing on her blog and in her Facebook group, Maria’s Muses: Inspirational, Christian, and Close-to-the-Heart Readers.

Thanks to all our faithful followers who share our posts! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterestTwitter, and Instagram. Help us spread God's encouragement through His Love Lines.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Love Knows No Separation - Martin Wiles

Series: Love Unchained

Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39 NLT

Miles and money separate me from it.

Lying in bed one morning, I pondered over what my mother had told me a few days prior. My first cousin and his family had bought my aunt’s house after she died, remodeled it, and moved in. Now they were dissatisfied. It appears the old home place would be sold to strangers.

Which is what happened to my grandparents’ home just next door. When my grandmother died, Mom and her sister sold the house and one acre of land to strangers. I wondered why one of them didn’t buy it … or why one of the grandchildren didn’t. I now hear the owners plan to sell the house again.

Now it appears that what once connected me to my relatives will be disrupted … on two accounts. If I had the money, I’d purchase both houses and the accompanying land—just to preserve the memories, not because I want to live in the area. But it would make a good vacation spot.

Miles separate me from the old home places, and money keeps me from purchasing them. Funny the things that can detach us from things—or people—we want.

Paul said detachment can’t happen in our relationship with God. Once we connect with Him through faith in Christ, nothing can separate us from the love He gives us. Separations may be a real part of our physical existence, but my spiritual connection is safe and secure. Trials will come and go, but God never will. People, friendships, and family will come and go, but God will remain. I’ll accumulate possessions and watch them deteriorate, but God will stay.

God’s love in my life also makes it possible for me to live in harmony with others, thereby cementing my connection to them. Clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14). When I recognize what God has done for me, a sinner, I’ll have an easier time getting along with others. The irritations that arise in relationships won’t be so irritating because I’ll realize I’m not perfect either. I’ll look for common ground in relationships rather than stirring up strife.

Many love relationships are severed when love isn’t present anymore, but we don’t have to worry about God walking away from us. His love is everlasting.

Take comfort in knowing God will love you eternally.

Prayer: Father, we thank You that Your love for us never ends. Help us extend Your love to others.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Throwback Tuesday - Suffering Patiently - Martin Wiles

Suffering Patiently

She suffers patiently. I’m not sure I could under her circumstances.

Though a relatively young woman, my wife suffers from numerous health issues. Fibromyalgia makes each day painful. Several hernia surgeries prevent her from doing heavy lifting. Asthma makes exercising outside nearly impossible. The “ritis” brothers…degenerative and osteo, make moving on any given day a new experience in pain. In spite of medication, the pain remains intense which in turn can affect her emotional moods. Yet I’m continually amazed at how patiently she suffers. She refuses to allow the pain to master her and even does things she knows will intensify her pain…things she perceives are associated with being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Read more...

Tweetable: How do you suffer? 

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Love: The Greatest Charge - Martin Wiles

Series: Love Unchained

Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 NLT

She grabbed her son, gave him one last hug and kiss, and handed him to those in the lifeboat.
California gold fever raged. One man left his wife and son in New England and headed West with the promise that he would send for them once he had attained success. A long period of time passed, but finally, he amassed enough money to pay for their trip.
The mother and son traveled to New York and boarded a Pacific steamer, planning to sail to San Francisco. They had not sailed long when the cry, “Fire,” rang throughout the ship. A powder magazine languished on board, and the captain knew if the fire reached that all would be lost.
The crew lowered the lifeboats, but the boats couldn’t hold all the passengers. They were soon full … too full for the mother and small boy. The mother pleaded, but they said no room was available. Finally, she said, “Then, take my boy.” They agreed. Her final words, as she handed him to those in the lifeboat, were, “My boy, if you live to see your father, tell him I died in your place.”
Before Jesus sacrificed His life for the sins of humanity, He uttered what He considered the greatest command. He would soon demonstrate how much He loved us by going to the cross. On that cruel instrument—and in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to the cross—He showed how the greatest love looked. He gave His all for us, and, like the mother, wants us to give our all to Him in return. Only as we love Him with our entire being can that happen.
According to the apostle Paul, this type of love is the greatest attribute we can ever hope to attain: Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Everything else will perish, but love, agape’ love, will remain throughout eternity.
When God implants this form of love in our hearts, we can’t help but love Him with all our hearts and others as ourselves. John says, We love each other because he loved us first (1 John 4:19). What the world needs now—and has always needed … and will always need—is love, love, love.
Let God help you fulfill the greatest charge: to love Him … and others.
Prayer: Father, we lean on You for the love we need to change the world with love.

Thanks to all our faithful followers who share our posts! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterestTwitter, and Instagram. Help us spread God's encouragement through His Love Lines.