“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1
It’s easy to destroy but constructing takes work and patience.
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Jennifer Slattery writes fiction that’s entertaining and keeps me turning the pages but at the same time manages to teach me about God’s grace and challenges me to reach out to those around me who are hurting.
Restoring Love is a follow-up to Jennifer’s first novel, Beyond I Do. Restoring Love shows us what happens to Ainsley’s mom, Angela several years after the events in the first book. Angela is a woman who has made lots of mistakes in her life and had stopped believing her own life could be redeemed until she sees the grace and forgiveness her daughter shows her. As Angela moves on to find a new start, God opens doors for her to show that same grace to Bianca, a struggling mom who lives across the street. With her husband in jail, a rebellious teenage daughter and two challenging young sons, her life is in crisis.
Will Angela be able to give Bianca the same kind of help she herself once desperately needed? And what about Mitch? Why has God allowed this man into her life? Why would any decent man be interested in her ever again? With her history of promiscuity, abortion and manipulation of others, she feels unworthy of love. This story makes me wonder how many people around me are hurting in ways I can’t imagine and who around me needs a word of encouragement or for someone to be willing to give sacrificially. Restoring Love is a love story, a redemption story, a story of hope, a challenge to forgive and a picture of what Jesus meant when He said others would know His followers by their love.
And don’t forget to read Ainsley’s story in Beyond I Do!
Find more about Jennifer Slattery and her other books here:
I wrote this when my father-in-law spent his first Christmas in heaven in 2007. Today my mom will spend her first Christmas there. I miss her and wish I could just have one small glimpse of her joy.
I love you mom!
Christmas in heaven.
Can you imagine?
Not just celebrating the babe in the manger,
but falling at the feet of the King of Kings.
Not just viewing dozens of Crèches
made of every conceivable material
but being in the presence of the Holy One,
Jesus Christ Lord of Lords,
The Great I AM!
What a glorious celebration!
Our little “celebrations” are barely
even shadows of the eternal celebration in heaven.
They are now in His presence for all of eternity.
The full joy of Christmas
with none of the negative effects caused by sin.
Pure joy unmarred by selfishness, worry, stress,
materialism or worldly distractions.
Can’t you see them worshipping before the throne?
Filled with the joy of heaven.
Free from the sorrows of earth.
Living the meaning of Christmas.
We love you.
Susan Aken Christmas 2007
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NLT)
My dad went to be with Jesus in 2000. One of the last times I saw him alive was on a visit I made to the VA home where he lived in another state. I was only able to visit him there two or three times a year. He had been in the home about four years and he hated it. As a former reformatory guard, he referred to it as “lockdown”. But my mom was no longer able to work and take care of him by herself. I wanted so much to encourage him somehow and on this visit I felt the urge to share these verses:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3 (ESV)
Looking at my mom, he choked, “Did you hear what she said”? He was blessed and encouraged. He would not be stuck in that bed forever. Jesus was preparing a better place for him.
This world is a place of suffering. We may have moments, even days when we are personally free of suffering. But truthfully, with how the world has shrunk so that we know what is happening around the world instantaneously, suffering confronts us hourly if not by the minute. Suffering in this world is a reality and has been since the day Adam and Eve sinned.
Our encouragement, our hope is in knowing it won’t be this way forever. Even if we live into our hundreds, life on this earth is short. Those who believe in Jesus will then live with Him for eternity free of suffering. Someday, He will return to earth and those still alive on earth will see the end of evil and pain.
The tragedy is for those who never know or do not believe that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross and set us free and then enter into eternity without Him.
The longer I live, the faster the days go by. Life on this earth is fleeting. Even if I manage to have a life of ease and comfort it won’t last long.
“For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14b (ESV)
I feel it.
The longing we each have in our hearts for a perfect place free of pain and sorrow will be fulfilled in heaven.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)
Believe in Jesus. Believe He died for your sins and rose again.
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:13 (ESV)
Believe in Him and know you will spend eternity in perfect joy.
Originally published at Takin It To the Streets