Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Gift of Wisdom by Jacqueline D. Moore

Wisdom is like a beautiful stained glass window. The more light shines through it The more brilliant the wisdom ~ John Christopher

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"[made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 (New International Version)

Lately, I have been fascinated with the word Wisdom. Wisdom is a derivative of the word wise. Wise means; Having the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; sagacious: a wise leader. As I have grown older, I realize that there have been so many things that have happened in my life that were the result of being foolish or; unwise.

Unlike some of you, I haven’t always been saved and because of that, I have made some pretty dumb decisions in my life. I won’t go into detail but what I will say that because of being uninformed about the word of God, I thought I could live my life any way I wanted to. In the process of “Living My Life” I have said and done things that where harmful to me and to those I loved.

Recently, I shared with a friend how as a teenager, I rebelled against my mother in my attempts to “Be Grown.” I did and said things that I knew she wouldn’t have approved of. In the process, I changed the dynamics of our relationship.

Now I must say, that it took me some time to realize the errors of my ways, but the reality of my actions were that I hurt my mother in the process and caused her unnecessary pain and heartache. It took me years to realize what I had done and it broke my heart when I realized the consequences of my actions.

My mother, who died many years ago forgave me long before her death, but the shame of what I had done will be with me for the rest of my life. It will be a cross that I will bear until my own dying day. Now I know that I have asked for and received forgiveness for my actions, but it doesn’t change the facts of what I had done.

Saints of God, how many of you have said or done things that you knew were wrong in the name of being your own woman/man? How many of you made foolish choices because of your ignorance? How many of you wish that you could somehow change your past so that your presence and your future could be better? It’s not too late.

The gift of wisdom is at hand. It called the Word of God. The Bible. Won’t you accept your gift today?

Be Blessed

Father God, I come before the throne of grace as a chastised child. Lord, I ask for forgiveness of my rebellious nature. Father, I come seeking the wisdom that can only be found in Your word. Teach me Lord, to become more Christ-like. Help me Lord to grow in grace and in favor. Teach me thy ways, as I seek the gift of life eternal in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You Lord, for all things yesterday, today and forever more. Thank You heavenly Father for my mother who had the wisdom and the love to see past my faults, just as You do. Praise be To God. Thank You Jesus. It is in Your name we pray. Amen.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's His Birthday, Not Ours! by Jacqueline D. Moore

Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, let us hold close one day, remembering its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again." Grace Noll Crowell

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Recently, a very good friend of mine sent me a story called the "Birthday Party". As I read the story, it really hit me. What started out as a celebration for the birth of our Lord and Savior has turned in to one big celebration where for the most part, he is not invited.

It's so very sad to realize that Santa Claus gets more glory than our Lord and Savior. It very sad to realize that he can go into the schools, into the courthouse and just about everywhere else, but Jesus can't.

It's so very sad to realize that we Christians who celebrate Christmas buy gifts for our loved ones with nary a thought to those less fortunate then ourselves. A few years ago, I along with several other friends pooled our resources and went out and prepared gift baskets and bought toys for a women’s shelter.

Some of us also took our children along so that they could see just how blessed we truly are. I tell this story not to glorify what we did, but to challenge you this Christmas season.

It is our duty and responsibility to do something for others who are less fortunate than us. It is our duty to give back just a portion that has been given to us.

Besides, we already received the best gift anyone could ever give us. Our Lord, Our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed

Lord, help us to always be mindful of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. We recognize that life is a struggle, but as long as You are with us, we can make it through. You have said in Your word that the righteous will not be forsaken or their children begging bread. We thank You Lord that we do not have to beg for bread. But Lord we recognize that there are children out there whose bellies and empty. We realize that there are women out there who are too scared to leave their situations. We realize that there are men out there who got lost along the way and don't know what it's like to be a child in the kingdom of God. Have mercy on them today, Lord Jesus. I pray that someone's heart would be touched as they read these words. I pray that Your saints would go out and do a good work in Your name. I pray that Your saints would realize just how awesome and powerful Your word is. Thank You Lord. Bless Your name. Thank You for loving me despite the world around me. Bless his holy name, saints of God. And all the saints submit this prayer in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

When Your Soul Feels Empty by Jacqueline D. Moore

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering you own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew. ~ Saint Francis de Sales

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39 (New International Version)

Depression is never easy, but it's especially hard during the holidays. The holiday season for most people is a fun time of the year filled with parties, celebrations, and social gatherings with family and friends. But for many people, it is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety. And unfortunately, with our faltering economy and massive layoffs, this year is even worse.

We have allowed one of the holiest times of the year to become one of the most commercialized times as well. Christmas has become a celebration of gifts, not God. And nativity scenes are brought under fire and in many cases removed for fear of being sued. Far too often we look to those materialistic things of this world to fill the void in our empty souls. We find ourselves wandering about in the desert like the children of Israel unable to find our way home.

However, I want you to know, there is something that can make you feel whole again; the undeniable, indisputable, everlasting word of God. When we begin to feel our souls being emptied out by the world around us, all we have to do is go before the throne of grace and drink from a fountain that never runs dry.

"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

Be Blessed

Lord, we come before the throne of grace to intercede for one another. We come asking for blessings and breakthroughs, not for ourselves but for our family members, friends, co-workers, on-line family members and brothers and sisters in Christ. Lord, we don't know the needs of Your children, but You do Lord. We ask that You would lift and bind the spirits of depression, despair, loneliness, anger, resentment, hurt, poverty and all others that are not of You. Lord, we ask that You would bless us and deliver us as only You can. Place Your hedge of protection securely around every person and all families that are represented here today. Allow this season of Your son to be filled with blessings and joy that have been given with the birth of Your son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

God's Treasure by Jacqueline D. Moore

Remember, Treasure your relationships, not your possessions. ~ Anthony J. DeAngelo

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. Matthew 6:20-22

Recently a friend, sent me a story about a little girl who treasured a strand of dime store pearls. This little girl thought the pearls were wonderful and they where her most prized possession.

Well the story goes on to tell how her father, knowing how much this little girl loved these pearls, asked her if she loved him too. Of course her response was yes. But when he asked if he could have the pearls, the little girl would response, oh no, but you can have one of my other treasures. This went on for awhile, until one day with tears in her eyes, the little girl gave her daddy the cheap pearls.

Her father who loved her very much reached into his pocket and pulled out a real set of pearls that he been waiting to give his daughter when she was ready to give up the cheap ones that she treasured so deeply.

The moral of the story is this; How often do we covet something that only looks good? How often do we hold on to a relationship that only looks good to the world, but we know in our hearts, that it is not all it appears to be? How often do we say we love our heavenly Father, but are unwilling to give up those things in our lives, that are cheap, gaudy, and superficial? How often must He ask us do we love him enough to give up what we treasure the most to follow him?

How long does he have to wait to give you the purest treasure of all? His love.

Be Blessed

Father God, forgive us for loving things more than You. Forgive us not listening to Your cries. Forgive us Lord for not seeing our own selfishness. Father, help us to develop a discerning spirit that would help us to recognize those things in our lives that You yearn for us to give up. Help us to be still, be quiet, listen for Your voice that tells us how much You love us, when the world around us tries to tell us otherwise. Father, may we always seek You face, Your wisdom, and Your mercy. For we are weak and need Your strength. Thank You Lord, for the new revelations we discover in Your word each day. Continue to touch, bless, and anoint all who come seeking Your word today. Help each of us find that path that You have chosen for us. Order our steps Holy Spirit, so that we may always walks in right relation with You. Keep each and every family that is represented here safe under the wings of Your salvation. As we as these and all things in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What is Faith? by Jacqueline D. Moore

Faith is the refusal to panic. ~ David Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:1-3 (New King James Version)

So often we hear the phrase “Just have faith,” but how many of you truly understand just what faith is? Faith is often described as; believing and trusting in the power of the unknown. The dictionary defines faith as the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

I love to study the word of God and as I looked up the passage in the NKJ version of the bible, it had a title that stated as part of the lesson, by faith we understand. It raises the question, how can we understand something that we cannot truly touch, taste or feel?

In the flesh we are often taught to believe only in the tangible. Our minds often will not process information that does not make sense to us. In many ways we are too literal for our own good.

Now trust, that’s a whole other topic. However, when we talk about faith, we must also talk about trust. Trust is an emotion that I believe each of us is essentially born with. It is not until we learn betrayal that we begin to lose our trust in others.

Understanding is described as the ability grasp the meaning of, or to accept as a fact or truth or regard as plausible without utter certainty.

Faith is the belief and trust in and loyalty to God, the firm belief in something for which there is no proof and/or complete trust.

Now when I put those two definitions together I see; I understand and grasp and accept as fact or truth or regard as plausible without utter certainty in the trust and loyalty of God and I firmly believe that even though there is not proof of His existence, I totally and completely Trust Him.

That my friends, is the basis of faith!

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Father, when trouble comes my way, help me to learn to trust and have faith in You. Help me to remember that if I but have mustard seed faith, that I can do all things through Christ Jesus. Lord, sometimes we forget that You are our ever present help in the time of trouble. Thank You Lord, for being there when we need You. Lord, when we begin to falter and start to worry about our problems, help us to remember to be still and pray. When the problems of life seem to overwhelm us, help us to remember You are right there with us. God help us to realize that weeping may endure for a night, and that sometimes it is necessary for trouble to assail us so that we can see You power and Your glory manifested in our lives. Lord, We ask for strength today; the strength to stand and fight the good fight of faith yet another day. Lord, grant us peace today. Your peace that passes all understanding. Lord, fill our hearts with Your love. Your love that is not our selfish definition, but the love of Christ Jesus, that strengthens us. Now Lord, we come together on one accord to pray for one another. For no matter how heavy our cross seems, we recognize that we are blessed beyond our own imaginations. Bless our brothers and sisters in Christ. Bless our loved ones who have not come to know You yet. But most of all, we Bless Your holy name. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It Ain't Over YET! by Jacqueline D. Moore

A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more. ~ Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Scripture:Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments. ~ Habakkuk 3:17-19 (New International Version)

Recently I had dinner with a friend who attended an outstanding teacher’s awards ceremony. He told us the story of one particular teacher who motivated his students with one simple word; YET. If one of his students approached him and said they couldn’t do something, his response was always the same, he added the word YET. Think about the word, yet.

Yet is a simple word with a simple meaning, “Up to now.” To put in into context; “I can’t do it, up to now; I don’t understand it, up to now; it hasn’t happened, up to now. In other words even if you don’t get it, understand it, hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t. It simply means that you haven’t reached that goal, had that vision or breakthrough “up to now.!”

This wonderful educator keeps his student motivated by challenging them with the knowledge that even thought it hasn’t happened yet, their breakthrough is still at hand. And so it is with our daily walk. If those things that you need and desire haven’t happened doesn’t mean they won’t. It just means it hasn’t happened YET.

Each and every one of us must remember that when we trust in something greater then ourselves; when we trust in God, that job, financial breakthrough, marriage, children or whatever else you may be waiting for simply means that you just don’t have it YET!

Be Blessed

Lord, we lift Your name on high. I will bless the Lord at all times and His praises shall continuously be in my mouth. From every mountain high and every valley low, we will uplift the name of God. We will sing songs of praise all the day long. Though He slay me, I will have hope in Him. Even when my enemies are camped all around, yet I will give Him the glory for my impending victory. Lord we sing songs of praise even when we can't speak. We say Glory, glory hallelujah, praise be to God, even when the tears begin to fall. Even as I lay on my bed of affliction, when friends and family have turned against me, when there seems to be no hope for my situation or circumstances I will shout from the mountain tops; HALLELUJAH, ANYHOW! PRAISE BE TO GOD, GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD! amen.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Developing Self-Discipline by Jacqueline D. Moore

Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don't talk back. ~ W.K. Hope

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (New International Version)

Self-discipline refers to the training that one gives one's self to accomplish a certain task or to adopt a particular pattern of behaviour, even though one would really rather be doing something else. For example, denying oneself of an extravagant pleasure in order to accomplish a more demanding charitable deed. Thus, self-discipline is the assertion of willpower over more base desires, and is usually understood to be a synonym of 'self control'.

As a writer, I am often asked; how do you find time to write? My standard answer is that I make time. I have disciplined myself to make time to do what it is I need to do to accomplish my dreams. Writing is important to me and when we realize those things in our lives that matter most to us, we will do whatever is necessary to accomplish them.

I have also realized that being a Christian also takes self-discipline. It is so easy to take for granted our relationship with God. We can always find time to do everything else in our lives so why do we find it so hard to spend time with God?

When things are going well in our lives, we tend to want to put God on the back burner. Then we things start going awry, we panic because we have neglected to keep Him in the forefront of all that we do. When we make it a habit to do those things in our lives that are important, we learn to listen to our conscience and not talk back.

When we get in the habit of having a daily talk with God, He will become all the conscious you need.

Be Blessed

Father, help us to guard our minds this and every day. When we grow weak and tired, allow a small wind, Your breath of life, to gently caress our faces, letting us know that You are right there with us. When we grow weary and almost faint, let the bread of life and the living waters, Your word, revitalize us. Father, even in our storms, we must always remember to stop and give You thanks. Even when life is assailing us, we must stop and praise Your name. Even when it seems like we don't have the strength to go a step further, we must muster the strength to uplift and exalt Your most holy name. My Lord, help us always to be mindful and protect our thoughts from the one who seeks to destroy us. Help us to remember to always guard our hearts and minds from those things that are not of You. Father, continue to be with those who are in the hospital, who are ill, who are grieving, who are faced with the challenges of the world. Father God I say a special prayer for my friends who are mothers. Strengthen them and give them what they need to protect their greatest gifts, their children. Lord, we realize that satan is out to destroy our families. We come standing in the gap and standing on Your word. We claim our children in the name of Jesus. We plead the blood of the Lamb over our babies and we refuse to give up on them. We ask and pray these things in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stop Playing your Life Small by Elissa Gabrielle

Someone needs to hear this...

Stop playing your life small. Playing down your own strengths. You can't hide in your own shadows so others will feel better about their own lives. We all know that everyone has a story, and if you're shining, somewhere along the way, there may have been a dark and gloomy place that you resided in, where your heart took residence.

When you dim your light, you're rea
lly dishonoring how far you've come in life. Your job is not to worry if others will feel dark in your shadow.

Don't step away from your own greatness just to fit in. When you step into your greatness, allow your light to shine, you finally feel the lightness of flight, the freedom of liberation, the exhilaration of victory, rather than the burden of the weight of diminishing your brilliance.

Sort of like when you wear those too-tight in the first place jeans, when you finally take them off and fling them to the high heavens...

Within your vulnerability lies your greatness strength and sometimes it is in your failures, stumbles and falls where the greatness lies.

The light comes from the divine and that is ultimately what's shining through. Humble accept it, walk in it, bask in the glory...its yours and you can't dim that for anyone.

~from the life lessons vault~

~Elissa Gabrielle

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gifts Thanks Today by Jacqueline D. Moore

Remember, When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself. ~ Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief

ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:29

Too often it becomes easier for us to see only the bad things that are going on in our lives. We get up each morning and put on the same garments of despair, hurt, anger and resentment that we had on the day before. Instead of seeing the dawning of a new day as another opportunity to begin again, we see only our problems of yesterday.

We would rather dwell on the problems of our past, then rejoice in the blessings of the day. It rarely occurs to us that maybe our inability to rejoice in the blessings that we have already been given, as being a part of the reason we don’t receive our blessings of today.

As a mother, I often compare my relationship to God to my relationship with my children. You see, its hard for me to give them something new, when I feel they don’t appreciate what they already have. I cannot in good conscious give them a new thing if they don’t take care of the old.

So I have to ask, how can God in good conscious bless us with a new thing, when we can’t appreciate what we already have. As I read the above quote, there was one statement that really stood out to me; If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

Don’t you have something to be thankful for?

Be Blessed

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Lord, we come once again praising and uplifting the name of Jesus. We lift up Holy hands and bow down before the throne of grace in reverence and honor to You Lord. Father, no matter what this day may bring, I will continue to praise You. Lord, this joy that I have deep down in my soul, the world didn't give it to me. You did. I will not allow anyone to take back what You have given me. Thank You Father, for my gifts. I thank You for waking me up and breathing life into my lungs once again. I thank You for family, friends and loved ones who encourage when the world tells me I can't. I thank You for guiding and directing me especially during those times I seem to stray. Lord, continue to place Your hedge of protection around the saints who are represented here. Strengthen all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are going through. Manifest and magnify Your Power and Your presence in our lives today. Thank You Lord, Thank You Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Did You Remember to Say, Thank You? by Jacqueline D. Moore

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Psalm 20:4-5

Far too often we go through life and never tell those who care about us, thank you. We often take for granted the kind words and gestures that are offered to us each and every day. We take for granted the loving things that family and friends do and say on our behalf.

Did you thank your wife or mother today for something they recently did for you? Did you take the time to do something nice for the friend who allowed you to dump all of your problems in their lap? Did you have a kind word for your brother or sister who did something nice for you just because? Or, how about that coworker who picked up your slack when you fell behind? Did you share a holiday meal with someone who spent hours laboring in their kitchen so that those who gathered around the table could partake in all of your favorite dishes?

More often than not, we take for granted those angels around us who are always there who see our needs and just take it upon themselves to do for us and often times, they don’t even have to be asked. So is it with God’s grace and mercy.

God is that friend who is always there to supply all of our needs and so often we forget to say; thank you!

Be Blessed

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Lord, we come before the throne of grace to thank You Lord. You blessed me once again, and I forgot to thank You. You blessed me with my home, my children, and so much more, and I forgot to thank You. You delivered me from the evil one and I didn't thank You. Forgive me Lord, for forgetting to let You know how much I appreciate everything You do for me. You know Lord, last week I asked for something that You gave me. Thank You. I asked You to watch over me and my loved ones and You did. Thank You. Lord, last night when I prayed, I asked that You would place Your hedge of protection around me and my loved ones and You did. Thank You. I asked You for prosperity, and You blessed me with my job, I just want to say thank You. Lord, maybe I don't have that job I wanted just yet, but You still fed me last night. Bless You Lord. I might have had to catch the bus this morning, but that's okay, I thank You for giving me bus fare. Lord, my blessings are too many to list right now, but I want You to know that I am grateful for each and every blessing that I have received. Not because I am worthy of Your favor, but because You love me. I thank You for just loving me. Bless Your name Lord. Praise the name of the Lord. I lift up Holy Hands and bow down my head in reverence to You alone. Thank You Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Learning to Give Thanks by Jacqueline D. Moore

Remember, Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot. ~ The Hausa of Nigeria

the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, "Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever." For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD. Jeremiah 33:11 (New International Version)

Every now and then as I reflect upon the things that are or aren’t happening in my life, I begin to feel sorry for myself. Sometimes, I think I should have more, do more or I just want more. I sometimes feel that I am failing in my quest to finding my true destiny. But then, something will happen that will remind to put things back into perspective.

So often these mini revelations that I have, aren’t really that significant at all. It might be seeing a homeless woman on the street and I am reminded that I have a home. It could be hearing how someone loss their child, and then I am reminded that I have two beautiful sons. Or it could simply be seeing someone, all alone, with no one to call friend.

Just this past week, I was depressed because I didn’t feel that I was progressing with my writing. I write everyday but didn’t feel that I had been making any progress as a writer. Then, God started doing what He does best. He reminded me that my writing does matter.

The first reminder came in the form of a message from a dear sister in Christ who told me just how much these messages have meant to her. Then today, I received another message from another friend who said she prints them out to share with her mother each morning. As I started reflecting, these were but two of the many messages that I receive each day from people who find inspiration in the things that I write.

I say all this to say, that even though my dream of publishing my book hasn’t come to fruition, my dream of touching the lives of others through the written word has. I thank God for this forum and this opportunity to share His word and to touch the lives of others.

I give thanks to God for allowing me to find a lot. Each and every one of you!

Be Blessed

Lord, sometimes I forget that my purpose isn’t to please myself, it is to please You. I sometimes forget that the gift that You have given me isn’t to please me, it is to be shared with others so they too can see You working in their lives. Father God, forgive me for my selfish nature. Forgive me for not appreciating what I do have. I have love, grace and mercy. I have the gift of life through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ who bless me always with their kind words, prayers and thoughts. Lord, I ask that as we begin another week, that each and every one of us will remember, to give thanks for even the smallest of things. That each and every one of us will remember to bless someone else, because you have already blessed each of us. Lord, we give thanks to You on high. We praise and uplift Your Holy Name. Great is Thy faithfulness. Thank You Father. Thank You Jesus. It is in Your name that we submit this prayer. Amen.

Footnote: I wrote this message sometime ago and came across it this evening as I was preparing to do an evening devotional. My praise report is this; God does answer prayers. My debut novel, “Serving Justice” was released in April of 2009 through “Peace in the Storm Publishing and won a literary award in the category of romance. Praise God!



This goes out to all of the dreamers and the people on the voyage to fulfilling those dreams. Although I am nowhere near where I want to be in my literary career, I am very far from the place I started. I understand how hard it is to pursue you passion and purpose when the world is tell
ing you "No," in so many ways every chance it gets. Don't give up.

It is a beautiful thing to HONOR how far you've come in the first place which is why I am posting photos of the journey because someone needs to see and understand that impossible circumstances can make possible miracles. Amen?

If you can give thanks for the little things you will always find that you have enough. And, if you're blessed enough to surpass that, you'll always be grateful. But you can't give up.

My Dreamers, don't give up. Even when you're tired. Don't give up. The world is full of abundance. There is a place for you at the table. Never, ever give up.

Learn more about Elissa Gabrielle at and

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Praise Your Way Through by Jacqueline D. Moore

Most of the verses written about praise in God's Word were voiced by people faced with crushing heartaches, injustice, treachery, slander, and scores of other difficult situations. ~ Joni Eareckson Tada

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1-3 (New King James Version)

Sometimes the crushing weight of the world is almost too much to bear. We get angry about our situations and often times throw up our hands in despair. But instead of raising fists of anger, why not trying lifting your hands in praise? Believe it or not, it works.

So often we are faced with situations that make us just want to give up and throw in the towel. But what we will eventually realize is that is exactly what satan wants us to do. He wants us to turn away from God instead of turning towards Him.

King David often found himself in the pit of despair, but he managed to write some of the most beautiful God inspired Psalms and continued to sing songs of praise during some of his darkest hours. Job lost everything and still found the strength and the fortitude to sing God’s praises. And Paul who is considered by some as the greatest Christian who ever lived continued to worship and praise God even as he spent many years imprisoned.

What can be learned from each of these individuals is not to hang our heads in hopelessness and despair but rather to lift up Holy hands and turn our faces towards the hills. I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

When praises go up, Blessings come down.

Be Blessed

Lord, sometimes I try to pray and the words won't come. I toss and turn and feel nothing. My mind is dry, my heart is dull, my soul longs for life. Hear my silent cry, my God, hear me. Breathe on us Lord renewing a right spirit within us. Even in our times of sorrow, we praise Your holy name. Lord, open our eyes and give us a discerning spirit, so that we may recognize the tricks of the evil one. Lord, we come before the throne of grace once again asking that You would forgive us for not depending on You. We come asking that You who are rock and our salvation, would help us to starve our fears and doubts and feed our faith. Lord, I personally ask for forgiveness and direction for myself. I know that sometimes, we take You for granted and in doing so, leave ourselves open to attack. Lord, we stand before You again, putting on the whole armor of God. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, wielding our shield of faith and the sword of the spirit, and placing upon our heads, the helmet of salvation. Lord, let us always be diligent against attack from he who seeks to destroy us. Continue to bless our brothers and sisters in Christ. Continue to anoint our leaders. Help us always to be able to call upon the name of the Lord in our times of distress. Thank You Lord, for Your faithfulness. Thank You Lord, for Your covering. Thank You Lord, that You pick us up, when we have been knocked down. We will the name of the Lord at all times, and His praises shall continuously be in our mouths. Praise his name saints of God. Glory Hallelujah, thank You Jesus, in His name we pray, Amen.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Winds of Adversity by Jacqueline D. Moore

Do not fear the winds of adversity. Remember: A kite rises against the wind rather than with it. ~ Unknown

O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it. Isaiah 30:19-21 (New International Version)

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word adversity as a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty or adverse fortune. The powers that be describe it as an economic downturn. We here in Michigan recognize it as a way of life.

You see adversity in not new to us. We have been struggling with “adversity” for a number of years. Almost everyone I know here in my home state has been touched by it or we know someone else that has been touched by it. We live with adversity on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, it is just now that others across this great country are beginning to experience our world. Many people believe that we did it to ourselves. And that the financial crisis we are experiencing is born out of greed and our inability to budget our money. What they fail to realize is that when if one part of the body is crippled, the whole body is affected.

However, there is something else that I have noticed about our great state, the resurgence of the church. People have begun turning back to God. Gone are the excuses that we used to make about why we aren’t in church. “I worked too many hours this week, I’m tired.” “Why do I need to go to church? I’m already blessed.” Or one of my favorites; “What does it matter, I don’t need to go to church, I’m fine just the way things are.” Ever heard or used any of those excuses?

Saints of God, we are in a bad place when we think we don’t need God, or when we don’t take time for God. It’s ironic that when we are doing well, we feel as though we don’t need Him. But the moment things start going wrong, we are all up in church telling God all about our troubles and begging Him to help us.

Now the good thing about our God is that He will listen to us and even help us when we are sincere in our prayers. And sometimes the winds of adversity have to blow through our lives to get our attention and bring us back to the one who will supply all of our needs.

The above scripture says; “whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it.”

And remember; "Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity."

Be Blessed

Father God, we come before the throne of grace with praise and thanksgiving on our tongues and in our hearts. We come asking Lord, for peace that passes all understanding. We come asking for strength to stand in the face of adversity. But most of all, we come asking with humbled hearts and minds, that You would hear our prayers and our petitions. Master, we need You to speak to the winds of adversity that are blowing against us, peace be still. We come asking that You hold on to our hands and the storms of life toss us about. We come asking that You would hide us under the wings of Your salvation as the roaring lions draws near in an effort to devour us. Lord, we ask that You would keep all of our families, friends, co-workers and brothers and sisters in perfect peace this and everyday. Bless us right now in the name of Jesus. Our prayers are not complete until we let You know just how much we love You. Our prayers on not complete until we sing songs of praise to You alone. Lord, we lift Your name on high, we give You all of our love, all of our praise and sing songs of praise all the day long. Thank You Lord for one more day. Bless You Lord. Hallelujah, Praise God thank You Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Experiencing Life by Jacqueine D. Moore

Remember, Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward. ~ Henry Ford

Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

I often use real life experiences when I write my devotionals. I like to contrast my life and the lives of those around me to the word of God. I do this because I believe that when others can see the manifestation of God in today’s world, they will walk away saying, “I get it!

I would like to believe that in everything we do, there is a lesson to be learned. I know that is usually the case for me. Even our failures and disappointments can be a learning experience if we allow it.

In the bible, Jesus often used parables to tell a story. The reason that he did this was so that those around him would receive what he had to say. Now I am not comparing myself to Jesus, but I too use parables to get my point across. I often get responses to these devotionals from readers telling me just how much my message touched their lives. These messages are truly humbling to me.

You see, I would like to believe that much of what I go through is not in vain and that others can learn from my past mistakes. I would like to believe that some of the things that I write about cause others to evaluate their lives and their relationship with God. I would like to believe that my messages are making a difference in someone else’s life. I would like to believe that others can be comforted and uplifted in my written word.

Remember, your life experiences are but an opportunity for God to step in and show out!

Be Blessed

Father God, sometimes it seems that life is full of grief and sorrow. We look around and see only death and destruction. We see our brothers and sisters forsaken by the powers that be. In the midst of riches, we see the poverty. In a country of abundance, many suffer from hunger. We see arrogance instead of humility. But even in the midst of the darkness that surrounds us, we can still see the light. Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Father God, we come before the throne of grace once again, seeking Your face, Your grace and mercy. Lord, we seek the comfort of Your loving arms. Lord, help us to always remember that this world will one day pass away. You are not of this world and neither are Your saints. Your Son was sent to save a dying world; we come thanking You for saving us. We realize that weeping will endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning. Thank You Father, for that promise. Now Lord, we ask that You would empower us to help a dying world. Magnify Your light that is within us. Strengthen us so that we may look outside of ourselves and reach out to help others. May Your light so shine within us that others may see it and be drawn to You. Comfort our grieving, strengthen or weak, heal our sick, give us new hope where there is none and unspeakable joy. The joy of the Lord. The joy that the world can't give nor can the world take it away. Thank You Lord, for second chance. I know that I didn't get it all right yesterday, but I thank You for another chance today. I love the Lord, he heard my cry. Thank You for wiping away my tears and giving me new hope in Christ Jesus, it is in His name we pray, amen.


FORGIVENESS is me giving up my right to hurt you because you hurt me. I don't forgive people because I'm weak, I forgive them because I'm strong.

For me, forgiving doesn't mean I've forgotten. I've learned to forgive those who've offended me, not for them, but for me; my forgiveness doesn't change the past, but it will my future.

In traveling light, I simply have no energy to carry how a person wronged me any further.


~Elissa Gabrielle Life Lessons~

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We Can’t Afford Not to Be Thankful...

Well, I, for one, know I can’t.  I’ve been blessed on multiple levels. Sometimes we get busy with everyday life and the little letdowns and we forget just how lucky we are.
It’s sad that it always takes a horrific event for us to recognize our good fortunes. Yeah. We just get so bogged down with such mundane issues that we forget what’s important.

Recently the USA bonded to support our East Coast brothers and sisters through Hurricane Sandy. It was a merciless storm that destroyed a lot of property and took lives. Suddenly the worries weighing on my mind didn’t seem so big anymore. 
Sandy took me back to Hurricane Ike which devastated my beloved city of Houston. I remember being up all night as he rattled through the sky leaving chaos in numerous corners of the Bayou City. I also remember the relief I felt to see sunlight the next morning. How thankful, truly thankful I was that we’d made it out safe. We hadn’t even experienced damage to the property. We’d been so, so blessed and I was so happy.

But that happiness disappeared as I listened to the radio during the following two weeks without power. Sure I was missing television and the Internet but once again that didn’t weigh on my mind. Why? Because I was reminded how many people hadn’t been blessed. So many people lost their homes and their lives.

There is one image that sticks with me when it comes to Ike. I remember the picture in the paper the next day of a little girl picking up an object that had been tossed from her home by the storm. She stood within a sea of debris and hopefulness.  You know why that picture stays on my mind? It wasn’t because of what she held or how her property looked. But there was one thing, one thing she did in that picture that reminded me how lucky I was.

She was smiling. And with her being able to smile through all she experienced I knew that I was lucky just to be alive. As I live I will never forget that little girl’s face.
So when you pull up a chair for Thanksgiving dinner this year, remember you are blessed. It might not be in ways you expect but we’re always blessed.
We just have to do better at recognizing it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Learn more about Stacy-Deanne at

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Doing the Right Thing by Jacqueline D. Moore

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it. ~ Gen. Norman Schwarzkoff

Because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes. Deuteronomy 13:18 (New International Version)
How many of you ALWAYS do the right thing? Do you always tell the truth? Return money or anything else for that matter that is not yours? Have you ever told a lie? Do you always follow the word of God?

Have you ever judged someone else without knowing them? Ever felt jealous of a friend? Have you ever been in a group when they spoke ill of someone and you never bothered to defend them, even though you knew what was being said was a lie? Or better yet, spread a rumor about someone just so that you could feel as though you belonged?

If you are honest with yourself, you would have answered yes to at least one of the questions above. Yes, I have told a lie. Yes, I have gossiped about others and spread rumors so that I could fit in. And no, I do not always follow the word of God. I am not proud of these self-revelations but at least, I am honest.

Sometimes we will do things that we know are wrong because yes, sometimes it’s hard doing the right thing. We are so busy trying to get ahead or trying to fit in that we oftentimes will forgo doing what is right so that we can have our own way. However, this is not God’s way.

Two things happened this week that caused me to reflect on my own relationship with God. The first event was a question that was posed in one of my online groups. The question was, “How do you stay in tune with God? The second event was a question that was posed to me by another friend, “Why go to church?

To answer both questions was fairly easy. To stay in tune with God, you must fellowship with other Christians and study the word of God, daily. The reason for my answer is simple.

When we stay connected to other right minded Christians AND study the word of God, it’s a lot easier to “Do the Right Thing.

Be Blessed

Father, You are the Supreme Authority. You are a God of order. I thank You for being the head of my life. Father, we realize that sometimes change is hard. Changing our way of life, even as the world around us changes, isn't always easy. But we realize and recognize that it is for Your edification, that we who have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal savior must change. Old things must pass away. You are preparing us for what lies ahead, not behind. We thank You for that change. Lord, help us to recognize when we are judging those around us based on their past. We know that You can and that You do, change the hearts of those who diligently seek You. I know that I am not all that You want me to be, but I pray that I would walk just a little bit closer to You each day. Thank You Father, for Your word and for the fellowship that I share with my brothers and sisters in Christ. We love You Lord and thank You for not only what You have done, but what You are about to do. In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman 
If someone had told me years ago that I would have two novels under my belt, I would have doubted them. Not because the dream wasn’t there; it was. Just making it come to pass was the obstacle I had to overcome. After reading that over three hundred thousand books are published each year, I couldn’t imagine that there could be a place for me. After being turned down by numerous publishing houses for two years, I was almost ready to throw in the towel. But, my dream was still inside me, begging me not to abandon it.
We all have to make a decision as to whether we will pursue our dreams or throw them away.  
Walt Disney said. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
As Peace In The Storm Publishing continues to move forward, we will continue to dream big. We promise to give you our best, never taking short cuts just to sell books. A nice cover means nothing if the inside material is sub-par.
Continue to celebrate with us, grow with us, and dream with us.
Pamela D. Rice


Pamela D. Rice is the author of THE SUNDAY MORNING WIFE and THE MONDAY NIGHT MISTRESS. Learn more at,,, and wherever fine books are sold.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Yes, I am a Single Parent! by SD Denny

Yes, I am a Single Parent!

The problem with being raised in a single-parent household is that I never truly saw the importance or learned the value of living in a household with both parents raising their children together. My parents were separated by the time I was three years old, and even though my father was still in our lives, it was mostly across many miles and we didn't see each other sometimes for years at a time. I saw my mother struggle to take care of three children on her own. Barely having an education and without financial support, she managed to do it. Years later, as a young adult, I became a single mother. It wasn't until years down the road that I realized what my life and my children's lives may have been like had things happened differently and had I known the value of a two-parent household. It may have had a huge affect on my decision making. I've done what I could to try to make up for that, but can we ever really make up for it? I can only hope that my children recongnize how much I love them in spite of it all. Will the cycle repeat itself? It has already begun. Even with all that, I do not feel that I am a part of a huge problem in this country. For most people, life doesn't always play out perfectly; therefore, I refuse to take responsibility for what is wrong with America or the world for that matter. In spite of it all, I am blessed and highly favored. I live my life with purpose and humility and try to demonstrate forgiveness and unconditional love in my walk. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that God works in mysterious ways. Say and think what you will. God is who I answer to and I am but a vessel, so I write...maybe not for everyone, but still I write...     SD Denny
Author & Freelance Editor

SD DENNY is the author of THE BAKER'S DOZEN and HALF.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Excellence in Wisdom by Jacqueline D. Moore

Remember, We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors: Proverbs 8:1-3 (New King James Version)

As I prayed about what to write tonight, the word wisdom was placed in my spirit. As I further searched for the meaning of the word, I went so far as to look it up in the dictionary. I found the following definition; The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight and ;Common sense; good judgment.

Now many people would disagree with these definitions. Some people think that wisdom in something that it learned in school. Or that wisdom in only gained with age. Now I don’t totally disagree with those definitions either but rather I became challenged in determining what wisdom means to the body of Christ.

As a Christian, to me wisdom means knowing and understanding the word of God. Knowing the word of God means more than being able to quote scripture or believing in a certain doctrine. To me having wisdom means understanding what it means to live the word of God each and everyday.

Living your life as a Christian means doing what is right all the time, not just when someone is watching. Living the word of God means trying to be more Christ like in your daily life. Living the word of God means not pretending to do the right thing sometimes but rather striving to do the right thing ALL the time.

Wisdom to me means reaching out to everyone and not just my family, friends, or people that I know. Wisdom comes when you truly hide the word of God in your heart and Strive for Excellence!

Be Blessed

Father, as I contemplate on my life as a Christian I pause and reflect on whether I am striving for excellence. Lord, forgive me when I fall short. I am still learning. Help me to recognize when my actions are not Godly or when I begin to do something that goes against what Your word has taught me. Help me Lord to depend upon the Holy Spirit that dwells in me to take over when my thoughts turn dark. Father God, as I walk down this Roman Road, help me to see my own fallacies rather than see the fallacies in others. Lord I pray that something that I do today would be a blessing unto someone else. May my actions encourage someone to seek Your face and Your council. Thank You Lord, for another chance to get it right. Thank You Lord for fresh grace and mercy. Thank you Lord for a word that reminds me what my true purpose is. Now Lord, I ask that You would continue to bless our loved ones, our prayer list and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We humbly submit our prayers by the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jacqueline D. Moore is a Peace In The Storm Publishing Author, learn more at

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Singin' in the Comeback Choir...

Oh Happy Day...

During this time of the year, I always get a bit sentimental. Holiday time, which means, by the grace of God, I am a year older, and hopefully wiser and better. 

I reflect on past heartaches, and am happy to have healed.

I reflect on past relationships, and am thankful to have moved on.

I reflect on moments when I wanted to throw in the towel, and am grateful for endurance.

I reflect on past failures and mistakes, and am thankful about grace and mercy, and life lessons.

It also means that time is passing by, and as time waits for no one, this time of year comes to me as a reminder to Live.

And, sometimes, Living Ain't Easy...

I remember when I started Peace In The Storm Publishing. There were so many obstacles in the way, and as time progressed, the obstacles grew bigger and self-doubt tried to creep in. The keyword here is "tried." 

So glad I didn't give up. He speaks through trials. I was reminded, through the trials, "Who" I am, and "Whose," I am. Made all of the difference in the world. And, whatever you're going through in life, no matter how big your problem may seem, I'm here to tell you that there is a God that is bigger than anything you're going through. So the next time obstacles confront you, you don't allow your problems to scream to you how big they are, you look them in the face and shout how big your God is! 

This is a message from some time ago and its relevant, especially in these trying times.

Life is filled with speed bumps, roadblocks and stop signs. Our normal tendency is to listen to the world as it tells us to slow down or even stop, behind a belief that some things in life are out of our reach and beyond our attainment and control. The world wants to cushion our expectations and to ultimately limit our goals. But thankfully, there is a God. And with faith in Him and His mercies, He gives us pedals upon which to accelerate and a path of green lights upon which to proceed when others tell us to we can’t possibly move forward. My PITS journey has been an ongoing saga of having faith and believing that even though others can give me molehills of why Peace In The Storm can't, My God gives me mountains of why Peace In The Storm can.

You Can, Beloveds, YES, you can!

Elissa Gabrielle

Sunday, October 28, 2012


YOUR HATERS ARE NOT YOUR MOTIVATORS, well, as for myself, and if I'm being honest, I must admit that I get no motivation from haters. I heard someone say this again today. I think we should stop thanking them, and stop acknowledging them. Discontinue expressing gratitude to a sector of people who really could care less about you; who loathe themselves probably even more than they dislike and despise you. As with anything in life, the more energy you give to anything, the more it grows; the more life it sustains. If you ignore them, you render them powerless, amen?

My motivation in life comes from and is lead by those who love me. My haters don't. My haters are people who are busy counting my blessings instead of recognizing their own. Haters are people who fail to see the glory in their own life's story. Remember that.

I pray for mine. Pray for yours. I pray they will one day receive with open arms all of the grace and mercy they've been given. I also murder them with my success. Bury them with my Kool-Aid smile. :-)

I thank my Creator and not haters for motivation. Give all credit, praise and glory where its due and where it belongs.

What are you doing with the rest of your life? I hope not wasting not another damn minute on giving thanks to those who don't value you, your hopes, dreams, goals, and even the air you breathe.

Living well is the absolute best revenge.

It's Sunday, we made it, let's spend the time we've been afforded live well.

Kisses, E


Elissa Gabrielle is the Publisher of Peace In The Storm Publishing.

Trying Walking a Mile in Someone Else's Shoes by Jacqueline D. Moore

You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. ~ Nelle Harper Lee
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.  Matthew 5:41-42 NIV

Very often we are quick to criticize others based on our own opinions and positions in life.  We think nothing of judging the conditions of others centered on what our life experiences have shown us.  We will shake our heads in disapproval if others do not conform to our standards and beliefs.  We will quickly dismiss those who find themselves in situations and circumstances we find appalling because of the hand that life has dealt them.  We tend to forget that many of us are only where we are because of whose we are and but for the grace of God go you or I.

Years ago when I first started my writing journey, I wrote a short story called Death at a Church.  It was about a young prostitute who worked the corner near a church.  Even though she didn’t know anything about God, there was something about the beautiful church, the beautiful sounds emanating from it and its beautiful people that fascinated her.

One day, she gathers enough courage to put on her best and enter through its beautiful doors.  Once inside, she almost loses her courage because of how she is treated by those beautiful church folk.  Many of them recognized her by her profession without knowing her story or that her choice of profession had never been her choice to make but rather a choice made by someone else.  If those good folks had been given the same cross to bear, would they be as strong?

Remember, When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.

Be Blessed

Father, we come to You this day asking forgiveness for the words spoken against another because of what we think they are. Help us Lord, to see other as You see us. Help us Lord to look beyond a person’s appearance and see into their hearts. Help us Lord, to show forgiveness towards those who have caused us such sorrow and heartache. Help us Lord to rebuke those who seek to destroy us. Teach us this day to have a forgiving spirit towards those who have misused us. Father, help us to see others in the same way You see us. With the eyes of Love. With a spirit of forgiveness, and with an open mind so that we may come to understand those who seem strange to us. Father, I am asking once again that You touch those saints who have asked for prayer for whatever situation they may be faced with. Father, our prayers are not complete until we tell You just how much we love You. We thank You Lord, for Your forgiveness of our sins and for looking beyond our faults. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

If anyone is interested in reading Death at a Church to see how my character triumphs in this moving story and others just as encouraging you can Order a copy of the Triumph of my Soul anthology at:  or at: and