Peace In the Storms of Life

hand-792920_1920Rescue doesn’t always come, and we don’t always get those things that we desperately ask for. Why would God withhold something from us, when it’d be such an easy thing for Him to grant? If He’s all powerful, why does He leave us in our crisis? Does He not care? Can’t He hear us?

We all have them: “storms” in the midst of our lives. Whether those storms are relationships, jobs (or lack thereof), health, or any number of other trials, we all hope and pray for rescue. But maybe there’s something more than rescue that we need.

Peace

Can We Expect God to Rescue Us?
by Tamera Lynn Kraft

There’s a Bible story in Mark 34 is one that resonates to us all. Jesus told His disciples to
get on the boat with Him and go to the other side. Jesus went to sleep on the voyage. Meanwhile, a great wind suddenly appeared and tossed the boat to the point where the disciples were in a panic. At this point, one of them noticed Jesus asleep. They woke Him and said. “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

photo-1443376133869-19bce1f036e1There are times when we all are in that situation. The wind is blowing, the waves are overwhelming us, and Jesus seems to be asleep at the wheel. It’s times like these we are tempted to wonder if God really cares. Can we really expect God to rescue us from this mess we’re in? The truth is there are times God doesn’t rescue His children. Peter was delivered from prison and certain death when an angel was sent to rescue him, but a few years later, he was martyred by hanging on a cross upside down. God doesn’t always rescue us, but sometimes He does.

Even when God doesn’t come to the rescue or send the cavalry, He still is there for us. The galile_cstory of the disciples in the storm ends in Mark 4:39. “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

In this case, Jesus rescued the disciples by speaking to the storm and rebuking the wind. He said, “Peace, be still.” Sometimes Jesus will rescue us by speaking to the storm, but sometimes Jesus will speak peace into our hearts in the midst of the storm.

In my new novella, Resurrection of Hope, Vivian has gone through lots of storms. Her fiancé died in the Great War. Her entire family died of the influenza pandemic. If that wasn’t bad enough, she was evicted from her home because of her father’s gambling debts. She lost hope that God would ever rescue her. At the point when she was at her lowest, God sent Henry in her life to save her, but she still needed the hope and peace only God gives. She needed God to speak peace to her spirit.

Sometimes God will calm the storms; sometimes He won’t, but we can always count on God to speak peace to our spirits.

***

 

ResurrectionOfHopeCoverArt72dpi (1)Resurrection of Hope:

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

Resurrection of Hope is available at Desert Breeze Publishing, Amazon (eBook), Amazon (paperback), Barnes & Noble, and All Romance eBooks.

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Web1Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 37 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren.

You can contact Tamera on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net, Word Sharpeners, Facebook, and Twitter.

livingbygracepic-jpLet’s talk about this: Peace in the midst of the storms of our life is impossible to attain on our own. Thankfully, Jesus has promised us His peace. What are some ways the Lord has given you peace when you’ve most needed it? Are there any Bible verses you’d like to share with us that give you comfort? Please share your thoughts in the comments below or over on Living by Grace. We can all use some peace and comfort!

Other articles, books, and blog posts you might helpful:

What Happens When God is Late?

Why Would an All-knowing God Test Us???

Thinking Right When Things Go Wrong

God Meant it for Good

 

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A Revived Prayer Life

Wouldn’t it be amazing to catch a view of the world, of the Christians in the world, from God’s eye? How many believers are kneeling, at this moment, praying for help. For healing, revival, our schools, our country…

How many more are praying today, or perhaps praying more fervently, because of War Room?

Web1I know one woman, and that’s my guest blogger, Tamera Kraft, author of a Christmas Promise. In the following, she shares her waxing and waning prayer life and how God used a box office hit to bring it back to life. As you read her thoughts, pause to consider your prayer life. Is it growing stronger or beginning to die? Is it characterized by joy and passion or mindless obedience?

But first, I want to invite you to a party!

Today I’m celebrating anyway because the print version of Intertwined has now been released–a2f18-intertwined_n154121from CBD. (You can buy it HERE. Read the first 3 chapters HERE.) I’m not sure when that will happen at the other stores.

Because every celebration needs a party…

Join me this week, Thursday to Thursday, for a fun, interactive Facebook launch party where I’ll be giving away numerous signed copies of the novel. Come join the FUN!

How a Movie Revived My Prayer Life

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

I used to be a prayer warrior. I would get up early before my children went to school and pray every day for an hour. Sometimes the prayer would continue after I walked the kiddos to school. Back then, prayer seemed like breathing, living thing. I kept a running prayer list with Scriptures to back up my prayer requests.

I was amazed back then how God answered my prayers. My husband who was an alcoholic was

Photo by Woodpuncher found on pixabay.com

Photo by Woodpuncher found on pixabay.com

miraculously saved and gave up alcohol the same week. He changed so much that his voice activated car phone didn’t recognize his voice. After a year of contracting fibromyalgia, an incurable disorder, one night in church, God healed me. The doctor said it was like a light switch was turned off.

But then, things started getting off track. My children grew up and started families of their own. I stopped having to get up early to send them to school. Life distractions kept getting in the way. And miraculous answers to prayer didn’t seem to come as easily.

It wasn’t that I stopped praying or keeping my prayer list. I did pray, but not every day. It was sort of hit and miss. For months, I would pray diligently then fall back into the routine of not praying except when a need arose. I wanted to have a prayer time like I used to. I just didn’t.

Then I watched War Room. While I was watching Clara pray in her War Room, it reminded me of what I did when I couldn’t wait to pray. I wrote out Scriptures to go with my prayers. I got away in a secret place to do my praying. I scheduled my prayer time because of my busy life raising kids.

It was like a light bulb turned on in my head. I had stopped scheduling a time for prayer because I didn’t have to worry about children interrupting me. I’d stopped going into my prayer closet because without children at home, I could pray anywhere. My prayer had stopped becoming strategic. When that happened, it stopped becoming powerful.

Since watching War Room, my war room is open again for business. I’ve already started writing our verses and attaching them to prayers. And I can feel the difference. I can’t wait to see how God is going to answer my prayers. As James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

 Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio. Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise are two of her historical novellas that have been published. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest.

Visit Tamera online at the Word Sharpeners Blog, on Facebook, or connect with her on Twitter.

 

AChristmasPromise_med (1)A Christmas Promise:

A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.

When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.

Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

“Revel in the spirit of a Colonial Christmas with this achingly tender love story that will warm both your heart and your faith. With rich historical detail and characters who live and breathe on the page, Tamera Lynn Kraft has penned a haunting tale of Moravian missionaries who selflessly bring the promise of Christ to the Lenape Indians. A beautiful way to set your season aglow, A Christmas Promise is truly a promise kept for a heartwarming holiday tale.” – Julie Lessman

Available at Amazonthe Pelican Book Group, and ChristianBooks.com

If you enjoyed this topic, you might be interested in reading the article I wrote on Faith, Friends and Chocolate Tuesday titled: War Room–a Writer’s Perspective. You can read it HERE.

Let’s talk about this. How satisfied are you with your prayer life? How to you keep it from growing stale, or from dying to nonexistence? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Living by Grace in the comments below, because we can all learn from each other!

Are You a Noise Maker or a Loving Ambassador?

We all have friends, co-workers, neighbors that grate on us. Those who appear to be seeking a ready and devoted audience, who’s only aim is to convince others of their beliefs and opinions… at all costs.

Then we have those friends who vacillate between varying ideologies, whatever one is the most popular at the time, so as not to create strife or offend. Or perhaps they say nothing at all, so fearful of other’s opinions they become emotionally paralyzed.

Web1Is there a balance? Today Tamera Kraft, author of A Christmas Promise, attempts to speak to this question, but before you read her thoughts, I encourage you to read the passage I alluded to in my title, 1 Corinthians 13. You can do so here.

I also encourage you to visit Tamera’s blog to read a piece I wrote suggesting five ways writers can strengthen their writing. Yep, she and I did a blog swap! How fun is that? On another fun note, I received my author copies in the mail yesterday. You know what that means, right? This is really happening. 🙂 It also means reviews should be coming out any day now. Eek. That makes me nervous. Add to that the fact that I have an interview on KCRO Wednesday, (You can read about that here.) and that I’ll be speaking down at the Streets in a week from Saturday… (You can read about that here.) Um… I think I’m being stretched, but in a good way.

But enough blabbering.

Speak the Truth in Love

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

Because of our politically correct society, as Christians, we sometimes feel we have to walk a tightrope when it comes to speaking the truth in love. If we adhere to Biblical truth, we’re ID-10035039considered hate mongers and bullies. But if we water down the Gospel of Jesus Christ, are we really showing love?

For instance, if I don’t want to offend somebody who believes all ways lead to God and don’t tell him the truth, that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven, how much love am I showing? The truth will set him free. Telling him what he wants to hear will send him to Hell.

Nobody enjoys being cornered by a legalistic, uncaring Christian who only wants to prove others wrong. But we have an obligation to show the love of Christ and build a rapport with those who don’t know or who don’t care about the truth.

The old adage is true: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

If we really care about someone, we will tell her the truth of God’s Word. We will tell him sin leads to death, and that God has provided a way to life through Jesus Christ. Jesus, God’s only Son, is not one way of many to reconcile with God, He’s the only way to God.

We need to speak the truth in love, but we need to speak it. Our politically correct society sends the wrong message to this generation, a message that will condemn them to darkness. But we have the truth. Woe to us if we keep silent.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in  Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.

John 8:31-32… So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the  truth, and the truth will set you free.

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed  and in truth.

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She has two novellas published: A Christmas Promise through Harbourlight and Soldier’s Heart through Helping Hands Press. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.

Tamera is also the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.

Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com

Website: http://tameralynnkraft.net

Facebook: http://facebook.com/tameralynnkraft

Twitter: @tamerakraft

AChristmasPromise_medA Christmas Promise:

A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.

When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.

Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

Available at these online stores:

AMAZON

PELICAN BOOK GROUP

CHRISTIANBOOK

 

Let’s talk about this. I suspect each of us tend to err on one side of this issue. I think I jump back and forth between one of two extremes–keeping my mouth shut when I should speak, or blurting out massive amounts of forceful, potentially hurtful, words when I should be quiet and prayerful. It’s a hard balance to find.

LivingbyGracepicHow do you believe we find the perfect balance between speaking the truth and loving our listener? When we find we’ve erred on one side or the other, what can do? Share your thoughts in the comments before or at Living by Grace on Facebook.