The Edge

The Edge

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Feel Better

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mt 18:21-22)

Have you seriously tried that?

Which time did that insult spat from careless lips sit right with you? Number forty? Number two-hundred and twenty nine?

Speaking from my own experience, it gets harder and more painful each time, not easier, until hearing the same person make the same negative remark becomes too much, and I start to wonder at what point is God going to step in and make them stop?

Am I supposed to sit there and take this again and again, my heart being ripped further and further to shreds each time? Pounding and pounding, each blow making that place inside a little more tender than it was. And me more afraid it won't stop. That it'll happen again. Unpredictable.

Me always on my toes, head turned, eye squinched, waiting for those words to hit me because I know there's more out there.

Never able to relax. Never able to breathe.

Seventy times seven is too long, Lord! I can't do it!

And don't you judge me, you sitting there in your peaceful room, you spouting out how, "the Lord won't give me more than I can bear." As if that's comforting.

Gee, thanks, I feel better.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2)

You know who helps me the most in moments like that? The person who said they understood, that all the emotion and discouragement I have is exactly how it really is, and I don't have to deny I feel that way.

That I can cry, and they won't feel any worse about me. That they've been in my shoes, reacted exactly how I did, and somehow managed to get up and walk again.That person lifted my burden way more than the clear-skinned saint.

They helped me know I'm not alone. Know that when I hit rock bottom someone will take my hand, feel my pain and pray.

Thinking on this further, what if I can be that person? What if when you are hurting, I can sit with you in that puddle of despair, instead of peddling advice from my easy chair? What if I'm not afraid to get a little dirt on me in the process?

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)

Jesus wasn't. He touched lepers, ate dinner with outcasts, protected a woman taken in adultery, let another clean his feet with her hair. He spoke with Samaritans, children, demoniacs.

He slogged through the trenches, getting more and more muck on his shoes, unafraid of the consequences of feeling our hurt.

Shouldn't I follow that example? Shouldn't you?

Maybe you're the person who keeps tossing out the insult. Maybe you're the one who places someone into the pit of depression. If so, wake up and shut up.

Jesus never did that either.

His was the ultimate life of love concluded with the ultimate act of love for the person who most needed love, and that's how we should be.

Not holier than thou, but exactly like thou.

And when all is said and done, exactly like Him. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel better.


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Suzanne D. Williams, Author
www.feelgoodromance.com

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Spotlight - All the Angels Stood by Laura J. Marshall



This is the last week in Staci Schofield's life. Her birthday is on Monday, which is also the day she plans to die. Poetic, seeing as her mother disappeared on the night of her own birthday. But when a popular guy from school, Rush, befriends Staci, will her plans change?

Rush sees demons clinging to Staci and nothing has worked so far to help her. What will make a difference in her life? A friend, an intercessor? How do you help someone move from 'take my life' to 'Lord, preserve me'?

Excerpt: 


School will be out in another two months. Then what will happen? The days would stretch on endlessly, mornings and nights. I couldn’t escape myself. I was there and I was ugly, unloveable.
The heat of the day beat on the tracks. I sat on them, feeling the metal and its contours beneath my shorts. I laid my legs out straight, parallel to the wooden ties, then scooted back and let them hang over the track, my butt on the gravel. Was this how it would feel? The heat of the heavy metal, but with a force I couldn’t imagine…ending it all.
My hands, palm down, rested hard on the gravel. I dug them in further, painful and biting. It felt good to feel, really feel something. There were moments with Rush that I actually believed there was hope, someone could care, but if my mom could leave, so could he. Or my dad for that matter. Why get involved?
It was easier to hope for death than for life. Death was quick, easy, permanent. Life expected too much. Too many moments, hours, and days. They stretched out like the threat of unending pain and torture. Why should I care? Why should I want to care? My God, to live with myself that long, to struggle with doubts of my own sanity, always with the feeling of impending doom and overanalyzing each thought for signs of Mom’s illness. Dad would probably feel relief, in the end.
God. What of God? Where was He? This Jesus they had talked about at Grace Youth. Wow, they were really gung-ho about Him.
I laughed aloud but suddenly sobered. The wind picked up and blew my hair across my eyes. I heard a whisper. Was it my name on the wind?


Click on the book cover above to see the book on Amazon. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Spotlight - Imperfect Cowboy by Suzanne D. Williams


Cowboy, Gray Sterret, accepted the job at Alabama McCall's ranch unprepared for the scope of the work. The barn is full of swallows, the bunk house crumbling, a mile of fencing down, and her driveway washed in.

Worse, she's naïve and innocent, things he's not. He's made big mistakes, and she deserves so much better than a man like him.

When time together and body heat result in one night together, his self-destruction hits rock bottom. For every bad action he's made, he'll reap ten in return, and no one can fix him. Not two little girls struck by sudden tragedy. Not the beautiful woman with the key to his heart.

A faith-searching story of inward struggle by best-selling author, co-creator of THE EDGE, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS.

Excerpt: 


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book Spotlight - Saving Private Benjamin by Cynthia P. Willow


When Jillian Farmer meets Carly Foreman in the pediatrician’s office, she has no idea how her life is about to be forever changed. After tragedy strikes, Jillian feels led to help a motherless child, but not everyone appreciates her help, and Jillian is soon put in the middle of a family feud. Jillian only wants what’s best for Ben, the child she quickly grows to love as her own, but will she make an objective decision, or will her own feelings get in the way of doing what is right?

Excerpt:  

It seemed like the traffic light would stay red forever. All Carly wanted to do was get home with Ben as quickly as possible. She hated vaccinations, but she knew they were necessary for her baby.
“It’s okay, little Ben. Mama’s going to have you home in five minutes…if this light will ever turn…finally! Here we go!”
Carly lifted her foot off the brake and placed it on the accelerator. She only lived a couple of miles from the pediatrician’s office. They’d be home in no time, except she didn’t see the truck whose driver decided to run the red light….

Click on the book cover above to see the book on Amazon. 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Spotlight - Fifty Shades of Faithful by Mary C. Findley


Sam and Vivian Tucker are not exactly conventional Christian marriage counselors. But they do have some life experience with "Song of Solomon marriage". These short stories mix suspense, humor, and romance with advice on relationship troubles. Adultery, bondage, spouse abuse, "things we don't talk about," sibling conflict, and why marriage is a good idea even if you're busy rescuing trafficked children.

There is no graphic or explicit content in this book, but there are some eyebrow-raising bits of advice about trust and honesty, playful communication to create desire, and gentle roleplaying within marriage.

Cowboys and Indians
Punching Bag
Happily Ever After
A Garden Locked Up
Family Package
EXCERPT: 
Tim called his father’s cell phone. “Dad, I have got to talk to you,” he said.
“Son, I’ve been meaning to call you,” his father said uneasily. “We’ve been really busy. Sandy has disappeared.”
“She’s what?” Tim demanded.
“There was a woman who visited our church last week and again this past Sunday. She was--” Tim could hear his father swallow. “She was very different from the usual visitors. She seemed to take an interest in Sandy. The girl’s been very unhappy, and this woman took her out to dinner, talked to her, made quite a fuss, it seems. She’s even bought her some new clothes, according to Ron and Doris. Then Sandy told them she had a job interview, left yesterday morning, and no one has seen her since.”
“What, they think this woman kidnapped her? Why? Have they called the police?”
“No, no, son, calm down. Sandy has called a couple of times, assured her parents she’s fine – But it’s very unlike her. Very odd. She – uh – Son, I don’t want to start something, here, but she did ask for your email address awhile back.”
“Dad, I’ve been getting some emails,” Tim breathed. “But they couldn’t have been from Sandy. Do you think this woman might be baiting me, trying to get me to meet her, to get something from me because she has Sandy?”

Click on the book cover above to see the book on Amazon. 


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Spend Summer on The Edge - Giveaway


'Spend Summer on the Edge' - Book Spotlights and Giveaway

Featuring The Edge Books

See our complete listing of books here. Then visit our home page for excerpts running all month long.

ENTER below to WIN a $20 Amazon Gift Card and a Kindle Gift Copy of an Edge book of your choice.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

The Pain Beneath

God gave me a visual relevant to our Christian walk that I want to share with you today. He showed me a carton of eggs. On the surface they looked perfect.




You know how that is. You open the lid, check to see none of the eggs are broken, and go about your shopping. But days later when you decide to use one of the eggs, you grasp hold and it won't come out of the carton.

Because underneath, the egg was cracked, and it had leaked into the Styrofoam cup. The damage was beneath the surface, well out of view, and that damage left alone, caused the egg to go bad.

Next, God showed me a basket of strawberries. At our local flea market, they line the berries up in neat rows, each basket looking the same, and all the berries on the top juicy and pristine.





Yet many times, once you get home, there's a strawberry on the bottom that's old, mushy, and sometimes, growing white fuzz. You couldn't see it when you bought it, but it was there all along.

Left in place, it will spoil the whole bunch. They'll rot from the inside out.

God said to me, just like the egg that was cracked that you couldn't see, just like the rotten berry at the bottom of the basket, so are the hearts of people. Many times we walk past someone and think they're doing great - they smile, they laugh, they go to work and come home - but down deep where we can't see it, there's a crack or a bruise that left untended will only grow until that person can't deal with it anymore.

God spoke powerful words to Samuel, along this line:

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1Sa 16:7)

We can't see the cracks in people, and so they pop up on us. Suddenly, someone we thought was doing okay, isn't, or something goes wrong that we can't fathom. He or she looked so perfect.

But God sees them. He sees all the scars, healed and unhealed. All the wounds made by words or thoughts. He sees depression, fear, anxiety, and sadness. Even greater, He longs to heal it.

This is why Jesus died, why He rose again, to mend the brokenness.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Lk 4:18-19)


I don't know about you, but I like knowing that I can't hide from God, that when I think no one is watching, when that pain courses through me, and I can't deal with it, there is Someone who can. Someone who loves me unconditionally and is willing and able to bring joy again.

But you know how He does that? Through others.

God sees the broken places, but it's our job to help mend them. We aren't here to CORRECT one another. We are here to LOVE one another. (Jn 13:34-35)

I don't point out your flaws and leave you to fix them. I help you tend your wounds. I, like Christ, wash your feet. (Jn 13:5)

Such a simple truth, but a powerful one. That I treat you as delicate as that carton of eggs or that basket of berries, not willing that any one should perish, but doing my best to save everything in the basket.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2Pe 3:9)

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Suzanne D. Williams