His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NIV)


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Maybe a Small Step, But it Feels BIG to Me

Yesterday I registered a domain name for my author web page – which doesn’t exist yet. Eventually you will be able to find my author page at www.cjpenn.com. But clicking on this link won’t get you anywhere today.

Though it was easy to get this domain name registered, I was surprised at how difficult it was. Confused? Me too. Technically it was easy. Emotionally it was hard. This feels like a huge step for me.

Though I’ve been writing for this blog for almost 10 years, and working on writing some books for almost 9 years (nothing yet published), I feel like I just took my first step into a whole new phase of my writing – the marketing phase. And it feels awkward and uncomfortable. I feel like I just climbed into a rocket about to blast off to Mars.

My author web page will be all about marketing me and my books. From the research I’ve been doing, an author page that’s separate from my blog is essential. But this whole marketing bit just doesn’t stir the passion and excitement in me that writing does. I’ll just have to force-feed the passion, I guess.

Anyway, I think I’ll start blogging about my experiences with this new phase of my writing life. So if you’re interested in such things, please check back in. AND, please give me some advice. I could use it. Thanks


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Blogging Friends

My blog friends filled my thoughts as I filled my mug with coffee this morning. We’ve never met in person, but I see you whenever you “like” or comment on one of my posts. I smile when I see your familiar name and image show up in my email, announcing your visit to my blog. I feel we know each other in a small way.

And as I thought of you this morning, I became filled with gratitude. I’m grateful for you and your visits. I’m grateful for your friendship, unconventional as it is. And I’m grateful for Jesus, for He brought us together. It was our mutual relationships with Jesus that connected us via this intangible, untouchable realm called the Internet.

And now I’m thinking… Jesus is all about relationships, and friendships. He promised He will be our friend, if we believe in Him. And I now see Him using manmade things such as the Internet to help make other friendships, such as yours and mine. That’s kind of cool.

But back to my original thought… thank you blogging friend. Thanks for your visits. I hope you have a great day.

CJ


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Living in the Moment

Like a lot of people, I tend to live for the future. I have goals and dreams I hope to achieve. Often I project myself into the future, imagining I’ve living my goal. And my imagination can get pretty focused and detailed. But this imagining of the future almost always ends in disappointment.

The disappointment is usually bred from my impatience… I want to bring tomorrow’s dreams into today. I want to reach my goals NOW. But I guess the disappointment is good, because that’s when I tend to step back, fall down, and pray.

And this is what comes to me in those times when I quiet my mind, damp down my active imagination, and listen for the Spirit of Jesus: by focusing on tomorrow, I’m missing the chance to live in the moment, which is where the Holy Spirit lives.

But then I wondered what it means to live in the moment. Well, for me it means to live WITH the Holy Spirit, sharing the moment with Him, and with His guidance look for things I can do now, for Him. For example, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, there’s always an opportunity to have a relationship with someone, to interact with whomever I’m with, aided by the presence of Jesus. And for those times when I’m alone, I can focus on my relationship with the Holy Spirit of Jesus, who is always with me.

There’s no disappointment there.

But my imagination still likes to run ahead into the future. I wish I could sling a lasso around that rambunctious boy and keep him here with me, and Jesus. Oh well… it’s who I am.


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Feeling Surrounded by God

Redwood trees

I went for a hike in a redwood forest yesterday. I admire redwood trees; so tall, so old, so strong. My mind drifted away from my life and wondered at the lives of the trees. Most of them are hundreds of years old, and some are over a thousand.

And then I felt it – the majesty of God. Surrounded by trees that had witnessed hundreds of years of God’s creation, I also felt surrounded by God. Oh, I feel the presence of God’s Spirit within me almost every day. But most days, God and I are surrounded by the chaos of the world, and I don’t often see God in the midst of that chaos.

But yesterday, in the midst of that majestic redwood forest, there was no chaos – only God. And it felt great.

Thank you Lord.


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Don’t be Afraid; Just Believe

Job interview today. I really want this job. Nervousness keeps trying to drown me in fear. I feel the waves of anxiety crashing over me whenever I think about the interview. I try to run from the waves; sometimes I stumble and the wave knocks me down. But I look up and there’s Jesus, reaching down to help me get back on my feet again.

I was reading chapter 5 of the gospel of Mark this morning. A synagogue ruler’s daughter was sick, and then she died. At that, Jesus looked at the ruler and said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” And of course, Jesus then brought the little girl back to life.

Today I hear, and feel, Jesus saying that to me… don’t be afraid, just believe. As long as I focus on what I believe – that the Spirit of Jesus is within me, even during the interview – the waves of fear recede and vanish. I won’t be alone in that interview; the Spirit of Jesus will be with me. And I’m so grateful.


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Satan is Terrified

Jesus confronted Satan many times during His life on earth. This morning I was reading about one of those times in the gospel of Mark. Jesus came across a demon-possessed man causing trouble among some tombs. In referring to the man, Mark writes:

“When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!’” (Mark 5:6-7)

The demons of Satan were absolutely terrified of Jesus. Satan fell on his knees at Jesus’ feet and begged Jesus for mercy. I stopped reading and just focused on that fact. What does it mean to me, that Satan is terrified of Jesus? Think about it – what does it mean to you?


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The Spirit Speaks – of Heaven

Heaven is for real

People are hungry for heaven. They want proof of heaven; they want to know that this life isn’t the end. They want to know that heaven is for real. IS heaven for real? The answer is waiting inside of you.

Heaven is not only real; it’s here, right within your grasp. I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, am heaven within you. You don’t need to physically die to see heaven. Just close your eyes and look inside your soul to me. I’m here, bringing heaven to you.

When you look to me living here with your spirit, you will know with certainty that heaven is for real, and that this life is not the end, it’s the beginning.

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