Christ's Glory, Not Mine

Devotions, advice, and book reviews from science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

Greetings, Gentle Readers!

Jude 1:21
Looking for reviews for Avatars of Web Surfer, I have only e-review copies at this time, the kindle file and PDF. Book info at the link below, please share. Interested folks should contact “andrea” AT my site’s domain name.

I also received some kind feedback from Alan Brown: “Just a compliment on an essay you wrote a year and a half ago – “The Dangers of Righteous Anger“. I am afraid this is exactly the pit the country is falling into … that there are so many groups “righteously angry” at each other, that are getting progressively more angry and progressively less righteous …”

I agree with Alan, “The Dangers of Righteous Anger” is still a timely piece, one the fracas surrounding the election, etc. this year has repeatedly brought to my mind, too.

Here’s a short excerpt:

The most dangerous anger I’ve witnessed lately is righteous indignation. The reason it is dangerous is humans aren’t righteous. We are most prone to do ugly things to each other when we’re angry and either it is justified or we believe we are justified.

It saddens me that so many grown adults behave as if they honestly believe “I am angry, and you were wrong, therefore you are no longer worthy of my respect, kindness, or being treated fairly, and I have every right to lash out and hurt you.”

This may be one of the greatest social ills plaguing my country today, perhaps the world. I see it all over the news, cropping up in many different ways, but the underlying spirit of “righteous” rage is the same, and it can drive good, reasonable people to do the cruelest of things to the people they love, sometimes perfect strangers.

Go check out the rest of “Righteous Anger” at the original post.

Please be in prayer for my family (my husband and I) as we face major decisions on how to grow our family and go through an emotionally difficult season. And please let me know how I can pray for you!

A final, favorite Bible verse I thought I’d share:

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song. (Isaiah 12:2)

In Christ,
Andrea J. Graham


Be Bold, Be Brave

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Eleven years ago, my friend Brandi Swindell lost her election for City Council in Boise. She faced a tough election and was hit with both barrels and attacked by vile people. She got volunteers who worked hard for her with great determination. She lost by a lot more than I would have imagined. It was depressing. Her enemies celebrated and mocked. But God…

God had just begun to work in her life. She founded Stanton Health Care in Boise and that ministry touches the lives and hearts of women and their children throughout the Treasure Valley. Stanton Boise moved its office next door to Boise’s Planned Parenthood and is in the progress of building a life-affirming clinic in Meridian. They are, to borrow a phrase from Steve Camp, “lighting their candles on the front porch of Hell.” And, not only that, there are Stanton clinics being established around the world through God working through his people.

I wasn’t able to attend the Tenth Stanton gala this Friday, but I saw pictures and I thought of that November so many years ago and the amazing faithfulness of God. Some of my friends are running for office and some will lose. And there is the big election. [Note from Andrea: which this blog will not discuss at any length aside from spiritual concerns it raises.]

Elections have consequences, let there be no doubt of that. However, win or lose, God is not done with us. And no matter how bad the election results are, they cannot stop the goodness of God, the work he is doing through his people, and the common grace He gives to all mankind. The worst of tyrants who have tried have only been short lived like an eclipse that blocks the sun for but a moment before the the light begins to break through.

No matter how disheartening an election’s results might be, take heart that God is at work in the world. No matter the disappointment for us personally or for our countries, we should remember the words of the Prophet Jeremiah who, in the midst of the destroyed City of Jerusalem, wrote, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.”

Whatever happens this Election Day be assured that the plans and purposes of God will prevail in your life and for the nation.

On a hopefully somewhat light-hearted note, consider this advice from the British franchise Doctor Who’s lead role, the Twelth Doctor:
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Seeking the Mind of Christ

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Philippians 2:5-8 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Psalm 20:6-8 “Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed*; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.”
*The Lord’s anointed here means first the ancient kings of Israel, and specifically David, then Christ, then Christ’s faithful body collectively.

Isaiah 10:12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.

Isaiah 31:1-3 “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord! And yet he is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together.”

Isaiah 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.

Proverbs 16:5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

2 Samuel 22:28 You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.

Matthew 23:12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Malachi 3:13-18 “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

The full list of verses on the importance of humility in not only God’s people but in heads of state.

Note: You can now read all four parts of my testimony on what God has done through my writing career, and specifically the series that Avatars of Web Surfer launched.
Testimony 1: How God Rescued Web Surferwriter stress

Testimony 2: Offering Characters to God
artificial intelligence

Testimony 3: Exploring a Character’s Gender Identity (From a Christian Perspective)identity

Testimony 4: Allowing Characters to Rewrite Their Storieswriting revising

 


All Saints’ Eve (x5) Prayer Request

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New Author’s Fellowship has posted the second and third parts of my four-part testimony on some things God did while I worked on the novels of the Web Surfer Series, which has its collection of short stories, Avatars, out. Please go check out the cool things God taught me via that project:

Testimony 2: Offering Characters to God

Testimony 3: Exploring a Character’s Gender Identity (From a conservative Christian perspective.)

Two years ago today, in the shadow of All Saint’s Day, which is coming up on Nov 1, the pain and chains of this life were forced to release their hold on my mother, and she was born again in eternity. While she may be celebrating with the other saints, most of us left behind are still too busy missing her to properly share the saints’ joy. So please remember us in your prayers.

One thing I know, joy and peace are gifts from the Lord, and I thank God for those gifts, and the veiled glimpses of glory, despite all the trials and sorrows. The pain of this life won’t last forever, while the joy and peace that sometimes seem to slip through our hands will some day remain forever.