Faith’s Checkbook: Becoming Fit for Glory 3/21/2023

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 Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Becoming Fit for Glory
“The LORD will give grace and glory”   (Psalm 84:11).

Grace is what we need just now, and it is to be had freely. What can be freer than a gift? Today we shall receive sustaining, strengthening, sanctifying, satisfying grace. He has given daily grace until now, and as for the future, that grace is still sufficient. If we have but little grace the fault most lie in ourselves; for the LORD is not straitened, neither is He slow to bestow it in abundance. We may ask for as much as we will and never fear a refusal. He giveth liberally and upbraideth not.

The LORD may not give gold, but He will give grace: He may not give gain, but He will give grace. He will certainly send us trial, but He will give grace in proportion thereto. We may be called to labor and to suffer, but with the call there will come all the grace required;

What an “end” is that in the text — “and glory!” We do not need glory yet, and we are not yet fit for it; but we shall have it in due order. After we have eaten the bread of grace, we shall drink the wine of glory. We must go through the holy, which is grace, to the holiest of all, which is glory. These words and glory are enough to make a man dance for joy. A little while — a little while, and then glory forever!

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 3/20/2023

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 37:8 Stop your anger! Turn from your rage! Do not envy others–it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.

Let it go. Whoever or whatever you are angry at, stop it! Letting anger control you does nothing but hurt you. The more you lash out, the more damage it does to your soul. Anger that is not self-controlled can only damage or destroy. Righteous anger moves us to act to right the wrong. Any other anger moves us to do wrong.

Watch out so that you don’t envy others. The world is full of people different than you. Many people are better at what you do, have different gifts than you do, are more successful than you are, look different than you do, have better jobs, have it easier than you do; the list goes on and on. It makes no difference at all as to how we differ. Everyone is on equal footing at the Cross. Everyone stands before God equally to account for their living. God treats all people the same. Everyone will be judged on the righteousness of their heart and how they have lived. The only one you will ever hurt by envying others is yourself.

If you are carrying around a spirit of anger or envy today, do something about it before they destroy your spirit. Confess them to the Lord. If you need to, let your emotions drive you in your confession. It’s okay, He can handle it. Get it out on the table so that God can help you. Ask Him to help you gain control over your emotions (after all, self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit) so that you don’t let anger or envy control you. It is sin to not do it. Don’t put it off, do it now.

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

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Of Detours and Alternate Destinations 3/17/2023

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by Staci Stallings

We’ve all heard it said that God works in mysterious ways. I think some of His ways are more mysterious than others.

Take, for example, the strange case of the Bomb Cyclone and its effect on this author’s life.

Our story starts on March 8, the first day of Spring Break around here. As per the usual routine, said author’s family goes to the mountains skiing, leaving said author all alone for the weekend with Mexican food and movies (said author + mountains = inevitable trip to the ER because of breathing problems).

So, so far-so good.

Family arrives back home on Monday night and Tuesday we start to dig out from under all of the ski stuff they brought home and dropped in the floor of the kitchen, dining and living room. (We were not successful at cleaning said areas before Wednesday arrives.)

Here’s where the story takes a very strong detour toward an alternate destination we had not anticipated nor scheduled into our Spring Break plans. It begins Wednesday morning with a very strong wind. (Think hurricane or tornado force minus the hurricane or tornado. This is straight-line winds sustained at 65+ with gusts in the 85+ range…. ALL. DAY. LONG.)

Just before noon, the very strong wind did a huff-and-puff and it blew the transformer out. But the very strong wind was not done—oh, no, it was NOT DONE.

The very strong wind then got even stronger, and by nightfall, 18,000 people were without power, and traffic on multiple roads was a mess because of semis tipped over and vehicles flipped over and power lines down (you see where we’re going with this, right? Suffice it to say, it was no longer our little transformer that they had to fix).

Hunkered down in her now very cold house with no water, no heat, and no lights, said author did what any sane person would do—she started a fire and found a good book. And there she stayed for three long days.

The first book had been a recommendation by said author’s middle daughter. It was called “Off the Page.” The plot was intriguing—a character in a book, a handsome prince mind you, comes to life for one very special reader, a young girl who has fallen in love with him. In “Off the Page,” the prince is now out of the book and trying to adjust to real life. Intriguing 370 page book that took about 20 hours to read. That 20 hours was called “Wednesday.”

When that book was finished on Thursday morning, there was still no heat and no water (I’m convinced, I could do no lights if the heat and water worked, but without those two, it’s just MISERABLE). Trying not to move around too much because it was now unbelievably cold, said author began the first book in the series “Between the Lines” (some daughters don’t really care that mothers like to read books in order!).

Now, it’s Thursday and then it’s Friday.

The second book is finished when the power finally comes back on Friday afternoon.

So, lo and behold, who would have thought it, but those two books are going to factor BIG TIME into the next book I’m going to write! (I’m about halfway through Book #6 in The Imagination Series, and then we get to Book #7…. The finale, the one that I’ve been struggling to figure out HER backstory for. And now, God used a power outage that lasted 3+ days to shape and mold my character in my head and heart for Book #7. And I LOVE HER NOW!!! I can’t wait to write her story, which is odd because I’ve been dreading it for over a year now.)

So there you go, God’s ways really are mysterious. I am curious though, do you think He planned that Bomb Cyclone with the 65+ mile per hour winds so that it would knock out our power so I would have nothing else to do than to read those two books (which honestly, I would have never gotten around to reading without the power going off)?

Well, do you?

Check out the New Release in

The Imagination Series


Broken Heart Strings


About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe with her various Internet and writing endeavors.

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Leaving My Father’s House 3/16/2023

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Leaving My Father’s House

(The Liberator Book 2)

by Anne Perreault

Leaving My Father's House

Some scars run so deep, they keep us from following the path of our hearts.

Petra Heinrich and her family have struggled to survive since the end of World War II, but the time has finally come for Petra to focus on her own goals. She has always put the needs of her family and farm first. Now, the talented horseback rider sets out to pursue fame and fortune as an international showjumper.

When she is overlooked for training in Germany, she fears her dreams may be thwarted. But a fortuitous meeting with a wealthy American businessman, who harbors a love for the sport, presents Petra with a new opportunity. Taking it would mean making hard choices to satisfy her ambition.

The price she must pay to rise to the top is steep. Is she willing to make the sacrifices?

Will success bring Petra what her heart really longs for?


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CrossReads Short Takes: The Permissive Sense & Behind the Veil 3/15/2023

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CrossReads Short Takes

The Permissive Sense

Hints and Helps to Bible Interpretation that Vindicates God’s Character of Love

by Troy Edwards

CrossReads Short Takes

The Permissive Sense

One does not have to read too far into the Bible to find that it says the following about Him:

God hardened people’s hearts.
God put lying spirits in the mouth of false prophets.
God personally deceived prophets.
God Blinded people to the truth.
God inflicted sickness.
God sent natural disasters.
God moved people to sin.
God tempted men.
God intentionally gave men unrighteous laws.
God created evil.
And even more….

Such statements have presented insurmountable difficulties to Bible readers. Failure to understand them properly have led to doctrines that paint God in less than a favorable light. However, when we understand the permissive sense, most difficulties with such verses will disappear. This book will help you understand this important principle and will remove all doubt about God’s love, goodness, and holiness.





Behind the Veil

by Doug Veeder

Behind the Veil

David Zephyr is an average middle-aged, American man who just stepped into the middle of a spiritual war he never knew existed.

Special Agent Eric Carmichael is a highly decorated FBI agent who just inherited the most inexplicable case of his career.

David makes a decision that will change his life forever. As he races against time, can David save the world from the spiritual forces threatening to destroy it while evading the grasp of Agent Carmichael?


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Trust In The Lord, He Will Never Fail You 3/14/2023

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by Robin McKinley

David the writer of Psalm 40 offered plenty of reasons why we should put our trust in the Lord. He knew that God would never fail him. And we can know that as well.

Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3

 When you find yourself in a desperate situation, you may want to quickly change your circumstance. But look what David did.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

David patiently waited for God. I know at times I’ve allowed my impatience to overtake me, especially in my younger days.

When that happens in your life or mine we are telling God that I don’t need Him. David found himself stuck in the mud of despair. But he trusted the Lord and waited on Him.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. Psalm 40:2

David testified that God took him completely out of the fix he found himself in. But the Lord didn’t stop there. He didn’t just pull him out, brush him off, and say “have a nice day.”

He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Psalm 40:2 

Benefits of When You Trust the Lord 

After the Lord pulls us out of a messy situation, he stays with us. He makes sure we have our footing on solid ground. Then He fills our hearts to overflowing.

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3

Do you see how the Lord amazed David? And how it will lead us to put our total trust in Him? The next verse goes on to say that joy accompanies those who trust in the Lord.

Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols. Psalm 40:4

We trust Him by putting our faith in Him. Then just like a parent cares for their child, He cares even more for us.

O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them. Psalm 40:5

I like the old hymn called “Count Your Blessings.” The chorus says, count your many blessing name them one by one. Count your many blessing see what God has done. 

David said that he would never be able to name them all. He would never come to the end of them. Do you remember how the Psalmist started this chapter?

He patiently waited and trusted in the Lord for help! And God did not let him down. The prophet Isaiah also gave us some insight into those who trust the Lord. 

Finding New Strength 

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Isaiah says He gives us strength. It doesn’t say He will build up our muscles or energize us. No, He will give us NEW strength, His strength.

In our own strength, we can run but we’ll get weary. We can walk but we’ll also get faint. But with His strength, we won’t get weary and we won’t faint. We’ll soar high on wings like eagles.

David knew what it was like to trust the Lord for His strength to face each day. Plus he counted it all joy to be in the center of God’s will.

I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart. Psalm 40:8 

About the Author: 

Pastor RobinRobin, with his wife Cindy, became children’s evangelists early in their ministry. They ministered to children full time for 8 years. During that time they developed several children’s stories which were told with visuals and puppets.

Robin recently turned two of those stories into children’s books. One is called “The Contest,” a book about the Fruit of the Spirit, and the other is called “Twas the Night of Christmas”.  He has also authored 5 volumes of devotional books called, 3 Minutes Alone with God. Each entry is a product of his personal biblical Journaling.

These and his other writings are available on his website called Christian Perspectives at When you visit this site, you can sign-up for newly written devotions as they come out which will be emailed to you.

Presently Robin is the pastor of Calvary Christian Center in Pottstown, PA. He is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He and his wife make their home in Birdsboro, Pa. He also serves as the president of the local ministerium. He and Cindy have two married sons and four grandchildren. 

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Are You Teachable? 3/13/2023

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by Rebekah Beene

I’ve discovered, I have a lot still to learn. About life, about the health program, and about Jesus, I’ve also discovered that I am still teachable. But I have to watch, because being teachable means being correctable.

Oh, beloved. The Lord has much to teach you in the spirit just as you have learned all these years. he has more to show you in this season  than you would believe.

He wants to teach you confidence. The kind that will keep you on the mark with him.  He wants to teach you perseverance. The kind that will keep you going when it looks like it’s time to give up. Most of all he wants to teach you love the kind of agape love that he has for you. So that when you want to quit loving, you will be able to switch into his love and keep pouring it out everywhere you go.

God loves you and he is for you. Don’t let things get in the way of being teachable. Life is hard sometimes. But it’s harder when you don’t let God teach you. You are meant to live an extraordinary life in Christ so rejoice that you get to learn every single day!

Proverbs 12:1
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
   but whoever hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 9:9
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
   teach the righteous and they will add to their learning

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

About the Author:

Rebekah BeeneIn a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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Modern-Day Good Fridays 3/10/2023

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by Staci Stallings

Sometimes timing becomes important. This is one of those times.

Right now, as you read this Easter Sunday has passed, and we have entered fully into the Easter Season.

By the time you get to Easter, it’s sometimes easy to forget about Good Friday.  Good Friday, the day Jesus hung on the cross and died for our sins seems almost a distant memory, in the past that feels much darker than the bright joy of Easter Sunday. And once you get to Easter Sunday, you really don’t want to go back and contemplate Good Friday. It feels better to just leave it in the past.

I get that.  I really do.

But now, here’s the other side of the timing issue.  For me, as I write this, it is the Tuesday before Good Friday. Easter Sunday is but a promise. It is not yet, in my world, a reality.

More importantly to the story is that yesterday was Monday, April 15, 2019.  I don’t know if you remember what happened on that particular day, but over in France, there was a Cathedral called Notre Dame, and it caught fire and burned.

For 850 years it had stood, strong and tall, the steeple a beacon to the world around. And then the fire weakened the structure underneath and the steeple fell.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been here before.


On February 25, 2007, my home church burned down very much like Notre Dame. The fire started in the upstairs room, and by the time they got the blaze out, the only thing left of the sanctuary were the walls and a whole lot of rubble and ashes.  Our baptismal font survived, but literally not much else.

I remember on that morning when I got the news, trying to make sense of this for my children who were roughly 11 and 8 at the time.  I told them that the Bible tells us that Good Friday happens in life. It’s the day that to the untrained (or un-faith-ed) eye, it looks like evil won.

Jesus, the light of the world, hung His head and died. His grief-stricken followers took His body down from the cross and laid it in an unmarked tomb nearby. They rolled the stone in front of it, and to all the world, that looked like the end of the story.

Good Friday.

If there’s one thing I’m starting to get good at, it’s Good Friday.  We all have them.  I walk through a lot of them in real life but also in my books.  In the world, we want the fantasy romance. We want boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl falls for boy, and they live happily ever after. It sounds great. But in the real world, falling in love for real is fraught with Good Fridays.

Click the Cover to read more about this “Good Friday” story…

Some of them are external things that happen.  Girl loses her father for example, or boy loses his business.  Those types of Good Fridays are tough. But the tougher ones are the ones where boy’s past drives him to make decisions that break girl’s heart, or girl tries to recover her heart by going with someone who is not the guy that really loves her.

Good Fridays are tough, people.  Really, really tough.

And I don’t think we always understand that. I think most of us instinctively don’t like Good Fridays. We don’t know how to “do” Good Friday. We don’t know how to sit with grief or comfort the grieving. It makes us fundamentally uncomfortable. We would much rather bask in the sunshine of Easter Sunday when evil is destroyed and all is set right with the world.

The thing I think I’ve most come to understand is there is no Easter Sunday without going through Good Friday.  You don’t get healed without acknowledging and working through the pain. You get healed by breaking down, surrendering, and giving it all to God—dying to self just like Jesus did on that cross.

My stories are about people going through their own personal Good Fridays and what happens when someone is really brave enough to do that.  They are about how Easter Sunday awaits those who through faith walk through the valley of the shadow of death, give their lives totally to God, and let Him remake them in the rebirth of the resurrection.

So, I’m curious, dear readers, if you would like to share…. What stories have you read that really portrayed the difficulty of Good Friday and how it leads to the joy of Easter Sunday? Or what Good Fridays have you walked through that have led you to an Easter Sunday of your own? Or maybe you’re walking right now through a Good Friday moment. If you would like us to pray for you as you walk through it, please let us know.

I think each of these Good Friday to Easter Sunday stories are vitally important for us to hear and should be acknowledged and shared.  Because when you stop being afraid of Good Friday moments, I think then God can work Easter Sunday miracles through you as more and more people see the miracle that the women found on Easter Sunday—an empty tomb, meant to bury the Light of the World and be the end of the story—becomes a new beginning that will change the world through rebirth and resurrection.

That is the really Good News

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe with her various Internet and writing endeavors.

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: Summer Up 3/9/2023

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

Summer Up!

by Tom Leihbacher

Summer Up!

The last day of school had finally arrived and summer break was on. With it came the promise of two and a half months of sun-drenched, fun-filled freedom.There were summer camps, summer trips, summer sports, summer foods, and summer nights to look forward to–to say nothing of summer afternoons hanging out at the town pool or the teenage art of sleeping in.But not every day was all fun and games for Charlie Riverton and his friends. During that memorable summer of ’75, they faced a protracted battle for turf rights in their own backyards.It wasn’t easy, and they took their lumps along the way. But they stuck together and stood up for themselves.With helpful guidance from a heavenly friend, their shoulders grew a little broader and an unforgettable new chapter was written into Briarcliff Manor folklore.Come join Charlie, Sky, and the whole cast from A Gift Most Rare on a summer-long, fun-filled, coming of age adventure. Summer Up! is a God-honoring fun-ride set in Smalltown, USA, during the summer of 1975. It’s a wonderful sequel to A Gift Most Rare and comes with a timely message and a wholesome spiritual uplift. –Kevin Sorbo, Actor, Director, ProducerTom Leihbacher has done it again. Picking up where A Gift Most Rare left off, he wove a fun, coming of age summer tale that mixes The Wonderful World of Disney with a dose of Home Alone and a dash of Field of Dreams. –Martha Higgins FergusonI didn’t think Tom could best himself with this tale of lively young buys during a sun kissed summer, but he did! – Karen Smith, Historian, Briarcliff Mano


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CrossReads Short Takes: Consuming Fire & ROAR 3/8/2023

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CrossReads Short Takes

Consuming Fire

A Plastic Surgeon’s Desire

by Crystal Mary Lindsey

Consuming Fire

God is a Consuming Fire and this surgeon knows this beyond a doubt. For this reason, he devotes his life to helping others heal in body and spirit.

This Charismatic specialist is pursued by many yet known personally by only a few.
When he sets his sights on Sage his new R.N. she confuses his mind and leads him on a merry and somewhat hilarious chase.
Sage Lauren Grace Saunders changes her life direction when she becomes employed by the handsome reconstructive surgeon. Working for him in a five-day-a-week job with no shifts means a better social life without any ties. Doctor StClair’s patients consider him an enigma; however, no one is permitted familiarity beyond his professional boundary, although many women do try.

Having been married once, with his wife leaving him for a man she considered to be a better catch, he has no intention of making the same mistake twice. His reconstruction surgery for deformities and burns is renowned as is his history of determination to do things the right way. The one thing he wants since meeting his beautiful new R.N. is to know her better.
He persuades her to travel with him to an Outback missionary clinic.

Sage, who has never ventured beyond the city limits, is spellbound by the exotic animals and endless terrain. This trip will change both of their lives with Sage finding her true self and discovering what it is that makes Javin and his parents stand out from the people she has always known.

They all share an inner peace she wants and comes to understand as she discovers Jesus as her savior. Reading this book you will discover the Australian Outback is like another place in another time. It whisperers a spirit of compassion, kindness, love, and romance, – sending the souls who venture into its kingdom on a journey of no return to worldly desires.






Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense

(Spiritual Warfare Series Book 2)

by Linda K. Rodante


5-Stars. “What a great book. The tension is high. The characters are exciting and brave. The plot is a roller coaster adventure.” Twitter reviewer. Dancer Becca Stapleton lives to magnify the Lord through dance, but when she becomes involved in a gangland murder, her life becomes anything but the dance she imagined. Tall, handsome Wes Lloyd helped her pull the body from the Gulf of Mexico, but is his interest in her real? And if the police are suspicious of his innocent bystander persona, shouldn’t she be? Luis Ramirez, the gang leader accused of murder, has hardened himself to the role he’s playing. Drugs, gang wars, and robbery are his life. But Becca and the man they call Reece have something he doesn’t have—peace. He’s not sure he wants it, but he can’t seem to get free of them or their caring. Not only are the police after him, but a larger gang is advocating for war, so he might have nothing to lose by investigating this Jesus. If, that is, he lives long enough. Book 2 of the Spiritual Warfare Series.
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