Christians and Candidates:  Voting for Your President

The Silver Lining is meant to uplift and encourage, so it will not be a place for political debate. However, I want to encourage you to pray, and fast as God calls, before you go to the polls to vote in this crucial election. Our new president could bring hope, healing and continued freedom for the United States of America, or instead bring catastrophic consequences for our country, which cannot be reversed. 

Voting in good conscience, calls for seeking a godly, Christian candidate. A selfless, wise, compassionate problem solver who puts himself under God, instead of above Him, is someone who has our country’s best interests at heart. King David was a small boy, a shepherd, with whom God was well pleased. God chose David to be the king of Israel. God passed over the men who were tall, good-looking, and older. Instead, God chose a lowly shepherd boy with a heart after His own! 

 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 New International Version).

David killed his gigantic enemy Goliath with only a slingshot and a stone! No one else would come near Goliath. But young David went forward with confidence in His God. He even shed the armor that King Saul had given him to wear in battle! It was too uncomfortable! That day the vast army of Philistines turned away and fled in fear; their giant was conquered, and they were terrified. 

“Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground” (1 Sam. 17:49).

King David was the father of King Solomon, who is still the wisest king who has ever lived! King David’s lineage included Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, God’s own Son. Jesus is the greatest king who ever lived; he was resurrected from the dead, and still lives today!

The bible gives us the best example of characteristics we should be looking for in a king, when we are given the responsibility of choosing one. Who would have imagined that a quiet boy, tending to his sheep, would have become God’s choice for a king? It shows what one is capable of becoming, when he allows God to both lead and fight his battles.  

As Christians, we have a responsibility to come before God, bowing our heads in repentance, asking forgiveness for having followed the ways of the world. We need to pray for wisdom and discernment, so that we can vote for the best candidate to take care of us and our country. We should remember that our country was set on a godly foundation, and God’s laws have not changed today. 

Jesus came to bring us a new covenant, which made the first one obsolete (Heb. 8:13). He became a sin offering for us, through his death on the cross. He is the sacrifice for our sins, which is why we must receive him and ask forgiveness for our sins. This new covenant can be found throughout the New Testament of the bible. If we want God to grant favor on America, we need to vote for a president who is willing to put God first, and obey His covenant, which will result in protection and peace for our country. 

No president, not one king, will be allowed to rule over us, without passing through the hands of God, and first receiving His permission. This means that our new president will only become our president, if it is God’s will. Sometimes this is hard for us to understand, but God has a much greater plan, which we are unable to see. 

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1).

Still, God promises that if we fast and pray, he will heal our nation. This means He will hear us and answer our pleas for a good, godly president if His people come together and ask Him!

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

And we will have peace that no matter what, we will have done what God has asked us to do. And if we are God’s children, he will watch over us and protect us, no matter what lays ahead. 

Ask Jesus into your heart. Repent. Ask Forgiveness. Pray. Fast. Vote. Go in peace. God bless you, and God bless America.  

 

God Pulls Us Through Trials of Suffering

Last Monday, my daughter came down with the dreaded stomach virus. It was hard to watch our sweet six-year-old bravely suffer, as each wave of nausea hit, until finally nothing remained in her skinny little belly. At two a.m., I thought to anoint her with frankincense oil. Her vomiting lessened and she was finally able to sleep. Eventually, her calls to me were for water, instead of distress.   

The very next day, my daughter felt much better, though she definitely was worn out and needed to be rehydrated. She touched my heart when she lovingly said she was glad a couple of her friends hadn’t made it to Sunday School, or they would have gotten sick too. As it turned out, her little friend got the bug anyway, along with half of our church body. 

When I sent a note to my Sunday School mom friends, warning them to prepare, the reports started coming in: More children, and entire families, were sick with the yucky stomach bug.  I found it interesting that I had just taught my precious class about the lepers who were healed by Jesus. Jesus healed all ten of them, but only one returned to thank him. 

Later that night, I reminded my daughter of the leper who had thanked Jesus, and offered her the opportunity to thank Jesus for making her feel better. She thanked Jesus during our family prayer. She believes in the healing power of Jesus, having experienced it first-hand. After all, she knows Jesus healed her big brother with a big miracle! She knows Jesus loves children!  

I thanked Jesus too.  I was relieved to see my little girl feeling so much better. I know how bad it feels to be that sick. 17 years ago, I found myself vomiting every day, for five months, 30 times a day, because I was pregnant with my twin boys. I had severe, incapacitating nausea, which didn’t fully disappear until I had my sweet, tiny babies prematurely at 29 weeks. I remember sobbing in great heaves, telling my husband that I felt like I was suffering in Hell, because there was NO relief at all, even while on two medications reserved for patients undergoing chemotherapy. I told him I felt like I wanted to die, EXCEPT for the fact that I was going to have these beautiful babies. I wanted to see them and hold them and watch them grow!  God gave me the strength to get through it, and He also gave me twice the blessings, and saved their fragile lives once they arrived. 

Ten years later, I became pregnant with my precious daughter. I went through the whole nausea cycle again, for four long months, though I was unable to vomit. Again I needed medication, and the days and nights blurred together, as my entire family cared for me. But oh how I laughed when I first saw her beautiful face! 

As difficult as both of my pregnancies were, my three beautiful children far outweighed the suffering I endured. I can’t help but think of how my suffering is only considered small scale, compared to the suffering Jesus endured when he died on the cross for our sins.  He chose to go through it all because of his great, immeasurable love for each and every one of us.   

 There were more trials: We almost lost one of our sons to a severe asthmatic illness. Our other son was in a traumatic boating accident. After my daughter was born, my son who had almost died of an asthma attack, was diagnosed with a cruel, incurable disease.  Eosinophilic Esophagitis robbed him of strength, energy,  and joy. It gave him great pain, and it stole his quality of life, his ability to eat, and even sometimes drink. This disease lasted over three years. My son had daily nausea, and the vomiting was especially dreaded, because it wreaked havoc on his already painfully inflamed esophagus. Depression filtered through the family; the insidious disease had changed our lives. Needless to say, sometimes we really didn’t think we were going to make it. But, our God pulled us through it all. In God’s perfect timing, my son was given a miracle through Jesus Christ. He had been healed! He was no longer sick, and half of his allergies also disappeared. Praise God! Our prayers had been answered! On top of everything, out of those terrible trials, God gave us three amazing children to love, and we learned how to trust God, more than ever!  

 Last week was tough. But the silver lining was that it was short-lived; it was a reminder that God has pulled us through similar, but much longer, and much worse situations. “Dear God: You have healed me. You have healed my family. You have helped me, and my family, through this, and so much more. I thank you, God! Jesus, thank you for healing me and my family! I’m thankful for a faith that can make me well!”   Don’t forget to thank Jesus! In doing so, he will heal you from the inside out.   

 “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’ “

(Luke 17: 15-19 New International Version) 
 

 

  

Congratulations to The Silver Lining Valentine Winners!

Congratulations to Kathy, the Facebook page winner of THE SILVER LINING VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY! Thank you to everyone who entered! Thank you to those who ‘liked,’ ‘shared,’ and joined “The Silver Lining” Facebook page: www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic.

 Additional congratulations to Laura, the subscriber winner of THE SILVER LINING PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL SURPRISE VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY! Thank you to those who have subscribed to my blog “The Silver Lining,” which can be found at: http://www.angelaslittleattic.com. I am truly humbled, and consider it a privilege that you would allow me to bring good news, on a weekly basis, to your inboxes. 

 
Your support means so much to me, as I continue to listen to God’s voice and pen words that bring you hope, healing, freedom, encouragement, and joy through Jesus Christ! 

Even if you did not win the prize this time, know that my family prayed and asked God to bless each and every one of you, along with your families! We will continue to have more fun contests, and I have new ideas for “The Silver Lining” that I hope will bring a smile to your face, and warm your heart!

Blessings, Love, and Prayers,

Angela Royse Pelleman

The Silver Lining Practically Identical Surprise Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Here it is!

THE SILVER LINING PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL SURPRISE VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY! This giveaway is only for my subscribers. I want to give back to you for being a part of “The Silver Lining!”

I want to give a special gift to “The Silver Lining” reader who needs it most. I wish everyone could be a winner!  I’ve already prayed for all of you, my readers, and I’ve asked God to choose the reader He feels needs a special gift this Valentine’s Day.

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Pray for God to choose the winner. 

2. Sit back and relax. 

3. You’re entered!

There is an almost identical Valentine Giveaway circulating on Facebook. You can enter this drawing also, and you will still automatically remain entered in this one too! 

To enter the Valentine Giveaway on Facebook, join my page, “The Silver Lining:”http://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic. Share the post at the top of the page. Make sure it’s on oublic setting, so we can find your share.

Feel free to forward this email to a friend.  www.angelaslittleattic.com will take you to “The Silver Lining.” On the home page, put your email in the subscribe box. Wait for a confirmation email and click on the link to accept the subscription. Do this before February 14th, 8 a.m. To be eligible for this giveaway! 

*( NOTE to Gravitar followers  or others who are NOT WordPress followers: I MUST have a way to contact you if you win. I need an email where I can reach you. If I do not have an email for you, I must draw a different name, because I have no way to contact you.  I don’t want to do this, because my family and I always pray that God will specifically choose the winner, and I know God knows what He is doing!) 

Thank you! God bless you!

Drawing held February 14th!

(Some of the treats in our gift box are: a grown-up Christian coloring book, JOE coffee, Godiva chocolates, truffles, lipgloss, pomegranate candle, and more! Keep as a treat, or enjoy sharing with a loved one!)

  

Spread Your Wings and Fly!

As I do God’s work tonight, what He has given me to do, I know the devil opposes it. I know he will try to remove my support system, and use whatever tricks he has up his sleeve to get me to freeze up and come to a halt. He wants me to become depleted, exhausted, and stagnant, so people will turn away, looking for something other than the truth. Sometimes it’s hard to remember, but I know my enemy is spiritual. For we fight not against flesh…”For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12 New International Version).

No matter who goes with me or for what reasons some oppose me, I know I need to do the job God gives me to do. Sometimes I get discouraged and tired and feel defeated, but my soul won’t let me run away.  That’s because Jesus is my cheerleader, and The Holy Spirit hasn’t given me a heart to quit. On top of that, I’m human, so God knows I need encouragement and support, and words of wisdom and love. He provides it through family, friends, godly authority, and more Christian cheerleaders. God fills me up where I am lacking, and  I must trust him to bless me abundantly. He will fill my thirsty well until it’s overflowing, and there will be more than enough to share!  

 I wait on my God. We all must do this, because God’s timing is best. In spite of the obstacles that stand before me, God knows exactly what He’s doing. He wants me to spread my wings and fly!  This is the verse He has brought to my mind tonight: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

Godspeed.  

  

The Silver Lining Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Social Media Facebook Entry

*Plus an additional surprise, practically identical,  Valentine’s Day Giveaway coming very soon only for my subscribers, because I appreciate you! Details below…

Dear Readers, and Future Readers of The Silver Lining,

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays! You don’t have to be part of a couple to celebrate, in order to show someone that he or she is loved and special!

I love to give gifts. A simple gift of chocolates, flowers, or a stuffed animal can make someone’s day! What better time to bless a child, a friend, a spouse, a friend, or a co-worker?

I want to give a special gift to “The Silver Lining” reader who needs it most. I’ve already prayed for all of my readers, and I’ve asked God to choose the reader He feels needs a special gift this Valentine’s Day.

I write “The Silver Lining” to encourage my readers and let them know they can find hope in Christ Jesus, which leads to healing and freedom. Ultimately, I pray that God will continue to give me the words to help many people find Jesus. I pray everyone will know joy and truth in knowing that Jesus Christ is our salvation, and therefore the only way to eternal life.

Jesus died for our sins. He took the punishment for all the wrong things we do, so that we could live with him in Heaven forever. Now THAT is TRUE LOVE! All we have to do is take a step of Faith and ask Jesus to forgive our sins, and live within our hearts.

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Visit my public Facebook page, “The Silver Lining,” at http://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic.

2. You will see the post: THE SILVER LINING VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY! Click  ‘like’ and also click ‘share’, and you will be entered! Please make sure to  ‘share’ to complete your entry!

If you do not have a Facebook account, there are two different  ways that you can win:

Forward this post to a friend, or friends, via email. Leave a comment for “The Silver Lining” at http://www.angelaslittleattic.com, under the GIVEAWAYS tab. All you need to do is mention that you told a friend about the Valentine Giveaway.

The other way to win, is to wait for  THE SILVER LINING PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL SURPRISE VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY! This giveaway will be only for subscribers. You do not need to do anything to enter. You’re already blessing me, by being a part of “The Silver Lining!”

* NOTE: If you are a Gravitar follower, or follow my blog by a means other than WordPress, I MUST have a way to contact you if you win. I need an email where I can reach you. We’ve had a couple times where we did not have this info, but thankfully I had just one clue each time, because I personally knew those two followers. I would not have been able to figure out who won, otherwise. If you win, I want to make sure to get your prize to you, or we will have to draw another name. I don’t want to do this, because my family and I always pray that God will specifically choose the winner, and I know God knows what He is doing!

If you have not already joined The Silver Lining Facebook page, I hope you will. Please feel free to invite your friends!

If you are receiving this as a forward, and would like to subscribe to receive “The Silver Lining” to your inbox once or twice a week, you can visit me at Angelaslittleattic.com.  On the home page, enter  your email address in the subscribe box.  Look for a confirmation email, and click on the link to give us permission to add you to our subscriber list.

Thank you! God bless you!

Drawing held February 14th!

(Some of the treats in our gift box are: a grown-up Christian coloring book, JOE coffee, Godiva chocolates, truffles, lipgloss, pomegranate candle, and more! Keep as a treat, or enjoy sharing with a loved one!)

Drowning in Stubborn Pride? Jesus is your Life Preserver!

If you knew you could help someone who was drowning, but that person didn’t want your help, would you try and help that person anyway? How would you feel if you threw her a life preserver, and she refused to grab hold of it? Instead she chose to sputter and choke, ignoring the white Styrofoam ring floating in front of her. Why wouldn’t she take it?

You watched in dismay, as that person started to sink, too proud to grab onto the life preserver, because you were the one throwing it into the water. You knew this person hated you, and was determined to hold you at arm’s length. She didn’t want the help you were offering. Stubbornly, she refused to believe the life preserver would keep her afloat, even though the bobbing evidence showed it was her only source of hope to stay alive.

IMG_9229 - Version 2

Though this person hurt you immensely, you were offering safety.  Yet this person was too proud, wanting to prove that she could keep swimming, even though she was dead tired. Gasping for air, she even started to try and swim away in the opposite direction. This person didn’t want to feel obligated to thank you for saving her life, and was willing to lose it instead.

How would you feel in this situation, as this person started sinking? Helpless? Hopeless? Angry? Afraid? Desperate? Would you say this person got what she deserved? Or would you jump in, give it all you had, and push that screaming, squirming, stubborn body back to shore? What if you managed to get that person back to shore, and then she just buried her head in the sand? How frustrating!

IMG_3923

If a person continuously turned her back on you and refused to acknowledge the truth, would you try to share truth anyway? How? Would you speak to that person? Would you reveal the evidence on hand to help you prove your point? Would it help? Or would you simply pray for God to reveal the truth and trust in His timing?

Oh how Jesus must feel when he sees us drowning in a great sea of sorrow, refusing to grab the ring that will allow us to get pulled into the rescue boat! All we have to do is surrender, so we can be lifted up into safety, and onto God’s great big cruise ship. God has the most incredible vacation planned for us, an eternal vacation which never ends. The sights we will see! The sounds we will hear! The places we will go! If only we would let go of our pride and get into the rescue boat!

Jesus is offering us eternal life in Paradise, yet God’s children continue to sin and turn away from Him. There’s a cold dark storm out there, and the wind is about to destroy everyone and everything in its path. What person even deserves to be saved, when we laugh in the face of God’s weather advisory? No one! Not one of us deserves grace or mercy. Yet, there’s a silver lining: God gives it to us anyway! He freely offers us the perfect gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. All we have to do is say yes to Jesus, our rescuer. He’s throwing each and every one of us a life preserver. Say yes! Get in the boat!

IMG_9247

“The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” Luke 8:24  New International Version

IMG_4029

Beauty in Discouragement

Last week, we were the recipients of the historical snowstorm which blasted Virginia, leaving us covered in almost three feet of snow. After digging ourselves out, many of us rural folks are now frustrated about our internet, which tends to be uncooperative during crazy weather.

I’ve been trying to bring my wonderful readers a new blog post, but my new computer won’t even obey my commands. On top of that, painful medical procedures have been keeping me from doing what I want to do. I have writing deadlines, and things to do in the house, schooling, and there’s never enough time. Needless to say, I’ve been dealing with discouragement in a pretty big way.

Since I knew I could at least upload a photo from my phone, I decided to look for something beautiful to share with you, and I came upon this. I have to think about what God did for my family during a threatening storm. The electricity stayed on, and we didn’t even need our generator. A neighbor loaned us his snowblower, and even though the bolts fell off, we managed to get our driveway cleared just in time. Our sagging trampoline survived, because my husband shoveled off two feet of snow, during the storm. Neighbor children came over to play and have cookies and cocoa, when everyone is usually too busy to get together. I enjoyed the warm, cozy joy of being shut in tight, with my whole family for an entire week, which was pure bliss. And the beauty of the fresh, falling snow was incredible.

The train whistle still blew. Quiet peace surrounded our house. We played games and watched movies together. We saw the most gorgeous sunsets by The Master Painter. There were indigo skies with twinkling stars, and long glistening icicles. I need to think upon such things, when I am feeling discouraged because things don’t go my way. My God is a good God. He covers the ground with snow, and He covers me with His protection and His love.

And now, after a tough weekend, He’s given me something different to share with you instead. I hope it encourages you today. If it does, I hope some of you will take a minute to let me know. I can use some encouragement this week, and I’m thankful for my friends who have lifted me up. Even during hard times, I’m driven to encourage people. My heart wants to encourage you. And I know, that it’s because… encouragement is a gift from God.

Please God, forgive me for being discouraged. With You, I never need to worry, because You are always on my side, and you’re always doing what’s best for me. Forgive me for doubting You. You make everything good. Remove my discouragement in the name of Jesus. Fill me with the joy that only comes from You. Help me to remember to look for the silver lining. Thank you for bringing to mind my favorite bible verse:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Phil. 4: 6-8 New International Version