About Little Shepherd
Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior’s birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?
Off in the distance, a wolf howled. Obed moved closer to his flock, scanning the hills for any sign of a pack that might race in and steal his sheep. His family depended upon the sheep for food and their wool for clothing. No sheep would be lost under his watch.
He shivered inside his cloak. While the days were getting warmer, the nights still chilled him. He walked over to the large fire blazing inside the pit. He rubbed his hands together and held them up to the fire to warm them.
Above him, the sky twinkled with millions of stars. Obed couldn’t remember a night so clear.
Suddenly, a bright light filled the sky.
Obed trembled. “Father, what is happening?”
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7 Seven Things to Know about Christianity
By Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Rebecca gave me a tough task when she asked me to write a post on “7 Things to Know about Christianity.” I’ve been a Christian my entire life, and yet, this topic gives me pause. Since God’s Word says it best, I offer you some of my favorite Bible verses.
Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
By itself, this is an inspiring verse for me. I’m not a perfect person. Despite my years of faith and desire to follow God’s plan for my life, I fail. I’ve used this verse with some of our youngest Sunday school students to assure them everyone sins.
What’s actually going on here is Paul’s response to the Jews who felt they had an advantage because they were God’s chosen people. In this chapter, Paul explains everyone needs to be saved through Jesus Christ. God doesn’t play favorites. None of us deserves the salvation God gives us. We have no right to brag about ourselves because nothing we do makes us worthy; a person is only made right with God through faith.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
There are several verses that discuss God’s love for us, but I feel this one is special because it points out that God sent His Son to die for us though we remain sinners. God doesn’t put conditions on His love; and what’s more, Christ willingly offered up His life for us.
Mark 12:30 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”
This is Jesus’ response when a scribe asked Him what the first commandment of all was. Seeking to discredit His ministry, the religious leaders of the time posed questions meant to find fault with Jesus. On this topic, there was enough contention among them already. Some felt the positive commandments held more importance, while others believed God looked more kindly on those keeping the negative prohibitions. Neither held true. With these words Jesus focused on our true purpose as God’s people. We miss something very important if we don’t open ourselves up to a personal relationship with God. Only by loving God with everything we are, with every portion of our being, can we become all we are meant to be.
Psalm 84:10 “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
For whatever reason, David could not be at the temple in Jerusalem, and he longed to be in the place that symbolized God’s presence with His people. The last line of the second verse actually says, “My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.” Can you imagine how much David must have longed to be in God’s presence and with His people to say his such a thing? Can you picture what that type of longing must look like?
In verse 10, David is saying he would rather be a lowly doorkeeper in the house of God than to dwell with wicked people. Is that our mindset now? Do we look to the world to provide for us or do we look to God? Do we have hearts that long for God?
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
In an anxious world filled with dangers, trials, and tribulations, we have received the special gift of peace; a sure peace that we are no longer of this world, but that we belong to Christ. A peace in knowing our sins are forgiven. A peace that comes through Christ’s death and Resurrection. A peace that comes from knowing we will share eternity with God. A peace we can only know when we enter into a relationship with God and cast our burdens onto the Lord.
Jesus knew His time with the disciples grew short. He knew they would be facing the loss of their teacher and their friend. He knew they would meet opposition, just like He did. But the peace of God would help them, just as that same peace helps us cope with the hardships we face in life.
Matthew 28:6 “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said…”
Imagine being Mary Magdalene on that third day. She and the other Mary are walking down to the tomb where the body of Jesus had been hastily buried. Suddenly the earth is shaking; an angel of the Lord rolls away the stone and sits on it, scaring the guards to death. And then the angel tells you not to be afraid. Yeah right. But then the angel tells these women what they hoped to hear, “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said…”
This is as much a message of hope for us today as it was that morning. God promised He would send a Savior, and He did. Jesus promised He would rise again, and He did. God is faithful forever. We can put our trust in Him.
Mark 16:15 “…Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
This is commonly referred to as “The Great Commission.” It is the last direct instruction Jesus gave to His disciples before He ascended into heaven. The Gospel of Matthew words it this way, “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”
This is the basis for evangelism and missionary work. Christians are charged, by Christ, to “make disciples of all the nations” and to be witnesses for Him to the end of the earth. This gives us the opportunity to put our faith into action. Not only that, it allows us to share the message of hope, love, and faith we know when we engage in an intimate relationship with God. Just look at the news these days. All the suffering. All the pain. This message can make a difference in people’s lives. We must share it.
About Cheryl Malandrinos
Cheryl Malandrinos is a children’s author and freelance editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, released by Guardian Angel Publishing, and A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing, under her pen name, C.C. Gevry. A digital version of A Christmas Kindness will be released in 2013.
Since 2007, Cheryl has been an online book publicist specializing in virtual book tours. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer, and blogger.
Little Shepherd Virtual Book Tour Schedule
Book spotlight at The Story of a Writer
Book review at Margo Dill’s Read These Books and Use Them!
Book review and interview at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Book trailer reveal at 4 the Love of Books
Guest post at I’m A Reader, Not A Writer
Guest post at This Little Book of Mine
Guest post and book review at Topsy Turvy Land
Interview at Between the Covers
Guest post at Marilyn’s Musings
Guest post at Authors and Appetizers
Book review at Janet Ann Collins On Words
Guest post at Bookingly Yours
Book review and giveaway at Mom Loves 2 Read
Book review at Maureen’s Musings
Guest post at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
Guest post at Paperback Writer
Book trailer reveal at Broken Teepee
Book review at Blooming with Books
Book review at Nancy Stewart Books
Radio interview at Stories from Unknown Authors at 1 PM.
Guest post at 4 the Love of Books
Book trailer reveal at Thoughts in Progress
Guest post at Literarily Speaking
Book review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Book review at Freda’s Voice
Book trailer reveal at CelticLady’s Reviews
Book review at ASC Book Reviews (ASC Photos and Designs)
Guest post Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways
Book spotlight at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Book spotlight at Rose & Beps Blog
Book spotlight at Frugal Canadian Coupon Mom