Posts Tagged strength for tough times

Lighthouse Trails New Release – Expanded 2nd Edition of Strength for Tough Times

Jul 23rd, 2016 Posted in new releases, Publishing News | Comments Off on Lighthouse Trails New Release – Expanded 2nd Edition of Strength for Tough Times

STT-2ND-EDITIONLighthouse Trails is pleased to announce the release of the Expanded 2nd Edition of Maria Kneas’ book, Strength for Tough Times. With a stunning new cover and several new chapters, Strength for Tough Times brings unique insights into what is happening in the world today plus encouragement and exhortation from God’s Word. At 130 pages and with over 100 Scriptures, this is the perfect (and affordable) book to give as a gift to someone who is going through a difficult challenge or who just needs to be reminded that we have an awesome God we can turn to and rely upon.

Book Information:
130 pages | Illustrated | Softbound | Matte Finish
ISBN: 978-1-942423-10-2
Retail price: $11.95
Quantity discounts Available
Soon available as E-book, Kindle, and Nook
Available through Lighthouse Trails or can be ordered from most bookstores and outlets.

Description: Surprising events have been happening in America, and things in which we used to trust no longer seem to be reliable. How can we find security, peace, and joy under such circumstances?

Only God has enough love, power, and faithfulness to be our Defense, our Rescuer, and our Refuge. He is the solid Rock on which we can safely stand (Psalm 62:5-7). Everything else is only “sinking sand.” It promises safety for a while, but sooner or later it fails us.

How can the believer apply these Scriptural principles to everyday life? Strength for Tough Times contains practical lessons that were learned the hard way—in the furnace of affliction. That is where we discover how much we can trust God.

The author knows something about affliction, because she watched her husband die, and she herself is a cancer survivor. She can testify that God is faithful. He loves us, and He promises to bring good out of everything that happens to those who love Him (Romans 8:28)

Author Bio: Maria Kneas writes from experience, from a lifetime of needing God’s strength for the many challenges she has faced. As a result of these difficult times, Maria has paid close attention when preachers or authors or friends shared insights about receiving God’s strength, comfort, and encouragement. Through prayer and careful study of God’s Word, she has confirmed those things which are in accordance of the Scriptures.

All backorders have been shipped.


Strength for Tough Times – Being Grateful to God

Feb 13th, 2012 Posted in Excerpts | Comments Off on Strength for Tough Times – Being Grateful to God

By Maria Kneas
(from her book, Strength for Tough Times, Lighthouse Trails, 2010)

We need to develop the habit of being grateful for who God is and what He has already done for us. It is easy to take things for granted. For example, you are reading this book. Have you thanked God for the fact that you are able to see, and you know how to read?

If we look for things to thank God for, we will find more and more reasons to be grateful. And if we look for things to complain about, we will find more and more reasons to complain.

When the Israelites came out of Egypt and went to the Promised Land, they kept complaining. They got bored with eating manna every day and wanted to eat something more flavorful (with garlic and leeks). So they complained about the miraculous food that God provided. They complained when they had no water. God miraculously supplied water for them, but we have no record that they were grateful for it.

And what was the end of the matter? That generation died in the wilderness because they refused to enter the Promised Land when God told them to. They didn’t trust God to deal with the giants there.

This is an example of how a lack of gratitude can result in a lack of trusting God. And that can lead to a lack of obedience (i.e., rebellion against God).

Compare this with the attitude of King Jehoshaphat. When he and his people were threatened by a huge army, Jehoshaphat prayed:

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. (2 Chronicles 20:12)

And God came through for them. He miraculously delivered them from their enemies.

We can choose to develop the habit of thanking God. We can look for things to thank Him for. We can thank God and praise Him even when we don’t feel like it.

We can deliberately choose to be grateful, and we can ask God to give us a grateful heart. The Apostle Paul exhorted us to have that kind of attitude when he said:

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy were sent to a Nazi concentration camp because their family hid Jews during World War II. Betsy died in that camp, but Corrie was released.1 After the war, Corrie traveled the world, telling people about God’s love. She knew first-hand how difficult life can be, when she said:

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.2

Betsy ten Boom was able to love the Nazis and pray for their salvation even while surrounded by the horrors of a death camp. Instead of seeing the prison guards as being monsters, she saw them as being trapped and tormented. She saw their need for God’s love and forgiveness. She prayed for their salvation, and by her example she led other prisoners to do the same.

Betsy reminds me of Stephen, who was the first Christian martyr. While he was being stoned by an angry mob, he prayed for his persecutors:

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:60)

At first Corrie hated the Nazis, but eventually she was able to forgive them. After the war she heard that Jan Vogel, the man who had betrayed her family, was in prison and was to be executed. She wrote to him, telling him that she forgave him, and telling him about the love of Jesus Christ. Shortly before he was executed, Jan Vogel wrote back to Corrie, telling her that he had become a Christian.

When Corrie was ministering in Germany, a man came up to her after the service. He had been a prison guard in Ravensbruck, the death camp where Betsy died. He held out his hand to Corrie, asking if she forgave him. At first, Corrie was overwhelmed by memories from the prison camp, and she froze. Then she asked God to help her love this man. She forced herself to put out her hand to take his. When they held hands, God’s love flooded Corrie’s heart, and she and her former tormenter embraced one another as fellow children of God.

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5)

Corrie’s love wasn’t strong enough to love that prison guard, but God’s love was. God filled Corrie’s heart with His love for that man, and broke down the barrier between them.

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. (Ephesians 2:14)

(from Strength for Tough Times, Lighthouse Trails, 2010)

Common Sense & The Bible

May 31st, 2011 Posted in Excerpts | Comments Off on Common Sense & The Bible

By Maria Kneas
Author of Strength for Tough Times

We can’t live biblically unless we have confidence that the Bible means what it says, that it is reliable, and that it is credible.

Many problems that people have with Scripture are caused by heeding Scripture “experts” who don’t use common sense. For example, Jesus gave the “Sermon on the Mount” and the “Sermon on the Plain.” Some “experts” consider that to be a contradiction. Was it a mount or a plain?

They have forgotten something. Jesus was a traveling preacher who taught for three years. Therefore, He taught from many mounts and many plains and from ships and from seashores and in houses and from every kind of place that a person could preach from.

Similarly, some people raise questions because Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have different versions of a parable or a teaching. Again, they have forgotten that Jesus was a preacher. And in real life, traveling preachers use the same teachings and illustrations many times, with small variations in how they present them.

Some people are troubled if Matthew, Mark, Luke or John have differences in how they relate something that happened. For example, with the blind beggar Bartimaeus, one of the Gospels mentions two blind men but the others only mention one blind man.

Well, in real life, if you had four people witness an event and write about it, you would have variations in the reports. Different people would focus on different things. So, with the four Gospels, we have four independent eyewitnesses writing of their observations rather than four story tellers comparing notes and copying from one another.

As far as the number of blind men goes, there were many beggars on the roadsides, and some of them were blind. It would not be unusual for a blind beggar like Bartimaeus to have friends who were also blind beggars, and to want to be with his friends. So one account mentions Bartimaeus’ fellow beggar, and the other accounts don’t. There is nothing unusual about that. It’s the kind of thing that often happens in real life.

Another thing that causes problems for some people is differences of writing style in Paul’s letters. In real life, writing style and vocabulary depends on whom we are writing to and on the subject matter. We should expect Paul to write to Gentiles differently than he writes to Jews. We should expect him to write to mature Christians differently than he writes to immature Christians who are having a lot of problems. We should expect him to write to Timothy (a fellow minister who was close to him) differently than he would write to people he hasn’t met.

Think about your own letters and e-mails. Would you write to your boss the same way that you write to your son or your daughter? Would you write to a nonbeliever the same way that you write to your pastor? Would you write about a football game the same way that you write about a research project you are doing at school?

Sometimes Greek verb tenses can cause confusion. For example, 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” So John is saying that we all sin. But later, in 1 John 3:6 he says, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” Now that could be confusing. The problem is the Greek verb tense. 1 John 3:6 is saying that if we abide in Him we do not keep on sinning—it’s not a one-time event but a lifestyle. Any Christian can sin and repent. That is very different from purposefully making a habit of sinning.

Some scholars say that the Sermon on the Mount is a compilation of teachings rather than one sermon. They have forgotten something. We live in a televised world where many people have short attention spans, and many preachers have short sermons. Back in 1858, when Abraham Lincoln debated Stephen Douglas (the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates), each debate lasted for three hours. So people in those days were able to do serious listening for three hours straight.

I did an experiment. I read the entire Sermon on the Mount out loud, at a slow, conversational pace. (It’s the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5 through 7.) It only took 15 minutes. Surely Jesus preached longer than that to people who may have traveled several-days journey to listen to him. He was only going to be with those particular people one time. So He had to get as much truth to them as He could during that one time of preaching.

We know that Jesus and His followers did some lengthy preaching. On one occasion, the Apostle Paul preached all night long, until daybreak (Acts 20:7-12).

Therefore, I would expect that what the Bible gives us from the Sermon on the Mount is only a selection out of many teachings that Jesus gave on that occasion. And the quotations from Jesus that we have may only be the conclusions that He gave following longer teachings about those issues:

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. (John 21:25)

Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount is the result of the Holy Spirit showing Matthew which of the many teachings that Jesus gave should be included in the report, and which statements Jesus made should be quoted. It is also the result of the Holy Spirit enabling Matthew to remember accurately. Jesus promised His disciples:

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

Jesus’ Teachings Made Sense
Matthew 5:38-42 is a good opportunity to use some common sense. Jesus basically told people to be loving and forgiving instead of quarreling and vengeful. For example, He said:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38-39)

First he said, don’t try to get revenge. Then he said to allow someone to slap you on the cheek. Being slapped is unpleasant, but it is a relatively mild degree of pain and hardship. Jesus did not say that Christians should passively allow people to rape their wives and murder their children. He didn’t even tell Christians to passively submit to persecution. He said:

But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another. (Matthew 10:23)

Similarly, Jesus said that if someone sues us for our tunic, we should let them have it, and even our cloak as well (Matthew 5:40). That is just some clothing. Although clothing was more difficult to obtain back in those days than it is now, it was still just clothing. Jesus did not say that we should allow people to take our home and our farm or business, so that we and our family become homeless and destitute. By comparing Scripture with Scripture, we can see that Jesus had a very balanced view of how to live at peace with our fellow man.

Here is another example of interpreting Scripture with Scripture. It also comes from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1)

Some people interpret this as meaning that we should never criticize anything that other people say or do. However, that cannot be the meaning of this passage because later on in the same chapter Jesus said:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (Matthew 7:15-17)

How can we beware of them if we can’t recognize them? How can we warn our friends and family to beware of them if we aren’t allowed to say anything negative about anybody? According to what Jesus said, He expects us to be able to recognize false teachers and to discern the difference between good and bad fruit in a person’s life.

How do we reconcile that with not judging people? According to my study Bible, Jesus warned us against condemning the motives of others because only God knows their hearts and their motives. We cannot condemn people. However, we are expected to be “fruit inspectors” who can tell the difference between people who teach Christian truth and false teachers (Matthew 7:15-20). This is why Paul did not hesitate to name names when it came to identifying those who teach destructive heresy (2 Timothy 2:17). In addition, Jesus commanded us to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

Here is a practical example from real life. If we have reasons to question someone’s morality and their level of responsible behavior, we cannot condemn them because only God knows their heart. However, we should not let them babysit our children. And it would be foolish to become business partners with them.

If we come across a passage in Scripture that doesn’t make sense to us, we can ask God to help us understand it. If we pray, and consider that passage some more, and we still can’t understand it, then we can just set it aside and go on reading. There have been times when a Scripture passage that I didn’t understand before suddenly makes sense. It’s like a light goes on, and I can see it.

Reading Scripture is a lifetime adventure. What we do understand is more than enough to guide us and help us know the Lord better. Let’s use what we can understand and trust God to take care of the rest of it in His own good timing. (From Strength for Tough Times, pp. 35-41)


May 1st, 2011 Posted in Book/DVD Reviews | Comments Off on BOOK REVIEW: STRENGTH FOR TOUGH TIMES

This is a small book but it is full of scriptures, poems, hymns, and essays to encourage us that no matter what the circumstances, God is there and will see us through it. The author herself has been through tough times, watching her husband die and she herself is a cancer survivor who can testify of God’s faithfulness. . .  The book is divided into chapters about trusting God, strength from scripture, common sense and the Bible, blessings in disguise, overcoming obstacles, forgiving, and facing the unexpected. Throughout are black and white photos and illustrations that add even more beauty to the words. It is a book that will bless anyone who is struggling, and will provide life-giving focus on the truth of who God is. It would also be a great gift for someone you know who is going through a tough time.

Untitled Document