Brain Freeze!

Something absolutely worth considering for a while…….

 

In the crucifixion of Jesus, the Jews who set him up to be executed by the Romans, did so in hopes of finally putting an end to this new ‘sect’ (as they called it.) But in the cosmic paradox of the Kingdom of God, Jesus goes along willingly knowing that this is the very principle act necessary in order to initiate and inaugurate this new sect into existence!

 

What a blessed hope that gives to any and everyone who has ever suffered persecution for the sake being a follower of Christ, in Spirit and truth.

 

 

Trust Jesus!

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Meet the Author: Raymond Mowla

the-authorEssence Publishing

Meet Our Authors: Raymond Mowla
DECEMBER 1, 2016 · PUBLIC
Author of Broken Hearted Joy

 

In your own words, please describe your book to our readers. My book Broken Hearted Joy is a testimony of the life journey I traveled to come to profess my faith in the true and living God. It is conveyed almost like an inner dialogue expressing my deepest thoughts, fears, insecurities and struggles, so that I might connect with my readers on a very real and intimate level to point them to the place where I finally found the answers to some of life’s most challenging questions that I’m sure many people battle with answering daily. It is suggested to anyone from 16-65 years old. I hoped to bring clarity to every reader to show that – not only is there a God – but that He is intimately at work in all of our lives every single day in ways that we commonly overlook when we do not have an understanding of His ways. In my journey, and through my life’s experience, I have come to learn that the Holy Bible is trustworthy, but also, the very living and active Word of God even still today, and that God loves us with an unfailing love beyond what we can even begin to comprehend.

 

Tell us about your life outside of writing. This book may be the only publication that I ever write. I say that only because it took a 30 year journey to compile the life experience materials coupled with the persistent longing and desire for answers to even have something that I felt was both relevant and worthy of publishing to share with others. Now that I’ve finally got it out, I can get back to everyday common life of enjoying good food, meeting new and interesting people and sharing experiences, and thinking up ways to serve my community. I love playing pool, listening to good music, anything adventurous but uncommon, and seeing the world through renewed eyes.

 

When and why did you begin writing? I’ve been an undercover poet since I was in my early teens. One of my first pieces of writing I remember was a eulogy for my deceased hamster “sleepy” in grade four. He passed away during summer break just two weeks before I was supposed to return to school. It was the first loss of a pet and affected me deeply enough to feel the need to say something about it all.

 

Tell us about what inspired you to write this book. This book is a direct result of God inspired purpose for my life. It was His doing, and every detail of it belongs to His foreknowledge. I am simply honored to be the vessel in which He chose to convey it.

 

How did you come up with the title Broken Hearted Joy? Broken Hearted Joy captures the very paradoxical answer to all my life’s searching portrayed in the book. It was the principle revelation that help me to begin to understand the ways of God.

 

What challenges did you encounter in the writing process? This book is one that speaks openly and candidly about some of my most intimate struggles that even at the age of 33, now that it has been published, will shock many of the people that walked we me as friends and family for the first 30 years of my life. It was difficult to share things that I knew they had never known about me, but I trust that the good it will serve for will far outweigh any superficial insecurities that I may have wanted to hold onto in trying to keep these things a secret and living a duplicitous life.

 

How do you get through/avoid writers block? Speak only the truth – Think clearly regarding all aspects of your topic so that your judgments will be sound and truly reflect a properly weighed opinion. I’m not a fan of creative writing that is simply creative for the purpose of being creative. I respect creativity when it is used to serve a purpose for the edification, inspiration, or betterment of others.

 

What kind of research was involved before/during your writing process? 30 years of first hand life experiences.

 

What is the most difficult kind of scenario for you to write? What, if any, subjects would you never write about as an author? Fiction for the sake of fiction. Superfluous ideas and thoughts that serve no purpose or good.

 

Truman Capote would only write while lying down. Vladimir Nabokov insisted on writing his works on index cards. What would you say is your most interesting writing habit? I’m not sure that I have any writing habits while writing. At least not any that I observed in myself or that readily come to mind.

 

What are you currently working on? Do you have plans for future books? The encouragement to write again has certainly been there, but I don’t personally have any immediate plans for another book just yet.

 

What advice do you have for first-time authors? Just like getting a tattoo, think long and hard first, and then write about something that you will still respect 25 years from now when you’re married and have children of your own.

 

Talk about your favorite author, and what it is that really strikes you about their work. The Apostle Paul who penned the majority of the New Testament spoke, wrote and lived with such courage and integrity in faith of what he believed. His inspiration was directly attributed and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. I know of nothing attributed to him prior to his experience in meeting the risen Lord Jesus. I suppose that after so many years of seeing what my life looked like apart from God, I too can only give appropriate credit to the Holy Spirit. He is clearly the person due any credit for making anything of the lives of mere men.

 

Talk about authors that have grasped your interest. C.S Lewis book, from his children’s writing – right to his more scholarly pieces – are always a good read.

 

Do you have any writers that you consider to be your mentors? Who and why? I sense that we glean importance from the words we read and hear from others all throughout our lives that ultimately help to form our world views and understanding when interpreting life. I suppose no one that I have met to date would be worthy to be without mention here.

 

Tell us about the books that have influenced your life most. The Holy Bible has thoroughly – and most absolutely – changed my life forever.

 

Describe the book you are currently reading. I decided to live a little before jumping into any new books right now.

 

What has the reaction been like to your book(s)? I continue to have a welcoming reception to the book among friends, family and even strangers. I suppose that most people would be very shocked when at 33 years old you announce that you’ve published a book when you have had no previous mention of writing all your life nor experience in the field. That has been quite the shocker for most – including me.

 

What advice do you have regarding how to deal with negative reviews? Even as someone who hasn’t received one yet in this particular area of life, there are many other areas of life where the same wisdom will apply. Thank everyone for their feedback, sincerely, whether good or bad. Consider all that is said from a place of honesty so that you might grow as a writer and a person. And be sure to forgive and let go of the rest.

 

What has been the most exciting part of your publishing experience?What part did you enjoy the least? Working with the editors and staff at Essence Publishing was such an honor and a blessing. They were so helpful, considerate, kind, encouraging, and wise. I learned so much from them and about them through this entire process.

 

What is your best marketing tip? Which social networks do you find easiest to use for marketing? Which do you get the most response from? If you write something worthy of sharing with others, people will be your best marketing tool. A recommendation from a trusted friend carries much more weight than all the pop-up ad’s, billboard signs, and commercial interruptions joined together.

 

Tell us about your experience working with Essence Publishing. Everyone at Essence Publishing made this entire process a breeze, but more than that, they reflected true integrity and Christ-like love and servitude to help me to make this dream a reality. I especially felt encouraged in all my conversations with Sherrill in our correspondence and enjoyed the feeling of “laboring for the Gospel” alongside Timothy, my faithful editor.

 

List any resources that readers can use to discover more about you and/or your work. I love getting to know new people so feel free to drop me an email at mowla.raymond@gmail.com if you have any questions or comments.

 

 

Purchase your copy of Broken Hearted Joy on the Essence Bookstore.

 

Or get it on Amazon

 

 

 

 

Identity: Sinner or Saint?

IDENTITY: SINNER TRYING TO BE A SAINT?
OR SAINT WHO SOMETIMES SINS?

I met a man yesterday on my way to work who identified himself as a Christian. So I decided to give him a pocket Bible as a gift that he could read during his travels. He accepted. I also informed him of this months study in Proverbs. Excitedly he flipped over to that page and began reading as he walked away.

A few minutes later he came back and handed me the Bible and said, “sorry, this is for righteous people, not me”….

———

Sadly, I think this is the same sentiment that many people hold who only read Proverbs and Psalms their whole life and never get to the New Testament epistles to understand the Gospel and their salvation and acceptance in Christ.

———

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, *not counting people’s sins against them*. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19

———-

The Word of God is only ever understood through the lens of the Gospel, because only then is the veil removed from our eyes so we begin to see the only true life found in Jesus Christ our Savior.

When we only view God’s Word as a rule book, it’s very easy to see how we all fall short of His standard, because that is the intention of the law – but for the expressed purposes of pointing us to our need for a Savior, and showing us how Jesus Christ IS that Savior!

Contrastly, Proverbs contains wisdom for daily living out our new life in Christ.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes a letter to one of the most morally corrupt churches in the New Testament. In his letter, he addresses the believers in Christ as “Saints” – and such we are!

Saints aren’t people who have it all perfectly together. Our right standing is on account of what Jesus Christ alone has done. We are the children of God simply enjoying the benefit of that blessing now bestowed, and the fellowship of knowing our Creator.

The proof is our new inborn Holy affections and desire for righteousness by the new birth in the Spirit.

———-

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21

———

So if the Word of God brings conviction to your heart in recognition of your sin as you read through this study, don’t let that cause you to shy away; but instead, remember:

———

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves such as are of a contrite spirit.
Psalm 34:18

You have access to the power that changes from within!

God bless us with a deeper understanding of our identity in Christ, and with wisdom to direct our every step of this life here right into eternity.

———

Proverbs 11

The Lord detests dishonest scales,

    but accurate weights find favor with him.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.

The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
   but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
   but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

Hopes placed in mortals die with them;

    all the promise of their power comes to nothing.

The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
    and it falls on the wicked instead.

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
    but through knowledge the righteous escape.

When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
    when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
    but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

A gossip betrays a confidence,
    but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

For lack of guidance a nation falls,
    but victory is won through many advisers.

Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
    but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

A kind hearted woman gains honor,
    but ruthless men gain only wealth.

Those who are kind benefit themselves,
    but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
    but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

Truly the righteous attain life,
    but whoever pursues evil finds death.

The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
    but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
    but those who are righteous will go free.

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

A generous person will prosper;
    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

People curse the one who hoards grain,
    but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.

Whoever seeks good finds favor,
    but evil comes to one who searches for it.

Those who trust in their riches will fall,
    but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and the one who is wise saves lives.

If the righteous receive their due on earth,
    how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

Trust ♔ Jesus!

From Knowledge to Experience

knowledge-experience-creativity

In Scripture, there is a significant difference between the Hebrew word used for the sort of knowledge that God desires that we have of Him, and the way we think of knowledge in its modern usage.

——-

Example:
It is possible to ‘know’ that the earth is 24901 miles in circumference.

 

This is intellectual knowledge.

 

But this is not the sort of way that God wants us to ‘know’ Him.

 

God desires that we know Him in an experiential way, and all Scripture reading is intended to lead us into a deeper experiential knowledge of who God is so that we can experience His presence more and more in everyday life amidst every situation and circumstance.

 

Growing up, I often heard people use the saying “Knowledge is Power”

 

But I would argue that if we interpret the saying to mean ‘intellectual knowledge’ alone that never matures into an experiential knowledge, then it would be appropriate to conclude, that we really are still powerless and know nothing at all.

 

Proverbs 13

A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
    but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
    but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
    but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

The righteous hate what is false,
    but the wicked make themselves a stench
    and bring shame on themselves.

Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
    but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

A person’s riches may ransom their life,
    but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.

The light of the righteous shines brightly,
    but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

Where there is strife, there is pride,
    but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Dishonest money dwindles away,
    but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
    but whoever respects a command is rewarded.

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.

Good judgment wins favor,
    but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.

All who are prudent act with knowledge,
    but fools expose their folly.

A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
    but whoever heeds correction is honored.

A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but fools detest turning from evil.

Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Trouble pursues the sinner,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
    but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
    but injustice sweeps it away.

Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
    but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

 

Trust Jesus!