My Mission Statement and Declaration of Faith

I am a Christian. Because I am a Christian I seek to honor and glorify God in all that I do, whether it is volunteer work or a paying job, and whether it is my regular day job or my freelance work. God gifted me with my writing talent. For that reason, my mission with my writing is to use what I speak and what I write to point people to Christ. I will do that first, by being the best writer I can be and constantly striving to improve my craft. Talent is what God gave me; craft is how I use it.

I do two types of writing. The first is writing for hire, meaning I write articles and speeches assigned to me by clients. As a freelancer, I have the freedom to accept or decline these jobs. For these, I stay on task and write what my clients’ request, but I also am careful to only accept jobs that do not contradict God’s word or my conscience. I make this choice on a case by case basis.

The second type of writing I do is creative writing of my choosing, mostly non-fiction and soon some fiction. This writing is done on subjects of my choosing, from a point of view of my choosing, and submitted to publishers I have researched carefully before submission. My goal is to build up this type of writing so that it eventually it becomes the greater portion. But, as a freelance writer, I know I have to balance my work so that I can earn a living. This is obviously a work in progress of its own.

Everyone has a conscience and that conscience must come from a foundation of belief. My foundation, as a Christian, is the Word of God. I am a member of The Summit Church in Springfield, OH, which is part of the Church of God International, headquartered in Cleveland, TN.

Here is my declaration of faith:

  • I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
  • I believe in a triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
  • I believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.
  • I believe Jesus came to ministry at age 30, was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead at age 33. (Wow! Look what one man accomplished in only three years)
  • I believe that Jesus ascended to Heaven and sits at the right hand of God as our Intercessor. (That means when the devil tries to tell God about our sins, if we have repented and accepted him as our savior, Jesus says, “Their sins are under my blood and forgiven.”)
  • I believe that according to the Word of God, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That means each and every one of us needs to repent and ask God’s forgiveness.
  • I believe that according to the Word of God, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That means each and every one of us needs to repent and ask God’s forgiveness of our sins.
  • I believe that we are justified and sanctified, and we become born again by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, through the Word of God and the power of the Holy Ghost.
  • I believe that we are to strive to live a Holy life as directed in the Word of God.
  • I believe in the Baptism by the Holy Ghost, subsequent to a clean heart, and in speaking with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gives utterance, which is the initial evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
  • I believe that all who repent should receive water baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
  • I believe in Divine healing, provided for all of us through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
  • I believe in the Lord’s Supper and the washing of Saint’s feet.
  • I believe in the Premillennial Second Coming of Jesus Christ. First to the resurrection of the righteous dead and the catching away of the living Saints to meet Jesus in the air. Second for us to reign with Jesus on Earth for a thousand years.
  • I believe in bodily resurrection with eternal life for the righteous, and eternal punishment for the wicked.
  • I also believe we are in the last days, based upon all the wickedness that is increasing in our world every day.
  • God has been my rock, my fortress, my provider and my protector since I was a seven-year-old child. He raised me from childhood to adulthood. He has cared for me, comforted me, and loved me every day through all the good and the bad.

If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, please seek him out. Read his Word, seek out a good church, ask Christians around you to tell you their testimony. And please feel free to ask me questions. I do my best to live by these principles and I freely tell anyone who will listen about my Savior, my Best Friend, and my Big Brother.

 

Daughters of the King

Daughters of the King By Mina R Raulston 7/11/2016

I first came to know Jesus as a little girl going to church with my parents. When my mother’s mental illness caused my parents to leave church and God when I was eight years old, I refused to leave. Through the years God has always provided me a means to attend church and continue to grow in my relationship with him. My childhood was very unhappy due to my mother’s mental illness and affected how she treated me for the rest of my life. That drove me to seek out God even more and I began studying his word as soon as I was able to read his word even though it took many years for me to understand much of it.

I spent many years being made fun of and ridiculed for a variety of reasons from my physical appearance to my intelligence to my personality. My mother taught me to fear men and distrust everyone. As hard as I tried to ignore her teaching, some of her lessons managed to embed themselves in my being and I reached adulthood with very low self-esteem, strong insecurity, and few social skills. By the time I was 19 all my friends were either married, in college and or in the military, and I was stuck at home in a part-time job. Despite my attempts to overcome the loneliness, I was not successful.

As a little girl, one of my earliest prayers to God were for a godly husband and a godly home since my family had turned from God.  When I met my husband in church and married a few months later I thought that my prayer had been answered. Over the next 14 years, I learned just how wrong I was. I finally had to face the fact my marriage was abusive and my husband had deceived me from the very beginning. I divorced and tried to begin building a new life for me and my children.

For the next four years I was a post-traumatic mess, suffering from panic attacks, hypervigilance, terror, confusion, loneliness, and isolation. At the end of that time, I was finally able to receive God’s healing and deliverance. I began writing, first about domestic violence and over time about a variety of subjects until I self-published my first book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims. This book explained the facts about domestic violence and how to help those trapped in it. In addition, I speak to interested groups on the subject of domestic violence.

Currently, I am writing a companion book, Roadmap to Healing. In this book, I explain chapter by chapter how survivors can move beyond initial escape and survival to find total healing and deliverance through Jesus Christ. Only then can they truly build a brand new life founded on the salvation, healing and deliverance of Jesus and built with the guidance of the Word of God. Too many survivors repeat the cycle of violence, or if they remain free they live as one who remains broken. God doesn’t intend his children to remain broken when he offers healing and deliverance.

Healing and deliverance are a process, not an event. While I am writing and promoting this second book I will be posting blog entries related to the process of healing.

The first important lesson is for each survivor to know who they are in Christ. Check out the next blog entry for that lesson.

Silence in the Dark book review

Silence in the Dark, by Patricia Bradley, Book Review by Mina R Raulston

Bailey Adams is good at running away from her problems. She’s done it before. Two years ago she ran from home to Mexico but now she is running from Mexico back home. She’s not happy about it, but her safety demands it. Since she’s going in the right direction she agrees to take a friend’s niece to her grandparents’ as well. Then she runs into her the man she loved, followed soon after by being chased at gunpoint by desperate men. Literally running for her life and the life of the child with her, Bailey has to depend on him to get them all safely home.

Stick close to Bailey and Danny as they run, hide, and run some more as they struggle to find their way home. Who can they trust? Who is behind this attack against them and why? The pace in this novel is hard pounding and fast moving. It will keep you on your toes and hold you in place so you don’t miss a beat of their flight from danger. This 4th book in the Logan series will not disappoint readers. Patricia Bradley knows how to hold her readers’ attention from page 1 to the last page.

Anchor in the Storm Book Review

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin – Book Review by Mina R Raulston

Lillian Avery, Ensign Jim Avery’s sister, goes to New York City to prove herself as a woman pharmacist, one with a physical disability. Ensign Arch Vandenberg, Jim’s best friend, much prefers time with his “average” friends than his wealthy family, especially after his recent sea battle that has his nerves rattled. In the midst of increasing danger as WWII escalates, follow Lillian and Arch as they search God’s will for their lives and for their future.

Anchor in the Storm, wonderfully written and historically accurate, Sarah Sundin once again tells a story of wartime dangers mixed with wartime romance. Her attention to detail woven within a fictional tale keeps readers captive until the very last word. Follow them on their journey while they sort through their fears and doubts and navigate the rough waters of relationships with family, friends and loved ones. Exciting story from beginning to end. I couldn’t put it down. Sarah Sundin is a master story teller and an expert on WWII.

Why I Write

Whether it is a book fair, author fair, a writers’ conference or any event where there are authors and an audience, there is one question that is always asked is, “Why do you write?” or “What got you started writing?”. Usually, this is asked by people who, deep down, would love to be writers. They just don’t know how to get started.

Some authors say they just always knew they were a writer, from the time they learned how to put pencil to page as a child. Some authors say it began due to one defining experience in their life. As for me, becoming an author has been a journey. Growing up, I was always talented in both reading and writing. But, I knew no creative outlet for it.

After my divorce in 1989, I began journaling for my own peace of mind. After God healed and delivered me about four years later I began studying God’s word, that led to writing essays, then Bible studies, followed by the church newsletter and then newspaper articles.

Over the years, I have written for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Then, I took the very long journey to self-publish my first book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims. Today I continue to write for all these opportunities and I write speeches, teach writing classes and speak at writers’ conferences. But, this is only the how.

The writing talent is a gift from God, my creator. When God created me in my mother’s womb he created within me the gift communicating, the gift of putting words together in a way that expresses information and feelings to all who will read and listen to those words.

After I received God’s healing and deliverance after my divorce I asked God two things. First, I prayed that God would show me what He did in me so that I could help someone else come to healing. Second, I asked God to let me do with words what my artist friends did with paint and canvas. God showed me two amazing visions of what he did in me and I share it whenever I share my testimony of healing and deliverance.

So, why do I write? I write to inform people. I write to encourage people. But, most importantly, I write to give glory to the God who created me, saved me, healed me, delivered me and restored me to him after the most painful period in my life. I write to give glory to the God who provided for me, protected me and helped me care for my family and raise my children to love God and who are now raising my grandchildren to love God.

To God be the Glory for all that I am and may ever become. May His will be done.

 

Intolerance Part 2

Hating the Sin, Loving the Sinner

By Mina R Raulston 2/7/16

In a continuing discussion of tolerance, I’d like to look at the subject of hating the sin, while loving the sinner. Whenever a Christian speaks out about any belief or behavior that contradicts the Word of God, society immediately accuses Christians of being haters. It doesn’t help much that some people, claiming to be Christians, commit acts of violence against those they have judged.

While the Word of God says we must speak out about sin, it doesn’t say we are to execute vigilante justice such as setting fires or bombing the facilities of groups whose ideals they don’t share. Peter and Paul, the leaders of the early church, spoke in public, in private, before common people, and the leaders of the nations of their day. They did not go in carrying military weapons. They wore the full armor of God and their weapon was the Word of God. Did they win earthly rank and position? No, they spent a lot of time in prison and experienced torture and eventual execution for their faith. But, they were responsible for building a religion that has grown worldwide since the days of Christ on Earth.

People around the world today are being persecuted and executed for their faith. Here in what used to be the largest Christian nation on Earth, many have waxed cold and turned from their faith. Others have compromised their beliefs to “fit in” with the world. The Bible teaches we are to be in the world, not of it.

Instead of complaining that, “they won’t let us……” why don’t we simply take a stand and insist on our constitutional right of Freedom of Religion. If others ignore us, that is their choice. If others revile us and persecute us, then we are in good company with Jesus, Peter, Paul and others in the Bible. We might be surprised at the people who gained courage from our stand and decided to take their own stand.

We don’t have to bully people. We don’t have to attack them for believing differently than we believe. What we can do is live out our faith. What we can do is utilize our Freedom of Speech to state our position in a peaceful manner. Even if we form a public gathering to state our differing beliefs we can do so in a peaceful manner. What we should not do is bomb abortion clinics and attack those who believe differently than us. The way to spread the Word of God is not to shove it down people’s throats with hate, judgment and physical attacks. It is to speak it out and to try, as much as is possible, to live peaceably with others. And, just to be clear, I am not speaking about military action here. That is a totally different discussion. And, there is nothing wrong with arming ourselves in self- defense. I firmly believe in our right to bear arms. What I’m saying is that we should not seek to aggressively destroy those who believe differently from us.

The Bible said the world would know we are Christians by our love, not by our aggression. Whether you write about your love of God, sing songs of praise, preach on the street corner, or simply insist on saying grace for your meal in a public place, I challenge you to stir up the fire of your faith and your hunger for God this year. Take a stand in your own individual way so that those around you know that you are a Christian. By living your faith rather than attacking those who are different, you can present an opening for a conversation about your faith, rather than setting up a war zone.

Intolerance – Part I

Every day in the news we see reports of Christians around the world who are taunted, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered because of their profession of faith in Jesus Christ, the son of God. Here is the United States we tolerate insults and discrimination and are told we are narrow-minded and haters if we strictly adhere to Biblical teachings. If we even state our beliefs without any commentary on opposing beliefs we are labeled intolerant.

Maybe we should look at the actual definition of the word intolerant. Dictionary.com gives a definition as “the allowance or sufferance of conduct with which one is not in accord.” That means you accept conduct you disapprove of or disagree with.

But, it seems society is taking this a step further, though. They are not satisfied for Christians to simply tolerate beliefs and behaviors with which we are not in accord. They want us to actually agree with them and celebrate beliefs and behaviors that contradict our beliefs which are founded on the Word of God. They want us to participate in their PRIDE parades, they want us to help pay for medical procedures such as abortion and gender reassignment willingly through our health insurance plans.

President Obama claims to be a Christian, yet he openly supports same-sex marriage, lit up the White House in the rainbow colors of the gay movement, and supports abortion and many other beliefs and behaviors that contradict the Christian foundation of this nation. He even stated in his first inaugural speech that the United States is no longer a Christian nation, but a global nation. Christians are under great pressure to bow to society and dilute our Christian beliefs. The Bible says we are to be in the world but not of the world.

What would Jesus think of his followers taking tolerance to the extreme of celebrating with those who flaunt their sin and disobedience in the face of God? How would the Apostles Peter and Paul react to a world that tried to silence their teachings about how to live the Christian life? Would they be silent so as not to rock the boat? Would they compromise their stand on what sin and repentance to be able to fit in and retain fellowship with those who openly disobey God?

We know we are in the last days. We know that the end times are upon us. We must be vigilant and speak out wisely about what the Word of God says about standing up for Christ. In the book of Revelation, Jesus states that he would rather we were hot or cold. He says that if we are lukewarm he will spew us out of his mouth.

We need to pray diligently (I say this first to myself and then to others). But, then we must take a stand for the Word of God. Only then will we be able to stand before God on the Day of Judgment and know that we are his children, washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.

Where do you stand on tolerance in this last day’s world that we live in?