"A BITTER DISEASE CALLED UNFORGIVENESS"
Looking back on my life I was labeled as a dreamer. While my siblings were outside playing, I would be inside daydreaming. What’s so ironic about my daydreaming is that I would visualize myself in large settings, speaking and preaching to others. Feeling as though nothing of this magnitude could ever happen to a little country girl coming out of the fields of Marianna, Arkansas, when those thoughts occurred, I would say to myself, “ JoAnne, get a grip; it is only a dream.” I felt this couldn't be reality because of a speech impediment.
I realize now that these were visions that strictly came from God. Some have come to pass and some are still in the making. This is why we should try to encourage our young people to “hold on to their dreams.” Only God will give us pure and holy thoughts. Evil thoughts comes from the enemy (the devil).
Through prayer over the years, God has granted me every thing that I’ve asked for. My siblings and I were taught to get on our knees and pray. Many of us have not ceased to pray this way. For some reason we believe this is where our strength lies and the teaching has always been honored by faith and loyalty. So many of our children in this day and time do not know how to pray. This is only because they have not been taught. It breaks my heart that so many do not even know the Lord’s Prayer.
There are many things that disturbs my spirit, such as; those that are mistreated. Specifically, our children and elderly who are meek, humble and helpless. It is devastating to hear or see anyone being abused, neglected, rejected, belittled, discredited or mocked. I know, without a doubt that God is not pleased with these actions and judgment will come to those that wrong others.
I believe God has allowed me to write this book because of so much bitterness, unforgiveness, animosity, jealousy, hatred and cruelty in people. My heart aches for what is happening in this world and how people are allowing the enemy to use them. What's so ironic about their actions is that they are saying they love the Lord. If we truly love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength we wouldn’t mistreat others.
We seem to forget that there is a heaven and hell. Time is truly coming to an end for each and every one of us, yet God is giving us room to repent. The Bible says, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It is not too late to turn your life over to Christ. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
I pray this book will be a blessing to you and your family…
JoAnne Smith Hooks
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