"For skillful and godly Wisdom is better than rubies or pearls,
and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared with it." Proverbs 8:11 Amplified

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dream Enemies

Are we our own worst enemy when it comes to our dreams?

Do we sabotage ourselves with thoughts like these: I’m too young, I don’t have an education, I’m a woman, I’m too old, I’m afraid, I’m not rich, I’m too fat, I was born on the wrong side of the tracks, I was told I would never amount to anything.

Walking towards our dream is like walking on thin ice, we are sure any minute it is going to give way and we will drown.

Staying where we are is easier than stepping into the unknown. The comfort zone is so comfortable.

What might happen if we turned from the comfort zone and entered the twilight zone?

Our dream just might come true but we will never know unless we take the risk.

One of my favorite risk takers is Susan Boyle. When she stepped on the stage for the Britain’s Got Talent Show the audience snickered.

She was judged before she opened her mouth. If she would have quit before performing, the world would have suffered a great loss.

This is a link to Susan singing "I Dreamed a Dream"

Susan Boyle became a symbol of personal heroism for all those who are stuck in their comfort zone.

This woman who dreamed a dream sold fourteen million albums in fourteen months. If she can dare to dream, so can you and I.

I will be sixty-five-years-old in a few months, it would be easy to use the age card but each time I hear Susan Boyle sing it gives me the courage to pursue my dream.

I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  Jeremiah 29:11 Message

What thoughts are keeping you from stepping onto the stage of your destiny?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Tomb is Empty

The tomb is empty and my heart is full.

Jesus, you have changed my life, I give you all of me.

Take this broken, humbled person, who desires to give back some of what you have bestowed on me, and hold me in your nail pierced arms. Let me lay my head on your shoulder and breathe in your fragrance, the fragrance of a life poured out for my sins.

My tears dampen your tunic and you wipe them away with your gentle touch. You whisper to me, “I love you my daughter,” my tears come harder. All the longings of my life: acceptance, purpose, forgiveness, love are wrapped up in you.

Death could not hold you in the grave. I sing hallelujah to the King of kings and my Lord.
The one and only, the great

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In Need of Resurrection

Day seven of Passion Week
While the apostles struggled with their grief the chief priests and Pharisees were experiencing fear. They went to Pilate with a request to have the tomb guarded. They were fearful that the disciples of Jesus would come and remove the body. They remembered that Jesus had said in three days He would rise.
Pilate was done with these people. He suggested they find their own guards.
They sealed the tomb and set guards to watch.

Those who loved and served with Jesus were devastated that He was gone. Perhaps they met together to remember all that had happened while they walked with Jesus and what had happened in Jerusalem the day before, the horror of the beating and the crucifixion. Perhaps each one of the apostles was closed up in their own home grieving alone.

Scripture says nothing about this day except for the sealing of the tomb.

It is as if the earth is holding its breath…

Resurrection by Nicol Sponberg

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Day of Crucifixion

Day six of Passion Week


1 A.M. In the Garden of Gethsemane – Jesus asked if possible that the cup of suffering could be removed
from Him. But He submitted Himself to the will of His Father. His apostles slept while he agonized.

2 A.M. When Jesus returned from his prayers for the third time and found his apostles asleep once again he told them to sleep. Lifting his eyes he was the lights of the crowd that had come to take him away.

3 A.M. The crowd approached Jesus. Judas stepped forward and threw his arms around Jesus and kissed him on the cheek. Jesus said to him, “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”
Since the soldiers were looking only for Him, Jesus asked that the others be allowed to leave.
Peter, desiring to do something, picked up a sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus told him to put the sword away, he touched the servant’s ear and healed him.
Jesus was taken to Ciaphas.

4 A.M. Jesus was brought to Annas. John and Peter were in the courtyard, three times Peter denied Jesus and three times the rooster crowed. Peter left and wept.
Jesus is returned to Ciaphas for a trial that broke the law saying a trial could not be held while the sky was dark.
Jesus was tired, he had been awake for almost 24 hours. He said nothing in His own defense.
In frustration Ciaphas asked, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus’ answer condemned himself.
Caiphas shouted, “He has blasphemed.” The judges declared their verdict. “He is liable to the penalty of death.”
Some of the judges spat in his face and some hit Jesus with their fists.

5 A.M. The guards took part in the torture of Jesus, slapping and punching Him.
Jesus is taken to the temple for sentencing

6 A.M. At the meeting of the elders the charges are read, the roll call is taken and all proclaimed, “He is guilty! Death.”

7 A.M. Judas appears before the court of Priests and declares, “It was wrong for me to betray innocent blood.” He threw the coins on the floor, then ran away and hung himself. The branch he hung on broke casting him to the jagged rocks below.
Caiphas is at the Fortress Antonia asking to see the Procurator about Jesus.

8 A.M. Jesus arrives at Antonia. He stands before Pilate. After questioning him Pilate finds no guilt in him. When the priests mention that Jesus is from Galilee Pilate sends Him to Herod, Tetrarch of Galilee.

9 A.M. Jesus is taken to Herod. Herod is disgusted that he cannot get Jesus to perform miracles for him and his friends. Jesus is sent back to Pilate.

10 A.M. The crowd shouts for Barabbas’ release and for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate orders Jesus to be scourged.

11 A.M. The crowds would not allow Pilate to free Jesus. Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd and told them he would not be responsible for this man’s death. He turned Jesus over to be crucified.
Jesus is unable to carry his cross because of the beating he has received. Simon of Cyrene is ordered to carry the cross.

12 Noon Jesus and the two thieves reach Golgotha. They are nailed to the crosses. The sky begins to darken.

1 P.M. One of the garments belonging to Jesus is a garment made without seams, it is valuable. Lots are cast for it.
Jesus looks up to heaven and cries loudly, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” He was asking forgiveness not just for those who crucified him but for all of the world. Jesus has been without food and water now for 14 hours.

2 P.M. The final hour. Darkness still covered the land. Jesus nearing the end cried out, “Eli Eli! Lema sabachthani!” (My God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me!”)
“I thirst!” Jesus called out. A soldier stuck a sponge, dipped in vinegar, on the end of his spear and lifted it to the lips of Jesus.

3 P.M. Jesus lifted himself one last time and spoke, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” His final cry was, “It is finished!” His body sagged.
The earth quaked and the veil in the temple was rent in two from top to bottom. Graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints arose.
The guards were hastening the deaths of the men and came to break their legs. Jesus was already dead, a soldier pierced his side with a sword.
Joseph of Arimathia went to Pilate to request the body of Jesus so that he might bury him in his tomb. Nicodemus helped Joseph with the burial preparations.

4 P.M. The body of Jesus rested in the tomb. The men rolled the stone over the opening.

The work was done. Each of the grievers returned to their homes, the Sabbath was about to begin.

This day was lived to its completion for you and me.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 NAS


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Preparing to Wait

Day five of Passion Week
Passover day dawns and Jesus’ disciples are asking where they are to prepare and celebrate the Passover meal. Following his directions they find the place and begin the preparations. A celebration meal but the mood is somber.

When the full moon of the evening appeared Jesus sat with His disciples.

A servant came to Jesus with a pitcher and basin to wash his hands and a strange thing happened. Jesus took the basin and the water and wrapped the towel around his waist and went to each disciple to wash their feet.

He took the most humble position to show them what was expected of them. Strange things were happening this night.

The atmosphere changed when Jesus stated that one of them would betray him. They asked “is it I.” How sad they still had doubts but would I have done any better?

Jesus whispered to John that it was the one to whom he would give the morsel after dipping it. It was given to Judas Iscariot. Judas left the gathering after this revelation.

At the end of the supper Jesus took bread and wine and with words and actions He instituted the Lord ’s Supper, Holy Communion.

This was a departure from the Passover ritual.

Jesus waited until Judas was gone to institute this new sacrament. It could not be defiled by a sinner.

It was almost midnight when they left the room where they celebrated the Passover. Jesus spoke with his disciples as they slowly walked to the Mount of Olives. He continued His teaching when they arrived in the garden.

Jesus spoke to his apostles for hours trying to fill them with what they would need to know to carry them through the next few days. Were they fearful, Jesus said he was going to be put to death, would they be also? What did all the words He spoke to them mean? They would have a fuller understanding in a few days.

At about 1 a.m. he finished with several prayers and then asked Peter, James and John to follow him.

Jesus had completed everything. The preaching and teaching were over, the miracles over.

Now it was time to wait.

As I have been writing during this Passion Week I am sobered by the process of my deliverance. Doesn’t it seem like God could have come up with an easier plan of redemption, one that didn’t involve the suffering and death of His Son?
He made it easy for me; all I had to do was accept that Christ took the punishment of my confessed sins and turn my life over to Him.
Jesus’ part in this plan was total relinquishment of His will to His Father’s.
Daily He asks you and I to do the same.

His end was my new beginning.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Love and Betrayal

Day 4 of Passion Week

Passover, the reminder to the Israelites of their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. On that day each Israelite family killed a lamb and placed the blood on the door posts and lintel so that the death angel would pass over them and not slay their first born.

Now Jesus was one day away from His final Passover celebration on earth. He would change the world forever in a few days.

On this Wednesday He spent time at the home of Simon the leper having dinner with his friends. A woman entered the room carrying a box made of alabaster. She broke the box and poured the contents of spikenard on Jesus’ head. The room was filled with the fragrance. Did the conversation stop? Some were indignant that this costly perfume was wasted. Jesus, touched by her actions, rebuked them. He let all those in attendance know this was in preparation for His burial. What she did would not be forgotten but included in the preaching of the gospel.

A small thing, this anointing? Maybe to some, but to Jesus it was an act of love.

While this loving act was being talked about another act was about to take place.

Judas Iscariot was walking into his destiny. A destiny of betrayal.  

The chief priests were excited to have this disciple, one of the chosen twelve, coming to them with a plan to turn Jesus over to them. They gladly accepted and agreed on a payment of thirty pieces of silver.

As Jesus was being pressed to be seen by certain Greeks He spoke again about dying.

“Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24

He was beginning to feel the weight of what was to come and He cried out:
“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?
Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” John 12:27

His hour was very close at hand.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

So Little Time...

Day three of Passion Week

A few days left. So much to do… so little time…

Jesus once again resorted to speaking in parables to teach his followers. Stories are easy to remember and remembering was important because He would no longer be with them.

Religious leaders came at Him, one group after another asking Him questions, trying to trap him so they might be able to condemn Him. But being who He was His answers amazed them so much that they quit asking the questions.

His words were meant to shake up the religious and they hit its mark. The leaders were furious with Him and their talk of finding a way to have Him executed became desperate.

Encouraging His disciples to be always prepared and to use the gifts that had been given to them came through in stories that showed the consequences if they ignored His warnings.

With the pressing weight of His death He took time to notice a woman and drew His disciples’ attention to her. They would have certainly overlooked her; she was a poor widow, why would she garner their consideration. As she dropped her two mites into the treasury Jesus spoke some powerful words about what she had done, “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury; …but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Her head hung low as she dropped in all she had, wishing she had more to give to her God. Jesus was smiling, He knew her heart; He knew His Father would take care of her. She would not go without.

We don’t know how old she was, what color eyes she had or even her name, all we know is that she was a widow who gave all she had to show her love to God.

She was demonstrating what Jesus would walk out in a few days.
He would give all He had to show His love for His Father and for all of sinful mankind.

"As you know, the Passover celebration begins in two days, and I shall be betrayed and crucified."
Matthew 26:2

Monday, April 18, 2011

Purity, Prayer, Power and Praise

Day 2 of Passion Week

Each day of this week Jesus draws closer to the agony, and the glory, His Father has sent Him to.

Knowing there are only days left to your life what do you do with the remaining hours?

Jesus has spent two and half years pouring into his disciples preparing them for the time when he would no longer be with them.

He showed them how to live in victory and now he would show them the ultimate victory of life over death for eternity. This was why he came, to redeem man back from the sin committed in the Garden of Eden.

On this day when Jesus entered the temple area His fervor for the House of God erupted in a fiery anger at what He saw. The area was filled with money changers and merchants. The Passover celebration meant big business to them. What Jesus saw was a blasphemy of what the temple was meant to be.

When they arrived back to Jerusalem he went to the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers, and knocked over the tables of the moneychangers and the stalls of those selling doves, and stopped everyone from bringing in loads of merchandise.
He told them, "It is written in the Scriptures, 'My Temple is to be a place of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of robbers." Mark 11:15-17 TLB

Those who came to the temple to celebrate the Passover were robbed by these merchants when they were charged exorbitant prices for animals for the necessary sacrifices and when they were cheated on the exchange rate of their international currency for temple coins. How can a person worship with a pure heart after this kind of treatment at the “house of God?”

The holiness of the temple and the Passover celebration were defiled by the deceitful practices of the sellers. Jesus was desperate to bring purity, prayer, power and praise back to the house of God, even using violence to reestablish it.

God yearns for us to examine our personal temples and plant the seeds of purity, prayer, power and praise so that our temples may once again be a dwelling place for Him.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Ps. 51:10 NIV

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Woo Hoo Here He Comes

Day 40 of 40 days of Lenten Posts - Day 1 of Passion Week Posts
Today begins Passion Week, Jesus’ final week on earth as God-man, by the end of the week He would take up His rightful position at His Father’s right hand.

The time had come for Jesus to be proclaimed as their king, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt, the throngs shouting, “Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the King of Israel.”

Palm branches were waved and placed on the ground as the colt carrying the King of kings and Lord of lords slowly made its way through the crowd into the waiting city.

How far did the sound of those shouts travel? All of Jerusalem might have heard the cry from that mighty crowd.

Were the disciples excited by this demonstration or did the words that Jesus spoke echo in their minds, “I must die.”

As Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and talked to them about what would happen to him when they arrived."I will be betrayed to the chief priests and other Jewish leaders, and they will condemn me to die. And they will hand me over to the Roman government, and I will be mocked and crucified, and the third day I will rise to life again." Matt 20:17-19 TLB

The triumphal entry was a prelude to the climax of His journey to earth to die for the sins of all mankind. On His mind were those who would receive the freely given gift of eternal life and those who would reject it. It overwhelmed Him and He wept.

But as they came closer to Jerusalem and he saw the city ahead, he began to cry. "Eternal peace was within your reach and you turned it down," he wept, "and now it is too late. Luke 19:41-42 TLB

It is not too late for you.

Will you accept His gift?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Alabaster Box

Day 39 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

Jesus Christ affirmed on Calvary: grace, forgiveness, love that knows no boundaries.

How could a man of perfection die for all of sinful man, die for a sinful woman like me?

I don’t understand it but I embrace it with a heart broken for the times that I have disappointed Him and turned my back on Him. He gathers my tears in His bottle and writes them in His book.

I am filled with gratitude for His loving arms that lift me up and embrace me when I have fallen. Over and over He drenches me with His love.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Seeking Him

Day 38 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

We are getting close to the time we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

It is a time of sorrow, His death on a cross, and a time of joy, the empty tomb.

May we seek Him more and more.

The More I Seek You by Kari Jobe

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Tell You the Truth

Day 37 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

Below are quotes taken from the prologue of: The Lost Choice by Andy Andrews.

As I was reading these words, used to describe a possession the father had, the only thing he would be passing on to his son, I was struck by how these words described the power of writing.

“It is an object of fear and an object of promise. An object of ridicule and of power. The possession displays abject poverty and incredible wealth. It contains death and birth and blindness and sight. And one day, it will be yours to protect.”

Do you see: this is what the written word can and does do?

He further says to his son:
“I told you exactly what it is. As for what it does? It does nothing. It does, however, represent the power to do everything. It is believed and doubted, contemplated and ignored, pursued and avoided. Men will kill for it…and I would die to protect it.”

Individual words do nothing, but strung together in a particular order they represent the power to do everything. The Bible is an incredible example of this. It is believed and doubted, contemplated and ignored, pursued and avoided. Men kill others for possessing it and men die to defend the truth it contains.

He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue.” Psalm 15:2-3

Another quote:
“It is a gift from a father to a son.”

The Bible is a gift from our Father God to his sons and daughters. Our writing: stories, articles, novels, fiction and non-fiction are given to us by our Father, a gift to be used rightly to bring light or with evil intent to take others into darkness.

"He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him." John 7:18 NIV

“The possession itself—the object—will never, alone, do anything.
“An object can inspire, arouse, prove, encourage, justify, and confirm. But it can never produce.”

My writing by itself will never do anything.

“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” Proverb 23:23

“It is only by your hand that the mind’s choices bear fruit. Intentions are like physical beauty—they mean nothing. At some point, a person must actually do something. One’s beliefs must become works. By your hand, you establish evidence for others in the truth of what you believe.”

It is what people choose to do with my words…change the world…or destroy it… that gives it power.

One person, changed by my words, brings something new into their world and to those around them…like a pebble thrown into a still body of water, the ripples extend on and on.

Long after I am gone the words I have written will continue on. Would I be pleased with what remains? Would my great, great grandchild be proud of what I have placed on paper or would there be shame because of the pain my words have caused.

“I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:30-32

If my words are truth there will be no shame.

Jesus continually said: I tell you the truth… Why did He have to repeat this phrase over and over? Was it because there was so much deception, was it because there would be many who would doubt His words? He knew His words were truth so He could declare them with boldness.

If Jesus felt it necessary to declare the truthfulness of His words should we not at least check our hearts and ask ourselves, is what I am writing truth?

I am not saying we shouldn’t be writing fiction, novels are filled with life impacting words.

I am challenging us all to consider what message we are coveying.

How are we handling the words He has put in our possession?

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:31 NIV

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Writer's Block Solution

Day 36 of 40 days of Lenten Posts
I am at a loss for what to write. I think I have writer’s block. Ugh.

Block, chunk, hunk, lump, wedge, cube, brick, slab, bar, piece.

Okay, I’m starting to crave cheese. I like cheese, most any kind will do. I was introduced to goat cheese while on a missions trip to Romania.

What kind of cheese does the character in your WIP like?

Their cheese preference could be used as a quirky thing.

Each time they have a salad in a restaurant they ask for
Feta cheese and if they don’t have it they leave the restaurant,
this could make their friends crazy.

Your character has to have a piece of cheese each night just before going to bed. If they are out of cheese this could cause late night runs to the store. What if something happened at the store…

 What if a wrapper from Mini Babybel cheese is found at
 the scene of a murder and everyone knows that you always have some
 in your pocket.

 Okay I’m done being cheesy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Keep At It

Day 35 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

A few words of wisdom about writing.

“Don’t buy the myth that writing is easy.
It’s not. I heard one author say, ‘Writing is like giving birth to barbed wire.’ Others say writing is 5 percent inspiration and 95 percent perspiration. Many books that are hard to write are easy to read. Books that were easy to write are invariably hard to read. Some writers seem so natural, so effortless. Don’t be fooled. It takes a lot of effort to appear effortless. With everything else competing for your reader’s attention, you must work to earn it. Many people say they want to write a book, but what they really want is to have written a book. Big difference!” Randy Alcorn

“Write. Remember, people may keep you (or me) from being a published author but no one can stop you from being a writer. All you have to do is write. And keep writing. While you’re working at a career, while you’re raising children, while you’re trout fishing—keep writing! No one can stop you but you.” Katherine Neville

And the Lord said to me, "Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others." Habakkuk 2:2


Monday, April 11, 2011

Memorable Characters

Day 34 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

Writers are constantly striving to create memorable characters.

We want to read about interesting
people who overcome impossible obstacles.

Some characters are the good guys; they are the ones wearing white hats in case you forgot. The bad guys are sporting the black hats.

Okay, I just showed my age, I of course got this from watching westerns in black and white.

Creating interesting characters is serious business for writers.

There are two definitions for character:

1. A person, man, woman, soul, creature, individual.

2. Personality, nature, disposition, temperament, mentality, essence, integrity, honor, moral strength

When a writer is creating her protagonist and antagonist a decision has to be made concerning their moral fiber, what are they made of? This will determine what they are capable of doing, or not doing, in the story.

As a novelist I have the freedom to play with my characters but in my own life I don’t have that liberty. My belief in Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord carries with it restrictions. Restrictions I don’t mind having, they are not barriers but guardrails. My integrity, or lack of it, will keep me out of trouble, or get me into it. With my moral compass set it is easier to stand against temptation when it arises and it will arise.

I have determined to develop a character worthy of the title, Child of Christ.
I want to become a memorable character.
How about you?

Every story needs a turkey.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Writing, Writing, Writing

Day 33 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

I have been posting daily on my blog since March 9th. It has not always been easy to come up with a topic but the challenge has been fun. I have limited myself somewhat to doing posts which include a picture or pictures I have taken. Sometimes I go through my pictures three times before I come up with a topic. If I think of a topic but don’t have pictures to go with it I will go about my house seeing if I can stage a shot or two. I need to get some pictures off my husband’s computer, and then I will have more options.

While doing all these posts and keeping my regular schedule my mind has been massaging my WIP. This is the novel I started in November for NaNoWriMo. Several weeks ago God prompted me to make a major shift in it. Today He gave me more changes.

He even gave me a working title: Whitewashed.

(If you are not a writer I am going to give you a peek into how the mind of a writer works. I came up with the title when the sound of a buzzer woke me from a nap. I came out of that sleep thinking, oh, that is the buzzer on the dryer, my load of white wash is done. I sat up and wrote in my notebook, which I always keep handy, “Whitewashed.” I then went looking for definitions and they fit perfectly with the story. Weird huh, that’s how we think.)

I also have a picture in my mind for the cover. I know that writers don’t get to choose their own cover but what I see in my mind is perfect for keeping me on point with the story.

I’m excited to see what story God wants written. After all it is His story.

“This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Write in a book everything that I tell you.”
God’s Word Translation

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Love Your Neighbor

Day 32 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

“The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:31 God’s Word Translation

Each loving act says loud and clear, “I love you. God loves you. I care. God cares.”

A warm-from-the-oven casserole taken to the home of a sick friend…
A bouquet of flowers from your garden given to a neighbor…
A thank-you note sent to the performers who did such an excellent job during a concert or play you attended…
A loaf of freshly baked cinnamon bread brought to the office for coffee break…
A box of cookies taken to the police station on Christmas day to encourage those who are “on duty” during the holiday…
A call to ask with genuine care and concern, “How are you doing?...”
We may not think of these as acts of Christian witnessing, yet they are. Every act of lovingkindness reflects God’s lovingkindness for His people. We give because Jesus Christ has so freely given His love to us. He is the example we follow.
Never dismiss an act of lovingkindness as being too small or inconsequential. God will magnify even our smallest deeds to reveal His love to others.
From: God’s Little Devotional Book for Women. Honor Books

Friday, April 8, 2011

Love Path

Day 30 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

Love Path

God Loves Me

I Love God

I Love my neighbor

When I know and experience the love of God toward me I overflow with love back to Him.

Mark 12:30 commands me to “Love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength.” Good News Translation
All – not some, but all of me. That means putting His will before mine.
Putting away self serving thoughts and actions.
Loving Him with my heart above my husband, family, ministry, job, money, fame.

I love Him for promising me eternity with Him in heaven.
I love Him for changing my life, for showing me what real freedom is.
I love Him because while I was still a sinner He loved me.
I love Him because I can’t not love Him.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

God's Love Toward Us

Day 29 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

God’s love is:





The unfailing love of the Lord never ends. By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. Lamentations 3:22-23

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3:16-18 The Message

Image: Jim Marr's Book It Was Out of Love

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Gift

Day 28 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

This morning I was given a gift.

 A fresh twenty-four hours to relish life.

One-thousand-four-hundred and forty minutes.

 What I do with those minutes is totally in my hands.

I may give twenty of them to prayer, thirty of them to my husband, one-hundred and twenty to watching television, four-hundred-eighty plus to working. I better allow some time for my children.

 I end the day with no minutes leftover, every minute has been used up. But I have to question myself, “Did I use them in the best way I could have?”

Henry David Thoreau said, “Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?”

 Indeed, hurry is a waste of life.

Each day of creation God took on a new task. Notice that He spread creation out. He could have done it all in one day, He was certainly capable. I think He was showing us how to live our lives, focusing each day on the task ahead, not trying to do too much. At the end of each day of creation it says that God saw that it was good.

Can we say at the end of each day, “It was good.”

Being always in the moment and attuned to His voice I believe we can.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Fingers Keep Slipping Off the Keyboard

Day 27 of 40 days of Lenten Posts
“I’m a writer. I don’t cook and I don’t clean.” Dorothy West

Oh if only we could get away with this. I put off the cleaning for as long as I can.

The cooking unfortunately happens every night. My husband is tolerant, very tolerant but putting dinner on the table is not optional.

I enjoy cooking and baking but I begrudge the time it takes to do it. I can spend most of an hour planning, chopping and cooking my meal and in five minutes it is eaten.

I then spend the next ten minutes cleaning up the dishes and putting away the leftovers. Somehow that seems out of proportion.

Shouldn’t there be a lingering time of enjoyment, an inhaling of the aroma of the meat and the sauce that covers it? Shouldn’t we hold the food on our tongue allowing our taste buds to experience each individual ingredient and flavoring we have so carefully chosen?

Eating should be an occasion, everyday.
I look for menus that are quick to prepare but my husband would like variety.

I don’t think he would accept the statement: “But honey, God fed the Israelites Manna for forty years.”

When I get to heaven I’m going to ask God if I can have a taste of Manna. It sounded pretty good.

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. Exodus 16:31 NIV

I’m hiring a housekeeper and a cook as soon as I sell the first 50,000 copies of my novel, the one I haven’t finished writing. I wouldn’t have to stop reading and writing for anything, except to put food, prepared by my chef into my mouth.

Why is my keyboard greasy?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Do...or Not

Day 26 of 40 days of Lenten Posts
“When I am writing I am doing the thing I was meant to do.” Anne Sexton

How about you?
Are you doing the thing you were meant to do?

If not, why not?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Jerry B. Jenkins, Writer extraordinaire

Day 25 of 40 days of Lenten Posts
Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! John 4:34-35

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Mountain of Authors at the Pikes Peak Library.

The keynote speaker was Jerry B. Jenkins, author of the Left Behind Series.

This was the first time I met him in person. He is a fun speaker and a prolific writer.

He has authored more than 175 books with sales of more than 70 million copies. Twenty of his books have reached the New York Times best-seller list (seven of those debuting at number one).

His newest book is The Brotherhood/A precinct 11 novel. This is a police thriller set in Chicago, it is the first of a trilogy. I’m excited to get into this book. I now have a signed copy.

I was impressed by this man who has given his life to the gift God placed within him. He is using writing to bring glory to God.

At the beginning of this journey he had no idea he would be so incredibly successful, he set his mind and heart to the task and God honored his heart with overwhelming success.

Mr. Jenkins does not keep this gift to himself but encourages other writers through the Christian Writers Guild and the annual Writing for the Soul Conference.

Is writing a novel easy? If Jerry Jenkins were asked he would have told us it is work. He knows how many words he has to produce per day to meet his deadlines and he works toward that.

Here is something for us to keep in mind. He said only one author in a hundred meets their deadline. As Christians, wouldn’t it be great if we always met our deadlines. It would be nice to hear it said: Christian writers are always early or on time.

I am so pleased with the quality of books by Christian authors that are showing up on bookstore shelves.

The Spirit of God within us will lead us to the stories that need to be written. Our part is to learn the craft of writing and put down the best story we can and do it without delay. With the help of writer’s groups, critique groups, conferences, agents and editors, our dream to have those stories published for the Kingdom of God can become a reality.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

God Wouldn't Use Me

Day 24 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

The World might say there are many reasons why God wouldn’t want to use you or me. But don’t worry.

Moses stuttered
David’s armor didn’t fit
John Mark was rejected by Paul
Solomon was too rich
Abraham was too old
David was too young
Timothy had ulcers
Peter was afraid of death
Lazarus was dead
John was self-righteous
Naomi was a widow
Paul was a murderer
So was Moses
Jonah ran from God
Miriam was a gossip
Gideon and Thomas both doubted
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal
Elijah was burned out
John the Baptist was a loudmouth
Martha was a worry wart
Mary was lazy
Samson had long hair
Noah got drunk

Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse? So did Peter, Paul – well lots of folks did.
God doesn’t require a job interview.
He doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses, because He’s more our Dad than our boss.
God doesn’t look at financial gain or loss.
He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.
As much as we try, God’s gifts are free.
We could do wonderful things for wonderful people, and still not be wonderful.
Satan says, “You’re not worthy.”
Jesus says, “So what? I AM”.
Satan looks back and sees our mistakes.
God looks back and sees the Cross.
He doesn’t calculate what you did years ago, or even days ago! Why, it’s not even on His record!
Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t want us. But if we are utterly in love with Him, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath, He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been or what we look like.
Step out of your “limitations” and into the measureless (boundless) nature of who God is!
Author Unknown

Friday, April 1, 2011

Words Aren't Enough

Day 23 of 40 days of Lenten Posts

Yesterday I blogged about our life being like a race, we will all cross the finish line at some point.

I have a heavy heart today. Three of our church families are suffering pain from deaths that occurred this week and another family from the loss of their husband/father that happened last month. A very dear friend lost her sixty-four-year-old sister, another member’s eight-year-old son died of pneumonia and another family lost their four-month-old daughter to SIDS.

All those who crossed the finish line this week, were sudden, there were no prolonged illnesses. Death can make its appearance that way. It is not required to send us notice that it is showing up.

The pain they are experiencing is their pain; we can’t compare ours to theirs.

We are at a loss for words when we see these families but that is okay. Hugging and sharing tears can be better than a fountain of words that wound more than heal.

We have the comfort that each of these are in their eternal home in heaven and we who have chosen to believe Acts 16:30-31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They relied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved…  will be reunited with them for eternity.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7 NLT