Writing of God

 

I went to the library despite the biting cold wind. I ran into a friend and we got talking about writing. She’s beginning to attend a local writer’s group and invited me to attend. She purchased “Writer’s Digest Magazine,” which is a good idea and some DVD’s on writing from a group proclaiming themselves as experts.

I told her she’s starting to sound like a writer because she loves the way a great sentence flows. She’s hungry to express ideas well.

I told her I’d taken a book out of the library written by a humorous author I thought I’d enjoy. I said I’d like to create like she does.

Then I read more and the person incorporated dialogue by “God” saying he wasn’t perfect! Then she has “God” asking questions of a character as if he didn’t know. The more she described her god, I thought, Why am I wasting my time with this book?

One time one of our librarian clerks gushed over an author famous for her expertise of the Pilgrims. She highly recommended her book to me. Quite a bit of the book was an explanation of why she couldn’t believe in the faith of the Pilgrims. We didn’t get to talk about it, but I’m sure the clerk knows I didn’t appreciate it once I saw her again. She looked at me and then ducked her head.

When I read the book, I thought it was all the same inane thinking the media and the education system uses to try and debunk faith in people. Did she honestly think I’m not aware of opposing viewpoints? I went to a secular college with a course in Satanism available, plus all the other philosophies that were acceptable. The only faith not pushed for us to consider, back in the day was the faith our parents taught us, which was primarily the Judeo-Christian faith. If Judeo-Christianity has no power or truth, why are Jews being persecuted more in America lately? Why are Christians being killed for their faith at over 800/day according to statistics given by an executive pastor from our denomination’s state headquarters?

To return to the book by the humorous author, she never said she was a Christian on the back cover or on the inner flap. I thought she was from a previous book she’d written that got made into a movie. I just wish I hadn’t recommended it in a library that echoes.

I do like the way she writes and her sense of humor, but I can’t help thinking if I were God and she’s misrepresenting God that I would not be happy about it and she’s in trouble. (I’m so glad that I’m not God since I’m incapable of being God.)

Anyway, I read Isaiah chapters 6-12 today and God is not always a jolly fellow. We’re made in His image and if we get mad, it makes sense to me that He gets mad.

If you believe the Bible, God is holy and when the angels proclaimed it, the sound was enough to shake the foundations. Isaiah saw this and he cried out, “Woe is me, I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips.”

I’ve heard it preached that Isaiah was probably a more righteous man than most of us, but somehow he got to have a vision of God, high and lifted up and God’s train filled the temple. That’s where he saw the angels crying out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.”

I’ve read Isaiah chapter six many times and I never noticed that their loud voices shook the door posts in heaven, (KJV).

God is merciful and kind and loving, but He’s also truthful. He never says mankind is basically good. The good news of the Gospel is that mankind is evil but God made a plan. He wants to change us from behaving like the devil sometimes and becoming more like His Son, Jesus if we’re willing to. Believing in Jesus Christ as God the Son is the work we have to do to enter heaven:

John 6:28, (KJV):  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

 

Once we believe, then we repent of our sins, ask God to forgive us – which He does, (1 John 1:9, King James Version:  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us),

and then allow Him to make changes in our character.

We cooperate with His plan for our life, which is not easy at times, plus Satan then hates us because he hates God. So we engage in spiritual warfare with God’s help and He tells us how in the Bible: [Ephesians 6:10, (KJV):  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; ]

and then we end up in an amazing unimaginable paradise with God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit at the end of our lives. One God made up of three persons. Deuteronomy 6:4, (KJV) says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:”

I’ve heard that some Jewish teachers don’t allow Isaiah 53, because that’s the suffering Messiah chapter. But in Isaiah 6-12 I read descriptions of Jesus that He fulfilled as the Messiah.

There are many mysteries in the Bible and the Apostle Paul said that God was allowing people to understand them now if they were willing to be teachable and to seek God for the answers:

Ephesians 3:2, (KJV):  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Eph 3:3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Eph 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Eph 3:6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Eph 3:7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Eph 3:8  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Eph 3:11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

 

One of the reasons I want to write is because people in the world give their opinions of God  or their philosophies without a second thought. As a Christian, I want to write what the Bible says. Why should a Christian’s voice be silenced when all others have the right to speak?

This beginning writer asked why I would bother blogging? “Isn’t it just talking about yourself?”

I told her that lately I wrote about marriage, it’s not all about me. I hope to give something of value to people.

If readers don’t want to read about Christianity when that is my topic, they can always stop reading, as I chose to do with the humorist’s novel.

May God bless you!

 

 

Quiet From Fear of Evil

The other day at our ladies’ Bible study we got talking about crime. One of the ladies mentioned that the previous owner of her house faced an intruder. Fortunately, it turned out okay, but that conversation led to thoughts of God and His protection.

One of our more elderly women moved out of a nursing home into an apartment where she’s able to live without assistance. She exercises and tries to eat healthy and she relies on God, which reduces her stress. She likes to tell us that she reads Psalm 91 almost every day. That is the psalm I included in a recent blog. It begins with the words, “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:2 (KJV) says:  “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

I noticed Proverbs 1:33 (KJV): But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

There are things going on around us that may cause people to fear besides crime. Some people fear the loss of income if they look to the future and consider circumstances that seem stacked against them. Others may fear declining health or the loss of a loved one.

Our Bible study is following a book by Lysa TerKeurst which I’ve mentioned before, Uninvited, copyrighted in 2016, published by Nelson Books, Nashville, TN. We’re coming to the end of the book and plan on purchasing another of her tomes in the near future. There are so many good Bible study books out there, it’s hard to choose sometimes. What we liked about Lysa TerKeurst’s book was her vulnerability, the sense of connection, her use of common sense and mostly how she brings us back to God – always. The aforementioned senior praises her use of great vocabulary. Our twenty-something year old member uses some of the phrases the author pens that society is exchanging. Rarely, we have to ask her to interpret for us, or is it from comments the youngest gives that follow the reading time that needs interpreting? Hmm? So, I took a moment to scan and found a page where she mentions BFF, (best friends forever). I’m pretty sure the octogenarian didn’t know what BFF stood for. We all like this cross-generational mixing.

When the older Christians tell how the Lord helped them through a fire and the loss of everything, or how they kept their marriage together for seventy years and ten months, or how they survived not one divorce but two – it gives us hope that God will strengthen us for hurdles that come our way. The gal with the longest marriage may say, “We pledged to love each other for better and for worse. We celebrated the better and lived through the worse. We didn’t always like each other, but we never stopped loving each other.”

After all those years, he finally went home to be with the Lord and she’s learning about widowhood in her latter years. She never talks of being afraid. She tells of how good her church family and her real family are to her. She mentions the local housing that she now calls home and the pool table for the residents, the affordable meals provided in the dining room, etc. The local food bank also brings a truck full of donated items for the residents.

Anyway, if the ladies had fears, they didn’t say much about them as they listened to God’s faithfulness to one after the other sitting around the table. I enjoy hearing how people come through the ease and the storms of life. If things go too well for too long, I may get tempted to ignore God some. I don’t want to do that. I know enough people though, that even if my life were completely free of problems, some of their circumstances would come to my attention and then I’d be acting on their behalf if I could or should, and most likely praying. I can’t imagine life on this side of heaven being without problems and being an imperfect being, if the unimaginable happened for a nanosecond of time, I’m sure I’d get in there and goof it up. 🙂

I wrote two blogs last night and then my computer acted up. Sometimes I wonder if maybe that’s a good thing. So, I saved them and filed them and started a fresh topic tonight.

How do you find quiet from the fear of evil?

May God bless you!

 

 

 

 

Writing Choices

I bought a book from the library last week by Debbie Macomber entitled Hannah’s List – a hardcover for $4.00 – copyrighted in 2010 and published by Mira, USA.

Since she’s a “New York Times”  and “USA Today” Bestseller, I thought I’d analyze her book. I just finished reading Changing Habits by her and liked how quickly the characters drew me in. It was copyrighted in 2004 and published by Harlequin Enterprises.

Changing Habitsphoto from http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-habits-debbie-macomber/1100346303  

I’ve been praying about what God wants me to do with my writing. I bought a labeler for organizing and after the kitchen labels, I went to the office. I labeled four different notebooks and it could have been five.

One was filled with notes and outlining for a romance my younger sister and I were going to write. She moved and we both began to realize the immenseness of writing a novel. We decided to give it up.

Another notebook had the bare bones for a novel I thought of beginning last year.

The next notebook is filled with character sketches, pictures of furniture where the characters live, detailed outline notes. That’s the finished novel that fell flat.

The fourth notebook was going to be a non-fiction book for children on the Great Depression. An elderly lady wanted to co-author it with me, but then she told me she wanted to do it by herself since she planned on writing for adults.

The non-existent notebook would have helped with a book on marriage. I spent a lot of time researching and writing a book on marriage. Unfortunately I listened to an editor at a writers conference when she said, “You’re writing a book on marriage? There’s so many, why waste your time on that?”

So, I am seeking God for guidance.

I have a lot of interests and I’m picturing my writing life. Decisions, decisions – without distinct goals nothing will get done.

As I eliminate items from my home I’m seeing things more clearly. Praise God!

May God bless you.

Changes on the Way

 

I don’t get afraid to face a blank page as a writer, but I do have moments when I wonder what I can say that I haven’t said before in this blog. 🙂

My husband had a headache yesterday so he didn’t feel like talking. I tried to keep quiet but when we watched television, if I had a question I’d bring it up. He said, “You like to talk.”

Not mean-spirited, not jesting, just clarifying. I smiled at him; “Yes, I do.”

I like to talk and I like to write. There are times when I don’t get to write and it’s like the times when I don’t get into the Scriptures, I get grumpy. God wired me to write, I suppose.

I’ve been going through The Productive Writer to set up a notebook filled with categories. I read the book through a while ago and began reading it again to underscore in red the highlighted sections that really stood out- a tip I read from one of James Scott Bell’s books on the craft of writing.

The Productive WriterThis image is from: https://sagecohen.com/books/the-productive-writer/ 

Sage Cohen wrote the book, The Productive Writer and copyrighted it in 2010. Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH published it.

On page 189, she talks about social media: “A daily rhythm of just fifteen minutes a day can create a momentum of communication that grows your visibility and reputation.”

I’ve heard that said before, “just 15 minutes a day…” at writers’ conferences.

I need to go back to her Chapter 13 so I can understand the balance between social media and writing time. It almost looks unread. By the way, I recommend her book.

May God bless you.

Health and Well-being

When I wrote about http//:www.soapboxsoap.com ’s Black Soap yesterday I neglected to mention that the box identified the product as detoxifying. I’m all for that.

I go to a dermatologist twice a year for a checkup since I overexposed my skin to the strongest sunshine over the years. I remember as a teenager soaking up the sun’s rays with an iodine/baby oil solution slathered on. A younger teen with the whitest skin I ever saw suggested the combination to enhance tanning.

I had my doubts and sure enough, I remember her in her bathing suit with blisters on her chest from the hours she spent in vain trying to darken her lily-white complexion.

I never stayed that long. Even as a young person I somehow knew that too much sun, too many cookies, long hours of reading with no exercise harmed health. Not that my friends or siblings listened to me. 🙂

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul said in 1Timothy 4:8, (KJV):  “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

Climbing Stairs photo from: http://www.freeimages.com/search/man-exercising

I don’t believe he means that we should neglect taking care of our body. I think he means we can get carried away with the outward appearance and our health, when God is more concerned with our inner person, our heart and soul and spirit.

I hope this finds you well!

May God bless you.

Disease Fighter

I cleared a cluttery spot on Friday night before accompanying my husband and friends to a person’s home for a macro nutrient-filled meal. We liked everything from the soup to the dessert except for a red cabbage dish that tasted bitter. I added a ground sesame seed/salt combination on top and it tasted better. This family has opened its doors for over twenty years to the community for a Friday night meal for a donation. This was our first time being there in Upstate NY.

It’s quite a drive from our house so I don’t know how often we’ll get there. After eating an all whole food vegan meal with different kinds of seaweeds incorporated into the recipes I stumbled upon a DVD once home, from de-cluttering earlier in the day.

My husband and I just watched it: “Forks Over Knives” in combination with “Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue” which showed shopping and food preparation.

The China Study     (image from http://www.benbellavegan.com/book/the-china-study/

T.Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD in The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health stated that people who changed to a whole food, plant-eating diet found reductions in cancer, heart disease, diabetes 2, immune diseases, bone diseases, mental deterioration and eye diseases, etc. This book was copyrighted in 2004 and published by BenBella Books, Dallas, TX.

Protein from meat and dairy is hard on the body according to many researchers and a handful of doctors that I’m aware of.

When my husband and I were eating vegan a few years ago and making raw carrot juice with celery or greens in it, I went to the eye doctors for an exam. The cataracts the doctor kept track of from a previous visit had completely disappeared.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell suggests as a person increases their fruit and vegetable intake by four servings (1/2 cup), their chance of stroke goes down by 22 %. By adding additional varieties of veggies and fruits, the chance of stroke decreases accordingly until there’s a 100% chance of no stroke. Over sixteen servings a day is what I figured. This includes potatoes, corn, etc.

What I like about this kind of diet is that a person can eat until they’re full as often as they want and they will lose weight. The only time I gained weight eating this way was to reach for the bread and nuts too often. They are higher in calorie.

In the Bible after Creation, in Gen_2:16, (ESV):  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden.”

According to the Bible, mankind didn’t eat meat until after the worldwide flood.

Here’s food for thought.

May God bless you.

Organizing the Writing Life

I’m reading James Scott Bell’s book Just Write: Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life straight through and then I’ll go through it and do the exercises. By reading straight through, I mean 15 to 20 pages at a time and then picking it up again. It’s been a few days since I last read it but it’s right up there with library books with looming due dates. He got this one published by Writer’s Digest Books and it’s copyrighted in 2016. It’s got advice that entails work hints and dedication and using brain cells and encouraging oneself – to name a few things.Just Write: Creating Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life

(photo from Christianwritersinstitute.com)

I like James Scott Bell’s fiction. I discovered his books while shelving returns from the circulation desk when I worked at the library. I bought his craft books, one from Barnes & Nobles, two from Writer’s Digest online. I recommend them all but this one is hitting me where I live and I’m glad I bought it.

We have a lady pastor at our church who’s told me that my husband’s preaching stepped on her toes. “I love it!”

The first time she spoke that way, my eyes widened and I said, “You loved it?”

“Oh yeah, I needed to hear that.”

James Scott Bell’s words to writers may step on my toes at times but I’m serious about improving. So, I appreciate the words of wisdom a published novelist passes along.

One of my goals this year is to finish Jerry Jenkins’ “Inspirational Market” writing course that I purchased as an online class.

As I get organized in my thinking and my environment I picture finishing projects and choosing pathways according to God’s direction. I do that now some of the time, but disorder affects me more than I’ve realized.

A friend of my husband’s and mine told me twenty years ago that he thought it was a spiritual battle and he may have been right. Anyway, God knows and I’m ready to organize the kitchen this week.

May God bless you!

Red-Nosed Writer

The only thing I like about having a cold is that it forces me to stay home. I’m wearing a red hoodie with the hood up and I gave a half-hearted attempt to write a poem about a writer with a red riding hood with a red nose like Rudolph’s. Talk about a jumble of words with “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” song starting to play in my mind. I immediately changed tracks so the song stopped, the poem crashed and I sought a yellow notepad and a pen to quiet down with.

I have some library books due this week so I read a couple of small ones, did dishes and read the Bible. I stopped reading Proverbs for a while, but now I’m back to it. After Proverbs I felt as though the Lord said to read Romans 7:13. I started there but backtracked to get the context and then read on to Romans eight.

I’ve heard it said that if the Apostle Paul struggled with sin as he laments about in Romans seven, it gives me hope to press on and receive God’s forgiveness. Romans 8:1 is great, (NKJV): There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Verse two says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

I also read Uninvited, Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa Ter Keurst, published by Nelson Books and copyrighted in 2016. I don’t know if it’s in their marketing plan, but she speaks of rejection from the publishing world occasionally and it might fit nicely on a table at a writer’s conference.Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely  -     By: Lysa TerKeurst   (image from Christianbook.com)

Proverbs mentions how God orders the steps of those who love Him. Writing about Lysa TerKeurst’s book reminded me a lady wants to join that class and our organizing class so I texted our secretary about ordering them or having me order the books. How good God is!

I’m blogging early tonight while my husband is buying me orange juice. 🙂

May God bless you and yours!

 

 

Cold Up There

We drove north today and got to see my daughter and most of her family. The kids were sick last week, so it was nice to see them so much better.

Leaving the nursing home after Bible study today, I almost entered my car when I saw my son-in-law’s stepmom, so to speak. I called out to her and she didn’t recognize me at first. Then she remembered me from my daughter’s wedding. She was about to walk about three miles in the cold to her home and I was heading that way. So she asked what direction I was going and we ended up swinging by her place. I told her it was a God moment. She wasn’t even wearing a hat.

It was cold but not snowy, probably 20 degrees Fahrenheit out at the time. Not icy either which I prayed about because we’ve been getting rain the last few days and then the cold arrived. I went to the library on Wednesday night to see an Alaskan writing professor. Our 20 degree weather in winter, he said, is balmy compared to their weather. Their temps may be minus 20 degrees F to minus 40 degrees F. I can’t even imagine!

I get cold in winter in NYS; 40 to 60 degrees lower blows my mind. So that is why the man lives in Alaska and in Louisiana. If you live in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere I hope you are keeping warm.

May God bless you.

Jesus Said, “You Hypocrites!”

 

Our Friday morning Bible study read through Matthew 15 where Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites.

Matthew 15:12, (NKJV) says: “Then His disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

What I love about Jesus is that He is not a people pleaser. He speaks clearly. He is offended at the Pharisees because they are the religious leaders and the culture added over 600 laws for the Israeli people to live by. Jesus tells them that their laws are taking precedence over His Ten Commandments.

For instance, He wants people to honor their father and mother. The Pharisees said the money to help their parents has gone to support the Temple.

Others may be impressed by their giving to the Temple, but they’ll never know the Pharisees helped their parents pay taxes. Some Pharisees wanted the recognition for their good deeds.

Years ago, I memorized Hebrews 4:12 (NASB): For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

(Image by 7WoodenDreams on pinterest.com)

Jesus, in person, probably through communicating with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit knew the intentions of the Pharisees’ heart.

Hebrews 4:13 (NASB) continues with, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

Hebrews 4: 14-16 reminds us that Jesus, the Son of God who passed through the heavens is our high priest and He sympathizes with our weaknesses and He’s willing to help us in our time of need. In Luke 18:27 Jesus is speaking of salvation: “But He said, ‘The things impossible with men are possible with God.’”

Salvation is my greatest need, although as an earth-bound creature I’m not aware of the supernatural at times.

That’s why Jesus came to earth. He chose to be born on earth to open up our spiritual eyes to the good news of the Gospel and to warn us not to follow man-made religions and false teachers. In Matthew 7:15-20 (NASB), Jesus said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?

“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit;

but the bad tree bears bad fruit.

“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit,

nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down

and thrown into the fire.

“So then you will know them by their fruits.”

No one wants to be called a hypocrite. Yet, there are hypocrites in every aspect of society if you look carefully.

The Pharisees thought they were perfectly okay with God and they were training followers to be just like them.

Jesus said to inspect the leader’s everyday life to see if they’re bringing forth fruits worthy to present to God. The nine fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, 23 are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.   I’ve had to ask God to help me with these attributes and behaviors. I’m so grateful for His faithfulness and graciousness and love.

May God bless you, and Happy New Year!