Why Call Me Lord and Not Obey?

My husband has been preaching about the Beatitudes lately and this morning my devotional time lined up with his talks. In Luke 6:46-49, (ESV), Jesus says: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luk 6:47  Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:

Luk 6:48  he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

Luk 6:49  But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

As society presses us to conform more and more to its ways, we as people will find our lives crumbling around us when we go the opposite way of God.

I got a newsletter from Evangelist Dea Warford yesterday and he said that Fox television runs a commercial from the Ad Council showing two same sex people kissing and others clapping around them. The ad is called “Love has no labels,” and Dea tells us the announcer says, “Love is love.”

We stopped getting television some years back because the shows and commercials were offensive to my husband and me. He is a sports fan, so it’s been hard on him some days. We get Netflix and search to find wholesome shows.

We are not hiding ourselves from the world. What people believe, they act on. An acquaintance at the library over the past year adjusted to her husband deciding to become a woman.

Later, I asked her mom if she was going to remain married to him. She looked shocked. “Of course!”

The first time her daughter saw me after he published his name change in the newspaper to Joy, she lowered her eyes and gave me room to avoid contact.

We’d talked about marriage in the past. Once a year they talk and see if they’re okay. If they are, they remain a couple. I told her we made a commitment and divorce is never considered an option. We looked eye-to-eye, blinked a few times as we processed the different approaches and then went on our way.

Lately, I attended a writer’s meeting and she bustled around the room at the end. In a high-pitched voice, with enthusiasm I heard her speaking. “Joy did ….” “Then Joy said, ‘….’”

I couldn’t make out anything but the name from across the distance.

My husband asked, in the very beginning, “I wonder if he considered the medical risks of taking these sex-changing hormones?”

A bit later I heard him murmur, “I’d like to talk to him.”

Who knows, it’s a small world, as the saying goes.

It’s clear in God’s Word that He made each of us as male and female in the first chapters of Genesis.

What a slap in God’s face, fooling with one’s gender. I imagine they’re not considering God. They’re listening to their own thoughts and thinking of persuasive messages from the world around them.

Speaking of messages, I think God is telling me to write early in my day. Jesus said in John 10:4-5 (BBE):  “When he has got them all out, he goes before them, and the sheep go after him, for they have knowledge of his voice.

They will not go after another who is not their keeper, but will go from him in flight, because his voice is strange to them.”

Yet, Gideon asked God to prove he was hearing from God in Judges 6:36, (KJV):  Then Gideon said to God, If you are going to give Israel salvation by my hand, as you have said,

Jdg 6:37  See, I will put the wool of a sheep on the grain-floor; if there is dew on the wool only, while all the earth is dry, then I will be certain that it is your purpose to give Israel salvation by my hand as you have said.

Jdg 6:38  And it was so: for he got up early on the morning after, and twisting the wool in his hands, he got a basin full of water from the dew on the wool.

Jdg 6:39  Then Gideon said to God, Do not be moved to wrath against me if I say only this: let me make one more test with the wool; let the wool now be dry, while the earth is covered with dew.

Jdg 6:40  And that night God did so; for the wool was dry, and there was dew on all the earth round it.

God was not offended at Gideon. I ask God to confirm His still small voice when I think I’ve heard from Him and it always lines up with His commands in Scripture.

If I think God is telling me to kill someone – that is not God. If He wants someone to die, He can easily take their spirit from them without human help.

The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy it says in John 10:10 and Jesus came to give life and that abundantly. Those who embrace homosexuality and divorce their spouse destroy the security of their mate and if applicable, their children.

My acquaintance may be putting on a false, cheerful front with a transgender mate, but I imagine she’s shed a boatload of tears.

A friend in college got forsaken by her boyfriend. He told her, “I’ll either choose you or choose the homosexual lifestyle and she got rejected back in the 1970’s before I knew her. When I visited her at home, she turned on me and mocked me with some details I’d shared with her.

As we stayed apart until my departure time arrived, her mom asked if the problem arose from me or from her. I admitted it came from her daughter and she nodded her head as if she knew it.

His choice rocked her whole being and frankly it had nothing to do with her. She left college over that summer, so I never saw her or heard from her again.

I hope she healed from that rejection.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that when I follow Jesus and obey Him, trusting Him as best  I can, He upholds me during the storms of life. Godly choices keep me from experiencing the bedlam of worldly choices no matter how narrow-minded society calls me. I don’t have to taste from the yuck of life’s offerings to know they eventually bring about strife, death, over-emphasis on pleasing self, a lack of stability and well-being.

With God’s help I’ll call out to the Lord in times of trouble and obey Him along life’s way. A saying my husband had us repeat on Sunday, “I can’t do it without Jesus.”

Ain’t it the truth?

God bless!

Married Life

I spent over two hours writing about marriage tonight, or last night since it passed midnight, and my husband asked me to finish up. So, I will do my best to blog tonights’ thoughts tomorrow, or later in this day.

I thought I’d write about communication some more but it took off with a totally different slant. Hopefully those interested in marriage will be blessed. Until then, I’ll say, “Adieu.”

Marriage for Life

Portrait of a husband and wife with small baby child - stock photo         photo from shutterstock

My husband and I went to a meeting for area pastors today and statistics about marriages failing came up. 50% of marriages break up, the man said.

An older man gasped, but I’d done research for a marriage book a few years ago. I wasn’t surprised. I put the book aside, and now I’m seeking God about my writing because I set aside a finished novel because it lacked intrigue.

As I sought God today I thought He directed me to blog on marriage.

The main speaker for our function ate lunch with us. He asked how long my husband and I have been married. “Forty-one years.”

I also felt as if God led me to Proverbs 21 before the idea came to blog. There’s a lot of advice in that Proverb and verse 9 in the New King James Version says it is “Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”

Verse 23 says, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”

So although the verses are not coupled together, I’m well aware that it’s harder for me to be contentious when I’m keeping quiet.

Proverbs 17:1 says, “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.”

I’ve learned the hard way that words can steal the joy and drain ambition out of my husband with a well-phrased question or a reminder of a particular failed attempt. How I wished for a time machine to go back and re-live the moment with a positive response or a neutral comment.

Now, if you were to ask my husband, he would say I’ve supported him more often than discouraged him because he’s told me so. I’m just aware that there are times when I’ve been sorry my words slid by my self-control and then we both suffered the consequences.

Proverbs 14:1 (ESV): The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

So this discourse can be summed up by listing some strong helps for marriage:

  • Following God because He loves you both and He gives great advice.
  • Communicate in healthy ways when you’re not exhausted and after emotions have cooled down.
  • Respect each other. If there’s not a lot of room for respect, ask God to show you how He sees your mate.

No one is perfect – no one. If my husband were abusive, I would love him from a distance with my children safe from harm and removed from a negative influence that they may imitate when they get older.

May God bless you!

Fictional Worlds

As a child I was fortunate to find the library and the world of books.

Lately, I’ve found some authors that are becoming my favorites. I recently read Women’s Intuition by Lisa Samson, Out of Control and In Too Deep by Mary Conneally – the first two of a series, and then today I finished Secrets on the Wind, the first of a series by Stephanie Grace Whitson.

 (all photos from Amazon.com)

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These three authors, uniquely gifted, share the capacity to make characters so real and the story so compelling, that it is hard to come to the end of their fictional worlds.

The other night it occurred to me that living in a non-real world was effectively keeping me from enjoying time with my husband. I ended up apologizing and he forgave me.

So, with this last book, I made sure to read most of it when he was gone. My youngest daughter needed a favor, so the book took second place. It continued that way throughout the day – as responsibilities arose, a bookmark kept the page.

I enjoyed the last book all the more because even though it interfered with some of my plans, I chose mindfully instead of just getting lost in the tome.

I needed to go to the library for a quick trip. Last week I asked the librarian if she would order techno-thriller books written by Jefferson Scott since there were none in the cooperative counties’ library system.

She told me she couldn’t order them through her purchasing vendor. I thanked her and then turned away. Before leaving I returned. “If I buy them and read them, would it be okay to donate them to the library?”Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

She said yes and so I will.As I looked for them, I realized I had just called them technothrillers, not Ethan Hamilton Technothrillers and I almost missed them on Amazon.com’s site. No wonder she couldn’t find them. I learned that librarians like to buy books when it’s within their budget and they’re supposed to provide for an interest range to suit their customers. If worldly books fill much of the shelves, it does my heart good to see well-written Christian books available for perusal as well. If people don’t ask for the books they like, the librarians will purchase from selected lists.

Jesus told us to ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, etc. Matt_7:7, (KJV): Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
I love the Word of God even more than I like fiction.

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.

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!

 

 

Life Choices

About a month ago, I got The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammet by Nathan Ward out of the library. It’s published by Bloomsbury, New York, NY and copyrighted in 2015.

Media of The Lost DetectiveThis image is copied from http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-lost-detective-9780802776402/

Being Christmas and with all else that went on at that time, I didn’t get to read it until lately. Dashiell Hammet wrote hard-boiled detective stories based on his time as a private eye with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in 1915 through the middle of 1917. One of his famous characters is Sam Spade.

I’m intrigued with decisions people make and the course their lives take. I have been since my childhood days when my mom encouraged me to visit the elderly next door neighbor women.

After starting Mr. Ward’s book I decided to read James Scott Bell’s book, Just Write: Creating Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life, copyrighted in 2016 and published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH.This image is copied from  http://www.writersdigestshop.com/just-write-paperback

I read James Scott Bell’s fiction and own a few of his books on the craft of writing. I’ve been praying about whether to write another novel and his book, Just Write is sparking my imagination.

May God bless you.

Made New

I was talking to my husband about journaling in accordance with a book on organizing. He said, and I’m sort of quoting here, “whatever happened to 2 Corinthians 5:17, (ESV):  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”?

So, I sighed in relief and then called my older sister to ask about the past. 🙂 We had a nice visit. One of the concepts in different books on organizing is paying attention to where your time goes. Forty-five minutes later or more, I hung up the phone.

I was delighted when my youngest daughter showed up unexpectedly and I offered to help her with some writing projects. Then I got a bit cranky because time was moving right along. She asked what was going on and I told her, so we got that straightened out and chose to meet at a later date. She was tired, I was getting tired.

This morning, I took some stuff to the library to work on without interruption, but I didn’t get there early enough. Interruptions kept me from leaving the house. 🙂

Tonight because my daughter needed to send her writing to my e-mail account so I could print them out for her, I ended up checking out my e-mail after she went home. I don’t even want to think about how much time I spent on that.

God is good. He’s helping me to be more aware of poor choices. This morning I kept texting people or calling people when I could have waited until later or even later on in the week.

I did some cleaning before I left and that felt great. So, I think I’ll end here, consider my planner for today’s priorities and possibly do one or two small chores or a joyful thing like read a bit. I asked God to direct my path today around 1:00 p.m. and I got some groceries that blessed my husband. I got to see my son-in-law for a few moments when he stopped to see his wife. I want him to do something for the house – he’s a contractor and he’s somewhat of a perfectionist, so the job gets done well. He tells me he’s amazed at the changes in his life since he accepted Christ. He never thought he’d be a businessperson, for one, or married to the pastor’s daughter, for another.

Anyway, at the end of the day it’s kind of nice to look at the blessings of the day. I’m certainly glad I got to blog tonight, because I miss it when I don’t. I get to see what the other bloggers are up to when I send something out.

May God bless you and encourage you.

 

 

 

 

Let It Begin

Three of us entered the church tonight for our organizing class. Two more decided they’ll join next week.Image result for women in a classroom(photo from towson.edu)

It’s humbling to join with folks and admit you’ve got a problem you’ve struggled to overcome. It’s also exhilarating to know you’re not alone.

So we left the meeting with the words commitment, hard work, and support as some of the parting promises to one another.

I read some women’s magazines with articles off topic from organizing which made me want to write an article for one of them. I’ll need to do some research on the subject and on marketing. Some magazine editors don’t accept articles from writers if they haven’t sold to a magazine with a huge following.

I truly believe that God orders my steps in mysterious ways sometimes.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) says: “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”

We’ll see where they go.

May God bless you as you step out in life.