Celebrate!

My husband and I went for an hour drive to attend a Celebrate Recovery meeting so we could understand how it works. I’ve been telling people we’re going to start a group on May 5, and he’s been telling me that’s too soon. “How can we possibly be ready?”

After we experienced the gathering, it seemed it will take a year maybe. We’ll keep preparing and praying and see where it goes.

Part of the procedure tonight was a celebration of people for resisting whatever is plaguing them – addiction or a bad habit from a hurt received in life. When someone was thirty days free of their addiction or life controlling habit, they received a coin with an imprint and a big shout of encouragement from the crowd. Sixty days, a leader called out? Another recipient, another cheer and on it went until there were no more claimants.

There was such excitement for staying the course and fighting the battle. I didn’t expect it. It was great. I hope we can do this ministry.

I hope you are well! May God bless you!

Just Write!

 

 

Sometimes when I’m not sure what I want to do with my writing time, my husband will say, “Just Write.”

Just Write: Here's How  -     By: Walter Dean Myers

I borrowed a book from another library in our system called Just Write: Here’s How! by Walter Dean Myers with the afterword by a co-author of his in the tome Kick: Ross Workman. Mr. Myers received a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for this book and he’s a New York Times Bestselling Author of Monster.

Near the end of Just Write: Here’s How!, readers can read of the many writers’ awards which he earned! The writing book was intended for Young Adults and is such a clearly written book on the craft that I’m tempted to buy it.

He wrote on a variety of subjects and historical events over the years. The list of all his books from the very beginning in 1969 until 2012 took seven pages to compile! What a prolific writer.

As I read his book, I felt encouraged to use the gift of writing for the benefit of others. He also mentions that writing helps the author navigate through life as they learn about people and other cultures and other social classes within the same country.

He doesn’t mention his faith but he mentions his values, especially in regards to young people that made bad mistakes as immature, impressionable humans. He definitely feels young criminals should be given a chance to change and get past some wrong decisions. I agree. The human brain is not fully developed in the teen years for great decision making. The following website gave research confirming this idea:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/teens/letting-go-of-your-teen/why-parents-want-to-control-their-teens#_ga=1.150343606.1028562498.1464103743

“According to Abigail Baird of the Laboratory for Adolescent Stud­ies at Dartmouth, the human brain continues to grow and change into the early 20s.‘We as a society deem an individual at the age of 18 ready for adult responsibility,” she states. “Yet recent evidence suggests that our neuropsychological development is many years from being complete.’”1

When I considered that Jesus told people to repent for the kingdom of God was near, (Matthew 4:17), it seemed clear He knows that young people test their limits, even in unsafe ways sometimes. I don’t think He would tell people to repent if they couldn’t turn from wicked ways to wholesome ways.

If you’re a writer from teen years on up, I think you’ll glean something from this book, even if you’ve written for a long time. Walter Dean Myers tells it like it is in the world of publishing: Hard work and revision and joy and purpose in penning words for readers.

I appreciated the personal examples of the techniques of the craft that he shared as well.

May God bless you!

Hope Available

A group I attend studied two books that dealt with hope over many months in 2015. One by Max Lucado called, You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times, published and copyrighted by Thomas Nelson in 2013. A really great book.

The second one by a Western New York author, Sandra Fox, entitled Lord Renew My Hope, copyright 2007, published by xulon press. I started it before I moved one time and when I searched my book shelf, there it was – incomplete. I decided to finish it and realized the other ladies would be blessed. When I asked them if they were interested, they said, “Yes!”

A few needed encouragement at the time. That’s the blessing of friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Our real families are not always near by to listen or to give words of wisdom when we’re in a conundrum.

So we ordered the second book on hope and read of some struggles and answers to prayer. We discussed the admonition to hold on, and to paraphrase one of the author’s ideas: Find promises in the Word!

“Just try to do the next right thing,” a great guy, David McLaughlin of Rochester, NY used to say. Dave McLaughlin.jpg

He went to be with Jesus before us. We enjoyed him when he came to church and to other activities.  He usually brought bananas to share and a positive attitude. He also made us laugh and beat us at a business game we played – he told us he did the same kind of thing in real life in his past. Smart! 🙂

Like David discovered when his cancer showed up, we find hope is required in this life.

I love the book of Hebrews. It was Paul’s letter to the converts from Israel. Hebrews 11:1, (KJV) says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

If you have faith, whatever you’re hoping for will seem so real you can rest in the fact that it’s on its way.

If we have hope, we’ll aim for a goal, we’ll pray, we’ll take action. However, in Proverbs 13:12 (KJV), we learn that “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

If people face constant discouragement, they may feel like life will never change and they may want to give up. That is a lie from the pit of hell, really. In our group, one lady was feeling low and another person said, “I understand. I felt that way last year. I came through and I learned a few things along the way. Let me tell you about it. By the way, I pray for you every day.”

The lady who felt low is noticeably improved! We need each other, we need God, we need hope. We need the Bible. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)

Our mindset can change the course of our lives. Philippians 3:20 (CEV) says: “But we are citizens of heaven and are eagerly waiting for our Savior to come from there. Our Lord Jesus Christ
Php 3:21 has power over everything, and he will make these poor bodies of ours like his own glorious body.”

If you need hope, I pray you’ll find someone to help you in a healthy way. We all need encouragement once in a while on this planet. Every one of us.

In the book of James, one of the verses in  chapter one says we don’t have because we don’t ask God. Then there are conditions He outlines as reasons for His negative response to our prayers as well.

The Bible is filled with wisdom. If you haven’t read it, that may be your first step towards hope. When I’m lacking hope, I need to get my Bible out. Maybe I’ve been neglecting reading the Word, starving my spirit and feeding my flesh. That makes me grumpy, I know from experience.

I pray you have the hope that God gives abundantly. Enjoy the rest of 2015.