Comfort in the Storm

Today started out kind of weird for me. My mind began dealing with sad news I’ve heard lately, plus a miscommunication I had with an author at a writers’ conference years ago. I recently bought one of her books and it reminded me that we never got to talk after our first conversation.

I wanted to clarify my reaction, but she stiffened up and ignored me. Her friend got her to soften her demeanor but all I asked for then was her autograph on a fiction book of hers.

So, I read Psalm 27 on a paper on the side of my refrigerator this morning. I do not consider her my enemy, but rather a sister-in-Christ. I took comfort from the rest of the verses concerning God’s presence and His faithfulness and His protection when we find ourselves in a storm.

Speaking of storms, I’ve been praying for Texas with their unprecedented amount of rain. We used to live near Houston many years ago. We made friends and enjoyed the optimism of the people in Texas.

Our local Christian radio has played the song of a woman thanking Almighty God for the safety of her family. The car is flooded, the downstairs is under water, but they are high above the danger zone.

This photo is from: https://www.christianbook.com/page/bibles/translations/nkjv?navcat=Bibles|Translations|NKJV

Psalm 37 is also great and I thought that was the Scripture on my refrigerator. As it says in verse 23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.”

If I’m good at all it’s because of Jesus.

May God bless you!

 

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More Thoughts On the Next Generation

So, I know where my grandson gets his pondering from 24 hours after the fact. It’s partly from me.

I rehashed yesterday’s blog on time spent with the grandchildren. In addition, on Sunday night my daughter worked on some paperwork she needed to finish up, so she asked if one of us would help get the kids ready for bed.

The older they get, the less help they need. I think I helped two of them floss their teeth and the four year old needed a little help reaching the hidden teeth at the far left and the far right when brushing them. I put his toothpaste on the brush so the whole tube didn’t get emptied out. 🙂

Just before tucking them in for the night we turned to the Bible for a short story. The oldest boy asked if they could act out the one I chose. That kept me scrambling through the pages.

I chose Jesus being led by the Spirit out to the wilderness. There’s lots of action in that but not so much as in David and the giant Goliath facing off in battle in 1 Samuel 17. I didn’t want to wake them up.

The oldest and I read Matthew chapter four to them and we’d switch off children to characters so everyone had a turn. It wasn’t bad asking, “Who wants to be Jesus?”

Saying, “Who wants to be the devil?” with enthusiastic responses of “I will!” was a bit disconcerting for this Grandma.

They really got into it, especially the second-born grandson.

Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, PA does a dramatical event for participants that I entered in a couple of times. Every small group gets their own bit of Scripture to re-enact. I portrayed the person burying their talent into the ground so the Master wouldn’t lose his talent.

When the “Master” called me a wicked servant and asked why I didn’t put the money into the bank at least, to earn interest it really hit home. That Scripture is found in Matthew 25: 1-30. When Jesus quoted at the end, ‘And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,’ I got a chill as my co-writers helped cast me away from the group.

Anyway, the four children and I finished our acting out the Scriptures and then we prayed for a little bit. I love hearing little ones pray.

Sometimes when I babysit at their home after getting them all ready for bed I’m absolutely exhausted and not that interested in the secular story and then the devotional time. I just want them to go to sleep.

I’m glad my daughter did the child care for most of the day. I thoroughly enjoyed the wrap up at the end of their last day at our house.

May God bless your day!

Again, God is Good

I’ve heard this dozens of times: “God is good, all the time” and then someone answers, “and all the time, God is good.”

Where did that come from? I looked online, but there wasn’t a clear source.

I’m assuming it’s from Scripture. Here’s an example: Matthew 19:13, (KJV):  Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

Mat 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 19:15  And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

Mat 19:16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

Mat 19:17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Another example is in Psalm 73:1  A Psalm of Asaph. (KJV): Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Speaking of Israel, from what I understand, President Donald Trump intends to support Israel. Psalm_122:6, (KJV) says: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

Those that love Jerusalem will prosper.

God’s ways are hard to figure sometimes, but when He says something, He means it. He loves all the nations:

Rev_7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Mentioning heaven, it says in Rev_21:24, (KJV):  “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Rev 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Rev 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Rev_22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Because God is good, He wants healing and prosperity and love to be in the hearts of mankind, and all the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, (KJV):  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

I hope this finds you well! 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.

Encouraged

My husband and I met with some friends tonight and one of the people wanted us to read Scriptures tonight to encourage us. She didn’t want to be reminded of all the sad things happening or even to think of politics and platforms.

Knowing her, she’s prayed about all these things, she will cast her vote in November, and she will stay aware of current events. But for tonight, she wanted to hear others read aloud Scriptures reminding everyone that God loves us, He does things well, and He is in control.

She understands we’re to revere God and she stands in awe of Him. But tonight, she wanted words of comfort and for her husband and friends to leave lifted up in spirit – feeling God’s compassion for us when things feel difficult, almost impossible.

So, I’d like to share some of the verses. With my husband’s help maybe we can remember most of them. Here they are:

  • Psalm 46:1,10,11 – Psa 46:1 To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
  • Zep 3:14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Zep 3:15  The LORD has taken away the judgments against    you; he has cleared away            your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again                  fear evil.

Zep 3:16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your                     hands grow weak.

Zep 3:17  The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will                     rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with         loud singing.

  • Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
  • Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Eph 1:2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in           Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

Eph 1:4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we                         should be holy and blameless before him. In love

Eph 1:5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the            purpose of his will,

Eph 1:6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the                          Beloved.

Eph 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our                           trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Eph 1:8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

Eph 1:9  making known to us the mystery of his will,   according to his purpose, which           he set forth in Christ

  • Psa 100:1 A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

Psa 100:2  Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

Psa 100:3  Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are           his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psa 100:4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks              to him; bless his name!

Psa 100:5  For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his                              faithfulness to all generations.

  • Psa 119:1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!

Psa 119:2  Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole           heart,

Psa 119:3  who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!

Psa 119:4  You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.

Psa 119:5  Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!

Psa 119:6  Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your                               commandments.

Psa 119:7  I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.

Well, I guess that’s all I can come up with now. May God bless you as only He can. 🙂

Answered Prayer

My daughter called me today to say that my son has good news. I don’t know about you, but I like hearing good news!

Our ladies’ Bible study has been praying for my son and my daughter to get full time jobs. They’ve both been working part time trying to make ends meet. She started a job lately and he just found out he’s been hired. Oh, how wonderful to hear that they got jobs.

Our church has a healing ministry service once a month and this past time, a man stood up to say that two pastors at our church prayed for his diabetes to heal. His toe was killing him. I remember thinking at the time, why doesn’t he ask for his foot to heal up?

He’s been losing weight and the diabetes didn’t change. So when he got up to the microphone, I wondered what he had to say. I’d forgotten he’d gone forward for prayer. His diabetes began healing up after the service. His doctor keeps lowering his insulin and whatever medicines he’s on because his blood sugar is getting too low. It keeps getting better and better. I love hearing that.

I spoke to a friend yesterday. She reminded me of Psalm 34:17:   When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. (ESV)

This friend has a gift of faith. So, when she prays for me sometimes, she won’t even call to see how it worked out. I’ll call her and tell her God answered the prayer. She’s happy for me, but never surprised. 🙂

Psalm 34 is one of my favorite Scriptures. My mother-in-law’s favorite Scripture was Psalm 91, she told me once.

I hope this finds you well. If not, I hope you’ll search God’s word to see what His opinion is on your circumstance. Maybe there’s a Scripture you can pray that covers exactly what you’re dealing with. God doesn’t always answer prayers the way I want Him to, but when He doesn’t it’s because there is a good reason.

Sometimes in my life, I’ve thanked Him for not answering my prayer, because later I realized I’d have been in a big mess if things had gone my way. In case you haven’t noticed, I love serving a God Who has my back.

May God bless you!

 

To Eat or Not to Eat?

Of course we have to eat! Lol

I’ve been under the weather lately and food has lost it’s appeal. Two days ago, my appetite resurfaced. So I’ve been gradually introducing more items.

After recovering from stuff I tend to notice that really healthy foods like a salad with a nice mixture of different colored veggies hits the spot. Today I had a golden delicious apple and it was better than any sweet I’ve ever had, or so it seemed. Lol

My son is here from Buffalo and I was telling him that lately I feel drawn to read everything but the Bible. When I use discipline to get into the Bible, even a few sentences tastes like sweet nectar.

When I made my salad today, it was pre-packaged and pre-washed into bite sized pieces. A gift from a friend. There were ready to eat baby carrots and tiny tomatoes that only needed to be rinsed off. All I needed to add was salad dressing to satisfy my taste buds. Mmm good.

I ate a delicious ziti after the salad in a moderate amount because I was testing my abilities with food. Moments later, I decided to have more ziti because it tasted so good. I asked God what He thought. I got the idea not to eat anymore of the Italian style meal.

Years ago, as a teen, I used to overeat because it was there and it stimulated my taste buds but I didn’t feel satisfied afterwards. I found if I ate an apple after eating a dessert, I would feel content. Ziti has some great nutrition to it, but cooked food loses the natural enzymes that are in raw foods. So I found something else to do until the craving passed. Then I thought of a verse in Proverbs:

Proverbs 25:16 (KJV) Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

If I’d overeaten, I would have slown down my recovery.

When I read too many books on writing or read fiction and magazines and watch YouTube with my son and then talk on the phone, being alone with God and learning from His word can lose its attraction. In these end times, what a dangerous place to be.

I thank God for all His blessings, but I need Him to keep me on track with our relationship. I make sure I talk to my husband every day and we date regularly when we can, even if we don’t have a dime to spare. A good friend once purchased sparkling grape juice, some easy to make picnic items, and arranged for free or inexpensive babysitting. She kidnapped her husband and they went to a park for a date. They’ve been married over forty years.

I try to eat healthy and I fail to manage it perfectly, but Jesus reminded us in the Scripture when He debated with the devil in the wilderness a priority in life.

In Mat_4:3 (KJV): And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat_4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

God’s word is more important than our daily bread.

I need to keep that in mind. That’s why He provides for our needs so we can concentrate on the spiritual realities. I’m thinking Matthew 6:33 (KJV): “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

God bless!

Birds

I remember in college a swarm of birds on the grass, outside my dorm.

My roommate, terrified of birds, wanted to help feed them. She gazed out our upstairs window and then implored me to take some crackers to them.

Our generation watched Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds,” which scared us – big time. As horrifying as the film was, I convinced myself those birds did not act anything like real ones. So I took the crackers down to the birds.

I don’t remember the birds flying away when I entered the grassy square, although I imagine they would have before I got too close.

She was so happy to give the feathery creatures food. She enjoyed them from a distance. Her fears kept her from having peace in their presence. I know what it is to fear animals. After my daughter got bit by a dog, I battled fear.

I’ve quoted 2 Tim. 1:7 many times over the years and it’s helped:

2Ti 1:7, (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

When you encounter a fear, maybe you’ll be able to speak this verse aloud or in a whisper so you can hear it. It’s amazing how helpful that’s been over the years. It does something inside of me and it does something in the supernatural realm.

Heb 4:12, (KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This is one of my favorite verses. Have a great day. Mine was so full, I’m typing after midnight. Hopefully I’ll get the next blog out earlier. God bless!

 

United

Today, I went to a Bible study at a nursing home and we read John 17. It talks of believers being united. Jesus longs for His followers to be one in the Spirit.

John_15:12, (KJV) “This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you.

As we visited and read Scripture and prayed together, we came to realize we are family, sisters in Christ.

Then tonight, I got to see friends that I haven’t seen in quite a while. We sang songs worshiping God and caught up on our news, laughed and ate dinner together.

I told her that another reason I look forward to heaven is that I’ll get to see friends from different towns where we’ve lived. No separations in heaven.

Tomorrow, our denomination is hosting a gathering for women from different areas of New York. I’ll enjoy seeing people that once again, I haven’t seen in a while.

Isn’t it amazing how life goes along and then God provides opportunities to see others that blesses big time?

As a believer, we are told to get along with all of our family in Christ. When I’ve been on the outs with friends, it feels like a dark cloud follows me until I get things taken care of.

Really, the “Our Father” prayer tells me to forgive anyone I have unforgiveness toward. God helps me with this. I know, I’ve had to ask in the past.

God bless!

So Much!

Some days I’m not sure what to write about, others there’s so much to choose from it’s hard to know what to mention and what to let go of. That is an art in writing. I recently read that when you write everything out for the reader and don’t leave room for them to “get it,” or imagine their own scenario, that’s “writing on the nose.”

Jerry Jenkins mentioned that and I apologize if this is the second time I brought this up. When I read that piece of advice, “Don’t write on the nose,” I pondered, Do I do that?

In non-fiction, the reader needs to be able to follow where you’re going, but even there, “on the nose” writing may insult their intelligence or bore them.  So, as I’m  writing daily, I’m working on not writing “on the nose.”

On the novel, I’m trying to put my heroine in danger that changes her life. I keep niggling on the idea of writing from the brother’s point of view and he’s the antagonist. I just don’t want to do it, but today it almost seemed like he was in my head showing me just what he felt about the situation.

I have Scriptures posted near the computer for motivation. Proverbs 22: 29 (NKJV) says, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.”

Not that I want to stand before kings, it reminds me not to settle for mediocrity.

A verse I read unintentionally the other day said, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

That was from the Apostle Paul in  2 Thess. 3:10 in the (KJV).

That’s motivated me around the house and with my writing as well. I’ll take all the encouragement I can get. LOL

I thought I’d write more on my novel earlier in the day, but my list of to-do’s got in the way. I’m cleaning a room that got neglected and today I used the paper shredder to get rid of excess copies of treasurer and secretary reports from a non-profit organization I volunteered at for at least four years in this town. The shredder stops when it gets too warm, I think. I almost bought another one tonight because I thought I broke it. A friend suggested I pray over it, and I did. Then it worked. It may have a short in the wire; I’ll ask my husband to look at it.

Anyway, I’ll have to blog about the other stuff I was thinking of on another day. Too many words can be like too much food. What was enjoyable turns into discomfort and stimulates a lack of appetite, in my opinion. Hope you have a good day!