Marriage for Life, Uhuh

My youngest daughter stopped over to the house today. She does that on occasion and I took advantage of her company by asking her to lift a heavy bag for me to move to another location because I pulled some muscles in my back over the weekend and they’re still a little touchy. She had an agenda as well. “Do you want to spend some time talking about the marriage book you want to write? Do you still want me to collaborate with you?”

We spent a few hours shaping our ideas. She read my synopsis while I wrote a letter to a publisher explaining who we are and what our perspective is. I figure we might as well have a publisher on board if we can interest one, because why write a book if they want a different slant.

Cute Married couple fall photo shoot! 2013 | Photo shoot | Pinterest ...(photo from :http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.BJ8qz4_CIX9mBktgl7ZJhQDGEs&pid=15.1&w=77&h=116&p=0 )

It will be a richer book with her input because she wants to address issues people in younger generations are dealing with, and when she asked for advice from her parents and other couples, some almost seventy years old, they gave her a blank look. With all the years of wisdom accumulated, they hadn’t run into some of the issues she’s dealt with and others are facing.

We’ll see if God wants this project to go forward. We plan on praying our way through it.

I hope this finds you well and able to sit up easily and type without pain. It’s amazing how I take my health for granted. I’m grateful for a fairly rapid recovery.

By the way, if you’re married, there are lots of good reasons to stick together if you and your spouse aren’t sure at the moment. Of course, when there is abuse, I always tell folks to separate until the abuse stops through a changed heart and new, healthy behaviors have become the norm.

May God bless you!

Advertisements

Direction

Product Details

I’ve been reading a book by T. Davis Bunn, now writing as Davis Bunn, called Promises to Keep. Bethany House Publishers published it in 1991 and T. Davis Bunn copyrighted it in 1991. I read it before, but I wanted to read it again. I’m learning about politics and lobbyists and the way laws come into being or bills are buried so they disappear. I didn’t see this the last time I read the book because there was so much to the story. It covers some uncomfortable issues. It makes me aware that I don’t know what the laws are that this fictionalized tale speaks of. The author leaves footnotes to tell of actual testimonies and persuasive arguments.

This book emphasizes the power of prayer. I received a newsletter from an evangelist who came to our church a few times. He asked that his readers would please pray; that God is in control of the elections and of our country and of our world. Both he and T. Davis Bunn remind their readers that what might seem impossible is not impossible to God.

Luke 18:27, (ESV) quotes Jesus here:  But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

In this instance He is speaking of how hard it is for a rich person to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, in other words, to be saved.

Also, in Luke 1:37, (ESV) says: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

In this particular conversation, Mary, the mother of Jesus is being told that her elderly aunt, Elizabeth is pregnant. Then the information that nothing will be impossible with God is declared.

I take great comfort in God’s Word. He is all powerful and He is in control. Nothing is impossible to Him, even though He allows things to happen that break His heart because He gives mankind free will. Yet, I recall many times over my life getting a small nudging to turn this way or don’t eat that, because God was trying to direct my paths so I’d avoid injury.

Once was early on in my walk with God. I kept having insistent thoughts to turn down a particular street or to try and sell a school fundraising item to a family on another side street. I would rationalize the ideas away. Why would I turn here, it’s out of my way?

I don’t want to bother that family; they’re putting their groceries away, I decided. So, I headed the straightest route home with my elementary-aged daughter and encountered a fierce dog. I froze while she flapped her arms around and said, “Mommy, look, a dog.”

I couldn’t even speak. The dog bit her and I developed a strong fear of dogs. I then understood why I kept having these promptings to go another way. Thankfully, it just bit once and the owners came running out of their garage to whisk it away. I learned a lesson that day. If I sense God leading me in a way that’s a little out of the ordinary, I just take it, most of the time. I’m still learning.

I’m praying about the next big project God wants me to write. “Please direct me, I pray in Jesus’ name.”

May God bless you.

Commitment: Are You For It or Against It?

Hi! I am writing tonight because I made a commitment to write more regularly in July of 2014 at Montrose Christian Writers Conference. I’ve been crazy busy with family, a writing project for a client and unfortunately, three funerals over the last three weeks. I began to realize that my blogging schedule fell by the wayside. So, I got to it shortly after remembering. Here goes:

I wonder what you think of commitment? I think of it often because I really care about marriage. I started a book on marriage but I am more eager to finish my novel, so that book is second on my list. I am writing for other people because I feel God wants me to and I know my husband appreciates me working to help carry the load. So, since I’m committed to God and to my husband, I’ve set priorities in my writing life.

Today I spent time in the Word early in my day because that’s something God’s been nudging me to do, and it amazes me how much better my day goes when I take those minutes to read the Word and pray. During prayer I felt as if God said to write today.

We had four little ones and their mom here for four days and my house, which is never perfect, looked so beat up, I knew I’d be restoring order and doing laundry. Since I try to obey God, (and believe me, I’m not perfect), in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about the writing. So, I did dishes and threw stuff away and found toys in unexpected places which went back in the toy box. My daughter did a ton to set things right, but she has very active children and couldn’t get it all done.

At three p.m., I called it quits and got on the computer. I finished a short story I’ve been working on, and blogging was my next priority. I was about to get ready for bed when I realized I didn’t get beyond signing in to WordPress.com, so here I am.

My husband and I have been married for thirty-nine years. That’s a commitment that seems tiny compared to a couple we know. We just attended their seventieth wedding anniversary. She said it’s been good, there have been times when it wasn’t good and then times when it was horrible. They stayed the course and she gave the credit to the fact that they met Jesus in a tangible way in their adult years. Not just as an idea in church, but as Lord and Savior, friend and judge, peace-giver and provider, protector and director of their paths, parent and confidant, healer and trustworthy authority. The list could go on, but then it would be too long. 🙂

Are you for commitment, or against it? I see people not getting married because their parents’ marriage didn’t work out. We are still married today, by the grace of God. I’m definitely for it, but sometimes it’s hard. The good definitely outweighs the bad.

Have you ever committed to something and then been sorry? Have you ever committed to something and been glad? I’d love to hear from you.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: an Unforgettable American

I’m reading a book called, “Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers” by Jean Fritz, copyright 1994 by Jean Fritz, and published by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s always liked to write. So she started as a young girl. Later in life, when her best friend died, she decided to console the grief-stricken husband. His looks didn’t appeal to her, but she thought highly of him. He was a professor of Biblical Literature.

After many months of trying to get him out of his despondency, they began to enjoy each other’s company. Friendship turned to romance and then they got married without much fuss.

I like to read stories of writers and to read of their choices as they become wordsmiths.  She wrote because she felt a compulsion to write. She wrote to become published when her family needed the money to survive. It’s interesting to note that she was an adept marketer. She sent essays to every magazine she could think of, and she found success enough that she hired a housekeeper for three hours a day so she could write.

When her passion for ending slavery arose, she wrote to influence the nation. People accused her of never having seen slavery, but she knew many people because of her famous father, Lyman Beecher. He preached to thousands of people about their need for a Savior to get into heaven and to avoid the torments of hell. So many people sought their family out, and she would listen to conversations from politicians, Southerners, New Englanders, people from Ohio, New York State, preachers and teachers.

When she heard of slaves being mistreated, her compassion stirred up her emotions, which found release in her pen. She met families that opened their homes to the “Underground Railroad.”

She wanted the country to wake up and see that there were no rights for slaves. She felt outrage. Women didn’t have much influence in her life time. So, writing a novel was the only way she could get her point across. She never expected her book to sell like it did.

I sat with a renowned pastor/teacher at a conference I attended one year for our church body. He wrote a book because he looked for one on his topic of interest and there wasn’t one. So he did a ton of research on the subject and wrote it himself. 🙂

It’s amazing how life can turn around with the right incentives, in a way that a person may never anticipate. I’ll bet if anyone told Harriet Beecher Stowe at age sixteen that some day she would write a book that impacted the world, she probably would have marveled at the idea. She was often overlooked at home and bossed around by her older sister. Yet, the fire in her spirit and the joy of writing, combined to create a life beyond her imagination.

 

Wrestle or Surrender?

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV): 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.

I love being a Christian for many reasons: one is experiencing God’s love as He shows Himself to me as I read the Bible. Today I read in Romans 8 that nothing will ever separate me from the love of Christ. Not principalities, nor powers, nor tribulations, and I’m paraphrasing here. I’ve been running into some difficulties lately, which feels like spiritual warfare. Some of the stress is because I need to let go of things and give them to God. So when I read Romans 8 today and then Ephesians 1, which reminds me that God predestined believers to come to Him before time began, I experienced such peace, which is the second reason I’m glad to be a Christian.

In 2 Peter 3:9 it says that God does not want anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. In Romans 3:23 it tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So, we all need a savior to make it into God’s holy heaven.

I wonder if everyone is predestined to go to heaven if only they will choose. I guess that doesn’t make sense. Someone once told me that they thought everyone’s name is written in the Book of Life until they reject Jesus Christ, God the Son, or the Father, or the Holy Spirit, and then their name is blotted out. So I guess they believe everyone is predestined until they say, “No thank you.”

The third thing I enjoy about Christianity is leaving the guilt behind. Once I repent, if I need to every ten minutes, God says our sins are as far away as the East is from the West in Psalm 103:12. He remembers them no more.

The fourth thing that I enjoy is that God wants what’s best for me and for all of mankind, so He tells us in the Bible to fear not. My daughter said it tells us that 365 different places in the sixty-six books. Which is why I’ve been willing to face rejections when I send manuscripts out to publishers. I ignore the fear and try to do the best writing and follow the writers’ guidelines and choose topics the editors actually want to see and send them out.

So, do I wrestle against flesh and blood when things go bad in my life and people act against me? According to God, when terrible things come my way I have to consider the source. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, Jesus said in John, chapter 10. Jesus came to give life and that abundantly, according to John 10:10.

I write because I really like to write. I surrendered my life to God many years ago so I will never have to surrender to the enemy of my soul, who only wants to inflict pain, and keep me from what I like to do. When things get bad, I turn to the word of God and He fights my battles for me. Jesus spoke the word against the devil and the power of that word sent him scurrying. I speak the word and it changes the atmosphere. To God be the glory.

 

Writing to Impact Others

Following Jesus Christ gives me chances to hear His still small voice or sense an action I might want to take.

For the last few weeks I’ve felt like I needed to place an ad in one of those free weekly advertisement newspapers that come in the mail. I didn’t because I’ve been beyond busy. In the past, I’ve placed a small business ad in that local paper, offering my writing services for people that may need some assistance.

So this light pressure with a hint of excitement hovers in and around my consciousness, but I put off any action.

My grandchildren and family members are safely home for a couple of days now. Four days before they leave, I get a telephone call from a lady that needs help with some bulleted information for a presentation she hopes to make. She called this newspaper office to see if they’ll find my name and telephone number so she can contact me and they go all the way back to their Spring issues to find my ads. They give her my contact info. We exchange ideas and rates that I charge and now we’re in the middle of a project.

I love how God will get my attention if I don’t carry through on something He’s pointing me towards. Something that He knows I’ll enjoy and something that will aid the client. Now, to trim the words and make them story-like so they make an impact, yet business-like enough so this person won’t cry through her very personal vignette. Hopefully her experiences will stimulate positive results.

I write on my own time to entertain, but there are times when i write to voice an opinion for an issue I’m passionate about, or to write an editorial for a client. Do you write? If so, what results are you hoping for?

Jane Eyre

I started reading Jane Eyre in earnest this week. Sometimes I get too many books out of the library, and near their due date I read like crazy to get them done. 🙂 My son took a course in a SUNY college on Women’s Literature, it might have had a feminist bent in the course title. He bought the book, Jane Eyre for the course and I told him I’d never read it. So, it is now in my possession.

I either caught a bug or ate contaminated food, but I thought I’d never been so sick in my life. Two years ago, after a too strong antibiotic I contracted C-Diff and through series of miscommunications, I couldn’t seem to get the counter-medication to reverse the effects. I thought I was going to die. This bug seemed worse than that for severity. After asking friends for prayer and begging my husband to come home for support, which I don’t like to do, I felt like a healthy switch turned on and I improved speedily. 🙂

But, in my weakened state, I was forced to lay around. What better way to lay around than with a book that became more and more interesting, the longer I read it? I got hooked right away, but in my busy world, I would read a page or two and reluctantly put it aside. I am in what would have been Part 3, if the book was formatted as it was in the past. So, please don’t spoil the ending for me. If I were Charlotte Bronte, I would say, “Gentle Reader, …”

I don’t care for that intrusion from the author and have been warned against the author inserting themselves into the story. Now I see why.

She makes me want to go to northern England to see what heath looks like. I had that desire after reading Wuthering Heights, perhaps. I never finished it, maybe I never started it. I saw the movie years and years ago. It was too dark and melancholy for my tastes, so I left it.

My children and a handful of grandchildren are about to descend from Northern climes to our fair town. So I intend to take a week and play hide and go seek, wash dishes, change diapers, go to playgrounds and ignore writing of any kind, if I can stand it. I will continue to read. How can a writer not read?

I chose some easy readers, level one, for one of the children.

Change Hinderers

I have to admit, I like change. Yet, at a conference where my husband and I, as leaders, were being coached to change, I didn’t like it. Anxiety sat on my shoulder, what would this change do to the flow of things back at the building?

Who am I? Why did I resist the ideas for change. When did I, um, change?

After I looked at the resistance to change at that meeting, I decided to take a deep breath, get over the idea that I might not want to look at new techniques, and became more open. I’m sure the instructor appreciated that. If leadership won’t consider anything new, forget implementing anything after the training.

As some may know, I’ve started keeping a time-log. I’m on week two. It amazes me how quickly time flows and how hard it is for me to keep an 8.5 by 11 inch piece of paper with me at all times so I can keep track of the fleeing half hours. So, I’ve cheated and tried to remember. Where did that half hour go between eating lunch and finishing a note to my neighbor, now living in assisted-living quarters hours away? How is it that she’s gone and I rarely made it over to sit and chat? How is it that I didn’t know she was lonely until after she moved away and her daughter told me? And surely, it didn’t take me half an hour to say hi, how are you, I miss you.

The other day, I intended to clean for three hours and write for five. The phone rang. “What time did you say you were coming over today?” After setting up an appointment for the afternoon, I called my friend. “Remember our walk, can you make it this morning?” Oh, man. How many hours are there in the day? Overbooking when I’m actually keeping track shows the tendencies that have sabotaged me in the past, which is what this exercise is all about.

Today, a friend needed a ride to see some people. Her close friend called me to see if I could accommodate her, because she was too upset to drive. A friend looking out for another friend, and I agreed. I wouldn’t want emotional duress to cause an accident. So I packed my computer in a bag with a Bible and a writing book and money for lunch. I’m glad I was available, but as soon as I find my time paper, I’ll have to block out three hours of time for a sandwich and the drive and maybe two verses read.

Sometimes when people know you are trying to diet, or to be less available, or kicking the addictive behavior you enjoyed with them, they’ll give you little hints as to why you shouldn’t even bother. “You’ve tried that before and it didn’t work, don’t worry about it.” Or, “I’ll miss you. Surely you don’t have to skip time with me.” Or “What kind of a friend are you? We always go to the ice cream stand after class? One hot fudge sundae a week won’t kill you?” Etc. Etc.

I’m reminded of what Cecil Murphey said to me, “What are you willing to give up?”

For a person who likes change, I can see that I have some routines that I like. I read a book for a resource for a marriage book I’m working on. The man had Asperger’s Syndrome. If I remember correctly, his wife pointed out that he spent forty-five minutes looking in the mirror in the morning while she got their children fed, bathed, dressed, and then got herself ready for work. I think people can fall into time-wasting habits and not even be aware. This man wanted to help his wife and improve his marriage. His book is: “The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband,” by David Finch.

He altered behaviors for the benefit of his wife, himself and his children. He didn’t allow others to hinder his progress. As I change and grow, I’ll continue to note hindrances of my own making and maybe see some from others. Then I’ll have to decide, “What am I willing to give up so I can stay seated at the keyboard or to avoid a trip to the dr.s office or hospital, etc.?”

Power Releasers?

As I lay in bed this morning, I got thinking about God. I got thinking about God and mankind.

In recent sermons, my husband, the man who likes Science and Math and Business and People, has been preaching on the book of Genesis. In the beginning, God created. When He created man and then woman, it was the only time He said, “It was very good.”

After God created the heavens, the earth, the plants, the sun, moon and stars, the animals, He said, “It was good.”

We believe in a six day creation; one of the reasons is because God made the plants on one day and the next day He made the sun. He made mankind in God’s image, “Our image,” He said: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. He spoke the world into being.

So, if God is all powerful, why does He ask us to pray? Why does He include us in the running of this world? Be fruitful and multiply. Take dominion over the animals and the planet. In other words, be good stewards over the animals and over the earth. Treat them kindly.

In the Scriptures, it says, “Ask and you shall receive,”(John 16:24). “If two or more agree as touching anything on this earth, it shall be done of them by the Father,” (Matthew 18:19).”If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Are we power releasers? Why does God want to include us in helping to determine the condition of this world?

I wrote my ten year old grandson a letter about this idea of prayer releasing God’s power in a fashion that a ten year old would understand. He is a deep thinker. He loves super heroes. He doesn’t like bullies. Well, who does want to be bullied? 🙂

God is a creative God and we are made in His image. Maybe that’s why I feel more alive when I write. I’m looking at prayer in a much deeper way this day, because of His written word.

Are We Aware of the Time We Live In?

Hi! I’m looking at my life, while sewing. Felt like God answered my query, “What should I be doing?” by using the word “Write” to enter my consciousness.

So here I am, instead of re-threading my needle for the umpteenth time. I heard that the Pope is dying today. Then I got online and saw that he resigned from being Pope around noon. I spoke to a friend and she said it is being written on Facebook that Americans will have to receive an implanted chip in order to use their medical insurance starting in March under President Obama.  I’ve heard in the past that “666” referred to in the book of Revelation in the New Testament will be camouflaged in a binary code using all zero’s and one’s. All newborns will receive this chip for their medical records to be implanted and a homing device, according to my friend.

Are we in end times, or what?

How do we reach our unsaved loved ones? God gives free will and I respect their right to choose, but I want them to read the Bible and ask God for His input so much that it hurts.

Any comments?