Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Gladness of Heart

The past five days have been amazing! I came on this little trip to set up book signings, author events and whatever connections I could make for my book, Not Really A Princess coming out April 1st. I also came to see my husband's folks, one of my daughters and my sister and her husband in addition to several friends. Lots of activities squished into a few days and many miles put on a not great rental car that would not work on three occasions. Ugh.

And in my mind I am sorrowful for a close relation dying of cancer. Soon. Last night I felt so sad. My spirit burdened.

This morning as I am sitting at a Starbucks with extra time waiting for a friend, I opened my Bible to Psalm 4. Comfort flooded me. Here are some excerpts. "Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer...The Lord hears when I call to Him. Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still...and trust in the Lord. You have put gladness in my heart."

We can have sadness, thankfulness, joy, grief...all at the same time. Jumbled together.

Be still.

Maybe you too have some pressures bombarding you. I hope you can find peace and lean on God to give you renewed strength. To put gladness in your heart.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

To Flee Or Not To Flee

Should I listen to that small voice that prompts me to do things to serve my mighty God? The Holy Spirit's relentless prompting. Continuously nudging me for 25 years... write the book. Nope Lord. Not gonna. I am not qualified. I am not a writer. I don't even like english! I am a theologian! I don't like "fluff" books. They are a waste of time...isn't that what this would be?

Write The Book

But what if I write the wrong thing? What if I am misinterpreted? I just can't. 

Leave The Details To ME. Write The Book

Hmm. There is that story of Jonah. I did not grow up in a church where I learned Old Testament Bible Stories. But everyone has heard of Jonah, right? God told him to go and do something and he fled for his life. Jonah 1:2-3, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me. But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord."

Jonah knew God was all powerful. When a great storm was about to overtake their boat, he knew he was the cause. And all the men on the ship soon knew too. Verses 14-15, "And they called on the Lord and said, 'we earnestly pray, O Lord, do not let us perish on account of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for Thou, O Lord, hast done as Thou hast pleased. ' So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows."

Ok, so I am thinking this would cause someone to take notice. So Jonah heads to Nineveh like he is supposed to after he is thrown up on the beach from the big fish. REALLY big fish. He has got to be pretty glad at this point. He vows to sacrifice to God and be thankful. Then God shows compassion to Nineveh because they called on God and promised to turn from their evil ways. Jonah says, “Hey! Wait a minute, I came all this way and You are going to let these guys off the hook?" He knows that God is compassionate but he is discouraged. He leaves the city and sits down in the heat of the day. God supplies a plant to shade him, but the plant dies the next day. Then in 4:10-11 God says, " You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work, and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. And should I not have compassion on Nineveh?..."

Oh how often I have fled God's direction for my life. Yes Lord, I cave. I Will Write The Book. 

I will no longer flee. I submit. I trust Him to work through me. Humbled as I am to be His servant.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Hinds' Feet

There is that old saying - where there's a will, there's a way. Do you ever think about old sayings and how they got there start? Or maybe we pay no attention to them until they fit. Then we understand them and it is an "aha" moment.

I am not a very confident person. And that may be an understatement. I doubt things I am good at, I may know it is something that comes easy to me but still can't really believe deep down that I am good at it.

About three years ago I was sitting in my sister Lisa's home with a group of other family members. I lamented over the fact that Lisa had a wonderful career as a nurse that she had put many years of her life into and had helped hundreds if not thousands of people. It was a career. I whined that I had no career and hadn't accomplished much in life. Not sure I really totally believed that, I was whining. 

I am an out-of-the-box person. There is not even a box. I am sure I colored outside the lines as a child. I have worked many types of jobs. Teaching, retail, art, and odd jobs. So I haven't really had a "career". I like too many different types of things. Hard to focus on just one.

My passion is Bible study and helping the needy. That is not really a "job".

God has directed my path to becoming an author. Yes, I can actually say that now. I followed something through to completion. This may not seem like a big deal to most of you but to me it is HUGE!

In Habakkuk God answers the prophet in chapter two and tells him to record his vision. This of course, made me think about my vision. And is it God's vision. In verse 3 it says, "For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay." And not only does God give us a vision of things He has for us but He makes a way to complete it.

 In chapter three verses 18-19 it says, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places. " Wow! So awesome! A hind is like a deer who can walk along the cliff edge but goes higher and higher. He is able to traverse the most difficult path. As we can as He guides us.

I am an author now. Who knew? God has been able to use the biggest twists and turns of my life to hopefully bring glory to Him. And He knows me well. He helped me see it through to completion. And now I have about 5 other books lined up. Shocking!

I know He can give you hinds' feet to traverse your greatest obstacles too.

Monday, January 8, 2018

No Favorites

We would like to think that we are impartial to the unlovely or to the poor. We may minister to them in some way. This is great but are we truly caring and having a pure motive?

In James chapter two verse one it states, "My brothers, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism." It then explains that we pay more attention to someone dressed nice. Then tells us in verse 5 that God chose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him. And in verse 13, "For who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgement."

I myself look the other way when I come to a corner of an intersection and there is a panhandler. I have questions, are they legit? 

But...they still need Jesus. They still need help. 

Verse 17-18 tells us, "Even so faith , if it has NO works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may say, 'you have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." and verses 19-20 "You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe , and shudder. But are you willing to recognize you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

I think this is a work in progress for all of us. I think there is also a correlation between faith and works. But faith comes first. We do not earn our faith but rather feel compassion out of our love for God and others.

There is a phrase in an old gospel song that says, "Faith without works is like a song you can't sing. It's just about as worthless as a screen door on a submarine." Let's reach out to those we know need our practical help this week. Pray for God to show you who needs your help. This doesn't mean you have to have be rich to help. Everyone can reach out to someone in need. A kind act, a small item. A ride somewhere. Lord, help us to be mindful. Help me to look at others, all others with no favoritism.  


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Not Really A Princess Dec 2017 book trailer

After many production changes and reworking. Here is my book trailer for Not Really A Princess.  Before writing this book I don't even think I had ever seen a book trailer. It is just a tease for the upcoming book.

Thank you Jessica Owinyo of Genuinely Ginger and Chalkboard for producing this, it is lovely. And to Julie Taddicken for her excellent voiceover work.

Why do we obey? -Guest writer: Jessica Everett

 One of my favorite songs, that I often sing in my head when I'm trying to sleep or in stressful situations is "I'll obey and s...