Monday, April 21, 2014

Always In His Care

God is always faithful, always at work in the lives of his children. Sometimes we stray from His will and plan for us, but we are never out of His care. If Jesus loves us enough to die for us, then He loves us enough to take care of us. He always, always knows where we’re at and what we’re facing.

While shopping this morning for half price Easter candy – admit it, we love to get a bargain on chocolate – I ran into an old friend, Jim. I met him and his family at church years ago. Their two daughters became friends with my daughters. His wife, Inge, and I became friends. The unique thing about them is that in addition to their two daughters and son, they always had several foster children.

Over the course of time, they adopted one of the foster girls, then within a few years, they adopted another foster child, a boy of different racial background. And they continued to be foster parents.

Inge has suffered with different ailments over the years, a brain tumor, and kidney failure. My daughters and I have stayed in contact with their daughters via Facebook. Last week Inge had a kidney transplant. The miraculous thing is the baby boy they adopted twenty seven years ago was a match, not any of her biological children. A decision years ago to change the life of one child by giving him a permanent family has had an impact this family never imagined. But God knew.

Last week Inge’s daughter and son stopped by to buy my book Like A Cedar In Lebanon for Inge to read while recuperating. When I saw Jim in Fry’s store this morning, I inquired how Inge and their son are doing. Among other things, he said, “Inge loves your book. So you’ve become a writer. That’s great.”

Had he stopped at, “Inge loves your book,” it would’ve been an encouragement. But, in the midst of his own storm with both a wife and son recovering from major surgery and the vigil to see if Inge’s body accepts this kidney, Jim began to speak life into my heart and spirit – about my writing and life in general.

Standing next to tables of marked-down Easter candy in a busy grocery store, tears sprang to my eyes. It felt like Jesus was breathing encouragement to my troubled spirit. You see, I have an alcoholic son. He has managed to destroy everyone and everything in his life. Whenever his name shows on my phone, I groan. He is so messed up and mixed up, it’s heart-wrenching for me to have any contact with him.

I have been praying lately, “God, whatever it takes, do SOMETHING!”  If you think of it, please pray for my son for deliverance, and pray for a speedy recovery for Inge and her son. If God knew twenty-seven years ago that a baby boy would be instrumental in saving his adoptive mother's life, then God knows and cares about whatever you may be facing today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Celebrating Easter

As Easter Sunday approaches I am reminded of the greatest love story ever told. I consider myself a writer of romance – with a twist – but no story will ever compare to that of Jesus. Such love! I am often dropped to my knees with the gratitude and humbleness by this love. Sadly, more often I take this love, and Jesus, for granted.

Two weeks ago our pastor preached a sermon about Jesus cleansing the temple from John 2:13-22. If you’re not familiar, it’s where Jesus turns over the moneychangers tables in the temple. It wasn’t so much what they were doing but their motives behind it – the condition of their hearts.

It brought tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart. I examined my heart and asked myself, how do I treat being in God’s house and His presence? I imagined being invited to a benevolent king’s or master’s house. He has made available a feast, and all the comforts and luxuries that are his are offered to me. What do I do with it? How do I treat Him for his kindness, grace, mercy, and love?

I am ashamed to admit that I whine and complain about so many things. I am often more ungrateful than grateful. The only one who has never failed me is Him. Truthfully, I would be dead if not for Jesus. He literally and figuratively saved me.

So, I write. I write to glorify Him. Or, at least I strive to. I want to show readers the Jesus I know through my fiction writing. I want my writing to be a blessing, to be anointed.  God, let it be, may it be so! And making some money at writing would be nice, too. Just keeping it real, folks.

God bless you and may His spirit and presence be vibrantly alive in your heart this Easter.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

God's Favor For Our Writing

At the beginning of 2014 so many people were declaring their one word for the year. I didn’t have a “word” in January, but sometime in February I decided my word for 2014 is FAVOR.
Favor with and in my writing – every area of my writing. And, this is the year I will submit to an agent. I am determined! I’ll definitely need favor with that.

In Psalm 84:11 ESV, it says, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” I know I used that scripture, along with several others, in last week’s blog, but it bears repeating.

God delights to bless us because, after all, we are his children. I pray God’s favor over many things, so why not over my writing. As God’s child, he is interested in everything that concerns me and interests me.

I am serious about this – so serious that at random moments throughout my day, and even sometimes at night before I fall asleep or when I awaken in the middle of the night – it is a whispered cry of my heart, sometimes accompanied by tears, “God bless and anoint the things that I write. Open doors for me. Motivate me to be productive with my time. Make my writing a blessing to others. GIVE ME FAVOR WHERE FAVOR IS NEEDED.”          

Moving forward one step at a time. God, I thank you for your favor in my writing.