Friday, September 14, 2018

Crowding My Mind


Friday has rolled around again, and it is time to join in with the crowd of writers who do a free-write each Friday on one word.  Today’s word is CROWD. (See what I did there?)

Before I do my 5 minutes on any word prompt, I like to sit and think a minute. I’m very careful not to read any blog I’ve subscribed to that participates in the free-write. In fact, I won’t even scroll down in Kate’s blog past the notification of the word.

So, today, I’m thinking of the word “crowd.” The first thing that comes to my mind is “crowd funding,” but I don’t want to write about that. (I really have no knowledge of it.)

Thinking … thinking … then I remember a song that has the phrase, “crowding my mind,” in it. Or at least I thought it did. Turns out – all this time, years and years that I’ve been hearing that song – I had it wrong. I’m talking about the song, “One Day at a Time.”

I always thought the line was “pushin’ and shovin’, crowdin’ my mind.” Instead, it is “Cheating an stealing, violence and crime.”

No matter. I’m still going to write about having a crowded mind!




GO

Lately, I’ve had a crowded mind.

This is the time of year when so much is done in the church office, especially in the last couple weeks. The business meeting report and the annual church profile are all due the same week at one of my churches. The financial reports for the other church are due the end of that week as well.

Our study in Hebrews for my adult class is going deep and taking a lot of room in my brain. This week, it was my turn to lead bible study for our midweek service, so Psalm 19 was resounding in my brain as well.

However, over and above all these things is the sound of inspiration. I’ve been praying for inspiration for a writing project for ten years.

Ten years.

(I’m just wondering if it is a coincidence it took me ten years to birth a story idea, just as it took me ten years to birth a child? Hmm….)

Inspiration has finally come. I’m changing directions and trying my hand at Christian fiction. I’m trying my best to take advantage of this wonderful time; however, I never really knew a drawback to the writing life until now.

My characters won’t leave me alone.

(5 Minutes are Up – but, I’ve more to say!)

They intrude upon my thoughts while driving and I show up somewhere not really remembering the drive there.

Whilst preparing dinner, I’m lost in a plot instead of peeling potatoes.

At o’dark thirty, my eyes pop open and I wonder if I should redo the dialog when Morgan confronts her mother.

I’m supposed to be participating in our nightly ritual of watching Jeopardy! on the DVR with my husband when suddenly I realize Sharon doesn’t look at all like I first imagined her. I better make some changes in the story.

My characters won’t leave me alone – and it’s wonderful!

~~

Have you ever had a crowded mind? Are you feeling just crowded in general? How does crowd-funding work, anyway? Leave a comment and share, or link your on post on the word, “Crowd,” at Five Minute Friday. We’d all love to hear.
~~~



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Friday, September 7, 2018

Rain


Today, I'm joining with the writers at Five Minute Friday as we write for 5 minutes examining the one word, "Rain."



In the light of the king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.
Proverbs 16:15 NKJV

GO

She felt the pain of always feeling, “I’m never enough.”

The weight of always missing the mark, and not meeting expectations of friends, family, and worst of all, herself, weighed on her like a heavy press.

Eventually, she quit praising praying and reading the Word.

She began to feel as if she hadn’t taken a drink for days upon days. Parched. She felt drier than dust and started dreaming of cool water slipping down her throat.

She began to see it was a spiritual thing. If you never heard a word from the Lord, you begin to long for just a drop of moisture.

“Something, Lord, I just need something.”

“I could go 100 days in the power of just one encouraging word from you!”

And then one day, she just up and picked up that bible. She didn’t plan to do it, but it drew her like a magnet and she thumbed over to Colossians. No reason really – it just fell open to chapter one, and she didn’t read too far before she came across some of His promises.

·         I am delivered
·         I am free from the power of darkness
·         I am redeemed
·         I am forgiven
·         Through what He has done for me, I’m now holy, blameless and above reproach.

And suddenly a smile came to her face.

She whispered, “It’s like I had amnesia. I’d forgotten who my God is, so of course I couldn’t know who I am…”

“I was drying up inside, devastated to think I was worthless.”

STOP

But just a drop of knowing she had His favor felt even better than the times she had played outside in the rain as a kid.

Refreshed. The burning feeling of shame quenched by the rain of His love.

What about you? Are you thirsty? Open up that bible and quench yourself.

~~~


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I'm sharing this at the FMF community as well as #FreshMartketFriday and Grace&Truth.


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Summer Lessons

A Foggy August Morning

I already knew this, but had this lesson reinforced in my brain in August:

God Still Answers Prayer!

I received word of not one, but two, amazing miracles this month.

About nine weeks ago, my nephew, who had a drug problem, got ahold of a “bad drug.” He ended up in the ICU with liver, heart and kidney damage and was on a ventilator. Things looked grim. Doctors thought he would be needing dialysis for the rest of his life because they felt he could never make the kidney transplant list.

Our family asked for prayer from believers far and wide. Today, his liver is healed, his kidneys are healed, he is off dialysis and out of the hospital. He still has a way to go; but we are praising God for hearing our prayers and answering. Best of all, he is testifying to God’s goodness, attending church, and is in a Celebration Recovery group.

About this same time, I received word of another amazing story.

In mid-June, a prayer request came in for our prayer team at church to pray for a friend’s 19-year-old son who had suffered a heat stroke in Texas. His temperature had risen to 108° and he endured multiple stokes. Days later we received word doctors said the boy was brain-dead and advised ending life support. We all prayed for the family for comfort and assumed the boy died.

Never assume!

Weeks later, we learned he was alive, Not only alive, but in a wheelchair conversing with family. We were sent a picture of him waving at us!

Then a couple praise-the-Lord’s on a smaller scale:

We have been waiting fo-evah for a check from our insurance company on Jim’s medical tests from LAST fall. I was thinking to myself … “Time to scope out a different company when open enrollment happens.”

I prayed a couple weeks ago, “Lord, please let us get a check this week. You know we have all these bills and also need some work done on the van, At least $400 would take some pressure off.”

The next day, the check came.  $1300!

God is good.

So, the van was put in the shop with an estimate quoted of $420 to fix the problem.

Total Bill: $148!

He’s good all the time!

I share all this to encourage YOU. You can take all your needs to Him. Will the answer always be Yes? No, sometimes it won’t be in our best interest for God to say Yes. But if you are a believer, you can be assured He hears and He will bring good out of every situation you are in. (I’m not making this up – read Romans 8:28.)

And sometimes, He has an even better answer than what we requested.

Going a Different Direction

This summer, I’ve been privileged to be part of a Writer’s Club led by a local author. It’s been a game-changer for me.

As my readers know, I mostly write devotional type essays along with a good dose of memoir. (I always figured this stuff happens for a reason, I might as well write about it.)

But the Club has opened my eyes up to possibilities of writing fiction. I’ve been dipping my toe into the waters, so to speak, and I’m finding it tons of fun.

In the last week, inspiration has struck. I’m working on a project so consuming, yet exciting, it has swallowed up my available writing time – hence the quietness on the blog.

There will be posts o’plenty during the month of October when I join the Write 31 Days challenge, so please stay tuned!


Has August been a month of answered prayer and inspiration for you, too? I’d love to know how it’s going for you. Leave a comment and share, or link your own post to Emily’s 
What I Learned This Summer community.


~~~

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Loyal



Today, I’m writing on the prompt shared by the Five Minute Friday flash-mob of writers. It is so interesting to see how writers take one word, free-write on it for 5 minutes, and a myriad of viewpoints emerge. God has certainly gifted us uniquely!

Today’s word is LOYAL.

Whenever I write on a one-word prompt, I like to look up the definition of the word before beginning. (I usually use the Oxford Dictionary – hey! We fans of the quiz show, Jeopardy!, believe in the Oxford dictionary.)

Here is how “loyal” is described:

Giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.Oxford Dictionary

When I saw the words, "constant support," I knew which direction to go.

LOYAL

When we think of loyalty, we think of someone who believes in us, thinks the best of us and will never leave us.

Although I am not owned by a pet, many experience this kind of devotion by a dog. How many times have you heard "a dog is man’s best friend?"

However; I know someone who is the epitome of loyalty.

God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.

If you look at the 8th chapter of Romans in the New Testament, you will find a treasure-trove of rich promises. Let me paraphrase one of the passages in chapter 8 (verses 28-39) for you, but please take time to click on the link and read for yourself:

Things will always work out for me in the end because I am called, foreknown, predestined to become like Jesus, who is my brother. I am justified. I will be glorified. God is for me. He will give me all things. Jesus is always speaking my name in intercession. I am more than a conqueror. I am loved and I will never be separated from His love!

It tells me all I need to know about a God who never gives up on me. In fact, He says there is nothing in this whole wide world that will ever come between us!

If that is not an example of loyal love, I don’t know what is.

STOP

Have you experience this kind of loyal love for yourself?  If not, click on my tab at the top of the page, “A Ticket Home” to find out how you can!

~~~

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Five Minute Friday crew, I'm also linking with the communities at Crystal's #FreshMarketFriday and Arabah Joy's 
Grace&Truth. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Loved

This week's one word prompt from the FMF flash-mob of writers is:


LOVED



But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) Ephesians 2:4-5




My journey’s calling is to be an encourager; and so I write tons about God’s love, mercy and grace.

Sometimes I think I might overdo it; because God has two main facets of His personality: holiness and love.

Holiness cannot abide sin; in fact, He cannot have any sin in his presence.

Which is bad news for us. Not a one of us on our best day can come close to being in right standing on our own.

But the good news is, He made a way for us to be accepted through the blood of His dear Son, Jesus.

Paul tells us in Ephesians that we have been loved with a great love by a God who is rich in mercy.

And if I, who have been walking on this journey for 48 years, still need to be reminded of it, then I believe there are many others who need to have it said again and again:

Yes, you are loved.

Now go out and do everything with a motive of love for God, others and then yourself.

I can’t help but believe it will all turn out well.

 ~~~



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Besides the Five Minute Friday crew, I'm also linking with the communities at Crystal's #FreshMarketFriday and Arabah Joy's Grace&Truth

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Morning Pick-Me-Up #4


Do you need a little somethin’ somethin’ to get your day started? Is your spirit feeling a tad low?


Then stop and reflect on who you are in Christ!






And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:28-29 New Living Translation

As my readers know, I often bring up my favorite “benchmark” scripture of Romans 8:28 to apply in almost any situation of life.

Today, let's focus on verse 29 which explains why sometimes the working together for good seems painful.

It’s because we are chosen to become like the Son.

We already know how far from the Son our natural man is. Bringing us near and conforming us into His image involves a lot of pulling and tugging that does not feel all that comfortable.

In fact, it can be quite painful!

It’s been said,  “God cares more about our character than our comfort.”

We are often encouraged to set goals for our lives. 

God has one goal for each one of His children: to be like Jesus.

And He will do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal. Whatever it takes.

Recap:  Who am I in Christ? If I’m a believer, Romans 8:28-29 tells me:

  • Everything will work together for good. For HIS purpose.
  • I am called
  • I have a purpose
  • He knew me in advance
  • He chose me to be like His Son
  • His Son is my older brother
  • I have a lot of brothers and sisters.


Hey! I feel better already! What about you? 





Morning pick-me-ups are my attempt to brighten your journey with uplifting thoughts based on scripture. You can read more about who you are in Christ herehere and here.

What gets your day going?



 ~~~


I’m honored you stopped by the Journey today!

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Today, I'm also linking with the communities at Tune In Thursday and Tell His Story.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Woman


I'm participating in this week's Five Minute Friday, where a group of writers free-write for five minutes on one word.

Today's word:  WOMAN



The other night, the hubs and I were watching one of the Jeopardy shows we had on DVR – don’t judge! – and the question was, “What kind of song is the Helen Reddy classic, I Am Woman?”

The answer was anthem.

Immediately my mind tuned out of the rest of the show as I thought about that song. Her song really spoke to the culture at that time of the mid-to-late 70s.

"If I have to, I can do anything" – Helen Reddy, I Am Woman

Women my age were encouraged to think you could do anything and everything. You could have it all.

Then there was the highly entertaining classic 80’s commercial for Enjoli perfume that not only could we do everything – bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan – but we could look sexy while doing it.

The whole problem is ... it’s not exactly true.

You might feel you can do everything, but you can’t do everything well.

And why should you have to?

Instead, I’m reminded of the words of Jesus who told us without Him you could do nothing.

(5 minutes is up, but as always, I’ve more to say!)

Jesus is not trying to steal our fun or make us be little robots who only do the expected. Let’s read all of what he said,

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

The truth is, you can live an extremely fruitful life if you are abiding in Jesus.

You can do things that matter; world-changing things, right where He has placed you.
IF you are abiding in Him.

Why wouldn’t you want a Companion, who just happens to be the King of Kings, on your journey?

Be the woman you were meant to be – just be it in Him.

~~~

I’m honored you stopped by the Journey today!

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Today, I'm also linking with the communities at Crystal's #FreshMarketFriday and Arabah Joy's Grace&Truth.