Friday, October 31, 2014

Far, Far Better

My baby girl and I are off to Savannah College of Art and Design today for SCAD Student day. She has already been accepted, and now she gets to tour and chat with her counselor, and see the dorms, eat the food, walk the streets, all to decide if she wants to accept them. I love traveling and seeing charming historic cities so I am very excited. Besides that, I have very fond memories of Savannah. My mom and I met in Savannah one year when my sister Wendy had her first baby, Heather. Wendy had to stay home with the new baby while Mom and I got to go to brunch along the river. I can still picture the bagels and lox we both had. We wrapped one in a napkin to bring back to Wendy.

I was young, newly married, no kids at the time. I remember feeling terribly sorry for Wendy that she had to stay behind with a brand new baby while I got to sit along the Savannah River with my Mom eating bagels and lox. I will never forget what  Wendy told me when we came back after our brunch. I expressed my sorrow that she had been unable to join us, and she told me that what she was doing was far, far better than any bagels and lox.

I didn't believe her.

Until I had my own kids. Then I understood.

So my last child and I will be touring her potential new college, and I will remember Wendy's words, but with much greater understanding. It was all far, far better than any bagels and lox.


Psalm 127:3-5 

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3 

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Proverbs 22:6 

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

John 16:21 

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

Matthew 18:1-3 

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Isaiah 54:13 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.

Proverbs 17:6 

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Is Being Scared What God Desires of Us?

This time of the year always makes my heart heavy. When our children were very young, we heard a very convicting sermon on Halloween. We had to discern whether we felt God would desire us to celebrate it. After much soul searching and self study, we decided this was not a holiday honoring to God, not in its origins, not in its current practice, not in its ongoing symbols and images of death, the occult, and fear,  and not in its place as the high holy day of Satanists or Wiccans. Many argue that Easter or Christmas are no different with their pagan origins, but this is ludicrous. Christmas and Easter may have pagan origins, but they are certainly markedly different now with a God-centered celebration and purpose. The same simply cannot be said of Halloween. Violent crime on Halloween increases by 50% over other days. Animal sacrifice is a part of the Satanic worship, and many shelters close black cat adoptions in October. The very concept of "trick or treat" is not a God-honoring behavior. Vandalism increases on this dark night.There are scads of articles that explore the rationale for why Christians should not celebrate Halloween so I won't explore the reasons further. If you are interested, they are all over the internet. My thoughts today follow a deeper issue. An issue of the heart.

There is a fascination in our culture for death, horror, violence, and fear. It is a source of entertainment for many. I do not believe that this is of God. Everyone must stand before God and give an account of what they choose to do in life. God will judge each of us. My desire is to bump my decisions and actions against God's word, not what is popular or standard in our society. I strive to do that with every decision and rule I make as a parent, and as a child of God living in a fallen world. While I will fail to be perfect, as all of us will, it certainly should be the goal in living for God.

With that in mind, I ask: Does God Himself use fear and scary situations, and if so, for what purpose? And if true, shouldn't it be fine for His children to find excitement and allure in fear, horror, and violence? What's wrong with a little adrenalin rush over some innocent entertainment that involves those things? Answering this question may give insight in how we should approach Halloween, horror, and purposeful attempts to frighten oneself and others.

Clearly fear is mentioned repeatedly in the Bible. It is interesting that we are commanded to fear in fact! However, we are told to fear one thing and one thing alone: God. In fact, the fear of the Lord is "the beginning of wisdom" in Psalm 111:10, "leads to life" in Proverbs 19:23,  is a "fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death" in Proverbs 14:27,  and is "the hatred of evil" in Proverbs 8:13.

And we are told what not to fear as well. We are not to fear those "who kill the body but cannot kill the soul" in Matthew 10:28. We are not to fear man. We are not to have a spirit of fear, "but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7). 1John 4:18 tells us "fear has to do with punishment", and not with God's desires for us to trust Him and be delivered from our fears.

Nowhere in the Bible is there any admonition to seek fear, to seek images of death, or corruption, or evil. Some people counter this statement by pointing out  that there certainly are some very frightening things in the Bible itself. The book of Revelation should strike fear in any unbeliever's heart. If we do not choose God, the day of His return and the day of Judgment will be horrific. Horror is not absent from the Bible, but horror and fear in the Bible serves only one purpose -- to point people to God.

Is that the purpose of the Walking Dead, or other terrifying movies or TV shows, or the horror books you read, or the frightful images of Halloween? If not, and I have a strong suspicion that is not the purpose, then why are you pursuing it, celebrating it, reading it, watching it? Something worth pondering.

 In the Biblical list of what we are to dwell upon in thought or deed, nowhere is fear, violence, or frightful images mentioned:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:8:

As God-followers, we are to be "set apart", a holy people dedicated to God, and separate from non-believers. When the world looks at us, they should see something different. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. Our behavior should be "holy".  1 Peter 1:14-16 tells us:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” all our conduct. All. Something to consider as you contemplate that book, that movie, that game, that activity that you are about to engage in.


2 Timothy 1:7 

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Isaiah 41:10 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 John 4:18 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Psalm 34:4 

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Proverbs 19:23 

The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

Psalm 56:3-4 

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Romans 8:38-39 

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 43:1-3 

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Deuteronomy 7:21

You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.

Proverbs 14:27 

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Psalm 23:1-6 

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Joshua 1:9 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

1 Peter 2:17

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Luke 12:22-24 

And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Proverbs 8:13 

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

Psalm 125:1 

A Song of Ascents. Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

Romans 6:16 

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

2 Chronicles 17:10 

And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat.

2 Kings 6:15 

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”

1 John 3:6 

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The GOOD News....

I am not happy. The doctor told me I needed to be seen immediately because my allergic reaction this weekend to the unknown substance in the Snickers bar was: a.) severe enough that the next one could kill me, b.) concerning because I had never reacted to a Snickers bar before, at least not allergically....I had often reacted with an extended "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm." and c.) I needed an epipen to be with me at all times and unless they saw me they could not prescribe one. So I went in yesterday to the kind doctor.

Here is the good news: my blood pressure was only 110/70. This is of course BEFORE I went to the pharmacy and learned the price of an epipen.
The bad news: the price of the epipen.

More bad news: "And," said the doctor, "You need to see a specialist."
Ohoh. More bad news. We have never tested our Christian Care Insurance, (bought because we didn't want to support abortion and Obamacare) but I know the deductible is enormous. How were we going to cover the costs of this incident?
"Could I wait on that?" I suggested, eyeing the cost of the epipen alone.
"You could," he said, "But it would be foolish. You have to know what it was in that Snickers bar that caused this reaction because in all likelihood, the next time will be much worse."

So I called the Christian Care Insurance hotline. I had little hope since I knew our deductible was in the thousands, but still, one never knows when a miracle might be just waiting to happen. Lo and behold, since the initial visit and epipen cost was so high, the specialist, considered part of this single incident, would be free! There is a much lower deductible per single incident! The specialist would be completely covered. MAJOR good news.

Here were the verses I read in my bible reading yesterday:
Jeremiah 29: 11-14  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

A hope and a future. This is what God plans for me. I need to get beyond life threatening allergies, the cost of epipens, or the fact that Snickers are NOT in my future. I must trust that when I seek God with all my heart, HE WILL BE FOUND. That is what matters. That is why I am here.

Charles Spurgeon says that if we don't see Jesus, it is not because He isn't there -- it is because we didn't expect Him and in our unbelief, we don't recognize Him. Spurgeon continues: And why do we not see him? It must be ascribed in our case, as in the disciples', to unbelief. They evidently did not expect to see Jesus, and therefore they did not know him. To a great extent in spiritual things we get what we expect of the Lord. Faith alone can bring us to see Jesus. Make it your prayer, "Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I may see my Saviour present with me." It is a blessed thing to want to see him; but oh! it is better far to gaze upon him. To those who seek him he is kind; but to those who find him, beyond expression is he dear!

That is the good news...the really good news.

Acts 17:27 

That they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Proverbs 8:17 

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Matthew 7:8

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Deuteronomy 4:29 

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Matthew 7:7

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In My Weakness...

I knew we would be a small group of counselors Monday on the sidewalk, as my regular co-counselor let me know in the morning she wouldn't be able to come. So in my prayer time before heading to the abortion mill, I reminded God (just in case He had forgotten He was the one that told me this) When I am weak, He is strong!I may be a twig, but He is a mighty Redwood.

Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me (2Corinthians 12:9)

Before leaving, I prepared a whole bunch of scripture verses, printing them, then neatly cutting them out and pasting them on 3x5 cards. Then I punched a hole in the corner of the cards and bound them together. These were the verses God had laid on my heart to read to the abortion-minded women. Most of them had to do with God being a refuge, a place of peace, and an ever-present stronghold for those who walk in faith and righteousness.

The abortion mill was mobbed, and all the cars came careening into the parking lot around the same frantic few moments. With just three of us there on the sidewalk to call out to them and to try to stop the cars before they entered, time flew by. It was 11:30, and no one had seemingly responded to all our pleas or near continual speaking over the sound system. And then...miracles. Two couples in a row came out and told us they couldn't do it. They had chosen life! I was so happy when the first one rolled down her window, with a big smile on her face, that I threw my arms around her. She seemed very relieved, and joyful. I was glad she didn't smack the stranger (me) who was gushing with joy, hugging her, and praising God.  It always floors we when women make that step to follow their heart and not kill their baby...and they go from bitter, angry, hard, and belligerent to gentle, joyful, and thankful. If you don't believe me, you should spend a day on the sidewalks of a busy abortion mill. The battle between good and evil could not be clearer.

Shortly thereafter, the abortionist came, and time was short, I decided it was time to read my verses. I forget all about being nervous, or tongue-tied, or shy when I begin speaking on the mic. It is the strangest though in my weakness, Someone Else is being strong.

"I don't believe in God," said one man, driving out. He must have been listening and wanted me to know my words of trusting in God would have no influence on a God-less man. So then, I spent the next fifteen minutes on the mic talking about why they should believe in God.

Two more couples left, and told us they decided not to abort their child. Four babies saved!

"Your turn," I told the other counselor, "Give 'em Jesus!"
She did. Wonderfully. For many minutes.
I stood with her mom and said, "Chrissy is on a roll!"
"Yes she is," said her mom, "And I am ready to go home!"
"I don't think you'll be leaving any time soon," I warned her, watching my fellow counselor glow with the glory of her message.

When we are weak, He is strong. Don't forget that. There is nothing you face today that is bigger than God, stronger than God, or has taken Him by surprise. In your weakness, seek Him. You may not be strong enough to hold onto Him, but He is more than strong enough to hold onto you.

If you would like to be trained as a counselor for life on the sidewalks of Charlotte abortion mills, this Saturday is a training session. Contact for details. We'd love to have you join us in this incredible privilege of seeing God move in our weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Psalm 34:17-20 

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Philippians 4:19 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Psalm 46:1-3 

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. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 

Psalm 28:7 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

Monday, October 27, 2014

God is in the Midst of Struggle

I felt sort of crummy most of the day yesterday, after my Saturday bout with a bad allergic reaction to Snickers and Milky Way bites. My allergy-expert friend had warned me I ought to take an antihistamine, but I didn't because the ones I had in the house were expired 5 years ago. I figured they might just finish the job that the Snickers started in trying to rub me out.

So, I will stock up on a fresh supply of antihistamines this week, and call the doctor to get an Epipen. ( A shot of epinephrine which I would self-administer if the reaction was heading into catastrophe-- as in problems breathing, which is not conducive to life. ) I settled down to read about Oral Allergy Syndrome and symptoms of a moderate/severe response. My reaction Saturday was in the moderate/severe category. Furthermore, I learned that the trigger food tends to cause increasingly severe reactions in subsequent exposures. This was certainly the most scary allergic reaction I have ever had, so if it becomes increasingly severe... Eeeek.

The nuts I am allergic to cross-pollinate with several fruits. I looked over that list. Lo and behold, those are all the fruits I am allergic to as well. I hate that I am stuck with these allergies, but they are a part of me, like it or not. I must never partake of the "trigger" foods, and I had best carry the Epipen with me when I travel.

Anyway, my allergy guru, Melissa, asked how I was yesterday and I told her I still felt crummy and was this normal 20 hours later?  She said it was, but told me she had allergy pills and was coming over with them. So we sat on the porch and chatted as the gorgeous afternoon spilled around us. The allergy pill made me feel a good bit better, and I am glad Melissa forced my hand in taking it. I am here to tell you, good friends are priceless.

I have been thinking a great deal of late about where God is in the midst of struggle. It is a bit of a shock to find so much trouble when one is so committed to God and trying so hard to do one's best living for Him. It doesn't seem fair. My reading in Charles Spurgeon's writings today points out that "one of the duties to which the chosen people are called; we are ordained to suffer for Christ with the promise that 'if we suffer, we shall also reign with him.' " (2 Timothy 2:12, "It is a faithful saying--If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him".) Struggle should come as no surprise. Jesus Himself tells us, "In this world you will have troubles..."

But God is here in the midst of them! He is here in the friends who worry and bring me allergy pills and sit for 2 hours rocking on my porch laughing and calming my fears. Struggle doesn't mean God isn't here. It just means He is probably sending us a piece of Himself in a very unusual form to encourage and uplift us. We should be on the lookout. Struggles are one vehicle by which we encounter God in new and unexpected ways.

"In this world you will have troubles," Jesus tells us, "But take heart, for I have overcome the world."
The takeaway for me: Be that unexpected vehicle of God for someone who is struggling. Let them see Jesus through me.

As always on Monday mornings, I am headed off to the city's most active abortion mill this morning. I go to proclaim life and hope in Jesus from the sidewalks to the women headed towards destruction. I always pray that I will speak truth and life, and I think usually I do that. The aspect in which I most need prayer is doing so in a spirit of humility and love. It is always a little easier to do that when I have been struggling myself. No, I don't like struggles at all, but in the aftermath, my heart aches more for fellow strugglers, and perhaps helps me in speaking charitably. That is a blessing of God in the midst of pain.

2 Corinthians 12:10 

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

John 14:27 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Romans 12:12 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 8:18-21 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Near Death Experience

Last night, I opened the bag of candy I had bought for my daughter and pulled out one tiny bite size Snickers and Milky Way. I popped them in my mouth, all 2 bites worth and had a violent allergic reaction. Suddenly, phlegm filled my throat with a terrible itchy,scratchy, raw feeling. I began coughing uncontrollably, and became terrified since it was clear, I was dying. Fortunately, hubby was home. I ran into the TV room and told him I was having an allergic reaction to the candy, had no idea why as I have had this candy before and never reacted, but he needed to be ready to rush me to the ER. I downed a couple of glasses of water, and slowly the symptoms subsided.

I have never had such an intense allergic reaction, and it was scary that I didn't know what ingredient triggered it. I wrote to my genius friend Melissa who can usually answer anything. She uncovered that those candies can have trace amounts of "tree nuts" (hazelnut) which I am allergic to. No more Snickers or Milky Ways for me! It was astonishing -- such sweet little morsels, so seemingly innocent and innocuous and had I had much more than those two bites, I am pretty sure I would be six feet under pushing up daisies now. Melissa told me I had a lot of symptoms of Oral Allergy Syndrome which begins (as mine did) as a local response, but over time, can become systemic in some patients (thus deadly.) I will need to read labels carefully now - and religiously avoid tree nuts.

This is what sin is like! It seems so harmless, those little sins of anger, pettiness, jealousy, irritation, worry, fear...and BAM! Soon you are in full cardiac arrest of the soul! It is really much much MUCH better to avoid those sins, all sins altogether. Even one little bite can land you in massive trouble.

1 John 1:8-10 

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Romans 3:23 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Galatians 5:16 

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

James 4:7 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

John 3:16-17 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

1 John 3:4 

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

1 John 5:17 

All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

James 1:15 

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Streams of Living Water

  My book flowed out of me yesterday -- I wrote 5,000 words and then realized my sequel is already at 50,000 words! I am 2/3rds of the way done! I love being a writer when words stream out of me like living water. It is as though the book comes alive, and someone else takes over my hands. I find myself making facial expressions as I type, mimicking what my character is doing. It is magical. I completely lose myself in the process and become one with the book. That sounds freaky, I know, but it really does sort of feel like that. I do not feel at all like the creator, but the conduit.

It gave me a new appreciation for all the verses of living water in the Bible. There are many of them, describing the spirit of God flowing like streams of living water, and welling to eternal life. Our heart will be so filled that we will "never thirst again." All desire will cease because we will have become one with God, filled to overflowing. All we had longed for will be satisfied. We will cease to be separate, a fluid and flowing continuation of God. His Spirit will be poured out upon ours, and we will be eternally and inextricably part of Him. Jesus describes this unity with God in John 17:23 -- I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

It is so important to recognize, and to teach others under our leadership or counsel that the "stream of living water" doesn't begin with us. It flows through us but not from us. It is the result of a relationship with Jesus who is the source and strength. He is the stream of living water - we just get to drink from it, and if we are faithful, tell others it is there!  

As I was musing about this truth, a wonderful fellow pro-life sidewalk counselor  sent our group this quote from the book she is reading:
"By instinct, habit, and enculturation, all of us tend to think of counseling as a human-with-human interaction. But in fact a human-with-Savior interaction must come first. When I as a counselor don't get that straight, I inevitably offer others some sort of saviorette. If my counseling does not help others rely upon Another (upon whom I also rely), I will inevitably teach them to rely on themselves - or on me, or other friends, or medications, or or techniques, or pablum "truths" (that are in fact empty or even fictional). "(David Powlinson - Speaking Truth in Love)

I love how God is constantly reinforcing the thoughts of Him upon which I am dwelling. If I believe and guide others, including my children, as though I am the source of wisdom and strength, ultimately they will figure out I am not very wise or very strong, and we will both suffer. But if I point them to the source of my wisdom or strength, they and I will both be drinking from the stream of living water, bubbling up to eternal life. That is my desire.


John 4:14 

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 7:38 

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

John 4:13-15 

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Revelation 21:6 

And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

Isaiah 44:3 

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Beautiful day yesterday, so I decided to go on a bike-ride to the library for Early Voting opening day. As I cruised along, the crisp autumn wind in my face, a plot problem in the book I am working on suddenly worked itself out. It was magical. It all made sense, and I wondered what had taken me so long to come up with it. It was perfect, and obvious...what 2 minutes prior to that had been intractable.

This is what faith is like. One moment, the whole Jesus story seems utterly nuts, the Bible incomprehensible, and the thought of God or miracles complete hooey. And then, we finally see the shallow depravity of ourselves, and in humility accept that maybe God is indeed making an offer we can't refuse in that crazy Jesus story. Scales fall from our eyes, stoppers from our ears, reluctance from our hearts and we are miraculously transformed.

We wonder what took us so long, when it was perfect and obvious...what 2 minutes prior to that had been intractable.

2 Corinthians 5:7 

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 11:6 

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Romans 10:17 

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Hebrews 11:1 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Where Was God?

I normally don't go to the sidewalks of the abortion mill as a pro-life counselor on Wednesday, but I did this week. It was not an easy day, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am glad I went because I learned some very important lessons about grief, and about God.

A car zoomed by me, and pulled into the abortion mill lot. A young woman turned around as she left her car when I called out to her, and instantly began walking towards us. My heart swelled because when they approach us, it means we sometimes have a prayer of talking them into choosing life for their baby. 'Walking' is not quite accurate, however. She stomped over.
"I'm not here for an abortion," she snapped.
"That's all they do here," I said.
"I don't have insurance and this is the only place that will do a low-cost D and C. I had a miscarriage."
"Would you like a second opinion on our free ultrasound?" I asked. The pro-life RV with the mobile ultrasound unit was parked right behind me.
 One of the other counselors told her a second opinion on the free ultrasound was a good idea, just in case the first opinion was incorrect. We've had cases where people thought they miscarried and the ultrasound showed they did not. Once in the abortion mill, they would do an abortion even if the baby was still there. We know that to be the case because of others who have left the mill after being told the baby was miscarried, only to then come on our ultrasound, which showed the baby still there and alive!
"No," spat the woman,"I know that I miscarried. This is my third miscarriage. Tell me, where was God then?"

We did not answer. It was obvious the woman was in a great deal of emotional pain and lashing out in anger.  I wanted to tell her that God was there in the stars, and the flowers, and the sunsets, and love of others... and in the fact that life exists at all. I wanted to tell her that God was on the cross in agony bearing the penalty of the sins of all humankind. I wanted to tell her that God was there in the strangers on the sidewalk that day who ached for her pain and wished they could erase it. But it all seemed glib in the face of her obvious suffering.

So we said nothing, except to acknowledge that we understood she must be in great pain and we could give her the phone numbers of counselors who had been through multiple miscarriages themselves.

She vanished into the abortion mill and I berated myself, wishing I would've had an answer for her. Sometimes, my friend and fellow counselor told me, the best answer is silence. If we had argued with her, it might have just made her angrier. She told me we had left the door open to further discussion, and had said nothing to anger her more. Perhaps, she would still speak with us and we could yet help her.

She came out a few minutes later, got in her car and drove down the driveway. We were waiting with pamphlets that deal with grief. I was shocked when she stopped and rolled down her window. She no longer looked angry or defiant. Just very sad.

We told her we wanted her to know that we were very sorry for her situation and that we would pray for her. I gave her my name and number, along with the pamphlet, and told her I would gladly connect her with someone she could talk to who has been in her situation. My friend said that the book that we gave her might give her some ideas about where to seek counseling. She sighed sadly and said, "I don't know if counseling is what I need." She thanked us and drove away. I was very sad for her, but felt blessed for the privilege to pray for her, and to let her know she was not alone in her grief.

Another drama had been played out that day. A father brought his 16-year-old girl in for an abortion. She had been raped by a much older man. The father was pro-life, and begged his daughter not to get the abortion. He promised he would raise the child himself. But he left the decision up to the 16-year-old. Despite his efforts to convince her, she still insisted she wanted to go through with the abortion. As his daughter was led to the back room, the father went around the whole waiting room, telling every mother there that they needed to leave, that what they were doing was wrong and they needed to walk out of there now. "Why are you here?" he asked one. The woman told him she was a dancer, and couldn't have a baby or she would lose her job. "Then get a different job!" he cried, "And don't kill your baby." She got up and left the abortion mill! The staff kicked the man out, seeing their bottom line walking out the door.

( Later, as the abortion doctor concluded his grisly work for the day, the car with the dancer returned, picked up a woman, and left again. She may have been a driver for a friend who had the abortion or perhaps they both had been there for abortions. We will never know, but God does...) Nonetheless, we were inspired by the heart of a man who could not save his grandchild, but would try to save others from the horror of abortion even in the midst of his own grief and despair.

While we waited to see the outcome of the terrible saga of the 16-year-old, one couple left and stopped to tell us that they had decided not to do the abortion. We were overjoyed as they took our literature, smiling and relieved. One baby saved, maybe even two, but it was such a hard day.

Where was God? It is an old question. If God is real, and God loves us, why does evil exist? Why is there so much pain and suffering?

Where was God when that sixteen-year-old child was raped? Where was God when the woman who longs for a baby had three miscarriages? I thought about that all afternoon. I have seen God in so many miracles in my life. And I've seen Him in very hard situations where the knowledge that He was there and heaven was real helped me. But where was God when all those terrible things were happening that He could have stopped if He chose to do so?

I can't answer that.

I know He's there and I know He cares or He wouldn't have sent Jesus. I know that the pain of the world can have the effect of making us long desperately for something other than this world. It can draw us closer to Him, if we recognize the world has nothing to offer in comparison. Or, it can make us pull away in bitterness and blame. I also know since God allows suffering, it must be necessary. As Charles Spurgeon said, "Easy roads make sleepy travelers." When Job cried out to God, he is reminded: Why do you contend against God, saying, “He will answer none of my words” ? For God speaks in one way, and in two, though people do not perceive it.  (Job 33:13-14) Perhaps God is speaking in the suffering, in a way we would not hear or respond to through any other means.

C.S. Lewis said that pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world. If all this world offered was perfection and happiness without God, why would anyone ever need to seek God? Is our purpose here happiness...or is it something more important? I know God is not cruel or capricious. The stunning beauty, order, and balance of our unlikely planet is evidence enough of that, not to mention the sacrifice He made on the cross for us. If God loves us, and I believe with all my heart He does, then our happiness is not what we most need, and it is a kindness showing us.

Suffering uncovers what really matters to us. It makes us stop and reevaluate the direction of our lives and our hearts. It can mature us, and give us empathy for others. It can humble proud hearts, and lead us to repentance. It can sensitize us to how we have hurt others or have grieved God himself. It can make us realize our dependence on God, and make us seek Him more ardently. Suffering can make us take our eyes off of ourselves in this world, and place them on our relationship with God in eternity. Suffering can make us grateful for what we have. It can make us less complacent about the blessings that are present even in the face of great loss. It can make us lose our grip on the things that can be taken away to grasp that which we can never lose. Can we know joy fully if we don't know sorrow? I don't think we can.

So where was God? He was right here. I know He is here and I know He cares. But sometimes my silence is the best answer for now, trusting God is speaking to the broken-hearted.

Romans 5:3-5 

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 Peter 5:10

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

James 1:2-4 

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Romans 8:18 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

1 Peter 4:12-19 

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

John 16:33 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I just received my new bookmarks in the mail which I will be giving away at my NY City book signing November 13th. I had never designed and printed bookmarks before so I was so excited as I opened the box. Alas, while the photos on the book marks are lovely, the fine print which has all my contact info is so tiny as to be almost unreadable. At least you can read my name clearly...

I don't have time to make new ones, and even if I did, then what would I do with the 100 I now have? They are perfectly usable as bookmarks, and like I said, they have pretty pictures on them, and my name. I suppose it could be worse. Still, I was so disappointed. I had wanted them to be perfect. 

My painting above is of a willow tree. Willows are among my favorite trees, but they have a fatal flaw. Their branches are forever falling off. (I know this because every spring I used to help my parents pick up the fallen branches on their lake property which was covered with willows on the shoreline.) I felt like a willow with branches snapping away in the breeze as I gazed forlornly at my bookmarks.

Nothing ever seems to go quite as expected. I will bring them as giveaways to the book signing because they are all I have. That is often how life goes. It isn't perfect, or really even close, but you move forward with all you have. There really isn't much choice. Most of us are willows with missing branches here and there. Some of us, depending on the season of our life, seem to be missing more branches than we are carrying on our weary trunk.

The Bible tells us that God is in the business of removing branches. He purposely prunes every branch that does not bear fruit in His attempts to strengthen those that do! For a while, a newly pruned tree looks barren, and the brutal hedging doesn't remotely appear to be an act of love. But in the end, when the harvest comes, and the tree is bursting with fruit, it will be obvious it all was worth it.

So if you get one of my lovely bookmarks with the indecipherable print, remember God is pruning me and be gentle. I will know next time how to make better bookmarks.

John 15:1-11
 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Brother's Keeper

Strange day speaking life on the sidewalks yesterday at the abortion mill. The abortionist, who has had his license suspended twice, and was recently accused and arrested for rape...was back! We warned the women in the clinic over the loudspeaker of the kind of person they were entrusting their health and medical treatment to. We were so dismayed, but not surprised. These are the type of people who choose to kill babies for a living. We knew when the abortionist arrived, because he gunned his engine and nearly ran me over while pulling into the parking lot. Nice fellow. I bet he failed the test on the Hippocratic Oath: "First do no harm."

I am totally over my shyness about speaking on behalf of the poor babies over our sound system. I begged the women to trust that the God who created the Heavens and Earth could certainly handle whatever obstacles they faced with this pregnancy. When I was worn out pleading, another counselor took over. Between the two of us, God's word was proclaimed for about 3 hours straight. The parking lot "bouncer" meanwhile blasted obnoxious and filthy music with lyrics that would make your toes curl. He could not drown us out, and I know the women in the clinic could hear us. Three women  chose life for their babies, and we sidewalk counselors cheered with joy for each one.

Later, a cop showed up. I was sure he had been tipped off about an accused rapist being the abortionist for the day in the "Preferred Women's Health Clinic." We called out to alert him to that fact, just in case he didn't know. He ignored us and headed over to the clinic manager, who was standing out front. Apparently, someone had called to complain about "loud music." The manager pointed at us, "That was them," she said. We stood there with our Bibles and blinked at her with just a jigger of incredulity. Truth be told, I would have blasted "Jesus Loves Me" if I could sing.

The cop shrugged, returned to his car and drove away. He knew how ludicrous that accusation was. Too bad lying to a cop is not a felony. He seemed unconcerned that an accused rapist was in the back room with undressed women. Loud music is, after all, a much more serious public menace than babies dying at the hands of a man with no hospital admitting privileges, a twice suspended license, and a rape charge. Good thing we have laws against such things!

A verse I read to the women over the loudspeaker is one of my favorites.
Psalm 121: I lift my eyes unto the hills.Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."

It is easy to grow bitter, or despairing over what we see out there on the sidewalks of the abortion mill. But then, the Creator of heaven and earth who holds the universe in its impossible balance is surely aware of all that transpires there. He who holds the whole earth in His hands hears the silent cry of every baby. Justice will come. Our role is to be there, obeying His promptings.

One woman stopped to talk with me for a long time. She herself did not believe in abortion, but said how could we, without knowing each person's situation, claim what was best for them? Still, she admitted that she believed in God, and she believed murder was wrong. She conceded God had created each human life, and that taking that life was murder, and an affront to God.
"Is it wrong whether you are rich or poor? Is it wrong no matter your circumstances?" I asked.
She agreed it was.
"If you saw a person running in front of a car to their destruction, would you stop them if you could?"
"That's why we are here," I told her, "We are our brother's keeper. Not only the keeper of the little babies who cannot speak, but the keeper of those defying God's word to their peril."
"Yes, I see that," she said.
If only everyone did.

Revelation 21:7-8 

The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Ephesians 6:12 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Genesis 4:8-10

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Intentions of the Heart

With glee, I noticed that just down the street our local pet store was hosting a Dock Dog competition this past weekend. I hurried over on my bicycle all by myself, since my daughter Asherel was gone for the day with a friend, and hubby wasn't terribly interested. As I sat watching the dogs jumping with so much joy and verve and enthusiasm, I started crying.


 I know. I was glad I was wearing sunglasses because I didn't notice anyone else crying. And why was I crying? What was affecting me so powerfully? I missed that my little girl who is now a senior in highschool and who used to never miss a dog event with me was not at my side. But I think it was more than that. The dogs were so earnest. Their entire body trembled as they waited for the owner to give them the signal to jump off the dock after the lure. And then when the owner shouted, "Go!" they were off at full speed, every muscle quivering and then blasting into action. All that mattered was doing their master's bidding with explosive delight.

If only everyone had so much passion for the things that mattered! If only I longed for God with such trembling anticipation. If only everyone did. I envied those dogs, for the unbridled desire to obey their master and to do what they were instinctively wired to do with all that was within them.

I calmed down as the competition wore on. I hadn't planned to stay long but I stayed all afternoon. I wanted to see who won.

One novice dog circled the pool for a full minute before getting the lure at the end of the pool. In that event, the dogs were timed to see how fast they could snag the lure. On his second attempt, he snatched it in ten seconds. He didn't win, but the crowd went wild. Before their eyes, a dog had transformed. What was especially heart-warming is the owner was equally effusive towards the dog both times- when he failed and when he excelled. His performance didn't matter. His attempt to do his owner's bidding and do his best did.

I learned so much from the dogs and owners about following and loving God.

Proverbs 4:20-22 

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Luke 6:46 

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Matthew 22:37 

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

1 Corinthians 10:31 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Being Recipient of Kindness

I was advised that I needed a necklace by one of the five women weighing in on what I should wear to my NYC book signing.  I don't wear jewelry, but I trusted this adviser -- she is very fashionable and always looks like she knows just what to wear. The one I like best is a little trendy, and two of my consultants said, "Too young." However, three liked the one I liked, and the one who liked it exuberantly used to go to NYC frequently, so I really was happy to see her choice. She chose my outfit from a photo montage of four choices. She picked the one that I liked best, which was incidentally by far the most comfortable and warm for November in NY. So I went with her choice, at least for now. I will bring the more conservative choice just in case I chicken out. But now I had to find a necklace. In her words: A dramatic necklace.

I went to the off-price stores, which is the only way I ever purchase things, especially things I might never wear again. I found a necklace that wasn't perfect, but it was cheap and wasn't bad. As I was checking out, I asked the saleswoman if she felt this necklace would work for a NY City book signing.
"Are you the author?" she asked.
"Yes. Do you want to see the outfit?"
She agreed that of course she would like to see the outfit, so I pulled it up on my phone.
"That's great, and yes, the necklace works with that. What is your book?"
"The Tower Builder," I answered.
She stared at me, eyes wide, and pointed at me.
"You're the one!"
I was astounded by her reaction. The one...what?
"I went to Amazon yesterday, because I love to read, to look for a book, and your book was the first one that popped on the screen!!!!"
Now, I don't honestly know why that happened, but I have to say, I was thrilled.
She asked my name and said she was going to tell all her friends she met a real author. I am going to tell all my friends I met a real fan.

The day can hinge on such little moments. I doubt the people in line behind me waiting to check out were thrilled with the extended exchange as I gave her the book information. However, she made my day, and it was quite exciting to realize I had made hers. So often, we exchange platitudes and shallow pleasantries with strangers, but sometimes when we give them a glimpse into our lives, there is a connection. That connection reminds me that God created us not to be alone, but to love others, to reach out to them, to be a people...not a person.

"God bless you," I said, waving to the sweet cashier who was still beaming.
'You too, and I hope your book signing goes well!" she called.
Tower Builder (e-book) available at:

Galatians 6:2 

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

John 15:12 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Matthew 5:16 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Where Our Treasure Resides

I crawled into my attic where I have literally hundreds of art work. I photographed some, since in my upcoming trip to NY, I am bringing a few to my wonderful Aunt who will be my tour guide and secretary on my adventure to my Manhattan book signing. As I contemplated which I would be willing to part with, my heart wrenched. How could I part with any? Each piece represented a time in my life, a thought, a struggle, a vision, a moment of joy and loveliness. On the other hand, how could I leave them to mold and rot in the darkness of the attic? I might have the spooky markings of a "hoarder."

Store not your treasures where rust and moth corrupt... for where your treasures are, there is your heart.

Well yes, but my heart IS in that artwork. That is the outpouring of my soul when words could not express what longed to be communicated.

OK, nice rationalization, but still, they are mildewing and smearing up there. Wouldn't it be better that someone get pleasure from them? Art was never meant to be stored in a dark corner where no one could appreciate it. Besides, they are a fire hazard.

Good point. Ok, I sent the photos to my aunt for her to choose from. I hope she will give them a good home.

Even if she doesn't, Beloved, who gave you the ability to paint those images, and who gave you the thoughts to create them? When you return to Me, you will have no need of them. Don't you was only to remind you that I am here, waiting. Your treasure is not in them. It is in the one that gave you the vision and skill to create them. And I am here always.


Matthew 6: 19-21
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Writer Without Words

I received this invitation in my email yesterday, from the NY City firm that is hosting my book signing. I cannot begin to describe what it feels like to see my photo next to a Manhattan book signing address.
My book, The Tower Builder, which I will be signing at the gala Manhattan event on November 13 is live at Amazon and on sale at this link:
Anyone who wants to come may, but you need to message me with your email address so I can issue a formal invitation. If it was just me, it might not be worth it to you, but the man who dangles thousands of feet in the air building towers will be there too, Tony Fonseca, the book's dashing hero.

So most of my day yesterday was spent thinking about what I want to say, since I have been asked to speak at this event. Here is my outline.

1. WHAT? Speak!? You want me to speak? I am a writer, not a speaker.
2. Turn speaking time over to Tony.

That's as far as I got.

But, honestly, never in my wildest dreams would I have ever expected to be doing a Manhattan book signing event. So I may not be a speaker, but I have a feeling God is able to give me words.

Exodus 4: 10-11
Then Moses said to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?…

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Our Purpose

Just in case you are not my friend or follower on Facebook, you may have missed the new cover Perry Elisabeth Designs made for my new book, The Tower Builder. And in case you missed the paltry 30,000 times I may have mentioned it, this is specifically in honor of a NY city book signing November 13th, 6:30-9 in midtown Manhattan. Anyone who wishes to go may go, but you must RSVP. I receive the fancy schmancy invites probably by Friday and will email them to anyone who wishes to go. You may respond to this blog with your email, or send me a private message on Facebook and I will be sure you get one. They will cap the number of attendees so if you are planning to go, you must RSVP and sooner rather than later. My book with the new cover goes live on Amazon in a few days, and if you want your book signed, you need to pre-order and bring your own. I will have very limited inventory there.

So, I sent the host firm the last bit of information they needed for the book signing event by the end of the morning yesterday after two weeks of non-stop hustling and activity. Now, the calm before the storm. I actually had time to sit down and work on my sequel to The Bark of the Covenant. I became immersed in a chapter that flowed out of me. 4,000 words later, I came up for air.

I am so blessed. I spend most days doing what I love. So far, I am not rich, but the fat lady ain't done singing yet....One of the groups I belong to on Facebook asked a question about our purpose in writing. That is a great question. I think we should ask that of all things we do. What is our purpose? I have many reasons...but really only one purpose. My purpose is, and I hope always will be, to glorify God and draw others to Him.

However, all you who are thinking about buying my book, I would not be at all upset if your sales brought my Amazon ranking to #1. I can be God-driven just the same, right?

Jeremiah 29:11 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 8:28 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Acts 26:16 

But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

John 15:16 

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Matthew 28:19 

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 1:11 

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,