Monday, December 29, 2008

Quiet Moments With God--Comfort In Our Father's Arms

Yesterday I dragged myself to church, only because I knew that my spirit needed to be there. I figured God very likely had something to say that I needed to hear. I was right. He met me there.

Life’s been difficult these past weeks and months. And as Christmas approached I found myself feeling distant from the “cheer” of the holiday and distant from my Lord. I longed to climb into my Father’s lap, yet he felt far away.

Hardships, disappointments and heartaches have assaulted my husband and me. We have a list of troubles and sometimes wonder what tomorrow will bring. My mind wants to dwell there—on the darkness, but God says, “No.”

Yesterday, our pastor said, “We are to be a light to the world, no matter what our circumstances.” God’s Word says we are to be shining stars. So, what happens when I can’t muster any light? God’s Word offers me the answer.

Philippians 4:4 – 8 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Even when God feels far away, He’s not. He is always near. And He knows the beginning and the end and that my present circumstances are only a part of my journey. I can draw close to God. He is always available to His children. However, it is up to me to change my thinking and to trust Him.

I’ve walked with the Lord a good long while and have learned that often it’s the hardest days that produce the greatest rewards. And so I’m determined to change my thinking, and I look forward to all God has to teach me as He carries me along this path called life.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Quiet Moments With God -- He Speaks To Us

Sometimes this writing life keeps me isolated from the world. I spend hours (days--weeks--months) in front of my computer, writing, researching, and marketing. There are weeks that the only days I get out are Sunday for church and Thursday to meet with my critique group. It's easy to lose heart and wonder if I'm truly doing what God intended me, a people person, to do.

And then, I receive a letter like the one posted below. And my heart is encouraged and I know God has used one of his children to remind me why I write. I love creating stories and characters, but foremost I want to say something that will make a difference in someone else's life.

So, thank you Lynn for your letter. It has uplifted me.

I just needed to tell you that you have a new fan. I bought your book "The Heart of Thornton Creek" at our Christian Book store's Anniversary sale.Then I had to hunt for book Two (I like to get all books in a series)as did not have it but they did have the 3rd one.The bookstore here in town did have the second one so I have the series.I started the first book Last Monday and it was a powerful book. I could not help but cry at the end of the story.When I can picture the story in my mind as I am reading and it speaks to me between the lines,then it is a powerful book to me.Usually I read one in a couple of days but this week has been busy with the Christmas Holiday approaching so since I had to be at Church very early yesterday morning,as my husband had to be there early, I took it along to finish before church started since I had 2 hours. I am stting out in the reception room crying as I was reading.
Keep up the great work.
I will be getting more of your books now.
May God continue to bless you in your writing Lynn from Springville Tennessee

And to Lynn and all you who stop by my blog, I pray God will bless you with a spectacular Christmas. May it be filled with love, joy and most of all Christ

Grace and peace to you from God.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tips for Triumphant Living -- Rest

My blog’s been kind of quiet lately. I’ve been trying to rest. Recently, life has felt like a blast from a summer storm, and I've been knocked off feet, so to speak. And so, I’ve been doing my best to not push too hard.

Our society seems to have an epidemic of “burn out”. Too many of us are working too many hours, and when life throws hard balls at us we lack the energy to make the catch. That’s where I’ve been. So, I’m trying to listen to my spiritual and physical needs and give myself permission to rest. After all even God rested. I think His resting on the seventh day was a way of making a point. We need to stop and take time to refresh, and enjoy the moments of splendor God offers. We miss so many of His gifts because we’re in too big a hurry to see them.

It’s not easy to put on the brakes and slow down, especially when we're used to flying through life at full tilt. So, the question for many of us may be, “How do I rest? What does that look like for me?”

Think about what makes you feel calm. What do you do that quiets the uproar of the world? Some of us enjoy gardening. Others thrive when hiking forest trails or strolling along an ocean beach. My husband enjoys woodworking. I love to fish a mountain lake, read or watch an old movie or just sit on my deck and enjoy the sounds and sights of the forest. Whatever it is that soothes you, make time to do it. It’s important.

Don’t forget your family, your spouse and your Lord. Listen to the words of wisdom and love they offer. You may be reminded of how blessed you are.

My mother came to visit at Thanksgiving, and she is the most grateful person I know. She’s eighty-four and dealing with pain and declining health, but she remains constantly aware of her blessings and often vocalizes her gratitude. Her thankful heart is a good reminder for me.

As we move through this busy time, remember Matthew 11:28, which says, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Tips For Triumphant Living -- Make Time For Fun

Having fun with family and friends is vital to good emotional and spiritual health. I love to play games, tell stories, share memories and watch an old favorite movie with someone I love. With our economy in the tank and all the other stresses of life, especially at this time of year, it’s easy to get down in the doldrums. So I’m prescribing one fun remedy.

Yesterday I received the following over the internet. I participated and have received lots of replies. I’ve loved hearing from my friends and family and so I’ve decided to share this with you. Maybe you'd like to include it as one of your Christmas entertainments this year. Hope you’ll find someone to send it to. The answers for these questions are mine.

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends.

Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Just copy this entire message and paste into a new e-mail. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......Tis the Season to have fun!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? . . . Both

2. Real tree or Artificial? . . . Real

3. When do you put up the tree? . . . Usually mid-December.

4. When do you take it down? . . . On New Year’s day.

5. Do you like eggnog? . . . No way!

6. Your 2 Favorite gifts received as a child for Christmas? . . . A stick horse that I rode all over our neighborhood. (man how times have changed). And a beautiful Barbie in a brand new case with gorgeous dresses my mother had made.

7. Hardest person to buy for? . . . My stepfather. (What do you get the man who has everything?)

8. Easiest person to buy for? . . . Olivia, my granddaughter. She loves anything girly.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? . . . Yes.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? . . . Mail

11. Worst Christmas gift. . . . One year my husband and I didn’t have money for gifts, but I badly needed a new broom. And so when I got up on Christmas morning what did I find under the tree? A beautiful new broom with a red ribbon tied around it.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? . . . “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a must on Christmas Eve and I always watch “Little Women”.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? . . . Usually the first week in December.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? . . . No way!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? . . . Fudge. I start getting the craving sometime late in November. And 2nd favorite is date cookies.

16. Top 2 Favorite Christmas songs? . . . O Holy Night and The Little Drummer Boy.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? . . . Prefer staying home.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? . . . Of course.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? . . . We’ve had lots of tree-toppers. For years it was a cute white bear hugging a package, but now days its an angel.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas? . . . Christmas morning.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? . . . Bah humbug people.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? . . . I love all the colors of Christmas, but my favorite theme is home spun.

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? . . . I never get tired of turkey, but often we have ham.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? . . . I’m craving more time with God. I long to experience Him in new and fresh ways and to better comprehend His great love.

25. Who is most likely to respond to this? I picked my sister, Myrn, and she did respond.

Grace and peace to you from God.


I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment and share your Christmas traditions and memories.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Australia Outback Contest Winners!

We have two winners!

The first place winner in the Australian Outback Contest is Judi Brinegar, who will receive an aboriginal didgeridoo! Congratulations Judi.

And the second place winner is Bettyann Herron-Jones. Bettyann you've won a set of aboriginal clapping sticks. Congratulations!

Thanks so much to all of you who entered. I'll be running a new contest in the spring so be watching for it.

Blessings to you,