Monday, January 26, 2015

Song of the Week - "Greater"

When I hear this song it makes me want to move. Unfortunately I’m a fairly reserved person. Once in a while you may see my hand or my foot tapping, but that’s about it. However, just because you don’t see me moving physically, doesn’t mean my heart isn’t moved. I think that’s something that’s lacking in Christianity today. We don’t move physically, mentally or emotionally. I don’t really understand that, especially when there are songs like this being sung on a daily basis.

I’m posting this version of the song in honor of my deaf friends/interpreters. There is a woman who attends my church that is an interpreter for the deaf. I often see her signing the words to songs we are singing. She feels the need to move. I have a couple of friends who are deaf. They often move when it comes to worship, simply because that’s the way they express themselves.

When we worship, we should feel the need to move and I don’t just mean by dancing or clapping. We should feel the need to reach out to those who need help, a hug, a kind word. The closer we get to God, the more other’s needs should become apparent to us, encouraging us to move.

It’s hard to understand how people cannot be moved when they know that God is in us and “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). So, watch and listen to this song and I dare you not to move, at least a little bit. Then, when the song is over, go out and move to help someone on a spiritual level.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Song of the Week - "The Warrior is a Child"

The song of the week this week is “The Warrior is a Child.” I know so many people that this song could apply to. So many of my friends and family are going through difficult times, illnesses of their own or a family member’s. These people still manage to put a smile on their face and give glory to God for whatever is going on in their lives. This post is for those friends and family. I won’t name names, but if you happen to be reading this, you know who you are. You can also know that I am praying for YOU.

This week I encourage you to keep your eyes open and look for that one that just wants to sit and cry. Maybe they are tired of trying to be strong for appearances’ sake. Send them a card. Call them up. Fix the family a meal.  Be there. Let them cry on your shoulder. Remind them that God is there and is holding their hand.


You be the strong one this week.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wisdom

"I will instruct you in the way of wisdom and
lead you along straight paths." Proverbs 4:11
Years ago I prayed for wisdom about a certain situation. Now, praying for wisdom doesn’t have quite the same results as those who pray for faith or patience (which we should all do from time to time), but it definitely opened my eyes to see surprising things. Praying for wisdom has become almost a constant prayer as I have raised my children and have made daily decisions. If you make praying for wisdom a habit God will answer in ways you never expected.

One week, probably a year ago or more, the same book was mentioned (raved about) to me three times in one week. I figured this was a good book to add to my TBR pile. Finally I was able to pick up and read it, or at least start reading. With every page I turned a new question popped into my head.

“Will this book get any better?”

“Who thought this was a good book?”

“Who told this author he/she could write?”

Then there was the last question that popped into my head, “Wait, is that what the Bible really says?”

That was when I began to do a little research. I looked up the reviews on Amazon, and there were a lot of them. There were plenty of four and five star reviews, but I skipped over them and went right to the one star reviews. It was then I received confirmation of my thoughts while reading. I wasn’t alone in my beliefs. Some nice people had even taken the time to look up Scripture passages against what the author said.

Then, God gave me peace. I had my convictions and I stood by them.

You may have had similar circumstances. Sometimes standing on your convictions can put you in a very small minority; but we have to have faith that God has spoken to our hearts. Sometimes people get so caught up in the feel-good aspects of life that they don’t look any deeper or seek out God’s wisdom. They take everything at face value and don’t ever realize the repercussions could be damaging.


So, make it a point to day to ask for wisdom in everything you do. Even the smallest of choices can have the biggest consequences.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Song of the Week - Francesca Batistelli's "He Knows My Name"

I love music. While I don’t have any particular talents as far as music is concerned, it always comes with good memories attached. My mom often had music playing while she did her sewing work. My sisters and I often sand in the car – there was no need for a radio – and we often put on musical numbers in the living room when my parents weren’t home. 

Now, I enjoy having music playing while I putter around the house. I turn the volume up and sing a little louder when no one is home.

I find music inspirational at times. As part of a series this year, I want to post a song of the week – at least try to. I’m not always very good at keeping up with things I set out to do.

This week my song by by Francesca Batistelli, “He Knows My Name.” In my line of work as a writer, people strive for name recognition. They are often looking for fame and fortune. I even have dreams that one of my books will make it to the big screen (Can’t hurt to dream, right?). But in the grand scheme of things, what’s really important? It’s important that I do everything I do, not just my job, to the best of my ability and to the glory of God. After all, He is the One who knows all about me. He created me, and I live for Him. I want Him to know my name.

Click below and really listen to the words of the song. This week let’s focus on getting our priorities straight, whether we are in the middle of writing the Great American Novel, negotiating movie rights, or just doing the laundry.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Common Bonds and Warm Memories

I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: I love it when I can see the hand of God at work! Probably everyone knows that I do a lot of freelance work. One day I found an ad for an anthology. I had what I thought was the perfect story, so I sent it. A little while later I received a phone call from the woman heading it up, Nancy. We talked for a while, seeming to hit it off. Of course, with both of us being writers there was naturally a common bond.

A few months later the book came out. As I read through the other authors’ stories I realized mine was different. Mine was a little more on the humorous side than the serious. Nancy then sent me a message inviting me to like the book’s Facebook page and send a photo and an update to the story. She then sent me a friend request so she could tag me in the Facebook post.

It was after we were friends and she was looking at my Facebook page that she realized we had another common bond. We both attended Houghton College. Now this may not seem like much to you, but I’ve been to Houghton. And for anyone else who’s been there, they know that it’s a special type of common bond. You see Houghton is small, very, very small. There were only 1500 students there when I attended. Not to mention it’s in one of the remotest parts of New York State ever. Civilization is about an hour away. When two people realize they have both been there, it’s a big deal.

Houghton is where I learned a lot about writing. It was where I matured as a Christian. It was where I made some of my best friends with whom I am still in contact today.

While Nancy and I were separated by a few years at Houghton, we walked the same ground, we ate at the same cafeteria, and we worshiped the same chapel.

As Christians, we all have a common bond already, but when we can see that God has given us more commonalities it just proves to me how He is at work in our lives every day.

It’s the beginning of a new year and I challenge you to find common bonds between you and other Christians besides your faith. Have you had similar experiences? Do you like some of the same things? Your similarities may draw you into a friendship you never expected, leaving you blessed beyond belief.

If you’d like a copy of the book, just click on the cover to the right. It will make you cry and my story may make you laugh.



And…since it’s Thursday, here’s a few throwback pictures that some of you Houghton people may enjoy. Warm memories on this cold day!