Thursday, March 28, 2013

Christ's Prayer for Christian Unity

The Church of the Most Holy Trinity ~ Augusta, GA


My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  John 17: 20-23


We are so honored to know our Savior’s prayer to God on the night before His betrayal, the night before His crucifixion.  No words of mine can do justice to the depth and significance of Jesus’ prayer in John 17.  I do believe that His prayer represents the deepest desires of His heart.
Our Lord knew the hour had come and He poured His heart out to His Father.  And what did He pray for?  Not for Himself.  Not a word like we would have prayed…no cries for mercy…no cries for strength.  No.  He prayed for His followers. 
“That they may all be one…”   
Jesus prayed for His disciples as well as those who would believe in Him through all ages because of their testimony. 
Jesus prayed that there be unity in the body of Christ, the Church.
He prays for us to have the love of the Father in us so that we will love the brethren and bear witness to the world.
Yet, in reality, there is so much prejudice in the Christian bodies within the Church.  We all have preconceived notions, misconceptions, suspicions about so many situations and peoples, in general, but also, we have them about other believers, other denominations, other traditions within the body of Christ.   
…see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently.  1 Peter 1:22b
That doesn’t mean love only fellow Catholics, or Baptists, or Methodists, or Presbyterians.
I have found that people really don’t care that much about my philosophies or theology—I’m not saying that these are not important to me personally because they are.  What I'm saying is this--what people really want to know about is a relationship with Jesus Christ.  They are encouraged by our love for Him and for one another.
I am inspired by Christ’s ideal of unity and love.  I hope you will read John 17 for yourself and be encouraged and inspired this holy season.
then the world will know.

I pray that you are blessed this Easter season and inspired by Christ's love for you.  Thanks for visiting Write Moments with God.  Please feel free to leave your comments below.  I love to hear from you. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Just What I Needed

Melanie with Samson (The Incorrigible)
 …for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  Matthew 6:8b
 A friend and I practically bumped into each other in the floral department of the grocery store.  We were delighted to see each other and vowed to get together for dinner the following week, although we haven’t been good about getting together in the years since we worked together.  We hadn’t seen each other in over a year—hadn’t met for dinner in two years.  This time, however, we set a date and stuck to it.  At the restaurant, we talked non-stop for an hour and a half catching up on life.   We laughed a lot.  When it was time to say good-bye, we hugged and shed a tear, promising to meet again, sooner next time.  The following day my friend sent me this message—“Seeing you and talking to you last night was just what I needed.  There are no coincidences.  I’m going to remember that.”
When I was getting my teaching degree, finding time to read and study after working all day and raising five young children was quite challenging.  I would stay up late after the kids were in bed, until I could no longer keep my eyes open.  During a particularly difficult time, my friend Irene suggested that she come to our house on Friday night, make dinner for the kids, and bring a movie, and I could go over to her pristine home and study there all by myself.  Ah, the peace and quiet.  Irene had prepared a snack for me at her desk, and set out the tea.  I felt so loved.  God bless her. What a blessing she was to me and my children.  She babysat several times for us.  I hope I said to her—“that was just what I needed”, for indeed, it was.
Years ago I took an eighty year old granddaddy to the hospital where we spent the day with his bride of sixty years.  We made the hour drive to the hospital and stayed the day.  We sat by her side and visited.  I took a walk outside to give them some time alone, and read when they napped.  On the way home, we stopped to eat a sandwich. The elderly gentleman said it was the best hamburger he had ever eaten. He was very pleased to have had the day with his wife. I know he said—“that was just what I needed”.
God is so gracious to us.  He knows exactly what we need.  He supplies our needs in ways we never even imagine…just when we need it most…in His perfect time.  

Although it might be a simple thing, when it’s just what we need, it satisfies our souls like a cup of cold water for a thirsty man. When our need is met perfectly, and we’ve received His peace and love, be assured, God designed and supplied it. Our sovereign all-mighty God is always at work on our behalf.
One of my very favorite things ~ thanks to Eileen DeCamp
I pray that he would give you, according to his glorious riches, strength in your inner being and power through his Spirit.  Ephesians 3:16

God bless you, and may He give you just what you need today. Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  Consider leaving a comment below.  I love to hear from you.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Good Shepherd Cares for His Sheep

Photo courtesy of Julie Roberts Lyda ~ her beautiful children.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

For any good thing I need He shall never withhold from me.

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John10:11

Christ gave His life for me.  No greater love has no man than this.

For "you were like sheep going astray," but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  1 Peter 2:25

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'he will lead them to springs of living water.' 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'" Rev. 7:17 

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:  he leadeth me beside the still waters.

I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. Ezekiel 34:14

3 He restoreth my soul:  he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

My soul is restored daily and magnified that I may comprehend the depth and height of His love.  He is righteous and holy; I trust totally in His integrity and His name. 

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11


4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil?  For thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

Why should I fear?  His perfect love sustains me. When adversity threatens to overwhelm me, my Shepherd is there with me. When I walk through the fire, not even a scent of smoke will be on me, but I shall come forth as pure gold. 


5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 

He so generously supplies my needs that my spirit overflows.  I cannot contain His never-ending mercies. 


6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

How can I fear what man can do to me for the Lord is my Shepherd.  I am a sheep in His pasture.   His grace sustains me and He watches over me every day of my life.
New Zealand ~ courtesy of Melanie Giovino
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  May God bless you and give you His peace today.  I'd love to hear from you.  Consider leaving a comment below or write me at  Blessings.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Is There Any Way to Simplify Life?

Thank you Virginia Sharp Franz for the beautiful bluebird

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.   Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)

Life is difficult.  Life is complicated.  I know…colossal understatement.  So many important things, essential things, exhaust my time and energy.  Family, work, home, property, friends—vie for my attention. I have tools--calendars and agendas—to help me sort it all out; I can’t keep up with them either.  Technology has sped up every facet of our lives, and rather than simplify mine, it has made it exponentially more overcharged.  When my teenager has to give me a tutorial on how to use a phone, I realize I've fallen behind the learning curve.

Is there any way to simplify my life?

I am finite.  God is infinite.  I know He is my strength.  There is so much I can’t understand and will never figure out.  I know I need God.

It simplifies my life—more than anything else I can think of—to simply listen to God.  Study and know God’s Word.  Look to Him for the guidance I need.  Trust Him to care for all of my needs.  Pray to Him seeking His guidance, mercies, and peace.  Obey Him.
I’d rather be an obedient child, a humble sheep in His pasture, than to try to manage it all on my own.  I trust my Father God to take care of me and lead me in the way that I should go.  I’m grateful to be a sheep in His pasture.  Life is simplified for me when I ask What would Jesus Do? like Charles Monroe Sheidon suggested in In His Steps.

Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.  Psalm 119:24

Much of the frustrations I’ve experienced in life have come from assuming my common sense and calculations would show the way, rather than looking to God and trusting His infinite wisdom to show me the way.  I need to cooperate with God on everything, and learning that path hasn't necessarily been easy.  I have second-guessed God.  I dare say you have too.  I have learned that when I make a decision, make it with God.  I say, I have learned, but in realitiy, it's a moment by moment choice to look to God.

When I call to Him and listen, I want to hear—This is the way walk ye in it. (Isaiah 30:21b)

Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.  Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law

and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes.  Psalm 119:33-36a (NIV)

Florida sunshine courtesy of Google prints

Monday, March 11, 2013

God Does Not Have Grandchildren ~ plus Winner of Book Give-Away

My daughter Katie and my grandsons Nathan and Jonah~making placemats for Thanksgiving.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20b (KJV)

     My children often ask me to pray for them, which I gladly do every day.  They often bring prayer requests to me for their friends and others with special needs.  I am happy to pray for them, and bring their requests before the Lord.  We believe in the power of prayer.

     But, I remind my children that they must be in prayer as well for themselves and others.  They can’t become dependent on my prayers alone.  I remind them that God does not have grandchildren.  God only has children.

     Our children must form their own personal relationships with God.  It is certainly a blessing to have godly parents, but a believer cannot claim his parent’s righteousness as his own.  We can’t inherit our salvation.  No one ever inherited a mansion in glory from his parents. 

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.  Revelation 21:27 (NIV)

     We each must spend time with God and grow our relationship through reading His word, worship, and prayer.  God listens to the prayers of His children.  He rewards the righteous.

     And while we are on the topic of children and parents, we all have had experience with the prodigal--the wayward one who is wasting his substance with riotous living, who has certainly been taught the better way.  (See Luke15:11-24)  Maybe you were a prodigal.  Just as a believer cannot claim someone else’s righteousness as his own, neither can he be punished for someone else’s sins.  We must each bear the burdens and benefits of our own actions.  God judges each one of us according to our own lives. 

For every man shall bear his own burden. Galatians 6:5 (KJV)

     Jesus was the only innocent punished for the sins of others.  (See 1 Peter 3:18-19)

     By God’s grace, He’ll write your name in His book of life, but that will be a transaction between you and Him personally.

 Children and grandpuppy relaxing on Thanksgiving

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." John 3:3 (NIV)

I thank my Heavenly Father God that we can all be His children through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I'm so thankful for His mercy and grace and His loving kindness to watch over each one of us.
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God. 
And now, to announce the winner of Lisa Lickel's new mystery, Meow Meyhem.  Elaine Marie Cooper!  You will be receiving a copy.
Many thanks to all of you who left comments for Lisa and me.  We so enjoy reading your  nice comments.  I have a featured author and book give-away the first Monday of every month, so please mark your calendar. 
May God be with you and give you His peace.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Marvelous Morning Caller ~ Enjoying the Moment

Beautiful cardinal gracious provided by Eileen DeCamp~thank you so much Eileen for taking this picture today for me.

This morning a cardinal came to visit.  I was looking out at the backyard from the french doors, watching the sky turn clear blue, listening to the clock ticking behind me and the birds chirping out back.  Something fell from the sky, and it was he. 

He hopped on the patio and then onto the welcome mat which he thoroughly inspected, pecking for tiny treats amongst the turf. He lingered longer than I expected as I stood very still watching.  He hop, hop, hopped over into the grass continuing his search for daily bread.  And I smiled standing there quiet sipping my hot coffee. 

Next he fluttered up into the cherry tree with its branch tips budding.  I thought to myself as I watched him bounce ever so gently, that I need to notice that tree daily now.  By Easter it will be reborn in cherry pink bloom. 

Then my morning caller continued on his way lighting in the edge of the irises and lilies.  I could still see the vibrant red of his head contrasted with the black around his beak.  And I thanked God that He had used the little cardinal to captivate my attention and focus it on the marvelous morning.  The cardinal, so alive.  God's handiwork.  His mercies new every morning.  And for those moments I was totally at peace and amazed by God.
This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.  This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:23-24. (KJV)
My Royal Copley planter ~ picture taken summer 2012

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lisa Lickel ~ featured author ~ plus monthly book give-away

Lisa Lickel ~ Living Our Faith Out Loud
Today, I'd like to introduce to my readers, Lisa Lickel.  She has been a good friend and encourager to me since we met through the John 3:16 Network of Christian writers.  I enjoy her writing style and her vitality.  I've asked her to tell us about herself and her writing.  Please be sure to take a look at  her blog and her website for more information, and leave a comment after the interview for an opportunity to win her book.

* * *

I’m delighted to be here with you. Rose has done a marvelous job with her blog, and I’m so proud of her.  Thank you, Rose, for hosting me today. 

I’m a Wisconsin-made product, born and raised. On a recent road trip my traveling companion, who’s just as proud of her home state as I am, asked me whether I’d ever thought of living elsewhere. Of course not, I told her. I love the change of seasons. I even enjoy the blizzards and the mosquitoes. My husband, a high school science teacher, and I raised two wonderful young men who took equally wonderful wives. No grandchildren yet, but I have a grand kitty I adore. 

My writing history began seriously in 2001 when a historical society friend told me, “You should be a writer!” after seeing my press releases about our group. I took the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course while I was a church secretary, and began to sell magazine articles before I graduated.  

The first novel I wrote placed in the top ten of the First Novel contest in 2004, but it took a few more years before I signed with my first agent and sold my first manuscript in 2007. Meanwhile I’d been writing freelance for local newspapers and selling more articles and writing like nobody’s business. I’d racked up more than a dozen novels and a children’s book series that I hope will be published this summer.  

My first novel appeared in 2009 with Barbour’s Heartsong: Mysteries Book Club, and I’ve published one or more novels, mostly with independent publishers, ever since. I have three books coming out this year. I spent a couple of years learning about developing an audience (platform-building), how to market myself (terrifying), and how to keep growing my craft. Networking is vital in any business, and writing and publishing is no different. 

Recently, I’ve gotten the rights back to my first two published novels and resold them to my new publisher in Canada. MuseItUp is not in a Christian Booksellers Association publisher, but to me, they are doing the best job I’ve seen outside of the “big time” publishers. 

I like to write stories that define and defend contemporary families.   Here is a list of a few of my novels: 

The Map Quilt 

The Last Bequest 

Healing Grace 

Meander Scar 

You can read more about my novels on my website: This is what a real writer does: Find a publisher who is proud of their inventory and works with authors to put out a great book. Use the editors to learn and grow in your work. Figure out which battles are worth the cost. Sit in the marketplace and sell your wares. Be ready to delve into great conversation. Most of all: Delight in the work of your hands and share it with enthusiasm. 

“If you have a message of encouragement for these people, please speak.” Acts 13:15, NIV
* * *

Lisa is offering a copy of her latest book, a mystery, Meow Mayhem from Whimsical Publications, either pdf version or in print, as a gift to one of our blog visitors.
Now available from Amazon in Paper back and e-book; available from Smashwords in other e-formats.
In this delightful story,  Ivy Preston keeps other people’s secrets for a living. When a small town mayor invites Ivy Preston and True Thompson to move their businesses to Apple Grove, can their love survive the sudden rise in crime? 
After being left at the altar, Ivy Amanda McTeague Preston uproots herself and her cat, an Egyptian Mau named Memnet, from her boring and lonely life to start over at the urging of Mayor Conklin, a fellow pedigreed Mau owner. Truesdale Thompson is ready to move in a fresh direction with his life. A private man whose physical wounds are the only outward sign of a tragic accident in his past, True and his cat, Isis, open a branch of his trendy little bookstore and coffee shop in Apple Grove. When Ivy takes a mysterious message while the mayor is away on business, only Ivy’s criminology professor mom and True believe there’s something rotten in Apple Grove. Can Ivy carry on her romance with True while saving the town from further Mayhem?

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you--I, whom you have redeemed.  Psalm 71:23 NIV

Now, for an opportunity to receive a copy of Lisa's mystery, Meow Mayhem:

At least ten readers must comment and share in order for there to be a book give-away. So come on everyone. It's easy.  Join in. Follow these steps to qualify for the random drawing.

1. Leave a comment on this blog (my favorite part!) which includes your name and email address if you want to be included in the drawing. You can comment without leaving your email if you don't want to be in the drawing. I will use your address to contact you if you win. To leave a comment, click on the pencil icon or the word comment at the end of this blog post.

2. Share this blog post on Facebook so your friends will read about it and visit too.

3. Tweet, tweet, tweet IF you have twitter, and mention the book give-away on your own blog if you have one. It would be great as well and an extra perk for me if you would become a follower of this site, so you won't miss a single post.

Complete these steps by 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 9th.   A winner will be announced here on Monday, March 11th, so be sure to check back to see if you've won. 

Thank you so much for participating in the monthly give-away.  This feature of Write Moments with God is so much fun for me.

May God give you His peace and keep you safe in the palm of His hands, my friends.