Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coincidences, Unexplained Synchronization of Events or Spiritual Puns

Awesome photo courtesy of Eileen Decamp ~ Monticello

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26 NIV

This week a story is trending on Yahoo about an uncanny coincidence.  Marion Shurtleff, of San Clemente, California purchased an old bible in a used bookstore several months ago.  She noticed a folded piece of yellow paper  between the pages, but a couple of months passed before she toke the time to open the paper and read it.  When she did, she made an astonishing discovery.  The paper was actually an essay that she herself had written 65 years ago to earn her merit badge for Girl Scouts, when she was living 2,000 miles away in Covington, Kentucky.  Who could have imagined such a coincidence.  Now, she is on a quest to find out who owned the bible and why they saved the letter.  She wonders if there is a message in this for her.

In the life of a believer, is there any such thing as chance or coincidence?  God engineers everything.  I believe most of us would concede that God is in control of the circumstances in our lives.  We go our merry everyday ways not thinking much about that fact until some synchronized details reveal a mystery so intricate that it could only be explained as the unseen hand of God. 

G. K. Chesterton said “coincidences are spiritual puns.”  I wonder what he meant by that.  The word pun means a joke.  If that is the case then, according to Chesterton, God has a real sense of humor.  But maybe, the purpose of coincidence is much grander than that.

When such an event occurs—a connection that has persisted over miles in time and space--is revealed.  We wonder if God is speaking to us through the circumstances.  God’s providence has been revealed to our unseeing eyes by the working out of this event called “coincidence”.  No matter how we explain it, ordinary events have come together in such a way that we marvel at  God's grace and His providential care.

But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1 NIV

Sunset at Beaver Creek Reservoir ~ thanks Eileen DeCamp

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  Please consider leaving a comment below.  I'd love to read your thoughts on "coincidences".  Do you have an interesting one to share? 

Please come back on Monday when I introduce my guest author for June and give-away one of her new books!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Significant Accomplishments ~ not necessarily as the world defines them

Graduation caps tossed into the air ~ Google image

For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Romans 14:18-19 (NASB)

The school year has ended and the last chords of pomp and circumstance have faded away.  It was a beautiful day for the graduates to toss their caps into the air.  When I returned home from the ceremony, I made myself a glass of iced tea and headed for my favorite spot in the backyard.  I had a stack of a hundred plus papers to read.  No, they weren’t more papers to grade.  They were the notes my students wrote to me on their last day in class. 

I will say, as we say in the South, they “did my heart good”.  And I treasure and will treasure my students’ messages.  They got me to thinking about accomplishments.  I’ve had a few in my life that the world recognizes as “significant”.  The cords I wore at my multiple graduations have for the most part lost their meaning to me.  When I think of these letters from my students, I wonder whether those other accomplishments have any real significance at all.  To me, these words mean so much more.

Even though I already knew it, it’s nice to read that I was a favorite.  But what pleases me even more is to read that so many students thought they were my favorite.

 “I was your favorite student.”

“With love from your favorite student.”

“You don’t have to say it ‘cause I know I was your favorite.”
It’s good to feel like a “favorite”.

We should all have a person who sees the best in us despite “in your face” realities ~ despite acne and deficient hygiene, despite missing homework and mistakes. 

We all need someone who can set us to believing in the goodness and the possibilities in ourselves ~ through little conversations now forgotten, smiles that proved I notice, encouraging words that say I care.

We all need at least one person who will confirm that our outlandish dreams are plausible ~ one person who will dig deep to plant seeds of beauty and hope in the rich soil of our hearts. 

 “I always looked forward to coming to your class.”

“You brought peace to my day always smiling.”

 “To the one teacher who cared how my hand writing is.”

“I learned French but you taught me so much more.”

“You’ve spoken nothing but good things about me and that truly means a lot.”

“You believe in second chances.”
“Always remember me.  I will either be reporting on the news or traveling the world and visiting different countries.”
“Don’t forget how important you were/are to me.”
Happy tears filled my eyes as I read their farewell letters.  It may sound a little “cheesy”, but I’m happy that I was important in the lives of those young people.  To me, more than an endearing accomplishment, it is one with enduring significance.  I don't think I ever realized that so much as I do now.
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. Ephesians 1:12
My favorite corner of the yard
Thank you for allowing me this indulgence.  I really wanted to share a little bit from the letters with you. 

Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God.  I am honored that you are here, and I hope you'll come again.  Be pleased to leave your comments below.  I appreciate what you have to say.   Have a lovely Memorial Day holiday.  May God bless you and your family.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Step out in Faith or not at all -- His Grace is Sufficient

City of Eternal Spring, Vietnam ~ courtesy of Jeanne Henriques Collage of Life

He must increase, but I must decrease.  John 3:30

I’ve just gone thought a season of ill health.  Nothing horrible or life-threatening, but enough sickness for long enough to make me realize my utter human frailty and the impossibility of my doing anything apart from His mercy and grace.  But, that consequence, that realization, is actually a good thing.  My faith has kicked up a notch, as I’ve had to step out in faith or not step out at all.

As I’ve sat around more than usual, I’ve sought solace in His presence.  Like a mother cradles her little child, I’ve asked Him to cradle me.  He has.  As my reliance on Him grows, so does my faith.  His grace is sufficient.  When all is said and done, His purposes are the eternal essential thing.   His plans for me?  I want to make those plans my own.

In our culture, we celebrate youth, beauty, health, and vitality. Like those long summer days of our childhood, they seem never-ending.  But, eventually for all of us, due to accidents, illness, or simply old age, they do end.  We come face to face with our human weaknesses and limitations.  When we suffer the loss of health, we learn a new way of being, and if we are wise, a new level of dependence upon the Lord's all in all. 

I’ve just read “Sick & Tired: Empathy, Encouragement, and Practical Help for Those Suffering from Chronic Health Problems”, a new book by Kimberly Rae.  It was a welcomed dose of encouragement.  I love her words of dedication to Jesus: 
 “You can do more with my being less than I ever could have done being what I thought was more.”

…I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus
my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them
but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own
 righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of
Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  That I may know him, and
 the power of his resurrection… Philippians 3:8-10a
Photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques ~ I love her photography.
May God in His mercy and grace strengthen you and empower you to do all He has called you to do this day.  Take His peace.  Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I appreciate you. 
You are welcome to leave your comments below.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Love, Bless, Pray...for your Enemies

My dear friend Rita visiting on my birthday 2012

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.  Matthew 5:44


From the first moment we met, I thought my new supervisor disliked me.  Everyone else welcomed me to my new position, but this person seemed stand-offish, mistrustful, and even jealous.  Over the course of that year, we had several differences of opinion which left me feeling somewhat bruised and devalued.

             While I complained one day about this person’s behavior, my friend interrupted me and asked, “Have you prayed for him?”

             Her question definitely caused me pause.  I had not prayed for him, but her question made me realize that I should be doing just that.  After all, we need to pray about everything. 

I began to pray for him in earnest.  Each day I prayed for his mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.  I prayed for God to bless him.

And above all these things put on charity.  Colossians 3:14

            I began to see subtle changes in our interactions.  Greetings seemed sincere.  I noticed he listened and seemed to appreciate what I shared in our group meetings.  The changes were coming from both of us.  By the end of that year, the relationship had transformed into one of mutual respect and good-will.

Let brotherly love continue.  Hebrew 13:1

Prayer transformed an enemy into a friend.  Only the power of God can do that.

Little brothers Nathan and Jonah at play
I welcome you to leave your comments below.  Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God.  May God bless you and cover you with His love.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Life is Like a Jigsaw Puzzle...or not ~ plus announcing the winner of the monthly book give-away

Liberty Leading the People, Eugene Delacroix ~ like the puzzle I bought in the Louvre. Google image.

I’ve always loved putting together jigsaw puzzles, not only as a child, but as an adult.  My mother and I still buy them for each other.  Once I even bought a puzzle of a Delacroix painting in the gift shop of the Louvre in Paris.  I examine the picture, shake the new box, then I'm ready to master its 1,000 easy pieces.  The designs and variegated hues and shadows intrigue me.  As the pieces are fitted together, satisfying glimpses of the big picture come into view. 

I am creator.

I have total control.

Sometimes an elusive bit will send me searching high and low, examining every piece until I find the elusive one.  I savor the moment when I have put the final one into place to complete the picture perfect. 

Life simplified into 1,000 pieces in a box.  Thus, the perennial charm of puzzles.  A real sense of satisfaction for a low price.

Hello!  Life isn’t 1,000 easy pieces. We may want the big picture completed neatly now so we can see the results of all God plans to do in and through our lives. But, in reality, we need an eternal view.  We can't know the final plans.  God’s purposes are for eternity.  We will see and understands parts of His plan for our lives, but some things we can't know and understand this side of heaven.  It's enough to know I can trust Him to design each scene along the way.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

I believe that the God who knows the number of hairs on my head can be trusted with all the bits and pieces and mysteries in my life.  I know I can trust Him.  If I cooperate with Him and play my part, God who is the Master, will put it all together perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore.  Matthew 10:30, 31a
The girls doing French braids.
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  You are important to me.  I appreciate you, and pray God will bless you.  Please consider leaving your comments below.
Congratulations to Rebecca Waters, who has won a copy of Cynthia Ruchti's new novel, When the Morning Glory Blooms.  Thanks to all of you who visited and commented when Cynthia was our guest.  We enjoyed it very much.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Life of Service

My daughters Melanie and Katie, with grandsons Jonah and Nathan, and my sister Margaret.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Matthew 16:25 NIV
Today's blog post is dedicated to mothers everywhere, and to those who dedicate their lives in the service of others.  This meditation is an excerpt from my devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments, which will release in July from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.  I hope you enjoy this preview.

I remember the time, some twenty or so years ago, when my little children revolved around me like the planets circle the sun. I felt like I was holding them all in place, but God was holding us all. He was ever present.

One especially exhausting day, as I was changing a diaper and hurriedly juggling many tasks, I said aloud in exasperation, “I don’t have a life!”

Without hesitation, the Lord responded emphatically to my words. In my spirit, I heard: No, you don’t have a life. Didn’t I tell you that whoever will save his life shall lose it, and whoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it?

These words came directly to me, personal and real—interjected into my train of thought by a voice of authority.

At that moment I knew the Lord had spoken to me. I realized I was doing exactly what He wanted me to do; I was taking care of the needs of my family. My service to them was not an obligation, but a holy calling; a vocation to serve the needs of those in my care.
Jesus became a servant to all, taking on the form of a servant in his earthly life. His service was love in action. His selfless love, for our redemption and God’s glory, is a model for all believers. It is with this same spirit that we can dedicate our lives to His service and, by so doing, we are strengthened to give of ourselves to others, in our families and beyond, as we go about our everyday lives.

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques ~ Collage of Life

For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 1 Corinthians 9:19.

Dear Lord, I want to be at your service, doing whatever it is that you have called me to do this day. Strengthen me to serve those in my care. Give me the love I need to put into my actions. Show me the tasks you have called me to do, that I might live my life for Your glory. Amen.
Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God.  I'm glad you've made this a part of your day.  Please consider leaving a comment below.  I'd love to hear from you. 
And it's not too late to leave a comment on the previous post which features author Cynthia Ruchti.  On Saturday, one of the readers who leaves a comment will win a free copy of her book, When the Morning Glory Blooms.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Cynthia Ruchti, Featured Author ~ Plus, Monthly Book Give-Away

Cynthia Ruchti ~
Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I many continually resort:  thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.  Psalm 71:3

Dear Readers, today I'd like to introduce to you Cynthia Ruchti.  Cynthia tells stories of hope through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, speaking for women’s events and retreats, writers’ events and retreats, drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry.  I've asked Cynthia to write our devotional today.  Let's welcome her.

* * *

Another Mother’s Day without a mother. I remember the moment I became an adult orphan. My dad had died in 1993 of a massive heart attack in the middle of the night. I feel the loss of him every day, but I also feel the joy of having known him.

Mom sold the house and moved three hours north a couple of months after Dad died. We say it was so she could be close to the hugs. Her three daughters lived within 25 miles of her new apartment-for-one. She stayed there, within the circle of our embrace, for seventeen years until heart disease stole her last breath.

The moment she was gone, we siblings sang, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” because she’d gotten her wish after a long, hard, oh so hard illness—to shake free of this earth, see Jesus face to face, and be reintroduced to my dad in glory-form.

The second moment after she was gone, I realized I was an orphan. The fact that I was a full-grown adult didn’t erase that sober realization.

And now, another Mother’s Day is here and I’m not searching for just the right card or just the right gift for her.

Mother’s Day doesn’t bring joy to everyone. It’s a hard day for those who’ve lost a mom. It’s a hard day for those who long to be moms and aren’t. It’s difficult to watch others receive flowers and fancy cards when your children are missing, misguided, estranged, or gone.

When I wrote When the Morning Glory Blooms, I knew some readers would celebrate its babies and its mothers. Some would mourn never knowing the weight of a daughter or son in their arms. Some readers would watch the characters struggle through the aftereffects of unplanned or unwed pregnancies and relive those scenes from their own lives. Some will recognize the sacrifices their moms made for them. Others will long for the kind of love they see expressed in the pages. 


I wish I could give my mom When the Morning Glory Blooms for Mother’s Day. I’d love to point out that the maternity ward in the 1950s story is taken from her descriptions. I’d love to show her that her tenacious prayers for my writing life are still having an impact.

Two weeks before she died, my debut novel’s Advanced Reader Copies arrived in the mail. After having prayed for me and for that project for so many years, she held it in her hands and said, “Oh! My book!” Then she paused and added, “I mean, our book.”

My Mother’s Day card to her this year would have read, “Mom, thanks for your prayers. Another novel is born.”


Thank you, Rose, for letting my thoughts wander to the rich heritage of loving parents. I’d love to hear from readers about the kinds of thoughts Mother’s Day evokes for them. If readers would like to connect with me, they can do so through,, or When the Morning Glory Blooms is available wherever books are sold or through the direct “buy now” link on my website.

Now, for an opportunity to win a beautiful copy of  When the Morning Glory Blooms:

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. I will use your email 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. But, #3 is optional.

Complete these steps by 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 11th.   A winner will be announced here on Monday, May 12th, so be sure to check back to see if you've won. 

Thank you for participating in the monthly give-away.  This feature of Write Moments with God is so much fun for me.   I'll leave you with one of Cynthia's favorite verses.

For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.  Psalm 71:5


Thursday, May 2, 2013

One Touch Caused Jesus to Pause and Ask "Who Touched Me?"

Google image ~ reminds me of my Daddy plowing the corn and cotton fields

And Jesus said, Who touched me? Luke 8:45a

When I walk down the hallway during class changes in my high school of 1800 students, the kids don’t move aside like the Red Sea parting.  I’m the petite (five feet tall), grey-haired French teacher.  I am treated with courtesy; still I am swallowed up in the sea of teenagers.  I barely notice all those who brush against me as I make my way through the crowd.

So, I’m not surprised by Peter’s words to Jesus in this story. (See Luke 8:43-48)

…Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? Luke8:45b

What really grips my attention and my heart is what Jesus says and does.  The multitude pressed in on him as he made His way through the streets, and many had to have brushed against Him or touched Him outright.

Yet, one touch was different from all the others. 

One touch caused Him to pause, and ask, who touched me?

This woman had suffered for twelve years with some unclean illness that had basically ruined her life.  None of her efforts had led to a source of healing. Her condition only worsened, and she had spent all she had.  She was without hope.  Then, having heard about Jesus, she reasoned in her heart that she had to get to Him.  She knew He was her only source of hope.  She believed that she would be healed, if she could but touch the hem of the Master’s garment.  And what did she do?  She touched the Master.

(She) Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment; and immediately her issue of blood stanched.  Luke 8:44

And Jesus felt her touch.  He felt virtue--the very power of God--go out of Himself when she touched Him.

And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole: go in peace. Luke 8:48

I am struck by the simplicity, yet profundity of this event.

You see, Jesus knows us.  He knows our hearts.  He knows our thoughts.  He knows why we come to Him and whether we love Him or not.  All the power of God resides in Him.  All through the gospels we read stories of Jesus’ healing the sick and saying to many of those who have received His healing, “thy faith hath made thee whole.” 

This woman’s faith released His healing power.  Her faith connected with His spirit.  That kind of living faith releases the very power of God. 

I want to approach Jesus like this poor sick woman did, in faith believing. I want to touch Him with living faith. 

So again, I say to the Lord, “I believe, help thou my unbelief.” (See Mark 9: 23-24)

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I pray that by His grace God will give you living faith.  I hope you touch the Master today.  May He give you peace.  Please consider leaving your comment below.  I really enjoy reading what you have to say. 
On my next post, I will introduce another featured author and the monthly book give-away, so I hope to see you then.  Even if you've already won a book on here, you can still win another.  Blessings to you and yours.