Monday, September 30, 2013

A Good Medicine

me LAUGHING (2007)

A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones. Proverbs 17:22 (AKJV)
Many of you have prayed for me this week, offered kind words of encouragement, and sent get-well wishes.  You have blessed me more than you know.  My sincere thanks to each of you. 

So, today I want to share a devotion with you from God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea about a good medicine.  I hope it speaks to your need and touches your heart.


            The therapeutic value of joy and laughter can not be denied. Who doesn’t enjoy a good belly laugh?  I believe I’ve even heard a story about a sick man who laughed himself well.  Charles Dickens wrote in his cherished classic A Christmas Carol that “it is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.”  This astute observation brings a smile to my lips.  Noble, indeed, he says.  God is good.

            Job spoke with faith when he said “He will yet fill thy mouth with laughter, And thy lips with shouting” Job 8:21 (ASV).  He expected to see the goodness and joy of the Lord, even though he was in the midst of suffering and sorrow.  God wants us to enjoy the life He’s given us.  The Scripture says that Jesus came “that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.”  An abundant life implies ample joy and laughter.  He wants His joy to be a constant and abiding benefit of our relationship with Him.  Joy comes from a heart content in Christ Jesus. 

“The Lord has done great things for us; whereof we are glad” Psalm 126:3. And we need to share that joy with those with whom our lives touch.  Share the joy through kind words of encouragement and hope.  Share the joy with a million laughs.  A happy heart is “irresistibly contagious”.  It does good to dispense it freely.

Scripture Readings:  Job 8:21; Psalm 126:2; Proverbs 12:25; Proverbs 17:22; Luke 6:21, John 10:10. 

Journal Considerations:  What do you think of Charles Dickens observation that there is “nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter”? 

Do you think God wants His joy to be a constant and abiding benefit of our relationship with Him?   

Prayer:  Dear Lord God, You have done great things for us.  Thank you for putting joy in our hearts and filling my mouths with laughter.  Help us find joy in our everyday lives, and help us share that joy with others.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen. 

Today’s Sweet Tea Moment: Laughter does good like a medicine, plus there’s no need to pay a deductible. 

Prayer Focus:  Those suffering from depression.
My grandson Nathan. 
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  May God bless you with His joy and peace.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Momentary Light Afflictions

The beautiful pictures today are courtesy of Eileen DeCamp
taken near her Virginia home.  She is most talented and generous to share.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  2 Corinthians 4:17 (NKJV)

            “Kiss it and make it better, Mommy!”  I often heard those words when my six children were growing up.  Many scrapes and injuries would cause them to run to me.  My kiss was a promise that the pain would soon pass.  As an added consolation, I applied a kiddy themed Band-Aid.  Those minor sufferings are part and parcel to life.  As adults, it’s not so easy to see it that way.  Indeed, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

            So here I find myself suffering with an extreme case of shingles.  After ignoring symptoms for days, I ran to Jesus when I realized what was upon me.  “Heal me, Lord, I trust in You,” I prayed.  Having delayed going to the doctor, my condition worsened . . .  in more ways than one.  My focus was being drawn more and more into my burning pain that was spreading over my trunk and limbs.  The pain was becoming all consuming.  I couldn’t concentrate due to it.  I couldn’t sleep. 

            Now, it had occurred to me when I first prayed for myself to pray for those who were suffering in their bodies with chronic pain and sickness.  I included that in my prayer, but the focus was still me.  It took about four days for me to really turn my prayers and thoughts to others and to the heart of my compassionate Lord Jesus to ask if He might want to teach me something through this. 

How His heart must ache for His children.  He is our Advocate.  He has sent us the Comforter, God the Holy Spirit, to be with us.  He wants us to be an advocate for othersintercede for them.  He wants us to be a comforter—share the burden in prayers and kind deeds.

            I am ashamed of myself for being so slow to catch on.  I even hesitated to ask for prayers.  But when I did, what kindness and generosity poured forth from my friends and fellow brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.  I could feel the Holy Spirit ministering to me.  I could feel God’s mercy.  And I am encouraged even more to pour out my heart for others who need His compassion and mercy.

            We have the story of our compassionate Lord in the gospels—His actions revealed His heart.  Christ’s resurrection is His promise to us that our present suffering will be turned into glory.  Our faith in Him is the remedy against despair.  The body of Christ in lifting up each other in prayer, brings glory to the cause of Christ.  

And so, like the scraps and pains we had as children, all this suffering too is but momentary light afflictions compared to the suffering of our Lord—momentary light afflictions compared to the glory of eternal life and joy without end in His presence

I pray that we will be encouraged and find patience in our present suffering knowing that in that perfect day we will spend eternity with HIM.

My thoughts and prayers for you who have prayed and encouraged me during this time.  I am very thankful and grateful for you.  May God bless you with His mercy and grace and multiply back to you all your kindness.  Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.
You are welcome to leave comments below.  I always like to hear from you.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jesus Challenges Us to See a New Reality

Google image

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.  Matthew13:45-46 (NIV)
We pay dearly for all we invest our time and money into.  But when everything is said and done, what’s of greatest value to you?  If you found your pearl of great price, would you sell everything you had to buy it?  That's no easy question.  How dare I ask it?  But Jesus himself drew the comparison.
I read a story last week which sparked my imagination.  I thought of the parable of the pearl of great price.
In June, Carole Ryan returned home from Prague to find her Arizona home and many of her pets destroyed by wildfire.  This 65-year-old’s home had burnt to the ground. 
Observers said that she was “remarkably upbeat.”  Her daughter who lived with her was safe.
Ms. Ryan explained.   “I owned too much stuff. . . .  In a way, the fire set me free to start all over again.”  Then, she received an unexpected joy.
While sifting through the debris, with a sifter provided to her by Red Cross workers, she was astonished to find her most prized possession, her mother’s wedding ring.
That’s the moment I thought of the parable.  It was as if she had just found her pearl of great price.
I thought --what is my most prized possession? 
I daresay that we are often deceived by the things of this world, and focus our attention on and set our affections on counterfeit pearls.
In this parable, Jesus is showing us a truth about the kingdom of heaven.
He challenges us to see a new reality.  By using this comparison of the merchant finding a pearl and selling all that he has to buy it, He is showing us the great and true worth of the kingdom of heaven.   This challenges us to look at our attitudes about what we value and see this new reality—the reality of the kingdom of heaven—more precious than all that we own.
Jesus Christ is a pearl of great price and when we have Him as our Lord and Savior, we have enough of true worth to bring us satisfaction and joy in this life and for eternity. 
Might we abandon all that stands in the way of our discipleship? 
Amazing photo courtesy of Aaron Baron
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.  Matthew 13:44 (NIV)
Thank you all for visiting Write Moments with God.  I appreciate you so much.  Feel free to share your thoughts below.  May God's grace be with you and keep you safe.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Have You Ever Heard of the Street Called 'Straight'?

Waze icon courtesy of Google images

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’. Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) 

I have a new friend.  She always has a smiley face. She causes me to sing… “I can go anywhere . . . .”  Her name is Waze.  Maybe you’ve met?  She’s the  navigation system on my iPhone. (And I never yell at her the way my friend Janie yells at hers.)

I just want to say. . . I have so much more confidence now when I travel unknown routes.  I don’t even mind traveling alone because Waze promises I’m “never alone on the road anymore”.   Waze gives me confidence because I trust her guidance.  We're so blessed with these savvy gadgets.

Hello! God has always been into “guidance”.  And He never leaves His children  alone.  It's good to remind ourselves of this.  God is a marvelous God!

Abraham and Moses were guided by God to new lands; Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness; Ananias was directed to go into Damascus to the very street called “Straight” to find Saul.  (I just love that story.)

The Lord said, "Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas.  When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul.  He is praying to me right now.  Acts 9:11 (N LT)

Awesome.  And He even knew that Saul was praying! 
If we seek Him, God will guide us too.  We can have faith that He knows the way that we should take, and He wants to lead us. 

Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.  John 14:6 (NLT)

Yes, Satan will try to get us lost on some side streets.  And sometimes something flashy (worldly) will catch our eye and cause us to change course.   It’s often necessary to turn around and get back on the right path.

If we’ll listen to the still small voice of conscience, the Holy Spirit within, or the faithful guidance of Christian friends, and follow God’s Holy Word, we can stay on the right way.

If we’d let God have control, we’ll arrive safely at our destinations time and time again.

There’s no need to worry.  God knows the beginning to the end.  He knows the way.
Photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques ~ Collage of Life

Thank you all for visiting Write Moments with God, and thank you for bearing with my little tongue in cheek.  We have a marvelous God—He thought of everything we’d ever need ages ago.  I pray you’ll allow Him to direct your steps today.

And now to announce the winner of  Tracy Krauss' Wind over Marshdale!

Congratulations to Deborah Heal.  You'll be receiving your own personal copy. Enjoy!

Thanks to all of you who visited and participated.  Tracy and I really appreciate your kind words.  And don't forget the first Monday of every month, I feature a guest author and we give away a book.  Blessings!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tracy Krauss Featured Author ~ plus book give-away

It is my pleasure to introduce to you author, artist, playwright, director, worship leader, and teacher, Tracy Krauss. Before she gets back into school for the year, I wanted to ask her a few questions about herself.  Originally from a small prairie town, she received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Saskatchewan.  She has lived in many places in northern Canada with her husband, a pastor, and their children. They currently live in Tumbler Ridge, BC.  I think you'll enjoy meeting her as much as I did.
Tell us a little about yourself, Tracy.
I’m all about the creative process, so everything I do has that bent to it. When I’m ‘making’ something – be it a painting, directing my vision for a play on the stage, playing an instrument, or writing a book – I feel energized. Sometimes I tend to burn myself out because I take on too much, but I like to be busy and I love all my creative pursuits, so it’s hard to drop anything.
I'd like to know more about your most recent book, since you will be giving away a copy to one lucky reader.
WIND OVER MARSHDALE takes place in a small prairie town where, on the surface, everything seems quaint and happy. Underneath there are some serious issues, especially with racism, sexual promiscuity, and the occult. Thomas Lone Wolf is a Cree man on a mission to build a heritage site near the town based on some ancient archaeological evidence. He and his children aren’t prepared for the level of prejudice they begin to face. Rachel Bosworth is the new kindergarten teacher, fresh from the big city and running away from a hurtful past. Con McKinley is a local farmer, who also happens to be single and good looking. A love triangle of sorts develops, with the two men unwitting participants. As well, eccentric twin sisters bombard the town; one with her legalistic religious views and the other as a practicing witch. The local pastor has little effect trying to keep his parishioners in line since he is involved in some unsavory business of his own. The lives of these and many other unusual characters weave together into a surprising climax.  Beneath it all is a thread linking everyone’s problems to the spirit realm; an ancient curse from the past that must be dealt with once and for all. 
What was your journey to publication like?
I first started writing when my eldest was just a baby. I could hardly wait for her to go down for her nap so that I could pound away at my mother’s old typewriter. That was more than a quarter century ago. Four kids, plus homeschooling for nine years, plus going back to work as a public school teacher full time, and I finally signed my first contract in 2008. So far I’ve got four novels and five stage plays published, but I’m also working on a children’s book, a devotional, and I’ve got three manuscripts with my agent.
What advice would you give writers who are on their own journey to publication?
Be patient. If you are going the traditional route, expect and even embrace rejection. Take the time necessary to get feedback from critique partners and get professional editing. Even if you decide to self publish, don’t rush publication. I still see many things I’d like to change in my books, but once a contract is signed, you can’t go back.
Where can we find you on the web?


Tracy's published works include four romantic suspense novels: AND THE BEAT GOES ON, where archeological evidence for creation comes at a heavy cost; MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, the story of a ‘cougar’ who takes on more than she can handle; PLAY IT AGAIN, about an unlikely match during the 1980s rock n’ roll scene; and WIND OVER MARSHDALE, where strong spiritual forces rock a seemingly peaceful prairie town. She also has several stage plays in print, including Ebenezer’s Christmas Carol; Dorothy’s Road Trip; The Western Tale; A Midterm Eve’s Phantasm; and Little Red In the Hood. If you'd like to know about Tracy and her work, visit her website for more details.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.  Colossians 3:23 NKJV

I enjoy first Monday's so much because I get to introduce another Christian author and we give away a book.  I hope you'll participate.

To qualify for the random drawing in 3 easy steps:

1. Leave a comment below with your email address so we can contact you if you win.

2.  Share the link to this blog post on FACEBOOK, and tell your friends about it.  It's easy to share this on Facebook and tweet this by clicking the links at the bottom of the page.

3.  Become a follower of this website. I appreciate you.
Please do this by Saturday, Sept 7.  The winner will be announced on Monday, September 9th.

God bless you and keep you safe. Thank you so much for visiting.