Monday, June 30, 2014

Strangers in a Strange Land ~ Plus Win a Signed Copy of God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea

"Bonjour" welcome sign picture courtesy of Jeanne Henriques ~ Collage of Life

Today we're looking forward to the arrival of our French guest.  My daughter and her family are in China; my son is in Japan.  Many of you are planning your own summer travels. With that on my mind, I decided to share a chapter from devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments.  I'm also giving away a signed paperback copy.  I hope you'll enjoy this.

Strangers in a Strange Land

“If you call ‘Father’ the one who judges everyone impartially according to what they have done, you must live in reverent fear as long as you are strangers in a strange land” 1 Peter 1:17 (ISV).

I love being a citizen of the United States of America—a nation of immigrants from all over the world.   So it was with much enthusiasm that I taught English to speakers of other languages.  In addition to language, I also taught our culture and history, and endeavored to impart to my students an appreciation for the American way of life.  Assimilation and acculturation are objectives for newcomers in order to help them overcome the feelings of alienation in a foreign land.  When immigrants begin to melt into the life and culture of American, they begin to feel they belong here.
While reading the above scripture in 1 Peter, I began to realize that we as Christians must do just the opposite of those students.  Rather than assimilate the ways of our world, it is our calling, and our challenge, to live in this world, yet keep ourselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).  We are strangers in a strange land.
 On this journey of faith, we are called to holy living. As we live a sanctified life, we come to realize that all this world has to offer is vanity, and that only God can give us the true desires of our hearts.  Peter beseeches us as “strangers and pilgrims” to live in reverential fear of God the Father.  We must live according to His Holy Word, not being conformed to the customs and ways of this world. 
The Psalmist said “I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me” (Psalm 119:19).  As we walk with Him in faith, on our way to heaven, we desire more and more to understand God’s commandments and serve Him.  With our sights on Him, this world is indeed passing away, and our heavenly destination is becoming more the reality.

Journal Considerations:  Are there some “ways of the world” that you are trying not to assimilate?
Why do you think Peter calls us strangers and pilgrims?

Prayer:  Dear Father God, have mercy on me.  Thank you for your grace that sustains me on this journey.  I pray that You might count me in your household of faith.  Thank you for Your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ Holy Name, I pray. Amen.

Today’s Sweet Tea Moment: May I pass the time of this pilgrimage honoring God.

Prayer Focus: Missionaries serving God in foreign lands.

Photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp

Thanks for visiting Write Moments with God.  

Now, if you'd like to be included in the drawing for a signed copy of my award 

winning devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea, please leave a 

comment below (with your email address if I don't have it already) AND share 

this post on your social media sites.  I'd appreciate that very much. The 

winner will be announced on Monday, July 7th.  Blessings!

Monday, June 23, 2014

More Than a Mantra ~ All Praise to You Lord God

Ludwig Bemelman's Madeline ~ photo courtesy of Google

My girls and I were big fans of Madeline  , the precocious and charmingly impetuous star of Ludwig Bemelman’s books.  Madeline isn’t afraid of anything and in the movie version her mantra is

“I can do anything.”

(Click on the caption above to watch one of our favorite Madeline stories.)
Her mantra has always reminded me of the following scripture verse:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

The truth of Philippians 4:13 is more than a mantra, more than a “positive declaration”.

It is true that some of us see ourselves so highly that the attitude “I can do anything” lurks just beneath the surface. Most of us are guilty to some extent in some areas of an attitude of superiority. But then again, there is the other extreme.  “I can’t do anything.”  “I can’t get anything right.” Divorce, illnesses, financial difficulties—lots of situations can chip away at self-confidence.

The truth of the matter is wellness resides in the truth of who I am in Christ Jesus.

Based on God’s truth, based on who I am in Him, I can be secure in His promise, that I can do anything that’s in His will for me to do… if I cooperate with Him.

Consider Peter who walked on the water to Jesus.

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the
water.” And He (Jesus) said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and
walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:28-29

When Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he walked on the water.  It was when he looked at the conditions around him that he became afraid and began to sink. I like the fact that those on the boat worshipped Jesus after they saw what had happened.  They didn’t run to Peter to applaud him for his great feat.

We need to praise God for all our talents and gifts and consecrate them to the service of Him who gave them.

I love King David’s words after his successful fund-raiser for building the great Temple. Was David all puffed up with pride by his success?  Not at all.  Here is his prayer:

So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly; and David said,
“Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever.
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the
victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the
earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over
all. “Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in
Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and
to strengthen everyone. “Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and
praise Your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:10-13

Can I get an “Amen ”?

This beautiful photo of Virginia Beach is courtesy of Eileen DeCamp
I'm honored you took some of your time to visit Write Moments with God.  I hope you have a glorious day.  All thanks and praise be to God.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Question which Demanded An Answer

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques ~ Collage of Life

While cleaning out an old purse, I found a business card on which I’d written the following question: 
Is anything standing between you and God?

I paused and studied the card in an attempt to remember the occasion that prompted my writing it. I couldn't remember writing it, but clearly the question had been written by my hand. 

Nothing came to mind. 

And yet, still, there it was, speaking to me, daring to be answered.

NOTHING should stand between me and God.  My God should receive ALL my love and undivided devotion.

The commandment states:

And you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your might. Deut. 6:5

Contrary to this, we are instructed:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world… 1 John 2:15a

for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the
pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (v. 16)

That list  constitutes the things of the world—those self-indulgent things that characterize self-centered living that heartens to the flesh…enmity between  me and God.  

Therein lies the answer.

And the world passes away, and the lust thereof; but he that does the will of God abideth for ever. (v. 17)

Jesus came to do the will of His Father. (John 5:30) We could say that it was the theme which dominated His life.  He sought not His own will, but the will of His Father. 

Doing the will of God should be the theme that dominates our lives.

To me, it’s easy to embrace the fact that I should love God whole-heartedly, above all else.
But what about His will?  Do I embrace God’s will as wholeheartedly as His love?  His will for the minute details of my life? 

God's will concerns our minds, emotions, and our own self will.  Is that the catch? Do we hold back a bit from God due to our own self-will … due to love of the world?

These are questions I ask myself.  Then I thank God for His love and mercy towards me, a sinner.

Photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…

For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good

pleasure. Philippians 2:5,13

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  Have a beautiful day... in His will, in His love.  Are they not one and the same?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Free, Astonishing Love ~ A Blessing for Your Day

Another sunrise beautifully captured by Eileen DeCamp at Seabrook Island, S.C.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  2 Corinthians 13:14

Paul spoke this benediction to the believers at Corinth and his inspired words still bless those of us who believe today.  I’ve been meditating on the words he chose—grace, love, fellowship—to grasp his meaning and their power.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ…”

For by His grace, we are saved.  His grace.  His undeserved favor.  Paul wanted believers to take full advantage of all the benefits that Christ purchased by His blood on the cross.  He asked the believers in Corinth,

Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? 2 Corinthians 13:5b

As Christ now lives by the power of God, so must we live by that power.  His grace is sufficient.

“And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit…”

Fellowship is friendship and companionship.  How wonderful that our Lord Jesus Christ did not abandon us when His time on earth was fulfilled.  He promised

I will not leave you comfortless. John14:18

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive…for he dwells with you, and will be in you. John14:16, 17a

What a blessing we have received—the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.

“And the love of God…”

I’ve saved the best for last.  God IS love. (1 John 4:8) May the love of God be with you.

Here is a quote from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary of the Whole Bible:

None of our words or thoughts can do justice to the free, astonishing love of a holy God towards sinners, who could not profit or harm him, whom he might justly crush in a moment, and whose deserving of his vengeance was shown in the method by which they were saved, though he could by his almighty Word have created other worlds, with more perfect  beings, if he had seen fit. Search we the whole universe for love in its most glorious displays?  It is to be found in the person and the cross of Christ.

For those of us who call Jesus Lord, the kingdom of God reigns in our hearts.  What more could we ever want or need?  

So I leave you with Paul’s blessing today and another awesome picture by my friend Eileen DeCamp.  Be blessed.

Sunset at Seabrook Island, SC ~ courtesy of Eileen DeCamp
Thank you all so much for visiting Write Moments with God.  I am honored by your presence. 

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week's FREE BOOK GIVE-AWAY.  Join me the first Monday of every month to meet Christian authors and participate in our drawing. 

NOW, to announce the WINNER of a signed copy of Rebecca Waters new novel, Breathing on Her Own:

Congratulations to Jennifer Brommet.  I hope you'll enjoy it Jennifer and thanks so much for participating. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Meet Author Rebecca Waters ~ Plus win a copy of her book, Breathing on Her Own

Rebecca Waters
Today it's my pleasure to introduce to you Rebecca Waters.  Her debut novel, Breathing on Her Own, was recently released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.  It's a story of faith, forgiveness, restoration and family crisis. I'm looking forward to reading it. Becky will be giving away a signed paperback copy to one of you, so be sure to participate. Enjoy the interview.

Tell us a little about yourself, Becky.

I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I taught in the primary grades for nearly twenty years, but after earning my doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, I felt called to teach at Cincinnati Christian University. I was head of the teacher education program at the university for fourteen and a half years. In 2011 my husband suffered a series of heart issues resulting in four-way bypass surgery. The surgeon started talking about “the next time.” We looked at each other and started planning our retirement. We retired in 2012.

Tell us about your new book.

Breathing on Her Own is my first novel. It’s about a woman (Molly) nearing retirement when her adult daughter is injured in a terrible accident. Another woman is dead.  When Molly learns her daughter was driving under the influence, she is gripped with shame and doubt. How can she face her friends? Where was God? How could He have let this happen? As the story unfolds, Molly comes to realize her faith in God is faltering. It’s a story of faith, forgiveness, restoration and family crisis.

What started you on your writing journey?

My second grade teacher told me I was a writer. As a senior in high school, my English teacher told me I was a writer. So of course I wanted to be a writer, right? No. I wanted to be a teacher. However, I have always enjoyed writing. As an educator, I wrote research-based articles for journals. As a teacher I wrote stories for my students. As a mom, I wrote teen novellas for my daughters. I’ve written for Christian as well as education publications. When my husband and I decided to retire, I turned my attention to writing a novel.

What do you think the Lord is teaching you through your writing?

I think He is teaching me to trust Him with the details, and to use the gifts He has given me to serve Him in a new and exciting way. He’s also teaching me to be patient and humble.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

What I have found most helpful is to move away from one project and write something totally different. My mind seems to engage in the writing process and the problem I had with one piece seems to work itself out as I write another. That said, I recently read someone suggest that to get your creative juices going you need to engage in something else that is creative such as making a craft or trying a new recipe. I may try that the next time I feel stuck.

What advice do you have for the aspiring writers who might be reading this today?

Write, write, and then write some more. Also, I encourage new writers to draft a business plan for themselves. When you start to think of your writing as a business, you always have a “next step.” Another benefit to that is you stop becoming so emotionally attached to your words. This is handy when an editor wants to cut them or asks you for a total rewrite.

What is your favorite Scripture?

I have always leaned on Colossians 3:23 when it comes to my work at hand. But lately I have been drawn to 1 Thessalonians 4:11 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and work with your own hands….”

How can readers connect with you?

The easiest way is to visit my website at

Also, I write a weekly blog for writers called A Novel Creation. It can be found at

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

Thank you so much Becky for being my guest this week on Write Moments with God. Thank you for offering to give-away a copy of your novel.

All readers who comment below will be included in the drawing. Please include your email address (if I don't have it) so I can contact you in the event that you are the winner.  Please share this post with your social media friends so they can participate too.  The winner will be announced here next Monday, June 9th.

As always, I am honored that you have joined me here today.  You make my day.