|Watching for Daddy -- photo courtesy of Marissa Nicole Photography|
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
|Ann Tatlock www.anntatlock.com|
| Every morning I write a Bible verse in a
notebook and leave it on my daughter’s bed for her to read when she comes home
from school. Today the verse is 1 John 4:19: “We love him, because he first
loved us” (AKJV). |
I never cease to be amazed by the “I’ll-make-the-first-move” love of God. That love has wrapped itself around me from the day I was born and, no matter what I’ve done through the years, it has always been true to the words of one of my favorite hymns: “O Love that will not let me go.”
At the age of six I wrote my first poem in very large letters on a very large piece of ruled writing paper. In it I named all the things I loved—Mom and Dad, the singing birds, my teachers—and I concluded with this line: “But most of all I love God.”
That says more about God than about me. To think He revealed himself to a little child—how great a gift! In return, I’ve always wanted to serve Him and to tell about what He has done for us through Jesus Christ.
When I went to college, I thought the best way for me to serve God would be to take care of the sick, but I dropped out of the nursing program when the Lord made it clear to me that my calling was to write.
Deciding to write true testimonies as to what God was doing in the world, I eventually got a master’s degree in journalism. That led to a job with Billy Graham’s "Decision" magazine, where I spent five years as staff writer and assistant editor.
But the Lord impressed upon me the power of story as a vehicle for truth. After all, Jesus used fictional stories to teach while he was here on earth. We know those stories today as the parables.
So I switched gears and started writing novels in the hopes of revealing through them something of the character of God. My novels are both contemporary and historical; I have a particular interest in 20th-century America as it was a time of incredible advancement, unthinkable tragedies, glorious victories and boundless faith on the part of believers.
My new friend Rose Chandler Johnson recently read I’ll Watch the Moon and asked what inspired me to write it. Since I like to choose a particular era or event to serve as backdrop for my stories, I’ll Watch the Moon arose from my curiosity about the 1948 polio epidemic. As I researched the epidemic, I realized I’d be writing a story about hope. When people face trials like war and disease (the Second World War also figures into the story), they so often discover what the narrator of the story discovers, that “even a grain of hope can manage to eclipse a whole world of despair.”
Let me share too the historical time frame and the theme of some of my other novels:
A Room of My Own The Great Depression, 1932 Servanthood
A Place Called Morning 1980s Forgiveness
All the Way Home WWII and 1960s Civil Rights Era Redemption
The Returning Contemporary Grace
Promises to Keep 1967-68 Discernment
Travelers Rest Contemporary Restoration
Sweet Mercy Prohibition Era, 1931 Mercy
I share this with you only because the desire of my heart is to reveal God’s character and announce his truths. Because He loves us, our lives are filled with his grace and mercy, hope and forgiveness, redemption and restoration. I hope my readers will enjoy my stories and--even more important--come away feeling comforted, encouraged and a little bit more certain of God’s unfailing love.
* * *
Now, for an opportunity to receive a copy of Ann's book of your choice.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
|Some comfort food--Fully Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup|
Again I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18: 19-20
Does this mean that God gives special attention when believers unite in prayer? This Scripture says that indeed He is there in our midst.
When I join my prayers with fellow believers I feel that I am standing with them and helping support their burdens. Likewise, I feel that they are supporting me and mine. I believe that in the Spirit that we are indeed doing just that. And we are comforted.
Bear you one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:3 NKJV
We know we are not alone. We can unite our prayers with fellow believers to find comfort and hope. God intended for us to join together and find strength in the body of Christ. Even the Spirit of God within us helps us pray.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Times of need can overwhelm us. We need to partner together with fellow believers and trust that God is with us. We will obtain the mercy and grace sufficient for our needs.
My thanks to all of you who pray with me and for me. Your prayers are a precious gift. I would stumble and fall under the weight of my burdens without your prayers.
I unite my prayers now with all of you praying for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I am so sorry for their sorrow and loss. I pray for the God of all comfort to be with them and with you as well.
Monday, October 29, 2012
|Foggy Morning, Thompson, Georgia courtesy of Marissa Nicole Photography|
This morning during my prayer time, I had a little talk with the Lord. It's the same little talk we have each time I must prepare a devotion for this blog. I feel in a bit of a fog, knowing that in myself I have no ability to reach others with the good news of Jesus Christ. I feel inadequate, knowing that anything I could say has already been said and much more eloquently than I can say it. How do I choose the right words to express what I have on my heart? And there is always the biggest question.
What do you want me to write Lord?
I knew before starting this blog that I wanted it to be about God showing Himself in the everyday things. I wanted to focus on the reality of Christ and how that makes all the difference in each moment. I wanted my words to encourage others on their everyday journeys. I don't want to get in the way of anyone's view of God. So, He reminded me again to be His witness.
I can not save a soul. Only God can. But I can tell of the great things he has done for me. I know what I know. I know how He gives me strength for each day, and His mercies are new every morning.
Come and hear, all you that fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul. Psalm 66:16
So many are weary and lonely and hurting. So many don't know the friend who sticks closer than a brother. And we all need encouragement each day. The Lord wants me to tell of His mercy and grace and tell what He means to me. I don't have to worry about writing the right words as long as they focus on Him. That is the point of these devotions. I want you to know my Lord.
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
1 John 1:3-4 NKJV
I hope we can encourage each other and rejoice together as we testify about what He has done for us and what He will do for those who will only believe.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
|Monastere des Augustines, Quebec City, Quebec, June 2011.|
This parable captured my heart and attention this week. I intended to bring you a different devotion, but I kept returning to these verses instead. Maybe it's because I identify with the vulnerable and defenseless widow. She keeps going to the unjust judge with her plea, probably knowing full well he was unjust.
For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'
This unjust judge could represent many entities that hold our interests in the power of their hands. He doesn't respect God, nor does he care about men, but at last he gives in to her pleas. Not because of any virtue or compassion in himself; He has his own self-interest in mind. He's tired of her bothering him.
And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
Jesus is asking this question. And what must the answer be?
I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.
God is Faithful and Just. Keep taking your petition to Him in prayer. Keep going to Him night and day. He will grant you justice against our adversary.
This parable encourages me to persist in prayer, and gives me hope. But this parable ends with another question from Jesus that I had never noticed before,which causes me to search my heart.
However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?' Luke 18:1-5
Be encouraged today to pray and not give up. I pray that your faith endures until Jesus comes again.
Thank you for visiting the blog today. Please feel free to leave a comment below or write me a personal note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Monday, October 22, 2012
|Sugar Hollow Shenandoah National Park--Photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp|
I've done my share of complaining along with everyone else about this economy. Gas prices, food prices, unemployment--there's a lot to be concerned about. But let's get this economic situation in perspective. Whether the stock market is up, or the stock market is down; whether the economy is booming, or unemployment abounds, God, the Creator of the universe, owns everything--all the silver, all the gold, the cattle upon every hill, and even "they that dwell therein". However little or much we might have, it's all God's; we have what we have only by His grace. Even our lives are in His hands.
I try to be a good manager of what God provides for me, taking care of my household, and when I am able sharing with others who have needs. Other than that, why should I stress? In the media and all around us, people are agonizing about the economic downturn. Some despondent, who have lost their jobs or their fortunes, have taken their own lives. I'm sorry to say I've wasted countless hours over the years worrying about finances.
The Lord has reminded me through His Word to take heed, lest my soul become bankrupt as I worry about the things of this world.
Constantly be on your guard so that your hearts will not be loaded down with self-indulgence, drunkenness, and the worries of this life, or that day will take you by surprise. Luke 21:34 ISV
God is good. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, no matter how rich or poor, God loves us, his children. If we can keep that in mind, and concentrate on our soul's worth, our hearts can enjoy peace. After all, God has promised to provide all we need no matter what the economy.
My prayers to you no matter where you are. May God bless you with all you need and give you peace.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
|Photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques Collage of Life|
I thought of this Scripture this weekend as I listened to a family friend as she quietly talked about surviving breast cancer. Her eyes twinkled with emotion as she told me how her experience had turned out to be a "beautiful thing". She talked about how amazed she was to have grown so close to the Lord through all that she had experienced. She had expected the hurtful things that came with a double mastectomy. She had not expected such an outpouring of love and support that came from all her friends and co-workers. Nor did she expect all the spiritual blessings that came her way as she drew close to God.
"I love to tell my story," she said.
We all face crises in our lives. The initial reaction is often fear and dread. If only we could hang onto stories of hope, and have a "let's-see-what-the-Lord-will-do" attitude.
And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Thank you Debra for sharing what God has done for you. It seems to me that your story is an actualization of Paul's words--"the things which happened to me furthered the gospel."
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Augusta Chronicle is featuring breast cancer survivor stories in its Faces of Survival portraits. You might like to read more there. (www.chronicle.augusta.com/survivors)
Photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques Collage of Life