Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cries of the Heart and Renewal of Our Minds

Grandson Nathan's kindergarten graduation~2012
Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God's will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect. Romans 12:2
I was thinking how much I need continual renewal.  God’s mercies new every morning are a wonderful gift.  Each new day an opportunity to live for His glory.  Each morning full of promise and hope.  But I need His constant renewal.  I need that constant transforming of my heart and mind to know Him. 
My daily prayer should be...
Transform my heart to know Your love and compassion
Transform my mind to understand the Great I Am and my relation to You and what that means to how I am to relate to this world ~ to my family, my neighbor, and every one that comes into my realm of life.
My pastor once asked us, “Can you really love God without loving your neighbor?”
Indeed, Jesus Christ is our model.  I want to see as He sees.  But that’s only possible by the transformational power of God working in me, or else I am spiritually blind and deaf and numb to the cries of humanity.
For over twenty years, I've worked with thousands of children as a teacher.  By His grace my eyes were opened to the invisible ones, and my heart has reached out to them...seeing many grow and blossom in the light of His love.  I’ll share a simple poem I wrote years ago.
Invisible child, with your eyes cast down,
Did I hear you say look in my eyes?
I look in your eyes, and a speechless voice is asking,
“Do you see me?”
I look in your eyes.
I hear them patiently asking,
“Be with me long enough to understand
What it is that I cannot say;
Long enough to believe I mean it.”
I look in your eyes and what do I see?
A heart hoping for love,
A soul searching for salvation,
A hand reaching for another’s hand to hold,
Eyes trying to understand the voiceless cry of my heart.
I’ve looked in your eyes and what did I see,
Someone just like me. 
For it is God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
Birdie playing in the rain
~photo courtesy of Julie Lyda
Thank you for bearing with my rambling thoughts.  I am glad you took time out of your day to visit Write Moments with God. Please consider leaving a comment below.  I appreciate everything you share.  May the light of Christ shine on you and through you today and always.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How Do You Like Your Coffee? Hot, Cold, Lukewarm?

Photo of flat white coffee courtesy of Jeanne Henrique's ~ Collage of Life
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  1 Peter 4:17 

As I read, I absentmindedly reached for my cup of coffee.  I took a sip, expecting the bold, fresh taste of hot coffee, but instead it was lukewarm. Yuck! That was not what I wanted.  I poured the coffee in the sink and made a fresh cup.  Hot or iced, it’s delicious.  Does anyone like coffee lukewarm?

I thought of the Lord’s message to the seven churches in the Revelation. 

The church at Laodicea had become lukewarm. (See Revelation 3:14-22)

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.  Revelation 3:15-16

Spew us out of His mouth!  Just like we might do a bland sip of coffee that has gotten lukewarm.

I used to think that statement was too harsh.  It sounded rather like a kick in the seat of the pants accusation.   The Lord rebuked the church, but He goes on to say that He chastens those He loves. 

The church at Laodicea needed revival.  They needed to repent of their sins and return to God with their whole hearts, ready to embrace their calling with renewed enthusiasm. Not unlike the Church today needs revival.  We all know far too many Christians that could be described as lukewarm. 

We need repentance…renewal…fresh fire in our souls.

I remember the time when I had newly dedicated my life to the Lord.  I was so excited about the Good News of Jesus Christ and so grateful to God for my salvation.  Joy filled my heart with love and hope.  I wanted to tell everybody about Jesus.  No one could have accused me of being lukewarm then. 

We ought to pray as David did.

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12-13

Mya showing off her new princess skirt.
I'm glad you've visited Write Moments with God.  I pray that you will have renewal in your heart and it's warm glow will give you strength.  Remember, the joy of the Lord is your strength.  Please consider leaving a comment below.  I always appreciate hearing from you. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Have You Chosen That Good Part?

Some of my lovely azaleas ~ April 10, 2013
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.  Luke 10:41

I spent some time with this familiar story this week.  I almost heard my name being called as I meditated on it.

Jesus and those with Him came into Martha’s village, and she received them into her house.  How wonderful that she welcomed Him and those with him into her home.  Certainly she is to be commended for her hospitality and willingness to serve.  Her sister, Mary, was there too. 

But while Martha is busy multi-tasking, preparing the food and serving her guests, Mary sat at Jesus feet and listened to Him.  Bless her heart!  The Master had entered into their home, and she wanted only to sit at His feet and listen to His every word.  She adored Him.  Worldly cares, responsibilities, duties were all forgotten as she focused wholly on Him.  How could she think of food preparation! Her soul was being fed.

But Martha.  Oh how I identify with Martha.  She was busy in the kitchen.  I can imagine she had so many tasks going on at once.  Possibly she wiped a bit of sweat from her brow as she focused on the cares in her little world.  Possibly a little anger and resentment entered her heart as she thought of Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet while she scrambled around serving all.  Martha was offended that Mary didn’t share her passion and help her get the work done.

…Lord, doest thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.  Luke 10:40b

Obviously Martha was a believer.  She had received Christ into her home.  At some point, she had received the good news of the gospel.  I am reminded of the parables about the good seed.

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word: and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.  Matthew 13:22

Martha was a hardworking woman.  We know she wanted to be fruitful.  But, alas, those cares!  While she was in the kitchen stirring that pot, she was missing an opportunity of a lifetime.

Jesus did not share Martha’s perspective.  He sees beyond the here and now. 

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  But one thing is needful:  and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.  Luke 10: 41-42

One thing is needful.

Mary had chosen.  Ah…choice.  That element of free will exercised.  Choose you this day!

That good part.

That shall not be taken away.

I am convicted.  I am Martha.  I discipline myself to be Mary.  I pray to see from Jesus’ perspective and worship at His feet with an undivided heart. 

 So that “the good part” becomes my second-nature.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33

I've been known to make some fine cakes for my guests. :-)

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I appreciate you so much. 
Consider leaving a comment below, or you can write me at  God bless you.  I pray that you choose the good part that shall not be taken away from you.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Blessings in Disguise

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope," Jeremiah29:11 (NKJV).
Sometimes, we find ourselves caught up in a frustrating situation, and we forget that everything that comes into our lives is filtered through His hands.  I want to tell you about such a situation that happened to me last summer. (Some of you will remember this story from last summer.)

My kitchen stove had many broken parts.  Even the oven was broken--and I have to have an oven. I didn't think it was a good idea to invest in the expensive repairs.  I decided to buy a new stove and have it installed in plenty of time to bake a cake for my house guests who would be arriving in a month.

 I found a stove I liked and ordered it, with a suitable promised delivery and installation date.  The stove came into the warehouse on schedule, but due to miscommunication within the store, the installation did not take place as promised. 

Many phone calls and much frustration later, the stove was delivered almost two weeks late.  I had to rearrange my schedule to accommodate the new delivery time.  My broken stove was uninstalled and taken out of the house.  But as the installation team brought the new one into the house, they discovered the new one was broken.  Imagine my dismay.

We made a call to the store.  What could they do for me?  Order me a new one, they said, but I probably wouldn't have it for three more weeks.  I told the manager I'd come into the store in a few minutes and take care of it.  This paragraph cannot convey the amount of frustration I felt.  After the old appliance was reinstalled and I stood alone in the kitchen,  I said to the Lord, "What is happening here?"  I hadn't expected getting a new stove to become a "customer service" nightmare.  

Then I went into the store, and politely cancelled the sale

When I returned home, a message awaited me from the store.  Besides an apology, they offered me an upgrade to a much nicer stove that was on display on site, and promised to install it within two days, for the same price as the original sale.

Would that make me happy? certainly did. 

As soon as I hung up the phone, I realized I should have trusted God all along.  I remembered other occasions as well when I should have trusted God instead of getting upset about a situation that was out of my control.  The situation had frustrated and disappointed me, but God turned it around for my good.  

This time the store followed through and provided excellent service.  I got a beautiful new stove in time to bake a cake for my guests. 

"We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose," Romans 8:28 (NKJV).

The first cake I made in my new stove--required six broken eggs
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I hope you find some encouragement from this little story and the Scriptures I offer to you today.  Have you had some blessings in disguise?
Please consider leaving a comment below.  I always appreciate hearing from you.  Blessings!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Have You Ever Been Stuck in Mud?

Google Image

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined unto me and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  Psalm 40:1-2

Have you ever been stuck in mud?  It’s an awful feeling.  The more you  push the accelerator, the deeper you sink.  Until finally in desperation, you throw up your hands, quit trying on your own efforts, and call for help.

I’ve been stuck in the mud a few times.  What’s more, I’ve been stuck in some of life’s miry pits a few times as well.  I have a friend who is stuck in a miry pit right now and all of her self-defeating efforts remind me of the long agonizing process I went through getting out of some slimy pits.

My sister, bless her heart, would listen patiently as I tried to figure out all the minutia that led up to the catastrophethat horrible thing that had happened that never should have happened that was never supposed to happen but it had happened and it happened to ME.  And stuck I was in a horrible pit.  It was as if my emotional and spiritual life got put on hold while I relived the pain in an attempt to unravel the inexplicable.

I’d pray and put it all in God’s hands.  But, I wouldn’t leave it there.  I’d snatch it back and obsess over it more and feel all the pain again—basically, spinning my emotional tires to no avail.  Slipping deeper into the mud.

The worst thing is—we can slip in and out of a pit for years.  Life goes on, but we’re stagnating, even dried up like a spring without water. 

 My sister would say…we’ve already figured that out… you know we’ve already talked about that many times.  And to a point, she helped me so much, as did the counselors and the pastors through the years.  But only to a point.

I, even I, am the LORD; and besides me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:11

Only God could pull me all the way out of the pit and establish my feet on solid ground. 

I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the LORD I made supplication.  Psalm 30:8

I don’t mean to minimize in any way the profoundly devastating heartbreak that can occur in someone’s life.  I know.  So many tragedies.  It’s humanly impossible to overcome them.  Our help comes from the LORD. 

I’ve reached a point in my life where I trust that everything that happens to us has been filtered through God’s hands, and everything that we experience serves to draw us closer to Him.  He promises to hear us and help us if we cry out to Him.

God’s restorative power is a wonderful thing.  Not only does He give us permission to be happy, He gives us JOY.  He heals the hurt.

It’s good to be able to look back, knowing those pits were there, and feel no pain at all, only contentment, rejoicing in where He has brought me, and looking forward with confidence knowing that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  What a wonderful Savior!

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.  O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.  Psalm 30:11-12
New Zealand photo courtesy of Melanie Giovino
If this devotional has touched on your situation, I pray that you will cry out to the LORD and cling to His promises. I pray that He will bring you out of that pit and set your feet on firm ground.  He is your salvation.  All praise and honor to Him forever.

Has a particular verse given you strength and encouragement when you were stuck in the mud?  Please share it with us.

Please consider leaving a comment. I appreciate what you have to say.  Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  May God bless you.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Be As Little Children ~ Plus the Winner of our Monthly Give-Away

Birdie fishing with Daddy ~ all photos today courtesy of Julie Roberts Lyda

Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:3 (KJV)

I’ve been thinking about that verse a lot this week.  “…become as little children.”  I’ve been trying to figure out all that assertion implies.    

Children are trusting innocents with eyes wide-open to wonder and possibilities. 

They have no stipulations.  There is no such thing as disbelief.  All things are possible to their loving hearts.

So, maybe that’s the key.

Let go of all preconceived notions, prejudices, and prior knowledge based on laws of nature or man. 

Hold onto God alone.

Trust Him ~ He is the Source of Life and Love and all things good.

Then, enter into your prayer closet (Mt.6:6) and

Kneel before His throne of Grace (Heb. 4:16) and pray.

Pray until you forget all those things that constrain you in your grown-up life~
Forget time nipping at your heels.

Pray until earth seems to fade away and you rise to a vast open space where there’s nothing but you and God alone.  Your expectation in Him and from Him alone. 

Then, as a little child, all things are possible. 

When the LORD says to you, as He did to the blind man,

Believe you that I am able to do this? (See Matthew 9:28),

the ready answer springs forth from your heart.  Yes, LORD, I believe.

Reid and Jacob Lyda
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.  Psalm 62:5
 And now, to announce the winner of one of Deborah Malone's cozy mysteries.

Congratulations to Patsy Parham.  You will be receiving one of Deborah's mysteries!
Many thanks to all of you who visited last week and left comments for Deborah and me.  We so appreciate what you had to say.  Thank you Deborah for being my guest and giving away one of your books.

Please consider leaving a comment below regarding today's post.  I enjoy hearing from you.  God bless you, little children.  Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Deborah Malone ~ featured author ~ plus monthly book giveaway

Deborah Malone ~ freelance writer and photographer
It's time again, Dear Readers, for the featured author of the month.  Today I'm pleased to introduce to you a lady I met through the John 3:16 Writers Network to which we both belong.  And since I'm from Georgia, and Deborah is from Georgia, and my son went to university in Dahlonega, I am intrigued by her cozy mystery Death in Dahlonega.  Reading it makes me want to go exploring again in that lovely north Georgia town.  I invited Deborah to tell us about herself, and she graciously offered to give away one of her novels to one of my readers. (Keep reading to see how to qualify.) I hope you enjoy the interview.

* * *

Rose, thank you for having me on Write Moments with God.  I hope my readers will discover your blog and learn a little something they didn’t know about me as well.

My dad was from Opelika, AL and my mother was from Cincinnati, OH. It’s so true when they say opposites attract. My dad had moved to Alabama to work for General Electric. While my parents lived there, my two older brothers, Bill and Curtis, were born. In the early 1950’s the family moved to north Georgia where my dad was transferred to work at GE.  I wonder sometimes how I would have turned out if we’d stayed in Ohio – I’d be a *&^% Yankee, rather than a Georgia girl. This past summer we had a reunion of my mother’s family in Cinn. I hadn’t seen some of my relatives for 40 years. It was so much fun!

My mother had RA (rheumatoid arthritis), but Dad never missed a church service and he always took us kids with him.  I have had my ups and downs with faith through the years, but I’ve never given up on God.  I’ve come to the conclusion there are some things we will not have the answers for while on this earth. And that is alright.  In Proverbs 3:5 we are told to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” That is the verse Trixie holds onto in Death in Dahlonega.

In 1992, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – which determines how much and how often I’m able to write. I went back to school in 1995 and graduated with a Human Services Degree. While in school I took a creative writing class which sparked a fire in me, and thus my writing career began.  I published my first article in Georgia Backroads, a historical magazine, in 2001. I’m still writing for that publication more than ten years later.

In the early 2000’s I began writing a novel. I worked on it off and on for several years. Real life got in the way for a few years and I had to put my novel aside.  After discovering Christian fiction a few years ago, I knew that was how I wanted to write my book. I rewrote my novel and submitted it to several publishers. Lamp Post Publishing offered me a contract and Death in Dahlonega was published in Oct. 2011. Murder in Marietta was published in Oct. 2012. My next book in the series will be Terror on Tybee Island. Much of the extensive research I did for Georgia Backroads influenced my novels.

I really enjoy being a freelance writer.  I love to hear from readers and invite you to visit my three blogs. Here are the links. 

Thank you again, Rose, for having me as a guest on your blog.


Now, for an opportunity to receive a copy of one of Deborah's mysteries:

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. But, #3 is optional.

Complete these steps by 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 6.   A winner will be announced here on Monday, April 8, 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.  May God's peace and grace be with you.