Monday, November 18, 2013

Action Speaks Louder than Words ~ Living with Integrity

Keeping it real ~  this dirt road reminds me of home ~ photo courtesy of Wanda White

The other day, I read again the expression "walk the walk and talk the talk" , which is all about living with integrity.  And I thought about how often we don't live up to our ideals.

All too often we talk (preach) one way, and walk (live) something entirely different.

We preach love and live indifference.

We preach mercy and live condemnation.

We preach holiness and live hypocrisy.

We preach grace and live judgment.

So, today, I want to bring you a meditation on this theme.  It's an excerpt from my devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. 

Action Speaks Louder than Words

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 (NIV) 

Our actions communicate.  Even in subtle ways, our body language reveals our unspoken feelings.  When actions and words don’t jibe, we pick up on that incongruence.  The bottom line is actions trump words. 
Leave it to American writer and humorist Mark Twain to quip, “Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often”.  Not only does this adage hold true on a practical level, but also on a spiritual level.

Jesus said, “Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).  These words of our Lord cause me to pause and reflect. 
 Lip service does not impress God.  Our actions reveal our love for Him.  
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:21).  He takes it personally when we show kindness and love to our neighbor.  He wants us to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, take care of the sick and destitute (see James 2:15-16).  Three times, Jesus asked Simon Peter how much he loved Him.  When Simon Peter answered Him each time, Jesus responded with an imperative: Feed my lambs, Feed my sheep” (Mt. 25:35-36).  Jesus expects love to result in action. 

John said, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18 NIV).  Let’s not be guilty, as Mark Twain pointed out, of speaking so much more than doing.
The grandkids bringing birthday cake

Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God.  It means so much to me that you would take time to read this. 

Just a brief note to let you know that my devotional ~ God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea ~ is on sale right now at the lowest prices ever on Amazon, in paperback and kindle version.  If you don't order online, ask your local Barnes and Noble or Christian bookstore to order it for you.  You'll be blessed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

GIANTS and How to Slay Them ~ plus winner of book giveaway

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques ~ Collage of Life

 Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you hast defied.  This day will the LORD deliver you into mine hand.  1 Samuel 17:45-46a


After my devotional time the other day, I praised God for the beautiful day.  As I sipped my coffee, I enjoyed the view from my window -- golden leaves fluttered on the dogwood tree with the morning sun sparkling through.  I smiled. I felt peaceful.

All was right in my world. 

The first thing on my to-do list was to choose my insurance plan for 2014 during its annual open enrollment.  I sat down at the computer by the window expecting to be done within fifteen minutes.  I signed into the website.  To my dismay, when I got to the screen where I’d make a selection, the screen was grayed out, and NO Coverage was already selected for me.  I couldn’t move forward or backwards.  I had to resort to the 1-800 number. 

So, with that I began a series of back-to-back calls to my insurance provider until I finally got a place in line, and held for a little over an HOUR before I could talk to a live representative.  During the 2 ½ hour process (at the end of which all was resolved) I had time to analyze what was happening in body as a result of that predicament.

My lovely happy view out the window was the same.  The leaves swayed in the dogwood tree, and squirrels played on its branches, as I held the phone to my ear and glanced back and forth at the computer screen.  Earlier I was all smiles.  Now unpleasant changes were taking place in my body as a result of this unexpected inconvenience.

My heart rate rose.

Tension across my forehead warned that my blood pressure was rising.

My shoulder began to ache; my neck got stiff.

I was afraid.

All because of an unexpected “glitch” which resulted in insurance complications.

I had to stop myself and note, HEY, everything is still right with my world!

This was just another giant.  (Okay, maybe I made a mountain out of a mole hill.)  But, it seemed like a giant, and we have to face these GIANTS daily in some shape or form…but, still, the things that mattered most had not changed. 

I want to be like David. Just think of that little shepherd boy who faced a real GIANT.

He had confidence in God’s presence, God’s protection, and God’s provision.

If we focus on the negative—the problem, the opposition, the pain, the loss, the sickness, the sorrow, the FEAR

It will GROW in proportion to the attention we give it, and DOMINATE our mind, and TORMENT our physical body with the weight of that burden we take on.

That’s why we have to FOCUS on God—His presence, His protection, His provision.

To maintain that godly perspective that assures us

All things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26b)

and we can walk on water (Matthew 14:29) and move mountains (Matthew 21:21) and slay all our giants without breaking a sweat. 

That’s when all’s right with my world.

Photo courtesy of Marissa Nicole Photography
Many thanks to all of you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I appreciate you.  Thanks also to all of you who visited last week and met Elaine Marie Cooper.  We love reading your thoughtful comments. 
And now to announce the winner of Elaine's new release ~ Fields of the Fatherless.  Veronica Leigh will be receiving her own signed copy.  Congratulations Veronica! 
Remember the first Monday of every month, we give away a book.  Blessings!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Meet Elaine Marie Cooper ~ Plus, win a copy of her new historical novel!

Elaine Cooper ~

Today’s guest is friend and fellow John 3:16 author, Elaine Marie Cooper--wife, Mom to two grown sons, and GiGi to three-year-old triplets. Her passions are her family, her faith in Jesus Christ and the history of the American Revolution.   
Elaine is the author of the three-part Deer Run Saga and the just released historical novel, Fields of the Fatherless.  She is also a registered nurse.   
The author began planning her first novel, The Road to Deer Run, on the fourth anniversary of her daughter passing away. Her daughter’s battle with brain cancer and its impact on their family will be the story told in the memoir that Elaine is currently writing. 
I hope you will enjoy my interview with Elaine.  She's a kind lady and such an encourager.  She is graciously giving away a copy of Fields of the Fatherless, so be sure to leave your comments below.  I'm impressed with its beautiful cover, and can't wait to read my copy.
Elaine, tell us a little about yourself and your writing.
I started writing as a young girl but never seriously considered it as a profession until my 30’s. A newspaper editor saw some of my humorous poems about the trials and tribulations of parenting three youngsters. I’m not sure what she saw in my efforts, but the next thing I knew, she was offering me an opportunity to write feature stories. Within a year, I had worked my way into writing two regular columns a week. Later I wrote for magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens. Soon after my daughter passed away in 2003, I retired my pen for several years. It was not until I felt a persistent, inaudible voice prompting me to pick up my writing again that I started my first novel.
What inspired you on your writing  journey?
My Dad was my first encourager when I was young. My husband became the next biggest encourager. But I pray that my inspiration in what I write comes from the Lord.
What was your journey to publication like?
It has been long and difficult. When my first manuscript was ready in 2009, the publishing industry was in a HUGE slump. No one wanted new writers. I decided to self-publish which at the time was looked down upon by traditional authors. (Now, some traditional authors are pursuing that same path.) I pursued the writing journey with a sequel and both Books 1 and 2 of the saga were given awards, my most treasured being “Best Romance” at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival for The Promise of Deer Run. The third book in the series, The Legacy of Deer Run, was contracted with Sword of the Spirit Publishing. (They are picking up the first two books as well). When attending a Christian writer’s conference in May of 2012, I pitched the idea for Fields of the Fatherless to the acquisitions editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. I received a contract by Christmas—my best present by far that year.
Do you have any favorite books on craft?
I love “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk—a tiny book with huge amounts of helpful info about the basics for writers. Anything by writer Cecil Murphey is great as well.
One piece of writing advice you wish you’d had from the beginning.
If you feel called to write, be aware that it will be far more difficult than you can imagine but also far more rewarding than you could ever imagine as well.
What do you think the Lord is teaching you through your writing?
How powerful words can be to teach as well as reach the inner places in a person’s heart. They can inspire, heal, or hurt, depending on the message. The pen truly is mightier than the sword.
Where did you get the idea for your latest novel, TheFields of the Fatherless?
When I was a young girl living in Arlington, Massachusetts, my brother and I walked by the Jason Russell House on the way to school. Like most older brothers, Bob enjoyed scaring me. As we approached the house on the corner, he’d say in his most frightening tone, “There’s blood on the floor in there, you know.”
I was a bit unnerved, but mostly I was curious.
What had happened there? And why was there a sign that said it was a historical landmark?
I knew there must be a story. But I didn’t learn—until I became an adult—the full depth of the tragedy that occurred there. It was a story from our nation’s history that begged to be told.
That’s fascinating.  Tell our readers a little more about it, please. 
In the early months of 1775, war is brewing in the American colonies. Although frightened, eighteen-year-old Betsy Russell of Menotomy Village, Massachusetts, wants to be prepared in case of attack by the British troops.
Her father, prosperous farmer Jason, is the fourth generation of Russells on this land—yet their very rights as British Colonials are being stripped away one by one. Will the King of England take the Russells’ land as well?
Tensions are growing here in the countryside west of Boston and the outbreak of battle seems almost a certainty. Jason desperately wants to protect his family—his wife, children and grandchildren—and their future. Betsy makes every attempt to be prepared for the worst.
But not even the American militia could have predicted what was about to occur—right on the Russells’ doorstep. If Betsy loses everything she holds dear, are the rights of all the Colonists endangered?
(It’s based on a true story.)

Share with us your favorite verse of Scripture, Elaine.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

It speaks so clearly of our obligation to not ignore the needs of the poor but to use wisdom and compassion with those in need. There are so many verses throughout Scripture about helping the poor: their sheer number speaks loudly of God’s heart for the needy.


Thanks so much to Elaine for allowing me to share this with my readers.  You can learn more about Elaine on her website or on her Facebook page. 

And thank all of you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I love introducing you to Christian authors.

Now, to qualify for the random drawing of a signed copy of Elaine's novel:

(By the way, the kindle version is ONLY $1 at this time.)

1.  Leave a comment in the comment box below for one chance to win, which includes (1) your email address, and (2) how are you going to share this blog post.  We so enjoy reading your comments.

 It's easy to share this on Facebook.  Just click the button at the bottom of the page.  Plus, Twitter fans could tweet.  We appreciate lots of shares in order to help us get the word out.

2.  Become a follower of Write Moments with God for an additional chance to win.

Do this by Saturday, November 9 by noon.  I will announce the winner on Monday, November 11th.  It's time to start thinking about Christmas gifts, so here's your chance to get started. 

Thank you so much for participating. 
 May God bless you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

How is Your Faith? Do You Trust He Cares for You?

Beaver Creek Reservoir ~ photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow; and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, care you not that we perish?  Mark 4:37-38 (AKJV)
I am surprised at these disciples.  They had just spent the day with Jesus and heard Him teach regarding faith and the Kingdom of God.  They had seen His compassion, and witnessed miracles first hand.  Yet, they asked him such a ridiculous question?
But we face so many hard situations in life that our faith is indeed tested.  Fear comes on us especially when our faith is weak.
And he arose, and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And he said to them, Why are you so fearful? How is it you have no faith? Mark 4:39-40
We marvel at their lack of faith.  I suppose the fact that they went to Him demonstrates a little faith, but it was still very weak at that point in their walk with Him.
The thought that comes to my mind is this—we do the same thing!  We too question the Lord by our actions even if we don’t say the words.
Lord, I am so sick.  (Don’t you care?)
Lord, I can’t find a job.  (Don’t you care?)
Lord, a tree just fell on my house.  (Don’t you care?)
We lack faith.  We become fearful.  We forget He loves us with a perfect love.  Our faith is tested. 
Martha asked Jesus a question, too, that demonstrates a faith that needs perfecting.  We know she loved Jesus and that she is a believer.  She’s serving him and others in her house.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came up to him, and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.  Luke 10:40
There’s that question again.  Lord, don’t you care?
I want to share two more examples in Scriptures where believers are put into situations where their faith is tested, but they don’t ask that question.
Simon Peter, weary from fishing all night without a catch, is given some instructions by Jesus.
Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.  And Simon answering said to him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing; nevertheless at your word I will let down the net.  And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their net brake.  Luke 5:4b-6
Jesus’ WORD was enough for Simon Peter.  Although he was weary and probably discouraged, acting on his faith in Jesus’ word allowed a miracle to happen.
And the ultimate example of faith in the WORD is Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Fifteen year old virgin, Mary, is visited by the angel Gabriel and told that she has found favor with God and that she will conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit, and give birth to the Son of God. 
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.  And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38 (KJV)
She totally accepted the WORD, and submitted herself to it, although there was much that she couldn’t understand.
We have the Word of God.  We have great teaching and centuries of testimonies. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit within us, and the promise that He will never leave us.
We can trust the Word of God.  He cares for us.

Photo courtesy of Wanda White
I pray for faith so strong that I never question God’s love.  I pray for faith so strong that I can say with joy in my heart, be it unto me according to thy word.
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  May God bless you with ever
increasing faith.  Feel free to leave your comments below.

Monday, October 21, 2013

One Body to Glorify God ~ His Church, His Bride

Windsor Castle ~ photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques Collage of Life

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Romans 12:5 (KJV)

            I attended a Christian writers’ conference.  Every morning we began the day with prayer, songs of praise, and a faith-filled message.  In the evening, we ended in a similar manner.  We enjoyed this peaceable community all week.  Such was the fellowship and atmosphere of love that some attendees said it was “better than church”.  I think I laughed when I heard that statement, but that's not really anything to laugh about.

            I was struck by the fact that no one asked, “What church do you go to?”-- like they do in my town with a church on practically every corner.  At the conference, no one represented any particular church or denomination.  We were all just Christians who want to glorify God through our writing.  We wanted to draw others to the light of Jesus Christ.

            The things that we held in common were much more important than the differences that normally separate us in our churches.  We were brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, and as that we are members of His body, and that is Christ’s true church. 
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  Ephesians 4:4-6 (KJV)

My daughter Katie is the blond next to her best friend Becky, the bride.
I wanted to use this wedding picture because I often think about the glorious Wedding Feast of the Lamb.  There will be joy when Christ meets His Bride.

Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God.  It really means a lot to me.  You are welcome to share your thoughts below.  I hope you have a wonderful day. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Well-Spring of Life ~ plus, Winner of Book Give-Away Announced

A mountain stream ~ Google image

Thus said the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, said the LORD.  Jeremiah 9: 23, 24AKJV
I wrote the above verses on an index card and read it several times a day over the past week.  The more I thought about it, the more excited I got about it. 
There is real reason to glory when we have conquered our pride. 
When we realize that all our wisdom (and all our advantaged degrees) are foolishness in the light of our all-knowing God.
When we realize that in ourselves we have no strength--for we are dust.
When we realize that riches and worldly possessions are just vanity. 
And all is fleeting.
Then we can REST in HIS PEACE trusting only in God and His Will.  Desiring nothing but what comes from His hands.
And in what things does He delight?
 Loving kindness—I totally depend upon it.
Judgment—All His judgments are true.
Righteousness—Our righteousness is in Him.
In what can I rejoice?
That I understand and know the LORD. 
And my prayer is that we will seek to understand and know Him more and more until we see Him face to face in all His glory.
Understanding is a well-spring of life unto him that hath it.  Proverbs 16:22a KJV
And the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.  Psalm 49:3b
Fay Lamb's beautiful picture taken in the NC mountains
I am honored that you have visited Write Moments with God.  I pray that God blesses you with His grace and peace today.  Thank you for visiting.  I welcome you to leave your comments below.  I always like to hear from you.
And now, drum roll please!  The winner of last week's book give-away.
Jeanette Levellie will be receiving a copy of Fay Lamb's novel Charisse (book one in the Ties that Bind series).
Fay and I would like to thank all of you who visited and commented last week.  We appreciate your kind words and encouragement.
And remember, the first Monday of every month, there's a featured author and a book give-away.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Meet Fay Lamb, Guest Author -- Plus Book Give-Away

Fay Lamb, author and editor

Today’s special guest is Fay Lamb, an acquisition editor for Pelican Book Group. I met Fay in August at the Catch the Wave Christian Writers Conference.  Besides getting to know her, I had the pleasure of taking her workshop on characterization which is now available as a paperback, The Art of Characterization.   
Fay’s emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details.  She has recently contracted with Write Integrity Press for three different series. Stalking Willow, the first in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series and Charisse, the first release in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series are currently available. Both second novels in the series, Better than Revenge and Libby will release this month.
Fay is a past-secretary for American Christian Fiction Writers. She served for four years as the moderator for ACFW’s critique group, Scribes. For her volunteer efforts for ACFW, she received the Service Members Award in 2010.
Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren (with the sixth also to be released this month).  Enjoy the interview.
Fay, could you tell our readers what inspired you on your writing journey?
Would you believe that I have never needed much inspiration for my writing journey? I have always had a tremendous imagination—one so large that I couldn’t contain it within myself. It had to pour out in storytelling and in writing.
When did you start thinking of yourself as a writer?  Did that come before or after publication?
Truly, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t think of myself as a writer. Well, maybe before I could put the words onto paper, but even before that, I told myself stories. My sister was thirteen years older than me, and she married before I was seven. I spent a lot of time by myself. Well, not exactly by myself. I had many, many imaginary friends, and I told lots of stories about them.
What was your journey to publication like?
A very long one, and looking back, I have to say that I was more discouraged than not when I looked at my writing in terms of publication. Now, that I’m on the other side of publication, I’ve discovered that in just writing, I was always the happiest. I wasn’t worried about when my time would come, and when it did finally arrive, I had more than one book ready.
Fay, is there one piece of writing advice you wish you’d had from the beginning.
Keep writing. Practice not only makes perfect but it makes for more than one story for contract.
What do you think the Lord is teaching you through your writing?
The Lord had continually worked with me on pride. He is very faithful to help me live out Proverbs 11:2. I’d say that I’ve whipped that particular sin, but I don’t want to have to be taken back to the woodshed. I believe He sat me on a shelf for two years because of my pride. I wasn’t happy with Him at the time. I wasn’t happy with myself either. In fact, I believe I was the most miserable I’ve ever been in my life. I wanted to write, but I was so depressed during that time that it wasn’t an option. When I finally woke up and realized that it isn’t about me, but it is all about Him, I became a much happier person, and I learned that humility comes with servitude. I have learned what a pleasure it is to work with and for other writers.
Where can we find you on the web?
Oh, I’m all over. *Smiling* I love to make friends on my personal page on Facebook (, and I have an author page (, and I offer daily editing tips as the Tactical Editor on Facebook (
I’m an editor for Pelican Book Group, and I write the weekly Tactical Tuesday: Advice for Self-Editing. (
You have graciously offered to give away a book to one of our readers today.  Tell us about it. 
Charisse is the first novel in The Ties that Bind series, which follows the lives of four different women who live in Orlando, Florida. Charisse is a widowed mother of a seven-year-old, and she is struggling to make ends meet and to attend law school. When she’s forced to give up her dreams of becoming a lawyer, her prayers are answered, but not in a way she expects. She ends up working as a law clerk for her ex-friend, Gideon Tabor. The problem is, Gideon’s rare ruling in favor of a defendant released the man that Charisse holds responsible for her husband’s death.
This novel and the three that will follow are set closer to home than most of my novels. In fact, Charisse grew up in my hometown of Titusville, Florida. We both graduated from the same high school. She even loves the same drive-in restaurant I frequent on a daily basis.
As each woman’s love story unfolds, the four women and the men they love form an unusual family, and they’ll see each other through love and loss. The second story in the series, Libby, will release this month and Charisse and Libby’s friends, Hope and Delilah will have their stories released in 2014. 
Do you have a favorite Scripture, Fay?
Romans 8:28 is my Scripture for writing because the basic lesson is that God is in the details. This is why I write, and what I try to show in all of my novels. I want the reader to know that it doesn’t matter what he or she has done, God has never been far away. Whether the mistakes that have you in a mess are yours or others, God has never has His hand off of you. All things happen for good…
On the other hand, that Scripture’s lesson runs as deep as the cross. We don’t often ponder the fact that God has suffered, but He did. He suffered Christ’s death on the cross. And He suffered as the Father and the Son. Why? So that it could be said, “All things happen for good …”
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8: 28

Thank you all for visiting Write Moments with God.  I just love introducing you to Christian authors.  Now, to qualify for the random drawing of a signed copy of Fay's novel, Charisse:

1.  Leave a comment in the comment box below for one chance to win, which includes (1) your email address, and (2) how are you going to share this blog post.  It's easy to share this on Facebook.  Plus, Twitter fans could tweet.  We appreciate lots of shares in order to help us get the word out.

2.  Become a follower of Write Moments with God for an additional chance to win.

Please do this by Saturday, October 12th by noon.  I will announce the winner on Monday, October 14th.  Thank you so much for participating.