Monday, September 15, 2014

Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light

Sunrise at Seabrook Island ~ courtesy of Eileen DeCamp

But the pathway of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18

I’m a classic movie fan.  I love the old movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. You don’t have to watch too many of those to realize that the world is a vastly different place today than back then.  Much has changed, not only in the modernization of the world and technology, but also in the moral attitudes and climate.  Many of the evils that we face today were not even imagined back then. The moral standards that governed the majority of folks were almost taken for granted.  Evil is increasing like a dark gloomy cloud over the earth.  Some days I don’t even want to turn on the news.

Indeed, it was foretold.

But, the light is shining brighter

I love Proverbs 4:18.  In fact, I awoke one night saying “shining more and more…shining more and more." I didn’t know I knew a Scripture with those words.  I didn’t remember reading it, but the following afternoon when the words came to mind again, I looked them up in my Bible.  I was delighted to read in Proverbs the words I was saying in the night. 
It’s become a favorite verse to me because it’s revealed to me what God expects.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  1 John 1:5

The Holy Spirit of God alive in us is the light that shines through us. Our lives and the good that we do are ordained by God for the purpose of glorifying Him. His light shines through us into the darkness of the world.  The body of Christ must be fruitful for the Kingdom of God.  We must bear the fruits of the Spirit in the church, in our lives, in the world, through the power of our faith and His love working in us.  We must shine more and more and draw others to Him by our living faith.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

God has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. (See 1 Peter 2:9)

Another sunrise photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I appreciate all your encouragement through your visits, kind words, comments, and messages to me on Facebook.  Thank you.  May the Light of God shine on and through you.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Besides Change, What Can We Depend On?

Seabrook Island Beach ~ photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp

I've experienced so many changes and transitions in my life over the last year and a half, I found myself searching through the Scriptures to find truths that would provide comfort and insight. I searched through my own writing as well. I'm posting an excerpt from my devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments.

Besides Change What Can We Depend On?

The Lord is my rock; and my fortress, and my deliverer;
the God of my rock; in him will I trust… 2 Samuel 22:2-3a (KJV)

          Through the years, harmonious and happy living has been my desire for me and my children. With much diligence and a sense of purpose, this working mother of six children maintains a certain balance—most of the time. My home is a peaceful oasis in a chaotic world—most of the time. Life goes smoothly—most of the time. Until the unexpected happens: auto accidents, illnesses, financial upsets, death. Life is interrupted; peace is disrupted.
Changes naturally occur. It might be as simple and immediate as a new supervisor at work, or as life-changing as the death of a loved one. A child grows up and moves away from home. Oh, why can’t life flow smoothly and peacefully all the time? Why can’t life stay just as we like it, all the time? We long for heaven on earth.
            Jesus told us our Heavenly Father makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. As the saying goes: In every life some rain must fall. The wise Solomon told us: To every thing there is a season. Such is life. Then besides change, what can we depend on?
We can depend on our unchanging Savior, Jesus, the Messiah ...  the same yesterday and today—and forever! We can depend on the God of our salvation, our Rock, and put our trust in the One who is for all eternity. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. God is the only unchanging variable in our lives.

Suggested Reading: Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Samuel 22:1-4; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Matthew 5:45; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:11

Journaling Considerations: Have you ever lamented the changes in your life? Can you think of 

some changes that unsettled you and caused you to look to God?

Beautiful photo of Beaver Creek Reservoir courtesy of Eileen DeCamp

 Dear God, the Rock of my salvation, I put my trust in you. Thank you for being eternal God, my fortress. You are the anchor of my soul.

 Today’s Sweet Tea Moment: Build all on the sure foundation of Christ.

 Prayer Focus: That all may come to know Him.

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  Please come again.

I'm happy to announce that Cheryl Colwell is the winner of Dianne Neal Matthews devotional, Designed for Devotion. Thank you Dianne for being my guest and for graciously giving away a copy of your lovely devotional.  It was a pleasure to get to know you better.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Meet Designed for Devotion Author ~ Plus Book Give-away

Dianne Neal Matthews

I'm glad you've joined me today. Our guest author is Dianne Neal Matthews, a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers' conferences. Dianne and her husband currently live in southeast Texas, but she is frequently on the road to visit her children and grandchildren.

I asked Dianne to share one of the devotions from her book, Designed for Devotion
I love the title and think this devotional is a good companion for reading through the bible. It's my pleasure to introduce Dianne and her writing to you.

Philippians: Joy to the Church

Always be joyful in the Lord! I'll say it again: Be joyful! Philippians 4:4

Paul enjoyed a special relationship with the believers in Philippi. The church that originated from a handful of women on a riverbank in Macedonia faithfully supported Paul and for the most part, remained a healthy congregation. When the believers heard that Paul had been imprisoned in Rome, they sent a financial gift through one of their members, Epaphroditus. Paul responded by writing the Philippians a letter to express his gratitude and deep love for them, and to urge them toward a lifestyle of holiness, humility, unity, and joy.

Philippians does contains a small amount of doctrinal teaching. Paul addressed the problem of rivalry and dissension in the church, and touched on the false teachings of legalism and antinomianism. But Philippians is primarily a personal letter of love and encouragement toward spiritual growth. Besides the benefit of Paul’s instructions, he offers himself as a living example as he shares thoughts about his circumstances.

Paul declares that he has learned to be content in whatever situation he finds himself (4:11). He has the assurance that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him (4:13). Such victorious living is possible because of his single-minded devotion to knowing Christ and sharing the gospel. Paul urges his readers to imitate Christ’s perfect example of sacrifice and humility when he temporarily set aside his rightful glory and took on human form, even submitting to a horrible death on the cross.

The concept of “joy” is a predominant theme in Philippians. The noun and verb form of “joy” or a synonym is used sixteen times in the letter’s four chapters. While happiness depends on our outward circumstances, joy is deeper, stronger, and springs from our attitudes and mindset. Joy is a steadfast, confident assurance of God’s love and presence in our life no matter what we’re going through. Philippians is our own personal love letter from God, reminding us that joy is a gift he wants all his children to enjoy.

About the Book: Designed for Devotion: A 365 Day Journeyfrom Genesis to Revelation provides an overview of the Bible in chronological order. It offers background information for each book, including the author, theme, purpose for writing, and historical setting. The devotional highlights the key stories and characters in the OT and gospels, and explores the basic teachings of the NT writers. Several devotions called “Jesus Sightings” focus on how Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. Also included are devotions about the 400-year period between the Testaments, the concept of “theophany”, the distinction between the Major and Minor Prophets, and other topics. Each day’s devotion ends with a practical application that encourages readers to apply that day’s spiritual lesson to their own journey with God.

To learn more, please visit or connect with Dianne through FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God. Dianne and I would love to hear from you.  

Would you like a chance to win a copy of Designed for Devotions? It's easy. All you have to do to be included in the drawing is leave a comment below with your email address by midnight September 6, 2014.  I will announce the winner on Monday, September 8, 2014. (Participation is limited to residents of the USA.)  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Engraved on the Palms of His Hands

"My peace I give you" written on the palm of my hand.
          "Mrs. Johnson, what do you have written on the palm of your hand," a student asked?
          "Notes to myself," I replied.

          You see, I've gotten into the habit of writing bits of Scripture on the palm of my hand.  Occasionally, I write a note, a phone number, something I need to remember, but usually I write a phrase from Scripture that I can refer to throughout the day.  Notes I can keep constantly before my eyes.
 My peace I give you...

 My trust is in You....

 Believe ye that I am able... 

My refuge and my strength....

          These words are constant reminders to me that God is faithful.  The faith filled words help me keep a godly perspective throughout my busy day.  A perspective that is in line with His Word and His Will.

          Isn't it amazing that we are so dear to God that He has us engraved upon the palms of His hands?

          Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget, I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.... Isaiah 49:15,16a (NIV)

Photo courtesy of Marissa Nicole Photography 
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God. The meditation that I'm sharing today was a very popular post two years ago.  I currently have a short term teaching position. When I wrote on my palm with a Sharpie this week, I remembered this meditation.  

Be blessed.  God has not forgotten you.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sweet to the Soul: Health to the Bones

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques Collage of Life

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (NIV)

Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad. (AKJV)

Grief  in the heart of a man shall bring him low, but with a good word he shall be made glad.(Douay-Rheims) (All the above verses are Proverbs 12:25.)

I unwrapped a Halls cough drop for my sore throat and noticed words, pleasant sayings written on the wrapper.
“Don’t give up.”
“Seize the day.”
“A pep talk in every drop.”

Short simple sayings, but they actually started to work immediately on my attitude. Their effectiveness penetrated deep causing a boost of inspiration. My spirits lifted. I smiled.

We all know pleasant words make us feel good. The proverbs of Solomon instruct us about words and their power. Words can inspire all kinds of emotions and actions. But Proverbs 16:24 takes it further than that.

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Proverbs16:24

Not only do words build up the soul, they can build up the physical body. They can give us strength. Pleasant words can bring joy to the depressed, healing for those who hurt.

I’m not talking about denying reality. We do have to deal with the facts of the struggles and obstacles we face.  Even so, when my soul is built up, my faith is increased, and I am better able to overcome those obstacles.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Proverbs 18:21

A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.  Proverbs 18:6

Do we curse ourselves by the poisonous words we speak that are lacking the life-giving power of faith?

I think this week I will be diligent to speak words of faith that promote life  and vitality, words that agree with God’s Word and build up my faith and give me hope.  I want to be diligent to speak words that sooth the soul and strengthens the bones.  Not only for myself, but especially for those in need all around me.  Will you do the same? God will give us the opportunities.  Let’s be ready.

Rainbow passing over her farm ~ photo courtesy of Jeanne Henriques
Collage of Life

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I am honored you spent some of your time with me. Feel free to share your thoughts below. I always like to hear from you.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Blessed to Be a Blessing

Beautiful Sunset on Beaver Creek Reservoir ~ photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp

“I keep to myself.” My friend explained her habit, her way of coping with many of life’s issues. Those words coming from my beautiful self-confident friend surprised me and struck a cord.  I understood oh so well.

 I keep to myself.  

Our lives are so busy with work and family.  We concentrate our efforts at home. In addition to that, people hurt us. It’s natural to withdraw.  But not only withdraw from the person who hurt us, but also to associate the hurts to entire groups of people, to institutions.  

A dog bit you. So now you are afraid of ALL dogs.  Not just the mean little critter that sunk his teeth into your ankle twenty years ago, but to every single creature with four legs and a tail.  (I exaggerate to make my point.)

But the words “I keep to myself” kept nagging me.

I thought about my gifts. Those wonderful graces the Lord has bestowed upon me, my talents and strengths that I usually fail to appreciate.

And what about spiritual gifts?  We are told to “desire spiritual gifts” (1Corinthians 14:1) and “seek that we might excel to the edifying of the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:12)

So that would mean that the gifts God has given me are not just for my own personal development and enjoyment, they are for the benefit of the body of Christ.  We should use our gifts to edify the church.  By the church I’m not speaking of that brick and mortar building on the corner.  I’m referring to the body of Christ—those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and call Him Lord.

“Edify” means to build up.  To me that also implies restoration.  A restoration into a relationship God designed us for before the foundation of the world.

So then, my conscience convicts me.

My tendency to “keep to myself”, to withdraw, to be hyper-critical of my gifts and talents and hide them away…to that tendency I begin to sense a gentle calling in my spirit, “No no, my child. Love edifies.  Love builds up.  Love restores.”

And the light comes on in my mind and shines in my heart.  Now I get it Lord!   It would be like hiding my light under a bushel.  (Matthew 5:15)  I can’t do that.  I have to let it shine.

All for His glory.

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: til we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God….

Cape Henry Lighthouse on Fort Story ~ by Eileen DeCamp
Thanks for visiting Write Moments with God.  This isn't the neat little devotion I intended to bring you today, but it is the meditation that kept speaking to my heart. I hope it speaks to yours as well.  Be blessed and be a blessing.

I'd like to thank again Eileen DeCamp for her beautiful photography that she so generously shares with me. What a blessing this lovely and talented Christian friend has been to me. Thank you, Eileen.

And now to announce the winner of last week's book give-away.

Janet McPherson will be receiving a copy of Kathy Collard Miller's book, Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries.  Thank you Kathy for being my guest last week, and thank you Janet for sharing your thoughts with us.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kathy Collard Miller ~ Guest Author, Plus Monthy Book Give-Away

Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller is our guest today on Write Moments with God. She is a speaker and author with a passion to inspire women to trust God. Kathy has 49 published books including Women of the Bible: Smart Guide to the Bible (Thomas Nelson). She has spoken in 31 states and 7 foreign countries, and she blogs at Kathy lives in Southern California with her husband of 44 years, Larry, and is the proud grandma of Raphael. Kathy and Larry often speak together at marriage events and retreats. 

Kathy is sharing an excerpt from her book, Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries. It really touches my mother's heart. At the end of the post, I will tell you how you can win a copy of Kathy's book.

“Let Him Need Me”

by Kathy Collard Miller

Several years ago, when my son, Mark, was 14, I faced the challenge of releasing him to fly alone for the first time from California to Florida to attend a Christian golf camp. As I explained how he should find his connecting flight in Dallas, Mark brushed me off by saying, “I know, Mom, I’ll be okay.” I didn’t think he knew at all how to “read” the arrival/departure monitor. Dallas was a huge airport, often requiring a long walk to a distant gate—sometimes even transferring to another terminal on a train. “He’ll never find the correct gate,” I moaned to myself.

Several hours later, about the time Mark would arrive in Dallas, I felt tension seep into my neck muscles. I knew the phone would ring any moment with Mark telling me he had missed his connecting flight. How was I going to help him? I felt tense about him being alone and tense that I felt so helpless.

As I tried to keep busy doing housework, I suddenly sensed God whisper in my heart, “You're worried because you want him to fail.”

I couldn’t believe that was true. First of all, I wasn't worried, I was just concerned. And secondly, what kind of mother would want her child's failure?

But God persisted, “You are worried because you want to be needed. Let him need Me instead.”

I was shocked, but soon realized it was true. I wanted to be a part of his life—even in this situation. Mark needing me to help him would make me feel important and included.

That evening, the phone rang and it was Mark—in Florida. He had arrived safely. “Did you have trouble finding your connecting flight in Dallas?” I asked him nervously.

“No, Mom,” he replied matter-of-factly but with a touch of sarcasm in his voice. “It was directly across from the gate where I arrived.”

I fell silent. God had provided for him and I had unexpectedly learned the blessing of releasing my son to God’s loving care and calling worry worry!

It is possible to worry less through trusting God more. Regardless of the storms of trials, temptations, worry, uncertainty, confusion, or regrets that you're facing, you can trust God more. Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries offers personal testimonies, practical illustrations, and solid biblical teaching for breaking anxiety and the devastating effects of worry. Each chapter includes Discussion Questions for individuals or groups, along with a “Letter from God.” In addition, a profile of a woman in the Bible who struggled with or experienced victory over worry is featured in each chapter to inspire every reader to see God's hand in her life.

Don't be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Luke 12:32 NIV

            I hope Kathy's message has encouraged you.

Please leave a comment below with your email address and you will be included in the drawing for a copy of Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries. The winner will be announced Monday, August 11th, here on the blog.  Blessings! I'm so glad you joined me today.