Monday, July 18, 2016

He Longs to be Involved

"The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him! O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you." Isaiah 30:18-19 NIV

In light of the state of our world today, have we forgotten to call upon God?

When the above verse appeared on my scripture calendar, I just paused and marinated in it for a moment.

Take heart in what this verse says. Look at that first sentence. He longs to be gracious to me? He rises to show me compassion?

How much more gracious could He be that long ago when He saw into the future, He knew He must send Jesus to die for all sins. How much more compassion could He show? God loved me and you so much and wanted to provide a way to be in a relationship with Him, that He did the ultimate. He sent His Son as a sacrifice.

But you know, I truly believe that this verse is ongoing. God longs to be gracious and show compassion to us now, in our current circumstance. Just notice that next line - He is a God of justice. And I don't think that the next sentence is just accidentally put right after the justice part. We are blessed if we wait for Him.

We might look around at what happens in our world and wonder where God is. Oh, He is here and He is still a God of justice even if we feel His timing should be on our schedule. God's justice will prevail in the end, make no mistake about that.

Some might say that this verse isn't applicable because it names people who live in Jerusalem, but this is a direct reference to God's people. Who are God's people? Those who have a relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. I truly think God is saying that His people should weep no more. We should cry out to Him.

Too often I'm guilty of watching the happenings on the news or social media and then moaning about it. Or I might even wring my hands and start to worry. God says to call upon Him first. Notice the verse says that as soon as He hears, He will answer.

Will this answer be to solve the horrors we see occurring in our nation and around the world? I don't know. That's God's decision. He isn't slow, as Scripture says, in acting. He seems to be because He wants all to come to a saving knowledge of His Son Jesus.

But when we, His children, call out to Him, He will hear and answer in His way. This might be to show me compassion through a comforting peace that passes all understanding. He might show me how to help a situation. He might use me to tell another about Christ. He's God. It's His choice. But He does hear and will answer.

Read the above passage again and take heart in that your God wants to be gracious to you and show you compassion. He wants to hear your cry and answer. Cry out, precious brothers and sisters.

Does this scripture stir anything different in you? Please share with us in the comments.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Birthday but a Gift for You

My birthday is July 8th. But you can get a gift.

My book, The Crux of Honor, is free on Amazon July 6th through the 8th.

Let me share with you how this story came about.

The editor-in-chief at Prism Book Group put out a call to the authors through our private Facebook group for submissions to a series based on The Love Chapter. She printed out the passage and basically the different phrases were up for grabs as to be the theme for the story. I had my eye on one phrase but missed out on that one. I decided that I could come up with a story based on the section: “Love does not dishonor.”
God brought to mind my time living in Maryland near the Amish and their honorable ways. This is when my story started to take form. What if someone with Amish ties were to bring dishonor to the family? What if the supposed dishonor actually revealed long-concealed lies?
My next thought was about an unexpected pregnancy being the ultimate dishonor in the story. I recalled my time as a devotional leader at our local Pregnancy Crisis Center. Conjuring bitter feelings to portray through my characters wasn’t difficult. When God afforded me the opportunity to serve at the pregnancy center, I was definitely conflicted. These girls had become pregnant, many by accident. As a young woman I struggled with infertility and harbored ill feelings toward those who found themselves in unexpected pregnancies. But as I got to know these women and heard their stories, I realized I was wrong. What I needed to show them was God’s unconditional love, available to all.
Thus, the reader will encounter some Amish parts as well as a precious Pregnancy Crisis Center ran by loving Christian women. There are also some medical conditions that reflect research into the Amish community. Of course a romance buds within the pages of the reunion/second chance type.

My ultimate hope is that the reader will encounter an unconditional love available from God within the pages of this short romance.  

Please check out this story, and if you like it, I would be so appreciative of a short review on Amazon. 

Click here for Amazon link to book