Saturday, July 22, 2017

Reframing by Carol Ford







The term reframing can be defined as putting a picture in a new frame. What if that picture is an event or circumstance in our life—a disappointment, illness, or setback? Are you able to reframe the situation with a new feeling or attitude? It’s not easy.

I’ve had a firsthand opportunity over the last couple of weeks to do just that. I shifted how I viewed changes to my summer plans.  Because of a medical issue with my husband, I had to stay at home instead of enjoying a summer getaway with friends.  I knew it was the right decision.

 The first couple of days I allowed myself a pity party and some mental pouting, but as I reflected on the bigger picture and what God could do, I had a spirit of change. Not only could I support my husband, but I had an unexpected opportunity to ‘love on’ my grown son.  My son had to work in the city near our home, so he stayed overnight with us for these two weeks.  I made sure he had a good breakfast, a lunch in his cooler and a healthy dinner late in the evening when he returned from his manual labour. How sweet is that! I really enjoyed the experience; one that a mother doesn’t often have once their son becomes a father and husband.

Some of my best devotions in As The Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers were written while I had to lay on my back for two months.  During that time, I was encouraged by Jesus words....
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

What are you currently experiencing that you need to put in a ‘new frame’?  Can you take the situation that is troubling you and reframe it with a positive attitude?

L-R Claudia Loopstra, Melony Teague, Marguerite Cummings, Carol Ford (Glenda Dekkema absent)
Friends in the Word, Authors of As the Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers

Carol Ford’s is a co-author of As the Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers and has a short story in Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon and Christmas with Hot Apple Cider (available October 2017). She is featured on Hope Stream Radio in a program entitled Life Under the Sun.  https://carolfordassociates.wordpress.com/



Monday, July 17, 2017

The Unsearchable by SUSAN HARRIS

Who doesn’t love it when they call someone on the phone and that person answers? Or call for help and have someone come to aid in person? Although many have substituted  messaging and emails in lieu of phone calls, or more dejectedly, they choose not to reply, we have an assurance that will always stand.

Jeremiah 33:3 pledges, Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (NIV).

NIV

This verse, which has become very dear to me over the last three years, implies that research as we know it, is lacking. It’s incomplete. There are themes and topics that have not been captured. Untold, unwritten. This is especially exciting for me (us) as a writer and author. Imagine being able to enlighten through fresh revelations. Not just fresh, but new.

Dictionary.com gives the meaning of  "unsearchable" as  not lending itself to research, hidden.  The Oxford dictionary states it as unable to be clearly understood; inscrutable. Wouldn’t hidden knowledge revealed be the matter of bestselling books? To produce writing that cannot hitherto be found in textbooks or the Internet is ground breaking, revolutionary!

My last post on this blog (June 17) hinged on the theme of restoration. It stirs my spirit that Jeremiah 33:3 in the NIV is classified under the sub-heading Promise of Restoration, and instinctively I feel the revelations push me into "becoming unordinary" (the title of the June 17 blog. I did not notice the sub-heading in the NIV until I was taking the snapshot.)
  
The KJV replaces the word  tell with shew, and unsearchable with mighty.  I’m astounded at this show and tell, the mark which writers aspire to.  How limitless is the potential of great and mighty and unsearchable things to write about, to show and tell. 

KJV


To whom will Father God give the heads-up of this not-yet-known intelligence? He uses a myriad of methods. For me, those insights and fresh material come during times of listening to the Lord when in prayer or ponder. They come through quiet observation. They come when I’m hungry for more of the Kingdom. They also  come through dreams and visions (Joel 2:25).

 King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; here is nothing new under the sun. (NIV). Does this imply a contradiction?

I think no, because King Solomon’s is an earth-bound perspective, the natural, and God is outside of the natural. I believe that the new revelations will align with Scripture but offer more details, and this will draw men and women to Jesus.  Isn’t this the ultimate of the cross? Therefore I will call unto Him, and call again, and write what He shows me. 

How does the new come to you?


SUSAN HARRIS lives for eternity. Through spurts of pain she has envisioned Heaven and its grounds and is currently writing about it. This year she is focused on reading God’s direct words in the Old Testament on her 1-Minute Prayer page and is finding it transformational. Any is welcome to join.
https://www.facebook.com/1-Minute-Prayer-368981386624849/

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Breathe by Glynis M Belec

I love that my writing and publishing business is busy. I love to learn. I love that I have a home office and can take courses at home or write whenever the time is right. I love that my elderly father lives with us and I can care for him 24/7. 

I hate that my life is so crazy busy. I hate that I too often don't have enough time to complete what my agenda has set before me on any particular day. I hate that my commitments keep me virtually house/office bound.

Then I remember ...

There is a season time for everything

A time to be born - I don't remember much but I am thankful it happened ...
A time to die - Dear God, we just heard of another death today. A young fellow. Cancer. I hate cancer but I trust You. 
A time to plant - I complained that I was late planting my garden. I look at it now and realize you had it all under control.
A time to harvest - I look at my garden in awe. Tiny seeds produce full plates. Delicious miracles
A time to kill - I will never understand war.
A time to heal - Yesterday we heard the joyous news that the son of a friend of ours who had a stem cell transplant for leukemia has been declared cancer free. Thank you Jesus.
A time to destroy- The forest fires in BC are consuming homes and ripping apart homes; but it cannot tear the fabric of family and community 
A time to rebuild - After the floods here in town, it must have warmed your heart, Lord, to watch people rally together and pitch in to help. 
A time to cry- Lord may my family see the void in their lives. May they find You. I sometimes cry in my pillow wondering if my prayers are futile ... 
A time to laugh - oh my little granddaughter makes me laugh out loud and my stress melts. 
A time to grieve - deep grief is a sign of deep love
A time to dance - I am notorious for dancing when no one is watching - except you, God. Then I hope I make you smile. Ssshh. Don't tell anyone. 
A time for scattering stones - Play is a wonderful thing; even (no, especially) for those who grow weary.
A time for gathering stones - I love to see people who love their work. It shows in their productivity.
A time to hug - Although I am a partial introvert, I cannot imagine a day without at least one hug. I love when my grandchildren come back for another hug. 
A time not to hug - I've discovered that sometimes people just want to be left alone with their thoughts for a while. I don't have to initiate everything.
A time to find - That night. 1986. 3am. I found You, Lord, even though it was me who was lost, not You.
A time to lose - It took me to have cancer before I came to the realization that I didn't have to win every battle. Sometimes it was more beneficial to lose. 
A time for keeping - Oh Lord. I love this. I am a pack rat. 
A time for throwing away - One day it will all be dust. And then a wind. I'm learning to purge. 
A time to tear - My heart breaks when I see the fabric of family ... torn
A time to repair - I am married to the handiest husband ever. He has this special glue. 
A time to be quiet - The sound of silence is something I am learning to appreciate. Be still and know.
A time to speak up - I had to tell her how she was causing pain with her wicked words, as hard as that was to do. 
A time for loving -  Family equals love. The best parts of my life is when I am surrounded by my children and grandchildren and everyone is laughing together and appreciating the moments. 
A time for hating - The result of hatred in this world happens in our house every evening around 6pm. Sometimes I just cannot look at the news any longer. A steady dose of hatred makes my heart hurt and my stomach turn. 
A time for war - How can anyone kill another human? But one look at the state of this world confirms the battles will continue as long as there are those who lust after power ... (and for what end?) 

A time for peace - Quietly, hopefully, patiently ... And then, I breathe. 



Yes the moment my grumbling begins God reminds me that to everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). And then he tells me to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10) and then, I breathe, again. 



        Glynis lives, loves, laughs and does an awful lot of reading, writing, publishing and praying in her home office. 
        How thrilled Glynis is to be part of GOOD GRIEF PEOPLE (Angel Hope Publishing) - an anthology filled with stories that help readers recognize, honour and celebrate  the individuality of grief.                     www.glynisbelec.com 






Friday, July 14, 2017

The Birth of a Literary Grandchild

Here is my confession. I'm envious. I'm envious of all those folks around my age who are blessed with grandchildren. Whenever I see them dandling a toddler on their knee I feel a twinge of envy. I want one of thosea grandchild.
That's me in the wagon with my younger brother Dale in 1957

I turned sixty-five this year, and as I occasionally remind  my sons, I think it's time. But alas this is not a solo endeavour.

Writing a book and seeing it come to fruition has often been compared to giving birth to a child. I believe the analogy is fitting. Writing a book certainly is a labour of love. From conception to delivery you carry that book with you for a period of months or years. Little by little it grows within you until it is finally ready for the world.

My first book was published in November 2003. I remember bringing my baby home from the hospitalerr publisheras proud as any first-time father.

Good books have a life of their own. They kick up a fuss and generate interest. The Soldier, the Terrorist & the Donkey King certainly did just that. In 2005 it won the Word Guild Award for Historical Fiction. The first print run sold out in nine months. Two additional print runs followed.

You might say that my baby grew up. Last year it crossed the border as I signed a contract with Kregel Publications. That marriage resulted in a literary grandchild that was born in June.

Of course every new baby needs a name. The title for this new baby of dual American/Canadian citizenship is The Soldier Who Killed a King.


Guess what? Grandpa's proud of this baby. I'm sure it will kick up a fuss and generated a lot of interest. Good books do that.

Now Lord, how about some of those flesh and blood grandchildren?



David Kitz lives in soggy Ottawa with his wife Karen. To learn more about his book and drama
ministry visit http://davidkitz.ca/
The official release date for The Soldier Who Killed a King is July 25th.
http://www.kregel.com/fiction/the-soldier-who-killed-a-king/





   


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Perspectives by Ruth Smith Meyer

I opened my peepers only enough to see it was already light outside.  I quickly closed my eyes again and actually napped a bit. 
Next time I awoke, I dared look at the clock.  It was already past the time I usually get up, but I rolled over and shut my eyes again.  I thought of a list of things waiting to be done—a list that seemed too long.  


Just as I had closed my eyes, I groaned inside and slammed the door on my thoughts.  I pulled the blanket up higher and drifted off again. 

The next time I awoke, I knew the time had come.  Whether I wanted to start the day or not, I needed to get up and face it.
After a better night’s sleep than I’ve had for awhile, one would think I’d have been ready to bounce out of bed ready to tackle anything that would cross my path. Why was I so reluctant to begin another day? Oh there were a whole list of reasons—but even to myself, they sounded flimsy. The thought of meeting a friend for the evening meal, finally gave me the impetus to get out of bed.

After a bit of breakfast, I was still struggling to know which of the things on my list I should tackle, when I heard the lawnmower in the front lawn.  Since I have lived in this house, my kind and gentle neighbour has mowed my lawn.  He refuses to tell me how much I owe him. He says “Just a little something now and then.”  Even as his MS progresses, making walking more difficult all the time, he faithfully does the job saying he needs to keep going as long as he can.  

I went to the front porch to give him my “little something.”  As always, he stopped the mower and chatted for a while.  This spring there were two deaths in his family, in quick succession.  The stress from that and a few other unfortunate incidents in the same time period have had their effects on his physical strength and ability.  Yet his cheerful conversation although acknowledging the difficulty, was full of things for which he is thankful.

I returned to my house not only thankful for a good neighbour, but also for the new perspective he gave me.  If he can be so thankful, then most certainly I can lay aside my blue mood and give thanks for my many blessings.




Ruth Smith Meyer enjoys writing, drawing and speaking to groups.  Find out more about her at www.ruthsmithmeyer.com 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Good Soil—Carolyn R. Wilker







At the library last evening I picked up a book titled 1001 Tips for Canadian Gardeners. My own garden has taken years to get where it is now, and I’m still learning. Two of our three daughters bought new homes in the last year. This year they’re still figuring out what to do with the land around their homes.
The soil at both places seems to be heavier, unlike the sandy soil we have. There is a need to emend the soil both places—to lighten and feed it.
Our youngest daughter started to work with her garden area and flower beds last year, pulling out overgrown plants and taming weeds. In some areas, it must feel like a losing battle, but she’s added fresh soil to the garden area and likely compost too, and so this year it was ready for a small vegetable garden that is indeed growing well.
The yard at the home of my eldest daughter once was quite a show place, according to photos the owner’s family left behind. Yet, the place had been untended for years, and there was much work to do inside and out. Last summer, with a young child, and a baby coming, the indoor renovations took precedence, but this spring and summer, the outdoors has received attention too. The front bed with overgrown shrubs and hundreds of grape hyacinths has been cleared for now. The backyard needed attention, too. Both friends and family helped remove the overgrowth and trim mature trees that provided good shade.


The book I borrowed addresses many features of taking care of the land and gardens, in planning, considering environmental factors, along with garden design and soil modification. Both yards will become more manageable in time. For now, one with a baby wanted to grow food, and the other, with a small child and a baby, had to consider safety and put up fencing to keep a two-year-old safe.
 In the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13), the sower went out to plant. Some seed fell on rocky ground and couldn’t take hold and grow. Other seeds fell on the path and the birds ate the seeds. (They need to eat too.) Seeds that fell among thorns were overtaken and never had a chance to grow. Then the seed that fell on good soil did very well and produced a good crop.
Jesus interpreted the parable for his disciples. People of the time would understand those lessons, too, for they were keepers of the land as we are today.
In the same way, good seed planted in our minds help us to stay closer to God. Weeds were the evil, Jesus said, that choked out the good crop, making plants wither and die. He wanted his people to understand how to bear fruit, not just to grow it.

The book of gardening tips will be just as helpful to the serious stewards of the land as the Bible is to our understanding of God and the kingdom. And I’m sure God, the Creator of beauty, would appreciate a nicely kept yard and garden too.

Author's vegetable garden


Author's flower gardens








Carolyn R. Wilker is an editor and author. Learn more about her at www.carolynwilker.ca


now available from the author and Angel Hope Publishing

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Beauty of Creation by Steph Beth Nickel

When I think of creation, I almost always think of Romans 1:20: "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made" (ESV).

Enjoy the beauty, the order, and the complexity of His creation ... and think about what they teach us about the Creator.

Here are a few pictures I've taken of this beautiful world ...
















Friday, July 07, 2017

Cosmology is naturalism’s playground. But does the fun mask a science decline? - Denyse O’Leary


From my most recent series: 
 Cosmology has become an art form. Stylish essays are decked out with a very brief skirt of science. ... Science is experiencing a massive invasion of post-fact. We are a long way from real science, like relativity, quantum mechanics, and finding the Higgs boson. More.  
See also: How naturalism rots science from the head down 
The Big Bang: Put simply, the facts are wrong.
What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?

Monday, July 03, 2017

Another Great Awakening? by Rose McCormick Brandon


Jonathan Edwards
America’s first citizens built a nation based on godly principles. A century or so later, descendants of the founders had transferred their affection from God to money, power and influence. Although most attended church, they were smug, proud and godless.
         In the 1730s Jonathan Edwards, minister at Southampton, Massachusetts became disturbed by the spiritual deadness and immoral conduct of his parishioners. Edwards, who had devoted himself to holy living early in life while attending Yale, began a series of sermons on justification by faith alone (Martin Luther’s principle message). Hundreds responded to his heartfelt sermons by making public commitments to Christ.
          Edwards’ sermons ignited a revival  that became The Great Awakening. Thousands more converted to Christ through the preaching of George Whitefield of Britain. When Edwards invited Whitefield to preach in his church he reported that “the congregation was extraordinarily melted” and that all were in tears. Whitefield went on to preach to crowds gathered in fields because no building could hold the tens of thousands who attended. 
         Edwards experienced fierce opposition from the religious sector because of his support for Whitefield, but he recognized that God was doing something extraordinary.
          Edwards famously preached his sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. The title may convey a judgemental attitude, but Edwards was a loving man who defended emotional responses that often accompany revival. He became a missionary to the natives and wrote theological papers, eventually becoming President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton).
        The Great Awakening resulted in so many entering the ministry that more schools were required. Princeton, Rutgers, Brown and Dartmouth were all founded to meet this need.
God has had it much on his heart, from all eternity, to glorify his dear and only-begotten Son; and there are some special seasons that he appoints to that end, wherein he comes forth with omnipotent power to fulfill his promise and oath to him. Now these are times of remarkable pouring out of his Spirit, to advance his kingdom. (1)
           Have we become smug and proud? As dry as dust? Passive, compromising and dull? Oh for an awakening, a remarkable outpouring of His Spirit to jolt us out of passivity and into the vibrant life of Christ.
Understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:11-14
Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved. Psalm 80:19

(1)   Jonathan Edwards, Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in New England
***
  Rose McCormick Brandon writes faith and family articles, short stories, biblical essays, Bible studies and devotionals from her home in Caledonia, Ontario. She is presently writing a daily devotional book. Rose also writes articles on Canadian history and gives presentations at libraries, historical societies and museums. She is the author of One Good Word Makes all the Difference and Promises of Home - Stories of Canada's British Home Children.
   Visit Rose's two blogs: Listening to my Hair Grow and Promises of Home.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Happy Birthday, Canada! by Eleanor Shepherd

          Today is the 150th birthday of our country. Having lived in Europe, I am aware that a country that is 150 years old could still be considered a young country. Yet to me it is marvellous to realize that with all its diversity our country has managed to stay together for 150 years. 

Perhaps being a Quebecer makes me more conscious of this, because there still seems to be so many challenges of integrating with one another. Yet I have seen it happen.  Through the years, we have returned to Montreal for a few years each decade and each time we were able to see changes in the relationships between the two founding European nations that settled on Canadian soil. 

When we lived in Montreal in the 1960’s, we were becoming aware of a majority French speaking city that had an English face. By the end of the century, Montreal’s face was French and the remaining English speakers, had adjusted to that reality and become bilingual. 

What causes me sadness and the celebrations of this birthday show that many other Canadians also share this feeling is that while as English and French, we have found a way to live together harmoniously, those who have been left out are the Canadians who were already here when the Europeans arrived.  

These natives were seen as those to be exploited and whose contribution to the building of the nation was never taken into account. Even growing up, we were aware that our First Nations were not considered the First Canadians.I wonder how different our country would have been had we come to learn rather than to conquer. 

Would we have had a better way to identify ourselves as a unique people, rather than “not American”? Would they have helped us carve out a unique way of being Canadian? Would it have made it easier to deal with language issues, when the challenges would have been coming to understand many different languages rather than narrowing the discussion to two European languages? How would the North American continent have been divided, had we respected the boundaries and non-boundaries that had been established by those who had established their own civilization? 




An awareness of what can be offers us some interesting possibilities for our future. Canada is no longer two founding nations. It is no longer even those who were the aboriginal inhabitants. Our country has been blessed with new Canadians who have come from the four corners of the world and if we can remain open to each other, with the kind of welcome that the Scriptures teach us God extends to each one of us, we may discover great possibilities for the next 150 years.  
Word Guild Award
                2009






Word Guild Award
2011



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