Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey day is upon us: food, parades, football, family, shopping and for some Christmas decorating. But with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it is easy to offer a quick thanks before the meal and forget how thankful we are and to whom we are to thankful. So here are a few verses to read over now, maybe before your big meal. May they encourage you as well as point you to remember that all good and perfect gifts comes from above.

Psalm 136:1 O give thanks to the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.

Lamentations 3:23 They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness.
John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
Ephesians 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Hebrews 12:28 Why we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss, neither shadow of turning.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Morning Prayer

Do you struggle with the right words to pray sometimes? I know I do and this Psalm out of The Message is one great way that I have found to focus my heart and mind to start the day. Write it on an index card and read it every morning!

Psalm 119:169-176

Let my cry come right into your presence, God;
    provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word.
Give my request your personal attention,
    rescue me on the terms of your promise.
Let praise cascade off my lips;
    after all, you’ve taught me the truth about life!
And let your promises ring from my tongue;
    every order you’ve given is right.
Put your hand out and steady me
    since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel.
I’m homesick, God, for your salvation;
    I love it when you show yourself!
Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well,
    use your decrees to put iron in my soul.
And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me!
    I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.

~Amen

Have a blessed week!

Christian Romance?

People often talk about perfect matches like macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or salty and sweet. But what about terrible combinations – like for me today a crayon and the clothes dryer. As I WD40ed my clothes trying to salvage some of my husband’s work shirts, I thought about this.

Specifically, I thought about how often I see the doubt on people’s faces when I say I write Christian romance. Can there be such a thing as Christian romance? Since I write it, you can probably guess my position but let me take a moment to explain why.

One argument I have heard is that it is not good for one’s faith. That reading such literature will make women discontent in their marriages, long for a more romantic husband, or tempted to seek the experience in an affair.

I have a friend who recently shared her story with me. After her husband died at forty-five she had a difficult time but God provided and her second marriage is truly novel worthy. After she told me did I long for what she had? NO! I loved her story. I loved the sweet feelings it gave me about love and romance and I was reminded of God’s truths and goodness. After talking to her, I went to my husband and hugged him and said, “Stay alive, honey! I am happy living through just one romance novel.”

I like to read romance because I love a good story with compelling characters and I like watching them fight for love. I like reading Christian romance because not only do they fight for love but they are reminded of a godly truth, that probably, I need reminded of as well.

Jesus used story in his teaching and I can see why. I know he didn’t use romance but his used stories of life to teach valuable biblical truths. I have been a christian for 30 years. I have heard a lot of sermons, attended a lot of bible studies, and read a lot of non-fiction books. But some of the images and truths that impacted me most came from a fiction story where I saw the truth of God played out before my eyes in the characters every day lives.

Why do I write Christian romance? I write because story just spills out of me. I write romance because it is the story I find most compelling. I write Christian because I can’t not help but share the truths of the gospel. After all- the Bible is one big story of God’s redeeming love. And I combine them all into one because that is the call I feel God has put on my life.

So, is there such a thing as Christian romance? This lady says there is – and I like it.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever read a Christian romance novel? Why or why not?

Disobetient Daughter

Obedience seems so simple when I am asking it of my children. I instruct – they listen. Right?

However, it seems a lot trickier when I am the child and God is doing the asking.

A few months ago I was really struggling with obedience to God with a particular issue. I clearly knew what he wanted me to do and I repeatedly disobeyed. During this time, I really struggled with doubt. Not doubt in God or in my faith but doubt that my God would continue to love me as I failed to obey.

One day in the midst of this on going struggle, my daughter taught me a lesson I will never forget.

I had a special surprise outing planned for my four year old daughter and I was so excited. An hour before we were supposed to leave she decided to dig in her heals and defy me at every turn. I was so frustrated. Couldn’t she see that I had her best interest at heart. I wanted to scream, “I want to do so much for you, if you just obey.”

It hit me. My daughters actions don’t effect my love for her. There is nothing she could do to make me love her less. However, I can do so much more for her when she chooses to obey. My disobedience won’t change God’s love for me but I may miss out on what he is trying to do in my life.

Like a loving parent, God really does have our best in mind. Like a stubborn four-year-old, I occasionally fight those instructions believing I know best.

Are you letting God lead in every area?