Friday, July 31, 2015

Watch and Pray



Mark 14:38
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Recently, I have issues with my computer.  It begins a few months ago when, every time I attempt to view a video on Facebook, my mouse freezes up, and I have to reboot to clear up the problem.  Annoying at least, irritating at best.  Who doesn't want to watch fun, entertaining, and often enlightening videos?  I know I do!

Thanks to my computer whiz of a stepson, Giovanni, a game card fixture is found guilty as charged for creating such havoc.  Once he removes it, this headache is "Aleved."

Low and behold, as soon as I think the coast is clear, another problem rises to the surface.  It might not seen crucial to the interim computer user, but it is of utmost importance to me and to probably many of you who maintain blogs and/or write for a living.  When my computer relaxes into sleep mode and is jangled awake by my calling, the background photos on my home screen begin flickering and fluctuating with disturbing abandon.  As I am looking to refine my third novel in Adventures in The Glade, I simply cannot see this happening in the midst of serious editing.  It would be a travesty to lose the work due to some wanton computer glitch.

Something has got to give!

And give, it does.

My husband, Danny, simply issues a command to my errant computer to cease defaulting into sleep mode.  He strengthens its willing spirit and banishes its flagging flesh with a click of the mouse.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of us, when we fall into the flashing, fluttering temptations that plague our lives, could be made whole so easily?

We need to turn to God; only He can strengthen us to stay awake.

Watch and pray.

For when we are weak, the Lord is strong, working within us and through us.  Perfecting us so that our lives might reflect His love and honor His glory.

~
We all have weaknesses.  Are you turning yours over to God that He might work wonders through you?

Prayer:  Father, in our weaknesses and shortcomings, we fail to stay awake.  We fall asleep instead of watching and praying for Jesus' return.  We miss opportunities to witness to others about Your great love for all of us.  Awaken our hearts, Lord.  Help us keep watch vigilantly.  Let our prayers come with every breath we breathe.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Welcome, Alexandra Nancy!


Psalm 37:25-26
I was young and now I'm old,
yet I've never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging for bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.

My husband, Danny, and I are blessed last week by the safe and healthy arrival of our third granddaughter, Alexandra Nancy (Nancy is in honor of my mother).  What a beauty she is!




While Mom, Sarah, and Dad, John, are at the hospital for what turned out to be quite a lengthy labor, we keep both Virginia Rose and Savannah Jane for them.  Believe it or not, it is the first time we've had Savannah with us without her parents in tow.  Remarkably, she doesn't fuss a bit!





Virginia helps a lot with her little sister, too, for which I am so grateful, but with Savannah loving to climb anything and everything, I still have my hands full.  So full, that picking up toys and straightening up is a constant challenge.  There are times when our living room and dining room look anything but organized and clutter-free.

Second day with Virginia as she creates with building blocks.

The chaos that is our kitchen table.

Imagine all these toys spread out across the floor!!!

And Danny and I, though we enjoy every precious moment with our granddaughters, are both worn out after one day of having two girls, and then having Virginia for a full second day.  Stories, games, cartoons, music, drawing, singing, dancing - whew!  As I write this, I'm still feeling as though I've had intimate contact with a Mack truck, and as a result, I have a fresh appreciation as to why God created us to have children when we are young.  

Everyone is at home now, and big sister, Virginia, is getting better acquainted with our entire family's latest blessing!



~
Who or what has blessed you recently?

Father, thank You for sending us precious children like Alexandra Nancy who bless our lives with joy and goodness.  Bless all Your children, no matter what their age, and enfold them in Your arms of mercy and love.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What If . . . ?


Matthew 14:27-31
But Jesus immediately said to them, "Take courage!  It is I.  Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.  "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

Takes real courage to step over the side of the boat, doesn't it?  Common sense tells you that you are going down.  Unless, of course, your eyes are on Jesus. ~Mike Fisk at Built with Grace 

Doubts.  Fears.  Worries.  We all entertain them from time to time, even though they are unwanted guests in our minds.  I call them "what-ifs."

What if I don't get the job?  What if she doesn't accept my apology?  What if my child gets a poor grade?  What if I'm late for my appointment?  What if my boss in in a bad mood today?

Doubts.  Fears.  Worries.  Suppositions that creep into our thoughts and steal our joy.  Anxieties that take our eyes off Jesus, leaving us to lead a life of fear instead of faith.

Davy, the main protagonist in The Glade Series and Adventures in The Glade, suffers with bouts of the "what-ifs" as he wrestles with the many problems plaguing the future of his beloved friends, the Old Ones.  His mother, Kate, and stepfather, Jim, do their best in several different scenarios in the third novel in Adventures in The Glade, Revelation, to persuade Davy that such thinking is neither productive nor helpful.  The following scene takes place the night before the Old Ones' plan to save The Glade will be revealed to an unsuspecting world.

Davy emerged from the bathroom clean and ready for bed.  Grandma and Grandpa had already departed for the Fairchild's, and only Mom and Jim were sitting at the kitchen table.  "Where's Anna?"  Davy asked.

"In her bed," Mom replied.  "Poor child fell asleep before we could even finish our prayers."

"I hope I fall asleep that quickly tonight," Davy said wistfully as he sat down across from Mom and Jim.

Jim's brow furrowed.  "Are you still worried about tomorrow, son?"

"Yes, sir," Davy admitted.  "We stayed so busy today, I really didn't think about the awful dream I had last night, but now that it's close to bedtime, I'm afraid I'll dream it all over again."

Mom reached across the table to lay her hand on his.  "Davy," she said gently, "how many times in your life have you had the same dream twice?"

Davy thought for a moment before he answered.  "I don't think I've ever had the same dream twice," he confessed, "but that doesn't mean it won't happen."

"Honey, we've talked about those 'what-ifs' before, haven't we?"  Mom asked.  "Take it from a recovering worrywart:  They will only stress you out over something which will more than likely never happen.  What good is that?"

"I know you're right, Mom," Davy said with a sigh, "but can I ask you both a favor?"

"Sure.  Anything for you, son," Jim said.

"When we finish the prayers, could you stay out on the porch with me until you're sure I'm asleep?"

"We'd be happy to, honey," Mom reassured him.  "Speaking of bedtime and prayers, I think it's past time you headed in that very direction."

~

When the "what-ifs" sneak into your mind, do you sink under their weight, or do you turn your eyes to Jesus and allow Him to keep you afloat?

Prayer:  Father, give us the courage to step over the side of the boat and walk with You.  Take away the "what-ifs" from our minds and hearts, and help us to focus upon Jesus who is mighty to save.  It is in His name, we pray.  Amen.

Meditations of My Heart will be on hiatus for two weeks as I will concentrating of the final edit of Revelation which needs to be at the publisher no later than July 31.  In the meantime, may God keep and bless each and every one of you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Your Grace is Sufficient



2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

The real sin lay in thinking that any power to help and transform came from me.  Of course it was not my wholeness, but Christ's that made the difference. ~Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place

Inspired by a fellowship of Christian bloggers whom I follow, I ordered the classic book, The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom.  These bloggers are participating in timed-release reflections upon the most inspiring content of this beloved memoir.  I have two confessions to make:  First, I couldn't put the book down once I started reading it, and secondly, I know I'm way ahead of them in headlining the quote above.  But it's all about forgiveness, is it not?  And knowing them, their forgiveness will be graciously given.

When I read these words penned by Corrie, a passage from my soon to be released novel, Redemption, leaped out at me, words spoken by Reverend, True Owl of the Old Ones.  He has overcome times of trial and times of temptation, yet still, as we all do, he stumbles and falls, forgetting that the Creator is the only One who can truly heal.

As Scout and Sharp-eyes told Reverend about his encounter with a dying Ronnie on the hillside, the owl shook his head morosely, and a tear escaped down his feathered cheek.  "Pride," he said.  "The worst of sins, and I stand guilty as charged.  I thought I could do something to help, thought I was powerful enough in and of myself to succeed in what I attempted."  He took a deep breath and continued.  "You would think after all my many, countless years as an Old One that I would have known better.  There is nothing outside of our Creator which can be done against such evil.  How could I have forgotten?"

How do any of us, at any time and place, forget?

How do any of us, at any time and place, forge ahead in our blind conviction that we are enough in the moment?  That we can do it all?

The truth?  We can't!

It is only Christ who makes the difference.

May we all remember that God's grace is sufficient.

May we leave it, gladly and gratefully, at that.

~
Have you had moments in your life where you have second-guessed God, thinking your solutions were the answer to a problem?

Prayer:  Father, may You use our weaknesses to perfect Your strength in us.  We cannot be transformed without Your grace.  Let us always know this, and turn to You at every moment in our lives, for Your grace is sufficient.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made


Psalm 139:13-14
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook recently learned that I'm about to be a Gammie again.  My daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, John, are expecting their third little girl to arrive around July 21st, which is, coincidentally, Virginia Rose's fifth birthday!  As you can imagine, we are all excited about the new baby, and as I observe my two granddaughters at a recent supper gathering, noting how different they are from one another, I'm left to wonder who this new little girl will resemble?

Virginia Rose definitely takes more after Dad than her Mom, which is not a bad thing in the least.




But Savannah Jane is definitely her mother's child, even from the beginning.  Just look at these photos of Sarah and Savannah taken right after each was born.





Pretty amazing resemblance, don't you think?  And that "look" has continued as Savannah has grown older.  There are countless times I'll look at her and see my once teeny-tiny girl in her demeanor and and expressions.  Savannah is also much more reserved than the always outgoing Virginia, and is just like her mother in that respect, too.







Yes, my granddaughters are so different from one another, but each is fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God.  Each has her own gifts, temperament and style, but all are woven perfectly together to make them the one-of-a-kind individuals they are.

And I know full well, I am one blessed Gammie!

~

Do you take after your mother or father, or are you a blend of both?

Prayer:  Father, we thank You for creating us, for loving us, and for making us each unique.  Let us love one another and celebrate our differences rather than letting them come between us, remembering that each and every one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

The Best Laid Plans

Isaiah 48:17 This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is b...