Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What your dog taught me about my God part four

I have cats.  Two to be precise.  Leo and Scraps are a big part of our family even though they are outdoor cats.  They sit at our patio doors and watch us day in and day out.

When our guest dog, Shiloh arrived the cats were a little peeved I think.  I could just imagine the meows translated into, 'why does she get to be inside?'  'Why are you snuggling with her on your lap instead of me?"

However the most intriguing part to me was that Shiloh felt the (ingrained?) need to protect us from our own cats.  Whenever they would appear at the window she would get her fierce, protective bark on and attempt to crash through the the glass to chase them off.

Now I know dogs chase cats - that is life right?  But what I didn't expect was the intensity with which Shiloh needed to accomplish this.  When she would bark, we would tell her to stop.  When she charged the windows, we would stop her and reassure her they were not a threat.  We would hold the cats in front of her to help ease her worry.  But none of it mattered.  Shiloh needed to protect our home from our own cats.  She had a job to do.  No exceptions.

That got me thinking ...
  • Do I know my 'job' and am I willing and prepared to carry it out with abandon?  
  • Am I willing to do what I have been called to do even if others think I shouldn't?
  • Can I carry forward listening to my inner calling when I am chastised or punished?
  • Do those around me know without a doubt what my life stands for?
I understand that Shiloh may have been chasing my cats out of instinct.  Yet, that doesn't excuse me.  I have an instinct in my life - a basic need for a loving God to lead and guide my life.  Do I recognize it and fulfill it?  God made an easy way for us to find Him and to surrender to Him.  He sent His Son, Jesus to die for our sins so that we would have no reason to say, 'I can't' or 'I don't know what to do'.

If you are struggling to find what your job is - what He wants you to do with no exceptions, then ASK HIM.  He wants to lead you where you should be.  He wants to show you the amazing, awesome and unpredictable future He has in store for you.  To be the YOU He created.

Having Shiloh in our home has been an eye-opening experience for me.  God wants me to trust Him, love Him and rely on Him alone.  He has a job for me to do and I must push forward in it - no matter what others say or do.  It is ingrained in my soul. I am blessed.  Thank you Jesus.

Thank you Shiloh.  You are welcome back anytime!

Here is a little toe-tapper to put you in the mood to follow Him in 'being' and 'doing' exactly the way He wants you.

Links for part One, Two and Three of this thread.

Monday, May 28, 2012

To clean or not to clean ...

Last week I was training at a new job.  We were cleaning.  As I followed behind, mimicking the moves of my trainer I started to notice the dirtiness of the walls that she was wasn't even noticing. So I began to wipe the walls as we went along slowing our progress slightly.  Finally the woman said, 'don't get distracted by the finger prints on the walls.'

Isn't that odd - my job was to clean.  Why shouldn't I clean the walls?  Why is getting 'distracted' cleaning the walls a bad thing?

I inquired out loud, with her simple answer being, 'Today is not the day for walls'.  Still slightly bewildered, I carried on learning from her and sneaked in a few wall wipes here and there when she wasn't looking.

Today, I am astounded at the lesson God is teaching me about purpose.  'Child, today is not the day for that', He gently massages my heart.  I thought back to my rushed and haphazard attempts to wipe "some" of the smudges and hand prints.  Feeling justified at the time for doing the extra cleaning does not erase the sting of Truth today.   Not one single wall I stealthily wiped is actually clean.  I never wiped from floor to ceiling, and corner to corner.  So in fact, I did not succeed in cleaning any walls - only slowing down and distracting from my true duties for the day.

See, the woman training me said there is a day when we come in and ALL we do is clean walls.

Oh Lord , please forgive my divided heart.  Are there any other areas in my life that I have been become distracted by something, stealing my attention from my true purpose?

If you prayed that with me, are you feeling flooded with guilt and emotion at the many things that popped into your head?  Don't.

Our journey with God is not about guilt ... it is about a slow and steady process.  It is about learning where to clean and when by listening to His still, small voice.  So, do this with me.  Whatever time of day it is where you are, ask God to enlighten you to the job He has for you now.  Ask for Him to remove the distractions - for there may come a day when it is your job is to deal with those areas.  Then do what the Lord lays on your heart to do with all your focus and do not be swayed by other things - popular opinion, shoulds and woulds, or even things that are good to do. God will not lead you astray.  It is Satan who fumbles us by distracting us from the right thing (God wants from us) to do other really good things.  But there is only one thing God wants you to be doing now and that is what is BEST.

Maybe today isn't wall cleaning day.  Maybe tomorrow or next weeks is.  Instead, today's purpose is ....

Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.  1 Timothy 4: 15,16

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review - Angels are for Real by Judith MacNutt

Angels Are For Real: Inspiring, True Stories and Biblical Answers

Publisher's Blurb:

Angels have been, and will continue to be, a vital part of God's Kingdom--from creation to Jesus' birth and ascension to the end of days. Throughout the ages they have been messengers, protectors, healers, comforters and more to the people of God. Sometimes their presence is as subtle as a whisper of wind, other times as visible as the sun.
In this accessible, comprehensive and encouraging guide, Judith MacNutt pulls back the curtain on these intriguing heavenly beings. She offers insight and many stories of miraculous encounters, revealing what the Bible says about
• what angels look like
• what they do
• why they are important in believers' lives
• the heavenly hierarchy
• what fallen angels are

This book was a joyful read filled with informative and interesting stories.  I appreciate that the author backed it all up biblically.  The topic of angels is a delicate one - with often more questions than answers.  However I feel confident Judith satisfied my curiosity of the supernatural realm.  She has accomplished the goal she set out to do.

I also appreciated the easy lay out of the book.  A reader can take it in in small chunks if necessary and still absorb the content without feeling lost.  I recommend this book to others who are interested in learning about if Angels are for Real.

You can learn more about the author here at her website. Christian Healing Ministries is focused on reaching people and teaching people about the healing power of God through prayer. Check it out!  You can also order the book directly through their websitesupporting the ministry as you do.

I received a free copy of this book from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.  I am not required to review it favourably.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What your dog taught me about my God part three

Shiloh taught me trust.

I blogged earlier about the first two lessons I'd learned from babysitting a friend's dog.  (Part One, Part Two)  But likely the most powerful lesson was while we took a walk one afternoon.  It was a rainy afternoon and my spirit felt stormy as well.  I was upset ... so I decided to walk the dog to clear my head.

I walked down my country road a lot further with Shiloh than I had in the past.  I could see her becoming confused.  She kept turning around to look back to our house.  I didn't care.  I needed to vent some frustration.

See, I had received a review of a manuscript I had sent out to an author.  It was a prize I'd won on an author blog, Seekerville.  I was so discouraged.  But not for the reason you might think.  The author loved my first chapter, using words like "riveting" and "brilliant".  But I was angry.  I know that sounds weird and believe me it felt weird too.  I had received feedback from two contests before this with a range of responses - some liked my writing and some didn't.  There seemed to be no way to tell where exactly I stood.  I figured I was just just average.


That was reason enough to quit in my mind.  I have so many things on my plate as a mother, wife, role in my church, owning a business and so many other ventures ... why would I put myself out there for  ... average.  So I had decided that my writing was just for me.  (And maybe a few friends.)  For now at least.  I didn't need the hassle of rejection, disappointing reviews and what not.  I didn't want to be published badly enough to endure that.  So I made my mind up.

Then came the response from the author. "Wow, Jodi.  This is really powerful. Beautifully done."  
Now I was mad.  So I walked the dog.  As we walked I saw something that stopped me still. 
Maybe you can't see it from this picture off my cell phone, but there is an endless pile of logs in the background.  There were thousands and thousands of them; all alike.  None were distinct.  I stood there motionless for a moment as the lesson upon my heart sunk in.  Pride.  The horrible, awful sin of pride had bitten me. I wanted to be special.  I wanted to be more than average.  I wanted to stand out above the thousands and thousands of others who felt the call of God to write.

As I stood there with tears streaming down my cheeks and an anxious dog at my feet I confessed to God my pride and told Him I was afraid I might be hurt if I kept going on my writing journey.  I wanted Him to protect my heart.  Then I started to walk away.

I was so consumed in my own moment I hadn't noticed that Shiloh had wandered under the barbed wire fence to check out the grass on the other side - to see if it smelled any different than the grass on our side, I guess.  Once she realized I was leaving she bounded over to me in excitement, getting her fluffy tail caught in the barbs.  She tried to pull it out, whimpering and squawking, but to no avail.

I knelt down in the wet grass and held her in my arms so she wouldn't wiggle.  Then I began trying to pull each hair free from the grasp of the barbed wire.  Shiloh sat still and patient in my arms waiting for me to free her.  I was amazed.

My first thought had been 'what if she won't stay still?'  'What if she bites me for trying to help her?'  But she didn't.  She somehow knew to trust me.  Why?

God wants me to trust Him too.  Why or how can I do that?  It is simply, because He has been good to me and faithful to me in the past.  He has never left me hanging from a barb before and He won't do it now.  'What if I am never more than average?'  'What if I get hurt by the words and thoughts of others?'

That's okay because God has me in His arms, in His lap and it is all going to be okay.  It might still hurt.  I am certain it caused Shiloh pain to be set free from the wire's hold.  But she trusted me and that taught me to trust Him.

Deuteronomy 32:10 (NIV)
In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
Deuteronomy 32:11 (NLT)
like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Review - Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Submerged is book #1 in the Alaskan Courage series. It’s the story of Cole McKenna and Bailey Craig.

A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers. One single clue.
Submerged by Author Dani PettreyBailey Craig vowed never to set foot in YanceyAlaska, again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget. She's returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart... but doesn't seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago. And he's not the same guy she left behind.

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.

Dani Pettrey does a fantastic job of her debut book.  I was mesmerized by it.  Once I started I couldn't put it down - finishing it off in two days and nearly missing work too!

Her characters are lovely - Bailey has a tarnished past that Pettrey paints in colour with only a few words.  McKenna is the boy who could've/ should've saved her back then but didn't.  God is so good with giving second chances, even when we aren't sure we want them.  I would have liked to see more of the redemption portion of the story.  It was beautifully done - showing Bailey finally ready to fully accept God's love but as a reader (and a believer) I wanted to see more about this. (Maybe in her next book?)

Pettrey has a wonderful secondary cast too.  I loved the story in the background of Piper and Landon.  I am hoping they are the main characters for book 2.  (I heard book #2 takes place in British Columbia!!)

In the beginning chapters, I struggled to keep the characters in my head straight.  The McKenna clan is big (and there are always a couple 'hanger-arounders', like Jake and Landon). Pettrey did a great job of given each their own flavour - but I still found myself confused at times.  That might not be everyone's experience though.

The plot is filled with wonderful hooks to keep you guessing, interspersed with snippets of down time to take it all in. The Russian history is a plus that I enjoyed.  I would have learned more if it had been scattered through out the book instead of all given at the climax of the story.  I wanted to see the resolution so much that I didn't take the time to absorb it.  Maybe on my second read.

Overall I found the book to be a real treat - like when I was handed a Bernard Callebaut chocolate bar just for being in the right place at the right time.  Only they both were over too quickly :)

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Dani Pettrey participated in a Debutantes Soiree a few nights ago, celebrating with three other debut authors.  It was an interesting and fun evening.  I blogged about it here.  (If you did not attend the online party, you can watch it here. Thanks Rel, for the link.) For even more fun you can try these links:

Check it all out, or go buy the book.  It can be found at Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble,, Bookamillion, and Chapters/indigo.

One last item for your enjoyment...
I had blogged about this song awhile back but there were no official videos of it at that time.  Until today.  Mercy Me released the video for The Hurt and The Healer today on Godtube.  Check it out.

I figured it was a perfect fit to the story of Bailey and Cole.  So enjoy ...

MercyMe - The Hurt and The Healer (Official Music Video) from mercymemusic on GodTube.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What your dog taught me about my God part two

Previously I wrote  a lesson I learned from babysitting a friend's dog about being content with where you are.  You can read it here.

Today, let's look at another aspect about taking care of Shiloh.  She loved my attention.  Too much.

Maybe you are a pet owner, so you know this already, but I wasn't prepared for my new best friend.  See, we own cats.  (Need I say anymore??)  Cats don't follow you around, waiting on baited breath for your tiny morsel of attention.  In fact, you either have to chase a cat down to show them affection or feed them.

Shiloh was less concerned with when or how I fed her than with where I was and if I knew she was there.  In fact I heard myself over and over again say words I haven't uttered since my children were preschoolers.  "Please go play somewhere else so Mommy can get some work done."  Did you ever say those words?  Do you say something similar to your dog today?

Shiloh was at my heels everywhere I walked.  She sat at my heels wherever I sat.  Every time I move my position she would look up from her nap to see what I was doing or where I was going.  I tripped over her, stepped on her feet or tail and even skidded her across the floor once when I moved very suddenly.  I was so unaccustomed to this attention that at one point I ran into the bathroom, slammed the door quickly behind me and taunted the dog,  "haha Shiloh, you can't get in here!"  As soon as it dawned on me that she still won - she would be right behind the door until I came out - I recognized that was not one of my better moments.  (Don't judge!)

What did I learn by the end of the ten days?  That I am being followed every day and to every place already.  I am not being stalked.  I am being pursued.  God is always waiting for me to talk to Him, or spend time with Him or let Him be a part of my day.  He watches my every move, lovingly, to see where He can fit into my day. 

Do I acknowledge Him there, or do I try to run to my room to hide from His presence?

Once I saw this and understood it, the best part of all

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What your dog taught me about my God

My family likes to babysit animals for people when they go away ... and NO that is not an advertisement!!!

Recently we watched a dog for friends while they took a family holiday.  It wasn't the first time we took their dog and probably won't be the last time but it has been the most interesting time so far.

I learned a few things from our friend, Shiloh.  She showed me a few lessons about my relationship with my Father God.

The first lesson was that change can be hard, but valuable.  As soon as our friends carried Shiloh into our house carrying her bed, her bowl and her leash she became nervous.  When usually she's happy to see me she only wanted her owners.  I had to hold her in my arms as they walked out the door.  Afterwards, the dog wandered around our home, only partially her usually bouncy self.  For a day and a half, she didn't eat or drink.  We knew this about her.  She has been in our home before but for only a day or two at most.  I was a little concerned to see when, or if, she would start eating.  This time her family would be away for ten days.

After the majority of the second day was over, I noticed Shiloh was

Monday, May 14, 2012

Let's celebrate together

Parties are fun - especially when you can hang out with friends.  Or make new ones ...

How about joining some author friends to celebrate their debut novels releasing this May?

Here is the invitation from Relz Reviewz blog, the host of the evening.

Join the Debutantes Story Soiree!

Put on your white gloves and your dancing shoes and join us for the live video event of the season!
When: May 15, 2012 7:30-9:00 PM CST
Who: You! Join fiction lovers from all across the country, as well as your host, Rel Mollet, and get to know our four debut authors, each launching their storytelling careers this month:
Beth VogtWish You Were Here – Simon & Schuster
Dani PettreySubmerged – Bethany House
Katie GanshertWildflowers from Winter – Waterbrook Press
Olivia NewportThe Pursuit of Lucy Banning – Revell
What: A live, worldwide, online party. 
Where: Right here on Relz Reviewz. 

I have gotten to know Beth and Katie on line and love them both.  Their spirit radiates God's love to others.  Both of these women have inspired me in my writing thus far.  I'm looking forward to meeting the other two ladies and anxious to see what they have in store for us.

And don't forget ... lots of giveaways!!

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

If you are a Mother, I want to wish you abundant blessings.  But not for only today.  You might need them more next week when you have to dust the cards you were given.    Or even in a few days while you wash all the clothes your family wore to the picnic they made for you.  Or you might need them tomorrow when you have a cook again.

I have mixed feelings this Mother's Day morning.  I spent yesterday in battle with two of my teenagers.  It felt like a tag team.  They weren't working together - I don't think, but who ever was in the room was in conflict with me and my husband. THEN, because I love them I stayed up to 1 am to finish the laundry they needed (but wouldn't get to me all week) for the band trip that leaves at 8:30 am this morning.  I was angry, sore and hurt ... but I couldn't fathom NOT doing the laundry.  I felt like the 100's of times I do the laundry would get lost in the one time I didn't.

So ... not to be a downer for you.  I awoke this morning and remembered an email my brother sent me many, many months ago that I saved because it makes me cry and then it makes me keep going.  And that's what I need today ... to keep on keeping on.

I searched the Internet to find the author.  It is an excerpt from Nicole Johnson's novel The Invisible Woman (W Publishing Group, 2005). For more information, check out the author's Web site at  Or check her out on this YouTube clip. 

It is long and I apologize, but read it anyway.  It will greatly bless your soul ... especially if you are a mom!

The Invisible Mother ... 

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! 'Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock? Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

Friday, May 11, 2012

I can`t remember the moment it happened ...

The other day I drove my son to his work place and was caught off guard.  In an open space next to the A&W there have been workers building a hotel for a few months.  At first it was just a pile of dirt and equipment.  Then it was a clatter of noise that interupted the A&W drivethru.  Then all of a sudden, it became a framework.

Where before was only a hole and a mess of lumber and tools, was now a discernable hotel.  It isn't ready for visitors yet, but there is no mistaking what they are building.

Now, I hope you don`t think I am way too simple.  I knew they were building a hotel all along, but until the frame went up it didn't become very real to me.  It also was amazing how fast it transformed once they had the foundation built.

It got me thinking.

God is always at work.  He is working at rebuilding my heart and reforming my mind.  Yet, I can't see Him work.  I can't point out the pillars or trusses.  NOT until the foundation has been laid.  NOT until the basement is in place.

1 Corinthians 3:11 reminds us that the foundation we stand on is Christ Jesus.

This is why I found the hotel image so impacting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Does Utopia exist?

I watched a movie recently that touched me deeply.  It is called Seven Days in Utopia and you may have seen it on the shelves of your local video store.  If you have, RENT it!

Here is the trailer.  The movie website is at this link.

Seven Days in Utopia is the story of a man brought to his knees - in front of an audience.  He is a Pro golfer that loses more than his cool on the course one critical day.  But when his life is derailed and he changes course he finds himself in Utopia, Texas for seven days.

What can you do in seven days?  Paint your house?  Write a book?  Train your pet?  Take a cruise? Dr. Kevin Leman claims I can have a new teenager in seven days.  (I'm reading that to find out if it's true.)

God's word tells us that He can do anything in seven days.  He created the world.  He can change lives.  In this movie, a fellow golfer shows our main character a new way to look at life but it all revolves around the change that only God can make.

What do you need to happen in seven days?
  • heal a relationship
  • redeem a broken situation
  • choose a future path
  • repair a wrong
I'm not here to blindly offer you a solution to all your problems if you order now!  God doesn't work that way.  Sometimes we slog through a lot of grey and dreary days before we see the sun.  Sometimes wounds take years to heal.  Maybe you will not see the results of a consistent witness to an unbelieving friend even in this lifetime.  That doesn't mean there is no hope.  In fact the key to hope is that God CAN do it in seven days.  And he specializes in detours. :)

You are on the road to success if you realize that failure is only a detour.  In order to realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the stress of the storm. When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away your ticket and jump off.  You sit still and trust the engineer.  Our trust and hope are not in the promises, but in the One who made the promises."  ~~ Corrie ten Boom

If you've read the book Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia, or watched the movie, you were left with the question 'did he make the putt?'.  Be sure to follow up the links you were given to see what the next chapter of the story is.  Because God doesn't stop working once He gets your attention.  He promises to take you to the next step.

Phil 1:6  For I am confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

My next post will be about how over time God can make changes that seem so miniscule and barely detectable until one day you find yourself standing in a totally different line that you thought you were before.  Come check it out May 11.

F.Y.I.  There really is a Utopia, Texas.  I visited their website and found some really cool things out.  Including this:

Message from the Producers & Marketing team:
Seven Days In Utopia movie opened modestly on Friday Sept.2nd and went up Saturday, then jumped significantly Sunday and then was up again Monday (Labor Day)!
Movies never do that, and as we were researching, we went back to 2007 and couldn't find one movie that went UP on Labor Day!
Add to that, the fact that more than 250,000 people visited the website in the first four days!  And the best part of all, more than 600 people decided to go all the way with Christ and commit their lives to Him!  And that's just the opening weekend!
By the 3rd week over 1000 people have given their lives to Christ on our web site.

Robert Duvall is Johnny Crawford and Lucas Black is playing Luke Chisolm (the young golfer)
Based on the book – ‘Golf's Sacred Journey, 7 Days at the Links of Utopia’ is really a book about life; it just so happens that the main character's life is all about golf. A professional golfer, who is actually never named in the book, has a breakdown on the golf course during a tournament in which he was favored to do well.  Despondent and despairing of his future in golf, he wanders into the town of Utopia, where he providentially meets Johnny, a former golf pro who has retired to a quite country life.  Johnny, a Yoda-like teacher, who is building a golf course in a field in the middle of nowhere; takes the young golfer under his wing and spends a week completely reshaping the way he thinks about the game of golf and life.
The Books web site -

God is doing something through Hollywood.  Praise Him!  (BTW, October Baby topped the $5 Million mark at the box office by the beginning of May.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

This morning I awoke with these words on my lips.
Oh God of Heaven come and hem me in
Gather the pieces that are broken
Show me the wonder of You again
Oh God of Heaven

I posted this song a few months ago here.  It is not my intention to return and repeat it, but my heart was aching for God's redefining touch this morning.  My post will be short today.  More of a prayer than a post.

In you, LORD my God,
   I put my trust.
I trust in you;
   do not let me be put to shame,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
   will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
   who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, LORD,
   teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my Savior,
   and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
   for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
   and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
   for you, LORD, are good.
Good and upright is the LORD;
   therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
   and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
   toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, LORD,
   forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, are those who fear the LORD?
   He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
   and their descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him;
   he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the LORD,
   for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
   for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
   and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
   and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
   and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
   do not let me be put to shame,
   for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
   because my hope, LORD, is in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,
   from all their troubles!

Psalm 25, NIV

God of my hope.
God of my need.
God of my pain that no one else will ever see.
God of my healing.
God of my strength.
God who has always  and will forever reign.
God of my everything.
                                  Bebo Norman

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whose your audience?

For several months now God has been speaking to me about something that seems so simple but it isn't.

In fact, it isn't only "not-so-simple", it feels almost impossible.  But thankfully God knew I would feel that way and he wrote a simple little sticky note just for me.

Luke 1:37  "For nothing is impossible with God."

Thank you God!  So what, you are asking, is the problem ...

How do I live my life for an audience of One?  How do I write for an audience of One?

This idea has been floating in my mind for quite some time.  But the interesting part is the phrase "audience of One" has been popping up in so many forms.
  • It was the theme of a book I read many months ago, A Lasting Impression, by Tamera Alexander.  
  • A word from a friend asking me why I had to be published.  
  • A devotion calling me to love many, but only please One, by Holley Gerth.
  • An ache deep in my spirit that i had fallen off the original path God had placed me on.
All of these forms pointed to my one burning question ... who am I doing this for?  Me?  You? or God?

Maybe "audience of One" is the popular phrase of the day - it doesn't matter to me.  What matters to me is that God has been whispering it to me to teach me something.

I received another round of results from my contest entries the other day.  It has me thinking again about why am I doing what I am doing.  Do you ever question that?  Ever wonder what you should be doing or if you are already doing it?

I know God asked me clearly to write stories down.  I cannot even pretend I didn't hear that message.  However He never said 'get published'.  His words never mentioned anything about that. I find the more I seek it out and travel that road - the more doors are closed.  Not physical doors, really.  But 'peace' doors.  As I push forward I lose sight of what I am doing.  I lose peace.  I lose confidence.  I lose ... everything that feels good about writing.