Have you ever listened to a song so many times, repeatedly, and then suddenly the message in it just HITS you out of nowhere? That's what happened when I listened to Casting Crowns' older song, "Voice of Truth" recently.
The song, for those of you who might not be familiar with it, talks about the two types of voices there are combatting within us. The Voice of Truth (aka the LORD) and the other voices that only knock us down and discourage us in our attempts to do right.
I was reading John 8 for my devotions this morning when I came upon these verses. "When he (the devil) speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."—then the very next verse--"And because I (Jesus) tell you the truth, ye believe me not. . . . And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?" (verses 44-46)
What voices are filling your mind today? What voices are you allowing into your mind and heart? Most likely, the dominant voice is the lies that tell you you're not good enough, you're too ugly, you're too fat, you're too sinful, you'll never make it.
But what would happen if we combatted every one of those lies with the TRUTH? What does God say about these things?
"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:10)
"Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee." (Song of Solomon 4:7)
"For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (1 Timothy 4:8)
"And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 10:17)
"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8:37)
Don't believe the lies. Listen to the only Voice that matters--the Voice of Truth.
P.S. And while you're at it, go listen to that song! It's really an encouragement. :)
Sorry about my two-week absence. I was trying to figure out what to write for the blog and couldn't come up with one cohesive theme to write under, so hence the name for today's post. Buckle your seat belts, everyone. This isn't my usual style of writing in broken up thoughts without some sort of theme to unite them under, so today is my first! Bear with me. ;)
In my devotions, I'm reading through the Gospel of John and there was an emphasis on the Word from the beginning of the book. His Word—Jesus' words—give LIFE. "It is the spirit that quickeneth (makes alive); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63). A little further down, we find that some of Jesus' disciples left Him after this conversation and Jesus turns to the remaining twelve and asks, "Will ye also go away?" (verse 67)
Peter's answer here is something to think about. He says, " Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (verse 68)
Where else can they go to find words that give life, and not only life but ETERNAL LIFE? We know the One whose words are LIFE. When we quote His Word to others, we're in turn, speaking LIFE to them. Isn't that amazing?
Before I leave this section, there is a quote I'd like to share with you from one of the characters in Joanna Davidson Politano's latest release, "The Love Note."
"Make your heart a deep well of the Almighty by saturating yourself in his presence, and your words will come out drenched in him no matter what you say. I can promise you, no matter how many brilliant things you have to say, he has better ones." Aunt Maisie from The Love Note.
I love that quote, don't you? Our words need to be drenched in Him always. Thank you for writing such a wonderful quote, Joanna, and for giving me permission to share it with my readers. :)
In the evenings I read a couple chapters of Genesis and just the other night, I read the account of Abraham going up with his son Isaac, to sacrifice him as the Lord commanded (It was a test). The Lord then provides a substitute instead of Isaac and the whole image made me think of the contrast many decades and generations later when Jesus was being sacrificed. . . only, He wasn't spared. Have you ever thought about that?
I immediately thought of the verse in Romans 8 where it says, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (verse 32)
God didn't spare His own Son. . .and if He didn't withhold the greatest Gift from us, then we can rest assured that He won't withhold anything good or profitable from us. It's a promise. (See Psalm 84:11, towards the end of the verse.)
What I've been up to: 2021 has given me a big, (might I say) crazy goal. I'm working through one of my older stories to edit and polish it up before I attempt to get some beta readers, apply their suggestions, and then try to get toward my goal of getting my work out there. Maybe to show it to an editor or try to send it to smaller publishing houses. We'll see where the Lord leads with that. :) So that's what I've been working on. I haven't really been writing that much except for some small exercises every now and then. I have been faithfully reading, though, and admiring the 10 inches of snow outside my window, from inside where it's warm. :)
Have a great rest of your week, friends!
First of all, happy New Year!!
Thinking about my post for today, I thought it would be fun to show you the lovely stack of books I managed to read in 2020 and also to highlight some of the most impactful books I read last year. Note: This stack isn't the complete number of books I've read through. I had some library books that were on the list and some other books I returned to the people I borrowed them from! ;)
Boy, this stack was a particularly fun one to go through. Topics ranged from adoptions, pre-war times, war times, and more contemporary stories about fighting for freedom of religion and at the very top, a writing book! =) Shout out to my fellow writer and friend, Carolyn Oravitz. Your book on writing was very helpful!
They were also in a range of genres. Historical fiction, which is becoming my new favorite, but most of them are romances, some of them with particularly dangerous situations from enemies that made it all the more thrilling! And see that book near the top, 'The Girl Who Could See?' That was my first YA book. Yeah, I know, even though I am a "young adult" I have never gotten my hands on any YA books except Kara Swanson's. And let me tell you, it was great! It made me dream up stories I could do in the future about different worlds, fairies, and the like.
Now, onto two books that made a spiritual impact on me.
Joanna Davidson Politano was a new-to-me author and when I won these beauties, I had no idea how deep and spiritual they would be. (My favorite kind of book!) "A Rumored Fortune" dealt with family secrets and vineyards, which made the spiritual theme sink deeper as it spoke of the Vine, the branches, and how life flows through the Vine to us (the branches.) It was just oh, so good!
"Finding Lady Enderly" was a bit different and had a more unique plot and story line to it. One that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and wondering how this character was going to get out the sticky situation she found herself in. The spiritual theme for this one was about discovering who you were in God's eyes. Finding your identity in Him. And one thing Joanna wrote that struck me was that we all bear little pieces of God's nature. We are made in His image, after all. It was just so profound to me to think about it that way.
Her next book "The Love Note" is one I was able to get for Christmas and I'm so excited to dive into that one when I get some other books out of the way first! She's definitely one of my new favorite authors.
And last, but certainly not least, I wanted to show you a book I'm reading--my first of 2021.
Now this one, is so, SO good at showcasing the unique sufferings our Lord had to go through in order to make us righteous in His sight and to take our sins away. It's gripping, emotional, and so very well written. I highly recommend this one.
Another book I'm excited about reading is Elizabeth George's, "A Woman's Call to Prayer." I found it at a Good will store for less than a dollar and know from experience that her books are incredible and full of scripture. :)
I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse of my library for the year. Stay tuned in the coming year for more book recommendations as I peruse more books and grow through them.
This has been a learning year for all of us. I've seen and read articles about how 2020 has changed us or what 2020 has taught us in regards to gathering with family and friends and so on. I'd like to take a step away from that and address a bigger question, What did you learn from God this year?
Please feel free to leave a comment here on the blog or over on my Facebook post about it. I'd love to hear what God has been teaching you this year, through His Word, or through any season of life you're just trying to get through right now.
I'll go first. ;)
So there are a lot of things I could tell you about that God has taught me and lessons He's brought to my attention, but the one that sticks out most in my mind is this: how utterly weak I am and how STRONG He is. "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. . . .for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9,10b)
For the past month and a half, I've been working a holiday job and this is really where I felt my weakness and inability to go on my own strength. I've been busy, running on my limited amount of strength, and feeling exhausted. . . almost like I couldn't go on. And I couldn't--not depending on my own strength, that is.
That's when I learned that God's Word is my strength. HE is the source of our strength. He has an unlimited amount, an endless supply ready and waiting whenever we ask and seek for it. Reading verses like Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 40:29, and Psalm 29:11 really encouraged me to turn to Christ when I was feeling especially weak. When we are weak, that is when we're truly strong with God's power resting on us. :)
Lean on Him, friends. Look to Him to provide you with His strength when you're feeling weak.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
"He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Isaiah 40:29
"The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace." Psalm 29:11
So tell me, what did God teach you this year?
And *drum roll, please* last but not least, my end of the month (and year) writing update! Eeee! I'm excited to tell you that after a month and twelve days and over 50,000 words, I've completed my latest novel about a baker searching for God's path for her and the help she finds in a rugged (and handsome) cowboy, while visiting a ranch in southern Montana. :)
This was the "spontaneous" story I've been telling a couple of you about. Normally, I plan out my stories and know what's going to happen getting from point A to point B. This time, on a whim, I jumped into it with only a general direction of where I wanted the story to go and rolled with it.
And I learned (hey, something else I learned!) during the writing of this, how much I LOVE writing without a set outline. I use to be all organized that way, with a list and an outline, but now I love how unrestricted my story feels. I don't have to try to fit it into the plans I had for a certain scene or point in the story. It all came to my mind at the time I was writing it, really.
God was faithful in giving me a great spiritual aspect and the right verses to weave in with it and also in helping provide my ever-whirling mind with ideas about what would happen next just as I finished one scene or another. :)
Whew! Sorry about being long-winded there. Can you tell I love talking about writing? ;)
ANNND fun fact for this year: I've written and completed three stories all within the space of twelve months, and of all different lengths. Elisabeth's story in "Wrong Move" was 13 chapters, Lydia's thrilling love story in "Their Hope" was 29 chapters, and JoBeth's story in "Help Me Find It" (unofficial title) was 18 chapters. Let me know if you'd like to read any of these stories. I'd be happy to send a copy to your inbox. :)
And since this is my last post of 2020, I'd like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year! Bring it on, 2021! ;)
Just popping in here to say that I will be back up next week with a writing update for you! I've been so busy with work that I forgot about doing a post today. I realized "Hey, wait, it's Thursday! I didn't do a blog post." So, my apologies for that.
I'll be back next week! :)
P.S. So excited to say that I finished the rough draft of my latest story this afternoon! More on that next week.