A Writer’s Heart: Encouragement

A Writer’s Heart: EncouragementIMG_4412 ridgecrest

“I’m not sure I should continue writing.” The woman’s eyes told the story. She wasn’t ready to quit. She needed some encouragement. She wasn’t alone in her need. During my time at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writing Conference, her discouragement echoed through others.

  • “I’m doubting my writing is good enough.”
  • “I wonder if God is done with me. Maybe it’s time to quit.”

For myself, I didn’t doubt my call to keep writing. I needed encouragement in how best to proceed. Would the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference provide my need?

When wondering about the importance of writer’s conferences here are some verses to consider.

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith

without wavering;

(for he is faithful that promised;)

Christian writers write with conviction to the call God puts in our hearts. Writing is the venue used to speak the truth and love of God to another. When discouraged, press forward knowing the Lord is faithful to give the words, provide the teaching, and bless the work in the hearts and minds of our readers. When we write in his name and for his glory, he prospers the word, accomplishing what he sends it out to do. Keep writing. Keep believing. He honors his work in us and through us—for it is his name we represent.

 And let us consider one another

to provoke unto love and good works.

Writing to publish, in order to speak the word to as many as the Lord gives us, is hard work. We all appreciate an encouraging word—this includes the hard words an agent, editor, or publisher offers when our work needs sharpened to bring it to its best. Those words can be hard to swallow but if we swallow, digest, and spit them out into better manuscripts there is reward. We must keep the goal in sight.

These influences are found in writer’s conferences, along with, the encouragement of other writers’ stories and experiences.

Maybe the cost of a conference doesn’t fit your budget. Many offer scholarships. If none are available, there are free online courses offered—these don’t offer the fellowship but do give us a place to learn. Another excellent place to receive encouragement is in a local writer’s group. If there isn’t one in your area, start one.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,

as the manner of some is;

but exhorting one another:

and so much the more,

as ye see the day approaching.”

Hebrews 10: 23-25, KJV

I know these verses speak to gathering with the church. Don’t discount your local church for a place of encouragement. Need prayer? Ask for others to pray for your writing ministry. Share with them what the Lord is doing in your life. If appropriate, offer a reading that lends to bible study. It’s a way to give back to your local readers.

In reality, the Christian writer’s conferences are a gathering of the church of Jesus Christ. A group of likeminded people come together in love united in one spirit. The unity of love, mind, and spirit quiets the voice of discouragement.

The ones discouraged, at the beginning of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writing Conference, left with their commitment, vision, and purpose renewed. They left encouraged.

For me, I found encouragement through the workshops, times of worship, and fellowship.

I left with a myriad of new friends, and the workshops answered my prayers. If I failed to thank you then, I thank you now. I left with instruction in writing nonfiction, a clearer vision in writing fiction, and much more information in marketing. Now, I need to rehash it all and learn to apply it.

One last verse for your encouragement and mine.

“Therefore my beloved brethren,

be ye stedfast, unmoveable,

always abounding in the work of the Lord,

forasmuch as ye know

that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:58, KJV

The Lord is faithful. He gives worth to our words. Keep on keeping on.


Until The Final Battle

Until The Final Battle

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We began this week thanking the Lord for the men and women who have given their lives to preserve the freedoms we enjoy. We continued the week mentioning the soldiers of the cross who remained faithful to our Lord and Savior, even unto death. Not all in the armed service of our country, nor in service to our Lord are asked to die. Those of us remaining honor those before us through rejoicing, being thankful, and living in the honor these have won.

“For to me to live is Christ,

and to die is gain.”

Philippians 1: 21, KJV

The apostle Paul wrestled with his desire to be with the Lord and his desire to continue in the battles fought on earth. His heart ached to be finished with the wars of this life, and he suffered many. Yet, he was convinced of the need to remain and fight a little longer for the joy and faith he could share with others. He asked—

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs,

  • That ye stand fast in one spirit,
  • With one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
  • And in nothing terrified by your adversaries:

which is to them an evident token of perdition,

but to you of salvation and that of God.

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ,

not only to believe on him but also to suffer for his sake;”

Philippians 1: 27-29, KJV

As those, in service to our country, remain to fight another day are not standing alone, neither are we, who live in Christ, left to fight our battles alone. For—

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written,


Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded,

that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8 35-39, KJV

While we remain, battles still rage within and without. These will end. But until the final battle is fought and won, when Christ takes his throne, we can rejoice. For he fights with and for us. He guarantees we will live. For as the old song, by Rex Nelon says, “When the battle’s over we shall wear a crown.”

Until the final battle is won and war will be no more—

“Grace be to you and peace

from God the Father,

and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who gave himself for our sins,

that he might deliver us from this present evil world,

according to the will of God and our Father:

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Galatians 1: 3-5, KJV

Grace and peace are for the here and now. It can be found only in Jesus Christ. His promise is true—he will deliver his own from this present evil world. Until then, keep fighting the good fight of faith, walk in love toward one another, pray always, and rejoice.

Just A Note

macbook pro on brown wooden table
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Just a note to say, Thank you, to all my readers for being patient with me this week. I have been at the Blue Ridge Writer’s Conference this week with little room to visit you all on your web site. I hope to visit you soon and hope you have been having a good and blessed week. Thank you, for stopping by while I’ve been unavailable.

What’s your week been like?

An Age Old Battle

The Age Old Battleblog soldier

“Righteousness exalteth a nation:

but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Proverbs 14:34

We are in a battle such as not been fought since our Civil War, yet it’s existed from the beginning. This war isn’t won or lost with guns, cannons, or swords, but the conflict divides the land. Be warned—

“And if a house be divided against itself,

that house cannot stand.”

Jesus Christ, Mark 3:25,KJV

The age-old battle pits evil against good. Our enemy hides himself behind every evil act generated in the hearts of people he can deceive into believing evil is good and good is evil. The enemy infiltrates the land from within the country. He erodes the peace and freedom so many of our young men and women have fought to keep freedom’s bell ringing. When that sound ceases so does our peace.

The campaign of evil against good continues to be fought on our own soil and reaches its long boney fingers around the globe squeezing truth and goodness out of the hearts of the masses. Since this battle cannot be won with conventional weapons of war, where does our hope for victory lay? How can it be won?

Don’t be deceived the war is won. The battle took place on a hill called Golgotha with only one casualty—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus’s death ended the devil’s reign of death for all who, by faith, receive Jesus Christ as their Victor, their Savior. His resurrection robbed the grave of its power.

“O death where is thy sting?

O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15: 55-57, KJV

Yet, skirmishes are still being fought. The skirmishes are won through—

  • Prayers offered to the Captain of our salvation, Lord of hosts;

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6: 18, KJV

  • People strengthened in the Lord and willing to stand, sacrifice, and even die for what is good and right;

“This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6 b, KJV

  • People who by the Lord’s grace fight hatred with love.

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord.


Be not overcome of evil,

but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12: 18-21, KJV

  • People who finish the fight.

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2: 3,4

  • People ready for battle, dressed in—

“the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore …

with truth … righteousness … peace …

taking the shield of faith ,,,

the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;”

(In a few words put on Jesus Christ. He is our armor.)

From Ephesians 6:13-17, KJV

One last battle waits to put a final end to the warring. When that confrontation between good and evil ends with fire coming down from God and devours Satan, he and those he deceived will be tormented day and night forever in the lake of fire—while peace and righteousness reign forever with Christ and his soldiers.

Don’t lose hope. Jesus will come and all will be made right. Until then, remember the battle belongs to the Lord (more on that next time). As we thank him for the ones who have fought for our freedoms here, let’s remember to always give thanks to the One who has won our eternal freedom from evil.  And may we remember the soldiers of the cross who have died for their faith and say with Apostle Paul,

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

A Writer’s Heart: Honor

A Writer’s Heart: Honor

man holding bible
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“Honour all men.

Love the brotherhood.

Fear God. Honour the king …

Render to all what is due them … honor to whom honor.”

1 Peter 2:17, KJV; Romans 13:7a,c, NASB

Today picnics, parades, and speeches fill the air with the rewards won by those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to enjoy life freely. Jesus said,

“Greater love hath no man than this

that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15: 13, KJV

My husband’s brother is one who paid that sacrifice. *During the Viet Nam War, he piloted a cover chopper for the medical helicopters. He drew the enemy’s fire and went down.

War exacts a monumental price for temporary peace. We not only owe honor to those who have given their lives, and to those who continue to fight for our freedoms, but we owe thanksgiving to our God for those with the courage to stand, fight, and die for what is worth fighting for.

“We give thanks to God always for you all,

making mention of you in our prayers;”

1 Thessalonians 1: 2, KJV

In order to keep in mind the cost of freedom with thanksgiving, I find myself drawn to books of fiction and nonfiction that relate stories and lives lived during different eras of war. For fiction my go to reading remains to be Brock and Bodie Thoene’s series. Their books are set before, during, and after the tumultuous years of World War II. I recommend all three series—The Zion Covenant, The Zion Chronicles, and Jerusalem Vigil. Once you start the first series you will want to finish them all.

For nonfiction, I’m drawn to any of Corrie ten Boom’s books, the Diary of Anne Frank, and books by or about George Mueller—especially his autobiography and books on faith and prayer.

These books remind me there is something in this life worth dying for, worth giving our all to. It’s not found in war but in what is right and good. These reads actually encourage me to stand strong in the face of evil.


Heavenly Father, we know not all is right in our country, but we are still free to speak and worship because others have guarded these freedoms with their lives. We thank you for all who have served and/or died to keep us free. May we not take for granted or abuse the blessings you have poured out on us through their sacrifices. Thank you for those who stand for right no matter the cost. May your blessing be upon them and their families.

May we honor all this Memorial Day with thanksgiving and joy for the freedoms we still have. How will you honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice? Whose testimony during the time of war do you admire and encourages you in what is right and good?

Each of my posts this week will speak to this holiday.

*The facts are according to the best of my memory.

Remember Me (2)

Remember Me, (2)blogcross-792538__340

“Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD:

quicken me according to thy judgments.”

Psalm 119: 156, KJV

The thief hanging from his cross cried out to Jesus—the man on the middle cross— “Remember me …”  In his tender mercies, the Lord remembered the thief, promising him a place in paradise.

The only way we can be remembered and made alive in the Lord—quickened—according to his judgments, is by receiving his gracious gift, full of his tender mercies, through Jesus Christ.

Not by works of righteousness we have done,

but according to his mercy

he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost:”

Titus 3:5, KJV

 Mercy meets righteousness on the cross of Jesus Christ.

Not by works of righteousness we have done,

“The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed … (Ps. 103:6

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3: 22-23, KJV

We, in our sin, are the oppressed. God’s judgment upon us is death. Because of the Lord’s tender mercies, he has reversed that judgment on those who by faith believed Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who took our judgment of death and has given us life.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5: 21, KJV

… but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost

  • The LORD is merciful and gracious,
  • slow to anger,
  • and plenteous in mercy.
  • He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
  • He hath not dealt with us after our sins;
  • nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as the heaven is high above the earth,

so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west,

so far hath he removed our transgressions from us …

the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting

upon them that fear him,

and his righteousness unto children’s children;

To such as keep his covenant,

and to those that remember his commandments to do them …

Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion:

bless the LORD, O my soul.”

Psalm 103: 6, 8-12; 17-18, 22, KJV

Who receives the tender mercies of our Lord? According to his word, his righteous judgments—

  • Those who come to the knowledge of their need for mercy and by faith in Jesus Christ, ask to receive his mercy.
  • Those who fear the Lord, believing he is righteous, has carried out his righteous judgment in Christ’s death, and will carry it out in both the believer and the unbelieving—one to eternal life and one to eternal judgment.

We who have received the tender mercies of the Lord(which all have, including those who do not recognize this gracious gift) let us—

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

  • Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
  • who healeth all thy diseases;
  • Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
  • who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
  • Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103: 1-5, KJV

Praise ye the Lord … We have been remembered.

Remember Me

Remember Mecross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpeg

“Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD:

quicken me according to thy judgments.”

Psalm 119: 156

The sun began to hide its glory behind the gathering clouds rumbling across the sky. Three men hung on Roman crosses atop the foreboding skull-like hill. A crowd focused on the man in the middle.

“He saved others,” some screamed, “let him save himself.”

“Yes, then we will believe,” shouted another, “come down from your cross, then we will believe.”

The thief hanging from his stake off to the left of the man in the middle challenged the suffering servant on the center cross. “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.”

His mocking tone irritated the thief hanging to the right of the beaten man in the middle. After three hours of torture, the second thief had come to realize his plight. Just the task of taking a breath drained him of the little strength he had left. He turned his face toward the first thief. “Do you not fear God. We are guilty. We deserve our sentence of death.”

He turned his eyes toward the man in the middle. “But this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” He raised himself up by his feet and took in another breath of air.

“And he said unto Jesus,

Lord, remember me

when thou comest into thy kingdom.”

“And Jesus said unto him,

Verily I say unto thee,

to day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23: 42-43

That day, in his own agony, Jesus extended mercy to the undeserving thief who received the gracious gift and found a place in the kingdom of God. Jesus didn’t withhold his mercy from the first thief—but the gift was spurned and the first thief found no relief from his misery—only a just judgment.

Every person through all the ages hangs beside the man in the middle. We are all guilty before a just and holy God with no strength to save ourselves from his just judgment. But praise God, for his grace has given us Jesus who is the revelation of the Lord’s mercy.

Grace provides mercy. Mercy received withholds rightful judgment. Mercy spurned receives judgment. We are either the thief on the right or the left.

“Let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts:

and let him return unto the Lord,

and he will have mercy upon him;

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon …





Isaiah 55: 7; Romans 4: 7-8, KJV  

Have you cried out to the man in the middle to remember you? It’s a call you don’t want to forget to make. Which thief do you identify with?

A Writer’s Heart: Ponderings

A Writer’s Heart: Ponderings

woman in gray crew neck shirt running on brown soil during daytime
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“Know ye not

that they which run in a race run all

but one receiveth the prize?

So run, that ye may obtain.”

1 Corinthians 9: 24, KJV

Pondering, a more poetic term for the thoughts running through my mind. Soon my husband (who is going along for the sightseeing), my daughter, myself, and about a couple hundred others will be heading to the Blueridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. While there the Selah Award finalists will discover who has won the prize.

Each author in the Selah competition has shown a certain level of excellence in his/her writing to the perspective judges. We all encourage and applaud their recognition. Writing and writing well is hard work. The truth in the end—there is only one winner in each category of the Selah Award prize. Here, I will take a moment to say, “Congratulations to each of the finalists and the award winners.”

The ponderings floating through my mind raised the question of the value of entering the many different contests offered to writers.

There are contests—

  • for all genres,
  • for published, and non-published works,
  • for articles,
  • blogs, short stories, poems, and the list goes on.

The contests range in cost from free to a couple hundred dollars. Yet, there is only one winner. What is the benefit and is it worth the cost?

For the winner—recognition, sanction from peers, a marketing help, encouragement. There is also recognition for your publisher and editors.

For the one who walks away with the prize, my answer is, “Yes.” Although, I don’t have any statistics concerning how the author’s sales or opportunities to market increased following the award.  Award winners, how would you answer the questions of benefit and cost?

For those who do not receive awards—What benefit is found in entering the contests? Actually, the Apostle Paul gives an answer in our verse today— So run, that ye may obtain.

  • If you don’t run, you can’t possibly win.
  • Contests push writers to examine their work and find where improvements may be needed.
  • Contests demand discipline in following the rules.
  • They exercise patience and humility.

The cost must be weighed against the benefits, which will differ personally for each author. A few questions to consider:

  • Why am I entering this contest?
  • Why do I write?
  • For whom do I write?
  • How important is the winning?

The apostle Paul further explains it this way:

“And everyone who competes in the games

exercises self-control in all things.

They then do it to receive a perishable wreath,

but we an imperishable.”

1 Corinthians 9:25, NASB

The awards we receive here are momentary, but the one that truly matters is eternal. When we write as unto the Lord, by his calling, we have a great award now in the satisfaction of pleasing him, and one greater in the future where we receive his Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

“Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim …

I press toward the mark for the prize

of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

1Corinthians 9:26a; Philippians 3:14, NASB

By spirit, I am competitive—I like to win. Who doesn’t? But my aim is not winning in this world but in the next where we all are victorious through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, where have my ponderings led me?

  • Pray about each contest.
  • Count the cost against my budget.
  • Know winning or losing here isn’t the aim—It’s a hope but not a goal we can control.
  • Ask myself if there is a better way to market my books than through this/that contest for my dollars’ worth.

One final pondering:

We need to be on guard against a subtle temptation to compare our successes or our failures to that of others. Knowing the Lord is the ultimate judge of all our work, he alone is the one we are to please. This gives us peace in the winning or losing and keeps us rejoicing with our peers for their successes. The Lord gives value to our writing as we write for his glory. His smile is our reward.

What are your ponderings concerning contests? I’m interested in your thoughts as I’m contemplating one final contest for this year. Thank you, and I look forward to rejoicing with all of you at Blue Ridge.

A Tall Glass of Water

A Tall Glass of WaterDSCF1514

“I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD …

Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness:

O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.”

Psalm 119 145a, 149, KJV

The sun beat down on the high desert plains where my mission crew worked. The dry heat zapped the fluid from my body before my throat felt the desperate need for water. When my tongue grew thick and felt like sandpaper, I knew dehydration had depleted my strength. I grabbed my water bottle, lifted it to my parched lips and allowed the slow stream to flow through my body. After pouring water on my bandana, I laid it around my neck. My breaths returned to an even rhythm. My heart rate slowed. Another drink of the water revived my strength. Lesson learned that year—take many water breaks so you don’t become faint.

When reading the psalmist’s cry to the Lord to be quickened or revived, I envisioned the one pleading being faint and having a desperate desire for the Lord to strengthen him—like Job who cried in his despair for the Lord to come near and speak with him. I couldn’t help but wonder if my own desire to draw near the Lord equaled these two men’s or even my physical longing for water. Did I thirst for God to—

  • breathe new life into my spirit, as much as I had longed for that drink of water in the desert?
  • Renew my passion for him?
  • Had I allowed my spirit to wilt in the face of pain, busyness, or other trials?

Thinking on these things created a longing to grow nearer to the fountain which would satisfy my longing.

“O God, thou art my God;

early will I seek thee:

my soul thirsteth for thee,

my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land,

where no water is …

In the last day, that great day of the feast,

Jesus stood and cried, saying,

If any man thirst,

let him come unto me, and drink.

He that believeth on me,

as the scripture hath said,

out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

( But this spake he of the Spirit …)

Psalm 63:1; John 7:37-38, 39a; KJV

According to the Lord’s lovingkindness, according to his word, those who seek him will find him and be satisfied. Jesus sent out the invitation and promises to fulfill his word.

“Blessed are they 

which do hunger and thirst after righteousness;

for they shall be filled …

They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house;

and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.”

Matthew 5:6; Psalm 36:8, KJV

When our spirit finds us in a dry and desert place ready to faint, the Lord is the one to seek, for he is the one—

“Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;

so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s …

For he satisfieth the longing soul,

and filleth the hungry soul with goodness …

And the Lord shall guide thee continually,

and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones;

and thou shalt be like a watered garden,

and like a spring of water,

whose waters fail not.”

Psalm 103:5; 107:9; Isaiah 58:11; KJV

His waters, the Holy Spirit in us will not fail us. The water is always available. Why wait until we are weak from thirst? Why not drink continually of the river of life and know we are forever in his presence? Why wait? Hear his invitation—

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.

And let him that heareth say, Come.

And let him that is athirst come.

And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Revelation 22: 17, KJV

Do you wait until thirst overcomes you before getting a drink? Or drink on a regular basis? Grab you a tall glass of water and feel how it refreshes your body. Then sit alone with the Lord and let him fill you with his living water and feel him breathe renewed life into your spirit. Why wait until your spirit is faint? Drink it in. The fountain won’t run dry.

A Whole Heart

A Whole Heart

Retrieved from Pixabay’s free images.

“I cried with my whole heart;

hear me, O LORD:

I will keep thy statutes.”

Psalm 119: 145, KJV

with my whole heart …”

Some cried, “Where is God?” Some cried, “Save us!” Some just cried on the day of September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked the United States. Our world of security collided with a fantastic force of evil that would reshape our nation.

On that day, we begged the Lord to hear us. We pledged to honor him, to turn to him. We filled our churches and cried with a whole heartedness.

We wanted the Lord to take us back to the old days of The Andy Griffith Show with Barney, Aunt Bea, and Opy.

The days where right wins and evil loses;

children could play outdoors and ride their bikes without fear of being kidnapped;

we could go about our daily lives without fear;

God wasn’t needed for all was well with our world.

Wait, where did that come from? When at ease, it is easy to forget God. Few cry out when peace and contentment encompass our world. We cry when in pain.

Our heart’s desire wasn’t for God when we experienced 9/11 but for his goodness. “Give us of your goodness but don’t bother us unless we need you. Let us live like we want to live.”

We didn’t follow the psalmist’s example and cry out with a whole heart for the One we cried to, but only for what he could give us. We wanted God at a distance and not with our whole heart. We see the same reaction when disasters strike, sickness overwhelms us, we experience a pandemic. We want God to fix the situation but not our hearts. Christ commanded us saying,





Matthew 22:37b, KJV

The Lord’s commandment became too burdensome for us. The whole heart worships the Lord God in spirit and in truth.1

Our spirit reflects the love we have for our heavenly Father and his Son. Jesus Christ will be seen in truth—the outward display of what is in our spirit.

It produces an outward obedience.

“Blessed are they that keep his testimonies,

and that seek him with the whole heart.”

Psalm 119: 2, KJV

It produces a trust that chaotic circumstances cannot erode.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;

and lean not unto thine own understanding …

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him;

fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,

because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass …

For evildoers shall be cut off:

but those that wait upon the LORD,

they shall inherit the earth.”

Proverbs 3:5; Psalm 37: 7-9, KJV

This world is in a mess that is only going to grow higher and deeper. While living in this world, all will be touched to some extent of the trouble that goes with it. But there is a place where we can find peace and keep chaos from ruling our spirits, troubling our hearts. What he offered to Israel, he offers to us.

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God,

thou shalt find him,

if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

When thou art in tribulation,

and all these things are come upon thee,

even in the latter days,

if thou turn to the LORD thy God,

and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;)

he will not forsake thee,

neither destroy thee,

nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”

Deuteronomy 4: 29-31, KJV

The Lord looks for a people who love and serve him with all the heart, a people he can show his strength2, a people he can fill with peace3. Will you be of that people?

1John 4:23-24; 22 Chronicles 16:9; 3Philippians 4:6-7