With The Whole Heart

The Whole Hearted Life

“Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea,

I shall observe it with my whole heart.”

Psalm 119:34, KJV

The law kept with the whole heart not only obeys it, but does so, believing the worth of the law.

  • The whole heart genuinely trusts the one making the law.
  • A heart wholly devoted to the Lord rests in peace.
  • Anything less than the whole results in uncertainty and eventually falters.

“And if a house be divided against itself,

that house cannot stand”—

nor can a heart.

(Scripture from Mark 3:25, KJV; The last four words are my thought.)

A divided heart is motivated by half an effort, half a conviction, and half the passion. It  ends in an empty result.

  • A work done half-heartedly … Is a work not done.
  • A word spoken half-heartedly … Should remain unspoken.
  • A half-hearted love … is no love at all.

The Lord commands and deserves our whole hearted service.

“Now therefore fear the LORD,

and serve him in sincerity and in truth:

and put away the gods which your fathers

served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt;

and serve ye the LORD.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,

choose you this day whom ye will serve,

whether the gods which your fathers served  …

but as for me and my house,

we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua 24:14, 15, KJV

The whole heart serves the Lord—

  • in sincerity and in truth;
  • and the Lord alone, no others.
  • He fills the heart with all that fills his heart;
  • with a committed choice.

When Joshua presented Israel with the two choices, the people vowed to serve the Lord and him alone. But when they watched their neighbors, their hearts became divided. They spoke before searching their hearts. They spoke out of emotion not a heart wholly given to the Lord. Joshua told them as much. (See Joshua 24:14-28)

The whole hearted servant of the Lord speaks from the heart not just the lips.

“Be not rash with thy mouth,

and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God:

for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:

therefore let thy words be few…

Better is it that thou shouldest not vow,

than that thou shouldest vow and not pay …

THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH,

AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS;

BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.”  

Ecclesiastes 5:2,5;Matthew 15:8, KJV

The Lord does not accept a half-hearted work, a half-hearted commitment, nor a half-hearted love. We are:

  • to offer our— “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1b, KJV
  • to heed Jesus’s words— THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND.” Matthew 22:37, KJV

Salvation, justification, sanctification, glorification is a whole hearted work of the living Word of God born our of his whole hearted love for us.

“We love him, because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19, KJV

It’s time to praise the Lord with our sacrifice of praise offered from a heart wholly devoted to him in love.

“I will praise thee, O LORD,

with my whole heart;

I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee:

I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.”

Psalm 9: 1-2, KJV

 There really is no half a heart. Let’s make our choice—all or nothing. Which will it be?

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Teach Me

Teach MeIMG_3740

“Teach me, O LORD,

the way of thy statutes;

and I shall keep it unto the end.”

Psalm 119:33

Do you have a favorite teacher in your past? Three instantly come to my mind, each from a different stage of learning.

  • Mrs. Brewer taught first grade through fourth grade in our one room classroom divided into two by folding doors. Mrs. Brewer was my only teacher through those years, but that’s not why she was my favorite. She taught me penmanship in the third grade. I got to use an old fashion ink pen that had to be dipped in a jar of ink. Mrs. Brewer taught my class how to write with our arm rather than our fingers. We filled our lined primary paper with a connected spring of the letter o and a connected row of lines similar to an uncrossed t. It was fun, and I learned from this grandmotherly teacher.
  • In seventh grade, *Miss Claus taught me how to diagram sentences, which meant I learned the parts of speech and how to use them. Miss Claus always smiled, even when she finished correcting a student.
  • High school introduced me to *Mrs. Paddington, my bookkeeping teacher. She taught me to stay away from bookkeeping as a career.

Each of these ladies and a parade of others, including those who faithfully taught me the word of God, added new dimensions to my life. I thank God for all of them. He used each to teach and prepare me to live for his glory.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,

do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Colossians 3:17, KJV

The Lord continues to be my greatest teacher in all of life, and he can be in yours.

“It is written in the prophets,

AND THEY SHALL BE ALL TAUGHT OF GOD.

Every man therefore that hath heard,

and hath learned of the Father,

cometh unto me …

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,

whom the Father will send in my name,

he shall teach you all things,

and bring all things to your remembrance,

whatsoever I have said unto you.”

John 6:45; 14:26, KJV

I enjoy learning, not for knowledge sake alone, but for growth as a person. The Lord still gives me those I’m learning from—*Lena, Ellen, Lily, Rhoda, and Richard—to name but a few. These are all at least ninety years old. Some would say they have lived their purpose, but no. Lena, Ellen and Lily live in the joy of the Lord as their strength. Rhoda hosts a bible study in her home, and has a heart for the lost. Richard faithfully waits on the Lord in his many trials and always has a smile.

All are living out God’s purpose:

  • teaching me God’s faithfulness in every age.
  • They are examples of how to live in any age with joy.
  • I want to be like them when I grow up.

To accomplish that, my desire is to continue growing in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, until the day he takes me home to be with him. To him be the glory.

“Teach me, O LORD,

the way of thy statutes;

and I shall keep it unto the end.”

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? If still living, today would be a good day to tell him/her.


*Names have been changed.

A Writer’s Heart: Precepts, Prompts, & Prayers

The Writer’s Heart: Precepts, Prompts, & Prayersbloglove-699480_960_720

“I will meditate in thy precepts,

and have respect unto thy ways.”

Psalm 119:15, KJV

What do we consider morally right? If we want to end with confusion, we can ask politicians—or any random persons on the street. The first question leads to a second. What gives us the right to set moral standards? There is only One who has the authority to set the rules for right and wrong. What does this have to do with writing well?

Our readers want to know our words, whether fiction or nonfiction, carry a weight of truth and will lead them in right ways—even to that “happily ever after” ending.

“The statutes of the LORD are right,

rejoicing the heart:

the commandment of the LORD is pure,

enlightening the eyes.”

Psalm 19:8, KJV

The scriptures show us good and evil. They, also, provide a great resource for purpose, themes, and story prompts. We would like to think people have become smarter and wiser as the ages rolled by. But when we look around our world, we can see we haven’t changed much from those of the Bible. In the Old Testament book of Judges we find—

“In those days there was no king in Israel:

every man did

that which was right in his own eyes.”

(21:25, KJV)

If we understand the context of biblical precepts, can answer the Lord’s purpose in giving them, and recording them to span the ages, then our readers can trust our source. They can find help whether we write fiction or nonfiction. Both will speak truth and lead our readers on a journey of discovery. As we write, we may discover treasures of growth for ourselves. In truth if we don’t grow from the writing process, is it fair to expect our readers to grow from what we write?

What’s the next step?

  • Pray for direction.
  • Start writing.
  • Don’t know what to write? Remember for what purpose and for whom you are writing.
  • Start writing.
  • Begin with a question to answer, a statement of fact, an emotional thought, a description, a scene. This may not remain your opening, but it will free your blocked mind to keep writing.

A Writing Exercise:

Choose one of the following scriptures as a writing prompt. Keep it in the biblical setting, change it to a contemporary setting, or whatever comes to mind. Just have some fun with it, and share it with us in the comments, if you so desire. The key is to—start writing.

  1. “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.” Luke 2:25, KJV
  2. “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;” Luke 2:36, KJV

A Prayer to help you on your way:

Heavenly Father, Open our eyes to see with awe the wonderful things you have done and want us to tell others. Give us understanding of your precepts, the life you have declared right and good. Guide our thoughts, inspire our writing, and help us write in truth of you, your majesty, your marvelous work. May our words always point to you in truth and love. May we trust you with the results as we give our best to the work you’ve given us. Thank you. And we ask all in Jesus’s name and for your glory, honor, and praise. Amen.

***

Using God’s word correctly will lead us and our readers to what is right and good—and to the “happily ever after” we all seek. What writing goal do you seek?

From Dust to Delight (2)

From Dust to Delight (2)

woman in gray crew neck shirt running on brown soil during daytime Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“I will run the way of thy commandments,

when thou shalt enlarge my heart.”

Psalm 119:32, KJV

In this same psalm, the writer’s soul lay in the dust and melted with heaviness. Depression withered his heart. But, now, his heart  is renewed to the point of running instead being face down in the dust. What has happened?

  • He prayed,
  • believed God heard his prayer,
  • and where he once ate dust, now he feasted on manna from heaven—the word of God.
  • He chose the truth of God rather than the lies of the world.

Where once, as my dad would say, “He was lower than a snakes belly,” now his heart blew up bigger than a hot air balloon with the joy of the Lord. His circumstances may not have changed, but his perspective did.

Before the word was written, the psalmist chose the way of the writer of Hebrews.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about

with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside every weight and sin

which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Hebrews 12:1, KJV

The call rang out across the field, “Get ready. Get set. Go!” My eyes did not leave the 50 yard goal line. My 8 year-old mind fixated on the silver dollar waiting for the winner. I didn’t look to the right or left—always ahead—with my skinny long legs pumping at the speed of light(an exaggeration noted). As I crossed the finish line, my lungs burned and my legs felt like a bowl of jelly. Neither mattered. I won the silver dollar. The prize was worth the pain.

My race was a sprint.

The one we run as followers of Christ is a marathon,

filled with obstacles along the way,

and challenges which perfect our race, making us stronger.

In my race, only one received the prize,

but in the Christian race

there is a prize for all who make Christ our goal—

He is the prize.

Let’s take the first step and lift our heads up from the dust and say with Paul and the writer of Hebrews—

“I press toward the mark for the prize

of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus …

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider him that endured

such contradiction of sinners against himself,

lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

Philippians 4:14; Hebrews 12:2, KJV

When the race seems to never end, your lungs begin to burn, and your spirit turns to jelly, remember the Lord enlarges your heart to receive—

Strength for the race: “Then he said unto them,

  • Go your way,
  • eat the fat,
  • and drink the sweet,
  • and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared;

for this day is holy unto our Lord:

  • neither be ye sorry;

for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10, KJV

The love of God as your motivation: The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:

therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Jeremiah 31:3, KJV

His promise of a prize: “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion

  • with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads:
  • they shall obtain joy and gladness,
  • and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10, KJV

When we run the way of Jesus, according to his word, in obedience to the Father, he inflates our hearts to receive all we need to run our race with joy—for he is our rejoicing. He raises us up from the dust into his delight.

One more promise:

“But my God

shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19, KJV

What will you rejoice in today? Write it down. Think on it. And delight in the Lord with rejoicing. If you will, share your rejoicing in the comments that others might rejoice with you.

From Dust to Delight

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“My soul cleaveth unto the dust:

quicken thou me according to thy word …

My soul melteth for heaviness:

strengthen thou me according unto thy word.”

Psalm 119: 25,28, KJV

Darkness envelopes the soul like a black cloud when depression covers the soul.  Medical reasons, loneliness, bad circumstances, loss of any kind, especially, loss of hope can lead to depression leading to despair and destruction. We don’t know what led to the psalmist’s depression found in our highlighted scripture. We do know he didn’t have the strength to pick himself up—but he did still retain hope, knew where the darkness would be lifted, and his soul renewed in life.

He prayed—

“quicken thou me according to thy word …

strengthen thou me according unto thy word.”

I am no mental health worker, doctor, licensed counselor, or pastor, but I understand some suffering, in this black hole, need help from professionals, and can be aided with medication. The Lord uses them as avenues of help and healing. The psalmist didn’t have these at his disposal. He found help and hope in the power of God’s word to lift him from the dust back to delight.

One reason for depression I omitted earlier, is spiritual sickness of sin. The psalmist’s depression appears to have come from sin, his or others, for he—

  • Declared his ways;
  • asked to be taught the Lord’s ways;
  • asked for lying to be removed from his way.

The remedy for the spiritual sickness of sin, leading to depression, is found in repentance and forgiveness.

According to his word …

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation

not to be repented of:

but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

2 Corinthians 7:10, KJV

Depression didn’t exist until sin entered the world. We are mistaken if we believe depression doesn’t happen to Christians. David, Job, and the apostle Paul suffered from this problem—

  • David through circumstances and his sin—
  • Job and Paul through painful circumstances of loss and/or sickness and persecution.

What brought them through?

  • David repented and remembered his redeemer.
  • Job kept hoping in his redeemer.
  • Paul, he knew his redeemer and kept his eyes fixed on things not seen.

“For our light affliction,

which is but for a moment,

worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen,

but at the things which are not seen:

for the things which are seen are temporal;

but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18, KJV

The same strength David, Job, and Paul had, we have available to us. It doesn’t mean we walk alone. The Lord has given us godly friends to pray for us and encourage us. Greater still, He has given us his Holy Spirit to abide in us, to comfort, and to strengthen us—according to his word

“I had fainted,

unless I had believed to see

the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Wait on the LORD:

be of good courage,

and he shall strengthen thine heart:

wait, I say, on the LORD …

The LORD will give strength unto his people;

the LORD will bless his people with peace.”

Psalm 27:13-14; 29:11, KJV

When we believe his word, the Lord quickens or gives life to our spirit through his Holy Spirit. His word is our hope, even when the journey through the darkness becomes long and the light remains a pinhole drawing us forward. One day the light will overcome the darkness—those born of God are overcomers.

“For whatsoever is born of God

overcometh the world:

and this is the victory that overcometh the world,

even our faith.

Who is he that overcometh the world,

but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

1John 5:4-5, KJV

When you’re laying in the dust, the void of life leaves your mind empty of the Lord’s words of life; when you can’t even pray, here is a prayer for you.

“Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake:

for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble …

Teach me to do thy will;

for thou art my God:

thy spirit is good;

lead me into the land of uprightness …  

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,

to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man …

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,

that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

***

Now unto him that is able to do

exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory … Amen.”

Psalm 143:11; 143:10; Ephesians 3:16,19-20.21a. KJV

One final word of encouragement, don’t travel this road alone. The Lord wants to bring you out of the dust and into his delight. In light of eternity, your trial is but for a moment. One day at a time the light will grow until it overcomes the darkness.

The Writer’s Heart: Friends, New & Old

The Writer’s Heart: FriendsIMG_4396

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:

and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24, KJV

Old friends aren’t necessarily old in age. They are those who have proven themselves through their stick-to-itiveness, honesty, encouragement, and their sharing of knowledge and wisdom. We may not see these old friends often, but we find ways of keeping in touch and sharing each other’s joys and sorrows. We continue to learn from each other.

Lately, I’ve been visiting some old friends of the writing world, Bodie and Brock Thoene, by rereading their work, specifically, the A. D. Chronicles. Other favorites from them  are the three connected series of The Zion Covenant, The Zion Chronicles, and the Zion Legacy. The historical setting of these three transport the reader into the period just before, during, and following World War II. Warning: If you start reading one, you won’t quit until you finish them all.

The Thoenes have never heard of me, but they became my old friends. Their writing introduced me to my favorite fictional genres—biblical and historical. They have taught me much simply by reading their work. I could say I aspire to write like them, but that would be wrong.

The Thoenes have their place in the writing world. They have stayed true to their style, to the historical information they share, the encouragement included in each book. They have successfully shared their knowledge, wisdom, and talent with a multitude of readers. Their example encourages me to strive to do the same. But I will never be them. I’ve learned from them what good writing is, and I do aspire to follow their example. I must remember my writing has a purpose defined by God, even as their writing does.

I don’t know what God’s plan for my writing includes. As I follow him, he will bring it to completion, and it will bring him glory. Hopefully, along the way I will make more new friends who turn into old friends.

My next read from the Thoenes is a nonfiction title, Writer to Writer. I didn’t know it existed. Being written in 1990, I expect it to be a little dated as far as technology, but not according to the actual craft of writing.

Before I close—my favorite old friend is still the Word of God. It is filled with instruction, examples, truth, writing prompts, and themes galore. It also includes the best teacher sent to us by our best friend.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,

whom the Father will send in my name,

he shall teach you all things,

and bring all things to your remembrance,

whatsoever I have said unto you.”

John 14:26, KJV

God, the greatest author of the number one best seller for hundreds of years, continues to be my greatest inspiration. He sticks with me, guides me, and encourages me in this journey. He has called me his friend.

“but I have called you friends:

for all things that I have heard of my Father

I have known unto you.”

John 15:15b

He makes known to me what I need to know through his word, his example, the Holy Spirit, and others who have made this journey. I’m thankful for the old friends God has put in my path and the new ones who are teaching and encouraging me now. I do hope I can do the same for others.


Who has influenced your writing journey?

God’s Bounty (2)

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“Deal bountifully with thy servant,

that I may live, and keep thy word.”

Psalm 119:17,KJV

How do you wake up each day—with a song? a sigh? What is your morning routine—a pillow over your head and ask for just 15 more minutes? ready to hop out of bed and greet the sunshine?

How might our lives change if we started our day with a praise, a prayer, and thanksgiving—with our focus on things above rather than things on the earth?

Sometime through the day, David, the shepherd king of Israel, gave us a psalm to offer to the Lord, anytime. He wrote,

“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:”

103:1-2, KJV

This psalm extols the bounty of the Lord toward us—

  • forgiveness,
  • healing,
  • redemption,
  • lovingkindness,
  • tender mercies,
  • good things,
  • and renewed strength.

These are found in just the first few verses. Next David rehearses what the Lord does and what he is—

  • does righteous judgement,
  • makes his ways known to us,
  • is merciful,
  • gracious,
  • slow to anger,
  • he remembers we are but human.

David’s response:

“Bless the LORD,

all his works in all places of his dominion:

bless the LORD, O my soul.”

103:22, KJV

The Psalms don’t stop there. In Psalm 104, the psalmist exalts the God of creation, the One who brought life and light out of chaos and darkness.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, O LORD my God,

thou art very great;

thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment:

who streachest out the heavens like a curtain:”

(1-2)

After rehearsing the bounty found in God’s creation work, his power, wisdom, and provision, this author can do only one thing. He says—

“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live:

I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

My meditation of him shall be sweet:

I will be glad in the LORD.” (33-34)

In these Psalms we discover our bountiful God, who he is and the bounty he has shown us. We gain understanding of why we should bless the Lord, bring him pleasure. It is what he created us for and he is worthy.

Our Response:

  • “O give thanks unto the LORD;
  • call upon his name:
  • make known his deeds among the people.
  • Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him:
  • talk ye of all his wondrous works.
  • Glory ye in his holy name:
  • let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
  • Seek the LORD, and his strength;
  • seek his face evermore.” (105:1-4, KJV)

When we make time in our day, whether morning, noon, or night, to spend time praising our God for the abundant bountiful life he deals to his servants,

  • we find our day is filled with worship.
  • Blessing the Lord, bringing him pleasure, becomes a way of life
  • and ends our days in thanksgiving.
  • We would see our days filled with hope—not despair; joy—not depression; peace—not chaos; love—not hate; faith—not fear.

“Praise ye the LORD,

O give thanks unto the LORD;

for he is good:

for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Psalm 106:1, KJV

What is your response to the Lord’s bounty in your life? Share one way you will bring blessing to him. It’s a good start to seeing your day blessed of the Lord.

 

Praying For God’s Bounty

Praying for God’s Bounty

GIMEL

Deal bountifully with thy servant,

that I may live, and keep thy word.

Open thou mine eyes,

that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”

Psalm 119:17, 18, KJV

*GIMEL=Reward, especially in regards to faith.

How did you begin 2023? Was it with a list of resolutions? A renewed hope? A prayer for the Lord’s bounty?

The Psalmist of 119 sought the Lord’s bounty in his life. I wonder what he considered to be bounty? The popular belief includes a bevy of material and physical blessings. These prayers aren’t wrong in themselves, if our motives are right before the Lord. But if our prayers begin and end with the material and physical requests that we may receive, we will find we have missed the most bountiful reward wrapped in faith.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him:

for he that cometh to God must believe that he is ,

and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Hebrews 11:6, KJV

When we seek God, we do so out of faith believing he will be found. He is our reward— more bountiful than all the material and physical treasures of this earth.

  • Abraham knew this exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1).
  • Moses knew the value of this reward and chose to suffer rather than stay in Pharoah’s court (Hebrews 11:26).
  • The persecuted look for their great reward in heaven and rejoice (Matthew 5: 11-12).
  • When we seek our heavenly Father in prayer and in his word, we are promised he will be found. He will meet us there (Jeremiah 29:13 & Hebrews 4:16).

that I may live …

I have a notion the Psalmist wanted more than earthly treasures for his reward. I can’t prove it, but I believe he wanted to know God more, for in him is life. I think Paul may have recorded what the Psalmist’s desire included.

  • “be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding:
  • That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
  • being fruitful in every good work,
  • and increasing in the knowledge of God:
  • Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
  • Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:” Colossians 1: 9b-12, KJV

And the Psalmist knew the Lord would be found in the keeping of his word. We can ask to know God’s will, his wisdom, and spiritual understanding. We will find all these in knowing God—who is made known in his word. Through knowing God, we will—

  • Find wisdom and spiritual understanding.
  • Learn to walk worthy of the Lord and
  • Learn how to please him.
  • Never quit growing in the knowledge of God.

We can pray the Psalmist’s condensed version of Paul’s Colossian prayer and be confident in the answer.

“Open thou mine eyes,

that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”

Our heavenly Father will deal with us from his bounty, and will open our eyes for us to see wonderous things out of his word and bring them into our hearts. We will live the abundant life of Christ. Christ in us, is God the Son, our reward for now and forever.

Now in our prayer it’s time to give—

“thanks unto the Father,

which has made us meet to be

partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:”

Won’t you join me in making these scriptures your prayer for today and the days the Lord gives us in 2023? Then we keep our eyes open and rejoice with thanksgiving in the bountifulness of the Father.


*Referenced from the online Blue Letter Bible.

The Writer’s Heart: Writing

A Writer’s Heart: Writing

white ceramic mug on white paper
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

“Now therefore go,

and I will be with thy mouth,

and teach thee what thou shalt say …

and will teach you what ye shall do.”

Exodus 4:12, 15c, KJV

Moses made all kinds of excuses why he shouldn’t be the one to go and speak for the Lord to Pharoah.

  • The people wouldn’t believe the Lord called him.
  • They wouldn’t listen to him.
  • He couldn’t talk well.

Most authors can identify with Moses. When beginning the writer’s journey, we write because we enjoy writing. There is something inside moving us to tell our story through the written word. Our own beliefs and fears can hinder us from seeking to enter our written words into the world.

  • Our acquaintances won’t believe our writing is a calling or real ministry of the Lord.
  • What do we have to say others haven’t said?
  • Our circle of influence is small.
  • Who will listen, anyway?
  • There are others who write so much better.
  • Why bother?

When our fears meet truth, we are enabled to overcome the fears and do what the Lord is teaching us to do. Has the Lord called you to write for more than personal enjoyment and growth? He did me in an unusual way and with a particular mission.

I didn’t know the mission when I first started writing to share with others. As an adult, I’ve had a heart for missions and God honored the desire, not by sending me to a foreign field, but through ministering to youth in bible studies and mission trips to Native American reservations, and encouraging others on the foreign fields. During those years, the Lord opened opportunities for me to hold workshops in a couple women’s conferences and speak locally. Then about seven years ago, I began blogging. Here is where the Lord gave me a growing platform to fulfill the desire to take his word around the world—and I didn’t have to leave home, family, or comforts. I only had to wait on the Lord to see that desire come to fruition.

Has the Lord called you to write?

Then write. He will be with you as He was with Moses and me.

Would others respond to my written word? Yes, and others will respond to yours.

  • The Lord will prosper the word he sends out from us.
  • We can’t allow rejection to dictate our obedience or desire.
  • We can rest in where the Lord will send his message.
  • We may not know where it lands but know the work will not be in vain.

Authors wonder how our work can be accepted when we read other authors (our favorites) who write better than we do. Instead of hindering our progress,

  • allow them to encourage us, teach us.
  • Keep listening and learning in the way we should go.
  • Take advantage of the many conferences offered. Find the ones that speak to your needs and fears.
  • Make connections with other authors and writing groups.
  • Keep writing.

The Lord hasn’t called us to write other author’s stories but to write our own. Our own is unique to us, evolved from our time, study, and experience with the Lord, and written from our perspective. What if Matthew, Luke, and John had looked at Mark’s gospel and determined there was no need for their gospel? We all would have missed out on the full story.

Moses grew as he followed the teaching of the Lord’s purpose for him. As the Lord has given each of us a ministry, let’s trust him to give us all we need to bring him glory in the work we do in his name. He has called us to be his witnesses and writing is one of the tools we’ve been given.

As we share the life Jesus desires for all to have, not all will receive or even like the words we write. For those who do, we have this teaching from the Lord.

“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil,

this is the man who hears the word and understands it;

who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth,

some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Matthew 23:13, NASB

Ours is to do what we’ve been called to do and rest in knowing God will bring the increase—in his time.

What’s the greatest obstacle you face in writing? Mine is marketing. But the Lord is with us in that, too. We need only ask. Now, therefore go, write. The Lord will teach you.

Water That Cleanses

The Cleansing WaterIMG_0074

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way …”

Sometimes a water hose will suffice, and sometimes the young man or woman needs both water, soap, and a good scrubbing.

David needed all of the above. The king paced the marble floor of the castle. He paused and turned his head towards the arched window.

No. That’s where my trouble began. Nathan waits to speak with me.

David splashed some water over his troubled face, took a deep breath, and made his way to his throne. The king’s guards ushered the prophet in. Nathan bowed before his king, stood, and began his story of a rich man with many lambs and a poor man with only one lamb.*

When David heard that the rich man had taken the poor man’s only lamb and made dinner, fury burned on his face. He pounded his fist on the arm of his throne. The king stood and cried in a loud voice, “As sure as the LORD lives, that man will die, but first he will replace what he took with four of his own lambs.”

Nathan waited until the king finished his rant. With tears pooling in his eyes, he spoke. “Thou art the man …”

A bucket of the water of God’s word poured over David’s soul—the cleansing of his way from adultery and murder had begun. For David took heed thereto according to thy word, and

The king prayed—

“Have mercy upon me, O God,

according to thy lovingkindness:

according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin …

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Psalm 51:1-2, KJV

The word began its cleansing work in David. He practiced what he wrote in Psalm 119:10 and 11.

“With my whole heart have I sought thee …

Then to keep his way undefiled he prays—

… O let me not wander from thy commandments …

David further explains how to guard our way to keep us from wandering from the Lord.

…Thy word have I hid in mine heart

that I might not sin against thee.”

  • To be cleansed we seek the Lord.
  • To keep our way cleansed, we bath our heart in his word.
  • When we seek the Lord, he will be found in his word.
  • He isn’t far from us.
  • When we water the seed—his word hidden in our heart—fruits of forgiveness, purity, and faith sprout for all to see.
  • The word’s fruit will not die for it’s good seed.
  • What’s of the flesh has died, destroying sin’s power and has been washed in the cleansing power of the blood.

We not only have the written word to keep us clean before the Lord, we, his church, have the living Word.

“That he might sanctify and cleanse it

with the washing of water by the word,

That he might present it to himself a glorious church,

not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing;

but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

Ephesians 5:26-27, KJV

Jesus is the Word, the seed of life planted in our hearts. If you’re hungry feed on him. If you’re thirsty drink from him. You will always have food and water to strengthen and cleanse you in your way.

“And Jesus said unto them,

I am the bread of life:

he that cometh to me shall never hunger;

and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

John 6:35

What’s your heart in need of today—a rinse? a shower? a scrubbing? Daily drinking from the Word radically reduces the need for a scrubbing.


*The account is found in 2 Samuel 12.