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Victory in the Two

Victory in the Two:bloglove-699480_960_720

Being true to his character, Jesus gave the scribe more than he asked for when he asked Jesus,

“What is the first commandment of all?”

The Lord gave him two—two which would lead the scribe, and any who live by them, to a victorious life.

“The first of all commandments is,

“HEAR O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORED” AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND, AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH: this is the first commandment.

“And the second is like, namely this,

“THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. 

There is none other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:29-31, KJV

Following these two commandments, as stated in my previous post, would change our world. It happens one by one. Personally, it means each of us can have victory over this world. We, who are born of God by faith, are strengthened to live free from sin’s power and choose righteousness over unrighteousness, choose love over hate.

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ

is born of God:

and every one that loveth him that begat

loveth him also that is begotten of him.

By this we know that we love the children of God,

when we love God,

and keep his commandments.

For this is the love of God,

that we keep his commandments:

and his commandments are not grievous.

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?”

1 John 5:1-5

If we want world peace, we need to fill our personal world with love for God that overflows our hearts into love for others.

How will you show God’s love to others today?


My hope and prayer is that our heavenly Father has used these last couple weeks’ posts to instill, renew, and grow our love for him and one another. If ever in doubt of God’s love for you—look at the cross of Jesus and you will know.

And the Second Is

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We don’t need to look long or far to know this world falls short of the Lord God’s original creation. School shootings, skyrocketing crime rates, wars, broken families, suicide—all that’s wrong strangles hope with a rope of fear and anxiety. Two simple commandments, if followed, would change the downward spiral of the world into all God created it to be.

“HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND, AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this,

THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.

There is none other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:29,30, KJV

We discussed, in previous posts, the need to love God before tackling the second commandment. But I believe you will agree when we plant these two commandments in our hearts and minds, a new world results. For—

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour:

therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Romans 13:10,KJV

Loving another doesn’t allow for—

  • giving yourself to one who is not your spouse,
  • murder,
  • stealing,
  • lying,
  • or longing for anything with such passion as to gain it at the expense of another—

and this is a brief list of what obeying the second commandment would eliminate from this world. We are warned—

“If ye bite and devour one another,

take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”

Galatians 5:14, KJV

When we act like animals toward one another, we all lose. We’ve come to this point because we love others like we love ourselves, which is not love at all.

We place our worth in our—

  • success as seen by others,
  • accumulation of riches,
  • power,
  • fame,
  • education,
  • and the world’s accolades—

instead of in the worth God gives us through the love he shows in sacrificing his Son.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,

that we should be called the sons of God:

therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

1 John 3:1, KJV

Realizing the depth of our heavenly Father’s love gives reason to love ourselves with all our flaws—for God does. Knowing his love, empowers us to transfer his love to ourselves and enables us to love others as God loves us. As Jesus came to show the practical love of the Father, choosing not to please himself but his Father and serve life to those who believe in him, we now can love others in the same way. We are admonished to—

“Let every one of us please his neighbour

for his good to edification.”

Romans 15:2, KJV

My paraphrase: Let us do that which serves the good of our neighbor.

Yes, obeying these two commandments would change the world. Let’s start with our little corner, and see whose world the Lord will change through our loving others as he has loved us.

The Writer’s Heart: Time

The Writer’s Heart: Time

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We have heard it said, the older we get the faster time slips by. Truth is, time is time and moves at the constant pace God ordained it to travel. I’ve concluded, if time hasn’t sped up, then I must be moving slower and find it harder to keep up. Whichever the case, our time on this earth is brief—even if we live to be as old as Methuselah who lived nine hundred sixty-nine years. In light of eternity that is fleeting.

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:

because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it:

surely the people is grass.”

Isaiah 40:7,KJV

The short definition of time found in my Open Study Bible is, “the period between two eternities.” One person pointed out time is the dash on a tombstone—the period between birth and death we call life.

In light of the brevity of life we are instructed to live—

“Redeeming the time,

because the days are evil.

Wherefore be not unwise,

but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

Ephesians 5:16,17, KJV

One major complaint among writers and authors is, “I don’t have time.” No matter when we carve out a plan in our busy schedules to write, the result is the same—interruptions, loss of focus, too much waiting to be done, and feel free to add your own reasons.

We actually believe a lie when we feed our minds those thoughts. There are twenty-four hours in a day, and we choose how we want to spend it, even when the unexpected happens. Yesterday evening I spent close to two hours watching a show that wasn’t profitable. I could have been writing. How do we overcome wasting precious time?

  • Learn discipline—I’m preaching to myself here.
  • Set our priorities(What can we say, “no” to in order to say, “yes” to writing.)
  • Decide how we handle and lessen interruptions based on our priorities.
  • Recognize when to lay down writing and when to pick it up.
  • Learn to make time a friend and not an enemy.
  • Seize the opportunities before you.

Add your own helps to my short list and share them with us. Solomon, in Ecclesiastes, says,

“To every thing there is a season,

and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted …”

Adding to his list of times, there is a time to write and a time lay it down—but don’t lay it down too long—when time is gone, it’s gone. What is your  biggest hindrance to actual writing?


This week writing takes a back seat to our Day Camp for children. Please, be understanding if I don’t answer your comments or visit your blogs in a timely manner. Thank you.

First Commandment: All Strength

First Commandment: All Strength

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In our last post, we saw Paul embrace the first commandment.

“HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND,

AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH:

this is the first commandment.”

Mark 12:29,30, KJV

Our heavenly Father’s hands pour out his goodness and love upon us all. None are exempt, but many do not recognize the abundance of the Lord’s grace. These take, receive, and use all God provides for personal gain, pleasure, and comfort in this life alone. This is not the way of the Lord for the followers of Christ.

Jesus explained it in a parable. He begins the story with—

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man

traveling into a far country,

who called his own servants,

and delivered unto them his goods.”

Matthew 25:14, KJV

Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven into this far country to show us the way and be the way to his heavenly kingdom. It belongs to his servants whom he left as stewards. Paul calls us ambassadors. When the Lord returned to the heavenly Father, he didn’t leave us without help, without strength to do the works of his kingdom. He delivered his goods to us—the first being his indwelling Holy Spirit to be our strength.

When Jesus commands us to love God with all our strength, he is providing the strength, the ability, the power, the force required to be a good ambassador/servant and do the work at hand.

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God:

If any man minister,

let him do it as of the ability which God giveth:

that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ,

to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:11

In the parable of the talents, the man gave each servant according to the ability he had to care for the man’s goods. Our heavenly Father gives us each different strengths and abilities to complete the body of Christ and do the work of his kingdom. He is the power filling us to be faithful to our calling. The Lord wants us to know—

  • “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,
  • according to the working of his mighty power,
  • Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
  • and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
  • Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
  • And hath put all things under his feet,
  • and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
  • Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23, KJV

The power that raised Christ from the dead is the power filling us, the body of Christ. He is our strength.

“Strengthened with all might,

according to his glorious power,

unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”

Colossians 1:11, KJV

Jesus Christ has made us sharers in all his goods. He expects us to do as the faithful stewards in his parable did—invest it all in the kingdom of heaven, producing fruit to the Father’s glory. He is not pleased when we bury our salvation among the world’s pleasures or cares.

The Lord’s first commandment doesn’t give room for us to withhold of the goodness He has given us.

He desires us to love him

  • with all our heart,
  • all our soul,
  • all our mind,
  • and all our strength.

After all, He is the one who cleansed our heart, gave us new life, filled our mind with his wisdom and understanding, and empowered us with his great power.

May this be the prayer we pray for one another as we learn to fulfill the first commandment.

“Wherefore also we pray always for you,

that our God would count you worthy of this calling,

and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness,

and the work of faith with power:

That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

may be glorified in you, and ye in him

According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 1:11,12, KJV

Fulfilling this first commandment is the secret to fulfilling the second—which is for another time.

What is the Lord asking of you? What holds you back?

The First Commandment: Strength

The First Commandment: Strength

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“HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND,

AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH:

(from Mark 12:29,30)KJV

He ripped apart a lion with his bare hands, killed thirty men, and killed another thousand with the jaw bone of a donkey. He possessed strength of body but weakness in heart, soul, and mind, which resulted in the loss of his physical power. In his death, by God’s grace, Samson’s physical strength was renewed, and he brought the house down on his enemies, killing more in his death than in his life.

Over a thousand years later, another man stood unimpressive in physical strength and suffered much in the weakness of his body. But what he had, the apostle Paul offered to the Lord, along with all his heart, soul, and mind.

“And he trembling and astonished said,

Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

And the Lord said unto him,

Arise, and go into the city,

and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

Acts 9:6, KJV

The Lord chose Paul to bear his name to the nations, kings, and the children of Israel. He would suffer much in this mission.

Paul labored through the whippings, the prison stays, near death experiences, and adverse elements of nature. He endured beatings, dangers by thieves, Israelites, and false brothers. He knew weariness of body, mind, and soul; pain, hunger, thirst, and want. He bore the responsibility of the churches he had planted. And he says,

“Who is weak, and I am not weak? 

Who is offended, and I burn not?

If I must needs glory,

I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.”

2 Corinthians 11:29,30, KJV

When Paul asked the Lord to remove the thorn or weakness he suffered from, the Lord answered him,

“My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect in weakness …

Paul’s response—

“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches,

in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10, KJV

Paul knew the Lord’s strength, his power, would enable him to be God’s chosen vessel of the gospel. What strength he had, Paul traded for the power of the Lord. He could say,

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Philippians 4:13, KJV

When facing his death Paul told Timothy—

“For I am now ready to be offered,

and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight,

I have finished my course,

I have kept the faith:

Henceforth

there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,

which the Lord the righteous judge,

shall give me at that day:

and not to me only,

but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

2 Timothy 4:6-8, KJV

Two men:

  • Samson the weakest strong man, whose life and death leave us with questions.
  • Paul the strongest weak man, whose life and death leave those who love the appearing of Christ with living hope.

Ours is to offer the Lord all the physical strength we have, be it little or much, and he will multiply it by his strength for his glory.


When has God’s strength been evident in your life?

The Writer’s Heart: The Work

The Writer’s Heart: The Work

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*Being men of action, waiting worked against their nature. Words, memories, pictures of the cross, and an empty tomb tumbled in their minds like falling leaves tossed by the wind. Visions of their risen Lord floated before their eyes. Peter could stand the waiting no longer.
“I’m going fishing,” he said and headed for his boat.

“Wait for us.” Thomas waved a come on to the others. “We’ll go with you.”

The fishermen’s strength and know how failed them through the night, but at the word of the Lord, their results changed. Not only did they catch one hundred fifty-three fish, Peter caught a renewed work for his life.

The night of denial flashed through Peter’s mind, as the Lord questioned Peter for the third time.

“Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?”

Each time, Peter confirmed his love for the Lord, and the Lord assigned him a ministry. He told Peter, “Feed my sheep.”

Like Peter, we followers of the Lord are given the same task. Someone fed us and now it’s our turn to feed others. For us, who are writers, it’s through the written word. And as one presenter at the Kentucky Christian Writer’s  Conference put it, writers need to be good speakers. Lori Hatcher married the topic of speaking and writing to my life verse.

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:

and be ready always to give an answer

to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope

that is in you with meekness and fear:”

1 Peter 3:15, KJV

Given a work of ministry through writing and speaking, an author needs to be ready to write the message stamped on his/her heart.

Maybe like Peter, someone struggles with a conceived failure because of a misspoken word, a rejection letter, or an unplanned detour due to circumstances beyond his control.

Like Peter,

  • let the Lord reawaken your love for him,
  • step away from the past,
  • and move forward with renewed strength of commitment to your place in the work of ministry—and it does take a passionate, pointed, persistent commitment.

The Lord told Peter his road would be hard, taking him to a place he wouldn’t want to go. We have been told the servant is not greater than the master but we have this promise—

“These things I have spoken unto you,

that in me ye might have peace.

In the world ye shall have tribulation:

but be of good cheer;

I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33, KJV

The road of ministry is not paved only with potholes. There are victories to rejoice in. If we visit Peter about forty days after this encounter with the Lord, we find him filled with the power of the Holy Spirit preaching the gospel. Three thousand souls received the Lord. Now, that is reason for rejoicing—but so is the one who reads our words and is encouraged in the Lord.

Another word from the Lord for Peter reminds us not to look at the journey of another author and wonder why our journey is so different. He says to Peter, who was concerned about John,

“If I will that he tarry till I come,

what is that to thee?

Follow thou me.”

Our journey doesn’t include following another author’s style, success, or struggles. Ours is to follow the path the Lord has laid out for us, planting and watering lives with seeds of the gospel and praising the Lord for giving the increase—and he will give increase to his word.

Now, it’s time to put down the fishing pole and pick up the pen—there is a story to be told.

Have you experienced a hiccup in your writing journey? How did you overcome it? I have and maybe I’ll share it one day.


*Adapted from John 21.

The First Commandment: A New Mind

The First Commandment: A New Mind

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“HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

AND WITH ALL THY MIND …

(from Mark 12:29,30)KJV

Tears of joy flowed down the face of the humbled man. He wiped the moisture with the sleeve of his cloak, hugged Paul, his father in the Lord, and planted a kiss on his cheeks. “I am free, Master Paul. I am free.”

The apostle Paul placed his hands on Onesimus’ shoulders and looked up into his eyes. “You have only one Master now.”

The bible tells us little about Onesimus and his earthly master, Philemon, but what the apostle Paul writes of them speaks volumes about the change Christ makes in the heart, soul, and mind of those who receive him. Like Onesimus we are all born slaves to sin. It’s in our DNA to serve self. Our minds have been deceived to believe life is what we make it. We need a new mind—the mind of Christ.

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

1Corinthians 2:16, KJV

Being born anew we have Christ living in us.

“I am crucified with Christ;

nevertheless I live;

yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20, KJV

Our challenge comes in learning how to rely on the mind of Christ we’ve been given instead of the mind we have been accustomed to following. It takes diligence to replace the dead matter of our minds with the living matter of Christ’s mind—his thoughts, his wisdom, his understanding. It is a daily process of change—

“And be not conformed to this world:

but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2, KJV

Renewing our minds, reprogramming the mind to reflect the mind of Christ in us happens over time as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. Since this change of mind is God’s desire for us, all we need to do is ask—

“that ye might 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:”

Colossians 1:9b,10, KJV

We are told in James’ letter if we need godly wisdom to ask God for it, and he gives it to us. In this world, we need spiritual weapons, godly wisdom, to stand against the vain philosophies seeking to fill our minds with humanly manufactured thoughts opposing to God. Filling our minds with the knowledge of our heavenly Father helps us in—

“Casting down imaginations,

and every high thing that exalteth itself

against the knowledge of God,

and bringing into captivity every thought

to the obedience of Christ;”

2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV

Obedience to the word of God reflects the mind of Christ in our lives. He is our example of a mind set on things above. We are told—

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus …

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross …

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

For it is God which worketh in you

both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

Philippians 2: 5,8, 12,13, KJV

Submitting our thoughts and understanding into God’s hands requires a trust in God. He knows what is best in every circumstance, he desires our good, and performs both in us. We are told to—

“be renewed in the spirit of  your mind;

And that ye put on the new man,

which after God

is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Ephesians 4:23, KJV

In receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive his Spirit in us who gives us a new heart, soul, and mind of righteousness and true holiness. We are a new person, our heart loving as the Lord loves, our soul reborn in his image, and our mind renewed in truth. We are not the person we use to be. We—

“have put on the new man,

which is renewed in knowledge

after the image of him that created him:”

Colossians 3:10, KJV

Onesimus proved the change of his heart, and soul as he labored for Paul, a prisoner of Rome. No longer an unprofitable runaway slave, but a free man in Christ, the time had come for Onesimus to leave Paul and make things right with his earthly master. His return showed the new mind born in him with the new heart, and soul.

Onesimus’ standing in the world remained the same. But the truth in his mind freed him to be who the Lord made him to be. He served freely. He had a new way of thinking. He knew the truth:

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” Proverbs 3:13.

Onesimus found his happiness in the Lord. The Lord invites us to do the same.

“taste and see that the LORD is good:

blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Psalm 34:8, KJV

The new mind

  • is humble as Christ was humble,
  • is growing in the knowledge and wisdom of God,
  • gains spiritual understanding,
  • trusts God,
  • is obedient to the Father,
  • and is blessed.

May you be blessed by the new mind that is ours in Christ Jesus.

The First Commandment: All Your Mind

The First Commandment: All Your Mind

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HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND …

(from Mark 12:29,30)KJV

“How dare he!” Haman stomped around his house declaring his disdain for the one man who wouldn’t bow. One man, among the thousands, devoured Haman’s glory. “He will pay.” Haman slammed his fist against the wooden table. An evil glint shone in his eyes revealing the wicked plot in his mind. “Not only will Mordecai pay—but all his people must pay.”

If you don’t know the rest of the story of Haman and Mordecai, check out the ending in the book of Esther found in the Old Testament. I could tell you the end, but what fun would that be?

The point of including this tidbit is to introduce the evil lurking in the unregenerate mind—the mind that chooses to reject truth.

In the beginning Adam discovered the repercussions of trusting his mind over the mind of God, when he chose to defy the Lord’s command and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All he had ever known was good, until he chose to taste evil. One thought ruled by one desire brought death to all. How dangerous is the mind ruled by self and its insatiable appetite.

As generations passed, the hunger to satisfy the immoral character of the flesh grew into an infectious malignancy that grieved God’s heart.

“And the LORD said,

I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth;

both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air,

for it repenteth me that I have made them …

And God looked upon the earth, and behold,

it was corrupt;

for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”

Genesis 6: 7, KJV

All but Noah and his family, who found grace in the Lord’s sight. Through Noah, the Lord would fulfill his word to Adam. One would come. He would crush the evil one who ruled in the minds of those—

  • who sought a way other than God’s way,
  • who created their own truth,
  • and brought about their own death.

His creation had chosen a different way, the way of self.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 14:12, KJV

In his love, the Lord gave his people the Law to show them the way to have a relationship with him and live in peace with others. The Law revealed the truth of who God is and showed people the way to life—a good life in the here and now and life with the Lord forever. The Law was good.

“Wherefore the law is holy,

and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

Romans 7:12, KJV

One problem still remained. People, apart from God, are not holy, just, or good. There is nothing wrong with the Law. The wrong lies in our thinking, our understanding, our knowledge of God.

Hence, God himself, in the person of Jesus Christ came—

  • to be our way to the Father,
  • show us the truth of the Father,
  • and fill us with the life of the Father.

“Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”

John 14:6

To love the Lord our God with all our mind—we need a new mind—a new understanding, a new way of thinking. More on this the next time we meet.

Haman had his life figured out in his own way of thinking. Little did he know of his future. The Lord has his own thoughts for his people and a plan for those who continue to let their own minds guide them.

For His Own:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD,

thoughts of peace, and not of evil,

to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11, KJV

For the World:

“But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall be also the coming of the Son of man be.

For as in the days that were before the flood

they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,

until the day that Noe entered into the ark …

Whereby the world that then was,

being overflowed with water, perished:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now,

by the same word are kept in store reserved unto fire

against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men …

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;

but is longsuffering to us-ward,

not willing that any should perish,

but that all should come to  repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night …”

(Matthew 24: 37,38; 2 Peter 3:6-7, 9, 10a, KJV)

Of which mind are you?

The Writer’s Heart: Guidance

The Writer’s Heart: GuidanceIMG_3652[1]

Teens and adults packed luggage and bodies into the two mini-vans before we headed to northern Minnesota—Puposky to be exact. We met a sweet elderly lady, painted her house pink with white trim, held a children’s bible school, fought mosquitoes as big and numerous as a flock of birds(I may be exaggerating but not much). We witnessed God’s presence among us and his guidance as we made our way through some big cities.

My husband and I now seek guidance in our spiritual journey. For nearly twenty-five years we have done these mission trips. The Lord is leading us to step down—age has a way of creeping up on a person. This doesn’t mean God is through using us for his glory, only that he has a new direction and adventure waiting for us. He promises to guide us through every stage.

“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.”

Isaiah 58:11, KJV

The Lord directed my path in writing many years ago. In recent years, he renewed my direction, through teen short stories, devotions, blogging, and now, a novel. Fiction and non-fiction WIP receive attention as the opportunity arises. It is hard at times to be certain which work needs immediate attention, scrapped, or put on a wait list. The temptation to lean on our own understanding clouds the Lord’s path. Ours is to,

“Commit thy way unto the LORD;

trust also in him;

and he shall bring it to pass.”

Psalm 37:5, KJV

When we don’t know which way to turn, it’s time to turn to the Lord. Ask him for help.

“The meek will he guide in judgment:

and the meek will he teach his way.”

Psalm 25:9, KJV

God will answer through—

  • his Holy Spirit’s moving in our spirit,
  • a book like Andrew T. Le Peau’s, “Write Better.”
  • Or through attending a writer’s conference, such as, the Kentucky Christian Writer’s Conference, taking place this week. There is still time to register for the virtual conference at an affordable price. It’s one I recommend.
  • A reader,
  • or a personal need may spark the direction our writing is to go.
  • Our Christian writer’s group proves to be a great source of help.
  • What is exciting is the unexpected leading that comes from somewhere we didn’t dream of.

A final thought—If the Lord has led you to write, he will give you the story, the words, and the direction your book is to go. The direction leads us always to the glory of God. Ours is simply to keep writing, learning, and pushing forward knowing,

“they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings as eagles;

they shall run, and not be weary;

and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31, KJV

We are not alone on this writing journey. As we give our heart, work, and time to the Lord, he tells us—

“Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel;

I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit,

which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”

Isaiah 48:17, KJV


Where are you on this journey to publication? What’s your next step?

The First Commandment: The Soul(2)

The First Commandment: The Soul’s Redemption

lamb of God
picture courtesy of Pintrest

The apostle Peter would hear none of it. Minutes earlier, he confessed Jesus to be the Christ, the anointed one to save Israel from all her enemies. And now, Jesus told him and the others he would be rejected and killed. The one could not happen if the second came to pass. Peter, so much as told Jesus he was wrong. It wouldn’t and couldn’t happen. In not listening, Peter missed Jesus’ words about rising again in three days.

Jesus knew Peter looked and listened through a worldly perspective. After rebuking Peter, Jesus explained the cost and the effect of keeping a godly perspective on the value of a soul. Jesus had taught the disciples earlier that life is more than what we eat or wear. He reiterated the teaching with an explanation and a question for them to answer and us to consider.

“Whosoever will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it;

but whosoever shall lose his life

for my sake and the gospel’s

the same shall save it.

For what shall it profit a man,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Mark 8:34-38, KJV

The soul houses the heart, mind, and strength of our new spiritual life. It reflects who we are and whose we are, through the lives we live.

The soul is our immortal inner being that lives forever in eternal death or eternal life, depending on whom we surrender it to in love.

Jesus quoted God-given words of Moses to a questioning lawyer.

He began like this—“HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART …

AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

(from Mark 12:29,30)KJV

In the beginning, Adam and Eve possessed access to eternal life, through the tree of life. Satan deceived Eve into believing she didn’t need God’s way to life, because if she ate of the forbidden tree, she would be like God. God is the source of life. Adam chose to exchange his eternal promise of life for eternal death. Death entered his soul.

In life there is a battle fought between God and Satan for our soul. God seeks our soul out of love and the desire to give us back eternal life. Satan seeks our soul out of hatred for God and the desire to devour our soul in eternal death.

“Be sober, be vigilant:

because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,

walketh about, seeking whom he may devour …

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

(1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10-11, KJV)

Our soul means nothing to the devil but a tool to hurt the God who loves us. His eternal destiny is sealed. Keeping us from returning to God, and destroying our soul in the here and now, is his only source of pleasure.

The worth of our soul, our life, is found in giving God possession of our soul as he meant it in the beginning. God showed us our soul’s worth in sacrificing his Son, his only Son, that we might have life.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood,

the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace …

For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God

in your body,

and in your spirit,

which are God’s …

The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants:

and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

(Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Psalm 34:22, KJV)

Our soul’s redemption cost Jesus his blood.

  • He took up his cross and demands us to do the same.
  • He surrendered his soul into the Father’s keeping—and was raised from the dead.
  • Jesus set the standard—exercising love for the Father through surrendering all his soul to him and
  • Turning away from the body’s natural lust for self control.

This is an all or nothing opportunity. Our salvation is immediate when by faith we receive him as our Redeemer. But it takes a lifetime to learn to live giving God the love of all our heart and all our soul. Thankfully, he is patient with us and will complete the work he has begun in us. In this,

“I will praise thee … O Holy One of Israel.

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee;

and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long …”

Psalm 71:22-24, KJV

Heavenly, Father, may all who read, release our soul into your hands. May we give you full possession of our soul and learn to live out 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

“What? Know ye not that your body

is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,

which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God

in your body, and in your spirit,

which are God’s.”

If you are not God’s, you’re giving yourself to the wrong one.