Saturday, April 14, 2018

Fear is a Liar!

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:13:
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

I stood on the platform wearing a harness attached to a long, heavy cord. All I had to do was step off, and fly through the air. Across the lake, my daughter, Hannah, and husband, Tim, waited for me to glide across the zip line and meet them on the other side. I'd cheered Tim on as he took the trip just moments before. But for some reason I couldn't take the leap. It wasn't like I'd never zipped. I'd taken this same line a year or so before. And I loved it. But this time, instead of embracing the excitement, fear gripped me. My anxiety peaked. I couldn't let go. Much to my disappointment, Hannah's friend and co-worker, Rachel, had to help me out of the harness. I climbed down the steps and trudged around the lake to meet my family.

I'd been defeated by fear, one of the most frustrating feelings in the world. Sad thing is, the fear wasn't real. I'd ridden the zip line before and had no problems at all. How many times do we create fear in our minds. When this happens the story gets bigger and bigger. Most of the time the very thing we fear is never realized. Have you heard the song Fear is a Liar? How the liar wants to stop us from moving forward. He wants us to doubt God. He wants us to be paralyzed in our tracks unable to follow God's lead. But guess what! God doesn't want to let that happen. If we turn our fears over to him through prayer, he will walk us through every single fear.

I flew to Hannah's last month and yes, I had some fear. Not so much of the flight itself, but more the whole layover, getting on a different plane idea. My fear came to fruition, I missed my flight from Philly to Greenville, through no fault of my own. I admit, I panicked, cried and wanted to crumple. But guess what. God had my hand. He led me to a lovely young lady who got me on another flight and even gave me a much needed hug.
God knew my fear and he lifted me up. Whatever you're afraid of, turn it over to God. He's just waiting for you to ask.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Fiction Book Review: Pelican Point, A Hope Harbor Novel by Irene Hannon

Book Description:
A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home--and she's determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

My Review:
Charley, Floyd, and Gladys are back for another lovely story. If you've read the Hope Harbor novels, you'll remember the artist and taco stand owner Charley and the two seabirds, Floyd and Gladys. If you haven't, you'll want to meet them. Charley delivers his wisdom to the folks in town who are trying to figure out life. In this 4th book in the series, Ben comes to town to figure out what to do with the lighthouse his grandpa left him. In the mean time, Marci is working out her career and hoping the lighthouse remains a fixture of the town. As usual, Irene Hannon writes a delightful small town story. I have to admit this one is my favorite of this series because of the lighthouse. I also enjoyed how Irene wove the story of Ben's grandfather throughout the book. This is one of those books that leaves me with a satisfied feeling at the end. If you want a pleasant read, set on the coast of Oregon, this is the book for you. I received this book for free. 5 stars

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Can we Have a Happy Place?

Job 12:7-10
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
    and the breath of all mankind."

When was the last time you...
  • stopped to watch a monarch sip nectar from an azalea? 
  • spotted a yellow finch twitter about the purple thistle as it seeks out food? 
  • dipped your toes into the waves that carry in shells and sand?
  • rested in the shade of the maple or oak and enjoyed the comfort of the breeze?
  • gazed at the stars as they twinkled in the sky?
  • listened to the robin trill his song?

Every walk in the woods, hike up a trail, and visit to a beach shows me Jehovah— God the Creator of all things. Even the television shows and books that explain "how things work" in nature amaze and humble me before God.

Why? Because nature is my "happy place." Please don't take the term "happy place" lightly. In all serious, I love that I have a relationship with God that's enriched by his creation. A place where I commune with my Lord and Savior without the noise of this crazy world. The natural world he made with his hands reminds me of God's wisdom, and grace, but most of all his love.

Maybe your personal bond with God comes through music, or working outside. Maybe it's writing or playing with children. Maybe you sit in a quiet place and reflect. If you haven't found your connection, begin with prayer. Talk to God—ask him to show you your place of peace and joy. Read the Bible. Seek out God's wisdom in his word.
God created each of us to be in relationship with him. Because he loves us.