Saturday, November 5, 2022

Thankful for Communion

Mark 14:22-25

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

I remember getting into trouble as a child during communion.

When I was a little girl, before the establishment of junior church, I sat with my parents in the pew and listened to the sermon, sang the songs, and tried to behave. One Sunday, when the deacons passed the communion plates of little wafers of bread and tiny cups of juice, I got curious. I reached to take a piece and my mom let me know that was not the thing to do. If I remember correctly, she took me by the hand and took me outside to explain why. From that point on I didn’t touch the trays until I confessed my love for Jesus and was baptized.

From the day I became a believer, I’ve been enamored with the time of communion at church. That moment when I bow my head and consider the sacrifice Jesus gave for me and the grace He pours over me. He didn’t have to die. He could have lived on earth and just been a good guy. Instead, Jesus came and took on my sins and burdens. He called the weary, the poor, the hurting, the sinners, and the saints to Him. I’m beyond thankful that God created a way for people to come into a relationship with Him. I’m also thankful my mom taught me what communing with God meant. I’d be lost without my Jesus.

In this month of Thanksgiving, reflect on Jesus and the burden He carries for us.


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Peaceful and Thankful

My daughter, Hannah and I visited a pumpkin farm in Kentucky, 
where they had the most beautiful chrysanthemums.
When I snapped photos of them, 
I knew I wanted to share their beauty on my blog.
What better time, than November-
the month we think about Thanksgiving.

In Colossians 3:15, the Apostle Paul reminded the church
to be at peace and to be thankful.

God still calls us to live a peaceful life, with Christ in our hearts, 
and to express our thankfulness for all of His amazing gifts.


 

Monday, October 31, 2022

Historical Fiction/split-time Review: Free to Love by Bettie Boswell

What It’s About:

This is a prequel to Bettie’s book, ON CUE

As Ginny writes her musical, inspiration comes from journal entries, letters and poems, telling the story of a mistress and her maid, bound together by slavery and blood, journeying toward freedom and love.

Early and Missy Hollings, her mistress, have always been together. Missy keeps a journal of the dangers both young women face while living with her nefarious stepbrother. Her father seems oblivious to their safety until the stepbrother's threatening advances increase. When Missy's father realizes both young women are in danger, he allows them to leave on a journey north with an aunt. He also reveals the shameful secret behind the young women's true relationship. The aunt insists that George, another slave, must be part of their journey, to keep Early safe. When Missy's family forces Early into marriage with George, will their relationship be forever changed?

They encounter dangers and help on their journey north. Will Early and George's forced marriage survive the dangers along the way when their path separates them from Missy?

My Thoughts:
I read On Cue and enjoyed the story, so I wanted to check out this prequel. I love this story of these two strong women as they navigate the horrors of slavery in the south. Early and Missy grew up like sisters, but as adults they face trials that may break them apart. Boswell does a beautiful job showing the turmoil and dedication these two share through decisions they must make. One of my favorite characters is their aunt who takes them north to find freedom and the promise of a new life. Throughout the story, Ginny, from On Cue, reflects on the journal and other ephemera she finds as she writes her musical. If you enjoy stories set in the south, historical accounts of that time period, or simply a great story, you’ll want to read Free to Love. I purchased a copy from Amazon. Opinions are my own.

My review for On Cue

Saturday, October 29, 2022

What Do You Fear?

Psalm 33:18-22

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
    on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
    and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

Our Golden, Rosie, shakes when she hears loud noise.

Monday morning, we awoke to a crew of roofers ripping off the shingles on the building next door. When I tried to take Rosie out to do her business, she trotted to the edge of the grass, squatted, then ran back inside. She refused to take her walk. Thankfully, Tim drove her to a safe place, and she was happy.

Like Rosie, I fear certain thingsfailure in my writing, making a mistake and hurting another person, letting someone down, and worst of allspiders. Yes, those creepy, crawly creatures freak me out. But seriously, fear is real. We all fear something.

In the Psalm we are called to fear the Lord. Not the fear that causes me to hide, or curl up in a ball, or throw my shoe at an eight-legged creature, but a fear of reverence. Healthy fear of God involves, adoration, devotion, respect, wonder, and worship. As a young Christian, the thought of being afraid of God confused me. Why fear someone who loves you? After becoming a parent I understood much better. Although I don’t think my girls ever truly feared me, they had a healthy respect for me and understood the parameters I set.

God watches over his children, and He loves like no other. Even as I hold a healthy fear for my creator, I also trust Him completely and hope in Him wholly.

Fear the Lord with joy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Plot Twist

Change can be hard. 

Yet, when the seasons shift, I enjoy the beauty. 
Autumn has been especially lovely this year--
the leaves vibrant and the weather glorious.

Change can be beautiful. 
I'm trusting God when life takes twists and turns, 
for He knows my future and my needs.

Like a novel--I can say, "Plot twist!" and keep moving forward.




 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Contemporary Book Review: The Book of Secrets by Mollie Rushmeyer

What's the Story:

A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family's legacy…and her future.

Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family's history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope's last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.


Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she's lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…

My Thoughts:

Hope’s story took my breath away. Set in a small town, we often think of the charm, the shops, the quirky characters, but something seldom revealed is the underside this author captured; the one where grudges are held and gossip is shared. Ronan’s family has caught the brunt of the rumors for years and paid the price. When Hope comes to town to search for the treasured books her mother left her, with plans to leave as quickly as she came, she discovers something she’s been missing for years, the possibility, if somewhat shaky, to put down roots. With Ronan’s lack of self-confidence and Hope’s fragile emotions, the two search with the help of friends for a treasure which may not exist and discover... well, you’ll need to read the book. The characters Rushmeyer created will stick with me for a long time. If you love stories with literary references, faith and hope, incredibly deep characters, and the prospect of love, you’ll want to read The Bookshop of Secrets. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Do Good Work

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Genesis 6:6-8
The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

As a crafter, artist, and writer, I picture God’s hands creating each person with a purpose.

Can you imagine being called by God to build an enormous boat because torrential rain is about to flood the earth and kill off all the sin-filled people? On top of that, fill this ginormous ark with animals who will be hungry, thirsty, and smelly. And you and your family of eight will be the only people to survive.

True story. God called Noah to build an ark because God looked at the world and saw so much evil, that He chose to start over. The only man for the job was Noah because he was faithful, and he was created for this purpose.

My friends, Bev, Krista and I went to visit the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky. The Ark is a replica of Noah’s ark built according to the dimensions in the Bible with the folks who created it using an artistic license on the internal structure.

As we walked up and down the three-story boat, along the ramps, I pictured Noah and his family caring for the animals. The feeding and cleanup were enough to overwhelm me. Which got me to thinking about tasks God has called me to do. Was I as willing as Noah to trust God and move forward? I’d like to think so, but at times, I’ve hesitated. When God called me to write novelsI thought there is no way I can do that. Yet I have because I chose to be obedient to God’s calling.

I’m thankful for Noah’s example of obedience and faith. From him and his family, I’ve learned to trust God and His wisdom and obey his calling in my life. It’s not easy, but I know God has created me as His handiwork to do good works.

What is God calling you to do?