January 20, 2014
When the “winters” of our lives descend, leaving a trail of destruction and hard times to endure, how do we deal with it? No matter who you are: parent, grandparent, single or senior, writer or teacher, blue collar or white collar, here are five ways to make hard times better: Read more
October 14, 2013
Seasons of life run their course, and no matter who we are or at what stage we’re at, we often see balance as an impossibility.
You can focus on a project you love and not even miss eating. You may procrastinate your unpleasant tasks or bow to the tyranny of the urgent. You can help others reach their dreams but never realize your own. You may even teach about intimacy with God but never spend time with Him yourself. Do any of those fit you?
We can usually find an excuse to fit every situation: It’s the kids, my boss, my husband or wife. It’s my health, my editor, or my age in life. Believe me, I’ve offered my share of excuses along with you. But I long for this thing called balance, don’t you?
Keeping Life in Balance
Keeping life balanced is not easy for anyone, but here are 10 simple ways that help me daily. Maybe it will give you a good place to start: Read more
September 30, 2013
Whether you’re writing, teaching, parenting, or gardening–no matter what the season, activity or occupation–these three keys will help you be more successful.
August 12, 2013
The “stuff” of life consumes us, confuses us, and clouds our perspective daily. We try to write the pages of our lives our way, but we end up with volumes of unnecessary rewrites. When we add the most important story ingredient daily, not legalistically, but with a dry, thirsty spirit, God enters, and changes us–and our story. We all need a divine appointment.
The Divine Appointment
by Rebecca Barlow Jordan
A thousand voices beckon me:
“You must do this today!
No time to pause and rest awhile,
no time for God to say
those gentle whispers in your ear,
those words you think you need to hear–
such foolishness–no way!”
But longing deep inside broke through.
With boldness I knew what to do:
“Get out! Get out! Go far away!
And then His gentle voice I heard,
So strong I could not speak a word,
“I’m waiting here for you.”
A divine appointment called my name.
With dry and thirsty heart I came.
“Speak to me,” I whispered,
as other voices died away…
“I’m listening, Lord, it’s our time now.
What do you want to say?”
In my heart, I am thirsty for you, the living God (Psalm 42:2, CEV).
Do We Ever Outgrow Our Need for Divine Appointments?
I wrote that simple poem several years ago, but ran across it recently. All of us experience distractions and droughts–times when we need to drink deeply of God’s grace, His love, and His Word. In fact, is there ever a time when we don’t need those divine appointments? I don’t think so.
Even though I write about God’s character often, if I focus solely on what to feed others and neglect my own spiritual disciplines, my own spirit will suffer. I need huge “gulps” of God daily!
The “stuff” of life shakes out differently for every person. Sometimes we experience stretches with no end of change in sight. Other seasons catch us off guard but trip us up only momentarily.
Whatever you are dealing with, God is able to handle it. Make a divine appointment today.
My Personal Prayer for You
Lord, only You know what readers are dealing with today. You know the “flesh patterns” of each heart–the things that draw us away from You and keep us self-sufficient, instead of depending on You daily. Thank You for Your availability, for sweet whispers of grace and mercy. Help us to keep our divine appointment with You daily, so You can write the story of our lives, not us. The journey is always sweeter with You as the Author. We thirst for you, God. Fill our hungry, thirsty hearts with Yourself.
On a Personal Note
The last two weeks brought technical challenges for me. New software updates for my computer started a chain reaction of problems: programs hanging and not responding, no shutdowns (manual only), and a few days later someone maliciously attacked my website. (So if you noticed a break or some changes in my blog/website recently, that’s why). The website’s fixed, and software technicians have reinstalled the updated programs repeatedly. Hopefully, they’re working now. Thanks for your understanding and patience.
It’s Your Turn
What about you? Tell us about your “divine appointments.” Share your comments below.
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April 29, 2013
In Honor of Mother’s Day
Instead of a devotion today, in honor of Mother’s Day, we’re having a poetry contest. I’d love to feature one of your own poems about mothers. Send me a poem you’ve written about mothers, rhymed or prose, no longer than 100 words. It must be original, and make sure that you own all rights to your poem, even if it was previously published.
How Do I Enter? Read more
March 4, 2013
If you’re looking for inspiring books to read, The Moses Quilt shares both a contemporary, interracial romance of two young people, Mazi Hartford and Edward Clayton, and the story of Harriet Tubman, a former slave. Through the pages of history, author Kathi Macias skillfully weaves a courageous tale told piece by piece through the quilt owned by Mazi’s great grandmother. She does a good job of bringing contemporary and history together in a unique way.
Mazi’s reluctance to marry Edward is a puzzle both to him and other family members. Even Mazi herself doesn’t understand her hesitancy. But the quilt–and the journey she follows through Harriet Tubman’s life–may help her find the thread she needs.
The plot is simple, and so are the characters. You won’t find an in-depth page turner here, but you will discover a story that crosses racial and generational boundaries–and one in which one woman’s courage made a lasting difference to those around her–and to succeeding generations.
Keep reading to find out how to enter the book giveaway. Read more
February 18, 2013
Big books, little books, kindle books—I love books, and I love reading. Last year I shared with you some of the books I’d been reading, and why. There’s nothing like God’s word to read for our growth, our encouragement, and to know God deeper. But God has also used Christian authors to both inspire and encourage us. I’ve read about 50 more books in the last twelve months. Here are some of the ones I recommend for your reading pleasure. Read more
December 3, 2012
I received a copy of Dianne Neal Matthews’ newest devotional book recently. It’s a great “through the Bible” kind of devotional. Diane has graciously agreed to give away a copy of her new book.
I first “met” Dianne through the pages of Guideposts‘ new devotional: 2013 Mornings with Jesus: Daily Encouragement for Your Soul. Dianne and I were two of the ten writers for that devotional this year.
I’ll let her tell you more about her own new devotional Designed for Devotion in this interview: Read more
September 9, 2012
Today’s post features an interview with Jocelyn Green, author of the new historical fiction release, Wedded to War. Be sure to leave a comment at the end of today’s blog to be entered in this book giveaway. Her book is an interesting read, and you’ll be amazed at the amount of research that must have gone into this historical fiction piece.
Let’s talk about Wedded to War (River North Fiction/Moody, July 2012). Please tell us about it.
This novel grew out of research I did for my nonfiction book, Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front, which just released this summer, too. Wedded to War was inspired by the life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. So the book begins in April 1861, and the Union Army‘s Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly (inspired by Georgeanna), decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Read more
September 4, 2012
Fear of flying ranks high on the list of phobias in our country, no doubt partly because of 9-1-1. But what about the fear of flying “spiritually?” What makes Christians so chickenhearted about spreading their wings? And how can we overcome our fear and find the freedom God wants for all His children? Read more