­­­­

Therefore, do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil (Romans 14:16).

Upon my recent retirement from a demanding leadership position, I found myself nearly paralyzed with fear. So many “I never thought I’d…” statements danced chaotically through my mind, robbing me of peace.

Unbidden, my long-since-settled divorce reared its ugly head, reminding me of all of the losses I’ve incurred. My ideal picture of retirement had always included a husband, a family, and grandbabies. The real picture of my solitary leap into the golden years stood in sharp contrast before me, filling me with dread.

One of the first metaphors to come into my mind during my transition process was a great ship, cast about by wild waves, untethered, silhouetted by a full moon hanging low over dark waters.

Feelings of terror accompanied this picture. I had to nearly tie myself down to stop from soothing those unsettling feelings by jumping back into overworking—my life-long drug of choice.

Knowing myself well, I resisted temptation to continue my Type-A ways in my new world. I gave myself the gift of saying “no.” And I gave myself the gift of unscheduled time alone. Allowing time to grieve the changes in my life—and the loss of yet another dream—released the anxiety of uncertainty. A quiet peace took its place.

From this place of peace, the sound of His voice rang true. Child, what brings you joy?

His voice led me back to my first loves—nature, horses, writing, loved-ones around my table sharing great food and better conversation.

The untethered metaphor still rings true—though the feelings evoked today are of excitement and unbridled joy for a new adventure yet unfolding.

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

Anchored in Death

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Recently retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home.  She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends. Capsized by Death, the fourth novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, releases November 2019. Anchored by Death, third in the series, was a Bronze Medal winner 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards; a 2018 Selah Awards finalist; and a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Her second Jo Oliver Thriller, Shattered by Death, was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Interact with Catherine www.CatherineFinger.com. Follow on Facebook at Catherine Finger, Author; and Twitter CatherineFinger@BeJoOliver.

 

 

 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts 

and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.

2 Corinthians 1:3–4 (TLB)

People need hope more than advice. What a freedom to know that it is never necessary to have our life all in order before helping another. God does not expect us to be experts but He does call us to come alongside each other.

All human beings have two things in common. We all experience pain and we all need a Savior.

 A crisis can destroy someone or make that person stronger. How we face the crisis often depends on what kind of support we receive. Often the best comfort comes from one who has been there. Each of us has real life experience that could support another who is facing a crossroad.

We know from our own journey that comfort comes from large as well as seemingly small gestures. As we touch those who are in distress, we become a conduit connecting them with God’s unfailing love.

Life is a team sport. We have an enormous opportunity to be the hands of Jesus that reach out and bring hope and encouragement to a hurting world. As Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

 

Lord, as you say in 2 Corinthians 1:4, when others are troubled, needing my sympathy and encouragement, I can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given me.

 

PeggySue Wells

PeggySue Wells

Chasing Sunrise

Chasing Sunrise

History buff and island votary PeggySue Wells is the best-selling author of twenty-nine books including Chasing Sunrise, and Homeless for the Holidays.

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

Does God speak to you through everyday events as well as Bible verses?

I have a tray on my living-room ottoman. Since I curl up on the couch with my coffee each morning for my prayer and quiet time, the tray contains my devotional material and Bible within easy reach.

Last Saturday, I had absolutely nothing on my plate. A rare occurrence. I chose not to do any chores. I stayed in my pjs and vegged out on old TV sitcoms, game shows, and home-makeover episodes. That evening, I watched two clean mysteries, my favorite genre to read and write.

Afterwards, I clicked off the TV and set the remote on the tray. As I rose off the cushion, my heart rose into my throat. The remote sat on top of my Bible.

Message received. I could’ve spent more time in the Word. Communed more with my Lord and prayed for others…but I didn’t.

Down time is a good thing. In fact, setting aside a regular rest period is one of the Ten Commandments, stated in Exodus 20:8. God calls it the Sabbath and we are to remember it. But the rest of the verse states to keep it holy. To be holy means to set something apart from the ordinary.

Had my down time been holy? My day off was not an ordinary occurrence. I didn’t watch anything with bad language or sex in it, which is a challenge nowadays. But how much more rested would I have been if I had placed my Bible in my hands more than my remote control?

The next time I have a down day, no matter how remote, may I choose to spend more of that special time with the One who ultimately provided the chance in the first place.

Julie Cosgrove

Julie Cosgrove

Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove

Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove

Julie B. Cosgrove is a professional speaker, freelance writer, and award-winning author of twenty-one faith-based books. She is a digital missionary as on staff at Power to Change (Campus Crusades Canada) assisting twenty-seven-plus volunteer writers from all over the world to produce free, daily devotionals as well as meaningful testimonies and articles. The two websites, The Life.com and Issues I Face, have yearly readership in the hundreds of thousands in five languages. Her blog Where Did You Find God Today? reaches readership in over fifty countries.  Visit her website at www.juliebcosgrove.com. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, The Christian Authors Network, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, she’s an INSPY Award semi-finalist and a Grace Award Finalist. She was awarded Best Religious Fiction 2016 and Best Cozy Mystery 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors.

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

I think it’s a bit humorous that Labor Day is a vacation day. We celebrate labor by ceasing work.

Today is the 125th anniversary of this national holiday paying tribute to the America worker’s contribution to our country.

The value of a strong work ethic was highlighted centuries ago in the Book of Proverbs, which contrasts the diligent, hardworking man with the lazy, slothful man.

“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (10:4).

“Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor” (12:24).

“The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions” (12:27).

“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (13:4).

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (21:5).

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (22:29 KJV).

The slothful man, also called a sluggard (disgusting word), receives no esteem.

“The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway” (15:19).

“The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work” (21:25).

“The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth” (26:15).

The verse preceding this changed my life. “As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed” (26:14).

I considered myself a night person and habitually hit the snooze button when that annoying alarm sounded. That changed after I had children. Getting up was not optional. I had to tend to their needs and send hubby off to work. Staying up was optional. After the kids started school, I found my comfy bed especially inviting on dark winter mornings and felt no guilt taking a nap first thing. After all, I’d stayed up past midnight doing housework after everyone else went to bed. I read this:

“As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.”

The words hassled me when I’d crawl under the comforter for my early-morning nap. Sleep wouldn’t come. I felt something—Someone—urging me to get up and spend time with the Lord. Making a daily choice to give Bible study and prayer priority ignited the power of Christ and changed me into a “morning person.”

Morning is my favorite time. I refresh myself by spending time in Jesus’ presence and continue my day feeling energized, pursuing diligence in my labor.

Enjoy your day. Diligence deserves a reward!

(Scriptures from NIV unless noted.)

I Don't Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore!

I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore!

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

My friend’s husband slipped during a vacation and injured his back. Instead of getting better, the pain grew worse. After numerous doctors’ visits and tests, he heard the news no one wants to hear. Cancer. Of the bones. And he needed back surgery.

House keys

The surgery left this formerly active husband and father with a back brace and a cane. His wife struggled with responsibilities he’d previously carried with ease. Sometimes the loss of the life they’d taken for granted and the frustration over lack of youthful strength boiled over.

One such day, she fumed to herself and her husband as she hurled boxes that contained a lifetime of accumulated junk and memories into the dumpster at the local junk yard. “Why didn’t we prepare for old age before it was so hard?”

In her rant, her keys sailed with her belongings into the huge dumpster. Her frustration turned to desperation—and then to God. “Lord, forgive me for complaining. Please have mercy and rescue my keys!”

Halfway down, the keys dangled from protruding trash. She asked two burly men, “Please, would you crawl in and rescue my keys?”

One man fished out a long pole with an attached magnet and snagged the keys. “No problem.”

Has weakness, frustration, or lack of planning dropped you in the middle of a mess? We can’t adequately predict or prepare for some things. But the One who knows our future has promised:

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4 NIV)

Lord Jesus, please sustain me in weakness, rescue me in my stumbles, and carry me when I’m too weak to walk.

Little Women Big God

Little Women Big God

Debbie W. Wilson—author, Bible teacher, and life coach—helps people, especially overachievers, give themselves a break and live in God’s grace so they can enjoy fruitful and satisfying lives. Her newest book, Little Faith, Big God (Leafwood Publishers) releases February 2020. Share her journey to refreshing faith at debbieWwilson.com.

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube