I must admit. I am a prideful person. While I want to emulate a humble spirit, I know within my own reasoning I’m chasing an elusive butterfly. Trying to be humble is not humility at all.

Because I want to appear humble when I’m really very prideful, I struggle with advertising my achievements. Oh, I’d like to brag about this new book or a contract I’ve recently signed. But the Christian in me smacks me silly. “Bragging is not Christ-like.”

What’s a writer to do?

According to my publishing contracts, I’m required to promote my books. It’s hard to reconcile the call to humility and the responsibility that comes with the privilege of publication. Especially when one struggles with humility on other fronts. (Just ask my husband how quick I am to brag when I get Final Jeopardy and he doesn’t.)

Maybe the inability to reconcile this inner conflict is because I tend to think of being humble as something to be achieved when, in truth, humility is rooted in thought.

I wonder. Perhaps true humility in Christ does not require us to squelch sharing what God has done for us. I realize one of God’s many blessings to me is the privilege of writing for the Lord.

Humility is found in the realization of the worth Almighty God has placed on the soul. That one who gave up his high place to become low in order to raise me up boggles the mind. Why should he love us so?

I cannot be silent for his love. This includes sharing the joy I feel with privilege of my service.

Pride comes when I let myself believe the achievement was a result of my own cleverness.

What do you think? How would describe Christian humility?

Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8 NIV).

Linda Wood Rondeau

Linda Wood Rondeau

Second Helpings book cover image

Second Helpings by Linda Wood Rondeau

Linda Wood Rondeau, a veteran social worker, is also a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is no stranger to family bedlam. Her stories of encouragement and hope come from the heart. She resides in Hagerstown, Maryland with her husband of over forty years. She enjoys golf and theater and is actively involved with her local church. Find more encouraging words in her blog, Snark and Sensibility, on her website www.lindarondeau.com and sign up for her newsletter. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest: https://www.facebook.com/lindawoodrondeau/

https://www.instagram.com/authorlindawoodrondeau/

https://twitter.com/lwrondeau

https://www.pinterest.com/lwrondeau/pins/

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

By Julie Lavender

Beautiful sights and scents of spring adorn my south-Georgia town. Honeysuckle and wisteria vines twist throughout the trees in the back yard, and yellow Jessamine dots the edge of the forest beyond. The dainty flowers attract nectar-seekers, especially honey bees, this time of year.

Married to an entomologist, I’m quite fascinated with God’s diminutive insects, though I prefer to enjoy them from a safe distance. The honey bee is one of my many favorites, because it often reminds me of a writer’s pursuit.

According to a trivia page on the National Honey Board website, honey bees must tap into two million flowers just to make one pound of honey! That’s a lot of nectar-seeking. On our writing journey, we may need to tap into millions – well, at least lots and lots – of resources to find those choice, sweet words to write for the Lord. Once collected, those delicacies might take the form of newspaper articles, magazine articles, devotions, books, blog posts, or more.

Apparently, a hive of bees flies over 55,000 miles to produce that one pound of honey. Writers often journey for miles, with a great deal of hills and valleys and mountaintops along the way. Writers need a “hive” of fellow scribes throughout the trek to support and encourage, too.

An average worker honey bee makes only one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, exactly what God ordained for each honey bee. A delicious dab of sweetness!

What sweet contribution will you make as a writer? How many miles will you travel and how many flowers will you visit? God’s ordained that, too.

May the words you write BEE sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.


356 Ways to Love Your Child cover

365 Ways to Love Your Child

Julie Lavender is a journalist, author, and former homeschooling mom of twenty-five years who holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. Julie and her husband David (her high-school and college sweetheart) have four children and a sweet, sixteen-month-old grandson. Julie loved living in various locations across the country as the wife of a medical entomologist for the United States Navy. After her husband retired from active duty, the family moved back to their hometown, and David began work as a wildlife biologist at a nearby Army installation. Julie’s parenting book, 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories, releases in October. Julie also co-authored two devotionals with Michelle Cox. She is a freelance stringer for the Statesboro Herald Newspaper, and she’s published in several magazines, including Guideposts and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Magazine, and several parenting and homeschooling blogs. Connect with Julie on her FaceBook page or her Facebook Group, 365 Ways to Love Your Child.

 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

“(Misfortune) can ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise, it cannot harm you—inside or out.” Aurelius

“The great objective of this life is character, for it is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity.” Austin Phelps

Doesn’t it help to keep in mind, when life feels particularly hard, that God has our character growth in mind? Right now with the COVID-19 epidemic keeping most of the world in lockdown, with economies declining, it is easy to see loss and limitations.

The usual props we rely on to keep us afloat seem suddenly tenuous, melting away with alarming speed.  Worse, we are reminded of our mortality and the fragile nature of life.

The invisible work of God in our lives and hearts—our character—is less easily discerned. But it’s right there, revealing the shaky foundations. And so we must choose: to mourn the loss of the safe-holds we have trusted in, or give them up in exchange for Him.

Is the lockdown exacerbating something in your character that needs improvement? Are secret fears and doubts growing in strength? The Lord brings us to the tip of the iceberg we’ve been floating on (we thought it was sturdy land) and now bids us gaze into the icy depths of our soul.

We must face our helplessness. Only then can we surrender the melting thing we trusted in and turn to the Rock.

Trust is not weakness of character. It is the very growth we need.  The growth that will take us through the lockdown and accompany us into eternity. Despite material losses, we gain. That’s Kingdom economy!

Forever, Lately

Linore Rose Burkard writes “Romance to Warm the Heart, Fiction to Stir the Soul.” Best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, she also writes  YA/Suspense and Contemporary Romance. Find her online at https://www.LRBurkard.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LinoreBurkardReadersGroup/

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:1-5).

Who reading this today has been “justified through faith”? If so, the Bible says you should have peace with God through our Lord Jesus.

Who reading this today “boasts in the glory of our sufferings”? Today, we could say “boasts in the glory of losing our job,” or “boast in the glory of contracting COVID-19.”

Who reading this knows “suffering produces perseverance and perseverance produces character?” Yet, we pray often for our lives to be suffering-free and chaff at the thought of enduring suffering time after time.

Who reading this knows “character produces hope”? The kind of hope that defies human understanding…the kind that seems other-worldly because it is not of this world, but of the kingdom of heaven…

You see, to have hope in days like these, you must have already been through the fire. You must have suffered on more than one occasion.

To have hope in days like these, you must be able to outlast viruses and government shutdowns and rely on the living God with a “crazy” determination.

To have hope in days like these, your character should be forged of God’s heavenly dominion, not earthly whims, filled with fear and regret.

To have hope in days like these, your hope—built through the fires of suffering—will be the thing that shines brightest before men and women in your sphere of influence.

To have hope, Biblical hope, isn’t easy. But when attained and maintained, it is by far the most peaceful. For our God is bigger than any virus.

Kevin Thompson photo

Kevin Thompson, author

The Letters

Kevin Thompson is an ordained minister, and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge – A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, the first in a continuing series. His latest novel, The Letters, was released in Feb. 2020. For more, visit Kevin’s website www.ckevinthompson.com/ or his Writer’s Blog www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/. Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page; Twitter: @CKevinThompson; Instagram: ckevinthompson; Pinterest: ckevinthompsonauthor; Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson; BookBub: C. Kevin Thompson

 

 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

 

Easter is a time to draw close to Christ and learn from his experience. We also can learn from his prayers from that last week of his life. It’s interesting that of his ten recorded prayers, six come from his last week. And they can inspire our prayer lives.

  • “Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:28 NIV). Despite Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he said, “Now my heart is troubled.” When we are troubled, we also can ask God to be glorified in us.
  • “May they be brought to complete unity” (John 17:23 NIV). Jesus’s chapter-long Upper Room prayer emphasizes the importance of unity in the church and is an example to us to pray for the same today.
  • “Yet not as I will, but what you will” (Matt. 26:39 NIV). In the Gethsemane Garden Jesus prayed the two-sided prayer—what he wanted, life, but also God’s will in the matter. When we face critical decisions, we can pray similarly.
  • Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 KJV). In Jesus’s first of three prayers from the cross he models the imperative of forgiveness in the face of injustice and cruelty.
  • “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46 NIV). With Jesus’s second prayer from the cross we see his humanity in his “why” question and know that we can pray our laments also.
  • “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:45 NIV). Ultimately, Jesus’s last prayer shows us that the best posture of prayer is submission.

While we don’t have to use Jesus’s very words, he shows us the importance of opening our hearts honestly in prayer and opening our hands to receive what the Father has for us.

Janet McHenry

Janet McHenry

The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus

Janet McHenry is the author of twenty-four books—six of those on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. Featured in Health and other magazines and media for her prayerwalking for her community, she directs the prayer ministries of The Bridge Church in Reno. Janet loves serving event planners and churches through her speaking and may be contacted at https://www.janetmchenry.com

 

 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube