Scripture verses

Diving in the Word

OK, we’ll start the year with confession time. For the most part, I’m a wimp about memorizing Scripture. Yes, I’ve memorized verses as part of Vacation Bible School or other things at church, but it’s usually been one of those “I need to do better at this” things in my life.

This year, I want that to change. Partly because I know what a good thing it will be for me in so many ways, and partly because I have some fun motivation to keep me going.

I’ve worked through lots of Beth Moore Bible studies and have been to several of her Living Proof Live conferences. I found myself at her blog over the weekend, for the first time in a while. Her blog followers are starting back with the Scripture Memory Team challenge, and that turned out to be the incentive I needed. Basically, you commit to learn a new Bible verse every 2 weeks during 2011. You choose something that’s meaningful to you at that point and post it on the Living Proof Ministries blog on the 1st and 15th of each month. At the end of the year, you should’ve memorized 24 new Scripture verses that personally applied to your life!

And here’s the most fun part. They actually keep track of who posts verses each time, and if you post a certain number of times by the end of 2011 you’re invited to a special Scripture Memory Team weekend in January 2012. How cool is that?! No charge for admission — you just bring your well-worn cards of memory verses from the year. Then you share at least 12 of your verses with another participant and just enjoy all being together. Sounds like a blast!

I checked back this morning, and the initial blog post kicking things off on Jan. 1 has more than 6,600 comments! Can you imagine? More than 6,000 women coming together and making the commitment to spend time memorizing Scripture this year. I just think it’s amazing.

So — if you’re interested and want more details, visit the Living Proof Ministries blog.

Here’s my first verse for the year:

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples (John 15:8, ESV).

And, yes, I typed that from memory! 🙂 I’m completely impressed by the length of passages some women challenge themselves to learn. I’ll work my way in that direction, but for now I’m just glad to be part of the excitement. Baby steps are better than none! Wanna join in?

Categories: Monday Musings, Scripture verses | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Shifting Gears

I’ve been writing fiction (or rather, learning how to write fiction) for about 5 years now. It’s an ever changing, always challenging part of life, which I love. And, for me at least, part of that “ever changing” has meant I’ve dabbled in genres from young adult to suspense to contemporary women’s fiction to historical romance. I really thought I’d landed with historical romance for good when God pointed me in that direction almost 3 years ago.

And then He changed the plan.

When I first started writing fiction, I began working on a story about a middle school girl named Paige. I joined an online critique group, learned a lot from those wonderful folks, and entered the Genesis, a contest for unpublished novelists through American Christian Fiction Writers. Much to my surprise (and glee!) my entry was one of the finalists in the young adult category. Now was it really “young adult,” with Paige being in middle school? No, but the Genesis didn’t have a category for younger readers so I went with what they had.

My entry went to the next level of judging, where a published author and an editor from one of the biggest Christian publishers read my measly pages. The author gave me some great suggestions but also heaped on the encouragement. The editor was much more succinct in her comments. So to-the-point that I nearly cried. That I said things about her opinions that I probably shouldn’t have. That I decided I had no business writing for kids.

So, once I recovered from that critique and started writing again a few months later, I ran in the opposite direction. I wrote the beginnings of all sorts of stories for all sorts of genres but never finished any of them. I learned a lot, so I don’t think of all those pages as wasted words. I was finally hunkering down with a story I thought I would see through until the end, and that’s when God let me know He had something different in mind.

Early this spring, I started feeling nudges toward writing for kids again. The nudges grew and things that made me think about it seemed to be everywhere I turned. I started praying about it and the feeling just got stronger. I got brave and pulled out that very first manuscript to see if what I’d written might be salvageable. I asked God for some very specific things if He wanted me to shift my focus to kids. He gave them to me in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. Now I’m following Him and writing for kids. And, yes, I’m loving it. 🙂

All this is to say — we never know when God is going to steer us in a new direction, no matter how good the path we’re on might look from our point of view. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21). And I must say, although this plan to write for kids isn’t what I had in mind at the moment, it’s been a lot of fun.

Three things I’ve learned along the way: 1) Sometimes where we start is where God wants us to be in the end. 2) Writing for middle grade kids is more fun than I remembered. 3) When those little nudges and inklings seem to start coming from nowhere, I’m wise to pay attention and pray over them.

What about you? What are some things God has been teaching you lately? Let’s make this a week when we’re open to those nudges and learn whatever He’s trying to teach.

Categories: Monday Musings, Scripture verses, Writing life | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunset Beauty

The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting (Psalm 50:1).

 

We camped at the beach in St. Augustine, Florida when the kids were on fall break a couple of weeks ago. I adore getting away to both the mountains and the beach, but must say that there’s just something about a beach sunset that thrills my soul and makes me appreciate God and His splendor. I’m sure sunrises fall in the same category, but I wouldn’t know from personal experience since I’m not up that early when I’m on vacation. 🙂

Here are a few sunset shots of the week …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Isn’t it amazing how one night it seems mostly electric pink, another every shade of  purple, another neon-glow orange? God is just so cool that way.

 

Categories: God sightings, Scripture verses | Leave a comment

Monday Musings: Sufficiency

 

I don’t need to look at my calendar or to-do list or desk piled with things to know what kind of week’s in store. There are almost too many things to count and too many things to list because I’d be totally depressed and/or fried if I did.

Overwhelmed. Highly stressed. In desperate need of a good, cleansing breath to help calm my mind for a couple of minutes.

Yep, that’s about how I’m feeling these days.

Fortunately, I know I’m not alone. And even better, I know that although there’s no way I can handle all these things on my own, the One Who Can is on my side and helping me every moment.

As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6a).

Thank you, thank you, sweet Lord! And yes, I do mean that reverently.

I know I can’t do this on my own. I know I get all fried and frazzled and unfocused. I know the list gets so long and has so many overlapping deadlines that I can freeze and get nothing done because I don’t know where to start. I know how pitiful I am at trying to handle it on my own.

I was thinking through all these things about 5:15 this morning while ironing my husband’s clothes for work. And the phrase that kept winding its way through the early morning hour was, “My grace is sufficient. My grace is sufficient.”

I was so thankful for that reminder. I need it every day, but especially these next few days. What a beautiful mantra to keep me focused on the fact that it’s not about me and it’s not happening because of me.

It’s all about Him. And He’s more than enough. I just need to read between the lines of my to-do list closely enough to see Him in every spot.

May you do the same, finding Him already waiting to help wherever you find yourself. Have a blessed week.

Categories: Monday Musings, Scripture verses | Tags: , , | 1 Comment
%d bloggers like this: