PUZZLE HOUSE–A Different Sort of Book

1 Comment

So PUZZLE HOUSE is completely different from the other books I’ve written. I classify it simply as a Christian story–a parable if you will. My definition of a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly message. I like to think that defines all my books, but certainly PUZZLE HOUSE.

AMAZON LINK

Here’s the blurb:

 

Life isn’t a box of candy—it’s a puzzle!

Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers…until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.

Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?

She makes her choice, but the journey doesn’t go quite the way she expected.

And so Rachel now runs Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed, usually from a life-threatening illness. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there’s more than one kind of healing.

Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she’s angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia’s aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.

Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.

 

PUZZLE HOUSE has a much deeper spiritual message than my suspense and mystery novels. And because of that, I’ve written a companion devotional book to go along with it–Devotions from PUZZLE HOUSE.

AMAZON LINK

DEVOTIONS from PUZZLE HOUSE takes the puzzle theme from the novel and delves deeper into God’s Word.

Advertisements

Red Word Wisdom

1 Comment

The Bible is filled with all the wisdom we need to have a successful life here on earth. And certainly the words of Jesus are no exception. In fact, perhaps, his words deserve some extra attention so I’m starting a new Bible study that focuses on Jesus’s Words.

Time wise, Jesus’s first recorded words were found in Luke 2: 49 (NIV) when he went missing and Mary and Joseph found him at the temple. “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

The New King James Version says it this way:  “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

I think both versions have something to teach us.

In my Father’s house. When you spend time at another’s house, it implies a relationship with that person. I don’t believe it’s an accident that Jesus’s first recorded words point to having a relationship with God—His father. Our Father. First and foremost, we were created to have a relationship with our Creator.

Don’t neglect that relationship.

About My Father’s business. Jesus knew that he was put on this earth for a reason—to do God’s business. We were put on the earth for that very same reason. Jesus was put on this earth for a very specific purpose—and so were we.

My purpose is not the same as yours. And yours is not the same as anyone else’s. Once you have that relationship with God, then it’s time to discover the business your Father created you form then…

Get about His business.

Wow! Jesus’s first words give us direction and purpose in our life. Can’t beat that. I have a feeling this Bible study might take a lot longer than I realized.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Are You Putting God In A Cage?

1 Comment

This is not the first time I’ve used this devotion, but I love it! So I use it from time to time. I hope you enjoy it as well.

ARE YOU PUTTING GOD IN A CAGE?

James 4: 8 (NLT)

“Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.”

Friends told me this story of a rescued dog long ago, but I’ve never forgotten it. The dog’s owners decided to use cage training to housebreak their young puppy. Cage training consists of having the puppy spend time in his cage until he figures out where to go potty and where not to.

Unfortunately, the owners missed the point. They brought their young puppy home and, as expected, the puppy soon had an accident. His owners punished him by putting him in the cage. With each accident, they would punish him by keeping him the cage for longer periods. Naturally, the dog would have another accident in the cage and so the cycle went.

Eventually, the dog was in the cage for several days at a time without food or water. The owners didn’t understand why the dog had turned mean.

Dogs are great pets when they are loved and nurtured. The more time we spend with them the stronger the bond becomes. The key to any relationship is the time, attention and effort given. That holds true for relationships with animals, people, and God.

The more time and effort we put into a relationship the more we receive.

What about our relationship with God?

Do we treat Him in a way that we wouldn’t treat a dog? Do we take God out of the cage on Sundays for a few hours and then stick Him back in until the next Sunday? We may even have good intentions but…life can get so busy.

I know that happens to me more often than I care to admit. I have good intentions to spend time with God but then life happens. Before I know it, I begin to lose my patience, my joy, and my peace. That’s when I know it’s time to draw near to God and He’s always there waiting.

Don’t cheat yourself out of a loving relationship with God because you think you don’t have time. There is no right or wrong way to spend time with God. Here are a few of my favorite ways to spend time with God:

While you do your chores, listen to praise music.

Pray whenever the mood hits.

Start writing a list of what you are grateful to God for–big and little things.

Rent a Biblical movie.

Put index cards and a pen by your Bible. Write out verses that are meaningful.

Sing your favorite hymn–even if your husband doesn‘t like your singing.

Reflect on God’s goodness as you notice His beautiful handiwork.

As you fall asleep, end your day with a pray of praise and thanksgiving.

Be creative, be flexible, and enjoy your time with God. The more time you spend with him, the more peace and joy you will experience. As you reap the benefits of spending time with God, you will soon find yourself craving more time with Him. He’s here right this moment–waiting for you.

What’s one of the ways you enjoy spending time with God?

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Are You Ready To Play In The Super Bowl?

Leave a comment

Who doesn’t want to be a champion, especially on this Super Bowl Sunday, right?

My preacher had a great sermon today so I thought I’d share the highlights. So thanks, Tom, for inspiring this post. He entitled it SUPER BOWL CHRISTIANS. Don’t you love the title and wouldn’t we all love to be a Super Bowl Christian. Being a Super Bowl Christian might mean different things to different people but there’s a few things we all need to do if we want to become one.

DESIRE: You can’t win the game if you don’t care about it. Psalm 42: 1 says, As the deer pants for the streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God”  To be a Super Bowl Christian, we should desire a relationship with God above all else. 

DISCIPLINE: To be all that we can be, we must endure a little discipline in life, sometimes self-displine but also from others. (Just ask the Army!) Discipline is not a bad thing. Hebrews 12: 7 tells us,  “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father.” To be a Super Bowl Christian, we must accept and learn from the discipline, not be made angry, frustrated, or bitter.

DETERMINATION: This step is about focus and commitment. Lots of people start lots of things every day, but it takes determination to finish. Proverbs 24: 16 says it all, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.”  To be a Super Bowl Christian, you’ve got to get back in the game no matter how many times you fall.

DENIAL: This is a painful one–because it’s about self-denial.Something we’re not very good at these days. We want what we want when we want it, and we don’t want to sacrifice anything to get it. .Paul tells us in Romans 12: 1, ” Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.”   Each time we make a sacrifice as we run our race, we move a little closer to the goal line. To be a Super Bowl Christian, you must be willing to sacrifce.

DISTINCTION If we follow the other four steps to the best of our ability, then we will have completed the race we were given to run. We will live a life of excellence, a life pleasing to God. As Paul said in Phillipians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”. And we, too, can say we are a Super Bowl Christian.

Can you even begin to imagine what your life might be like if you practice these four steps consistently and to the best of your ability in your writing life as well (or whatever dream you are pursuing)?

You might start that story you’ve been wanting to write.

You might finish that story that’s been sitting dormant for so long.

You might edit, revise, and polish so that it’s ready to submit.

And you might just obtain that illusive goal of being a published writer.

Now that I’m published I still want to write the best story I can. My writing is my ministry, and because of that I want to do it as well as I can. To be a Super Bowl Champion means to live the life of excellence God calls each of us to live.

Any other ideas what we need to do to live a life of excellence?

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

ARE YOU A GRINCH?

2 Comments

Proverbs 23:7:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

I pray that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, but I know that not everyone did. Some because of circumstances out of their control and some because they chose not to.

WHAT???

Who would choose not to have a wonderful Christmas? Probably not many of us would choose to do that consciously. Though there might be a few. But just because we’re unaware doesn’t mean we didn’t make that choice just the same.

Count me among the unawares.

I’ve beein going around telling people that  I love the Christmas season but not necessarily Christmas Day. I mean really! Talk about a bad attitude. I’d already planned to not have a good Christmas.

And I didn’t mind talking about it either. Talk about being a Grinch. That was me! Just because I’d had not perfect Christmases the past few years, I’d decided I would never have another one.

Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

My attitude and my words were ensuring that I wouldn’t have a good Christmas—this year or any other one.

But God is good!

God’s Spirit spoke to my spirit a week or so before the big day reminding me that everything’s not all about me. I know! Shocking as it was, it was exactly what I needed to be reminded of. I decided to smile and enjoy the day for the people around me—because it was their Christmas, too!

And…. I had a good Christmas! And everyone around me seem to have one as well.

It’s amazing how when you focus on making other people happy, you get a little more happy as well! Well, actually, it’s not all that amazing. That’s another one of God’s principles–you reap what you sow. If you sow grinchiness, then all you reap is more grinchiness. If you sow Christmas joy, then you’ll reap more Christmas joy.

And I’m already excited about next Christmas.

An interesting point is that Proverbs 23: 7 has been one of my anchor verses these past few years as I dealt with my brain tumors. I would remind myself over and over that my thoughts had power when it came to my health. But somehow I seemed to forget all about that principle when it came to Christmas, and especially my attitude about Christmas.

Mmmmm…. I wonder what other unaware attitudes of mine need adjusting….

So, what have you been grinchy about lately?

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

HOW’S THINGS GOING?

Leave a comment

Hebrews 6: 12

We do not want you to become lazy but imitators of those through faith and patience inherit the promises.

So, how’s things going for you? Is life good or is your life an example of Murphy’s law? You know, whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Being a Christian doesn’t mean we won’t have problems. Sometimes, serious life-altering problems. Does that mean God doesn’t love you? Of course not.

God loves us and He wants us to have a good life here on earth.

The Bible is filled to the brim with advice and wisdom about anything and everything. Including how to have the best life possible–in spite of the circumstances we find ourselves in. And today’s verse is only one of many examples of that advice.

imitators of those through faith and patience inherit the promises.

There’s another verse in the Bible that tells us to be imitators of Christ. If we only follow that one bit of advice, it will take us far on our spiritual journey. But God always gives us more… and here it is. Find other Christians who have what you want–whatever that is. Then imitate their life.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

In other words, learn from other people’s experiences. We all know that we learn from our own mistakes but that can be quite a painful way to learn. Instead, find other Christians who have already inherited God’s promises and then imitate their life.

Having marital trouble or just want a happier marriage? Go talk with some long-married Christian couples. Find out their secets then put their advice into action and see what happens.

Having serious health issues? Go talk with someone who’s gone through it and discover what helped them.

Having trouble with your kids? With addictions? With your job? The list could go on and on, but the good news is that none of it’s new. Life has always been filled with problems. If you look around, you’ll find someone who’s aleady experienced it. And most Christians want to help make someone else’s journey in that area a little easier by sharing what they’ve already learned.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!