"The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'" – Jeremiah 31:3
Ah, to be chosen and loved unconditionally—to be forever loved!
Our heavenly Father woos us, the Great Lover. He alone offers the kind of love we yearn for...the love we were created to receive and embrace.
This month, the so-called month of love, let us remember and open our hearts to this most amazing love-gift, each day as we rise, never forgetting that He is with us, our very breath. Then, in return, let’s give our hearts unreservedly to God in constant adoration and amazement. And gratitude.
Writing Update: I have completed my revisions for The Stone Wall, releasing September 8, 2020 and am currently creating the synopsis for my novel set in Hickory Hollow for Fall 2021.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.... And the one sitting on the throne said, 'Look, I am making everything new!' and then he said to me, 'Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.' And he also said, 'It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.'" – Revelation 21:1-2, 5-7
Just think, this world with all its struggles, heartache, and trials will have passed away when the new heaven and the new earth appear. What a joy to know that our Savior and Lord—the Lamb of God—will be continually present with us, His people, dwelling with us on that day. We have much to look forward to, dear friend, when Christ makes all things new!
I wish you a happy new month, new decade and...New Year 2020.
Let's look forward to what good things God has planned for us, together as His emissaries on this earth.
Writing Update: I'm wrapping up revisions for The Stone Wall, releasing on September 8, 2020. The cover is currently being designed, as well!
"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." – Luke 1:26-33
Have you ever been fearful about something God was prompting you to do? Something He was clearly calling you to?
In Mary’s case, she knew well the prophetic promise that the Messiah was coming. But she certainly didn’t know when, or by what means, the Lord of heaven and earth would accomplish that promise. So, when the angel informed her that she would be the one to conceive and bear the longed-for Christ-Child, she was “greatly troubled,” as in terrified.
We, like Mary, also long for the promises of God to be fulfilled in our lives, and in the lives of our family and friends, don’t we? We wait with hope, praying and yearning… looking ahead with expectation. And, yes, we are often afraid.
But remember what Mary’s journey revealed: The God of the universe—our loving heavenly Father—was with her. Emmanuel, God with us!
This Advent Season, if we are tempted to fear, we can remember that God “is working in” us, giving us “the desire and the power to do what pleases Him,” and we can completely trust in that…for always.
Wishing you an inspiring and memorable Christmas!
"I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." – Psalm 9:1
Recently, I was organizing greeting cards from my family and friends, as well as old photos taken after I won the little Brownie camera in first grade. I paused to count the small blessings...thankful for the little things, like the friendship quilt made in 1927 for my shunned Grandma Ada by the women in her husband's first congregation and the ficus tree I managed to bring back to life with God's help after my mother passed away and Daddy forgot to water. The little New Testament given to me by a 90-year-old church friend years ago. And, oh, the very creative cards my sister, Barbie, makes, which I've saved for decades.
I thanked God for the New England hikes I've been blessed to enjoy, the lone red leaf brought home in a book recently, the dearest smile on our younger daughter, Janie's face when we visited her and her brother last week. The seemingly minuscule blessings, which accumulate through the years, amidst the challenges in all our lives—the loss of loved ones, struggles with health, and the disappointments, too.
Today, and every day, let's offer our sincerest gratitude to our heavenly Father for each and every blessing, great and small.
Wishing you a reflective season of gratitude!
Writing Update: My autumn visit to Lancaster County Amish farmland was partially spent gathering more information (and photos) for my Fall 2020 novel, The Stone Wall, which I'll be revising and polishing this month. Perfect timing! Also, my wonderful publisher has recently offered me another 3-book contract, I'm happy to share with you! So, I've been making notes for my Fall 2021 novel, yet unnamed, but will likely take place in that beloved setting of Hickory Hollow...with a well-loved character. Stay tuned for more on this exciting news!