"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" – 1 John 3:1
God does not loves us because we live good, clean lives.
God does not love us because we give to the poor, the needy, and the unlovely.
God does not love us because we measure up or put our best foot forward.
He does not love us because we are helpful and kind...or go the second and third mile.
God loves us because He is our Father.
A blessed August to you!
"Taste and see that the LORD is good. Blessed is the person who takes refuge in him." – Psalm 34:8
Many times, during my childhood, I heard this verse quoted. It was one of my mother's favorites. You see, my mother was very ill for much of my early years and could not digest physical food after her diagnosis of inoperable cancer, so she absorbed spiritual food, found in God's Word, for her daily sustenance...and for her eventual healing. (Her faith-journey is chronicled in my book, The Sunroom.)
Twelve years ago, at the age of eighty-four, my dear mother joined the Church Triumphant, yet her unyielding determination and unwavering trust in God continues to be an encouragement to me, and to our family, as well as thousands of souls she and my father's lives touched through their many years of pastorates and missions work overseas. She was tested and tried and came through that personal fire a strong and devout woman of courage and faith...and the cancer never returned. A true miracle!
To God be the glory!
"But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind." – Job 12:7-10 (ESV)
Recently, while on a getaway to Estes Park with our twins, we noticed six large moose resting beneath a grove of trees not far from our hiking trail, their massive antlers alerting us to their presence. Another family saw them, too, and began taking pictures from a safe distance. But it was interesting to see the cars that simply flew by on the nearby roadway. Hadn't they noticed this once-in-a-lifetime sight? Were they too busy to stop? How could you not stop?
If you are captivated by the sight of a fuzzy, baby gosling...the sound of hummingbirds zooming for the feeder...or the sweet song of birds in early morning, then this blog is for you. If you stop in amazement at the slanting rays of sunlight in the midst of a deep woods...if you want to simply stare as baby robins-turned-fledglings leave the nest...if the wings of a bee or dragonfly grab your attention...if the trill of a frog in a pond makes you stop walking and look...if these things, and many more, make the world fall away for you, then you and I are very much alike, dear reader-friend. And we find it easy to believe in miracles, too.
By his example, my father taught my sister and me to appreciate nature from our earliest memories. He even pitched a tent in a wilderness and held a summer kids' camp where we were taken on hikes of all kinds. The ones that took place at night seemed to bring us closer to the sky, the stars, the hush of the forest creatures, and opened our hearts wide to our great Creator God.
This splendid month of June, I hope you'll make time to get away from the busyness of life to hear birdsong fill the air, to find beauty in a pristine meadow, to soak up the tranquility of a dense woods while small creatures scamper about, and most of all, to find a place to be alone with God in nature. It is the surest way to alleviate stress, I promise.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads, and a happy first month of summer to everyone else!
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." – Colossians 3:17
While stranded by a snowstorm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, following my recent spring book tour, I had time to reflect on the many remarkable moments the Lord gave me with my precious fans. To this day, their comments continue to encourage my writing hours.
Here are a few I’d like to share, in hopes that they will inspire your walk with God as well.
I’m remembering the parole officer who shared that my books speak light and hope into the darkness she must work in each day. I think too of the dear woman who carried The Road Home to her MRI appointment, where the curious technician read the first page and is now an avid reader of Bev Lewis books…and a close friend to the woman who had the appointment! One reader opened her heart to Christ after reading The Proving, so impressed by the fictional character’s choice to use her Amish B&B as a ministry—lingering at the breakfast table with her guests and leading many of them to the Savior.
And last, but certainly not least: the grateful grandmother whose little five-year-old grandson had suffered a brain injury and my children’s book, The Stinky Sneakers Mystery, (from the Cul-de-Sac Kids chapter book series) helped keep him absolutely still in bed for five hours straight (per the doctor’s orders). Now that is a first…and to God be all the glory!
Well, I’m beyond thankful for each person who came to the author events during the tour, and to the booksellers, sales reps, and Bethany House’s own amazing marketing team for making it all happen. A special shout out to my tour manager and publicity team—the best!
For those who are curious, I’m doing the edit for The First Love, as well as writing my April 2019 novel, set in Hickory Hollow with appearances from the beloved wise woman, Ella Mae Zook.
I’m praying your springtime is filled with God’s goodness and grace, and a sense of purpose for all that He has in store for you and your dear ones.
Until next time—blessings abundant!