Wanted to let everyone know that I am having computer problems. My computer decided to have a mind of its own this week. I had two blog posts written and it crashed BIG TIME. I messed with it for a couple of days and then finally handed it over to the computer guru… AKA my husband, LOL He started working on it this morning…finally determined that he couldn’t save my files…and is now in the process of wiping the hard drive clean and reinstalling Windows. It has been at 2% done for about 2 hours now. LOL. So I might be back on by Christmas. Going to try to post from my iPad tomorrow. Will see how that works.
I just had to share my thoughts and review on my hubby’s first book that he has published titled “Disaster At Havendale.” It is the first of a two-book series; he is working on the sequel right now. I am so proud of him for accomplishing this after 30 years of lugging it around with him. I am so excited to see what the future brings for his new passion/career! So with no further adieu…here it is:
The main character, Dick Travis, is the sort of everyman hero who is likable with an air of mystery about him as he struggles with the past loss of his parents to a severe storm many years ago. As he realizes the extent of the weather system bearing down on them, he and his teacher try to warn everyone, but to no avail.
When the storms hit, the vivid description of devastation is both believable and at the same time horrifying. The author seems to have done extensive research into weather terminology and gives us a sneak peek into possible future technologies.
This novel reads very fast-paced and is a page-turner. I was especially riveted as the survivors struggled to be rescued during the aftermath. It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was coming next.
Overall, an excellent start to this author’s writing career and I look forward to reading other works! Highly recommended!!
You can buy the Kindle edition for just $0.99 cents until the 9th of Novermber. Then the price will go to $4.99. The paperback copy is just a mere $11.99! You can preorder either now by going HERE.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Can’t wait for the second one to come out!
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
The final chapter of my spiritual desert is certainly an ongoing one. The ending is not yet written. The middle of it is just that…the middle. My spiritual desert still tries very hard to creep into my life from time to time. It is so very hard to stay focused on the task of earnestly seeking God. And by earnestly seeking I don’t mean reading my Bible, taking part in a Bible study, and/or reading/writing my devotions. I mean the type of seeking that you fall on your face in prayer because you can’t feel Him at your side, or hear Him speaking to you in your daily life.
I was doing what I thought God wanted me to do….but He was still silent. I have always said that when God answers prayers he has one of four answers…Yes, No, Wait, and Are you kidding? I believe I was in a time of waiting. I thought God was being silent in my life. I believed that He was trying to tell me I wasn’t doing something right. Instead he was just saying that I needed to heal, and wait upon Him to reveal to me the next chapter in my life. I was at a breaking point of what I would call “the point of no return.” The hurt that I experienced over the last 5-6 years was so unbearably deep that He knew that I needed to heal from that to move on to His next appointed task.
So I sat. And I waited. And waited. And waited. I felt like God was never going to return to my side. I longed to hear His words in my ears. I longed to feel Him sitting beside me. I think I was blinded by a spirit I had let take a hold of me and I allowed this spirit to take my thoughts and feelings and run down a path that I had traveled many times before and was certainly familiar to me. I think I had a spirit of doubt about me. Years ago I was diagnosed with depression and was on medication for a number of years to deal with it. The medicine helped me from being depressed, but it also made me unaware of many things around me. Like my children, my family, my life in general. I was so wrapped up in my diagnosis that I was blinded by the fact that it was not depression I was suffering from…it was living in the world and not letting God handle things in His time. Praise God 10 years ago I took myself off of all of the medicine that had been prescribed and put my trust in God that he would take care of all of my needs. And He did just that. He delivered me from all of those dark times and put a renewed spirit in me that made me realize He can deliver a person from anything they want to be delivered from. That is the key. You have to want it. I was perfectly fine wallowing in my depression because it made me feel better. It was easier than getting up and fighting. So when I felt myself slipping back in that direction…I decided to skip the medication part and go straight to God.
See here is the issue. When we pastored the church in Missouri, it was a very tough church to pastor. Without boring you with the details…we went through a lot of hurt in 5 years. I miss my daughter (who’s been with Jesus for over 23 years now) but I think I buried her with less pain than we experienced over a 5 year period at that church. The town that we lived in is a very spiritually dead town and people don’t want to serve Jesus. We had death threats from church members, friends that stabbed us in the back many times, and we were even slammed on television for defending our faith while trying to run a store that sold synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia out of town. Even worse my extended family was at the head of some of the gossip and wrong doing. Through all of that we stood firm in Jesus and continued to spread the word of God diligently. With that….came lots of persecution. This is the MAIN reason we moved to Wisconsin. We all needed a fresh new start….we needed to shake the dust off our shoes and move on.
So fast forward to the last week or so. Richard had been off for two days and we have had a wonderful time together with our daughter home from college. I have been sharing with my husband about how I felt like I was alone in the desert…seeking God’s face and I still couldn’t hear Him or feel His presence. I knew He was there….but felt alone.
A few nights ago I was praying that God would speak to me. I asked Him to take this hurt and pain from me and allow me to feel closer to Him again. I prayed that He take it all away just as He did 2 years ago when I was having trouble drinking things with caffeine in them because it was causing cysts all over my body and covering my uterus and ovaries. I asked Him to take away my desire of it. (He did…the very next drink I took tasted like some kind of cleaner and I haven’t drank it since) I stopped praying…looked at my husband asleep next to me and wept uncontrollably. I later told Richard that I just realized that all along I have been waiting on God and I just realized that He was waiting on me. I knew He could take away this pain and hurt just as He did with the caffeinated drinks I just had to believe that He would. As soon as I was done praying I went to sleep. The last thought I remembered having before going to sleep was that of which satan put in my head….”He really won’t you know. He is going to just leave you here in this desert to rot.” I sat up in bed, husband fast asleep, and said “GET THEE BEHIND ME satan YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME. I AM A CHILD OF GOD AND HE HAS FORGIVEN ME!” Then I went to sleep.
I felt a little “off” all day for the next day or two. The last couple of days I have a feeling of peace that has come over me and I realized that I was allowing other peoples actions, and circumstances in my life to dictate my faith. How could I be deceived so easily? How could I have so little faith that I would allow all that I have been through to keep me from discerning what was actually happening. I keep trying to tell myself that these feelings were many years in the making and the longer I waited to trust…the harder it got to trust. I asked God where He wanted me to meet Him and he said to me “Where have you been trying to meet me?” I realized that I have been waiting for him to reach out to me, when in fact I am the one who needed to reach out. He has been there waiting all along…I just needed to once again…look up and clean out my ears.
So although I am not a huge supporter of “getting over it”….I do believe that people have to work through things and we all process things differently……I can say that I think I have felt better the last few days than I have felt in MONTHS! I even started thinking about posts on my devotional blog again….and the ideas just came flooding back in so much that I had to start a list of them. God clearly said to me this morning in my prayer time…..”it is time Jeannie.” I was so grateful again to hear His voice. I have put off writing this final part of my “Spiritual Desert” series and now that I actually have an ending to write about it was much easier.
If you find yourself in a spiritual desert…the only advice I can give is don’t look for an oasis. Create your own oasis. Create it by diligently looking for and seeking God’s face. He may be silent to you for a bit but He merely means for you to wait upon Him. It will all be in His time.
Check out this post written by my hubby on his blog…. sliceofhome.
In just about 12 days, I’ll know whether or not my lifelong dream has come to fruition: having my novel, “Disaster at Havendale”, published in print!
Since the age of 16, when the idea came to me (literally) on a dark and stormy night in Brookfield, MO, I have labored; sweated; and shed many a worrisome tear over this novel. It has undergone several rewrites while remaining mostly true to its original storyline, and, of course, as the times and technologies have changed so has the tech in the book. Yet, it is mostly intact, and the same DNA intermingles from then to now in the bloodline.
You know, there’s nothing like the first thing you write; it is like giving birth to a healthy 10-pound baby in all its ripping, gnarling journey out of the womb. Long suffering agony gives way to smiles and joy as the pain recedes…
View original post 206 more words
Re-visited and revised from the Heavenly Rambling archive.
I am constantly being accused of being a Bible thumping Jesus freak, that I am hateful, and that I am overboard with my Christianity. Just because I believe that EVERY word in the Bible is the infallible Word of God, that It is God-breathed, and I use it as the instruction book and the ONLY authority in my life doesn’t make me a miss goody two shoes.
I am done trying to defend my faith. I love God with everything I have and every fiber of my being. I am not hateful, or even a freak. I am a faithful child of God that does the best I can, which is never good enough, to wake up every morning and think to myself, “God what can I do for you today?” Someone quoted to me “When I wake up and put my feet on the floor…I want satan to say ‘Oh crap she’s up.’” That is what I want to accomplish everyday in my life.
Going to church, warming a pew or ‘faking’ your way though being a Christian doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car. Now let me make it clear that I am not judging anyone. That is for only God to do. But by people saying I am judging them is an actual judgement given from themselves, something they claim only God should do. Jesus said in the book of Matthew “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5
When I make a decision about what I am going to do or not do I pray about it and I check the fruits (of the Holy Spirit) and if what my decision is, comes in conflict with any one of them the I know it is not of God. We can not be IN the world and be OF God at the same time. God’s word says; “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.” Matthew 6:24
I may be considered a radical Christian. If I am, then so be it! I boast in the Lord for what He has done in my life. I am grateful that He gave His Son to die on the cross to save me from myself. To do what ever I can to repay that debt seems minuscule in comparison. I don’t understand why others don’t feel the same way. People who call themselves Christians. Why don’t they have a greater passion to do God’s work. Why don’t they WANT to live a life that revolves around God. Why must people continue to compromise their faith for what they consider minor infractions to the 10 commandments. Things such as little white lies, disobeying man’s law, abortion when babies aren’t convenient to their life, among MANY others. Instead we try to justify not living the Word of God by making excuses.
There are many excuses people make for laying out of church services. ” My child was sick”, (when it’s really just a cold), and I didn’t want to expose everyone. But later seen in Wal-Mart exposing the whole town. “I didn’t feel good”, but they can sit on the computer playing games all day. “Sunday is my only day to sleep in”, and they are heading out at 9 am to get a pack of smokes. I was asked one time why I feel like I have to be at the church every time the doors are open? My response was “Why DON’T you feel that you have to?” There is no difference in the sincerity of the question. I don’t understand why they DON’T want to be in church anymore than they don’t understand why I DO.
I have recently taken on the task of writing a daily marital devotion. I have hopes of one day putting them in a published book. I was told a few weeks ago that I didn’t have the right to give marital advice because I have been divorced. Well 15 y ears ago I would have agreed with that statement. I was certainly living in a marriage that was NOT of God. However, almost 12 years ago, I married the person that I believ God wanted me to be with all along, we were just to immature, and young to realize what God’s will for our lives were. I have what I would consider a VERY Godly marriage and have had for the last 12 years. So does that give me the right to proclaim that and maybe offer some help to others that may be struggling or who may not have God present in their marriage? I propose that if I do not have that right…then someone who lies does not have the right to tell their children not to lie when inevitably have told a lie at some point in their lives.
In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus tells us this: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with Him. On judgement day only our relationship with Christ, our acceptance of Him as Savior and our obedience to Him, will matter. Many people think that if they are “good” people and say religious things, they will be rewarded with eternal life. In reality, faith in Christ is what will count at the judgement.
I know that people don’t worship God in the same way or even with the same passion that I do. I don’t expect them to. But what I do expect is for them to leave me alone and let me worship God in the way I choose to. If that means raising my hands to God in praise as I sing to him then so be it. If it means that I am a part of a healing service in the church I serve Christ in, then so be it. If it means that a group of believers including myself picket a store in our town that sells fake marijuana, then so be it. If God expects me to hold people accountable for the way they are harming the body of Christ, or teaching women how to be a Godly wife using Biblical principles, or lead a bible study because no one else wants to but are eager to learn the Word of God, or teach a Sunday school class, or pray for 3 hours in the sanctuary alone, or whatever I choose….then so be it. As long as what I am doing is of God and is for the sole purpose of growing God’s kingdom, what am I actually harming. Except maybe making people uncomfortable because they realize they fall way short like myself?
I know I am not perfect. Nor have I ever claimed to be. What I do know is this…I love God. Plain and simple. And when I stand before God on judgement day, although what I did was not enough…I want to hear “Well done thou good and faithful servant, you may enter my kingdom.” I want to know that I did everything possible with the time I had, to serve God with everything I have. That is all.
So the next time you decide to call someone names who might be a little radical, or passionate, in their faith, think about praising them for the work they do for our God. It may not be what you would do but it certainly is important to them and their faith. Be a follower of Christ and not a “Christian”.
Richard has finally published his first two books! I am so proud of him! Both are available in e Book format in the i Tunes store. Enjoy!
The first one is a story that many of you may know already, that is if you have spent any time around us at all. It is called Attack of the Killer Hay bales. I know it sounds pretty Syfyish and that it is! Believe me if you read this…you will NEVER look at a hay bale the same!
Get your copy HERE
Then of course there is the short novella. This one is my favorite. He was 16 when he wrote this story. I guess it is my favorite because it is written from the perspective of the small town I grew up in and set in a building similar to the High School that we attended. A Disaster At Havendale is a story set on a beautiful spring day that turns into a nightmare of epic proportions when a giant tornado wipes out the small town of Havendale. It’s up to Dick Travis and his teacher/friend Ted Dalton to warn others of the impending doom and organize a rescue attempt before it’s too late.
Get your copy HERE
There are many more to come! AOTKHB is the first of a trilogy, and Disaster at Havendale will have a sequel as well.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith,because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
1 Peter 5:6-9
It is so hard to focus on what you need to focus on when there are distractions. When I was in school I can remember walking down the hall with an open book heading for History class studying on the way, in the three minutes we had to change classes, for a big test. I was the kid that had a hard time focusing on what I read. I understood it all, I just didn’t retain what I read. Now they call that a learning disability. Back in the 80’s they called it laziness. I wasn’t lazy, I just couldn’t figure out how to “Clear the mechanism” as Kevin Costner said in the movie “For The Love of the Game.” I passed through most of those tests, some barely, but passed enough to have almost a 3.0 GPA.
So as you can imagine it was hard with all the negativity involved in ministering in a church alongside my husband that I had a hard time focusing on God’s word. I had a hard time casting my cares upon Him. Be anxious for nothing? I was anxious about everything. My stress level was so high that I had to start taking blood pressure medicine. Between all the infighting, back biting, and “I want to run the church my way” attitudes, it was hard to focus on what God really wanted for my life. I was never really sure if I was running off of emotions or if I was following God’s will. I always checked the fruits, and that system never failed me, but some days it was hard to discern what was loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and I seldom seemed to have my emotions under control. What was it I had done to deserve any of this. What was so bad in my life that God would leave me stranded…alone…in a desert. Was it because of some sin I had committed? Was it a way that Christ was grooming me for something bigger? Or was it simply that I had done nothing to cause it but life circumstances had placed me in a place I never intended to be and had no resources to allow me to climb out?
Now I want to clarify that it took some time for me to realize that this desert was a desert of my own making. I have never been a strong person spiritually. I have always been the first person to allow my life circumstances dictate my faith. I had come to a place where my heart was cold and burned out. My caring was a thing of the past. I had been hurt so much that I just didn’t care if I helped people heal, which used to be one of my greatest passions. I would gladly lead them to Jesus, but they had to come looking for Him. I was not going to take Him to them. I was tired. Someone else could do the work.
I felt like God had left me…all alone… in the desert. My prayers seemed to bounce off the walls right back at me. I kept praying to God. “Lord I know you tell me that you hear our prayers and that your word will not come back to me void, but I just don’t feel your presence. I don’t hear you talking to me like I used to.” Every one was asking so much of me and there was only so much of me to go around.
The women of the church were asking me personally to mentor them in their walk. I was glad to do it…but when I started telling them what they needed to do to walk completely with God, they became vultures waiting to pounce on me like I was fresh roadkill on the side of the road. I started talking about submissiveness and what God required of us as women of God and as Godly wives and they started making excuses about how they weren’t expected to follow all the “rules” in the Bible. I spoke at a meeting once about how if we are living within the realms of a Godly marriage, we as women did not have the right to withhold our bodies from our husbands. One of the wives was offended by that because she had not had an intimate relationship with her husband for over 2 years, and she started telling people I condoned marital rape. The list goes on and on.
I was giving out more than I was taking in. Even when rain did appear to refresh my parched soul, it dried up before it had a chance to be effective. I had too many plants that needed watering and there wasn’t enough rain on the horizon to refresh my soul. I knew I had to find a way to meet the Lord in the desert. So how do you meet someone you know is there, listening, but you can’t see, feel, or touch? I started looking up scripture about finding God in the desert.
I knew that in order to find my way, I had to remove myself from what I thought was the loneliest place I had been in for a long time. You see, I was wrong. God hadn’t left me stranded in the desert alone. It was I who had left Him and His path for my life and wandered into the desert alone. Alone, and not willing to accept the help of anyone who offered it to me…most of all, my husband. I made a big deal that he was always trying to be my pastor, not my husband. I didn’t need a pastor. I needed my husband. I wanted him to make it all better. He tried to tell me that I knew what I needed to do and that I had to do it myself. But I wanted a quick fix. I wanted it to be fixed without doing all the work. I had watched my family get put through some horrific trials, and I wasn’t willing to put the effort into working for God. I was all dried up.
My husband and I decided that the only way to begin anew, was to move our family away from all the hurt. We had planted our feet firm in Brookfield, Mo for 5 years, and it was time to shake the dust off of our shoes and move on to where the people were eager to hear God’s word. So we uprooted our family and moved to Wisconsin. It was truly the best decision we could have made. A new life. A fresh start. It was all I had dreamed of.
Problem was, even after we moved, I was still thirsty. I was still waiting on my oasis. So much for shaking the dust off. All I did was bring Missouri dust to Wisconsin with me. Until…
One morning I was doing my devotions and a Bible study I had started and I came across a Psalm that caught my attention. Psalm 63 was written by David as he was running from King Saul. God spoke to him in the desert, just as He did that day to me;
1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
When I read that, I knew exactly what I needed to do. God spoke to me in the desert that day and told me I needed to get off my pity pot and pull up my big girl panties and start trusting in Him for all my needs once again. I can’t say it was an easy task. And it’s still a work in progress. But I still longed to hear his voice and feel His presence in my life. I believe that God allows you to linger in a desert, He wants you to learn from the experience. We’re usually in a hurry to get out. We want to take a drink of the world and get a quick fix. If you rush your way through, you might miss something. It would be better if we could all pray, “God, take as long as you need to take because I don’t want to do this again. I want to learn the lesson the first time.” In the end, you might just walk out of the desert having learned what you were supposed to learn, which leads you to be more Christ like.
I am so blessed to have a forgiving God who continually leads me on the right path when I earnestly seek Him. When I earnestly seek Him….I wake up every morning in the great state of Wisconsin, earnestly seeking Him. I long to draw closer to Him and allow His will to prevail in my life.
If you find yourself in a desert, you need to ask yourself these questions;
Are you earnestly seeking Him? Are you thirsting for Him above all else? If you have walked into a desert trust that only God can lead you out of it. Only He can give you the drink that you so long for. The catch is that you have to take the water and drink it. You have to be the one to seek Him. I was in the desert longer than I care to admit. I felt that the oasis I searched for was nowhere to be found.
I just forgot to look up. Now my days are filled with listening to Christian music, playing with and caring for the children I take care of every day, and seeking God’s face in all that I do. We found a wonderful church with a very loving church family that have accepted us for who and what we are. People who love the Lord with all our hearts, mind, and soul. People who want nothing more than to be in a place of worship where they freely embrace and live out the teaching and examples of our Savior.
Stay tuned for part 3 of my spiritual desert…(climbing out…while drowning still)