Thursday, February 26, 2009
For those of you who do not know Beth Moore, she is an outstanding Bible teacher, writer of Bible studies, and is a married mother of two daughters.
This is one of her experiences:
April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville , waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you.
You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons, not the least of which is your ego.
I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones.
The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy, gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man. I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in the airport... an impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere? There I sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served up on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while, my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him.
Let's admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man. I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing.
I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. 'Oh, no, God, please, no.' I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, 'Don't make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I'll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!
'There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, 'Please don't make me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on the plane.' Then I heard it....'I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair.' The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No-brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, 'God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I'm on this Lord. I'm your girl! You've never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am going to witness to this man.'
Again, as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. 'That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair.' I looked up at God and quipped, 'I don't have a hairbrush. It's in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?'
God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: 'I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works.' (2 Timothy 3:17) I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, 'Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?'
He looked back at me and said, 'What did you say? ''May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?' To which he responded in volume ten, 'Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that.'
At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, 'SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?' At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Long Locks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, 'If you really want to.'
Are you kidding? Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, 'Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush.''I have one in my bag,' he responded.
I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don't do many things well, but must admit I've had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I'd done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull. A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair . I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while.
The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's. I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knee and said, 'Sir, do you know my Jesus? 'He said, 'Yes, I do'
Well, that figures, I thought. He explained, 'I've known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior.' He said, 'You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride.' Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it.
Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft. I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, 'That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?'
I said, 'Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!' And we got to share.
I learned something about God that day. He knows if you're exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you're hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!
I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way .. all because I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me.
Please share this wonderful story.
'Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain!'
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is a fabulous and difficult book at the same time. It deals with several difficult concepts -- abduction, abuse, illness, and teenage hormones -- in a heart-rending way. Mary DeMuth has climbed inside the head of a teenage boy from a very dysfunctional family in a way that let's the reader really understand his personal pain.
The cast of characters is amazing. Each is multi-dimensional and Mary lays them open to reveal their strengths, weaknesses, pains, and joys. She takes us beyond first impressions and preconceived notions so we can understand their true spirits and see how they have been impacted by life's trials. There are no stereotypical representations; Mary helps us see that each person has a story.
This is a story that will stick with you. The writing is magnificent. Mary's words take on the melody of life, and they are compiled in such a way that I often went back to reread a sentence because it felt so good rolling around in my brain! The story line allows each of us to resonate with the emotions and reactions of characters even if we have not been in similar situations.
I believe this book will be an award winner -- it's a must read. I honestly care about what happens to each person in future books. It's a shame that it takes so much longer to write a book than it does to read one!
Buy a copy HERE.
The book is full of secrets that each person holds -- some choose to let go and be free, others hold on desperately with fear of repercussion. Each of us has secrets that threaten to blow apart our comfortable lives. Mary has created a safe place to release them at her website, My Family Secrets. Check it out and feel free to leave your secrets anonymously.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary E. DeMuth is an expert in Pioneer Parenting. She enables Christian parents to navigate our changing culture when their families left no good faith examples to follow.
Her parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2007), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005).
Mary also inspires people to face their trials through her real-to-life novels, Watching The Tree Limbs
(nominated for a Christy Award) and Wishing On Dandelions (NavPress, 2006).
Mary has spoken at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, the ACFW Conference, the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and at various churches and church planting ministries. Mary and her husband, Patrick, reside in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France, and planting a church.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control—Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter’s demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis.
In this first book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper has a sickening secret: He’s convinced it’s his fault his best friend Daisy went missing. Jed’s pain sends him on a quest for answers to mysteries woven through the fabric of his own life and the lives of the families of Defiance, Texas. When he finally confronts the terrible truths he’s been denying all his life, Jed must choose between rebellion and love, anger and freedom.
Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful southern coming-of-age story crafted by a bright new literary talent. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Daisy Chain, go HERE
Thursday, February 19, 2009
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In this fast–paced thriller by popular author Brandt Dodson, a young government accountant learns to trust God when his life begins to fall apart and unseen enemies pursue him with relentless zeal.Daniel Borden is a thirty–year–old government accountant who lives a quiet life and plays by the rules. But when events transpire that shatter his orderly world and a team of assassins mark him for death, Daniel must flee for his life.
While on the run, Daniel encounters Laura Traynor. Carefree and easygoing, Laura is everything that Daniel isn’t. But when the killers assigned to eliminate Daniel find him at Laura’s bed–and–breakfast, gunfire erupts and the two set out on the run once again.As they try to unravel the mystery that confronts them, they discover how tenuous life can be and how their very existence depends on the God who will never abandon them.
A perfect suspense tale for readers who love Dee Henderson, James Scott Bell, Brandilyn Collins, and James Patterson.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brandt Dodson was born and raised in Indianapolis, where he graduated from Ben Davis High School and, later, Indiana Central University (now known as The University of Indianapolis). It was during a creative writing course in college that a professor said, "You're a good writer. With a little effort and work, you could be a very good writer." That comment, and the support offered by a good teacher, set Brandt on a course that would eventually lead to the Colton Parker Mystery Series.
A committed Christian, Brandt combined his love for the work of Writers like Chandler and Hammet, with his love for God's word. The result was Colton Parker.
"I wanted Colton to be an 'every man'. A decent guy who tries his best. He is flawed, and makes mistakes. But he learns from them and moves on. And, of course, he gets away with saying and doing things that the rest of us never could."
Brandt comes from a long line of police officers, spanning several generations, and was employed by the FBI before leaving to pursue his education. A former United States Naval Reserve officer, Brandt is a board Certified Podiatrist and past President of the Indiana Podiatric Medical Association. He is a recipient of the association's highest honor, "The Theodore H. Clark Award".
He currently resides in southwestern Indiana with his wife and two sons and is at work on his next novel.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
I have had an amazing day. It's been one of those days when you could decide to yell from the roof tops or crawl back in bed and not get out for a week. The boys are watching a show where a character just said "I don't know whether I should laugh or cry, so I'll do both at the same time." I know just how she feels!
It's all a matter of perspective. If you look at it one way, these are the things that happened:
- It's a holiday and I woke up at my normal time. On a regular day it's a struggle to wake up, but of course today I was wide awake and couldn't sleep in though I wanted to.
- I had to say goodbye to Alicia, Clay, and Becca. I won't see Becca until Spring Break or Alicia and Clay again until at least June. I hate that they are all so far away.
- Things in my garden are starting to grow...but I know they will freeze and therefore not be as pretty as they should be.
- Sammi crashed my car and it needs repaired before we can drive it.
- Something in the refrigerator smells like old peppers...but I can't find it anywhere.
- I was almost done dumping gross stuff from the fridge when the sink backed up.
- The liquid plumr that is guaranteed to work didn't.
- I can't find the receipt to get my money back on the liquid plumr.
- The liquid plumr people don't work at night so I have no idea what to do with my sink full of stinky chemicals AND a clog.
- I found out that my daughter's previous doctor was giving her double the recommended dose of medication for the past year.
- I had to interrupt another daughters plans to get a vehicle to use to go to the doctor.
- My husband told me he's going to have to be out of town for a week...during my birthday.
- A friend called to tell me how bad her life is.
- My husband was at his mothers house all evening so I got to deal with these things alone.
However I realize that God has blessed me with this version of my day:
- I woke up on my own and saw an amazing sunrise.
- I was able to hug all five of my children in the same day.
- I'm so proud of who our girls are turning out to be.
- Some days the wildness that is 9 year old boys can actually be fun.
- I had just enough fresh blueberries left this morning to make my cereal perfect.
- I had a peaceful morning and I was able to enjoy a whole cup of coffee without interruption.
- I did my Bible study first thing.
- We had lots of leftovers from the weekend reception and everyone in the house could have lunches and dinners that they enjoyed.
- I found the perfect refrigerator for the kitchen at 50% off.
- The salesman told me when the perfect freezer will have it's price reduced and I can wait.
- My daffodils are popping up their green leaves, bringing the hope of spring.
- I have a wonderful daughter who is willing to drop her agenda to be able to help out.
- No one was hurt when the car crashed.
- The doctor was impressed by how emotionally mature our 16 year old is.
- Our daughter is basically healthy and she has a doctor who really cares about the long term effects of her actions and medications.
- And she likes her new doctor.
- I was able to get the refrigerator cleaned out.
- The sink didn't leak like it usually does when it clogs.
- My husband has a great job that he enjoys and that pays for more than our needs.
- I have a fabulous husband that I will miss and who will miss me.
- I can eat what I want on my birthday and not worry that my hubby won't like it!
- My car can be fixed and we have money set aside for emergencies.
- We have friends who will help us get where we need to be until the car is fixed.
- My husband really cares about other people, and I love how he enjoys spending time with his mom once a week (he's her 'hot date').
- I have a fabulous mother-in-law who is fun to be with.
Isn't God good? Despite all the craziness of our life, He is in control. None of the things that happened today, good or bad, will really make a difference in the course of His Will. Even if I pouted occasionally or snapped at the boys when I found them playing in the chemical water in the sink, I know that He loves me anyway.
I'm surrounded by people that I love and I am blessed beyond what I could imagine.
And I had a box full of brownies I could eat whenever the stress got overwhelming!!!
Thank you, God! My cup overflows.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Then I look at our economy today and wonder about how far we've fallen. Those folks didn't have half the luxuries we have. There were no cell phone, no air conditioners, fireplaces for furnaces, no designer jeans, no cable. And they didn't have a clue that these 'necessities' were missing from their lives.
We have a horrible storm and run out of power or even, heaven forbid, lose our homes, and we turn to find someone who must be responsible and who will take care of us. Please don't get me wrong. I don't want anyone to have to suffer and I am very sorry for folks who have lost their jobs. Illness, disaster, and layoffs happen and I wish they weren't a part of our daily life. But so many people could pull themselves out of this situation if they would just look back a few generations to their ancestors who lived through the depression and other difficult times in our history.
How would you make it if all of a sudden you had nothing tomorrow?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I'm not quite finished with this one, so I can't possibly give away the story!
There are a lot of interesting trails in this story. Who will believe a boy who insists hy saw a windigo (who happens to look like is dead father) bury a baby? Who tried to kidnap the boy and why? And did the gentle autistic man holding the murder weapon really kill a woman? Who's the mother of the baby found under a woodpile? Who is this man who looks exactly like the heroine's dead husband? Did he really die in that plane crash? I can't wait to find out these questions all resolve themselves!
This book is part of the Rock Harbor Mystery series, and I'd recommend that you read the other books in the series first. There are several times when the text hints or refers directly to things that happened in the past that stopped the flow of the story for me until I figured out how they were linked. I'm enjoying this story, and I have added the first three books in the series to my 'must read' list.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Author Colleen Coble's thirty novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best awards. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.
2004 More Than Magic winner for Best Inspirational Romance
Without a Trace, Thomas Nelson
2004 American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year
ABOUT THE BOOK
The highly anticipated novel that delivers what romantic suspense fans have long awaited-the return to Rock Harbor.
Bree Nichols gets the shock of her life when her husband-presumed dead-reappears.
Bree Nichols and her search and rescue dog Samson discover a crying infant in the densely forested woods outside of Rock Harbor, Michigan. Against objections from her husband, Kade, who knows she'll become attached, Bree takes the baby in. Quickly she begins a search for the mother-presumably the woman reported missing just days earlier.
While teams scour the forests, Bree ferrets out clues about the missing woman. But she soon discovers something more shocking: Bree's former husband-long presumed dead in a plane crash-resurfaces. Is he really who he says he is? And should she trust him again after all these years?
An engaging, romantic suspense novel from critically-acclaimed author Colleen Coble.
If you would like to read the first chapter of , go HERE