Thursday Thoughts

Hello, Thursday Morning readers. My writing desk is feeling a bit neglected, so I sat down this morning with my cup of steaming coffee, intent on doing a little writing.

I was outside for a short time today, and though there is a definite chill in the air, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Birds are chirping and singing like it’s springtime already. I love to hear them. I don’t take their song for granted. Only a short few months ago, I couldn’t hear it. What a difference hearing aids make to those with genetic hearing loss.

Small blessings fill my life these days and I’m doing my best to take time to appreciate them. Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow, because today holds enough trouble of its own. Truth. And I’m finding that even in the midst of those daily challenges, joy is still a choice you can make. The old-fashioned idea of counting your blessings has become, “focus on the positive.” Same principle.

I choose joy.

Just in case you’re interested, I #amwriting. I’m working on a new series set in the early seventies. The genre is suspense, so it’s a bit of a challenge. I’m enjoying the work. I remember the seventies, but I’d forgotten a few things, so I’m having to make notes for research a lot more often than I’d expected.

Okay, I have more than one reader, but this one won’t mind me using her picture. Hi, Deb!

In the next few months, I’ll be able to give you more details, but for now, just know that I write with my readers in mind. I’m personally acquainted with many of my readers and they are so encouraging. I love receiving notes from them when they’ve finished one of my books.

You know that feeling you get when you’ve worked hard to prepare a meal for your family, and they enjoy the food and compliment the meal? Yes, that’s the same kind of feeling I get when a reader lets me know they loved one of my stories. So, don’t hesitate to send a note to an author, or better yet, leave a short review of their book. Recommend it on Facebook and/or GoodReads.

Enough about business! Another thing I’ve really come to appreciate is you. Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy day to visit me here.

And thanks for your comments and encouragement regarding my mother’s health. She’s doing well at the time of this post. We visited her this past weekend and were able to take her out for a few hours. She absolutely loves Joseph-Beth Bookstore in Lexington, Kentucky. So, that’s where we headed and lunched at Bronte’s Bistro! If you’re ever in Lexington, it’s a must-stop-in and plan to stay a while.

Photo by Jill Wellington, Pixabay Image

Joy in the Morning

Joy. I just can’t seem to drop that theme.

Hello, Thursday Morning guests! It’s a fresh start moment. A new day. Glory awaits you.

Maybe it comes in the sunrise. Maybe in the first smile from a precious infant. For me, it’s the glow inside my heart. I can’t lose this feeling, and that’s a good thing.

It started with, “and when they saw the star…”

That was enough to get me started because I knew what followed. They rejoiced with great joy!

The coming of the Savior resulted in joy filling those who understood. Even before His birth, His presence within Mary’s womb filled the unborn John with such joy, he leapt in Elizabeth’s womb.

Okay, that’s joy, pure and simple.

Though our observances of Christmas can result in a temporary joy, gift-giving is a small part of the true celebration.

It’s the gift that has already been given that results in true joy.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” [1 Peter 1:8-9]

This is the season for joy. Maybe it keeps popping up for me because I was struggling. I dreaded the season. I wanted it over. You may feel that right now.

But when I saw the star…

When I read the scriptures and listened to my favorite Christmas songs, joy stirred within my heart. If you concentrate on you and your feelings, you’ll be depressed, plain and simple. So bundle up and step outside on a clear night. Look for the star.

Look within your heart. Lift a prayer to God. Read scriptures that instill joy and peace. Find a devotional to help prepare your heart for the holiday and beyond. These are things I did to get past the “woe is me.”

Once I stirred up the joy—true joy in my heart—peace followed. My prayer for you is that you will find that same peace and JOY and comfort. You are loved.

Note: Check out these devotionals in YouVersion (an online Bible app): A Jolt of Joy, (Carol Mcleod) and Ann Graham Lotz’s Jesus in Me. Or, you can find full versions of these on most bookstore sites.

When Christmas Comes

Christmas comes, whether we’re ready or not.

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I hope the speedy approach of the holiday hasn’t frazzled you. If so, may the  “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, …guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

This holiday season has been a struggle in our family. After a long illness and some heart issues, we thought Mom was no longer able to remain on her own. I was going to care for her. I made myself willing and available, even if it meant I had to pause my work.

Love sometimes requires sacrifices and hers would be as great as mine. Since Dad died, she has wanted to remain independent and she has, to a large degree. But with the decline of her health, we had come to realize she could no longer remain in her small second-story apartment. Alone.

I wasn’t ready for any of this. I was busily dashing to and fro, chasing that perfect gift for each name on my list.

But Christmas comes, ready or not.

If the list was never finished, my family would understand. Some changes are not to be missed. I had a feeling this would be one of them.

But something happened to interrupt our best-laid plans—something completely unexpected.

I was on my way to my weekly bookkeeping job, where I intended to turn in my letter of resignation. But, my heart wasn’t in it. That still, small voice was whispering and I felt uneasy, as though something was off, but what? So, I prayed, “Father, if this is not right, make it plain to me. Help me do the right thing.”

I had just pulled in to the bank to make my client’s weekly deposit when the phone rang. My brother was on the phone. He’d just taken Mom for her weekly doctor visit when he was going to ask the doctor about moving her. But, he didn’t end up asking, because her heart rate had normalized. She was showing signs of renewed strength, and the infection she’d suffered for almost three months was finally responding well to the daily IV antibiotics.

Because of this new development, my brother felt that it would be best to let her remain where she is.

. . . [Pause to Breathe].

God had delivered a miracle to us. He had healed her most dire health issues and strengthened her will.

We are still guardedly watching her, but for now, she’s rejoicing and feels that this is the best Christmas gift anyone could give her. A Christmas Miracle.

Published on http://www.InspiredPrompt.com

The Promise of Easter

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning! I hope you’re having a wonderful Holy Week. A time of remembrance and thankfulness. Sing Hosanna!

We are a joyful people at times, especially when we remember the sacrifice. And the ongoing sacrifices of those around us, who give of themselves on a daily basis to keep the message strong and vital. He is risen!

I’m looking forward to Sunday’s special service. But this is also a time of remembrance for me. I keep recalling my cousin’s sweet but silly telephone greeting, “Happy Easter Egg!” Whenever anyone called on Easter, he’d greet them in that way. This is his first Easter in Heaven, thus the reason for my reflections.

The joy of sacrifice. We’ve all been there, especially if you’re a mom or a spouse. Sometimes you’re called upon to give up something, like your leisure time, or that last cookie that had your name on it. Many of you give up something important for Lent. It’s a time to think and pray and remember the greatest sacrifice of all. The One who gave up everything but gained the greatest thing of all. Life everlasting, not only for himself, but for all who believed in Him.

So, Easter is a celebration, but it’s also a time for reflection. I hope it’s a reset for you, like when you reboot the computer or your phone. A renewal that will set the tone for the rest of your year and maybe the rest of your life.

In the final chapters of the last book in my Kinsman Redeemer series, Annabelle Cross gets a lesson in renewal and a second chance. She alone has the power to change her life going forward. In the book, she sings the beautiful hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness. God never changes, His compassions never fail. His mercies are new every morning. And as Annabelle sings the final verse, something truly special happens. To find out what that is, you’ll have to read the book. 🙂

Pardon for sin
And a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer
And to guide
Strength for today
and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside
Great is Thy faithfulness…

P.S.: As promised, a bit of exciting news! The final book in the Kinsman Redeemer series has a name! Yes, Annabelle’s Joy joins Annabelle’s Ruth, and Sutter’s Landing to complete the series. Expected release date is August, 2019.

Also, I am signing a contract with Write Integrity Press for another series. This one will be suspense. Tentative series title: Journey Home, Book 1 title, Illusion. Possible release date for Illusion is Fall, 2020.

A Great Thought

Who inspires you? Who has planted that great thought that changed your life or way of thinking about something?

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning readers! Welcome. I hope you’ll leave here this morning, encouraged to go out and make a difference in the world.

One easy way to do that is to let joy shine out from you.

Here’s a simple truth: If you have joy inside, it will find a way to show off. 🙂 Sometimes a smile is all it takes. A heartfelt one is especially effective.

Notice how the light flows through this open window? Imagine the dark room as your neighbor, a coworker, or friend who’s going through a difficult time. You can be the source of that light.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 says this:

“We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”

Who inspires me?

I have a couple of dear friends who are going through tremendous difficulty. Yet, whenever I see them, they’re smiling. Not the bland, forced smile, either. The all-out, joy-down-in-my-heart smiles.

I’m smiling right now at the memory! Whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself, I think about them and the countless others who endure daily pain and tribulation.

I’m most inspired by the Word of God that gives me daily strength and inspiration.

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;—Psalm 16:11

So, make someone’s day better today. If you make the effort and are rewarded with a smile, that will make your day better too.

Big news next week! See you then.