“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
I received the call — the one every writer waits for. My agent, Linda Glaz, called to tell me that Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas had decided to publish my first story. This was an answer to decades of prayer. My “millennial in the basement” was finally given wings to fly out into the world.
It was December 23, 2015, and my oldest son and his family were visiting us for the Christmas holidays. I called my youngest son and shared the news with him. We could not tell anyone else until after the contract had been received and signed. Tears of joy were shed and my family celebrated with me.
I’m humbled. I know in this current publishing market, it is difficult for non-published authors to be picked up for publication. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas was taking a chance on me.
Back in the eighties, two major Christian publishing houses considered this story seriously, but in the end, their rejections were added to the others.
In the nineties, my life changed, and for years I needed to put my writing aside. After I remarried, my husband encouraged me to return to writing and to once again seek publication for this story.
In the intervening years so much had changed in the fiction market about what publishers wanted to publish and how they wanted the stories presented. So I studied more about the current style of writing fiction and then began significant editing to the story. I also attended writer’s conferences, networked with many amazing writers, began blogging and established a website. I’ve also been blessed with a wonderful agent who is a friend and mentor. It has been and continues to be a learning process. Now I was days away from receiving a contract.
“Seasons of waiting on God and listening for His speaking often precede everything significant God will do in your life. God waits for you to wait on Him.”
“God, like a master weaver, does a creative work within us during the waiting times in our lives. . . . Before He gives us what we are waiting for, He wants to give us more of Himself. In the waiting times we are strengthened with His strength and the fiber of His character is worked within us.”
“It is important to understand that waiting times are not times of denial but are times of preparation. When it is God’s time to bring something into our lives, He will often do it after He has prepared us to receive it.”
“During our waiting times, expectation helps to keep us spiritually moving ahead instead of becoming passive and indifferent. Expectation moves us from twiddling our thumbs to exercising our faith.”
“Waiting times are growing times and learning times. As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace…as you sense your weakness, you receive His strength…as you lay down your will, you hear His calling.” ~ Roy Lessin
(Used with Roy Lessin’s permission http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com)
“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who works for the one who waits for Him.” Isaiah 64:4
A Heart Set Free will be released December 2, 2016. I look forward to sharing more about this story with you in the days ahead.Read More
I find myself shaking my head a lot lately. With everything that is going on in our nation, whether it is a society bent on violence, this strange political season, the loss of long-held beliefs, values, and even our basic freedoms, it is easy to become discouraged, fearful, and cynical. But that is not how God has called us to respond. He wants us to pray for our nation and to look beyond the circumstances and trust Him.
I’ve shared before that I enjoy reading several devotionals along with the Bible. One of those devotionals is Meet Me in the Meadow by Roy Lessin. And he has generously allowed me to share some of his work.
From August 3rd
“God has not made the earth and abandoned it. He has not retreated somewhere in the universe and gone into hiding. He is today where He has always been, on His throne. God sees all things, knows all things, and is all-powerful. God is all in all. He is above all. Nothing is above Him or equal to Him. There is no king or ruler that has more authority than God; there is no political figure that has more influence than God; there is no nation that has more control than God. No one can out-think Him, or out-smart Him. He is God Almighty. He has all authority in heaven and earth. His enemies are under His feet. He reigns and rules. He is the majesty on High.”
“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of Thy kingdom is a right scepter.”
-Psalm 45:6 KJV-
“God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.”
Psalm 47:8 KJV
So I’ll work harder at keeping my focus on the Lord and not be anxious about the craziness that is going on in our country and the world.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
Proverbs 29:25 ESV
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
John 14:27 ESV
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
And I will continue to pray for our nation.Read More
To honor and remember all those who gave it all in the service of our nation throughout the ages. And to give thank for those who now serve:
SCRIPTURE VERSES FOR THE MILITARY AND THEIR LOVED ONES
|My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
|The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
|COURAGE||Joshua 1:9||Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.|
|Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
|The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
|ETERNAL LIFE||John 3:16,17||For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.|
|FAITH||1 Cor. 16:13
|Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
|Psalms 19: 89,90
|Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
|God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
|in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
|GUILT||1 John 1:7
1 John 1: 9
|But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
|HELP IN TRIALS||Psalms 32:7
|You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
|HOPE||Col 1:5||the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel|
1 Peter 5:6
|In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
|LONLINESS||Genesis 28:15||I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.|
|LOVE||1 John 4:10
1 Cor 2:9
|This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him—
1 John 2:17
|And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
|Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
|The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
|Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Therefore. I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
2 Cor 10:17-18
|To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
|PRISONERS||Psalm 146:7||He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free,|
|GOD’S PROTECTION||Psalms 121:7-8
| The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
|SEEKING GOD||Jer 29:13
|You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
|SERVING||Romans 12:1,2||Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.|
|Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
|TEMPTATION||1 Cor 10:13||No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.|
|Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
In Williamsburg, Virginia we start the Christmas season on the day of Colonial Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination, always held the Sunday of the first full weekend in December. Early in the day, it’s fun to take a stroll down Duke of Gloucester (DOG) Street and view all the unique and beautiful wreaths and swags on the doorways. They are, for the most part, created from fruit, dried flowers, pine boughs, and plants. These decorations are closely monitored throughout the entire Christmas season and freshened whenever needed.
This year the weather was spectacular, mild and sunny, which drew even more crowds than usual. While there we observed a fun colonial auction. A Colonial Williamsburg interpreter served as the entertaining Auctioneer. Many lovely and interesting colonial items were auctioned off to the hundreds of folks gathered on the lawn not far from the magazine.
This year also was a first for the recently installed ice rink, Liberty’s Ice Pavilion, which many people of all ages were enjoying. There were various stations up and down the street where visitors could purchase cider or hot chocolate.
When darkness came, the smell of bonfires and the charming lit cressets along DOG Street filled the air.
The evening was culminated with fireworks set from three locations; The Palace Green, The Magazine, and the Capitol.
Our next Christmas event each year is attending one of the five magnificent Christmas concerts at The Williamsburg Community Chapel directed by the incomparable Ted Cornell. The concert began with the entrance of the young member’s who serve as part of the Colonial Williamsburg Fifers and Drummers, boys and girls ages 10 to 18. The evening is filled with both traditional and more modern Christmas music by the large adult and children’s choirs and an orchestra. It is a wonderful celebration of our God coming to earth as a human, Jesus, to redeem us from our sins. His free gift of salvation is available to every person who accepts Christ as their Savior.
We tried something new that was lots of fun this year; we visited Busch Gardens “Christmas Town”. What a wonderful time of enjoying all the beautiful lights and decorations throughout the park. There were a number of live shows, all with a Christmas theme. One show, Gloria! shared the birth of Christ. Scrooge was based on the Dickens story. There was an ice show and others with dancing and singing.
We brought in the New Years watching the ball drop at midnight in Times Square. Our family always has the traditional meal of Hoppin John to bring in the New Year.
See more about Hoppin John at: http://janetgrunst.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=645&action=edit
Now, we celebrate Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, sometimes called Three King’s Day. Epiphany is the Christian celebration that commemorates the revelation of the birth of Jesus to the wider world as told in the story of three wise men visiting the newborn Jesus with gifts in Bethlehem.
May your 2016 be blessed, and may you begin your new year opening your heart to all that the Lord has for you.
Friends and family will gather this Thursday, November 26, to celebrate Thanksgiving. Many will enjoy a lavish meal, engage in time-honored events, and possibly watch a football game.
Thanksgiving celebrations have been practiced in many nations for hundreds of years. Our celebrations are rooted in English traditions of celebrating after a harvest. But Thanksgiving Day also has religious origins.
Virginia claims an earlier Thanksgiving celebration at what is now known as Berkeley Plantation. On December 4, 1619, where Captain John Woodlief and the company of men dropped to their knees and prayed:
“We ordaine that this day of our ships arrival,
at the place assigned for plantacon (plantation)
in the land of Virginia,
shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy
as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”
AMERICA’S FIRST THANKSGIVING ~ BERKELEY PLANTATION
Some of us may be experiencing a bittersweet Thanksgiving.
Are you grieving because you have lost a loved one to death or hurting from a broken relationship? Are you anxious because you or someone close to you is fighting a disease or illness? Maybe you’re heartbroken because of a child or grandchild’s trial. Perhaps there are disappointments due to a job or opportunity loss, or fears resulting from financial woes. Some of us even worry about what might happen in the future ― events which may never materialize.
God tells us “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
Does that make sense? How do we give thanks when it feels like our world is falling apart? We are to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. In the midst of whatever you are going through Scripture can be very encouraging.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Praising God is a wonderful antidote to fight discouragement or depression. As you enumerate the many things you can thank God about, a subtle but miraculous event occurs.
While your circumstances may not be altered, your attitude as you take the journey will be transformed.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
Have a blessed Thanksgiving
in the knowledge that God loves you.
Anne Graham Lotz, and other Christian leaders asked for Americans to participate in
May Day! May Day! A Distress Call For Prayer.
This commitment involved setting aside the nine days between the Day of the Ascension of Jesus and the Day of Pentecost, (May 15th to May 23rd, 2015) for repentance, prayer, and fasting.
Fasting and praying are Bible-based disciplines that Jews and Christians have practiced throughout history, a spiritual discipline not relegated only to the early church.
When the British Parliament ordered an embargo of Boston in May, 1774, to begin June 1st, the Burgesses of Virginia passed a resolution protesting this act and set aside that very day to seek God with fasting and prayer.
On March 16th, 1776, the Continental Congress recommended:
“that Friday, the Seventeenth day of May next, be observed by the said colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies;”
Our national leaders also called for days of prayer at other times throughout our history, including in 1812 and during the Civil War.
Today was the final day of May Day! May Day! A Distress Call For Prayer. For those people who made the commitment to join Anne Graham Lots and thousands of others in this call for prayer, each day they received suggestions for guided prayer and video talks ranging from 4-16 minutes.
My husband and I chose to answer this call, and found it to be an incredible blessing. The prayers furnished each day were Spirit led. It was time well spent and we would do it again.
It is never too late to set aside a time to pray for our nation, because the need is great.
On this Memorial Day weekend, when our minds and hearts remember the men and women who gave everything to defend and preserve this nation, we can do our part by committing to pray for God’s blessing.
For more information: