Sunday, October 4, 2020

Love Them Anyway

“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

I am a dog person. There has been at least one in my household as far back as I can remember. Always my special companion and best friend. Growing up in the country, we also had cats, but they were designated as “barn cats.” I interacted with them in a totally different way than with my dogs. I liked them, but on a different level of understanding.

A year ago, a little orange and white kitten decided that he would adopt my family. This included six dogs, one of which detested cats. Knowing the danger he faced, I did my best to run him off. After an unsuccessful month, I made him an appointment with the vet to have him neutered and vaccinated. He would be part of the family in spite of the difficulties ahead.

As I have watched the attitude changes from hostility to tolerance, to acceptance, to playfulness, I realized that Christians deal with some of the same attitudes with each other. Yes, we are all part of the family of God, but our personalities don’t automatically mesh because of it. We are still individuals with likes and dislikes that sometimes cause hurt feelings when complaints are given voice to.
 
How do we, as followers of Christ, overcome the hurt or hard feelings toward a fellow believer? We must make demonstrating the love of Jesus toward others our first priority. We all suffer from imperfection. We still fail to obey God at times. When another believer has offended us, love allows us to overlook the hurt and build each other up.

Keep using God’s gifts to serve one another. It is difficult for resentment to flourish in a community that is rich in Christ-like love. Just like my dogs accepted the cat and his quirky personality, Christians can accept that God calls us according to His purpose and each person has a place in the family. 

Dear Lord,
Thank you for my community of fellow believers. Help me overcome any past hurts and encourage them through Your power.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Despite being "social distanced," Paul writes of joy

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:14 (KJV) 

August. Usually, the hottest month of our Oklahoma summer and the beginning of a new school year. The time when life settles back into a routine. Teachers, parents, and children look forward to it. But, this is 2020 and we are still dealing with the pandemic. 

Social distancing seems to be the most effective way to limit the spread of this virus. However, humans are social creatures, and the “distancing” is starting to take a toll on many of us.

I have recently taken up the challenge to read through the book of Philippians every day for three weeks. Each day, I write down five things I learn from my reading.

This book has always been a favorite of mine because Paul writes so encouragingly to the church of Philippi. His affection for and appreciation of these believers is evident. 

Writing from a Roman prison, Paul has been forced into an extreme “social distancing” situation but still finds joy in the Lord. His faithfulness to Christ opened the door to others, who would not have heard the Gospel otherwise.

Paul portrayed Jesus Christ as a humble servant. This is the core of his teachings in this letter to the Philippians as he urges believers to live out their faith in joy and unity. 

Living in harmony can only come through mutual humility as modeled by Jesus Christ.

Centering our lives on Christ Jesus will allow true joy to fill our lives. As we pursue the spiritual prize promised by God, the strife and troubles of this earth will fade in importance and our peace will increase.

Let us be content in our circumstances, for we know they are temporary, and find joy in the Lord.

Dear Lord, Thank you for reminding me that the troubles of this world are temporary and true joy comes from You.  

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Cost of Libery

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."ー Galatians 5:1  (KJV)

As we celebrate July 4th, 2020, our nation seems to be consumed with fear and controversy. Historic figures and statues honoring leaders of our past are being dismantled and defaced. An effort to erase the ugly parts of our nation’s history has exposed the dangerous attitude that all citizens should be held accountable for the dreadful actions of a few.

When compared to other nations of the world, America is still a new country. The principles established by the Continental Congress were drawn from a strongly held belief that liberty was a gift from God. This gift should be available to all people. It was a gift worth fighting for – and dying for.

Our 66th U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, defined America like this:
“The essence of America – that which really unites us – is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion. It is an idea – and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from, but where you are going.”

I love my country and am blessed that God saw fit to put me in this place and time. My concern for the chaos reported daily by news media, is that those trying to destroy the past will doom us to repeat it. History must be remembered to learn from the mistakes made.

Without God, we are destined to continue through life in turmoil. Ultimate liberty can only be found in Christ. He has already paid the highest price for our freedom and offers it as a free gift. In the confusion of world events, Christ offers peace.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the peace and freedom from the chaos of this world. I pray that others will see you in me.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A True Father

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” — 3 John 4

As I pondered the Father’s Day celebration this month, many memories of my own father flooded my mind. Wonderful memories of a man who took his role as a husband and father seriously. I’m sure he stumbled and had faults. He was human. But, through this daughter’s eyes, he could fix any problem, mend any hurt, and protect against any enemy. He was my dad.

When we look at biblical fathers, the one that stands out for me is Joseph. Perhaps one of the most overlooked, yet greatest examples of a true father. His role was crucial in God’s plan for Jesus to fulfill His earthly destiny. Without Joseph, a pregnant Mary would not have had protection and Jesus would have been denied the love and leadership of a man of God.

God chose Joseph because he had a strong love for the Lord. That love would support Jesus’ formal and informal learning as he grew. Joseph’s involvement in the physical, spiritual, and emotional well being of Jesus had a great impact.

Just like Joseph, today’s fathers can continue to set an example for their children. Daily choices and actions teach and every decision affects the future of a child.

It is difficult for children to begin to understand the heart of God without the leadership of a man who loves and fears and worships the Lord.

In his book, How to Raise Your Children for Christ, Andrew Murray said “Every experience of the love and blessing of a home on earth can be a ladder by which to rise up and get nearer to the Great Father-heart in heaven.”

As a father, each man plays a distinct and important role in the lives and future of the children God placed in his care

Dear Lord, Thank you for placing a true father in my life, His example pointed to You always.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

A Praying Mother Lifts Up Her Children

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and to minister.” Hebrews 6:10 (KJV)

Much good can and has been said about a woman who prays. Evidence of a prayerful heart is carried through her attitude toward others and in dealing with daily life events. But a praying mother lifts her children up to the Lord in an unceasing labor of love.

One of the most popular examples of a praying mother in the Bible is Hannah, the mother of Samuel. She shows us that even when things are hard to see and understand what God is doing, we can be confident that He hears our prayers and is at work. Hannah was faithful and committed to God’s plan and sovereignty.

A more modern example of a praying mother is Susanna Wesley. She bore 19 children, but only 10 survived infancy. Of the surviving children, were three sons: Samuel, John, and Charles. The family faced poverty and hunger, accidents, and illness. Still, Susanna prayed for her children and led them in family devotions. She educated them for six hours per day of home school but was also intent on making her children disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. She too was faithful and committed to God’s plan and sovereignty.

These two women were centuries apart, but they had these things in common with today’s praying mothers:
● They knew to take their concerns and problems to the Lord.
● They knew that God’s timing is always perfect.
● They knew that God has the power and ability to work on their behalf.
● They believed God would do what He said He would do and He has the final word.
● They praised God for His faithfulness.

Just as God never changes, we can be confident that He hears our prayers and is at work. He is secure and holds us steady, even when we can’t see past the present situation.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the blessing of a praying mother and the love and example she gave.  

Friday, November 1, 2019

YULE TIDINGS ON SALE NOW!

Yule Tidings, the latest anthology from the writing group Prosateurs, is on sale now. The holiday-themed anthology celebrates Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s with works of fiction and nonfiction.

“Besides making the perfect Christmas gift, Yule Tidings is great for planning your parties and get-togethers, too,” said Kathy Akins, Prosateurs vice president. “We have articles on easy party preparations and, of course, delicious recipes. And the stories, memoirs, essays, and poems will get you into the holiday spirit. It’s the perfect book to curl up with.”

Yule Tidings features works from these authors:

Kathy Akins has won several awards with her poetry, devotionals, and short fiction. Her short stories and poetry have been published in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Blackbirds Third Flight, Creations 2015, and Creations 2014. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit her website at kathyakins.blogspot.com.

Debbie Anderson wrote the suspense novel Friend or Foe in 2018. Its sequel, Predators Among Us, will be published in early 2020. She writes short stories, memoirs, novels, children’s stories, and how-to books. She has been published in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Creations 2018, and Creations 2017.

Stephen B. Bagley's latest book is Floozy Comes Back, a collection of humorous essays. He co-wrote Undying, a book of dark poetry. His other books include: Murder by Dewey Decimal, Murder by the Acre, Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and Endless. His plays include: Murder at the Witch’s Cottage, Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God, There’s a Body in the Closet, and Hogwild. His poetry, articles, short stories, and essays have appeared in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Writer’s Digest, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, ByLine Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Pontotoc County Chronicles, Tulsa World’s OKMagazine, Free Star, Dark Prairies & Deep Rivers, the Creations anthologies 2012-2015, and other publications. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit his website at StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

Wendy Blanton wrote Dawn Before the Dark, the first book in a fantasy trilogy, which was published by the Christian fantasy publisher Bear Publications in the fall of 2019. She also co-wrote three fantasy novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard, under the name Elizabeth Joy. Her short stories, articles, and recipes have appeared in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, and Blackbirds Third Flight. She is a member of Realm Makers and Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit her website at wendyblanton.com.

Debra E. Chandler’s debut novel, Bone Sliver, was published in 2015, and the sequel, Nova Wave, in 2018. Weathered, a collection of her short works and poems, was also released in 2018. Her short stories, poems, photographs, and articles were also published in Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Blackbirds Third Flight, The Green Country Guardian, The Sapulpa Herald, and Sapulpa News and Views. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Oklahoma Bloggers and Influencers. Visit her website at dechandlerwrites.com.

Barbara Shepherd is the 2019 Voice of the Fair Poet, the Poetry Society of Oklahoma’s 2019 Poet Laureate, and recipient of more than 350 writing awards in local, regional, national, and international contests. Her books include: The Potbelly Pig Promise, River Bend, Vittles and Vignettes, and Patchwork Skin. Her writing has also appeared in: State Cops Cooking in the Heartland - More Than We Can Say Grace Over, Candle Flames: PSO’s 70th Anniversary Anthology, Oklahoma Centennial Heritage Collection, Harp Strings, A Centennial Celebration of Oklahoma Stories, travelin’ Music, Elegant Rage, Poetry Is For Everyone, Imagination Turned Loose, Beads On a String–Peace, Joy, and Love, From the Heart of Galaxy, Ain't Gonna Be Treated This Way, and other publications. Visit her website at barbarashepherd.com.

Joanne Verbridge was born in Oakland, California, spending her early life experiences in Northern California. Family brought her to Oklahoma where she enjoys writing memoirs and crafting. She works to inspire her young nieces to take an interest in storytelling and writing. Her memoirs, short stories, and articles have been published in newspapers and Prosateurs: Tales & Truth, Creations 2015, Creations 2014, Creations 2013, and Creations 2012.

Yule Tidings is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, Lulu, and other online retailers, and from the Prosateurs members while supplies last. For more information, including book signing dates and locations, visit Prosateurs.blogspot.com.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fathers Should Lead

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

The state of Washington celebrated the nation’s first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. However, the day honoring fathers did not become a nationwide holiday in the United States until 1972 – 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official.

Regardless of our relationship with our mothers, our society has always held them in high esteem as the nurturing parent. Fathers were important, but in a role more distant to the hands-on child care. In today’s world, we see more stay-at-home dads with mothers taking on the primary financial burden. Neither of these views are what God had in mind when He created the family. Both parents are to share equally in the responsibility of raising a child. Each reflects a side of God that, when brought together, shows His love for us.

The responsibility of fathers is to lead. They are not only the physical leader of the family, but are to be the spiritual leader as well. What better way to lead than by example. There is truth in the old adage of “Actions speak louder than words.” If you want children that are strong in faith, show them the proper path forward.

To be this example, always seek wisdom. Recognize the power that God has to mold and shape individual perspectives. Know that essential wisdom and knowledge from God can be passed on to children. Embrace the power of the truth of the gospel.

Fathers need to reassure their children that just as they will be there for them, God will always be there. No matter the struggle, God never abandons humanity. Sometimes discipline is required. Understand that at times this can be painful, but essential for teaching the importance of making good choices.

Above all, understand and embrace love. To see what true love looks like, read 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. The Lords tells husbands to love their wives. Compare the power of that devotion to Jesus’ love for the church. Let this love serve as a model for your children as a basis for God’s love for them and a healthy and fulfilling marriage in their future.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us honor the men who received the gift and responsibility of raising children. Pray for their strength to be an example of faith, showing God’s love in words and actions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018 Prosateurs Christmas Gift Catalog

🌟
Do
you
need 
any last 
minute gifts? 
The Prosateurs have 
the books for you! From 
cooking, children's books, humor, 
mysteries,  horror, inspirational, and 
more, you can find the right book for all
the lucky people on your list--and for you!



Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Loveless Church

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
Revelation 2:2-4


A few years ago there was a British comedy called Keeping Up Appearances. The main character, Hyacinth, wanted so badly to be part of high society, that she would regularly get herself and her husband, Richard, into an embarrassing situation by pretending it was so. She looked good on the outside, but when you examined deeper, trouble brewed within.

The book of Revelation is one of the most popular and neglected books of the Bible. It is scary because many who read it don’t understand the symbols and imagery. To make it simple, there are two things to remember when reading Revelation:

* The focus is on the vision of Jesus. He is the front and center of what this book is all about. He is victorious and so shall we be.
* It fits partly into the genre of “apocalypse.” This genre almost always deals with judgment and end-times themes.

In chapter two, Jesus is instructing the Apostle John to write letters to seven churches. Each one was dealing with issues that required repentance or encouragement. The first one addressed was the church of Ephesus.

From the outside, this was a strong church. They were keeping up appearances. They had been doing the right things and fighting the battles for so long.  It’s possible that some of the older members were getting tired. Perhaps some of the younger members didn’t feel like they could devote the time required to maintain the various ministries. Maybe they didn’t feel qualified. Their devotion to Christ was waning and they were crumbling from the inside out.

This can happen to some of the most faithful and devoted churches, if the focus becomes the ministries of the church rather than the love of Christ. It can also happen just as easily to an individual Christian.

The church of Ephesus was called upon to refocus on Christ. To return to their first love. The works of ministry are a result of loving Jesus, not the other way around. We are called to do the same. Love develops devotion. Devotion develops sharing. Sharing develops ministering to others.

We Christians need to return to our first love. When we do, keeping up appearances no longer brings trouble and trials, but joy and peace in Christ.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for reminding us that to focus on You allows everything else to fall into place.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Biblical Friendship

“ And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.
 And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.” 1 Samuel 23:15-16

Many wise and intelligent scholars, doctors, and scientists have studied the subject of relationships for years. A chemical in the brain is said to trigger the level of response and the type of love for those who share a bond. The interesting thing about this is that it’s not unique to humans. Animals feel love too. They can have relationships with other animals and with humans. Our Lord has instilled that emotion in all creatures.

Friendship is probably the best word to describe how the seed of love grows to become a relationship. As it grows, it will branch out into different paths. Some friendships last for a season during a time of transition, such as school or a job. Others will last a lifetime through many seasons of good times and hard times. We need all levels of relationships in our lives, but the truest reflection of God’s love is biblical friendship.

The story of the bond between Jonathan and David is an excellent example of such friendship. Love, stronger than a blood kinship, knit these two men together. They shared a love for God and recognized the role each of them would play in the Lord’s plan for the Israelites.

Biblical friendship isn’t limited to the Old and New Testaments, however. Here are three defining characteristics of a biblical friend:

Be present. Provide an arm to lean on, an ear to listen, and a heart to care. Just as Jonathan was there to support David, present in his time of trouble, we can give that presence too.

Pray every day for your friend. Talk to God on your friend’s behalf. God already knows the needs, but this keeps you aware of it, too. The more you share the burden, the lighter the load will become.

Protect through reassurance. Encourage your friend with the knowledge that all is possible with our Lord. Many times, the stress of life will cause one to retreat into a world of isolation.

Jonathan was there to help David through one of the darkest times of his young life. He was present. He prayed and protected his friend. The love of God reflected in his actions. We can follow this biblical friend’s example in our own lives.
       
Dear Lord,
Thank you for the biblical friends in my life. Help me to follow the example of Jonathan and David.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018

"Unexpected"


Enjoy this new anthology from the Prosateurs! Inside its covers, you'll find short stories, recipes, humor, articles, memoirs, and more!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

New Anthology Released!

OKLAHOMA—The writing group Prosateurs announces the publication of the judged anthology Prosateurs: Tales & Truth. The anthology features short stories, recipes, humor, memoirs, poetry, devotionals, articles, and other works from the group’s members. It’s now available from Prosateurs members and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, and other retailers.

Author Kathy Akins won Best of the Book with a memoir of her mother’s battle with dementia. “It was honest, sincere, and well-written,” said Submissions Judge Gail Henderson. “A reader both sympathizes and learns from it.”

Henderson co-wrote the poetry collection Undying. She collaborated with noted Oklahoma photographer Michael Duncan to produce Bare, a book of poetry and photography that explores the enigma of womanhood in the world. She wrote Red Bird Woman, a collection of her poetry under the name Gail Wood. Her work has appeared in Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, Creations 2012-2014 and ByLine Magazine. She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors for Lake Superior Writers, Duluth, Minnesota.

For more information, visit Prosateurs.blogspot.com.
Purchase on Amazon here!
Purchase on Barnes & Noble here!
Purchase on BooksAMillion here!
Purchase on Lulu here!

The anthology authors include:

Kathy Akins has won several awards with her poetry, devotionals, and short fiction. Her works were published in Blackbirds Third Flight and the Creations anthologies 2014-2015. A love for history, family, and animals inspires her stories. She lives in Oklahoma and shares her home with miniature long-haired dachshunds and a rescued Catahoula. Her dachshunds assist her when she presents educational programs for children in her capacity as an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Ambassador. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit kathyakins.blogspot.com.

Debbie Anderson wrote the novel Friend or Foe in 2018. A longtime storyteller, she has written stories since she was a child. The oldest of eight children she used these stories to entertain her siblings. She spent eighteen years in the travel industry. As a result she has been to nearly every state and six countries. She left the travel business after 9/11. Since then she has written business documents such as manuals and procedures for the electronic and oil industries. She writes short stories, memoirs, novels, children’s stories, and how-to books. She has been published in Creations 2017.

Stephen B. Bagley co-wrote the poetry collection Undying. He wrote Murder by Dewey Decimal, Murder by the Acre, Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and EndlesS. He wrote the plays Murder at the Witch’s Cottage and Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God and co-wrote Turnabout, Hogwild, and There’s A Body in the Closet. His writings have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, ByLine Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Tulsa World OKMagazine, and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

Kelley Benson is a pastor who has a passion for using everyday opportunities to help people recognize how God works in their lives. He and his wife Jade are raising their  children to see how God should be part of everything people do. Since 1997, he has participated in a wide range of ministries and been involved with the investment industry, the insurance industry, teaching, and carpentry. He published On Target, a book of devotionals, and writes a weekly newsletter. His articles were published in Creations 2013-2015. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit kelleybenson.blogspot.com.

Nita Beshear began writing as a young child. If her family wasn't moving from one state to another, they were moving across town. Stories gave her continuity. Her friends in her stories went with her to every new home. Beshear writes nonfiction, historical novels, and short stories. Her books include Devoted to Quilting and Beyond the Grief: A Widow's Survival Guide. Her fiction appeared in Romance-The Spice of Life. She is a member of the Material Girls (the Allen Oklahoma Quilters), McAlester McSherry Writers, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., and Duncan and Okmulgee Toastmasters. Visit nitabeshear.wordpress.com.

Wendy Blanton published the novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard, under the name Elizabeth Joy. Her short stories appeared in Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, and Blackbirds Third Flight. She writes novels and short stories in several genres. She graduated from the University of Mount Olive, North Carolina, and served in the United States Air Force. An apprentice bard, she tells Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues. She and her husband are members of the Clan Campbell Society. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit wendyblanton.wordpress.com.

D. E. Chandler wrote the thriller Bone Sliver. In 2013, her poem, “Oppenheimer” and her short story “One Way Window” won honorable mention and publication in Outside the Lines. In 2015, her poem “Carroll After Dark” won first place and publication in the Tulsa Review’s 2015 Spring contest issue. Her works were also published in Blackbirds Third Flight, The Green Country Guardian, The Sapulpa Herald, and Sapulpa News and Views. She graduated from Rogers State University. She lives with her husband Tom in Oklahoma. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Oklahoma Women Bloggers. Visit dechandlerwrites.com.

Barbara Shepherd has received more than 300 writing awards. She is the Oklahoma 2017 Voice of the Fair Poet, a Lone Stars Poet, a Woody Guthrie Poet, and a former Nominee for Poet Laureate of the State of Oklahoma. Shepherd served as a field editor for Taste of Home and contributed to other magazines, including: Outlook, Oklahoma D.O., Oklahoma Woman, Edmond Life and Leisure, Bella, and ArtBeat. Her books include: The Potbelly Pig Promise, River Bend, Vittles and Vignettes, and Patchwork Skin. Her writing appeared in: Women’s War Memoirs, Heavenly Patchwork, Voices In Time, and numerous other publications. Visit barbarashepherd.com.

Joanne Verbridge was born in Oakland, California, spending her early life experiences in Northern California. Family brought her to Oklahoma where she enjoys writing memoirs and crafting. She works to inspire her young nieces to take an interest in story telling and writing. Her memoirs, short stories, and articles have been published in Oklahoma newspapers and in the Creations anthologies 2012-2015.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Perspective

“19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  James 1:19-20


The tongue contains no bones. However, it is the most powerful muscle in the body. It's used for tasting, licking, and swallowing. And in humans, it’s used in articulating speech. Words – once said, cannot be unsaid. They can build a person’s confidence or destroy self-esteem. So powerful is the tongue.

Many of the challenges that the early Christians faced still confront us today. The Epistle of James is an important New Testament book for those who tend to see Christianity as just believing the right things. As James reminds us, that kind of faith is worthless. Only a faith that transforms us and our way of life is true.

The person with transforming faith will control his or her tongue. One will learn patience and think before words are spoken. A living faith can be expressed in the way we talk to others. Seek kind words and soon there will be no harsh thoughts to clutter our minds. Our works shall be a reflection of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for giving me the power of speech in order to praise You and share the gospel. Help me to use my tongue to encourage others. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Testimony

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12  (KJV)

We all believe in something. Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny are magical and fun for children. As we age, beliefs can turn into superstitions such as four-leaf clovers, horseshoes, and leprechauns bringing good luck, and black cats, broken mirrors, and walking under ladders bringing bad luck.

When Paul and Barnabas set out on their first missionary journey, they knew God was directing them to share the gospel with the Gentiles. The Holy Spirit gave them power to proclaim the message of Jesus boldly and without fear. Superstitions in a culture without the one true God were their biggest obstacles. Although many received the good news with open hearts, Paul and Barnabas also endured hunger, beatings, and rejection. Still, they gave testimony to the grace of God and salvation through Jesus Christ.

As believers today, we also have the power of the Holy Spirit to share our testimony without fear. Many times, the Lord will direct us to talk to a friend, family member, or perhaps a stranger about what Jesus has done in our lives. I was told once that my testimony should never be more than twenty-four hours old. In other words, share what Jesus is doing now in my life. Keep it current, because His grace is current.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the power to share my testimony with others.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fit for a King

“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasurers, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”  Matthew 2:11

Most Christian homes will have at least one nativity scene set up as part of their Christmas decorations. In addition to the stable with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, there will be shepherds with sheep, and more than likely, three wise men with their camels. This is a lovely picture and has become the traditional view of Christ’s birth.

On the night Jesus was born, the angels announced it to the shepherds, who immediately hurried to see the Messiah. They then ran to share the good news with others. The wise men, or magi, were traveling from the east using the star to guide them to the location of the new king. These men were familiar with the stories of an expected savior, probably passed down from the time and teachings of Daniel in Babylon. They were coming, as was custom, to honor the newborn king.

Because of the three types of gifts presented to Jesus, we assume that there were three wise men. Most likely, there was a caravan of several men, because the distance between home and destination was great. Upon arrival in Bethlehem, the star directed them to a house where Mary and Joseph stayed with Jesus. Though still a baby, He was no longer a newborn.

The gifts of the wise men were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world. Gold was a precious metal. Frankincense was a perfume or incense. Myrrh was an anointing oil.

These gifts also honor Jesus in a special way as God’s son.Gold honors His kingship and divinity. Frankincense honors His priesthood. Myrrh honors His suffering and death.

What gifts can we give to honor the King? Obedience to His word and sharing His love with others. Don’t get lost in the celebration of Christmas and forget the reason He came was salvation.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for Your willingness to step down from glory to become a servant in order for me to share eternity with You.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

God's Gift


10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:8-12


The Christmas holiday brings thoughts of sharing and giving to others. Many feel compelled to donate money to charities or homeless shelters. Others volunteer time to serve meals or distribute toys to those less fortunate. The attitude of generosity and love hovers over our collective society. How I wish this could continue throughout the year and not just for a season.

Gifts – given and received – also become the focus for celebrating. Don’t lose sight of the greatest gift – God’s Son. Jesus, the promised Messiah, savior of the world.

As you gather with friends and family this year to celebrate Christmas, I challenge you to read the full account of the birth of Jesus in the second chapter of Luke. Imagine yourself on the hillside among the shepherds tending the flock of sheep. Gaze with wonder upon the angels as they announce the birth of Jesus. Rush alongside the men hurrying to the stable to find Christ the Lord, just as the angel told them. Feel the amazement, not temporary fascination, but holy wonder – adoration.

Now that you truly connect to the real reason for the season, spread the word. Tell others about this most precious gift. Ponder the meaning in an attempt to understand it. Be amazed by it. Celebrate Christ.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for giving the gift of salvation. Please help me remember the true meaning of Christmas and to spread the word.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Entitlement

“Behold God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he is become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

I grew up with please and thank you as part of my everyday language. Consideration of others and gratitude for kindness was embedded in my upbringing. Admittedly, there have been times when I forgot to say the words. That’s when to ask if it’s a polite courtesy or true gratitude.

Gratitude is a matter of the heart. Our sinful nature directs us to feel entitled to the actions and attention of others. Unfortunately, that carries over to our relationship with God. The Lord, however, owes us nothing but judgment for our sin. He has freely offered His grace, love and, mercy and paid the cost for our sin Himself.

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have the gift of salvation. Even though He hates our sin, He offers comfort and mercy for those who seek Him. The Lord alone is entitled to our devotion and praise.

An attitude of thanksgiving, as we go through each day, will discourage the feeling of entitlement.

Dear Lord, thank you for Your mercy and the gift of Your salvation.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Selfish Prayers

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
James 4: 1-3


Prayer should be a part of a Christian’s daily life. It is, after all, direct communication with God. He loves us and wants us to ask for our needs and wants – even though He already knows what they are.

Have you ever wondered if your prayer might cross the line and become selfish? I think of my dogs and their dependence on me. In return for my care, they give me unconditional love, but at times, they also have selfish demands. Am I guilty of such demands of God?

Philip Yancey, a Christian author, has shared five signs of selfish prayer.

1) Focusing on your own comfort – Usually when trying to get out of a tough situation, you make a desperate plea to the Lord.
2) Focusing on what makes your life easier – You treat God as “the genie in the bottle” who grants wishes.
3) Focusing on things – You look at material things as the solution.
4) Focusing on status – You look at how it impacts your social or church status.
5) Focusing on fear – You concentrate on things you can lose rather than what you can gain by giving God control.

Remember that it’s not selfish to ask for needs or wants, as long as your request doesn’t interfere with your walk with God. He must have preeminence as your first love. He wants us to ask and trust Him for provision. When we desire Him first, doors are open to so much more because we have our priorities right.

Dear Lord, I want to thank You for Your love and praise You for Your glory. I know that by trusting You, my needs will be met according to Your will.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Prayer and Thanksgiving

I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth thy marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in thee; I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
Psalm 9: 1, 2


It’s hard to believe that the calendar has turned another page and we are in November. This time of year always brings childhood memories of Thanksgiving holidays spent with family. It meant cold weather had hit and we might get snow, gathering at a family member’s home for fellowship and turkey dinner, and parades followed by football all day on the television. Fond memories of a simpler time, unmarred by the concerns of adulthood.

Life is different now. Many of my family members will celebrate the holidays in heaven and the remaining ones have family commitments or live too far away to allow us to come together to share the holiday.

As a Christian, I would like to turn my thoughts of thanksgiving to the Lord. Just as King David wrote in his Psalm, I will praise Him with my whole heart. He deserves and desires no less. He has blessed me beyond measure.

Yes, I am blessed materially with shelter, transportation, and food. But the blessings overflow – I am loved – by family, friends, and even my dogs. Most importantly, the Lord loves me.

Let’s begin this holiday season by counting our blessings. Start each day this month by naming one. Don’t forget to thank the Lord for it in prayer. By December 1st it will be a habit and easy to continue as holiday stress melts into praise.

Dear Lord, thank you for Your many blessings. Help me to remember that all I am comes from You and to be glad and rejoice.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Life Happened....

For those of you who are reading my posts – I wish to explain my long delay in posting another devotional. I purchased a home in October of 2016. It had carpet, which is not as forgiving as other flooring when you have multiple dogs sharing your space. In June, my contractor was able to schedule the remodeling of my den and replacing the carpet with vinyl flooring. The flooring also went down in my bedroom, master bath, and office. That meant everything was scattered and moved from room to room as progress was made over several weeks. Writing came to a standstill.

I was additionally blessed with my first great-grandbaby on August 9th. He is a beautiful reminder of God’s goodness.

Now, my office is back in order and writing has resumed. The Lord has prompted me to share my thoughts again on this blog. My prayer is that whoever reads my words will receive a blessing and be inspired in their own walk with the Lord.

Kathy ~

Friday, May 19, 2017

But If You Don't

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 
But if not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Daniel 3: 17-18

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, three Israelite teenagers taking a stand for God when facing their Captor, King Nebuchadnezzar, is one of my favorite examples of courage in the Old Testament. Knowing that their refusal to bow to the king and worship him surely meant death, they chose God and trusted in His deliverance.

None of us can be sure of what we will face tomorrow. We all make plans that may or may not happen exactly as we expect. My dogs trust me to make decisions that will benefit them. We need to rely on the Lord even more. He alone sees the beginning and the end simultaneously. He knows the plans He has for each of us.

Courage to accept God’s design for our lives develops through a close relationship with Him. Whether He saves us from the fire or not, we can trust we will not face the trial alone. Just as He was in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, the Lord assures us that He is beside us during every trial. We can rest in the knowledge that the outcome reflects His love and plan for us.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the plans You have for me and the courage to face whatever trials may come.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Godly Woman

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fearth the Lord, she shall be praised.” - Proverbs 31:30

May 14, 2017 will be the second Mother’s Day that I will honor my mom without her being physically present. She will celebrate the holiday with our Lord and I will celebrate the memory of her. I am not alone in this quiet celebration. Other family members and friends hold their own memories close. This is a slight departure, but I hope I may indulge.

I am blessed. Born to and raised by parents who feared God. The responsibility of childcare was a team effort. Each of them brought different perspectives to my training, equal in importance for my whole being.

Since this holiday is honoring mothers, I would like to focus on mine today.

The Lord gives gifts and talents to all of us. Mom possessed the gift of mercy. She once told me that she would have enjoyed becoming a nurse. It would have been a suitable match for her gift. She was a caregiver, not only husband and children, but others as well. It was so much a part of her that when she had to move into the nursing home, she wanted a “job” so she could serve. Even dementia could not silence her gift.

Mom also had the talent of voice. The Lord blessed her with one of the sweetest singing voices. She loved music, especially the old hymns. Even now, I can hear her soft alto singing Victory in Jesus.

A mother who fears the Lord and raises her children to do so is precious. She holds her children close to her heart for her entire life. My mother was such a woman and taught me through example. I must repeat – I am blessed.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for allowing me to have a mother who knew the importance of having a relationship with You.