Category Archives: faith

Are we free?

Does this ever happen to you? The Bible says, “Do not fear,” and you still cling to fear in certain relationships. It says, “Be strong in the Lord,” and you still feel overwhelmed in certain situations. It says, “Rejoice in the Lord,” and sometimes all you can do is fight back tears at certain pains you experience.

It does to me. Then last night it hit me. I have been living two lives, with two opposing gods. I think I have to please certain people, yet, I also want to please God.

Last night I resolved to live only one life, to live for the God I love. I don’t know what it will look like, or how to even do it. All I know is that I set myself free. What about you?

Don’t give up!

I complained to a friend about not finding the right story for a children’s talk. But my friend showed no sympathy. “Write your own!” she said.

I was taken aback. I had no talent, or even any interest in writing. My life was too busy anyway. But God used her comment, even though it seemed too crazy to consider…

Now, eleven years later, with forty-four re-writes, twenty-seven rejections from publishers, and an illustrator who marched on valiantly, this Creation book has finally come to life!

Yes, there were those who helped me get back up, again and again. There was also a Bible verse. “Do not despise the day of small beginnings.” (Zechariah 4:10)

What is your seemingly-impossible small beginning? Accept every encouragement, and don’t give up!

***

Coming soon. January 2018. Thank you, Sarah Grace Publishing!

 

Out of sync

I have this persistent longing to make a mark in life. I have this one-track mind that says it must look a certain way. Somehow it has sunk deep into my heart that adulthood is where it happens. Why? I grew up with that old Victorian creed, “Children should be seen and not heard.” I believed that life did not begin until one grew up.

But God is challenging me yet again, to go to those silenced ones, any silenced ones, whether children or adult, and listen. To value them and help them find their voice.

God is saying, “Hear and pay attention. Do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken.” (Jeremiah 13:15) This is a challenge for me… to step away from making a mark… to step into sync with God…. to enable the silenced to speak.

Decisions! Decisions!

All of us encounter crossroads in our lives. The signposts point in different directions, and our emotions can get in the way…

We’re scared: maybe we should go back the way we came, back to our familiar rut. We want perfection: maybe, if we camped out by the signpost, a better option will arise. We tired of waiting: how about tossing a coin, and hopefully someone will stop us if we’re charging towards oblivion!

There is a four word solution. God says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it.” (Jeremiah 6:16) It is… Stand. Look. Ask. Walk.

At this moment I am asking about the books I have written. Which publishing path should I take? Then comes the hard part, WALK!

 

Eva Leaf

To wear it, or not

Derek bought me a hat, a green one with a bow in the back. We both like it, but others have not been so positive. “You look eccentric!” “You really look funny!” And the best one.. “Your hat looks like a lily pad!”

I appreciate the honesty. But… there is a wonderful verse in the Bible. It says that God “has made everything beautiful in its time.”* We don’t need to worry about opinions. God created beauty to stand out as different, for that is what beauty is. Each of us is beautiful, regardless of our peculiarities.

I still wear my hat, and when people meet me, they nod and smile. They even stop for a chat. My lily-pad hat might be eccentric, but so is God’s love.

* (Ecclesiastes  3:11)

 

The Ultimate Dare

“If you want to walk on water,” a minister said, looking around at us, “get out of the boat!”

I gasped. That was blunt! But it was true as well. How can I follow Jesus anywhere, at anytime, and at any cost, if I don’t want to climb out of the security of a boat?

Thankfully, Jesus understands our fear of failure, and anxieties at finding ourselves out of our depth, but he still stretches out his hand. “Come!” he calls to each one of us. He dares us to step out of our little boat. He dares us to put everything on the line for him. He dares us to trust that if we sink, he will reach out and hold us up. “Come!”

(Matthew 14:29)

Lost in the plans

All of us make plans of one kind or another. Most of our plans are good. But, will we ever get them fulfilled?

Many of us will. But a few of us will get lost, ending up somewhere we never intended. Others of us will spend our entire lives trying to make our dreams come true. Others will just laugh at the thought that plans ever work.

Yet, I have noticed that some have a goal that transcends all plans. They don’t even have to say what it is. Their lives speak it out for them in silent words. “I will show you the most excellent way… Follow the way of love.” (1 Corinthians 12:30, 14:1)

By God’s grace, I want to follow…

Inside the box… or out

I am surrounded by boxes. My rectangle house. My defined job.businesswoman introvert sitting in box working on laptop computer My acceptance of limitations in life. Yet I still dream of walking on water, of flying like a bird. What about you?

I also dream of writing extraordinary books. But, I have been told there is only one CS Lewis, only one JRR Tolkien, and sometimes I wonder if I should even dare try. That is, until I remember…

Jesus said something so freeing, it tears apart our cardboard walls. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things…” (John 14:12) Faith in Jesus isn’t a limiting box. Faith in Jesus means we can embrace big dreams. It means we can go and do.

This dark world

I don’t know how to fight injustice. I have tried to speak up for the weak. I have tried to show the weak how to speak. I have tried to protect the abused. I have tried to help the abused stand up for themselves. Now I have come to the end of my strength, and I too am weak.

Then someone reminded me of a verse. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but… against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.” (Ephesians 6:12) How could I forget?

I started praying specifically. It didn’t take long. I saw an amazing change. The weak are speaking. The abused make a stand. God can do anything, if we ask.

The voice above the umbrella

A group of us scattered inside a maze, the kind where the hedges are two meters high. A friend and I got lost. Then I heard my husband’s voice. “Derek, did you make it?” I called.

“Yes!” came the reply. “Where are you?”

I happened to be carrying a long umbrella. “Here!” I called, and raised it high.

Derek laughed. “I can see everything. I’ll guide you.” He gave instructions, watching the tip of my umbrella as it bobbed along. “Left. Right. Not that right! The next one…”

Life is like that. We get so lost and mixed up. Then we hear God’s voice. “I see everything!” he says. “Listen. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” (from Hebrews 4:13; Psalm 32:8)

Now, that is living by faith!