Archives for April 2008

Giveaway Winner Plus Pampering For All

Remember the fun little Bath & Body Works Just In Time giveaway I offered this month? As promised, I’ve drawn the winner today so she can receive the gift card “just in time” to use it for Mother’s Day.

And who is the lucky “she”? This time the winner is someone I’ve never met before — Kelli R., a fellow member of The Christian Writers View2 online group. That’s right, Kelli, it’s you! Congratulations! You should have a message from me in your inbox, and I will get the card off to you as soon as you reply with your mailing address.

To the rest of you, don’t give up :) Just keep trying for the giveaways. So far, winners have included two family members, a friend I haven’t seen in years, and now an online acquaintance whom I’ve never even met before. Anyone can win! Fun, huh? :)

While Kelli is luxuriating in her Bath & Body windfall :), let me pamper the rest of you with a couple of verses found in the Word of God. Be comforted by Paul’s words in Romans 8:38-39: “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.”

Now it’s your turn to luxuriate — in His love!

It Takes A Team

It’s that time of year again. Spring not only sees the natural world renewed, but ball parks come to life as well. Cries of “Play ball!” and “Batter up!” ring out across the country. Players and fans alike take up their respective roles in this slice of Americana. Yesterday Don and I became a part of the cheering throngs as we attended one of our nephew’s games.

I stayed busy trying to capture some good shots of Cody while he was all business playing catcher for his team. I’m not sure he was happy having his own personal photojournalist following his every move, but darn it all, I have to take pictures when I get a chance :) Thanks to this camera-happy aunt, though, we have this shot of him scoring a run for his team. I must say I was pretty pleased with myself :)

Speaking of the team, baseball is all about teamwork, isn’t it? Cody wouldn’t have had the chance to cross home plate if one of his team members hadn’t kept the inning alive, and his team would be in a world of hurt without him — he’s their only catcher. He worked hard the entire game, but the other players all had roles to fill, too. In baseball, each player has his own job to do, and if he fails to do it, the bases fill up and runs are scored. Baseball is truly a team sport. One player just can’t do it alone. It takes a team.

In my last post, I asked you to think about the groups you enjoy sweet fellowship with. Today, consider specifically the teams you’re a part of. And no, I’m not just talking about sports — that might leave a lot of us out :)

We’re all on teams of some sort. If you’re married, you’re on a team with your mate. Or you may be part of a team at work or through one of your volunteer roles. And just like in baseball, each team member has own job to do. If we fail to do them, the team suffers or has to adjust in some way. If we each do our own job, though, the team works together and produces wonderful — and sometimes amazing — results.

Tell me about the teams you’re on. I’ll kick it off by sharing a few of mine — and try not to snicker at the obvious lack of sports involvement :) I’m an alto in our church choir, work with several others on a missions committee, serve with my friend Lisa in a Sunday School class for 1-yr. olds (though that might count as a sport!), and also work with Jeneal, my writing critique partner. Each of these endeavors requires teamwork. How about you? What teams are you on? Anyone seeing some great results?

“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants…as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow…For we are God’s fellow workers…” 1 Corinthians 3:5-6;9a

*My photo

Sweet Fellowship

Friendship, laughter, encouragement, understanding, support…overall sweet fellowship. That’s what we experience at our Fellowship of Christian Writers meetings. Last night we enjoyed an extra measure of it as a dozen of our members read from their writings during our annual Night of Sharing.

I’m told FCW’s Night of Sharing was inspired by Mardell “Mutt” Potter, a member who passed away before the group could actually hold the first event. Now each year, an evening of getting to know one another through our writing is celebrated in his honor.

At the regular monthly meetings, we have opportunities to get better acquainted during our break time and in the minutes before and after the meetings, but the Night of Sharing takes us beyond those casual pleasantries and “writer talk”. Through sharing selections from our writings, we give one another a deeper look into our lives and thoughts.

Last night I got to know several people better as they read pieces they had written. I learned that one of our older ladies was (and maybe still is?) an accomplished horsewoman and another has a heart for women who are homeless or escaping domestic abuse situations. I discovered that one member had been a missionary in Egypt and also that a couple of ladies have dealt with adoption, one because of infertility and the other because of concern for impoverished children in other nations. Even the different genres represented gave a window into the authors’ personalities — fun fiction, poetry, Bible teaching…What a wonderfully diverse group we are! :)

FCW recently had some business cards printed and included the following verse on them: “The Lord announced the word, and great was the company of those who proclaimed it.” (Psalm 68:11) Now I know the word “great” is referring to great in number there, but I also think of our group as plain ole great company :) We enjoy a camaraderie as writers and a special fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ that is hard to beat.

What groups do you enjoy sweet fellowship with? I have a few others I could tell you about, but I don’t want to steal anyone’s thunder. Chime in with a comment — bet we’re a diverse group, too!

Moving On

I made a big decision this week. After over 11 years of compiling and writing our church’s weekly prayer guide, I’m giving it up. This may not seem like a “big” decision to some people, but it was to me. Since the Watchman Prayer Guide has been an important part of my life for a long time now — and I believe the life of our church as well — it was not a decision I made lightly.

A little over a year ago, I began wondering if I should continue doing the Watchman. I felt restless where it was concerned, and I knew that a certain restlessness many times precedes a move or a change of some sort. I had a desire to spend more time on my other writing projects but didn’t want to step out of this ministry role if that was not God’s will. After all, He was the one who called me to do it.

I began praying, asking God to show me if was time to give up this responsibility. In answer to those prayers, two different times this past year when I was at a point of decision, He showed me that it was NOT time. He wanted me to continue to serve in this role.

This past week a situation arose, however, that caused me to go to God again for His direction concerning the Watchman. His message to me this time? It’s time to move on. In fact, just hours after asking Him to show me His will, I just “happened” to read something that Beth Moore, a Bible teacher I greatly admire, just “happened” to post on her blog that morning. It was all about moving :) Moving on, transitions, etc. In fact, in capital letters at one point, she said “MOVE OVER”! More than coincidental, huh? I knew I had God’s answer.

I’m not sure why now is the time to make the move, but I am trusting God and His timing. It may be a simple matter of allowing me more time for other writing projects or just giving me one less weekly responsibility, but it could also be that I’m about to enter into a new season of increased demand in some other area — something I can’t see yet but that He can.

Is God directing you to make a move of some sort? Follow His lead. You won’t be sorry. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

*Flickr photo by Matt Seppings, Creative Commons License

*Any good “moving” stories out there? I would love to hear about some moves that God has led (or is leading) you to make. Share with us in comments, please. Maybe your story will be the one that helps someone else!

**Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Just In Time Giveaway. Scroll down a few posts to find it. C’mon and give it a shot — you might win!

Sneak Peek

Don’t you just love getting a sneak peek of something yet to come? This past weekend when Don and I were at Mom and Dad’s, we took a little trip down to Branson to check out the lodges where our extended family will have a reunion the end of May.

We got to take a look, inside and out, at the beautiful vacation homes where we’ll be staying. They’re perfect! The resort itself is still in development, but the homes are ready to go — and so are we :) The living and dining areas will be spacious enough to accommodate our crew when we all gather in one place. Now we just have to wait for the gathering date. I can see us all there now and can hardly wait!

This sneak peek reminded me of another time I got to take a glimpse into a future destination. Several years ago I attended a 50th anniversary celebration of the church I grew up in. Lots of fond reunions took place that day.

I got to once again be with the “kids” I ran around with in grade school, high school, and college. My first softball coach, who also happened to pastor the church way back when, was there, as well as the preacher who married us. Sweet fellowship ruled the day, and when we praised God that evening in worship together, I felt like I was getting a taste of heaven. What joy, what contentment filled my soul. The feeling of family couldn’t have been stronger.

Would you like a glimpse of heaven today? Revel in what the Bible has to say about our future home:

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem…prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 21: 2-4; 22:17b)

“Jesus answered,…’whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'” (John 4:13-14)

Ahh…eternal life in heaven. Let’s linger a moment at this sneak peek… Can’t wait to see you there!

*Flickr photo by Lodewijk van den Broek, Creative Commons License