Archives for May 2013

Blogging Break—But New Website Coming Soon!

Sometimes it’s good to outgrow something. And that’s exactly what’s happening with my blog. The time has come in my writing career to move up to something more professional so I’ll soon be launching a new website. Exciting, huh?

I’ll be taking a short blogging hiatus as we put the finishing touches on my new digs. This new venture would never have been possible without the technical expertise of my son-in-law Shawn and my daughter Kristin. Let’s just say God knew what he was doing—in so many ways—when he brought Shawn into our family.

We plan to launch the new site around June 10th so check back then for the link that will connect you to my new online home. I hope you’ll join me!

“‘See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.’” Isaiah 42:9

*Photo taken by Kristin during spring break when we first started working on the new website.

*Have you outgrown anything lately? Is there something new you need to start?

A Country Church Memory

*Here’s a post for you this holiday weekend from the archives. Hope you enjoy!
On this Memorial Weekend, as we remember loved ones who’ve gone on before us, I’m reminded of both sets of my grandparents. They lived on neighboring farms and attended the same little country church.

My cherished memories of their church inspired the following poem. Some of you may have read it before in my Life Notes newsletter (sign-up is free and to the right!), but I thought I would share it here again in honor of Memorial Day — in honor of my grandparents. Hope you enjoy!

Country Church Comfort

Country church painted white
Each Sunday morning comes alive,
Trails of dust converge into one
As faithful neighbors begin to arrive.

No big parking lots here
Just pull onto the grass,
Like everywhere the talk is weather
And will it ever pass.

Across the way the cemetery stands
A wealth of history under the trees,
Happy times are remembered here
And with heaven’s hope, sadness flees.

Seasons come and seasons go
A country church weathers them all,
As favorite hymns fill the air
Hear country church comfort call.

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1 KJV

*Do you have your own memories of a country church? Or maybe another special place associated with your grandparents?

*Flickr photo by p medved, Creative Commons License

*Connect with me on my new Cheryl Barker, Writer page on Facebook!

Midweek Morsel: Seizing Opportunities

Unexpected opportunities can sure mess with our schedules. A moment packed with potential presents itself, and we’re met with the dilemma of either staying on task or pulling away and taking advantage of the opportunity before us. Which will we do?

More and more I’m learning to seize the moment before it disappears. Whether it’s taking time to take photos of beautiful birds at the feeder or putting my work on hold to offer some encouraging words or help, I’m learning to set aside my agenda and give attention to the things God brings before me.

I admit I feel guilty and frustrated many times when I don’t get as much done in a day as I’d hoped to. But we type-A, goal-oriented folks need to learn that God’s plan is sometimes different from ours—and his is better.

Let’s be ready to accept the gifts of potential-packed moments God sends our way. Let’s take time to unwrap them. Let’s seize our opportunities.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

*What unexpected gift of opportunity have you unwrapped lately?

*My photo

*Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out May 1st. It’s not too late to receive. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Connect with me on my new Cheryl Barker, Writer page on Facebook!

The Kiss of God

Special touches from God—those moments that fill and warm the heart. Those moments when we feel his presence so vividly. Our spirits long for such moments, don’t they?

I think God may give more special touches than we recognize. Oh, we know we’ve been touched by joy or peace or contentment. But sometimes we fail to recognize the Giver of these good gifts.

Let’s not miss him. Let’s not miss the kiss of God.

The Kiss of God

Sometimes it catches us
completely unaware,
other times it answers
our longing, 
the kiss of God
a balm so sweet
the touch that washes us
in his love.
The warmth of spring sunshine
on our skin,
the liquid life giving drink
to a dry desperate earth,
the word that refreshes
a parched soul.
Forgiveness given
and arms extended,
a moment of comfort divine,
needed words received
at just the right moment,
it’s more than coincidence—
it’s the Lord.
A touch from him
to savor forever,
the moment we’re changed— 
the kiss of God.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights . . .” James 1:17a

*When have you felt the kiss of God?

*Flickr photo by aussiegall

*Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out May 1st. It’s not too late to receive. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Connect with me on my new Cheryl Barker, Writer page on Facebook!

Midweek Morsel: Encourage Someone Today

We all go through them. Periods of discouragement. A day, a week , a month when we feel like we’re not making any headway. We wonder if what we’re doing is making a difference. We may even contemplate giving up.

Different things cause discouragement for different people. For writers, discouragement tries to move in when rejection letters come or when blog and newsletter readership doesn’t grow or—oh, the horror—declines. It can also happen when we put our words out there but then don’t hear any feedback from readers.

One of these things alone may not send us spiraling downward, but let the blows come one on top of another, and you may find us in a corner clutching our blankies.

You know what can change our whole outlook, though—writers as well as everyone else? A simple word of encouragement or appreciation. Such a gesture boosts our spirits and provides the renewed energy we need to keep pressing on. Such a gesture makes all the difference.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

*How has someone encouraged you recently? Who can you encourage today?

*My photo

*Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out May 1st. It’s not too late to receive. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Don’t forget to come over and “like” my new Cheryl Barker, Writer page on Facebook. I think you’ll enjoy it!