Saturday, October 20, 2018

audience



Write 31 days, 31 days of 5 minute free writes, writing


Who is in the audience where you live your life? Do you perform on a big stage, or is it a smaller group of people watching you? Do you head up a big company, where hundreds of people are waiting to follow your lead, or are you a mom or dad that stays home and raises the children...then your audience might only be a person or two.

While we always have at least an audience of one, because God sees everything, we do need to be cognizant of the fact that our actions, and our reactions to life, are seen by others. While sometimes this thought can be daunting, because we are afraid of messing up while others are watching us, what it should do is encourage us. You can live a life that matters, and your life can influence others, even when you are not good at public speaking, even when you are shy, because our actions tell a story.

Are you the first one in line at every event, or the last one? How does your punctuality show others that you value them?

Do you put others first? Carry their physical burdens, or carry their Spiritual ones to God in prayer? These actions and the way they allow us to extend grace and mercy to others show the fingerprints of God upon our own lives. 

When we live in a way that is different than the norm, people notice. And when they notice, a remarkable thing happens, they become curious. They want to know what makes you different from everyone else? And that, my friends, opens doors for you to share the Gospel message of love and redemption.

Whether your audience is big or small, show them love!



Friday, October 19, 2018

Five Minute Friday ~ Who



Write 31 days, 31 days of 5 minute free writes, writing, five minute friday



Kate's word for today is: Who

I'm going to go a little off theme from my 31 days of encouragement/ Christian Living posts and tell you a little story...



WHO

Who is in this Five Minute Friday group and where do they come from? I can only tell you a part of our story, because I only know a few of the many, many people in this awesome bunch, but let me start you off with what I do know, and then you can read some of the other posts from today to learn more...

This group is a family made up of writers from across the North American continent, and across the globe. Some live in the midwest, near Kate - our mostly fearless moderator, some live in Canada or other northern places, but most live far away. The American coasts, Texas, Iceland, South Africa, and so many places I would love to visit and learn more about.

How did I end up here in this family? My friend Annette invited me. I've met people online through this group - writers of poetry, writers of fiction and non-fiction, those who specialize in devotionals and those who write essays. We are definitely a diverse group. I think we are a small part of the body of Christ, all cultures and places, gathered together for the purpose of encouraging one another. Is everyone here a Christian? I have no idea. What I do know is that the other writers in this family encourage and challenge me to be a better writer. They lift one another up through prayer and encouraging words. Every once in a while, we get to see some other members of our Five Minute Friday family in real life at events, like last week's Breathe Christian Writers Conference. These people have become my friends.

So like my friend Annette did for me, I now invite you to join us. Come to our table and join the family. Write, learn, listen, grow. You will be so welcomed here, and you'll want to encourage others to join the feast!





Thursday, October 18, 2018

Search



Write 31 days, 31 days of 5 minute free writes, writing



What are you searching for? A new job, a new car, your lost keys? Maybe you're searching for that funny YouTube video your friend showed you yesterday. 

We spend a lot of time searching for things. Does it make you wonder if we have too many things? Sometimes I think we do, and other times I am sure that I do!

What kind of searching should we be doing? Searching for lost socks, rogue mittens or last night's leftovers in the back of the fridge?

What if we spent time searching for God? He is not far off. David turned the tables and asked God to search him, specifically his heart. David wanted God to search out the hidden places and show him if there was something that needed changing. 

When we search for God, we find Him, and then He searches our heart and gently, but firmly, shows us where we need to be changed. I am so thankful that God does not expect me to be able to change myself, but rather, that He assures me He will change me. Sometimes that pruning He does hurts for a minute, but the fruit in my life that bears His image is always worth it!

Start searching, or keep searching, for God. 
He is the one thing we cannot life without!




Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pause



Write 31 days, 31 days of 5 minute free writes, writing



Have you ever felt the need to push a pause button on your life? Yeah, me too! I know that often the rush of life can be my own fault for planning too many things in a row without some downtime, but sometimes, life just comes at us full force and we cannot get away.

Some days it seems like this full life hits us in the face like a firehose. How can we be expected to handle all the things that want our attention? Where do we find the strength to keep to going when times are really, REALLY hard?

The answer I have found is to pause, right where you are, and pray. Whether that is while going up the elevator at the hospital to visit a sick friend or waiting in line at the store, do it. 

Pause, it need not be long, and breathe deeply, then exhale a prayer. God hears, He sees, He knows. He is waiting for us to come to Him. He already knows your needs, and He knows when you need comforted. Breathe in being thankful for God's gift of life, and breathe out your prayer.

Here are some short prayers to consider if you're feeling stuck:

Jesus, help me!

God, I need your wisdom.

Please grant me peace in this chaotic situation.

Show me the best thing to focus on right now.

Daddy, I need some comfort.

Holy Spirit, walk before me into this room.

Father God, I want to be your vessel, show me how to help.


Find just a few seconds to pause, reconnect with God through prayer, and then move forward knowing that He will be the one whispering in your ear... 

"This is the way; walk in it." 
    (Isaiah 30:21)



1 Corinthians 13:7



Scripture Writing, hand lettering, Bible verses




Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pray





How often do you pray?

For me, it is several times a day, but it did not used to be that way. I used to be a distress pray-er. You know, when something goes wrong, then you go to God and ask Him to fix it. I finally realized that was not a good way to have a relationship with anyone, and especially with God.

So now I pray a lot more regularly. Every morning before I get out of bed, during the day, and usually again before bedtime. What have I seen as a result of this prayer life? A lot more peace and a lot less of me getting stressed out. 

When you stay in a relationship, and the other person knows you are always there, it makes the talking much easier. I am finally coming to understand what it means to call God 'Abba' - that Father who loves us and wants what is best for us all the time. I am learning that it does not matter what tomorrow holds, it matters Who holds my tomorrow. I am trusting Him to hold me as well - through whatever comes!

God wants to spend time with you. 
Start it off with a prayer.


St. Bartholomew's Eve from Heirloom Audio ~ a Crew review



heirloom audio, audio adventure, history, G A Henty



If you lived in a country where you and those who worshipped God like you did were a small minority, and religious persecution broke out, what would you do? This is the tough topic that Heirloom Audio has chosen to tackle in their tenth audio adventure: St. Bartholomew's Eve, a story that spans the thirty years of the Huguenot wars in France from the 1560's to the 1590's. Heirloom Audio deserves another A for this excellent production that treads firmly but gently through the struggles of the Protestant Huguenots during a time when the Catholic church ruled in France almost as strongly as the Monarchy itself.

We appreciated the tact with which Heirloom Audio handled this difficult subject matter, while still producing an entertaining audio drama. Since we already owned and regularly listen to the first nine Heirloom Audio dramas, Arlene and I were more than ready to listen to St. Bartholomew's Eve and learn more about this part of history. I will confess that before we began listening I knew very little about the French Huguenots. After listening to this adaptation of G. A. Henty's historical fiction book, also titled St. Bartholomew's Eve, I was feeling challenged to do some more research into the history of the Huguenots.

In St. Bartholomew's Eve, listeners are transported back to France in the late 1560's. There is turmoil in the air for the Huguenots, who desire to worship God as their hearts dictate, but who make up a scant 10% of the population of France. They are constantly on guard because of attacks from the Catholic church and its ruling family in France, the Guise. Our main character, Philip Fletcher, has crossed the English channel to live with and fight alongside his French cousin Francois. As with other Henty tales, there is friendship, fighting to protect the weak or injured, and a damsel that needs rescued from distress. 

St. Bartholomew's Eve handles the stickiness of the Protestant/ Catholic debate well. When Philip first lands in France he is spoiling for a fight with the Catholics. His wise aunt explains that there are good Catholic men and women left in France, not all of them have been persecuting Protestants, and that fighting is reserved for those treacherous situations where there is no other way. As Arlene and I listened to the story unfold, it made me think about those areas around the world today where Christians are under great persecution. I wondered how I would react if my way of life, and my ability to openly worship God, were under attack.

During the story of St. Bartholomew's Eve, Philip and Francois join with other Huguenots to fight for the freedom to openly worship God as He directs their hearts. There are multiple battles, with advances and loses for the Huguenots, and then what appears to be a time of peace approaches as Protestant ruler Henri of Navarre plans to marry the sister of Catholic King Charles IX, Margaret of Valois. The Huguenot leaders flock to Paris to witness the marriage of their leader, but end up being sheep led to slaughter as the Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici, and the Duke of Guise hatch their nefarious plot that turns into the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.

While this period of French history has a lot of bloodshed and great loss, it can be used as a teaching tool to remind us of how others have lived and died for their faith. The tactful way this tough topic is handled gives parents many opportunities to talk with their children about love, tolerance, intolerance, and freedom of worship. It also allows us to chose to model for our children a better way of interacting with those whose religious views differ from our own than the French Guise family and their followers did in the 1570's. While these audio adventures are designed for ages 6-16, for this one, I'm going to recommend it for ages 12 and up. That is also the age I recommend for Heirloom Audio's In the Reign of Terror.



To read our reviews of previous Heirloom Audio titles, click here for our review of Wulf the Saxon. The links to the other titles we have reviewed are at the bottom of that post. Or, you can click on the little orange Heirloom Audio Productions tag at the end of this post.

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St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}


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