Godly Relationships

As an Army brat, when it came to relationships, all my life I have felt like the poor kid with her nose pressed to the candy store window, watching those with coins buy their sweets. Because of the gracious invitation of my husband’s high school classmates, I have been adopted into Anderson High’s class of 1957. Now I am indulging in the rich sweetness of laughter, acceptance, forgiveness, and strength that accompanies long-standing relationships. I have been initiated into a circle of  wonderful, sustaining love. God tells us there is a friend that sticks closer than a  brother.

Yet, we have the additional privilege of  new friends to share our journey. We can hand them tips from our experiences, lessons from our mistakes, laughter from our own comedy of errors. This, too, is strengthening, God-given, and wonderful.

And we meet angels unaware, like the man who saw me reading my Gideon Bible as I sat beside the river in Greenville, S. S. “You have a Word from the Lord for me,” he said. I read from Colossians 1, and he related his testimony, how God took a homeless man and made him into a millionaire! We rejoiced together, two strangers who will share eternity.

God gives us relationships. We are created to love and be loved. Old friends, new friends, strangers we meet in passing. Let us take from those and give to those so we might become better people, learning from them, sharing life with them, and imparting a piece of ourselves in their lives as well.

Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God

This book by C. J.Mahaney, is a gem of a read for all Christian husbands! I particularly appreciate his defense of the Song of Solomon as a how-to, God’s word, manual for the marriage relationship.

My blog tag is “Sacred Passion–it’s God’s idea!” My writing goal in this  blog and in my novels is to communicate and encourage passion in Christian marriage. As the founder of the Center for Pregnancy Care, I agree with a characters in my upcoming book who says the staff at the maternity home is always teaching girls what they should have learned at home. The church has failed to teach and model the amazing joy of Gods’ plan for human sexuality. We have too many “no-nos,” and not enough “Yes!” The marriage bed is undefiled and filled with God’s delights, to be found in covenant relationship.

Brother Mahaney can get out in the weeds a tad–what working stiff has time to sit in a coffee shop the first hour of every week writing down ways to romance his wife? Nevertheless, his basic concept is valid. Communication. Courting even after marriage. Committment. The primary relationship in the home is to be the one between husband and wife, and it must be nurtured.
A long-time, loving marriage with sparks flying is one of the best testimonies a local church has to offer this hurting world. In a culture broken by divorce and betrayal, God’s plan, made possible by His grace, is for every home to be a loving, secure environment for husband, wife and kids to flourish.

Dawn Comes

“. . . Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
This Scripture is even more meaningful when we remember the darkest period of the night comes before the sunrise. The darkness is oppressive, but the sun always dispels the darkness. In our hours of trials and temptations, when we see no end in sight, look for the dawn! For the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings . . . (Malachi 4:2)

How often illness besets us at night or symptoms become stronger as the sun goes down. We need the watchmen at the gates, fighting the good fight of faith. Remember our childish prayers “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep. There are four corners to my bed, there are four angels at my head, sweet guardians come and bless the bed that I lay on.” A mother myself, I knelt down beside my aged father one night, and, although he had all his faculties, he prayed that simple prayer and told me his mother (who died when he was nine) taught it to him and he never felt he’d outgrown it. God keep us in the simple faith of our childhood, let us enter into the Kingdom as a little child.

How much more sleep we would enter into, how much rest we would have, if we but cast our cares on the One who cares for us.


Something to Die for

Recently 29 Coptic Christians were captured by Isis and forced to kneel on the sand and choose. If they would proclaim themselves to be Muslim, they would be allowed to live. Instead, every one of them proclaimed Jesus is Lord, and one by one they were beheaded. The scene was shown on television across the globe—Isis made poor choice, because the world saw a faith worth dying for. I have a book, Martyred for Christ, and I receive a monthly magazine by that name. More Christians have been martyred for their faith in the last century than in all the centuries since the Resurrection of Christ. We think of the lion’s den, the Roman catacombs, Nero—even the Reformation, but no, now is the time of martyrdom.

The Church in America is so blasé. We see fake murders in movies and on TV, but that actor lives another day. It’s not real. We have become inured to murder and mayhem. We spend more time listening about, talking about, arguing about whether gays should have a wedding cake than the death and kidnapping of hundreds of Christians in Africa. We tweet: “bring back our girls” for a couple of days and forget. We don’t imagine it could happen to us here. For us, if someone ridicules us or rejects us, that’s persecution?

If you were forced to kneel and the person beside you had his head cut off, would you, too, confess Jesus? You might run into a burning building to rescue your child, but would you die for an unseen Savior? In North Korea after the war, Christians were rounded up. A father was forced at gunpoint to dig a trench. His wife and children were marched into that trench and buried alive before his eyes. His wife sang songs of faith and assured her children over and over that: “In just a few minutes we’ll see Jesus.” She knew one day her husband would be with them in that place that Jesus has prepared for us. One of the soldiers who saw this was haunted until the day he found the Savior and a faith to die for.

Eternity is a long time—an unending time. Talking of His impending death, Jesus told us. “I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again to receive you to Myself.” We will have a personal escort to that place. When the first martyr, Stephen, was being stoned, he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Those 29 young men on the Libyan sand saw the same thing, and like him they cried, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Do we have a faith to sustain us, a faith die for?

He is Risen!

He is risen indeed, hallelujah!

What difference does it make?

It’s up to you. You can ignore it, buy a new dress on sale, maybe pick up some spring shoes.

Or . . . It can revolutionize your life. Clean you up on the inside. make you brand new. Give you New life . . . forever.

That’s why God prepared a body for Himself to dwell in.

Became a sinless man to be the perfect Passover Lamb.

Sinless for sinners—me and you.

God’s blood for eternity with His beloved.

Death for Life, eternal life, together with God.

You on His heart, You in His mind as he suffered.

Let Him rise in your heart this Easter

Why Do We love Fairy Tales?

I am a grandmother. I could be a great-grandmother, and I still love fairy tales. (I also love Winnie the Pooh and Brer Rabbit.)Universally fairy tales are beloved stories, read and re-read, and made into movies, generation after generation. Why?

I love ” . . . and they lived happily every after.” Many novels, movies, and TV dramas today are filled with angst, and no one succeeds, Conflict is left unresolved. I find that unsatisfying, even distressing. I want an ending–a happy ending!

We had a big discussion about this at St. David’s Christian Writers Conference several years ago, where one of my sister writers and I insisted books with happy endings were our favorites. Yes, often life doesn’t revolve into neat packages, we said, but life presses in on us, and books are no longer escapes when they don’t provide us happy endings. I need hope. I need laughter, I need evidence that life’s trials can turn into a happily ever after.

Perhaps that’s simplistic. Call me simple. Perhaps that’s a stretch of the imagination. Call me imaginative. Maybe it’s even incredible. Call me a woman of faith. I believe in Divine Intervention. I believe people can, and do, change when God touches their lives.

Sometimes it takes work, blood, sweat and tears, but I want happily ever after. How about you?

Mothers: Joined with the Creator

For many years I didn’t comprehend the Truth about women until it dawned on me—you’ve heard me use the term Steel Magnolias. Fragile enough to discolor at a touch. Strong enough not to break, and, when bruised, to release a sweet scent.
Women. Mothers.
Ah, that’s our great secret. Because we are weaker, because we carry life within our bodies, feeling that life yearning to live apart, straining at the confined space of our wombs, because we undergo that most amazing force of nature, the separation of the child from its mother in the impossible-to-stop powerful force of labor, we reach out for Someone outside ourselves. We seek God. Every time I gave birth, I thought: Me and God have done this amazing thing. Together we have given Life.
In the difficult places and choices of life, we are aware of a Life-force greater than ourselves, and we seek Him, and then we find in our weakness is strength. The Spirit of woman.
The Lord said: “Let the weak say I am strong.”  We cannot cling to man’s foolish notion that he is strong. In labor, we can do nothing to prevent that birth. When we are broken in spirit, we look at our babies and know, somehow, someway, for them, we must go on.
A woman’s words can crush her man or build him up,
Comfort her child or make him cruel and bitter,
Sooth trouble or stir up wars.
Because we turn to the One Who made us and let His life and love flow through us, we are strong. We are joined with the Creator. Without Mothers, the world could not continue. We not only give birth, but we give life: we feed, clothe, nurture, whisper words of love, speak firm words of correction, hold, speak, sing. We are mothers, the strongest force on earth.