Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Hummingbird Tree

For years, I have made it a habit to rise early and spend a few minutes in my backyard patio. It’s a time I treasure, for it is quiet. No hustle and bustle. Just God and me. But this morning I had to force myself to trudge down the stairs and make a pot of coffee. I stood, waiting impatiently, while it slowly dripped into the pot. I unlocked the patio door, stumbled outside, and made my way to an old wooden bench under the trees. The air was fresh after recent rains. I took a deep breath and looked around. I kept thinking how nice my warm bed had felt.

As I sipped my coffee, I looked up and saw that the evergreen pear tree had burst into bloom. The blossoms were as white as the snow on the hills behind my home. Thanks, God, I whispered, and I settled back to enjoy the peace and quiet. But God wasn’t finished.. The leaves of the tree began to rustle, and two tiny birds emerged, their wings humming. They darted toward me and hovered, a few inches from my face. For a second, we stared at each other, then they were gone, swallowed up by the white blossoms.

I thought of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. And I said aloud, “Thank you, Father, for small gifts, for moments of insight, for simple joys.”

And I went into the house and began to write.

-Marilyn Cram Donahue

Morning Time

Some people need coffee to start their day. I need Jesus. The moment I wake up, I grab my One Year Bible and read the scheduled reading for the day. Sometimes it takes a little while before I’m fully awake; but just like the aroma from a strong fragrant cup of coffee does something to motivate an individual, so does His Word motivate my thoughts and encourages my soul.

I need this quiet time. I need this fresh start to see the awakening world through the eyes of my Lord. I need His instructions, and I need His peace for whatever lies ahead. And, as a writer, I need His inspiration because I write to give Him glory. My day would not seem right if I didn’t start out with my morning time with God.

Contributed by Catherine L. Osornio

A Walk on the Beach

The alarm goes off, but I’m already awake. I feel like a child on Christmas morning. A gift awaits me and I’m excited to receive it.

I dress in a hurry and head out the door. A hot cup of coffee, a sweatshirt and a handful of quarters accompany me. I’m going to the beach. 

Traveling down the freeway, I sing along with the pop tunes. “Ain’t no mountain high enough…” I dedicate this one to Jesus and sing it real loud. 

There’s plenty of parking at the beach. The summer crowds are gone. The sun is warm and the breeze is cool. I trek across the bright, clean sand to the ocean’s side. 

“Hello God!” I call out across the ocean. A misty spray marks the beginning of our walk together. 

We head along the water’s edge and toward the pier. I start to tell God everything; the good the bad and the ugly. He listens patiently.

We pass a man and woman holding hands. I thank God for my loving husband.

Kids are playing catch me if you can with the incoming waves. I thank God for family and friends.

A surfer glides along the crest of a wave. I thank God for the grace that propels us day by day.

 A seagull soars with the wind. I thank God for the Spirit that draws me near to Him.

We take rest on a sand berm. The waves in front of us roar. I tell Him that sometimes I just can’t hear past the noise. A few minutes of silence go by, then I sense that it’s His turn to talk.

I look beyond the waves. The ocean seems to go on forever.

My love goes on forever, I hear Him say.

The deep green water looks so strong and immovable.

My love can move the immovable, I hear Him tell me.

I imagine all the things in the ocean that I can’t see. He reminds me that all is in His care.

We look out and look in. I feel, and sense, and wonder.

Catalina looks close enough to touch and I smile with His assurance and peace. “Lord, you are my rock and my strength!”

I thank Him for our walk together. “Oh, what a beautiful gift!”

contributed by Veronica Walsh, children’s book illustrator

Why Time Alone With God Is Important

Time alone with God is necessary for me as a follower of Jesus. It’s where I get to speak to him and let him speak to me.

Why would that time alone be important to me as a writer? Because God called me to write. I know many people brush that idea aside but I firmly believe that is one of the ways God wants to use me.

When I spend time with God, I begin to understand as he does. It puts us on the same page, so to speak. He directs my thoughts, guides me in what I should write. If I did not spend time quietly listening to him, he could not direct my paths.

While spending time alone with God helps me as a Christian writer, that is only an aside. The important thing about time with God is that he can teach me and guide me to make decisions that will conform you to the image of his Son, Jesus and bring glory to his name. That is his ultimate purpose for my life!

Honored that God is willing to spend time with me, Gloria

God and Me

No day feels right without a special time alone with God. First a “good morning” prayer of thanksgiving for the restful night of sweet sleep and a day ahead that I commit to Him for His perfect will to be done in it. Of course I hold others up in prayer who have special needs, too. While eating breakfast I read a short devotion by Beth Moore from her “Praying God’s Word, Day by Day,” then a section of the Bible of whatever book I am going through. I seem to get more out of the Word doing it this way than the Bible in a Year that just takes short chunks from the Old and then the New Testament.

After my morning chores and my mile walk during which I pray and praise Him I sit down at my computer and pray again for my writing time. I usually open to the book of Psalms to get a special blessing by something He might want to say to me, and praise Him with a praise Psalm. Then, and only then am I ready to write.

This might seem too static and not spontaneous enough, but it works for me. I feel strengthened spiritually and as I wait for God’s Holy Spirit to put the words He wants me to write in my thoughts and out through my fingers He never fails to start my engine and drive me to His destination for the day.

My writing time usually flies by, and I can give thanks by the end of my day for accomplishments, big and small.

How blessed I am to be His scribe!

Shirley Shibley

An Invitation to the Dance

Do you have cherished memories of dancing with your loved one? Can you feel the closeness, the sweet companionship, and the joy?

Dancing with the Stars is a very popular show these days, attesting to the deep emotion dancing brings. Or, as in this case, watching others dance.

Have you ever danced with God? Have you ever turned on your favorite worship CD, reached your arms up toward heaven, and danced with Jesus?

If we enjoy dancing with our loved one, how much more precious of a time can we have dancing with our Beloved!

A regular routine in my day as God’s scribe is to stop and take a one hour lunch break. After a morning of working on deadlines, answering e-mails, and planning marketing strategies, lunch is a welcome break. I include it on my to-do list for each day. But along with eating lunch, I also write down on my to-do list a time for daily worship and praise.

After I eat, I grab my favorite worship CD and turn it on. Then I dance with Jesus and worship and praise His name.

Most of the time, when I start out, I don’t FEEL like dancing. But as I start to dance, something wonderful begins to happen. My writer’s soul is refreshed. I am renewed. All the challenges and stress and worries of my morning are washed away and replaced with a deep, deep peace. I experience the Scripture, “Then wonderful times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will send Jesus your Messiah to you.” -Acts 3:20, NLT

I invite you to join in the dance. Each day in the new year ahead, add a time of worship and dance to your writing schedule. Your life will never be the same!

-contributed by Nancy I. Sanders

W.R.I.T.E.R.

Each day, I look to, and pray to the One who has completely changed my heart and mind.  Thoughts of my wonderful Lord are with me before I drift off to sleep at night.  When I awake in the morning, thoughts of His presence in my life–come what may— are immediate.   The Lord’s guidance, wisdom, peace, love, and more, lift me up through the never-ending challenges in life—that includes the challenges I face as a writer. How about you?

Here’s a Scripture acrostic that I hope will encourage you, my writing friends:

W. R. I. T. E. R.

W –  Wait. We certainly know about waiting, don’t we? No explanation needed, right?

Wait on the Lord be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait I say, on the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14 NKJV

R Requests. Pray about every writing endeavor, every manuscript, every writing decision—and don’t forget to pray for your writing friends!

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18 NIV

I – I will.  He WILL guide you in every way through the twists and turns of your writing journey.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8 NIV

TThanksgiving.  Thank God for all that He’s blessed you with as a writer. How about thanking Him for giving you the GIFT of writing?  He didn’t give it to everyone but He chose to give it to YOU. Put on a favorite Christian CD and sing thanks to Him with your voice of praise.

Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.” Psalm 95:2 NIV

EEncourage.  We all need encouragement from others who understand this writing life. I know I certainly need to be picked up off the ground now and then.  My Wordsmith sisters get an A+ in encouraging! Don’t forget to be an encourager whenever possible.

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

RReap.  This is a PROMISE. Don’t give up!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galations 6:9 NIV

I pray you’ll have a great  W.R.I.T.E.R  day, as you contemplate these awesome Scriptures!

Sherri