Stories of people with broken spirits are threaded throughout the scriptures. Elijah wanted to die (1 Kings 19). The widow with the last of her olive oil (2 Kings 4). Another woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:40-47). Even Jesus wept, asking His Heavenly Father to take the cup He needed to drink from him (Luke 22:39-45).
In each example, turning to God for help made the difference. And it can make the difference for us. Here’s a short poll for those who have a favorite go-to scripture to get them through dark times. I know I have my own. But I want to hear yours! If yours isn’t listed, share what makes a difference for you. Continue reading →
Years ago I used a quote from Oscar Wilde’s, every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. While I’ve long ago forgotten the blog post, the quote stayed with me.
I remember how my interests drove me to look into Wilde’s life. After my research, I understood how these words came from the depths of his being. Both of Wilde’s parents had been successful. But the examples his parents offered him were filled with selfishness and narcissism. Reality had little importance; perception counted for more than anything. Following their example, he learned how to deal with living a double life—one presented to the public and the other that fed his desires.
His life knew no bounds until he was arrested and went to court to save his reputation. He lost soundly and his fall was precipitous, instantaneous, and very frightening.
Wilde had become a literary success. His matchless writing ability astounded his peers. But in truth, his life was tortured. Not because his lifestyle landed him in prison, but because he sought beauty first and then morality. He hid his true identity from others so he could seek pleasure. Continue reading →
Autumn is my favorite season for several reasons. Mostly because it was my dad’s favorite, too. Not only was his birthday in September, but Hunting Season started then. He said he never remembered the correct date for his birthday because it always came in the middle of hunting season, and he was more excited about that.
So I became excited about hunting, too.
On those magical autumn mornings, we’d get up early and enter the woods before the squirrels started looking for their breakfast. We’d walk as quietly as we could, though acorns continually crunched under our feet. Twigs snagged our pants. Trouncing through the ground cover, the crisp morning air would wrap around my face. My boots would get soaked from the dew. Dad would lead us to a spot—a perfect spot—where we would wait for the squirrels.
That’s how it went—every time. Every magical and perfect time.
No talking. Hunters don’t talk. Instead, we bonded over milk-coffee (mostly milk in my case) and snack crackers or the occasional piece of candy. After all, hunters needed to keep up their strength up as they watched and waited for a good shot. Continue reading →
Stories of people with broken spirits are threaded throughout the scriptures. Elijah wanting to die (1 Kings 19). The widow with the last of her olive oil (2 Kings 4). The woman the issue of blood (Luke 8:40-47). Even Jesus wept, asking His Heavenly Father to take the cup He needed to drink from him (Luke 22:39-45).
Turning to God for help made the difference, and it makes the difference for us. Here’s a short poll for those how have a favorite go to scripture to get them through dark times. I know I have mine own. But I want to hear yours!
August 1983 The cool air and the long rays of morning sun greeted the three of us as we traveled the long driveway. It took everything in me not to start crying.
“Today’s a great day!” I said, with too much pep in my voice. I wanted to make sure I told him all he needed to know for this special day. “You’ll meet new people and it’ll be terrific!”
We continued to walk, hand in hand as we always had in the past. He stopped, looked up into my eye, and with a sober voice, “It is a great day, right, Mommy?”
Little Sis skipped along singing Great day, It’s gonna be a great day … She had no idea the somberness of this moment. But how could she? How could she know what it felt like to lose a baby into an Unknown World?
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11 – 12
Elijah—a powerhouse for God—experienced one of the greatest stories of the Old Testament. He was invited to see God. But he had to experience destruction before he heard God’s voice.
Isn’t that how Life turns for us? When life’s winds and storms fill our world, we call out to see the power of God. Somewhere in our heart we hope He’s greater than our current storm.
Would you be bold enough to challenge God with your life? Helen Bancroft did in Lori Roeleveld’s, Red Pen Redemption.
It’s a story of Helen’s self-justification and self-indulgence. She is both hero and villain. I loved her and hated her. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her by her shoulders, then I wanted to hug her close to protect her. Ironically, it wasn’t until I was closing into the end of the story that I realized I had seen myself—my own life—reflected in parts of this story.
Roeleveld’s use of scripture soothed, guided, and enticed me as a reader. She also expertly offered example after example how Helen tried to look God in the proverbial face, only to blink and turn away. Just as I had tried in the past, and if you dare to read this, you may see yourself, too.
I rarely give five stars ratings. I think five-stars are reserved for mothers to give their children. But this book has what it takes to change lives. A tall order for a piece of fiction. Lori Roeleveld’s, Red Pen Redemption is slated to be a beloved Christmas Season staple for years to come.