After twenty years of writing, God has blessed me with files of hundreds of published inspirational devotions, personal experiences, and short stories. As I looked through these stories, I thought these pieces should not be sitting idle in folders. I'm giving them "new lives" though eBooks.
Sometimes we’re just not ready to move on. We love our job. Our family relationships are running smoothly. The annual doctor’s appointment couldn’t have gone better. Then the day comes where changes have to be made and our stomach churns and our thoughts become fragments. Change is inevitable, but anxiety doesn’t have to be a part of that transformation.
When my first grandchild was two and a half years old, she noticed Bert was not among her Sesame Street stuffed animals. Even though her favorite character, Elmo, was there, she was concerned for the missing Bert.
How does a private detective prove a convicted murderer’s innocence when that woman not only confessed, but had two eye witnesses to her standing over the body with the murder weapon in her hand? Not only that, the client who hires you is one of those eye witnesses.
The Bible is filled with directions on how we are to behave in our Christian journey, through examples of how Jesus lived and wants us to follow and lead. Reading and believing God’s Holy Word is a great beginning. Carrying out His plan through our actions is the way we move forward.
In early 2019, I went from a large purse to a medium-sized purse. I downsized because the needs in my life had changed, and I was having neck and shoulder soreness from the purse’s weight. When I emptied the contents on the bed, I found I was hauling around too many unnecessary things.
Kinsley is ready to snuggle in for a rainy afternoon with her Mimi. When she goes to get her stuffed animal, Lucy Ladybug, she can’t find her. Mimi says that she has many other stuffed animals, but Kinsley won’t rest until she finds the one that is lost.
Living with family and friends whose minds are slipping away is devastating to those of us left in the shadows. We long for those days when they recognized us and we had meaningful conversations with them.
We each have a talent. God places this talent within us at the outset of our formation. Then He scatters His human seeds around the world. Once we are born, it is up to us as individuals to develop and use our talent to build up His kingdom.
Do you ever feel like you are trying hard to live a good and faithful life yet feel you are not doing what “you’d really like to do?” Perhaps all you need to do is look at your situation from a different point of view.
Peace, tranquility, and calmness of mind, body, and soul . . . most of us long for these things yet never carve out the time and place to relish their deliciousness. If there is one gift that quarantine has given me, it is the opportunity to seize those times and intentionally clear out a place for them to unfold in the future.
It is easy for me to pray for people who are in distress or have been wronged by others. Praying for those I feel are the evil doers is difficult. Even more difficult is forgiving these individuals who bring pain and suffering to others. One Sunday, God brought me face-to-face with a man whose behavior had been so bad, I had vowed that I’d never forgive him.
Every day holds small experiences that not only bring joy in the moment, but create a photo album of memories to comfort us in our days ahead. And, as our old delights fade away, God replaces them with experiences even more wonderful than we could have ever imagined.
Have you ever felt so downhearted over a mistake you’ve made that you thought God couldn’t possibly forgive you? Think again. We are humans – we make poor choices – it’s our nature. God sent His Son Jesus to save us through grace . . . we can’t do it alone because . . . well, we’re human.
A plan, schedule, or to-do list is not necessarily a bad way to organize your day. When your self-imposed agendas control your life and moods, thus interfering with God’s desires for you, the door to stress and anxiety enters your life.
Sometimes we want to do the right thing, or what we perceive is the right thing. This experience reveals how saying “no” actually opened up a new and exciting “yes.” The reason for this change? My “no” was a reaction to my tunnel- view of what my capabilities were. My “yes” was a response to God’s all-seeing vision of what my potentials were.
Sometimes we feel that God is ignoring us . . . that He is not answering our prayers. In an experience I had teaching three-year-old Vacation Bible School at my church, I learned I was asking the wrong questions.
There is an age-old question Christians continue to ask and be asked by nonbelievers: Why does God “let” bad things happen? In the Bible, God never promises us a life free of turmoil and sadness. What He does promise is that He’ll be with us in all our circumstances.
Prayer is perhaps our ultimate connection with God. We pray with a thankful heart for our blessings. We pray with a giving heart for ways to help others. There are those prayers of petition for our wants and needs. Later, we grumble believing God hasn’t answered these requests.
Ellie is tired of having to shelter-in-place. She doesn’t have anything to do, and she misses her friends, her church choir, and her soccer team. Most of all, she misses her great-grandmother Gan: her smell, her touch, and her stories . . .
Sometimes the simplest thing we can do is one we forget or discount because of its seeming unimportance. Showing up is the most important thing we can do. However, in our current environment, we are urged to remain at home. Yes, we must physically distance, but that doesn’t mean we are required to socially distance.
Each of us has a God-given talent. For most of us, it is difficult to discern just what that gift may be. While we may be unclear about just what our talents are, we do know this: we are all God’s beloveds and He gifts us toward a purpose.
Every day is an adventure. You wake up to what appears to be a normal day only to suddenly have life throw a curve ball at you. You may not end up where you wanted to be, but with God as the driver, you’ll have strength and comfort and end up where you are supposed to be..
Dealing with an aging parent is emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. In this personal experience, God tenderly and lovingly, yet firmly, reminded me to remove the “speck” from my eye before judging my mother.
Do you have trouble snapping at your heels? Is depression pounding at your door? Or perhaps you are embroiled in a situation that is consuming you bit by bit. My friend Gilly, a Jack Russel Terrier, made a choice that literally saved her life.
Meditation is beneficial for many reasons. Quietness calms the body and mind. Stillness settles the emotions. Pushing aside all mental and emotional turmoil also allows thoughts to rise freely and without judgement. This story about the God’s permanence was born out of one of my meditations.
Do troublesome thoughts keep you awake at night? Are these thoughts founded on situations over which you have no control? Each of us has a Zacchaeus in us – our shortness comes from Earthly concerns. It is only by climbing upward to see Christ so that we can rise above the issues that make us small. Only then will he move in and make us see matters more clearly.
Have you ever taken time to think of all the people you have encountered in your life? The most recent and constant ones are those you remember first. But what about those who were with you for only a while? God has filled our Earthly journey with fellow-travelers, some good – some not so good. Each person has contributed to what we become as guides toward God’s intended purpose.
Have you ever finished a project and felt it wasn’t complete? Ever felt there was something missing in your life? Many of us look at the story of The Prodigal Son and sympathize with the brother who had been faithful all his life, but it was the “bad” brother who received the celebration. Our minds cry out unfair!"
Are there people who annoy you just by their presence, people who “rile” you up before you even encounter them? Or shamefully, when you hear a bit of bad gossip about that person, does your heart take a little leap? Perhaps a closer look at yourself will reveal a solution.
A devotional based on a personal experience and Luke 18:16: But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
It’s the End-of-the-Year Games Day at Jeremy’s school, and the second grade classes are having a treasure hunt. All the children are excited . . . except Jeremy. He feels he isn’t good at anything because he is small.
Brian is feeling left out. His mama just had a baby, and no one has time for him anymore. Even worse, when he tries to play with his new brother, his mama says that he’s too big. But, when he wants to do things with his older brother, she says he’s too little. He just doesn’t fit in!
Avery is jealous of her little sister Maggie, and she takes out these bad feelings not only on Maggie, but on Nana and Granddaddy. After apologizing to her grandmother, they discuss how sometimes we can’t control our jealousy, but we can control our reactions to them. We can control how we treat others.
Skylar is excited about her middle-of-the-summer pool party. She knows exactly who she’s inviting: but she will NOT invite Mary Kate. Last spring Mary Kate had a sleepover and she didn’t invite Skylar. Now Mary Kate can see how it feels to be left out.
Camille has moved from Jamaica to Florida. She misses her old home and her new country seems strange. Because of the kindness of her next-door neighbor, Mrs. Finch, Camille learns how important it is to be thoughtful of others.
Ivy and Emma Grace are cousins and best friends, and each thinks she knows the only way to do everything! While working on a flower project with their Aunt Kathy, the girls discover a way to decide how to tell the difference between being helpful, and well, and being a Miss Bossy Pants.
Louisa is explaining to Jada and Charlotte that she is collecting plastic grocery bags for her abuelita so that she can knit them into sleeping mats for the homeless. Her friends think this is a silly idea until they learn more about homelessness and ways to help.
Emily’s younger cousin Jacob has moved from out-of-state to be closer to family. Now, not only does Jacob get into her things, Emily also has to share her Nana and Poppy with him. She has bad feelings in her heart: she’s afraid that now Nana and Poppy might love Jacob more than they love her.
Michael has made a bad choice: a very bad choice. He took a toy from Mr. Belinsky’s store without paying for it. When he and his mama get home, Michael is so upset but doesn’t know what to do. Through his Bible teachings, he comes to a good choice, the right choice.
Melissa is Enrique’s best friend, but he doesn’t want to go to her birthday celebration because it’s a Princess Party! In his heart he knows what choice God would want him to make. Enrique goes and learns that birthday parties are fun no matter what theme they are.
Lilly is frightened because it is her first day at a new school. She wouldn’t describe herself as shy, but neither is Lilly comfortable with making new friends. Lilly goes into another room where she meets Chun Wong, who is also new. From outward appearances, the girls couldn’t be more different. However, they soon discover some very interesting things about each other!
It’s a beautiful autumn in Bell Buckle, but in Winkie Hardy’s heart Knoxville is still home. On a midnight outing with her puppy Laurel, Winkie notices a mysterious light floating in the empty house next door. Some local people say this is Robert Thatcher’s ghost. On Halloween night in 1883, Mr. Thatcher went to his blacksmith shop and never returned. Through solving the mystery and her daily pray