Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him (Psalm 127:3 NIV)
I am still happily hanging out with brand new grandbaby, Kaiden. I am still in awe of how God has blessed this world through him. I am still amazed that a wee little thing has the potential to change the world in dramatic ways.
He has already changed my world for the better!
No, this isn’t Kaiden’s actual feet. In deference to the privacy of Mommy and Daddy, this photo is courtesy of pixabay. But just so you know—yup—I’ve done this very same thing with Kaiden’s wee tiny toes. Grandmas do that kind of stuff.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Who in your life are you especially glad is part of the Lord’s heritage? How can you tell them today how much they mean to you?
Names are important. They have meaning. And the names of God’s children who love Him are written in Jesus’ book of life.
Each month I research the meaning of two names and create prayers that we can pray for people we love to live the meaning of those names.
This month (last night in fact), God blessed me with a brand new grandson. In honor of that wonderful miracle, here are two boys’ names and prayers—which happen to be the first and middle names of my precious grandson, Kaiden Alexander.
Kaiden; Caden: friend, companion
Dear Jesus, we pray that Kaiden will live the meaning of his name. We pray he will recognize the friend he has in you, Jesus and that you, Holy Spirit will be his constant companion, giving him strength, courage and guidance. Amen.
Alexander: defender of the people
Dear Jesus, we pray that Alexander will live the meaning of his name, defending what is right and looking to you, Jesus, as the One who defends us from and provides every good thing in life. Amen.
*Note: I create “Prayer Plaques” with the meaning of names and prayers like the above. They make lovely gifts to celebrate births, birthdays and other reasons to celebrate our life in Christ. Go to HonorBoundBooks.com for more information. The one above I created as a gift to my new grandson to hang in his room.
I am here in California with my daughter and son-in-law, prepping for the arrival of grandbaby boy. He might arrive any day.
The crib has been made. The itty bitty clothing has been washed. The nursery is decorated with woodland animals smiling down from the walls.
The wait begins. It is a good wait.
We’re putting up a few decorations, stocking up on bags of sweet stuff and looking forward to meeting miniature super heroes and princesses at our door—because all of it reminds me of Jesus.
Halloween began as a Christian holiday (holy day). Throughout the history of the early Church, various days of the year were set aside to honor specific people who had died for their faith. Later, the Roman Catholic Church set aside November 1 as a day to honor all Christians who had died. They named it All Saints Day.
People who are Christians are referred to in Christian lingo as saints—not because any of us are better than anyone else but because God has declared us to be His and thus we are holy in His sight.
Since November 1 became the holy day known as All Saints Day, the evening before that day was referred to as All Hallows (holy) Eve. It was later modernized to All Hallowed Eve or All Holy E’ven (as in evening). Ultimately it was shortened to Hallow-een.
Just as the evening before Christmas—Christmas Eve—is holy; so too is the day before the holy day of All Saints Day. In fact, every day is holy because every day has been made by God.
So while we’re trying to avoid thinking about how many grams of sugar we’re ingesting as we wait for the next goblin to ring the doorbell, we can ponder the truth that—no matter what the evil one may do to direct us away from what is holy—today, just as every other day is holy.
Thank you, Jesus! Happy Halloween, folks!
Legacy has been my focus word for 2016. The word has helped me keep my mind open to how I might live in order to leave this world a teensy bit better for me having lived in it.
By focusing on the word legacy this year, it has inspired me to write books, to pray in new ways, to look around at who might need my help and to think more deeply about the ongoing genetic legacy happening within my very family.
The idea of a one-word focus each year isn’t my clever idea. But I have been clever enough to adopt it as my own now for several years.
I have found the having a focus word is so helpful though that I want to encourage you to adopt a word too. Later this year, I will write about several words I’m considering of adopting for 2017. Maybe one of them will hit a note with you and you’ll adopt it yourself.
Meanwhile, here are a few thoughts I’ve had over the years about my specific focus words. Maybe one of these would help you. Or maybe one will spark a different word you will want to adopt for 2017. Clever you!
2013 Focus Word: Courage
2014 Focus Word: Firm
2015 Focus Word: Nike (just do it)
Be thinking, friends.
Life at my end of the screen is pretty great, but still this verse holds truth for those who may need to hear it today.
Which then reminds us of another verse from Psalms:
This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24 NIV).
Those two words don’t generally go together. But in October, they do.
October is traditionally Pastor Appreciation Month—the month of the year us church folks delight in telling our pastors how awesome they are, how much their leadership means to us and how much we appreciate everything they do.
Thank you, pastors!
In addition, the U.S. Government Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has declared October “Zombie Preparedness Month.” The image up top came from the CDC official website. Here’s a link to their zombie page.
But when you think about things a bit deeper, it’s not so odd that an observance of Pastors and zombies should be put together in one month. Because they both remind us of Jesus.
Jesus died to overcome death. He died to give us eternal life in heaven with Him. Basically, if we believe in Jesus, we have overcome a future afterlife as zombies (Revelation 1:18).
Without Jesus we are the walking dead. When we surrender to Jesus, we are reborn into true life with Him. (1 Corinthians 14:55-57; John 3:1-21).
Zombies are eternally hungry—which is why they are always trying to eat us live folks. Sounds a bit like Satan, who prowls around seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8).
Jesus tells us, however, that when we turn to Him, He alone will satisfy our hunger for righteousness and we will be blessed (Matthew 5:6).
One more point. After October, the church enters the Advent Season of the liturgical calendar, starting this year on Sunday, November 27. Advent/Christmas is the very busiest time of the year for pastors and church staff.
It’s therefore our duty as church members to encourage them now as they prepare for the end of the year festivities. Otherwise, we may find our pastors walking around moaning, red eyes blank and arms outstretched. Nope. We don’t want any zombie pastors this year.
Thank you pastors (and their families), ministry leaders and support staff for all you do for the church body!
This writing year has been uber productive for me. I began with January goals of releasing two books and working on one more throughout the year. Then I allowed God to revise my writing goals and they suddenly morphed to 8 and then ten books to work on throughout the year. Some of those books I have been plugging away at for years but needed momentum to spur me forward. Other books were brand new titles that needed developing.
Now we are heading into the final quarter of 2016. It is time for the big push to complete my remaining goals. (And for you to complete yours.) Here’s what is left for me:
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Atop the Mountain: The basis of the book is Scripture where Jesus was on mountains. The theme is taking our “mountain top” experiences with Jesus back down with us into the Valley of Death (aka life).
Q4 goal: to begin writing a book proposal and sample chapters for submission to agents/editors 2017.
For the Love of Shoes: applying what Scripture has to say about our feet (and shoes). I intend to pursue traditional publishing but am also considering indie publishing. So I am drafting up the whole book to get a better feel for it. My goal was to complete the “horrible first draft” by end of 2016. The horrible first draft is done and it is indeed horrible, but is in condition now to be able to write a book proposal from it.
This goal is complete for 2016. The project will be on my 2017 goals to complete a book proposal and begin submitting to agents/editors mid 2017 or deciding definitely to indie publish in 2017 or 2018.
From “What if” to “Whatever”: applying one of Philippians “whatevers” (whatever is true, whatever is noble, etc.) to our most pressing worries. I am working on fleshing out the lessons.
Q4 goal: to begin writing a book proposal by end of 2016 and start submitting to agents/editors 2017.
Jesus Wants Me to Do WHAT? The book about baby-step evangelism is fleshed out and most of the book proposal is done.
Q4 goal: to complete three sample chapters by end of 2016 and start submitting to publishers/agents in 2017.
I am Rahab: This is the sixth character study in the With Faith Like Hers Bible study series. The book is in its second revision.
This goal is complete for 2016. My 2017 goal will be to complete final revisions and release the book mid or late 2017.
Clover’s Pot of Gold: This is presently a picture book manuscript but it might actually be a magazine story in disguise with a bit of fixing.
Q4 goal: to definitely decide whether to submit to book publishers or Christian children’s magazines in 2017.
The end of 2016 for me will include a month away from home when my first grandbaby arrives. That and Christmas will leave very little time for actual bottom-in-chair writing. Since I have worked to complete as many goals ahead of time as I can, I am left with only two book proposals and several sample chapters to address this year. Having a clear vision of what needs to be done is big-time motivating.
How about you? Have you made forward progress on your 2016 goals? How might you push forward during these last 3 months?
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To help you set, review and revise your own goals, I regularly share my personal process. Here’s how I went about working on my goals in 2016. Consider how you might do the same for 2017.
This year, the one word God gave me to help me focus on faith was legacy. Early in 2016, the word legacy became more personal when our daughter and son-in-law announced the coming birth of their first child and our first grandchild. Was the first thing I did to go out and ooh and ahh over itty bitty baby clothes? Well, yes, it was.
But not surprisingly, the second thing I did was write a book.