Sep 24



Mary-meme cropped


Here are two more lessons we can consider from the character and circumstances of Jesus’ mother, Mary. Click here to read last month’s lessons.

I Share My Joy with People Who Understand

After the angel told Mary she would become pregnant in a miraculous way, he then told her that her cousin Elizabeth was also expecting a miracle baby. What did Mary do? She skedaddled off to visit Elizabeth—probably the only other woman who would understand the experience of a miraculous birth foretold by an angel.

Do we live in the “joy of the Lord”? Do we share that joy with other people who know what it’s like? Do we have a community of believers with whom we can live our faith?

And do we share our faith with others so that they, too can have joy in the Lord and understand the joy we cherish?

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What does it mean to you to have a group of believers with whom you can do life? How do you share your joy of the Lord with them and with people who don’t know Jesus?

I Don’t Whine About My Circumstances

When the angel told Mary she would become pregnant and give birth to the Messiah, she didn’t complain that she wasn’t married; and would never be able to fit into that dream wedding dress. Instead she replied, “I am the Lord’s servant.”

Mary was obedient in what she knew God wanted her to do, as told to her by the angel, no matter that her circumstances were probably not what she wanted or had planned for her life.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you enjoy an occasional pity party or feel satisfaction from the odd whine about your circumstances? How do you feel when you are in the presence of whining? How do you think others feel when you whine?


Interested in studying Mary in more depth? Please look into my meditative Bible study I am Mary, part of my ongoing series—With Faith Like Hers—of women whose lives are preserved in Scripture. (Scroll down the right side of this page for the other books in this series.)

Click to order

I am Mary is available in both print and Kindle formats and works well either as an individual daily devotional or a weekly group study.



Sep 17



Sometimes we have a plan and we ask God to bless it.

Sometimes He does bless it. Sometimes it was His plan all along. Sometimes He says “no” to our plan. Sometimes He says “not yet.” Sometimes He is silent.

And sometimes we misunderstand, thinking He is allowing His permissive will in our lives when really, we are ignoring or misunderstanding what He wants us to do.

Fortunately, God has been hearing my recent prayer:

Lord, please correct me; but please do so gently.

One of the joys of my writing is working on my series for Christian women With Faith Like Hers. This series contains studies of the character and circumstances of women in Scripture with the theme behind each of them that we modern women are part of God’s ongoing plan.

Last year, I released I am Rahab, the sixth study in this series. I then jumped in to begin a study of Hannah, the prophet Samuel’s mother. I worked on the book for six months while struggling with how to get into a deeper understanding of who Hannah was.

Then I set the project aside until I could figure Hannah out.

Next week our women’s Bible study at church will be starting up again for the Fall. The women have gone through all six of my books and although I have found several lovely women’s studies by other authors, none of them seemed to quite fit what I felt would work for our group. And alas, Hannah was still patiently sitting in a computer file with at least another year’s work ahead of its release.

Then God nudged me. Not to finish writing and release I am Hannah, which would indeed involve His miraculous hand on my writing to complete by next week. But to research; to think; to pray on the lessons I could present to the women more informally. And not only as a Bible study for them; but also as a way to move the writing of my book forward.

This morning, I developed six lessons to share with our Bible study ladies based on what we can learn from the character and circumstances of Hannah. Those six lessons will be expanded into six book sections and 28 total book chapters—eventually.

God does not seem to be yelling at me to stop everything and focus on Hannah. But neither is He allowing me to leave the project alone for another year. Rather He is helping me work on the project while I am fulfilling my other commitment to lead women’s Bible study.


God is also bringing those wonderful Bible study women into the process of creating this next book, as truths discovered during our lessons will likely become part of the written book about Hannah.

God allowed me a respite from writing the series. Now I feel refreshed and ready to move forward on it. And God is showing me a gentle way to return to the project while He gathers others into the process of developing a book for other women to also see their lives as part of God’s ongoing plan, just like Hannah’s was.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? When was the last time you clearly saw God’s hand in your life? Was He especially gentle or did He need to make you sit up and pay attention first?

Sep 10


Rather than inspire you personally, I offer these announcements in the hope that one of them will inspire you instead.

Ruby Magazine for September is out!

The new Ruby Magazine  is full of articles, craft ideas, recipes and inspirational poems and stories. And it’s a simple, free click away from maybe inspiring you! My review of Truth in Troy Valley is there, but if you’ve been hanging out here, you may have read it already. Here it is again or there it is in Ruby—great book from my friend and writing colleague JoEllen Claypool.

Click here to download your free copy of Ruby Magazine.


Also for inspiration to all you local writers (published or aspiring; brand new, wanna-be’s or with a dozen books under your belt and on the shelf): the information and links to the Fourth Annual Treasure Valley Writer’s Fest sponsored by the Idaho Creative Authors Network (ICAN).

The theme for this year’s Writer’s Fest is “Working Together; Writing Better.” We will have four workshops on phases of how writers can work together in critiquing each other’s work and marketing strategies for “that hardest part of writing”—getting the word out to the people who will love your book.

FB 4th Annual Treasure Valley Writers' Fest and Writing Contest

The Writers’ Fest will be packed with information and interactions for beginning and established writers seeking to improve their writing and marketing skills. Presenters include author Mary Vine and ICAN authors JoEllen Claypool, Carol Kjar and Carol Peterson.

Attendees should bring up to five pages of their own written works to use in a networking opportunity with fellow writers and to practice what was learned during the presentations. They will leave with not only new knowledge, but with new ideas for their works in progress. The day will end with a catered dinner.

A writing contest is included with this conference. The deadline for entries is September 25.

Click on Eventbrite to register

Click on ICAN website for more info





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