Monday, April 27, 2015

Sparrow Quest Continues

His Eye is On The Sparrow is a traditional African-American worship song written in 1905 by two white songwriters, Civilla Martin and Charles Gabriel. Ethel Waters may be the actress-singer who captured its meaning most eloquently.  (see below)

The second verse is particularly meaningful to me with so many challenges and changes flying into my life without warning, and me barely able to catch my breath.

Let not your heart be troubled; His tender words I hear; 

And resting on His goodness I lose my doubts and fears; 
Though by the path He leadeth but one step I may see; 
          Thankfully the Father is not surprised that I'm plagued by fear.
          Thankfully Jesus knows what this fallen world is like.
          Thankfully Holy Spirit is my indwelling power.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  
Isaiah 41:10

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I am secure in the Father's care not
because I am deserving in any way, 
because He made me and He sets my value.


"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Matthew 10:29

I sing because I’m happy, 
I sing because I’m free, 
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  John 10:11

"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"  John 8:31

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  John 8:36

Friday, April 24, 2015

Naomi News

Modern Day Naomi?
I completed a synopsis of The Moab Years tonight, Book 1 of the Every Woman Trilogy. 
It will accompany the Prequel in my request for a critique from one of the staff at the writers conference I’ll be attending next month. 
No need to ask. I won’t be sharing the synopsis. It would give away too many details, Silly.
I’ll share an excerpt instead.
“You are mature for your age, and I’m happy you’ve been paying attention to the marriages around you.” Gaga tipped Naomi’s face to hers with both hands. “I will pray that, even if all of your dreams do not appear the way you imagine, you will remember that promise.” The turning world seemed to pause.  The Desperate Years, p. 7

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Brief and Meaningful Detour

I have to take a short break from the series I began on Sparrows.

Hang in there with me for this glimpse.

I was doing some spring cleaning yesterday. (Please don't hate me for doing just a little bit.) I'd saved the potting of flowers for last as a sort of reward. I enjoy working with plants, perhaps because I can get my hands dirty.

As I moved some daffodils to a favorite crock, the thought crept in that I'd gotten caught up in the humdrum of my tasks. I mentally shook myself and turned my mind heavenward. God, where are you in the midst of these simple chores? 


God showed up.

If you look closely, maybe you'll see Him in the photo I took right then.

I bought a good size bunch of daffodils, but I wanted my flowers blooming in two smaller and prettier pots. First I had to bend and push and roll the plastic container to loosen the packed dirt. Next I had to coax the bulbs out of their little beds. 
(Coax is a nice word for yank and haul them out.)

It took a fair amount of ripping to separate the root systems into the two batches I wanted. Then I had to hold the bulbs together as I carefully settled each grouping into its new home. During the final step of tamping down the fresh potting soil I imagined the beautiful blossoms that I was sure would appear. That's when I'd called out to my heavenly Father.

I admit His reply made me smile. It went something like this.

"Sandra, I'm right here showing you My ways. Look at the transplanting process you've undertaken. You've had to rip those plants out of that container. You even broke apart their root system to move them into better-suited vessels. And as you set them in place you're surrounding them with nurturing soil and adding water to make sure everything is ready to support hearty and beautiful growth. That's how I often work in the lives of my children to show forth my glory and bring them peace and joy."

Okay, so it wasn't an audible voice, but that was the message.

And I smiled because I've been thinking of that 'Bloom where you're planted' phrase lately.

Scripture came to mind.

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:9-11

Since I can trust God for anything, I guess I can trust Him to keep me growing and blooming. I'll keep asking.

"From one man he* made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he* determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being."  Acts 17:26

Since the Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth decides where I live, I guess I can relax into my growing and blooming with confidence.

How about you? 

Have you gone through a transplant lately?
Are you going through one now?

Be assured that it's God's hands you feel moving you out of one pot and into another. 
He's the Master Gardener and you're in very good hands.
Let me know how it's going and I'll pray with and for you.

*"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else." vv. 24,25

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Killer Sparrows

A sparrow is a common bird.

Not really much about it to catch attention . . . or inspire interest.

Sparrows are listed as the most common bird in the world, . . . and in many places sparrows are considered a nuisance.

So it could be a bit of a surprise to discover the life of a sparrow has much value . . . at all.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."  Matthew 10:29-31

My granddaughter and I are learning a song about sparrows. As I practice the lyrics, Holy Spirit takes me deeper and deeper into the love the Father has for me. Let me open the door of my classroom.

It was early in the year 1905 that Civilla Martin and her husband were traveling in New York State. They met and became fast friends with a couple named Doolittle whom they describe as "true saints of God". 

Mr. Doolittle was "an incurable cripple" taking himself to and from work in a wheelchair. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nearly 20 years. 

Despite their afflictions, the Doolittles bore a bright hopefulness and when asked the reason for it, Mrs. Doolittle offered a simple reply. "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

The Martins were moved by the beautiful simplicity of her expression of their boundless faith. The next day Civilla Martin sent the poem she'd penned to Charles Gabriel who wrote the music to accompany it. 

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,

When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
          These are serious questions I have to ask myself. 
          What place does discouragement have in my life?
          Where do shadows appear throughout my days? 
          What place does loneliness have in my heart?
          Why do I find myself longing for heaven?
          These reactions all make sense when I consider this fallen world,
          when I remember that Jesus is my portion, my lot, my eternal inheritance, my 
          reliable companion, and my faithful confidante, the burdens, hindrances, and
          distractions that plague me vanish.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

          God must be keeping a close eye on me since Scripture declares He values my 
          life far more than that of a common sparrow whose days He manages.

I sing because I’m happy, 
          I'm joyous in the Truth that Jesus is mine and I am His.
I sing because I’m free, 
          I'm free to live the abundant life my Savior earned for me.
For His eye is on the sparrow,

          His will accounts for the life of every single, little sparrow.
And I know He watches me.

          God oversees my life according to the value He gives it.

If you're fighting off discouragement, shadows, loneliness, or longings of any kind, maybe you could use some good, old-fashioned uplifting too.

I'm asking the LORD to bless every reader during this Resurrection season!
If you've been encouraged, pass this on to a friend.

For that matter, Miss Mae and I are enjoying the song!
Care to learn it with us? 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Naomi News

I've got the prequel ready to share.

The first offering of Naomi: The Desperate Years will be at the Christian Authors Meet & Greet on Saturday, April 25 at the Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen, Massachusetts.

My precious prequel will be one of the options for everyone who purchases our first joint manuscript, Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship. The special price that day will be $10. 

We're excited to share CIC, the #1 Resource for Worshiping Families, at this popular New England event "where writers and readers connect in person."

It's FREE to attend, but Registration is required. 
Learn more and sign up HERE

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Whale Vomit Revelation

The Passover meal was intense.
The betrayal in Gethsemane was shocking.
The various trials were ominous.
The scourging was outrageous.
Carrying His cross to Calvary was agonizing.
The crucifixion was excruciating.
The death and burial were sinister.


through it all, Jesus the Christ stayed the course. He knew what was coming.

He'd already declared the Good News through the Jonah account.

"Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, 'Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.'
"He [Jesus] answered, 'A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.'"  Matthew 12:38-40

Had the Disciples only grasped the significance of the empty tomb in light of whale vomit, their reactions would have been totally different.

I want to close my Resurrection Day remembrances with that victorious awareness.

Jesus rose to life and appeared to more than 500 people. He conquered death once and for all, proving His Messiah-ship. (not sure it's a word) 

The Christ is alive, sitting at the right hand of the Father, thereby sealing my inheritance and assuring my own resurrection. I gotta respond with awe and delight.

How about you? Have you grasped the power of the resurrection?
If so, join me in this rousing song as we close out the Resurrection Season.

Know somebody who's down? 
Share the peace-producing Truth that revives.

Sing His praises.
Bow before Him.
Magnify His Name.
Proclaim His love.
Praise Him with joy.
Adore His Blessed Name.
Crown Him King forever more.