November 29, 2021

Get the Inscribe App!


InScribe has a new way to connect and keep up to date on all of our events and activities! We have our own "InScribe App"!

If you haven't uploaded the App on your phone yet, here is the link:

 https://shelby.ministryone.com/landing/N3ke

We rolled out the app at our Fall Conference in October but there will be lots more communication coming about how to use it, its advantages, and more! Watch this VERY HELPFUL (and short!) video to get you started. 

November 28, 2021

Spanky and Our Gang: "Like to Get To Know You" - Bruce Atchison

This popular group had a few charting hits in the late sixties. This particular one was about the tentative nature of starting a relationship with a stranger. Hear it here:

On the face of it, Philippians 3:10 (Bible in Basic English) doesn't seem to make sense. Why did Paul write, "That I may have knowledge of him, and of the power of his coming back from the dead, and a part with him in his pains, becoming like him in his death;"

Paul meant that he wanted to be as close to Christ as he could be, even in suffering persecution. His sole aim in life became to become what Jesus wanted him to be. Now that's dedication!

So how can we develop such a dedicated passion for our Lord? He gave the answer in John 14:15-17 (BBE). "If you have love for me, you will keep my laws. And I will make prayer to the Father and he will give you another Helper to be with you for ever, Even the Spirit of true knowledge. That Spirit the world is not able to take to its heart because it sees him not and has no knowledge of him: but you have knowledge of him, because he is ever with you and will be in you."

We also read in 1 John 2:4-6 (BBE) how we can know the extent of our devotion to our Master. "The man who says, 'I have knowledge of him,' and does not keep his laws, is false, and there is nothing true in him: But in every man who keeps his word, the love of God is made complete. By this we may be certain that we are in him: He who says that he is living in him, will do as he did."

In my case, the turning point came in my life back in 2002. Reading Hebrews 2:18 (BBE) showed me that Christ knows what it's like to be human. "For having been put to the test himself, he is able to give help to others when they are tested."

I felt elated when I finally comprehended that Christ understands how I felt. In my past, people gave me the impression that he, and especially the Father, were "rules is rules" types. Now I want to be as close to the one whom chose me as I can in this life. Philippians 3:10

November 27, 2021

Roads Signs and Landmarks by Lorilee Guenter

 


Jeremiah 31: 21 "Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road you take. Return, O Virgin Israel, return to your towns." (NIV)


"You follow that road for a couple of blocks and turn right. It is the first right turn, there will be a church on the corner. Then you are looking for..." These are directions I might give for someone to find my place. I would know which direction they were arriving from and could guide them based on that. When I plan a vacation, I study maps and make a plan for what I want to see and the best way to get to the landmarks, galleries and stores. Then I watch for road signs once I am there so that I don't miss what I want to see.


My life journey has a number of landmarks or highlights. There is the moment I made the personal choice to follow Jesus. There is high school graduation, my wedding, university convocation, the birth of two daughters, and more. Each of these altered the course of my life. However, if I only mark these on a map, it might be like saying "from the Empire State Building, go north to the parliament building in Ottawa, go west, stop by the Canadian Mint in Winnipeg, then head northwest to Saskatoon to the University of Saskatchewan." It points out landmarks but, unless you are flying, does not help you get from one place to another.


Put up road signs and guideposts. The more places I notice God's hand at work, the easier it is to return when I start to wander. By making notes in a journal and, at times, adding dates in my bible margins so I can go back to those journals notes about how God talked to me at that time, I have a road map that leads away from anxiety about so many things. There is the time that a job offer came the same week as a layoff notice -- a reminder of God's provision. God has shown up in our finances, our health, our relationships, and more. He always shows up because he is always here. 


But we wander.


Those road signs, those markers of his faithfulness, they point us back to God, back to a relationship with the only one who can satisfy. I want my life to be defined by a seeking to grow in that relationship.

November 25, 2021

You ARE a Writer by Sharon Heagy

 


    While contemplating writing this month’s post, my mind went madly off in a multitude of directions. Each life has so many defining moments. Some are tragic, some are sad, some overflow with joy. Every person has tales to tell of fundamentally transforming moments that create a life being lived. How do you narrow the possibilities into just one defining event?

At first, I thought about suffering. Events that involved some sort of loss or tragedy. The ones that have pounded down the clay that constitutes my heart and mind but which also enabled the Lord to reform them in a different way.

Then my thoughts went to writing and the myriad of moments that have encouraged me to continue.  One such moment happened through a writer’s workshop hosted by the Saskatchewan Writer’s guild.  It was unusual in that it wasn’t one day or weekend but a series of Saturdays, once a month for several months, culminating in a public reading.  I walked into that room for the first session a bundle of nerves, my confidence as full as a deflated balloon.  There were writers of all abilities but most had considerably more experience than I.  They were amazing folks with varied backgrounds and personalities who wrote in an abundance of genres.  It was a fascinating and educational experience and I drank it all in like a thirsty person lost in the desert who happens upon an oasis and falls face down in the water.

Week after week we reviewed and critiqued each other’s work, whether it was something we wrote on the day we met or something that we submitted to one another during the month between sessions for our consideration and feedback.

Months went by and the time finally came for our ‘public’ reading at a local art gallery.  I use the term public loosely as the audience pretty much consisted of family and friends.  A room full of encouragement. Once the readings were done, we lingered and chatted over coffee, tea and baked treasures.  The director of the Writer’s Guild was in attendance and came up to me and to my surprise handed me a cheque.  The look of bafflement on my face prompted her to say that it was payment for the reading. I paused and thanked her and said it almost made me feel like a real writer.  She locked her eyes with mine and said you ARE a writer. 

How often I return to that moment when doubt overflows and I dissolve into those ‘what makes you think you can write and who do you think you are and what could you possibly have to share that would make a difference to anyone’ moments.  It was a confirmation, for me, of God’s call on my life.

Another amazing part of that experience was that two of the people I met led me to my first Christian Writer’s Conference in Saskatoon where I also discovered Inscribe. For that I am forever grateful and I still value their friendship, experience and feedback though we don’t get to chat very often.

Now each month as I write another post I am filled with hope and with the possibility that someday I may touch a heart with laughter or tears but more than that with encouragement and hope and dare I say to be used by God. That would be amazing. And so, I write. Not to be published, though I’ve experienced a dribble of that, but because I am a writer. (And maybe someday a ‘real’ one.)


November 24, 2021

A Drop of Love ~ Valerie Ronald


 

If I were relating the defining moments in my writing life, they would begin with the story about the gypsy girl I wrote in grade five, when I discovered I could imagine worlds into being. Then on to times in a high school creative writing class where my words took wing, encouraged by affirmations from my teacher and classmates. College journalism courses, a job as a rookie newspaper reporter, first published magazine article ˗˗ all were significant in my writing career. As important as these moments were, their significance pales in light of the impact of God on my creative journey.

It would take too long to narrate the tale of how God drew me to Himself. Through many starts and stops, wanderings and returnings, He continually pursued me with His love until I surrendered completely to Him. Where else could I go? My own desires and decisions had landed me in an emotionally abusive marriage with no way out that I could see. There at rock bottom, God met me. My circumstances were the same but my heart was changed, renewed by the Lord who made me.

One brief moment stands out above all others. If I ever held doubts about God’s singular eye upon me, His omniscient attention to every detail about me, this moment wiped them all away. Admitted to the hospital for some minor surgery, I remember actually anticipating a few days of escape from my emotionally stressful life. Exhausted by a roller coaster marriage to a volatile, spiritually abusive man, doing my best to mother three young children and dealing with fatiguing health issues, I longed for rest. A hospital stay was hardly the ideal vacation, but the prospect of a few days in bed offered a welcome respite. I remember breathing a hasty prayer before the anesthetic took affect.  

Then I awoke with an overwhelming knowingness of God’s love for me.  

That sounds so simple, such a given, but it does not come close to capturing the all-encompassing intensity of how loved by God I knew myself to be in that moment. I did not want to return to full consciousness, to leave what I knew even then was a foretaste of heaven.

A nurse tried to rouse me, but I fought to remain in that place of complete love deep within where my soul resided with God. Of course, I couldn’t stay. The real world of bright light, noise and pain could not be avoided. I opened my eyes and responded to the nurse, but my spirit continued to dance on the verge of its natural home, trailing glorious love like streamers floating to the earth.

I am not one to pursue signs, wonders and visions. My belief in Jesus Christ is based on the rock-solid truth of His Word. I recognize I am made up of body, soul and spirit and capable of a myriad of emotions, as designed by my Creator, but emotions do not rule my spiritual life. Neither do I seek out artificially induced emotional experiences, as could be credited to the anesthetic drugs. But since that soul-deep epiphany, I now know what God’s love feels like. He gave me those few moments as a glimpse of what is to come, I am sure of it. A crack appeared in the floor of heaven to seep out a minuscule drop of His great love for me. I could not have handled any more than that, but He knew at that particularly difficult time, a drop of His love would carry me through. In fact, it has lasted throughout my life, impacting my faith, relationships and hope for the future in a deep and lasting way.

“By constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life. Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is His love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!” (Eph. 3:17-19 Passion Translation)  

When the white-gowned bride I used to be was trampled in the mud by the man I married, that singular drop of God’s love redefined me as cherished beyond value. Like a never failing cruse of oil, God’s drop of love sustained me through raising my children alone, facing poverty and fighting cancer. My painful past is long behind me now yet the impact of that love-soaked moment continues to influence how I live and write.

Knowing His love for me is replicated many million times over for all those He has fashioned, stimulates me to be a conduit for this miraculous drop of love. I cannot love well on my own. Only the indwelling Spirit of God, through Christ, can disperse this love like a drop of ink in water, to saturate all who encounter it. In God’s economy, a mere drop of His love goes a long way. 



Valerie Ronald lives in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. She is a graduate of Vancouver's Langara College journalism program, and has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer, public speaker and bookstore employee. She writes devotionals for her home church bulletins and her online blog. Her current book project chronicles how God's faithfulness saw her through the dark valleys of divorce and cancer. Along with her husband, Valerie enjoys spending time with their blended family and six grandchildren. She is a nature photographer, water colorist, cat lover and Scrabble addict.

More of her devotionals can be read on her blog https://scriptordeus.wordpress.com


November 23, 2021

BEGIN by Joylene M. Bailey




Image from Pixabay


Many years ago, during a swimming lesson for one of our daughters, I watched each separate class in their designated area of the pool. 

In the shallow end, the littlest swimmers were learning to put their faces in the water. Some caught on right away, dunking under and springing up, while others barely got their noses wet before they surfaced, spluttering and gasping for air.

Down at the deepest end, the most experienced students were pushing off to do their laps, gliding through the water almost effortlessly as their athletic arms sliced through the surface and their pumping legs propelled them forward. 

In the middle section of the pool, several classes were going through their lessons. The teacher would instruct from the edge of the pool while the class held on to the rim and listened. At Go! the swimmers would take off en masse, flailing and splashing in a swarm of pandemonium and body parts.  

Except for one class. 

Over there, the teacher would likewise instruct from the edge of the pool. But then, his swimmers would push off in turn and continue in an orderly fashion to the other side of the pool and back, as each of them practiced the stroke of the moment.

At the end of class time, I commended the instructor on his extremely orderly class.

"I've discovered," he replied, "that there is a world of difference between the words GO and BEGIN. Go implies a race. Begin gives you time to breathe." 

I have thought back on that moment so often. It was like a dozen bells went off in my head.

The world in which we live is a Go! Go! Go! kind of place. Not everything is a race, but it certainly feels that way. If we're not being cajoled into purchasing the latest doodad to keep up with technology lest we be left in the dust, then we're being enticed to engage in this one little thing to lose thirty pounds by Thursday. 

Even our writing lives are not exempt from provocation. Buy this course! Build your platform! Find your followers! Sell more stories!    Go! Go! Go!

I find it all quite paralyzing. 

BEGIN is friendly. It breathes. It lets me think and gives me permission to take my time. BEGIN makes a deadline more neighbourly. 

Not everybody can GO, but anybody can BEGIN.  

That tiny conversation with the swimming instructor completely changed my perspective. Now, anytime I'm feeling paralyzed in my writing I remember to just begin. And everything gets better from there. Maybe this one little word change will help you along in your journey too.

~~~~~




~~~~~




Joy writes from her home in Edmonton, Alberta, where she lives with The Cowboy. She's working on a novel and a memoir, as well as a couple of children's stories for the grandkids. Find more of her writing at Scraps of Joy.




November 22, 2021

Marriage: My Defining Moment by Alan Anderson

 


“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”--Ephesians 5:31.


I pondered the writing prompts for this month for days to prepare for the post. My life is blessed with many defining moments. Each is a story, an unfolding of chapters in my life. For this post I decided to write on one defining moment.

 

 


My Marriage

Next to my life as a Christian, marriage is my greatest defining moment. Marriage, the most intimate relationship between a woman and a man. A precious life shared by two people who cannot live without each other. This is how I see my marriage.

 

 

Years ago, when I was a young pastor, our church membership included several older married couples. I often watched them interact with each other. I viewed them like models of the evergreen trees I see every day and throughout the years.

 

 

My wife Terry and I live close to mountains and farms. Evergreen trees clothe the mountains which shelter the animals and birds native to the area. They encounter storms which seek to tear them apart. They endure pounding rain, freezing temperatures of winter, and scorching heat of summer. Through all this, the evergreens stand against the elements like fierce warriors.

 

 

The married couples I mentioned earlier were like these evergreen trees. As my relationship with these older couples matured, their stories taught me to stand firm in commitment to my marriage. Terry and I faced challenges through the years, and our marriage is stronger. In May 2022 we look forward to celebrating our forty-fourth wedding anniversary, Lord willing.

 

 

Marriage brings times of dance and romance. Believe me, I am not a model of a dancer. When certain music comes on, the wannabe dancer in me comes to life. I will grab Terry’s hand and show her my dance moves. For whatever reason, this always gives her reason to giggle. Perhaps this is a time for her to giggle at my wiggle.

 

 

Romance isn’t only for the young. Now I am older, I still see a need to perfect how I romance my wife. Romance, perhaps aside from the more physical intimacy, can be expressed in other ways. When I cook Terry a special meal, I invite her to sit back and enjoy the time. I still open doors for her and pull her chair out for her when we go to a restaurant for dinner (although this doesn’t happen often during the pandemic.) A favourite name I use for her is, “my darling.” Sometimes I look at her without her knowledge and think, “Wow, I am a blessed man!”

 


 

Marriage brings times of hugs and tears. Terry and I have both mourned the death of our parents. We also shed tears when five of our grandchildren went to heaven before they reached birth. We are adult orphans and grandparents who grieve.

 

 

We cherish our life together through the times of dance and romance and the hugs and tears. Hugs and their closeness bring smiles in the times of laughter, tears, and the between times. Believe me, I am a big hugger.

 

 

Marriage embraces me like a warm, intimate hug without end. Marriage also absorbs into my skin and covers me with my wife, my children, my grandchildren, and memories of those loved.

 


 


Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry. He contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017; Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018. Alan has also written articles for FellowScript Magazine. Blog: https://scarredjoy.ca.

Alan has written blog posts for our InScribe blog since 2015.


November 17, 2021

The past walks with the present ... by Jocelyn Faire

 


 

... because the past walks with us in the present in more ways than we know. ~ Brian McLaren

     I feel I've had more than enough life defining moments. The most heart-and-soul wrenching  moment was to stand between the caskets of my son and my daughter being lowered ... trying to convince myself that “we do not grieve as those who have no hope.” I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that life was never ever going to be back to anything I had ever dreamed, imagined, expected, or wished for. On an icy highway, life had been irreparably altered, changing forever the road I now walked upon. For nearly a decade that followed, the ongoing barrage of life defining moments dizzied me, while my prayers could not give voice to the aching depths or questions of my heart. Looking back now, it feels like watching my life as a movie scene. 

But  .... 

And this is the moment of big buts; in those life altering events we are held and supported by God in powerful ways. Those defining moments birth further moments in the successive days, months and even years that all play back to that big defining moment. Because as Brian McLaren says, the past walks with us in the present in more ways than we know. That past moment is ever present.

This month's question felt significant; partly, because I know I've faced life defining events, and because the successive defining moments all had a kind of glue that kept that event impacting forward. My mother once asked me ... “Jocelyn, do you think you would've gotten divorced if the accident hadn't happened?” No. Would I have moved to Australia without knowing a soul down under? Would I have written a book or two? No, No. Neither of those. Would I have adopted a drug addict as my surrogate daughter? Would I have retired from nursing early? No. No. Would I have felt emotionally safer being of no fixed address than living in my old hometown where everyone knew the story? No. Would I have felt the need to remove myself from church groups because some of those pat answers were too shallow? Would I now be traveling with (and married to) the doctor I used to work with? ... another big No. There are a thousand No's ... But, an equal number of YES's that have stemmed from that one big bang!

There are a lot of clich├ęs and verses thrown about in regards to the value and benefit of suffering change. We are often encouraged to just trust the process and the God behind it ... to let the change change us, to make the best of it ... These are more easily said from those witnessing someone in tumultuous times, and often a very well meaning friend tosses in a reminder that “all things work together for good, to those that love the Lord,” overlooking the immense pain of past trauma. I continue to learn this. Sometimes I'm successful in identifying that what I over react to is because it links back to a deeper pain within. 

But, to end off more positively, I want to share some things that I have learned: The power of hope is strong; humans have a resilience that I would not have dreamed possible for myself; God walks alongside us in the worst of times. God's question that kept coming back to me was, “Will you trust me?” Will I trust you? And God, how can you expect me to trust you after what happened? Each time I stepped in that direction, it felt as though things worsened. Will I trust you? My answer had to be Yes, because the alternative was even worse. 

And now, almost seventeen years later, when I am asked if I will trust, (the question keeps coming up, because life continues) ...  I hesitate less and say, yes, I will trust you.  Each defining moment carries opportunity for a defining response ... and this filters down to the most ordinary of days. Each day holds an opportunity to live life as holy, to reclaim the power of my identity as a much loved child of God, and to make sense of the world. The control I once wanted has gone by the wayside ... and this brings both a loss and a freedom, when I realize how tenuous that perceived control really is. With less need for control, I allow wisdom and grace to enter.

I want to share the hope that has risen from the defining moment ... that life can be experienced as beautiful again, that the soul can grow larger even in the face of catastrophic loss. And that the comfort and presence of God can be experienced. Blessings to you as you face your defining moments. (If nothing else, you can be relieved that your day doesn't seem nearly as bad now.)

November 15, 2021

Defining Moments - Rights of Passage by Tracy Krauss

I can identify many defining moments in my life, some spiritual, others practical; some painful, and many full of joy. Defining moments are like 'Rights of Passage' that push us forward into a new stage of growth, for better or for worse. I will try to keep my examples writing focused, although I could go down many other rabbit trails. 

Two defining moments for me as a writer happened when I was quite young. The first involved a play I wrote based on a book called Ghosts Don't Eat Sausages. I was in Grade Four at the time. I divvied up parts and convinced my friends to practice during recess. When our teacher discovered what we were doing, she suggested we perform for real in front of the entire school. I remember feeling a lot of frustration with the actors for not knowing their lines, but it must have gone off well enough since we got a highlight in that year's yearbook. It was the first time I felt the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride that I later recognized every time I directed a play. Mrs. Sullivan's belief in me was the foundation, I think, for my twenty-year career as a drama teacher and playwright.


Another teacher had a huge impact on my life. During my Grade Twelve year, I wrote a short story for my English Composition class based on events surrounding the economic crash in October of 1929. I'm not sure why I was inspired to write that story, but I do remember being very motivated to write it, even though I felt frustrated at times. There were no computers back then so it was largely handwritten with many scribbled-out sections, arrows, inserts, and the like. I'm not sure I even got around to typing it out, but I do recall the fulfillment I felt while writing--a feeling I still get to this day when I'm clacking away at one of my stories. My teacher, Mr. Meginbir, asked if he could read it to the class. Later, he recommended a writing retreat for young people and gave me a brochure. I didn't go, but the fact that someone thought I had writing talent gave me the confidence to keep on writing. It was the first time I saw myself as a writer. 

There are many more... letting someone read my work for the first time; getting my first rejection letter; getting my first actual feedback instead of just a rejection letter; getting my first book deal; having my first play published; finding an agent... 

But for the purposes of this blog, I'd like to mention attending my first writers' conference. It was in 2010 at Providence Renewal Center in Edmonton. Yes, you guessed it! My first conference was an InScribe conference and it was definitely a defining moment for me. It was the first time I met face to face with other like-minded writers whose faith was an important part of who they were. I remember being in awe of Marcia Laycock, whose work I had read and who I'd seen online. She was hob-nobbing with Rudy Wiebe and Sigmund Brouwer, two of the speakers! Brenda Leyland came alongside and made me feel welcome, drawing me into her circle, even though she, too, was a workshop presenter. My mind was blown by what I learned. I could hardly take it all in! But I also felt welcomed and encouraged--never like I didn't belong. That conference spurred me on to get involved, and the rest is history, as they say. InScribe has been such a blessing to me and I wouldn't have realized just how much had I not attended that first conference.

So, there you have it. From nine-year-old me to fifty-nine-year-old me, I still embrace those special moments in time. They made me halt, pivot, and sometimes go a different direction, but each one has helped define me as a writer.  


Tracy Krauss is the former president of InScribe, a former Drama and Art teacher, a former pastor, and a few other former things not worth mentioning! One thing that isn't in that category is 'Writer' since she continues to write from her home in northern BC. Visit her website for more: https://tracykrauss.com  -fiction on the edge without crossing the line-


November 14, 2021

November Mid-Month Moments by Connie Inglis

 Mid-Month Moments

This past Saturday, Remembrance Day, found me at the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market right at 11:00 a.m. To be honest, I'd never been out shopping at that time on Remembrance Day but it was a Saturday and I needed to get to the farmers' market. At 10:55 a man's voice came over the speaker system announcing that at 11:00, "Taps" would be played over the speakers, then there would be a minute of silence and then again the playing of "Taps." He also asked that no transactions be done during that time. The market was full--people rushing about, tasting this fruit or that fudge, buying up the goods and wares. I wondered honestly, if people heard the announcement, let alone would abide by it. BUT, when 11:00 arrived, and the "Taps" started, ALL the people stopped. ALL the people stood in silence. The only sound was the whirring of the heating system above us. I was actually awed by the scene, by the respect shown, and wished I could have taken a photo from the top, of all the people standing still. It brought tears to my eyes.

Then, in the silence, I heard the Spirit speaking to me. Now I mean no disrespect to all those who fought for this country's freedom and gave their lives for us, but what I heard was, "Where is the respect for My Name and for My death?" My eyes welled up with tears--I wanted to weep. I felt like Jeremiah in that moment. These people, this city, this nation--they have all forgotten God; they've forgotten how to honour and respect Jesus Christ and His death and His ultimate sacrifice for our spiritual freedom.

I stood there for a while after the second playing of "Taps", watching all the people return to their business and busy-ness of buying and selling. And all I could do was ask this question: What would it be like if on Good Friday, our nation stopped, stood silent, WILLINGLY, at 11:00 a.m. and showed respect to Jesus and His Once-for-All sacrifice for us? I couldn't even picture it--but I wanted to.

Phil. 2:9-11 says, "Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place

    and gave Him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

    to the glory of God the Father."

Even though the world doesn't acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ, His Father did and does. The Father exalted Jesus to the highest place as the ultimate, triumphant Victor--the only way to true freedom for this world. And someday, every knee WILL bow {everyone WILL stand still} and WILL acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.

But until that day, God calls you and me to stand firm and proclaim His name. Col. 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

My prayer for us this week is that we do not falter in our calling--that our written and spoken words are done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and that we acknowledge God the Father by outwardly speaking thanks to Him. And may the world see their Rescuer, their Freedom, through us today.

Living in Freedom,

Connie

November 15, 2017

Mid-Month Moments are past devotionals written by Connie Inglis that she shared each week when she was InScribe's spiritual advisor. (Originally called 'Mid-Week Moments') They are shared from her archives with permission in the middle of each month. 

November 13, 2021

Defining Whispers by Wendy L. Macdonald

 


Sewing supplies aren’t the only things that can be repurposed. Before I explain, what this has to do with writing, please allow me to share some whispers that led me to this truth.

There are a lot of significant words I’m sure I’ve forgotten; words others have spoken to me that were helpful and encouraging in my writing life. Yet, there are some defining whispers that touched me in a way that hinted there was a new way I was supposed to go.  

One such whisper happened during a home-based business gathering I attended many moons ago with some neighbors. The meeting was held in my living room because I had a brood of youngsters to keep an eye on too. At the time, my mission was to create one-of-a-kind handmade purses I designed and created using remnant, repurposed, and retro fabrics and/or notions. Making those purses was an artsy adventure of love. Each purse was unique and each had its own name.   

During one meeting, a motivational coach asked me a question something like, “What are you passionate about contributing to the world?”

 After some brief thought, I said, “To create and inspire beauty.”

Beauty is one of the basics for a lovely life. Beautiful decorating, beautiful gardens, beautiful music, beautiful art…well, I’m sure you get the idea. 

Then she dropped a line that lit the fuse of doubt concerning my purse pursuit, “There may be other ways you can contribute beauty to the world that you haven’t discovered yet.”

True. Making purses was a slow way to beautify the world. Only two local stores at the time carried my creations. But her words stuck with me and caused me to wonder if God was calling me to something better—something bigger—than a handbag.

I had contemplated becoming a writer. But by the time the information package for a writing course arrived in the mail, my mind was elbow deep in homeschooling our three children. The forms for the Christian correspondence course never got signed, sealed, and sent. Thankfully, I continued writing in my journals. (A practice I began in 1983 during my recovery from eating disorders.)

The next whisper came when our family moved to town, and my sewing stuff was moved to the south-facing attic room. My husband and son placed a large desk under the window that overlooked an ancient cherry tree in the front garden. A whisper in my heart suggested it was the perfect space for a writer. By this time, only one store carried my handmade items since the first one closed its doors. I hadn’t made the effort to find another one. But I’d been bit by the blogging bug.

Yes. The room did indeed look like a writer’s room. 

And that’s when I obeyed God’s nudge to allow writing to eclipse sewing as my main way of creating beauty. I still sew now and then. Rarely purses. Now my sewing machine is used to create journals for writing in. All the stuff I collected for purse-making is perfect for making junk journals. Hooray. It makes my day not to waste so much as a button.

With writing, one doesn’t waste a thread of life experience either. They're all usable for blogs, poems, and devotionals. And bigger projects too. 

I’m nosy-to-know the moment you realized writing was a bigger deal than the cards you already held in your hands?  

Beautiful blessings ~ Wendy Mac   

    

 They will be called oaks of righteousness,

    a planting of the Lord

    for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:3 NIV


Wendy L. Macdonald is an inspirational blogger and podcaster who loves to photograph nature on Vancouver Island. Her byline is: “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” Her main website is wendylmacdonald.com where she enjoys interacting with readers.

November 12, 2021

A Writing Path Defined by Brenda Leyland



"In your life's defining moments there are two choices
- you either step forward in faith and power
or you step backward into fear."
James Arthur Ray


As a young woman starting out, I had many plans for my life—becoming a writer was not one of them, not even as a secret wish tucked in a hidden corner. So how did I get on this writing path? Thinking back, it all came about rather quietly, no bolts of lightning, no writing on the wall. But these defining moments weren't passive—they came with a certain tenacity, much like when someone tugs your sleeve until you turn 'round and notice who's vying for your attention.

Perhaps it began with the encouragement from my mom and from an auntie who would say to my mom, 'That Brenda, she should write a book'. As much as I appreciated these kind comments—perhaps I did have a flair for words written in a card or Christmas letter—surely it couldn't mean anything more. No matter, seeds were planted.

Without L.M. Montgomery’s influence, I probably wouldn’t be a writer today. If you’ve followed past posts, you already know the creator of Green Gables figured a key place in my youth, first as a girl loving her beloved characters Anne and Emily, and then later falling in love with the author herself as I delved into her published journals and poetry. Reading her books created a yearning in me—if only I could write as beautifully as she wrote. I loved how she described the world around her.

How was I to know that taking a job in 1982 at the Alberta Legislature in the Premier's Office would put me on a path to writing. Starting as a typist on the team that handled reams of correspondence, I eventually became a correspondence writer preparing thousands of letters for my Boss's signature. As my writing skills developed, so my interest to write increased. I began to imagine a ministry through the art of writing—not only letters but articles, children’s lessons, newsletters, maybe even books. Blogs, at that point, were still misty decades in the future.

I'll not forget the day around 2001 when a verse in Proverbs leapt from the page: "Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25 AMP I felt a weightiness in those lines. For I knew just how life-sustaining it was to get news from afar—standing in the post office line up as a college student, hoping against hope for a letter from home to assuage my homesick heart. Somehow, I felt the words of this verse were entwined with my budding dream to write, that I would one day write from the heart of my home and maybe for homesick hearts. The phrase 'a word from home' kept going around in my head. It seemed a right fit for my ministry of writing. Business cards printed in anticipation were, alas, rarely handed out—too scary to announce I was a writer. Still, another step forward on the path.

Months later I saw the advertisement for a Spring WorDshop mini conference in Calgary and registered for my first ever InScribe event. It was April 2002. Every word keynote speaker Kathleen Gibson shared that weekend about her own writing journey dropped like fresh manna into my heart. Drawn to her writings, I gobbled up her newspaper articles posted on a website, ever hoping I'd learn how to write with such grace and skill.

If there is one defining moment that really pushed me forward, it was the day I created my own blog. People on the web were talking about this thing called blogs. Intrigued, I headed to the library and hauled home any books I could find on the subject. One August day in 2008 I took the plunge and It’s A Beautiful Life was live to the world. Setting myself the challenge to write 100 posts in 100 days, I was on my way to establishing a daily writing habit. The blogging platform was appealing—it gave me immediate access to an online audience. I could write my piece and publish it then and there, no sending it away to wait months for news from some publication. I also loved being able to receive comments from readers as soon as the post was live—an instant connection could be established, the building of community underway. More than thirteen years now, it's still my favourite place to write and be in touch with my readers.

Today I celebrate all that my Divine Editor in Chief gave me when He opened the door and gently pushed me into a world of words—a world I never dreamed was possible for me. Step by step He led me, defining the moments He knew I needed to push me forward…. until one day I believed that I, too, could take my place as a writer for Him.




Inspired by the beauty of God's world around her, Brenda Leyland writes from her home in northerly Alberta, Canada. You can find more on her blog It's A Beautiful Life (beautiful.wordfromhome.com) and Facebook page.



(Top) Image by Petra Boekhoff from Pixabay



November 11, 2021

Marking the Defining Moments by Carol Harrison

 



What are some of the defining moments in my life and how do I mark and celebrate them?  I was reminded of a charm bracelet I used to wear. It contained charms denoting significant moments in my life like my engagement, wedding, and becoming a mother.

Only some major milestones are depicted on this incomplete record of my life’s defining moments. I could add other charms to represent being a grandmother, completing my B.Ed., being a writer and speaker or my love of reading. But what about my spiritual journey? What will mark these defining moments of faith in my life?

As I read through Scripture, God often asked his people to do something to mark the defining moment in their history. In Joshua 3 & 4 we read God stopped up the waters of the flooded Jordan river once the priests obeyed and stepped into it by faith. Once the people crossed safely, on dry ground, God commanded they mark this defining moment by placing twelve stones gathered from the river bed as a memorial for future generations to ask why and hear the story of God’s miracle. Do I share something about the defining moments of my faith journey so others can hear of the ways God works today?

One very significant faith journey moment happened as I stood beside Amee’s incubator, watching her in a coma, fighting for her life, I didn’t know what else to pray. Tears punctuated the brief, “Help me God. Help my baby.” I uttered silently and constantly. God met me that second day of Amee’s life in the middle of NICU and brought distinct images to my mind and spoke with a voice that seemed audible.

God posed three questions, one after the other, pausing for my answer in between.

“Do you trust me to heal her completely? Do you trust me to heal her a little at a time, giving the doctors wisdom in how to treat her? Would you still trust me if I healed her perfectly and took her home to heaven?”

My ‘yes’ answer to the first two took no time to proclaim. The third proved a struggle. I finally told God I would trust him no matter what.


Then came a picture of an open Bible with Philippians 4: 6 &7 highlighted.

Do not be anxious – oh how worry and anxiety had punctuated the last two days.

Present your requests by prayer and petition – I’d been doing that constantly and knew others prayed too.

With thanksgiving. My heart stopped. I hadn’t thanked God for anything during this nightmare.  I begged God to forgive me and thanked him for this beautiful baby girl. I had an ‘ah ha’ moment. Each child is a gift from God whether they are here for a short time or long and God loved her more than I ever could. My prayer changed. I gave myself and Amee to God; completely trusting him for whatever he chose to do and for strength to walk the journey he had planned.

And the peace of God descended and wrapped around me like a warm fuzzy blanket so real I expected to see one around my shoulders when I opened my eyes.

Nothing in Amee’s circumstance changed when I opened my eyes. She still lay in a coma. But I knew this moment with God had changed me.

I kept this spiritual defining moment guarded in my heart for years, maybe decades. Why was I silent? At first it felt too deeply personal to share with anyone else. I’d examine it in my quiet moments and remember what I learned. This turning point coloured so many aspects of my life and faith.

Later I wondered what people might think if I shared about seeing images from God and hearing his voice so distinctly. It was nothing like I had experienced before. When I didn’t share, others never had the chance to know that the God of the Bible is still God today.

God keeps pointing me to verses like Psalm 78:1-3 or Psalm 105:1-5 where he commands his people to share his goodness and his judgements too with the next generation. How can I not obey and share the stories of what God has and is doing in my life, even if they happened in ways, I was unfamiliar with?

Now I know I can commemorate those defining moments in my faith journey through my writing and speaking instead of keeping silent. I wonder if there are charms that could be a visual representation of my faith or these ‘ah ha’ moments of my life? 

 

Carol Harrison writes, studies, and tries to remember to share those defining moments of her faith journey from her home in Saskatoon. You can visit her website at www.carolscorner.ca