I have had a request to make my blogs available as “audio files” for those who are sight impaired (or like me, just like listening to stories!).
Stay tuned…I will begin the process of converting the previous blogs to an audio format and they will be posted under the category, “audio-files”. I am new at this…so please excuse any technical issues! Do help me to improve by sending me some feedback!
Thanks…I’ll be “talking” to you shortly!
Over the month of December I participated in a Goodreads Give-a-way contest! A total of 668 people participated in this event and 8 people were chosen to receive copies of Scruffy Finds His Way or SuperScruff!
A big thank you to all of you who participated in this event and congrats to the 8 winners…I hope that you enjoy the books and will share your review with us!
I look forward to hearing from you…and from anyone who has read my books! Please consider sharing your experience with Scruffy. You can do this by sending an email or by going to the “contact” page of my website!
I had a few thoughts this morning that I would like to share with you. As I have sat here pondering my morning devotions…the impact of faith upon life has really struck me. Faith in God, in Jesus His Son and the His purpose in and through my life has always been a central theme of my writing. Upon reflection I have looked back upon the many adventures and stories of my life and have seen the consistent thread of God woven through the whole. Each event…good and bad, has helped me to grow in faith and character…which is why God tells us to “count it all joy.” Well in today’s readings I have been challenged to live out my faith in my actions…”faith without works is dead” it says in James 2:17,20,26. The faith that counts is the faith that shows in all the aspects of life…it was this thought that reminded me of a story, of a quiet unassuming man that I got to know…at least a little while we lived on our farm in Manitowaning. Listen…to his faith in action!
A middle-aged man sits by a stall, bending to check on the progress of the faithful beast beside him. Sounds of quiet munching overlaid by the steady hum of pumps fill the air. A peaceful scene spreads before him as he goes about his work. He stands and stretches before moving on to the next cow. His work is to manage a dairy farm; gruelling, back breaking work that draws him from bed at 5 am and puts him back there again in the early evening. As he surveys the old barn he stops to consider the path that brought him back to this century farm with its hereditary work. He sure hadn’t planned it; it was not what he thought he was called to do. But God had other ideas and although he would never feel that his work was anything special; being humble in nature, others would. Looking back you could see that his life had been used mightily for God right here on the family farm, not in some distant land.
From an early age studying the Word had been an integral part of his life and as he grew he knew that following this Word was to be his lifelong calling. At first he had dreams of far off missions to reach and teach those who had not had the same opportunities as he. With that goal in mind and a thirst in his heart, he went off to Bethel Bible College in Indiana to prepare for the work ahead. There he met his lifelong partner, who, though small in frame was a firebrand for God. Together they headed to the mission field in Jamaica. Being a quiet, humble man who sometimes stumbled over words, he felt a bit awkward in the pastoral role, but he had a heart for God and so he served. Through continued study and prayer he came to realize that not all were called to be pastors and so he resigned his position as pastor confident that God would have some other work for him to do. He returned once again to the dairy farm where he was raised and began farming as his father had before him. This truly was the real beginning of his ministry.
God always prepares us for ministry. He gifts us with the tools and expertise we need to do the job that He has prepared for us. How was this man gifted? He had many skills that equipped him to do his daily work and a common sense approach to life that appealed to the country folk around him. He had an unshakeable faith in God and thirst for learning the Word. His wife was also gifted for service, as a musician, a teacher, a homemaker and a tireless servant of all. So how did God use these gifts; what work were they brought home to do? They bloomed where they were planted and produced an abundant crop. They worked together to spread the Good News of the Gospel in their community, at church, at home and in places far off as they touched the lives of all who visited. She taught Sunday school, music, led choirs, and welcomed all new comers to their home, while serving her family that had now grown to five. He served as a Deacon and an Elder, and became an abundant source of wisdom for the church. He reached out into his community helping with all manner of causes and charities even becoming the Reeve of the small town in which they resided. He brought Jesus into the council rooms of government…to show them a better way.
These seedlings were planted by God and fertilized by His Word.
I wanted to give a shout out to Madison Richardson and Hunter Hitchins who made some great pictures of Scruffy. Thanks for your fine art work!
Have you ever found yourself “stuck in the mud” like Scruffy?
Oh, I don’t mean stuck in real mud, but the mud of life! That space where things are just not going our way, where no matter what you do, the mud seems to just keep sucking you in and under. This mud sometimes comes from bad choices that we have made…like Scruffy leaping off the roof of the hen house or over a forbidden fence or sometimes mud just seems to be thrown at you by bosses or even friends or mud can just represent the repetitive boredom of doing what appears to be the same thing every day. Well whatever your mud is….I bet you would like to get out!
Scruffy needed help to get out of his mud…oh he tried to do it on his own, probably because he didn’t want to get caught in disobeying Papa and because he felt that he was big enough and strong enough to do it…have you felt this way? I sure have! I have found myself stuck in the mud because of some really bad choices and no matter what I did…I could not get out of the mess myself! Here…let me share one little story, (unfortunately I had many such events! to choose from)!
“I’m lost…no, I’m not…if I just go back to the beginning, I know I can figure it out!” It was just that mentality that got me into trouble in the first place. It was a cloudy fall day and I went out partridge hunting with my dog and made the catastrophic mistake of following him! Never a good idea. Anyway long story short, there I sat at the top of a hill, trying to spy the logging road that would lead me home, but finding only trees. I had been walking in circles – probably, for hours…following each brilliant idea that I would get about how to extricate myself from this really bad situation…you see…I hadn’t told a soal that I was going hunting. My husband was at work, the neighbours were away and we lived in the bush…the very bush that I was lost in! And night was coming quickly. I had done everything I could think of to get myself out of this mess…everything that is, except to pray! Well desparation had finally come..so I prayed and the Lord answered me…as I sat there in despair. Suddenly, the sun shone- something it had not done all day…suddenly a logging road was visible- somehow I had not seen it before…suddenly I just knew the way home! A miracle…it sure was to me…a rescue…you bet!
Stuck in the mud? Call upon the Lord and He will “clean up” your situation!
Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Philippians 4:19 “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”
God is our all-powerful, all-compassionate, all-wise and all-loving heavenly Father…call upon Him in your need…He is waiting!
Good morning Lynn.
Happy Lord’s Day.
I too have considered this thought from James.
Because it is utterly impossible to have the experiences of our life be such that they always produces joy…all might seem lost.
Thankfully we are given this scripture so we can “know” that He desires us to do so and also that it is a possible.
It is humanly impossible without His working in our lives, and then I can say it remains a major challenge even for believers when faced with daily trials.
I believe that if we are predetermined to believe it to be true, trusting in these possibilities that can only be filled by Him, wanting to be joy filled, looking for joy, asking for joy ,we can grow in His joy.
We are His joy and when we realize we are the joy that was set before Him when He endured that cross, it takes us beyond our immediate trial and we find our joy completely in Him.
It is supernatural! We are His joy, He is our joy, we grow, we preserve, we are free to live!
This is so true…thanks for sharing, Jewell…does anyone else have a thought about this amazing concept? Send it along!