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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Amazing Grace, Do We Take it for Granted?

The following is a music devotional inspired by the hymn Amazing Grace. This song was picked by our last guest, author MaryLu Tyndall. Very fitting considering her latest novel, Veil of Pearls, deals with the topic of slavery.

Click the link or the imbed below to hear this hymn.
Sometimes I think we take Grace for granted, especially if we’ve been Christians all our lives. Maybe we’ve been insulated from the great temptations of this world because our parents prepared us before they let us loose. We sing the words from the hymn “… saved a wretch like me,” not really owning our wretchedness nor understanding the price that was paid to restore us from it. In fact, when I’d first learned this song, the words I was taught were, “… saved and set me free.” Interesting that someone would change them so as not to be a wretch at all.

John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, didn’t take grace for granted. He gave the last portion of his life to the service of His Creator having finally fully accepted this awe-inspiring gift.

The following are the words engraved on his tombstone:

“John Newton, clerk, once infidel and libertine, servant of slavers in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had so long labored to destroy.”

You see, John was a slave trader. One who grew rich on the exchange of human flesh. Not only did he know the stench of sin, he knew the stench of live bodies transported in large numbers in small cells, without means of any form of hygiene or waste disposal, for the period of weeks. Then, these humans were shuffled up onto platforms in chains to be bought and sold like cattle, only to endure agonizing physical labor and brutal treatment.

Imagine, coming to your Savior with that on your resume.

For him, as He grew to know his sovereign and the fierce power of God, he also knew God’s Grace. The Grace that taught his heart to fear was the same that relieved the fear it taught. A burden lifted as none could be, but through Jesus Christ. A precious, precious gift, which should not be taken lightly.

Still, we do.

Whether slave trader or garden-variety sinner, we all fall short of the glory of God because we trust Him not--In the big things as well as the small. In fact, those who tout the “smaller” sins should not boast, because they cannot say they’d resist all those things that the “greater” sinners have done having not faced the same life, nor the same temptations. Only God knows. Only He can be the judge.

John Newton lived a long and fruitful life after his conversion, and grew completely blind. However, his words suggest the opposite, for it was not this world he longed to behold, but one before the Lord, singing praises to God. Though his physical body went from sighted to blind, in spirit, he claimed, “Was blind but now I see.” We should all be so blessed!

Posts you might like:

God Loves Broken People, by Sheila Walsh—A Review

Broken by War, Saved by Grace

For God So Loved the World

What does this Grace mean to you?

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught me heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MaryLu Tyndall’s Testimony of Faith

We are so blessed to have MaryLu Tyndall on LBOC today. I asked her to share her testimony of faith here, in conjunction with an interview about her latest release, Veil of Pearls, on InfiniteCharacters.com. I hope you enjoy.

MaryLu’s Testimony

I grew up in a home that was broken in more than one place. My broken homemother married multiple times, and I never knew my father. In addition, we moved twenty-five times before I turned eighteen. So, you can imagine what that type of upbringing can do to a shy, insecure little girl. I craved love and stability. I wanted someone to take care of me and never leave me. I had two choices to fill that need. One, to turn to the God I learned about in brief periods of Sunday School, or two, to seek to fill that need on my own with the things I saw in the world. I made the wrong choice.

Everything I did, every party, every relationship, every material possession I bought, every success I achieved, ultimately left me alone and empty. At age thirty-five, my second marriage was failing, I hated my dead-end job, my youthful beauty was fading, and my teenage kids were rebelling (wonder who they learned that from?) I remember wanting to kill myself, get it over with. I felt no hope for the future. I was a drinker back then. Alcohol helped numb the pain, and whenever life overwhelmed me, I’d sneak in my closet where I had a Biblehidden bottle of Tequila, and have a drink or two. One dark day, while sitting there drinking, I glanced up and saw my old Bible sitting on a shelf. I dusted it off and began to read, promising myself that I would read it from cover to cover to see if anything happened. What did I have to lose? I wanted to believe so badly that God was real and that He loved me, but I had grown very skeptical over the years.

I read it every night before I went to bed. Somewhere in the middle of Ezekiel, something began to happen. Passages prophesying how Israel would be scattered all over the world and then in the last days would return to their own land, flew out at me from the pages. You see, Israel was in the news a lot back then. Suicide bombings and rumors of war were a common story each night. And I knew enoughisrael dome history to know that Israel had only become a nation a few years before I was born. The stunning revelation that God had predicted that the Jews would return to their land sped through me like a cyclone. I remember saying out loud. “You’re real.” And then God’s presence fell upon me. I can’t quite describe it except to say it felt more real than anything I’d ever felt, hopeful, almost like a light went on inside of me. I got on my knees and began to sob. There in my bedroom, beside my bed, all alone, I gave my life to Jesus. I knew God was with me now. I knew He loved me and had a plan for my life. Suddenly my life had meaning and my heart was full. This is what I had been searching for!

But life didn’t get instantly better. In fact, it got worse! I had married an atheist and all of our children were atheists. I was in a house full of atheists! I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to find a church, so I simply didn’t go. I had no Christian friends. My husband was not receptive to my newfound faith and asked me not to talk about it. So, you can imagine the struggles and heartaches I endured, in addition to the constant battles of faith. Yet, through it all, God never left me.
Now fifteen years later, I am happy to report that my husband is saved and all of our children but two have made solid commitments to the Lord and have been baptized. My marriage is better than I could have ever imagined, and though we still have struggles with wandering kids and jobs and family and life in general, one thing I willingly shout from the rooftops: God is real. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. And He is faithful!

Next week I’ll be posting a music devotional inspired by MaryLu’s favorite Hymn, Amazing Grace.

Posts you might like:

What Have You Got to Lose?

Greg Holt—A Gomer Testimony

How God Breathed Creative Inspiration in My Writing—by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

tyndallpubshotA Christy Award finalist, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of tall ships and swashbuckling pirates during her childhood years on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. Now, while writing her eleventh novel, she manages a home, husband, and six kids while battling three cats who have decided that her keyboard is the best place to sleep! She believes that without popcorn and chocolate, life would not be worth living, and her sole motivation in life is to bring others closer to God.

The following is a blurb about her latest release which promises to be a very good read. See an interview of MaryLu on my other blog, InfiniteCharacters.com.

Veil of Pearls

She thought she could outrun her past. . .
It is 1811, and the prosperous port city of Charleston is bustling with plantation owners, slaves, and immigrants. Immigrants such as the raven-haired Adalia Winston. But Adalia has a secret: her light skin belies that she is part black and a runaway slave from Barbados. Skilled in herbal remedies, Adalia finds employment with a local doctor and settles into a quiet life, thankful for her freedom but still fearful that her owner will find her. VeilOfPearls-Cover

Born into one of Charleston's prominent families, Morgan Rutledge is handsome, bored--and enamored of the beautiful Adalia, who spurns his advances. Morgan's persistence, however, finally wins, and Adalia is swept into the glamorous world of Charleston high society.

But Adalia's new life comes at a high price--that of denying her heritage and her zeal for God. How far is she willing to go to win the heart of the man she loves? And when her secret is revealed, will that love be enough, or will the truth ruin Morgan and send Adalia back into slavery?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Just So You Know

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may notice I usually post on Tuesdays and Fridays. Well, we’re gonna change it up a bit.

Because I have a number of guests who will be simultaneously on my Writers/Readers blog InfiniteCharacters.com, and I am scheduled to post there on every-other Wednesday, I have decided to shift my posting day to Wednesday here. It being summer—you know, vacation time—and I need time to prepare my manuscript for agent/editor meetings at the ACFW Conference the end of September, I’m dropping down to one post per week.

I’ll let you know about any changes that may come up after that. But for the meantime, come back tomorrow (Wednesday) to see the faith testimony of Christian Fiction author, MaryLu Tyndall. I will also be running an interview of her on InfiniteCharacters.com and next week will post a devotional based on her favorite hymn, Amazing Grace.

Thank you for going with my flow here. I hope you enjoy the stories, devotions and testimonies I have planned over the next few weeks.

Friday, July 13, 2012

D Is for Dyslexia—by Molly Noble Bull

Molly showed me this story a while back. It touched me. It's the way others should be looking at those with special needs--in terms of ability. I don't mean to ignore a disability or challenge and not address it, but to not always look at the individual as deficient. God made him or her, and He has a purpose in that creation. We should be looking at how that purpose can be fulfilled rather than writing them off.

Take a look ...

D Is for Dyslexia

"What is your name, son?" 

My new teacher was seated behind his desk, looking down at my report card. He'd know my name from looking at my records. He'd know I was the dumbest kid in the school I went to last year—and other bad stuff.

He reminded me of a pinkish balloon about to burst. The odor of aftershave and tobacco surrounded him. 

"I asked you to tell me your name," he said again. 

"Daniel Jones."

He smiled. " It says here that you like music."

For an instant, he looked almost human. He was buttering me up before he asks about my grades in reading and spelling.

"My name is Mr. Bradley. I'll be your homeroom teacher this year. I like music, and I'd like to hear about your music. Doguitar2 you play an instrument?" 

"I play a little guitar—piano. Don't read music."

"You play by ear then?" 

I'm almost twelve. I pictured a kid about my age hitting the piano keys with his left ear. I tried not to laugh but a giggle came out anyway. I do that when people say funny things. He chuckled like he knew what I was thinking.

"I meant that you don't read music," he said. "Do you think up tunes in your head?"

Only it wasn’t sometimes. It was all the time. Songs come to me when I carry out the garbage for Mom, pretend to listen when people talk and when I look out a window during class.

Why wasn’t Mr. What's His Name asking about my grades like any other teacher would? Something strange was going on.

"It says here that you're good at drawing and storytelling."

That did it. Real teachers didn't say things like that. I glanced toward the door in case I needed to make a quick escape.

monsterThis guy was a monster pretending to be a teacher and probably ate kids like me for breakfast. At any moment, he'll ask me to step in his time machine hidden in the back of the schoolroom somewhere--zap me to his planet. When he does, I'll make a run for it.

"Daniel, do you like to draw pictures and make up stories?"


"Tell me about it."

"Why?" I can’t believe I said that.

He laughed again. Only this time, he threw back his head and laughed so loud I expected him to fall out of his chair. This guy was even crazier than the other kids said I was. I turned to go.

"Please, don’t leave. I have a few more things to say."

He sounded nice—not so much like a monster. Still, for all I knew all monsters were like him. This could be a trick to get me to go in that time machine. Nevertheless, I stopped and looked back.

"I’m asking you all these questions because I was just like you when I was a kid." 

"You’re a teacher. You couldn’t be like me."

"Because you’re dyslexic?"

He said the D word. I tremble when I hear that word. But not as much as when I hear the R word. Retarded.

"I'm a dyslexic, too," he said. "I couldn’t read or spell. I went through exactly what you’re going through when I was a boy."

"But you’re a teacher."


"Teachers are smart," I reminded him.

"You’re smart, too--talented besides. During this school year, you'll learn how smart and talented you really are." He grinned again, reminding me of my grandpa. "Welcome to the sixth grade. By the way, I’m not a monster. But I look kind of like one, don’t I?"

"How did you know. . . .?"

"I thought my sixth grade teacher was a monster, too. He wasn’t. He liked all the kids in the class because of who we were and not because we could read and spell. He told us that we would learn to read and spell, and he was going to teach us how to do it."

"Did he?"

"You bet—but it took a while."

I took another look around the schoolroom. Since I didn’t see a time machine or a small space ship stashed anywhere, I decided to stay and talk to my teacher. I wanted to ask him about his music and if he liked to draw and tell stories.

Somehow, I had a hunch he did.

Other posts you might like:book cover

The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities—A Review

Meet Molly Noble Bull: The Dumbest Kid In Her Elementary School--by Molly Noble Bull

The Gentle King—by Monika Holt

molly headshotMolly Noble Bull was born in Kingsville, Texas. She married her college sweetheart, and they have three grown sons and six grandchildren. Check out her blog Writer’s Rest. She also co-authored the non-fiction book The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Have Epilepsy, But I Have So Much More—by Karla Whitmore

I found the following story on Julie Arduini’s blog and begged both Julie and Karla to allow me to reprint it here. They agreed. It is a brilliant reminder of what is most important.

I Have Epilepsy, But I Have So Much More

When I woke up on Thursday morning , I felt amazingly good. This was in stark contrast to the way I had felt every morning for the three weeks before.

Some back story is in order.

In the early morning of December 6, 2011, my husband, son, and I experienced a grand mal seizure.

The next part comes from Donnie and Max, as I was unaware and have no recall:

My husband woke up to an unnatural scream and rolled over to see my body jerking and spasming. His first thought was that I was having another nightmare, so he shook me.

“Honey, wake up. Wake up. Honey? Wake up!!!”

His eyes adjusted to the darkness and he saw my face. My eyes were rolled back in my head and there was blood and spit coming from my mouth.

He thought I was dying. He yelled to Max to dial 911 and cradled me, stroked my hair, told me he loved me and I would be alright.

Max gave the phone to his father so he could receive instructions from the dispatcher, but stepped back out — too shocked and overwhelmed to get too close. His mother appeared to be dying and his dad was in despair. He ran outside to direct the ambulance.

It took them two or three minutes to get here (and I used to complain about living around the corner from their headquarters… no more).

At this time, I was in a deep sleep and was still unwakeable. They set to work checking my vitals. I was combative, but thankfully weak. I kept telling the EMT’s they were not supposed to be here and insisting that they “go away”.

My first recall:

I woke up in a euphoric state. It seemed as though I were sleeping in a cottony cloud, but my husband was standing on my side of the bed and holding my hand. I looked up at him and he said, “Honey, you had a seizure. The paramedics are here and we’re taking you to St. Joseph’s.” I noted the information, but did not fully process it.

I next recall standing in the living room, supported by two paramedics.

“Wait. You’ll need your coat. Unless you are a registered mPolar Bear Canadaember of the Polar Bear Club????”

I laughed. “Nope. Not a fan of the cold…”

And then I was in the ambulance and the nice man with the sense of humor was sitting beside me.

“My husband…”

“He’s up front with the driver.”

“My tongue hurts.”

“Well, you did a real number on it, that’s for sure! Don’t worry. Tongues heal fast.”

He patted my hand. “You’re going to be fine.”

Over the next several days, I experienced several partial seizures, but only one more grand mal. I was standing between the television and the coffee table. I woke up on the floor. I had bitten my tongue again and my hip was sore, but again, I felt strangely euphoric — as though it wasn’t quite real.

The auras and partial seizures happened two to three times a day and always left me exhausted and achy. The medicine slurred my speech and impaired my balance. The third dose of the day left me walking and talking like a drunk. It was not a “happy” buzz, and I was still having seizures. I began looking for ways to treat myself naturally. My goal has been to get off the medication.

My appetite was barely there and food does not have much taste, so it has been that much easier to eat with vitamins and minerals in mind. Sugar was toxic to my tongue — it burned too much to eat it. I can eat sweets comfortably now, but they have lost their appeal. I eat when I’m hungry, but am satisfied with much less. Yup. Been losing more weight. clip_image001

Each day was a struggle. I went through denial, fear, and anger. My doctor told me that my chosen career is not compatible with my epilepsy. The point was driven home with every seizure.

BUT – I have never felt more certain of God’s presence in my life. He has held me in his arms through all of it, and I find myself thanking and praising Him continuously.

On December 29th, I woke up free of the constant headache and oriented in reality. While I had been fearful of making the journey to my appointment at the health clinic all by myself, I barely gave it a thought as I got ready and walked to the bus stop.

It struck me as strange that I was the only person at the bus stop. Even stranger when I got on the bus. I was the only rider.

Stop after stop… no new passengers. Finally, the driver pulled over at a bus stop just south of 22nd street. I assumed he was killing some time as the bus was ahead of schedule, but he turned off the bus and turned around.

“Ma’am, do you mind if I run in and get myself something to eat?”

Why not go with the flow? I had plenty of time and did not see a reason to complain.

“Nope. Go right ahead. I’m not in a hurry.”

He stepped off the bus and then realized he had forgotten his wallet, so climbed back on and started the bus up again. It refused to change gears. He tried over and over — but the bus was not budging. He called it in and then turned around again.

“I’m so sorry! They are sending another bus. It will be here in a few minutes. I hope this doesn’t put you behind?”

I was not worried. I asked if I had time to run into the convenience store for a bottle of water.

“Sure. If they get here while you’re gone, I’ll make ‘em wait.” He winked.

I was two steps away when a thought struck me. That driver did not just want something to eat. He needed it. I turned back and asked him what kind of food they sold in there.

croissanwichHe told me they had the best tuna croissanwiches.

When I came back and handed him the sandwich, tears came to his eyes. He thanked me and took little time eating it.

“Sir, are you diabetic?”

His eyes widened. “How did you know?”

“Well… do you believe in God?”

His mouth dropped and his voice shook.

“Are you an angel?????!!!!!”

I believe he fully expected a halo to appear around my head. It was precious.

I laughed. “Definitely not. Only human.”

“Bless you, lady. Bless you. While I’m feeling lucky, why don’t we try this again?”

This time, it went into gear. He called dispatch. They were still waiting on a driver, but it did not matter anymore.

We continued and I remained the only passenger all the way to my stop. Let me stress: HIGHLY unusual.

I thanked him. He thanked me. We wished each other a happy new year, and I got off the bus. I looked at my watch. I had time to walk the rest of the way.

On the way home:

I was sitting on the bench, waiting for the bus, when a young man walked up, carrying a gorgeous, smiley baby. I thought of how young he was to have a child, but was too caught up with playing and talking to his son to give it much thought. Then I realized he was studying me. I looked him in the eyes.

He asked, “Do you remember me?”

I told him that he did look familiar, but I was sorry that I couldn’t place him.

“Two years ago, I was walking home from a night class, and I was thirsty. I went into the 7 Eleven and asked for a glass of water, but the guy wouldn’t give me one…”

I remembered him. I was walking down the street with Don when a boy of 14 or 15 came out of the convenience store and asked if we had some water. He said the cashier in the store would not give him a drink. (It is ILLEGAL for stores to refuse people water in Tucson, by the way — and for good reason)

I told him to wait right there. I had gotten my back up (as my fatbottled waterher would have said), so Don and I went inside. We bought three bottles of water. As soon as we had paid for it, I looked the cashier directly in the eyes.

“I don’t know how long you have lived in Tucson, but not only is it illegal to refuse someone water, it is just plain WRONG.”

The young man thanked us and introduced himself. He walked along with us and chatted for a while, before realizing how late it was and running off. Don and I remarked to each other that he could be a future Olympian. That kid was FAST.

I could not believe Biblehe remembered me so clearly.

He smiled.

“I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” He laughed. “Hey, that’s in the Holy Word!”

I tingled from head to toe, but had no fear that it was a seizure coming on. Peace and love surrounded me. It remained so all the way home and throughout the day.

God doesn’t care about the past that he has forgiven me for. He doesn’t care that I am not perfect. He doesn’t even care that I am very much a work in progress.

One of my favorite hymns has run through my mind ever since.

It is well with my soul.

I FEEL blessed. It is God that blesses me. In spite of epilepsy, in spite of continuing seizures (though they are much fewer), in spite of EVERYTHING, I have peace. I don’t know what my future holds, but I have the peace that everything is going to be okay.

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Matthew 25: 34-40 KJV

Karla Whitmore, Healthful Hearth
Written and shared with my Facebook Friends in January of 2012. Since then, my life has been much different than I had planned. I was going to be a web developer — make 75K a year, be financially comfortable… but apparently, God has seen fit to put a stop to that. My life and my career is in God’s hands. Now I am back to freelance writing and independent pursuits. Through my research into natural treatments for my epilepsy, I have been inspired to start my own natural remedies blog. I truly believe that God has given us what we need to survive and sustain our health, both through the living things He has created and the loving grace He bestows on the souls of all who believe.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Broken, Healed, Forgiven—by Gregg Stein

Who Are You to God?

The Great and the Small, Part 1—The Button Lady

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finding Family

My husband loves to tell a story about his parents when they were childless. His mom and dad were of the Catholic faith, so after they'd been married for eight years with no babies on the way, they decided adoption would be a good route to begin expanding their family. They paid a visit to the Catholic Charities in Birmingham, Alabama. There they found a darling, four year old boy named Marshall and brought him home to be a part of their family.

For reasons known only to God, after two more years, Mrs. Foster found she was pregnant and delivered her first biological son, Mike. After that came my husband Joe, then Pat, then Helen, and finally Steve. Marshall was thrilled with so many brothers and a sister.

The story goes that Mrs. Foster decided that the two older boys, Mikebrothers and Joe, needed to learn that their oldest brother was adopted. She called a formal family meeting and made the solemn announcement about how Marshall came to their family. At the end of the meeting, Joe questioned his mother, "Marshall still gets to be our big brother, doesn't he?"

Even though my husband left for the army after he grew up, he and Marshall remained in touch. When we moved to Lacey, Washington where he lived, Marshall mentioned to Joe he'd be interested in finding his birth family but had no idea how to go about it. Since Joe had a good knowledge of the computer, he offered to help. Alabama, which had been a closed adoption state, opened their records up in the early 2000's, and Joe was able to find out some information.

Marshall was sorry to hear his birthmother had passed away ten years before but was encouraged to learn he had a sister. Joe couldn't find a contact number for Marshall's sister, but located a phone callnumber for Marshall's niece, his sister's daughter. Marshall was too ill-at-ease to make the call so Joe dialed the number while Marshall looked on clasping his hands tightly in front of him.

When a woman's voice said hello, Joe said he was phoning on behalf of his brother, Marshall Foster, and that Marshall was looking for his sister. Joe asked if he had the right number. My husband thought the woman had hung up as he heard nothing but silence, then a sob carried over the phone. Finally, the woman said she believed he had the correct number. She was Marshall's niece and said her mother, Marshall's sister, had been looking for him for years, always hoping to meet her brother. Joe asked if the mother lived in the same town, and again, the niece let out a sob. She said her mother had died two months before.

Marshall was devastated, but his niece's promise to come to Washington to visit him with her other sister the following July, cheered him, and they made plans. But in June, just two days after Marshall's birthday, he died of cancer, never getting to meet even his nieces.

This sounds like a sad story, but wait. There's more. During the process of helping Marshall to find his birth family, my husband and I had occasion to tell Marshall about our awesome and powerful God who sent his son Jesus to the earth to die for our sins. We shared how to have faith in the Savior and about our final home - Heaven. Marshall began going to church with us and gave his life to the Lord at Thanksgiving that year before the following summer. He started coming to Bible study in our home. We were warmed when he told us how he'd always felt empty. He pointed to his heart. He said he was no longer empty inside, and he finally knew who his real Father was.

Joe and I were present on that day in the middle of June when Marshall went to be with the Lord. I've never witnessed anyone diHometown covere before, but I can say, truly, without hesitation, that the experience was beautiful. And I know that someday we'll see this wonderful man again when we join him in Heaven to be with Jesus forever.

This story inspired June’s new fiction release, A Hometown Fourth of July. Click on the link to see an interview with June about this book.

clip_image002June Foster is a retired school teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She writes full time and travels in her RV with her husband Joe. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We Forgive – September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012. She's written two more books, The Way Home and Ryan's Father not yet published. June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find the freedom to live godly lives. Find her on the web at the following websites:



Related Posts:

Adopted Children of God

He Enters Our Pain

What Have You Got to Lose

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Have You Got to Lose?

Click this link or the imbed below.

Almost two years ago I wrote a scene in my novel manuscript where some dude explained Pascal’s Wager to a group of college guys. I’d planned this scene months before I put fingers to keys to record it. Shortly after that, I received the long-awaited Third Day Move CD in the mail and quickly shoved it in my player to listen. Eight tracks in, out come these words, “What have you got to lose,” and I gasped. The theme of the song fit perfectly with that of the scene I’d just written. And now, it plays in my head every time I read it.

So, let me tell you about Pascal.

Pascal was a Frenchman. He had lots of friends who were gamblers, so he talked of belief in God and Jesus in terms of probability of the highest payout. He said you have two choices: believe in God, or don’t.

If you believe in God and you’re wrong, you would have lived a purpose-filled life and have lost nothing. If you’re right, you will have lived a purpose-filled life and will live in peace for the next.

Sounds good to me.

On the other hand, if you don’t believe in God and you’re correct, you’ve gained absolutely nothing. But if you’re not …

You lose everything!

In my manuscript, the main character is jolted from his musical meanderings (having been playing guitar in the background while the discussion rolled on) and challenges the speaker. Being a man who values truth, the idea of believing in something just to hedge his bets rankled him to the core. He liked to believe things because they were true.

The speaker answers him. “But don’t you think with those odds, you ought to at least check it out?”


Then, maybe … I should try to pray. So what if my words only swirl into the clouds and mingle with the humidity before they vaporize into nothing? Or might they actually be heard by an all-knowing, powerful God?

How about I read the Bible in context, rather than allow others to offer carefully extracted excerpts chosen to serve their own purposes? And would it hurt to step out and follow some small part of God’s plan and see what happens, regardless of what The World tells us to do?

Would God punish us for that? Would The World punish us?


We take on other challenges with risks like starting new jobs and even jumping out of airplanes. So I ask you, why not check it out? I mean, really …

What have you got to lose?

See why this is one of Cathy Payton’s favorite songs.

Related Posts:

The Gomer Testimonies

Robyn C’s Journey to God

Rachel Rutledge

Greg Holt

Gomer Inspired Music Devotionals:

Consuming Fire

Rise Up