So many people feel that they would be willing to serve the Lord and be used to tell others about His love and mercy, but they believe that God can’t use them. They have the idea that He uses only people who have some special talents or gifts — or people who are particularly strong in faith and never have any fears or flaws to get in the way.
But that idea simply isn’t true. The Lord isn’t looking for people who are perfect, or who have developed some kind of talent or ability before He calls them to share the truth about Jesus and His redemption with others. God’s just looking for people who are willing. That’s it. If we are willing to listen when He calls; if we’re willing to spend time in His Word so that He can give us revelation concerning it; and if we’re willing to obey His call when we hear it, then we are exactly the people He’s looking for.
Two friends of mine, Bud and Maretta Hall, from a small town in Southern Illinois, USA, are exactly that kind of people. They fit the description of “ordinary people” perfectly. They didn’t see themselves as having any particular gifts or accomplishments that would have destined them to be used internationally to spread the Gospel. But they loved the Lord. And when He tapped them on the shoulder and beckoned them to believe Him and just obey His instructions — one step at a time — one day at a time — they found themselves in the midst of a life of service that wasn’t ordinary in the least.
Through decades of following the leading of the Holy Spirit, they constantly experienced God’s unchanging love, His timely provision, and His abiding peace.
This past year, Maretta was led to share much of their experience in a memoir that recounts the story of how an extraordinary God can take two very ordinary people and do miraculous, life-changing things that affect lives, both in this world and in eternity.
So if you’d like to be thrilled, challenged and inspired by such a story, take a look at the trailer for her book and then hop over to Amazon and order a copy for yourself — and another copy for someone you love.
Check out THE CALL OF AN AWESOME GOD TO TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.
Available in Paperback, Hardcover, or DigitalHERE.
I actually had two reasons to smile this week. The first reason is that I got to visit with my great-niece to help celebrate her birthday. We couldn’t work things out on the actual day, but she and her two brothers are always very philosophical about those things. Her parents are both very busy people as well, and often the birthday celebrations have to be adjusted a day or two one way or the other.
I don’t have children of my own, but I have three great-nephews, ranging in age from 11-13, and one great-niece, who just turned 11. I love all of them dearly — and equally. They are all extremely intelligent and pro-active in their involvement with the world and other people, and I have some of the most interesting conversations with them. And I love buying gifts for all of them. But any of you ladies out there who have had the pleasure of having a daughter or niece will understand when I say that there is just something really special about buying pretty things for a girl. I guess maybe it’s partly that I get to live vicariously through her delight in the things she receives.
She is very style conscious and absolutely loves dressing up. One of her special delights is in using pretty hair ornaments of all kinds. So I bought her a dress and a special selection of fancy barrettes — all different colors. I also threw in a huge chocolate covered marshmallow heart. She was delighted, and we had a good time together. She immediately went to work changing her hairstyle so that she could start using the barrettes right then.
My second smile came just yesterday. I run a small business from my home, but no matter how small a business is, we still have to have a tax number, keep track of sales, pay sales tax, and send in yearly reports. I absolutely detest — let me say that again — DETEST — doing any kind of accounting work or filling out and turning in government forms. I always put it off until the very last minute, and then I have myself so stressed by all of it that I make it three times as hard as it really is. But, yesterday, I got all my accounting figured out and came out with the right numbers in all the right places. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and I’ll be smiling about that for a long time — probably until next January — when I will stop smiling and start fretting over having to do it all again for 2023.
To participate in the Weekly Smile, just hop over to Trent’s Blog and learn how to join in the fun.
I’ve felt led this year to devote a little attention to helping promote some authors and their works that I feel are worth readers’ time and money. I shared last week about my favorite novel, and this week I’m passing along a series that I think a lot of you will enjoy — if you like a good mystery that is.
NO GAME FOR A DAME (BY M. Ruth Myers) is the first book in the “Maggie Sullivan Mystery Series.” And one of the best things about this story is that it doesn’t have to end with the words “The End,” because there are several more where it came from.
The heroin, Maggie Sullivan, is a tough but totally likeable young woman who has broken through the barriers of the early 20th century resistance to women in the public work sector. In fact, the story is set in the years just prior to and including America’s involvement in WWII — a time when women in America were catapulted from being considered out of place in almost any workplace to holding down jobs in virtually every sector of life.
But Maggie has been ahead of the game, because she already had her own detective agency before 1940, and she doesn’t shy away from any case that needs her innate ability to solve a mystery and get people out of trouble.
The storyline is captivating, and the historical aspects of the setting are realistic, but not overbearing. Readers get a good handle on customs and attitudes without having to wade through a lot of excessive and unnecessary descriptions.
On top of that, the book is well-written. In an age when many independently published writers allow their work to go out to the public lacking any journalistic polish — or even the best grammar — Myers’ books have passed my “English teacher’s” test just fine.
Are there one or two things that I don’t particularly like about the books? Yes, but they are things that reflect my own very personal feelings and attitudes, and they don’t detract from the positive aspects of these stories. I’ve read 4 of the books in the series, and I’d have to say that if I were rating them with the 5-star test, I’d have to give them all 5 stars.
WordPress announced this week that they will be offering bloggers a new challenge during January. Evidently every day in January, they will post a topic, and we are invited to post something in keeping with that subject matter. We can post an article, a photo, some artwork, or even music. I think I’ll take advantage of the challenge to force myself to get back to writing more regularly. I thought some of my visitors might have missed the announcement, so I’m passing along the news. You can find out more at this link.
Here it is: The perfect little Thanksgiving gift for those you want to bless during this time of gratitude for God’s abundant blessings in our lives. This small soft-cover book is a seasonal collection of scriptures, pictures, and Thanksgiving poems and essays by my father Ted Pavloff and me. The cover features the photography of my sister Brenda Calvert, so it’s really a family collaboration.
Only 25 pages long, measuring 5 1/5 x 8 1/2, it is just the right size to pick up and enjoy for a few moments of seasonal pleasure in the weeks anticipating Thanksgiving Day or in the hours after dinner, when you’re letting your turkey and dressing settle.
I have several Christian friends who like to confess God’s Word over themselves and their families every day, so I made them flipbooks that have some of their favorite scriptures (in a personalized version) on the pages of the book and some more on decorated cards slipped into the pockets. Each book has a different decorative theme, depending on the individual person — or my available materials. This is one that I made this week with an autumn theme. (I also include a specialty tea bag in each pocket as an extra treat. ). Sorry my photos are not super clear.
I believe the Lord has called me to a special hour of prayer for the needs of others tomorrow — Wednesday, July 21 — from 1:00-2:00 p.m. I’m inviting anyone out there with prayer needs to let me know if you’d like for me to pray for you specifically. Please do not ask for prayer for so-called “unspoken requests.” The only way I can pray in faith about anything is if I know for sure what I’m praying for and can find the promises in the Word of God that cover those needs. That’s impossible to do with a request that is totally unidentified. But if you have any specific requests, feel free to let me know sometime between now and noon tomorrow.
Please DO NOT leave your request on this page. You can e-mail your requests to me at my ministry e-mail at the address below. You will need to have your request turned in by noon tomorrow, U.S. CDT. I would love to pray for you and see the Lord move supernaturally to meet your needs in the name of Jesus Christ.
Just a little note to let my followers here know that for this year’s National Poetry Writing Month 30-day challenge, I’m writing and posting all my poems on my regular poetry site: AHYOKA. So if you’re interested in following the 30 days of new poems, just hop over there. In past years, I’ve posted the NaPoWriMo poems on this site, but I’m trying to get myself more organized, and I don’t always have time to post them here and on the poetry site both. So it’s only right to let the AHYOKA site do the job.
Do you have a Valentine who loves to journal? I have a few ideas that just might be the perfect gift for this Valentine’s Day. Themed journals make journaling an extra little bit of fun. These journals can be used for recording any and all thoughts, ideas, goals, or memories. Or they can provide a special “extra” journal dedicated to just one subject or period of time that the journaler wants to keep separate.
They are all soft-backed, lightweight, easy to carry around and use. And they come from Sancon Journals, the company you’ve come to trust for journals that make it easy to preserve what really matters.
THE CHOCOLATE OWL JOURNAL
A journal just for you: the chocolate lover. Twelve individual nuggets of chocolate wisdom from the Chocolate Owl himself. Each nugget is accompanied by 10 lightly-lined journaling pages, totaling 120 journaling pages in all. Record your personal responses to those nuggets or to chocolate in general — or just let Chocolate Owl’s wisdom brighten your day as you record the deepest thoughts and intents of your heart about any subject under the sun.
A personal journal with the added inspiration of 12 beautiful pictures and scripture passages that will inspire meditation and devotional thoughts. Use it for personal devotions or for recording any subject that comes to mind. 108 lined pages.
A journal just for the coffee lovers around the world. Thirty-one full-color, delicious coffee photos, each with its own special caption and set of 3 lined journaling pages to record the reader’s personal responses to the photos or to coffee in general — or to serve as the catalyst for recording the deepest thoughts and intents of the heart about any subject under the sun. 93 lined pages in all.
The holidays are more fun when you have your plans worked out and your gift list under control. That’s what the HAPPY HOLIDAYS PLANNING JOURNAL is made for — PLUS it also gives you pages to record your own thoughts, feelings, meditations, memories, and prayers — along with some scriptures interspersed to help keep the true joy and peace of the season in focus.
Be sure and order your copy now, because, with all the health supplies taking priority with Amazon, and many other companies, books are shipping more slowly these days. So if you’d like your planner before Thanksgiving rolls around, get it today.
The planner has individual sections for Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and The New Year:
What does it help you do?
Inventory the DECORATIONS that you have — and the ones you need to purchase. Schedule dates and details of your ACTIVITIES & PLANS Itemize GIFTS for each person on your list. Record and keep track of your ONLINE ORDERS Write out your FAVORITE HOLIDAY RECIPES And much, much more. 6 x 9 ” — Paperback: $6.00 Get your copy from Amazon at THIS LINK.