Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Signs of Love

While reading a devotional on the signs of God’s love for us, God reminded me of an interesting conversation I overheard during snack time as I was subbing in our church’s preschool.

“What are you making?” four-year-old Scarlett asked her classmate Hadley, pointing to the pretzel stick crosses Hadley was constructing from her snack.

“Crosses, like the one Jesus died on,” Hadley answered.

“Who is Jesus?” her friend asked with a puzzled look.

“Jesus is God’s Son. He loves us and died on the cross for our sins.”

Thinking back to that interaction between two four-year-old pre-schoolers, I realized, for Hadley, the cross is a sign of God’s love for her and for all people. Simple pretzel sticks reminded her of that truth.

As I continued my devotional time, I looked around for signs of God’s love.
  • I see my Bible. Next to salvation through Jesus, God’s greatest expression of His love is found in His Word. Many of the pictures on our walls share Scriptures, bearing witness to the fact of God’s love.
  • As the sun begins to shine on the barren trees out back, I noticed drops of water clinging like diamonds to the branches. Out of His love, God sent the rain that fell gently overnight—and the sunshine to brighten the gloomy landscape.
  • Throughout the room are little “projects” and conveniences Dick did just for me. His deep and abiding love constantly reminds me of how much God loves me.
  • Gifts from my husband, children, extended family, and friends bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart, reminding me that sometimes God shows His love through the arms and lips of flesh and blood.
  • My furry companion, Watson, lives in blissful and complete confidence that I will take care of him. His faith in my love for him is an inspiration, urging me to enjoy that same, unfailing trust in God’s love for me.

God really does love you and me—more that we can even imagine—with no limits and no conditions. His Word says so and I have found it to be true.
  • Psalm 136:26b God’s love is eternal.
  • Romans 5:8 God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!
  • Romans 8:38-39 For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Galatians 2:20b This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me.
  • 1 John 3:1 See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children—and so, in fact, we are.

 What are the reminders in your life of God’s love for you?

Be encouraged!

©2018 Pamela D. Williams

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Therefore, We Write

Lately, many of my blogging and writing friends seem to be struggling to “keep on keeping on.” I am facing that battle, too. We wrack our brains, week after week, to come up with “something to write about”. Many of us bloggers have been plugging along for five, seven, or even ten years! It takes a lot of effort and creativity to maintain a blog for that long. I admire those who can post more than once a week. Sometimes I feel as though I barely finish my woolgathering for my Wednesday post for this week and suddenly, here it is, Tuesday evening again—and I got nothin’! I don’t want to fill my blog with mere fluff or reposts. Oh no! What do I post?

Can you relate, my writer friends?

As I pondered this dilemma, I felt God nudging me to look back over the pieces I keep in a folder called “Works in Progress”. In it I found this poem I wrote as part of my blogging friend Arlee Bird’s 2011 A to Z Blogging Challenge.

God has called writers to witness to readers,
Through stories and poems . . . a book,
Of all that our Lord has done, saving us through His Son,
So to Him, each one will look.
Now by our wordsmithing, others to Christ we bring.
Spirit, please guide what we pen.
Choose us and use us and speak Your truth through us, Lord.
We want to serve You again.

©2011 Pamela D. Williams

In this poem I see three reasons why Christian writers must write:

  • Writing is a calling, just like preaching is a calling. How do we know we are called? In an interview, John Piper, pastor and author said the following about the call to write, “It is a recurrent, not temporary; long-term, not short-lived; compelling, not merely interesting; benevolent, not selfish; Christ-exalting, not self-exalting desire to write, which proves fruitful in the lives of others.” Therefore, we write.
  • Writing is a witness, a means of sharing what God has done and is doing. Each and every one of us is called to share what God is doing. 1 Peter 2:9 says to the whole church, laity and clergy: "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." Therefore, we write.
  • Writing is a service, a way for us to serve God and our fellow inhabitants of this Earth. The world is hungry for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. —and we know the Source that can meet those needs! (Galatians 5:22-23) Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). Therefore, we write.

 When we step back and take a good look at our reasons for writing, the words begin to flow again. Inspiration seeps in from unlikely, unexpected places and we know the Source of our writing is nudging us to flip open our computers and post again.

Praying for each one of you as you navigate this holy calling to write for Jesus. Please continue to put your words out there for all of us to read and be drawn closer to God. Your words spark our faith, light fires of both comfort and courage, and fuel the hearts of your readers.

Be encouraged!

I have written a book of devotions specifically for writers, designed to inspire and re-kindle our ministry of writing. It is available from Crosslink by clicking on the icon to the right.

 ©2018 Pamela D. Williams Your thoughts on my posts are always welcome. If you would like to comment, you can do so on Facebook or Google+.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

White As Snow

"Come now, let's settle this," says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

We awoke to nearly seven inches of snow this morning! Everything is wearing a glistening white blanket. A snowy mantle covers the limbs of the trees, and their branches are adorned with cotton-like snowballs, transforming the drab and dreary winter landscape into a bright, glittering world.

School, church, and social events were cancelled. Facebook friends are sharing pictures from their back yards and comments are flying back and forth. Everyone seems to be talking about the snow.

In Isaiah 1:18, God talks about snow. He promises to take our depraved souls and make them as pure as new-fallen snow. How? God will forgive us for the wrongs we have done because Jesus took the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross. His sacrifice not only paid the price for our forgiveness, it cleanses our sin-stained souls to snow white.

The beautiful, pure-white snow has covered our area so that I can no longer see the dead flowers, brown grass, and leafless branches. Likewise, when trust in Jesus as the One who saved us from our sin, His forgiveness covers us. God no longer sees our failures and flaws. Instead He sees a beautiful heart, purified and ready to serve.

“If we confess our sins,
God is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9

Be encouraged!

 ©2018 Pamela D. Williams Your thoughts on my posts are always welcome. If you would like to comment, you can do so on Facebook or Google+.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Joy of Creating

Beading, beading, and more beading! As a way for me to fill winter’s hours, Dick bought me a bracelet beading kit for Christmas one year. Over the next month and a half, I made over 50 bracelets.

What I found most addicting about this hobby was the creative development. I loved gazing over my box of beads and cords and allowing ideas for patterns, color combinations, and braiding styles to percolate in my mind. The process brought a happy smile to my face. I experience even greater joy when I see someone wearing one of my bracelets!

Crafting bracelets has given me a tiny glimpse of the wonder and joy God must feel as He creates us. He shapes and forms us before we are born. (Psalm 139:13) He instills the traits, quirks and aptitudes that make me, me and you, you. Every person is unique—no two people look exactly alike, no two people share the exact same personality, no two people possess the exact same gifts, talents, and abilities.

Revelations 4:11 tells us “God has created all things, and for His pleasure they are and were created.” Ephesians 2:10 says, we are God’s masterpiece; He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

God made you; God made me. We were created for His pleasure. The best way for us to bring God the most pleasure is to seek to do the good He planned for us to do.

Be encouraged!

©2018 Pamela D. Williams Your thoughts on my posts are always welcome. If you would like to comment, you can do so on Facebook or Google+.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

On the Precipice

It looked like such fun as I seated myself on the sled at the top of the snowy hill. Fun quickly turned to fear as I careened down the steep grade, hanging on “for dear life” to the grips on the sides of the saucer. With nothing but a thin layer of plastic between me and the packed snow, my body jarred with every bump and hump along the slippery slope. I tried to control my descent by leaning first one direction and then the other, but only managed to make the ride more terrifying. As I approached the bottom, screaming at the top of my voice, the ground leveled off and the saucer gradually slowed. I rolled off, gasping my gratitude to be alive, panting with adrenaline and exertion.

Sometimes life can feel like that sled ride. As we stand at the precipice of a new year, many of us are thinking about the future. What will these 365 days hold? Some of us lean forward with anticipation; others hold back with dread.

We try our best to keep control of all the different aspects of our lives—finances, relationships, health—but some days we feel as out of control as I did that wintry afternoon, hurtling down the steep hill on a flimsy saucer.

But we don’t have to feel that way. Proverbs 16:9 says we make our plans but God directs our lives. When we submit to God, and truly believe that He is in control, we have the freedom to let go of our fears, anxieties, dread, and desperate need to be in charge. Someone Else is leading the way. Someone Else is responsible. And that powerful and loving Someone has a plan—a plan for peace and not disaster, plans to give us a future filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29: 11)

As we enter 2018, I pray that we can fully trust in God’s perfect plan for us. I pray that the Holy Spirit would enable us to sit back and enjoy the ride. And at the end, may we roll off with a loud “Whew! Thank you, Jesus!” as laughter bubbles up and spills out for all the world to see how great is our God!


©2018 Pamela D. Williams
Your thoughts on my posts are always welcome. If you would like to comment, you can do so by on Facebook or Google+.