Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday Checking In

Can you believe the end of April is coming? Wow, the year has gone by so fast.

I'm good... took the dogs for a walk under a rainy sky. Pal had a teeth cleaning-pulling yesterday so he was a little groggy, but when he saw me put on my workout clothes, he went crazy. 

So, I took him and Lola walking. He seems more like himself. Poor boy.

I'm vacuuming in a few minutes, straightening the house, getting ready for home church tonight then Dream Team.

Sorry I've been so boring lately. My sister blogs about her kiddos and they are so funny. I need to borrow a kid. :) After all, it's all about the story... hahaha.

I'm forever a writer. Everything is a potential story.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Well, we're glued to the TV these days, watching Todd Bentley and the healing revival God is doing over in Lakeland.

Just through the TV, we feel the anointing, tear up as we watch chronically ill people receive healing.

Todd's fun to watch. He'll exclaim, "Bam!" as he prays for people. Today, he explained the phrase just comes out of him. He doesn't intend to say it.

God loves to do fun and unusual stuff. If the weirdest thing a healing revivalist does is cry out, "Bam!" how can we complain? ;)

Anyway, watching this has really increased Tony and my faith to pray and believe for healing. This morning (Sunday) Tony spoke at the Vineyard Church and afterwards, we prayed for people.

An older woman came to me for prayer for her knee. She had knee replacement surgery in December and has been in pain and discomfort since.

I ask the Lord to heal her. She went out in the spirit and as she lay on the floor, her knee twitched and moved. The result?

Pain gone. She could bend and raise her knee which she hadn't been able to do in years. She knew she was healed.

She even got on her hands and knees - another thing she couldn't do - and got up off the floor. Stood on one leg, the "damaged" leg and felt no pain. Nor was she wobbly!

Isn't God good? AMEN!

Our friend Chelle was with us and she prayed for a man who's back was in pain. He felt heat and the pain left.

We are excited. God is moving! God HEALS!

Saturday, April 26, 2008









Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Flowers for Rachel

During a grocery run this morning, I decided to buy myself flowers. Why not? I'd completed the final task for Love Starts With Elle - reviewing the galleys - and thought, "Boss, give your employee a reward."

Being as I am both boss and employee, I agreed with myself and bought flowers.

I'm not a huge "flowers" person, but they are nice once in a while and a cheap way to say, "well done."

Friends visited this week from Kansas City. They drove down to attend the healing revival in Lakeland. Both of them - a he and a she - have cancer.

We've been praying for them to be healed and God has already done some amazing things in their lives, and when they understood He opened the door for them to drive to Florida, they came. In faith.

You know, we've lost a lot of the faith aspect of Christianity. Hebrews 11 says without faith, it's impossible to please God. We have to believe He is who He says He is and that He is love.

There have been some amazing testimonies out of this revival. And we cannot dismiss it because the leader is not of our style or ilk. What does it matter if the evangelist loves the Lord and God is using him to heal and set free?

We should be so used by the Lord, Beloved.

Hubby and I are going over Friday night with our senior pastor and his wife. Impartation is happening.

I hear from my trusted brothers and sisters the presence of God is so strong it's hard to stay away. "I am lovesick..."

Fire Dweller has been praying for a move of God in our county for over five years. We want to see salvations, healings, miracles, people growing in the knowledge and love of the Lord. They only way to change and heal our society is a touch of God.

We are going to the meeting Friday to ask God to give us the anointing He's pouring out in Lakeland. We want to bring it home!

Our nation needs God. And we have to be open yet wise and discerning on how He moves. He just might move in a way that is foreign to us, but if our hearts are toward Him and in right fellowship, then we will not be deceived.

Well, back to work. I have a few things to get done today. Busy weekend coming up. We have a wedding on Saturday. Congrats Jake and Heath!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Updates on a boring life

Okay, life has been a little boring lately - I'm happy to report.

Not boring to me, but just no a whole heck of a lot to report. Life is status quo and I'm glad!

I am feeling quite ranty about politics, but I'll refrain from spewing here. I'll say this, "Think, people, think. Listen! With both ears, your heart and your head!"

Ask questions, don't just go, "Hmm, that sounds good."

Ask how? When? Why? What will it cost me and my children, and future Americans?

Moving on... I have the galleys for "Love Starts With Elle" and will be reading over them the next few days.

I'm teaching a workshop Saturday at the Daytona RWA chapter. My topic is "The Third Character - Universal Truth."

It took me awhile to put it together, but it turned out really nice. In the near future, you can down load the class from MyBookTherapy.

Sometimes the best way to learn about writing is to teach.

Our little dog Lola is doing great. She's so cute. Between hanging around our other dog, Pal, and our cat, Red, her personality has blossomed.

The cat bit the bottom of my foot Sunday afternoon. Good thing he doesn't have front claws or my leg would've been torn up. He's a grumpy old man, that Red. I was on the couch watching a movie, Gridiron Gang, and he hopped up on the cushion by my foot.

Next thing I know? Mortal pain. I think he was mad because he wanted to sit with me, but I had Lola on my lap.

Five days later, it still hurts, but I can walk without hobbling now.

Yes, Red lived. I didn't kill him. He's sixteen so his days are numbered anyway.

Lost 5.5 pounds on Weight Watchers in three weeks. I'm happy with that considering the cat bite and another minor heath issue has impeded my exercise routine.

But never fear, I'm on the mend.

Did you hear about the healing revival breaking out in Lakeland with evangelist Todd Bently? Very cool. Check out the details at www.freshfire.ca.

We are praying for the same here in our county. This Sunday, the pastors made room for extended worship to focus on the Lord and pray for people. And, ah, we have to do an unplugged set because our drummers are going camping.


My "daughter" Cassie will be helping with worship this September for American Christian Fiction Writers. She is full time staff for the Night Watch at the International House of Prayer-KC. She's a worship leader and bass player for Misty Edward's band.

My other "daughter," Cassie's sister Carrie will be with us too. She's a writer for the State of Florida and one of the most compassionate people I know.

I'm working on a new story idea, too. Will keep you posted.

This is weird, I'm addicted to Gilmore Girl reruns. Yeah, go figure. I loved the show, but so hated the way the writers ended the series I had no interest in reruns.

But, now, I'm hooked.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hearing God, Part III

Hearing God takes time. Focus. Dedication. My personal experience is I can't hear God on the run (typically) and I can't hear God out of angst or anxiety.

My mind and emotions speak to me every time in those situations.

Yet, there have been times when I was in turmoil and as I went to prayer, asking God for peace and truth, I heard Him speak. I had to settle down, focus (that word again) and looking for the peace in my inner man. (Ephesians 3)

There a countless times I thought God spoke to me and I acted, not knowing if I "really" heard or not. You know, give that person a $20.

Once, I felt God asking me to stay home from work and hang out with Him all day. What? I can't call in sick - that'd be lying - and I couldn't take a vacation day. Or could I? To this day I think I missed an opportunity with Him.

Off and on, I've heard God speak to me most of my life. When I was in college, He spoke to me a lot. I'd wake up praying! But that was a different kind of speaking.

Many times, I've made decisions based on "it seems good to me." I trust the Spirit of God dwelling in me, leading me. Jeremiah 40: 4, Psalm 111, Proverbs 3.

I've prayed over decisions but had a sinful motive as I moved forward. Those never work out so good. Go figure.

But if I ask with a sincere, humble heart, He always responds with wisdom and goodness.

After my first date with Tony, I came home and felt God whisper to me, "that's your husband."

What? Fingers in ears, humming. No way. I'm not going to be the kooky girl who hears the cute single pastor is her husband.

Now, that did take a lot of prayer and confirmation. Since I'm married to him after a loooong ordeal, I think I heard God. ;)

God's spoken to me in dreams recently. While I seek understanding and interpretation, I see Him directing me.

My friend Chelle, a single mom living on a sub par income, believed God spoke to her to believe for a new car. It took a year of believing and praying, but God gave her brand new Toyota Camry.

Tony felt God nudge him to give his Bible away to this zealous new believer. The odd thing was the guy had a Bible. But Tony was obedient. Two nights later the young man called, ecstatic. He'd been reading Tony's Bible and the Word opened up to him and he felt Jesus was right there with him.

I was praying about a writing project once and felt God speak to me from "my spirit." My middle. Not my head. What he said did NOT line up with what I perceived and believed in my head. But I liked His exhortation! I received it and gave the promise back to Him. Less than a week later, it came about.

Last spring, I was mediating on the Lord as I was driving home from some place and felt the Lord said, "I promise you fruit." Okay!

About a month later, a woman at church was praying for me. She said, "Rachel, I see a big basket of fruit."

I laughed. Yep!

Tony was teaching high school when the Lord told him he was going to be on staff at Church On The Rock. He was a very young Christian, but believed God. He had no idea how he'd be on staff. There were no jobs open and no one asked him to join the team. Nevertheless, he quit his job in faith, and volunteered his summer to the youth.

In mid August they offered him the new position as youth pastor.

One Christmas I asked God for a thousand dollars to cover our Christmas spending. I was working a well paying corp job, but we'd had a lot of expenses that year and I didn't want to cut back on my Christmas giving. (We give to everyone in the family.)

Christmas came and went without my thousand. Money is not an area where we see a lot of obvious miracles, but I decided to keep believing God for the money.

On New Years, former youth, now married and good friends, were in town and came over to visit. They handed us an envelop. After awhile, I got up to get something from the kitchen and opened the card.

There was a check for a thousand dollars! Wow!!! I read closer. Made out to the youth ministry.

Oh well, close. I was grateful. I handed Tony the card, thanking our friends for the contribution.

Tony said, "You didn't look close enough."

Under the check to the church was a check to Tony and me for a thousand dollars. I was beyond thrilled.

When we shared our stories, we discovered they decided to gift us with the money the SAME NIGHT I prayed and asked the Lord.

Walking with God is such a great adventure. He wants to give to us and bless us, but we need to draw near with a sincere heart.

Come on, share you testimonies!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hearing God, Part II

The other day I blogged about how to hear God. The main point I made was that we have to believe He speaks to us.

Second we have to have faith and believe He's who He says He is. The Bible is the one true place to discover God's character. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word is living and active, sharp! John 1 tells us Jesus is the Word of God made flesh.

Peter tell us it's inspired by the Holy Spirit, men being a mere conduit.

So, to hear God we have to have faith, believe He is a God of truth.

Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."

Hearing God just means believe He is a rewarder. He wants to speak.

I John 4:8b tells us, "God is love."

How then would a loving God not want to share with us? Does He have to submit to our demands? No. Does He have to tell us everything. Absolutely not. We couldn't handle it. But we must believe when we go to Him with request, petitions, cares and concerns, He is listening. He will respond.

The Bette Midler song advocates God watching from a distance. But He's not beloved. He's right in us. He can't be any closer.

Colossians 1:27, "... Christ in us, the hope of Glory."

Now, you have to believe in Him, believe in Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life, but God gave us His Spirit.

Paul wrote, "it's the mystery of the ages."

Therefore, God must want to fellowship with us.

Luke 11 is my favorite verse on hearing God.

In the first part, Jesus speaks. "Hey, if you ask of God, He'll give to you. You're evil people and when your son asks for bread, you don't give him a stone, do you? No, neither will your Father in Heaven. He's good. Perfect. Kind and loving. In fact," Jesus says, "ask, seek, knock. You'll find, see and the door will be open."

Our problem is endurance. Patience. Learning to hear the voice of our Beloved.

Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice." Therefore we know it's possible to hear God.

Tomorrow or Monday, ways to learn to hear and testimonies!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hearing God

Recently some friends were discussing the topic of hearing God. During prayer, how do we know the answer we seek is from God, ourselves or Satan?

Good question!

I know a lot of Jesus-lovers who say they've never heard Him speak to them. My guess is He has, they just don't know it.

But the older we become in our faith, the more we should be able to discern His voice. There are a lot of books written on hearing God. But the best one is the Bible. There are a lot of verses on hearing God.

First, though, we have to believe He wants to speak to us. Too many Christians, even pastors, claim God doesn't speak to them, and why should He? We are lowly, sinful humans and He's God of the Universe. He doesn't owe us anything.

Okay, yeah, good point. But that sort of thinking completely nullifies the Cross. If we are lowly, unworthy, sinful humans, why did Jesus bother to hang on the Cross? Endure the shame? Take the beating and humiliation?

Because He LOVES us and part of the plan is for mankind to be in relationship, fellowship with the Uncreated God. This my, friends, is an amazing, wonderful mystery!

So, let's go back to the premise of God wanting to talk to us.

We have to go no farther than Genesis to see God's heart for His creation, especially man. Genesis tells us God fellowshipped with Adam in the "cool of the day."

Song of Solomon is devoted to the heart of the believer, a picture of God's love for us individually as well as corporately. "Draw me after you and let us run together."

God created man for fellowship with Him. So why would He not want to speak to us? I know every friend I have, speaking is part of the deal. Sharing our hearts, our desires, our wants and needs.

We see Jesus, the God-Man, desiring the fellowship and comfort of His friends in the Garden before His betrayal.

That same God-Man now sits risen from the dead at the right hand of God the Father. Still desiring fellowship with us.

Yes, we are weak. Yes, we sin. But if we desire Him, desire to live Godly, say Yes to obedience, He draws us near.

Amos 3:7 says, "Surely the Lord does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets."

In today's world, that's me and you! Does God need to reveal His secrets? No! But I believe He's looking for hearts who are tender and yielded, believing and longing to stand in His counsel.

Don't know about you, but I want to be His friend, to stand in His counsel.

Tomorrow, part two on hearing God.

"He's not the distant God of a Bette Midler song." 

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In Between

I'm in between right now. Waiting. But it's a good place to be. I was reading some of my old blog post and thought, "hey, I used to write pretty good blog."

These days, I'm not so sure. I'm saving my brain power for my next brilliant book.

Just for grins, here's the opening for Love Starts With Elle.

Twilight capped Beaufort, South Carolina, with a winter blue as December red, white, and green reflected in the downtown windowpanes. From the loft of her Bay Street art gallery, Elle Garvey leaned against the waist-high wall, admiring GG Galley's "Art in Christmas_ show. Visitors and patrons - some Beaufort residence, others curious tourists - milled among the displays, speaking in low tones, sipping hot cider.

The mellow voice of Andy Williams serenaded them. It's the most wonderful time of the year . . .

In the middle of downtown Beaufort, GG Gallery occupied an old, boxy hardware space with three thick support beams marching down the middle. Old Man Hamilton used to stock nuts and bolts on one side, household supplies on the other.

When Elle took over, she trimmed the beams in white lights and set up sculptures and other art forms where the nuts and bolts used to live. In place of household supplies, she displayed paintings. The gallery walls were now a rich beige, the cement floor a luscious navy-blue.

Elle loved art, the scene and setting of her gallery.

The subtle fragrance of drying oils, the privilege of helping talent find expression, the thrill of connecting an artist with a patron.

If a picture painted a thousand words, then let the artist speak. Oh, cadmium red, what do you have to say? What story hides beneath the beauty of a blue-green wave crashing against a ship's hull?

Without art, the world was merely arguable shades of black and white, Elle surmised. Definitive rights and wrongs, a series of controlled ideas set forth by men who lacked imagination.

Art challenged the soul.

Elle's younger sister, Julianne, caught Elle hiding and motioned for her to come down.

In a minute.

'Elle, are you the queen, surveying her kingdom?" Arlene Coulter gazed up from the bottom of the loft stairs, her bright red Christmas suit its own fashion work of art.

"Yes, and are you my loyal servant?" Elle started down the stairs.

Arlene curtsied, her bottle-blonde hair falling forward like silky angel hair, the hem of her skirt sliding up her knee. "Yours and yours alone, O you of whom Art News wrote 'one of the lowcountry's finest galleries.'"

"Best hundred-dollar bribe I ever spent." Elle jogged the rest of the way down to the bottom, her brown gypsy-and-godet skirt swirling about her booted legs.

Arlene's laugh floated. "Darling, your artist eye is truly God gifted. Tell me now. . ." The woman linked arms with Elle and led her to the center of the back wall. "Is this the work of the great Alyssa Porter?"

"It is." Elle surveyed Alyssa's work. Her paintings spoke to her differently each time she viewed them. She envied Alyssa and artists like her - the ones who had courage to chase the dream. Elle had lost hers a long time ago.

Arlene squeezed Elle’s arm tighter. "And what do you like about this Alyssa?"

"Her paintings move me.' Elle freed herself from Arlene and moved over to Alyssa's "Rose Garden," convinced it'd be a masterpiece one day. Like all great abstract artists, Alyssa was a master in drawing and understood how to contrasts colors to stir emotion.

"Move you?" Arlene studied one of Alyssa's abstracts through a one-eyed slit, her short, red-tipped fingers squeezing the point of her chin. "I suppose they move me too. I'm just not sure where."

"You're looking for a definite image, Arlene. Don't be so concrete. Let your imagination run . . ." Elle hooked her arm around the woman’s shoulders. "Follow my hand. See how you just moved out of the sunlight into the shade?"

"No, but girl, I really love your bracelets. Where'd you get those?" Arlene grabbed Elle's wrist to study the tri-color bangles.

"You beat all, Arlene." Elle twisted her hand free.

"Well, a good set of bracelets is hard to find." Arlene gazed again at the painting. "So, what should I do about Miss Porter?"

"Buy her. The New York art scene has discovered Alyssa and if you don't purchase something before her first auction, you'll never be able to afford it. Here . . ." Elle walked to the other side of the display. "This one on the bottom right is only two thousand dollars."

Arlene stood an inch way from the bottom painting, tipping her head to one side. The track lighting haloed the back of her head. "The lines shift as I move."

"Moving from light to shadow, and back again."

"I'm afraid if I buy one of these I'll wake up one night with the dang thing hanging over my head whispering, 'I see dead people.'" Arlene bent in half as if she hung upside down, then snapped upright. "What about this artist over here. Coco Nelson. Now this painting I get. Look - a woman's face, with eyes and hair."


Last night we had a cook out for the down town home church. It was fun. We had about twenty people there. A good mix of believers and seekers.

My heart is still not tender, but I'm asking God to teach me to love.