Wednesday, June 24

An Honest Scrap

I've been slacking at my blogging lately, which makes me even more grateful for the honor that my friend Karlene has bestowed upon me. Please visit her blog, The Joyful Scribe, where she shares her heart and her God-given gift of writing.

Karlene honored me with the "Honest Scrap" award. Well, if I'm not honest when writing about my Creator and Savior, then I'm a very poor witness for Him indeed. To receive this award, I have to list ten honest things about myself. Then I have to pass this award on to other bloggers who inspire and lift me up. So here goes - off the top of my head....

1. I hate getting up in the morning.

2. I love the person my daughter has grown up to be. She's 25 now (which is amazing seeing as how I'm only 29! Ok that wasn't honest but I'm sure you heard my tongue in my cheek, right?) and she is a truly amazing lady. I thank God for watching over her when I couldn't.

3. I depend too much on my husband, but he makes it so easy! He'd do anything for me, including telling me what I SHOULDN'T have him do.

4. I took my salvation and my God's grace for granted for way too many years. I hate that I wasted all that time that I could have been basking in His full blessings instead of skating on the surface of His glory.

5. I teach 1st and 2nd grade kids in Sunday School, and they teach me how to have the pure, simple faith and joy of a child again.

6. I love to go camping: roasting weenies over an open fire; watching the flames dance in the dark and being mesmerized by their ever-changing choreography; sleeping in a tent with the orchestra of nature singing me to sleep; the chill of morning air that is unique to a campground.

7. I adore the beach! I could stare at the ocean for hours. And I'm a tanaholic (always with sunscreen, mind you!)

8. I'm prone to fits of anger.

9. I'm addicted to FaceBook and FaithWriters. I've been a member of a Yahoo group - The Excellent Wives for YEARS. I have many near and dear friends that I've never actually "met" but I feel closer to them than many of my "real" friends.

10. I have no doubt that the prayers of the righteous and faithful are powerful, and that God is ALWAYS listening.

Whew! So there are the first 10 honest things about me that came to mind. And now to share this honor with others who share Honest Scraps of themselves with the bloggy world. I wish I could honor tons more friends, but I chose a few who are very deserving of this award.

Peter Stone - When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong - Peter's chronicles and heartsharings about his journey through depression have blessed me so much! I know I'm not alone in the dark places.

Dee Yoder - My Heart's DeeLight Dee really is a DEElight, and always brings me smile.

Seema Bagai - Patchwork of Solace - Seema has just started this blog so we can follow along as she writes a novel. I consider her a friend, and her humble spirit humbles me!

Melinda - And Now You Know - I've only recently "met" Melinda through the blogosphere, but I already know I like what she has to say!!!

Teresa Lee Rainy - At My Table - Teresa shares her life honestly and with reverence to God, and I love sharing her days with her at her table.

Please pay these bloggers a visit, and you'll find out why I chose them for this award.


"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Wednesday, June 17

WFW: Sandcastles

I'm in under the wire this week for Word Filled Wednesday! I'm falling back on an old favorite of mine from Matthew.

"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
Matthew 7:24-27

What kind of foundation are you building your house upon? A firm, solid, unchanging Rock, or shifting sands that can be washed away by the next wave, the incoming tide, or even the gentlest of rains? Look to the Master Carpenter and heed His Words -- live them!. Your house will never come tumbling down.


"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit eLisa at Extravagant Grace for more visual inspiration from scripture!

Thursday, June 11

WFW: My Help

A Song of Ascents.

I WILL lift up my eyes to the hills--
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.


"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Saturday, June 6

Observing the Ants

I've been in this funky emotional state for a while now. I was outside a minute ago sitting on my bench, and I was led to pray that God let me see His way, His will, and most especially guide me to it. I prayed that His Word would be a constant light unto my path, a light unto my feet. My head was down, but my eyes were open. I was observing the ants beneath my feet doing their meet and greet routine.

Ants fascinate me. I love to watch then scurry down their trail, never deviating from the path already laid by the ants before them. Each time an ant meets a fellow ant coming from the opposite direction, the two stop, greet each other, and then go on their way. Are they sniffing each other? Passing along vital information? Or as Paul instructed, greeting each other with a holy kiss?

My mind was making up conversations they might be having.

"Am I on the right track? Is this the way?"

"Yes, you're doing fine. Yes, you are on the right path."

The next ant he meets, the same conversation takes place.

God has a path, a way, a road, for each of His children. Unlike the ants, each Christian's personal path is different, but if we stay on it, we'll end up right where God wants us to be. When I'm walking this path, I'm always meeting people who have walked before me. I need to be like the ants, stop and ask, "Is this the right way?" God has put people in my path for this very reason, people who have gone before me and can guide me and give me counsel. In turn, when I meet an "ant" who asks me, "Am I on the right track?" I need to be ready and prepared to assure them, "Yes, keep going, you are doing fine," or "You need to move a little to the right."

- Pro 15:22 -
"Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established." Proverbs 15:22


"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Thursday, June 4

Friday Fiction: Chosen

My offering for this week's Friday Fiction was a (very) recent FaithWriters challenge entry. The topic was "Light and Dark". I had no idea what to write about, so was perusing some writing tip and help websites. I read how to put your reader INTO your story, by making them FEEL their surroundings, invoking all of their senses, not just seeing and hearing. I decided to practice a bit and started typing out what it would feel like to be surrounded by dark. And I kept writing. "Chosen" was the result.

I had a few endings in mind, then the perfect one a TOTALLY different one, came to me while I was blogging. I was happily clickity-clackity-ing along on my keyboard, checking word-count every so often, but I got wrapped up in my character's predicament for too long and when I checked my words, I was bumping up against the limit. I looked at the last sentence I had typed, and thought to myself, "Huh, that's not bad." And THAT is how I came up with the ending many people commented on as being good. Well, I'm here to tell you, GOD is the One who is Good.



The dark squeezed Katie like a vice, and tethers of fear constricted her lungs. Somewhere behind her, an orchestra of wails and screeches created a symphony of terror that chased her onward. She didn’t know what horror concealed in the inky murk could be making those sounds, but she knew she had to escape. Her legs propelled her onward, and her arms scrabbled into the black as she stumbled forward over the uneven surface.

Her groping hands met resistance, and her fingers traced the outline of a door.

The icy doorknob burned Katie’s feverish palm. Her hand slipped on the metal as she twisted and yanked the door toward her. Blinding light flooded the passageway, and she threw her forearm across her eyes before lurching through the doorway. Her lungs were freed from their tethers, and she sucked in air then released it with a groan and a whimper. In and out, she filled and emptied her aching lungs. Behind her was silence, her unseen tormenters banished by the light. The door swung closed behind her.

As her eyes grew accustomed to the light, she sank to her knees and let out a wail. She was back where she started; this was where her nightmare flight through the dark had begun.

The room was circular and empty, save for the gleaming throne-like structure in the center. She could see no source for the brilliance illuminating the burnished floor and opalescent walls. The light permeated every corner leaving nary a shadow. Indeed, it seemed to be emanating from the one seated on the throne. The one who had sent her on her trek through that hellish tunnel.

No, I sent you not. You chose your own way.

Katie sprung to her feet and thrust a finger toward him. “You tricked me!”

How so? I simply gave you a choice. His kind eyes were clouded with sorrow.

“Some choice. Who wouldn’t have picked door number one?” She turned and gestured toward the shimmering door she had just stumbled through. Light prismed off its bejeweled surface like a beacon, beguiling her, seducing her to seek out what treasure might be concealed. Before Katie could take a step in answer to its siren call, His hand embraced her arm, filling her body with warmth and her mind with awareness.

Do you truly want to return there? I say to you again, choose wisely; things are not always as they appear.

Her chin fell to her chest and her eyes squinched closed.

Look at me, Katie, and listen closely. How many times have you chosen that way?

“How many times! What’re you…?”

This is not your first test.

“I don’t…” Her indignance was choked off by a surge of visions. Visions that didn’t make sense, but evoked familiar emotions...familiar fears. Visions of evil chasing her through wide-open gateways and into darkness beyond. Evil clawing into her, infecting her with guilt, despair, melancholy. Hideous laughter echoing in her ears and her heart. And herself, never stopping, never giving in, never giving up.

“I don’t remember…”

No, you remember those trials differently. You did not have my eyes, but now you see what I remember.

Katie pressed her palms to her head and fell to the floor. “Make it stop!”

I can stop the visions for you, but only you can stop me from seeing. Only you can.

Katie’s mind now saw recollections from her past: shunning the stuttering new girl in 7th grade in order to be popular; not stopping her 12th grade boyfriend when he said, “If you love me you will;” accepting the job at the mega corporation because it came with a huge salary and her own office, instead of following her heart’s desire to open a homeless shelter and soup kitchen.

Deep in her consciousness Katie heard his words again and again, like an unremembered memory tickling her mind.

I offer you a choice. Two doors. Choose wisely.

She turned and cast a longing gaze at the bejeweled door, then circled around to view its counterpart. This door’s frame was narrow and covered with peeling paint, its doorknob and hinges rusted from disuse.

“You said you’ll go with me?”

I’ll never leave you.

Katie took a faltering step toward the creaky old door, then another. When she turned, for the first time the man was not seated on the throne. He was standing at her side, smiling at her.

(c) Catrina Bradley 5/28/09

Thanks for reading today, and be sure to pop in and see my good friend Karlene at "Heart and Soul" for links to more short fiction!


"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Wednesday, June 3

WFW: Our God is Generous

Having made it through Jeremiah, then Lamentations, and now into Ezekiel this month as I read my way through the Old Testament, I'm finding myself falling into a pit of depression. I don't know if it's the prophets or my own chemically imbalanced brain, or maybe a combination, but I needed something to give me encouragement and joy this week. Last night I snubbed Ezekiel and asked God to bring me to something more joyful. My Bible opened to Romans and I heaved a sigh of relief as I poured His promises into my spirit.

Since I'm reading the prophets in The Message, that was the Bible in which I read "We can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit." (Romans 5:5)

Ahhh. Thank you Father. Exactly what I needed.


"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit eLisa at Extravagant Grace for more visual inspiration from scripture!