Author Archives: Martha VanCise

Never Devalued

 

God's Word never loses value

 

Although I’ve read and studied the Bible for many decades, I still find buried gems of encouragement and guidance in God’s Word. Too often, though, I close my Bible feeling my devotion time was ho-hum because the words seemed repetitive and nothing new caught my attention.

Recently, while reading Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren, a passage caught my attention. She said, “The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith.”

I must confess, I want to skip the daily boring stuff of Bible reading and get to the thrill of uncovering new insights. But, I don’t need to discover a dazzling gem in the Word of God each day. It’s good to read again Psalm 23, the Beatitudes or the Love chapter (I Corinthians 13). Some days, it’s good to just look through our Bibles and read again the underlined passages.

God’s Word – whether a new insight, or a familiar passage – never loses its value.

Martha Hawn VanCise©2017 www.signpostsonhightrails.com

Photos: http://www.miningartifacts.org/Kansas-Mines.html; Shutterstock

Should We be Doing This?

God disciplines us

I recently spent a week with my granddaughter, Britt, and noticed how she handled disciplining and training her two-year-old daughter. Her first approach was to stoop down to Blake’s level and quietly say, “Should you be doing this? Is this how we act? This is not how we behave.”  Continued misbehavior would bring stronger discipline, but often that first gentle question stopped the misbehavior (at least for a while).

The Bible clearly states that God disciplines us. That first means of discipline often comes as a quiet inward voice that whispers, “Should you be doing this? Is this how the children of God behave?” As children of God, we will face discipline, but examining our behavior when the Spirit first convicts, and responding in obedience, will often save us from more unpleasant discipline in the future.

“My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children.” (Hebrews 12:11 MSG) 

Martha Hawn VanCise©2017 www.signpostsonhightrails.com
Photo: Pinterest

Bucket Lists and Dreams

 

Five and a half years ago, I moved from Florida back to Indiana, where I grew up. Although I really miss my daughter and her family, it has been a good move for me. A comfortable home and a relaxed country setting have been ideal for writing. Four years ago, I began the blog www.signpostsonhightrails.com and have posted 144 blogs. During this time, I also ghostwrote two books.

As I get farther past the “threescore, ten year” mark (Psalm 90:10), I realize I had better tackle my “bucket list” and get to work on any unreached goals. One dream has been to write a fiction book. Up to this point, I have written only nonfiction.

Eighteen years ago, I submitted a fiction book proposal, Last Resort, at a writer’s conference. Editors critiqued the proposal, giving encouragement on the writing but pointing out problems with the story line. Before I could continue working on the fiction book, breast cancer interrupted my schedule. Next came open doors to write three nonfiction books, and then the blog and ghostwriting. Every publication was nonfiction.

The characters of Last Resort, though, never left me alone. They continued to reveal themselves to me until I feel as if they are members of my family. Although the publishing industry has changed drastically (authors must have a platform: speaking, media presence, Twitter and Facebook followers, etc.) and getting published will be very difficult, I’m going to give this my best shot. If no traditional publisher will publish it, I may even consider E-publishing (Ugh, Ugh, said I never would).

I tell you all this because my blog posts will be even more sporadic than they have been recently. If you have subscribed to the blog, you will continue to receive e-mails when I post but I intend to focus on Last Resort for the next 24-30 months. Sneak peek.  Last Resort is set in Pantan, a fictional Caribbean country on the verge of political collapse. A construction mission team sails to the remote island of Lanbi where some members of the team have personal agendas that do not include church building. That’s all you get!

As for my bucket list, the main thing left is to see the Rose Bowl Parade. I did not have “flying upside down in an aerobatic plane” on my list, but my daughter, Meribeth, and her husband, Hank, thought I should do this. They gave me a ride in an aerobatic plane for Mother’s Day a few years ago. Loved it, but don’t think I could handle it now. That threescore, ten catches up with you!

I’ll keep in touch. Thank you for all the great encouragement you have given me about the blog posts.

Photo by: Meribeth Sterrett
Martha Hawn VanCise©www.signpostsonhightrails.com