Author Archives: Martha VanCise


still plodding

Yes, I’m still at it – with cup of coffee in hand – still plodding on the path of  writing a novel with a missionary setting. As I searched my journals for material, though, I noticed a theme of “intercession” and decided to take a break from fiction and post a few signposts on prayer. Intercessory prayer is more than repeating “save, keep, help, and protect” mantras

It is not
– praying for what we think a person needs or
– what we desire for them

It is
– standing in the gap between God and a person
– asking for God’s perspective of their need
– praying specifically as the Holy Spirit directs

In the 1980s, it seemed that God asked me to “stand in the gap” for specific people. Now, 30 years later, I am posting a few of these journaled prayers in  These prayers may resonate with some readers. Other readers may wonder if Martha is suffering from religious dementia! The first of these posts on Intercessory Prayer is titled FALLOW FIELD. You’ll find it at

Martha Hawn VanCise©2017

Photo: Shutterstock

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

Photos:; 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
Photo: Pinterest