Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cut The Strings - Book Review

God is faithful! This message comes through loud and clear as we watch Sharon Cavers, her husband and family, and daughter Amy Jackson navigate through the storms of teenage rebellion. Second to that, we see how Sharon and her husband Bill have their faith tested; and it comes through as pure gold. And third, we are caught up with them in their longing to see their youngest daughter wake up to the realization of the dangerous path she is on, and come running into the waiting arms of her Heavenly Father.

Sharon and Bill are parents to three daughters. Things go along fairly smoothly for them, as they raise the girls in the fear of the Lord, with the support of a loving church family. Until Amy, as a young teenager, begins to step outside of Christian boundaries of behaviour and lifestyle into a world that is scripturally forbidden for all, and certainly not allowed for anyone raised to know and obey God.

Sharon and Amy take turns in the writing, each speaking in the first person. Having both made journal entries over the period of time when the story takes place, they are able to give us a glimpse into each of their thoughts and hearts. Sharon faces each challenge brought by Amy's increasingly rebellious lifestyle with a mixture of emotions. As a worried parent anguishing over her daughter's life and soul, she experiences fear, doubt, and finally finds peace in remembering just Who her God is. He is her rock, her strength, her wisdom, and her hope. The journal entries are her emotions spilled onto the page; all of her heart is poured out to her God, with nothing held back.

As I read through the book (in two evenings), I was almost praying along with Sharon and her husband, praying that Amy would take that one step toward her Saviour, and be rescued from the darkness she was in. She endures a pain-filled journey over several years, sinking into the clutches of drugs and alcohol, trying to prove to the world that she can handle anything. But all the while, inside she is a frightened young girl, longing to be "home", but not sure where that is or how to get there.

I applaud both Sharon and Amy for their courage in telling their story. I know that they have both prayed that God will use it, and I know He will As I said in a previous post, real life stories are my favourite. Of course, knowing both the authors of this book made it even more "real" to me. However, I know that just about anyone who is a parent or a teen to grown up child will be able to relate.

You will find it hard to put this book down, and you will find your own faith strengthened as you read this beautiful story of faith and redemption.

Find out how to order a copy for yourself by visiting

Sunday, July 25, 2010


It was such a glorious day today! Not only was it Sunday, the day I meet with my home church, but it was also sunny and breezy and beautiful outside. I hung out two loads of laundry before I left this morning, and it was dry when I returned home in mid-afternoon. I washed two more loads and got them on the line; I knew they would dry quickly with the beautiful breeze and warm sunshine we were enjoying.

Days like today make me want to wash every sheet, blanket and curtain in the house. I love the smell of them when they come off the line. If I fold them soon enough, they will still be warm from the sun's rays. I did that today. Folding a big, fluffy white towel, I couldn't resist burying my face in it, and inhaling that wonderfully fresh, clean fragrance that only time spent on a clothesline in the breeze can create. Strangely enough, as I was doing so, a line from Psalm 19 came to my mind. I'll highlight it below:

"The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgement of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether."
(Psalm 19:7-9)

I love this Psalm, and these verses are my favourite from it. I love these words:
perfect, sure, right, pure, clean. Don't ask me what the exact connection is between these verses and the scent of my towel today. Perhaps because just drinking in that delightful smell rejoices my heart in some way. Perhaps because, in such an ordinary, everyday thing as doing laundry, I find contentment, knowing that I am blessed to be able to do so, when so many others haven't the resources or ability to, if they live in a third world country or are homeless in this one. Perhaps because the smell seems so pure to me, as if it has taken on a part of nature, having hung in the sunshine and flapped in the breeze that a kind and loving God has created. Perhaps just enjoying that simple pleasure reminds my heart that it is just one of the countless blessings that I receive from Him, every day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Great Read

Last night I attended a Book Launch. The book is written by Sharon Cavers and her daughter Amy Jackson. Sharon is a member of my writing group, and she and her daughter have written a story of struggle, hope and redemption. Most of all it is about the faithfulness of God. You can check it out here

I haven't started to read the book yet, because I know that when I do, I won't be able to put it down.Sharon has shared with our group as she and Amy worked on this project, so I know the story line, and have read excerpts. Real life stories are a magnet for me. Real life beats fiction any day, in my opinion. Maybe that's why there are so many "Reality" television shows today. We do have a fascination for having a glimpse into someone else's life. For some reader's of Sharon and Amy's book, it will be something like having a blanket of reassurance tucked in around them, as they see a family press on through situations that most of us wouldn't want the rest of the world to know about. Particularly the "Christian" world.

I know that God will use this book, and I praise Him for giving the authors the grace and courage to put their story out there. It will bring hope and healing to many families. Best of all, it will show yet another example of the faithfulness of our loving Father, and His presence in the midst of every situation. All to His glory.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Fresh Wind

This morning there was a sweet breeze coming through my kitchen window. Nothing stupendous in itself, but made a main event because of the hot, humid weather we have had lately. I so welcomed it! Every day seems to have threatened rain, and I would have been thankful it if it had rained for a day and a night, and lifted the oppression of the muggy weather. So to realize today that we had a repreive was a blessing.

As I stood by my kitchen sink, enjoying this little breath of fresh air, I thought how like the weather our lives can be. Oppression can creep up on us, whether caused by mood or circumstance. All of life's little details can drag us down and drain us of our energy. Like the humidity, feelings of being overwhelmed can bring us to a state of inertia, and we feel stifled and held captive by a sense of hopelessness and a fear of failure. All the negativity that we see and hear every day, from televison and newspapers and the next door neighbour can grind down our intentions to put our best foot forward and trust that God has a purpose in everthing.

Sometimes we wish that something, or Someone, bigger than ourselves would come along and whisk away all these things, and help us to make a fresh start. That's where the Holy Spirit comes in. Like the wind, He goes where He pleases. He can't be contained or controlled. We can't see Him, but we can see where He has been, because He always brings change. So we turn to Him, and seek His touch, His activity in our hearts and lives. He can bring refreshment, and a renewed sense of purpose for our day and our lives. He will speak to us in God's Word, or in circumstances, or in that still small voice, that Spirit to spirit witness that only He can produce. He is our Helper, just as Jesus promised. Breath of God, breathe on us!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Winding Down (?)

Now that the G8/G20 and World Soccer Series are over, we are hearing more about the Gulf Oil Spill. Good timing, since yesterday they installed a new cap over the leak. Will it hold? That is the question of the hour. Taking nearly three days to install, it is certainly hoped that it will, finally, staunch the incredible flow of oil that has been surging into the water for almost three months.

It seems incredible to me that the leak has gone on this long. Hearing the statistics on how many gallons per day etc. have been leaking, it seems as though there is no end to it. But it must have an end somewhere. I can't help but compare it to a human body that is losing blood quickly, and every effort is being made to staunch the flow. It's as though the earth is "bleeding out", with this main "artery" having a ruptured "aneurysm".

I wonder how many are praying that this will be a success. I wonder how many "chiefs" from British Petroleum are resorting to begging God to let it work. Seems we always do all we can do in our own strength first, and leave Him as a last resort. Just another disaster that took us by surprise, reminding us that we aren't as big and powerful as we thought we were.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Encouragement For Troubled Times

"Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." -- Proverbs 1:33
Divine love is rendered conspicuous when it shines in the midst of judgments. Fair is that lone star which smiles through the rifts of thethunder clouds; bright is the oasis which blooms in the wilderness ofsand; so fair and so bright is love in the midst of wrath.
When the Israelites provoked the Most High by their continued idolatry, he punished them by withholding both dew and rain, so that their land was visited by a sore famine; but while he did this, he took care that his own chosen ones should be secure.
If all other brooks are dry, yet shall there be one reserved for Elijah; and when that fails, God shall still preserve for him a place of sustenance; nay, not only so, the Lord had not simply one "Elijah," but he had a remnant according to the election of grace, who were hidden by fifties in a cave, and though the whole land was subject to famine, yet these fifties in the cave were fed, and fed from Ahab's table too by His faithful, God-fearing steward, Obadiah.
Let us from this draw the inference, that come what may, God's people are safe. Let convulsions shake the solid earth, let the skies themselves be rent in twain, yet amid the wreck of worlds the believer shall be as secure as in the calmest hour of rest. If God cannot save his people under heaven, he will save them in heaven. If the world becomes too hot to hold them, then heaven shall be the place of their reception and their safety.
Be ye then confident, when ye hear of wars, and rumours of wars. Let no agitation distress you, but be quiet from fear of evil. Whatsoever cometh upon the earth, you, beneath the broad wings of Jehovah, shall be secure. Stay yourself upon his promise; rest in his faithfulness, and bid defiance to the blackest future, for there is nothing in it direful for you. Your sole concern should be to show forth to the world the blessedness of hearkening to the voice of wisdom.
C.H. Spurgeon

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Imitation = Limitation

I went to a writer's conference two weeks ago. It was an amazing time. Two hundred and fifty followers of Jesus who write for Him, coming together to learn, encourage and be encouraged. I certainly was encouraged. Along the way I met some great people, including two fellow bloggers. Ann is one. You can find her blog here: Ann taught a workshop on how to have a successful blog. It was nothing like I expected. She is a lovely woman, and her heart for Jesus is on her sleeve. Instead of giving hints to create more traffic or comments, she talked about how she doesn't allow comments, and doesn't have a site meter on her blog. This is to keep her from getting caught up in how many people are following her posts. Her talk was all about releasing what the Lord was doing in her heart into daily posts, and letting Him take care of the results. It was truly inspiring and encouraging. Please check out her blog; it is beautiful, both visually and in spirit. Another lady I met was Belinda. You can find her blog here http://http// . She is another sweet sister in the Lord, and it was a treasure to meet her and spend time chatting.

These two ladies so impressed me with their sincerity, humility and love for God that I came away thinking I should start a new blog. One that would be more like theirs. So I did. I started a blog on, and put one post on it. Then I tried to think about what else I could write, that would be less like what I usually did, and more like what these ladies wrote. I was planning to just leave "One Day At A Time", and redirect people to my new, "improved" blog. But, as you can probably guess, I got stuck. I eventually realized how ridiculous it would be to try and imitate these two women in my writing. Transparency, sincerity and humility are not things that you can copy. (Oh, I guess you could try, but there is a name for that. Starts with "hy" and ends with "sy", with "pocri" in the middle.) So I deleted my new blog, and came back here. Then for almost a week, the Lord gave me something to post each day. (I took that to mean I had made the right move.)

Have you ever looked at other Christians, and wished you could be more like them? It's a common trap that we can all fall into. Constantly measuring ourselves against seemingly more spiritual people. We see the fruit in their lives, and decide that ours is lacking. We want to somehow have what they have, write like they write, speak like they speak. But that is wrong. God created us all as individuals, and He uses our personalities, everything about us, in His work of renovation.

In my Sunday meeting this morning, I read from Ephesians 2, about being God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works that He has prepared beforehand. In my mind, I see God taking us as we are, a lump of clay, or playdough that has bits of different colors all mixed in. Each messy batch He takes and molds according to His unique plan, working even those bits of color, that used to appear as mistakes, into the design, creating a masterpiece.

In writing, we are told that we need to find our own "voice." I think it is not so much a matter of finding it, as simply using it. If God has called you to write, or speak, or preach, or teach (and He calls us all to do these, in one way or another), then He will place those things on your heart that you will be burdened for. He will give you the courage to do or say or write of them, to proclaim them, to protect them. He doesn't want you to duplicate what He has given to someone else. He has good works that He has prepared for YOU and you alone.

When God created us, He didn't use a cookie cutter approach. Don't try to follow in another's path; use the brain and heart and gifts He has given to you. To try and be like another will bear no fruit. Abide in Him, and trust that He will live and speak through you.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)