It's All About the Ending

 

Since I write Christian Romance and Christian Romantic Suspense, let me update you on one three-book series.

The Protectors Series has a female main character, Sharla, who is in need of help. Even though she doesn’t think she needs help, . . . she does.

Can you relate? 

I think a lot of people can see that side of her and appreciate how similar we all are. Maybe you and I can think back to all the times we thought we could handle what we were facing. Just like Sharla, we realize that we need help.

We must first recognize our need for help, then we can see that life gets easier when we have the right kind of help. Sharla has to decide between two different kinds of help. At the time of decision, it’s hard to tell what the future holds. For Sharla, both of her options appealed to her in different ways. For us, we have to decide for ourselves which path is trustworthy and which isn’t.

We sometimes fail. 

You and I have an opportunity for a happily ever after, but we have to stop choosing the wrong path. As an audience member, I watch a movie or read a book that shows characters obviously making a bad decision, and I want to yell out to them a warning not to open the door or not to go back inside. But the characters are on the path that leads them toward the consequences of their decisions.

When I listen to God’s warning and submit to the wisdom of God, it’s a lot easier to find my happily ever after.

Sharla has a story that weaves through the ups and downs of three Christian romantic suspense novels. One Man’s Treasure is the third book in the series and has a final happy-sigh ending, but you’ll want to start reading One Man’s Haven first.

What will your final happy-sigh ending look like? You and I can’t tell what the future holds for us, but we can trust God to help us through it all. I had a blast writing this series. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Making Changes

"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Matthew 6:6

I’ve enjoyed watching Desk Set, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. This classic film shows the trouble that goes with upgrading technology. It’s a romantic comedy which is funnier today than it was when it was first released in 1957. Although it’s kind of about making improvements in the workplace, it’s really about relationships.

Technology helps us communicate more effectively today than ever before. We learned in 2020 that technology isn’t all you need.

We need relationships.

Our relationship with God is a protective influence as we deal with today’s problems. God gives us guidance and wisdom if we will seek Him before making decisions.

Sometimes our goal should be to cut back on computers and phones so we can communicate more effectively without distractions. God isn’t against technology, but He expects us to use the wisdom He makes available.

Matthew 6:6 mentions praying in a room, in secret. The Old Testament shows a picture of a prayer room when we read about Daniel (chapter six) in an upstairs room where he prayed. However, he didn’t pray in secret. The windows were open. (Probably no air conditioning.)

You and I can go into a bedroom, closet, or bathroom and pray without distractions. Years ago, my husband took an upstairs room of our house and turned it into our prayer room. When we needed uninterrupted time with God, we could go there to pray and listen for God’s answers.

God wants us to communicate with Him in prayer without distractions.

Praying by yourself in a room or on a park bench or some other specific place will help you focus on what God wants to say to you. Take your Bible, a notepad, and a pen to write what God is guiding you to do. Some people have a prayer journal where they record their prayer requests, answers, and ideas they get from God.

I’ve used a few different journals to write my prayers and God’s answers. Here’s one to use for your next 31 days. I’ve just published The Prayer That Works Journal. It was designed as a companion journal for my new short nonfiction book. You can find the Prayer That Works eBook at Amazon or in other bookstores.

You can subscribe to my emails and get this free prayer journal prompt eBook.

Get Up

 Genesis 3:8-11

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?”

Haven’t we all taken the wrong advice, made the wrong choice, or listened to the wrong voices? If you’ve heard from God and you didn’t obey, understand this: God gives second chances.

Adam and Eve heard from God regularly. They had a regular appointment with Him in the garden. When He came for his expected appointment, Adam hid.

That simple act was evidence that something was wrong.

Instead of hiding when we mess up, we can communicate our failures to God. He understands and forgives.

A lot of people try to do what is right. They figure out how to obey God, and then that sneaky snake whispers something to entice them away from what God has told them to do. They stumble. They feel so bad about stumbling that they stay down too long.

God says, “Get up.”

God will provide for you everything that you need. Everything. But you have to get up and walk with Him. He will lead you through open doorways and lead you out of danger, but you have to do the walking.

Seeking God and finding Him isn’t hard. The fact that we’re so imperfect is what is hard to deal with.

You were created to do something that nobody else can do. Your life has purpose. God designed you with specific gifts and abilities so you can accomplish that purpose. Communicate with God and find out what that is. You have a job to do, but you can’t do it lying down. Give God your guilt, shame, bad memories, and pain. Let Him help you back up.

In your journey to a better relationship with God, you’re probably going to stumble. The key to the journey is to get back up and keep walking.

Getting Answers from God

 Psalm 3:4

To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.

Do you cry out to the Lord? Many people are crying out right now, but some have forgotten how to get an answer.

It is important to direct our cries to the one who has the answers. We don’t get what we need by crying out for help to no one in particular. Our peace comes from knowing that we’re speaking to someone who can provide the correct answers, someone who wants to help us.

We need to know what to expect from the one we’re crying out to. When we cry aloud to the Lord, we know that he is interested in shielding us, answering us, and sustaining us. He wants to bless us.

If a man hasn’t had food or water for twenty-four hours, he’s not going to be picky about the brand name on the water bottle you give him. When we ask for help from God, we shouldn’t be picky about the kind of guidance God gives. No matter what advice He gives us, we should respond to God with passionate obedience. 

Why would God want to answer us when we have no intention of accepting his instruction?

What good is it to call to the Lord if we don’t concern ourselves with his answer? It is important to listen for the answer with the expectation that we’ll obey his instruction.

When we call to the Lord, we can be sure that the guidance we’re waiting for will bring us to a better place in our lives. He will help us achieve those little victories that keep us walking forward.

I know that God is love. His answers are full of love because that is how he guides his children.

You Are Never Alone

We can rest in the assurance that God hears us when we call on Him in prayer.

When Texans experienced record-setting cold temperatures, we had to deal with the absence of normal communications due to power outages and no cell tower coverage. My house had running water for the first twenty-four hours our electricity was out. When the power came back on, we quickly warmed the house again.

And then we had no water.

Within a few hours, we had cell coverage, electricity, and water. We listened to the Houston news coverage and decided to remain cautious. They warned us to be on the alert for more harsh weather. We charged all our phones and stored water in the bathtubs in case the water supply was shut off again.

We never felt alone in our struggle.

For many, a weather emergency means being cut off from other people. I happened to have five people in my home during the emergency. We worked through our emergency together as a team.

Those who live alone don’t have a team. But they have God.

When Daniel was sent to the lion’s den, he wasn’t alone. (Daniel 6:1-28) When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were sent to the fiery furnace, they were not alone. (Daniel 3:1-30) And when you go through your trials, you will not be alone either.

Overcoming anything in life requires accepting help from God. That help may come in the form of a person, food, water, electricity, or wisdom from God. Choosing to rely on God before the emergency arrives gives you the ability to trust God in all circumstances.

Right now is a good time to develop a relationship with God so that you don’t lose hope when difficulties arise.

If you don’t journal every day, you can begin with this 100-day journal that’s all about writing your experiences to God with a grateful heart. The 100 Days of Prayer Journal is a great way to record how God has blessed you through even the most difficult of days.

We don’t know what lies ahead, but we do know that God is with us and will be with us through it all.