Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
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      Hi Angela! I'm excited to know if there is a story behind The Water Fight Professional? I wrote this years ago when my son was a preschooler. We were at a church picnic and he wanted to get involved in the water fight the older kids were having, but he didn’t know how. I gave him a cup of water and told him to dump it on someone. That person saw him com […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Susan Rush
      It's a pleasure to welcome Susan here today! Tell us, is there a story behind your book Just Over the Horizon? While working as a hospice social worker, I’ve had the rare honor of being with many people as their journey here on earth came to a close.  A wise patient once told me he wasn’t afraid to die because he was looking so forward to seeing what li […]
    • The Water Fight Professional by Angela Strong
      I, Joey Michaels, am the Water Fight Professional. Basically this means that customers pay me to soak other people. But my super-competitive best friend is sucking all the fun out of summer. All because I made a secret bet with him. Winning the bet wouldn't be so hard if I didn't have the following three problems: 1) My dramatic mother who feels th […]
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    • NEW JUNE RELEASES for this month's CLASH of the TITLES
      It's a NEW CLASH!The best of summer reading - all in one list for you here. Find a New Author to love...I have.I'll apologize in advance...I could not cut anyone from the list, so we have MEGA LIST this month.You'll see what I mean: everything from spies, cloak and dagger to medieval to early Americana. Whew!The QUESTION ALWAYS IS:Based on the […]
    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
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      And the winner is.....OF THE PERSECUTED by Angie BrashearCongratulations, Angie!This month's clash was a record-breaker from day one. As a hostess, one of the greatest things is seeing the voting numbers climb higher and higher. And I was thrilled to see so many turn out to vote during my clash. I love it! So thank you to everyone who voted and to our c […]
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    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
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    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
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    • Book Review: As Is by Wendy Oleston
      As IsBy Wendy OlestonA Wisconsin Author!.99 Kindle12.99 printISBN-13:978-1499781335Buy on AmazonFrom the publisher:Life is hard for Mara Shaw. One bad relationship after another has left her a single mother with no faith in anything. She is unable to trust in anyone . . . including herself. She decides to start afresh, and never allow herself to be hurt agai […]
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    • BOOK REVIEW: SHOUT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BY NICK ROSENER & ERIC LEHNEN
      A simple and straight forward approach for small business owners to defining your target market and using various marketing sources to reach it. With so many social media options at our doorstep, many small business owners/entrepreneurs may feel overwhelmed. Is more better?The authors pull from years of marketing experience to present an easily understandabl […]
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      This women’s fiction book centers on three women whose lives intertwine as they look for happiness in love. Anna is engaged but can’t seem to set a date and then she finds out she’s pregnant.  Eve has lived with Liam for years and has children by him but isn’t married. All she wants is to be loved by Liam, be his wife and raise his children. Sam is a success […]
    • Book Giveaway: The Love Story by Stenetta
      Today I present children’s author Stenetta Anthony whose children’s book The Love Story released on May 6, 2014. This is her first publication; however, she is currently in the process of writing another children’s book.Stenetta Anthony resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She uses her talents as a dramatic storytell […]
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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘anger’

Vulnerability Exposes the Heart

Posted by Luther D. Powell on November 8, 2012

This past week, I’ve been sick with something nasty. Can’t quite say what it is; apparently, what we know as the ‘common cold’ is a variety of innumerable illnesses which our bodies just happen to react the same way to. But I’ll say it’s a cold. A really, really bad cold. Coughing, sneezing, emptying tissues boxes by the hour, the works.

Being sick with this sort of thing really shows me my innermost self. And no, not just because I’m coughing my entrails out. I mean, sickness makes me irritable and cranky, probably because I’m so weak, so vulnerable. My head is throbbing and I don’t feel like thinking. My throat hurts and I don’t feel like talking. I can’t smell stuff. The rest of my body aches and it’s a chore to get out of bed. Can’t breathe and it makes sleeping difficult. Wah wah waaah!

All these factors contribute to my being less patient with my computer loading things on the Internet, the bus being ‘late’ by my watch, my soup tasting funny, all sorts of little things that I’m suddenly so bothered by. The question is, has my life really gone downhill since I’ve gotten sick, or is everything pretty much exactly the same as it always is, and do I have any right to grouch about things? Answer: Life is no different around me, just inside me, and I don’t really have the right to grouch.

My being sick could be caused by a number of things. I won’t say God has willed it, because I know He loves me and doesn’t want to make me sick. He wants to make me strong in Him. However, because I’m sick, it is easier for me to realize what my heart is really like at the moment, and how much I’m missing out on God’s love. If my heart were more like His, I wouldn’t be so quick to whine and groan at the simple annoyances that I, literally, deal with every day and am normally used to. It bothers me that I am so easily bothered by things when I’m sick and weak, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this issue. The blessing in it is that truly, I recognize my need for more Jesus when my temper flares up against silly things, and it certainly does that more often when I’m sick.

For example, I got slightly unhappy when I woke up from a ‘nap’ a few minutes ago, after having written half of this blog and after I planned to only sleep for an hour and a half before I would finish this and post it. Set two alarms. I don’t know how I slept past two alarms, and my being sick is no excuse. I woke up and started coughing angrily before sitting down to finish this.

So, am I saying God makes people sick when He knows we needs to straighten up? No, but I am saying that the timing with my sickness in particular fascinates me, because I know that He knows that I need to straighten up, and I know that He uses all kinds of things for His work to get done. Is anyone else out there catching something nasty and suddenly noticing the condition of your heart? This isn’t a guilt-trip; don’t feel bad about it. I mean, do, but in a healthy fashion. Recognize it and fix it! Maybe your sickness won’t be such a pain when you know that you’re right with The Lord, yeah? Food for thought. Er… cough drops for thought.

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Writing With Dirty Hands

Posted by Luther D. Powell on June 7, 2012

I feel ashamed
With abandon in my heart and on my face.
I suffer the blame
I would show to you this way, but I’m too late. –Demon Hunter: Dead Flowers

Do you ever guilt-trip yourself out of doing God’s work because you’ve sinned and you don’t feel clean anymore? I seem to have made a habit out of it in recent years, and I’ve found even more recently just how unnecessary and counterproductive it is.

We all have some area of sin to work on in our lives. One of mine happens to be anger issues. Certainly not my only weakness, but it’s the easiest to describe. I won’t say I have a bad temper or that I lose control all the time, but I never really know how best to deal with anger. I shock myself here and there. I’ll have some outburst that was uncalled for, act on some hidden bitterness out of nowhere and say or do something I don’t mean to. When I let that happen, I don’t feel right about anything for a little while, particularly, writing. I feel like if I try to write a story with God in mind while stewing in a fit of rage, it won’t turn out how He would like it to, you know? So I just don’t write when I know I’ve sinned lately.

At least, that’s what I used to do. I would sort of treat it as a discipline for myself: I say or do something I know is unquestionably wrong, I choose not to write anything story-related for the rest of the day. The problem is, the point of discipline is to get yourself to do or stop doing something specific for productive reasons. Eventually I realized that if I chose not to write when I did something dumb, that wouldn’t keep me from sinning again. All it kept me from doing was the writing. God’s work with my keyboard. That’s the way I see it.

Technically, if you call yourself a Christian, you’re claiming to involve God in everything you do, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, so “God’s work” in your life should be…all of it. Writing is just what I see God actually calling me to do, so it’s high on my priority list.

What I’m getting at is, when I choose not to write because my hands are dirty, that isn’t discipline so much as self-inflicted punishment, which, because of Christ’s death on the cross, is completely unnecessary. His Grace is sufficient. I don’t need to be that hard on myself if I’m only keeping myself from working. Yes, discipline is a significant part of being a Christian, but if you get discipline and punishment mixed up, you’ll find yourself with your nose in the corner thinking, “I’m not getting anything accomplished at all.”

I’m reading this super-great book called It Came From Within! by Andy Stanley. It’s a relatable, fun and convicting read that deals with the contents of the heart –the unseen one, that is. It has helped me see more clearly the weight of knowing just what is going on in your heart, and how to clean up bitterness, anger and all other big areas of sin that sneak in and keep you from growing. All in all, it reminds me that when my hands are dirty, when I’ve let my mind linger on something or someone unhealthily, when regrettable words slip from my lungs out of anger, I simply cannot deal with that my own way. Only the perfect Christ washes me white as snow.

Wish you the same
To walk beside and carry on this flame.
To see you again
With a radiance of pure and holy name.

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Encouragment, Life Experiences, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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