Walking on Water

You’ve probably heard people say, “I’ll believe it when I see it with my own eyes.” The eyes are a poor benchmark for truth. I saw someone walk on water today.

Here I was wet up to my knees from plunging into the outgoing tide to retrieve the dog’s ball. I look out across Moray Firth to the lighthouse and see someone walking on water.¬† It startles me. “Only Jesus can walk on water,” I say to Angel Joy who is more interested in getting the ball back than in what Jesus did. I’m thinking, “If I could have walked on water, I wouldn’t be wet and cold now.”

When I get closer, I realize that whoever is walking on water is actually standing on something. Then I feel better about being wet and cold.

That’s just one example of how our eyes can trick us. All of our senses are vulnerable to deception. Atheists hit those vulnerable spots when they attack our faith. “Look at the world,” they say. “If God is a God of love, why is there hate, war, crime and hurt? Show me proof that God exists.”

When you try to explain that sin, not God, causes everything evil and bad in the world, they don’t want to hear and they refuse to accept. Instead of honestly seeking the truth for themselves, they laser beam their energy to cut down your spiritual foundation of faith and truth.

Don’t fall into that trap. The proof is in our hearts. When we have Jesus in our hearts, we know He is there. Nothing including vitriolic attacks or faulty accusations and arguments from the world can shake our faith. We know that we know that we know.

The evidence of God’s existence is everywhere in every part of the earth. Here in the lovely Black Isle of Scotland, God’s voice speaks from the water. His creation reflects His glory in color and beauty in every rock, on every hill, in the soft petals of each flower blossom and along the flaming rims of sunrises and sunsets. God is as close as the next heartbeat the next breath. But it’s hard to convince someone who doesn’t want to hear or see for fear of losing their own authority and giving place to God.

So when you think you see someone walking on water, look into your heart and see what your spirit has seen. Trust the evidence of God in your heart whether He speaks in a still small voice or in the mighty roar of storms and waves.

The Bible advises: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 2:5Image

Prickles & Stickles

I relate to my tough Texan heroine in Bridge to Nowhere, released by Sunpenny Publishing. Miz Mike always minds her own business, but she can’t resist mystery – so she winds up in one pickle after another when she sets out to molest new adventures. Miz Mike is adamant, intransigent, and intractable – only about important things, of course!

Me? I’m just stubborn. Take the prickles and stickles incident. No, don’t. You don’t want to go there.

When we first got our rough collie Angel Joy, she would only catch and collect balls as long as they were easy to retrieve. If they went too far, went into the water, or into bushes – it was our job. Golfers along the golf course would holler, “Can you get your dog to find my ball?” To which we would reply, “She won’t even find her ball.”

Angel Joy now goes into the water – as long as it’s not too deep – and into tall bushes and grass to find her ball. Not prickles and stickles. She’s smart.

Yesterday the wind blew off Moray Firth at near gale force. Her ball whipped into a hedge of wild Scottish roses intertwined with blackberry vines and gorse – solid prickles and stickles and thorns.

Suddenly¬†Bridge to Nowhere‘s Miz Mike hijacked me. I body slammed those prickles and stickles and thorns and stickers and plowed a path into the impenetrable growth. Angel Joy nipped in, grabbed her ball and backed out again. It took me a bit longer since I was speared with thorns, stickers and vegetation with pickles, stickles and hooks.

Sometimes success demands that we plow into prickles and stickles. Staying in our comfort zone won’t get the job done. This is especially true in writing. It’s not enough to get a book published. After that comes the marketing – even if by pushing yourself forward you feel like you’re plowing into a rose bed and coming out with thorns rather than the fragrance, color and softness of rose petals.

Some readers will love you and everything you write. Others will hate you – not because what you’ve written is bad – but because they disagree with you. When that happens, you feel like you attempted to pluck a rose for your sweetheart and grabbed thorns instead.

If you’re a writer, I won’t encourage you to become like Miz Mike. For one thing, she and I are Texas born. It takes a while to learn how to be a Texan. For another thing – she’s my character! But I will encourage you to be stubborn. Get over your fear of prickles and stickles. They only hurt a little bit. Plow ahead with confidence and don’t let criticisms and discomfort steal your dream.

My newest book, Love’s Beating Heart, is the most stickery and prickery since it deals with issues like abortion, pro-life, adoption, homeschooling and the sanctity of marriage. It is also the most satisfying on the deepest level. Don’t get me wrong! I love stubborn, mystery-solving Miz Mike. She’s fun, funny and fun to write. Bridge to Nowhere is a great Christian mystery-romance-suspense, the first in a series of at least six.

But plowing into the stickles and prickles gave me a lasting gift to leave behind when I go home to be with the LORD. Love’s Beating Heart is more than a book. It’s a life-saving manual.