Friday, September 21, 2012

When in Doubt ... Look Up

Friends, I think we all know Thomas isn't the only one who ever doubted Jesus. If I asked you, right now, to raise your hand and confirm you've had doubts, would yours join mine in the air?

 I'm guessing, if we were all honest, every arm would be stretching skyward; because at one time or another, every one of us has doubted either God's existence or something He promised or said in His Word.

I know there have been times when I believed what God promised in relation to you, but doubted whatever it was applied to me. 

Even worse, there have been moments when I was crushed by despair, moments that had me questioning our King's existence. 

When this happens, as it inevitably will from time to time, looking up proves to be the best answer for me.
And I don't mean ONLY looking up, but also: Looking out, looking around, looking over there, over here, and in  the pages of The Word or an inspirational tale of triumph, ultimately looking away from my own situation to the great beyond where God is visible to my hurting heart. 

There's just something about a starlit sky, crashing waves, and towering fir trees that inspire me to believe in my Creator. A newborn's face, a kitten's paw, and a swaying palm tree are all evidence of His majesty and unfathomable creativity. Seeing His creations has a way of renewing and refreshing my wonder. Wonder tends to lead to worship, and worship inevitably draws me closer to my King. 

Remember, we serve a King who wants to be found, who desires a deep and intimate relationship with all who reside in His kingdom. A King who is willing to show the palms of his hands and the hole in His side to one doubting Thomas is a King who understands our tendencies toward unbelief and uncertainty. He loves us no less for our questioning. 

Are you in a place in your life where God seems distant? a place where He doesn't feel real? I promise, He's there, He's here, and He is (forgive the cliche') everywhere. His love for you is painted across the night sky, growing in your garden, visible in a baby's smile and living in your heart. Just look for Him. He won't run away or hide. He wants to be found. 

Practical Princess Warrior Tip: Some days the best we can do is say: "Lord, I love you; help my unbelief. Lord, I love you; help my unbelief. Lord, I love you; help my unbelief."
Though we can't touch his side the way Thomas did, ultimately, He will find the just right ways to touch our hearts, leaving no doubt who loves us most. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Articles to Inspire

Yay ... I finally found a link to all my older articles that were written over the years for various Campus Crusade for Christ publications. Click here to link to articles on a wide range of topics pertinent to Princess Warriors.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Soul Defenders: Now Available in Paperback!

I am so pleased (thrilled) to announce that Soul Defenders is now available in paperback. I'll share the link in a moment. 

First I want to share with you about the power of a story. The Bible is filled with stories, stories about people, people like us, people who make mistakes and fall short of God's glory. Thankfully, these same people find mercy and love in the Savior, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through fiction, although its fiction, spiritual truths can be found, especially if that is the intent of the author, which indeed was my intent. Nuggets of truth are often buried in the words of a story, treasure waiting to be found by the reader. I know I've found my fair share of jewels between the pages of a book. In fact, as a new believer, I read a great deal of Christian and inspirational fiction. I found myself eager to see what The Word had to say about what I was reading. I was drawn closer to our King through the stories authors were faithful to write.

I, too, wanted to reach wounded warriors and our yet-to-be embraced friends, who do not yet know our Savior, through my writing. That's why the following comment on Facebook touched my heart. This is a gal who  I mentor. She has no consistent spiritual upbringing, and has never really wanted to talk about Christ with me. I gifted her this book for her Kindle Fire, knowing she loves to read. Here's what she said: "YYYYYYAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!! Read soul defenders. it is awesome and defintely inspiring. I prayed after i read it."

That's how God can use our stories, even fiction, to touch others and change hearts. I'm looking forward to my next meeting with this lovely sixteen-year old girl who God's placed in my life. We'll have a lot to talk about. 

If you have someone, maybe addicted to drugs, or who has run to the arms of our enemy for fulfillment, consider sharing this book. I believe it can make a difference. Do you have a book or books that touched your heart? - please share in the comment section. Just as important, do you have a story to tell? Maybe it is time for you to tell it too. 

Click on the link below to purchase a trade paperback copy of Soul Defenders

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remembering 9/11

I wrote the following article in 2008. It still stands true today, four years later. 

I can't believe it has been seven years ago that tragedy struck our beloved homeland. Like most people, I can remember exactly where I was that mornng.
Getting ready for work, I'd stepped out of the shower and heard the radio announcer say that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. At first, it appeared that it might have been a horrible accident. I had to hurry to work, but in the car, as I continued to listen to live news, I realized that this was no accident. Our nation was under attack and no one seemed to know by who.
At work, we all sat open-mouthed in front of the TV speculating about what was going on. World War III was mentioned more than once. Outside the skies were abmormally silent as planes had been banned from flying. Our nation was in shock, mourning, and fear. Yet, there was something else growing beneath the surface and in the hearts of men and women everywhere -- a sense of commonality and love for country -- our country ... a desire to help others and support those who were hurting. People forgot about East Coast/West Coast, we were, after all, one nation under God.
Today, sadly, our nation appears to be split right down the middle, and the political climate is scorching with fiery rhetoric from the right and the left. Our enemy is still out there and we are so busy bickering among each other we have forgotten on some level that we are ONE NATION.
As a Christian woman, I am thankful that I can see meaning and purpose through these dark times. God is still moving and eternity awaits His children. Right now, on this historic day, I choose to love others as God intends. I choose not to engage in political debates. I choose to pray for all our leaders whether I agree with them or not. I choose to honor the brave men and women who are fighting for my freedom here and abroad. I choose to pray for my enemies. May God change their hearts.
For one day, can we just love? I believe we can. God bless you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Keep your bra on and get your Bible out!

First, before I share today's message, can I just share how much I love this image of the princess entering Heaven and the Lion (our Lord) welcoming her ... someday. I can only imagine. 

Okay ... here we go:

We women can be quite resourceful. Yes, men can as well, but I just read a recent news story about a woman who was stranded after she fell while hiking.  
Amazingly, she used her sports bra, attached to some sort of lift-wire to signal her whereabouts. Once the cable started working, her bra ended up in the right hands (that would be anyone’s hands at this point) and she was delivered to safety. Deep sigh of relief. The article acknowledged her intelligent consideration in planning what to send. After all, she needed the remainder of her clothing in order to stay warm overnight. She didn’t randomly choose to send her sports bra, she made a quick, well-assessed plan, and it worked.   
I often wonder if I would be so ingenious in a perilous situation. Do you ever do that? You know, you imagine yourself in a specific hair-raising place or position where you alone are responsible for saving the day, and yourself. I guess you might call this a form of daydreaming. But, hey, when I was an athlete (swimmer) back in the day, I always visualized myself performing well before my events. It worked! – most of the time. 
I’m not sure why I’m even thinking about this. I guess the whole “bra story” got me thinking about emergency planning and preparation. Many of us plan better for what might happen in the “physical realm” than we do in the spiritual. 
Okay, okay, sounds weird, but let me explain. Remember back during the Year-2000-Scare? Many people stocked up on water, food, flashlights. Some even built extravagant underground dwellings where they could stockpile their goods and live for extended periods of time if needed. They were ready for the worst.  
However, according to God’s plan we should be more concerned about the matters of the heart, our hearts. Do we love God? Others?  Do we care about our character and living in a godly manner? Do we spend time combing His Word for those treasures that we can stockpile in our hearts? God tells us we should live in such a way that we are storing up rewards in Heaven not on earth. We try so hard to protect our physical selves, yet, so often, we fail to effectively manage our spiritual condition.  
I also recall during the preparation for the Year 2000 that many people actively, even aggressively, shared their concerns about the future and argued that we needed to be ready for worst possible scenario.  
Friends, the worst possible scenario would be to spend an eternity in hell apart from God’s presence. Yet, how much time and effort do we invest in helping others understand this very real threat? For me, unfortunately, I have to say, not enough.  
Maybe we should think a little harder, plan a little more, and become more ingenious like our lady hiker friend. I’m not suggesting we use our bras to spread the word, but we all have access to God’s Truth and His plan. Today is a new day. Let’s get creative and help people prepare for what’s real, forever, and always. Investing in the eternal makes sense considering where we spend our life after death is final.  
No need to wave your bra or boxers, just wave the Banner of Love.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Soul Defenders: The Black Orchids ... It's arrived!

It's arrived! My book, Soul Defenders is out on Kindle and will be available in print by Monday on Amazon. I'm so excited to share this tale of spiritual suspense and warfare with you. Every Princess Warrior should be prepared on all occasions to fight the good fight. This book is a reminder that we do not fight against flesh and blood.

Here is the link to purchase. Please, please, spread the word and share the story. Thank you and God bless you, sisters.

Order Soul Defenders by Carol Van Atta

I'll provide the link to the trade paperback as soon as its available.

For more reading ... take a peek at Liz Curtis Higgs latest Bible Study book: