Wanda’s Journal

Forgiveness

In my novel, The Storekeeper’s Daughter, Abraham Fisher’s friend, Jacob Weaver, reminded Abraham that God’s ways are not our ways. He encouraged Abraham to pray for the person who had kidnapped his young son, Zach. Do you believe that healing can only occur when one forgives?

Do you find it difficult to forgive someone who has wronged you or some member of your family? What does the Bible say about forgiveness? Do you have some favorite scriptures that gave you insight during a time when someone hurt you?

One of my favorite verses that deals with the topic of forgiveness is found in Matthew 6:14 (KJV): Jesus said, “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Walking in the Light

During one of our visits to Ohio, my husband and I were invited to an auction for a local Amish school. It was still light outside when we arrived, but by the time we left the auction, night had fallen. Since the Amish have no electrical lights, the yard and driveway were so dark that we couldn’t see where we had parked our car.

“I think we should have brought a flashlight,” I told my husband.
Hanging onto each other for support, we took a few tentative steps down the long driveway. We’d only gone a short ways when a voice from out of the darkness called, “Do you need some help finding your car?”

“Yes, we sure do,” my husband replied.

“I have a flashlight, so I’ll lead the way.” The Amish man who’d spoken, pointed a beam of light down the driveway and walked with us to our car. We thanked him for his kindness and were soon on our way.
As we headed down the road, I thought about how unprepared we had been, going to an event where we knew there would be no street or house lights to guide our way. But the lesson went deeper, as I thought about how, when we travel through life, we can lose our way if we don’t have God’s Word stamped on our hearts. We need to memorize Scripture, and never go anywhere in this dark world without it.
Just as the light was hidden from our view until the Amish man turned on his flashlight, others can’t see Jesus until we walk in the light and let it shine for Him. God gave us the sun, moon, and stars that we may have light. He, being the light Himself, guides and directs those who follow Him, so we won’t stumble, but will show others the way to Jesus, the sweetest, brightest light of all.

If you’re a Christian, how do you show others that you are walking in the light of Jesus?

Heavenly Father:
Fill my heart today with a desire to read, study,
and memorize Your Word. Help me to be a Christian example
so that others may see Your light living in me.

Remembering our Fathers

On June 20th we will celebrate Father’s Day. This is a special time when we can honor or reflect upon our fathers. Although my dad, who passed away several years ago, was far from perfect, he had many good qualities. I still think about him and some of the special trips he planned for our family when I was a girl. I remember one trip in particular when he took us to Disneyland in California. He stood in line with my sister and me for over an hour so we could meet three of the Mouseketeers and get their autographs. Dad also took us to the beach and showed us how to find agates and all kinds of seashells. Another thing he liked to do was plan camping trips for our family, where we often met my mother’s twin sister and her family who lived a few hours from us. I also remember my father’s enjoyment of cooking. When I was a teenager he taught me how to make many things, including a delicious savory stew, which I still make periodically for a supper meal.

Do you have some great memories of times spent with your father while you were growing up? Please share them here on my Journal.

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6 (KJV)

Gifts

In my novel, The Gift, which is the second book in my Prairie State Friends series, Leah felt that her ability to help people with reflexology was a gift from God. However, some people, like Adam, didn’t see it that way. He did not believe in reflexology and thought it was bunch of superstitious hogwash.

Have you ever had an ability that you felt was God’s gift, but others did not? How did you deal with their negative comments? How can a person tell if some ability they have is truly a gift from God?

Offering of Prayers

In my novel, The Robin’s Greeting, many scriptures were included in the story that helped the characters deal with feelings they struggled with. God’s Word also helped the King family deal with several unpleasant things that had been done to them.

In addition to studying God’s Word, praying faithfully and fervently, helped Belinda and other members of her family get through several trials.

Reading passages from the Bible and offering prayers to God can also help us as we are faced with various situations and unexpected trials. Are there any special verses found in the Bible that have helped you recently? Do you have a special prayer request you would like to share? I, and I’m sure others who read this post, would like to pray for you.

“The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much.” James 5:16

Amish Way of Life

My husband grew up in a Mennonite church in Pennsylvania, and getting to know my Mennonite relatives gave me a sense of yearning for the simpler life. Then, when one of our Mennonite friends introduced us to an Amish man he worked with, my desire went deeper. When I discovered that my great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith, I realized why I had such a deep yearning to know the Plain People. It wasn’t long after that we began making friends with many Amish families in several communities across the country. I decided to write Amish novels so that my readers would have a better understanding of the Amish people and their way of life.

Their simple lifestyle, and the fact that they put God first, and then family, is what makes the Amish people so special to me. I also appreciate their example of putting their emphasis on people and not things. When I’m with our Amish friends I see their family closeness, and my desire to be closer to my own family grows stronger. When I’m visiting our Amish friends I feel calm, relaxed, and closer to God.

What draws you to the Amish way of life?

Misunderstandings

In my novel, A Cousin’s Challenge, which is Book 3 of my Indiana Cousins series, a lot of misunderstandings occurred in the story.

Misunderstandings are the biggest cause of dissension among family members and friends. If we are not careful, misunderstandings and differences of opinion can lead to quarreling, or even a permanent separation from a family member. Friendships can be dissolved due to false impressions or a misinterpretation of something that has happened.

What would you do if a friend or family member cut you out of their life and did not want to resolve the situation between the two of you?

What are some ways we can deal with misunderstandings that occur between us and our friends or family? How important is it for friends and family members to communicate well with each other?

Determination

In my co-authored novel, The Blended Quilt, when Sadie decided to make a blended quilt, she said that she wouldn’t quit until she came up with the right combination.

Have you ever started a project and struggled to get it done? If you didn’t finish it, did you have any regrets? If you were able to complete your project, how did it make you feel?

Each year, on the first of January, many people make New Year’s resolutions. It might be to finish a project they began in the old year, start a new project and see it through to completion, lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, spend less time watching TV and more time with family, or any number of things.

It’s harder to stick with a resolution than it is to make one. We might start out with good intentions but lose our determination along the way. What are some ways that a person who has decided to make a change, or do something they’ve always wanted to do, can see it through to completion?

But what if, because of certain unexpected circumstances, and despite your good intentions and determination, you are not able to keep your resolution or finish something you had planned to complete? Life gets in the way sometimes, which might mean setting your goals aside while you focus on something else that needs your immediate attention. The main thing is not to be hard on yourself if your specific goals for the New Year are not met. Taking one day at a time, and letting God lead in my daily walk is the best way I know to enter the New Year with determination to serve Him.

Antidote for Depression

In my co-authored novel, The Blended Quilt, Sadie’s friend, Mandy, suffered a miscarriage and sank into depression. There are many things in life that can cause us to feel depressed–ill health, loss of a job, family issues, financial struggles–to name a few. For some people depression might be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and some people, due to their circumstances, are just more prone to feelings of depression. If the depression is caused from a chemical imbalance or other physical problem, sometimes medication or supplements may be needed.

Have you or someone you know ever felt so depressed that you could barely function? In addition to medication or supplements, when needed, what are some other things a person can do when depression due to circumstances takes hold?

Here is what the Bible says about feeling sad, disappointed or depressed: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 43:5.

During the uncertain days each of us is living in now, it would be easy to become depressed and allow our minds to become filled with negative thoughts that can tear us down. I’m reminded that in John 16:33, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'”

Rewards

In my co-authored novel, The Blended Quilt, Sadie Kuhns witnessed an older woman’s purse being snatched in the parking lot outside of a bulk food store. Sadie came to the woman’s rescue and got the purse back from the girl who had taken it. She was then offered a reward for her good deed.

Have you ever been faced with something similar–either having something stolen from you or been on the scene to rescue and return an item for someone else? How did you feel about the situation? Would you have accepted or given a reward for the good deed?

What does the Bible say about good deeds?