Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Serials and Scenarios - Day 3 Gift of Restoration

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

The Gift of Restoration

God's Gift of Restoration

by Rachel Thoene

When I was but a wee child, I had many opportunities to travel with my dad’s folks, Nonnie and Papa, on trips to the coast with their house trailer.

My Nonnie was religious about packing sandwiches, fresh home made cookies and fruit for the trip. She wrapped the cookies and sandwiches in wax paper… this was before the days of juice boxes and Lunchables… and the whole picnic was packed neatly into one or two sturdy shoe boxes for the trip. A thermos of coffee for she and Papa and one of milk for me. The trip to the coast was only about two and a half hours long, but about half way there, Papa would slow the rig to a wide spot in the road and we would have a “picnic” together before continuing on our way to the ocean.

I was asked to contribute some thoughts on the gift of God’s restoration vs. life’s destination.As I mulled a few thoughts over, it occurred to me that Nonnie’s “shoe box lunches” were a lot like God’s gift of restoration… Sure we had a destination in mind. It was exciting to get out of the valley and go spend time at the ocean with the sand and the waves and time all to myself with my Nonnie and Papa collecting shells… but the picnic lunch on the side of the road DURING the trip restored us and provided a brief respite in our journey.

Lately, my heart has been troubled and anxious as I have been caring for a friend with a very serious cancer. And I have found myself, head down, walking my campus during the day at work, talking to God about her condition and the outcome of all of this agony…And as I have conversed with Him on these strolls, I have picked up an amazing number of Pennies… every day… pennies… sometimes it’s only one or two, sometimes I’ve found 12 or more… but every day…pennies. And the curious thing is that every single one of those pennies says, “In God we Trust.” And I pick them up, put them in my pocket and say, “Thank you Lord. We are blessed today and we are whole, healthy, healed and restored…”

I believe that my friend is going to be well at the end of all of this, because God reminds me daily through those pennies to TRUST HIM”. And every penny draws me closer to Him so that I am focusing now on the moment and my conversation with Him, daily being restored in my faith and claiming her healing and I’m not any longer worrying about the destination or when we’re going to get there, because we have been given THIS MOMENT and in THIS Moment, I’m going to just pull my rig to the side of the road and have a picnic with Him in my heart.

Rachel Thoene is the author of The Vase Of Many Colors (Capstone Books, 2007), For more information visit

How can I follow this with an attempt at humor?

Especially since it hits too close to home.

One of my life verses is Joel 2:25 (New King James Version) “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

Pretty heavy. Pretty powerful and very true. My regular readers know bits and pieces of my life. In a nutshell, my husband and I were good church kids who, through a series of circumstances and very poor choices, set out to ruin our lives and each other.

After we suffered a lot of painful consequence, God got our attention.
One morning, the realization of what I’d done, the depth of my sin, and the damage I’d inflicted on those I love more than life itself, my children, hit me hard.

Is there a sorrow greater than regret?
But God began to show me, not in dropped pennies, but through His Word and people that nothing was too big for Him to fix and restore.
He started to heal me from my regret beginning with: Hebrews 12:1-2 (New King James Version) 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

And then He helped me make Psalm 139 mine.

It’s interesting that the picture of a snowflake was chosen for today’s devotional. I’ve found some photos of snowflakes, all of them incredibly unique and exquisite, and I’ve framed them and written parts of Psalm 139 around the pictures and am giving them as gifts.

Rachel sees hope and promise in pennies that proclaim His trustworthiness. I find hope and promise in snowflakes that proclaim His sovereignty and power.

I hope you find Him and His restoration within this Christmas season.

Serials and Scenarios - What Lies Within

Karen Ball's What Lies Within is on tour this week.
Scroll down for my review, click on the book cover to go to Amazon, visit Karen's website by clicking on her name. (Cool site) And be sure to come back Friday since Karen gave me great answers to the dregs questions.
My Review:
Karen Ball has taken a familiar historical, Biblical situation and tweaked into a very relevant story in 2007. Not only does it work, it doesn't feel even a bit dusty.

I'm impressed with the seamlessness of this third- in-the-series book. I do want to go back and grab the first two, not because I feel like I missed something, but because I'm sure the stories are equally compelling.

What Lies Within is full of conflict and challenge which makes it a speed read. Those who love to turn pages should check further into this story.

Pet lovers, you're in for a treat. Karen is an animal lover and it is very obvious in the true-to-life details of pet/human interaction.

Finally, there is a sweet love story that should get the romance lovers' hearts afluttering.