Friday, February 20, 2015

On the Fence

The warm summer sun kissed her face. A sweet breeze filled with the scent of wildflowers and grass tickled her nose. Jana tilted her head to the sky, and smiled.

Now this was life.

She was content. She was happy. Nothing could bring her down. Jana got lost in the sunshine. Her eyes were closed, and she peacefully hummed the melody of her heart.

When Jana opened her eyes, she was surprised to find that the beautiful summer day she had been enjoying had disappeared. Now, dark clouds filled the sky and the cool air spoke of things to come.

"Come here."

Jana looked around. Who had said that? Where was the voice coming from? Her heart started to beat faster as she considered the possibilities.

"Get off the fence," the sickly sweet voice called again. Jana couldn't see who was talking, but the voice came from the darkness at the edge of the forest.

"No," another voice shouted! "Choose me!"

Jana glanced over her shoulder in the direction of the second voice. This side seemed happier, and the voice sounded warmer, more loving even.

What was she supposed to do?

The voices continued to war for her soul. Screaming until Jana had to cover her ears with her shaking hands.

And that's when she realized where she was.

Hey guys! How have you been doing? You met Jana just now. Jana is faced with a major decision, and she realized that she was already living her life in accordance with one of the life-style choices. But which one?

Well, to answer that, we are going to need to talk first.

So today, I wanted to talk about a popular love-hate relationship. I think you all know the one I am referring, too. You either love it, or you hate it. There is no in the middle relationship.

Or so they say.


Country music!

I know people who consider country music a carnal sin, but I know other's who follow all the country stars, all the time, and go to every concert.

Me, I'm somewhere in the middle.

Breaking all the rules.  ;)

Imagine with me, if you will, a beautiful countryside fence.

On one side: pro-country music. On the other: anti-country music.

I'm sitting on the fence. I like country music, but  I don't like country music all the time, nor do I like every country musician. The country lovers call out to me, "Join us!" The country haters scream and shout, "Don't you dare!" What will I decide? Who will I join?

I sway back and forth on the fence like I'm riding a teeter-totter.

But isn't my decision already made?

I like country music. No, not all of them, and goodness, not all the time. But I am standing securely in cowboy boats and swaying to guitar twangs.

On their side of the fence.

Can you really be on the fence about anything? Obviously, everybody has things that they only tolerate some of the time. I despise olives, but I can tolerate them in a cream cheese roll-up. That's different. The big important things in life, like God, good, evil, money, and country music, there is no middle ground. You can't be on the fence.

The Bible tells us plan and simple that there is no "on the fence."

"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." Matthew 6:24

In Matthew 12, starting in verse 22, you see Jesus do something incredible. He heals yet another man. This man was blind and mute, and now he's walking around saying things like, "Colors seem so bright!" This was a happy occasion for all to see.

Or at least it should have been.

When the Pharisees heard, their pointy noses shot straight up, and they started muttering, "Jesus is doing these things through the power of the devil."

Jesus being Jesus, knew that they were whining about him. So he called them on the carpet. He gave a big speech, indicating just how stupid their accusation was. A kingdom divided against itself can't stand, so why would Satan be casting out Satan? It just doesn't work! Then he says the most important part in verse 30.

"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."

My friends, you can't sit on the fence. By sitting on the fence, you've made a decision, and it isn't God. It's the world, and the world works against Jesus. In the story at the beginning, my character Jana realized where she was. By not choosing God, she was choosing the darkness.

If any of you have been struggling with this question in you life, I encourage you to hop off the fence and into God's arms. If you have any questions, or you need someone to talk with about this  decision, you are more then welcome to contact me! God bless you guys!

"And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Have a good week, guys. I will see you on March 1st!!  :)

V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hello, My Official Title Is...

Hey guys! I hope you all have been doing well!

So I want to talk about something important today.

Do you have an official title? I know this seems weird, but go with it.

Mr.? Mrs.? Miss.? Dr. maybe?

I've been called a lot of things in my life. Wife. Writer. Friend. Student. Youth leader. Jesus Freak. Leader. Christian. Assistant. Cheerful. Professional Coffee Guzzler.

I've been called a lot of strange things. Crazy scarf lady. Drill Sargent. Crazy youth leader. Coffee/Caffeine addict. Purple freak.

I've been called a lot of bad things in my life. Mean names. Average. Fat. Thunder Thighs. Grumpy. Sometimes people still dare to call me "cute." Ha!  ;)

But do all those things define me?

Are they me?

Well, I'm crazy for sure.


I adore scarves.


I would rather not talk about the number of donuts I have consumed of late. Don't judge. Dunkin Donuts brought back the brownie batter donuts for Valentines Day.

But what makes me, me?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Do you sit there wondering what makes you so special?

Perhaps it's your love of dark chocolate.

Perhaps is your fear of the number thirteen.

Perhaps it's your love of all things vintage and antique.

Or maybe, just maybe, it's your pure, unwavering hatred of mushrooms.

None of the things people say about me, or any of my strange and many quirk's define me. And as much as I wish my title was something like, "McAwesomeness Galactic Renowned Writer, Wife, and Scholar," it's not. My official title is...

Daughter of the King.

So, with that in mind, I want to share a short story with you guys. God holds the day and time of the publication of my novels in His capable hands. However, I think it's time you guys see that I can really write.

So with much ado...

Meet Anna.

A young girl stood before the mirror. Piles of clothes covered her bedroom floor, bed, and desk.

It was her first day of eighth grade, and she was terrified.

Anna bit her lip, and kicked a sweater on the floor before falling onto her bed. She had literally tried on every single piece of clothing she owned at least seven times in every possible combination imaginable. Nothing worked. Nothing looked good. Nothing brought out her "womanly qualities." Nothing seemed as mature as the things the other girls in her class wore over the summer.

Because she was gross, ugly, and the freckles above her lip looked ridiculous.

"I hate you," she spoke to the girl in the mirror. She would give anything not to be labeled the "God Girl" again this year. Anna knew that sounded awful, and that wasn't how she meant it. She wanted to be cool, popular, and pretty. She wanted people to call her that.

Rolling away from the judgmental mirror, she spied her Bible sitting on the nightstand. She hadn't done her Bible reading yet today. "Great," she said as she reached for her Bible and flipped it open. "I'm living up to my reputation."

She had been reading in Psalms because her youth pastor told the youth group that Psalms had a lot of short chapters. Chapter 139, verse 13 through 16 caught her attention.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."

"But I'm ugly and gross," she whisper-prayed to her Lord.

"You are mine." The Lord whispered back to her heart. "What else matters?"

She wanted to believe, but with everything the world said about beauty, her Heavenly Father's words didn't comfort her like normal. She wanted to fit in with the other girls. She wanted the boys to think she was beautiful. She wanted so much more.

"Everything," she whispered.

Anna didn't find closure in this story. Instead of listening to God's voice, she listened to the voice in her head who told her she wasn't good enough. I don't know a woman, young or old, who didn't experience a moment like that. A moment filled with self-loathing. A moment filled with doubt and hurt because of the things other people had spoken over you. A moment where you regretted the good qualities in your life because someone twisted it in such a way to make you feel awful.

Those things are heinous lies, and what do we do with heinous lies?

We put them in the trash were they belong.

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creations, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

If none of that can separate you from God, why would your love of strawberry ice cream and your plus size hips separate you from God?

Why do we let all those things, truth or lie, control us?  Why do we let them drive a wedge between us and Jesus?

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." 1 John 4:16

If you will hold onto the truth found in this verse, then you will realize the only thing you can call yourself is daughter/son/child of the King.

Out of all the things people say, that is the only thing that matters.

I hope you guys have a good week! Bless you, and I will see you on the 20th!  :)

V. Joy Palmer

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Random Discoveries

I am kind of a random person. That's why I like Gilmore Girls so much. Lorelei Gilmore's powers of quick-witted, random yammering is something I envy with every fiber of my being.

I have made it my mission to be random. Maybe I should start with a catchphrase...

One of my favorite Gilmore Girl catchphrases. Onwards to the next random thing!

In my continuous effort to be random, I've got a great list of randomness for you. Yes, more lists. :)

My husband happened upon this article post thing on Facebook titled: Ridiculous But True Facts That Will Make People Think You're A Liar.

How can that not be a good idea? So I thought I'd share some of them with you.

Here I go with the numbering things again...

1. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

2. On her last birthday, Betty White was older then sliced bread.

3. If you were able to dig a hole to the center of the earth, and drop something down it, it would take 42 minutes for the object to get there.

4. On both Saturn and Jupiter, it rains diamonds.

5.  Harvard University was founded before Calculus existed.

 6. It's never said that Humpty Dumpty was an egg in the nursery rhyme.

7. The water in Lake Superior could cover the entire United States in a foot of water.

8. It only took 66 years after the first airplane flight to the first time we landed on the moon.

9. Hippo's produce pink milk.

10. The national animal of Scotland is a Unicorn.

Ha! Pink milk and unicorns...we live in a strange, weird world. Hope you enjoyed that.

I recently read a cute, sweet romantic comedy.

This is such a good read for anyone who wants to be a writer! While being a sweet romance with a modern twist on the age-old accidental marriage plot, this book is set with two writers! The whole time I read this, it pulled on my writer heart-strings. I felt like I was at the ACFW conference again, and reliving all my appointments and events! If you want to know what a writer's life is like - minus the accidental marriage - this is the book to read!

Hopefully it does not scare you.  ;)

I can't wait to dive into the next two books in the series!

Let's talk God stuff. I found this and shared it on my other blog, Snack Time Devotions. It just seemed too cool not to share with you guys, too.

"David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him." 1 Samuel 22:1

I can't tell you how many times I've read this verse, and totally glossed over it. It's one of those verses that seem inconsequential, and just explains who went where and when.

But I've learned nothing in inconsequential in the Bible. Even if it is a who when went where and when verse. So I acknowledged this verse, and what do you know, God showed me something new, a random discover within His Word. I've never really thought about it, but David really didn't have the best relationship with his family.

In 1 Samuel 16, David’s father, Jesse, didn’t give David the time of day. He didn’t tell him that Samuel was there to anoint one of them as future king.  None of them even considered that that David could be the one God had picked to be king.
In 1 Samuel 17, Jesse sent David to see how his other sons were faring in the war. When David got there and defended God, his brother Eliab was angry at him, an accused him of just sneaking down to see the battle.
In 1 Samuel 18-22, he marries Saul’s daughter, Michal, moves into/near the palace, and starts a life serving the king with his new family away from his old family. That is, until he has to run for his life without his new family.
We have no reason to believe that David’s family would support him during this time of his life when he was claiming Samuel had anointed him to be the future king, but Saul is trying to kill him for treason. They overcame their differences. They stuck together. They supported him and God’s call on his life.
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8
David’s family eventually came to this conclusion. They realized that God had ordained and picked David, and that they needed to support him. Can you imagine how happy he was when they showed up to support him?

I never found it weird that David’s family came and found him. I mean, if I was in David’s situation, I know my family would be standing there behind me like a movie poster of unlikely heroes. My parents are divorced, and when we moved with my mom to her home state, my grandparents, aunts, and uncles welcomed us into their homes in our time of need. Point is, if you’ve got family who is really, truly following God, then support them. Love them. Provide for them and help them. It’s important. Even if they've screwed up, don't turn your back on them. We all need our family to be there for us in the hard times.

I LOVE this song!

 God bless you guys! I will see you on February 10th! :)
V. Joy Palmer