Dreams and Visions and Waiting
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” Acts 2:17
This familiar verse was basically repeated in the early days of the first church from the prophet Joel in the Old Testament, Joel 2:28 specifically. Sons and daughters will prophesy, young men see vision, and old men dream dreams.
In my latest novel released September 3rd there’s a wonderful heroine named Autumn Hope Harrell. Readers have known her since birth if they’ve read all the novels in the Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga series, prior to Autumn’s book seven, TEXAS TIMBERS!
My character had her first prophetic dream when distraught over her older sister Charity leaving Texas to chase after her knight in shining armor who’s in California. God gave the nine-year-old a comforting dream about her sister that made everything all right. (Book four, LEAVING TEXAS)
Besides just assuring her that Charity would return, God showed little Autumn things . . . like the husband her sister came back with would have a scar, that he and Charity would deal in timber and build a hotel in Dallas—The Lowell House which is in several of my stories: QUINCY & PRISCILLA at the Lowell House, DUPLICITY at the Lowell House.
What about you? Has God showed you things in dreams or visions? Back in 1975, He called my husband to the ministry, and Ron surrendered to that calling, but it’s been forty-six years, and he’s never been as pastor as I first expected from that Sunday morning event.
However, over the years, He has shown us many things regarding this ministry He’s called us to. Line upon line and precept upon precept, Father has shown Ron and me things we’ll do, how to do them, His order, and that our ministry is for the end times.
So many times through the years, as one piled on another, I’ve tried to help God thinking this is the way or it’ll start here now. I’m like a horse rearing to run, but Ron keeps reining me back in, causing me to wait longer, to wait for God’s perfect time.
He explained it to me that we are in a relay race, the last runner, and the baton hasn’t been passed off yet. We must save our energy for that final sprint to the finish! The waiting has become more bearable as I trust God more and more. It isn’t an issue now at all.
The Father even gave me a song one morning, sitting in the congregation of my brother-in-law’s church. The pastor said something about waiting as then as fast as I could write down the lyrics, He gave me the tune and the words to a beautiful song.
“You’ve given me a vision of amazing things to come.
You’ve called me into service to advance Your kingdom.
All I want to do is sing Your praise,
To glorify You all my days.
Father, draw me ever closer while I wait.
While I wait, make me a blessing to everyone I know.
While I wait, keep hope alive, Lord; I long to pleas You so.
While I wait, I’ll trust You deeper, knowing You are on the throne.
I will wait.
I will wait on You alone.”
I’d love it if you could hear the song. The music is lilting and just beautiful. I need to get it recorded and uploaded to my YouTube channel where you can hear some of my other ‘new songs’ He’s given me.
As the days and months and years rush by, hurling us to those days which the world has never known or will know again (Matthew 24:21), we wait. Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
I believe God’s Word. I trust God; He is so completely trustworthy! Are you waiting, too? Be encouraged! Though it hasn’t come to fruition in the time you thought it would or should, wait for it! It will surely come! Isn’t that a Word straight from the Father?
I am confident those for whom this post was written will see it! I am confident everyone who reads TEXAS TIMBERS will love the characters and enjoy the story! God is so good, and He blesses me so much with the most amazing stories!
I’d like to offer a gift to you readers! From Wednesday, September 29 through Sunday, October 3rd, my story QUINCY & PRISCILLA at the Lowell House will be FREE for you! I hope you’ll enjoy the fun story as I introduce the hotel where so many of my stories start or happen! The year is 1866, and you’re in for a treat!
Linda Brooks Davis
Ever tried to remember a word, closed your eyes, shook your head, and said, “What’s that word? Oh. Don’t tell me. Uh …” I fumble around and insist it’s just on the tip of my tongue. And finally, “Forget it. I’ll come back to it.” (Regrettably, it happens more and more often as the years whiz by.)
Back when I was a schoolgirl learning to type, a bottle of Wite Out sat beside my Smith-Corona, and I replaced it often. Couldn’t seem to type a full page without a typo. Oh! Those pesky words. (Today the editor’s Wite Out is Track Changes in Word).
Many times, I’ve spoken words that embarrassed and shamed me. Foolish words. Untrue words. Misused words. Worst of all, I’ve shouted angry words. Hurtful. Wounding. Shameful words I regret. If only I could “wite” them out.
Speaking of word recall …
The funniest such incident I’ve witnessed was shortly after my husband Al suffered a mild stroke and would mix up words for a brief time. One instance was hilarious and is a favorite family anecdote:
Al, to our grandson Davis: “You see, in the Old Testament there were two groups of people—the Jews, God’s chosen people, and the Genitals.”
I thought I’d split a side! Even still, I can’t help myself. Each time I tell this, the family relives the hilarity. And Al just grins. (He gave me permission to tell this, by the way.) If you missed his mistake in the quotation above, look again.
As a writer, I roam around fields of words, searching for just the right one at the right time. Often, they’re as elusive as falling leaves.
But I keep trying. Which is why the words below, most of which I’ve never heard, are fascinating. Try your hand at identifying them. Choose from the list of descriptors that follow the first list. (Answers are at the end of this blog. But don’t peek. I knew 3 and guessed 3 correctly. Grade: F):
Can You Match These Weird Words to Their Meaning?
- glabella i. the plastic or metallic coating at the end of shoelaces
- petrichor ii. the sheen of light you see when you close your eyes
and press your hands on them
- wamble iii. illegible handwriting
- vagitus iv. little toe or finger
- tines v. the smell after it rains
- phosphenes vi. the metal gadget used to measure your feet at the store
- box tent vii. the day after tomorrow
- over morrow vii. the prongs of a fork
- minimus ix. the wire cage that holds the cork on a bottle of champagne
- agraffe x. the space between your eyebrows
- aglet xi. the opening in a shirt where the sleeves are sewn in
- vocables xii. the sick feeling after eating or drinking too much
- interrobang xiii. the dot over an “i” or “j”
- columella nasi xiv. the “na na na” and “la la la” which don’t have meaning in a
- armscye xv. finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning
- dysania xvi. when your stomach rumbles
- griffonage xvii. the combination of question mark and exclamation point (?!)
- tittle xviii. the cry of a newborn baby
- crapulence xix. the little plastic gadget in the middle of a pizza box
- Bannock device xx. the space between your nostrils
Vocabulary like this can trip us up. Confuse us. Lead us astray. Even discourage us.
God, on the other hand …
One of my favorite Bible verses is in Proverbs, the book of wisdom.
“Every word of God is flawless …”
Proverbs 30:5 NIV
Wow. Every. Single. Word. Without flaw. Perfect. That’s beyond imagining, isn’t it? It’s impossible to grasp. Mind bending, especially considering my wicked thoughts and poor choices of words. Thank God He’s flawless. Not an iota of imperfection. My perfect plumb line. I’d be lost without the eternal Point of Reference.
Perfect Words for Life
The words I type onto a page are flawed. That’s where the editor comes in. So are the words I speak. Matter of fact, my whole life is one big typo. How about you? Thankfully, Jesus Christ wites out every imperfection. He took care of Track Changes long ago.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 NIV
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 NIV
So long for another week, friends. Let’s revel in the joy of flawlessness through Jesus Christ.
~ ~ ~
Dear Lord, thank you for providing the perfect plumb line, Jesus Christ. We’re forever grateful for your grace that covers every flaw. Way better than Wite Out. And for your perfect Word that equips us for every good work.
~ For Jesus’ sake
P.S. And the answer is
Here are the correct answers. Pat yourself on the back if you got even one of these. (Who in the world uses them, anyway? And to think God knows every word devised by man)
x. the space between
ii. Sheen of light when you press your hands on your closed eyes
xv. Difficulty getting out of bed in morning
v. the smell after rain
|7. box tent
xx. Little plastic gadget in middle of pizza box
xiv. Lyrics “na na na” and “la la la” with no meaning
iii. illegible handwriting
xvi. stomach rumbles
vii. day after tomorrow
xiii. (?!) question mark with exclamation point
xviii. the dot over an “i” or a “j”
xix. newborn’s cry
iv. little toe or finger
|14. columella nasi
xvii. space between
xix. sick feeling after eating or drinking too much
viii. prongs of fork
ix. wire cage on champagne bottle’s cork
xi. Armhole where sleeves are sewn
|20. Bannock device
xx. metal gadget used to measure feet at store
Linda Shenton Matchett
How Does a Writer Do It?
My September release, Daria’s Duke, is my twenty-sixth book. Because of the process I’ve developed to help me write my stories, I finished the manuscript in about six weeks. But I wasn’t always that proficient. My first manuscript (which will never see the light of day, thank you very much!) took nearly five years and lots of drafts and revisions.
Writing, like any skill, takes training and practice. There are exceptions, but most authors must learn how to craft a story, create characters, and keep readers turning pages before their book is ready for publication. And more often than not, that learning takes time. Lots of time. Fortunately, there are how-to books, magazines, websites, podcasts, and conferences aimed at helping writers succeed.
Unsurprisingly, I received numerous rejections for my first manuscript, but one in particular stands out because the editor took time to critique my submission and make suggestions about how to improve. She also encouraged me to go to conferences, join a critique group, and learn about the elements of a good story.
As is typical for my personality, I jumped in with both feet and then some. I subscribed to three writing magazines, signed up for two conferences, purchased copious books, and watched several podcasts. It was a bit like drinking from a fire hydrant. There are dozens of “methods” on how to write a book, and I tried them all. And failed.
Then Dennis Lehane (of all people) saved me.
I attended at a mystery writing conference because it was held within driving distance to my house, was affordable, and occurred during a month I could take time off from work to go. Dennis was the keynote speaker, and he made lots of great points, but the best advice he gave was: There is no one correct way to write a novel. Find the one that works for you.
The relief I felt was overwhelming.
As soon as I got home from conference, I sat down and analyzed every technique I’d learned (remember how I jump in with both feet?). I noted what worked and didn’t work for me in each method. Compiling the information, I was able to create a process that fit me. It’s a mish-mash, and most writers would probably shake their heads if they saw it, but I’ve found my “one way.”
As a hat-tip to that conference, I’m giving away a signed paperback edition of Under Fire (Book 1 of the WWII Ruth Brown Mystery series) to one winner. If the winner is outside the US, an ebook edition will be substituted.
How Aunt Liz Inspired Me by Rebecca Tews
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been writing. It’s always been a part of who I am. Whenever I could get the chance, I would sit down and write a story and just let my imagination flow onto the pages. However, I didn’t become serious about it until I was fourteen or fifteen. I had started writing yet another book, but this one I was determined to publish. Looking back on it now, that book needed some serious rewriting and editing. But Aunt Liz was so excited and supportive of me. She took me under her wing and was even willing to read the book and give me some feedback on it. While I did never publish it, I still use her notes to this day. The feedback she gave me helped me to grow and mature as a writer.
Aunt Liz continues to support me in any way that she can. She’s taken me to ACFW writers conferences, allowed me to intern with her, and still reads my work and edits it. She has introduced me to people in the writing world, helped me set up my own blog, and gave me tips on how to work social media. She has been more than willing to show me the ropes and I don’t think she knows how much I appreciate her. And how much I look up to her. While there are times when writer’s block gets the best of me, or I haven’t gotten the chance to sit down and write for weeks, or just get discouraged about my writing, her support and inspiration alone helps me to keep pressing on. Writing is my passion, and she has helped to nurture that passion in so many ways. I definitely would not be the writer, or even person, I am today if it wasn’t for her.
Marguerite Martin Gray
Labor of Love
I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of Labor of Love, Book One in Gardens in Time. Although the release date is in February 2022, the eBook is available for preorder from Celebrate Lit!
This series is close to my heart. Although it is completely fictional with historical gardens and palaces, the images I have spring from my travels as a preteen with my family. I roamed the gardens with my sisters, playing games of chase and hide and seek while the statues and fountains posed in the background. As my characters walk the paths in the gardens, I’m walking with them up and down the hills, wondering what is beyond the next corner.
Labor of Love takes place on the grounds of Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy. I chose 1561 as the date for the novel since that is when the architect Vasari designed the grottos and gardens known as the Boboli Gardens. They are much as they were then—absolutely gorgeous resembling those of a fairy tale. I’ve seen them twice as an adult, seeing them as my characters experience them—new and full of potential.
I hope you will consider taking this first journey with Ana and Marco through the fascinating gardens of the Medici Family.
The back cover reads:
Something sinister lurks in Pitti Palace.
Despite having spent eight years as companion to her cousins, Ana Geovani still questions her role and place in the Medici household. This uncertainty compounds and alarms as her cousin’s marriage approaches and a marriage is arranged for Ana.
With no say in her own future, fear and despair dulls even the splendor of the gardens she holds so dear.
As the newest under gardener at the palace, Marco Rossi should have everything he’s dreamed of–beautiful gardens to tend and master architects and gardeners to learn from. Yet a secret mission threatens his peace of mind, his position, and even the love of Ana. Although God is always with him, reminding him of a bigger plan, Marco feels the weight of the consequences he will face if he challenges a Medici member.
The desires of men and women, both royal and common, create costly dilemmas and potential disasters of hearts and souls. What will it take for Marco and Ana to prevail against everything driving them apart?
Until my new release in February, perhaps you might pick up a copy of one of the Revolutionary Faith Series. I’m giving away Book Five, Wait for Me, this month. Happy reading.
The Blind Syrians Captured Part 2
Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. (2 Kings 6:14-18)
Come back again with me to the city of Dothan, this time from the perspective of the Syrian army.
You remember, they were the ones whose location and strategy were being disclosed directly to Elisha the Israelite prophet. Yeah, that would have been a tense week with everyone going in for lie-detector tests.
It comes out that no one is a snitch, except for Elisha’s God. New plan: lets take care of Elisha so we can fight a proper war with Israel. Normally their strategy would have worked—surround the city and demand Elisha’s surrender. What they hadn’t planned on was The Snitch.
Imagine with me. The Syrians have done the research and positioned themselves in such a way that there is no way they can lose. They did everything right. Suddenly they are struck with blindness ‘according to the word of Elisha’. Elisha then leads them to the city of Samaria, about twelve miles away. The commentary in the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible says the blindness quite possibly a mental blindness or confusion.
After all, the Syrians had already plotted the course to Dothan, they were already there. Elisha leads them on a 2–4-hour hike to the middle of the capitol city. What was going through the Syrians’ heads? They allowed themselves to be redirected and rerouted. (Don’t forget these guys are each under a lot of pressure to determine they aren’t feeding information to Elisha.) I can’t imagine they would have followed the prophet willingly. When they are released from the blindness (physical or mental) they look around and suddenly they are the ones surrounded and held for hostage.
Even more amazing the ones who were their enemies had extended grace and favor. The Syrians were fed a banquet and sent on their way with no retaliation.
Have you ever had everything planned out to a ‘t’ only to wake up and the tables have turned?
Have you ever had the opportunity to turn the tables around and bless the one who opposes you?
Let me tell you it changed the Syrians’ lives!!! So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.
Jesus said pray for those who persecute you and bless those who curse you. That’s what He did.
Your kindness and grace can change a life!
Who can you bless today?
**All scripture comes from the NKJV Bible