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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 1/13/20 – Writing Divorced Characters

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m addressing writing characters who are divorced – in response to a slew of negative reviews and/or comments about it.

You can read more about the book discussed at this link.

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Not Forsaken

scrollIn Christ’s time, there were no Bibles. The Word of God was on scrolls, but the scrolls were precious and rare. People received the word of God, spoken by someone reading the scrolls, and they spent their adolescence memorizing the Scriptures.

There also were not chapters and verses within the Scriptures. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, added the chapters and verses to the Bible in the early 13th century – nearly 1300 years after Christ’s death and resurrection.

If I said, “John 3:16,” most of you would know exactly to what I was referring. I wouldn’t have to say, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” I simply have to quote chapter and verse and you know it.

In Christ’s time, due to the memorization of the scriptures and the absence of numeric designation of chapter and verses, when someone was referring to a passage, they simply said the first sentence of said passage. That referred to the whole thing.

christ_on_crossWhen Christ was on the cross, he said these words, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).

I don’t believe that Christ was saying that God forsook Him while He hung on that cross. I don’t believe that God turned His back on Christ at that moment. *I* believe that Jesus was referring to Psalm 22 and the prophesy made by David so many generations before. The first line of Psalm 22 is, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” And in the tradition of that time, Christ would have been directing people to that prediction found within that Psalm:

I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.

For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.

In fact, I believe that Psalm 22 specifically says that God did NOT turn his face from Christ:

…Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

So there are many interpretations that say that God cannot look at sin; therefore, He turned away from Christ in the darkest hour of His need. However, I believe that such interpretations are eisegetical, which means “not related to the text,” or, man’s biased interpretation based on Habakkuk 1:13:

You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,
And cannot look on wickedness.
Why do You look on those who deal treacherously,
And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours
A person more righteous than he?

Resurrected Jesus ChristBefore translation, that verse in the original text does not mean that God cannot look upon wickedness, it means He cannot look upon it with approval.

I believe that this is an exegetical interpretation, which is to mean derived directly from the text: All throughout Christ’s ministry, the prophecies of His life and ministries were fulfilled. From the cross, He used precious energy and breath to utter a single sentence to direct those who would hear and tell the story of the prophecy of Messiah’s death — and remind them of the triumph. He was reminding those there that He would triumph over death as He told His disciples He would when he said in Mark 9:31:

“The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”

Psalm 22 ends with God’s triumph.

Why does it matter? Because I think that it’s wrong to think that God cannot look upon sin. God is omniscient and omnipresent. He sees everything and knows everything. We might grieve Him, but His back is never turned.

He never turned His back on His Son, and He’ll never turn His back on you.

I hope you have a blessed day celebrating Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

halleeLOGOspinefinal

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Devotion: Let the Butterflies Remind You

Despite the fact that today will have a high of ninety degrees, autumn is starting to bloom around me in Kentucky. This morning, on my walk/run with the dogs, I passed this field of Coreopsis. It’s been in full bloom for about a week now. This morning, though, the butterflies were all over it.

I’m in the process of getting ready to travel to the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. I’ll come back and be home for two full days before flying out to the Novelists, Inc., conference. Then, I’ll join my husband Gregg and the boys and head to a conference for Gregg’s occupation. I’ll be home without another trip scheduled for four whole weeks on October 7th.

For me to leave like this, there’s a lot that has to be accomplished:

  • Our publishing company has to be in a paperwork/accounting place that I can leave it for three weeks.
  • I have to get birthday cards written and ready to mail for my birthday club. That means about 30 cards for the next three weeks.
  • I have laundry and housework that needs to be completed. I realize I can leave it undone and my husband and boys will happily take care of it. But, for me to leave in peace and not stress about it, it has to be done. My husband has a full-time demanding job. My absence is already going to add a stressor to their lives. I know an ordered, prepared environment will chill that stress.
  • I need to get bread baked for the week so the boys all have bread.

I have a to-do list a mile long, but those bullet points hit the high marks and the headers. So, my brain is a little frantic. The only thing making me not run around in circles accomplishing nothing at all is knowing I’ll be home for two full days before leaving again, which means I know I have plenty of time to handle the things I didn’t get to finish before I leave Thursday.

As I was walking this morning, three butterflies flying off together like friends made me stop and just enjoy them. I didn’t care that my workout ap blared out the words, “workout paused.” I just looked at the butterflies flying above a field of yellow Kentucky wildflowers and let some calm and peace intrude into my thoughts of lists and responsibilities.

It made me think of Matthew 6:25-34. Christ is telling us not to worry. In verses 26-27, He said:

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

I realize butterflies aren’t birds, but the image brought the verse to mind, and the verse reminded me that God’s got this.

I can pack, I can clean, I can prep an organized home into military precision organization, and I can do it all without absolutely losing my mind with worry over what I won’t be able to accomplish because God’s got this, He has me, and He tells us NOT TO WORRY.

Letting go of the worry and stress gives me more room to look forward to seeing my friends at ACFW in Nashville this week!

Let my butterflies speak to you. Relax. Don’t worry. God’s got you.

halleeLOGOspinefinal

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Today’s Word of Promise

matthewEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today, I had a shorter walk and listened to Matthew 16 through Matthew 24.

It’s so hard to take Christ’s words and pick just one section out of 8 chapters. But here is today’s passage:

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22

In my upcoming release, A Carol for Kent, I’m dealing with forgiveness within the story. And, it’s not necessarily easy. As I’m writing about a fictional character who has to forgive someone that the reader wouldn’t even think deserves forgiveness, I find that I’m examining my heart and my relationships and seeking out those people who *I* need to forgive.

Jesus doesn’t suggest that forgiving is suggested for our spiritual health. He commanded that we must forgive those who sin against us.

Forgiving doesn’t mean condoning, and it doesn’t mean opening yourself up to be hurt again. But it means releasing the anger, hate, distrust, bad feelings – letting the poison out of your heart and holding no ill will toward another person. I challenge you to examine your heart and see what you find.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.
halleeLOGOspinefinal


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Today’s Word of Promise

matthewEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today, I listened to Matthew 9 through Matthew 1.

Like the beginning of Matthew, this section is so full of Christ and so many profound words. But, one part did stand out to me:

Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”

But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew 16:1-17

Once you mix leaven (like yeast) into dough, over time it works the dough, growing it, adding gas bubbles to it, fluffing it up. Jesus was warning his disciples about the false doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees and how it can infiltrate even the purest faith and fill it up with air and gas.

The Bible often uses unleavened bread- that is a bread without any leavening – as a symbol of purity.

So, guard yourself against false teachings and false doctrines. Examine your faith and make sure you’re not adding leaven to something that should be pure.

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.
halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Leave a Comment
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