Happy Birthday to our beautiful daughter!
You know her as my guest blogger, "Mags" but to us she is our precious Mary.
As a birthday gift, "Monday With Mags" has blossomed to "A Mag's Moment" and I have started her own site and blog. It will still be monitored by her editor/parents yet it will be available for her to reach her peers directly. I hope she will still visit here and do a "Monday with Mags" too.
Short and sweet blog today so we can enjoy time together and celebrate. In addition to the blog she has been reading the book she got "The Freedom Writers". A great day and she gets to have a birthday dinner with a published author, Karen Beaudin. An awesome day if I don't say so myself.
To Visit "A Mag's Moment" for her debut blog click on the photo below the video or copy and paste the below link.
Thank you for supporting this aspiring author.
Our adventures today remind me of how flexible and ready for life's unexpected twists and turns we must be.
Thankfully we have hope and a Holy strength to help us through these unexpected circumstances or bumps.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:22- 26
Do you remember
Anytime I think of this flexible and always bending figure I am inspired and think of Barnabas, "Son of Encouragement" from the Bible.
"Whenever Christ's sufferings are multiplied in us,
so also is His comfort. The greater the suffering,
the greater the comfort from Christ,
and the greater the ability to share suffering
and consolation with others in the church."
Martin G. Collins, Forerunner 1999
Read more about Barnabas: http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTB/k/158/Barnabas-Son-of-Encouragement-Consolation.htm#ixzz22955h8Ao
Barnabas was "a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith". He is our modern day "Gumby".
"He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord."
At moments in our life we will venture into the operating room of life expecting a quick and routine outpatient procedure BUT God has other plans.
Instead of being delivered to recovery and then en route home in three hours, you are still on the operating table with their heart and vulnerability exposed for those around you to see.
While at the time this might be painful and difficult to bear, it is possible and sometimes necessary. We might not see the value but God does, we need to trust His way is true and His plan perfect.
Later the same day, the next morning, or many years in the future we will feel the peace, healing, and growth experienced because of this temporary trouble. After the fact we will be stronger, more dedicated, and more focused on the One responsible for it all.
Only in God's strength, grace, mercy, and compassion will we endure these trials of life. I'm grateful I have Him as my rock to uphold me when I feel like crumbling.
Today did not go as planned. We expected a quick and routine procedure at the hospital but instead our loved one required more. It might hurt today yet I anticipate by morning, the freedom and healing will begin.
I might not like to see those I love in pain yet know God only works for good so I trust Him to heal in His time. I pray it is quick and sufficient.
Have you ever experienced an outpatient experience in life that turned into extensive surgery?
Would you share one with us? It might be a change in career, address, or something completely different. It might be an actual surgery.
What is the silver lining to your story?
Will you encourage another today by sharing your heart and hope?
September to June is spent within the classroom at the local elementary school with summers designated for family fun.
Then a couple years ago my writing transitioned from hobby to a second career.
I have learned so much since my first writers' conference in 2010. There is so much to learn and so many options available to authors today. Even more than the variety of kayaks I had to choose from this weekend.
All a writer needs to learn changes nearly as quick as the wings of a hummingbird. Even when paused to take nourishment, their wings are still moving to keep them afloat.
There were ten hummingbirds between the three feeders at the same time on multiple occasions this weekend. Their song and dancing made me smile.
As writers, we need to be just as busy and determined to reach out goal. WE might need to have the speed of a hummingbird's wings to keep up with the ever changing world of publishing BUT in His strength, if it is His will, we will accomplish our goals.
Each bird at the feeder left with food in their stomachs. Some had to wait for someone else to finish but not a one flew away hungry. Each satisfied. When the need nourishment again, they will return.
Just as writers when we need help, guidance, and to move to the next step in this process - we return to the hub of other writers for their encouragement, support, and assistance.
Another important aspect of the writer's life is time to rest, reflect, relax, and listen. This weekend provided hours of just this.
Waves crashing on the shore, bird's song, and squirrel chatter serenaded us morning to night.
A cardinal couple feeding at the feeder remind me to keep in touch with those important to us, especially our spouses. It is easy to get wrapped within one self or your current writing piece. It isn't intentional or meant to cause hard feelings yet the joy of creating words, paragraphs, chapters, and a book are energizing. I'm thankful for this cardinal couple's reminder.
"Wake up and smell the roses!" Each morning the aroma greeted me as I let the dog out. This was supposed to be a weekend retreat to write (which I have done), an opportunity to reconnect and listen to God (which I have done also), and time chillax. All have been accomplished with the added benefit of time with my family on and off through the day with a glorious sunset this evening to bring the weekend to a close.
But there are still daylight and wee hours of the night available to w
I took advantage of this opportunity
so I could get some work done!
So back to work I go.
The past few weeks have been exciting to say the least. I am not sure if the "Big Announcement" in the news last week heightened my anxiousness or if my visions of the summer are not working out to be reality BUT I do know this, the life of an author seeking publication are as much a roller coaster ride as that of being the sister to one of America's missing.
Both are making me stronger as God leads, strengthens, and meets my needs (not wants).
This summer my goal was and is to take advantage of this solid chunk of time to write, revise, rewrite, and get this book into publication before returning to school in September. Of course this was the initial goal, or would "dream" be a more appropriate word?
If you are an agent, editor, publisher, or published author you are probably laughing at my unrealistic goals. Why is this funny? Why did I have unrealistic goals? The answer is simple, the duration from first draft to publication is long, hard, grueling, and slow.
Please don't think I am being totally unrealistic, I didn't think a book would be released over the summer. BUT with my first born mentality combined with Allen determination, I believed it would be moving forward towards publication.
The first draft was written in 2006. It is 2012, six years is enough. Even if the book remained on a thumb drive on and off the first four years, it is time. My story, Heidi's story, needs to be told so others will be able to relate to the grieving sister with more insight and understanding.
There are other sisters out there who may have similar feelings that I experienced after I lost Heidi. They need to know they aren't alone and there is Someone who will never leave them.
Where are you in the process Lisa?
I have contacted all the publishers currently reviewing my manuscript for publication and even submitted my book proposal to literary agencies for representation. This past week I sent a polite followup email to inquire of their interest. Once the "send" button is hit, I wait for their responses.
One publisher responded with an apology as the editor in charge of reviewing my manuscript has since resigned. They didn't offer a new contact within the company but recommended an online manuscript website. While not an acceptance, it was a polite and helpful rejection.
One agent has yet to respond and the other is not interested in representing me at this time because she doesn't feel my book is ready for publication. Ouch! This hurt yet once I got over myself, it motivated me. Of course I knew this and thought this was something the agent would help me with. I'm thankful for her honest criticism and suggestions to improve both my craft and editing abilities. Thanks to this rejection, my manuscript is a newly organized book.
In addition to an agent rejection, I have received a publisher's rejection. Each "No" is an opportunity to grow as a writer and improve both my craft and ability to receive constructive criticism.
In addition to learning through rejection I have learned a few things about the publishing world through acceptances and the contract processes.
One publisher offered an E-book contract only so I opted to wait because not everyone has an e-reader. As exciting as this was, it is my heart's desire for anyone interested in my book to have access to it. An e-book only contract limits the readers, those without e-readers still grieve and search for something to fill the void left after the loss of a loved one. So we decided to wait.
Just in the past couple weeks I have received two (Yes 2!) contract offers to publish my book. I have opted not to accept either after much prayer, research, and author/editor feedback about both publishing houses. It is a difficult decision to make, especially when it would have allowed me to meet my goals for the summer.
As much as I like to cross things off the list and accomplish my goals, I want to honor God, my parents, and Heidi in the publication of this book. I celebrate the offers to publish my book. I thank God for the encouragement and feedback with each. I wanted to say "yes" but after much prayer still didn't have any peace so the answer had to be "no". For now, we wait again.
How long do you wait?
There are still a couple publishing houses and one agent considering my manuscript. So I wait. Ed, my parents, Mary, and I have spent a lot of time in discussion and prayer about the next step.
When it comes to finding Heidi, we have waited over eighteen years. Do we want to wait years for the publication of this book too? The answer is simple, no. BUT we do want to honor God through its publication so in prayer we wait, plan, and continue moving forward.
Do we want to touch the hearts and lives of those in need of knowing there is hope and healing after loss, even a tragic loss?
Do we continue to wait or pursue other avenues to have "Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey" published?
This question will be answered in August unless God opens a door before the announcement is made.
Time will tell. My hope and goal is to have an announcement the latter part of August. Keep your eyes and ears open. You never know what might be written in the sand for this book in the near future.
Thank you for your support and following my blog. A second contract in two weeks has been offered for the publication of my book. As we, (my parents, Ed, Mary, and I) continue to pray for the route God has for this book we would like to seek your input.
Below is one question - "When "Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey" is released, how do you plan to purchase it?"
Thank you in advance for taking a moment to answer this poll. You can view the results too. Feel free to share this with friends, family, and anyone you think might be interested in a story of hope, healing, and joy after the tragic abduction of one of America's missing.
Part II will share more about those we have heard from and decisions made thus far and maybe thoughts for the future of this book.
Last weekend my husband, daughter, and I joined family for a day at the beach. It was a beautiful day with enough breezes to keep you cool while warm enough that a dip in the lake was refreshing. Laughter and games filled our afternoon. The beauty of a party at the beach is the array of things to do.
Family members and friends visited in the picnic area to catch up on how their lives have changed since last seeing each other. The kids bopped from swimming to playing on the playground to playing with the assortment of sports equipment on and off all day. The smell of the lake, sound of children playing, and warmth of the sun made for a great day.
As I stood along the shore to watch the kids swim the new title of my book came to mind. I had an idea for a cover and could not wait to “play” myself. I walked back to the picnic area, grabbed my camera, and returned to the shore.
The pristine pallet of sand near the water’s edge seemed to be waiting for me to start writing in it and taking pictures. It was a blast. With a couple dozen photos, I decided I wanted one with a wave washing it away. Nearly thirty minutes of standing atop my writing with the camera ready, a wave accomplished my last task.
Here are a couple pictures from our day at the beach. The one selected for the cover though will be a surprise when the book is printed. I continue to write, revise, edit, and speak about my sister and how her kidnapping has affected my life as I wait. As I wait, I pray. As I pray, I listen. As I listen, I aim to be obedient. When I am obedient, I think God smiles.
What is God calling you to do today? How can you be obedient?
Hello everyone! Thank you again for taking time to follow and read this blog. Your prayers, heart, and encouragement are such a blessing to me, and my entire family.
Can you believe we are nearing the end of July already again? I cannot. Since school finished last month we have been busy at the Buske home. We are taking advantage of Ed’s days off, making sure to spend time with family. Mary and I have worked in the gardens, sat on the deck, shopped, slept in, and enjoyed our summer vacation. A blessing I do not take for granted.
In addition to summer fun and family time I have wore my “author and speaker” hats daily. I so love the time to write each day. I work on my manuscript until my brain (and sometimes heart) needs a break then to research for a retreat presentation in September with time to study and immerse myself in God’s Word.
Two years ago I would proclaim my distaste for editing and revision BUT today I have to tell you, I have learned to truly enjoy it thanks to help from one of my odd duck friends, V. Oh my goodness. All I needed was some guidance and direction.
Of course I have two great books I am trying to read to help me with this self-editing and my wonderful writers’ critique group, a fabulous writing partner, and family and friends always willing to lend a helping hand.
As we have learned in this journey from draft to seeking publication for my book, this is not an easy road to travel. One must be motivated and determined with a polished piece of writing. I continue to strive for a “polished” piece of writing but will not give up. I have waited eighteen years for Heidi so a few years for the publisher God has for this book will be a snap. Right?
Seriously, though, each time I sit to write I start with prayer. Prayers for God’s protection, for His words not mine, for the hearts of those who will one day read this book, for Heidi and all our missing persons, and the parents and siblings who have experienced the pain associated with kidnapping and abduction.
In my book I mention some of the families I have met and others I may not have met personally but have influenced my life in one way or another. This afternoon I had the blessing to speak with Heidi Seeman’s mother. Although we never met, the bond of having a loved one abducted from your life creates an instant bond. My initial contact was for permission to mention the Heidi Search Center in San Antonio, Texas in my book but as we ended our call, friendship and joy remained.
Yes, she has given me permission to share the center created after her daughter’s kidnapping in my book so others will know of this valuable resource yet this was not the highlight of our conversation. I believe the highlight was the friendship and understanding. She lost her daughter and I lost my sister yet the loss fused our hearts with hope for each other and all our missing children. God knows.
Heidi’s (Seeman) song is below so you can listen and learn her story.
Two books I my friend suggested & I shared earlier are:
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
Polishing the “PUGS” by Kathy Ide
Writing for fun or the classroom is totally different than for the publishing world and it is so worth it.
My Gram and great-grandmother were avid writers in their daily journals. Journals not buried in the back of a filing cabinet but instead have been donated to local town historical societies. Both women kept track of who visited, current events, and the not so important but fun things to know about their lives and town happenings.
Then there is writing in the classroom. The more I write for publication, receive critiques, and read books to improve my writing I am overwhelmed. There is so much to learn. If you are just venturing into the "writing for publication" world, do not give up! Keep studying, writing, and rewriting.
If God has placed a story on your heart then you need to be obedient and write it just make sure you do your homework and learn the ins and outs before submitting it. There are days I feel as if "All I learned in high school and college English need to be reevaluated."
Reevaluation, study, critiques, and writers' conferences and workshops will help to alleviate the stress while increasing your writer's muscles and knowledge.
Another aspect of writing for publication has nothing to do with writing! Yes, you read that correctly. I want to stress the importance of attending a writers' conference and join a writers' group. Both provide valuable information and guidance as you pursue your writing career. There is one more person you need to keep in touch with too, God.
Writing is not only about writing. Publishers and your readers want to know you are someone worth "knowing". It is recommended you "meet" your readers through social media, blogs, and speaking.
In the beginning this was a struggle. My friend Karen told me many times, "Lisa, you should write a blog." but I had no clue what a blog was then I went to a writers' conference and learned a blog is necessary if you are seeking publication. I came home from the conference, invoked the help of my teen daughter, and started this blog. To Karen, you were right and thanks for the push.
The next addition was to set up a Facebook page designated specifically for my writing. If you want to be "friends" on FB, send me, Lisa M. Buske, a message.
Another aspect is Twitter. I went kicking and screaming but I now "tweet" and I don't even have wings. If you are a Twitter fan, @LisaBuske is my handle. This is modern CB talk for the way you can find me on Twitter.
With all this "promote me" stuff it is easy to lose focus if you don't have friends, family, and a writers' group watching your back to make sure you don't get pulled into all the "promoting" and lose sight of your goal, to write for God and change lives.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
Of course I am not saying to have a Facebook, Twitter, or Blog is bad ~ I have all three. I only share this as an encouragement. If we are writing for Him, writing the story He inspired within us, and keep our eyes focused on God (not ourselves, man, or fame) then we all is good BUT it is vital to keep our priorities in check.
One of my favorite aspects of blogging, connecting on FB and having my email public are the comments, prayers, and encouragement I receive EVERY day from all of you.
With God as our PR, success is in our future. Success is defined differently for some. To me, success is touching hearts and sharing how God's love and faithfulness have changed who I am and made it possible to live with joy.
Thank you for reading, responding, praying, and taking time out of your schedule for this blog. May you know God's love is big enough for all of us.
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Do you remember days of play?
It is Biblical. The Lord shall renew our strength as we wait.
What are you waiting for today?
a job, an answer, the first day of school
How can God renew your strength?
What can you do to help yourself? Sometimes God provides the means for us to be stronger in the wait and others through "what" we do while we wait.
Are you doing your part?
Less than twenty-four hours since I received the message to let me know of a big announcement that related to an old Oswego County cold case. My first instinct, "Call Mom and Dad" then the waiting intensifies with each second.
The rational side of my brain tells me, "Lisa, if it was Heidi or they even thought there was a possiblity Sheriff Todd would have called your parents."
The emotional side who seems to buy into the world's lies and deception each time thought, "What if this is the one? What if when I go to bed tomorrow night I will know where Heidi's body has been the past eighteen years? Could this be the announcement we have waited for?"
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7
Thank goodness God loves us enough to comfort us when life seems to consume us. My husband, daughter, and I went to my parent's house last night to watch the eleven o'clock news. We wanted to be together when this big news release was revealed. We watched in disbelief. The rational side started to doubt the integrity and concern of the Sheriff and his team in spite of our prior experiences. Why did I let a two-minute news clip showing scenes of the first days and year after Heidi's disappearance toss the wonderful, honorable, and faithful character of Sheriff Todd? I pray he will forgive my loss of judgement last night.
I wish I could tell you I watched this sensationalized piece of journalism, disregarded it, and trusted what I knew to be true in the past but I didn't. Instead I returned home unable to process a thought or form a sentence. I cried so hard my stomach hurt and my eyes burned. I slept twenty minutes on and off all night with the television on the channel that reported this story so if I heard Heidi's name during the night or when the news started in the morning I would not miss anything. Every twenty minutes I awoke to check the news, my Facebook, and email in case someone contacted me with new information. A restless night of sleep would be an understatement.
This morning the alarm woke me and the first thing I see on the television is the horrific scene in Colorado. The tears returned. Partically due to the lack of an update on Heidi's case but mainly because of my own selfishness. I am focused on my sister and her discovery as the news focuses on the tragic deaths of innocent movie goers. What kind of person am I?
Of course I didn't know of this horror until this moment but it was enough to snap me out of my selfish focus. I cried for the lives lost in Colorado. I cried for the famlies who were still learning of their loved one's murder while enjoying quality family time. I cried for the youth who may have lost their lives.
I cried until there were no more tears. Grief consumed me. Grief, guilt, and the unknown can be a scary and deadly combination. I had a choice to make. I tried to make coffee but couldn't even steady my hand to scoop the coffee in so I poured some of yesterday morning's coffeee in my mug and warmed it in the microwave. Good enough.
As I watched the microwave timer descend from three minutes I prayed. Lord I spent years in this spiral downward. I do no want to nor do I plan to spend another day, hour, minute, or year living in the darkness of grief and doubt. Lord, I need Your strength. I cannot do this on my own. Only with you by my side and holding me up will I survive this day. Thank you in advance for the way you will work today. I pray for whatever family receives news today. May we all lean on you and know your timing is perfect. I trust you. In Your name I give You this day and all my pain. If it is our family or another transitioning to the next step of this journey, I pray we accept it with grace. May you be glorified through the discovery and hearts strengthened and united. Thank you Jesus.
It was not Heidi's body they found or were even discussing. As I prayed for God's strength, Sheriff Todd was on the phone with my parents to let them know it was not Heidi. He apologized for the evening and night we endured because of the false news teasers and then the false story that aired. He expressed concern for our emotional state with repeated empathy. I pray this wonderful man can forgive this emotional girl for ever doubting him.
Fact is, it was a cold case from 1984. If you would like more information about this case and the discovery - click on the top photo or copy and paste the below link.
Please remember to pray for all the families and communities affected by the Colorado murders. Pray for the family of Nancy Jo Scamurra as they absorb the new information they have received of their precious loved one's kidnapping and horrific death. The greatest thing we can do is PRAY FIRST. Prayer is one way we communicate with God and can help each other.
A very BIG AND SPECIAL THANK YOU to each of you for your support since yesterday. Our family has been covered in prayer for strength, answers, and hope. It is only with God's strength I get through each day. Before I prayed this morning I planned to cancel our plans and return to bed but in His strength and through your prayers, phone calls, emails, Facebook messages and posts, and blog comments ~ we had a fabulous and fun day. Thank you so much! I pray you each know how valuable and precious you are to us. You are blessings and God used each of you to bring us the comfort and strength we needed.
"Find rest, O my soul,
in God alone;
my hope comes from him."
This evening's very late blog is after a wonderful and productive day. A fantastic time with friends and our kiddos as they marched their last middle school band performance and then it happened. "Breaking News" and "Big Annoucement" about an Oswego County cold case.
BREAKing news breaks...
- a family's heart
- a family's hope
- the joy they experience as the phone starts to ring
- up whatever you are doing and life is on hold
One of my beloved cousins sends me a message to check on me, "Just saw the news, Heidi's picture was on it. Are you okay?" What? I am speechless. In a moments notice our moods and conversations change. Instead of promoting the discounted items for sale to benefit our music boosters, my hand shakes as I try to hit the correct memory button on my cell phone to call my parents.
Okay Lord, I don't know what this is but I need strength to stay calm and focused. Don't let me crumble right here in front of friends and strangers because it might be about Heidi. Lord let the tears subside until I am home. Help me to be strong. I can only do this in your strength. Thank you Jesus, Amen.
A phone call to and from my parents settles my stomach a bit yet there is this part of me that wants to bolt. I want to take Mary and have Ed drive us to my parents. If it was Heidi somone would call, right? Just this morning I wrote in my prayer journal for Heidi to be found and for others to see the love and healing of Jesus in her discovery then this...the breaking news.
Empty searches on the Internet reveal nothing about this big announcement yet phone calls and messages continue to inquire if it is about Heidi. The nearest we find is a respectful post by Debra Groom about a press conference tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.
My prayer is for whatever family will be hearing of their loved one's homicide in the near future, that they would trust God as their strength. If it is a missing person, may his or her family feel God's loving arms wrapped around them. I praise and thank God for answered prayers if it truly is one family's answers and I praise and thank Him for the diligence, respect, and dedication of all our law enforcement.
If it is Heidi I will praise Him too. Time will tell. You know I'll be watching the news tomorrow morning. I hope they air the press conference.
Your prayers are appreciated. Prayers for restful, sound, and sweet sleep tonight for all the families closing their eyes with "I wonder if it is ..." on their minds. Imagine how you might feel to see such a news teaser or read such a press release. What if? Only God knows...once again I go to sleep and wait. Pray for whatever family will face their worst/greatest fear/prayer answered.
The first time I visited the Community Alliance Church in New Haven, New York I was amazed when I saw their Bibles. My Gram gave me a Bible after my baptism and confirmation when I was fifteen years old. Gram told me, "Take care of this. It is special." I took such good care of this precious gift I NEVER took it out of the box. It is in as pristine condition today as the day Gram gifted it to me. I took care of it.
I was SHOCKED to say the least when I saw everyone's Bibles at this new church I was visiting. They were DIRTY! Of course they were not dirty but well used. Hmm...a new concept to me. My Bible could have been returned to the store my grandmother bought it fifteen years prior and no one would have known it had been mine.
Have you ever said something and no one seems to forget? I tend to have this happen a lot but that is okay. Most of the time these statements bring joy and laughter for years to come. Instead of observing their dirty Bibles and keeping it to myself I piped up and said, "Oh my gosh, your Bibles are dirty." Laughter erupted.
I am happy to say my Bibles (yes it is plural) are dirty. I have similar finger prints, coffee and tea stains, ripped pages, highlighting, underlining, and tear stains as the wonderful people who accepted my statement with humor and grace.
What does your Bible look like? Have you "taken care of it" by storing it on the shelf or is it dirty with the wear and tear of daily use? Do you have a funny, special, or ridiculous Bible story you wo
The temperature was over 90 degrees this morning as I watered the gardens. What could we do on such a hot day? Jane Austin's quote suggest you sit in the shade for a time of refreshment as you gaze upon God's creation of green. Most days I would be the first to head out and enjoy the fresh air and shade but today we have a different plan.
Instead of enduring the near 80 degree temperatures in the shade we are heading to the mall. An air conditioned ride round trip with air conditioning in each store. Of course the temperature will take our breath away when we go outside again but for the afternoon we will be refreshed by the coolness and memories made as mother and teen spend the day together.
Some days are hot because of life's troubles and others are like today, a physical heat. In times of trouble we need to open our Bibles and talk with God. I'm thankful for the good times and the times of trouble, both make me the woman I am today. Can you be thankful for every day the Lord blesses you with?
How do you find refreshment on the HOT days?
Our pastor and his family are on vacation this week so we were blessed with a guest speaker. Andy shared from his heart ways he has grown closer in his relationship with Jesus with a challenge to each of us. His message titled, “Expect the Extraordinary” Through personal stories, he shared the importance and blessing when we do this.
He shared the two key factors to be able to do this are prayer and faith. Andy’s explanation of each encouraged many hearts this morning. Faith is believing, or so I thought. Today I was reminded faith is a “strong and unshakeable belief in something…” Unshakeable! I want a faith like this.
Andy brought us on a Bible exploration with a stop in the book of Daniel. He read about the fiery furnace and their unshakeable faith. This reminded me of a blog I posted this past January. Through prayer and faith, we will be looking for and expecting extraordinary things from God, like men immerging from a fire that should have killed them.
“How can you have faith to see miracles?” Andy asked. We cannot doubt and we need to be doing, faith is a verb and requires action.
My paraphrase/take-away from Andy’s message:
“Get out of your box, God will enlarge your box each time you step out in FAITH. Get out of your comfort zone. Our box is bigger than we can see or imagine once we start MOVING out of it.”
Known for a willingness to get out of my box, I am so excited to learn my box is even bigger than I can see or imagine. Yippee! With God, possibilities are endless when we are seeking Him and our eyes are fixed on Him, not ourselves.
I will leave you with the words Andy concluded his message with this morning.
“Let your actions be fueled by faith.”
How do you keep doubt from preventing
your faith from breaking the
walls of your box down?
Start with prayer…
Thanks for joining us today Andy and family!
To read my original blog click on the photo above or copy and paste the below link: http://lisabuske.weebly.com/1/post/2012/01/were-never-in-the-fire-alone.html
The Lord woke me at 5 a.m. with a cooler breeze coming through the window than when I went to sleep last night. The birds were singing up a storm outside too. It was as if God was saying, “Lisa, come out to the deck and spend some time with me.” Who am I to argue? (Settle down Mom and Dad. I can hear you laughing and raising your hand to remind me of a moment or two, or three. Ha-ha)
I started a pot of coffee, delivered my Bible, journal, and “deck basket” to the patio table and prepared for some quiet time. As the coffee brewed, I sat to breathe in this beautiful morning. I open my journal and start writing. Praises, thanks, and prayers pour from my heart to pen. The blessings overflow. My smile increases with each one. God is so good to us.
I read Psalm 71:17 just before a commotion in the large tree near our house caught my attention. One section of leaves was moving out of control. It sounded as if animals were scrapping up in the tree yet by sound I could not determine what animals they might be. I was thankful they were very high in the air and far enough away that if it was some rabid animal I had time to get in the house. The branches settled, the noise stopped, and I started to finish the verse from Psalm 71.
“Since my youth, O God,
you have taught me,
And to this day
I declare your marvelous deeds.”
No sooner did I finish reading the word “deeds” when I caught a mother leading her two babies from one tree to the next. I laughed aloud at my silliness and then at the irony of the verse I just read. This mama modeled how to balance on a branch to the near tip before jumping to the next tree. Just like two of your children can be very different, so were these silver critters.
The first baby followed mama with each walk, jump, glide, and smooth landing BUT the second one, not so much. The second was a little smaller than his sibling, with double the fear. He was skeptical to trust the branch as it dropped with his weight. Each time he would near where, the end, at the near height to make the jump, he turned around and ran back up the branch. In addition, each time, the mama squirrel scolded him from the other tree.
His sibling had his front paws in his ears, sticking out his tongue, and saying, “Ha-ha, you can’t do it.” One time though, mama came up from behind and knocked him off his branch to the one below him. Oh my goodness, coffee came flying as I jolted a laugh. Eventually the fearful baby squirrel made each jump, glide, landing, and transition from tree to tree. He was still falling to the next branch more often than his sibling was, but he never gave up AND his mama never went too far ahead.
“Since my youth, O God,
you have taught me,
And to this day I declare
your marvelous deeds.”
An unexpected lesson taught and received this morning. We are like those squirrels. Our parents can only nurture us for so long before we need to learn how to walk, jump, glide, and transition on our own.
I am blessed with parents who have modeled positive and purposeful lessons then stepping back to watch me try myself. Sometimes I fall and hit the branch beneath me and they were on the other side saying, “Don’t give up kid, you can do it.” Other times I succeed and they are the first ones to acknowledge my success and celebrate with me. Once the celebration is over, they encourage me to continue moving forward, there are so many things in life to experience when we have the courage to jump.
What is God calling you to jump into today?
Today is my beloved’s birthday and the second day of his mini-vacation. Last night with the fans sucking in the cool air I asked him, “What would you like to do tomorrow? Your choice all day.” After a chuckle and a “Really?” with trouble written across his face he started his list.
1) Sleep in
2) Eggs and bacon for breakfast/lunch depending on when he woke up. Lunch it was! Lol
3) Chill inside where it is cool
4) Watch movies of “his” choice (Monster Inc. was the first one in)
5) Time with his girls
I am happy to report all his requests were granted with some surprises.
1) I baked him a double chocolate birthday cake with homemade peanut butter frosting this morning
2) I made enough macaroni salad (his favorite) for a week (or so I hope, lol)
3) Mags joined him to visit his Mom and stop at the store (he surprised me with a French vanilla And hazelnut creamer, sweet)
4) House was clean when they returned
5) Dinner on the deck, one of his favorite BBQ choices
6) Time at the pool with Mags (one of his favorite summer activities)
His four days off combined with a day all about him makes for a great birthday. We have enjoyed the day and time together as a family. Tomorrow night though is date night. Yipee!
On a more serious note, do you cherish your spouse’s birthday? More importantly, do you cherish your spouse? I encourage you not to wait until their birthday to have an “all about you” day. It has brought me more joy to spoil him and see him relax. I think it is especially important to dote on our hubby. (Not that we don’t do a lot because we do) They work hard and often stress more about paying the bills and being the “man” or “breadwinner” in the home.
How have you spoiled your hubby for their birthday in the past? Do you take the opportunity to do this more than once I year? I hope so.
This verse of Scriptures creates a vision of God as Gardner. He sees the weeds growing around us. He sees the need for nourishment then provides it. He recognizes when we are weathered and offers shelter. He loves and cares for us with unconditional and constant love.
Sometimes when He pulls the weeds, it hurts. To read God’s Word restores our health, energy, and motivation. When we cannot take any more, God wraps His loving arms around us and holds us until the storm passes. He is always there.
What aspect of your life is God in the process of pruning today? Does it hurt? If so, why? We need the pruning in order to be all God has called us to be. Instead of giving up, embrace the storm and time of pruning because God is at work with greater things to come.
Would you share a time of “pruning” and the “fruit/blessings” that followed?
I continue to walk with Him each day. Some days are easier than other days. I know some people who find it easier to praise God when God is blessing them abundantly then there are others that require a life altering moment to draw them back into God’s loving arms. Which are you?
This week’s “Walk with Him” blog are some of the things I am thankful for as it pertains to my writing and speaking career. Please understand I appreciate and thank God daily for the way He is in control of this new journey as I seek to have my first book published yet there are some days that are easier than others.
I choose to offer praise and thanksgiving to God for:
· First and foremost...sending His One and Only Song to be born, live, and then suffer a death on the cross for my sins
· The doors opened to write and speak…to share of God’s healing and hope in my life because of the relationship I have with Jesus
· The doors closed (that I might want open) some of these are closed to protect me and others to allow for a more bountiful blessing down the road
· Honesty – In this business, I need to hear honest critiques, edits, and pointers to be the best woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, writer, and speaker I can. May I reflect God to others, not Lisa.
· Humility – may I accept said honesty with grace and remember it is in love that others offer suggestions and feedback
· Grace –when the truth is going to hurt, God uses wonderful people to share this truth with me so I can grow
· Consideration – for the agents, editors, publishers, and authors willing to take time to review my work and offer suggestions. While I am a mere ant in God’s world, He chooses to bless me with amazing opportunities and people to develop my writing and speaking
· Critique with honesty even when it might hurt – some might leave me wanting to cry but then I remember, I write for Him and Heidi. I want to be the best I can be, this requires correction, instruction, and a willingness to listen.
· Rejection – Ouch! No one likes to be rejected yet in the world of publishing it is more common than in most aspects of life. Countless authors have been rejected repeatedly yet they persevered to see their writing in print. Rejection is necessary and in some sense, healthy. We cannot (and should not) always get what we “want”. Do you remember learning about wants vs. needs in first grade? Rejection is a need if we are going to be the strongest and best we can be for whatever God has called us to do. There is a verse in the Bible that talks about discipline not seeming pleasant at the time but in the end, it is worth it. This should be every aspiring author’s mission statement. Rejection and critiques only make us stronger and the wiser.
· A supportive family
· Supportive friends
· People to pray with and for me, my writing and speaking
· Clean clothes in the baskets waiting to be folded because I have spent the day writing
· Dust bunnies of dog hair taking over the house as I spend time with Mags and write
· A husband who loves me enough to…on and on
· New ideas
· Adapted ideas
· Iced peach tea and a to-do-list
· A computer – even if it needs some major TLC because it works so slow, I choose to be thankful because I have one
· Internet service with Wi-Fi – such a blessing
· A family who understands and accepts the distant look on my face when I am writing, especially when I am attempting to edit
· For my poor punctuation skills – it opens doors to learn and grow
· For a powerful story that will change lives
· For each new day I am blessed with
· For upcoming speaking engagements – God opens the hearts of others to receive my story, Heidi’s story, and ultimately…His story
· One day my book will be published…in His time
How has God gifted you? What difficult aspect of this gifting will you choose to be thankful for today? Can you list at least three?
Oh my goodness, did you know it is possible to preach with the truth of the Bible at the base yet with such humor those listening hang on every word? It is. Rev. Richard Allen Farmer. Please don’t misunderstand me though. While there was humor, it wasn’t a comedy act on the altar. He lives out Ron Hutchcraft’s teaching to share the Bible and Jesus with others in terms they can relate to and understand.
The first thing written in my notebook, “We need to be Olympian Christians!” Amen to that brother Farmer. My sister was kidnapped on April 3, 1994 and remains missing today, without God in my life I would not be surviving this race and standing with other gold medalist.
My initial message heard reminded me not to worry or entertain anxiety with Biblical references. One of my favorite things was when he would motion us with his hands and point to his Bible while saying, “Come here, I’ll show you.” Then read from the Bible. It brought back memories of my Gram sharing “secrets” with us when no one was listening.
Have you ever made a list of your “priorities”? You know, the things you need to do or places you need to go? I know I have BUT after Rev. Farmer’s message, I no longer will make a list of my priorities. Rev. Farmer explained that when something is a “priority”, it is “first” so this can’t be plural. Only One can be your priority and the rest are posterities. Hmm…What is first on your list?
We were challenged to place God as our priority and then to allow the rest follow. He worded it this way, “Make the Kingdom your priority and the other things will go to bay.” With Matthew 6:33 as his supporting verse.
He ended his weeklong teaching with the following question ~ “Do you want to be made well?” and “Do you have a “treasured affliction” you roll out when the moment is right?” using the Scripture about the healing at the pool as the basis. Think about these two questions for a moment, there is a lot there.
Rev. Farmer also said, “Not everyone will celebrate your transformation and being made new in Jesus.” Check John 5:10 if you don’t believe him.
I will close with the following fill in the blank sentence. The same I returned home with on my heart.
“I am a different ________ because I have Jesus!”
What is in your blank? Wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, teacher, mechanic, truck driver, pastor, friend, clerk, and the list can go on and on.
How are you different because you have Jesus in your live?
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323