Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Mom's Day 2018


It’s the day before Mother’s Day and I’m reflecting on mothers and the blessing of being one!


I THINK BACK WITH PRAISE THROUGH THE YEARS:

Busy baby time, four children in nine years then watching each child’s interests and personality develop.  Tamara with her tennis, novels and daily running with me - okay only about one mile. Pam her face red and dripping from playing super basketball or experimenting to create the best-ever croissant recipe. David with his army men and board games battles covering the floor of his bedroom along with history books. Dan playing a favorite game like the Little Green Things between soccer, B-ball and golf. 

Remembering all these “mom moments” is so rich. What might yours be?


I see in my mind our immediate family, six of us, at the kitchen table during dinner at Delavan Lake and I can almost hear the laughter pealing forth. Dear God, it was SO GOOD. We were all wrapped up with the love of God and one another.

I know the day the laughter paused, but only for a time when our son David’s  cancer was diagnosed. We determined as a family to fight with love and faith and prayer and laughter. And by God’s grace the cancer was eradicated.

I look at a souvenir stone from our family Smoky Mountain trip and remember yearly trips to Florida and Disney World – splurges despite a tight budget – times that brought us forever memories steeped in joy.


And then on top of this to get to be a mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother to enjoy ongoing mom moments! Like baby Brayden, everyone’s delight!


I grin remembering a joke our grandson DJ told me years ago and today he's graduating from college. In my mind I see Jack running down the Upper Gardens Road on our scavenger hunt beating us all and his face lighting up when Grandpa said, “You’re really fast!” Now Joshua streaks across the soccer field. 

Sweet memories, like ten-year-old Anna and Joshua enrapt as we build a bonfire for them and tell them stories about their mommy and daddy. I see Drew playing the piano at the senior home and then directing the older grandchildren on our sun porch making cards to welcome their new twin cousins, Anna and Joshua. 

In my mind I see Katie in the kitchen making fudge with me. And Steven helping me make a rock border in the back yard. Now I even have a grandson-in-law Alex - all six foot plus of him with a huge heart as well. 

And then I think of other women:
Like the moms who never had children of their own but “mothered” nieces and nephews and neighborhood kids or students.

I remember moms I met through my work - unwed moms who courageously gave their babies to other women yearning to have the sacred joy of nurturing a child. To them I say don’t mourn. Your little ones will praise you face to face in heaven. I think of single moms who struggle financially and emotionally, but say it’s worth it all to mother their child(ren). I think of divorced families for whom Mother’s Day can be complicated and I hurt for these moms and I pray. I also think of abandoned elderly moms who sit alone in nursing homes. May none be forgotten this year. For these moms may we all pray.

I smile at the thought of all the love that’s going to be expressed on Sunday– the cards and flowers that will change hands. The moms taken for granted far too often will hear the love song that’s always within their children’s hearts.

I think of Moms, like me, who didn’t do our mothering perfectly, but we did it wholeheartedly having a ton of fun along the way. And we have children who know we tried and rise up and call us blessed.

We moms know, don’t we, that ordinary family days are so precious – so fragile and the most meaningful days of all.

So Happy Mom’s Day to me, to you and to the Dads who facilitated our roles. Children we celebrate you, too, for the great blessing of watching you grow in delightful ways.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1: 38 Then the angel left her. How amazing the news of pregnancy always is!

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2: 18-20
Don’t we all?

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”

2 Timothy 1:4-6 May our children walk with faith in God always.


SPEAKING NEWS:


Lake Geneva Christian Women's Connection Guest Night at the Red Geranium Restaurant,  Lake Geneva, WI July 11th. My husband Wayne and I will both speak. His talk is "Humor and Hope in Golf and Life." Mine is: "Enhancing Emotional Closeness in Important Relationships." 

Lake Geneva Authorfest at the Lake Geneva Lakefront, July 14th

July 16th at 6:30 p.m. and July 17th 9:30 a.m. Christian Women's Dinner and Breakfast in the Rice Lake, Wisconsin area.


Christian Women's Connection Guest Night, Monroe, Wisconsin August 22nd 6:00 p.m. My husband Wayne and I both speak again. His talk is "Humor and Hope in Golf and Life." Mine is: "Enhancing Emotional Closeness in Important Relationships."



BOOK NEWS:
JESUS TIME, 365 Love Notes of Wonder & Worship was released this week. It's available at amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback or readers can order ebooks to carry on their smart phone for instant spiritual refreshment.
For JESUS TIME info click here to connect with amazon: http://amzn.to/MZtUBA


Next Murder Mystery Novel is In Final Editing With Pelican! 
I recently received this cover from my editor. I love the colors! 
It's my most intense mystery yet. I'll let you know when I have a release date.

Blessed Mother's Day Everyone!

Friday, May 11, 2018

JESUS TIME, Love Notes of Wonder and Worship



My box of JESUS TIME books arrived Tuesday, three days ago. I gulped and didn’t open it for an hour. When I held the completed paperback JESUS TIME for the first time, I felt strangely hesitant. I asked myself was I truly ready to have these intimate love notes going out to readers? The answer came, Yes, but only because this isn’t about me, but about stirring passion for Jesus.

I originally wrote these love notes to Jesus with no intention of sharing them. Many were composed during difficult times of my life when one of my few joys was the time I spent with Jesus each day. Often I’d stretch out on the floor with a notebook and Bible beside me. I pored through the pages until something stirred a passionate response inside me and then I’d write and write, mindless of time.

Each of the 365 love notes is totally unique. The only theme is how amazing Jesus is and His constant intricate, wondrous activity among us. How I pray Jesus Time will bless you with deeper awareness of Him.

My gratitude to my husband Wayne who loves Jesus as intensely as I do, and encouraged me every moment. Our creative son Dan, who writes amazing scripts for church ministries, came up with the perfect title JESUS TIME- it’s always Jesus time. My daughter Pam spent part of her vacation in Florida editing the final manuscript.  I appreciate the prayers of my other children David and Tamara, the rest of our family members and many of you, as well, who prayed throughout the challenging publication process.  Zoran, who lives in Croatia, designed the beautiful cover. Maximini from the Ukraine formatted the inside pages of the book with lovely graphic ornaments around each title.

Now wonderful readers, may your hearts be filled to overflowing with the incomparable love of Jesus for you wherever you are in life, whatever you’ve done.  He’s your Redeemer and your Supreme Lover every moment. May JESUS TIME help you draw ever closer.

Paperback and e-book versions are available for order through amazon and Barnes & Noble or at Angelus Gift Shop in Walworth, WI. Click on the links below for more information or to leave a review after reading:




Monday, March 26, 2018

Pondering Jesus

  
With Easter approaching I’ve been pondering Jesus a lot.

Why Jesus? Why one way to God? And why did He make achieving heaven so simple? Why not Hinduism, Buddhism or the Muslim faith?

I started my research by purchasing a copy of the Koran, the authentic version translated directly by an Egyptian Muslim scholar. I learned Muslims can never have a personal relationship with Allah. Even in heaven they must worship from afar. Years ago my psych training taught me each person has an innate desire to be loved. A human being can never love us as selflessly as we long for, but neither can the Muslim god.

Respected Muslim writings report that, after Mohammed said he supposedly heard from an angel, afterwards he wasn’t sure he’d heard from God. Mohammed had repeated suicidal thoughts, encouraged murder of his enemies, built his following by military maneuvers and married a nine-year-old girl. This doesn’t sound to me like a joyful, fulfilled  life.

In Buddhism, ultimate reality is an abstract void called nirvana reached through an Eightfold Path of removing all attachment or desire in yourself. Then all suffering ends as does all desire. Yet humans are created with sensory nerves, millions in our skin, capable of pleasure. Why would the goal of life be to negate all desire? Nirvana doesn't seem feasible or desirable either.

Hinduism requires that I renounce my personality, my individuality, to enter into oneness with the universe.  This claims there’s no Creator, the universe is an extension of a universal force called Braham which is eternal. Yet all scientific evidence points to the fact that the universe had a distinct beginning and winds down continually. Also Braham says there is no distinct right or wrong, yet humans are highly moral beings. All societies, even primitive ones, have moral codes.

Summing up, Hindus can never know how many lifetimes it will take to achieve karma. Who could stand before a holy God and say they’ve done enough good deeds as Allah requires to overlook the bad ones? Other faiths believe that people will simply evolve spiritually to a great goodness. That’s a stretch. Look at all the wars, rampant immorality, lawlessness and exploitation of the poor getting worse all the time.

We’re all violators of the moral law - people separated from God lose sight of how bad sin is. A sinful world almost seems normal. Humanity destroyed our connection long ago and nothing anyone can do, giving money, helping the poor, whatever can mend the break. To make us right again Jesus took the penalty of our sin upon Himself. Why?  Because He wants us to be connected in a loving relationship with God forever. All we have to do is receive the free gift He gives. Jesus assures us of secure love forever.

Jesus kindly gave proof before expecting us to believe in Him. That’s something no other religion does - they require a blind leap of faith. Prophecies about Jesus’ coming were fulfilled, miracles performed, eye witness accounts recorded that Jesus rose from the dead. Formerly wimpy disciples bravely put their lives on the line to spread the truth about Jesus throughout the world. They still do.

"Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life"John 14:6  for each of us now and forever. We have a huge reason to thank Him this Easter Sunday and every day of our lives.
Happy Easter dearly loved family and friends.



My book Jesus Time, 365 Love Notes of Wonder and Worship will be released in April. If you'd like to participate in the launch by being one of the early readers and reviewers contact me at jwrolfs@gmail.com