Linda Jo Reed https://lindajoreed.com/ Living in Heroic Faith Tue, 29 Nov 2022 01:16:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://lindajoreed.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-lindajoreedmediaphoto-1-32x32.jpg Linda Jo Reed https://lindajoreed.com/ 32 32 Upheld By A Sit Still Moment https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-by-a-sit-still-moment/ https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-by-a-sit-still-moment/#respond Tue, 29 Nov 2022 01:14:13 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=4009 The Most Busiest Time of the Year Thanksgiving is over for another year. We are into the Christmas season. Just like that. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” or so the song goes. Is your decorating, shopping, food prep, party plans and all other things seasonal nearly ready?I’d guess not. I’ve been thinking about ... Read More about Upheld By A Sit Still Moment

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The Most Busiest Time of the Year

Thanksgiving is over for another year.

We are into the Christmas season. Just like that. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” or so the song goes. Is your decorating, shopping, food prep, party plans and all other things seasonal nearly ready?I’d guess not.

I’ve been thinking about how we go through this same whirlwind every year.

Advent

Even as our to do lists are at the greatest this time of year, it is still Advent. We mark our special advent calendars, light the advent wreaths. Maybe we even check these special things off our lists as we get them done.

But Advent is a set apart period.

It is the time before Christmas.

The time of waiting before our Savior arrived and still shows up in our lives. It is a special time to muse about the reason He came at all.

Because of His love for us.

Sit Still

I used to scoff, lists in hand, when I heard people say to take the opportunity to pause during this demanding time. I could not imagine any spare moments to sit still. I still struggle with this. Perhaps I am not the only one.

But I have come to realize that it is not a matter of sitting still, but a matter of taking a breather to remember that I am loved by God. In the midst of the whirl, He stands strong.

So, this Advent, take a moment or two to sit still. To meditate on the Advent of our Savior. The same Savior who sacrificed His all because He loves us.

In the whirl in our world, that has never changed.

“’Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23 NKJV).

 

 

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A Wild Rose Ridge Update https://lindajoreed.com/a-wild-rose-ridge-update/ https://lindajoreed.com/a-wild-rose-ridge-update/#respond Mon, 28 Nov 2022 23:45:00 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3999   Hi Friends: I want you to know how the Wild Rose Ridge series is coming along before it’s posted publicly. I so appreciate you and the support you’ve given me in this writing journey. God bless you. The Wild Rose Ridge authors are working hard to get these stories out and ready to read. ... Read More about A Wild Rose Ridge Update

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Hi Friends:

I want you to know how the Wild Rose Ridge series is coming along before it’s posted publicly. I so appreciate you and the support you’ve given me in this writing journey. God bless you.

The Wild Rose Ridge authors are working hard to get these stories out and ready to read. We are excited about this series. As each of us write, we are in constant contact with one another because our characters keep visiting each other’s stories. Fun! At this point, the manuscripts are in various stages of editing and finishing.

The first one will be released the end of February, and the rest every two weeks after. Pre-sales will be available before release. I hope you will love them.

Wild Rose Ridge feels more like a real town and not just a story world. I’d like to share our excitement and give you a glimpse:

https://lindajoreed.com/wildroseridge/

Cruising Claire’s Dream

Claire has a dream. She now owns a cruise boat and can’t wait to grow her clientele. The problem is that her captain quit before she could even do a maiden voyage. But before despair could set in, Ryan applies for the job. But he has a secret that could devastate her dream.

My story will be released March 14, 2023. It is the second in the series. Of course, I will let you know when they all are available.

https://lindajoreed.com/wildroseridge/

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Upheld at the Table https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-at-the-table/ https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-at-the-table/#respond Mon, 21 Nov 2022 00:43:44 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3995 Trumpet Time Soon the trumpet will sound. The table is set. The Host is rubbing His hands together in anticipation. Are we ready? Party Time Is it strange to think that God loves to party? It seems that I am running across this idea all the time now. In reading the Scriptures, I find that ... Read More about Upheld at the Table

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Trumpet Time

Soon the trumpet will sound. The table is set. The Host is rubbing His hands together in anticipation.

Are we ready?

Party Time

Is it strange to think that God loves to party?

It seems that I am running across this idea all the time now. In reading the Scriptures, I find that there are feast days all the time. There is a celebration for everything.

Has it occurred to you that God loves to laugh?

Feast Time 

We are celebrating Thanksgiving this week. With all the pilgrim stories and the traditional trappings of this holiday, we can’t forget that it is our God whom we thank for His many provisions.

For His love for us.

For His plan for our salvation.

For our freedom.

For our families.

Come To The Table

It is a short jump to think about how eager Jesus is to welcome us to His heavenly table.

Below is a short vignette that I wrote for my book, Mrs. Job’s Choice.

It could be happening this way…

He stands gazing over the table. Some place settings gleam with crystal, china, gold and silver; others with chopsticks and bowls; still others with golden goblets and knives for spearing food next to wooden bowls. At some sections, bowls sit alone. The table customs of His guests vary, but all will be comfortable in His house. He rubs His hands together in anticipation.

            His glance catches at place cards. Late in the day, some of the names are yet to be written. The frown shortly turns into a smile. Time on earth is short.

            It’s not long now till His Father will give the word and He can go get His people—His bride. He can hardly wait!

Place Card

Time is short. Jesus the Bridegroom is coming soon. It could be that fast and furious last-minute preparations are going on in heaven for His long-awaited bride. The table is nearly ready.

Is your name on a place card? Make sure of it. Scripture says the only way to heaven is through Jesus. Through His suffering in the garden, where He faced off with the enemy of our souls. Through His sacrifice for our sins by His death on the cross. Through His resurrection to restore eternal life to us. Say “yes” to Him.

There is no other way to reserve your place at the banquet table.

Expectancy

Do you feel an urgency to set things right with people? Do you feel deep down anticipation? An expectancy…

Maybe there is a faint sound of a trumpet? Do you hear it? Are you ready?

            “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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Upheld In the Unfolding Promise https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-the-unfolding-promise/ https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-the-unfolding-promise/#respond Sat, 12 Nov 2022 01:24:09 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3983 The Darkness Two things happened this week: elections and winter. Both brought periods of darkness to me. But at least this first snow didn’t bring a thaw, then a freeze that coated the roads with lasting ice. Phew! Good thing since this is the first winter without Old Bess, my faithful SUV. After the elections, ... Read More about Upheld In the Unfolding Promise

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The Darkness

Two things happened this week: elections and winter.

Both brought periods of darkness to me. But at least this first snow didn’t bring a thaw, then a freeze that coated the roads with lasting ice. Phew! Good thing since this is the first winter without Old Bess, my faithful SUV.

After the elections, As I contemplated what lay in the future, I forgot about the unfolding of promises.

The Promise

Just before the snow, I brought in several rosebuds from my garden. I am in the habit of leaving them on the bushes and sniffing them daily as I walk by. They look and smell divine. In the right weather. Now that winter was here, I knew the buds would never bloom, so I cut them off and brought them inside.

Daily I passed the blooming roses on my dining room table. What fun to watch the promise become the full-blown flower. A good reminder that where there is promise, there is fulfillment.

And no room for lingering darkness.

The Hope

Over and over, during the week, friends and family reminded me that God still has the last say. Kingdoms have always come and gone. But God’s Word remains. Our hope is in His faithfulness.

God’s original plan for this planet has not changed. It was set forth in Genesis. No matter what things look like, His plan continues to move forward.

At times we forget that. Its good to be in community so that hope is always kept alive.

 

 

The Peace 

And so we have choices:

Kick against circumstances, even if they are ordained through His plan.

Look around and let our faces fall in disappointment.

Look up for the big picture and ask what our part should be in it.

Our God has the big picture. We only see this small piece.

He made this world, and us.

He will see it through, and us.

He is trustworthy. We can be confident in Him.

“He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion” (Psalm 111:4 NKJV). 

“He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name: (Psalm 111:9 NKJV).

 

 

 

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Upheld In Morning’s Promise https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-mornings-promise/ https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-mornings-promise/#respond Thu, 27 Oct 2022 02:50:43 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3949 Cleanness Seeing the sunrays splayed all over the place in the early morning renews my soul. Yesterday’s problems have had time to incubate in my subconscious mind, maybe with a clarification, and the morning gives hope. God is sending cleanness. A new start. No screwups yet. I am so thankful. Life seems to be hitting ... Read More about Upheld In Morning’s Promise

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Cleanness

Seeing the sunrays splayed all over the place in the early morning renews my soul. Yesterday’s problems have had time to incubate in my subconscious mind, maybe with a clarification, and the morning gives hope.

God is sending cleanness. A new start. No screwups yet.

I am so thankful. Life seems to be hitting all of us. Nearly everyone is dealing with “situations,” health, economic, and other. I’ve just had my fourth major appliance give up this year. The refrigerator this time. With all the other things going on, I felt a temper tantrum was perfectly appropriate. More money out NOW? When the economy is tanking? I’m pretty sure I am not the only one feeling the swirls of being overwhelmed.

But when I saw the light diffusing in the morning, it reminded me that God still cares.

Morning’s Promise

Soul, take a deep breath. Trust His goodness.

During the night, God watches over us. He never slumbers or sleeps. His watch care is constant and tender. Then His love for us is renewed every morning. He gives us a visual of that as dawn edges across our landscape.

Every day He pledges to us His presence throughout the day. He is at our right hand. No matter what, He is with us.

If we would look to Him, we would see His care even in our circumstances. He will be there.

“The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (Psalm 121:5-8 NIV).

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It’s Happening! https://lindajoreed.com/its-happening/ https://lindajoreed.com/its-happening/#respond Sat, 22 Oct 2022 00:44:48 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3922 I am so excited to say that Wild Rose Ridge is coming alive. It is a resort town, dreamed up by six authors, that sits on the edge of Wild Rose Lake in Central Washington. In the midst of wine and apple country. Six authors (including me) are writing two sets of stories in 2023 ... Read More about It’s Happening!

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I am so excited to say that Wild Rose Ridge is coming alive. It is a resort town, dreamed up by six authors, that sits on the edge of Wild Rose Lake in Central Washington. In the midst of wine and apple country.

Six authors (including me) are writing two sets of stories in 2023 – Spring and Christmas.

The first set of six books are written and in various stages of development for publishing. We start publishing the end of February 2023.

I am in the process of putting a section together on my website so you will be able to see a map and get all the news in Wild Rose Ridge. I can’t wait to tell you about the people who live there.

Soon there will be a Wild Rose Readers Facebook page, too.

Stay tuned.

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Upheld In A Walk https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-a-walk/ https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-a-walk/#respond Mon, 17 Oct 2022 00:35:17 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3912 Pilgrimage  My pastor went on a pilgrimage not long ago. He walked many miles during this event. He walked the miles with God. Today, he challenged us to do the same. Since our autumn has been long, warm, and full of bright sunshine, a walk with God is a good refreshment from the cares of ... Read More about Upheld In A Walk

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Spokane River, Riverside State Park

Pilgrimage 

My pastor went on a pilgrimage not long ago. He walked many miles during this event. He walked the miles with God.

Today, he challenged us to do the same. Since our autumn has been long, warm, and full of bright sunshine, a walk with God is a good refreshment from the cares of life. A time to rebuild relationship with Him and rejuvenate our souls, minds, and bodies.

Long Sunshine

My favorite after church thing to do on beautiful autumn sunny days is to go for a walk at the river. I have often filled my blogs with this very thing. I had already planned to do this today, so I was delighted to accept the challenge.

Every time, the river looks different. Maybe the creativity of our God? My camera gets active. I invite you on my walk.

Delighting  God

I believe that God is pleased to be invited to join us in a walk. Much like we are pleased when someone invites us to come along with them on their adventure.

He points out places of interest to aim my camera.

“I made this; you know. I love it when you appreciate what I have fashioned for your pleasure.”

I take a picture.

“Now look over here. Do you see the intricacies of this bush? Look closely at the berries. Much different from spring, you see.”

I look.

Companionship

We walk a little further and come out on a bluff above the river. It’s low this time of year. Summer has used up the wet and wild rush of spring waters.

“Everything has its season,” Father explains. “Because I made it all to sustain your life while you are sojourning on earth. I left nothing to chance.”

He thought of everything.

“Yes. Living water to refresh your soul. Sunshine to warm your body. The colors to charm your eyes. The sound of the waters to cheer your ears. You see how I care for you?”

Life Giving God

There is a river that flows from the throne of God. It carries life.

There is a tree that grows on the banks of the River of Life. It is the Tree of Life and grows on both sides of the river. Healing is in its branches. The Light shines down the river and through the tree. And darkness has fled away.

Our Father God has thought of everything.

“And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2 NKJV).

 

 

 

 

 

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Upheld In the Latest Trauma https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-the-latest-trauma/ https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-the-latest-trauma/#comments Sun, 02 Oct 2022 00:39:24 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3908 Old Bess behind me in old picture. Should have taken one today before she left!    Old Bess Who would have thought that giving up an old car would be traumatic? But what if the car is 25 years old and carried you through many icy winters and your kayak in the summers? What if ... Read More about Upheld In the Latest Trauma

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Old Bess behind me in old picture. Should have taken one today before she left! 

 

Old Bess

Who would have thought that giving up an old car would be traumatic?

But what if the car is 25 years old and carried you through many icy winters and your kayak in the summers?

What if that old car symbolized a whole section of your life—like the bridge from past to present?

Old Bess, my 1995 Explorer was that to me. Today, Union Gospel Mission came to pick her up. I could not watch the driver load Old Bess on his trailer or take her away.

Old Bess has served me well. I wonder if anyone could truly say that about me?

Letting Go

As we did the title work this morning that transferred Old Bess to UGM from me, the driver told me a story of another family who gave up their vehicle.

A single mom and her daughters had memories that revolved around their van. The girls had been brought home from the hospital after birth in that van, and life had been lived as the girls grew up. As they gave up their vehicle, they wrote a goodbye letter (now why didn’t I think of that?) letting the next owner know it was loved. They also put in it a small Bible and a Cross for the next family.

In letting go of their car with its memories, this family passed on a legacy of faith to a new family.

Even though I didn’t do those things, I know sending Old Bess to UGM was the right thing to do. Old Bess is a legacy, even without a letter. Once repairs are made to her innards, she will be sold. The funds will go to honor God as lives are saved and redirected to Him.

I can’t think of a better legacy. 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 NKJV). 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NKJV).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Upheld In Seasonal Swing https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-seasonal-swing/ https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-seasonal-swing/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2022 18:47:09 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3900 The Seasonal Swing I suppose it’s the most mundane thing to write about seasons changing. Yet, this profoundly affects our lives several times a year. The heat turns to cold. Soft colors turn vivid, then disappear altogether. We are on the downward seasonal swing. Soon our homes will be closed up, trying to keep in ... Read More about Upheld In Seasonal Swing

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The Seasonal Swing

I suppose it’s the most mundane thing to write about seasons changing.

Yet, this profoundly affects our lives several times a year. The heat turns to cold. Soft colors turn vivid, then disappear altogether.

We are on the downward seasonal swing. Soon our homes will be closed up, trying to keep in the heat that we tried so hard to push outward over the summer.

Funny, huh?

I look out over the valley and I think I see fog and not smoke. An improvement.

Always the River

If you have read very many of my blogs, you’ll know one of my favorite places is Bowl & Pitcher in Riverside State Park. I think I have photo’d every season there.

How different the river looks in the autumn when the rocks that create those dangerous spring rapids are exposed. The lighting shifts from soft sunshine to a sharp brilliance.

Somehow that sharp brilliance seems to mean hope. That no matter what lies ahead, what winter winds and snows may bring, the flow of the river continues. The rocks will once again make the waters swirl and jump.

The promises of nature keep us moving on. Just like the river. It’s life.

Hope Flows In All Seasons

That is what our Creator God does. He brings us hope in every season. It runs like the river. It renews in seasons. Life flows again after the ebb. Warmth follows cold.

Hope flows even through disasters, and we have seen many this year. People left bereft after losing loved ones. After losing homes in floods and fires. Losing jobs. And a whole lot more.

We face winter in more ways than one.

But God is our Hope. His promises flow through all the seasons. He holds out a very bright future and we hold on to that hope. He will never leave us or forsake us.

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. ’The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him” (Lamentations 3:22-25 NKJV).

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Upheld in Tandem https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-tandem/ https://lindajoreed.com/upheld-in-tandem/#respond Fri, 16 Sep 2022 16:53:51 +0000 https://lindajoreed.com/?p=3895 Rodeo  Last weekend I went to the rodeo with my daughter and grandson. It is one of the annual events that we love to do together. We buy our kettle corn and settle in to watch cowboys and cowgirls race, tie steers and hop around on the backs of bucking horses and bulls. This year ... Read More about Upheld in Tandem

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Rodeo 

Last weekend I went to the rodeo with my daughter and grandson.

It is one of the annual events that we love to do together. We buy our kettle corn and settle in to watch cowboys and cowgirls race, tie steers and hop around on the backs of bucking horses and bulls.

This year a new clown came to entertain us and distract raging bulls. He had opinions and wasn’t afraid to put them out there, even making us gasp a time or two. He got rolled around a bit in a barrel by a stirred-up bull after the cowboy got thrown off. That always brings a collective gulp from the crowd.

Ride ‘Em Clown!

But it turned out that he had another talent. He strolled into the showground with two huge Clydesdale beauties. Of course, after the make-believe goading, his pretense of fear gave way to help (that he didn’t really need) in mounting the standing still horses. After the obligatory vault over them to the ground on the other side, he finally landed on their backs. Those were some patient horses. They didn’t seem to move a muscle with all the shenanigans.

The MC shouted another false dare, and the clown got to his feet – that is one foot on each horse. We clapped and he urged them to take some steps. The horses moved in perfect tandem. The MC told us to clap louder so the Clydesdales would move faster. We clapped. They started trotting. We clapped and they moved faster yet.

Mr. Clown pretended to totter and weave as if his balance was precarious, and he was in danger of falling. But I could only marvel at the perfect control he had over his body and the beasts underneath him—still moving in perfect tandem even as they ran.

Patience and Trust

I have been to several rodeos and there is always something to wonder at in how man and beasts work together. But this was a treat.

I can’t imagine the time that was put in by both man and horses to achieve this flawless unity. How many carrot or apple bribes did it take to gain the trust of the beasts? How much soft talk and brushing of coats to make them comfortable? And then the grueling hours of practice that this must have taken.

Perfect Practice

Even as I watched, it occurred to me that this is what God does with us. His guiding hand on our reigns is firm, yet gentle. He nudges us one way, then another. His strength is boundless, yet He showed us humility in becoming one of us. His skillfulness in directing our lives never wavers.

When we make a wrong move, His patience and mercy redirect us until we learn to trust Him and work together to create grace, mercy and perfect harmony. As we watch one another, we marvel at what we see, just as the audience did for Mr. Clown and his Clydesdales last weekend.

More important, we gain eternal applause. Isn’t that the best?

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently see Him” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV).

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