Monday, August 30, 2010

Ugly Crops

Some of the fields we drove past today were oh-so ready for harvesting and I noticed a few things about them.

They're UGLY!

Scraggly, scrawny stalks with their ears hanging down.

But those ears would be a thing of beauty to a farmer. They were fat and plentiful. And that, my friends, is the purpose of planting field corn, or any kind of field for that matter. The harvest is the important thing, not the beauty or location of the field, or anything else. It's all about the crop.

We can learn from those ugly fields.

In our spiritual lives, our beauty isn't important. Sometimes it's seemingly the ugliest ones that have the biggest harvests. Have you ever noticed that? They're more concerned about having a bountiful crop for their Farmer than they are about being beautiful to those driving past them.

Our culture today is all about beauty and location and position, but we have it all wrong. It's just hard to remember sometimes when it's all around us. I'm tempted to glean an ugly stalk of corn after the harvesters have gone through and bring it home for my deck post, just to remind me that the harvest is important, not the beauty.
Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. ~Matthew 9:38

Did you see whose harvest it is? It's not ours! It's God's harvest.

So tell me, how's your crop looking?

Friday, August 27, 2010

What Day Is It?

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind and my head is still spinning. I may not know what day it is, but I can sure tell you when I need to be in town or to the college next in order to have the kids where they need to be, on time.

My two oldest are doing dual-credit classes at a local junior college and although the bulk of their classes are online (Thank God!) they still have to be there 3 days a week for a couple hours. And then Esther (#3 in the line-up) started drivers ed this last week, so she has to be to the local high school in town every-other-day. Yesterday was a bonus day. I had to have 2 of them in different places at the same time, and Jim wasn't able to run the opposite direction for me.

On top of that, my writing responsibilities have been heavy (but fun!!) this week.

So, I'm tired. Big deal. And I have a cold. It will blow over. (Pun intended!)

But through all this craziness and busyness and running, I've been blessed. God has strengthened me, kept my head screwed on, and kept us safe on the roads as Abby, my older daughter, has been logging in driving experience so she can get her licence in September. And there have been a few close calls.

From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord...He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber...the Lord is your keeper; ...the Lord will protect you from evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. ~Psalm 121

Isn't it good to know that even when we don't know which end is up or what day it is, God knows!! And He's got it all under control!

So tell me, what have you been up to?
I've missed you guys!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Online Bible Study: Esther

You're invited to join us
for an online Bible study!

I talked with the ladies at the Bible study I attend, and we've decided to study Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman by Beth Moore. I'd like to invite you along for the journey! Each week we'll do the daily work in the book individually, then on Fridays I'll post a lesson review here—for our group meeting time.

I know there are many who cannot make it to a local Bible study group—for years I couldn't for one reason or another, but we can still connect and have some of the Bible study fellowship and ACCOUNTABILITY here. I'm planning on memorizing each week's memory verse and digging deep and knowing I have people checking in really helps spur me on.

Speaking of starting—our first, introductory group meeting will be posted here on September 10th. That gives us time to get our books so we're ready to start digging into our lessons so we have Week #1 completed on September 17th. I'm excited about getting started!

Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman
Join Beth in an in-depth and very personal examination of this great story of threat and deliverance. She peels back the layers of history and shows how very contemporary and applicable the story of Esther is to our lives. If you've ever felt inadequate, threatened, or pushed into situations that seemed overpowering, this is the study for you. Just as it was tough being a woman in Esther's day, it's tough today. This portion of God's Word contains treasures to aid us in our hurried, harried, and pressured lives.

You can purchase the book through Amazon or your local Christian book store (the LifeWay stores seem to have the best price).




For those of you interested in joining the study, but you don't know how to leave comments, it's real easy. Between my signature, just below, and the bar of flowers, there's a line that says: Written by Patty Wysong. In purple you'll see a number and the word Comments. Click the word Comments and it will bring up a little pop up screen where you can type in your comment. Select Anonymous and leave your name in the comment.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Writer's Meme

This meme started at the FaithWriters' blog and made it's way to Joanne's blog (where I found it, LoL) - and it looked way too fun to pass and I needed a fun breather!

OK…here’s how this works.
1. Copy and paste the following to the comments and replace my answers with your own.
2. If you have a blog, copy and paste these questions and your answers to your blog.
3. Challenge your readers to do the same on their blog.
If you don’t have a blog, skip #’s 2 & 3!
All of this week’s questions have to do with writing (hence, the title of this post: A Writer’s Meme)
Here are your questions (and my answers)


What’s your favorite genre of writing? Romance!! ::sigh::

How often do you get writer’s block? Occasionally.

How do you fix it? Banging my head on the wall usually does something...what, I won't say.

Do you type or write by hand? Type! I think I forgot how to write by hand, unless I'm taking notes in church.

Do you save everything you write? Yuppers.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? Sure.

Do you have a constructive critic? Joanne is the other half of my brain. She's a lifesaver!

Did you ever write a novel? Yes.

What genre would you love to write but haven’t? Ummmmm. Dunno. I love contemporary and historical romances and write in both genres.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? Horror!! ::shiver:: Nothing fluffy about that genre!

How many writing projects are you working on right now? Well, le'see... Do devotionals count? How about articles? No? Okay. Hmmmm. I have 3 novels in progress (1 just needs 2-3 small misc. scenes to be done, my historical missionary romance is 1/3 done, and a different historical is just started but is on the back burner as my pet play project) AND I'm about to do character sketches for the next two novels in the series that goes with the project that's basically done. =] CanNOT wait!! =]

Do you write for a living? As in for real money? Not hardly. BUT I have made some money to support my writing habit. I'm just thrilled to have my habit support itself for a change! LoL Do you want to? Of course.

Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper? Do online magazines count? If so, I've have articles in both JournEzine and Exemplify Magazine (my absolute fave online mag!!).

Have you ever won an award for your writing? Yup, at Faithwriters.

Do you ever write based on your dreams? Er, no.

Do you favor happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers? Happy endings all the way. I get really disgusted when a book or story doesn't have a happy ending and I won't read it if I know it doesn't. I know, it's pathetic, but hey, I get enough reality in life! So yeah, I write happy endings, too.

And now it's YOUR turn! Respond below, put your answers on your blog, or both. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Online Bible Study?

I love Tuesday nights. They've become special to me this summer because it's Bible study night with some of the church ladies here. I hafta tell ya, I didn't know how much I was missing out on before we started studying together. Not only have I learned a lot as we've studied Joshua, Judges and Ruth, but the fellowship has been fantastic.

This week is one of the few Tuesday nights of the summer that I'm home because we decided to take a week off since some of us (hehe, like me!) were gone for a long weekend. Earlier this month I was moaning to myself over the thought of Bible study coming to an end. I've loved this particular study and the ladies, and I've loved studying, being in God's Word. Although I planned on continuing on my own, I really wanted some kind of accountability and fellowship as I studied and I was afraid the church girls wouldn't be ready to tackle another study so I toyed with the idea of an online Bible study group but quickly put the thought from my mind. Well, not even two weeks after thinking about that, one of my friends FB'd me asking about an online Bible study and the church girls want to keep studying together! Soooo, I'll combine the two and do both. :D :D

I'd LOVE to do an online Bible study
with any ladies interested.

Here's the deal. We can do the daily portion of the study on our own, just like we'd do in a regular Bible study and then I'll post on Fridays, here at Patterings, for our weekly meeting. If people are interested, we can set up a group so we can get some fellowship in, otherwise we can just “meet” and interact here in the comments. Bible study, fellowship, and prayer support is something all of us need, but attending a local Bible study isn't always an option. Maybe an online gathering would work for you!

It's not decided what we'll study yet and I'd love your input.

I love Kay Arthur's inductive studies, but I think it might be time for a Beth Moore study. (Here's a handy chart of Beth Moore's studies.) Are there any that catch your attention? Any that you'd like to do? Recommendations?

Our start date will be sometime in September, and next Tuesday night we'll be deciding which study to do. I really would like your input to help us decide. Next week I'll post the details of which study, links, and the date we'll start.

So tell me, is this something you'd be interested in participating in?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stability!



I spent a couple of years in the shadow of Chimborazo down in Ecuador and it quickly became a source of strength for me. Even after all these years it's a symbol of stability and in these weeks of monumental change here at my house, I have a new appreciation for GOD's stability in my life. Someday even Chimbo will crumble, but God never will. Ever.

God is the stability of my times and THE wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge for me.

Exalt the Lord with me!



For more Word-filled Wednesdays, join us at...


Monday, August 09, 2010

Breaking the Heat Wave

The weather here in Southern Illinois has been awful. So hot and humid! But the other night we were rejoicing that it looked like we'd be returning to normal soon. Normal being in the nineties. LoL. As my husband drove to work the next morning he called home to say there was constant lightening north of us. It took almost two hours for the storm to hit and as I sat doing my Bible reading and listening to the thunder roll, I was struck by how the weather demonstrates life sometimes.

When the heat waves hit us in the summer (like we've recently had!) and camps out on us, we look forward to the storm that will break the heat. We're thankful for it and often sit outside, enjoying the storm because we understand and experience the relief it brings. But when it comes to life we tend to sing a different tune even though the same principles seem to apply.

Things can heat up fast in life and before we realize it we're sweltering in the middle of a massive heat wave that doesn't appear to be moving off. Life becomes sticky and miserable. What do we do? We start looking for it to break. But it's so easy to forget that heat waves are often broken with a storm, and sometimes that storm can get pretty ugly. The first wave roars down you, completely blocking the sun, and the wind whips you around so you don't know which direction you're facing. And then it seems like the heavens open up. It's not a gentle spring rain. Oh no! It's a hard, pounding deluge, and maybe even hail. That front edge of the storm can be vicious.

Sometimes the storm is swift. It comes, it dumps, and it goes, leaving welcome relief behind it. But other times the rain just keeps coming. And coming. And coming. Wave after wave of storms roll through. We're looking for relief but find a string of storms instead that make us wish for the oppressive heat instead of the intense storms we're in. We forget that the storm brings relief.

Yes, the storms may cause damage. Branches may come down, flooding may occur, but God works through the storms. We may not see or understand, but by faith we can believe and trust Him to work all things together for good. Remember the end of that verse! “...who are called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28 NAS Not our purpose. His.

Hear my cry, O God;
give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
a tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.
~Psalm 61:1-4 NAS

During life's heat waves and storms we can run to God for shelter. He is our shelter and refuge. Our tower of strength and security even when the storms are raging.

Let's take refuge in Him! There is no greater refuge than the creator of the storm.



Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Corny!


My table is overflowing with fresh sweet corn! There's some men at our church who team up and plant sweet corn for the church in another member's field. They've done this for several years and lemme tell ya, the corn is DELICIOUS! This morning our alarm went off at 4:30 (!!!) so the kids could go CORN PICKING with the men. I still haven't recovered from that, LoL, but our thanks to Ruel and company and the McClerrens! My mouth is watering just thinking about the treat we'll be having! =]

I'm blogging today At the Well about children and service. I'd love to have you join me there!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Time Flies

Time sure does fly sometimes! Last week was a blur of running kids back and forth to the last throes of summer flings (aka youth activities at church, LoL) and preparing for the Faithwriters conference. This year I gEt to teach a session on blogging called The Benefits and Basics of Blogging. (That capital e in there is not a typo. I really and truly gEt to teach this class. It's not a gOt to do item!) Lemme tell ya, I am sooo excited about this! So much so that I haven't gotten nervous yet, which is really something! ;-)

Many of you know that blogging is something I love and there's good reason for it. So much of my personal growth and my writing growth has come about through blogging. It's caused me to dig deep and search and reach out to God, and the blessings have been tremendous! Personal blessings and writing blessings. God continually amazes me!

At the end of January, after participating in a course through the ACFW course loop with Janice Thompson, I saw that I could use my love for blogging and all I've learned about blogs, to help others. It has been so much fun! It's one of those unexpected blessings in life. The ebook from the online class I teach is now done and as I've prepared slides for the blog class I get to teach on August 14, I've decided to add some more to the ebook, using those slides. Now the race is on to add them to the ebook in time for the conference. Thankfully I work best with a deadline in sight. LoL. (When it's done, I'll make it available both here and at Clearing the Blog Fog.)

I have ten days to tie up a lot of loose ends, including my pitch of my manuscript. This is something I thought I'd get out of doing, but God really impressed on me that I need to do this at the conference. So, I've been working on that too. That means that although I've been spending hours and hours here at the computer, I've been working and not been hanging out or blogging. Hopefully, as I tie up these loose ends I'll be able to jump back into blogging (I miss it!!) but until then, I might not be around much.

This week for Bible study we studied Samson's life. I hafta tell ya, there's so much more to Samson than just a muscle man with a weakness for women. It's made me stop and wonder what my Delilah is, and it's made me look to see if I'm controlling my desires or if they're controlling me. I don't want to be a Samson. I want to live victoriously and do what God has equipped me to do and enabled me to do. I want to live up to the potential God gave me.

What about you? What's your Delilah?

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