Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Psalm 14, Lord, Make Me Not a Fool

For the director of music. Of David.

The fool says in his heart,

    “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;

    there is no one who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven

    on all mankind

to see if there are any who understand,

    any who seek God.

All have turned away, all have become corrupt;

    there is no one who does good,

    not even one.

Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;

    they never call on the Lord.

But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,

    for God is present in the company of the righteous.

You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,

    but the Lord is their refuge.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!

    When the Lord restores his people,

    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!


The footnote in Psalm 14 from Bible Gateway says, “Psalm 14:1 The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient.”


Lord, I often feel like such a fool. Now, even more. I can so easily fall into what is vile.


But I do seek you, Lord. I do call on you. Jesus, through your death, I am counted among the righteous. You are my refuge. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Acts Chapter 29

At church this week we studied from the book of Acts.


Acts 1:7-8: He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


Our pastor, Matt, said Jesus gave a table of contents here for the rest of the book of Acts, through chapter 28. I’m not sure where I heard it, but someone said we are living in Acts chapter 29.


Acts 2:42-47: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.


Matt went on to talk about the church, a community of people who were joined together by belief in Jesus. He said this is talking about us in 2023.


The church two thousand years ago and now, are a group who give ourselves to God’s word, to prayer, to meeting the needs of those around us, and to showing why others should want to be a part of God’s family.


That is as true now as it was in the first century. God will add people to his church if they see us loving each other and those around us. We may not all be great friends or agree about everything, but we agree on this: Jesus, his word, his ways. 

Friday, April 14, 2023

Guest Author, Sally Carpenter

This book, and series, sound great. Thank you, Sally, for sharing with us.

The family that sleuths together stays together


I want to thank Kathy for this opportunity to write a guest post for her blog.


My eighth and most recent cozy mystery and clean read, The Highland Havoc Caper, follows the ongoing exploits of Sandy Fairfax (his stage name), a 39-year-old former teen idol and TV star. Over the years, he’s faced numerous challenges: a career that peaked and then crashed, divorce, alcoholism and estrangement from his family.

But now he’s determined to get his life back on track (and solve a few mysteries along the way). Sandy quit drinking, returned to work and is mending broken relationships.


Sandy’s only son is called Chip because he resembles his father, with his blue eyes and blond hair, and also that his full name is the unwieldy Stanford Ernest Farmington III. Chip was seven years old when his parents divorced. Now he’s 13 years old and living with his mom, stepdad and younger sister.


Until recently Chip seldom spent time with his father and when he did, Sandy was often drunk. Chip more frequently saw his dad in reruns of his TV show. His dad’s fame didn’t endear him with his classmates, who made fun of Sandy’s well-publicized brushes with the law. Like most boys, he longed for a real dad. Chip loves his time with his dad, who is more adventuresome and foot-loose than his staid stepdad and disciplinarian mom.


Now that Sandy’s sober, he’s asking his ex, Becka, for more frequent visits to see his kids.   Becka’s dismayed that when they’re with Sandy, something bad happens. In a previous book, The Sinister Sitcom Caper, Chip helped Sandy to catch a murderer. Chip, of course, enjoyed the adventure; his mother was less enthused.


In Highland Havoc, a sober Sandy spends a good deal of time with Chip, more so than in the previous books. Sandy must start asserting himself as a father, not as a pal. Chip is yearning for more independence. When Sandy tells him it’s time to stop talking to some girls and come home, Chip replies, “Eat my shorts!” Sandy is not pleased at the rebuttal. He spoiled his kids so they’d want to see him, but that approach may not work anymore.


When Chip spends the night at Sandy’s house, Dad is shocked to discover that his son is afraid of the dark and must sleep with a light on. Just how well does Sandy know his kids? Having been absent from their lives during their formative years, Sandy is having a hard time catching up.


Chip is fiercely interested in the opposite sex. Sandy attempts to have an awkward talk with him about “the birds and the bees.” Chip is aware of his dad’s wild past with women and his string of girlfriends since the divorce. As a pop star, Sandy was quite the lady’s man in his heyday. Sandy preaches, “Do as I say, not as I did.” He hopes Chip will avoid some of the pitfalls he stumbled into, but do kids listen to their parents? Then a 19-year-old TV star takes a shine to Chip, and Sandy worries that the world-wise actress will take his son down a wrong path.


What bonds Sandy and Chip is that they solve a mystery together. In an attempt to expose Chip to culture, Sandy drags him to a guided tour of an old castle. Chip’s bored, so he takes an unauthorized detour into an abandoned wine cellar where he finds a body. Sandy rushes to get help, but when they return, the corpse is gone! How can the killer be found when there’s no body or even a name for the deceased?


Sandy and Chip look for clues together and share theories. Chip finds this exciting, but Sandy fears that his son’s involvement will get him in danger. And it does. No spoilers, but Sandy and Chip end up in a dire predicament, and only by working together—and overcoming Chip’s phobia—can they escape. Sandy beams with pride at his son’s accomplishments. Chip has a new appreciation for his dad.

 For more information on my books, purchase links and to download two free short stories, go to my author website


Friday, April 7, 2023

Good Friday

Isaiah 53:3-6:

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.


Lord Jesus, I always want to remember what you suffered for me on this day.


And yet, through all your pain, you were still filled with love for us and for those around you.


Luke 23:27-29:

A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’


Verses 32-34:

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.


Verses 39-43:

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


I also want to remember your triumph.


Matthew 28:1-7:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”


Thank you, Jesus.