Monday, November 20, 2017

Bonus Gift Book Offer Extended by popular request

Available for the asking with the purchase of any of Leona's books 
including her latest releases.

190 page Gift book from Leona Choy
Author voiced!
A CD of the reading of the first 74 pages by the author included with the book.This is Leona's First Poetry Anthology now out-of-print in its original format.  A Collector's Item! Order your author signed copy 
while they last!
From the Introduction

    In our early years we struggle to fulfill ourselves through education, our jobs or careers, possibly in marriage and family relationships. Perhaps through our talents or skills or the approval of others. Time seems to be on our side. We rarely give its earthly termination a thought. 

    Suddenly, so it seems, we find ourselves in the mature years of life. It dawns on us that we aren't done yet! We haven't finished what we started. Many dreams haven't materialized. We are forced to abandon some and readjust others. We didn't achieve all our goals.
    WE HAVEN'T YET BECOME WHAT WE HAD HOPED TO BE.
    In frustration and then panic we may frantically try scrambling up some earthly ladder toward completion, attainment or success. Whatever happened to fulfillment? We stare into the face of increasing limitations.
    When we were younger, time seemed to drag its feet. Now time is pushing the accelerator down with both feet. Life is like mist or smoke: when we try to catch it, our fingers close around nothing. We keep asking, "Where did the time go?" Have we lost the entire centerfold of life?
    LIFE IS CROWDING US INTO A CORNER!
    Have you ever had the urge to seize a significant moment and hug it tightly? You want it to last forever. Perhaps a particular period of life or some enjoyable experience. Do you remember the childhood game of "Statue"?  You were supposed to "freeze" in whatever position you were when the command was given. If only you could freeze time at some ideal age or without any changes in your family situation, your strength or your health. Or preserve an especially happy moment.
    Fantasy!  Let's admit that we really wouldn't be satisfied if we could stop time at this or any other moment. Besides, we might miss what God planned for us just around the next bend.  It may be better than anything we've experienced in the past or present.  We might miss the invigoration of a fresh challenge or a hurdle to leap over.
    Sometimes the Lord saves the best wine until the last!
    In any case, we don't have a choice.
    As human beings we are temporarily locked into earth's time frame. The clock ticks on until one day we step over into a thrilling eternal dimension where "time shall be no more."
    TODAY is the best day for the child of God!  The choicest moment is right now.  The Lord must have something special in mind to keep us hanging around on planet Earth.
    We've already lived our yesterdays! Thanks for Your generosity, God!
    We don't  know about our tomorrows. We trust You with them, Lord!
    So today is the only time for which we are accountable. We have the awesome opportunity to live it totally for Jesus.
    May God help us not to let today slip through our fingers without living it up and celebrating life to the fullest. We may still have time to be faithful stewards of the rest of our lives.
    LIFE MAY BE CROWDING US. But we have NOW!  And we may still, through the generosity of God, have the opportunity to add more of life's pages in full color in the days and years ahead.
Postscript

What gives significance to this book is that I wrote it the year I was recovering from major lung cancer surgery and just before the sudden death of my husband the very year this book was published.  The
"more of life's pages yet" about which I hardly dared to speculate above--given the circumstances I faced--have so far turned out to be twenty-seven years. Let us Celebrate each day as a loving gift from God and let Him do the counting of how many years He has planned for each of you who reads these words.

Below is the flagship poem from the book title, page 64.  Listen to Leona reading it on CD--in her more youthful voice!

 Life- Stop Crowding Me!

Life, stop crowding me!
I can't keep up with you.
I want to stop and enjoy
what I've become
and grown into
but you keep pushing me
faster and faster.

I want to pause and savor
the luscious flavor
of what I've waited for
worked for, hoped for
but you never allow me
the costly luxury
of cementing the moment
I've achieved.

You jostle me too swiftly
to the next stage
the new role
the greater struggle
the higher level
the fresh experience
before I'm finished with this one.

Just let me catch my breath
and take a look around
to see what I have found.
No such luck!
It's best for me, I guess
not to be sedated
with all of earth's success
but to be impelled
to keep motivated
forced forward
provoked higher
propelled onward
accelerated
to stretch my pace
and run life's race.

Otherwise--
I'd tend to spend my time
sitting beside the road of life
resting and complacent
appeased and pleased
but wasting away
to my own dismay
accomplishing nothing more.
Yes, I'd smell the roses
but in a placid daze
basking in the sun
instead of pressing on
and burning out
in a beautiful blaze!

Phil. 3:12-14


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Advance Discount on Leona's New Book!


Just in time for Christmas giving!


Do you smell the printer's ink as the presses roll?

Leona's latest book is close to “birth!”

The “due date” for the anticipated “delivery” at her door is 
December 10, 2017!


Whenever Leona has a new book released, she offers a limited time discount for ADVANCE ORDERS that are PAID UP FRONT.



The normal price per copy of $12.95
 is discounted to $10 plus S/H $4!

Leona will mail out your pre-paid orders FIRST.


Send your order and check with your name and mailing address to:


Leona Choy
497 Devland Dr.
Winchester, VA 22603


or you may conveniently pay by Credit Card through:

paypal.me/LeonaChoy

Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
Notify Leona of your order by email first: leonachoy@gmail.com
and follow with your payment.


Enthusiastic readers of Leona's many other books

will not want to miss this new one!

Ordering Leona's new book or any of her other books

is an easy and meaningful way 
to cover your gift list at Christmas.

Buy multiple copies for family and friends
at this advance discount! 

What is Leona's new book about?

Leona looks into the rear view mirror of her lifetime and traces God's hand and purpose in her career trajectory in this latest of her autobiographical sequels. She uses a magnifying glass to examine the multifaceted steps in her calling as a writer—a wordsmith,
 as she refers to herself.


Her secret, shy childhood attempts to write rhymed poems while sitting on a branch of the apple tree in the back yard of her Iowa heartland home were the first stirrings of what was to be a lifetime of Writing for the Supreme Editor. As years passed by and her literal journeys took her to experience life and ministry in other cultures and parts of the world, she became known 
from her mid-years as a multi-genre writer.


Leona was not content to be widely published herself, but her greatest joy was to teach workshops on the craft of writing and encourage new writers. She has continued and escalated that writing journey into her nonagenarian years 
with more than 45 published books,
 foreign language translations and editions.


Some of her intriguing chapter titles are Beginnings and Before, Selfie-writing, Spreading My Wings, Cave Walls to Cyberspace, Legacy on my Mind, Passing the Writing Baton, The Joy of Psalming, Over Mountains, Plains and Seas, 
Homespun Writing, and In Pursuit of Dreams.
HURRY! 
 This discount offer for her new book is valid
 only from now until December 10th

BONUS for QUICK RESPONSE!
To the first 10 people who order her new book, Leona will include as a FREE GIFT one of her other books with an accompanying
 one hour CD of her own reading 
of the first 74 pages of that bonus book.
  Be one of the "FIRST RESPONDERS!"
Be sure to request it when you order.






Thursday, November 9, 2017

BITE-SIZED GENEROSITY


God didn't have to do it that way when He put Planet Earth's creation design in orbit. Instead of 24 hour days, “there was evening and there was morning, one day,” (Genesis 1:5) He could have established longer time segments for humans, animals and vegetation. He could have ordained an earthly orbit of the sun to give us several days of daylight in succession in which to labor and stretched to several nights in a row for our renewal in sleep.

In His wisdom and concern for our mortal frailty and our need for more frequent physical and mental restoration, God decreed our living time to be portioned to us in 24 hour bite-sized segments called days. Each morning we have another fresh new day in which to start over, and He supplies us with renewed strength to encounter it! That's really all we can handle at a time, right?

What a generous provision! No matter how badly we may have failed or come short yesterday, God gives us a clean, fresh today. “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness” (Lam.3:22,23).

When the Israelites in their trek out of Egypt were supplied by God with manna to eat, He gave it strictly on a daily basis. “And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating.”
Psalm 130:6My soul waits for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
1 Chron. 23:30 “And to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evening.”
Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.”

Psalm 59:16 “But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.”

Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”

Psalm 143:8 “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.”

In gratitude for God's gift of each new day, can we do less than entrust the day to Him and let the Holy Spirit edit the hours according to the will of God?

FRESH START
Leona Choy

Another untainted day!
Lord, I'm overwhelmed
with Your munificence
to provide for me so generously
from Your stockpile of time
with a fresh start
each new dawn
regardless of the way
I blew yesterday.

God is in my now
this moment His
and His this day
so I must turn
from yesterday
and not expect
to live in retrospect
looking over my shoulder
to see either ghosts
or a pleasant memory.

God is in my now
so all of daily life
is holy ground
each duty crowned
as a royal moment
by the presence of The King.

My burning bush
is my present state
where God speaks to me
in the present tense
saying, “I AM” here.
Because He lives eternally
I can celebrate now!
On this delightful thought
I meditate
and find my joy today!



Monday, November 6, 2017

DILEMMA OF THE DOORS

IN OUR DAILY LIVES WE ARE CONSTANTLY ENCOUNTERING DOORS.

Some are open and we freely walk through presuming God is leading us. Other doors seem closed and we aren't sure what to do about them. If the door is locked, we could break the front door down and barge in—to our peril. Or we could look for another way to get in—a side door, back door or a window. However, that's dangerous—we may be mistaken as intruders.

There are entrances that don't have an actual material door, like the entry to a sheepfold in Jesus' analogy. It was simply an opening in a circle of stones or some sort of barrier across which the shepherd himself would lie across at night to prevent his sheep from sleep walking and snarling wolves from sneaking their way in to do harm. The shepherd was the door. Jesus claimed that He as the Good Shepherd is the door. (John 10:9) He warned against those who would attempt illegitimate ways of entry.


There are doors that confuse us because they seem to be swinging or rotating doors. We enter as if to walk through but as we walk we find ourselves rotating around and ending up outside again. Were we mistaken that the door was open?


Some doors are double and triple bolted and barred and guarded by security people.
These are No Trespassing doors. Let's not even approach them. Usually they are clearly marked so we don't have any excuse to mistake them.


Other doors are warm and friendly and we are entrusted with a key so that we can go in and out at will like family.


It isn't easy in our daily Christian walk to discern how best to deal with particular doors. Moreover, the Holy Spirit's guidance is unique to each of us and specific to situations. We need to pray for wisdom to recognize God's leading in any given circumstance. We like friendly doors where a WELCOME mat makes the decision for us. Rotating doors give us pause since we thought we were meant to go in but we find ourselves on the outside again. 
By all means we don't want to trespass anywhere God has clearly forbidden us. Let's not break a door down that God didn't mean for us to enter. The Lord did endow us with free will so we may actually attempt to do that sometime to our humiliation. However, there are God-guided occasions when even breaking through a roof is permissible. (Mark 2:4,5)


We are instructed to knock and ask and seek (Matthew 7:7) and not attempt forced entry. If God has planned for us to enter a certain door or escape through one, neither “four squads of soldiers, double chains, and guards in front of the door” (Acts 12:6) can keep a door from opening, nor can any man shut it. We are familiar with some doors in medical or office buildings that automatically open to us as we approach them with no effort on our part. God doesn't intend to confuse us with closed doors but delights in opening the right doors for us at the right time. (Rev. 3:8; Acts 14:27) In the case of the apostle Peter incarcerated in prison (Acts 12:10) an angelic event occurred whereby “an iron gate opened for them by itself.”


How about the doors we are encountering today? Would the bottom line of our dilemma of the doors be to simply trust and obey what we are instructed by Jesus Himself? “Knock....” That is, PRAY. Let's knock in faith trusting in the goodness of the Lord that He will give us enough light upon our path to know how to deal with a specific door. And then listen to God's reply to our knock and follow His directions.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

RE-CALIBRATING MY DAY

I believe in signs, whether they are man-made or God's invisible direction signals. One of the most vocal and visual signs 
is posted at railroad crossings.

Here we find wise life and death traffic advice and also hidden spiritual implications. The material consequence, if the sign is obeyed, prevents you from being mangled to death with your vehicle when run down by an unexpected speeding train.


The spiritual consequences of not heeding this advice have repercussions for our well-being as Christians and the quality of our daily walk with the Lord.


I find that during any given day, as the hours tick by, my life sometimes begins to feel increasingly scattered in many directions. There are times when I feel fragmented, disintegrated. Everyone seems to want a piece of me and I don't have enough to go around. I have so many things on my plate that it is heaped high. Like the pieces of a puzzle, my day, my life needs to be assembled together again with care. “Recollected” is a good word for my need, with the emphasis being on re-collected. All the fragments need gathering up into some order. That's where the above sign's message comes in with good advice.


STOP! That comes first. I simply have to stop whatever I'm doing and take stock of my situation. Put on the brakes. Let my interior engine idle. Stop the noise, the dissonance, and embrace the silence so that I can think clearly. I shouldn't go any further, cross any lines, make any decisions until I'm re-collected and put back together again—something Humpty Dumpty couldn't accomplish even with all the help of his military entourage. Only when I'm still can I know how far off course I may have drifted.


LOOK! Look around. Look both ways to see whether I've taken on too much or have been put upon by others. Who has dished out all the things on my plate? Am I following God's orders or my own inclinations and plans? Is the enemy of my soul pushing me in every direction to distract me from my God-given trajectory for my day and for my life? I need to open my eyes to see what is happening to me.


LISTEN! After I've taken the above two actions, it's time to listen. I need to tune out the static that interferes with a clear audio signal from God. In this more tranquil state I can finally begin to focus on priorities, discern between what's important and what is just the tyranny of the urgent. Here is where God can whisper to me and point out what unneeded barnacles are clinging to my life and how to detach them from me.


Perhaps I need to take action on this spiritual exercise more than once a day, if I feel what is called “discombobulated”—a strange but descriptive word for being bewildered and unable to think straight. We all know that feeling at times. Like being disoriented or lost in a maze or caught off balance. There are times when we may need to take a whole day off to catch up with ourselves and reset our course. This is especially important when I'm facing some critical decisions and need clarity of mind and certain direction from God. STOP-LOOK-LISTEN is the key.

When using a GPS while driving and inadvertently making a wrong turn or failing to follow the voice or visual instruction of our device, we need to re-calibrate. To admit our error, start again, and follow the instructions to a new course to arrive at our desired destination.

When I hear God's still small voice in the quiet of my STOP—LOOK—and LISTEN experience, and if I don't heed His voice but persist in forging ahead in my overheated, impatient state, I will pay a price with the consequences. I will get run over with the speeding train of life. God has made a way of escape for us: There is safety in BELIEVING IN SIGNS.






Saturday, October 28, 2017

BACK TO KINDERGARTEN?

I prefer to say I'm “concerned” about something or someone. I shy away from admitting to the word “worry” as if it were a naughty four letter word.

 But if I'm honest and look within at my inner self, I see the ugly evidence of anxiety. In excess, worry is an addiction. As a Christian supposedly mature from a lifetime of faith and trust in God, certainly mature in calendar years, I nevertheless have to declare, as participants are required to do in AA meetings, “My name is Leona and I'm a recovering worrier.” As with any addiction, one is always still in process. Even as a child of God, I tend to slip back into worry. I try to excuse myself that it's just a part of the package of living. After all, there's a whole lot to be “concerned” about, isn't there?

The dictionary defines “anxious” as distress or uneasiness due to apprehension or anticipation of danger or misfortune or the future; troubled in mind, fearful, disquieted, nervous, on edge. Okay, so the fact is that anxiety and worry, is a mental condition. I originates in the mind. God has created us with free will and that includes our choice of what we think about. God has made us capable of “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). 
That is not something God is going to do for us. It is a matter of mind control. It's our responsibility to go after the wild worries with a net and capture them and bring them back to orderly confidence in Christ. The apostle Paul makes it clear that it is our business to “set our mind on the things above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2). I have to admit that it's those earthly things that make me anxious.

Philippians 4:8 is a comprehensive litany of what we should think about—all positive and confident—and without a hint of worry or anxiety or apprehension or fear or distress on the list. “Let your mind dwell on these things!” That means me. No excuses or self-justification.

The Scriptures are full of anti-worry, anti-anxiety teachings. Let's put a magnifying glass to some of the details and with David, the Psalmist, pray “Try me, know my anxious thoughts” (Psalm 139:23). Yes, it's all in my mind. What good does worry do anyway?

Matt. 6:27And who among you, by being anxious, is able to add one hour to his life span?” Other versions say add, a single foot to his height. [Exercise and nutrition obsessions?] This instruction focuses on anxiety about how long or short a time God wants me to live on Planet Earth.

From the mouth of Jesus Himself, (Matt 6:25) "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” That takes care of anxiety about mealtimes, shopping for clothes, housing needs, and all other concerns of the human body and daily living [body building and illnesses and health insurance?] To break it down still further, “anxiety about the cares of this life, and the deceit of riches” [careers and salaries and retirement benefits] in 13:22 worry about those things “choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” How about anxiety for how we should answer people in our witness, our speech and words? (Matt. 10:19)

In Luke 10:41 Jesus zeroed in further on anxiety about food preparation and hospitality and spiritual priorities, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.” Compound that with seemingly just anxiety about what's going on in society and politics and government and international affairs today (Luke 21:26) Who isn't worried? “While men's hearts are fainting for fear, and for anxious expectation of what is coming on the world. For the forces which control the heavens will be disordered and disturbed...be of good cheer, I have overcome the world....” And anxiety about relationships that are confused, about married life or the lack thereof? (I Cor 7:32) “I want you to be free from anxieties.

To sum it up, Paul warns and instructs, (Phil. 4:6) “In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” That's the bottom line to cover anything else I'm inclined to be worried or anxious about.


I stand without excuse. When worry rises up in my mind, I need to  get back to kindergarten, backtrack to the basics of my earlier, more simple childlike walk with God and trust in His providence as the antidote. Under ordinary circumstances, children don't worry. They trust that their needs and wants are provided for them. 

 I need to focus on the certainty of His love and mercy and Fatherly care for me in all the intimate details of this mortal life. Back to trust and a peaceful heart and mind. And to do my part to capture those wayward anxious thoughts with the free will God has given me and the strength that Jesus provides.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

ON SLIPPERED FEET

When I was in middle school "back in the olden days" we learned to sing classic songs like The Road to Mandalay. I was intrigued by the description of a sunrise as "the dawn comes up like thunder out of China 'cross the Bay." No, it doesn't! Dawn always arrives quietly, gently, as if wearing bedroom slippers.

I admit to ignoring dawn most of the time as I remain snuggled under my comforter with the window curtains drawn. But on rare occasions like the one I've described below, I've experienced the awesome splendor of an unforgettable sunrise which the Creator paints for us so faithfully and regularly whether we are aware of it or not.



 
  CAPTURING THE AUTUMN DAWN
Leona Choy

I wait in pre-dawn darkness
watching for the sun's first ray while
blue and gray overlay 
the achromatic horizon.
Silently a blushing tint of anticipation
steals from beyond the tree line
to lighten the purple shadows.

I begin to see the frosted fence rails
hidden by the unlit night
green pines stand motionless
revealed now in stark silhouette.
An eagle in flight sails slow-motion across
the powder-blue canopy of sky while
golden streaks dispel dusky apparitions.

The eerie scene begins to assume
familiar friendly features while
mist still hugs bronzed tree tops
shorn of autumn brilliance.
Another eagle circles and returns...
is it her mate seeking her?
Frost has aerosoled late October grass
turning the meadow into an albescent carpet.
For a moment dark clouds threaten to hide
the sunrise as I wait, scarce breathing:
Will I miss the main feature after all?
No! I rise to my feet in worship!
Burnt-gold leaps boldly upward
thrusting aside the indigo mass
showering me with warmth and brilliance.



The blazing sun catapults into view
as from a celestial launching pad
into the space of a fresh, new day
blushing the shy white clouds crimson.
I cannot bear to gaze upon this spectacle:
I shade my eyes at the flaming finale.

A fog blanket still shrouds the valley below
but God begins to paint powder-blue across
the vast sky canvas with a wide brush
until a daytime dome appears overhead
paling deep hues into muted pastels.

An alarm clock jangles by some distant bedside
forcing me reluctantly back to mortal thoughts
by the intrusiveness of prosaic human routine.
But I have been an awed and adoring spectator
privileged to stand on nature's sacred ground
to view the miracle of an autumn dawn.

I stand transfixed in silent worship 
not of created sun and nature's video display
but of the Creator of heaven and earth.
The memory of God's enchanting wake-up call
lingers through my day's mundane routine
reminding me that God is over all
of ordered nature, seasons, space and time
and human endeavors...
including mine!