Saturday, June 24, 2017

RENEWING MY MARRIAGE VOWS

June seems to be a traditional wedding month. However, more and more couples who are advancing in age are opting to repeat the marriage ceremony in another fashion these days...Me too!

"But how can you participate, Leona? You aren't 'a couple' anymore. Aren't you a widow?" 

Yes, Ted and I were a couple for forty-six years. Our wedding vows were "Till death do us part." And death did part us twenty-five years ago.

Remember that hymn, "Loved with everlasting love"? Some of the lyrics are: "His forever, only His; Who the Lord and me shall part? In a love which cannot cease, I am His and He is mine; But while God and I shall be, I am His and He is mine...." The renewing of vows I am talking about are my declarations of "I do!" between my Lord and me. Not on the occasion of a twenty-fifth or fiftieth anniversary, but daily!

Why should I start each day as I awaken by declaring my commitment to the Lord? Isn't pledging myself to God a one-time decision like a wedding ceremony? Why repeat it? Who hears it anyway?

It is important that three of us hear my daily vows renewed. 

First, with my own ears I hear myself declaring, "Lord, I present my body a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is [my] spiritual service of worship" (Romans 12:1). I love you, Lord. Today I renew my surrender to You of my mortal body with all its needs, disorders, and growing limitations with the years. I remind myself that I am not my own; I am all Yours today: body, soul and eternal spirit, mind, emotions, will, all that I am, all that I have, all that I hold in stewardship from You. I renew my vow that I want to do Your will today on earth as it is done in Heaven."

The devil is listening. He is not omniscient or omnipotent. He is not a mind-reader as God is, so he can't know my thoughts. But he can hear my words. He realizes that he needs to back off because once again I have declared Jesus' Lordship over all my life, specifically this day. He doesn't have a chance to interfere with my vow to do God's will. 

God hears me. He doesn't get weary or tired of my expressions of love. As the chorus goes: "I love You Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, O my soul, rejoice! Take joy, my King, in what You hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear."
God delights to hear my verbal desire to do His will. He accepts my daily declaration and blesses me with His graces according to my needs and His good and perfect plans for me in the day ahead.

With Nehemiah I pray and renew my vows, "O Lord, I beseech Thee, may Thine ear be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant...who delights to revere Thy name, and make Thy servant successful today...." (Neh. 1:11) 

How about my friends who have never been married? You can also renew your marriage vows. "For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the Lord of hosts...." (Isaiah 54:5). There is no "until death do us part" in your relationship with God. You too may declare, "Loved with everlasting love: I am His and He is mine." Jesus Himself has promised, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Promises for Days to Come


Relying on God's promises for the days of advancing age


"AS YOUR DAYS"...WHATEVER EACH DAY MAY HOLD...COME WHAT MAY....

On my 92nd Birthday
 June 22, 2017

Deuteronomy 33:25
Various translations:

As your days, so will your strength be
Your strength will equal your days
So may your work be that your strength lasts all your days
.as long as you live
.the rest of your days
Your strength will be equal to your days
Your old age shall be like the days of your youth
As your days, so shall be your strength, rest, and security
According to your days, so will your leisurely walk be

Coupled with Psalm 103:5

[God] satisfies your mouth [your life, your years] [your necessity and desire at your personal age] with good; so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle's [strong, overcoming, soaring]! Isaiah. 40:31

Amen! So be it
For me, and for you, too 

                                                                                Days of my youth

 

                                                                                                                                  

Friday, June 16, 2017

RESTFUL AVAILABILITY

I've just returned from an exciting extended weekend in Paradise—Pennsylvania, that is—near Lancaster.
In my blog post on June 1, I described the purpose and the relevance of my being there. I'm the only remaining co-founder of the large para-church university campus ministry, Ambassadors For Christ, Inc.

While there, besides speaking, I was scheduled to be video taped for an interview about my nearly thirty years' friendship with the Leaman missionary ladies and the famous Chinese Christian lady who deeded their property to the AFC ministry. Christiana Tsai came from an affluent family during the late Qing Dynasty. She spent over fifty years as a bedridden invalid in a dark room necessitated by the light sensitivity her illness caused.


Her life story Queen of the Dark Chamber, translated into over thirty languages and versions, brought an estimated 10,000 visitors from many parts of the world during the thirty-five years she lived in Paradise. With God-given strength, Christiana was able to rise to each occasion (while sitting up in bed) and witness under God's anointing to each of her visitors—university students, faculty members, church groups, housewives, businessmen, famous Christian leaders, school children, military personnel, and people from other countries. Although she could not continue to serve God in China, God brought the world to her bedside.


I choose only one reflection to share with you from my extensive preparation of down memory lane recollections. It started out to be only a few pages and went on to become at least a short book probably headed for publication. It is my personal, intimate look “Beyond the Books” which made her story such a page-turner.


Interruptions of visitors were almost a daily occurrence throughout their long lives. Of the four single, aged missionary ladies, Christiana was the weakest and most helpless, but the last to be called to her Eternal Reward at age 94. Even after she was left alone with her caregiver helpers, the Lord kept right on bringing people to see her and her witness to the gospel continued unabated. In fact it was during her final twelve years that she was the most productive and we wrote the sequel book to the flagship book, The Queen. People would come unexpectedly and at inconvenient times when they were exhausted and at their weakest. They taught me by their example to pray each morning, just as they always did, “Lord, bring only those people to us whom You desire, and keep away all who would only tax our strength and take our time away from Your ministry to the lives of people who really need You.”


They summed up the offering of their lives to God as RESTFUL AVAILABILITY. I have taken that prayer into my heart and written it in one form or another into most of the books I have published. These precious friends taught me by their example to keep pressing on, as the Apostle Paul declared, “for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” That meant whether “in season or out of season,” convenient or not, to welcome whatever or whoever God sent into their lives—or mine.


Christiana always declared, “My bed is not a prison but a training school; the Holy Spirit is my Mentor, and my visitors are my homework.” It linked with Christiana's lifelong decision based on Psalm 84:11. “I never ask God WHY He allowed me to suffer for so long; I only ask Him WHAT He wants me to do.”


Can we think of a more pleasing attitude to offer our God, the Creator and Sustainer of our lives who lovingly only plans for our good? (Romans 8:28)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

LONGEVITY--GIFT or BURDEN?

Encore post--Updated!

                     

THUMBS UP FOR LONGEVITY? 

(In my 92nd year)

LONGEVITY is not an achievement for which anyone should pride himself. It is a cherished GIFT given and a FAVOR granted by our generous God who determines the measure of our years. It is a season of indeterminate length and a privileged time.


The anticipated number of our years varies with centuries past and with cultures, geographic locations, heredity, and many other factors. The biblical Methuselah lived 969 years. In the dentist's waiting room recently I picked up a magazine with an article about a woman in Italy who is now the oldest in the known world at 110. No one today is pushing one thousand, although longevity to a greater or lesser degree is still alive and well these days.


Longevity is defined as great duration of life span but not a specific number of years on the calendar. In real time, age it is irrelevant to longevity, although brevity of life is its opposite. Whatever one's age in earth-time, it is the last stage of our lives individually, notwithstanding its duration. At some point, even longevity terminates. It's not really the last stage of life, however. Eternal life for the soul comes after either longevity or brevity on Planet Earth. A person may be experiencing longevity in one's fifties, or sixties, or seventies, or eighties.


In my human family tree I am heir mostly to brevity of life. My paternal grandfather in Europe died at 41, my father at 59, my maternal grandfather at 39, my maternal grandmother at 58. When I went through lung cancer surgery at age 65, my surgeon told me afterward that there was nothing I could do or he could do to assure me that I would survive even to an optimistic five year mark. He said that it was entirely in the hands of God and His plan for my particular life.

I'm in my 92nd year. I think that I qualify to have reached longevity by the loving generosity and plan of God--and I'm thankful!


Realistically, I've already become what I have been becoming throughout my lifetime—unless I blow it. I now have a frame around my life picture that is pretty well permanent. But I dare not say “I've been there and done it all” although my life has been full to overflowing with God's goodness and mercy and opportunities. The Lord is always coming up with more blessings and surprises even at this late season of my life. That keeps life exciting and I press forward.


Looking ahead, there is really a next stage beyond longevity, but I won't experience it on earth. Like the count down we used to shout at play when we were children: “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!” longevity is a “time to get ready.” I'm preparing to live forever—but not here. “And four to GO!” 

There will be a “Birthday Party” at the end of longevity that will launch me into a new welcoming environment of love and peace and joy in Heaven. How do I know this for sure? My lifetime faith in God and the promises of His Son Jesus will carry me through that door to immortal reality where faith will become sight at last and where I will know as I am known. That will not be a season that will pass, but an Eternal Dimension without end.


Meanwhile “back at the ranch,” as they say, longevity carries with it a responsibility to continue to be a fruitful and faithful steward of my length of days. I'm obviously not left here to be good for nothing. However, stewardship is no longer tied to doing some specific work as in previous seasons of my life, but to being. At this stretched-out season of my life called longevity, what I am or who I am is not determined by what I'm able to do.

If I'm not able to do anything, or if I find it difficult to do anything, or even if it's unnecessary to do anything, that doesn't mean that I am nothing. I can please God and He smiles on me regardless of my ability or capability or inability to be productive. After all, He created us to commune with Him and to enjoy Him and allow Him to enjoy us—not primarily to serve Him. We serve Him because we love Him. He created angels not human beings to be His servant-messengers.


Longevity is a time for reflection and gratitude. Not a time to waste on worry or regret but to "smile at the future," as was written about the woman in Proverbs 31:25. And in the same verse, “She opens her mouth in wisdom.” (If she can't speak with wisdom, it implies that she should “zip her lips.”) Trusting in the providence of God as we age should bring with it happiness, restfulness, and contentment. Let's count His blessings and say “Thank You!” to God for the opportunity to have experienced life on earth. Yes, we should confess that we have come up short. Nevertheless, we leave those regrets beneath the cross of Jesus with gratitude for His mercy and forgiveness. 
 

Of course there is struggle during longevity with growing weakness and disorder of our “earth suit” bodies and multiplying health issues. Therefore, we must lean all the harder on the strong arm of our Mighty Heavenly Father who knows our frame, recognizes our human frailty, and gently embraces us in His love. It is also a time for detachment, to loosen the bonds that have held us to things of this earth.

There is both joy and sadness in longevity. Certainly joy that God has “crowned us with loving-kindness and tender mercies”; joy that we have lived to see new generations birthed on the earth scene; sadness to let go of friends and loved ones and peers when they walk off the stage of life before we do. Then joy again when we are reunited in our Eternal Life after life!


With long life I will satisfy him and let him behold My salvation,” God promises in Psalm 91. To be “satisfied” and content is His provision for us in our season of longevity. “[The Lord] satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle” (Psalm 103:5).



LONGEVITY IS A PRECIOUS GIFT TO BE TREASURED

BUT STILL INVESTED 
WHILE WE HAVE TIME TO DO SO!


To Chinese people, eating long noodles is a symbol of longevity


Thursday, June 1, 2017

SOME NEWS TO SHARE

I've been occupied recently with preparation for a significant event on June 10 in Paradise, PA. I'm the only survivor of the three cofounders of AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, INC., a ministry among Chinese students and intellectuals in North America and abroad.. I'm excited to have a part in the dedication of the fourth building on their mission campus at that location. 

The Christiana Tsai Memorial Guest Lodge pictured above honors one of the quartet of Christian ladies who deeded their property to AFC. Two of the suites in the Guest Lodge are named for the founders of AFC. I will have the first privilege of spending the weekend in the suite which honors my late husband Ted and myself.

The story behind the noted Chinese Christian lady whose life and witness is being commemorated is the author of the book below. It is a collection of all three of her books in one volume. 

LONG AWAITED BOOK RELEASE!

 

With an attractive soft cover of artistic quality this book is available both in Chinese and English editions and packed with photographs and art work. This 446 page book is offered at the unbelievable low price of $15. See below for ordering information directly from the publisher, AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, INC.

I highly recommend this firsthand missionary biography as a cross-generational and cross-cultural page turner that is sure to appeal to readers of any age. It is Christiana Tsai's own account of faithful missionary work in China in the dawn period of preaching and witness involvement by Chinese believers themselves. Christiana was a noted pioneer in this endeavor, one of the first Chinese women to receive a Western education.


"But this isn't your book, Leona, is it? Your name isn't on the cover..." 

No, and that is as it should be. It was my great joy and privilege to be her "ghost writer" to write what Christiana wanted to say in two of the three books in this new collection. How did that work? Christiana asked me to "write in her voice and style" as she recollected and shared what she wanted to convey to readers as her witness for the Lord. Because we wrote her books in English, Christiana's second language, they were only later translated into Chinese. 


She was a loving but merciless and meticulous editor (perfectionist!) insisting that we literally "pray and weight" each sentence until she was satisfied that it was the best way to express it. I would bring her draft after draft for editing. Much of it still written in pre-computer days. That experience was invaluable to launch me into my own writing career.
 
The first book in this collection, the flagship book QUEEN OF THE DARK CHAMBER, chronicled her life from her birth in 1890 to 1949 when she fled the war and cahos in China with her lifelong friend and missionary, "China Mary" Leaman whom she called her godmother. Christiana lived the rest of her life in the historic Leaman homestead in Paradise, PA. Published in 1953, the first book was "as told to" Ellen Drummond, a missionary friend who knew Christiana and her family in China and witnessed many of the events firsthand.

Billy Graham personally recommended her book. "In her furnace of affliction Miss Tsai has discovered the secret of spiritual refining. In her dark chamber of infirmity she has found the Light of the world."

I assisted her in the writing of the second book in this collection, a chronological sequel, which the publisher simply titled CHRISTIANA TSAI. We worked in her darkened bedroom necessitated by her illness from malaria which confined her to bed for over fifty years. In this book she covered the exciting happenings from 1949 until her death in 1984 even while the drama of her life and far-reaching ministry was still unfolding.

It was at that time that the Leaman family and Christiana deeded their farmland property to AFC for their headquarters and expanding ministries on university campuses in North America and abroad.
In the third book in this collection, JEWELS FROM THE QUEEN, Christiana asked me to compile short illustrations from the many messages she preached from her bed as a pulpit. A flood of people from all over the world sought her out after they read her first book which was translated into dozens of languages and versions including Braille.

This book will touch your heart and inspire you to greater trust in God. Order copies for your family and friends and church library and recommend it to your book club.


ORDER THE BOOK DIRECTLY FROM THE PUBLISHER

Go to www.afcinc.org. Click on "Bookstore," proceed to "AFC Published items." Click on the cover pictured above. Click English or Chinese language.  Follow ordering instructions.

 HERE IS A BONUS! 

I produced a CD on which I read aloud verbatim the first 8 pages of the above book as an "appetizer" introduction with interludes of Chinese music. You can follow along from pp. 177 to 219. I believe this will enhance your appreciation and jump-start you into Christiana's story as it unfolds. Order the CD from me by email: leonachoy@gmail.com. It is available for a donation of any amount to cover cost of production and postage. Make the check for my CD payable to me at P.O. Box 2697 Winchester, VA 22604. Or you can use your credit card via Paypal: paypal.me/LeonaChoy. Please provide your mailing address.

 DON'T MISS THIS ADDITIONAL RESOURCE!
As you read the above book, you could use your imagination to visualize Christiana in her growing up years during the last days of the Qing Dynasty in China, her wartime experiences, her travels, and her worldwide ministry. You can imagine that you are one of the flood of visitors from all over the world who were drawn to the Lord through her 50 years of bedridden confinement....

BUT NOW....

Through this DVD, "WALKING IN THE LIGHT," in virtual reality you can GO to Paradise, PA" and SEE Christiana, HEAR her voice, and enjoy a "You are there" authentic experience! Professionally produced and narrated in the Chinese language, (Not to worry--there are English subtitles) you will enter Christiana's life visually. Listen to her recorded voice as she invites you into her dark chamber and shares her life motto. Despite all of her adversities, limitations and prolonged illness, she never asked the Lord WHY He allowed them in her life, but asked "WHAT can I do for You, Lord?"

Order the DVD along with your order for the BOOK directly through AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, INC. www.afcinc.org. 



Monday, May 22, 2017

MY SURVIVOR ASSIGNMENT


"It's scary at the top of a slide.  Do I really have to go down? Can't I get back up and go down the ladder again? I'll put on a smile and act brave...but it seems like such a long way down to the bottom of the slide!"

Only God (or perhaps Kyle's guardian angel) knows what my two-year old great-grandson is really contemplating at the top of the slide. For him it's a major decision!

I am bountifully blessed with 13 great-grands in addition to 10 grandchildren! I don't expect to be around on Planet Earth when the little ones are grown and making much bigger career or marital decisions than Kyle's at the top of the slide. When Kyle had barely started to walk and before he could form words of speech, his decisions were mental and age appropriate such as, "Shall I go down that strange road and explore where it leads without Mommy knowing where I am?" I will pray for God to guide him to make the right decisions when he is old enough to understand.


We who are navigating longevity sometimes wonder why God is allowing us to stay on earth so long when Heaven is so much better. Some of us have concluded correctly from experience and insight that we are survivors because we have a special assignment from the Lord.  My family is at the center of my world and at the center of my prayers. I believe that part of my sacred assignment as a survivor in my longevity years is to pray for our "special needs" children as they journey down life's road.


Thank God none of them is mentally or physically challenged; nevertheless, they are all “children with special needs" in the sense that whatever their age they each have "special needs." They are personal, relational, educational, financial, physical—and at the top of the list—spiritual needs. 


At this writing our four sons are now in their fifties and sixties; two are already grandparents themselves! Our grandchildren range in age from seventeen to forty-two; our great-grandchildren are newborn infants, toddlers, in elementary grades, and in middle school. 


I feel a heavy spiritual responsibility from God to shepherd my family flock primarily through prayer for their lives now and down the unknown road of their future lives. It seems that I'm continually praying one or another through one crisis or struggle or situation after another. As a “single parent” (widow), I’ve carried that prayer burden for our extended family circle by myself for 25 years. Not really alone, however, since our Catholic faith teaches that our loved ones can intercede for us from Heaven. I believe my husband is continuing to pray for our family as he did while on earth. And I thank God for friends who say, "I'm praying for you and your children; please pray for me and mine." "Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love!"
There are times when as I pray I sing with joy for some happy occasion they are going through. At other times I am groaning and sighing and shedding a few tears. It is a matter of the heart. Our children eventually leave our nest, our home, but they never leave our hearts.


There are times when I’m not sure whether what they face is an assault from the enemy against which I should take spiritual authority on their behalf, or a test from the Lord through which they should persevere and grow. Or whether their physical affliction is a call for faith and healing prayer or is permitted by God for some divine purpose and they need courage to go through.



The most I can do, in fact, the very best that I can do, is to present to the Lord each situation, each person, and each family and ask Him to carry out His perfect will in His perfect way in His perfect time for his or her good and for God's glory.
Ultimately, the answers to my prayers come from God.  I really don't know how and for what God wants me to pray, so the Holy Spirit picks up my imperfect prayer and presents it with His “groanings," (sighs too deep for words) to God perfectly "edited" to be acceptable to the Father's will (Romans 8:26-27).

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pacemakers and Pacesetters

(Great-grandma's brag time: At the left is one of my-sweet-as-honey great-granddaughters Karis Leona Choy learning early to take the "pause that refreshes" any time the opportunity presents itself.)

In the Western world we use the term "stop and smell the roses" to indicate the longing to slow our pace to enjoy life more. The Chinese proverb expresses it in a caution not to "gallop through a flower garden on horseback." Both indicate a desire for a life without a heavy foot on the accelerator.

The title of the poem below by Japanese author Toki Miyashina is obviously her version of Psalm 23. By the title I'm sure she doesn't mean "pacemaker" in the sense of the small device surgically inserted under the skin of the chest to remedy heart rhythm disorders that arise from disease in the heart's electrical conduction system. The normal heart has its own pacemaker designed by God that regulates the rate at which the heart beats.

Surely Toki means her meditation in the sense of "pacesetter," as I do when I walk with a friend along our country road. Because of my diminished breathing capacity due to a previous lung cancer surgery, unfortunately I'm the one who must set the pace to slow, almost a stroll. On the contrary, when we walk with Jesus daily, let's allow Him to set the pace. He leads us but we walk beside Him as our Pacesetter. There are times when we must run to catch up with Him, and times when He has to hold us back from running ahead of Him. And times when we tend to drag our feet and lag behind. Fast is not the preferred pace. Waiting on the Lord is the perfect pace.

One of the recent books I've published, Selah Reflections, I subtitled Press the PAUSE button, which is the counsel many of us need most in our hectic lives. It is also what the term "Selah" is thought to express when it is used in the Psalms: "Pause, slow down, think quietly about the meaning of life, and adjust your ways."


The Lord is My Pacemaker

The Lord is my pacemaker - I shall not rush.
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals:
He provides me with images of stillness,
Which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency
Through calmness of mind, and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things
To accomplish each day, I will not fret -
for His Presence is here:
His timelessness, His importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal
In the midst of my activity,
By anointing my mind with his oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness
Shall be the fruits of my hours;
For I shall live in His house forever. 



 

Monday, May 8, 2017

A HAUNTED HOUSE


Most of us have a Memory Storehouse of greater or lesser size. My Storehouse is hidden from sight. In fact, I think it is haunted because when I approach it, I can hear voices from within. Not happy voices, but moaning and groaning.

I'm the only one who has a key. I keep my Memory Storehouse locked, as you probably do, so that the memories won't get out. Many of us go to our Memory Storehouse often so that the grass on the path leading up to it doesn't even have a chance to grow. The door doesn't squeak since I use it frequently and keep it well-oiled.


What's in mine? Probably the things you keep in yours too. Not the sins I have committed, since as soon as I confess and repent of them, they are forgiven by God. (Psalm 103:12) He said He remembers them no more, so I don't have to keep bringing them up. God does, however, remember the good works of His people done in gratitude for what He has done for us.


So what's in My Memory Storehouse? The shelves are filled with the things other people may have done to me or against me. Perhaps I suffered injustices, hurts, offenses, abuses, insults, even have been a victim of some persecutions, or have been disrespected or put down by someone. Such things I suffered are invisible, so you can't see them on my shelves. Nevertheless I can see them. They are familiar to me. I keep them for years often dusting them off and polishing them each time I come in to inspect them.

My Storehouse is my comfort zone where I can enjoy my solitary pity party. Each time I pick up one of the offenses, it obliges by opening up the fresh wound again. It becomes as vivid to me as the day it happened, and I hurt all over again. I overlay it with bitterness against the person who supposedly injured me. My mental and physical health is affected by those trips to my Memory Storehouse. Certainly this dredging-up practice affects my spiritual life. Nevertheless, I continue going there....


We hear so much about “offenses” these days in our political correctness world. We are cautioned not to say or do anything that might offend someone else. We are warned to back off from engaging even in righteous behavior or being too overt in our worship, Christian practice, Christian speech or personal purity lest someone be offended—and actually initiate a law suit against us!

What is this sudden sensitivity about being “offended?” An offense is defined by the dictionary as “something that causes someone displeasure.” Big deal? To be offended seems to mean that what someone said or did didn't "please" us. It has such emotional and prideful overtones. Why must I be so careful about my precious, sensitive ego that I expect everyone else to cater to my feelings and to “walk on eggs” so to speak when they are around me? Why do I insist that they agree with me? Are they responsible for my pleasure? Am I so emotionally fragile as a Christian?


My Memory Storehouse is chocked full of things done or said to meI am the one who is offended! The shame should be on me! I need to deal with those things. Possibly the persons who committed some transgression against me never even knew they offended me. It's also probable that most of them have forgotten the incident. Some may no longer be in my sphere of influence or have died. The incident that happened to me may have taken place decades ago. Perhaps only I noticed it or I might even have imagined it. But I torment myself by keeping every such hurt and injustice cataloged, filed, and fresh in my memory.


There is seldom justice on this earth. The wicked prosper, the righteous are often down-trodden, taken advantage of and made to suffer. But none of these actions escape the Lord's attention. He has laid them up in store and sealed them up in His Heavenly Treasure house. He promised to mete out justice at the time of His judgment. Deuteronomy 32:34 declares, as God speaks, “Is it not laid up in store with Me, sealed up in My treasuries?” He said, “Rejoice, O nations, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people,” verse 43. Although directing His promise to Israel, God's principle is the same in dealing with us who confess Him as Lord.


Why, then, don't we just let those offenses go? It's not my business either to hang on to them or to try to even the score. They will be dealt with by God once and for all in His time and way. Let's pull those putrefying wounds and hurts and offenses off of our memory shelf one by one. Let's forgive the person who offended us, leave the consequences to God, and forget it. Let's not let another day pass allowing those rotten memories to contaminate our minds and spirits in the present. Let's close that haunted Memory Storehouse door forever, lock it, throw away the key—and never come near it again.


When I've deposited all those injustices and offenses at the foot of the Cross, I must leave them there and go away empty-handed. What a relief to let God even up old scores when He renders His divine justice!

Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

Saturday, April 29, 2017

OIL BENEATH MY SAND


We may know now where the country of Kuwait is since the Gulf war spotlighted it. But a generation or so ago it was not widely known and inhabited mostly by poor Bedouin tent dwellers. They were sheep and goat herders, impoverished and pathetic. As if things weren't bad enough, they noticed that their water source had become contaminated.

They were reported complaining, “If only there wasn't an oil slick on the water of our wells and rivers, our animals could drink safely and we could survive.” That was before they found out the incredible value of that nuisance oil that lay beneath the surface of the sand. Their discovery made them among the richest people in the world. Palaces replace tents and modern high rise buildings and resorts dot the sand dunes.

What is our “if only” complaint?

If only my circumstances had been different....
If only I had been born of different parents....
If only I had received more education or studied a different field....
If only I had such and such talent or ability....
If only I had married someone else....
If only my children had turned out better....
If only I had chosen a different job or career....
If only I could change my location....
If only I were young again and could start all over....

The grass always looks greener somewhere else. The Lord promised to lead His children “in green pastures” but perhaps the desert of our present life doesn't look much like a palm-treed oasis. Other people always seem to get the breaks.

Have we given serious thought and prayer to the fact that the oil in our water source may be there for some wonderful purpose of God? For our good? We are where we are because God planted us there. We are exactly who we are meant to be because God planned it that way. What we think is a hindrance, an obstacle, a stone of stumbling, may be a stepping stone for some opportunity that we have yet to see.

Our response as Christians to our circumstances is the key to finding the oil beneath the sand of our personal desert. We may be seeing no further than the smelly sheep and goats of our humdrum daily lives. God may have spiritual oil derricks in mind whereby we could not only experience victory over the adversities in our lives, but we could point others to our source of strength in Christ.

Let's look over the sandy desert of our lives today and put aside the “If onlys” of our grievences. It is a matter of outlook and attitude and vision. Let's pray that the Lord would open our eyes to see “green pastures and still waters” not as a false mirage but as a optimistic reality. We don't have to move anywhere else or change our circumstances. The Lord might have exciting surprises for us in the very situation where He has put us!
****

(The above is a sample of the 85 short, uplifting devotional meditations from Leona's 281 page book Living It UP! available with 3 live recorded CDs of her radio broadcast programs. A great book for your own personal devotions, to give to parents to encourage their walk with God, as a gift to the newly retired, and for your friends in care facilities. Only $15 plus s/h $4. Order from leonachoy@gmail.com)


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

MIX OR MATCH—YOUR CHOICE!

Leona hopes she has written just the right book for you that will reach the target of your heart's need--or that of your friends. How to decide which book or books you want to order?

She has tried to give you suggestions by offering 9 “bundled” specials during these past few weeks for folks who want to order her books according to certain subject matter -- and receive a discount to boot. Those offers are ongoing. You will always be able to access the details by going to the category BOOKS AND PUBLISHING in the column on the right of her Home Page.

Leona wants to make it simple and easy for you to order her books—all of her classics and her recently published titles. As always, orders promptly filled and your books signed by Leona according to your wishes! 

So, here's an idea to make it still easier for you!



 At ANYTIME you may order ANY of Leona's books as SINGLES, DOUBLES, or TRIPLES regardless of TITLES or SUBJECTS for the following standard, ongoing prices:


SINGLES = One copy of any of Leona's books without exception will continue to cost only $12.95 plus $4 s/h. 

 “Mix or match” DOUBLES = Two of the same title or two different books: Always only $25 plus $5 s/h.

TRIPLES = “Mix or match” any three books: three of the same books or three different books regardless of title or subject always only $35 plus $5 s/h.

If you wish to order a quantity of a certain title, inquire for a discount. 
Isn't that simple?


And now, for your convenience, you can pay by credit card through paypal.me/LeonaChoy

You can always order by email: leonachoy@gmail.com or phone Leona 540-877-1813

Your checks made payable to Leona Choy and send to 497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603

NOTE! If you or someone you know needs or would benefit from a specific book from Leona but is unable for various reasons to pay for it, just let Leona know. God has blessed her and she will see to it that they will receive the book free-of-charge. Leona's books are a ministry as unto the Lord and not a for-profit-business.

RADIO BROADCAST “BUNDLE” (9)


Leona's book Living It Up! 
and 3 of her “live” broadcast CDs
previously aired on WTRM-FM

All for only $15 plus $4 s/h!

Excellent gift “bundle” for senior friends, retirement gifts, and other occasions for friends and families.

For 5 years Leona Choy, president of radio station Southern Light Gospel Music Network, produced and aired her popular 5 minute daily broadcasts.

Many of Leona's programs have been reformatted on CD and are now available for your inspirational listening at home or in your car while commuting, shopping, or traveling. Each CD contains one hour of broadcasts each program complete in itself for bite-sized listening.


The book Living It Up! Meditations for “Seasoned Saints” contains 281 pages of Leona's radio broadcasts in comfortable size print font. Uplifting short selections specifically for sojourners in “prime time years.” Encouraging you to press on to new horizons of attitudes and faith.


These are “the best of...” selected broadcasts in which Leona shares her heart and experiences of mature years. Use them as daily devotional readings of positive thoughts to help you to keep growing and climbing more spiritual mountains. Share this "bundle" with your retired or retiring friends!

ORDER through: leonachoy@gmail.com or 540-877-1813 
Make checks payable to Leona Choy
 497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603. 
You may prefer to pay by credit card to paypal.me/LeonaChoy

LAND OF MORE TRILOGY "Bundled" (8)


The LAND OF MORE Trilogy


In the first book: JOURNEY
After a joy filled lifetime as an evangelical missionary, author, minister's wife, publisher, and radio broadcaster, and already in advanced years, the farthest thing from Leona's mind was to make any faith paradigm shift. An unexpected encounter with a respected long time ministry friend who did just that was to eventually challenge her faith trajectory. She determined to explore that friend's faith journey in order to refute it. In this book, Leona chronicled her initial questions, misconceptions, presuppositions, and surprising discoveries about the Catholic Church. In the process, she weighed the consequences this JOURNEY could bring her if she was persuaded of its truth.  After four years of intense historical research, biblical study and prayer, she felt God's leading at the age of 80 to be received into the Catholic Church which she calls The Land of More .


The second book: TREASURES
A natural sequel to the first, endeavors to answer the question: What were her first few years like as a new Catholic Christian? The short answer is that they launched Leona into a still greater fruitful, active, and exciting season of spiritual discovery, relationships and ministry. Did her advanced age keep her from enjoying the new TREASURES? How did she square it all with the Scriptures? Did she have to leave behind her entire lifetime evangelical backpack of already acquired precious treasures? How did she deal with the cross-cultural adjustments in her new Catholic world? How has she "bridged" relationships with a lifetime of evangelical friends and coworkers? What was the mother lode of treasure she found, and all the other gold nuggets spilling out of the spiritual treasure chest of the Church?


In her third book: FLOURISHING
Leona discovered STILL MORE! She shares her overall experiences while living as a Catholic Christian into her nonagenarian years. Our vintage season or as Leona calls it, our "summit years," is normally packed with adjustments and struggles unique to that period of life. In her Catholic faith lived out, Leona found gems of joyous truth shining even more brilliantly in the Scriptures. She was encouraged to endure and persevere until mortal life's finish line. "Flourishing" is not the usual way many people think of the calendar challenge. But Leona does! As the climb to the summit becomes steeper, she shares insights with her readers which help make the aging journey's "rough places smoother" and the "crooked places straighter."

These books will challenge someone who thinks he or she is too old to change. We are on solid ground if we are willing to explore firsthand the authentic historical and biblical facts for ourselves. Our faith can be refreshed as we rediscover
STILL MORE about the precious treasures of God's Truth
 that we might be taking for granted.

Each book $12.95 plus $4 s/h.
 Set of entire Trilogy $35 plus $5 s/h
Order through leonachoy@gmail.com or 540-877-1813
Make checks payable to Leona Choy 
and send to 497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603
Credit card payment may be made through
paypal.me/LeonaChoy

Sunday, April 23, 2017

WRITING TRILOGY "Bundled" (7)



Leona Choy's
WRITING Trilogy
Get a Jump Start for Your Writing

God has given the creative gift of writing to some people who may need a little helpful nudge to develop that gift and skill. Don't let your ideas wash away in the sands of time. Leave legacy footprints!

Leona has written some books to provide inspiration, motivation, and a big dose of practical initial assistance in several areas to put some wind under your wings.

*You may want to write your own life story, your memoir, for your family—or for a larger outreach.
*You might want to leave a witness to your faith for the generations which follow.
* Perhaps you'd like to pass on your generational heritage and culture.If not you, who? If not now, when?
*You might have an urge to write your deeper thoughts in verse form or you already do so but would like to polish your skills.
* Whether you want to write poetry or not, you might like to learn what it's all about and how to appreciate different styles of poetry.
*Or you are simply looking for some suggestions on how to capture the ideas that are flitting around like butterflies in your mind and put them down in writing. 
*Or you might have reached the point where you are thinking about the publishing process for what you are writing.


Your life and thoughts are important to you and to God and possibly to others. You have survived ups and downs, adversities and celebrations, and reached milestones. You have acquired some wisdom with the years that you want to share.
 Don't wait--Write about it!

  Order Leona's WRITING TRILOGY for only $25 plus $4 s/h from leonachoy@gmail.com or 540-877-1813 
Make checks payable to Leona Choy 
497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603
You may now use your credit card through paypal.me/LeonaChoy

PSALMS POETRY BUNDLE (6)


PSALMS OF MY HARVEST
Leona Choy's Contemporary Poetry



Many have asked about a new collection of my poetry written during my personal harvest season of life, most of which you have been reading in recent years on my blog posts.
 Okay, here it is—One of my five newly published books is nearly 200 pages of my "vintage years" poems: 
 PSALMS OF MY HARVEST.

Friends who are already familiar with my poetry from my blog and my other published Anthologies know that I don't write run-of-the-mill rhymed and metered greeting card verse. I take my own path less traveled by writing free verse full of similes, metaphors,
 figurative language and poetic devices.
 But you never need to wonder what the point of my poem is. 
I don't leave you guessing. At the same time, I don't "sermonize."

I call my versifications "psalms" and my collection is virtually a "hymnbook" since most of them are "Psalms to the King of kings," unsophisticated prayers about ordinary matters and dialogues with God which reflect my hopefully accumulated wisdom as a nonagenarian. These psalm-poems are learning-observations during my joyful autumn years, which I call 

my calendar-challenged season at the summit of my days. 
But wait!
 Some have let me know that as much as they appreciate reading my poetry in print and sharing it with friends, they still would like to HEAR me read some of it aloud. Then, when they read other books of my poetry, it would be as if they could "hear my voice" from the written page.

Sowhenever you order a copy of PSALMS OF MY HARVEST, I will include a one hour CD on which I read some of my poems from this new volume as well as from my other collections. 
 
And More! 

As long as the supply lasts, I will choose still another previously published book of my poetry and include it in your order as a surprise bonus!

Another "bundled" discount!
All for only $16 plus $4 s/h!

ORDER through my email address: leonachoy@gmail.com or 540-877-1813 
Make checks payable to Leona Choy 497 Devland Dr. Winchester, VA 22603. 
You may prefer to pay by credit card to paypal.me/LeonaChoy