Saturday, March 17, 2018


Something that I have written previously often circles around to nourish ME again because I'm at a new stage of my life and need a reminder to continue to apply it. Or in a little more earthy analogy, I need to "chew my own cud again." I need to trust God Who was piloting me a few years ago when I wrote this, to continue to pilot me safely around new "hidden rocks and treacherous shoals."

Our personal storms are not necessarily age-specific. They may be related to health or finances or relationships or spiritual struggles or mega-fear of national and international terror or economic collapse. We have a Pilot, a skilled and experienced Navigator, waiting for you and me to invite Him on board and allow Him to freely take the helm and bring us to Safe Harbor.

In His loving generosity, God has given me nonagenarian waters—my calendar nineties—in which to navigate. Many others are navigating octogenarian waters, septuagenarian waters, and sexagenarian waters. They are my friends, loved ones, and peers, and the many friends-as-yet-unmet who read my blog.

Each of us has some similar challenges and some unique ones according to the depth of our waters, the intensity of our storm, and our life destiny. If we admit it, we all need help in navigating. 
Navigating is not just paddling around aimlessly in our own canoe or drifting merrily, merrily, gently down the stream. It is not reckless motor boating. To navigate is defined: to plot, ascertain, direct, or manage a ship to keep on its course; to control its position in relation to its destination; to cross a body of water safely and soberly. A navigator is a person who is skilled and experienced in navigation.

I'm not a skilled or experienced navigator regardless of how many years I've lived. I have never lived in my nineties before, and you have never before lived in the circumstances in which you find yourself. These are continually new waters for all of us! I know my Eternal Destination but the nautical miles between here and There are fraught with uncertainty, the weather is changeable, the gathering clouds seem ominous, my ship is quite ancient, and I feel as if I am running short of fuel. 
I'm sending a distress signal for help—an S.O.S. There is an experienced Pilot who hears my signal, and yours.

Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me!

When the darkened heavens frown,
And the wrathful winds come down,
And the fierce waves, tossed on high,
Lash themselves against the sky,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea!

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will,
When Thou sayest to them, “Be still!”
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me!

It doesn't matter at whatever calendar level -genarian any of us is, we reach the point where wisdom dictates that we turn over the helm to Jesus Christ, the Wondrous Sovereign of the sea, and let Him steer our life craft. 

Nor does it matter whether we've been navigating through life with sails which are beginning to tatter, or we feel as if we've been frantically rowing our boat in circles, or we've been lumbering through life like a ponderous steamboat now running out of steam, or whether we've been plowing through life's decades like an unwieldy ocean liner trying to avoid the icebergs with a broken compass--we come to face the reality that our human energy is depleted. The weather forecast is threatening. We can't see clearly what's ahead nor where the rocks lie beneath the churning waves. In our stress and distress we need Jesus in our boat to speak "Peace! Be Still!"
I can't pilot my own ship. Whatever waters still lie ahead of me which I need to navigate, Jesus, Savior, please pilot me!

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
'Twixt me and the Peaceful Rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me:
"Fear not! I will pilot thee!"

Monday, March 12, 2018


I've stood at the pinnacle, the summit of Great North Mountain, our highest point in my part of Virginia, which I can see from my writing studio window. Our radio station tower was located there. I've looked over the valleys below—an incredible view.
I actually live in a valley, Shenandoah Valley. However, I can see Virginia's mountains in the distance. Valley dwellers even call some of their businesses “Mountain View” as does my ENT doctor.

I subtitled the third of my faith autobio Trilogy of books Flourishing on my Summit and the final two chapters of my autobiography Czeching My Roots: View from My Summit and Living on My Summit. The reason? I've been writing them from the vantage point of my calendar-challenged but blessed vintage season, my Summit.

What's to enjoy on life's summit when you are thought to be “over the hill”? The final years of life are more often considered depressing valleys because our best days are behind us. We do have a choice. We can wallow in the loss of our yesterdays, bemoan our limitations of the present, fearful of our lack of a future.

 Or we can take in the fabulous vista of God's faithfulness and savor the fruit of our life from its orchard. We can choose to “smile at the future” as the worthy woman of Proverbs 31 did. “Give her the fruit of her hands,” the last verse declares. God wants us to enjoy our harvest, to munch on a crunchy Virginia Granny Smith apple--although it was not from an orchard that I cultivated.

Age provides a better perspective although we may physically be viewing our summit through diminished physical eyesight, bifocals or through inter-ocular lenses from cataract surgery. Even if we are visually challenged, we can use the eyes of our heart, the “enlightened eyes of understanding” which Ephesians says we possess as God's children. We can even ask God to give us another mountain as 85 year old Caleb asked Joshua on the verge of their entrance into The Promised Land. Why not?

Each new season not only has its challenges and demands, but its own beauties, opportunities and fulfillments to relish. If God gave us this summit time, it is His generous, loving gift. Robert Browning got it right: “Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be, the last for which the first was made. Think of many loved ones who were not blessed with longevity and with whom we were not able to grow old. If we're still here, we still have time, even if only one day, to appreciate our remaining relationships. Each new dawn provides us with another fresh slice of life to rejoice in and live for the Lord. Another chance to make the present day, the present moment, the most meaningful yet.

Let's focus our priorities as though our days were soon coming to a close. They are indeed—whether in a few years, one year, a month or a day. As summit Christians, let's guard our precious calendar commitments as seriously as we would against an approaching hoard of locusts who would eat up all our time. Yes, there is a proliferation of doctor appointments and the growing burden of just getting through the mundane routines of life which are consuming greater and greater amounts of our shorter days. Let's invest whatever discretionary time we have left to cultivate a deeper and closer relationship with Jesus Christ, the Lord of our lives—both temporal and everlasting—a glorious, forever and ever summit relationship.

“So teach us to number our days that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Sunday, March 11, 2018


TIRED, WEARY, FAINT—one definition doesn't fit all. There are nuances of difference in meaning. 

The classic passage in Isaiah chapter 40 expresses all of those words. I tried to mine gold out of each word with the help of a Hebrew-Greek Expository Dictionary, reliable old Webster, the Amplified Version Paraphrase and a comparative word study Concordance. Subtle shades of meaning shine forth to encourage our daily walk with the Lord.

We draw our strength from God whom this text makes clear never becomes weary or tired as we human creations do. Tired implies loss of energy, zip and vitality. We have used up our physical or mental reserves through arduous work, strain or continuous stress. We are depleted and feel drained. Our battery has lost its charge. Such feelings are common to mortal life so we shouldn't feel guilty about being tired.

Jesus became so tired that he could nap in a rocking, rolling boat in the middle of a storm while His disciples panicked in fear for their lives. He had exhausting days and was physically depleted in the human part of His nature. Tired is something that rest and sleep will cure. The three most faithful disciples fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane from physical weakness.

After their return from the ministry of teaching and healing on which He had sent them, Jesus told His disciples they had to retreat to a quiet place to become restored. “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest,” was a remedial invitation extended to us as well. Tired is temporary and part of our temporal existence on Planet Earth.
Rest and sleep and good nourishment, as was the case with Elijah the prophet. He was exhausted mentally and physically after his confrontation and spiritual battle with the pagan prophets of Baal. God prescribed extended restful restoration at his point of need to get him back on his feet.

The Isaiah passage adds another layer over the feeling of tiredness—weariness. We who are in our calendar-challenged years find ourselves not only prone to tire more easily but also inclined to become weary. That isn't exclusive to the aging process; it also afflicts the young. “Even the vigorous young men grow weary and tired and stumble badly.” It is a condition of the flagging spirit. Weary is a protracted feeling not easily remedied, more inward and serious than being physically bushed or wiped out.

What can we become weary of? Well-doing. Weary of discharging responsibilities given us by the Lord. Weary of striving against sin. Weary of the length of the road. Weary of being under the chastening hand of God. Weary of persevering in prayer. 

Endurance, perseverance, faithfulness, determination, fidelity are what God wants us to express as an antidote to being weary. Since He promises to give His strength to us in our weariness, it is His desire for us as His disciples to “know how to sustain the weary one with a word,” (Isaiah 50:4).

Translations differ in the Isaiah 40 verses as to whether we will be able to “run and not get tired, to walk and not become weary” or vice versa. Sometimes a short sprint like a mile run makes us physically tired but the walking, the steady, long road plodding along with its daily routines may make us weary in our spirit. We are not left in doubt how to run. The writer of Hebrews twice encourages us to “run with endurance,” “so when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:36 and 12:1).

Drawn-out weariness will lead to the even more serious condition of fainting. We don't want to go there. In Revelation 2:3, 4 Jesus praised the Church at Ephesus, “And you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.” Then follows the tragic “but.” “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

Galatians 6:9 in the Amplified puts it all in perspective. I don't need any application pointed out to me beyond the Word of God itself speaking to my heart. Am I simply physically depleted? Perhaps I should sleep it off. Am I weary of well-doing? “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

Monday, March 5, 2018


Among the many viewers of my blog, I'm sure there are caterpillar writers and writers in process of emerging from their chrysalis, and already flying butterfly writers who want to soar even higher. I am offering FREE Coaching to Christian Writers at every stage from "Caterpillars to Butterflies."

Please let your writer friends know about this opportunity. 
Why FREE? I want to pass the baton of Writing for the Supreme Editor to the next generation and help Christian writers to the next level or stage in their writing dreams and skills. So I call it “Stage Coaching.” You are never too young or too calendar-challenged to write for God's glory, if you feel a gift arising in you or God is giving you a nudge or a dream.

Some may dream of writing a best seller or being widely published with name or face recognition, or being asked to speak in Writers Conferences or hold workshops, or have a book signing. Hopefully, most of us want first of all to fulfill our calling from God to communicate what He wants to say to specific readers and to give Him the glory. Perhaps you need a coach for awhile to help you refocus your skills, develop new ones and discover new markets for your writing. I want to support you to achieve your specific personal or professional goal by providing guidance.

As your temporary STAGE COACH friend, I want to help you:
  • Improve your writing skills and explore your realistic dreams
  • Refocus your goals in respect to writing, if necessary
  • Move past challenges that may stand in the way of achieving your goals
  • Press forward in your writing beyond your present stage
  • Identify your strengths and talents, natural and spiritual gifts
  • Develop a writing plan to maximize your experiences and present opportunities
We'll “talk by email” about your experience and what you want to accomplish. You'll work on the steps by which you can achieve your goals. I'll suggest how you might improve your writing skills to editorial standards. I will point you to other resources and professional persons in specific areas, if you need extra help. I will offer support and guidance along the way, with my prayers for your progress.

My coaching is not only for beginners who are just discovering God's latent gift of expressing themselves in writing. I also coach my seasoned writing peers and those who are already well-published with skills and experience and publishing credits far beyond mine. I welcome anyone who wants to explore together further ways to move forward “with their stage coach” up the winding trail to a higher stage in their calling as a writer who is a Christian.

There is no charge for my one hour of email coaching.
How to get started:

1. So we can know each other better, read my recent book "Writing for the Supreme Editor," (Order by email: Become familiar with my website and my blog:

2. Email me requesting the Questionnaire to introduce yourself and let me know that you'd like to take advantage of my coaching. Return Questionnaire to me by email.

3. Send me by email a sample of your writing, whatever you wish, up to 1000 words.

I will go over your writing and email you to discuss it and your specific writing interests (back and forth by email as we progress). No deadlines. I may have more specific questions to ask you based on your stated writing dreams and goals.

I will spend at least an hour to prayerfully suggest how you could move forward in your writing. I personalize my coaching—one size doesn't fit all—writers are at different levels and unique in their needs and God-given gifts.

I might ask you to send me more of your writing. When my promised coaching hour together concludes, does that doesn't mean that our communication is over? No, I will continue praying for and encouraging you and follow your progress. I will still be available to answer your questions. I'll probably offer you further suggestions as time goes on. I may point you to helpful writing resources and online Writing Groups for instruction and fellowship.

We'll go with the flow and share the joy of writing together while we watch how God will lead you as you as you write for the Supreme Editor! Email me to get started with our coaching.

Your writing friend,