Sunday, April 29, 2018


Does an author ever write anything that is not targeted for publication?
I explored that in chapter nine in my recently published book, Writing For The Supreme Editor titled "Homespun Writing." 

That kind of writing is "published" not in a paperback edition or online but in real time from our hearts to the hearts of people for whom we specifically write. It already accomplishes its purpose. No publicist or marketing or promotion or publicity needed. People close to us are often the ones to receive such writing. 

In the case below, I wrote it to be put into a Time Capsule to be opened by my twin great-granddaughters on their 18th birthday. Today we celebrate their first birthday.

My writing will be "in print" for 18 years and be "reprinted" in the year 2036, Lord willing. That's a longer in stock duration than most books rolling off the press these days. At its "publication" today it has subsidiary readers by family and friends and my blog viewers across the country and around the world. I'd say that's a pretty extensive readership for a piece of homespun writing that wasn't intended for the usual publication track, wouldn't you?

Dear Great-grandchildren Abigail and Charlotte,

My name is Leona Choy. Many in our family call me “Bubi” which is the short form of the Czech language word pronounced “Bubitchka” which means “grandmother.” I am your great-grand-Bubi.
I was so excited to meet both of you beautiful babies when you came to visit me soon after you were born!  

Today you are celebrating your first birthday in real time, but apparently you will not be reading this note from me until you are 18 years old. We used to say that something like that is pretty “cool.” I don't know what newly coined words you say at the time you are reading this.

I wonder what you both look like as you are reading this 18 years later—you are two beautiful, intelligent young women for sure, who are probably living in a much different society than you were when you celebrated your first birthday. I can hardly imagine what your world will be like in 2036.
I won't be around to celebrate your 18th birthday with you. I expect to be in Heaven where I also anticipate meeting you girls someday. Then we will all be together again like when we were on Earth and we'll have a mega-celebration to get to know each other again.
I might actually know all about your growing years even when I'm in Heaven. I've been praying to my Heavenly Father God for you every day since long before you were born. When I get to Heaven, I believe I will keep on doing the same thing—praying for you every day.  

Oops! Maybe they don't count days in Heaven since everything there is forever? Perhaps God sends His angels to Earth to carry out the answers to the prayers we are bringing to Him for those we love who are still on Earth--like you. We will have lots of surprises when we get to Heaven!
You probably won't remember me when you are 18 because you were too young to figure out who is who among all the people in your family who love you. As you grow, you will sort out who is who. But your G-G Bubi has written a lot of books so that when you read them, you will get to know me too. Perhaps one or both of you will become writers too?  

I was once a baby like you girls. This is my picture before I was one year old.  I didn't have any sisters or brothers.
When I grew up I had children of my own, four boys. Your Poppy Cliff was one of them. 

This is a picture of him with his brothers when he was a little boy. He is the one sitting in front of me. Yes, that is me G-G Bubi holding Poppy's new baby brother. To my right is my mother, Marie. To my left is Poppy's Daddy Ted.
Years went by and I was thrilled to have 10 grandchildren...your Mommy Kristen was one of them.
Eventually God blessed me with great-grandchildren like you. You girls were #12 and #13 of my great-grandchildren.
Then more years went by and I had the fun of growing really older. This is my picture when I was 90 years old. I am almost 93 when I am writing this letter to you. 

Through the love that your Daddy Bob and Mommy Kristen had for each other, you girls were born. That is how you got your earthly bodies. I call them “earth suits.” 

Those bodies will grow old someday too. 
But when you were born, God also gave each of you separately a soul or spirit deep within you, invisible. That is the “real you.” Because God made your soul for living forever and ever. It will never grow old and die. I hope you will be learning more about all the exciting things that God, your Creator, planned for you two. 
God loves you more than you can imagine and wants to be your closest Friend and Heavenly Father all your lives. God is with you constantly so you will never need to feel alone even at times when  you will be away from each other and living your own lives separately. He designed a wonderful and different plan for both of you for your lives according to the talents and gifts and abilities He has given differently to both of you. I get so excited to think about what you both will become in your lives!

I want you both to know that I love you dearly, heaps and a bundle, and I'm so proud to have you in my life.
I want to give you a blessing:
“May the Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you (that means “smile”) and enlighten you and be gracious, kind, merciful and giving favor to you; May the Lord lift up His approving countenance upon you and give you peace, tranquility of heart and life continually.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

I pray that God may lead you, Abigail and Charlotte, all through your lives ahead and bless and prosper you in all your ways—forever and forever.

With all my love,
Your great-grand-Bubi Leona Choy

Friday, April 27, 2018


STUCK is the word of the day for “FMF” Five Minute Friday writing challenge.

My son Rick specializes in getting people UNSTUCK.

 That is because he owns a big kinda rusty ol' yeller John Deere backhoe.

We live in a wooded lots subdivision and his volunteer services are often needed whatever the season.

In winter after a blizzard our neighbors get STUCK in snow banks.

In rainy spring they manage to get their riding mowers STUCK in the mud by the creek.

My grandson Jeffrey got his pickup truck STUCK in the woodland last week while clearing out some nasty, thorny undergrowth.

I got to thinking about the people in my own life who sometimes pull me out of my STUCK situations. God bless them for encouraging me and acting as my cheerleaders when I'm feeling low.

We all have times when we're emotionally or even literally in the pits. King David the Psalmist talks about God rescuing him when he's “STUCK in the miry clay.” The Lord God is our John Deere. We put out an S.O.S. and God immediately shows up to pull us out and set us on a rock—the solid Rock, Jesus. “He is our ever-present help in time of trouble.”

I think about my own responsibility to other people who are STUCK in the problems of life and need my John Deere assistance. I must lovingly come alongside them with my encouragement and offer my strength derived from God to UNSTUCK them. The Lord tells me to “bear one another's burden and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Whatever the season of my life or in the lives of the STUCK ones, I must be there on call for them “in season and out of season.” That's what the Body of Christ is all about. We are knit together in the love of God and love for one another.

Monday, April 23, 2018

“Wait for YOUR TURN!”

Written for the prompt word "TURN" for FMF Community challenge

When I was a toddler my mother's constant words whenever she took me to the park or when she was teaching me to play nicely with my neighborhood playmates, “Take turns now. Your turn will come.” But children aren't born with an ounce of patience.

My turn eventually did come.

When I grew impatient to start kindergarten like the neighbor children, again I heard, “Your turn will come.”

And it did, of course.

Later, when I was anxious to grow up quickly and graduate and get on with life, “Your turn will come.”

And it did.

I couldn't wait to finish college and get on with planning for my wedding. Yes, my turn came.

And my turn came to become a mother.

Then a grandmother.

Then my turn has come to experience the joy of being a great-grandmother of 13 youngsters.

Now, with God's generous blessing of longevity, I look eagerly ahead for my turn to lay aside my “earth suit” and turn it in for a “space suit” more appropriate for Eternal Immortal Living.

“To everything there is a season,” declared the wisest of men in the Scriptures. “There is a turn for every stage of life. That's the perfect way God designed it.

Monday, April 16, 2018


I pray for something now that wasn't on my priority list earlier in my life. “Lord, keep me from falling!”

I didn't have a problem with my balance before. I could literally run to and fro in the fast lane of life. Being calendar-challenged now, compounded by neuropathy, changes the picture. My medical persons warn me not to fall because my “earth suit” is now more fragile and broken bones would be disastrous.

I see a correlation with my spiritual life as a Christian. Some of us solid Rock Christians, when undergoing pressures and trials, have been known to slip and stumble and fall. Due to the length of the journey of life and the weariness of always trudging uphill, some of us lose our balance and fall. 

Sometimes Christians whose life is built on the Rock, who have known the joy of the Lord, as time goes on grow cold and lose their joy. (Luke 8:13) “But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.”

Rather than adversity, it could be prosperity and success that contributes to our fall. (1 Timothy 6:9) “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”

Do we think that we would never fall? Do I? (1 Corinthians 10:12) “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” The apostle Peter, of all people, bragged that although all others would fall away, he would never do so. You know the rest of the story.

Scripture instructs us to look out for ourselves lest we fall. Beyond that, we are responsible to lift up other “fallen rock” brothers and sisters in Christ.

Driving along the blue line roads of Virginia surrounded by forest and rocky formations close to the roadside, I have come upon signs warning “Watch for falling rocks!” Erosion loosens rocks that were once firmly embedded and they tumble down onto the traffic lanes. The fallen rocks become a danger to others, as do we. When we fall, we drag others down with us.

Peter sums it up from his own experience. (2 Peter 3:17) “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.”

One of the major factors contributing to our potential fallen state is when we have “fallen out of love” with our Lord. In Revelation 2:4 Jesus tells His own beloved ones, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

If we have become “fallen rocks,” it need not be permanent. Nor is it a problem only for us in our later years. Isaiah 40:30 “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.”

God promises to uphold us in our weakness and pick us up when we fall. (Psalm 37:24) “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.” “The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:14).

Friday, April 13, 2018

My OTHER authorblog is being birthed

For the FMF writers' prompt word for today: OTHER

I've been working on “OTHER” in a creative way in my blogosphere lately. I've been a blogger for 10 years and although I will continue my inspirational posting there, I'm excited to be birthing an OTHER second blog dedicated to serving Christian writers.

I hope to launch this authorblog in a week or so—I won't give you the link yet because I haven't fully fleshed it out, added the Mailchimp, etc. I'm “aflutter” (pardon the butterfly pun, given the theme I'm using) about its potential and the interactive way I'm setting it up and the services I'm offering to writers.

Below I copy the last couple of paragraphs of my “WELCOME” page as an appetizer. I hope it tastes good to you and you'll come over to visit me as soon as this OTHER blog is flying. Stay tuned!

“For some time I've been sending encouraging writing "Tips"-- suggestions, resources and meaningful writing links by email to writers I'm coaching.

I've used the analogy of writers eventually becoming like butterflies after starting out as caterpillars, going through the quiet, growing chrysalis stage and ultimately emerging to fly freely on their unique beautiful wings. I plan to continue my service of "Butterfly Tips" through my posts on this blog.

The hopeful dreamer, the "wannabe" beginning writer is like the lowly
caterpillar full of potential but hardly aware of what could be coming. All writers start out in that stage but shouldn't stay at ground level. God intends more for you. You aren't meant to crawl forever; you were meant to fly! The main occupation of a beginning writer, like a caterpillar, is to "eat" to build himself up for the next stage by learning his craft, listening to God and moving forward. 

Most writers experience a chrysalis stage where nothing seems to be happening. We feel static and isolated and getting nowhere. Time and patience are needed. We are being formed in the darkness for the surprise that is looming ahead!

With the help of the Creator of this splendid metamorphosis, the butterfly struggles and in due time comes forth from its cocoon. Just so, the butterfly writer emerges from his inertia and takes flight. With much editing and revision he begins to successfully and professionally communicate his message and becomes published. He realizes the potential that God put within him when he was in his caterpillar stage. An awesome transformation!

I encourage you through this new authorblog to pursue your calling as a butterfly-to-be Christian writer. What is your mission, if you choose to accept it? To pollinate your part of the world with the Good News of the Kingdom of God through whatever genre He is giving you.
With God, it isn't a "mission impossible!"

Let's get busy at our computer keyboards so we can bless the world and witness for the Lord through communicating His message as skilled wordsmiths in God's Kingdom.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


What's the story behind sick people pressing upon Jesus trying to touch his clothing to be healed? The passage from Mark 6:56 sent me on a search for Jewish culture and traditions at the time of Christ. 

Biblical scholars tell us that some Scripture translations need more accurate rendering. It was not simply the “hem” of His ordinary garment which the woman with the issue of blood reached out to touch. 

More correctly translated in some versions, it was the fringe, or tassels on His Prayer Shawl. As a Rabbi, Jesus would have worn one most of the time over his ordinary clothing and around His shoulders. The Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all mention this. Definitely Jesus would have worn it when He “went apart alone to pray” or when He taught in the Synagogues. It was called a “Tallith.”

When I was traveling in Israel, I bought a modern one which was quite elaborate. 

A Tallith today is made of silk or wool, usually white, interwoven with threads of blue, gold, and silver. Each color has some significance. The “zizith” are the fringes or tassels of entwined threads at the four corners of the shawl which people were reaching out to touch for healing. Smaller tassels are in series of 10 to represent the 10 Commandments. 

Often a representation of the tablets of the Commandments is embroidered on it, as well as the 7 stick candelabra. Hebrew words from the Torah, for instance: “The Lord our God is one God” and other quotations are embroidered on it. The tassels at the ends are blue or purple and longer than the others. A Rabbi or Messianic Jewish friend could tell us more about the spiritual and traditional significance of the designs.

In the Old Testament in Numbers 15:37- 41 and Deuteronomy 22:12 God commanded Moses to give specific instructions to the men of Israel how certain items should be made and their significance. The tassels at the corners were a reminder to keep the Commandments of God. They became the symbol of Jewish obedience to the Law. Jesus condemned the Scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites in Matthew 23:5 for making their tassels overly long to publicly display their piety while their actions didn’t measure up.

Some biblical scholars suggest that the word translated “tent” in reference to the apostle Paul's occupation to support himself while preaching so that he would not be a burden to those who heard his good news actually means the making of Prayer Shawls. Not tents in the sense of durable cloth sewn together to provide a place of temporary living outdoors. “Tentmaking” was also the occupation of Priscilla and Aquila mentioned in Acts. Jewish society at that time would not have been a ready market for such a commodity as collapsible shelters. 

(Still other scholars believe that Paul and his friends were constructing the temporary booths that were required for the Feast of the Tabernacles called Sukkot. So the jury is still out on the precise meaning of their occupation.)

In Israeli society then as well as now, there was little time alone because people lived so crowded together. Jesus often felt the urgency for privacy, to separate Himself from the crowd, even from His disciples, to listen to His Father. When a Jewish man wanted to pray, he could do so anywhere and anytime by putting his Prayer Tallith around his shoulders or over his head. Immediately, whether there was a crowd around him or not, he was “praying in secret” as Jesus described it. Some suppose that “entering into your closet to pray” could also have referred to creating a private place for prayer by putting on the Prayer Shawl.

These days in our society privacy is at a premium as well. Our cities are crowded and at home we are often surrounded by family members. Friends, work associates, and the general public press in upon us when we are away from home. Quiet time to pray is hard to come by. Nevertheless, we can and should “pray without ceasing” throughout the day whatever the circumstances as the apostle Paul wrote.

Christ indwells the believer. God is always with me and in me by His Holy Spirit. I am never separated from Him. However, some people may find it helpful during their private prayers to use some tangible symbol to make such time special. Some people light a candle. It can be a reminder to approach the presence of God in silence and with a spirit of reverence and awe.

Of course there is nothing magical about putting on a prayer shawl of whatever kind when I set aside a regular time for prayer. We don’t have to use an authentic one such as Jewish men, and women too, use today during prayer. It can be a scarf around my shoulders or a veil over my head as a symbol that I am separating myself from the distractions around me while devoting myself to prayer. 

When Susanna Wesley, mother of 18 children (including her famous preacher and hymn writer sons, John and Charles Wesley) wanted privacy for prayer, she pulled her work apron over her head. Whether she was in the kitchen or the bedroom, her children, even the youngest ones, knew and respected her quiet time with God.

In whatever way we reach out to touch Jesus for healing, wisdom, strength or provision of our daily needs, the promise is “Draw near unto God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) 

No matter what crowd is pressing around us, how our circumstances push us to the wall, how we long for personal space, how much we desire healing and wholeness of body, mind or spirit, we can touch Jesus as did the woman in the crowd. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them” (Psalm 145:18, 19).

Friday, April 6, 2018


 (For the FMF writers' challenge to write on the word "release.")

BARNACLES are small marine crustaceans, saltwater animals with an  external shell-like covering. They are "attachers." They join themselves permanently to ships, wharves, and rocks, and other marine animals. Clinging to the hull of a ship they can reduce the vessel's speed. The ship must be put in dry dock to have the bottom scraped from barnacles. 

I too am like some ships at sea which are loaded down with barnacles. I'm weighted down, slowed from pressing on to the best plan God has for my life. I confess to unwanted attachments and feelings. I need to release them, let them go!

I unnecessarily cling to offenses against me, real or imagined. They multiply exponentially. I remember hurts and keep the wounds open by reviewing them in my mind. I cling to negative emotions long after the situation is resolved which was the cause of them. I should release these barnacles. I should let them go!

I can't seem to forget events of the past when I was slighted or disappointed, occasions when I was sinned against or taken advantage of. They are barnacles. I should let them go!

Sometimes I, myself am a barnacle clinging to some relationship that is over, trying to resurrect a friendship that should be relegated to the past. There may be people I should allow to leave my life, whom God wants out of my life. I may be holding on to a wrong relationship or an addiction. I should intentionally release it. I should let it go!

I might be holding on to some thoughts of evil or revenge, planning to get even with someone for what he or she did to me. I must let it go!

If I am stuck in the past and God is trying to take me to a new level in Him, I should turn my back on the past, let it go, and let God do His new work in me. If I keep trying to help someone who doesn’t accept or want my help, I should back off and let it go! If there is a particular situation that I am used to handling myself and God is saying 'take your hands off of it,' then I need to let it go!

If I don't release these things voluntarily, God may need to scrape these barncales off. The process is sure to be painful. Nevertheless, I will be lightened to “press on to the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus...” (Philippians 3: 13, 14). The Lord will bless me with a fresh start in a new direction if I allow Him to scrape the barnacles off of my life. 

In my older calendar years I have an even greater accumulation of barnacles from which I need to be detached. No matter what my age or how complicated my circumstances, God is sufficient if I am willing to let them go, release them, detach myself from the “clingers,” forget the past, and surrender myself totally into His hands.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Why Does the Sky Cry?

(For the online writing-challenge--an April poem)
One might expect a little child to ask such an innocent, naive question when watching the spring rain fall. Since I am a “forever-child” of my Heavenly Father, He won’t object to my asking the same question.
       A dark, overcast sky with gentle raindrops pattering on my roof and splashing in puddles outside evokes conflicting emotions within me—I feel wistful, happy, yet sad, peaceful, nostalgic, and pensive all wrapped up with melancholy.
 Rain makes me feel both restful and restless.

Sky Tears

Why does the sky cry?

For what has been and is no more?

For what is not and never will be?

For what will be but is delayed?

Does the sky cry from emptiness or fullness?

Or simply because in the cycle of seasons

it is time to cry?

The sky needs release and the thirsty ground

needs sky tears to soften the soil

and prepare for spring:

 the planting, sprouting, birth of life.

The weeping sky and the rejoicing earth

meet in expectancy for the certainty

of growth after the spring rain.

Why does my heart cry?

I don't know why. Perhaps

for all the reasons

of the sky and earth combined

for I am part of that cycle of life

and its seasons.

I seem to be always in transition

always in anticipation

always in passage to another stage.

I too cry from emptiness and from fullness

and for release. Sometimes wistfully

looking backward

and then again pressing

longingly forward.

Sometimes my tears are neither sad nor glad.

Perhaps my tears are the bridge between

the loving decrees of God for my life

those unknown episodes

still beyond the horizon

and the thirst of my earth-heart to know

what they are and what the coming spring will bring

after the planting, after the sprouting

after the births of life that will come forth in me


after my spring rain.