Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Conversations you may have had with God

Hi, friends,

Ever had a conversation with God like I did today?
It's a glorious day in Florida, the kind I used to dream of when we lived in New York. So why would I hang on my computer doing email until after 11 AM? Frankly, I'm a workaholic, wanting to change. So I put on my sneakers, turned the iTyrant off, and went out the door.
Stepping into the fresh breeze, I aimed for two miles of brisk walking and talking with God. Instantly, I was confessing what I slug I've become.

"Lord, I'm so sorry for putting off exercise again just because of a sore elbow. I could have been walking every day. Now I've gained ten pounds since last Spring, can't fit into any of my pants, and my thighs are rubbing. I'm such a mess!"

He whispered, It isn't what you put into your mouth that defiles you; it's what comes out.

"Are you telling me I've been sinning with my words more than my appetite?"

No, I'm telling you that the care of your body, mind, and spirit are designed to work together with Me? That's how I made you. Remember, Virelle?

"I guess I forgot that again, Lord. I'm sorry. Can you explain it to me again?"

Do you remember in my Word where I cautioned you to see that your whole body, mind, and spirit were preserved blameless until my coming? When you neglect one part, the whole person can't walk in step with me fully. Do you want to do that, my Child?

"Yes, of course I do. But I fail so easily, Lord. I get lazy, and selfish, and well, You know how I get."

I felt His smile.

Yes, I do. But I love you anyway. Remember, you are to live your life with Me not by power, nor by might, but by My Spirit. I will help you all the way. You have only to ask. (see Zechariah 4: 6)

"Help me keep in step with you, Lord, and stop me when I'm going my own way. I love you, Lord."

And I love you, Child.

Forty minutes later I came home, fully refreshed. I'd met countless neighbors and dogs and talked with all of them. But it's what God said to me today that made all the difference.
Had to share this with you. May only His very best come into your life in the New Year.

1 Thessalonians 5: 23- 24 "May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it."

Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas Love to You!

Merry Christmas, friends!

We just returned from a week in cold New York visiting our son David and his wife, Jose, and two little boys, Jack and Stephen, for Thanksgiving. What happy times we had with them, celebrating Jack's third birthday, listing to his observations about Thanksgiving ("I'm thankful for Stephen."), hearing 18 month old Stephen tap his grandpa on the cheek and say, "Papa" so lovingly. Does it get any better?

It was fun being in their home for the first time at Thanksgiving, enjoying the loving atmosphere, plus having our daughter Amy join us. Over the top family times. The day beforehand we visited my 95 year old mother in her nursing home in Albany, NY and had a grand visit together. God fills my life with more good than bad. I'm grateful for that.

During difficult times (and who doesn't have them?), it's easy to forget God's goodness. While rereading Psalm 103 recently, I realized how true each verse is in my own life. When I began thanking God for each blessing listed, it amazed me how much I take for granted every day. So many gifts of His goodness fill my plate today. Can you count your own? Maybe during this Christmas season we could each thank God out loud at the beginning and end of our day for all the ways He's showed us His love, beginning with Jesus as our real, true, forever Savior.

I remember the first Christmas after I'd asked Jesus into my heart being in church and realizing for the first time what the words in the carols meant. Wow! They were no longer holiday songs, but celebrations bursting in my heart of the new reality of knowing Jesus as my Savior and Lord. Have you felt the same way, too? Did you know God's greatest desire is for you to know Him personally, to entire His forever family completely cleansed from sin? Because of Jesus' death on the cross for each one of us, we can be fully forgiven and welcomed into God's family. Take a moment and read John 5: 24 today. Invite Jesus to be your Savior and Lord this Christmas. He's the best gift you'll ever receive.

His Best to you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Celebrate With Me!!

Hi, friends,
This is a day to celebrate! My new book, The Best Life Ain't Easy, But it's Worth It will release October 1 with Moody Press. Want to take a peek at my new video trailer on Youtube? I thought you would. Just click this address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaRCAldik6w

The Best Life Ain't Easy is the most personal, honest, reflective story I've ever told and it's all about God's patience and persistent love in my life. It reads like a novel. I was ecstatic when Jerry Jenkins said he couldn't put it down. I hope you'll find a copy soon and read it. Please write me and let me know what you think. You might also win a signed copy, as I'll choose names right here on my blog for gift copies. Just write me at connect@virellekidder.com to enter the drawing. Mark the subject line "blog giveaway."

Next, "Virelle & Friends: Let's Get Real" will launch at the same time. It's an exciting newsletter just for women, published about five or six times a year. The most real women I know will join us, authors and experts, novelists and writers, doers and dreamers. I hope you'll find it a must read and pass it on to your friends. If you'd like to be on my mailing list (never shared), please hop over to www.virellekidder.com and sign up.

In mid-September I had the joy of speaking at Cooperstown Bible Camp in North Dakota, one of the most beautiful places you could imagine. Just a hint of autumn made this Florida girl feel good. Best of all, we had a larger than expected attendance and God showed up! He watered each of our souls and bonded us as sisters in just three days. What a privilege it is to meet freely in His Name and share our faith openly.

I'll look forward to getting to know each of you in the weeks and months to come. Visit my website to sign up for "Virelle & Friends" and leave a comment or a question for me.
God's best to you today!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Beautiful Gift

Here are three photos of Steve's "Loving Hands" marble sculpture which he presented to me for our 42nd anniversary. He worked hundreds of hours on them. The marble is from Istanbul, purchased from his sculpting teacher Baris Karyazagan several years ago. Please see earlier posts for more about this sculpture. What a gift! These photos don't do them justice. They are breathtaking. The larger hand is, of course, a somewhat expanded model of Steve's hands, and the smaller one is an exact replica of mine. Really amazing!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Something Smells Wonderful!

What's your favorite smell? Among my favorite smells in the world are hamburgers on the grill, pot roast, popcorn, and anything with cinnamon or chocolate in the oven. As I write this, I have brownies baking, a rare event for me now, because company's coming! That's my idea of real fun. Nothing I love better than having friends and family visit. Our house smells fantastic!
One of the things I love most about God, is that He loves a party, too! A big party, where everyone is invited! The food and wine are the best there is. Remember Jesus at the wedding at Cana where he turned a crisis into the most memorable party anyone had ever attended? My guess is that it was a family wedding, as Mary assumed responsibility for the problem when the wine jog ran dry. She instructs the servants to "Do whatever He tells you." (John 2:5) Good advice.
Today I read in John chapter 6 about another crisis involving a massive crowd that didn't want to go home, and they were all hungry. The disciples were running the numbers to see how much it would cost to feed them. Until a little boy offered Jesus his lunch.
The Host of Heaven invited them all to sit down on the grass. Then He held the 5 small loves and 2 fishes high and thanked His Father for the food. You know the end of the story, I'm sure. No one went home hungry. In fact, there were 12 baskets of leftovers. Amazing.
Why do we ever doubt God will provide what we need?
Gotta run. I smell a party coming on!
Have a happy day,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Got a Minute for God?

Last night, my husband Steve was describing a marble stone carving he's making for me of both of our hands. It's called "Loving Hands." Almost every day he drives his old Buick wagon to our boat yard in Florida and sets up a folding ladder and sandbags, lays out his stone carving tools, puts on a mask and begins six to seven hours of delicate work. As the hands begin to emerge from the marble, each finger is fragile under the gentle pressure of his grinding tool. His biggest fear is marring the whole piece with one slip. After hundreds of hours of work over several years , just describing the nearly finished piece brings tears to his eyes. Have I ever received such a love gift? Will I know how to respond when he unveils it? (He's not allowed me to see it for the past several months.) I went to sleep last night asking God for deeper understanding of Steve's love. I want him to know just how loved I feel that he would create such a beautiful gift for me.

Then the obvious hit me. Not only has God created the whole world as a love gift for you and me, He's fashioned each one of us and placed us in it. (See Psalm 139) Imagine the love involved in that creation! As if that weren't enough, God loved us so much that He gave His own Son to live and die in our place, so we would live forever with Him in eternity. Once Christ comes into our life, God begins to mold us into Christ's image, and that takes a lot of chipping, grinding, and polishing. But you and I are worth it.
Like Steve's sculpture, you and I are a new creation in Christ Jesus. God is showing the world how much He loves us through the emerging image of Christ in our lives.
How do we respond to such gift? With gratefulness, returned love, and a heart that has learned to receive amazing love.
Are you feel long overdue for sensing God's reality in your life, why not look up? That's right. Just look up at the sky, the trees, the beauty around you. God made them all, just like He made you. And you are beautiful in His eyes, too, and highly valued.
Enjoy your day with a grateful heart.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Got a Minute for God?

It's a good question to ask! My day today was filled with email, phone calls, business and personal errands, shopping, and no time at all for writing. Finding quiet time alone with God this morning was a challenge. My husband and I ended up reading a few devotionals and praying briefly in between phone calls. How about you? It's not usually like this, but as Ruth Bell Graham put it, "If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy!"

What's your day like today? Why not take a minute right now, only 60 seconds, and think about all God's goodness in your life. Has He given you a fresh start, protected you or someone you love from serious illness (My husband had a major heart attack about 18 months ago and is perfectly well today.), taken you through difficult financial times, or discouragement? Why not thank Him? Whatever you're facing right now, ask God for what you need. It's a great way to start over.
Blessings to you,