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Thanks for stopping by emilychase.com.  As a speaker and author of seven books, I have a passion for sharing God's love with my audience.  I hope you'll become a regular part of that audience!

 
The other side of writing... PDF Print E-mail
Author - Other Materials
Monday, 11 April 2016 20:56

 

 

Ask any writer about their passion and they will talk about the pleasure of crafting words, developing characters, and creating plots. The past few weeks, this writer has set aside work on her own novels. Instead, I've been busy with the other side of writing: reading.

 

Part of my work as an author is encouraging the work of fellow writers. This month that meant leading a workshop for new writers, helping them polish their work so that it is ready to submit to an editor. In addition, I've been a judge for the Golden Scroll book awards, reviewing almost a dozen novels that were released in the past year. And, as if reading ten or twelve books for the contest weren't enough, I've also read and reviewed another book that is yet to be released.

 

Rachel J. Good's “Change of Heart” (Charisma House) is the first in her new series of Amish romances. To be honest, I have never been a fan of this genre. Too often the characters are from a dusty stockroom, the plots are predictable. However, Rachel Good's character Lydia faces honest conflict between love and forgiveness, between obedience and passion. The author deftly handles the difficult and lifelong consequences of youthful choices, consequences that impact not only the chief character but her entire extended family.

 

No book is perfect, however. Not even my own! This reader wondered if Lydia's attraction to Caleb was too much based on his physical perfection. Has he no flaws? Even a single zit or an irritating habit might have made him more human. The resolution of the plot in “Change of Heart” felt rushed. What triggered the sudden change of attitude in Lydia's father?

 

Few books answer all the reader's questions, but Rachel Good has managed to lift Amish romance to a higher level: I actually enjoyed it. Now, as I at last turn to pick up work on my own novel again, I hope readers can say the same for my writing.

 

 
Advent 2015: Day 24 PDF Print E-mail
Author - Other Materials
Thursday, 24 December 2015 02:59

 

 

Are you excited? It is Christmas Eve at last! Time to laugh around the table and open gifts by the tree. Are you in your own home or away visiting family? Here's the last in this series on "Parenting Jesus."

 

Over the past weeks, we have looked at many aspects of how Mary and Joseph parented Jesus. Mary sought God's guidance in scripture as she prepared for Jesus' birth. Joseph took God's warnings about Herod seriously, acting on them at enormous personal sacrifice. Together he and Mary dedicated their son at the Temple and followed through by taking him regularly to the synagogue and Temple. Mary passed on stories of God's amazing power. She modeled compassion. She taught her son to pray. She believed in him when everyone else turned away.

 

We began this series in Deuteronomy 4:9, with God's command to remember all God has done and to pass those stories on to our children and grandchildren. We'll close by returning to the same portion of scripture. In Deuteronomy 6:6,7, we read, “Commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up.”

 

Don't forget to celebrate this Christmas by giving those you love the most important gift of all: the knowledge of a God who is forever with us. Merry Christmas indeed!

 
Advent 2015: Day 23 PDF Print E-mail
Author - Other Materials
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 02:57

 

Welcome back for the next in this Advent series on "Parenting Jesus." I hope you'll return tomorrow for the last of the series!

 

Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birth. What great joy we experience as we celebrate Emanuel, “God with us.” With Christmas only two days away, with families gathering and gifts wrapped under the tree, this may seem like the wrong season of the year to remember the events of Jesus' death. But in both cases, we celebrate “God with us.”

 

During the final week of Jesus' life, everyone around him felt stunned. Despite all Jesus' efforts to forewarn his disciples, a typhoon of emotions must have washed over Peter, James and John. The euphoria of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem disappeared as the somber events of the last supper unfolded. Then came the fear of the soldiers in the garden. The shame of the denial. The horror of the crucifixion. The confusion of the tomb.

 

After the burial of Jesus, a host of Marys gathered around the tomb. The gospel writers mention Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joseph, Mary the mother of James, and Mary the wife of Clopas, not to mention Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus who lingered somewhere in the background. Not one of these Marys is identified as the mother of Jesus. Where was Jesus' mother in those first days as the resurrection became known?

 

For over thirty years Mary the mother of Jesus had pondered all she learned. She didn't need to seek her son at a tomb. Her faith was not shaken. The next time Mary appears, it is in Acts 1:14. She is in the Upper Room praying with the disciples...and Jesus' brothers! In the midst of all the tumult, Mary's other sons have at last come to believe!

 

What painful events are you facing in your life? Has your faith trembled or even threatened to shatter? This may be the very time when God is hardest at work in the lives of those we most love. “God is with us!”

 
Advent 2015: Day 22 PDF Print E-mail
Author - Other Materials
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 03:11

Thank you for returning so faithfully day after day! We are almost through this Advent series on "Parenting Jesus."

 

Yesterday we saw that even while hanging on a cross, Jesus fulfilled a command he learned in his childhood – to honor his father and mother. He honored his mother when he made arrangements for her care after his death. As he did so, did Mary pause to remember the words of her own song, a song she sang before Jesus was ever born? As recorded in Luke 1:46-48, she said, “Oh, how I praise the Lord. How I rejoice in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation will call me blessed.” She felt honored then before her son was born and she felt honored now as she watched him die.

 

But Jesus was not only honoring his mother. Nailed to the cross and carrying the shame of the world upon his shoulders, Jesus was also honoring his heavenly Father. As members of the crowd stepped forward and spat upon Jesus' naked flesh, when soldiers scoffed and offered him sour wine, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive these people because they don't know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

 

By extending mercy and forgiveness, Jesus lifted up his life and offered it as a gift to his heavenly Father.

 

What gift will you offer to the Lord this Christmas to honor his name?

 
Advent 2015: Day 21 PDF Print E-mail
Author - Other Materials
Monday, 21 December 2015 02:43

 

As we are near the end of Advent and also the end of this series on "Parenting Jesus," here is the latest thought to share with you.

 

John 19:25-27 presents a tender scene in the midst of Calvary horror. Mary is standing near the foot of the cross. Her son would die soon, but she would have to go on living. The city of Jerusalem was in a turmoil. Angry mobs screamed for the blood of her son. This city was not a safe place for the mother of Jesus. She could not look to her other sons for solace; they didn't yet believe in Jesus. Who would look after Jesus' mother?

 

Jesus looked down from the cross. He saw his mother weeping. Hadn't Mary taught him to obey God's commands, and didn't one of those laws say “honor your father and mother”? In Jewish culture, people expected the oldest son to take responsibility by caring for a widowed mother. Now, even in the midst of his own raging pain, Jesus paused to fulfill that command to honor his earthly mother. He asked the disciple John to take over the role of oldest son and take Mary into his home.

 

As the mother of Jesus, Mary clearly deserved great honor. Many parents today don't appear to merit such respect yet God commands us – all of us – to honor our parents. He offers no loopholes for child abuse or exceptions for parental neglect. So how does a person honor a father or mother who fell far short of God's standard of parenting? We do the same things Jesus did: We honor those parents by obeying God.

 

Have you lived your life in such a way that it honors God's name and, thus by extension, your parents' name? Have you taught those who follow you to do the same?

 
Advent 2015: Day 20 PDF Print E-mail
Author - Other Materials
Sunday, 20 December 2015 03:02

 

Can it be only 5 days until Christmas?  Here is the next installment on this Advent series on "Parenting Jesus."

 

Would you be embarrassed if your daughter were arrested for drunk driving? Would your face flame red if your son were arrested in a sex scandal? What if these events were plastered across the front page of the local newspaper or announced on the nightly news? Would you want to crawl in a hole and cover your head and die?

 

Everywhere Jesus went, everything he said, every miracle he performed reflected back on his parents. But have you also considered how every confrontation he had with scribes and Pharisees also reverberated in the life of his mother? People talked about him and surely Mary heard the gossip. After being rejected by the people in his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus left and moved from town to town, but Mary stayed behind in Nazareth. Day after day, she faced those townspeople who had wanted to throw her son over a cliff to his death. She had seen the fury in their eyes that day. After Jesus was gone, she saw her neighbors when she walked to market. She spoke with them in the streets of Nazareth. She met them in the synagogue each Sabbath. Being the mother of Jesus was not easy.

 

Now, Mary faced something far worse: Her son, the one on whom she had set her hopes, was dying on a cross, accused of blasphemy. His disciples had all abandoned him. But Mary did not retreat into the background. Instead, in John 19:25, we find her right in the middle of the events surrounding her son's crucifixion. We see her standing at the foot of the cross in plain view of all the mocking crowd. Was she confused? Did she wonder how all those ancient prophecies would ever be fulfilled? Setting aside her own feelings, Mary continued to believe in her son even after he was arrested and condemned. Jesus' mother stayed near him and offered support.

 

As parents we may find ourselves being the only ones standing by our child when all others have turned away. Which member of your family needs your support today?

 
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