Thursday

Are You Stuck in the Wrong Story? A Guest Post

Today it's my pleasure to introduce my new friend and long-lost sister, a gal I've come to refer to as "The Other Lori." I discovered her on Edie Melson's blog, The Write Conversation when she guest posted there. Her sharper-than-arrows writing resonated with me, and when I read her bio, I discovered she not only shares my name (spelled correctly, L-O-R-I), she also shares my home state of Rhode Island. WOW!

A lively email exchanged followed as we compared stories -- married forever to the same man, two young adult children whom we homeschooled from birth, a love for writing, and a love for Jesus. The only difference we could tell beside the fact that she got a boy/girl set of children and I got a girl/girl pair was that she got saved in Rhode Island, and I had to migrate 1,000 miles away to hear the Gospel.

On a professional level,  we share the same publishing house, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, the same agent, Les Stobbe, and our books launched in the same week earlier this month. Our paths are so similar that our publishers and editors decided no longer to refer to us by our names, but by the titles of our books because they kept getting us mixed up. "Too many Lori's!" they said in frustration. So I'm Hungry Lori and she's Crazy Lori. Secretly, I'm hoping they mix up our paychecks, because I'm convinced her book will be a bestseller.

Today we're blog swapping. She's guest posting here on my South Carolina-based blog. Hey y'all. And I'm headed north to hang out with her readers. I think I still remember how to speak Yankee. How ya doin'? Glad ta meetcha. 

And so, without further ado, here's Lori. The other Lori. The one who wrote Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures with Jesus) . I know you'll love her.



Are You Stuck in the Wrong Story? Following Jesus When Life Is No Fairy Tale 

Cinderella knew the truth. She was intended for greater things than sweeping ashes from the hearth.


Are you sometimes haunted by the notion that you were meant for more? You should examine that idea. It may be from God. 

My daughter got me interested in a Sunday night television show called Once Upon a Time. It’s the story of a town inhabited by storybook characters trying to find their way back into the world in which they really belong.

But really, it’s the gospel.

That’s probably not what the writers intended, but Jesus, in an effort to reach His people, will even inject Himself into the prime time lineup of network television.

In the first season, Once Upon a Time was all about the characters awakening and remembering that they were once part of a glorious land. It features one child who still believes in their story and is willing to take drastic measures to remind everyone else of their former glory. Because of him, they are awake. Now, they remember they’re not just librarians or shopkeepers or waitresses, but they have “once upon a time” bloodlines with ancient stories full of magic and adventure.

Even though they’re awake, they are not yet back home in The Enchanted Forest. They remain trapped in a foreign place hostile to their former way of life. Dark forces oppose them. An enemy works against their return, trying to keep them in bondage to their everyday, ordinary, lesser selves—to rob them of their redemption.

It’s the gospel, don’t you see? Can you acknowledge the playfulness of our amazing Creator as He inserts His homecoming beacon into our modern culture and cries out for us to remember who we were designed to be?

Doesn’t your heart cry out after a long Monday, or in the face of another Tuesday, to be part of a greater story? Isn’t there within you a longing for a home you don’t remember ever knowing? Don’t you sometimes feel trapped in a minor role when all your dreams and passions create a force that threatens to destroy you if you don’t find the role you were born to play?

Jesus created everything. His story is in His Word, yes, but He roams, unconfined, across genres. He appears in the music we write, the movies we make, the art we create, and the stories we tell.

He is calling to us—calling to us from every medium—to remember who we are. 

"For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation" (1 Thessalonians 5:5-8).


Feel stuck inside a lesser role than you were intended to play? Wake up. Like Sleeping Beauty, you need the kiss of true love. There is a High King and He will free you if you come to Him. There is a rider on a White Horse coming. Can you hear His hoof beats?

Wake up, loved ones! You have a part in the greater story. Everything your heart whispers to you in the night is true. There is more, and you were meant to be part of it.

Once upon a time, there was a King who shed His blood to ransom His people back from the grave. It is the greatest and truest story ever told.

And it is the place where you belong. 



Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. Her new book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) is available now online and at your local bookstore. Jesus lover. Blogger. Wife. Mother. Part-time dragon slayer. You’ll find Lori at her website www.loriroeleveld.com or on her front porch writing.











LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT 
FOR THE BUSY WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE?


May I tell you about my new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women?

 Today's women want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you. 

 
If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.



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Hungry for God is on Facebook! Will you take a moment and LIKE my page? CLICK HERE to help HFG share 5-minute devotions.
 

 

 

Sunday

What to do while you're waiting

Life generally passes quickly.


Too quickly, in my estimation. I blink and it’s Christmas again. I open my eyes to a new day and discover that my daughters are a year older (and so am I). I pay my taxes and find that they’re due again. Like an Olympic luge competitor, I tip my day into motion and discover I’m already at the finish line.

There are, however, a few exceptions to the speeding chute of life. One is when we're waiting for important results that will affect the course of our lives. 

A legal or financial judgment.

Medical test results.

An acceptance letter.

Waiting for any one of these makes time move as slowly as grandma on the interstate. So what do we do while we’re waiting for the news?

We purpose not to fear.

“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” (Psa. 46:2).

We reaffirm our trust in God, who holds our days in his hands.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psa. 56:3).

We appeal to God’s mercy instead of bargaining and negotiating with him on the basis of our good works. 

“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy” (Dan. 9:18).

We pray with fervency and persistence, as long as there is hope. David prayed this way when his infant son lay dying.

"While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live'" (2 Sam. 12:22).

We decide in advance to accept whatever comes from God’s hand, trusting that God’s grace will enable us to bear it, even if the verdict isn’t what we hope. 

“What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).

We remind ourselves that God is for us, that he can use everything for good, and that his ultimate purpose for our lives is to redeem us and point others to himself. In this we place our hope. 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

We fix our eyes on the finish line. 

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).

If you’re waiting for a verdict today, large or small, I pray the time will move quickly and that you will accept God’s grace to face whatever lies ahead with faith and courage.









LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT 
FOR THE BUSY WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE?


May I tell you about my new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women?

 Today's women want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you. 

 
If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.



Delivered by FeedBurner











Hungry for God is on Facebook! Will you take a moment and LIKE my page? CLICK HERE to help HFG share 5-minute devotions.
 

 

 

Thursday

Is it really more blessed to give than receive?

When I was a child, the 900-page Sears catalog would come in the mail shortly before Thanksgiving. My sisters and I would pore over page after full-color page of glorious toys, dolls, and clothing. Every page I turned showed smiling little girls playing with the latest Barbies and wearing the latest fashions. 

I wanted it all. The orange Barbie camper with surfboards on the roof. The amazingly realistic Barbie airplane, complete with a cart for the stewardess and tiny mugs of complimentary coffee. The Dawn doll with long blond hair that would retract into a short bob with a single press of her belly button. 

I dog-eared the pages, circled my favorites, and wished fervently for Santa’s benevolence. And I tried, oh how I tried, to be good for goodness sake. 


And when those items magically appeared under the tree on Christmas morning, I was euphoric. My sisters and I, wearing the purple bodysuits and matching polyester pants we’d wished for from the catalog, played out one scenario after another with our dolls. Our toothy smiles were camera-worthy. 

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What I never noticed until years later, though, looking back at those old Polaroids, were the matching smiles on my parents’ faces. They looked just as happy as my sisters and me as we played in front of the tree. Grinning from ear to ear, their delight in our joy was unmistakable. 

When I became a parent myself, I experienced that same joy—one that expands my heart and causes it to press uncomfortably against the confines of my chest—the sensation of loving someone so much that bringing them joy brings me joy. It’s the mysterious revelation that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. 

It makes me think of another Giver. One with a heart much larger than mine. One who loved the world even more than I love my daughters. One who loves us so much that he gave his precious Son. One who continues to give . . . and give . . . and give. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 

I believe that giving to those we love helps us understand the love the Father has for us. And that love is magnificent. Why not give some of it away today? 

If you enjoyed this post, you might like "It Happened at Church - A Christmas Surprise." 









LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT 
FOR THE BUSY WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE?


May I tell you about my new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women?

 Today's women want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you. 

 
If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.



Delivered by FeedBurner











Hungry for God is on Facebook! Will you take a moment and LIKE my page? CLICK HERE to help HFG share 5-minute devotions.
 

 

 

Monday

What in the World Is a Facebook Launch Party?

You’ve seen the buzz on Facebook – Lori Hatcher’s having a FACEBOOK LAUNCH PARTY for her new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-minute Devotions for Busy Women

You’ve received your invitation. Hopefully you’ve RSVP’ed YES. (If not, click HERE.) And you’ve gone the extra mile and invited friends along. After all, who doesn’t love a good party? 

But the question remains: What exactly IS a Facebook Launch Party? 

I wondered the same thing myself a few months ago when I received my first invitation to a virtual, online party. So here’s the who, what, when, where, how, and whys of a Facebook Launch Party

WHO? YOU – and any other busy woman who’s hungry for God but starving for time. 

WHAT? A Facebook Launch Party is similar to an in-person party, only everything happens in cyberspace. Instead of gathering in someone’s nice cozy home, we’ll gather around our individual computers, go to Hungry for God, Starving for Time’s Facebook page (here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/356980394476369/ ) and visit ONLINE instead of in person. 

WHEN? From 6:30-8:30 tonight (Monday), we’ll visit Hungry for God’s Facebook page to join the conversation. We’ll all be typing in with our responses to different questions, quizzes, and topics in real time. 

WHERE? https://www.facebook.com/events/356980394476369/ 

WHY? Same reason we go to an in-person party – it’s FUN! Great conversation, gifts, and an opportunity to meet new people. Sadly, the only thing missing is the food, but you can bring your own. Here are some fun parts of this book launch party: 

1. We’ll be sharing our best time saving tips, tools, and recipes. 

2. We’ll have quizzes where you can win prizes like Amazon gifts cards and copies of my book. 

3. You’ll have the chance to post Ask the Author questions about Hungry for God … Starving for Time. (Please don’t stump me!) 

4. I’ll share some funny behind-the-scenes stories of my book publishing adventures. (One of them has to do with my long-lost twin sister also named Lori.) 

It’s not too late to RSVP (you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/events/356980394476369/

AND it’s not too late to invite friends. If you are the person who has invited the most friends who indicate they’ll be attending, you can win a $25 Amazon gift card just in time for Christmas shopping. Here’s the link with all the details: https://www.facebook.com/events/356980394476369/ 

BEST OF ALL, every comment you make, friend you invite, and copy of Hungry for God you purchase earns you an entry into the GRAND PRIZE drawing on December 19 for a KINDLE FIRE HD 7”. I can’t wait to talk with you this evening, Monday, December 08, 2014 from 6:30-8:30 EST. See you there!

Sunday

Is Santa evil? and other Christmas questions

Christmas has gotten a lot more complicated since I was a kid. 

Part of the simplicity of childhood, I suppose, was because I was the recipient of the gift giving, cooking, and decorating, not the one doing all the work. (I hear every woman out there saying Amen!) Another part, however, goes beyond the physical labor of the season and takes a spiritual jump into the whys and hows of the holiday. 

Although I knew as a child that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday, the glitz and glamor of the season greatly overshadowed this very important fact. When I became a Christian at age 18 and began to understand and experience Christmas in all its fullness, it became both increasingly wonderful and increasingly complicated. Add a few children into the mix and suddenly, my husband and I were asking questions that had never occurred to us before. 

What place does Santa Claus have in the Christmas celebration? Does gift giving model God’s love for us, or is it a distraction from the spirituality of the season? Should we read the Christmas story (Luke 2) before we open gifts, after we open gifts, or not at all? Are Christmas trees wrong because of their dubious history that includes ancient Egyptian and Chinese pagan rituals or right because Martin Luther supposedly hung lighted candles on an evergreen tree in 16th century Germany? 

These few questions were the tip of the iceberg for us. As first generation Christian parents, we knew we’d be setting a family precedent with our choices and wanted to make the best decisions for our children. 

Asking other parents didn’t help. There were those who were convinced that Santa was simply Satan with the letters rearranged. Others had no concern that the droll little man in the red fur suit would confuse their little cherubs. Some told stories of how they served dinner to the homeless every Christmas day while others shared recipes for the five course family feast they’d been planning for a month. 

We listened, asked questions, sought wise counsel, and prayerfully settled on the traditions and customs that make our family celebration unique. We’ve come to realize that the Holy Spirit who lives inside every believer is fully capable of directing each family to the traditions that honor and glorify God. These traditions will differ from family to family, and that’s OK. What’s important is that each family gives thoughtful, prayerful consideration to how God would have them worship during this holy season. 

If you’re still figuring it out, I encourage you to read Romans 14, one of the most helpful passages of Scripture we found relating to the subject. 

May you and your family enjoy a blessed celebration of our precious Savior’s birth. 

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
(Romans 14:5) 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Christmas traditions. Do you have a favorite one? Share your thoughts in the comment box below and join the conversation.








LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT 
FOR THE BUSY WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE?


May I tell you about my new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women?

 Today's women want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you. 

 
If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.



Delivered by FeedBurner











Hungry for God is on Facebook! Will you take a moment and LIKE my page? CLICK HERE to help HFG share 5-minute devotions.