Women of Faith and Fiction – Lynnette Bonner

Good morning, dearest reader! I’m excited to start a new series I’ve titled Women of Faith and Fiction.

I don’t know about you, but I love to know the story behind the story or song. If I know the heart of the writer, I’m more likely to read or sing their story. I hope you will join me on the third Tuesday of each month to find out more about the authors who weave truth in the parables they write.

Let’s get started, shall we?

This morning I have the privilege to welcome author and cover designer, Lynnette Bonner. Lynnette has written a slew of books you can find here: Amazon Author Page

Thank you for joining us this morning, Lynnette! Tell us a little about yourself.

Lynnette BonnerI am the daughter of missionaries to Africa, so I was born and raised in the small country of Malawi, without electricity or TV. I was a reader from my very early years. I loved to immerse myself in the story and sometimes wouldn’t reemerge for hours. Eventually, my love of story turned the bend to me beginning to pen my own stories. I would read a book and think “it could have been so much better if they’d done it this way.” I started several books but never finished one until I was doing some research about the town I lived in at the time and found some fascinating facts from history that I knew had to be told. That research turned into my first published novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis. Find out more here

Wow! Malawi. Sounds like you had an exciting childhood! This month’s theme is hope. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Hope is the heart of the good news Jesus came to earth to share with us. We are hopeless without Him. But with Him, there is nothing we can’t overcome. We can even rejoice when we are suffering because we know that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Romans 5:3-4)

Yes! Loved that. Life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to hope?

Oh, for sure. As a Christian mom, I’ve always told my kids, I don’t care what they “become” (as in do for a job/living), I just want them to serve the Lord, because I know that’s the only way they will ever find true happiness. I have one son in particular who challenged that hope of mine for several years. It was very hard to see the end of that tunnel. My heart hurt day after day after day. I fasted one day a week for him and cried out to God daily for his soul. One day as I was praying the Lord impressed on me this question, “Even if he never repents and serves me what will YOU do?” My knees nearly buckled. I knew my answer. “I will always serve you, Lord, even if those closest to me never decide the journey is worth it.” A great burden was lifted from me that day. God was reminding me that my hope was in Him, not in anything I could do to convince my son that faith was the best way to walk. I was able to release a little of my worry and anxiety, and trust that God loved that boy even more than I ever could. (And I’m happy to say all these years later that my son made it out the other side of that dark path, and is now starting on his own faith journey.)

Thank you for sharing that testimony with us. I’m sure it touched hearts, today. Now, tell us in what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

All of my writing is in the Christian Fiction genre, except for one devotional that my husband and I wrote together. Faith, for me, is actually a very big part of why I write. Jesus used stories to make points to those listening to him. I hope to bring His light into the world with each story I write. Each of my stories has a spiritual message in it, that I hope encourages the readers on their own faith journeys.

Your faith shines through in every story, Lynnette. I love the way you incorporate scriptures throughout your books. Not in a preachy way, but through the lives of your characters as they face the everyday struggles of life.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Lynnette’s latest book, Not A Sparrow Falls!!

Or click on the book to purchase the Kindle edition.

Click here to purchase paperback.

You can connect with Lynnette here:

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Digging Past Our Situations

I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 2 Timothy 1:3

woman praying_edited-1

Someone is Praying

When writing to Timothy, Paul said, “I have remembrance of thee.” The word remembrance means to remind, bring to, call to, and put in. In the Greek, remember has the same root word as the word tomb or sepulcher. The idea is before we can pray we must dig past the current circumstances.

For example, when overwhelmed we find it hard to think of anything but the present situation. Such was Timothy’s case. But Paul said, “I put you in remembrance” commanding Timothy to dig, get past, removing all that stood in his way.

Likewise, there are times we must dig past the mental anguish, the physical pain, and the spiritual battle to remember where God has brought us from and what He is doing at present. It is one of the hardest things to do when facing trials.

I have several friends and family who are facing stressful situations at this time. I wanted to remind everyone that God hasn’t forsaken us and to share a couple of my favorite verses.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. Jeremiah 30:17

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18

In the coming weeks, as you press through this season, I pray you will find comfort in God’s Word and remember people are praying for you.

I would love to hear from you. When going through difficult times, what scripture comes to your mind?

 

His Way Is Perfect

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. Psalms 18:30-33

Whether in pain, suffering, or heartache, we are not alone. He is our healer, comfort, and our peace. His way is perfect.

 

Focus

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34 KJV

dictionary-1149723_1280In today’s world, we can easily become distracted. However, when our hearts are out of focus, we often miss the opportunity to fulfill our purpose.

In the above scripture, Jesus recognized the spiritual need and moved with purpose. He saw the people as sheep needing a shepherd. They needed guidance, protection, and sustenance.

The disciples, on the other hand, focused on the people temporal needs and their own inabilities.

And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. Mark 6:35-36

Isn’t it remarkable how we state the obvious when focused on the wrong thing? The disciples focused on place and time and shared their insights with the very One who had created both!

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:3 KJV

Lord, I’m not in a good place. This land is so dry! This isn’t a good time! How can I minister to others when I’m in need myself?

Have you ever been there?

When Jesus asked Philip where they could buy bread, Philip fixated on the disciple’s insufficient funds.

“Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” John 6:7 KJV

Am I guilty of such observations? Yes. Yes. And yes, again. Over and over I state the obvious while the spiritual purpose of my present circumstances stares at me.

Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t leave me in my bleary-eyed state but commands me to take inventory of what I have, what I know, and what I can do. Then I am to place it all in His hands and allow him to bless and multiply it.

He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. Mark 6:38 KJV

And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. Mark 6:41 KJV

I’m learning that faith isn’t ignoring the circumstances around me. Faith is seeing every difficulty but remaining focused on the One standing in the midst Who is Faithful to supply every need.

And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men. Mark 6:42-44

Where is your focus?

 

 

One Of A Kind

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30

My Yoke Is EasyAs I listened to someone speaking this weekend about the scripture above, I knew I had to learn more about yoke and oxen when he said, “A smart farmer would have a yoke fitted to his animals.”

According to tillerinternational.org , you should never use yoke and bows that don’t fit the team. You should always make sure the yoke fits well before teaching the team to pull.

What a beautiful picture of Matthew 11.

One of a Kind Purpose

I believe every individual on this planet has a gift—a purpose that only that person can fulfill. Now that’s not saying if they refuse to do the job that it won’t get done because the Lord will provide. But no two people will ever do a job the same way.

Designed by the Creator, we are one of a kind. No one compares. Paul was not a Peter, nor was Peter a John. But all three were called. Imagine if they constantly compared themselves to each other!

We, too, are called and given an individual purpose. I can’t wear your yoke, and you can’t wear mine. If we try, the ill-fitting yoke will cause an abrasion making it impossible to complete our tasks.

Therefore, it’s important that we are careful not to put our yoke on someone else or try to wear theirs.  Beware: when the yoke doesn’t fit the following problems can occur.

Turning the Yoke-The team pivots from the yoke by swinging their rear ends around in opposite directions until the yoke and bow is upside down.  The team is facing the load and the nigh steer on the right and the off on the left. Prevent turning the yoke by using a smaller yoke that won’t allow the team to turn the yoke and keeps the steers from turning their rear ends out.  Also, their laying down in the yoke is an opportunity to learn to turn the yoke. Drew Conroy, Assistant Professor, University of New Hampshire © 1995 Tillers International

So let’s review. When the yoke is too big, the oxen get turned around in the wrong direction; their focus is on the load, and their rear ends are sticking out.

Quite a picture, aye? 🙂

Thought for today:

You are unique in His design. Don’t waste time trying to be like another. Be yourself.

Reflection:

Have you ever fought His yoke? Have you tried wearing one that didn’t belong to you?