Uncommon-Making Dreams Come True

I’m bringing my Uncommon column to you a few days early and for good reason.

One thing you’ll come to learn about is that I used to be scared to death of tornadoes (still am a bit), but on the other hand I’m addicted to watching all things weather related during storm season. And yes, a huge part of me would love to go storm chasing. I’m getting to where I stand outside and take pictures of the clouds instead of totally bury my head in the sand.

Now, don’t get me wrong, when the sirens go off, okay usually before the sirens go off, I’ve got our safe place prepared and I’m usually sitting in there until I know exactly where the funnel cloud(s) have been spotted before I glance outside.

Today, as I write this, we are expecting storms in the afternoon. Given the pain in my head and the nervousness of the dogs, I know the storms will be somewhat strong. I’ve already called my mother and warned her the kid and I may ‘hang out” later. In the old days I would have already been there.

So, as typical Christina, I got off track. I was talking Uncommon, which led me to storm chasing, which led me to storms and myself. Now, let me backtrack.

Yesterday, I watched a small snippet on The Weather Channel about Reed Timmer. A fan of Storm Chasers, I have never been a huge fan of Timmer. I admire him for weather research. However, his enthusiasm in the midst of a tornadic storm keeps him from making wise decisions. Not that I have experience storm chasing, but I have experience of being in a car and being scared to death when the sirens are blaring and funnel clouds are forming in the sky.  People like me, don’t need over overzealous storm chasers barreling down the road, honking their horns and confusing us further.  If you’ve seen Storm Chasers you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve read the newspaper articles, you know what I’m talking about.

However, I found something hugely admirable in Timmer this week. Remember that snippet on The Weather Channel I mentioned? Well, it seems there is a young man whose dream is to be a storm chaser. This 15 year old young man, Nick Rodick, has Von Hippel Lindau disease. VHL is a disease that causes multiple tumors both malignant and benign.

Make a Wish Foundation and Reed Timmer teamed up to make this kid’s wish come true. Kudos to Timmer for stepping up and doing something uncommon. As I write this, no doubt, Timmer and Rodick are watching the radar and the skies over Oklahoma. Although I pray there are no deadly, damaging tornadoes, it is my prayer that this young man will experience storm chasing to its fullest and what better way than to do it with Timmer.

For more on this story and the video, click here.

Uncommon Miracle – Prayer Blitz

UNCOMMON MIRACLE – PRAYER BLITZ

By Zoe M. McCarthy

 

Zoe_10_08-1c_2During my morning devotions one day last May, I felt a sudden pressure from God to pray for my 17-year-old grandson. I received no specifics as to how I was to pray. Only to pray.

So I stopped and petitioned God many times during the day and when I woke during the night. Not having been given any direction from the Lord, I prayed for my grandson’s safety, courage, boldness, faith, encouragement, and comfort; for guidance, and counseling for his future; and that he do what is right. I bombarded God with whatever funneled into my mind.

I counted on what Paul said in Roman’s 8:26. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes according to God’s will. (NIV)

This prayer blitz went on for days. I kept 1 Samuel 12:23a in the forefront of my mind: As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. (NIV)

Almost two weeks after I answered God’s call to pray day and night, I received an email from my son titled: A Night in the ER. My son assured me my grandson suffered only minor injuries in a car-rolling accident. A photo followed. My grandson lay on an ER bed in a hospital gown and a neck brace. Wires spanned between him and monitors. My grandson’s smile was the only thing that calmed my spirit.

CrashThen a photo arrived of the mangled car. A wooden fence stake was driven into the windshield on the passenger side where my grandson had sat. I learned the driver pushed the car’s speed and lost control. The car slid, crashed into a fence, and then rolled over and over.

The fence stake pierced my grandson’s leg a half inch from the artery in his groin. Many glass shards shot into his arm. The boy in the back wore no seatbelt, but had seconds during the slide to hook his feet under the seat in front of him. He received an eye socket injury when his head struck the car roof. The driver incurred less serious injuries.

How had my grandson and his two friends survived that mashed car? How had my grandson, covered with blood, exited the car on his own strength? This horrible accident had to be why God called me to pray for my grandson. Had my obedience to God’s directive made the difference between his life and death and that of his friends? What if I had disobeyed?

My grandson’s arm still has glass shards imbedded below his skin. I pray they remind him his survival was a miracle and only God can do miracles. As Romans 27 said above: the Spirit intercedes according to God’s will, and so I pray my grandson realizes God saved his life for a purpose.

Zoe M. McCarthy is a retired actuary turned full-time writer. Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, she spins contemporary Christian romances and short stories with helpings of humor. She has recently signed a contract on a romance novel.

Through her blog, Creative in Everything, she enjoys helping others find imaginative ways to engage people in their daily responsibilities.

Zoe and her husband live in mountainous Southwestern Virginia. They’ve raised two sons and enjoy playing with their five grandchildren. Creatively, of course.

Creative in Everything: http://zoemmccarthyblog.wordpress.com

Email: zoehgwp@gmail.com;

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/ZoeMMcCarthyAuthor;

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zoemmccarthy

Uncommon-Setting the Bar

What does Good Friday mean to you? Your kids have a day off from school? A shopping day to fill those kids’ Easter baskets?

Good Friday represents that day Jesus Christ, son of the Most High God, was crucified. If Jesus wanted to he could have called out any command and halted the pain and suffering he endured. But he chose not to. He chose to remain on the cross because he loved us. Just like he chose to set aside his deity and take the form of man so that he could walk among us and call those of us who choose to believe in him friend.

Jesus choose to love us.

Jesus choose to set aside his deity.

Jesus choose  to die for us so that we might spend eternity in fellowship with him and his Father.

No other god has ever given such a personal sacrifice, one to redeem all of mankind if only they would choose to believe.

Jesus set the bar and none has surpassed it, no one ever will.

 

Finding That Uncommon Love

 Picture2I grew up in a family were divorce is common, like most people today, with the idea once you “fall” out of love, and you can’t get along  anymore, it’s time to get a divorce. It was almost engraved in me witnessing everyone in my family get divorced one time or many times. I, too, almost went down that route with divorce papers in hand. I told myself many things at the time, but the truth. I was focused on our failures, not the hope that with God, all things are possible. It is He who will help us find an uncommon love for each other. The question was, were we willing to save our marriage at all costs? Would we fight for each other, whether we felt like it or not?

This is what inspired me, burdened me to write Unconditional. Many families, both churched and un-churched, find themselves struggling in their marriages for one reason or another, but if we fight for our marriages and follow after Christ, He will be the One to grow in us an uncommon love, an unconditional love for our spouses.

The story opens in a situation some married couples might find themselves in, losing a child, being in a loveless marriage, hurt by feelings of abandonment, adultery. To fight for the marriage at any cost or give up. In my story, as in real life, there is a choice.

Here is the blurb and the intro to Unconditional. I hope if you purchase this novel it will speak to your heart, or maybe to someone you know.

He will fight for her at any cost…

Elizabeth Roberts can’t remember her past, and the present is too painful. She turns to nightclubs and drinking to forget her infant daughter’s death, her husband’s affair.

When his wife’s coma wiped out the memory of their marriage, Chris Roberts found comfort elsewhere. He can’t erase his betrayal, but with God’s help he’s determined to fight for Elizabeth at any cost.

She wants to forget. He wants to save his marriage. Can they trust God with their future and find a love that’s unconditional?

 

 Chapter One

 Elizabeth pushed herself up from the bed. Her gaze swept the dark room and fixed on the hall nightlight. Her hand grazed over her husband’s shoulder when a thought gripped her. Katherine. The baby monitor stood silent. Darkness shrouded the red and green lights that indicated movement.Tanya Cover

Her chest tightened. She hurled the covers away and leapt to the floor. Panic made her clumsy as she rushed to her daughter’s room. She lunged over the crib. No sound. No movement. Not even a stirring of air from her tiny nostrils.

“Katherine!” Elizabeth snatched her daughter from the mattress. The infant drew a heavy breath as her eyes flung wide open.

Lord, what’s happening?

Elizabeth’s bare feet pounded the cold tile as she ran back to her husband. “Chris, wake up! Katherine quit breathing again!”

Chris rubbed his eyes and scowled. “What is it?”

“We need to take Katherine to the hospital. She stopped breathing.”

He studied their child. “She seems to be breathing now. Are you sure?”

“Of course, I’m sure.”

“She’s fine.” Chris fell back against the pillow.

“Please—”

“We don’t have the money to take her to the hospital when there’s nothing wrong with her.”

“But there is. She stopped breathing.”

He sat back up. “You’ve been worried about her since before she was born. You’re all worked up because she hasn’t rolled over yet. The doctor said that’s normal for being early.”

She’s called a preemie. She glared into his eyes. “If you were home more often you’d know she’s not fine.”

“I’m home, Elizabeth, and she’s fine.”

Heat flushed her cheeks as tears filled her eyes. “I’m scared. Can’t you see that? I need you to pray for our daughter. I need you to hold me and tell me everything will be all right.”

“Look, she’s sleeping.” His voice softened as his hand ran down her thigh. “Come to bed.”

“How can you care so little? I’m worried about our baby.”

Chris’s hand dropped to the sheets. “Shut the door when you leave.” He turned away from her.

Elizabeth stood for a moment unable to speak. With their baby in her arms, she slowly closed the door behind her and sank her teeth into her lip to keep from crying. If tears came, it would be for her daughter, not for the stranger in her bed.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tanya Eavenson and her husband have been in the ministry for fifteen years teaching youth, adults, and counseling. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world.

Endorsements:

“Unconditional is a powerfully-gripping story of deep heartache laced with fears, yet even through the sorrow, Tanya Eavenson reminds us that nothing can separate us from God’s love.”

~ Alice J. Wisler, author of “Still Life in Shadows” and other novels
“Not your typical amnesia story, Unconditional tells a tale of loss, betrayal, and forgiveness. Eavenson drags her characters through the fire, then reveals God’s power through their broken lives. The writing is stellar; the emotion, raw and palpable; the cast, impeccably crafted. This author is one to be watched!”

~ April W Gardner, award-winning author
Unconditional explores the struggles that married couples sometimes experience, and the decisions they must make after going through difficult circumstances. A powerful story of hope and healing.”

~ Laura V. Hilton, Healing Love (Whitaker House)

 

 
“Unconditional is a beautiful story of God’s never-ending love. Throughout its pages, Tanya Eavenson evokes a myriad of emotions in her readers, from deep despair to heartfelt praise. The characters gripped my heart, showing me the reality of man’s sin but also the depth of God’s grace. Unconditional is a well-written, heart-stirring novel written by a talented new author.”

~ Jennifer Slattery, Novel Reviews