Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


By Kristi Paxton

What was the personal weapon of fashion when the second amendment was adopted in December of 1791?
Musket? Bow and arrow?  Blunderbuss muzzle loader? Slingshot?
Part of me thinks we need to look at history to determine the intent of the second amendment. Leave history out of it, and I am free to bear my weapon of choice: an assault rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, or a hand grenade. How about a pipe bomb? Arms is arms, right?
I need to look no further than biology to fight against my own argument. For if we are animals, and we are, we must have a way to control our population. Survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest with the most powerful weapon? Perhaps the assault rifle or the handgun is the answer. Issue one to each citizen, no background checks, no problem. Zero population growth.
Or look at historic intention of the second amendment, and issue each newborn a musket.
The NRA has some possible solutions for both sides of the argument. NRA says only good guys with guns can combat bad guys with guns. They suggest the USA install an armed security guard in every public school. The price tag is merely $80,000 per school per year, or so I’m told. Let’s see, $80,000 times 99,000 public schools equals $7,920,000,000.

If that sounds like too much, consider how many individuals we currently arm in Afghanistan. We have already spent national security money, and “good guys” already have guns. How about we bring the troops back from Afghanistan to combat the school shooters at home?  Would our militia be happy to guard school entries? If so, what do we tell the kids, some who have been expelled for bringing squirt guns into the classroom? There at the front door stands a military hero with an assault rifle, teaching young people how to solve any conflict that may arise.
On a positive note, there also stands our military recruitment program, a respected, gun-wielding military person, up front and personal, in the school from kindergarten on.  Little eyes look up in admiration. Erase that pentagon budget item for recruitment costs.
I’m stymied. Why is an American 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than someone from any other “developed” country? (According to United Nations data) Why is gun ownership in USA the highest number per 100 people in the world? (88 guns per 100 people) The closest second is Yemen at 54.8 per 100. Why is USA often compared with Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica, first second and third for worst firearm murder rates? (US is way down the list at 28th) USA gun death trends resemble those in Mexico and Colombia.*
Yes, we have a problem. Just what is the problem?
*Data is all over the place and subject to interpretation. Will someone please shoot us some credible scientific research?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring Fever

By Helen Knuever
With all the events that have troubled America lately, it’s hard to have optimism when we look across our country. We see terrorist attacks, devastating floods and more. But because of the promise of Christ – I sense a spiritual spring fever sneaking up on me. One day there will be an end to all of this suffering.
Mark Twain said of Spring Fever: “It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so.”
I think that’s also true of heaven. I Corinthians 2:9 says “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Although we have His promise – we don’t know what it really looks like.
As the song says, “I can only imagine” - but to imagine sure brings a sense of deep comfort.
Spring fever – brings with it a certain restlessness and an excitement with a certain feeling of laziness. Have you felt that way at all? Spring fever also has a certain romantic feeling. The restlessness of being a pilgrim; the excitement of the future with Christ? I am not sure how the laziness fits in – perhaps it is the feeling we have to wait for God to do something. Although faith is not passive – there are times when our own activity needs to stop and wait on God’s direction. And so even that action is passive. The romance of a heavenly lover - who really does care for us - and whose we belong to -not out of fear, but love.
I don’t want to become so heavenly minded that I’m no earthly good, though. So many people are looking for peace. So many people need a person in their lives to show the love of Christ. That is another anticipation that I have. Imagine a revival sweeping across our land where God draws millions of people unto Himself. Imagine the body of Christ advancing in love – no longer caught up in their personal differences – but all taking orders from Jesus Christ.
Maybe this is it! When we pray (we may feel lazy while doing so) as we put our own plans on the shelf. Restlessness caused by the desire for something better calls us to go beyond ourselves and our typical routine. A spiritual spring fever where the excitement of true believing that God will cause America to be drawn to Him!
Do you feel it? Are you tired of normal religion? Are you restlessness for more of God? Can we pray together for a massive revival in our country? Can a feeling of laziness be replaced by a waiting on God to give us clear directions? Do you crave heaven? Do you crave knowing that others are going there with you? Can we believe that God cares about this world even more than we do? Do you sense your first love for Jesus sparking your heart? Then maybe you have spring fever!
Solomon 2:10-11 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

Saturday, April 20, 2013


By Sharon Wilhite

"You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life life through them. And these very Scriptures testify about Me!" John 5:39 (Amplified Bible)

A few thoughts I unburied from the sandy shores of Fort Myers Beach, Florida this week:

Shell Seekers check the tide charts and know the best times to shell.
Truth Seekers check their schedules and know their best times of alertness and quietness for their daily time of Bible reading and prayer.

Shell Seekers put on beach wear and sunscreen appropriate to the weather.
Truth Seekers prepare their hearts and minds by putting on quietness and humility.

Shell Seekers take a bag or bucket to put their beach treasures in. (A shell seeker who only has his hands or pockets for collecting won't be able to collect many treasures.
Truth Seekers take a journal or notebook in which to write down truths they've unearthed in their Bible reading so they can treasure and remember them.

Shell Seekers go to the beach with the express purpose of finding wonderful shells.
Truth Seekers read their Bibles intentionally - looking for new truths or rereading familiar passages for strength and comfort.

Shell Seekers keep their heads down and narrow their focus to the area around their feet.
Truth Seekers focus on what they're reading and block out distractions.

Shell Seekers either keep moving steadily along or stand still to search in one place.
Truth Seekers will search related passages or keep reading steadily on in their search for God's wisdom. Other times they will meditate on just one word, phrase, or verse.

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


By Marie Tschopp

Ephesians 5:33 NIV: “…and the wife must respect her husband.”

“God, I don’t want to be married if this is the way it’s going to be. Please help us,“ I pleaded.

I sat on the edge of the bed and twisted my wedding ring around and around my finger. I loved Brian, but didn’t want to be with him any longer. Yet, I had two children without a way to provide for them on my own. I was at my wit’s end.

If someone had told me a year before I would feel this way, I’d have said they were crazy. Our marriage was wonderful. We even had a new home. My husband had just accomplished his dream of building his own house doing most of the labor himself. But within months of completing the project, things changed.

He started to sleep a lot. I understood he was tired from building the house, and I didn’t push him. But, over the next few months I noticed other changes, too. He lost interest in things—his woodworking, friends, church, our kids, even me.

I sat on the edge of the bed imploring God for help.

“Show honor to your husband.” I sensed the Lord saying to me.

“But Lord, I don’t want to show him honor. The way he’s been behaving, he doesn’t deserve honor.”

Again, I sensed the Lord urging, “Show honor to your husband.”

I stared at the floor and wondered what I could do.

I looked up and noticed Brian’s chest of drawers. I remembered he once told me how his mother kept all the family’s dresser drawers in perfect order. I decided to completely organize his dresser. I sorted though his drawers and carefully folded everything, including his socks and underwear.

Over the next few weeks, my husband’s mood improved. Months later, he was back to himself. We now realize the stress from working his job while building the house caused depression. Silly as it sounds, the catalyst in bringing him out of the depression was the folded underwear and socks. Somehow that little bit of organization triggered a sense of control and well-being.

“Show honor to your husband.”

Thank you, Father, for giving my husband back to me.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Getting Around the Things of Life

By Kathryn C. Lang

Things get in the way – no matter how much I plan or how great my intentions – things find a way to get in the way. At least, that is how it seems. My life will be moving along with gusto. I will see the signs of confirmation all around me. The joy of it all will bubble over onto anyone that I encounter.

And then it isn’t.

One little thing pops up and all of those amazing and wonderful moments are lost. I struggle just to breathe - forget about moving forward. That one little thing manages to crush the enthusiasm under its tiny foot. The darkness closes in and I am left alone.

Only I’m not.

A song comes on to remind me that I am not alone. A friend calls unexpectedly just to let me know she is thinking about me. A letter arrives in the mail just to say hello. Suddenly, I catch a glimpse of that possibility that I was living in when it was joy driving the day instead of darkness hiding it.

Things get in the way – but I do not have to let them stay there. I can kick them to the side like a stick in the path. Things will try to darken my horizon – but I do not have to remain in the dark. I can see beyond the darkness to the dawn or beyond the storm to the rainbow.

And you? Do things get in your way?

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Kathryn C. Lang shares words of inspiration on her website Join her there as she finds new ways to face down the storms, discover the rainbows and live in a river of peace.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Grateful Pair Of Eyes

by Marvin Ferguson

Among all the components of the human body I think the eyes are most intriguing. And without them where would we be?

The coach always said to the hitter to keep his eye on the ball. Don't worry about the color of his eyes or hair. And so he grimaced staring at a ball hidden behind the pitcher's knee. Then, suddenly, like a bolt of lightening from out of nowhere it crossed the plate.

Traveling on the infield grass, a pair of eyes watched the ball as the shortstop scooped it up into his glove. Another pair of eyes watched while diving for a ball that escaped into left field.

In the movie "Trouble With The Curve" Clint Eastwood, hitting coach, started having problems with his vision. When baseball fans and players watched in awe at a called strike, even Clint Eastwood insisted that it was a strike. Yet his attorney daughter was amazed at how he could see it. His reply, "I heard it." And the viewers laughed.

Sitting in the waiting room I pondered the thought about my wife's cataract surgery recently. My mind was racing. How fortunate we are for God to give us the gift of sight.

But God always provides. The late Ray Charles, blind from his childhood, was a gifted piano player and singer. Ronnie Milsap, blind from birth, became a popular country singer.

On another note the Bible says to live more by faith and less by sight. From a different perspective our walk with God depends more on trust and faith than what we see or intellectualize.

And so I live with a grateful heart for the gift to see, and even more so that our faith doesn't depend on our sight.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Does God Still Heal Today?

By Gail Smith

Do you believe God heals today? By that, I mean do you believe that our God still performs miraculous, supernatural healings for people alive today, in  year 2013?  There was a time when I believed that God no longer worked in supernatural ways to heal people.

I recently had the privilege of doing some research for authors Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk on a book just published, "I Believe in Healing". Cec has written over 125 books, including "90 Minutes in Heaven and Gifted Hands."  My job on this book was to look for documented, divine healings by God, before the year 2000.

Subtitled “Real Stories from the Bible, History and Today,” "I Believe in Healing" is an exhaustive collection of healings ranging from the very earliest recorded healings to stories of people today that can’t be explained by natural means, reminding us that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
I say “exhaustive” because as one involved with the research I can tell you that I was blessed to spend many hours searching, reading and documenting these healings, online and in books, too. From barren Sarah (Gen 11:30) to the acts of the apostles, to first century healings, continuing on to Saint Bede, Kathryn Kuhlman and C. H. Spurgeon, God’s power and compassion has been reaching out to touch the sick, the blind, the lame and others with divine healing throughout all of time.

If you should be looking for evidence that God still heals today, this book will answer questions, give examples and save you a lot of time.

Written in two large sections, Part 1 “Stories and Testimonies of Healing” is just that, while Part 2 answers “Questions About Healing.” You can click here to see chapter titles and the “Table of Contents.”

As for me, I became a believer in healing a long time ago, thanks to the ministry of an extraordinary pastor, Ron Dunn. And if I hadn’t changed my mind way back then, I certainly would have believed after reading 20 centuries worth of healings, or at least a tiny fraction of them.

What a great job I have-- it was an incredible blessing for me to be able read story after story of people who were touched by God in so many miraculous ways. No matter the time, place, or circumstances of those in need, God is still at work. My faith has been strengthened, my heart has praised God and my life has been enriched by a growing awareness of God’s magnificent works of healing down through the ages.

I’d like to invite you to experience the same blessing. Take a look at "I Believe in Healing". You’ll find biblical answers to the most common questions about healing as well as amazing acts of God’s mercy and grace.