Saturday, June 27, 2015

Our Brief Sojourn




Recently, a friend told me the sad news that she'd had a death in her family. Yesterday my son called to ask for prayer and told me that his precious wife, our daughter-in-law, had been hit head on by another vehicle as she was pulling out of their garage on her way to work. 
Miraculously, she sustained only minor injuries, but her car was totaled and she could have been killed.

I praise our merciful God for sparing her life!
Our sojourn on this earth is so brief. Moses wrote in Psalm 90:10, 12: 
"Our days may come to seventy years,or eighty, if our strength endures;
Lord, Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Life is also so random. Anything can happen at any time any day. But when you know and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ you have full assurance of your eternal dwelling place. You know that His word promises He will never forsake those who have put their hope in Him. All those who have committed their lives to Christ are sealed with the living Spirit of Christ. They are eternally inseperable.

Copyrighted//Source: Pinterest

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is one of my favorite Bible teachers. A reformed Baptist preacher, he lived and preached in England during the 19th century. He wrote many sermons, devotionals and inspirational books. 
The following excerpt is from his devotional "Morning and Evening." May it bless and comfort you as much as it did me.

Morning, June 29
"Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."
1 Thessalonians 4:14

Let us not imagine that the soul sleeps in insensibility. 
"Today shalt thou be with me in paradise," is the whisper of Christ to every dying
saint. 
They "sleep in Jesus," but their souls are before the throne of God, 
praising him day and night in his temple, singing hallelujahs to him
who washed them from their sins in his blood.
The body sleeps in its lonely bed of earth, beneath the coverlet of grass. 
But what is this sleep? The idea connected with sleep is "rest,"
and that is the thought which the Spirit of God would convey to us. 
Sleep makes each night a Sabbath for the day. 

Sleep shuts fast the door of the soul, and bids all intruders tarry for a while, 
that the life within may enter its summer garden of ease. 
The toil-worn believer quietly sleeps, as does the weary child 
when it slumbers on its mother's breast. 
Oh! happy they who die in the Lord; they rest from their labours, 
and their works do follow them. Their quiet repose shall never be broken…”
__________________________________________________________________________________

PRAYER
Heavenly Father, please bless and encourage all those who have suffered the loss of loved ones or friends this week, or who will soon face such grief. Thy word says You are close to the brokenhearted and that You bind up their wounds. Fill their souls with rivers of Thy love, grace, peace and hope; give them faith to know that their loved ones are safe with You. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus' name, amen. 




Excerpt From: Charles H. Spurgeon. “Morning and Evening: Daily Bible Readings for Every Day of the Year.”
Unto The Least Of These © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Interview With Christian Poet Liana Wendy Howarth





Liana Wendy Howarth

"Upon a tabletop in heavenly realm Your Savior lays gifts,

waits to welcome you home

And each bears a name amidst love, forgiveness

a name, a name that belongs to you only...

Priceless

a pearl...a pearl...of your very, very own... "

~Liana Wendy Howarth


Interview With Christian Poet 
Liana Wendy Howarth

Liana Wendy Howarth is an extremely gifted contemporary songwriter and poet. The author of two books of poetry, she writes for both children as well as adults.

For her song "When Hurt Can Hurt No More," The Song of the Year songwriting contest awarded Liana the "Suggested Artist" placement in their song contest.

Song of the Year receives entries from all over the world and only the top songwriters receive a Suggested Artist placement in the songwriting competition.

Liana maintains a popular poetry blog called Poetry Cottage which she updates almost daily with a brand new poem at poetrycottage.wordpress.com.



I was thrilled when Liana agreed to be interviewed on my blog, sharing her life and writing process in her own words.


 
Liana as a young child



 Where are you from?

Liana: I was born in Exeter, Devon, England and have been living in Australia since 1970.



How long have you been writing poetry?

Liana:  I have been writing for 16 years.



 What influenced your writing?

Liana: The love of children's picture books to begin with, which led to inspirational writing over the years.
 

Liana at age 25

 Who were your favorite authors to read as a child that shape your writing today?
Liana: I cannot really place any particular author. I don't remember books playing a big role in my life when I was younger.



  How many books have you written?

Liana: I've written two.

Liana's First Book of Poetry




 What is your first book?

Liana: My e-book, Fragrance from the Spring.





  What prompted you to become a writer & to publish your writing?
Liana: To be honest, I cannot remember how it all started. It just happened. I now know that it was and is of the Lord and I give Him all the glory. I always dreamed of being the author of a hardcover and this is now a reality.


How do you publish your books?
Liana: At present, through WestBow Press, a Christian self-publishing company in the US.


Sunrays and Lily Smiles, Liana's newest book of Poetry


 What is your newest book?

Liana: Sunrays and Lily Smiles which comes in e-book, softcover and hardcover formats.





 What inspires you most?

Liana: The gift of life. The beauty of nature. The sweet melodies of a songbird. A child's laughter. A purring kitten. Tears. Most of all, the love of God.



 Where do you get your inspiration from?

Liana: Often during prayer time I will be given the first line, particularly for my song lyrics and the verses just flow from there. I can look at a rose. The depth of its splendor deserves to be shared with those who cannot witness its glory.



 Your book Sunrays and Lily Smiles is a treasury of poems for children and adults. Would you ever consider writing a book of poems just for children?

Liana: Most definitely. Before the inspirational writing commenced I tried to publish a book just for children; but the timing wasn't right. Currently, I have a series for young children for which I am presently seeking a publisher.







What are in the contents of Sunrays and Lily Smiles?

Liana: Within the covers you'll find most of my work from way back in the beginning up until the end of last year. Inspirational and children's poetry, song lyrics, greeting card insert suggestion and words of encouragement plus a children's short story. It contains all of my first book plus much, much more.



 How did you choose that name?

Liana: The name is a combination of the following :-

Sun (my love for Jesus, (God's Son), rays (my father Raymond), and Lily (in memory of my beautiful mother Lilian and ly (Lee) short for my name), Smiles (in memory of my precious brother Miles). My childhood family.



 What are your hobbies?

Liana: My hobbies have been put on hold for a few years due to ill health; but I love to read, and sewing, patchwork, baking and playing piano have all had a special place in my life. Line dancing currently has my attention. I just need the energy to do it :-). Most of all I love the freedom of writing, being able to pour one's emotions out like a beautiful healing fragrance.



What do you do to market your books?

Liana: As far as promotion goes I have shared on Twitter, Facebook and my blog www.poetrycottage.wordpress.com and on my website www.poetrycottage.com.



Do you find it difficult to market your books as an independent author?

Liana: I must admit I do find it difficult re marketing as the expense is quite high for the packages that are available. Money never was the object for publication. I just wanted to share what I had been given.





 What advice would you give to aspiring authors and poets who want to publish their work and who have been motivated and inspired by your example of someone who has written and published two books of original poetry and maintains an inspirational blog that encourages people all over the world?

Liana: Be honest with yourself. Share from the depths of your heart to the level that you are comfortable with. 
If something you publish eg online has you worried, then maybe it's not meant to be shared or it's just not the right time. Try not to be discouraged. 
There are days where the sun shines vibrantly on one's work and others where the dark clouds are all too threatening. 
Don't compare yourself with others. You are unique and gifted with your very own style. 
Finally never give up. I was turned down by many when originally trying to publish a book of children's poetry. 
Everything is for a reason and all in God's time.





How might people contact you who are interested in getting in touch with you?

Liana: Anyone wanting to contact me can do so through my email poetrycottage@gmail.com.



 Thank you so much, Liana, for sharing your inspiration with us! Your life and your work are a beautiful blessing on this earth.


Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing us through Your precious daughter Liana and her beautiful gift of poetry. May You continue to bless and inspire her to write beautiful poems and songs that bless and encourage others for the glory and honor of the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, in His name we pray, amen.




There's A Hidden Name In Every Thorn

© Liana Wendy Howarth All Rights Reserved.

"Every time we hurt someone

Every time we turn away

Every time we distance ourselves

Causes more anguish...

We have an urgent need to pray

Every cruel, silent thought

And each little unseen smirk

Each little share in 'innocent' gossip

Causes pain in the everlasting Father's work

And we are all at some time guilty

And we have all caused others to mourn

So look very closely at the rose that presents

For there's a hidden name in every thorn."

~Liana Wendy Howarth 


Unto The Least of These: An Interview with Christian Poet Liana Wendy Howarth © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Poems quoted from Sunrays and Lily Smiles © 2014 Liana Wendy Howarth All Rights Reserved. Photos © 2015 Liana Wendy Howarth All Rights Reserved.