Bearing Fruit, Christian Writer, Connected to God, Faith, imitating Christ, Lessons from life, New Author, The Word of God

IMITATE WHAT IS WORTH IMITATING

I have a new part time job. It’s only one day a week, but it gets me out of the home. It’s not paid – well not with money anyway – but it is so worth my time and energy. It leaves me physically exhausted but with a heart filled fit- to- burst and with experiences and memories that are beyond value. What is it? Grandchild care.

photo of baby sitting playing with blocks

Yes, a few weeks ago my daughter returned to work after the birth of her boy. And my new job started. And I’m absolutely loving it. My grandson and I are beginning to develop an understanding, and he is getting more and more used to me being his chief care giver for those few precious hours. I just need a lie down when I get home. (How did I ever do it 24 hours a day when my kids were young??!)

LEARNING BY IMITATION

Our boy is at that lovely stage, where he is not yet verbal, or indeed mobile, but is alert and learning all the time. He watches and listens – and imitates! He knows that the TV remote and the big black screen are related and loves grabbing said remote and pointing it in the right direction!! Put the block into the box and he takes it out. Take the block out of the box and he puts it back in. He smiles when you smile, and his latest trick? Blow a raspberry and he blows one right back.

It is quite sobering to be reminded just how much children learn by imitation. But isn’t it true of all of us? Even as grown ups we can easily learn how to speak, behave, think even, from the people we associate most with. That’s why we have to be so careful that those who we choose to spend our time with are those whose speech, attitudes and actions are encouraging and edifying. It’s easy to become imitators, even when we don’t mean to be.

IMITATE CHRIST

coloured in sunflower with the text 'plant in me a desire to know and follow you'

It also follows that if we want to imitate Christ, be more like Him in our speech, actions and attitudes, then we need to spend time with Him. We can do this by walking with Him through the gospel accounts. Or by sitting quietly in His presence. Or by talking to Him about the things that concern us, and even asking Him about the things on His heart. It is so good for us to do this. And good for the people who want to be around us. For it follows that the more we imitate Christ, the better influence we will be on those who imitate us.


Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

Books, Christian Writer, Faith, God in control, Grief, Healing, Holy Spirit, Medieval Fiction, New Author, pilgrimage, Seasons of life, The Word of God

A Heart Set on Pilgrimage

image of a path across a headland, with the island of Bardsey on the horizon

As I write this, I really should be doing something else. I am supposed to be editing my manuscript for my second full length novel, The Pilgrim. The editing has been taking up most of my time and energy for the last few days. I know it has to be done, but I am finding it both exciting and exhausting. It is with mixed feelings that I read and re-read, and correct the words that I have written. And always the questions… is it going to be good enough? Are people actually going to want to read this?

Heart pilgrimage

At the end of each chapter, as I did in my first book, I have inserted a verse or two of scripture. In The Pilgrim these are taken from the Psalms. Each one is chosen for how it speaks into what is happening in the life of the central character, Brother Hywel, as he walks his own spiritual journey. But many of them have personal meaning to me too, like this one:

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
Psalm 84: 5-7 NKJV

I have chosen to write about a real pilgrimage in the book, hence the title. But it isn’t just the physical path of pilgrimage that is Hywel’s journey to grace. It is also the inclination of his heart, to truly seek after God. 

Image of a valley path with the text of Psalm 84 :5

Tears bringing life

On my own journey I have been through some dark valley times, when it really feels like the Valley of Baca (‘Baca’ means ‘weeping’). I have struggled to understand why, but it isn’t always for me to understand. I only have to keep my heart set on Him. My ‘pilgrimage’ is to step by step walk the path that leads me closer to His heart. And it isn’t always easy to stay on that path, especially when blinded by tears.

But what if the very tears that I weep actually help to water the dry ground around me and turn it into springs of life? My strength to keep going actually comes from Him, if I ask for it! And He will increase that strength as I keep walking, make me even more resilient and fruitful. Nothing is wasted in Him. I might walk through the Valley of Weeping, but my very presence turns it into a place of blessing!

Image of the front cover of The Pilgrim. The title of The Pilgrim is in black font against a white background that looks like manuscript paper. The 'P ' is illuminated. Beneath this is a brightly coloured stained glass image of a group of pilgrims.

The Pilgrim: a pool of blessing

My tears have fed into the story I have written in The Pilgrim. My prayer is that the book becomes a pool of blessing for many. I am blown away that God has chosen to use the things that I have gone through, in my own pilgrimage journey, to create books that might just do that. I’ll remember that as I continue the sometimes painful editing process!

At least the book already has the most beautiful of cover designs. I pray that the words inside will be just as beautiful.

(The Pilgrim is due to be published in July 2022, but you can pre-order your copy now, by commenting on this blog post)


Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

Book Review, Children's fiction, Christian Writer, God in control, God's faithfulness, Lessons from life

BLOG BOOK REVIEW: OLIVER’S SECRET by Eleanor Watkins

Front cover image of Oliver's Secret showing a black and white cat with  a frame of green leaves

Eleanor Watkins has written over 45 books, very many of them for children and young adults, so I was honoured to be asked to be a part of the blog tour launch of her latest book for 6-8 year olds, ‘Oliver’s Secret’. If I still had school-age children at home, I would love to be able to introduce them to the books of Eleanor Watkins. I’m sure they would enjoy her storytelling with a gentle faith message, as much as I enjoyed this one. I was pleased to be asked to review her latest book, and you don’t have to have small children to enjoy a book written for children, now do you?

God answers Prayer?

Image of back of Oliver's Secret with synposis.

Oliver’s Secret introduces us to Claire and her family. Claire is lonely. She has moved with her family not only to a new home, but also to an entirely new country where she knows no-one. She has left her friends and all that is comforting and familiar behind. Claire is worried about very many things: about whether she will make new friends, about how her new school and church will be. But most of all she would love a pet, specifically a cat, of her own. Especially as the house her family have moved into has a built in cat flap. So Claire prays and asks God for a cat. Almost immediately, and to her great surprise, a large black and white fluffy cat meanders through the cat flap, and quickly infiltrates himself, both into Claire’s heart and her family’s home.

Learning important things

Over the next few weeks, as she makes new friends and starts her new school, Claire has to learn some important things. That friendship has to be worked at and everybody has secret fears. That God doesn’t always answer prayer in the way we want Him to. That sometimes we have to make difficult decisions and do the right thing, even when it hurts. And most of all – that cats like to wander, and that they keep very big secrets!

Line illustration of a little girl curled up with a cat on a sofa
I

Oliver’s Secret is a great story with characters and animals that children will love. It is produced to be dyslexic friendly, and also beautifully illustrated by Josh Williams. It contains a mystery as well – what exactly is Oliver’s secret and what will Claire and her new friend Eliza do when they find it out?

There are helpfully some questions at the back of the book, designed to make the reader think more deeply about the things Claire experiences. A great resource for family or Sunday school discussion.

It is a truly lovely book with a faith-filled message, and I can warmly recommend it. Even if I am more of a dog person myself!

Image of the author, Eleanor Watkins

Oliver’s Secret by Eleanor Watkins is published by Dernier Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-912457-43-4 / £7.99 It is widely available in bookshops and online, or via the publisher’s website at https://dernierpublishing.com/product/olivers-secret/


Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

Christian Writer, christmas, God's faithfulness, New life, New year, Seasons of life

NEW AND UNCHANGING

Happy New Year? 2022

Do you like new things? Or do your prefer the old and familiar?

Last year marked a lot of new things for me:

  • A new baby grandson – a complete delight!
  • A new persona – ‘Published Author’
  • A new kitchen and bathroom (and an almost completely renovated home)
  • A newly retired husband (who thankfully found himself a new part time job!)
  • A new purpose and calling – to write, and hopefully for those written words to bless others

But even among the joy and excitement of the new, I have found myself holding on to the reassuring old things too. At times the new seemed overwhelming. It was good to find some things familiarly unchanged and they blessed me too. Like the comfort of unpacking my crockery (almost 30 years old, and a wedding present) to put away in my new kitchen cupboards.

Happy New Year

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-33

I do love new things. I particularly love New Year every year. For me it is a time of renewed hope and expectation.

As we look back on God’s amazing faithfulness and provision in the past year, despite the chaos all around us, then we can surely believe He can do the same, if not more, in the year to come. Because He is faithful, and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22)

But I also love the traditions, the old things we do every year, especially at Christmas. The same tree ornaments that date back to before our marriage. The things we love to cook and eat, only ever at Christmas. The Christmas tablecloth that bears the stains of years of accidental spillages, but still covers our festive table every year.

Constant unchanging God

How amazing that the God who makes all things new (Revelation 21:5) is also unchanging!

Behold I am making all things new. Revelation 21:5

As we step into the new year we can do so confidently, knowing that He will be all that He has ever been. He is still the God who loves us, champions us, goes before us, protects, provides, heals and delivers. He has so many good things waiting for us in 2022. I believe it, because He has proved His goodness to us over and over – for more years than I have had that tablecloth, that crockery and even those tree decorations.

And I don’t have to wait to unpack Him from a box. He is my constant companion, every day of this year and the next, always there, and always good!


Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com



advent, Christian Writer, christmas, Connected to God, Faith, God in control, God's faithfulness

FAITHFUL IN THE WAITING

Christmas stockings hanging on a fireplace

Well, a few days from now the wait will almost be over, and excited children will be putting out their stockings in hopeful expectation for them to be filled with goodies. For most children, I guess they have had very little to do once school is over, except to wait impatiently for Christmas.

For parents and most grown-ups, it’s a been very different scenario – frenetic being the word that comes to mind! Too much to do and too little time. It’s a very busy wait!

A KING OF DAVID’S LINE

The child whose birth we are celebrating, was born in the city of David, Bethlehem, and of David’s line. He was, as God had promised, a direct descendant of Israel’s great king.

Text of a carol...to you in David's town, this day, is born of David's line

We can learn a lot from David’s story, the lowly shepherd that became God’s chosen leader of His people. As a young boy, God had promised David he would be king, but he had to wait very many years – until he was maybe thirty years old – to see the fulfilment of that promise. In the meantime, he didn’t just sit back and wait. In the time that he was waiting for that extra-ordinary destiny to be fulfilled he continued to obediently and whole-heatedly obey God and serve others. David looked after his fathers sheep. He challenged and killed a giant. He served King Saul as court musician and as an accomplished soldier. He trained and provided for a group of mighty warriors, and served and protected his own growing family. He also wrote a whole heap of beautiful worship songs.

FAITHFUL IN THE LITTLE THINGS

Waiting well isn’t about just sitting back and letting things happen. Perhaps we are waiting for a promise from God to be fulfilled in our lives. Whilst we are waiting we need to be asking God what we can do with our time and energy. It’s about continuing to love, and serve, and being faithful in the small things.

Text of Luke 16 v10

The waiting period became a training period for David; growing and maturing him, proving his character, so that he was ready to take on the kingship he had been promised. While we are waiting, God is very likely doing the same with us; preparing us for the great things that He has destined for us to do for Him.

A BLESSED CHRISTMAS

I hope for you that the waiting for Christmas has been a blessed time this year, and that you are rejoicing already in the wonderment of the miraculous birth of our Saviour. I pray that if you are waiting for your own miracle, your yet-to-be fulfilled promise, whether it be for yourself or someone you love, that your waiting period will see you drawing even closer to the Promise Giver, who gave His very self out of love for you.

Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

advent, Christian Writer, christmas

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY

It is only one week to go until Christmas Day! Has panic set in, or are you all ready and just willing for the wait to be over? I guess for children, and those among us who are children at heart, the last few days of waiting might feel like a lifetime. For others of us we might prefer to stop the hands of the clock, to suspend the wait, as we just don’t know how we are going to get everything done before the big event arrives.

WAITING FOR THE WAIT TO BE OVER

The Christmas story is full of those who had to wait. Simeon and Anna had to wait until they were well advanced in years to see their promises from God fulfilled. Joseph and Mary had to wait to hold their promised son in their arms, and their wait would not have been easy. Bearing the shame of what appeared to be a child born out of wedlock. The fear-filled journey to Bethlehem and the lack of a room when they arrived. Not to mention the physical demands of pregnancy on a young woman’s body.

And what about Zechariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s parents? Luke’s gospel tells us that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah as he was fulfilling his duties as a priest and promised that he and his wife would have the son they had prayed and longed for, even though she was past childbearing age. Understandably perhaps, Zechariah had his doubts. The Angel tells him that because of his unbelief he would be struck dumb until the child is born. Have you ever wondered why?

OUR WORDS HAVE POWER

Luke 6 v 45 tells us that ‘out of the heart, the mouth speaks’. So what comes out of our mouths is evidence of the state of our hearts. We also know that what comes out of our mouths has the power to kill or to bring life ( Proverbs 18 v 21 )

When we are waiting, in the same way as we have to be careful what we think about, we also have to be so careful what we say. Moaning or complaining is in effect speaking out a lack of trust in God to keep His promises. Speaking out of doubt or fear has the same effect. I don’t want to give the enemy power over me by agreeing with his thoughts about my situation. I have to choose to speak with faith, or not speak at all. So my ‘if God heals me’ becomes ‘when God heals me’. I come into agreement with heaven with my words and faith is released.

SAYING NOTHING

Perhaps in Zechariah’s case it was better that he said nothing, rather than speak negatively about the situation he found himself in, while waiting for the Angel’s words to be fulfilled.

And the first words on his lips when he got his voice back? A Holy Spirit inspired song of praise, and prophetic declaration. His wait had been a silent one, but I believe he had drawn closer to the heart of God during it.

Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

advent, Christian Writer, christmas, Faith, Thankfulness, The Word of God, Thought life

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?

A few years ago, around this time of year, I would be waiting for my son to arrive home from University, and getting very excited. We would be very much looking forward to seeing him. And hugging him, and feeding him, and even doing his washing! But he was at a university three hours away, had his own car, and would be driving himself home.

WORRYING THOUGHTS

Now I have to admit I could very easily have allowed myself to worry about that. The thoughts coming into my head might have gone something like this. The roads are going to busy. He won’t have slept much in the last few days,. Will he be careful and keep his concentration? He hasn’t driven a long way for a couple of months. The car isn’t particularly reliable; he won’t have checked the oil, water or tyres. He’ll drive too fast… I have to admit those were all thoughts that warred for attention in this poor mother’s mind.

If I had allowed those thoughts to settle and dwelt on them, then very quickly the excitement, anticipation and joy that I was feeling about welcoming my son home, would have been overshadowed with fear and anxiety. My wait would have been spoilt.

CHOOSE OUR THOUGHTS

We actually have a choice to decide what thoughts we meditate on and which we choose not to. This is a very important principle for every day of our lives but is especially important when we are waiting for God to fulfil His promises. That waiting period can be hard and there might be many valid negative thoughts we can allow to fill our minds. Does God really care? Will He keep His promises? What if He doesn’t? How much longer must I wait? Does He hear my prayers?

Phil 4 v 8 tells us to fill our minds with much more positive and life giving thoughts.

So, rather than let fearful and anxious thoughts dominate our thinking  we can choose instead to keep our minds busy with thinking about good, lovely, positive things. Reading scripture, listening to worship music, talking to an encouraging friend, can all help us re-align our thoughts when we feel overwhelmed by negativity.

THINK ON GOOD THINGS

My son has long flown the nest, but he still comes home for Christmas, and I will probably still be tempted to worry about him driving over. But I hope that my thoughts about his homecoming will be much more along the lines of how amazing it will be to see him, how we will enjoy his company over Christmas, and the fun we will all have together. And perhaps most importantly, my thoughts will dwell on how good God continues to be to us, and just how much He loves and cares for us all. My son included

.

Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

advent, Christian Writer, christmas, Connected to God, Faith, Worship

WORSHIP

Tomorrow we will be in church, worshipping God. I love to sing, I love music, and I particularly love worshipping with others. It is amazing to think that as we join together tomorrow we will be joining with God lovers all over this planet, and with heaven itself in worshipping Him. But worship isn’t just for Sundays! And of course, it isn’t just singing.

ANNA

The other character in Luke 2 who knew a bit about waiting was Anna. Luke 2 v 36-38 tells us that Anna was a widow, and well on in years. It is not clear from the text whether she had been a widow for 84 years (which would have made her at least 105 years old!) or 84 years old. Whatever, it is clear that she had been alone for a long, long time. Married young and having been married for only 7 years, Anna knew what it meant to struggle in life. I can imagine she had experienced grief, despair, hopelessness, loneliness and frustration.

But by the time she met Jesus in the Temple, she had become known for one thing … she never left the Temple. Anna chose to devote her life to worship, prayer and fasting. Her life had taken on a new meaning. Because she had made that choice, she got to experience the most amazing of encounters in the Temple. She gazed on the face of God Himself in human form, she saw her promised Messiah.

CHOOSE TO WORSHIP

Wherever we are in life, if we are happy and content, or if we are struggling and are waiting for the fulfilment of His promises in our life, we can learn from Anna, and from the Psalmist in Psalm 42 v 5.

Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him’ (NKJV)

For no matter what, I will still sing with praise, for living before His face is my saving grace’(TPT)

We need to make that choice to worship God no matter what. And worship can be as simple as just turning our attention to Him, and telling Him how amazing He is. We don’t just worship God because of what He has done for us, He is deserving of our worship just because of who He is.

When we choose to worship, despair is broken off us, and hope restored. Worship strengthens our spirits, souls and bodies, and deepens our connection with the Promise giver because we were created to worship Him. The most miraculous of truths is this … as we worship, heaven moves on our behalf, and the fulfilment of the promise moves ever nearer.

Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval
Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power.
Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

advent, Christian Writer, christmas, Connected to God, Faith, Holy Spirit

ADVENT 3 : STAYING CONNECTED

A decorated Christmas Tress

What do we do while we are waiting?

‘You must be kidding!’ I hear you say. ‘It’s full on busy over here. We have presents to buy, food to hoard, decorations and lights to put up, special church services and nativities to plan for, work parties and Secret Santas to endure. Not to mention trying to keep up with the everyday things that demand our time and attention. Didn’t you know Christmas is coming?

Yep. But what are we doing to try and maintain a sense of anticipation and expectation as Christmas approaches? And how are we waiting well for all that God has promised us?

Simeon

Luke 2 v 25-38 tells us the story of Simeon and Anna, two of my favourite characters from the Christmas story. Both demonstrated how to wait well. Simeon had waited all his life, believing and expecting to see the One God had promised would come. As an old man he held the Christ child in His arms and his joy and wonder are palpable – He had lived to see God’s salvation and it overwhelmed him. 

“For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of you people Israel”  (Luke 2 v 30-32 NKJV)

The old man, Simeon holding the baby Jesus, his parents watching on

Attuned to the Holy Spirit

What really struck me as I read the story again, was the way that Simeon was so attuned to the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit rested on him. That he had already heard the Holy Spirit promise him he would see the Messiah before he died. And on that very day had responded to the direction of the Holy Spirit to make sure he was in exactly the right place in the Temple at the right time to encounter Jesus with His parents. In addition, he recognised the child by the Holy Spirit and then prophesied over Him and His mother by the same Holy Spirit.

I believe Simeon was so attuned to the Holy Spirit because He had stayed connected. It tells us he was just (lived in a God honouring way) and devout (loved and feared God). He let nothing distract him from his close connection with God, and as a result got to experience the fulfilment of The Promise when so many missed it.

Staying Connected

Staying Connected

We can learn from him, if we are in that waiting period. Staying in close connection with God is key to waiting with hope and expectation.  Dishonouring Him by our thoughts, words or actions, or letting distractions disconnect us from Him, means we can miss what He is saying, miss His guidance and direction, and miss out on the experiences He wants us to have of His goodness. While we wait.

Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com

advent, CHOOSING HOPE, Christian Writer, christmas, Faith, God's faithfulness, The Word of God

ADVENT 2 : FAITH

Today I will be making mince pies. I made the first batch last week and they are already gone. These are made with homemade mincemeat, a recipe handed down to me by my dear mum in law, and are so much better than anything you can buy in shops. It is one of the traditions we have continued in our family. For us, they are one of the ways we know Christmas is coming! And we have faith that they will taste good, because the recipe always delivers.

Tomorrow we will be celebrating with some dear friends, the imminent arrival of their firstborn child. Anyone who has expected a child knows what it feels like to wait, in anticipation and excitement, but also with a degree of uncertainty, and even fear perhaps. Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew this only too well.

WAITING WELL

Advent is about waiting. But how good are we at waiting? Not just for Christmas, or new babies, but for when the promise is yet to be fulfilled in our lives, or the prayer answered?

Very many of us know, or have known, what it means to wait – for a healing, for provision, for direction, to see a loved one come to the Father. The waiting isn’t always easy, but God is a God of promises and when we have a promise to hold on to, at least there is hope. Hope is a choice, and hope requires faith. Faith imagines the promise fulfilled and believes we will see it’s fulfilment.

Hebrews 11 tells stories of people of great faith. People who had their part to play in the story of Jesus’ coming. For Abraham and Sarah, David, and the Prophets, they never saw the fulfilment of ‘The Promise’   – the Messiah King (v39). But scripture tells us their faith never wavered, they died still believing.

FAITH IN THE PROMISE GIVER

Their faith was built on what they saw, heard, and experienced of the Promise Giver. They saw other promises fulfilled in their lives, they saw God do the miraculous, they saw answered prayer. These things built their faith.

So, like these heroes of old, our choice to believe has to be based on what we have seen, heard and experienced of the God who is ever faithful.

We need to remind ourselves of the promises we have seen fulfilled, the miracles we have witnessed or heard about, and the prayers we have seen answered. That will make the waiting far easier, as our faith is built, and our hope secured.

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Joy Margetts is new to blogging, and new to being published. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.

The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com