WHY...

Barb Enjoys
Writing at IHOP

I love God, and I love telling others about Him. That’s why I write. Well, that, and I absolutely love to create characters and story worlds.

HOW...

Barb Chooses
Writing Topics

Ideas … ideas … ideas. Someday I seriously intend to settle down and write in one genre and only one genre … if God so leads.

WHAT...

Barb Loves to
Teach & Share

Novel writing is so relevant to our walks with God. Our stories begin with wounded, flawed characters who desperately need help.

Nothing Compares!
4/5/2018 2:26:00 AM BY Barb Haley

It’s after midnight and I felt drawn to sit at my piano and worship. What a sweet time of fellowship with the Lord.

As I sang and played and just soaked up God’s presence, I remembered all the times in Mascoutah and Rantoul that we waited around the altars for a visit from the Holy Spirit. And He never let us down, did He?

God would give me one song after another at the piano. I remember the folks (especially the youth) who were anxious to get going after the services headed to Hardees while a good-sized group of us just lingered and worshipped and prayed. We saw God’s hand touch so many lives in those times. I miss them.

I haven’t had the opportunity to lead worship from the piano since I moved to Texas in 1997. Tonight, I realized what a huge part of the real me I left behind in Illinois. How I wish we could all gather again and sing praises as one to God. To pray for one another like we did so often at Vic and Carol’s house on Thursday nights. To study the Bible together.

Does anyone else remember those precious, anointed times together? Songs like: Here’s My Cup, Lord; Set My Spirit Free to Worship Thee; Thou Art Worthy; Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. So, so many beautiful and intimate songs. As we sang, we communicated with God in spirit and truth.

I’m hoping we’ll get to do this again in Heaven. Kind of like the reunions in Mascoutah. So, so sweet.

Not sure why I feel led to share this tonight. I guess I want to encourage you to find some time to get alone with God and just worship with the oldies. Allow the Holy Spirit to bathe you with joy and peace in His presence. It’s so worth the time.

Tonight, I kept going back to the song “Lord, You Are More Beautiful than Diamonds.” I mean … I would have another song in my mind and intend to sing it, but my fingers would play this song again. After about the fifth time this happened, I realized God was speaking to me about my priorities in my daily life. About purposely carving time to spend with Him. About how sitting in His presence is the most precious gift in the world. And I can enjoy it anytime … IF I stop all the other activity that keeps my mind so busy.

There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place. I’m glowing with God’s holy presence tonight and know how very much He loves me. Truly, nothing in this world compares to Him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STUCK in your Comfort Zone?
2/5/2018 10:04:00 PM BY Barb Haley

TODAY … I’m super excited to introduce Elizabeth McNeely – “Biz.”

At 54, she’s forced to sell her trucking comapny where she’s managed crude and crochety men for over 25 years. She’s outspoken, controlling, and driven. 

With too much time on her hands, she tries to fit in with the ladies at her church. Doesn’t take long to realize how socially inept she really is with other women, though. Not only that. She carries a lot of childhood baggage and isn’t even sure how much she truly trusts God. 

But then . . .  the pastor invites her to take over the church ladies’ group when the leader resigns. Oh, my!

Biz is NO DIFFERENT than US when it comes to stepping outside her comfort zone. Life gets comfortable—even if it involves a bit of confusion and struggle. We hesitate to change because we might run into bigger problems. 

But what if you feel like GOD is asking you to attempt something new and frightening? 

He does that, doesn’t He? Grows us up that way. Forces us to turn to Him for direction and to others for support and encouragement. 

Well, Biz takes the decision seriously and talks to God about it constantly. And one night, He answers in a very interesting way.

***

      The microwave dinged. I pulled out the plate of chicken. Nasty. White and over-cooked around the edges. Raw on the inside.

      The mess so resembled my life. Then reality hit me.

      That could be Corrine. Or Frieda, or any of the other ladies I was getting to know. Weren’t we all the same? 

      Life toughens our exterior and colors the persons we become. But on the inside, much of our past remains unresolved and messy.

      I tossed the chicken in the garbage and looked up the number for Pizza Hut. A light came on in my soul along with an urgent desire to shed my shell and allow God to finish perfecting my insides. My heart.

      A deep, reverent compassion for the ladies in our group filled my being. Could we do this together? Uncover our deepest beings and begin to heal from the inside out? Allow God to first do a work in us, so we might share his grace and love with the younger girls in our congregation at some point in the future.

      At this very moment, I knew God was calling me to lead the group. Not because I was ready, but because I wasn’t. Because he could use me as an example if I was willing to be transparent and honest. Willing to give up my strength and allow others to see my need of God’s strength.

***

AND THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING. Stay tuned for more snippets from my book A Second Wind. And PLEASE pray as I start the tough job of getting the book published. Love y’all!    Barb