“It is Never for Nothing” by Pam Thorson


I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, remembering in thankfulness, the sacrifice of love that Jesus gave to and for us.

As promised, my friend Pam Thorson, has graciously written a wonderful post for us. As I read her words, my heart was deeply moved, and I pray yours is too.

Pam Thorson 2

(Photo courtesy Grace Thorson/copyright2013)

 

Who knows how it grew out of the rock,
encased on all sides,
firmly supported,
and trapped.

Gnarled branches bore stunted needles,
solemn witness to the battles it had borne.
Its tortured trunk twisted toward heaven,
bowed against the merciless wind tearing at its roots.

Always, it fought to right itself,
to reach again toward the light;
silent witness to the power of life;
a thing of beauty because of its scars.

-Pam Thorson, “The Beautiful Broken”
Excerpted from Out from the Shadows

It is Never for Nothing

Have you ever done something you regretted? Have you been scarred emotionally or physically by events beyond your control? Did you feel helpless and alone?

You would hardly be human if you haven’t experienced brokenness. We all live with regret. Most of us look back upon our lives at some point and struggle to understand where God was when we were hurting.

I had wonderful parents as a child. But in school I experienced much heartache at the hands of bullies. I was small and timid. We moved a lot, and I always felt so lost and alone—the outsider on every school yard.

That feeling followed me into adulthood. Then God intervened. I can still remember the moment, as a young wife and mom, that I comprehended the message of the gospel. The relief and joy of receiving God’s forgiveness for my sins was indescribable. Receiving a new identity and a new life was incredible. I was sure I would never feel lost again.

But I soon discovered that being a Christian didn’t exempt me from sorrow. I learned that walking with God is often a hard journey, and though He makes our paths straight, they’re still rocky. I realized that disappointment is often the companion to miracles.

Over the years, I learned to praise God for His deliverance through each trial. But I wondered how to live with the battle scars.

It never occurred to me to embrace them.

Now, years later, I’m beginning to understand. Nothing that has happened to me is without purpose. Everything I’ve experienced, good or bad, before and after the moment of my salvation, has made me who I am today.

In the same way that a tree is shaped by the elements as it grows toward the light, I am being shaped by the elements of adversity and blessing. All things work for my good, we are told in Romans 8:28. That means I can trust God to turn everything I experience into growth for His glory as I reach upward toward Him.

In the past, I was ashamed of the scars I bore from the twists and turns in my life. But I see now that God looks upon my heart and knows I’m shaping up just fine. I am the Creator’s masterpiece: the beautiful broken.

In her new book, Out from the Shadows, Pam shares how God uses our life circumstances to form the qualities He wants to develop in us. “Never for Nothing” and thirty other devotions lift back the veil on the struggles and joys of caring for others to reveal God’s great love for us. Pick up a copy ($8.96 paperback; $2.99 kindle) today at http://www.amazon.com/Out-Shadows-Pamela-Thorson

Pam Thorson

Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), released March 28. Pam resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Contact her at www.pamthorson.com.

What a wonderful God we serve! Make sure to check out Pam’s wonderful book, Out from the Shadows, and visit her website. She will also have another guest post for us later this week, so be sure to check back here as well.

May God cover you all with many blessings this week. – Amber

 

An Interview with Author Pam Thorson


 

Well, my friend, Pam Thorson’s launched her newest book a couple of weeks ago, and it looks to be doing well. In the meantime, she has been gracious enough to do a short interview with me, as I wanted a way to let the readers have a chance to get to know her better. Her strength and courage are truly an inspiration to all who know her.

Amber’s interview with Pam Thorson:

“Thanks, Amber for this opportunity to share with your readers. I’m constantly blessed by your sacrificial spirit and gentle heart.”

1. What inspired you to write “Out from the Shadows”?

Out from the Shadows actually began as a series of devotions I wrote for our church bulletins. I shared them at various times with my critique group. One day the group leader suggested I compile the devotions into a manuscript and present a proposal to an editor at the next writer’s conference. That editor was interested, and Out from the Shadows was born.

This book has been crafted to encourage those who care for others. It addresses such topics as envy, burnout, loyalty, and forgiveness—issues that affect us all.

2. What was the hardest challenge in writing it?

I think the biggest challenge was getting the time and energy to write. It takes all my strength just to get through some days without the added work of writing. But I’ve discovered that any calling takes discipline and determination. I have two jobs that I love, and I lean hard on the grace of God every day.

3. Tell us about becoming a caregiver and nurse, and why you did it.

I became a full-time caregiver in 1997 when our middle son Kevin suffered a spinal cord injury in a fall. He was initially paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator. He eventually gained back some feeling and ability to move, and now he only goes back on the vent at night to sleep. From the first moment we received the call of his accident in Canada, there was no doubt we would bring him back home if at all possible.

I became a licensed practical nurse in 2011 at the age of fifty-eight to satisfy the certified family home regulations regarding our reimbursement with the state of Idaho. Because Kevin is an adult and needs nursing home level care, I contract with the state to care for him in our home—which is great because it’s his home, too. This pays the bills and allows our family to stay together.

Why do I care for him? I can’t imagine doing anything else, as long as I’m needed. Every day I awaken knowing that the life of another person depends upon me. That is powerful motivation. Along the way, I’ve discovered just how much I need him, too. I thank God for sparing Kevin’s life and returning him to us.

4. What advice would you give to someone considering caregiving?

Prepare for a marathon and be kind to yourself. On the hard days, remember that you are following in large footsteps. Our Savior gave up everything to serve a dying world. Any sacrifice we make on this earth pales in comparison. Any loss we experience in caring for others will be more than repaid by a just Creator on that glorious day when eternity dawns and every tear is dried.

5. What is most rewarding to you as an author?

My greatest reward is when someone contacts me to say something I’ve written has encouraged them. That makes it all worthwhile.

6. Do you have plans or ideas for any future books?

Oh, yes! I can’t imagine not writing. Most of my other ideas are for more non-fiction books, but Kevin and I are conspiring to write a novel in the future.

7. What advice would you give to a new author?

Submit to the process and learn the craft. Writing is like giving birth. It’s hard to let our babies out into the cold, cruel world. But if God is speaking through us, the truth will withstand scrutiny. Develop a thick skin, give God your best work, and be prepared for a long (and sometimes lonely) journey.

8. What is the number one thing you would most like to be remembered for, and why?

In Acts 13:22, King David was called a man after God’s own heart. This is my longing: to be known as a woman who ran hard after God. I want others to see His heart when they read my words. It’s the very least I can give.

9. Any message or comment that you would like the readers to know?

There is one quote from the book that says it all for me: No place is so dark, no shadow so deep, that God can’t find us. If we can let that one thing soak into our spirits, we will be okay, no matter what happens to us on this side of heaven. After nearly four decades of serving the Lord Jesus, I can declare with the Psalmist, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” Psalm 37:25 (NASB)

 

(Thanks Pam, for taking the time to do this interview. I wish you much success and many blessings. – Amber)

 

Pam Thorson

 

 

Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), pulls back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Pam resides with her family in the Northwest.

Visit her here:
http://www.pamthorson.com
http://www.twitter.com/PamelaThorson
http://www.facebook.com/officialpamthorson
http://www.pinterest.com/pamthorson

Make sure to check out Pam’s new book, Out from the Shadows, and stop by for a visit at one or more of her sites above. And don’t forget to check back here, as Pam will be writing a guest post for us soon.

Have a great day, and God bless! – Amber

…and then the tears flowed


I don’t usually write poetry very often, but these words just came into my head after a friend shared a link on Facebook this morning to a song I hadn’t heard in probably 25 years or more. It brought a lifetime of memories, a sea of faces, and then the tears flowed.

While I don’t always know why certain words come into my head, this subject is one that I know too much about, but with all my heart, wish I didn’t.

The subject is drug addiction. And it is one that I have lost too many family and friends to.

When I look back over the years, and remember all the faces of those that I loved that are no longer here, it leaves a heavy and empty space in my heart. I wish I could go back in time, to share with them what I know now. But I can’t.

Perhaps sharing my words now will help someone else, before it’s too late.

 And Then the Tears Flowed 

I once was an addict. Now I am free!

My Hero & Savior, Jesus rescued me!

 Some don’t believe. They say it’s a scam.

If only they knew The Great I Am!

 So many have died. So many deceived.

If only they’d known, they could’ve been freed!

Too many friends gone now. Such sorrow to bear!

No one was listening, had no one to care.

 The devil’s deceitful, he’s the master of lies.

He’s hateful and laughing, as another junkie dies.

 Don’t take that needle, it’s the devil’s dance!

Come to Jesus now, while you still have a chance!

Jesus will help you, if only you’ll call.

He gave His life, ‘cause He loves us all!

His power transforms us. His Spirit fills the hole.

His hope brings back joy that the enemy stole.

 An addict’s been cured!

The dead have been raised!

Miracles abound!

Jesus is praised!

No matter how far down you go into the darkness, Jesus can rescue and save you!

“Jesus glanced around at them and said, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 AMP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Believing in Miracles


Have you ever had one of those moments when the phone rings and on the other end is someone in desperate need of consoling? You know, like a family member or friend with a shocking message of being diagnosed with cancer or some other terminal illness, or news of a horrible accident with a seemingly hopeless outcome? Perhaps you, yourself, have had a frightening diagnosis, injury, or circumstance.

Needless to say, it’s not an easy situation to respond to. It is usually uncomfortable, because most of us immediately feel incapable of doing anything useful, no matter how much we may want to help.

Many times over the years I’ve been asked to pray for someone. And I always did. But for a long time, my prayers were more in the form of begging God to “please help”, and I’m not really sure that there was much faith in my heart that God was even listening.

As I studied the bible more, my relationship with God began to change. I started to trust in Him more, even though I couldn’t always understand everything. And my faith grew stronger. This had an impact on my prayers as well. I stopped begging, and started believing. I started believing in the power of prayer, and I started believing in miracles.

Now I need to explain something here. For over half of my life, I lived apart from God. I knew a little about God when I was young, and I had a little bit of faith. But after praying for healing for my grandmother (in my begging and unbelieving way), she died the very next day. And I lost my faith, not understanding, and I chose to turn my back on God. But, thankfully, He didn’t turn His back on me. I won’t go into all the details, but over time, God continued to speak to my heart, calling me back to Him.

I want to share a few scriptures that have had a very strong impact in my faith since then.

The first one, “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths”. (Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP) From these verses, I began to learn more about trust, which is an issue I have always had struggles with. I finally understood, there will always be people that will mislead, deceive, and disappoint me, but God is ALWAYS faithful.

The second verse is, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]”. (Romans 12:2 AMP) After living apart from God for so long, it took a while for me to understand that there were many “worldly” influences that had filled my heart and my head, lying to me about who God is, and limiting my faith in Him. But this verse taught me that I need to ignore what the world says and does, and to constantly renew and refresh my spirit in God through prayer and reading His word. And having a pastor that is dedicated to teaching and preaching God’s truth has been not only helpful to me, but necessary.

The third verse, and perhaps the hardest for me to grasp was “Jesus glanced around at them and said, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God. (Mark 10:27 AMP) To fully understand this verse, I had to go back to the beginning, to how God created everything. I had to try to picture it in my mind, to imagine such an awesome power. And I had to choose to believe it in my heart, which caused me to feel very humbled by His majesty.

As I said earlier, I now believe in the power of prayers, and I believe in miracles. Not only because of the stories told in the bible, but because I have witnessed them personally.

Many of you may have read my book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”, where I shared the miracle of what happened to my youngest son when he was killed in an accident, and then brought back to life and fully healed. As thousands of people were praying for a miracle for us, the doctors said there was no hope for my son’s survival, let alone recovery. But when an 8 year old boy comes back to life and tells you what it was like to sit on Jesus’ lap in heaven, things change!

That was a few years ago. More recently, I received a call asking for prayers for a 1 year old girl that had been diagnosed with the probability of leukemia. The first blood test indicated a very low white blood cell count. A second test was done a few days later, and the results were much worse. So a bone marrow biopsy was requested. In the meantime, a network of thousands began praying for this little girl and her family. Before performing the biopsy, a third blood test was ordered. This test came back perfectly normal, no indication of leukemia was found!

At the same time, many of us were also praying for a woman with issues regarding her uterus. At first, x-rays showed a couple of “spots”, so more tests were ordered. These spots were found to be 2 medium sized cysts. Further tests a short time later using a microscopic camera revealed that the cysts had grown to large fibroid tumors. This woman went in for surgery last Monday to have the tumors removed, but the tumors had just disappeared!

There were no medical explanations for how these three individuals were healed. But the bible gives a perfectly clear explanation…Divine Intervention.

I have personally witnessed many other miracles aside from physical ailments. There have been financial matters, legal troubles, marital and relationship struggles, all with seemingly impossible odds. Some have been resolved instantly, others over time. But in all circumstances, there was prayer and faith.

There is one thing that I must make perfectly clear, in order to prevent any misunderstanding. God does indeed perform miracles, and they are all around us, every day. But we must remember and understand, He is God, holy and righteous and all powerful. He is not a “genie at our command” that grants our every request. This is what I did not understand when my grandmother died. Sometimes we do not get what we ask for. God does things according to His ways, and in His timing. Though I cannot explain the ways and the whys of God, I can say with all confidence and certainty that He knows what He is doing, and it is all good. His timing is always perfect, and He is always faithful. We can and should trust in Him completely!

One mistake that is often made is the “I’ll give Him a try and see what happens” kind of attitude. If the wish is not granted as soon as asked, then we say there is no God, or He doesn’t listen. It is the perfect excuse to give up on Him.

I admit freely, it is not always easy to believe and have faith. In fact, sometimes it is downright hard! But it’s not about getting everything we want. It’s about knowing that there is One that loves us so much and wants for us to be with Him for all eternity. It’s about knowing that we don’t deserve to be in His presence, and there is nothing we can do to earn the privilege, but that by His mighty love for us, He provided a way for us, through repentance, baptism and receiving the gift of His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). We can choose to live with Him, on purpose, following in His ways.

We all have a choice. We can be like the world, unbelieving, scoffing at, mocking and rejecting what the bible says. Or we can choose to believe what the bible says, believing in the power of pray, trusting in His answer, knowing Jesus is the one true God, and we can choose to believe in miracles. What do you believe?

It’s a party, and you’re invited!


Last week I wrote a post announcing the release of my friend, Pam Thorson’s new book, “Out from the Shadows”. She is celebrating with a launch party on Facebook on March 28, 2014 from 7 am to 7 pm and everyone is invited! Click here to join.There will be prizes given away each hour, but you must join the party to enter for a chance to win.

Let’s help Pam celebrate, and show our support by spreading the word.

Pam Thorson
Author Bio:

Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), pulls back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Pam resides with her family in the Northwest. Visit her here:

http://www.pamthorson.com

http://www.twitter.com/PamelaThorson

http://www.facebook.com/officialpamthorson

http://www.pinterest.com/pamthorson

New Book Release: Out from the Shadows by Pam Thorson


Yesterday I shared a post about upcoming promotions, guest blogs and other events that will be going on over the next few weeks for some author friends of mine.

One such friend is Pam Thorson. I am very excited to share her upcoming book launch for her new book, “Out from the Shadows”! It is set to be released on March 28, 2014, and there will be a launch party. Please join me in supporting Pam’s new release by helping me spread the word!

Out from the Shadows

Synopsis:
No place is so dark, no shadow so deep, that God can’t find us.
Does the suffering you witness or experience seem pointless? Do you feel like your problems are endless? Do you wonder if God cares about you?

Caregivers live in the daily shadows of death, countless duties, and shattered dreams. But they don t have to exist in the shadows of their faith.

Nurse and veteran caregiver Pam Thorson offers weary families hope and insights gained from her own struggles. Out from the Shadows is a collection of thirty-one stories that pull back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Each devotion draws from the author s own experiences to reveal a fresh understanding of Jesus call upon our lives as we care for others.

I heartily recommend this book for anyone and everyone who deals with disability in the family”! – Joni Eareckson Tada, best selling author, and founder and CEO of Joni and Friends.

Pam Thorson

Author Bio:
Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), pulls back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Pam resides with her family in the Northwest. Visit her here:

http://www.pamthorson.com

http://www.twitter.com/PamelaThorson

http://www.facebook.com/officialpamthorson

http://www.pinterest.com/pamthorson

Book Link & Info:
You can pre-order “Out from the Shadows” here.
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Writing Is Like Giving Birth…


Originally posted on AmberLea of Alaska's Blog:

What an author does

Writing is like giving birth, but the labor lasts much longer.

I have realized that the experience of becoming an author has been similar to giving birth. First, I was pregnant with the thoughts, feelings and ideas. They grew inside me like a new baby. I shared some of this with family and friends, the way a pregnant woman would let people rub her tummy to feel the baby kick.

I nourished my writing by reading and learning, and forming friendships with other authors. I began researching the writing industry and learning everything I could on the subject, along with information about publishing, marketing and promotion. In this way, it was similar to what is referred to as “nesting”, when a woman “prepares” for the coming arrival; cleaning and setting up the nursery, and getting all the necessary supplies on hand.

Then it was time to give birth.

The…

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FREE E-book for Review: Trials and Triumphs


I am pleased to announce the new release of Trials and Triumphs: Hope Beyond Circumstances.

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This book is a compilation of forty authors, all members of FaithWriters, sharing true and life changing experiences that are sure to inspire and encourage anyone that may be facing impossible situations.

Since I first began this blog, it has always been my mission to share hope and encouragement with others, to spread God’s word and love, and let people know that we are not alone.

That same mission is the purpose of Trials and Triumphs. Each author shares personal experiences from their heart, describing how they have overcome situations and circumstances through faith and trust in Jesus.

There are three categories of testimonies in this book, including stories describing how Jesus came to be a personal Savior, stories of tremendous faith through overwhelming circumstances, and stories of people that gave inspiration and hope to someone when they needed it most.

Trials and Triumphs is sure to be a blessing to everyone who reads it, believers and non-believers alike.

And for a limited time only, FaithWriters is offering an opportunity to read Trials and Triumphs for free, in exchange for an honest review.

I highly recommend this wonderful book, and encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to read it for free. And don’t forget to give it an honest review. Even if you don’t buy it on Amazon, you can still leave a review for it on their site, as well as at FaithWriters. And please help me spread the word too.

Thanks, and God bless! – Amber
P.S. I am one of the forty authors, and it has been a true privilege to be a part of this project, and I pray that it will give honor and glory to the One most deserving it…Jesus.

How I Became an Author, and Why I Keep Writing


Originally posted on AmberLea of Alaska's Blog:

I began writing many years ago, without having any college training or professional background. I just put down on paper what was in my heart and in my head. Several family members and close friends told me that my writing was very good and that I should consider becoming a writer. But that’s what family and friends always say. So I didn’t take it too seriously.

Then I joined a chat room and began joining in a few of the forums there. It was during a time of political debates and elections, and there was quite a bit of tension and heated arguments in many of the forums. So I began a discussion based on sharing humorous stories about my children and animals, as an attempt to cool things down.

Soon there were several hundred people joining in, leaving comments regarding my writing a book of these stories. Several of…

View original 1,389 more words

The Stranger


A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God. Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars.

The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up – while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places – and go to her room read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.

You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house – not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted.

My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home – not even for cooking. But the stranger felt he needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.

More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. But if I were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name? We always called him “TV”.

He has a sister now. Her name is “computer”.

(Author Unknown, but seems to have appeared in circulation on the internet around 2007)

Just something to think about: What we allow to enter our minds also enters our hearts. And from our hearts, our life flows. What’s flowing from you?

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