My “God-Spot” for Day 30 of Writing for 31 Days is my dear friend Betsy Tacchella. Betsy and I are of the same generation and sisters in Christ. She is a wonderful speaker, mentor, author and an inspiration to so many. She recently published her second book, “Speak to Me, Lord, I’m Listening.” It is a wonderful collection of biblical examples of God speaking a rhema word as well as Betsy’s stories of hearing God’s voice in her own life. Here, she answers my questions and shares an excerpt from her book. To read more posts from my 31 days of blogging, click on the button above.
1. What is your desire in writing this book?
My desire in writing “Speak to Me, Lord, I’m Listening,” is to raise the reader’s awareness that God still speaks to us today just as He did throughout the Bible. Through more than fifty stories, you will recognize that you, too, have heard God’s voice of encouragement, comfort and direction. Have you ever had a Bible verse seem to pop off the page, had a friend “just happen” to call at a critical time, had someone speak words of life to you? Our personal relationship with God is more than us speaking to God. It is also Him speaking to us through Scripture, in prayer, through people, in the midst of circumstances, through visions and dreams, and through His creation.
2. Explain a “rhema” word and describe a couple of ways God can speak personally to us.
God loves to speak to us in a very personal way. When He does this, the Greek word is “rhema.” While “logos” is the whole written word of God, rhema is a personal word. Used seventy times in the New Testament, it refers to a specific word from God for a particular situation. That’s why Jesus said, “…Man shall not live by bread alone but by every (personal rhema) “word” that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). Another time rhema is used is Rom. 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the (personal rhema) “word” of Christ.” One of the joys of the Christian life is listening for God’s voice, heeding what He says and reaping the blessings that follow.
3. How did you come to write your first book, “Mother Has Alzheimers”?
As my mother went through her demise with Alzheimer’s, God seemed to whisper to me to journal everything she went through and any answers to prayer. I determined that I was going to expect to see God at every turn and He did not disappoint me. With several years of notes, he prompted me to collate my writings and turn them into a manuscript. I had several 8 x 11 copies made into loosely bound booklets. For a number of years, I loaned the booklets out to people caring for an Alzheimer’s relative. People seemed to be touched and helped through reading about my experience, telling me that they both laughed and cried at my stories. Then one day twenty years later, God clearly revealed to me that I should have the book published. My husband said he had always felt it should have broader exposure. So, today, that book is also available at various e-book locations, including amazon.com.
4. Do you have plans to write another book?
When I first began writing, I felt I had four books in my heart. Two have been published. Two more await; and only God knows if there are more after that. Over the years, I have journaled various opportunities God has given me to share the Lord with people. Some have received the Lord as a result, and some have not. This book will be down to earth stories of how each of these witnessing occasions unfolded. Many are incredibly unique, stories only God could have orchestrated. Another book that is on my heart is a children’s book. This one will contain true stories about raising our son, Mike. We were older parents when Mike came along and perhaps more seasoned in our faith walk and more geared toward intentional parenting. Because of that, there were many situations in which Bill and I had opportunity to speak into Mike’s life and often times when he made wise decisions. I’ve always felt his life stories would be worth sharing as encouragement for young boys to emulate his choices.
5. Besides being an author, do you also speak about your books?
Yes, I have had many wonderful opportunities over the years to speak at various church and secular groups. Before I ever published a book, I had spoken many times on the topic of hearing God’s voice. The thing I love about that topic is that there are always fresh stories to tell. I love telling stories and always mix them with some solid Bible teaching when I speak. I have a passion for God’s word and made a covenant with God that whether I speak on “Mother Has Alzheimer’s,” “Speak to Me, Lord, I’m Listening,” or any other subject, His name will always be lifted high. I am available to speak at women’s retreats, conferences, seminars, banquets, etc. On my blog,www.betsytacchella.com, you can also note other subjects I enjoy speaking about.
Here is an excerpt from Betsy’s book, “Speak to Me, Lord, I’m Listening”:
Hearing God’s Voice in a Hike along the Colorado River
I love hiking trails, rivers, waterfalls, and especially the mountains of Colorado. I especially enjoy how God speaks to me on our various road trips. As we wandered along the highway next to the Colorado River one year, the Lord revealed a clear lesson from the river. For many miles, I observed the dynamics of this spirited, energetic river. Dashing over rocks and boulders, this massive flow of water raged undaunted past anything in its path. Sometimes, only small rocks blocked the way. Glistening, white spray was the only visible evidence that the river had collided with anything. Other times, the water impacted large boulders as it hastened toward its destination, sending up a violent, crashing surge of foam as though proclaiming, “Do not mess with me!” These class five rapids spewing white water gave the only evidence of obstruction. Yet, nothing stopped the flow. Charging at accelerated speed through its channel, the river relentlessly followed the passageway carved out before it.
Whatever the opposition, the river coursed onward, single-minded in purpose as it hastened toward the ocean. No obstacle was big enough to bring the river to a halt. Water either surged over the tops of rocks or cut a path around them, eventually wearing them down, always finding a way to continue its journey.
As I watched this interesting phenomenon, a Bible verse came to mind and the Lord began to speak a lesson to me. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (I Cor. 10:13).
Pondering that verse, I began to see that the rocks and boulders in the Colorado River were like the temptations and trials we have in life. A way of escape always materialized for the water, either around the rocks or over them. Single-minded, the water flowed onward to the sea. In the same way, God promises to provide a way of escape for us. He is a faithful God who can be trusted. As we focus on the Lord, walking in His will as our destination, He faithfully provides whatever escape we need around the rocks and boulders in our lives. I felt comforted by the river and the message God gave me.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ By this He spoke of the Spirit…” John 7:38-39
Betsy Tacchella has lived in Michigan for over 30 years. She and her husband of 50 years have three children and nine grandchildren. Betsy holds a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary and has been teaching the Bible for over forty years. She also mentors women and does public speaking. Betsy writes about hearing God’s voice on her blog, www.betsytacchella.com.