Tuesday, March 18, 2008

EYES OF ELISHA

I met Brandilyn Collins at the 2007 ACFW Conference. (American Christian Fiction Writers) She was such a delightful lady I just had to buy one of her books. (Like I need an excuse to buy books.) I had to limit my purchases somehow so I chose books from authors I met at the conference.

Before the conference I had checked out Brandilyn's blog, and read about the trauma she went through writing EYES OF ELISHA. So that's the book I bought. The cover looks rather spooky and while I love suspense and mystery, I don't do horror well. I put it on the back burner and read some of the other books first.

Then one day I got brave and read this book. It's not horror after all. Sorry Brandilyn, now I know you have never been classified as a horror writer. To make a long story short, I'm now hooked on this dear ladies writing. No wonder her tag line is "Don't forget to breathe."

If you like reading Iris Johanson's writing, you will love this book by Brandilyn Collins.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dancing In The Rain

Once in awhile you come upon something that hits you and you feel you must share. I hope that this little story hits you the same as it hit me . .


~~~ How To Dance In The Rain ~~~

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him.

I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for awhile and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?"

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life."

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

With all the jokes and fun that is in e-mails, sometimes there is one that comes along that has an important message. This one I thought I could share with you.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

I hope you share this story with someone you care about.

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the
rain."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I've sent my apology ~~Linda Windsor

From author Linda Windsor.

My heartfelt APOLOGIES regarding Wedding Bell Blues. I had two regrettable errors in this publication that, when called to my attention, I didn't at first believe it.

I didn't remember my hero having a Rhett Butler moment when he said "D_mn, I still love you, Alex."

And while I'd written unsaved character Sue Ann exclaiming, "Oh my g_wd!" with the intent of convicting Sue Ann of its blasphemy in her own book #4, I changed her mind after discussing it with my editor and deleted those occurences rather than offend anyone. Well, I missed one. The GOOD NEWS is that these have been removed from future printings and book club issues.

To anyone who read Wedding Bell Blues and was offended, my humble apologies. I'd written this book after my husband died and during those months of brain fog, I almost stopped writing because it was so hard to put coherent thought together. Then I turned it in months late, which put my publisher in a bind as far as getting the usual multiple editings. This was the result. Granted, I must have written these blunders or they would not have been there. For that, I can only ask for your forgiveness and understanding.

*** Linda Windsor***

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Letter from Sergei

Dear Friends,
peace be unto you.

I want to let you know what is happening in Belarus concerning my New Life church and the family of my Pastor Slava.

The pressure against our church has become the pressure against his family. Today (March 13, 2008) he has received an order from the authorities in which they order him to demolish his house before March 18, 2008 quoting that he had built it without proper documentation - which is a lie - or they threaten to demolish it afterwards at his own expense!

Please help us create an international awareness and protest so that Pastor Slava's house be not torn down!

Please pray (!) and do the following:
1) Spread this news as far as you can and to as many people as you can!
2) Write letters of protest to the President of Belarus at the following address:

Administration of the President
Karl Marx street
38Minsk 2220016 Belarus

thank you!
Sergei

My Soul Cries Out

Sherry Lewis has bravely taken a sensitive subject, a controversial subject, a heartbreaking subject and woven a tale that will make every reader examine her own heart. Sherry has the gift of writing fiction that makes you think.

The main thread of the story is the devastation of a young Christian woman who discovers her husband is bisexual, something she never knew until she came home and found her husband cheating on her with another man.

Another thread is the corruption in this young couples church. Corruption in high places. Corruption in the very people who should be there to help them, to protect them.

My Soul Cries out is a must read. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A HAIRBRUSH EXPERIENCE

God is so good. Just as I wonder what to publish on the blog He gives me this story. It gives me chills and reminds me of just what an Awsome God we serve.

For those of you who do not know Beth Moore, she is an outstanding Bible teacher, writer of Bible studies, and is a married mother of two daughters. This is one of her experiences:

April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville, waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord.

I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego.

I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones.

The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy, gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man.

I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in t he airport...an impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere? There I sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while, my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him.

Let's admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man. I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing.

I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. 'Oh, no, God, please, no.' I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare through it into heaven and said, 'Don't make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I'll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience . Please, Lord!'

There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, 'Please don't make me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on the plane.' Then I heard it... 'I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair.'

The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No-brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, 'God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I'm on this Lord. I'm your girl! You've never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am going to witness to this man.' Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. 'That is not what I said, Beth. I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair.'

I looked up at God and quipped, 'I don't have a hairbrush. It's in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?' God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: 'I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works.' (2 Timothy 3:17)

I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, 'Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?'

He looked back at me and said, 'What did you say?'

'May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?'

To which he responded in volume ten, 'Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that.'

At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, 'If you really want to.'

Are you kidding? Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, 'Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush.'


'I have one in my bag,' he responded.

I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don't do many things well, but must admit I've had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I'd done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull. A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's hair.

Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me . I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair. I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and was making Himself at home for a short while.

The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's. I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees and said, 'Sir, do you know my Jesus?'

He said, 'Yes, I do.'

Well, that figures, I thought.

He explained, 'I've known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn't marry me until I got to know the Savior.' He said, 'You see, the problem is, I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride.'

Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known.

It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it. Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft. I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks.

She said, 'That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?'


I said, 'Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!' And we got to share.

I learned something about God that day. He knows if you're exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you're hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed.

He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!

I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way. . . all because I didn't want people to think I was strange.

God didn't send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me. John 1:14 'The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We Have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.'


Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving; safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting, 'Wow! What a ride! Thank You, Lord!'

Be Blessed!

If HE brings you to it, HE will see you through it. In certain places, at certain times, whether you've got a voice or not, the only thing to do is take the stage and sing your heart out.


When I die, I shall then have my greatest grief and my greatest joy - my greatest grief that I have done so little for Jesus, and my greatest joy that Jesus has done so much for me ....William Grimshaw

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I Believe

I received this message in an email. I am giving the anonymous writer the honor of passing it on through this blog.

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born; A Death Certificate shows that we died; Pictures show that we lived! Have a seat . . Relax . And now read this slowly.

I believe - That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe - That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe - That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe - That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe - That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe - That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe - That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe - That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I believe - That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe - That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe - That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe - That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe - That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe - That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe - That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe - That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe - That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe - That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe - Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe - That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe - That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I believe - That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe - That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I believe - The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
***Ralph Waldo Emerson***

Thursday, March 6, 2008

An Honorable Judge

Some of you may be wondering what Judge Roy Moore has been doing since he was removed from the bench for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom wall. Please read the poem he wrote. It's below his picture.


The following is a poem written by Judge Roy Moore from Alabama. Judge Moore was sued by the ACLU for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom foyer. He has been stripped of his judgeship and now they are trying to strip his right to practice law in Alabama. The judge's poem sums it up quite well.


America the Beautiful, or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride; I'm glad they'll never see.


Babies piled in dumpsters, abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty; your house is on the sand.


Our children wander aimlessly, poisoned by cocaine,
Choosing to indulge their lusts, when God has said abstain.


From sea to shining sea, our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God's love and a need to always pray.


We've kept God in our temples, how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool, and Heaven is His throne.


We've voted in a government that's rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges; who throw reason out the door.


Too soft to place a killer in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby before he leaves the womb.


You think that God's not angry, that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait before His judgment comes?


How are we to face our God, from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do, but stem this evil tide?


If we who are His children, will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face and mend our evil way.


Then God will hear from Heaven, and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land and those who live within.


But, America the Beautiful, if you don't - then you will see,
A sad but Holy God withdraw His hand from Thee.

~~Judge Roy Moore~~



This says it all. May we all forward this message and offer our prayers for Judge Moore to be blessed and for America to wake up and realize what we need to do to keep OUR America the Beautiful.


Let's lift Judge Moore up in prayer.

He has stood firm and needs our support.

IN GOD WE TRUST


~~ Annonomus~~



Saturday, March 1, 2008

My Brother's Wedding

He who finds a wife finds a good thing. Sorrow is turned into joy. A Godly woman shall be praised. Thank you, Marlene, for making my brother smile again.



What a cute couple!!!

Deborah snaps a picture of her father and his bride.

The festive get-away car and the proud driver.