Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Write Your Troubles In The Sand

Author unknown . . .

I walked up to my friend. " Why are you writing on a stone?" I asked.

My friend replied "When someone does something good for us we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it. But when someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away."





Monday, July 28, 2008


After reading Kim Vogel Sawyer's Bygones, and then Beginnings, I settled in to read Blessings, the third book in the Sommerfeld Trilogy.

In Bygones: Marie Koeppler Quin and her grown daughter Beth return to the Mennonite community Marie abandoned twenty-three years ago. Trina Muller and her mother are running the café which Beth inherited from her aunt.

In Beginnings: By her healing touch, Trina Muller saves a kitten that would have been a throw away. The kitten becomes a gift to Beth Quin.

In Blessings: We concentrate on Trina's struggle. She can never quite please, or live up to her mother's expectations. She struggles with her job in the café, which is not fulfilling to her because she knows her gift and concern for animals comes from God. Trina is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. The community which she loves and needs does not think a woman with a career is normal.

As author Kim says: -- Trina Muller has been blessed with the gift of healing God’s creatures. Desiring to use that gift, she seeks the opportunity for education but is met with resistance from her family.

Graham Ortmann loves Trina, but he can't understand her desire to be more than wife and mother. Will this Old Order Mennonite girl be able to spread the wings she believes God has designed for her?

After reading the book the real take home value for me was the healing of relationships from reading Gods word, not with preconceived beliefs, but with discernment of what the Bible really says.

Kim graciously signs the three books of the Summerfeld Trilogy for a fan. These stories are soon to be released as a 3-in-one Hardback edition. Look for it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Believe

Author Unknown

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

Monday, July 21, 2008


After reading Kim Vogel Sawyer's Bygones, I was excited to find the next book "Beginnings" while shopping with my sister in Shipshawanna, Indiana for wedding fabric. (At sixty-five my sister was marrying the love of her life, but that's another story.)

In Bygones: Marie Koeppler Quin and her grown daughter Beth return to the Mennonite community Marie abandoned twenty-three years ago, and after much struggle they are reconciled with Marie's family. However Beth is heartbroken when she learns her fiancé, who was part of her "old" life, is a thief.

In Beginnings: Beth gives up her dream of running an antique store about the same time she realizes her gift of working with stained glass. Her grandfather and grandmother Koeppler as well as her mother encourage her in this endeavor. But Beth's new venture struggles with time constraints, supply problems, and two other men trying to run her life.

As author Kim says:

-- Beth Quinn is starting her place of residence, her occupation, and her relationships. Two men vie for her affection--Andrew Braun, a steadfast and helpful Old Order Mennonite who expects traditional roles between men and women; and Sean McCauley, a man with Christian convictions but who is seemingly more business-minded than people-minded.
In which world does Beth's heart belong? With so many choices in front of her, how can she know what God has planned?

Kim Vogel Sawyer's stories have a healing touch. The family relations thread that touched me was the concern Beth had that she was losing her mother, since Marie had returned to the faith of her childhood.
The take home value of Beginnings, for me?
Priorities. By getting her priorities straight Beth pricks the heart of another man old enough to be her father. He thought he was doing right, until Beth taught him that in order to truly honor God, our priorities must be right.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Sometimes I need the reassurance that God does care about women. Lately, I've been using a Women Of Faith study Bible as part of my morning devotions. I'm spending a few days going through Matthew.

Today I was reading about expensive ointment. Yes we women do like nice things, fine things.

So Jesus is at the house of a friend, Simon the Leper, hmm I hadn't caught that. This friend used to be a leper before Jesus healed him. You don't have to guess just how close their friendship was. It's a given.

Okay, so He is at his friends house when this woman comes with a beautiful jar, alabaster no less, and pours this expensive perfume on Jesus' head as He sat at the table.

The other men there were up in arms. This frivolous woman was wasting money. Money that could have gone for a good cause. But Jesus calmed the men and praised the woman for the gift she had given Him.

Then my eye caught the little story about this on the side panel. This was extremely expensive perfume, costing the equivalent of a years wages. Wow. Many think this woman was Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

My immediate thought was, "But of course. She knew Him personally."

And then I began to cry. What wouldn't we do for our Savior when we know Him personally. We will give our cares to Him, and rise above our adversities. We will reach out to help others, and He has done for us.

How strong our churches will be when we all know HIM personally.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I had the privilege of meeting Kim Vogel Sawyer last year at the ACFW conference in Texas. She is a best selling author of both CBA & CBD.

As a pre-published novel writer I was a little intimidated. Okay, who am I kidding? I was a lot intimidated. But I found Kim to be a very gracious, non-intimidating author. And I give the credit to the fact that she truly writes for God.

While at the conference, Rosanna and I each bought her book Bygones. A short blurb about the book follows:

Widower Marie Koeppler Quinn and her grown daughter Beth return to the Mennonite community Marie abandoned twenty-three years ago. Soon after their arrival in Sommerfeld, a series of mysterious thefts raises the community's suspicions against the "outsiders." Can Marie prove their innocence or will she be forced to flee once more?

Henry Braun soon begins to wonder if she's stolen more than his heart. When all is said and done, can Henry and Marie let bygones be bygones, or has their love been doomed from the start?

The story has many threads, and the blurb on the back of the book and on Kim's website doesn't mention the thread that struck me the most. What touched me, was the thread about how much we need the love of our earthly father. I followed along with the bittersweet moments as some in the community embrace Marie, but her Father holds back his welcome. And her mother is a Godly wife who follows her husbands lead, even when it breaks her own heart. The conclusion to this thread was very healing for me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I smiled after looking at the first will also smile. Just scroll down and you will get to know the story of Will Power. Here it goes....

You thought the dog is imitating the man . . .

Entertaining the college kids . . . right?

Now have a close look at it . . .

So . .
Got the message???

Despite being an animal he gets respect . . .

He gets warm welcome everywhere . . .
He gets a pat on his shoulder . . .


The doors are open for only those who believe in themselves and Will Power which can make an animal walk on TWO LEGS....!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Special Offer For Writers

This is an announcement to let you know that Tiffany Coulter will soon be offering a 12 week internship through her site: the writing career coach.

She will have 7-10 spots on this first round.

Here are some details on the internship: There shouldn't be more than a 5-7 hour per week committment. Interns will learn ways to conduct marketing research, increase traffic to their blog/website, create relevant content, assess content This is unpaid but interns who complete the 12 weeks will have a full marketing write-up done for their proposal. It will include all you need to submit to the editor/agent of your choice. This includes editing of first 40 pages and the full proposal [a $600 value].

Interns will also be taught how to use what they learned during the intership to build their writing business.

There will be more details coming but please feel free to link to this announcement on your blog or website, forward it to writers loops or notify writers groups.

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 5th and full details will be coming soon. If you have questions in the meantime contact me through my contact page at

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How Can I Pray For You?

When I read the scriptures, I see many promises literally spoken to men. Many people say we can interchange men with women in these verses, but in my insecurity I did a search of the New Testament for mention of women, to confirm to my own satisfaction that God does care about women.

In my last post I mentioned a desire to encourage other women. Today in my devotions these verses in Colossians spoke to me:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
Colossians 1:9-10 (New International Version)

I'd been directed to this verse as an encouragement to me. But when I read it I saw this passage as a message telling me to pray for others. A confirmation that God does want me to encourage other women.

How can I pray for you?

Heavenly Father, our most awesome faithful God, help all women to know that You care about them, and help them find the special blessing that You reserve for us just because we are women.

Thank You for the knowledge that we can trust in You and that You will help us become the women that You want us to be.

We give You all honor, we give You all praise, bow down our lives to You, O God. ~amen.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Women Blessing Women

I want to be an encourager of other women. Its something I could become very passionate about. I'd like to encourage all to become the women that God wants us to be. His daughters, His blessed children.

As women, how can we best honor God this day, TODAY? How can God use us as his hands, his voice? Women Blessing Women.

Sisters, we need each other. I'd like to challenge us each to reach out to another woman right now, and let her know how much she means to you, how much she has encouraged you along the way.

Do it your way, according to the personality that God gave you. Send an email, or a snail mail, or call on the telephone, some may even get in the car and go visit face to face.

Women Blessing Women. Take up the challenge and be women for God.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

On Sparrow Hill

After reading The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang, I was delighted to find the sequel, On Sparrow Hill.

In another parallel story, Maureen Lang uses Cosima's letters from 1849 to bring the news of the family affliction to more of her current day ancestors in contemporary England. Can they rise above the family curse to find lasting happiness that only faith in God can bring?

I personally recommend this book. It is more than a love story with a lesson on leaning on God. I can't say it any better than the back cover blurb which I will quote here:

As the curator for Quentin Hollinworth's family estate, Rebecca Seabrooke is focused on just two things: making hers the most successful historical home in the country and forgetting the childhood crush she's had on Quentin since her father worked as his family's valet. After all, they don't exactly run in the same circles.

But when she and Quentin uncover letters in the family vault written over 150 years ago by Berrie Hamilton — one of Quentin's ancestors — Rebecca discovers that Quentin isn't the only one with a legacy to appreciate. Only Berrie's words can prepare Rebecca for the dramatic turn her life is about to take.