Friday, January 30, 2009

YOU TOOK MY PLACE!!!


One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. 

Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, ' I always park there! You took my place!'

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down. 

A young lady from the church approached him and stated, 'That's my seat! You took my place!' 

The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down.

Another member walked up to him and said, ' That's where I always sit! You took my place!' 

The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing. Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. 

Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, 'What happened to you?' 

The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye, 'I took your place.'







Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why Do Fights Start Over Simple Words?

A friend sent me this lesson in the differences in men and women.

My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping channels. She
asked, What's on TV?

I said, Dust.

And then the fight started...

==========

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary.
She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3
Seconds.'

I bought her a scale.

And then the fight started...

=========

When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace
expensive... So, I took her to a gas station...

And then the fight started....

=========

My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I
kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a
nearby table. My wife asked, 'Do you know her?' 'Yes,' I sighed, 'She's my old
girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up
many years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since

''My !' says my wife, 'who would think a person could go on Celebrating that long?'

And then the fight started...

=========

I rear-ended a car this morning. So, there we were alongside the road
And slowly the other driver got out of his car. You know how sometimes you
Just get so stressed and little things just seem funny? Yeah, well I
couldn't believe it... He was a DWARF!!! He stormed over to my car,
looked up at me, and shouted, 'I AM NOT HAPPY!' So, I looked down at him
and said, 'Well, then which one are you?'

And then the fight started...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stand In Groom

Planning This Wedding Will Be No Honeymoon.

When I joined ACFW in 2007 Kaye Dacus was one of the first writers to greet me on the forum. She gives good writing advice so I was eager to read her first published novel. I ordered it because I know Kaye. Before the book even came I learned that Chip MacGregor is her agent. Mr. MacGregor has stated that the books he wants to represent are "Books that change me. "

As soon as I opened the book I knew I was in for a treat because the writing style really drew me into the story. Once started the book is very hard to put down.

The Blurb:
When professional wedding planner Anne Hawthorne first meets the handsome Englishman George Laurence, she wonders if God has finally answered her prayers for a husband. But when the "best man" for her turns out to be a client— and someone else's to-have-and-to-hold– Annie quickly realizes that planning his wedding will be no honeymoon. Can she remain professional while falling for the groom?

A personal assistant for a wealthy man who wishes to keep his identity– and his engagement— a secret, George Laurence has come to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. Not only is this a challenge to the tenets of his Christian faith, but he can't stand the fact that he'd deceiving Anne, the first woman who ever made his heart really sing. Will George ultimately risk his career to keep the woman he loves? 

And what will happen when Anne finds out the groom's true identity? Can Anne and George find a way to a happy ending, or will this "I do" ruse destroy their chance at Love?

What Others Say:
Stand In Groom, Kaye Dacus' recent release, is an excellent book. I highly recommend it after you'd had a stressful day and want to get away. One thing that really stands out in my mind about the book is that Kaye's heroine is a beautiful, full-figured, size 18 woman. Kaye shows us that size 18 is as beautiful as size 4. The hero, who works out several times a week and is in good shape falls for this shapely woman. This book also speaks to us of what God can do to heal relationships and past hurts. I won't go into detail other than to say that the heroine was hurt badly years ago and has never been able to forgive and let it go. God works everything out in HIS timing. Kaye does an excellent job of showing how God comes through and answers prayers. Our hero and heroine face many obstacles, but healing and a happy end is found for all. This was one of those books that I just could not put down. Kaye did an excellent job of portraying her characters so well that we come to know them as friends and can't wait to see what happens next. So, make a bee line for your Christian bookstore and pick it up. You won't be disappointed!— Kimberly Byrd

Stand-In Groom is an excellent book for those who love all things wedding and romance. Kaye Dacus skillfully combines two very unique worlds in this sweet romance story. With compelling characters, this story immediately draws you in; Anne with her southern charm and George's proper British mannerisms. Even the supporting characters pull at your heartstrin
gs. This book presents some powerful themes like love, trust and forgiveness. A must read.– Terry Haynes

My Take:
Well it's a given that this is a romance. Will she or will she not get the man of her dreams? But what makes a story special to me is the other events surrounding the main romance thread. In this case, Anne's close family ties. Her need to forgive some of the people who make up that close family. This is truly a story of repentance and redemption and I highly recommend it. Kaye has joined my database of authors on my TO READ list. Please let me know what you think of this story

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Lord's Prayer.... cleverly done...Awesome

My friend sent me this story and I want to share it with you. One day a man began to pray:



Our Father Who Art In Heaven. 

Yes?
 

Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.
 

But -- you called ME!
 

Called you?
 No, I didn't call you. I'm praying. Our Father who art in Heaven. 

There -- you did it again!
 

Did what?
 

Called ME.
 You said, "Our Father who art in Heaven" Well, here I am. What's on your mind? 

But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day.
 I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like fulfilling a duty. 

Well, all right.
 Go on. 

Okay, Hallowed be thy name. 

Hold it right there.
 What do you mean by that? 

By what?
 

By "Hallowed be thy name"?
 

It means, it means . . good grief,
 I don't know what it means. How in the world should I know? It's just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean? 

It means honored, holy, wonderful.
 

Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before.
 Thanks. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. 

Do you really mean that?
 

Sure, why not?
 

What are you doing about it?
 

Doing? Why, nothing, I guess.
 I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control,of everything down here like you have up there.We're kinda in a mess down here you know. 

Yes, I know;
 but, have I got control of you? 

Well, I go to church.
 

That isn't what I asked you.
 What about your bad temper? You've really got a problem there, you know. And then there's the way you spend your money -- all on yourself. And what about the kind of books you read ? 

Now hold on just a minute!
 Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest of those People at church! 

Excuse ME.
 I thought you were praying for my will to be d one. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you -- for example .. 

Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups.
 Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others. 

So could I.
 

I haven't t hought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things.
 I would like to, you know, be really free. 

Good.
 Now we're getting somewhere.We'll work together -- You and ME. I'm proud of You. 

Look, Lord, if you don't mind,
 I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. Give us this day, our daily bread.
 
You need to cut out the bread.
 You're overweight as it is. 

Hey, wait a minute! What is this?
 Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups. 

Praying is a dangerous thing.
You just might get what you ask for. Remember, you called ME -- and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying.  ( . pause . . ) Well, go on. 

I'm scared to.
 

Scared? Of what?
 

I know what you'll say.
 
Try ME.
 

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
 

What about Ann?
 
See? I knew it!
 I knew you would bring her up! Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories. She never paid back the money she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her! 

But -- your prayer --
What about your prayer? 

I didn't -- mean it.
 

Well, at least you're honest.
 But, it's quite a load carrying around all that bitterness and resentment isn't it? 

Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even with her. 
Boy, have I got some plans for her. She'll wish she had never been born. 

No, you won't feel any better.
 You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. You know how unhappy you are -- Well, I can change that. 

You can? How?
 

Forgive Ann.
 Then, I'll forgive you; And the hate and the sin, will be Ann's problem -- not yours.You will have settled the problem as far as you are concerned. 

Oh, you know, you're right.
 You always are. And more than I want revenge, I want to be right with You . . (sigh). All right all right . . I forgive her. 

There now!
 Wonderful! How do you feel? 

Hmmmm. Well, not bad.
Not bad at all! In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight tonight. I haven't been getting much rest, you know. 

Yeah, I know.
 But, you're not through with your prayer are you? Go on. 

Oh, all right.
 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

Good! Good! I'll do that.
 Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted. 

What do you mean by that?
 

You know what I mean.
 

Yeah. I know.
 

Okay.
 Go ahead. Finish your prayer. 

For Thine is the kingdom,
 and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. 

Do you know what would bring me glory -- What would really make me happy?
 

No, but I'd like to know.
 I want to please you now. I've really made a mess of things. I want to truly follow you. I can see now how great that would be. So, tell me . .How do I make you happy? 

YOU  just did.
 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Family Christmas 2008

I don't know how many years ago we started giving the gift of family time together for Christmas. But our children said it was much better than gifts that might need to be returned. As so our family traditon is to take a week-end in January, book a place of lodging, rent a banquet room and for the past several years we have spent the week-end in Shipshewanna, Indiana.

Our Christmas celebration is on Saturday night beginning with a catered chicken dinner. Then Rebecca has games for us. Here we are playing M & M Bingo, with son-in-law calling out the numbers. 
And after the game, (actually before, during and after) we eat the bingo chips.
We give the unmarried grands and greats token gifts before we open ours.
They like gift cards, which they call credit cards.
Yum ~ we both love pumpkin bread.

The Children and grands love to go in on a big gift for their father. 
Often related to flying.

The Lavy Christmas is over for one more year ~ 
~except for hanging the windsock.

What Christmas traditions does your family cherish?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS


A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
 
The next morning while they are eating breakfast,

the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the

wash outside.
 
"That laundry is not very clean", she said.

"She doesn't know how to wash correctly.

Perhaps she needs better laundry soap"
 
Her husband looked on, but remained silent.
 
Everytime her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,

the young woman would make the same comments.
 
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see

a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:

"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.

I wonder who taught her this?"
 
The husband said, "I got up early this morning and

cleaned our windows."
 
And so it is with life.What we see when watching others,depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska

by Irene Brand

The Blurb:

"A thoroughly modern young woman is drawn into an ancient feud that has nothing to do with her--or so she thinks. When Kennedy Blaine inherits Circle Cross Ranch in Valentine, her first impulse is to sell it. Her second impulse is to travel to Valentine, a town that seems to have come right out of the pages of an old western, and visit the ranch.

Kennedy finds herself charmed by the ranch--and by its attractive manager, Derek Sterling. She questions her decision to sell the Circle Cross, especially when her cousin, Smith Blaine, mysteriously conceals the identity of the person who wants to buy it.

But when Kennedy decides to spend the summer in her ancestral home, she's subjected to a series of harrassments. When Kennedy and Derek try to discover who's behind these offenses, they're drawn into a feud that just might divide the town--and place Kennedy's own life in danger."

What Other's Say:

Brand accurately portrays the solitary ranch country in the Sandhills of western Nebraska, with its unique customs and prejudices, along with small town Nebraska life. She imports a cr
ook or two and sets up some local criminals for plenty of adventure. You will love Wilson, the wonderful dog. 

Irene Brand has built a wide readership over the 24 years she's written inspiring, faith-based novels. Her husband is a native Nebraskan, and the couple has visited Valentine from time to time. They now reside in West Virginia. ~~Audrey Hebbert, M.A., retired teacher and freelance writer, Omaha, Nebraska .

Popular inspirational romance author Irene Brand has penned a lovely story of two people who are polar opposites finding that love can overcome any difference. City girl Kennedy Blaine expects that her trip to Valentine, Nebraska will be a short one--just long enough to sell t
he ranch she inherited from her estranged grandfather. But circumstances draw her to the compelling ranch manager, Derek Sterling, and long-hidden family secrets demand her attention. She's determined to face the truth, but finds that it's much harder than she'd imagined. Only her dependence on God takes her through the difficult journey to the truth. 

A lovely story, it is rich in details of the Nebraska setting and of ranch life. This is the first Summerside Press book I've encountered, and I am very favorably impressed. ~~Martha Johnson, Bloomsburg, PA


My Take:

A poor woman inheriting property and finding she has to struggle to make the property profitable is an oft told tale. But this one by Irene Brand is different. The woman is not poor. But her cousin has taken advantage of her father for years and he thinks she will be a push over.

I fell in love with this character because she is tough when she needs to be but she is entirely feminine throughout.

This is a story that will warm your heart.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Five Positive Thoughts Daily

This picture is from a September 2008 class at ACFW annual confrence. Taught by Margie Lawson.

January 2008 year I took an online course from Margie Lawson called Defeating Self-Defeating Behaviors: Allow Writing Productivity and Creativity to Soar
 http://www.margielawson.com/

Margie Lawson teaches very fast pased and intensive classes. And I knew I would want to take the class again another year. But one of the things I retained was to develop the habbit of writing down five postive thoughts each morning. Margies lesson was to write postive things about my writing career.

And in 2008  Many of the critique partners in our small group ACFW-Crti37 often share five positive thoughts daily, but we include our blessings. We are thankful for sunshine, for the early spring blooms, for the summer breezes, for the fall leaves. And most of all we are thankful for our heavenly father and the right to say we are daughters of the King!

Things go better on the days I remember to write five positive thoughts. But a disruption in my routine (like traveling with my beloved) makes a few weeks go by before I get back in the habit.


My beginning online class for 2009 is getting a jumpstart with Donna Partow and her 90 day guide to Becoming the Woman God Wants me to Be. In checking through the lessons I see that again, one of the important habits taught is :

To daily write five things we are thankful for. I'm not to that part yet, but I think we aren't to repeat one of the five things to be thankful for within 20 days. 


So we have to come up with a minimum of 100 things to be thankful for. How awesome is that?




This week's lesson is on searching out secret sins. Sometimes we have to really dig to find our own because we often live in denial and because, well, they are SECRET, even from ourselves.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Lesson In Economics

Once upon a time, in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them.
 
The man bought thousands at $10 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.
 
He further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.
 
The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!
 
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50!
 
However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers. "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected.
 
I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each."
 
The villagers rounded up all their savings they had made and bought all the monkeys.

Then they never saw the man nor his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!

Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beautiful Advice From A Friend

An Angel says, 'Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'  

1. Pray

2. Go to bed on time.

3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.  


5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.


9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.

12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.


13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday. 


16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest.

18. Eat right.

19 Get organized so everything has its place.


20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

22. Every day, find time to be alone.

23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.

24. Make friends with Godly people.


25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good 'Thank you Jesus .'

27. Laugh.

28. Laugh some more!

29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).


31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

32. Sit on your ego.

33 Talk less; listen more.

34. Slow down.

35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

36 Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU. 


'If God is for us, who can be against us?'

(Romans 8:31) 

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Guy I'm Not Dating

by Trish Perry

One of the benefits I get from belonging to the American Christian Fiction Writers group is meeting these wonderful authors. They have been a blessing to me.

I took several books along on our driving trip this fall. This is my first chick lit and I really enjoyed this one.


Why Trish wrote this book:

I got the idea for Kara's story while attending a women's Bible conference with my daughter. She introduced me to a young woman who had been living with her boyfriend until he found the Lord and felt convicted to end their relationship. In time, the Lord won her heart as well. The two of them became friends for quite a long time before they decided to begin a pure "courtship," 
with marriage a strong possibility for their future. I was so impressed by the way they turned their relationship around. Eventually the Lord put the story of Kara and Gabe on my heart. I liked the potential for conflict, humor, and romance in their less-than-orthodox modern love story.

The Blurb:

Kara Richardson has finally suffered one breakup too many. She's decided to go the no-dating route to romance, although she's not quite sure how that works.

She couldn't have picked a worse time to meet Gabe Paolino. Gorgeous men hardly faze Kara. A personal trainer, she works with hunks every day. But Gabe, the handsome young deli owner in town, proves way too available and way too challenging for Kara's vow of friendship. How will she adhere to her new lifestyle without scaring Gabe away?

Enter matchmaking friends, a strange elderly aunt, three demanding teens, and one hard-to-take vixen with eyes for Gabe. Add an overcrowded road trip and plenty of God's blessings, and Kara may discover that the guy she's not dating is the best boyfriend she's ever had.

What others say:

"I sat down and picked up The Guy I'm Not Dating not really intending to read it, just thinking I'd glance over a few pages. Two hours later I'm still 'glancing over' those pages and laughing enough to make my husband ask, 'What is so funny?' Later the same night, I turned to the last page and had to declare, 'Loved it! Loved, loved, loved it!'" Christian Review of Books

"In this novel there were some very touching and insightful moments that I think every Christian should experience. And the ability the author had to make you care about the characters was truly amazing! This book was not only fun (though it was hilarious), but it also caused me to think differently. I'm very impressed with the underlying theme in The Guy I'm Not Dating, and I highly recommend it." ACFW.com

"Trish Perry pens a humorous tale about the struggles of a twenty something waiting for God's timing while not searching for the right guy. Perry's fun and
 genuine characters remind us of the value of convictions and the joys of not dating." More to Life Magazine

My Take:

Our own little church group in the area of Ellensburg, WA had taken up this custom of courting-vs-dating. All my children are married so I didn't get involved with it, plus I live in Ohio. But I wasn't sure what I thought of the idea. I was intrigued by the story premise of Trish's book. She made a believer out of me. I wish all Christian churches would promote this concept. 

And the book was not a dry read. It was funny and sweet and I couldn't put it down until I had turned the last page.

I highly recommend this book.