Friday, May 29, 2009

CHURCH

Guest Blogger:

 Raynene Burgess

    CHURCH

 Read Hebrews 10:23-25

            If one part suffers, all parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.  1 Corinthians 12:26 (LIV)

            Did you know you are the church?  Did you know that when you attend church on Sunday, you are saying you want to share the joys and sorrows of other people there?

            In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul explained that even though the body has many different parts, they all work together.  So it is with the body of Christ.  Paul wants us to realize that we are to share our joys and pain with other people.  We are to help other believers carry their burdens.  That is what Jesus wants us to do for Him.

            The writer of Hebrews tells us that we are not to neglect our church meetings.  We are to get involved in our Christian community and help wherever we can.  We are to attend church to worship the Lord and renew our faith for the coming days.  When I go to church, I always look for ways to encourage other people.  I share my life with friends at church and open my heart to them.  I share troubles of families and pray for healing where it is needed.  That is what all Christians should do.

            I hope you can become one with the body of Christ.  You will be made whole when you realize how special you are as a part of God's family!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why Go To Church?



Author Unknown

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. 'I've gone for 30 years now,' he wrote, 'and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.'

This started a real controversy in the 'Letters to the Editor' column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

'I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!' 

When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, 'Jesus, could you get that for me?'


Monday, May 25, 2009

A PASSION DENIED

Book 3 of The Daughters of Boston by Julie Lessman

Julie Lessman has garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law.  

The Blurb:

Elizabeth O'Connor has been like the little sister John Brady always wanted, sharing his love of literature and his thirst for God. But in the throes of the reckless Roaring Twenties, Lizzie has grownup. Suddenly she wants more from the man who has been her friend since she ws a child. When this shy little bookworm blossoms into a beautiful yourn woman bent on loving John , she discovers that his past won;'t let him return that love. But Lizzie refuses to give up– untill his shocking secrets push her awy.

Can true love survive the betrayal and deceit of a painful past . . . or will it be shattered like the fairy-tale dreams of a girl in love?

What Others Say:

Julie Lessman is a master (or should I use the term mistress) of taking her readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Her characters, despite the fact she has so many of them involved in the story, come alive as real people and not caricatures gilded with religious veneer. The extended Connor family members are normally admirable but not flawless people. They try to cling to God, but the common struggles all humans must deal with in the areas of pride and passion never stray far from their door. The exposĂ© of pride and its damaging effects is one of the highlights of this book. I would hazard a guess that pride has killed more marriages than lust. Julie does a great job of convincing her readers that if they want precious love to last, pride must be laid aside so the spouse can come astride and peace can abide. (Sorry, I just had a poetic moment). At times I was provoked enough to want to slap one of the characters on the side of the head and tell them to wake up and smell the Irish coffee. I had to keep telling myself, this is just a book. 

This is not a lightweight work in more than one regard (it contains nearly 500 pages). Most of the action involves some aspect of romance, even among the married couples. This is not erotica, but the mention of sexual arousal and foreplay is not an infrequent visitor to the plotline. This book will not be confused with a Janette Oke story. I think it is healthy for Christians to acknowledge that they are human and have sexual appetites. This book might contain an excess of the sexual passion aspect, but the lesson is well delivered - sexual passion without God's love is a recipe for disaster. Decisions based on the heat of moment may freeze the blood in the future. So despite being prominent throughout the story, passion is not enthroned here. A wealth of scriptural references provide a counterbalance to the passion pitting desire to please oneself against desire to please God. Much of the conflict in the story arises within the characters dealing with this internal tug of war. Another cute element of conflict was the relationship between almost eleven-year-old Katie and a street Urchin named Cluny, a young teenager befriended by Brady. Katie's precocious comments massaged my funny bone. 

The author seemed to take pains to spice up the story by introducing elements of the society in this timeframe. Thoroughly Modern Millie came to my mind as Lizzie's haircut was described in the beginning of the story. Ironically, the character pushing Beth to embrace modernism with her stylish new name of Lizzie and hairdo was named Millie. Things like Keds, toasters, Saltines, and basketball hoops made cameo appearances. I actually did some research to make sure the copy editor didn't mess up here and checked on a few dates to make sure they were around in 1922. 

Julie even managed to smuggle in the dreaded submission clause from Ephesians. Her take on it was interesting: submission = respect. Men want to be respected above all else, and if they receive that precious commodity, they are able to cherish their wives, which is what women desire above all else. I'll buy that into philosophy though that is on the simplistic side of things. I had the audacity to include my interpretation of that passage in one of my books. One aspect of the spiritual tangent that I found perhaps out of tune with reality was the combination of Evangelical Christian jargon with Catholicism. I was raised as a Catholic in the 1950's and 60's. Perhaps we were behind the times in South Dakota, but Bible reading seemed to be something that was still the realm of the clergy at that time. I am aware the church has changed a lot since then. 

There was a little mystique included which allows the romantic sleuths to engage their deductive reasoning. We're allowed to know that John Brady has a problem in his past and are given snitches of information to let us guess at what it is. That secret really drives the story since it seems to prevent John from letting himself accept Lizzie as a woman instead of just as a sister. Julie uses just enough hinting to give us insight, but not enough to totally solve the mystery. I had most of it figured out, but there were some surprising twists in the end that left me applauding the author. I suggest you get a copy and find out for yourself, unless you're afraid of emotional roller coasters. 
Donald James Parker - Author 

My Take:

The family dynamics are what pulled me into Julie's writing. Her characters are well written and I wanted to keep reading and find out what would happen next. The O'Connor family becomes real as you read. They have problems not easily fixed by a simple prayer. Read this book and be blessed.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Few More Pictures of the Conference At Blue Ridge

The beautiful walkway to the new building.
We used this every day.
Rosanna made four trips to the bookstore!
I learned to know this sweet couple.
Two of my mentors not mentioned in yesterday's post.
A new friend.
Reconnecting with an old friend.

Reminder:Book Contest: We will have a drawing at the end of the week. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog. Kim Vogel Sawyer will send one blessed person a copy of A Promise for Spring.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Christian Writers Conference at Ridgecrest

Rosanna and I took a very intense Advanced Novelist class from Angie Hunt each morning. She is a great instructor.
Then in the afternoon we took the special book clinic for both fiction and non-fiction writers. This class took both afternoon sessions. One highlight of this class is we were limited to 20 participants and then broken into four groups to critique. My brain is full.
Rosanna and I with Angie Hunt.
Rosanna and Eva Marie Everson
We each bought a copy of Eva's latest book.
Reminder :Book Contest: We will have a drawing at the end of the week. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog. Kim Vogel Sawyer will send one blessed person a copy of A Promise for Spring.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Christian Writers Conference Banquet


The Banquet Table is Beautiful

The salad is lovely and delicious.

The Main course. Yummm.

Good friendships formed.

Reminder:Book Contest: We will have a drawing at the end of the week. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog. Kim Vogel Sawyer will send one blessed person a copy of A Promise for Spring.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

KEEP A WATCH ON YOUR WORDS

 author unknown

Keep a watch on your words, my darlings,

For words are wonderful things;

They are sweet like the bees’ fresh honey;

Like the bees, they have terrible stings.

They can bless like the warm, glad sunshine,

And brighten a lonely life;

They can cut, in the strife of anger,

Like a cruel two edged knife.

 

Let them pass through your lips unchallenged,

If their errand is true and kind,

If they come to support the weary,

To comfort and help the blind.

If a bitter, revengeful spirit

Prompts the words, let them be unsaid.

They may flash through a brain like lightning,

Or fall on a heart like lead.

 

Keep them back, if they’re cold and cruel,

Under bar and lock and seal;

The wounds they make, my darlings,

Are always slow to heal.

May peace guard your lives, and ever,

From the time of your early youth,

May the words that you daily utter

Be the beautiful words of Truth.

Book Contest: We will have a drawing at the end of the week. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog. Kim Vogel Sawyer will send one blessed person a copy of A Promise for Spring.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meet The Author Kim Vogel Sawyer

Today we are visiting with my friend Kim Vogel Sawyer. I met Kim at the first American Christian Fiction Writers conference I attended. She is very warm and easy to talk to. I stand in awe of this multi-published, best selling, author who is so kind to a pre-published wanna be like me. We will have a drawing at the end of the week. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog. Kim Vogel Sawyer will send one blessed person a copy of A Promise for Spring.


One of the first things I learned about Kim was how much she leans on God through His Son Jesus Christ before she writes the first word of a manuscript.

Please join me in welcoming Kim Vogel Sawyer today.


SHARON:  Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? 

KIM: Of course, being a wife, mom, and grandma, there have been many happy moments surrounding family. But my happiest publishing moment came when I got word that my first story had been sold and I called my dad to say, "Guess what, Daddy? I'm going to be published!" My folks had encouraged me in my writing endeavors since I was very young--celebrating with them was a very thrilling moment.

SHARON: When and how did you get interested in writing? 

KIM: I have always been a writer. I believe the desire to write was planted in my from the   moments of my conception. In school, I received a lot of praise from teachers for my writing ability which spurred me to pursue my dream of writing. Later, fellow authors also offered encouragement and helped me believe I could make it in this writing world. It is a tremendous pleasure to live out my childhood fantasy of being an author.

SHARON: Do you still experience self-doubts regarding your work? 

KIM: Only every other second. :o) I think as a whole writers are pretty insecure people. But I pray over my stories and trust God to use my meager offerings for His glory.

SHARON: Do you have a word or page goal you set for each day? 

KIM: My goal is a chapter a day. When I'm closing in on a deadline, I try to double that to give me a little bit of a cushion for editing.   

SHARON: What hours do you devote to your writing and what time of day do you prefer to write? 

KIM: Mornings are my most productive hours, so I try to get serious about writing by 9 AM.

SHARON: Where do you like to write?

KIM: I'm kind of funny. I write best at my desk. I guess because it's my "work space," when I sit down at my desk, I go into the "zone." I'd love to be able to write on the porch or a coffee shop, but I can't focus there.  For me, it's got to be at my desk.

SHARON: Why do you write the kind of books you do?  Why Christian fiction? 

KIM: As a Christian, God is a "main character" in my life. He gave me the ability and desire to write, so I feel strongly I need to write stories that will please Him. My stories all have a strong spiritual thread, including God as a main character. It doesn't work any other way for me.

SHARON: How has being published changed your life?

KIM:  My life today is so different from five years ago. Five years ago I leaned on a cane due to several health issues that plagued me. Then at a writing conference in 2004, God reached down through a prayer warrior named Brandilyn and healed me of six chronic illnesses in one fell swoop. After that, He threw open the door to publication, which also opened a door to public speaking. I would never have imagined me--an first-class introvert--traipsing all over the U.S. sharing my testimony--but I do it because God gave me a testimony and instructed me to share it. I get to relive and celebrate my healing each time I share it. Pretty cool!

SHARON: How can readers find you on the Internet? 

KIM: Please feel free to visit me at http://www.KimVogelSawyer.com ! I love to have visitors.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Promise for Spring

Kim Vogel Sawyer:

Best-selling, award-winning author Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wife, mother, grandmother, author, speaker, singer of songs and lover of chocolate... but most importantly, she's a born-again child of the King! A former elementary school teacher, Kim closed her classroom door in 2005 to follow God's call on her heart to write and speak. Now blessed with multiple writing contracts with Bethany House, Barbour, and Zondervan Publishing, Kim enjoys sharing her journey to publication as well as the miraculous story of her healing from a life-long burden of pain and shame. Kim's gentle yet forthright testimony lends credence to the promise of Ps. 117:2 "Great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever."

The Blurb:

England-born Emmaline Bradford pledged her life to Geoffrey Garrett and then bid him farewell when he sailed to America. Although Geoffrey anticipated only a short separation, several years passed before he was able to send for Emmaline. By then the fiery flame of her youthful love had all but died. Shocked by the conditions on Geoffrey's Kansas sheep ranch, Emmaline wishes to return to England immediately. Geoffrey offers a compromise: If Emmaline promises to stay until spring, he'll pay her return fare if she decides to go back to her home country. When spring arrives, will Emmaline return to England, or carve out a life with Geoffrey in Kansas? 

What Others Say:

Emmaline Bradford gave her heart and her pledge to Geoffrey Garrett when she was a young girl of seventeen and bid him a tearful farewell when he left England to seek his fortune in America. He'd planned to return in a year, marry and take his bride to his sheep ranch in Kansas. Five years pass before he sends for her, years in which Geoffrey has, at her overbearing father's request, corresponded with Mr. Bradford but not with his daughter. She obeys her father and travels to the foreign land to marry Geoffrey, who has become little more than a stranger. 

Geoffrey has spent five years working to make his ranch viable, all the while keeping Emmaline's father and biggest buyer of his wool informed of his progress. As soon as Geoffrey can, he sends for his fiancĂ©e, eager to show the woman he loves the home he's built for her. When she arrives, wary and unwilling to marry him, he's confused and crushed. Reluctantly, he agrees to a trial. She stays, working as his housekeeper, with the understanding that if she doesn't feel differently come spring he'll pay for her return to England. Will he be able to rekindle the love she once felt for him, and will she be able to accept his in return? 

A Promise for Spring by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a beautifully told story of two hurting souls, each fearful and wanting the other to be the first to change. I fell in love with Sawyer's characters, aching for both Emmaline and Geoffrey as they dealt with the challenges thrust upon them, those of the heart as well as those dealt them as ranchers in what can be an inhospitable land. Sawyer wields the pen with consummate skill, crafting an endearing tale rich in period detail that will stay with readers long after they heave the final sigh of contentment. I highly recommend this book, one that has joined the few treasures on my Keepers shelf. ~~Keli Gwyn

Ms. Sawyer did a beautiful job with the Kansas setting. You feel like you are there witnessing it all. I thought her characters were real and honest. The conflict between Emmaline and Geoffrey was believable and understandable given the time and the stress of both their lives. Ms. Sawyer keeps you reading and not wanting to put the book down. I don't believe you need to be a fan of prairie romance to enjoy this one. It's a page-turner.~~Joseph N. Sostello

My Take:

Emmaline Bradford wasn't exactly a mail-order bride. But she must have shared some of the same frustrations. As I read this book I couldn't help but think of the book Men are From Mars . . . because Mrs. Sawyer makes us privy to the thoughts and motives of both these characters. This author does such a great job that the reader feels the emotion and feels the tension. Her books just keep getting better and better. This is a great story with take-away value.

Book Give Away:

We will have a drawing at the end of the week. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog. Kim Vogel Sawyer will send one blessed person a copy of A Promise for Spring.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A.S.A.P.


Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.? Generally we think of it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find a new way to deal with those rough days along the way. 
*************
There's work to do, deadlines to meet; 
You've got no time to spare, 
But as you hurry and scurry- 

A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

In the midst of family chaos, 
'Quality time' is rare. 
Do your best; let God do the rest- 

A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

It may seem like your worries 
Are more than you can bear. 
Slow down and take a breather- 

A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER
 

God knows how stressful life is; 
He wants to ease our cares, 
And He'll respond to all your needs 

A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER. 

God bless and have a wonderful day! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WHAT IS GODLY FEAR?


A few weeks ago I took the test in Dr. Henslin's book "This is Your Brain On Joy," to see which of the 5 mood centers caused a problem for me. I learned the main problem I work with is fear. (I'm sure that's why I joined a cult when I was 18 years old. I had married young and had a son. And I wanted desperately to be the woman I thought God wanted me to be.)

So after I took the test and learned I have a problem with fear, I looked into God's word for the antidote. This is what I found: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

And I also found: "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" (Deuteronomy 5:29)

So what does this mean? If perfect love takes away fear, then of course I want to make sure I love the Lord with all my heart. And I want to obey Him. (Psalm 4:4) 

But is this just for men? (Another of my fears.) No, for I found that if I, as a woman fear God, I will be praised. Pro 31:30.

Well, then is fear if God enough?  No, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19)

As I try to wrap my fearful mind around these verses, and as I pray about it, I realize if I translate the fear of God as Respect, Love and Honor things begin to fall into place.

How do I show this proper fear of God? Does it matter? Yes: "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:" (Isaiah 29:13)

So how do I know how to Respect, Love and Honor God? Acts 17:11 recommends that I search the scriptures daily. And if I have any doubts in discerning the scriptures 1 Corinthians 14:35 recommends that, rather than taking the word of any religious leader, I discuss the subject with my husband.

And so I came full circle. For that principle is what pulled me out of the cult. Twelve years after I joined the cult I read through the Bible in its entirety for the second time. This time when I read Numbers 30, the chapter taught me that God doesn't want any woman to make a vow that her protector does not approve of. And a woman's protector is her father – if she is unmarried– or her husband– if she is married.





















I am blessed with a husband that does not make hasty decisions. And I learned to pray for my husband to have wisdom in the decisions he made. He doesn't agree with my fears, but he does take them into consideration. And I have learned I can trust him with my spiritual needs.

Sisters, have you learned to consult your husband as well as your Heavenly Father for the desires of your heart?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The House In Grosvenor Square

Linore Rose Burkard is a member of ACFW and the Ohio chapter ACFWOhio.  She is not just a successful writer but a very nice and dedicated Christian woman. I enjoy spending time with her and am happy to introduce her newest book: The House In Grosvenor Square


The Blurb:

Readers who loved the author’s first book, Before the Season Ends, will delight in this charming sequel set in Regency London.

As Ariana Forsythe plans her wedding to Philip Mornay, she must adjust to the realization that she is soon to become the wife of an extremely wealthy man. She wonders if it’s wrong to rejoice that her future husband is rich. But she promises herself to use her new position to do what she can to aid the numerous street waifs she sees all too often in London.

During a tour of her future home—the house in Grosvenor Square—Ariana makes plans to redecorate according to her tastes. But when Philip arrives home later, he is informed that an expensive silver candlestick and a miniature portrait of George III have gone missing. Moreover, each time Ariana visits the house, accompanied by a friend or relation, another item disappears.

Shortly thereafter Ariana is abducted as she leaves a performance at Covent Garden Theatre, leaving Philip to unravel the pieces of the mystery. Where has his future bride been taken, and by whom? For what reason? How does Ariana’s faith play a role?

Finally, after the safe return of his intended, how does Philip—a man of intense discrimination in his tastes—find the many alterations in his house? And what on earth is behind the sudden influx of bills from every charity in London, all thanking him profusely for his uncommon generosity? Will he have second thoughts about his future bride?

Readers will find romance, intrigue, humor, and inspiration in this new book of spirited romance for the Jane Austen soul.


What Others Say:

This is my first Christian and Inspirational romance novel and I really loved the cover of her novel along with the title but when I read the blurb of her book it really hooked me so I went to her website. I'm always telling everyone that I love reading new types of genres except non-fiction which I really don't like reading so I'm going to read this novel even though I've never read a Jane Austen book either. The novel starts in England in the year 1813 and the romantic woes at home send Ariana Forsythe to her wealthy Aunt Bentley's townhouse in fashionable Mayfair, London. Ariana and her family are very religious so Ariana felt that it was her destiny to marry a man of God. Even though the man of God she wants to marry is almost 30 years older than her and isn't the man her mother wants her to marry at all. She's been sent to London for her own good and under her aunt's calculating eye, Ariana is thrust into the high society she doesn't understand fully and a worse intrigue than that which prompted her flight from home has happened. Then a scandalous rumor involving her with London's current darling rogue, the handsome, Mr. Phillip Mornay, is launched on society in a malicious act of meanness by a Lady of society that changes Ariana's life forever. Her faith, her future, and her heart are all at stake as she strives to clear her name and resist Phillip Mornay, the man who does not share her faith as deeply as her. Will Ariana's beliefs survive? I think it will though she will definitely be suffering a bit because of what she is feeling for Phillip. And what about her heart? She has developed deep feelings for Phillip since she met him and that is conflicting with her religious belief that she can only love and marry a man as deeply religious as her. For her belief is the part of her which most threatens to betray the truths she has always believed in and when she finds herself backed against a wall, betrothed to the supposedly wrong man, how will it ever turn out right? That is a question that had me wondering as I was reading this novel which at first I felt started out kind of slow but really picked up for me after chapter two. From the country village of Chesterton, where Ariana was born and raised, to the ballroom of the Prince Regent's London palace, where she begins to fall in love with Phillip Mornay. Before the Season Ends will take you to Regency England where you'll find a world so elegant and comfortable, you'll want to stay for a long, long time. I'm not that religious so I really could relate more to Phillip's character than Ariana because his family is Christian but he's not the deep faith religious like Ariana. Though I can't particularly relate to Ariana's character much I really loved her in this novel and I can understand a bit her dilemma with trying to do what felt right and would be the right thing for her to do. Phillip is a wonderful character that I think really is good for Ariana because they are complete opposites but find a way to make their romantic relationship work. There were some secondary characters in this novel that I also enjoyed very much reading about such as Ariana's aunt and her aunt's gentleman friend who really spiced things up. After finishing this novel I will say that though I'm not sure I will start reading more Christian romance but I will be reading more of Linore Rose Burkard's Christian romance. ~ Phoebe Jordan

My Take:

I was introduced to Regency Romance by Georgette Heyer and was pleased to read Before The Season Ends. I found the story highly entertaining and enjoyable.

I liked Linore's characters and welcomed the chance to read Ariana's continuing story in The House in Grosvenor Square. Ariana did not disappoint me. She got in to all kinds of scrapes. I had to keep reading to see how it would turn out. She would get out on one scrape and into another. Ariana could seem to be unreal as is a very forgiving person, but Linore's skillful writing makes her come across in a believable way. I look forward to reading Linore Rose Burkard's next novel in the series.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mother's Day Message

MOTHERS
author unkown


Real Mothers don't eat quiche; They don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.

Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?' And get their answer when a little voice says, 'Because I love you best.'

Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade... 
It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother...

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.

14 YEARS OF AGE - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.

16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit a bout it!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair..

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, 
Because that is the doorway to her heart, 
The place where love resides. 
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, 
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. 
It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she
Shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Morning Prayer for the Well

 by Melissa Leedom 

Dearest Lord,
 
I have just awakened; thank You for another day of life. Keep me ever mindful that every day I live is another day to allow You to live through me (Galatians 2:20). Help me never to waste the time You have given me with regret over what might have been (Romans 8:1) or frivolous and vain pursuits (Ephesians 5:15, 16).
 
I pray, Heavenly Father, for all at work in the fields of Your harvest (Matthew 9:38), whether they risk life and health in the wilds of Africa or Brazil, or whether they seek to redeem Your lost sheep in the inner city jungles. Bless them with health and safety; bless them with Your peace (Philippians 4:7); bless them with the joy of seeing the fruits of their labor. Help me always to remember that I, because You have called me son (John 1:12), am a missionary, too. Let me ever abide in You, so that my life would be ever more the fruit of that abiding (John 15:5).
 
I pray also, O Great Physician, for those who are unwell, even for those who are dying. Help them to see that every trial, even illness and pain, need not be considered waste or loss (Romans 8:28), but opportunity to draw inward in fellowship with You, seeking the comfort that only You can give (Psalm 55:22). Help all Your children to learn what You have so graciously shown me: that in our darkest hours, in our times of greatest despair, Your love for us never fails (Romans 8:38,39), You never leave our side (Psalm 139:7, 10), and that life is always worth living because of You (Philippians 1:21, 22).
 
Amen
 
To learn more about Melissa:  http://www.forgive490.com/

 

 
 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Through The Eyes Of A Child


Matthew 18:20
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Daniel's Den

Brandt Dodson is another author I met in 2007 at the ACFW conference in Dallas, Texas. He taught a Mystery writing class called "Down These Mean Streets." 

The Blurb:

In this fast–paced thriller by popular author Brandt Dodson, a young government accountant learns to trust God when his life begins to fall apart and unseen enemies pursue him with relentless zeal.

Daniel Borden is a thirty–year–old government accountant who lives a quiet life and plays by the rules. But when events transpire that shatter his orderly world and a team of assassins mark him for death, Daniel must flee for his life.

While on the run, Daniel encounters Laura Traynor. Carefree and easygoing, Laura is everything that Daniel isn’t. But when the killers assigned to eliminate Daniel find him at Laura’s bed–and–breakfast, gunfire erupts and the two set out on the run once again.

As they try to unravel the mystery that confronts them, they discover how tenuous life can be and how their very existence depends on the God who will never abandon them.

A perfect suspense tale for readers who love Dee Henderson, James Scott Bell, Brandilyn Collins, and James Patterson.


What Others Say:

As I started to read this, I had a certain page count in mind. Instead I kept saying, "One more chapter." Daniel's Den is a story of a man and a woman from different backgrounds but in truth want the same thing: be ethical and do the right thing. It is a story about good versus evil. Daniel and Laura have one thing in common. Hit men are looking for them and they will stop at nothing to get what they want including murder. The stakes are increased. Each of them is unable to run ~ there are others to think about. Laura has an impressionable young son who is beyond his years. He's the man of the house but he's also the one who needs to be nurtured. Daniel has his black lab. When evil closes in both the young boy (Andy) and Elvis (black lab) prove to be both a help and a hindrance. Before long, Daniel and Laura are all over the news and look guilty as sin. The hit men and the police are in a race to find Daniel and Laura. The police are looking for an arrest. The hit men are looking to kill. Innocent people fall victim to the tangle of webs that are strung throughout the story. If only, they can live one more chapter.~ Mara Kim

Daniel Borden noticed the black panel van when he went for his morning run. Something about it didn't fit the neighborhood. Laura Traynor didn't notice the van. At least not until she heard her nine-year old son yelling for help, and she found a strange man holding Andy by the arm in a most threatening manner. The man said he just wanted to buy her house. Laura ordered him off the property, and finally got him to leave, but she was still upset by his strange behavior. 

Jimmy Fontaine who worked at Capshaw-Crane with Daniel is dead. According to the police he drove his car into a swamp. It's been written off as an accident, but is it? Something just doesn't seem quite right. Daniel has been assigned the job of auditing Jimmy's accounts, but suddenly strange things begin to happen. Someone wants the information hidden in those accounts and Daniel is in their way. In the meantime, Laura is still trying to fight off harassment by the man who is determined to buy her house. Can the two events be related? 

Daniel and Laura are caught in a deadly nightmare of deception and danger with no place to run. Daniel's Den is a fast-paced thriller with spine-tingling suspense. I've read every book Brandt Dodson has written, and he just keeps on getting better. He's one of the best suspense writers around and Daniel's Den is his most captivating one yet. Don't miss it.~~Barbara Warren

My Take:

I enjoy reading mystery/suspense, and I've read other Brandt Dodson books  so I knew I would like this one. As I read the characters became very real to me. I cared if things worked out for them, and at times I didn't expect, couldn't see how this story could have a happy ending. Without giving anything away, I will say the story has a satisfactory ending. The loose ends are tied up.

I always look for the relationships of the characters. And in several places I found where this book emphasizes the importance of friendship in our lives. Of believing in each other. Of trust.

I highly recommend this book as a satisfying read with take away value.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to the World


Guest Blogger: Alyice Edrich

Spreading the word of Jesus Christ has never come easy for me. I am not an evangelist, so I can’t just strike up a conversation on the topic. I have gone through life spreading the word through my quiet yet, outward expressions and actions of faith. Because of how openly I display my faith, I have been able to have small talks with co-workers as well as relatives on the subject of Christ and how he pertains to our lives today.

When I was younger, I would drag my friend with me to church. She hated it, but would go to humor me. She would sit in the pews and be extremely rude. I would often find myself embarrassed by her actions, yet I would continue to bring her. Fifteen years later, she says that I gave her the start of her journey with Christ. She is saved, and loves God with all her heart. Before moving to New York, she sat on the church committee and took care of their accounting.

Once, while working for a pharmaceutical company, a young man from India began to ask about Christ. In his religion, they have men that they pray to, not Christ. There is a picture in his home, that he kneels down before, lights some candles and chants. During the two years that I was with this company, he would often come up to me asking about Christ. Considering I didn’t openly talk about the subject it was an honor to know that my life was being used as salt to the world. You see, I may not have openly shared, but I used to have Christian sayings on my desk. I would place them there as a reminder to me, how I should act and treat others throughout the day. Sometimes, this man would come up to me and ask if I could get him a copy of such and such and I would hand him mine. I am not sure if he ever switched gears and became a full-fledged Christian, but I do know that when I left, he believed in Christ.

There have also been times in my life when I would be asked to talk about my faith and would be amazed at the knowledge that flowed through my mouth. Usually, I have to sit and think about what I am going to say before anything good comes out. Then, there are times, when the Holy Spirit takes a hold of me and words just flow from my mouth.

This year has been different however, as our church started a new program called the “Alpha Program.” It’s evangelism for the ones who want to get out there and preach the word, but are not too comfortable with the idea of knocking on people’s doors. All we have to do is invite a friend to dinner and let the church do the rest.

The Alpha Program is a sit down dinner, ten to twenty minute speaker, and two-hour table discussion. It’s really interesting how it all works. We are to invite people who are leery about God, religion and Christianity, as well as those who seek to know God but have doubts if He really exists. We invite them to a free meal every Monday night and let the Holy Spirit direct the rest.

For the first hour, we sit around a table of six to ten people and casually start talking about life, while we eat. Then, the speaker casually talks about things in the Christian faith that would interest the newcomer, while feeding them the word. After the speaker is done, we are given five or six questions to discuss. Often, those new to the faith don’t know the answers, but we explore what they do know together. We don’t tell them they are wrong, or cram our beliefs down their throats, we simply listen. After awhile, they will ask what we think, and we will talk about our personal experiences. And sometimes, those at the table are simply not ready to discuss their views, so instead of sitting at a quiet table, we talk about life in general. After they get to know us better, and a few sessions down the line, they begin to open up and share their views.

Then halfway through the session, everyone is invited to attend a Holy Spirit weekend. The Holy Spirit weekend is an overnight trip to a resort, where a more in depth study of the gospel is told, while giving the students time to take a breather from life. The only stress, and the only thing they have to concentrate on is what they feel in their hearts, with respect to who God is and what he wants from them. It also allows people to address their concerns in a more intimate setting.

The last session (which lasts eight weeks) brought sixteen people to the Lord, including my very own sister-in-law. She had all these doubts about whether the bible was true and if Christ was really the Son of God. She also had a lot of personal issues that needed to be worked out. Then she went away for the Holy Spirit weekend with her table leader and gave her life to Christ. She said that the talk about how history can prove Christ existed, as well as many other accounts in the Bible really got her to thinking, but the clincher was when a pastor spoke and told everyone about the doubts that still find their way into his mind. It was like the pastor was admitting that he was human and that know matter where our stand is with Christ, we are still just as human as the next person.

We have already begun preparing for the next session of the “Alpha Program.”


Byline
Alyice Edrich is an affordable freelance writer specializing in how-to articles for the web. To hire her for your next writing project or to view her rates, visit: http://alyiceedrich.net. To learn more about running a home business, visit http://thedabblingmum.com/ebookstore.