Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Teen Guys Say About Modesty has launched the results of their massive Modesty Survey! Over 1,600 Christian guys have answered questions on everything from glitter lotion and lip gloss to swimsuits and skirt slits! It's everything girls have ever wanted to ask guys about modesty, but were afraid to ask! For guys, it's really interesting to see what other Christian guys think!

Most importantly, the survey is presented as a resource to help Christian girls (and guys), not a list of legalistic rules, and it is accompanied by the Modesty Survey Petition (which tons of guys have signed) which encourage young women to focus on the heart, not the hemline, to honor their parents, etc.

The results were released on St. Valentine's Day as a gift from 1,600 Christian guys to all Christian girls -- and I can't think of a better one! Now the survey is being endorsed by people like Shaunti Feldhahn ("For Women Only") Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Revive Our Hearts), CJ Mahaney (Sovereign Grace Ministries) and Shannon Ethridge ("Every Woman's Battle")!

Go check it out: Modesty Survey

Monday, June 28, 2010

Exciting New Development in ACFW's Award for Published Authors

This press release just in from ICRS:


(Palm Bay, Florida) American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) sounds a new high note as The Voice of Christian Fiction.

At the International Christian Retailers Show in St. Louis, Missouri, ACFW announced a major change in their esteemed Book of the Year Award program.

Each year, publishers and individual authors enter hundreds of recent Christian fiction releases in the ACFW Book of the Year Awards contest. Past Book of the Year winners have included noted authors Tracie Peterson, DiAnn Mills, Robin Lee Hatcher, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and many other skilled CBA novelists honored by ACFW for excellence in Christian fiction.

In 1979, Bethany Publishing House editor Carol Johnson made a bold move that served as a catalyst for unprecedented growth in Christian fiction. It was a decision that changed the face of the industry and the content of readers’ bookshelves. Mrs. Johnson championed Christian fiction by acquiring author Janette Oke, whose Love Comes Softly blazed a trail for future storytellers.

“ACFW owes a great debt of gratitude to the pioneers of Christian fiction,” says ACFW President Cynthia Ruchti, “and to those who helped make Christian fiction the storytelling powerhouse it is today. To honor editorial pioneer Carol Johnson and others like her who envisioned how Christian fiction could make a mark in the publishing world,” adds Ruchti, 

“ACFW has renamed our Book of the Year Award. From this point on, the highest achievement in our award program for published authors will be The Carol Award.”

ACFW CEO and award-winning author Colleen Coble notes, “Although Carol Johnson is most content behind the scenes, her contribution to modern Christian fiction (both historical and contemporary) is impossible to measure. Where would we be today if she had turned down those earlier projects and the firestorm of fiction they helped unleash?”

Asked to comment on Carol Johnson’s impact, Bethany House Publishers’ Vice President of Editorial David Horton notes, “Carol’s vision for the future of fiction, her belief in the power of story to share God’s truth, her respect for the art of writing, her trust in the editorial process, and her abiding concern for her authors set the course that Bethany House continues to follow today. Her acquisitions knocked open doors we now take for granted. The books she edited touched millions of lives.”

Carol Johnson will be present for the awards banquet at ACFW’s annual conference September 17-20 in Indianapolis to present the inaugural Carol Awards. Janette Oke will attend as well, to join conferees and industry professionals in celebrating the growth of Christian fiction and to present Carol Johnson with ACFW’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

ACFW is devoted to training its writers, educating them in the market, and serving as an advocate in the traditional Christian fiction publishing industry. With more than 2100 members and 21 local chapters in 15 states as well as a beyond-the-borders e-chapter, ACFW speaks loud and strong as The Voice of Christian fiction.

For interviews or more information about ACFW (, contact Cynthia Ruchti, ACFW President, at or Angela Breidenbach, ACFW Publicity

ACFW Book of the Year Winners 2002-2009

  • Nikki Arana
  • Tracey Bateman
  • Robin Bayne
  • Kristin Billerbeck
  • Dorothy Clark
  • Colleen Coble
  • Brandilyn Collins
  • Margaret Daley
  • Susan Page Davis
  • Mary Davis
  • Sharon Dunn
  • Rhonda Gibson
  • Cathy Gohlke
  • Linda Goodnight
  • Tricia Goyer
  • Pamela Griffin
  • Linda Hall
  • Robin Lee Hatcher
  • Rachel Hauck
  • SharonHinck
  • Diann Hunt
  • Bev Huston
  • Randy Ingermanson
  • Sunni Jeffers
  • Jenny B. Jones
  • Tamara Leigh
  • Julie Lessman
  • Joyce Livingston
  • Lianne Bruynell Lopes
  • Christine Lynxwiler
  • Gail Martin
  • Lorena McCourtney
  • Nancy Mehl
  • Susan Meissner
  • Judith Miller
  • DiAnn Mills
  • John B. Olson
  • Miles Owen
  • Donita K. Paul
  • Tracie Peterson
  • Cara Putman
  • Deborah Raney
  • Gayle Roper
  • Kim Vogel Sawyer
  • Marlo Schalesky
  • Lynette Sowell
  • Kathryn Springer
  • Jill Stengl
  • Camy Tang
  • Pamela Tracy
  • Carol Umberger
  • Laura Jensen Walker
  • Susan May Warren
  • Elizabeth White
  • Linda Wichman
  • Linda Windsor

Is It Art or Is It Trash?

Guest Blogger:
Alyice Edrich

Have you ever wondered what happens to all that trash you throw out? It ends up in landfills and becomes toxic waste. And although our country has improved in its efforts to recycle there is still so much more we can do. That’s why I applaud artists who take materials that would ordinarily fill up our landfills and turn them into art that can be displayed in our homes or used for another purpose, like jewelry, furniture, and landscaping.

Today found art, also known as “trash art” or “junk art”, is making a comeback and I couldn’t be more thrilled because that means publishers will be publishing books on found art techniques and consumers will be more willing to purchase these one-of-a-kind creations.

Speaking of books, I just received Junk To Jewelry by Brenda Schweder and can’t wait to try my hand at the watch ribbon bracelet on page 30 (my daughter has a busted watch that was once her deceased Nana’s and she wears it!), the drawer pull charm bracelet on page 28, or the junk drawer miscellany watch on page 44. They are by far my three favorite jewelry pieces in the entire book.

Junk To Jewelry is a rare combination of childhood craft ideas and eccentric trash art. In 96 pages you will discover 31 projects. Each project is given one page for instructions and a materials list and one page for a close-up of the completed piece. There are also two pages of information designed to help newbies understand things like knots, crimps, looping, swings, and how to use pliers and beading wire.

I do wish, however, that there would have been instructions for some of the pieces in the gallery section. I guess I’ll just have to do a little trial and error creating because I really want to make one of the yard stick bracelet by Susan Dyer on page 88 and the tea ball necklace by Carla Sikorski on page 90 (which reminds me of my Russian ancestry).

Disclosure: I was given a sample to review. This is "my opinion" of the product. I was not paid to give a positive review.

Alyice Edrich is an aspiring artist and the editor of The Dabbling Mum® eMagazine. Visit the review center to discover more art books for your creative pleasure:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meet the author Debbie Taylor Williams

Debbie’s passion for Christ is evident in her energetic style and insightful personality. Having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 29, Debbie brings spiritual maturity and biblical depth to her audiences. Her spiritual beauty and willingness to be led by God bring a relevant message to women of all ages, backgrounds and denominations. Debbie is an authentic servant of Christ with a focus to encourage, challenge and inspire her audiences to become women of passion, purpose and prayer.

Debbie’s passionate focus to help others know God’s life-changing power has led her to author numerous Bible studies, teach and lead retreats and conferences and serve as keynote speaker at events throughout the United States.

She has been a television guest on Life Today with James and Betty Robison, The Harvest Show, Family Net’s Every Day With Marcus and Lisa, At Home Live! with Chuck and Jeni, God Answers Prayer, Friends and Neighbors with Kim Gravel, Atlanta Live, and San Antonio’s TBN.

Before establishing Hill Country Ministries in 1999, Debbie served as the Teaching Leader for Bible Study Fellowship, where she led a class of 450 women. She later co-founded and taught Women’s Bible Study at her church involving more than 300 multi-denominational women.

In addition to Debbie being a keynote speaker, she has been a featured columnist for the Women Reaching Texas newsletter and has served as a guest panelist at the Women’s Leadership Conference in Ft. Worth, Texas. She is presently a religion columnist for the Kerrville Daily Times newspaper and has been featured in P31 magazine.

Debbie’s spiritual investment in others was acknowledged by her community when she was recognized as the 2000 Woman of the Year in Kerrville, Texas.

Her trademark, signing the words to praise and worship music, has become a requested blessing by the groups for whom she speaks.

Debbie is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies. She has been married to Keith Williams for over 35 years. They are blessed with two adult children, Taylor  and daughter-in-law Ali and Lauren and son-in-law Chris along with one beautiful grandson.

We are honored to have Debbie with us here today. Please join me in welcoming her.

Sharon: Your book focuses on living the Plan A life God designed specifically for you. What encouragement can you give the woman who feels she's lived far too long on Plan B? Is there hope?

Debbie: With God nothing is impossible!  The Spirit who moved over the surface of the deep and created light and life is the same Spirit who abides in every believer.  We can live the Plan A life God has for us because Christ lives in us and He is our hope of glory. Col 1:2

Sharon: In your book you talk about hazardous landmines. What are a few common landmines women fall into?

Debbie: Bitterness, discouragement, being fixated on the past, fear, feeling shaken by our circumstances, having expectations of how others should act are but a few of the land mines we can experience in a Plan B world. Left unattended, these land mines can cause devastating harm to us and others.  God's Plan A is not for us to ignore these land mines, nor is it His plan for us to tip toe around them. Rather, He directs us to address and de-mine them.  When we do, we can walk in bold assurance, confident of the ground upon which we walk. We're able to carry out the good works and plans God has for us; those that bring purpose and joy.

Sharon: Tell us about your P.R.A.Y. conferences and how women can learn more about your prayer ministry.

Debbie: April 2, 2008 God woke me up at 4 a.m. and told me that I wasn't doing all that He wanted me to do. He then directed me to one of His Plans for my life:  to take the principles from my book, Pray with Purpose — Live with Passion, to a church in every state in the United States. He told me to waive my speaking fee and travel expenses; that He had freely given me the keys to prayer that can change women's lives; and that I was to freely take them to my sisters. P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference was birthed as a ministry of my non-profit ministry. It has been a joy to see God powerfully open doors through women who hear about the conference and pass the word to their women's ministry leader or event planner. Women are coming to salvation.  Spiritual breakthroughs and repentance is taking place among believers. A "pink hearts" club is spreading across America, one composed of women and men who come forward and receive a heart on which they write how God has spoken to their hearts. And God is speaking. If I haven't been to your church/state, contact ministries, call toll free 888.815.9412, or visit my web site for more information.

Sharon: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Debbie: I love being with my husband. Whether we go for a walk, watch the sunset, take a hike in the country, travel, play golf (sort of...I'm a beginner :), or go for a drive and breakfast on Saturday mornings, he's my honi and love of 35 years. Our two adult children and their spouses are so much fun to be with; as is our 17 month old grandson. Family, friends, sharing the Lord - for what more could we ask?

Sharon: I understand you are willing to share an excerpt with our blog readers from your new book?

Debbie: Gladly. This comes from the first chapter of The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World, by Debbie Taylor Williams  “You’re Not the Only One Who Missed Plan A”  pages 23-27.

God Has an A+ Plan for Your Life

“I know the plans that I have you for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11

If ever a convention were held for women who feel they’ve missed Plan A, the room
would be filled. You’d undoubtedly hear comments like these:

“My husband left me when our children were three and five,” one woman might say.

“I’ve always dreamed of being married and having children. But I’m single with no hope of marriage.”

“My Prince Charming turned into an abuser.”

“I was fired from the company I built from the ground up.”

“My child died of leukemia.”

Biblical Plan A Women in a Plan B World

Not only do we hear the voices of friends today, but we also can imagine the voices of those whose lives are recorded in the Bible. Perhaps if we caught each one at the moment she was hit with her Plan B, we might have heard something like the following:

“Adam and I were supposed to live happily ever after in Eden. My oldest son was not supposed to kill his brother.”—Eve

“I thought Abraham and I would have children when we were young.”—Sarah

“I thought I’d live a quiet life. I never dreamed I’d become a queen—or that the lives of so many people would depend on me risking mine.”—Esther

“My plan was to marry Joseph, then have children. Never did I imagine that I’d conceive a child by the Holy Spirit while a virgin. ”—Mary

As you can see, a long list of women in the Bible lived something other than what they must have considered their Plan A lives. No doubt, they appeared to be everyday women living ordinary lives: preparing meals; washing dishes and clothes; competing with other women; and experiencing problems with in-laws, children, infertility, sibling rivalry, and so on.

What they probably couldn’t see at the time, but what we have the opportunity to see now, is how God used them. Their lives counted for him and for eternity. Though at times some may have felt like appendages to their husbands and their husbands’ calling, while some may have felt lonely and isolated, God used each woman. Their names are recorded for eternity. God listened to these women’s prayers, intervened on their behalf, and met them where they were—in the desert, by a river, in a field, inside their homes. He met them in the midst of their daily responsibilities—drawing water, gleaning wheat, searching for infertility cures.

Did they know they weren’t rocking mere infants but future kings? Did they realize they weren’t just dressing babies but grooming leaders? Not simply singing psalms to toddlers but planting scriptures in the minds of prophets?

God had an A+ plan for these women even though they didn’t know it at the time. God has an A+ plan for your life too.

- Excerpt used by permission of Leafwood Publishers

Purchase The Book At:
Barnes and Noble:
Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest:

We are featuring Debbie Taylor Williams book The Plan A Woman in a Plan B world the week of June 27- through July 3rd.

Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is normally posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

At the end of the week we will draw for the winner for a copy of The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, June 25, 2010


What To Do When Life Doesn't Go According To Plan
by Debbie Taylor Williams
About the author:
Debbie Taylor Williams, founder of Hill Country Ministries, a non-profit 501© 3 dedicated to spreading God's Word and love, is a sought out Christian speaker and author.  Best known as a passionate Biblical expositor, Debbie uses humor and practical illustrations to communicate spiritual truths to women throughout the nation.  She has written and produced numerous books and video driven Bible studies, including The Plan A Woman In a Plan B World, Pray With Purpose, Live With Passion; Prayers of My Heart; If God Is In Control, Why Do I Have A Headache?; If God Is In Control, Why Am I A Basket Case, Discovering His Passion, and co-authored Trusting God's People Again.

She is a religion columnist for the Kerrville Daily Times and is published in P31 Woman magazine. As well as enjoying Debbie in print, you may have seen her as a television guest on Life Today with James Robison, At Home Live!, Family Net,  The Harvest Show, Atlanta Live, Rejoice! TCT World Network, Friends and Neighbors, and God Answers Prayers; or heard her as a guest on radio programs throughout the nation.

Debbie and Keith, her husband of more than 35 years, live in Kerrville, Texas. They have two married children and one grandson.

Debbie's spiritual investment in others was acknowledged when she was recognized as Kerrville's 2000 Woman of the Year.

About The Book:
From the beginning of time women have dreamt about their “Plan A” - the perfect husband, cute children, immaculate home, size six wardrobe, prestigious job, fabulous friends. But it doesn’t take much of real life to set in before compromises, changes and disappointments manage to cloud those dreams. The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World: What to Do When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan encourages women to re-evaluate the Plan B route and discover the blessings of God’s Plan A.

Using nine landmines that often claim the God-given plan for women, author/speaker Debbie Taylor Williams helps women reclaim hope and teaches them how to manage those sabotaging thoughts that claim many minds. Sprinkled with humor, an obvious love for God’s Word, and discussion starters for small group study, The Plan A Woman promises to help woman believe that God does have special plans for her, even in this Plan B world.

What Others Say:
"Debbie Williams is a woman whom God has wonderfully gifted in sharing His Word. She teaches in parables and ways that bring God’s Word to life for others. Ladies under her teaching learn in such a way that they are challenged in their walk with the Lord while being greatly encouraged and blessed all at the same time. Long after retreats are over where she has spoken, ladies continue to talk about the truths they learned under her teaching, which are very applicable to the daily lives of women in all walks of life.

After the most recent retreat where Debbie spoke, many ladies have shared the desire to have her come for a city-wide women’s event so all their friends and women of the city can receive the blessing of God’s Word through her teaching. Her books and writings continue to encourage women in their Bible study time and in their lives after returning home from retreats.

It is refreshing and inspiring to see how God is using Debbie for His purposes in sharing His word with so many women and the amazing result is that He receives all the glory. I am very thankful to know Debbie Williams, a gifted and godly woman whom I trust to share God’s love and Word with the women of my church in a way that blesses and encourages them in their walk with the Lord. I encourage everyone to invite her to come and share God’s love and teaching with women."~~Beth Stahl, Women’s Ministry Coordinator and Pastor’s Wife, Corpus Christi, TX

My Take:
This well written book is very easy to read and understand. It is full of Gods gift to us of a hope and a promise.
What is a plan A woman? All women with their hopes and dreams that don't come true. At least, not exactly.
Debbie shows us how to:
Live out loud~ How to disarm the land mines of the mind.
Love out loud~Talk it over with friends, and
Laugh out loud~Live with joy and humor.

We will continue talking about Debbie and her book in an interview posted on Sunday June 27, 2010

Purchase The Book At:

Barnes and Noble:
Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest:
Although we have another contest running this week, I am posting this review today to fit the dates of Debbie's blog tour. June 21-25, 2010

We are featuring Debbie Taylor Williams book The Plan A Woman in a Plan B world the week of June 27- through July 3rd.

The book contest the last few days of this week is still  J. Mark Bertrand's novel Back On Murder

Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is normally posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

This week we will select one person to win a copy of  Back On Murder

Next week we will draw for the winner for a copy of The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In Memory of Mother

Does she look spunky?
Sweet 16 in 1937
Dad holding my sister, Mother holding me, our older brother standing between us. I was born October1944 so this must have been maybe 1945. 
Sometime in the 70's. Oldest sis beside Mom, me beside Dad and oldest brother behind me. Sister in lavender is 7 years younger than me. Sister in green 12 years younger. I was 15 when my youngest brother was born.
Mom and Dad in their golden years.

Their love spanned the years.

Four years ago today Mom went to be with our Lord. I miss you Mom. I'm glad I will see you again some day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Simple Service on Father's Day

We feel like pioneers at our fledgling church in Lima, Ohio 
On  Fathers Day, June 20, 2010 we gathered in Sheldon Bowman's garage for a simple Old German Baptist Brethren New Conference worship service.

We like to visit before the service begins.
We notice the ministers and deacons have taken their places and we also find our seats. Then the worship begins.
After an hour and one half, the service is over, and the brethren move the chairs and make room for our carry-in dinner.
The food is plentiful for the amount of people gathered this day.
We enjoy a fellowship meal together.
 When the meal is finished the brethren make a discussion circle. 
And the women gather together around the tables to visit.

In Europe our ancestors worshiped in caves. We have visited those caves. It is no hardship to worship in a garage or barn.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back On Murder

by J. Mark Bertrand

About the author:
J. Mark Bertrand first two novels  hit the book shelves this year. In February, Mark and coauthor Deeane Gist saw their novel, Beguiled— a romance suspense novel— quickly rise on CBA and ECPA listings just weeks after its release.

Then in July, Bethany House plans to release Back On Murder, the first in a series of crime novels featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March.

Mark earned an MFA from the University of Houston and lived in the city for fifteen years. After one hurricane too many, he and his wife moved to South Dakota. Bertrand has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of a hung jury in Houston, and after relocating served on the jury that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

The Blurb:
Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he's disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details . . . until an unexpected break gives March one last chance to save his career. And his humanity.

All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track, a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the deamons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything. Even his life.

What Others Say:
"So now I'm on the threshold, feeling like a paratrooper about to jump, knowing my chute was packed by people who don't care how hard I land.

And so goes the life of Detective Roland March the not-so-loveable hero of J. Mark Bertrand's debut solo novel, Back on Murder. March is a career homicide detective taking the last gasping breaths of a once stellar career. Personal problems, some poor career choices, and less that winning relationship skills have left him wondering how much longer he really has. Then along comes a gangland shooting and he gets one more chance, maybe his last chance, to regain his form and remind everyone in his department what made him such a good cop. But his keen detective's sense lands him right where he doesn't want to be, on a select task force looking for a kidnapped girl - the daughter of Houston's most famous mega-church leader.

Everything about Back on Murder harkens back to the kind of cops I grew up with in detective novels, TV shows, and movies. Using a first person perspective (as all good detective stories did) we find ourselves inside the skin of a guy who honestly doesn't like himself much more than anyone else around him. Not that he's a bad guy; he just lives in a world that doesn't make sense any more. Consider the following lines as Detective March struggles to understand an argument he has just had with his wife:

The kind of fight ... that leaves me baffled, wondering how we ended up like this. ...In a movie, I would take her in my arms, press my lips to hers, and after struggling for a second she'd give in, flinging her limbs around me ... But that's not how it happens ... I want to hit rewind ... I want things to be easy between us again .. the way I remember us being. But I don't know how to get there.

Several supporting characters serve as a mirror in which both the main character and the readers can consider themselves: a new task-force partner who hasn't forgotten her faith and a guilt-ridden youth pastor who is danger of losing his. But in the end, this is March's story. Will he get it back together, solve the case, put his marriage back together, and find himself in the process? It's a good thing this is just the first installment of the Roland March Mystery series because it doesn't like there are any simple answers to our hero's deepest questions.

J. Mark Bertrand co-authored Beguiled along with Deanne Gist to great reviews and his solo should receive the same. If you like happily-ever-after stories where the characters all wear labels on their chest telling you who to cheer and who to boo, this may not be the book for you. But if you want a story where characters talk and act like real people - some resting in their faith, some having no faith all, and some struggling to regain their faith - Back on Murder is the ticket for a really good read." ~~Tim George

My Take:
J. Mark Bertrand is a distinctive new voice in Christian fiction.

I quickly found myself rooting for Detective Roland March as he solves the mystery. What happened to Hannah Mayhew? And how did she get mixed up in a crime scene?

If you like to read a page turner, with lots of action and believable plot twists and turns you will enjoy this book.

Purchase The Book At:

Barnes and Noble:

Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest:

We are featuring J. Mark Bertrand's novel Back On Murder this week.

Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

We will send one blessed person a copy of Back On Murder.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The glue that holds us together

A doctor-friend wrote:

A couple of days ago I was running (I use that term very loosely) on my treadmill, watching a DVD sermon by Louie Giglio...and I was BLOWN AWAY! I want to share what I learned....but I fear not being able to convey it as well as I want. I will share anyway.

He (Louie) was talking about how inconceivably BIG our God He spoke the universe into He breathes stars out of His mouth that are huge raging balls of fire...etc. etc. Then He went on to speak of how this star-breathing, universe creating God ALSO knitted our human bodies together with amazing detail and wonder. At this point I am LOVING it (fascinating from a medical standpoint, you know.) .....and I was remembering how I was constantly amazed during medical school as I learned more and more about God's handiwork. I remember so many times thinking...."How can ANYONE deny that a Creator did all of this???"

Louie went on to talk about how we can trust that the God who created all this, also has the power to hold it all together when things seem to be falling our loving Creator is also our sustainer.

And then I lost my breath.
And it wasn't because I was running my treadmill, either!!!
It was because he started talking about laminin.
I knew about laminin. Here is how wikipedia describes them :"Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue." You see....laminins are what hold us together....LITERALLY. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. And I knew all this already. But what I didn't know is what laminin LOOKED LIKE.

But now I do. And I have thought about it a thousand times since (already)....Here is what the structure of laminin looks like...AND THIS IS NOT a "Christi an portrayal" of it....if you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see...

Now tell me that our God is not the coolest!!!
The glue that holds us together....ALL of in the shape of the cross.

Immediately this portion of Colossians comes to mind:

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth,visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;all things were created by him and for him.He is before all things,and in him all things HOLD TOGETHER." Colossians 1:15-17

Call me crazy. I just think that is very, very, very cool.
Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words. And now we see that from a very LITERAL standpoint, we are held cell to the cross.

You would never in a quadrillion years convince me that is anything other than the mark of a Creator who knew EXACTLY what laminin "glue" would look like long before Adam even breathed his first breath!!

We praise YOU, Lord!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sometimes we all need little reminders..........

I received this messaage from someone who thinks I am a 'keeper', so I'm sharing it with the keepers who read my blog... 

I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it... A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. 

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away..

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things.. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. 

It was a way of life, and  sometimes it made me crazy.. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more. 

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. 

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return.. So... while we have it..... it's best we love it.... and care for it... and fix it when it's broken......... and heal it when it's sick. 

This is true. for marriage....... and old cars..... and children with bad report cards..... and dogs with bad hips.... and aging parents..... and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep. Like a
   best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special........ and so, we keep them close! 

... Now it's your turn to think about those people that are "keepers" in your life.  Good friends are like stars.... You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.  Keep them close! 


1.... God won't ask what kind of car you drove. He'll ask how many people you drove who didn't have transportation.. 

2.... God won't ask the square footage of your house, He'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home. 

3.... God won't
  ask about the clothes you had in your closet, He'll ask how many you helped to clothe. 

4.... God won't ask what your highest salary was. He'll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it. 

5.... God won't ask what your job title was. He'll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability. 

6.... God won't ask how many friends you had. He'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend. 

7.... God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived, He'll ask how you treated your neighbors. 

8.... God won't ask about the color of your skin, He'll ask about the content of your character. 

9.... God won't ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation. He'll lovingly take you to your mansion in heaven, and not to the gates of Hell. 

10.... God won't have to ask who you really loved, because He already knows. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Backyard Camp Outs Made Easy

Alyice Edrich

All you need to have a successful back yard camp out are a few kids, some tents, an open pit for roasting marshmallows, junk food, a little imagination and a few supervising adults! Not to mention, a back yard.

I started planning summer camp outs when one year, I decided I didn't want a house full of kids over for my son's birthday. I wasn't in the mood to clean up that mess. So, I borrowed a few tents from the neighbors, told all his buddies to bring warm pajamas and their sleeping bags, and to be prepared for an all-nighter!

From the moment the kids arrived, they were excited! The children ran amuck, playing all forms of tag, screaming, yelling and laughing it up.

Around nine o'clock we settled them down with some roasted marshmallows, and a ghost story.... scarey-y-y-y-y-y.

The next morning, everyone awoke to donuts, juice, and a water fight, before heading home.

The party was simple and yet, the kids couldn’t stop talking about it. When summer rolled around again, the kids asked if we were going to have another camp out. Before we knew it, our one event became a summer ritual.

So how does one plan a camp out in the big city?

  • Prepare invitations dictating the theme. Either purchase cards or have the kids draw their own using lots of trees and hills, a night owl and perhaps even a coyote.

  • Figure out how many children will attend and set up the tents accordingly. If you don't have enough tents, don't go out and purchase anymore, simply ask a parent of a child attending to bring you one when he drops of his child.

  • Roasting marshmallows need not be a draw back, you can find an open pit at the local home remodeling store or you can simply bring around your grill. If you don't have either, simply roast them over an open flame on a gas burning stove. Always remember that adult supervision is needed with any of these methods.

  • If you have the kids start arriving around 7 p.m., you won't even have to worry about dinner. Simply provide tons of finger snacks such as chips, crackers, nuts, candy, and popcorn.

  • Since the kids will be running amuck, I would have to say skip the punch and sodas and head straight for water bottles. And let’s not forget that no camp out would be complete without hot cocoa!

  • As for entertainment, I have found that the kids simply take care of themselves. But you could add a few relay races, scavenger hunts, and craft sessions. Crafts should be themed towards nature and scavenger hunts could be done around the neighborhood with a few volunteer neighbors, or in your own back yard.

  • Have the parents come for their kids around 9 in the morning. You can serve the kids donuts and milk as they walk out the door.
Alyice Edrich is the author of the highly praised daycare e-book, Tid-Bits For In-Home Daycare Providers. If you like small children and want to stay home with your children, but don't want to deal with home party plans, inventory, or sales people, you could enjoy a career as a home daycare provider. Learn more: