Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dance


A few years ago, Garth Brooks sung a song, "I hope you dance." I love that song. Dancing signifies enjoying life, taking time to smell the flowers, and singing in the rain.

There, is that enough clichés for you writers trying to avoid them.  As psychologist, writer, teacher Margie Lawson warns her students, "Cliché Alert."

Still, I'd like to remind my followers to dance.

 
Line dancing with friends

Young people assume they're invincible. I hate the term elderly, and yet, advancing age does teach us to live life one day at a time, to enjoy every phase even if it's getting old.
 
 
This week again has reminded me of that. My husband and I went to visit his mother in West Tawakoni, Texas and took her to eat in Greenville. My husband got sick at his stomach. His illness progressed and by Wednesday landed him in the hospital. I stayed with him most of the time. We waited and watched for each new doctor to give us the latest report. Even in that situation, I found opportunities to thank God and enjoy some laughs with my beloved. Metaphorically, I danced and sang praises to the Great Physician and Comforter.

I enjoy family and special events with them.

I
Granny's 90th birthday with 3 daughters & 1 grandson 

I love flowers.














I like football especially when we win. P.S. I like baseball, too.
 

 




Grandson who plays for Leonard Tigers.


I like God's sense of humor. Have you looked at the animals lately? We took our youngest grandson to the zoo on spring break this year.

Fort Worth zoo

 
Today, after worrying all week over my husband, my heart is filled with gratitude.
 
Today, I want to say thank you to all who follow my blog.
 
Today, I want to thank God that I can put my thoughts on paper, or online.
 
For all of you, I hope
 
that you stop and smell the wildflowers and notice the different colors and textures
 
 
that you sing in the storm, on the merry-go-round, and in the hospital
 
 
And, that you dance and laugh wherever your feet start tapping.
 
 
Margie, how's that for changing up clichés?
 
 
And now, the winner of last week's contest for a copy of my book, Divine Dining.
 
 
The winner is Jean Ann Williams.
 
Thanks to all who left a comment. I hope your daughter enjoys the book, Jean Ann.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

You Might Be a Christian if ...

I love meeting new friends. What a special treat when they are Christians. Now, how could I tell that? Do they tell me, "I've been saved by Christ." No, that's not necessary. Then, what's the test?

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
                     John 13:35

Recently, I was asked to speak to the Healthy Living class at First Baptist of Dallas, Texas. What a humbling experience that these people would ask me to give my testimony based on reading my book, Divine Dining. A week before the date, a Sunday school teacher called to invite me to also teach her class on discipline in general while I was visiting their church.

the door where I entered

I arrived at the big, downtown church wondering what I would encounter, but the phone calls from three different ladies encouraged me that they were warm, caring people.

They had directed me to a door where there was a fountain. One lady told me, "You won't miss it. The fountain is huge." And, she was right. Many people take photos here. I borrowed this one, since I forgot to snap one of my own while I was there. Scripture verses surround the base. Pictures of this fountain flash on the screen in the worship service while the choir and orchestra lead the congregation in song.

Two ladies waited inside the door with smiles and handshakes for my husband and me. We followed them through halls, up an elevator, and into a magnificent auditorium. Many people greeted us, some ushers, many just those coming to church like us. We took a seat near the middle where more and more greeted us and made us welcome.

A full orchestra played a majestic melody. The choir on a floor rising above the instruments began to sing. To the sides, flashed videos of the fountain and scenes around the church.

This picture was taken in our church's lobby at Christmas, 2013
Somewhere about that time, I realized Jesus was right there with me, letting me know these were Christians, just like the wonderful congregation I left behind at Heritage Church, Wichita Falls, Texas.


Pastor Ron Jeffers preached a thought-provoking sermon reminding me of the messages I get from our pastor, Ron Barnard.


Jeff Foxworthy has made a fortune by stating that "You might be a redneck if ... "

I propose that "You might be a Christian if ...
   the Spirit of Christ shines in your smile
   the beauty of Christ lights up your eyes
   the kindness of Christ shows in your actions
   the truth of Christ's witness is revealed in your words
This was 7 of the ladies that organized and made that event possible for me. I saw Christ in their devotion and kindness. Thank you, ladies.

These four things were evident in the ladies of the Billman Sunday School class and the Healthy Living class and many other at First Baptist, Dallas, on March 9, 2014. That same Spirit hovers in Heritage Church's lobby, and pews, and platform every Sunday. I pray that I would be charged with acting like Christ.

Do new people see Christ in you?

Time to check out ourselves.

Meanwhile, thank you ladies at First Baptist, Dallas, for exemplifying Christ to a scared visitor.

GIVEAWAY OFFER
 

In honor of these sweet ladies, I'm offering a giveaway of my book Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. All you need to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment below giving me your e-mail, so I can contact you if you're the winner. If you have trouble getting past my privacy code to leave a comment, send your comment to the e-mail: Janet.hope@att.net  I will post it for you with your name and you'll still have a chance to win. Good luck. I'll draw on Friday evening, March 28.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

An Inspirational Interview with Christine Lindsay

How exciting! I have the privilege of having another multi-published author to interview today. Welcome to Writing with God's Hope blog, Christine Lindsay.  I find her story fascinating and inspiring. I believe others will, also.
 
Christine, tell us something about your writing journey.

 
My journey began shortly after I was reunited with my birth-daughter--the child I relinquished to adoption when she was 3 days old. Sarah and I were reunited 20 years later. This was wonderful, seeing my heart's desire at long last. However, seeing Sarah again renewed my original loss of her and sent me into an emotional tailspin for a few years. One day when I was crying over Sarah, my husband gave me a brand new pen and journal, and said, "Here, honey, write it." That was the start. God turned that journalling into a writing ministry where I use fiction to help others know how much the Lord loves them. A fuller story is on my blog http://shadowedinsilk--chapterone.blogspot.ca/2013/02/story-behind-covers.html  And I've attached a photo of my first two books that have as the cover models, my two daughters, Sarah and Lana.
 
 
What motivation! Do you write in more than one genre?
 
My first love is Inspirational Historical novels. My series Twilight of the British Raj has its first 2 books out. SHADOWED IN SILK has won several awards, Book 2 is CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT, and  I am currently writing Book 3 VEILED AT MIDNIGHT. But this past February I wrote my first contemporary romance. Pelican Book Group was looking for stories in international settings for their Passport to Romance line. One of those cities was Londonderry which is not far from where I was born in N. Ireland. I simply had to write that book, which is called LONDONDERRY DREAMING.

Well, of course, you did. Tell us something more about Londonderry Dreaming.

Acclaimed New York artist, Naomi Boyd, and music therapist, Keith Wilson, loved one another five years ago, until her grandfather with his influence over Naomi separated them.
That root of bitterness keeps them apart until a letter from Keith’s grandmother, Ruth, draws Naomi to Londonderry to find she’s too late. Ruth has passed on. After the death of his beloved grandmother, Keith has also come to Londonderry only to open the door to his past…Naomi...beautiful as ever, the girl who broke his heart.
 
A mysterious painting in Ruth’s attic brings up questions about their grandparents’ entwined past and their own broken romance. But more comfortable with the unspoken languages of art and music, Naomi and Keith find it difficult to share their old hurts and true feelings.
 
Will the majestic coastline of Northern Ireland inspire them to speak the words to bring peace to their grandparents’ memory and to rekindle love?

WATCH THE FUN AND FAST BOOK TRAILER FOR LONDONDERRY DREAMING

Love the trailer. Great authentic scenes.
 
Christine, I'm a Texan, born and bred on the flat plains of North Texas. Canada fascinates me. Tell us what your part of Canada looks like.
 
I live in a truly beautiful part of the world. Best state I can compare British Columbia to is Colorado. I live in a valley surrounded by mountains. Within 6 hours drive from here, we are in the Canadian Rockies, which are stupendous. I've attached a photo of a mountain lake near where I live. 

That is beautiful. Thanks for the picture. We love to go to Colorado and last summer went, for the first time, to Wyoming and Idaho. Mountains and rivers entice us every year. I'm jealous you actually live near this scene.
 
What occupies your time besides writing?
 
Last summer my husband and I bought a tiny little travel tailer, big enough for only 2 to go camping in. It has a cute little gas stove, sink, countertop, bathroom and cozy bed. Also, in the summer I love to garden. Working with God's nature and enjoying it, our the ways I relax as a busy writer and also give me inspiration.
 
I can identify with the camping. We have a travel trailer. That's what we take to the mountains or the Texas hill country or seaside.

Most writers have good times and bad. Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how did you press through that?
 
I've thought of giving up many times. Each time I do though, God does something to encourage me. The biggest time I was really going to quit was in 2009. After writing for 6 years by that point nothing was happening. Then I won the Genesis that year for Historical novel. That was SHADOWED IN SILK, which was titled Unveiled at the time.

What gave you the idea for your newest release?
 
  As I mentioned I have been to Londonderry. But while visiting St. Augustine's Chapel in Londonderry, I was also struggling with my emotions over Sarah, and over some of my daughter Lana's heartaches. This was when I saw the lovely stained glass windows of the biblical Ruth and Naomi. Here were 2 women brought together by heartache and loss, and a mother-daughter relationship grew between them. I wanted this sort of relationship with both of my daughters. I've attached a photo of that stained glass window, and it sort of forshadows the photo of my 2 daughters as my very own bookends.

The window is gorgeous. What an inspiring thought. With my having three daughters, I can sure understand wanting that special relationship. I love the story of Naomi and Ruth.

Do you write every day? If so, what does that process look like?
 
I must write every day just to keep up on all my committments. However, I do try to take time to rest. Sometimes the Lord forces me to take a rest though. 

I love music. If you were a song, what would that song be?
When Irish Eyes are Smiling.

 
Oh, I like that. Tell us something more about yourself. 
 
Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.
It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her Multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj. Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is also VP of Christian Authors’ Network. She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE:
Please drop by Christine’s website http://www.christinelindsay.com/ or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook  and  Goodreads
 

Christine, it has been a pleasure getting acquainted with you. Thanks for answering all my tedious questions and sending such wonderful pictures. I know my viewers will enjoy getting acquainted, and I'm sure many, like me, are anxious to purchase one or more of your books.

Does anyone else have a question or comment?

Thanks for stopping by today to visit, Christine. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A New Release for Judy P. Davis

 I met Judy P. Davis on the loop for Christian Writers Fellowship Intl. Her new book Happy New You is now available.  I feel blessed to tell the Writing with God's Hope followers about her and her latest book because I know you'll see her heart. 


Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post. Davis is offering a chance to win the book.



Judy, tell us something about your writing journey.

 I started writing over 25 years ago in 1985 when I felt the calling of God.  I was reading my Bible and prayed, "God you have been so good to me, what can I do for you?"  I turned to the Scripture in Jeremiah 30:2 "Write every word I have spoken to you in a book."  I had never written anything but a few letters and felt like Moses.  Who me? 

The journey began as doors opened for me.  I started writing a column in the local newspaper, attending the Florida Christian Writer's Conference each year for almost 20 years, went to college while working full time for the government.  Later, in 1995, I earned an Associate Degree in Theology.  I retired from my Civil Service career in 2004.  God equips those He calls.  I have never looked at Christian writing as a career but as a ministry.

Is this your first book?

 No,  this was my 11th book.  Some of them are on
http://www.amazon.com/Happy-New-You-Reading-Through/dp/1462408680/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394810106&sr=1-1&keywords=Happy+New+You+by+Judy+P.+Davis


http://judypdavis.wordpress.com.

What caused you to want to write this book?
 Last Jan 2013, I prayed for the new year and in my prayer, I asked God, "What would be a good devotional to read this year?"  And the words came into my heart and spirit, "Why not write your own devotional, a 365-day devotional?" I started writing that day and continued writing almost each day for a year.  Happy New You Reading the Bible Through will soon be released from the publisher.

I can sure identify with that since I wrote my 365 day devotion book, Divine Dining. God does give the words. Do you have another book in the works?

 No, not at this time.

Where is your favorite writing place?

In my office.  My husband bought a new computer for me for Christmas.  I also enjoy writing on my laptop.

If a song could describe you, what would that song be?
  I can't think of a song but my life verse is "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on
your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."  Proverbs 3: 5,6


Oh, I love that verse, too. Good to remember. Can you tell us something about your new book?

Here's an excerpt from the forward that my pastor wrote for the book.

In this book, “Happy New You”, Judy Davis takes you through a journey in the
Scripture that allows you to read, reflect, experience, and interact with God. 
In this quest for “something more”, as you allow your heart to brush up against
eternal truth, there will be subtle, yet powerful, changes in your life.  When
the liberating power of this truth begins to work its way into the essence of
your soul and spirit, the experience of reading the Scripture will transform
from a task to a highlight of your day.

As a pastor, I am always giving counsel to believers on resources that will
strengthen their walk with Christ.  I can say, without hesitation, that this
resource will serve that purpose in a uniquely practical way!  Pastor Merrill


Judy, tell us more about yourself.
Davis has written newspaper columns, articles and devotions for Pentecostal Evangel, Pathways to Go, Woman’s World, Evangel, The Upper Room, Christian Pulse online, and many other publications. Her books include: Faithful Women of the Bible, Living Abundantly Spiritually, Financially, and  Physically, Women of the Bible, and many others. She uses her vast writing knowledge to judge Writer’s Digest self-published book awards.
She and her husband, Colin, have been married for 47 years.  They have 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter.  They love to travel since retiring from their careers in 2004.

How can people find you online?

http://judypdavis.wordpress.com
http://inspirationalthoughtsthatmatter.blogspot.com
http://facebook.com/judypdavis?ref=tn_tnmn

Thank you for giving us some insight into who Judy P. Davis is.

Now for Davis' offer for a giveaway for a kindle version of her book. All you must do to be in the drawing is leave a comment and don't forget to give your e-mail.  The winner's name will be drawn on the evening of March 14.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Gratitude


In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thess. 5:18


We need God's power in our life. When He opens doors and provides us with the needed power, do we thank Him?


 Question: What good quality does an attitude of gratitude provide for us?

    Answer: humility


 Question: How does humility help with weight loss?

 Answer: Humility keeps the focus off us. When our mind dwells on ministry, other's needs, or interesting activities, the desire for food diminishes.
 
         Also, humility reminds us of where we came from, of our binging, ungrateful attitudes of the past.


 Question: What is the direct consequence of focusing on ourselves?

 Answer: When we dwell on ourselves and our problems, we take on the “poor me” syndrome. We overeat to make us feel better or to relieve stress.

 
 Question: How does gratitude help with that?

 Answer: Gratitude and conceit can’t reside in the same mind. Jesus told us, we can’t serve Him and the devil both. Neither can we sincerely thank God for His bounty and faithfulness and be all wrapped up in how rough it is carrying our load or not eating what we want.


 Question: If we have pride in our knowledge, the ability to eat right, control situations and succeed on our own, how may that precipitate our downfall? 
 
 Answer: When we rely on our knowledge, strong will, a diet program, or extreme exercise, this is false pride. Then when we falter, self pity lashes out at our confidence. False pride and self pity inevitably reduce us to helplessness and failure.
.

.

.Our part is to ask, to seek, to knock. His part is to answer, to come, to open.   Courage to Change, compiled and edited by Bill Pittman and Dick B. 
 
Be grateful.
    Stay humble.
         Rely on God's power.


An attitude of gratitude is God’s best weapon against an overeating compulsion, or any other addiction, battle, or hang-ups.
 
In everything, give thanks.