Saturday, April 30, 2016

12 Tools for Weight Loss

1.     Pray before each meal. God has the power over our eating when we don't. 

Our back yard rose bush gives big, beautiful blooms.

2.     Drink a glass of water when you’re hungry. Dehydration often masks as hunger.

3.     Wait twenty minutes to see if the hunger or craving passes.



Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

                                   Psalm 27:14


4.     Leave the kitchen. Do a new activity. Read a devotion from Divine Dining.

5.     Be prepared with acceptable snacks if it’s not mealtime.

6.     Be prepared for meals by keeping a grocery list and planning meals.

7.     If you’re going to a restaurant, google options and make your selection before looking at the menu.

8.     Call a friend or accountability partner when you're craving something you'd rather leave alone.

9.     Concentrate on family and friends instead of food during meals.

10.Try new recipes. Explore new vegetables and fruits.

11.Go for a walk at a new place. Try a new exercise. Ask a friend to go with you.

12.Finish something that you’ve been putting off. The lift in your attitude will diminish your hunger.

Do you have another tool?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Have You Found a Kindred Sprit?

My Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness released in December, 2012. It continues to be the best seller of my four books. As of a few days ago, I had still not found another book even similar. Then I discovered a kindred spirit in an author that released her book in 2013, short months after mine, both of us thinking overeaters needed that daily dose of support.

Have you found a kindred spirit in your writing?

When we pitch manuscripts to agents or editors, we often compare our words to other books. To do this, I've sought out like-minded writers. When I pitched Divine Dining, I compared it to “Food for Thought” by Elizabeth L., “Daily Affirmations for the Compulsive Eater by Susan Ward, and “Food for the Hungry Heart” by Cynthia Rowland McClure.

If you've purchased and enjoyed Divine Dining, then I want to recommend another book to you. 

When I read the preface of Diet Nuggets and Wisdom Appetizers: 365 Days of Encouragement for Dieters  by Kathleen Kurlin, it was almost eerie at the similarities in our background.
We were both "professional dieters.
Kurlin started her first diet at age fourteen. My mother put me on one at age fourteen.
We both reached the lifetime status with Weight Watchers early in our walk.
We both spent our lives in yo-yo dieting with every plan known to man (or woman).
We both believe that focusing on the Lord and committing our will to Him is the only lasting answer to the problem of compulsive overeating. As Kurlin put it in one of her nuggets, "Surrender leads to freedom."
We both used much of our own journal to fill our devotion book pages. Our formats are similar, using a Scripture verse and a prayer with each thought.
With full discloser, I've not read all 365 of her days of encouragement since I've only had the book a few days. I spotted it on my Amazon page under, "If you like this book (Divine Dining), you might like this one. Kurlin and I shared copies of our books. 

The pages I've read so far seem to give more practical helps than spiritual applications, while Divine Dining gives more Biblical insights.

For instance, here's a excerpt from today's "diet nugget."

Remember, your stomach is not the boss of you, but if it starts growling at you, maybe you just need to take it out for a drink. A drink of water, that is. Life is short-drink up!

As the deer pants for streams of water,    so my soul pants for you, my God.
                                                                     Psalm 42:1

If you've spent a lifetime struggling with your weight, Diet Nuggets and Wisdom Appetizers would make a helpful addition to your library. That is, after you've purchased and read Divine Dining, of course.

Yes, I have found a kindred spirit on devotions for dieters. I can't wait to read Kurlin's fiction. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

God Loves Diversity. God Loves Me

     My husband and I love to travel, often taking our travel trailer to sites of beauty. I would rather see God’s creation than all the shows or nightlife available. It’s not that the other is wrong, but nature is my preference. My travels demonstrate insights into God's personality.

Utah's crazy colored rock formations
1.     God loves color in all things.


A couple of years ago, we drove through Canyonlands and Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. Even the rocks here come in red, green, and purple. A writer’s mind asks the question what if. If aliens did come from other planets, would they be chartreuse or turquoise?


2.     God loves different elevations.

Grand Tetons
from my back yard


On that same trip, the Grand Tetons wowed us with their stark climb to heaven, while in my hometown of Wichita Falls, the North Texas plain stretches for miles without much up and down. That makes for God’s use of color in sunsets to be enjoyed.


3.     God loves multiple flowers and trees.

Willow Loop between Johnson City and Fredericksburg

Earlier this month, our RV headed to the hill country of Central Texas, known for bluebonnets in the spring. My heart rejoiced at the beauty of many varieties of wildflowers. How God must love them! Central Texas abounds with more trees than we have at home, but it was on the coast at Goose Island State Park that God used a tree to impress me with the shortness of our lives. The Big Tree is a live oak known to be over a thousand years old. Wow! 

The 1000 year old big tree

4.     God loves water.

To me, watching water brings peace and tranquility unlike anything else on earth. Rivers, lakes, and creeks ripple along with continued precision despite my troubles or anxiety. My recent trip to Corpus Christi, Texas reminded me of God’s love of water. Never-ending ocean waves demonstrated God’s power and majesty. My heart pounded with the need for worship.
  5. God loves me.

Have you ever people-watched? Sit at a mall or on a beach and notice the different shapes, features, and colors. God created Adam and Eve much like any human on earth. We have two legs that stand upright, two arms, a mouth, and two eyes and ears, but isn’t it amazing how that basic outline can look so different? God loves diversity. He loved me at two hundred fifty pounds. He loves me now at one hundred forty-seven and seventy-three years old with more wrinkles than curls. Blessed is the name of the Lord.


For God so loved the world (people) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

                        John 3:16


God gave His only Son to die on the cross for whosoever (anyone). That means me! How tiny a speck I am among the vast creations of the Lord. What amazing grace and love does He show me every day.

God love me, and God loves you.

Let that thought wander through your mind this weekend. Let it settle in your heart and stabilize your life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Insights into Writing with Author, Leeann Betts

Today, I wish to introduce multi-published Christian author, Leeann Betts. Her insights into writing ministered to me. I think this will inspire you, as she asks "Is my book fit for The King?"


I wrote my dad’s memoirs a couple of years ago. Because we don’t live near each other, we spent time together at Christmas or Thanksgiving working on the book. I used a digital recorder and had a list of questions I needed answered. Once I got the story down, I’d send him several chapters at a time for him to review. Then I sent the final book, printed out in a binder, and he called with changes and corrections. Even once we sent it to a printer, we found errors in the galleys which we corrected.


My father held his book in his hand a month before he passed away.


He boasted to several people about his life story. The intake counselor at the hospice he went to was astounded he had a book, saying that many people came to this point in their lives wishing they’d written a book. She said she’d never known anybody who had.


I was so pleased to have been part of that process, to give my dad a book he was proud to hold in his hand. A book he was proud to have his name on.


Which got me to thinking about my other books. Would my Heavenly Father be proud to hold my other books in His hand? Would He be proud to have His Name on those books?


That changed the way I looked at my books. Because I realized they weren’t mine at all. He is the author. I simply transcribe the stories for Him.


And as such, it’s my job to be as accurate as I can. To show up for work every day. To do the best I can to listen and not inject myself into the story.


God’s job is to create the stories. To communicate them to me. To correct me when I get off track.


I like the partnership I have with Him. It takes a lot of pressure off me. When I’m staring at the blank page, I simply pray, “Lord, thank You for letting me be the first person you’ve ever shown this story to. Help me hear You correctly and do the work of transcribing.”


Knowing what I need to do and what I don’t need to do makes the job a lot easier which means I’m having a lot more fun. I’m working on the next book in my dad’s memoirs, and although he’s with Jesus now, I hope he’d be just as proud to hold this book in his hand as he was with the first one.


And I pray God would be proud to have His name on every book I’ve written.


Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. No Accounting for Murder and There Was a Crooked Man, books 1 and 2 in her By the Numbers series, released in the fall of 2015 Book 3, Unbalanced, released in January. Book 4, Five and Twenty Blackbirds, is due in April, with more planned for later dates. If you like accountants or are an accountant, check out Counting the Days: a 21-day devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk.
Leeann and Donna have penned a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, and Donna has published a book of short stories, Second Chances and Second Cups. You can follow Leeann at and Donna at . All books are available at in digital and print, and at in digital.
Thank you, Leeann. I love the thought of God letting us see the words first. We pen His Words. Great thought.
I recently received my copy of Nuggets of Writing Gold and am anxious to read it. Watch later for my review. It looks like just what I need.
Any questions or comments for Leeann Betts/Donna Schlachter?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My All Time Top 4 Blog Posts

I write devotions, weight loss helps, and welcome guests 2-3 times a month. During Weird Wednesdays for awhile, I posted ghost stories. I went through all my posts during the years and found the four that have been viewed most often. Today, feel free to view them, and give me your vote on the best.

Seek the True Expert (A devotion)

11 Ways to Exercise on Vacation (Weight loss tops)

Haunted Jed Johnson Lake  (ghost story)

Guest post came from Fay Lamb

Leave a comment and vote for the one that helped you most.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Renee Blare Asks What Matters?

Let me offer a hearty welcome to Christian author, Renee Blare. She ponders "what matters" for our Writing with God's Hope blog today.

Have you ever wondered if people care? If anything really matters?
You could shout from the rooftops or scream at the top of your lungs, but in the end, would it make a difference? Maybe you should whisper? It’d probably save the sore throat.
After all, nobody really cares, nothing really matters. Right?
            Wrong. God cares. You matter.

I remember the moment I was saved.
No, not the day I heard of Jesus Christ. I’d heard His name my whole life. That name really didn’t mean much to me. It was just another name in a book. True, it was a very special book…but alas, it was merely paper and ink to me.
Now that I’ve made some ears burn and caused a few deep gasps of horror, stay with me.

As I said, I’d heard the name of Jesus, my whole life. What do I mean by that? Before I could walk, I played to songs of His name in the church nursery. I cut my teeth on the Holy Bible…literally. In addition to gum relief, I discovered certain rules came with it. Such things as when to use it, when not to, and most important of all, how to use it. And I learned well.

In other words, I could “talk the talk.” I even managed to improvise on a few occasions and “walk the talk”, so to speak. Right down the aisle into the baptistery. After all, that’s what a good “Christian” does, right?

Then came adolescence. Acne, glasses, braces…all in one year! The world hit with a bang. We’d moved to a brand new one too. World, that is. From the bayou of Louisiana to the high plains of Wyoming, culture shock rocked me to my very toes.
           On the outside, I remained the model “Christian.” I went to church every Sunday, and youth group on Wednesday. I even managed a camp or two. But God remained a complete stranger and it showed I used the language more conducive of a long-haul trucker or oilrig hand. I actually made a verbal agreement with my high school principal. “Keep it clean in the halls. Free reign at the games.” No, I’m not joking.

After the strain of adolescence snowballed into high school, (appropriate connotation for Wyoming, wouldn’t you say?) life took on new challenges. Migraines, my father’s business issues, and family health crises made days in my household interesting, if not dangerous. A lot for a teenager to handle, but unavoidable. But I made it..
I graduated and threw myself into church with a passion. Choir, Sunday Worship, Wednesday Night Bible Study, Singles’ Group, all to no end. I was still confused and miserable. What was I missing? What was the point to all this anyway?

Then it happened.

One cold Thursday night at Singles’ Group, we were studying Galatians. Afterwards, we began to pray, and it was like something or Someone slammed a two-by-four into the side of my head. All of a sudden, the years of Sunday School, all the children songs, hymns, sermons—everything I’d heard for the last eighteen years—made sense.

I asked Jesus into my heart that night. I knew Him at last. I realized He’d always been at my side, waiting…knocking. And that night, I let Him in.

I was…finally…a Christian, and my life changed. Instantly. It has never been the same.


If you’re asking yourself if God cares? He’s standing by your side right now. Waiting.

Ask Him into your heart and find out. You’ll always matter to Him.


Gal 2:20 (NKJV)  “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

 Oh, thank you, Renee. That was beautiful. I think many of us Christians will be able to identify with at least some of your story. Until we find Christ, religion isn't enough.
I love your humor, Renee. Tell us about your book:

To Soar on Eagle’s Wings

Spring’s in the air. While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the meadows. The area’s new game warden, Steve Mitchell launches his first wildlife investigation of the season but the trouble follows him—straight to town.

Rachel Fitzgerald’s on Spring Break. Or at least she’s trying. Between paperwork, and harassing phone calls, she may as well have stayed in her classroom. So much for relaxation. A ‘chance’ meeting with her brother’s old roommate offers her weary soul a shred of hope, but she discovers love, like life, isn’t easy.

He talks with the wisdom of the Lord but rejects the future. She wants to soar with the eagles but walks alone. And trusting God proves to be more of a challenge than ever before…



Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she's been counting pills ever since. While writing's her first love, well, after the Lord and husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

·         Website:

·         Group Blog: Putting on the New:

·         Group Blog: HeartWings:

I am honored by your visit today, Renee, and I thank you. Does anyone have questions or comments to make?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

And the Winner is ...

The winner of Wade Webster's book,  100 Prayers of a Writer,  is ta-da!

Kimberli Renee Campbell

Congratulations, Kimberli. I'll be contacting you privately, or if you see this first, e-mail or Facebook message me.

What's the Magic Exercise?

Overeaters search for the perfect eating plan or the magic exercise to aide in weight loss.

Well, I have the magic exercise.


For me, it’s dancing.

For my Weight Watcher friend, Kay, it’s walking on a nearby high school track.


For my Bible study friends, Diane and Tara, it's Crossfit and marathons, respectively.


For an online friend, Penny, it’s sumo squats.


In other words, it’s whatever you enjoy and will continue to do because you like it and like the people you do it with.


Does that mean you won’t have moments of failure? No, you probably will. It’s then that your attitude will make the difference.

Timely tips: 

Don’t give up.

Look at your stumble as a new dance step.

Find the humor.

Count only what you did right.
Reward yourself for small goals. (Like dancing to fast songs picked out by someone fifty years younger than yourself. Ha!)


At Red River, NM. Hey, I tried!
Any exercise that you enjoy will be magical, and the right attitude works wonders.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Are You Too Busy?

Disease: Too busy

Rx: Peace of God

Pharmacy: Psalm 23
Possum Kingdom Lake near our home.

Oh, I know, that's just one place to fill your prescription, but I find that in the midst of crazy, it works more often than any other spot.

About this time, patients complain. That medicine does not work on this problem. If I'm tied in knots, how do I calm down enough to take my medicine? Surely, you jest.

I submit to you that I'm too busy to give up quiet time, and when my mind whirls even when I'm supposed to be sleeping, Psalm 23 works as a natural sedative. Look at the words:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  When the Lord guides me, I have need of nothing else.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. I don't know about you, but visualizing green pastures and still waters calms my soul.

My husband and I like to watch water; the ocean, a lake, a water fall, even a swimming pool. I'll bet God knew that water would soothe us, so when He built the world, He allowed for water.

A time-tested, psychologist-recommended relaxation technique:

1. Sit
2. Close you eyes.
3. Picture a calming scene. How about a green pasture or a still lake?
4. Begin with your feet. Tighten and relax the muscles in your feet.
5. Move on to your legs, hips, stomach, hands, etc., ending with your head.

 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. It's quite a relief to realize we don't have to be everything to everybody. That's God's job. Put it in His hands and let Him restore sanity and take the lead.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. I wish I could tell you that quiet time with God takes care of all your problems, but you and I know that's not true. We might walk through evil times.

Sheep rely on their shepherd to watch out for them and skirt the danger ahead.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever  Time with God is our reward as well as our solution.

In my devotion book, Divine Dining, I have three pages that cover this Psalm. If you have the book, check out the devotions on October 8, 9, 10.

Are you too busy?

Try the 23rd Psalm.

It's good medicine.

Do you have another favorite?

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Boost for Your Prayer Life with Author, Wade Webster & A Giveaway

I love meeting new writers, even if it's online. Recently, I was "introduced" to Wade Webster. His book sounds fascinating, and I desired to know more about him. After contacting him by Facebook and e-mail, we agreed that he would visit us today on Writing With God's Hope blog.

Don't forget to scroll all the way to the bottom and leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Wade's book.

Wade, tell us something about yourself and your journey with writing and with Christ.

When you say yes to God expect to be surprised. That’s my experience. That, and dealing with doors in life.
I’m a member of a large church. Our adult fellowship is the size of an average church in America, about 150 folks. The year I was able to get plugged into the weekly prayer rotation to open the class was also the year my wife left me.
The leadership of the class asked me to step down. That’s the only explanation I received.
That was the same year the American Christian Fiction Writers opened email genre loops. I joined the children’s fiction loop. A member of that group began offering weekly prayers to encourage us, but complications in Sally’s life made it so she had to step away from that role. She offered it to anybody who wanted to continue the prayers. I decided to pick up that torch with the stipulation that if the prayers became weakly someone would tell me to stop.
I learned of people in the group I had never heard of from emails they sent me telling me how much my prayers spoke to them.
I found lists in the Bible to use as ideas for topics to pray about. The pieces of spiritual armor came first. The Beatitudes came before the 1 Corinthians 13 love chapter and so on.
After a year I realized I was writing enough for a small book. I kept going one week at a time until ACFW decided to move to Facebook groups instead of the email loops. I talked them into continuing the loop a few more months so I could write more prayers.
I composed the last few prayers to a non-existent group to come up with the quantity I was looking for. 100 PRAYERS OF A WRITER came about as an act of obedience not a plan to make a book.
To make the book appealing to a wider audience I edited the prayers. The plural pronouns became singular—we became I, us became me, and so forth. They now read like someone is praying them directly to God.
I took out some of the references to writing so every reader would benefit from the prayers.
In Matthew 18 Jesus tells His disciples they must approach God as a child. Many of these prayers do exactly that. The tone of the prayer is set by the attitude as we enter God’s throne room.
God, the Father, opens Himself to us each time no matter what we’ve done. Time with us is always His deepest desire.
I believe these prayers will help people come to God as they should. He’s to be the respected father figure and the familiar daddy who knows us well. Yes, it’s complicated, but do-able. is the website where you can find ordering information. You can get an autographed copy there or go to Tate Publishing or any mainline online retailer.

Feel free to subscribe while you’re there to receive my monthly newsletter and weekly biblical fiction-based devotional that I’ve been blogging into upcoming books.

 What is prayer? Prayer is a conversation with God.

What does God expect in your prayer? God wants you to pour out your heart to Him.

These prayers are not meant to be memorized, but experienced. This collection of prayers began as a weekly offering to the American Christian Fiction Writers' children's fiction email loop. 100 PRAYERS OF A WRITER combines Wade Webster's two greatest passions: talking to his Heavenly Father and writing. If your prayer life needs a boost, these prayers will give you the spiritual lift you're looking for. Experience a depth and honesty that only comes from a lifetime walk with God through Jesus Christ. Although these prayers were originally written to writers, everybody will grow in their understanding of their relationship with the Creator of the universe. People curious about how Christians approach God will have their eyes opened to what makes us tick. Enter the throne room of God as Jesus tells us to--as little children. Leave the same throne room with renewed hope and encouragement. Christianity wasn't meant to be a rote religion, but a living relationship. Your Father longs for your attention.



Wade Webster lives in Plano, Texas with his best friend, Jesus Christ. He gave his heart to Christ so young he doesn’t remember not being born-again. He attended Grace Bible College in Wyoming, Michigan sometime in the last century and gains most of his income from driving trucks. Yes, there are many born-again truckers out there, my friends. He blogs at

 All leaving a comment will be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of 100 Prayers of a Writer. The deadline to enter is midnight April 8, so leave a comment now. Do you have a question for Wade? Or, just let us know you would like to win the book.