Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remember the Fallen on Memorial Day


In 1865, after the civil war, the United States of America set aside a day called "decoration day" to honor fallen soldiers. It was an effort to heal a nation wracked by civil war. They gave tribute to the armed forces of both sides.

The name of the day was later changed to Memorial Day. Meetings across our land raise the American flags and/or play TAPS to remember those who sacrificed much so that we might have freedom today.

As a writer and a Christian, I would like to show honor to a fallen soldier of our recent wars, Adam Brown. This book about him makes you want to stand up and salute.

Adam gave his life to Christ and with God's help defeated a crack cocaine addiction to join the navy. He overcame the handicap of the loss of sight in one eye to become a navy seal. A bomb sealed his fate in 2010. His heroic accomplishments give glory to our Lord and bring regard to his family. On Memorial Day, 2012, I highly recommend this book. That might be a good way to enjoy your holiday.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Here's six sentences from my WIP "Auction Her Heart."

“You look pale.” His arm draped around her

shoulders.

A hitch caught her breathing. Her legs buckled.

She needed to sit down, but her chair seemed two

Texas counties away. For just a moment, she would

submit to the offered refuge. Taut muscles supported

her weakness.


Carol Shenold asked us to participate in her Six Sentence Sunday, so the above is my contribution. Thanks, Carol. This is fun.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THE LET-DOWN

Do you ever feel a let down when you finish a book? Three years ago I plotted a new contemporary romance at a plotting retreat in Quartz Mountain of southwestern Oklahoma. Since I was in the middle of other projects, I set it aside. Last fall, I began writing it with all the excitement of a school girl with a new cell phone.

Yesterday, I wrote "the end." Now you would expect that would be an exciting time. For the last six weeks, I wrote as fast as my fingers could tap the keyboard antipating "the end." I achieved my goal. Where was the enthusiam?

I tried to catch up on a few other ongoing stories or ideas, but soon succumbed to the numbness. My heart wasn't in my writing. I suffered a real case of the blues, and it all came back to the fact that I'd written "the end."

As a reader, I have experienced this before with a book that I loved. I hated to leave the characters behind as if saying good-bye to old friends or family. I have written "the end" on seven novels since I started writing, but this is the first time I feel adrift, sad, let-down.

During my quiet time with the Lord, this morning, God revealed the why. In both writing and reading, we end one book and open another eager to meet new friends, see a new world or even continue the first story if we're reading a series. Yesterday, when I wrote "the end" on my novel, I reached a dead end street with no outlet.

When we reach one of those deadends while driving, we turn around and look for a new direction. This morning, I search my options. I look through my idea list. I glance over old stories that need rewriting. One, in particular, needs a point of view change. Most of all, I pray for God's guidance.

What comes next? Only delving into a new story will chase away my let-down.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Are Ghosts Real?


Are ghosts real? No doubt, ghosts intrigue us. Supernatural beings scare us, and paranormal activity interests everyone. Still, there are those who disavow their existence. There are Christians who believe they exist, but should be avoided because they are evil.

Let me know what you believe.

The dictionary gives this definition of supernatural as: not explainable by natural forces or accepted rules. Many people testify to occurrences that can’t be explained in the natural realm. Are they crazy or hallucinating, or lying?

The Bible is a Christian’s reference for knowledge and guidance, so here's my take:

I learned two things about ghosts or supernatural beings from my study.
1) Spirits of people who have died are not real.
Hebrews 9:27 tells us God appointed one time only for each of us to die. I would not put "out of body" experiences here because they do not move around the earth as spirit beings, but drift off and immediately back to earth as living people. I concur from this verse that people can’t die and live on as spirit beings before they “follow the light” as popular TV shows such as Ghost Whisperer demonstrates. These shows are fun, but not factual. Another verse, Matt. 25:45 tells us the same thing. Evil people go to eternal punishment and ones upright with God go into eternal life.
2)Spirit beings or ghosts are real.
The Bible refers to them as angels and demons, but denotes their authencity.

God created angels as a different type of being than men. Neither distance, nor gravity nor visibility binds angels. Because of that, angels are GOOD supernatural beings. We can’t explain or understand them, but they do exist.
Wonderful testimonies abound of angels appearing to people, helping, strengthening or bringing about miracles. In the Bible, angels appeared to men such as Daniel in the Old Testament and Mary in the New Testament.

Demons are BAD supernatural beings or ghosts, if you will. 2 Co. 11:14-15 gives us insight into their ability to disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness or angels of light. 1 Peter 5:8 explains that these demons will do anything to destroy Christians. Because they masquerade as “nice people,” unsuspecting victims trust the psychic or medium, when they should trust God.
Eph. 5:18 warns us to “not be deceived.” A psychic will conjure up loved ones to convince us of their desire to help. Old Testament Scripture reminds us that God is against psychics. (See Deut. 18:10-13 and Lev. 20:27). The closest thing to a haunting listed in the Bible is the story in Mark 5 of the man possessed by a “legion” of demons so that he lived in the graveyard and scared people. This was another example of evil ghosts.


Most ghost tours or legends exemplify a person that used to live as human, but now, after death, as a spirit. Biblically, I don't believe this can happen though many times ghost stories are fun and not intended to take as a serious worry. In cases where people believe in these apparitions, have seen them or been scared by them, they could be real. Our job would be to classify them in the right category--angels or demons.

Per 1 John 4:1, “…test the spirits whether they are of God…” So, we know they can be of God, but can also be of the devil.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not and it shall be given him. James 1:5 KJV.”

Christians should view ghosts as real, able to deceive, can be good or bad, and are never reincarnated people. At least, that's my take. What's yours?




Saturday, January 28, 2012

10 Steps to Lasting Weight Loss

A million diet plans vie for attention this time of year. The latest gimmicks and schemes bombard our magazines and airways. Many of us jump on the bandwagon and try the latest thing. I did that for years.

But, do we keep off the lost weight? Not me.

When I reached my bottom weighing two hundred and fifty pounds, carrying a load of self hatred with resentments eating at my mind, I finally asked God for His success stragedy.

Here's the ten steps I've learned:

1. "Not my will, but Thine" Pray this every morning.

2. Every day eat 5-8 servings of fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables. Have one of these whenever you're hungry.

3. Whenever possible, substitute enriched breads, cereals, pastas, rice for whole grains which better satisfy.

4. When you attend a party or go out to eat, first visualize what healthy choice you'll make, and then scan the menu or options to find the item nearest your mind picture. Around your house, never keep any foods that "call your name." As the Bible says, "shun the very appearance of evil."

5. Always eat 2 teaspoons of healthy oils such as olive oil, canola oil or sunflower oil. Try nuts, seeds or avocado in moderation.This keeps you from being hungry.

6. Start your day with the Bible and then read a paragraph in a book or blog that motivates you to serve God in a new or improved manner. Remember, you need to subsitute the god of food for the true Lord of all.

7. Choose leaner meats such as grilled chicken, trimmed-up sirloin, or fish. Try meals without meat as occasional options. Eat more legumes.

8. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or tempted, pray. Strive for a short prayer at least once an hour while you're awake.

9. Find an activity you enjoy--walking, dancing, meeting friends at the gym, swimming, biking. Don't pattern your exercise after someone else.

10. When you fail your idea of perfection, (and you will), start anew whether it's noon, five p.m or ten at night. Remember, it's our own minds that demand perfection, not God. He asks only that we hold His hand.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

God In The Storm


STORMS. I don't like them. Do you? During storms, we stew and worry. We tremble and cringe. We see no escape. Yeah, while the tempest rages, Jesus can appear to be asleep in the back of the boat oblivious to our plight.

But soon, a terrible storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was fairly full of water and about to sink.
Jesus was asleep at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically, they wakened him, shouting, 'Teacher, don't you even care that we are all about to drown?' Mark 4:35-36 Life Recovery Bible.


This last week, I’ve been in the storm. Rain blinded my trust-ability quotient. Blustery winds concealed the sound of His voice. Two days ago, I “hit the wall.” Exhaustion, illness, worry and my usual struggle with resentment took a toll on my mind and my body. I sought to “wake up” my Lord. With tears streaming my face, I cried out, “don’t you care that I perish?”

God answered me as he did the disciples long ago. He spoke to the storm, “Quiet down.” The wind and rain diminished. Then, He turned to me and asked why I was so fearful. “Didn’t you know all was okay?”

I guess I forgot. Or, for just a few minutes, I doubted.

Recently, I saw an anonymous saying that I thought God would have me remember.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s learning how to dance in the rain.

Lord, even while the storm rolls over me, teach me to dance.

Monday, December 19, 2011

GOD HOLDS OUT HIS CHRISTMAS GIFT, BUT WE MUST MAKE IT OURS


My three grandchildren make out lists of things they want for Christmas. Their two aunts and uncles and myself and my husband try to pick items from their lists to "surprise" them with. Yet, these gifts, no matter how much we spend, will fall apart or drop in the forgotten category in a few years, or maybe even months. Hopefully, we can give them the true gift of Christmas that never disintegrates or loses its value--the Christ Child Himself.

One year, my oldest grandson acted as if he appreciated the gift we gave him at Christmas, but when the family left for home, he left his present at our house. We gave him a gift, but he didn't accept it. So it is with us. God offers us valuable presents, but we must take them into our lives.

With God's sending His only Son, other gifts came our way. Jesus brings salvation, peace, joy, love and healing. Most of all, I'm grateful for Jesus' gift of hope for our future in this world and beyond. He holds out his gift of great value to each of us. Have you made it yours?

That's the true message of Christmas. God's gift/our blessing. My daughter sent this e-mail story to me. Many of you may also have received it, but it so touched my heart during this time that I wanted to repost in case some of you hadn't read it. See below.

Remember, whatever is going on in your life right now, God is in control. Nothing takes Him by surprise and nothing happens by chance. God is all we need.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned
to their first ministry, to reopen a church
In suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October
Excited about their opportunities. When they saw
Their church, it was very run down and needed
Much work. They set a goal to have everything
Done in time to have their first service
On Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls,
Painting, etc, and on December 18
Were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving
Rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.
His heart sank when he saw that the roof had
Leaked, causing a large area of plaster about
20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall
Of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit,
Beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor,
and not knowing what else to do but postpone
the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
On the way he noticed that a local business was
Having a flea market type sale for charity, so he
stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful,
Handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth
With exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross
Embroidered right in the center. It was just
The right size to cover the hole in the front
Wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older
Woman running from the opposite direction was
trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor
Invited her to wait in the warm church for
The next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor
While he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put
Up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor
Could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and
It covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center
aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor,"
She asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check
The lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into It there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had
Made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria .

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor
Told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The
Woman explained that before the war she and
Her husband were well-to-do people in Austria .

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave.
Her husband was going to follow her the next week.
He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her
Husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;
But she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home. That
Was the least he could do. She lived on the other
Side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn
For the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas
Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the
Spirit were great. At the end of the service, the
Pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door
And many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized
From the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the
Pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he
wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on
The front wall because it was identical to one
That his wife had made years ago when
They lived in Austria before the war and how
Could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he
Forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was
Supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and
Put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home
Again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to
take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten
Island and to the same house where the pastor
Had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of
stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on
the door and he saw the greatest Christmas
reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid
who says God does work in mysterious ways.